Monday, March 31, 2008

Monday Morons--Do I have Chlamydia?

If you are a woman and you are having any kind of problems below the waist and have to go see a doctor about it, the doctor will usually say that you need a pelvic exam. You might have appendicitis, so you'd better have a pelvic exam. Why? I mean, I'm not a doctor, so I'm not sure what they are looking for, but I'm pretty sure that my appendix isn't in there guys.

I sometimes wonder if guys have a similar problem. If you have the stomach flu or are worried that you need to have your appendix out, do they check your prostate?

I suppose that they are looking to see if the woman is pregnant. Not that you can always tell be looking. And not that they ask to see if you could be pregnant before they start looking. Sometimes when I haven't missed any periods, and it's been a while since I've even had sex, I'm pretty damned sure that I'm not pregnant. But I don't think that anyone has ever asked me before they told me to put my feet up in the stirrups.

Several years ago, my mom was having some problems. Eventually she went in and had a barium enema to see if she could have diverticulitis. But having a barium enema isn't a lot of fun and it is expensive, so they wanted to rule out a few other things first. This was obviously something wrong with her stomach or intestines, but apparently it is cheaper to rule out gynecological problems first. Better have pelvic exam first. In fact, better see a specialist first. The specialist proceeded to talk to my mother about all sorts of serious gynecological problems that she might have and that she might need a hysterectomy. I don't think so.

And my sister had a lot of problems when she was younger, though a lot of those were actually gynecological and did require pelvic exams. But she was having so many pelvic exams, she should have gotten frequent flyer miles or something. A couple of times she was taken to the emergency room, just to make sure that she didn't have appendicitis, and they did a pelvic exam. After they were pretty sure she didn't have that they gave her antibiotics and pain meds and such and sent her home with a note that said she should see her regular doctor the next week. So of course the regular doctor also did a pelvic exam and such.

Among other things, my sister did have endometriosis and she was treated with laparoscopic something or other. My parents asked that they look at her appendix while they were in there. The doctor said that she had a weird appendix and that it was at an angle where he couldn't see it, which left my parents wondering if she really did have a weird appendix or if he just made that up because he forgot to look at it.

While all of this was going on, my sister had some other problems like the rest of us often do. She had a few UTIs and some stomach troubles. Possibly some of the stomach trouble was because of stress of having to see the doctor so often about the other stuff.

On one of the doctor visits, the doctor decides that in addition to the endometriosis my sister probably has chlamydia as well. I'm not sure that we'd ever heard of chlamydia before, or at least we weren't sure what it was, and we looked it up and found out it was an STD. The doctor hadn't done any tests for this when he decided that was what she had, he just thought that she had the symptoms and chlamydia was a very common problem, so my sister probably had it.

Sometimes chlamydia has no symptoms, and it is so common because there are all these people spreading it around because they don't know that they have it. So that was kind of weird that a doctor decided that she must have it because she had all the right symptoms. But it is a problem because it can cause infertility and can make people more susceptible to other STDs and such, so even when chlamydia doesn't have any symptoms it shouldn't be ignored.

At the time this was going on my sister was a teenager and she'd never had sex. Not only did we believe that she'd never had sex, not only had she already told the doctor that she'd never had sex, but the doctor had given her a pelvic exam not on that visit but about a month before. On the previous visit he had advised that my sister should consider having her hymen surgically removed because of the frequent pelvic exams. I guess he forgot.

Anyway, my sister did not have chlamydia, and you have trouble taking the doctor seriously after something like that. But she did have endometriosis and she did have the laparoscopic thing to try to deal with it. It didn't help as much as she hoped.

A few years ago I took Adolescent Development in school. It was a really interesting class, and I'm glad that I took it, though it ended up being wasted credit since I ended up not getting a teaching degree. But I remember that we had a test and that we had a section on STDs and on the test we were asked what was the most common STD. And I'm pretty sure that the answer was chlamydia. I don't think that based on that you should just start telling people that they have it without doing the lab work first. And now I'm wondering if I remembered it wrong, or if maybe they weren't counting HPV as an STD when I was taking that class. 50 to 80 percent of women have had HPV, though most of us don't seem to have had anything bad happen as a result. And since we do not get it from toilet seats, and most of us are not lesbians, I would think that we were getting the HPV from say 50 to 80 percent of the men. So that's a lot of people who have had HPV. Have more people than that really had chlamydia? That's a lot of people.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Go shopping

And take a coupon.

I love free stuff.

A few more things

Despite what it says on the TV listings link below, the FOX site says that tonight they will be showing BONES and Canterbury's Law. BONES is definitely a re-run. I don't think that there have been enough Canterbury's Law yet to be showing re-runs, but I could be wrong.

Again, I did not win the lottery. I see in my future a job that I probably will not like. Possibly one in which I say, "Would you like fries with that?"

I have finally made an appointment for my annual exam. So I will get that over with next week, almost a month later than I should have.

Freaky Friday's is on hiatus until further notice. I have too much to do, and I shouldn't be blogging much, except for what I do in the mornings while I wait for a certain person to wake up. Freaky Friday's usually takes up some of my time on Friday afternoons, and I've decided that I should spend that time working on school projects. Today I intend to bring home some terra cotta and work on my relief sculpture. That is, if the bookstore hasn't run out of clay again, and in that case I will spend my afternoon making a trip to the ceramic supply place.

The memorial service for my friend will be a week from Saturday. I have plenty of time to find something suitable to wear and buy shoes. The service is in Dallas, but in a part of Dallas that I don't have much problem driving to, because it is off of I-20. The problem will be afterward, trying to decide if I should drive to the wake at his home. The drive from the funeral home to his house would take me right through a part of Dallas that I don't care for. Maybe I can make some excuse to go home first and find a safer way to drive from there.

Enough. Time to go to school.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

More Random Thoughts

My husband came home last night at almost midnight, and despite the fact that I went to a night class, I was already asleep when he got home. I woke up for a bit, but not enough to say anything coherent. Just sort of mumbled something about him being home and me going back to bed. I think if I was going to be that late that I would have just gotten a room. I worry about long drives at night, but he doesn't think about that sort of thing.

Having gotten used to the idea of him not being here for a few days, it was then odd for me the first night he was home. Woke up in the middle of the night, remembered he was there, and then tried to go back to sleep because I can't watch TV or get up and eat ice cream, etc....

At school I finally got around to spraying glaze on the leaf vase (or the "tree" as the professor calls it). I am not comfortable with the spray gun and might have made a big mess of it. We shall see.

The glaze contains "substances which are known to cause birth defects and cancer in California." Lucky for me that we're in Texas. I'd almost forgotten about my cut fingertips, but then I got glaze on them. That rather stings a bit. I still have three or four boxes of rubber gloves left, but I'm not sure where any of them are at the moment. I should have taken a box to school last time I had them out.

I finally got a plate and a bowl from my molds. The professor is quite happy with them.

I have just realized that there's only like a month left for school. And I've been told that this week's Friday afternoon session has been cancelled. And I can't go next Friday because of my friend's memorial service. I don't think that I'm going to get things done on time. I need to decide if I should drop the class before the 12th of April. I still need to clean the glaze off of the bottom of the "tree" so it can be fired, glaze the tall vase, pour and finish at least three more bowls and plates, finish the Triffid, finish the Martian Crickets, and I haven't even started the relief sculpture, the dragon sculpture, or the Alien face hugger. And I had meant to do extra stuff. I at least have a design for the relief sculpture. Maybe I should roll out some terra cotta and take that project home over the weekend.

I have just looked at a blog that I used to read. The author said that she needed a break and was probably going to give up blogging. I reminded her of all the time she had put into the thing and she said that she wouldn't delete the blog, just that she might not write in it anymore. A while back a couple of us checked on it, and for some reason instead of seeing a month old post we saw a post that was a year and a half old. Now it is even stranger. There's not a post, but a bunch of drug ads. It is very strange to see someone's thoughts on life replaced by drug ads. I hope that she is alright.

Time for me to get ready for school, even if there is someone in the next room who is still trying to sleep.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Some Random Thoughts

Before I write anything else, let me remind everyone that tonight is the last Jericho. Not the end of the season, but the end of the show. That's it. No more Jericho. The end.

