31 May 2012

Who Gives a F^@# About an Oxford Comma? – Me!

current state of mind: amused

I beg to dream and differ from the hollow lies
This is the dawning of the rest of our lives
I beg to dream and differ from the hollow lies
This is the dawning of the rest of our lives
This is our lives on Holiday
~ ‘Holiday’ by Green Day

I’ve been in Texas for a week. This trip is not precisely what I had originally planned; but it’s been refreshing all the same. Something about this place is good for my soul. I have had the privilege of seeing friends and family – all while clearing my head of the stressors that have recently plagued my days. Thursday is day 2 in the Texas office. I enjoy seeing the people who normally don’t grace my presence due to distance. Plus I got an added surprise and was able to see some peeps from other locations as well. Yay for that!

Last night I switched households here, moving closer to work and shortening my morning commute by 50%. Since my usual AM drive takes about 7 minutes, the 45 minutes it took me yesterday at 6am was beyond unacceptable. This morning was a leisurely 15 minutes with very little traffic. Granted, the impromptu hail storm was a surprise; but I wasn’t complaining since I already intended to make a hail damage claim next week.

This morning, my new Hostess and her Little Lord (LL) were rays of sunshine. It is no secret that mornings are not my strength, so it was a pleasure to be greeted by a smiling baby boy crawling away from his momma who was waiting with a clean diaper. As if that weren’t enough, her two dogs were also enthusiastic about seeing me this morning. Granted, I shower them with attention when they come near me, so it is not entirely surprising that they were hanging about while I got ready for work. Oh, and the Master of the House fixed my bumper which had popped a little out of place from a high curb incident. How blessed am I to have such wonderful friends? I give thanks every day.

PERSONAL NOTE: I had fun last night! Wish we could hang out more often!

CONFIDENTIAL NOTE: I still think it’s a mistake; but ‘Time is the beauty of the road being long’.

23 May 2012

The Bed is Irreparably Damaged

current state of mind:  excited

It's not as easy as it seems
The world is big; the sea is deep
There is no rope; there is no line
We're specks of dust up in the sky
There is no space; there is no time
There's only you and what we leave behind.
~ “Show Me” by Garbage

There I was, sitting on my bed, watching the pilot episode of “Breaking Bad”, which is kind of funny because it could have been called “Breaking Bed”, since at the precise moment that Walter White crashed his mobile meth lab, my bed collapsed. Not cool man.  Not cool.   And as I had clearly explained when I predicted that the next time the bed broke, it is indeed irreparably broken. So, until I get a new bed frame, my box spring and mattress are on the floor.  Lame!

Luckily, that was not the best thing that happened to me Tuesday.  Let me tell you about the Torts Final Exam! In fact, I am still rather confused by the entire thing – primarily because I have NO IDEA what these people could have written as their Final Exam Essay responses.  Once again, we had a Torts Exam which allowed us a full week of preparation time. Five questions were provided; we could write or print on the back of the paper any notes we felt would be relevant to the essay exam and bring them to class. At precisely 6:00pm, Torts Prof gave us this introduction: “There are 6 playing cards here; 1-5 and a joker. If you draw a number card, the corresponding number will be the applicable essay question you have to answer. If you draw the Joker, you can write an essay on your favourite beer and why. Good luck.”  My ears perked up. I could totally write an “on-the-fly” essay on why I like Sam Adams Boston Lager.

Then my bestie (GB) in the class was told to draw a card. He drew #2. Everyone in the class groaned and made complaining comments because GB didn’t draw the Joker. It was a little ridiculous to the extent they were carrying on. No matter - they groaned after the cards were drawn during the last two exams as well; though this is the first time that a beer essay was offered. Amidst the groaning, Torts Prof explains he will be right back and leaves the room. Then all but 4 the test takers start talking about the question; but not in an academic way. They pretty much just kept complaining, with one woman leading the way with the loudest complaints. Here is where my confusion started . . . These were her words, “I cannot believe you drew #2. That is the worst question. I mean, look at it. Obviously the Plaintiff has no rights and is an idiot for thinking he does. I guess I’ll just write that.” She then wrote for less than five minutes, turned in her test, and left. I looked around, curious to see if anyone else thought this was strange – but within five more minutes, over half the class had turned in their test booklets and left. 

I glanced from the exam question to my exam booklet. I had only written two paragraphs. Knowing that I hadn’t even examined the actual fact pattern yet, I had no idea how anyone could be finished. I wrote for another 30 minutes, filling 4 sheets of my Blue Book. When I was satisfied that I had at least touched on all the issues, I wrote my conclusion and turned in my test booklet. There were three of us left in the room. Now, I cannot say without a doubt that I covered everything or that I wrote in the most concise manner I could. On the other hand, I can say, with 100% confidence that the Plaintiff did indeed have rights to sue. In addition, I can categorically say that had he actually had no rights or grounds to sue, the concept of a Final Exam essay dictates that you would still be expected to explain WHY, even if the question didn’t actually ask “why?”

I comprehend that there are people who don’t care whether they excel in a class – but if you are paying for it, wouldn’t you care enough that you’d not want to FAIL?  It has left me flabbergasted. Therefore, I dearly want to get my hands on that first essay. I need this curiosity satisfied. Unfortunately, I have referred to that woman as “dumb girl” in my head all term, so I don’t know her given name. Any ideas?
PUBLIC NOTICE:  Okay, so Torts Prof told us the funniest TRUE Torts Law story. I am not going to write it out – but if you get a spare 5 minutes between now and when I forget the story – contact me and I will attempt to tell you without breaking into hysterical laughter.  It is truly one of the funniest stories I have ever heard.

