Monday, July 27, 2009

Love the new purse

I may have mentioned that I am not so much what you would call a girly girl. Not that I was ever really called a tomboy either. I didn't like sports enough to be called that. And I am way to old to be called a tomboy now. But, still, compared to the rest of my sex, I don't spend a lot of time shopping for clothes or looking in the mirror or getting my nails done, etc....

At some point, I decided that carrying a purse was too annoying for everyday use. My keys and ID and money could go in my pockets, along with maybe some lip balm, and I was good to go. This did not please my mother, as she could see all this stuff in my pockets, and it did not look lady-like or something. But I find that carrying around a purse is annoying, besides the fact that I might forget and leave my purse somewhere, and a couple of times that I've had my purse stolen. So most of the time I would rather do without one, unless I am trying especially hard to look nice, or I need some stuff that I don't want to carry around in my pockets like a brush and a bunch of medications and extra cosmetics.

So it is sometimes necessary to carry a purse, and I do have one or two. I'm just not often seen carrying them around.

A couple months back I found a purse at a Goodwill. It was black and it had dark purple or plum flowers glued to the top. In my opinion, this was rather tacky. I thought that it would look good with a Harry Potter costume, as at some point I hope to have a hat with black or dark purple flowers on it, and the purse would match the hat, sort of.

I had a look at the purse and found that it was in good shape and had a magnetic clasp. So it wasn't an old purse. It was four dollars, and I decided to buy it.

A bit more than a month ago, I was going to wear some of a witch costume to a Star Trek club meeting. I didn't want to wear the costume all day, as it was rather warm. So I took the costume to change into. And as long as I would eventually be in the costume, I thought that I might as well take the purse too, even though I did not yet have a hat with flowers, I thought the purse still looked good with the witch costume. So money and ID and cell phone and keys and brush and medications and extra cosmetics all went into the new purse, and off I went to the meeting, not yet in costume otherwise.

And then a lot of my friends were saying how much that they liked my new purse, and did I glue the flowers on myself or did it just come that way, etc....


I had expected that maybe after I got into costume some of them might say how well the purse went with the costume. But I wasn't in costume yet, I was just in regular clothes. So I thought that was a bit weird.

Maybe they are like my mother, and they hate that I stuff everything in my pockets, and they are just happy that I have a purse. Any purse. Or maybe they are just happy that I decided to act like a girl for a change. I don't know. But it was hard for me to think that they really liked this tacky purse, other than for it's costume potential.

About a week ago I was going to see my mother, so I took the purse to get her opinion.

Mom, do you like my purse?

Um, well, let's see. Not particulary. It's okay. I wouldn't like it for me, but if you like it, I guess it's okay.

So it is not just the coolest purse that you have ever seen?

Um, no....

So I tell her about my friends all liking the purse, and she thought that was funny, and she agreed that they might just be saying that to make me feel better, and that it might not really be a great purse. But she really isn't the expert on such things. Better ask my sister.

So my sister agreed that it was a nice purse, though she did not all go crazy about it like my friends had. But she did say that it was a good purse to have, and not just for costume potential. My mother still thought it a bit on the tacky side, but it was a major improvement over stuffing everything in my pockets.

So I have somehow managed to buy a cool purse on accident, when I was intending to buy something tacky. How did that happen?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I had been looking forward to Tuesday

At first I thought that I would go with him. It was just one day out of town to no place special. But I haven't been away for a very long time, and I thought that maybe just the one day would be nice. And one day away wouldn't hurt the plants or anything. A week away would be bad for the plants, cause I really cannot trust anyone to come and water them. Unless it is raining already, and then I have to worry about the house flooding. Not that the house might not flood if I stay, but at least I would be there to make sure that the pump is working properly (once it wasn't even plugging in). So I don't even think that three days in Waco is a good idea for me, but one day in the middle of nowhere might have been okay.

On closer inspection, we decided that it would be best if I didn't go. In fact, it would probably be best if he didn't get a room at all and just came back home that night. The place where he would have gotten the room was about two hours away, but the place he would actually do the work was just a little bit closer, and while I would rather not make that drive at night after working all day, he has done worse. And we are very short on cash now, even for motel rooms that they eventually pay him back for. We have to actually have the cash first before we can spend it on stuff that they pay back.

So I had been looking forward to getting out of the house for a day, but gave up on the idea. Then I got over it and starting looking forward to having the house to myself for twelve hours or so. I could sort through some clothes or do other work that I don't usually do when he is here. There's some stuff that I don't do when he is here, cause we will just end up getting in each other's way.

So we have a little bit to eat (which in fact was even food that he cooked), and then he leaves, and I take some time to do a few things on the computer before I get started doing any work.

And then my mother calls.

Now, I should know better by now. I just cannot talk to my mother one on one. But she calls and asks if maybe I would like to go and get something to eat.

Now, my mother has it in her head that the reason I don't talk to her very much is that I only spend time with her when there is something else in it for me, a bribe of some sort, like she is buying me something, usually lunch. And that isn't true. But lunch at a restaurant is usually the safest time and place to spend time with my mother, but I don't have any money, and I have to eat something anyway, so if she is offering to buy me lunch I usually go. But the truth is that now I usually don't want to go, even though she is buying me stuff, but I end up going anyway because I just feel like I should see her once in a while even when I don't want to.

She is still my mother, even if I don't like being around her and we really don't have that much to talk about anyway.

But I think to myself, this isn't so bad. She has called to invite me to lunch, and I've already had lunch. If I just go with her and have a soda, she won't have to buy me anything, I'll spend an hour or two with her in a public place, it probably won't get ugly cause it is in a public place, and then I can leave and I'll still have about ten hours to myself before my husband comes home.

And maybe since she isn't buying me lunch she'll get it out of her head that the reason we don't talk very often is that she has to buy me stuff before I will talk to her.

So we pick a place and agree to meet there in ten minutes. And I get there before she does, and I even manage to pay for my own soda. Now she doesn't have to buy me anything.

Now, most of the first hour or so goes well enough, and if I had just managed to stick to the original plan and leave, it would have been fine.

I am halfway through reading a book about why the bees are disappearing. This is very serious stuff. If the bees all die, we won't have any food. Well, maybe not literally no food, but a lot of the cultivated food that we take for granted just doesn't grow without bees.

So I try talking to her about the bees. She doesn't care about the bees. She is not one little bit interested that most of our fruits (and this includes a lot of stuff that we don't think of as fruits like tomatoes and almonds and squash and cucumbers), just won't be around anymore. I might as well have tried to start a conversation about Star Trek or Harry Potter. She just doesn't get it.

Anyway, she won't stick with the unimportant small talk. She has to talk about stuff that is important to her, and bees don't measure up, even for talk over lunch. So eventually it gets to some subject that I don't want to talk about. So the talk gets ugly, even though we are in a public place.

