Tuesday, June 29, 2004

We went to see "Fahrenheit 9/11" last night. It wasn't what I expected. I don't really even know how to explain why I was disappointed - it was obviously one-sided and scathing, and I expected that. I agree with the premise that we went to Iraq for all the wrong reasons and, most likely, under false pretenses. But one comment that Alex (who was really offended by the movie) made really stuck with me - he pointed out that Moore's film was every bit as manipulative as the behavior that he was depicting (the behavior of the Bush administration). I was especially bothered by the "shock" effect of dead babies, napalmed women, etc., set to music and following the shots of US soldiers talking about getting psyched for combat. To demonize the soldiers was especially repulsive. I know that people have strong feelings about politics in general, and for some, very strong feelings about this movie, so I'm going to stop here. It's too big an animal for a little blog.

I read a blurb in the local paper today about a 58-year old woman here in Boulder county, who was arrested for stalking her priest, giving him unsolicited gifts and professing her love for him. She told the sheriff's deputies that she and the priest were going to be married. The reason that it jumped out at me is that she is the same age and has the same name as a woman I used to work with in LA, who was definitely stalker material. This woman used to hit on all the male employees, even the married ones, and one of them once told me that she had imagined an entire dimension to their relationship that didn't actually exist. How weird would it be if she moved out here as well, and now I'm reading about her?? Spooky.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Things continue to be tense at work. They still haven't announced a new hire to replace the admin that they fired 2 months ago, and yesterday they let the receptionist go. Today, someone in my department asked me if I was worried for my job, and when I answered "yes", I realized it was true. I'm not worried about being let go, but the prospect of finding something else quickly is a different story. There is a job out there that I desperately want to have, but it pays substantially less than I make now, and I'm just not sure that I can afford to take it....but I'm going to figure out a way. I'm a big proponent of "life's too short", and staying around at a job where people are unpleasant to you every day is stupid. It reminds me of one of the definitions of insanity - doing the same thing over and over, but expecting to get different results. I think that it's not reasonable for me to expect people to behave any differently than they have in the past, because people don't really change their natures....(in case you missed it, I'm feeling a bit cynical today)

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Busy morning already, and it's not even 8am. Today is a big meeting day at work, and I tried to get here early, but was thwarted by my cozy bed and my little red dog. She so wanted my attention this morning, I just couldn't resist. We sat on the floor and she stretched out and howled and begged for scratches. By the time I jumped up to get ready, it was already pushing 6:30....

Today is Bike to Work Day, and while I personally couldn't participate (having no working bike and an 11 mile commute that includes the freeway), I was able to count all the bicyclists that I passed on the way in - 21 between my home and office. They're expecting thousands, just in Boulder County, and I hope that it happens. I've looked into alternatives to driving, the bus being the most practical - but it would take me about 40 minutes to get here, versus the 15 minutes I usually spend driving. I've also thought about riding my trusty scooter, Pepe Salsa, but it doesn't really go over 35 mph, and I'm afraid I'll be run off the road for going too slow. Biking will probably be the best option, once I get the bike repaired and road-worthy again.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Not much is new and exciting yet this week. The kids arrive tomorrow, and Mom spent her first night in her new house last night. We're going to the Fox Theater tonight to hear the Rebirth Brass Band - a friend from work recommended the show, said it was fantastic.

At the massive neighborhood garage sale a couple of weeks ago, I bought a composter for the backyard - your typical giant black plastic dome-type thing, called the Earth Machine. I've been saving all my kitchen scraps and bought some wood chips for the foundation of it, so tonight after work, I'll go home and turn the soil (get those worms and other critters woken up)...and start composting! I have a great book that talks about all the stuff that can go in there, and how often I have to "stir", and how long it should take. Alex thinks I'm nuts and wants the composter hidden behind a bush or something, says it's really ugly, but he will change his tune when we have luscious shrubs and flowers due to my composting efforts.

Saturday, June 19, 2004

Ow. Very sore today. Socks and hardwood floors are a bad combination, and one I wouldn't have expected in June. It's been so rainy and cold that I'm always wearing socks, and last night, arms full of laundry, I took a bad step down the wood stairs - thump, thump, thump, thump, thump. While nothing appears to be broken (doctor said elbow and wrist are okay, but maybe a broken rib), I'm moving a bit gingerly today. The worst pain is in my shoulder, which took a big jolt when my elbow hit the floor. Bruises on the back of my hip, upper back and elbow. Not good. My mother pulled a similar move last week, but we blame that on a runner in the hall that didn't have a no-skid pad under it (it does now, I can tell you!).

