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

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Uninspired

I'm so excited! I found live soccer online! It's at www.justin.tv (I'm not affiliated - just a fan!). As far as I can see, it looks like every game at any given moment is on there. It's frickin' awesome! ;P

I am completely burned out with work. My internet connection has been hinky all weekend (my neighbor's too). It went out yesterday morning, so I had to go into the office to work. Pissed me off. I wasn't even supposed to have to work this Saturday, and I ended up having to go into the office.

It's time for me to start my column, and I'm blank. I have no motivation whatsoever. No inspiration either. I'm having ice cream now. Maybe it will perk me up. Seeing as I've gone from 123 pounds to 106 pounds in the last three months, I figure I can eat all the ice cream I want. I did some Pilates this morning, and my tummy still feels strong and tight. It's a great feeling. (Couldn't finish the ice cream - passed it off to Munch, who was more than happy for the leftovers.) I'm still uninspired. I do have a lovely thought in my head that could translate nicely to the page, but unfortunately (or not), it's not remotely work-related.

Time to find....something.... to write for work....

(Btw, I've been checking out some AdSense ads on blogs lately. It's fascinating the variety of ads that come up on their automated system for some blogs. Mine seem to be all over the place. Have you found anything relevant that's gotten you to click?"

Thursday, August 28, 2008

I keep going, and going, and going.....

Munch and I spent about four hours this evening working on her studies. It seems a bit much for a seven-year-old, but she powered through it well and did much better staying on task. I was proud of her, and I think the new routine will work well for her. Gin even wanted to get in on it (I think she missed her sister a little bit), so she did spelling drills with her.

I was looking forward to finally having a weekend off, but it seems I'll have to work this Saturday as well. That will make 13 straight days without a day off. I'll have
Sunday during the day, but I have to write my column Sunday evening. The office is closed Monday, but of course, we'll still be publishing - just earlier. Press deadline is midnight Sunday night, so I'll be up working most of the night. At least the kids are out of school Monday, so once I finish work, I'll go to sleep without an alarm clock. I'll have Pooh watch the girls so I can try to catch up on a little sleep. I've got a presentation to come up with at some point too. That's set for Tuesday at 11 a.m., and I've actually taken a vacation day so I can do it. *Sigh* Burnout, anyone?

If it doesn't rain tomorrow, I'll make myself happy. I'll wear my Mario Bologna shoes to the office. It's impossible not to be happy wearing them.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Busy, busy, busy....and it's only the beginning

I spent the morning and early afternoon working at the office, as well as a great deal of time on the phone with my cell phone customer service again. I figured out that the sudden horrid reception was a handset rather than a network problem, so I took the phone back to the store and exchanged it for a new one. That meant numbing my thumb programming all my contacts - again. I checked out the international texting, and it seems to be the same as it has been. Of the three people I talk to in the UK, I can send and receive texts to two of them, but I can only receive from the third. I still can't figure out how the heck that's happened.

After that stressful day, I decided to treat the family to their very favorite meal - sushi. I didn't have the time to make it, but I had to run out for some things for school, so I called in an order to pick some up. We all seemed to feel better after all of the recent craziness, just to get a special meal and time together.

After dinner, Gin played with her new cell phone. Yes, she's only 10, but she bought it with the money she saved for it (it's a prepay), and she's responsible for earning the money to keep the account active and add minutes as she needs them. Some people might object to a 10-year-old with a cell phone, but we're using it as a lesson in responsibility. One thing about her, she's never shied from working to earn her own money. When she wants something, she doesn't say, "Mom, will you buy that for me?" She says, "I'm going to save my money for that." She'll even ask for extra chores if there's something she wants. And this cell phone will be a continuous motivator for her, because it's something she'll have to maintain.

Munch and I spent the whole evening working on math and spelling drills. Her perpetual flightiness of the past two years has put her behind in school, and she's now been put in a program to catch her back up. It's bizarre. At the beginning of last school year, she was nearly an entire grade level behind in reading. Within three months, she was one of only five in her class selected for the accelerated reader program because she had swept ahead of the rest in reading. And yet, she has so much difficulty focussing on tasks that she spent nearly every day indoors at recess with her teacher to catch up on the classwork that she hadn't completed in time. Part of that was intentional. She loved her teacher so much that she enjoyed the alone time and the opportunity to sit and read with her without the rest of the class. When she came home from school the first day this year, the first thing she said was that she loves her new teacher too. Pooh immediately said, "Uh oh. Now she won't want to do her work, just so she can spend more time with her." She's such a loving child, but she also loves having all the focus on her. It makes it a struggle to motivate her. Isolation doesn't work either though, because she has such an imagination that she can entertain herself for hours at a time. I've never heard the child say that she's bored. For a seven-year-old these days, that's an almost mind-boggling thing. Every one of her teachers - in fact, nearly every adult who's ever known her - has said, "She's just so happy all the time. She's always smiling, and nothing ever seems to bother her."

