Friday, June 29, 2007

WTF does it mean if someone is LOL with their BFF?

I hate all of these little abbreviations. Can't people just write in English? People are even starting to speak in these nonsense terms. I can't make sense of half of it.

Science fiction writers used to imagine that the English language would change over time, for all sorts of odd reasons. Some thought that we would all learn some kind of multilingual shorthand to communicate with people from other countries, and that we would either add a lot more foreign words to English or perhaps give up speaking English altogether. Some thought that we would shorten words or phrases to conserve oxygen. Some thought that we would add or change to sign language because of all the noise.

I don't think any of them predicted that the language would change so quickly because of idiot teenagers sending text messages.

I hate cell phones and people who talk on cell phones a lot. Cell phones for doctors and other people who need to be reached quickly in an emergency is a good idea. Having an emergency phone in case your car breaks down is a good idea. Having a phone so that you can call for help if a date goes bad is a good idea.

Having a phone conversation with one person while you're supposed to be having dinner with someone else is NOT a good idea. Having someone from work trying to call to say something that can wait till business hours is NOT a good idea. Waiting till the last minute to tell people stuff just because you can probably get their cell phone is NOT a good idea. Making a phone call while you are mere inches away from me in a public restroom is NOT a good idea.

So I already hated the cell phones. Now I'm getting the nonsense abbreviations in my emails, from adults. If someone wants to say something, why do they need to type IMHO? I've already forgotten whatever your opinion was while I'm trying to figure out what is an IMHO.

A friend of mine feels the need to put IMHO opinion in almost all of her emails. One day she was saying something about inconsiderate people at work who leave stuff a mess in the break-room. She meant to send it out to the usual bunch but accidentally sent it to everyone at work, which wasn't really a bad idea anyway considering the content of the email. But half these people were not used to getting my friend's emails with IMHO, and they didn't know what IMHO meant, and rather than talk about the break-room situation they emailed back and asked her what IMHO meant. And a couple of people emailed back and asked if she really was a ho and why did she feel the need to share that with everyone?

When I was still pretty new to the whole blog thing, I left a comment on someone's blog and checked back later to see if they wrote a response. LATS was in the response, and I didn't have a clue what LATS meant. I asked a few people, and I emailed my friend who writes IMHO in most of her emails, and no one knew what it meant. And I googled LATS and found stuff about library software and exercises aimed at certain muscles and stuff about the Latin American Thyroid Society, but none of that had anything to do with the blog comment. I just couldn't figure it out, and I gave up.

A couple days later I saw it again and figured out that LATS meant me.

My husband had a blog before I did, and that was what led to the whole mess last year. So he's not supposed to blog much anymore, not supposed to spend so much time on the computer, and he's not supposed to talk to strangers on the Internet, etc... I said that he could come home and we could work on our relationship, but there were conditions. None of the conditions have been met, and he just went and got a new blog.

Well, he doesn't like the new blog as much, cause no one was reading it and no one was leaving comments. So one day he came over here and left a comment, and like most people he left a link to his blog. I deleted the comment. He's not supposed to communicate with other bloggers at all, and he's certainly not allowed to come over here and snag some of my readers. He can comment under a different name without the link, and I don't link to his blog either.

Having set that rule, I shouldn't try to snag one of his readers. He finally got a comment, and it was from a published author. I was a bit jealous.

That didn't come out right, did it? I've had comments from a published author too. And now that I think about it, I've had comments from more than one published author. But this was someone whose name I recognized, someone I knew of as an author before I knew of him as a blogger. To be honest, I have yet to connect the author's name with anything I remember reading, but still, I did recognize the name and thought that was very cool.

But, since I had already made this rule, I can't leave comments on the author's blog that link back to my blog.

Anyway, I had been thinking about writing this post for a while, and what finally got me to write it was I started commenting on something the author said about the new cell phones from Apple. So there it is. I don't like cell phones or all these abbreviations, and I really hate that adults are going along with this trend started by idiot teenagers.

One last thing. I'm sure David is familiar with TANSTAAFL, and probably Dmarks knows about it too, but does anyone else know what it is? Does anyone try to use it in a conversation that isn't about one of the books it's from? My husband uses it once in a while and looks at me funny when I don't immediately get what he's saying.
It is now a year later, and I've noticed many lost souls come here trying to find out what the text message WTF means. If you still don't know, it stands for -- what the f**k? And while we're at it, IMHO is short for -- in my humble opinion.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

A Few Days In Arkansas--Day Three and Day Four

Friday morning we ate stuff in our room for breakfast, and then we went and rode a Duck.

If you are not familiar with the Duck Tours vehicle, it is a cross between a boat and a school bus. It comfortably seats 32 people, if those people happen to be eight year olds and/or very skinny anorexics. The rest of us tend to be less comfortable. There is no air conditioner. It is an open-air vehicle. And most of them are about forty years old and very noisy.

My husband has fond childhood memories of going on Duck Tours in general, and riding a Duck in Hot Springs in particular. So this was actually something we planned to do. We got a flyer with the time schedule and left the motel early enough to get a space in the free parking garage and buy tickets for the first tour of the day.

We saw a sign that said Duck Tour discount tickets--$4.

I didn't believe them, but I went in anyway. So here's the deal. A regular ticket for a Duck Tour is twelve dollars, or you could buy a combo ticket for the wax museum and the Winery and the Duck Tour for fourteen dollars. Subtract the five dollars for the wax museum and five dollars for the Winery, and that makes the cost of the Duck Tour four dollars.

I didn't want to go to the Winery, and I doubt that I would have paid five dollars to go to the wax museum. But we were doing dumb tourist things, so we bought the combo ticket anyway.

The bus driver had all kinds of jokes and comments, but I couldn't hear most of it. I'm sure that it was all really funny stuff. The ladies at the back right next to the speakers were laughing all the time.

Immediately after the tour, our particular Duck vehicle had to be taken to the mechanic. Not to worry if you already bought a ticket. Hot Springs has a whole fleet of Ducks.

Next we went to the wax museum. There is a wax museum about a mile away from my home, which I have been to less than ten times, and more than half of those visits have been in October for the haunted house. So I don't think of wax museums as any big deal, and when traveling I usually don't go to them unless I have free tickets or combo tickets, or unless I'm with a group and the rest of the group wants to go. But I have been to a few, and this one was very small and just not that good in general. It was mostly stuff from the sixties with a few things added like the Clintons. A funny bit was of the British Royal family meeting the Nixons. Prince Charles looks like a teenager, and for all I know the two families met each other when Charles was that age. But then there's this figure that is supposed to be Princess Diana, except that it doesn't look anything like her, and she looks twice as old as Charles instead of the other way round. In fact, Diana looks older than anyone else in the group, except maybe Philip.

After the Wax Museum we walked around a bit and ended up in an old bathhouse that's become part of the Hot Springs National Park. Like the Alamo in San Antonio, this is always a surprise to me, that the park itself is right there in town with the bathhouses and other tourist stuff. I somehow expect that it's something that you have to drive out of town to see, not the thing that the town was built around.

We looked around a bit, and then we went to lunch at a Mexican place. Okay, it didn't say Mexican restaurant, it said Latino restaurant, but I think it's mostly the same. It seemed just different enough from the stuff around here to be interesting.

My husband made a comment about the bill. Well, that's what it costs to eat out without using coupons. And the food was really good.

Then we walked around the park a bit, and then we got the brilliant idea of walking up to the tower. It wasn't quite as bad as an earlier brilliant idea of climbing Stone Mountain in Georgia, but on the other hand I'm seven years older now, and I'd spent the two days before that digging for rocks. But, you get going and it doesn't seem so bad, and then you're like halfway there and it seems wrong to just give up and turn around. So, we kept going, but we stopped often to sit on many of the big rocks along the trail. Anyway, it was like 93 degrees that day, and it probably wasn't a great idea.

Then we got to the tower itself and paid like six dollars each to go up and look around. I asked if we were allowed to take drinks up, and the cashier said we were, so I bought a couple of sodas from a machine. And then there was a sign next to the elevator saying that no food or drink was allowed, but I'd already asked, so I took the sodas with us anyway.

