Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Attempting to get rich on eBay

My husband sold stuff on eBay until just recently, and before that he sold used books on amazon. And I was never sure we were actually making any money. I can see he made money on individual items, but I'm not sure we made money over all. He does the taxes, and there's usually profit of a few thousand dollars, but I just have to believe that he's put in the right numbers. Sometime, I don't think he did.

One year he did the taxes, and he came up with a profit of only five hundred dollars or so, when it had been like five thousand the year before. So I said he should stop if he did all that work and invested all that money for a five hundred dollar profit. So he went back and looked at the thing again, decided he hadn't filled out the forms right, and came back with a three thousand dollar profit. Sometimes I think he lied to me and paid taxes on a profit he didn't make rather than admit it wasn't going to work out and give up the business. And even if he didn't do that deliberately, I still think that he didn't count every little thing and that he'didn't really make all that money like he thought he did. I don't think he has any way of figuring in the gas, and I don't think he has figured out how much time it takes him to do all that or if the profit is enough compensation for that amount of work.

Some people have suggested that I sell scarves on eBay. It's not really a good idea if I'm trying to make money. I'd need to charge too much money for the ones I'm doing now. I need more than two skeins of yarn at 2.29 each, so to be on the safe side I get four. I could do two scarves with six skeins of yarn, so let's say that it takes six dollars of yarn for one scarf. It takes about two hours for me to knit a stripe, and there's fifteen stripes, and then I have to do the fringe. So for more than thirty hours work I'd want like three hundred dollars per scarf. Obviously, I wouldn't get that much for them. I donated one to an auction with a couple of dollars worth of candy and some nice wrapping stuff, and the winning bid was $43. So, that would work out to about a dollar an hour. I'm going to eventually try a machine scarf, but I haven't done it yet so I don't know if that will work out either.

But, let's say that I could come up with something that took me an hour or so to make, and that with the cost of supplies and everything I made a few things that I sold to friends for twenty dollars and thought that was adequate compensation. If I start trying to sell the same item on eBay for the same $20, I'm not going to have the same profit margin, if I make a profit at all. Now, if I've spent about six dollars in supplies and sold the thing for $20, I'd have $14 left. But now if I put the thing on eBay, I have to pay all sorts of fees. Now there are different fees depending on what you want to do, but my husband usually spent about a dollar to list each item. There are fees depending on how many pictures you have of the item and other things that you do to make your listing look nice. There are different fees depending on how much the starting bid is. If you have a low starting bid, you have a lower fee for that, but then someone might actually have a winning bid that is lower than what you wanted to sell the item for. There's a reserve bid thing, but I don't really know how that works and there's probably a fee for that too. So you'd probably start off with an opening bid of $20 (or $19.99 is probably going to save you some money on the fee). Maybe there's another fee depending on the winning bid, but I don't remember. So now maybe the week has gone by and you didn't get any bids, so you lost your dollar or so in fees. Or maybe you got one bid, but the buyer changed his mind, and you're still out the fees. Or maybe you sold the thing for $19.99, and the buyer pays, and you are happy. Or maybe the thing sold for more than the opening bid, and then you are really happy.

But let's say that it sold for $20 and you spent $6 on supplies and $1 on fees. Now you have to ship the thing. You should have already figured out how much that was going to be and had a way to add that to the bill. If, for some reason, you added a shipping amount that was too low, you are stuck with it anyway. You can explain to the buyer that you need more money, but he's really not obligated to send it to you. If you agreed to sell for $20 plus $5 shipping and the postage is $7, then you're out the extra $2. There are probably some exceptions, like if you only listed domestic postage and the buyer lives somewhere else, but probably you'll just mutually agree to cancel the sale rather than pay international shipping, and again you are out $1 in eBay fees for an item that did not sell.

There is also such a thing as an eBay store, but I do not know what is involved with that or what kind of fees that would require. But if you have a store you don't necessarily have to have things that people bid on and the items can be for sell for as long as you want rather than be on auction for a week.

Then there are the other costs of shipping not included in the actual postage, and if you didn't raise the shipping fee yourself to include that, again, you're not going to get paid for it. For instance, you need a box to send the thing in. If you deal exclusively in priority mail, that comes with a free box, but it may not come in a size that you like. Also, there are a couple of priority boxes that have a set price for the box, and you need to be aware of those. So you might have to spend some money on a box if maybe your item is really big or an odd shape. But other than that, you can get a couple of different size boxes and ship the items in those, but you will still have to buy packing tape and perhaps buy plastic bags or bubble wrap or tissue paper, and those you will have to provide yourself. Then, there is the time and gas money that you spent going to get the packing tape and bubble wrap and such, and the time you spent actually packing the item.

There is also the time spent at the post office. We always went to the post office, but you can make arrangements to have packages picked up. We would have needed to buy special equipment to do that, so we never tried it that way. If you are only selling a few specific items, and you know exactly how much each thing weighs after it has been packaged, that shouldn't be as much of a problem. You could make a trip to the post office once a year or so to make sure what the postage is for one of item A to be sent to different regions, and then what is the postage for two of item A, and what is the postage for one of item A and one of item B, etc....And then you'd only have to make special trips to the post office when there's a change in postage rates or an unusual order or when you've agreed to international shipping.

Now, assuming that you already have a computer and a printer, you are going to have more wear and tear on the machines, and need extra paper and ink to print labels and receipts and such.

Now, I have no idea how much all of that would really add to the cost of the item, but let's say you now want $25 for the item that you used to sell for $20. So now maybe it doesn't seem like such a good deal to the buyers, and they stop buying. And now maybe you are stuck with a lot of packing tape and such that you'll never use and you're out some fees before you gave up on the idea. I think you have to decide ahead of time what is a reasonable amount of money and time to risk and then be willing to just throw that away if it doesn't work out. If you don't decide that first, you'll always be trying to do it a little bit longer and maybe it would still work out but maybe not. You'd just never know when to quit if you didn't decide that sort of thing a head of time.

There is also the eBay rating system to deal with. Everyone who buys something from you is supposed to rate you as positive, neutral, or negative, and you are supposed to do the same for all of your buyers. You would think that neutral would be okay, but somehow when the numbers are added up, neutral is bad, and negative is doubly bad. If you do not get straight positive feedback, your rating will not be good, and without a good rating the smart customers will not buy from you. And there are a lot of people out there that will buy once or twice but don't use eBay enough to know this, and you could get a bad rating through no fault of your own.

But, all of that being said, if I could make something in an hour with $6 of materials that I think I could get $20 to $25 for on eBay, I'm probably still going to try it. But I won't waste too much time trying to make it work, and I have the added benefit of already having someone who knows all this stuff and could initially do some of the work for me.

I don't know if any of that helped, especially since I wasn't the one actually doing all of this stuff and I don't specially know what any of the fees are. But a friend asked about it, and I thought I should post it here as well just in case it could help someone else.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Bad News

Today I got some bad news. I'm pretending that it doesn't mean what it probably means. I shouldn't have to deal with this just before Christmas. I shouldn't have to deal with this at all. But right now it especially sucks.

I won't have a clue what I'm supposed to do about this until next week. And even then, I probably still won't know.

I was starting to feel better about things just before Thanksgiving. Now I think the next three months or so are going to be really depressing. And I'm probably not even going to have a nice Christmas to look back on.

Not to worry. It's not as bad as it could be. Nobody is dying or anything like that.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Ongoing discussions about the Halloween Party

A few of my friends got together Saturday, and the conversation eventually turned to the Halloween party.

Now this isn't as strange as it sounds, even though it is now December. We were just now getting to look at some pictures of the party that one of my friends just had developed. So the conversation started out nice enough, but they very quickly got around to complaining about it.

So one of my friends is just really unhappy that everything at the club is being turned into a fundraiser, and most of those funds end up going toward the Halloween party. The thing that got him started on that was the club gift exchange, or maybe I should say, the official gift exchange, since some of us will be exchanging more gifts afterwards. So, on the 16th, those of us who want to participate will bring a wrapped gift that costs between $10-$20, with exceptions being made to accept baked goods from a few people who have real talent in that area. So we place the gift on the appropriate table, and then we draw numbers. The person with the smallest number picks a gift, opens it in front of everyone, then sets down and the person with the next smallest number picks up a gift and opens it. Or if someone before you got something that you really like, you can "steal" it, and that person can go and open another gift. There are some rules about how many times a certain gift and change hands and how many times a person can have a gift "stolen", but I forget the exact rules for that.

The thing that has my friend upset, is that now there is a fundraiser associated with the gift exchange. Once you have a gift that you want to keep, you can purchase "theft insurance" for one dollar, and then you get to keep that gift even if someone else wants to take it.

But that fundraiser wasn't even for the Halloween Party. That money went to a needy family that we were trying to cheer up because one of them had cancer. And it's just costs a dollar. It's no big deal. And the needy family got an extra twenty-five dollars or so towards whatever else they might have wanted. It's not the same thing at all as a Halloween party fundraiser.

And as for the other fundraisers, I think that they're fun. But to be truthful, I've never had the winning bid on anything, and I've only recently started donating things. I haven't participated in them near as much as my friend, and I can see that after all of this time he might be tired of the whole thing.

But really, if that's the way you feel about it, just don't bid on anything, and don't contribute anything. If others feel the same those particular fundraisers will go away entirely. If not, they will continue on just fine without your help, and you can either watch other people have fun or find something else to do that day.

So my other friend has a whole different set of problems with the Halloween party.