At some point she says something like if you say you will do something you can always change your mind and not do it.

Sometimes I wonder where I get my morals from. And I said so. If you say that you are going to do something, you are committed to doing it, except in the most extreme circumstances when something more important comes up.

Now I have seriously hurt her feelings, and I have to stay longer and smooth that over, even though she is the one who said what she said.

By the time things are better, I figure that I have wasted most of the day anyway, so I might as well go to her house for a bit.

Big mistake.

We played with the dog for a bit and mostly didn't say anything ugly. And then at some point she noticed that it is past when she usually eats dinner, so she invites me to dinner.

So much for getting through the day without her buying me anything. But I really did not plan to stay this long, and I do have to eat something and I don't have any money. If I had just had the sense to leave before that, it would have been okay.

After dinner, it gets ugly.

I really just cannot talk to my mother anymore. I felt fine Monday, or at least, what passes for that now. I just never feel really good anymore, and I suppose that I am never going to feel really good ever again. But Monday wasn't so bad. I didn't get anything done Monday, but I had plans to do something Tuesday and felt okay about it. I wasn't spending days at a time in bed feeling sorry for myself. I had the idea that things would eventually get better, even if they would never really be good again. But Monday I was okay, and then Tuesday I spoke to my mother, and usually after speaking to my mother I come to the conclusion that I can't do anything. I can't get a job that is worth having. I can't even get a job that I don't like that might eventually be useful. I am a drain on my family and I don't even deserve to have the car that I drive because I don't drive it to a job. Nothing that I will ever attempt to do is worth doing.

After talking to her I think that I might as well do nothing. I can't do anything. It isn't even worth getting out of bed to wash the dishes and such that I can do.

So I not only wasted Tuesday, but now I feel bad right before I have three days to myself, and I really should be getting something done then. Now I don't have any energy. Now I just don't see the point.

I eventually leave my mother's house and walk to the car. I cannot take anymore. She follows me. There is just no getting away from her. I try to be nice.

She finally allows me to leave. I think that I might have finally gotten through to her that I don't want to talk about things, but no. Her parting words were something like, we'll have to talk more about this later.

I go home. I don't even have an hour to myself before my husband comes in. It was a totally wasted day and I feel awful. He even mentions that the laundry isn't done. I don't even bother telling him that I've been gone all day.

Wednesday we went to see a movie called Moon. I only just heard about it a few days ago, and it isn't on a lot of screens, and it wasn't at our usual place. To get a reasonably priced ticket we had to go to a theater we had never been to before. It was okay. Moon is mainly about this one man who has agreed to work alone on a station for three years. If Silent Running or Solaris is your thing, then you would probably like this movie. But most people won't be really crazy about it. Then we went to lunch and did some shopping.

I should have stayed home instead of going out and spending money, but I felt so bad after Tuesday. I just needed to do something to feel better.

All of us are probably going to lunch Sunday, so I will see mother again, and I don't want to. Probably nothing bad will happen with everyone else there, but after Tuesday I am not looking forward to it.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Stuff from this weekend

Well, I had been debating whether or not I should make an appearance at the movie theater that my friends were hanging out at. I wasn't up for a long drive and being on my feet all night, but just maybe I could go for an hour or two on Saturday, after I had already driven halfway there to get to something else anyway.

First thing that I did was email three of my other friends who had not yet made an appearance at the theater. Maybe they would like to go there too.

One didn't even return my email. Another didn't return my email, but we had already discussed the situation somewhat. Miss Allergies said that she did not want to go to the theater, not even just to see the other people all dressed up and not dress up herself. Going to the theater would interfere with our usual plans for going to dinner.

Our usual plans of going to dinner are already interfered with, as some of our friends were already committed to being at the theater all evening anyway.

Miss Allergies insisted that people do have to eat, so that maybe they would take a break and go with us.

Well, they might, but they aren't going to drive all the way back and forth from the usual place. Maybe if we pick another restaurant closer to the theater. So we discuss a few places and pick one. The other two guys are easy and will usually go along with where we want to go.

Only after we discuss the idea of taking a break with the people who are committed to being at the theater all night, they insist that they really must be at the theater all night, even during the hour and a half between shows when they aren't really doing much. At that point, Miss Allergies wants to go to the usual place rather than driving all the way to the other restaurant.

So I decide if we are not going to the other restaurant I really don't need to go to dinner. I really do want to hang around at the theater, even if it is just for an hour or so. And hanging around at the theater will only cost me a bit more gas, while going to dinner will cost me more money. If we could have done both that would have been nice, but I don't see being able to do both if we don't go to the other restaurant. So I'm off to the theater.

Except that Miss Allergies is begging me to go to dinner instead. And then while she is trying to talk me into dinner instead, she mentions that she wants to go to the bookstore first.

I don't want to go to the bookstore at all. I spend enough time in that place when I have money, so I don't want to waste any of my time there when I don't have money. I'm off to the theater again. Miss Allergies complains that we never get to see each other anymore.

Well, I am hardly to blame for that, but I don't say so. I've about had it with Miss Allergies.

She thinks it is all about me not having money. She offers to buy me dinner. It is partially about me having no money, but not entirely. And I really do want to go to the theater for a bit. She still wants to go to dinner at the usual place, but she still wants to go to the bookstore first.

I think why don't I just go to the theater now, and then I'll see how I feel about going to dinner afterward. That seems to make everybody happy. I check to make sure that I have their cell phone numbers, and again I am off to the theater.

I actually get out the door this time and really do drive to the theater.

Last month I had all these plans for making new costumes and such, and then decided not to bother with it. If I really want to go, I can wear the old stuff that I wore last month. Only, at about the time that I decide that, I realize I don't know where the old stuff is. As it turns out, I had left it in the car from last month. So I had looked it over and then put it back in the car and added a scarf.

So I get to the theater, and I'm rather late for one show, but I can help out with two others and then leave in an hour. Perfect. I get changed.

Besides our group being dressed as Tonks and Dumbledore and the elder Malfoy and Snape, I see a group of girls who is not part of our group. They have come wearing school uniforms and neck ties and such. And one of them had a toilet seat around her neck, cause she was moaning Myrtle. And there was another girl with that group all dressed in brown with this sort of grass skirt thing around her knees, cause she was a broom. Silly girls.

So that was fun, but I didn't get into costume soon enough to have my picture taken with them.

So I go and change. Now, the nice thing about dressing up for Harry Potter is that you can still wear your glasses, and you can even carry a purse if you want to, and I found one that looked eccentric enough to work. So after an hour or so I called my other friends, who were just then getting to the restaurant. I change out of the skirt but keep the rest of the costume on, and I'm off to the restaurant.

So I get to the restaurant maybe twenty or thirty minutes after they did. So I think that worked out pretty well. Then Miss Allergies still wanted to buy me dinner, which I thought was weird, cause I assumed that she just offered because she thought that I wouldn't go otherwise. After I'm already at the restaurant and starting to order the soup I didn't think that it mattered anymore.