So I'm trying to be nice and move to the back of the elevator so more people can get in. And then the elevator started up, and the it turns out to be one of those elevators with a glass wall, and I'm right next to the glass wall. No, no, no, no. I can't handle that, so then I'm moving back to the front of the elevator. And I still can't handle looking out at the view from the moving elevator.

But once we got off at the top floor, that wasn't so bad. And you can look down at the little bitty cars and the little bitty people. And we looked way down there at the bathhouses where we started walking. And over to the side you can see an amusement park, which surprised my husband for some reason, even though you can't go anywhere without tripping over an advertisement for the place.

My husband took a bunch of pictures, and then we went one floor down. You can still see a lot from there, but that part isn't open air, and I felt like sitting down in an air-conditioned room for a bit. In this room there is all this stuff about the history of Hot Springs and stuff about famous people who lived there.

In the wax museum we had seen a figure of Carrie Nation, but I really didn't know who that was. So there was stuff about her in the tower. She went around preaching against alcohol and smashing stills and such. My kind of gal. But apparently like most people she came here to get away from it all and lead a quiet life, so she didn't do so much of that after she got to Hot Springs. That, and she was having trouble finding other people in the area to help with the cause.

I felt mostly recovered from the half mile walk, so we went back down the elevator. I bought a souvenir T-shirt for eight dollars. I wasn't planning to buy a lot of stuff like that, but I had to buy at least one shirt because I realized I didn't have anything left to wear. I'd been so worried about packing things appropriate for digging in the dirt that I forgot to pack much in the way of regular clothes. I was wearing the one normal shirt I remembered to pack, and now that was covered in sweat and I didn't want to wear that same shirt again that evening. So I bought a T-shirt and a magnet, and we headed back down to the bathhouse area.

I thought I had recovered from the walk up, and the walk down shouldn't be so bad. But we took a wrong turn somewhere so that the trail was at a steeper angle and there were no big rocks to stop and rest on. It wasn't a really bad angle, but I was afraid that I was going to slip on the gravel. My legs were shaking most of the way down, and I was very glad when that part of the walk was over.

My husband's latest obsession is learning little magic tricks, so I thought that he might like to go and watch a magic show. But I suggested to him that we might not want to buy the tickets right then. The show was at 8pm, and we should probably not buy the tickets until later. We should wait til after dinner and see if we feel up to it. The suggestion seemed to totally baffle him. Never mind. We went and bought the tickets.

The tickets were fourteen dollars each, and we also needed to have some money left over for dinner and anything we might want to do on the way home Saturday. So we did not have a mineral bath or any spa treatments. I didn't expect that we would. Just twenty minute soak would have cost like thirty dollars, and a twenty minute rub another thirty, so just the forty minute deal for the two of us would have been a hundred and twenty dollars. So I didn't expect that, and it wasn't anything that we had planned to do, but it would have been nice. Spa treatments are kind of the point of going to Hot Springs, and we never get any.

Okay, now that we've bought the magic show tickets, I pretty much have to call it quits for the day. It's not everyday that I walk around tourist places and/or walk half a mile uphill. I've got to have a nap or something if I'm going to stay out past ten o'clock.

On the way back to the room we stop at the Winery, since we still have that left on the combo tickets. I thought that they might have something cool for him to take pictures of, but not really. It was a store with a couple of rooms that were their "museum" in the back. And I don't drink alcohol, so no wine tasting for me. But they did have stuff like jelly and hot sauce for sale, so I probably would have bought some of that stuff if they'd had samples out. I'm afraid I don't get that. They open dozens of bottles of wine all day, but they can't open a couple of jars of jelly? They opened one bottle of hot sauce, but no one could be bothered to let me try any of it. Whatever. There's plenty of other places to buy hot sauce.

Okay, so it's back to the room. I had a bath and a bit of a nap and then read a little bit. I was still tired, but I felt better. We decided that we needed to leave at about 6 if we were going to find a place to eat before the show. Just before 6 my husband starts saying how tired he is. Well, he's the one who insisted that we buy the tickets ahead of time. I suppose we could go and ask about getting our money back or selling the tickets to someone else, or we could just forget it and be out twenty eight dollars if you feel that bad. No, it's not that bad. Anyway, we'll probably feel better after we eat.

There are a lot of restaurants and such right there, and if we don't find anything to our liking that isn't too expensive, we can just go to Subway. But we find a lot of stuff we like. I'm not that hungry, so we end up at a bar that serves Mexican food, and I just have guacamole salad while he has this huge plate of empanadas and all the side dishes. He eats maybe half of it, but it still takes me longer to eat my little salad. Anyway, dinner was nice, just maybe not as nice as lunch.

So then we go over to the old movie theater where the magic show is. And I thought maybe the show was new, and that if it was a success they would fix up the place. But no, the guy had been there for like twelve years or so. He talked about how travel is nice once in a while, but actually living out of a suitcase was tough. I can totally relate. Anyway, he said he stopped here for a bath and ended up staying.

My husband took lots of pictures and seemed to be having a good time. Later, he was writing about the show and he didn't seem as happy with it. Oh, well.

Saturday morning we went back to the bathhouse area for one last look around. And we bought a couple of plastic jugs and got some mineral water. The water is free, if you remember to bring your own containers you can take as much as you want. If you forget to bring a container, someone will sell you something. I had saved about a dozen empty soda bottles, but I forgot and left them at home. We just bought plain plastic gallon jugs for seventy-five cents. The museum sells these glass things with red labels for five bucks. I'm sure that there are a lot of different containers for sale. But the water is free, and you can even park for free for fifteen minutes if that's all you came for. Then we bought a couple of donuts and headed out of town.

So we drove back to the historical place that we skipped on Wednesday. I didn't realize that there was anything to do there besides the restaurant, but apparently there is an eight dollar tour. But all the buildings are closed from 12 to 1pm so that the people that work in them can go to lunch. So we didn't take the tour, because it was almost twelve when we got finished with our lunch, and we didn't want to wait around for another hour. A guy in historical clothes came and invited us to some sort of ball game at 2pm, but we didn't stay for that either.

My husband really liked his lunch, but I wasn't so impressed with it. I had a small ham plate, and it was really small. Not that I'm complaining, it was all that I wanted, but it is just weird to have your whole lunch served on a little dessert plate. My husband ordered the regular chicken friend steak plate and was very happy with it. So I guess it's just one of those places for people who really like chicken fried steak. And, if you really, really like chicken fried steak, there's an all you can eat plate.

Soon after we got back into Texas, my husband had to stop and buy a Red Bull. He said that it was probably a good thing that we didn't go to Colorado instead, since this little five hour drive was getting to him and there's no way he could have driven thirteen hours instead.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

A few days in Arkansas--Day Two

The motel did not offer much of a free breakfast, so we had a couple of their snack cakes and a couple of bananas we brought from home. We packed up our stuff and headed to Hot Springs.

We did not find the motel we had coupons for, but we found a place with a name that we recognized and is usually okay but a little less money than Days Inn or Super 8 and places like that where we usually stay. Fifty dollars got us a room that we liked well enough, but no free breakfast, and the pool was being repaired. Never mind, we didn't come here to swim anyway.

So we headed to Mount Ida and stopped for lunch. My husband had meatloaf and I had a chili dog. Chili dogs are not health food, so I had a side of yellow squash. Probably still not health food with that much butter on it, but it was good. Then we split a piece of peanut butter pie for dessert, and my husband took pictures of everything with his new camera.

I should have had something with BBQ sauce, so I would have known whether I should buy some of the sauce to take home. It had the funniest label. Stuff about possum and roadkill and such. I probably should have bought a bottle for my brother, but I didn't think about it in time.

We left, and my husband left his nice new camera at the table. Lucky for us that we had a nice waitress who ran outside to catch us before we drove away.

About three miles away was the quartz crystal place. It was easy enough to get to, and they had signs though not really big ones. That was a major concern this trip, because we had an almost new van instead of an old pickup truck. The place we went to owned two mine sites, but we didn't go to either of those. A trip to an actual working mine site costs about twenty-five dollars per person with a minimum of ten people, or a smaller group willing to spend two hundred fifty dollars. We were only two people, and we didn't bother asking if there were eight other people who wanted to go to the mine with us. Besides, we weren't sure about road conditions to the mine sites or if we were even supposed to take our own cars or what. We just went to what was called the tailing area, which has some dirt brought from the mine area and probably had most of the good stuff taken out already.

