Thursday, December 31, 2009

The last decade and what this year has in store...

One of my friends posted about things she did in the last decade and I love that idea so here goes. In the last decade, I:

- Graduated high school
- Went to college
- Said goodbye to my high school job and entered the world of careers
- Worked at 3 different companies doing graphic design type stuff
- Worked at one company doing administrative stuff
- Volunteered at an aquarium
- Freelanced
- Painted on Friday nights in a restaurant for entertainment
- Sold lots of things I've made
- Dated a shmuck for 5 years
- Met some great people
- Met my awesome husband
- Got married to my husband and have been with him (date time and married time) for almost four years
- Lost a wonderful dog to cancer
- Bought a wonderful dog from Craigslist
- Almost lost my dad to cancer
- Had a child
- Weighed 200 lbs (thanks to pregnancy)
- Lost 45 lbs in 6 months (thanks to having a baby)
- Realized as long as I never weigh 200 lbs again I will be content with my weight
- Realized I can live with stretch marks and I could care less about all of them striping my skin when I wear a bikini
- Realize that significant loss of bladder functionality is worse than stretch marks or weight gain
- Never experienced more pain in my life than when I was pregnant
- Moved out of the house I grew up in and lived in one apartment and one rental home
- Bought a truck and gave it to my dad
- Financed a Jeep that was new and always having recalls and never working right and turned it in
- Still owe money on it (grr) because the price it was sold for was way less than what my loan was
- Lived without a car for a year and a half
- Walked anywhere I needed to go within a 3 mile radius
- Bought a 1976 Oldsmobile for $500 and it's been the most dependable car I've had yet
- Went through two sewing machines
- Baked more pies than I can remember
- Won two state fair apple pie contests
- Visited some really amazing places that aren't the typical dream vacation getaways
- Traveled to a handful of ghost towns
- Dyed my hair shades of red, orange, pink, yellow, blue but not green or purple and I have no idea why I haven't
- Went to a water park for the first time and had a LOT of fun
- Learned to shoot and clean guns
- Bought several guns
- Took a CCW course that changed the way I will forever look at life and think about personal safety as well as safety for those around me
- Got myself into a debt bind when I was fresh out of high school
- Took almost 9 years to get my debts paid down significantly
- Will never want to have unnecessary credit cards or debts again; pay for things in cash or don't get them at all
- Learned of the Mayan Calendar and got all freaked out that the end of the world would be coming until I learned that the end of their calendar is like the end of ours and it'll just be the start of a new cycle.

On that note, let's get some resolutions!
- Cut back on soda to no more than 1 can (12 oz) a day
- Pay off more debts
- Finish book and publish it live
- Maybe try to lose a little more weight or at least tone or get healthier
- Try to go for a walk at least twice a week
- Go to church more often or more regularly
- Get Charlie baptized

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Morningish

Last night it started snowing a little. I woke up to see more of the dreaded white stuff outside. I feel like it's been around forever. I mean, it fell December 6th and has lingered around for a month. Just as it starts to melt, new snow shows up. I can't remember there being this much prolonged snow since we moved to Reno. I'm indifferent, I guess. Sometimes I love it, other times I hate it.

I got my proof for Coyote back yesterday. I spent most of the night going over it and I think I'll have it edited and ready to make changes by the end of the week. Something like that. It looks nice.

I realized yesterday that I've been on a PC for far too long. It's weird getting back into using Mac shortcut keys but it happens. It just weird. I've also realized how much I find Quark annoying. I mean, I never liked it after InDesign came out but I especially don't like it anymore. The strange thing is this town seems to be married to it. I remember RPA used to use it like back in the day when I started working there, but they probably also transitioned to InDesign quickly after because I can't really see any practical use for Quark in the world anymore after Adobe developed a better product. It's not completely obsolete, it functions, but InDesign does so much more. Plus all the shortcut keys for Quark are totally different from InDesigns. Blah. Oh well, right? It'll just take me a day or two to readjust.

Last night I made a meatloaf. It was really good and I'm glad I did that because it's cold! It's still cold. I swear I feel like I can't get warm enough sometimes! On that note, I'm going to get ready for work.

Friday, December 25, 2009

The most annoying toy EVER!!!

My sister has this criteria whenever she looks for toys for Charlie. They need to be really loud and obnoxious and if they are fuzzy, light up, or do anything crazy, even better. So for Christmas, she gets him this car. It's green and looks like a souped up Honda or something and plays that 90's dance song you all ready for this da-da-da duh-duh duh-duh. You know, the one that always plays at like every sporting event known to man? Anyway, he was obsessed with it long before he opened it because the package made music when I went to put it up and we were all like, "Um... what the---???" So last night, we let him open it first. Big mistake. He could care less about anything that followed. Mr. Potatohead sucked. Pet dinosaur sucked. Tool bench was ok. Plex keytar was cool. And you can forget about clothes and books because those made no sounds at all. Last night we had to hide it from him just to get to sleep. This morning, he found it. Jesse was watching tv on the couch and we hear "you all ready for this? da-da-da duh-duh duh-duh" and Jesse just mutters some cursing and asks, "How'd he find that!?" I guess he is drawn to it somehow and can find it anywhere. Who knows. Anyway, it gets on my nerve. I think Jesse absolutely hates it and if it weren't for the fact Charlie loves it so much, would probably bury it deep in the back yard or shoot it.




Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Despite A Bad Economy, 2009 Was A Wonderful Year

2009 was a bad year for the economy. More people were losing jobs and the unemployment rates skyrocketed. I was still unemployed but instead of worrying about how we would make ends meet, I pretty much left that in God's hands and I think he did a great job taking care of our family this year. I got news yesterday that I will be starting a new temp job on Monday.

This totally goes along with my silly theory that I always start jobs around holidays (4th of July, Halloween, Christmas is Friday and the day I start is my Dad's birthday...) I know it's a funny theory, but it's never let me down. I'm truly grateful that this happened, though. Charlie will be 19 months old when he starts daycare. I am happy that we were able to spend the first year and a half of his life together having Mommy and Charlie time. I was able to provide him with all he needed to grow and become healthy including breastfeeding him till he decided he was done with it at almost a year, making him his baby foods from scratch and not dealing with strange additives or preservatives or food allergies, cloth diapering him saving hundreds of dollars in diapers (although he will need to go to disposables when he starts daycare.) Plus we had lots of fantastic play dates, made lots of great friends (both him and me), and we always found something interesting to do in town that ranged from free to cheap like going to fairs, parades, the Lavender Festival, pug meet ups, parks, and so many other things. Anyway, I just feel like He had a plan for our family that included me being able to raise our son and Jesse being able to explore new opportunities.

There is a very great chance he will be deploying to Iraq for a contract job as an armorer for a private company that has a government contract supplying guns to the military. Anyway, while there's that whole issue of danger and the sadness of him being gone, it is a chance for him to do something he loves that will have such a huge positive impact for us financially. He has a few more things to do and after that, to my understanding, he goes into the rotation for deployment.

Aside from financial blessings, we had a lot of strange winnings. In June, Charlie, Lulu and I participated in the NV Humane Society's fun walk fund raiser. We won second place in the pet look-alike contest and Lulu received a goodie bag full of pug dog treats and toys along with a fun ribbon. Then, I won one of the three grand prize packages of a getaway to Lake Tahoe with a hotel stay and show. Jesse and I finally went on Sunday and came home yesterday. It was truly beautiful. Our room had a lovely view of the lake, the strip and the parking garage (where most people would probably scoff, but we could see the Oldsmobile so it was a treat!) The drive out there was gorgeous and on our way home, it started to drizzle and we saw a huge rainbow that peeked out from the clouds overhead and reached down to the farmlands where cows looked confused at the strange colors touching the ground around them. It was so huge and amazing and the children in us both questioned whether there was a pot of gold at the end. I said if there was, the cows had dibs on it! The most amazing thing, though, was driving under it, as it arced over the highway and followed us to Reno. While Tahoe was a splendid time all in all, I still am more moved by the rainbow.

Other prizes of the year included another award winning pie at the NV State Fair. I got second place again for my Upside Down Dutch Apple Pie. I joked with my mom that after two consecutive years of second place pies, I believe I will be retiring from the pie circuit. I like the idea of leaving while I'm on top and not getting greedy. Next year we'll go to the fair, it'll just be for rides and the animals. I love the fair!

