Friday, August 29, 2008


A lot of people like to put their playlists on random, then post the first 10 (or however many) songs that come up. I'm going to do that now, but I'll take it one step further. Music that I like almost always has some kind of significance, so I thought I'd throw in some of that for good measure, too. Here goes:

David, by Nellie McKay. That's easy. It's a song about a woman who's sitting around waiting for a guy named David to call. For those of you who just tuned in, I did exactly that for the vast majority of my high school years. But it's kind of a cute, tongue-in-cheek song, too. She's not impressed with anyone, least of all herself.

You Are My Joy, by The Reindeer Section. This song makes me think of Papa.

Stay (I Missed You), by Lisa Loeb. Complicated relationships. We've all had them. I also just really like the tune and the rhythm of this song.

The Luckiest, by Ben Folds. How I feel about J.

Cruisin', by Smokey Robinson. Pure childhood. You used to like that song, Mom.

The Puppy Song, by Harry Nilsson. Such a happy, buoyant, optimistic song. I think I vaguely remember it from when I was very small.

Strange Magic, by Electric Light Orchestra. Another one from when I was little.

Let's Hear It for the Boy, by Deniece Williams. I liked this song when I was about 9 years old. Now, it makes me think of S, and how proud of him I am.

Vienna, by Billy Joel. I get in such a hurry sometimes. I'm one of the most impatient people that I know. I want everything NOW, and this is a good reminder that there's really no particular reason to be in such a hurry all the time. It's ok to sit back and take a breather.

Crazy, by Meredith Brooks. This could be my theme song. I've always been slightly strange, doing my own thing. I'll always do things and think in ways that most people don't. I'm ok with that.

So there's my random lineup.

Summer is just about over, so I thought it was time for a new blog template. Blogger is not the most user-friendly thing on the surface of the planet, so I tore my hair out, lost my entire blogroll, and have generally been no fun at all to live with for about the past 18 hours. It's still not perfect, but it'll do. Until I get a bug up my butt to change it for Thanksgiving or Christmas, anyway.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Vacation! Almost.

The Expert and I passed our competency! We are now officially deemed capable of giving a bath and making a bed. Go us.

Am I going to hell for secretly hoping Pooh-Bear leaves the bedrail down? That would result in an automatic fail. Better yet, perhaps they found something on the drug screening we all had to take yesterday. Girlfriend's got to be on SOMETHING.

I would be starting my Labor Day weekend right now, except that I have an honors film class at noon. Mostly I'm taking it because I have to take one honors class every semester to stay in good standing with the Honors Society and keep my tuition waiver. The film class was the best fit with the rest of my schedule. I think it fulfills a Liberal Arts requirement, too, but no worries if not.

It's proving to be rather interesting. Every week, we will watch a new film. Right now it's Westerns, of which I am not a fan. Stagecoach was last week, today it will be Shane. Viewed as part of a genre, which is what we're doing, they aren't bad. But I can't say I cared for Stagecoach on its own merit. It was (and here I am about to offend John Wayne fans the wide world over) hokey. However, I did really enjoy Thomas Mitchell's performance. Even if you don't recognize the name, you know who he is, right? Gerald O'Hara? Uncle Billy? Fantastic character actor. I think I like him so much because he reminds me of Papa.

After that...footloose and fancy free! Except for the knitting and the cake-ing, which I will enjoy, and the laundry and the packing and the pre-trip housecleaning, which...not so much. Clearly, though, I am now far more qualified to do the housecleaning part than I was at this time yesterday.

I think I'll sign up for competencies as early as possible from now on. It's nice to have it out of the way.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Please? Pretty Please??

Apparently Pooh-Bear requested to transfer to another group. It seems that we are rude, catty and not serious enough about the class. We actually got a lecture from the adjunct about being "supportive" of our fellow team members. She just started watching our group today, and has no idea of what's really going on.

Well, let's see. We've already allowed Pooh-Bear more practice time than the rest of us have had, COMBINED. In return, every one of us has been insulted by her at least once, with no provocation. We've repeatedly had the blame for her ineptitude placed on us. I'm sorry...who's being unsupportive again?

