Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I'm a bit ticked at Target

Okay, so every year after Halloween and Christmas I go to the clearance sales and load up for stuff for next year, and I buy a bit of candy and other food stuff while I'm there. And my preferred store for this after holiday shopping is Target. Though I do stop in at a few other stores, Target is the main one that I make a special trip for.

So after Christmas the stuff is 50% off, and then almost a week later it goes down to 75% off. And that is when I buy most of the stuff, when it is 75% off. So I was expected the 75% off sale to start maybe Wednesday, but I decided to go and have a look at the stuff yesterday.

And to my surprise the 75% off sale had started. So I bought a few things, and then I headed to a larger store down the road, because they usually have more stuff left.

Only when I got to the larger store their stuff was still only 50% off. This has never happened to me before. Always before, the sales started on the same day in all the stores. So I asked one of the employees about it, and he said he didn't know what was going on, cause he'd also heard that the store by the mall had already started their 75% off sale. So I thanked him and headed to the store buy the mall. But they were only 50% off too.

So that was weird. I don't know if it's a Dallas versus Tarrant thing or what. Anyway, I wasted most of the afternoon looking at clearance stuff but not really buying much of anything.

Today I will go and look at a fourth store, just to see what they have left. I'm not needing that much for next year anyway, but I was hoping to get some food stuff, some of it it for the party tomorrow. I really don't cook much party stuff, except for the weird food contest at Halloween.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Monday Morons--Don't be stupid

I have to listen to my husband say this just about any time I've pointed out that he's wrong about something, or I won't agree to something he wants, etc....

I am tired of the fights and such, and I've told him that I've said what I had to say, and that since he isn't listening I won't be unnecessarily upsetting myself by saying any of it again. So there's no reason to have any serious decisions about anything until he's actually going to change. If he wants to change, he can change. If he wants to continue as he is and pretend that everything is all better, he at least needs to stop doing the things that he already knows upset me before all the major trouble started, and he needs to keep his mouth shut about the rest of it.

So he wanted to talk about something, and I didn't really think that he wanted to talk about anything that was going to upset me. I thought that at most he wanted to talk about the money situation or the job situation or him trying to get his own business started. Whatever.

What he wanted to tell me was that the spare bed was in his way, and he wanted to move it.

This is one of those things that I've already said what I had to say, and he isn't supposed to mention the issue anymore. It's a small thing really, and right now it doesn't really bother me, but he's actually supposed to be sleeping on the spare bed. If anyone should be complaining about anything, I should be complaining that he isn't sleeping on it. But I've gotten used to it and have stopped talking about it. And then he actually has the nerve to tell me that the bed is in his way.

Anyway, even if he doesn't sleep in here regularly anymore, it does make me feel a little better that the bed is here, and that if we ever have a big fight I can kick him out of my room without actually having to kick him out of the house. So there is no way that I'm going to move the bed, much less dismantle it like he wants, and he knows this very well as we have already had this discussion many times before. He either just isn't listening, or he enjoys seeing me upset.

So I didn't get as upset as I have in the past, because it's just not worth it. But I had to repeat myself yet again, point out that the bed is not going to be moved, at least as long as we both live here, and that he really should be sleeping on the bed instead of complaining about it.

And to that he says "Don't be stupid."

That is his response to just about everything when we are fighting, because he doesn't have any rational arguments. There are no points on his side of anything.

If I point out that our current situation is entirely his fault, he might first point out that was "a long time ago." I'm not sure how he thinks he gets points for that. That something was a long time ago just means that a long time has been wasted that might have been spent trying to make things better, so you don't get points, you lose points for wasting more of my time. To that he says "Don't be stupid." Or sometimes he just starts with "Don't be stupid," and skips the rest of his argument.

"Don't be stupid" has also been the answer to "Why didn't you just leave her at the airport?" "Why did you bother calling me and telling me that I was right about everything if you didn't really think that I was right about everything and willing to do what I said?" "Besides the fact that you've done something terribly hurtful and immoral, you went against the court orders to do it." "If you were anyone else I would have called the police and you'd be sitting in jail right now."

There are a lot more things that get the same response, but those are too personal and I won't write them.

Anyway, I never can figure out if he's really this stupid, or if he has some legitimate medical problem that causes memory lose, or if he just likes getting into fights for some reason.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas 2008

Okay, so now it is over. Except for the club New Year's Eve party, which technically isn't Christmas, but it just sort of blurs together into one holiday for me. And then there's the after holiday clearance sales, which will go on until about the middle of next month. But except for that, Christmas is over. And really, the sales are more about getting ready for next year, if I would actually get a head start and do that.

Christmas with my family was a bit dull compared to Christmas stuff with my friends. Not that I don't like spending time with my family, but the gift exchange part wasn't as much fun. It wasn't really bad, just not really the way that I'd pictured it either.

So we had decided not to exchange gifts with everyone. I had thought that we were going to draw names, and that there was a limit of forty dollars. And that we were going to draw names on Thanksgiving. Drawing names on Thanksgiving seems a bit late to me, but that's what was decided.

Later I was told that nothing was decided. We did not draw names on Thanksgiving. On Black Friday I did some shopping, but no actual shopping for Christmas gifts, as I did not know who I needed to buy gifts for. Later that day, it was decided that instead of drawing names we would do the Chinese gift exchange. Actually, it was decided that we would do two, one with a thirty dollar gift, and one with either a five dollar gift or a recycled gift.

Okay, that still would have been good to know before Black Friday.

Still, with money the way it is, it was better than going out and getting everyone a gift and spending like two hundred dollars or more.

So I had to come up with four gifts, two thirty dollar gifts and two five dollar gifts. Five dollar gifts are not a problem. But what are you supposed to do about thirty dollar gifts if you don't know who you are buying them for?

The first thirty dollar gift was Bath and Body Works stuff. I had bought that stuff earlier in the year, when it was on sale, and when money was not such a problem. I had figured that I should go ahead and buy the stuff because I might draw my sister's name, and that would be a good present for her. Or I might draw my mother's name. And since my husband would also have to draw a name, we might end up with both my sister's name and my mother's name and need Bath and Body Works stuff for both of them. And then if I didn't draw the name if someone who would want it, I could just keep it for myself. But then we switched to this idea of the Chinese gift exchange, and I didn't know what to do. I then decided that I should still give the Bath and Body Works stuff. My sister might end up with it, or my mother might end up with it. If my brother-in-law ended up with it, he would just give it to my sister anyway. We might end up getting stuck with taking home our own gifts. In all the combinations of exchanges I could think of, either I would end up with my own gift, someone who actually wanted the stuff would get it, or the significant other of someone who wanted it would get it and it would not go to waste. About the only way I could think of it going wrong was if my brother got stuck with it. So I decided that if my brother ended up with it I would offer to trade it for a couple of DVDs I had bought.

The second thirty dollar gift I put in wasn't really a thirty dollar gift, but a scarf that I spent many hours making. This was my first cable scarf, and I hid it from my husband thinking that he might end up with it. I pictured it this way, my husband would open the scarf, and either my husband would keep the scarf, or else someone else would just love the scarf and steal it. But I didn't explain this to my husband, and he didn't seem to have any interest in seeing my scarf. My husband got a movie picked out by my brother. I got a bunch of pens, which the person who brought the gift thought that everyone could use. And my brother in law ended up with the scarf, and he said nice things about it, but I don't really know if he liked it or if he was just pretending cause he didn't want to get stuck with these pens.

If my husband had picked my scarf, we probably could have taken home the scarf and the DVD, and someone else would have gotten these pens. He hasn't expressed one word of disappointment at not getting the scarf, or even a comment of liking the scarf. At this point I'm thinking that I might not bother to make him another one, especially since he is complaining of the knitting machine being in his way.

My brother in law had the idea of just making out a shopping list for whomever might draw someone's name. I liked that idea better than this Chinese gift exchange thing. Except that the five dollar part was fun. But everyone else seemed to think that was lacking in the Christmas spirit if someone just tells you what to buy. The Chinese gift exchange was supposed to be fun and not hurt anyone's feelings if they didn't get what they wanted. But if there is a shopping list available, aren't you guaranteed of getting at least one thing that you wanted, and then after Christmas you can just go and buy the rest of the stuff yourself?

