Sunday, May 31, 2009

Okay, so I didn't MANIFEST my lottery win, but I also didn't buy a ticket.

My experiment with post-dating and manifesting my desired outcome did not work out as well as I'd hoped, although it would probably have helped if I'd actually bought a lottery ticket. Despite the best of intentions, I did not. I tried, though. Twice. The first time, we had missed the Sunday drawing and decided not to buy for Wednesday until we knew that no one had won Sunday and the second time, well, I guess I didn't really try, I just forgot because my dog was sick. (No, really, he's got the kennel cough.)

What I realized since the big winner from Winner is that even when it gets reset to $20 million dollars, if I actually ever won, if I won, I would be set for life with even that much money, which is, of course, the appeal of the lottery. But does that mean I should always play? After all, there is no guarantee and in fact, it's likely, that I could play every week for the rest of my life and never win big enough to recoup my losses, even if I only ever played a dollar a week. It is, after all, for entertainment only, not investment purposes.

But, people win. And some people win big. It's a strange form of gambling. When I'm at a casino, it's easy for me to reject it and say no way, because I know I'd lose a lot of little amounts and don't stand to win that much. But to win $20-200 million from $1 ... that's insidious. $52 per year isn't such a lot of money if I was entertained by the process, but I think I'm one of those people who would try changing around my numbers, but still want to keep my old numbers and oh, the pots getting bigger, bet get a few extra tickets and all that.

I guess that's what they call an addictive personality. Come by it naturally, though. And my whole family seems to really like gambling, so I should probably steer clear. Or at least wait for a big jackpot.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Oy! Hate When That Happens.

Was reading two good books and just finished both of them...the other book I'm reading is at my office. Can't listen to my books on CD except in the car or on my home computer at the moment. And the next book to be delivered to my library for me is the 4th book in the Twilight series, but I haven't read the 3rd book yet! My reading schedule just got wonky! I hate when that happens!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Live Long and Prosper

I loved the new Star Trek movie. LOVED IT! And even found myself excited for the new Transformers movie. Am I getting stupider?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Too Much Reading

Lately I've been doing too much reading and not enough studying. So I tried to impose a rule on myself that I'm only allowed to listen to books on CD in the car until I finish that one lingering board exam. Well, fat chance of that working. Since I instituted that policy, things have only gotten worse, although I did get a lot of studying in yesterday. Here's my current reading list:

On CD:
Hat Full of Sky by Terry Pratchett
Pigs in Heaven by Barbara Kingsolver

The Host by Stephanie Meyer
Sky Coyote by Kage Baker
Midwife...something or other... (paperback I picked up somewhere)

Also just finished:
Dead Man's Mirror and Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie (both on CD)
The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs
The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler
The Ladies Number 1 Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
Sushi for Beginners by Marian Keyes

On the other hand, I returned Rainbow's End by Vernor Vinge and Tiger Claws by John Speed to the library unfinished so maybe there is hope yet.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The List

A and I headed out to a show last night and it was awesome. The only not awesome part about it was that the artist was apparently someone on his list. You know the list I'm talking about - the list of people that you could totally do and your partner would stand on the sideline cheering you on. Yeah, well, in theory, that's great, but I think it changes the very nature of the list when that person is more immediately local. Yeah, it's kind of weird.

So I got all pissy and jealous cause that's just what I do, but I haven't done it in a while and it was a great miserable time for all. However, when I was asked who was on my list, I had no I even have a list? No, I don't have a list, but after a recent episode of Family Guy and this post from The Bloggess, I got curious about Alan Rickman - who the hell is Alan Rickman and why would it surprise our men that we want to do him? Well, as it turns out, that whole Snape thing just flat does it for me, so if I had a list, Alan Rickman would be on it. And probably Johnny Depp.

