30 April 2010

Ridiculous and Uncommon Acts of Kindness

None of this is deserved.

I needed one stamp and didn't want to buy a pack of 20 stamps.  So I set about asking my coworkers if any of them had a stamp to spare.  Our general book buyer bought a pack of 20 stamps, so that he could give me one.

I asked one of the kids who works here if he had any gum.  He bought a pack and gave me a piece.

My morning bus driver waited an extra minute for me.

My boss let me change my schedule in a way that is less convenient for the store, but more convenient for me.

Two of my friends coordinated to babysit Gabriel for me on Wednesday, at great inconvenience and no reward to themselves.

Julia sent me an unsolicited and undeserved care package, full of things that I love.  She sent me a new pretty wallet!  It's yellow and sunshiny with flowers.

29 April 2010

GTT - When I Grow Up



I've never really had any high-minded career goals.

So far all I have is a list of things that I know I DON'T want to do.  Unless someone figures out how I can be a dolphin.

When I was in preschool I wanted to be a dolphin when I grew up.  Actually I wanted to be a mermaid but everyone knows that mermaids are make-believe. So. Dolphin.

In elementary school I used to wake up early every Sunday morning to watch the ERA real estate show, and then wake my mom up early to tell her which houses she should buy.  As investments.  So my mom told me that I should be a real estate agent and my grandpa told me that real estate agents are the slime of the earth, even slimier than lawyers, and I felt like I just want my mom to buy some of these houses?

Growing up in a restaurant/nightclub made me CERTAINSURE I was interested in ever owning a business.

College was fun.  I liked college.
I studied linguistics because I thought it was interesting.  I took language classes because I'm really, REALLY good at language classes, and I didn't have to write any papers, and I hate writing papers.  (Side note: I'm really GOOD at writing papers, I just don't LIKE it)
Then I did something foolish and graduated in three years instead of four (why? why did I DO THAT?).  At the ripe old age of 20 I had a piece of paper that meant I was officially done being an oversized child, and I still had no fricking CLUE what I was doing.  Because, hello?  I was twenty.
So then I held people's faces and boobs and bellehs open with skin hooks at a plastic surgery practice, and sterilized equipment, and ET CETERA.
Then I decided that I wanted to be brave and interesting and get my certificate to teach English as a second language and just LEAVE DAMMIT.
So I got my TESL certificate and I was teaching at the adult school in Santa Barbara, in the evenings, after the whole surgical assistant day gig, and then all of my friends who weren't idiots and had taken a proper four years to dick around as undergrads were graduating and hey! Applying for grad school?  Damns.  Maybe *I* should apply for grad school?  Because actually, I'm not all that brave or interesting, and the idea of flying off and living on my own and teaching English in a foreign country sounds terrifying.
My friend Sara, my linguistics department partner in crime (and charter member of the Cunning Linguists), was going to library school and she was very good at making it sound like a NATURAL PROGRESSION from linguistics to TESL certificates to library school and also she's one of those nerds that's actually very thumb-on-the-pulse cool, and *I* want to be thumb-on-the-pulse cool, and hey!  I like to read!  I like books!  I like libraries!
So I applied, and I got in, and then I set about creating reasons that I wanted to be a librarian.
I came up with some good ones.
Then I got knocked up towards the end of my first semester in grad school, which was.....awesome? 
Then I decided to have that baby, but also still get my MLIS (Library and Information Science), then before I knew it I had this master's degree and this fussy one year old and this deep dissatisfaction with my life.
So as soon as I got a job, I struck out on my own, but of course 'a job' was just some crappy admin crap, and there was this whole matter of needing-but-not-getting financial support, and et cetera, and before you know it there I was working as a glorified secretary, drowning in wholly untenable life and debt, blah blah bleeblahbitty blah EMO-SAD-PANTS FOOD STAMPS WELFARE SADNESS STORY HERE (if you're REALLY interested (which I doubt), this is the point where I started this blog, *waves hand vaguely at some archives*).
Then I decided if I was going to be trapped in crappy admin jobs for the rest of my life, I was at least going to do it somewhere that I had some semblance of a support network, and some adults I could count on to be there for me, and make a plan about my life where it didn't suck, and stuff.
So I got this admin job I have now, in SC.
I have a nice benefits package, and I like my boss, and I'm not going to die from job-related stress.

I'm also only 27, which maybe doesn't seem like ONLY if you're younger than me, but it seems like ONLY if you ARE me, because 27 isn't old enough to be stuck.  Yet.  I don't think?
I'm 27 with a bachelor's degree that I had fun getting, and a graduate degree that I've never used, and many years of admin experience, and some fancy wrist braces for the carpal tunnel.
Oh and I guess I also have a four year old. 

I'm thinking about going back to school, once Gabriel starts school.

I'll keep you posted.

I'll let you know if I ever decide what I want to do when I grow up.

28 April 2010

Diptychs - Abundant and Urgent



Catching up on last week's theme, 'abundant', and adding in this week's, 'urgent'.
I'll leave it to you do determine which is which.  My diptych partner in crime is, per usual, the lovely Kellee.  Explanation is here.

Next week our theme is 'glee'. I'd tell you it's unrelated to television but I, for one, am a huge fan.

If you participated this week or last please add yourself the the Mr. Linky. If you did both add yourself twice so I can be sure I check out everything. I might miss you otherwise, as I'm not exactly the brightest crayon in the box.

27 April 2010

Three Good Things

I've been spending my morning playing my favorite pick-me-up game, via email.

Because I hate Tuesdays and am feeling grumbly.

And it totally works.

The rules are simple.
List three good things about either today or this week or your life or whatever.

(My original email good things have been slightly altered for the sake of broad internet consumption)

Three good things about this week:

1.  On Sunday I get to see one of my very best friends in the whole entire world.  It's been since Thanksgiving of 2008.  And I miss her.  And I'm super excited.
2.  My mom is taking Gabey to his swim lesson today, so I don't have to do it in the pouring rain.
3.  I get paid on Friday.

Your turn!

with a little snark

Me and Julia, a conversation...

Me:  She has a gorgeous body though.

Julia:  Yeah, but not so much her face.  Her face is....not.  It's like, everything but her face.

Both of us, simultaneously: OHMYGOD BUTTERFACE!

26 April 2010

For @papasan5, people who are my cousins

Cousins!
Me and Lisa

With my cousin Kristen
Me and Kristen

Sydney with her sons, Trevor & Andrew
Sydney, Trevor, Andrew

Connor
Connor

My cousin Michael
Michael

Liz & Julia
Liz and Julia

IMG_0810
Eddie and Anne

Camille
Camille

Berry
Berry

Elijah
Elijah

Caleb on the swing
Caleb

Kate

Tala, Kaia, Miles

grandparents & cousins
(This is the only picture that isn't currentish - L to R Duncan, Laura, Grandma, Geoff, