Wednesday, January 31, 2007

A little distance can go a long way

Casey mentioned that men find vaginas scary.

In the article, it discusses how men experience a loss of mystery and attraction to their lady friends after seeing them go through labor.

I would like to point out that seeing a man clip his toenails can have a similar effect.

Some things should not be shared. There is such a thing as being too close. Because when things get cozy, I can't help it if my brain pictures the bad things instead of the good.

So, I would propose a solution. If you could leave the livingroom for clipping and picking, I will do my tweezing and waxing behind closed doors.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Pros and Cons

I would agree with the commonly held opinion that My Space is a little hinky. People just don't use their brains. They put personal information on their pages that can get them in trouble with work or school. It's definitely a meat market too. People can see where you live if you provide the details, and then you get messages asking if you want to hang out (or worse). Then there's the local bands and bars looking for free advertising.

All the cons aside, I do have a page and I do enjoy browsing around from time to time. I like that you can be a bit voyeuristic without actually interacting with someone unless you want to. And I'm nosy. I like checking up on people I knew 10 years ago.

But I'm not one of those people with 685 "friends." I only add someone if I know them. I've reconnected and stayed in touch with old friends and kept tabs on others. For the most part, it's been limited to people that I have had at least casual communications with over the years.

This past weekend though, I got a message from someone I'd gone to high school with. It's been over 12 years since we've been in touch and longer since we've seen each other. He was someone that meant a great deal to me in high school, and I was thrilled to hear from him.

He's a single dad to two little girls, which is hard to reconcile with the boy who would drive by my house and honk the same pattern just to say hi. Or the boy who mocked me for wearing Birks with no socks at football games when it snowed. Or the boy who stuffed me behind a jukebox when a brawl broke out at the bar he'd taken me to when I was 17.

How did it happen that we're not kids anymore?

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Warmer Days, Take 2

My first Florida boyfriend, Lifeguard Captain, checking out long boards.

He always wanted me to try surfing, but fortunately our relationship didn't last long enough for him to see that happen. He did take me snorkeling in a freshwater stream for my birthday, which was extremely cool. I won't be sharing those photos though because between the bikini and the mask, it ain't pretty.

We also went to St Augustine, where we climbed the lighthouse.

I was more enthralled with the mechanisms of the light than I was with the fabulous view.

I'd sure like to be looking at that view right now though.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Where were you?

I haven't done a meme in a while, so this one was inspired by Vivi, over at Dispatches From France. I've made some slight alterations to it; think of it like the game of telephone...

1) Where were you when the Challenger exploded? (The original question had been "Where were you when Armstrong first walked on the Moon?" Obviously, I was nowhere.) I was in 4th grade, watching the launch on TV.

2) Where were you when you heard Princess Di had died? My senior year of college had just gotten underway. After returning home from a night out at a downtown bar, I turned on Headline News to unwind.

3) Where were you on New Year’s Eve of 1999/2000? Alone in bed, listening to the partying going on around me throughout my apartment complex, and feeling very sorry for myself. Have I mentioned how much I hate New Year's Eve? That year certainly did nothing to change my opinion.

4) Where were you on Sept.11, 2001? I first heard when I got in the car to drive to work. My first thought at hearing the atypical news coverage had been that the president had been killed. I worked all day, even though I thought that they ought to have closed and sent the staff home.

5) Where were you when you first heard about the big 2004 Tsunami? I have absolutely no idea.

6) Where were you when you first heard John Denver had died? (The original question was "Where were you when you first heard that Madonna would go on tour last year?" Um, am I actually supposed to care about this? Not bloody likely.) I was in organic chem my senior year of college. My friend, Forrest, delivered the news of the plane crash.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Kicking Myself Now

A while back, possibly in November, I was contacted by someone that I work with to see if I would be interested in a position that would be vacant soon. I took a pre-meeting interview with the director and liked what I was hearing. I put in an application, but after some reflection I withdrew it before my interview. I felt that having only been in my current position just over a year I owed it to them to stick it out through the busy season. Plus, this new job was the same grade, so I figured what would I gain by a lateral move right at the holidays when I was in the midst of renovating and buying the house.