But she still wants to buy me dinner, apparently because she'll taking the others somewhere later this week and I'm not going.

Okay. I'm not sure why I'm not going, but I don't ask. Maybe it is because she thinks that I don't want to waste the gas going to Fort Worth. I don't know. I didn't ask, and I'm not going to.

We stay at the restaurant three hours. We get ready to leave, and again Miss Allergies is going on about how we don't get to spend enough time together anymore.

And whose fault is that? But I don't say anything. But it is weird that she keeps going on like that. And here I am right now, without a job, and I could meet her any Saturday that she wants, and I might even meet her on a weeknight if she would ask. But I already know that she'll never invite anyone to her house (which I know cause we have both said that we never have anyone over) and she won't want to meet me anyplace halfway, and she would never say meet me at the mall or at a fast food place to just have a soda. She has to go only to certain restaurants because of her allergies, etc....

Sunday, I get nothing useful done. I watch Sunday Morning and then spend about three hours watching stuff about Apollo missions. I would have liked to watch The Dish, but I seem to have misplaced it. I thought I knew where most things were before I started cleaning, and now I can't find anything. And we didn't even go to my brother's place as I had already watched Eureka on Hulu Saturday morning, cause I didn't want to hear any of my friends talking about it before I watched it.

Anyway, Sunday started out pleasant enough, but it soon got back to normal. And now it is Monday, and I got up later than usual and haven't done anything. I suspect it will be another day of not doing much, though later I should get to watch True Blood. Today we have to sit here and wait for someone to deliver a computer. That's always fun.

This week would almost be a good time to do some gardening, if I would get up early enough. We expect only low to mid nineties, rather than high nineties and over a hundred. But I probably won't get around to that.

My almost planned day away isn't going to happen tomorrow. And then the husband will go out of town for three days at the end of the week. I should plan what I am going to do before then so I don't waste the time.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

A month ago

Last month at about this time I was getting ready to hang out with my friends. I was working on a new witch hat, which was supposed to be for the Harry Potter premiere, but I had also hoped to wear it that Saturday to show off to my friends while we did this goofy thing at one of our usual get-togethers. I didn't get finished with the hat and wore one of my old hats that Saturday, still thinking that I would finish the new hat in plenty of time to wear to the Harry Potter premiere.

And I asked for details on the Harry Potter premiere, but there didn't seem to be any solid plans to do anything specific, other than we were committed to being at a particular theater. No one really seemed very interested in getting an early start getting ready for the thing. We went to dinner or something.

And that same Saturday, I picked up some DVDs that my friend from the great white north wanted, only he hadn't seen any, while around here they were for sale at a discount. So I was supposed to buy the DVDs, and then I would send them to him and he would send me the money for the DVDs and the postage. Before sending them on to him, I was going to watch them, in part to make sure that they weren't damaged, as you can only get refunds or exchanges a week after purchase, and if he found out that they were damaged after I sent them it would be too late to do anything about it.

So it is a month later, and I still haven't sent him the DVDs. I did watch most of them that first week, though to tell the truth the last two disks were more skimmed through than actually watched. They didn't seem to be damaged, though I did notice that they sometimes didn't show the main menu when asked. So not so much damage, more of a glitch, and for all I know it has more to do with my VCR than the DVDs themselves. Anyway, it didn't seem like something that was worth going to exchange for another set, since next set would probably have the same problem (if in fact there was a problem at all and not just a quirk of my VCR), and this set had already been inspected for damage. So I should have just said that the first week that I had them, but I forgot. And now I realize that I have had these things three weeks longer than I planned to, and I just forgot to ask about sending them.

I never finished the new witch hat. I never made any additions or repairs to any of my costumes. I didn't go with my friends to the Harry Potter premiere, and when I went to my local theater, the only part of my costume that I wore was the scarf. I had changed my mind from wanting to go all out and be at the movie theater with my friends all four days to thinking that maybe I just wouldn't go at all.

Okay, so today is the day of one of our usual get-togethers, and afterwards they will be going to that theater. So I'm thinking that I would like to go just this last day, just to see if the decorated the theater and what everyone else is wearing. I shouldn't waste the gas, but I'll be going almost halfway there anyway, so it wouldn't be that much. I am trying to decide if I want to get all dressed up, or if I just want to wear my regular clothes and look around for a little bit.

In either case, some of my friends will want to go to dinner, and I have to decide about that. I shouldn't spend the money. So, should I go with them and just maybe buy a soda, or should I eat with them, or should I make excuses and not go at all?

This has just be the strangest month around here with the money problems and me constantly changing my mind about things.

Friday, July 17, 2009

The power went out

Not for very long. The power just sort of blinks off once in a while, mostly during storms. Yesterday it blinked off without a storm. No big deal.

Except that the clock goes off, and the answering machine goes off. Now, I think that you are supposed to put back-up batteries in the clock and the answering machine, only I keep forgetting to do that. So I have to reset the clock, and the answering machine never has a clue what the date and time actually is. So according to the answering machine my brother left me a message at 2am on Tuesday when it was actually about 6:30 pm on Friday. Stuff like that.

And the VCR goes off, which isn't too bad unless I was actually in the process of recording something, which at about lunch time yesterday I was not. I barely even had to fix the clock. And with these new converter boxes on the TV, I have to turn on four remotes instead of just two to get the TV back on. Sometimes the converter boxes have to have the channels reset, but this did not appear to be a problem at lunch time yesterday. Maybe that has to do with the length of time that the power is out, and it was only thirty seconds, so I don't think anything happened to the boxes, or at least if there are any channels missing I hadn't noticed them.

Another thing that happens when the power blinks off is that the crockpot (which is usually still plugged in even when it is turned off) then has a blinking light to tell you that it is now off and that if you were using it (which most of the time I am not) you need to turn it back on and such. So if the power goes off, the crockpot will have a little blinking red light, which might go unnoticed for days if I wasn't actually cooking something in it at the time the power went off.

Except that yesterday at about lunch time, I was actually using the crockpot. I was heating milk to make yogurt. Making yogurt is not brain surgery, except that you have to heat the milk to a certain temperature without scalding it, and then bring it back down to a certain temperature before adding yogurt to it, and then you have to keep it warm at a certain temperature for about twelve hours while the milk actually turns into yogurt. So while it isn't hard work, and you can do something else like watch TV or even sleep during different parts of the process, you do have to keep going over to check the temperature of the milk.

Anyway, you can make yogurt in a crockpot and have little worry about scalding the milk, though heating the milk in the crockpot does take time. And now that I have the crockpot with the digital readout that automatically switches from high heat or low heat to warm after a certain amount of time. So I was going to attempt to make yogurt with a much longer process, but it requires a lot less going to check it's temperature.