I have spent a week out of town with my husband, and now I'm going to spend a few days at home by myself. And I have decided that I'm going to enjoy this time by myself. I usually don't deal with it very well. I don't like sleeping alone and such. Mainly, this is because I don't get enough sleep. I wake up in the middle of the night, realize that I am alone, hear some stupid little noise and panic over nothing.

I am determined that will not be the case this time. There are good things about having the house to myself. If I wake up in the middle of the night, I can watch TV or listen to the radio or get up and eat ice cream. I can do anything I want. There's no one else here to disturb. I don't have to be quiet.

And with that knowledge, and one little sleeping pill, I got a full night's sleep. I don't remember the last time that happened. I fell asleep a bit after ten and slept til nearly six. And then I actually got out of bed and had a bath and turned on the lights and everything. And I watched the episode of Medium that I taped last night. I never get to do that. I wake up early and wait til five or six and then I come in here and blog until he wakes up which usually isn't til seven or eight. Cause blogging is the only thing that I can do without waking him up. Sometimes I think that I would have mostly given up blogging a year ago except for the fact that I needed something to do in the mornings that didn't make noise.

A full night's sleep. Unbelievable. And that was after an almost three hour afternoon nap too.

I was thinking about when I was a kid and we had these big Easter egg hunts. Someone took thousands of eggs and hid them in the park while we were in church. That must have taken an hour or two. And then we would spend time in the park finding the eggs, and then we would go to lunch. Some of the eggs were those candy eggs that were partially made of wax. Some of the eggs were actual hard-boiled eggs. Hardly any of the eggs were anything cool like chocolate or a plastic egg with something inside it. Just almost rock hard candy eggs and real hard-boiled eggs. So the eggs must have been out of the fridge for like three hours or so before we got them home. And then we usually didn't have the sense to put them in the fridge then either. And we usually ate a couple of these eggs. And then usually by the end of the day one of our parents would take the eggs away from us and say that if we wanted to eat anymore eggs we should eat the ones that we'd made ourselves that were in the refrigerator.

I just can't think that anyone would do that now. Obviously, eggs that aren't refrigerated go bad and shouldn't be eaten. But it seems like we ate some that had been out for several hours, and I don't remember anyone ever dying from it.

I read a few blogs, not because I care about the writers, but just because I've been drawn into the whole soap opera. My favorite one has ended. After two or three years of writing about her life and wondering why she can't seem to find that one special guy while she's having threesomes and such, she decided that writing the blog wasn't the thing for her anymore. Now, a lot of us say that, and then we change our minds after a few weeks. So I suggested that she leave the blog alone for a bit, and not delete it, and maybe after she'd had a rest she might change her mind. And, if she was mostly worried about the blog being so public, she could make the blog private and keep writing. So, after about a month, that is what she decided to do, make the blog private. And, not being one of the few people given the password, I was not able to read the blog for a month or two, but once or twice a week I would type in the address to see if the blog was public again. This morning I typed in the address, and the blog has been deleted. Oh, well. I hope that she made a hard-copy for herself first.

I had some computer access during the week I was away, but I spent most of my computer time writing my own blogs posts and checking my email for news of my dying friend. Now that I'm home I'll try to catch up on reading other people's blogs.

I used to read more blogs regularly than I do now. Something in my life changed, or something in the other blogger's life changed. There's one that I hardly read at all now, but to be fair, with the different things going on in her life, she rarely posts anything now. But she does stop by once in a while, and about a week ago on her own blog she posted some pictures of her recent weight-loss. And it looks great. And she got a haircut, and that looks great too. Unfortunately, my own weight-loss of fifteen pounds from two years ago is no more. I'm back at my pre-tragedy weight. It stayed off for like a year and a half, despite everyone telling me that the weight would come right back on. But it is finally back. I need to go eat some broccoli. And I think this week I'll get my hair trimmed. But I won't look as good as my fellow blogger, even though she probably still weighs a little bit more than I do.

I brought home a bunch of clay to recycle about a week and a half ago, so I would have some clay ready to use when I got back from spring break. But, of course, I didn't do anything about that when I should have. I didn't even look at the stuff until the day before yesterday. So yesterday I decided to push most of it through a kitchen strainer, and now I have these little cuts on the tips of two fingers. And I cannot find the antibiotic ointment, so I shall have to go and buy more. That's just one of those things that I can never find when I need it. Someday, if I ever move away from this house, I am going to find several dozen tubes mostly full tubes of antibiotic ointment. And then I'll find all those other little things that hide from me like safety pins and emery boards and socks.

Today in school, at least three of us were rather aimlessly wandering around the lab, trying to remember what it was that we were supposed to do. Having a lot of time off just messes things up for me. I vaguely remember what I was doing before I left, but I can't seem to just pick up where I left off. I'm supposed to glaze the tall vase, but I'm still waiting for a test piece to be fired first. I'm supposed to glaze the other vase, but that one requires using a spray gun, and I knew that I'd feel bad afterwards and decided to put that off til later. I should work on either the Martian cricket or the Triffid, but right now I just can't seem to think how to get back to doing whatever it was that I'd been about to do before I left. I don't want to do anything with the Alien face hugger until Friday, because I think it's best to work on it for several hours in one day, and Friday is the only day that the lab is available for that length of time. That pretty much left the Sleestaks, which are technically not school assignments and I'm only supposed to work on them after I'm finished with school work. And then I remembered that I'd left the plaster molds to dry, and that they should be ready to start making bowls and plates for my series of Halloween dishes. So I poured slip into those and worked on a Sleestak while I was waiting for the slip to set up in the molds. So I've mostly finished one Sleestak now. In a day or two it will be ready to be set out to dry, and I'll at least be able to get something off of my shelf. The plates and bowls are going to take longer than I expected. The plate mold works very well, except that the clay is too soft right out of the plaster and the plate didn't hold it's shape. I put the clay back into the mold and will let it set overnight. The bowl will just have to wait.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Home again, and, oh....

I came home Sunday morning still feeling a bit anxious. The drive was pleasant enough. We listened to the rest of an audio book by Larry Niven that we had listened to last week on the way to Tyler.

I felt a bit rushed when we were packing. So I thought that maybe my husband had some plans for the day, but apparently not. He just wanted be home for a bit. He has to leave again for a couple of days, but it is no big deal.

One of my fears was that I would come home to find the place flooded. I opened the door, and there was a bit of a smell, but I didn't see anything that couldn't be explained by just the fact that I didn't clean up before I left and that I might have knocked over a few boxes as I walked out with the suitcases and such. The smell wasn't that bad, and if it was due to water coming in the house it should have gotten worse at the back of the house, but the back of the house seems fine. So either the back of the house is fine and a tiny bit of water came in the front of the house, which is highly unlikely, or the bit of smell was due to us forgetting to take out the trash last Saturday or something else that is not flood related. We lit a few candles and such and expect that to be the end of the problem.

While I was away, one of my plants died, but that's alright as it was not a big plant and can be replaced for three or four dollars. Ten of the eleven asparagus plants emerged. So I think that I will call that a success and do a bit of weeding before adding more sand and such. Next year it shouldn't need any work at all, just harvesting and eating. And I have volunteer cilantro plants, and I love cilantro. I need to do a bit of work before getting pepper and tomato plants, but I think that I'm going just going to clear out a few old beds and not do any real work on the gardening this year.

While we were away I had my brother stop by once or twice to check on the mail. There were two packages left from the company my husband works for. One of the packages was his new camera. I'm afraid all the companies are a bit daft like that. They send important packages when they know he won't be home to receive them. It doesn't appear to be rain damaged or anything, but we shall see.

So that is all a bit of a relief. After having a look through the mail we went to lunch, and then my husband took me to see my dying friend in the hospice. He doesn't really know my friend, and he doesn't really want to sit around talking to other friends that he really doesn't know either, much less the friend's family he doesn't know at all. So he said that he would read a book. And I thought that he meant he would take a book inside with him, but no, he meant that he would wait out in the car and read a book. Oh. Okay.

So I went inside and used a code that I was given to get use the side door, and I found the room easy enough. And of course my friend was asleep, which I was told to expect if I went for a visit, and that I would mostly be talking to other friends and family more so than my sick friend. So his wife and parents were there, and another friend I probably haven't seen in ten years. I remember him very well, but he only vaguely remembers me. After a while some people I didn't know who'd come from out of state came to visit. They had been here most of the week I was gone, but were planning to take a plane home later that day.

