Today we will all be hiding indoors

(Due to the heat advisory, that is. Are heat advisories new? I don’t remember getting them before. Perhaps I just wasn’t paying attention.)

So I’ve had a fair amount of unpleasant bus experiences, as anyone who rides the bus frequently might. Last week, it was the woman who decided to spend six minutes (I checked my phone because it was so amazing) clipping her nails in the seat in front of me. When she was done, she brushed the clippings off her lap onto the floor. Apparently, she didn’t catch the glaring-in-disgust thing I had going on, because the next day she decided to sit next to me and compliment my embroidery.

Today’s going to be hot, which means that the bus ride home will probably smell like a locker room after the football game (but before any showers might be taken). I would have thought the ride to work would have been relatively safe, but someone hopped on who had incredible odor issues (not like he/she was sick, just… had been sweating for quite some time and needed to shower), at 7 am! And it wasn’t even all that hot yet (only 80-ish, I think). I felt kinda bad for him/her (I was unable to identify which passenger it was, since I wasn’t paying attention until the smell wafted over to where I was sitting), since I can only imagine, as the day goes on, that it will get worse. I hate it when I get all sweaty and think that I might offend others.

Last night, after a lovely [shared] birthday dinner out with friends (in which I received no gifts, oddly enough, though I’m not complaining – I don’t really need gifts), we had a generally unpleasant evening. Apparently when we installed the new programmable thermostat on Sunday (more on this in a bit), something went wrong and the air conditioning wasn’t running. Bummer – the house was 88 when I got home. had picked out a lovely flush-mount touch screen programmable thermostat (to replace the super old one that came with the house) at Home Depot on Saturday. Sunday night was spent cutting a hole in the plaster wall (no fun, though I only watched, and quite messy), after which we discovered there was a stud there (where there shouldn’t have been) which only added more work. As we were hooking up the wires (a complication in and of itself, since we had one more wire than any of the diagrams displayed), one of the screw heads broke off. We figured it wasn’t really a big deal, unless we needed to remove that wire for some reason.

Turns out that screw head was quite important, and was the reason we had no AC. The thermostat thought it was telling the AC to run, but it actually had no way to do that. And so it was hot. Also, in the process, several of the other wires became disconnected.

After had fixed everything, I washed the floor. The dust from the plaster removal had been tracked all over the main floor, and our lovely hardwood floors were looking quite bad (plus, a lot of it was footprints, not just a fine layer), and I knew that I wouldn’t have time to do it tonight (massage appointment), wouldn’t want to do it Wednesday (who wants to scrub the floor on their birthday?), and by Thursday the dust would have just spread further throughout the house. But, it was quite unpleasant to wash the floor in the 80+ degree house with absolutely no breeze, on my hands and knees, sponge in hand. I had to change the water twice; the floors were that dirty. Clearly, we need to buy a mop. (This is problemmatic, since I generally find all mops disgusting as one is unable to get it fully clean between washings.) Any suggestions for mops that cater to germ-o-phobes? Swiffer Wet is completely insufficient to cover more than 10 square feet, and doesn’t do any of it effectively, in my experience. Since we have approximately 1400 square feet of hardwood or linoleum flooring, we need a solution.

There was a trip to DQ that helped us cool down (and we spent the rest of the evening in the basement where it was much cooler). Unfortunately, I think I can no longer get my favorite Blizzard flavor, Georgia Mud Fudge, because I lay in bed awake for quite some time, unable to sleep. Update: I just checked DQ’s website and got the nutritional information, and there isn’t coffee flavoring in it like I thought, just lots of chocolate. Would lots of chocolate have enough caffeine to keep me awake? I’m getting mixed information from the internet on that.

Thankfully, we have a lovely ceiling fan in our bedroom (totally disproving all those home design shows that purport all ceiling fans are bad and need to be removed), so we could sleep. The house was freezing (or so it felt) when I woke up, so clearly all has been fixed. My office is very air conditioned, as usual, so we’re definitely beating the heat here. Now I just have to remember to check on our newly planted tomato plants when I get home, and make sure they’re not wilting or in need of water. That would be a shame. (It seems as though the bunny has not yet found the tomato plants, or our bunny doesn’t like them as much as the one at ‘s house, who ate three of her tomato plants before she got some protection for them.)

Wuv, twue wuv

Alright, I know that if I don’t post something soon, certain people might get a little snarky and pester me over email about that, even if I have talked to them during my hiatus. I’ll keep this short, because my pictures are currently trapped on my home computer and they’d make a better post anyways.

