March 31, 2005

Where is Steven Covey when you need him?

So, I cleared out most of the personal effects in my cube a few weeks back - as a result of a blowup with my boss the other week. The very best reason to clean your cube, right? While I admit at least part of the problem is my fault, I am also not exactly dealing with a management genius here. I get reprimanded for having a bad attitude during the same period I was battling the Three Week Cold from Hell (she said, and I quote "You walk around all unhappy, like you don't want to be here"). Um, well, HELLO -- my manager SUCKS and doesn’t even necessarily know what she is doing (when asked about her lack of skills in this area earlier this year, she replied “I can learn”). In short, bad attitude isn’t even the half of what I am feeling.

Anyway, while I am finalizing my Exit Strategy and polishing my Fantasy Manifesto, I figured it would be therapeutic to clean out my cube. And it WAS. It’s oddly comforting to be in a cube devoid of personal touches – I didn’t have much to begin with, but now I am down to the bare essentials – a calendar (I can look to the weekends for inspiration), a copy of Jabberwocky (good work meditation), a copy of an outline of the constitutional amendments (reminds me I still have rights SOMEWHERE), my world map (escapism is so unappreciated), and The Color Game (the one creative thing I am allowed do at work).

I am discovering I didn’t NEED my Mr. Bean car, pics of the Nephews, my plants, my crystal set of the platonic solids. I can still be productive without all of those things. Who knew??

March 30, 2005

What's the secret to a good shopping experience? Price or Purchase?

My father is a tightwad. It is physically painful for him when he and his money go their separate ways. My secret fantasy has always been to be miserly like him because one of life’s great conundrums is that cheapskates tend to have more money. So, I do strive to be like my dad. However, all my attempts are tainted with irony. I let shampoo bottles stand on end to get every last drop out of ‘em. But they’re from the Aveda salon. I keep the same phone for over 3 years, only to turn around and buy a ridiculously un-needed expensive one. I try to avoid Starbucks and make coffee at home instead but use a fancy 11.99/lb brand. I bring lunch to work, but it is often leftovers from the over-priced meal the night before. I buy a $3 art print and spend $50 getting it framed. So while these activities might be considered thrifty, they never quite reach the cheapskate status I desire. But, I try.

My newest quest for savings has been in the area of what is delicately known as “intimate apparel”. Recently, I decided I needed to chuck all my bras and start fresh. In the past, I have been a Victoria’s Secret gal because they DO have nice, quality bras. This time, however, I decided to give it a go at Target. Straight away, I missed the ubiquitous perky salesgirl. I had to shuffle through all those damned bras BY MYSELF like a commoner. The nerve! I did finally find a few that were my size but then had to suffer the humiliation of The Purchase. There was something unnerving about my “intimate apparel” just hanging out on a conveyor belt with my bread, soymilk, and light bulbs. Of course, I got the smirking highschooler for added effect. Needless to say, the purchasing part of the transaction was unfulfilling - I certainly missed the pink tissue paper and cute bag. However, I will admit other than the actual buying of the said bras, they were a good fit, seem to be of good quality and were a fraction (1/4 to be exact) the cost of Victoria’s Secret. I’m sold (for now!)

I recently had my 2nd trip to Great Clips. Again, I had a great haircutting experience – I really like how they do my hair. However, I miss the fancy d├ęcor and smells of a salon. Although I don’t miss any of my recent hairstylists, I do miss having a CONSISTENT one. However, I have decided to give the discount hair places a 6 month trial (I may try Fantastic Sam’s next!). After all, I AM happy with my hair AND in love with the saving of over $30 bucks every visit.

Maybe I could be like my dad after all.

March 29, 2005

What does Jessica think?

The Interview Game, continued.
Here you go Jessica:

1. What do you like best about yourself?
2. Which single life lesson do you think is most important for young people to learn?
3. What do you miss the least from your home country while living abroad?
4. If you could take one German custom back home with you, what would it be?
5. Which mistake in your life do you not regret and would still do all over again?

March 28, 2005

What do YOU think?

