Sunday, December 27, 2009

You Can't Always Get What You Want

Whenever I hear that song, I always sing it 'you can't always get a chihuahua' because that's what it sounds like to me during the choral singing part in the beginning. Is that just me?

So. More things changing here. Or not changing, to be more accurate. MM's job we were hoping he might get he still hasn't officially gotten. Although he's been working as a fill-in for them for about a month now. They're keeping him busy, but not paying well enough for me to head back to TX and finish school. Or for me to stay here and finish school. And him returning to the oil field just didn't pan out the way I thought it might.

I've nearly given up hope in finishing school as a nurse and/or rad tech/ultrasound tech. It's depressing on so many levels. I can't see that we're in a place financially where I can quit the job I have now and go back to being a f/t student. And I can't envision ever being in that place, which is the really suckish part.

I've come to realize that my desire to travel a ton and move from place to place isn't shared at all by my hubby. He's back home here in Phoenix, and is fairly unwilling to leave. My son is somewhat happily back in school (you know how that is, kind of depends on the day), which, again, kind of puts the kibosh on traveling a ton and moving around a lot. Not fair to do that to a brick and mortar schooled kid.

Apparently I'm the only one in our household unhappy with all this, so I'm kind of flailing around, figuring out what compromises I'm willing to make in the name of family.

I plan on taking one more course in hopes that maybe someday we can figure out a way for me to finish the degree I'd originally planned on - I know there has to be a way to work and go to school and clinicals and take care of my family and not go crazy while doing it, but, for the life of me, I cannot figure it out. I know it can be done, I've seen it. I just can't seem to make it work in my life.

I'm so tired of making plans that never actually pan out. I think my family is crushing my dreams out of me. Thank you, family.

What's funny, though? Is that I'm actually kind of OK with it all. Shit happens. Things don't turn out the way we want. Plans get put on hold. I can snuggle on the couch with MM and tell him he's ruining my life, and we laugh about it. It's kind of a joke, kind of not - and he knows this - but we're in a good place.

It's hard to be too unhappy with someone that buys you a birthday card on Christmas because Christmas cards just don't say just the right thing - that he loves you more than anything and that every day he's with you he loves you more. And that it's killing him that you're unhappy.

He's trying to make it up to me by being exceptionally sweet and thoughtful. And by doing all the housework and grocery shopping. It's sorta working.

So for now, I'm going to continue on with the company I'm currently working for, thankful that I have a job with them - they really are incredibly awesome to work for. And maybe I'll at last accept changing my major to something they'll pay for. English or History degree, anyone?

It does and doesn't help that I'm being lured in by their benefits. No more out of pocket costs for health care or school, no more student loans? It's really a hard to pass that up. My fear is that if I don't do it now, I'll never do it. It's like crack. Once you've sampled a little, it's a little hard to walk away. And they've already given me a raise. And a bonus. And I've got another of both coming in the next two months. The bastards.

I'm working to accept that my son and husband aren't on the same path I'm on - and that there's got to be a way for us to compromise and be happy. We just need to figure it out.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009

Hmmmm

I'm not sure what happened to my last blog post. It got eaten. Which is a little ominous.

Things are all up in the air here yet again. I'm not feeling much like blogging lately. In fact, I'm kind of thinking of killing the blog. I'm just not feeling it anymore. It is no longer seeming to fulfill a purpose for me. It's just one more thing I'm not getting accomplished as of late. One more thing that is not turning out at all like I had wanted it to.

I'm feeling a little bah humbug today, as you can see. :)

So, rather than prattle on about it, I'll wish you all a happy holiday and sign off. Hope the tail end of 2009 is wonderful to all of you!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Yep, Still Here!

I know, I know, it's been so long! All I can say is that come January, I'll be blogging more. I hope.

Once again, lots of changes are happening or about to happen here, but, I can't really talk about it just yet. I have to wait until all interested parties are notified, and then I'll update the blogosphere. Give me until after Christmas-ish.

Until then, let's just leave it at that for now. Though I guess I should say that the changes are good, and I'm really excited about them! Decisions have been made, and it feels great.

So, goodbye for now! I'll leave you to enjoy my lazy Sunday. Any day that doesn't require getting dressed and leaving the house is always a good one. :)

Monday, November 9, 2009

School

BW returned to public school today. We decided if he wants to try it, the sooner he starts the better.

It seemed to go well. He seemed pretty happy with the whole thing. His teacher seems nice. My only issue so far is an HOUR (or so) of homework in 3rd grade. Really? An hour? Seems a tad excessive to me, but this is all new to us so maybe it's not. I will say that I don't remember having that much homework in high school. But then, I wasn't exactly focused on my education in high school. I was focused on, ah, other things.

Anyway, he was happy and he had a good day. He wasn't stabbed, beaten up, bullied, and (to the best of my knowledge) was not getting high in the vacant lot across from the school at lunch. All in all, a successful first day in elementary school.

In the meantime, I am adjusting and making the best of this. MM and I got BW situated this morning and then walked a mile. I counted calories and ate healthy and vegetarian all day today. If BW is going to be in school maybe nursing school is back as an option, and I really want to get rid of this excess weight before my knees wage a bloody coup at their burden. Wish me luck.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Ugh.

So my homeschooled son wants to go back to school. To try it out for a year. And he's convinced he wants to start NOW.

I'm so unhappy about it, I can't even begin to tell you. But, I've always said that if he wanted to try it, he could, so we'll be registering ASAP. Even though Momma DOESN'T THINK IT'S A GOOD IDEA.*

Our life has changed so much this year. I'm having a hard time keeping the faith that it will all work itself out. And I'm having a hard time not being petty and sending out "Congratulations! You've WON!" cards to everyone out there who said homeschooling wouldn't work. (Thanks for your support, everyone!) But those are more my issues then BW's, so I'm trying to let it go and be supportive of his new desire.

I kind of feel like there's not much I can do at this point. I don't want him to be resentful about never really getting to try school if it's something he thinks he'd like to do. I'm working full time, so I'm really not getting a lot of time to spend with him, and MM and him have begun clashing so much it's really not working out with MM trying to be the primary stay at home person.

And since homeschooling has always been my and BW's thing, and he's no longer on board, what can I do?

Ugh.

I feel like he's been told by so many people that he needs to be in a "real school" that he's been brainwashed. Am I bad person for hoping it goes horribly and we can get back to our regularly scheduled programming soon?**

*****

*And is making it pretty damn clear, in case there's any doubt.

**Kidding, kidding. Of course I don't hope it goes horribly. I don't want him to have a horrible experience. I just want him to get a better education then the crappy ones his father and I had. And if he can get that in public school, well, great. Right?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Vacation

I have a few days off this week, so we're heading down to Southern AZ. We plan on spending a day or two in Tucson, some time in Tombstone, maybe Bisbee. We're going to take a few days and explore Arizona's mining and western roots.

