resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
Kidlet is watching some YouTube personalities whose names I can't remember.

Kidlet: "So in college she and her dorm-mates would flash their boobs at each other. They gave each other nicknames based on their nipples."

Me: "In the great continuum from Very Heterosexual to Not Really All That Heterosexual, nipple nicknames are ..."

Kidlet: "In the Uncanny Valley of straight-white-girl sexuality."
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
Me: So I stay up way, way too late.
Kidlet: Uh-huh.
Me: So late. Trying so hard to make myself get up and go to bed.
Kidlet: Uh-huh.
Me: So today I open my laptop, and what I've typed into my Google search field is: "How is John Legend so handsome?"
Kidlet: That late, huh?
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
Apparently nowadays when you find a dead bat in your living space, the public health authorities really want you to bring it in immediately for rabies testing, or refrigerate it until you can do so.

And if, instead, you flung it out on the lawn to decay ... well, the public health authorities want everyone who slept in that house to have a series of rabies shots. On account of bat bites being painless and leaving nearly no visible marks.

At least they don't do the shots in the belly any more. Three on the arms, four on the butt, and three more emergency room visits to come. I don't even like to think about how much this is going to cost.

So fridge that bat, friends. You'll be glad you did.
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
This morning I was late for church because I had to remove a dead bat from the den of the Spousehouse before the kittencake had a chance to get at it.

(We knew there were bats in the attic -- in the belfry, as it were -- but we have no idea how this one came to be in the main house.)

And last week we actually turned the car around so the spouse could go back and rescue a turtle (ok, I guess strictly speaking a tortoise?) who was crossing the street on a narrow causeway where there was noplace for cars to avoid it. I was sitting in the car watching, and that turtle was literally running to avoid being caught. But the spouse caught it and put it in the grass near the river. Grass near the river is exactly what's on both sides of the street; I have no idea what the critter thought it was going to find on the other side.
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
I have just literally booked myself a vacation day to spend filling out college financial aid paperwork.
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
I gave blood this week. You know how they give you that list of countries that have cautions related to them? -- don't donate if you were in the UK during these years, if you've been in these African countries, if you've received a transfusion or donor organ in this part of Europe?

Yeah, the U.S. is on that list now. (If you've been in Broward County, Florida, recently, you can only give blood IN Broward County, because of Zika.)

Do any of y'all find yourselves imagining telling things to historians or is it just me?
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
They totaled the car. I am literally emailing the nearest Carmax location and going, "How many sky-blue Elantras, 2011-2016, with less than 40K miles can you line up for me to test-drive in one day?"

One of my co-workers is leaving the country and another is recovering from surgery, so I'm being trained for two new accounts. I've also switched cell phone carriers and upgraded my iPhone. Unfortunately, setting up the phone, learning the accounts, and handling insurance and car purchase are all using pretty much the same part of my brain, and that part is turning to moosh.

Maybe I'll spend this weekend, like, coloring mandalas or something.
resonant: Seal doing facepalm (Seal of Disapproval)
I would love it if I never again had to begin a phone message or email with the words, "First of all, we're all OK and no one is hurt ..."

I wrecked my car on Sunday because some irresponsible oik of a tractor-trailer driver left a spare tire in the middle of the lane on a twisty, shoulderless section of Iowa 52. On the coldest day of the year, I stood and watched my beloved sky-blue-lavender Hyundai bleed its oil and antifreeze all over the overpass, and now I'm on tenterhooks waiting for the insurance company to tell me whether they're going to pay for repairs or total it.

If you're inclined to exercise your pull with the universe, the decision I want is "pay for repairs." I was planning to get another twelve years out of that car; in no way do I have the money to buy a new one. I love that car. And they don't make that color any more.

(Possibly I've used up all my allotment of good luck in the fact that no one was hurt and the fact that the kidlet wasn't driving. I don't want the universe to think I'm not grateful for both of those things, because am I ever.)

By the way, did you know that tenterhooks are hooks used to stretch wool to dry? Knowing that makes the sensation that much more vivid.
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
I love so many things about Christmas, even though it's always kind of a rush and it involves more extrovert stuff than I'm really comfortable with. I love the music, and the food, and all the many opportunities to be creative (cooking, making crafty homemade presents, gift-wrapping, decorating, even choosing cards). People do daily December posts or write fannish Advent calendars. Yuletide.

And then it's over ... and there's just the season of long nights and sniffles and snow-shoveling, boots leaving puddles everywhere, having to put on a coat to take the garbage out, and months to get through before the farmer's market opens in June.

So I want to throw open an invitation here: Share your favorite pleasures of winter! Share recipes! Share stories of your family, born or found! Tell me what you look forward to doing every year. Give me excuses to make things out of paper or fabric, or to cook show-offy foods, or to put something else up when the tree comes down. Invent a reason why a person would post every day or try to time a story specifically to the slow months of winter. (If it's not winter where you are, gloat if you must.)

I'll start with one thing that I do look forward to every year: the citrus fruit that the high school music department sells in January. There is no orange better than a January band orange.


Aug. 2nd, 2014 12:55 pm
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
The spouse comes home today! No more being a married single mother! (No more having a bathroom all to myself, either, but: worth it.)

He called last night from his halfway point and proposed that we have a picnic in the living room.

Now, at the best of times I really don't get picnics -- I like eating, I like the outdoors, but I don't really see how one adds anything to the other. (I like garlic; I like chocolate ...)

But a picnic in the living room is even more baffling to me. There's a perfectly comfortable table right there. I can see it from here. Explain to me again why I'm awkwardly eating a sandwich over my lap with my drink on the coffee table right next to the library books?

