Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Finished At Last!

It's finally over! Finished! No more trips to Ohio for any reason whatsoever!

So i ended up tied for second highest score in the class. Not to brag on myself (well, okay, maybe just a little bit), but the first highest was a pharmacist (as were most people in the class), and i am certainly NOT a pharmacist :D I filled out my radioactive materials handler's history and i should be on the license. I'm official! I'm the RSO for my facility 8)

The crappy part: i'm on midnights for the next couple of weeks. I am going to resist this urge to say something goofy about clouds, silver linings, and the tendency of said clouds to spew sleet once in a while.

Monday, December 4, 2006

Six Months Later. . .

Here i am, stuck in a hotel room for three weeks with some spare time on my hands. What else to do but blog?

My blog inactivity is primarily due to two things: laziness and redirected attention. The first one is inherent sometimes and there isn't a whole lot i can do about it.

The second, on the other hand, i don't have much choice in. I got a promotion a couple months back, and i've been in pretty intense training (since the beginning of September). I'm going to be the Radiation Safety Officer of my facility, and there's SOOO much to learn. I'm in the last phase of my training, thank goodness the light is at the end of the tunnel 8) I graduate from this program on December fifteenth. I've already scored over 95% on three of my exams, and passed one of my lab practicals. I have two exams, a case study presentation and one more lab practical to endure, and i feel as though i couldn't possibly cram any more information into my overstuffed noggin! It's all very interesting (except for the DOT regulations, i don't really care for that much), but i really can't wait until it's over.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Tired Of My Random Bits Yet?

1. I think it's tragic that orange is a halloween colour...It looks great but cheesy with black all at the same time.

2. It is my staunch opinion that Stephen King should be limited to writing movie scripts for the rest of his life. He has awesome ideas, but i hate his writing style.

3. I chew on the side of my thumb until it bleeds, and usually don't realize i'm doing it.

4. I like German white wines....a LOT!

5. Feet really gross me out.

6. If i ever woke up to find "The King" (you know, that plastic headed creepy fuck in the burger king commercials) standing at MY bedside with an omlette sandwich, i'd bludgeon him to death with one of eight hundred empty water bottles on the floor next to my bed.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Doesn't That Just Figure?!

So after all the agonizing, the stressing, the threats and the ugliness, Robbie made the decision himself not to come with us. He came this weekend to spend the night and did really well on Friday. He slept over with no problem, and things looked like maybe he'd grown up a little bit. Saturday night rolled around, and he wouldn't go to bed and insisted he go home. Jim (and Kristi, to her credit) explained to him that if he couldn't spend even two days here, then he wasn't going to make it for fourteen. He agreed, and told Jim he didn't care about vacation anymore, he just wanted to go home. So Jim called Kristi, told her what happened, and she agreed (FINALLY) that maybe he wasn't ready. So he extracted the agreement from her that Robbie wasn't going with us and she wouldn't try to conceal Ryan from us. I'm SO relieved! I'm a little annoyed that she had to go to such extremes to get her way, only to have Robbie decide in the end that he didn't want to go (which says to me he never really wanted to go in the first place, he just didn't want Ryan getting something he wasn't going to get). But i'm mostly relieved.

Jim still wants Robbie to come over on weekends though. At least during the day. If he doesn't come over, the same thing will probably happen next year. What i'd like to see happen is he learn to be here at night, and then maybe we take a day-trip some place, and then an overnight stay some place, then a weekend trip some place so that we can work him up to coming with us next year. Next year we're probably going to Arkansas for a week to see Jim's mother, and i know Robbie'd want to see her and it'd be sad for him to miss out on that.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Give Me The Strength To Accept What I Cannot Change

And so it's happened pretty much the way i thought it would. She made her demands, we made our feeble protests, and in the end, she got her way. I'm still angry that we didn't pursue the legal recourse that was available to us, but i understand really that this is the best way for everyone. Once i'm not angry about it anymore it will be easier to accept, but i'm still very, very bitter about it right now. I guess i could make this a private entry and stop being oblique about everything.