I'll be back with pictures in a few days! And THIS time I'm going to remember the memory card for my camera.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Fifteen

Around 4:30 this afternoon I realized that today is the 15th anniversary of MM and I being together.

Obviously, we had nothing special planned, though thinking back through the years did give us some warm fuzzies.


I can't wait to start on the next fifteen.

I love you, MM!

To All The Married People Out There Still Doing It, Take Two

Friday, October 30, 2009

To All The Married People Out There Still Doing It

This week has been looonnngggg. I have to work today and Monday, then I'm off until the following Saturday, and I can't freakin' wait. Until I have more time to post something more substantial, here's a little of this and that:

We're wanting to start geocaching - is that even the right word?? Anybody have any advice on how to get started?? I'm not even sure how it all works. It looks like it would be fun though, and we'd like to give it a go.

MM and BW carved the most amazing pumpkins - seriously, didn't know they had it in them! MM's is two sided so we can see it from inside, as well as sharing it's amazingness with the public. I'll post pictures if I remember to take some.

Last weekend M1, her sister and kids and I all headed to Tucson for One Republic and Rob Thomas. Rob* came down into the audience and I was about three feet away from him. It was very exciting, and I was all "(SQUEEEEE) OH MY GOD!!!!! ROB!!!!!!!! TOUCH ME, ROB THOMAS!!!!" along with all the other mid-thirty-plus ladies there, because, yes, we are all still apparently fifteen like that.

I'll post a video from the concert later.** I just can't figure out how to make it work before I have to leave.

******

*Because we're on a first name basis like that.

**I apologize for the blog title - it would have made more sense with the video.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Hola!

Wow. I have been neglecting my blog like crazy. But, I actually accomplished something this morning/early afternoon, and I feel as if I can take on a blog post. Yay, me!

I had an essay to write for a class that was due tomorrow. I'm heading for Tucson to see Rob Thomas and One Republic (Awesome.) this afternoon, so I really wanted to have it done today. I'll be home late and have to work tomorrow. I hate finishing things up on the day they're due. I had to work yesterday so I didn't get anything else done. I've been crazy busy.

So, this morning, not only did I get the essay completed, but I finished a final for another class (yay, I'm down to two classes for the semester!!!) and am managing to write a little something for my blog. And I still have time to shower before leaving. Look at me go!

I just have to get through one more week of craziness before having four days off. IN A ROW. I've promised BW they will be devoted 100% to him. Whatever he wants to do. My undivided attention. No school, no work, just us. We can barely wait.

Now I just have to think of something for us to do. We're really wanting to go to Old Tucson, Tombstone and Sierra Vista. Maybe the Caverns. But MM may or may not be working by then (he's got a little something in the works that may pan out by then), and I hate to do that stuff without him. If he can't go, I'd rather do stuff he doesn't care to do with us. And surprisingly, I'm out of ideas. I'd love to go to Texas, but four days just isn't enough time. Any ideas in the NM, AZ, CA, NV, UT area, anyone? Anything that can be done in four days or less, on the cheap?

Now, to totally switch topics, mentally things are a lot better. Thanks to a course of pharmaceutical intervention, I'm feeling like I can handle life again. MM and I have gotten back on track, I feel like I can handle work and school, and being a semi-good* parent to BW. It's been a rough few months, but the tension has lifted. A few more months and I should be able to go to part-time at work, and things will begin to resemble the life I envision. You know, the one where I actually have time to focus on my child and husband?

Also, these last couple of months have shown me what an incredible man my husband is. MM has just been a dream lately. As frustrated and angry as I can sometimes get with him, as depressed and crazy as I've been feeling lately, as unpleasant and, well, downright horribly as I've been acting lately - having a husband who loves you, wants you to be happy, and is willing to do everything in his power to make things right in his marriage to you is a beautiful thing.** I have been able to step back and truly appreciate what a great guy he is. For a while, I think I had forgotten.

So, this was kind of a hodgepodge of topics! Kind of how my mind is working as of late. I actually feel like I want to write again, now that I'm not feeling so desperate. Hopefully things will continue to perk up and I'll start to feel more and more like myself.

*****

*As opposed to the barely there, craptastic parent I've been the last couple o' months.

**Seriously. No one else would take this shit from me. Not only does he put up with it, but he still willingly remains married to me. And claims to enjoy it. Awesome, no? :)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

WTF?

So. Just found out my former SIL - Bubby's bio-mom - is pregnant again. This will be number five. The first four currently spread out in three different places across the country.

I gave her six months out of rehab to end up preggers again. It took her five. I should get some sort of prize, don't ya think?

The whole thing is so crushingly, depressingly sad. She called my nephews and announced the news that they were going to have a new brother or sister as if they should be excited about it or something. The father is some jobless fifty year old who sounds like a real winner. He's her third or fourth boyfriend the ten months she's been out.

Can people be forced to have their tubes tied? Can the courts get involved at some point and take away her right to procreate?

Sigh.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Crying Uncle

I'm neglecting my blog. Between work and school and my family, there just aren't enough hours in the day. And, in all honesty, things have been rough here. I'm having a difficult time dealing with all the changes we've had. More difficult than I would like to admit. I've been angry and bitter and pretty unpleasant to be around. It's taking all the energy I have to just get through my day to day life without completely freaking out on someone.

How's that for a cheerful opening?

Anyway, I've given up trying to talk myself into being happy for all the good things in our life. Not that I'm not thankful. I am. I believe we are, and have been, lucky. We're together, we're not hungry, or homeless, or unhealthy. One of us is working, we have an income.

I'm just not happy. And I'm tired of being unhappy.

It seems so ungrateful and whiny to say that. And while I have no problem sounding ungrateful and whiny to the people who know me really well (and still love me anyway), I have a hard time announcing it to the world. Thus the sporadic blogging.

You see, I have this issue. Well, I have several, but this is the one I'd like to address today: I am at heart a crabby pessimist who really, really wants to be a hippy-happy optimist. I strive to be peaceful and kind and content in all aspects of my life, at all times. And, at times (like now), I fall woefully short. How I want to live my life and how I actually manage to live it aren't always the same. Which, as you would imagine, creates struggle and conflict and unease and anxiety and all of that kind of crap. I'm being pulled apart right now, and it fucking sucks.

I do truly believe that everything will always work itself out, that life is generally good, that people are generally wonderful. But there's always this little snarky piece of me that thinks the exact opposite. With all that has been happening in our lives lately, I've been fighting to feel and live the way I want to - happy and content and grateful - but the angry pessimist deep down in my core is having a field day right now, and I'm losing the whole happiness battle.

I realize now that I have been totally wrapped up in trying to look on the bright side, and in having a really hard time finding it. I've finally decided to accept the fact that when things don't turn out the way you've planned, it really is OK to be disappointed. And sad. And maybe to feel a little pathetic and sorry for yourself.

Maybe if I would have let myself feel that way a couple of months ago, I wouldn't be feeling like I am now. Like I'm about to shatter into a million pieces.