Short story:

  • Wedding went off without a hitch. Or rather we got hitched. Or… huh. The day was a success, since all that needed to happen was for us to actually get married. Everything else was gravy, and there was a lot of gravy.
  • Honeymoon was awesome. We did nothing, absolutely nothing, and reveled in it. The weather was good, and we basically did the stuff we did last time, only more relaxedly.
  • When we got home, was a freak. We opened all our gifts and got them all situated away, or at least mostly. And Sunday after church we went to the Pottery Barn and bought some backup dishes.
  • Sunday we went to church and received the “souvenir tickets” that are our marriage license, uncertified. Basically worth nothing. But we learned that the parties involved (bride and groom, that is) don’t actually sign the marriage license. Who knew?
  • I am behind on homework, but that’s probably to be expected. I’ve had a hard time getting back into the mindset of a student, which is important when papers need to be written. If it was just reading, I’d be done. I’ll get on that tonight though.
  • Commuting from Eagan is not so much fun, but not the worst form of torture ever invented. Sorry, but that’s about as excited as I can get about that.
  • A co-worker gave me the Wyoming state quarter as a wedding gift. And he talked to our barista at Starbucks who was shocked and amazed that we didn’t want gifts, and that I didn’t want co-workers at the celebration. To each his own, right?
  • And now I’m back at work. I only had 89 emails, which is pretty amazing for being gone two weeks. And about 15 of them were spam. So I’m mostly caught up, in the sense that I currently have a normal workload (when I have stuff to do, that is).

Words that shouldn’t be used together, and other lessons learned last night

I was watching “The Closer” last night, trying to get caught up before having to return my DVR to the cable company, and last week we learned that Brenda was going through early-onset menopause (I figured it was either that or she was pregnant). This week, her doctor told her she thought that it was probably because she has PCOS. Always nice to identify with a TV character, even if it isn’t for the best reason. Anyways. [Editor’s note: warning to the boys, girl parts are going to be mentioned shortly, and you may not want to read if you’re squeamish about that sort of thing.] There’s this funny-and-horrifying scene where the doctor says that the method of treatment is… ovarian drilling. Brenda of course freaks out over this (it goes all slow-mo and the doctor repeats it like three times and it really is funny). And who wouldn’t? Those words should not be used together. I don’t care what they mean. That sounds freaky.

Last night, I learned an important lesson. Do not attempt to go to Target and find school supplies the night that most of the local colleges started classes. You won’t find anything, and you will be reminded that you are old. You may also have to deal with parents of kindergarteners attempting to decipher the school-supply list they’ve been given. And it will take you 45 minutes to find yellow Post-Its. I never did find the folders I was looking for, even after stopping at Office Max. Guess I didn’t need them.

It was a whole new world opened to me last night, when I realized that I needed Post-Its and it was after 8:30, but I could still leave my house and get them, because I owned a car. Being limited by the bus meant that trips to Target after evening rush hour generally took at least 2 hours, with the time in transit, shopping, and waiting for buses. No longer. True, I was still gone for an hour, but because I was trying to find Post-Its, not because I was waiting at the corner of University and Hamline at 9:15 pm. (No good can come of that.)

I also learned last night (from ) that bachelor and bachelorette parties are for the friends of the bride and groom, not the seeming-guests-of-honor. That kinda clears things up for me, though I am still confused about… why again? But whatever. I’ll just accept it at face value and move on.

Class tonight. Class yesterday afternoon went well, and we got out early, which meant I could file for our marriage license and get a student ID made. Right now, I’m going to pick up the Scrabble boards for the reception centerpieces.

Slight Swooning Required

I have a co-worker who’s getting married next weekend. He’s done this before, and as is stereotypical of most men, hasn’t been too vocal or stressed about his pending nuptials. Well, he’s leaving for the day, and I overheard this conversation:

Groom: See you Monday! Have a good weekend!
Co-Worker: Yeah. Hey, last weekend of freedom! Haha
Groom: Yeah. After this, life will be much more enjoyable.

Bet you didn’t see that one coming, did ya.

Now, I have no doubt that there are many men out there who think that very thought (or at least did at some point, since they shelled out some cash for a ring and proposed and thought it would be a good idea to be married). But how many times do you hear something so honest, especially at work, instead of the usual jesting about the ole ball-n-chain or a lifetime sentence or whatever.

In other news, yes, I am very glad that it’s Friday. Maybe not so much “glad” as “relieved.” You see, on Wednesday I could have sworn it was Friday. Yesterday too. So by today I feel like it has been a very, very long week. And I am much relieved that today actually is Friday.

For those of you who cared, I did almost no packing this week. And very little wedding planning (except for that whole hair thing). Why? Well, quite frankly, there’s not much to be done. And I was a little tired. I got the things on my list done, but they were kind of minor things. I cleaned off my bedside table and another side table so that they’d be ready to move. I have an ever-growing pile for Goodwill. We’re taking some things to ‘s this weekend so the stacks of boxes in ‘s spare bedroom will decrease. I went through the stuff on the last table in my room (that’s three tables, if you’re counting) and got the box of reception decorations all set to go. But that was kinda it.

