Friday, November 03, 2006

Months and months worth of Eve pics


Friday, October 27, 2006

Me and 39 other people

So, yesterday my company laid off 40 employees... leaving them (if my calculations are correct) with around 60 left.

Oh, you noticed I said "them" and maybe you caught the entry heading.

That's right, folks. I'm no longer employed.

Yesterday I was 100% Happy about it, for myself anyway. I feel pretty bad for most of the other people. Quite a few of them are people I hired and trained and promised grand things to in my faith that the CEO would take our company to great heights. I actually lost faith quite a while ago, but I still hoped.

Sadly, it appears to simply be dying a very slow death.

I hope that's not the case, and that instead this will be like cutting away old growth trees in a forest...that new life will immediately spring up and replace that which was lost and more.

Yes, I was quite happy to go. I've wanted to be a full-time stay-at-home mom for nearly 2 years now, and this looked like my ticket.

But then there's reality.

If we could afford for me to not work, I wouldn't have had to wait for a lay-off. We must cut expenses by about a third, and if you are at all familiar with things around here, we were already buckled down really tight. There's not much else to cut. Selling our house would fix us up, but then we'd just have to buy another.

I can't say with 100% certainty, but it is really looking like I'll need to find a new job. I heard on the news last night that Starbucks is opening many a new store. I've never been a barista, but I think I could do it.

So, facing this reality has me feeling a smidge less excited than yesterday. And feeling wistful over nearly six and a half years of memories. I met some wonderful people in that time; nothing like the perky happy co-eds I'll call coworkers at a coffee shop. I had a blast. I don't think I could find a smarter, funnier group anywhere else. I wish I could have parted from them under better circumstances.

I don't know if you'll be hearing from me as often these days. If I don't get a new job, I may not have Internet access. If I do, I obviously won't have time to post from work. Next time I post, I hope it's with really great news instead of this bittersweet kinda stuff.

One thing's for sure, God has a plan, it just doesn't involve my former employer. :)

Friday, October 20, 2006

Breast Cancer Awareness month

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, I'd like to take a moment to write about Breastfeeding.

It's no secret that breastfeeding is the very best thing you can do for your baby. For further information on how great it is for babies, mothers, and society, see here, here, and here. It's even great for your pocketbook!

What you may not know is that breastfeeding (along with pregnancy) can have a significant impact on a woman's risk for developing breast cancer. If you'd like to view the details of studies that have shown this to be true, here's a good link for you.

One study showed that your personal risk for breast cancer can be decreased by over 4% for each year of breastfeeding. It's also been shown that each birth can diminish the risk for breast cancer by 7%. Doing the math, if everyone had 14 kids and breastfed them for the 1 year minimum recommended by the FDA and the AAP, breast cancer could be essentially obliterated.

I know, I know... who in their right mind would have 14 kids? How about if we all breastfed each child for the minimum recommendation of the WHO: 2 years. Seven children would do it. Still too much for you? How about 5? The longer you breastfed each child, the less children you'd need for the same amount of risk reduction.

Update: I know, I'm not really be fair with the numbers. Remember, this is statistics, not like making change. I'm sure there would still be some breast cancer occuring even if we all went around having huge litters of children. My point is, there's a real, tangible reduction of risk for you personally if you can and do breastfeed.

All that aside, you don't need to have your own football team, or nurse your only child until he hits legal drinking age to reap the benefits of breastfeedings protective properties against breast cancer. Every little bit helps.

To read a more serious presentation of the impact breastfeeding can have on your breast cancer risks, go here, here, here, and here.

If pregnancy is in your future, please consider all the benefits of breastfeeding, to both your and your child. Reduce your risks of disease as well as your child's in an irreplaceable way that is affordable and fulfilling.

If pregnancy isn't in your future, please consider all the benefits of breastfeeding to the mothers and children around you. Support your friends and loved ones in breastfeeding--it's best for all of us!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Phun with Photos!

I've been doing a terrible job keeping Eve's photo gallery updated. I actually have tons of pictures (I won't start slacking on that until baby #2 (should such a child ever arrive) right?)

So, for those of you craving some recent Eve shots, and for those of you who aren't but don't have a choice, here's some pictures for you! These were all taken the weekend we went camping.

Here's a shot of the Italian Prune tree in our yard. I love this tree for shade, and I even am quite fond of the fruit it produces, but I really can't keep up with the yield, so we end up with literally hundreds of plums on our grass. Here, I experimented with color filters in iPhoto, this was merely a tint change to add a yellow-cast (which is more representative of reality than the picture showed in its raw state)

Here's me practicing with the macro setting for a nice close up of the dew on the plums that have fallen. These were taken before the local gaggle of Canada Geese discovered the bounty of my yard. For each prune they consumed, they left a...present, even more gross than the normal kind. On the plus-side, I don't have to pick up rotting, fermenting prunes this fall.

Here's Eve, looking thoughtful and adorable (as usual). I think I "sharpened" the image, but I can't remember for sure.

Here's Eve with her Daddy climbing my in-laws' RV to retrieve a package in the little treasure hunt Grandma set up for Eve and her little cousins. She was really proud of her accomplishment. This photo was cropped to get closer and then "enhanced" which is a mysterious adjustment. I'm not always happy with the results of "enhance" but in this case, it was nice.

I enhanced this shot of Eve on the swings. We tried and tried to get shots of her swinging, and none of them turned out as impressive as we'd hoped. She's so cute though, I couldn't resist sharing, even if it is a pretty overexposed looking shot.

And last but not least, Eve all prepared to go swimming at the pool. She was strutting around knowing she looked like pretty hot stuff in her sunglasses and suit. She had a blast swimming too. I used the "warmth" filter on this, as well as upping the brightness, since the shadows were even worse in the original photo.

Where is my time spent?

Why am I not blogging regularly? Well, aside from the fact that I frequently am on the computer one-handed, which is a really awful way to type up anything, it's usually because I'm reading other blogs, or posting/reading on Craftster. I'm obsessed. Anyway, this is like cheating, but I promise a better post soon, maybe even today!

To see my latest finished embroidery item, go here.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

All this free time!

Yeah. And then I go and spend it playing this! Warning, may be addictive!

Miss me?

Phew. I had quite the long weekend. And I've been so behind that it's now been a week since I last was in control and caught up with my online life. This stuff is hard work!

My in-laws went camping and left Wednesday afternoon, leaving me with no sitter for Thursday or Friday. We were joining them for camping Friday evening, so I knew I couldn't goof around on my days off and leave housework for the weekend. There was a time when catching up after 5 days offline was no big deal. Now? Let's just say I have enough blog entries to keep me busy for a week's worth of naps, and that doesn't begin to touch email and op-eds. Not to mention the fact that being gone all weekend leaves me with just as much catching up to do on craft projects and housework as ever. *And* I started reading a new novel, and added 2 to my long-neglected tbr pile. eek!

Additionally, I've found a very prolific blog that I'm sharing because, well, if I don't have time for anything but blogs, neither should you. Very useful stuff too.

Have fun at LifeHacker.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Need a throw-away email address?

Ooh, I'm thrilled with this little tidbit I just learned from Bloglines. Did I mention you need this?!

"You can create an unlimited number of special Bloglines email addresses that are tied to your Bloglines account. The email addresses show up as subscriptions in your My Blogs page, and email sent to those email addresses appears as new items.

When you create a Bloglines email address, a subscription is added to your account. If you unsubscribe from that subscription, the email address becomes invalid and mail sent to it will bounce.

Email subscriptions are great for announce-only or broadcast mailing lists that don't provide RSS feeds. They are also useful as temporary email addresses."

Go...go sign up.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Argh! Ahoy me maties!

Yes, it is international talk like a pirate day, and I'm entering into the spirit of things quite happily. After all, it seems yesterday's post, admitting defeat to the inevitable change of seasons, resulted in renewed vigor from our Western Washington weather, and this morning I woke not only to clouds but heavy rain fall. I need something to cheer me. Argh!

Actually, I don't really mind the rain all that much. I just don't like walking in it. I suppose a good rain coat might change that, but who can afford that? I always seem to have better things to spend my money on.

Swab the decks ye lubbers!

