"I want, I want, I want ... but that's crazy"

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Waiting for the express outta here......

I have no idea what this damn Pineapple Express movie is, but I wish they'd stop playing the trailer every five minutes on TV. I'm always looking the other direction, and then I hear that song..... Paper Planes..... Immediately my brain is filled with images ... A DJ booth and dancing Canadians.... And a smile that was just for me, once upon a time... Mmmmiiiiiinnnnneeeee....... Damn it. It's a conspiracy, everywhere I look. And again, there's another reminder... It's not fair. Seriously - how long does this last?

I've got a work meeting tomorrow. I'll be working at a different office, so I hope I remember in the morning to drive to another city.

I got a message (surprise!) yesterday from G. He always seems to contact me when he's having girl issues. Once he even messaged me to say, "I have a date Saturday. What should we do?" It gives me flashbacks to elementary school. All of the boys were "friends" with me, and they always came to me for advice on their little elementary school love lives. Geez! What is it about me? At least these days, a few of them look at me a little differently. One especially.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - Herman and Lily

*Rated M for mature content*

She's nosey, or she's paranoid, or she's untrusting, or she's just a fucking bitch trying to rub my face in it. Whatever it is, the vacuous silicone bitch needs to back the fuck off. I've had enough of it. Why the fuck does she need to check up on MY life at least three times a week? WHAT THE FUCK?!?! Didn't she take enough of it already?

Herman and Lily

I went ahead and got new digs for Freckles today. I figure, she's going to need it, so there's no point in putting it off. But we just bought the Kritter Keeper for her two days ago. What to do? Enter Herman and Lily (as in Munster). Herman's a black moor, and Lily is a calico moor. (No idea of their actual sexes, btw - but does it matter with goldfish?) I swear - that's as far as the menagerie is going. One cat, one frog and two fish. (I couldn't get a decent picture of the fish to post...sorry...I'm sure you're all broken up about it.)

I've got another meeting next week, but one of the editors has promised to bring pie, so that's a plus. :)

Pooh got a job today. He has his orientation at McDonald's next week. That means I'm going to have to talk to the boss - again. I knew I should have pushed back my re-entry to the office until school started.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Research project

Well, I did some research on our new pal Freckles. It turns out, she's not the African dwarf frog we thought we were getting. She's an African clawed frog. Which means she's going to grow to at least five inches, and she could live for 25 years! Some impulse buy! She's happy in her one gallon Kritter Keeper now, but we'll have to invest in a bona fide aquarium to keep up with her. And judging by the fact that she was already bigger by far than any of her siblings....... oh boy... In my research I found that one person reported owning a female who grew to 10 inches and lived 32 years!

I looked up the salmonella risk that Roxie mentioned in her comment for my previous post. For children over the age of 5 with healthy immune systems and adequate precautions, such as careful handwashing and thorough cleaning of the area used to change the water - the risk is minimal. Also, the African clawed frog, unlike other frogs, actually produces an antibiotic on its skin, so it's possible (although I couldn't find specific documentation) that it wouldn't be as much of an issue. In general though, the consensus is that with the most elementary precautions and proper supervision, your salmonella risk from amphibians is less than the likelihood that you will contract it by consuming undercooked chicken.

I read quite a few exciting frog escape stories, too, so I might have a real adventure on my hands. The key to minimizing that one, I think, will be keeping Munch's little hands off the lid.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Freckles gets a second chance

Since our little backyard froggie fled the kiddie pool, we've been feeling an absence in the family. So today included a trip to the pet shop for our very own house froggie. We encountered Freckles as I was strolling along the wall of aquariums and felt something squishy under my foot. At that instant, Gin said, "Mom, you just stepped on a frog." I looked down, and sure enough, she was right. We thought for a moment it was dead, then it began to wriggle around. A shop worker quickly scooped her up and popped her back into the tank. I told her that we were, in fact, there to get a frog. After fishing around in the tank, she managed to scoop up the feistiest and fattest frog in the tank for us - the very same one I'd just stepped on, by chance. So here's our big, fat Freckles (Munch chose the name):

I start back in the office tomorrow. It inspired me to write this week's column on telecommuting. It might raise an eyebrow or two at the office, but it's a perfectly legitimate topic for my column (which is about all things Internet-related), and I made sure that it was thoroughly researched with lots of sources. They can't possibly fault it. (Hehe. I read somewhere once, "If you steal from one source, it's plagiarism. If you steal from many sources, it's research.")

On the small plus side, gas prices are dropping - slowly. I'll also have to take one more step in leaving my recent hermit lifestyle. I really isolated myself after ... the recent significant change in my life. (Hmm....is it still recent? It's been two months. Sometimes it feels like two years, and sometimes it feels like two days. Sometimes it feels like forever, and sometimes it hurts like forever....)

I think it's good that things are shaking up in my life right now. I've had some outings. I'm going back to the office. I've got a lovely new person in my life. I've got (fingers crossed) a trip to Chicago coming up. I've got some new pressures too, but (fingers crossed again), I'll get through it.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Another day at the fair

I spent the day to day at the county fair with Book, Gin and Munch. We all had a much better time than the girls and I'd had there on Tuesday.

