Saturday, September 29, 2007
Friday, September 28, 2007
Like doing inventory, I got to see many more store products than I might have noticed otherwise. That's great, because I got to learn about the existence of pickled asparagus, canned chestnuts and lime curd, but it's also frustrating because I find the whole range of convenience foods an indicator of how lazy and detached from food our culture has become. Now don't get me wrong, my great food love is itself a convenience item, so I'm aware there is a double standard here. However, I think I've identified the category of convenience foods that irritate me: sweets and non-meals.
The aisle I was auditing this weekend included spices, cereals, baking goods, cake mixes, cookie mixes, and canned fruits and vegetables. Nothing too offensive in the canned fruits and veggies, no complaints in among the flours and sugars, and I even smiled as I looked over the array of spices. It was the baking mixes that put me in a foul mood. I grew up on baking mixes, despite my mom's great talent for baking. With three growing kids and a full time job, she probably just didn't have time for scratch baking. Put it that way, many modern people probably don't. I have compassion for my mother in this, but I find it hard to cop to in others. I find myself frustrated by the varieties of baking mixes available to us: plus blueberries, plus marrion berries, with brown sugar on top...
...it's days or weeks later and I just can't finish this rant. It's in my nature to be relativistic and forgiving and once I realized that the convenience foods are just there for people with busy lives, whatever their priorities are (just because someone doesn't have kids doesn't mean they don't want ease in the kitchen), I couldn't stay upset. I guess I was just lamenting because so much food available is just crap - not good for people, animals, children or the environment - and that I wish people knew the joy of cooking.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Friday, September 21, 2007
And I'm probably not going.
I need to get a second job. I need to stay home and earn my usual passive moneys from babysitting Plum. I need to work on my side job. Basically, it's worth losing the money that's already gone to make more real and potential money.
But I feel bad about it.
E is going. She even said she didn't want to be the flake that didn't go (although I paraphrase, because she used a word worse than flake), which I try not to take as a direct hit. So now I wonder if I should somehow go. Even though I'm taking two weeks off next month to go on vacation.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
I also learned a little something new about housekeeping while at a friend's house the other day. On her coffee table was a copy of Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House. I paged through the sections on bedroom decor (sexual art not necessarily best), the use of stimulating beverages (when to serve coffee, tea or alcohol) and liability (when one could reasonably be expected to pay damages for injury), but carried away on this handy advice:
upon rising in the morning, turn down the sheets and open the window to air the bed.
Both A and E are bed makers, so I've grudgingly fallen into the habit of at least pulling the bedding up over the bed so as to have a slightly less rumply bed to come back to in the evening, but no more. I've aired the bed for the past several days and I find my bed so much more appealing now. I actually leave the bed turned all the way down (with the sheets and blankets folded back) until it's time for bed. The sheets are then cool and fresh every time I climb between them. I guess that's a lesson in listening to my own instincts.
Monday, September 17, 2007
It was served in a pitcher with a shot glass.
It cost about $10 in 1997.
1oz or 30 ml Midori
1oz or 30 ml Malibu Rum
1oz or 30 ml Vodka
1/2 oz or 15 ml Cointreau
1/2 - 1 oz Pineapple Juice
I'm looking forward to having this at my cocktail party (Goal # 97)!
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Saturday, September 15, 2007
They described contempt as closely related to disgust, though Webster (below) uses the synonym disdain. I think this is also related to condescension (also below). In my own life, I'm so sensitive to people seeming to condescend or patronize me that I often jump to conclusions and assume everything they say is meant in that way. This is also described in the book - the pattern of how things are received, which can be general to all people or specific to a single person and is another independent predictor for the success of a relationship. I wonder if these things can be changed? I shall read on.
1 a: the act of despising : the state of mind of one who despises : disdain b: lack of respect or reverence for something2: the state of being despised3: willful disobedience to or open disrespect of a court, judge, or legislative body
1 a: to descend to a less formal or dignified level : unbend b: to waive the privileges of rank2: to assume an air of superiority
2 : to adopt an air of condescension toward : treat haughtily or coolly
Friday, September 14, 2007
A and I have started having the strangest car chemistry. We actually have these strange almost-arguments about who drives. He usually uses a teasing tone, but I think he's serious. Usually we haven't established who is driving beforehand and I assume he's driving, because 1. his car is smaller, easier to park and gets better gas mileage and 2. he's always driven everywhere. Maybe he's tired of driving or maybe we just started a trend by taking my SUV camping, but these days he seems to want me to drive a lot more. I don't mind driving if we're going to do "my" plans or see "my" friends, but sometimes I resent it when they are "his" plans or friends.
Maybe we should just ride our bikes?
