31 December 2014

Happy New Year!


New Year's Meme

It’s back! The New Years Meme!  

1. What did you do in 2014 that you’d never done before?
I’m not sure.  It was a weird year.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?


Not really, at all.  Massive car repairs took replacing appliances off the list.  Write daily was better than years past but still not achieved.  I have culled and converted our CD’s but I’m still stalled at what to do with the remaining ones. I suspect separation anxiety.

My resolutions for 2014:
1. Replace three major appliances. This is a resolution and not task because I keep putting it off.
2. Write Daily...be it an email, a tweet, a post, something.  Facebook and to-do lists don't count
3. Deal with the three million obsolete cd's that we have, which means learning to convert them. 

My resolutions for 2015:

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?


Not this year, but a friend is pregnant.

4. Did anyone close to you die?


Yes, we lost a friend to suicide this summer.

5. What countries did you visit?


"Oh Canada, our home and native land.."

6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?
Healthy Family Members 

7. What dates from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
My last day at my work.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?



9. What was your biggest failure?
Kevin would disagree but I think caving and taking a private sector job instead of waiting for a non-profit job.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Sorta.  It turns out I’m having an allergic reaction to my bionics & will need to have them removed.

11. What was the best thing you bought?


Books?

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
The Nephew, again. He's a champ.  

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?


Former and current “leaders” of my former job.

14. Where did most of your money go?


Same as every year: Bills, Racecar, Vegas trip. Books. Amazon. Mochas!

15. What did you get really excited about?
I can’t really think of something.  It was kind of that kind of year.

16. What song will always remind you of 2014?
Happy by Pharrell Williams.  Stemming from multiple 30-second dance parties with my former coworker.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
– happier or sadder? I’m ambivalent, right now.
– thinner or fatter? Same-ish
– richer or poorer? About the same

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?


Read.  I didn’t seem to have time to read this year.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?


Experiencing melodrama

20. How did you spend Christmas?


Eve - at my parents after a very long day at the hospital
Day - Next door, immersed in children's excitement and food

21. Did you fall in love in 2014?
Every day.

22. What was your favorite TV program?


I always have a difficult time choosing favorites. Doctor Who. Castle, Big Bang Theory, Parenthood, Scandal, Project Runway. Greys Anatomy

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?


No. I'm not a hater. It's a waste of time

24. What was the best book you read?
The Lemon Orchard.  It wasn’t at all what I expected.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Eric Church

26. What did you want and get?
Time.

27. What did you want and not get?
A CPSA championship (same as last year)

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
The Best Most Exotic Marigold Hotel. (not necessarily a 2014 movie but that’s when I watched it)

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
46 and I had to work for the first time in many, many years.  Inventory, nonetheless. Kevin and I went out to dinner sans family then went to the local bookstore.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Not being laid off.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014?
Hoodies. New sneakers.  Purple.

32. What kept you sane?


Mochas. Kevin. Lucy. Television.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Craig Ferguson. I’m so bummed that he’s not doing his show anymore.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?


Legalization of gay marriage. I'm loving watch the number of states increase.

35. Who did you miss?


My former co-workers.

36. Who was the best new person you met?


I’m not sure.  I have new coworkers but I don’t know them very well at all.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014.


Go down swinging.


30 December 2014

It's Magic

The kids came over unexpectedly on Sunday, what a nice surprise.  We were watching the Seahawks playing when there was a knock on the door.

It was the eldest Big, with magic card tricks in hand.  He's been obsessed with close-up magic for a the past few months.  I'm sure his parents were happy that we were his audience for a little while.

He did one of those Guess Which Card tricks and it unfortunately didn't work.  He heavily sighed and muttered "At least it didn't happen at school."   Bless his heart, it made me giggle.  I told him "You're right, C, it is better to practice on us."

Kevin doesn't have much experience with kids and is skeptical of magic so I would have to nudge him every once in a while.  While watching magic, he's always looking for the trick in them.  So, he watched out of the corner of his eye while also watching the game.  He played along pretty well and even managed to look impressed.

After C left, Kevin mentioned that while he could spot the trick, there was one that he just couldn't figure out.  It bothered him a little and that made me laugh.

Now, fast forward to Christmas.  He received 7 decks of cards and three magic kits.  The kits weren't hokey little kits either, but geared toward pre-to-young teens.  He freaked out.  Each kit had a specific trick that he wanted so badly.  It was so much fun to listen to him.

We ended the day with him doing card tricks on Kevin.  I have a great photo of Kevin looking very skeptically at him.

Who knows, maybe one day we will travel to Vegas not to race but to watch the Great Carsinni.





Marathon Christmas Eve

Kevin's mom is doing really well, I am happy to report.

We left for Seattle at 11:00 in the morning on Christmas Eve.  We took a separate vehicle than the parents and siblings because we had to go to my family that evening, all going well.

Traffic was kind, until we got into North Seattle then we stopped.  This is where one of the few differences between Kevin and I becomes abundantly clear. I don't mind traffic.  I don't mind driving in Seattle.  Kevin, however, not so much.  Seriously.

We found the hospital pretty easily.  I forget that downtown Seattle is all uphill, everywhere. Fun for Kevin in a four-wheel-drive, stick shift.  I would have just abandoned our vehicle.

We parked in a pay lot simply because it was easier than parking in the garage and trekking through the entire hospital.   As I was getting ready to pay, a family approached Kevin and offered to share the space they had paid for but didn't need all the time for.  How nice is that?   We couldn't take it because they only had two hours left and we had to be there until up to five hours.

In hindsight, we could have taken it and just returned to pay the reminder but we didn't think of that. Also, it would be our luck that we would forget or be late or whatever.  More to the point: what a kind gesture of that family. They had obviously just gotten good news and in the spirit of Christmas Eve, decided to pay it forward.

We still got there in time, only to wait an hour and a half.  It's difficult to complain because clearly someone's surgery/day has gone wrong but seriously.

We've spent enough time in hospitals that we have a routine. Kevin and I sit together, then the parents and siblings opposite of us.  This alleviates chances for gunplay.  I carry a kit for the hospital: book, water, snack, headphones, tablet, jacket that can double as a blanket.

Emphasis on the headphones.  Remember that my father-in-law is a whistler but indoors he usually just whistles without actual sounds.  This makes every single person in the family (perhaps, world) murderous after an amount of time has passed.

Then there's the b-i-l that sighs heavily about everything.  Pair this with "patting" his wife's leg sporadically.  "Patting" is in quotations because it's more like a slap.  It actually pisses me off when he does it.  I told Kevin that one of these times I'm going to walk over and simply poke him in the eye when he does it.

And, oh there's more, the s-i-l that nervously giggles at everything. You know what's loud and annoying in a hospital? Nervous giggling.  Slapping.  Not-whistling.

Finally they took her in.  The doctor wasn't optimistic that they could get everything by doing the procedure via colonoscopy. ( I know there's a proper word for it, this just explains it much easier)
This was disheartening but nothing we weren't already aware of.