For Halloween, Lulu won second place at Petco's Howl-a-ween costume contest with her Grandma costume. Charlie dressed up as the Little Bad Wolf and I was Big Red Riding Hood. They looked so cute together! Lulu was such a proud little pug with her prize. I felt really happy, too, because I made both their costumes. The funny thing was that my mom made my Red Riding Hood cape when I was little and it still fits, it just doesn't go to my knees, now it comes to my butt.

Speaking of Halloween, Charlie did his first ever trick-or-treating. We went out when it was dark with some of his friends. He absolutely loved it. I will never forget his excitement and smile he had as he ran from door to door holding my hand and how his voice bounced going ah-ah-ah-ah-ah from each step he took. He loved it. And I know next year is going to be even more fun for him.

Charlie loves holidays in general. Easter was fun for him. He loved all the candies he got as well as playing with the plastic eggs.

Charlie got a new room for his birthday. Around the time he turned one, we managed to go to LA for his birthday and celebrate with family and friends, and when we returned, we were rapping up moving into the rental house. He no longer had to sleep in the living room in his crib. Part of this new room included a new big man bed.

While there have been issues with the house in the past, everything is coming along nicely now and getting to a better place with landlords and things of the sort. We grew a lovely garden this summer and I look forward to doing it again next summer.

We have been fortunate enough to have visited friends and family as well as have them visit us. We've been able to do lots of great things and all without breaking the bank. So, in a strange way, 2009 was actually a wonderful year for us.

In conclusion, I say if you can afford to give to a charity, do so. If you can spare time to volunteer, do so. If you can offer advice or lend a hand, do so. There is no right or wrong way when it comes to helping. Everything in life is appreciated. Don't stress things you have no control over. Enjoy the little things. And it's never wrong to count your blessings. On that note, I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas this Friday and a Happy New Year. Happy Hannukah to those who celebrated it. Happy holidays to everyone and may 2010 bring you great joy, happiness, and hopefully the economy gets better so that those who need work get it, and those who have it get raises they might not have got and deserve. Cheers!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Groceries

I tend to over analyze things, but it has come to my attention that the purchasing of butter and margarine is a highly personal task. I've noticed that I tend to like certain types of margarine over others and it's so weird. My friend cleaned out her fridge and gave me some of her foods she wasn't going to need and I wound up with a tub of Country Crock. Whenever Jesse gets margarine, he buys Blue Bonnet. At my parents house, we always used Nucoa. I have found I am a fan of Imperial. It's so weird. What makes people choose the butter or margarine they choose? I understand if you bake it's best use an unsalted butter, but for daily cooking, I really do enjoy Imperial. It seems to have a nice consistency and makes for a good spread. I guess I just had to get that out.

On a totally unrelated note, I am absolutely in love with driving in the snow. I think I no longer fear the unknown as I have driven a few times since it fell, with and without chains, and well, to best sum how I feel, I will quote Ashtray's dad in Don't Be a Menace when he talks to his son about drinking and driving, "Hoooooooo!!! That shit is FUN!!!" I totally feel like I'm driving in a demolition derby or something because I got my Oldsie and I'm sliding around the streets. OK, so I don't slide around but one can dream.

Musings

Complaints against the world.

1. I hate how everyone claims to be some sort of specialist. You got the wine geeks, the art geeks, you go to Best Buy and they have the phone specialists. Really? I mean, they're like TMCC drop outs that work there! You're telling me they know everything there is to know about cell phones? If I were to bring in a 1984 Zak Morris cell phone, they'd be able to configure it to a blue tooth device so I can talk and drive at the same time?

2. Don't get me started on cell phone etiquette. People need to learn to break free of the electronic leash once in a while. It's pretty bad when they need to announce before a movie or before church to turn your phones off. Of course, I totally made the mistake of thinking I turned my phone off once and had it go off during an Ash Wednesday mass when Jesse called. My ring tone was a Judas Priest song. But yea, it's just rude to not be able to distinguish when it's appropriate to use your phone or not. I mean, if you're out with one person, there's no need to text someone else the whole time.

3. So many people have this totally diluted sense of self importance. They totally feel the need to constantly tell the world what they're doing. None of your 700 Facebook care that you just bought a beer or that you're gonna go to the can (guilty as charged!) Really, they don't care. But I guess this all just goes back to people trying to make themselves more important than they really are and somehow they're a specialist of some sort of bs thing. People can never just do something, they have to be part of a movement.

I give up. The world is totally screwed.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Life Goals & Death Wishes (2009 Year-End Edition)

Life Goals (in no particular order)
Items in bold have been done.

1. Travel outside of the US somewhere.
2. Own a home.
3. Be completely debt free.
4. Be a scout leader/assistant leader.
5. Publish a novel/collection of short stories.
6. Show art in a public venue.
7. Own a car that isn't falling apart or needing repairs constantly.
8. Visit Stingray City.
9. Go camping in the woods.
10. Catch a really big fish.
11. Live for a brief period in the Southwest.
12. Visit New Mexico.
13. Visit Arizona.
14. Visit Texas
15. Get Married.
16. Have a child.
17. Bake an award winning pie.
18. Shoot my own turkey for Thanksgiving.
19. Contemplate life from a mountain top.
20. Hug a cactus.
21. Buy a gun.
22. Own an old car.
23. Play in snow.
24. Visit Maine.
25. Visit Salem, MA.
26. Go to a ghost town.


Death Wishes (In no particular order)

All of my belongings are to go to my husband, Jesse. If he is not alive, then they will go to my son, Charles. If they are not alive, then it will be left to be distributed evenly amongst family and let them deal with it. This goes for any property I may own and finances. I wish to be cremated and kept in an urn with my husband and son. If my husband or son is dead and buried, I wish to be buried by them. I do not want an open casket funeral. I would like a Catholic mass funeral with cremation or burial depending on situations.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Drafts

Jesse has this pet peeve of getting annoyed that I have so many tabs open at a time. Sorry, that's why they invented tabs, Jesse, so you can look at several things at a time. Anyway, I was going through blogovizing and working on some drafts of things and I told Jesse, "If you're annoyed at how I have ten million tabs open at once, you'd hate seeing what my blog looks like!"

But that's totally a good thing, though. For me, I keep drafts open as projects I'm working on that I don't want published quiet yet. On that note, I have a bunch of unfinished projects. Technically I have three rough drafts although I'm probably going to scrap two of them. But I have three more great ideas, one kinda was born as part of the draft I'm keeping, the other was inspired by the age old question "what do you do if you find a case of money" and the last is based off a personal fear/concern I have.

All this will center around Reno.

The end.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Short Stories

I enjoy writing but I'm by no means a writer. Fortunately, thanks to places like www.lulu.com, people who enjoy little things can take those things to make a bigger thing. Basically the site is a self-publishing site. I've always taken an interest in writing short stories. It's something I've done for as long as I could remember and I feel like maybe it's a good idea to do something with them. So what exactly do I write about? Well, a lot of random stuff. However I notice I tend to draw fascination with characters who are a little quirky. Butchers. Hit men. Waitresses. Housewives. Vigilantes. I like introverts who struggle with who they are as people and their place in society. I like the moment they find someone who is so different yet so similar to them. I like twisted relationships that don't quite make sense yet make perfect sense. I love child like grown ups and sophisticated children. I like bad guys who have a heart and conscience and good guys who realize they are capable of doing evil and feel ok with it. I love people who go out and get revenge on others simply because they hold a grudge. I like people who realize they are more resourceful when placed in predicaments that force them to be creative. I also like people whose stories connect indirectly. Anyway, I think whatever I may have to offer might be fun for some of you out there. Probably more geared towards chicks, but most people I know who read a lot are chicks, so there you go!

Self Interview To Help Explain The Creative Inspiration

The following interview takes place on a desktop computer as the logical thinking side of my brain tries to pick at my creative side in an attempt of processing and help explaining the creative inspiration.


Logical Side:
So, I understand you've been on a creative stint lately.

Creative Side: Yes. I've been feeling especially creative lately but I just don't know where to start. Being at home for so long has been building ideas in my head and it just feels so overwhelmed with creative juices like it's going to erupt; like some sort of creative volcano. Some of my ideas involve money, others just involve time and lack of interruption. Urgh! Those always suck because I find myself never having much of either. Oh well. 'Tis the nature of the beast I suppose, right? I guess at this point I've been writing a lot. It's the only thing I can do that doesn't cost and comes naturally.

LS: So what are you doing now?

CS: Right now, I just finished a few rough drafts. I had two that kinda tied in together and one that is a total rewrite of the main part of the first one.

LS: Exactly what do you mean by that?