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Facebook "friend" mini-rant

You know, I love Facebook. If I had a real life, my friend list might be populated by people I already know. I've got a few there, but my life circumstances have left me pretty isolated, so the vast majority of my Facebook friends have been random adds. I don't mean I'm just strolling around clicking "Add as a friend." I mean I've joined groups, added applications, commented on photos - that sort of thing - and although I've sent a few friend requests, most are people who have sent them to me.

I almost always accept, but sometimes I'm just not in the mood to deal with the uncertainty of anyone new, so I'll just turn away everyone who happens to send a request at the wrong time.

I like people who are friendly and want to talk sometimes. I've developed some really nice friendships with some of them that are just as real as "real life." I also don't mind the folks who just need more people to play a game or the ones who add me and never say a word. I don't even mind the ones who send me a bunch of requests every day, as long as they don't mind if I click "ignore."

What I DO mind (here's the rant part) are the people who seem to think that if I've added them to my friend list then it's ok for them to start making completely obnoxious sexual advances. I mean, come on! You can send me a red silk pillow or blow me kisses or even pop up on chat and say, "hi sexy." But for some random guy who's never even bothered to look beyond my profile pic to find out anything else about me to pop up and expect me to get naked on a webcam, that just pisses me off! Do these guys act this way toward women in the real world? All I can say is, if you want to be my friend, that's totally cool with me - if you want to treat me like a whore, get the hell out.

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Monday, August 25, 2008

Grrr.... ad infinitum

Grr....
Can I get away with just that? That pretty much sums it up.
Work. Home. Kids. Cell phone service (or, disservice). Internet connection. Money. People. Men. Grrrrr...
It's Monday, and I'm glad it ends in - from this moment - 23 minutes. Thank goodness, because today has lasted about six days already.

200

Hey! My last post was my 200th, and I didn't even notice until just now! Wow....I just don't shut up, do I?
It was a long and busy day, but I'm too tired now to write about it. I've had too little rest and too much activity these past few days. Sleep now.....

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Snap, crackle....somebody shoot me

I snapped today, or could have anyway. Maybe half a snap or a little explosion, sort of spread out over a few hours. I'm fed up. I can't help it. I'm working on a Saturday, popping out every so often to tell the kids - AGAIN - to clean up, and by the time I'm through with work, there's not one square foot of my house that isn't in shambles. After five hours of telling them to clean up, it's five times worse than it was when it started. They're 18, 10 and 7 years old. There's no excuse for it. I went into the living room after finishing my work - my job - and they were all sitting around in their pile of filth watching television.

When I'm working at home, Pooh's in charge of the girls. At 18, he should be able to manage that. But even so, I still check up on them at least once an hour or so, and every single time I did, I turned off the TV and told them to get to work cleaning up their messes. Of course, I ended up having to clean the mess, but they're restricted to their rooms until I decide I want the disaster back. And they don't have those rooms with video games and a television and stereo and all those fun perks. They can watch Freckles the frog swimming around in her tank or read or clean. That's pretty much it. If nothing else, the rest of the house will stay clean for a while.

I got about four hours' sleep last night. If I get to bed now, I might manage about five tonight. If tomorrow's anything like today (of course, it's already tomorrow), I might just opt to put my head through the wall, so I can take a coma vacation........

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Who's in charge of this monkey cage?

It was a day in the office today, and what a day it was. The ad manager (who is, btw, the busybody who decided to complain to the publisher that I should be working in the office instead of from home) called a meeting with her ad staff, then she came over to the graphics department (which is where my desk is located) and called all of them in as well. She specifically said, "Not you, Rachel," so I was left sitting in an empty office with no idea of what was going on. No big deal. I figured it was an ad thing and didn't involve me. A couple of hours later, the editorial staff met. Circulation had a meeting at some point in there too. So what's the big news? Fortunately, one of the graphics girls recognized that after everyone else had been told, I'd been left out. She broke the directive given in the meeting specifically to NOT mention it to me. Seems two of our papers are moving to a morning delivery instead of the afternoon as they are now. This does not affect the ad staff or the graphics staff. It will only affect circulation (of course) and editorial (of course) and ME. My deadlines are based on our press deadlines, but no one thought to mention it to me. If we go to press at 1 a.m., that means that I have to start working at 1:15 a.m. If we go at 3 a.m., I start at 3:15. You get my drift.

Needless to say, the fact that I was AGAIN not informed of vital news that directly affects my job (similar to the time that my boss was fired and NO ONE notified me - for two months I did not even know whom to call if I got sick or needed a day off), I sent off an angry e-mail to my boss. I've been there for six years - longer than all but the five or six hardcore lifers on staff - so I can pretty much say anything to my boss and get away with it. In a move that was totally out of character for him, rather than sending me a brief apologetic e-mail, he personally walked over to my side of the building, at the opposite end from his, and apologized to me for the oversight. He invited me to the afternoon meeting for the one editor and the staff photographer who were not around for the first meeting.

