Monday, April 30, 2007

Best Laid Plans

So remember the window? I could see the bright sun all day long. And all day long I thought about my lawn which has somehow gotten excessively long already. I left work at a reasonable time (possibly early for my new management position?) and eventually made it through what was fairly bad traffic for the area. I quickly changed my clothes and rigged up three extension cords.

I overcame the embarrassment of using an electric mower and plunged into the task. The closest neighbors thankfully didn't point and laugh, but I did see some heads turn in cars that drove by. Up and down next to the driveway I went, getting the feel for it again; cord in one hand, kick with the foot.

After a handful of passes, the mower faded off. Usually this mean a plug has come lose somewhere. I checked, but all four plugs were still secure. I tried again. No. I crawled up and over the ancient tractor and reset the outlet. Nothing. I climbed up and over the tractor again and checked the circuit breakers. Bingo. I flipped the circuit breaker and tried to resume mowing. I'm sure by this point you can guess what happened next. That's right. It blew again. I tried two other outlets even though I know the one in the garage is on it's own breaker, whereas they share with other large items. I tried removing one of the cords in case it is guilty of some invisible sin. Nothing, nothing, nothing.

And don't forget, each and every time I had to crawl back over the rusty, yellow tractor. I eventually gave up and came inside dirty and disgruntled. It won't be long before the grass becomes so long that mowing it will be a challenge even with the best of mowers.

Now I was under the impression that those little tiny electric flip mowers draw very little power. So WTF?

Oh yeah, when I came back inside, I discovered the little dog had shat on the carpet. Perfect.

I did assemble the rest of my new solar lights though. I put nine out last night and plan on putting the other five out as soon as it gets dark tonight. So I suppose all is not lost.

New Office

I've moved into my New! Private! Office! with a Window!

Now I just have to reorganize my crap and get used to using a different computer.

But I can tell you it's sunny outside!

Window! Did I mention there's a window?

Friday, April 27, 2007

Not a Date

I'm having dinner tonight with Old Phish Friend. It's not a date. I don't think FF is 100% convinced of this fact. He implied Old Phish Friend might have ulterior motives. But no, I can tell when someone is flirting with me, and he's not flirting. This is just old friends getting together after not having seen each other in eleven years.

FF still doesn't like it, but he didn't freak out like he did two weeks ago when I mentioned possibly having drinks with Old Phish Friend on a Saturday night. Needless to say, after much screaming and misery, no drinks were had.
I do think this will precipitate yet another discussion on where things stand between us though.
When I was telling another male friend (Tootles) about my dinner plans and how it is not a date, he asked me what underwear I would be wearing (this conversation took place yesterday). I said since I hadn't done laundry in next to forever, whatever pair was left in the drawer. Yup, he said, not a date.

Yeah, that's what I said.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Have you read these books?

I saw this over at Dispatches from France and thought, I'm in the mood for a meme (in other words, I'm too lazy to write anything myself). As with a good game of telephone, I don't know where this list originated or why these particular books are on it. C'est la vie.

Bold - I've read

1. The DaVinci 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)
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)
45. The Bible
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 Traveling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo) - I read this in high school French; it seems unlikely that we read the whole thing but it is possible.
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)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Earth Day (delayed)

In honor of Earth Day, a local theater showed Al Gore's documentary, An Inconvenient Truth,on behalf of Second Home Nature Center. It was the first time I'd seen the award winning film. I found it thought-provoking, depressing, and absolutely essential.

I'm not at all interested in having a political debate. It's not my thing. I am, however, interested in seeing humans lessen the negative impact we are having on this earth. I think the film should be incorporated into the standard curriculum of a high school class like PIG (Participation in Government).

I do what I can. I know I could do more. I recycle. I use some compact fluorescent light bulbs in place of regular incandescents. I plan on buying more. I do most of my laundry in cold water. I only do full loads of laundry and dishes. I buy organic foods when I can.

Unfortunately, being an environmentalist is easier if you are wealthy. I would love to buy more organic foods and drive a hybrid vehicle, but I simply can't afford it. But I do what I can and hope others do too!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Drum Roll Please

I got the job!

It's official.

My co-workers have been told.

My start date is May 1st.

Now I can start being nervous about the actual job not just the interview process.

Private office, here I come!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Weather Wonderful

Today was the perfect spring day, weather-wise. Clear skies and sun, warm temperatures into the 70s. I did some yard work early, picking up sticks, pulling dead wood down from trees and bushes, and clipping the abundant berry canes.

Later in the afternoon, I took the book I'm reading,
Death at La Fenice by Donna Leon, and my sunglasses to read on the front steps. The book was recommended to me by Swissmiss and instantly captured my interest. I did have to occasionally pause in my reading to do some people watching. The weather has released everyone from their homes: bikes, dogs, motorcycles, couples with babies, teenagers on skateboards. I read until my butt hurt from the cement steps.

