Thursday, June 30

I like an afternoon off. It's good for me

It was the weirdest feeling this afternoon when I got home, because I felt, in my bones, that today was Friday. And every time I had to make myself realize that it was, instead, Thursday, I died a little bit inside. I keep hoping that the boss will spring a surprise afternoon without work on us tomorrow, but I can, and totally can not, see that happening. I will spend my morning in blissful anticipation of that happening though, because I am an optimist.
We don't actually use a time clock. I'm thinking about it now, and the last time I used a real time clock was when I worked at Pottery Barn, but also I had to check in with one when I was working for that one magazine. And they would get pissy about me being two, three or four minutes late. My suspicion is that they only got pissy with me. Where I am now is pretty lax with arrival times in the morning, so that's nice. I remember when I was working at the magazine downtown, and the big boss brought the sign-in sheet into his office so everyone had to go in there to sign in after 9 a.m. that morning. Thankfully, my actual boss walked into the office right after me, so he drew the big boss's attention more than I.
I have no idea why I went on that tangent. Time clocks suck. And I hope I get out early tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 28

Now, off to bed I go. Sleep, glorious sleep

I just spent the last five minutes laying on my back on my bed with my shoulders hanging off the side so I could stretch out my rib cage. I've been hunched over and coughing so much over the last several days that I'm honestly surprised that there's no bruising over my sternum. I'm so sore and over this cold, you guys. I should not have gone into work yesterday, but I did. I should not have stayed at work until 10:25 last night, but I did. I absolutely should have left this afternoon when I did, so I could spend the remainder of the day chilling out.
I expect to be feeling better tomorrow morning. I've already taken my NyQuil for the evening, and having finished up the blog relatively early (as of now), I should have a good night's sleep.

[Editor's note: Sydney's in art camp this week. Today's accompanying image is courtesy of a piece she did today.]

Saturday, June 25

Gotta get it back to zero

On this day in 2008, I posted to Facebook the status update that I had a zero balance on my American Express card. I'm very comfortable saying that the post probably was the last time that was a fact. I won't even tell you how much that balance is right now, but suffice it to say, it's quite a bit more than zero. And I honestly can't think of much I want more than a zero balance on that card. And having seen that the card has had a zero balance, even as recently as 2008, gives me renewed purpose. I need to start paying that bitch off.

Thursday, June 23

I will return my library book on time

For the past several months, I've owed 60 cents to the library in late-book fees. I've been angsting about it a lot, because I don't like owing the library money. It's so good to me, and I don't want it to be mad at me. The hitch in the paying-off-the-library get-along is that there is nowhere to pay my fine inside the library itself. This has bothered me for all these many months, but I've decided that if they let me continue to borrow books, I shouldn't be too concerned.
But then, I was a couple days late with a "new" fiction book. I turned it in today when I went by to pick up the books I had on hold. I hadn't intended on it being late; I just forgot when it was due.
Anyway, the library obviously has a minimum amount you have to hit for late fees before they make it known that said fees need to be paid. So when I checked my account tonight, there was an awesome little notice for the $1.60 I owed (looks like "new" books are more expensive when they're late), and a link to a third-party payment site. I clicked on the site, entered in my payment information, and then, boom, no more debt owed to the library.
It's stupid how much better I feel about my patronage at the library now. Before, I felt like I was a bad seed of some kind; a criminal, if you will. Now that I'm in good standing again, I will read with the clearest of conscience, and be happy about it. Duly noted: Owe more than a dollar, and they'll let you know where you can pay. You will not be forsaken.

Wednesday, June 22

Fighting a losing battle? Probably

My husband, whom I love very much, is a horrible, inconsiderate sick person. He rarely covers his mouth when he coughs, and generally spews his germs about with little care of the consequence. And when Sydney and I catch his illness, it is, of course, our fault ... because we breathed in the house or touched the refrigerator or something. Said husband came down with something Saturday night, and has been suffering the last few days. In a change of pace, he's been trying to cover his mouth, and has been careful about what he touches or shares or anything like that. Having said that, tonight, my throat is sore, and I had to blow my nose earlier, and I coughed a couple times. This is not cool.
Defensive Planning: I took some Airborne; I've been sure to not cuddle with my baby; and I'm going to get a good night's sleep tonight. I don't have the time or energy to be sick this week and weekend, so I won't let it win. It. Will. Not. Win.

Tuesday, June 21

Someone get summer the heck out of here

It's a bad time of year to be as done with the heat as I already am.
I have no shortage of warm days ahead of me, and I'm already straight angry with the weather here. This does not bode well for my mental and emotional health for the rest of the summer. I mean, it's the actual first day of summer, and I'm already eager for it to end. At least, from today forward, there is less and less sunshine every day until December.
It should be cooler by then, too.

Monday, June 20

Today, happiness is ...

The drip system and the apple trees are in good working order, and my orchard is now set up to water regularly and well. The trees are growing quickly and happily, and it's only going to get better now that there's watering that is not dependent on my memory.
Sydney had a great day at camp today. She did some swimming, some sports and some running around, which is all I wanted for her this week. We need to stop at Target tomorrow after camp though, and pick up a couple new swimsuits for her. All the ones she has are too small now.
There are three books waiting for me at the library right now. It's an embarrassment of riches for my eyes, mind and soul, you guys. I don't know which one to read first, and it's a delicious predicament. My goal, of course, is to get through them all without having to renew any of them. Goals.
I made rice krispy treats this weekend, and they're super yummy. The problem is, of course, that I'm eating them. Brian made marshmallows yesterday, so he's been snacking on those, and Sydney has a plethora of sweet things to eat, so no one is partaking in the krispy treats but me. This is problematic because my butt.
It's early-ish, and I'm almost done blogging, and I've got nothing to read, so I see an early bedtime in the cards for me. :)

Sunday, June 19

An ITEM! list for your Sunday

ITEM!: Did I tell you that last week I found a passel of books to add to my library queue? Like, 12 or 13? I think I did. Anyway, I finished the library book I have in the house this afternoon, and went on the hunt to fill up that queue on the library's website. I'm sad to say I was disappointed in my searches. A few of the books aren't even available in book form, if you can believe it. I can get them electronically, if I want, but actual books, they don't have. Like four or five books were like that. So that was a drag. For three other books, I'm on a waiting list. For one of those books, I'm 23rd in line! For the others, I'm third and fifth. I've got two books that are available, and I should be able to collect them tomorrow and Tuesday. So, the Summer Reading List 2016 is ready to go, and ready to be tackled and put into submission.
ITEM!: The living room plant that was infested with bugs seems to be handling its shocking root bath and change of soil well. I won't lie; I saw a bug flying around it the other day. But I sprayed the soil with Mom's soapy bug-killing spray, and we'll see if that takes care of the problem well enough. Everyone else inside seems to be doing fine.
ITEM!: As for the outside, well, today was a rough day. The high in the metro-Phoenix area got up to 118 degrees, and my little outdoor gardening space certainly felt the heat. I had to put the citronella plant, daisy and strawberry on the patio floor because they were getting baked in the afternoon sun, which is usually a bit more forgiving. My lavender plants were drooping, as was my gardenia. They were very pleased to get some extra water and spraying. The raspberries and blueberries seemed to take the heat in stride, which is amazing. The other blueberry though, is pretty dead. I'm going to trim back its limbs to see if we can't force its roots to push up some fresh growth. As for the apple trees, well, Sydney and I hit up Lowe's yesterday and picked up a pile of drip-system gear so I could put them back on the watering system. I was starting to get super concerned about their health in the summer, so I fashioned an extended watering system and installed it. I've set an alarm on my phone so I'm sure to check it out tomorrow morning before I leave for the day, and ensure that all is watering well.

