Monday, November 22, 2010

Now that four whole entire DAYS have disappeared....

I have nothing really exciting to report.

My feet are swelling up a lot.  I'm in a lot more pain than usual.  I'm not sleeping worth a damn.

But, on the other hand, I've been approved as an affiliate for Harlequin.  I'll put a few banners or buttons or something on here somewhere.   Fair warning.

I've been spending time with Baby Potatohead, which necessitates doing nothing else at the same time, in general.  I suppose I could do other stuff, but unless he's asleep, what's the point?

Speaking of Baby Potatohead, he's six weeks old, and I think he's started teething already.  Sheesh!  He can stand already, just not on his own quite yet.  He's almost sitting up, but still has problems with his balance.

He likes Madonna music videos from the 80's, probably because she makes some of the same sounds as he does.  lol  His favorite is Like a Virgin.  I like the song, but the video is a little bit, hmm, weird.

Anyway, I have other things to write about today, and have to pack for our turkey day road trip.  Our second annual trip to host Air Force recruits.  I really enjoyed Thanksgiving last year at my high school girlfriend's house, and plan to do this as often as possible.  I'll miss traditional Thanksgiving dishes at my parents' house, but won't miss the atmosphere of being the least favorite child in the family.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Things I never thought I'd hear coming out of my mouth...

I mean, women talk about becoming their mothers.  I really hadn't heard too many talk about becoming their stepmothers.

"What is your major malfunction?" I just said to the cat.

Oh, how I hated it when my stepmother used to say this to me.  She said it often.  I was apparently the stupidest child in whatever state (or  country) we happened to be living in at the time.  At least, according to her.  Actually, I have a genius IQ.  I didn't know it until I was long out of her house.  And, you'd never know it to look at me.  I sure haven't done genius things with my life.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I'm International!

I've been viewed from Italy!

That's too cool.

Book: Bad Moon Rising

I just finished Bad Moon Rising by Sherrilyn Kenyon.  This is a Dark Hunter novel, and is set in that universe.

Kenyon mentions in the foreword that she's finally getting to tell the tale of Fang Kattalakis, though I don't remember this character from previous novels.  It's very possible I haven't read all of the Dark Hunter novels.  It's also very possible that I just don't remember the character for whatever reason.

The two main characters, Fang and Aimee, meet for the first time at the beginning of this book, at least it appears that way.  There is a reference in the last fifteen or so pages about years passing, so I'm not sure.

While I enjoyed this visit to the Dark Hunter realm, this book lacked something.  It wasn't quite as put together as the other of her novels I've read.  What it did have was some backstory on how the were clans came to be.  That was useful information, not only when reading this novel, but also in future, when I read others in this series.

The incongruency that stuck in my mind most was the passage of time.  In previous of the Dark Hunter novels, the action takes place in a relatively short period of time.  There may be weeks or even months that pass, but that passage is noted in some way and serves to move the plot along.

In this novel, time passes, and there is just no reference to it - no break between one "time" and another.  I'd finish one page, turn the page, and without any noticeable break, it would be months or years later, and I wouldn't have a clue until late in the paragraph or late on the new page.  In one case toward the end of the book, a reference is made to the years someone has spent together, but without sufficient action to warrant years passing.  Within pages of this, there is another reference to a "claiming" that has to occur within three weeks of "mating" to prevent the male half of the pair from becoming impotent.  So, did less than three weeks pass, or did years pass?  The book is unclear on that.  Or maybe it's just me.

Characterization relies a little too heavily on the idea that the reader has enjoyed previous Dark Hunter novels, as "visiting" characters are mentioned in passing, without any clear idea of why that particular character needed to be in that particular scene.  The main supporting cast are sufficiently described, though some very briefly.  There were a few too many main supporting characters for me to keep the descriptions straight.

On the one hand, the Dark Hunter universe/realm is a complicated one - peopled by gods and demigods, demons and daimons, werepeople (Katagaria) and peopleweres (Arcadians), magical beings and humans.  On the other hand, usually her books contain enough information to make reading each one a singular experience, perhaps enhanced by recent readings of other novels in the series.

I did enjoy the book, as I mentioned in the beginning, but had this been the first Dark Hunter novel I'd ever read, I would probably have never become a Sherrilyn Kenyon fan.