So my friend wasn't awake much, and I didn't talk to him when I arrived. I took him a silly thing. His wife wanted to decorate his room a certain way, only at this time of year she was having trouble finding the things that she wanted, and I just happened to have one of the things due to one of last semester's art projects. But then after I dropped off the silly thing and everyone had a good laugh about it, I wasn't sure what to do next. I mean, if he had been awake I would have gone in to say hi and then talked to his family a bit before leaving, but since he wasn't awake, how long should I stay? Especially with my husband waiting in the car?

I went out to the car and suggested that he go find something to do and then come back for me later. Only with it being Easter he wasn't sure that anything he would want to do in the area was going to be open. He said that he didn't mind, and I could either stay for a while or we could go home and I could drive back in my own car and stay all day if I wanted. Staying the rest of the day seemed a bit much. I don't know. I gave him the code to get in the side door and told him that he should just come and get me whenever he was tired of his book.

About an hour later he woke up for a bit. I don't even think that he opened his eyes, but his wife told him that I was there. A bunch of us just sort of wandered into the room and said hello and then wandered back out again. The doctor wanted to talk to his wife about something that they were planning to do to make him more comfortable. That's really all that they do at this place, try to make people more comfortable. Another couple of people I didn't know wanted to talk to him, so I talked to his wife a bit more and then left. I said that I didn't have school Monday so I could probably stop by then and maybe after school on Tuesday. And she said that would be good and I and went home. The way the emails we worded, I thought that they expected him to die by last Thursday or even sooner, but I guess that it could go on this way for a bit.

This morning there was another email saying that he died very early this morning.

Well, okay. Not really unexpected. But I had mentally started to divide up the week between cleaning and going to school and going to visit my friend. Scratch that. Okay, I still need to clean and go to school, but now I need to get out a suitable black dress and probably go and buy some suitable black shoes, etc.... Do I need to cook something? It seems like people always cook something. When my dad died the church brought us ham and potato salad. Is there a church that's going to bring ham and potato salad? Does the club need to do that instead? Does his wife and family even like ham and potato salad?

I'm the grown up now. I have to do funerals and such now. But I still don't really know what I'm supposed to be doing.

And is the funeral going to be in Dallas? I hate Dallas. Maybe some of us will carpool from Irving if it isn't in Irving?

Are those people who just went back home out of state going to get on a plane and come back for the funeral? I think visiting a person before they die is more important that going to a funeral, but it seems like people judge you if you don't go to the funeral. I think that the out of state people should just send flowers and stay home.

Oh. Flowers. I guess I'm supposed to get flowers too.

I'm not that upset at the moment. I was sort of the new person in the little group, and I wasn't as close to him as some of the others were. But I think that I was close enough that I'm supposed to being doing something, but I'm not sure what.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

The trip so far Part 3

My husband goes to Tyler so frequently for his job he knows where most things are without looking at the map. We had a coupon for a Super 8 Motel and figured that we would probably spend the week there. But right next to the Super 8 Motel was a place called Stratford House Inn, which we like, so we decided that it wouldn't hurt to ask how much it would cost to stay there instead.

We were in luck. The weekly rate was two hundred and fifty dollars, so that would not only fit into the budget of what the company will pay for a motel room but also it would also cover the two extra days that the company wasn't going to pay for.

You have probably never heard of Stratford House Inn. So far as I know the little chain does not exist outside of Texas. But I have been lucky enough to stay here a few times. The free breakfast is only cold cereal and occasionally a danish or a banana, but the rooms all have whirlpool tubs.

A whirlpool tub at no extra charge. Life is good. And it's even better with some aromatherapy stuff.

Before settling in for the night we go out to get frozen custard at Andy's and then buy some frozen dinners and sodas to take back to the room. After we eat we try out the tub. If we leave the bathroom door open and turn the TV just a little bit we can even watch TV while in the tub. Cool. But we probably won't do that much because it's hard to hear the TV while the whirlpool is on.

The next day go to the rose garden. If you're not from Texas, you probably don't know that Tyler is known for it's roses. Unfortunately it looks like the rose bushes all just had their major pruning for the year and there really weren't any roses to look at. But while we were there we picked up a map of historic homes and then we went for a drive. At the end of the month there will be tours of some of the houses, but we'll miss that. And we'll miss the guided tour of the cemetery, but we went to look at it and take pictures anyway.

Next, we went to Rudy's BBQ for lunch. After all the people who have come to my blog looking for Rudy's nutritional info and such, I thought while I was there I would ask for one of those little charts. They didn't seem to have one. I thought that it was the law now that everyone make that information available to anyone who asks for it. No luck. Maybe I'll email them later.

So we got some sandwiches and some creamed corn and enough extra meat for the husband to take sandwiches to work all week. And he also had some of the green chili stew. He's been wanting this stew all year, but I guess the different locations have different recipes, cause he didn't like this at all.

After lunch we went back to the motel room to put the meat in the fridge, and then we headed north to visit Tiger Creek wildlife refuge for exotic cats. This place is not a pretty zoo. They hope to make it into a pretty place one day, but for now they only have the one nice looking enclosure, and the animals have to take turns with it. The rest of the time they spend in regular cages that are about the size of my bedroom, or maybe some are a bit smaller. Most of the animals are tigers. Some were taken from other zoos and animal parks, a couple came from Michael Jackson's Neverland, some bobcats were rescued from a construction site, and several used to be pets from places that changed the laws so that their owners couldn't keep them anymore.

It costs ten dollars to get in. If you are bringing kids, look for coupons at tourist info places and you may be able to get a couple of them in free. And, if they have a public restroom I didn't see it, so you might want to go before you get there. The tour didn't take too long, and I think we were there less than an hour. And they have a gift shop with the usual stuff.

Tuesday we didn't do much, because my husband usually has extra work to do on the first day of a new assignment. Wednesday we were going to go to the zoo, but it seemed cold and damp. Not for long. It turned into a beautiful day. But by then we'd already decided to just do a bit of shopping and not do much else. We found a reasonably priced seafood restaurant around the corner from the motel. And there's a Mazzio's Pizza in town, which we don't have at home anymore.

We were doing fun things and mostly having a good time, but I still felt anxious. My skin hurts. I can't seem to relax much. I've taken to leaving sleeping pills out so I can take them when I wake up at three in the morning.

Thursday we went to the zoo. This used to be the best little free zoo, but now they charge $8.50 each to get in. Again, we had coupons from the tourist info place, and one of us got in free. This is the first time I've been since they started charging to get in, and I can't see that they've added much to the place. What really was special about this place was the African plain that looked like all of the animals were all together. Some of the exhibit has changed. I think that maybe there were some accidents. But it still looks pretty good, and it still looks like the lions are out with the rest of the animals, even though there really is a place that keeps the lions from getting out. There used to be a similar thing where the wild dogs and cheetahs were behind a glass right next to the deer. The deer would go right up to the glass and stick their tongues out at the cheetah. The last time I went, there was cracked glass between the dogs and the deer. That part of the exhibit was changed, and I didn't see any dogs this time.

I heard something on the news about flash floods near Dallas. If it rained a lot near my house, water might have gotten inside. I have a pump, but sometimes the hose gets tangled up and it doesn't work properly. Since no one was home to check on it, there may be a big mess to deal with when I get home. I've decided that I don't want to know and I'm not going to call and ask about it. If there's a problem I can't do anything about it til Sunday anyway. I'll find out soon enough.

I've spent a lot of time trying to knit. I wanted to do a couple of baby blankets and a scarf. Apparently, baby blankets require more yarn than I had imagined. I'll have to do them some other time. The scarf is taking longer than I thought, and now that it's finished (except for the fringe) I'm not sure that I like it. First, I misplaced the tool that I needed to do the ribbing. I went to Hobby Lobby to try and buy a new one, which they didn't have, so I bought some other gadget that I may never use and a crochet needle. I used the crochet needle for a bit, and then I found the other tool. And then I went a bit overboard with the ribbing. I'm not sure that I like it now. Anyway, it took most of three days on the machine, and a normal scarf takes about three or four hours on the machine, so I haven't got time to make another one. I'll just put fringe on this one and hope for the best.