PERSONAL NOTE: Cannot wait to see you this weekend! Woot!  Woot!

CONFIDENTIAL NOTE: It was so nice spending time with you after class. Yay!

21 May 2012

I’m A Genius, Not a Handyman

current state of mind:  sleepy

Well in this life you must find something to live for
Cause when the darkness comes a callin’
You’ll go back to where you were before
Cause this life is as fragile as a dream
~ “As It Seems” by Lily Kershaw

A little over two years ago, I bought a new bedroom set from a local furniture store owned by a wealthy acquisition conglomerate. The name is not important; for those keeping score at home, however, it has the name of the state in its name. Understand that my luck with this furniture store has not been exceptional. The first time I bought a bed from them, in 1998, they delivered it at 5:45am on a Saturday morning, not caring that they were waking our entire apartment building. Then they weren’t going to assemble it, and I had to not-so-gently remind them that assembly was included in my delivery cost. I also took that moment to remind them that they were supposed to deliver it two other times during the week; but someone screwed up, and perhaps they could just put the damn bed together without argument. Sorry, I digress . . .

Anyway, when I purchased this bedroom set three years ago, I verified delivery times twice with the clerk. She even circled it on my receipt. Imagine my lack of amusement when the delivery people called and said they’d be late. I had taken the morning off work and it turned into a full day off. When they arrived, the delivery men were nice enough – though they once again tried to leave without putting my bed together.  I was fine with not unwrapping the bookcase or bedside table – but that bed was getting put together.  I should have known, based on the stamped “MADE IN CHINA” that the quality of the furniture was not going to be like the Amish would built it – still, I had hope.

Within 6 months, I noticed that the bed rails were not that secure – resulting in a wobbly bed.  I didn’t let it bother me.  Eventually, I had to switch rooms for the remodel, so I took the bed apart, moved it into the other room, and reassembled it.  The metal slats on the rail ends fit even less securely than they had before.  Then, about 8 months ago, I rearranged my room and not wanting to take the whole bed apart again, I put it on those furniture shifting discs and I moved the bed.  BAD PLAN!  As I was pushing the bed I heard the distinct sound of pressed plywood (disguised as hardwood) cracking.  Bloody Hell!  One of the rails completely dislodged itself from the metal hook that slides into the headboard.  I was able to fit it back; but I knew that my luck was running out. 

Over the past several months, I have propped and re-propped boards under the rails, in an attempt to prevent the bed from breaking any further.  I called the store and asked if this was normal behavior for their products and they said my warranty was out, so I could just suck it.  Okay – those were not their exact words – but they were unsympathetic and did not care that the quality of their product was shite.  Well, this past week, the bed broke yet again.  And this time, it was the rail ends on which I hadn’t yet attempted repairs. So this weekend, I made it my solemn duty to fix that damn bed, no matter what it looked like when I was done.  That last part is important . . .

After throwing the sheets into the washer for their weekly laundering and bleaching, I headed to my room to play carpenter.  Disassembling the bed was tricky due to my prior repairs.  Eventually, with perseverance, I was able to take it apart.  Then I went to work. After belatedly remembering that I needed to drill pilot holes to prevent the wood from splitting, I asked my Papa for the “hole drillers”.  Looking nervous, he asked if I needed any help with anything. I quickly declined his assistance and said, “Nope, I just need to fix my bed and I want to make sure the wood doesn’t split (ANY MORE – I whispered to myself).”  He retrieved me a cordless drill and the “hole drillers”.  Then I went to work AGAIN. 

I started by fixing the rails themselves. I figured out a method of attaching the metal hooks back onto rail ends.  I reinforced their attachment with some very nice screws from my tool kit.  Once I was convinced that they wouldn’t fall out again, I began working on the headboard, as it had far less damage than the footboard.  I verified that all of support pieces were in place so when I hooked the rails back on, they wouldn’t snap out.  Then I looked at the footboard and realized I was in trouble.  Pilot holes or not, that piece of furniture was never going to look the same, regardless of how careful I was.  I removed half dozen screws that were compressing large chunks of split wood onto the footboard.  It was about this time that I watched them cut Ned Stark’s head off in Season One of “Game of Thrones”.  Dear God, I hate that inbred Joffrey brat. I had to halt my productivity to curse at the television. 

When I returned to the heap of bed pieces on the floor I stepped on my tool kit and sent approximately 250 pieces of metal fasteners, screws, nuts, bolts, washers, etc. sprawling across the floor. Of course, Elizabeth AND Gracie had to come investigate the noise.  “Get out!” I shouted at them, not wanting them to make the mess worse. Neither one cared a whit that I was asking them to leave.  After drilling approximately 2 dozen pilot holes, and filling those holes with screws, I felt pretty confident that the bed would hold.  I reattached the rails.  The headboard connections were perfect; the footboard, however, not so much.  It was just a matter of time before they gave way again.  The higher attachments, however, appeared to be sound. So the only choice was to use the upper attachments.  The issue is that those attachments are really for use when there is no box-spring. Still, beggars can’t be choosers.  I raised the rails, reinforced the footboard side with a couple of 2x4s and a dozen more screws. 

