Monday, August 14

A long-overdue, and somewhat boring, ITEM! list

I've already taken my NyQuil tonight, so this blog may make no sense, or make all the sense in the world.
ITEM!: To the left is an image of a new book by the author Elizabeth Peters, who died in 2013. I thought I would never read another word that this author wrote, but as we were strolling through Costco on Saturday, this book was there. According to the liner notes, this is the unfinished manuscript Peters was writing when she died, and the author Joan Hess finished it. Of course, this could mean that it's somewhat not hers while being hers. But it also could provide the closure I need for these characters.
ITEM!: I have succumbed to the cold that my delightful daughter brought home from school last week. She had a sore throat on Thursday and Friday, and on Saturday I woke up with a sore throat myself. Sydney is feeling better, of course, while I am feeling decidedly worse every morning since. Like I said, I've already taken my NyQuil, so I'm hoping for a better night's sleep tonight than last night.
ITEM!: We have a wonderful sunflower growing in our backyard, and it's my favorite thing right now. Unfortunately, it's flower has gotten heavy with seed growings, so it's bending. I had to fashion a string brace for it and tie that to a tree so it'll stay standing better.
ITEM!: I got nothing else to tell you. My day was blah, because of the illness.

Thursday, August 10

This bathroom is super clean, and totally not mine

I've never enjoyed cleaning a bathroom. In fact, it's one of the worst things I can think of to have to do.
Tonight, I faced my nemesis, which is my bathroom floor. I hate the bathroom floor with a passion, but sometimes it just has to be done. You know, when it reaches that point. Also, the bathroom rugs are falling apart underneath and needed to be removed. So I folded those up to toss out. Underneath them was so much dried and cracked off plastic bits that I got grossed out. With that came the need to vacuum those pieces up, and of course, with that, the follow-up need to vacuum the rest of the bathroom. And then I had to scrub the floor with the cleaning wipes. Because I won't leave the job half-assed; I am pretty OCD about that.
And you know what I did? I made my kid keep me company while I did it. I didn't ask her to do anything, though she did volunteer and scrub a bit of it. But it grossed me out that she was anywhere near my bathroom floor, so I made her stop and wash her hands and sit on my bed while I finished. Anyway, she did a good job of keeping the dogs from "helping," and chatted me up while I was busy. She's a pretty good assistant in that way.
But I did take the time to tell her that as soon as I was able to afford a cleaning crew, we would have one, and I wouldn't have to clean my house myself anymore. Also, I explained that cleaning the bathroom is my LEAST favorite place in the house to clean, and because of that, I avoid it at all costs, and that's why the bathroom gets so bad before I break down and clean it. She's all, "Well, I don't like cleaning ANYTHING." And I'm like, "Preach, sister."

Wednesday, August 9

A home is a house full of projects

I'm on a tear lately about changing/messing with/moving things around my house. We just signed a lease extension for two more years, and having that stretch of time in front of us has motivated me to make this house a better spot, and to fix all the little things that are currently bugging me.
1. The cozy chair upstairs. -- If I'm going to keep the chair, and I've decided that I will, it needs to be reupholstered. It's all about the kiddo look right now, and that needs to be changed. I'm thinking about a nice gray floral print with maybe some pink, lavender and/or light green?
2. Hockey table downstairs. -- I've never been a fan of the hockey table in my dining room, and I think it would be cooler upstairs in the loft, where it would be better served as a play thing.
3. Server for the dining room. -- This nifty red piece of furniture (above left) is the server I'd like to get for my dining room, which will be placed along the wall in the space currently occupied by the hockey table. I'll have to come up with something clever for the windows, as I don't want everyone to see how insane my Christmas dishes or serving pieces packing is. Real windows is a poor choice for this piece.
4. Gray cabinet thing. -- Mom's got this nifty piece of cabinetry, it's like a gray distressed wooden cabinet, that I think is super cool, but I'm not 100 percent sure where I want to put it.
5. Coffee table. -- I need a new one, because I don't like the red anymore, and my real goal is to lighten up my living room by going gray. In so doing, I also want lighter wood in there, which means a new coffee table. I saw one I liked at Ikea, but it doesn't have the storage that I want, so I may actually end up changing my mind about that one.
6. Loveseat. -- I got a new sofa a couple months ago, and I'm pretty happy with it. There's a matching loveseat, and I want that, too. With that purchase comes some moving around of stuff and making the room prettier and more comfortable for more people.
7. Large living room area rug. -- Oh my god, do I need a new rug in my living room. Not only is it starting to wear super thin in many places, but the thing has seen FOUR puppies in its life, and it is certainly showing that experience. I told Brian that as soon as Elliot was potty trained, we'd be getting a new rug, and that time is now.
I think maybe that's it for now? So many changes, so little time and money, but I hope to tackle them a project at a time to get them done relatively soon. I mean, really, I've got two years.

Tuesday, August 8

My Jetta spoils me

Until today, I never realized how dependent I had become on my Jetta's delightful turbo engine.
As you know, the Jetta was in the shop because of the key not turning, and I ended up driving a newer loaner Jetta from the dealership all day today. The loaner Jetta did not have a turbo engine, and oh my goodness, was that obvious to me as I drove around today. The car would not go. I'd turn a corner, press the gas pedal, and the car would lag and rev and be all kinds of slow in getting up to speed. I tried to pass someone on the freeway, and the damn thing would NOT move fast enough. I punched the accelerator, and little to nothing would happen before the car just started to cry and whine at me.
I said to Brian, "I never realized how much I enjoy driving a turbo." His response: "I think anyone who's ever ridden in the car with you knows how much you enjoy a turbo engine."
That was funny, but so truthful that it was jarring. I love driving fast. I love having the power beneath my foot when I press the gas pedal. It's a weird sense of vulnerability when the car doesn't go how you want it to. I love having the confidence in knowing that whatever I want from the car, it will give me.
You know what this means, of course. Never again will I drive without a turbo engine. ... And seat warmers. ... And satellite radio.

Monday, August 7

Perhaps the dumbest thing to happen ever

This is my hand after uncooperative car keys. As you can see, I did not have a particularly good afternoon. Because after all, it's all fun and games until the keys won't turn in the ignition.
The ouchy there was way worse earlier in the day, but the benefit of hours have dimmed it and made it less painful in general. No kidding, the key wouldn't turn in the ignition. I muscled that goddamn key for so long it made me laugh and almost cry in frustration at the same time. I called Volkswagen and talked to Jon, who talked me through all the little jiggling and wiggling things that might work which I had already done. He told me that he had a car for me whenever I got there; it was just a matter of getting the car there. AAA was on the spot, sort of, in that they were quick to my phone call, and quick to all that, but the wait of 75 minutes wasn't working for me. I had a kid to pick up in 60 minutes.
One of my coworkers was kind enough to drive me to the dealership so I could pick up the loaner car before AAA even got to my car, so I was able to break out and pick up Sydney on time.
Fun potential issue with the car? A busted ignition lock. Something that Jon has seen before, so it's not an anomaly, but not anything that happens all that often. So here I sit, waiting for that shoe to drop. Here's hoping that once that is fixed that'll be the last of it for a while.
You don't know, because I haven't blogged, but the car has been a bit of a pain in the ass over the last year. But I love it, and I don't want a new car payment, so we keep throwing this shit on the credit card and hopefully, we'll get the whole damn thing taken care of at some point.

Sunday, August 6

Sitting squarely in the front row of the bandwagon

Back before the months of separation between the blog and I, there was very much writing about breaking up with several of my shows. The stories, characters, plots and whatnot had gotten boring, and predictable, or just simply went in ways I didn't like. I've cut back on a lot of television since then, and am happy with the lesser of many evils, by not spending as much time in front of the tube.
But let me tell you what show I hooked up with: Game of Thrones. I know I am incredibly late to this party, and I acknowledge that loudly and emphatically. I used to think that I didn't have space in my head for the mythology of the show, or that I just didn't want to add another obsession to my list of obsessions.
But let me set the record straight, I was so very, very wrong about that. This show is epic and awesome and brilliant on a level I've rarely seen before, and I'm thoroughly in love with it. Tonight's episode was so amazing that Brian and I actually sat and watched it a second time, just to be sure we didn't miss anything. You want to know something? We did miss some stuff! The second viewing was totally worth it!
I won't write about anything specific to the show here, because I hate spoilers, so I'll just say that I am so glad that Brian made me start watching this show, and that I am totally happy that I inadvertently made room for a new show in my brain by breaking up with a bunch of old shows that are in no way even as close to being as awesome.

Saturday, August 5

We may have to live life without pics, though

And may the blogging commence!
So I figured out what the problem was about the blogging, or lack thereof. I hate, hate, hate going to the desktop computer in the office to blog in the dark of night. The lights in my office don't light exactly how I like them to, I guess, and the chair isn't too comfy, and it's dusty, and all kinds of reasons. But the main thing is that I couldn't just sit on my bed and write.
That has been fixed, we think, with Mom's new freebie Samsung tablet, and the awesome little keyboard that connects to it. I now have internet and blog access from my bed again, and I think it'll work out well.
We'll see though! But here we are!

UPDATE: We may not have the joy of accompanying photos, though, as the tablet is making it difficult for me to place any of the corresponding artwork exactly where I want it to go. And you don't even know how particular I am about the exactness of my images on this thing.

UPDATE #2: I added this picture on the desktop computer. What may happen, is that photos may or may not get put up at the same time as the posts.

Thursday, January 19

But I still will drink my tea every day

ITEM!: As of yesterday, I am 44 years old. I am officially in my mid-40s, and there's no way of tiptoeing around that. As a reminder of how my body is aging, I choked on my hot tea at work this morning, and it took me no less than 10 minutes before I had recovered enough to have another sip, or to stop coughing. I'm not a quick recovery anymore, and that is super humbling.
ITEM!: Sydney and I will be attending the Women's March in Phoenix on Saturday, and I'm super excited. Why am I marching? What kind of injustice could I possibly be fighting? I fight the injustice that would force itself on those who don't have a voice, or who may be the object of said prejudice, actions and behaviors. I march because I want those who may try to perpetrate an injustice know that the people are watching them, and the people will be heard.
ITEM!: I've watched the movie, Now You See Me 2, no less than four times over the last three days, and I'm not especially proud of that, but there's been nothing else interesting to watch. What I won't be watching tomorrow is the inauguration. I'm sick to my stomach that this man is going to be president, and I won't be a party to any ratings numbers going towards his swearing-in. In fact, my televisions will be tuned to channels that couldn't possibly show the inauguration, even as they'll be off, so there won't be a hint of my viewing habits going to him.
ITEM!: I just finished the last of my birthday Krispy Kreme doughnuts as my late-night snack, and my body is not pleased. I've got the worst acid reflux right now.

Monday, January 16

A visual wormhole on A&E

I got totally sucked in to watching the Leah Remini docu-series about Scientology on A&E tonight. I watched three hours straight of it. I find myself super intrigued as to how this organization is a church, and how it can get away with being so horrible to its followers. Also, whenever people spoke about leaving the "church" lands and compounds, they used the word "escape." People would have to escape to lead normal lives away from this organization. That's frickin' scary in every way.
I'm morbidly curious in the inner workings of Scientology for some reason, and I find it motivating and inspiring to hear the stories of people who have left it to live full lives on their own. The stories about the leader and all the upper-level executives are chilling. I haven't gone so far as to record the show, but I am interested to see what happens next. If this time right now was a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, I'd be camped out on the sofa and watching this show all day.

Sunday, January 15

I will read you and you and you

I spent some time alone in my local Barnes & Noble yesterday, which is a wonderful treat. And when not buying something to read used to be a horrible way to exit the store, I now am pleased when I leave with an empty bag, but also a phone full of pictures of books to add to my queue at the local library.
On this particular Saturday, I had forgotten I wanted to get some food before getting to the store, so I even enjoyed a private, quiet lunch in the store's cafe. A delicious spinach and artichoke quiche and some ice water totally hit the spot. Then, to the stacks, where I found about five books to add to my library queue, and reconfirmed my interest in four that already were on the queue.
I typically like to spend at least two hours in the store on my days like this, but yesterday was just a one-hour day, which is still totally awesome, don't get me wrong. I love that Barnes & Noble is such a nifty place to loiter in the book stacks. (Just walking into the store and smelling all those books is a warm fuzzy for me.) And I love that no one else in the family wants to go with me, so it's a delicious spot of Kimmie Time. Of course, having said that, I would totally love it if Sydney enjoyed coming with me and hanging out in the books, too.

Thursday, January 12

The best kind of cleanse

I'm in a mood, and I am clearing shit out. I'm always in this kind of decluttering frame of mind in January, but this year it feels exaggerated. I can't wait to get rid of stuff.
I went though my kitchen drawers today. Why I have so many things to cook with, as a person who does not cook, is a mystery. But why I had three baby-sized whisks is a bigger mystery. Where did they even come from?
I cleared out the excess barbecue tools, all the random cooking tools, and all the plastic cups we never, ever, ever use. I'd love to get rid of some appliances too, but who knows if I may regret that. We may need them some day. I mean, we even used our Crockpot, like, twice this year.
Question: If I have two waffle irons, and one makes Texas-shaped waffles, do I really need the second, normal waffle iron? I'm thinking no. So I may be going through the kitchen again before I consider myself done in there. ... Do I choose between the large, normal food processor or the little mini food processor? They both seem important with their own jobs. So they'll stay. I don't even know what else is in that cabinet, other than the juicer that would be useful if we managed to get any oranges this year, which we haven't. ... No more kitchen talk.
In my house, I look around and I see so much stuff that it makes me want to scream. I know I've got too much around here, and I'm over it. Here's hoping this cleansing of stuff reaches a conclusion, rather than just motivates me through the downstairs and then peters out before I make my way upstairs.