Friday, June 17

Here's hoping next week is a home run

We're two weeks of summer camp into the summer, and I'm frickin' exhausted. Last week was someplace Sydney totally loves; it's her number one, favorite summer camp. It has two separate programs during the summer, so she goes there for two weeks every summer. Her first week was last week, and the second week is later this summer. Anyway, she thoroughly enjoyed.
This week's camp was a new one. It was science-based, which was awesome, but it was 25 miles away with traffic too, which was not awesome. I was putting 100 miles a day on my car this week, and she didn't totally love the camp. I mean, she liked it well enough, and had a couple great days, but it wasn't so wonderful as to be worth all the driving, or worth doing again, she said. Next year, we need to find a science-y, intellectual camp closer to home.
The next few weeks are good to go, including a nice combination of physical, running around and active camps and an artsy camp. I'd love to have another brain-matter camp, but I'm having a hard time finding one. I've only got two weeks open, and an idea for one of them, so my wiggle room is extremely limited. So far I've got one hit and one miss.
I get to sleep in this weekend, and after a week of getting up at 6 a.m. so I can drive 40 minutes away to drive 40 minutes back here for work, I'm needing the extra sleepy time to refresh and rejuvenate. Happily, next week's camp is in town and only 10 minutes away. It's a winner already.

Thursday, June 16

Go back to your under-the-bridge place

I got my first Twitter troll today. I blocked him (I assume it's a him), because I don't want to argue with someone on Twitter. Anyway, I had tweeted my support for the filibuster to one of my state senators, and the troll told me that there were more voters like him than there are voters like me, and that's why he'll win. I'm all, buh-bye. I'm not on social media to argue with invisible people behind their keyboards. If my one tweet goes towards the thousands of tweets, and somehow makes a difference, I'm a happy person. Because I actually think that there are more voters like me, who don't think assault rifles should be so easy to get. Anyway, I blocked him, so good on me. ... I suppose I shouldn't have though, right? Engaging with trolls is how you gain more followers, yes? Isn't that the point of this?
My kid asked me today when I thought she would be old enough to get a Twitter account. I told her that I'm not sure I'm old enough for Twitter. I said, "Twitter is a horrible, horrible place. People are so mean to each other on Twitter. I don't think you even know how mean people can be from behind their computers. I don't know when I'll let you get on Twitter." And that's so true. She's way too young to see the wretched despair and vitriol on this "social" media website and app.
The only thing going for it is that so many people on Twitter are funny and clever. So back up, trolls. I don't need you here.

Wednesday, June 15

I watched C-Span. Such is my commitment

I just spent the last four hours watching C-Span. If my little DVR can help me be counted among the people who are interested in witnessing a filibuster to protect people by making it more difficult for someone to buy a gun, than I'm a happy person. And I did it. I'm proud to be among those that are lobbying for more comprehensive background checks, and for closing the "terrorist loophole."
That a handful of senators are voting so against the will of an overwhelming majority of the American people is a travesty. It shouldn't be an easy thing, to buy a gun. It should be time-consuming, inconvenient, and expensive. It should not be a transaction at Wal-Mart.
I need to find my state senators' email and Twitter and phone, and I need to start making a nuisance of myself. Because I'm tired of people dying. And the senators of Arizona need to hear me.

Tuesday, June 14

I should wear black and yellow tomorrow

Is it a promotion when you've been handed a whole lot of new and extended responsibility at work? If so, then I got promoted today. I'm the lead editor on a magazine now (which is something I've done before, in 2001-02, but I got paid better for it). At any rate, now I'm responsible for a whole lot more editorial. I've been working the last two days to catch up with what's going on, and I'll probably need another day or two before I have. I think we're in good shape, though, and I'm eager to get the ball rolling in real time, instead of from yesterday, you know?
I need a new spiral notebook, I think. But the legal notepad I'm using currently is doing well enough. I feel like my practical tools aren't as great as they should be, but I know that I'm on top of most everything, so maybe I need to be more confident in my brain tools, rather than question where I'm keeping track of everything. Not to worry, self, I'm on it.

