What’s that all about?

It must be spring. The crazies are out. I was standing outside work, noticing a mosquito flitting around the door, watching a fire truck head down the street, and up walks a man. He approaches me, reads the writing on my shirt, asks me why I’m here, opens his wallet and puts a one dollar bill in my water cup. Um, okay. I can’t look that homeless. I directed him next door. Amazing how people that insane can afford to be customizing their vehicles. I won’t miss being located near commercial businesses when we move to the new building. Truly bizarre. Thanks, buddy.

Retail Therapy

Let me tell you just how hard I rock. After work I had to go by my parents’ house to drop off some Mumfords (the best damn potato chips in the land, home-made kettle-cooked in Urbana, Mike’s hometown) for my aunt & uncle that my dad will be visiting this weekend. Talked to my mom for a bit, then headed back toward home to rug shop. We needed a new area rug for the living room. Long story short, the carpet’s trashed. As is the area rug currently covering the trashed carpet. People are coming over Saturday, so that’s as good an excuse as I need. I started at Meijer. All too small or too bizarrely patterned and colored. Head across the street to Lowe’s. The first one I muscled onto a cart – all by myself!- didn’t ring up on sale even though it was on a cart of mish-mash rugs right in front of the clearance section. Okay. I take it back to the aisle, muscle it off the cart, and pick out another one. Got an even better deal on it, after muscling it off the rack, onto the cart, and up to the register. From there some teenage boys helped me get it into my car, but I managed to get it out of my car and into the house, again, all by myself. The beauty part is, I accomplished this all in time to catch UGLY BETTY! This Bud’s for me!

Referrals

Monday again. Don’t you hate that? We had a semi-productive weekend. Got started on house-cleaning and weeded that flowerbed. It looks much better now. Amazingly, there were some teeny, tiny, itty-bitty hostas trying to come through underneath the veritable carpet of weeds we yanked out. Wonders never cease.

In more amusing news, people have found this blog by googling the following phrases:

“parents think that I’m a gold digger”

Are you? I hope not. Someone else’s money’s not likely to buy you much happiness. You’ll only feel worse about yourself in the long run. I hope they’re wrong.

“pantyhose yea or nay”

Nay.

“Examples of the psychology theory used in the book Night by Eli Wiesel”

I don’t know exactly what you’re looking for with that, but I’m glad you read the book, or I hope you do.

“Gavin Lucas from Dayton Ohio”

It’s legitimate. Keep your fingers crossed and your hope up for him and his family.

“hector projector”

Interesting. I stole that from an episode of Friends. Hector’s a funny name, so I use it whenever appropriate.

“my feet are freezing fashion”

Sorry about that. My hands are always cold, but mittens hardly ever go with what I’m wearing. Hope you got some nice, thick socks.

Keep ’em coming. I find it interesting to see what people google. It can be very telling. I can’t imagine what kind of resources might be on the internet for betrothed gold diggers, but at least there’s one less pair of pantyhose being worn. They always run anyways. My job here is done.

Flora and Fauna

I’ve been trying to digest what I managed to do Wednesday. I advocated for my damn self, finally. The upcoming move at work started becoming much more real as blueprints and time frames appeared. I mustered up as much courage as I could muster (that makes me want mustard), with plenty of adrenaline and trembling accompanying, and talked to my boss. Told him that I couldn’t very well start house hunting closer to our new location without knowing that I would be able to transition out of the lab and into the business aspect, sooner than later. As a reasonable person, he understood. He was encouraging. I hadn’t really thought I would get flat out denied, but as with so many other things, I didn’t know until I asked. He offered no guarantee of timing, but there are things I can do to speed the transition. It’s such a relief. I didn’t want to job hunt. If I do say so myself, I’ve become a rather integral part of that place. It’s a niche, and I’ve adapted to it. It will be much more pragmatic to apply the experience I’ve gained there, there, rather than try to translate it for a new place, where I’d be starting all over. I don’t know that I’ll retire from there, but at this point in my life, it doesn’t make much sense to give up what I’ve gathered. Now that I have a light at the end of the toxic tunnel, which presumably is not an approaching freight train, everything we’ve been planning seems possible again. The short term no longer seems quite so dismal.

We’re going to buy a house. I’m already falling in love with a few listings that are probably out of our price range and we haven’t even started going to open houses. Thanks, internet age. Whichever house we end up in, I want to plant a garden. My dad’s starting some tomato plants in pots for me this year, and I have one flowering plant, a wegalia that should flower soon, to transplant. It was given to us by Mike’s parents, as were some hostas when they were re-landscaping their flowerbeds.

