Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Here's the thing: Christmas is really exciting for me. I like it. I like visiting my family, I like buying presents, I like receiving presents, and, perhaps most importantly, WRAPPING presents.
I'm kind of getting tired of it. Looking back on last Christmas, which was my first Christmas since graduating from school, I realize there was a lot of stress. Now, when I say my first Christmas since graduating from school, I mean the first Christmas in 20 years where I was not on "Christmas break." In fact, I was on no break at all, because I had just started my job, so I had no money and no vacation time. I flew out the Saturday before Christmas and flew back Christmas day. And then went back to work early the next morning. So, yeah, some stress.
This Christmas, I daresay it was worse. I had no excuse for not being on top of everything. Oh, well, I did get a second job to help pay down some credit card debt. And I did have to plan for my sister's bridal shower, to be held on the 27th. But I did have some vacation time. And a little bit of money. And I'm more settled into my apartment now than I was last Christmas.
I just can't help feeling like I'm missing out on actually enjoying it. And, yeah, I know you've heard it all before. But I'm not talking about missing out on the true meaning of Christmas or remembering that Jesus is the Reason for the Season or anything so deep or spiritual as that. Just that I like to buy presents, get presents, eat good food and hang out with my family.
And this year I spent a month WORRYING about these things instead of looking forward to them. I worried about getting everything down to New Orleans in one piece. I worried about how I would fit all my gifts in my luggage (if that isn't a first-world sob story no one sobs over, I don't know what is). I worried about my flights, My Darlin's flights, getting both of us to and from the airport. I worried about neglecting someone while I was in town to visit. And I did neglect people. Like everyone. And so here I am. It's New Year's Eve and I haven't recovered from Christmas. I haven't unpacked my suitcase. I haven't beaten the Super Mario Brothers game. Oh, whoops. I mean, I have bigger concerns than that.
SO! This year. This year will be better. As you can see from my very first post here on No Major Issues, this blog was a New Year's Resolution of sorts from last year. Although I didn't keep up with it quite like I had hoped, I do plan to try harder this year. I'll be back soon to regale you with stories of my New Year's Eve (Pop Tart, anyone?).
Monday, August 11, 2008
Obviously, when you are not very good at tending the plants in your house, the solution is to buy more plants, so that they can all mock you with their dying and their leaf-losing. Yesterday, I went to IKEA to buy some new plants. I bought 5. I didn't really need 5, but my living room has this weird stale smell to it and I thought that bringing in some plants might help to freshen it up. (Does it work that way? Will the plants magically make my living room have fresher air?) I'm quite pleased with how these plants look, in their adorable, matching, white, ceramic pots. Hopefully I'll remember to water these. I bought a purple watering can as well to make watering more fun, so I'm on my way to a lush, verdant habitat, fit for fauna of the Amazon.
I might need to go buy a bag of dirt tonight. The large palm-like plant is just in a plastic pot inside the much larger plastic pot and is leaning precariously to one side. There's something about buying dirt, though, right? I mean, can't I just go somewhere and grab a couple handfuls? All this plant talk got you down? I'll change the subject.
I have been designing some databases (definitely not something I'm trained to do) and I've been consulting Colour Lovers for some color palettes that will look nice together and be better than the default blues and greys. I do love this site and all the great patterns and palettes, but methinks sometimes these designers get a little too into their "art," most of which is probably done in MS Paint. Par example, the palette I chose for my most recent database is called "Archaic Love." Really? Archaic? Nice.
Friday, August 8, 2008
Lately, I've been thinking a lot about my future. I'm sure I'm completely alone in contemplating what the next 10 years of my life look like. No one has similar thoughts, concerns, and wishes, right? I'm a totally unique little blogger, right?
Anycrap, I've been thinking about what my dream job is and how I might get there. The problem with focusing on my one goal in life and not straying from it is that I actually have two jobs. There are at least two things that I think would make me fabulously happy to do for the rest of my life.
1) The first job would be to work for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. They have a branch office in Russia (I know it's a big country, but I don't remember the city and this is a research-free blog) where I would love to work. In what capacity? Dunno. But, since I am quite pro-Russia and quite anti-drug, it suits my interests nicely.
2) The second job is to open "Little Buffalo Dry Goods," either in New Orleans (my hometown) or in Del Ray, Virginia, which is a charming little community. The little shop I'm thinking of would sell fabric by the yard, as well as various handmade goods and craft supplies. When I picture it, there are lots of windows and the shop itself is fairly simple--most of the decorations are supplied by bolts of brightly colored fabrics that are for sale and brightly colored skeins of yarn and embroidery floss. Oh, if only.