We got a little bonus information. In addition to the deadline change, which takes place in two weeks even though they haven't yet figured out a press schedule, he said the papers must find a way among the three to cut $200,000 from the budget....AND if anyone quits or gets fired (that won't happen), they will not be replaced. That includes the photographer. They'll be sending the reporters out with cameras if she goes. The upside to that, of course, is major job security. We're officially irreplaceable. The editors can't risk cutting staff any more than it has been already. Think of it: someone gets fired or quits, everyone else has to pick up the slack. We're at the breaking point already. Given even more work to do, people will start quitting. The quality of the papers goes to hell.

I've got a simple solution, and I've been voicing it for five years - and I'm not the only one. They need to combine the two southern county papers. Nearly all of the coverage is duplicated anyway. The actual stories themselves are directly shared for all local items, and the rest is wire copy. Circulation is slumping at both. The towns in which the two papers are based are a 12-minute drive apart. With consolidation, they could not only eliminate the cost of one of the two buildings, but they could sell off one of the presses, boost circ numbers by combining the circulation for both, raise ad rates because of the increased circulation, etc., etc. It would not only get them the $200,000 cut they want; it would actually make the paper profitable. Hell, they could get that money from selling the press alone, and with the savings on the facilities, not only keep the staff but give us all raises as well. (We haven't had any raises at all in five years.)

Simple solution. Absolutely no logical reason NOT to do it, which is probably why that seems to be the ONE thing they steadfastly refuse to do. They'll throw any half-assed idea into implementation without any thought to its effects if someone thinks there's a chance it might bring in money, but this...nope....won't even consider it. WTF?


I had a really nice chat with G this evening. It was definitely the brightest point of my day, and we talked on a level that we'd never quite reached before. I think it could be an important step in our friendship.

Now it's long past the time I should have gone to sleep. I have work in the morning (and for seven more straight days before my next one off).

Friday, August 22, 2008

Bound for Victory (Hair)

I'm newly single (three months now) after a nearly three-year relationship that was preceded by a three-year "man moratorium." Before that I was engaged to a man I'd known for most of my life, and before that I was married. Obviously, I need to hone my flirting skills as I re-enter the world of singles. What better way to do that than try out Extreme Style by VO5's Ultimate Flirting Championship?

I tried it out and met up with MEATHEAD and MAXHOLDMAX. After a few Dating Game-style questions, MEATHEAD was my pick for his subtle sexiness, but MAXHOLDMAX came close for his silly sense of humor. You even get to chat during the game, and once you make your pick, you get to have a private chat with the winner.

In my quest for Victory Hair, I'll need to be at my peak. What is Victory Hair? That's when you go out with sexy, stylin' hair and spot that hottie sporting his own sexy style, get close, get friendly, and get mussed up.

Getting the sexy, stylin' hair is easy with Extreme Style by VO5. Add to that hot outfit and - OF COURSE - the sexiest shoes in my arsenal, and I'm halfway there. Then, turn on the charm.....

Step one: the look across the crowded room. This one's vital. Make eye contact and hold it. Then coyly raise an eyebrow and throw in a wry smile. How can he possibly resist?
Step two: reel him in. Arrange for the "wingladies" to vacate the immediate vicinity, thus making myself accessible and eliminating the pressure of the judging looks of my girlfriends. He's got enough pressure just trying to win ME over.
Step three: first contact. Maintain eye contact, say "hi" and introduce myself.
Step four: small talk. If he seems interesting enough, find out more and get to know him a little better. Use body language (SUBTLE, NOT SLEAZY) to let him know I'm interested, if I am.
And if I am.......lucky him....
Step five: exchange contact info and move in for the kiss that will make SURE he calls.

Don't even THINK I'm hooking up with him right then and there (sorry, boys - I'm not that kind of girl), but if he makes that contact and proves himself worthy....we're on our way to VICTORY HAIR!


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Sponsored by Extreme Style by VO5

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Blah, blah, blah

I spent a fair amount of time on the phone with customer service again yesterday trying to get my international texting problem solved. Curiously, it seems to be half working now. G was able to send me a text, but when I replied, he didn't receive it. Grrrr..... They've opened another investigation into it. Fat lot of good it seems to be doing.

I've kind of preferred being in the office the past couple of days, although, I would have had the house to myself now that the kids are back in school. One more day to go then I'm back to my regular Monday, Wednesday, Friday in-office schedule. I'm working all weekend again, so that will be at home. I was chatting with a coworker as I was packing up to leave today and walked out without my laptop's power cord and mouse. But at least I don't have to go all the way back in for it, since I'll be in the office tomorrow anyway.

Hey, by the way, in case you felt there was something missing in your life, apparently David Hasselhoff has stepped in to fill the void. He's set up his own personal social networking site where, he says, people from all over the world can get together and talk about him. Honestly, what kind of ego does this man have? When the story broke, it said the site had about 13,000 members, and pathetically, that number probably jumped after the story came out. Was a fan page on Facebook not sufficient?