Wednesday, January 11

No kidding, sleep is delightful

I remember that I filled out one of those random Facebook questionnaires a few years ago, and this one answer that I wrote is as true today as it was back then.
The question: What is your favorite time of day?
My answer: That moment when I am in bed and decide that it's time to go to sleep, and I roll over and close my eyes.
The continuing truth of that statement hit me this morning when I woke up and looked at the clock and saw that it was 5 a.m. The absolute knowledge that I had another two hours of good sleep ahead of me made me actually smile, for reals, and then roll over and go back to sleep. And I remembered that happiness when my alarm blared at 7 a.m. And I wasn't half as angry at the alarm as I usually am, because I remembered that blissful feeling at 5 a.m.
Brian was getting ready for his day shortly after my alarm was rude but not maddening, and asked me how my sleep was. I told him, confidently, that I really enjoy sleeping: "I like sleeping. I like it a lot."
And all day today, the fact of that has danced around me, like a random little halo, and has made me smile, a whole lot, because I knew that I would have more sleep tonight.

Tuesday, January 10

I break up with you and you

The state of my DVR is exploding right now. And with January and the new mid-season premieres comes my disillusionment with some shows. On this night, I've broken up with Grimm and probably Sleepy Hollow. I was totally over Grimm at the end of last season, but having watched approximately 40 minutes of the new season's premiere, I decided that I definitely was totally over it, so it's been stricken from the DVR programming. As for Sleepy Hollow, I was super pissy about them killing off the main female character, and now they've moved the main male character into a new city, and with all new people, and I don't like change. Also, I miss Abby. So, I may give this one the benefit of the entire episode's viewing, but I don't hold much hope for it.
For your enjoyment, I'll list all the other shows on my DVR right now: Agents of SHIELD, Taboo, Shadowhunters, Conviction, Elementary, Emerald City, Life in Pieces, The Good Place, Modern Family, Blindspot.

Monday, January 9

They should have been more awesome

I did not enjoy the movie Sing.
As far as the plot goes, I would have been perfectly happy watching only the auditions at the beginning, and the show at the end. As characters go, the entire movie was an irritant to me. Specifically, the female characters. Let's go through them together, shall we?
1. Elderly secretary. Depicted as someone who is incapable of doing their job, makes horrible mistakes, and is the comic relief because of her age and of course, because she's the secretary.
2. Teenage rocker. Depicted as the girlfriend with no backbone to stand up to her boyfriend, is meek when he tells her that she has to sing back-up, and is accepting when he tells her that she can't write songs because he does it. Participates in the contest because it'll be good for both of them. He cheats on her and she still pines for him.
3. Unappreciated housewife/mother. Depicted as the downtrodden, unnoticed mother and wife. Husband doesn't help and falls asleep as soon as he comes home. Kids don't value her as a person, and don't even notice when she's not there, so long as their food gets made and lunches are ready. Has to sneak out of the house to pursue her dream. Husband only notices that she's a real woman after she performs on stage and is cheered on by the audience (he required validation from a crowd to find her desirable again).
4. Shy, timid ingenue. Depicted as a painfully shy girl who knew she had talent but was so afraid of performing and scrutiny that she wouldn't audition, and wouldn't stand up for herself when she did go back the next day to audition. Even in the end, she had to be pushed onto the stage to sing.
Not a single one of the female characters in this movie had a backbone, or any confidence in themselves, or any gumption to get out there and push themselves to follow their dream. This is a movie that, presumably, wants to inspire young girls to be ambitious. How is it that every male character knows their worth and has the confidence and cockiness to sing and perform (and promote a theater), but the females are so meek and unsure? Of course, by the end of the show the girls are all singing and dancing, but not by their own efforts. It's when the males in the movie give them the confidence.
My goodness, girl, you're a goddamn elephant. Get your butt out there and sing.