Sorry. Ahem. Anyway, there are some things I really like about the change of seasons. For instance, television! I really don't watch much TV, although I'm sure I watch more than others. And unfortunately, Tom and I have gone from being down to 2 shows we wouldn't miss, to 4 since Eve was born. But still, it's only 4 hours out of my week, and honestly less than that, since we never watch it live with commercials.

Sadly, the days of Buffy and Angel are gone (Oh James Marsters, how I miss you!), and Friends too has ended, but we still have CSI (Season premiere this Thursday!!) and Survivor. (Actually, I don't love Survivor, but Tom is an addict, so I have learned to appreciate the entertaining aspects of the show--and Jeff is a cutey!) Second episode of Season 13 airs this Thursday. The year Eve was born, we added Lost, a show with some really great actors and a frustrating plot, and some absolutely great episodes and some really crappy ones. It's basically a gamble, so we watch it because we'd hate to miss a good one. If this season is worse than last, this may move to our don't-miss-unless-there's-anything-better-to-do list. ;) Mark you calendars for Wednesday, October 4th if you don't want to miss this one. And last but certainly not least is the newly added Battle Star Galactica. This show actually tops our list of must-see TV this season. As television goes, this is the best, as far as I'm concerned. Well, excepting Firefly, which is off the air. :( Battlestar Glactica has drama, adventure, romance, and robots! It could only be improved with the addition of Steve the Pirate. ;) If you are a TV fan, you really should see this show. Yes, it's scifi, but it's not just scifi, it's great drama. Really. I suggest adding the Miniseries, and the first and second seasons to your Netflix queue now, so you can catch up with things before the season premier on Friday, October 6th.

Okay, that's enough about TV, it is, after all, only less than 4 hours out of my life each week (time in which I can often embroider!)

What else can I console myself with now that I don't get to wear sandals and ignore my lack of good rain gear?

Eve sleeps better when it's not light until 10 PM, and as we've left July behind, night time has become a little better. For those of you who don't know, Eve isn't exactly a great sleeper even at the best of times (I think she has a record of sleeping 7 hours straight, once!) So any improvement is a blessing. Daylight savings time is my mortal enemy.

It's soup season! I like soup, cooking soup, eating soup. It's all good. It never really seems appropriate when it's warm.

More time for crafting? Hmm... maybe, maybe not. TV season was never good for my writing, which is what I used to fill my free time with. But, the nice thing about crafting is that a lot of it can be done while you do other things. I can sit and watch TV (especially bad Lost episodes and every Survivor episode) while I embroider or sew. So, we'll see.

Fires! I don't mean the brush variety, which is more a summer thing, and not really all that good. I mean the fireplace kind that crackle and smell good and look pretty!

Winter squash with dinner.

Politics! Speaking of which, today was the deadline for mailing in my ballot for the primaries, and I forgot! ARGH! I'm not a big fan of mail-only voting. Hopefully I can get it done tonight and take it to the post office this evening...maybe that will work. If not, I guess I'll survive.

What makes Autumn positive for you?

I think that's it for me, me hearties, I'm off to sail the high seas of the blogosphere. Argh!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Summer is definitely over

I don't want to sound dreary, but it's true. As my dad always says, it's summer in the northwest from July 5th to August 31st, or there abouts. He's mostly right. It's been cool and overcast (or partly cloudy for most of the day) or drizzly or breezy since Tuesday (which was a perfect late summer day, just the right mix of hot and cool, and quiet because all the kids are back in school. Yay!) Nearly a week of such weather is more than a cold front, it's a season changing.

A few of the leaves are changing too. And I only have one half-ripe tomato. There will be no harvest from my carefully maintained plant. Bummer! I've got about a dozen green tomatos of various sizes that will remain so, I suppose. Maybe I should try frying them.

We've yet to find a woodburning stove insert for our downstairs fireplace. We can burn wood in the upstairs insert, and the convection circulation does a great job at heating that level, but Eve and I sleep downstairs and our television and Tom's music and computer are downstairs too, so we really need to heat from the bottom up.

We were supposed to put away the boat for the winter this weekend, but it was too cold for such activities.

Eve still has summer clothes we found in August that she hasn't gotten to wear. They'll be too small next summer. I guess that means we'll have to take a vacation this winter to somewhere warm and balmy. Hawaii anyone? (Yes, please!)

All that to say, we aren't really ready for summer to be over. How about you? Are you still enjoying summer weather? What do you want to accomplish before you pull out your scarves and boots?

Friday, September 15, 2006


Check to the left for my Bloglines generated Blogroll!

P.S. Eve and I are working on our first joint sewing project, check back soon for the glorious results!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

A brief time-out from frivolity

I do my best to keep things light here. I don't like to start arguments with friends, and especially when I must conduct the arguments in online text. I have previously mentioned the lost nuance that goes along with such communication.

Be that as it may, I had to share a serious article which I found regarding Plan B contraceptive (a phrase I use rather lightly here.)

I do expect you to go read it, but allow me to summarize. Plan B is going to increase the incidence of STDs, mainly among poor women, and especially among the younger of those women.

I am totally against Plan B, as some of you may have deduced from what you know of me. Then again, I don't really think the vanilla brand contraceptive pill is good either (for various reasons I will not go into in detail at the moment). And of course, I'm entirely against the more accepted definition of abortion. However, my reasons have chiefly been based on the sanctity of human life (even embryonic), and the physical and emotional damage of chemicals and invasive procedures on the mothers who choose these. Lately I've been struck by the fact that abortion works against the ideal that "reproductive freedom" would add to the equality of the sexes.

How's that, you ask? I know proponents of Choice tell us that abortions give women freedom. And to a certain extent they are right. I'll just mention here that I think the cost of such freedom too high, but I digress. Sure, women can avoid the burden of pregnancy, but this also gives men freedom to not worry one whit about possibly becoming a father, giving them little to no reason to keep it in their pants and respect the women around them as people instead of conquests. Men should be held responsible for their actions against women and for any children they father, abortion allows them to get off scott-free. Women (and aborted fetuses, of course) pay the high price of life, health, and emotional well-being of the wide-spread availability of abortion. Grr.

Anyway, that's a tangent. Back to Plan B. This article caused a light bulb moment. Here is yet another reason to be outraged by the development and outrageous over the counter availability of this drug. How dare we subject the most unfortunate of our sex to further danger? How much are we willing to destroy at the feet of "choice"? These women will pay with their lives and flesh for the convenience of a morning-after pill. Our society owes them better.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

A little bit bored

So there's not much to do at work today. Not because there's not work to be done, but because one of our major tools is getting updates.

So I've plenty of time, but not much to say.

Let me introduce you to two sites you might find interesting. I'm still not sure what I think of them yet.

First, I may have previously mentioned Next Favorite. It's a really cool concept: rating books, movies, and music all in one place and giving you recommendations all across the board. Think about it, your taste is reflected in music, movies, and books that you like. Yes, you can rate movies in one place, and books in another and music in another, but you can't link up all that information together, until Next Favorite. Sort of.

I'm not really sure how well it works though, as I haven't rated enough yet. Why? It's pretty clunky. Someone else should do it an make it slick and simple, more like Netflix. There's simply too many steps involved for me to want to spend a whole lot of time on it. I keep hoping they'll improve the system. Maybe I should approach Netflix with a similar idea, they have a really cool ratings->recommendation system... just imagine if it were harnessed for more than movies.

On to something actually cool. Have you checked out Wists? It's a cool concept and a cool execution. Visual bookmarking. Like something you see online? Wists it. Then when you go through your wists you can actually see why you "bookmarked" it to begin with. Never puzzle over a bookmark again. But that's not my favorite part, as cool as that is. My favorite part is how pretty it looks! I imagine my wistsing will be aimed mostly at building a beautiful gallery page, and less about the actually bookmarking aspect. :)

Another cool feature is that you can view the galleries of other users. If you find someone whose taste you admire, you can look at all their wists and find other wists to add to your own. I like the word wists even. Yay for Wists!

In other news...

I caved and got a myspace. I know. It's silly. And actually, I'm still not a big fan. It gives me a headache, and it seems to be rife with poor grammar (you know, because I've got perfect grammar myself). But, it's fun to get in touch with people you haven't seen since high school. On the other hand, it's not so great for meeting absolute total strangers who share nothing in common with you (unless you actually want that, in which case, it's like a candy shop). I think it's possible that myspace was responsible for a creepy email I received, but then, I'm all over the place on the Internet these days, so I can't really blame any one place. It kind of makes me want to rethink all the picture posting I do though.

