15 January 2018

On This Day...

I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.

14 January 2018

Looking Back Forward

I had high hopes for 2018 and then it had me run into two former boyfriends in twenty-four hours.  Two more and I'll have revisited my entire romantic history.  *thanks, universe* <----muttered gritted="" p="" teeth.="" through="">
I mean it's not awful, it could have been worse.  There was no/little baggage with these guys but still.

Both times I was scrubby because the universe has a sense of humor.  The first time it was raining outside and because I hate coats, I was not at my best appearance-wise.  Although comparatively the last time he saw me was at his father's funeral so I guess I have that going for me? *wincing*

The second time I was with Kevin, which is always a hoot.  This is the one guy that Kevin very jokingly says "And you slept with him!"  Way to make it weird, Kev.  

These interactions came on the heels of a new "friend" on the facebook that I made during the holidays.  It was a guy I knew when I was dating/married the first time.  We never dated but he was the only one who said "What are you doing with this guy?" before I married the first time.

He posted a photo that just kicked my ass.  It was a photo of his car (that he had when we knew each other) parked in front of a shop that I spent a lot of time at (owned by the family of the best man in my first wedding) looking at the store he used to work at, and overlooked by my former husband's family business.  It was a weird encapsulation of my history in one photo.

It was a very Sliding Doors moment. A glimpse of what life not only looked like then but a glimpse of an alternate future.  You're giving me whiplash, universe.

(he's a former FBI guy so Hi! if you image search your photos)

Why I Hate White Elephants...

One of my least favorite things in the entire universe is white elephant exchanges.  Invariably, and I mean every.single.time, I get the crap present.  I knew this but never said anything about it to anyone until Kevin mentioned it during the holidays.  I didn’t realize that he noticed but he did.

His work did a gift exchange at their party.  The difference being is that the owner bought all the gifts and they were not cheap gifts.  As we watched, there were a few things that we nudged each other and nodded approvingly.  There were others that I was like “Umm, no. don’t choose a present that is that shape.”  Those were the kitchen appliances, like mixers and toasters. 

Kevin ended up choosing an expensive multi-tool, a definite boy thing.  He was mildly excited about it but not over the moon. It’s not really something he will carry with him and use frequently. He has some of my gift exchange karma, I think.

Now, fast forward to my work party.  I’m in a room with twenty people, many of whom I don’t know.  I’ve worked here for just over ninety-days at this point.  This gift exchange was $10 gift cards so not a bad idea, really.  Until it was.

I bought a Fred Meyer/Kroger card because a) I forgot about it and 2) I went with practicality. 

Yeah, I totally chose my own card.  They were all in all the same envelopes so you couldn’t tell which was which.  I played it cool, figured that I guess it’s a win.  Then the boss stole it from me so I had to choose again. 

A coffee card…hooray! Except it was for a town fifteen minutes away.  (see? Bad karma)  Then someone stole it. (I know!)  I chose another gift card and it was for Itunes.   Sigh.  I’m not an Apple person, I hate their products, actually.  But I thought “Shiny side: I can give it to one of the kids for their stocking.” 

Then someone else who also had bad exchange karma and he caught my eye.  Silently we agreed to trade cards after it was all said and done.  Hooray!  We both worked it out.

It was a $10 gift card for wally world.  Not great and my first thought was like the Itunes card: I’ll just use it on the kids.  But then I didn’t.  Fast forward one month and I’m shopping for a mattress topper.  I spent a little more than I planned because I had a ten dollar gift card.

I swear to sweet little eight pound baby jesus this is true:  It didn’t work.  I know!

Now I mentioned in a previous post that my mother-in-law wanted to do a gift exchange at Christmas for the adults.  We were against it because there is a person in the family who is sensitive pants and ugh, just no. 

We agreed that the gifts should be $15-20 and to buy one boy gift and one girl gift.  I purposefully and thoughtfully chose gifts that people could use.  Something useful and not something off the sale rack.  Something I wouldn't mind getting myself.

Then my sister in law decided to look up games on the interwebs just to make it more awkward, I guess.  We all were given a gift then had to roll a die to see if we passed gifts left or right or kept our gift.  We did two rounds of this with eleven adults.  It was awkward and weird and we all hated it. (and totally effed the boy girl thing, by the way)

Yeah, I totally ended up with a gift I bought.  It was a gardening set so it wasn’t awful but it also wasn’t something I was excited about or needed.  Kevin got a Ten-in-One game set that we’ll never use. 

I returned the gardening set and spent the cash at the dollar store and second hand store.  I guess it was a win, other than just being annoyed.  the game set is just going to sit in a cupboard until I get frustrated looking at it and send it to Goodwill.