CS: ::drinks tea:: Well, I had this one idea for a story and I wrote it. But then it didn't seem quite right because it seemed like some parts could use a little more explanation and instead of going into detail in those parts and getting super wordy, I just decided to create a whole other story to explain the back story. They kinda stand out on their own as individual short stories, but if you read them together, it starts to form a novel. I didn't want to leave the original story hanging with this questionable ending. I mean, I suppose it could work either way. Maybe I'm making a mistake by making it longer than it should be? But yeah, it was supposed to be a few collections of random short stories that maybe had connecting themes, but then I thought it would be kinda fun to have these little stories that held up on their own as a short story but tied into each other so if you read it chronologically, you would wind up with a novel. I guess I just don't have the patience to sit and consicely write a novel or read one for that matter. I'm notoriously lazy when it comes to reading yet I'm selfish in the sense I totally want others to hear what I have to say. You know, like someone who talks too much and doesn't shut up when you're trying to have a conversation.

LS: So instead you're trying to break the conversation up?

CS: I guess I just need a drink or two in between stories so I can shut up and hear what someone else has to say. ::hahahah awkward laugh:: You know, have you ever been in that situation? You go out with friends and suddenly realize you've been talking about yourself for way too long so like you just stop what you're doing and become so involved in your drink and listening to someone else just to level the playing field? Sometimes you just sit there wondering what the hell they're going on about but you listen anyway hoping to find a way to turn their story back to you even if it has nothing to do with you at all? God, I totally sound shallow right now, don't I?

LS: Completely. So do any of your stories have common themes since you said they're all connected?

CS: Kinda. I'm a fan of introverts. Bad decision making. Self realization and awareness. Awkward moments. Nothing your average person hasn't dealt with at some point in life or another. I love characters who are just awkward with insecurities. I guess we never really grow out of our insecurities.

LS: Probably not. Would you care to elaborate?

CS: Well, ok, I think most people can agree they have had a period in life where they were awkward and didn't feel comfortable in the world. I think for me jr. high was pretty crappy. High school sucked too to an extent but jr. high was the worst. When I was young and going through an awkward phase, though, I used to write letters to people who weren't from this lifetime or that I had even known just for the fact of feeling like I was reaching out to someone. I threw them all away but some of the things were pretty silly normal teenager stuff. You know, stuff like, "gee, how come guys don't like me" or whatever. Just stupid stuff. But the thing is, when you're young and awkward, even when you grow into your confidence, that awkwardness is still there with you and it follows you for life. It kinda makes you who you are and you will always be defined by that. Only difference is when you become an adult, they call it quirkiness and somehow it becomes socially acceptable, especially when alcohol is involved! ::hahaha::

LS: I see. So how are your people awkward?

CS: I wouldn't say they're completely socially inept but they definitely have issues. I'm a big fan of domestic violence. I think it makes for great fiction. For me, it doesn't get any better than a weak woman who consciously chooses to stay in a bad situation and when they have an opportunity to leave, they choose to stay. I think that is rich. Yet so many women are like that. They are defined by their husbands and fear that if they leave, they are nothing. But then there's a moment of self realization in which someone, and I say someone because without being mean, usually these women stay around too long and don't realize they're in a bad situation because they are blinded by a pseudo love or fear, and someone makes them realize that and they say, "Hey I think it's time to go." So for me, the whole insecure abused woman theme is almost always present; a woman who is in some form of abusive relationship, whether it be physical, mental, or just that feeling of isolation and loneliness and lack of love. Which, come to think of it, I have to correct myself in saying I have been in the latter half. I dealt with a relationship for 5 years in which I was pretty much belittled and in a relationship to speak of but emotionally wasn't there and I guess I could say I'd probably rather be beaten because at least that would make more sense. :::hahah nervous laugh:::: drinks tea::: But then there's a lot of other things like grudges and revenge. I love a good grudge and I love great revenge. I think it's amazing how the human species can hold grudges. I mean, you kinda see stuff like that in the animal kingdom but revenge, that's all man. It's awesome. I love having bad guys with a conscience. I think I've grown out of the whole bad for bad sake thing. I think when you put someone in that situation, it just makes them some sorta sociopath. When you have someone kill someone for a justifiable reason, or they show compassion towards their victims, it kinda makes you like that person a little more. I've always been a fan of the bad guy. I've always wanted to know more about him. What makes him tick. Does he care about anyone or is he just some vacant evil being. I think when you make the bad guy human and not some super killer, it makes them more likable and more real. I'm the type of person who watches a movie where the bad guy gets hurt or something and you want to give him a hug and say, "It's alright, let me help you." :::nervous laugh::: I guess I always find them more interesting than some stuffy hero who saves the day. Do you ever notice how they're always a little cocky? I hate cockiness. In heroes anyway. I'm totally ok with a bad guy who is a little cocky when you meet him but then softens up a little later on. I love me some villains!

LS: Let me guess. You like the bad guys? So with this fascination with bad guys, what are their roles?

CS: I like them as my protagonists. I think they make far interesting characters and you can play more with their psychological depths and make them cruel yet likable. I like to give them a sense of morals and ethics, I think he's a little more compassionate towards others and how he treats them. Like, people who get killed, he likes to do it quickly so he doesn't grow attached because there's that possibility that if he gets to like someone, he won't be able to kill them. I like this guy, though. He's likable and compassionate but without being a total wuss. And I think he even provides a little bit of black comedy at times.

LS: So who is the real villain if your bad guy is your protagonist?

CS: Who do you think? I believe all signs point to the abusive husband. He's really a key point in everything. Without him, there's really no plot. The guy is a jerk. Everything kinda revolves around him in his world and he totally will step on anyone to save his ass, including his wife. He's just a scumbag and you don't feel bad for him at all. At least I hope you don't.

LS: There really are only three main characters. What about the supporting characters?

CS: It's funny because the only other characters I can think of off hand right now is just the whore. Her role kinda re-instates the whole issues of betrayal towards the wife and how the wife is kinda a doormat sometimes and people can walk all over her. I mean, you have a woman who is not only sleeping with her husband, but also getting paid to do it and it's like dually insulting to the wife, yet the wife feels sorry for her because she's a single mom going to school. But then, she's kinda a little more than just that because she's also a reinforcing wake up call that the husband has a problem and she has no emotional attachment to him, he's just paying her bills. But yeah, that just goes back to the whole insulting thing, though.

LS: So is this a town thing?

CS: Kinda. I wasn't too sure about a location at first, but now I'm totally feeling Reno. But I like small towns. I grew up in a big town. Everyone was just a nameless face in a crowd. When I moved to Reno, I kinda got this small town vibe from here. I think most people out here feel this town is kinda big. Not as big as the valley was but it's big enough. But yeah, if there's two things I've learned I love in my life of limited traveling it's small towns and deserts. Give me a small desert town and I'm a happy camper. :::hahah::: Really though, I don't think I could ever live in a small town unless I was going to snap and go on some sort of over the top dramatic rampage. Although I sometimes joke that I want to die in old town Albuquerque. That's a beautifully depressing place. It feels kinda like you're in a dream state somewhere between life and death. It's remarkably bleak. I think it actually makes a nice backdrop for some stories. I think I might use it one day for a Paddington Ramirez story of some sort.

LS: Oh no, not Paddington Ramirez.

CS: Oh, yes. :::a shared hahahaha with LS::: I loved blogging as him but I think it kinda got old after a while, but I think if I went a little more in depth with things it could be kinda fun. Or just do it a diary style. The Diary of Paddington Ramirez. Ha! But really, I think that's about all for now. I'd like to do a collection of stories in the desert. Not sure where yet. I'm thinking Arizona or New Mexico. Or even Reno. It's still technically a desert and it is a lovely backdrop.

LS: Well, if that's it, thank you for your time and your insight. Good luck with things.

CS: Not a problem. Thanks!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Big Trouble In Little Reno

Today we had the adventure of going to the ER. This story actually starts last night. Jesse got home from a crappy hectic day at work. Then he had to remove some slugs that were lodged in a barrel of a gun. Then he cleaned the shotgun and cleaned up his mess.

This morning was super windy. I saw that the wind knocked the table in my backyard over and into my old veggie garden. Chairs were all over the back yard. I fixed that and put the chairs back. It was such a crazy morning. About an hour later, I went to look in the fridge to see what I could make for lunch. I was glad to see my table was still standing on the patio. As I was going into the fridge, Grubby Little Fingers comes into the laundry room. He was puttering about with Lulu and I told them to back up so I could get into the fridge. As I look in the freezer to see if there's anything else, I hear puttering around my feet and then screaming bloody murder. I figure Charlie is just being a butt from growing or something as he's been doing lately and do a double take and realize that he has some sort of liquid on his face. I was thinking maybe something in the freezer dripped on him and the cold spooked him. Then I see it. An open container dripping cleaning oil in Charlie's hand.