And I keep having these thoughts like, oh, I’m going to need to go to Goodwill, I should email and and see who might want to go, or I need to go to a different Macys that has a bigger selection to buy this thing, and I should see who would like to take me, and then realizing that, unless things go horribly wrong with someone’s Visa to Korea, I’ll have a car next week and won’t need someone to go with me (not that I wouldn’t want someone to come with if they desired). It’s a whole mindset change I’m not really into yet. I have had some positive thoughts this week regarding my future car, like Wednesday night when I was hungry but it was too late to find food anywhere that was accessible to me, and I knew that if I had a car I could have gone to Cub which is open 24 hours. Or last night when I ran out of yarn for a hat I’m attempting (why, I’m not sure, because I’m guessing it’s going to look laughable on me and I’ll just have to give it away) and thought that it would be silly to spend an hour in transit on the bus to and from WalMart for a $1.50 ball of yarn.

Last night I was good to myself, to make up for Wednesday when I was apparently feeling that I needed to be mean to me. So I went grocery shopping. And then I made (and ate) dinner. And took a book and some crochet out onto my deck and sat in my hammock for about an hour until the sun disappeared. And when I got hungry, I ate again. I supplied myself with the chocolate of which my house had been completely devoid. I went to bed before midnight, and fell asleep quickly. So no more grouchiness today. (I’m sure is thrilled to hear that.)

Crap. I just realized I forgot to feed . Must go email .

No Hall Passes today

I somehow managed to miss every single one of my buses this morning. I don’t even know where the 8:55 65 was. I was there at 8:53 and never saw it. So I caught the next 21 to Snelling. Getting off the 21, I looked across the street to see the 84 waiting at the light. It pulled away before I could cross the street (running across the Snelling-University intersection in a skirt and heels is ill-advised at best). So I waited. And then when the 84 dropped me off at Como to catch the 3, I watched the 3 pull away from the stop as I exited the bus. So I waited for the next 3. And miraculously, I was only 2 minutes late for my doctor’s appointment this morning. Miraculous.

Exciting – I got a new prescription for brand-name Wellbutrin again, so as soon as I send it in, I’m off the generic. Yay! Exciting news for the girls only – My last 3 Paps were regular, so I didn’t have to have one this year. Those are not so much fun.

Unfortunately, my appointment ran over, and then the lab was running late, so I missed whatever 3 would have taken me home in time for my plan to work. Then after 10 minutes of waiting 3C drove by, which stops at Cleveland and is not helpful at all, so I waited another 10 minutes for a 3A. At this point, there was no chance of fulfilling my plan, so I just went directly to work. Ideally, I was going to stop at Target on my way back from the doctor, get the cat food that I am out of, stop at home and feed , grab my backpack, and then spend the night at ‘s. No such luck. I’ll just have to try next week. Of course, if the lady from craigslist who said she would come buy my chandelier had stopped by last night like we planned, this wouldn’t be an issue. I waited all night and she never came by. If she had come after work, I would have then caught a bus to Target and fixed the problem then. It seems as though the universe is conspiring against me. (And if that lady doesn’t show up, the next person on the list is getting contacted, because I had several interested parties and I don’t need to deal with this crap for a measly $5.)

So I got to work at 12:15 and have been on phones ever since. Thankfully, our receptionist is back tomorrow. This is good because I have a 10:00 meeting to show someone how to use the projector. Woo-hoo.

Quick trip to Target after work tonight then. Maybe JoAnn’s too, though I am on a limited budget there (it’s the only way to do it when one has multiple crafty hobbies). And then how am I going to spend my evening? I got 4/5 of this week’s moving tasks done last night, and a few wedding ones. I guess there’s always more wedding stuff to do. And a baby blanket to knit (for ‘s little boy due around the time of our wedding).

Snag in the wedding planning – my hairstylist is unavailable. She’s booked the whole day. No freaking out, though. She’s supposed to give me a call. Maybe she can recommend someone else. If not, then I might panic a bit. But just a bit.

I am tired. So I’m gonna go home soon. It counts as part of my sick leave from this morning.

Also, I’d like to note that my blog has been getting spammed with comments lately.  Specifically the “Addendum” post.  Not sure why.  But they all get moderated, so they never make it on the web.  But it’s seriously annoying.  There were at least 10 today.  Grr.  I am not stupid enough to think that a comment that is entirely links belongs on my site.  Especially when those links are for viagra and porn sites.  Boo.  You get no love from me.