Here's what happened: We're taking vacation in a week to go see my parents in New Mexico. We were going to take Ryan with us and leave Robbie at home, since he's never been able to stay over without having to go home to his mom. Besides, Robbie has only seen us a handful of times for a couple of hours at a time since Christmas, usually to come over and ask for something. He's a very materialistic child, and when he can't get what he wants from us, he by and large has no use for us. Naturally we didn't want to take him with us. Well, this is unacceptable to Kristi because if we do that, we're taking away her free babysitting and she'd actually have to spend the money she receives for babysitting ON babysitting ("Oh, no! How completely unfair!", i'm sure you're thinking to yourself). So she tells us if we don't take Robbie, we can't take Ryan. We were like Whatever, we're not taking him. So she threatens to take both kids out of town so that we can't take either one if we refuse to take both, and here's where the struggle begins.

The basic problem (for me) is this: She's always made these sort of demands for her convenience, and just with held the kids from us when we refused to accomodate her. Now that we have a court order protecting our rights with the kids, i thought the days of these demands were over, but apparently i was wrong. The solution I wanted to see: Call the police and have them put out an amber alert (after all, let's call this what it really is- She's threatening us with kidnapping). I'd have love to have seen her go to jail for this just so she can see that she can't get away with this shit just because she thinks she's "In the right". I really wanted her to know that No, she is most certainly NOT in the right, that kidnapping is NEVER right. I also think Robbie needs to know that no means no, and we'd already told him we weren't taking him.

The fallout of this would be bad for the children though. They wouldn't benefit at all from seeing their mother go to jail. This would have also bred serious resentment issues from Robbie towards us in several ways. One, for sending his mom to jail; two for objecting so strongly to having him around us; and three of course, for not giving him his way. I can personally live with being resented for the first and last reason, but i really don't want him feeling like we think having him with us is the worst thing that could happen. It really isn't his fault that he's been spoiled so badly, and on the positive side, i think time with us away from an atmosphere where he gets whatever he wants will really benefit him. Hell, maybe he'll come and enjoy himself and realize that with us he gets a lot more freedoms than with her and he'll actually LIKE being with us. Stranger things have happened.

So even though we made the decision to take him with us in spite of everything that could go wrong, i still feel like the decision was already made for us and we're being forced to do this. I really dislike being forced to do ANYTHING i don't want to do, and this is very hard for me to swallow. Not misdirecting my resentment towards her at Robbie is going to be a major challenge for me to overcome, and knowing this makes me feel like i am a bad person for not being able to intellectually acknowledge it isn't his fault and treat him accordingly without forcing myself to moderate my behaviour.

Here are my fears: I'm afraid she'll think that all she has to do is make her threats and we'll just roll over and give her what she wants. I'm afraid she'll be right about this, since that's the way it's worked out for the last four years in spite of the assurances i've been given to the contrary. After all, i've been given these assurances before and they haven't worked out for whatever reason. I'm afraid that Robbie will see that he's gotten HIS way once again and feel he can act however he wants and get away with it. I know Jim won't allow that, but i don't want to see him punished, nor do i want to have to tolerate his inevitable fits since he's completely unaccustomed to being told no. I'm afraid he's going to ruin the next two weeks. I'm afraid i won't be able to not resent him every time he opens his mouth and compares us to his mother (his mother, of course, being the superior example we're supposed to somehow naturally want to live up to).

We aren't getting the shaft completely. This is Jim's counterdemand to her: If we take him on vacation, then we get our visitation time with him whenever it comes up. No more Robbie choosing to be with his grandparents or his mother over being with us. No more choosing to come over only if we're going to do something that interests him. No more only coming over when he wants to ask us for something (and then leaving when he is told no). We waited for him to decide he wanted to be with us, and it apparently wasn't the right thing to do since that choice never materialized. When it's his time to be here, he'll be here whether he wants it or not. My hope is he'll learn the lesson Be Careful What You Ask For, You May Just Get It. I am also hoping that he'll learn he won't always get what he wants. I'm hoping he'll learn to treat Ryan respectfully for a change (or at least that he can't walk all over him and expect applause for it the way he does when he is with Kristi's family). I'm hoping his exposure to us will help him not be so spoiled. I'm kind of thinking that she's going along with this demand until after vacation, and then once we're back she'll make herself and Robbie unavailable to us when we're supposed to have him. Jim says he'll call the police if that happens. He says that missing a weekend with the kids is better than missing our whole first family vacation together, and i agree with him.