I'm tired of bursting into tears at any random moment. I'm tired of repeating my little mantras of happiness, of making myself listen to happy music, of trying to feel something I'm just not feeling. So last week, I gave myself permission to wallow in the negative. And to seek therapy.

I feel like maybe I'm finally starting to get a handle on things again. Not that everything is suddenly OK again, it's just that now there's a sense of relief. Relief to let go for a while, relief that I'm getting a little professional advice.

A few nights ago M1, C and I went to the Arizona Fall Frenzy* to see Gaven Rossdale (remember Bush?), the B-52's, Jason Mraz and Rob Thomas. Which I've been looking forward to for months, by the way. I'm watching Jason Mraz put on this awesome show, so full of happiness and excitement, and I'm singing/screaming "EVERY LITTLE THING IS GONNA BE ALRIGHT"** out into the world along with a bazillion other people. And I'm feeling that concert high - you know, out with your friends,*** surrounded by people who are happy and having a good time, listening to this great music.

And it finally clicked a teeny tiny bit. I've lost focus of what's important to me. I've been trying to figure out how to do it all - work full time, go to school, get into nursing school, home school BW, to still do all that and be a good mother and a good wife and a good friend. And you know what? I can't do it. Some people can, maybe I should be able to do it, but I can't. I've known that for a while now, but I've been refusing to face it. I didn't want to give anything up.

Obviously some things have got to change. I'm just not sure exactly what yet. I'm working on that part. Working on deciding what's really, really important to me, what I can put off for a while. Working on letting go and getting back my life. Maybe not exactly the way I want it to be, but close.

On a completely unrelated side note - the B-52's were awesome, but those JumboTron thingies? Not kind to older bands. There was a lot of "Wow! They're getting OLD!" comments in the audience, which I found hilarious. Hellooo! So are we, fans! Those of us there to see the B-52's? We listened to them in high school and college. Remember? About 20 or 30 years ago? Rock Lobster? Came out in the frickin' SEVENTIES. I know! It was ten years old when I started listening to it.****

*****

*While I know that September 18th is technically Fall, this is Phoenix. It was effin' hot. Like, people are dropping over and medics are being called, hot. It's almost as brilliant as scheduling Lollapalooza in the summer. Who plans these things? Have they not heard that we live in a desert?

**Because, YAY! Jason did a Bob Marley cover!!

***The only thing that could have made the moment more perfect was having M2 there. And having Jason Mraz sign my boobs.

****It was a tiny bit devastating to realize I didn't 'discover' the B-52's after all. Damn. The seventies!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

A New Car*

Our game plan was to pay a big chunk to our van payment so we won't have payments for six months, and then get a new car with a lower payment after the first of the year. Because paying it off in full? Not happening. Need the money to live off of.

So, I sent off a check, and I filled the tank with gas** and wouldn't you know it? It starts making weird noises and going KA-THUNK periodically when I hit the gas. It kinded of sounded like the tranny was going to drop out when I hit the gas. Or what I imagine it might sound like, anyway. I'm not sure if that can even really happen or not, but I do know tranny's falling out of moving cars are never a good thing. No matter how you choose to define the word 'tranny' in that sentence.

In reading over that paragraph, I'm picturing a tranny in my passenger seat yelling KA-THUNK whenever I hit the gas. Just trying to bring you all in, get us all on the same page.

Anyway, back on topic. I tell MM that maybe we should look at cars this weekend because we sure as hell can't afford to sink even more money into this van. It's got a million miles on it, the gas mileage isn't the best, and since we have a few more years left to pay on it.... I'm thinking, maybe we'll find something good with all the Labor Day sales. And we did! I am the proud new owner of a used Toyota Prius.

I love it. She's light green and it feels like I'm driving (flying?) a space ship. And she's all fancy - back up camera, GPS, leather, nice sound system.*** Which are all a bunch of things I really don't need, I know. What sold me is seeing the stains in my light tan cloth interiored van. Never again. We are a messy family. We spill rather frequently. Dark colored leather interior makes for much easier cleaning.

I'm justifying the extra unneeded fanciness by this - the payment is still lower than what I'm currently paying for my van. I'll save a ton of money on gas. And I'll be driving this car for the rest of my life, so I'd better like it. And also, I am a terrible backer-upper. The camera really does make my life easier.

I went straight from the dealer to show it off to my mama, and then off to pick up M1 and head for IKEA. We previously sold BW's bedroom set and I needed to get him a new one.

M1 and I managed to fit the boxes for a loft bed (twin), computer desk, dresser, canvas tower storage thingymabob, a 5x7 rug, and assorted odds and ends (sheets, small lamp, chair, tupperwear set, etc) in the Prius. It was like a clown car, only instead of clowns it was filled with IKEA products. Which, seriously? Way better than clowns.

So I get home, MM and I unload all the stuff and bring it upstairs, and I go to bed. MM starts putting things together and at midnight I get woken up with, "MOMMY!!! Get UP! We need to take Daddy to the HOSPITAL!!!!! He BROKE HIS FOOT!!!"

Good. Lord. It never ends.

I'm still not clear on how it happened, but some drawer slid out of something and landed on MM's big toe. And he thinks it may be broken. And I'm all, "Hey, there's a bottle of percocet in the medicine cabinet and my crutches are over there in the corner. Aren't you glad I had foot surgery a few weeks ago? And, oh yeah, I'll be sure to take just as good care of you as you did of me."****

And then I went back to sleep.

What does one do for a broken toe? He broke his finger last year, and they put one of those little splints on it and that was that. And I actually doubt it's broken, because he can kind of bend it. Not paying a co-pay for a digit that still bends, folks.*****

Today he's managed to hobble around on it all morning, finishing up putting together all our IKEA booty. I'm thinking an ER trip is unnecessary.

The bad part is, I almost forgot to mention the broken body part after all the excitement of telling you about my Prius/IKEA trip. I know, I know. I'm such a good wife. Any man would be lucky to have me.

*******

*Say it like I am in my head - like Rod Roddy on The Price Is Right. It's much more fun that way. Everything is more fun when you say it like a game show announcer. Trust me on this.

**Wouldn't you know it? Every time a car I own gets wrecked or sold, it has a full tank of gas. Every stinkin' time. Sixty bucks wooshed down the drain. And they thought I was joking when I asked if I could siphon the tank. WTF?

***So yeah, I'm blasting Jason Mraz (because that's basically all I'm listening to right now) and my baby is thumpin'. I never even realized what I was missing in the van. I never even realized there was a thumpy part to Dynamo of Volition.

****MM is terrible at taking care of me when I'm hurt or sick. It's always nice to return the favor.

*****MM has killed all the sympathy I once had for him when he's in pain. It's his own fault, really. I can't be blamed for this.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

That's What She Said*

We're watching the news. Our guy is doing a report on local "massage" parlors. He says, "Local businesses are saying these places are really a front for prostitution. Police are cracking down on the massage parlors that are trying to pull this off."