I'd like next year to draw names and have that shopping list that my brother in law suggested, hopefully getting the name and the list before Halloween, and then still have the five dollar gift Chinese gift exchange. In fact, I would like to have two five dollar gifts in the Chinese gift exchange. That way there would be more stealing and be more fun. But I thought that the thirty dollar part was a bit of a disappointment, except for my husband getting the DVD he wanted. And my sister did end up with the Bath and Body Works stuff.

The club stuff seemed a lot more fun, even if half of the people on my list didn't get me anything.

I was going to make this the last year that I did club stuff, but I would really miss it. I was thinking that I just don't have the energy to do both family stuff and club stuff, and if I was going to give up something it should be the club stuff. Somehow it seems really cold to want to give up any Christmas stuff with family.

Sometimes I really just want to move to another state and just come home for a visit or something. Just get my yarn and my ceramics and be someplace totally different and not have to think about stuff anymore.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

I'm as talented as Bob and Doug, right?

On the first day of Christmas my buddies gave to me: a Vir.

On the second day of Christmas my buddies gave to me: two paperbacks and a Vir.

On the third day of Christmas my buddies gave to me: three gold pins, two paperbacks and a Vir.

On the fourth day of Christmas my buddies gave to me: four cool T-shirts, three gold pins, two paperbacks and a Vir
in a tree.

On the fifth day of Christmas my buddies gave to me:
five Hogwarts scarves,
four cool T-shirts, three gold pins, two paperbacks, and a Vir in a tree.

On the sixth day of Christmas my buddies gave to me: six pointy knives,
five Hogwarts scarves,
four cool T-shirts, three gold pins, two paperbacks, and a Vir in a tree.

On the seventh day of Christmas my buddies gave to me: seven expensive tools, six pointy knives,
five Hogwarts scarves,
four cool T-shirts, three gold pins, two paperbacks, and a Vir in a tree.

On the eighth day of Christmas my buddies gave to me: eight Egyptian gods, seven expensive tools, six pointy knives,
five Hogwarts scarves,
four cool T-shirts, three gold pins, two paperbacks, and a Vir in a tree.

On the ninth day of Christmas my buddies gave to me: nine scenes of Clooney naked, eight Egyptian gods, seven expensive tools, six pointy knives,
five Hogwarts scarves,
four cool T-shirts, three gold pins, two paperbacks, and a Vir in a tree.

On the tenth day of Christmas my buddies gave to me: ten free dinners, nine scenes of Clooney naked, eight Egyptian gods, seven expensive tools, six pointy knives,
five Hogwarts scarves,
four cool T-shirts, three gold pins, two paperbacks, and a Vir in a tree.

On the eleventh day of Christmas my buddies gave to me: eleven cards with lights, ten free dinners, nine scenes of Clooney naked, eight Egyptian gods, seven expensive tools, six pointy knives,
five Hogwarts scarves,
four cool T-shirts, three gold pins, two paperbacks, and a Vir in a tree.

On the twelfth day of Christmas my buddies gave to me: twelve flying dragons, eleven cards with lights, ten free dinners, nine scenes of Clooney naked, eight Egyptian gods, seven expensive tools, six pointy knives,
five Hogwarts scarves,
four cool T-shirts, three gold pins, two paperbacks, and a Vir in a tree.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas 2008 isn't over yet

Sometimes I get so into the club stuff that the holiday stuff I do with the club seems more like the holiday than the holiday itself. After the Halloween party on the fourth Saturday of October, I half expect the clearance sales to be the next day, even if Halloween doesn't actually occur until the following Friday. And in recent years I find that I have more to do for the club activities the weekend before Christmas than I actually have to do for Christmas itself.

This year, I had decided that I needed to try to tone down the holiday stuff. I started with Halloween, and decided not to enter the costume contest, but tried out being a judge instead. That went okay. So then I needed to find a way to tone down the Christmas stuff.

Without getting into all the details, my family has decided that due to the economic problems and other changes this year, we would not continue the tradition of buying gifts for everyone in the family, and we would limit the gift buying to about forty dollars. Last year I spent almost that on each person.

And I expect that there will be changes in the coming year that will result in my either having less money or less free time or both. So I've been thinking that I should tell my friends that this might be the last year I do the whole Christmas thing with them. In the past few years, I've enjoyed the unofficial gift exchange with my friends more than the gift exchange with my family, cause I usually have a better idea of what to get for my friends. Except for my sister, I don't really know what the rest of my family wants.

This wasn't always the case. We didn't always exchange gifts. But one year, we just all seemed to get the same idea at the same time, and found something that we just knew that someone else would love to have, and without planning it ahead of time, we just brought presents. So for the past five years or so, this has been a major part of Christmas for me.

As in last week's episode of The Big Bang Theory, there is this whole problem of gift giving, and which friends should you get gifts for, and how much should you spend on each person, and if you get someone else a gift are you expecting to get one in return. To quote Sheldon, "You haven't given me a gift, you've given me an obligation," to try to give the other person "a gift of commensurate value and representing the same perceived level of friendship." It isn't supposed to be like that, you've supposed to just give people gifts because you like giving gifts, but there doesn't seem to be this expectation that there is this exchange of gifts.

There are exceptions. For instance, I expect to get gifts for people who will not be getting me gifts, not because they don't like me but because they have some problem and therefore either don't have the money or the time to go and get gifts. Like I don't expect someone to get me a gift if someone in their family is dying of cancer, but unless I've specially been asked not to, I go ahead and get them a gift, because when I'm out getting all the other gifts I decide that I just don't want them left out. Or if the person is widowed, especially if recently widowed (within this year). Or if they've had major medical bills. Or if they've been out of work. Or if they've had major vet bills. Or if they've had a car wreck. Or if their house was flooded or hit by a meteor.

And my current money situation isn't very good, so I think that I could have begged out of the thing this year. But I really didn't want to. What I wanted to do, was go ahead with it this year, and maybe beg out next year and maybe for a long time after that. But I had already started getting people stuff, and I didn't want to not give those gifts, and I didn't want to get some of them gifts and not give other people gifts. So I got gifts for six of them, knowing that I might only get gifts from two of them. There's someone who was recently widowed, a couple with a lot of unexpected bills, and a buddy who doesn't have a steady job. And then I go ahead and give a seventh gift to a buddy's wife, cause we're friends even though she doesn't usually do club stuff.

And then on top of all that, there is the official gift exchange, and I usually don't end up with anything really cool, but to be fair, I think maybe it has been a while since I've put in anything really cool. I brought Bath & Body Works stuff and took home a DVD collection of Japanese monster movies. But that is just so much fun to watch, since it is like the Chinese gift exchange, and people steal stuff. There was a lot of stealing this year.

Okay, so the recent widow says that she won't be joining us for most of the evening, cause she has to be somewhere else. I got her some bath stuff anyway. I give bath stuff when I don't know what else to do, but in this case I actually know that she prefers bath stuff. I haven't yet made her a scarf or anything like that, cause I'm not sure she'd like it and I can't bring myself to make a scarf for someone unless I'm sure that they would like it. But I'm absolutely sure that she'll use the bath stuff. And she says something about having gifts at home for people, but not having the time to wrap them and such. But I wasn't expecting anything from her anyway.

And then I made a scarf for my buddy who doesn't have a steady job. And he gave us all cards. Really cool cards with blinky lights. We like gadgets and blinky lights.

To the couple with the unexpected bills I gave a scarf and a school art project. This was the main reason I did not want to beg out this year. Every year for the last five years I've given a scarf to one person I thought would really want one, and I still needed to give this last one. So now all of that original group has a scarf, except for the widow and the pilot's wife, and I'll make more for them too if I ever here for certain that they really want one. As for the school art project, this is exactly what the couple would have wanted, if it had been perfect, which I knew that it wasn't, but they didn't seem to notice.

I gave up trying to think what to get for the pilot, so I gave him a DVD for a movie that I found on sale and I really like, and then I gave him a gift certificate to get another DVD from Blockbuster. And then I added a bath thing for his wife, because they don't always have the same taste in movies. He gave everyone knives. Mine is especially sexy.