So that is what I was doing at about lunch time yesterday, when the power went off and turned off my crockpot. Now, I did remember that I was using the crockpot so that I went to turn it back on. Except that I wasn't sure how long the crockpot had been on, so I wasn't quite sure how much longer I should leave it on high temperature, so I guessed about an hour. So that seemed to be about right, and after checking the temperature a couple of times I turned it down to warm and went back to what I was doing and didn't check the temperature again until after seven.

So that should have been everything put right that wasn't right (except for the time and date on the answering machine, which is never right), and after about an hour or so from the time when the power blinked off I thought everything was okay. And I went back to alternating cleaning with watching stuff on Hulu. And it was rather warm, which is to be expected when it is about a hundred degrees outside, even if you are not actually outside yourself. But it seemed more so than usual, as I have a window unit air conditioner in this room, and another one in my bedroom, and those two cool this end of the house. I have a third unit which would cool most of the rest of the house except that it isn't working at the moment and I don't have the money to have it fixed. So it is usually noticeably cooler in this end of the house than in the front of the house, except that yesterday after lunch it was noticeably cooler in this room and not so much anywhere else.

At a bit before seven I went in the bedroom to set up the VCR for something, and that was when I noticed that the air conditioner was off. That particular air conditioner has a digital readout, while the other two have knobs, and so the air conditioner in this room came right back on after the power blinked off without me doing anything, and the air conditioner in the bedroom with the digital readout went off and stayed off until someone noticed to turn it back on. Only it had been like seven hours without me noticing to turn it back on.


So, there is the odd occurrence of the power blinking off just now and then, which is a bit more often in the summer, because it is Texas and everyone is using their air conditioners. But maybe it tends to be a bit more often here, maybe because my house and the neighborhood itself is about seventy years old, and maybe it wasn't built so good to begin with. But of course the time when the power really blinks off often is during thunderstorms, and we had one of those last night. Not that there was a great downpour of rain, just enough to make a bit of noise and get everything a bit wet. And then power blinked off a few times, just for thirty seconds or so, which is just enough time to turn off everything with a digital readout.

The first of these happened at about one in the morning, after I had been asleep for just a couple of hours. And I guess that the noise was enough to wake me up and notice the blinking clock and that the air conditioner had gone off. So I got out of bed and turned the air conditioner back on. I did not bother putting the correct time on the clock as I did not want to go to find out what the actual time was, and I would rather just get back to bed as soon as possible.

Remember that I was making yogurt?

Okay, during the part of the process that requires the milk mixture to be kept warm for about twelve hours, I am usually sleeping while the crockpot is set on warm. Except that when the power blinks off like that the crockpot is actually switched to off, not warm. So right after I get back into bed I remember this and walk to the front of the house to turn the crockpot back on and switch it to warm.

The power blinked off at least a couple of times after that, and twice it made enough noise for me to notice and get out of bed to turn on the air conditioner and walk to the front of the house to switch the crockpot back to warm.

So I did not get much sleep last night, but the last time I did get almost four hours, so I guess that was enough at one time so that I do not feel just awful this morning. But it was still rather annoying.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

There is stuff to do, but today I'll just watch Harry Potter instead

I was reading someone else's blog, how she thinks that she is going to feed her family with her new garden. There's a picture of her garden, or some of her soon to be garden anyway. If the picture shows most of it, then it probably is a bit smaller than mine. She is proud of how she used recycled stuff to make the path around the garden to save money. But then most of her garden is raised beds, about half made from bricks that must have cost several hundred dollars, and the other half being made from heavy lumber that I do not think they found in the scrap bin.

In any case, I am wondering if the garden will feed her family. She is in California, while I am in Texas. Maybe in California they are not having this problem with the bees. Or maybe there is just something about my house in particular that the bees do not like. I saw a bee yesterday, but she was out in the field, not in my yard.

A neighbor who usually has a nice garden has mostly given up for the year. Half of his garden has been dug up and made ready for next year. I don't talk to this particular neighbor, so I don't know what happened to the other half of his plants. He has left the tomatoes, and the sweet potatoes aren't ready to be dug up yet, but most everything else is gone.

I tried to grow some more beans, but again there were no sprouts. I think that maybe they did sprout, but the pill bugs ate them before I saw them. This is getting annoying, as there are pill bugs everywhere that I did nothing about, as all the books said that they were harmless and only ate dead plants. Now I will have to find a way to protect new plants from them.

With all the water I give to the garden plants, the grass around the plants has grown tall. We will have to cut it more often. I wish I had money to cover the rest of the yard with stepping stones and such.

Note to self: in the future do not plant turnips and radishes in the same bed. I have trouble telling which is which, and after the rain some of the seeds moved so that they got mixed in together.

While I am not getting anything done in the garden because of the heat, the front part of the house has improved enough for my husband to comment about it.

August will be here soon. I don't look forward to it. I would like to work really hard for a few weeks and then maybe be in a coma for a month or so. It would be nice to skip the entire month and just wake up one day and find that it was already September and time to do fall planting if I'm going to do that.

Later today we will go and watch the Harry Potter movie. I looked at the emails from last night, and there was no mention of the sneak preview that my friends should have gone to. So I'm glad that I decided not to worry about all that. Maybe I will go with them Saturday night, but I won't decide before then. I'll just see how I feel. I would like to see what they do, but I don't really want to get that into it myself. I have cleaning to do, and I shouldn't stop working right when I am starting to see real progress.

The card came from the unemployment place. We were told it would be three eighty a week on weeks that he qualified for a whole week, and it has four hundred dollars. So that is a bit odd. Not enough for two weeks. So did they decide the didn't qualify for a whole second week, or is more coming later. Anyway, it is a bit annoying about it being a card and not a check. I'm not real sure how to get it from that account to the account that we pay our bills from. Though at this rate we may just end up spending the whole four hundred on stuff and not have any left to transfer to the other account. I wonder why they don't just ask for your regular account information and make a direct deposit to that?

The new business experiment will be in about a month. I keep forgetting things that have to be purchased, or things end up costing more than I thought they would. Like we had to go and buy extra ink cartridges and colored paper for the printer, cause we need about a hundred each of a couple of things. For the black and white stuff we might have gone to a copy place, but color copies are still very expensive, which doesn't quite make since if color ink cartridges don't cost more than black ones. Maybe it is just assumed that color copies use more ink. Anyway, we did not use the copy place this time. Maybe next time, if there is a next time. We bought a frame for a poster, but we haven't ordered the poster yet. We have reserved rental equipment for next month. And if the business doesn't go well it will cost at least another two hundred or so in supplies that we are now committed to spend at the end of next month. The four hundred something dollar computer became a six hundred something dollar computer. By the time next month is over we will have spent over twelve hundred dollars on this thing. I am starting to get nervous about it again.

