Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Hi. *wave*

I am in a good mood. I made a yummy dinner for my honey (and he was sweet and cleaned up). I watched some TV, including some hockey. I got some work done in my office. Even work was reasonable today. Oh, and I'm about to leave on a week long cruise. So, all this means that I felt like tickling the keys and putting something new - and cheerful - on the blog. I hope that you reading it are in a good mood, too. If not, please feel free to borrow some of mine. :~)


p.s. It was "Sharlys Mac and Cheese" as per the instruction of Sharlys the Amazing. Thanks, Mom.
p.p.s. The most recent episode of "The Big Bang Theory" and the Columbus Blue Jackets win over Detroit, their first win of the season, plus some Penguins/Ducks action.
p.p.p.s. Sending an overdue email and updating some personal stuff on line. Plus I guess we could say this post.
p.p.p.p.s. Did I mention the CRUISE? I am psyched.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

My advice to you...

Do not buy a house. Do not buy a house, or other permanent living space, unless you can pay 50-100% of the cost and can finance, if necessary, the rest at a loan for not more than 5 years.

In other words, if you have a ton of cash available because you've been making good financial decisions like staying out of debt and saving a big portion of what you earn and/or living a greatly scaled down lifestyle and you want to do something with the cash and you don't mind the risk of being tied down to one location for a while, then go ahead and buy a domicile.

Otherwise, seriously consider renting something sensible in the general area you want to live in. It doesn't have to be the perfect home; you are only renting and can move on to a better place pretty much any time you want. And forget about equity, which is a fool's dream anyway as many of us have learned over the past 20 years. Since your place is a reasonable size and the infrastructure is someone else's problem to maintain, you can be saving and/or investing (also a bad idea, but a lecture for another time) and keep your funds available and hopefully intact through lucre and not property.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Pro and Con for Joe


Pro - you are writing. You are probably writing with an audience of at least a few friends or family. You are writing and everyone's standards for this sort of writing are pretty low, because it's BLOGGING, for crying out loud. Teenagers without the ability to spell small pronouns do this. And because the standards are low, you are perhaps writing more often and more frequently and therefore getting better or maybe more comfortable and that's good for word production and creative stimulus. You are writing and the members of your currently small but with the potential for growth audience that love and support may provide visible support and that will encourage you to keep writing.

Con - you are writing words out into a medium that you really cannot control. There are ways to restrict viewers to your blog, but then you are undercutting one of the key aims - to get your writing out there where others can see it. You are writing and have to consider that your high school English teacher may see it (not mine, she died while I was in college and I'm still upset about it), or your mother may see it (and I know she will since she's a subscriber), or your boss (not likely), or a member of the community whom you do not necessarily want to see your true opinions on big life issues (also probably unlikely at this time, but it could happen). You are writing but may upset others with your writing and then have to consider whether this is the way you want to go with your writing endeavors.


Sunday, July 24, 2011

What I'm reading today

I tried reading a mystery/detective/thriller novel by Larry Beinhart. He wrote the novel American Hero that the movie Wag the Dog was based on and he's written another one called Salvation Island that has also become a movie recently (including Jim Gaffigan in the cast, which made me pay attention because I was surprised to see him in a movie). I seem to remember liking Wag the Dog and Salvation Island looked like it might be funny, in a dark comedy kind of way, so I got some of Larry's books at the library.

Unfortunately, I didn't really care for them. This reminds me of my Elmore Leonard problem: I really want to like his stuff because I like one movie A LOT (and prefer it to the book it was based on), one movie is okay (again, movie better than book), a lot of the short stories are good and one book was enjoyable (not made into a movie...yet). Unfortunately, I don't like almost all the other books, and most of the other movies and I wish I did.

The happy unintended consequence of this is that when I went to the library to pick up the Beinhart books, I found The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall. While the clerk was in back getting my books on reserve, I scanned the books to be reshelved, as I am wont to do, and this one caught my eye. The name seemed familiar, maybe from the New York Times book review, so I took it. I'm 40 pages in and it's compelling and funny in a melancholy way, so I'm going to take the rest of the afternoon to work on it. More later on how it goes.


p.s. Frustrated again at the superficiality and/or excess emoting to strangers on Facebook and Twitter, I am again tryiing for a break from both. Comment here or email me if we need to be in contact.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

A little wheel spinning

Yeah, I wrote today. But it was vitriol-filled diatribe to a former friend who I think has gone over to the dark side and my comments just is not appropriate for me to post. (Note: I'm not sending it to him, either. I wrote it because I needed to get it out.) When I'm independently wealthy, or at least not counting on the good graces of anyone I know to keep me afloat, maybe I'll allow my true sentiments on these things to come out but not tonight.