For K I got a stuffed animal and knitted some leg warmers and arm warmers. She gave me a really cool T-shirt.

And then the pilot and K remembered my birthday. I did not get them anything for their birthdays, but K got me jewelry and the pilot got me some tools. The tools were possibly above the "commensurate value and representing the same perceived level of friendship." But I didn't have extra bath stuff in the car to make up for it.

I've said that I want to be excused from Christmas next year, but this was really a lot of fun. Especially the part where the couple was going on and on about the school art project. But I'm not planning any school next year, I don't think that I'll have much in the way of extra money, and now they all have scarves. I can't knit much other than scarves, and somehow I don't think that the pilot and the other guys want leg warmers.

But my brain is already at work, thinking up different kinds of scarves, and maybe some of them would like painted eggs. I don't think that I've ever given any of them painted eggs.

So that was Saturday. I wasn't going to do the charity thing Sunday, for several reasons. One being that I didn't put anything until the charity thing (except for one dollar when they passed the hat), I didn't do the usual candy stuff so I didn't have a speaking part anyway, I couldn't find some of my costume, and we usually go to dinner afterwards and I knew that I shouldn't spend any more money. So I wasn't going to go, but then I heard that we were going to be short at least three costumed people, so I decided that if I could find enough of the costume that I should go anyway. I didn't find my boots and I didn't find my vest, but I did have my dress and cape and scarf, so I put on just regular shoes and went anyway. Afterwards, the widow offered to buy me dinner as my Christmas gift, so that all worked out okay.

And then the pilot's wife gave me a plant. I like plants, though unfortunately it seems like I end up killing most of them that I receive as gifts. She said that I'm the only one who remembers her as a separate person and gives her a separate gift at Christmas, so she got me a separate gift too. Hardly necessary, especially after the expensive tools, but a nice surprise anyway.

So that was all really great. And it isn't really Christmas yet.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

More shopping with Mom

I believe Bulletholes called this an opportunity to learn patience.

Okay, my mom keeps saying how just the two of us need to get together and maybe go shopping or maybe go to lunch. Okay, I have no problem with that. Call me when you want to do something.

So after she keeps saying this, when she finally calls this week I feel bad that I don't want to go. I'm very busy this week. The party is Saturday, and the charity thing is Sunday, and as it is I'm thinking that I'm just going to skip the charity thing. I don't have the money for the charity thing, and the getting dressed up and such takes energy that I just don't feel right now. If I had a bit more time I could probably find that paper and do the gift basket thing that I normally do, but that's probably just not going to happen, and I think that I might feel better if I just don't go.

Except that my friend really wants me to go, and this is her big deal, and I hate to bail on her.

So I'm already busy with the knitting and such, and my mom wants to know if I can go shopping with her, at the mall, on Friday, at a sale that doesn't even start until four in the afternoon. On a normal day, this doesn't seem like such a good idea to me. If I want to go to the mall, it usually isn't on a weekend. Between Friday afternoon and Sunday evening there's lots of people, and I'd rather be there with less people. And I don't like being out late in the day, unless it's something I've planned for. If I go shopping, I like to go home before six, not just get started at four.

Oh, and it's a week before Christmas.

So even if I wasn't very busy, this already has a lot of things wrong with it that make it not seem like a good idea to me. But it seems like my mom really wants to go to this particular sale, and it's not like I can arrange to have the sale postponed. So, okay, I've got some stuff to do, but she called earlier in the week and I think that I might be done with everything by three or so on Friday.

Okay, on Friday morning, most of the stuff is done, except the stuff for charity that I've mostly given up on. But there's still a little time left to think about that, if I can just get this other stuff done. I have to finish up some leg warmers, trim the fringe on two scarves and put fringe on two more scarves, but one of those scarves isn't needed Saturday. I'd already found wrapping paper and boxes and even some bags, and after that a went out and bought a few more bags and some tape. So the wrapping isn't done, but I think I have time to get it done, once I finish up with the scarves and leg warmers. I'm still thinking that I can just about get all of this done by three, except for the one scarf that I don't need til later.

And my mom calls at 12:30 and asks if I still want to go with her.


Then she asks if I'm ready to go.

No, I'm not ready to go. I still have stuff to do. I thought that I had until three.

So then she's wanting to know what stuff I have to do. She sounds a bit ticked that I'm not ready to go.

I don't really want to get into it. That wastes time that I could be actually doing the stuff instead of talking about doing the stuff. And I thought that the sale didn't start until four.

Well, she didn't want to be out late, and she thought that we could do some other stuff first and then maybe get something to eat. And even though the mall stays open late, she didn't really want to be out late.

Me, I don't like to be out past six, unless I've planned to do that. Do I need to plan to do that?

Well, no, not really.

I don't believe her, so I set the VCR to record Ghost Whisperer and some other stuff. I don't really think we're going to be out that late, but I figure I might as well be on the safe side.

Okay, so I figure if she'll let me get back to what I was doing, that I can do the stuff the absolutely has to be done, and then if we're not going to be out much past six I can still have time to do the rest of it after I get home.

She has an errand to run. She's going to call me when she's done with that.

Okay, so I finish putting the fringe on the third scarf, but I haven't trimmed any of the scarves or finished up on the leg warmers. I go and find all the boxes that each gift will go in, and get that all laid out, but I only get one present actually wrapped. Four things still are knitting that needs to be trimmed or finished up, so I can't wrap them. I'm going to wrap the other stuff when my mom calls and asks if I can do something for her on the way over.

Okay. I'm not done yet, and I wasn't supposed to be driving, she was supposed to pick me up. But I figure that I've got enough stuff done that I can do the rest if we don't stay out past six or seven. It's all laid out and ready to go, sort of. Okay.

So I go and get whatever my mom wanted and I leave the car and we head to the mall. Only we stop someplace first cause she has to return stuff at another store.

Okay, cause it's on the way, but I never return stuff unless it's broken or something. Returning stuff is my mom's main hobby.

And then there's the cell phone. I finally got a cell phone a couple of years ago, for emergencies. I have all of my original minutes, plus that amount again. I've only had one emergency, and I don't use the phone that much other than that. Most phone stuff can wait til I get home, and of course I would never talk on the phone while driving or anything else.

While we were in this store just to return something, my mom called someone to ask what the name of something was so she could look for it. Fine. But then the someone called back to talk about I don't know what, and then a family member called to talk about another family member's illness.

We are not even at the mall yet, and she's talked to people on the phone as much as she's talked to me. If anyone calls me while I'm out, I only answer the phone long enough to say that I'm busy and they will have to call back later. I wouldn't even do that, except that it's an emergency phone, so maybe the call is an emergency. But usually not. In fact, it's usually a wrong number or something.

Okay, so we finally get to the mall, where we return some other thing, and then we head to the sale. And I pick up a few things that I want to try on, and my mom is like, as long as you're here you should try on some other stuff.

I don't like trying on clothes. I almost said that I don't like shopping, but that really isn't true. But I don't enjoy the part of trying on the clothes, so unless there's a good chance that I'm going to buy it if it fits, I don't take stuff to the fitting room.

So off we go to the fitting room. And most of the stuff doesn't look good on me.

Okay, I'm done.

My mom says something like if I decide that I like those pants, we can always come back to get them on the way out. Okay. And then there are a few more things that maybe I would have tried on, but I didn't see them, and she says something like maybe we can try them on later, on the way out. Okay. So we go and eat.

And I hadn't really noticed that I was already tired until I sat down. But maybe I'll fill better after we eat. So we're in the food court, and we've come here to eat something, or so I thought. But it seems to take forever for my mom to decide what to eat. So then we eat, and my mom throws away half of her food. She had wanted to share something, but she didn't want anything that I wanted. Plus she has a cold. I don't want to share stuff with her when she has a cold, even if she is convinced that she's past being contagious.

The mall is very noisy, and I'm having to yell a bit to get her to hear me. Then we go back to the shopping, and after trying on a lot of stuff that doesn't look good on me, we buy some black pants, and she pays for mine and says it's a Christmas present.