And definitely Harrison Ford and Sean Connery. But I don't have a list, because it's objectification and I don't view other human beings as sex objects, but instead as sexual beings.
But I'd also totally do Brad Pitt and/or Angelina Jolie - together or separately. Because they are hot sexual beings.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

What I'm Going to Do Now That I Won $200 Million From the Lottery

1. Pay off all my debt, including financial debts to friends and family and mom's PLUS loan
2. Give notice to my second job that I will be decreasing work to 1 day per week or quit
3. Give notice to my career job that we will be okay or quit
4. Hire a financial planner/adviser
5. Hire the Dog Whisperer and a dog walker
6. Go to the Tree of Life for as long as it takes to feel rested
7. Take that trip to Italy that I've been longing for
8. Establish trusts for my family
9. Set up my raw kitchen
10. See what life is like debt free and with means

Monday, May 25, 2009

I Won The Lottery!

I just won 200 Million dollars in the lottery!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

What I Should Do...

Seems like I blog about once per week. Often on Saturdays at work, sometimes Sunday. And I often pre-date my items so it looks like I blogged all week. So my constant lament that I'm not blogging as often as I would like seem a little strange - readers might wonder if I wish I was blogging nonstop in the style of Twitter. No, I just wish I processed my thoughts and captured my funnier musings more freshly and frequently, rather than trying to remember all the ideas I had through the week while sucking down my large free coffee and trying to appear to be working behind my work monitor which is angled just so that other people in my work space maybe could* just see what I'm doing.

At any rate, unless I get a newer faster computer or more time (or more priorities from which I can procrastinate in the form of blogging), I'm unlikely to suddenly start blogging on a daily basis, so this is the solution that I've hit upon: I should blog in advance for the week. When you publish a blog and post-date it, it will be published on the date scheduled. I'd have to write a little extra, catch up from the prior week and then get ahead, but then I would already know what to be thinking about, what musings to experience, what social experiences to have and what dinners to make for the week ahead. It's like uber-planning. Wonder if the Universe would conspire with me? I wonder if this would manifest for me in the method of The Secret? Let's find out.

*In addition to constantly analyzing my use of double negatives, A has taken particular umbrage to my use of "maybe could," "maybe should," "maybe would" and especially the negative "maybe shouldn't" or "maybe wouldn't." I feel that my meanings are clear with my double negatives - which used to be a more accepted usage and now seems to suggest to A and perhaps scholarly sorts a lack of education, but which to me feels comfortingly middle class and homey - and with my indecisive use of modals in the random tense. And isn't clear meaning what's really important? I'm not sure if A really doesn't understand me or is just trying to correct me.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The worst thing I do at work today...

I may have written 10 blog entries by the time I leave work today. I also will have done research on various topics online (probably a little research on Jane Austen and maybe reserving some books at the library), balanced my checkbook, made various lists on the backs of scrap paper and probably refined, clarified and confirmed my plans for tonight.

I will also have drunk 16 ounces of coffee, eaten a donut, a bagel with cream cheese and probably some mac and cheese, all of which are things I'm trying to avoid while on a cleanse. I will pick up some freebie veggies, though, all of which are totally legal on the cleanse but none of which I will probably eat tonight to make up for my work hours debauch.

I might even cry at work today, though I'm doing a good job not going there just yet. My eyes have teared up a few times, but I've managed to deep breathe them away. Not sure why I'm crying all the time right now, but in a way, it feels good, cleansing. In another way, it feels like something must be seriously wrong with my life for me to cry more days than not. And in the way that matters most, it feels like I made myself sick crying and sobbing for too many hours last night so that my eyes are swollen and my throat raw this morning.

But I will also have met all of the goals of my being at work today. Not even half-assed-ly. Is that wrong? If I get my work done in less time, shouldn't I be able to steal a few moments to gather my thoughts? I think my employers would say yes to the first and no to the second. I think they would say that if I have more time at work that I should be helping out, contributing more, lending a hand to my coworkers.

