Thursday, July 16, 2009

Getting It Off My Chest

Housebreaking a puppy makes me doubt the wisdom of getting said puppy in the first place. I'm a bad person for sometimes thinking that.

I'm sorry you don't like our boss. Bosses suck, welcome to real life.

You don't have the fucking swine flu, you contemptible sympathy monger! You're always sick in the head.

Who're you trying to convince? Us, or yourself?

Say what's really on your mind, and *maybe* you'll get the results you're looking for.

I need them. I don't need them, but i want them. It all amounts to the same thing in the end.

People think you're a backstabbing bitch because you are a backstabbing bitch.

Of course it's inappropriate! That's why it's so damn funny!

At least this face is the only one i've got.

You're making that shit up, and we all know it. Just stop.

I really thought you were smarter than to listen to her.

I suggest you do what your parents did! Get a JOB, sir!

We're not friends. We're coworkers.

The mess i'm in is my own fault. I know. I don't need you to tell me, nor do i need you to list the contributing events.

The mess you're in is your own fault. You know. You don't need to blame them, nor do you need pretend you don't know the contributing events.

Honestly, i don't understand because i don't want to.

Monday, July 13, 2009

20 Questions, By Layne

I was browsing around random blogs today when i found this guy's survey. It's one well-thought out survey, too: no "What's your favourite colour" type questions here! Always a sucker for a good survey, i nabbed it, and now post it for your filling-out pleasure. If you'd like to see the original post, or share your answers with him (which would be a nice thing to do, since it's his survey) click here
20 Questions, by Layne

Here's my survey. I ask each of you to fill it out and post it either as a comment on this blog or on your own blog.

With one exception, these aren't yes or no questions. Most of them will require thought and introspection. It might not be a fun survey, but I make no apologies. I'm trying to get to know you better.

I'll post my own answers sometime this weekend.

1. Of everything you've ever done in your life, what one accomplishment makes you most proud?

I lost fifty pounds :)

2. If the person you are today could meet the person you'll be ten years from now, do you think the two of you would be friends?

I'd have to say probably not. I'm both advice-giving and advice phobic, and i'm sure Future Me would annoy Present Me to no end, even though i'm well aware that Future Me knows better. I've just always done better with learning from my own mistakes.

3. If calories, carbohydrates, and nutrition were of no consequence, what would you love to eat?

Bread, fruit, ice cream and cheese. I could live on these four items (and, in fact, tried to once, which is why i look the way i do).

4. What is your very earliest memory?

I was living in Germany, in an apartment rented from a German land lord. There was an apple orchard out back, and i really, really wanted to go back there. I thought i had my chance when i saw the land lord leading his grand children out there- i tried to follow them, acting like i was supposed to be there. They saw through my scheme, though, and didn't allow me to tag along. I was very disappointed.

5. Everybody has a silly way to waste time. What's yours?

If i'm at home, i browse blogs. If i'm at work, i walk around and tell everyone their daily horoscopes. If their horoscope is boring, i make stuff up instead.

6. What one incident do you think is most responsible for making you the person you are today?

I left. I will not explain further.

7. Do you believe you've reached your potential in any area of your life? If so, which area?

This is an incredibly difficult thing for me to think about, as most of my life, i've been told that i'm wasting my potential. I've learned on a cerebral level that this is just another way of saying, "You're not doing what i want you to be doing," but emotionally, i still feel i've disappointed those who had expectations of me.

8. If you were President of the United States, and Congress agreed to pass any one law you wanted, what would it be?

I'd like to see a plan for the complete legalization, taxation, and regulation of cannabis. I don't smoke it myself, and probably wouldn't even if it were legal, but i'd like to see the criminal aspect of this disappear. It'd also be a welcome source of income our economy desperately needs.

9. Name the aspect of your character you most wish you could change.

I would have to say my tendency to make situations that have nothing to do with me, all about me. I Know It Isn't All About Me . That should sum it up.

10. Do you believe in fate?

To a point. I think fate brings us opportunities, but it's up to us to seize upon them and make something of them. I don't believe that fate is an enabler of laziness, to avoid taking responsibility for our own happiness.

