Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sorry that I haven't been around

Some of you may have noticed that I didn't post for a couple of days. It's nothing serious. I've been out of town.

As you may recall, my week started with our trip to Oklahoma City being cancelled. I was looking forward to that trip. Hot tub, cable TV, someone else making breakfast, etc.... And rare Saturday off to do tourist stuff. But it was canceled, and it wasn't replaced with anything around here, so no money coming in either.

Sunday we got a call, and I was wondering what out of district place we would be going to for the week. No such luck. It was just the one day shoot for Monday, and it was something nearby. Something that didn't make a lot of money. But, some money was better than no money, so he agreed.

Tuesday and Wednesday we should have done housework or something useful, but we didn't. He spent most of the time blogging. And while I have been complaining most of the summer that it was too hot to do anything, the temperature went down just a bit, so I had to find another excuse for not doing housework. I borrowed the entire two year set of Space 1999 from my brother. Now, I won't say that Space 1999 is the worst sci-fi show that I have ever seen, but I do wonder if maybe it is the worst sci-fi series that I've even seen that was renewed for a second season.

We watched the end of the British version of Life on Mars, started watching the sequel, and watched the first episode of the American version. I thought a bit about the work that I should be doing, but except for cooking and washing dishes, I didn't actually do much of it. I feel asleep a bit earlier than I planned Wednesday night, watching an episode of Space 1999 that had Peter Bowles in it.

If I think that I should leave my husband a note about something, I put it in front of the computer. So Wednesday night he thought that he should do the same for me, so that I would see it first thing Thursday morning. Only he didn't use a new sheet of paper, but this paper that has been sitting here for weeks that we have scribbled phone numbers and little math problems and such. Somewhere amongst all of that, he writes something about going to Shreveport and needing to be up by 8am. I got up about six, but wasn't totally awake when I turned on the computer, and I didn't notice the message at all.

An hour later, my husband wanders in. This is still a bit early for him to get up. Silly me, I thought he was wanting to be friendly. But when I went to ask what he had in mind, he asks if I wanted to go to Shreveport. Still not quite awake, it takes a few minutes for me to get that he's really asking if I want to go to Shreveport, and if I do I need to get on with it cause he's leaving in an hour.

I didn't really have to do anything except take a bath and start putting stuff in the car. Since I'd thought that we would be going to Oklahoma City for the week, I already had my knitting and such together. An hour later we were headed out of the state.

I'm rarely ever hungry that early in the morning, but I guess just the rushing around like that is a bit of work, and we soon had to stop at a McDonald's.

Shreveport isn't that far away, but if we had known that we were going we would have left the day before. Another photographer had to cancel the last two days of his schedule because his house was broken into. That sort of thing aways sucks, but it sucks worse when you're out of town and then have to go home and lose two day's pay over it.

We were making good time, and I was thinking how that the trip wasn't that bad. I was thinking that until about the last ten minutes, and then I started to feel a bit sick. Still, I was glad to get to the motel and get into our room and such. I had forgotten to pack the pillows, which is bad and meant I would have a bit of a sore neck for a few days. And we didn't get a micro-fridge, but for two days I guess we can do without it.

And then it turned out that we were lucky to get a room in our budget at all, because Gustav was coming, and everyone from New Orleans wanted to go to Shreveport for the weekend, and some of them were already there.

We grabbed a Subway sandwich for lunch, which I didn't really feel like eating, but without the micro-fridge I was pretty much stuck with that for lunch and dinner both. Then he left for work, and I set up the knitting machine in the little space between the two beds. The cable wasn't great. There was no Sci-Fi Channel and most of the other stuff that I'd normally half watch while knitting. What I really wanted to do was go for a swim, but I didn't because either no one was in the pool, or this lonely guy was in the pool. What I needed was a family with kids in the pool, and they showed up later, but right after I noticed them it started to rain. No swimming for me.

The knitting was slow. I got little pieces done. With all the ribbing, my planned project is taking a long time. So I got two little pieces done when I'd hoped to get at least four pieces done and move on to the next stage. At this rate it would take a whole month of serious work, so I think that it will have to wait til next year. I was planning a Vampira/Morticia dress for the Halloween party. Good thing that I have a backup plan.

Friday we had fish and oysters for lunch. We should have gone to a casino and a local petting zoo, but we decided that could wait til Saturday morning. He went to work, and I finished up what little bit of knitting I got done and read for a bit. Again, no swimming, as I did not want to be in the pool either by myself or with lonely talk too much guy. I especially did not want to be in the pool with lonely guy after I heard someone else tell him that it was Friday and he might get lucky tonight.

Saturday I got up before he did and I tried to pack a lot of the van myself, except for the knitting machine and photo equipment. That left us time to spend ten dollars at a casino before we went to the little alligator farm/petting zoo. No, you don't pet the alligators. But they did have some baby camels. Anyway, right when we got there, we saw a bit of excitement in the pool where they keep the smaller alligators. Alligators usually don't do much except soak in the sun, but one of them started a fight. The larger alligators were interesting too, as they kept sneaking around under the duckweed. They were going to get fed in about an hour, but we decided not to wait. We headed home.

While the ride there had been a pleasant enough trip, the ride home wasn't as pleasant. Our short time at the gator place had left us a bit hot and sticky, and while the van's AC did not leave us hot, it didn't do much about the being sticky part. We should have gone to the gator place Friday morning and then gone back to the room for a bath, but we didn't do that cause we didn't know if it would just take an hour or if it was an all day thing or what.

On the way home we stopped for lunch at Bodacious BBQ outside of Tyler. What I really wanted was the Diary Palace in Canton, but we decided that a.) we were hungry and couldn't wait that long, and b.) it was First Monday and we needed to stay clear of Canton. So that was my first trip to Bodacious BBQ, and it will probably be my last. For the price, I wasn't impressed with it, and we had to wait too long. Traditionally, waiting is not something that you do at a BBQ place. Sure, if it is a popular place and you go to lunch you have to wait in line, but usually you get your food right after you wait in line. You don't wait in line and then get a number and wait some more. It isn't like they have to cook something special for you at a BBQ place like they would have to do at say a steakhouse. It's BBQ, and it was cooked yesterday, so all they should have to do when you order it is cut it up for you. So that's what usually happens at a traditional BBQ place, you wait in line, you place an order, someone cuts something and maybe weighs it, you walk past other things like potato salad and pie, and then you take everything to the cashier and pay for it, and then you find a table and eat it. You usually don't wait for your food unless you're at a place with waiters who take your order, and it still doesn't take too long, cause the food is already made. But here you stand in line, place an order, pay, get a receipt, and wait for them to call your name or number or whatever. Why? What were they doing back there? We could have drove on to Canton by now.

Okay, maybe it did not take long enough to drive to Canton, but it did take too long. And it was more than ten dollars for a plate, more than five for just a sandwich, and two dollars each for sodas. We didn't get much for our twenty dollars plus tax. And no hot rolls like at Spring Creek.

So we are back home now. I have already wasted another four hours of my life watching more Space 1999, but I'm afraid that I was too tired to do anything else. Next week things will probably go back to normal, but we still won't have money for a while. This sucks.

Also, one or two of you may have noticed a problem with my regular email. Apparently, I am over my band-width limit. What the hell is a band-width limit? Whatever the problem is, apparently it is something that is dealt with on a monthly basis, so tomorrow it will be a new month and everything should be okay. But for today I can only use the hotmail account, assuming that it still works. Sorry about that.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Sad news, even if not so sad for me personally

I just got up this morning and I haven't done much yet except check my email and such. I got several messages that a certain person had died. I can't say that I knew this person, and I can't even say that I remember this person's name.

But I did met him about fifteen years ago, and I did know who they were talking about. He was a guy that went to all the conventions carrying around a stuffed bear with a champagne glass. The guy never had a name badge, because all the badges had the bear's name on them. The bear became somewhat famous in the area and was asked to judge costume contests and such.

