Monday, August 31, 2015

A Quicky

Good grief.

OK, we all know how much I hate to be interrupted in the middle of a sentence.  If you didn't know before, now you do.  I have thrown ice cream onto Steve's face for doing it, and you know if I'll waste ice cream, I mean serious business.  I also hate being ignored in the middle of a conversation. I don't care if it's through email or face to face, but if I ask a question, I'd like it to be answered, even if it's to tell me to mind my own business.  Again, we all know this (or if you didn't know, now you do.)

I'm not so vain as to think that everything I say or ask might be important, but it's just good manners to at least acknowledge that a person has said something, you know?  I was at work and having, what I thought, was a nice conversation with my boss and a lady who'd dropped by.  We were talking, the subject of the conversation didn't change, but suddenly and without telling me, I apparently had been dismissed from what we were talking about. I tried to say something, and either one or the other of them would literally just talk over me as if I wasn't there.  I tried to interject three times, all three times during a lull in the conversation, and they talked over me, three times. Just to see if I had become completely invisible, I actually said, loud enough for them to hear me, "Well, fu*k it then."  Neither of them even looked my way.  I had, apparently, gone invisible, which was weird, because I wasn't aware anyone outside of the Marvel universe could do that.

I cannot abide that kind of rudeness, and it is most definitely, really damn rude.

I am so irritated.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


1) Yesterday, I got an idea to write a story.  I used to do a lot of writing, but it's been years since I've actually sat down with the purpose of writing an actual story.  I don't know what possessed me to write this one down, but I had a very clear picture in my head and I didn't want to lose it. 

I didn't want to open a word file and write in it, because I don't let people read things I write, (not, like, story stuff. You are welcome to read this!) and people are always on my computer at work.  I never know if they are going through files or what.  So I opened an email and started writing in the body, thinking I'd just email it to myself at home so I could save it or whatever.  I left it open so I could write in between doing, you know, my job, and I'd gotten about four paragraphs into it when one of my coworkers walked over to ask me to do something.  He was behind my desk, and when I turned around to grab something, I'm positive he was standing there reading my story, which was disguised as an email. 

You know, I think I'd normally be angry, because a person who'd read an email over your shoulder is the kind of person who I'd consider a complete jerk-face.  However, because I was writing the story in the first person, and I was writing it in the body of an email, I actually think it's hilarious that he would think I was writing about myself.  Oh, I'm still ticked off that he'd be OK reading one of my emails, of course, but at least he ended up reading something that will make him wonder if I have some kind of secret life!  Had I actually been through with the story, he'd probably really be concerned.

I guess it's lucky for me and him it wasn't some kind of erotica. : )  I kind of wish it had been, now!

2)  For a long time, there has been a bad smell in my car. 

(Don't worry, there isn't a dead body in this story.)

I first thought that maybe something had fallen out of one of my shopping bags after a trip to the grocery store, slid under one of the seats and proceeded to go bad in there.  I mean, that's still gross, but not as gross as, say, a dead squirrel or something. I looked under all the seats and didn't find anything. I looked in the trunk, but didn't find anything there either.  The smell would come and go, and usually it was worse after a rain, or after damp weather.  I finally just figured that it was my car.  It's old, and the top leaks sometimes, and we'd always used it to carry the dogs around when they were alive, so maybe it was just all of that combined.  It wasn't any of those things, exactly.  Friday afternoon, after getting groceries, I opened the trunk to put everything inside and the smell was 100 times worse than it had been.  I also noticed that everything in the trunk (which amounted to some pieces of cardboard and jumper cables) were soaked.  It hadn't rained that morning, to my knowledge, but it had rained earlier in the week.  I closed the trunk to put the groceries in the car instead, and that's when I saw that the entire bottom of the back window of my car had pulled away from the convertible top.  It was wide open and I have no idea how long it had been like that.  I'm going to guess that it had been, at least partially, pulled away for a while now, and the heat and humidity finally made it let loose.  That isn't the best part, though!  I found the source of the weird smell!  When I was looking at the convertible top to see what had happened, I saw that a big, three-ring binder stuffed full of paper was in the well where the convertible top goes when you open it.  I swear, I thought I'd moved that binder into the house, but apparently I'd tossed it back there to get it out of the way and forgotten about it.  It had been catching all of the water that had been leaking into my car for God only knows how long, and had swollen up to twice it's original size.  Not only that, but it had started to mildew and rot!  I was both relieved and disgusted.  I had to put on kitchen gloves and reach through the tear to lift the book out and it had to weigh 10 pounds.  It was so gross.

