holiday spirit: post 9 - a bit grinchy

There have been a number of things creeping in, trying to steal my Christmas spirit lately. I must admit to feeling a bit grinchy, wrapped in a layer of bah humbug.

As many of you are experiencing, wherever you happen to be in the U.S., the weather outside is frightful to say the least. And, (now bordering on excess) baby, it's cold outside. The combination of the massive snowfalls plus the subzero temperatures has made me rethink my travel plans. This means I may experience my first ever Christmas away from my family. This is devastating to me, as Christmas is the one time of the year when all of my cousins, aunts, uncles, everyone congregates at my grandpa's two-bedroom house to celebrate the holiday. This amounts to over 50 family members, all of whom I'm dying to see. Unfortunately, I don't want to literally die in order to see them, so I may have to avoid travel until after the holiday.

Now for the boring weather statistics. I'm not meaning to start a pissing contest, but here are our stats from Southern Wisconsin, where we're knocking on the door to beat the December snowfall record. Not a record worth breaking, if you ask me. Anyway, we received over a foot of snow last Friday, 4-7 inches are falling today, and an additional 3-6 inches are expected for tomorrow (Christmas Eve). The day after Christmas is promising freezing rain, snow, and sleet. Yay. Pardon my math, but that amounts to a fuckload of snow.

The man loves the snow and has little sympathy for my situation, as his family lives across town and there is no danger of him missing his Christmas. The whole 45 minutes of it that he attends. I think he just wants me to stay in town, to be honest. Nevertheless, his attitude is making me less than jolly and I believe I even went so far as to tell him to stop pissing on my Christmas. Not sure what holiday spirit crept out of me with that comment, but I wish it would've taken the stick out of my ass when it made its debut. To say I'm uptight and stressed is an understatement.

Yet, the story of the Grinch Who Stole Christmas has a happy ending, with the Grinch being warmed by the spirit of the season, taking him from asshole to do-gooder in one fell swoop. I'm hoping that life imitates art and that this grinchy feeling washes away and everything works out in the end. That would be a Christmas miracle of mythic proportions. Kind of like that year in the 90s when my pretentious and disliked cousins came down with the flu and couldn't come to our other family celebration.

And now, your reward for listening to my quite silly woes, how about another holiday music selection, brought to us by the late, great Dr. Seuss:

Sidenote: You may not know this, but this song was sung by Thurl Ravenscroft, the voice of Tony the Tiger (from Kellogg's Frosted Flakes fame).

the man who couldn't cry

Artist Scotty Reifsnyder illustrated a book and created a short animation based on Johnny Cash's song "The Man Who Couldn't Cry." I love how he captured the lyrics, tone, and overall feel via artwork.

Click on the photo for a link to the artist's website and for an animated film of the book.

via Design Milk


holiday spirit: post 8

This is by far, in my humble opinion, the best Christmas song ever recorded. And now, for your listening and viewing pleasure, "Holly Jolly Christmas" by Burl Ives.


holiday spirit: post 7 - we've been outnumbered

I've got some happy news. The man surprised me with an early Christmas present on Friday: a new kitten whom we've named Rue. She is a rescue kitty who was found in a tree and we figure she is about 10 weeks old. I'm glad that she was found when she was, since temperatures have been below zero lately.

We will be taking her to the vet in the next week to get her checked out, but she is a happy and feisty little thing.

The dog is in love with the kitten. I think her mothering instincts are kicking in. The funny thing is, the kitten is pretty indifferent toward her, which is a manifestation of karma, if you ask me. The dog was quite the bitch to Jack from the time he was a kitten, despite his best efforts to bond with her. Now, Jammer (the dog) is having to deal with the same sort of apathy from Rue. Interesting to see karma at work in the dog world.

Jack, our 15+ pound beast of a cat is quite a pansy. He initially was petrified of the kitten. This makes sense as we found him when he was barely a month old and he had likely not seen very many other cats before. He has been interested in Rue from the beginning, a sort of cautious fascination that often led him to run away like a wee baby whenever the kitten made a sudden movement. As of now, after having been given the opportunity to let it all sink in, he has begun to play with Rue and they are becoming fast friends, much to the chagrin of the dog.

And yes, the bipeds are now outnumbered in our little happy family. In the event of a inter-species wrestling match, we're down one person if we need to tag out so one of us will have to pull an extra shift. My vote is on the man.



I am very much looking forward to this movie:

For anyone who liked Nightmare Before Christmas, I think this will be in the same vein.


holiday spirit: post 6 - in memorium

Today marks the anniversary of John Lennon's death. As an avid Beatles fan in my teenage years, I drank in all of the Beatles and John Lennon music that I could. I find that this date still pops up in my head each December and I feel a sense of loss, despite not having been born when the event took place.

On this date each year I feel sorry for the many fans who were alive to experience the loss on that day and I feel sorry for those of us who came later and were never able to experience the thrill of a new album release or see a live interview with such an influential and talented individual.

And so, to mark this day, I'm posting one of my favorite holiday songs, sung by John Lennon and Yoko Ono. I like to think that by electing Barack Obama, we are this much closer to at least one war being over.


holiday spirit (kind of): post 5

Today has been an absolutely awful day. I have very little hope that my job will ever be satisfying, gratifying, or bearable. I'm lucky to have a job, so that is all I will say about it. Anyway, I'm in a kind of a funk as a result of a few work issues today and I was near tears as I sat at my desk and read yet another e-mail that made me want to rip my eyes out of their sockets, just so that I would be rendered blind and unable to read the bullshit.

It was at that very moment that my all-time favorite Christmas song came on. My old buddy Burl Ives came on and serenaded me with his Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer television special rendition of "A Holly Jolly Christmas" and as much as I would like to say that my faith in humanity and the upper management was renewed, it wasn't. I am, however, more willing to deal with it now. It is funny how a song can lift your spirits, even just a little.

Thanks go to you, Burl, you've kept the desk rage at bay.


holiday spirit: post 4

I've made a firm commitment to only using real money this holiday season: no credit cards. As I've said many times before, I am on a strict debt pay-down schedule and timeline. I may be spending less this year, but it is all money that I have and thus I won't be spending more in the long run. Also, the man and I are not exchanging gifts so that we can use that money on gifts for others.

I've also made a commitment to buying products from independent and local producers/sellers. I've had to step outside of this commitment for my nephews because I couldn't find a local independent seller of WALL-E DVDs. Other than making a conscious decision to buy local, I'm also making gifts again this year as much as I can. I've plugged this before, but buying homemade via sites like Etsy can yield high-quality goods and can help independent artisans/crafters and their families.

I know that this holiday season is going to be a tight one for many people and their families. I'm lucky that I don't have to worry about how I'll pay my bills and that I have the luxury of being able to make payments toward my debt.

Thinking about the holiday in terms of money doesn't usually make it into the "holiday spirit" category, but I think an economic downturn has the potential to bring Christmas back to its true meaning without the emphasis on gifting. It is amazing how much creativity can stem from times of misfortune and how clearly we can be compassionate to the plights of others more when we are ourselves experiencing hardship.


If you would like a visual representation of how our economy went into crisis mode (aka went down the toilet), I suggest this:


holiday spirit: post 3

Did I mention that I love Christmas music? I do, but I must admit that I'm more than partial to the classics...think Time Life Christmas with Burl Ives, Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, all the greats. If you can stream music online, I highly suggest going to Iceberg Radio. Select "Seasonal" from the list and then "Old-Fashioned Christmas" from the expandable menu. It is what I've been listening to for the past couple weeks. All day. Every day. There is a pop-up player so you don't have to keep the main browser window open: quite handy. Also, the player has many other options if you prefer a different type of holiday music, but like I said, I stick with the classics.

Now, thanks to the standard stations that switch over to nonstop Christmas music during the holiday season, I'm able to listen on my way to work, at work from my computer, then on my way home again. Ah, you've got to love that.

NOTE: If you have sense enough to despise the David Bowie/Bing Crosby duet as much as I do, there is also an option to deselect 5 artists (in the pop-up player mode) so that their songs don't appear in your playlist. Whew, no more Ziggy Stardust or Chipmunks messing with my holiday cheer.


holiday spirit: post 2

If you are in need of a dose of Christmas spirit...the real kind, not the kind associated with presents and Santa Claus, I recommend that you seek out the movie The Bishop's Wife. Be sure to watch the 1947 version with Cary Grant and Loretta Young. It is fanciful and wonderful and heartwarming, and it hits all of the aspects of the holiday (good and bad) then winds down into the true meaning of Christmas. I particularly love David Niven's sermon at the end. Also, you can't help but grin at the special effects. A "must watch" for anyone trying to rid themselves of the bah humbugs.

holiday spirit: post 1

I love Christmas. I love the way you hear a Christmas song and you can feel the warmth of it seeping into your bones, heating you from the inside out like a mug full of hot chocolate. I love how people seem a little bit nicer and dig a little deeper into their pockets to help others, even if they can't really spare the money. I love the innocence of the holiday, if you are able to look past all the capitalist trappings.