Monday, June 13

Guns actually do kill people

If it was a desire to see patriots become disillusioned with their country in the face of domestic attacks, then I think the terrorists have won. I find myself defeated, in my heart, when it comes to considering the crime in Orlando. My heart hurts, truly.
I am, and have been, a firm believer in gun control. If we can't have gun abstinence (which I really like), then some strict gun control is definitely the next order of business. However, we have lawmakers that believe that someone's paranoid belief in a fictional threat weighs more on the rights of a citizen than an actual citizen's actual life. You know what stops a bad guy with a gun? An off-duty police officer, a SWAT team, and, apparently, 50 bodies. Huh. Seems like a poor argument for all the NRA's "bad guy with a gun versus good guy with a gun" logic. It stands to reason that this guy should not have been able to buy that assault rifle. And not just because he'd been investigated by the FBI. He shouldn't have been able to buy it because it shouldn't be for sale to people. That instrument makes it way too easy to kill way too many people too quickly.
I don't care how many law-abiding citizens there are that don't kill people with their assault rifles. The facts stand that if this guy didn't have that gun, he wouldn't have been able to do as much damage. There is no practical, logical or safe reason to have that gun. They should be banned, abolished and destroyed. Look at all the massacres over the last few years, most, of not all, were perpetrated by a guy with an assault rifle. That rifle, a weapon of mass destruction, was developed for the military, and it's being used in domesticity. That is so wrong. And only a few members of our government are interested in making it right (a straight reading of the 2nd Amendment speaks of state-led militias, not private citizens, bearing arms).
I'm horrified by the state of this country's stance on guns. What the fuck kind of place are we living in? I'll tell you. We live in a country where 20 children ... BABIES ... are killed, and the fucking government does nothing to stop it from happening again. If they won't do it for babies, they're not going to do it for a nightclub full of adults. And that's breaking my heart. Because I used to be so proud of my country, and now I'm ashamed of it.

Saturday, June 11

But the plant is what I blogged about

Mom gave me her beautiful split-leaf philodendron a couple months ago, and it's been great (this photo to the left is not it). It has a lovely spot by the windows in the living room, and seems to be enjoying it there. But ever since I repotted it into a larger pot, it's been growing little black bugs that like to fly around my living room. I've done my best with bug sprays, and then ignoring it, and then more bug sprays. But it seems like every time I try something, the problem just gets worse.
The general consensus is that the potting soil I used to repot the plant was all filled up with baby bugs and bug eggs, and they just keep popping out and multiplying. It's gross, really.
Today, we went aggressive with the problem. We pulled the plant out of its pot, rinsed it naked and cleaned its roots, and then repotted it with fresh pot soil in the same pot after we'd rinsed that out, as well. (Brian is a good helper with that kind of stuff.) Right now, the little dude is chilling out on the floor in the dining room, but I'll move it back to its place tomorrow morning, after checking it for bugs. If they're still there though, we may have to say goodbye to the lovely plant. I hate tossing out a healthy, vibrant member of our plant household, but I can't have bugs growing in my house. It's so gross.
And that was the most productive thing I did today ... except for visiting Barnes & Noble and finding about 12 books to add to my library queue. And we went to Costco. And picked up Brian's prescription. And we had lunch at the local pizza joint. ... Okay. I had a very productive Saturday.

Wednesday, June 8

Do I friend or do I go?

I have a new coworker who started on Monday. She's super nice.
My conundrum: She friend requested me tonight.
And I like not having any of my coworkers having access to my Facebook. I mean, I really enjoy having none of my coworkers being my Facebook friends. I feel more free to air my mind and all that when I don't have anyone who may be judging me for it at work the next day. No joke, I talk about pretty much everything, and check-in pretty much everywhere, on Facebook. I don't know if I want someone that I see five days a week knowing what I do on the weekends, too.
Instagram is a totally different animal, since I don't really live my life on it, and most of it is dog and kid pictures, and no one can know too much about me based on the Instagram pics. I already have a coworker following me on Instagram. But Facebook? That's a lot of my mind, body and soul up there. My coworkers don't need to know my political leanings, or what my passions and causes are. When I was training with Trainer Dan, he told me that we can't be "friends" until we're not working together. And I took that to heart, really. I understand that. It makes total sense.
So here's the difficulty: Do I just explain that to her? Or do I ignore the request? I'm not totally comfortable exposing myself like that in the workplace. But I'm not comfortable being standoffish and considered rude, either.
And she's super nice.