That's all for now. I'm off to find pretty pictures to Wist!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Read the manual I have been taking pictures of my embroidery work for over a year. And I'm always really annoyed that I can't get a really good shot of the details...So a detailed, beautiful piece ends up looking like this:

On Saturday, I helped my mom prepare for some ebay selling of her huge collection of antiques and I needed to be able to take good close ups. So, I got out the manual for the camera. Look what I can do now!

So, the moral of the story is: Read the manual! :) Now all I need is an uber expensive flash and diffusion umbrella thingy, and I'll be set. :)

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Crafty goodness

And now the post I wanted to make yesterday. :)

Here's some of my latest embroidery projects, and by latest, I mean back to the very first! :) Go check out my post on Craftster! This one too!

And here is the labor-intensive project Tom and I tackled in June, again a post on Craftster.

I'm such a junkie. :)

Happy and Sad

Morning! I was going to post some links to my latest crafty ventures, but Crafster is down! :( Oh well, lucky for you, I had a backup plan. The other day we got some pics of Eve doing her "cute" face and her "sad" face. It's pretty darn funny when we tell her to do her "sad" face. I'd describe it for you, but take a look yourself.

Of course, she doesn't know that both of those "faces" are cute faces.

And just because, take a look at her struting on the catwalk in her bikini (it's finally getting too small, but we got it for her last summer, so I can't complain.)

In case you forgot what I look like, I was able to find a recent picture of me too! With Eve.

This was at Tom's sister's recently (nearly) finished house. That room behind us is her music room! My music room looks a lot like Tom's computer room/office. Oh wait, it is!

And last but not least, Tom caught a nice shot of a pale sunset the other night. Not exactly the most impressive we've seen, but it was very pretty.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Here's a good, quick read

No, it's not a novel. In fact, for the moment, I'm abstaining from novels. In fact, I'm not doing too much reading these days, period. It's amazing how toddlers suck away all your reading time. :)

But, while I'm pumping at work, I don't let that moment of quiet go by without reading something.

I just finished How Not to Look Fat. What a great book! It's small and short. Danico Lo, the author is funny and frank (and an authority...former plus-sized model). I sound like I'm on her marketing team, but this is just a really cool book.

I picked it up because I have been recently inspired by Crafster to sew some of my own wardrobe. It looks fun and not too tough. But, I don't want to go spending a lot of time and effort making clothes that fit but don't actually flatter. So I started searching for what is flattering, in general and for my body type. This book is just what I was looking for!

So, if you are a gal (sorry guys, it doesn't seem to have any advice for you, but then again, you don't care, do you?) and you would like to look slimmer, without dieting or exercise (or losing weight in any way) check this book out! Now, if you are so thin that looking thinner would cause concern and make people wonder if you're anorexic, don't buy this book. Otherwise, without much effort or money, you could start looking thinner after reading just a few pages! It's pretty cool. :)

So, there you go. Run off and enjoy yourselves.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Beware of Safety

Let me keep you up to date on me. I don't feel like blogging today, despite the fact that I have time. Why? Life is less than perfect right now, and all I ever do is complain, right?

Let me just give it to you in bullet points:

*I have two co-workers in this department-to-which-I-am-still-fairly-new that drive me absolutely crazy. They are like children. *And* they are in a "relationship." Could it get any worse? They check each other's work, and they aren't very critical of each other. The guy basically does most of the gal's job, or at least it seems to be so. And they gossip and badmouth everyone behind their backs. Add this to the guy's penchant for desk-flair larceny, and you have the personnel equivalent of fingernails on a blackboard and the smell of burnt pop-corn all rolled into one.

*My mom and dad are not doing well. I think some people may assume that divorce isn't as traumatic on adult children as it is on children children...and maybe that's true. I certainly don't feel it's my fault, as I might have when a child and still believing the world was entirely all about me. But, I still feel like crap. They both frequently talk about thinking maybe they ought to die, and they both bandy about the word "divorce" like it's an article. I hope they get through this, but it seems like they have both given up, assuming they'd be happier apart. If that's true, the rest of us certainly won't be. It's going to make all future family events much messier than they currently are, to say the least.

*Tom and I are doing okay. We have up and down days. It's now been over a year since we've regularly attended church, and I'm tired of it.

*Eve is awesome. Sure, she still has a biting problem, and yes, this past Sunday when we ventured out to church for once, she refused to stay in nursery, and refused to be quiet in the service, so we had to go home early. *But* she's cute as ever, and talking in almost full sentences. She's really quite the communicator.

So, that's the latest. Now for something fun. My little brother is leaving for college--the only one of us to go to university right out of highschool, and hopefully he'll stay too!--tomorrow. The school is only about an hour's drive away, so we'll still see him often. Anyway, I had him over for dinner last night so we could spend a little time with him before he's gone. I made not-so-great sweet-n-sour chicken, and we got to talking about Engrish...which reminded me of If you haven't visited in a while, go there now, there's always something fresh. If this is the first you've heard of, you may want to put your drink down. It's all fun and games until someone sprays piping hot coffee through his nose. I highly recommend the cat smack in the Recent Discoveries section.

Finally, take a look at this hot guy with the cutest girl toddler ever on his shoulders.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Cool new something you can't go another day without

Trust me.

You are a blog hopper. Each day, you go to your favorites/bookmarks, and click in sucession on each of the blogs you like to read, only to find that there are several that aren't updated. You spend a lot of time checking un-updated blogs. Time that could be spent reading updated blogs. Every second counts.

Your new favorite website:


Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Further evidence that I am a wonderful mother only when I have a happy, well-behaved child

Phew. Okay, back to Eve! I'm sure we've all missed this.

First off, for announcements: Watch this space for the first edition of what I'm titling my religious tract morality tales: The Little Sinner. You'll read about the pitfalls of church hoping with the nursery bully!

So, last night we all went to bed around midnight. Now, this isn't too much later than we went to bed on Sunday night--but that was on purpose and enjoyable. Last night at about 9, Eve was on the verge of being asleep in my arms... probably 10 minutes away from being able to be put in bed without waking her. At least, that's what I thought. She began with the sign for potty and a small, sad whine of the same word. This was repeated again and again, escalating quickly to hysterics and sobbing, wailing. At first, before it got bad, I asked her if she really needed to go (this is sometimes a stall tactic I'm sure many of you are familiar with, from your own childhoods even!) she ignored the question and simply got more and more frantic about it. I could tell she really needed to go, so I took her, but as we entered the room, she continued her pitiful wailing and began shaking her head and just as hysterically saying "mama" over and over. I began to put her on her little potty and remove her diaper and she simply clung to me, crying and shaking her head no. I lifted her up, and proceeded to reapply the still-dry diaper. She cried and shook her head, she called for daddy. We went down stairs to see him and she wouldn't go to him. All of this is happening as she cries so hard it breaks my heart. We go upstairs again, back to her room, I try to nurse her, she wants to go potty, repeat above scenario. This time, we stay downstairs as my husband showers, and she calms somewhat, but is still very close to tears. I ask her if her belly hurts and she ignores me, I ask her if her teeth hurt, and she ignores me... I have no idea what was bugging her, but as she seems to have calmed down, I take her upstairs again to try putting her to sleep. The whole thing starts again. This time I'm getting really frustrated. I am sympathetic to her, but at the same time, completely and totally frustrated. I had anticipated a nice night with Tom, we could watch a movie, have some dessert, enjoy each other's company and get to bed before Eve woke up. Nuh uh. And worst of all, I can't figure out what Eve needs to make it all better. I know she's exhausted, and sleep would be very helpful to her state of mind, but she got close to sleep 3 times, and then woke up with the same "potty" refrain, and the same refusal to actually go potty, and refusal to go to daddy when she asked for him, and refusal to nurse when she asked for that. gah!

I didn't want to give her Tylenol if it was her tummy bugging her, because I know that such drugs can make upset bellies worse. I suspected possible teething, but she wouldn't let me probe, nor would she answer any questions about what hurt. I finally gave in to Tylenol as the only thing that might help. She cried continually while we administered, but then we were able to calm her down with distractions. She fell asleep after that and stayed asleep for 3 hours before a normal wake-up. We didn't have any other problems with her all night, what was left of it.

Then this morning, she woke up with the same fussy, I-want-this-I-don't-want-this sort of behavior. Again, I do feel so bad for her that she's not feeling her normal, cheerful self, but it makes it so frustrating to get ready for our day, and really hard to leave her and come to work.

I didn't have any serious blow-outs because of this, but it was a test of my patience. I felt really guilty for being mad at my daughter for being--to all appearances--ill. How selfish of me.


Okay, you all are great. And smart too.

Thank you for the cyber hugs and assurances that I have friends. I know this isn't the first time I've seemed to be begging for such a thing. Honestly, my comment about friends was more about local friends than friends in are all the best of my friends, here or abroad, and I love you! :)

Why are you so smart? At least for the moment, things seem to be better here in my new position. Looks like this was a good thing for me. I am working with a smart and mostly funny group of guys. Some of them go a bit over the top, but I can deal. As for the work, it's not particularly challenging yet, so I can say I'm starting slow--which is what I am equipped to do at this point in life. So, it's all good. Hopefully, this will be the end of the melodrama in my life for a while. It's much easier to be my usual, optimistic self when there's nothing to be pessimistic about. ;)

Thank you again for your friendship, care, assurances, and well-wishing. I truly, deeply appreciate it.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-changes... la la la

I seem to find myself with legitimate down time in my new position.

Whee! This will probably only last as long as I'm a newbie... but when I'm waiting on busy people to show me the way, I can blog and surf and play.

So... whirlwind of activity over the past few days.

Tuesday was really quite an awful day. I was...freaking out, basically. I'm ashamed of this. I will tell you all about it in a little while, but suffice to say, I don't like myself when I'm a freakazoid.

The only good thing about Tuesday is an old friend, who at one time was basically my assistant, is now head of several departments. I spoke to him (at my mother's insistence. I really was just freaking out too much to think of such a logical course on my own). He offered me several positions to choose from that I could have if (a)my director's replacement didn't mind letting me go, and (b)the manager of the department I was interested in agreed. I'm old buddies with him too, so I wasn't too worried. However, I also know there are about a dozen people trying to get into his department... so I wasn't real sure of myself either.

Wednesday arrived and I could not find the manager of this dept. This continued until noon or so... so basically I was at loose ends all morning. I hadn't slept too well the night before and was nervous and basically on a low-boil freakout. Blah blah blah... I have the job. Yay! Except... not so yay. I still feel a bit freakish... because they really wanted me because of my programming experience... which I ejected from my brain way back when I first left programming over four years ago. Additionally, any residual knowledge I retained was completely erased when I became pregnant. I feel a lot of pressure now to reinvent myself...and yet I'm still working part-time, and I don't want a career... I just want to be a mom!


There's also a tendency for this all-guy department to be foul-mouthed and make sly comments (regarding making the newbie do such-and-such (strictly work related, nothing that would anger my husband, if you know what I mean)) that I totally miss. I'm clueless on all the inside jokes.

This all makes me very lonely for the close buds I used to have when I was working in the technical departments of this company years ago. They are all gone now, on to bigger and better things. I miss my friends! That's another thing I'll have to talk to you all about later on. This feeling of being almost friendless. sigh.

well, as I embark upon this new...adventure, I'll try to keep you posted.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Of all the times not to be procrastination, this is it.

I will likely be losing my job due to downsizing within the next month. Last month they let 50 people go, yesterday they demoted the COO and my very own boss. Ouch. Quite a few people in other departments, mostly management types, were demoted and re-assigned. So... I know my turn is coming.

I've always kind of flippantly said that if I lost my job, at least I'd get to stay home with Eve. But right now, I'd have to find a new home to stay at if I lost my job... so, I take it all back.

Ruminating on my resume and the (im)possibility of finding a new job in the middle of summer that is part time and flexible, no nights or weekends (you know, all the jobs the college kids and highschoolers already snapped up) has me considering what else I can find to do. Obviously, I'll be looking for other jobs...but what if I could just do nothing?

Maybe you've heard of One Red Paperclip. It's just one of those almost cost-free publicity stunts that has to be profitable... not to mention that this guy may eventually actually get a house... all from trading up on a paperclip. There's the Million dollar website that sells pixel advertising... I mean... how do I get in on this? I think I have to be more creative and less... cynical about things.

I guess I could always go back to programming. Maybe Microsoft is hiring.

Well... there you go. Not a fun update, but that's life.

Monday, June 05, 2006


So... what's up with myspace?

I don't have a "myspace". Do you?

The few spaces of others I've visted have... let's just say, offended my sense of visual order. ick. Am I really too old to "get" myspace?

My little brother has a space, as does my even littler nephew... and I suspect my niece does too... although she'd have to lie about her age...

Am I missing out on a way cool feature of the net?

Thursday, June 01, 2006


So, where have I been lately? I've been in an absolute fever of creative activity. No...not writing, but crafting! I'm mostly not very good. But, I've been having fun, and it's much easier to do with Eve under foot than writing is... for me anyway.

If you want to see the two things I've actually completed, check out these threads on the way cool crafting forum,

First, an embroidered onesie

And my very first solo sewing project, a reversible clutch

Before I found Craftster, I was not particularly interested in crafting anything... and now I'm very disappointed that I took wood shop instead of home-ec. :)

So why the sigh? My life is in turmoil. Well, really, only work is in turmoil, but it's very difficult to... separate anxiety about work and the rest of my life, when it's so very important for me to be working for us to stay afloat.

On top of that... I've been feeling uncharacteristically lacking in self-esteem. Tom and I used to have this incredibly busy schedule...we always had something going, people to entertain, places to go. But lately... I feel like we have no friends, like *I* have no friends. Not that I have no friends at all, after all, I have you all. Just no friends close by to get together with, no one to share the day-to-day annoyances (oh yes... and joys) with.

I don't think that normally bothers me, but this past week, it's set me to wondering why that is? Why are all my close friends actually quite far away, and my near friends mostly tepid? Is it me?

I'm afraid I'm getting a bit down... so I think I won't go on. I don't like basically, I hope you all are doing well.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Know your A B Cs

Okay. First, I just have to say, I love how thoughts come to me when I'm in the shower. It's like my own little thinking spot. Do you have such a place? I get my best ideas in there, and I compose not only my best fiction, but my best arguments. This is great when I'm trying to convince my husband of something. I get to really perfect my pitch and then stick it to him bright and early in the morning. He's defenseless. :)

So, I don't know why, but I was thinking about those... blogtivities (you know, blog activities) that seems to spread like a rash around the blogosphere. I tend to steer clear of them, just as I do chain letters in email (when was the last time you got a chain letter on dead tree?), but I for some reason I was trying to think of one to do on my own blog, and also trying to inspire my writing friends a bit, and inspire myself for that matter. (You see, as soon as I got back in to writing, I was reminded I have embroidered baby gifts to finish for babies that are already in the world and growing like wildfire! ack! Then, Tom made me a mother's day gift that finally allows me to use the sewing machine and sewing table that were Christmas and Birthday gifts, respectively. Yay! Have you ever tried threading your sewing machine? I was filled with pride in my domestic ability, and then I sewed a test swatch, and after a few tweaks, it worked! Sorry, tangent) I need to simply practice a bit.

So, this isn't about fiction writing, it's simply about word dexterity and sentences. And really, this is no way to write prose... word dexterity, word dexterity. :) Oh, and I was somewhat inspired by the Six Degrees of Separation thing (you know, Kevin Bacon).

Here's the details of the blogtivity:

Go through the alphabet at least 3 letters at a time, and no more than 6.

Your sentence must be a complete sentence, each word must begin with a consecutive letter of the alphabet.

Your sentence must contain two names, these names must be names of someone famous, but first (or last) names only. (If for some strange, foolish reason you're challenged about which famous person you mean, I'm sure you will clarify by giving both the first and last names, or identifying the character of a book, movie or television show, this is a pretty flexible requirement.)

Your sentence must begin with a name.

Aside from names, no words may be repeated in a single circuit of the alphabet.

The next person to respond must begin their sentence with the second name you used in your own sentence.