Okay, it's past six, we have pants, time to go.

Only she wants to look at other dumb stuff that she has to get sometime, but not really right now. She sorts through the underwear and socks, but doesn't find what she's looking for.

At some point she says something about having to try on a bunch of stuff just to see how it looks. No, I don't have to try on a bunch of stuff just to see how it looks. In fact, I can keep wearing the same ugly stuff I have if I want to. One pair of black pants is a necessity, but the rest of this stuff isn't. And I really don't enjoy looking.

We go to pay for the pants, and she gets a phone call. This is one of those times when I would just refuse to answer the phone. The cashier has a job to do, and it's not to wait for people to have phone conversations with other people. But my mom answers the phone and talks a bit and doesn't get rid of the caller right away, so the checkout process is delayed while the cashier has to ask all of these "would you like fries with that" sort of things that she has to say even when it is clearly a waste of time, because if she gets caught not saying them she'll get written up or fired. My mom gets rid of the caller and pays for the pants.

Only then she returns the call. I wait some more.

Okay, we're finally back in the mall headed for the store where the car is parked. It is like seven and I'm tired and ready to go.

And we get to the store, and we're getting on an escalator. I don't like escalators. One level is okay, but more than that and I look for the elevator. But it's just the one floor, and we are getting on the escalator, and I'm looking at my feet.

And then my mother wheels around and says that she forgot that I didn't like escalators.

Okay, I would have been fine if she hadn't done that.

Do I want to get on the escalator?

I don't know, is that where the car is?

No, but we've got more shopping to do.

I'm done. I didn't want to be here this late.

Well, I'm not done. Aren't you going to come with me?

If we have to go downstairs, I'll get on the escalator, but I'd rather just go home.

But we've hardly looked at any of the sale stuff.

I don't know why we have been all over the rest of the mall if she still cared about that sale. I thought she'd looked at it and decided she didn't want any of it.

If we have to go downstairs, I'll get on the escalator, but just get out of my way. I can't get on the escalator if you keep doing stuff to distract me.

At this point I'm told that I'm very unpleasant to be around. Seriously, I should have just been rude and canceled the whole thing. I had stuff to do. Being at the mall on a Friday night the day before the party and a week before Christmas was the last place I wanted to be, I just came because I thought I should spend some time with my mother. I want to go home.

My mom finds a leather jacket that's normally more than two hundred but is on sale for less than fifty. And it looks really good on her. We try on some other stuff, but it doesn't look good. And she wanted to buy stuff for other people, but it was sold out. She should have bought it when we first got there and put it in the car.

But I at least thought that the leather jacket was worth it. And she bought the leather jacket, but then she's saying she wishes it was just a little different and she'll probably take it back.

Great. I was thinking that it was worth all this to get her the jacket that really looked good on her, but she's probably going to take it back.

Just right when we are finally leaving, I find some stuff that I might have liked, but I'm too tired to even think about it. Should have just told her to buy them, and then she could take them back when she returns the jacket. But I didn't think of that.

So we get in the car, and she's saying that she's thirsty. I say that I think that my throat is sore from having to talk over the noise in the mall.

That doesn't make your throat sore. You must have already had a sore throat and didn't know it.

Sure I did.

And the phone rings again, and she answers it, while driving. She talks to the other person most of the way home.

I really don't learn. I should never go shopping with mom, even if she is going to buy me stuff.

I get back to the car and thank her for the dinner and the pants. I get home past nine, and I'm too tired to work on knitting or anything. It isn't that much work, but I'm afraid that I'll make a mistake, so it will have to wait.

The party is at two, and I still have to do laundry and such.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Panic Time

Okay, today is Thursday, and I'm going to need most of the stuff on Saturday. Which means that except for maybe wrapping up some gifts, almost everything needs to be done by Friday. On Friday afternoon, I am sort of committed to doing some stuff with my mom. Which means that I won't have that much time to do stuff on Friday, and most of it needs to be done on Thursday.

Today is Thursday.

At least, I think that today is Thursday. I'm a little confused at this point.

On the knitting front, I think all the actual knitting is done now, though I'm wishing that I had done an extra scarf just in case. But I still have a lot of finishing up to do, mainly putting fringe on four scarves. So that's like eight hours of work to do, if it goes smoothly, which sometimes it does not.

After yesterday's shopping trip, which I had decided would be my last for the season (except for this thing that I'm doing with my mom tomorrow which won't result in getting any of my shopping done and is cutting it too close anyway), I still did not find a present for the pilot. After consulting with another friend, she's decided to give him DVDs, with gift receipts just in case he already has them. So I asked if she thought he had certain DVDs, which she knew he did, because he loaned them to her. So then I asked which ones she got for him, and then she told me I should get him the next one that had been on her list. Only the next one on her list was a comedy that I haven't seen, and I'm thinking that it's not a good idea to get someone a DVD of a movie that I either don't like or haven't seen, unless I've heard from him that's what he wants, which I haven't heard.

At this point I think I'm going to give up and give him one of the movies I bought from Walmart for two dollars, which he can't really return anyway, and a gift certificate for Blockbuster, and then he can pick out his own DVD. And, if he gets previously viewed videos, maybe he can get two or three.

Now, usually when I have to resort to this, I make a gift basket or something that doesn't look as boring as just giving someone a gift card. Usually I do this whole thing with candy and popcorn and such. Only I don't have the stuff to do that right now, and I don't really have the time to go and get it, or even the money to do that really. That's really annoying this year, that I don't have money for those last minute things.

Speaking of not having money for last minute things, I'm thinking of skipping the charity thing on Sunday. I didn't get them anything, and often I do not get them very much, but I usually get all dressed up and go, and I usually make this funny gift basket thing with candy. This year, I don't even have much money for that. It would cost about ten dollars to do what I normally do. I suppose that I could buy smaller candy, but the thing that makes it fun is redoing all the wrappers, and if I buy smaller candy I'll have to design all new wrappers, which I don't have time to do. Also, I don't see the paper I use, so I'd have to go buy more, which would be another five to ten dollars if I had to buy a whole pack of it. I should already have two or three packs of it here, I just can't seem to find any of it.

And then there's the dinner after the charity thing, which is fun and I wouldn't want to skip, but again there's that money problem. Plus I'll probably have to buy dinner Saturday night, so I'll have even less money. I can either have dinner on Saturday or Sunday, but probably not both.

On top of all that, the house is a terrible mess, maybe worse than it's been in a long time, and I cannot find anything. I'm having trouble even finding the stuff that is mostly organized, like wrapping paper and such. I know where the wrapping paper is, but not the boxes and bows and bags and tape. Which means that if I don't find them after I finish the knitting that I should have to go out and buy some more, which some of that money that I don't really have, etc....


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

If you missed The Big Bang Theory...

And of course you probably did miss it, because you were watching Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, then you have to watch it now.

This is the best part, Penny's Christmas Gift to Sheldon, but if that's all you watch you won't get all of the jokes.

There's the rest of it:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Ramen noodles and the One Dollar Diet Project

Lately I have found myself clicking on some of the news headlines that I have to look at before I can read my emails and such. One headline was something about a sixteen cent meal. I clicked on it, thinking that it was going to be some sort of beans and rice recipe. It wasn't. It was an article about ramen noodles.

I'd forgotten about ramen noodles. I used to eat them all the time, but not so much recently. So I went out and bought a bunch of them and have enjoyed eating them. Not quite tired of them yet, but I probably would be if I had to live on them all the time.

So a few days ago I clicked on some other headline about saving money on food, and it led me to the One Dollar Diet Project blog, about a couple who tried to eat on one dollar a day for the month of September.

In the past I have tried to keep my meals down to a dollar each, but not three meals a day for a dollar. And then the dollar a meal didn't include milk or sodas or orange juice, or even the occasional dessert or popcorn or veggie snacks between meals.

A dollar a day? Can it be done?

Okay, this was more what I was thinking, with a lot of beans and rice.

The couple doing the experiment said they were vegan, so there were no eggs, and no milk and no cheese and no mention of what might be done with ten pounds of chicken leg quarters. Still, there were a lot of things that they didn't do that surprised me.