Live and learn, as they say. Apparently, as I found out today, grades mean nothing when it comes to pay rates (why, oh why, do they have them then?). This job, that I declined an interview for, the job which I was sought out for, would have easily been a $10,000 to $15,000 increase from my current salary.

Hearing that tidbit this morning put me in a bit of a funk. I know there's nothing to be done now, spilled milk and all, so hopefully the next time an opportunity presents itself, I will be more ambitious. How in the heck was I supposed to know though? Really?

Thursday, January 25, 2007

As Promised

In last night's post, I mentioned that I would explain why my feet were extra cold when I got home from class. Twas because of my Flat! Tire!

I had decided to park in a different lot, hoping it would get me closer to the building my class is held in. As I hurried away from my car, arms full of books, I heard a distinct and unmistakable sound. The object which had impaled my tire was conveniently located at the top for proper examination and to allow a mad rush of air to escape.

Unable to get a hold of my fiance, I went off to class, knowing full well that my tire would be flat as a pancake by the time I returned. I was late to class (ugh) and then excused myself not long into it to talk to him on my cell and explain where my car was and to tell him what time to meet me (since I was in possession of the only keys to my vehicle).

When I got back to my car, he had already removed the flat and promptly made quick work of installing the donut in its place. Then I had the experience of driving on a donut for the first time all the way home. It actually didn't feel that different, but it still made me nervous. He followed me home and then took my flat off to the gas station where he patched and filled it.

It seems to be holding air and got me to work this morning. Hopefully, it will continue to be secure, so I can avoid buying a new tire. Maybe I'll go check it during lunch, so if there's a problem I can call for help before I get out of work.

And if you're thinking I should've just changed my own damn tire, why? Having him do it makes us both happy. He gets to be the hero, and I get to not have to put forth the effort and to stay clean and relatively warm. Win, win.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

It's not Friday, but they're feet!

These are a pair of snuggly slipper-feet that had been my grammy's. My feet were especially chilly after getting home from class tonight (more on that tomorrow), so I decided tonight would be a good night to try out the cute slipper-socks.

And to kill two birds with one stone, please also admire my new carpet.

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Snack Break Bullets

  • This blueberry muffin from the vending machine doesn't taste good enough to have cost me $1.00. And I can practically taste the bad things in it, even if there's no trans fat (apparently the newest public enemy number 1).

  • We are having "crunch time" at work where we are all supposed to be busting our humps on one specific thing, setting aside the work that we all normally do. Fun times. Hours for the next week only have been extended to 48.

  • I was depressed to see yet another sign for a coming soon housing development. Whee! More McMansions! Fantastic. Who the hell can afford them? And why are they living here, where the economy sucks ass? That makes two of these future developments along my route to work. My route that has continually lost farm fields and woodlands in the 25 plus years we've been travelling it regularly. There was some talk of protecting the farmlands along part of it, but so far I can't say that I'm impressed with the results. Maybe it hasn't taken effect yet, in which case, they better get hopping or there won't be any corn or soybeans to preserve.

  • Damn, my muffin is gone. Does that mean I have to get back to work now?
  • Monday, January 22, 2007

    La Botte

    My class meets for the second time tonight. I feel more prepared, but that makes sense. Who ever feels prepared on the first day, really? It didn't help that they'd changed the room and I had to race across campus to a different building, arriving late and red-faced. Unfortunately, the new (and permanent) location is not near any good parking lots. Oh well, c'est la vie.

    I picked up my textbook and workbook on Saturday after work. The whole textbook industry is such a racket. Why do they have to be so expensive? Is it copyright issues? I did sell back my two books from last semester for a whopping $30.

    I managed to resist buying a pair of Uggs, too. How, you ask, is this related to a post on my French class? Especially since the boots in question are quite ugly? Because I felt so out of place being practically the only female not wearing a pair in the sea of 19 year old girls. How do they afford them? I happened to check on-line, and they can run $150-$200. I guess I'll have to keep wearing my snowmocs and being un-cool. It's hard being so easily influenced when it comes to fashion.