Anyway, this guy has died, and I want to asked perhaps inappropriate question -- are they going to bury the bear with him?

Someday I'm going to die, and maybe people will get up and find messages that I have died, and if the name doesn't ring a bell you might remember someone who used to wear a certain costume.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Christmas is canceled

Or, at least, most of my family's Christmas is canceled. I think we decided that last time most of us were together. Actually, it was just the two of us and my mom and my brother, but that's four of the six people who count (and one of the four being my husband who did little to participate anyway except for handing me the money to buy some presents, and then unwrapping those that were handed to him).

Still, three of us did decide that this year will be the year that we don't make a big deal about Christmas gift giving, and I doubt that the other two will argue about it. We kept saying that at some point we were going to change our tradition, and we didn't quite know when we should do that, but it should happen before anyone moved out of state and/or had children. And then someone would bring it up sometime in November, and by that time it is too late, as I do most of my shopping throughout the year, and my brother tends to do most of his shopping all in one day in either November or first week of December. Really, if you want to have an agreement with me concerning Christmas, your best bet is to talk to me by the previous February. But this year the subject came up in July, and the idea didn't seem to bother anyone, so this year is the year that we're going to change things.

Change things to what, we don't know yet. But none of us will be heading to the mall with this list of a bunch of stuff that we have to get for everyone in the family. Maybe we won't exchange any presents at all, or maybe we'll draw names so that we only buy one present each, or maybe we'll give each other little things like homemade soaps or cookies.

So that's about half or a third of the stuff I usually have to do for Christmas canceled. I'm wondering if I shouldn't also cancel most of the rest of it.

When you're a kid you really look forward to Christmas. People give you toys and stuff. There are pretty lights and decorations and candy and special food that you mostly have around the holidays. And you try to get things for other people too, but it's not like you have a job or anything, so you don't give much. Or, at least, you don't give much that costs money if you have to come up with the money yourself. Your gift giving might include cards that you drew with crayons, or cookies that you helped mom make, or candy that you saved your allowance to buy.

As I got older and had more money and got better at the craft stuff, I got to where I enjoyed the giving nearly as much as the getting. And then I got older still, and I got a job, and I could go to the mall and buy regular gifts for the people on my list. At some point after I was an adult, I could buy anything that I just really wanted for myself, and I liked the giving part of Christmas maybe more than I like the getting part. I liked picking out gifts for the rest of my family and imagining how much they would like whatever I got for them.

And then we got older and moved away from home. Not that we moved far away, but we didn't all live in the same house together. We didn't see each other everyday. I moved out of the house nearly twenty years ago.

I don't have a clue what to get these people.

I know a lot about what stuff my brother would want, but I have trouble with the others. But it's hard to buy for my brother too. While I might go to the store and be convinced that my brother would just have to have the new longer version special edition director's cut edition DVD of Lord of the Rings, he's probably already got it. We're all adults now, and except for me we all have jobs now, so if we want something we go and buy it.

So now that everyone has already bought whatever it is that they really want, what is everyone else supposed to get them for Christmas?

Mom gives up on the whole thing and gives us money. The money is very welcome since a.) we have probably just spent a lot of money on Christmas, and b.) my husband usually gets laid off for a week or two right about then and we have less money coming in. Then everyone is asking everyone else what they want for Christmas, and then we have to confer with all the other people to make sure that whatever we've decided to get someone wasn't already purchased by someone else, etc.... My brother usually gets me some DVDs, and I usually get him a certificate and a picture of some DVDs that I would have bought him if I were absolutely sure he didn't already have them. One year everyone got a scarf, except for my mom, who got an IOU for a scarf but never actually got a scarf because she refuses to pick a yarn. I think last year I mostly gave out gift certificates, and I mostly asked for and received gift certificates.

This year, we are going to skip it. We are going to make time to do something together, but we are not going to spend a lot of time trying to figure out what everyone else wants for Christmas. That should work out better for everybody.

Still, Christmas is one of those things that I look forward to all year. And now that I'm not exchanging gifts with half the people on my list, Christmas might seem a bit dull. I think it is best that I not spend money unnecessarily, and I should be doing other things with my time, but I do wonder if I'll have some extra seasonal depression or something if I don't have the distraction of Christmas gift giving.

There are four other people that I exchange gifts with every year, plus a couple of people that I get smaller things for, just in case, and cause I don't want them to feel left out. And then I get a couple of things for group gift exchanges, but those aren't quite the same as I have no idea who will actually end up getting those gifts. And then if I have time and money left, there's a charity thing that I try to participate in.

Of these four other people that I exchange gifts with, I wanted us all to have handmade matching scarves. I didn't have time to do five that year (especially since that year I also knitted a few things for my family), so I've been knitting one each year since then, and now there's only one person left without a scarf. So I'm wondering if maybe I should also see about canceling the gift exchange bit with them too. But I don't want to do it this year because I want that fourth friend to get his scarf, and I don't want to just give him a scarf and not get the others anything.

I don't really want to cancel everything I do for Christmas, cause that would just really be boring. But I do want to get to a point where my life isn't so much about material things, and I'd rather not do things where I'm just expected to spend money. Last year I would go out with my friends at least twice a month, which was almost always at a restaurant. I should not be going to a lot of restaurants because a.) I should be on a diet, and b.) I shouldn't spend the money. Even if I buy something totally reasonable, I spend at least ten dollars every time we go out, and then sometimes there's other stuff to go to, or movies to see. I don't like going to watch movies with the group. It is usually a movie that I've already seen, or else a movie I had little interest in to begin with, and they don't go before 6pm and they don't go to my cheap theater.

I know that all this going out with my friends only adds up to about three hundred dollars a year, and my husband probably spends that much in a month, but I still think that at some point I'm going to have to get serious about the money problems and the eating out will have to stop, and most of the hanging out with my friends will probably have to stop to.

But maybe not this year.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Yesterday didn't suck too bad

We started the day off with the usual watching Sunday Morning, while eating apple pie for breakfast. I don't remember anything special about the show yesterday, as most of what I liked was a rerun. After that we watched an episode of the British show, Life on Mars. After a bit of an argument about him spending too much time on the computer, we went to lunch at what was for a long time our place.

One of the reasons that this used to be our place was that it almost almost had buy one get one free coupons. So we found a coupon that was buy one get one for $2 and decided that was close enough. He had wanted to go someplace else, but the place he wanted to go didn't have food quite as good, was an all you can eat buffet (which I am trying to avoid), and in my opinion it costs too much and you don't even get to take home leftovers because it is a buffet.

So after stopping somewhere to get the paper so we'll have a coupon, we head to Campo Verde. On the way there we pass a Vietnamese place, and my husband says something about getting sandwiches there.

You must be really hungry if you want to stop for sandwiches on the way to a Mexican restaurant. Though I can totally be talked into the sandwiches instead of the restaurant since that would be a lot cheaper.

No, I meant on the way back, for later.

That's fine.

The bill came to about twenty dollars, which is almost twice what we used to pay back when this was our place. The prices have gone up, the sodas are way too much (but you have to buy two or you can't use the coupon) and the coupon is now for a $2 dinner instead a free one, so I guess it adds up. My husband rarely notices such things, and I'm sure he gets overcharged for stuff all the time when I'm not around. But this time he asked me if that was right, and I'm pretty sure that it was. So we spent almost $25 with the tip, and I feel a bit bad that I talked him out of the place he first wanted to go which would probably have been about $20. But at least it wasn't a buffet, and we have leftovers. Besides, we like the place, and we hadn't been in a while.