We had to start out with the company picnic, which was mediocre, to rate it generously. But I've been doing this long enough to know that it's always mediocre at best. From there we went straight on to the "good" rides that we hadn't been able to ride Tuesday because of the flood of teenagers that arrives each evening of the fair. (Individually, teenagers are fine. Pooh and his friends are great. But put them into a group situation without adult supervision, and they're idiots. But anyway....) The first ride was one of those big (well, this one was not so big, really) pirate ship rides that swings to and fro - or I suppose that's fore and aft. Munch was eager to go on it, because she's trying to prove herself worthy of an amusement park trip. Well, we were seconds into the ride before she freaked. The ride operator stopped the ride and let us off. No way she can handle a roller coaster. Funny thing is she's the "monkey" of the family, and Gin is so much more level-headed, but Gin's been a thrill ride junkie since she's been tall enough to ride them. Munch apparently didn't inherit my "coaster freak" gene.

Munch waited by the gate at the next two rides, which were obviously more than she could've handled. One had us standing in spinning steel baskets, and the other had us sitting in spinning steel baskets. The first was the type that has the rider pressed up so hard against the flat pillow behind that you cannot even lift an arm. The second...was not - though it had appeared to be. We were sitting on bench seats with a chain between the two steel arms in front of our laps. As the basket spun around, the whole ride (four baskets total), also turned, creating not centrifugal force but rather a sincere attempt to throw us around in the cage, less like a salad spinner and more like a salad bowl - with an OCD chef on crack doing the tossing. Gin was thrown right out of her seat, bruising her arm and scratching her wrist. Fortunately, after about two turns of the basket, she was able to struggle back into her seat. She got out of the incident with only a small bruise and some scratches on her wrist, and she shook it all off pretty quickly.

After that, we stuck with the mild stuff, including two rides on the carousel and one on the ferris wheel, and trips through the barns to see the animals. And lots of fair food, of course.

I've got an album (click to view) full of pics, but here are a few highlights.

Friday, July 25, 2008

And I wonder....

Well, my boss "negotiated" three days a week in the office for me - Monday, Wednesday and Friday - starting next week. I guess it's a good thing I've got this weekend off, at least. I don't think I'll be staying with this long. With all the work I've given this company for completely inadequate pay, they've got to go and make it harder for me (and even less lucrative). It's hardly worth all my effort, but I don't know how to half-ass my way through a job. I guess that means I'd better find a place that appreciates me.

Munch had a taste for sushi tonight - and once she mentioned it, so did I. I considered taking the girls down to the sushi place, but I decided to save myself a little cash and make it myself. I managed to find a decent salmon fillet - a serious challenge around here - and some crab, so we had ourselves a sushi feast at a fraction of the cost of going to the restaurant. And the girls LOVED it! Me too, in fact. :)

My favorite distraction has gone off to a festival this weekend, so we won't have our marathon chat sessions. We are staying in touch via text message, of course, and he even called me again. I've hit a small financial stumbling block on my Chicago trip, but he's determined, so I'm determined as well. I deserve it. He does too, for that matter. And if he's willing to come all the way from England just to see me, I certainly have to make any effort I can to make it happen.

I can't quite shake this melancholy that's come over me the past few days. It seems my radio is conspiring against me, and I'm being barraged with commercials for this new movie out on DVD. Grrr..... I want to watch it, but I don't know if I can. It's got too many memories connected to it. Wish I'd read that script now...... Spending the time "otherwise occupied" turned out to be utterly pointless in the long run. All of it turned out pretty pointless. It hurts that I gave so much, and yet, I never even mattered. I was just filling the space until something else came along. I'm better than that. Fortunately, now I have someone who recognizes that fact.

Pooh's gone off to Cleveland to see the Foo Fighters tonight. I would have loved to have gone, but even that would have associations for me. I was listening to Everlong on my mp3 player one afternoon in a hotel room in Seattle, when I opened my eyes....
Hello. I've waited here for you...Everlong

Thursday, July 24, 2008

On empty

I not much in the mood for writing tonight. I don't feel like much of anything. I'm a little melancholy today. I'm glad the week is nearly over - and I don't have to work this weekend. I've been awfully tired today. I took an unintended nap early this evening. I feel like another. One that lasts about six months.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Busy Tuesday

My day started out with the usual work, then I had to take lunch and get ready to head into the office for my meeting with my boss. I had a stroke of genius (or it felt like it at that particular moment), and I found the perfect pants to pair with my new Mario Bologna shoes so that they could make their public debut. (I looked positively smashing, btw...hehe) So I headed out to the car, and what do I see? Flat tire. Great. I sent Pooh over to the store to grab a can of Fix-A-Flat to get me on my way.

I was only about five minutes late for my meeting, so it was no big deal. My boss was more interested in the potential story angle of the roadwork causing me two flat tires (I got one a few weeks ago, too) - and whatever other damage it's been doing to the other residents of my little hamlet. That's the news business for ya. As expected, my boss said that his boss wants me in the office but is willing to compromise. My boss will be presenting a plan to have me in the office twice a week, after school starts. I can deal with that. I've been feeling a wee bit guilty that I've totally skipped out on the office lately anyway. There's no real need to have me there, but I'm so cocooned here, I'm feeling a bit like a hermit. (Some guy in a passing car whistled as I walked out of the office. I should probably feign indignance....)