I replaced all the bed slats and stacked the box-spring and pillow-top mattress on my freshly repaired bed. Everything was sturdy and I felt confident that it would all hold. Then I made my bed with the clean sheets and I finally understood how Dr. Frankenstein felt. With a nice bed skirt, I couldn’t even see the repair work.  In fact, the only noticeable difference was the fact that my mattress was very high . . . like ‘Princess and the Pea’ high. I feel like a little kid trying to climb into my big-girl bed.  Elizabeth cannot jump on or off the bed due to its height. Instead of fretting about the ridiculously high bed, I am going to be IKEA-inspired and utilize all that extra space under the bed for storage.  If anyone needs any work done around the house, feel free to ring me up.   

PERSONAL NOTE: I cannot wait to see you this weekend!

CONFIDENTIAL NOTE:  Thank you for being my friend and for suggesting the movie, “Super 8”.

18 May 2012

If I Knew How to Lie

current state of mind:  serenely anxious

The sun was always in her eyes
She didn't even see me
But that girl had so much love
She'd wanna kiss you all the time
~ ‘She Had the World’ by Panic! at the Disco

Best quote evah!  -- “Everyone knows MySpace has fallen on hard times in recent years. It's almost uncool to make fun of it -- like kicking a kid while he's down.”*

Too soon? 

*If you really want to read the entire article from October, 2010 you can on CNN.com. http://articles.cnn.com/2010-10-27/tech/myspace.revamp_1_myspace-myspace-social-network?_s=PM:TECH


Lately I have been allowing Rhapsody.com suggest what music I like. The three most recent suggestions have actually been pretty insightful.
  • ·         Best Coast  -- The Only Place
  • ·         Ingrid Michaelson – Be Ok
  • ·         Tenacious D – Rize of the Fenix

Coincidentally, K-Shrub also recently suggested Ingrid Michaelson to me. I am not going to write any album reviews; but I will say wholeheartedly that the girl from Best Coast may be channeling her lyrics directly from my brain. This album is able to say what is flowing through my brain better than I am. Plus she seems to have insomnia issues too – (i.e. “Up All Night”). Perhaps it’s because she has musical accompaniment. I need a band of merry minstrels to follow me around while I think and speak. Does anyone know where I can find a band of merry minstrels in this town? Maybe my Droid knows. I’ll ask it . . . though it NEVER understands what I am saying. There really should be humans listening to those utterances and transcribing them. Oh wait . . . there are!   That’s right, folks. If you talk to your phone, someone is listening. So next time you vocally search for “What does a bowel obstruction feel like?”, know that those words have been beamed to a satellite for processing. Maybe you could just type the letters out. Just a thought!

Something interesting about Ingrid Michaelson is her last name. When I was in 8th grade, I met a boy named Greg Michaelson in Washington, DC. He was a handsome blonde from Ventura, California. We exchanged addresses. I think he wrote me one letter. 14 year old boys are not the best correspondents. Trust me, I know. I claim one as my son.

Lastly, I just realized that the band “The Black Keys” doesn’t spell its name as “the Black Keyes”. Wow! I don’t know why I assumed the latter. I wonder how many other times I have made similar mistakes. Not cool, man. Not cool!

PERSONAL NOTE:  I tried your suggestion. It isn’t helping me focus.

CONFIDENTIAL NOTE:  I am doing the best that I can.

17 May 2012

Sunshine from an Irish Lilt

current state of mind:  patient

And then he turned and said to me
Your eyes are green, like summer grass
Your lips are red, like a fresh cut rose
Your hair is soft, like an Irish stream
And your voice is filled with sweet beauty
~ ‘Christmas Day’ by Dido

There are days when life is just hard; days when nothing redeeming occurs to make the “hardness” seem worthwhile. 

While watching “Frontier House” last week . . . yes, THAT Frontier House. No, they have not made new ones. They are just “new to you” on the DIY network. Thank you, cable television, for bringing this sweet beauty back to prime time.  Now, may I continue please? Thanks . . . So, while watching “Frontier House” last week, the “settlers” were taking to the trail so they could move their wagons to their new homesteads in Montana. One of the young boys on the show was being interviewed and he explained how it had been the worst day of his life.  He then recounted how the wagon he was riding in collapsed when the horses got spooked and he was sent tumbling onto the prairie, narrowly being missed by the horseless wagon. He then lost the worm and hook from his fishing stick. To make matters worse, a “wild dog”, belonging to one of the other families, attacked him. He was sure that he would be a bloody mess; but luckily what felt like “flesh tearing wounds” were really just light bruises from the pressure of the dog’s mouth.  Still, to an 8 year old boy, that likely was the worst day of his life – especially when you consider he was wearing authentic style clothing and looked like a goom-bah!    I sincerely doubt that he felt the day provided him with any balance to the horrors he experienced. 

When K-Shrub was in high school, she also had one of those days.  The details of the story have been lost over time – but the end result has never wavered.  It was the worst day of her life up to that point.  And while I remember laughing uncontrollably at all the horrible things she described to me that day, it was indeed horrid and I wish as much now as I did then that I could have protected her from that pain.  She had another “worst day of her life” in May of 2009 – and once again, I was not able to do anything but listen. The damage had already been done before I was invited into the story. 

It seems unfair that when we have hard days, we feel so alone.  Our friends and family want to help, to bring a smile to our face, something . . . yet, there is so very little they can do. Sometimes their desire to help makes us feel worse, knowing that no matter what they say, we are still going to feel as if we were dragged face down across artificial turf.