I write: Angelina bears criticism despite Evangeline's frankness.

someone follows with: Evangeline forgot Gerard's Halberd.

I, or someone else follows with: Gerard hastened in Jack's killer.

etc. etc. etc. All the way to: Xander yanked Zeke.

Sound like fun to anyone? Join me in the comments, or start a thread on your own blog!


Friday, May 12, 2006

Point? There is no point.

This morning was one of those mornings. You know, I began to go in to detail, but I think I can sum it all up by saying it took me an entire hour (I'm not exaggerating) to pack my lunch. I sailed into work, again, quite literally, just as my Friday morning meeting began, at 11:00 AM. It's a good thing it's Friday, because it's these kinds of days that usually make me contemplate violence.

Oh! I finally got the newish Rob Thomas album. You will never believe what I'm about to say about it, and I'm not giving a full review, because I haven't really sat down to listen attentively. So, my quick and dirty opinion: First, it's not writing music, and it's not angst music (those are my two favorite kinds.) That wasn't really a surprise though. What is? It reminds me of Michael Jackson. No, seriously. In a good way! You know, when MJ was a popular super-star, not when he became the weirdo (and I mean that in the most extreme sense possible). I really like it, and I intend to try making it driving music for a time so I can get a better sense of it.

In other news:

I finished writing Eve's birth story (finally!), and when I sat down to write an update of her the day after her 18 month birthday (which was Wednesday), I couldn't think of a single thing to say.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


I love Jane Austen.

Now, I know that's not all that controversial. Many people are inspired by her. I don't think you are dropping your jaws right now. But since I'm enjoying myself I thought I'd share the love. I believe I shall be rambling wildly in this post, so please bear with me.

You'll recall a few posts ago I mentioned the argument over the Pride and Prejudice films with my boss' wife. At that time, I suggested the movie Persuasion, and this sparked a conversation that could not be resolved without reading the book.

Sometime ago, in certain research I did for work, I discovered a great free ebook website, Project Gutenberg and they have all of Jane Austen's published works! Score! They have many others too. Check it out.

I read Persuasion, then P&P, and now I'm reading Sense and Sensibility. I'm struck by how unlikely it is that these works would have been published if Jane Austen were to write them today. But they're wonderful! I find that to be true of many books I love. I know that they wouldn't get snapped up the way that they should because they don't fit the popular formula. How sad. Or, how glad we are that Austen published her books when she did. :)

I had just begun reading S&S when my mother gave me what I will call a Jane Austen fan-fic to read, Suspense and Sensibility. My mother had the advantage when reading this book of not having just finished two wonderful Austen novels. In comparison, this book is dull. I'm not deep into it, so perhaps the plot will be pleasing, and it is not poorly written, but Austen's prose is such that the typical regency novel of today pales in comparison. Sigh.

So, ebooks. This is not my first foray into reading them (I read most of the Lord of the Rings that way), however, excepting one novel none of the ebooks I've read of late publication have impressed me. Now, I'm not saying I think that's a fault of the publication method. I wasn't really choosing these books as I might a paperback book, but there's the issue. Most ebooks must be purchased from the ebook publisher, right? Am I wrong on this? Is there in fact an ebook bookstore like Amazon (or even Amazon itself) that "carries" all the ebooks available from all the publishers? I don't think so.

Would that there were! Besides Jane Austen, guess what else I love. Netflix! Why? Recommendations and reviews! Just like Amazon does with books (which can end up being mighty spendy to me, if I'm not careful) Netflix lets you rate movies you've seen, and gives you recommendations for other movies to see based on the movies you rated. I'm addicted. I love it. Even better? I usually love my recommendations, even more so when it comes to Amazon than Netflix.

Gah! Okay... I just got sucked in over at Amazon. Good thing they have the Wish List now, otherwise I'd have quite a full cart, and no grocery money. I checked to see what their ebook section looks like, and it looks mainly like it's ebooks of books on dead tree, and some novellas possibly published in-house.

Where was I? Oh yeah. There's nothing like that for ebooks... is there? My impression is that each e-publishing house is an entity unto itself. No big warehouse of ebooks to peruse and compare--unless I want to hop all over the web to each publisher, what a chore! And what about finding what I like? I know what I like in books on dead tree, and so does Amazon! I know what I like in movies, and so does Netflix! I have no idea what I like in ebooks, and neither does anyone else!

Why does this bug me? Well, I really like reading ebooks... I mean, I like having them on my laptop. It's much easier to scroll through pages of electronic text while Eve nurses or while I struggle her to sleep than it is to read a paperback, or worse, a hardcover. First there's the lighting issue. Good reading light and good "night-night" light are two very different things. Then, there's the awkwardness of reading one-handed. It's almost as bad as typing one handed. Have you ever tried flipping pages with the same hand with which you hold the book? It's hard! And sometimes I drop the darn book. Additionally, you'd never believe how loud turning a paper page can's much louder and more distracting than a little iBook mouse-click.

Why should I have to go without like this? So... if you're in the know, and you have the source for recommendations that correlate to what I like... let me know! I know there are e-zines and whatnot that rate books, but I want a service that works like the ratings on Amazon and Netflix. Does such a thing exist?

I think I'm done.

Thursday, May 04, 2006


I hope you don't come here for consistency.

I've been reading the Bible a lot lately.

X recently posted on The Da Vinci Code and National Geographic shows on the origins of The Good Book. I believe in what's called Biblical inerrancy, that the Bible is the true and accurate (error-free) Word of God. Anywho... that's not really the topic here, although I do find it interesting, and it did get me to thinkin' about history, and what we base things on in Christian religions.

So, I'm reading the book of Acts, all about the first-century "church."

DH and I have been doing a lot of soul-searching these days about church, what it should be, what it is, what we want in a church we'd attend. You see, we are church-searching for the first time since our marriage, and my first time in adulthood. He's attended two churches in his life, ours and his parents', and though I've attended many more than that, they've all been the same "type" of church (I would say denomination, but it's non-denominational... franchise might almost be the right word. Each church I've attended has been one of many Calvary Chapels, all aligned under the leadership of the first Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa, California and it's founder and head-pastor, Chuck Smith, but this is minutiae you can skip, hence the parentheses.) So, it's a big challenge for us to find a new place, especially in a small community, where we already know all there is to know about half the churchs in the area. That is to say, we are looking with little enthusiasm, and less success--at least within a reasonable distance from home.

So, here I am, currently churchless, reading about the activities and adventures, if you will, of the first believers in Jesus Christ. That was an exciting time! I mean, you've got miracles going on left and right, there's even a transportation in there, as well as the ubiquitous lame, blind, and sick healings, raising people from the dead, and not to mention exorcisms. Imagine the movie this would make!

But most interesting to me, at the moment, is the verve of the believers. These people are, to put it mildly, ecstatic about what is going on in their lives and what Christ did on their behalf, and what that means about God and life and death. Their enthusiasm is so great that their numbers grow by the thousands on a daily basis. I'm thinkin' MySpace and the iPod have nothing on first century Christian Evangelism. Christianity was spreading like wildfire.

Today? Not so much. Why is that? What has changed? It's certainly not God, nor is what Jesus Christ did any less revolutionary or life-changing--at least it shouldn't be. And yet, my husband, a fine, upstanding Christian man has about 10 times more enthusiasm to convert PC users to the Mac than he does to tell someone about the Man who saved his soul. Me? I'm much more likely to spread the good word of Breastfeeding and Babywearing than I am to share The Good News. Does this mean we're bad Christians? Ha! I'm coming to understand there's no good ones. There's merely a bunch of sinners (bad folks) saved (rescued from death and all manner of unpleasantness in life and after) by Grace (ooh, the U2 song... so good!)

What I mean to say is, I don't think this means I need to strive to be better, and go out there and beat all my friends and neighbors upside the head with Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. If I had the excitement of the first-century church, I wouldn't need to strive, I would be bubbling over with it, I wouldn't be able to keep my mouth shut, I'd be challenging authority and breaking chains, heck, I'd be healing the sick and raising the dead.

So what's missing that leaves me shy about my "secret identity" as a Christian?

I'm on the hunt for the answer. I'll keep you posted.