I'm all about working as a team. I'm all about being supportive. But I draw the line at being a doormat, and catering to manipulative control freaks is utterly out of the question.

Sadly, her request to change groups was denied. Maybe we should all be more supportive and back her up on what she's asking for. The thing is, she's quickly going from being a source of irritation to being an actual problem. If things don't do a complete 180 very soon, we're going to have to take it up with the instructors. Hopefully they have enough experience with interpersonal relations to not be taken in by her surface sweetsy-sweetsiness and realize what's truly going on. And really, that's all we want at this point - for those currently in authority over us to be aware.

Tomorrow and Friday are our first competencies. The Expert and I are signed up for the first time slot, which is 9am tomorrow, and Token Male and Pooh-Bear have theirs at 11:30 on Friday. Which means this is likely the last I'll see of Pooh-Bear until next week. I could use the break, and those of you who have patiently and diligently read my gripes probably could too.

I can't wait for this weekend!! And I will NOT be dieting. I wish S could come with us (as does S), but his father is unwilling to trade weekends. I'm not sure why...from what I can gather, he has no earth-shattering plans.

My helmet hasn't arrived yet. According to tracking, it's somewhere in Ohio, and will be here on Friday. I guess it's a good thing I can't practice on Miss Piggy, though, because I have things to do:

I have to sew my student patch onto my scrubs.
I have to do laundry, and pack sometime between now and Saturday morning.
I have to finish Tiny's sweater (it's almost done!).
I have to make a lemon bundt cake!
I have to restrain myself from eating said lemon bundt cake!

Off to knit and sew and gather recipe ingredients. I'm sounding positively domestic. Don't get used to it.

Monday, August 25, 2008

What I Learned Today

1. The Expert would be beautiful if she lost about 70 lbs.
2. I pronounce the letter "S" in a very irritating fashion
3. Token Male is so inept at his competency practice that Pooh-Bear is going to have to find another group to watch.

Yes, all of the above are courtesy of the fabulous Pooh-Bear. I think I speak for all three of us (that would be Token, Expert and myself) when I say "don't let the privacy curtain bang you on the butt on your way to find another group upon which to unleash your obnoxiousness." I have come to the conclusion that between the toddler talk and the obvious sociopathic tendencies, she is clearly some unholy hybrid of Grandma Jean and Grandma Mary, sent by Satan to vex and torment.

I am in serious need of chocolate right about now.

Apparently, not only do I have a speech impediment, I am also older than I think I am. I received an AARP membership card in the mail today. Yes, THAT AARP...the special-interest group catering mostly to seniors.

Umm...AARP powers that be? I'm not even old enough to be President yet. Give me a minute or two before you hand me that Poly-Grip, ok? I know I'm getting gray and all, but I'm pretty sure that somewhere there's a law on the books stating that you can't have your navel pierced and also carry an AARP card. If there's not, then frankly, I'd like to know what Congress is doing with their time.

I wish my scooter helmet was here. I should get it tomorrow, but it would be lovely to take Miss Piggy in all of her glorious pinkness out for a spin around the neighborhood before S comes home from school.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Getting to Know You

I have now had Miss Piggy for a little over 24 hours. Since I don't have a helmet yet, I've mostly been sitting on her to get a feel for how to balance (a 300-odd pound machine is just a wee bit different than a bike in that regard), and I'm starting to get more comfortable. She is a little tall. We're going to look at lowering her an inch or so, and eventually I may think about shaving the seat down to bring her even lower, but in the meantime I don't think I'll have much trouble.

I'm getting to know the controls...where the blinker is, how to start it up, where to check the oil. But tonight, J had me "riding" it along the sidewalk.

Now, mind you, it wasn't really riding. I was going about 5mph, with my feet walking it along for most of it. The idea was to get a feel for the throttle and the brake. The sidewalk was, of course, deserted...idea being that if I fell either way, it would be onto grass.