After that was a not very productive visit to Half-Price Books, and then we went to Thrift Town and Goodwill. Despite my recent wish that my life were not so much about things and accumulating even more things, I managed to come home with two costumes. The bad thing is that one of them is too small and will never fit me. But it was only four dollars, and I would like to try to make another one like it, so it seemed best to go ahead and get it. I only spent $4 on it, and after I'm finished looking at how it was made, I'm sure that I must know someone else who would like to have it. The other costume is sort of a back-up costume, so I'll have a simple witch outfit if I don't have the time or energy to do something else. It's a black dress with silver moons and stars and the top, and it does fit despite my recent weight gain. I already have a black cape, and I have hats (though I'm thinking that I might make another one for the occasion), and I think that I have spiderweb nylons. A corset would be nice, but not totally necessary, so I'll be on the lookout for that and as always, shoes.

Then it was home to watch more Life on Mars. We're nearly to the end of that. And then we watched Eureka and Stargate Atlantis with my brother.

At some point we got a call from his boss, and I thought it was going to be something interesting, like maybe a trip to Florida. But no, just one day of work Monday around here and then back to having no work for a week or two.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

This week is probably going to suck

My husband is back home. Maybe I shouldn't have typed that first thing after I've said that this week is probably going to suck. But that isn't the point. The point is that he was supposed to come home and then we were supposed to be on our way to Oklahoma City now.

You may have noticed that I'm sitting here typing instead.

So the schedule was supposed to be a week in Oklahoma City, with the rare Monday through Friday schedule instead of the usual Tuesday through Saturday. We were supposed to be doing tourist stuff Saturday. We were supposed to spend the week at a nice place with a pool and a hot tub, where someone else takes care of breakfast and I don't have to wash dishes. Cable TV and knitting and no chores and the occasional morning out doing something that we don't normally do, or maybe a restaurant we don't usually go to, or maybe a pie from Marie Calendars, etc....

But no, there's none of that. The trip has been cancelled, and so far, it hasn't be replaced with anything. So none of that cool stuff, and no money either. A week at home when we shouldn't even spend any money because we've got just a bit now, but there won't be much coming in later.

So either we will sit here for a week and mostly do nothing, or he will get a last minute call to go someplace. So we will pack our bags and such anyway, just in case, but right now it doesn't look good.

So I will probably not be blogging much this week, either because my husband will be using the computer himself all the damned time, or, if we're very lucky, because we get a last minute call to go to another district and spend the week in Arkansas or Kansas or whatever.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Finding a new spouse

I used to be friends with a certain person we will call Mr. Cigarette. Mr. Cigarette was married, and they had a little girl J. When a bunch of us would go somewhere, J would usually go with us, but not Mrs. Cigarette. I really didn't get to know Mrs. Cigarette. She just wasn't around us except maybe once or twice. I don't think she was unfriendly, just that she didn't have the energy to go out much, and when she did she probably had better things to do. She had some illness and was on dialysis. Even we she felt good she couldn't take any long trips or anything, cause she had to be near home in time for the dialysis.

Mrs. Cigarette died. I didn't know that things had gotten that bad for her, but eventually she needed a transplant and didn't get one. It was a bit of a surprise for me, but not for her family. I didn't see Mr. Cigarette for a couple of weeks, but after that he seemed mostly himself and not that upset. J didn't even seem that upset when I saw her later. I think that they must have lived a long time with the idea that Mrs. Cigarette was going to die and gotten past most of their grieving before it actually happened.

I was out of town and missed the funeral. A bit after that Mr. Cigarette got some insurance money and bought a new car and some other stuff. He went through his wife's things and got rid of a lot of it, and he boxed up a lot of his own stuff because he thought he might move soon.

I never really know what to say to people after there's been a death in the family. But I wanted to say something. He kept insisting that he was okay.

At some point he said that everything was fine, and that Christmas was coming and that he and J would be okay, but he was really not looking forward to the months after that. I didn't know what he meant.

Apparently he expected everyone he knew to start trying to find dates for him, and he wasn't really looking forward to dating.

So just tell them no thank you, you're not ready or whatever.

But he didn't want to do that. He wanted to get on with it. He had been single before, and he did not like it. He said that he wanted to meet someone else and get married again soon. He hoped to have met the next Mrs. Cigarette and be in a serious relationship before next year's Christmas cards were sent out.

I was shocked. I couldn't believe he was serious.

He started dating again. Once in a while we would meet someone that he was dating. The women looked attractive enough, but I didn't like most of the ones I met. I thought that one of them looked at me funny, like--this is my man, go away. First of all, at the time I thought I had happily married stamped on my forehead, and was not doing anything that would make anyone think that I was after Mr. Cigarette. Second, Mr. Cigarette had made it plain enough that he liked me and found me attractive, so I'm sure that if I was not married or had given him any hope of thinking I'd ever me interested in him that way, it would not have been much of a contest. And for another thing, since I didn't find Mr. Cigarette attractive that way, I wondered why any attractive woman would be all over him like that. It made me wonder what was wrong with her, if she was a pretty package that contained nothing.

An attractive bitch is still a bitch.

I found the whole thing a bit creepy. J had just lost her mother, and her dad was in a hurry to marry someone else who was a complete stranger and possibly quite full of herself and clueless about being a parent or even a wife. One of these women was supposed to be J's step-mom?

When Mr. Cigarette was not with a date, he would complain to me about how tired he was from all the dating. He said that he wasn't having a lot of fun most of the time. He didn't have time to do the stuff that he wanted to do. While I would not like for my husband to die, I had given the matter some thought and was pretty sure what I would do if that happened. If I ever was again in a situation where I would be dating again, I would think that it would have to be romantic or at least a lot of fun or I wouldn't be doing it.

So stop dating.

Only he couldn't do that, cause he had to find the woman he was going to marry. Dating was a necessary evil one must go through as part of finding that person.

I saw less and less of J and Mr. Cigarette. All that dating left him little time for the things that we used to do. I didn't know who he was dating or if it was going well or what.

And then he said he was going to miss something, because he was going out of state for his honeymoon.

Okay. See you when you get back.

And then a month or two later, I met the new Mrs. Cigarette. She did not always speak pleasantly, though she was pleasant enough when talking to me. She was short and round, and didn't resemble anything that I would call pretty. She constantly seemed to be on Mr. Cigarette's back about stuff, reminding that he had to do this and that, and that if they didn't get such and such done that they would be late for something else, and don't forget to go to the store, etc....

She was perfect.

Or, at least, she was perfect for Mr Cigarette and J. New Mrs. Cigarette looked very tough, but she must have been really easy to get along with. She is not into the whole fandom thing, but for their honeymoon she went with Mr. Cigarette to a convention. She also smoked, though probably not as much as Mr. Cigarette. I really disapprove of smoking (though not as much as I disapprove of alcohol), but if you're going to smoke you should at least marry someone else who smokes so that you don't have arguments about it.

New Mrs. Cigarette also had a daughter, who was a couple of years older than J. But J was a bit tall for her age, and the other little girl was a bit small for her age, so that they ended up being about the same size and were able to share clothes. The two girls appeared to be best buddies.

They all seemed to mesh together quite well. They were a smaller version of the Brady Bunch, only with cigarettes and without a maid.

A bit after this, I had to go out of town a lot and did not see as much of them as I would have liked. Our little group was drifting apart anyway. I joined a different group, and he joined the same group, but after a while he declined to do anything with us. Instead of just doing what he wanted to do, he was trying to spend an equal amount of time doing what she wanted to do. And the stuff that you have to do when you have a child like go shopping for clothes, and arranging for piano lessons, and going to soccer games, and helping out with homework had now doubled now that he had a stepdaughter. That left him less than half the free time that he used to have.

I hung out with the new group as often as I could, but Mr. Cigarette seemed to drift away from that group too. I didn't see him anymore, except for the occasional party those first couple of years. After that I didn't see him at all except at someone's funeral.

I wonder if they all stayed as happy as they seemed when I knew them.