First thing was that they were trying to avoid eating ramen noodles. This is the main thing that some of us eat when we don't have any money. They bought six packages just in case, and only ended up using one or two of them. I don't remember them eating any humus. And there was no mention of bean sprouts. Really, those two are healthy and really really cheap if you make it yourself, and they didn't even mention either one. And they didn't figure out to try making soup until they were already twenty days into the experiment. And there was no mention of TVP either.

They did a couple of odd things, but it's their experiment, and they can do odd things if they want to. One thing was their rule that they didn't take free food that other people couldn't have. I would think that this rule was to prevent people from offering to have them over for dinner several nights a week during the experiment. But at least twice they turned down food that people really trying to save money would not have. In fact, this part of the experiment was on the wasteful side. They skipped a lunch that was bought buy their employers for everyone at work. I think that they should have gone to lunch with everyone else and just made a note of it that they didn't have to buy lunch that day and maybe try to spend a third or fourth less that day. But they skipped lunch, which meant that either someone else ate their share and gained weight, or their share was just thrown out. And they went someplace like a convention or a lecture, and they were offered free food but didn't eat any. Some of it they wouldn't have eaten anyway, cause it had bacon or some non-vegan thing, but again it seemed a waste to me to turn down food that was bought for you and probably ended up being thrown away.

I'm glad that they didn't crash parties or pretend to be college students and get free lasagna from the BSU or pretend to be interested in the Astronomy Club to get free pizza or donuts. But turning down free food seems silly, especially since they don't really object to free food, just free food that isn't available to everyone.

Then there was comments left on what they did consider free for the taking. While they turned down meals that were actually bought for them, they ate free samples at the grocery store, knowing that they had no intention of buying the items being sampled.

And then there was the stealing from McDonald's. Not that they stole Big Macs or anything, but they did go in and get ketchup and pancake syrup. Most of the people leaving comments thought that this was clearly stealing, since they were not customers. I'm not quite sure it is stealing, but it isn't the right thing to do either. If they had kept left over pancake syrup from an earlier trip, that would be good, because packets left on the table are probably thrown out anyway. And maybe some of us even ask for more than we plan to use that day, knowing that we can take home the extra and not have to buy that bottle of ketchup that we rarely use at home anyway. But I would never just go into a restaurant and ask to be given something if I wasn't a paying customer that day.

I think I would have liked it better if they got this "free" ketchup and mustard from gas stations. At least they were customers buying gas even if they did not buy the food that the mustard and ketchup were provided for.

I have not yet read all of the comments, but I have read some dumb ones. Some people just did not believe that a tablespoon of peanut butter only cost a nickel, or that beans or rice only cost a dime, etc.... Later they went and listed all that they bought for the experiment, and showed that if you buy a large quantity of rice that it only costs so much a cup, or if you buy the large four pound jar of peanut butter that it only costs a nickel per tablespoon, etc.... The main thing is that you make everything that you can from scratch, and that if you buy in bulk you get a discount. So this one comment made the valid point that poor people would not always have available cash to buy in bulk, or the membership to the discount club, etc...so if they had bought small packages of stuff at Safeway the daily cost would be more. Some of that is true. But then the commenter totally misses the point and produces a shopping list of what a poor person would buy at Safeway, with the ten envelopes of flavored oatmeal for two dollars and the four packages of microwave popcorn for a dollar and two cans of beans would cost a dollar, etc.... So the commenter missed the whole point, because I'm sure at Safeway one can buy plain oatmeal for a dollar a pound and also pound bags of beans and popcorn for a dollar.

I'm debating about doing a similar experiment myself, only I probably wouldn't do a whole month. Two weeks is more my speed. And I'll be eating ramen noodles if I want. And if someone buys me a free lunch, I'm going to eat it.

Monday, December 15, 2008

A catch up post

I don't think that I've blogged about what is going on much since Black Friday, except for that short trip that I took to the boring place.

I've now finished ceramics class. Unfortunately, I do not think that I will be taking the next class, unless I win the lottery or find a good job or something before the next class starts at the end of January. Probably just not going to happen. But I need to do other stuff, like clean and sort through the junk and get a job, and while I told myself that I wouldn't let the class become that important this time around, at the end of it I spent way too much time in the lab and started putting off things that were more important or time sensitive. So no ceramics for a bit, maybe for good.

At school there is that leaf vase that I really wasn't supposed to do and two bowls waiting to be glazed. Everything else that I did this semester came home with me a couple of days ago. Except for the two bowls, all the work I did for throwing class fit into this one box. On the one hand I don't think that it's not a bad looking lot for my first try at the wheel, and on the other hand everything is small and I didn't get a lot done. They look okay, but unfortunately my favorite piece was broken. It still looks pretty good, even with some of it broken off. I'm trying to think of something to add to it and make it a mixed media piece. Anyway, I think that I could figure out how to do some interesting stuff, if I had the time and money to take another course, which unfortunately I don't.

Maybe after I get a job I'll see about buying a used wheel.

About a week ago, we three girls went to the mall. Only because of the baby, we're now no longer three, and the baby isn't even a girl. So that was my first time to go shopping with the baby, and I was told that we probably wouldn't be out long because he would probably start fusing and they would have to go home. Only he didn't fuss. He likes shopping. And he likes having company over. And he likes going out to dinner.

People who are not even six months old should not care about going shopping or having company over, and they certainly should not care about going out to dinner when they can't even eat anything.

Maybe the kiddo is just weird. Anyway, he did not get all fussy, and so it was not a short day like I expected. Not that I didn't enjoy myself, but I got really tired. I wasn't expecting to stay out most of the day like that. If I'm not planning to be gone all day and into the evening, I don't like to be gone more than a few hours, and I'd really rather be home before six.

So I thought that we would go to the mall for a few hours, and then the baby would have had enough and he and his mom would go home. And then maybe just the two of us would go to lunch and talk, and then we would head home too. But, no. After a couple of hours, the baby had a bottle, and then he was good to go again. A couple of hours after that, I was ready to leave, but I hadn't taken my car, so I really couldn't. And then we had lunch and ended up staying until five. At five I was really ready to go home, and was relieved that we were leaving. Only we all weren't leaving, just the baby and his mom. My companion (and ride home) still had a few more things to get. I didn't get home til almost eight.

The day after that, some of us had dinner at the pilot's house. I've been to the pilot's house a couple of times before, and the last time I caught a cold or something. So when I started sneezing and such this time, they've decided that I'm allergic to their cat. They have a really big friendly cat. I love the cat. But I don't see how I could be allergic to their cat if I'm not allergic to my brother's cat and I've never noticed a problem with anyone else's cat. I've lived with cats for years, and there was never any problem. But, Saturday night I had the sniffles and such really bad, but it mostly went away by Sunday, so maybe they are right.

Sunday afternoon we left for the boring place, which I've already blogged about. So that just leaves the knitting and all that I'm trying to get caught up with before the party next Saturday.

Yesterday there is a dinner that I was invited to, but I didn't go. Someone else in the group apologized for not going either, because she had this party to go to. I know other people going to this same party, so I made some comment about that. Not cause I really wanted to go to this party, but just because it's been weeks or maybe months since I've made a smart-a** remark about anything on the list. Sometimes smart-a** remarks just don't translate on the computer, so now there are people sort of explaining why I didn't get an invite. I know perfectly well why I didn't get an invite, and I also knew who to go to if I had wanted one. I just didn't. I haven't the time or money to do the stuff I've already committed to, so adding another party to that is out of the question.

So I'm now debating should I just leave it alone or make another smart-a** remark?

Yesterday we got caught up with Stargate and Sanctuary, and we watched The Day The Earth Stood Still. Contrary to a local reviewer, this was not the worst sci-fi film ever made. It just isn't going to be everyone's favorite movie. And I think that it would have been more fun for me if I hadn't seen a lot more previews of it about a week ago. There were not a lot of surprises in the film after that.

Back to knitting and the rest of my life.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Why did I wait so long?

I have tons of knitting to do. Due mostly to poor planning on my part, I have not been sitting around enjoying the season after having already done all of my Christmas shopping and such before Thanksgiving. No. For some reason I put a lot of it off, like the fact that I didn't know if my family was going to draw names or what. We have decided on the Chinese gift exchange instead.

