My taxes are filed. I was able to e-file free of charge and the refunds will be deposited directly into my accounts. This makes me very happy. I wasn't able to file my state return electronically last year and it took me forever to get to a bank with the paper check. Now the money will be in my grubby little hands in the next 8-15 days. Woo hoo!

Okay, so the vast majority of it is going toward debt, but still...it is exciting for that brief moment that I see it in my bank account. And yes, it was fun and I am a dork.


letter to winter

Dear Winter,

I hate you. I think you suck, but not for the reasons you expect. I can bear the snow and the bad weather. It is something that I have come to understand and I can take precautions to make these things manageable. I can take a vacation day when you make the roads too treacherous to navigate and I can wear layer upon layer of clothing, turning me into an asexually rounded yeti. At least these things have advantages: I can stay home from work or avoid being hit on by unwanted suitors.

Rather, I hate you because of the way you make me feel. You make me numb in mind and body. You are accompanied by grey skies and gloom. You are as temperamental as a schizophrenic: one minute spewing snow from your steely clouds, the next firing lightning bolts and ice down from the heavens. If I were to admire anyone for anything, it would be for consistency in their work...of this you exhibit nothing but inconsistency. I hate that the meteorologists are incompetent at predicting your "episodes" and that there is no warning for your outbursts. You make me shiver with a death-like coldness that begins in the tip of my nose and runs through my body with the intensity of the first teenage "love" pangs. You make my boyfriend contort his body into a protective stance each time I come near him with my freezing "ice claws." You make me wish I hadn't been ordered to give up caffeine, and thus give up coffee and hot chocolate that used to warm my numbness. You make my bank account shrivel, but stretch at the same time, because of increasing fuel costs both for my car and to heat my house. You make the dog stand as though she were a tripod while trying to relieve herself in the bitter temperatures. You make me wish for warmer climates and a work-from-home job allowing me to be a shut-in and avoid you altogether. You make me hate the poets who have thought you worthy of putting pen to paper, the photographers who capture the first frost-covered mornings before the weight of your unsteady yet unrelenting fist has smashed upon the world, crushing out all hope and happiness. You make me curse the winter sport fanatics for wishing you would last longer, thus canceling out my own wishes that you'll pack up your shit and leave already. You make me yearn for spring, despite the odor of cow feces that will undoubtedly fill the air. You make me spend my time wishing for the future instead of enjoying the present, thus stealing precious time from my life (all the while realizing that this act is my own damned fault, for which I hate you even more).

Did I mention that I hate you, Winter. I do. From the bottom of my frozen, clicking heart.

Trish T.


For all of my friends who have moved onward and outward from the Midwest, you are much smarter than I. I am pretty sure that half of my ass is still frozen to the leather seat in my car, thanks to the subzero wind chill of nearly -30 degrees. I really ought to get a seat cover.

For those of you who still suffer at the hands of Jack Frost (a man who, in my opinion, should be strung up by his balls, drenched with boiling water and left in the wintry hell he has created), you know my pain.

I doubt that I'll be moving anytime soon, but I am mulling over the possibility of branching out even farther from the nest. If I could afford a plane ticket home in the case of an emergency, I would feel more comfortable leaving the Midwest for places without 8 months of winter. I'm not sure that the man will ever leave WI again, but it may be time to plant the seed in his mind. A seed that will probably not break ground any time in this decade.

Don't get me wrong. There are many things I love about Wisconsin. (Minnesota, though, is a different story and I wouldn't move back there even if someone threatened to cut off all of my fingers with a grapefruit spoon.)
  • I love the spring, summer, and fall.
  • Trees.
  • It is beautiful here.
  • I live within 15 minutes of the capitol, but still live in the "country."
  • I am close, but not too close, to family.
  • There are many things to do, if I were to choose to do them.
  • Cheese. Need I say more?

