Friday, March 30, 2007
I just couldn't stand the other layout. It was too all-over-the-place. I need my posts centered and contained. I don't know why.
And, for your viewing pleasure, more pictures of Hank. Because I'm sick and he amuses me.
This is Hank in our old condo. I was sitting on the couch next to him, undoubtedly delaying writing a paper for school. I think this is how he spends most of the day when we're not home.
The only think I really miss about that condo is the kitchen. Everything was brand-new, so the stove and oven were awesome, the microwave above the stove has a fan for sucking up smoke and whatnot and the fridge never froze the food on the refrigerator side and kept all the food frozen on the freezer side. Our new refrigerator is not so reliable, and the oven likes to burn stuff and makes the house smell like gas. I had my current appliances but, as they work (sort of), they are on the bottom of the "things to buy for the house" list.
This is Hank in my new office. I promise I will post before and after shots soon. I'm still waiting on Mr to hang the curtain rod on that back window.
Mr hates that old green velvet (!) couch in the background. I got it from my grandparents when they moved. I love the size and shape of it. It's very small - more of a loveseat, really - it's low to the ground and it is sort of oval shaped. It also has some weird bleach-like stains on the front. I'm sure one of my grandmother's eight children spilled something on it and someone tried to clean it. I promised Mr that I would recover it or at least slipcover it. That I didn't love the color, just the shape. But. It matches my office so well. It picks up lots of lovely shades in my fancy Home Depot area rug. Besides, it's my office.
I've found a couple of daytime tv shows that are ok. I'm really getting into "How Clean is Your House" on BBC America. These two British ladies go around to astoundingly dirty houses, tell people they're living in filth and then force them to clean. After everything is spotless, the people are happy, and the ladies leave. They come back two weeks later to check up on people, but come on. Are you going to let your house get messy in the two weeks? I don't think so. Go back in three months and then see where they're at!
This has, of course, made me wonder about the cleanliness of our home. We're pretty clean, compared to the people on the show. Mr is very clean, which means I have to be clean, which is good. However, we've never cleaned our couch. They cleaned a couch on the show today and it was sort of gross. But their couch was some sort of pleather so it was easy to clean. Ours is ... um ... fabric. I don't know how to clean it. I want to take the cases off the pillows and toss them in the washing machine, but what if they fade and then don't match the rest of the couch? How do I clean the rest of it? I vacuum it sometimes, because it is Hank's favorite hangout. See?He's got white hair which, though it is short, still gets EVERYWHERE. So, I vacuum the couch every once in a while - though not as often as I should - in the hopes that the couch will remain blue and not turn white. The vacuum does not work very well. We have a hose, but none of the attachments have a spinning brush thingy, so it only sucks up so much. Lots of hair stays on the couch. Sometimes I use a lint brush, but the couch is big and even that doesn't help all that much. Anyway. Hank is clean, we bath him fairly regularly. However, he is a dog and doesn't shower everyday like Mr & I do. I don't think our house stinks but I remember going to friends' houses when I was younger who had dogs and their whole house smelled like dog. I don't want that to happen. I worry that maybe I just don't notice because I live there and am used to it. I don't think that's the case... but it could be.
So. Any tips on couch-cleaning?
And, by the way, please don't be afraid to come and visit. I promise, we'll vacuum the couch before you get here. Maybe I should get a special lint brush, just for the guest room....
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Today I felt mostly good, except when I ate. Eating makes me nauseous. Hopefully that will be gone soon.
At the moment, we're watching Benny Hill, which I find endlessly entertaining. Apparently, Mr used to pat his grandpa on the head when he was little. He saw it on Benny Hill and thought it was hilarious. If you knew Mr or his grandpa, this would make you laugh.
Any thoughts on the new blog layout? I think I might hate it, but I wanted something springy. I wish I knew HTML and could customize it better than just using Blogger's premade junk.
(isn't it odd that Blogger's spellcheck doesn't recognize the word "blogger?")
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
So, I called home and told Mr I was on my way back and called work and said I was sick. I've been in my pj's and on the couch since. It's a very weird thing going around. My stomach feels like iron and my guts keep clenching up. I had a small bowl of cereal, but it didn't sit well and I can't quite bring myself to eat anything else. Is it wrong that I'm hoping this will result in weight loss?
I get a little dizzy if I stand up or walk around, so I've been sitting on the couch. It took me about half an hour to work up the nerve to go upstairs and get my computer. I was thinking it would be fun to lay on the couch and play The Sims all day. I love The Sims. When I got my mac I was so sad that I would have to give up Sims - I'd bought all the expansion packs. What? You knew I was a nerd.
But Mac had a complete set - all the expansion pack and everything - for really cheap, so I bought it. It's sweet. Sadly, many of my things are still in boxes and, being that I don't have time to sit around staring at my computer all that often, I haven't played it since we moved. I dug through some boxes and almost passed out trying to find it. Somehow all of my PC Sims games are in the box with everything else that was in my desk, but no Mac Sims. I found the instructional booklet, but no disc. How can that be? I swear I've seen the case, but I can't find it now. Sad.
Today's supposed to be the first day of classes, too. There's no way I can drive, so I have to skip the first class and, if I have what Mr had, I'll be worse tomorrow. So, I need to look up my professor's email addresses and see if I can get electronic versions of the syllabi so I don't get behind. It makes me sad that I have to start worrying about homework again. But, I'm so close to finishing my master's I can practically taste it. I love school but I'm ready to be done. This week off has been awesome. Coming home from work and having time to talk to Mr and watch tv or whatever is so nice.