I'm also grateful on some level for the opportunity to FINALLY develop a relationship with Robbie. I got to know Ryan over a year ago, and i cherish the relationship i have with him and the dynamic of the family relationship between him and me and Jim. He's the kind of kid that makes me feel like maybe motherhood wouldn't have been so bad...i mean, really a stellar person. I'm hoping that my relationship with Robbie will be equally positive, though i know it won't be the same and that i'll have to continuously work at it. Robbie isn't like us, he won't click as naturally with us as Ryan did, but i want to have that relationship.

I'm praying for the strength to accept this thing that i can't change and to become a better person through this trial. To those couple of you who can read this and decided to, i'm sorry it was so long, but it was mostly written to organize my thoughts and feelings about this problem (catharsis, come to me!).

It will be interesting to see what happens.

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

Why Do Good Things Happen To Bad People?!

Why is it good things continually happen to bad people? Why do these people get to shit all over whomever they please and not only get away with it, but come off looking like GOOD people? I've heard of a concept called karma, but it doesn't seem to happen to the people who -really- deserve it. I really believe what goes around comes around, but it's frustrating to watch it go around for years and years and never see the coming around part. So she gets to continue along her merry self-righteous way, shitting on us like a pidgeon on a park statue while people look on her and cluck their tongues, thinking "That poor woman and all she has to suffer through". If they only knew the pain she intentionally inflicts on us, would they still think that? Or would they shake their heads and think "You shame Christians by calling yourself one".

So to me, the ultimate justice would be for her to get what she wants this time, and for the part she wants to gloat over to not happen. I hope he comes and doesn't miss her at all. I think she might just die a little on the inside. It'd be a bitter-sweet spot of revenge. It'd also be completely lost on someone like her.

Saturday, June 3, 2006

Yet More Random Bits

1. I go through soap like some people go through food. This doesn't mean that i enjoy eating soap, but that i really dislike having dirty hands.

2. I'm addicted to carmex in spite of its evil taste and equally bad smell. I apply it, usually wipe it off within a few minutes of application, and then put it back on. Repeat.

3. I don't mind washing clothes, or folding them, but i HATE putting them away. So i end up with a few baskets of clean clothing stashed around my apartment.

4. I read the confessions on www.comeclean.com as part of my waking up ritual.

5. One of those confessions is mine.

6. I not-so-secretly enjoy filling out surveys and passing them along. I also enjoy reading said surveys when others have filled them out :)

Friday, June 2, 2006

Refreshing Twist On An Old Story?

....Or just another lame remake? That's right, i'm talking about The Omen. I saw a small bit of it a million years ago when my mom was still protecting me from movies that might give me night mares, but never seen the whole thing. I just can't decide if i want to see it or not. The cast seems pretty decent. I do wish they'd chosen that creepy kid from The Ring to play Damien though.

So my options are:

a. Go rent the original and decide whether or not to see v. 2.0 based on the merit of how entertaining the original was to me.

b. Suck it up and go see it blindly. After all, if i dig the original, chances are i won't dig the remake (see both versions of The Fog and you'll know exactly what i mean).

c. Wait for the movie critics to give their opinions, and suddenly act like i care what they think.

d. Skip it, it's probably just another lame remake.

Mmmm...decisions, decisions.

Monday, May 15, 2006

The Book vs. The Movie

So i just got finished with reading The Da Vinci Code, and man! What a fun book! Fast paced, detailed (but not tediously so), twisty-plotted... and very simple all at the same time. I very much enjoyed reading it. Ironically enough, i can't wait to see the movie. I know, i know, the movie is NEVER as good as the book. This was a quandary for me: Should i read the book and spoil the movie or wait to see the movie first and spoil the book? After all, after having read the book, the movie will inevitably disappoint on two levels: 1. The simple fact that the movie will leave out crucial elements that made the book so damn good (as they always do); and 2. I'll go into the movie already knowing how it's going to end. And by that same line of logic, seeing the movie first should only enhance my enjoyment of the book, as the book will provide me with all the missing details and bits of history that were edited out of the movie for the sake of saving time. I'll also have visuals of all the places the book references that i've never been to in France and England to envision while i read.