*snort!*

Thank you, Ron Hoon, for saying 'pull this off' in reference to prostitution. With a straight face, no less. You've made my morning.

******

*Yes, I know I've used this title before. It's early, couldn't think of a better one.

Monday, August 24, 2009

What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas

But, apparently only if it's not contagious.

My girlfriend C took me to Vegas for the weekend to celebrate my birthday. I came home with pink eye. PINK EYE. It's madness. MADNESS, I SAY!

The good news is I had a doctor's appointment anyway, so no extra trip for antibiotic eye drops. More good news is I got to stay home from work, because apparently pink eye = OH MY GOD, DON'T COME HERE WITH YOUR GOOPY EYE AND INFECT THE REST OF US!!!!!

I needed a day to recover, anyway. It all worked out nicely.

But back to my weekend. It was so much fun! We had free nights at one of the hotels on the strip, and I brought just a little spending money. I won enough that I was able to gamble all day long Saturday, plus a few hours Friday night and a few more Sunday afternoon. I came home with a tiny bit of money and didn't spend more than I planned. A successful trip to Vegas, in my book.

We had a great time together, as we always do. We laughed, drank, gambled, wandered, ate, and laughed some more. We were going to get matching tattoos, but we couldn't decide on one we liked. I was trying to sell her on a unicorn and a rainbow with BFF written under it, but C was having none of it. And then there's the issue of having three BFF's and not wanting to leave anyone out. Yeah, I'm thoughtful like that.

I drank more than I ever drink. Ever. I had something like five Bloody Mary's. In 12 hours. I know, I know. I'm wild and crazy like that.

Anyway, my birthday is this week, and I have to work. I'm not even really looking forward to it this year. I'm so wrapped up in the fact that I have to start school today, I'm working full-time, and I'm feeling pretty blah about everything.

I'm in a funk, and I'm working on getting out of it. In the mean time, though, I'm crabby and lethargic, and vitamin D deficient. Which probably doesn't have anything to do with it, but I just found that out this morning and thought I'd share. You're welcome. :)

I'll leave you with The Remedy (I Won't Worry). My obsession with Jason Mraz is becoming unhealthy, but I'll address that later. In the meantime, I'm trying to figure out how to break it to MM that I'm leaving him for Jason, his adorable facial expressions, dorky dance moves and vast collection of hats. This song is about his friend's cancer.

For now, sing it with me, folks: I, I won't worry my life away.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Mission Accomplished

My splinter's out! I still don't know what exactly it was, they had to send it to the lab. Sounds kind of ominous, doesn't it?

My nurse was hilarious. Turns out he teaches clinicals for the school I may or may not ever attend. Everyone there was really nice, and the whole thing went very smoothly. There was an one odd conversation, as I was being wheeled into to surgery:

RN: So. The anesthesiologist is going to give you the same thing Michael Tyson used to knock you out.

Me: He's going to PUNCH me in the FACE??

RN: What? OH!!! No! I meant JACKSON. He's going to give you what Michael JACKSON used.

Me: Ohhhh. Whew! Well, just don't leave me unattended then.

RN: Wouldn't think of it.

So, other than that, the fact that I'm on crutches for a week, and that it took four stitches* rather than the one I was led to believe it would take, all is well. It's just starting to get a little sore, 24 hours later. Hopefully it won't be too bad. I can't imagine it will.

I'm off to down some homemade soup and percocet. It's gonna be a fine, fine weekend.

*****

*Does this mean it's going to cost me four times as much for the surgery?

Friday, August 7, 2009

It's Friday!

Yay!!

I'm looking forward to a couple days off, though they'll be busy. Tomorrow, we head up north to visit my nephews.* Sunday, I have an afternoon planned with a friend. Both will be enjoyed from the driver's seat of my mother's car, which she so kindly left in her garage for my use.**

Next Friday I have to have surgery - real, actual, complete with anesthesia surgery. For a splinter. Yes, a splinter. This splinter of something has been stuck in my foot since, I don't know, sometime in March I think. March! I know!

I kept expecting it to work itself out of there. Because that's what splinters generally do, right? About three or so months later, I decided to take action.

See? It may take me a while, but eventually I clue in when things don't happen the way they should.

So after a doctor's visit, an ultrasound, and a consultation with a surgeon I finally have a date scheduled with some drugs and a scalpel. I'm sure good time will be had by all.

The only thing is, now I feel all this pressure to have knee surgery. I was in an accident when I was 15 and have had to have some knee surgery over the years. The last few months, my knee has been making this icky grinding noise when ever I go up stairs.

Deductibles being what they are, I'm thinking I should maybe take care of this situation this year, rather than next. So, I don't know. Surgery is probably rather pointless until I lose some more weight. Something else to think about, I guess. But the grinding! Gah!! It's setting my teeth on edge. I'm fairly certain joints are not supposed to make that kind of noise. Although, I am going to be a year older next month, so who knows.

OK, off to get ice cream with BW. Good night, y'all!

******

*My BIL won back custody of his boys, so BW's cousins will be living just a few hours away from us again. We're all pretty happy about it. I'm glad BW will have them in his life again. He misses my family in Texas, as rarely as he saw them, and he's thrilled the boys are going to be close.

**My mother generously leaves her car for me to drive when she goes out of town. It's significantly nicer than mine, and a nice treat to drive. Thanks, Momma!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Mullet With Headlights

I have to thank Kaaren at Once More With Feeling for this. She had this video up on her blog and I almost wet my pants I was laughing so hard.

These are Literal Videos - songs with the lyrics rewritten about what's literally happening in the video. Some are stupid, but these two cracked us up. MM and I must have watched Total Eclipse of the Heart ten times in the last few days.

Enjoy!




And So It Begins...

Today is the first. My birthday is this month.* Many years ago, I designated this month "The Month of Lisa".**

It's been slow catching on, but I have high hopes this time around.***

****

*26 more shopping days, my friends.

**This is all tongue in cheek, of course. Nobody makes a big deal about my birthday but me. And, other than claiming an entire month for the celebration of me, I really don't make a big deal of it. ;)

***As soon as I achieve my goal of being Queen/Dictator of a small island nation (preferably tropical), I'm sure it'll be all the rage. I try to make MM prepare by addressing me by my future title, but he ruins the effect by shortening it. Her Royal Heiny just doesn't have the same ring to it, ya know?

Friday, July 31, 2009

Frick!*

Hubby hasn't gotten any of the jobs he applied for. He got the 'not interested' official letter from the one up north we were hoping for, and the rest he just hasn't heard back on.

I'm cursing up a storm over here. Cursing every stupid financial decision we've made in the last several months.** And there have been plenty, let me tell you. It's kind of a habit with us.

We were so sure Hubby would get this job, it really sounded promising. So promising, that, as you'll remember, he left the job in TX to come back and interview for it. So now, no job in TX, no job here, and no unemployment. Gah!!