I'm going to take a break from some of my standard negativity to bring you a series of holiday-inspired posts. Maybe not all holiday-inspired, but I'll share with you some of the things that inspire the feelings of holiday festivity in me.


a little less disgusted

I'm not refreshed, but I am well-rested, or at least I should be. I must still be dealing with a combination of stress and not feeling well by being extremely tired. I fell asleep by 7:00 last night and actually slept pretty well. I only woke up about 4 times last night, which is a vast improvement over the norm of 10. My muscles are still sore, but I think the sleep is helping to give my body time to get back to normal.

Unfortunately, the sleeping a lot thing doesn't help me to get much work done around the house. I've been trying to prepare for the visit of the man's family, who will be doing their Thanksgiving celebration at our house again this year. I will be visiting my family up north, so the man is on his own with the hosting duties. Still, I feel like I should do my part in readying the house for the onslaught of inlaws. I made a lot of progress this past weekend, and in the process decided to reorganize my filing system yet again. I'm beginning to think I should go to rehab for organizational addiction. I wonder if there is such a thing.

Anyway, I leave for my parents' house on Wednesday afternoon and will return home Saturday. This will allow me to bypass all familial gatherings for the man. I'm sure that sounds rude, but it is an effort to avoid irritating conversation. I'm not in the mood to be harassed about marriage right now, which seems to be the favorite line of questioning these days for the man's other side of the family.

All in all, I'm happy to get away for a while and am looking forward to seeing my family again. And I plan on wearing loose-fitting clothing so that I can gorge myself on the Thanksgiving feast.


it figures

It figures that the first accumulating snowfall would happen on a day when the facilities guy is on vacation and I have to open the office building. No replacement or fill-in was sent over so I spent 45 minutes of my morning shoveling snow. I really hate my job today.

Oh, and in the spirit of nothing, I've obviously resolved to return to sporadic blog posting. I also hate my internet connection and my cell phone that won't hold a charge.


and no, that is not my ass

My pelvis is out of alignment again. This is a bad thing. I have to wear a special belt in an attempt to keep the bones from moving, at least until I can get enough muscular strength built back up to keep things together on their own. I haven't posted about the belt, mainly because I hate it. I wear it under my clothes, over my underwear. Underwear, I must add, that is not the type of underwear that I'm accustomed to wearing. I know: too much information. I usually prefer the thong variety of unders, but now am being forced to wear unders with more material so that the belt doesn't rub my skin off. Because nothing says sexy like a flesh-colored belt and chaffed skin. Except maybe a flesh-colored belt over granny-ish panties. Okay, so maybe they aren't quite granny panties, but they are much more modest than I prefer. Below you will see a lovely model wearing the fabulous belt:

She has chosen to wear a bodysuit or leotard of some sort. With nylons? She must be crazy. Anyway, Ms. 80s Workout Video pictured above and I are obviously uncomfortable enough with the belt-wearing that we are forced to make bad wardrobe decisions. The manufacturer says that there is "minimal bulk" associated with the belt, but they lie. Who wants to make their midsection look any bigger than it actually is? Not I. Yet I wear the damned belt daily, all day, only to be freed when I am going to sleep. Also, the material that keeps the belt from sliding, they give it a clever name but it is the same stuff that you use to keep rugs from sliding on the floor or to line cupboards. Last time I checked, I don't keep mugs and plates on my ass.
That sound of velcro you hear in the next bathroom stall? It probably isn't any kind of adult diaper, it is probably some poor soul who is unfortunate enough to have been prescribed to wear a belt under her clothing. And that clothing is probably ill fitting as a result of the belt because either a.) their pants are too tight or b.) their pants are falling down because it feels awfully ridiculous to be wearing two belts at the same time. And that person must now piss every time they even think about a beverage because the stupid belt is constricting their bladder.
I will say that the belt has its good points. Up until this weekend it had been doing its job quite well. Apparently, the belt decided to take a siesta and in the meantime my muscles and bones plotted some sort of revolution. The result of their jubilee is me not being able to stand upright, bend, or breathe without wincing. And yet I still have to wear the belt. Oh, the wonders of modern medicine.


so much for posting daily

I would've posted yesterday, but I would have had to bend down to plug my laptop back in (I'm in the habit of keeping all energy-sucking gadgets unplugged when not in use) and that wasn't an option. I need to train the pets to do those types of things for me. As you may have guessed, I am still in a lot of pain. I opted to stay home from work yesterday so that I could go in to the doctor and get my back/pelvis/hip thing worked on. I have to go back to the doc on Thursday to see if what they did worked and to try again (if the swelling has gone down). I was in a new realm of hurting after the appointment so I decided that lying on the couch with an ice pack under my ass area would be the best medicine. That and taking the pain killers every 4-6 hours, which I must say only served to lull me into a false sense of feeling better. I say false sense, because if I moved so much as an inch expletives began streaming out my mouth as if I had some sort of pain-induced Tourette's.

It's still early and I'm contemplating whether or not to chance going to work today. I don't think there is any way around it and I'm not sure I can take another day cooped up in the house. I've got a ton of work to do and I'm afraid that not going in to work will cause me more stress, which is never a good thing when you already feel like nine kinds of ass.

Too bad I can't work from a supine position. Or in my pajamas.



I don't know what I did to my pelvis/back/hips since last night, but whatever it was, it wasn't good. I've been sore for the past week, increasingly so since my last physical therapy session, but when I woke this morning I could hardly get out of the bed. Unfortunately, it seems worse than just having "slept on it wrong."

If I wake up tomorrow in a similar state, I think it will require a trip to the physical therapist and possibly the orthopaedic specialist. I'm immobile at best and the pain is worse than I've felt in quite a while. I hope that things are just out of alignment and that the recurring pain doesn't call for more drastic measures. The man has tried to help me to loosen my muscles, using the method that the therapist prescribed, but that doesn't seem to be helping because I cannot make the readjustment myself. I've been in quite a funk due to the pain. It's hard to concentrate and/or to be good company when you feel like shit.

For now, I'm off to take another muscle relaxer and pray for sleep.


was it colder in the 20s?

I just watched The Changeling. I highly recommend it. Clint Eastwood sure has a knack for directing good, yet depressing, films. I must say it is quite refreshing to see a film that doesn't have to rely on sex to keep the plot moving.

I have one issue with the movie, which may not be a legitimate dispute. I'm not sure. Angelina Jolie's character wears heavy coats all throughout the film. The film is set in Los Angeles. In the spring and summer. I assume that it would be too warm to warrant a jacket that heavy, but then again, I've never been to California. I may have found the movie even more interesting had my focus not been repeatedly grabbed by what I consider to be an odd choice of wardrobe. I have two theories for the jacket/gloves combo:
  1. Maybe the costumers were just trying to hide how painfully skinny she was.
  2. Or it could be because the main character was met by such coldness in the cruel world of the 1920s.

But then again, I may be reading too much into it. That one sticking point aside, it was a very good movie.


porn for women

The bubble reads "As long as I have legs to walk on, you'll never have to take out the garbage." This is a fantasy for most coupled, heterosexual women. Porn is usually a fantasy. Thus, this is porn for women. I bought this book of postcards for my friend Tracy's birthday. You can find it here. Even the man found them funny. I tried explaining that these could be considered "how-to" cards. The man laughed. And that is the case and point for why this is porn for women.



I'm very tight when it comes to my budget. I carry around a notebook to record expenditures and track all receipts. I'm probably not normal. As if that is a surprise.

For those of you are not as stringent in tracking your spending, I suggest trying Mint. Mint is a free, online software application that helps you monitor your personal finances. You can track your spending in categories and even compare your spending habits to the average of those in various locations around the country. The software is a safe way to manage all of your online bank accounts in one place, making it a handy way for me to update my own offline budget spreadsheets.

I highly recommend this service. Everyone is pinching their pennies these days, why not use this as a way to keep track of your green?


are you trying to tell me something?

