Friday, October 30, 2009

Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda

I just wrote a long, bitchy, moany, venting blog post about my work and the woes of my work and how much I wish this project were over (one more week ... one more week). But it was boring and depressing, and I realized that this blog is turning into too much of a sounding board for when I'm frustrated, which, actually, is what most of my journals ended up being too. And that is all fine and good for a journal that no one will ever read, but it's not incredibly exciting or interesting for the international world of blogging (even if I do have only one follower ... HI!). Besides, after writing the long, venty post, I felt much better. So I deleted it. Whew for all of us.

So, instead I'm going to recap part of the phone conversation I had today with my beautiful niece, because it just makes me smile. She called because she had just received the two box sets of books I sent via Amazon (on sale, thank you very much). [I love the idea for the National Geographic map binder, by the way! Will definitely file that away for next time!] (The gift shipped yesterday and got there today at no extra cost, thanks to my free trial of Amazon Prime ... whatever that is and which I must go cancel right now before I get charged for it.) Anyway, she could have just said "Geronimo Stilton" over and over again in her cute, growing-up-too-fast voice, and I would have been perfectly happy. What a great name for a character! But we did have an actual conversation, and my favorite part was the discussion about The Dog, whom she met only once, four years ago. So, she was, what, ... 3? Wow, what a memory. Anyway, it won't translate nearly as well, but here it is for posterity's sake.

Beautiful Niece: Thanks for the books, Aunt T. How's The Dog? [This is usually the first question she asks after saying hello, so I felt honored to actually get a full sentence from her first.]
Me: He's fine. He's taking a nap. How are you?
B.N.: Are you going to bring him with you at Christmas?
Me: I wish I could, but he would have to ride underneath with all the luggage, and he wouldn't like that.
B.N.: Maybe he could ride under your seat, like that dog you saw on the plane. [Holy crap, what a memory this child has. Last Christmas, I told her about the full-size standard poodle that got to ride on the plane right behind us, because he was being trained as some kind of helper dog. I then told her the even weirder story that the same dog was on our flight back home, a week and a half later. Weird! She, of course, thought it was perfectly normal. I mean, we flew in together, so of course we'd be on the same flight home.]
Me: [After taking a few seconds to figure out what she was talking about--apparently I do not have the memory of a 7-year-old--I attempted to explain the intricacies of training seeing-eye dogs without completely losing her interest.] Well, we'd have to train him to be a helping dog, and then he'd be allowed to fly with us. But if we did that, we'd have to give him away when we were done training him so that he could be with someone who needs help.
B.N.: [Without a moment's hesitation] Well, that stinks!

I couldn't have said it better, or more selfishly, myself. That would stink, though I guess not for the person who needed help. And where did she learn that phrase, anyway? Too. Dang. Cute!

And now that I have taken this pleasant break from the horrors of editing a high-level tech book written by two professors and one student who do not speak English as their first language, I can go back with a calmer brain. And that calmer brain is not just the result of the vodka and OJ I guzzled while writing this. Really!

Thursday, October 29, 2009


That's what I need. A big dial (or maybe even better a large plastic hammer that bonks me on the head) to keep me in check when I get too maudlin and dramatic and teary eyed over my own woes. Yes, we are struggling with money. Yes, Mr. J is having a ridiculously hard time figuring out what he wants to be and do and then finding someone who will pay him to do just that. Yes, we are living beyond our means. Yes, I really do need to work out so I can fit into my clothes, since I can't afford to buy new ones (though I did go out and buy that blue coat ... turns out it was only $20!! bargain!).

But ... where's that fancy perspective-o-meter to remind me that all in all we are healthy, are happily in love (most of the time), have a house over our heads, have parents who are supportive in every possible way, aren't being gang-raped by a vapid group of sick teenagers, aren't living in Pakistan or Iraq or Afghanistan or any other bomb-prone, wartorn country, love where we live, have wonderfully supportive friends, aren't living in a tent city under an interstate, have a heater that works (thanks to handy Mr. J), and the list goes on.

If I can just remember all this, then maybe I won't fly off the handle and yell at the person I love most in this world when what he really needs is support and encouragement. Maybe I won't become thoroughly forlorn over the fact that we can afford a new blade for the saw to build shelves, but I can't afford to lavish my beautiful 7-year-old niece with gifts on her birthday. These things make me sad, but they are not the end of the world. Life will go on for us.

And by the way, do you think it is pronounced perspectiveOMeter? or perspective-oh-MEter?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Just Write, for Writing's Sake

But I have nothing in particular to say tonight.