I've just run out of time... I have more to say on this subject, so I hope you'll forgive me the next time I do.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Movies, TV, and writing

Okay. So, the movie I just recently watched, which is by no means new, is "Dear Frankie"

It was a sweet film, I'm glad I finally saw it, and I recommend it. There was nothing very surprising in it, and I have very little to relate about the plot (wouldn't want to spoil it) but I will mention the two principal adult actors...and then I'll segue into the TV stuff, and the writing... it's all intertwined today.

The heroine looks a lot like Miranda Otto , who I really like. Miranda is the heroine of a delightful little movie by the name of Danny Deckchair, if you haven't seen it, do. It's hilarious and romantic. What more could you ask for? Oh! It's set in Australia... there now, nothing more to ask for. ;) I'm sure I could take this all the way to Kevin Bacon, but we'll stop for now.

It's the hero of "Dear Frankie" I'm more interested in anyway. Gerard Butler is perfect. Oh. So. Perfect. Where have you been all my life Gerard? I've seen him in a few other films, but never has he looked quite so attractive to me as he did in this film. Maybe it's the mystery, maybe it's the facial hair, it's definitely the eyes, and good hands. Sigh. I'm sure he'll be the inspiration for my next hero. He's really quite perfect.

I always have an actor in mind when I create a hero. Interestingly, I never have an actress in mind for the heroine. Why is that? I suspect it's because I have me--an idealized me, of course--in mind as I write the heroine. Sad, huh? Anyway. For my Fantasy epic I wrote my hero with Oded Fehr in mind. And another related story is cooking in my head because of my passionate addiction to Naveen Andrews, of Lost fame. And now, I just have to think of the perfect character to go with Gerard... my new favorite.

Catch ya' later!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Movies, books, and music...

On second thought, how about just Movies. There's simply too much to discuss. Remind me later that I promised a books post and a music post.

So I've been having a proxy argument through my boss with my boss's wife. She recently became addicted--seriously--to Pride and Prejudice, starring Keira Knightlely and Judy Dench. And some other people.

When my boss first told me how much she liked this movie, I recommended the BBC miniseries (somewhere between 5 and 6 hours of Jane Austen Heaven!) starring Colin Firth. Need I say more?

They watched it and she pronounced it a "sucky" movie. Bah. Clearly she misunderstands Austen.

So, aside from the perfection of Colin Firth, what didn't I like about the "new" P&P? Oh, I'll tell you.

First *Everything* was much too shabby. Excepting Judy Dench. Mr. Darcy would never be caught with stubble, especially at church! Come on. Elizabeth's hair was... oh, just deplorable! Ugh. The Bennet girls are supposed to be quite beautiful, and yet they all dressed like scullery maids. Mr. Bennet looked like some kind of back-woods creep. Seriously, I'm sure it had something to do with the casting... but razors are not a new invention!

Okay. So, done with the shabby. How about we examine Mr. Darcy more carefully. He simply went too quickly from pronouncing Elizabeth barely tolerable to asking her to dance, which is a thing we know he detests. A few hours! I know, there was so little time to cover everything as it should be covered, but really, this is important. Darcy's admiration of Elizabeth is slow-blooming. Additionally, you may recall, Darcy on first glance was quickly considered more handsome and well-groomed than Bingley (who was also disappointing, but we don't care quite so much about him), and could have been the favorite if it weren't for his manners. In this movie, he dresses like a vicar...his cravat is not impressive, all black is rather severe... his hair... well, I digress. Shabby. Anyway, rather than simply behaving like he's better than everyone, this Darcy appeared not bored, but angry and depressed. Like, who died, Mr. Darcy? Also, he became much too cheerful much too quickly. I felt he began to make it quite obvious to Elizabeth that he admired her from that first time they danced... which, of course, should not have preceded Jane's illness at Netherfield. Anyway... all too fast, all not quite in character. He was too proud to appear so eager so soon.

I was also disappointed in the handling of the Wickham/Lydia affair. In the BBC version, when you all of a sudden see Darcy stand up at the wedding... knowing he forced it and financed it... your heart just melts! Oh, Darcy, what a hero! You have saved the family from utter ruin, and for so undeserving a couple, and a man who injured you most heinously. In this one, you hear about it from Lydia, but it has no where near the power. On the other hand, who needs that power... things are so far progressed by this point in the movie, it makes no sense that Elizabeth turned him down in the first place... or little sense, anyway. Additionally, I don't think the impression of how terrible this would be for the family was well conveyed. Yes, Elizabeth threw her fit (which seemed a little over the top), but it didn't really make it clear how real and serious the issue was.

Mr. Collins wasn't nearly as awful... and Mr. Collins must be awful.

What did I like? I really thought some of the cinematography was great... there were simply some beautiful scenes. The bit at the assembly when Darcy and Elizabeth are dancing and all of a sudden it's only the two of them, that's great! The morning fog scene, just before and when Darcy renews his offer. beautiful. There are others as well. If it weren't for the shabbiness, I would have to say that the production was better, if only slightly.

I thought the casting of Wickham was better. This guy never came across as creepy, which I think is important in making his past believable (that he hoodwinked the late Mr. Darcy and Miss Darcy too). I could see how Lydia (and Elizabeth) could go for this guy. Oh! But paying for fripperies? Highly improper! Elizabeth would have been shocked.

Judy Dench was just fabulous. Nothing better. She far surpasses the casting in the BBC version. I also liked that her visit to Eliza Bennet occurred at night...unbelievable, but very striking.

No other casting struck me as improved, and Bingley, Darcy, and Mr. Bennet were decidedly worse.

As for the final scene, I liked it. Even though it's a bit of license, I like it indeed.

So, there you go. Now that that's out of the way.

If you like Pride and Prejudice, you will certainly LOVE the BBC version. If you are eternally attached to the new one, look at the BBC version as an expansion, it's very close to the book. Other P&P treatments: Bride and Prejudice, the delightful Bollywood musical, which Sayid from Lost playing the Bingley role. :) And Bridget Jones's Diary (the book is wonderful, and the movie very good too).

That's enough from me for now. I really should get some work done. Next time, I'll discuss another movie I finally saw.

Catch ya' later!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


So... yesterday, after my morning Latte' (which used to be a morning Mocha, with some shot or other to flavor about sugar!), I decided to go off caffeine. I thought that would be the end of it... but now I recall the 3/4 full bag of Dove Dark Chocolate promises in my desk, and I'm really struggling. I also intend to cut out sugar and grains. How am I going to do this? Ugh!

Heh. I can hear X hecklin' me about all this.

I have a friend who tries out every fad diet that comes along. Every diet works for her for a while, and then she slacks, gains, and tries the next fad diet.

The problem I've always seen with these diets, which are 90% embarked upon so she can lose weight, is that they are so restrictive there's just no way to stay on them. After getting the fever to follow her a time or two, I realized that the only good way to lose weight is to eat less and exercise more. Knowing I didn't really want to do either, I resolved myself to always being a little more fluffy than I'd like.

Don't get me wrong, it's not that I don't think exercise is great... but who has the time? If I lived in a climate that would allow frequent after-dinner walks in the warmth of the evening, I'm sure I'd be closer to the skinny Minnie me that I was in high school. As it is, I'd have to get on a treadmill or go to a gym, or erect some other piece of expensive equipment on which to drape clothing--because that's what would happen--and I just can't bear the expense or the sacrifice of more enjoyable pastimes.

As for eating less, I don't know if you all have tried to diet while nursing, but my inability to eat less has very little to do with my will power, and much to do with the caloric needs of being a nursing mum. I suppose a quick fix to feeling less hungry would be to wean. However, life is nice the way it is... I really don't value the loss of 5 or 10 (or 3) lbs more highly than peace at home. I just can't imagine all the hullabaloo weaning Eve would cause... and don't even get me started on how it might effect my already strained sleep!

So... all that to say, I have quite given up the idea of losing weight.

Why then am I going to eschew sugars, starches, and most dairy--basically all that is good and wonderful to eat?


Since before my pregnancy, and truthfully, possibly since my Central Asia trip, I have been struggling with an illness. I won't go into details with you, but this is something I've tried to fix by any and all means. In fact, it is out of sheer desperation, knowing I have no other options, no other viable course of action, that I intend to embark upon the diet from hell.

This Sunday is D-day. This Sunday is when I will go all out. For the time, I'm simply getting rid of sugar and caffeine... simple, ha!