The suckiest part of it all is that this could have been so much better for us. We always manage to take a basically good situation and screw it all to hell. I mean, we are debt free minus the car payments and my student loans. And shortly we'll be down to one car payment instead of two. No credit card or medical or other debt and/or loans. And we no longer have a mortgage to worry about. But, a good portion of our financial cushion has been wasted on crap. And now that we're closer to the edge of the cliff, well, now what? That's the part I'm freaking out about.

Frick.

I think we're going to be have a bit of a role reversal here. I'll be working my tail off full-time and going to school part-time while hubby stays home with BW. We'll be getting rid of my car, getting our bills down to the bare minimum, and portioning out any student loans, tax returns, and bonuses over the year to get by. Hey, maybe we'll actually make little enough to qualify for grants next year, that'd be a bonus.

Part of me isn't happy about this at all - I wanted to be the one to stay home with BW, and now I'm hardly going to be home at all. The other part is pretty damned happy one of us has a good job, and happy that it looks like my priority - ONE of us being home full-time with BW - is still possible. Or at least still possible with a lot of sacrifice. We just have to make it through the next few years of school for me, and it'll all be better.

I know MM could find work doing something, somewhere. But if we can make it work with him staying home with BW, we've decided that maybe that's what we should try to make happen. MM is pretty great about the cooking and cleaning. I think he'll transition pretty well into the Mr. Mom role, leaving me to focus on school and work. And as long as I can dedicate all my free time to BW instead of housework, I'm OK with that.

I keep saying I've always wanted to live frugally, get rid of most of the luxuries and frivolities, and really keep focused on our family. Now's as good a time as any, I suppose. Right?



******


*That's my G-Rated, all-encompassing curse word. I like to use it at work. Kind of a lot. That, and son-of-a-cow.

**Kittens?? Sure, why not?! We can afford a few more mouths to feed. Hey, let's spend lots on going to a concert! And that trip to Vegas? Of course we can afford it!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Fluffy Balls of Terror



We got kittens! Because, apparently, we're nuts.* ;)

BW's been asking for kittens for a while now, and we kept telling him no. Well, MM kept telling him no. I was sort of ambivalent. If I didn't have to clean the litter box, I didn't really care.

I like cats, and we miss our dogs. They're still living with MM's friend, until we're in a place we can keep them at. And we may be losing Eva - MM's friend has bonded with her, and since we didn't get her until December, he's technically had her longer than we did at this point. I think we'd all be OK with him adopting her permanently. I just miss my Daisy May.

Anyway, we were all missing something furry, MM finally changed his mind, and after we checked out the Humane Society's website** MM decided to take BW and go pick one out. We ended up with a pair of sisters, three months old.

They're adorable and playful and BW is in love. He's been really great with them - playing with them, cleaning their litter box, making sure they always have food and water.

We're still trying to pick out names. Any ideas?

***

MM still hasn't heard back about the job he interviewed for. Supposedly this week. They have been in contact, apparently they're waiting to hear back from his last employer. I'm a huge bundle of nerves, and I'm not even the one applying. I hate the whole application/interview process!

It has been really nice having him home, though. He's been having dinner ready and on the table every night when I walk in the door. I bought him a rice maker the other day, and he's been using that a lot. He does all the dishes. Keeps our place relatively clean. I'm hoping all this doesn't come to a screeching halt once he's working again. It probably won't, he's always helped out as far as housekeeping goes.

I'm off to work now. Still liking the job for the most part, but, oh how I'd like my old life back. I miss being home with BW all day!

*****

* According to M2. She's right, though. We are nuts.

** An average of 100 kittens and cats dropped off there per day - sad, disgusting, and completely avoidable. Spay and neuter, folks. Seriously.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Holdin' In The Heat Like A Fishstick

Saturday

I finally saw Harry Potter today. I'd been waiting to see it with my friend M. In vain, it turns out.

We miscommunicated. She texted me the day HP opened, asking when we were going to see it and if I wanted to catch it at the Cine Capri. I texted back yes. She asked when, and then said that the first weekend might be a little crowded. Maybe the following weekend? I responded, sure, no problem.

I took this to mean we see wait and see the movie together. So I waited. I put BW off when he wanted to see it, told him we were waiting until it was a little less busy, 'til M could join us.

She took it to mean she could see it with someone else, but as long as she saw it again with me, it was OK. And since she saw it after work, mid-week when I couldn't go, she didn't call to warn me she was going.

So, after I threw a huge fit about her Harry Potter betrayal,* we made plans to see it the next morning. And we did. At 9:20. I made her get up early for me.

I loved it, mostly. I was inspired to buy the box set of books at B&N, since it was on sale and 20% off on top of that. I have no clue what happened to all the books I originally bought.

I want to read them all with BW - he's listened to some, but not read any of them - and watch the movies one by one. I want to be fully prepared for the last one,** because I seem to have forgotten most of the last book. It's been a while since I've read it.

I also bought our tickets for the Tempe Fall Festival - The B-52's, Gavin Rossdale, Jason Mraz, and Rob Thomas. Yippee!!!! That's one I cannot wait for. I am so excited about this show, I don't even mind that it's in September and it'll be a bazillion degrees out.

The show starts at 5:00 pm, so it's gotta be better than Lollapalooza, right? Of course, I was much younger and thinner back then, and the heat didn't seem to be quite as horrible. Hopefully I won't melt away into a huge puddle of goo while singing 'I'm Yours' at the top of my lungs.

In other news, BW is all enrolled in PUBLIC SCHOOL at home. Still at home, still at home, still at home (say like I am, softly, like a mantra), so, I'm not completely flipped out about it. He's excited, and it is pretty cute. He's been doing math every night in preparation. I love his enthusiasm! I hope this all goes well, he's so thrilled to try it.

We're still waiting to hear back from the job interview up north. Back to thinking about living in an RV for a while if we head up there. Not sure that'll ever pan out, but who knows. We've unpacked the bare minimum here since we'll more than likely be moving again if MM gets this job. Again. Yay!*** I hope he does. I hope he gets it and likes it and it works out for him, because, honestly, there's nothing else happening and it's starting to freak me out.

****

*She asked if I was going to bitch about her to all my other friends. I told her nope, but I was blogging about it. Seems fair, in light of the crime.

**Two? I heard that the last one was being split into two different movies. And the first was due on sometime early next year? I have no idea how accurate that info is.

***Definitely a sarcastic yay. I'm so frickin' tired of moving.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Insert Clever Title of Your Choosing

Hi all! I've been neglecting the blog because lately it's just been more of the same. I figured I finally had a little something to say, so here goes.

MM is still waiting to hear back on the job - he went in for some testing and has an interview Monday. At 10:00 PM. I know, weird, right? But, it's a warehouse and he wants night shift, so I guess it all makes sense.

Work is still going well-ish. It's a great company with great benefits, and I'm really, really good at customer service. But I feel like I'm being stabbed in the eye each time the phone rings, and this is so not what I want to be when I grow up.