Friday we were supposed to go to the mall, but my husband said he was tired and didn't much feel like doing that. He couldn't decide where he wanted to eat, so he said that we should just get in the car and go for a drive around the loop. We took a wrong turn someplace and ended up downtown. He didn't see anything interesting and we ended up back at the seafood restaurant near the motel.

My friend is still alive and has been moved to a hospice. From the earlier emails I thought they were expecting him to die on Tuesday or Wednesday. He seems to be asleep most of the time, but they have managed to bring in his dog to visit him. Maybe I will see him tomorrow. If not, that's okay.

Friday, March 21, 2008

The trip so far Part 2

So after an anxious two hour drive, we get to Tyler Sunday morning. The reason that we are going Sunday morning instead of sometime Monday or even Tuesday morning is that we wanted to go to the ren fest. Most years we go to Scarborough Faire that is in Waxahachie (about thirty minutes south of Dallas) and we went to Hawkwood (now closed) near Fort Worth once or twice, and we've been to the Kansas City ren fest three or four times, and we have even once been to a small faire near Pittsburgh. But, unlike many of my friends I have not been to the large rest fest near Houston, or the small one near Tyler.

We arrived at about fifteen after ten. Near perfect timing. The place opens at ten, and we probably missed an opening ceremony or something, but that's okay. I'm starting to feel better.

The good feeling was short-lived. The Four Winds Reniassance Faire does NOT take credit cards. As I said before, we have been to a number of ren fests and know to bring cash money to tip people and cash money for food and some of the vendors only take cash money, but we had never been to one that refused to take credit or debit cards for the tickets to get in the place.

We so rarely use cash anymore. We are so used to using the debit card for everything except for lottery tickets that we often forget to take any cash with us at all. Since we knew that we would need cash for food and tips, we had about forty dollars on us. The tickets would take twenty-four dollars, and that would only leave us sixteen dollars, which would pay for lunch but not much else. Was there and ATM in the park? The larger festivals have ATMs now.

No. No ATM in the park.

Well, we couldn't think of anyplace nearby where we could run and get cash, and the lady at the ticket booth didn't suggest anything. I can't believe that we are the only people to have this problem and she didn't have a suggestion ready to direct us to the nearest gas station or something.

So we thought about it for a moment and decided to go ahead and buy the tickets. We would just have to be very careful not to spend any money til after we had paid for lunch and not have any snacks and not tip anyone. Not tipping is just awful. I don't even know if the acts get any of the ticket money. But we would just have to explain about the front gate not taking credit cards and that we weren't able to tip anyone. And then maybe the acts would complain and the front gate would get a credit card machine.

The faire was even smaller than I had imagined, and there weren't many people there when we went in. I stopped to say hi to someone I knew from the club, and then we walked on, and the place was almost empty. There was a puppet show near the entrance, but not much else seemed to be going on.

We wandered over to where there would soon be a knife making demonstration. He was having a bit of a late start, so when we got there he was just starting to light the fire and such. He was not having an easy time of it. Too much sulfur. Great big ugly smelly clouds of smoke. Poor guy.

But we stayed and he eventually got the smoke and such under control. I don't usually stay and watch much of this sort of thing, but there didn't seem to be much else going on. And my husband liked to watch this, though he likes watching glass blowing better. No glass blowing at this faire.

At the end the guy pulled someone out of the audience to make some small thing of the non-weapon variety, and we did not stay for that. And we did not leave the guy a dollar as we should have.

Next we wandered over to the next stage where someone was already in the middle of a juggling act. And the guy was funny and ended his act with juggling torches and eating fire. And then everyone was leaving money in the guy's hat, and I can't take it anymore.

The guy ate fire for crying out loud. How can we not leave him a dollar?

So we left the guy a dollar and decided to leave the faire for a bit and go have lunch somewhere else and see if we could find an ATM.

On the way out we ran into someone I went to school with in like 2004. We had planned to go to this place together back then, but we had to write a paper on the only weekend that she wasn't working at another faire, so we ended up not going. She was giving out flyers for an even smaller faire in Hillsboro. I don't think that I've ever been to a one day faire. I may still not go. We'll see.

So we ended up going to the small town of Troup and buying gas and eating lunch at Diary Queen. An hour and a half later we were back at the faire with almost forty dollars in our pockets and not having to worry about lunch anymore. Just as well that we had lunch elsewhere, as I heard someone complaining that they had run out of turkey legs, and the beef stew didn't look that great to me.

Next we listened to the singing talents of Breaking the Habit. Not quite as funny as Hey Nunnie Nunnie from Scarborough Faire, but silly nuns are funny whatever they call themselves.

Then we were off to watch the belly dancers. I think that most ren fests have belly dancers. The odd thing about these dancers was that about half of them weigh more than I do. Now, I don't think that I look that bad, even after these last few months when I've gained back the fifteen pounds that I lost two years ago. But I don't think that I would ever wear a belly dancer outfit in public. But here were about a dozen women on the stage who just don't share my opinion on the subject. Not all dancers are young and pretty, and the thin cute ones aren't always the ones who really know how to dance, but I usually don't see that many overweight dancers. They didn't seem to care about it one little bit.

There was a guy roaming around in a bear suit. I don't think that I've ever seen that at a ren fest before. The actor in the costume was good, and he really does act like a bear. I can say that on the authority both as someone who spent a week in the Easter Bunny costume, and as someone who spent part of a summer helping out a bear trainer.

We saw other odd costumes. A woman came in on stilts. I believe she said she was riding a sasquatch chicken. And there were a couple of guys in wizard costumes. Wizard costumes are to be expected at a ren fest, but these guys wore hats so big that they could probably be used as tents.

We saw some other show, but I can't really remember much about it except that they would pull people out of the audience, dress them in silly stuff and have them read lines in a play. While most of that was going on, I was with the guy in the bear costume.

And then we decided to stay for the joust. I don't usually watch the joust. I watched one the first time I went to Scarborough Faire, and it was a bit of fun, but how many jousts do I need to watch anyway? But we stayed to watch this one. Besides the bit where the knights put on armor and try to knock each other off of their horses, there are games of skill involving catching rings on lances and spearing heads of lettuce and such. One of the knights was a woman. But she skipped the part at the end and did not put on armor or try to knock anyone off of his horse. She tied for first in two games, and then she tied for second in two games. So she ended up with the highest total score that day, even though one of the men did manage to knock someone off of his horse.

There was about an hour left, but we were tired. We bought some incense and some lotions and such and headed off to find a motel for the week.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The trip so far Part 1

I am so into art class that I don't think about stuff like Spring Break. That's a week that I'm not allowed to go to school, rather than a week that I don't have to go to school. Since it is an art course and I do not need the credit, I suppose that all weeks are weeks that I don't have to go to school. Right now I just like going to school.

So I was like really looking forward to doing anything this week, and just asked my husband if he happened to be scheduled for anything interesting this week. Turned out that he was scheduled to work in Tyler. Tyler is a place that we've been to so many times that it really is no big deal. We like the place, but we've already seen and done most of what we would care about.

Still, once I had the idea of going away for the week, it seemed like a good idea. I started to look forward to some time off.

Last year was rather the opposite. I was looking forward to spending time away with my husband, but I was also a bit concerned about leaving for the week. There seemed to be a zillion things that might go wrong. I wanted to go, but I worried about going for the two or three weeks before that. And I had this awful feeling as we drove away from the house. Nothing bad happened while we were away, but it took me awhile to relax and enjoy the trip.

So this year I was planning this trip that was no big deal and not that far away, and while I was looking forward to having a rest, it wouldn't have really upset me to stay home either. Until the week before, we hadn't made any special plans. And then a few days before we left we decided that there were a few things that we wanted to do and decided to leave a couple of days early.

And then the day before we left little things started to go wrong. The house is always a mess, but it seemed to be more of a mess than usual because I'd kind of tossed a few thing around a bit while I was looking for something. So now instead of stacks of boxes and piles of clothes, it's more of a big heap of clothes and boxes and other stuff all together. So I meant to at least straighten that out on Saturday, in case there was some emergency that would require someone to actually go inside the house, but that didn't get done. I remembered that it was a club day and that I was expected to be in Irving. So I thought that I would just make an appearance at the meeting and then only stay for an hour or two and not go to dinner or a movie or any of the usual stuff. Just say hi to my friends and see what was going on and then duck out early. Only that didn't happen because one of my friends was taken to the hospital. So I stayed for the whole meeting so that I could go with the group afterwards to visit the friend in the hospital.