And now let us have a moment of silence while all of you imagine me walk-riding a pink scooter down the sidewalk with J coaxing me along..."I've got you! You're fine, I've got you!"

The girl a few doors down thought it was utterly hysterical. I'm really in no position at all to argue with her.

I sent a picture to a friend of mine. She's a "biker chick," with a big powerful crotch-rocket of a bike and a lot of "biker chick" friends, most of whom also have big crotch-rockets (or crotch-rocketeer boyfriends) and a massive sense of their own immortality, which my friend does not...she takes the whole thing very seriously. She duly pronounced the pink scooter to be utterly adorable, and forwarded the picture on to several of those friends, who all think they're quite amazing on their 5-bazillion cc bikes, but who ALL now want a scooter just like my little 150cc that tops out at about 60mph on a good day with a tailwind. A couple have gone so far as to call around to check into the current availability of them. Basically, they have the same chance of getting a pink scooter anytime soon as a sugar cube has in a rainstorm. The dealer we got mine from doesn't even think he can get his hands on any more. When we went to pick it up the other night, he didn't want to let it go. He kept saying things like, "well, you have a deposit on it, so if you want to wait a day or two to pick it up, that's fine with us!" It turned out that he's had it sitting in a visible spot, and lots of people have stopped in to ask about it.

This is going to be LOTS of fun!

Isn't She Lovely

Allow me to introduce you to...Miss Piggy!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

True Colors

The good news: I think Pooh-Bear (sorry, I still feel compelled to call her that) is going to do just fine.

The bad news: Either she really and truly is developmentally arrested in more ways than one, or the cutesy-cutesy is all an act.

The other bad news: I am really NOT going to like working with her.

The other good news: The Expert has her number, too.

What I learned in class yesterday and today: It is ALL ABOUT POOH-BEAR. And I do mean ALL. Now playing: The Pooh-Bear Show. Starring Pooh-Bear.

We have a certain number of "lab" hours during the week, during which time we are supposed to practice for our competencies. Competencies are about twice a month, and they're a sort of practical exam. They're used to show that we are able to perform the tasks that we are being taught.

This week is bed baths and changing the linens for a bedbound patient. Not the easiest thing in the world, but other than a couple of minor points that are sort of counterintuitive, it's a pretty logical process.

Our lab time is limited, because we have a large class. We still get the number of hours required by the state for our certifications, but we can't really go over our scheduled time if we need extra practice. Yesterday and today, we had an hour and a half. Pooh-Bear used the ENTIRE hour and a half yesterday to practice, which meant the rest of us were either patients or observers. Now, the entire bed bath and linen change is supposed to take half an hour, but at that point, it was ok. We're all still learning and trying to figure out what to do next.

When lab time came up again today, Pooh-Bear immediately said that she wanted to do the bath and bed change. Now mind you, none of the rest of us had gotten a turn yet, but I thought...ok. I don't think I'm going to have much problem with this, maybe let it slide this time. So Token Male got into the hospital bed to be the patient, and Pooh-Bear started practicing.

Well, it wasn't long before it became clear that she really, REALLY doesn't have a good grasp on the whole process. I had the checklist, but thought it would be most helpful to let her try to figure out what came next, and prompt her if she got stuck, rather than walking her through the whole thing step by step. She's going to have to know it without prompting for competencies. Naturally, among those of us who were just standing around while she monopolized the practice time, conversations were taking place. They were not loud or disruptive. Most of them were actually relevant - maybe questions to the staff who was supervising our group, situations we'd seen before that it might be good to keep in mind, that sort of thing. The occasional smart-aleck comment to keep things light.