We were mostly alone in the waiting room.  An older gentleman came in for an appointment alone.  I wondered where his family was.  He checked in then began talking about the Seahawks with everyone.  His procedure was quick and he wished us well and said he would pray for our mother.  I thought that

Two hours later, she was done and they were able to get it all.  Whew.  They took a section out and tattoo'd not only that place but the site where the first tumor was removed.  Now we wait for the biopsy of the section that was removed and hope for the best. We're hoping that it's benign, even though it's unlikely, and that there shouldn't be any further need for treatment.

The most difficult part of this was that Kevin's mom couldn't quite understand why they were doing the procedure this way and not an actual surgery.  She felt like they were just "band-aiding" it.  They explained it all different ways, including just being blunt of "You won't live through the surgery".  But because of the stroke and vascular dementia, she just can't understand.  It's sad.

So, now it's a little after 5 pm. We booked it out to the truck and was on I-5 in minutes.  Lucky for us, we were going against traffic so we were making good progress.  This is where I say that we have to go 30 minutes past our final destination to our house in order to get the Christmas presents.  There was just no way that we were going to leave the presents in the truck in downtown Seattle.

As we went past the exit we should be taking, I spotted a Starbucks.  I wistfully mentioned that it would be nice to stop by there on our way back. Kevin worried that it would be poor form to walk into Christmas Eve late with drinks in our hands.  I told him "Yeah, I don't care."

We hurried into the house.  Kevin took care of the puppy while I pulled out storage bins and pulled presents out from underneath the tree.  A wise person would have done this prior to leaving for the day or even the night before.  I never claimed to be wise.

Within minutes, we were back on the road.  Neither of us in the holiday spirit at this point.  I texted my s-i-l that "Santa is on his way in his red sleigh".  She answered "Santa is crazy."  I didn't disagree.

Soon we were back at the Starbucks.  While there were cars in the drive-through when we went by, there weren't any cars now.  We were just considering continuing on when a voice came over the speaker.  "Welcome to Starbucks. You're our last customer tonight.  Merry Christmas and come on down!"   And there was cheering in the background. How fun is that?

We got our drinks and tipped handsomely.  They were very friendly and excited for being 7:00 on Christmas eve night.  As we got our drinks, one of the girls said "Merry Christmas! Now hurry and get out of here so people don't think we're open!"  It made me laugh.

So, if you're counting, that's three Faith in Humanity Restored episodes.  In one day.

We finally arrived at the fams house.  Everyone was eating so our timing was good.  My mom was the only one who eyed our drinks a bit. No surprise there.  We snacked a bit then sat down to relax and open presents.

With a baby/toddler in the house, Christmas was rejuvenated.  He had a great time opening presents and pushing all the boxes around the house. His toys were fun too, the boxes were better though.

Finally we were back in our own home around 11:00 pm, exhausted and grateful that Christmas didn't start again until noon the next day.

25 December 2014

22 December 2014

Today's Chapter of Please Stop Talking

Kevin's parents anniversary was yesterday.  They've been married 57 years.  I know, right?

We bought them a book about the history of diners, movie theatres, and restaurants in Whatcom County so  they could sit together and reminisce about their adventures while growing up and in their early married years. 

One of the pictures show the motel where they stayed for their honeymoon.  It's a run-down, sketchy motel now and Kevin's mom said that it wasn't anything fancy back then.

I mentioned that I remembered her telling us that they had food poisoning after the wedding.  She said, and I quote for full impact, "Oh yes, he was standing there getting undressed..."  (This is where I'm mentally shouting "Please stop there, please stop there.") ... then she continued:  "when he made a mad dash for the bathroom."

That could have ended so differently.  Turns out there was bad shellfish of some kind at the reception and many people were sick.

Kevin, on the other hand, said "Well, they were both virgins so food poisoning? maybe not."

You hush your mouth, Kevin.  Oh, and thanks for extending the awkwardness.

19 December 2014

Stop Kicking My Presents

I haven't wrapped any of the Christmas gifts I've bought yet.  This is depressing for all involved.  So, I put a birthday present package under the tree to wait for Friday morning.  Then I went on with my life, doing chores around the house.

Fifteen minutes later, the package is over by Lucy's dog bed because everything on the floor is hers.  She didn't damage it, just moved it. Because she can.

I knew Kevin was coming out in a few minutes so I left it there to show him naughty dog behavior.  

Kevin, not thinking, nudged it with his foot and asked about it.  I told him that the dog moved it there and we tried to remember how she was with presents under the tree last year.  (she left the presents alone mostly, she hates bows)   At the end of the conversation, he scooched it with his foot toward me again (a little harder) and asked where it came from. Then he scooched it AGAIN.

"Um, well, you're kicking my birthday present from BFF K across the floor."

He was so embarrassed, he was speechless.  He thought it was just an empty envelope that Lucy had stolen.  "I'll just pick that up and give it to you now." was about all he could muster.  Then he recovered with "At least it doesn't feel like cookies."  

"Not anymore." I said.

I swear, we should be under constant adult supervision.

15 December 2014

Sneeze or Don't Sneeze?

I listen to Lance Bass on Sirius on the way home from work.  They often play "Would You Rather?" but their questions seem more random than just the regular game.  Sometimes they're gross or silly choices and sometimes they're really thoughtful ones.

The other day one of the questions just made me giggle. And then there was this long discussion about one of the choices, of which I'm still thinking about.

This is ridiculous, I know.

The question was: Would you rather Not be able to determine the difference between a baby and a muffin (I know, right?)  OR change gender each time you sneezed.

I told you: ridiculous!!  Yet...

It wasn't the muffin question that made me wonder. I mean, I just would never, ever, eat muffins again.

The Gender Change was the one that had me thinking and them as well.  One of the people had lots of questions: What happens if you're having sex when you sneeze?  What happens if you're pregnant? Couldn't you just not sneeze?  Could you cause yourself to sneeze if you wanted?

See?  It's a deep, philosophical question.  Who knew?

I just thought it was fun to think about.  I asked Kevin on the way into family dinner and he immediately rolled his eyes.  Yet, I could see that it was making him think about it.

And now you're thinking about.  You're welcome.

PS I can't decide...

12 December 2014

You're Yelling at the Wrong Person

I had to go to the post office this morning.  I thought if I went early that it wouldn't be too bad.  I was wrong.  At 8:45 am, I was number seven or eight in line.  Like always, the counter was only staffed with two people.  I don't understand  how the post office determines how many people to keep waiting and for how long.  I'm sure there are charts and graphs.

Almost twenty minutes later, it was almost my turn.  The second person ahead of me was a woman with two small children.  (a four year old and a one year old, as we heard many times later)  The kids were fairly well behaved, considering the setting.  The other bystanders quietly ignored them as they chattered and ran around.

Then, all of a sudden, the mom calls across the lobby to the toddler "Have you made a stinky?"
Oh.

No.

Why, yes, he did.

Fantastic.

Luckily for everyone who could smell, it was their turn next.  Who had previously seemed like a perfectly reasonable human showed us that she was not so much once she reached the counter.
The patient and verbose parent turned into a dis-satisfied, yelly customer who was not to be appeased.