This is a review of a library book, and clicking on the link might someday make me a bit of money.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tuesday Topic

Just because I'm lazy and want to go to sleep, I'm stealing a topic idea from my e-muse buddy, Bonnie.  It's a question, instead of my own musings.

Congratulations!  You've won an unusual prize: an all-expense-paid billboard,
anywhere in the world you'd like to put it, with the message(s) of your choice,
for one year.

Where would you put your billboard, what would it say, and why?

Monday, November 15, 2010

OTrib and Facebook

What happens to YOUR Facebook?

This website has a new app for Facebook users that allows you to choose ahead of time what to do with your Facebook account after you are gone.

The Plan tab does have some really great articles on planning ahead topics - transporting remains, buying a cemetery plot, cremation, etc.

If you are the kind of person who thinks ahead, or has a reason to consider this information, please visit the website and check it out.

This is a BzzAgent report on Otrib.com.

5 3 1

The new Whataburger burger sounded really appetizing, so I had one.  I requested a regular bun.  Not a big fan of Texas toast.

It's pretty plain, just two patties, cheese, onion rings, pickles and some sauce.

It's supernummy.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Mystery Shopping

One of the things I do for what little cash I have is mystery shop and merchandise.  I'm working up a post with the companies for whom I have done actual work and gotten paid actual money.  It's a lot more information than I expected, so it's taking me more time to compile the information into a readable format than I wanted.

Anyway, that's coming in a few days.

I'm also working on a companion piece about ALL the things I do to have positive cash flow.

My presence is requested

Apparently, Baby Potatohead has requested his gramma's presence tomorrow (ahem, later today) for some nail trimming.  Mama and Daddy Potatohead are house-sitting and so are not in the next room.

I am far from stupid and therefore I know that the actual translation of this request is, "Mom, I know you told me what you did with his nails, but I wasn't listening, and even if I had been, I wouldn't have known what the hell you were talking about anyway, so would you PLEASE do his nails again?"  Except I added the please for emphasis. She might or might not have actually said please.

Regardless, I miss my Baby Potatohead, and so I shall go trim the nails of His Majesty and thereby get to spend a little time with him.  Maybe I'll also steal a few kisses and some cuddles.

His mama sure doesn't cuddle me anymore.  Brat. :D

Friday, November 12, 2010

Moving on....

Found this while I was cleaning out my inbox.  I, um, edited it a little to be more congruent and grammatically proper.

All is in divine order.  As I let go of all the things and people in my life that are no longer aligned with my Higher Self, I choose to move forward with those that are completely aligned.  I am grateful to you for choosing to walk this journey with me so that we may continue to support each other. It is okay (and, in fact, important) that I shed those people and situations which are no longer aligned with me.  It is sad, I know. Grieve it and then let it go. I will feel lighter, freer, and more aligned with my Higher Purpose once I do so.

Put another way - if all you're gonna do is piss in my Cheerios, stop talking to me!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Facebook v. Gather v. Classmates v. other social network sites

I like Facebook.  I've found old friends and classmates, and I get to "talk" to them daily.  Yes, I could go to classmates.com to find old classmates, but unless I pay classmates.com, the functionality of the site is limited for me.  And, there are just too many friends and family members I would never hear from if I weren't on FB. 

As for Gather, several times a year, I wonder why I'm even still there, since it's definitely not for the points.  It's been several years, and I've never been able to cash out.  Then November rolls around and ChristmasWishlist posts start coming in, and I find something I really love about it again.  I don't ever "hate" it there, but I can frequently find someplace else online I'd rather be.

As for MySpace, I recently closed that account, and won't miss it in the slightest.  Though I will miss my connection to GuyzNite, who did a song for the last Die Hard movie.  Love that song, and the guys are funny!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Books, books and more books

I have hundreds, no, thousands of books in my home.  Books are among the things I most enjoy and prize and among the things I'm downsizing and decluttering, in an effort to make my post-life cleanup as easy as possible for my daughter and her husband.   Not that I'm going anywhere anytime soon, just that despite eight years, the memory of cleaning out my mother's house after her death is FRESH in my mind.  It was a hideous experience, and one I will not wish on my own kid and grandkid(s).