11. Life never turns out quite the way we plan it. Try to remember who and where and what you thought you were going to be. What's the single biggest difference between your current reality and what you thought would happen?

I've never really been one for planning (hence the whole 'wasting my potential' thing). I never had much in the way of My Life Is Going To Be Just So thinking, so it's hard to say what the difference between my imagined reality and my current one is, as my imagined reality didn't really exist. I can, however, say that i never thought i'd have kids in my life. I never personally had any, but step kids is something i didn't see coming.

12. Some people tell stories. Some people design clothes. Some people paint landscapes. Some people sing. Some people make up survey questions. What's your creative outlet?

I write :) I always wished i could create something tangible, but i'm just not very good at things like that.

13. Does the future hold more promise or fear for you? Why?

I'm not sure. I don't plan much, which staves off fearfulnes to a degree, i suppose. I don't fear that my plans will fall through, at any rate. I guess i fear for the future of my industry at times, for reasons that're far too uninteresting to go into.

14. Please describe an imaginary person who is your exact opposite.

He's tall and confident. He makes friends easily and is well liked immediately by those who meet him. He's comfortable in crowds, and one-on-one. Along with his obvious charisma, he's very shallow and care-free. Though he generally isn't a hurtful person, if he did hurt someone, it wouldn't bother him too much. As easily as he makes friends, someone else would take their place, and he'd forget the injured person before long anyhow. He's also a picky eater.

15. Everyone knows the blockbuster movies, the billboard music hits, and the best selling novels. I want to know the obscure, the overlooked, and the forgotten.

A. Your favorite unknown movie.

City of Lost Children Pictures, Images and Photos

I don't know if it's unknown or not, but most people i know have never seen it.

B. Your favorite unknown book.


Again, not sure if it's unknown, but i don't know many who've read it.

C. Your favorite unknown song.

Om, By The Moody Blues

16. Please tell me about the best day you've ever had.

I've had a lot of REALLY good days, so i'll just pick one of them.
I was wearing a white dress, walking down a narrow aisle with my dad. At the end of it, the most wonderful man in the world was waiting for me, smiling, and sweating because it was hot in there. I passed from my dad's side to His side, knowing that i had found my place in life. I felt my soul click with his, and i felt the life flowing into a part of me that hadn't realized i was missing. And i was happy.

17. What foreign culture interests you the most?

Indian culture (not to be confused with Native American culture) is incredibly interesting to me. The religions, the food, the dress. . . It's all so exotic and beautiful to me.

18. How much of who you are is because of the decisions you've made, and how much is a result of circumstances you did not control?

I'd say an equal mix of both. After all, a lot of my decisions have arisen as a response to circumstances beyond my control, and many of the circumstances i could not control were generated as a result of decisions i made.

19. What's life about, anyway?

I think it's different things for different people. For me, it's about being happy as much of the time as i possibly can, and being with people who make me happy (whom i can, in turn create happiness for). It's like the opposite of a vicious cycle.

20. What's your country's greatest gift to the rest of the world?


The Trouble With 4 am

It just comes way too fucking early. You can't adequately prepare for 4 am. You can go to bed at 8 pm, and if you can manage to fall asleep at a ridiculously early hour like that (i mean, come on! That's when all the GOOD shows air!), you still kinda fall bonelessly out of bed, wondering why it's still so DARK out there. After you realize that the alarm buzzing in your brain is actually your day starting three hours early, not part of your dream, it does get a little easier. The worst is over.

*trudges off to begin the day*

Amazingly Awesome

I have a fairly decent vocabulary. It's something i take pride in, though i don't normally mention it, as it makes me feel like i sound self-centered. I like language a lot, and word origins interest me. A pleasant side-effect of knowing where a word comes from is that it helps keep it on the front of the mental shelf, stored and ready for convenient future use. Helps a lot in crossword puzzles, too.

So why is it i find myself falling back on the words "amazing" and "awesome" about eighty percent of the time i'm trying to compliment someone or something? I cringe every time i hear myself refer to something as amazing, or say "awesome" in response to someone's weekend. I sound so insincere, even though i don't FEEL insincere. I think the only reason i get away with it is that everyone else is currently in love with those two words, too.