There are no good synonyms for “random” (I checked)

  • Last night on the bus ride home, there was a blind woman and her guide dog sitting near the front. The driver proceeded to describe, in detail, the entire trip. It included descriptions like “the city is laid out around the capital with the roads coming out of it like spikes” (I didn’t know that), “I don’t really know where I am,” and “this is a really cute neighborhood with lots of coffee shops and restaurants and so forth” (referring to my neighborhood). It was kinda fun, though that middle part was a bit frightening. (I’m guessing she just meant she’s a Minneapolis gal and not a St Paul gal, as most bus drivers seem to associate themselves with one or the other, and then when they’re in the opposite one, claim ignorance about local buses and sights.)
  • called three times last night, and I missed all three attempts. He’s in North Carolina (has been since sometime last week) and won’t be returning until Sunday night. This puts a slight crimp in a few wedding details that are in the works. Oh well.
  • Miracle of miracles, cleaned the house yesterday. A potential roommate came over, so he got the place all nice-looking. Swept the floors and cleaned the kitchen and bathroom.
  • So, I cooked in my kitchen. Salmon with beans and carrots (from the farmer’s market) and a French baguette with olive oil. Then I had Twizzlers for desert.
  • This morning while out for coffee, a bird crapped on my shoulder. No joke. That hasn’t happened to me since 4th grade when I was on a Girl Scout camping trip.
  • I tried to finish watching “One True Thing” that I’d recorded and watched most of last week. It was on the Indie channel, and was really good, but kinda depressing so I couldn’t finish it (Renee Zellweger’s mom is terminally ill, for a brief plot synopsis). I had half an hour left. But the last 10 minutes were blank. And… I think it’s actually more than that that I’m missing. So I’ll have to Netflix it I guess. Do I remember how to login?

Unfinished Sentences

As seen on Kazoofus:

  1. I’ve come to realize that my last kiss was… sweet. And comforting (I was sick Sunday night, remember?)
  2. I am listening to… my co-worker complaining. As usual.
  3. I talk… aloud to far more often than I should.
  4. I love… it when it rains.
  5. My best friends… probably don’t know how much they mean to me, because I’m not very good at expressing it.
  6. My car… is public transportation. Sometime this fall, however, my answer will be different.
  7. My love life… is discussed enough here for me to not answer this one.
  8. I hate it when people ask… how wedding plans are coming. I’m bored of talking about it.
  9. I want to… be done with school and start my new career.
  10. Marriage is… something I am looking forward to very much. A bit nervous about (having never been married before), but when all is said and done, something I want and am getting a bit impatient for.
  11. Somewhere, someone is thinking… about my wedding. You know it’s true. OK, probably not. Because the world does not revolve around the wedding, and in fact, the wedding is a very small blip (if that) over the course of time in relation to the entire world’s population.
  12. I’m always… drinking water these days, it seems. Far more than I thought. Far more than I did a few months ago.
  13. I have a secret crush on… do I have secret crushes? I think everyone is fully aware of my inappropriate celebrity crushes.
  14. I am not… a dog person. Lucy has cemented my resolve on that.
  15. My cell phone… is red. How cool is that?
  16. When I wake up in the morning… I wish I weren’t. And then I hit snooze. And then I finally get up and feed the cat, and perhaps fall back asleep while watching the Today Show.
  17. Before I go to bed I… brush my teeth, read something fictional, set my alarm clock, and re-check said alarm clock (not that it helps – I still hit snooze a few too many times in the morning).
  18. Right now I am thinking about… leaving to go get a Mocha Frappuccino. I’m thirsty.
  19. Babies are… wonderful, so long as I get to return them to their parents at some point. Also, they tend to be all around me these days. You know how a few years ago everyone I knew was getting married? Well, now they’re all having kids. I guess I’m just a few years behind the times.
  20. I get on MySpace… never.
  21. Today I… was complimented on how fast I walk by a co-worker. Strange, I know.
  22. Tonight I will… meet up with and and experience the Taste of Minnesota. Hopefully, there won’t be any major disasters.
  23. Tomorrow I will… spend sleeping in (unless it’s ridiculously hot outside, which would make it ridiculously hot in my bedroom, which would make sleep impossible), packing boxes to go to ‘s house, showering, and hanging out with , hopefully in that order.
  24. I really want to… not be at work today. I would prefer to laze around in my hammock (and not feel obligated to pack boxes).
  25. Someone who will most likely repost this… Maybe ? She’s the only person I know that reads this blog and has a blog of her own.

Thank goodness I didn’t dally

I did something today I almost never do. I drove. A car. As if that weren’t extraordinary enough, it was during morning rush hour on major highways, and then on the way back there was rain. Thankfully, I didn’t hang back at the meeting, because people who left after I did have major hail damage to their cars. It’s a state car, not my own car, but I’m still glad I don’t have that hassle. It goes without saying that driving in hail would probably have been too much for me to handle. I was a little shaky about the whole deal. I’m glad that it didn’t rain this morning. Next month’s meeting isn’t at our regular place either, but it’s in St Paul right on the bus route, so I don’t think I’ll be borrowing a car again.

The rest of the afternoon has been unremarkable. Tonight I’ll try to work on more of the hysterical historical stuff I’ve found while cleaning, and let y’all know when I’m done. There’s a lot more than I originally thought, so it might take a while. Can’t promise it’ll be worth the wait, but it’s nice for me to reminisce. Ah, 1999.