My spring break consisted of Romance novels. I was so happy with The Duke and I that I bought two more of the Bridgerton series: An Offer from a Gentleman, featuring Benedict Bridgerton and Sophie (the bastard daughter of an earl), and Romancing Mr. Bridgerton, about Colin and Penelope Featherington. Offer was excellent. Unlike Duke, where I was smiling and feeling giddy the whole time I read, I cried through a good part of it. It was excellent. Sadly, Romancing was not as enjoyable. Through all the books, the Featherington girls are plain and poorly dressed and totally uninteresting. I just couldn't really care about Penelope. She supposedly bloomed or whatever, and Colin's all pissed that he didn't notice her sooner, but I just didn't buy it. Overall though it was a great spring break treat. I love Julia Quinn, and I think I'll buy a couple more of her books the next time I go on vacation.
I know I'm sick when blogging wears me out. I think I'll watch a little Charmed on TNT (four hours of it! Another guilty pleasure of mine, though I can't f'ing stand Billie and lately they've been running the last season [was she on the last two seasons?]) and take a nap.
Monday, March 26, 2007
This particular post has no aim. Or, rather, I could separate this out into four or so posts, but we both know I won't get around to it. So, feel free to wander and ignore what you choose.
Last Weekend's Unfortunate Events
Nothing horribly bad happened last weekend, but I referred to it as bad in the last post, so I was going for consistency. I was playing with Hank, kicking a soccer ball around the house. Hank loves this. It is a rather old ball and he can sort of pick it up, but mostly Hank is the most awesome goalie ever and has mad stopping skills with his paws. It cracks me up. So, I was kicking a ball around the house, and ... well. We all know I'm not coordinated. I sort of kicked the corner of the wall. I caught the wall with my little toe. It hurt.
For a while I thought the toe was broken. Then, it turned purple and I thought for sure it was broken. Two days later, it was feeling so much better, I though it was a-ok. Friday I took Hank for a walk, was startled by a big big dog, jumped, and it hurt again. Sunday I was feeling pretty dandy, accidentally kicked Mr's boots (which were NOT where they belong) and now it hurts worse than ever.
The upside is that I bowled really well last week with an injured toe. I hoping to repeat the process this week.
March Madness is Dead
Though I may have made some good points in my bracket article, my bracket fell apart this week. Who would have thought that there could possibly be a repeat of last year's championship? I had Ohio State going all the way. But, since Ohio is the only one of my final four teams to actually make it, I'm mathematically eliminated from the pool. I guess Mavis' plan wasn't such a bad one after all.
Jayson Stark Rocks
If you enjoy sports writing at all, I highly recommend checking out Jayson Stark at espn.com. He's their senior baseball writer, and I love him. The only thing I don't love is that a lot of his columns are "insider" so, you have to pay to read them. However, I recently tried to find his articles (I wrote about it here). I wanted his articles for an assignment I was working on. I didn't take Mano's advice and look at my library, I just used a different article from Women's Health Magazine.
But I emailed Stark. I loved those articles on the White Sox. He sometimes writes about baseball in a way that brings forth all the feeling of all the reasons why I love it, if that makes any sense. Anyway. This weekend, he wrote me back! And sent me the articles! Who cares if he called me "Lisa."
I'm trying to update the color scheme to something more springy and less cookie-cutter. I have no knowledge of anything in this area, so it might look really bad. Bear with me.
Does anyone know how to list previous posts by title in the sidebar? I can't figure it out.
I Hate Kobe Bryant
This was totally unplanned but, while looking up the Stark links, I came across this. You can read it, if you like, but basically it says that Kobe Bryant is a better basketball player than Micheal Jordan. Um. No. Whatever. He's an asshole, and he should be shunned from the media. I don't know why the media - sportsmedia specifically, but all media really - has to pick some guys who's - pardon the phrase - dick they suck, regardless of what he's done. There are great players in sports who get no attention at all. Does Kobe have some great talent on the court? Yes. That's undeniable. The article I linked to there highlights some of the things he's done that couldn't be done by anyone else. However. The author plays off Kobe's unpopularity by saying that Kobe gets unfair treatment. He compares him to A-Rod. To Jordan (who wasn't the world's best teammate). He says:
"Of course, the idea that Kobe is better than Jordan -- or even the best player in this league -- is as repugnant to some folks as a rectal exam. Even though Kobe has proven himself under pressure countless times, he gets the A-Rod treatment."
Ok. Yes. That is repugnant to me.
"Kobe can't please anyone. And it doesn't help that most people suffer from revisionist history when it comes to Jordan, forgetting that he was just as poor a teammate and a ball hog and that he ran off coach Doug Collins like Kobe ran off Phil Jackson the first time.
In fact, you could argue that Jordan was even worse. Far as we know, Kobe hasn't jacked up any of his teammates the way Jordan punched out Steve Kerr and Will Perdue at practice.
Kobe will never be forgiven for Shaq's departure, but you're delusional if you think Jordan wouldn't have had any ego issues playing alongside a player with Shaq's star power.
The best-player argument shouldn't be determined by personal dislike. But if you want to take it there, fine. Jordan was hardly the ideal husband, but only the tabloids were brave enough to venture into his personal life. And what about those gambling issues? If Jordan's life had been covered like Kobe's, we would have an entirely different opinion of His Airness."
Ok. There are some lapses in logic here.