Well, Pooh-Bear didn't like this. Apparently we were to be giving her our full and reverent attention, because it was "too noisy" and we were being "disruptive" by talking (never mind that the other groups were making enough noise that it wouldn't have mattered a bit if we'd all been mutes) and she was "really trying to concentrate" because she "felt it was important for her to be very competent at this," although apparently it's not important that the rest of us get ANY practice in whatsoever and become competent ourselves. Of course, there were plenty of remarks from her about how much HARDER it was going to be for her because she's SOOOO TIIII-NEEEEEE. I refrained from commenting that the difficulty she was having was more due to her overall cluelessness than her stature or the "noise" we were making. Finally, the supervisor pointed out to her that the noise was there to stay, it was going to be noisy in the hospital too, and she really had better just learn to deal with it. Her response? "Well, people in the hospital aren't being rude." By then, I'd had about enough. I looked her right in the eye and said, "I don't think we're being rude at all." I'm quite sure she also caught the unspoken "and I DARE you to argue with me, because honey? I'm fully prepared to launch into you about who's being rude to whom here." Well, no response to that, but she sure wasn't happy. During all this time that she was "concentrating" and "needing quiet," She kept on making comments about how she was going to do this or that "special" thing for her patients, like rub their back with warm lotion after their bath, whatever. First of all, good luck with finding the time for that when you have 8 patients who all need baths and bed changes before lunch. Second of all, shut up about how great you're going to be at this and all the "extras" you're going to provide if you can't even handle the basic requirements. And finally? Most grown men and women don't want to hear about how you're going to soak their "little feeties" for them or cover them with a "nice warm blankie" or push back their cuticles so they look "nice and sweet and pretty." Yes, this is how she was talking to our "patient."

A few minutes later, she decided that I really, really needed to focus my attention on her, her, her. I should be reading the checklist to her as we went. When I pointed out that it may be more beneficial for her to see if she could decide on her own what came next, she said, "ok...well, I guess we'll do it YOUR way." And why not? The last two days had been devoted to doing it her way. Maybe throw one of us a bone?

Finally, after taking an hour of our second lab day, she was done and let someone else have a turn. But for all of her posturing about how badly she wanted to learn and become competent, did she stay over by our hospital bed to observe or assist? Nope. She went and sat down in the lecture area and talked to someone. Which was fine with the rest of us, because by then, we'd all had about enough of her.

Actually, I take that back. She did come back to the group long enough to tell us that we should really be TALKING to our patient. "We want them to feel like they're a person to us." I felt like asking "do we want them to feel like they're a toddler to us? Because honey, you've got that down COLD." This was especially annoying because the supervisor had already JUST gone over ways we could be making conversation with our patient as we're doing all this, and we had been doing just that. Lucky for Pooh-Bear, she went back to her seat in the lecture area after she was done chastising us, because if she had stayed much longer, I may have had to throw a bedpan at her. As it was, I contented myself with very pointedly asking Token Male if he'd rather I read every step to him or let him try to figure them out. He played right along..."let me figure it out. Otherwise how are we really supposed to learn this stuff? That's the only way to do it." Hee!

It's going to be a long semester.

Token Male is still feeling too uncomfortable with being one of the only men in the class to really stand up to her yet, I think, but it will come. In the meantime, The Expert and I have decided that we'll be making sure Pooh-Bear gets NO more of the practice time for this particular competency. None. And just let her try to hog the practice for the next one.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A Come to Jesus Meeting

Today, on my way to my car after class, I was accosted by two young men. They wanted to know if I knewJesusChristasmypersonalLordandSavior.

As all of you are aware, I do. In fact, I've most likely forgotten more about the Bible and its many intricacies and nuances than they'll ever know. Which, granted, isn't what it's all about, but whatever two random dudes could possibly tell me about God, I don't particularly want to hear from two random dudes. Who wouldn't stop following me and asking me questions about my personal relationship with God even after I'd very shortly answered the first couple of things they asked that were, frankly, none of their business. Even while I walked faster and faster to get away from them. Even while my tone and body language were screaming "LEAVE ME ALONE." They have no idea how close they were to getting clobbered with my book bag by the time they finally did exactly that. My vast experience and long history of clobbering troublesome males with book bags and purses would not have bode well for them, methinks. The only reason I waited as long as I did to commence said clobbering was because my new laptop was in that bag, and I really didn't want to have to break it on anyone's face if it wasn't strictly necessary. I like my laptop.