These hostas, well, they’ve been problematic. The rabbits of suburbia find them rather tasty. Especially the ones who hole up in the flowerbed adjacent bushes that we never keep trimmed. Easy access. They barely survived last year. Or I thought they had. When I saw green shoots coming up, I assumed hostas. The rabbits nibbled a bit, but Mike had a great idea of just covering them up at night with buckets and coffee cans. Worked great! We even got some buds:

I counted seven and thought, ‘Hm, that seems like a lot! We really outsmarted those rabbits, I mean, wascawy wabbits! Then we had that cold spell, with the overnight freezes, and I wasn’t sure if they’d survive. But, sure enough, they survived, and are even blooming:

Yes, I’m an idiot. Those are tulips. The hostas didn’t survive. I’d totally forgotten there were even any bulbs in the bed. My mom gave us some the first spring after we moved in. They didn’t seem to transfer very well from the pots to the ground. They were falling over, looking limp and sickly, so we cut them back. Even dug up most of the bulbs for a purple plant when pulling weeds. We missed one:

No, we haven’t pulled weeds yet this year. Looks awful. But there are flowers! Unexpected ones! Even though they don’t all look so hot. The wegalia might be a bit more impressive. I really cut it back last fall. Hope springs eternal, and flowers bloom in spite of all odds, sometimes.

For those of you who are still awake through all that photosynthesis, I give you a treat. Cute doggie:


Caption him, if you like.

Tragic

This is awful news. Not at all the kind of spring fever one expects on a college campus. 30 is a big death toll number for these gunman incidents. It seems most of them settle for one or two targets before taking their own life, but this is mind-blowing, that he could start shooting in one part of campus, then strike again two hours later! Very poor execution of an emergency plan, I’d say. I’m sure the university didn’t have the resources to deal with this, but it seems like they could have done more to prevent the second wave of violence.

Brings back memories of Columbine. I was one year out of high school when that happened, and I remember reading the newspaper articles about it on my break at my job. I was working in a restaurant, taking a quarter off from college at the time. I hated that job, I wasn’t very thrilled about being back at home after having been away at school, but I remember being somewhat grateful to be out of high school at least, and worried for my younger siblings in case some smartass decided it would be cool to produce a copycat incident. Especially since one of the Columbine killers (I can never remember if it was Klebold or Harris) actually went to the same elementary school as me for a year. I don’t know if he was in my class, this was way back in first grade, I think. I thought for sure some mistreated teenager would think that having a school system in common was some sort of connection worth exploiting. Fortunately, nothing of the sort occurred.

The guy that introduced Mike and I went to Virginia Tech. I’m sure he’s heard by now what’s happened. I hope none of his professors or acquaintances were hurt or worse.

This kind of thing astounds me. I’ve had frustrations in my life, disappointments. It’s very hard to understand how someone could get to the point of procuring a firearm and taking out his hurt on other people, most of whom presumably have nothing at all to do with the gunman’s rage. I just can’t imagine being on either end of that scenario. What must have been done to that person to make him resort to violence on such a scale? College is supposed to be a place for enlightenment, finding your place in the world. Not taking random people with you on your way out. Just awful.

Ask and you shall receive

I’ve been working on this for a few days now, just finished it. Well, the parts I could bring myself to do, anyway:

Jul of thumbscre.ws has continued Feral Mom‘s interview activity! There are many questions to answer, all the better to distract me from this wretched blah-ness that seems to have overtaken me lately. I blame the cold that won’t let go. That taste of warm spring weather must return with more staying power. And soon. But for now:

1. You can travel back in time and visit yourself at [select all applicable] 10, 16, 22 and 30. What would you tell your various temporally-disjointed selves (any hokey “buy stock in Microsoft” replies will be taken out back and accused of antitrust violations)?

  • At 10, I’d tell myself to relax, enjoy the freedom from responsibility of childhood. That part of your academic career counts for so little in the long run, but I had no idea that I didn’t need to try so hard back then. And to be nicer to my siblings.
  • At sixteen, I might just steer clear of myself. I wasn’t taking much advice at that age. I’d have to take my younger self out of her natural habitat to even get her attention. I’d show her that there’s a whole planet full of people outside that hometown, and that the people in that hometown sure weren’t the ones I should worry about impressing.
  • At 22, I would tell myself to stay broken up with the tattooed yet boring young man. You should always go with your first instinct. No need to hang onto him just for company. The Mr. Right I was pretty sure didn’t exist was right around the corner after all, so I’d tell myself to cut ties sooner with the ex. Take some time for yourself, enjoy that last year of college more.
  • That’s nice. I’m not 30 yet. Bonus points!