Once in a while, however, there is a friend who can provide exactly what you need at the right moment.  Today, I had such a friend. He was able to provide something that none of my other friends could have – a genuine Irish lilt from across the pond. While Ireland is famous for its rainy days, it is just as famous for its citizens’ amazing accent. Therefore, when my phone rang today and I saw the incoming number, I felt my spirits lift a little.  Our five minute conversation was precisely the respite I needed to pull me away from the ledge which always seems to appear right as life begins spiraling outside of our control. I will also do my best to follow his simple advice:  “Then relax and await bliss again.”          

“Then relax and await bliss again.”  -- He’s right; you know.  I’m always in such a rush to fix things and sometimes I need to let go and trust that bliss is not far ahead, since it isn’t far behind me, and life is just one circular Caucus-race like in Alice and Wonderland. 

PERSONAL NOTE:  Looking forward to the reception!  Congratulations again.

CONFIDENTIAL NOTE:   Drive safely to watch your baby girl graduate from high school! I love you!

The Element of Surprise

current state of mind: filtering like a champ

Real love, real love
I don’t know how we got it
But I don’t want to fuck it up
Real love, the push and the shove
You’re the only one I want
But I’m scared to death of . . . losing
~ “Ballad of Nobodies” by Red Wanting Blue

In a couple of months I am possibly* running in my first 5k.  I am possibly* looking forward to the event – though it would be remiss of me to conveniently forget to mention that I will possibly* be running it with K-Shrub who will have had “the Pregnant” for almost 8 months.  She is the one who convinced me to possibly* sign up.  Her major selling point was:  “You’ll get to walk most of it and it will look like you are the nice runner who decided to walk with her pregnant sister instead of running it like you wanted to.”  Now she and I both know that I am not a runner.  She is the one who runs.  In fact, 4 of my 5 siblings are runners.  TJ and I are the only ones who refuse to lace up our trainers and hit the pavement.  Yes, I will walk 60 miles over 3 days; but I have yet to run 3.8 miles (or whatever a 5k is).  In fact, I haven’t run over a mile since college.  I am willing to consider it, however. 

My “the Office” calendar from yesterday gave me some good advice, courtesy of Darryl:

“Look, you need to pick yourself up, man up, all right? You will win this in the end. It’s all about heart and character. Be your best self . . .Yeah . . . I have no idea what his problem is. That’s just my standard advice. It’s good advice, right?”

I’ll take it.

PERSONAL NOTE:  Thanks for all that you do to put a smile on my face. I am lucky!

CONFIDENTIAL NOTE:  I believe in you. I do.


16 May 2012

Insert Title Here

current state of mind: quixotic

You say that you know
Where to find the flaws in my armor
You whisper, ‘don’t act surprised
I’ll never tell’
~ “Running of the Bulls” by Red Wanting Blue

Blah.  Many moons ago, I read Don Quixote.  I read it in Spanish (and in English).  I vaguely remember the details (in Spanish) and they are not helpful because I remember very little of the Spanish that used to be in my brain.  It is likely still up there – but I cannot locate it without the help of a hypnotist.  It doesn’t matter.  What does matter is that I learned to never wage battle against windmills in order to win the heart of a whore.  Wait . . . that cannot be what that book was about.  I know that there was more to it.  Dulcinea (a farmgirl, not a whore) and Sancho Panza (some little fat guy who was nice to the old man) and a really skinny horse  and the niece who burned the books and . . . okay, it is slowly coming back to me.  Not quick enough to hold my interest, however.  So, let’s just say that you can read it if you want and learn that it is ridiculous and irresponsible to be a dreamer about things that are not as you want to see them.  That Cervantes guy was pretty darn smart.

Before y’all begin thinking that this post is about being disillusioned – it isn’t.  I just enjoy the word “quixotic” and wanted to use it as my state of mind above.  Using the word made me think of the origin and then I remembered reading that novel.  One firing synapse after another brought us to this point.  What amuses me, however, is just how far this stream of consciousness could go if I allowed it.  For example, while I was learning the vocabulary necessary to interpret Don Quixote, a girlfriend used that list to send a postcard to a guy she met in Spain.  I must say that talking about las espuelas to some guy across the pond may not have been the wisest move – but, he had no complaints, I am sure. 

From there we can move to foreign love affairs and being 19 and wondering how it all went by so fast.  How did I go from someone who truly was quixotic to someone who looks at the world through the eyes of a logical, analytical, realist?  I would never want to go back to being that girl . . . but I am curious how she disappeared so efficiently.  Maybe she used LEAN.  Hahahahahahaha!  That really did crack me up. 

Anyway, I should probably stop drinking and writing now.  (I am not actually drinking) 

PERSONAL NOTE:  Sorry I was cranky with you.  There was no reason for me to throw that in your face.

CONFIDENTIAL NOTE:  I’ll think about August and see what I can manage.  I appreciate the invite.  SWU!

15 May 2012

Peacocks and Prisms

current state of mind: curious

So you're off in never never land
Couldn't wait for Peter Pan
Wendy, you know it's never the same when you're on your own
And do you miss me and think about all the times you could of kissed me
But never made a move; neither did I
~ “Audition” by Red Wanting Blue

For those of you who haven’t heard already, a new – old Mayan calendar has been identified on the plaster walls of some ancient house in Guatemala.  What I find amusing is that the media is using this as proof that the world will NOT end on December 21, 2012.  If the old calendar wasn’t actually PROOF that the world was ending, then one cannot use the newly discovered calendar as PROOF that the world is not ending.  The Mayan calendar was an astronomical calendar that referenced the celestial order the civilization observed without the distortion of city lights and space junk.  On December 21, 2012, the Winter Solstice will come and go as it always does.  Theories claim that the planets will align with the heart of the Milky Way and perhaps alter the axis of the Earth.  I want to believe that something cool will happen like that – but the NASA website claims this is a theory with no scientific backing.  If we cannot trust the NASA website to quash astronomical conspiracies, then whom can we trust?