I stretched a garbage bag over the back of the car just in case it rained again, and figured we'd take it to get fixed on Monday.  However, I didn't stretch it far enough, because on Saturday we had a modest deluge of rain and instead of protecting the inside of the car, the plastic collected the water and then proceeded to dump it in the window well.  There was two inches of standing water in the back of my car.

At any rate, all's well that ends well.  The car dried out and we got the window fixed!  Hopefully it will stay fixed for a while.  I hope so.

3) Speaking of Saturday, we went to a barbecue at Steve's boss's house!  It was a lovely, lovely place.  I was scared to death that I'd be weird.  I know most people don't understand that fear of mine, but you know all the stuff that happened at those Christmas parties, so you know it isn't a completely unfounded fear.  I was very careful, though.  I didn't say very much and I sat very still.  Basically, I pretended to be a completely different person than I normally am, which is boring, but at least I didn't break anything.  I did mention Chewbacca by accident once, but I don't think anyone noticed.  It was a nice party and the people he works with are very nice, too.  We even got to ride on a boat!  It was fun.  The picture Steve took of me on that boat was terrible, but I put it on Facebook anyway, mainly to prove to people that I occasionally go outside.

Monday, August 17, 2015


Last night I had a particularly vivid and bizarre dream. 

(Don't worry, this isn't a verbatim recount of it. You're welcome!)

See, I have this weird tick. Since I can't really keep my hands still. If I don't have something to do while I'm sitting and talking to someone, I play with my wedding ring.  It's probably annoying and distracting to whomever I'm talking to, but I can't help it! Trust me, it's better that I play with my ring than grab your hands and rub all your fingers or something.  Trust me.  I pull off my ring and put it back on, or I slide it on a different finger, or I try it on all my fingers, or I generally just slide it up and down on my ring finger. (I realize that last one probably has some kind of Freudian implications, but that's neither here nor there.)

Anyway, in my dream, I was visiting a friend's house for the first time when I found her and her husband's wedding/engagement rings lying on a counter.  They were just sitting there unattended, so I put them on my finger and started sliding them around while we were talking.  I didn't think "Hey, I shouldn't wear their rings! That's weird!" I just took them and started wearing them, but my friend didn't notice. When we finished talking, I left the house without taking them off.  I didn't mean to take them, I just forgot that I was wearing them.  The rings probably wouldn't have ever popped back into my dream if someone hadn't said: "Why are you wearing their rings?"  I looked down and saw that I was still wearing them, and I immediately panicked.  I knew I'd have to go and give them back, but I was afraid to do it because I had no reason for even putting them on, much less taking them with me. For the rest of that dream, the rings kept trying to slide off my finger. I knew if I lost them, my friends would be so angry, and I was scared to go back to their house and return them because I knew they'd be angry that I had them at all.  I was also fighting to keep them on my hand the whole time, because I didn't want to lose them, and they kept trying to slide off!  I have no idea how that dream would have ended, because at one point, I felt the rings slide off and when I reached for them, I woke up clutching my left hand.  To make matters worse, I wear my grandmother's wedding ring and I always keep it on, even when I'm in bed, so when I woke up clutching my hand, I could feel a ring on that finger. I panicked even more because I thought that I'd actually pulled the ring out of the dream with me and I was going to have to tell my friend I inadvertently stole her and her husband's wedding rings! I couldn't go back to sleep after that, and I've been particularly aware of my own ring, which has made the tick I have even worse.

If any of you woke up this morning and couldn't find your rings.  It was me.  I'm sorry.

Anyone want to decode that dream for me?

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

For the past couple of weeks, I just haven't felt well.  Mentally, I was tense, obsessive over silly things, quick tempered and spacey. Physically, I could go from feeling fine to feeling like garbage.  Mostly I just felt really strange all the way around. You know that feeling you get right before you cry?  I felt like that a lot, only I never cried. In turn, I'd get super hyper, which was strange.  I'd also wake up feeling panicky, I was itchy and my skin felt like it was fizzing. My feelings never really seemed to match my emotions. At times, I literally thought I could be losing my mind. It was scary. I kept trying to tell Steve I thought something was wrong, but I couldn't explain it well enough for him to understand. I probably sounded crazy!