Without thinking, I run him into the kitchen and run some warm water and try to rinse the majority of whatever is on him off his face and hands. He's screaming at me and hating life so I book it to the shower and dump him in there and strip his clothes and mine simultaneously while rinsing him. I hold him under the shower and pour cups of water over his face. He's pretty angry now and his crying has gone from scared to mad. He now is trying to bat the water away from him and I'm wondering if it irritates him more or if it's been taken care of [rinsing the oil out] and he's fine and just annoyed by me now. I dry him off and watch how he is to see if his eyes are watery or red or if he has any burn or rash marks. He looks fine with the exception of his eyes which are all puffy and red but he's also rubbing at them. He's also trying to watch tv too and tries to wriggle out of the towel and off my lap so he can go to the tv. At this point, I'm thinking whatever happened isn't too bad, but it's probably a good idea to take him in to get looked at. So I have to take him to the ER.


Just as I'm leaving, I see Jesse and tell him briefly what happened and leave. When we get to the ER, Charlie is pretty much back to his happy troublesome self. I see the triage nurse and they check Charlie out and all is fine but they admit us relatively quickly because I have a toddler with "acute chemical exposure". They make it sound worse than it is. And of course I feel like everyone is looking at me like it's worse than it is because of the circumstances that it's not bad enough that it's a cleaning oil but that it's a gun oil. An oil that usually is in a secured place and only got left out because of a stressful day and was so small and tiny that no one noticed it was forgotten to be put back. Of course Charlie is totally happy and trying to steal the medical equipment and break things. I guess my son was my only redeeming factor in the sense he was right in front of two adults and still trying to get in trouble.


So we get to a room and Charlie thinks he's on vacation or something at a resort spa. He's getting all this attention from strangers, food, milk, snacks, juice, tv, a bed. He has no clue what's going on and is just giggling and smiling and trying to break things and grab everything in sight. Anyway, after a thorough check up and list of chemicals in the oil, they say Charlie is ok. Even when he got in they said he seemed ok and asked if he was vomiting or anything weird and he wasn't. I said because I have no sense of smell I have no idea how much stuff he got into plus I rinsed him off right away and to be honest, I wasn't in the mood to play guessing games as to did he eat anything, did he not? This was one of those circumstances where I figured I'd rather go to the doctors and not need to than not go to the doctors and things get progressively worse.


In the end, we went home and all is well and Charlie tried to go back to the laundry room to play and I could have strangled him! My lesson learned today: my son is part goat. Charlie's lesson: get into things you're not supposed to and you get to go to the spa resort vacation place where everyone tickles you and says how cute you are and brings you food and snacks; and that being pampered is hard work and you gotta take a nap.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Revelations

I baked bread today. I made two loaves of white bread. I used some of the buttermilk from Chrissy and it really did a number on enhancing the flavor. I also started my sourdough starter for my Thanksgiving sourdough I'm going to make. I'm not sure at this point if I'm going to do rolls or a loaf. I'm feeling loafy though.

I'm really getting sick of conspiracy theories. I've decided that it's a lot easier to just assume the world is against you and it's going to come to an end. All this hype of the Mayan calendar and 2012 has had me freaking out over the last year, not to mention this stupid cockahooey theory my friend's dad told us about years ago and all the stuff is happening now. It's basically like this: the "predictions" that were discussed are basically things that have been politically ideas over the last few years but the gov't wasn't liberal enough to pull any of it off. And the Mayan calendar is like any other calendar. When it ends, it'll be like our December 31 ending one year and moving on to another. It's just a cycle coming to an end and a new one will begin. The world isn't going to end. There isn't some group of people plotting to destroy people who aren't a part of their secret elite. No one is going to deny you a job because of your age or ethnicity. When it comes down to it all, it's a matter of only the strong survive. You make an effort to get places and when you get to those places, you'll either have the skill set and charisma or you'll just not cut it. It is so much easier to believe lies than it is to open your eyes to the truth. The truth is life is what you make of it and the only person holding you back is yourself. You give stupid ideas power and let them control you or you step up and do something. There's a reason the 7 deadly sins exist and I can easily say there's a handful of people who fit into those categories.

On that note, I started this blog yesterday but didn't quite finish it because I was tired and ready to call it quits for the day. So today, my sourdough starter is looking pretty good and awesome so I'm excited and anticipate some great sourdough. Keeping my fingers crossed.

It's Jesse's birthday today. He's 29 now. At what point did we get so close to 30 and where did those years go? It's funny because I remember we were practically kids when we met. We were only 22 and 23. It feels like only yesterday.

We're finally going to Tahoe. I don't know if I mentioned this yet. Back in May I won this gift certificate for a one night stay and dinner and show at Harveys or Harrah's Lake Tahoe. We've lived in Reno for almost 3 years now and this is finally our first trip out there. We're pretty excited. To make matters even better, my mom will be up the day before we leave so she's going to watch Charlie for us and Lulu and Jesse and I are going to actually have a grown up dinner and date night. I think I might take my fun purple dress to wear out to our dinner and show. I'm so excited and can't wait. We never really had any fancy pants dates when we were dating. We just kinda hung out, went shooting and then Jesse went to school. We moved in together, got married and well, I haven't really got to enjoy the star treatment Jesse's ex's had. One day...

Other than that, I'm waiting to hear about my tube tying and should know by Tuesday or so. No more babies yay!

On that note, my husband is calling from the shower awaiting a fluffy warm towel from the dryer I promised to get him...

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Baby Showers

My friend Raena is having her baby shower tomorrow. Recently when I was rearranging my photo albums I was looking over the pictures from my shower. My sis totally did an awesome job throwing it, but she usually kicks ass at whatever she does even if no one acknowledges her efforts. I totally don't regret waiting to hear from our insurance company if they can snip snip me and Tuesday is the big day I'll know whether or not it's doable. Woo! It sucks that Katrina, Elizabeth, and Alissa weren't at my baby shower and it sucks that Raena and Allyssa couldn't make it. But oh well, past is past. I hope Raena has a good time tomorrow and I wish I could have gone down. Ho hum. It's probably better I didn't because I have a cold and being sick sucks. I should totally go to Truckee Meadows Herbs and see if they have any new fun teas.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

You know whats buuuuuullshit??? (some TMI)

Like my tribute to the Bullshit/Angry Video Game Nerd guy???

I'm not gonna go into too many details but long story short, my gyno thinks I have endometriosis. If you don't know what that is, it's a gross lady-part disorder where your uterine lining grows wrong, usually wrong places or whatever and creates a bruising effect inside causing pain and all sorts of other weird crap. I never put all the signs together. I attributed my abnormally heavy and painful periods as a teen to stress. Then I went on the pill and suddenly it all stopped. Then when I wasn't on the pill, I was pregnant. Obviously, signs of endometriosis aren't present when you're on birth control or pregnant because you're not making uterine lining then because it's in use. During c-section I had this ugly cyst that looked like a giant raspberry removed. Post c-section I hurt and thought it was because I had a c-section. Then I got my Mirena IUD (which I love!) and thought the pain was still there because of the IUD. So gyno tells me that pain shouldn't be around a year later after c-section and I'm not fevering so there's no staff infection issues. They do an ultrasound to see if there's maybe gnarly cysts or something and check Mirena position. All is good. Mirena is in place fine but I do have a small cyst. However doc says that all my symptoms reek of endometriosis and they'll only know by doing a laparoscopic exam. He doesn't have any pamphlets on it so he gives me the one on sterilization, which is also done apparently laparoscopically.

Here's where the buuuuuuuuullshit comes in...

I don't want any more kids. I didn't want a kid in the first place. Charlie was an accident but I love him none the less and was the last person to know I was pregnant and abortion never even crossed my mind when I found out. I always joked that the only way I'd ever have more kids would be if I had another accident. I have a list about a mile long as to why I don't want any more kids. A few of the top examples include:

We have one child and one pug and that's the way it is.
Charlie is too used to one-on-one attention from his parents if he had a sibling it would make him jealous and possibly create some sort of complex in him where he grows up resenting his sibling and parents.
I hated being pregnant and it hurt really bad and I was super uncomfortable and never want to go through that again in my life.
I had a lot of problems after pregnancy with thrush and don't want to experience that ever again.
Raising one child is hard enough.
I don't want to be one of those people that has more kids than I can afford to take care of.
I don't want to be fat again in my life (selfish but legit reason.)
I don't want any more stretch marks (another selfish but legit reason.)
I don't want to have to pay all those co-pays and go to the doctors every month, two weeks, week, and then pay for labor and delivery costs. Those co-pays add up and birth is expensive!