Also, in case you have a serious craving for Chris Kattan, word's out that he and his wife of EIGHT WEEKS have split. Dive right in, girls.

****

A couple of good overheard lines from the office:

- "I have a good memory. It's just kind of short."

- "No, I'm sorry, sir. I don't think we can put 'and lots of other shit' in your garage sale ad."

- "This soup kind of smells like farts, but it tastes delicious."

Pre-holiday shopping help

Hey, school just started! Are you ready to think about your holiday shopping yet? Ugh - crawling out of bed at 3 a.m. the day after Thanksgiving to stand in the midst of a grumpy, shivering crowd waiting to be among the first to kick, bite, shove, elbow or otherwise maneuver yourself into position to pick up some great must-have bargain of which only six are in stock for the day at the special low price. Or maybe you have a job like mine, and you'll be working (almost thankfully) on that Friday morning.

Personally, I can't stand the crowds and chaos of the holiday shopping season, so I'll do whatever I can to avoid it. That used to mean waiting until 2 a.m., and shopping during the overnight hours. More recently, though, I do the vast majority of my holiday shopping online, so I can still get the savings and avoid all the hassle of the stores.

This year, I'll be checking out the thanksgiving ads at iBlackFriday.com. Here you'll find scans of all the Black Friday ads and links to the stores' online sites to buy all the best specials from the comfort of your own home.

The site's got listings of Black Friday specials for all kinds of great stores - like Amazon, Circuit City, Dick's Sporting Goods, the Disney Store, hhgregg, Home Depot, Old Navy . Toys R Us, Tommy Hilfiger and more, as well as major discount stores such as Target, Wal-Mart and K-Mart. And more, and more, and more.

The sites are all conveniently listed in an alphabetical directory on the home page that includes the number of Black Friday specials featured at each. A click on the link brings up a handy at-a-glance list of products and prices.

According to the latest announcement at iBlackFriday.com, this year's version will feature even more convenient options, such as links for each of the ads to shop directly online. There also will be a Black Friday shopping list feature that will allow the user to create their own customized shopping list of special items for Black Friday (or Cyber Monday).

iBlackFriday.com even has teamed up with eCouponCodes.com to offer users exclusive online coupons to save even more.

For a little preview of what is to come, here's the Wal-Mart page, which lists 391 Black Friday specials.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Scrambled

As predicted, my first two days of this week have been a scramble of activity despite not having to work in the office. But, school starts tomorrow, and the girls are all set to go. I've even managed to corral them into bed at a decent hour. I spend my next three days in the office though - joy. It just gets better and better.

The whole evening's slipped away from me, and I really must sleep now.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The weekend's over

It's been a scramble of activity this afternoon and evening after my rare weekend off. I got started on the school supply shopping and sorting, as well as the clothes shopping...the sorting isn't going quite as well there. But the girls will be set to start up on Wednesday, anyway.

Pooh starts his first day at work tomorrow. Of course, he neglected to tell me his schedule, so I've just had to send of an e-mail to my boss explaining that I'll have to spend my three days in the office this week Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. What joy. Three days in a row. Of course, I needed to get to the school tomorrow, so being home will help there.

Time for bed. This week is going to be anything but easy.

Take a little time to help

Before I took over as webmaster for our newspaper group, I used to work as the editor of the lifestyles section for one of the papers. In that position, one of my duties was publicizing charitable events in our community. Each year, one of my favorite projects was the Alzheimer's Memory Walk.
The organizer of our local event was a woman who's father had been a banker. She told how he had always been the rock of the family - a strong and solid provider, with a gentle, loving touch. She told of the pain at watching Alzheimer's taking away his once-brilliant mind, slowly watching the essence of who he was slip away over the course of a few years until he was gone.
The Alzheimer's Association's Memory Walk is the nation's largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer's care, support and research. It provides an opportunity for volunteers of all ages, from all walks of life, to participate in the fight against this disease that relentlessly steals away not only the future of its victims - like so many other diseases - but also the past.
Memory Walks are held in more than 600 communities across the United States. It's typically only 2-3 miles long held on a weekend morning in the fall. Even if your own life hasn't been touched by Alzheimer's, isn't it worth taking a little bit of your time to become a champion in the fight?


Sponsored by Alzheimer's Walk

So far behind

It's that time of year again. School starts in just three short days, and I'm completely behind in preparations this year. This seems as though it's been the longest summer of my life, and yet, when it comes to school prep, it seems to have flown by.

I'm starting out so far behind. I have to get over to the school tomorrow to pay book fees. That's $110 right off the bat. I still have to get school supplies, because I wasn't able to get the supply list until last week. I figure at least another $150 or so there, in addition to the basic items I've been picking up here and there over the past few weeks. And of course there's new clothes. New clothes are going to be slim this year - a bigger challenge because the girls seem to have both grown by leaps and bounds over this summer. We've got all the logistics to work out too, getting back into the old school routine.

Let's throw into the havoc the fact that Pooh's starting at college next week. There's a second monthly payment due the week after that. I have no idea where that's coming from.