I suppose this means that all my VIVOS endorsements are superfluous.  Or are they?  The Mayans may not have been psychic know-it-alls --- but, no one claimed they had the monopoly on the end of the world premonitions.  I mean, there is that crazy asteroid coming our way that people want to mine.  Big industry will prevail over the asteroid, I fear.  The Illuminati are alive and thriving.  I think that is what I was supposed to take from the non-fiction-thinly-veiled-as-fiction of Dan Brown.  There could be some pole shifting (and I don’t mean the kind of pole shifting where dollar bills are thrown at scantily clad women).  But apparently true magnetic pole shifts take about 5,000 years to complete, so we won’t be around to see the end-result.  Nostradamus said a comet is going to hit the Earth.  (That may leave a mark.)  Some guy on the internet claims that all of this is malarkey and we can breathe easily that December 22, 2012 will arrive without fail.  If I am willing to believe an ancient civilization that collapsed due to “unknown causes”, why should I not trust the guy who blogs with his cat? 

Look, I don’t care when the world is going to end.  The likelihood of it affecting me is exponentially  lower than my chances of winning the lottery or finishing “Eidetic Vision”; the novel that cannot seem to see the light of day or an ending.  If I cannot finish writing a damn book then the world isn’t going to finish itself.  I would like to live in VIVOS though, because it would be quiet and perhaps I actually could get some writing done. 

I have a bunch of stuff to sell – the time has come for downsizing my personal belongings.  I met a guy who could pack his entire life into a pickup truck with a fancy topper.  That is what I want to do too.  My plan is to photograph the items with which I have formed an emotional attachment, create a lovely scrapbook, and then sell it all.  Well -- ALL is an exaggeration, but you get my point.  I do not know how I am going to accomplish this.  The very thought of it makes me sick to my stomach. Even so, if I am going to ever have the hope of moving into a writers’ commune, I am going to need to purge.  So, get your checkbooks ready!

PERSONAL NOTE:  Mid-July would be awesome if we can figure it out.

CONFIDENTIAL NOTE:  You’re an eejit.  If it all goes to Hell in a hand-basket, you brought it on yourself.

14 May 2012

Filing the Losses Against the Gains

Current state of mind: precariously balanced

You can keep up, keep on moving
Chasing the sound of the sun somewhere going down
I have a love, but the road royally did annoint
Leave my queen to be king of the vanishing point
I go further out, deeper down into the hole
Keep losing pieces in an effort to make things whole
~ “Love Remains” by Red Wanting Blue

It was brought to my attention that I am not at my most coherent when trying to verbally share my feelings.  I would agree.  Sometimes my brain is faster than my vocal cords, resulting in a mish-mash of thoughts and words.  When I write, however, the time it takes for my nervous system to react to my thoughts and make my hands function accordingly allows everything to catch up.  I suppose this is a good thing, considering I write my feelings far more often than I speak them. 

The major issue I see with writing feelings down, though, is that they are tangible.  There is proof that the feelings were experienced, processed, and shared.  Wouldn’t it be better to just shout them to an un-listening world so that they can never be used against me?  Shouldn’t I be fearful that you will throw them back in my face?  Will you do that eventually?  How do we know when we have found a safe cove (or safe harbor for those of you who don’t enjoy mixing metaphors)?  What if you are really just an ambush waiting to happen?  Trust is a precarious thing.    

I used to believe that people should earn my trust.  I would slowly open up to them until eventually I felt they had proven themselves as being reliable and discrete and non-judgmental.  Experience has shown this particular method of weeding out the deceivers to be completely ineffective.  Trust can be torn down through experience; but not established.  Now, I trust my intuition instead of logic and analysis.  Sometimes it feels dangerous to live this way; and sometimes it likely is. Living the alternative is far more dangerous, however.   I have spent 95% of my adult life within the confines of a walled fortress.  It is no way to exist.  In fact, it is a very lonely existence, even when surrounded by people who love and care for you. 

So, please, do me a favor.  Find a safe cove where you can surrender your control and your fears.  Let the warm water caress your toes as the sand exfoliates the scales and callouses which harden you to the elements.  Allow the sun to penetrate the inner chill.  There is time enough to protect yourself from the evils of the world.  I promise you that the harsh winds will still be blowing when you emerge.  Life will still throw obstacles and fear in your path.  Your ship will still be battered by storms.  The knowledge, however, that there is a place of refuge, a place where you are able to just be – without pretense, will get you through.  You will discover that you never realized just how safe you were until you opened your eyes.  At least that is how it is for me.  And for that, I thank you.
PERSONAL NOTE:  I am hungry.

CONFIDENTIAL NOTE:  You know I am right – and while it may unsettle you, it is worth the discomfort.  Trust me.

11 May 2012

Celestial Intervention

Current state of mind:  shell-shocked

Can it be easier?
Can I just change my life?
Cause it seems to go bad every time.
Will I be mending
Another one ending once again?
~ “When It All Falls Apart” by The Veronicas

Sometimes things happen that make no sense; and they send your world tumbling like Vader’s TIE fighter after Han came back and did “the right thing” at the end of Star Wars. (No, I will not call it A New Hope).  At the end of the film, we’re not sure for how long Vader will be “down for the count”; but we know he’ll be back.  That is how I feel when one of these life-rocking events takes place.  There is nothing remotely comfortable in being fully cognizant that I will be tumbling or spiraling for a while, unable to grasp my bearings.  There is, however, comfort in knowing that it is physically impossible to spin out of control forever.  Physics clearly show that friction (and other science stuff) will eventually stop the momentum of any object – even an imaginary one like a TIE fighter.