But today I am just going to enjoy watching the movie and then coming home to eat the expensive cheese that we bought yesterday from the surplus store.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Back to the usual stuff

Well, I had my three days alone and ended up not doing much of anything different than I would have done if he had still been here. But I do have a much cleaner dining area, though it still needs some work. I have made enough of a dent in it that I will probably move some more furniture and clean behind that. That is a great bother but it should be done once in a while. I am even thinking that while I am in the mood for it I should try and clean behind the major appliances in the kitchen.

In any case I won't be doing much of that today, but maybe tomorrow. Today we are going to go and have lunch with one of his brothers. That would be fine, except for the reason for the visit. Last week, since the unemployment check still hasn't arrived and he needed expense money if he was going to go to work, my husband borrowed some money from this brother. So the brother gave him a check, and my husband went to our bank and cashed it and put half in the checking account and half in his pocket. Then he went out of town to work.

After that, the brother calls to say that we shouldn't cash the check. He has the money, but he didn't put it in the account soon enough to cover the check, so we should wait a couple of days before cashing it.

First, if we could have waited a few days, we probably wouldn't have needed to borrow the money in the first place. So of course we took the check to the bank the day after he wrote it. Second, if he had more money in his pocket than in his account, why didn't he just loan the cash instead of writing the check?

Okay, so we are going to meet up for lunch so that he can give my husband some cash so we can deposit the cash in the bank to cover the check before the bank finds out that it isn't good.

Recently, we got another account at another bank, so that if this business thing works out my husband would have a different account for that. And that account also comes with another personal account, and that bank is the bank that we have the car loan with. So we thought it would be easier to transfer funds from that account to pay the car loan rather than mailing a check or going to the bank every month. So my husband did the payment online, and he didn't see the usual stuff like a confirmation number or action pending or anything like that. So after a few days of not seeing any evidence that the car payment had been made, he tried again. So now they have taken two car payments and say that we are overdrawn and have been charged a fee for that.

So that's been fun.

After lunch and hopefully straightening out some of the banking stuff, we are off to run some other errands. Like, I've run out of birth control pills. And the husband needs some stuff to do with the business thing, like he needs to rent some equipment and put a reserve on that, and he needs some Spanish translations of things and he needs copies of that.

I might have some more time to myself next week, or I might go with him somewhere, or both. In either case we will need expense money, and we are still waiting for the damned unemployment checks.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Harry Potter premieres next week

Next Wednesday to be exact. There's a midnight showing on Tuesday, and a sneak preview for some of us either Monday or Tuesday. My friends and I have been planning to go in costume to help promote the movie and our club. It will be like the Star Trek premiere back in May.

I'm not going.

Or, at least, I don't think that I'm going. I never got around to finishing the new hat, and I didn't even start on the cape. Not that I don't have plenty of that stuff already, I just thought that another hat would look better, and that a lighter cape would be cooler and better to wear in July in Texas. But still, I have plenty of other stuff to wear, and most of what we are planning is in the evening and indoors, so it wouldn't be terribly hot if I decided to wear the old stuff.

I just don't think I'm going to have any money. The theater is almost an hour away, and would require at least two round trips if I participate at all, and four round trips if I did everything that I had planned. So that would be nearly a tank of gas, and the tank is nearly empty now, and I really don't have the money to waste on a movie.

I would feel really bad about letting everybody down, except, in my opinion I haven't yet commented to doing the thing anyway.

Oh, I'm sure that everyone knows that I had planned on doing it, but back in May when I wanted to get serious about planning this thing and possibly building some props, no one else much seemed to be interested. After all, they were tired from just doing the Star Trek thing, and Harry Potter was months away.

Only now it isn't months away, it is only days away. They are just now getting around to making a final list of who is going to be there and when, and who needs to bring what, etc.... I began to lose interest after no one wanted to do anything in May, and again when not that many people wanted to firm up the plans in June. So now that it is time to do something and it is too late to do anything about it if we don't have enough props just already in our closets...I am thinking that I have more important things to worry about than promoting a movie. Like is that unemployment check ever going to get here, and if my husband goes out of town again in two weeks do I want to go with him, and now that I have a mostly clean dining room do I want to move the appliances around in the kitchen so that I can give that a serious cleaning too.

I have to spend money on important stuff, like food.

Not that we won't go and see the movie, but the two of us can see the movie, probably on opening day, for about seven dollars. It will cost about three times that much for gas (or, that is how much it cost last time, and I'm thinking that it is more now), my husband might not get a free ticket, and then of course if I go spend a lot of time at this theater that isn't nearby I shall have to either buy dinner out with the gang or take a peanut butter sandwich.

Right at the moment, the idea of not going isn't bothering me that much. What is bothering me is that no one seems to have noticed yet that I'm not going.

Well, it's not like I actually announced that I wasn't going. There isn't an official sign-up sheet yet. But I thought by now that they would have either noticed that I hadn't sent an email about it or maybe they would have sent me an email asking what they could borrow for the event. Neither has happened.

I did tell one friend that I probably wouldn't go to anything for a while because of the money situation. Maybe he said something to them.

One more odd thing about the Harry Potter movie is that one of my friends is refusing to see it. She was probably the first person to tell me that I needed to read these books, she has costumes, and she was more into Harry Potter than most people I know (and I know a lot of people who are into this stuff). But apparently the sixth book upset her so much that she nearly didn't read the seventh one.

NO SPOILERS, PLEASE. I have only read the first book for something at school. I like to read books after I have seen the movies.

Anyway, so my friend refuses to go, and I don't think that I should go because of the money situation. Me, with the scarves and the costumes and the year round Halloween decorations all around the house.

I mean, I will still go see it someplace, but not with my friends, and not doing the whole weekend event thing.

I may end up not seeing my friends this week at all, and this is the week that we would normally see each other anyway.

This is just all a bit weird.

Friday, July 10, 2009


So I had a day by myself. Nothing exciting happened. I didn't go out and do anything crazy. I didn't start any new projects.

On the other hand, I didn't feel so bad that I had to spend the day in bed. Next month I will probably not be so lucky, but today was okay.

The bad husband didn't call yesterday. He did check in several times this morning, but I was outside the first couple of times. Nothing exciting happened to him either.

Oh, well. fifty bucks is fifty bucks.

I've been having some problems with blogspot lately, so I'm not even sure if anyone will be able to read this. Just sometimes I go to my blog, and I don't see the last thing that I posted. But I know that it is there, so if a click a few things I eventually find it. But, of course, I know that it is there to look for it. Other people don't. So if you don't see it right away, I assume that you go somewhere else and read someone else's new post. It's weird.

I am very slowly getting around to cleaning the kitchen and what is supposed to be the dining room. We rarely dine in it. It is usually just full of boxes and other stuff that gets in the way. It usually doesn't occur to me that this is a problem. When we first got married, we didn't have a table anyway, and we very quickly got into the habit of eating dinner while watching TV in bed. So what did we need a dining table for? We have a table now, but I haven't gotten back into the habit of using it to eat on. So it becomes a place for art projects. Or, at least, it becomes a place for art projects when I have an art project and I don't have too many boxes in the way.

