This blog is over. The new one is here:
This blog is over. The new one is here:
I don't know how people with more going on in their lives, e.g., kids, eldecare, night school, etc., do it. By 'it' I mean 'live their lives'. I had a spell there where I felt like I was being pulled in all manner of directions, including toward some possibly heretofore unknown areas. And all I have going on is a) a job; b) a house; c) 1 husband; d) 4 cats; e) friends; f) hobbies/interests; g) exercise (allegedly). No kids. No parents to tend to personally or their homes. No big yard, just the little 50' x 150' that's mostly covered by the house, the garage and the overly round driveway (making it smaller is on the list of things to do; it always seems to get bumped by somethiing more pressing).
It probably doesn't help that I am not the Energizer Bunny. I wish I were one of those people who can get by on 5 hours of sleep per night. A college roommate once opined that I must be part cat bc I do enjoy my sleep and a good catnap is often just the thing. In fact, just this afternoon I was wondering if there was a facebook group to bring naptime back into our lives.
I just Googled 'famous nappers' and quite a few distinguished names came up: Winston Churchill, Thomas Edison, Leonardo Da Vinci, Albert Einstein, Eleanor Roosevelt, Lance Armstrong. This website says, 'Thomas Edison attributed his tremendous amount of energy to sleeping whenever he wanted to.
Sometimes it feels like there are so many things to do. And I acknowledge that not all of them need doing, but sometimes just the boring, day-to-day kind of stuff piles up. It felt particuarly bad around the holidays and I don't even get all that involved with the holidays. I felt all verklempt for a while earlier this year, too, although I don't know why.
Sometimes I wonder if part of feeling overwhelmed is due to always being on or reachable. Lately, I've found myself wanting to buy a remote, stark cabin in the Montana...no internet, no cable, no phone...but that would be too drastic; plus, it sounds too much like the unabomber. But I do find that I kind of pull into myself, or tuck into myself like a turtle, when I feel overwhelmed. I stay in more, I stay off the internet more, I futz around the kitchen or with my hobbies more, decline things that don't add to my life,... That's seems to help, i.e., putting some kind of insulation out there between me and the world.
There's so many things out there...so many experiences available...it's almost like the world is a candy shop: Go to this fundraiser. Read that new book everyone's recommending. Try this before bedtime ritual. Listen to this great CD so-and-so just rediscovered. Catch up on the news with these podcasts. Visit these people. Host those people. Figure out the healthcare bill so I know what I think about it. Did you see such-and-such new movie? Donate to earthquake victims. Look at this gorgeous yarn! And that adorable pattern! Buy Girl Scout cookies (Omgosh I am soooo overrun with Girl Scout cookies this year! I swear the scouts went all out w/their marketing this year.). I only have 24 hours in a day and I'm asleep for at least 8 of them and I'm at work for 8 more. After the usual stuff of life, there isn't a whole lot of time left for more living.
Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to live in one of those little downs that the Census Bureau says has 1 or 2 people in it. Or even more. A town w/o a stop light or store or post office or (gasp!) library. I dunno; that might be a bit drastic, too.
Oh, I dunno what the answer is. Intentional living seems to be helpful; it's just making that the norm and avoidng derailment.
It seems that the weather has become a phenomenon almost as big (and just as inexplicably so) as NASCAR. The weather just is...always has been...prolly always will, at least for human definitions of 'always'. And the weather will always be a handy topic of conversation. But what I don't understand is why everyday weather (i.e., not tsunamis or earthquakes or the like) become a topic of focus and concentration.
So we're supposed to get 4"-6" of snow by end of day today. Big deal. Okay, it's good to know so you can adjust your plans as necessary. For me, it just means I'll take Kevin's truck to work instead of my car. People with kids prolly want to know there might be a delayed opening or snow day (and it's amazing how little snow can trigger a snow day, but that's a whole 'nuther post).
It seems that the weather has become The Weather, akin to a mythic giant who challenges and battles people in tests of strength and will. Such an alarm is set off and such preparations are undertaken when snow - of almost any amount - is on the horizon. The worst part is the news and weather stations. Now, weather itself -- how it works, how this thing over here affects that thing over there, and all that -- can be very interesting. There's such hype in the media about normal weather, such as today's snow. I'm not sure why it bothers me so much, this weirdification of the weather, but I think it's something along the lines of making so much out of the weather makes people into weather victims. And I don't like that. People have been dealing with weather for millions of years and, for the vast majority of that time, with much less means than we have at our disposal these days. I understand that making a big deal out of the weather can mean better ratings, higher site hits, etc. for tv, radio, news, websites, etc., but I don't like this side effect.