I have First Editions, autographed books, antique books and "trashy" romance novels.  I have reference books, text books and teacher manuals.  I have self-help books and Dummies books.  And, of course, I have kid books.  My favorite among those is about the squirrel, Miss Suzy  I so loved this book when I was a kid.  I might even not get rid of it.  Baby Potatohead has to get stories read to him sometime, right?

I look around my room, which is where I am right now, and I long for the day when listing books will be as easy as just looking at the book.  Yeah, I know, it seems a little big-brotherish to me, too, but oh, for an easier way to list all these darn things.

For instance, here's one I can see on the dresser.  I have the hardback, of course, because if I really like an author or a subject, I want to get the books that will hold up best under repeated reading, and yes, I do read books more than just once or twice.

I love Anne McCaffrey - all the Pern books, all the Pegasus books, all the Acorna books - and own almost all of them in hardcover.  I did read a romance she read and um, really didn't like that one.  Other than that, if AM wrote it, I've read it and liked it.  I've continued to read stuff she's "written" with her son, Todd, I think, after her death.  The style is not the same, and I've enjoyed them all the same.

I can see two, count 'em, two hardcover editions of Bullfinch's Mythology.  I'm sure one was mine and the other was my mother's.  I probably even have several more around here somewhere.  My mother believed that if a book was worth recommending to students, it was worth having several copies, so she could loan (lend?) it out to them if they couldn't get it themselves.  She was a teacher, by the way.  English teacher by day (she graduated from college the same year I graduated from high school) and other odd, strange and bizarre things by night - astrology, numerology, tarot, world religions, mythology (she favored Egyptian, where I favor Greco-Roman), , magick, etc.

I see two Robert Heinlein hardcovers - Job: A Comedy of Justice and Friday.  Of course, the links don't take you to the hardcover books, probably because no one selling on Amazon has them listed. 

In addition to that, I have an entire box (more than one to be honest, but only one within view), full to overflowing, of paperback romances - the steamy stuff.  I've read a LOT of romance novels, and the older I get, the more I like the ones that have sex in them.  The ones where the two main characters never even kiss during their "courtship" are just not realistic, and in my opinion, they're generally written in a juvenile style. 

Of course, I also have my foot-and-a-half tall stack of library books, because buying books at this point in my life is just not useful.  I mean, what's the point of getting rid of books to declutter when I just buy more that I might not read again for three or four years, or even longer?

So, authors, I read your books.  I don't buy many anymore, and I'm sorry not to contribute to your pocketbook, particularly if I really enjoy your work, but logic and selfishness wins out on this one, I'm afraid.

I'm experimenting with different ways to send my books to new homes.  I use listia, eBay, Amazon, paperbackswap and goodreads right now.  If you know of other places to list used books of different types, please let me know.  It'll take me a while to get them all gone, so I have time to try out different ideas and sites.  I am obviously open to sites that don't involve me getting any actual money in exchange.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tuesday Topic

Today, I spent a couple of hours at a Workforce Investment Act meeting.  There are federal funds available locally, for retraining in a new field and furthering training in a current field.  In my county, competition for these spots is tough, as there is never enough money to go around for all the people who need help.  Many who are highly eligible have no desire to go through all the steps necessary to get to the golden egg - the government paying for up to two years of "school" to help you get a better job.

I have to admit that the list of "have-to's" was kind of daunting to me, but I decided that I'll never find a job at the rate I'm going now, unless I have some kind of help.  And I've heard that God helps those who help themselves.  I don't know about that, but I'm getting tired of (not really) sitting on my ass looking for a job and not finding one.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Marine One

I just finished Marine One by James Huston.  I read quite a variety of books, and lately, I've been reading more law/law enforcement/military/federal/etc themed books.

Marine One is about the President's helicopter going down, and the lawsuit that follows.

There are parts in which the writer is a bit condescending toward his audience, unintentionally, I'm sure.  I like for an author to assume that if I'm reading this book, I've read others or I find the subject matter interesting.  I want to avoid excesses of exposition.  The book is written in the first person, from the POV of the defendant's attorney, so it's possible that it's the character who's a little too talky rather than the author.  Either way, there are more than a few places where he "tells" rather than "shows." 