I hate the winter with a passion though. A passion strong enough to uproot me if we have to go through multiple winters like this one. I may be one of the very few people hoping for global warming (or at least its effect on winter in WI).


new CEO in the family

My nephew is already planning world domination. Perhaps I will let him invest my money for me. He's an ambitious kid, working at the ripe old age of 1.


Another quote that piqued my interest, in regard to time and the acts you perform to combat time, fill time, or escape it.

"We are weighed down, every moment, by the conception and sensation of Time. And there are but two means of escaping and forgetting this nightmare: pleasure and work. Pleasure consumes us. Work strengthens us. Let us choose."
-- Charles Baudelaire (a French poet)


short end

My mom e-mailed me today to see if I had gotten anything for Christmas from my grandpa. He generally gives us each an envelope with $10-20. I assumed that he wasn't doing that anymore as I didn't get anything. As it turns out, he just realized he has an extra envelope and I had been missed. I'm not upset about it, but it does leave me with an uneasy feeling of being forgotten...kind of like the time when my aunt drove away and left me at church in the middle of the winter when I was 7. I had to walk the four blocks to my grandparents' house, which wasn't a big deal. It was the being forgotten part that stung worse than having to walk through the snow in church shoes.

As it turns out, the State of Wisconsin has also forgotten me. I haven't received my tax forms in the mail this year. It is probably because they owe me money. It seems you are always least likely to hear from those you owe you some dough.


sophocles had it right

"The keenest sorrow is to recognize ourselves as the sole cause of all our
adversities." --Sophocles

I am feeling this quote quite personally when it comes to my tendency toward procrastination. I think we all dig ourselves into holes now and again. It takes a strong person to admit that you have no one to blame but yourself.

small favors

I went through all my desk drawers and completely re-evaluated the way I organize my home office. I found a gift card to Bath and Body Works from my 2006 birthday and an iTunes gift card from Christmas 2006. I had forgotten about both. I guess I'm not as broke as I thought...Yay!


I've been barely coherent for the past week. Despite my best efforts to avoid ailing coworkers, I seem to have caught the cold/flu that is running through the College. I'm on the mend, was out of the office on Tuesday because of the horrible headache and mind numbing sinus congestion. I think I'll be over it by the end of the weekend - because you know that I love wasting non-working days being ill. Chicken soup isn't working. Vitamin C didn't help ward off the sick. I eat at least one grapefruit every day, like clockwork, and it seems to have done nothing for me other than bathe my taste buds in deliciousness...no healing or preventative properties that I can speak of.

I went to the cardiologist yesterday to have him check my ticker out. Apparently, ticker is apropos because instead of the regular heartbeat sounds, mine includes a few extra ticks/clicks. This is not uncommon as 4% of women have a similar condition. It's something to do with my heart murmur, as are the episodes. Apparently, the mitrovalve prolapse (fancy word for my type of murmur) makes me more susceptible to heartbeat fuck-ups. In other words: my episodes will continue, they won't kill me, aren't really dangerous and could be tempered by medication if I were so inclined. I am not so inclined. I can live with my erratic heartbeat knowing that I'm not dying as a result. I've had to have a chest echo and CT scan. Once the results are in the doctor will be sending me any additional instructions (and I hopefully won't have to go back).

Also coming out of yesterday's appointment is a call for a major lifestyle change. I'm going to have to up my aerobic activity - much of my PT stuff is weight training - and thus, am in the market for a recumbent bike (which has been okayed as a form of exercise by my physical therapist). I'm supposed to watch my diet (maybe try to lower my cholesterol, which is on the high end of normal). I guess I won't be eating a steady diet of cheeseburgers and chips anymore.

I am fine, I have more and less on my plate. Less to worry about, more to do. It's all manageable, but right now I'm just tired and wishing that my cold would go away.


in my head

I am in love with "In Rainbows," the newly released Radiohead album. The man bought it for me last night and I've listened to it on repeat all day at work. I have a tendency to do this with new cds, listen to them until I have memorized every note and word. I have a feeling I will not be getting sick of this cd any time soon. Note: if you don't like Radiohead, shame on you, and you probably won't like this album. There are a couple songs on this cd where Thom Yorke sounds a lot like Rufus Wainwright (whom I love, even though he is a homosexual man who will never love me in return).