Jordan did benefit from some fantastic PR. And yes, Jordan got lucky "retiring" when he did so that his gambling issues were barely made public. And I'm sure that Jordan was "hardly the ideal husband." So, poor Kobe's picked on. Kobe hasn't done anything anybody else didn't do. Jordan was never (as far as I know - I could be wrong) accused of rape.
Kobe Bryant slept with a woman who was not his wife who, at best, was too scared of him to say no in a way that he would understand. He raped her. And then his lawyers let her identity leak out into the media and she was unable to get a fair trial. He raped a girl. He is a rapist. This is no hero. You want to talk about his skills? I guess that's your prerogative. I would much rather hear about all those other guys you say are almost as good as Kobe, but whatever, that's your choice to write about it.
But don't pretend like he didn't earn his bad reputation, or that Micheal Jordan is only liked because he's good at putting forth a false face. The only reason Kobe Bryant was not convicted of rape was because of the way that case was mishandled. Even when it was going on, the announcers couldn't stop talking about "how brave" Kobe was for playing his best "considering all he's been through." He raped a woman. You think he's disliked because he's a bad teammate? Because Shaq left? Players leave teams all the time. He's disliked because he's an asshole. Move on to some other guy already.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
But, I was able to take it today and start my Spring Break only a couple days late. Since I have to work anyway and spring break for DePaul is only six days long, my "vacation" was supposed to be taking the train all week and reading fun stuff instead of school stuff.
I bought The Duke and I by Julia Quinn. *sigh* I love the Bridgerton series. It makes me giddy, it's so fun.
Friday, March 16, 2007
Unlike my one friend, who actually reads Sports Illustrated, I have very little knowledge of the teams themselves, though I have kind of a sense about whether or not they're decent. My choices are a combination of the teams' ranking, some superstition, and a vague sense that I heard somewhere that one team was good. I hope she's wrong about Ohio State, because I have them going all the way.
If you want a fun way to fill out a bracket without having a good chance of winning... um... "bragging rights" check out Mavis' plan. It's one way to go. (Don't be mad, Mav, I'm just saying... going by location of the school isn't the best possible way. You have two #2 schools in the championship, so it could happen. It's just not very likely. And? Notre Dame good for two wins? I think you spent too much time at Club 23 [not that there's anything wrong with that]).
Now that I've made my friend mad, here's my guide to filling out your NCAA bracket (albeit really too late because the first round has already finished. My bracket's looking pretty good, thanks for asking.)
1. If you have no knowledge of the teams whatsoever, go by rankings.
If you end up with all four #1 teams in the final four, you've got a good chance of getting third-place bragging rights in your office pool. They're ranked that way for a reason.
2. Plan for a couple of upsets.
There's always one #11- ranked school that beats a 6. I'm said Winthrop would beat Notre Dame (though I am an ND football fan, I'm not a fan of basketball at all, so I owe them no loyalty). However, this might have been a bad choice as #11 VCU already beat Duke.
3. Check out the teams who are playing angry.
Teams who got a lower seed than they deserve, teams who got beat recently in overtime, teams with something to prove. They play hard. Mr designated UNLV, Nevada and Tennessee as teams playing angry. They've all won so far.
4. For the 8/9, 7/10 match-ups, go with your gut.
This is where Mavis' theories come into play. Arizona/Purdue? I have no idea if Arizona is good or not. But I went to college in Indiana, so I went with the Boilermakers. Of course, this could work both ways. Since I went to a school affiliated with Notre Dame, I should hate Purdue, so I could have chosen Arizona. At this point, they have virtually the same record, so its a crapshoot. These are the games where hometown / college / I-know-someone-who-went-there pride comes into play. BYU/Xavier, I went with #9 Xavier because my brother went there and it is the only college basketball team I have ever seen play live. That worked out for me.
5. Once you get to the Sweet Sixteen and onward, the choices should be kind of obvious.
At least at first. Even if you don't pay attention to sports, you should get some matchups that just sound obvious. If you've followed hometown pride and you have Texas A&M Corpus Christi facing off against Florida. You should know that Florida will win. Sweet Sixteen is when any #6 or under should get knocked out.
Whatever you do, DON'T start doing research right before your bracket is due. If you've been watching all season, or even just watching SportsCenter all season, then it is fine to go by what the analysts say. At this point in the game, though, what they're saying might not line up with what has been said all season. Witness: Digger Phelps was talking up Winthrop, saying they were a force to be reckoned with and they would win the first round. Once they were matched up against Notre Dame (where Digger was a legendary basketball coach), he changed his tune and went with the Irish.
The final winner is really where your gut comes in. What team sounds right? There are some big names in basketball, and even if you know nothing, you should know that Belmont probably doesn't have a good shot at winning, even if you did used to live right off Belmont and Clark. Multiple brackets would up your chances of doing well in an office pool, but they also up the money coming out of your pocket. If you play it a little safe in the beginning, you'll last longer and have more fun trash talking around the water cooler.
Instructions: In the list of books below, bold the ones you’ve read, italicize the ones you want to read, cross out the ones you won’t touch with a ten-foot pole (I can't cross out - sometimes blogger and mac hate each other - so I've put them in tiny letters), put a cross (+) in front of the ones on your book shelf, and asterisk (*) the ones you’ve never heard of.
1. The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown)
2. +Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. +To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
4. +Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. +The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. +The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. +The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
9. *Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. *A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13. +Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Rowling)
17.* Fall on Your Knees(Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. +The Stand (Stephen King)
19. +Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban(Rowling)
20. +Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. +The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. +The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. +The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. +The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. +East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie(Mitch Albom)
31. *Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks) I've read other Nicholas Sparks and I kind of think he's a sentimental hack.