Right now the table is full of canned goods that I am trying to sort through. I've had some of it a long time. I can't find dates on some of them. I wonder if some of it isn't good to eat anymore.

Anyway, this is the serious cleaning that involves moving a bit of furniture. I rarely do this at all, and I don't think that I've done it this late in the summer before. It is too hot to move furniture. But, at some point I got seriously into moving the boxes around, and then scrubbing the floor, and then I thought that I might as well move some shelves and clean behind them. And now that I've started that process, I should probably go ahead and finish it.

I now have three of the Kellogg's Star Trek t-shirts. I still didn't take a picture of any of them. I will have to do that after my husband gets back. I think that I bought forty-two boxes of cereal. But that's alright. I got a good deal on most of it, and we are actually eating the cereal. We still have a lot of it, but I doubt that it will last all year like I first thought.

My mom hasn't called yet. Hopefully that will last another day or so. Though it won't last for much longer, as there is a family thing that should be coming up soon. It has just occured to me that we will probably go to lunch or something, and I don't have any money.

This sucks.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Some time to myself

I have three days to myself. It has been a long time. I can't remember how long it's been since I've had a few days to myself. In fact, it has been a while since my husband had any work at all, so I'm not even sure when I last had even an afternoon to myself.

So I am debating should I do anything that I wouldn't normally do if he were here.

Of course, I have no money, so I really shouldn't do anything. I should stay here and clean house.

Now, there are parts of the house that are easier to clean when he is away, so maybe I should do that. But on the other hand, I already started something before he left, and I should finish up with that before moving on to something else.

To tell the truth, the timing is bad, and I probably won't do either. I will probably spend tomorrow or the next day mostly in bed. I hope not, but it is a possibility.

And, with the computer all to myself, I'm going to watch all of the nineties version of Dark Shadows on Hulu. Assuming that I don't spend most of tomorrow and the next day in bed. And assuming that my mother doesn't call and ruin my whole weekend.

Another problem with being an apprentice

So I've had this friend for about ten years, and I think that I knew her somewhat even ten years before that. And from stuff that comes up in conversation, I knew that she had gone to college and that she had taken a lot of art classes.

And I also knew that she did not make a living as an artist, and nothing had come up in conversation about her once having been able to do that. There were a few different possibilities.

She could have been in exactly my situation. She could have started out as an art major and been ordered by her parents to switch to something else.

She could have started out an art major and switched to something else on her own.

She could have had an minor in art.

She could have been an art major and just ran out of money and had to drop out of school.

She could have been an art major and had to drop out of school for some other reason, like maybe her health, and then she just never got back to it.

She could have been an art major, graduated, and just not been able to make a living as an artist, or found a "real job" that paid more and just gave up on the whole art thing.

I got the idea that it was the last one. I wondered how long a person with an art degree tries to actually make a living as an artist before giving up and getting a "real job." So one day I asked her about it.

I kind of got the short version of it. She did graduate as an art major, but she didn't stay with the painting and the ceramics. Her last year she studied stuff about making film. The specific job she was supposed to get with her degree had to do with lights. So she should be working the lights on some TV show, or making comercials, or maybe even making movies.

Only after graduation, you are supposed to apprentice for a year. She didn't even mention getting paid minimum wage during the apprenticeship. She couldn't work for free for a year, unless she lived with her parents, and there wasn't any place to do that where they lived. So she had to get a "real job".

She didn't give any more details than that. I'm not exactly sure how she ended up in this area, which is not in the county her parents lived in, and it's not in the same county that she went to college in either. I know that her dad worked not exactly the same job, but in the same field and for the same employer, and I am thinking that when the art thing didn't work out he helped her get a job where he worked, and then she transferred to this area when a better paying position became available.

And she hates her job. I don't know if she's always hated her job, but I've never heard her say anything nice about it. Okay, that's not entirely true. I'm sure she likes some of the people she works with, but I'm sure that would have happened anyway. Mostly, she talks about the revolving door of managers, and how she doesn't like any of them.

Anyway, she did answer my question, but she didn't offer much in the way of details. It just sounded like she went to school, decided to get an art degree, decided to specialize in TV/film because working the lights is a "real job" as opposed to just making art and hoping that someone will buy it, and then she didn't get that particular "real job" because she didn't know about the unpaid apprentice thing.

Afterwards, that didn't quite make sense. Surely somebody told her about this apprenticeship thing before her last year of college, and she would have had time to specialize in something else or maybe even switch majors entirely. Having once had a major in something that would have had an unpaid apprenticeship year (almost a year anyway), that was often the topic of conversation among the students. People were nervous about the "fifth year", or really excited about it, or whatever.

Me? I was really ticked that we were expected to work for free for most of a year. Not only that, but since we were techically still in school, we actually had to pay for the privilege of working that year. It was less than half of what most of us paid in a normal year, but still, we had to pay. And it was pretty much a full time job in addition to having a few things that we still had to do at school, so it probably wasn't going to leave enough time to even get a part-time job to pay some of the bills.

But, back to my friend. I can not believe that she just didn't know about the apprenticeship until it was too late. I can believe that she thought that she would get a student loan for that year and then couldn't get one. Or, I can believe that she thought that she would spend the year living with her parents, but the place she intended to work that year went out of business. Maybe she thought she could drive between the place her parents lived and the place she lives now, but she decided not to do that after her car broke down in the middle of nowhere. Before cell phones, driving by yourself between towns could sometimes be a frightening experience.

Anyway, I have yet to ask her for more details. I don't think she likes to talk about it. She is seriously in "my life sucks" mode, and reminding her that things could have been different is probably not a good idea.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

I'm an American, not a scientist

Okay, it would have been better if I could have thought of something that sounded more like--I'm a doctor, not a brick-layer. But I'm not a doctor or a brick-layer, so this will have to do.

Anyway, as I did not do all the cool stuff on the 4th, and in fact I forgot to even go in the backyard to see if the fireworks were visible, I wasn't doing much that I don't normally do. I went to my brother's place where we had some hotdogs and hamburgers, and we ended up talking about dumb stuff for a couple of hours, and then we went home.

And then it was the usual stuff that I do around here, watching TV and playing around on the computer, minus stuff like trying to get any work done.

And I read a couple of the news stories that pop up when I go to read my email. And while I was doing that, I was invited to take a few quizzes.

So I thought that I would see how I'd do taking the citizenship test. Only, it wasn't really the citizenship test, cause the real test is longer and doesn't help you out with multiple choice answers, but those are easier to do for the purpose of taking these little quizzes on the computer.