It wasn't until last night that I got an inkling as to what could be the matter.  I have to take a prescription medication to correct a thyroid imbalance. (eff you, HIPAA, this is my blog!)  It isn't even a very serious one, to be honest, but it's just off enough for me to need to take the medicine. I've been on it for a while and I've never had any problems, which is why I didn't put two and two together. I'd finally gotten into a consistent pattern with taking it, because it has specific sort of guidelines.  You can't take it with anything else, you have to take it on an empty stomach and blah, blah, blah.

I'm not sure what triggered it, but apparently I became hyper-sensitive to it and I had no idea, so I just kept taking it!  I was taking medication that screws with all kinds of mental and physical things, and I never once thought that it could be the cause of why I was feeling so weird all the time!  The only thing that finally tipped me off was that I forgot to take it one day and I started feeling a little better. Since I wasn't sure I was right about it, and I didn't want to NOT take medicine I'm supposed to need, I took half of one and within an hour, I started feeling the panicky, fixated, itchy, fizzy feelings I'd had before.  I looked up side effects online, and I had so many of them that I was convinced it had to be that.  I even called the doctor's office (and I never do that with things like this) to make sure I didn't need to eat charcoal, or say a prayer to the moon goddess Diana to keep from dying or something. Luckily, I didn't!  I just have to stop taking it and keep an eye on myself!

I think the worst part of the whole thing, to me anyway, is my behavior while all of this was going on. I was mean to people. I said and did very odd things.  It wasn't constant, of course. I was able to be relatively normal for the most part, but I keep thinking about all of the little strange things I said and did to people and I am embarrassed. I try so hard to be kind and funny and good to people, and I haven't been as successful at that as I would have liked. It bothered me so much I just sat in the back of the church and cried.  Maybe it isn't as bad as I think it was, but maybe it was!  Of course, I'm going to remember the worst parts of it all!

I've been told that I apologize too much, and for weird things, but I am really, really sorry if I did or said anything too weird or hurtful to anyone of you over the past couple of weeks. I hope you guys can still like me a little. I'm actually already feeling better than I was, so maybe I can get back to being myself again soon! I hope so!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015


1) When I was getting ready this morning, I just wanted to be comfortable, so I pulled out a sort of big, flowy tunic that I had bought so that I'd be thematically appropriate for VBS (and mainly so I didn't have to wear the t-shirt to work everyday.)  When I went to the mirror to make sure I had it on front-ways, (and also to make sure that I was wearing pants, a situation I was almost in yesterday but realized before I went outside) I realized that I looked exactly like my mother had in a picture my dad took of her years ago while she was pregnant with me. She was wearing a very similar shirt to what I had on, and our hair is cut very similarly, and because my shirt is so big, it kind of poofed out in the front. I'd post that picture of her on here, but she wouldn't forgive me for that. I got a good laugh out of it until I realized that I was dressed like a housewife from the late 70's who was about 14 months pregnant. Then I felt bad and wanted to go back to bed. I didn't change, though.

2) There is a wonderful, lovely British woman who goes to my church.  Well, she's an American citizen, but she was born in England. I love talking to her. She always says something funny. Today she came in to lead our Women's Prayer Group, and while she was in the office making copies, we started talking about how she came to American when she was 21. I asked her why she came to America, and she told me it was because she married an American man.  She told me "He was the only American man I dated. Good girls didn't date Americans. I didn't even want to date this one, he just kept coming around!"  She is a delight.

3) A couple of days ago I sprayed some cleaner on the bottom of the tub so that I could scrub it, and then promptly forgot about it, like I sometimes do. It wasn't until the next day, when I was about to get back in the shower, that I remembered that I had sprayed the stuff in there. I figured that if I let the water run for a bit, it would just wash the cleaner off and I would just put more in there later.  That is apparently not how it worked. After I thought plenty of time had passed, I stepped in the shower.  As I was in there, washing my hair, I realized that I was slowly sliding towards the drain.  I probably wouldn't have noticed, but I almost slid out from under the spray of the shower head.  I stepped back and then started sliding again.  You know how bathtubs are slightly angled so that all the water runs out? Well, that, and the fact that the running water had somehow reconstituted the cleaner instead of washing it down the drain, was causing me to slowly slide as I was trying to take a shower.  When I tried to adjust my feet, I started sliding more.  I suppose I'm lucky I didn't fall and hurt myself (oh, the horrors of being found naked and unconscious) but I managed to hang on and finish my shower.  It was funny, so I was laughing while I was in the shower. I'm so glad there is no one there to hear me when things like that happen.  People who laugh while they are alone in bathrooms are usually not normal.

4) Last Saturday Steve and I went to Lowe Mill!  It was so much fun!  Lowe Mill is a kind of artist collective, I guess you'd call it.  It's like of like a flea market for people who sell cool-ass stuff that they've made.  I'd wanted to visit it for a long time, but never took the time.  I'd never been to the artsy side of the place.  The only time I'd ever been there was when I'd applied for a graphics job for a company that used to be housed in one half of the old textile mill. Some of you might remember that it was the place I had to escape from because I felt like I was going to be murdered right in the middle of the interview?  You don't?  (OK, you can read about that here.) Anyway, it's an amazing old building filled with really talented people.  We looked around a bit, and I found a couple of classes I'd like to take someday!  It also houses Piper and Leaf, a local tea shop that usually has stands set up at farmer's markets (good stuff), and be still my heart, Pizzelles Confections, a real, live, local, fancy chocolate shop!  I'd never tried their stuff before, so I just got one of everything in the case!  Don't you judge me.  I don't know if their chocolate will be as good as the last fancy chocolate I had, but if it is, I might not survive. Neither will anyone else. ; )  We had a fun day!  I already want to go back soon!

Monday, August 10, 2015


I'm not a very good cook.  I used to think I was, but that dream unraveled on me a few years ago after the fires.  If I cook in tandem with someone who knows what their doing I'm fine, but on my own, I am kind of a disaster.  I mean, I can do a few things just fine, like mashed potatoes and scrambled eggs, and if it comes out of a box and involves a pound of hamburger meat, I can do that too!  I can also bake things, as long as it doesn't require yeast.  However, when I cook (I don't very much anymore, poor Steve) my meals don't have very much variation. St. Martha Stewart (genuflect) would definitely be horrified.

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago, the lovely and wonderful Sara Watson gave me a code so that I could receive a week of free meals from an outfit she is a member of called HelloFresh!  It's a kind of food subscription service that sends you the stuff to make three meals a week.  I thought it was worth a try, because free, and so I put in my order!

I scheduled the deliveries to be made on Fridays, since that is my day off, and it's lucky that I kept looking out of the window, because the stinking delivery person didn't knock or anything.  He just left a (squashed) box on my stoop, in the sun I might add, which is bad because the box had meat in it!  I'm glad I was at home!  When I opened it, there were three smaller boxes inside (with their corresponding meats) that held what I'd need for each meal. I thought there was a mistake, because it didn't have what I would have thought you'd need to make a meal in it.  It just had...ingredients.  Like, whole vegetables and leaves and stuff.  Also, it didn't look like enough for two people.  I don't know what that says about the amount I normally cook, but all I could think of was "What will Steve eat?"

That night I set about making my first meal, which was something called "Honey Dijon Pork Chops." The box had this in it: Pork Chops, Potatoes, Corn, a Tomato, a Yellow Squash, Lima Beans, Scallions, Garlic, Dijon Mustard, Stock Concentrate, Honey, and Lime.  Just FYI, on a regular day, I wouldn't eat at least three of those things at all, but since it was all in the box, I was going to give it a try. I had to cut up all this stuff and it took FOREVER! Cooking with real food-things is a process!  I also didn't really have a pan big enough to cook this in (I forgot I had a wok at the time) but I used the biggest one I had and just kept having to put things back into it that fell out as I stirred.  The recipe also said that it would take about 40 minutes to make. LIIIIIIIES!!!!  I think it took me that long to cut up the vegetables! At any rate, I finally got the vegetable "hash" finished, and I made the pork chops and, surprisingly, it made a ton of food! It was also really good, even if it had squash and tomato pieces in it.  I think I cooked the vegetables a bit longer than I was supposed to, but I couldn't stand the thought of eating crunchy vegetables and I needed them to get soft before I could eat them.