She also has a problem with the fundraisers. Not so much that we have fund raisers, but that we still have to buy tickets after we've had all these fundraisers. She thinks that we should either have a free party or at least really cheap tickets so that more people will come. And this year, in addition to having all these fundraisers, our friend who doesn't like the fundraisers did the music himself and we didn't spend waste money on a DJ. So we had fundraisers and we didn't have a DJ, so why were the tickets so expensive? It just doesn't seem to register that the club could still do something else with that money, or that maybe the tickets will cost less next year because we've got money left over from this year. Besides, I think some other problem has come up, and the club is going to be spending about an extra six hundred dollars next year, and we need to hold on to some of this money just in case.

I think her main concern is that she doesn't think it was a good party unless there were a lot of people dancing. She remembers fifteen years ago or whenever the first party was, and everyone came to dance and they only bought the food so that they'd have enough energy to keep dancing. And that's what she wants it to be now, a party with a bunch of people dancing in elaborate costumes. And this year there just weren't many people dancing, or the year before, and probably the year before that.

To be honest, I don't much remember a lot of people dancing since 9-11. Since the party is at a government building, 9-11 did kind of put a damper on things. But I still don't think she should get all upset about people not dancing.

To begin with, this is not the same exact group from years ago. I think the guy who started the party has died. I certainly have not seen him in many years, and he was never in good health even back then. So a lot of the people who really liked to dance have either moved away or just have other things that keep them busy. Or maybe they like dancing so much that they spend more of their time doing just that, and they don't have time for the club anymore.

I personally do not dance much. I dance a couple of times at this party and a bit at the New Year's party, and that is all. Dancing wasn't allowed at all when I was younger, and I found I didn't have much use for it in college either. To tell the truth, dancing in public is a bit of a headache. Other people like to dance with music that is much louder than I enjoy. So even during that brief time in my life that I wanted to go out and dance, I just couldn't do it much because of the noise level. So, I do not go to party to dance. In fact, I am one of those people who buys a ticket not to use the dance floor, but to eat. My friend just hates that.

So the party now has a different group of people, and some of them just don't like to dance. And the other thing is, even though there are still a lot of people from the original group, it's fifteen years later, and maybe dancing just isn't their thing anymore. And, some of them do go to eat, and some of them go to enter the costume contest or the weird food contest or some other contest. And some of them just go to talk to their friends and watch other people and don't dance and don't even enter a contest. Some of them don't wear great costumes. Some of them don't wear any costumes.

Personally, I don't know why a person would want to go to this particular party if they don't wear a costume, but there's not a rule against it.

So my friend hates that no one was dancing, and I said why weren't you dancing more, and she said she didn't want to be the only one out there. So if you don't like dancing enough that you won't do it without a bunch of other people dancing too, and you are the main one complaining about people not dancing, maybe there just shouldn't be dancing. Get over it.

The other thing that had her upset this time was that no one was mingling. People got some food and sat down at a table with some friends and didn't mingle. It's a party and they're supposed to be mingling. She thinks this happened because there wasn't a DJ, and her solution to the problem is to turn up the volume and point the speakers right at the tables, so people can't hear themselves talk at the tables and they'll have to get up and walk around a bit. And, while they're standing up, they might want to go dance. She thinks it's a party and people shouldn't just sit at a table and talk to their friends.

But it's their party too. If they want to sit at a table and eat and talk to their friends and not participate in any of the contests, they can do that. Get over it already. It's the Halloween Party, not the Halloween Dance.

No more stress about my in-laws

Yesterday was good except for getting a little irritated at my husband for his absolute refusal to be an active participant in the whole Christmas season bit. I wanted him to go into Bath & Body Works with me as sort of a guinea pig. Try this on. If you were a guy, which you are, would you like this? Or do guys totally have to have unscented things? If you like cucumber-melon soap, does that also mean that you would like cucumber-melon lotion? Do you think my brother-in-law would like this? Would your brother like any of this? And while we're here, is there anything here that you especially like? I've already got you something, but I might be persuaded to get you something extra.

But no, he won't get out of the car. Now that we've already gone to the bookstore, and I've already gone with him to some camera place that I could care less about, and we have twenty minutes or so to kill before dinner so we might as well find something to do, he can't go with me to a store to do some actual Christmas shopping. He has to stay in the car and listen to a football game, which was not of any real importance to him when we were in the camera store.

The whole football thing has been mildly annoying. When we were dating he told me that he didn't even like football. Not the biggest lie he told me back then, but still a lie that influenced by decision to be with him. But usually, he doesn't really insist on watching it unless it's the Superbowl or something, and just having it on in the background while I'm reading or something else isn't that bad. But this year he has been more annoying than usual with the whole football thing, and seriously, you can't watch the game from with the car radio anyway.

The good news is that after seventeen years of marriage and stressing about the whole what do I get his family for Christmas, I don't have to worry about that anymore. There's this whole story about how that started, but I'll write that some other time. Let's just say that not only does he usually refuse to help me do the actual Christmas shopping, he's not even much help trying to figure out what anyone in his family might want for Christmas, and he can't be bothered to call and find out what their holiday plans are. So we often get invited to things at the last minute, that I am in no way prepared for.

This year he has decided that except for me and one brother, he doesn't have a family. They are dead to him, they don't exist, and we will not be doing any holiday stuff with them ever again. So except for that one brother, I no longer have to do any Christmas shopping for them, or wonder if I should make an extra dessert in case we go to someone's house, or even keep an evening open for them. I'm done with that. No more stressing about the in-laws.

I kind of thought this was coming last year, since after his mother died I thought he might take the opportunity to quit pretending to care about the rest of them. Which he more or less did, but he didn't actually come out an make an announcement. He just figured they'd get the hint and not get him anything for Christmas. But, having heard of no chance in plans, most of us went through this rather odd gift exchange through the one brother he actually does care about.

This year, I won't even have to do that. Which is great, and it leaves me more energy to think about what I'm getting my friends.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Yesterday I got a couple of things done. One of the things I had been planning for a long time, and while I'm glad to get it over with, it didn't really go that well. I thought I'd feel so much better once I crossed that off the list, but instead I feel even worse.

The other thing, while really not as important, went much better. But I'm afraid I've been to tired to enjoy it either. I didn't get much sleep last night or the night before.

Last week I was so happy about everything, and today I don't even want to get out of bed. I am so tired, but I don't understand why. It's not like I've been moving furniture or something like that.

I give up. I'm going back to bed.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Two weeks at home

Or at least, that is what the schedule says at the moment. The schedule has been very unreliable lately, but what can you do about it? Two weeks at home is what the schedule says, so I'll just cross my fingers and plan around that.

My husband is home from his third trip to Wichita Falls in two weeks. The first trip was a total waste of time. The second trip wasn't any better financially, but I went with him so it wasn't too awful. The last trip he finally made some money, and hopefully things are back to normal.

I'm trying to sort out what absolutely must be done before he goes out of town again. I can only think of two things, so I must be forgetting something. But those two are important, and it will be a relief if we can get them over with.

Friday, November 24, 2006

annoying computer hacker

On an earlier post, I wrote that someone had hacked into my husband's EBay account. And I remember thinking at the time how silly that was, and that it must be someone who was just trying to make us mad. If that was the case, well...while I am glad the matter seems to be resolved now, I can truthfully say that losing that account wasn't really going to upset me.

I'm not going to go through the whole thing again, but I remember thinking that the hacker would have trouble making any money from this, since the buyer would try to send us the money instead of to the hacker, so the hacker must have some other motive. It was like someone just wanted to get back at my husband for something, but he has such a positive rating on EBay it just couldn't be that. And except for me, there couldn't be anyone out there that has any reason to be upset with him. And the only other person who might think there's a reason to do anything to my husband would be...wait, let me think...could it be...the Bimbo?

Now, it's really not funny, because there's some people out there that thought they were getting their Christmas shopping done early, only to find out it was a mean joke, and for a couple of them it was a mean joke that might have cost them some money. But I was thinking, wouldn't it be funny if it was the Bimbo or one of her friends who did that? I mean, I have been trying to get rid of the whole EBay thing for a while now anyway, but he'd quit doing that stuff on his own, so it wasn't something worth talking about anymore. But wouldn't it be funny if she was trying to make him mad? We already have this image of her being back at her miserable life and drinking and sticking pins in a voodoo doll. So when this happened I had the added image of her scheming to wreck his EBay business, that he'd pretty much already given up.

It was funny for a moment, but I didn't want to laugh because to some people out there who have to go to the mall today and try to buy a present to replace this thing that they didn't get from EBay, it just isn't funny at all. And besides, I didn't really think it was her, it was just the first thing that I thought of. I really just thought it was someone having a practice run, to see if they could hack into someone's EBay account, so that maybe later they could do something similar to make money, and this was just an account picked at random.

Only now something else has happened. Someone hacked into my husband's blog. And I think it was at the same time, but I can't say for sure. It was a small thing, and neither one of us noticed at first, so we really don't know when it happened. But I noticed it before he did, and I think I noticed a couple of weeks or maybe about a month ago. He didn't notice until this week, and I'm sure it happened before then. Anyway, someone changed this little thing on his blog, and I didn't notice it at first, and then when I did notice it I just thought he had done it as a joke. He doesn't seem to know the difference between funny and not funny, but it wasn't anything really bad and I didn't mention it.

But now I know he didn't write it, and he knows I didn't write it. And who else would want to do something like that...unless...wait, let me think...could it be...the Bimbo?