I don't often partake in refreshment from the office candy dish. I did today. This is what my candy told me:
Do you think I should see a doctor? Maybe if I keep smiling, no one will know that I'm the carrier of some sort of pathogen. Thanks for the heads up, Dove.


if i had an extra 20 rolling around...

I'd so buy this:

Maybe I'll just put it on a credit card and call it an election present to myself.

I love the concept - not too in your face, but just enough. Maybe I'll wear it to Thanksgiving with the man's very Republican family. Too snarky? I think not.


get out of my brain

I had four days of software applications trainings at work last week. I, perhaps selfishly, dragged my friend Tracy along with me so that I had someone to help me troubleshoot when no IT staff are present. They are never present, at least not physically and not during my work hours. So, here is my official apology - Tracy, I'm sorry for making you endure the torturous training days. I think I'm being punished for my selfishness.

How am I being punished, you ask? My head. My head is full of images of InfoMaker. My brain is brimming with data. I have now determined that I do not have a head cold. I instead have been struck down with the consequences of my actions and am paying penance for causing someone else to sit through a training that she may never really need. My head is nearly about to explode with FERPA violating material and if it does in fact spew out that confidential information, then I'll be fucked. If you notice a girl sitting in a corner muttering about ID numbers and ethnicities, that's probably me.

How do I know I'm being punished? I've been dreaming about the software program, thinking of tables and criteria and sorting in the between stages of asleep and awake. I thought about it a lot during my sick in bed time: ID numbers, entrance codes, joins, all of the crap that accompanies the reporting software we now use and that I need to utilize on a daily basis. You'd think it would be enough that I spend time each day writing and running these reports, why can't I think of something more interesting while drifting off to dreamland? Maybe something like Johnny Depp. But there is no Johnny Depp for me, instead I have to endure an indefinite amount of data. And data doesn't look good in a pirate's costume.



This weekend has been a blur. I've not been feeling well so I slept through the majority of it. I seem to have some sort of head cold, the kind where it you can't concentrate and it hurts to read or watch television. Not too fun for a weekend. I woke up this afternoon (from a nap) thinking that I had overslept and missed work. It was only 4:00 pm. I can't even blame any kind of meds because I haven't taken any - just my brain being fuzzy as a result of the damned cold virus.

A number of people have been sick at work lately and I blame them for the propagation of my virus. Of course I'll likely go in to work tomorrow because of the amount of work that must be done, but I'll try to lock myself away in my office as not to contaminate others or scare them with my incoherence.

I realize I'm not too interesting right now - I've got some upcoming projects that I'll chronicle in the coming week.


hello winter, i still don't like you

It's cold. It's rainy. It snowed yesterday. It is officially winter. For as much as I appreciate the changing seasons, the winter is the worst thing about living in the Midwest. I've attempted to convince the man agree that we should move somewhere warmer. Unfortunately, I've managed to find a man who loves everything about the snow. Another testament to the fact that no one is perfect.

For all the faults that I found in Las Vegas - I must admit that the weather is quite a draw. Only 6 more months of winter. If it is as shitty as last winter - over 100 inches of snow - I may die.


So much for one post every day. It seems that at the end of one week I managed to miss a day. To make up for my forgetfulness, I'll be posting two today.

I've been watching True Blood on HBO lately. I must say that I find the show very intriguing. I'm not a believer in vampires and I don't read the many "novels" on and about the subject, but I do find the series to be addictive. I suggest you check it out on Sunday nights at 9:00 pm CST.


my president (elect) could beat up your president

Note: this will be my last election post. I just thought I'd leave you with one last photo.

via http://obama08.tumblr.com/


is obama president?

We did it. Now the countdown begins. This morning is the first morning in my adult life that I awoke with a sense of optimism in regard to the direction of our country. I'm ecstatic that we are months away from having someone in office who is more concerned about the common good than lining his pockets. Congratulations, USA, you've done well.


yes we can

Whomever you agree with, vote for that person. But by all means vote. And if you want to see a better tomorrow, vote Obama.


my kid will bite your kid in the face

We had trick-or-treaters this year. Two of them. They are the demon spawn of one of the man's friends. Let's just say that I'm not too keen on their parenting style, or lack thereof. Not that I know how to parent, but I can honestly say that I would not be a awful as these two individuals.

I did not see the trick-or-treaters, not only because I didn't want to be around their parents (who I am assuming were dressed as bad parents, as that is the attire they choose year-round), but rather because Jammer (who is in essence, my kid) doesn't like kids. These two idiots know this, yet they bring their children over (which is about 15 miles out of the way) because they are mooches and know that we have good candy. Okay, I'm sounding like a bitch here, but I'd have rather just given the man's work friend some candy to take home to his kids, which I did last year because I don't blame the children for their misguided upbringings.

Instead of doing a repeat of last year, which caused no harm to anyone, I had to attempt to keep the dog calm in the upstairs den while the trick-or-treaters were present downstairs with those who decided to bring them into the world. Oh, and I should mention that they were in the house less than five minutes before the 2-year-old wandered off and found his way into the upstairs bathroom...and the parents didn't notice because they were too preoccupied with being incompetent. I must mention that the man was the one who noticed the child missing, and he was likely being observant only because he was waiting to catch the other kid stealing. And the dog, she also noticed the erratic footsteps of the unwelcomed guest upstairs. She noticed by hopping up and down and trying to break down the door while whining and barking and causing my brain to explode.

Needless to say, I if I felt I could actually speak to these people in a language they would understand, this is what I would attempt to convey:

"My kid doesn't like your kids. Your older kid is an ADD-riddled thief who steals each time he comes to the house and he has tried to physically frighten my kid. If you bring your kids back to our house, I am not going to try to rummage through my kid's feces to find the other half of your kid's face."

The end. And this is why I shouldn't have children (at least not the kind that walk upright).



This morning I watched part of the movie The Jerk, which I had never seen before. As a result, I now have added a half dozen pop culture references to my mental archive. For the first time I now realize why the man licks my face and seems to find it quite amusing. And also why he sometimes calls the dog Shithead...or maybe that is simply because in light of her recent bad behavior and putrid breath, she most certainly has a head chock full of feces.


absence makes the heart go fonder: las vegas volume 1

I must say that Las Vegas was an experience. The views (at night, when you couldn't see how filthy everything was) were truly spectacular.

Here is our view:You can see the water show at the Bellagio in this shot. You can also see the Eiffel Tower and a few other Vegas landmarks in this photo. The man deserves complete credit for this photo. He spent quite a bit of time at the window to get this shot while I was asleep. Slow aperture speeds make timing the pic with the water much more difficult and I doubt I would have had the patience. Given that my camera is closer to the point-and-shoot variety than the man is used to, I am happy with the photo.

I can't say that I miss being in Las Vegas. But I do miss being on vacation and actually having some quiet quality time with the man. Having tasted a bit of freedom, so to speak, has made dealing with the roommate and the constant barrage of phone calls much harder to deal with now that we have settled back into normal mode.

If only we had won big in our gambling endeavors...maybe I would've spent my week at home throwing all of the roommate's belongings into the yard and prank calling all the people unlucky enough to have to work for a living. But alas, I am still encumbered by a large workload and an even larger fatbody of a roommate whose lot in life is to occupy the sofa until we can afford to kick his ass out.


if you are looking for 30 things to do...

I've been quite absent from regular blog posting. As punishment, (for either me or my readers, depending on how you look at it) I'll be posting for NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month). This means I will attempt to post every day in November. That means I'll be posting 30 times in 30 days.

If you are willing to join me, go to the website to sign up. If you want, e-mail me and I'll post a link to your site here as well. I'm thinking I won't have any takers. Most of my friends are a bit committment-phobic.

Oh...I almost forgot. HAPPY HALLOWEEN!


things i did in vegas, which did not include getting married

In no particular order:
  1. rode on the X-Scream thrill ride. LOVED it! The man was less happy about the whole thing, but I giggled the whole time. I would have loved to go on the ride a few more times.

  2. laid out by the pool in the beautiful 80-degree weather...note: not all half-naked people should be half-naked. Contrary to popular belief, there are not that many attractive people in Las Vegas.

  3. watched CSI (Las Vegas) in Las Vegas. note: I am a dork.

  4. saw numerous hookers...er...escorts.

  5. went to Hart and Huntington's tattoo shop at the Palms. Bought a souvenir t-shirt. Did not see Cary Hart (unfortunately).

  6. gambled. Lost money. Gambled again. Lost more money.

