Monday, December 31, 2007

Monday Morons--I'm not very organized

A few notes before I get to the post. First, I had originally written this thinking that I would post this on Christmas Eve, but remembered I had something else that I'd rather post. So I am posting this now, without rewriting it, so there are parts that do not quite make sense because I wrote this more than a week ago.

Also, if you need a bit more chocolate or other snacks for tonight, the Christmas stuff at Target is now 75% off. Or, at least, the stores that I've been to in Texas are now having their 75% off clearance sale. I suppose that other areas may have different sales dates. But be aware that the Hickory Farms and Pepperidge Farm products do not scan at the sale price, even though there may be a sale sign on the shelf right in front of the items. To get the sale price, you may have to ask the cashier to ring up the items manually, ask to speak to a manager, and perhaps threaten lawsuits, and you might still not get the items at the sale price. Decide before you shop if it is worth the effort.

Okay, on with the post-------

Earlier I had started a Monday Moron post, but it turned out to be a very long post and I did not get it done in time to post on Monday. So I thought that I'd finish it later and post it the next Monday. Only then I remembered that the next Monday would be Christmas Eve, and I did not want to post such a thing on Christmas Eve.

Then I thought that I didn't want to post a Monday Morons on Christmas Eve at all. Something else came to mind, which would be just as funny but more in a holiday mood.

Due to a certain husband spending all of his time off either blogging or with me at the movie theater, I didn't get to use the computer when I thought of whatever it was I meant to post today. I've forgotten what it was. It just seemed so perfect, but I didn't think that I'd need to be reminded of whatever it was. I didn't write myself a little note saying what I was supposed to blog about.

So whatever today's post was supposed to be, I've forgotten.

So now I am back to Monday Morons, though I've decided that blogging about that other person on Christmas Eve would not be a good thing in the holiday spirit, so I'll blog about myself instead.

If you're a regular reader, you may have noticed that I'm not very organized. I am spending most of my holiday break (that is, most of the break that I am not spending at the movie theater with my husband) trying to clean house and get organized. But, as I write this, there is still a couple of boxes of Halloween stuff out in the hallway. The one box is T-shirts, and I suppose that it is still there because I'm still finding things to wash and add to the box. But the other box is just sitting there because I haven't gotten around to it yet. I really hope to deal with it today, so that I don't have to deal with organizing Halloween stuff and Christmas stuff at the same time. I will be at Target around 7am on the 26th, so there will definitely be Christmas stuff to deal with soon, even though I didn't unpack much of anything this year.

But that is the usual state of things. What really bothered me here recently is that I don't have the Harry Potter stuff organized. There is no excuse for that really. I know that I usually need it every December, and there are other times during the year that it might be requested. So you would think that I would have it all put neatly away someplace where I could get to it at a moment's notice. Or at least, you'd think that I'd start gathering the stuff so that I could have it all together by mid-December when I know that I'll need it.

I have three wands. Two were cheap things that I bought for myself. I don't mind if I lose those, but that I lose them in my own home instead of when I am out is greatly annoying. I have another wand that is not cheap, and was made by a friend and given to me as a Christmas gift. I know where that one is, but it usually doesn't leave the house because I do not want to lose that one.

I have various hats that do not stay on my head. Most of these are cheap and again I would not mind if I lost one of these while we are out. I have one that I did a lot of work on, but it still wouldn't stay on my head. I tried sewing a hair clasp to the hat, which does keep it from flying off my head, sort of. It still gets blown backward and doesn't stay properly on my head but sort of flops around my neck upside down. So I usually don't bother with the hat, and I wear a hooded cape so if I want something on my head the hood usually works better.

For the most part, the black cape and the Gryffindor scarf are the things that I just can't do without. I have a black dress that I would prefer to wear, but I can't find that half of the time. I have a black vest that I wear, but since it is black against an already black dress it doesn't really show that much anyway. If I can't find the black dress I do have a number of black turtlenecks to choose from as well a few black skirts. And I could even switch to black pants if I had to. Then there are various black shoes to choose from if I cannot find the preferred black boots.

So the day that I need the costume I know that I won't be wearing the dress, because I looked for that already and I couldn't find it anywhere. Finding an alternate skirt took longer than I expected, and went through three turtlenecks before I found a suitable one. The black vest turned up, but not the preferred black boots. Still there was a shorter pair of black boots, so that was okay.

The black cape was not where I normally keep it, but then I remembered taking it out in case I decided to be Little Black Riding Hood instead of Little Red Riding Hood.

Okay. Hat? Not this time. Wand? Skip it. Black hooded cape, check. Black skirt, check. Black turtleneck, check. Black vest, check. Black boots, check. Black purse, check. Gryffindor scarf?

Where the hell is my scarf?

Once in a while, I make an effort to get the scarves and the yarn at least in one room. So when I didn't find the scarf where I thought I'd left it, I thought maybe it was in the other room with some other scarves. I found the original practice scarf which I wear just when it is cold, but I do not think it is good enough for part of a costume. I found a scarf that I had started for a friend but then never finished because I decided to instead make scarves for his whole family and this one didn't quite match the other three. I found another unfinished scarf that I had started for a club auction, but the auction winner preferred the Ravenclaw scarf. I found Dr. Who type scarves and other scarves, but no Gryffindor scarf that I wear with my costume.

Should I cancel? Should I just go dressed all in black with no scarf?

Maybe I should wear a different scarf?

I found a green and grey Slytherin scarf, which I had thought was finished until I noticed that I had somehow made two extra tassels on one side and they would have to be redone. But I suppose that they don't have to be redone right this minute. I can probably wear the thing and only I would notice the problem with the tassels.

Actually, switching to Slytherin worked out okay. I practiced being a whole different character from the one I'd made up earlier. I complained about Muggles and not liking children and all of that.

And it gave me an excuse to get out of the singing. I don't sing. I just sort of go along and pretend to sing. With this grumpy character, I didn't even have to pretend.

So it did work out in the end. But really, I should be more organized. What's the point of having this stuff if I can't find it when we need it?

Thursday, December 27, 2007

And Happy After-Christmas Clearance Sale Day To You Too

Well, Christmas itself has finally come and gone. I've exchanged gifts with everyone that was on my list except for two club members who were out of town. I have an assortment of hot chocolate mixes from the official club gift exchange, and an unexpected gift basket from an out-of-state friend, and I have a sweater from my mom and a necklace from my sister and a few other things and some gift cards. I really did encourage people to get me gift cards, unless they wanted to get me miter clamps and such, which most people probably thought was a joke. So sadly, I did not receive any clamps, but I did get over a hundred dollars worth of gift cards.

Last year, we lost a gift card to our favorite restaurant. So I immediately stuffed all of "my" gift cards into my wallet. My husband is still holding on to some of "our" gift cards to some restaurants.

I was up early Wednesday morning, ready to go to shopping. Maybe I got up too early. My first stop was going to be Target, which opened at 7am. So I spent some time looking on the Internet. I didn't want to spend a lot of time waiting in the parking lot, so I thought 6:45 would be a good time to leave. I checked the clock on the computer every once in a while. Finally, it was time to get going.

Only the clock in the car said it was ten minutes later than what I'd thought it was. Don't you hate that? You're just doing something to kill time, and then you end up late to whatever it was that you really wanted to do.

So I got to the store about eight minutes later than I planned. So I expected to see some people with carts full of just the stuff I wanted. Don't you hate that?

Well, I really didn't want that much. Except that I was going to get a ton of storage stuff if that had been on sale. But it wasn't. And why should it be? The week after Christmas is right when people are supposed to buy the stuff, so it wouldn't be on clearance yet. But the orange and black boxes were on sale the day after Halloween, so I thought maybe they'd mark down the red and green boxes the day after Christmas.

No such luck.

Well, we had gone to the store Friday and looked around and said that there really wasn't anything that we were just dying to have at 50% off, but there were a couple of things I should get if they were still there. And of course I'll be looking again when the stuff is 75% off later, but that won't be at least til Saturday or Sunday, and possibly not til next Wednesday.

I got a spice rack. How boring is that? Well, this one looks almost looks like a set of test-tubes, except that the bottoms are flat and they have screw-tops. So when I get done with the spices, it will go with the Halloween lab-set decorations.

I picked up some candy that my husband wanted. I didn't buy any decorations. With school and going out of town and such, I don't think that I've really done any major Christmas decorating since we've moved. So I'm thinking I shouldn't buy much anyway, cause I don't know what I need. I know, I don't really need any of it. But I'm thinking that I probably don't have enough stuff that really goes together, and I should probably take a complete inventory of what I already have before I buy lights and such.

So what I mainly came for (other than the storage boxes that I didn't buy cause they weren't on sale) was food. I didn't see any Hickory Farms stuff, so I was about to leave when I found where it was, mostly hiding behind the 50% off sign. I took about three things to the self-scanner, and they didn't seem to be on sale. After discussing the matter with another shopper, we decided to take the stuff to the checkout anyway and make them give it to us at half-price. They can't argue that it isn't on sale when they've put the 50% off sign right in front of the stuff.

The cashier had to call three different people before she'd give me the discount. While that was going on we let another customer go ahead of me, since he only had some mouthwash and a DVD player. The DVD player wouldn't scan, so she just asked him what it cost and he said that it was on sale for thirty-five dollars. So she rang up thirty-five dollars and took the man's money, and he left with his DVD player and his mouthwash. I still have to wait for the manager if I want seven bucks off of some cheese, but if you want discounted electronics they'll just take your word for it?

I finally get my discount and pay about twenty-five dollars and leave. I'm so proud of myself that I didn't go crazy and buy more. I pretty much just bought what we'd discussed and some cider and some crackers. Not much at all.

Well, the grocery store down the street used to be the place to get goodies after Christmas, so I went and had a look. Either there wasn't much of a sale or it was too early for them and they hadn't gotten around to marking it yet. Whatever. I should have gone to some other places, but they were near the mall and I decided to go home first and find out what other people had planned for the day.

My brother wanted to have us over for lunch. I thought lunch might be at eleven, and it was like 9:30. So I decided to put off the mall area shopping for a bit. Besides, I should see what yarn I needed before I went shopping.

My brother didn't plan lunch until 12, and then it ended up not being until after 12:30. So I could have had time to do a bit of shopping. Whatever.

After lunch we were going to see that Alien movie. We decided we were a bit late and would wait til the next show. So I'm off to the mall area to get some yarn.