At any rate, the food was good and it was cooked correctly!  I was excited! Of course, the food boxes come with a recipe card with step-by-step instructions on them.  When I say step-by-step, I mean it.  It tells you when to cut up stuff and when to start cooking certain things before you do other things.  I realize regular recipes tell you some of this stuff, but it helps to know that you need to have an onion cut up before you've got everything else in the pan cooking, so you don't leave the stuff on the stove cooking too long while you're cutting up the onion.  Oh, and I've gotten to use my prep bowls for their actual purpose for the first time ever!  Nice!  I've learned to make marinara sauce, which technically isn't hard, but I didn't know how to do it before!  I even went out and got a proper sized pan and a garlic smashy-thing!  We haven't wasted near as much food as we used to, because it makes just enough for two people, and that makes me feel better because I hate throwing away food. They also have all kinds of recipes, which means I'm making and eating a much larger variety of food and it all seems to be relatively healthy stuff because it keeps the processed food at a bare (if it's used at all) minimum. As for disasters, I did manage to burn some kind of mutant broccoli they sent for one of our meals, but I am going to put that down to our oven being hotter than the dial says it is, so technically it's not my fault! I even made paella and didn't ruin it!  Yay!

As much as I like it, though, I'm not sure we'll keep up the subscription.  It's about $70 dollars a week, which isn't terrible, but it seems a lot for only three meals for 2 people a week. However, if you go out and eat at a regular sit down restaurant 3 times a week, you'd probably pay that much, so I have no idea.  Also, it makes me nervous to have food with meat delivered to our door, because even though it's packed well (as long as the box stays intact) it's so hot outside right now that I'm afraid something will spoil if I'm not home to bring it in as soon as it's delivered.  Not that I have a very active life on my day off, but I might get a hobby or a friend. YOU DON'T KNOW MY LIFE! (ahem)  We're still on the fence about it, and I have the subscription on pause while we decide.  

So I thought I'd let you know about this fun thing we've been doing.  I have a code if you want to try it for free for a week, just let me know, but remember to cancel in time if you don't want to be charged and shipped a new box of food. That's how we ended up with two weeks worth of food!  :)  I've actually enjoyed cooking everything we've had, so if nothing else, it's been worth it for that and the knowledge that I am actually capable of making something that didn't come out of a box and that I don't always set fires when I'm cooking!

Tuesday, August 04, 2015


I've said it before and I'll say it again.  I need to find a thing.  Something to get involved in!

I know people think I have a million hobbies, and I guess I kind of do, but lately nothing I have has been interesting me. I've literally had times where I've been sitting at home trying to think of something to do and all I get is internal white noise! It's frustrating and it makes me restless.  I've been looking for classes to take or groups to get involved in, but I haven't found anything that blows my skirt up.

Steve has his band, I've got friends who train for and do triathlons, some of my friends camp or hike, and all I'm doing is sitting at home listening to the voices in my head tell me how lame I am!  :)

Seriously, I hope I find something soon. The only thing I've done lately is make questionable decisions!

Monday, August 03, 2015


1) Last week my sister and her family went down to Florida, so Steve and I got to keep their dog for them!  Beau Thomas is an 8 month old Red Heeler dog that Logan, one of my nephews, got just around last Christmas.  He's adorable, but he's a hand full.  Red Heelers are (I think) a breed of Australian cattle herding dogs and they have a LOT of energy.  He's much smaller than either Butler or Bear, which meant he could get into a lot of places that they couldn't.  He has a nubby little tail, giant ears and very expressive eyes, which meant he could pretty much do anything he wanted and I couldn't get mad at him. He also has a vertical jump of about 4 feet, so he had to be watched closely to make sure he didn't get on top of things.  I wasn't expecting the amount of energy that dog had.  By the time Butler and Bear had gone to live on a farm, they were both old and slow, but Beau acted like he'd just eaten gunpowder and someone was trying to light his tail!  He was after me all the time to play. If I didn't sit down in the floor and volunteer to throw a ball or play tug, he'd bring the toys to me while I was sitting in my chair and put them in my lap. I likened the whole situation to finding some parents who have raised their kids and sent them off to college, only to have someone hand them a hyper 4 year old and tell them "Good Luck" as they run out the door!  It was fun, though.  We basically had a 7 day long game of fetch.