I don't know if I like the idea of the Chinese gift exchange. We do that at the club, and that is fun to watch. Everyone puts in something in the ten to twenty dollar range, and then everyone draws a number. Whoever got number one unwraps a gift. The person with the next number can either take that gift or unwrap another gift. People with higher numbers can steal any gift that they want from people with lower numbers, who then go and unwrap another gift. If you are the last person, you can either unwrap the last gift or steal anything from anyone else.

So that's a fun thing to watch, if it's a large group. And I've only spent ten dollars or so on what I put into it, usually Bath & Body Works stuff that was on sale, or maybe a book I found on sale and a gift certificate to buy another book. I figure that if my gift doesn't go to someone who likes that sort of thing, it's no big deal, they can easily re-gift it.

But I'm not so sure that I like the idea in the smaller group. I'm not sure that I like the idea that no one is buying anything especially for me, and the stuff that I'm buying isn't especially for a particular person either. And it's more than ten dollars. I had heard that it was going to be forty dollars, and when I heard it was the Chinese gift exchange I asked if we could drop that down to thirty dollars. And the way that things are now, no one really had a problem lowering the amount.

I'm still having a bit of a problem with it. Last year and the year before, (when we didn't have this idea of drawing names or having the Chinese gift exchange) I wasn't sure what to get people, except one person really seemed to like Bath & Body Works stuff, and a couple of other people seemed to like it too, though maybe not quite as much as the first. So I bought a lot of that stuff throughout the year when it was on sale, so by the time Christmas came I had lots of it to make gift baskets with. There's only one person who just really doesn't care for that stuff at all. So I bought some more of this stuff this year, just not as much as last year, hoping that I would draw the name of the person who really likes the stuff, or maybe one of the others.

But now we didn't draw names, and I don't have a lot of money to go out and buy something else. I have to put in two gifts, one for myself and one for my husband. So I figure one will still be the Bath & Body Works stuff, and the other will be a scarf that I've been working on. I have no idea if anyone will like the scarf other than my husband. So I've hid the scarf from him and hope that he's the one who ends up with it. I don't know, the others might really like it if they saw it. Anyway, if the one person ends up with Bath & Body Works stuff, great, and if her husband ends up with it he will just give most of it to her. Another person might want it, or I might end up taking it home with us. So that only leaves the one person who would really not like getting Bath & Body Works stuff, and I thought that I'd put some books and DVDs in the car and maybe offer to trade something.

Anyway, the scarf is mostly finished, but it still needs some more work. It has to be finished before Christmas Eve, and I'm trying to work in it when my husband won't see it. The other knitting has to be finished sooner, in only a week. One piece is done except for the fringe, and another piece is almost half done.

I really should have done this stuff sooner.

And then I have one major present to buy, which I still don't have a clue about, and three minor ones that aren't really a problem. Mostly more Chinese gift exchange stuff, but that's all in the five to ten dollar range and is stuff like Bath & Body Works stuff, candles, candy, etc....

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

My trip to the most boring place in Texas

Okay, I can't say for sure that this is the most boring place in all of Texas. Texas is a big place, and so I have not really been to all of it yet. In fact, I have there are whole big chunks of it east and south of here that I am totally unfamiliar with.

But this particular boring place is where my grandparents used to live, and where my dad lived fifty years ago. So I went there often until I became a teenager. Since my husband had to work there for the day, I thought that I would go with him and see if I recognized anything. And it was only the one day, so no matter how boring it was and how bad the motel was, I figured that I could put up with it for this one day.

As I said in the previous post, my husband decided that it was just far enough away that we needed to go ahead and go there the day before. So we headed out, and about halfway there we stopped and ate at The Green Frog in Jacksboro. This is a place that we traveled past many times in my childhood, but rarely ate at. We must have eaten there at some point, cause we were always asking if we were going to eat there this time, but I don't remember actually stopping there. Contrary to the opinions of ten year old children, people do not starve to death during three hour road trips. But people do have to make other stops, so if we did not stop at The Green Frog we at least went to the gas station down the street and got soda and candy.

My husband had decided to try to make this a really nice trip for me, early present or some such thing, so we ate at this restaurant of my childhood memory before going to some historical fort that he wanted to take pictures of. We got there about an hour before it was starting to get dark, and lots of deer came out to look at us. We were not to their liking, and they went back to wherever they came from, and we went back to taking pictures of old buildings built by people who were smaller than us and used up a lot less space. The jail wasn't much bigger than my bedroom, but it used to house twelve prisoners in four cells.

Then we got back into the car, and while we did not go to any of those places suggested by Bulletholes, one of them was a very good guess, as it was in the general neighborhood. The motel was small and not new, but it seemed clean enough and had lots of cable channels. It was too dark to do much of anything other than find the motel. So we watched The Librarian and some historical drama on PBS, and then we went to bed.

The next day we went to lunch at Subway. Nothing really looked familiar. The cafeteria that my grandparents took me to was gone, and I did not find The Dairy Mart or anything else much that looked familiar. I did not even find the park. I think that I did find the house, but it was hard to tell. The place was an odd mix of newer houses built right next to old falling down things and rusty trailers.

After driving around a bit more, my husband had to go to work, and I tried to knit a baby's hat. I had almost finished the thing, but then I did something wrong. I tried to unravel a bit of it to fix it, and ended up unraveling almost the whole thing instead. But I've started a new one and am halfway through with it.

I have some odd memories of this place. Like only old people live here. Not in the sense that a lot of old people move to Florida and Arizona. But just that there seem to be a lot of stubborn old people who stay in places like this after all the other people move away. I often went there for Thanksgiving and Christmas and the occasional trip after church on a Sunday. And we would stay for a week or two in the summer. And there mostly seemed to be a lot of old people. There were a lot of people my grandparent's age, and some people my parents age, but hardly anyone who was younger than my parents. Most of the people we knew in town seemed to be related to us somehow. There were four others who were about my age, and two younger cousins. One girl my age was visiting her grandmother, and the rest of the time she lived in Denton. The others lived there all year.

And it just never seemed to get through to me that they really did live there and that they did almost everything in this little town. Like, I thought that they must go to school somewhere else. I mean, they talked about school a lot, but where was it? I really didn't see a lot of other kids, and when I did I just assumed that they were also visiting grandparents and didn't live there either. Surely there were not enough kids in this little place for this little place to have a school? But apparently they did in fact have a school, and they even had a football team, and my cousins were in band.

But all I ever saw were old people wearing cowboy hats.

Yesterday we meant to take pictures of more falling down things and look for the park, but we decided that it was too cold and headed back home, taking a different road this time. We were going to another of those restaurants of my childhood memories, but after several people told my husband that two of the three Pioneer restaurants weren't worth going to anymore, we went to McBride's instead. I might have been there once or twice, but I don't remember it if I did. Steak isn't really my thing now, and I'm sure my parents did not often waste good money taking me out to have steak much when I was a kid. But once in a while it isn't a bad thing. And the wait staff brought me enough baked potato toppings to feed five people. A nice enough place. Not my favorite now, but when I was a kid, this was the place that all the adults liked to go. We spent too much money, but since we were planning to go out anyway, I figure that this place only costs a few dollars more and was a lot nicer.

We didn't do much after that. It was too cold for my liking, so we just headed home. We were a week or two too early for my favorite surviving memory of childhood anyway.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Going to what might be the most boring place in Texas

This was supposed to be a one day trip, no big deal, but I was going to go anyway. Tomorrow. A couple of hours ago, my husband tells me that we're going to go ahead and leave a bit early. So I won't be here again until Tuesday, and I might not have the Internet while I'm gone. And I suspect that I will be a bit busy when I get back, so I might not be on the computer again until Wednesday.

So please forgive me if I didn't visit your blogs, response to comments, reply to your emails, etc.... I didn't forget about you, I'm just gone for a few days and I'll get back to that stuff as soon as I can.

And I'm off to an exciting time of knitting and watching cable TV, etc....