I got back to work as soon as I got home, and I talked the girls into finally cleaning up their mess in the living room by promising to take them to the fair if they finished it. (No, I don't usually use bribery, but I was planning to take them anyway. I just thought I'd get them to do what they were supposed to do as a little bonus.) They did. And we went. It was overpriced and completely boring. We left after three hours. What a waste that was. Gin even said it wasn't worth cleaning. We'll be going back on Saturday, because the company picnic is being held there, but at least it will be free then. Some nasty carnie made a crude pass at me, and I was cringing. The lines were long. Good food though. Good baaaaad food!

I was waiting for Munch (on a ride) and Gin (off to get cotton candy) when my cell phone rang. It was a "+44" number. That got me smiling! And imagine my delight at discovering that someone found worthy of a transatlantic phone call. Just a call to say *hello* and *I'm thinking of you*. Isn't that sweet? And he's coming all the way here just to see me too. Imagine that....

Both of my girls have broken out in a mysterious rash. Munch's is worse than Gin's, but neither seems to have gotten any worse since last night. They don't have a fever, and it's not itchy. Just one of those weird childhood things, I guess. We're just watching it now.

Wait-and-seeing spots ...

Woohoo! I'm on Wikipedia! Well, I've been on for a while as a reference on one of the foreign-language pages (I don't recall which language), but now, I'm in English! The listing has two references, and the vast majority of the entry refers to an article I wrote. Too cool! Funny thing is, the entry just popped up a couple of weeks ago, and I wrote the article six years or so ago, I think. So the wiki is already outdated - or at least, woefully incomplete.

I am smiling a lot more lately. I'm liking this feeling. Or I should say, I'm likin' it. This is good. Yeah. I think it is.

I've got a meeting with the boss tomorrow. No idea what it's going to be about. I think it's just him and me. Hope so. My guess is that he's talked to the group publisher, and they've got a proposal regarding my work arrangement. If they'd leave well enough alone, they'd save the company money, but if they offer me a raise, well.... we'll have to wait and see. I do hope my boss presented my case honorably. He should have. I've had his back more than once, and he's always been able to count on me to come through.

I'm really looking forward to my upcoming trip. I should start looking into some activities. It's Chicago, baby! Gotta be somethin' goin' on! Hehe. I think I'm kind of excited a little.

Oooooooooohhhh great......... (that was sarcasm, btw). Munch has just come in to show me her belly...and chest and face and back and legs... which are covered in an unexplained rash. No fever. That's good. It's not really bothering her. Also good. Wait-and-see mode. I hope I don't break out in spots tomorrow. If I do, we'll have to go into lockdown. She spent the night at her dad's Saturday. Bunch of kids there. This could be almost anything. But she's had chicken pox and, of course, all of her shots. *sigh* Wait and see.


Monday, July 21, 2008

Monkey do

A bright light in sight

Well, it looks like I'll be taking my trip to Chicago after all. My dear friend is coming from England to America to see me, and as there's nothing HERE (and I desperately need a vacation anyway), we'll be enjoying the amenities in the Windy City. I'm very much looking forward to it. We're hoping for early September. Fingers crossed it all comes together without too much difficulty.

I had so much work this weekend that it's almost felt as though I've done nothing else. I'm going to sleep tonight and think happy thoughts and look toward my upcoming adventure.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Secret pleasures, Part 2

I promised to revisit this topic - because Part 1, way back in March, inspired searches for a Part 2 - so here it is. Just so you know, though, I never intended a Part 2, and it was never meant to be a list. It was just an ordinary entry, and when I titled it Secret Pleasures, the words "Part 1" immediately popped into my head for some reason. Oh well, here is a Part 2 anyway. :)