Only I get to the checkout at the fabric store, and I can't find my wallet. I think that it must have fallen out of my pocket while I took out a measuring tape to check the size of a storage box. It was right at the front of the store, maybe someone turned it in?

No. Maybe you left it in the car?

I didn't think so, but I went to look anyway. Didn't see it. Called my husband and he didn't see it either. Called my brother too, but no luck.

So I've lost my wallet with my gift cards and my checkcard. So I have to turn around and go home. I go home without any yarn or anything.

I look for my wallet near the computer and in the bathroom and on the bed and in the kitchen, but I can't find it. I call Target and the grocery store to see if they've found a wallet. No luck. I retrace my steps to my brother's place, but still no luck. I go home and call the fabric place, but still nothing.

Time to give up and cancel the checkcard. And to be on the safe side I also cancel my library cards. I currently have three library cards. Not that I think someone is going to rush to the library and steal books and videos, but just in case.

So that's all done. I start to feel a bit better. The three of us still go see that Alien movie.

And then when I was about ready to go to sleep, I found the wallet just under the bed. So I'll have to do without my checkcard for a few days, and I'll have to go and get all new library cards, but that's okay. At least I didn't lose my Christmas presents and I don't have to go to the DMV for a new driver's license.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The summer that I met the real Santa Claus

Everyone seems to think that his name is Nick. They're wrong. His name's Rick. I don't remember his last name, but his first name was definitely Rick.

Rick didn't have elves. I heard that he had a bunch of kids, like maybe ten. I never met the kids. I don't know if they were really his kids or step-kids or foster kids. Maybe a combination. Or maybe they were all grown up by then. Anyway, I never met the kids, but I heard that he had a lot of them.

I worked one summer at an arcade that had lots of skeeball machines. Rick would come in and play skeeball several times a week. He didn't have a beard or white hair, just brown. He was tall and fat. He always wore suspenders to hold up his pants.

He was a very friendly guy who did nothing but play skeeball. A lot of skeeball. Like twenty dollars a night.

Some people play skeeball for fun. This guy played to win toys. He only occasionally looked up to see how much he'd won. He won a lot. He played some perfect games of 450, a lot of near perfect games of 410, and occasionally only a 370 or so. You win tickets depending on how high your score is, and sometimes you win extra stuffed animals for perfect games. Every time he came in he got one of those extra stuffed animals and spent enough tickets to buy between three and six more stuffed animals. And every time he came in he gave away a stuffed animal, or maybe two, or maybe three. He took home at least three stuffed animals and a bunch of tickets.

The stuffed animals he took home were stored until Christmas. In December he brought back the rest of his tickets and bought pretty much all of the cool stuff in the prize counter. Then he took the stuffed animals and other stuff and gave them to some orphans for Christmas.

Once in a while we'd have a slow day at the arcade, and there weren't really any kids around when he got ready to leave for the day. A couple of times he didn't see any kids he thought needed the stuffed animal, so he gave it to me instead. I had two stuffed animals given to me by the real Santa Claus. I don't have them anymore. I'm afraid I must have lost them when we moved from Fort Worth.

The mall with that arcade isn't there anymore. I wonder where Santa Claus moved to?

Monday, December 24, 2007

Monday Morons--No thanks, I'm not alcoholic

Okay, this is the third or fourth post that I've written for today. I keep changing my mind which one to post. Since it's the day before Christmas, maybe I should get into the whole "peace on earth and goodwill towards men" thing and just skip Monday Morons this week.

On the other hand, I just remembered something that has to do with Christmas, so here goes....

As some of you may know, I do not drink alcohol. Or, at least, I do not consume much alcohol, and most of that has been cooked. I've had beer cheese soup and beer bread and the occasional fish with wine sauce and stuff like that. Maybe when I was younger I had some prescription cough syrup that contained alcohol, but I don't remember.

I was once introduced at a party as "that girl who won't drink NyQuil."

Anyway, I don't think that drinkable alcohol should be available over the counter like that. If you need a drug, go see a doctor. I don't think that it's fair that people can legally go out and drink and such and there's nothing you can do to stop people from doing that and follow up with any number of stupid things. People are sold useless alcohol when it's pretty obvious that they're going to end up hurting or even killing someone. On the other hand, if you want to buy antibiotics for a painful UTI, that's too bad. You want antibiotics, you have to go to a doctor first, and if you don't go see a doctor the people in the drug store will let you suffer and possibly die. But in that same store you can buy as much alcohol as you want as long as you have ID.

The whole drinking alcohol thing is stupid anyway, even if it didn't hurt and kill people. If you're not any fun to begin with, the alcohol isn't going to change that. You'll never be as funny as me, so just accept that fact and get on with your life. The alcohol will not make you as funny as me, it will just dull your senses until you imagine that you're as funny as me. Those of us who stayed sober just watched you do something really stupid. We're laughing at you, not with you.

Where was I?

So I don't drink alcohol and everyone who's paid an attention knows that I don't drink alcohol. I do like a few things that other more strict people think are recreational drugs--caffeine, chocolate, and sugar. I am quite sure that I consume more of those things than is good for me. But so far it hasn't made me do anything stupid (in front of other people) or caused me to hurt someone or hit someone with the car, etc....

I enjoy a number of non-alcoholic drinks and a variety of foods. My husband also enjoys food. And if you're supposed to get me and/or my husband a gift, things that have to do with food are usually a good idea. Gift cards to restaurants, coupons books and/or calendars, homemade goodies, and gift baskets from Hickory Farms and such are all things that we appreciate.

One year my employer gave me a gift basket and a bottle of champagne. It wasn't like they specifically went out and bought that for me, just that everyone at the place received an almost identical gift basket with champagne. I mentioned that if I was still there the next Christmas (which I was not) I would prefer the less expensive non-alcoholic bubbly or maybe some bubble bath that just looks like champagne. I think I ended up cooking some fish in it and maybe attempted to make some candy with some of it. I'm sure a lot of it went to waste, cause I wouldn't drink any of it and I certainly wouldn't let anyone else drink it either.

So very often for Christmas, someone gets us an assortment of cheeses and a bottle of non-alcoholic sparkling grape juice or cider or pear or something that looks like wine or champagne. We like that sort of thing, and before I joined the club we usually spent New Year's Eve at home, undressed, eating the cheese assortment and drinking the non-alcoholic whatever.

One year when we unwrapped the bottle of non-alcoholic whatever it was, someone joked about the bottle, maybe saying that someone was too cheap to get us the real stuff. I don't remember exactly what the joke was, just that it was funny at the time cause everyone there knew that I didn't drink alcohol.

So the next year someone gave me real champagne. This was someone who not only knows better in the moral sense, but has known me a long time and knows that I don't drink. But for some reason the joke from the previous year stuck in his head, and then he got confused and thought that I had really changed my mind about drinking alcohol.

That was all a bit upsetting. I didn't want the stuff, and the person who gave me the gift was embarrassed. He had so gotten it stuck in his head that I wanted real champagne for Christmas that he just thought he'd gotten me the perfect gift and hadn't seriously considered getting me any gift that did not come with a bottle of champagne.

So don't give people alcohol for Christmas. Unless, maybe, they happen to be gourmet cooks and wouldn't actually drink much of the stuff. If you give someone alcohol and they don't want alcohol, that can be embarrassing. And if they really like alcohol, well, how would you feel if someone got hurt?

Saturday, December 22, 2007

...and a beer in a tree

Okay, I saw something like this in the store this week.

So that's just about perfect if this is your favorite Christmas song.

I wouldn't say it was my favorite Christmas song, and of course I do not consume alcohol, but a beer in a tree is really funny. So now you can have ten beers in a tree.

Of course, I do not have beer in my tree. Actually, right now I didn't even put up the tree. But the weird things that are usually in my tree are spaceships.

This guy has a cool tree. Mine is not so cool, even when I put it up. I'm cheap, so I only have about six Hallmark ornaments, and half of those were gifts. I get to see a tree very much like this at a friend's house. But I don't know this guy, he just had cool tree pictures on his blog.

Friday, December 21, 2007

An unpleasant jump-start for your diet

1. Skip lunch, or wait a suitable period after lunch before going to the theater

2. In the afternoon, go see the new movie Sweeney Todd

3. Don't eat anything after you've seen the movie Sweeney Todd

4. Later, still don't eat anything. After seeing that movie, this should not be difficult

5. This may last a while. To prevent actual starvation, drink some broth and/or some vitamin water

If you are not on a diet, going out after the movie and having a stromboli is still a bad idea.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Sorry I haven't been around much lately

Let's see. I was busy with school stuff until about Thursday afternoon. Then, after a bit of a rest, I was busy with club stuff until Monday. Friday we went to see I Am Legend, and Monday we went to see The Golden Compass. I haven't been able to blog about either, because my husband has two weeks off and spends all of his time on the computer. I have started several posts about other things, but I never get to finish them.

The club charity thing went okay. I'll have to post about that later too.

Despite making a serious effort to clean and straighten things up around here, a day and a half later, the Halloween stuff is still out in the hallway.

However, the mini outlet center of Bath & Body Works is a bit more organized. Or, at least, there are no more bags of the stuff in the bedroom. Three items went into the official club gift exchange, two items so far went into the unofficial gift exchange, and several more items have been wrapped or bagged to be given out later. That leaves one item that still needs to be wrapped, about ten items that need to be moved to a better looking bag, and a number of leftover items that have been moved to the back room. We might have a clearance sale on eBay after Christmas.

Do to a lot of misunderstandings and supply problems at school, the teacher decided to just drop everyone's lowest grade. Therefore, I ended up getting an A instead of the earlier agreed on B, despite the fact that I missed an entire project while I went out of town for two weeks. Also, my second glass project has probably been fired by now, though I don't expect to see it until sometime in January. I've decided to not even ask about it. I have other things that I should be doing.

The family dinner thing was supposed to be earlier this month, but I told my mom that the best day for me was the 8th. By the time everyone else checked to see if the 8th was good for them, my husband had to go out of town that week and would have been driving back home late on the 8th. So the 8th was dropped. Most of the other weekend dates meant that I would have to drop some club thing. The 9th might have worked, but I guess that didn't work for someone else. So the next date was the 16th, which meant I'd have to cancel something important, but not as important as the 15th or the 31st, so okay. After thinking about it some, mom decided that it did not absolutely have to be on a weekend, as long as my husband and my brother-in-law were not going out of town then, and they weren't, so the 17th was scheduled. My sister got sick on the 17th. Mom suggested maybe waiting til after Christmas, and I suggested the 27th. The dinner has been rescheduled again and is now partially replacing the Christmas Eve plans. That works for me, as long as my sister hasn't already ordered the other food for that evening.