Today we're off to have a couples massage & lunch at a spa outside Denver - a Christmas present from Dean & Kim that we're just now getting a chance to use. I think a massage is just what I need. Of course, it's always a little embarrassing that I fall asleep almost every time I get a massage...

I read on another blog about a new Crate & Barrel store, called CB2. It's sort of their "hip" line - I found some great stuff there for my mother's new house - orange tea kettle & orange melamine canisters, to go in her new orange and red kitchen...

Friday, June 18, 2004

I'm home sick AGAIN today, thanks to those in my office who are now known collectively as "Typhoid Martin" (since they're all male). Here is yet another fine example of why you should use the sick days that you're given - so you don't go to the office and make everyone around you sick! A special thanks goes out to the two guys in my department who both had strep throat a couple of weeks ago, and yet unselfishly chose to go to work anyway. We now have 12 active cases of strep at work, and I suspect I'm about to be included in those numbers. A quick visit to my local GP will confirm my suspicions.

Since it's Friday and I'm not at work, I thought I'd compile a list of things I'm grateful for today:

    It's Friday (obvious, but must be listed)

    Alex and I get to do a couple-kinda thing this weekend, extra special because we haven't had time alone in a while

    It's been raining for a week or so, and my grass, trees and flowers couldn't be happier

    Joey and Mare arrive next week and will stay for two months

    Gas in Boulder is down to $1.75/gallon, even at Shell and Conoco

    My little Subaru gets about 26 miles/gallon, and it only cost me $23 to fill it the other day

    Everyone in my family is healthy and seems to be happy (!)

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Well, my Lakers couldn't pull it off last night, not that I really expected them to. The thing that really bugged me was Karl Malone in street clothes. I don't care how bad his knee was hurting, he should have been out there with anything less that a severed limb. That was the last night he'd be in an arena as a player, and he didn't play?!?! I think that was a poor message to send to the rest of the team, and I guarantee you that if the Lakers had somehow managed to win last night, Malone would be looking for floor time back in LA for Game 6. Obviously, I don't know what went on behind the scenes that led to the decision to not have him suit up, but I think it was the wrong call, whoever made it. I consider Karl to be one of the greats, but I was truly disappointed in him.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

There was a story in the local paper yesterday about a group that evaluates cosmetics, shampoos and other personal care products, and gives them a safety rating based on the chemicals that they contain, whether they're known allergens or cancerous agents, etc. I went to the website and did a search on some of my regular products - and most of them had a terrible safety rating. It even claims that my hand soap contains "ingredients that are (is a) known or probable human carcinogen(s)." Not good!! Even my favorite lip stuff scored an 8 (10 being the worst). This is very depressing. On the plus side, Burt's Bees fared pretty well, and I like their stuff, so it may be time to make a change.

Monday, June 14, 2004

I've been taking it easy for the past few days - still not over my cold, but I'm feeling much better. On the down side, Alex is now sick, but I could have predicted that. It was a quiet weekend - Mom and I hit some garage sales on Saturday (I got a composter!), and we went to the movies on Sunday. The best news is that I finally have patio furniture! My mother had said she wanted to buy us a set, as a thank you for putting her up for the past couple of months. I saw what I wanted (at Target, no less!), but they were sold out, didn't know when they'd get more, blah blah blah. I love Target and the stuff they sell, but they're kinda crap on the whole customer service thing, and they're REALLY bad about stuff that goes clearance. I can't tell you how many times I've bought something that was on special or clearance and it has rung up at full price. If you're not paying attention, they won't catch it. Just last week, Joni and I each bought a copy of "Lost in Translation" on DVD that was on special for $10, but they came up as $14.99....and neither of us noticed until later on when we were home. I hate that. Anyway, we finally, finally got them to sell us the floor model of the patio furniture, since it seemed that the set just no longer existed anywhere among the 15 or so Targets around here....but I'm not complaining. I love the furniture, it fits perfectly on my deck, the chairs have spring frames and are kinda bouncy. I'm looking forward to many morning and evening meals being taken outside.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

I'm still sick, and feeling too crappy to come up with anything original or interesting today, so I'll give you a quote that I came across and really liked....

"This is a world of compensations; and he who would be no slave, must consent to have no slave. Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves; and, under a just God, can not long retain it." -- Abraham Lincoln, 1859

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Although I'm still suffering mightily from this cold, I'm back at work today - it's just too hard to be gone for more than a day or so, stuff piles up and everyone decides that they just can't possibly function without me telling them where to go and when. One of them actually called me at home yesterday because they needed an account number to fill out a stupid form. Oh, excuse me if my illness is interfering with your paperwork.