* Mad Men on AMC (watch online here!!) - That's not really a secret, though, and I mentioned it in Part 1 anyway. I've been loving it from the beginning, and I'm so glad the mainstream is picking up on it. This show is incredible! The first season has been nominated for 16 Emmy Awards!!!
* dancing to the song "Buttons" by the Pussycat Dolls. Actually, I've got a few other songs I love to dance to, including "Family Affair" by Mary J. Blige, "Smooth" by Santana fea. Rob Thomas (that man's voice just DOES things to me....no idea why....Rob, not Carlos, btw), "You Can Leave Your Hat On" by Joe Cocker (that's a new one for me...hehe...but it's fun!), and lots of others. For a broader selection of titles, check out my mp3 player while watching through my bedroom window with a good pair of binoculars. I never remember to close my shades because it's just a field out there.
* Rob Thomas - just because he should get his own listing. :) (I swear - I don't know WHY?!?!)
* good, sappy movies - I mean good ones, too. My top three are The Princess Bride, When Harry Met Sally and Serendipity. I will watch them every time they are on TV even though I have two on DVD (not Serendipity yet, but whenever I hear Waiting in Vain, I weep uncontrollably anyway.......). Runners up include Two Weeks Notice, You've Got Mail, Sleepless in Seattle (although, that one rips me up too now), ok- pretty much anything Meg and Tom... Wow, that's cliche.
* I wanna say SHOES...but that's no secret. Italian shoes, specifically. Also, no secret.
* gentle nibbles down my neck from the spot just below the ear to where it curves down to the shoulder - Now, that's a pleasure. :)
* European soccer players - Again, that one's not a secret. But mmmmmmm, definitely a pleasure. :) Maybe Luca Toni should get his own listing, too....
* Italian men (as in Italian-born) - it's a recent fixation. I can't help it. File Luca Toni under this one, too, although only as a 'spectator.'
* ridiculously long chats with someone an ocean away who inexplicably just seems to connect with me.
* 80s sitcoms - I watched sitcoms like mad growing up (how I read so much - everything I could get my hands on - AND watched so much television as a child, I'll never figure out - seems I shouldn't have had enough time....), and I get to see some of them sometimes now on channels like TV Land. I still love watching them, but not for the same reasons, I've found. I love remembering how I felt when I watched them the first time. And they're sooooooo cheesy now!
* old movies ... all kinds (except Westerns). I love The Thin Man, Gone With the Wind, the Wizard of Oz, anything with Marilyn Monroe, almost anything with Audrey Hepburn, Betty Grable, Lauren Bacall (the Golden Era ones), William Powell, Jane Russell, Clark Gable, Rock Hudson, Doris Day.....you get the idea. I must have seen Pillow Talk about a hundred times, and I rarely miss an airing of The (old) Parent Trap.

I've got more, but I've been up chatting too late again. :) Time for bed now. Bright, sunny morning in England, btw. :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


I had my meeting with the bosses today. It went pretty well. As expected, somebody's suggesting that I should work from the office five days a week. I presented my case, and it was positively received. I told them honestly that I could not afford to add the expense of gasoline and full-time childcare at my current pay rate (which has not increased in five years despite four promotions and five job expansions in that time). I work seven days a week, virtually 24 hours a day, and I have been more responsive, efficient and effective than the three people who held the position before me - and they were all in the office full-time. My boss asked me to write up the same argument that I had given him in an e-mail so that he could present my case to the group publisher. He also mentioned a raise. I think we'll be able to some kind of arrangement. At the very least, I'm almost certain we'll be able to push back a shift to more office time until school starts again. In the mean time, he told me to go on as I have been. For the time being, I'll take it. I'm keeping my eyes open for other options, though. I think it's wise to do so at this time.

Speaking of options, I am growing to appreciate my new "direction" more and more. I'm completely confused and apprehensive and unsure and trepidatious and conflicted and ... yet ......... kind of ..... excited.... :) ..... and ...... curiously.... hap .. py. Huh? Where the heck did that come from so suddenly?


Alphabet soup in my head...flash word flood warning...

How cruel this life that offers up a taste of its sweetness only to rend it away once the craving for it has insinuated itself irrevocably upon the tip of the tongue.

Well, I think it's time to accept yet another shift in the sands of my life. But I'm not going to fight it. I'm just going along with it. I did what I could to go off in another direction, but it appears that it is simply not to be. And here, I have been presented with an entirely different option - at precisely the right time - so why not? Why shouldn't I go along with it and see what happens? There's nothing to stop me. I can't think of any reason I shouldn't. Except that it's soooo hard for me to let go of that ... other direction.

I'm being cryptic. I know. I get unexpected visitors here sometimes, and it always seems to be at the worst time. I have to learn to get past that. I know that, too. This is the place that I shouldn't have to censor myself, and I've already once complied with a request to use discretion here from someone else. I don't need to be doing it to myself too. I've gone anonymous elsewhere in the blogosphere now, but my primary focus is still here. This is still where my day-to-day and most of my heart goes. The other blog is more to sort out the scrambles in my head. (Good lord! Thank goodness for blog therapy!) I'll get back to politics at some point here, too. I seem to have lost some of my passion for it lately. Funny, the very thing that frustrated me most regarding politics is now gone, and my interest level has plummeted. I miss the spirited political discussions. Even though they had me pulling my hair out.

So glad I have someone so dear to talk to...

And this can't be neglected.....

Okay, I'm not a big beer fan in general. I'm a complete wuss about it as a matter of fact. I'll drink Bud Light most of the time. When I want a *decent* beer, I'll have a Miller Genuine Draft. When I want a *real* beer, I'll have a Molson Golden. Keep anything with any more bite than that. Ick! Just can't do it. (Shot of tequila though! Yeah! Rock on!)

But anyway...

Yes, I'm aware that Budweiser is not "native" to America. But come on. We've had it forever. It's been reformulated to a distinctly American (yes - completely wussy to the rest of the world - but it's ours) flavor. Those Clydesdales are iconic! More people watch the Super Bowl to see the Budweiser commercials than to see the game! Every boy in this country has a poster of those Budweiser chicks in bikinis on his wall at some point in his youth! This beer is a part of the American Fabric!