But back to the buuuuuuuullshit. I hate when other people feel it's their place to butt in and give their two cents. "What if something happens to your child? What if you get divorced and remarry and want to have more children? What if 5 or 10 years from now your mind changes?"

OK, first off, let me say that anyone who says the "what if something happens to your child?" excuse is sick. I can't imagine if something horrible happened to my son, but you know what I can't imagine more? I could NEVER EVER IN MY LIFE think of trying to replace him with another child to fill the void. I mean, that's like having a dog you love a lot, the dog dies and you get a new dog. Sometimes you get a dud, sometimes you get another that is totally different and you love. I just don't think that I would go to that extent though if anything ever happened to Charlie. I mean, he is our one and only Charlie. If anything ever happens to him, that's it. He cannot be replaced and I would never try to do that. I personally think that's just wrong. That is my personal opinion, though.

As for marrying and having children, I'm kind of an advocate against that. I'm not saying it's wrong, but I'd never do it. Personally, I'm not a fan of divorce. I would do anything in my powers to avoid divorce. Granted some issues are good warrants for divorce. Cheater, Abusers, Substance Abusers, Criminals, Chronic Mama's Boys aka Men who put Mommy above their spouse and children. However, I feel like this does something detrimental to the current child(ren). It's like you get married and they have a new daddy and it's not enough to say old daddy wasn't good enough, now you are saying that old child wasn't good enough and you need to have a new child. I feel like if you remarry someone and it's not good enough for them to treat the current kids as their own and be happy, it's just kinda sad for the current kids to have to deal with this new stuff. Of course this is just my theory. There's lots of cases where step kids adapt and even enjoy siblings. But for me, I'd never do it. Period.

Lastly, when I got pregnant at 25, I didn't want kids. I had an accident, love him, but don't want any more kids. I will be 28 in 3 months and 30 in 2 years. I know that pregnancies after 30 - 35 tend to have more complications. Why would I want to have a child later in life when it would be more difficult if I had a hard enough time the first time I got pregnant when I was in my birthing prime!?

Let me just end this by saying I am extremely opinionated. I'm not gonna hate anyone for doing things I wouldn't do. That's your decision. But these are mine and they're why I want my tubes tied when in Rome looking for endometriosis. Obviously I convinced the gyno. He just wants to hear it from my husband now that he wants that too. Apparently there's all sorts of legal crap the doctor could face. But he was also the one to mention that if we ever change our minds, while the process isn't reversible, there's always invetro. Pftt yeah right! If I don't want one more kid, I strongly doubt I want 8!!!

The end.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Art Immitating Life

One of our friends told us that my lawn mower reminded him of Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino. I told him I hadn't seen that movie yet and when I finally did watch it, I couldn't help but draw so many parallels between a fictional movie and my life. I don't have the perfect house. I don't have the perfect lawn. I rent, but even though I rent, it is my house and how people who do not know me personally know of me. I am the person who decorated their house for the holidays. I am the person who tries to keep my place clean and orderly. I am someone who would make a good neighbor. This is beneficial to me because it assures that all the houses that are being foreclosed in our neighborhood get bought out by good families or investors who care about their tenants and don't just get any random tweakers or scumbags in that will bring down the neighborhood. Today, I was doing my usual yard work. Mowed the lawn, pulled weeds, watered, stuff like that. I had a Gran Torino moment when I got to the driveway. We have these weeds that grow in between the cracks of the cement and I pull what I can and clip what I can't. As I got further up the driveway, I found myself clipping weeds that were growing over in the yard next door onto our property and it just frustrated me because I don't understand how it is someone can live in a home and not pull weeds. These weeds are gross because they're all tall and itchy and the parts that don't itch have tiny little thorns. It just baffles me as to why some people are just so lazy and apathetic to the existence of their yards that they don't take care of things of the sort. It almost makes me wish that home owner associations existed outside of apartment, condo, townhouse and planned communities and in regular residential areas. Oh well. It sucks, but what can you do other than scowl, mutter to yourself about the scum next door not caring about their home and hope you never hafta go outside with a rifle and tell someone to get off your lawn. ::Insert awkward chuckle here::

Monday, November 2, 2009

Celebrity Halloweens?

Maybe I don't pay enough attention to the news or anything, but I was wondering what kids of celebrities or people in high status situations do for Halloween. Do they dress up and go trick or treating door-to-door or do they go to the mall or some boring party with their parents or just do nothing at all? I wonder if these kids are allowed to live normal lives and be children or if they have an adjusted lifestyle because of their parents? Like what did the Obama girls do for Halloween? I only wonder about this after my friend Evan sent me a picture of Brad Pitt dressed as DJ Lance Rock. What the heck did they do? Trick or treat? Or at some publicity thing? Or do celebrities just have some big celebrity party and bring their kids along in costumes. I dunno. It's a new curiosity I have.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Trick or Treat!!!

I'd like to take a minute or two to mention how much I seriously miss trick or treating. You see, when you get to be a certain age, it suddenly becomes uncool to dress up in a costume and go door to door asking for candy. Instead, it's more cool to pull pranks or go to parties or just sit at home and do nothing at all. Even though deep down, you still want to go door to door and ask for candy. And if you did, a lot of people usually just look at your size and do the, "Aren't you a little old for this?" thing. Fortunately, life redeems itself once you have kids. You can use the excuse you're taking them out. I mean, really, is a one year old really going to eat two buckets of candy? Probably not. You know it's just for the parents. Of course then you get some people who actually will consider the kid's ages and ask what it's ok for them to eat and at that point I say anything. Last night after divvying up the goods, I wound up with 2 buckets full of candy. Seriously it was amazing. We were oh-so-close to running out of candy at our house but we didn't. Someone handed out Halloween Play-Doh. I can't wait to play with that today with Charlie! Other than that, it was fun. I was happy to dress up and go out and get candy. I seriously miss trick or treating. I miss seeing kids running door to door in costume excited about candy. I miss seeing all the decorated houses. I miss people enjoying seeing costumes. I've spent so many of the last few years doing candy duty that I completely miss being on the other side of the door. And after last night, to be back on the streets, it was a good thing. I'm still giddy and on a sugar high. I love it. Up next: Thanksgiving! Woo! Holiday fun, here I come!

The Return of Halloween Fun

Halloween is always fun except when you're pregnant or have and infant. So was the story of my last 2 years in Reno. This year Charlie was old enough to actually have fun, as were allowing us to have fun.

Pumpkin Patches
When I was pregnant, we went to one to get a pumpkin. The pumpkin patch sucked terribly and the pumpkins were all over priced. I didn't take pictures.

When Charlie was born, we went. It was cold and he was cold. We took a few pictures. It was cute. He was starting to grab things but he was too little to really enjoy it.

This year, Charlie was all over the place. He was exploring the pumpkin fields, petting animals, trying to climb onto the tractor. You could tell he was totally fascinated with this new strange dirty land with lots of pumpkins of all sizes.


Halloween Events
When I was pregnant, all fun was out of the question. No drinking and I'm not gonna put on a costume and go out if I'm not gonna drink or just feel frumpy. No fun at all.

When Charlie was born, I was still not able to drink and he was too little and still eating every 2 - 3 hours so going out was also out of the question. My body was back to a state of fitting costumes, but somewhere between waking up at night ever 2 - 3 hours to feed Charlie, I didn't have it in me to even think about wanting to go out.

This year, we did things. I took Charlie and Lulu to the Petco Howl-o-ween costume contest. We won 2nd place.


Then the night before Halloween, Jesse and I went out. Katrina came out and it was all kinds of fun. We drank. We had an awesome time. We dressed up like zombies. I saw Throw Rag. The show was awesome.Drinks were cheap. The people were cheap. It was completely inappropriate, sometimes annoying, sometimes hilarious, and always entertaining.



Halloween Night
When I was pregnant, I didn't do anything other than sit at home and eat a bowl full of candy I bought for trick or treaters. We didn't get any at all.

When Charlie was born, I did the same thing, only this year, I knew we wouldn't get any so I didn't buy as much candy.

This year, we carved pumpkins and went out trick or treating with some of Charlie's friends. It was fun. Charlie loved trick or treating so much. He walked around the neighborhood with me holding my hand. I held his bucket. He would get so excited to go from house to house that he would giggle and run from one house to the next. I totally joined him in his giggly adventures. It was just adorable. His squeals of delight and giggles of excitement combined with his ah-ah-ah-ah bumping vocal sound he'd create when he ran; just too cute.