And for even more sentimentality, we’re going to my old church this weekend! There won’t be that many people there because it’s a holiday weekend, but there’ll still be some people to catch up with and show off my ring, I mean, my boy. It’s been two years – I wonder how big some of the kids have gotten, especially the boys. They grow fast! It’ll be good to see their faces again. Almost a complete staff turnover since I left, too. Interesting. Same with the church-that-shall-remain-nameless. Entirely new staff, still haven’t been able to keep anyone in the position I was fired from. The more time goes on, the more I realize I was delivered from that situation that was clearly “not right.” Painful, yes, but I think I’m a better person for it, even if it did take me a really long time to get here.

But, to end things on a happier note… I have made major progress in cleaning my house. To the untrained eye, it might not look that way, but it’s true. I’ve got stuff that can go to ‘s for storage, and as soon as we find a place to live (and a time to live there) and a storage unit nearby, I’ve got stuff ready to go there too. Sadly, my vacuuming progress has not been that good. I’ve made it about halfway down the hallway now. I did my room and the front room, and then the filter clogged and the battery died. Then I got a quarter down the hallway before it happened again. Last night I made it to the halfway point before my SwifferVac wheezed its protest. Wimpy little thing, but sure beats vacuuming. What am I tackling tonight? I have no idea. I was going to finish painting my bedside table, but the thunderstorm has put a crimp in that plan (I was going to say “put a damper in that,” but I thought it was too corny). So… maybe I’ll just lay in bed and listen to the rain. Or … I dunno. But home I go. I was at work early today, so my time is done!

That should go on my iTunes wishlist…

Stuck in my head right now? “I hate the world today…” Know what song that’s from? One that I don’t particularly care for and haven’t ever wanted to own, but it seems appropriate today. It’s “B*tch” by Meredith something or other. I can’t exactly look that up at work.

Anyways, computer problems still abound at work. I’m back on the laptop, and I have printer access now, which is something new. But everything in general is frustrating when it’s not your machine. I’m stuck without the programs I need and forced to use inferior and irritating programs (cough cough Internet Explorer cough cough). So I’m pleasant. Plus, there’s a meeting tomorrow that seemingly everyone forgot about (including myself), so there were a lot of last-minute requests for documents to be prepared, photocopied, etc.

And it grates on me every time a co-worker comes by and says, “Still no computer yet?”

Here’s a happy thing from last night, though. I was reading my Real Simple magazine that arrived yesterday, an article on preventing osteoporosis (basically the numerous things you should do to protect and build bone density). They had it broken down by decades, starting with things to do in your 20’s. What made me happy was to read the first item under things to do in your 30’s. (I’m paraphrasing here…) “When you’re pregnant, make sure to take prenatal vitamins.” How nice for the expectation to be put out there that 30’s are a perfectly good time to have kids, in this time of my life when many of my friends have had babies or are having babies, and all of them are under 30. I don’t feel the tick-tock of the biological clock, but I am aware that 30 is just around the corner and that other people have expectations that they occasionally try to impose on me. (It doesn’t often work well, but it sure does frustrate me to no end.)

I slept like crap last night. I couldn’t fall asleep, and then just when I did, Matea started to paw at the back of my neck, which awoke me enough to realize that I hadn’t actually been asleep. I looked at the clock – 2:30. No fun. I should do alright on the quiz tonight in class though. I studied.

Wanna place bets on the idea of me forgetting that we have a meeting tomorrow morning and missing my 7:45 bus?

Assorted Wednesday-Friday randomness

I am feeling much better today. Late yesterday afternoon I started feeling quite good – specifically, I could freely breathe again. That was nice. Amazing what some good sleep and relaxation can do. I think the sun helped too, since it was shining both days right into the house. I miss the sun. I will like it very much when I see it more often, and when I can walk outside to get coffee on my break. But, two days at home was about all I could take of the dog, who mopes about the house sadly waiting for her owner to come home, occasionally dragging herself to the front door to sigh and whine. My goodness – you thought I was whiny? I ain’t got nothin’ on this dog.

However, this morning did not have such a great start. I woke up only to find that I’d unknowingly slept with someone over the night. Or should I say something. I had a spider bite on my right ankle, four behind my knee, one on my thigh, and one on the front of my knee. Bastard. Crawled up my pants and everything. I don’t do that on a first date, let alone with someone I’m not on a first-name basis with.

Then, I nearly slipped on some ice outside on my way to the bus. Funny, I’d walked that part of the sidewalk yesterday and it was fine. But apparently the water re-froze overnight. I glared at the house and thought maliciously about their landlords. I’m sure that had no effect whatsoever.

Then there were problems with my bus pass, like the fact that I dropped it behind the thing while trying to use it, and then it didn’t read correctly, and it was just like, “man, it’s one of those mornings.” Needless to say, while I was trying to have a good attitude, it seemed as though the universe was telling me I should have stayed at home. I knew, however, that the universe was wrong about that.