The difficult part is having patience.  Patience, as I have explained many, many times, is not my strength.  I have an internal clock that constantly wants to speed things up or slow things down so that life moves at my speed; the speed of want.  Today, I became the President of an organization in town that means a lot to me.  The journey here has been difficult and trying.  Often it felt as if the Force was with everyone but me.  The symbolic handoff took place at 1:00pm and I hope that I was gracious in my acceptance.  I tried to be.  I wanted today to be memorable and the reality is that it was, but not for the reasons I had anticipated. 

In fact, writing this post is my act of civil disobedience to show how disappointed I am in those who should have made sure I was more prepared for days like today.  There are things that I know for sure; things that are so ingrained in my being that it just feels “wrong” to find out that what I believed has been replaced by a very different reality.  Anyway, I will continue fighting to stabilize my world, changed as it may be.  I really don’t want to talk about it – as I am trying with all my might to un-ring the bell that has already tolled.  I will attempt to defy reality until I can make the necessary adjustments to my involuntary habit of hitting the space bar twice after punctuation.  Seriously, to someone who has been completely brainwashed by the historians of the world, this is upsetting.  Therefore, I am going to start slow and only single space after punctuation in e-mail correspondence.  I feel as if I have Stockholm Syndrome and I am not ready to completely separate from my captors yet . . . but I will get there (maybe by the time we get through Episode XI or III - whatever). 

PERSONAL NOTE:  Unconditional acceptance and love is precisely that . . . unconditional. Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mothers out there.

CONFIDENTIAL NOTE:  I don’t have the words.  Not today.

10 May 2012

Lost and Found

current state of mind: uninspired

Forget the ghosts that make you old before your time
It's too easy to get left behind
I know you’ve been kicked around
But tie up your thoughts and lay them down on me.
~ ‘The Starting Line’ by Keane

I have discovered an amazing website where I love to waste time.  It’s called UnderstandingUncertainty.org and it is a magical place.  If you visit the Coincidences section, you’ll get to read story after story from people who have experienced unusual coincidences.  Sure, some are pretty lame and those people have no idea what an unusual coincidence is – however, some of them are extremely remarkable.  I suggest you check it out!  For reals!

The past couple of days have been headache-laden.  Between migraine and sinus pressure, I have been a little cranky.  The only good outcome was that I did not attend Employment Law.  While I am disappointed I missed lecture, I am not disappointed that I missed 5 student presentations.  Those horrible excuses for “presentations” are slowly killing my soul.  I understand that I am coming across as judgmental right now – most likely because I am actually being judgmental.  I refuse to make any apologies.  A 15 minute presentation in a college level course should not consist of a student standing up there, with a print out of a legal case (that she likely hasn’t read) – no handouts, no clue what is in the case, and an obvious desire to be anywhere else.  Look, I don’t enjoy class presentations either; but I show up prepared.  I expect the same courtesy! 

Wow, I am cranky!  Perhaps I need another “pet peeves – venting” post to cleanse my soul.

In other news, I will soon be queen -- kind of.  Woot woot!

PERSONAL NOTE: I still love your face!  Yes, yours. 

CONFIDENTIAL NOTE:  You will always be a silly coincidence. 

07 May 2012

Don’t Change For Me

current state of mind: uncommonly sensical

Taking your time, get a little older
All the possibilities weigh down on your shoulders
Such imagination, I'm getting to the heart of it
It's about life; trying to make the most of it
~ ‘For Awhile’ by The Feelies

My morning began at 3:16am when the thunder and lightning freaked out Elizabeth.  She was sound asleep in her new doggie bed and all was well – until Mother Nature sent forth her wrath.   Then all was definitely NOT well.  Luckily, she had a bath Sunday afternoon, so I did not mind her wanting to be under my freshly laundered comforter.  I kept her in her doggie bed, but placed the comforter over her head, which calmed her down and provided enough comfort for her to fall back asleep.  Of course, I was wide awake by that point.  I played all my turns of Wordle (Wordfeud) and then played 4 games of solitaire on my phone before drifting back to sleep.

The phone rang at 6:06am; a friendly wake-up call from someone who cares that I get out of bed in the morning.  I promised to get out of bed and then hung up, only to promptly fall back asleep until the second call 25 minutes later.  This time, I actually did get out of bed.  While brushing my teeth I reviewed today’s horoscope and was taken aback by the Universe’s turn on me:

“Normally, you have plenty of common sense at your disposal, but you seem to have lost your sound judgment today. You're striving for a more unconventional approach to a solution, but you may not be able to logically justify your radical ideas now. Unfortunately, others probably won't support your efforts if your plan isn't practical, so examine your strategy once again before disclosing any details.  Your judgment in a love life situation is a bit peculiar today. The object of your affections will be unwilling to accept you if you lose all common sense now.”

So not only was I predestined to have a “not-so-great” day; but my Love horoscope was directly tied to the “lack of common sense” predicted.  Well, I refuse to go down without a fight, so I am refusing to act irrationally, even when the forces-that-be seem to be pushing me in that direction.  I already behaved somewhat irrationally on Sunday, picking a fight with someone over an off-hand comment that normally wouldn’t have phased me.  I elected to blame the Super Moon for that mishap – but perhaps there was more to it, considering the negative horoscope.  Perhaps all the stars are aligning to make my life a little difficult for a while.  If so, it’s cool.  I’ll just continue to trust in what I know and let my INTJ personality lead me through the labyrinth of life.