The Main main characters are fairly well fleshed-out, and some of the secondary characters are one-dimensional or two-dimensional.  The attorney's wife, for example, is mentioned in passing half a dozen times, and then gets two spots toward the end of the book where she gets a whole paragraph.  I didn't feel I knew her well enough for her to advance to a major minor role at the end.

The denouement in the courtroom virtually ended the book.  It was a rather abrupt ending.

Let me be clear, I did enjoy this book, just not as much as I expected to do.

Let me also mention that if you click on the picture, I get a wee (very wee) bit of money if you buy the book through that link.  You are welcome to go to amazon's website directly, or hit your local library. That's where I got mine.

Sunday, Sunday

Sunday I did nothing at all that would assist me in finding paid work.  I did, however, process or delete another thousand or so emails.  My inbox is looking a bit peaked.

I also played with the grandson.  I like him.  He's beginning to almost laugh.  He gets the right expression on his face, but doesn't quite have the breath control or whatever it is that makes the laughter noise come out.  Mostly, it comes out as coos and weird noises.  He particularly likes it when gramma steals kisses.

My life, in bits, Part I

Until I was about five, I lived with my biological parents, both of them.  About that time, my parents divorced, and my little sister, my mother and I moved around a lot in Colorado and Texas. 


When I was eight, I was picked up after school and taken to the airport and my little sister and I were put on a plane.  With a few exceptions during the custody case, we did not see our mother again until I was fifteen.  Beginning from that point, my relationship with my mother was fragile and uncertain, with neither of us knowing whether to be friends or peers or mother and daughter.  Though we were friendly and loved each other, we never did figure that out.  I know that until the day she died, she had unresolved feelings about the way we were taken from her and "never came back."

Glossary

So, my past is complicated, not least by the strangely shaped family tree from which I sprouted.  This little glossary of terms should make it easier to understand my posts, should anyone ever actually read them.  :)  And I don't know how I settled on these "names" for my family, but I've noticed that when I say certain words, I mean certain people.

As I come across other references that are specific, I'll try to update this post.

Parents = biological dad and stepmom
Mother = biological mother
Sisters = all my sisters, step or half or whatever
Brothers = all my brothers, step or half or whatever
Mom = stepmother
Little Sister = biological sister, younger by 4.5 years
Youngest Sister = stepsister, younger by 5+ years
Little Brother = half brother, same dad, baby of the core four children of whom I was the eldest, younger by 8.5 years
Younger Brother = half brother, same mother, met him when I was 15, was not reared in same household, younger by 9.5 years
Older Sister = half sister, same mother, have never met, she "shunned" my mother and I very soon after she contacted us while exploring her adoption, older by 2+ years
Mr Potatohead/Daddy Potatohead = my son-in-law
Mrs Potatohead/Mama Potatohead = my daughter
Baby Potatohead/Tater = my grandson

Patrick = the house in which I lived during 5th and 6th grade
422 = the house in which I lived while I was attending high school
Market = the house in which my parents lived while dad was in OK
917 = the house in which my parents live now and have for several years, not far from my current abode.

Ice Trays

I love these ice trays!  They make tiny cubes and the trays come with a lid, making it extremely easy and much less messy to empty the trays into something.

Tiny Ice Cubes

The ice cubes melt more slowly and seem to make my drink less watery as they melt.  Of course, that could have something to do with me chewing the ice as I drink.  LOL

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Today is a good day to die...

Well, for stuff to go away, and that's kinda like dying for a reformed packrat like myself.

This morning, someone's been by to pick up a clock-radio, and promised to keep an eye out for my future posts to the recycling group. 

In about an hour, a couple of ladies will be by to pick through stuff and take much home.  Though I'm never thrilled to hear about people losing their homes through whatever kind of disaster, I'm always pleased to be able to "pay it forward."

Random people, anonymous and otherwise, have helped me at several critical points in my life, and I like to return the favor to the Universe.  It gives me warm fuzzies and helps combat periodic feelings of "what am I here for, anyway?"  Changes in my life make it possible for me to give these things away freely and without reservation, and I like that, too.

What madness!