2. Analogy Tyme: if your drug of choice was an item which could be purchased at Home Depot for under $150, which one would it be, and why?

  • Area rugs. They’re easily replaced, and hide the fact that I do not care to pay to steam clean rental-house carpeting that needed to be replaced when we moved in. The rental agency stated when we signed the lease that they automatically keep $90 of our deposit for carpet cleaning when we move out. So why would I spend money on it now? I can just buy a new rug to cover up the splotches. I’m hoping to take more pride in the flooring of the hypothetical house we’ll soon find and purchase. Ownership better breed better housekeeping.

3. You can reanimate and spend several hours (say, sharing some Batter-Dipped Choco-Cheesecake Nibblers at the local crap-on-the-walls chain restaurant) with one of the following individuals – which one would you choose, and why?- A deceased relative of whom you were moderately (but not overwhelmingly) fond.- A randomly-selected serial killer of moderate notoriety.

  • I think the serial killer would still be less awkward than the dead relative. There’d be more to talk about with the serial killer. Crazy doesn’t know it’s crazy. That’d be too hard to pass up. Assuming I’ve got some measure of safety, in a public place where the waiters wear pieces of flair. Chianti and fava beans with a serial killer.

4. Think of your most esoteric, potentially-humiliating sexual fantasy. Think of another, equally-odd (but completely fabricated) fantasy. Describe them both without identifying which is which.

  • Uh. No. I must keep some things to myself, right? I think that’ll stay one of them, for now. Fantasies are for my use, and I don’t need to be creating more at this time. Sorry. I don’t know who reads this. Maybe if I were still doing this anonymously.

5. What is the typical prison sentence for the most legally-questionable act you’ve ever committed?

  • The sentence for first-time offense DUI is three days in jail or a three day weekend intervention program. That’s definitely the worst way I’ve ever broken the law.

6. Think of the worst physical pain you’ve ever experienced (childbirth, ping-pong ball-sized kidney stones, atomic wedgie). Think of the worst emotional pain (depression, divorce, disaster). Think of the person who is closest to you in the world (child, spouse, sibling). You must decide whether they will suffer a comparable degree of physical OR emotional pain. If you choose the former, you will be required to inflict it yourself. If you choose the latter, it will occur without any involvement on your part. Which do you choose?

  • I might choose to not volunteer to answer these questions anymore! Jul’s some kind of evil genius here. I suppose that physical pain is treatable with pharmaceuticals and shouldn’t last indefinitely. I could apologize for my own actions, and who doesn’t want to beat their husband now and then? This is awful. But emotional pain might not go away, I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, especially not my husband. I’d probably need tools to exert enough force to break his arm, though. How very disturbing.

7. You’re granted the power to uncover the truth behind one very, very big secret of the modern age – who shot Kennedy? What the hell is the deal with celebrity Scientologists? You will not be permitted to share this knowledge with anyone, ever – it will be solely to satisfy your own curiosity. What do you choose to learn?

  • I’m ashamed to say so, but I think it’d have to be the whole truth about the Pitt-Aniston breakup. I find relationships fascinating.

8. While purchasing some plantains at Tienda Mexicano, you find The Lord. You discover that he is a cruel, arbitrary Lord, as well as one who has read entirely too many “Choose Your Own Adventure” books. He takes you outside, sits you down on the hood of his El Camino, hands you a can of Jugo de Coco and informs you that you will never see any of your current loved ones again. They will continue to live their lives, just magically sans any awareness of your continued existence. By way of compensation, you’ll be allowed to determine your own natural lifespan. You may elect to die instantly, live to 120 or any option in between. What do you choose? Why?

  • Seriously, what’s with the disturbing questions? Hm. At first it would be awfully hard to imagine what the point of living any longer would be if I’d never see any loved ones again. What a bastard. But if I chose to live the rest of my life, I suppose it’d be possible to have another set of loved ones. Like living two lives. Worth a shot. I don’t think I’d like to live to 120, though. Maybe 90.