After I got home I got a call from my brother inviting us over Sunday to watch the Stargate DVD. Only we can't go Sunday cause we'll be out of town already. So we go over Saturday night. And I had to tell him about the friend in the hospital anyway.

So I ended up having a full day on Saturday and not getting anything done except for packing.

Sunday I have this awful feeling that I shouldn't go on the trip. This is stupid. We're only going to Tyler. It is no big deal. But I feel awful. I actually say the words "I don't want to go." But that's really stupid. I put my stuff in the van and we go.

We drive for a couple of hours, but I feel anxious. I often feel this way now when I leave the house. I keep thinking things like I've left the stove on. It doesn't matter that haven't cooked anything on it all week and that my husband used the stove the day before and must have turned it off and properly put everything away then, I still keep thinking that I might have left the stove on. Or maybe I left the water running, or maybe I didn't lock the back door. Something.

But this time it seems worse than usual. My friend is dying, but I don't really think that's it. My friend has been dying for a long time, and now that he's probably actually going to die, I think it's okay that I'll be out of town because I got to see him the day he went back to the hospital. It seems like I don't usually get that opportunity. Someone dies while I'm out of town, and I didn't even know that the person was sick, or a person dies suddenly in an accident before any of us are told to get to the hospital. So I got to see him Saturday, and some more people will go to see him Sunday and Monday, and if he dies while I'm gone, that's okay. I got to see him before I left.

I still feel bad during the drive. I don't really know why.

Monday, March 17, 2008

A friend of mine is dying

Someone I know will probably soon lose a four year battle with cancer. I've have been hearing that he is about to die for two or three years now. But he was in remission for a year, and then it was sort of up and down. Whenever I would see him, he was more up. He can't really be dying if he's up walking around and such, right?

I have not kept up with the details of his illness. At this point, I don't even remember where the cancer started. Between the days that I wasn't really paying attention and the days when I just thought that he shouldn't have to repeat the story for the hundredth time, I haven't heard a lot of the gory details. I saw him several weeks ago, and he was eating and he didn't look too bad. He was thin, and he looked tired, but he was talking and laughing and such. He was mostly himself.

He was talking about some procedure that he was supposed to go into the hospital for, but there was some snafu and it either wasn't going to be done or it was being postponed or something. So he got to spend the weekend with his friends instead. Not like he was really looking forward to another trip to the hospital anyway.

Okay, so a few days after I saw him the doctors got their act together and did the procedure or a similar procedure or whatever. I wasn't really paying attention and I didn't go visit him in the hospital. And it was in Dallas anyway, and I hate Dallas. So that seemed to go okay, and he was home before I even knew what they were doing whatever it was that they did.

Only Saturday he went back to the hospital. He's dehydrated and he couldn't sleep. He'd had the hiccups for like three days solid. He's not eating much. With all that going on he's having trouble talking, and when he talks sometimes it doesn't make a lot of sense.

So Saturday I was going to meet some of my friends and we would usually go to dinner and such, but I was going to leave early because I had to go home and pack and such before going out of town for the week. Only before I tell people that I'm leaving, we find out about our friend being back in the hospital, so we end up going there instead.

I met some of his family. His family is a very religious church going bunch, though not of the same type of church as mine. And then after a while they left and it was just us and the friend's wife. His wife was telling us that she didn't think his family was really dealing with it. They had put him on a prayer list and just expected him to be healed or something. When that didn't happen, they said it was God's plan, and now they are waiting for a miracle.

So the friend's wife is talking about this stuff and she's just rolling her eyes and such.

So that was all a bit weird for me. Especially since one of my friends who has totally different religious beliefs than these people would sit next to them and talk that she was one of them, and what she is really thinking is that these poor people are delusional.

I pretty much know what his family is thinking. They aren't really expecting a miracle, or at least, not in the sense that his body would be healed. They hope for that kind of miracle, and I have seen that happen and probably they have too, but they do see that the odds are against that happening. They just think that this is happening for a reason that they aren't aware of yet. And there are other things that they pray for besides healing his body. Since my friend is no longer in their church, and I'm not sure how young he was when he left, they may in fact be praying for his soul. They might be praying that he gets saved before he dies if he wasn't already saved, or that others would be saved during this time of crisis, or something like that. It would certainly be nice if the cancer could be cured, but at this point I don't think his family really believes that is going to happen.

So the situation of going to visit a dying friend is weird enough, and I never know what to say. But here I really don't know what to say. His wife is talking about his family's religious beliefs and rolling her eyes and almost making fun of them, and everyone else is standing there nodding their heads. So I can't even say the usual stuff that people in my church would say like he'll be in a better place and such. If he isn't saved, he won't be in a better place at all. And I certainly don't want to upset his family by asking if they think he is saved. But I do think that their prayers have more to do with his relationship with God than with his physical health.

Monday Morons--My husband

No, we're not going to talk about that.

Okay, my husband got a blog before I did. He used to have a little bit of a diary type of posts in with some movie reviews and just stuff that he would write about after maybe seeing something on the news. He had a few readers, and a couple of them were not nice people and something very bad happened.

He was supposed to give up the blog, and he mostly did for a couple of months. I hoped that there would be one last post, that he would apologize and warn other people what can happen if you find yourself talking to someone on the blog more than you talk to your family. But he didn't do that. What he did do was delete the whole blog and say that he'd like to forget the whole thing.

I was very upset that he deleted the blog, because there were things in the blog that I liked, nice stuff that he wrote about my dad and such. But he just does things without thinking, so the blog is gone.

So, I thought that at least it was over with and I'd have my husband back. Only after a little while he got another blog. In my opinion, the new blog wasn't as good as the old one. There's nothing special about this blog. He just writes about whatever he thinks will get him the most readers that day. He writes about things that he doesn't really care about at all, just because that's what was on Google trends that day. So he deliberately did something that he knew would hurt me, after I had asked him not to and told him that eventually it would come down to him choosing me or the computer, and he chose the computer.

But, for some reason, even though more people seemed to be reading the new blog, they weren't leaving comments. He wasn't making friends on the new blog. So even though he was wasting his time on this blog and deliberately hurting me by having the thing in the first place, it did make me feel a little better that he wasn't making friends on this blog and I probably didn't have to worry about a repeat of what happened before.

Only then he started joining all of these other things. Facebook and other blogger groups. Then he was getting comments, only the comments weren't someplace where I could read them. He now probably has more friends than I have posts.

After I complained about it, he joined some more groups and added four more blogs.

Okay, last week I found out about the Facebook thing, which upsets me on many levels that I will not go into now. But the thing about Facebook is that you're supposed to use your real name and your real info. So there he is with his real name, and his real info with stuff like his real job, and he has it linked to all of his blogs.

So he no longer really has an anonymous blog. People from work can find him and his blogs quite easily. And while the new blogs don't have the personal touch that the old one did, he does once in a while write about his own life, mostly stuff about the job. Nothing really bad, nothing that's a lie, but not stuff that you would proudly show off to your boss either. The hours are bad, and the money is better than the last place but still not enough, and something else would probably be better if something else would make enough money to pay the bills, etc...

People get fired over stuff like that.

This is not the most stupid thing that he has ever done. This is probably not even the most stupid thing that he has ever done that wasn't directly aimed at me. But now his boss knows that he has a blog and wants to read it. This is pretty damned stupid.

Friday, March 14, 2008

The mysteriously vanishing iced tea machine

I am not allowed to have a yard sale where I live. No sales. No yard sales, no garage sales, no estates sales, etc.... Mostly, this is because we don't have enough parking as it is, and the streets are so narrow that the curbside parking that is allowed on one side of the side prevents one car from driving east while another car is driving west.

Usually, once a year, as a group we are allowed to have a sale in either the lot north of us or the lot between the houses and the office. The May Sale is sort of a one day flea market. It went well enough the first few years, but it seems that the last two I tried to participate in were mostly rained out, and I don't think there was enough interest to have one last year. I have not heard if we are having a sale this year.