So, yes, those are my two dream jobs. I don't know which I'll work toward. At the moment, the thought of expending a large quantity of money to start my own business seems appalling. What with the student loans and the credit card debt--oy, the credit card debt--spending any money seems appalling. Perhaps there will be a way, someday.
In other news, I can't remember the last time I ate a vegetable, so it may be time to have a salad for lunch.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
For Mass..., I can just never remember where there are double esses and where there are double tees. I just throw a bunch of them in there and hope for the best. Also, I think Massachusetts should consider switching from Mass to Ma + that little German character that stands for a double "s." Let's spice things up, Massachusetts!
For Idaho, as noted in the title, I always type "Idago." Frankly, I think this is an improvement. Ida-GO! Idaho should consider it when coming up with a new tourism slogan.
Nothing else to report.
Friday, July 18, 2008
It may be a Southern thing--ladies do not go out in skirts with their legs bare. Certainly, they don't go to the office with bare legs. Heavens! There's also the girdle question, which to me settles itself as soon as you ask me to purchase something called "girdle." (See previous entry on "Crunk") My Granny would never go out in a skirt if she weren't wearing a girdle. Sometimes I consider it, but then I remember that being free and easy is preferable.
So, to settle the question once and for all, my pros and cons of pantyhose:
- Smooths out curves when wearing pencil skirts
- Makes leg skin appear smooth and flawless and, just as importantly, not the color of skim milk
- Not necessary to shave legs on a regular basis (wait, what?)
- Makes wearing of shorter skirts to the office less of a faux pas (this really applies more to tights, but it makes sense in this list as well)
- Considering I usually only get one wearing out of them before I put a thumb through the calf, this is an expensive proposition
- Delays emergency potty breaks by crucial seconds (no need to mention that I could just go to the bathroom when I first feel the urge)
- Allows me to be extra lazy on the leg shaving front
- Difficult to find a perfect fit and too small pantyhose are the worst
That's enough of this list, I think. Today I am wearing a blue skirt that is a rather full cut, some conservative looking pumps, and no hose. Also, I took a chunk of my heel out when I was shaving this morning and it looks like I was in a slasher movie. The band-aid is barely covering the carnage.
Oh, right, I was going to settle the pantyhose question. I think the real answer for me lies in not having a position one way or the other. When I'm wearing a skirt that I feel adequately conceals all that needs to be concealed, I don't mind skipping the hose. When I have an important meeting or my legs will not just be hanging out under my desk all day, I'll probably end up wearing pantyhose. Ditto for if I feel my outfit might not be dressy enough for work--pantyhose and "conservative pumps" make everything a little classier. Oh! Class! That should have been on the Pro list.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
1. They asked if I was claustrophobic. I’m all, “Nah.” Then they start to slide me into the tube, the top of which is about 4 inches from my face. And I start to get nervous. Luckily, they end up sliding me most of the way through the tube, so if I look up I can see the ceiling.
2. I was listening to the radio on the big ol’ stereo headphones they gave me to wear and the station keeps fading in and out, which annoys me to no end.
3. My arms are all crossed across my chest and I’m holding a little buzzer to call the tech (nurse?) if I need her. I’m a nervous wreck that I’m going to move and/or accidentally hit the buzzer. I tried to just rest my elbows against the sides of the tube (yes, the sides were that close) to keep from moving too much. I give myself a B-.
4. It is HOT. I can feel the sweat trickling down my back and my chest and I feel disgusting. My face is all greasy, my hair is starting to get damp…ugh.
5. My back is arched in an unnatural position that is starting to hurt my hips.
6. Tech/Nurse comes back in because it’s time to inject the contrast serum (or whatever they call it). That goes OK, so it’s back in the tube for 10 more minutes.
7. About 5 minutes to go, and I start to freak out a little. I can feel my back cramping up (ready to be a jerk for the rest of the day), I’m sweating buckets, and I’m starting to feel claustrophobic. I now know what people mean when they say that. I’m ready to hit the buzzer and just tell her to use what they have, because I need to get out of there. My heart is pounding and I’m sweating even more and I start to feel a little teary and panicky but I make myself hold out for the remaining 5 minutes.