On the plus side, great company, great people, wonderful customers. On the minus side, stabbed in the eye. My major work-life problem is whether to stay and just aim for a position more to my liking, or to keep on down the nursing/radiology tech/ultrasound tech route and give up the great job. And really, if that's your only work-life problem, you can't exactly complain.

Well, you can. But you sound really ungrateful and silly. So I'm trying hard to keep up my positive attitude. And, seriously? In this economy, I'm happy to be working and have a secure job. So, not complaining. Much. Once we find out what happens with MM's job, decisions will have to be made. Until then, it's all good.

As far as home schooling and home life go, that's all beginning to stress me out. Obviously with me working full-time and with MM hopefully working full-time soon, being home with BW isn't going to be happening. If MM gets the new job, the pay won't be as high as it was out on the rig, so me staying home full-time is no longer an option. Possibly part-time, but I'm not sure about that yet.

So what to do? We're working on getting opposite shifts so one of us is home with him all the time. Which is do-able, but I'm worried about the quality of our time with BW if one of us is sleeping half the day, and the other is at work. Doesn't sound all that enriching and wonderful, doesn't it?

I'm worried that our laissez-faire approach to home schooling isn't going to work with all we have going on. If I'm working and going to school and trying to home school, let's face it, something is going to suffer. Which isn't fair to BW.

I think we're going to try a different route this next year. I'm still not willing to put him back in a brick and mortar school, but we're exploring the Connections Academy. From what I can tell, it's basically public school at home.

BW would still have to do all the state testing (shudder), but the lessons are more individualized to the student, it's fairly self-paced, and there's lots of one-on-one time between student and teacher. There seems to be a lot of great classes offered. There's even an environmental club the kids can do.

Right now, I'm feeling like it's a decent compromise - someone else worries about organizing and planning the learning, but, as parents, we're still extremely involved. We can still work around our own wacky schedules and we can still be together as a family. I'm hoping that this will be the best of both worlds - the benefits* of public school with as few of the negatives as possible.

And if it doesn't work, there's always the option to pull him and try something different. Right?**

*****

* I do believe there are some benefits to public schooling. I just came to feel that the bad outweighed the good, it didn't particularly work for our family and (for us) there was a better option. And for the last two years, home schooling went wonderfully.*** I can't exactly call this new option 'home schooling', but at least the being at home part is still on. I'm not quite willing to let go of that yet.

** I have this fear that once we get sucked into the system, we'll never get out again without a fight. It's a little irrational, but I feel like someone will try to stop us from going back to home schooling if we make an appearance in an AZ public school. Like maybe it's safer to just lie low and not draw attention to ourselves. I'm a tad paranoid.

*** BW's love and skill at reading and learning new things has been exploding lately, and he's been on a cooking kick - wanting to learn more, looking at recipes, making his own simple meals. It's been a lot of fun!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Oh, The Drama!

So hubby headed to TX, went through all the processing* and worked his first full day yesterday. During the day, he got a call on an application he'd put in for a job a couple hours from where we're at now.

It's a pay cut, but it looks like a good company to work for. Plus, two hours away means he can be home every weekend. On one hand, we won't be paying off our cars. On the other hand, we'll be a lot closer and neither of us particularly want to move back to West Texas.

Looks like MM will end up working just enough to pay for his trip to TX, and then coming back here.

I have to say, BW and I are pretty thrilled. :)

******

*And found out about the lovely cut in wages his old company had instituted. Which nobody mentioned until AFTER he was processed and on the rig for the first day. Nice.

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Latest

So. Lots of new stuff going on here at the Casa de Heck!

We'd made our reservations to go to San Diego for July 4th - so wouldn't you know it? Thursday morning at 7:00 a.m., MM's old driller called and asked him to come back to work.

In Texas.

The next day.

Since there wasn't anything else on the horizon, MM decided to head back out. It looks like he'll be working twelve on and four off again, so he'll at least be able to come back home every six weeks or so. We figure he can do that, and BW and I can come out there a few times, schedules permitting.

That leaves me here, trying to decided what the heck is going to happen with me and BW. A little hard to home school when your hubby is out of state and you work full-time.

So....I'm thinking about changing to part-time, which I may be able to do sometime in September. We'll still have insurance through my work, I shouldn't have to juggle BW around too awfully much, and since I'm going to school still part-time online, I think this is the way to go. I may have to break down and put BW back in school, as much as I hate to go that route. I guess I'll just have to see how things play out.

We're back in limbo. Yay!!!*

***

As for San Diego, BW and I still went. We took my mom, and we all really had a good time. Other than the fact that, for some reason, I could not follow driving directions to save my life.** I swear, the GPS would tell me to turn left and I'd instantly turn right. I have no idea what my problem was.

We spent Saturday at Legoland, starting out our day at the Sea Life Aquarium. We stayed for fireworks, and BW got to ride just about everything he wanted to.

I only had to listen to a few phone calls from friends and family bitching about how MM shouldn't have gone back to work out of state. Apparently, a lot of people are really offended by it. I realize it's not ideal, but we're committed to making it work for now. In this economy, I'm just glad he's working. And I have a plan. Which shouldn't surprise anyone - I always have a plan. They don't often work out the way I intend them to, but there you have it.

My plan is a pretty good one, though. It will have us debt free by the beginning of February. We've got two cars we're paying on, and between our savings and our new extra income, we can get them totally paid off. Once we get down to a life where all we have to pay is living expenses, we'll have to decide what we want to do with ourselves once again. And that, my fine webby friends, is something I'm very much looking forward to.

****

*Sarcasm doesn't translate well online, does it?

**Nobody tells me what to do!!!!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Date Night

BW is spending the night at his grandma's - my mom's - so MM and I decided to take in a movie. I keep hearing Hangover is good, so I asked MM if he'd like to grab some dinner and catch a movie after dropping BW off.

We decided* to have Chinese at a place the theater, but by the time we'd dropped off BW and ate, we'd missed our movie. Which was fine - we live really close to the theater, and the next movie started only an hour and ten minutes later.

On our way to the car, I pointed out the place I had wanted to try out for a pedicure. MM asked if I got a massage with the pedicure. Can you see where this is going?

We missed our movie, but MM had his first Mani-Pedi. MM picked out my color, and then we held hands while getting our feet massaged. MM had his manicure while I got my toenails painted. They couldn't talk him into a clear coat, but his hands and feet look lovely - smooth, lotioned, and dead-skin free. And he even said he'd go back and do it again.

Now if getting a pedicure with your hubby isn't romantic, I'm not sure what is.

****

*OK, I decided. Nobody ever wants to have Chinese with me, except M2. Sometime I guilt MM into it, but not nearly often enough.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Books For People Who Hate Their Children

This gave me a great laugh this morning. Sent to me courtesy of my hilarious cousin, S.