Later still I took Dog #1 and a plastic bag, slipped on my flip flops, and went for a walk on familiar streets to see how things had changed since I last trod these roads. I'd walked my block in the last year, the others it could have been ten or fifteen or more years. Although most of the houses and yards are well groomed and well cared for, I was both relieved and surprised to see a few that were not in that much better shape than my own.

It would have been an almost perfect day all around if unresolved issues didn't continue to cloud every waking (and non-waking?) moment of my life these days.

As for the results of my interview yesterday, nothing is official, but let's just say it looks good. Very good.

And the weather tomorrow promises to be even better than today.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Heels and all

I have an interview this afternoon. The job is a higher pay grade and has more vacation hours. It also has an office with a window!

So here I am on a casual Friday wearing a long skirt and high heels.

I really want this job. And I really need the extra money.

Which means that I am a bundle of nerves. I slept horribly last night, tossing and turning and waking every hour or so.

The good part is that they expect to make a decision soon. I could hear as early as tomorrow. Although that seems unlikely, considering it's a Saturday and all.

I know I can do the job. And do it well. It's the tricky interview questions that are stressing me out. I am afraid of um-ing and stuttering and being reduced to monosyllabic words. Analytical! Leadership! Vision!

Analytical! Leadership! Vision! (Some key words I'm trying to imprint on my pea brain.) Analytical! Leadership! Vision! (OK, everyone chant along with me.)

Analytical! Leadership! Vision!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Tea Time

I am a tea drinker.

Other than my brief love affair with sweet tea while I was living in Florida, I drink hot tea exclusively. The cold bottled variety loses something in translation.

I start every morning with a cup of English breakfast with milk and sugar.

Sometimes when I'm cold at work I will have an herbal "tea" (not really tea at all but an herbal infusion or tisane) to avoid any additional caffeine.

When I decided, after finishing my last book, that I needed something more light-hearted to read, I picked up the next in the Tea Shop Mystery series by Laura Childs. The series falls into the "cozy mystery" category, meaning that they are generally not terrifying or gruesome. The main character owns a tea shop, so there are fabulous descriptions of teas and tasty treats throughout the books. Reading them always makes me want to relax with a steaming mug of oolong, a snugly blanket, and a good book.

This morning when I got to work I decided to make myself a cup of Golden Tips (a loose artisan tea made by Numi). I can definitely feel the extra caffeine zipping through my system, but it was worth it for the yummy, full-bodied flavor.

I recently came into possession of a brand new, unused copper tea kettle (Revere Ware). Brand new from 1972, that is. It was apparently a wedding gift my parents received and has been collecting dust at my grandparents' house ever since. It is lovely. I've never owned any copper pots or pans, but I am anxious to get this one cleaned up so I can use it. Is there a specific method for cleaning copper?

I can't wait to drink my first steaming cup of tea made from the gleaming copper tea kettle that looks so snazzy sitting on my stove top.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Defending my Territory

I've mentioned before that my job gets very slow during our "off-season."

I'm not the only one that feels this pain, and this morning I was forced to play my selfish card. One of my co-workers was without work to do and quietly started doing some of mine without asking.

Whao! Back off.

I am very methodical about stretching my tasks to fill as much time as possible. I will not share. I cannot. Or I will go mad with boredom.

So I had to ask her not to do my work. I'm sorry if she has nothing to do, but if she does my stuff, then I will have nothing.

How sad is it that we have to fight over the few things that need to be done?

Saturday, April 14, 2007

What is it With the Texting?

I have about had it with the text messaging.

I finally told FF not to send me any more. If he has something to say, I instructed him to write it down in a letter or send me an email. There are several things about the texting that annoy me. First of all, it costs me fifteen cents each time I send or receive one. A phone call, on the other hand, is free because I have oodles of minutes and rollover on top of that. If I decide to respond I have to type using the number key pad, which is a royal pain in the ass.

I'm thinking it might be a guy thing. Do they think they are avoiding a long phone conversation? Because believe it or not, I generally don't want to get stuck on the phone for an extended period of time either.

It was bad enough having FF and Tooters (a male friend from high school that I recently reconnected with via My Space who used to drive by my parents' house and toot his horn to say hi all the time) constantly texting me, but then I got a message from Old Phish Friend last night asking if I wanted to have drinks with him and his friends tonight. Ugh.

I don't want to get on this bandwagon at all. See the send button, People? Dial my number and then hit it please. I promise not to trap you on the line.

Friday, April 13, 2007

How to Make Friday Suck

Take the 15 minute meeting you have scheduled first thing in the morning and have it last two and a half hours.

That ought to put you in a right foul mood.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

A Little Thing

And yet, it has made me happy. A good way to start the day, in fact.

The town picks up yard waste every other Wednesday in the non-winter months. They have very strict guidelines for weight and length of bundles, allowable containers, and what will and will not be picked up.

I consulted my schedule last night when I got home from work and discovered there was a pick-up today. I zipped up the road to one of those Marts and bought a small plastic tub to jam my sticks into. In a matter of minutes it was filled to capacity. At this rate, I will be able to clean one corner of my yard this summer. But I have hopes of acquiring another full-sized garbage can for yard waste usage from my grandmother's house. If not, back to the store I'll go.