Mojavi and Angela, thank you for the playing The Interview Game. You are both the lucky winners of brand-new, overly nosy questions!

Mojavi:
1. If your house was on fire and you could only grab one item on your way out, what would it be? Assume pets and hubby are safe and sound at the curb.

2. Which household chore is actually not such a “chore” for you? (Meaning, you get a twisted pleasure out of doing it.)

3. What has been the best vacation you’ve ever had? Why?

4. If you had the power to change one person's mind about one important thing, who would you pick, and why?

5. What single factor in your life has contributed most to your personality?

Angela:
1. If you could have dinner with anyone living or dead, who would it be and where would you have your meal?
2. What was your least favorite book read during last year?
3. Would you rather explore the bottom of the ocean or the surface of the moon?
4. Of all the people alive today, who do you think would make the best President of the US? Why?
5. Would it be better to be a popular writer with lots of money but lukewarm critical response, or a writer who makes just enough to live on but is critically acclaimed? Why?

I apologize for the creppy formatting. I am going to bite the hand that feeds me right now and admit that Blogger's system is driving me nutso. I feel grateful at this point to have just gotten this post out!

What do I think?

Average Jane* recently invited her readers to participate in The Interview Game. It sounded interesting, so I wrote her and asked to be included.Here are the questions she came up with for me, along with my answers:

1. What's the biggest culture shock experience you ever had when traveling abroad? The lack of quality French toilet paper aside, this was a hard question. Since I had been so involved in the Pakistani/Indian community prior to actually going to Pakistan, I wasn’t “shocked” as much as you would think – I already knew how to eat, act and dress – hell’s bells, I even knew how to pray in Arabic and speak a toddler’s version of Urdu. However, these are the things that came first to my mind when thinking about your question: 1) It felt bizarre be “different”. I was stared at wherever I went and received special treatment – some people treated me with a sort of awe (particularly in Peshwar and the mountainous regions). It was a REVERSE shock when I came back through Paris and realized with a start no one noticed me anymore. I had gone back again to being nothing special – just another white girl walking around; 2) The extreme differences between the social classes. I was staying with a comfortable middle-class family – but we spent a lot of time with their extremely wealthy family members. I went to a 3rd world country, yet experienced luxuries I had never seen before – an irony not lost upon me, either; 3) The abject poverty. You can see poverty on TV, but there is much more to just “seeing” poverty – there is an intangible smell and sound in shantytowns that just can’t be conveyed through a TV. Again, I had REVERSE culture shock when I came home and we were speeding down a major interstate to go back home. Everything was so NEW, CLEAN and FAST.

2. When is it better to buy a knitted item instead of knitting it yourself? Since it is rarely cost-effective to knit something myself, my rule of needle is “if it ain’t fun to knit, then it’s far better to quit”

3. What's your dream job and how likely are you to ever pursue it? Appropriate question since I am currently experiencing a career crisis. My dream job has always been to get a PhD in Linguistics or Anthropology. How likely? Not very, although I may be explore the linguistics/language option in the next 5 years. I certainly don’t want to stay in the IS field, that’s for sure. This is where being married to a foreigner comes in handy! At least I get a little of my passions in my everyday life.

4. Name something that's supposed to be fun that you absolutely don't enjoy doing. I have heard horrifying rumors that laying on a beach is supposed to be enjoyable.

5. What social or political issue concerns you the most? Another stumper. I am very concerned with the socialist slant many of our politicians have these days. We seem to be moving toward a government that wants to “take care of society” and that simply scares the bejesus out of me. In my experience, “Taking care of” also means “I can tell you what to do”.

If you'd like to play, too, here's how it works:
The Official Interview Game Rules
1. If you want to participate, leave a comment below saying "interview me."
2. I will respond by asking you five questions - each person's will be different.
3. You will update your journal/blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview others in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

*Blogger, in it's infinite wisdom, won't let me include the link to Average Jane in the actual post. I give up - please refer to my blogroll for the appropriate link.

March 24, 2005

Where have I been?