Is there really any way for a single mom to do this kind of thing? It would be so much easier if I got some financial help from my ex-husband, but in the six years we've been divorced, he's never contributed anything toward raising his daughters. It's partly my own fault, I wanted so desperately to get out of that marriage as quickly as possible that I agreed to shared parenting. Under the agreement, he is supposed to keep the girls half the time and pay for half of their expenses. Instead, he sees the girls for a night a week and pays nothing at all. Since payments under shared parenting don't go through the court system, getting any money out of him is going to require getting a lawyer and taking him to court for it. I want so badly to do that, so we can get the custody arrangement changed too, but how can I possibly afford to hire a lawyer when it's all I can do to keep the kids fed and housed on my own? Thank goodness I've got a wonderful mother with a good job who can help me out when I need it, but I hate to ask. At my age, I feel like I should be able to do this on my own, but it seems all but impossible sometimes.

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It's not the solution for everyone, but if you're looking at significant debt for credit use and can't see a way out, it's worth a visit to Freedom Debt Relief.

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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Who are you?

I have to admit, I thought it was hysterical when I looked at my stats and saw that I was getting Google search hits from searches on "watch secret pleasures movie." (search without quotes) I swear, I didn't know there WAS a movie called Secret Pleasures (although it certainly screams "movie title," doesn't it?" Anyway, it got my curiosity up, so I went to Google and searched "secret pleasures." Much to my surprise, my blog didn't appear on the front page of results - so why have I been getting hits on it? Well, I checked a little more closely and saw that, although this blog doesn't appear near the top for "secret pleasures," it does come up SECOND in results for the search "watch secret pleasures movie" (no quotes in search) on Google. So actually the even LESS relevant search phrase brings my blog post higher in the results.

I love my unintended search traffic. Praise Google and its grand, mysterious algorithm! I often wonder if searchers are disappointed when they get here, because my post is NOTHING CLOSE to what they were actually trying to find. But also, I look at the search results, and it usually seems fairly obvious that the post ISN'T what they're looking for, so why do they bother to come here? Yes, I do get completely fascinated by this kind of stuff. And in case anyone was wondering, I am STILL racking up hits daily for the Lifetime Flying Tigress search. I'm going to feel almost compelled to comment on Lifetime's NEXT ad campaign - hehe...

So tell me.......did anyone find me via some search and come back? I haven't tracked closely enough to see which regular visitors came from where. Are you willing to tell me? How'd you get here? Search? Entrecard? Facebook? Twitter? Blogger? Is it your first time? Do you stop by often? Any comments?

Friday, August 15, 2008

I need to get out more

I've been in a great mood today, and I don't really know why. Well, maybe a little. :) But still, it was a day in the office - I should have been a grump. I like talking to the girls in graphics though. We all get along really well. They're not excessively chatty, and we have intelligent conversations as well as some lighter exchanges. I can't stand listening to the ad girls on the other side of the wall most of the time, although, I do get to occasionally hear some juicy info. I'll be moving back over to the editorial side soon. It's REALLY quiet over there most of the time. The reporters and editors all spend their time hunched over their computers working with almost no idle chatter, ever. And the reporters are, of course, frequently out of the office too. The only noise comes from the phone conversations, all work-related. I like the quiet atmosphere, but I have gotten used to the more balanced atmosphere in graphics.

It will be interesting to see if I become a part of the loose-knit social group over there again. I sort of fell out of it long before I left the department. Everyone else in the department is a fair amount older than I am and non-social with the coworkers, or a fair amount younger than I am, and I'm a little outside their group. It leaves me sort of isolated. In graphics, there's one younger girl who's married, one single girl who's my age and one about my age who's living with someone with their COMPLETELY GORGEOUS baby. :) Needless to say, I feel more like I fit in over there. But, we're not social after work.

I feel like I need to develop a social group. I don't really have people I socialize with outside work at all - from work or otherwise. It wasn't always that way, but it sort of grew out of circumstances. I got out of college and was living in basically a new city because my mother had gotten married while I was in school. So I had none of my childhood friends around at all. Then I soon got married and moved to another state. That didn't last and I moved home. I worked and cared for my sons, socializing a little but not much. Then I married a man who was very social, so for that time, I got out a little more, but they were all his friends (and a whole lot of losers, for the most part). Naturally, when the marriage ended, those loose associations did too. I got engaged to a former fiance, but we never went out and did anything. Since then, I've pretty much just stayed home and taken care of my kids. Even my three-year relationship didn't add to my social calendar, as it was long-distance, and we rarely saw each other. We spent every moment connected online, at home away from the world.

So anyway, the point of my rambling is that it's probably good I'm being forced to interact with people again.

I got a completely unexpected message last night, and although I'm sure it was basically meaningless, it's still had me smiling for about 14 hours at the thought. :) I also did get to chat with a few friends last evening, so I wasn't so lonely anymore. Of course, I closed my night watching the American girls take gold and silver in the gymnastics individual all-arounds. It was worth losing the sleep. :)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A little history

How about a little fun background info on me?