So, can we just not with the gift exchanges?  Someone is always unhappy, people are usually uncomfortable, and it rarely comes out fairly.  

Let's just give each other candy and move on with our lives.  No one hates candy, right?  I mean I'd literally rather have a white chocolate elephant shaped candy than endure a gift exchange.  Can someone make this happen before next Christmas?

01 January 2018

This Year...


Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story. 

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. 

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism. 

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass. 

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself. 

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. 

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. 

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy. 

Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.

It's the New Year's Meme!

It’s tradition! The New Years Meme!

1. What did you do in 2017 that you’d never done before?
*thinking*  I'm sure there's something...

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

I believe that I mostly did. I just can't even this year. 

My resolutions for 2018:
To be determined at a later date. Like, 2019.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Nope, no new babies this year. 

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Yes, a good friend at the end of 2016 and his father just a few months ago. An aunt we weren't close to.  It feels like I'm forgetting someone and isn't that awful?

5. What countries did you visit?

"Oh Canada, our home and native land.."
(This is not my favorite question...Let's try: What trips did you take?  Well, none but we went on a few fun roadtrips!)

6. What would you like to have in 2018 that you lacked in 2017?
Peace and contentment

7. What dates from 2017 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
The day I unexpectedly lost my job in March. I'm still not recovered from that experience and don't know that I ever will be.  The day of Kevin's procedure now with some time passed I can see the humor of it and not the initial worry.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Putting one foot in front of another each day. Not running away to Canada.

9. What was your biggest failure?
I'm grateful that I can't think of one but this year as a whole felt like failure.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Not this year!  I'm on a two-year spree!  Go, me!

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Although upset at the time because it was unplanned, my new-to-me Durango.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Anyone who has made it through this no good, awful, terrible year.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

He Who Shan't Be Named and the people who support him.

14. Where did most of your money go?

15. What did you get really excited about?
Dude, I got nothing.  I mean, I started a new job but i wasn't over-the-moon about it.

16. What song will always remind you of 2017?
In Case You Didn't Know   This is the ringtone Kevin has set for me.  Almost thirty years in and this song is still relevant.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
– happier or sadder? Meh
– thinner or fatter? Same-ish
– richer or poorer? Meh

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

Read...where did all my reading skills/time go?  I suspect the interwebs.

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


20. How did you spend Christmas?

Eve - at my parents with an excited four-year-old who has discovered the joy of Tag!
Day - Next door, immersed in children's excitement and food

21. Did you fall in love in 2017?
Every day.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

I'm rewatching the entire E.R. series and have fallen in love again.  Same with West Wing.

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" is my standard answer but this year He Who Shan't Be Named is on the list.

24. What was the best book you read?
*scanning bookshelves*  I read a series by Nora Roberts that I wasn't wild about and put in the donate box.  See question #18...

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
The combination of Shazam and Amazon Prime Music. For example, I just downloaded Greatest Love Story by Lanco after hearing it on the Canadian country radio station.  Oh, wait. No. The Dear Evan Hansen soundtrack.  But if we're being honest, it's still Hamilton.

26. What did you want and get?
A job, even though it didn't turn out to be what I wanted.  Focusing on gratitude here because I'm lucky on that front and need to shush.

27. What did you want and not get?
I didn't go to Vegas this year and I was more disappointed than I thought I would be.  It's not that it's *Vegas*, it's time away and time spent with friends.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
Batman Lego Movie, because I'm six.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I had birthday cake for breakfast, worked in the morning because new job (booo), went to lunch with Kevin then bought Christmas decorations I didn't need on clearance at Michaels.  I watched Doctor Who for the remainder of the day and had taco Tuesday for dinner.  This is my last year in the forties.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Peace and contentment, I'm saying it again because it's so rarely out of my grasp and I don't like it.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2017?
I'm going to quote an old coworker "I'd like to get as close as possible to wearing pajamas to work yet still look appropriately dressed."

32. What kept you sane?

 Kevin. Lucy. Mochas.Television.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
It's a tie this year: Patton Oswalt because he's amazing and Wil Wheaton because he is also amazing.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

the whole gawdamned gawdawful thing.

35. Who did you miss?

My former co-workers.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

I am rebuilding a friendship with one of my high-school best friends after being separated for years by distance/life.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2017:
Everything I think of sounds trite or from a Dr. Seuss book.Let's go with this: Things are rarely what they seem, plan accordingly.

Me at the End of 2017                                                                      Me at 12:01 am 2018