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Here's one for the literalists out there, though. In general, I use language very loosely, especially for one who likes definitions so much. One way in which I use language loosely is in regards to time. I like to say "the other day" as a description of when something happened. It wasn't necessarily the other day this weekend or even a day this week or month or year. "The other day" in my lexicon really refers to any day other than today. It's not so much that I am being deliberately secretive about when, exactly, a thing occurred, but more that I can't exactly remember and any event that I remember usually seems to have happened fairly recently.
There it is, one of the quirks that defines B...I wonder if that's part of the reason why I also pre-and post-date my blog entries?
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
I don't know why I like that terminology but I do. Somehow the words - internal exploration - sound like an adventure. I guess Body Worlds 3 (which I have extremely mixed feelings about) could be one form of internal exploration, whereas therapy and personal growth work could be another.
I found a list of the top 10 things one can do to improve one's life and the top item was something about stop paying so much attention to how you feel. I really jived with that in some ways. My community consists of a lot of people who are really in touch with their feelings and sometimes it gets a little crazy. Like when a friend asked me how I was dealing emotionally with moving in the middle of carrying furniture outside. Or when another friend wept daily for two weeks for no aparent reason and spent hours ruminating on it. I do think sometimes that would help people have a better time.
But what about those people who don't really get in touch with their feelings at all? I guess the answer is the same as usual: moderation.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Turns out, it really is shambles and shamble is something totally different. Shambles refers to:
1 : a meat market
3 a: a place of mass slaughter or bloodshed
b: a scene or a state of great destruction
c (1): a scene or a state of great disorder or confusion
(2): great confusion : mess
Whereas shamble simply means to walk awkwardly with dragging feet.
Even though my life is in shambles, referring to a state of disorder and confusion and not to a slaughterhouse or meat market, I find it calming to read Webster. Perhaps I should use Webster for meditation purposes. How do I, a fairly organized, hard working, rear-end retentive, get so close AGAIN to overdrawing my bank account, not have access to my own mail and give terrible job interviews for a position for which I am not only qualified, but also an ideal candidate? I've moved the money around so everything is covered, I'm going to my complex manager to figure out the mailbox situation and I'm going to 'let go and let God' about the interviews, but even having solutions doesn't help. That my counselor just called saying I missed our appointment for right now also doesn't help. Maybe selling my junk on Craigslist to clear clutter and make money will help. Guess I'll find out.
Monday, September 10, 2007
And now I find myself ironing. Not the shirt I need for an interview later today, but my table linens. How did this happen?!
Sunday, September 9, 2007
I think this is a risk of blogging, especially if you know you have a readership, like on LiveJournal or MySpace, where you have long lists of "friends" that may check in regularly. A few people mention your blog to you, commenting or complimenting, in person or online and then this weird sense of something starts to take over. It's almost like an over-inflated sense of your own importance, but I don't think it's exclusively that ... narrow-minded.
When my friends tell me about their day, I'm interested...until it becomes the laundry list and then I start going over my list in my head, which I then often share and it becomes this vicious cycle. I don't want to that in life or online - it seems just such a waste of time, energy and harddrive space.
Saturday, September 8, 2007
My year off, immediately after college, wasn't spent touring around Europe on a trust fund or lounging on beaches surfing all day because that part of the world just wasn't that expensive. I moved out of state, got a job and starting getting ready for grad school.
In grad school, I started to understand a little of what people were saying, because the difficulty level went up considerably over college and even over working full time. Life was hard - I don't even like to think of how hard! But that's not even what people meant by THE REAL WORLD.
I think they just mean their world. Whatever their world looks like - whatever grim stressers present themselves to that person every day. If working at jobs I love in a city that thrives is the real world, I'll take it. Yes, I can't wait to get into the real world - I can't wait to be paid a living wage for every hour that I've worked and have my free time be my own without guilt that I should be studying. I can't wait to be able to schedule my vacations any time I want and not just during Christmas or summer holidays.
My very good friend S pointed out that the people who say "wait until..." are the same people who say "enjoy it while you're young" and they are just jealous. I like her advise, which is to just say "I love you even though you're jealous." And I would add, "Just you wait until I'm in the real world!"