That's a positive post title, innit? Last Wednesday, I mentioned how I'd slacked off for quite a bit for 11 days. I thought it might be tough working out last night after not only slacking off exercise-wise, but eating almost everything within reach, but it was not that bad. And I'm only a little sore today. I'm always sore the day after a session (and sometimes later that night!), but today wasn't worse than usual.
Later last night, I was thinking that it's sometimes refreshing to take break from exercise, healthy eating, perhaps anything you do for similar reasons, i.e., bc you have to or for your own good. In a word: vacation. Now, in this situation, I felt pretty comfy slacking off bc there was an end in sight: we had a session scheduled for last night (and I admit to
hoping thinking I was coming down with something on Monday night and maybe I should cancel Tuesday's session, but did not). I'm 99.999% certain that if we hadn't had a session on the books, I might never have got back on the wagon.
There's nothing like a little external accountability to get one back on the wagon. Ideally, internal accountability should be enough, but we all know I'm weak that way. The other thing is that I never work myself as hard as Mike does so if he's coming over I can count on it being a kickass workout.
Kevin and I went for a walk around the neighborhood after dinner tonight. Mike suggested what's now known as 'the Walmart walk', a trek into the hills section of town and including what Mike calls 'a good up', i.e., a rather steep hill. The first time I did that walk a coupla months ago, I swear my heart was going to beat right out of my body like a cartoon character. The walk we actually did had a coupla smaller inclines; it took about an hour, but we stopped a coupla times (to drop off some books for a neighbor who's currently on crutches, to drop off some newspaper plastic bags for neighbors who have dogs [i.e., poo bags], to chat w/my co-worker/friend/neighbor/fellow asshole Stephanie) so 1 hour less chat time and it was prolly really only 30 minutes. That's going to have to do bc I just don't have the time to do these monster walks. Sure, if I didn't want to do anything else tonight, I'd have enough time, but there are other things I want to do in life.
Found the equipment picture I couldn't find last week:
I'm pretty pleased with what I paid: $100 for the weight set and $125 for the bench. As Kevin pointed out later, I prolly coulda got them for less than the asking price, but I think I was just so happy to get the stuff for less than new that I didn't even think to offer less. And it's good stuff, too; the bench, especially: it's a tank. Well, I think that's enough navel gazing for tonight.
Hope everyone is having a good Memorial Day weekend. The day is fine here and, since the good weather will probably hold, I'll be outside today for a spell, planting petunias in hanging baskets and yellow begonias and some small purplish-blue flowers in ground baskets.
Watching CNN at the moment. President Obama just placed a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Missed that. He'll speak soon. The news announcer just mentioned that the Commission on Remembrance has asked Americans to pause at 3:00 p.m. for a moment of silence and retrospection:
"It will help to reclaim Memorial Day as the sacred and noble holiday it was meant to be. In this shared remembrance, we connect as Americans."
Observances are to include an interruption of Major League Baseball games; the pausing of the National Memorial Day Parade in Washington; and the National Grocers Association and Food Marketing Institute asking shoppers to pause in stores nationwide to remember the fallen.
"We want our citizens to contemplate the ties that bind us and take a moment to put 'Memorial' back into Memorial Day," said Carmella LaSpada, executive director of the Commission on Remembrance.
Children touring Washington inspired the idea when LaSpada asked them what Memorial Day meant and they said that's when the swimming pool opens, according to the commission's Web site.
Sounds good to me. Not just the moment of silence. In fact, more so the attempt to take back Memorial Day. I'm sure I've blogged about this before, but...oh, what the heck...I'll say it again. I sure wouldn't mind if holidays like Memorial Day, 4th of July, etc. were actual holidays and not big sale days or just a mile marker of fun in the sun to come. It seems that going about our usual business on days like Memorial Day is kinda like when we multitask and every activity suffers. You know how when you're trying to talk on the phone, pull the kid out of the litter box, let the dog out before it pees in the house, take care of laundry/prepare dinner, etc. all at the same time and not doing anything very well? Maybe you can talk to that person another time. Laundry will still be there later (actually, it's always there). Yes, I suppose the kid shouldn't be in the litter box and no, I wouldn't want to have to clean up after the dog (I clean up enough after cats). Dinner can be simpler or get the kid to wash their hands and set the table, even if they have to bring out the silverware piece by piece.