In any case, I think that I was too judgmental of his desire to get right back into dating after his wife's death. His family was incomplete, and he needed to go out and find the missing piece, or in this case, the missing pieces. And I do very much see that if I should be in a situation where I would be dating again, that dating might seem like a necessary evil one most go through in order to find a new spouse. If finding that special someone is a priority, then you might have to put some actual work into it, and not just date once in a while when it is fun.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

400th Post--Do I need a gun?

I watch this show called Sunday Morning. You learn odd things on Sunday Morning, like why on Space: Above and Beyond the answer to the password *Bulldog* is the name *Chesty.* Watching Sunday Morning is the one adult thing I try to do every week. The rest of the time I'd happily watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer or something like that. It's been a while since I've even watched Nova on a regular basis.

So one of the stories a while back was that it is supposed to be legal for everyone in all fifty states to be able to own a gun, because the second amendment says so, etc.... Now there's going to be a few lawsuits here and there and we'll see what happens.

Someone who writes a blog (someone that I don't link to) wrote a post about it, wondering if it was a good idea for everyone to have a gun. And as part of what he wrote, he mentioned my dad as an example of a good law abiding citizen who thought it was a good idea for everyone to have a gun, even though he didn't actually own a gun himself. I know that at least one of my readers reads this other blog, so I thought I'd write something about it myself.

For one thing, the person writing the other blog post was wrong. My dad did own a gun. I don't know if he kept it or if my mom has it now or what happened to it. I never saw the gun, I can't imagine that my mom was very happy about it, but I do know that he had a gun at least for a little while. He told me many years later that he went out and bought a gun for self protection, after my uncle threatened to murder us all in our beds or some such thing.

I don't doubt that there are such people out there, who think that in principle having that everyone having a gun would be a great idea, even if they don't actually own guns themselves, but my dad just isn't the greatest example since he did have a gun.

Anyway, my dad did like Heinlein and did think that a well armed society was a polite society and all of that. And he did think that just sometimes a person needed a gun, that there were times when a person was in danger and that there was always someone bigger than you or more skilled at martial arts or knife throwing or whatever, but a gun would work on whoever was after you regardless of size or skill or whatever.

I do like that scene in Predator 2, when this no good punk threatens to kill someone on the subway, and every other person in the car pulls out a gun, including some little old ladies. I'm not sure that I would think it was cool in real life, but it was a funny bit on film. I think in real life the no good punks would still be able to get to their guns before the little old ladies.

Anyway, people are supposed to have the right to own a gun now, because someone wrote that on a piece of paper more than two hundred years ago. Two hundred years ago was a lot different than now. Two hundred years ago, we needed guns to fight the British and the Indians, to defend ourselves against wolves and bears, to shoot hen-stealing foxes, and to kill squirels and rabbits for dinner. Some years after the second amendment was written, Americans needed guns to exterminate the buffalo, to fight more Indians, to fight each other, to defend ourselves against wolves and bears, to shoot hen-stealing foxes, and to kill squirels and rabbits for dinner. Two hundred years later, we're not fighting the British or the Indians, the majority of people we are fighting aren't here, there aren't that many of us needing to defend ourselves against wolves and bears on a regular basis, even if you do have problems with hen-stealing foxes you might have better luck with traps than with guns, and very few people go out and kill squirels and rabbits for dinner.

And if you are trying to exterminate anything other than fire ants, I will shoot you.

There are still things that need to be shot -- kidnappers, pedifiles, rapists, homewrecking-sluts, cheating spouses, Enron executives, etc.... Problem is that by the time you know who to shoot, it's probably too late. You can still shoot them afterwards, but not in self-defense. Still, just in case the kidnapper or rapist comes to your house, you might feel better if you had a gun. And while you may not have hen-stealing foxes to deal with, you might want to shoot someone trying to steal your big-screen TV or your grandmother's pearl necklace.

While I'm all for shooting people who try to steal TVs and jewelry, I more often hear of people accidently shooting family members by mistake. Or a kid gets the gun and shoots accidently shoots himself or a friend, or he takes the gun to school and gets expelled or maybe actually shoots a classmate.

Of course, if you do get to use the gun for its intended purpose and shoot someone trying to steal your TV or your jewelry, and he doesn't die right away, he'll sue you.

So owning a gun isn't the simple choice that it was when the second amendment was written. And that's without getting into stuff like there didn't used to be machine guns and armor piercing bullets and idiot kids in gangs, etc... We just have problems with guns that people just couldn't imagine back then.

Maybe they did have some of our problems, but I just can't picture it. I can't picture teenagers getting shot two hundred years ago by parents who thought they were burglers. I can't imagine little kids in the old west accidentally shooting themselves by playing with real guns. I can't picture too many kids taking guns into Laura Ingalls' classroom and shooting classmates. Not that it couldn't have happened once in a while, but I doubt it was the norm.

I would like to hear a little bit more about why a person needs a gun, instead of a person has a right to have a gun because someone wrote it on a piece of paper two hundred years ago. The Bill of Rights was not written in stone, and it was meant to be added to and changed occasionally. So it might actually be time to change that amendment or even throw it out completely. But instead we are trying to figure out how to write laws that fit in with this idea that everyone who wants a gun should be able to have one, unless he can't afford to buy one or he admits to being a mental patient.

According to one study, one in nine college men had forced someone to have sex, had sex with someone who had said no, or had sex with someone who was drunk or unconscious or otherwise incapable of consenting to have sex. In the study, more than half of these men seemed to be too stupid to know that they had raped someone. Another study found that it was only 1 in 12 men who forced someone to have sex, but 88% of them were to stupid to figure out that they'd raped someone. The studies were on college men, and in theory, the numbers for people not in college would be similar if not higher. So that's a lot of rapists out there, but I rarely hear that women should be carrying guns because the odds are that they'll eventually have to deal with one, just that everyone should be allowed to have guns because the second amendment says so.

Unfortunately, the majority of rape victims were not attacked by strangers, and having a gun probably wouldn't have helped them. I've only ever heard of one woman shooting a man that was going to rape her. I hear about sexual assault a lot, but only this one lucky woman who shot the bastard. There are probably others that I didn't hear about, and probably there are a lot of guys who didn't need to be shot, just threatened, or maybe a couple of guys that were shot at but got away. But still, here is a legitimate reason that someone might need a gun, but hardly anyone mentions it (except maybe a few of the women when they go to buy the guns), and everybody talks about their second amendment right to own a gun even if they don't need it.

Do you think that the founding fathers wrote all this stuff so that two hundred years later you'd have the right to walk around town with a gun, to own a collection of guns, or to go out in your backyard and pretend to be Clint Eastwood, Sylvester Stallone, or Arnold Swarchenegger? They wrote all this stuff to deal with the way life was two hundred years ago, and maybe the way that they guessed life might be later, and two hundred years ago almost all of them needed guns. They needed guns, cause they had to kill something on a regular basis. Except for fishing and the occasional hunting trip, most of us law abiding citizens don't kill anything except mice and roaches. Most of us just don't need guns. I need something (an actual working phaser would be nice), but I probably should not buy a gun.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Remembering being sick before

I don't feel well, again. I pretty much feel like I did last Wednesday. Just a bit sick, but nothing that actually qualifies as illness. Nothing like throwing up and having mysterious pains that require a visit to the doctor, just not getting enough sleep at night, queasy stomach, and that sort of thing. Probably the same thing again, and probably psychosomatic.

Great. I'm psycho. But you already knew that, didn't you?

My husband is going to go out of town soon, and I want to make a special effort to be nice to him before he goes. It's like I feel a fight coming on, but I really don't want to have one right now. I think that right before a person goes out of town is a terrible time to have a fight. I don't suppose that there are really good times to have fights, but if you have a fight before a person is going away for a week, then you don't have an opportunity to kiss and make up or whatever. Or maybe the person will die in a horrible car wreck while he is away, and the last thing that you have to remember is that you had a fight before he left. Stuff like that just makes this the worst time to have a fight.