Compared to the active mine we went to on an earlier trip, this was a bit of a disappointment. But we spent a couple of hours there anyway, just in case. I brought a lot of stuff home, but I haven't cleaned all of it yet so I might still find something. I have a bunch of just rocks, some quartz that isn't clear, a bit of clear crystal that's in broken pieces, maybe a few nice points that are small, and no nice clusters to speak of. And a lot of dirt. Maybe three or four buckets of dirt. I'd hoped that I'd get some clay from this trip, but I think most of this is sand. I'm trying not to be disappointed about that. If it is just sand I'll use it in the garden. I think a lot of this is going to end up in the garden anyway.

When we were at the diamond mine the plastic handle broke off of my bucket, which made carrying it go from really uncomfortable to almost intolerable. Right before we went to the crystal place I stopped at a dollar store, wanting to buy a sponge or something that would make carrying the bucket more comfortable. When I was explained this plan to my husband he went and bought the sponges as well as some washcloths and twine, and then he made a couple of really nice comfortable handles. And he was ready to quit about an hour before I was, but he waited for me while I went out and got a second and third bucket full of broken crystals and dirt.

On the way back we stopped at the rock shop and bought a couple of really nice pieces. Then the sales lady said that there was a minimum on credit card purchases, and I bought a couple more things that were not from that area. And then I bought a pound of acid so if I did find something nice I could clean it properly. I'd like to clean the stuff from the earlier trip, but that was several years ago, and I don't know where the stuff is. I'm not even sure if we packed it when we moved.

Then we stopped for ice cream before driving back to Hot Springs. We were tired and just ate stuff in our room again. It was a nicer room than the one near the diamond mine, but I was starting to regret that we didn't get a motel with a pool. I read a book for a little while and went to sleep. For some reason I didn't get as much sleep in the nicer room as I did on the smaller bed the night before.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Sorry to interrupt the Arkansas vacation stuff

Well, my house just flooded. Again.

In case you are new, or just don't remember, this happens to me a couple of times a year. And, don't worry, it's not the kind of flood you see on TV where helicopters rescue people from rooftops. This is the kind of flood where a couple of inches of rain comes into your house and makes a big mess.

It's just that I thought the problem was finally fixed. It wasn't pretty, but I could always work on that later. Last year we bought a pump and put it in the backyard, and I recently finished digging a hole so that the pump would come on automatically when the water got over a certain level.

Once in a while, a cord or a hose or something gets tangled up, and the pump won't work properly. So I've been checking the thing on a regular basis. And I've been checking the thing all day. And I heard on the news that another big storm was coming, so I went out and checked again, just to be sure. Then I heard thunder, and I thought I should unplug a power strip with all of the computer stuff, just to be on the safe side.

Half an hour later, there was water coming from this room into the hallway.

I look outside, and there's about 200 gallons of water, and the pump isn't on. So I wade through the water to turn the pump on, but nothing happens. I go back inside the house and find out that the pump was plugged into the same power strip as the computer stuff.

Okay, that was annoying. So I plug in the power strip and go back outside and turn on the pump. The pump usually clears the water away in about ten minutes, but it didn't seem to be doing much this time. I went back in the house, and there's water in all but one room. It's too late, but I start vacuuming anyway.

The vacuuming doesn't seem to be helping, so I go outside to check the pump again. It seems to be on, but the water doesn't seem to be going away. I move the hose to an empty trash can, and it pumps 25 gallons in less than two minutes. So there's nothing wrong with the pump. I put the hose back where it was. I go back to vacuuming.

An hour after I noticed the problem, the 200 gallons of water have been moved. The floor in every room but one is wet, but at least I don't have an inch or so of standing water in the house now. I suppose I should get out the sponges and such and maybe do a bit more vacuuming, but I just don't care right now. I'm just going to have to get rid of the carpet except for the living room, and I'm probably going to go ahead a take out the hallway carpet myself tomorrow. There's probably ten gallons of water in the hallway carpet, and if I'm going to end up throwing it out anyway, I don't see the point of trying to vacuum it anymore.

I moved on to the kitchen for a bit. The frog lady knocked on the door.

Are you busy?

Yes. Bye.

Monday, June 25, 2007

A Few Days In Arkansas--Day One

My husband had five days off from work last week, and rather than waste the time doing something useful around here, we decided to take a trip. My husband originally wanted to go to Colorado, but I thought that was too far away, too expensive, etc.... Back in March he had mentioned wanting to go to Arkansas, so I talked him into that instead.

We have been to Arkansas before, and we did not do that much to prepare for the trip. We just took the business stuff out of the van, packed shovels and rakes and implements of destruction, and packed a bit of clothing and food before heading east. I wasn't entirely sure that we were going until the night before the trip. He wanted to leave the business stuff in the van so that we could go straight on with his business trip to Oklahoma. I talked him out of that too. Kind of wish I hadn't have done that now, but there's work to be done around here, and I'll eventually have to stop being a baby about it and get to it. Besides, there is still that whole flooding thing to worry about, which is a bit strange for late June, even here.

We ate lunch at a KFC just before we got out of Texas. That turned out to be a mistake, because there was this place that he wanted to go about thirty miles into Arkansas. Also, there's this odd thing that the fast food place you have at home has different specials than the ones a few counties over, and my attempts to save a few dollars by ordering the Wednesday chicken fried steak special only got me a funny look from the teenager at the cash register. This is Kentucky Fried Chicken, and we don't have chicken fried steak.

At least I wasn't so far from home that I had to explain what chicken fried steak was.

So we drove past the little historical place that the lady at the tourist info place told us about. We could always do that on the way home. Another half an hour past that and we got a motel room. It was small, and the bed was small, but it was the last room at that motel, and we'd already found out that another motel was full. Rather than lose that room while we went down the street to find out if the third motel was full, we took it. The little bitty room had a full kitchen instead of just a micro-fridge, which would have been nice if we were planning to be there for more than a day. I'll have to remember that if we ever make a similar trip.

We unpacked some of the food and dropped off our suitcases and headed for the diamond mine, about two miles from our motel.

Crater of Diamonds State Park is an open pit mine. For a 6.50 entrance fee, you can go in and look around, pick up rocks and keep any that you think are interesting. Some of the really small rocks turn out to be white, yellow, or brown diamonds. I didn't happen to find any, but they are out there. While we were in the sluice area some bells sounded, which means that someone has found a diamond. It was about one and a quarter carats, found by a woman in her eighties who wasn't even doing any digging. She just spotted one while she was watching the grandkids. Weird.

There are other things of interest in the park if you are into rocks. There's a lot of jasper, most of it a nice red color. I spotted some pretty good sized rocks right when we first walked into the mine area. I thought that I'd like to take a few of those home, but I couldn't carry them around with me all day, and I didn't want to head back to the car. We're allowed to come and go all day, but it was a long walk back to the parking lot, and I wasn't ready to do that so soon.

We'd brought shovels and buckets with us, but we rented a one set of screens. You can rent all kinds of equipment at the park, but you have to leave a deposit. The rent for the screen set was about three dollars, but we had to leave a twenty dollar deposit. Rent for a complete kit is ten or fifteen dollars, but the deposit is like sixty. And you can bring all kinds of equipment from home, as long as you don't bring anything with a motor or wheels into the mining area. Some people actually brought tents and such so that they could work in the shade.

We wore thrift shop clothes that we bought cheap just for this trip, and we both wore bright orange hats so that we could spot each other in the distance. I picked up a few rocks, got about half a bucket of dirt and headed for the sluice area. My husband also got a bucket of dirt and headed off in that direction, quickly leaving me behind. I kept thinking that he would turn around and notice that I was having a bit of trouble, but he didn't. It was a bit of a walk, not a really long walk, but difficult for me to handle on the uneven surface while carrying a bucket of dirt and rocks.

And I was also carrying the one set of screens. He didn't have any. So I thought by the time he got to the sluice area he would finally notice that I wasn't around and he'd come back to check on me.


He walked around, took a few pictures, and then just sat on the ground to wait for me.