So once in a great while, when I do get a little bit of the house clean and orderly, I find something that I don't want, but I'd rather not throw the thing away. I can give it to Goodwill, which is possibly where the thing came from in the first place, but I'd rather not do that. I keep thinking that I could use some extra money if I find a lot of things that I don't want, or if I just find a few things my club could use some extra money.

So I find things, and I put them aside for either the next May Sale or the next club garage sale. There is a club garage sale is at the end of the month. I have put a few things aside for it. And I am going out of town for a week, which sometimes unexpectedly turns into another week or town out of town, so I thought that I would get the stuff together and deal with it on Saturday.

Only now I can't find some of the things. In particular, I cannot find the iced tea machine. I bought the thing at another sale and I never used it. It was one of those times when I thought that I might go on a diet, and I thought that I might make up my own herbal tea and that might be more interesting than just plain water. Only I never actually got any of the herbs together to try it. I found a much smaller gadget that is supposed to do something similar in the microwave, but I haven't used that one either. Still the microwave thing doesn't take up much space, and the iced tea machine is like having an extra coffee machine or popcorn maker. So it needs to go.

And I can't find the stupid thing. Not only that, but I have been meaning to get rid of this thing for like three years. I find it, and then I think that it should go in the next sale, and then I forget about it. I put this thing aside for the sale last year too, but that was the only thing that I had for the sale last year, and I forgot about it again.

I know that the stupid iced tea machine is going to turn up in about the middle of April. And when it is too late to think about the May Sale, I will find several boxes of other things that I no longer want. And then I will want to just throw it away or give it to Goodwill, but I will fell guilty if I don't box it all up and put it away til there's maybe another sale for someone during the summer or early in the fall.

And besides the iced tea machine there are the frames. A certain friendly and well meaning person who works with my husband gave me these frames after hearing that I was an artist. Oh, thank you. So my husband brought home all this frames that the salesperson used to have in his display area, and they all came in this huge foam thing so that the frames don't get dented and scratched. I questioned whether or not the salesperson should be giving these things away. Don't they belong to the company? If the salesperson doesn't need them anymore, shouldn't they be sent back to the office? But everyone but me seems to think that this is okay, so I hope that they know what they are talking about.

So I have these frames. They're meant to be portrait frames, only I don't do portraits and we don't just have tons of portraits of ourselves that we want to put in them either. Some of the frames are meant for canvas, and the salesperson also gave me examples of canvas portraits, thinking that I could paint over them. I'm not sure that would work. And I haven't painted anything in a long time. I haven't been drawing a lot for a while now either. So I'm thinking that maybe some of husband's photos would go better in the glass frames, only since this is sort of a sample set, for the most part the frames do not match.

So I am not quite sure what to do with the frames and such either. Right now I would like to give them to the club garage sale. Except that someone gave me this stuff thinking he was going to help me with my artistic endeavors. It doesn't seem quite right to give them away. Especially since I haven't even tried to do anything with them.

I would just like to get rid of about half the stuff in my house. I'd like to get my yarn and art supplies better organized, and I would like to get my holiday stuff better organized, and I would like to take a take a few more boxes of books to Half Price Books. And then I would like to start getting rid of the other stuff. Only I can't seem to do it. I thought that I should get rid of a lot of clothes last year. I don't think that I did, but I don't quite know where I put the clothes. Now I need the clothes, and I don't know where to look, or if I was so sure that didn't need the stuff anymore that I gave it away. I'm afraid that's what would happen with most of the stuff I currently would like to be rid of, and that I will give it away only to find out that I need something just like it and then have to go out and buy it again with money I may not be able to spare.

There is a box of stuff in the kitchen/dining room area that has stuff for the garage sale. It has been there for about two months. I was quite sure that the iced tea machine was in that box. It isn't there. The iced tea machine is about the only thing that I am quite certain I will never need in the future, and now that it is time to give it to the garage sale I can't find it.

I'm going to scream.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

This must be the mildest anti-gay tirade I have ever heard

There's this YouTube video with part of an audio recording of Oklahoma Representative Sally Kern, and then there's pictures of people holding up signs that say stuff like "I'm listening", and then there's stuff like "This is what they say when they think we're not listening" But this is pretty much the same old speech I've heard for like thirty years. I guess they haven't been listening. It's not like a secret or anything.

I don't think she even said anything original. It's probably mostly bits taken from one of her husband's sermons. Somebody says this every Sunday. I'm thinking, am I the only one who has been to church in the last three decades? And I haven't gone that much recently, but it still wasn't like news to me or anything.

The only thing that usually isn't in the speech is the bit about "the very fact that I'm talking to you like this here today, puts me in jeopardy." I don't think I've heard that added bit of drama before. I wonder if that was the main reason for the recording being kept.

Like I said, I haven't been in church much recently, and I haven't heard this stuff in a while. I think the Islam reference was added after 911. And as for "studies show, that no society that has totally embraced homosexuality has lasted more than, you know, a few decades," I have more often heard it said that God will not bless the nation if we continue to allow this. But there's a lot of other things that God won't bless the nation for, like if we're not allies with Israel.

And, "gays are infiltrating city councils" sounds a bit weird to me now. I think that is the way it is usually said, but now I don't think infiltrate is the right term. I'm not sure what word to use instead, but when I hear infiltrate it makes me think of spies. I don't picture gays pretending to be straight so that they can win elections. I think that there just happens to be about 10 percent of them in various elected offices just as in anything else. Possibly they keep their personal business quiet, and possibly in small towns they prefer to keep that a secret, but usually I just don't think the people who voted for them care and that wasn't part of the criteria for choosing who would be good at the job. Perhaps in big cities with a higher percentage of gays they might even make that part of their campaigns. "I'm gay, and you're gay, or you know someone who is, so vote for me, cause I'm gay too." Hardly an infiltration.

Still, I know what she meant, and as the speech is usually given over and over again to people who have already heard it, she's probably used to talking to people who already knew what she meant.

Was this her whole speech? It's less than three minutes. Anyway, it was pretty mild. From the way everyone seemed to react to it, I was expecting something really bad. She was pretty civil. The Bible says you shouldn't do this and so you shouldn't do it, and we need to return to Christian morals and family values, etc.... That was about it. So it's kind of weird that everyone thinks she should resign or something. Isn't this is what she got elected for in the first place?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Thinking about Spring Break

No, I'm not thinking of getting mostly naked and heading to a beach to get drunk. (Though I got a weird look from my husband when I brought up the subject, like I had suggested exactly that.) I am just thinking that I have next week off, and wondering what to do about it.

Let's see, what are my options?

I could just stay home and clean house. Well, we've seen how well that's gone recently. I don't really think that my chances of actually getting much work done are going to improve much just because it is spring break. It will be the same as any other week, minus the time I am in my actual scheduled ceramics class, minus Friday when I try to spend most of the day at school and minus the occasional Monday or Wednesday when I spend a couple of hours in the lab because there is something I have to do that just cannot wait for one of the other days that I'm already there. Mostly, it will just be the idea of spring break, and knowing that I absolutely cannot go to school no matter what I imagine I might get accomplished.

If I stay home the usual stuff will happen, and except for class there will be the usual excuses for not getting anything done. In the morning it is too early, and I will read or blog a bit until I decide that it is not too early anymore. Then if there's anything interesting going on in the blog world, I will waste time on other people's blogs writing comments and such. I might waste a whole day having a discussion about some post that I didn't even write.

Then, on a day when there doesn't seem to be anything going on, when there don't seem to be any distractions, my mother will call. On a good day she will invite me to lunch and ask if I want to go with her to run some errands. On a bad day it will just be the phone call, which starts out pleasant enough, but then gets rather long and usually ends up on a couple of subjects that I've already made it clear I don't want to talk about since talking just upsets me and doesn't change the situation. So if I spend a nice day with her I usually get back home and decide that I don't have enough time left to do anything useful and spend the rest of the day reading or on the computer or watching TV. If I have one of those long phone calls I'm usually too upset afterwards to do much of anything.