Well, right HERE, actually. This week has been weird – I have been in “oh-so important” all-day departmental meetings, which leaves me to scramble during lunch (my normal block of writing time) to catch up on everything piling up. Our computer at home is having issues so my on-line time has been limited this week. Plus, I loathe my job so much right now that I am a fount of negativity. Let’s see what I can muster.

Taxes: In an amusing bit of irony, I, the licensed CPA, hate doing taxes. I particularly dreaded this year’s exercise because we had some weird transactions last year due to the whole New House/Old House thing and the fact that last year we started renting out another house we own in another state (No, we are not rich, just incredibly fortunate that we each took advantage of the many first-time home buyer’s options available while we were both still single and not considered one financial entity). So, like I said, I DREADED doing our taxes this year. A few weeks back, I logged into TurboTax and half-heartedly started the monotony of clicking “yes” and “no”.* The one thing I loathe about TurboTax is the damned “refund/you owe” ticker symbol going on the left-hand corner. When I was at HR Block, we did not provide that because it was difficult for inexperienced users to understand how drastically the number can fluctuate based upon WHERE YOU ARE IN YOUR TAX RETURN. This was particularly highlighted last night as X anxiously peered over my shoulder watching the damned numbers go crazy while asking me “Have you entered blah blah yet?” “What about the interest expense THERE?” “Have you input our miscellaneous deductions yet?” To my credit, I didn’t shoot him. Anyway, at least to the IRS, we don’t owe money – YEAH! I thought we were going to owe $5000, so it FEELS like I GOT that $5000. YEAH! Now, I just have to do 3 more returns – Missouri, Kansas, and Kansas City. Lord, I hate taxes, but my ridiculous pride prevents me from handing the whole mess to a REAL professional.


Phone: Over the years, I have been very lucky in the gadget department. I have not bought a cell phone since 1998 – I had a friend who worked for product development at Sprint and she was very generous. She referred to me as a “hardcore Palm” user and was nice enough to encourage my habit. She would pass along cool phones to me and after I had used it for awhile, I report back to her what I thought the strengths and weaknesses were. It was a GREAT relationship! When she left Sprint, it was a sad day for me. Therefore, I have had the Samsung I330 since 2002 – it’s a GREAT phone, but it is pretty old by now but I have gotten my use out of it. Also, it just wasn’t keeping a battery charge like it did when it was just a babe (even after buying a new battery for it). Therefore, X decided I should have a new phone and over the weekend, I got a Treo 650. So far, I am pretty happy with it. It is very friendly and has some cool features. Change is a funny creature, though. Even though the Treo is obviously a much better phone than the Samsung, I still miss the old one.


Life from the Lair: I am in a cubicle cul-de-sac and I sit in the next to the last cellblock. The gal in the very last cube I like to call the Prom Queen (PQ) because she is the most popular gal in Information Security (please note: The Big Burper sits on the OTHER side of me and oddly enough is equally popular. I haven’t figured out that conundrum yet, although to her credit she holds her bodily functions until her visitors have left). Anyway, all day long people trod back and forth past my cube to pay the PQ visits. Often, she is not there and it quickly becomes My Problem. When the visitor realizes she is not there, the Interrogation begins. Where is she? Will she be back? When? Can you tell her I am looking for her? Or, even worse, they will launch into a detailed description of their problem with a pleading look in their eye. I, of course, put my on Stupid Armor and lay claim to the fact that PQ is all-knowing and therefore, their best bet for a solution. I have about a 70/30 success rate in my favor.**


*Yes, I did work for H&R Block’s web development team prior to being lured into Big Al’s lair. Would I recommend using Block’s application? Of course! Would I use it myself? No. Why not? Simply because I did work there and don’t like having my financial data at a place where I know so many people. Block’s site is really just fine; I just prefer my data to be stored someplace where I don’t know the folks.
**I should note the PQ is the coolest gal in Big Al’s gang. She is the only reason I remotely give a damn.

March 18, 2005

What is petty?

Slightly misspelling your manager's name because you figure each of her two faces might need its own unique name.

Meow.

March 17, 2005

How green is your blood?