In other news, I have Monday off from work in observance of M. L. King Day. Sometimes I love working in higher ed. Not as many days off as bankers, but we do get some extras for holidays.

I plan on staying inside to avoid the sub-zero temperatures as much as possible. Of course I will be watching the Packer game on Sunday evening, but not too much going on other than that. I am still waiting for some tax documents that have yet to arrive, so that throws off my plan to do that this weekend. I may, however, paint the office instead. One can never tell.


fun and taxes

I'm a dork. I realize and embrace this as fact. I enjoy color-coordinating my files, organizing my closets, planning down to the minutiae, and doing my taxes. Yes, I enjoy doing my taxes. Granted, my taxes are relatively simple as I do not own land, am single, and have no dependents. Also, I am recently out of college so the mere fact that I earn more than $10,000 per year is still exciting, even if a large sum of it goes to the government. But, a good chunk of that is returned to me in the form of a refund so it makes the whole thing fun.

My refund will be spent lowering my debts and adding a little cushion to my savings. I have no plans for extravagance. I should be getting my W-2 tomorrow and then the fun will start.

technology rant

I'm likely going to work late tonight because we won't have tech support until later in the evening and I need my usb ports enabled to recognize my flash drive. The flash drive that is holding hostage the files I worked on last night. The brand new flash drive that the demonic work computers will not recognize, though my laptop was all "Welcome to fold, little flash drive! It's great to have you."

But not the work computers, of which there are many. They banded together to shout "Hey bitch, you don't have administrative rights on us so we won't recognize your twerpy little flash drive. We don't accept your kind around here. In fact, you don't even exist in our world."

Little do they know that I could throw each of them into the snow bank, frying their motherboards and rendering them unusable. But I won't. Instead, I will stew in the knowledge that the work I did last night will not be available for retrieval for many hours. So much for increasing productivity.


2008: so far so good (alternate title: optimism levels are high)

The Packers are one game away from the Super Bowl. This makes me deliciously happy. I wouldn't call myself an avid sports-watcher, but I do enjoy football and am near-fanatical about my teams. The Packers will play the Giants next and I'm anticipating a victory [knock on wood].

My optometry and dental appointments went swimmingly. I am still wearing the heart monitor created by demon spawn for the sole purpose of covering my skin with hives and itchiness. I have decided to wear it in three-day spurts, to allow time for my hive-ridden skin to heal a bit before I inflict more punishment. I'm optimistic that the doctors will be able to figure out what is going on, that it is nothing serious, and that I will be able to stop wearing this thing and go back to normal.

I've finally received the wonderful merchandise sent from heaven (also known as http://www.seejanework.com/), purchased with a fabulous gift certificate from the man's mother. My recent purchases are keeping me quite on track with my budgetary Nazism. I am able to tally, record, and/or store receipts and $s all in the same place (see: Accordion Organizer). I am in love with it and would marry it if I weren't so enthralled by the man. Along with the arrival of my fabulous array of office supplies, I have received equally fantastic news from the man. Operation: Paint the Ugly-Fucking-Office has been approved! I will likely go ahead with that little endeavor before the end of the month.

I will be getting paid tomorrow for the first time since December 20, 2007. Due to the holiday, we received our January 1, 2008 paychecks over a week early. Also, I am impatiently awaiting my W-2s so that I can file my taxes and hold a refund check in my grubby little hands. The majority of it will go toward debts, but the knowledge that those debts will be smaller makes me damn-near giddy.

So far, 2008 has broken the "even years are bad" theory to which I have previously prescribed.


eyes and teeth and lovejuice

I had an optometry appointment today. It was a follow-up to make sure that my eyes are not being destroyed from the inside because I've switched to a new brand of contact lenses. News was good - my eyes are not being destroyed. I have, however, been given a sample of a contact lens solution that WILL EAT MY EYES if I don't use it properly. I do not like the idea of this, but will try it nonetheless. I am confident in my ability to follow instructions, so I am hoping that the BURNING OF MY RETINAS will be foregone.