Anyway, this whole Halloween was just so much fun. From playing in pumpkin patches, to drinking zombies, to trick or treating. Did I mention my neighborhood gives out killer awesome candy? See, I never knew we had so many kids when I lived upstairs in an apartment. Yeah, no. We have lots of kids and lots of homes that do Halloween like decorated all crazy and chocolate yumminess. I'm just a tired as heck happy camper tonight.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Positive thinking is the key to life

One would think the last week has had a bad turn of events for us. My usual hunting for job/going on interview ended in another thanks-but-no-thanks in a very pleasant manner. To be honest, I've given up a long time ago about feeling bad when I got laid off and didn't get hired. I don't feel apathetic nor do I feel my approach is apathetic but it's positive in the sense that there is a blessing in disguise somewhere to be found. Last week's closed door opened up a rather unusual opportunity for me. While out grocery shopping, I looked at Christmas trees, just to see if they even had any. Wouldn't you know it, they did! Not only did they have them, they had one I liked! I have said that I want a pre-lit 6.5 foot Christmas tree with white lights when we have a house. We rent, but technically, we are in a house, so I get my tree. It was staring at me in all it's glory at Walmart for a lovely $35. I would be stupid to not get it. Granted, I was toying with getting a new vacuum cleaner that day too but figured, the vacuum will be there even after Christmas and my vacuum, even though it's sort of broken, still works fine and can hold out a little longer. In addition to that, my new duvet cover set came in, as well as my old Halloween costume that I'll be using again this year. We went to the gun show and I had my purses out, didn't sell any, had a lot of card-takers though. I also made a very good contact for Jesse with one of the companies in town he's been trying to get a job with for the past two years and gave their #1 guy Jesse's card, so hopefully something good will come of that. I also took Lulu to the Petco Howloween costume contest and we won 2nd place for our costumes. They had the pet costume contest of pets only and then pets and their owners dressed up. Chrissy met up with us and we then broke away and went to the psychic fair. I got a free pumpkin there and she got a reading that she said was "very intense" and is still very glad she got it done. On intense feelings, I can't help but feel like something really good is going to happen soon. I don't know why, the last week I've been feeling like something amazing is in our cards but not sure yet what it will be.

Feminism Fail

One of my biggiest peeves with latter-day-feminism is how it steered away from women's rights and turned into a sexual revolution. Last night was a panel on relationships between men and women and one of the discussions was male-female relationships and societal roles. They touched base on rape. They also touched base on a note of how it has become easier for women to do masculine things and it's acceptable yet men can't do feminine things without being labeled a "fag" or "homo". Jesse questioned if they were playing with dolls and I said, "No, stuff like baking, sewing, being into fashion, etc." Oh. Well, one thing they seem to fail to touch base on is some women allow themselves to become victims of violent and sexual crimes. I'm not saying it's right to rape a woman, but if you're one of those girls in high school or college who goes to a party and gets blackout drunk and wakes up somewhere naked and violated the next day, I don't think you have any right to complain. In my mind, someone taking advantage of you is the least of your problems, your bigger one is you have an alcohol problem and that needs to be dealt with to prevent this from happening again. I recall in high school hearing several girls have a scenario where they got drunk at a party and expressed their natural animal needs to reproduce and wound up doing it with guys they would never have sex with and tell the guys that if they told anyone they had sex, they would say it was rape. Really? Is that how women empower themselves now days? By getting what they want and then threatening the opposite sex to be imprisoned if the truth be told simply because they're afraid of the truth? How is this a positive step for feminism? So girls like that would act completely idiotic and walk away from an embarrassing situation, wiping it off like they got away with something simply because they could call wolf.

Don't get me wrong, I believe there were a lot of wonderful things that came from the original feminist movement like the right to vote, work, equal pay, etc. But I think the sexual revolution has created a demoralization of society to a certain extent. If you have an open sex life and that is just the way you are ok with your choices, that's fine. But if you are promiscuous and try to act like you're not and lie about your sexcapades and threaten to say a man who simply was taking part in your throwing yourself at him and saw it nothing more as a "good opportunity", well, shame on you. I'm not gonna sit around and say I believe it's ok to sleep with everyone you meet. I believe that complicates the concept of commitment, devalues the meaning of love, and confuses love with lust. However, if that's what you're into, that's your thing. But I am sick of hearing these feminists talk about how horrible men are when they have become weakened in the last half century and women have become manipulative and controlling. Perhaps we should address that issue next time, yes ladies? Or would that be bad for feminism? I think it's time for another feminist movement: the one where women realize they have gotten out of control and need to straighten up their act to stop making themselves look foolish and proud.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Us vs. Them mentality

You all know I'm a very pro-gun person, but I'm starting to see the world more through a different light. No, I'm not gonna advocate gun laws. Just personal responsibility. You see, I've been hearing a lot of pro-gun stories lately that make me cringe and think how they're not good examples of gun users to the world. One was an obvious hoax, which was a Craigslist urban legend of a person who was robbed at knife-point and pulled his 1911 out on his attacker, then took his attacker's belongings and spent all the money, made phone calls to the FBI threatening the president and sex lines, etc. Then there was a story of an old lady who conceal carried and shot an attempted robber and her son said they were lucky she shot the guy because she's a horrible shot. A lot of pro-gun people look at tales of these sorts and cheer hooray for the gun owners. I look at them and fear Nancy Pelosi thinking about how she can take these tales and create some sort of bill to take away our gun rights because of "irresponsible gun owners" or something like that. I guess the line between pro-gun people has a divide that I never knew about that is like pro-gun vs. responsible pro-gun? I can't think of any way to describe it completely at the time being as it's 5:30 am on a Saturday. Perhaps it's just the more you look at things from the politician's standpoint and know your enemies, it's not enough to just be a Yosemite Sam gun-toting happy go lucky shooter anymore. It's more of a scowling upon those who own guns yet never shoot them because you wonder why bother having a gun for protection if you're not sure how it works or question your ability to hit your target when you do use it. Or feeling angry when you see someone write about how it wasn't enough to save their life in an attack, they also felt compelled to punish their attacker. I guess any responsible gun owner who has certifiably passed their CCW courses would know that stories like the aforementioned are not pro-gun at all but rather hinder our rights when seen through the eyes of liberals looking for any excuse to take that right away. My point being: even within our own world of gun-owners and pro-gun enthusiasts, there is still that us vs. them mentality.

Friday, October 23, 2009

A day full of hilarious mistakes

OK, I lied. There were just two.

First mistake:

I gave Charlie one of Chrissy's Halloween cupcakes around 2:00 pm as a fun Friday treat. Big mistake. It was a black frosted mess and Charlie was in cupcake mess Heaven. He had black frosting all over his chin and hands and looked like he was either one of those creepy hobo clowns or he had black face like the white actors used to do back in the day to play black people. It was all kinds of wrong and he loved it. He managed to somehow get a gob of frosting in his pant pockets. I have no idea how and I don't know how to comprehend that. The rest of the day consisted of him scheming a way to get more cupcakes. Various failed attempts included removing the contents of two drawers on the kitchen floor and opening the dishwasher, standing on the door and opening the microwave and turning it on and off to see if that would make cupcakes happen.


Second mistake:

I get Lulu those little Natural Balance food rolls. I don't commit to one of the $5 or more big rolls because I like to mix the sample treat size rolls with her dry food and get a variety of flavors. I keep them in the small cupboard by my kitchen sink. Charlie has recently discovered that cupboard, partially because that was where I was hiding the Halloween candy and had to move it, and partially because it has interesting things in there, like dog food rolls. Well, he takes one out and Lulu knows what they are and whenever she sees them, she gets all crazy until she gets to eat or until it's out of sight and back in the cupboard. At some point, Charlie no longer has the food roll and Lulu has it. I saw her under the computer table gnawing on something and realized she broke the plastic of the roll and was trying to get the meat out. I took the roll away from her and just gave her the rest of the roll. I didn't even bother to break it down. I just gave it to her whole. It was hilarious to watch her eat it.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Holly and Brobee

Last night one of Jesse's coworkers, Holly, came over and babysat Charlie so we could go to our movie. Apparently, when we got back, she said Charlie cried for an hour grasping at the door trying to get us all wheezing and getting worked up and all. Oh well. Right before she left, she grabbed Charlie's little Brobee on the coffee table and asked, "What is this thing?" We replied, "That's Brobee." I guess that wasn't a good enough answer so we elaborated some more about how he's on a kid's show and Charlie just LOVES him. She said he looked like that old Looney Tunes monster with the red hair and then how she thought it was weird looking and then was a little weirded out when she went to put Charlie to bed and saw there was "another one of those things but bigger" on his bed. It was pretty funny the way she was so curious about what Brobee is all about.