I just was not making any progress. It's sort of a big plowed field, and I had first thought to just walk in a straight line to the sluice area, and that's what my husband did. But it was hard that way. I kept having to set the bucket down every few steps. What I should have done was walk along one of the rows back the way I came a bit until I came to a path that went around to the sluice area. It was a much longer distance that way, but it probably would have been a faster way to get there. But by the time I realized my mistake, I was pretty far from the path. And I still thought that my husband was going to come back and help me.

But he didn't do that, so I kept going the way I had been. I stopped every few feet to rest and I picked up the occasional interesting rock. When I finally get back on the path, my husband gets up and meets me half way. I am not happy when he gets there. And he totally doesn't get why.

We spend about an hour or maybe an hour and a half getting the dirt off a bunch of little rocks and don't find anything. We picked out a few little things just to be sure, but they later turned out to be jasper and maybe calcite and stuff like that. My husband found a black rock with a gold colored streak through it, and we picket up some jasper on the way out. Not the really big red ones, cause those were just too much work. In the future if I want some of those I'll have to get them and take them back to the car when I first get to the park. At the end of the day all you really want to be carrying is an almost empty bucket with a few little things you want to have identified.

So we got our arms stamped again so that we could get back into the park, took the rocks and buckets and shovels and rakes and implements of destruction back to the car, and then walked around a bit a took a few more pictures.

In the park, right next to the mining area, is a nice big swimming pool. There were probably more customers in the swimming pool than there were in the mine.

If I ever do this again in the summer time, I'm going to ask if it is possible to get an all day pass for both the mine and the swimming pool. Then I'd collect some rocks, take them back to the car, go back to the mine and sift through the dirt a bit to look for diamonds, shower, go for a swim, dry off, get dressed, go to lunch, come back, collect some more rocks, take the rocks back to the car, go back to the mine and look for diamonds, have another shower, have another swim, dry off, get some more rocks and/or look for diamonds, maybe have another shower and a swim, dry off, get some more rocks and/or look for diamonds, go back to the motel, have a bath, and then go to dinner or maybe just stay at the motel and order a pizza or something.

Anyway, with about a bucket full of rocks we went back to the motel and had a bath and watched some TV. We ate food that we'd brought with us and didn't leave the motel. I thought about having a swim in the motel's little pool, but there were already a lot of people in it. We were very tired and had no trouble getting a full night's sleep even though the bed was a lot smaller than what we're used to.

Monday Morons--I don't have a clue what that is

Well, as you may know I have been away for a few days. I got home Saturday evening and really didn't feel like doing anything then and didn't feel like writing anything on Sunday either. And I didn't have any particular thing happen to me last week to inspire a Monday Moron post. I have said that if I ever didn't have any other morons to write about on a Monday that I would write something about the Homewrecking-slut, since there is always something to write about her. But having just got home from our little vacation, I didn't feel like doing that either.

So I figured that I would probably just write any apology for not writing a Monday Moron post this week. But that's not what I'm going to do.

So we went on this little trip, which was nice enough, and I'll blog about that later. I enjoyed most of it, but it was physically very tiring, and just the drive is tiring enough. So it's one of those things where I need a bit of a vacation to recover from my vacation.

Anyway, it was a nice enough trip, but maybe not what you would call a romantic trip. I was in a pretty good mood when we got home Saturday, but that evening it was obvious that nothing had changed. I still feel like we're in limbo.

Sunday morning I got up to check my email and such and then went back to bed. My husband also got up to check his email, and then he came back to bed. We were still in bed about an hour later. Latex was involved.

I'm a lady, and I do not write about that sort of thing, so I hope you can figure that out for yourselves.

With the way things are, we probably should not touch each other at all. But I do so enjoy that sort of thing. And occasionally now we'll end up doing stuff that I haven't much done since I was a teenager. So Sunday morning was a bit of a surprise, but a nice one.

Then we got dressed and went to breakfast at Taco Cabana. And then we had to come back here and pack all of his business stuff back in the van. And then he went off to Oklahoma. I didn't go with him. I have seen Oklahoma before, and I just didn't want to go this time. Besides, we shouldn't both be away from the house two weeks in a row, especially with the weird weather we've been having.

While I had been looking forward to having some alone time, telling myself that I was going to get a lot of work done, when I finally got my alone time I didn't like it too much. I spent most of the day doing nothing. I did just a little bit of reading and watched some TV. The only work I got done was sorting through some of my rocks.

I tell myself that it's because I am tired from the trip, and I have a good excuse for spending most of my day in bed. My legs are a bit bruised, but it's nothing serious. I have a bit of a nap.

The phone rings, and I don't get it in time. I remember that I have to go and get the mail from my brother, but I don't go and get it because it might have been my husband calling and I don't want to miss him if he calls again. I watch an episode of Farscape that I keep missing the beginning of, and he calls right after that. He sounds good. We miss each other, but he sounds good, and the drive doesn't take as long when I stay home. He tells me how to find some stuff he downloaded on the computer for me. Nice.

A bit after that I call my brother and ask about the mail. And he's like, aren't you just coming over in half an hour to watch the 4400. I totally forgot about the 4400. Sure. I'll come over to watch that and get the mail then.

So I walk over to his place and we talk about the trip a bit and I give him some water from Hot Springs. And he shows me the new BBQ thing he bought while we were away. And then he asked how I got that scratch on my neck.

I don't know. I don't remember getting a scratch on my neck. I go look in the mirror, and it's not a scratch, but there is about a two inch line going down my neck from just under my ear. The bruises on my legs make total sense, but I can't remember injuring my neck. Well, I don't know how that got there, but it doesn't hurt, so who cares. We go back in the living room and watch the 4400. Then I collect the mail and go back home.

It took me about an hour before it dawned on me what the red mark on my neck was. In high school I tried to keep a tube of concealer with me at all times just in case I got one of these red marks on my neck. I seemed to have a lot of them back then. But then I grew up, and while I didn't exactly stop doing that sort of thing, I was at least more careful about it.

I guess it's just been so long since I've had a hickey that I forgot what they looked like.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Change of plans

My husband did not end up getting six days off of work. He has five days off of work, so I think that's the end of the Colorado trip. I thought it was a lot of effort just to go there for two days, even if one of those days was going to be at a ren fest. But all of that effort for only one day in Denver and no ren fest? I don't think so. And he still wanted to try and go to the thing, but that would have meant that I'd have to go with him to Oklahoma and I'd be gone for two weeks, and it would have meant driving a lot more on Sunday than we had planned, and we would still have to drive so more Monday morning.

If he had really wanted to go so bad, he probably could have asked off for today and tomorrow and asked that he not work next Monday either. That would have given us three days in the Denver area and the day at the ren fest. But he didn't do that, and well, Denver isn't going anywhere. He can go to Denver another time. He can't go to the ren fest any other time this year, but maybe next year.

So now we're off to mine for diamonds and quartz in Arkansas. That's about five hours away, and we'll only use about half of the gas, and we're only planning to be gone for maybe four days. So I feel better about the whole thing now.

Earlier today we went to a thrift store and spent seven dollars on clothes that we'll wear to the mines and then probably throw away after this week. And he bought this bright orange hat. With that and the t-shirt I bought a couple of weeks ago, I could be half of a traffic cone. Anyway, he said that one of us in this hat would be easy to spot and should put it on before wandering off.

So I'm trying to think of stuff that I should do before we leave. Obviously, I should be cleaning, but I'll take any excuse to avoid that.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Monday Morons--updates

Well, last month I wrote a bit about people who steal. I'd worked at a place where a lot of toilet paper had gone missing in less than half an hour, so I knew someone must have taken it. I wondered what would have happened if they had been caught stealing the toilet paper.
Well, now someone has been caught stealing toilet paper. I still half think this one is a joke. The woman's name is Butts.

Moving on.

In case you do not remember the tale of my former friend and the violin up her a** woman, click here :

I've just heard that the former friend and the violin a** woman got married a couple of weeks ago. This was quite a surprise, since I did not even know that the divorce was final, and it takes two months to finalize a divorce here, and then you have to wait another month to marry someone else. If for some reason you wish to remarry the person you've just divorced, the month waiting period is waived.

