Thursday, December 29, 2005

Bah friggin humbug

Usually this time of year you would find me skipping around singing some tune that nobody else knows. (Yes, I like to hum nonsense.) Not this year though. Some of this can be directly traced back to my lack of a trust fund.

I was happy to realize that I was going to be off work for four consecutive days. Then I looked at my bank balance. I had to call my stylist to cancel my appointment because I just didn't have the funds to go. My hair is tolerable currently but is not cute. Nothing puts me in a foul mood like having uncute hair. Uncute hair means that I cannot go out and flirt like I really should. Fortunately there are berets that are almost as cute as having cute hair. Although with the boots, jeans, and leather jacket, I start to think that I am some stylish 60s radical. Power to the people and all that.

The beret worked for me on Monday. Monday I decided to show up at this get together that people from my high school were having. I don't know why I went. Morbid curiousity? Most of these people were not my friends back then. In fact, I think that most thought that they were too cool for me. Little did they know. The surprising thing is that most of the women did not seem to remember by name but the guys did. Maybe that isn't that surprising actually. Back then I had more male friends than female ones. No, these were not boyfriends. I had three, count them three, dates in high school. Boys did not appreciate me until I turned 18 when I promptly began dating guys five to ten years older than myself.

Back to Monday. What make me think it was ok to have four large glasses of Bombay Sapphire and tonic? On an empty stomach, no less. The high school folks, being the old farts that they are, left as I was starting on my fourth. That gave me time to meet the other boys in the bar. I guess the guy was cute because I gave him my phone number. I know I gave him my phone number because he called three times after I left the bar to make sure I got home ok. I did -- eventually. On my way home I was inspired to stop at my fave bar. Ummm, didn't I realize that I had already had enough to drink? Apparently not. The bartender that night is the guy who I previously thought was an ass. Perhaps I was wrong. He came and sat next to me at the bar to chat. He didn't seem that bad after all. But I was drunk. What do I know?

I was supposed to head out on Tuesday with my old buddies, Jade and Emerald. (I didn't pick the names. They did long ago. Like guys were going to believe those were really their names. No one ever doubted my choice of Alex.) I had spent most of the morning dreaming of duck tacos. Then I called Jade at lunch to verify the time we were meeting.

"Oh yeah. I spoke with Emerald last week. I guess we forgot to call you. We're not going."

What??? Thanks for the phone call, ladies. I had already had a minor meltdown at work that morning and was looking forward to going out. It's just as well. I was too tired and hungover by the end of the day to go anywhere.

Yesterday was spent arguing with the Benefits department at work. I received a letter on Tuesday saying that my health coverage was being cancelled effective Janaury 1. Huh? Obviously these people did not realize how crucial having health insurance is when one is trying to drink one's self into oblivion. I mean that is one of the reasons why I have a grown-up job. That and the joke of a paycheck I receive. (It used to be good but now the bonuses are totally sucking.) They said that during open enrollment I had waived medical coverage. No, I didn't. Then they tried to tell me that because open enrollment had ended, they might not be able to change this situation. Why was I suddenly having "Take this job and shove it" going through my head? This morning they admitted it was a computer error. Apparently I was not the only one to whom this had happened and the situation had been corrected. Damn skippy it's been corrected. Otherwise, I'd have to get on the next flight to Baltimore...

Today I am feeling a little better. My dad is hoping to receive a bonus check next week from the partnership business he is involved in. Basically they sell stuff to utility companies. I would tell you more but it would bore you to tears. I cannot wait until he receives this check because I know that I will be receiving a portion of it in turn. I have also decided to go to the movies tonight. I cannot believe that I have not been to a movie since seeing Elizabethtown. Damn job is interfering with my movie viewing. Then I will probably head over for a few drinks. Not too many though. I do have to be at work at 9 tomorrow. Nothing is worse than dealing with small children in the early morning hours (anything before 11 is early) when one is hungover.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Seasons greetings!