I am sick and tired of watching people on TV that live on the east coast complain about how cold it is there. It was 17* there this morning, and it was “bitterly cold.” Um…? Hello. Do you see Minnesotans on the news complaining when it’s below zero? No. (Do I complain about it, yes, but that’s totally different. The Today Show is not paying any attention to my plight, and that’s fine. I don’t really expect anyone to care about my feelings of the cold.) Boo-hoo for New York. Wimps.

While I was home, I was actually slightly productive in my life. True, I got some good napping in, as well as some quality lounging-in-bed-watching-movies time. But, I also did some homework (including getting a 10/10 on a quiz), cleaned the chair off (though it will only get piled full of stuff again), unloaded and loaded and unloaded the dishwasher, threw away old food from the fridge, took out the recycling, took care of the cat litter, and whitened my teeth. I also went to the co-op (twice) and bought all sorts of healthy foods: bananas, apples, a butternut squash, a yam and a sweet potato (to determine once and for all which one of the two it is that I like), asparagus, baby artichokes, carrots, mushrooms, potatoes, milk, eggs, cheeses, and English muffins. I also bought granola and sunflower seeds and fresh strawberries and yogurt. My plans was to eat good foods, that I might be healthier.

And I’ll have you know, I am becoming an expert at cooking asparagus. Don’t ask me what I did wrong the first time (back when I lived in Michigan), but I’m not having any problems now. Of course, when cooked up with mushrooms and served with butter, salt and pepper, pretty much anything would taste good. (Things that would not taste good still include: eggplant, zucchini, onions, and tomatoes. Lest anyone get the idea that I might eat such disgusting foods if they were served in this manner. Not gonna happen.)

The sweater that I was working on, I finished the 13 inches that I needed to, and then started and finished both sleeves, attached them, and am now working on the next 5 inches (I’m halfway done). Then there’s the row with the holes for ribbon, and then 5 more rows, and then it’s done. So I can definitely be done by Spring Break (which is the 19th). I’m floored that I was able to complete a sweater so quickly. Of course, it’s just a simple 2×2 rib, and short-sleeved, and a wide neck, but still… impressive. Hopefully it fits.

Plans for the weekend include homework, hopefully finishing the baseboard in ‘s bathroom, and more homework. (That was Friday-Saturday-Sunday, in that order, in case you were wondering.) has some stuff that will take him away from the house / require him to work on stuff instead of entertain me. Which is fine, since I have a paper to write this weekend for US History and about a zillion pages to read for my Contemporary World History class. And a mid-term on Tuesday for World History. And then there’s the sweater…. So you see, it’s all good. And hopefully next weekend we’re both much more free and can have some fun (it might even be nice enough outside to go for a walk or something!) I think we’re going to the church again on Sunday as well, which should be good.

Four For Friday

  1. Gift Cards: The National Retail Federation says that we spent $24.81 billion this past holiday season on Gift Cards, and that each one us spent more on gift card contributions last year than the year before (the average consumer, says the NRF, spent $116.51 in 2006 vs. $88.03 in 2005). Did you purchase a gift  card for someone last year? If not, did you receive a gift card from someone as a holiday gift? I did both. gave me a gift card to the MOA so I could own clothes that fit, and I gave a Best Buy gift card to , my brother-in-law, because he’s really hard to shop for and I got lazy.
  2. Email: When you open your email in-box for the first time each day, which messages do you read first? Do you read them in reverse chronological order or do you pick and choose which ones to read first based on a different priority? I read the personal ones first, and then delete all the ones advertising sales at my favorite stores, unless I’m really bored, in which case I may actually read them.
  3. Weather: The current El Nino weather anomaly that can create atmospheric havoc around the world should continue into the spring, extending unseasonably warm temperatures in North American through March, the U.S. National Weather Service predicted yesterday. How has the weather impacted your life these last few months? If you live up north, are you receiving more or less snow; and if you in the down south, is it cooler or warmer than normal? Despite whether (no pun intended) you normally receive snow or not, are you happy, sad, or indifferent about your area’s current weather? When my life includes standing out at the bus stop with semi-wet hair in the morning, I prefer it to be as warm as is reasonable. If it has to be this cold out (it’s in the teens today, and was 5* when I woke up this morning), I’d prefer snow on the ground. Oh, and I hate the cold. But you already knew that.
  4. National Guard Service: For the first time since President George W. Bush mobilized the National Guard and Reserve (after 9/11), the Pentagon is abandoning its limit on the time a citizen-soldier can be required to serve on active duty. Until now, the Pentagon’s policy on the National Guard and Reserve was that members’ cumulative time on active duty could not exceed 24 months. That cumulative limit is now lifted; the remaining limit is on the length of any single mobilization, which may not exceed 24 consecutive months. In other words, a citizen-soldier could be mobilized for a 24-month stretch in Iraq or Afghanistan, then demobilized and allowed to return to civilian life, only to be mobilized a second time for as much as 24 additional months. In your opinion, is the Pentagon’s change fair, and furthermore, do you think it’s called for? I, um… don’t know. I really have no basis to make a decision on this. I could ask my cousin Ed, who recently returned from Afghanistan, but he was in the Army, not the Reserves. And he’s not going back, because his girlfriend told him it was her or the Army, and he picked her (that wasn’t an unfair ultimatum she gave him, just the reality – it’s very stressful to have a long distance relationship in that situation, and she was just being honest). Oh, and they’re engaged now.