  7. ate some crappy food. note: stay away from Toby Keith's restaurant. Food was awful.

  8. ate some good food.

  9. shook Elvis' hand. note: I know it wasn't really Elvis.

  10. went to the Jimmy Buffett street party and concert. Drank about 7 loaded Landsharks. Wore a hat (made of balloons) shaped like a parrot. If you look closely, you will see that it is a boy parrot.
  11. people-watched from our upgraded, 18th-floor room. There was a tv in the bathroom mirror, which was pretty cool.
  12. walked. Window-shopped. Walked some more. Drank. Walked.

  13. learned a lot more about the man's family. Now I better understand the good things and the not-so-good things about him.

  14. nearly passed out from having walked so damned much.

  15. called a few people, pretending to be on our "honeymoon." Laughed a lot.

  16. rode in a taxi that almost got into an accident. Learned some profanity in a language I didn't recognize.

  17. watched the Bellagio water show. Pretended that I was in Ocean's 11 or 13 - I didn't like 12.

  18. saw Pete Rose. In Vegas. Will that man never learn?

  19. wore my beautiful new shoes. (I will post a picture next week.)
  20. realized that the man and I can go on vacation and not get sick of one another. Bonus.


how today is kicking my ass

It is not even 7:00 AM and today is totally kicking my ass. How? Let me tell you. WARNING: Session of whining and bitching ahead.

Today we are celebrating a coworker's birthday so I made rice krispie treats with M&M candies. I was proud of myself. I was able to inexpensively make a delicious treat for my coworkers. I did the shopping and the cooking as soon as I got done with work. Yay me.

This morning, while I am getting ready for work, the man comes upstairs to inform me that the bitch of a dog pulled the tray of treats off of the counter and proceeded to eat half of them. And they have chocolate in them. And she knocked over the garbage can. She is a bitch.

I did not have time to make new treats before work so I had to go spend $8 on cookies. $8 that would've been spent on something in my budget, like gasoline or an oil change. But now, that $8 will be going into the maws of my coworkers. That is something that I don't mind, as they are my friends and I wanted to bring them treats. The only thing is that my dog is a massive bitch and she cannot be trusted. Ever. I know it is bad to be pissed off at an animal, as they do not have a concept of time similar to humans and likely don't understand lingering anger. I can't help it. She's gotten into the garbage a handful of times in the past months and now she's grabbing food off of the counter (off the way back of the counter, mind you). I think she needs an intervention. And I don't like her very much right now. Which is yet another example of why I shouldn't have children.

Oh, and I've gained over 5 pounds since my pelvis has been out of alignment again. Gaining weight makes me feel like ass. And it makes my ass bigger. And the physical therapist is severely limiting my activity. And I am hating my dog today. Today is totally kicking my ass.


theme song

Lately I've been loving the song "Mushaboom" by Feist (music video here). I particularly like these lines from the lyrics:
Unpacking the bags and setting up
And planting lilacs and buttercups
But in the meantime I've got it hard
Second floor living without a yard
It may be years until the day
My dreams will match up with my pay

You may know that I'm generally not a fan of female singers. I've written about Feist before, I like her voice because it is unique, though I'm not sure I could listen to an entire album straight through without getting sick of it. The lyrics of this particular song are optimistic, yet realistic at the same time. That's how I feel about my life right now. This song is my perfect theme song for fall 2008.


Design*sponge has finally done a Madison design guide. Click here to see it.

Note: I absolutely love the design*sponge blog. It includes sneak peaks into designer/artist homes and links to new trends and items. Check it out if you are in need of some interior design inspiration.


a tisket, a tasket, put your f*ing clothes in that laundry basket

The house is a sty. The man is winning his battle against the clothes hamper in the bedroom - clothing is strewn everywhere. Even over the doors of the closets and on the cat's bed. This weekend I'm going to have to try to wrangle him into the realization that if he would like the lovin' to continue, he has to at least attempt to place dirty clothes IN THE FUCKING BASKET. Right now, as I type these words, the basket is sitting there empty, with a moat of dirty clothing all around it. That laundry basket is the castle keep of laundry baskets, an impenetrable fortress.

This weekend will be all about cleaning the house, or rather, urging the man to do his own laundry, relinquish control and allow me to do his laundry, or wake to find himself being smothered by the weight of his dirty clothing. I may even stuff a sock in his mouth for good measure.


conversation upon my homecoming

Me: did you just wink at me?

The man: yes

Me: since when do you wink at people?

The man: that's just for you. I don't do that for anyone else.

Me: okay...

The man: I'll give a thumbs up or a wave to just about anyone, but that wink, baby, that wink is just for you.
Sweet? Yes. Out of the ordinary? Definitely. I don't know if leaving the man alone for four days is such a good idea. I will spare you the details of how he kept feeling me up, claiming that he was checking to see if my t-shirt was printed or if the logo was an iron-on. That, too, was followed by a wink.


best yet

I'm back. I've been absent due to overload of work and (if you can believe this) extra-curricular activities.

I had the best birthday ever. Seriously. Ever in my life. Perfect day, perfect gifts, perfect boyfriend making it a perfect day. It was wonderful. I have fabulous friends.

In the weeks since I've posted I've been somewhat stressed due to work and hip problems, but I've been in good spirits. I'm liking being 27. I think it is a good age, and so far it has brought me many happy times.

I bought my first items off Craigslist the other day, and it was a fabulous purchase. I bought a bed frame and 9-drawer dresser for $45. I threw in an extra $20 so they would deliver to my house (after determining that they weren't crazy wack-job nutters). I love the dresser/mirror and I'm happy enough with the bed. We already had a nice mattress, but it is a full-size and I wanted to upgrade the headboard (or lack thereof) as cheaply as possible. Some day we might get a queen, but right now our Serta is fine with me. Anyway, I didn't want to spend a lot of money and I got away with a pretty good result for very little expenditure or effort. Photos to come.

Tomorrow, I'm off to Detroit for my nephew's baptism. I'm taking Amtrak, which is another first for me. While in Europe I took EuroRail everywhere, but I've never been on a train in the US, so I'm a little nervous. I figure if I could handle the trains in a variety of countries where I didn't speak the language, I should be fine here. Taking a train will allow me the option of getting up to walk around intermittently, which in turn will allow my legs to function by the time I roll into Ann Arbor.

I'll post more when I get back and will have photos to share with you.


old maid

Hi. I turn 27 tomorrow and up until this very minute I wasn't very happy about the impending birthday. For some reason I'm now super-excited about being 27. I'm thinking it is a good year, a good time for change, a good excuse to make changes to improve myself and my happiness.

I hope all of you have a wonderful holiday weekend. I'll fill you in on all the latest when I return.


you're my only hope

Well, it is finally Friday. That means there are only seven more days until I can go to the physical therapist and he can readjust my pelvis back into place. And hopefully I'll be a fully-functional human again.

As for the weekend, I'm going to move as little as possible. I don't know if I can do much more than menial tasks around the house, but I'm not going to complain. I'm going to watch the NetFlix movies that have been sitting on my coffee table for the past month. And possibly finish more of my thesisn't. But that may require sitting, which isn't in my "lie on the couch all weekend" plan. We'll see.

As for you, I hope you have a splendid weekend full of running, jumping, jungle-gym sexcapades, and kickboxing. I'm going to live vicariously through you.


maladies #9: oh, how i've missed you

Some of you may remember this post from almost exactly a year ago. The post wherein I explain that my pelvis was all wonky and subsequently one of my legs was longer than the other. I proceeded to go to weekly physical therapy sessions for up through last November, when, um...I stopped going because I had more pressing medical concerns (see this post regarding the heart issue which made me nearly insane).

Anyway, to sum it up: I stopped going to the physical therapist. I should not have. And now due to a weekend of indentured servitude to my parents I am once again left with a wonky pelvis and one leg wanting to be longer than the other. Oh, and the pain is the unbearable, throbbing, makes you sweat if you think about it pain. Yay. And I have to go back to the physical therapist and get chastised for not continuing to see him. I did the exercises he prescribed, I just didn't go in for follow-up appointments. I was wrong, and now I'm being punished.

The "injury" happened August 13 and I can't get in to the therapist until August 29. There was too much lifting, twisting, and standing on concrete. I thought the issue would resolve itself, that my pelvis would magically shift back into place. It didn't. The pain has gotten progressively worse and I'm now wishing I had made my therapy a priority over work responsibilities. If I had taken the time out of my workday to actually continue going to the therapist, this wouldn't have happened. Hindsight is 20/20 - but now I can barely see through the pain.