I was born the 14th - and last - child of my father, to his sixth wife, Liz. (The only child of that particular pairing.) I was her second child. The first was from her first husband. My father was her second husband. (My father was 31 when I was born. Yes, that's right. Six wives and divorces, and 14 children by the time he was 31.) Her first child is my older half-sister, DJ. (Keeping up so far?) Liz did not want children, particularly girls, so when they divorced, and my father went on immediately to wife number 7, he brought us girls along. (The previous 13 children of his were with his previous wives and girlfriends who bore them.) My father's seventh wife adopted me, and both my father and adoptive mother (hereafter known as MY MOTHER - she's Nana to my babies) adopted DJ.

(Curiously, my birth mother went on to marry a third husband - and have two more children, including the boy she wanted. So that makes me one of 16 total.)

My father and my mother stayed married for five years - a record for him at the time. When they divorced, my mother got custody of both of us girls. I saw little of my father during my childhood, but there were a few notable summer visits. Meanwhile, my father married his eighth wife and remained married to her for ten years. They were two of a kind - meaning, lax in keeping to the stricter confines of the marriage contract. (The eighth wife, btw, had been our neighbor from across the street and my mother's best friend during the marriage. She encouraged my mother to go to church with us girls every Sunday, so that she could stay home and sleep with my father. Her husband at the time sat blissfully unaware at home.) He married a ninth wife, whom I met once. I haven't a clue as to what her name is. They divorced - DUH! - then he married a tenth wife. You might wonder at this point what women are stupid enough to marry this man, knowing full well that he had all these ex-wives and children (when he found out my birth mother was pregnant with me, he got a vasectomy. I barely slipped in under the wire, so to speak.). I've wondered the same thing myself. So anyway, that one lasted a few years until my father died of cancer - or karma. He was about 51 or 52 at that time, I think.

My mother met my father when she was just out of high school and working in a little stationery shop in town. He was passing through town working on the railroad and charmed her as he had so many women before. He told her of his wife and children, and she was hesitant. But when he said he was getting a divorce, and that he wanted her to meet his children, she relented. (She loved children and at that young age already knew that she would never be able to have any of her own because of a childhood illness). Anyway, she says of the first visit: "I walked into your room, and you were sitting there in your crib. You looked up at me with those big blue eyes and you had those blonde curls and you just smiled at me. I knew at that moment that I had to have you. It didn't matter who your father was - I would have married him to get you."

Anyway, my mom is awesome - obviously. She raised me on her own. Didn't get remarried until I was in college. She questions that decision fairly often - the not-staying-single one, that is.

So, that's enough for now. I'll throw in some more later. Trust me. I've barely begun to scratch the surface. Already, you can see why I'm a little ..... well .... me.

Empty time

I'm actually starting to get a little lonely... to the point that I'm almost looking forward to going in to the office tomorrow. Egads! How can it have gotten so bad? Well, I got used to talking to P every day, of course...then he dumped me. Then I was talking to my ooooooooolllllllllllddddd friend B for a while, and I started talking to Z every day then. Now B's all preoccupied with his new love. Z's on a trip abroad and out of touch, so I won't know if I'll still have txt contact with him until he gets back. G's on vacation, so ditto on the txts there. D sent another, so I know those work, but I rarely talk to him anyway. We played a little poker tonight on Facebook, but then he vanished without a word. Hmph!

Pooh's even volunteered to make dinner tonight, and I've got too many hours in at work already, so I'm not working either. Leaves me with some free time. I'll watch some Olympic coverage later. I could do some housework. I could babble on here for a while - maybe add 17 to 30 posts on the various subjects that have been swimming through my head. Olympics, politics, soccer, history (my own - that's a book on its own), finances, transitions, relationships, school starting, work ... ick ...

It's been a long week, and it's not over yet.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I hate when technology fails me.....

I still can't figure out the problem with the international texting on my phone. I managed to catch my friend D in Manchester on Facebook, so I asked him if I could experiment with him. I tried three different ways of sending, and finally, on the third try, it worked!!! My text went through, and his reply came in. Great! Problem solved!..... Wrong.
Of course when I thought that I had it worked out, I sent texts to Z and to G to see if those would work yet. (Text worked fine with Z on my old phone - but nothing has gone through on the new one... I'd never tried G on the old one, so I have no frame of reference there.) Anyway, I've gotten no response from either, and it's been a while now.... so apparently, there's still a problem. I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that they're both traveling... Can't see how. The first attempt I made to G didn't work, and he was home in London then. I might have to wait for Z to get home to see if that works for him. It's possible that G is on a non-supported carrier. I hate limitations on my cell service. Grr... Supposedly, any international voice calls should work. I haven't tried that yet. I got through to Z's voice mail, so I suspect it must be working, but his phone is off or out of range.
G just sent me a message on Facebook, and his carrier is supposed to be one of the supported ones. Don't know why it's not working. I'm back on the phone with customer service......"London isn't on our list." "The U.K. is." "Oh, well, yes." "You got a text through on Orange?" "Yes. But I can't get through to the one on Vodafone." "That's not on our list." "Yes, it is." "Oh, yes. Yes, it is." "We're going to have to start an investigation ....." *Sigh* On hold again... This is crazy. I'm spending more of my minutes with customer service than I am on all of my other calls combined..... Well, they've taken my information and begun the investigation. Grrrrrrrr....... (I was super-sweet to the customer service guy though - I've been there, and he WAS trying.....)
Maybe I'll try a voice call to G tomorrow, just to see if that works...