At any rate, they came and picked it up this morning before I left for work. I'm sure the joy from such a small transaction will wear off soon enough, but for now it makes me feel like an (almost) home owner.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Bullets of Boredom at Work

  • I finished The Secret Garden, but I should've waited to read it until spring was actually here. Like in July. My poor snow-covered daffodils.
  • Now I am reading Happiness Sold Separately, by Lolly Winston. Naturally, it is about a married couple that are having problems and considering divorce.
  • The book I read before The Secret Garden was also about a woman who had (temporarily, as it turned out) left her husband. I think it might be time to read some mysteries. They are rarely emotionally taxing. Or relevant to my life.
  • I have yet to acquire an estimate for the work that needs to be done on the exterior of my house (replacing trim and siding). FF has promised to make some phone calls on my behalf this afternoon.
  • The only thing holding up my mortgage at this point is that estimate.
  • I am really, really sick of having a dumpster in my driveway. And I'm sure the neighbors aren't all that thrilled either. But we were holding onto the dumpster for use with the construction.
  • When I'm bored I tend to eat for lack of anything else to do. Unfortunately, I have no cash on me and therefore cannot raid the vending machine. That leaves me with one granola bar until 5pm. I may have to resort to adding a few drops of water to a hot cocoa packet and eating the resulting paste with a spoon.
  • If I get really desperate I could eat one of those nasty Peeps a co-worker brought in. I keep poking them, but could I actually eat one? Ick.
  • I found and contacted yet another old friend via My Space. I can't seem to recall having hung out with him since we went to a PHISH show in Buffalo in October of 1996. Can it really have been that long? If so, it's been nearly that long since we've even talked or emailed.
  • Was that the last PHISH show I went to? Apparently I can't remember. Either way, it was a good one and we had kick ass seats.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

White Easter

We did not have a white Christmas, but we are surely having a white Easter. It is pretty, but I'd rather be seeing my daffy-down-dillies in full bloom.

I used to love Easter as a child. The sacred chocolates and candies that were normally not allowed. The Magic of the Easter Bunny. The excitement of springtime. I was always a little sad, though, that we didn't get a new Easter dress every year like the other little girls in my class. We had some favorite Easter story books that we'd devour every year.

Now it seems like a holiday that is missing the most important part- the children. It would be so much more fun with little people to read the books to and little faces to see light up at the wonderful treats the Easter Bunny has brought.
I never dreamed that I'd be almost thirty-one years old and no closer to having kids than I was at eighteen. I certainly didn't plan to wait this long.

Friday, April 06, 2007

The Five Love Languages

The Five Love Languages

My primary love language is probably
Acts of Service
with a secondary love language being
Quality Time.

Complete set of results

Acts of Service: 12
Quality Time: 9
Receiving Gifts: 4
Words of Affirmation: 3
Physical Touch: 2


Unhappiness in relationships, according to Dr. Gary Chapman, is often due to the fact that we speak different love languages. Sometimes we don't understand our partner's requirements, or even our own. We all have a "love tank" that needs to be filled in order for us to express love to others, but there are different means by which our tank can be filled, and there are different ways that we can express love to others.

Take the quiz
I promise this wasn't just two quiz posts in a row.
I have actually read this book, The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. It was recommended to me by a friend shortly before I broke up with my fiance. This is not the kind of book I normally read. In fact, it is the first book of this variety that I have purchased in a long time (if ever). I was mortified to be in the self-help section searching for this title and not finding it because no way was I asking for assistance. I was much relieved when I finally located it in the religion section instead.

It was an easy read and much of it made a lot of sense to me. 

I would recommend it to couples who are happily together but looking for ways to improve their communication.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

How did they know?

You Are a Blue Flower

A blue flower tends to represent peace, openness, and balance.
At times, you are very delicate like a cornflower.
And at other times, you are wise like an iris.
And more than you wish, you're a little cold, like a blue hydrangea.

You Are a Morning Person

You're optimistic, alert, and full of energy to start the day.
While you would love to party all night, you rather be up at the crack of dawn.
You don't procrastinate or spend time worry about what to do next.
You take life by the reigns, and you like to have an early start.

You Are a Cadbury Creme Egg

You're the type that stole little brother's easter basket so that you could have MORE CANDY!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The Moron Strikes Again

I seem to have some sort of mental block against remembering numbers. Especially PINs. I had to call my bank this morning to have them send me a new one for the umpteenth time.

Write it down, you say. Yes, well, then I have to be able to remember where I wrote it. No such luck.

Change it to something that has meaning and therefore will be harder to forget, you suggest. Fine, good idea. But in order to do that I need my current PIN. Again, no such luck.

So this one will probably last me only a couple months too.

It would be less of an issue if banks were actually open for business when people could actually use them. But no, if you work, you're basically SOL and have to rely on those stinkin' machines that require secret codes. Bah.