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

I wasted a lot of time these past few months

Okay, I like ceramics class. No one forced me to sign up for ceramics class. In fact, my mom is quite annoyed with me that I'm still taking art classes. I'm in a ceramics class because I like ceramics, and it's my own fault if I've wasted time that I should have spent doing something else.

But I really did not plan to spend this much time on it this semester. It was only going to be a six-week Saturday only class. It was only supposed to take up twelve hours, maybe sixteen or so with the driving and such.

First problem, at the beginning of class I was very disorganized, and I was so low on cash that I didn't have an extra twenty dollars to buy clay. We had clay that we could recycle, but I resented having to spend half an hour or so of class time getting the clay ready. So I had the brilliant idea of coming to school during the week to recycle some clay. And then I had the brilliant idea of recycling all the clay in the recycle bin, so that I wouldn't have to do that again for the rest of the semester, and then that would also leave a lot of extra clay for the other students to use.

I think that I wasted three or four extra days going to school to recycle clay, which I would not have done if I had just had an extra twenty dollars or so to buy new clay.

And then I wasn't going to the last class because of the Halloween party, so I was going to come back on one other day. Really, I was just planning the one other day to make up for the time I missed that day and another hour or so that I missed when I had to leave early twice. Only the on the next to last class the teacher said that we could come back to school to finish up stuff that we threw on those Saturdays. We couldn't throw any new stuff, but we could go to the school later to finish and sand and glaze and stuff like that. So I came a couple more days to do that.

And then there was the whole thing with making a new leaf vase so that I could try to sell the first one. Turns out that the potential buyer is having financial problems and won't be buying any art for a while, so that was sort of a waste of time. It isn't that I regret making the piece, just that it didn't need to be done right now if I don't have a paying customer waiting. So I've spent fifteen hours so far on the new vase, which meant I was in the lab for another five days that I hadn't originally planned to do.

Then there was some time last week that I just wasn't organized. I spent half of a class glazing four bowls. I shouldn't have done that. I should have waited until all the bowls were fired and glazed them all at the same time. And I should have waited to do that until I bought a drill attachment to mix the glazes. Right now the glazes are rather lumpy. So that was some wasted time, plus some wasted time later cleaning up the mess. I'll have to do the rest of it tomorrow, but if I had planned better, I could have just waited and glazed everything tomorrow.

And then I've spent a couple of class periods trying to fix a couple of bowls that have problems. They don't look even, and they are starting to crack, so I'm trying to repair them by sticking more clay on them like leaf shapes and such. And now that I've done all I can do about that, it has occurred to me that after the wheel work was done I could have brought these particular bowls home to add the leaves and such. So that would have saved me a couple of days time right there.

The other thing that has occurred to be is that I don't even particular like these two bowls to start with, so why did I feel like I had to salvage the pieces. I'm not getting a grade. If I don't like something I can just toss it.

So I think that I went to school two or three days that I didn't really have to for a few pieces that I either could have worked on at home or just given up on entirely because I didn't like them that much, another day that I spent glazing stuff that should have waited until tomorrow, five days working on a leaf vase that I didn't need to be doing this semester anyway, and three or four days that I wouldn't have spent recycling clay if I had an extra twenty bucks to buy new clay.

I've spent about three weeks at the school for stuff that I really didn't need to do. I could have been cleaning or looking for a job or knitting stuff that I plan to give as Christmas presents.

Shoulda, coulda, woulda....


Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Visiting with Mom and Dad

My mom wanted me to get some stuff for her and grandma at Micheal's, if I was going to Micheal's anyway. I wasn't going anyway, or at least, I probably wouldn't be going there anyway on Friday or Saturday. Assuming that she was wanting something in the after-Thanksgiving sales ad, I probably wouldn't be going there anyway. If it was something that she really needed and she couldn't go get it herself, maybe I could be convinced to go there anyway, but it had better be something that she really wanted very badly to get me to go over by the mall the weekend after Thanksgiving if I wasn't planning to go that direction anyway, which I was not.

If it wasn't something on the sale ad, and it could wait til Monday or Tuesday, I would be happy to do it.

But of course it was something that she wanted in the ad, and she just really didn't get it that I wasn't going to be going there anyway. I have no money to spend at Micheal's at the moment, so why would I be going there anyway. It isn't too far away from school, so I could go there after school one day, but there is no school Friday or Saturday this week, so I wouldn't be just in the area for that either. And my plans for Black Friday were in the opposite direction.

She just almost seemed to get mad. Like I go to Micheal's everyday except when she asks me to go, and then I make up other plans that prevent me from going to Micheal's. I had been to school on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday that week, and if she wanted something enough to pay full price for it, she could have asked me before school on any of those days and I would have gone. But she didn't ask me until Wednesday evening, and she did want a sale item, and I just didn't think that I could fit that into my schedule.

By Thursday she had calmed down, and after lunch on Thanksgiving she showed me the ad and want she wanted from it. And there on the ad it said that they would be open on Thanksgiving from 6pm-9pm, and there were even coupons to use only at that time. So my mom decided that she could drive there herself on Thanksgiving, and that if I would meet her at her house we could go together and I could help her pick out some things.

Okay, so far as I know, the only places open to shop on Thanksgiving were a few drugstores and Garden Ridge, and now Micheal's was going to be open for three hours. So I figured that Garden Ridge would be crowded off and on throughout the day, and that during the 6pm-9pm sale that Micheal's would be really crowded. So if I needed something from this sale I would have been there well before 6pm and in line before the store opened.

My mom calls a bit before 5:30 to see if I'm ready to go. I am. This is just about perfect timing for me to drive to her house and then for us to get to Micheal's just before 6pm. Only when I get to her house she isn't quite ready to go, and she's on the phone for a little bit, and then she's looking at her hair and such, and she wants to ask me a few things that have nothing to do with going to Micheal's. Can't this stuff wait?

My mom doesn't see why we should be in a rush. It is Thanksgiving, and she doesn't think that many people will be out shopping, especially this late in the day. So we don't leave her house until 6pm, and then she doesn't want to get on the freeway, so we don't get to the place until about 6:30.

By that time most of the people have what they came to get and are already in line for the checkout. The lines are really long. The best that I can hope for is that either my mom will totally change her mind and decide that some of the stuff can wait, and maybe one of the drugstores will have something similar to the little Christmas tree that she wanted and we'll just leave, or else maybe she has a lot of shopping to do and maybe the lines won't be so long by the time she's done.

So she looks for the little Christmas trees that she came after, but she doesn't find them. Well, if they were that great of a deal, then maybe they are sold out already. All these other people got here at six if not sooner. Maybe all the good stuff is just gone.

My mom tries again to look for the Christmas trees while I go off to look at yarn. I have a coupon, but I don't think that it is worth standing in that line to use it. But I look anyway.

My mom finds the advertised trees, but they look nothing like the picture. She doesn't want them. I put the yarn back on the shelf.

But we don't leave yet, because my mom wants to look at something else. Someone made some jewelry for my sister, and my mom wants something like it. But my mom really can't describe what is it that we are looking for, and there's like three aisles of that stuff to look through. She keeps saying that we should look at my sister's stuff (which we cannot do right then because she did not borrow my sister's stuff to bring for comparison), so that should be the end of it but somehow we keep looking. And my mom has trouble with the most basic of descriptions, so we get nowhere.

So neither of us buys anything, and I get home about three hours after I left.

I have now seen my sister's jewelry, which looks almost nothing like the stuff that my mom was looking at.

A few nights ago I had a dream about my dad. My dad was going on a business trip, and he had one of those free companion flight tickets, so I was going to go with him. I was getting to go instead of my mom, because in the dream my siblings were still kids and couldn't be left at home without her. This made perfect since in the dream, but it doesn't quite add up in real life logic. If this were happening in real life at a time when we were younger and the kids couldn't be left home alone, then there would have been several live and healthy grandparents to look after them for a week or so.