After that I got some questions on recent news stories concerning space and science. Before I took either quiz I expected to do better with the science quiz than the American citizenship stuff. After all, the American citizenship stuff would have been stuff that I might have studied to take tests back in college twenty years ago, and not stuff that I was really that interested in other than to pass those tests. On the other hand, science stuff in the news tends to get my attention.

On the citizenship test I scored 85%. Welcome to America. You know more about the place than most people who live here.

I get the openings of the different documents backwards. And I got the number of amendments wrong. And I didn't know which one was the chief justice of the supreme court.

But I knew all that other stuff. Or, at least, I thought I knew all that other stuff or I made a good guess.

As for the science quiz, I got a flat zero.

It was all really recent stuff that I either hadn't heard about or couldn't remember. I couldn't remember the name of the recent Mars probe. Other questions didn't seem to be about science at all. One question concerned finding a nude picture of the Mona Lisa. The Mona Lisa was painted by a scientist, but other than that I don't think that the picture itself has anything to do with science.

Still, it was a bit odd. And I guess that some of my college studies stuck with me more than I thought they had.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Finding food

I have a garden. I'm not very good at it. It least, I'm not very good at it right now. Twelve years ago I was better at it, but then, my husband did more of the work on that one.

But I like the idea of it. And I like going out in the morning to see what I might find. Maybe some tomatoes are ready, or a squash, or I might find some beans, or asparagus, or some radishes might be ready.

Gardening can be sort of like an Easter egg hunt for adults.

Lately I am wishing that I did not use up so much space on the more ornamental stuff. I am not going to eat the elephant ears. I probably won't eat the pumpkins (if the plant even produces any fruit, which so far it hasn't). I'm not overly fond of sweet potatoes, but it will be fall before I can eat those anyway.

I'm getting a few tomatoes. I have yet to see any fruit on my eggplant. Tomorrow or the next day I will pick my second squash. I've picked a few radishes. I have turnips, but I'm not really into turnips. I got a few peppers earlier, but right now it is really too hot for the plants to produce much. I got a few beans, but those were just some that I planted as an experiment. The beans I really wanted to eat didn't even sprout. I got lots of asparagus earlier, but that is mostly done until next year, and I miss it.

As I am trying not to spend any money, I am really missing it.

There was this thing called eating down the fridge. You try not to buy any food for a certain amount of time and see what you can make from stuff in the freezer and pantry. So I had thought that I would have done that for fun with some other bloggers if I had heard about it in time. Now it feels like I'm doing that for real. I can't go out to dinner, and I'm trying not to go to the grocery store much either. I can't buy any non-essentials, and I can't waste gas going out if I forgot to get something.

So I'll be looking at what I can make for dinner and thinking that the stir-fry would be better with water chestnuts, but I only have a few left, and I should save them until I run out of the other stuff. And the soup would taste better if I had another can of tomato sauce. Stuff like that.

So I'm cleaning, and I found five cans of water chestnuts, four cans of tomato sauce, and a few other things. I guess that I was so tired the day that I bought them that I didn't finish putting them away.


Not as cool as if the bees were back and I was getting lots of squash, but cool anyway.

Saturday, July 04, 2009


I have recently had a discussion with someone who didn't get it that a Monday thru Friday 9-5 job was a luxury. Somehow that wasn't a luxury because he "worked his ass off" to get it.

Well, you are supposed to earn your luxuries, aren't you? If you want something, you aren't supposed to just wait around for someone to give it to you. Just because you worked for something doesn't mean it isn't a luxury.

After a bit of argument on the subject, I was told that my conversation was no longer welcome.


Anyway, that discussion and the current economic situation has had me thinking about luxuries. It occurs to me that a lot of things that I have just taken for granted are luxuries, and that there are things that we have earned that are luxuries, even though they have become such common place things that we tend to not think of them of luxuries anymore. But really, they are not necessities, so they are luxuries. The TV, the phone, and now the computer are things that I have had for so long that I would have trouble living without. And at some point, I earned them. I wonder if at some point I might not have them.

It now occurs to me that I have some luxuries that I didn't earn. I live in this time and place totally by accident. I am lucky that do not live in the past or some other country where I couldn't have these things.

So while I am forcing myself to drink two liters of water per day, it occurs to me that I have the luxury of tap water. And that isn't something that I earned, I just have it. While having safe water is a necessity, having pipes bring it right to the house (and usually even to the particular room that I need the water) is actually a luxury. It just happens to be a luxury that I've never done without. But there are still millions of people who don't have it. They have to go to a lake or a stream or a well, and they have to take several gallons of water from the water source to their homes. And then after that they might have to boil it or do something else to it before it is safe to use.

I don't even have to pay that much for it. In my particular situation, I suppose that I have to pay something for it, but it isn't even a separate bill, so I don't notice the expense. I have not only this two liters per day that I am forcing myself to drink, but also just gallons of the stuff for cleaning and such, and in addition to that I have all the water I want to water the plants in my garden.

That's a pretty cool thing to have when you think about it.

And thanks to a gift from my grandmother, I also now have the luxury of a washing machine in my home. For more than twelve years I used a laundry mat, and I got used to do that. But the past few years I haven't had to do that. I have had the luxury of doing the laundry whenever I want it done, and not having to schedule a time to drive somewhere else to do it.

Speaking of the luxury of time, I've had a lot of that lately, though you may have noticed that I am not particularly enjoying it. When you are sick or unemployed, you have the luxury of time, but usually not the means of doing what you want with it. I should make more efforts to use it better.

Friday, July 03, 2009

A lot happened yesterday

Okay, the first thing that happened yesterday was that I noticed Hulu has the third season of Sliders. I used to really love Sliders, but I didn't get to see it much after it switched to cable. So now they have the third season, which is mostly stuff that I haven't seen since it was originally on like ten years ago, and maybe soon they will have the stuff that I never saw on cable.

So that was nice. I was just hoping that wasn't the end of my good luck for the day.

My husband had a meeting with someone about the planned business thing. It was all very exciting. He printed out a lot of stuff and put on a tie and went off to meet someone who might hire them for their first account.

And then he locked me out of the house, which I have already written about.

My husband's meeting seemed to go okay. We'll just have to wait and see. He was only supposed to do this thing on Sundays and maybe Mondays, so that he and the other guy wouldn't have to take time off from their regular jobs. Only, with the way things have been, there hasn't been any work at their regular jobs. So this woman he spoke to talked him into working for her on two Saturdays instead of two Sundays, which means that he will have to ask for time off. And if you can't work on Saturday then they probably won't schedule any work for the rest of the week either. So he has basically asked off for two weeks, and he's not even sure that they will make any money.

Still, it is a bit exciting that he will finally get this thing going in August.

So after getting a little bit of work done and making lunch and then washing dishes and such, I watched a couple of the Slider episodes. And then my husband comes in with the mail, and there is this odd package for me. He said that it felt like asparagus plants. Did I order any asparagus plants? No, I did not order any asparagus plants. It is too late in the year to order asparagus plants. And I don't remember ordering any plants. In fact the only thing that I remember ordering for a while in the Star Trek t-shirts, but they are supposed to take ninety days.