What do raccoons, zombies and dumb kids have in common?

All of them have potential to get shot.

Last night Jesse and I went to see Zombieland. I saw it opening night with Chrissy and told him he had to see it because it was awesome and has a lot of things he loves in it; mindless violence, slow motion of mindless violence, and decent metal. We decided to walk downtown to see it. On our way over, we saw this adorable raccoon in front of an office building that looked like a house. He was just staring at us like, "hey guys, what's up?" He scratched himself and went back to doing whatever it was he was doing. At first I thought he was a kitty but then realized that those weren't tabby stripes on his tail. It was cool. When we got to the theater, much to my dismay, the theater guide online had linked up the wrong theater to the one downtown so the show times were all off. We walked around downtown to try and see if we could find another theater near by. On our way under 4th street between Sierra and Virginia between the El Dorado and Silver Legacy, some dumb kids in a mini van decided it would be a great idea to drive up behind us and scream really loud. It echoed because of the tunnel effect created by the two joining buildings. We got spooked and they were laughing at us. Jesse and I shook it off and discussed amongst ourselves how they're gonna do that to the wrong person one day and how stupid kids are. Then we realize they were dumber than we thought. They got a red light. Suddenly our harassers were stuck at a stand still while we were on foot, closely approaching their car. It was payback time. I crept up to their minivan, passenger side, and whacked the door, behind the view of the window. Everyone in that car screamed and jumped so far they almost hit their heads on the roof. My hand hurt and I think there may be a dent in the door. They then saw it was us and started to cheer us that we were "cool" and totally "played" back with their game. In actuality, I think they were halfway between freaked out and ready to crap their pants. Them cheering us on was their lame attempt at saving face and not looking so spooked to everyone. Lesson learned to the young kids who have to explain to mom how they got a dent or mark or whatever on the passenger side door of the minivan: don't try to act like a hard ass on 4th street, especially if you have a red light. You never know who is going to negatively react to your shenanigans. We scared them. They're lucky it was us and not some nut jobs with guns... But in the end, I think we all got a good laugh out of it. Jesse and I discussed how funny it was with how spooked they were. Good times.

Friday, October 16, 2009

One day I'll make a list and it will be awesome

Everyone seems to be doing one of those 101 things to do in 1001 days list things and I really would like to do that, but to be honest, I don't think I can think of 101 things I'd like to do. I feel I've done most of the things in life I'd like to have done and anything left is stuff that requires large amounts of money that accumulate as the result of years of savings. So I guess create a 101 things list is on my to-do list. How ironic.

I've become a regular coffee drinker. I know that sounds silly to say at the age of 27 years, 9 months, and 1 day old, but for the longest time, I could not tolerate the taste of coffee. I wanted to be a coffee drinker because I equate drinking coffee to being grown up. I suppose there are far more things that make me grown up like the fact I'm shocked at how pre-teens dress and act, I often talk about how great the past was, I own guns, and I think staying up past 10 is pretty crazy. But back to coffee. I think a year or two ago, I had decided that I would become a coffee drinker. I didn't really put much effort into it, but alas, I have succeeded. I have discovered the benefits of coffee that I like to call the welcoming of regularity. I think when you get older, your metabolism slows down and you need to be on the go-go-go and coffee is just that magical brown elixir that helps everything work out. And for that reason, I have learned to love it.

Today I went on a job interview. I'm not gonna lie. Every place I've interviewed over the last few months have struck me as places I would work for but not want to work for. I really got a sense of some of the employers I interviewed with. Only one place had the decency to call me back and say they chose another candidate who had more experience in the business side of the position I applied for (this was for an administrative position.) The other places I applied with ranged from people who wanted to hire a designer/admin person but only pay them $8 an hour, people who wanted to hire designers that were actually production jobs that require physical labor and skilled trade knowledge outside of the design spectrum, and of course administrative work where they pretty much wanted to hire an entry level person. Most of these jobs I applied for didn't have the decency to call back even though they said they would. In fact, they wouldn't even respond to a follow up. To me, that says a lot about an employer. They are not the kind of company you want to work for. If your employer doesn't have a backbone to tell you something before you even get a chance to work for them, I could only imagine how horribly passive-aggressive they would be if they were your boss. And I know it's not nice to judge books by their covers, but in my opinion, a company is only as good as their environment. A clean workplace is an organized workplace. Organized employees have their acts together. People who have their act together are productive. Productive companies are successful companies and so on. I can't help but think how horrible some of the places I interviewed at were, but most were filthy warehouses and some didn't even have distinguishable work desks. How these places manage to make money is beyond me, but I can say one company I applied for and had what I thought was a good interview, never called me back like they said they would even when I called to follow up, and they also kept posting ads for the same position time and time again over the course of a few months. Anyway, long back-story aside, I interviewed today at what I think has to be the prettiest company ever. It's hidden in an industrial area somewhat close to a shotgun range. Outside it is a beautiful commercial building. Inside it looks like an art gallery. The company itself produces a very noble product and the people there all seemed very nice and very organized. Even their warehouse and printing area was clean and in order! In addition to all that cosmetic stuff, it is a company with some longevity and stability. Obviously, it's been around for 40 years and the way I see it, it will be around another 40. It totally struck me as the type of place I could stay at til retirement. This was the first time I walked away from a job interview thinking to myself, "I really hope this company hires me because THIS is a place I would really like to work for." Anyway, I'm keeping my fingers crossed and hoping that my weird Halloween/4th of July hire pattern holds true. It is almost Halloween...

Part of me wants to go to the Sue Lowden coffee and donut canned food drive tomorrow morning, but Jesse needs to test fire a shotgun and our furnace maintenance guy is coming back out with the heat damper so he can light our furnace (and we can only use our heat very low because apparently, the furnace hasn't been cleaned in a very long time and we need to have someone come out to clean it and the furnace cleaner is coming next Wednesday.) Anyway, that all set us back close to $500, but considering we didn't owe rent, it's still a $300 savings. Maybe I can sneak out early? On that note, I am officially returning to the GOP. I've had people tell me I'm an Independent, but to be honest, even though I left to be an Independent, it never really felt right to me. I'm still too much of a capitalist who loves me some war-on-drugs. Anyway, I'll be switching back when I go to the DMV to renew my registration. Besides, I think the party needs more people like me. You know, people with a backbone and common sense.

On that note, I have nothing more to say. Maybe I can add that on my list of things to do?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Rainy Day Random

Lulu hates rain and has been miserable all day because she has been trying her hardest to hold her pee because she doesn't want to go out in the rain. Eventually, after 18 hours, she gave in and finally went potty. I took her out pretty much every hour this morning to potty since 8 am and every time, she goes to the door, smells the rain or something and hauls back to hide under a blanket or a warm lap.

I realized I am dressed like candy corn today. Kinda. I have an orange sweater on, but it's a burnt orange. I was chilly so I put on my mustard yellow throw. I don't have any white to top it off but the fact I am wearing orange and yellow side by side in October makes me think of candy corn, so, there you have it.

I was working on a book cover for someone today and I gotta say I'm rather pleased with what I came up with. Even if they don't go with the design, I can always send my illustration to my stock site.

Tonight we're going to have pork chops. For real. I've been wanting pork chops for a while now. The other night, I defrosted what I thought was pork. After making it out of the oven and onto our plates, I realized it was steak. Breaded and baked. It actually wasn't that bad, but it didn't cure my pork chop craving. So tonight, we're having pork chops. Charlie grabbed the defrosting pork chop baggie and tried to hide it in his fire truck under the seat. It was funny, but probably wouldn't be so funny if I didn't catch him doing it.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Italian Sunday Random

Today we walked to the Italian Festival, which was a good idea. Lots of awesome sauce taste testing. Good times. Some interesting sights including these weird Italian Elvis looking guys on stilts who, in my mind, looked more like Sleazy P. Martini, the "manager" of Gwar.