Thanks for the memories

As of about an hour ago, I have officially lived in Minnesota for 5 years. (I tend to have these grand, life-changing moments happen on memorable dates, but that’s another post.) December 1, 2001 I woke up at ‘s house in Illinois after having spent the day before loading my UHaul up and driving it from Detroit to his house (with his help, of course), my car in tow. We hopped back on the road and drove to Eden Prairie, arrived at the church-that-remains-nameless, met a youth group full of kids that helped unload stuff into my office, then into my temporary housing, and finally into my storage unit. Then we called , went out to eat at Chevy’s (because, having only lived in Minnesota for 2 hours, the best I could do was find the Eden Prairie mall), and started the slow process of assimilating myself to a new life. The next day was Sunday, whereupon I woke up and went to my new church for the first time, was warmly greeted by all, and ate a lot of Twinkies, among other things. I was also gifted a feather boa (in honor of our then-governor Jesse Ventura), a book “How To Speak Minnesotan” and a Twins baseball cap. The baseball cap is the only thing I have left, since the others were either given back (boa) or away to Goodwill because they reminded me of that church.

It’s been almost 3 years since I’ve seen anyone from that church – during the bus strike of 2004, I saw the church secretary at a concert, and I have actually healed from what they put me through (it helped that both pastors moved out of state). I don’t regret the decision to move here or to take the job, because that’s the way life goes. It got me to Minnesota, including paying my moving expenses, and, despite the cold weather that presently looms, I like living here. My life is here now. It has long since felt like home, and Michigan only felt that way for the brief time after I acclimated myself but before the sh*t hit the fan.

Confession

I… did not vote yesterday. But before you get all uppity, let me say this: I was a responsible citizen and still performed my civic duty. What’s that, you say? Well, first of all, I was completely and entirely uneducated about this election, the candidates, and… well, everything. So I thought it was responsible of me to not vote, since picking all the names that “sound pretty” isn’t very purposeful. Secondly, I walked all the way to the polling place with and vouched for her so she could be a registered voter and vote herself. That was my civic duty.

And then I walked all the way to the co-op, restocked my pantry (a bit), made myself dinner, read the second half of a really long and boring chapter on the Cold War (sounds interesting, but it wasn’t), watched the Jim Carrey Andy Kaufman movie, cleaned (not much), finished crocheting a scarf and another square for my blanket, and…. changed the kitty litter. I took out the recycling too. I know, such an exciting time.

I am tired today because at about quarter-to-midnight, I had a revelation that brought me great peace and required that I journal about it (in an actual paper journal with a pen – so last century, I know), so I was up later than I should have been. I was almost late to class this morning.

Now I just have to figure out how to get everything done that I need/want to in the time I have. I need to go to Walgreens and pick up a refill (and perhaps some decongestant), but I’d also like to go to JoAnn and look at their yarn selection for some projects that are in the cue. There’s church tonight, too, and I have to make dinner or find it somewhere, because it’s just not working for me to eat there. Ooh, Chipotle is just a block away from the church. Maybe I’ll do that. At any rate, I don’t think I’m going to make it to JoAnn, which won’t be the end of the world.

I don’t have to work on Friday, it being a Federal holiday and I work for the government (remember – no mail delivery!). So then I have to figure out if I’m going to ‘s house after work on Thursday, or if he’s coming to pick me up on Friday after work, or if I’m busing downtown Friday afternoon and then busing out to his house… such drama, I know. Not really a big deal, just… need to make sure I get what needs to get done… done.

‘s baby is due in 40 days. !!!!! Thanksgiving plans are nearly cemented. (Huge sigh of relief.)

I have work to do, which is nice for a change of pace, and it’s not immediately pressing, which is also nice. Busy, but not stressed.

From All Sides

OK, now I have something to talk about. And maybe it’s just because I’m a bit tired today (though I can’t imagine why – I got 12 hours of sleep on Saturday night) and haven’t eaten much (I’m most of the way through my lunch though) that I’m feeling free to share whatever is on my mind (because I frequently censor myself, knowing full well who my audience here is and not wanting to do any damage to real relationships I have), kind of like why I have a “no emailing past midnight” rule (that I haven’t had to invoke since college). [Editor’s note: see the above sentence? That’s how things are in my head right now. Yeah.]