P.S. Yes, there is a cat in the picture. There's always a cat in the picture.
Sorry about the lack of posts lately. I actually had stuff to post, but my puter's hard drive crashed. I'm typing on Kevin's pc now, which is okay, but it's not my pc. I've only had the thing for about 6 months or so now. I was losing internet access occasionally and got some message about McAfee anti-spam. McAfee took me through a patch...a few times, assuring me each time that it would fix the problem. And then all of a sudden I couldn't scare up anything beyond a black screen and a cursor.
So I did the online chat with Dell (on Kevin's pc bc mine was useless)...btw, chat is so much better than trying to do it over the phone...and they had me run some diagnostic thingie on my pc...which found that my hard drive is dead. I mentioned the problem w/losing internet access and the guy thinks I had some spyware/malware. Gross. He issued all the usual warnings about opening attachments, visiting specious websites, etc. I'm usually pretty good about that stuff bc a) I try to stay out of the bowels of the internet; and b) I'm lazy in that I can't be bothered to open up most attachments sent in emails.
I actually wonder if the problem has anything to do with the fact that Miles likes to sit/sleep on the keyboard. Several times I've found him hanging out there, looking all innocent while the screen shows all kinds of activity going on. He's opened up all manner of programs, started things, stopped things, closed things.... I didn't mention it to the Dell guy bc I don't know if cat vandalism is covered under warranty.
They sent out a new hard drive which I will try to replace today since it's a SNOW !!1! DAY at work. I luuuurrrve snow days. I have a feeling that I appreciate snow days off of work now even more than snow days off of school as a kid. I think I do; this job thing can suck the lifeblood out of a person. I'm trying to let it get less of my blood than I have in previous jobs. I remember worrying so much about work when I was at places like Coopers & Lybrand and Deloitte & Touche. What a waste of time and energy. Not that the work wasn't worthwhile to somebody; it was certainly honest work; it just wasn't worthwhile to me and yet I got soooo into it. I let myself get sooooo into it (which would've been fine it it were worth it to me, but it wasn't). Now I try to keep a healthy distance between work and non-work. It is a bit easier to do this since working at the library. I've always loved the library, books, reading, chatting, etc. And it's a much mellower environment there. The interpersonal relationships are much better. I think it's possible to have better relationships there bc there's no (as far as I can see) competitive element. I mean, what would we compete for/about? It's a small library...everyone that works there lives in town or maybe one town over. You get to know a lot of the patrons there, which I like. I really like chatting with people when they come in. It's fun...you can learn a lot just from chatting with people...some aren't into it and that's okay...but most seem to be into it.
Well, there are a few less-than-pleasant patrons. I understand that all libraries have a certain amount of special needs patrons, where 'special needs' can mean a variety of things. We have a few group homes in town; I think they're mostly for psychologically-challenged people. While I understand that they have issues over which they have no control, it doesn't change the fact that their behavior can be a bit disconcerting at times, e.g., when they flip out right in front of you. One of our newer such patrons gets on these kicks where he Googles the stuffing out of some topic. Right now, it's religious stuff. One day he absolutely needed to find this picture he had seen on the internet: a bridge with trees all around it. 'mkay. Apparently, he had seen this article on Roe v. Wade at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops website at some point in his life. At the end of the article there's a picture ad for the conference's publishing company: a picture of a bridge with trees around it. The text reads, 'Modern Questions, Gospel Answers'. And he wanted those gospel answers something fierce. He thought that if you click on that picture, you will get the gospel answers to all your modern questions. Were it that easy, my friend. That's actually not a weird thing for a psych-challenged person to think, especially since he has close to zero internet skills. Unfortunately, I don't think I convinced him that a) it's just an ad; b) there's nothing 'behind' it; c) there's nothing to click on there; and, most difficult of all, d) the gospel answers aren't out there, i.e., the bishops might say one thing about abortion; other groups might say something else about it; and he has to figure out for himself what he thinks about it; this last bit did not go over well. I got the feeling he thought I was lying to him. So yes, I believe I failed that patron that day.