33. +Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. +1984 (Orwell)
35. +The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. *The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. *The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. *I Know This Much is True(Wally Lamb)
39. *The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. *The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. *The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom) I didn’t want to read it. I got it for free and was on a plane with nothing else.
46. +Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. +The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. +The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. *The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrew Niffenegger)
61. +Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolstoy)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. *Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. *One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. +Catch-22 (Joseph Heller) -
69. Les Miserables (Hugo)
70. +The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. *The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. +The World According To Garp (John Irving)
79. *The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)
81. *Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. +Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. *Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down(Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. *The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. *Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. *Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. *In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. +Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. *The Good Earth(Pearl S. Buck)
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. *A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce) No thank you
I just watched last night's Grey's over my morning oatmeal and all I can think is: WHAT THE FUCK?
Sometimes I read the Grey's Writers Blog, and usually I find it a little bit enlightening about where they're going and whatnot. But I can't stand by them here. I like George and Callie. I want their marriage to work. I really like Callie. Izzie has some issues. But, can't her issues be more about losing Denny and losing the chance to get married and that's why she doesn't approve of George and Callie? Can't she just be missing her support system and that's why she thinks they won't last? Why did they have to go and do THAT?
Not all best friends want to sleep with each other. It doesn't have to be that way. Yes, many wonderful relationships start out as friendships and maybe you don't realize at first that the potential for relationships is there but... When you have a best friend and then you GET into a relationship... shouldn't you know that the friend isn't a romantic possibility? If this is the root of their friendship, this dormant attraction for each other, wouldn't it have reared its head when George and Meredith did it? I love this friendship between George and Izzie. Why did they have to do this?
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Monday night we went to bowling and actually got out pretty quick - two of our people were out and two were out on the other team so we got through all three games really fast, which was awesome. I got kind of sick Monday night. Not to get into too much gross detail, but I'm lactose intolerant and had pizza at bowling (which I always do and it has never caused me trouble before, but ...). I got up at about one, was hanging out in the bathroom for about an hour and then headed back to bed. By two, my stomach was cramping up again, though there was nothing in there. I think I finally fell asleep around 2:45. Apparently, not long after that, I started having restless dreams.
I'm an active sleeper. I talk, I move a lot and sometimes I walk in my sleep. Monday night, according to Mr, I jumped out of bed to catch someone. I said I was trying to save their life. I don't know.
By 5:20 when the alarm went off, I was TIRED. I walked the dog, got dressed, and headed to work. I was supposed to be there by 7:30, which shouldn't have been a problem, since I was on the road by 6:25. But then I made the mistake of listening to the morning traffic report. They said the Edens was 20 minutes to the junction. Great! I thought. I'll get in even earlier and have less time to make up next week!
That was not the case. It took me over two hours to get to work because of all the crap going on at the Dan Ryan. It seems they shut down all the local lanes and it was negatively affecting traffic everywhere. The feeder ramps were backing up so badly that ALL the roads were f'ed up.
So, I got to work late. Then, because of a computer glitch with the time change, I accidentally left an hour early. Seriously. So, I drove to Grayslake to observe a first year writing course for my teaching class. Then I drove back to the city to go to said teaching class. Traffic. Not good. Another two hours. Actually, a little more than two hours.
So, I FINALLY get home around 10. The weather is lovely and, though I'm tired, I'm pretty happy. I get out of the car. I'm carrying a lot of crap. I can't see the lock to get my key in and am about to drop stuff. I get annoyed because Mr is home and I know Hank alerted him to my presences, so why can't he open the fucking door already!?!
I finally get the door open, and nearly lose all the crap I'm holding. I'm now in a bad mood. Why couldn't he help me? "I was about to and then you got the key in" Arg.
So, I'm trying to stay nice. Throughout the day, I've also been having issues with my flippin' cell phone. The speaker phone is unreliable. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. T-Mobile has to go through all these trouble-shooting processes to test it. Of course, it works when they test it so they can't help me. Someone, around 5:30pm Tuesday, sent me some sort of multi-media message. Though my phone is MMS capable, I don't subscribe to T-Zones, so I can't get it. But, before I discover this, I call T-Mobile.
"Hi. there's an icon I've never seen flashing on my phone and I don't know why and I can't get it to go away."
"What does it look like?"
"Um... It looks like the text-message icon. It's a little book or something, but it has a red flashing rectangle on it."
"Can you hold while I try to look that up?"
10 minutes later
"I can't find a book anywhere"
"Maybe it's an envelope?"
"oh. That means you have a message. Just go to your inbox"
"But I went to my inbox and there's nothing there."
"Um. You'll have to go to T-Zones and look around"
"I don't have t-zones"
"oh. Well, it's in your inbox on t-zones."
"ok. great. thanks"
I hung up. So, when I got home, I wanted to go on T-Mobiles site and try to figure out how to get this flashing thing off my phone. So I ask Mr. "Is your computer here?" (he keeps his computer in the living room most of the time because we have wireless internet and he like to surf and watch tv). He says that it is, but it isn't on, is under the couch (he makes no move to get it) and I'll have to go get the charger because the battery is dead. He just sits there.
So I leave wordlessly to go up to my computer. I'm getting angry. Because if I'm using my computer and then turn it off and he wants to use it, he sees nothing wrong with just turning it right back on. This bugs me because I don't think it is good to turn a computer on and off over and over again. I know that this is a little irrational but... whatever, it's my computer. Of course, if his computer is off, and I want to use it well.. it's off. But, whatever, I start trying to look around and see if I can figure out my phone. I can't. I also can't see when my contract expires and when I can get a new phone. I'm pissed that I paid for this phone, I should have just kept using the old one, and will probably go back to it, but I'm frustrated. I go to bed.