The gist of the story is that she ordered something online from Target.  She received a slip from the post office to come pick it up.  There was $7 postage due.  And she was pissed.

Well, this does indeed suck.  We were all in agreement there.  But here's the kicker.  Her voice immediately raised to the poor young girl who seemed like she was new on the job.  The clerk went to find a supervisor, leaving many customers waiting in frustration.

At least a few minutes passed when she returned, with no supervisor.  Again, the woman's voice raised.  "It's been TEN DAYS, I've been waiting to resolve this. I've come in three times, with the pleasure of the company of a four year old and a one year old. I've called but no one will talk to me or help me." Shocking, because she was so reasonable and accommodating.

She explained that she paid shipping through Target and there shouldn't be any charge. She refused to pay it. While she's right, she's arguing with the wrong place.  Her issue is with Target, not with the Post Office.  The clerk said that she could either refuse the package or pay the postage. Those were her two options.  She thought that was ridiculous.  Meanwhile, we all felt she was being ridiculous.

She said that she could reach anyone by phone and that there had to be someone to call directly.  Why won't anyone answer the phone!?!?!  The agent helping me quietly said "Because it's CHRISTMAS time and we're busy".

She demanded to speak to a supervisor RIGHT NOW.  When a new clerk came out to begin helping customers, she verbally accosted him. "Are YOU the supervisor???" He kind of giggled and said no.
The clerk helping me kind of muttered "Just grab the next person you see back there." to the clerk being yelled at.  I thought this was kind of clever, as the irate person wasn't really going to listen to anyone, she just wanted to yell at someone.

I quickly finished and scurried out.  The lady ahead of me, turned and nervously giggled "Whew, we're lucky to get out of there!"  

I think the others who were waiting probably would have given her the $7 just to be able to go on with their lives.  It's too bad really.  She really was yelling at the wrong people.




11 December 2014

My Brain May Have Been Rewired

I have an over-active imagination that I think I keep a pretty tight rein on, in real life.  Sure, there are closet monsters but we're all in agreement about that, right?  Closet monsters are real.

A few years ago I was chatting with one of the physical therapists and describing a situation where I *might* have been doing something I shouldn't have and I *might* have had an issue, but thankfully did not.

When what *might* have happened, happened, I immediately started swirling the drain.  "I've re-injured it. I knew I shouldn't be doing this but I did and now I'm going to have to re-do this whole thing" etc.  I do, after all, believe in Karma.

I justified myself over-reaction with a shrug and "I just have an overactive imagination."

She countered with "Or it's anxiety."

Wait, what?

I thought about it a second and asked her why she thought so.

She explained that often it's anxiety that makes you swirl the drain instead of reacting with "Oh, that was dumb. Don't do that."

Well then.  I must to think on that for awhile, I thought at the time.

So I did and have and I think some of that statement is true.  Some of it.  I think with me, it depends on the moment.  If I'm feeling guilty, like the above example, then I tend to swirl the drain. If it's something unfamiliar and I feel like I don't have enough information, then I swirl the drain.  Or if it's three in the morning.

But, if it's an emergency or trauma, I flip into Problem Solving Girl.  Or if it's someone else swirling the drain, I can deal rationally with them.   I think it might be situational and not a constant state of being.

Finally, I think this might be a recent trait developed after having thrown myself down the stairs, Kevin being sick, and other life's dramas that have rewired parts of my brain.  Maybe I need to call an electrician.





10 December 2014

Riding in Cars with Boys

This new job, man, I just don't know.  It's been a lot of sitting, doing nothing. BY DESIGN.  They want a lot of observation and easing in, with promises of busyness as time goes on. We have learned that THIS IS NOT THE WAY I AM WIRED.

So. Yeah.  Sigh.

A large part of orientation WEEK (yes, week) is doing ride-alongs with the tech guys.  There are three different areas of tech so I rode around with five different men.  Like I described to my friend, it's kind of a messed up speed dating.

Yikes, right?

Lucky for me, I live in boy world so I wasn't too intimidated.  I can speak their language. But I wondered, a lot, about girls who aren't comfortable. I'm guessing it's a whole lot of awkward.  I had awkward moments, even with common ground.

Kevin was a little surprised and maybe even a little concerned that the company would send me out with random guys all week.  I mean, I know everyone is licensed and bonded but still.

Back to the dating comparison...

They would actually come to my desk to pick me up.  They all, without fail, mentioned cleaning out their trucks so they would be clean for me to sit in. They were attentive while we were out on the call.  Most of them held the doors open for me. One of them, the quietest of the bunch, even bought me lunch at a restaurant. It had all the elements of dating, without the romantic tension.  It felt a little cheaty, frankly.

Now that I've mentioned that, I wonder if that's ever happened?  An office romance.  I imagine it must have.  It's a large enough group to provide the opportunity.

Like dating, there were all kinds of demographics.  Older gentlemen, younger guys, and in the middle-age range.  I think all of them are married.  (So, maybe that's why there is confidence in sending me out with them.)  Unlike the office guys, they are all active.  Three are musicians and two of them are mechanics.  Not a nerd among them.

It made me feel like I was back in my teens, dating.  Not necessarily a part of my life that I wanted to repeat.  It's terrifying to even consider doing something like that again.  If something ever happened to Kevin, I'm thinking I will just become a hermit.

09 December 2014

Things Our Traveling Partners Do While Traveling

Things our traveling partners do: 

Singing to the radio, commercials on the televisions in the airport, or street performers/bands
Reading signs as we pass by. (I actually spotted a business named "Pretty Kitty"... think waxing.)
Giggles as punctuation...my sister-in-law giggles at everything. It's a nervous habit that wears.
Heavy sighs...the Eeyore b-i-l sighs. Because vacation is hard. (*sarcasm*)
Repeating...both of them repeat things.  Gah.

One is kind of a good navigator and one is not.  This can be challenging.  Thank sweet baby jesus for GPS.


It's difficult to travel in a group so idiosyncrasies arise.  I'm sure we're not a piece of cake, the ADD pair of us.  I just made this phone using the Blogger app to keep from losing my mind/flying into a murderous rage/both.


Impromptu Tree Shopping

For years we've had a fake Christmas tree.  We tried twice to have a real one but it's just never worked for us.  This entails two stories of getting stuck in snow, throwing up, and a lost gun.  We'll tell that story another day.  (it wasn't our gun)

We had a wood stove for years so we bought a fake tree on sale years ago.   Last year, a few lights went out and I just decorated around them.  This year, most of the lights were out.  I was prepared to just buy lights and throw them on  there but Kevin had been making noise about having a real tree. After about 30 minutes of debate we went to buy one.  Because that's how we roll: no planning, no prep. Just GO.  When we left, we were still undecided so we took the 4Runner. (remember this for later)

We were on a time crunch because Kevin had plans and we both hate shopping.  We stopped at Fred Meyers to look at both fake and real trees.  Fake trees were either cheap but small (only 4 foot tall. They made me sad.)  or big and super expensive.  There was no mid-range trees available.