I spent several weeks offline and got to the really important emails via my Blackberry, but didn't get more than half an hour here and there usually to read the rest.  When my internet restored itself on Thursday, I had nearly 8000 emails in gmail inbox.  Last night and into the wee hours of the morning, I successfully deleted or properly disposed of five or six hundred.  Maybe more.  So, today, I shall weed out more emails, look for more jobs, watch the baby some more and give stuff away. 

I have people coming around 1500 who are moving back into their formerly burned-down house and are starting over.  I can't give them furniture, but I have much else to pass along, and love that I get to know where it's going.  It's a family of six, so this will help my downsizing/decluttering effort immensely.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Friday Job Focus

Today's work search focus was on courthouse research.  I picked an email at random from my job search folder.  It was from ratracerebellion.com.  I looked at the work-from-home list, as usual, and the term court researcher caught my eye.  I don't recall seeing that one before.  I've certainly done my fair share of research, both online and offline, so I am qualified.   I applied to at least six of the two dozen companies listed, and may hear back with some assignments next week.   We shall see.

Speaking of assignments, which we weren't really, a mystery shopping company, who shall for now remain nameless, finally paid me last week for work I completed in August and early September.  Even at that, I had to send a formal email requesting the status of my payment, and "suggesting" that if he didn't get his booty in gear, he'd hear from a lawyer.  Amazing how quickly he paid after that.  Don't think I'll be doing any more work for that company.  Brats.

Friday Focus

Today was pretty much all watching baby, all day.  Very late shower.  Brief trip to the post office to mail eBay packages.  Text on the way home asking for dinner items, so a little side trip to the grocery store.  After that, a wee detour to pick something up from my parents.  I leave my parents house and get around the corner, come to a complete stop at the stop sign, and hit the gas pedal.  Sputter, sputter, cough, roll back.  Yep, I've run out of gas!  What the hell?  Several texts and phone calls later, in-laws bring me a gas can with a gallon of gas, and I thank them profusely and get back in the car.  Turn the key and clickclickclickclick.  Yes, the battery is dead.  Dad is at the grocery store, and will bring his jumper cables as soon as he gets home. Half an hour later, I'm finally on my way home.

Thus does my brief trip to the post office take three hours to complete.

At least I got spaghetti out of the deal.

Speaking of spaghetti, I was reminded recently how much I liked spaghetti the way my mom made it, so we've been making it that way for a couple of months.  I got a huge jar of Prego on sale last week, so we had Prego spaghetti tonight.  First time I've had it in a while.  I like mom's better, even if it does come out of a packet.

Red Rover, Red Rover...

let baby roll over.

Yes, my grandson, who is one month old today, rolled over by himself right in front of my very eyes. 

A White Sport Coat...and a Pink Carnation

I awoke with these words in my head.  I'm not going to cheat and check, and I'll still say with 99% certainty:  this song is older than I am.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Medical Mess

On September 7, 2010, I quit taking all my medications.  This came about because on my last trip to the doctor, I'd been unable to make even a little payment, and she refused to write me any more prescriptions.  This was her right, and though I disagree with her decision, I respect it.

So, several weeks later, some things have changed.

Hot flashes - still have them, but sometimes I'm cold now, too, and that is passing strange for me.

Blood sugar - down

Blood pressure - up

Weight - up

Pain - waaaaaay up

Depression - random anger and sadness, with pronounced irritability, all of which are noticeable even to me

Eyes - I have clouds that weren't there before, and a big old "bug" in my left eye

Other random weird things - my breasts hurt, a LOT.  Ice tea doesn't taste as good as it used to, and I drink a lot of iced tea.  I don't bruise as easily, but I still bruise easier than I used to.

I have applied for Medicaid and been denied.  I have applied to a local indigent health care system, and been denied.

So, for now, I watch and I wait and sometimes I worry.

First time for everything

I've been an on-and-off, life-long, journal writer.  At the moment, I have no idea where my most recent paper journal is, and my livejournal is hopelessly out of date.

Driving down the road the other day, it struck me that a blog might be the answer.  Just putting things out there, writing them down, so to speak, and sort of thinking out loud in black and white.

So, this is my first blog.  I have a Facebook, on which my family and friends read my carefully worded entries, and that's pretty much it.

Whether or not anyone else reads this, I've decided that this will be fun.