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Unnecessarily early morning....

I woke up at 5 a.m. to watch Italy play S. Korea in soccer, and apparently my schedule was wrong. The game was not on. I managed to fall back to sleep and got up at 8 to start working and find out when the game was on - it had started 15 minutes earlier. I got to watch all the good stuff though. They're worth losing a little sleep over. :)

I was saddened to read the news of Isaac Hayes' death today. He is most significant to me for his role as Tolok on Stargate SG-1. I'm still a huge fan of the show despite recent events (but I still can't bring myself to watch Continuum). It's harder still for Gate fans so soon after the loss of Don S. Davis. We seem to be losing a lot of celebrities unexpectedly this year. Bernie Mac was lost this week as well.

I've been kind of caught up in the coverage of the Olympics, which is a little unusual for me, to tell the truth. It's probably because I was so eager to watch international soccer again. It seems I picked a good year to watch though. Records are falling all over the place already. It's really been pretty exciting. I've decided to do my column tonight on the Olympics and the NBC Olympic Web site. (((Hey, you know, if any of you are interested in reading my weekly newspaper column, leave me a comment, and I'll reprint them here. Or a few of them anyway.)))

Such an eventful summer (in an even more eventful year) - starting with the very first day, which I would consider to be my son's graduation from high school. Pooh graduated, and that same day, my nearly three-year relationship ended. I reconnected (just as friends) with the oldest friend of my life - and twice former fiance - from whom I'd had a five-year estrangement. My stepgrandmother died. (My stepgrandfather had died earlier this year.) My boss was fired. I started working from home full-time and retreated completely from the world. We spent a day at Cedar Point. I made a connection with a special new person. Pooh and his girlfriend broke up after more than a year. Pooh got his first job. I was sent back in to work at the office. *Sigh* There's stuff missing there, I'm sure, but those are more or less the high (low) points, in more or less the correct order....

My ex-husband has been on house arrest for the past couple of months, but he says he's moving in a couple of weeks to another city. I'll have to watch my stats again to see which new IP address to block. I'm hoping it cuts down significantly on his time with the girls. I have little choice now, but he's a lousy influence, and they're better off the less time they spend with him. He's contributed absolutely nothing financially to their care in the six years that we've been divorced. He's so completely useless.

School starts in a week and a half. I wonder if life will get back to "normal"...

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Olympic salvation

Not only did the Chinese put on the most spectacular opening ceremony ever seen at the Olympics, they actually even controlled the WEATHER to do it!!!! Oh yeah.....no way in hell London's going to be able to top this one....

I'm posting early tonight because I'm getting up at 5 a.m. To work? Well, yes - I do have to work in the morning, but it could wait until 8 a.m. So why am I getting up at 5 a.m. on a Sunday? To watch Italy play soccer against South Korea. I got to watch them play Honduras on the NBC website. It looks like the boys have got some skills. I was a little disappointed to see that the whole team save one is under 21, and they could have had three over 23. They're still quite good. I just don't feel quite as comfortable drooling over them. :) I was hoping for Luca Toni. Mmmm.........

I'm watching the end of one of my favorite movies - Serendipity. I just happened to catch it from the very beginning tonight. It's the first I've seen in it a couple of months. I could never resist watching. This time it made me a little sad though. I used to be Sara, and now I'm Halley. And I was Waiting in Vain all along....

Oh, but now that the movie's over, I've switched over to the Olympic coverage. Men's swimming. Hey, that's gotta perk a girl up.....

Office chatter

It was another work day in the office today, so I got to overhear some more idle office chatter. Today's revelation: One coworker's husband refuses to sleep facing the open side of his pillowcase. She said that he is afraid he will fall in and suffocate in the night. Furthermore, he claims that he does this not for himself but for the good of his wife - so that he does not fall in, suffocate, and then blame her for trying to kill him in his sleep.

*!*???*!*

Is it hypocritical that I watched the opening ceremonies to the Olympics while burning a candle for Tibet? I have to say though, as a Taoist in the West, I loved seeing the broad exposure for some beautiful Eastern symbolism and history and culture. And honestly, it was by far the most spectacular production I have ever seen. As Li Ning flew around the stadium on his way to light the cauldron, Bob Kostas said it: "When it comes to opening ceremonies, retire the trophy." No doubt. It's a little sad. There's no way London can top this one.