So far as I know, the 23rd is still planned with the only one of my in-laws that my husband still speaks to, and there are no real plans for the 25th itself.

I should blog about all that other stuff later. But that mostly gets me caught up. This last week before Christmas, when I don't have any shopping to do and I should be just wrapping gifts and enjoying the lights and such, I am instead planning to clean house. But I have planned to clean house before, and it rarely gets done.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Monday Morons--Vandalism

If you are eating while reading blogs, you should not read this one right now.

At school we have a main building with the offices and the library and the cafeteria and a swimming pool and most of the classrooms. And then there are some annex buildings on the other side of the parking lot. And then between the main building and the other annex buildings is the art annex building, which is where the ceramic classes and sculpture classes meet. The art annex building has two main classrooms, a big room with ceramic kilns and glass kilns, an office, several closets, a tool room, a saw room, a welding room, several sinks, a water fountain, and a women's restroom and a men's restroom.

These are not big multiple stall restrooms like they have in the main building. These are the kind with one toilet and one sink that you lock behind you when you go in. They are handicap accessible and have hand rails and all of that. Funny that the restrooms are handicap accessible and there are wheelchair ramps, but the classrooms themselves would not be good for someone in a wheelchair. I wonder if we ever got a student in a wheelchair would they build him a new table?

Anyway, there is one women's restroom and one men's restroom. Most of the time, the building is empty. When there is a class there is usually less than twenty people in the building. If there is a ceramics class and a sculpture class going on at the same time, there is usually still less than forty people in the building. For there to be more than forty people in the building there would have to be two classes going on at the same time plus students from another class, visitors, and/or maintenance staff. So the original plan for the building was to only have the one restroom, but people didn't really like that idea. So now there is one women's restroom, and one men's restroom. And if there's maintenance that needs to be done or some emergency, the men could use the women's restroom, or the women could use the men's restroom.

Friday, everyone was using the women's restroom.

The men's restroom was just fine early on Friday morning. At some point after about 9am, someone put shit on the walls. Not graffiti. Literally, shit.

So no one wanted to go in there after that.

Technically, it wasn't our class time. Our teacher was in the building from 9 til 11 and in the afternoon from 1 to 5 for office hours. There were a couple of us around trying to get extra work done, but we're pretty sure that it wasn't one of us. We're pretty sure that it wasn't our teacher, or anybody else's teacher. We're pretty sure that it wasn't a woman. We're pretty sure that it wasn't anyone on the maintenance staff, since they're the ones who would have to clean it up.

I did not go look at it. Someone who did asked "How did they get it up that high?" I don't want know, and I don't want to see it in order to formulate a theory.

One of the maintenance guys teased the teacher that it must have been someone he gave a bad grade that morning. Only it wasn't his class that morning, so he hadn't given anyone a bad grade. It must have been someone in that other class with that other teacher.

Can't imagine doing anything like that, even over a bad grade. Besides, the other teacher is a woman, and vandalizing the men's room isn't going to inconvenience her. Really, the person this is going to annoy the most is the maintenance guy who gets the job of cleaning up the mess. Did someone really do that to annoy the maintenance guys? Even if you hate the maintenance guys, it just can't be worth the risk of getting caught doing something so embarrassing.

The other bit of vandalism I saw was at a neighbor's house yesterday. Someone tossed a concrete support onto her car and broke her windshield. I do not know her very well, and I have no theories on that one.

Friday, December 07, 2007

I did not forget that it is Friday

I should have done a Freaky Friday post this morning. I didn't forget that it was Friday; I was just busy with school stuff. I know that I said I was going to start doing Freaky Friday either once a month or every other Friday, and either way I should have done one today. I didn't, and I'm sorry. I'll try next week, or maybe I'll even try to write one tomorrow.

Technically, all I have to do for class is paint a pumpkin and a dragon. The pumpkin is in the kitchen now, and one of the dragons is in the car. I could just do that and say that I'm done with it on Monday. But two of these dragons are supposed to be Christmas presents, and they're not working out. Not one of them has come out of the mold without breaking pieces off. I've done like eight now. It's just not working with the plaster.

I'm going to give it a couple more tries. There's plaster drying in the molds right now, and I'll cross my fingers for Monday night. After the semester is over I'm going to bring the molds home and try colored cement and possibly that clear acrylic stuff. But the clear stuff is expensive, and you have to buy a special mold-release.

Also I want to put using the harder stuff til later, just in case I can't get it out of the molds.

I originally planned to do the dragons without the high relief. If I had stuck to the original plan, I'd have no problems now. But the teacher said that rubber molds could handle the undercuts, so I tried to recreate the same dragon from last semester.

So it's Friday night, and I am a.) not doing anything fun, and b.) not even working on any art projects. I am mostly just sitting here waiting for my mom to call. Of course, she probably forgot that I said I'd call her back on Friday, and unless something bad has happened she is probably out shopping.

Possibility 1--something unpleasant happened to my sister. Mom called Tuesday when I was out, and it was too late to call her back. She called again on Wednesday, and being that it was only like ten minutes too late to call, I phoned anyway just in case it was important. I thought that it was about the family dinner, which she said it was not. But then she said that she was too tired to get into it, and I said that I'd call her back tonight after I was finished with the school stuff. Still, I'm thinking that if something unpleasant happened to my sister, she would have told me about it regardless of being too tired to get into it.

Possibility 2--something unpleasant has happened to my grandmother. Or rather, something more unpleasant than the usual has happened to grandmother. Grandmother is not getting any younger, so it is never anything pleasant for her anymore. Again, if it was something really bad, she probably would have told me.

Possibility 3--something unpleasant and totally unexpected has happened to someone else. Now that really is something she probably would have told me about before now.

Possibility 4--the same old stuff with grandmother, and would I consider taking a job helping out grandma?

Well, no, I would not consider taking a job helping out grandma. Not if there's anyway out of it. About three years ago, mom talked me into this "job." I didn't want to do it then. I wanted a job, but I wanted a real job with more money and insurance and such. But my mom talked me into it, and right after I agreed to do it, the "job" offer did not actually result in a "job". They'd have to talk about it some more, and she couldn't tell me the schedule so I could make other plans to maybe take an art class, etc.... I needed the money at the time, but I still didn't really want to do it even then. I was afraid I wouldn't know what to do in an emergency, and I didn't want to have to lift her if she fell down, and if I got hurt on the "job" I wouldn't have insurance and workman's-comp, etc....

I had all of those reasons not to take the "job" then, and those are still valid reasons now. I don't want to do it. I don't want any commitments right now, other than school. I really don't want that much of a commitment, but if I didn't go to school right now, I'd go crazy. And school is something I can get out of whenever I want. I don't know how I'd get out of this "job" if it just wasn't working out for me.

So I'm afraid that is what my mom wants to talk about. I've already said that I wasn't interested, I don't think so, and all the other polite things that I say when I don't want to do something. I hate to have to say anything else. I really do not want to have another conversation about this, and I especially do not want to have this conversation now, during the last week of the semester, and right before Christmas and birthdays and all of that.

I should not be greedy and worry that she'll get upset and cancel the family dinner, but that is what I'm afraid of.

So I am mostly just sitting here, waiting for my mother to call, possibly to have a conversation that I don't want to have.

I think that I'll go watch Night of the Living Dead DVD or something like that. Won't that put me in a better mood?

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Last official week of art class

Nothing seems to be done. Well, that's not exactly true. The paper things are done, they just need to be framed later for display. The relief of Anubis is done. And the wire dragon is done. But I didn't really care too much for them.

Technically, the first glass sculpture is done, but it's full of holes. I have made a mold for the second one, but I have to wait for everyone else to finish their glass projects to see if there will be enough glass left for me to try again.

There is more drama with the rubber molds. I mentioned something to the professor about using paint-on thick rubber instead of pouring rubber. I was just talking about later, next semester maybe. But he thought it was such a good idea that he ordered some additive and told me to use that on my second mold. And he's making everyone else that hasn't already poured rubber to use this method too. I wanted to try it, just not now, and not on this particular piece. I'm not sure it's going to work with this piece. It's very high relief in places, and it is taking many many coats of "paint." I didn't think it was ever going to get done.

Tomorrow I'll finish that mold and hopefully I can test it Thursday. The first mold isn't working so good. I did the first piece, and the first piece is really just supposed to be a test, and it also helps clean out the mold and such. I'm afraid that the first piece may end up being the best one. I wasn't planning on doing anything with it, but now I'm painting it white to cover up all the smudges of leftover clay. Little pieces of the mold come off every time I use it. And every time I cast plaster in it there are bubbles and/or little pieces of plaster that get stuck in the mold and break off. After my third attempt I decided to give it a rest.

We were also supposed to used this same mold with cement and maybe a resin. But I guess that isn't going to happen either.

My pumpkin is now in the kiln. With luck I can take it home on Thursday and get it painted over the weekend. And with a little more luck I'll get the three extra tiles out and glazed in time to get fired again.

Really, to earn the B I have already agreed to, there isn't much that I have to do. I have to paint that pumpkin, which shouldn't be a problem. I have to finish painting that dragon test piece, which is mostly done except that I would like to find a way to repair a couple of the little pieces that broke off. And I have to finish that artichoke plant, which I am working on at home and should finish today.

But I had thought that I'd get more done. The teacher is offering other students extra credit for making more pieces with their rubber molds and paper molds. Why can't I get extra credit for something? I'd gladly do some extra work. I have been doing extra work all along. Just now the dragon mold is being difficult.

I had meant to use the dragon molds to make a couple of Christmas presents. I may end up just taking a picture of a dragon and wrapping it with a note saying, "I'll make you one of these later."

For some reason I was thinking that next week was the last week of regular classes. Finals week doesn't really count. Your not still supposed to be working on stuff during finals week. But I guess that I will be.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Monday Morons--Christmas with the in-laws

Not that I'm writing this to say that my in-laws are morons. Well, we might get to that later, but that isn't what this is about. No, this is about my husband being totally clueless.