Not that that was even my first thought. As I said, my first thought was that he had done it himself as a joke, and then my second thought was more like he had still done it himself but on accident. And, from the little bit that was changed, from the thing that was written that was so trivial that we didn't even notice it at the time, his first thought was that it must have been her or her friend.

Again, it could just be somebody just out to see if it can be done, and the somebody just picked my husband at random.

And two somebodies just happened to pick my husband at random, probably at the same time.

It is a little bit funny, don't you think?

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

So my mom finally called and told me the plan for today. That's a relief. There's always the possibility that maybe something is wrong and she didn't call back because she couldn't. But not this time. Everything is fine. She was just out shopping and such.

Okay, so what am I thankful for this year?

I am thankful that my husband didn't actually kill himself when the bimbo was here.

I am thankful that I didn't feel up to giving the bimbo what she really deserved when she was here, and I'm not spending the holiday in jail.

I am thankful for the attractive weight-loss, though that is a terrible way to obtain it. Small silver lining I suppose.

I am thankful for my husband's new job, though it isn't going as well as we'd hoped right now. I am thankful that I get to travel with him and spend time with him, though that will probably have to change soon as I cannot sit around watching TV in motel rooms while the work piles up at home. I don't really want to spend my whole life watching TV anyway.

But I am thankful for cable television when I go out of town, and I am thankful that I have the knitting to keep me busy. Most of my other hobbies do not travel well.

I am thankful for the house I live in, even though it is a terrible mess that is worse than it has even been.

I am thankful that my grandmother is in a nice place, though she is still unhappy that she no longer lives in her own home. She has a private room, and the assisted living place is so much better than the nursing home my other grandmother had to stay in. Some days she seems aware of that and is happy about it, but other times she is just sad and wants to go home.

The major thing that I thought I would be thankful for today didn't actually happen, and I've been told that it never will. It doesn't look hopeful for the second major thing either. So, next year I possibly will not have as much to be thankful for. Or, at least, I might have a totally different set of things to be thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

An uneventful couple of days

As I suspected, we were not able to access the Internet from our motel room. But it was only a couple of days. And nothing really happened anyway.

The stuff that I wanted to do there can't be done until next month. Will I be going back next month? I have no idea. It is very hard to plan such things when the work schedule only comes in the mail about a week in a half a head of time, and then a week later it gets changed. Right now, there is no schedule at all, since the envelope came empty.

Also, the message recorder at the motel didn't seem to be working either, so I have no idea what if anything I am doing for Thanksgiving tomorrow.

I spent the two days knitting half of a scarf that might be someone's Christmas present. It's a Hufflepuff scarf, so I'm not sure if anyone will want it or not. The Ravenclaw and Slytherin scarves are already done except for the fringe, and that will leave me almost a month to finish this one and the Gryffindor scarf. That will give me a complete set and an extra Gryffindor, so the person getting the scarf can have his choice.

Other than that, I didn't get anything done this week so far. I don't expect to do anything useful in the next few days either. Happy Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

My husband can be really sweet sometimes

My husband tried to do something nice for me today. He didn't really understand what I wanted, but he wanted to do something, so he did. I should be really happy that I got more than I asked for, but really I just wanted something small to know that he was listening.

He's kind of weird. Half the time he can't seem to make up his mind about anything. Other times he seems to do things without thinking at all.

I'm trying to decide if I should go out of town with him tomorrow.

I want to go. And it's not very far away. And it's a place that I was just thinking that I like to go to in December.

But the thing that I wanted to do there actually has to wait until December. And if I went we'd be coming back on Wednesday, which is the worst day of the year to be on the road. The rest stops and gas stations will be very crowded. (I'm sure this means nothing to the guys, but women tend to find this inconvenient.)

Anyway, if I don't write anything tomorrow or the next day, it's because I went out of town and the supposedly free internet access didn't work again.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

The Murphy's Law I forgot about

When organized to take a group photo, you will have to stand next to the person you wish were not in the photo at all.

So we're all outside trying to stand in three straight rows to take this picture. And I'm standing on the far right of the back row, and I'm told that those of us on the right side are too much in the shadows. So I think that everyone will take a couple of steps to the left, but they don't. The front row is all properly arranged, and the guy in front of me gets moved all the way over to the far left, so I give up and go over to the left side too.

Now the preferred clothing for this picture is an actual Starfleet uniform (though some people also wore costumes from other shows). If you don't have a Starfleet uniform (or it doesn't fit anymore, or it needs repair), nicer clothing or the club t-shirt is preferred. I have a lot of costumes, but my uniforms are not in great shape. I thought about wearing different things, but I thought most were either not appropriate for the photo, or were just too much of a hassle wear just for this group arrangement. So this year I decided to wear a full length dress, which I had worn to a Halloween party with fairy wings, only now minus the wings.

And I am standing next to a woman who can't even be bothered to wear pants.

Really, half the people are in nice uniforms, a few of us are in dress clothes, a couple of people are in club t-shirts, and three other people just aren't wearing anything special at all, probably cause most of their nice things don't fit at the moment. And then this woman is wearing denim shorts and a non-club t-shirt that isn't even clean.

Surely she at least has a clean shirt and some full length pants.

Oh, and my friend who accidentally missed being in the picture the last few years decided not to show up at all.

But, there was no spaghetti sauce spilled on my dress, my hair looked good enough for a group shot, my new glasses look great, and my Harry Potter stuff stayed safely in the car.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Sort of like Shallow Hal, but not

I used to have what the guy on Shallow Hal had. I used to look at my husband and think he was beautiful on the outside, and I already knew he was beautiful on the inside.

Then I learned he was not so beautiful on the inside.

So now, when I look at him, or even think about him, there's no telling what I'll see.

Sometimes I still see this beautiful person that I always thought he was.

Sometimes I see this ugly thing that lied to get me to marry him, that never meant the vows he took even as the words were coming out of his mouth, and that has been planning to do this awful thing to me for over four years.

And sometimes I see that he's nothing special, not on the outside, not on the inside. He probably never was, and probably he still doesn't want to be.

After seventeen years, we had something special, in spite all of that. But he didn't want it anymore, and now it's gone forever.

But I still think I'll in love with him.

I should quit waiting around for him to do what's right, but somehow I can't. I keep hoping. I want so much for him to be okay. I want so much for him to get help, so I'll start seeing that beautiful person all the time like before.

But I guess there's just nothing for me to see.

Still, I didn't send him away when I finally felt up to it, because I was afraid he would hurt himself. Somewhere in there is a small piece of the person I loved so much, and I don't want it to go away.

I need to get on with my life, but I don't feel up to it today.

Murphy's Law and other annoying things

"The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny...'" ---Isaac Asimov

I found that and a lot of other funny stuff on a site about Murphy's Law. There were things that were funnier, and there were things that relate more to me and my life and my current situation, but I don't know who most of those other people are so I decided not to quote them right now.

I was looking at the Murphy's Law site because I was thinking about tomorrow.

I am committed to going to a club meeting and eating at a restaurant that has the words "pizza and spaghetti palace" written after the restaurant's name. I will be wearing my purple dress, and perhaps my Harry Potter scarf and a few other things that I really try to take care of. There will be a lot of kids (who were obviously raised by wolves) running around the restaurant. And the club pictures will be taken after the meeting, not before.

So I can guess what is probably going to happen.

Also, I suspect that my friend will somehow miss being in the picture for the third or fourth year in a row because a) she'll be in the ladies room changing into something that would look better for the picture, b) she'll keep talking to someone at the end of the meeting when the rest of us are leaving to go to the picture location, c) she'll get the directions wrong or miss the turn and end up at the place just after we finish taking the picture, d) all of the above, or e) she'll get ticked off after someone says something about her missing the other pictures and she'll miss this one on purpose.

The green envelope that my husband and I wait for every Friday to see where he is scheduled to work came today. It was empty.

Good news--this morning I remembered that we have five giant chocolate bars left over from that Harry Potter thing last year.

Bad news--I have already eaten half of one.

I had gone to three grocery stores earlier this week, and today I went to two more, hoping to find some kale. Everyone has collards and mustard greens, but no kale. The only store really likely to have it at this point is an hour drive away in the wrong direction of where I am going tomorrow.

When I was leaving one of the grocery stores I saw several Quaker parakeets flying around the parking lot. I like the birds, and there are getting closer and closer to my home. Of course, when they get there, they will destroy a power line or something. I won't have power until someone can come out and fix it, so everything in the freezer will melt and everything else in the refrigerator will go bad. And this will probably happen sometime when we are out of town for the week and don't know about it, so we'll have an unpleasant surprise or two when we get back.

As usual I planned to do all sorts of useful things today, but most of it did not get done. The most actual work I did today involved taking forgotten vegetable matter from the refrigerator and taking it to a container in the backyard. I keep saying that I'm going to start this compost thing, but I haven't really done anything about it. What I did today probably wasn't especially helpful in that direction either, since the vegetable matter should be cut into small pieces to make good compost. Of course, this particular vegetable matter was starting to look unpleasant, so that I did not really want to touch it much less come into contact with it enough to cut it into small pieces, or else I would not have been taking it to the outside container in the first place.

I should condense all of the above paragraph into something that could be written on the Murphy's Law website.

Looking better now

Yesterday was a beautiful day.

I went and got my hair cut. I don't think I like it as much as last time, but I am of the opinion that I should get my hair cut at least once or twice a year whether I really want to or not. Club pictures are Saturday, so I hoped for the best and got it over with. It's not really bad, it's just not as good as last time.