Gone are evenings in front of a glowing TV, snuggled up with a bowl of ice cream covered in chocolate and peanuts... I don't think peanuts are even allowed on this diet... at least not the dry-roasted kind.


It's possible that many months from now, I will be able to reconsider adding peanuts... but sugar and caffeine are pretty much out for good... as long as I can stand it. Though I'm sure, like my girlfriend, when I begin to feel better, I will forget why I ever went on this silly diet and slowly slide back into my old ways. Hopefully the only consequence will be weight gain....

So, anyway... today, being my first day without caffeine of any kind... I've got a terrible headache... and I'm so tired! There... all that so I could whine at you.

Catch ya' later.

Friday, April 07, 2006

On a related note...

So... Anger.

Let's put aside why I've been getting angry more than usual. What I want to discuss for the moment is how I'm expressing and dealing with anger.

I scream, literally.

I throw stuff... usually small, and never at people. Sometimes chairs... lol.

V. occasionally I really really really feel like kicking that cat, but I know that I'd feel much worse after doing so, so I never have. I only feel this way when she's really been bad.

I sometimes kick things.

I never hit things. I do like slamming doors and cupboards though.

I like to make a lot of noise when I'm angry, I guess.

I am not convinced that I'm handling this right, but the only other model I've witnessed is stuffing it down and being bitter, which I know is wrong.

So... tell me your methods... and tell me what you think of mine.

Oh, and if you're a writer... what do your heroic (main) characters do when angry? Do you use different methods of dealing with anger to demonstrate growth in your character? Do your characters get angry, or do they just get hurt?

Thursday, April 06, 2006


So it had to happen. Eve grew. She grew from a sweet, endlessly happy baby, into... a typical toddler!

She's still sweet, most of the time, and usually happy. However, now that she's taller and stronger and quick as a mamba (as my dad would say), she tries my patience to no end. And it's not that I expect otherwise. No, I don't get angry because I expect her to be able to control herself. She's 17 months old, she doesn't have the self-control to deny any desire.

And honestly, I'm not angry at what she does. It's more how it sometimes ruins my plans.

For instance... (btw, this makes me feel like a terrible mom! I can't believe I did this), last week, on my day off, I thought Eve and I might enjoy making a fresh-fruit smoothie together, and then, of course, consuming it together. I try so hard to make sure she eats healthy... this is an attempt to combat the effects of the French fries that I cave in and give to her. Anyway... first things first, wash Eve's hands! She doesn't make it easy. Thanks to her perma-fascination with the dishwasher, I always have piles of dishes on the counter and in the sink. As soon as I get one hand soaped and move to the other, she's grabbin' at filthy dishes. Before I can stop her she grabs an empty glass and throws it. Miracle of miracles, it doesn't break. I'm relieved and annoyed. "Don't throw glasses on the floor Eve, they might break." LOL--no, I didn't expect her to understand, but I really hoped she'd stay on task long enough to get both hands genuinely clean. Then she grabs another glass... this one, of course, breaks.

I just stand there for a few moments. Trying to... compose myself. I pleasantly tell her, "That's what happens when you throw glass on the floor."

She'd been fussy and clingy all day, for whatever reason, and I'd gotten almost nothing done. I thought I was okay with that, but my tantrum proved me wrong.

I had shoes on, thank goodness, so I intended to pick her up and put her in her highchair to keep her out of the way while I cleaned up. And then it hit me how much I DETEST cleaning up broken glass. I mean, who likes it, right? But, I would rather clean up muddy footprints on white carpet any day. Glass fills me with this irrational fear... or maybe perfectly rational. It's impossible to see the tiny shards, which are still perfectly capable of cutting and embedding into feet. It's impossible to get away without getting something stuck to your shoes and then tracked elsewhere, where a little shard will remain unnoticed until it injures someone. I feel powerless against broken glass. Not only that, but a 30 minute micro-clean was *not* on my list of things I wanted to do. In fact, I'd swept the kitchen just the night before... sweeping wasn't on my list! LOL... I could think of a million other things I'd rather do for 30 minutes, even folding laundry. The worst of it was that Eve was still clingy and fussy, so while I cleaned I knew I'd have to listen to her whine at me. I hate hearing her cry.

So, as all of this knowledge hits me, I pick her up and put her under one arm, intending to move the chair she was standing on to make my path to her highchair a little more direct and a little less glassy. As usual, there are a few heavy coats hanging on the back of the chair--with glass in them now--because we don't have an entry way, a coat rack, or a coat closet... gah! I'm getting mad just thinkin' about all this. All that to say, I can't lift the chair with my left hand. I'm ashamed at my behavior. All of this just kind of made me snap... so I picked the chair up as best I could (2 legs still on the floor) and threw all my weight into it so I could essentially throw it across the room (well...the 3 or 4 feet to the cabinets), at the same time, whatever monologue I was giving Eve (I am sure it was something along the lines of, "Now you're going to have to sit in your chair, which I know you'll be unhappy about, but you've got no choice, because the glass is dangerous and it's going to take Mama ages to clean up.") went up a few decibels and down a few notes, so I could yell and throw at the same time.

Then I tip-toed as fast as I could and gave her absolutely no sympathy as I deposited her into her chair.

I fumed and railed as I cleaned, until finally deciding things would be better if I just forgave Eve and myself for the debacle (which I was mainly responsible for anyway). I did feel better, but it didn't change the fact that it was now nearly time to begin making dinner.

This was the most spectacular example of my temper of late, but it's by no means the only time I've thrown a tantrum. It scares Eve and it makes me feel terrible... I'm angry that I'm angry... lol.

After talking with Tom about it, we came to the conclusion that I get angry when my expectations aren't met. I don't expect certain behaviors from Eve, normally, but I do become accustomed to the way things go, or way thing appear to be going on any given day.

Part of the reason I got angry on the glass-breaking day was because, as my second (and not usual) day off of the week, I'd expected to be able to do a little housework catching-up, and to have fun playing with Eve. Instead, I neither had fun nor got anything done, because Eve was in a mood. Some days I get angry she doesn't nap. Other days, I can tell she won't be napping, and so I don't expect it, and don't get angry about it.

Ever since Eve was born I've had to periodically readjust my expectations of myself. When she was new, I had to tell myself it was okay to let the house go, because she needed so much. Then when I started back to work, I had to tell myself it was okay to let the house go, because I couldn't be expected to do it all with such a young baby who still needed so much. When my hours were unexpectedly cut back (babysitter issues) I started getting the house in a bit better shape, because I had more time. Then, when I was able to work things out to get back to my normal hours, things fell apart again. And now I'm not sure what I should be telling myself. I mean, I feel like I can't claim I have a needy baby anymore... she's old enough now that I should be able to get stuff done... isn't she? On the other hand, if I set myself up with expectations, they are invariably unattainable, and then I get upset. So, it would be better to never expect to get the house clean, because then I wouldn't get mad about it.

For the moment, I am simply repeatedly reminding myself of a few things. First, that I don't want to resent Eve because she doesn't allow me to get housework done, because spending time with Eve is actually what I want to be doing... it's housework that's getting in the way of that, not vice versa. I also remind myself that even when I don't get around to laundry, dishes, or vacuuming, it doesn't mean I am not getting things done. The day doesn't just vanish. For instance, yesterday, as I was getting agitated because it took me all morning to get dinner in the crock pot, I made a list of things I'd done:

I changed 4 dirty diapers, and 6 diapers total.
I nursed and cuddled Eve to her little heart's content.
I prepared a rather labor-intensive meal from scratch. (this is another source of anger, as I seem to be incapable of cooking anything never tastes good to Tom... there's always something wrong with it, yesterday's meal was no exception.)
I showered and dressed.
Got Eve dressed (quite adorably, of course)
Emptied her diaper pail and the kitchen trash, even going so far as to put new bags in the bins.
I read 6 chapters of Jane Austen's Persuasion (while nursing).
Prepared and consumed two healthy meals for Eve and myself.
Read 2 books twice through to Eve.

All this between 8 and 1:15 when I took her to her grandpa's so I could come to work for a few hours. This helped calm me when I began to feel a little on edge when it was time to change her diaper for the 4th time in 2 hours. With all the breaks she demanded of me, what should have taken about 30 minutes (cleaning and cutting veggies for potato-leek soup) took me about 2 hours to complete... but I managed to be okay with it... with effort.