Here's the thing: I am a young (well, youngish) woman. As a rule, being followed down the street by two young men insistent on engaging us in conversation is not something that sits well with us gals. Especially when our arms aren't free because we're carrying a load of books, and we're in a downtown area. Guess what? We're feeling a little vulnerable right about then, and provided that we have an iota of common sense and self-preservation, two men approaching us to talk about ANYTHING is going to get our hackles up. Not only that, but there's a reason why it's called a "personal relationship with God." It's PERSONAL. As in, mine. Not yours. As in, not something you have any right to be asking me questions about, Random Dudes Who Won't Leave Me Alone. There are things important enough to me that I only discuss them with those I trust and have a rapport with. My spirituality is among those things.

Even if I WERE receptive to being accosted by two random men on a downtown street, for any reason whatsoever (and I can't think of a single good one), their second question to me being "do you know for sure when you die that you'll go to Heaven to be with Jesus?" Would probably put the kibbosh on all of said receptivity. Reason being that again, I am a young woman walking alone down a city sidewalk. Two men come up to a girl and ask them this question, and out of that entire sentence, she's going to hear three words: "when you die." Yeah. Leeeetle bit offputting, perhaps. You can bet that those words being uttered to me by two guys who are following me is going to put me in panic mode. It's fight or flight at that point.

I do understand that they most likely had good intentions, but the whole incident really bothered me. I STILL feel like double-checking to see if all my doors and windows are locked, but that's not the only reason I'm skeeved. Those two are going about spreading the gospel in completely the wrong way, and if I was that uncomfortable, I'm sure others they approached were too, since we all know what a shrinking violet *I* am. Certainly, they're more likely to put people off of God and Christianity than to bring them in. That part of it bothers me as well.

Meanwhile, I think I may request a security escort to my car from now on. Even though they seemed to mean no harm, that may not necessarily be true of others.

PS - don't worry, Mom! I'm ok!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Tuesday Morning

Tuesday is going to be my favorite day for awhile.

Why? Because I don't have to do ANYTHING!

Two weeks ago at this time, I was scrambling to get out the door to work. Now, granted, I wasn't exerting myself all that much...I had long reached the conclusion that if my coworker could come in an hour or so late any time she pleased because she was hung over, there was no reason I should kill myself to clock in before 8:10.

Currently, I am...sitting here blogging. On my new laptop. About to see S off on the school bus and make myself some coffee. Later, I may go pick up my new scooter, which came in a couple of days ago. I also have some studying to do. Other than that?

I'll do whatever I want.

Monday, August 18, 2008


I'm sitting at my dining table, typing this on my BRAND NEW LAPTOP. I feel compelled to mention that this is the first new computer I have ever owned.

I like it! By the does have a web cam. If any of you guys are interested, I'll sign up for Skype and we can do video chat. :)

The reason I'm at the dining table is because I can see the bird feeders from here. We've amassed quite the entourage. Yesterday we had a gorgeous little goldfinch, and there's almost always a hummingbird or two. The sparrows are practically a scourge, and there were several turtledoves a few minutes ago. Other than the bird poop on the patio, it's a nice view.

Today was my first day of school, and also my first day of lab. We did NOT get to choose our lab partners, much to my dismay. MUCH. All in all, though, it could have been worse. We have four in our group. I would like to say that each person seems to be reasonably lucid, nice and willing to put forth the effort needed to get through the class. Also, no smokers, which is a plus considering how often I am going to be in close proximity to them, and vice versa.

And now, the cast of characters:

The Expert. This is a girl who works in a local ER. In what capacity, I do not know. This is good, because we can all draw from her experience. She seems very capable.

The Token Male. Every nursing class has one, I suppose. We got him. He seems nice enough.