And yet whenever I start with those words, I am usually able to fill pages with nothingness. Wanna see how that works? ...

I successfully procrastinated the day away. Started by dropping off Mr. J at the airport (boo hoo; though I do like me some me-time). From the airport I headed to Borders (because I did not learn until tonight about the local, nonchain bookstore. Next time, for sure!). After sipping my coffee and browsing the shelves and making my first full-price book purchase in months, I headed to various thrift stores and Goodwills, looking for a cool, retro raincoat. No such luck, though I did find a baby blue, full-length, inside-out-sheepskinny jacket (there's a word for an inside-out sheepskin jacket, but that word is eluding me ... maybe it's Ugg Jacket, but I really don't think so). Anyway, I am fully tempted to go back to buy said jacket tomorrow. It's only $29. It's not something I would have ever bought in my Denver or Dallas life, but here in Boise's North End, I think it will suit me just fine. And for the price, you can't beat it. If nothing else, it will be great for Halloween.

I then came home long enough to pet The Dog, change into my oh-so-stylish workout gear, and sprint to the gym for spinning. Ugh! I do not enjoy spinning, but I hate it less than running, and it seems to sweat out the same amount of crap. So I'm hoping it'll do something about getting me into my Halloween costume by ... uh ... Halloween. Of course, I completely sabotaged myself afterward by eating a square meal of chips and salsa. (Hey, tomatoes are vegetables, and tortilla chips have ... corn. So there!). After waiting all afternoon for the answers to questions I needed to be able to do my work, my neighbor called up and invited me to some kind of wine thing for the guy who's running for the local council. Good-bye work; hello free nibbles and wine. And, as it turns out, I kind of agree with the guy's politics, so I'll probably vote for him. And not just 'cuz he liquored me up with a couple glasses of red. Honest.

And now I'm back home, after a yummy lotus blossom salad at the Thai restaurant I've been lusting after for the past two months. And instead of catching up on chick flicks, or chick books, or chick knitting, or chick sleeping, I am updating this blog, which I now know has at least one (and maybe two) reader(s) out there. Hi there! Which of course puts some pressure on me to not just blather on about nothing. ... But obviously not that much pressure!

So, other than this being written on a blog rather than in one of my thousands of journals, I have just proved that my married "single" life is really no different from my single single life of years past. Well, except that I know that in one week, wonderful Mr. J will be back, so I don't have to sit here and "angst" all night about how I don't think I will ever meet Mr. (most-of-the-time) Wonderful. Because I did. So there, old single self!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Tactical Error

I was all set to write a ranting, raving blog about how Mr. J and I have been complaining about our weight and lack of exercise and overeating, and how we both joined the Y this past weekend ready to turn over a new leaf, and how I headed out tonight (instead of filling a glass with wine and chowing down on ice cream, I might add) with the intent that Mr. J would run The Dog to the Y, leave The Dog in the car, and join me in the Y, and how that isn't what happened at all. Let it be noted for the record that I, virtuous one that I am, did go to the Y, after setting up the back of the truck with The Dog's bed, so he'd be nice and comfy. And I did work out, while keeping an ever-watchful eye on the door for any sign of Mr. J. After 30+ minutes, I started to realize that he wasn't coming. The ever-positive part of me was hoping that he'd decided to take The Dog for a good long run and meet me back at home. The ever-pessimistic side of me knew he was home, playing FreeCell or watching The ever-worried side of me was fretting that he'd keeled over of a heart attack somewhere on the dark roads of the North End, with The Dog running rampant through the streets hunting grasshoppers or squirrels or some such thing.

Anyway, I was going to write about all that, with all the venom I could muster, because, of course, it was Door #2 that turned out to be the case (Mr. J, sitting in his running gear, staring at the computer and surfing the Web, while The Dog just stared at me with pitiful little eyes, asking, "Why didn't he take me running? I saw him put on shoes and socks and everything. Why? Why?"). But then all my rancor left me when I read about the Somali pirates (no laughing matter, I know) who mistakenly attacked a fully armed French naval ship from two little skiffs armed with what I'm sure were 1980-era Kalashnikovs. The mental image just made me giggle. That and the big glass of red I poured immediately upon entering our abode. Nothing like a little rehydration after a good workout! Well, I know Somali pirates are a big threat and that people are being held hostage, killed, tortured, and worse. But the idea of a little skiff of modern-day pirates attacking a large naval warship just sounds more like a really bad Chevy Chase movie.

In any case, glad I didn't have to vent about all that!