So on my most productive day of trying to clean the house I will first decide that it is too early, then decide that it is not too early, then try to get something done and possibly do both laundry and dishes but probably not much else, then have to take a couple of breaks to eat and possibly to cook and clean up the mess caused by the cooking, maybe realize that I've run out of something or for some other reason have to leave the house on some errand, do maybe a little bit more before I decide that it is now too late to do much of anything and then either read some more or watch TV. That is what most Wednesdays are like, unless I have to go to school for something, or unless maybe my mother calls. So if I stay home with the plan of cleaning house, it will probably be a whole week of what seems like Wednesdays, and probably having a whole week of Wednesdays will still not result in a nice clean and orderly house.

Okay, so the idea of staying home with the plan of cleaning the house is not so great.

There are other things I could plan to do while I am home. If it doesn't rain or freeze again for a bit, the backyard could use a lot of work. I usually want to have a garden, and you'd think that by this time I would have done something about it. This year I haven't really even given it much thought. I go out once in a while to see if any of the perennials are going to come back. I expect that many will not since I was so inattentive last year. I didn't even do half of the things I had planned to do in the last two years. So the place is quite a mess, and I'm really not looking forward to any major projects this year. But shouldn't I do something? Shouldn't I at least turn over last year's beds and get plants for the containers that I already have and stuff like that? Maybe. The thing is that after I've planted something I worry about going out of town. The plants will probably die while I'm out of town. If I have plans of going out of town after April or so I should just not plant anything new so I don't have anything to worry about.

In theory, I could take home a couple of ceramic projects and work on them. Except for the relief sculpture, which I have not yet selected a design for, this usually causes some problems. Like where to put the thing while I'm working on it. If I totally clean the kitchen and dinning room area first, and then have no plans to cook anything for about a week, I can work there.

Then there's the problem of worrying that my husband doesn't quite understand that he must not disturb the area at all for any reason whatsoever. Stay out, period. I don't care that you just wanted a piece of toast. Next time tell me and I'll get it for you. If you decide you need toast when I'm not around, then you'll just have to do without.

And then there's a bit of a mess to clean up, and while I do make an effort to clean up most of the mess I make at school, at school there is someone who is paid to deal with the rest of it. At home, the only person dealing with the mess will be me, and possibly the husband who might not understand that he still must not disturb the area until after I tell him that it is safe to do so.

Then there is the problem of getting said ceramic project back to school once I have done whatever I brought it home to do. The project can only travel in the leather-hard stage (except maybe for the relief sculpture), and it must be carefully wrapped and packed away in a sturdy plastic container. I cannot move the piece if it is too wet, because I would be unable to wrap it and move it without damaging it. If it is too dry, it will crack, and it will be difficult (if not impossible) to repair at that stage.

So taking home a ceramic project is something to think about, since the husband will probably be out of town that week.

Which brings me to what I will probably end up doing with the week off. I will probably go out of town with my husband. We like to get out of town once in a while, and fortunately he has a whole week out of town at the same time as I have a whole week off from school.

Unfortunately, it isn't anyplace far away or particularly exciting. It's a place that we used to like, but since it is so close we have been there a lot over the years, and by now we are rather tired of the place. It still has a few things that we like to do, but going there just isn't a big deal anymore.

So what I will probably do is pack up the knitting machine and see if I can knit a scarf and maybe a couple of baby blankets. Those are things that should be done before May, but if I don't manage to do them while I'm at a motel, they probably won't get done in time. Around here, knitting projects would have to compete with school and housework for my time. At the motel there will be knitting and cable TV and not much else. No responsibilities. Knitting, cable TV, lunch with my husband, more knitting, more cable TV, possibly a swim, maybe a nap, dinner by myself, followed by more knitting and more cable TV, and a day ending with one of those "how was your day dear" talks and then possibly more cable TV. Sometime during the week maybe a trip to the zoo, maybe a walk through the park, but not much else. Just a relaxing week doing mostly nothing and a bit of knitting.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Monday Morons--I don't need this job

Okay, most of this particular story comes second hand, from hearing my husband complain about a certain person he has had to work with recently.

My husband is a portrait photographer who has worked for at least half a dozen different companies. Usually, he quickly becomes the top something or other and gets a little certificate or a plaque or something. But usually he is also made to feel that his work really isn't valued that much. The sales people are more important. The sales people bring in the money. The fact that the sales people wouldn't have anything to sell without the photographers doesn't seem to matter. The photographers are valued less than the sales people, and it's a big company and if you don't like the way you are treated you can leave and the company will just get someone else.

Not that big companies value the sales people that much either. The valued people in the company are not the people who are out dealing with the public and doing the actual work of taking and selling pictures. The valued people work in offices and don't even have the same work hours as the photographers and sales people. Most of the people out dealing with the public have probably never even been to the office.

My husband's current employer doesn't quite make it seem like sales people are more important than photographers. Maybe this is because the two groups have to work together. Other places have a photographer come and take the photos, and then weeks later the sales people come back and sell the pictures, and the sales people and the photographers never even see each other.

So my husband usually works with a couple of salespeople, and then the next week he works with a different pair of salespeople. Some of the sales people are better at their jobs than others. My husband works on commission, so it's very important that he gets to work with the good salespeople. Sometimes he is greatly relieved when he sees who he will be working with. Other times he thinks that he might as well call in sick for the week, because the salespeople he's stuck with rarely make any money.

A lot of people have left the company recently, and my husband thinks that about half of the salespeople have left. Mostly, the good half of the salespeople left. So there have been a lot of new people he has worked with. And while the company may value salespeople more than photographers, there doesn't seem to be any way of figuring out who will be a good salesperson. You just have to hire someone and see if it works out. And while some people are hired from want ads and such, a lot of the new salespeople have just been hired because the sales supervisor met them somewhere (usually at a job site) and just hired them on the spot.

Most of the new people aren't very good salespeople.

Not that they aren't nice people, but for my husband to make enough money for us to pay our bills, both of the salespeople he works with have to sell above a certain amount of money each day. And most of the time, the new people don't sell that much. And that's not to mention that there are a few not new people who still don't seem to get the hang of it, but they still make more money selling portraits than working at McDonald's, so they don't quit.

So recently my husband has either had to work accounts where it is difficult to make any money anyway, or he has had to work with new people or not so new people who don't quit because they haven't got anything better to do. Last week my husband got to work with one of the old pros and one of the new people. The new person is so new that this was only her second week out of training.

This woman made a point of going to talk to my husband and telling him what a good job he is doing and how he's so much better than most of the other photographers. And how would she know that? Except for the training, this is only her second week on the job. She hasn't even met most of the other photographers. So that was odd.

This woman also said some other odd things on a day that we had snow . She made a big deal about saying how she used to live up north and was an expert on driving on the ice and such. Despite all of the winter storm warnings, most places didn't have it that bad. I didn't even see any snow at all, and my husband didn't see any either. But there may have been reports of ice between the place where they were working and the place this woman had to drive home to. After making such a big deal about being an expert driver, at the end of the day she decided that she couldn't risk driving on the road with Texas drivers who didn't know what they were doing, so she got a hotel room. They weren't working far enough away to warrant a hotel room, but she insisted that she needed one anyway. I would be curious to know if the company ends up paying for it. The hotel wasn't even in the price range that the company pays for.

But the really odd thing that this woman did was this little speech that she gave the first day that she and my husband worked together. She just wanted to say that she probably wasn't going to sell as much as the other sales people, and that didn't bother her and she really didn't need to hear any comments about it. She said that she really didn't need this job. Her husband had a franchise in a large fast food chain, and that paid their bills and made them quite a bit of money. So it didn't really matter to her if she didn't make much commission. She just wanted to be part of the company, etc....

So this is the last person my husband wants to have to work with. What is the point of having a salesperson who doesn't "need" the commission? And am I the only one who thinks there is something wrong with this picture? If you just want to be a team player and make a company look good, etc...why don't you go to the fast food company that is paying your bills and make that company look good? Why don't you stay home with your husband, and that way when someone calls in sick at the restaurant you can fill in? Why don't you want to be a team player on that team?

It seems like my husband has worked with a lot of people who decided to tell everyone they have to speak to that they really don't need this job. They even tell this to the customers. "I have my own studio, but I'm taking a break from it." "I'm just doing this for now. What I really do is take portraits of preschool kids." "My husband is a lawyer, so I really don't need this job." "I don't really need this job. I just wanted to do a little traveling that wouldn't cost me any money."