Now the fun starts. Mr is bugging me. I'm super tired and cranky and looking at the clock trying to figure out when I need to get up in the morning. In the morning I need to shower (not really negotiable) walk the dog and get to work. I am sort of pissed because he can sleep until 6:45 and still be on time so why am I getting up before dawn? So, I set the clock, pissed because I'm already tired and not going to get enough sleep. He makes comments about me being angry, which, dear lord, there is NOTHING that guarantees my anger like telling me how I feel. I push him over on his side of the bed. He makes more comments. I stay silent and try to sleep. At this point, I am no longer a reliable narrator, because I said some stuff, I thought I was awake, but apparently, I wasn't. I thought I said "I can't sleep I'm going downstairs."
He says it went more like this:
"Do you even like me anymore?"
"I can't sleep. I'm going downstairs"
He comes downstairs a few minutes later and tells me I should go to bed. I went. He stayed. Because he's an insomniac and he really couldn't sleep.
The alarm goes off and I'm pissed. I'm exhausted. I decide to be late. I reset it and go back to bed. Continue to hit snooze until I've missed not only my really on-time train but the cutting-it-close train too. I ask him to walk the dog because it is already 7. Sure, no problem. He starts talking about me being angry again. Gah! Now I'm angry again. I was just grumpy from being tired as fuck, but now I'm mad again.
I leave for work. Think about why I'm mad. Decide to not be mad because really I'm just tired. We have some pleasant e-mails. I come home (after a couple beers after work), and am pleasant. He says:
"Is one of the side-effects of your medicine drastic mood-swings?"
Another blog has a wonderful description of how I felt. Only the mood-swinger in this post is, I think, four. So she kind of has an excuse.
Sunday, March 11, 2007
Please, Harry Potter nerds, do this meme with me.
1. Favorite Harry Potter movie- I'm not a huge fan, though I did really enjoy Dobby. So, Chamber of Secrets
2. Favorite Harry Potter book- I loved Sorcerer's/Philosopher's Stone, but the most recent - The Half-Blood Prince - was excellent.
3. Least favorite Harry Potter movie- I don't really love any of them, but I made the mistake of taking Mr to Prisoner of Azkaban. He hadn't seen the first movies and doesn't read books really at all, so he had no previous knowledge of the series. He hated the movie, claimed it made no sense and now goes on a mini tirade about how stupid the movies are whenever we see anything about any of them. That kind of made me hate that particular movie more than the others.
4. Least favorite Harry Potter book- Goblet of Fire or Order of the Phoenix. The books had gotten so popular at that point, that Rowling's editors, I think, just let her run wild. The first book is awesome because it is tight and doesn't pander to children. The later books in the series get insanely long and she tends to over-explain and hint at stuff so that, by the time a plot twist is revealed, the reader is completely frustrated that the characters have been so blind and stupid as to not see it before then. Editors are there for a reason, and sometimes it really is better to let someone work it over than to let the author have complete control.
5. Favorite Harry Potter Character- That's a tough one. Sometimes I like Hermione because she's kind of feisty and smart. But she's also a know-it-all, so sometimes I hate her. I generally love Ron, especially in the movies. Harry's kind of a twit sometimes, so though he's obviously likable I wouldn't say he's my favorite. I love love love Dumbledore but ... he's... well, you know.
6. Least favourite Harry Potter Character- The kid who is all in awe of Harry Potter and goes around taking his picture and stuff. That's just annoying.
7. Spell, Charm or Hex you most wish you had the ability to perform- Hermione's ability to go back in time to take multiple classes could come in handy.
8. Reason for desiring to perform said Spell, Charm or Hex- I have bad time-management skills. If you check out my last post, there are a couple of Fridays I would like to take a "do-over" on.
9. If I were in Hogwarts, my house would be- I have no idea. Hufflepuff seems to be the one that tries hard but is always second or third, and I think I'd fit in there. I'm definitely not a Griffendor (I rarely wind up the winner, though I like to think I always try to do the right thing) and I'm not evil, so I wouldn't be in Slytherin. Ravenclaws seem to have it altogether and I don't. I would want to be a Ravenclaw, but it wouldn't happen.
10. If I played Quiddich, my position would be- I would not play Quiddich.
11. My favorite Hogwarts subject would be- If it wasn't taught by Snape, I think I would really dig Potions. I was pretty good at Chemistry in High School. I think Divination would be cool, but I HATED Trealawny (sp?). With the teachers that they have, Charms might be the most fun.
12. After graduating Hogwarts, my magic profession would be- Maybe a reporter or editor for The Daily Prophet, like that other Rita.
13. Harry Potter character you would most like to snog- I don't know... Oliver Wood maybe?
14. Magical creature you would keep as a pet- Can Hank be magical?
15. Favorite method of magical transportation- Fireplace travel. That seems exciting.
16. Make up a spell, complete with name and function- Argentum Multiplico - I'm greedy. You could say it over your wallet and the money inside would never run out. Whatever, dude. Don't judge me. I would totally buy you dinner.
17. Person I would most like to use the Confundus Charm on- I like A's answer :"Erm, which one is that?" There isn't really anyone whose confusion would benefit me. Unless I could convince the people renovating my bathroom that I already paid them...