I'm not whining, though it may sound as though I am. I am just so disappointed that I put myself into this situation again. And moreso I'm frustrated that as I quickly approach my 27th birthday, ultimately no progress on my medical/hip situation has been made.


the musicians, not the sugary treats

If Cake and Eminem had a baby, it would sound like this. I'm loving this song right now and can't wait to hear more from Flobots.


a bit edgier than normal

A very perceptive coworker has heard a very tense tone in my voice this week. I say very perceptive because I haven't confided in this coworker about anything other than a general distaste for a few aspects of my job. It is true, I've been edgier than normal. And tense. And stressed.

Lately I've been contemplating the future. My future. My future career and where I want to be. More importantly, why am I not there yet?

A lunch date with a friend/former coworker has helped me to put my life into perspective. It is always amazing to me that I can meet with this friend for a few minutes and walk away from the conversation with an entirely different attitude about the goings-on of my life. It is one of the things I like most about her. I've reached a conclusion: I might not be sure about where I want to be, but I know why I'm not there yet. I've set unreasonable limits on myself and on my career aspirations. I've been content to stay in the same place and be unhappy without trying to better my situation. This is not how my personality usually manifests itself. Because I'm not normally one to just wade in despair without seeking change, I've been making myself even more miserable and in turn I'm projecting my misery onto those around me, whether they are already dreary or not. I'm a downer and I don't want to be a downer anymore.

It seems that it is about time that I take the advice I'd been dishing out to my friend Kristen for the past couple years - do what you need to do to make yourself happy. Make happiness a priority. I haven't quite figured out how to do that, but I'm going to try.


goodbye to a friend

Estelle Getty of Golden Girls died today. This is a very sad day. I've been a fan of the show, and particularly of the quick-witted and snarky character Sophia Petrillo, since it aired in reruns after school while I was in late elementary and middle school. Perhaps not the best choice of subject matter for a preteen girl, but I loved the show and forged a connection with the characters.

Ever present in my life, this show ran in syndication while I was in college and got me through many sleepless nights. It has been a constant source of comfort throughout my life, always there waiting on the Lifetime channel to be a good friend when I needed it. A shared love for the show cemented my friendship with Kristen, whom I plan to someday live with when we are old and widowed and golden.

Goodbye, Estelle, and thank you for being a friend.

one, two, three

You may notice a slight change in the layout of my blog. I had noticed it was quite heavy with sidebar content, so I decided to utilize a 3-column layout to alleviate the need to scroll down.

what i'm listening to these days

I've finally got a pretty good playlist going at Project Playlist, the wonderfully amazing site where you can set up a music rotation free of charge. I'm sure many of you are already using this marvelous site, but if not, go set up the 2008 version of a mix tape. Mine is here, if you are interested in what I've been listening to while at work lately. I've kept it rather mellow and work appropriate. Unfortunately, a number of the indie bands I like are not available through this service, at least not yet. Anyway, check it out for a random sampling of what gets me through the day.

For those of you who don't share my taste in music, I've spared you by not loading the playlist directly to this site. There is a link in the left sidebar if you are so inclined to visit it often. Also, it makes it easier for you to check my blog from work without alerting the others in the cube farm.


wisconsin welcomes you!

I'm happy today. No, I didn't win the lottery. Yes, I'm going to go to work. No, I'm not taking Prozac. Then, why am I happy, you ask? My wonderful friend Kristen is moving back to the land of cheese from her eight year stint in what I consider the state of discontent (also known as Minnesota). I know, not all of MN is bad, just the part where I lived during the time in which I lived there.

Anyway, as I said earlier, Kristen will soon be moving back to her homeland due to a new job opportunity. Yay for her! I couldn't be happier. She'll still be a few hours away, but she will be much closer, and the distance will be much more bearable than the 7 hour drive into hell had been.

I'm planning to help her and her devil dog Ella (her description, not mine) unpack in a few weeks. I foresee many fun weekends in the future. Our college years were a study in frugality - it is amazing all of the things we did without a lot of money. Three years later, we are still slaves to a budget, but we are older and wiser and hopefully even more creative in how to pinch pennies. Perhaps I'll even stop acting like a 70-year-old shut-in.


what color are you?

i am lawngreen

Your dominant hues are green and yellow. There's no doubt about the fact that you think with your head, but you don't want to be seen as boring and want people to know about your adventurous streak now and again.

Your saturation level is very high - you are all about getting things done. The world may think you work too hard but you have a lot to show for it, and it keeps you going. You shouldn't be afraid to lead people, because if you're doing it, it'll be done right.

Your outlook on life is bright. You see good things in situations where others may not be able to, and it frustrates you to see them get down on everything.
the spacefem.com html color quiz


living room wrestling entertainment

Yesterday when I got home from work, the house was empty with the exception of the dog and cat. I decided, for some odd reason, that it was the perfect time to clip the dog's toenails. Perhaps it was because the clippers were in the same drawer as the scissors I was looking for to snip the end off of my icy pop. No, the scissors and dog nail clippers were not touching, as that would be gross.

So, there I was, wearing the dress I had worn to work, preparing to give the dog a pedicure on the living room floor. The first three feet were a breeze, she didn't mind at all. The front left paw, however, is a different story. That paw is the paw she licks ALL THE TIME, despite me spraying it with some sort of anti-lick potion that obviously does not work. In other words, that paw is apparently tender, or magical, or something, and she didn't want me to go near it with the clippers. I was not going to leave the dog with some nasty looking, 3/4 finished pedicure. I wouldn't paint the nails on my toes and one hand, leaving the other hand to look sad and bedraggled and I wasn't going to allow my dog to walk around that way either.

If you had entered the living room at the time of the last paw nail-cutting, this is what you would have seen: a 26-year old woman in a dress sitting atop an Australian shepherd dog who is writhing and twisting to escape the wrath of the nail cutter. Jammer escaped multiple times and I grabbed her by the back legs so she couldn't run away. The sofa sectional is subsequently stumbled into and separated into two pieces. My foot is wedged under the coffee table and the dog is using her untrimmed toenails to drag herself by one leg away from me. The poor cat is sitting atop the sofa with a concerned look on his face.

The dog breaks free, leaving me a wrecked contortion of a person on the floor with an assortment of clippings stuck to my bare leg. (Now is the time I wish I would've turned the air conditioning on before striking out on this endeavor.) This battle continues for at least another ten minutes, rolling and twisting across the living room floor, me jumping up to get a better hold on the dog, the dog turning into a boneless, flailing beast that is able to thwart my every grip. Finally, Jammer breaks free. We are left looking like two gunfighters in a duel at high noon: the dog panting, sitting on one side of the chaise lounge and me, pissed off and looking like a hot mess on the other side of the chaise. It was time to bargain.

Me: Now listen, I'll give you a treat. Do you want a treat?

Jammer: [head cocked to the side, liking the sound of the word treat, proceeds to jump excitedly onto the chaise]

Me: I see you want the treat. You can't have it until you let me cut your other nails. Come here and sit down. [all this is said in my sweetest possible voice, though I'm sure it was said through clenched teeth and I was all the while prepared to lunge across the chaise and grab the bitch by the collar - literally, she's a bitch, I wasn't really being that derogatory]

Jammer: [turns head to other side, begrudgingly gets down from the chaise and sits next to me as if it was no big deal at all]

Me: You realize that if I weren't overjoyed by your agreement I'd be extremely pissed that you didn't just agree to letting my cut your damned nails, which I've been trying to do for 25 fucking minutes, before I mentioned the word treat.

Jammer: [again, looks at me because all she heard was "blah blah blah treat"]

I proceed to cut her nails while she sits unbothered. After I have finished she takes off like a rocket into the kitchen where the treats are stowed in a cupboard. She is no worse for the wear, while I am a sweaty mess of dress and flesh and dog hair. If this isn't considered parenthood, then you can go fuck yourself.

it has begun

I spoke on the phone to a very good friend last night. I friend from graduate school who once stayed with me in my one bedroom apartment for a while after her divorce. That is how good of a friend she is. This friend is now pregnant, and while I'm quite happy for her and her husband, it is marking new stage in my life as well. What is that stage, you ask? The stage where the friends I have chosen in my adult life are now choosing to create babies on purpose.

I don't dislike kids, I just dislike the thought of kids coming out of my body and then wanting me to take care of them. I like my nephews (more posting about the holiday weekend will follow when the thought of the events of the weekend stops making me throw up in my mouth a little). I am not worried about this particular friend changing as a result of the baby, but I do worry that I'm about to become that friend "who doesn't understand because she doesn't have kids."

