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


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.


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?"


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.


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.


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.**


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.


*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?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Gambling = Crack

So. I'm swearing off Vegas until I can forget the pain of losing all that money. Holy mother of pearl it was bad. I did well on the first day, but after that it was just one depressing loss after another. Since I had that initial bout of luck, I kept feeding the machines, hoping to hit it again. That little plan didn't work out so well. Luckily we swam and saw the sites and walked and walked and walked. An awesome time was had by all. And we didn't spend more than we could afford to/planned to lose. But, oh how I wanted to spend more.*

I changed my blog subtitle today. No more life in West Texas for us, it's all Phoenix, all the time. We are finally settled,** together, and not going anywhere anytime soon.*** It's kind of sad, kind of exciting. Sad in that I'll miss the W's (M2 and her family) so, so, so much. Exciting in that I went to Sprouts today and it was like a bulk aisle Disneyland. I've never been so excited over flour before! I swear I heard the Hallelujah chorus as I scooped blue corn flour into my bag. And the grains! Oh, the GRAINS!


I start work next Tuesday. I'm officially a working mom again. I even shopped today for (oh, the horror!!!) work clothes.**** I have the whole nervousexcitedanxious feeling going on with going back to work. But happy to have found something so quickly and easily. Happy and relieved!

And have I mentioned how much I love that MM gets to stay home with BW? He's even taking an active role in homeschooling. Math has always been MM's thing, and he's been skeptical about the math we've been doing up until now. He started working with BW himself today, just before they went golfing. Which, seriously? Awesome. A little homeschooling and then a day on the golf course with your dad? What a perfect day! And I'll take anything to do with reading or history over math any day, so it's win-win if you ask me. I still plan on working on CSMP like we have in the past, but it's always nice to have MM more involved and trying out some things he wants to do with BW.


*I offered MM certain things in exchange for just a little more money. And was shot down. He'll vacuum for it, but draws the line at cash? WTF?


***So says MM.

****Very depressing on a few different levels: I need to lose weight so there's that whole issue. Then after all the walking we did in Vegas, and the hours of walking done today, my feet are killing me. Not to mention my knee that I wrecked in a ATC accident when I was 15 is aching like mad from all the walking. I'm hobbling around like an old person. AND I really need to have my face waxed because I'm growing a beard. A BEARD. I now need to wax my FACE. No wonder MM won't pay for it. I'm turning into a crippled, hairy, casino whore. What is happening to me????

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


This is going to be a hodgepodge of updates all crammed into one post. Bear with me.

M2's Grandfather passed away Saturday. He was 98 years old. He was a huge part of M2's life and she's going to miss him so much. My heart breaks for her, T, and the kids. Grandpa loved ice cream, he ate it nearly every day and was always trying to give it to the kids. M2 has declared this Ice Cream Week in his honor, so please, go have some ice cream in memory of a wonderful man.

I've made it to Phoenix! We got here early Tuesday morning, and have spent the last day trying to organize a bit. We still have things all over the place - in storage, at friends' houses, at my mom's place - and it's crazy. I'm sure it's going to be a few weeks before I'm comfortable at M1's place. We plan on staying there until the end of the year, and hopefully won't be living out of suitcases the whole time.

It's not even June and it's already pretty warm here. I am NOT looking forward to this time next month. I just keep telling myself that it's only truly miserable here in Phoenix about four months out of the year. The rest of the time it's quite pleasant.

I was given a contingency offer for the job I interviewed for a few weeks ago. My background check hasn't come back yet,* but as long as that's clear I'll have a job. I start either the end of this month or the end of next month, depending on how quickly the check is completed.

I'm happy I don't have to search any further - I hate interviews and job searches and all that - but I'm a little disappointed that I have to go back to work before I finish school. It's really not a big deal, but, you know, just not what we had planned. The fact that I was offered a good job with great benefits and pay** we can live with in this economy, well, let's just say it's a big relief. We still are pretty secure financially, but the move and paying off our debts took a considerable amount of our profit from the sale of our house. It's nice to be working again while we still have a bit of a nest egg.