Thursday, January 5

I prefer reading to most other activities

Tonight, I started reading one of the books in my To-Be-Read Pile. This particular book, Anne Rice's Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis, has been hanging out for a minimal amount of time, maybe just a month or six weeks. I had my library books though, so the actual books I own were taking a back seat, but now, without the library books, Lestat moves into the driver's chair. Anyway, at this moment, I'm about 100 pages into the book, and I anticipate being done with it by Saturday night, at the latest.
I made a promise to myself, not a resolution, that I wouldn't get into anymore library books until I finished at last half of my owned books, and now I'm well on my way to accomplishing this. I have three books in my pile. My pile, interestingly, is only three books. The pile itself has more than that, though. I've gotten one book from my daughter, who thinks I need to know the Warrior Cats mythology, and one from my husband, who thinks I need to be motivated to write a book about motherhood by reading a book about motherhood, called Sh*tty Mom.
To both of them, I say, "Thanks, but no thanks. I'm happy reading what I want to read." I don't think two people who have to be forced kicking and screaming to read anything not for school should be able to tell me what I should read. Not to worry, those two books will mysteriously disappear from my shelf in the next few days, for sure.

Wednesday, January 4

Day 2: Resolutions holding strong

Having written about the resolutions last night, I put some of them into practice, both immediately and today. FIRST, after I finished last night's blog post, I sat down and read, flipped, skimmed through all the magazines I had on the floor next to my bed. The pile moved into the recycling box downstairs was sizable, but it felt good to get them off my floor. I even managed to read through an article or two, so they weren't completely wasted, either.
SECOND, I stopped at Jack in the Box for lunch today. I did order a side with my hamburger. You want to know what I ordered? I ordered the side salad. Yes, you read that right. SIDE. SALAD. And I have to tell you, it was delicious. It was definitely additional food, but all the same, the salad itself was only 20 calories or something like that, and I didn't use much dressing, so my calorie count on the meal was significantly less than it would have been had I ordered the curly fries. Also, did I say already? It was a tasty salad!
THIRD, I wiped off the stove top immediately after making Sydney's scrambled eggs tonight, so that particular resolution is a winning one, too. FOURTH, and I know that I said I would try to answer questions less bitchy, and by extension just kind of be less bitchy, but I pulled my kid from her room and was sure to have both my housemates' eyes and attention when I reminded them that they are both intelligent people who do know where the dishwasher is. I reminded them that they need to put their dirty dishes in there. "But it's full." No, it's not. If it is, say something to me so I can tell you to just put the dish in the sink, and then I at least know you tried to put the dish in the dishwasher. Me being less bitchy means they need to be more helpful.
Happily, I didn't say much about the Midnight Snacks or any resolutions against them, so I have no compunction about heading downstairs in a few and having a couple pieces of fudge while I make myself a hot tea.

Tuesday, January 3

For the first time in a long time, some resolutions

I like January 3rd. It's a very nice, non-committal very early day of the year, with minimal significance. The 1st of the month ... well, holds a lot of significance. I spent mine sitting on the sofa. On the 2nd, I had promised myself that I would do some things, and I did. We went to the movies, and I took down the Christmas tree. Today, back to work and getting a hair appointment.
Last year on this day, I lamented all the sweets I still had in my kitchen from the holidays. This year, I could do the same thing. I made fudge again that no one else is eating again. There are still a lot of sugar cookies in my pantry again. Candy and whatnot are plentiful, again. My Midnight Snacks have been insane the last few days, of course.
I've been asked a couple times about my resolutions for the new year, and some of them are to be healthier, but within the parameters in which I can work. So, that means baby steps. Hamburgers and such, still allowed. French fries, curly fries, onion rings and the like, as in sides, not allowed. No more soda, which is really easy, to tell you the truth. I prefer water and milk anyway.
Another resolution is to read the magazine as soon as it arrives. I've got a pile of old magazines that will probably not get read because they're so old, and that bugs me. From now on, the magazine does not get taken upstairs, and gets read that day. Upstairs next to my bed is the black hole for magazines. They mold and die there, so they will no longer be brought there.
Wipe out the microwave when the splashy stuff is still hot, because then it can't harden where it splashed. My mom did an awesome job of cleaning my microwave when she was out here at Christmas, and I will not let it get gross again. Also includes wiping the stove top.
Answer questions a bit less bitchy. I've come to notice that when asked stuff I sometimes would rather bite than answer nicely, for no real reason at all. Also, I will do better about getting up to be helpful, rather than be lazy and unhelpful. Getting up and walking into the kitchen may be the only exercise I get some days, so I really should do it without complaint. Flip side, everyone else needs to do their part, too, to make me less bitchy and more likely to want to help.
Honestly, the attitude adjustment may be the most difficult thing to pull off.
Damn it, I really do love french fries.