So we looked at the real trees and were unimpressed.  We found ourselves standing in the middle of the section trying to figure out what to do and why this was so difficult to accomplish.

Our options were: go to Wally World for a cheap, fake tree.  This was not actually an option but an item to be checked of the list. Or to buy an expensive fake tree there, when we knew we could get one less expensive elsewhere.  If we bought a real tree we would need a stand and lights so we had to figure out the math of what is the best purchase.

Off we went to the local farmers market that sells real trees.

I really want to do this again because it felt like walking into a Hallmark movie: Christmas tree smell, Christmas music playing, people wearing warm clothing and holiday hats.

Two random references: the trees are hung by twine from the ceiling so it was like a packing house for trees.  Also, I remembered the Friends episode where Phoebe was morally against Christmas trees and Chandler explained how the trees life purpose was to be a Christmas tree.

There were so many trees that it was like a corn maze walking through. Because they're hung, they spin when you brush past them. adding to the disorientation. Randy was still wearing his safety gear hoodie from work so he was easy to spot.  But all the trees were taller than me so I was easily lost.

The owner explained the two different kinds of trees so we would know more accurately what we needed.  I think it was a Noble Fir, but I can't swear to it.  One lasts and one doesn't.  The other difference is cosmetic.

We were wandering around and admiring trees when Kevin wondered aloud about getting a taller tree.  This surprised me a little because he's always been ambivalent about it.  He hesitated and I mentioned that for seven more dollars, or two mochas, he could have a taller tree. Why wouldn't we?
Then there were short jokes. As in "Then you can't reach the top" followed by my response "Then you'll have to help" then "I guess we're having a half-naked tree".

There was more qualities to consider than I thought.  You don't want a spindly weird top, you don't want an apple-bottomed, odd shaped tree.  The branches can't be too dense so decorations won't hang properly.  There can't be multiple weird gaps that can't be hidden by placing them toward the wall.

After about ten minutes, we chose a tree.  We kept gravitating back to it and finally just committed. The girl helper laughed that we likened it to dating, we kept being attracted to that specific tree.

Now, here's where the 4Runner comes into play.  4Runner...no truck bed.  It has a luggage rack but we didn't bring tie-downs.  Also, we had to travel on the freeway which would effectively make the tree into a Charlie Brown Christmas tree.

Here's where choosing a taller tree could have been a bad idea.  Luckily for all involved, it fit inside. The helper guy was pretty confident it would fit.  As 4Runners are common where we live, we believed him. Even if it did mean having the stump between the two of us on the way home.  (we didn't get any pitch on anything either. It's a Christmas Miracle!)  And needles everywhere!  It's okay, the truck will smell good for a while.

We got it home in one piece, had it set up quite quickly, then Kevin went off to play with his friends. Kind of a painless adventure, actually.

I decorated it while Kevin was gone and finished it through the course of the next day.  I still have too many ornaments, even with the bigger tree. Must.Stop.Buying.Them.  (futile statement, really)

The puppy is interested in the tree but I'm not too worried about her bothering it.  I think worse case she drinks from the base or knocks an ornament down while we're gone.  Missy used to do that with her tail, while I think Lucy would do it because Shiny Toy That Must Be Played With.  We'll see.

I guess we're Real Christmas Tree people now. I think that's a good thing.  We'll revisit that in January though.

So. Much. Stuff.

So much stuff going on.  Sweet baby jesus.

New job is kind of a bummer.  I'm on my second week and so far I'm so borrrrreeeeedddd.  I'll write a little more about that later.

Kevin's mom has been sick for the past few months with C.Diff.  You might recall that I battled that a few years ago.  It took me two months to be well and it's taking Kevin's mom at least twice that. They even did a fecal transplant on her.  All kinds of Eeeww.

On the shiny side/dark side, when they did a colonoscopy, they found a cancerous mass.  They removed it but they have to return to remove another section.

The problem being is the C. Diff. and her failing health.  She is not well enough to undergo anesthesia so they're going to do it the same way as the colonoscopy.  This seems unpleasant, I'm not going to lie.

The procedure is on Christmas Eve.  In Seattle.  (two hours away) Merry Christmas.

Shiny side is that they found it.  It could have waited for another year for her annual check.  This is extra shiny side as it's an aggressive form of cancer caught early.

Dark side is, well, all of it.

We have known for years that something like this was going to happen.  She's been in poor health for years.  All of her siblings have had or died from cancer so clearly they carry the gene.

Kevin is taking it well.  Kind of like was stated in the above paragraph, he's known for years and he is a realist. We talk about it in little chunks at a time so we can both deal at our own pace.

At the same time, I'm having issues with my bionics.  I have (squick alert) a screw protruding.  I have an appointment with the ortho surgeon on Thursday to see what to do with that.  I'm sure it's going to be pleasant.

So, recap: boring job, cancer, Christmas, and protruding screw.  So. Much. Stuff.


30 November 2014

Growth Charts

I used to miss the time when the kids were little.  Well, some of the kids are still "Little" but they're growing so quickly.

On Thanksgiving, our beloved Seahawks played.  We watched the game before, during, and after dinner.  This made my usually awkward holiday a little more bearable. 

What I didn't realized is that my younger niece loves the Seahawks.  She wore the jersey of Russell Sherman and knew stuff about football that I didn't know.  It made the game so much more fun to watch.  Now we communicate via Pinterest, Instagram, and Seahawks. 

Also, I actually was able to spend time with her boyfriend a while ago.  I discovered that he is a lot like Kevin in the fact that he will talk about trucks and four-wheeling for a long while.  He's kind of a quiet version of Kevin. I really enjoy him, and them together.

On the other side of the family, we've discovered that I can get my nerd on with my grown niece and her husband.  Niece knows Doctor Who and old movies and Husband loves the new developments in space. 

The bigs are teens now and so they're not as rambunctious and interactive as they once were.  The oldest big is as tall as I am now, a milestone for sure.  He's been working on that since forever.  We did a fist bump after Kevin declared him taller.

The littles are really becoming their own now.  They've always been slightly different but now we're really watching their difference characteristics developing.  One is quiet and reserved and likes to hang out with the adults.  The other is more active and wants to do stuff, all the time.  The girl has become a little more girly in that she wants to just chill and watch television while snuggling or read a book.  

I guess the point is I now understand the happiness that grandparents get watching their kids/grandchildren grow into adults.

27 November 2014

25 November 2014

Smart Alec Friends are the Best Friends

At the racetrack in Vegas we leave our stuff in our friends racecar trailer while we're there instead of packing it around.  Stuff like coats, water, supplies, my stuff.  It's never been a problem.  Until.

Until our friend leaves a little early from the racetrack and forgets to tell us.  We were in the stands and he was so happy to be finished early that he got distracted.

I decided to go wait in the rental car on Saturday night because Vegas is cold at night in November.  Imagine my surprise when I walk into the pit and it's a ghost town.  Everything is locked up and the lights are off.