So! My personal goal: not to use either word for the rest of the week. I endeavor to make use of more meaningful compliments and more creative affirmations. I want to really think about the things i'm saying to people, rather than to fly on verbal autopilot.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Angie and Christie's Literature and Blogging Project

It started with an email, a link and a question.

The email was from Angie, the link lead to a reading challenge (hosted by a blogspot person neither of us knew), and the question was: "Wanna do this?" I followed the link, perused the description of the challenge, and replied, "I'm in!"

Being the busy people that we are, her moreso than me, we let the subject lapse for a couple of weeks. When we got around to looking at the challenge again, together this time, we realized there were a few aspects of the challenge we just weren't interested in. Damn it.

But did we give up? Of course not! This was a CHALLENGE, after all! So we did what any pair of raging control freaks would've proudly done in our places: we took the bits that we did like, and made up stuff to replace the stuff we didn't. I mean, when it comes to uninteresting subjects, there's only so much challenge we can handle. At this point, it evolved from a reading 'challenge' to a cooperative reading effort. Once we read our book, we'll write our thoughts about the book before moving on to the next one.

These are the topics we picked, and how we selected our material (bear in mind, some of the topic selection methods were not our idea). We limited our selections to things that neither of us has read before:

1. Random Book Selection. Go to the library. Position yourself in a section such as Fiction, Non-Fiction, Mystery, Children (whatever section you want). Then write down random directions for yourself (for example, third row, second shelf, fifth book from right). Follow your directions and see what book you find. Check that book out of the library, read it and then write about it. (If you prefer, you can do the same at a bookstore and buy the book!)

Selecting this book was my task. I decided before i went into the store that i would walk straight to the back wall, and pick out the last book on the bottom shelf. This is what i found there:


2. Random Word. Go to this random word generator and generate a random word. Find a book with this word in the title. Read the book and write about it.

Angie and i both followed a link to a random word generator and generated a word. We agreed to decide on who got the cooler word, and use that to determine what book we read. I got 'anthology', and she got 'bowl'. The book we ultimately decided on has neither word in the title (cheaters!)


but it IS an anthology, so we figured it was applicable. Angie picked this one.

3. Classic Girl. Choose a sexy classic, read it, and write about it.

Classic literature is, in my opinion, forced on people too young to appreciate it. I HATED classic literature when i was required to read it, but now i like it rather a lot. I chose Madame Bovary as our sexy classic, because i've always wanted to read it.

Madame Bovary roman Pictures, Images and Photos

4. Judge A Book By Its Cover. Pick out a book based SOLELY on the cover. First, write about what you expect the book to be about based on the cover art. Then read the book and write about how the book was different from and/or similar to what the cover art led you to expect.

Again, this was my task. I wandered around a bookstore, just looking at covers. You have no idea how tempting it is to pick up a book and read the back cover before deciding to read it! I caught myself going to do just that several times, but when i saw this beauty, i knew i had to read it regardless of what the back cover said:


Seriously. How can you turn down a book with a cut-out disguise as a cover?! You can't!

5. Phoning An Author. Pick a random last name out of the phone book. Find an author with the same last name and read a book by them. Write about it.

Angie and i picked up our respective phone books, which was cool, because we got two towns' worth of names to select from. We flipped open to a random White Page, closed our eyes, and poked our fingers down at a spot on the page. I got Huff, she got Mayfield. We ended up going with her name, and this is the book she picked:


6. Random Bestseller. Go to and, using the True Random Number Generator, enter the number 1950 for the min. and 2008 for the max. and then hit generate. Then go to this site and find the year that generated for you and click on it. Then find the bestseller list for the week that would contain your birthday for that year. Choose one of the bestsellers from the list that comes up, read it and write about it.

We both went to the site and entered in the parameters specified. I got 1955, and she got 1993. Her list had a better selection, so we combined the requirements and chose her list year, and my birthday week. We ended up picking

Like Water for Chocolate Pictures, Images and Photos

7. A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words. Go to the picture book/art book section of the library or a book store. Select a picture (or several) from an art book, and write a story about what's happening in the picture.

Angie picked this one. She didn't say how she picked it, but i'm dying to read it!