    Sunday, January 21, 2007

    When the going gets cold

    Every winter I find myself thinking of warmer days, usually of the years I lived in Florida.

    I love the heat. I would take hot and sweaty, wearing as little as possible over painfully cold and bundled in layers any day. I live in perpetual fear of the electric bill, and it is not always convenient to be buried beneath a goose down comforter. Cooking and showering, for instance, are not well-executed while so arranged.

    I abhor winter with every cell in my body. I simply can not find one single redeeming characteristic.

    So I will present warmer memories instead, both taken during a visit from my mom in May of 2000.

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    This one taken by Mom during our visit to St. Augustine, one of my favorite Florida places.

    Maybe next time I'm feeling unbearably cold I'll pull out some pictures from my trips to Key West. Or New Orleans in August. Those sure were some hot times.

    Hope you're warm and cozy where ever you are. Or that you like this blasted thing called winter.

    Friday, January 19, 2007


    The house really does exist. In case you were starting to think I made the whole thing up. Nope. It's just that I don't seem to have any luck taking indoor, here's-this-room pictures. Having said that, here's the bathroom. Sorry about the weird reflection thing on the left.

    It's not done. I still need to paint the trim, buy and hang a towel bar, and get the handle put on the vanity door. But it's new, clean, and I picked out the elements that make it the room that it is. And that feels pretty damn good.
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    Thursday, January 18, 2007

    Family Tradition

    My grandfather was a brilliant man. He was knowledgeable on many subjects, and was particularly interested in foreign languages. He started teaching my sister and me to speak French at a very early age, writing the words out phonetically in a small spiral 3-ring notebook.

    Both of my grandparents would sprinkle into conversation the occasional word or phrase of whatever language they felt was appropriate: French, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, German, you name it, you might have heard it.

    They travelled Europe fairly extensively after retiring, bringing us girls back small goodies. We would meet them at the airport back in the days when folks still dressed up to travel. Skirts and ties and smiles all around.

    It is with Grandpa in mind especially that I chose the class I am taking this semester: French II. I haven't taken francais since high school, when I excelled at it. It was my favorite subject through the years. But Madame G would be sorely disappointed to discover how little I've retained.

    I managed to place into French II by virtue of an on-line exam, but after the first class last night I wonder if that was such a good idea. Verb conjugation may be the sticking point.

    But last night in class I could hear Grandpa singing opera and quoting Shakespeare and Grandma's cheerful voice calling from the kitchen.

    Sunday, January 14, 2007

    Freezing Rain

    When I took the dogs out this morning, I discovered several periwinkle blossoms near the mailbox. The cars and sidewalk were already covered with a slick sheet of ice. The flowers were a bright spot on a grey morning.

    Back inside where it's dry and more or less warm, it's time for English Breakfast tea and blogs.
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    Saturday, January 13, 2007


    At my place of employ, we are limited to very strict 37 and 1/2 hour work weeks. But once a year, during "busy season," they extend our hours. So here I am on a Saturday morning, plugged into my computer, trying to earn a little extra money to help with all the home improvements I've been doing.

    On that subject, I managed to get the ceiling of the bathroom primed. And that's it. Ugh.

    At least there will be free pizza for lunch. Of course, they usually order that wretched sheet pizza with the thick crust. I like my pizza thin and greasy.

    Wednesday, January 10, 2007

    Why Didn't I Think of This Before?

    Ever since the day I started Under the Tuscan Sun, by Frances Mayes, I have been a devoted armchair traveller. I have devoured many more books in the travel narrative genre since then. I've received most as gifts, but I've bought plenty on my own. I have even been using Frances Mayes' engagement calenders for years. It makes such a charming addition to my desktop.

    Quite some time ago, I was browsing through Phantom Scribbler's blogroll, looking for new blogs to read. I happened up The Xpat Files where I've been happily lurking. Today I scanned her links and one caught my eye, Dispatches from France. And with that, a whole new world open before my very eyes.