It's a sad irony that my best down time is achieved at work. And that when A and I try to come up with solutions to my serious lack of money and time, that quitting this job seems the most viable solution. And that in my opinion, the worst thing I will do at work today is to have eaten that stale donut.

Friday, May 22, 2009

My New Motto / Rule / Whatever

As I walked in to work this morning with the sun in my face, I heard a friend say a cheery "Good morning, B" followed immediately by a more neurotic, "please don't judge me." I hadn't even noticed her sitting there nor the cigarette in her hand since the sun was blinding me, but I reassured her, "not at all." And that's really what I'd like.

Not at all. No judgment. Even more than non-judgment, I would like non-concern and non-notice of certain areas of my life. What I'd like people not to notice this week: what I'm eating. Unless I'm breast-feeding you, it does n0t affect you and is none of your concern. In my etiquette readings, I have learned that it's actually a rudeness to pay any mind to what people are eating. While I wish that much more etiquette would be remembered (even if means that my indelicate mention of breast-feeding gets me a slap on the wrist), this one seems particularly important when food is busy being demonized.

How this wish came to my attention was in discussion about vegetarianism with a colleague. She's a veggy, A's family are veggy, many of my friends are veggy and I usually eat as a veggy. Some of the wacky hijinks of A's family revolve around issues around vegetarianism and reasons for becoming and maintaining a vegetarian lifestyle. So I was discussing with a friend and had fondly remembered a bite of prime rib that I had greatly enjoyed and my mom's cooking which is often heavy on the meat and strikingly delicious. My colleague said something that made me pause for the rest of the day and the following night, "it sounds like you don't want to be a vegetarian."

Wow. Did I? Do I? The answer surprised me. No. Not if being a vegetarian means that people will be watching to see if I eat meat. Not if it means that I cannot enjoy local cuisine when I travel in the world. Not if it means that I have to alienate people that I love. Do I want to eat a lot of meat? Do I want to eat meat with every meal, daily, regularly? The answers to these are also no. It comes back to my not wanting to be labelled. I mostly want to eat as a vegetarian, I even prefer to often eat as a vegan, because if I'm really concerned about animal welfare/rights, I think the egg and dairy industries are oftentimes just as bad if not worse than the meat industry. But I also want to be able to take a bite of something. I also want to be able to enjoy the community and ceremony of eating meat occasionally. I mostly want to be able to be open to experiencing those things that I choose to experience without being punished or judged for them.

So, I'm setting my intention to not notice what other people eat so as to set the example for what I want. Maybe that means I'll have to ask people "how" they are eating on a regular basis, but this is no more than the same negotiation that is required when any group of people are trying to pick a restaurant or plan a shared menu. But I'm not going to notice - I'm going to let other people be responsible for their own choices and their own labels. And I'm going to reject any label and eat what I choose. And if/when I have children, I will, with my partner, decide based on what I think is healthy and good for them, how they shall eat until they are old enough to make those choices for themselves.

I guess it's not really a rule or a motto, but whatever. It's just a good feeling to stop feeling like I have to lie or hide who I am, what I want, the choices I make and the things that I really like. I hope that others can experience this feeling someday, too.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Dear Potential Future Mother-in-Law

Another new blog idea...letters to my potential/pretend future mother-in-law. I would desperately like to include a sample of the kind of hijinks that might ensure were I to pursue this line of thinking, but a) I can't remember all the funny lines that were going through my head this week and b) A might not appreciate me writing a letter to his mother in such a public.

It's a "you had to be there" moment when there is: in my head. Like when I was trying to remember the name of the islands my friend recently visiting and all I could come up with was Corks and Turkeys when the name of the island was actually Turks and Caicos.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Christmas in May

I finally opened my second Christmas present this week. For Christmas this year, I received two great gifts*. E got me a beautiful hot pink pashmina that I've worn many, many days in the past 6 months and look forward to wearing for years to come. And my mom got me a Food Saver. She's becoming quite the savvy Internet shopper, my mom is.