One guy has flipped out on us several times in the last few days...and he's allegedly not challenged in any way, except perhaps wrt anger management, but that's just my layperson's diagnosis. He's lost documents...that he couldn't possibly recreate...that are so important...that he worked so hard on...for so long...an hour for two pages!...yet he didn't save them anywhere. The director finally gave him a flash drive bc it's happened several times and somehow it's our fault. He still isn't using the flash drive and it's still our fault. Whatevs, dude.
Anyhoo...I have only myself to blame that I lost stuff when my hard drive died bc I failed to back up anything. I hadn't acquired much on this pc...I'm mostly bummed about pictures I lost, most notably a picture of Stephanie drinking wine from the bottle through a straw. But, as others have pointed out, there will most likely be many opportunities to recreate that particular scene. Happy thought, that.
So, anyway, that's the deal here. I have a backlog of stuff to post: Mmm Mmm Monday recipes; Thursday Thrift ideas; Friday Cat Blogging (but of course); movie reviews (we continue to work our way down the AFI top 100 films, as well as tossing in a few others...'Triumph of the Will' anyone?...I don't know what possessed me to watch that); and what would a blog be without a healthy dose of navel-gazing by the blogger?
Well, Dear Readers, it's that time of year again, when an old woman's fancy turns to thoughts of resolutions. As mentioned the other day, I have, in the past, been overly optimistic about resolutions. Too many, too big. I lose focus (focus is sooooo important, my fellow
prisoners Americans) and then little, if anything, gets done.
I've gone from thinking about resolutions around Thanksgiving to finding myself beyond New Year's Day w/o any firm resolutions. A resolution has-been, you might say. Here are some things I'm considering resolving or have decided to resolve this year.
There are probably more resolution wannabes...I'm sure I've been considering more...but it's kinda early and I'm not at the zenith of my mental powers at this time of day. Actually, I'm unsure as to when during the day I'm at the zenith of my mental powers.
In looking over the potential resolutions here, I'm thinking that something at least some of them have in common is being in control. You know, I don't like not being in control of my life in general. I can be not in control of lots of small picture things (some things are best not being controlled by anyone), but if I feel like my life or a big chunk of it is out of control, then I feel all meshugganah. Off kilter. Not a good feeling.
These cheezburger cats and I are on the same wavelength.
Speaking of cats and schedules and time, I'm off to see what Miles is knocking over and then get ready for work.
Readers must think all I've done lately is cook and eat (and I'm not saying you'd be wrong), what with me mostly posting recipes on Mmm Mmm Mondays. I've wanted to blog more and also not wanted to blog more. I thought I was getting used to my new work schedule, but then The Holidays rolled around. We kinda sorta celebrate The Holidays. Our holiday activity isn't that much, but then add to it things we wouldn't normally do bco the holidays if things were just left to us, e.g., office parties, grab bags, etc. I'm sure I've said it before, but I'll say it again if only bc I can: I wish Christmas were more like Thanksgiving.
I've probably also said this before, but maybe we need to make the holidays more meaningful to us. When you don't practice the religion of The Biggest Holiday of the Year, it feels kinda funny. I wouldn't mind celebrating the winter solstice bc longer days are surely worthy of celebration. But then we'd celebrate the solstice, except not on the solstice, unless that were on the weekend, but rather on Christmas Day, which I think would make it feel like a separate-but-equal holiday. It doesn't help that I don't think Christmas should be a national holiday. Longtime readers will understand that it's bc I want more separation of church and state in this country. I think it's time to end that business about religious holidays being national holidays, but I'm sure I won't see that happen in my lifetime.
And I certainly don't want to come up with some substitute celebration just to have something to celebrate on Christmas Day bc that would just feel silly and fake.