After that I put air in the tires, had a pizza and salad, and went home to waste time on the computer.

I then found two things I had misplaced. A couple of weeks ago I bought some clearance sale Halloween M&Ms so that I could pick out the black ones and have Thanksgiving orange M&Ms. But as with everything else, when I actually need the things I can't find them.

While I'm looking for the M&Ms, I decide to get out the purple dress and see if that's really what I want to wear for the pictures on Saturday, and then I realize I don't know where the dress is either.

My friend said that is just as well, since she'd rather I wore a Harry Potter costume in the picture anyway.

Not that I'm sure where all the Harry Potter stuff is either.

But now I have found both the M&Ms and the purple dress, so all is well. And I'll take a witch hat and a Harry Potter scarf (and a black cape if I can find it in time) with me on Saturday, which should still look pretty good with the purple dress if I decide the picture needs more of that sort of thing.

So while I was looking for the other Harry Potter stuff, I got a call that my glasses were ready.

I went to Arlington to pick up the new glasses. They look great, but I'd forgotten how thin and fragile they were. Maybe I should just save them for special occasions, like getting my picture taken.

Since I had to go to Arlington to pick up the glasses anyway, I thought I might as well go to the mall to get something from Bath & Body Works. After Christmas I am just going to have the happiest and best smelling bunch of friends. I've got just a whole box of the stuff now, and I'm just trying to sort out who gets what and how to wrap it and what I want to possibly keep for myself.

My husband is back in Texas now, but still about two hours away. In fact, he's in the same town that he's scheduled to work on Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. So I thought he might end up just staying there Sunday instead of coming home Saturday night and heading out again early Monday. And he said he didn't think so, and besides the company wouldn't pay for it. I wasn't thinking that they would pay for it, I was just thinking he might rather pay for it and get some rest. And now he thinks he might have a fever or something. So if he feels that bad, shouldn't we at least consider spending an extra hundred dollars or so for him to get some rest.

Problem is that he's made so little money at this particular place, besides not making any money the last week and being off a week before that.

So I'll just be happy that I get to see him Saturday and hope that he'll have sense not to do anything obviously stupid.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

And today sucks too

My husband left a message on the machine, saying he must have missed me because I was out doing something useful.

Sure, that's right. I was out doing something useful. What else would I be out doing?

Possibly eating chips and salsa, and trying to otherwise avoid doing homework.

Well, I did attempt to do a couple of useful things. I did go and make the car payment, which I forgot to do yesterday. I took out the trash. I bought a few things.

I tried to put air in my tires. After counting out all the change and putting it in the machine, and the machine starts, and then I realize that the air hose has been removed and it only has water now. Not going to get it done that way. Never mind. It is too unpleasant outside today to be doing that sort of thing anyway.

It is wet and windy outside. Not so much actually raining at the moment, and maybe not actually cold, but just sort of miserable in general. It's about twenty-five or so degrees less than the recent perfect (and sometimes a bit too warm) fall weather. Still, for some reason, my skin itches like it is too dry outside, and I am tempted to break into some of the Bath & Body Works stuff I bought for Christmas presents. Tomorrow it should go half-way back up to what it was, and it shouldn't be as wet or as windy, so everything else that I meant to do today can probably wait til then.

I am now the proud owner of two frozen turkeys, three thaw and serve pies, and an assortment of snacks and vegetables. One of the turkeys I can probably manage if I don't really care what it looks like, and my husband will probably put the other one on the barbecue. The thaw and serve pies should be easy enough, even for me. It's the other stuff, the vegetables and the cornbread stuffing and all of that, that is a total mystery to me.

Thanksgiving is only a week away now.

Not that I actually feel any pressure to do any of this stuff actually on Thanksgiving. It would be nice, but not necessary. If it is any good, we will happily eat it the day before Thanksgiving, or on Thanksgiving, or the day after, or the week after. And if it turns out bad, we won't eat it at all, and we'll have chili or sandwiches before we eat all of these pies.

I'm sorry I missed the phone call. He sounded happy, even if he is stuck in Oklahoma without the Internet.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Today Sucks

Okay, my husband just left for work. The job today is in Lawton, Oklahoma. Great.

The thing is that a.) the job for this week was supposed to be near Tyler not Lawton, and b.) on Friday he was told that he had today off. They just called about an hour ago and said that someone else had a medical emergency and the schedule had been changed.

Basically, since he was the nearest person with the day off, he got the short straw.

Not that Lawton is that far away, or we couldn't use the extra money. I just don't think that there's going to be extra money. We haven't made a lot of money in Oklahoma. So, by working five days instead of four, his base pay will go up, but his commissions might go up or down, and there's no way to know.

And after moving around so much last week, he was looking forward to just staying in one motel and having just one work location. But now that's not going to happen. He'll work today and tomorrow in Lawton, and after that we just don't know.

And with next week being Thanksgiving, they have people scheduled for Monday so that they can have off Wednesday and Thursday. And I've seen the planned schedule for next week, and with him going off to Lawton now, I wonder if he might not come home Saturday, and he might not even be able to come home Sunday. He needs to get some rest sometime.

So why didn't I go with him to Lawton?

The main reasons being a.) with such short notice he wasn't even ready to go and I definitely wasn't ready to go, and b.) I think that I'm supposed to have my picture taken Saturday, but so far I haven't been able to confirm this.

I really must get better organized. Things like this are going to happen, and I shouldn't let it get to me like this. Really, I should have had a bag already packed, just in case, so we could have talked about whether or not I should go. But instead it was like, oh, sorry, call me.

We hardly got anything done yesterday. He was just so tired (in fact, he was still pretty tired when he left this morning). So I did a few things by myself, and then afterwards we went for pizza, saw a movie, went to Whole Foods, and then ended up eating at Pancho's. That made him feel a little better. Anyway, I didn't think there's was any rush to get anything done or even to talk about anything, since he was supposed to be home today.

So I'm off to run some errands. I've decided to go and buy duplicates of a few things so that I can always have a bag packed, just in case. And while I'm out there's a yarn sale at Hobby Lobby, and there's always stuff to consider at Bath & Body Works, and I should probably go ahead and get a turkey just in case, and....

Ebay fraud and other problems

This being the time of year that we all go out and spend money, or perhaps sit in front of our computers and spend money, I thought I'd warn everyone about something that we bought on eBay a while back. Some of you have heard this story before, but I thought I'd repeat it here just in case.

But more about that later.

Something very weird happened while we were away. Someone hacked into my husband's eBay account and tried to sell something. Apparently something that a lot of people wanted, but eBay doesn't allow.

To be honest, I really don't know what the item was. There was no picture, and the description didn't mean anything to me. I don't know what all the excitement was about. But it got a lot of attention and a lot of emails and a lot of questions, and three warnings from eBay that the item was being removed from the list.

The item was apparently re-listed, and his account was closed.

Now, we didn't know any of this was going on. For one thing, it has been several months since either of us has bought or sold anything on eBay, so we probably wouldn't have been paying attention to it anyway. And the other thing was that when all this was going on we were out of town in an Internet challenged part of Oklahoma.

So we did not receive any of the warnings to follow the rules or else. He has tried to contact someone at eBay about the problem, but there doesn't seem to be any real people working at eBay. All attempts to contact them get automated responses that do not tell us what to do about the account being closed or how to stop someone else from using the account like that.

Now, the whole thing does not make any sense. Why would anyone hack into someone else's account to try to sell something? The hacker probably wouldn't get any money for the item, so what is the point? The whole things seems to have been an attempt to annoy my husband. But it won't do anything but annoy him a little bit, seeing that he doesn't sell stuff anymore and I'm trying not to buy stuff anymore. My husband has (had?) a really positive eBay rating, so it seems unlikely that anyone would have wanted to do this to get back at him, but even if they did, why didn't they notice he had all but stopped using the account?

Anyway, I think he's done all he can be expected to do about it for the moment. The problem will be fixed or it won't be.

So back to that other thing.

So right after the problem with my husband, I was really trying to discuss other things that we might have a reason to argue about in the future, so that maybe we wouldn't have problems with anything else. So I was trying to talk to him about money. I had just been to a fundraiser/auction, and as usual I did not actually buy anything. I did bid about twenty dollars on an autographed picture of Leonard Nimoy and Brent Spiner. Someone else got it for twenty-eight, and I thought maybe if I had kept bidding I could have gotten it for thirty or thirty-five, but I don't know that since the item was worth well over fifty and maybe even a hundred dollars. Now, I don't like to buy autographed pictures, and to me they just aren't worth as much as the ones that you get autographed in person. But I had gone to hear both of them speak at a convention when they were not doing autographs, and I don't have an autographed picture of Leonard and I don't have Brent's autograph at all. So the picture would have been worth thirty-five or possibly fifty dollars to me, but I stopped bidding at twenty.

I could just imagine after all the problems my husband and I were having, that I would come home and he would say "You spent fifty dollars on what?"

So I told him about it, and we were having this discussion about money in general and buying Star Trek stuff in particular. And I was wondering if he would have minded me spending fifty dollars and what he thought was a good limit on that sort of thing in the future. And he says something like he wouldn't have minded it, if I'd've had the fifty dollars. And he says something like we just don't have any money right now, but when we get some I can go spend a lot of it if there's something I really want.

So then he's looking on eBay, and he says if I really want an autographed picture of Leonard Nimoy that he'd try to get me one.