    Now I can have travel narratives available at my fingertips and with constant updates. What could be better?

    Boring Bullets

    I've been boring myself with this blog of late, so I can only imagine how you all feel. That said, bullets are about all I can come up with today:

  • D has finished his portion of the bathroom. Now I get to prime and paint the walls, ceiling, and brand new trim. Then I can buy a new medecine cabinet to cover the gaping, dust-filled hole into the insulation.

  • Paulie does not like the snow. In the last 15 hours he has peed and pooed on the brand new carpet. Can you see the steam coming out of my ears?

  • It took me 45 minutes to get to work this morning. That does not count the time it took me to clean off the car. Apparently, winter has decided to make an appearance. Why again did I move 10 minutes farther away from work (on a good day)?

  • I've been having cinnamon toast for breakfast of late (soft-sided Italian with cinnamon and sugar sprinkled liberally over the melted butter), but it doesn't "stick to my ribs" and keep me full for more than a couple hours. So last night at Weggies, I picked up a loaf of their Marathon Energy Bread. It has sunflower, sesame, and flax seeds among other crunchy bits. The thing that threw me was what appeared to be little hunks of carrots. It's not that I mind necessarily, but it seems like that would be something they should warn you about on the label, no?

  • I know I shouldn't own up to this but I am so desperate to have the cable hooked up. If, for some reason, this snow prevents the cable guy from showing up tonight, I will be very upset. And it's not just the Internets I miss. Three nights without Law & Order was more than enough.

  • I did my first load of laundry at the new house last night. A washer! And dryer! Oh my!

  • Oh yeah. Guess where all my boots are? And the snowblower? Yup, that's right. The old house. Perfect. And we are supposed to get another five to ten inches today.
  • Monday, January 08, 2007

    First Night

    We spent our first night in the new house last night. By that I mean we slept for a few measly hours before that darn alarm clock went off. I'm so exhausted I can't see how I will be able to do anything productive tonight. Like clean out the kitchen cabinets, unpack, move more stuff from the old house, or paint. All I want to do is sleep.

    Or to be honest, I want to snuggle with my down comforter on the couch and watch reruns of SVU. No cable though. So much for that idea.

    But it was so nice to shower in my brand new shiny white bathtub this morning. And not to have to turn sideways to fit around the bed in the dark. And to be able to walk around in my sock feet.

    I can't wait to set up my computer and organize my "office" and put books on the shelves and... and ...

    Sunday, January 07, 2007

    And We Have Lift Off!



    If the weather holds. Which doesn't look promising. Gray skies...

    Anyway, we are planning on moving some of the big furniture items from the old house to the new today (i.e. TV stand, computer desk, dishwasher, coffee table). Ideally, we hope to spend the night there tonight. Although the bathroom has not been painted yet, the shower has been finished and the vanity has been installed.

    I've also finished painting all but the trim and the closet in the smallest bedroom. The dumpster finally showed up and the basement has been all but emptied. Everyone feels better about us living there now that the majority of the mold, mildew, and dust has been removed. I'm still leaning towards sloshing bleach over everything on that level though.

    The cable will be hooked up on Wednesday, so this could be my last post from the old house. Keep your fingers crossed.

    Wednesday, January 03, 2007

    Wednesday Whining

    Why does it take more than a week to pick up a full dumpster and bring it back empty? We are going on a week and half now and no dumpster. Hello? Anybody out there? We have a huge pile of junk just waiting for a receptacle.

    And speaking of waiting, why oh why did I bust my ass painting just so I could sit around looking at a virtually done house? If it weren't for that damn bathroom, we could move in.

    Couch. Check.
    Kitchen table. Check.
    Bed. Check.
    Working fridge. Check.
    Almost clean oven. Check.
    Toilet. Check.
    Bathtub drain. Uh no. Crap.

    We make do without a vanity in the bathroom, but we can't live without a shower.

    (Anti-whine: The forecasted highs are in the 50s. That's the kind of January I can almost deal with.)