Believe it or not, Kansas City holds one of the nation’s largest St. Patrick’s Day parade (I believe I have seen the words “3rd largest” associated with it in the past). Lucky (?) for me, the parade passes right by Big Al’s KC Lair. While Big Al is warning us to not leave the premises because of heightened security, blah, blah, I am hoping to at least peek my head out.* At a minimum, it will be fun to see all of Big Al’s protection officers go ape$hit with all the drunks hanging around the place. The officers spend the whole day paroling the perimeters and you just KNOW this is their least favorite day of the year. I may sound lighthearted about this, but these dudes are serious – we have a firing range in our basement and they certify every month! Hands down, this is the safest environment I have ever worked in – often, my freakin’ lunch is scanned. How’s that for security?

This day is always ironic for me because I grew up knowing very little of my Irish heritage. I always knew about it from my mom’s side, but not much from my dad’s. My dad only started really getting into it only when I was in high school. In fact, my grandma would never even admit we had Irish ancestors – I grew up thinking my Olathe Grandma's maiden surname was a GERMAN name. No kidding! When I joined the Catholic Church in my mid 20s, suddenly, my grandma started telling me stories of relatives having come over in the late 1800s and how they had a falling out with the Church. I started receiving pieces of Catholic memorabilia that had come from these Irish Catholic relatives – never before knowing we even had Catholics in our family (I thought I was the first!). Wow – I knew my dad's side of the family was a bit repressed, but this was taking the cake. However, now that I am older, I know better than to ask the reason for all the secrecy because I suspect it is this – much like being Native American** could be considered shameful in the early 1900s, so could being Irish Catholic. My grandma’s father was already bringing the family enough shame as a bootlegger during Prohibition, I can see why her own mother would want to hide any more stigma.***

So these are the things that I think of on St. Patrick’s Day – how far our country has come that we CELEBRATE our varied heritages – even if some of the festivities are not very respectful and quite silly in nature.

Anyway, have a great St. Patrick’s Day!
-Cagey (American-made from Irish parts)

* I am still resentful I won’t get to see my dad march in another parade in his drunken state resplendent in kilted finery.
** We still don't know which tribe one of my great, great grandmothers was from because it was so steeped in secrecy.
*** Of course, my generation of cousins thinks it is SO COOL that our great-grandfather was a bootlegger. Much to my grandma’s and her siblings' chagrin!!!

March 16, 2005

Meander much?

Old Yard Status: I drove by it the other day and noticed the poor front yard is BROWN and crusty looking. While the state of the grass was certainly never stellar under my watch, I guess the little twit learned the hard way what happens when you don’t rake your leaves in the fall. The best part? I wasn’t upset! It’s not MY yard.

New Yard Status: I am slowly falling in love with the New Yard. I love wandering around and exploring the nooks and crannies. I guess with us moving in before winter, I just hadn’t gotten used to the fact that it is OUR space now, not the Previous Owners’ (POs). Maybe that is the downside of buying a house from people you know. Anyway, the POs are promising to take their stupid hot tub out NEXT week and I am thrilled to pieces. While we will be left with an ugly concrete slab adjacent to our deck, I do have PLANS for that slab – I am hoping to lay brick over it. Also, I see some shoots coming up in the front and OH, I hope they are tulips. Finally, after a recount, I discovered our small yard has EIGHT trees, not the seven I previously counted. Yikes.

Knitting Status: Since I have been feeling well lately, I am gradually getting back into the swing of things. My iPod needs a sock and I refuse to pay $30 for a set when I can knit one myself from that ridiculous stash of yarn hiding in our coat closet. I am finishing up a backpack and yes, the sweater is still all blocked and ready to go. I have to admit, I am afraid to touch it! I have been procrastinating a bit because I am intimidated by the seaming aspect – the knitting was a piece of cake (although time consuming) - BUT, I am no seamstress. My goal is to conquer my fears this weekend and start sewing the damn thing up. I have skeins of Noro waiting patiently for their turn to be transformed into Booga Bags, after all.