Well, you know how it is. Your parents got married and had you and maybe your brothers and/or sisters. And your mom had her family traditions, and your dad had his family traditions, and then they got married and had to give up about half of their own traditions to participate in the other family's traditions, and then they also made up some of their own traditions. So maybe you spend Christmas Eve at your maternal grandparents' house, and maybe you spend Christmas Day at home, and maybe you spend Thanksgiving and New Years at your paternal grandparents' house. Or maybe you do Thanksgiving with one family and Christmas with the other, and then the next year you switch them.

So twenty or thirty years later, we you've gotten most of that worked out, you get married, and that all goes out the window. You have to decline about half of the stuff you'd normally do with your family to make time to spend with your spouse's family. Either that, or you spend holidays apart from your spouse and never even see the in-laws. Or maybe you both decide to decline all family traditions on both sides.

But I think most people go with the first option. Do some stuff with one family, and then do some other stuff with the other family. It's not rocket science. If you get married, little things like this change.

I don't remember doing much of anything with his family that first year. He had some weird schedule at work. I had a part-time job at a movie theater, a temporary job at the mall, and had just finished what were supposed to be the last two classes on my associate degree. And there were problems with the car. I still lived with my parents, and my husband spent half the time at our house and about half the time at his mom's place, and sometimes he would check on the empty house where we would spend the next nine and a half years. I don't think that we did a lot for Christmas. I remember Christmas with my family, and I'm sure we must have gone to his mom's to exchange gifts, but I'm afraid that I don't even remember doing that. The schedule was crazy, and two or three days a week I didn't even see him. Mostly I remember him unwrapping presents from me, and my family all looked bewildered that I got him a pepper-mill and other things like that. And they got him stuff, but mostly it was stuff like candy, cause they didn't know what else he liked. He bought me a ring, which my mom didn't car for, cause it had a garnet and didn't look like a wedding ring.

Anyway, I know that we didn't do much with his family that year, cause of the schedule.

Sometimes it just didn't seem to sink in with him or his family that he was married now. His brother would invite him to lunch and then be surprised when two of us showed up. They would just expect him to do something that he used to do. It didn't seem to occur to them that he wasn't going to go grocery shopping with them or do laundry with them anymore, even after he moved out of the house. And that first year we didn't file our taxes together, cause he just gave everything to his brother like he aways did. And then he signed it and sent it off without telling me, and he didn't even copy information to give to me so that I could properly file my taxes. I think maybe he even filed as a single person to get the extra money.

In February we moved into his grandmother's old place. It was not a good place and there were bugs and peeling paint and such, but I didn't care cause I finally got to spend the whole week with my husband.

So it was either the next December or probably the one after that, and my husband reminds me about going to his brother's place the next week.

Only this is the first that I've heard about it.

Not only does he think that he's already told me about it, I'm just supposed to know anyway, because the whole family always gets together every year on the 23rd. Just like last year and the year before.

But we didn't go anywhere on the 23rd last year or the year before. So far as I know, we were not even invited anywhere on the 23rd. And I don't even remember him mentioning that they did this while we were dating.

He insisted that they always do that and they have done that every year for his whole life. They all have their own plans on Christmas and Christmas Eve, but all of them who live in the area get together on the 23rd. He needed to call his mom and find out what time they were expected and if we were all going to drive over together and such.

I am quite sure that I had not gone to this brother's house on the 23rd before. It is possible that he'd been going without me, and certainly I would not have expected to be invited during the two years we had been dating. But if he'd gone without me after we were married, that was strange.

So he called his mom, and she didn't know for sure, so she said she'd ask and then get back to us. A couple days later, he gets all the details and confirms that we are going to his brother's place on the 23rd.

I'm a bit rattled by all of this. We are apparently going to some big family gathering in a few days, and I knew nothing about it. I hadn't scheduled for it. And if it's a dinner aren't I supposed to bring something? I had probably met this brother, but I didn't really know him. These were not people that I spoke to on a regular basis, and I didn't feel like I should just call and ask what this was all about.

The first two years we were married, I had a part-time job. Then I quit the job, intending to get another one with a different schedule, but my husband talked me out of that idea and said I should just stop working. So at this time we had every little money, and either I didn't have any job, or I worked less than twenty hours a week. So at least I didn't have a scheduling conflict with this last minute family function.

I had just about calmed down about the whole thing, when I asked to confirm that this little visit to the brother's place did not involve exchanging gifts with the extended family.

Oh, we get each other presents.


I had spent the last two months buying Christmas presents. With my limited funds I had barely managed to get things for my family, his mom, two of his brothers, one of his sisters, and a nephew that still lived "at home", and I already knew we were expected to exchange gifts with them just as we did last year. Now, with no money and not enough time to go shopping anyway, I'm supposed to have presents for another brother and his wife and nephews that I had never met and possibly their wives or girlfriends.

My husband doesn't see what the big deal is. We'll think of something.

The house had a big pecan tree, so I think that we ended up giving them a bag of pecans. And he was supposed to make a bunch of pralines, but most of them didn't turn out so good.

I was terribly embarrassed about the whole thing. I am uncomfortable in a lot of social situations, and my husband does nothing to help. You're supposed to do stuff for each other, like you're supposed to nudge the other person, and he's supposed to look at you so you can whisper "Get me out of here." Only instead of thinking of some excuse so that we can quietly leave, he either doesn't seem to get the signal, or he stands up and announces "My wife wants to leave now." So I should have known this sort of thing would come up, and that he wouldn't have a clue.

When I got married, I gave up things to be with the man I loved. I'd grown up being used to things like nice clothes and living room furniture. After we got married, I didn't do much socially. I didn't buy clothes except for jeans and what I could wear to work. Most of my old dresses still fit, so if I needed to go to a church thing I had stuff to wear, but what was I supposed to wear to this thing with his family? I was pretty sure that it wasn't a dress-up kind of thing, but were jeans okay?

So for a few years, we went to his brother's place on the 23rd. That first time, his brother's wife confirmed that they had not had this little gathering "in a while" and had definitely not done this since we'd been married. Every year I worried what to get them, cause I didn't have money to get them much, and I didn't know them that well anyway. I usually ended up trying to make them candles or whatever I was into at the time. Every year they seemed to remember to get me something at the last minute, and as they all exchanged gifts I unwrapped one package that was usually candy or soap or something that was probably re-gifted. Every year they got my husband a dress shirt, and maybe a sweater. That would be the only nice clothes he would have for the year, and usually he would ruin it two months later by wearing it to change oil or something.

I think that the family gathering had stopped about the time that their own kids had gone off to college, but my husband didn't remember. It started again, mostly because my husband expected it, and they didn't have a tactful way of saying they didn't want to invite us anymore. One year they found a way out by announcing that they were going out of town before that date and did not expect to be back until the next year. The year after that we did not get an invitation, and after that we had such hectic schedules that I don't think we even bothered to ask about it.

Eventually, my husband learned to dress like a grown-up without the brother's help. But he never did get into the whole gift giving thing. He gets stuff for me all the time. But he doesn't wrap them and wait for a special occasion, he just gives me stuff if he thinks he's found something I'd like. Christmas and anything resembling work that is related to Christmas, such as buying presents, wrapping presents, or decorating is left entirely to me. He gives me the money, and that is the end of his participation in Christmas until it is time for him to unwrap his own presents or eat something. I can barely get him to express his opinion on whether or not one of his relatives would like a gift I was thinking of buying.

When everyone found out that his mother had cancer, I thought that there would be one last big deal around Christmas time. But no one invited us over on the 23rd that year. For her sake, I hope that they did something and just forgot to include us.

The year after his mom died, the brother and sister and nephew that still lived "at home" still thought we should exchange gifts. We didn't actually go to see them, but they left some things for us when they went to visit one of their brothers, knowing that we would see him later that week. Now that his mother is gone, my husband doesn't really want anything to do with any of them except for one of his brothers.

Last year, I did not get any of them anything. My husband and the one brother he still likes can exchange gifts if they want to, but it's a relief that I don't have to deal with the rest of them ever again.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Have your neighbors joined a bookclub, or are they just perverts?

Okay, so someone I know has a blog and he's trying to make money off of the blog with ads and such. Most of these ads just magically appear on his blog. He doesn't choose the ads. The service reads his blog and then decides which ads go where. I don't even think that there's anyone actually reading the blog to select the ads. I think there's just a program that looks for certain words and then matches the blog posts with the whatever ads are available.

So we were all having a bit of a laugh one day when all these ads for sex toys popped up. There was nothing in the recent posts about sex toys. I'm not sure sex toys had ever been mentioned anywhere in the blog. Certainly the word sex is written from time to time, but I wouldn't think that he'd written it enough lately to get anyone's attention.

Anyway, my husband notices that some of the sex toy ads are from Silly, me. I thought just sold books.

But, a couple of clicks later, and there are several thousand listings for sex toys.

I don't know where some of this stuff is supposed to go or what it is supposed to do. And we're having a good laugh and wondering what cyberskin is. And why is most of this stuff made in such bright colors? You would think that half of this stuff would be skin tones. And you'd think the other half would be white or something boring so that if you didn't look too close you wouldn't know it was a sex toy and maybe just think it was an electric toothbrush or something. But that doesn't appear to be the case. Apparently bright purple is the favorite color.

I haven't seen anything with stripes or polka-dots, but I haven't looked at that many yet.

And why are there remote controls on some of this stuff? That really creates some odd mental pictures. First it made me think of some creepy guy in another room watching someone on a TV screen. My second thought was of a bunch of people in a circle zapping each other like on The Simpsons.

And what is with this glass stuff? I don't want glass anywhere near there. And I wonder if there's a lot of broken glass due to people dropping their sex toys in the shower? That's just really weird.

Oh, wait. Maybe I have seen stuff with stripes and dots. Never mind.

So I'm having a good time looking at the silly things, and my husband asks me something like which one would I want if I was into this stuff. I don't know. Sorry, I was just having a good laugh looking at the pictures. I didn't know I was supposed to be taking notes or anything.

So the next time I see something that looks interesting, I click on it, but I get a message that it is temporarily unavailable. Okay. And the next thing that looks interesting is also unavailable. And I read that a few more times and then I gave up and went to bed.

A few days later there was a box on the doorstep. It's about 11 by 9 by 3 inches. It's a good size box for sending a book or two. And it's from

Only it doesn't have any books in it.

So I guess he was offering to buy me something cause he'd already bought himself something. I have a good laugh and wait for him to come home so I can tease him about it.

Turns out that he had ordered me something too, only it hadn't arrived yet.