Now, he wasn't saying that he was going to buy me an autographed picture and that would solve all of our problems, but it was a nice gesture. So he found one that was just listed for a dollar, and we knew that of course we couldn't actually buy an autographed picture for a dollar, but we started bidding and I think we put a maximum of five dollars, and he said if I decided I really wanted the thing that I could bid more on it later.

So later, when the bid is almost over, the bid was like six dollars, so I bid a bit more money. But the computer was slow, and my bid did not go through and the other person got it for six dollars. Damn.

So I look and the same seller has other autographs of Star Trek actors, and I find a group photo of seven of the original series that was taken for one of the movies and was autographed by all of them except Nichelle Nichols. And I have gone to hear all of them speak except Nichelle, so this was a perfect picture for me. And I bid on it, and I win the bid with about three dollars, and with shipping and handling I get the thing for about ten dollars.

I can't believe my luck.

Then I'm looking a little closer at the description, and it says something like ACTUAL PHOTO. Anyway, it turns out that the autograph is part of the photo. Someone went to the convention, got the picture autographed, took a photo of that, and is selling the copies.

Well, sometimes it is the thought that counts.

Anyway, my husband bought me a present at the price we wanted to pay for it, even if it did turn out to be not quite what we wanted. But we had a good laugh about it, and I've decided this will probably work just as well for me. Except for DeForest Kelley (Dr. McCoy), I have other autographs of them elsewhere, and I might as well frame this picture and put the real autographs in a safer place.

Just thought with Christmas coming that I should warn people about the scam.

Monday, November 13, 2006

A long week in Oklahoma

First, we went to Tulsa. Tulsa is not a bad place. But then we went east of Tulsa, and then west of Tulsa, and then even farther east of Tulsa. And it wasn't like twenty miles away so that you could just keep the same motel room in Tulsa. No, this was like ninety miles one way, and then a hundred and forty miles the other way, and then another hundred and fifty miles back the other way. So we ended up with four different motel rooms.

Now, I admit that is not the worst possible schedule. Sometimes you have to have five different motel rooms, or even six. We have even heard of people not getting a day off and having to work on Sunday, so I suppose that you might even have seven different motel rooms in a week.

Anyway, I didn't post anything last week because we couldn't get the Internet in any of those rooms.

First, the room in Tulsa said that it had free Internet access. Great, but when we borrowed the adapter it didn't work. Okay, whatever. The next room also had free Internet, but we were only going to be there one day, and with the two hour drive that morning it just didn't seem worth the effort for the tiny amount of time we'd get to use the thing. Still, I thought maybe I'd go ahead and ask for the adapter just in case he wanted it after work, but then I read that they wanted a hundred and fifty dollar deposit for the thing and decided against it. The third motel was a privately owned little thing in the middle of nowhere, and I'm not sure they've even heard of the Internet. The fourth room advertised free Internet, but when we asked the lady at the desk for the adapter she really didn't seem to even know what we were talking about.

Okay, no Internet. And most of the time we didn't do any tourist stuff. Really, he went to work, I did some knitting, and then we'd go out to eat. Again, we spent way too much doing that, but with the moving around all of the time it was hard not to eat out every meal. I really liked this one Chinese place, and there were two other Chinese places that I was really grateful for at the time, but most of it wasn't that great. We did go to Freddy's Frozen Custard on the way there, and spent too much money (I did not get the cheapest thing on the menu, and my husband got both a hamburger and a hotdog). And on the way back we found a Catfish King, which we had not been to in years.

He really did not make much money this trip. The main thing that kept the trip from being totally awful was we had a day off in Tulsa. We did some shopping when we first got there, but on Wednesday we went to the zoo. We didn't remember to eat first, so we wasted fifteen dollars on corn dogs. A lot of nice exhibits, but nothing really great. They have two sea lions, but they don't do shows after October, even on perfect days like Wednesday. We saw two giant tortoises who little baby tortoises. Not something you see everyday. And then we saw this really happy otter, who was playing with a penny, so we had to go get someone to take it away from him.

The other thing that kept the trip from being totally awful was that we paid a little extra for the last motel room to get a whirlpool suite. The first motel in Tulsa had a spa, but for some reason there just wasn't much hot water in the tub, but it was better than nothing (the second time I went to use it there was not only no hot water, but for some reason there decided to open a window and let the hot air out as well. ???) There didn't seem to be much hot water in our room either. But the last two days we had our own little whirlpool tub that we could put as much hot water as we wanted. It cost us about thirty dollars extra, but that was quite a deal for a weekend.

This next week should be a nice four days in the same place in east Texas. But I'll probably stay home. There's a lot of work around here that I should try to catch up on before the holidays.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

My husband can be a bit dense

He can also be very sweet. A few months back he tried to buy me something on eBay. I'll post more about that later. This week, I had to buy new glasses, and I got a very expensive pair that I've had my eye on for a long time. And I got a spare pair. And he's still planning to buy me another pair later, maybe prescription sunglasses.

But sometimes, he just doesn't get it. Like his blog. He totally refuses to see what I have against the blog. He was starting to see it, and he told everyone he was giving it up, and almost five months later it is still there.

When he was planning to do the awful thing to me, he pretty much announced it on his blog. So why didn't I know about it? Cause I didn't read his blog except when he asked me to. I thought he needed his space or something. And besides, the really interesting posts were just about discussions we had already had. Not that I get any credit for them or anything, but I didn't need to read them because I already knew what they were about.

Still, I know he values what I say cause it turns up in his blog.

So I'm a bit disappointed that he choose to blog about something he had discussed with someone else. I just don't need to read that stuff in his blog.

So why did he write this blog post? Is he still bothered that this person didn't agree with him all those months ago? Is he wondering if she still reads his blog? Is he just trying to annoy me?

I wonder how long it will take him to find this.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Today was nice, but also a bit of a bother

Today we had--you guessed it--a nice lunch followed by some shopping.

With all of this shopping I keep posting about, you must think I'm neck deep in shoes or something.

No, it's nothing like that at all. To tell the truth, except for groceries and the usual stuff, I've hardly bought anything. I got some after Halloween clearance stuff on Wednesday, but no where near the amount of stuff I usually buy. And I've bought a bit of yarn so that I can knit a couple of scarves while I'm away. Earlier this week I even bought a small case to carry some of the yarn and knitting stuff in when I go out of town. But really, I'm not buying that much stuff, and I've only made a few unusual purchases.

I've bought a certain pair of glasses that I've wanted for a long time. Glasses are not really a luxury item, they are a necessity, so maybe that doesn't really count as shopping. On the other hand, this particular pair is a more expensive style than I usually buy, so maybe it does count.

The other thing I've bought a lot of recently is stuff from Bath & Body Works. There was a sale back in September, so I bought some soap, and then I got a coupon. So I went back to use the coupon, and I got another coupon. So I keep getting these coupons, and I am thinking that I should buy some more stuff so that I'll have Christmas presents ready in case I forget that I need a gift for a party or something like that. And then I start thinking, why don't I just give everyone some of this stuff. I mean, really, who doesn't like this stuff. I mean, a couple of the guys aren't too crazy about it, and there's a couple of people that I'll be giving additional stuff to. But that still leaves a lot of people on my list that can be crossed off early with a trip or two to this store that I like, so as long as I've still got these coupons, why not? I might even have something left over to keep for myself.

So all of that is fine. But my husband has to go out of town a lot, and now that the silly job is done, I think I'll go with him. But I don't really like going away that often, especially since we're not going anyplace that interesting.

On Friday we get the schedule for the week after next. But today there was no schedule in the mail. So we don't know if that was because he's not working again, or because it's just late, or because they've switched to the online schedule.

Now the online schedule thing seems like a good idea, except that we can't get the thing to work. And a lot of other people can't get the thing to work. Now, my husband was one of those guys who could do a lot of stuff on the computer back when other people couldn't even type or spell computer. He's not an IBM genius or anything like that, but if you've got some computer thing that is supposed to be used by your average nobody, and he can't get it to work, THEN IT JUST ISN'T WORKING!! They really need to accept that and go back to all paper stuff until they get the thing fixed.

So I have no idea what the plan is for the week after next. I should go with him next week, but I can't go every week. Maybe there's someplace more interesting the week after next. Or maybe he's going to stay home the week after next and I don't have worry about it. But I just can't make any plans without a schedule, and the schedule is on some website that doesn't work.

So I guess I should go and pack, because we'll probably be in Oklahoma before they get it all sorted out.

I'm a lot happier these days, but it just isn't what it was

As much fun as all the shopping has been, I really don't like being bought. That's what it feels like sometimes. Hey, this really horrible thing was done to you, but now you have money, so everything's good now, right?

I mean, what does one thing have to do with the other?

He got this good paying job right after what he did, but it's not like he got the job because of what he did. I am still wondering if he could have gotten this job last year, except that he went to the interview with a bad attitude.

Speaking of going to the interview with a bad attitude, I'm wondering if I didn't get a job at the community college because I asked off on Mondays. Again, it's not like I need the job, and if I had gotten the job I wouldn't have been able to go to Kansas or any of that stuff, but I am starting to regret not trying harder to get that job, or at least another job like it at the same place. That job wasn't particularly great, but if I was already working there I might hear when a better job was available or something like that.

Too late now I suppose, but now that the silly temp job is done I'm wondering what to do next.

I've fallen back into bad habits. Just because I have money now doesn't mean I should just go out and spend it. This week we've gone out to eat almost every meal, including breakfast. Now, some of that was just stuff we wanted to do, and some of it was because we had coupons that were about to expire, but some of it was just I don't want to wash dishes today and other nonsense like that.