Book Status: I am still enduring the dreaded Sock – I am creeping slowly to page 100, my officially mandated stopping point. I am still enjoying the Good Earth – it is SO interesting, however it is also such a downer of a book that I am anxious to finish it. The Suitable Boy, is still ever the delightful read. I am hoping to read something light and entertaining next – perhaps a selection from Janet Evanovich?

Amazon Orders: Is there anything more sad than the fact the highlight of your week is waiting for an Amazon order? For the most part, I use the library and limit my book purchases to book club purchases or incredibly cheap garage sale finds. However, I can't find my copy of Stitch n' Bitch and I am lost without it! I have looked everywhere and finally gave up. Also, I must own the new set of Trixie Belden books being released (albeit painfully one by one by one by one) They will go quite nicely with my complete set of older ones, of course. Not that I am compulsively anal, or anything.

Not much else is going on this week! Working, going home, reading, and taking it easy.

Repeat til weekend.

March 14, 2005

Where have you been Bad Attitude?

The Bad Attitude hath returneth. Yes, I missed that big lug Big Al, when I was under the weather, but really the relationship is akin to the ubiquitous Evil Boyfriend. Come on, ladies – most of us have done it. Either been dumped by an EB or discarded him ourselves, only to find ourselves missing the git awhile later. Then we hook back up with him and quickly get a refresher course in why he was such an a$$hole in the first place. So, yeah, I am back to honing my Exit Strategy and preparing my fantasy manifesto to hand over to HR as I head for the hills. Cutesy little travel mugs exclaiming it’s undying love for me and handed out on Employee Appreciation day just don't cut it, folks. Islander-Pacific Awareness Month in the name of diversity is only 30 days out of a LONG 365 day year. Holding a decorating contest for plastic Mardi Gras masks only makes me want to hop on the next flight to New Orleans. Getting a President’s Award in faux marble doesn’t go a long way when the said president doesn’t recognize me in the elevator. In short, none of these things make working here any more palatable.*

Now while I am blogging about my hatred for this place, I am keenly aware that I could be FIRED FOR BLOGGING about it. Gasp! Why do people think this is such a big freakin’ deal?? Your company can fire you for just about anything, people. Your employment is “at will” – that’s standard for most non-governmental positions. Big Al can fire me because I checked my Yahoo account over lunch. He could ax me for that email with cute kitty pics I sent to my Mommy last week. If I quit tomorrow and posted on a message board about what a hellion that Big Al was, well, those messages could be subpoenaed for court testimony when Big Al sues my a$$ for defaming it’s character (yes, people, I know someone who really had this happened to him). In short, Big Al could probably find all sorts of reasons to boot me and then really stick it to me for good measure.

So, while I will never unmask the Big Fraud until that manifesto is complete and I am off into the sunset to go off-roadin’ on the Mommy Track, I WILL continue to gripe about my job periodically because BLOGGING IS VIRTUALLY FREE, THERAPY IS NOT.

*What inspired this complete disgorgement of wrath? My AVP left on Friday – in the re-org fiasco earlier this year, she had been offered a demotion or a severance package. She took the severance package and Friday was her last day (she did leave on good terms and Big Al WAS disappointed that she leaving). What did Big Al do for her after 21 years of service? She got to SHARE a cake with a few others that were leaving. A cake that was just left out for everyone to help themselves to. No small gathering or appointed time for the cake cutting. Nothing.

March 11, 2005

Have you got flower power?

Judging from the clumps of cat hair sprinkled around the house, spring is well on its way and man, I am ready. The first spring in a new house is always exciting because surprises are literally leaping out of your lawn. I can’t wait to see if the Previous Owners (POs) planted tulips, for example. Lucky for us, the POs were obsessed with their yard and they prescribed to a No Mowing philosophy. They have landscaped the CRAP out of the lawn. My mother is quite the gardener and even she wasn’t able to identify several things left growing in our yard last fall. For our small yard, we have no less than SEVEN trees and the backyard consists of a good 50% deck and landscaping. While I am sad that I will never be able to play croquet in my backyard, the lack of mowing is a definite plus. I am so excited about the prospect of lounging on my deck, iPod in ear, book in hand. When the weather is nice, I am a total deck monkey which drives X bonkers to no end. He feels like all the neighbors are “watching” us. I have tried to convince him our neighbors have better things to do than watch us read a book or eat a meal, but he isn’t buying it. It’s not like there is a booming market for fuzzy pics taken of us with a telescopic lens.