He was very hard on the toys, though.  I swear, he destroyed everything he played with.   When they brought him to our house, they brought two toys, a rope toy and a thick rubber ball with a smaller ball trapped in side it. He'd mangled the rope before the first day was out.  Then he found the basket of dog toys that had belonged to Bear (Yes, we still have them. Shut up.) and he pulled them all apart. We didn't mind that, but it was hard to keep up with which toy he was playing with because he was determined to eat the squeaker out of something, but with 10 disemboweled toys in the floor, you never knew which one he was rooting around in.  He managed to also eat his rubber ball and part of a Beanie Baby.  In fact, for most of the time he was here, I was constantly having to yell "OMG, what did you just eat? Did you just eat something? Spit it out! SPIT IT OUT!" I fished more stuff out of that dog than I want to talk about.  I even had to go buy more toys so that he wouldn't get bored and start eating the furniture.  He destroyed two of the three things I bought for him within a couple of hours.  He is a very sweet dog, though. I'm glad we got to have him for a week!

I've decided that if we ever get another dog, it'll have to be a big, slow one. I don't know if I could handle a hyper dog all the time.

2) I have been waking up around 2:00 am, on and off, for a while now. No matter when I go to sleep, I'll just pop awake for no reason.  I hate it.  Most of the time it's only slightly annoying since I keep my iPad nearby, and I'll just pick it up and read until I get sleepy again.  However, there are times when it gets downright awful because of what I've come to think of as "Night Brain."  Night Brain hates me. 

I know I'm not the only one this happens to, because I've talked to other people who have the same issue.  If you're unfamiliar with it, basically what happens is that I wake up in the middle of the night and because of whatever is going on in my head, every bad thought that could possibly intrude on me comes rushing in.  It's relentless.  I can only assume that a well rested brain is a much more rational brain, and/or there is some kind of buffer that your brain usually enables as you wake up that keeps things in perspective. Night Brain, however, is mean.  For instance:

NB: Hey!  You're up!  Now we can talk!  Oh, remember that thing that happened a few weeks ago? You know, that thing you swore you'd do again the first chance you got?
ME: Yes!
NB: Well, actually, that was a terrible thing to do and here are all the reasons why it will not only ruin your life, but the lives of countless others!
ME: Wait, what? It wasn't that big of a de...
NB: It actually was, and you are awful and now you'll die alone and unloved.
MS: But...
NB: Well, let me rephrase, it was a big deal to you, but everyone else is laughing at you. They think you're a sad, silly person.
ME: That doesn't even make sense!
NB: Of course it does!  You'd know that too if you were smart.  Oh, and that friend you like so much? Yeah, they are bored of you, leave them alone.
ME: No they aren't!
NB: Yes, they are! When they get messages from you, they roll their eyes and ignore them, and they only respond after a while because they don't want to be rude. They make jokes about you to their other friends.
ME: Really? Well, I guess you could be right, but...
NB: By the way, it's been a while since you thought about your dogs that died! How about that? Or, hey, do you remember when your dad died? That sucked, didn't it?  Plus, you got fired and will probably never work in your field again! Oh, and you're fat!
ME: Hey, not cool!
NB: No, forget all that! I've got something even better!  Let's relive 2008!

So, yeah, I hate that.  It's worse when I start believing it, but at 2:00 in the morning, with no chance to protect myself from those thoughts, it's hard to be rational.  I'm just glad it doesn't happen every night.