So I think that if I'm really nice and/or keep my mouth shut for just a bit longer, he'll be leaving for a while, and then we can't have a fight for at least the time that he's away. And maybe if he's away for a bit, I'll feel better for a while and then there just won't be any fight.

So that's what I'm thinking, and that's probably why I feel sick, cause I'm trying so hard to avoid fighting and/or saying something I'll regret, etc....

And then there's the usual stuff. There's the ongoing housework and yard work and such that I never seem to get to. Having a few days to myself would be a good time to get started on some stuff, which I probably won't do, because I'm starting to feel sick. See? But it's probably just that psycho stuff again.

I was remembering another time that I felt sick a lot. Back before I was married, I developed a bit of dislike for a lot of food, mainly red meat. I don't remember doing a lot of lying around whining about feeling sick, but I do remember getting sick after not eating sometimes, which I was not doing because everything seemed to have too much red meat or grease or some other disagreeable thing. Come to think of it, this happened about the same time as I was breaking it off with my third fiance. Not that I actually "broke up" with him for a long time, and not that I didn't still see him for a long time after we more officially "broke up", but I knew that a two year relationship would probably end even if I didn't say the words, because I felt like we were drifting apart and he didn't seem bothered by it. That all ended with me getting back together with an old flame, and then feeling sick on such a regular basis that I worried I was pregnant.

I wasn't pregnant then, and I'm pretty sure that I'm not pregnant now. I've taken my normal precautions, plus some extras, so it is highly unlikely. But it does all remind me of before.

It was different before. I didn't feel so completely useless over it. I lived with my parents and didn't do much in the way of housework, so I wasn't always tripping over the evidence that I don't feel like getting out of bed. And I was in school at the time, and I could still read quite well even when sick in bed, so much of what I was doing continued as usual no matter how bad I felt. Still, it did cause me to get some poor grades in one particular class, cause I kept falling asleep and missing the lectures.

Today is one of those days that if I felt better, I'd throw half the stuff in the house out on the curb. Well, not quite. And a lot of it is yarn and books that I plan to keep. But here is a box of I don't know what, and it's just right here in the hallway, and I have no idea why I put it there.

It has recently been suggested that I would feel a bit better if I used the exercise bike a bit while I watched some TV. And to start with, I was advised to just sit on the bike and not actually do any exercise. Just get in the habit of going over to sit on the bike, and then when I feel better in a week or so I might actually start exercising. Only there's a bunch of stuff piled up on top of the bike, so I can't even do that.

Okay, the husband has left the building. So I think I can relax for a few days and not worry about fights. Now if I could just find something to eat that doesn't either make me sick or make me gain weight, and then if I could just get the grass cut and do some housework, that would be great.

Monday, August 18, 2008

A few days home after a week in middle of nowhere Pryor, Oklahoma

I knew that it wasn't going to be anything special, but after years of travel I've figured out that there is something to do at any place that you might find yourself. Sometimes, you are surprised to find something that you really like. But that was not to be the case this week, and that's okay.

Our first night was in Tulsa, at a place we have been before that we like. It doesn't have good cable, but it does have a hot tub and an indoor pool, and it is next to a Kmart in case I forget to pack something. We took a wrong turn and had to drive almost an extra hour, and we probably could have just skipped Tulsa and gone straight to Pryor. But by that time we were really looking forward to that hot tub. Our late arrival meant that we skipped a bit of shopping we had thought about, which is just as well since we're short on money this week. After yet another unexpected change in the schedule, and still bad sales, we don't have the money to do stuff we normally do and pay for motel rooms and gas and other expenses of going out of town.

Tulsa is not that far away, but we were so tired that we didn't want to do anything except eat dinner and swim for a bit and sit in the hot tub. We were really tired and decided that the best thing would be to sit in the hot tub for a bit, go back to the room and eat something from the car like peanut butter and crackers, and then go back to the hot tub. Except that we forgot to pack the peanut butter. So we went out for tacos instead and then spent some time in the hot tub afterwards.

The following morning I woke up my husband with the magic word--bacon.

So after eating bacon and the usual motel breakfast stuff we put our stuff back in the car. Since we were only there for one night, we didn't take much into the room. Not taking much into the room included my regular bag, one of my knitting things, a small Igloo, the work camera, the work computer, two pillows, and my husband's regular bag. So after two or three trips to the car, we headed to Pryor.

Pryor was only about an hour away, so there was no big hurry to leave early, but we stopped to look a big cement totem pole. We got there too early to be allowed in the gift shop. So no souvenir magnets or postcards, which is just as well as we are short on money. As we were leaving, I was attacked by a very friendly but wet black lab. Luckily, he was just wet and not muddy.

We had made reservations for a change, and our room was already cleaned and ready for us when we arrived. We bought a bit of groceries and Subway sandwiches at Walmart. While I had wondered if it was a good idea to go on the trip, my husband had almost asked me not to go cause he was worried we would spend too much extra money. We won't spend extra money on my account, except for a bit of yarn. Other than that, if it wasn't something that I would have bought at home I didn't need to be buying it in Pryor either.

So of course I felt queasy the next day and didn't want to eat any of the stuff we'd just bought. Okay, I bought a bit of soup and made myself eat most of the rest of the stuff. Still, soup is not an unreasonable expense, I just felt bad about wasting a bit of the other food I'd already bought.

My husband had to be restrained from buying Six Dollar Burgers a few times. Here, have a hotdog instead. And here, have some iced tea.

Friday we went to lunch with his co-workers. Since I had to decide whether or not we were going when I was still feeling a bit sick, I picked the local Chinese Buffet, which wasn't actually bad just not as good as I hoped. Still, any Chinese food that isn't actually bad does tend to make me feel better.

Everything always takes longer than what I picture in my mind. I had thought that I would get a certain knitting project done, but to be honest, I didn't even get started. I did a few test pieces, which took longer than I thought, and then some of them started to unravel when I took them off of the machine. But I learned what I needed to know from them, and I decided I wasn't quite ready for the planned project. I'll give it some more thought and then maybe try it again next week. So I started a less important project, for practice. The ribbing on the machine was taking so long I figured that I wouldn't even get that done, so I thought maybe I could do the ribbing after I took it off of the machine. But then I forgot and finished off the top. So now I have to undo the top part so that I get back to the part that was supposed to be ribbed.

Anyway, it wasn't my week for knitting. The weather was a lot cooler than it has been around here, and it was good to get away from the heat for a bit. Between my not feeling well for a couple of days, our being a bit short on money, and the fact that my husband had to get back here to work a rare Monday schedule, we didn't do anything. No animal rescue center, no antique malls, and no nature trails. Nothing. Just a week of watching cable and not thinking about the awful heat.

The trip home was mostly uneventful, and we did finally get one of those Six Dollar Burgers. There was, however, a last stop at a Goodwill near here to get out one last time to stretch our legs. We bought a couple of things, for which they accidentally overcharged us, and then it seems like the next half hour was spent with them trying to figure out how to get that all straightened out on the debit card. I would have rather just had some store credit or something so we could just leave.

The cool weather has decided to follow us home, and for the next three days it will stay in the 80s and rain a bit. So that is really nice, except that with it raining I can't go out and do any yard work. The yard really does need some work. If we don't at least get the grass cut we will get one of those threatening letters. Due to more changes in the schedule, my husband will not be able to cut the grass either this week or next week, so I will be the one stuck with that chore, which I can't do right now because of the on and off rain.