Despite the excitement surrounding the New Yard, I am still mourning the Old Yard. There was very little in the way of plants or bushes when I moved into the Old House – although there was some landscaping, it was completely empty. However, I wasn’t complaining since there is something extremely satisfying about planting something then watching it sputter through its first season only to take off like gangbusters in its second. That yard was MINE. This summer, I won’t be able to help but wonder, how are the things I planted doing? Do the lilacs smell even better THIS year? Are the burning bushes taking off this year like wildfire? Is the pampas grass taller than the fence now – will she know to cut it down early to urge the new shoots to come through? WILL SHE?? Is that silly twit that bought the house going to water everything enough? Will she fertilize correctly? Will she set traps or call Animal Control for the disgusting opossums and skunks, even though they go away eventually? If she has a cat, will she save chipmunks and rabbits and release them into the cemetery behind her? Will she even appreciate being next to a cemetery – the grim daily reminder that life is a GIFT, not to be taken for granted? Will she instead fall asleep on the deck at night under the stars grateful for that cemetery that provides so much sky? Will she realize that having a row of houses behind her instead would prevent the beauty of seeing black storm clouds roll angrily through the area?

Yes, I love the New House. It IS infinitely better than the Old House, it IS a far better investment and it IS better for our long-term future. I have to admit that even the New Yard is FAR superior to the Old Yard. However, I will miss all the sky that came with the Old Yard. In the coming weeks, I will try to forget all that sky as I scour the New Yard for spots where I can stake my claim and promote the New Yard to MY Yard. A yard isn’t a yard without a lilac bush and pampas grass, after all.

March 10, 2005

How low can I go?

Currently, life has been a big span of nothingness interspersed with little bright spots of “somethingness” here and there. X came home earlier this week and that always makes my day after he has been gone for so long. Which is a good thing, I suppose. I should be far more worried if I didn’t look forward to his return, right?

The irony is that while not much has been happening in my life, I have really mourned the lack of blogging I have been up to lately. I miss the daily creation of SOMETHING – a feeling I don’t get very often at work. Not blogging has produced a bit of a hole in my creative self but there isn’t much interesting going on to blog ABOUT. I haven’t been feeling well enough to even knit or do much else besides read books. Even TV holds little attraction these days. So all I have to write about it what I am reading. However, writing about books smacks of being a book critic – something I am just not objective enough to pull off. I am reading a book right now that I absolutely loathe, but I certainly don’t want to blog about it and subject anyone to my uninformed, prejudiced opinion.

I realized how desperate I was for blogging material when I came to the conclusion I shouldn’t take the day off for St. Patrick’s Day next week as I have already missed so much work for illness. I was looking so forward to the parade I was going to attend with my dad marching in his kilt in his inevitable drunken state. As much as I looked forward to this day, I had to admit to myself that I really looked forward to WRITING about it.

So, while life is very good right now, life is still quite boring. While I am still enjoying the little moments of cuddling with a kitty and a good book, if life doesn’t improve soon in the ways of entertainment, I may just start making $hit up!

March 7, 2005

Can you keep a secret?

Have you heard of Postsecret? Apparently, it is an extension of a DC art project where people can send their secrets anonymously via postcard. The postcards are then displayed as works of art. This is very intriguing and it's worth the time to sift through all of them. Several seem obviously created for shock value, yet others are quite haunting.

Who says routines are boring?

The weekend was pretty uneventful, but since I felt human again, I wasn’t complaining for the lack of excitement. Saturday, I had lunch with my Grandma, sister, and the Nephews. Then I went to a play date at a friend’s house – it was nice to see everyone’s little kiddies. X had left town Thursday night, so by Saturday evening, I was feeling at loose ends and out of sorts. I decided to hunker down with a book and just be freakin’ grateful that I could breathe through both nostrils. It was tough, but I managed to keep a somewhat good attitude going. Sometimes, mild depression really is a case of mind over matter.