So why did i end up choosing to read the book first? Because when it's all said and done, reading to me is much like a good courtship: a bit of acquaintence-making followed by romance that gives way to long foreplay, which melts slowly into lovemaking and ends with a climax that is timely, intense and very satisfying. Few things give me as much satisfaction as sitting down and reading all the sub plots and hints and intrigues, following the events leading up to the climax, and seeing it all come together so flawlessly as only can happen in a really good book; and the fact that all of this takes place over several days is the icing on the brownie. With a book you get to really take your time to appreciate the story that's being unfolded before you. Sometimes things can go that well with a really great movie, and while that's also very satisfying, the feeling itself only lasts a couple of hours.

So having read the book, i really think it should translate well into a movie. The key: the simplicity of the book. Even with editing, they shouldn't need to leave much out (which is what inevitably kills a movie based on a book), and it's very plausible, so they shouldn't need to change anything (also a movie-killing inevitability that movie makers never seem to understand). While i don't hold out much hope for the movie being as good and as well-thought out as the book, i think it will be worthwhile nonetheless.

Post Movie Edit: I couldn't have been more wrong about the movie being worthwhile.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Reaching Out

We all have one of those friends who, when you're with them, is peppy and laughs a lot and seems happy enough. Then you get a glimpse of them when they think you're not looking and they seem very much not okay at all. So then you wonder: What's wrong? Of course, you ask, and the predictable "Oh, nothing!" and a smile is all you get. "Okay", you think to yourself, "Maybe i just interpreted it wrong". But you keep seeing signs that something just isn't right, and your friend is hurting beneath the surface. You want to ask what's wrong, but don't want to pry or be nosy. After all, you've already asked (a couple of times, in fact), and they opted not to share the problem(s) with you, thus making it none of your business. You want to keep trying, but you don't want to alienate them, so you let it be and look on and feel helpless struggling with the desire to be helpful. So there's my problem. How do i reach out when "What's wrong?" isn't enough?

Wednesday, May 3, 2006

The Ole "Extended Network"

Okay, what's the deal with the 'extended network'? Everyone seems to be in it. How extensive is 'extended', and 'extended' compared to what? So far i haven't seen anyone in my local network...or anyone NOT in my network (extended or otherwise), for that matter. Now i admit, i don't have that big a friends collection on myspace (I say collection because i've seen people with upwards of 5000 'friends', and i don't believe they all actually know each other...it's more like a race to see who can collect the most people on a single list. But that's another subject entirely), but the ones i do have are pretty varied in their locations. Some are closer than others, but no matter how close or how far away, we come back to this whole 'extended network' thing. Did Tom, when he was playing Creator, look at his creation and notice a big empty space at top and wonder to himself, "Hmm. What could i put there? There's already plenty of ads: banner, box, and pop-up. Maybe people want to feel like they're part of something more than just this little miniverse i'm creating for their amusement and wasting-of-productive-work-time. I know! I'll also make them part of a Network!"?

Us lesser amusees and wasters-of-productive-work-time may never know.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Kristi- You're A Cunt

Well, that pretty much says it all. But i have a bit more to add anyway (in case you're reading this). As much as it sucks to be you, and as unhappy as you are with your lot in life, get over it before you grow into an old, bitter woman that only other old, bitter women like. And please, quit spying on us. Not only are we none of your business, it's really rather pathetic. You're like that guy at work no one likes who's too busy worrying about what everyone else is doing when he SHOULD be minding his own business. Focus on yourself (that should come naturally enough... you've been doing it since birth and expecting everyone else to follow your example, after all) and you might actually find a little happiness. So, in closing, quit being such a hypocrytical super-twat. Start behaving like that good christian you claim (but happen not) to be, and forgive...turn the other cheek...whatever your church tells you that you should be doing, but aren't.