Then I have to decide if I want to go out of town again. There's been no travel at all for months, but now there's almost three weeks of travel. I won't go later this week, but maybe next week I'll go with him to Oklahoma City. Again, I don't think it would be anything special, just maybe a week away from the heat, some cable TV, some time to knit, a chance to swim a bit and possibly a hot tub. And, if they don't change the schedule again, a rare Saturday day off. So I think that I'll probably go, if I can get some work done and cut the grass first.

So my 400th post is coming soon, and I can't decide what to write about. I have started several things over the past month or so. Finding a new spouse, Christmas is canceled, a bit I started after hearing something about gun control, and something I started writing about business travel after a fellow blogger was complaining about it--are all things possibilities, but I can't make up my mind.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Post 397

My husband's schedule for this week was supposed to be local stuff. Then Thursday or Friday there was a change to Shreveport. We've been to Shreveport a lot, so it is no big deal anymore. But I usually go with him if I'm not in school or something. We don't do a lot, but we go to a casino and we have lunch and gamble about twenty dollars. Maybe we go shopping for a bit or take a walk near the river. No big deal really, it's just nice to get away for a bit.

Then, at the last minute there was another change in the schedule, and he's going to Oklahoma instead. There's a motel that we like to stay at in Tulsa, but the place he is going to work is about an hour's drive from there, so we'll probably only stay there the first night and then get something closer.

I'm planning to go. There won't be much to do, and we don't have any money for such things anyway, but again it would be nice just to get away for a bit. I'd have my knitting to work on, cable TV, a couple of books to read, and I might go for a swim. It's August, and I don't think that I've been in a pool since last year.

I keep changing my mind about going. I do that. I said that I would go if the water timer worked and I didn't have to worry about the plants. It worked, but I'll still worry about the plants and everything else while I'm gone. I still might change my mind again and not go. But I'm supposed to go. I packed a bag and such.

Anyway, if I go I might not be around for a bit. I never really know about the Internet situation until I get where I'm going. Most of the places we stay say that they have free Internet, but at some places it is a complicated bit of business with passwords and such, and sometimes there's a clueless new manager or something and the bill wasn't paid and no Internet. Really, some of these people don't even know what the Internet is.

And then, of course, there is the problem of getting my husband to give up the computer for a bit when we do have the Internet.

Okay, so that's I might be here and I might not. And if I go I might be posting stuff and I might not. The first night I might have the Internet or I might not, and then we'll be moving to a different motel where we might have the Internet or we might not. And I might get the computer away from my husband for a bit, or I might not. Anyway, check back later, but I might not be here.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Was life really this bad in 1973?

So with the heat and the boredom and the laziness and all, we are downloading stuff to watch on the computer. Our latest find is the British show Life on Mars. I guess that I've been living under a rock again, as I have only recently heard of this. The American version will air here in a month or so, and Colm Meaney will be on it. So how did I miss hearing about it?

Anyway, we're watching the original British version, and are maybe a third of the way through. Life on Mars has nothing to do with the planet Mars. There's a present day police detective who gets hit by a car, and then he wakes up in 1973. And he knows that it can't really be 1973, and in 1973 he was only four years old, so he can't be an adult police detective in 1973.

But, he's still a police detective, and if you give him a case to work on he'll try to solve the crime. What alternative does he have? It probably isn't real, but it might be, and if he makes a big deal about this not really being his life they might lock him in a padded cell. So he tries to catch the bad guys, without a cell phone or a computer or DNA testing, etc....

Things really seem bad in this TV version of 1973 England. And since I've never really been to 1973 England, I can't say that this isn't a fair representation. I'm sure that a lot of it was like that. I'm sure that there were a lot of dirty cops and that a whole bunch of them were sexist and racist and that a lot of them were just plain rude. I'm sure that a lot of this stuff is just the way it was there, and that a lot of it was just the way it was here too.

But I'm wondering if things were really all that bad in 1973. I was six years old back then. I went to first grade, I wanted to wear flare-leg pants all the time, I played with my dog and climbed trees when the weather was warm, I went to church on Sundays, and I watched cartoons on Saturdays. The rest of the week we watched Little House on the Prairie, The Waltons, The Brady Bunch, Truth or Consequences, and Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom. Once or twice a week we had candy and sodas. Dad went to work, and Mom stayed home to cook and do laundry and such. The Avon lady and the Tupperware lady came by once in a while. We ate pretty dull food sometimes, but we were made to eat all of it because there were starving kids in China. Most of the people I knew were reasonably polite and wore clean clothes. There was a war going on someplace else, but I knew nothing about it. I'm sure I was sheltered from a lot of things, but were they that bad?

Everything on this show looks dirty and run down. The only normal person the detective works with is a woman who has also studied psychology and nursing, and he's the only person who appreciates her. He's a grown man about my age, he has a steady job, and he's the second ranking man in his particular part of the police department. So why does he live in such an awful little apartment? It looks like some fleabag motel rooms I had to stay in back when we were on the road a lot. And his apartment doesn't even have a normal bed, but something that looks like what we would sleep in at summer camp, only with the top bunk taken off.

In 1973 my dad was a bit younger than this guy. He wasn't a cop, but he had a steady job. Besides taking care of himself, he had a wife and three kids. We lived in a regular house. Martha Stewart did not decorate for us, but things were clean and nicer looking than what things look like in this show. My parents had a regular bed, and I had a regular bed, and my siblings had bunk beds that looked a lot better than the thing that this guy sleeps on.

My dad didn't wear leather jackets. Maybe this guy can't afford a good place to live because he spends all his money on beer and snappy clothes.

I know that we didn't have cell phones and computers and debit cards and such, and it would be hard to go back in time and try to do without stuff we are used to having now, but was the rest of it really this bad in the 70s?

Thursday, August 07, 2008


As some of you may know, I used to have a regular feature called Freaky Friday. I would go over the Google searches for the week and discuss who might be reading my blog and why. I decided to stop doing that for a while during the spring semester. I just got too busy with school. I had meant to go back to it, but I just haven't felt motivated enough to do a proper Freaky Friday post.

Which is not to say that I still don't like having a look at the tracker thing. Last night, I had two visits from the reader in Australia, and he didn't leave a comment, even after I said hello and everything. But I guess not everyone wants to be sociable.

I've gotten a bit of traffic from a post about jury duty. It was a bit of a rant, but I guess it was a bit of a rant about an important issue. Maybe it's a bit funny. Unfortunately, I think that these people come looking for answers, not for a bit of a laugh or to commiserate over our common problem, and I don't have any answers for them. I do not know the secret password that makes civil servants stop quoting the rule book at you and find a way to deal with your problem. I do not know how to get you out of jury duty, even if you have the same legitimate reason for wanting out of it as I do.

A while back I followed a link back to a site all about people's different jury experiences. It was really cool to see that. Someone thought enough of what I wrote to copy part of it onto their own site. Then I followed another link (which I can't seem to find now) back to what looked like someone's college paper, and there was a link to my blog in the footnotes. So that was nice, but a little bit weird too. I don't know if you're supposed to use blogs like mine as source material for a college paper, if that's what it was.

I also get a bit of traffic to my post about poor people not knowing how to spend money. I also wonder if a few of those people are writing papers. Again, thanks for the compliment, but I'm not sure that my blog counts as a scholarly source.

And then there are people reading this and wanting to know if they have chlamydia. I don't know, but I hope not. What is really troubling is that a few have the odd worded question, like can I get chlamydia after I've had a hysterectomy? Does this person not realize that she still has to use condoms and even then is still at risk of getting STDs from having sex after a hysterectomy? Or is she wondering if she somehow got infected while in the hospital having the hysterectomy? And I'm not sure why she would be worried about that particular STD anyway after having a hysterectomy, since the big problem with that one is that it might someday prevent a woman from having children. If you've had a hysterectomy, protect yourself from AIDS and worry about catching herpes and HPV.