Anyway, I was so hoping that something positive would come out of this whole experience, but now I don't think that's going to happen. I remember stuff that happened when we were together when I was seventeen, and I finally had to leave him because of it. It was really hard, and I was physically ill afterward. I never completely got over it, and it took almost two years and a new boyfriend for me to feel normal again. We we met again after being apart for four years, I was so impressed at how much he had grown as a person. He did seem so very sorry for what happened, and it even seemed like he had tried to change because of it.
So I had hoped that something similar would happen now, but it hasn't. I wonder if that's partially my fault for letting him come home so soon. I mean, he did this horrible thing, and then nothing happened to him afterward. I told him that he could come back, but there were condtions. Those conditions have not been met, and later he told me he didn't even remember that there were conditions and that he had no intention of doing any of it. By the time he said this I was just too upset to lose him again, so I didn't ask him to leave. Maybe I should have.

So I don't know what to do now, but there doesn't seem to be any hurry.

The Prestige

Now this was a wonderful movie. It's a bit of a mystery. And there's murder, but the movie isn't so much about who's the murderer, but about other questions that might have lead to the murder.

There are clues all through out the movie. There's a clue at the opening credits, but it's just a bunch of hats, and you don't realize it was a clue until much later. By the end of the movie you realize that everything was a clue, but there was so much back and forth and flashbacks that you just didn't piece it together until nearly the end.

Anyway, I don't want to give anything away if you haven't seen it and want to be surprised, so I think that it's time for a SPOILER ALERT.

There were a lot of little things about this movie that I thought were interesting. Like I didn't know that the disappearing bird in a cage trick used to kill the bird. If you can imagine a big rat-trap that is more shaped like a cage, and when sprung it totally collapses and crushes whatever is in the cage. And, if you're not careful, it might break a few fingers as well.

At the beginning of the film there is a death, followed by a murder trial. It does seem like the man was convicted of a crime he did not commit. And in fact, are we even certain who was killed? Since the main characters are magicians, you might wonder if in fact anyone was killed.

Like I said, there are a lot of flashbacks. First, there's a murder trial and testimony at the trial, and then one magician is reading the other one's diary, and then the other one is reading his. One magician has a trick called The Transported Man, and then the other one wants to know how its done and ends up creating a similar looking trick that isn't done the same way. One magician is sent on a wild goose chase to visit the scientist Tesla. If Tesla looks familiar, that's because he's played by David Bowie. The trip to see Tesla leads to an enormous amount of money being spent on an electric contraption, that apparently doesn't nothing but send bolts of lightning through whatever is inside the chamber. But then there are the hats, so maybe the contraption does something after all. And if you've read or seen "Think Like a Dinosaur" then you can guess most of what is coming.

This was a really great film, probably the best I've seen since The Butterfly Effect or maybe even The Matrix.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Feeling normal again

It is so nice to have the husband back in the bed next to me instead of Enik the Altrusian.

Well, the week before the Halloween party is always so hectic, especially if you've agreed to work at a silly job selling Halloween costumes. It takes me a few days to feel normal again. And now the husband is home from Louisiana, so that makes me feel better too.

Now I must try to deal with some of the mess before we head back to Oklahoma.

Monday we did a bit of shopping and went to dinner and watched a movie. I'll post about The Prestige later.

Tuesday we didn't do anything special for Halloween. I had an appointment to get my eyes checked, and then we had a nice lunch and more shopping.

Today there was more shopping, though most of that was by myself at after Halloween sales. Then another nice lunch, a couple of smoothies, and a little more shopping.

I'm so proud of myself. I only spent about twenty dollars at Targets, and most of that was given to me at the Halloween party.

Of course, the sales aren't over yet, so I might end up spending a bit more than that.

Star Trek Club Halloween Party

I had spent a lot of time over the last three months working on a costume based on a Land of the Lost character. I knew from the beginning that I wouldn't be able to wear the thing all night, but I thought I could just wear the the thing for an hour or so for the costume contest. About a week before the party I found out that I couldn't breathe very well in the mask, and I had to re-work part of the costume with Velcro so that the mask could be more easily removed in an emergency. A couple of days before the party, I discovered that that once the hands were attached to the costume I wouldn't be able to get into the costume by myself. The day before the party, I decided that the paint had made the costume so stiff that I shouldn't try to wear it at all.

But, I decided to put the costume in a box and take it with me just in case I felt up to trying it. And I wanted to show a couple of friends what I had been working on all this time.

So, off to the party I went, wearing a purple dress and purple flowers in my hair. Most of the club is also into renaissance festivals as well, so I knew that other people would be in similar costumes. And I packed some purple fairy wings. It took two trips to get the box and the pumpkin and everything out of the car, but that was okay.

I put my pumpkin on the display table, signed up for the pumpkin contest, and signed up for the costume contest just in case. The rules required me to sign up for the costume contest by nine, but I was still unclear if I had to actually be in the costume by nine. Then I went to grab some food and talk to some of my friends. I showed the Enik mask to a couple of people, and someone offered to help me get dressed if I decided to put the thing on.

One of my friends loves the party and always enters the costume contest, but she is always late to the thing. So I was very surprised to see her walk in just after eight. She came as an elf in a beautiful blue dress.

One of my friends wore a green historical costume of some sort, and I just didn't get what he was supposed to be. His wife was dressed as an elf. She told me that he was supposed to be a leprechaun, and they were lawn ornaments. They were both well made costumes, but I would never have thought lawn ornaments.

Some more people came in, and people were talking about their costumes, and some people were talking about costume that they wanted to wear but couldn't because of some rule the place has about wearing masks. I had not heard about this rule, and the mask for the Enik costume totally covers my face, eyes and all. So someone else told me if I just brought the mask and they didn't try to take it from me downstairs that I would be alright wearing it in the party area as long as I didn't try to go anywhere else with it.

So, I decided to go ahead and put the thing on, rather than try to do a better job of it later and wear it next year. They might not let me past security with it next year.

So, a bit before 9:30, the elf went with me to the ladies room to help me get dressed. The kid's costume contest was at 9:30, so I was hoping to get into the thing before then so we would get to see the kids.

Well, the last time I had put on the costume, it was uncomfortable, but it only took five minutes or so to get into. So I though that with help it wouldn't take very long at all. But the paint had made the thing so stiff I was having trouble just getting my feet all the way to the sewn-in shoes. The elf was trying to help with my right foot, and a witch who happened by helped with my left foot, and I finally did get into the thing. At home, that had been the easy part. Now, the mask and the arms and hands and everything from the waist up was supposed to go on all in one piece, but as soon as I would almost get the mask on my glasses would pop off and I would have to start all over again.

Twenty minutes later, I've got the costume on and my glasses are in place under the mask. I look great. I walk out of the ladies room.

And I can't see a thing.

I could see just fine at home, but the lights at the party are very dim. So that didn't help. But the thing that really was the problem was that I got so hot in the thing that the eyes got all steamed up. So the elf walked me to a chair and I sat down and tried to pose for pictures and such, but I couldn't see anything and I couldn't hear much, and they couldn't hear me through the mask unless they were close enough to me to put their faces right up to the mask. Someone tried to get me some ice water, but I couldn't drink it because of the black mesh covering my mouth. So he wants to cut a tiny hole through the mesh to get a straw through, and I'm like no my lips are right there and I don't want to get cut.

Someone arranged for me to trade places so that I got to go first. The elf led me onto the stage, and I tried to wave and such on cue. Then the elf lead me back to the ladies room, but her name was called for the contest before she got me out of the thing. Luckily, with the Velcro I added, the mask I was able to get off by myself. By the time she came back and helped me get out of the top half of the costume, the contest was over and I didn't get to see any of it.

I kept the legs on and put on a shirt and went back to the party. Everyone was sure I'd get best in show, since my real competition did not arrive before the 9:00 deadline. Still, I did not get first place. At least three others got more points than I did. I lost points for not being visible for the whole hour in costume, and for not "staying in character." So I was awarded Best Homemade Costume.

First place went to my friends the lawn ornaments. They were rather shocked and shared some of the prize with me and the elf and another friend. Fifteen dollars at Target, which I will probably spend at the after Halloween clearance sale.

Second place went to a couple in Space 1999 costumes. Not that they weren't good, but in 1999 we had a whole group come in those costumes, and they had an act that included disco dancing.

Third place went to a group of pirates. Most Batty went to the witch who helped me get dressed. The elf in the blue dress got Most Spellbinding. Best Detail went to a test pilot who had been collecting patches for three years to make the costume.

Best Group went to some characters from South Park. Kenny was killed several times during the party.

There were other awards, but since I missed the contest, I really couldn't say anything about them. One costume should have gotten an award but didn't--a man came in a command gold captain's uniform from the original Star Trek series. Then he put on a mask and gloves, and I thought it was some sort of alien mask, but it was a fish head mask.
He was Captain PIKE. Get it. PIKE. That was so funny.

I was the only one who entered the pumpkin contest, so I won first place in that. I didn't have time for the Weird Food Contest this year. First place was a jello-mold thing called Roswell Roadkill--Alien Autopsy. Second place went to a coffin shaped cake, and third went to something called Klingon Blood Pudding. (Funny, the Roadkill came from one of the Klingons, and the Klingon Blood Pudding came from one of the pirates.)

Later in the evening I won a long awaited Rende award, but I've already posted about that.

It was all great fun, but next year I think I'll just go as a witch or a vampire or something I can just get ahead of time and enjoy the rest of the party and not have to worry about the costume contest.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Enik the Altrusian

Well, that's over with. Or at least it will be after two more coats of paint. The costume will finally be finished.