In other news, I will be having my bi-annual dental exam today. Yippee. This means panoramic x-rays of my chompers. I am hoping that the x-ray machine accidentally shoots its magic into my ovaries and takes out any chance of offspring. I am hoping this because I once again broached the topic of vasectomy with the man last night. I've been telling him that it is a simple, nearly painless, outpatient procedure and that he should just man up and do it. It would ultimately save us hundreds of dollars each year (condoms, birth control prescription). Yet, he claims that he doesn't want anyone going near his testicles with any sharp objects. I reminded him that I have a sharp mind and that he should have the surgery if he would like my head going anywhere near his man-package in the future. He did not concur.

NOTE: Sperm is made of broken futures, not candy and rainbows as some people believe.


I'm generally an organized person. I may even be anal-retentive about it. The problem is that I have a tendency to allow organization become a procrastination tool. There is always something that can be organized, reorganized, or organized yet again. I'm better at the initiation of organization than I am on the follow-through for this reason - I know that there will be the opportunity to reevaluate and reorganize. One of my goals for the 2008 is to avoid doing this.

Another goal is to firmly cement my budget and adhere to it as though I will be cold and homeless if I stray from it. So far, this has gone well (even though it has only been one week). I have read a few books by Larry Winget on budgeting and getting "rich." Rich is not so much important to me as getting out of debt. Yes, I realize that the debt I have incurred is because of important things like education, but that doesn't make the monthly payments any easier to swallow. I generally have a budget that I am following, but I have been a bit lax at times. This will end. I will be a budgetary Nazi.


projects, goals, accomplishments, and lazy fatbodies

I am alive. I survived holiday season 2007. I made out like a bandit in regard to Christmas gifts and feel rich in the splendor. I'm still trying to get my shit together in terms of having been gone from work for over a week, which is why I haven't posted. I had a fabulous break, though fraught with inclement weather and much angst about the imminent return to work.

Over break I accomplished a number of things. I bought and framed some vintage geometric/mod fabric to go over the bed. The fabric is fabulous in and of itself because it is vintage and has orange in it:

In other news, I was able to visit my parents in the "northwoods" for day at Christmas. We had to leave early because of weather, but it was still a nice visit. My brother and his family were there. The kid is pretty cool, but did not conjure up any maternal instinct in me whatsoever. Both I and the man were happy about that.

As for New Year's resolutions, I don't really do that. I have goals for the year, but they are more or less just a guideline. I would like to:
  1. finish my thesis and get my degree conferred
  2. pay off my credit card debt (or at least get close)
  3. pay off one student loan (likely the smallest one)
  4. find a second job that I enjoy and that doesn't completely drain me (would not begin until #1 is completed and will aid in both #2 and #3)
  5. get one step closer to financial stability that would allow us to kick the lazy-sack-of-shit, worthless, fatbody roommate out of the house and still be able to feed ourselves and the pets (without all of us having to resort to eating canned cat food)
  6. take a class or attend some sort of fun learning experience/activity
  7. participate in more charitable causes (e.g. I did the Race for the Cure last year and would like to do something like that and more)
  8. become healthier and less dependent on physical therapy
  9. continually remind myself that I need to keep working in this job so that I can gain enough experience to get a job that is more fulfilling (both mentally and financially)
  10. use more locally-grown produce and locally-produced items

The man and I spent a quiet evening at home for New Year's. It was one of the two nights over break that we actually had the house to ourselves. The dickbag roommate has been more homebound than ever and is reverting to his slovenly ways. Thus, my tolerance for him is waning and if it weren't a financial necessity for his existency, the man and I would've thrown the vile crap he calls his belongings on the front yard months ago.

All in all, I'm optimistic about 2008. Happy New Year!