Friday, September 29, 2006

A little change...

So, things look a little different around here, huh? I signed up for Blogger Beta yesterday. I mainly signed up because I wanted the labels you see at the end of the post. I have actually been thinking of switching to Live Journal or Typepad to get them, but now I don't have to.

The very, very pink layout will not last forever. This weekend I plan to play around with it and make it look less...adolescent. I don't have anything better to do unless my car is actually fixed.

I really, really hope my car is fixed.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

One of the things I really regret in my life is that I never got to have an adult relationship with my parents. They went from being my mom and dad to being people I had to take care of. When I see my friends interact with their parents, I really am jealous of them. Even if they are arguing, they are doing it as fellow adults, with no one in the dominant position. I never got that.

Now, I don't regret having to do the role reversal thing at an earlier age than most. I loved my parents, and I would have done anything they asked me to. I even offered to transfer to a college closer to home, but they wouldn't let me.

I've been thinking about that lately because I see friends around my age having to face those things now. And even though it's difficult, they are so much better equipped to deal with it than I was at 21. I honestly believe that, beyond the maturity factor, it's because they were able to get to know their parents on an adult level. It may sound cold, but I think that being able to have that...change in status, I guess, gives you a chance to be more objective. They had the chance to get to know their parents without being dependent upon them. For me, one minute I was asking my parents for money so I could go to the movies on the weekend, and the next I was having to help with transfers, do all the shopping and cooking, and other things I choose not to mention. There was no transition. And all you English majors out there (who seem to make up most of my readership) know that without transitions, things get rocky.


On a completely unrelated note, I'm still without a car. The transmission guy hasn't started working on it yet. He said he may be able to get it done tomorrow, but Monday is the more likely scenario. I really hate this. My current ride won't stop at the grocery store for me, so I'm down to ramen noodles, unless I order pizza like I did tonight. Plus she smokes. She does open her window, but she also opens the sunroof, and the smoke that goes out the window just comes right in the sunroof. I hate smelling like smoke all day.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

I had the weirdest dream. It actually woke me up, and I've been up for about an hour now.

I don't remember all of it, but apparently I was working on some kind of student newspaper. I was not an editor, but I seemed to be doing an awful lot of the editorial functions. The editor-in-cheif was my boss at the Evil Empire (my last job). I vaguely recognized the other two staff I really saw, but they seemed to be more composite characters than anything else.

Well, EE Boss gathered the whole staff together (there were an awful lot of people for a student paper), and confronted me about buying myself new dishes, when I had two perfectly serviceable, unmatched plates I could use. She called me a hypocrite for spending my money on something so frivolous, and asked me what I had to say about it. I said that the dishes only cost $15 dollars, and that I really needed them (the dishes actually cost $25 in real life, if you are interested). She went on to goad me into a confrontation by telling me that if I was such a hypocrite, buying new dishes when some people didn't even have food, then I didn't deserve to be on her staff.

Well, I blew up at that. I told her she had no right to judge me, and I told her that I had done far more that what my job description entailed. She asked me, "Like what," and I responded by telling her about all the editorial dutites I did, and how I never complained that I was doing that despite the fact that I was not an editor, and I told her about how I had to retype one co-worker's articles because she refused to use a computer, and I fussed about how some other people could take a whole day to just write the text of an editorial cartoon, but I got yelled at for taking too long if it took me more than an hour to do a whole layout. Well, EE Boss forced me to name names, so I pointed out the two people who I vaguely recognized. She then basically forced a confrontation with them, in front of everyone else. So I got into an argument with them, which eventually led to me telling EE Boss, that this conversation should have taken place in her office behind closed doors.

Now, I don't quite know what it all meant, but I think it was my subconscinence's way of confronting the various facets of my personality, while also getting a dig in to EE Boss for having a personnel conversation with me with a co-worker present, which was very unprofessional.

I need to think about this some more.

Monday, September 25, 2006


That is all.

When I did the therapy thing, one of the things I talked about with my shrink was the fact that it is really, really hard for me to depend on other people for help. After going through the whole "it makes me feel inadequate" thing (which it does, but that's another story), the root reason is that I learned early on that I can't depend on other people. Whenever I'd ask a teacher for help with something, they would always put me off to help other people, and they would never quite make it back to me. When I tried to get my 8th grade math teacher to help me with Algebra, she declared that if I was smart enough to go to the gifted program one day a week, I was smart enough to figure things out on my own. In high school, my "friends" really just used me for their own purposes, and ignored me at other times. All those experiences, when accumulated, just made me think that I wasn't allowed to depend on other people, and when I tried to, I'd be hurt.