I've had friends with children before, but they have always already had the children when we've become friends. And yet, I've still become "the friend who doesn't understand."

The question is, how do you "understand" when you are purposely protecting yourself to avoid ever having to "understand" what it is like to be a parent?


i love it when you call me big poppa

This week has been interesting in terms of children and the man. We attended a familial baptism party on Sunday for the man's cousin's spawn (yes, that was hard to follow). There was an abundance of children running around: not our idea of a fun time. The cousin's 3-year old kid, when asked if he knew the man's name, quickly called him"Daddy!" I was out of the room, but I guess it was quite humorous. At least for everyone other than the man. Then the kid realized it wasn't his dad and called the man by his name. Still, weird situation.

It is also evident that the man's father wants to be a grandfather. As the man's half-brother will not be impregnating anyone until they develop an XBox with a sex hole, the burden lies solely on us. Me and the man. Procreation. Needless to say, this is not going to be happening. I like my sex to be recreational. Anyway...the man's father keeps asking us when we are going to fill the house with kids and get rid of the roommate. Again, not going to happen. The roommate behaves like a child and that is about all we can bear. This event once again epitomizes the reasons why I don't enjoy the man's family gatherings.

As for awkward situations with family members, here's another: On my last visit to my parents, I was cornered by my dad and questioned in regard to "my future." Questions flew in regard to when the man would ask me to marry him, why he hasn't asked me yet, and how my dad can't die until I'm "settled." Keep in mind that my father is 54 years old and is in near-perfect health. I told him that if he plans on dying after I get married, I won't get married for another 35 years. Also, I reminded him that he raised me to be independent and not to need a man to support me...I guess that all backfired now that he wants more grandkids and a married daughter.

Did I mention that we are going to visit my parents and attend a family reunion for the 4th of July? Well, we are...with the side of the family who believes in marriage before sex. And despite me not knowing half of them, these distant relatives all seem to feel comfortable asking me when I'll get hitched. I think I'm going to laminate a sign and stick it to my back reading as follows:
  1. My name is Trish.
  2. The uncomfortable-looking guy standing next to me is my boyfriend.
  3. Yes, he's quite a bit older than I am.
  4. We live in sin.
  5. We like it.
  6. We don't know if we'll get married.
  7. We don't want kids. Even though I know we have the potential to make beautiful children.
  8. Note: If you talk about your kids, I'll talk about my cat and dog as if they are as important as your children.
  9. I graduated from college a couple years ago. I'm not done with my master's thesis yet.
  10. I have a job. I only like it sometimes.
  11. My boyfriend has a job, which he likes most of the time.
  12. Did you notice that my brother is here and he has two kids whom I'm sure he would love to talk about? Yes, you should go look for him.
I'm thinking the items above will cover all the normal questions that nosy family members like to ask. And, as an added bonus, I'm directing people to harass my brother, who has had the fortune of living out of the state and missing the last five family reunions. He must be punished.

It'll be nice to be home for a couple days and to see my brother and his family. I hope the man and I live through it.



I just spent five minutes trying to determine if a piece of debris on my desk was the product of vigorous pencil erasing or the carcass of a dead bug. I am so ready to be on vacation from work until Tuesday.

P.S. it was scraping from the pencil eraser.


add this one to my list of abilities

I came home Monday night from work to find a horrific sight. There was garbage everywhere. In the kitchen. Under the dining room table. In the hallway. In the living room. Behind the sofa. By the fireplace. Pretty much everywhere downstairs, with the exception of the laundry room, bathroom, and roommate's cave. Where was the dog? The only one who could've knocked the lid off the trash can and tipped it over? Nowhere to be found.

I was trying to keep my shit together while looking for the dog. She never does this, with the exception of that one time this winter, which I blame on stir-craziness from the never ending snow and iciness. I finally found her upstairs in the den hiding behind the futon. Or rather, wedged halfway beneath the futon. She has never hidden from me before. She knew she had done a very, very bad thing. She always knows when she has been naughty, and even if the man nor I know of said naughty behavior, we can read it from her body language and she gives herself away every time. That bitch (literally) has no poker face.

Note: Neither the man nor I have ever, ever lifted a finger to the dog and she has no fear of any sort of physical abuse. She does, however, hate the disappointment that we exude and cowers at the thought. She cowers as we open the door to find her on the sofa (where she shouldn't be). She cowers as we walk up the stairs and find her eating cat food, etc. She's like I was in school, so afraid of the disappointment from my parents for untoward behavior that I rarely did anything considered "wrong."

So, I coaxed the dog out from behind the futon, led her downstairs and was about to take her outside to keep with the daily routine of letting her relieve herself. Since there was trash all over the house, she could obviously see what she had done. Apparently she was quite frightened of the tone in my voice (aka borderline hysteria and pissed-offedness) as I instructed her to "make potty outside now." This is an instruction that I give her multiple times per day.

Today was different. Today, when she was so eager to redeem herself. Today, on garbage orgy day, she cowered as we walked to the door and upon being surrounded by the trash or her binge, she pissed on the floor. Just a little, but still, she PISSED ON THE FLOOR. In her 7+ years of existence, she has never pissed on the floor. She must have missed the part where I said "potty OUTSIDE." The man seems to think that since the dog has never heard me so pissed off before, the utterance of that simple command caused her to lose it.

I let her outside, where she did the rest of her pissing, and in the meantime cleaned up the garbage and the piss (did I mention that she pissed on the floor?). As I picked up trash, I looked through everything to make sure there was no evidence of ingestibles that would hurt her, and upon finding none of those items, tried to compose myself again before letting the dog back in the house. Let's just say that cleaning up piss doesn't create a sense of zen for me.

Side note: The slovenly roommate eats fast food nearly everyday and leaves remnants of those meals in the garbage can (not in the compost, where they should be). These nasty tidbits must have sent the dog into a frenzy, and drunk with lust for scraps, she destroyed the sanctity of good manners, general hygiene, and overall not eating garbage in the house I just fucking cleaned the day before.

So, to sum up the event, the dog went on a day-long garbage bender and then was so embarrassed and/or guilty that she proceeded to piss on the floor under my disappointed gaze. And yet I am the one who ended up feeling bad. My tone alone is enough to cause incontinence. I wonder if that should be listed on my resume as a skill or an accomplishment.


is there an eco in here?

I've been working diligently to both beautify my surroundings at home and get rid of some junk lying around in an eco-friendly way. Also, I'm sure I mentioned that I'm into sustainability lately, which is great because I am poor. It is easier to admit that I "up-cycle" because it is good for keeping things out of the landfill, but that is just a bonus. The main thing is that I'm too poor and/or cheap to go out and spend exorbitant amounts of money on sub-par items. Old things really do seem to be of a better quality, I must admit. And I'm not just saying that because I get my jollies from a man 11 years my senior.

But I digress, I've long been a fan of fixing old things rather than spending money and resources on new things. So, long story shorter, I decided to spruce up a horribly disgusting and nasty dining chair I found in one our outbuildings (left by previous tenants whose butts shat out razor blades that seem to have cut open every chair they left). The result of my stress-induced need for calm has been two new chairs for my living quarters.

Below is the dining chair that had been missing a seat and fabric and had an odd smell and all-around was ass-nasty. I completely tore it apart and made a new seat and back, salvaging only the frame. Say hello to my new desk chair:

The photo is a bit darker than I wanted and there is a piece of ? on the floor that the cat batted into the shot. Oh well. At least I was able to get one picture without Cat Named Jack smelling the chair. Victory!

The other chair is just a side chair and is now in my upstairs den. It too had seen better days and was a lovely shade of mold. I removed all the nasty, painted the frame, and out popped a very comfortable chair. I've decided to go with a black and white fabric to keep things looking crisp...also because I love throwing around color so much that I thought I'd better keep it simple to avoid a constantly acid-trippy feeling when I walk into the room. That, and it isn't comforting to feel like you walked into a bag of skittles.

As you can see, Cat Named Jack makes an appearance in this photo, but at least he isn't smelling the chair. You'll see that he is wearing his Jackson Pinkerton III tie for the occasion.

out and about

I made note of a number of things that had made a particular weekend both pleasant and not-so-fun. Here are some photos to further elaborate on the wonders of the world outside my house.