Plus, I bought a personal label maker yesterday for $9.99 – normally $40.00.  Armed with a label maker, Post-its, and Needle Point Tul pens, I am a warrior with really cool office supplies.    The Universe doesn’t shop at OfficeMax – I do.  Word!

PERSONAL NOTE:  I love your face!

CONFIDENTIAL NOTE:  I am looking forward to seeing you soon.  It feels like forever – but that is an exaggeration.

04 May 2012

Koalas Are Endangered; and Don’t Call Them Bears

current state of mind: introspective

I’m dressed all in blue and I’m remembering you
And the dress you wore when you broke my heart
I’m depressed upstairs and I’m remembering where
And where and how and why you have to go so far
~ ‘Come Around’ by Rhett Miller

The Kentucky Derby is this weekend.  Cinco de Mayo is also this weekend.  I am planning on attending a Graduation Party on Cinco de Mayo, at an Irish Pub.  I don’t know the significance of patronizing Irish Pubs on Cinco de Mayo – but when friends graduates from college, you have to trust that they have made an “educated” decision while planning their own party.  My guess is that the whiskey and live music are the draw!  Woot!  Woot!

I have multiple siblings – but one of them rings me every morning on her way to work.   In fact, she sometimes rings me multiple times while I am working.  This is the challenge of having a direct line to my desk.  Luckily for K-shrub, she is the funniest human I know.  I am going to share a few quotes from her this week – you’ll have to take them at face value, as any explanations I give cannot possibly do them justice.

1.  “You can’t squeeze me. . . ohhh no . . . “
2.  “Yeah, I know, but they’re Magnum . . . well, one is”
3.  “ooooh, Kat we need your help . . . like they don’t know I have The Pregnant.”
4.  “Look, stop calling me at work. I can’t talk to you. . . tell Brack I said hi, gobble gobble. love you bye.”

So a tandem hang gliding trip went horribly wrong in Canada this week.  What was supposed to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, a gift of love, from a boy to a girl, resulted in the aforementioned boy digitally recording his girlfriend’s death, as she fell from a hang glider.  The pilot was fine.  To find out “what the hell happened up there”, authorities sought the memory card from the video recorder that was attached to the glider.  Here is where things go from very bad to very strange . . . the pilot, who moments before had landed the glider safely on the ground, said words very similar to these, “Um, I would give it to you; but after my passenger plunged to her death, taking my shoes with her, I got a little hungry and thought it would be appropriate to EAT the memory card.  So, I cannot give it to you right now.”   X-rays reveal that the memory card is indeed inside the gut of the pilot.  So, like when a dog eats an engagement ring, nothing can be done except wait for nature to take its course. 

*Still no word on my Reality Series or the Apocalypse – when I hear, you’ll be in the know.  Speaking of Apocalypse Reality Shows, I really, really enjoyed ‘The Colony’.  I wonder why that isn’t back on TV.  Can someone research that and fill me in, please?  It was almost as good as the PBS series, ‘Frontier House’.  It wasn’t as racy as ‘Regency House Party’, but really, what is? 

One more thing:  No, Jimmy Wales, I am not donating money to Wikipedia.  You created it, you can pay for it.  Please stop asking me for money for your random factoids.  It’s as bad as door-to-door encyclopedia sales, except I don’t get to laugh at you lugging around 30 volumes of really heavy books. 

PERSONAL NOTE:  We’ll always have Chicago . . . and Verizon . . . and the scene in the street.  Looking back, yeah, maybe we could have done things differently. 

CONFIDENTIAL NOTE: “Never say you’ll never leave; because you never know till you try.” – R. Miller 
It may not be what you thought . . . but things seldom are, are they?

02 May 2012

Look At Me – Willfully Blind

current state of mind: distracted

So come and turn me on, baby, be my Marlon Brando
Take a good snapshot, get me from my better angle
‘Cause I like it hot; and you know I love a scandal
Tell me what you’re, what you’re waiting for
~ ‘Touch Me’ by Katharine McPhee and One Republic

I wear contacts.  Lots of people tell me I need to get LASIK.  I am not a viable LASIK candidate.  Thanks to some little Tortfeaser Toddler (TT), my eye sustained serious trauma when I was 4.  I am pretty sure the Statute of Limitations has long passed – so no matter.  “Hey, Jilly . . .” then a spork in the eye.  Yes, I did say “spork”.  TT could have worn the moniker “Robin of the Hood” with pride because he hit a fricking bull’s-eye with that spork.  Running across my left cornea is a perfect scar line.  It is that scar which scares the begeezus out of ophthalmologists who have to weigh the money they could earn against the medical malpractice and negligence lawsuit I could file when the LASIK causes additional damage to my cornea because the scar tissue is “uncooperative”.  In fact, I even had one ophthalmologist say that any surgeon who would be willing to try LASIK on that eye is irresponsible and should not be trusted; duly noted.

As I said earlier, I wear contacts.  People who wear contacts often have the same series of complaints:
1.  They are expensive.
2.  They are a pain to put in and take out.
3.  They have to constantly be cleaned and disinfected.
4.  They cannot be worn overnight.