Another one of our friends were pitted right next door.  I asked them where our friend went and they said "Well, they finished early so they took off."

Cue: meltdown.

I was tired, cold and over it.  "But our keys are on there.  My ID, everything!"

I never melt down but: tired, cold, over it.   Our friend immediately switched into Dad Mode.  "What can we do to help you?  What do you need?"

I need, oh, my keys.  My wallet.  My STUFF. I need to be in a warm hotel room or rental car.  Again with the Dad Mode: "It's okay, we'll figure it out.  Do you want a ride?  We'll take you anywhere you want to go."

The parents of the other crewmember was in their motorhome next door.  Our friend told me to go knock on their door and see if they had keys.  So I did.  I knocked on their door.
This is where I remembered that I'm five-foot-three.  If they look out the window, they're going to think someone Ding Dong Ditch'd them.  So I backed way up and stood on tippy toes so they could see me.

Nope, they didn't have keys.  Sigh.  So I called our friend.  They had just arrived at Fremont, about twenty minutes away.  He sounded a little nervous when I asked him if I could just borrow a saws-all, tin snips, or bolt cutters from any of the fellow racers.  He said that they would be right back. Vandalism is a motivator, who knew? 

So I sat down in one of the chairs that was forgotten outside to wait and pout.  I called Kevin and told him what happened.  He said he would come so I wasn't sitting in an empty pit by myself.

Our other friend finished packing up and asked again if I needed anything.  "You can sit in the truck with us, we'll wait with you."  This, I thought, was very sweet. I told him no, that I would only be waiting a few minutes and Kevin was on his way.  So they finished loading up.

One of his crew (who I don't know very well) came over and very gently said "Surely, we're leaving now so I just wanted to ask.  I'm locking up the trailer so is there anything of yours in there?"

I laughed out loud and called him a not very nice name.  Our friends are so great, I love them so.

Our friend arrived about ten minutes later.  His other crew member took the keys and went to the living quarters part of the trailer.  I told him that our stuff was in the car carrier part.  He laughed and almost shouted "I have to PEE! so unless you want to get wet, get out of the way." 

It was like a sitcom. One that I hope never re-runs.

Job Search...finished

The day before we left for Vegas I accepted a job.  I am freaking out.  Seriously, I can't even.

The interview was in three parts: phone, person one and person two.  In three consecutive days.  I kind of like that it went so quickly, no possibility of hyper-focusing. And that I immediately left on vacation afterward so I couldn't have a complete meltdown.

Details:
Private sector job.  This is the first private sector job I've held as a grown-up.  I've always worked in the non-profit world.  I'm assuming it's not terribly different but there's sure to be some differences.

Full-time.  I know, I know, I know.  I'm going to try it, knowing that it might/probably be a failure.  I am panicking about that  and about not having time on my hands that I've become accustomed to with working part time.

Wage & Benefits are the same as my old job.  I'm starting over with vacation days but that's not an issue for me so much.  This is part of the reason I accepted the job.

Nerds.  My first interviewer used a Sheldon pen (Big Bang Theory) that talks.  "Bazinga!"
My second interviewer is a Trekkie and a Doctor Who fan.   As are all the office staff.

Nerf Guns.  I will be issued a nerf gun.

What the What.  I'm a coordinator.  It's a new position so they don't even really know what I'll be doing day to day.  This could be great and could suck.  We'll see.
It's for a security company (locksmith, security & fire suppression systems)

Weird. They were a vendor I used at my old job.

So, December first begins a new adventure.  We shall see.

All About the Fashion

Example #2 of "Click Publish...GAH"

Something you might know about me was another writing prompt the other day.  I know, I know, I ranted about Don't Tell Me What to Write but still.   It occurred to me at 11:00 pm the other night (as many things do) there is something that people probably don't know.

I love Project Runway.

(pause for gasps of shock)

I don't remember when I started watching it but it is safely stated as years ago.  I do remember why: the Unconventional Challenge.  This challenge is where they send them someplace crazy like the hardware store, or my favorite the candy store. (and I actually saw the winning dress!)  They have to choose materials to make a dress or outfit.  What people do with candy, zip-ties, party favors, or garbage bags are incredible.  I'm amazed.

With my lack of eyesight, sewing will probably never be a skill I will have.  I can't thread a needle.  Can't as in Can't See, not Can't Want To.  The lack of depth perception makes sewing ones of those exercises in frustration.

So I sit in rapt attention as these people make dresses in one day like it's nothing but a thing.  Yes, they're stressed out but they still make something.  I would just be under a table eating my hair.

I am impressed with their ability to just get lost in something.  Remember that feeling? Just getting lost in something like playing with toys or coloring.  I don't get that feeling anymore.  My brain is just always going too fast; even when I'm writing.

I love watching to see what the judges like versus what I like.  I know fashion is subjective, much like art.  Sometimes they'll love something and I'm all WTF are you TALKING about!?!  Or I will love something and they're all "Meh" about it.

This, however, when I say that I wouldn't wear most of what they create as I'm still a jeans and sneakers girl.  Nor would I be interested in working in the fashion world.  It seems so stressful.

I have also begun watching the Fashion Fund, where designers of all kinds (clothing, shoes, jewelry, hats! who wears hats!?!) compete to win a prize from all the Board of All Fashion Designers, including Anna Wintour and Diane Von Furstenberg.  It seems like it's an incredibly difficult thing to do and, again, I'm impressed that people would willing sign up for this. 

And then there's a new show that's the House of DVF.  It is about Diane Von Furstenberg finding an "ambassador" for her company.  It's interesting because she is looking for someone who has lots of different talents instead of just a pretty face.  Also, I respect her for saying that she realizes that she might not be the best face for the company now.  She's matter-of-fact about aging and I like that, especially from someone in a world that is all about the fresh new face.

So, yeah.  Nerdy little me loves to watch fashion shows.  Who knew?

Click "Publish"...GAH

Written two weeks ago...

With our trip quickly approaching I have two different To Do lists going.  One has to be completed on the day we leave.  Simple things like close the curtains and the bedroom door.

The second one is stuff that has piled up over the past few months plus regular monthly errands. Special dog food, glasses adjusted from said special dog food eater, and two returns. The other day I bought two shirts, one fit perfectly and the other same style/different color shirt did not. How is that possible? The cashier says it happens all the time.  I also bought a pair of jeans that were a little too big and reached my rib cage. And of course, these returns are from two different stores.

A fun detail is that three of these tasks required going to the mall.  No one goes to the mall anymore, do they?  Unless it's something like Christmas or back-to-school shopping.  I was tempted to browse but I didn't have quite enough time.  I think I need to go back.  I can't remember the last time I walked through it.  It could possibly be more than two years ago.  I'm sure it looks the same but maybe there is a surprise there.

Instead I had a button sewn back on a pair of cords and a squeak investigated in a pair of dress shoes.   The button was Free! and the shoe repair was $5.00.  You have to love that.  With my refunds from the returns I paid for the shoes and groceries and an iced mocha.  That, my friend, is a good day.