Still, hooray for family life with all its compromises and crumbs.
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
I should have planned ahead how I was going to handle questions when I offered to let people ask me things, but both [personal profile] travels_in_time and [personal profile] riverlight asked about meal planning, so I thought it was worth doing a post rather than a comment.

Read more... )
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
I'm 49, which is an age at which you have to get used to opening the newspaper and seeing that someone your age has endowed a children's-surgery wing at a hospital or died of a heart attack

So it was with some pleasure that I read this morning that someone my age had been arrested for biting her probation officer.
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
I've never worked in the finance industry before, and it doesn't suit me in so many, many ways, but I am learning some very interesting things from reading the loan documents I'm indexing.

1. Banks make better offers (on loans, mortgages, credit cards, etc.) all the time. The documentation will say "in response to competitive pressure" -- this means that they didn't want the customer to take a better deal elsewhere.

When I realized this, I immediately called up my credit card company and asked them to match the offer I had from the local credit union -- and they told me no. But my new philosophy is that it never hurts to ask.

2. Salaries vary more than I could have imagined possible. I was surprised that some fields paid so well (veterinarians, for instance, and at least one deputy sheriff), but more often surprised that others paid so badly (teachers are shamefully underpaid and educational paraprofessionals even more so, as are counselors and home health aides).

3. If you're going to be a waiter, apparently the place to make the big bucks is at a casino restaurant.

4. People who report monthly incomes of five figures still sometimes take out a loan to buy Christmas present.

5. Children's names are on tax forms, and people name their children some really strange things. Sticking only to the car theme, for instance, over the course of one week I saw children named Lexus, Jag, and Pacer.

6. Towns are also named very strange things. Favorite so far: Muleshoe, Texas.

7. If you want to get to know the economy of a new town, or get an idea of what various organizations pay, a temp job in a loan company (with access to the application & tax documents in the database) is very helpful.
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
I had an exam scheduled today in a town about an hour and a half away. I should have canceled; I spent last night sleeping off a migraine and was really not myself, but I had to get on the road so ungodly early that, by the time I realized what a sorry condition I was in, I was already nearly there.

On the way home, though, everything became clear. I got drowsier and drowsier, and more and more worried about my ability to drive, until about twenty minutes out of town I pulled off the road, parked in a Wal-Mart parking lot, and took a nap in the car.

And, ladies and gentlemen, if you want to experience the full meaning of the word "disoriented," try waking up from a sound sleep and finding yourself in the parking lot of a Wal-Mart in rural Wisconsin.
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
Did you ever think about how strange it is, really, that coffee is such a staple that your better employers provide it for their employees? And even places that don't will usually at least provide the machines and the space to do this really somewhat complex cooking task.

And this is not even mentioning sugar and artificial sweeteners and creamer and stirrers and cups ... And all of it is sort of an accident of history and food fashions. One flap from the quantum butterfly and the necessary refreshment could be something else entirely.

Like maybe in Night Vale every office break room has the makings of cream of tomato soup.
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
My friends, I kind of hate my job. It rewards routine precision. Thinking outside the box is not only not helpful, it actually makes you less good at the job and makes things difficult for other people.

My preference is to work creatively and quickly, and to leave detail-level accuracy to people who are actually good at it (i.e. people who are not me). However, they're paying me, and I don't want them to hate me. hacking my job )

In other news, I wrote some half-dozen-ish words of something fannish today, which, pathetic as it is, is still a step in the right direction.
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
I felt like yesterday was a pretty good day, but it's also true that yesterday was a day when I tried to exit a coffee shop restroom and the handle came off in my hand.
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
My temp job only exists because technology is at a stage of incomplete integration.

Basically, every day this national company generates hundreds, thousands of documents on paper, which are scanned and sent to my department, where six people spend all day every day attaching them to the appropriate files in the database and marking them with the appropriate tags.

Seriously. I mean, some of these documents clearly originated on a computer somewhere and then were printed, scanned, and sent to my department. Apparently, at this point in the technological development curve, tagging and indexing them is something only a human being can do.

As a person who likes to smooth processes, it drives me crazy. If I can back up from what ought to be and only focus on what is, it's kind of satisfying, like a good game of solitaire, though I imagine that once I know what I'm doing, it will be about as interesting as eight hours a day of solitaire.

I haven't worked full-time for ten years, and I was very, very spoiled. I had forgotten having to take time off to get a haircut or go to the bank. I had also forgotten lunch hours, though, and those are glorious.

Today my yoga instructor was talking about balance, and she mentioned "balancing your efforts with your goals." I'm feeling frazzled and exhausted, and this was something I really needed to hear.

So on Saturday I've decided to do some thinking, maybe journaling, on how to make sure my energy is being directed at things that really matter to me.

And, given that I'm the only person in the family working, and thus I have to have this job until I can find a better one, I need to look at it and find something in it (other than the paycheck) that I can make use of.
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
Anybody got any experience with renting out houses? I could use tips, pitfalls, horror stories, etc.
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
Today, dear imaginary friends, I drove three hours south to drop the spouse off where his car was, drove an hour and a half northward to meet up with the family of the kidlet's old-town friend and take the two of them to a movie, and drove the other hour and a half home with both kidlet and friend.

Tomorrow I will drive the kidlet three hours south to return the friend to her house, and then come back home by way of an apple orchard. This is how I've given away most of my Labor Day weekend.

Dear environment: I am very sorry.

At least I didn't have to actually watch the One Direction movie.

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