I fared better on Sunday – I went to the gym! I hadn’t done a cardio in 3 weeks or any weights in 2 weeks, so it felt GREAT to get going again. I was so happy to be there, that I only got mildly annoyed at the mother who thought her bratty little boys belonged in the weight training area despite the sign that clearly indicated otherwise. Later, on the elliptical machine, I watched my college basketball team, the Kansas Jayhawks, go down in a blaze but unfortunately not of the glory sort. I am SO ready for March Madness, though! During March Madness, I will watch any team play, it’s just so exciting during tournament time.

Today, I’m ready for routines to start up again. First up - tonight is Raku Night. Every Monday that I do Raku (a Japanese form of firing pottery), I have a routine. I get out of work as early as possible and head over to my favorite noodle place, the Blue Koi. I just love snuggling into a table with a book, some dumplings, tofu and a nice cup of tea. Particularly, I love doing this by myself - there is something very relaxing about doing it by myself - no stress of rushing to make a certain time, I can order what I want, and there is no splitting the bill. I like the peacefulness of being alone. Afterwards, if I have time, I wander over to a cool used bookstore across the street and try to avoid impulse purchasing.

These past few days, I have felt sort of like a bear, stretching and yawning as I emerge from hibernation. Saturday, it was odd to put on FITTED pants, instead of my usual sweats. I even broke out the hairdryer. But it all felt good and I am ready for the routine of life again.

March 4, 2005

It's Friday already??

400K.....600K..... I am getting closer and closer to feeling like my usual Million. Hopefully, this will be my last sick day. I am even ready to go back to Big Al. Who knew how I would miss that big lug so?

Have a great weekend! I'm off to bed to gain more expertise in the intracasies of Feline Politics. Little buggers.

March 1, 2005

It's still not Friday yet?

I have been awake since 3am. I finally gave up on the Sandman by 5am. I am thinking I won't be laboring for Big Al today. I hate napping, but may make an exception today. My doctor did prescribe some drugs, so hopefully I will be on the mend soon. Yesterday was spent mostly reading on the couch and in a great moment of lucidity, I finished the master bathroom curtains. Yeah! Overall, my sanctuary is nearly complete. Just 1 item left in the bedroom- a matching dresser. We are using the same dresser that I have had since I was 12. I figure, if the DNA Project is successful, the kid can take my old dresser and we will get a new one for us - the little begger can't be a chooser, after all. Besides the dresser, I am nearly done decorating the house - just waiting to buy a couch and chair combo, then we should really be done. We are currently using a futon, which I love because it is so comfortable, but the futon bothers X and must go. He is so very NOT picky about things usually and I have a pretty free reign when it comes to the decor. However, when he does rarely have an opinion, it is usually a firm one.

Overall, many of my friends and family expressed shock at how quickly I got things done around the New House - we just moved in the beginning of last September and I have already had our handyman remove wallpaper and paint in our bedroom, kitchen, and 3 bathrooms. Minimal furniture was needed because I already owned so much crep. Ditto for artwork, pictures, etc. It's not the I am a great decorator, but I know what I like and I just hang it. I will certainly never make the pages of House Beautiful, but that isn't really the goal. I just want someplace that I feel cozy in.

The hardest part of this decorating crep was the curtains. Frankly, my parents were not into matching decor - they were hippies. As a 70s child, I was spared daring stripes in contrasting colors but was instead subjected to macreme, wood carvings, and pictures of nature. I don't remember having curtains in our house - maybe blinds, but certainly nothing you would call a "treatment". While the curtains downstairs in the New House are tolerable and certainly not frightful enough to invest money in replacing them, all the curtain upstairs are BUTT UGLY. I still have 3 bedrooms and a bathroom left to replace, but DAMN! curtains are expensive. However, as time goes by, those curtains are starting to look better and better.

Okay, this Lucidity Break is over.