Today, a co-worker was supposed to give me a ride to work. She told me on Friday that she would pick me up at 9:45. I went outside and was waiting for her at 9:50. I waited in all the construction dust for a good 20 minutes before I went back into the apartment. I checked my messages, and she left me a message at 10:02, apologizing for telling me the wrong time, because she really meant 10:15. So I waited until 10:28 (down here, "on time" is just a figure of speech) and went back outside. I sat on the steps waiting for another 20 minutes, until I gave up and went back inside. There was another message, which she left at 10:30, saying "well, I guess you got a ride with someone else, so I'm heading in. Call me if you need to." Well, I called her and left her a message saying that I would just take the floating holiday I have from Labor Day today. She called me back about 15 minutes later (about 11:10) saying that she didn't want me to waste the holiday, and she'd come get me. She said she was leaving in 2 minutes.

So I went and took my trash out, and went back to sit on the steps to wait. It was 25 minutes until she got there. Even in heavy traffic, it shouldn't take 25 minutes. In fact, coming back only took 10. I didn't get here until noon.

Now granted, it is a very slow day. But it just frustrates me when people show that little consideration. If I know someone is coming for me, I will be outside waiting for them, so they don't have to wait for me. If I am picking someone up, I am on time, even if it isn't convenient for me.

This is why I hate depending on other people. I didn't even get to have a cup of tea this morning because I was thought I was running late. And now my mouth tastes like dirt and I'm probably going to be coughing up construction dust for the next year.

Today sucks.

Oh, I'll write about my car later on.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

So I'm sitting here reading, with the TV on "Cops" in the background. I'm half listening, and the police officers start naming streets during a pursuit. I said to myself, "Gee, those sound like the streets in the neighborhood I lived in in Pittsburgh before I moved here." Then I heard one of the officers quote the speed they were traveling, and he had a distinct Pittsburgh accent. And I said, "Hey, that is the neighborhood I lived in in Pittsburgh before I moved here." And in fact, I knew the girlfriend and mother of the guy they were chasing - they lived a few houses down from me, on the other side of the railroad tressle (the worse side of a bad neighborhood).

There is nothing like seeing your old house on "Cops" to make you feel...either crappy that you ever lived there or grateful that you no longer do.

In my defense, the apartment was OK, and the rent was dirt cheap.

Friday, September 22, 2006

I am nerdier than 65% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

Just wanted to share

Thursday, September 21, 2006

So, I'm way stressed about stuff right now. And in light of that, I'm thinking about changing my blog layout. What color scheme should I use?


OK, blogosphere, time for you to play...


So here's the situation. The transmission guy says that my car needs a complete overhaul, which will cost $1400 (which is less than the guy who did the overhaul on my Oldsmobile charged 12 years ago, but that's another story). Now, I can pay to have that done within three weeks (four if I want to eat). The car has 141,000 miles on it, but it's in good shape - no mechanical problems other than this. Plus, I love it a whole lot.

On the minus side, the car is almost 10 years old. And, it has 141,000 miles on it.

Now, I may be able to get financing to buy a new car now, but I will get an absolutely craptastic interest rate. If I can make my car last another 6-8 months, I will get a much, much better rate because my student loans will be caught up. Not to mention I can open a credit card and start using it and paying on it between now and then, which will also help.

Keeping in mind that I am not planning to drive my car anywhere of any distance (the farthest I can see myself going would be Houston, and that's doubtful), and keeping in mind that I love my car, what should I do?

If you are interested in these details, if I claim my car is in good condition, the trade in value is about $850, and the resale value is about $1500.


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

So I invested $25 in getting my credit reports and scores on line. Interestingly, my credit isn't as bad as I though it was, and I think I can make it better relatively easily.

I hate the thought of buying a new car, though. But if I do, it might not be a bad think long-term. I can afford payments on a $10000 loan, even at a 20% interest rate. It will be tight, but I can afford it.