3) I finally got my hair cut again!  I didn't want to do it, but I'd accidentally run my hand through my hair while I was holding an open pair of scissors, which snagged one side of my hair, so I had to do it.  I went back to the mall, because I never learn, and fortunately/unfortunately the place I usually go was completely full of people. I'd forgotten it was the week before school started, so everyone was getting their hair did.  I actually had to bounce between two different salons before I could find someone with a bit of time to cut my hair.  The girl who cut it was very nice and talkative, and she cut my hair just like I asked her to!  Nice!  Of course, then she styled it and I looked a little like Flo from the Progressive Insurance commercials, but it was OK since I was going home.  After several days of trying to figure out how to fix my new haircut, I decided that maybe she didn't cut it exactly like I asked.  I have a cross between The Rachael and a mullet. That sounds kind of dire, but it doesn't look terrible.  Now it just sticks out in weird ways if I'm not careful, and when I wake up in the morning, I look like the Bride of Frankenstein a bit. Eh, it'll do.  I've come to terms that I'll never have a good haircut. 

4) I had to have another CAT scan for my lungs, but the doctor didn't find anything new!  Yay!  He said I still have the nodules in my lungs, but they haven't changed.  I wonder why they aren't going away?  Well, he wasn't worried, so neither am I.  I do have to have another CAT scan in three months, so hopefully they will have shrunk down a little by then!

5) We almost have the church's media computer back online!  We weren't able to use the piece of hardware we had before, but Steve dug around and found a different kind of equipment that would do the same thing.  There are a few bugs that have to be worked out, but mainly it's just stuff that we have to learn about the new thing. (That sounds very technical, no?)  It's really supposed to be used for gaming, so I hope that it'll still work well enough for what we are using it for!

I'm so glad we are getting it fixed!  I did do something fairly rude, though.  I had an open ticket with tech support from the company that made the old piece of equipment, and I told them that we had to trash their hardware and go with a different brand!  I could have been nicer, but I think that by the third email with them I should have gotten further than "Is your cable working?"  Cable working, my ass. 

Saturday, August 01, 2015


My talk with the kids for Operation Education went very well!  At least, that's what I was told, and I choose to believe it! 

Up until the day I actually spoke, I only had the vaguest of ideas about what I was going to say.  I'd been given some really good advice about what to do from a teacher friend, and I'd searched the internet for a way to talk to kids about graphic design, but it wasn't until a couple of hours before I actually did it that I got sort of an outline of what I was going to do. I'd be a terrible teacher.  Well, I might be a good teacher, but I'd be a very under prepared one!

There were a lot of little kids down in the basement that night.  Like, a LOT.  So many, in fact, that I got a little panicky thinking of how they could probably keep me hostage in some way if they chose to do so.  The children's group leaders feed the kids dinner every Wednesday night during the summer, so they were all scattered among different tables when I started my talk, but the minute I brought out my first visual aid, they all rushed forward with chairs and surrounded me so they could see.  You'll be very proud to know that I didn't run screaming!

A world without graphic artists would make cereal boxes very dull.

I won't give you a verbatim account about what I told them, but basically I told them that graphic designers make everything look awesome.  We do, by the way.  The kids actually seemed very interested (although a couple of them talked through the whole thing, but at least they were talking about what I was talking about) and they reacted well to the stuff I talked about.  I told them about understanding colors (knowing which colors go where and why) I told them about fonts (appropriate fonts for certain kinds of things) and context of images (which I realize is very subjective, even as I was telling them it wasn't!)  They were very impressed when I told them that I'd worked for the SpRocket (ptooey) but I left out the soul sucking, vindictive, hose-beast of a boss that fired me. Let the children learn those lessons on their own! :)

I only had two moments where I went a little off the rails. First, there is one little girl in that group who is apparently super-smart and a grade above her age level.  She understood more about color theory than the other kids, and one of her questions prompted me to say something along the lines of "using colors as psychological manipulation in certain kinds of marketing." I got a lot of blank stares with that one.  Second, when one of the kids asked me how old you had to be to do the job, I told them how old I had been when I graduated college, which I realize is much older than most people are when they graduate with a BA. I explained that I'd gotten married and had to work while going to school, which made everything take a lot longer and somehow that got tangled up with whether or not you should get married before or after going to college.  (After. Always after.  Except for graduate degrees. You can get married before you do that.)

At any rate, they all seemed to enjoy my talk, and one kid (the one that had talked through the whole thing and the one I was sure hadn't heard a word I said) came up to me afterward and thanked me for coming in to talk, because he wanted to design video games one day and he said I'd helped him understand a lot of things he'd need to know to do that.  I waited until he was gone to melt in a puddle of warm goo from that.