The Developmentally Arrested Middle Ager. This woman is sweet, but has me worried. She's either not going to be able to hack it, or she's going to end up getting bludgeoned. Most likely by me. For the entire duration of lab, we kept hearing her squeaking about how tiiii-neeeee she is (and she is...probably 4'8" and 85 lbs. soaking wet). But guess what? If you think you're too small to be able to do the job, maybe you should - I don't know - NOT SIGN UP FOR THE CLASS. Also, when I say she is sweet, what I mean is that she is sweeeeeeeeeeeet. She didn't like the idea of putting a gait belt on a patient (it's to keep them from falling as they try to move around), because it was "mean." And when we were learning bedpans and the logistics of peeing while lying down, she asked - and I quote - "but what if they make a pooh-bear?"

A POOH-BEAR, people. This is a grown woman. I ask you! Of course, we all cracked up laughing at the sheer silliness of calling it a "pooh-bear," to which she responded in her squeaky little voice, "oh, but I think it's sweet! So they don't get embarrassed!"

Ok, lady. First of all, there is nothing sweet about a bowel movement, no matter what puerile name you assign it. Second of all, patients are going to be far more embarrassed by the fact that their caregiver is treating them like a toddler being potty trained than by the fact that they just pooped.

Henceforth, I shall call her Pooh-Bear.

The role of class clown was unoccupied within our group, so I jumped on it. Hey...when half your class time involves lifting 200 lbs. of dead weight and discussions on the best way to keep raw sewage from spilling all over a bed, someone has to provide merriment. We'll see if I'm up to the task.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

L'enfer, c'est les autres.

The title is a quote by Jean-Paul Sartre. It pretty much translates to "Hell is others."

I could hang with Jean-Paul Sartre.

It's official now - I'm actually not a secretary. Yesterday was my last day at my ridiculous office. Which is no longer my office, but is doubtless still ridiculous, and is likely to continue being ridiculous for a long time to come. I was immature enough to walk out at lunch time leaving quite a sizeable slew of tickets, and I don't have the least bit of a guilty conscience (I did send the rush tickets through, but only because I didn't want to make life any harder for my friend who manages the department that they go to). If my suck-up coworker - sorry, FORMER coworker - wants to showboat, she has plenty of material to do it with now.

I'm sitting alone in my house with snoozing dogs, no radio and no tv. It's absolute bliss. Pretty soon I'll get up and organize my closet, then clean the bathrooms. No hurry, though...I have time.

I got my criminal background check sent back to me yesterday. It's required for the program I'm entering at school. Apparently, I am neither a sex offender nor a felon. Such a relief to know.

Aaron! Glad you made it to the party! :)

According to the only birth certificate I have a copy of, today is my birthday. Where's my cake?!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

You Can't Make This Stuff Up

I'm bored, but I find myself laughing to the point of tears at this (click on the word "this" - sorry, the link isn't showing up too well!).

Fair warning: Some of it is crude. But all of it is absolutely hysterical.

As God is my witness, I will never, ever wear anything again that I'm not absolutely positive of what it says.

Monday, August 4, 2008


Before I get into my Rant du Jour, I just want to say...


The place where I still work for approximately the next 52 hours has a habit of more or less randomly deciding to distribute t-shirts to its employees. Over the years, I've accumulated a fairly depressing number of these. I've never, EVER worn them in public. I'd tell people that it was because I really didn't think everyone in the world needed to know where they could find me 9 hours out of every day, but the truth was that I just found it demoralizing to be a walking billboard for a company that, at best, I was mildly content to work for as long as nothing better fell in my lap. Plus, most of the t-shirts are really just ugly and stupid.

So now I'm left with a dilemma: What to do with these t-shirts? The come in handy as nightshirts, but I find myself with no desire to ever have one anywhere near my bee-bews again. On the other hand, it would be rather amusing to alter the more inane ones and finally wear them out in public. For instance, the one that proudly bears the slogan: "We help people communicate." Wonder who the advertising genius is who came up with THAT. Probably the same guy who thought it was a good idea to inscribe a large rock with the company logo, dub it the "top rock," install it in the lobby on a pedestal surrounded with velvet rope, and mandate that part of the poor receptionist's job be to dress it up on holidays. Yes, the ROCK. On Mother's Day, it had a bouquet and several little rocklings. You really can't make this stuff up.