Oh, Hi

We just returned last night from our race in Vegas.  It went really well, the friend that Kevin crews for placed third out of twenty cars and set all his personal best goals.  Huge success.

There are, of course, lots of stories to tell.  I'm just sending up a flare that we're home safe and tired.  Also, that I've miserably failed at NaNoBloMo.  This was as I figured.  But: reasons.


15 November 2014

Don't Prompt Me

One of the NaNoBloMo post suggestions was "Write about a skill you possess that someone else might not have".  As I am complete rubbish at anything domestic, I was skeptical of this topic and ignored it.

Then I realized that I used to be a licensed pyrotechnician and I could write about that.  But the nuts and bolts of it are actually kind of boring and I've written about it before. So,  a synopsis: it's hard, dangerous work for little pay but the crowd noise makes it worth it.  I still miss doing it and would do it again in a heartbeat but I was outvoted. (Stupid democracy) 

The other topic would be the racecar but that is all kinds of boy talk that most people think is boring. Something surprising about it is I've learned a lot about physics and geometry over the years.  This is the Universe's joke on me after all my complaints about those topics while in school.

The other thing I could think of is this, the writing.  Explaining something like this is difficult as it's a personal and individual thing.  It's like explaining how one breathes, you just do it.  I guess I could best explain it as I try to write like I talk.  Thus explaining the run-on sentences, random punctuation, spaces, and capitalizations.

The nonconformist in me hates writing prompts a little bit.  I Write What I Want!  It's like having a writing assignment in school sometimes.  Once we were instructed to journal once a week for the entire quarter.  This was before this sort of thing was cool and normal.  To be honest, I forgot all about it. (I know, you're surprised.)   So when the teacher reminded us that it was due in a few days, I had to figure something out quickly.
So, I wrote an essay on why I didn't journal.  Totally got an "A".

Yeah, not much has changed with me.





11 November 2014

Job Search Adventures, continued

Seriously?

 Reception/ Front Desk (Downtown Bellingham)

compensation: salary + bonus
Reception position available at a high-end health and wellness studio. This upbeat environment requires an individual who can demonstrate amazing multitask abilities (workplace kung-fu) during a variety of day-to-day, face-to-face customer encounters. The right candidate for this position is fun, very outgoing, positive, a people-person, as well as loves games and rewards for reaching targets. Reply to this posting with your resume and a brief description of why you would be perfect for the job. Also (VERY IMPORTANT): Put in your subject line: "Kung-Fu master found" so that we know you read the whole job posting.

10 November 2014

What Kind of Cake?

Kevin and I are known to communicate in hyperbole and superlatives. I swear if someone overheard some of our conversations they would think that we'd either gone insane or about to conduct a gun duel.

Kevin's mom often calls to ask if we want dinner or dessert. Often, Kevin will say something along the lines of "I don't know, Mom.  Surely really doesn't like your cooking."  He says it so convincingly too.  His mom, who is really sweet, always seems to accept it on face value.  As if he would ever say it and mean it.  As if I would ever say it, aloud.

Last night, his mom phoned to ask if we would like some cake.  She had some Red Velvet cake last week so Kevin asked if was the week old cake or something new.  This was a half genuine question because she's had strokes and sometimes sh*t happens.  (example: biscuits and gravy with blueberry biscuits or serving cold pork and beans with tacos)

I didn't hear her response so when Kevin asked if I wanted some cake, I sincerely said I didn't want week-old cake.  Kevin repeats what I said and adds "She's such a bitch, Mom."

I was tearing up, I was laughing so hard.  For once, I was serious.

This Week's Edition of I'm a Total Liar

Remember when I said that I had way too many Halloween decorations?  Then I bought the little ghost bobblehead because he asked to come live at my house? Well, then I bought a jack o'lantern bobblehead because: Jack O'Lantern bobblehead.

Look at this happy little family:

I'm impressed that they're not in compromising situation courtesy of Kevin





And then today, things were on sale!  Things that I've been resisting for a month now.  But for $3.00, I can find room for this guy:

C'mon, He LIGHTS up!
 I'm sure I can decorate them for Thanksgiving and Christmas as well.


08 November 2014

Future Operator

Kevin has a pretty dangerous job and I don't often hear stories about what he does. The rule usually is I don't hear about sketchy jobs until they are done, if at all.

Today though was different.

He was running a loader that has a bucket that a small convertible will fit in. A customer came in with a truck and trailer needing material. He had a little boy with him who was having the best day ever seeing all these big boy toys.

After Kevin talked to the dad about what was needed, Kevin explained that the trailer would need to be backed up.

The dad picked up the little boy and put him in the trailer to ride while he backed up a little bit while
Kevin climbed up into the loader to wait.

Once he was up there he looked down to see the boy looking concerned. Seeing Kevin looking at him the boy sternly raised his hand to him, signaling him (appropriately) to wait.

Kevin motioned backed Okay but the boy continued to signal until his dad stopped and got him down.

Kevin loaded the trailer while the little boy watched and nodded.  When he finished and pulled along the trailer, he spotted the boy again.

He was giving Kevin an enthusiastic Thumbs Up.

Kevin climbed down to talk with the dad. He laughed and said "Okay, that was one of the cutest things I've ever seen" and he explained what happened.

The boy nodded while Kevin told the story. Kevin told him "You were safe, weren't you?  You did a good job!"

Can you imagine? Best day ever. For both boys perhaps.


07 November 2014

Dawning Realizations

Remember that scene in Say Anything where they are talking about being married after Lloyd and Diane have sex?  Where they talk about how everything is going to change and the one friend says something along the lines of Years from now you'll be walking along and think "We've had sex."

I wondered about that at the time, if a person would think that.  Of course, I didn't think of it again until many (too many, frankly) years later when I watched the movie again. 

I am unsure if the statement is true or not. I do know that there are moments when it just hits that We Are Married. Right now. Married. I chose this guy. This great guy chose Me.

So, no, I haven't thought that specifically but I've had similar trains of thoughts. That dawning realization of "This is my life right now."

Thankfully, these are mostly happy realizations and not I Need A Good Alibi realizations.

05 November 2014

Immediate Gratificaton for the Win

You know what is strangely satisfying?  Power washing.  Talk about immediate gratification.

Kevin was trying to get about three thousand things done over the weekend.  With the time change, he has very little daylight hours available now.  It's dark when he leaves and comes home. This leaves weekends, some of which he works Saturdays.

He began powerwashing our deck and I stepped out to see what was happening.  OMG, it's like the best thing ever.  Just spray it and it looks new!  Must.To.Do.It.

I offered to help and Kevin was reluctant.  Not because he was doubting my skills but because we have The Deal.  The Deal being that I am responsible for the inside of the house and he is responsible for the outside of the house. This fell into the Outside of the House category.

But the need to get things done in a limited period of time won him over.

I washed the deck until the Seahawks game started.  Then Kevin and I went inside to watch.  At half-time, we took turns washing.  The instant gratification pleases Kevin as well.  Paired with his guilt of sharing chores, there was a bit of a struggle of whose turn it was.