The divorce did not go as well as we'd hoped for the woman who is still my friend. Not only is the former friend not expected to pay her anything so that she can keep the house, but if she is going to try to keep the house anyway she's been ordered to refinance the house so that she can pay him some money. I hated to ask the woman to keep repeating herself, but I wasn't clear on the amount. She either said fifteen thousand or fifty thousand. I thought at first she'd said fifteen, but that doesn't seem like a large enough amount to refinance a house over. On the other hand, I can't imagine that after all those years he isn't ordered to pay her anything, and she shouldn't owe him fifteen thousand much less fifty thousand.

No one told me when the former friend had gotten married. It just happened to come up as part of another story that I heard this weekend. The photographer who took the picture of the woman with the violin up her a** has split with his wife. And the photographer is now dating the best friend of the violin a** woman. Only the person telling me that story referred to the violin a** woman as the former friend's wife, and I was like I must be hearing that wrong. But no, the former friend got a divorce from the woman he's spent decades raising children with, got married to someone half his age, and the best friend of the new wife is now dating the photographer. The new wife and her best friend are Hungarian.

I don't think that the photographer and his wife are divorced yet. But they have definitely split and are living in separate houses. The odd thing to me is the reason for the split.

The photographer talked his wife into "swinging". I hope that I don't have to explain the term, because it's really awful. Anyway, I've known these people a while, but this bit I hadn't heard til maybe around New Year's. So I don't know how reluctant she was to try this, but it was definitely not her idea. So after a while she meets someone she really likes, and her husband doesn't like that and demands that she stop seeing him. Sorry, this was your dumb idea to start with. So the photographer and his wife are splitting up because she either met someone more attractive or someone nicer or someone better at sex or whatever, and the photographer just couldn't have that.

What? It's okay for you to go out and try to find someone better than me, but if I find someone better than you that's bad? I don't think so.

I had no idea I lived in such a soap opera.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Decisions, decisions

Okay, my husband wants to go out of town. He'd like to go way out of town, preferably to Colorado. I'm not sure that I want to go.

Colorado is one of those states we've never been to. Before all of this happened, we'd talked about going on a long trip to see some of the states that we hadn't seen yet. But this wasn't quite what I had in mind.

He really wants to go. He didn't ask for time off, but he's probably going to be off the schedule for almost a week. And the dates just happen to work out so that we could go to the Colorado Ren Fest. I would never have asked off a week to go to this event, but since he's going to be off at the right time anyway, we are thinking about it.

On the one hand, we should take advantage of this time off. But one the other hand, time off means making less money, so should we waste what we have to go on a trip?

Driving to the Denver area would be a two day drive. And then the drive home would be another two days. We expect him to have six days off. So we would only be spending two days there doing stuff, and spend four days driving to get it. It doesn't seem like a good split. Usually for that much driving I'd expect to be in the same area for at least two weeks. Also I'm a rather tired and cranky for the first day or so after such a long drive. So if we spend Wednesday and Thursday driving there and Sunday and Monday driving home, not only are those days shot but I probably won't enjoy Friday that much and I'd expect to really be exhausted the following Tuesday.

We would be traveling 1600 miles round-trip. I think that's 64 gallons of gas. So I think that's like two hundred dollars or so, just for the gas. And it seems like we spend about a hundred dollars a day traveling, and that's just for the days that we don't do anything special and we don't eat at nice restaurants. I think this would very quickly add up to a thousand dollars or more.

There's a bunch of other things to think about if we go on a trip right now. There's that damned diet. We're not actually on the diet yet, but we've eaten at a different restaurant nearly everyday to try to find something healthy that we could live with. So if we take the trip not only will the diet be on hold another two weeks or so, but we probably wouldn't even be eating the healthy stuff we've been trying to eat this week. On the road we would just stop for a burger or something, and at the Ren Rest we'd pig out on fried things and things on sticks, often fried things on sticks.

Then there is the water situation. I did not do much gardening this year, but if I left right now and it does not rain while I'm away, a bunch of the plants will die and I will feel bad about it. On the other hand, I've only invested forty dollars or so this year, which is nothing compared to the thousand dollars we might spend on the trip. But that is only if it doesn't rain. If it does rain, and it rains too much, we are still having problems with the pump outside. The pump works very quickly and gets most of the water away from the trouble spot around to the front of the house and into the street. But, the thing that is supposed to make the pump come on at the right time keeps getting tangled, and as yet has not come on by itself during the rain. It is not a lot of trouble for me to go outside and turn it on, but if I am asleep or not even here, I can't do that.

And then there is the awkward situation with my husband to consider. I do not see how we can get afford to get a divorce right now, even if he wants to do that, which he says he does not. So, either I make the best of the situation and see if I can live with it, or try to just be friendly while I figure out something else. It is difficult to do either at times, since he just won't deal with reality. Our relationship has changed, and he still doesn't seem to get it. You would think that some things would just be obvious, but he has to be told over and over again and somehow he still doesn't seem to understand. He could do things to make me feel better, but he doesn't want to. He's decided to just to do nothing and wait around for things to go back to normal, and that's never going to happen. So we could go on this trip and maybe have some fun and not deal with our problems for a few days, and that might make us feel better for a while. Or, we could go on this trip, and then he will get it into his head again that everything is "back to normal" which is usually soon followed by us having a fight. What would really be awful is if we go on this trip, waste a lot of money, get into a fight while we're still in Colorado, and then be stuck in a car together like that for the next two days during the drive home.

A new reader is fond of making lists. I used to do that quite a lot. I should make a list. I should make several lists. I should make a list of the pros and cons of going on this trip. And I should make a list of all the things on the trip that could get expensive. And I should make a list of all the ways I might save money on the trip.

And that reminds me. Welcome new reader. Stick around, leave comments, and tell us if it is art.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Monday Morons--Thanks Mom, but that's not really helping

Okay, if you've been paying intention, you know that my husband filed for divorce about a year ago and then at the end of the week decided he'd made a mistake. But that was a horrible week for me, and the month before that was hell, and the year since then hasn't been great.

I have some sort of problem with my skin. There's nothing on my skin, but whenever I get upset my skin feels terrible, sort of like a sunburn. You can't see it, but it really hurts, and sometimes it hurts so bad that I really can't do anything. But there's nothing on my skin. It's all in my head.

My husband has promised me all kinds of things to save our marriage, but he never does them. He doesn't even seem to realize that he hasn't done them. And it's a year later, and he's never even made a motion to have the case dismissed.

So he doesn't want a divorce, but he doesn't want to do anything to keep me either. I can't figure him out.

We got a notice from the court to either move forward with the divorce or drop it. I wasn't happy about it. I needed more time. But I finally decided that getting on with the divorce was probably the best thing, and I hoped that he was going to keep his word and keep paying the bills and such. With the money he said he'd pay me and the money I hoped I could make on my own, I'd just barely get by.

He didn't take the news well. I won't go into that.

A week later he's promising me stuff again, and I agreed to give him another chance. I went and asked the lawyer if we could have more time. He said he could get two more months if we went to counseling.

Of course, he did maybe one or two things that he said he would do and seems to have forgotten the rest of it. We haven't been to counseling. I did not call the lawyer back and lie and say we were in counseling. The case was supposed to be dropped last week.

In the last few months, I found out that I have all these health problems, and I needed a new car. So I wasn't going to be able to afford a divorce anyway. I was just barely going to get by on what I thought I could make myself in addition to the money my husband promised me a year ago. We did not figure in health costs or the cost of a new car.

So I thought that it was just as well that he didn't want a divorce, because now I can't afford to get one anyway. And the case was supposed to be dropped last week, but it wasn't. For some reason, my lawyer went and asked for the extra two months even though I did not call and ask him to do that, and my husband and I are not in counseling. So we are supposed to go to court and do something in August. I haven't called the lawyer. I have no idea what to say to him.

While all this is going on, my mom calls from time to time.

Have you thought about getting a job?

Of course I've thought about getting a job.

What kind of job do you want to try to get?

I don't know.

What kind of job to you think you'd like?

I don't know.

Are you going to try to get a good job?

I'm not qualified for anything I'd call a good job. No one cares that I went back to school and got that English degree. I've only had two jobs that paid enough to pay the bills, and I can't do either of them right now. And one of them was in sales, and sales is evil and I don't want to do that anymore. I'm probably going to end up with a retail job, and that's not going to pay enough.