I don't know why people have to tell that stuff to other people. Most of that wasn't really even true. If you have your own studio and you have this job too, then the studio isn't making enough money or you wouldn't have taken this job. And this kind of travel is rarely interesting enough for long that a person would keep doing it if he didn't really need the money. And if you really didn't need the money but just wanted something to do, you'd probably go and find a charity to help and do something to feel really good about yourself.

I think that every once in a while people say that they don't need a certain job. Like when there's a new supervisor or some other unpleasant change at work, the employees often tell each other that they don't need the job, or at least they don't need that particular job enough to put up with whatever the change was. I have said that. Or I have told a boss that I'm only interested in working my current schedule, and I don't need the job enough to switch to the night shift. And I did once take a job that I knew didn't pay enough money to be worth my time, and I didn't need the job, but at the time I literally thought that getting out of the house would make me feel better, and it just did something for my ego that this person had called and asked if I could work.

So I have done that, but there is a time and a place for that sort of thing. If it isn't your boss trying to change your schedule to something that you refuse to work, you don't need to say stuff like that. Why would you repeatedly tell everyone around you (including the customers) that you don't need this job? It is very annoying. If you don't need the job, why are you here? Quit and make room for someone who does need a job.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Freaky Friday

This rating was determined based on the presence of the following words:

kill (6x) hell (4x) penis (3x) dick (2x) pain (1x)

Okay. That's more like it. It usually bounces back and forth from R to NC-17, with the occasional PG-13 or even PG, but last time it said G. G? Huh? But I guess everything is mostly back to normal.

I think that I have a few new readers, so perhaps I should explain. Welcome new readers. Okay, on Fridays (or at least on posts that start on Fridays but sometimes actually get posted on Saturdays or Sundays) I take a look at the tracker and write about the Google searches and such. Only I found that doing a good job of it took more time than I wanted to spend on it, so now it isn't every Friday. Maybe every other Friday. Or maybe less. If you want to, you can leave a comment about some of my Google searches, and you can even leave a comment here about an interesting Google search that leads to your blog. It's just a bit of fun.

There are a lot of searches that have been popular here for a long time. A relatively mild one is for sodas and diet drinks. I did a post on diet drinks, so that makes sense. REGULAR FRESCA compare "diet coke" "diet pepsi" diet dr. pepper REGULAR FRESCA i love drinking diet lemonade soda dont care what the say TRUTH ABOUT GINGER ALE compare coke products sugar with other sodas vernors, caffeine truth about sugar in pepsi caffeine Vernors benefits of drinking sugar cane juice 64 ounces of dr. pepper diet soda truths and drink 64 ounces of diet coke are all searches that lead people to that post. I hope that they enjoyed what I wrote.

Then there are other popular searches for penile moulds costume de penis giant dick penis mold and mould of penis. Now, you may wonder why these searches would lead to my blog. Originally, these people came here because I wrote some posts about working at a Halloween costume store, and one of the posts was about the Tricky Dick giant penis costume. That job was more than a year ago, so I've been getting these searches for a while, though there are a lot more of them around October and November. I'd just like to say a bit about the search penis mold samples. That's just not right. You don't sample different ones. The whole purpose of getting a penis mold instead of a less specialized product is that it is supposed to remind you of that special someone in your life. You don't need a sample of different ones. That's just wrong.

Searches for how many mega million tickets were bought does three numbers on the same line win me any money in Mega Millions if I don't have the Mega Ball? if i only have 3 numbers from the mega million do i still win something if you buy five hundred dollars worth of scratch off you can win one million dollar texas lottery instead of income tax do gasstations make money selling powerball tickets people spend money for buying lottery tickets and truth about state lotteries lead people here after I recently wrote a couple of posts, mostly about my own bad habits concerning buying lottery tickets. Many of these people could have had there questions answered by just going to the Texas Lottery website.

After a couple of recent posts about my now bad spending habits that I've picked up after being married how poor people can save money people spend money on alcohol and cigarettes, but not health care what do poor people spend their money on school shoud be spent money where do rich people spend money how the poor spend their money why people dont have any money do most people save or spend money people spend more money on fast food than on health care poor people need support not money how much do people spend in gas money going to driving school and how rich people spend their money The search what people spend their day thinking about also seems to send people to the same post, but I can't really tell. By the time I get around to checking an interesting link, sometimes it doesn't seem to work anymore. It leads to a page of Google searches that my blog doesn't appear to be on. Maybe there have been so many other posts on the subject that I've lost my place in line. houses in the past now sounds like it should go with this post too, but it turns out that it goes to a post about a haunted house.

Now, there are searches that really don't apply to any of my posts, but there's a keyword from one post and then another keyword from a different post, so they still end up at my blog. freaky sluts insidious alcohol jasons deli sluts wet "fur coat" in hot tub pics freaky friday book CEL again for freaky sluts fat freaky sluts sluts buckets and again once more for freaky sluts were all searches that lead people to my blog these past two weeks. Also, here's a search for halloween costumes involving popcorn, but I'm just not sure how the two are related. Now this search JUMP START DIET DRINK did end up at a post that said jump start your diet, but it was supposed to be a joke. I was warning people that they might not want to see the Sweeney Todd movie. insidious in spanish is not really what I said either, but I am starting to feel that way. And I don't think that I actually said that my in-laws are morons Well, some of them are. One of them dropped out of school in fifth grade, but he was given a license to carry a gun before he could drive a car. But the post was actually about my husband and him acting like a moron around Christmas time.

Someone Googled getting laid India, which lead to my first Freaky Friday post and I said that someone in the Philippines was reading my blog, but the only person I knew there was a vacationing blogger who was probably not reading other people's blogs but getting drunk and maybe trying to get laid.

I did a post titled Almost everyone is going to hell. Not that it was supposed to be a joke or anything, but I hope that people searching for christians think everyone is going to hell and I am a christian going to hell found better things to read on the subject. Also there was a search for why did Jesus tell everyone to keep quiet if it wasn't going to make a difference? I'm afraid I don't understand the question so I can't be of much help there.

I get some food related searches, mostly for Rudy's BBQ. I really wish that I knew how many calories is half pound of rudy's turkey , but I don't. And after writing a couple of posts about my attempts at dieting, I've apparently become the expert on popcorn and have searches such as what to eat at the movies diet come eat popocorn and movie why do people like to eat popcorn when they watch movies why eat popcorn at movies and popcorn diet. I'm afraid the search marie callendar pie sale annual october march came too late, as I believe the dates for the sale (at least at the Oklahoma locations I have been to) are in October and February, so you just missed it. Other food searches include are abuello's chips and salsa good Olenjacks restaurant McSkillets and central market purple potatoes

Some art related searches include sea turtle tile moody gardens tiles how much should i charge for my canvas art wax accidentally dropped on bisqued piece and ceramic black wax resist recipe, but I probably wasn't much help.

Sci-Fi and Fantasy related searches include Altrusian ganactic OR ganectic come in neville (probably supposed to be "come out Neville") and grandfather theory, along with seventeen searches involving Sarah Connors or The Terminator, and ten searches involving the movie Cloverfield. Unfortunately, these people don't leave comments so I don't know if they liked what they read.

I've written about stuff to do Joplin After-Christmas And Clearance Sales where to buy and five gallon bucket usages , though I'm not the expert on any of those subjects. And the search nice car attract women lead to a post I did about this dumb idea that got stuck in my brother's head.

I have no idea what someday I'd like to forget you, someday i'd like to regret is about. Maybe song lyrics?

The people searching for problems with links are we really getting $600 dollars and again problems with links probably felt totally mislead when they came to my blog. I wrote a post about buying $600 refrigerator, which apparently makes me an expert on that as well, but I think that search was supposed to be about the tax rebate, which I know nothing about. And I have a post titled problems with links, but it is something under the label of Bimbo Bashing.

Speaking of Bimbo Bashing, someone found my 300th post after searching for homewrecking I probably won't hear from that reader again, but I'm glad that she stopped by.

Okay, here's this week's count:




People going to hell--2



Diet Drinks--11




Bath & Body Works--4

Terminator/Sarah Connor--17



And the top twelve keywords are now: rudys, cloverfield, bbq, costume, penis, marlene, the, going, calories, dick, diet, hell