But the game came back on and by the end, it was pouring down rain and getting dark.

Yesterday morning I returned to this most pleasing task.  It was sprinkling and due to storm later in the day so I sucked it up and went outside.  I put on one of Kevin's work sweatshirts, which was bright orange and a little water-resistant.  A little.  By the end, water resistant could be defined as "it has a hood."  I'm sure I was quite a sight, with my orange sweatshirt, red LL Bean slip-ons, purple headphones, and soaking wet.

I did enjoy having my headphones in and listening to my music.  I keep downloading music on my phone but not listening because I'm home all day.  (usually I listen to music like this at work)  I'm sure my in-laws appreciated the singing along and possible dance moves, if they happened to come outside.

I only did the floor of the deck, which is quite large.  It wraps around the corner of our house.  I considered doing the railing but, rain, and the railings are hard.  I'm not so much tall so it's more suited for Kevin.  On a selfish note, the spindles would be frustrating because there are four sides to many, many of them.

This is where I say a task such as this, while satisfying, also has big potential of triggering the ocd.  Because you see your progress instantaneously and it triggers the Do All The Things part of the ocd.
Thus, the not having sense to come in out of the rain.

It just looks so nice. I want to continue but I know that I'll just be frustrated at the difficulty level.  And soaking wet.  And my hands, omg, my hands were so cramped.

As a treat, I took the puppy to the coffee stand and we both got treats.  Then we snuggled with the blanket and watched television. We might have napped but you can't prove anything.

Behold:

One corner. Totally fun pushing the barbecue on a slippery surface.

Center section. Yep, totally powerwashed the little table too.






Right corner. The light is darker because: RAIN.



04 November 2014

Reasons I Shouldn't Cook

Subtitle: Things that Catch Fire

A. Towels
B. Potholders
C. Waxed paper
D. Paper Towels
E. Boxes
F. Food

This Seems Legit

In the latest chapter of Job Search Adventure, I received an offer for employment.  You look to see if it's a good idea:

Dear Applicant, 
Thanks for responding to the job post. I received your email with interest in the position posted but unfortunately that position has been taken but I have an offer for you if interested. I want to believe and hope I am dealing with an honest, responsible person because I usually would not hire anyone this way but I urgently need the services of a Personal Assistant due to my very busy schedules.
My name is Brenda Palmigiano(Advocate for Deaf truckers) and i also do Interior Designs, Decorations & Art collections with a large client base and because of my job I'm constantly out of the State. My former Personal Assistant just got married and moved to Canada. If you accept my offer, I will need you to take charge of my  errands, and will also have my mails/packages forwarded to a nearby post office where you can pick them from at your convenience.
All errands will be in your city/town so it is not a must you have a car, but if you do it might be a plus. When you get my mails/packages, you will be required to mail them to where I want them mailed too. The content of the packages will be business and personal mails. All expenses and taxes will be covered by me and you are to work for just 2 days per week (4 hours daily). You will be doing this for 3 weeks until I get back to town so we can formally meet and discuss about the possibility of making this arrangement long term if I'm satisfied with your performance.
How much will you charge per week? Am willing to pay $300 weekly including gas and others expenses. That is not a bad offer i presume! If you accept this offer please reply with the following details:
Full Name, Physical/Residential contact address, Apt #, City, State, Zip Code, Cell number, Home number, Current Occupation and Available hours.
I will be needing your service immediately, so once you send all this information, i will make a back ground check on your details and will get back to you within 24 hrs to let you know if you get the job and also what your first assignment will entail. After that, I will request your first week payment be mailed to you along with the pay to run errands for me.
Kindly get back soon and have a nice day. 
Thank you and God Bless!
So, Gmail flagged this as suspicious.  It arrived at midnight on Halloween.  "Dear Applicant"   and Please send me all your pertinent information.   Blindly receive and send packages.

What could possibly go wrong?
It is a real person, I checked.  But she's from New York and the interwebs say nothing about interior design.  I wonder if she knows this is happening?  I'm not wading in though.  I only kept the email for entertainment purposes.
AND THEN, in the same email thread I received:
 
Good Morning

        Dear applicant, we apologize for the delay in response, as in regards to your resume that was forwarded to our head department for the Data Entry/Administrative Assistant Position, The Hiring Desk  has  reviewed your resume for the Data Entry/Administrative Assistant  Position and we believe you have the required qualifications to proceed. 
This is a Data Entry/Administrative Assistant Position, Working hours are from 8am-3pm, Monday-Friday. The starting pay is $24.00 /hr for this  Data Entry/Administrative Assistant Position, you are also expected to 
come online through Yahoo Messenger during working hours.I want you to setup a yahoo messenger and if you have one already use it, add Mr adam diaz the Interview Manager and IM his on this ID (adamdiaz2014@yahoo.com
asap for the interview/briefing and comprehensive job details.This is our first step to proceed further. he will be on online waiting for you. Interview Schedule date/time is From Monday to Friday  (8am-5pm).

Best Regards

Again, non-specific "Dear Applicant" and the sketchy requirement to set up a messaging service contact.  Then there's the big hourly wage for a job that doesn't require it.  Mr Adam Diaz doesn't seem to exist on the interwebs. 

Sigh.   


 

03 November 2014

The Talk

Swistle had two interesting topics the other day: "Talking to kids about sex without religion"
 and "Teenagers and Dating and Friends"

Not being a parent, I usually don't comment or think much about parenting posts but these really caught my attention.  My first response to the sex and religion this was "One has nothing to do with the other."  But I realize that is only relevant in my world.  It very much relates in others worlds.

I was self-educated on the subject when I was a child.  The class that everyone else had in the fifth or sixth grade was cancelled for some reason and they never rescheduled it.  (at least that's how I remembered it)   My parental talk was "You know about all that stuff, right?"  One of many examples I can provide of being raised by wolves.  Church, as I'm sure you're unsurprised, had no place in the house as well.

Swistle mentioned having books around for the kids to browse in case of any interest.  I thought this was a great idea, giving kids an opportunity to learn in their own time and interest and greatly reducing embarrassment.  One of the books listed was actually how I learned about "all that stuff", at a friends house nonetheless.

Having had issues, shall we call it, as a child and teen, sex wasn't big on my priority list.  I did have the goal not to become an After School Special during high school.  Also, I was in high school during the AIDS epidemic so sex was practically scary to contemplate.  I remember a teacher saying that "Having sex with one person is actually having sex with all the people they've been with as well."
Yeah, that is a strong visual.  Kept me out of trouble for awhile.

I didn't have many rules as a teen.  I had a curfew of midnight but I'm not sure anyone was really paying attention.  I began officially dating at almost sixteen but had done the group dating for a few years prior to that.  Whether or not my parents were aware is a mystery. Teenagers are arrogant and self-centered so who knows if I'd even notice?

Luckily maybe, I emerged from my teens mostly unscathed.  Well, let's try that again.  Not unscathed perhaps. I was married at nineteen, almost exactly one year after graduation, to a psychopath.  So, there's that. 