I noted that the man bought me flowers. Since their relocation, they have been thriving, as you can see below:

These are just a couple of the flowers I planted. If you look closely at the photo, you can see a dandelion seed has found its way into the shot. The dandelions are the man's own personal hell. He is now talking about buying special lawnmower attachments to destroy said dandelions. Here is one of the evil doers:

I'm not a fan of just throwing money into the yard like that. As long as it is green, it's a yard. We don't have neighbors on our "dead end" road. From the road, it looks like lush grass and you don't even notice the dandelions. But the man notices them. And he has vowed to kill them. I think I'm going to have to bet against him on this one. Also, I see that I may be hypocritical, spending money on flowers, but flowers are different and and should be considered investments into my happiness. Just don't give me a bouquet, I'd prefer them alive and potted.

The last thing I mentioned in my list was that a hot air balloon made its way over our yard and nearly touched down in the field behind the house. Here's my proof:

After about a minute of trying really hard to hold her shit together, the dog was convinced that the world was coming to an end and sat shivering in the garage until I made a mad dash with her into the house, away from whatever the fuck she thought was falling from the sky to destroy us all. At least I got some good photos to commemorate the event.



I once again have taken Friday and Monday off from work. Yay! However, 8 hours of the weekend will be spent in the car, due to the fact that I'm going to visit my parents and other members of my extended family. It will be the first time I've seen anyone since Christmas. When was Christmas? Over 5 months ago? Oh yeah, I'm an awful daughter. I only live 4 hours away and I haven't been home in over 5 months. But I do talk to my folks multiple times per week, shouldn't that make it all better? The answer is no. Another 'but.' But...I am happy to report that I will not only be visiting them this weekend, but also once in June and once in August. Then, I will likely see them again for the baptism of my new nephew. See, I just stockpile my visits and then rapid-fire them out in a three-month period. Maybe I'm not so bad...or maybe I'm overcompensating...hard to say which.

Anyway, you know you've been gone way too long when your parents e-mail you multiple times per day to confirm that you are, in fact, still coming to visit. Then they tell their friends and neighbors about the magical homecoming of their wonderful only daughter whom they haven't seen in ages. And then they bribe you with promises of "treats" and fun-filled days of various hometown activities so you'll want to return again and again...and maybe will procreate so they can get their paws on some more grandbabies. Because, those AARP people, they feed off babies. I will not give in to their demands, however, and plan to exit this life with my lady bits in tact.

Moving on. I'm quite excited about visiting. It has been too long since I've been "home." (Thank you gas prices, for keeping me from the people who spawned me and for forcing me to put more charges on the credit card I thought I wouldn't need to use anymore.) I will be bringing more of my stuff and things and objects home with me. And hopefully a couple things that I can pilfer from my parents and then rejuvenate to make me feel like I am not poor and that I have "new" things.

When I return I will be posting photos and some rapid-fire, stockpiled posts detailing my projects and the various goings-on in my not-so-exciting life. Why? Because that's how I roll. I save up posts and visits and whatnot and when you least expect it...WHAM, BANG, POW...you are overcome with the glory that is the life of Trish. And you, in return, will pretend that I am fabulously amazing and delightful. Why? Because I already think you are fabulous and amazing and delightful. What a fun interchange it will be.


the end of the fucking world

Why doesn't anyone seem to care that Clay Aiken is procreating? I have this nightmare where Clay Aiken's baby and a baby produced by Josh Groban get together, mate, and create a musical horror that brings the world to its knees...and not in a good way. This nightmare is the result of this.


things that made this weekend good and/or bad

  1. The man and I had plans for Friday as we would both be home early from work...I was not done early...he was not done early = bad
  2. At approximately 6:00 pm Friday, I started having severe stomach pains for no apparent reason. No nausea, no indigestion, just pain. I couldn't quite stand up straight without the pain causing beads of sweat to build up on my forehead. The pain is still there, but is now bearable. Overall, unidentified stomach pain = bad
  3. I finally watched Chicken Little, which happened to be on Disney channel as I was curled into a ball on the sofa (due to the abdominal discomfort). It was a cute movie = good
  4. One of the man's old friends from high school decided to call drunk at 3:00 am Saturday morning while the man was out fishing and I was home alone, sick, and barely able to sleep. Plus, he couldn't understand who I was and why I was answering the phone at the man's house. What I should have said: "Dumbass, I fucking live here and get off the damned phone before I reach through it and pull your scrotum up over your face and tuck it into your eyelids." I wanted to say that, but I didn't = bad
  5. Saturday morning we drove to the nursery and picked up flowers for my flowerbeds, all of which were purchased by the man so I couldn't say that he never buys me flowers = good
  6. I felt somewhat well enough to go with the man while he fished on Saturday afternoon. I must say that I was quite amazed at his skill. Also, being outside made me feel less like dying = good
  7. Some weird people from Illinois stopped where we were fishing and offered to buy the fish the man had caught. We gave them the fish for free. The man insists he is like Jesus, giving people fish and feeding the masses. I explain that Jesus probably didn't try to feel up his girlfriend for good luck before fishing, and also that two people are not exactly "the masses." Still, it was nice to do a good deed = good
  8. We built a toad house in one of my flowerbeds and actually found a toad to live in it...and he stayed in the house through Sunday afternoon (and might still be there) = good
  9. The roommate managed to stay on the couch for two straight days, making it unbearable to be in the downstairs area of the house, as he kept insisting that my stomach must hurt because I'm pregnant. There is no way that I am pregnant, but he is an asshole. I wanted to tell him that by judging the size of his expanding man-breasts and gut, he looks more pregnant than I. I didn't share this observation, though I wanted to = bad
  10. A hot air balloon floated less than 100 feet above the house, which was really cool = good...and bad because the dog was scared out of her mind.


and i wouldn't even wear gloves

It is Friday, finally. I've only been in the office three days this week, but they were long days. Long days filled with incompetency and drama. But, the week is on an upturn because the office is very skeletal today. Only myself and one other staffer, plus a student worker for half the day. It's like I won the lottery (and not the lottery where your friends and neighbors stone you in the middle of the town square, but a lottery where they give you free money!).

I've been getting so much done, it makes me want to work alone every day. Human interaction is overrated. People suck. Every day. Everywhere. And they can't be trusted to perform up to their abilities. And if they can, their abilities are often sub-par. Every day. Maybe not all people, but oftentimes it is the people whom you rely on to get shit done so you can get your own shit done. But I digress, today I am alone without supervision, able to do my work in peace. I love you, Friday, and I wish you would come more often. I'd offer you tea and might throw in a foot rub, even though I think other people's feet are disgusting. That is how much I love you.


repair and maintain

I would like to report that the man and I have officially called a cease fire. I probably haven't mentioned it, but we've been a bit of a cranky-pants couple lately, bickering and hurling insults and irrationality like monkeys throw shit at each other. Obscenities have been used: not quite sparingly. And not in a loving way. We've both been stressed out with work and whatnot, and have been sharing that pent up nastiness with one another. And I repeat, not in the fun, naked kind of way.

This weekend was an opportunity to spend some time together and to let the work worries melt away (along with various parts of my skin, as I seemed to get burnt by both the sun and the oven all in the same three-day span). The weekend allowed us the chance to realize that we weren't bitchy at each other, at least not to the extent that we thought.

While I would like to blame this sporadic arguing on the man suffering from a severe case of MANstration, I do realize that I am also partially to blame. In hindsight, my tact has been non-existent and I've been bringing work home with me. And, did I mention, work has been hell lately. So...I've been bringing hell home with me. Dinner conversation usually went something like this:
The man: Please pass the corn.

Me: Some people are too incompetent to pass the corn. Some people can't pass you the goddammed corn until two weeks after deadline. Some people don't show up to work until halfway through the day and I'd like to jam cobs of corn into their eye sockets.

[Awkward silence]

Anyway, things are back to normal. My extended weekend gave me some distance from the stress associated with my job and the summer-like weather gave me a much needed boost from my gloomy perspective on things. I think we've even realized that we like one another enough to want to spend time together. Imagine that.



I am taking a couple days of vacation to make the Memorial Day weekend EXTRA long. I am not sure if I will feel like posting during that time, so that's that. It is supposed to be gorgeous outside and I've got a ton of plans, most of which include avoiding either working on my thesis, lounging, or spending time outdoors...and not eating oatmeal. I'm giving that shit up for a while. I had a very interesting appointment with my doctor(s), but the results from that are yet to arrive, so I will have to keep you posted as the oddities explain themselves.