Off to play some nice soothing solitaire.


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Already Thursday

There is a reason that one of the category choices for my labels for these posts is "venting." I seem to spend a lot of time bitching about things here. And what's worse, the things I write down are probably a tenth of the complaints about things I think about during the day.

I'm not saying I'm totally immersed in annoying people and situations, but I do feel like a novice swimmer off the coast of Australia who has somehow found herself in the midst of a school of those really scary kind of jellyfish - box jellyfish I think they are called (although I might be confusing the scary jellyfish from Australia with the ones in the Will Smith movie called "8" something) - where the jellyfish are the stupid people, in case you missed that. (/snark)

(Btw, the title of the post refers to the previous post where I complained about it only being Tuesday and now the week is running out fast and it's already Thursday night and I know I'm not going to get everything done tomorrow that I needed for the week. "Really?" as we say here, "Really?")

**Right here is the ending to this post. I rewrote it five times and didn't like it any of those times. Fuck it, I am really going to bed now.**


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Only Tuesday

I have decided to get a little ahead of the curve and write early in the evening instead of later, when I may (unbelievably) feel too tired to type.

It's only Tuesday. Dog as my witness, I would have bet money on it being Thursday, or least a little closer to the end of the work week.

My payroll week at work runs Thursday to Wednesday, so I spend Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday fretting about how we did over the weekend and can we improve our efficiency (for "hours per patient per day") to meet our budget AND not go into too much overtime AND not blow the budget for support staff. All of the above measures based on formulas based on our resident census which is a figure completely beyond my control. As is most of the scheduling.

So I spend a lot of time stressing about how to move my little corner of the couch while a whole bunch of people are sitting on it, eating my Cheetos, drinking my Diet Cokes and overstaying their welcome in general.

I am very pleased with that imagery and will now quit while I'm ahead. Dinner still to cook, TV show to watch, flute to practice.


ETA: I typed this an hour ago, but Scott's computer wouldn't let me post it. The "save now" button worked, but not the "publish post" button. Odd.

Also, have just discomforted my daughter by using the expressions "Holy Cow" and "'Sup?" in sequence. I'm an enigma to her.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Day 2 of It's a New Day

The second day of flute practice is less fun than day one. The newness is gone and it's down to practicing scales that I can tell are really rusty. I can still read the notes (I don't think that skill goes away) but I cannot for the life of me remember if I ever knew how to hit the upper octave D, E, F and G. I can't even remember how to finger the high G and I didn't feel like looking it up. I just went back to doing the lower scales. I did have a little coup when I sounded out the A flat scale (yes, the geekiness is just rolling off me in waves, I know.)

In other news, it is still unbearably hot. I really just do NOT remember it being this hot for this long last year. I know I spent most of last June inside with the A/C on, waiting for job offers to appear, but I don't remember it being so hot for so long. This is just miserable. It's so bad that I am making an effort to pack my lunch so I don't have to leave the building in the middle of the day. Not that my office is great, either, but at least I have the little reciprocating fan that Scott bought me. Plus, the door locks and I can pretend I'm not in there.

Word goal met. Must now go read a printed book for 15 minutes, then bed.


Sunday, July 10, 2011

New goals

At Joe's suggestion, I've been reading "Moonwalking with Einstein" by Joshua Foer about a journalist's yearlong quest to understand the history and value of memorization and his own work on improving his own skills to the point that he can be competitive.

While reading the book, I have become a little interested in learning some memorization tricks (I used one for Thing 1 to memorize a locker combination this morning), but more interested in some of the other ideas that the author found.

He talks about how people learn skills and how to get past plateaus in learning. He talked about learning an instrument and that reminded me that I had the flute upstairs.

I dusted it off (literally, the case had been at the top of a bookcase for a long time) and practiced some scales for 15 minutes. (In my endless purging of stuff, the flute practice books are something I have never really considered getting rid of.)

I've decided to renew some goals for myself based on my positive experience with the flute. Naturally, writing daily is on the goal list. We'll have to see how it goes.


Saturday, May 28, 2011

Saturday of Memorial Day weekend

I told Tiffany not to stress about blogging, that she could blog in paragraphs and not to stress about blogging in long essays. Today, I wish to blog in short complaints.