And just before I posted this, I found that someone from Virginia found this while looking for -- that moss grows there star trek. Sorry, still don't remember who said it. But we do all know that somebody said that.

More headaches

I have my 400th post coming up soon, and I haven't yet decided what I should write about. I'm sure it will be nothing that could rival either the 100th or the 300th post. Not that it will matter much. Regular readership is down now that I've decided to focus on me rather than writing stuff to make fun of other people. Also a lot of the bloggers I like have other things going on in their lives which keep them busy and don't allow for a lot of blog time. Both things are fine by me.

I do seem to have gained a reader in Australia. But he doesn't comment. Welcome, reader from Australia.

Even if I do find something brilliant to write about, I may not get to. The computer is acting up again. The screen usually filled with icons now has only six, and one of those is the recycle bin. Both of my word processors are gone, all the video players are gone, Photoshop is gone, etc....

I'm afraid my exciting plan for today included doing a bit of laundry in between watching episodes of Life on Mars. I think that they have been erased as well, which is sad since we had only watched two of them.

Life on Mars is a British show, and it isn't at all what it sounds like. It's actually about a cop, who is probably in a hospital near death, but he seems to living back in 1973, trying to solve crimes without benefit of DNA testing, cell phones, computers, and other miracles of modern science. At least one of the 1973 crimes has a connection to a case he was working on in the present time.

Speaking of British TV, I found a DVD at the library of The Eleventh Hour, episodes 1-4, starring Patrick Stewart. After watching it, this appears to be the same show that is coming here in the fall, only with different actors and produced by Chris Carter of The X-Files.

I'm sure British people do all sorts of baffling things, but until a few years ago the main thing that I questioned was their television. It makes no sense. Not that the shows themselves don't make sense, because after you get past the odd word here and there like solicitor it usually makes total sense, and most of the time it is rather good. Of course, (other than Dr. Who and Baby Spice the Dinosaur Slayer) most of it that we see here is stuff from either Masterpiece Theater or Mystery, so it would have to be good. But they don't have normal seasons. They often make only six episodes or so, and then say that's enough for this year. I'm guessing that they have the same drivel soap opera stuff as we have here, but make something good that resembles The X-Files and stars Patrick Stewart, and then they only make four of them. The still popular Faulty Towers had only about eight episodes. It makes no sense.

But it is finally August now, so in a month or so I can go back to watching regular American TV and not worry so much about downloading British stuff.

Elsewhere in the world, my friends who have money are off to Vegas, where they are buying up what is left of Quark's bar and the like. They are having a big Star Trek convention there, right before The Star Trek Experience is going to close. I have been to Vegas once, and we went to the Star Trek Experience before they added the Borg and Klingons. I have never been to an out of town convention or anything as big as what is going on in Vegas. Going to such things requires money, which requires getting a job, etc.... Of course, even if I had a job I wouldn't make enough to go to Vegas, and if I had a job I'd been stuck going to work this week instead of whatever boring thing I'll be doing around here, so I still wouldn't get to go to the convention.

Well, back to, whatever.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008


Finally got up off my butt and went to the ceramics lab to pick up a few things. I didn't stay long and I didn't get much of my stuff. And I didn't get into it with anyone about my probably not coming back in the fall. I'd still like to take that Saturday only class, but so far no one has signed up for it. Doesn't look good.

Both of the Martian things cracked, but one of them might be repaired. The Sleestak head has a few minor cracks, but it looks pretty good. And the Triffid didn't turn out too bad. I couldn't find my relief dragons. Maybe I already took them home and forgot where I put them.

So I collected the broken Alien egg and three tile molds and put them in the car. And then I talked to one of my fellow students and the teacher for a bit. And then I noticed J wasn't around, so I asked about her.

Apparently I will not be seeing J again. Or, at least, it is unlikely that I will be seeing her again. She had to move. Not that she moved to another state or anything, but she's moved far enough away that she won't be going to that school anymore.

Seems that a few days after I last saw her, her boyfriend dumped her and told her to move out. There was no discussion, no fighting, nothing like that going on. She thought that everything was fine, and then he just announced that it wasn't working for him and she needed to leave.

Sounds familiar.

Different reasons though. Apparently, he needed his space. And since he got involved with an artist, the actual physical space might have been a problem. You would think that people would figure that out before they get involved with artists. But in his case it seemed to be more of the other kind of space. He didn't want to be around her all of the time. Again, you would think that people would figure this stuff out before they get involved like that. Just because you enjoy having dinner with someone doesn't mean that you should live with them.

That was one of the main reasons she was back in school. She had moved away from all of her other friends and family, and she needed to be out doing something by herself so that her boyfriend could have his space. Then after she's made ceramics such an important part of her life and signed up for classes and such, he dumps her. Great.

The three of us were supposed to have a show this year. I guess that's not going to happen.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

I have a sick headache

Today sucks a bit. Something happened to the computer last night. I'm sure it was my husband's fault. My husband broke the computer. This morning there was no FireFox and Explorer couldn't connect with anything.

Anyway, he spent most of the morning trying to fix it. It now appears to be fixed, but it has seemed that way before. He fixed it and then was online for a while and then it wasn't working again. And then he fixed it again, but that didn't help. So then he really did this totally start from scratch thing, which seems to have done the job, but it is all a bit annoying.

This thing keeps popping up warning me about all the evil things that are going to happen to my computer if I don't sign up with their service. It just will not go away. The other really annoying thing is that when you totally have to start over from scratch you lose your Google searches and such. And I seem to have lost a few people, most of which are found now, except for Elephant Girl. Apparently, this is a more common name than I had thought.

Then, for some reason, Hotmail doesn't work. It says something like--done, with errors on page. The error on page being that the page is mostly blank and there is no place to sign in.

Everything seems to be just a little bit off. Everything looks a little different. I can't find spell check, stuff like that.

This morning I tried to go without caffeine. Or, at least, I mostly tried to go without caffeine. I've been wanting to cut back on caffeine and sugar and such for a while now, and I thought maybe today was the day. Bad idea.

I forgot what day of the month this was. Definitely a bad day to decide to go without caffeine. Probably a bad day to decide to get out of bed in general.

Guba doesn't seem to work. Hulu works, but not full screen. When I go to full screen it sort of slows down to a slide show instead of a movie. Weird.

I remember we used to read this stuff about the costume makers of the original Star Trek having problems with the censors. They were allowed to show the top of a girl's breast almost down to the nipple, but they could show the navel or the underside of a girl's breast. They were joking that they weren't allowed to show those parts because the censors didn't know what might be there. Maybe moss grows there.

Not moss. Heat rash maybe, but I don't see any moss. Anyway, it's not pretty. Just as well the censors got their way.

I had to go to the store for a bit, and I ran into the frog lady. I'd rather not run into the frog lady. Not that she said anything wrong, but I just don't see us being buddy-buddy, and she does.

I'm thinking of going to the ceramics lab and collecting some of my things. I should do that sometime this week anyway. I tried to go Summer I, but the class didn't make and the place was locked up. So I need to go now, only I keep putting it off till I straighten up the living room. Who am I kidding. The living room is never going to be straightened up, so I might as well go ahead and collect my things from the lab.

Makeup. If I'm going to school, I must put on my face.

My head hurts.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

My mysterious waistline

Like a year and a half ago, I wrote this post about my weight. Then I wrote this other post about the one time I tried to lose weight and actually succeeded. Okay, I'll wait a bit while you read that first post, and maybe if you want you can read the second one.

You came back. Great.

Okay, so I never went back on a diet, and my weight stayed at 140 for more than a year. 130 would have been better, but I was pretty happy with the 140. 140 was enough to make most of my buddies jealous.

Anyway, since I thought I looked pretty good, I decided last year that I would celebrate by making this low-cut Halloween costume with this little skirt that just barely covered my a**. So of course I started to gain a little bit of weight right after I finished the costume. By Halloween it was a little snug, but it still fit and looked pretty good.