8. Time’s up. I change my clothes and go wake up My Darlin', who was in the waiting room.
All in all, I give the experience an F+. I’m always fascinated by new (to me) medical procedures, so I was kind of excited-nervous about getting the MRI, but I didn’t enjoy it at all. Also, I was given a coral-colored kimono to wear whilst in the tube. When I walked out of the MRI room, there was a man wearing a blue kimono. And I wondered—do we really need to distinguish our gender by kimono color? It would be ok to have me wear a blue kimono while getting an MRI. It really would be ok to have the men wear coral kimonos while in the MRI. We’re not infants. People aren’t relying on our choice of color to determine our gender. Besides, I look terrible in coral.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
So, today's menu: two frozen meatballs from Trader Joe's, mashed potatoes, and edamame (can I please just call them soybeans?) with sesame seeds. I was inspired by Biggie's morning prep work on her bento box lunches. Normally, if the cupboard was bare, I would just get McDonald's or something for lunch or bring one of my shelf-stable packages of Trader Joe's lentils. Seriously, try the Indian themed lentils. But, hey--if a woman with a preschooler can make 3 healthy, creative lunches in the mornings then I can surely handle it. So.
Yeah, these involved no prep work. They are frozen. I opened the bag and put two into one of my bigger Lock & Locks.
The mashed potatoes:
A few weeks (OK, months) back, I bought a bag of frozen veggies. It was a mix of baby corn, baby carrots, red peppers, broccoli, and tiny new potatoes. I have eaten everything out of this package except for a handful of potatoes and the carrots, which--sorry--went in the trash. So I just took the frozen little potatoes (so cute!) and threw them into my tiniest sauce pan of salted boiling water and went about my business until they were cooked to a near mush. Then I tossed them into the colander, then back into the pot. Then I added a splash of half & half and a pat of butter. They may be the best mashed potatoes I've ever made--no trying to get fancy or worrying about proportions. And, really--isn't the proper proportion of butter to anything else infinity:1?
I just boiled them in their pods from their frozen state, then shelled them and put them in smaller Lock & Lock with rice vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, and some toasted sesame seeds. They are the temptation on my desk. I want to eat them right now. I decided not to put them in the fridge, because they don't really contain anything that can't sit safely at room temperature for a few hours. And because they look so delicious. I like knowing they're there. The promise of a delicious lunch.
Enough about lunch? OK.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Past a certain age I moved on from my dislike of concerts. I think the trick was to think of the concerts as separate and different from recorded works. Like, "this isn't like Better Than Ezra's Deluxe album, it's Better Than Ezra live." More recently I have come to love some live albums, but I think it depends on the quality of the performance/performers, the quality of the recording, and whether you can accept that the music doesn't sound the way it's "supposed to." Yeah, it's a blend of the inter- and the intra-.
Here are my humble submissions for the live album Walk of Fame:
- The Smoking Popes, At Metro
- The Kinks, The Kinks Kronikles
- Cowboy Mouth, All You Need Is Live
Monday, March 31, 2008
My stations are:
- Claude Debussy
- New Kids on the Block
- Golden Years (by David Bowie)
- Chain of Fools (by Aretha Franklin)
- New Pornographers
- Reel Big Fish
- Rusted Root
- Rod Stewart
- The Music of the Night (from Phantom of the Opera)
- Better Than Ezra
This list is not to brag about my ecelectic music taste. Frankly, the stations tend to overlap, sometimes in ways I do not understand. Par example, the same God-forsaken Coldplay song has shown up and been thumbs-downed on 4 different stations.
Anyway, since my music taste changes with my mood, I often find myself wondering why I gave certain songs a thumbs up. There are some really grating songs that I apparently decided were worth listening to a second time. In the end, they were not. Also, I have no particular allegiance to Debussy: I was looking for some good classical music to have playing in the background when lyrics would just ruin my train of thought.
Well, there's work to be done.
Monday, March 24, 2008
Now on to the subject of this post.
I have an unhealthy relationship with the CVS near my work. It's on the small side for a CVS, selling only 20 or 30 brands of deodorant instead of the usual 90, but it serves its purpose. However, I never carry cash, thus I always need to use my card and I always feel like I need to spend more than $5 to justify the use of the credit card. I have no sound reasoning for why I believe this. The CVS cashiers would most likely allow me to charge 45 cents worth of merchandise. This may not be a problem for a normal person but I am notoriously bad with money. And because I go to this CVS oh, 5 times per week, I end up spending a lot of money there. Today for example, I went once in the morning and bought a hairbrush and deodorant to keep in my office, then decided to buy a box of tissues to bump my purchase above $5 (reasonable purchases all). I went again in the afternoon because I had forgotten to purchase the item I went there in the morning to get. The item in question, though, was only $2.50. So, naturally, I had to buy $2.50 worth of Little Debbie cakes so I wouldn't have to feel weird consumer guilt about using my check card for this.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
I'm probably overly sensitive to shoe names and I have no sound psychological reasoning for it. I just couldn't bring myself to order CRUNK from Zappos, even if it was a darling yellow patent leather mary jane. CRUNK.