So my dad and I are at the airport and are going to get our bags checked and all of that, and the rest of the family is there to see us off. And then something bad happens, and I'm not really clear on what it was, only that in the dream I was very scared so it was like a serious accident or terrorism or something like that. And then my dad calls someone at work, and his plans totally change, and we're going to be on a different flight and maybe even we are now going to a different place. And with all of this stuff happening I get very upset and start thinking that maybe I don't want to go. And I think I say something about not having packed the right clothes for where we are going, but what I'm really thinking is something more like I want my mommy. And my dad says that we can buy a few things once we get there if I still want to go. And he's saying how that he doesn't like to waste money, but we aren't poor, and that just this once we can spend a bit of money on things that we really don't need.

And then he has this idea that we really do have money, and that just this once, we should spend some. We are all at the airport, and we should all go, even though most of us haven't even packed to go on a trip. Dad has decided to buy the extra tickets and to even buy everyone some new clothes once we get to where we are going. We could all just get on the plane and go.

Even in the dream it isn't quite that easy. Mom didn't park the car in a space for people who are going to away for the week. Stuff like that. There's a lot of rushing around and such. I think I woke up before we got on the plane.

In real life my dad has been dead for almost five years now. So when I woke up I had one of those days that I really missed having my dad around.

My dad had cancer. For almost a year I got used to the idea that he had cancer and that he might die. He had some treatments, which didn't do as much for him as the doctors hoped, but they did make him a bit better. The doctors told him he needed an operation, which my dad really did not want, but he wasn't ready to give up and die either. And whenever someone has an operation, there's always the chance that something will go wrong and the patient will die on the table, or that the doctor can't finish the operation, or that the operation itself goes well but that there's more cancer and the patient ends up dying anyway. That sort of thing. For many months I got used to the idea that he might die because of that sort of thing.

What I did not imagine is that the operation would be a success and that the cancer would all be removed, but that the stress of the whole cancer thing would cause heart problems and that he would end up dying two months later. So even after all that time of thinking that my dad might die, it was still a bit of a shock. He wasn't supposed to die then, after the doctors had all said that he was cured.

A few months after that we went to see The Butterfly Effect, which I really think is a great movie. And I'm one of those people who might cry just a little bit at a movie theater, but not like a cry out loud cry that would disturb the people sitting next to me, but more of a quiet cry or mostly just my eyes tearing up a bit. So The Butterfly Effect has a lot of moments where your eyes get wet. It also has very disturbing moments and violence and all of that, and there are moments when you might actually feel a bit sick. But at the end of the movie my eyes were a bit wet again. And we didn't just jump up and run for the door. And while the credits roll by I wait for my eyes to dry. And I think I'd like to tell my dad about this movie, and then I realize that I can't do that, cause he's dead. So then I just become a blubbering idiot right there in the theater while everyone else walks past us.

I didn't break down like that too much when he died, and I think that time in the theater was probably the worst of it, maybe even worse than at the hospital or the funeral. I know he's in a better place and all of that, and I even think that he was ready to go. But sometimes it is damned annoying that I cannot ask him stuff, and that I can't talk to him about the "Hobbit" fossils and hear what he thinks about it.

It was kind of nice to see him at the airport, even if it was just a dream.

Monday, December 01, 2008

After I wrote about my last post

I heard the awful story about that guy getting trampled to death at the Walmart. Not my Walmart, just some Walmart in New York or something. And they said that was the first Black Friday fatality. As bad as that is, it does rather surprise me if that was really the first. Things get ugly out there sometimes.

I'm not sure how I would make it better. At the place I went at 6am, you had to wait to get a coupon. I personally didn't wait, cause they decided to open fifteen minutes early, so I walked right up to the door. But maybe if they did something like that. Not a coupon exactly, but sort of a voucher, and if you don't wait your turn in line and behave yourself, you won't get a voucher, and if you get inside without a voucher they won't sell you the good sale stuff. Maybe if you knew that pushing your way inside wasn't going to get you anything, you wouldn't do it.

Like I said before, I didn't do much actual Christmas shopping that day, because we were waiting to draw names or something, and I didn't know what to buy. But I did need a few things for myself, so I went to a few sales. The first place was Anna's Linens, which was having sheets on sale for half off, and if you were the first 100 costumers you got a $10 off coupon. Well, I didn't want to deal with 5am at Walmart, but maybe there wouldn't be such a crowd at the lesser known Anna's. And I didn't want anything bad enough to set the alarm and get up really early, but if I woke up on time anyway I would go. And I woke up at the perfect time to get to Anna's before 6am, and I got a coupon.

Two people did cut in line right in front of me. And I am usually the type of person to do something about it. Not start a physical fight do something about it, but complain about it and ask to see the manager do something about it. That's part of her job, and I don't doubt that she would have asked them to move, but right when that happened, I didn't see her, and I figured that it would take longer to go and get her than to just put up with it. Besides, I was right there at the front of the line, and if I had gone to get the manager I might have been told that I'd lost my place in line, or someone might have taken something that I meant to buy or something like that. I just decided to wait.

So I had my sheets by a little bit after 6:30, and I decided to have a look at Walmarts since they were in the same shopping center. And I decided to leave my car where it was and walk. I was looking for a crockpot and some jeans and some movies. I had trouble finding what I was looking for. I figured that the really hot sale items might be in a big display instead of on the normal shelves, but I couldn't find them anyway. I just figured that the crock pots were got already. I scanned lots of jeans, but none of them seemed to be the eight dollar ones. I asked an employee about the crockpots and the movies. The crockpot display had been moved across from the toys, and I didn't see any left, so I figured that they were all gone and that the jeans were all gone too. The two dollar movies were moved to the grocery area, and I bought ten of them. By the time I found the movies I wanted and gave up on the other stuff, the lines were not too bad and I bought my movies and went on to Best Buy.

At Best Buy I bought another movie, and then realized that I should have bought another movie at Walmart. Rather than go back to Walmart, I just thought that I would pay an extra dollar and buy it at Best Buy. Only Best Buy was sold out, and I knew that Walmart still had plenty of them. So I bought one movie from Best Buy and took it back to the car. And then I remembered that I needed computer paper and orange juice, so I might as well go back to Walmart and buy those and that other movie. Again, I lucked out and the lines weren't long.

Time to head home. I wanted to stop at the bank and make a car payment, only I was too early and the bank wasn't open yet. It was only about 8:30. I had made purchases in three stores and even gone into Walmart twice, and I had been gone less than three hours.

I had something to eat and then headed out again, cause I had to drop off something at the library and I still had to make that car payment. And I thought that as long as I was out that I'd check out another Walmart. Walmart supposedly had 50 different movies on sale for two bucks, and I don't think that I saw 50 movies, so I was wondering if the other Walmarts stocked different movies. Which it turned out that they had a few that the other one didn't, but also that they didn't have a few that the other one did, which was too bad because it had occurred to me that I should have bought multiple copies of a children's film to give to charity stuff.

I was about to give up and go home, but I stumbled upon one of those on sale crockpots. Lucky me. So I decided to look for those eight dollar jeans again. I asked someone this time. She said that the jeans were moved, so that they were still in clothing, just not in the women's area. And at first I didn't see anything that I wanted, but then I found two that might be it. I went to the scanner, and they came up eight dollars.

Now I see that the sale jeans look identical to the other jeans I looked at earlier, but that the barcode on the tag is at the bottom of the size tag, and the regular priced jeans had the barcode up at the waist. So this defeated my plan of just grabbing some jeans and not trying them on and trying to exchange them later, cause I would have to exchange them for other jeans with this same barcode, and they wouldn't have any of those to exchange later. But I did find two pair that I thought might work, one that might have been a bit loose, or one that might have been a bit tight, but I figured that with my weight going up and down that was the way to go. And it turns out that one fits pretty good, and the other still fits but is a bit loose. So that was good, except now I'm regretting that I didn't buy a couple that I put back cause they were longs. For eight dollar jeans it might be worth it to buy some long and hem them. But I guess it doesn't matter that much, as they were the new jeans that I have complained of before, though these are at the mid-rise and not the really low-rise things that leave your butt crack hanging out. Just at some point you have to buy some new jeans, even if you do not like the current style that much, or else you will end up having worn out all your jeans and have none to wear at all.

So that was my Black Friday success story. Two pair of jeans, a crockpot, three sheet sets, eight movies, computer paper, and orange juice.