Tuesday, June 7

Discovering that I'm a Matt Damon fan

HBO has started showing The Martian (because Mom and I just watched it, I suspect), and I'm loving it. As I do, I've watched bits and pieces of it almost every day since the weekend, and I'm not mad about it. Brian and I watched the entire last hour of it tonight, and I giggled just as much now as I did the first time I saw it. It is such a good movie, you guys. If you haven't seen it yet, I highly recommend it.
You know what else was on my movie channels last night? Ocean's 13. The third one, not the second one, which sucked so badly. This third chapter is more entertaining, for certain. I believe that the entertainingness is directly related to how little Julia Roberts is in it acting like "Julia Roberts." (I continue to be very offended by how Ocean's 12 jumped the shark (idiom) with that plot device.) And most anything with Eddie Izzard in it is worth the price of admission. But more significantly, it's another movie I enjoy watching that features Matt Damon in a primary role.
And then there's the next Bourne movie coming out this summer, about which I am very excited. I love, love, love the Bourne movies. And my hopeless romanticness is giddy that Julia Stiles' character, Nikki, is in the film, too.
So, three awesome Matt Damon sightings in one stretch of time, and not being mad about them, must make me an official fan of Matt Damon. There are worse things, I suppose, and since I'm seriously counting the days until Bourne, I'll binge on The Martian and Ocean's 13 until then.

Monday, June 6

Do you want to be friends?

Sydney attended her first day of summer camp today. She had a great day. She made new friends, learned new things, and did new activities. This morning, she was nervous. I can always tell with her, as it's the only time she gets quiet on me. Like, super quiet. And kind of stoic.
People ask me if she ever attends summer camp with friends. I say, "no." Not definitively, of course, because if a friend wanted to go to a camp with her, I would never say no to that. But on the whole, I enjoy that she goes to her camps on her own. You know what it does? It forces her to meet new people and make new friends on a weekly basis. This is not a skill that comes easily to many people, and I am always happy to make her exercise it regularly during the summer.
I firmly believe that the best thing my mom and dad did for me was to move me to a different school every four years or less of my life. I was never in the situation where I had the same friends in school for so many years that I was unable to make new ones. That was something I noticed about Brian at dental school: He had a hard time becoming friends with people. He was fine meeting them and chatting in class, but beyond that, little to nothing. In his experience, he'd had the same group of friends since kindergarten, and hadn't had to make the effort on his own. Thank goodness the other dental students were a persistent bunch in trying to be his friend. I mean, I met him through his elementary school friend. So even I didn't count as meeting someone on his own.
So for Sydney, I'm super proud of her bravery in walking into a new camp and being able to make new friends. Because she has to, and because she can. Today, her new friends, Abby, Abigail and Connor, made the day a good one. She's eager to go back to camp tomorrow, and I'm even more excited for what the rest of the summer holds.

Sunday, June 5

"Don't lie; just tell me."