I make a note of when to look for the second mailman who delivers the boxes. I can't have boxes like this just sitting on my doorstep for the whole world to see.

The next day at about the same time I receive another box that is about the right size for a book. Only it is not a book. It was not so vulgar looking as most of the stuff we seen. It was long and shiny, requires 2 AA batteries, and could easily be mistaken for an electric toothbrush or something like that.

Except that it is metallic purple.

Okay, we're off to the drugstore for lubricant, antibacterial soap, etc....

Sometimes, it's the thought that counts. Having never really given this sort of thing much serious thought before, we didn't really know what to order. Now that we get the general idea, maybe something longer for him, maybe something softer and not so long and narrow for me.

And while I was looking at all the silly ads, I did find a mold your own penis kit. It costs about ninety dollars. Right now, I think I'll pass on it.

Think maybe he'll buy me some Victoria Secret stuff now? Wonder if sells that sort of thing?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

How about a nice boring catch up post instead

Okay, so the reader that I told I would write about sex toys is having a really bad day and probably doesn't want to read today's planned post. So we'll save that for later, when she's up for a laugh.

Maybe I should write about the Homewrecking-Slut. Maybe we should just all sit around and compare notes on how stupid men are. But maybe she's not up for that either.

So maybe it's time for a catch-up post on just what's going on around here in general.

Thanksgiving was just my husband and me with my mom and my brother. My sister was at her in-laws. My mom made stuffing and a couple of other things, and my brother got the turkey and some other stuff at Popeye's. Pretty simple. Then we saw Grandma for a bit. She seemed a lot better than the last time I saw her, except that her eyes looked all puffy.

Well, I did not reach my goal of packing away the Halloween stuff before Thanksgiving. The really sad part about this is that I didn't really unpack any Halloween stuff this year. There's a lot of stuff that stays out all year: a plastic skull, some ravens, some art projects, some hats, some stuff I might need in a hurry if Hogwart's attire is requested, and a few other things. But there are still boxes and boxes of stuff that only comes out when it's actually time for Halloween decorations, and due to the travel plans and school I did not unpack a single box.

So all of this stuff that is out in the hallway is stuff that I bought this year. I've hardly managed to sort and pack any of it. I bought five new plastic boxes, thinking that would be plenty and there would be space for other stuff. But so far all I've boxed up is this year's costume. The rest of it is just sitting there.

Since I didn't have time to put away the Halloween stuff, I haven't yet unpacked the Christmas stuff. I suspect most of that is going to stay in boxes, and two months from now there will probably by stacks of Christmas stuff out in the hallway where the Halloween stuff is now. Or perhaps there will be Christmas stuff stacked on top of the Halloween stuff, if I haven't managed to put that away by then either.

I guess the vampire guy and I are not going to be great friends after all. Though at the last club meeting, I did have a bit of fun with a couple of Klingons. I usually play trivia games with K, but she didn't seem interested. So I drafted a Klingon instead. We were in the lead for most of the game, but then we somehow ended up in third place. Whatever.

Art class is a bit stressful at the moment. I keep trying to do extra work, but I never seem to get ahead. I have skipped a whole project and will have to settle for a B. But there are still more delays. Supplies don't arrive on time and that sort of thing. I should have cast a couple of dragons in rubber by now, except that we had ran out of rubber before the holiday break. The teacher ordered more rubber, only to find out that they had already closed up for Thanksgiving. So stuff that really should have been done last Tuesday won't get done until this Wednesday, if even then. The clay relief has finally been fired, and it looks okay, but I'm not overly impressed with it. Same with the wire dragon. The soapstone thing I skipped, but I might work on it by myself over the summer. My subjects for the paper casting were little sea-life scenes, which I now think are very boring, but it's too late to change now and I am stuck with them. The teacher thinks that they are good and wants to put them on display in January, so I'm buying frames and such for a project that I don't really even like anymore. My glass casting was a total disaster, due to something about the kiln not being set right. A classmate's glass project turned out nearly perfect, but mine is full of bubbles and holes. Some of the bubbles are golf-ball size. The big bubbles are in the back, but there are enough smaller holes in the front to mostly ruin the piece. Luckily, I made a rubber master and can try it again, once the problem with the kiln is fixed. The teacher hasn't tried to fire it again, so everyone else's glass is just sitting on a shelf. I have a dragon under a few inches of rubber, waiting for a bit more rubber to touch up a few places, and I have another dragon waiting to be cast, and then both rubber pieces need a sort of plaster box poured around them before the rubber molds can be used. So that probably won't get finished until the end of next week, if even then. In the mean time I'm at home working on a clay pumpkin, which looks okay but somehow not quite what I hoped for, but I'd better go ahead and finish it before it gets too dry. So that had better be by tomorrow or it won't have time to dry properly and get fired in time paint it. And for my last project had to buy a bunch of colored plastic spoons. I originally wanted green, but since there was no green at the dollar store I decided to use purple instead. Of course, right after I got started with the purple spoons, Party City had a sale, and of course they have plenty of green spoons. To late; I'm using purple.

As usual, the house is a mess. Only now there is extra mess cause I'm working on the clay pumpkin on the kitchen table. And I have a zillion soda bottles that I was saving for an art class. But the teacher didn't like the idea, so I can't do the project for school. So now I have this dilemma. Should I throw away all these bottles? It seems wrong to do that after I've been saving them all semester. Should I keep them in case I have another use for them? Or should I maybe go ahead and make something with them and just not have it be a class project? Anyway, if I am keeping them I need to find a place to put them, cause half of them are either just on the floor of the kitchen or in the bedroom.

My husband is gone this week. It's really strange when he isn't here. He was gone the first week of school, but other than that he hasn't been gone much since we had that last big fight in August. Things are never really wonderful anymore, but recently things were almost pleasant most of the time. We go to lunch and such. So he's gone for a week or so, and I end up missing this man that I wish I had never ever met. It is odd.

The good thing about him being gone is that I won't lose any lab time or anything like that. I keep going to school to do extra work, and then half of the time I leave early to go have lunch with him. And I really can't afford to lose any lab time this week, so this might be a good thing. Maybe I'll get more work done with him out of the way.

I find myself wondering what else I can do while he's away that I wouldn't do if he were here. I'm eating a pumpkin pie. Not that I couldn't eat a pumpkin pie with him here, but he hates pumpkin pie, so half the time when I want to buy one I end up putting it back and getting something that he might like. This week, he isn't here, and anything I buy I'm going to eat all by myself anyway, so I might as well buy a few things that he doesn't like. And I'm trying to think if there's anyplace that I should go for lunch. The Mongolian grill maybe? I like it, but it doesn't seem to be his favorite place.

I should be able to relax a bit by Friday. The clay pumpkin should be drying and waiting to be fired by then, and the only other art project that I can work on at home is the thing with the colored plastic spoons. And that won't make a big mess. With my husband gone I can even work on that in bed while I watch TV. Maybe I will go to Fort Worth and buy some glass. I'll be going to Fort Worth on Saturday anyway to hang out with K and a few other friends.

Officially, there are only three more classes before finals week. Where did the time go?

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Mist

Well, I have promised a certain reader that I would post about sex toys, but that will have to wait. A person can talk about sex toys any time. Movie reviews are rather time sensitive.

So we have not seen a movie in a while. My husband does not usually go for horror flicks, but I like them once in a while and was pleasantly surprised when he suggested that we go to see this one. The Mist is based on a Stephen King story, and while we both like the occasional Stephen King story, neither of us are really big fans.

The story is set in a small town on a lake. After a major storm cuts off the electricity, just about everyone in town heads for the grocery store. While the main character and his son are in the grocery store, someone rushes in and screams that there's something in the mist that "got Joe." The grocery store is then surrounded by a fog that no one can see through, so no one really knows what is out there, or when it might be safe to leave.

I liked it. The story is much like The Day of the Triffids, except that it takes place over less time. There is something in the mist, but the story is more about what the people do to each other than about the monster.

***********************SPOILER ALERT*************************

First we have a couple of neighbors who don't like each other. But they seem to bond a bit after the storm. They really don't like each other because of something we know little about that takes place before the story opens, but one of them loses his car because of the storm, and the other one feels bad for him and gives him a ride into town. They are civil to each other and talk during the ride. By the time they get to the grocery store, the are friendly enough that the father trusts his neighbor enough to watch his son for a bit. The son is impressed that they are not fighting anymore. The storm clouds have a silver lining.

But that lasts about ten minutes once the trouble starts. The neighbor is an out-of-towner, who seems to think that the locals have taken this opportunity to stage some elaborate joke and make him look foolish. In an attempt to force him to look at the evidence, he is "assaulted" and he then threatens to sue everyone.

Two others go to look at the evidence, which is a two foot long piece of a clawed tentacle that one of them cut off of the monster that ate a teenager who worked at the grocery store. Me, I wouldn't have wasted my time trying to force people to go an look at it. I would have just gone and got a turkey pan or something and picked up the thing and brought it out for everyone to look at. But I guess that wouldn't have done any good, cause one of the guys poked it with a stick, causing it to spasm and then turn to liquid and mostly disappear.

So then there's a lot of yelling about what should be done. And who is in charge? On a normal day, the manager of the store would be in charge of the store, but that doesn't quite make him qualified for this. The angry neighbor takes a group of mostly out-of-towners outside. They don't think that anything is in the mist, and they think that if they just walk outside a ways they can get help. Or maybe they can at least get cell phone reception and call for help that way.

A local guy goes out to the parking lot with them. He doesn't think that leaving is a good idea, but he thinks that they would all feel better if he got the rifle out of his buddy's truck. The local guy gets about a hundred and fifty yards before he gets eaten. Or, at least, he gets half eaten, and the people in the store drag his legs back to the door by a rope they had tied to the man's belt-loops.

So now we have something that "got Joe", a sack-boy who was dragged off and eaten by something with big tentacles, a bunch of missing people who are presumed dead, and a half-eaten local guy. There is no more arguing about whether or not something is out there, but still little agreement on what should be done about it.

Someone noticed that the front of the store is mostly glass, and they start stacking large bags of dog food and fertilizer and such in the hopes that it would help prevent something from breaking through the glass. Me, I would have started by duct taping whole panels of glass, not just little places here and there where the glass was cracked. But maybe because of the storm they had sold most of the duct tape and didn't have enough to do that.