Well, the box the food saver came in was huge, so it sat under the console table in my dining room for 6 months. I finally opened it and am blown away - it's so cool. It came with two canisters that it vacuum seals and a extra lid that can be used on any jar! I think I like those better than the sealing bags, but as the produce starts coming in, I think I'm going to enjoy the bags too. A is really excited, because there are accessories we can get to speed marinading and to vacuum wine bottles.

After Christmas, I was really sad that I had only gotten those two gifts and especially since I had thought I was getting at least one other gift from another person**. I tried not to be sad - I know I'm an adult - but I was sad and cried a lot that I hadn't gotten that third gift. The UNI has offered me a fresh perspective on gratitude*** this week with the opening of my second gift and that's just this: be grateful. I am grateful that I got ANY gifts for Christmas, I am grateful that the gifts I got are really thoughtful and came from the heart. I am grateful that the gifts I got are things that I LOVE. And I am grateful, most of all, to have these two thoughtful-gift-giving women in my life, who's greatest gifts aren't material at all. Thanks, E. Thanks, mom. Love you both.

*I just remembered that I also got a few gifts at Christmas parties, including a wine journal (not yet used as I don't really drink much), some coasters and candles (also not used because A and I don't have coffee tables), and a rocket blender which I have used and LOVE. So, even more to be grateful for!

**A and I agreed not to exchange gifts since we had taken a cruise vacation and bought a bunch of stuff for the house on Black Friday, but I guess I still thought he'd get me at least a little something. Guess that'll teach me to agree to a "no gifts" holiday!

***This fresh perspective has been brewing for some time. During my DC trip, I talked to one couple who doesn't give each gifts at all, not for Christmas or birthdays or ever. They just buy whatever they want/need and don't worry about gift-giving for each other. This is sacrilegious to me, who's love language is all about gifts, but it seems to work for them. And then this week, when A's mom was here for her birthday, I was surprised that her only gift and card were the things I purchased for her on my way home from work that day. Granted, A had just taken us all on vacation, but I was still surprised that my little gift was all she received.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Change is A Foot

Amidst all of the wacky family time with A's parents and sister, I realized/remembered that "oh yeah, in addition to honoring them as family and making sure they are comfortable as guests, I need to honor myself and make sure I am comfortable!" Okay, okay, nothing profound in that...or is there? I think for people, okay, for me, that it's all too easy to forget myself, to put my own priorities in the realm of wishes, to be uncomfortable for some ideal of the greater good when it's really not only unnecessary, but also ultimately unhelpful. That quote about hiding out light under a bushel comes to mind.

This doesn't mean that I am purely individualistic, but rather that I can no longer abide not taking care of my needs. No one else is doing it for me (nor should they). A long time ago, a devout Muslim friend asked me who should I love above all else. Wanting to impress him with my own spirituality and not even thinking about the question, I answered, "God." He corrected me and reminded me that one cannot love another, even God, without first loving oneself. I love myself, but like a lover you take for granted, I haven't been very loving with myself. So, I decided to make some changes, to think about what I really need and what I really want in making decisions, to let important self care aspects be just what I do, and to let myself shine.

Not sure how that's really been working out for me this week - it's definitely easier to pursue these changes in the regularity of a daily schedule, without guests, without extra lectures several evenings of the week and without financial concerns, but I think even the mindset has allowed me to be compassionate instead of resentful, resolute instead of aggressive and genuine in my emotional expression rather than fake with myself, my partner and those around me.

Let's see how we go with a new week coming on.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Macaroni and Cheese

I may have to start a new blog exclusively about macaroni and cheese...I try it everywhere I go and have a grading system, but I think my wisdom is being lost...anyway, I'm thinking about it.