Jeez, that suddenly seems pathetic. America is beer and cheeseburgers, Budweiser and McDonald's. We're so young. I crave history (to digress...again). Not the history of Boston and Philadelphia, but the history of London and Paris and Rome and Athens (Greece, I mean - although the one in Ohio is quite lovely). Don't get me wrong. I love this country. We're huge. We have everything. We're ridiculously spoiled. We have great beauty and great lives and great cities and great opportunities. But I crave history.

My mind is wandering again tonight. Can you tell? I'm insomnimusing.... although, it's still reasonably early yet. And I think I'll sleep just fine. :) I think. I AM pretty scrambled. Crap. Best not to think about it. Bah! I've got alphabet soup in my head!

I'm sitting in my room swatting at gnats. I keep a fan in my window because I can't stand stagnant air, and when night falls and my light is on, the gnats start coming through the screen. I hate gnats. Bane of my existence. Try to let the room breathe and the damn GNATS squeeze in through the little holes and RUIN EVERYTHING!! Guh-fuckin'-nnnnnnnnnnnnaaaaaaaattttttttttsssssssssss! Aaaaaaaaaggggggghhhhhhh!!!!!! (Yes - there's a whole other layer of meaning to that statement. Of course.) I do, however, get much joy from splatting them... grrr......

Ugh..where did that come from? Man....I've got issues. Damn. I've got a meeting tomorrow, too.

I got a letter in my mailbox today informing me that if I would be requiring access to my car in the next week, I would have to move it from my driveway to the school parking lot two blocks away. They're finally getting around to putting in municipal water in my wee little hamlet-in-a-cornfield. At the moment, all the properties are on wells. (We've got about 300 residences.) Anyway, all summer it's been a nightmare of roadwork as they tear up the pavement to lay water mains. We don't have alternate routes here - there are two roads coming south into town from the east-west main road three miles up and one from the north-south road that passes about a mile off to the east of us. All of them are in shambles! I've actually gotten a flat tire from driving on them! I'll be glad when this is all over. Even moreso because my white clothes won't turn dingy orange (as well as my shower) from all the rust in the well. (We've got high iron soil around here - I invest in cases of CLR). Still, it's not going to be fun carrying everything from the car two blocks away for a week. Good thing the forecast is clear.

Anybody still reading? I'm really babbling now....

Speaking of weather, we had a heck of a thunderstorm over the weekend. Flash flooding everywhere because we've been so saturated from all the rain recently. It was a spectacular event though. I love a good thunderstorm. They...do....things to me....

The radio isn't conspiring against me today, but the television certainly seems to be. A movie here, and TV show there ... and one just showed a scene in the precise location...where a memory was once made. I'm not paying attention to what I should consciously avoid, so they keep sneaking up on me. Damn it! Damn it! Damn it! Why can't this just go away?! After all, in a way, it almost seems as if it never existed. It was never really in my life here. That particular shortfall I think was catastrophic, in hindsight. But too, it was all kept so quiet that it's faded away without seeming to have left any substance, any impact. But I know of its impact. It was not insignificant. It was powerful, and it was real.

Oooooohhhh..... I shouldn't wallow in melancholy. I have such bright new characters in my life. It hasn't quite followed my plan, but my outlook is still quite good. It's certainly turning out to be an eventful summer...

Pooh's still road-tripping, but he's calling me to check in every night like a good boy. :) He's in Boston (staying with a friend's relative just outside Boston, actually) tonight. He and his pals are headed to New York tomorrow, then they'll be heading back home.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

A step

I missed posting yesterday, and it's funny, because yesterday would have been one of those days just begging for an outlet. It was one of those days when every radio station seems to be involved in a massive conspiracy against you. Ok - I only listen to two stations around here because everything else is country music...but come on! Bob Marley on one and Bob Dylan on the other?!?! If anyone ever needed some mind-blowing, driving techno music, it was me yesterday.

But after a relentless gauntlet of memories keeping me in a bona fide funk all day, I was yet again rescued by a dear friend. My mind was in a scramble, but all the chaos went away. And I got to see the sun rise in England. Hehe. Well, the next best thing, I suppose.

I took a step toward my ... um ... short-term goal, today. Now, I just have to wait and see. I'm wavering between cautiously optimistic and downright defeatist. But at least I took the step. I won't have to say, "what if...?"


Rest in peace, Tony Snow.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Eddy in the stream

I'm feeling wholly uninspired to write tonight, which strikes me as a bit odd because I've been composing poetry in my head all day. I've been too pensive lately, and today it seemed to be even more compelling than usual to allow myself to burrow into the thoughts in my own head.

I don't know exactly where I am right now, and I don't know exactly where I'm going. I set myself toward a goal, but I seem to continually be pulled in another direction. And yet, that goal is still such a compulsion for me. I don't want to let it go, and I still believe that with a little luck and a lot of effort I can make it happen. I believe its time is coming. And I want it so much. That pull from another direction is still there, though, and I have been giving it attention. It deserves attention. I don't know what will happen next. I believe much will depend on timing. Some things are moving more quickly than others, and there are additional variables as well. Should I be rowing or following the current?

My shooooooooes are here!

I was crazy busy today - as I have been all week - but somehow, I was still pensive. I'm through dwelling in the past (at least for a while :) I'm only human, after all.), and I'm ready to embrace my present. Unfortunately, my immediate present is...