I finally got around to my holiday baking on Saturday afternoon. Now, about 12 hours later, I am finally finishing up.

There is something about my use of the oven that draws the kittens to the kitchen. I have learned to leave the oven light on for them so that they do not burn their paws on the door.

Natasha had been napping but she was awakened by the sound of the camera when I took Boris's picture.

The main thing that I have to bake each year are teacakes using my grandmother's recipe. I realized as I was taking the dough out of the refrigerator that I had only put in half the amount of baking powder that is required. I guess that's what happens when you try to rely on your memory. And no, I had not had anything to drink prior to mixing the dough. My relatives won't care though. It's been two years since I have baked for Christmas. They will just be thrilled that I actually baked.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanakuh, a belated Happy Yule, and Happy Kwanzaa. (If I have forgotten a celebration that falls around this time of year, please let me know so that I can add it to my list in the future.)

Friday, December 23, 2005

Vienna Boys' Choir

Boris had to go today for the last of his vaccines. It is given in the form of nasal drops so I am looking forward to a lot more sneezing.

He just had to check out the exam room thoroughly. I guess there were a lot of interesting smells there.

Before we left the vet, I made the appointment for Boris's surgery. He is being optimistic about it and is hoping to make a career as one of the castrati. I tried to tell him that they no longer do that, but he rarely listens to me.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Lost again

Last night I went to the basement to put my laundry into the dryer. When I returned, Natasha greeted me at the door but there was no Boris in sight. I heard him in the kitchen but didn't see him until I looked up.

Yes, this is the top of the cabinets. I pulled over a chair to get him down but then thought that y'all would like to see a photo before I rescued him

Friday, December 16, 2005

On vacation

OK. So I am not really on vacation. I just feel like it. I got into work this morning and realized that I really don't feel like working today. So I guess I will just pretend to do so. It's helpful that I am the only one in this morning. Hopefully someone else will be here around 1 or so. By then I should be completely starving and in great need of lunch.

I like to make lists. I am hoping to fill my morning with making lists about future posts -- the ones that will involve pictures. I also brought in the latest issue of Vanity Fair as well as a book. For what I get paid, I think they have already gotten their money's worth out of me for the month.

My boss has said that we can wear jeans into work next week. Then it will really feel like vacation. By the way, that is one of my peeves about this place -- the fact that we are not supposed to wear denim of any sort. When I was in the classroom, I lived in denim.

Well enough whining. Let me get back to my list making reading.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

May you all suffer with me

I decided it was time to share the suffering. I received the following in an email from a co-worker yesterday. Please scroll ahead to number 54 and then feel free to peruse the rest of the list.
You know that you have grown up in the 80's and early 90's if:

1. You've ever ended a sentence with the word "SIKE"
2. You watched the Pound Puppies.
3. You can sing the rap to the "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air", and can do the "Carlton."
4. Girls wore biker shorts under their skirts and felt stylishly sexy.
5. You yearned to be a member of the Baby-Sitters Club and tried to start a club of your own.
6. You owned those lil' Strawberry Shortcake pals scented dolls.
7. You know that "WHOA" comes from Joey on Blossom.
8. Two words: Hammer Pants
9. If you ever watched "Fraggle Rock."
10. You had plastic streamers on your handle bars... and "spokey-dokes" or playing cards on your spokes for that incredible sound effect.
11. You can sing the entire theme song to "Duck Tales" (Woo ooh!)
12. It was actually worth getting up early on a Saturday to watch cartoons.
13. You wore a ponytail on the side of your head.
14. You saw the original "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" on the big screen...and still know the turtles names.
15. You got super-excited when it was Oregon Trail day in computer class at school.
16. You made your mom buy one of those clips that would hold your shirt in a knot on the side.
17. You played the game "MASH" (Mansion, Apartment, Shelter, House).
18. You wore stonewashed Jordache jean jackets and were proud of it.
19. L.A. Gear....need I say more?
20. You wanted to change your name to "JEM" in Kindergarten. (She's truly outrageous.)
21. You remember reading "Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing" and all the Ramona books.
22. You know the profound meaning of "WAX ON, WAX OFF"
23. You wanted to be a Goonie.
24. You ever wore fluorescent clothing. (some of us...head-to-toe).
25. You can remember what Michael Jackson looked like before his nose fell off and his cheeks shifted.
26. You have ever pondered why Smurfette was the only female smurf.
27. You took lunch boxes to school... and traded Garbage Pail Kids in the schoolyard.
28. You remember the CRAZE, then the BANNING of slap bracelets.
29. You still get the urge to say "NOT" after every sentence.
30. You remember Hypercolor t-shirts.
31. Barbie and the Rockers was your favorite band.
32. You thought She-ra (Princess of Power!) and He-Man should hookup.
33. You thought your childhood friends would never leave because you exchanged handmade friendship bracelets.
34. You ever owned a pair of Jelly-Shoes. (neon colors)
35. After you saw Pee-Wee's Big Adventure you kept saying "I know
you are, but what am I?"
36. You remember "I've fallen and I can't get up."
37. You remember going to the skating rink before there were inline skates.
38. You ever got seriously injured on a Slip and Slide.
39. You have ever played with a Skip-It.
40. You had or attended a birthday party at McDonalds.
41. You've gone through this nodding your head in agreement.
42. You remember "Popples."
43. "Don't worry, be happy."
44. You wore like, EIGHT pairs of socks over tights with high top Reeboks.
45. You wore socks scrunched down (and sometimes still do...getting yelled at by "younger hip" members of the family)
46. You remember boom boxes.. and walking around with one on your shoulder.
47. You remember watching both "Gremlins" movies.
48. You know what it meant to say "Care Bear Stare!!"
49. You remember watching "Rainbow Bright" and "My Little Pony Tales."
50. You thought Doogie Howser/Samantha Micelli was hot.
51. You remember Alf, the lil furry brown alien from Melmac.
52. You remember New Kids on the Block when they were cool... and don't even flinch when people refer to them as "NKOTB".
53. You knew all the characters names and their life stories on "Saved By The Bell."
54. You know all the words to Bon Jovi - SHOT THROUGH THE HEART.
55. You just sang those words to yourself.
56. You remember watching Magic vs. Bird.
57. Homemade Levi shorts.. (the shorter the better)
58. You remember when mullets were cool!
59. You had a mullet!
60. You still sing "We are the World"
61. You tight rolled your jeans.
62. You owned a banana clip
63. You remember "Where's the Beef?"
64. You used to (and probably still do) say "What you talkin' about Willis?"
65. You had big hair and you knew how to use it.
66. You're still singing shot through the heart in your head, aren't you?

I will have you know that I had that song stuck in my head most of the day. It then segued into a Bon Jovi medley -- "Dead or Alive," "Living on a Prayer"... You get the point.

During the late 80s, I was in college. A part of the early 90s was that brief period of time that I spent in law school -- before I came to my senses. Maybe it was all the Aquanet Super Hold I used in the 80s. Who knows? All I know is that when I look at pictures of myself from that time period I am frightened by the fact that my hair looks bigger than the rest of my head. Oh, and some of the pictures do feature a side ponytail -- and I'm also usually wearing either a short jumper with biking shorts underneath or cutoff Levi's or Hammer pants -- but I had the pants before Hammer did.

I have a few issues with some of the things on the list. I mean He-Man and She-ra hooking up? I don't think so. She-ra could do much better than him. I stopped pondering about Smurfette around 1988 when a friend explained to me how she came to be. I believe this was on a study break during finals. The same friend used to try to irritate me by going around singing the Smurf song. I think later that day we read the Book of Revelations in its entirety as a study break. Then we were too freaked out to continue studying.

Thank you for allowing me to drag you along on my walk down memory lane. This whole thing has made me think of a possible series of future posts that will contain lots of photos. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Giving into peer pressure

You knew it was coming. I decided it was time for me to jump on the bandwagon. I mean Laurie and Jen did tag the world. So here goes...