Of course, now it is so stiff and difficult to get into that I probably won't even wear it. Luckily, I have the purple dress and fairy wings as a backup costume that I have to actually wear to the party, because I can't drive in the other costume, or eat in the other costume, or dance in the other costume. (Not that I can dance in the purple dress either, but at least I might be asked.)

And the party is at AAFES, and you have to show a photo ID to get in.

There's no way I could get on to a military place dressed as Enik the Altrusian. There's no telling who could be under that mask.

I am very tired.

I still wish I had quit the job, even though tomorrow will probably be my last day.

I miss my husband. It will be good to see him Sunday.

I forgot to ask him if he was going to try to come in on Saturday. Surely not, but I forgot to ask. It's too far, and I don't want him to try.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Today was more work that going to work

Today I ran two errands, went to lunch, and spent the rest of the day getting ready for Saturday. I am so tired. And I am still not finished with the costume.

I bought and cleaned out a pumpkin that I plan to carve tomorrow. I got a picture off the internet, and with a couple of slight alterations it will make the perfect pumpkin pattern to go with the costume.

And I'm finally working on the headpiece that goes with the purple dress on the other costume.

Well, I'm sure my husband is glad he isn't here. There are pieces of costume all over the bed, even when I am sleeping in it. I have to finish it tomorrow or admit defeat and save it for next year.

Speaking of my husband, he made it safely to Louisiana and is now in a motel room he likes much better. Still no internet, but this little motel chain has whirlpool tubs in every room. Nice.

Must get some sleep now.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Almost the end of the job

Well, they didn't write what I asked for on the schedule. 10-3, I said. 10-4, if absolutely necessary, because that's what I originally asked for more than a month ago. The district manager just couldn't understand why I wouldn't agree to 9-6, and I just didn't even think we needed to have the discussion. Just put 10-3 on the schedule, or hurry and get to the part where we both agree that I won't be coming in at all. And he's saying he's not mad, he's just upset that the other manager made all these agreements that aren't company policy. And he wants to show me a company manual that says everyone is supposed to work at least eight hours that day, but what difference does that make? I'm busy that day, and I was hired knowing that I would be busy that day, and showing me a manual that I never saw before and did not agree to isn't going to help. None of that changes my mind. None of that changes my situation. I care more about this party that we've been planning for months than I care about a job I didn't even want enough to apply for. And he's all saying how he likes me and I seem to be really good at the job, and can't we come to some compromise? He doesn't understand that I already had this discussion last year with the other manager, and this was the compromise. I'd rather not work Saturday at all. It will just make me nervous, and I'll have to miss another costume contest with prize money.

He was so upset with the other manager. But he shouldn't be. So she hired some people she knew couldn't work Saturday and people she knew would leave before the store closed. The important thing at the time was she had to get the store opened, and she couldn't have done that on time without hiring some people from last year and people who had scheduling problems. There's been plenty of time to replace us, if that's what needed to be done. And I personally was okay with that, and had even put that in writing before I left for Kansas. But you can't demand people work for you when they've already said they have a prior commitment. If you threaten to fire them, they'll just leave even earlier. It's a temp job, and none of us are going to be here in a couple of weeks anyway.

So finally, after he looks at all the paperwork I had signed, and after I'm able to convince him that I really don't even want the job and I really was hired under the condition that I be allowed to leave without a big fuss and that I would not under any circumstances work later than 4 on Saturday, he gave up. And he gave me off tomorrow and Friday and even let me go home early today to get me to work 9-4, which was what I had originally agreed to when I came back to work this season.

So now I should be able to finish the costume. In fact, I should be able to also carve a pumpkin and maybe even make a dessert.

Still, I tend to feel bad after having the discussion, even if I did come out ahead.

The Boneyard did not get its planned review today

Well, as I have said before, I did not take this silly job for the money. I needed a distraction, and this particular job comes with free haunted house tickets. Or at least, it usually does.

I have not received any actual tickets yet, supposedly because the store hasn't been given any. At least, that's what the manager said last week, and so far the shift manager says she hasn't been given any either. And usually, the second or third Sunday before Halloween, the store or even several of the stores go as a group to a haunted house. This year, the group went to the Dungeon of Doom in the Arlington Art museum, and afterwards took a behind the scenes tour of the place. But I did not do that, because they went the Sunday I came back from Kansas, and even if I'd been left a message about it I really would have been too tired to go that day.

And usually, there are several haunted houses in the area where you just show your store name tag and check stub and they let you in for free. You don't get to bring a friend for free, so maybe it's not as much fun as having free tickets, but I like haunted houses enough that I've gone to a couple by myself.

But it looks like this year I won't be doing anymore of that. I'd only been told of two places that would let us in for free this year: Mead Manor in Mansfield (which I went to a few weeks ago), and the Boneyard in Arlington. So last night I got off work a little after seven, and ran errands until a little after eight, so it would have been the perfect time to go to the Boneyard.

But they did not let me in free, so I ended up just going home.

That was just as well, I needed to work on the costume some more and get some sleep, but it did come as a bit of a surprise. I was under the impression that we got in free, and the people working at the place were under the impression that we got in free, but when I actually started to walk into the place, the guy running the place came out and said he hadn't made any arrangement for that. He offered me a half-price ticket, but I was by myself and starting to get tired, so I declined.

Speaking of being tired, my feet are still sore from yesterday. It would be nice if the district manager could break the computer so the store would have to close today. But it's nearly five hours before I have to go in, so hopefully I'll feel better by then. But really, I'd rather just work on my costume a bit and then go back to bed.

They'll have to put up the work schedule today. If it says something unreasonable I'll just leave. Except for the shift managers and a couple of people who have been doing this for five or ten, I can't think of anyone else I worked with last year who is still there. The guy I had so much fun with last year at the haunted houses only worked weekends, and then he didn't work one week because of a miscommunication about the schedule, and then one day he called in sick, and I think he finally just gave up on the whole idea and quit, cause I only saw him that first day and then at the store meeting. One lady quit after two weeks because she got a divorce and moved to California. There's about five other people that I just haven't seen in a while and I have no idea what happened to them. Actually, now that I think about it, there are a couple of girls who are still working, but really they're just kids who mainly work nights and I don't talk to them much anyway.

I know. I'm always saying I'm going to quit, and then I don't. I'm just saying I might as well quit, but if the schedule is reasonable I probably won't.

Of course, if my husband's schedule changes, I might not even be here anyway.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Great to be home, or not

Practically as soon as we're here, he has to leave again. He's off to Arkansas and Louisiana for the week. I had thought about going with him, but decided against it, especially after there was a slight change in his schedule.

I didn't go with him because a) he'll still be out of town on Saturday, when I have a party to go to, b) I was told that I would still have the silly job when I came back, c) I left the place in a mess and really should try to do something about it, or d) all of the above.

And the answer is d) all of the above.

So he left yesterday morning. In theory, he was probably supposed to stay last night and get up really early this morning, but despite what it says on mapquest that would have meant a five or six hour drive before a full day of work, plus the extra hour or so that he has to work setting up at a new place. Anyway, I'm not as clear on when this company expects the employees to be where, and if you leave a day early or stay a day late they don't pay for the extra motel room. But he's made enough money that he can pay for the occasional room himself and get some rest rather than make long drives exactly on their schedule.

Anyway, he's in Arkansas, and he doesn't like his motel room, but since I didn't go with him he decided not to spend the extra money on a nicer one. It's just for a couple of days, but there's no internet and no microwave. No internet I understand, that's still a new concept for some motel owners, but no microwave or frig? We've gotten so used to that we've stopped even asking about it. It should just always be there, and more than ninety percent of the time, it is. But not today.

Also, I seem to have 7/8ths of a blueberry pie all to myself. I didn't plan that. He was supposed to take half of it with him, but neither of us remembered to put it in the cooler. So it is still here, except for the one piece we each had Sunday night.

That wouldn't be so bad, but we also forgot to pack the Rudy's BBQ that we specifically bought for him to take. BBQ really isn't my thing, but I eat it once in a while to go somewhere with him or when I go out with friends. And now there's a whole bag of it in the frig. I don't know why we forgot about it. He didn't really leave that early in the morning. I just kept worrying about his clothes and I mostly forgot about the food.

Well, it's not like he'll starve or anything. He does have money now, and they do sell food of some sort in middle of nowhere Arkansas.

Anyway, before he left for Arkansas, we checked the answering machine. Now, we've never fixed the time thing on the answering machine, so whatever time or day is on the message has nothing to do with when the message was actually left. One of his managers left two messages, and either they were left on Monday, or the manager is clueless. Why would he be here to answer the phone if he was sent to Kansas? Anyway, one of my managers also called, and again there was no point to that since I'd already said I'd be out of town. Whatever.

So, I worked on the costume a little bit, and then headed to the store to pick up my check and see if I did in fact still have the job. And just in case someone was going to ask me to work, or in case there had been a screw up and I was actually on the schedule on a day I said I couldn't work, I waited until I was okay with actually working some before I went to the store. And, as soon as I walk in, someone is asking me to work. Someone was going to be late and someone else called in sick and couldn't you possibly help out just for a few hours? Of course I can help out just for a few hours, and just as soon as I get back from lunch. Great, thanks so much. But before I leave, I decide to pick up my check and have a look at the schedule and write a note reminding the manager that I can't work past four or really three on Saturday. So the shift manager sees me writing and says I'd be better off just telling her, because she's going to write the schedule herself now that the manager quit.