Another perspective was one of my nieces mentioning something about having sex a while ago.  I was aware that she was active and that her dad had provided the education.  (give a shout out to single dads with daughters, I don't know how they handle that particular area) I told her to just be safe and don't make stupid choices.

The Nephew is pretty open about these things and I'm always impressed at his candor, even if it does make me wince every once in a while.  He has one teen and a preteen right now so he will be living full-time in Hormone City here pretty quickly.

Kevin is very matter-of-fact: It's going to happen so best arm them with the tools and knowledge they need.

I think teens are likely to have some form of sex. This is not new behavior, it's been happning for generations. I think what has changes is education and the removal of shame.

Our friend, Angie, does have a strong faith and coincidentally, the subject came up.  She said that she listed goals that she would like her daughter to accomplish in high school. (she'll be a freshman next year).  The last one on the list was "Don't have sex until after high school."

I thought it was interesting that she acknowledged a) that it is a possibility and b) that she doesn't have an expectation of abstinence until marriage.

I think education and emphasizing safety and respect are the best tools. A parent can provide that to the best of their ability, regardless of religious beliefs. Everything else is up to the teen.



On Fridays, We Wear Blue

I'm not a huge sports fan.  I like baseball and could really enjoy hockey if I dedicated my attention.
Hahaha, like that's possible. I used to watch football but lost the taste for it.

Seattle sports teams are notoriously horrible.  Every once in a while, a divisional championship is possible or even won.  But like a bad sports movie, the teams seem to fold like a bad lawn chair. The exception is the WNBA team, The Storm, but sadly no one watches them play.  Soccer is slowly gaining popularity but the Sounders get lost between baseball and football.

Then came the Seahawks.  All of a sudden, there is a sense of excitement in the air.  Suddenly, everyone is a fan.  When they are playing, the neighborhoods are quiet.  Everyone is watching or listening to the game.  Even Kevin, who is not even a little bit a sports fan, will watch the game.  Even our Canadian friends are huge fans, they consider the Seahawks their team.

Every Friday, "We Wear Blue" is a thing.  If you go into a store, everyone has jerseys or t-shirts.  Cars are decorated.  It's kind of cool.

It's fun to be part of the 12th Man.

01 November 2014

NaBloPoMo

Every November, thousands of bloggers commit to posting daily. I am going to participate and try to post every single day this month.   As we're out of town later this month and I'm not bringing my laptop, this will be a little challenging.  I will have to schedule a few posts, or cheat and throw up a photo or quote instead.

They say if you can do something for 30 days, it becomes an engrained habit.  We'll just see about that.

There is also NaNoWriMo, which is writing a novel in thirty days but I think that it setting myself up for failure. Well, certain failure versus possible failure.

So, let's see how this goes, shall we?

30 October 2014

Unbelievable

Unbelievable.  I can't understand how this keeps happening again and again.

I've started this post a few times.  I just cant EVEN wrap my mind around another school shooting, let alone one that isn't that far away from here.   We know people that have children/siblings that attend and work at
the high school.

It's not a typical shooting, which I think makes it worse.  It appears to be an impulsive act of a heartbroken teenager.  It is an After School Special in the worst of ways.

Bottom line: there is no understanding this.




In 21 Days

We booked our trip to Vegas for next month.  I really had reservations (unintentional pun!) about going with the whole being unemployed thing but I figured a few days away won't hurt anything other than our savings.

It will be a working vacation for Kevin because he will be crewing on our friends racecar.  I'm pretty doggone proud of him, as he's grown into the guy that people seek him to help.  With these new responsibilities, he has gained so much more knowledge and skills.   I'm curious to see where these new talents take him in the future.

When he crews here at home I don't usually go with him unless we're racing as well.  Instead, I cyber-stalk him and watch on the track video.  In Vegas I will probably spend more time at the track than usual because otherwise I might not see him much.  Also, I need photos! I do want to watch the racing too, especially since so many of our friends are racing, just not three solid days of it.

This is going to sound a little awful, but the very best time I had in Vegas was when it was just the boys and me. The boys went to the track and I slept in as long as I wanted, I went where I went and for as long as I wanted.  I learned how to drive in Vegas proper instead of just the Strip.   It was truly a vacation for me.

Last year, you might remember, I was super frustrated because a certain family member left her cane home because she "didn't want to deal with it".  This same person needed me to go buy a cane 24 hours later because she couldn't walk.  Also, she doesn't do any of the self care that is required when you have a major injury. (braces, proper shoes, CANE, rest, ice, limited mobility, none of it!)  Copious amounts of complaining and needing accommodations, oh yes that she does.

So, i was hoping that she wouldn't go this year because she recently had another surgery for her injuries but alas, not so much.  The Nephew and Fiance are going so I'm hoping that will alleviate much of the babysitting duties.  Otherwise, I have fear of gunplay.

Next up is the other one.  The other one who is neurotic and makes Eeyore look like Tigger.  He doesn't trust anyone or anything.  The sign says turn left to get to the place with the thing and he will question the sign.  We began teasing him so much that he stopped this behavior, a little bit.  Another example was we had been on the highway to the Grand Canyon for thirty minutes when he insisted that his GPS said we were going the wrong way. He muttered about it so much Kevin got off the highway, asked for directions, then got back into the van without saying a word and returned to the highway we were traveling on.

So, fun traveling companions, they are not.  To add insult to injury, our BFF Mike isn't going this year so he won't be there to provide respite.  I've seriously and sincerely considered drinking again just for this trip.

My plan is to spend more time than usual at the racetrack, even if it is sitting out in the rental car listening to the radio and racing and reading a book.

We have been there so much that we've seen all that we really want to see.  I only have three things on my list this year: the Wheel, the Mob Museum, and taking Kevin up on the Eiffel Tower.  The fact that two of these require heights is not lost on me. My plan is to go at night so one can't quite see how far up you are.  I did the Eiffel Tower in the daytime and that was a big mistake so at night will be much better, for sure.  We're going to do these the first day in town so the remaining days will be at my disposal.

I love the Titanic exhibit and have walked through it twice but I admit I might sneak another visit.  We did all the CSI Experience exhibits so we don't need to do that again.  I want to go to the Arts District too, I've only driven through.  We need to go eat at the PepperMill.  We keep saying we're going to then never do.

So, in three weeks I will have four days in Vegas to break the monotony that is my life right now.  Essentially, I'm just relocating from the couch in our house to the couch/rental car in Vegas. Plus, maybe alcohol.  Or counseling.  Or both.



So, what's my point?  a) we're going even though it's not the most grown-up thing for me to do.  b) we're traveling with very challenging people. c)I'm hoping to spend my vacation reading books and watching mindless television.

Last year, I discovered the show Cold Justice,where they solve cold cases, but in real.  I watched that every afternoon and many episodes of Castle.  I would go upstairs and get a snack from one of the food court restaurants in the early evening so I wasn't stabby when the boys got back.  I had books to read and a view of the mountains and crazy people jumping off the Tower.  It was really nice.  But the mornings were spent sightseeing with someone I didn't necessarily enjoy.