But it did turn out to be my medical/science shirt. So that was cool. I hadn't checked on the order since last week, so I went to check, and it had been sent on the 30th. So I checked on the other orders, and another one had been sent on the 30th, and one had even been sent on the 26th. So I called to ask if the other t-shirts had arrived, but so far they haven't.

But it is still nice to have the one, and now I'll know better if I want to order a bunch more.

I won't be doing anything of interest over the weekend. We don't have any money. I mean, we seriously do not have any money. All this time off, and no money. Not even money for little things that I should get at Home Depot to work on the backyard.

Back to watching Hulu.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

My husband locked me out of the house


He was going out to the car, and for some reason, he hit the lock on the front door, and I didn't see him do it. And I followed him out to the car, and I wished him luck and all of that, and he got in the car and started the engine. And I get to the front door just as it is closing. And it's locked.


So I yell at him, and he doesn't hear me, and he drives to the stop sign. And I yell at him and run after the car a bit, and he still doesn't hear me. He drives away.


Okay, so I'm wearing what rather looks like pajamas (not even matching pajamas), and since the pants don't have pockets I don't have my keys to get in. And I don't have my cell phone, and I don't even have a bottle of water.


I'm locked out of my house, in the summer, in Texas, with no cell phone and no water.

After a few minutes I stop and think that isn't exactly true. I do at least have water. I can at least get water out of the garden hose. It is very unlikely that I'm going to die of thirst. I can probably just wait for him to get back.

I don't really want to walk to the office to get someone to unlock the door for me. I think that there's a fee for doing that if it isn't a emergency. This probably doesn't count as an emergency.

Besides, I don't want anyone to see me in these things that look like pajamas, that don't match, and that are starting to rip near the waist.

I can just sit here and wait for him to get back. He will probably be gone about an hour, maybe an hour and a half. Maybe two hours if he goes to get something for lunch on the way home. I think that I should try waiting an hour, maybe an hour and a half before I panic and ask someone for help. Cause I really don't want to walk to the office looking like this, and I don't have any money to pay if they decide this is a non-emergency service call.

I'm not wearing a watch. I don't have my cell phone. And I'm certainly not sitting in front of a computer. How am I supposed to know when an hour has past?


Okay, if I just sit in the shade and do nothing, I won't get too hot. And I have a few chairs out here. I go and get one and put it in the shade. I sit down and wait.

I can't do it. I can't just sit and do nothing. No book to read. No music to listen to. No one to talk to.

Oh, and the frog lady might see me. The frog lady might see me out here wearing what look like mismatched pajamas.

The frog lady might even come out and talk to me.

I can't just sit here. I have to go out in the backyard and find something to do.

I find an empty milk jug and fill it with water. I could do a bit of gardening. I do have water.

I shovel a bit of dirt. I get hot, but I know that I have water. I don't panic.

I find a plastic cup. It will be easier to drink water from a cup. And I'm supposed to drink two liters of water a day. I guess that won't be a problem today.

I drink some water and shovel a bit more dirt. This might not be so bad. I might end up drinking the whole gallon of water and moving all of this dirt.

It occurs to me that I've been locked out of the house and can't get to the bathroom.

Perhaps this is not the best time to drink a whole gallon of water.


I stop shoveling the dirt and weed out the pepper plants instead. That needed to be done anyway, and it isn't as much work as shoveling dirt.

Time for some water and a bit of rest. I go back to the chair in the front yard. I sit in front of the door.

The husband comes home.

"Why are you sitting out here?"

"You locked me out of the house."

He thinks that is very funny.

Of course he thinks it is funny. I had really been afraid, and he thinks it is funny. Everything is a joke.

Okay, it was a little bit funny.

Still, if it had been the other way around, I wouldn't have locked him out of the house. I would have kept watching him until he went inside the house, so I would have noticed something was wrong and not driven away.

I ended up being locked out of my house for almost exactly an hour. The pepper plants have been weeded, and I moved half a mound of dirt.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

The argument against becoming an architect

The second time that I went back to school I had to take a speech class. I hadn't taken it the first time around because despite being told that speech was a requirement of all degree plans I found out that it wasn't a requirement of my first choice major. And I really didn't like talking in front of people, so I didn't take it.

Okay, so it's back to school to take a few things. And the class itself turned out to be a lot of fun. It was just those two speeches that we had to give that made me very nervous, and the grades that you got from those two speeches made up like half the grade for the whole class.

The first speech could about anything you wanted. My first speech was about dogs. And it was okay, and I got a good grade, and that made me less nervous about doing the second speech.

The second speech could also be on a variety of subjects, but the second speech had to be an argumentative speech.

Right now, I can't even remember what my second speech was about. I put so much work into it, and now I don't even remember it.

The other students argued for or against abortion, for or against legalizing marijuana, changing the drinking age, etc.... A few of the students had other ideas.

And then this guy stood up to argue against studying to be an architect. And it seemed like the silliest thing to have an argumentative speech about. Except that when he spoke his voice contained somewhat restrained...something. I don't know what to call it. Anger. Venom. Disgust.

I don't know. Something unpleasant anyway.

First he spoke about the initial bit of going to college (which I can't remember if he said he'd done four years or six years), of the time involved, and the money involved, etc... And then he spoke of how it was a very specific course of study good for becoming an architect and pretty much only for becoming an architect. If you study to become an architect and do not actually become an architect, you've wasted many years of your life, while if you pick a different major and end up not getting the job that was your first choice the degree might still be useful for something else.

And then he spoke about being an apprentice. He spoke about having to work for an architect for about minimum wage, and how you are supposed to work for this architect for a year and learn things from him so that you can move on to the next stage.

Only you aren't actually paid to learn stuff about architecture, you are paid to do whatever the architect tells you to do. And the particular architect he got stuck with didn't teach him anything and made him do dumb stuff like make coffee. You expect to do dumb stuff like make coffee, but you expect to do other stuff, and you expect to learn from what you are doing and not just be some guy's slave for minimum wage. So he didn't learn whatever he was supposed to learn from the guy, and he was unable to go on to the next step in becoming an architect.

I suppose there is some process to request a second year to apprentice with a different architect, but he didn't do that. For one thing, there was no guarantee that the second architect would be anymore helpful than the first one. But the main thing for the guy giving this speech was that he had not only run out of money, but he had maxed out all of his credit cards and also needed a new car. He wasn't able to pay his bills that first year with a minimum wage job, and there was no way he could work for minimum wage a second year.

So there he was, like me, back in college taking speech class, cause he hadn't needed speech class to be an architect, but he would probably need it for whatever his major was in his second degree.

At the time I was just really shocked, but I have since heard similar things about other career paths.