Work, work, work, work. I was asked to come in tomorrow morning for a meeting, but my assistant is on vacation - thank goodness. I was able to reschedule. It was the worst possible time. Pooh started his summer road trip today, and my mother won't be home tomorrow morning, so I don't have anywhere to take the girls. As it is though, I'll be uploading three newspapers in the morning, so I won't have time for any meeting. Now it's moved to Tuesday afternoon, which should be much easier for me to handle. It'll give me more time to prepare, too. Too much pressure on me lately.

I got a nice break after work with my chat with Z. I was tired and pretty drained by that time, though, so I was a little snippy with him, I'm afraid. He was very understanding though. I took a break from my snippiness and went for ice cream. That helped. :)

My hot new Mario Bologna shoes arrived at my door today! I love online shopping! I can get things they can't even dream of around here. (Have I mentioned I live in the middle of nowhere?) They are sooo amazing! I was drooling over them all evening. Now the pressure is really on to find that dress. And to find the perfect occasion worthy of them. :) I've got one in mind....

Thursday, July 10, 2008

A decade gone by...

Gin's 10th birthday was today. We noted its significance in that she gets another digit to her age, and that won't happen again for 90 more years. In our family birthday tradition, we went out to dinner at her choice of restaurant. Of course, she chose sushi. I stuffed myself. We all did. Overstuffed, really. It's probably a good thing, though. For some reason, I'm still losing weight, even though I started eating again quite some time ago. My appetite hasn't exactly been robust, but I thought I was eating at least as much as I used to, which, granted, is still less than I should. Gin eats more than I do, but Munch eats more than both of us combined! Hence the nickname... Hehe! She burns the fuel though. On the rare occasions when she sits still, she still burns it off by chattering nonstop!

I chatted for a little while with my friend A, who's just returned back home to the Balkans after a trip to Turkey. I am so jealous of all my globetrotting friends. G just returned home to London tonight after a visit to Rome. Before that he was in Barcelona, and before that....I've lost track already. I'm still looking forward to a little trip myself. :)

I got confirmation today that I will indeed be reporting to my old editor again. I might have to do some fancy footwork to maintain my current work arrangement. I might have to compromise a little. Fortunately, though, I know him well enough to know how to make him see things my way. He doesn't want me to leave - I know that - so I think he'll be flexible with me. The only reason I accept the lousy pay for this job is because I don't have to pay those outrageous gas prices to drive into the office every day. And considering I've been declared by general acclamation to have outshone my four predecessors in job performance, I feel fairly secure in it.

I got my very first hit via iPhone today. Naturally, it was a search from Google on the Lifetime Flying Tigress. Hehe. Still, I got an iPhone hit. Suddenly, I feel so much.....coooooler. :)

And...I actually liked this new photo....

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Gotye - Heart's a Mess

(Thanks, G! I love this!)

Another storm coming.....

Gin is loving her new Webkinz. She's named it Gigi (pronounced like GG). I found it especially notable, as Munch called her Webkinz Pete, which she got back in March. Alright, no one is expected to understand the significance of that, but trust me, it's ... interesting.

Skype was completely infuriating tonight. I was trying to have a conversation, and for the longest time we couldn't manage to keep a connection for more than a few moments at a time. Just when conversation got interesting, it would cut out again and again. Grr... Finally, it held on long enough for a lovely talk and proper goodnight. It's frustrating sometimes, but still, it's a technology I have to love.

Today's word: mamihlapinatapai (look it up!)

A spectacular thunderstorm is just rolling in. That one just made me jump! Better wrap up before my connection goes!

Splashing down the hall

I had a puddle in my hallway carpeting today (Monday). My first thought was that one of the girls had spilled something. No such luck. We soaked up what we could with a towel, and it was sopping again an hour later. As it turned out, we had an intake pipe leaking at the water heater. I drove into town and bought my supplies. I could have called the owner of the building, but I'd rather not, if I can avoid it. Pooh's girlfriend was over this afternoon, and as she watched me fix it, she said, "You really CAN do anything, can't you?" *big smile* Yes, as a matter of fact, I can. The leak is sealed, the carpet is drying and the tubs of dessicant are tucked into the corners to help speed along the recovery.

I had a talk on the phone with my new boss today. I was doing updates on the Web site contact pages, uploading the daily content and trying to monitor conditions in the hallway at the time. He set me to some more tasks, so my work day went longer than usual. And it seems that he might not be my boss for very long. He let me in that some of the key players were meeting this afternoon, and I might go back to reporting to my old boss - my editor from when I was a reporter. My job isn't changing. I could be okay with that. He knows nothing about what I do on the Web sites, but I've worked with him long enough that he knows I can do anything that's asked of me, and he doesn't have to worry about me.

I'm keeping it short, tonight. I couldn't sleep at all last night, and today's adventures (mainly my hours on my hands and knees with the green machine sucking the water out of the carpet) have left me pretty drained. Bedtime for me.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Need more Sundays like these

I had a nice quiet Sunday with the girls today. Everyone slept late after staying up too late last night, so we took Book home and went straight to lunch. We arrived at the restaurant just as another pair - an older lady and her mother struggling to get through the door with her walker - was following us through. As the hostess arrived to greet us, of course I asked that she seat the other party first. The daughter reached out her hand and took mine behind her mother's back and mouthed the words, "Thank you." It was the simplest thing - but a good moment.