I don't know why you want to do something like that. I don't know what you just don't look for a good job.

We have these conversations all the time. She never figures out what a good job is, or who is hiring for these good jobs, but somehow it's my fault that I just don't go out and find one. (She only had two outside jobs in her whole life, and neither one of those were "good jobs" and she quit them after a few months.) And then every once in a while she asks why I didn't go and get a retail job, because even if it isn't a good job it's better than staying home and doing nothing.

She's just constantly asking me what I'm going to do. She doesn't really have any helpful suggestions, but she'll just ask what I'm going to do. Like I'm suddenly going to remember what job I should get just because she asks me.

So I've gotten to the point where I just don't even want to talk to my mom. I haven't even gone by to show her the new car. A visit with her or a phone call from her usually means a totally wasted day. Not only have I wasted the time I spend with her, but I usually get upset and don't do anything for the rest of the day. And she knows I have this problem with my skin, and she just keeps talking even though she can see and hear me freaking out. She just makes it worse, and for some reason she keeps talking even after I get to the point where I flat out tell her to shut up.

So I still don't know what to do. And I still have this skin problem that no one has even heard of. And I really don't have anyone to talk to about it. I used to talk to my husband about everything, but he's the problem so I can't really talk to him. The next person I would talk to about things was my mom, in case I wanted to talk about "girl stuff" but I don't want to talk to her anymore either. So that's about it. The club people are nice, but they don't seem to get a lot of it. And unlike my mother and me they have jobs and can't sit around and talk anyway.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

The Invasion

Well, I guess I will write about Monday Morons a bit later. I am still trying to decide if I should write more about the divorce, or if I should write about my mom (and that also has to do with the divorce), or if I should write about my husband, or if I should write about being in bed this morning. That last thing wouldn't be anything really bad, but I am a lady, and I do not want to write any pornographic posts. I'd have to write it in a way that would be funny, without much in the way of naughty bits.

Anyway, we are having bacon for breakfast. Bacon isn't on the diet, so we have to eat all of it before the diet, see? Also, last night I went on one more all we can stuff ourselves Chinese buffet. The other time was with my husband, and last night was with the club. See?

Yesterday I found out about The Invasion. I don't know how that one got past me before. It's out in August, and I'm only finding out about it now? My husband was all like, so what? You saw how bad she (Nicole Kidman) messed up The Stepford Wives, so I don't know why you would get excited now. Well, the Stepford remake was not so great, but I don't think that any of the actors could be blamed for that. Moving on.

Anyway, I'm just about the biggest Invasion of the Body Snatchers fan there is. I've read the book and seen the three movies. This movie is said to have started out being a fourth version of the Body Snatchers story and then was changed to something else. Not sure how much has changed. If you watch the preview you'll hear mostly the same lines from the 70s version just being said by someone else. I'm wondering if maybe they got rid of the seed pods. If you know, don't tell me. I hate spoilers. Once I've heard enough to decide that I'm definitely going to watch a movie, I don't want to hear anything more about it.

Let me say it again. I HATE SPOILERS. If you tell me more about this movie than I want to know, you are taking your life in your hands. And if you are a certain suicidal hairy nurse, and you tell me something about this movie that I'd rather wait and see for myself, you are taking your balls....

Never mind, he probably does that anyway. Moving on.

Okay, if you would like a bit of trivia on the story that does not involve spoilers for the new movie, Jack Finney's first thought about the story was the dog scene. He didn't really know where he was going from there, only that an important part of the story would revolve maybe around a scene of a dog getting hit by a car. He wasn't really sure what he was going to do with it. Maybe the dog would turn out to be a robot or something.

Also Mr. Finney mistakenly sold too much of his rights away when the first movie was made. He wasn't consulted on the second movie, and I don't believe he was paid anything for the second or third movies. He did a slight rewrite of the book right about the time that the second version of the movie came out, so I hope he made some money.

Okay, if you haven't seen it yet, here's the preview. And please remember, leave comments, but DON'T LEAVE ANY DAMNED SPOILERS.

Friday, June 08, 2007

A bit of confusion

I am eating ice cream now. There is ice cream in the freezer. There is no ice cream in the diet. So I have to eat all the ice cream now, before the diet. See?

Also, the divorce seems to still be on. Or at least that is what it says in this note from my lawyer. I thought that it was going to be a note confirming that the case was dropped, or maybe a bill. This was a bit of a surprise.

I had asked my lawyer if we could get more time, and he said that he could ask for another two months or so while we got counseling. My husband agreed, but then he never did anything about it. I didn't want to lie and tell the court we were in counseling, but I wasn't ready to ask for a trial date either. So I never called the lawyer to tell him to do anything about getting us more time, and the case was supposed to be dropped.

And I really don't care for this lawyer anymore. Since he rarely gives me a straight answer, I thought I might be better off without his help. My husband didn't get a lawyer. We don't have money for lawyers. This one is only working for me because my mom paid his retainer, or whatever you call it. I thought that would have run out by now anyway.

So, now I really don't know what's going to happen.

Too bad I don't live in DC. I hear you get good legal advice if you can't afford a real lawyer in DC. And then you also get advice on pizza and hotdogs from the not real lawyer.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

June 7th will pass now

I didn't get a divorce today.

That's not so unusual, is it? I didn't get a divorce yesterday or the day before either. But I could have. I could have gotten a divorce pretty much any day since last August, but I didn't.

Today, I was either supposed to go to court and find out when the divorce would be final, or let the case be dismissed. I'm not going to court today. So far as I know, my husband isn't going to court today either. In fact, he probably doesn't even remember that today is the last day to do that.

I should say something to mark the passing of this day, but I'm not sure how I feel about it. I do not feel relieved like I thought I would. On the one hand, I feel better than I did a year ago. On the other hand, I do not have the hope that I had a year ago. I thought that we were going to have this new wonderful relationship. I thought that he would get saved and make other changes in his life and things would be better than they were before, and that it would all be worth it in the end. I didn't see why I had to go through all of that horrible stuff first, but that's what I thought was going to happen. I thought that I had gone through hell, but something good would come out of it.

Instead I have gone through hell and ended up with things being almost the same as they were to begin with. Except that I'm not head over heals in love with him anymore. And I've lost ten or fifteen pounds, and I look better than I did, but my health isn't as good. And I just don't trust him. The day to day stuff is mostly back to normal, but it just isn't the same.

Before I was happy a lot of the time and at least content most of the time. And I had the occasional bad day just like anybody else. Now I have the occasional happy day, some content days, but mostly I have days that I just get through and think are maybe not so bad. And then there have been a lot of bad days. And there have been more absolutely miserable days in the last year or so than I had in my whole adult life before this happened.

Even when I am having a good day, even when I am happy, on my best days I still do not get through a whole day without thinking about it and wondering how a person could do something like this to someone else, and why did they go through with it after they knew it wasn't going to make them happy?

So that is what my life is like at the moment, and I'm not happy about it, but I don't feel like I can do anything about it right now. Sometimes I wish that it was over and done with, but I see that I'm not really ready for that right now, and he's refused to help me financially if he's not living in this house. I should have known that he was lying about that from the beginning, but somehow it was still a shock to hear that he wasn't going to do what he promised. He has asked me where he was supposed to get the money to pay for my place and an apartment, and it's probably true that he doesn't have that much money, but he makes about 50% more money than he did when he first started all this.

Still, I have been convinced to let the matter drop, that getting a divorce right now is not the best thing for either one of us. And since then there was the drama about the car and all the medical stuff, so I guess it's good that he wasn't being reasonable about things a while back or I'd be divorced by now and have no health insurance and no car.

But now that I've gotten used to the idea again, and now that it doesn't seem so bad, now he wants to talk. For the most part I have been letting him have his way to avoid arguing. But I see no point in talking and getting myself upset when I know that he's not going to do anything to make things better. I am very suspicious now. It just seems like he was stalling so that I would miss this deadline.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Enjoying a cold one

That is, I'm enjoying a cold Coke. I don't do beer, or any other kind of alcohol, unless the alcohol has been cooked in something and doesn't really count as alcohol anymore. But I do like a cold Coke.

I'm told I shouldn't have these anymore. Damn. Cause I really like them a lot.

