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100 Things About Me
The Spouse Thingy
Before You Ride...
Motorcycle Safey Foundation
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Head Hanging Low
Yesterday, in spite of the dreary skies and threat of rain, four of my friends and I decided to drive about 30 minutes east and visit the Jefferson Township (or is it Jeffersonville?) Outlet Mall. It’s a decent enough place; not nearly as many stores as the Outlet Mall in Vacaville, CA, but still worthy of an occasional trip up there.
We went armed with cash and credit cards, determined to get a good start on Christmas shopping. Now, picture it, five women on a determined mission: shop until either the cash runs out or the credit cards are maxed out. Appreciate them, and get the hell out of their way.
I learned something about myself while we were there:
I am a shopping failure.
While my friends found gifts for several people and left with several bags each, I came home with a solitary, very small bag. I bought a pair of gloves.
That was it. A pair of gloves.
Now, granted, I have seen these gloves for twice as much in the local mall, and I almost bought them a couple of times (because, after all, I need gloves for winter. We’ll ignore the fact that I have a perfectly good pair in my jacket already. These are fleece lined soft leather. At 50% off, I was going home with them.)
But … I am not a good shopper. I don’t browse well, evidently. I can’t walk into a store and spend 20 minutes picking through sweaters and shoes unless I’m looking for something specific. I don’t see a point going into a store from which I need nothing.
I had a load of fun being out there with friends, but the truth is apparent.
I am failure.
November 4, 2003
Yep, the talented monkeys at WWDN’s Soapbox have done it again—they’ve created an anthology of epic … well, at least reasonable … proportions. It’s chock full o’short stories and a couple of spiffy poems. Even a short by yours truly! I know you want to own a copy.
I woke up this morning with a slightly swollen, very sore finger. I have no idea what I did to it, and I know I didn’t bang it on anything, nor does it have a cut or scrape on it. It’s just sore. I had to take a ring off to make sure I didn’t wind up cutting off the circulation. It’s nothing earth-shattering—just odd.
November 5, 2003
Who’da thunk that a car dying upon stopping at a light could be symptomatic of a transmission problem?
We started out the day thinking we’d take the car in for a tune up, never thinking the guys at Midas would say it didn’t sound at all like a tune-up type problem and that it sounded more like a transmission problem. We wound up at AA=beep beep=MCO where they agreed, said they’d hook it up to their diagnostic machine, do a visual inspection, and then call us back.
Holy creeping crud, when all is said and done this repair is going to cost over $1000.
One. Thousand. Dollars.
I’m not happy.
November 7, 2003
…..$1600.00 And I probably won’t even get my car back until next Tuesday.
November 10, 2003
Thank You, I Love It
With the holidays coming up, my friends and I have been talking about gifts—what to get, when to get what we’ve decided on, do we want to go shopping in one giant Spouse-Thingies-Got-Paid-Yesterday-And-We’re-Loaded-With-Estrogen mass—and we’ve also talked about the reactions we’ve gotten to gifts.
Now, granted, I’ve had very few negative comments on the gifts I’ve given. I do recall quite clearly being told to please never purchase a specific gift for a specific person again, but not by the person to whom the gift was given (does that make sense?) I’ve never given something to someone and had them screw up their face and sneer “What the hell were you thinking?”
So, given my fortunate track record, I was kind of surprised to hear how many people really do get that kind of reaction. One friend has a mother-in-law who isn’t shy about making comments about a gift’s cheapness, or how she doesn’t like it, or how she never gets a good one. Picture me with eyes wide, and a “What the F---?” look on my face.
I might expect rude comments from a toddler who doesn’t know better (yet I’ve never met a toddler rude enough to make snotty comments like that … if they don’t like the gift, they just play with the box.) From anyone over eight or nine years old, it’s unacceptable, in my not so humble opinion.
Whatever happened not only to gracious giving, but gracious receiving as well? When did people stop smiling—because someone thought enough to give them a gift at all—and stop saying Thank You?
Have I ever gotten something I seriously didn’t like? Not really. Have I ever gotten something that was slightly inappropriate for my personal tastes? Of course. But I’ve always liked the gifts, because someone went through thought and trouble to give it to me.
It really is the thought that counts.
November 11, 2003
My car is done; they rebuilt and installed the transmission, but it was finished at 4:30, they closed at 5, and they still need to test drive it. They want to make sure it works (well, that would be nice...) and make sure there are no leaks.
Ya know what's gonna happen? I'll get in, it'll drive like new, and someone will plow into me halfway home and total it.
:::slaps side of head to remove that thought:::
Seriously, I need for nothing to go wrong with that car for at least 6 months. Pleeeeeease... =whine=
November 12, 2003
Good To Know
We discovered today that the purchasing limit on our MasterCard-backed debit card is $1500. We now know this because, after transferring the right amount of money from savings to checking, we went to pick up my car, and attempted to pay for it with the card.
After it was declined twice in a 1 minute period, we had to leave—embarrassed and upset because we knew the money was in the account—and go to the bank, where we learned of the limit.
Woulda been nice to know that before, eh?
But, I have my car back, and they wasn’t to see it again in 10 days for a follow up. Kind of like a post-surgical consult. It shifts nicely, but it seems a whole lot louder than it did before we took it in. And there was this nice little notation on the invoice—alert owners to potentially faulty mounts. As in engine mounts.
As long as the engine doesn’t fall out, they’ll have to remain faulty for a while. I’m not shelling out anything else on this car until after the holidays, and after we know how badly Uncle Same will bleed us for taxes.
I’m griping, but in truth I’m happy… I got my car back! I can go places!
Like… grocery shopping.