(When I was in college I dated a guy whose dad was a Croatian immigrant. The boyfriend's Dad's name was Luka. I actually bought a pair of sandals named "Luka" because I couldn't resist. The shoe name thing--it's pathological.)
*I'm using this asterisk as a segue into my next topic. I started my first real live big-girl job in November of last year. I had tons of dark-colored, wintry, somber clothing from my career as a law student in Michigan, where Winter is the most beautiful nine months of the year. Now that Spring is coming, I'm getting nervous. When I lived in hot, humid Louisiana, I had little use for business clothes, so I have nothing to show for Spring time office wear. This is a shallow concern. I would gladly go buy a billion dollars worth of bright colors and light fabrics, but ohyeahimpoor.
**My favorite cousin Vic and his now wife Melissa were having a conversation with me before they were married, where Melissa gave a silly but impassioned speech about nothing important. She finished the whole thing by saying, "EXPLANATION POINT!" and drawing an exclamation point in the air with her finger. I think of that ALL THE TIME. I like to remind Vic of it, too, because it's so funny and if you can't laugh at your wife's expense, well, why did you get married?
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Some of you (those who went to law school) may remember the hullabaloo about use of peyote in certain hallucinogenic religious rituals. I just don't think that's the case here, for our friend Robert:
If children can drink wine during Holy Communion, then Robert George Henry insists he should be able to smoke marijuana without being hassled by the cops.
The Franklin County man claims he is a rolling-paper-carrying member of the Hawaii Cannabis Ministry, a denomination devoted to the use of marijuana as a sacrament.
Henry will ask President Judge Edgar B. Bayley to dismiss drunken-driving and marijuana possession charges filed by state police on grounds that his drug use is a constitutionally protected religious practice.
OK, I could see your "marijuana use as a religious experience" argument here. But you were also arrested for drunken driving. Does that enhance your religious experience, Robert? Because I'm sure it enhanced your toking experience. Also, YOU WERE IN A CAR. I know churches are getting all new age and hip, but I have to wonder about a denomination that involves drinking and getting high by yourself IN YOUR CAR. Sorry, friends, I don't buy it. (article courtesy of PennLive.com - http://www.pennlive.com/news/patriotnews/index.ssf?/base/news/120459211064760.xml&coll=1)
In unrelated news, I have a light green Nalgene bottle that came with my Brita pitcher. Yesterday, I made some Crystal Light in it, then refilled it with water when I was mostly done. As such, the water inside has a slightly pinkish tinge that, when seen through the light green plastic, makes it look like I have a large bottle of urine on my desk.
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Friday, February 15, 2008
And, although I have to admire the restraint of Ricky Gervais and Steven Merchant and their decision to call it quits after 2 seasons of their version, I kinda wish they hadn't. That's the beauty of the newer version -- it just keeps going. And that means many more seasons to rent from Netflix.
With that, my friend(s), I leave you with these words from my second experience with "The Office" American-style: "Computers are about trying to murder you in a lake."
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
A homeless man stands on the sidewalk, his satchel spewing still protectively-wrapped Bob Dylan CDs. A store employee stands in the doorway of the store, asking the man what he wants and receiving no answer. The homeless man screams seemingly random lyrics from "Like a Rolling Stone." The store employee seems baffled that there is no theological debate in the works and begins to threaten the homeless man with a phone call to the police.
--I wish I could have stayed to watch.
Friday, January 18, 2008
Part of the reason I wanted Netflix over just renting movies from Blockbuster is the sheer anonymity of it. I can rent whatever I would like, as many times as I like, without the usual fear that someone will see me renting Hook for the 13th time (I own it now, thank you). Or, that the guy at the desk will roll his eyes when I ask if they have The Virgin Suicides. True story.
Moreover, I don't want to have to pretend to like things I really hate. I mean, in general, I don't do this. I hated The Constant Gardener. In spite of wanting all people to be treated with the utmost care and respect and never to fall prey to corporations trying to save a buck, I found it too preachy. And that's coming from me, a preacher extraordinaire.
The bottom line is that I don't want to have to answer to anyone as to why I gave Being John Malkovich 2 stars and Mean Girls 5 stars. Lay off me.
Or, as my Darlin' says, "yeah, that's why you end up renting Kurosawa when you really want to rent Shrek 3."
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
I think, now that I have spent a good chunk of change on little odds and ends from jcaroline, that I will devote myself to using up all that I have at home. Then, once everything has been glued, stitched, cut, wrapped, and finished, I will look around in pride and decide that now, NOW, now is the time to buy more things.
The last thing I will buy before I call it quits, though, is a small amount of adorable fabrics to make into magnets, buttons, and pillows -- all to be likewise embroidered.