TEN random things you might not know about me.
1. I was a deb. My college friends could not believe this. They thought I was too much of a feminist to participate in anything like this. I am the child of Southerners though and can be quite traditional at times.
2. As a result of #1, I can still do a full curtsy. I now use it as a sobriety check when out.
3. I often read while watching TV.
4. I like to eat my food before drinking my beverage usually.
5. I used to do counted cross stitch. I would still but finding good patterns has become harder.
6. I am really a shy person who learned how to overcompensate over the years.
7. There probably isn't a genre of music that I do not like. OK. I am not into Christian rock but that's about it.
8. I like to whine about gaining weight. OK. You knew that part. What you don't know is that most folks I know look at me like I am absolutely nuts because I have always worn a size 2 or 4. My neighbor and I have a pact. Shoot either of us if we ever get up to size 6. And no, I do not care that I am almost 40. Its one of my few vanities.
9. I have had the same best friend for over 30 years.
10. I am a tea drinker. I will drink coffee when I am at a restaurant or someone else's home. I keep coffee in my home for guest. When I am at home or at work though, it is all about tea. And I try to keep at least five different types from which to choose, my current fave being Lapsang Souchong.

NINE places I've visited.
1. Graceland - it was part of a cross-country drive
2. Every state along I-40 on the same cross-country drive
3. Barbados
4. London
5. Exeter
6. Puerto Vallarta
7. Mazatlan
8. A whole bunch of other places on the drive from SF to Puerto Vallarta
9. Occidental, CA - best known for its Italian restaurants

EIGHT ways to win my heart.
1. Remember the little things like my favorite candy to enjoy while watching a movie.
2. Giving me flowers just because.
3. Have a life beyond me and your job.
4. Be nice to your mother and animals (My grandma said this is the first thing to look for in a man.)
5. Be able to dance -- well.
6. Being chivalrous.
7. Be adventurous.
8. Accept me for who I am, not who you think I should be.

SEVEN things I want to do before I die.
1. Travel to every continent. Well maybe not Antartica.
2. Learn at least a couple more languages.
3. Learn how to tango.
4. Fall in love several more times.
5. Own a home with space for lots of animals. Not a crazy cat lady kind of place. I've just always loved animals and have dreamed since I was a little girl of having a place in which I could at least have cats, dogs, and horses.
6. Own something from Carolina Herrera.
7. Make a cake with a fondant icing and lots of pretty flowers. And it better look just like the photos you see in magazines.

SIX things I'm afraid of.
1. Spiders.
2. Pickup trucks with the Stars and Bars in the rear window.
3. Spiders.
4. Small-minded people with lots of power.
5. Spiders.
6. Oh yeah, and spiders.

FIVE things I don't like.
1. Nuts with the exception of peanuts, walnuts, and pecans. OK. Cashews are ok in cashew chicken but that is the only use I have for them.
2. Middle America.
3. Some of my co-workers.
4. Most new cars. Most of them look alike. Give me a classic car anytime. Like a '59 Corvette.
5. Uninformed and/or ignorant people. Kind of redundant as I believe that ignorance is often born out of a lack of information.

FOUR ways to turn me off.
1. Being close-minded.
2. Being condescending.
3. Being pretentious -- especially if you have no cause to be.
4. No fashion sense.

THREE Things I do everyday.
1. Read something -- a book, a magazine, something
2. Listen to music.
3. Think about food. It is often a major a production just to decide what I want to eat for at least one meal a day.

TWO things that make me happy.
1. Ice cream in the rain
2. Finding money that I had forgotten about in a jacket pocket. It means I can buy ice cream or maybe a book.

ONE thing on my mind right now.
Boris jumping on things he shouldn't -- the TV, the lamp cord, the printer, the stovetop, my back. Yes, he has been on all of these things in the time I was writing this post.

To those who haven't reponded to the worldwide tag, then considered yourself tagged once more.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

A different look

Yes, I am feeling much better. I believe it was the sleep and gin that did it.