So... I've learned how to forgive people. But I haven't yet figured out what to do "in the moment" when something makes me angry. Part of the problem is needing to not get angry in the first place over some things, but there will always be some things that are legitimate that make me angry... how do I deal with those?

Right now, I'm teaching my daughter by example that when we are upset and mad, we throw things and yell. I'm glad to teach her that sometimes we get angry and it's okay to be angry, but I don't like the message that fit-throwing is the way to vent that anger. I simply don't know what else to do, and I seem to be incapable of controlling myself to any great degree... I'm like a toddler myself in that respect.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Back in the saddle?

I deliberately left all my work at work for the weekend.

Blame it on my boss. He asked me what I wanted to do with my life when I decide I've had enough of him. I told him I want to be a writer. He challenged me right off the bat. Basically saying, if you want to be a writer, where's the writing? I went on to explain that a lot has changed for me since Eve was born, and had changed even before that. Basically, I told him I'd written, but not anymore.


This got me to thinkin'.

A few new ideas flitted around in my head, but when I told my mom about it all... she asked me about all my unfinished stuff.

So I went back to look at my most finished unfinished novel. Heh... it's pretty darn good. For only being about 25% done... It's a big story, so I have lots of pages done, and lots left.

I've had lots of thoughts lately.

First off, I'm not sure I can write what I actually like to read. Except my own words. Does that make sense? I *love* reading what I've written. Be it email, fiction, term papers...vanity, thy name is Jenne. I've caught myself re-reading things I find particularly brilliant. Am I the only one who thinks her own stuff just... rocks? Don't get me wrong, I don't go so far as to imagine other people think it rocks (the fools ;))

Anyway...back to what I can't write. I may love reading my own stuff, but will anyone else? Would I love my characters and plot, atmosphere and voice were they someone else's? For instance, my favorite romance novels are historical intrigues. That's why I *LOVE* Nita Abrams. Have I mentioned her before? Anyway... I'm not sure I can build and sustain mystery... and I know I can't write historical, I simply don't know enough about historical time periods to do so. I would hate to write a historical romance using only the information I've gleaned from other historical romances and other historical fiction, it just seems wrong. I think manners and norms would probably be something I could manage...but the atmosphere would be really hard to pull off.

I also love comedy, in pretty much any genre... but I don't pretend I've got a brilliant sense of humor (well, I know what's funny...and I don't include myself in the list, generally) and even if I did, I don't know if I could convey it on the page. When I've tried, it's been very... forced.

I love fantasy (from totally other-world, like LOTR, to contemporary paranormal) but I don't want anything too serious or... rather, I don't want anything that is going to bring me down. Can I pull that off? I am not yet sure. I know there are rules to world-building, but I couldn't tell you what they are.

Looking at my reading purchases over the years, it is these various kinds of books I spend my money on. It's these kinds of books I'd like to write. Am I a coward for thinking I can't?

In all that thinkin' I've been doing, I looked through my ms again. I told you that already, I also told you I think it's pretty darn good. What I didn't tell you is I'm seriously thinkin' of writing some more of it. If I wasn't spending so much time blogging, I might even be working on it now. :)

Catch you later.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Long time...

Yes, it's been forever. I bet no one is looking, and honestly, a big part of me hopes no one does. Because I'm about to out myself, and probably put myself on the black list... or at least that list of people you tolerate but don't really like. That's what happens when your opinions are unpopular--truly unpopular, not Hollywood Elite "unpopular". What I'm about to do is risky. No one will applaud me for how "brave" I'm being. They'll either agree (probably silently, unless they want to take risks too) or disagree, and add me to one or another less than desirable lists.

Usually, I just keep my mouth shut. Don't rock the boat. But honestly, that's not the *real* me.

In person, if you start talking politics and government, or religion, I'm not shy. I am nice, I am polite, but if you say something I believe is wrong, I'm going to tell you so, and tell you why, and then tell you what I think is the alternative, and correct, opinion to hold.

Which leads me to a conversation my husband and I had lately. He told me about a client's opinion on a subject that I have strong opinions on myself. My husband spoke in glowing terms of the wisdom of this guy's ideas. I'm ashamed to say I ripped dh up one side and down the other--and we weren't even discussing what my dh thought! Anyway, we went on to argue over whether or not opinions can be right or wrong... dh says they can't be, they either are or aren't, like feelings.

I disagree, but by that time in the conversation, I was feeling chastened over my treatment of dh, so I didn't pursue it. Opinions, unlike feelings, are ideas, and ideas have power. They may not be able to be true or untrue, in all situations, but they can be good or bad, and often they can be right or wrong. I can hold the opinion all I want that you don't need to breathe to live... but I'd be wrong.

So back to my risk-taking of the day. Since discovering I could make friends online, I've followed the old adage to never discuss politics or religion. A wise course of action. Both subjects tend to inflame passions that the bonds of friendship cannot quench. This may be especially true online, as many of my online pals have never met me in person, and even those who have may not love me so dearly that they wouldn't drop me like a bad habit if they were to discover some truths. What do they have to lose? It's not like we'll meet at the market, or awkwardly be forced to sit beside each other at some community function. If they want to never speak to me again, it would be pretty darn easy to do so.

Additionally, inflection and tone are hard to read. If I write something in email, on a message board, or in IM, or now, on a blog entry or comment, there's really no telling if I'm being kind and gentle or hard as nails. This is a lesson I've learned time and again in my professional life. Unless the words themselves are good and uplifting, try sharing them in person, because if you don't, the negativity seems to be magnified in text. Just another reason to avoid the sticky topics of the day.

Luckily, most of my dearest friends have tended toward the same behavior, skirting the topics that are most likely to divide. Playing it safe with the feelings of others, and maintaining friendships by fostering commonalities and ignoring possible differences, never even knowing if those differences exist.

I'll blame blogs for the change. I tend to go in spurts with my online activity. It's been a bit since I actively read all the blogs I enjoy. I've been back in the saddle, so to speak, for a few weeks, and I'm finding lately that my friends are being risky, with their oh-so-popular opinions. I suspect (though surely I could be mistaken) that since their opinions tend to be the popular ones at the moment, they feel that can't possibly be offending anyone important to them with their words. And honestly, I'm not a thin-skinned individual. I'm not offended so much as annoyed. These are people I love and care about. Yet the words I read are something I can't let go without comment.

I don't want to enter into an argument, so don't expect some sort of point-by-point take down. I'm not doing this to change minds, but rather to inform.

Not everyone thinks like you! No, seriously, not all intelligent, compassionate, "normal" people agree with all the other intelligent, compassionate, "normal" people in the world. I'm pretty sure these wonderful people who are my friends wouldn't call me friend if they didn't believe I was intelligent, compassionate, "normal" and all good things one expects of friends.

I've been living a comfortable lie, telling myself that surely these friends must, deep down, know the truth about me. We don't discuss my differences, because we love each other too much to get into something so... divisive. But the latest comments have shown me my self-deception. I know these people care about me, so let me tell you all that I don't want to hear it. I don't want to read what you think of George W. Bush, the War on Terrorism, the Iraq front of that war, the patriot act or NSA wire-tapping. At least, not if I have to continue keeping my mouth shut to keep you as friends.

I'm a political sometimes-junkie. It's another of those things I do in spurts. I like Fox News, Rush Limbaugh (shock!!!), National Review--I even like John Ashcroft! I especially like George W. Bush. That doesn't mean I agree with every decision he makes, but I believe he is the right man to have in the office of President of the United States. I'm thrilled he was there to take us through 9/11. I'm tickled that his leadership brought down one of many grave threats to our security as a nation; I'm soberly realistic that NSA wiretapping of certain people is one of the best ways to ensure another 9/11 never takes place. I'm determined to see the good and the benefit of changes that have taken place, even as I sneer at expanding government and pandering across the aisle. I could go on and on--but it's more expedient to say that if the mainstream media outlets are touting something, I'm not buying. I could quibble with a million things "this administration" has done, but I think on the big questions, the big issues, the answers have been right.

I expect silent disapproval, a slow, quiet distancing. I bid you a fond farewell, and wish I could have endured in silence.