My mother's house is coming along beautifully. I went over last night and helped with some of the painting in the laundry room. The kitchen is a buttery yellow, the living room is a lighter, warmer cream color, the laundry is a yellow called Goat's Beard (???), and then the upstairs guest room is a light moss green, the office/second guest room is a pale blue, and the master bedroom is a light rose color. It all looks amazing. We talked about putting together a before & after book for her to use as a calling card, if she wanted to start hiring herself out for home improvement consulting, etc. I'll post photos as soon as we're done with the work (later this week, early next).

Monday, June 07, 2004

Ugh. I have a cold. I am at work and I don't feel good. How am I supposed to focus on invoices, expense reports and NDAs when my head feels like it weighs 100lbs? I going to try to make it to lunchtime, and then may head home to sleep.

I did have a nice weekend, despite the onset of the killer cold. I worked in the garden, got to visit Tara and Kasey, saw a movie w/ Joni, played with the boys, went to a BBQ, walked with the dogs - sounds perfect, huh? I wish every weekend were as relaxing.

Friday, June 04, 2004

Friday. Vendredi. Viernes. Venerdi. Freitag. Aren't they lovely words?

I'm looking forward to a lazy weekend - no plans other than a matinee on Sunday (Harry Potter, here I come). I was supposed to be hosting a party for BCC volunteers tomorrow, but we decided to postpone until late summer/early fall, just before the program ramps up again. I might be doing a happy hour thing tonight at this new creole place, but not sure yet. I'm feeling pretty footloose right now - only 9 out of the 26 people in my department came to work today, making it a perfect day for me to quietly leave around 2:30pm....I think a manicure/pedicure afternoon are in order.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

I know this pic might mess up the page (for those of you naughty netizens using Internet Exploder), but it was too good to pass up. Who knew I was channeling Audrey?

WORSHIP! Your inner Bombshell is the beautiful Audrey Hepburn. Like her you've been blessed with a "certain something" that no one could describe accurately. You are more reserved than other bombshells, and that shows in your gentle, graceful nature. You like doing things for other people and love volunteering for your favorite charity. Yours is a rare gift in this day and age. You don't need to show a lot of skin to be sexy, all you need is your eyes. To see Audrey at the top of her game, watch the movie "Breakfast atTiffanys".

Who is your inner bombshell?
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I got a new car! What a relief - they took the Exploder off my hands (and will pay the $5000 balance due!), and I got my Subaru. It's called the Outback Sport Wagon, although it's actually in their Impreza line. I didn't do the WRX for several reasons - it's a lot more money (about $7k more than what I paid), the gas mileage isn't as good as mine (I get 28 or 29 mpg, vs. low 20s with the WRX), and I couldn't find a silver one with a manual transmission...they're very popular right now. Also, because of my negative trade, I would have had to put down a small fortune for the WRX. So, last night after work, I took myself down to Mike Shaw Subaru in Westminster, and 4 hours later I drove home in my new car! Subaru has a promo running with 1.9% financing if you do under 60 months, too good a deal to pass up.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

I can't believe it's June already! It's amazing how quickly spring flew by. Joey & Mare will be here for a visit at the end of the month, my grandparents are coming out in July, and my brother and his fiance will have moved out (probably Denver-area) by September. Mom should be moved into her new house by next weekend - everything is starting to speed up with her project over there. Hardwood floors and new fence are going in this week, then new appliances and painting next week.

Work continues to be the thing I have to get over every day, but I can handle it for a while longer...although I just had to sit here and have a 10 minute conversation with a man at work that I despise. He can't ever have a conversation with a woman without talking to her breasts, and he is the biggest brown-noser that ever lived. That's 10 minutes of my life that I can never get back.

On the plus side, things are getting more relaxed at home - not so much pressure of travel all the time. I'm sort of bummed for Alex that he's not going to do as many races as he thought, but also relieved that we don't have to spent every weekend on the road, and the beginning of each week recovering from it...today would be a good example. We had a track day in Omaha yesterday, so we left about 6:30 MT, got home about 2am. Since it was so late, I didn't set my alarm, and came in to work at 8:45 instead of my usual 7:15, which means I get paid for an hour and a half less today than usual. Being hourly sucks. Being at the mercy of your employer's idea of work hours sucks, too. I need to get cracking on the programming work, so I can get off this crazy ride...