Also, it didn't seem to occur to anyone to move people to the back room where there was less glass to worry about. True, there wasn't any light in the back room due to a problem with the generator, but I would have at least moved most of the people back there at night when they were trying to sleep in the dark anyway. But no one wanted to go back there, some giant bugs got in, followed by something eating the giant bugs. We then have one girl who dies after being stung by a giant bug, one guy who is partially eaten by whatever was hunting the bugs, and an almost dead guy who accidentally set himself on fire in the excitement. After that we have an old woman commit suicide. After that no one wants to go in the backroom because that's where they put the bodies.

There is one woman who insists that they are experiencing the stuff described in Revelations, and that God has sent these monsters to punish them for their evil ways. Me, I don't think that these are the same creatures as those described in the Bible, but I would have let her test her theory by letting her go outside and walk among the monsters. She would have been eaten, and that would have proven either that she wasn't a Christian or that she didn't know what she was talking about. And there is a moment in the film where a bug is crawling on her but does not sting her, so there's a chance that maybe she does know what she's talking about. But she won't shut up about it. She scares people. One old lady starts throwing cans of food at her and threatens to stone her if she doesn't shut up.

A group of them decide to try to go next door to the pharmacy and get some supplies. The burned guy is going to die if he doesn't get medicine soon, and several other people are hurt. The make a list of things that they want and head out.

They get to the pharmacy okay, and they find most of what they were looking for. But they also find giant spiders. A dying military guy tells them that it is all their fault. Before he can say what that means, he dies and baby spiders start crawling out of him. The group heads back to the grocery store with the medicine, but they lose a couple of people to the spiders. And the medicine comes too late the save the burned man. And two of the three guys from the military base hang themselves.

Now most of the people are listening to the crazy religious lady. The remaining military guy tells of rumors at the base about a window that looks into a different world or another dimension. The religious lady talks more about pride going before a fall and God's judgement. Someone stabs the military guy and throws him outside to get eaten by monsters.

A bunch of people who were normal a few days ago just killed a guy for taking a job serving his country. And they're happy about it. Cause the crazy lady says that God won't let the monsters take anyone else that night.

About eight people have had enough of the crazy religious lady. The collect some supplies and plan to try to leave in the morning. Only the crazy lady catches them trying to leave, accuses them of stealing, and demands that the little boy be the next person sent out to the monsters.

I am not as into the Bible as I used to be, but still, I don't think that there's anything in the Bible to justify that. One of the people who still has a bit of sense shoots the crazy lady and threatens to kill anyone else who tries to stop them from leaving. The eight of them head for the car, but only five of them make it.

Driving very slowly with about a dozen headlights, they drive to the man's house to look for his wife. But the spiders have already gotten to her. They very slowly drive out of town. There's still more mist, and more monsters. Finally, the run out of gas.

At this point, I thought that maybe they had driving past the dangerous mist and were just in regular fog but didn't know it. I thought that they were all going to kill themselves and then the camera would pull back and show that they were in a safe place and if they'd just waited a little bit longer everything would have been okay. Not quite it. Cause they were still hearing the sounds of the monsters. Maybe even the sounds were getting louder.

My husband thought that maybe they had driven so far into the mist that they had ended up driving into that other world. That wasn't it either.

There are five of them, and they have a gun with four bullets. The four adults are all agreed that they would rather die in the car than deal with anymore monsters, and earlier the dad had promised his kid that he wouldn't let the monsters get him. So it is decided that he will shoot the boy and them, and then he will find some way of killing himself.

So after he's shot everyone he's crying and screaming. And he can't think of a way to kill himself, so he gets out of the car and waits for something to come and get him. And nothing comes. So he's starts yelling to get something's attention. The noises are coming closer. Something is coming down the road.

Only a tank rolls out of the mist. More military vehicles come. Survivors are being evacuated. We see that someone from the beginning of the movie lived.

The mist starts to evaporate, revealing more military people who are shooting the bugs and burning anything that doesn't belong here. There's still a lot of work to do and a lot of mess to clean up, but everything is going to be okay.

If they had just waited like five more minutes, they would have been rescued.

Monday Morons--Gas Stations

Well, this isn't that bad, but it did get me a bit ticked off last week.

So I am on my way to school or something, and I stop to buy gas. And I was going to buy about twenty dollars worth of gas and then maybe go inside and buy a hot chocolate or something. And you know, you have these pay at the pump things now, so you take out your plastic and put that in the slot before you start pumping gas. So I did that, and maybe I'm not totally awake yet, cause I'm wondering if I forgot to put in my pin number or something. But I guess not, cause the gas starts okay.

And then this woman comes outside and asks me if I paid at the pump for my gas. And that seems an odd question. I mean, that's what most of us do now, unless we are paying with cash for some reason, or the outside computer isn't working and there's a sign up requesting that we all pay inside, or maybe it's a really old station run by mom and pop who haven't bothered to upgrade to pay at the pump. But whatever. Maybe this lady is from Smallville and they don't have pay at the pump or something like that, or maybe she's just nosy. Whatever.

So I nod. And she just looks confused for a moment. And then she says that she had just gone inside and paid for ten dollars of gas, but she must have said the wrong number pump, cause she wasn't getting any gas on her side. And about that time the gas on my side stops at $10.

So we go inside and we look, when you look at the lady's car it's easy to get confused and give the number for the next pump over from hers. So we tell the cashier what happened.

And the cashier doesn't care and doesn't do anything about it. That's our problem. I can give the lady ten dollars if I want to.

I don't have ten dollars on me.

The cashier still isn't going to do anything about it. She won't refund the woman's ten dollars, and she won't give her ten dollars credit on her pump.

Now I'm about to get really upset, when I realize that since my card probably did not go through, and I can just buy the lady ten dollars of gas with my card. So we did that, and the lady left, and I left without buying hot chocolate or more gas like I'd originally planned.

Well, that sort of thing must happen all of the time, and you'd think that the people at the gas station would have some way of refunding the lady's money. Especially since I'm standing there willing to help right the situation. I'm sure this happens with people who are not as nice as me who might have just driven off with the gas the lady had paid for. Or maybe people just drive off before they realize there's a problem. Or maybe they realize there's a problem but don't figure out how to fix it themselves the way we did.

Anyway, it just sucks when your day starts off like that.

Friday, November 23, 2007

And I'm out of money again

Well, it was much like last year.
I don't really have lots of presents to buy on Black Friday, but I usually go shopping anyway. I don't set the alarm and get up early like I did for a few years. I would go to places that would give free gifts and coupons to the first five hundred people in line, whether they bought anything or not. That used to be fun. Here's a free ornament, a coupon, and a chance to win a car. They don't do that so much anymore, and the stores open way too early for my liking.

Still, there are a few things that I will go out and buy, if it isn't too difficult.

Like last year, I started out at a drug store. Bought a present for my husband, some candy, and three candles. It's good to have just some nice stuff like candy and candles, just in case you forget that you didn't buy anything for the club gift exchange, or you find out at the last minute that someone you normally don't exchange gifts with has brought you a little something. If you buy an extra gift and then find out later you need one, you'll already have it. But then if you end up not needing it you can keep it yourself or add it to the stuff going to charity. See? It will work out either way, as long as I buy something that I think other people would want that I wouldn't mind keeping for myself.

I went to another drug store and bought my mom something.

Then I went to the hardware store and bought myself a drill. See, that's why I end up going out, cause there's all this stuff on sale that is just stuff we probably need anyway. Now I have my own drill, and I can quit borrowing my brother's.

All that took less than an hour, was nowhere near a mall, and there was no traffic. So then I had to think for a minute if I really wanted to keep going, or if I should just go home and go back to bed. It was only about 8:30.

Remembering how nice it was last year, I went on. The other thing that I wanted for myself was blank DVDs. The computer uses either kind, so we bought a bunch of DVD+R last time there was a good sale. Only the recorder hooked up to the TV uses DVD-R, which we did not remember when we bought 200 of the other kind, so we have yet to even try out the DVD recorder on the TV. Several stores had specials of DVD+R and DVD-R this morning, about 100 for twenty dollars or less. The really great deal was at Best Buy, but that required keeping receipts and mailing stuff for a rebate. Instead, I decided on Office Max, which had 100 disks for 15.99, and at about 9:00 had an almost empty parking lot and no lines.

But, no DVD-R either. Or least, not the 100 pack that was on sale. Best Buy was just across the street, so I decided to have a look. There was a long line of cars trying to get into the place, and people were parking on the street and such. Well, if the almost empty Office Max didn't have the thing I wanted, the crowded Best Buy probably didn't either, so I skipped it and went on to the mall.

Like last year, I decided to park in front of the Michael's and walk instead of attempting to find something in the mall parking garage.

I decided to stop at the ladies room before I had to worry about packages that might get stolen. Of course, the escalator was being repaired, so I pretty much had to walk to the Bath & Body Works to find another way upstairs, go upstairs, and then walk to the area right above where I'd just come in. And of course you also have to walk past most of the food places to get to the restrooms, and then you have to walk past them again afterwards. And everything in the food court really smells good when you have skipped breakfast, but I didn't stop.

There are two Bath & Body Works in this mall. One is very small like the original stores, and the other one is pretty big. The big one isn't as big as it used to be, because it used to be down the mall a bit and have a White Barn Candle with it. They still have a lot of candles and White Barn stuff, but if I actually need a White Barn Candle store I have to drive to a mall in Fort Worth. And they used to hand out two sets of coupons, and now they don't, so it is a bit annoying.

So I'm looking in the little store, and I'm thinking it looks really crowded, but since I am after one thing in particular I decided to go ahead a check there first. I'd decided to buy this travel kit thing for my brother-in-law, which wasn't on sale and wasn't a particularly good deal, but that's what I came after and that was what I was going to get. And also I planned to get some Wallflowers that were on sale and a free gift for spending thirty dollars before noon and all of that. I figured that I'd still have time to go to the other store and buy more Wallflowers later.

Only they told me that I couldn't use my $10 off $30 purchase coupon and get my free gift unless I spent an additional $10. You actually had to spend $30 after the discount to get the gift. They didn't say that last time. So I ended up buying two more Wallflowers there and didn't bother going to the other store. It wasn't that different from what I had planned to do, except that I wanted to look for a different scent of Wallflowers, and I wanted to use a second coupon to get another free lotion. Oh, well, no big deal.