18. Person I would most like to use Avada Kedavra on- Hhhmmm.... it's painless and instant so... I dunno... People who want to die? Like Dr. Kevorkian's patients? That seems little serious for this meme. I'd use it on household pests - if we had mice or spiders or something?
19. Person I would most like to use the Cruciatus Curse on- This one is also pretty nasty. I don't think I'd use it. I'm often very annoyed and upset with people, but pain just for torture seems bad.
20. Person I would most like to use the Imperious Curse on- Hhmmm Again, it's kind of diabolical. Sometimes I wish Hank would bend to my will.
21. Person I would most like to use the Entrancing Enchantment on- I wouldn't really be interested in someone who likes me because I put a spell on them.
22. If God could do magic, would he be better than Dumbledore?- I'm going to say God would be better than Dumbledore, though I am not ruling out the possibility that God and Dumbledore might be closely related.
True or False questions- (answer honestly)
23. I have read all (so far) 6 Harry Potter books- True
24. I have pre-ordered book 7- True. Sort of. I ordered it for my mom already, I haven't yet ordered it for me.
25. I have re-read all (so far) 6 Harry Potter books- False. I only re-read the first one.
26. I own all the Harry Potter DVDs- False.
27. I own a wand- False.
28. I know magic- False.
(Questions 29 and 30 were lame, so they're heretofor redacted.)
31. I have at one point had an inappropriate crush on Hermione Granger (girls are encouraged to answer too)- False. I'm too old for that shit. (again, A's answer but -word.)
32. I am Lord Voldemort- False.
33. I have lost sleep due to reading Harry Potter books- True. When you get close to the end, sometimes you just have to finish.
34. Harry Potter's witchcraft has possessed my soul and now Jesus hates me because I read Harry Potter more than the bible- Once again, A said it best: "Listen. IF Jesus is this magical wonderful God-being, which lots of people think he is, then I don't think he's up in heaven hating on people because they enjoy being literary. No, I think Jesus loves HP as much as we do."
Saturday, March 10, 2007
It has been a strange week for me. I started it feeling like I would rather have a root canal than go to my job, then I had a chat with my boss which left me feeling somewhat better and motivated to really make a difference in that company, then my school week started and I was all proud of myself for getting all my readings done and getting some of my end-of-the-quarter stuff done AHEAD OF TIME, then I went to the shrink and told her how awesome my new drugs are and how on top of things I am, and then it all fell apart.
Let me break it down for you:
I try not to talk about my job too much because I've heard of people getting fired for blogging about their job. However, I have no plans for permanent employment at my company (and they know this), and I don't think that this is a fire-able offense.
So, my company has grown a lot over the last decade and a half or so. They went from being really small to being really big really fast. So, the corporate infrastructure has not grown as the company did. This happens a lot. For all the talk about corporate structure, I've found that very few companies have much infrastructure. Mostly, it is all sort of half-assed and un-spelled out, with the exception of a few totally massive global corporations.
My company has been working on creating some structure and training and whatnot. HR scheduled a meeting to review some training courses for several positions in my department, mine included. This sparked a whole discussion on career paths, titles, etc and how they basically don't exist in the company. The HR rep was totally taken by surprise, as this wasn't what the meeting was supposed to be about, but managed to handle it pretty well. HR rep was trying to listen, but convey what the likely reaction from higher-ups would be to what we were asking for. Basically, we should try to create some structures, but it wasn't likely to be as successful as we might hope. What I, and the others who are in my same entry- or close to entry-level positions, heard was: "we don't want to create career paths for your positions because we don't want you to advance because we don't want to ever pay more than we already are for what you do, and we don't want you to take on more responsibility or develop any other skills than what you already have." It was pretty depressing. We left feeling like we were wasting our time there and should really start looking for new jobs. Even me, and I'm in school to get a totally different kind of job and have no plans on developing a career in my current field.
So, when my boss found out my negative reaction, she was a little hurt. The point of the meetings were to develop something for me and those in my position. That I didn't want to be involved anymore sort of upset her, and I can see why. Why should she bother going to bat for me if I don't want to put forth any effort? There are other things going on that I feel like I can't get into here, but ultimately I agreed with her. I left her office wondering how I can get the others in my position to come around and get things back on-track.
Then, I went to class. My week is pretty evenly divided into work and school, so I completely left work behind. Things were going so well for me in school. I had gotten really far behind - I wasn't finishing readings and was always finishing papers and the very last possible moment (in some cases turning it in rather late).
I have ADD. I can usually get by, but last quarter and this quarter it was really, really bad, and I finally went to a psychiatrist to get drugs. I was really nervous about going, because I'm always afraid that someone will finally tell me that drugs won't help, that I'm just stupid and lazy and should just get my shit together. Apparently, this is how a lot of ADDers feel, particularly adults with ADD. In any case, the drugs are working. I have gotten my school work back under control and I'm even getting my shit at work done more efficiently.
The point (see the tangents? this is ADD at work - actually the meds combo'd with caffeine. I'm still not used to changing what I consume because of the chemicals I've added to my body). ANYWAY. The point is that I was back in control. I was so efficient with stuff. Yesterday, I finished revising an assignment by, like 11am. It was awesome. And then.
And then I realized that I should not have been sitting at my desk working on papers. I should have been at DePaul, in Lincoln Park, observing an undergraduate writing class. I'd already missed the first time I was supposed to go, then couldn't get a hold of the professor for the next week, and now I'd blown it. I was so mad at myself. I'd totally spaced on it.