Anyway, when we got home, I raked the back yard a bit to clear out some of the fall crap that was uglifying my yard up. Then Jesse came out and we played catch with this flat football for a while talking about girl scouts and boy scouts. Jesse was never a scout of sorts, but I was a girl scout and loved it. I told him I want to put Charlie in boy scouts when he's old enough and be a den mother. Fun. Then we were talking about sports and teams. I said I'd totally encourage Charlie to join a team if he wants. I never did the team thing and feel like I missed out in life. I think Jesse did track but he was telling me about how he really wanted to play football when he was in jr. high and his mom wouldn't let him because she thought he'd get injured. I joked that she coddled him and he still got injured and shot his eye out. Har har har. Maybe if he was allowed to play football he never woulda shot his eye out? Har har har.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Halloween Cookies

Last Christmas I found this recipe in the Bible and made these for Jesse to take to work and I guess the girls in customer service loved them so I will be making them some for Halloween with a twist. Of course I figured any of you moms with kids who want a fun baking project or hafta take something to school and want to go another route other than cupcakes might want to give these a go. * I modified this recipe slightly from the one printed in the book and have my version below.


Halloween Peanut Butter Blossoms

1 stick butter or margarine slightly melted
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar in a bowl (for decorating)
1 bag Hershey's kisses (milk chocolate, with almond, dark, etc. is up to you)
1 bag Brach's Candy Corn Harvest Mix (it has the regular candy corn and the pumpkins)
1 tube black decorating gel
1 box assorted food coloring

Preheat oven to 350º

In a large bowl, mix margarine and peanut butter. Once those are combined pretty good, add 1/2 cup sugar, brown sugar and baking soda and mix until combined. Add in egg, milk and vanilla until those are combined. Finally, add the flour a little bit at a time until completely mixed in.

Separate the dough into as many different color cookies you choose to make. You can do as many different colors as you want, or just leave them as is.

Shape dough into 1" balls and roll in 1/4 cup sugar. Place 2" apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10 -12 minutes or until edges are firm. They look kinda a golden color when done. Immediately press in Hershey's kiss, pumpkin or candy corn.

When they cool, add legs to the Hershey kiss cookies and eyeballs to make spiders.

You'll have created a plate of lovely pumpkin patch, festive candy corn, and spooky spider cookies.

* These cookies are photoshopped but they'll look close to the same when done.



10/28/09: I've added pictures of the rejects of a batch I made for Jesse's work. These are the same cookies as above. They're the ones I decided were too ugly to go to Jesse's coworkers.

Religion and science can coexist. TV says so.

Does anyone watch Bones? I was just thinking recently about the one guy who is a devout Muslim. He faked his accent because he thought if his team saw him as some fresh off the boat Muslim that it would be easier for them to accept his devotion to his faith while being a scientist, which pretty much contradicts each other. But I guess it brings up that whole system of scientific and religious beliefs that you believe one or the other and the two can't live together harmoniously. Well, for this character they did. And personally, I believe they can too. There's that whole school of thought on evolution and creationism and everything in between. I guess if you believe what you believe and it makes sense to you, then go with what works. On that note, if you believe in a God, and you believe in science, or you believe in a God or you believe in science, whatever works and makes you happy should be all that matters. The end.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Apple Desert Pizza

I have a friend who does a home made pizza night with her boyfriend once a week and they take turns and I suggested she get crazy one day and do a desert pizza. I'm winging it here based on my time tested pie knowledge but try this for fun:


Crust:
1 1/4 flour
1/2 stick butter slightly melted
4 - 6 tablespoons water

Mix butter into flour to form little pea sized balls. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time until doughy. Grab the whole lump and mush it into a ball. Place it on wax paper lightly coated with flour and place another piece of wax paper on top and roll it out. That's your crust.


Toppings:
2 - 4 apples sliced into thin wedges and peeled
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar

Mix all together and place apples on top of crust.

1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/2 stick slightly melted butter

Mix all together to make little pea sized crumbles. Pour over apples



Bake for 30 - 40 minutes at 375º or until apples are soft and dough is golden.



Icing Drizzle

1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons butter slightly melted
1 - 4 tablespoons milk

Mix butter and powdered sugar. Add milk 1 tablespoon at a time to create a drippy icing.



So this is basically like my apple streussel pie but in a pizza form with less ingredients because obviously it's a desert pizza. I think it could be a fun twist on pizza night.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Trouble Shooting: Where's My Gun?

I suppose this title is more than appropriate for so many reasons today.

First off, let's talk guns. Like for real, guns. My friend Chrissy went out shooting with us recently and I think since she's been hanging out with me in general has showed a little bit more of an interest in getting a gun. I think it was partially the whole us taking her out to shoot with Phil one time. Then seeing Zombieland. And seeing a S&W with pink grips at Jesse's work. Anyway, we went to Scheels (Tangent: Appalachian Grammar Disaster mispronunciations from locals include "Schills" as in one-schilling, "Shields" as in shield from danger, "Shells" as in she sells sea shells by the sea shore, "Shales" as in, well, I don't know, maybe something a yuppie would name their kid?) because Chrissy needed to get some snowboarding gear. We spent a ridiculously long time there and wandered to their hunting department. Chrissy looked at a lot of revolvers because she's interested in getting one. I can say that when I started shooting I was very much into revolvers for the same reasons and my taste in guns has greatly evolved into a completely different area so I am enthusiastic to see where Chrissy's shooting tastes will lead her one day. Anyway, she felt pretty happy with her Scheels shopping experience. After that, we went to Bizarre Guns because she wanted to go there. She was not happy with their service. Personally, I always like Bizarre and the old guy that works there is alright in my mind. I told him I had buyer's remorse with my Bersa and he looked shocked because when I originally went in last November or whatever it was wanting to get a PPK but not having the money and he suggested the Bersa, he told me how no one has ever returned them. When I told him my remorse was that I didn't go with the hi-capacity version, he chuckled and said he'll hafta remember that. And apparently, the new .380 Sig P238 is selling like hotcakes because after the one time I saw it at Sportsmans, every gun shop in town has sold out of them. Wowzas! Anyway, at the end of the day, Chrissy never bought anything and is still leaning towards revolvers. I told her we need to go out shooting some more so she can really get a feel for what is comfortable for her or take an intro to handguns class.

When I got home, I had to do some trouble shooting on some web work and quite honestly, if there was a gun to solve that problem, I'd be in a happy place. I went back to tinkering with some template fixes from what I'd like to call the template bastard from hell. He was a total tool. Seriously template, I get you're totally set on looking one way, but is it too much to cooperate with me when I ask a mild favor of you? You'd think I was asking the thing to perform some horrendous feat. No way, just simple stuff. Look pretty. Do your thing. Eventually, after an evening of slapping it around like a cheap hooker, I got him to do his work. I find web work goes a lot smoother when you take it with a sense of humor. Now if only I could get him to like that damned animation, then I'd be a happy camper. Oh well. I did enough trouble shooting for tonight.

Anyway, that's my grand adventure for this evening. My car's registration is due. I find it amazing I've had that thing almost a year now. I find it ass that I need to get it smogged again. We also need to order oil for our heater and our landlord set up a maintenance of our furnace for us. They have a 2 week delay on heating but I'm not really worried because it's cold but tolerable still. It's gonna cost a few hundred to get all that situated. Grumble grumble. I'm not complaining too much, though, because we have a really awesome landlady. Sucks she got screwed over by the property management company she was partnered with. Oh well.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Photography is the new music industry and photoshop is the new soundboard.

Has anyone noticed the evolution of photography of the average person over the last half century? It seemed that at one point in time, people used to take photos of family, friends, occasions, holidays, what have you. But has anyone paid any attention to the average family/friend photo these days? It seems as if the average person has gone from the photographic style of trying to get a group shot of everyone together smiling or one or two people doing an activity to a more abstract and artistic way of capturing the moment. Dead serious. I'd say on average, most people who are not trained to be photographers or ever had any experience in the likes are starting to pick up this self-proclaimed photographer title and it is just remarkable. I'm not a photographer, but I'm an artist of sorts. I think fellow artists and photographers will totally know what I'm talking about. But for the amateur, look at your photos from the last 10 or 20 years, be it your own or family photos, or those of friends. Look at how the style has changed to a more abstract and artsy style. It's incredibly strange. I think in this sense, whenever a photographer sees ads on the web saying things like, "Got a good camera? Become a photographer and make cash now!" they cringe in pain, especially if they have an astronomical student loan debt and have learned all the skills and techniques to properly do things and there are people who simply take in light what they have spent years learning to do the proper way. Of course it could always be worse and have an amateur put in their two cents about a professional being OK when in actuality they probably don't have the knowledge to know all the efforts that have gone into making an "ok" photo. Thank God everybody is a photographer and seems to know what makes a good photo. I mean, forget talent. Photography is the new music industry and photoshop is the new soundboard.