Should I use a Sharpie to add "Our employees? Not so much" to the "We help people communicate" shirt? Should I burn them all in a solemn ceremony? Or maybe a not-so-solemn one that incorporates the chicken dance, a conga line and a pinata? Should I just save myself the trouble of all of it and throw them out?

My mood right now is strikingly similar to the feeling I had when I separated from my ex. It feels vitally important to distance myself. I want NOTHING left in my house that bears the name of that company. Of course, J will draw the line at disposing of my pay stubs, and that's fine, as long as they're someplace where I can pretend they don't exist.

I brought home most of my stuff today. Only the essentials are still there - my fridge, my coffee cup, my reading glasses, my space heater.


SONG OF THE DAY: Billy Joel, Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Suck it Up

J recently bought a new vacuum cleaner. It was on clearance, it's quiet, and it sucks up like nobody's business. He is madly in love with it.

I, on the other hand, am somewhat less enamored.

For one thing, it's a vacuum cleaner and - let's face it - I've never been one to go into paroxysms of joy over domestic acoutrements of any kind. For another thing, it resembles a very short Storm Trooper, and I don't particularly trust anything that looks like its entrance should be accompanied by the Imperial Death March. It also weighs roughly as much as I would guess a Storm Trooper might.

While its sucking power compares pretty closely to that of a pool drain, its capacity...not so much. Think "toddler after drinking 2 liters of Hawaiian Punch." That's about how fast it needs to be emptied. Remember vacuum bags? Vacuum bags were great. They would expand to the size of your basic parachute, and would hold weeks' worth of carpet crud.

Yeah. We don't have those anymore. And considering that I have one dog who sheds about 3 entire chihuahuas and the odd pomeranian on a semimonthly basis, and one who is just plain large and long-haired, it would be nice to have a vacuum that can hold more than your average sandwich baggie. I literally have to empty it at least once in every room of the house.

My kingdom for Mimi's fabulous old Rainbow (which I wanted to buy instead of a regular vacuum, but J has an aversion to Rainbow vacuums for reasons known only to God, himself and the Rainbow Company).

Then again...guess who usually does the vacuuming?

Saturday, August 2, 2008


Fall is coming! School starts in about a week and a half for S, two weeks for me. I'll have to find a more autumnal design for the blog, although I do love my gorgeous, beachy sandals.

August has never been my favorite month. When I was a kid, it meant summer at Grandma's was almost over. Now, it means ridiculous, insane, unreasonable heat. This year it means the end of the old and the beginning of the new, but for about 1/3 of the month I'll still be stuck in this job situation that I loathe. I am NOT a patient person.

August will also be the month that S comes back home for the school year. And the month that I get my scooter. August is J's and my anniversary.

Still, I'm anticipating October...September isn't really fall to me. I'm ready for the leaves to change, and for sweaters, and for candles that smell like baked goods. I'm ready to make Thanksgiving plans and buy firewood. I'm ready for hot chocolate and cider. I'm ready for cool air during my runs. There's just something so homey about fall.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Pea Green

Well, The Illustrious Coworker and I had it out via IM today. It was quite educational. Her main complaint seems to be that I'm "not a team player." Not sure how that works, seeing as I've been doing both my job and hers for a good two months or so, and her main premise for my not being a "team player" is that I didn't let her take over one of my tickets a few days ago. From what I can tell, her definition of "team player" seems to be "you don't do what I want you to do." Which, if that's the case, I hope to heaven I'm not a team player.

Her final sentence was something along the lines of "I wish you the best in your future endeavors." Which was just a wee bit telling, since I'd been slightly curious about whether or not she knew yet that I was leaving. I felt like replying with "thanks, but I'm doing pretty spectacularly at my 'future endeavors' with or without your well wishes." No point, though...she sits right on the other side of my cubicle, and I'm not exactly a quiet person, so unless she's completely catatonic on the few days she's actually in the office, she knows all about my free tuition and my 4.0 grade average. Obviously, I'm not struggling too hard to keep up.