Luckily, it looks like it will work out. I'm going to have to drive to f'ing Grayslake and turn in my paper late, but I will get to turn it in, which will be better than nothing at all.
The upside is that I'm getting a handle on things. The drugs I'm taking are not miracle drugs. They don't actually do my work for me. But, they do allow me to do what I need to. The good news is that my shrink says that my ADD really only rears its ugly head in times of stress. Apparently, maintaining a job, going to school, and planning a wedding all at the same time is stressful. And I just thought I was lazy.
She recommended a book on adult ADD, which I plan to read over my "spring break" - which is in itself sort of a joke, since we have less than a week between finals and the start of spring quarter. I'm also planning on reading another of the Bridgerton series by Julia Quinn. I deserve a little fun reading.
But now, I've wasted enough of my morning (it's 1pm, but still morning to me!) and it is time to get to work.
Monday, March 05, 2007
1. What was the first record or cd that you owned?
The first record that I owned was probably Sesame Street Fever though my parents probably bought it. My first tape was probably Huey Lewis and the News, Picture This. My first CD was a gift with my first CD player, and it was Paula Abdul, Forever Your Girl.
2. What was the worst concert you ever saw?
Ryan Adams. Man, that guy is a waste of space. He was moody, and not on top of his game. He broke a string and, rather than play like a professional, screamed for everyone to stop, got a different guitar and started over. There was maybe one more chorus left in the song. He also spent a good portion of the show making random comments to his bass player, Brad. What a douche. As far as I’m concerned, Ryan Adams owes me $60. (The tickets were $25ish a pop and I bought Mr’s ticket since he wasn’t really a fan, plus Ticketmaster fees).
3. What cd or album in your collection are you embarrassed to say is there?
Wilson Phillips. I don’t know. I just have it.
4. What was the last song that gave you goose bumps?
Maybe not the most recent, but the most recent I’ve been thinking about, because Pete Yorn mentioned during his show at the Riv this past Saturday: Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley
5. If you could sit in with one musician or band, who would that be?
Just one? That’s awfully tough. I have rudimentary guitar skills, well, I can play a couple of songs – I don’t know that that qualifies as “skills” but… There are a lot of guitarists I would love to sit and watch. Tom Petty is awesome. Man, can that guy write! Oooo! Mark Knopfler! But he might be so good, that it would be almost not beneficial. Because he’s a genius, and I don’t know that you can learn from genius, just admire it. I would really love to hang with Bonnie Raitt, she doesn’t get the credit she deserves as a guitarist. Wilco would be cool. Springsteen. I love any folkies. Ani DiFranco, obviously, but again, genius.
6. What's the best place you've ever seen a concert?
The auditorium theater in Chicago is also a great venue. I saw Brian Wilson do “Smile” there and it was mesmerizing.
7. The worst?
I’m just going to leave what the originator of this meme wrote, because he’s dead on. “What used to be the Tweeter Center...now the Some bank name music theater. The place must have been planned and designed by Pablo Picasso. Nothing is in the right place, acoustics suck, traffic is hell. I will only go back there if Jimi Hendrix and John Lennon are on the bill.” Though I’d like to add that even if it were Jimi Hendrix and John Lennon, opening for Jesus Christ, I don’t know if I’d go. That place is awful.
8. Did your Dad have a love for music? How about your Mom?
My dad was a folkie, always playing his guitars and singing. I always thought he was really good, but my grandmother (his mom) described his voice as “passionate,” which makes me think that my daughterly awe of him colored my impression. My mom likes music, she listens to pop, but she’s not, like, a music lover. You know? Like, she digs some stuff, but she doesn’t get crazy over it. I know my stepdad used to play the guitar, and he’s really into Roy Orbison and ABBA, but again, not really a lover. He only listens to the first minute of an ABBA song and then switches to the next one. Short attention span. There was one Bette Midler song that came out sometime when I was in high school that he liked so much he bought the CD and then he would play the song on repeat for about an hour and a half. THAT was annoying, and I like Bette. I can only imagine what my brothers thought.
9. DRM stands for __________________ .
Digitally Recorded Music?
10. What singer's pipes blow you away?
Tori Amos’ range is amazing. Jeff Buckley, again, can break your heart in one note. John Lennon was probably the first voice I heard that I couldn’t believe how freaking awesome he sounded. Most of Rubber Soul is that way for me. I know there are others I’m just not thinking of.
Like I said, I saw Pete Yorn on Saturday, and I'm in love. I got the set list from the light guy (woo!). I plan to review it here soon.
I also got a new computer at work, and it is awesome. However, it hasn't inspired me to work, just play. Because a new computer is like a new toy, and I love it.
Friday, March 02, 2007
ESPN.com pisses me off. What is the f'ing deal with their "insider" crap? You put ads on your site - which is in itself and ad for your television station, which is also not free. So why the hell do I have to subscribe to ESPN Insider to read half the crap on the website?
The reason I'm so upset is this: I'm working on revising a lesson plan I created for my class on teaching writing. Since part of the plan is to go through an article in class and create an outline, I wanted to include an actual article and a sample of what the end-product would be.
When choosing random things for students to read, you have to be careful. You want something that makes a point but isn't too political, because you don't want to offend anyone (or their parents). You want something with broad appeal, because students learn better when they're engaged with the topic at hand. Even though this isn't something they're reading to be tested on - they need the experience of creating an outline, not knowledge of whatever it is they're reading - you have to be careful.