Part of the reason why I had to tell the folks at work that I could not work this weekend was because of my hair. It was time for something different. Now Jen, braids can be a time-saver on the daily basis but they take hours to put in and just as many to remove. Once out it also meant that it was time to re-color my hair. (I almost spelled it "colour" in honor of Gloria.) Yes, I color my hair and have done so since age 18. I come from a family that suffers from premature grey. The whole goal was to have the new look done in time to head out Saturday night. I mean, what is the use of fab hair if you can't show it off?

While unbraiding, I decided to check out the On Demand channel on my cable. It was filled with loads of cheesy 80s flicks. My fave in the viewing marathon was The Pick-up Artist. I thought it was pretty cool that Harry Dean Stanton played Molly Ringwald's dad in Pretty in Pink but this was even cooler. In this one Dennis Hopper plays her dad. Also a movie that contains Beastie Boys -- "Paul Revere" and "She's Crafty" -- in the soundtrack cannot be all bad. And while I am thinking of 80s music, I did try singing "The Glamorous Life" while I cleaned the litterboxes. Thank you for that suggestion, Laurie. It made the task much easier.

I almost wimped out on going out tonight but then I realized that I owed it to my readers to go out. I passed by my fave shop on my way and said that I would take a picture on my back home. I did not pass the window on foot on my way back so there is no photo. All I have to say is that it was the perfect dress for my bday party next year. (I still have to return library books tomorrow so there is still hope.) My fave bartender asked if I found my purse last week. He then gave me a free drink. I tipped him well. I would have just based on his looks. Yes, he is hot. Tonight I met an Aussie who is about two to three years younger than I am. We went to his place and he made me breakfast. He also has a really cute cat. After eating I made him drive me home. We are both regulars at the bar so future meetings may happen.

Until then, I am off to sleep.

Friday, December 9, 2005

Job choices

First of all, I would like to say that I believe that I am getting better. I slept til 10:30 this morning. I am usually up by 7:30 at the latest. Then I headed out to run errands -- Rubio's, the grocery store, and the library. There is something about illness that makes me crave either fish with lots of salsa or fish with lots of wasabe. Also key to recovery from a cold is the right beverage. My fave is limeade with a wee bit of gin. So much better than NyQuil. Finally I needed to return books and find some new reading material if I am going to rest.

I was going to post a photo for Gloria but my subjects flew off right as I was able to find a parking space. There is a UC research field near me. In the summer the field was filled with corn. I am afraid to ask what they were doing with the corn. Now that the field has been cut down, it is usually filled with Canadian geese. As I parked my car, I noticed that the geese were over me in v-formation. So much for the photo. I'm sure I'll get another opportunity this weekend though.

Now back to the post topic. I have always felt that the main reason why we work is so that we can pay for things in life that we want. There has to be balance though. What is the use of working for money only to not have the time to enjoy your earnings? A job is something that you do. It should not be a definition of who you are. When one has nothing else in one's life then one has allowed one's job to become the definition of who one is. It seems a shame. There is so much out in the world to enjoy.

I have recently decided that it was time to return to the classroom. I tend to work ten-hour days often. Thankfully I am an insomniac and have learned to function on four to six hours of sleep a night. Otherwise, I would not be able to fit in the rest of the things that I enjoy. If I go back to the classroom, I will be able to have adequate time for all the other things and not run myself down so much that I end up sick.

Well, my cold therapy is calling to me. Just thought I'd give y'all something to think about.

Thursday, December 8, 2005

We're sick

Boris and I now both have colds. It has not been pleasant. I would go lie down but that just means that Boris will stand on my stomach and sneeze in my face. I think he's still mad about the refrigerator. I will write more when I have a bit more energy. For now, I think I will crawl into bed and slip into a coma.

Monday, December 5, 2005

My heart stopped tonight

... or why I realized that I should never be allowed to have children.