Me: "So what's that red mark right there?" Indicating a smeared pinkish red mark on the desk in the office.
Sydney: "Umm..." Hemming and hawing, of course.
Me: "Don't lie; just tell me."
Sydney: "Okay, you know that red ball? Well, there was some water on the desk and I put the ball in it, and then all of a sudden, there was red water, and I tried to dry it."
Me: "Was that so hard? To just tell me the truth?" Eyeballing the kid.
Sydney: "I don't know why that's the first thing I want to do, but it is. I need to stop lying about stuff."
Me: "Indeed. Monster."
Once in bed, she obviously decided that not having lied about the red mark was the way to go, and directly, I had the confession that I didn't know I was waiting for. Apparently, the Burt's Bees lip balm mess on the floor of the office from several weeks ago didn't really go down as a melted Burt's at all. Apparently, she got some on her fingers while playing with it as she's not supposed to, and decided that it was cool that the Burt's made her fingers all slippery. So APPARENTLY, she then had the brilliant idea to smear the Burt's LIP balm all over her FEET, and sit in the chair sliding said feet back and forth on the hardwood floor, LIKE SHE WAS ICE SKATING. I mean, honestly. What the f*ck kind of experiment is that? And then she panicked when she heard me walking up the stairs. Like, holy shit. She then told me a lie; I busted that lie; but in so doing, she gave herself MORE TIME to come up with a SECOND lie? That is some f*cked up daughtering there for that kid. And I'm the sucker that believed the second lie.
How the hell am I supposed to believe anything she tells me? Like, really. How do I trust, when she can obviously lie the shit out of a situation, and follow it up convincingly if she lets me catch the first lie? It's like a dummy lie, and the real one is the backup. So sneaky.
But I took the truth like a champ, by not getting too mad about it since it's totally water under the bridge (idiom). So now she'll feel more comfortable telling me the truth, I guess? Or do I need to follow every question with, "Don't lie; just tell me"?

Saturday, June 4

That's not my blooming lavender ... yet

I honestly thought that I posted something the night before last, but I guess I didn't.
I really don't have anything to talk about tonight, either, but I hate going too many days without something up here.
Things for right now:
~ I saw a handbag at Nordstrom yesterday that I really, really, really want, but it's not a practical purchase, so I've resisted. This is making me more annoyed than you can possibly imagine. It's been years ... YEARS ... since I'd found a summer bag that I like. And now I have, and I am unable to afford the f*ckin' thing.
~ There's a catch in the toenail of my big toe, and since said toe is right under my lap desk as I sit here typing, it is bugging me a whole lot. As soon as this post is done, I'm heading into the bathroom to trim it.
~ Speaking of toes, Cooper has been licking the heck out of one of his, and I can't figure out what is bugging him about it. Also, he's totally cute and sleeping right now. Mom is staring at him lovingly, because he's adorable.
~ I downloaded an app to be able to remotely shut down my computer via my phone, but the technology didn't work on my old-ass computer, so the idea and app have been deleted. I'm about to drop the hammer on my kid's computer and phone time, and I'm pretty sure that it will make my summer more miserable than a summer in the desert already can be.
~ I moved my wonderful bougainvillea from the sunny spot on my front porch to the mostly shady spot, as the little darling seems to be getting too much Arizona summer sun. And I'm really not too sure about my raspberries and blueberries. They are ... struggling ... with the summer so far, and we haven't even hit the peak of it. My lavender is out of control, though. I need to figure out when and how that may or may not need to be harvested. Like, I have to wait for it to flower, right?
~ We finished watching season two of Grace and Frankie, and while the premise of the show still is adorable, the execution has lost its charm. Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston were so annoying this season, especially Waterston's character, that I could barely register any feeling beyond annoyance for their plot lines. The same with Lily Tomlin's Frankie, who was crazy and self-righteous throughout. No wonder Jane Fonda's Grace needed to drink for the entire 13 episodes.
~ I'm looking forward to our delicious breakfast tomorrow morning. That's all I'm going to say about that.

Wednesday, June 1

"Chopping" dairy from her diet for a few

I'm not entirely sure why the sight of my avatar with an axe in her hand made me feel warm inside, but alas, it did, and because of that, she's my spirit animal for the month.
Hey, did you know that kids/people/children can become maybe lactose intolerant as a phase? My kid's been not feeling good for the last couple weeks, and after a visit to the doctor today, we think that maybe she's going through a maybe temporary dairy issue. So she's cut off from anything dairy for five days, which is interesting. Child survives on string cheese and yogurt. She loves it. So I did a little internet searching tonight and found a list of snacks that are dairy-free.
Nutter Butters, which would be awesome for me, but not her.
Dry cereal, which means I'll be buying some Cap'n Crunch.
Sorbet, which I forgot didn't have milk in it.
Marshmallows, which are an awesome snack for any reason on any day.
Frosting, because her non-dairy issues would have to have ready-made vats of FROSTING as a solution, right?