In the meantime, I had the mac at the Full Sail brewery on the way home yesterday: C-
Watery cheese sauce, little flavor. The bread crumbs and crushed red pepper were good, but were just baked on the surface and that's about all this mac had to offer, a little surface flavor. The portion was plentiful, but it consisted mostly of cheap elbow noodles and said watery sauce. I've had better vegan mac and with this mac boasting 6 actual cheeses, I expected more. Maybe with enough flavorful beer, I would have enjoyed this more.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Lake Chelan Review

Drove back from Lake Chelan today. Loooooong drive back. Return trips always seem so much longer, probably because I'm not looking forward to the vacation but instead looking forward to coming home, unpacking, returning to work, cleaning up after the vacation, etc., etc.

Lake Chelan was beautiful, I loved the town, loved our condo and think I could have had a wonderful time, but I will admit that it wasn't all flowers and candy. Every day my travelling companions found something to complain about:
  • the weather sucks
  • the weather is great - the weatherman sucks
  • there's nothing to do here (despite a book with 101 things to do in Lake Chelan)
  • if there was Internet, we'd be able to find things to do
  • my back hurts, why am I sleeping on the hide a bed?
  • stop offering me a real bed, of course I'll sleep on the hide a bed
But there was also a lot that was enjoyed, including:
  • The Vogue - Internet cafe - good coffee, nice atmosphere, definitely a great community space
  • The Bear Market - Natural foods market - great selection, reasonable prices
  • The Bear Market Cafe - crepes! Need I say more? I will, though - these crepes are WONDERFUL! Go there! The crepes are fantastic and the guys working the cafe are super friendly. They even gave me the recipe so I can start making crepes at home!
  • Blueberry Hills Farms - we had lunch here one day, but the real attraction is the pie! I don't even like pie, but the mixed berry pie was yummy!
  • Tsillan Cellars Winery - I missed this, but everyone loved the winery and agreed it was the best one. Modelled after a 15th century Tuscan villa, the buildings and landscaping were gorgeous and the wine was the best. Based on the sample I tasted out for pizza, I'm inclined to agree - it's some of the best wine I've ever had.
  • A great scenic drive thru Chelan Butte, which I also missed, but which was described to me in great detail and included amazing scenic vistas and even a ghost town.
It's ironic and telling that some of the family's favorite moments were things that I missed, but A assured me that at each of those moments, my absence was noted and I was missed. I bowed out on these activities to enjoy some alone time which I spent mostly enjoying the silence and solitude of our room after the regular clamor and noise of this family. I'm not sure if my nerves can handle many more full family vacations or if I can believe A's sister's "Never again." commentary, but I do think that I learned a lot and that maybe, just maybe ;) A's worth it.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Chelan's Best Pizza

Arrived in beautiful Chelan, Washington today for a week staying at a condo on the lake. Lake Chelan is a large, beautiful body of water surrounded by rolling hills and snow capped mountains. To give you some idea of the idyllic nature of the place, we encountered deer and big horn sheep on the way up! Much of the drive was freeway, but the last hour was generally through farm country consisting of beautiful fields and orchards, many currently in flower. These orderly flowering fields are the charm and romance of farm life.

Upon our arrival, we decided to go for pizza and I'm happy to say that we may have stumbled upon the best pizza in town at Local Myth Pizza. The owner/operators were incredibly friendly and accommodated our large group easily. And, most importantly, the pizza was outstanding! We ordered the Hot Bobo, a Tex-Mex take on pizza including cabbage and jalepeno peppers - it certainly is hot and delicious! All of us were amazed to enjoy cabbage on pizza, but because it was shredded, it almost looked like it was just part of the cheese and it just took on the flavors of the whole pizza.

We also got the Garden Neavau, which was chock a block with veggies and a real delight on the crispy thin crust. Our eyes were bigger than our stomachs when we then ordered a third pizza, the Marguerita. After a couple slices were eaten amidst groans, we got a box and headed out.

Can't wait to see what the rest of the week brings...