November 15, 2003
There’s No Place Like Someone Else’s Home
Want to give yourself a major case of the I Wants? Go into a fully furnished Open House. It will be doubly impressive if you’ve spent most of the last two decades living in military housing.
We drove by a couple of Open Houses today and stopped, because one was hosting a charity event, and we figured it was worth donating a couple of bucks. Plus, they’re raffling off some furniture, and while we don’t need new furniture, it would be a kick to win.
My intelligent utterance upon walking into the first house: “Wow.” It was awesome, this nice big kitchen with a sun room, formal dining, separate family and living rooms. Upstairs there were 4 bedrooms—and the wise home builder put the laundry room upstairs, where it belongs--and the master bedroom had these freakishly huge closet. I left with a major case of I Want.
Right next door there was another Open House. We were there so, why not just go peek? If my gut reaction to the first house was “Wow” for this one it had to be “Holy Freaking WOW.” It was beyond awesome…it was drool-worthy. The master bedroom was at least 3 times the size of what we have now, the bathroom was huge and the bathroom closet was the size of our smallest bedroom.
I left thinking “I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want…”
But it wasn’t necessarily wanting either of those particular houses, as impressive as they were. It was wanting our own house. Our own, we can paint if we want, we can put our personal stamp on it, home.
That’s about 5-6 years off, once we’ve been able to pay off all the debt. Or sooner, if we win the lottery. But then, too, we would have to actually remember to buy a lottery ticket, something that’s only happened like 4 times since we moved here.
But damn. While the house we’re in is decent—it’s certainly livable and there’s enough space, other than the kitchen—it’s not ours. It’s not something we’d ever consider buying if we were able to. It’s low-bidder gets the contract military issue housing. There’s nothing in it to invoke that feeling of “welcome, this is home.” I’ve finally hit the age where I want that.
Or maybe I’m just tired of moving every three years.
Either way, I want I want I want I want I want I want I want…
November 18, 2003
Drooping Eyelids, Face On Keyboard
I don't know how the Spouse Thingy does it, getting up almost every morning before it's even light out. The phone rang at a little after 4 this morning; he got up and left (so I assume it was a hospital recall exercise) and I never was able to get back to sleep.
By 8 a.m. I was dragging.
By 10 a.m. I was plastered in a chair in front of the TV, doing a pretty good imitation of Jabba the Hut.
By noon I felt like I'd been run over by a truck.
I am not cut out for mornings.
All I wanna do is go back to bed.
November 19, 2003
November 21, 2003
With Six You Get Eggroll
It felt like a milestone of sorts; this evening I uploaded the 6th book that will come out of Inkblot Books. It started with ’Boxer Shorts in June, and by the end of the year the Inkblot Catalog will round out with Finding Father Rabbit and Murphy’s World.
Pretty covers, aren’t they?
I admit, I’ll be stoked to get the proof copy of Finding Father Rabbit. It’s the third book in a series, and probably took me longer to write than the other two. It’s more involved, and, I think, my best effort.
Now we just wait…sooner or later it’ll be ready to roll off the press.
November 22, 2003
I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk
November 26, 2003
:::wipes monitor off:::
Sorry, didn’t mean to sneeze on you.
So. I’m sitting here with a proof copy of Finding Father Rabbit on my desk, and yep, it looks pretty. Tres spiffy. And of course, on flipping through it, Spouse Thingy spotted a typo right off the bat. Well, actually, a missing word, not exactly a typo. I think I can live with it…so, I ordered several copies of it for myself, and it should be up on Amazon in 2 weeks or so. Maybe less, they seem to be getting things up there pretty quick these days.
I played with the idea of making those who were most looking forward to it wait until Christmas, but decided against it, just in case they spotted it at Amazon.
The thing now is, what do I work on? I’ve spent the last few years getting the whole Charybdis set out, and I didn’t have anything in mind to work on after that. And no, I don’t want to write porn.
I think from now until New Year’s, I probably won’t work on anything—I think I want to just get a stack of books and read what other people wrote. When I’m working I still read, but not nearly as much as I’d like to. I picked up a book the other day and got sucked into it—after you’ve read Finding Father Rabbit (because, of course, that’s your #1 priority) you’ve got to read forever by Pete Hamill. I’m only 150-160 pages into it (and it’s a big boy, coming in at 640 pages) but Hamill’s narrative skills are awesome; when I grow up, I want to write like he does.
November 28, 2003
el Cojones del Presidente
I’m not a big Dubya fan; as far as Presidential performances go, he’s so-so. I was worried when he was elected and stayed worried, knowing we’d head for war one way or another. I never believed he had the leadership stature necessary to run this country, and his basic intelligence has always been a giant question mark in my mind.
I was completely impressed yesterday when he pulled a fast one over the media and most of his own staff, and showed up in Baghdad to spend even a short time with some of the troops there. I don’t care if it was a political stunt, if it was propaganda, or if it was designed to give him something shiny to flash in his upcoming re-election campaigns.
The fact is, it took balls for him to go. Good President or not, stellar or mediocre, going into Iraq made him a giant target. The dark landing was not something new, done just for him—it’s a common landing technique in the region—but that in itself is a risk, and he took it willingly.
Only he will ever know his true motivation in going (and I prefer to think it really was what it seemed on the surface—a chance to be there for the troops, and a way to thank them for doing what most people won’t) … but anyone in the military understands what it means to have your Commander In Chief make that kind of effort on your behalf. He did for morale what a thousand crates of homemade cookies and pictures drawn by school kids attempt to do. Those soldiers will never forget the day their Commander In Chief risked his life to spend a couple of hours with them on Thanksgiving, served them dinner, and personally thanked them for their service.
Trust me, that goes a long way.
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