Ugh. Fie on those people who originally snatched the winter solstice celebration from pagan celebrants and rebranded it for their religious/political reasons! And a pox on those who have turned the Christmas holiday into The Christmas Industrial/Commercial Complex! I really don't want to see businesses go out of business. I understand that lots of businesses rely on the Christmas retail season for much of their success. But it's just so overwhelming and stupid and unnecessary and so many negative things. Hey, I like gifts as much as the next person, perhaps more, but I can purchase and receive them w/o the onslaught of commercialism that comes around this time every year. And it's not like Christmas unilaterally brings out the best in people, like some contend. What is it that goes on in peoples' minds that make them decide a) that it's a good idea to stand outside WalMart, in the cold, from 9:00 PM on Thanksgiving evening until the store opens at whatever ungodly hour it opens the next morning and b) to fight other people for stuff?
Back to alternative celebrations. What to celebrate? I'll have to think if there's a way to celebrate the winter solstice w/o it feeling silly. The end of the calendar year is, of course, a good possibility. Similar to the solstice, it represents change, the turning over of a new leaf, a time to reflect and look back on the year, etc....all that positive stuff.
Maybe there's a cat-centric holiday we could celebrate. How is it that there doesn't seem to yet be a holiday just for and about cats? I bet if I look into Egyptians and their cats, I could find something suitable.
It seems like I grumble like this every holiday season. Perhaps I should resolve to figure out something better for next year. As an aside, Frank over at Frank Notes is not resolving to do anything, but is going to make changes. I used to be big - too big - on resolutions: making way too many and making overly ambitious ones. I think 'change' instead of 'resolution' is a good idea. Resolution is very much tied to the New Year, although one can, of course, make a resolution at any time. Same thing with making a change, although the idea of change being a constant suggests, at least to me, continuous evolution and, one hopes, improvement. So perhaps, in the words of that famed artiste, I need to make that change.
Well, listen up, peeps, I gotta go get ready to meet some friends for dinner and spread my personal joy around. Plus, I gotta get showered and dressed and do something around the house so that Kevin doesn't figure out that I spent yet another one of my days off doing absolutely nothing.
Hope you all like the new blog template. Every once in a while I decide it needs a new look. I'm not talented enough to do my own web design, so I rely on typepad's templates. This one is called 'Live and Learn'. I'm sure you get the idea: chick hatches, she learns that into each life some rain must fall, but! She then learns that that the sun will shine in her backdoor someday and good times return.
I thought that was appropriate. I'm trying to figure out how to best explain why. Hmmm. I've often felt like I should have known/done/achieved/expected/etc. things beforehand. E.g., I look back at the years I spent in the corporate world and wonder why I spent so many years there and why did I actually get into it when it wasn't personally satisfying? (Wrt the latter, I was often in a position to find more satisfying work; that's often, dare I say, not usually the case for the vast majority of people in the world.) Yes, this is unrealistic. 20/20 hindsight suggests that I should have been able to predict the future. This expectation also assumes that the years in question were wasted when I could rattle off a whole slew of things I learned that I would not have learned if I had gone straight into grad school or vet work. Indeed, I've often thought that some years in a mainstream workforce provided me with skills and insights I might not otherwise have had while a student. Of course, I'm biased about this, but I've often wondered if it would be a good idea for college grads to wait a year or two before they enter grad school.
So, maybe that explains it well enough. When I feel like I should have known X, it's fortunate if I remember to remind myself that I'm simply an imperfect person just trying to make my way in the world. Beating myself up for not knowing/doing what I should have known/done 20 years ago is hardly helpful, except in the 'learn' part of 'live and learn'. Well, enough deep thoughts for the moment.
Well, Dear Readers, I've decided to go with Plan B. No, not that Plan B. Plan A was to get a philosophy PhD and then get a job teaching philosophy (that's the highly abridged version, btw). I've been working at Plan A for some time now, yet have decided to switch to Plan B. Plan B is to work with animals, most likely as a veterinary technician, and preferably in a veterinary hospital, veterinary specialist, a shelter or in a research lab (i.e., a lab working on vet drugs, not a lab testing human drugs on animals).
A number of factors went into this decision; I'll just do a brain dump here.
As to why go into veterinary work:
Now, this isn't a done deal bc I do need to do some more research on the veterinary side of things. I've done some preliminary research, but I want to make sure I have a complete picture of things before I go hurtling down that path. I do have some misgivings about making this switch, but that's a whole 'nuther post. Right now, I have to have lunch, do some other stuff and head off to work.