Personally, I like to choose things relating to baseball. I love baseball, it is fairly politically neutral, something nearly every American child is fairly familiar with and, being that it is popular in Latin America and most of Asia (or at least China and Japan) any foreign students you might have will also have some background knowledge of the subject. Plus, if they don't, they still won't have too hard a time with the assignment.
Anyway. I wanted to use a baseball article. Specifically, I wanted to use an article written by Jayson Stark for ESPN back in the 2005 post-season, when the White Sox won the World Series. Stark is an excellent writer. He turns baseball into poetry and he did an excellent job writing about the Sox and what the win meant to Chicago. I can't remember what the specific article I'm thinking of was called, but I remember its brilliance. Plus, at the time, it was one of the few articles that was free. Stark is, I'm assuming, one of ESPN's best writers (I don't care about ... well, any other sport, so I'm really only familiar with baseball writers. They might have some awesome guy (or lady) writing about basketball. I wouldn't know). Anyway, most of Stark's articles are part of the "insider" and you can't read them without a subscription.
But this one wasn't part of the insider, because I read it.
However, when I tried to find it today I discovered that ALL of Stark's archives, and probably all of ESPN's archives, are only available to "insiders." Why? What the fuck is the point? Why can't I go read that article again?
Newspapers are no better - if it has been out for more than two weeks or so, you have to buy the article. HOWEVER, that sort of makes sense since a paper costs $0.50. Plus, you can buy just whatever article you want. ESPN doesn't do that.
So, now I'm a little stuck. I don't yet have all of my books unpacked (I don't have much shelf space in my office, so I don't know where I would put them if I did have them out. I need an essay or article that would interest high-schoolers, not offend them or their parents and not assume any background knowledge that they might not have.
Ok. I thought my video of Gravedigger was cool. Check this shit out. Seriously. Just watch it. I know, you're too cool and sophisticated for Monster Truck Jams, but this is awesome. It's probably part of a freestyle competition, but this is why Gravedigger is such a crowd pleaser. It's a minute and a half long. Just watch it.
Here is the first video I have ever posted to YouTube.
We went to the Monster Truck Jam maybe two weeks ago. It was kind of awesome. This is video of Gravedigger's entrance.
Gravedigger is like the Hulk Hogan of the Monster Truck scene. He's got the coolest entrance and the crowd freaking LOVES him.
I have to apologize for the crappy camera work. I'm not a professional.
Like I said, the crowd goes nuts for this guy. Actually, there are about six or seven different Gravediggers. All the cars look the same, but they're driven by different guys. I'm sure it's the same everywhere, but the crowd the night I was there loved the Gravedigger driver. He was a rock star. Check him out, I think you'll see what I'm talking about:
What's that? You can't really see him? Here's a better shot of him being interviewed on the Jumbo-tron.
I think the Monster Truck Jam is the only place in the world where this guy can be cool. Seriously, you might not be able to tell from my awesome photography. You'll just have to trust me on this one.
The kid in front of us was a big Gravedigger fan. He had his little Gravedigger Matchbox car with him, which he chose to drive over the guy next to him.
He wasn't just a Gravedigger fan, though. When my friend started to jeer Blue Thunder, the massive Ford-sponsored pickup, the kid kept turning around and giving his wife dirty looks. I'm not sure if he didn't like the jeering- my friend kept yelling "boooooo-thunder" - or if he just hated my friends wife. Either way, it was pretty funny. I managed to snap a picture. Personally, I think the kid liked the attention.
He's kind of hamming it up here. He was giving her a pretty nasty look before. He was super-cute kid, though, and generally really into the action. That's his dad (I think) behind him, giving me the eye. I think he realizes what a funny kid he has though. In any case, he didn't seem to really question why someone would take a picture of his kid.
I love his giant ear protectors. I have to say, they are necessary. That was quite possibly the loudest (and stinkiest - those monster trucks put out quite a lot of exhaust) events I've ever been to. Next time, I'm definitely wearing ear plugs.
Thursday, March 01, 2007
You call a contractor. The contractor comes out to your house to check out whatever the problem is. He (and it is almost always a man - though our contractor came with a woman. I suspect she runs the business side of things and he handles the actual fixing part) tells you all the things that will need to be done and then gives you an estimate. They leave. You call later and either schedule the job or tell them the price is too high.
Then, he comes out to your house. In my case, he showed up with two other guys. He ran through what needed to be done, in Spanish, with the guys. Then he leaves, telling me these are his "great guys" and they'll take care of everything. They do not speak English. I do not speak Spanish. If something is wrong, they will call the contractor.
So far, it seems like things are going well. There have been no phone calls. Though, right now, there is also no work being done because they seem to be on break. They also seemed uncomfortable with the fact that I switch from cooking to reading at the kitchen table, which is in direct line of where they were sitting in the living room, having their break.
So, now I'm upstairs in my office because I don't like to make people uncomfortable and I feel guilty because I don't speak Spanish and can't make them more comfortable.
I'm cooking chili right now. I got a recipe from my mom which she doesn't really follow. I was supposed to use it as a guideline. Basically, I cut up pork tenderloin and threw it in a crock pot and added crushed tomatoes, black beans, kidney beans, red wine, minced garlic, and some spices. Now it's going to cook for 8 hours or so. I hope it turns out. It was supposed to have bell peppers and onions but I didn't have a bell pepper and my onion was moldy - I bought it a couple of weeks ago when I meant to make chili but didn't get around to it and used the meat for the original chili for something else. Apparently, onions don't stay good forever. Who knew?
Anyway, I've never made chili before, so I hope this doesn't suck.