I’m feeling a little overwhelmed these days. And before anyone gets upset that I haven’t shared this with them… I am just able to put it into words today, so it’s not like I’ve been holding back with y’all. And it’s not that I’m not used to feelings like this, just that usually when I feel overwhelmed it’s in one specific area of my life, something big that’s out of my control or lots of pressure surrounding something important or… you get the idea. But this isn’t any one specific area of my life. I’m just feeling pressures from the whole world around me, but all about little things. Individually, I don’t think I’d notice it at all – after all, isn’t that life, dealing with the world around us? But I feel like it’s coming at me from all angles, and it’s hard to fight a war on so many fronts. And since they’re small things, and no one means any harm by them, it’s not like I hold any grudge against anyone, or feel frustrated with one particular person. Individually, each situation is fairly-easily dealt with. There’s so many of them, though, I barely have time to work through my thoughts and feelings about something before I need to pay attention to the next thing.

I want a retreat. A cabin in the woods, just me. No TV, no iPod, just me and a journal and my Bible and a lot of silence. Not that I don’t love all of you, because I surely do… but there’s way too many voices inside my own head without having to listen to everyone else too. There’s no way to sugar-coat that, and I’m sure someone’s feelings will be hurt by that, but I can’t please everyone all the time (hopefully, ideally, I don’t try to), and perhaps today isn’t your day to be pleased by me. Bummer for you. (See, there you go – I get to feeling overwhelmed and I lose all sympathy and empathy and just get mean.)

For example (and this is a small thing, especially since we’ve got it all figured out, I think): Thanksgiving is coming, and with now living in the Twin Cities and unable to travel so close to her due date, the holiday looks a lot different than it did last year. ‘s grandma invited us to their Thanksgiving dinner, which we gladly accepted, with the provision we may have to leave early to appease my family. Then finds out she can’t travel, so , late in the game, tries to plan dinner at her house. But when I offer to help with everything if she’s willing to do a late dinner (or later, as in, not 2 pm), she’s not kosher with that plan. And she seems fine with the idea that we’ll come later for desert with everyone, so again, not a big deal. And we’ll have dinner with ‘s dad on Sunday, and never expects me for Thanksgiving or any holiday other than Christmas. ‘s family is happy, my family is happy…. but you realize this is all just a precursor to Christmas, which I don’t even want to think about except that it’s right around the corner. (Do you know how many times I’ve been asked what I want for Christmas already? How about sanity. Can you buy that at Target? If so, I’d like one in “medium” from everyone who’s getting me a gift.)

And, you see, if that was the only situation that I had to figure out, to work through, the only pressures from the outside world I had to deal with and maneuver, I would be fine. It would be a breeze. I’d barely think twice about it. But when it’s one of many… I didn’t have to deal with peer pressure much in high school, at least not about anything that I could change (because the only way I could have dealt with the pressures I did feel was to miraculously become part of the upper class and have a magnificent wardrobe, be outgoing, and have perfect hair, and I didn’t really see any of those things happening, and you gotta know when to pick your battles – that wasn’t one I was going to win). So in some ways I’m very unprepared for it. Not that I haven’t dealt with huge pressures in my life – I certainly have, but I’ve usually been able to take them one at a time, and that is something I can handle.

I think part of it is, too, that I have been feeling particularly emotional lately (and not because it’s “that time of the month,” because 1) it’s not, and 2) I’ve been feeling this way for a while now), which makes me more prone to crying (or feeling like crying, at least, usually in inappropriate places like work or while waiting for the bus), which makes me feel vulnerable and stupid and silly. Yes, I know full well in my head that crying is a perfectly acceptable response to a multitude of situations and is rarely “wrong” (unless you’re using it to manipulate someone else, or you’re totally faking, or you’re two years old and just want your way at the supermarket). But when it comes down to it, I still always feel wrong or weak or stupid or girly or whatever-negative-word-you-want-to-use when I do. and I have talked about this and she understands – maybe she can explain more in the comments. Or not.

So emotional plus multiple small stresses equals one overwhelmed Kelly. Didn’t life used to be simple? Wait, no, not really. Life is never simple.

I just want to… argh, I don’t know…. If I happen to tell you to shut up in the next week or two, don’t take it personally. You may just show up at the right time to be the straw that breaks the camel’s back and receive a flood of emotions. My apologies in advance. Then again, I could figure it all out and become de-overwhelmed (just “whelmed” then?) and life will be peachy again. But so you know, for now, I’m not exactly coping well. And this is my way of reaching out. Voila. Heart on my sleeve.

Random tidbit

Now, if you ride the 21 bus at all, or know someone who does (like me), you know that frequently there is someone on the bus who smells horrible, like they haven’t washed in weeks and have been doing jazzercize daily (or whatever it takes to create such a strong b.o.). This is especially true in the middle of the day, I’ve found. Well, this morning someone on the bus smelled like poop. That was new.

That is all.