We had a delicious lunch and went on to the rest of our Sunday errands, then we came home to just relax for a while. It felt great to do nothing for a while except watch the frog swim and play with the girls.

I had another good chat with Z in London. It's becoming an almost daily thing. It's nice to have someone with whom one can talk so easily.

I had a lovely chat with D in Manchester tonight, too. He really needs to start getting to sleep earlier. :) But he helped me with my column topic for work, so I'm not complaining. I just like talking to him anyway. He's a kaleidoscope. :)

We thought our new little backyard froggie had taken leave of our pool this evening, but Munch ran out before bed to see if he might have returned - and he has! I wonder how long he's been up to this?

I did have to reattach a koala head after a power struggle over some Webkinz, but overall, it was a pretty good day. :)

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Froggy Saturday

It was a typical Saturday morning, except that I didn't have to get up early for work. Aaahhh! It felt good to sleep in for a little while.

My daughters have become instant Food Network addicts, and they spent a good part of the day feeding that addiction. Munch loves to watch the show Unwrapped, in which they show how favorite foods are made. Today's episode was the special on sweets, so I don't think she blinked for an hour. Jelly Bellies, Whoppers, candy buttons...she was mesmerized. :) That show was followed by one on the huge annual All Candy Expo in Chicago. She eventually got bored with that one. After that show, Gin started watching the Food Network Challenge Disney Princess Cakes competition. It was immediately followed by one for Disney Villains, but by that time, it was time to leave for the fireworks.

Our big deal today though was the introduction of an unofficial new pet to the family. When Munch got bored with the candy shows, she went out to the backyard to play. During the past two weeks, we've had so much rain that we haven't even been in the backyard that whole time. The kiddie pool has been sitting unattended for quite a while, and Munch discovered that a frog had taken up residence. Everyone agreed that we'd leave him be for the time being. If he decides to stick around, though, we might have to make other arrangements for him. :)

Friday, July 4, 2008

Bye bye, Miss American Pie

Our Friday fireworks didn't get rained out, so Munch was happy. The show was pretty good, and I tuned the car radio to the radio station that was running the soundtrack for the much, much larger show in the city an hour away from us. It didn't quite match up, but it still seemed to add something to the whole show. Now, if the rain holds off tomorrow, we might get two shows. Munch is getting spoiled. :)

I had another nice long chat with my friend Z in London. He's getting set to take the first steps in what could be a new relationship for him. He's already completely taken with her. I wish him the best of luck. He's an absolute sweetheart and deserves only the very best. Yay, Z! Love you, sweetie!

I got a bold illustration of my own geekhood today. I was watching the Twilight Zone marathon on SciFi (no, that's not the geeky part), and there's a guy talking to a bartender about someone he sees in the mirror but not in real life. So the guy says, "Can you see him?" The bartender says, "See who?" The guy says "See whom - objective case." I literally APPLAUDED. Whoo! Grammar! I'm such a frickin' nerd. I swear, I perk right up if I hear the mere mention of diagramming a sentence. Don't give me math until I've had my coffee, though. I know boy nerds are hot (I think so, anyway). Are girl nerds hot? If not, I'm in trouble....

Fortunately, I'm coming across a few here and there who appreciate a nerd girl like me. I need to do some more traveling. Now that I know they're out there, I should get me one. I've even come across some of those who can appreciate my shoe fixation - "Buy both." Haha! I could love a man like that! Did I mention that I just bought a pair of Mario Bologna shoes? Yes, I did. Hot, hot shoes. I'm gonna be high on that for two or three months, at least. I have to get a new dress. Then I have to get a life in which to wear it. Hmm.... Ok, I'm working on that one. Making strides. Moving forward. Miss American Pie's getting out in the world.

Happy Independence Day!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

No sex, no city, but GREAT shoes!

I went out looking very "Sex in the City casual" today - in my cute little peach summer sweater, putty-color capris and platform mules with four-inch heels. I didn't have much to do in town. I was just dropping off my timecard at the office and picking up the girls.

Well, that was my intention anyway.

While at the office, I picked up something for my mom, so after I went to get the girls, I thought I could swing by her place. I picked up the girls, and they both decided they wanted to have lunch, so we went back into town to pick up lunch before going on to Nana's. Once we'd gotten through lunch - oh, and Munch decided to pop in a Disney DVD at Nana's - my 20 minutes in town had turned into 2 1/2 hours.

So we headed out to the car to finally get back home - and I've got a flat tire. It was the best place it could have happened though. My stepdad's got an air compressor. So here I am in my parents' driveway - in the rain - hauling the compressor hose out of the garage and stooping down in my trendy togs and completely inappropriate shoes to fill my tire with air (and check the pressure...and even up the other three - two passing preteen boys seemed to glean some measure of amusement from the sight.) Good news though - the tire seems to be holding up. When I finally got home, the rain had gotten much heavier, so I did a quick toddle up the drive to the front door, stepped in, and did a Carrie Bradshaw-on-the-catwalk face plant in my foyer. Broke a nail. Damn it. But, yes, I still love the shoes.