Gotta sleep now. I've got work all weekend, and I get to do an extra newspaper all next week.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Blank pages

It was a little lonely today without Z peeking out from inside my computer. Obviously, I'm liking having him around. I did get a text message from him though, which confirms that my international texting is indeed working.
I think my new contact number might be wrong..... I've double-checked it. It's what was given to me. But apparently the test text I sent never arrived. Hmmm.... Odd... I do like the new phone though. I'd like it if I got more calls though. I love having Rob Thomas serenade me. :)

I spent a lot of time thinking and reflecting today. I've certainly had some moments in the past few months. There were times when I felt like I was losing my mind, and I know there were some times that others must have thought I was. It all makes sense to me though. I was in love with a man who played with my emotions like a yo-yo. And I feel my emotions very intensely. I love with every part of me. It gets harder and harder for me to open myself up to that kind of vulnerability. It was 18 months before I told P that I loved him - it was probably at least half that before I was even willing to admit it to myself. He tap-danced around telling me he loved me back for another several months after that. It was a running joke. It was a bad joke. By the time he did tell me, we were almost over. Every time he said it meant so much to me. And he told me more and more. Then it was over. Just like that. Is it any wonder I'm a little hesitant? When we found each other, it was just the right time....and just the wrong time. It was destined to end, but I allowed myself to hope.

So, nooooowwwww....... I don't know what look for. I don't know what to expect. Magic? Fire? Passion? Or a good person with a good heart who loves me? Three out of four? Two out of four? How much do I get? Oh, it doesn't matter right now. For right now, I'm just going to smile and live each day and really take advantage of my new perspective. I'm going to experience a little life for a while.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

What....a.....day.....

Oh, what a day..... I burned a bridge...I bought a phone....I said goodbye....I made a new connection....I reached a new level...

Two men I once loved both told me today that they were in love. (Not with each other. Not with me either, btw.) One of them is a friend, and one of them is not. The one who is not might have been, but I burned that bridge. It will never be now. I wish them both the best of luck. I really do.

My phone died on me today. I was in the middle of trying to send a text message to my dear Z who's leaving on a trip today, and the screen went blank. When I tried the phone again, the colors went odd. Halfway through writing another text, the screen went dark again. Turning it on and off didn't work. Taking out the battery. Charging it and redoing all of the above. So I went out and bought a new phone. Fortunately, I found one I think I'll like from the same service, so I was able to swap my number immediately and get right back in touch with the world. I even managed to somehow get my old phone to come back long enough for me to transfer my contact list. Finally. In the end, I came out with one more contact number than I had before. I sent a text to try it out, but I got no response. Hmm....

I was able to catch Z on MSN during his whirlwind of packing activity. We didn't have much chance to talk, but at least we got to say goodbye before he left.

It was a work day in the office today, and I'm quickly discovering that I can hear all sorts of interesting things from my little cubby. In addition to learning about my coworkers bizarre political and social beliefs, I've learned one coworker is tracking his wife who's seeking out an affair. (He's set up a fake MySpace account, and apparently, she's all over the "guy.") All kinds of little secrets are floating around in that place.

Everything is quiet in the house now...It's a sweet sound.... Wait. I hear Rob Thomas singing my new ringtone to me. Hmm.... Transatlantic call...... :)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Going to sleep now...lmtfa

It's been such a hard day inside my own head. Sometimes I almost feel as if I can't possibly stand it any longer. I'm trying to recover, but every day I have someone coming in and rubbing my face in my loss, my failure, my unworthiness. I'm not all that surprised at it from her. He surprises me though. I thought he was a better man than that. Well, that was just stupid. He said even if we weren't together we would always be there for each other, always be part of each other's lives. I thought that meant we'd be friends. He didn't tell me that it meant he'd be pointing and laughing at me from a distance as I writhe in pain. I know, I know. It sounds like melodrama. I couldn't begin to describe how I felt before, so of course, I can't begin to describe what it feels like now. It's deliberate cruelty, and I feel as if I have no defense against it. I have no power at all. All I can do is ask that it stop. And I have asked.

It made me mad today. It made me mean today. But I find that I'm not all that sorry for it. I've felt so out of control of every aspect of my life. The kids have been far too free and loose with the rules and responsibilities lately, and I haven't felt strong enough to enforce anything (this is NOT typical for me), so I got a little steel and put my foot down with them. I sent off an e-mail to try to end the subtle harassment. And I rather snippily ended a long and empty conversation, but it needed to be ended. It was just more pressure. I am not READY for talk about lifetimes or love or a relationship. It's wonderful. It's perfect. It's all the things a girl wants to hear. But not NOW!! I am broken. And I don't need someone else to fix me or make me whole. I'm just trying to fix myself. I need a break for a while. But even the break is turning into more pressure.

I'm going to sleep now, and with any luck I won't be waking up in the morning. I can't remember the last time I slept in past noon on a Sunday. It sounds heavenly. Here's hoping.