Tonight I lost Boris. I realized this when I sat down to relax after spraying odor and stain control stuff on the area of the carpeting that Boris had decided to use as toilet paper.

Normally at this point in the evening Boris and Natasha would be busy chasing each other around the apartment. Instead it was just Natasha plaintively wailing. Sometimes they like to hide from each other so after five minutes of Natasha's wailing, I decided to help her look for him. Natasha and I searched every conceivable hiding place at least twice. Boris was nowhere to be found. I then took a stroll through the building on the off chance that he had escaped. I knew this wasn't really possible because the last time I had opened the door was before spraying the carpet. I even went to look around inside.

Natasha was eagerly awaiting my report when I returned. I had to tell her that Boris was gone and that I desperately needed a second glass of wine. That's when I remembered seeing Boris the last time. He had been hovering around me while I had poured a glass of Riesling. I remember thinking, "No. He couldn't possibly be..." I ran to the refrigerator because if all else failed I could pour myself another glass of wine. There sitting on the bottom shelf of the fridge was Boris.

I certainly hope this has taught him to stop being so nosy around the refrigerator.

Sunday, December 4, 2005

Party, party, party

San Diego was OK. It was work after all. I had to sit through four days of classes on sales. The worst part is that the classes started at 8. Who's the freak who set up that schedule. I don't even have to be at work that friggin early in the morning. Needless to say, I consumed large amounts of coffee. By Thursday night the women in my class decided that it was time for us to head out. Besides it was the woman from Utah's birthday. Ummm ... no alcohol? No caffeine? That wasn't too hard to figure out. These women's choice for an outing was a country and western place. You can all stop laughing now. I was the first one on the dancefloor in the place. Actually it was more like I was dragged onto the floor. This nice older guy (I would put him at 50-something) asked me to dance. He then worked his way through our group until he hit the woman who was around his age. They spent the rest of the evening chatting. On the ride back to the hotel, she shared that he is a highway patrol officer. Huh. Maybe I should have hung onto that one. I mean a uniform and handcuffs...

I ended up spending a couple of hours hanging out at the San Diego airport until my flight. That was the start of the liquid dinner. When my ride got near my apartment, we suddenly had the brilliant idea going out for more drinks. Who cares that I was supposed to be at work by 9 on Saturday? I did make it to work on time though. On my way home from work last night, I toyed with the idea of going out again but then I came to my senses. After a couple of glasses of wine at home, I passed out. I must say I feel much more rested now. I still have partying in the blood though. I'm off next weekend so maybe I'll just start on Thursday night.

I have also started planning my birthday party for next year. Yes, I know that it is months away. I figure that you only turn 40 once though -- or is that turn 29 twelve times? I spoke with a friend last week and she gave me even more ideas to go with the theme. Still need to find a location for the party though.

Non-party related news -- still hearing from the Belgian. (OK. So maybe that is party related since I met him after several cocktails.) He still sends daily emails. Last week he decided that since I like language so much, he would send me one written in Dutch. Isn't that sweet? Never mind that I do not understand a single word of Dutch. Fortunately one of the women in the training class does and was able to translate for me. He is also planning a return trip in early Spring. I had hoped to leave town around then. Guess I won't now.

Well, I believe the cocktail hour has started. Off to see what kind of mixers I have.

Saturday, December 3, 2005


I made it back home last night. I have never been so happy to get home as I was last night. That might be why I had the liquid dinner -- not a good idea. It is also not good that I had it while out at a bar and then like an idiot misplaced my purse. I really should not be allowed to carry a purse when drinking.

It was also not good to have a liquid dinner seeing as I am working today. Showing up at 9 a.m. was extremely harsh this morning. And who is the idiot who scheduled a vet visit for Boris this morning meaning I had to be up even earlier so I could drop him off? Oh yeah. That would be me. I just wish this last kid would hurry up and finish his diagnostic assessment so that I can go home and go back to bed. Oh yeah. Guess I should pick up Boris first.

Guess I will get back to my online training on preventing harrassment in the workplace.