9. You are given the opportunity to sample human flesh. Your enjoyment of this unusual entree will not be the result of any amoral acts – the source of your Bruce Burger (Tim Tartare? Francois Filet?) will be an individual who has died of unrelated causes. Your consumption of said flesh will not be as a result of starvation, nor as a condition of some sick wager (“Take a chomp out of Lloyd’s thigh and I’ll give you season tickets to Six Flags Over Highly Unlikely Transactionville”). Yea or nay?

  • No. I don’t see the point. There are plenty of non-human foods in the world that I’d love to sample. I’d have to try all of those at least once before I’d be curious enough to want to eat people. No Soylent Green for me, thanks. We probably just taste like chicken anyway.

10. You are given a Memory Dustbuster. It looks like a regular Dustbuster, circa 1989. However, when held against the human skull, it has the ability to suck out specific memories. Like many small appliances, this one has gotten a bit finicky in its old age. It no longer removes single memories… for each one which is removed, an equal-but-opposite second memory is also vacuumed up. You can suck out a particularly awful recollection… however, you’ll also lose a happy memory of comparable intensity, and you have no say in which one it happens to be.Do you use this device? How many times?

  • No. Even my worst memories are not as bad as they could have been. I can imagine much worse. I don’t want to lose any good ones. Having seen my grandpa lose nearly all his memories, I will take the bad with the good. Beats huge missing chunks of time. Plus, you need those pleasant memories to get you through the bad things that happen in every life.

11. The Enormous Glowing Sphere of Influence Equation: how many of the following events have occurred in your life for which you’ve felt personally responsible? By this, I mean that the event in question would definitely NOT have occurred were it not for one or more conscious decisions on your part. Do NOT include events which were confined strictly to your professional life – thus, lawyers/doctors/matchmakers/executioners/etc. should use their discretion on this one.- Marriages- Divorces- Births/adoptions- Deaths- Involuntary commitments (mental institution/rehab/prison)- Relocations of over 1,500 miles- Ascension to a level of fame/renown/power sufficient to interest/impact more than 10,000 individuals- Change in income level of +/- 50%- Formal adoption/renunciation of religious faith (or other organized belief system).

  • This question makes me feel like a big fat nobody. I don’t think I’ve actually influenced any big events like that, with the exception of my own marriage. I brought up the subject after hanging out with Mike for only a few months, I think. He probably wouldn’t have pursued commitment if I hadn’t made it clear that’s what I needed. But other than that, I’ve got nothing on this one. Oh wait, change in income level. I also found Mike a job; he was unemployed when we met.

12. An exercise in writing, randomness and self-reflection (when commenting/posting, only include item “C”):A. In exactly 25 words, describe the thing you’re proudest of.B. In exactly 25 words, describe the thing you’re most ashamed of.C. Combine the odd-numbered words from A. with the even-numbered words from B.

  • The wish and would ended just being him it was the nice because he managed have pass I classes just get of stupid pointlessly.

Gibberish enough for you? That was bizarre. My lunch is way over. Still blah. Raining again.

Returning reluctantly

Yuck. The Monday after a long holiday weekend is downright depressing. These weekends are never long enough. The weather has been awfully oppressing. We had that little taste of spring, but we’ve been afraid to uncover the flowers for days. Mike said that every time he looks out the window, it’s snowing. I concur. Every time, I assume that it’ll stop soon, but it doesn’t. At least it’s not accumulating.

The baptism and all went just fine. I have no drama to report. I understand even less now than before why we haven’t all just gotten together sooner. Seems incredibly pointless. Very anticlimactic.

We had a good time at my parents’ house yesterday. Tons of great food, and a smaller crowd than usual, so we actually had enough time to say more than a few words to most people.

I dread coming back to work after an extended break. I despise my current state of employment for the uncertainty it imposes on my life. I resolve to talk to my boss when he gets back into town. I think just broaching the subject of a transition into the business side will ease a lot of my stress. The nature of this position constrains my life as a whole, but it doesn’t have to be that way. If it’s not workable here, I’ll just have to find somewhere else to go, but I can’t imagine that he’ll totally shoot me down. He’s an understanding person. I just need to voice my goals. That alone should help me hate this place much less. A light at the end of the tunnel. A point at which I won’t have to feel so trapped, painted into a corner by my own hand. I’m going to do it. Take the plunge. That combined with some warmer temperatures, some sunshine, might just cheer me up. I’m sick of being cold!