We're leaving for Vegas tomorrow. We've got a long weekend planned with the three of us, M1 and her two kids. I know Vegas isn't generally a family vacation spot, but we've rented a condo with a kitchen and we plan on doing a lot of family friendly things. I'm excited about going! With three adults, we'll be able to rotate child duties and get a little gambling in. It should work pretty well - we decided to spend a little to go on this trip, but having the kids will definitely keep us from spending more than we budget. Which is funny, because usually the opposite is true with our family. I'm a sucker when it comes to buying BW stuff on trips.

That's about it. Hopefully I'll be back to blogging regularly next week sometime, as I get settled in. I hope to establish some sort of routine, and I'm sure going back to work will force that particular issue of mine!


*I'm always afraid that something horrible is going to be found. I have no idea why, there's really nothing to find. But until it comes back clear, I'm always a little paranoid. I'm strange like that.

**Which is roughly half of what MM was making, with the options of bonuses and overtime. We won't have a lot left over at the end of the week, but we'll make it until. We still hope to keep one of us home with BW until he's much older.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


I made up a new word today!

Apostracize: The act of shunning people for punctuating incorrectly on social networking sites.

My proofreading, grammar, and punctuation leave a lot to be desired, so I realize I shouldn't be casting stones. However, I gotta admit to feeling quite clever and extremely amused right now. Not that it takes much to make me feel that way....

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Run For Your LIVES.....

Be afraid....Be VERY afraid.....

Zombie robots!!! Need I say more?

Thanks to Zenmomma's Garden for this little heads up!

Whew! It's Over!!

My semester is over. Tonight I took my last Anatomy and Physiology test and turned in my final photography project. What a relief!

These last few semesters have been pretty crazy. There was the whole deal with my crazy ex-SIL and us taking in Bubby, MM's promotion, our house selling, MM's job going by way of the oh-so-joyous lay off. Our decision to move back to AZ, living with M2 and her family, getting ready to move in with M1 in Phoenix. And there's still so much more to come....

Looking for work, shopping for a house, reacquainting ourselves with that desert heat. Not to mention the horrible traffic and lines at the grocery store, at the bank, at the post office, at the movies. But we'll be near family and friends, in a city we both grew up in, near museums and concerts and parks and zoos, and loving those gorgeous Arizona winters and springs.

I feel like tonight is an ending to a beautiful chapter of my life. Our life in Texas wasn't anything like I imagined it would be, and a lot has changed these last four years.

I met friends I'll love forever, who will be a part of my life forever. I was able to get started down a road that let me return to school, that led me to home schooling, that led me to being a better parent, a better wife, and hopefully a better person. I was able to really decide what my priorities were (are) and begin working with MM to align our individual wants and needs in ways that work for both of us.

There is still so much to be done. And things, as usual, didn't turn out anything like I had planned. But it's been fun (mostly), and I can't wait to see what happens for us next.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Just A Quicky

Alternatively, How Swine Flu Has Changed My Life....

So, my final got bumped up a week and is now tomorrow. Which is really sort of awesome.* My school is being proactive and trying to get us done early in case we move to defcon six. I've been helping by pointing at anyone who coughs and yelling 'PANDEMIC!!!!' at them.

Since MM was flying in to drive home with me there was really no good way to change my travel plans. Instead, I get a week to just hang out with my hosts. I'm thrilled with that! To celebrate, I am neglecting my studying to play Farm Town and to blog. Luckily my impressively high** class average allows me to do this. It's my payoff for working so hard all semester long.

I attended my first Quincenaera this last weekend. Holy mother of pearl! It started out with the Mass and then moved to different venue for dinner and dancing. There was a DJ and then a band that came from Mexico to play.*** The whole thing morphed from a 15 year old's birthday celebration into something that resembled a wild club concert. There were hundreds of people there, people were scalping the invitations to get in, there was a bouncer type person at the door marking hands, cops in the parking lot issuing MIP tickets. Wowee! I'm guessing they aren't all like this? If they are, I have seriously been missing out.

Anywho, it's back to studying for me. I can't put it off too much, or I'll cry when it's test taking time. As much as I say it doesn't bother me to slack off, secretly, it makes me sort of anxious.


*Thanks, Swine Flu!

**97.7%, in case you'd like to ponder the wonder that is my anatomical amazingness. Wait. That sounds weird. My scholastic amazingness? Is that better?

***Which scares me just a tiny, tiny bit. (PANDEMIC!!!!!)