*I like the temperature to be cool in my office, but I hate the feeling of the cold air coming out of the vent and on to my shoulders.

*I don't the white noise of fans. I like quiet and/or some ambient city traffic noise.

*I do not enjoy the chirping of birds. It's piercing and annoying and often reminds me of the very annoying bird (possibly a peacock) that hung out behind the house the summer of Timothy when all I wanted to do was sleep.

*I do like the chirping of crickets at twilight when I'm sitting on the porch doing nothing and it's not too hot, too cold or too humid. They'd be distracting if I was trying to write, though.

*I hate what a time and brain suck Facebook is, but I'm paranoid that I'm going to miss some great bon mot if I don't check it. Logically, I know this is completely false, as Scott or Tim will find good stuff and share it with me, so I'm aggravated at my inability to just quit cold turkey.

*The best thing I've ever seen via Facebook was the full length Darth Vader Volkswagen ad. I'm ready to starting crying with laughter just thinking about how adorable and funny it was. Note: as mentioned above, Scott gets credit for bringing it to my attention.

*Rats. Writing has put me in a better mood. I'll have to complain more later. I'm sure I'll find some grist for the mill.


Saturday, April 09, 2011

Oh, look, it's the tax office again.

I had started a vent back on April 9th about being in the tax office and bored, but now I get to update it with "in the tax office and sick and bored." It pisses me off that, even though I deliberately took off Friday - Monday thinking that I might get sick due to overdoing everything at the end of tax season, I actually DID get sick and am spending my free, paid-by-work, time off being sick and miserable.

I seem to recall a lot more walk-ins last year, such that I, as a new person to the office and without any returning clients, stayed busy all day on Saturdays. I've had a few walk-ins this year, but mostly returning clients with appointments. What it means is that last Saturday and the one before I've been sat without anything constructive to do for hours. (Which is fine, actually, I really don't want to talk to anybody anyway.)

Because this is operating like a diary, I am keeping the following entry from April 9:
The other problem is that I am wicked tired because I ended a full work week by attending a night hockey game with the fam. Friday was kind of crappy day anyway: a bunch of duplicative emails from my regional HR rep and my administrator; the prospect of going through every payroll file for 2009 and 2010 for the auditors; humid weather; a new office which is only partly organized and is therefore stressing me out with my inability to find anything or everything quickly; employees who are sick, or injured, or not wanting to fulfill the basic licensing requirements for their positions. Quite a list - it always makes me happy to have a very long sentence with multiple colons and semi-colons.

After work I went and collected the children - who knew I was going to be home at 5:30 but still were not fully dressed and electronically equipped when I got there. Then we went and got the SO and he drove us down to the arena to watch the game.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Nothing but time

I was sitting in the tax office, annoyed that I was killing a Saturday doing nothing and/or having to do taxes, which I'm tired of doing already this season. I took a break and went up to McDonald's for breakfast and to read my book for a little while. Eventually, I had to come back and I was considering what to do.

I'm not doing any more practice problems. I don't have any drop off returns to do. I spent the first wasted hour and a half this morning reading tax updates. I thought about writing in the notebook that I've started carrying about with me. Then I remembered that I have access to this blog page. The system blocks personal email and social networking sites, so I can't get to my gmail account or facebook, but it lets me through to blogspot, which uses a google sign on.

I have no excuse not to write if I have the time and capability.

Editing note: I edited the first sentence where I had first written "a little annoyed" and tightened it up to "annoyed." The edit was a result of coaching by Dr. Hill who advised me once about putting a word out there - "annoyed" in this case - then pulling back from the full emotion by modifying with "a little." I know I speak this way in an attempt to soften the blow of the statement.

Introspection note: If I'm needing to soften the blow of a statement, should I even be making it? That is, either I think something needs to be said and I should just say it, or I should keep it to myself. I can think of a few situations where this would apply. For example, I was telling Daphne at the office that I am trying not to yell at my children. This means that sometimes I will have to just walk away from the chance to have a really loud fight. It also means that sometimes, especially with Thing 2, that I will have to do what needs to be done (i.e., some household task that I'd previously delegated). I am also trying not to engage in pointless blame passing at work: "I wasn't supposed to do that:" "I told so-and-so to do that;" etc. Ask me later about the zen parable that is influencing my thinking here.

Ooooh, tax client is here. Back to work.