Then there was all this stuff that I was going to look at, but we don't really need. Like a meat slicer. Not only do I not really need a meat slicer, but twenty years ago I worked at Arby's for the summer, and I'm actually a bit afraid of the meat slicer. But I'm looking through the ads and I see a meat slicer and think it would be cool to have a one. We used to live near this place where we sometimes bought this discounted deli stuff, only it was never really like having deli stuff because we didn't have anything to properly cut it with. So if we'd had a meat slicer then, that would have been really cool. But we don't live so near that place anymore, and we rarely buy stuff like that now, and we don't really need a meat slicer.

And I don't really need the new programmable crock-pot. I like crock-pots. I like that I can put together a soup and have it cook while I'm asleep and ready to eat when I wake up. Or I can have something cooking while I'm at work or school and have it ready when I get home. I don't actually do that very often, but I like the idea of it. I used to do that sort of thing more often, but I'm not doing it right now. So right now, I don't really need the new programmable one. Still, seeing that there was one for only thirty dollars, I was tempted.

And I really didn't need anything at Macy's, but I had a coupon, so I was thinking that I should go and look around. Only I realized that I had left the coupon in the car, so I decided to skip Macy's.

I looked at a few more things that were on sale, but I decided that there were either things that I didn't really need, or the sale wasn't really that good. Anyway, I didn't see anything worth standing in line for.

Odd thing, but there were all these people just sitting around. Of course, there were people sitting at the food court, and most of them were eating. That's understandable. Some of them had been shopping for three hours or more, and you get hungry after a while. And you do get tired once in a while, so if you see any empty table and chairs or a bench, sure. And there are these steps near the elevators that don't actually go anywhere, so that's also a good place to sit down for a bit. But there were people sitting in every chair, every bench, every available place on those steps, and then there were still all these people just sitting on the floor. So that was odd, because the whole mall was open now. Sure, sit on the floor while you're waiting in line for the store to open, but why sit there now? I mean, if you've gotten what you came for and are done shopping, go home. If you're not done shopping, maybe take your packages to the car and sit in the car for a bit. That's got to be more comfortable than sitting on the floor. I've just never seen so many people sitting on the floor like that unless they were waiting for something to open.

I think that I've about had it with the mall, and it's not even lunch time yet. So I call my husband and ask if he wants to have lunch a bit later. Sure. Great. So I say I'll try to be home by 11:00.

Well, I almost made it home by 11:00. I stopped at two Targets trying to find some on sale DVD-R, but no luck. The rest of the stuff wasn't that far from home, and did not involve early-bird specials, so I figured I could do that later. And I stopped at two more drugstores, to get more candy.

I went to Burger King with my husband. I was starving. That was probably the best Burger King hamburger I'd ever had.

So then he had to go to work. I wrapped his present and then went out again. There was still time to get just a little more of that early-bird special candy at the drugstore, and there were two of them on the way to Garden Ridge. As I was leaving the last drugstore, someone announced that the early-bird specials would be ending in twenty minutes, and there was no limit on the early-bird specials. Now they tell me. The ads said limit two or something. So I debate on whether or not I should go back in and by more candy. I decide against it. Most of the candy was for that charity thing anyway, and right now I'm not even sure that I'm even going to go to that.

So I go to Garden Ridge, and I guess everyone else also thought that after lunch was a good time to go to Garden Ridge. So I go and pick out a few things that I don't really have to have, but as long as I'm here I might as well get them. And I pick out one of those bed in a bag things that's pretty. I don't really need another one right now, but I'll probably need one eventually and I might as well get one now while there's one I like on sale. Only I see that the sheets are polyester, and I don't think that I've ever slept on polyester sheets. They're very pretty, but I'm just not sure if they'd be comfortable. So after thinking about it a bit, I decide to put it back. The cotton ones are not as pretty, so I decide to get one some other time. The other things I had picked out were not worth standing in line for, so I put them back too. And there was something that I might need for an art project, but I'm not even sure about it and I won't need it til Tuesday or Wednesday, and it's not even one of the sale items. So I put that back too.

I need this thing for an art project. Preferably it would be cheap, and it would be green. Dollar Tree has cheap stuff, but I've been to four stores and haven't found the item in green. Every other color, but not green. So I stop at one more Dollar Tree, and, no green. I'm going to give up on that and maybe switch to purple.

And I pick up three bottles of sauce from Wild Buffalo Wings for my brother. And in that same shopping center with the Dollar Tree and the Wild Buffalo Wings is an Office Depot. I totally forgot that it was there. So, one last effort to find some on sale DVD-R.

And they have plenty left. It's just the Office Depot brand disks, but who cares. And they're only about two dollars more than the ones I was going to buy at Office Max. Now I can go home a happy camper.

This is probably all the Christmas shopping that I will do, except for maybe that charity thing if I decide to go, and maybe some gift cards. The shopping is mostly done because a.) two or three people will be getting artwork (which is a bit behind schedule so they might be getting little note-card describing what the artwork will be like once it's finished), and b.) I've spent the rest of the year stockpiling stuff, mostly from Bath & Body Works. My sister and my brother-in-law really like the stuff, as does one of my friends from the club. A couple of other friends from the club will get gift baskets which will include some Bath & Body Works stuff. My mom and a few other people seem of the opinion that "it's the thought that counts" and just seem happy that you got them something. Bath & Body Works stuff will probably go into the club gift exchange, and possibly that charity thing. My husband probably will be getting some Bath & Body Works stuff, although I've already given him some and he probably doesn't need any more. And anything left from the Bath & Body Works stash will go to me.

So that's about it. I need to work on some art projects, but except for that the pressure is off. I can spend the rest of the season wrapping gifts and doing the more pleasant holiday traditions, like eating.

When I was a kid, I wanted all kinds of stuff and I probably spent two months telling my parents and grandparents what I wanted. I don't do that so much anymore. I almost forget that while I'm buying all this stuff for other people, they are probably out buying stuff for me. Half the time I get some really neat stuff, and half the time people just don't know what to get me. People will ask me what I want, and I'm like, I don't know.

I want all of this stuff and possibly a row-counter and some extension kits. But, a row-counter I can get myself at Michael's when I have a coupon, and I'd feel guilty if someone spent enough money on me to buy extension kits and then I didn't really use them.

Also, I would like at least two miter clamps, and two and three foot bar clamps would be nice. But I probably won't get them. Not very Christmasy, you know?

And then there is this book. I keep borrowing the old book from the library, so it would be nice to own the new one. I use the patterns a lot in art class. But it's not something anyone would come across while they're at the mall, so I probably won't get that either.

I like clothes, but clothes seem like a lot of trouble to give or get as gifts. Half of the time, they have to be exchanged. They don't quite fit or something.

However, if someone wanted to buy me clothing, just about anything black would be appreciated, as would just about anything that goes with black.

I am all in favor of the totally unimaginative gift card. Cards from Michael's or Hobby Lobby especially would not go to waste, as would cards from Half-Price Books or any other bookstore.

I am also a great fan of food, just about any kind of food, except maybe pet food.

Anyway, I have a couple of problems: a.) I'm not sure about how to go about giving the above hints, and b.) if I were going to give hints I probably should have done that two or three weeks ago.

Monday, November 19, 2007

A Silly Bit of Business

So over at another blog I read, they were having a bit of fun with this website that would rate your blog. Not rate it in the sense that they would say you are the best writer on the planet or that your blog is so boring that all the other bloggers are embarrassed for you, like I have seen on other websites. But rate it in the sense of what age is appropriate to view your blog, like a movie rating.

Anyway, this poor blogger was upset that her blog was rated PG-13. Not that she thought it was too harsh, but she couldn't believe that they received such a mild rating. At their blog they discuss all kinds of things that are not politically correct and swear and speak of many subjects that would not normally speak of, at least, not out in the real world. So she just did not appreciate the PG-13 rating.

Just for fun, I asked for the address of this website.

And I was surprised to get an NC-17 rating. The rating appears to come from the number of times certain words are used, though I am not sure during what time-period the offending words are counted. For a while I had slipped down to an R, while the other blog actually slipped down to a G.

I have checked again today, and the G rating is now at least back up to a PG for "ass (3x) fucking (1x)." My blog is again up to an NC-17 for "hell (16x) penis (10x) sluts (7x) dick (4x) hurt (2x) sex (1x)."

I entered more blog addresses to have a look at their ratings.

The blog written by the Bimbo's friend contains stuff about threesomes and bondage and all of that, but she only got an R rating for "sex (3x) shit (2x) suck (1x)."

Isn't this fun?

There is this other blog that I stumbled upon that I keep reading, not because I care anything about the woman, but because I cannot believe that real people actually live like this. I would say that she's like something out of one of Laurell K. Hamilton's books, only without the vampires, werewolves, fairies, witches, murders, police detectives, zombies, zombie raisers, etc... Oh, and also without the morals and the brains.

Okay, maybe she's not that much like Laurell K. Hamilton's characters after all. But you get the idea.

Anyway, the woman has multiple sex partners, and seems to go back and forth between writing how wonderful her life is and how miserable she is cause she can't find that one guy who will love her and only her. She doesn't want any mature advice like she should stop with the multiple partners and grow up and do something constructive to find just that one guy, etc.... But I'm still reading the damned thing, cause it's just so unreal to me that people behave this way and then whine about not being happy.

She seems a lot like the Homewrecking-Slut.

So the multiple partner woman who is actively out there looking for her one man gets a blog-rating of R for "sex (5x) fucking (4x) hurt (3x) pussy (2x) orgasm (1x)."

That makes her blog have the same rating as my friend from the Great White North who has "gun (9x) dead (2x) mame (1x)" in his blog.

So that's all a bit silly, but I was having some fun with it while taking a break from the current art project.

What is your blog's rating?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Monday Morons--Don't tell my kid what to do

Well, we're a bit ticked off over something that happened at my husband's job last week.

My husband is a portrait photographer. He works for one of those companies that does traveling sales. Someone calls you in to be in a club directory or a church directory, and while you're there getting your picture taken for the directory, they take more pictures and try to sell them to you. And then there's a similar thing set up in grocery stores and such. Someone sells you a coupon good for a low cost 8x10, but then they try to sell you a bunch of other pictures and frames and such. The photographer is only at the one place for about a week, maybe less, and then he packs up the equipment and goes someplace else.

So that's my husbands job. He spends all day taking pictures of people who have been lured in by some gimmick. A bunch of them then get mad when they realize they have to listen to some sales pitch. They are just here for the directory or the free picture or the low cost thing that they bought, and they don't want anything else and they don't want to talk to the salesperson. Some of them won't even cooperate with the photographer.