My husband's favorite thing is still eating out. We eat out all the damn time. We eat out even when there's food at home that I've already fixed and has to be thrown away. Eating out and going to see a few movies are the main times that we still seem like a normal couple. Most of the rest of the time he is either on the computer, or maybe once in a while we are arguing about him being on the computer.

But somehow even with all the eating out I stayed at 140 for more than a year. And then right around Halloween I started to put on a little weight. By Christmas I must have been back up to 150 or maybe 155.

I can't say that I really get obsessed about the pounds. I don't even have a bathroom scale in my house. I just notice that my clothes don't fit the way that they used to, and then maybe when I go over to Mom's I weigh myself. And then I think, no wonder nothing fits right.

But really, even when I'm worried about stuff like that, the 140 or 150 or 155 isn't really the number that counts. The size of the pants matters, so the number I'm concerned with is 11/12 or 13/14 or 15/16. So after more than a year of happily running about in size 11/12 jeans, I had to get out the size 13/14. And I wasn't too happy about that, but I never really got worried enough about it to start dieting again.

There were moments when I thought like before, that I would have this one last splurge before I started to watch what I ate. And I could figure out that if that attitude made me gain weight before it might cause me to gain weight again. But that didn't seem to happen, cause I stayed in the size 13/14 jeans and didn't need to get out anything 15/16.

I did start thinking that since I wanted to diet at some point I should go ahead and buy some stuff like diet lemonade. Of course, for the diet lemonade to do any good, I'd have to start drinking that instead of Cokes. I was still drinking plenty of Cokes, but once in a while I would have the diet lemonade instead, just to get into the habit.

So these last couple of weeks I've been thinking that my jeans were a bit loose. I didn't think that they were loose enough to switch back to the size 11/12, but I wasn't happy with the way that they looked on me. Then a couple of days ago I was going to go somewhere with my mom, and I just couldn't leave the house looking like that. I looked through my 11/12 stuff until I found a pair of 12 jeans that had enough stretch stuff in them that they fit. They were a bit tight at first, but they did feel better than what I had been wearing. And I looked a lot better in them too.

So after me and my mom went out we went back to her house for a little bit, and I decided to look and see how much weight I had lost to get me into these size 12 jeans.

And the scale says 164.

So that didn't make any damn sense. So I mentioned it to my mom, thinking that maybe she'd tell me that the bathroom scale was broken. And she said that if it was working right that she would weigh a certain amount, and her guess was only like a pound or two off. So it doesn't appear that the bathroom scale is broken.

So I don't quite understand how I've gained nine pounds and now fit into smaller pants. Still, these pants aren't small enough. What I really want to be wearing are size 9 pants. And I should try to give up the Cokes and watch what I eat anyway, regardless of how I look.

Friday, August 01, 2008


Yesterday I had this moment of panic when I saw that S from Fort Worth had left a comment on my blog. S from Fort Worth has found my blog! Yikes! But on closer inspection, I think that it is a different S from Fort Worth. There are many people named S, and I'm sure that there's a lot of them in Fort Worth. Still, my first thought was that out of all those people that it must be the S from Fort Worth that I knew. Silly of me to think that, and more so to think it was something to get upset over. It isn't. "--if I did not want it heard, I would not have said it--" and all of that. And I've never said anything bad about S anyway.

Still, I would rather keep things the way that they are.

Anyway, that was just a minor thing that happened yesterday after I came home. The major thing that happened yesterday was I went to see the baby. I had seen the baby before, but that was more than a month ago when he was still in the hospital.

I have not spent any considerable time around either babies or pregnant women since I was maybe ten or eleven. You wouldn't think it was possible for a forty year old woman to spend so little time around babies and/or pregnant women. You would think that while you may or may not have been around babies and pregnant women when you were younger, depending on chance and the size of your family and your family's social contacts, you would be more and more likely to be around them as you get older. You might have a baby yourself, or friends might have babies.

But I did not want a baby myself, and I have been lucky so far that I've not gotten pregnant. I do not have many of the romantic notions about it that most women do. Not that I don't have them at all, but my main thoughts on pregnancy tend to run towards it must be a lot like carrying a parasite from an Alien movie, only that it takes much longer to die from it and you get really fat while you are waiting to die.

Also, I've never been overly impressed with the babies themselves. It seems that most other women automatically think that all babies are really cute and at some point they will just be unable to go on with life if they don't have one. I don't share that feeling at all, and I fail to see what is so wonderful about a person who just happens to be very small and bald. They can't talk or really do anything cute. I don't really get it.

So you might think that the reason I've not been around babies or pregnant women is that I've deliberately avoided them. You wonder if maybe I'm going along in my life, hear that one of my friends is pregnant, and then avoid her for the next five years or so.

Perhaps it is the reverse. Perhaps the pregnant women are avoiding me. And maybe this is true in a few cases. As a teenager I would sometimes here that someone from school or even from church "had to get married", but this was something I usually heard after the fact from somebody else. None of them ever came to tell me that they were expecting. Well, I suppose that if they didn't feel comfortable telling me that they were having sex it shouldn't surprise me that they weren't comfortable telling me that they were pregnant. So that was probably part of it. But mostly in those cases it was just that the friend and I had drifted apart somewhat before all of that happened, and then after there was actually a baby to think about she had a whole different life that did not include school or whatever it was where we normally saw each other.

Similar things happened as I became an adult. It wasn't that I refused to be friends with them anymore, but people get older and get married, and sometimes the getting married part means that they move away. And even when they don't move away, they tend to make other friends, and those other friends also want babies, so by the time there's actually a baby in the picture we don't see each other that much cause they spend more time with their new friends.

So at some point I was a single person with other single friends who didn't have any babies, and then a bit after that I was a married person who didn't want any babies, and I mostly had friends that were married and didn't have any babies. It just sort of worked out that way. Later still, I ended up being friends with either people who didn't have children, or people who were older and did have children but the children had all grown up.

Now there's someone who I've drifted away from somewhat, but not entirely. And she did not move to a different state or even a different county after getting married. Sure, she wants to make new friends who also have babies, that's only natural, but she hasn't yet done much in that direction yet. So I'm hearing this and that about being pregnant and baby stuff that I'd never heard about before.

I am so glad that I'm not going through any of this myself.

I'm not completely in the dark about such things. I did know that while a woman is pregnant that the baby moves around, that babies "kick". What I did not know was that it is something you can actually see happening. Really. It looks like something from Stan Winston's special effects studio.

Guess the Alien parasite bit wasn't too far off.

And I knew that pregnant women were always running off to the bathroom, because of the baby pushing on the bladder. And I knew that there was such a thing as an episiotomy, that often the doctor will cut a woman to help deliver the baby. And I knew that even under the best of circumstances the couple isn't supposed to have sex for at least six weeks. What I didn't know was that sometimes even after the episiotomy the poor woman tears even more tissue than the doctors thought to cut, and that after delivery the poor woman might still be running off to the bathroom and having gas and all of that. Sometimes, in a really bad case, it isn't just the baby wearing the diapers.

I am really glad that none of this is happening to me.

She looks really good now. You wouldn't know that she'd been pregnant less than two months ago, unless you maybe look at the stretch marks. And she didn't have a Hollywood trainer getting her back in shape or anything like that. I think she looks just the same is she did before, but she says she still has a bit left to go. But however she looks, she still hurts from the delivery.

As for the baby, he didn't cry much in the hospital. The new parents were then fooled into taking him home, where he cries whenever the mood strikes. But after a miserable two or three weeks, they are getting used to him. And the baby squirms a lot when held. I didn't think that babies this age moved around so much.

Other than that, it appears that he does nothing but eat and sleep. I know that isn't quite the case and that he is already learning stuff, like the important people speak English with a Texas accent.