It's filled with wonderful gems like,

“Great, I’m surrounded by cripples. And you can get high by huffing paint? Who knew? Me, now. Awesome.”

and

“That crack dealer lives in a GIANT MANSION! Screw fireman; I want to be a dealer when I grow up!”

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Mixing It Up

This* and this just piss me off. I have a tendency to be that person that gets all anxious and worked up about things I hear in the news. I try very hard to balance it all out. I don't want to stick my head in the sand, but I don't want to watch the news and see nothing but things like this either.

That being said, I've been mumbling "THIS is why we home school!" under my breath a lot lately.

***

My MIL has finally come clean about how she REALLY feels about us homeschooling. Needless to say, it's not supportive. Which is fine - it's a different decision, I don't expect everyone to think it's the right one. But the fact that she yells it at MM, and drops random comments to BW? Now that ticks me off.

My response is to just ignore the whole thing. I was mad, but now I'm over it. No big deal, she's entitled to her opinion. However, coupled with the fact that BW's birthday was June 6th and she still hasn't called, sent a card, an e-mail, something, well...that has me a little angry.

Actually beyond angry. I'm done. She has either forgotten entirely or has been reminded by someone else for the last four years. I get a feeling the only reason she remembered the first four was because I always called and invited her to his birthday parties. Who the hell forgets her grandchild's birthday? Oh yeah, the one who forgot her own son's when he was a kid....

So, I'm done. I was always the one who kept in touch, who made sure BW got to see them. MM didn't ever really make an effort one way or the other. So I quit, I give up.** From here on out, this can be MM's job. And since he rarely does anything to keep in touch, I guess that's that. I kind of feel bad about it, but I'm tired. I feel like if her own son doesn't think it's a priority, then why should I?

I guess I should explain that I'm a little touchy about this. Several years ago, I was accused of "keeping them away from their grandson" which was totally baseless. It irritates me that I was accused of this by the people who never make any effort on their end. Am I wrong? Anyone want to weigh in?

****

My friend C and I do this thing. I like to call it Celebrity Death/Natural Disaster Notification.*** Whoever hears first that something horrible happened quickly updates the other. As you can imagine, today was a busy day.

Farrah, Michael, and Ed, all gone. In what, 24 hours? Farrah and Ed we could all see coming. Michael was a bit of a surprise, though.

***

Work? Umm. It's work. I'm looking forward to finishing the training part up, which should be soon. Another day, and then next week we finally get to start doing what we were all hired for.

I did find out that I'll get 10 college credits for the training, so that was a nice little surprise. Not that it seems to count towards my major, but it's still nice. I'll be back in school in a few months, and I still haven't made a decision about what I'll do. I told MM my goal is to work as little as possible for as much money as possible, so I can be at home with BW more. I'm trying to plan out how exactly that'll work. At least I feel like it's a goal!

*****

*Ibuprofen. Strip searched over ibuprofen. Sure, that's a totally logical response. I would totally trust the school system that makes those sorts of calls. Wouldn't you?

**Nothing's good enough for anybody else, it seems.... Name that tune?

***I think it started with Princess Di. And I have no idea why it's continued, but we've notified each other of things like 9/11, the 2004 tsunami, and countless celebrity deaths. We didn't notify each other of Anna Nicole's passing, but later discussed the parameters of our system in response to her death, and what to do in future situations. And we're really not the celeb gossip type. I find the whole thing odd, but it is what it is.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Hi Bossy Readers!

Hello visitors, new and old!

First, let me apologize for being spotty with the posts lately - as you can read, life has been a changin' for us here at What The Heck. I'm working on it, and you should be seeing more of me soon.

Second, welcome! I hope you all enjoy my blog. Take a minute, read a bit, and come back and visit often. Leave a comment, if you please. Let me know where you blog at, if you do!

Thanks for coming to visit, everyone!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Settled In

We're officially in our own place. I haven't cooked any meals yet,* and we're revisiting our youth by sleeping on mattresses on the floor, but I can take a shower and get ready for work with ease. To me, if you can prepare for a day out without too much hassle, you're settled. My bar is pretty low, as you can see.

I've bought my first plants. Spearmint and rosemary, to be specific. I found some cute, reasonably priced terracotta pots at Target, and got them potted and set up on our patio wall. I even made some iced tea with sprigs of mint in it.

I'm happy to get going with some container plants - I have a list of them I want to get started on. It's fun to watch the local garden shows and see what I can do. My grandfather was a horticulturist and it makes me sad that he died before I really cared much about gardening. Now that I could really use his advice, it's too late. At least I know he'd be thrilled if he were still around!

As for work, it seems to be going well. It still makes me twitch when I think about all my student loans, and not finishing school, and what am I going to do about that, and on and on and on. But the job itself, it's good. I think I'll be good at it, when I finally make it through training.**

Have I mentioned that my last job in this same industry made me want to stab myself in the eye? So far I've had no urges in that direction. Maybe I never will. It's possible, right? Different company, different atmosphere, more internally driven direction on my end. Either way, I'm sure that one of two things will happen - I'll love the job, decide to change my major, and life will be good. Or, I'll not love the job, I'll quit and finish nursing school, and life will be good. I'm leaving myself open to both options, and I'll accept*** which ever one seems to work for us.

******

*Unless microwaving a bowl of soup counts??

**SIXTEEN weeks of training. Eight weeks of classroom training, and eight weeks of OJT. Crikey, it's a lot of training. But it's kind of nice - makes me all warm and fuzzy inside that it's so extensive. Says a lot about their priorities, I think.

***Gratefully. Very, very gratefully. That I'll have a choice, that I have options, that I won't feel trapped in a job I don't like, should that come to pass. That I have the option of school and a different career. I'm done with working because it's the only option - we spend too much time at work to not like what we're doing. If I'm going to work, I'm going to like it, dammit. And I will NOT let it interfere with how we raise BW.

Monday, June 8, 2009

A Place Of Our Own

Wow! It's been a crazy couple of weeks.

We had a great time with BW this weekend. We hung out, shopped for some clothes, went to lunch, went to see Night At The Museum, and to B&N so BW could pick out some books.* BW also got his lovely curls shorn short for summer.** It was a busy couple of days, but lots of fun.

We found a new apartment and should be moving in on Wednesday. We were going to live with M1 for the next six months, but, you all know how it is. Sometimes things don't quite go as planned. All is well, but we thought it'd be best if we found our own place. On one hand it'll be really nice to be somewhere with a pool and where it's just the three of us. On the other hand, it was really, really nice seeing M1 and the kids every day, and I miss them already.

It took some searching, but we found an apartment we like with reasonable rent that's close to my new job. The management seems competent and the on-site staff is really nice. We're looking forward to having a little more room to spread out. It was nice to have MM there to do most of the looking and research. I just had to show up at a few places so we could pick one. With any luck, I'll get out of most of the moving and unpacking, too. Working does have it's good points!

I'm off to read some books to BW before bed time. Have a great week all, hopefully my next post will be from the comfort of my own place, rather than as a guest!