She doesn't work here anymore. She quit Wednesday. Nobody I could talk to had been there when it happened, so I don't really know what happened, but she's gone.


Okay, so now three kids are mostly in charge of the store, except that the district manager comes by all the time to micro-manage everything. And he's driving the nice shift manager nuts.

So anyway, I told her what I could work on Saturday and Sunday, and then I decided to be nice and let her write whatever she wanted on the rest of my schedule. She was really getting desperate, and she seems like a totally decent person who doesn't deserve to have all this stuff dumped on her. If the district manager or the other shift manager doesn't screw it up, I'll stay, even though I really wouldn't have wanted this job without the manager who just quit.

That was so weird, but I'd already promised to help them out, so hurried off to lunch so I could come back and help. I went to "our" Arby's and bought enough extra sandwiches that I won't have to worry about lunch for the rest of the week, and then went back to work.

I kind of liked the district manager before yesterday, but now I don't think I really do. He really is making the poor girl nuts over nothing. When she's got something under control, go away and leave it alone. And then he was messing with the computer because he couldn't get the fax to work. Like, who cares if the fax doesn't work, you can arrange to use someone else's fax. But if you break the thing that connects the registers and the credit card machines and all of that, we might as well close the store and go home. Anyway, I don't think he actually broke anything, but he kept disconnecting stuff, but of course I only stayed a few hours and he might have broken the thing after I left.

Anyway, I ran some errands and went home. I neglected to wash some dishes before I left for Kansas, so now the kitchen smells like dead fish or something. Lovely.

Monday, October 23, 2006

The end of our week in middle of nowhere, Kansas

Yesterday was our last day in Kansas, and a long drive home.

This week was not so wonderful as previous trips to Kansas, but we did a few fun things, and we just needed the time together. It was nice. I'm glad I went.

We stopped in Bartlesville and went to Kmart. There are no more Kmarts where we live. This is the first Kmart I've seen in about five years. So I had to go to Kmart. I was looking for yarn, but I guess they don't sell that anymore anyway. So we didn't buy anything at the Kmart. Goodbye Kmart.

Next we went down the street to McDonald's for breakfast. There seemed to be great confusion at the McDonald's, like there were too many people working behind the counter, but none of them seemed to know what they were doing. So we ordered breakfast, and then found out their credit card machine wasn't connected or something. And nobody fixed it. I don't think anyone even tried to fix it. So we're pulling stuff out of our pockets trying to come up with about six dollars. You wouldn't think we'd have that much trouble finding six dollars between us, but we're so used to the debit card that we rarely use cash anymore except to buy lotto tickets.

Anyway, as we're taking our breakfast to the table, someone announces that breakfast is over. And then someone else announces that they're not set up for lunch. So no breakfast and no lunch. Whatever. We won two breakfast sandwiches and added three more game pieces to the monopoly board. A million dollars will be ours any day now.

So we left the confused people at McDonald's, drove down the street a couple of blocks in the wrong direction, and finally got headed toward Tulsa. We stopped for gas, but we forgot to get any cash and had to stop again at an Albertsons. I-44 from Tulsa to Oklahoma City is a toll road. Now it's only four dollars or something like that, and the company should pay him back, but I just don't think that toll roads should be allowed on the interstate system. I was quite sure that the interstate system is funded by taxes or something, and I know that other toll roads were not added to the interstate system until after they ceased to be toll roads, so why are there tolls on the interstate roads of Oklahoma and Kansas?

It seemed a bit cold to me in Tulsa, so we did not even think about stopping at the zoo. By the time we got to Oklahoma City, it seemed much warmer to me. Perfect zoo weather, but we decided it was too late in the day, and the dolphin show was probably already over anyway. So it was on to Norman, where we stopped to get lunch and another Marie Callender pie.

Now, I was quite sure that I had carefully put aside the box with the Marie Callender pie tin, just in case we wanted another one. But when I got out of the van to look for it, he told me that he found the box and a couple of things on top of the box, assumed that it was trash, and threw whatever it was away. Now the pie tin only cost us sixty cents, but now I'm wondering what else I carefully put aside that he threw away. Never mind, as long as it wasn't my birth control pills or part of my costume, I don't guess it matters.

We were going to On The Border Mexican restaurant, but there was a mob of people outside, so we almost skipped that and went to Applebees instead. But it turned out that the mob of people were just leaving the restaurant, and were just standing outside talking about where they should go next. There was no actual line to get a table, and we were seated right away. After lunch I ran into a Michaels in the same shopping center, while he went to Barnes and Noble.

I didn't think we were shopping for that long, but I guess we spent more time in Norman than we meant to. But the time we got to the Texas tourist info place it was closed. Not that we really needed anything, I just like to go in just in case we can get a map or something for someplace he'll have to go later.

Next was a stop at Rudy's BBQ in Denton. Not that we were really hungry yet, since lunch had been about three hours ago. But we thought we'd get about a pound of stuff to go, and maybe eat a sandwich and have a couple of sodas. So there was a sign that said that the green chili stew was back, so we ordered a couple of cups of that too. It's made out of all kinds of leftover smoked meat, and it's not bad, but it does have a bit too much black pepper for my liking.

Then home. Finally home. Did one load of laundry and decided to worry about the rest of it later.

Tacos and the Neewollah festival

We didn't do anything special Friday. He went to work, I worked on the costume, and we went to lunch at the local taco place. They served...tacos.

There was nothing special about the taco place. It was just one we'd never heard of before, so we tried it. There are taco places all over the country that we've never heard of before, and we try them, and for the most part they turn out to be a lot like Taco Bell.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Saturday we didn't do anything special either.

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. And in the middle of nowhere Kansas they were having their Neewollah Festival (Halloween spelled backwards). It was just getting started. Most of it is this week and I'll miss that anyway. And most of it doesn't seem like my sort of thing. And if there was a haunted house for this thing I didn't hear anything about it.

Still, I was in a town having a Halloween festival, and I didn't get to go to any of it. Not that I missed anything important, but Saturday was the chili cook-off and tour of historic homes. I would have liked to go to the chili cook-off, and I know he would have loved a tour of historic homes, but we didn't get to do either of those things.

He had to work, and I was stuck in the motel. While everyone else in town who cares about such things is out having fun, I'm watching somebody get buried alive on cable. Sometimes, this travel stuff sucks.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Price Tower Arts Center:Tourist stuff in the middle of nowhere

For the most part, my husband's job has involved a lot of travel for the past ten years. But usually the travel is to someplace like Waco or Wichita Falls or some other boring place in Texas. Sometimes we would get to go someplace more interesting like Houston or San Antonio or South Padre. For a couple of years we traveled the whole country, but now we're back to mostly boring places in Texas and Oklahoma.

So here were are in middle of nowhere south Kansas. Independence's main claim to fame is the Little House on the Prairie site, and the birthplace of space-traveling monkey Miss Able. We did that stuff the first day, so there's not much left to do as far as tourist stuff.

But middle of nowhere south Kansas is near middle of nowhere north Oklahoma, and we found something to do there.

Frank Lloyd Wright designed this skyscraper that ended up being built in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. While not his only skyscraper design, it was the only one that was actually built. So it's kind of a big deal, if you're into such things. And a special tour of the building started about a week ago, so we went.

Well, first of all, they only take in eight people at a time, so the tour filled up just after we got there. I don't remember that being mentioned anywhere, and if I have been one of the people who were turned away, I'd have been really mad. We took a similar tour of falling water, but it seems like the groups were of twenty or thirty people. Our group ended up being ten people, and we soon found out that was too many. First, we have to go up to the 17th floor in these really tiny, five-sided elevators. Then we go to this really small "lobby" which was even smaller than the tiny lobby downstairs. At least there was a high ceiling on the ground floor, but here the ceiling seemed less than a foot above our heads. Then we go through a really tiny hallway into one of the apartments, where we are not allowed to step on the carpet, so there is barely room for all of us to stand.

Our tour guide went on about the architectural device Wright used to make the rooms seem grand after coming from the small cramped hallway. Whatever. I don't know if it was done on purpose, but it's the same sort of thing that used in a lot of haunted houses. I've never really thought it was that wonderful.

So we went around looking at this and that in the little apartment, and isn't this wonderful and isn't that wonderful. Well, I suppose it is wonderful to look at, if you don't actually have to live in it. There's just all of this wasted space on the inside so that the outside will look interesting. And there are all of these balconies, which looks really cool from the ground, but I don't think that they're big enough for anyone to really use.

Up some stairs, and we all squeezed into the top floor office. And here the tour guide told us that the owner of building wanted a globe in his office, and Wright didn't want him to have a globe, and he was such a pain in the butt about the whole thing that he finally has a globe delivered that doesn't have Bartlesville on it. Well, I'm not surprised none of his other tall buildings were ever built, since he was such a headache to deal with. You wonder that any of his smaller buildings were finished. You tell him, do whatever you think best, but I hate orange, and then he makes everything orange and goes three times over budget in the process. Whatever.

So we went back downstairs in two groups, because only the one elevator works on the top floor. After the tour, we ate on the 15th floor at the Copper Restaurant. It was just sandwiches and salads for lunch, but I really liked mine. Like the rest of the building, the restaurant was divided up into really small seating areas, and our room only had four or five other tables in it. While we loved the food, we did think that the place could have been decorated a bit differently, and maybe had the food served on the Wright patterned dishes.

Anyway, we were glad we went. When will we ever be in this particular middle of nowhere place again?