Friday, September 7, 2007
roqufort: used for a pungent French blue cheese made from sheep's milk
(It's true - it is quite pungent, enough so that I would suggest not eating it in polite company, although I'm sure it's delicious.)
charcuterie: a delicatessen specializing in dressed meats and meat dishes; also : the products sold in such a shop
Etymology: French, literally, pork-butcher's shop, from Middle French chaircuiterie, from chaircutier pork butcher, from chair cuite cooked meat
accoutrement or accouterments (both spellings are correct): equipment, trappings; specifically : a soldier's outfit usually not including clothes and weapons -- usually used in plural b : an accessory item of clothing or equipment -- usually used in plural; an identifying and often superficial characteristic or device -- usually used in plural
Starting with cell phones. I decided not to get a land line, so now I only have a cell phone. I love my cell phone. Like pets, it's okay to love your cell phone so long as you don't love your cell phone. I enjoy the convenience of making calls wherever I am: stuck waiting for my number to be called at the DMV, on the way to my friends house to see if they need me to stop at the store for anything, in the airport, by the pool. I especially enjoy the ease and convenience of text-messaging. I can just ask the question, send the reminder, share the info really fast without actually having to take the time to speak to the person. And it's easy to get the same from my friends too. I find this less disrespectful to the person I am with than actually making a call, but I know it drives some people, that is, A, crazy.
What I hate is receiving calls. When I'm home alone or needing to speak to someone, I love people to call me, but if those conditions aren't met, I hardly answer. It's nothing personal and often it's unintentional because my phone is on silent so I don't notice the call anyway. But even if I notice the call, I often silence or ignore it if I'm with someone or doing something. Because "the phone is there for my convenience." I use quotes because this is, in fact, a quote and not my words at all, though I can't for the life of me remember where I read that story. At any rate, the phone is there for my convenience and I'm not going to pick up if it's not convenient. That may mean I'm busy, I'm with someone, I'm just not in the mood to talk, I'm not in the mood to talk to that particular caller or that I'm suffering from cell phone head, since that's the only phone I have now.
I want to encourage, well, everybody, especially those others who also only have cell phones, to consider taking this approach as well. There is no reason that using or having a cell phone, even if it is one's only phone, should mean that we have to be accessible all the time. The silent and ignore features are there for our convenience too.
Thursday, September 6, 2007
I started writing about my move and using that as an example of how I go it alone, but that was just getting me down. The move itself was immensely depressing because despite hiring movers and taking many loads to the new place in my car (alone or with E), I still had to ask friends for help. Now that I'm moved, it's not as depressing, because I enjoy living alone and like having this space all to myself.
So, on reflection, I really don't have that much to say about doing things alone. I know I do it. I know I don't like asking for help. I know that I should ask for help and that it's okay to ask for help. But I also think it's become so ingrained into my personality that I don't even recognize when or how I do it.
So I guess it's a good thing that I asked E to hem my curtains for me, right?
With my recent move, I've decided not to have a land line telephone. I can easily borrow free wireless Internet from the city, my neighbor or the cafe down the block, so I don't need a line for that either. Since my last phone bill, including Telephone Assistance and high-speed wireless Internet, was about 55$ split with my housemate, this is a great way to save some money. For just about $15 a month extra, I can add enough minutes to let my cell phone be my primary phone number. Since I usually have it on silent, rarely answer or return calls, listen to my messages sporadically and spend most of my talk time with another network user, I don't think my minutes will be an issue.
However, what may be an issue is cell phone head. Not using my cell phone that often, I've forgotten how bad cell phone head can get. Cell phone head includes, but is not limited to the following conditions:
- Buzzy brain feeling
- Sweaty face, including acne breakouts
- Mental confusion and lack of focus
I got a bad case of cell phone head today speaking with A and not only snapped at him, but disregarded his feelings with some crappy comment. Now, I'm pretty sure most people wouldn't want to just stay on the phone while the other party was reading through their mail, but I don't think that is enough to justify being so inconsiderate...but I think cell phone head is a good enough excuse.
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
The New Schedule is and isn't great. It's 3 full days a week, which is fewer than half the days of a week, but longer than half a work week. That gives me a nice paycheck compared to my one shift a week paychecks of yore, but the days happen to include Saturday and Sunday, the only full days that my boyfriend and friends are all off work. Luckily, I have the evenings free, though it does limit how much late night activity I can participate in. That could be a good thing, though. For my own edification and because I just love lists and schedules, here's an idea of how I have my schedule planned:
8am : wake, walk dog, breakfast
9am : gym, shower
11am-1pm : work on thesis (for the next week or so : unpack)
1pm : lunch
2pm-5pm : work on thesis or special projects
5pm-10pm : fun time with friends
6am : wake, walk dog, breakfast, shower
8am-5pm : work
5pm-10pm : fun time
Sleep In, Clean House, Run Errands, Free Day!
I wanted to list all the "special projects" that I'm hoping to work on, but when I do that it just starts to look like a task list instead of a list of fun or useful things I'd like to do. I'll just maintain the list in my head or better yet, look around my condo and garage if I'm ever not sure what they are - they're all right there in front of me, either because I bought the supplies for that really fun project or because it's the box of unorganized do-da's that I haven't gone through yet!