*****

*BW got to pick out whatever he wanted to get for his birthday at the bookstore. I chose one for him about gardening for kids - Grow It and Eat It - which looks wonderful. He chose two Seymour Simon books - Sharks and Stars. It made my heart sing. He not only was thrilled to be picking out books, but he picks out "school" books.

**It makes me sad, but I know they'll grow back.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Happy Birthday, BW!

Eight years ago today, almost to the very minute, I was in the hospital six weeks earlier then planned having an emergency c-section. Daddy was there too, and he gave me a play by play of the whole procedure.* My doctor held you over the divider sheet after he pulled you out and you dripped goo all over my face, which still makes me laugh.

You were a tiny thing - only 4.7 lbs - and you looked like a tiny alien. They immediately whisked you away to NICU and stuck you full of tubes and needles, and sent me to another floor entirely for recovery. The next day I was finally able to get up and see you for the second time, and after our visit I came back to my room and sobbed. Your birth was not at all what I envisioned, and we were so worried about you being born early. You spent your first two weeks of life in NICU, with me travelling back and forth to see you from home.

The whole premature thing? Turned out to not matter a bit. You were a happy and healthy baby, who grew into a happy and healthy toddler, and then into a happy and healthy boy.

You're funny, smart, mouthy, loving, gorgeous, cuddly, sweet, curious, and a billion other things. Your father and I are so proud of you, and completely in awe of the fact that the two of us created such a wonderful being.

I love you each and every moment of every day, and I couldn't have picked a better son.

Happy eighth birthday, my love.

*****

*Which consisted of "OH MY GOD, THAT'S HER UTERUS????? HONEY, THEY JUST TOOK IT OUT OF YOUR BODY AND PUT IT ON YOUR STOMACH!!!!!"

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Week One

Week one at my new job has left me pretty happy. I'm am actually in shock and awe over the benefits this company offers. They pay for my school (in advance, on a pre-paid MasterCard, up to $5250 a year).* The health benefits are incredibly affordable, and they give me $3000 to pay for any expenses I incur that insurance doesn't cover. Ample paid time off. They have an onsite gym and will reimburse my fees if I use it.

On top of this, they actually seem 100% sincere in their caring for their customers and employees. The average tenure for employees is somewhere between eight and nine years. I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop, because, seriously? Too good to be true. Maybe they're all zombies, waiting to eat my brain? Everyone there has drank the Kool-Aid, and in all honesty, I'm a little freaked out by all the goodness and trust and integrity I keep seeing.

****

Today, I'm making crock-pot yogurt. I've never done it this way before, I've been using a pot on the stove and an oven. M1's oven light is burnt out and I can't think of another viable option for keeping the warmth. Thus the crock-pot. I think it may work, but only time will tell. I'll let you know how it goes. If I remember, which I may not. If you're interested, remind me.

****

Thursday night I went to the Desert Botanical Garden with some friends and saw the Chihuly exhibit. Unbelievably amazing. I wish I could post all of the 100+ pictures I took, but since I cannot, here is a sampling.



******

*Unfortunately, I'd have to change my major to take advantage of it. I have to say, I'm seriously considering it. They'll pay for English, History, Psych, and Sociology degrees, among many, many others. Several of the options appeal to me. Such a struggle since I've worked so hard at my pre-reqs for nursing, and had a plan in mind for my future. But what a nice struggle to have - I'm definitely not complaining about this opportunity!!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I Am so SCREWED

My new job has a really awesome cafe on site. As well as a three different coffee options, one of which is Starbucks. As in one of those little Starbucks kiosks that sell some of the menu items, but not all.

My badge can be used as a debit card at these places, and it comes directly out of my check.

This may be a problem.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Someone Should Invent Holographic Clothing

It would totally solve my laundry problems.*

The only problem I can foresee is full frontal contact hugs. And crowded areas, like concerts or the subway. I think I'd freak out a bit if some stranger's penis brushed against me in an elevator.** And if your holograph machine ran out of batteries or something, that could be a problem. It would give new meaning to the phrase "wardrobe malfunction", now wouldn't it?

OK, maybe this isn't such a clever idea after all. Maybe we should just become nudists?

*****

*Problems as in, there's always more to do. ALWAYS. And I'm guessing work will put an end to wearing pajamas for 48 hours straight mid-week.

**Especially if said stranger was standing six inches away.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Science Center/Downtown Pics

Rock climbing, a bed of nails (way cool!!!), Lego statues and buildings and whatnot. The Lego Knight exhibit was OK. Nothing special. Lots of Lego stations for kids to build on, which was good. Some cool displays. Nothing really earth shattering. I expected, I don't know, more buildings, bigger statues, cities of Legos. I guess I expected a mini Legoland.









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I'll have to read up about this sculpture. There was a set of three, actually. All bugs, all with little people riding them, handing them these little puck-like things, and/or being pinched within claws. They were utterly fantastic, in a sort of creepy storybook way. My only issue is that they're metal. I don't know what I expected them to be made from, but seriously - sculptures that entice kids to climb on them + metal + Phoenix in July = "Are you totally fucking insane?" and "Who EXACTLY do I contact to pay for the treatment of these 3rd degree burns?"


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The Arizona Center. We walked over here after going to the Science Center. We had a lovely lunch, ice cream and then a stroll. The kids had fun playing in the grass and running around, and I soaked up the view, the buildings, and a great day out with one of my closest friends.



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The light rail train. My first trip on it, complete with a slightly loopy homeless person and a crackhead begging for cash. Gotta love it.


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This was on the side of a building we saw on the way home. A couple of questions come to mind: First, if you're watching, why do you need tips to catch vandals - shouldn't you have already seen who did it? And second, huh?!? This is so not helping the lingering feeling of post-background check paranoia.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Jack Does Las Vegas

Jack hits the Strip.

Jack visits the M&M factory.

Jack heads to the seedier end of the Strip, possibly hoping to score some crack or a prostitute.

Jack visits the Stratosphere.

Oh yeah, BW and MM came, too.*

"Did you just fart?"
"Oh, man! My mouth was open!!"

Ah, "Paris" at dusk. Who needs France when you have Vegas?

BW: Hey!!! Look at that giant clown!!!
M1: Where??
BW: Right there!
M1: I don't see it.
BW: Wow, C. Your mom is blind.
M1: Hey!! I can hear you, you know.
BW: Well, duh! I said you were blind, not deaf.

BW begs for a hair cut. I'm refusing him and pulling the 'I gave birth to you so your hair is mine' card.**

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As you can see, I took a lot of pictures from the car window. In my defense, yes, I did realize my Jack antenna topper was in many of them. I figured I'd live with it, or maybe crop him out. Then it became funny. Mostly only to me.

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*This is the "No, we will not smile, now stop taking so many frickin' pictures of us!!!!" portion of our trip.

**I'm just the tiniest bit unreasonable about his hair. I love it longer. He does not. I figure there's plenty of time for him to choose his own hairstyle. Am I crazy?