And maybe I can use it as motivation to actually get my backside moving on the Great American Novel - or the not-so-great American short fiction, or freelancing, or whatever - so I can pick up some extra cash.

The thought of a loan scares me, though. I've never had one, except for my student loan. I guess it's just one more step into being a real grown up.

If a miracle happens and I figure out the financing, I may be getting a new car. Not because I want to, but because I don't have a choice. I'll give you details soon.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

So I'm doing the eHarmony thing again. And I just started talking with this guy from Baton Rouge. I might just be in like again. He's in public relations, though, so I bet he's really atractive, which means he'll close communication when he sees my picture. Sigh.

Yeah, I know all about my self esteem issues. I'm working on it.

So I should be doing real work. You know, the stuff they pay me to do. So naturally, I feel like blogging and working on the Great American Novel.

I realized this morning that I totally forgot to pay my electric bill, which is due tomorrow or they will turn off my electricity (we have no grace period). My car won't go out of second gear (which is a "feature" on Chrysler cars made after 1995 when the computer senses a sensor error). The road to the electric bill paying place is a two lane, major road with a speed limit of 45, where everyone drives at least 55. My car hits 27 if it is lucky. Not good.

I'm watching a NOVA special about Katrina. It is weird to see people I work with on there, including the president of our company.

I think I shall publish the Great American Novel under a pseudonym. I think my pseudonym shall be Linda LaRue. Linda, because when I was a little kid, I thought that was the most glamorous name ever (yeah, I wasn't very worldly back then) and LaRue to indulge my deep, dark, secret desire to be a stripper.


Ok, maybe not.

And just a note on the whole Katrina thing. The hurricane guy at the major state university here gets way too much credit for the exercises related to Hurricane planning in New Orleans. It's weird to know the truth of the matter. Don't trust the media, ever, is a lesson tht I have learned.

One of my former students was just named a National Merit Semi-Finalist. I'm proud of her, but I also know how much her parents pushed her, and how much pressure they put on her. That makes me sad.

Seeing the satellite photos of Katrina is amazing. I've never seen a storm so symmetrical. One of the other things I've learned is that when you are talking about tropical weather, symmetry is a bad thing. And listening to the water rush in to the city is amazing.

Oh well. I guess I need to start doing real work at some point. Enjoy my stream of consciousness here.

But before I go, I bought matching dishes this weekend, before my car decided to throw a tantrum. I feel like a grown up now (even if I did hesitate because I could hear my mother's voice telling me that they were too dark - they are black an green, and nicer than they sound.).

A few weeks ago, I was listening to Fresh Air on NPR. the author of a book called The Discomfort Zone was being interviewed. He said that among his literary circle (he was an MFA and I think he lived in New York, so he had a literary circle) he almost felt guilty tht he had a relatively normal, happy childhood.

That statement gave voice to something I have been struggling with. My childhood was nice and normal and happy. My life in general has been nice and normal and relatively happy. How can I write if I wasn't abused, or if I didn't belong to a gang (though I did have a "protector" who was in a gang. He's a farm now, which gives me no end of amusement.), or if I didn't have a drug problem (unless the fact that Tylenol gives me nightmares is a drug problem)? What can I say of worth?

There seems to be a school of thought that says that true creativity is born of pain. I even think I agree with that school. But I don't think you have to be miserable all the time in order to write fiction of literary value (or paint a respected painting, or whatever).

I think that pain is inside all of us. It's like a chasm, and from that chasm flows a stream of creativity. I think it's God's way of letting something good come from bad, letting light flow from darkness. It's redemption of the bad stuff in our lives.

I don;t think that will ever be a prevailing theory of creativity, but it works for me.

Just a thought on this absolutley miserable day (car issues. I need to learn how to ride a bike)

Friday, September 15, 2006

I am wearing new black jeans that I haven't washed yet. I'm taking bets as to what my legs will look like when I get home this afternoon.

I'm also wearing a beige twinset I got at Wal-Mart. I rather like it. and I only feel moderately guilty about wearing it light of their labor practices and generally icky modus operandi

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


Kinda glad I missed the finale last night.

Monday, September 11, 2006

The male portion of the blogosphere may want to scroll ahead a little while I whine about female stuff for a little bit.