For now, my project is "fall asleep quick," because caffeine or no, I've got a big day ahead of me tomorrow.
Monday, September 3, 2007
What I've learned from this move:
1. Book your movers in advance
2. Be the first move on their schedule that day
3. Double and triple check with your movers
4. Pack books in doubled shopping bags or tiny boxes
5. Label your boxes
6. If it goes from garage to garage and you haven't used it in a year, it's probably garbage
7. Meeting new neighbors can be either a pain or a joy - thanks to my new neighbor Steve for helping me get my comfy chair in today - Chibo did flips for joy
8. Try to organize things into appropriate bins/storage/drawers before the move
9. Look at your kitchen cupboards and figure out in advance which ones will contain what
10. Pace yourself
So, I've learned a lot, I'm moved in but not unpacked and unlikely to be until sometime later this month. But I again promise myself, starting today: good nights of sleep, walks with the dog, swimming on hot days and restful reading periods. Oh yeah, and ample time to blog.
Sunday, September 2, 2007
- Nonny's Apartment - birth to age 1
- 28th Street - age 1 to 4
- Greenmont Street - age 4-13
- Buchanan - age 13-18
When I left home at 18, I pretty well stayed on campus and spent my summers camp counseling or doing foreign study, so I was on various college campus for the next 4 years, except for the last year when they told seniors we had to get off campus to make room for the incoming class. It was a drastic policy change from "on-campus required" to "seniors, take a hike."
- College Dormitory, including summers age 18-20
- Australia (international student housing) age 20-21 : 7.5 months
- Cooperative Housing : 3 months - lived in a dry house with 31 other people, worked at a coffee shop and brought home free pastries, my roommate worked in an ice cream shop and brought home free ice cream - I never saw so many sweets move so fast; just lived there long enough to do my thesis research
- Stewart Street : 11 months, graduated college - moved out to come to P____
And in the past 8 years, since I moved to P____, I've moved around a lot. The last couple years have been pretty stable - these and my 12 month leases bring the average to about 1 year per place which isn't so bad, but there were a few moves that occurred in quick succession - you bet your booties, I didn't unpack much those times.
- LaSalle Apartment : 12 months with Ree and J - moved when lease ended
- Willow Creek: 12 months with Jenn and Fido - moved when lease ended - incidentally was on cruches during this move - thank goodness for good friends!
- Cockroach Studio: 4 months with no TV - moved because I wanted to live with Jeff M and friends
- Capitol Hwy: 6 months with rotating roommates including Atlanta roommates who hated me, Jeff M and Ree who wanted to move her gal pal, her 4 ferrets and a 3rd cat in. Moved out because my landlord threatened to evict me when I was 4 days late with the rent and 1 day out of being hospitalized for major surgery. Was again crippled and unable to help much with my own move - thanks again for good friends who helped a lot.
- The Farm: 3 months in the country with former very good friends and their new baby. It was a great time and I think fondly of them often, though we aren't friends anymore. I loved living there, but once I was feeling better, the commute was too much. Not sure why we're not friendly anymore, but I think I got lumped into the category of shit that went along with their divorce.
- Bertha: 12 months with E - cemented our friendship and our ability to tell each other everything, including that I wanted to get my own place. Moved out to try living alone again.
- Hawthorn Studio: 12 months - loved living there, even when I had to sell my car to pay the rent, but moved to live in an amazing house that E was offered.
- The House: 17 months. 3 bedrooms, bonus room, full basement, fenced yard, ample storage, fireplace. Reasonable rent, landlord did yard work. Raised garden beds, passionflower vine. Ping pong. Game nights. I still miss it. Landlord sold the house because he and his partner were breaking up - it's too bad he didn't wait because they are now married and we would never have left that house.
- The Townhouse: 14 months. Great modern space under construction for 9 months of our stay there - you just don't get over that kind of thing. Still not exactly sure why we moved out, but I know we had good reasons.
And that brings me to this round: West Lake. So far so good, and I have high hopes, even though I already miss my ER.
Saturday, September 1, 2007
E and I were both looking forward to some leisure this weekend after the move, but there is something holding me back from doing that during this enforced day off today. I did sleep in until about 10 since there was no need to "ride at dawn" as we've been doing and am planning on finishing watching a movie, but I also plan to finish packing my kitchen, move it over and unpack the kitchen and bathroom today before retiring to A's place to sleep. I'm also getting the dog groomed and going grocery shopping since I won't have much food at the new place. Maybe I'll have some fun with my Bed Bath and Beyond gift card - I need a toaster.
Whoa, somebody stop me.