Speaking of shoes (which are, btw, my No. 1 love among inanimate objects), I am the proud new owner of the HOTTEST pair of Mario Bologna shoes. Now I'm going to have to find an outfit worthy of them......

How do you save energy cleaning?

Energy costs are outrageous lately, aren't they? And what about your own personal energy? What's that worth? Well, the folks at Dirt Devil are wondering what we do to avoid spending energy on cleaning. My personal favorite is convincing the kids that it's a game, but they've figured that one out, so it doesn't work as well anymore.

So, they ask the question, "What are the extremes you have gone through to save energy when you clean?" Here are a few ideas from my own household (ask the kids!) and those of family and friends:

- Put little doggie socks on the Pekinese, set her after a battery operated wiggle ball in the room with the hardwood floor. My aunt told me she never had to dust that floor!
-The pooch is also handy for those pesky kitchen spills, and they think the ravioli with marinara served up on the floor is a special treat. Bonus: you win lots of doggie love points.
- Clean the exterior window screens by sending the kids into the yard in swimsuits with a hose. Bonus: you can keep the kids occupied until the sun goes down with this one. If you're really clever, you can even get your car washed.
- Lock the door. If you can't clean it, hide it. (This doesn't work so well on the bathroom though. You could end up with a much more disagreeable mess.)
- In a similar vein, if those dishes are piled up in the sink stash them in the dishwasher - or even the oven, if you won't be using it), when unexpected guests come to call. Clothes dryers, washing machines and unused freezers in the garage provide additional...ahem...."emergency storage" space. (I had another aunt who often made use of this little trick.) DON'T be tempted to use the shower and close the curtain. People peek.
- Put dust ruffles on all the beds. Shove everything under. (Once the kids' toys exceed the total floor space in their bedrooms, though, you have to start sorting through things. Otherwise their beds get too high to climb into.)
- Dim the lights. It's romantic, saves electricity and keeps the dirt hidden in the shadows.
- Try a shot of lemon scented air freshener in the air. It will create the illusion that you must have been cleaning something.
- Use those blue toilet cleaner drops. They help keep it clean between regular cleanings and hide it when it's not quite so clean.
- Try those nifty cleaning wipes in a canister for quick wipedowns of bathroom and kitchen surfaces. They're available for glass now, too.

Dirt Devil has got a handy new helper too. The new AccuCharge Stick Vac and Hand Vac uses 70% less energy - making the AccuCharge the first cordless cleaning tool to earn Energy Star approval.
Sponsored by Dirt Devil AccuCharge

One thing resolved...at least

Well, it looks like I'm finally getting a new boss at work, after going six weeks without one. Fortunately, he's someone I already know, at least somewhat, and I think we'll get along well. He's an Australian - so the accent's always entertaining - and he's got a sense of humor, so we should be ok. Poor guy has no idea what he's in for (I mean from corporate - not from me!), but he's coming from our circulation department - and if he can survive THAT, he can survive anything. I'll do everything I can to support him in what he needs to do, and I'm hoping he'll let me go on doing my job with minimal interference. Our site redesign project should finally start moving forward soon, so I could be facing an even heavier workload than usual soon.

I had two very quiet days and nights at home with no kids (I've just gone and picked them up, so they're home again now). It's been a little lonely around here, but I got some things done that needed doing, and I had some nice chats with friends.

I got to talk to my friend Z in London yesterday, which is always nice, although I had a million distractions at the time. Then I got messaged by my soccer pal D in Manchester. He was up well past his bed time. We ended up talking for more than an hour, which was extremely unusual, as I don't think I've ever talked to him for more than five or so minutes at a time. And for once, we didn't talk soccer. We got to know each other a little better though. I enjoyed that.

We've had two more rainy days, and more is yet to come. There are fireworks scheduled for nearby for the Fourth - Friday night in one town and Saturday night in another. I'm hoping at least one of them won't be rained out. If we get really lucky, we'll get to do both. Munch is a huge fan of fireworks.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Favorite searches that found ME

I love it! I've found that every time Lifetime shows its Flying Tigress promo, I get a hit from someone searching for it on Google. In fact, it's officially my top search now - even beyond the simple search for "Insomnimusing" (which came mostly from a single source, I'll admit). I've gotten a few other interesting searches that clicked through. Some of my other favorites have been:

Pooh's girlfriend
idealist naive
Giourkas girlfriend
Seitaridis girlfriend
diego benaglio girlfriend
gay hip-hop subculture
"find her shoes" barefoot
sensory deprivation experiment
mystical fantasy art
viva Italia
nerds relationships
"Donna Brazile" hobbies
"Donna Brazile" mama
"the origin of the other shoe fell"
"just want you to know who I am"

I fear that many of these searchers have been disappointed by what they found, at least in terms of their search. I hope that maybe one or two have read what they found and liked it anyway, and maybe that they've even come back for more.

One internal search indicates I need to add a Secret Pleasures part II post, as someone read Secret Pleasures part 1 and clearly wanted more. :) I think I'll do that soon. (Soon....) Hehe.