8. Help Yourself! Read a self-help book, and write about how it helped you.

Initially, we picked something entirely different. It was a spiritual book that looked incredibly interesting, but then we saw this

women who run with the wolves Pictures, Images and Photos

We're both feminist literature fans, and clearly we didn't already have enough on the list, so we added another. What's better than self-help? Feminist self-help, of course!

9. Story Book Ending. Watch a movie based on a book, and then read the book it's based on. Write about how it's similar and different, and which you liked better.

It was hard to pick something we'd both never seen or read. I ended up picking a short story and a movie based on the short story.

midnight meat train Pictures, Images and Photos

It's got Vinnie Jones :D

10. Public Spying. Find someone who is reading a book in public. Find out what book they are reading and then read the same book. Write about it.

Angie picked this one. One of the parents at her daughters' softball games was reading this book


Her daughter has already read it, and gives it a shining endorsement.

And that's our reading list! We'll blog about them as we read them; we don't have any particular time frame we're aiming for. I think Angie picked The Language of Fear as our starting point. See something you're interested in? Feel free to join us as we broaden our literary horizons :) I'll start as soon as sends The Postal Fairy to visit me!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Small Rant About The Makers Of Movies

Moviemakers can do absolutely amazing things with films now-a-days. CGI, special effects, "magic". . . Harry Potter movies take my breath away everytime i see one. There's literally only one thing cinematographers haven't seem to have mastered yet:

Making the voices the same volume as (or a little louder than) the goddamn music and effects.

It happens every time! I'm sitting there, watching a movie, and i have to turn the volume WAY up to hear the conversation, only to have my ear drums ruptured when someone fires a gun, or music starts playing. I go from this:


to this:

maxell Pictures, Images and Photos

and it drives me insane! They spend all that money on developing newer, better explosions, realistic looking fire. . . hell, they can even make it look like someone's missing limbs! How bout spending a little time on sound research, eh?

My Wife The Jerk

This is my attempt to rise to Stephanie's Challenge Here it is, in a nutshell: The challenge is to write about what it is like to date or live with you from the other person's perspective. It's about putting all of your flaws out there for the world to see.

So here's my story, written from the point of view of my husband.

You ever try living with a girl with bipolar disorder? It's no picnic, lemme tell ya. First off, not to state the obvious or anything, but she is moody as FUCK! One minute, she's in a good mood; next minute, she's crying about something. Or nothing. Or both. "But the super-good mood's the pay out, right?" you may be asking right now, and the answer is no. When the super-good mood comes, she goes out and spends up all the money. Usually on bullshit like tea. Because she really needs another flavour of tea.

Second off, she's OCD about the stupidest things. Must wash the hands for the five hundredth time today. Must find the gas station that's one cent cheaper than all the other ones (nevermind she just blew half her tank looking for said cheaper gas station). Must measure EVERY serving of food she puts past those pearly whites, down to the gram. And forget a spontaneous trip to the movies or restaurant. She's gotta investigate the points value of every menu item, pop her own popcorn, and pack her own snacks. Inevitably, carrots is one of those snacks. Carrots are loud and embarrassing.

Third. . . she shuts down emotionally when she's mad. Don't EVEN expect an explanation regarding what you've done wrong anytime over the next three days.

Don't want to hear about her shitty day and her shitty coworkers? Too bad. Prepare to hear about it, in great detail, at great length. And don't let her catch you not paying attention, or see "Third". And don't offer solutions. It's like she prepares her reasons they won't work out in advance, before you can even suggest them.

Ever wonder what it's like to live with an Alzheimer's patient? Move in with my wife. She'll tell you the same story three or four times, because she didn't remember telling you the first two or three times. And then she'll leave out something important, and swear up and down she already told you about it three weeks ago. Chances are, she told someone else three or four times.

Enjoy a messy house? She's your gal. Whininess about how no one ever helps her clean the messy house? She doesn't disappoint there, either.
If you're lucky, she might even wash your clothes along with hers.

I could carry on, but for brevity's sake, i won't. I don't mean to give the impression that there're no redeeming qualities about living with her. . . i mean, she can make a mean box of Hamburger Helper (when she bothers), and she's affectionate (when she's not pissed off). But i often wonder what i got myself into when i said, "I do."