So we finally got the results of our annual blood work, and the cholesterol is bad, and the triglycerides are bad, etc.... So we are supposed to go on a diet.

Okay. So I get that cholesterol is something found in animal fat, so we aren't supposed to eat a lot of animal fat except for some kinds of fish, and we're not supposed to eat some other fats, and we're supposed to try to eat more of some of the good fats but really not go overboard with that either. But I get it. It's about fat.

Coca-Cola is a fat free product. Total fat--0 grams. No fat. No protein either, but no fat. Tons of sugar. 39 grams of sugar and 140 calories, but no fat.

There are no Cokes on this diet plan. I suppose I can have Diet Coke in a few spaces where it says water or other non-caloric drink, but that's not the same. I don't want to give up my Coke.

So I'm thinking if I really want to do this whole diet thing, or if I just want to watch the fat and keep drinking the Cokes, or if I want to gradually ease into this whole diet thing or what.

Except for the high blood pressure thing, my husband's numbers were all worse than mine. But I don't know if he's going to do any of this stuff or not. So far the only thing he seems interested in is switching to whole wheat bread, which he doesn't mind eating once in a while anyway. I think most weeks he has 5 hamburgers and 6 orders of french fries. I think that everyday he has either fries or potato chips, and sometimes he has both.

My husband has been rather obsessed with carrots this year. I wonder what the numbers would have been without the carrots replacing some of the potato chips?

My husband also mentioned that a major drug company did a study to find things most people had problems with that were usually not fatal. Seems like the things were blood pressure, cholesterol, and fat. Everyone has all those things, and they might be a problem. You'd better take a pill for that.

He also has a theory that a really long bike ride would solve the problem, even if he didn't eat better or take medications.

For lunch we went on one last trip to the Chinese all we can stuff ourselves buffet. I have done this a few times before. We'll see how long that lasts this time.

Other than that, I'm a bit ticked off that a test I specifically asked for was not done. Yes, I remember that we had this discussion about the test probably not being necessary at this time. But I said that I wanted it done anyway, and I told the doctor that, and she reluctantly agreed. I don't understand why a doctor would try to talk someone out of a test, much less why the test wasn't done after it was agreed on, however reluctantly. And I specifically mentioned the test again when the blood was being drawn. Apparently, it wasn't done, and the doctor remembers the discussion quite differently.

I'm a bit ticked at the doctor, and I'm a bit ticked at my husband cause he didn't back me up this morning. He knows I insisted on the test, he was there, we had discussed how I was going to have the test done this year since the other doctors talked me out of it last time. But today he just nodded when the doctor reminded us that she had said it was unnecessary at this time.

They were supposed to do an extra test for my husband, and they didn't mention that, and again he just nodded. And they must have done extra tests on me (not ones that I asked for), cause they asked for another sample that they didn't get from him. So now I'm wondering what that was for. Unless maybe they were just checking to see if I was pregnant. Not really worried about that one at the moment. Wonder if high blood pressure medicine lowers your sex drive?

Yesterday I went to vote on the board of directors thing. I ended up voting for two of the old guys. That is, I voted for two of the old guys as opposed to new guys, not old guys as opposed to young guys. And I ended up voting for the exterminator who wants a basketball court, even though I really do not want a basketball court. It was either vote for him, or vote for a lady who didn't send out flyers, or vote against both of them. That is the way the ballot is, you cross out the name of the person you don't want instead of maybe circling the name of the person you do want. So I could have just marked out both names, but I didn't. Maybe that was a mistake. I wanted a mix of old people who want to leave things alone and new people who want to improve things, but I just don't want a basketball court to be one of the improvements.

Anyway, I don't know who won the elections. There's a new website, but there's nothing on it. I had hoped that maybe the election results would be on it this morning, cause that would be a good thing to get it started with, but there's nothing there. So I don't know if the results are posted at the office, or if someone will send out more flyers, or if we are just supposed to get it from the rumor mill. I don't remember what happened last year, but I really had other things on my mind last year. I'm not even sure I voted.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

More stuff about yesterday

It rained a lot yesterday. I went outside to check on the pump that keeps the house from flooding, and everything seemed okay. Then it rained some more, and the pump didn't come on when it was supposed to, and a little bit of water came into the house. Not enough that I noticed it, but my husband saw it when he came home. My husband rushed outside before I had a chance to talk to him about it, and he was pulling the pump out of the hole to turn the thing on and then had to get the thing back in the hole without tipping it over. I've figured out not to do that. Most of the time you can reach in with a garden tool and get the thing working again.

We had to go out again for a bit to check on the thing again, but there's no damage in the house. There was just this tiny bit of water right next to the wall. I didn't even bother to do anything about it.

But while my husband was outside one of the neighbors asked if I could come outside. This woman isn't my favorite person. She wants to talk a lot and I don't think that we have much in common other than the place we both live. But we have been talking a lot lately, because of the elections. So I go outside thinking that she's going to give me an update on that situation.

Instead she's asking me if I can come to her house for a moment.

Okay, just let me get my shoes back on.

So I'm mostly still thinking that this has something to do with the elections. Maybe she got another mysterious letter and wanted to show it me. Or maybe she wants to show me something else, or maybe it has something to do with her dog.

Anyway, she's saying how embarrassed she is to bother me with this, but there's a big frog on her porch, and she's afraid of the thing.

A frog big enough to scare a grown woman? I've got to see this.

But, when we get to her place, there is no frog. And it is dark and there are big puddles of rain everywhere, so I can't go looking for this frog. That's too bad. Not that looking for frogs is a big deal to me anymore, but I did like doing that as a child and I still stop and look at them once in a while.

She wants to know what I'd do if I found the frog.

I'd take him back to my place.

What for?

He can hang out, eat mosquitoes, stuff like that.

You'd pick him up?

Sure. If I can catch him. He's not going to hurt me.

Are you sure it's okay to pick them up?

The worst that will happen is that he'll get scared and pee on me. I'm not worried about it.

Can he get in my house?

I don't think so, unless maybe you have the door propped open and he's maybe chasing a cricket.

What do I do if he comes in my house?

The dog will probably bark at him and he'll turn around and hop back out.

But he can't get in otherwise?

I don't see how.

Okay. I've got to take some things into the house. Could you hang around while I get stuff out of the car?


So I'm standing outside this woman's house just in case this giant frog leaps out at her, but I'm pretty sure he's in her backyard hiding behind the lawnmower. Then the woman is offering to give me something for helping her out.

You don't need to do that. I really did want to see this giant frog.

But she keeps taking stuff into the house, and then she gets some stuff out of the truck, and I see this big bag from Bath & Body Works. I didn't get to go to the sale yesterday, cause spent a lot of the day waiting for the A/C guy, and I didn't want to go out in the rain after that. I asked her if the store was very crowded.

It was okay. Here, this is shower gel. Do you like this one?

Sure. My sister uses this kind.

I think it smells good. I'll be right back.

She goes in the house and comes back out with two hand soaps.

Do you like these?

Sure. I like all that stuff.

You can have those.

You want to give me all this?


I don't need you to give me stuff. It's okay.

No, you keep those. We'll talk later.

Okay. Good-night.

So this lady gave me like twenty dollars worth of stuff, even if she did get it on sale and only spent seven dollars. But this seems a bit weird to me. I just thought she was going to give me a cookie or a cupcake or something. I didn't do anything. It wasn't even like running off a barking dog or anything like that. It was just a frog, and he was already gone before I got there.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Not having a wonderful day

Two nights ago I woke up in the middle of the night because it was too hot. This almost never happens to me. I don't like the cold. I like A/C and ice cream and such as much as the next person, but I need to be warm to sleep. I often have a blanket even during the summer.

So it was odd for me to wake up in the middle of the night and feel too warm. Maybe I'm just getting old. Maybe I'm having hot flashes.

Or maybe I just forgot to turn on the A/C. But I decided that I was too tired to get up and check on it. I went back to sleep.

The next morning we a lot of rain and a bit of thunder. The lights flashed off for just a moment. Not even long enough to voice a complaint about it. Just long enough to make all the digital clocks flash 12:00. Not even much of an annoyance.

A bit after that I noticed that the A/C didn't come back on. Or maybe it wasn't on to begin with. I went and flipped all the switches and such, and nothing happened.