In terms of my long weekend (how long is it? 5 whole days of NOT BEING AT WORK), I actually have to take the time off from work because I can only carry over two weeks of vacation time and the end of the fiscal year is fast approaching...meaning I have to use 6 days before June 30. In other words, two more long weekends are in my immediate future. Yay!

Have a safe and happy holiday weekend.

and the winner is...

My nephew now has a name: Maxwell James.

I'm assuming he will go by Max and not M.J., as to avoid appearing too feminine or like a pothead.

naming of the shrew

The following is a transcript of a snippet from yesterday's conversation about baby names with my brother.

Me: what would you have named the baby if it had been a girl?

Brother: I can't tell you.

Me: but you told Mom after Brady [first nephew] was born.

Brother: we told Mom because we knew she'd forget. And she did.

Me: but I won't be having any kids so I won't steal it.

Brother: you'd probably use it for a dog, cat, rabbit, or whatever weird animal you people find next.

Me: I would so not use it for a rabbit.

Brother: we would never be able to name our kid that name if you used it for a pet.

Me: fine, I'll just name any new pets after your existing kids' names and then you'll be sorry. Then I'll call Mom and Dad and tell them that Brady was just licking his butthole, but I won't tell them that "Brady" is my pet and not their grandson.

Brother: I'm still not going to tell you.

Me: then you're just a dickface.

*Note: apparently you never outgrow the need to call your siblings stupid names when a conversation doesn't go your way.



My brother and his wife had a baby today. He (the baby) doesn't have a name yet, but my brother has told me that the baby must have a name by Friday, when they are going to bring him home. If the baby were to commit a crime, now would be the time to do it, while he is still unnamed. Unfortunately, I don't think his tiny baby self could muster the strength to rob a bank right now, but he would definitely gain an edge in the favorite nephew category if he were to do so and to split his spoils with his wonderful Auntie Trish.

He kind of looks like an old man, all smushed and disheveled, like he has lived a hard life and walked up hill to school both ways.

The picture is of a somewhat grainy quality because it was taken with my brother's cell phone. I see a resemblance to my other nephew and to my brother. He's a baby, and thus not too cute at age 1 hour, but he'll grow into it.

Welcome to the family, unnamed baby!


don't piss down my back and tell me it's raining

It is finally spring. And with the spring, comes the rain. The rain from the sky and the downpour of work. Yes, I'm a bit peeved with my workload and that there is no end in sight. Did I mention it is spring? It is warm, and it is sunny, and it is hard to sit behind a desk and look outside with the knowledge that you will not get to enjoy it for many, many hours...and that when you finally do get to enjoy it you will be so beaten down by work that you will collapse to a writhing mess of insanity. This is me being optimistic. Hello springtime.


i don't normally do this...

As a general rule, I write very little about work. Mainly, because I don't want to get fired, even though no one from work knows of this blog. I have to do this though, because of the people in my division, I only know of a couple people who are not planning their escapes.

The chart below is a breakdown of how we are all feeling about our jobs these days, and the actions that we are taking:

I fall into the "can't afford to leave, but would like to" category. Argh...why must employers need a specific number of years experience? WHY?! Oh well, I will muddle through while complaining to my loved ones who probably already want to wring my neck for bitching about work.

It is not fun to work here anymore. Not that work has to be fun. But it has to not be a soul-sucking force in your life. But that is what it is. A soul-sucking force. For anyone who works here...with the exception of one person who will remain nameless. Everyone sucks and everything sucks. That is all I have to say.


one office over

To my colleague next door:

I can hear you listening to what sounds like porn. It is loud enough to be heard through the paper-thin walls. There appears to be groaning coming from your office. It is not you, I hope. It definitely sounds like it is coming from a computer. If it is not porn, I would be mindful of the YouTube videos you choose to watch on work time because you are making me more than uncomfortable. In the two plus years I since I began working here, I have chosen to believe you are an asexual being and now there are many frightening images in my brain. Because of the porn sounds. Thank you for that. Tonight as I jab a grapefruit spoon up my nasal cavity to try to rid those images from my memory, I will be collecting the tissues and delivering them to you tomorrow. I hope you like cerebral cortex.

Trish T.

P.S. Due to the at-home surgical procedure I described above, I will likely be less productive for the duration of my time at work. But at least I won't have to think about what you were just viewing in your office.


i spy with my little eye...

This morning when I came into work there was a car ON FIRE in the parking lot next door. Totally on fire. It exploded. INTO FLAMES! It was about five minutes before the fire department showed up and extinguished the car, so I had a whole five minutes of excitement this morning. I know someone over in that parking lot was upset by the ordeal, but, c'mon...fire is cool and it is only so often that you can see a car ON FIRE.


f is for...

I went to a concert on Friday with a friend from work and her boyfriend. I was skeptical about the bands, neither of whom I had ever heard before. I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised by both (opening band: Paul and Storm, headliner: Jonathan Coulton); they were quite funny and the music was good. Here is a link to my favorite song from the night, First of May by Jonathan Coulton.

Really, you must listen to the song. Be forewarned that it is a bit explicit in terms of lyrics, but is a great song for all the springtime twitterpation that pops up around this time of year.

Happy May and here's to extracurricular outside activities!



Yay! It's spring...unfortunately that means it is raining...a lot. Water is falling from the sky, work is raining onto my desk and flooding my personal life. As I'm drowning in work, there has been very little time to spend on the thesis. However, I have gotten a few more pages written this week and have some resources from which I hope more genius-type words will be inspired. Enough with the boring update, here is a visual representation of what I have been spending my time on since Monday (not including the time it has taken to create this chart):

More thesis work will be done this weekend and hopefully more time will also be spent sleeping and avoiding the office. Have a great weekend. Have a drink. Get laid. Do both responsibly (because I've got too much going on to worry about your drunk ass getting coated in random, infested naughty juices).


why the man's parents seem to like me better

  1. they don't have a daughter of their own
  2. they never had to wipe my ass
  3. they've never seen me throw a tantrum
  4. they didn't know me during my annoying, adolescent angsty years
  5. they don't look at me and see a resemblance to his estranged father
  6. they buy me presents and are nice to me so that I won't leave the man (This point was raised by the man. Also, according to his mom, all the ex-girlfriends were bitches.)
  7. they've never worried that my naughty parts would impregnate someone else's naughty parts (see above comment about bitchy ex-girlfriends)
  8. I remind the man to call them on holidays and birthdays
  9. they get better presents when I pick them out
  10. I nag him so they don't have to


I cut about eight inches off my hair last night. Actually, my hairstylist Amy did it. I wasn't going after the celebrity bob style, I just wanted something different. I like it. I had my hair very similar to this when I graduated with my bachelor's degree in 2003. I had not purposely scheduled my haircut appointment to conflict with the arrival of the man's parents from Oklahoma, but I did think it was a pleasant surprise that I wouldn't have to eat dinner with them last night. Unfortunately, it worked out that the time conflict didn't matter and we all (the man, his parents, and two sets of grandparents) went out for dinner after my appointment.

Needless to say, the man was surprised that my hair had been chopped off. Not because he hadn't seen it short, it had been MUCH shorter when we first started dating, but rather because he had no idea that I was thinking about doing it. I don't feel like I have to ask him before doing these kinds of things, but it is still nice to feel like I'm doing something naughty by surprising him.

Oh yes, the man's mom and stepdad are in town through Sunday. They stayed with us last night, but will be staying at a hotel for the remainder of the trip. The man is upset by this, but I don't think it is a bad idea because this way I will retain full usage of my den/spare bedroom. Yes, I am selfish. Do I care? Not quite.

We will still be spending a lot of time with them, but will not be tied to the house in the evenings. I'm sure we will be getting some free meals out of it, and it is always fun to hear about the man as a kid (I just found out he was a chubby kid until he went to kindergarten, HA!). The weather was a balmy 73 degrees yesterday and the last thing I wanted to do was sit around the house entertaining company. I really like the man's parents, but I'm not a good hostess.

Also, I haven't reported on my thesis progress. I know I bitched about the weather, which did try to engulf my very being while I was back in MN, the evil soul-sucking state. [I wonder why they don't put that on the license plates? It would be so much catchier than "10,000 Lakes."] It was good to be back, but it was also good to come home. The trip was very productive despite the blizzard.

I am feeling so much better about the whole project that I can't even explain it. And, I can honestly say that my thesis doesn't feel as taxing as it had been and that I kind of WANT TO work on it. Not just to finish it, but because I have a renewed interest. Whew...that is a damned good thing because I had been considering an early death to avoid finishing it.