But lately. Lately, I have seen the light! I can't stop searching "vintage buttons" on Etsy. What am I going to do with these buttons?! Even if I actually purchase them, which I haven't done yet, I have no plans for them. I would just keep them in a little box on my nightstand and gaze lovingly at them every night.
Which brings me to the crux of the problem--it's not a fear of buyer's remorse keeping me from buying every beautiful vintage button that crosses my path. It's a fear of not being able to pay my cell phone bill (ahem, again) because I have spent all of my money on frivolity. I have such brilliant plans to decorate in adorable kitsch-y fabrics from Japan and works by independent, starving artists peddling their wares on Etsy. All I need is a raise, right?
Friday, January 11, 2008
While at Trader Joe's I came across their enormous selection of Luna bars. Kill two birds, right? I'll have easily storable snack foods on hand and also get some nutrition that I miss when I eat popcorn for 6 meals straight. The only problem is they're kind of gross. Did I say kind of? I meant really, really, REALLY gross. I can barely choke them down most of the time. But, you know--they're there and they keep me from feeling that hungry-nauseated feeling I have become so familiar with. Today, however, I ate the blueberry yogurt bar. It didn't make me dry heave. That's a step in the right direction.
Monday, January 7, 2008
But not now, no, definitely not. Because it's a disaster. I moved from a 1-bedroom apartment in Ann Arbor to a 4-bedroom house, then briefly lived with my Darlin', then to my Paran's house, then, finally, to a 1-bedroom apartment in Ol' Virginny.
Living by yourself is amazing.
Having boxes stacked on boxes, stacked on the coffee table, which is on top of some flattened boxes? Not amazing. The point of the moving narrative is that I have moved several times in the past few years and several more times before that. And I am still in possession of things that I should have thrown away before I moved from Louisiana to Michigan.
Hence the disaster. I only hope to get everything squared away before my sister comes to visit. In less than 2 weeks. Right.
Friday, January 4, 2008
Truth be told, there are obviously some things that keep your baby, toddler, pre-schooler quiet for longer periods of time. I've spent a lot of time kids under the age of 4 and I know they respond pretty well to songs that are meant to start singalongs. But that doesn't mean that you can't just listen to the radio. They like that, too.
Case in point: my adorable cousin Lizard (real name withheld) used to sing along with the Paula Cole song, "Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?" She didn't know all of the words, just the, "yip-i-yi, yip-i-yay" part, which she sang over and over again. She loved it, it was adorable, and not once did we have to resort to the Wiggles. She also sang a strangely word-free version of "Isn't It Ironic?" but she has been forgiven for that.
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
1. Are the proofreaders German? From what little I know about the German language, I believe that all Nouns are capitalized.
2. Are these words more important than the other words in the sentence? And, if so, is there a hierarchy of importance? Like, step 1. Capitalization - more important than lowercase words; step 2. Italics - more important than words that are merely capitalized; step 3. Bold - more important than italicized words, less important than underlined words.
Methinks it is the latter--people don't really know how to make things stand out in their writing and they're unsure of themselves. Like they're thinking, "I feel that this word is important, but what if it's not? Maybe I should just capitalize it, rather than putting it in italics, in case it's not important."
Case in point: I was reading a report today that was filled with words that were capitalized though they were not parts of titles or proper nouns. E.g., "Administration" Maybe it's just longer words that need to be capitalized. Those are the important ones.
Yesterday, I discovered that I live remarkably close to yet another shopping center. I was already pleased with living so close to a Target within a strip mall, but the one I found yesterday has a DSW! And a World Market! And an ice skating rink! Oh, the consumerism!
Yes, I am susceptible to marketing gimmicks.
Speaking of - we went to see Walk Hard: the Dewey Cox Story. I would not recommend it to people who do not enjoy low-brow humor. There were several points in the movie where I couldn't believe I had paid money to see it. That being said, I laughed A LOT. I enjoyed it in spite of wanting to feel too mature and sophisticated for such foolishness. There was a penis on the screen--a completely unnecessary penis--for at least a minute. And yet, there I was, laughing with the rest of the teenagers.
Before the movie began, there was a preview for Scary Movie 24, or whatever it's called. These movies are all essentially the same. I have yet to find anything funny in any of the previews and I can only assume that the producers are showing some of the funniest parts there to lure you in. Who watches these movies? I'm ashamed to live in a country that produces such crap. If you have seen and enjoyed these movies, I think I should make a recommendation. Watch Idiocracy. Do you see a parallel between that movie and the present state of society? If not, then you represent everything that is wrong with America. You're the reason the terrorists are winning.