The only things I can figure are that a) she's upset because her little party is over since I won't be there to cover for her, or b) she's jealous. And now I'm about to get a little bit smug, and I apologize for that, but why wouldn't she be? It really got me thinking about how lucky I am.

I have this amazing, fabulous child who's about as perfect as real actual children can possibly be. I have a wonderful, intelligent, funny, sensitive longtime boyfriend (5 years next week!) whom I adore and call daily to flirt with in the afternoons, and who wanted nothing more than to come home to me today. She is solitary, obviously lonely, and frankly will most likely stay that way. At almost 40, she probably knows that.

I've got a nice house in a nice neighborhood. She lives in a small, dark apartment.

I'm freaking SMART, there's no point denying that. She's maybe average, although admittedly cunning in a way that I am not. Which is fine, because I don't really think I want to be.

I have friends...people actually come by my cubicle to chat, as opposed to the ones who come to hers only when they want something.

I'm reasonably attractive. We'll leave that there, because although I need to write this down to get it out of my system, I'm truly not trying to be catty.

I'm on to bigger and better things. Everyone in that office knows it. Not because I've broadcasted it (which I may have just because of my intrinsic loudness, not because I meant to), but because I just AM. She's stuck in that ridiculous office, making a ridiculous salary, sucking up to ridiculous middle management, the vast majority of whom I lost respect for years ago. She'll probably never be anything more. She may change jobs, but it will be more of the same.

What does she have? Weekday hangovers and skipping out on evening shifts to go bowling. Showboating and brown-nosing. Her primary source of validation being a job that the average code monkey could literally write a program to do better than we do.

Again, I know all of this sounds really smug. And maybe it is. But it got me thinking about how lucky I am. J drives me up a wall at times, but he is so amazing. He's supportive and warm. He's sensitive and can carry on an intelligent conversation about most subjects. He truly does love, honor and cherish me, even if the actual vows have never been uttered, and that's more than most couples can say. S is polite, well-behaved and practically a savant in most subjects. He's observant and astute. He's a mother's dream.

Not only that, but I get to BE a girlfriend. I get to BE a mother. I get to BE a daughter, and a granddaughter, and a niece, and a cousin. I get to be attractive and intelligent. I get to laugh and smile. I get to be warm and full. I get to be cared for.

I get to run in the mornings with my dog, who is wonderful even if she eats EVERYTHING. I get to pursue my dreams with the full support of everyone that matters to me. I get to eat all I need to, every day of my life. I get to knit. I get to overachieve without unreasonable effort. I get to hug and kiss my child and my boyfriend almost any time I want to. I get to be part of this incredible family, whom I actually like and want to spend time with. I get to come home every day to a lovely house. I get to sleep in the most comfortable bed in the world. I get to light a fire in my fireplace in the winter. I get to feed hummingbirds. I get to be believed in, fully and completely, by those who love me.

I have an incredible life. If she's jealous of it, I really can't say I blame her.

SONG OF THE DAY: Jann Arden, Good Mother

The Week in Review

1. My child is amazing!
2. My coworker is 12.
3. Peace and quiet!
4. Stand back! Preparing to shock!
5. You ate WHAT, Carly?!
6. Back to mile one, and it feels fantastic.
7. Who knew I had so many candles?
8. Birdseed. Lots and lots of birdseed.
9. We have a hummingbird!
10. I don't have tuberculosis.
11. "But I don't WANT to clean my room!"
12. "But I don't WANT to wear that shirt!"
13. They're testing wing magic, and it's gorgeous!
14. It's really, really, really hot.
15. Hey, I can eat oatmeal!
16. Is there even such a thing as cereal with no sugar?
17. If I become a pathologist, I'll have to deal with far fewer of the living.
18. I wanna be a cowboy, baybee.
19. Hey, my buddy's back!
20. Buh-BYE.

P.S. Don't kid yourself, Jo. You laugh like ONE OF US!!

P.P.S. My last day is on the 8th, and I start classes on the 18th!

P.P.P.S. Don't cry, Take a sad song and make it ber-rer!