I have cramps. Nasty, bad, lay-on-the-couch-with-a-heating-pad cramps. I've had them since yesterday, and my period has yet to start. I've tried ibuprofen, I've tried going for a walk (which helps most times), and I've even tried the heating pad (which I actually think provides more comfort than pain relief). And I still have cramps.

I wouldn't be as annoyed by this if my period had, in fact, started. I'm 95% sure I have PMS. I have the attitude that goes with it at least. I actually flipped someone off tonight driving home from work (he deserved it. I was at a red light waiting to make a left turn, he wanted to make a right turn. So he blinked his high beams at me - twice. Sorry, but I wasn't changing my mind about the direction I was going just to appease him. I doubt he saw my first effort at a public obscene gesture, though - it was dark, and I couldn't bring myself to lift my hand very far).

Plus, I'm tired. Like, bone-weary tired. I only get like this during and right after my period, but let me emphasize tht that monthly (well, closer to quarterly, lately) visitor has yet to visit.

I know my body is screwed up because of my thyroid, and I know that I'm getting old. But I'm still really annoyed that my hormones don't work the way they are supposed to. And I'm annoyed that I'm annoyed.

And I'm still really intimidated by the other new girl at work. She is only three years younger than me, but she is sooooooo much cooler. That sucks, and it sucks more when I have cramps.

OK How 'bout them Steelers?

Guys, that was your cue to come back.

I wish I could tell y'all about the stuff we're doing at work right now, because it's really interesting. Unfortunately, if I want to stay out of federal prison, I can't.

Oh, and I got a postcard from a candidate for judge here who apparrently sent them to all the members of the CCC. It basically says that I should vote for her because she will bring her Catholic values to the bench.

I'm annoyed by that. First of all, I'm wondering where she got the parishioner listing. Now, St Al's does have a parish directory, but there are over 3000 families in there. I doubt she typed that information into a database or spreadsheet for all those people. If the CCC gave her printed labels or gave her a file with all that information in it, I am really, really annoyed.

It bothers me when people try to tell me how to vote based on my religion. In fact, it's part of the reason I no longer identify with the Roman Catholic church. I got tired of those little voiting guides that appear in Catholic publications telling me I should or shouldn't vote for a particular candidate solely because of his or her position on abortion or stem cell research. If I followed all those guidelines, I would have only been voiting for members of the religious right, and the closet liberal in me just can't do that.

OK. My political rant is done. I don't do it often, but I just had to get my annoyance off my chest.

We now return to your regularly scheduled whining.

The hippie neighborhood association president in the Great American Novel has a name - Adalbert Lightfoot.

Why yes, I did find it in my Gmail spam.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

We just got word that a proposal I did 3/4 of the work on is one of two finalists for a particular contract. I rule the world!

OK. Not really. But I rule about a 1/2 block radius of southwest Baton Rouge!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Duct Tape, Booze, and Fabulousness

So first of all, a little elaboration on the whole duct tape thing.

When i was in high school, I read an article in Seventeen about the beauty secrets of pageant contestants. One of the things was that they used duct tape when they wore evening gowns to...elaborate on their cleavage. Well, one day, in the house I lived in in college, I got into a conversation with E, one of my housemates, about that very thing. I have no idea how the subject came up, but he was fascinated by the idea.

So, a few weeks later, E and I were watching a James Bond movie in the living room. Not being a fan of James Bond, I have no idea which one it was, but Jane Seymour was the Bond Girl. All throughout the movie, E was commenting about how beautiful she was, and how perfect her body was, and blah, blah, blah. I kept rolling my eyes and reminding him that real women don't look like that, that Hollywood has all kinds of tricks to make these women look perfect, etc.

Well, during one scene, she was wearing a very flimsy neglige, and she laid down, and, well, certain parts of her anatomy didn't move. Now, there was no way in creation she had any kind of bra on underneath that nightie. I pointed that out to E as yet another example of the false perfection Hollywood creates, and he said, "Thank God for duct tape!"

Now, you may be wondering if I ever tried the duct tape method just to see what happens. And...well...I did {blushes in shame}. I was 17 and curious. And while it did in fact give me lovely cleavage, it also hurt like mad when I took it off, and the sticky stuff wouldn't go away without rubbing alcohol.

So I shall reserve the duct tape for that one special occassion, when I walk down the red carpet after my novel gets turned into a movie. I think Jude Law shall play the priest. Talk about Fr. What-A-Waste.