You cannot live in Texas without an A/C. Luckily, the extended warranty on the thing is supposed to be good til the end of the month. So we called to have someone come and look at it, and he's supposed to be here between 9am and 1pm.

This was an especially bad day for a guy to come and repair something in my living room. Besides the usual mess, I had decided to get a bunch of stuff out of storage and sort through it. So I put all the stuff in the living room so I could see all of it. Except for a tiny path to the next room, every square inch of the living room floor was covered with junk. So I had to take half of the junk and put it in the dinning room and kitchen. And I also had to empty a bookcase that was blocking the electrical outlet where the A/C was plugged in. So that took most of yesterday morning and a lot of the afternoon.

Almost 2:30 before he arrived, but he did at least call and say he'd be late. And an hour later, I have a working A/C unit. Life can go back to normal, or as close to normal as it has been here for a while.

Last week was interesting due to board member elections for the place that we live being held today and tomorrow. Most of the time, it seems like people don't even care about the thing. I'm not sure that I've voted in all of the elections since I've been here. I'm pretty sure that we were out of town for at least two of them. The first time we voted, we just voted for whoever already held the position. The last few elections, a few people made flyers, so I decided to only vote for people with flyers. If your opponent left me a flyer and you didn't bother, then you might not want to bother with other things, so the guy with the flyer gets my vote.

There are six people running for three spots. Five of them sent flyers, so I know one person who shouldn't get my vote. But then there were mysterious letters accusing current board members of not doing their jobs, and then there were more flyers disputing the letters, and then there were more flyers disputing things written in those flyers.

It's too bad that the two people I am most interested in are running against each other. If I could slightly re-arrange the ballot I'd vote for some new people and some old people. But it doesn't work that way. So I am still sitting here deciding who to vote for.

Space 1 is between a guy who has been here a long time and seems to know what he's doing, and a new guy who is retired from a job that makes him sound like he knows how to get things done. I don't really know either of them very well, but I like both of them well enough. Before each annual meeting, the old guy stands in front of the mirror practicing how to say things from Robert's Rules of Order so that the meeting doesn't quite take all day. But the new guy seems like a good guy too.

Space 2 is between the lady who didn't send me a flyer and an exterminator. So this should be a no-brainer, cause I don't want to vote for the lady who didn't care enough to send out flyers. But the exterminator wants to do a lot of work to the place that would probably cause an increase in the rent. He claims that we have some money left over from the pest control bill because he did most of the work himself at cost, but I doubt that is near enough money for all the stuff that he wants to do. Some of my neighbors don't believe that he did all of that work at cost. I don't know the man at all, so I don't know what to say about that. But I don't want a basketball court or most of the other stuff he wants to build, and I certainly don't want to pay extra for it.

Space 3 is between a nice old guy who has been here forever and a new guy who goes to my church. I don't know the new guy, but my brother does. The old guy is nice, but the flyer he sent around had a lot of misspelled words and just wasn't written very well in general. The new guy wants to build storage units. I'm not sure about the storage units. On the one hand it seems like a good idea, but on the other hand I would think that we'd have not only the cost of building the things but also added insurance and legal fees, and we'd have to raise the rent to do it.

The neighbors I am most friendly with did not bother to go to the annual meeting last time. Some of them haven't been to a meeting since I moved in. I don't know if I should ask someone's opinion when they don't even go to the annual meeting.

My brother has already voted this morning for all of the new people. But my brother and I totally disagree on what around here should be fixed and what is worth raising the rent for, etc....

I heard that the new guy trying to get elected to space 1 is pacing out in front of the office, trying to get people to talk to him one last time before they vote.

Well, I was thinking that I should just walk over there and get it over with. But it is raining now, so I guess it will wait til tomorrow.

Monday Morons--Get your own damned email account

My club has a website and a list serve and all that stuff. I don't care about the technical stuff. I don't know how a thing works, and I don't care how a thing works, just as long as it keeps working. So we have this email thing, and if we find something interesting we can email everyone in the group who has requested the service. For some reason, the person sending the original email ends up getting two copies of the email. I don't know why that happens or care why that happens, I have just noticed that it does happen.

Anyway, as I have mentioned recently, some friends of mine are going to help out at the Dallas Symphony this week, so there has been a lot of emails on the list serve. So usually when I check my email, there's something new about it. And there was an email from a J*** B*********. I don't know a J*** B********, and I don't think I've ever heard of a J*** B********, but that's okay. I don't know every single person on the list serve. Some people on the list serve joined the club and then moved away before I was I member, but they keep in touch with other members. Or sometimes there's a new person I haven't met. Or sometimes someone who isn't in our little group puts something on the list serve about an upcoming event.

The message from J*** B******** is a reply to an earlier email about the Star Trek Dallas Symphony thing, and I've been trying to keep up with it even if I'm not really planning to go. So I open the email, and it says "Please remove me from your list serve." So that was kind of funny. You would think that he wouldn't be on the list serve in the first place if he didn't want to be. And you'd think that he'd know who to contact about getting removed from the list if he changed his mind and didn't want it anymore. But instead there's just this message to the group at large that says "Please remove me from your list serve."

Anyway, I'm looking at the address that the guy is using. J***B@ (company name).com. Now, for about fifteen years, a certain J*** B***** has been a member of our little group. They have the same first name, and different last names that begin with the same letter. And our J*** B***** used to work for the same company, but he had to give that up two years ago due to some health problems. But I'm pretty sure that J*** B@ (company name).com was his email, and he's the one who put it on the list serve.

I've never heard of this happening before with an email, but I'm certain that it happens all the time with phone numbers. After you haven't been using the number for a while, the phone company gives the number to a new customer. And you occasionally get phone calls from people looking for the person who used to have the number before you. It happens once in a while, and you're stuck with it.

But for the most part, we don't choose our phone numbers. For the most part, we do make up our own email addresses. He should probably drop this one and maybe try J B********@ (company name).com. He must be getting tons of stuff meant for J*** B*****, and most of it is not as nice as our emails about the Dallas Symphony.

In the mean time he keeps sending the message "Please remove me from your list serve" in reply to every email any of us sends out. So then he's getting two copies of his message in addition to the original message he replied to. We all got a message reminding us that we can't be removed from the list serve that way.

I just felt like sending him a message that if he didn't want to be on the list serve he shouldn't be using someone else's email address. I guess I'm not in a good mood.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Notice to shoppers

Let's see. Dollar Tree now has a frozen food section, and they're selling Kemp's Cookies and Scream ice cream. It's like Cookies and Cream ice cream, except that it's made with the orange and black Oreos for Halloween. So, if you missed Halloween in April and would like to try Halloween in June, go to Dollar Tree and buy some Kemp's Cookies and Scream ice cream. Or, if you're going to have guests who are color-blind, you could give some to them.

Also at Dollar Tree are color T-shirts, boys size large 14-16. A lot of them are safety orange color. So if you have a kid that you want to look like a traffic cone this summer, you should go grab a few.

But really what I wanted to do was remind everyone that Bath & Body Works Semi-Annual Sale starts next week. Now, if you live under a rock and don't know what Bath & Body Works is, it's this place that sells soap and hand lotion and that sort of thing. Most of the stuff smells really awesome. So you try some orange peel scented lotion, and then spearmint/eucalyptus one, and the a strawberry-banana one, and if it's October there is a pumpkin pie flavor, and when Christmas is coming there is an evergreen scented thing. In a very short time both of your arms are covered with little dots of various scented lotions, and you end up smelling like a fruit salad spilled on a Christmas tree.

I'm just not into the whole shopping thing the way that I once was. But I do like Bath & Body Works. They have these home fragrance plug-in things called Wallflowers. I like those. The really funny thing is if you buy that or something else from Bath & Body Works it's a cool thing and you can get it for someone as a gift, and that's nice. But if you buy a similar product somewhere else, like maybe a Glade product, then it's an insult.

The sale starts Monday or Tuesday. You should go and buy a bunch of stuff when it's on sale. You could get some of your Christmas shopping done early. And you can buy extra stuff, just in case you forgot someone. And then you can buy some more stuff for yourself. And they will probably give you a coupon at check-out, so if whatever you really wanted wasn't on sale this week, you can come by after the sale and buy more stuff with the coupon. See?