At first I just thought it was awful how these companies got people to come in and have their picture taken like this. Before my husband got one of these jobs, I went to a couple of places like this, just to buy the special. I hated the whole sales thing that followed. But, if no one bought anything other than the special, they couldn't stay in business. So no matter how many times or how many different ways you say that you don't want to buy anything else, you still have to listen to a sales pitch. Personally, I would rather that they be more honest and tell you up front how much pictures cost and how much they expect you to buy instead of getting you to come in for some other reason. I'd just decide not to waste my time or theirs and not have my picture taken. But for some reason, no one in this business wants to do that.

After my husband had the job for a while, and I took a job as a salesperson, I started to lose patience with the customers. I quit feeling sorry for them that they'd been tricked into getting their picture taken "just for the directory" or whatever. Sure, the first couple of times you fall for it, but after that you should know what is going on, and if you don't want to spend hundreds of dollars on portraits, don't waste everyone's time.

So it amazes me when someone who should have been around enough to know what is going on is surprised when someone wants to spend an hour trying to get him to buy all this stuff when all he came in for was to get a free 8x10. Did you think that people actually get paid to give you free 8x10s? But what really ticks me off is the guy who knows what is going on, who knows that people don't get paid just to put his picture in the directory, and he comes in anyway and complains about everything. And then sometimes he has the nerve to say that we're lucky that he didn't just stay home.

No, we're not lucky that you didn't just stay home. We would have been lucky if you'd been in a serious car wreck on the way over so you didn't just mess up our sales average and cost us money. You're not required to buy anything. If you really don't like those pictures for some reason, maybe we can retake them. But if you know ahead of time that you don't want to buy anything, stay home. Better yet, don't make an appointment in the first place.

So there are these idiots who come in, who are already in a bad mood cause they don't want to buy any pictures, and they won't cooperate. They waste a lot of time cause they won't do what you tell them to. They won't fill out the paperwork correctly and they won't do what the photographer tells them to do. Really, filling out the paperwork should just take a few minutes and getting the actual pictures taken should only take ten minutes, unless you have a big group or are handicapped or something. And then the sales pitch takes an average of thirty minutes or so, but it really depends on the salesperson and how much you want to buy and how many people are in front of you. And yes, if you're sure you're not going to buy anything, it would be polite to mention that both to the photographer and to the salesperson, but don't keep saying it over and over again, and don't assume that you're done and jump up and leave. Someone will have to go and find you cause you didn't finish your set or you didn't fill out some form, and the people in line behind you will just have to wait longer while you act like a two year old.

So this last week my husband had a customer who came in with an attitude, cause he didn't like something that happened last time. Whatever. If you know what's going on and you don't want it to be "just like last time" then why do you come in and do it again? So the guy is already in a bad mood, and my husband just wants to get on with it so everyone can be rid of the guy.

So the guy comes in with his wife and kids, and my husband has to think for a minute on how they should be arranged for the photo. Then he moves a stool in front of the background and says "Okay, sir, have a seat right here on the stool and we'll get started."

So one of the kids runs over and sits on the stool. Kids do that. Once in a while, it's just that the kid has made a mistake and really thought he was the "sir" being asked to sit down. But mostly, it's just that the kid thinks he's being funny. After the first few hundred times, it's not funny, but you act like it is anyway.

"No, not you, get up. Okay, sir, have a seat right here."

And the kid laughs and gets up.

The dad isn't laughing.

"What did you just say?"

Okay, the dad is either really slow, or maybe he just has a hearing problem.

"Sir, just have a seat right here."

"No, before that, what did you say? Did you just tell my kid not to sit there?"

"We'll get to him in a minute. We need to get you and your wife seated first."

"You don't tell my kid what to do. I'm his father and I tell him what to do. If you have something to say, you don't talk to my kid, you talk to me. Don't tell my kid what to do."

Portrait photographers cannot take pictures without telling people what to do. Sit here, stand on this piece of tape, move a little to your left, tilt your head a bit more to your right, etc.... Some people get their left and right confused, and some people just don't get it and you physically have to move them however they are supposed to be or you will get a really bad picture or maybe even cut someone out of the picture.

But it's rare to have a grown up come in and say, "You can't tell me what to do." And it's rarer still to have to deal with anyone stupid enough to say this sort of crap in front of his kids. I have gotten into it a few times with people who are complete idiots, but most people do not try to tell me that I have to stop doing whatever I'm supposed to be doing at my job because I'm not allowed to talk to their kids.

There are some people who get upset when just someone walking by tells their kids to stop yelling, stop running, don't use language like that, wait your turn, etc.... "Don't talk to my kids that way" and "That's none of your business" and "You can't talk to my kid" and "If you have a problem with someone my kid is doing then you need to tell me about it first" etc.... Fine, it's your job to correct your kids, but why aren't you doing your job? If the kid is clearly doing something wrong and you don't do something about it, someone else is going to say something. It's really strange to me that the parent is bothered more by this supposed breach of etiquette than by the fact that their kid did something wrong.

But you don't get to go through this "Don't speak to my child" nonsense when the people talking to the child are just doing their jobs. Lots of people have to tell people what to do as part of their jobs, and a lot of these people have to deal with children while they're doing their jobs. Teachers, librarians, doctors, nurses, dentists, cops, mall security guards, crossing guards, etc.... They're all going to tell your kids what to do. And unless the kid is deaf or doesn't speak English and literally needs you to translate something, they're not going to go through you first.

Even that dumb job at the Halloween store required me to tell people what to do. "The line starts over there", "Don't touch the display", "Don't open the packages", "You can't try on costumes out here, but there's a dressing room over there", "No, you are not allowed to try on nylons or slips or anything else that is considered undergarments", "No, there are no refunds past this date", "Children are not allowed in this area", "This area is only for employees", etc.... I told people stuff like that all the time. If I saw a kid doing something he wasn't supposed to do, I told him not to do it anymore. I usually didn't go looking for his parents to tell them instead. If I went looking for someone's parent, it's because I'd had to tell the same kid something more than once. In that case, both the kid and the parent were usually idiots. If the parent had any sense to begin with, the kid probably wouldn't be acting that way in the first place, and parents with sense usually don't allow their kids to wander about unsupervised, especially in a store that has "adult" stuff that the kid shouldn't be looking at anyway.

Anyway, back to the idiots my husband had to deal with last week.

So my husband is just not having much luck with the guy. He won't do anything he is supposed to do, and he keeps going on about "this is just like last time." I don't know what happened last time, but if someone got you to come in and have your picture taken for a directory, fill out some forms, told where to stand or where to sit so that someone could take your picture, and then someone tried to get you to buy those pictures, then, yes, it was probably very much like last time. And you knew that before you came in, so get over it already.

There are rare idiots who actually try to pose the pictures themselves. Unless that person is a portrait photographer himself, the pictures usually look bad. And if the person was a portrait photographer,he should take pictures with his own camera and not come here. If you come here you have to stand where you're told. That's not the same as asking for particular groupings or particular poses. If you have an idea of something in particular that you'd like to buy it's usually okay to make suggestions or even ask for extra poses, but you shouldn't try to arrange the people in the picture yourself.

Sometimes my husband will stand back and let the idiots try to arrange themselves and just take a bad picture rather than deal with them anymore.

So he finally says "Dad sit here, and mom sit here, and kids stand whatever dad tells you to."

The guy said that he didn't have to take that and they walked out.

Well, that happens sometimes. But then the guy wouldn't actually leave. He stayed in the waiting room for about an hour complaining to everyone. So all the people who are waiting to have their pictures taken get upset thinking that the photographer is deliberately taking bad pictures or mistreating kids or whatever. And one of the salespeople gets upset cause she can't sell any pictures while she's trying to talk over this idiot yelling about "this is the same as last time" or whatever.

My husband takes pictures of four more groups, and the guy is still out there. He won't go home because they got all dressed up for nothing. They came here to get pictures taken, so they should get pictures taken. But my husband is the only photographer, and if he won't cooperate with the photographer, he can't have his picture taken.

So the guy finally calms down and he apologizes and my husband apologizes and everything seems okay. And my husband takes some pictures and gives the disk to one of the salespeople.

Apparently mom is also an idiot. After all of that work to get the pictures taken, she won't sit where she is told, and she turns in such a way that she cannot see the computer screen to view the pictures. Whatever.

My husband goes home for the day and calls one of his bosses and tells him the whole story with five part harmony and all that. And the boss tries to calm him down a bit and doesn't want him to quit and assures him that everything is going to be okay. So my husband just wants to know if he's still on the schedule for the rest of the week and is he still supposed to work at that same place the next week like originally planned. And the boss says yes and that everything is going to be fine.

So we think that everything is going back to normal. The next day we are going to meet one of the salespeople for lunch and a place not to far from where they are working. So we left the house about 11:30 to go meet the guy. The guy tells me about how the idiot customer was bothering everyone in the waiting room and how his wife sat in her chair sideways so that she couldn't see the pictures. And then he told me about the other salesperson not helping the situation. The other salesperson is a.) not very bright, b.) not very popular with other employees, c.) not making a lot of money is general, and d.) making very little money at all at this particular place. She seems to think that it was somehow my husband's fault. The other salesperson assured me that wasn't the case, and that he's doing just fine while working with my husband. But the other salesperson kept complaining about how my husband is ruining her sales for the week. The whole building heard her complaining about it. The whole building also heard her say how she needed to hurry and get out of there so she could go to the liquor store.

So we all had a good laugh over lunch. Then I left to run some errands, and my husband and the salesman went to Starbucks on the way to work.

A few hours later, my husband comes home. Apparently, at 11:35 my husband's boss called to say that my husband shouldn't go to work at that place for the rest of the week. But we had just left for lunch and did not get the message. Apparently, the idiot got home and decided that he really had been mistreated and went back to the place after my husband had left so he could complain some more. So he was told who to talk to about this complaint, and he made phone calls, and someone else made some phone calls, and it was decided that my husband shouldn't finish the week at this place, and that my husband should be rescheduled to work someplace else the next week. Otherwise this idiot will not go away and no one will get any work done.

What especially sucks about this is that my husband was taken off the schedule for two days, so that's two days that he isn't getting paid anything. But he really didn't have those two days off. Friday he wasted about three hours going to the place and talking to his replacement for about an hour and then driving back home. On Saturday he had to waste another three hours driving back to the place and packing up the equipment and then driving back home.