Now, on to Booze

The literary scene here in BR pretty much revolves around bars, at least if you are under the age of 60. All the book clubs I'm familiar with, all the writers groups, all the creative types, hang out in bars pretty much every night of the week.

I almost feel guilty for saying this, but that just isn't my scene. I'm not Ernest Hemingway. Alcohol does not unleash my muse. Mostly it just flushes my muse's face and makes her giggle too much. Plus, my muse doesn't like bars because they are too loud and she can't hear when people talk.

My point to this is that it is hard to have a social life when people with whom you share similar interests hang out some place you can't stand. I'm afraid to even tell the people I work with that I don't know where this one particular bar they go to every Friday is. It's getting harder to make up excuses.

On to fabulousness...

Actually, I think I shall save that. But I will say that Popeye's mashed potatoes are absolutely fabulous. I could eat those every day (if I wanted to die of a heart attack next month). The gravy is to die for, and the potatoes even have lumps in them.

Yes, I like lumpy mashed potatoes. If they don't have lumps, then the are whipped potatoes. You want to make something of it?

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

I had the best day ever. I was off today, since I had to work yesterday and Sunday. I slept in, showered with the fancy shower gel that I normally only use if I'm going out somewhere, used the fancy shampoo I only use once every couple weeks, and wore my Academy Awards outfit (check out a few posts back if you don't know what I am talking about). Then I went to the post office and picked up a print I ordered from this website (It was titled Eleanor, which was my grandmother's name, and it was pink flowers, which were her favorites). From there I went to Target, where I bought a frame and some lavender shower gel (the fancy gel got used because I was out of the every day stuff) and body spray. And I bought headphones so I can listen to music while I write at work. Oh, and I got a peach smoothie from Sonic.

All in all, it was a very girly day. I did realize, however that it is a bad idea to walk through the baby section at Target when you are hormonal. I stood there looking at the Classic Pooh baby stuff for the longest time, and I almost bought a little green elephant.

Oh, and I got to watch Big Brother tonight. Will went home. I'm kinda sad. Yes, he was a liar and a manipulator, and all that, but he was at least upfront about being a jerk. And there was actually something endearing about him.

Mike, on the other hand, needs to be taken out back and shot. He's just creepy. Fortunately, there is no chance he will win, because I refuse to believe those women could be that stupid.

I never thought Erica would make it this far.

Oh, and a note on the Rock Star show that comes after BB (which I'm watching because I'm too lazy to get up and adjust the antenna to watch something else)? People who pierce anything on their faces other than their ears or noses also need to be taken out back and shot. It looks ridiculous. The same goes for unkempt, multicolor hair.

When did I become my parents?

Monday, September 04, 2006

Love Fest

I love my boss. When we work at night, he puts music on to keep us going. Last week was Madonna which was bad enough. Tonight he put on Cher. Then he came in and said, "Could I be any more stereotypical?...You know what? I don't care. I love Cher!"

I really love my job.

I love peaches, too, and I love the fact that my check engine light went out again. And I love Community Iced Tea. And I love the little kittens who live under the deck. Oh, and turkey sandwiches.

That is all. Perhaps one day later this week I will write about the things I don't love.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Well, I missed Big Brother again because I was...guess work. But I'm not complaining. The money is good, and more importantly, I love what I'm doing. I love the feeling of seeing a proposal I worked on wrapped up and sent off to the requestor. It is such a sense of accomplishment, something I haven't had on a job in a long time. I'm tired, but it's a good kind of tired.

The check engine light came on in my car again. I have to work tomorrow, so my boss said I could take off a day next week to get it fixed. I'll have a very nice paycheck thanks to all the overtime. (In the first 8 days of this pay period, I've worked 70 hours). I'm just afraid the mechanic will tell me that it's hopeless. Or, it could just need a tune up, though I'm pretty sure I need shocks, too. Sigh.

I will say that the current condition of the parking lot of my apartment building isn't helping any. They are doing construction on new condominiums next door, and the trucks going through our lot have wreaked havoc with it. Potholes everywhere, and the temporary driveway, which is just gravel covered dirt, is horrible. I wish they would just tell us that they are going to tear down the building so I could move out without a penalty.

Guess I'm going to sleep now, though I really need to do laundry. Meh. I'll get up early tomorrow.