I don’t have those complaints.  My health insurance covers most of the costs associated with my contacts.  Also, I rarely take mine out – so I seldom experience any of the inconveniences associated with complaints 2, 3, and 4.  When an eye starts to bother me, every couple of weeks, I disinfect the contacts overnight and put them back in.  Sure, once in a while, the contacts tear; but they are disposables and are only supposed to last two weeks.  Mine last far longer because I am not “messing with them” every day.  Unless I lose one or swim in a lake, each set lasts approximately 5 weeks.   That means I use fewer than half of what they “recommend” and I use far, far less solution, etc.   Winning!

Now that I have shared my little secret on how to avoid LASIK – perhaps everyone should give it a try.  Just be very non-hygienic with your contact lenses.  Sure, you are risking gross oozing infections and permanent blindness – but you know what they say, bigger the risk, the bigger the reward!

PERSONAL NOTE:  Have fun on your trip to Cali!

CONFIDENTIAL NOTE:  You should have married me when you had the chance.  Our divorce would have been a lot less stressful and expensive.  Here’s to a friendship that has endured through three and a half decades of your shenanigans!   

01 May 2012

All Right, Mr. DeMille, I'm Ready for My Close-Up

current state of mind: star-struck

Cuma lada, cuma lada, cuma lada vista.
Oh, no no no not the vista.
 Essa mini sala mini ooh walla walla mini
Say, bee billy oh bo, bo bo bo dee dot bo bo bo
~ ‘Vista’ by Guadalcanal Diary

Many people have asked me about “that whole VIVOS thing” with the underground shelter and the apocalypse, etc.  I have been rather quiet about it of late because, well, there hasn’t been too much to share.  But the winds of change are upon us and I have some amazing news.  One, the Indiana shelter is online.  This means that it is complete and ready for boarding.  You can take a visual tour here:  www.TerraVivos.com/indiana.htm.  The décor has me a little perplexed – because I think that they could have foregone the checkerboard motif and went with something a little more timely, since it could be the last existing home for mankind.  Kudos, however, on the use of granite and what looks to be Kohler faucets throughout the facility. 

The family sleeping quarters are compact – I mean, even Ikea couldn’t provide a sense of spaciousness in there – so I call top bunk in advance.  I get a real sense of “District 13” about the place.  Maybe Vivos ought to cash in on that idea and get some “May the Odds Be Ever In Your Favor” action.  I am not so sure the designers got the memo that said “We are going to be underground for a year – make it look less like my basement and more like the main floor.”  Still, I won’t complain.  The Nebraska Shelter will be far larger and quite a bit nicer . . . I have it on good authority.

So the Indiana shelter was good news – but this is better.  Pilgrim Studios, the Reality Show EXPERTS, want to do a reality series on Vivos and there has been a casting call which includes a family membership to the shelter of my choice.  I say “my” because I sent in my written application and feel that it has just enough “underlying crazy-factor” in it to attract the attention of the producers.  Well, if not the producers, then Vivos, because they need at least one person who appears to be semi-normal on their little show if they want to sell spots.  I am that girl!  I have included my application for the series below.  Let me know what you think. 

The risks ahead for mankind are too numerous to count.  You have crazy people who want to control overpopulation by releasing bio-hazards into the water or air.  There are melting ice caps and fragile fault lines.  Seriously, how can we not expect catastrophe?  And we know that we cannot count on the world's governments to help us out . . . they can't even keep their everyday life under control.  The Vivos shelters are mankind's most viable hope for a future.

I am a great candidate for the series and Vivos because I enjoy the challenges that accompany changing life responsibilities and have always been able to quickly identify and overcome learning curves.  I have no fear of speaking my mind and am willing to open my life to the viewers of this forward-thinking television series.  I am a stickler for details and don't eat very much.  I will bring a variety of skill sets and talents which will make shelter life better for everyone.  I have a history degree and can recite historical facts from memory, meaning we will be able to maintain the integrity of our past through the teaching of this information to future generations.  I also have a minor in English Literature and am working on my Paralegal degree which should be completed before December 2012.

My intellect and genius IQ will provide a genetic advantage to the geneticists and reproductive experts who are also housed in the shelter.  I am also in the process of learning how to care for and use multiple weapons; both for food resources and to defend our shelter from enemies, both foreign and domestic.  I take the survival of the human race very seriously and will do anything necessary to contribute to the success of the Vivos shelter.  Plus, I do not believe in the Zombie Apocalypse, which is utter nonsense. 

My Myers-Briggs classification is:  INTJ
My StrengthsFinder© Signature Themes are: 1) Intellection; 2) Input; 3) Strategic; 4) Responsibility; 5) Learner

If I am selected for this series, I know that Vivos will be portrayed in a positive manner. 

If they don’t pick me, I have to find a new way to secure my spots since I don’t have the cash readily on hand to actually pay for my 4 reserved spots.  They will eventually want my money – and I have to find the shelter location on my own or I have to pay them.  I am hoping for the former.  Wish me luck – and as the slogan goes:  “We wish you the best of luck in whatever the future may bring. Remember, it wasn't raining when Noah built the Ark.”

PERSONAL NOTE:  Yes, one of the spots is still yours. 

CONFIDENTIAL NOTE:  Tell him that we can make an Anakin one together if he wants.  I’ll show him how.  It’d be fun!

Eidetic Vision

Main Entry: ei·det·ic Pronunciation: I-'det-ik Function: adjective : marked by or involving extraordinarily accurate and vivid recall especially of visual images - an eidetic memory Merriam-Webster's Dictionary, © 2002 Merriam-Webster, Inc.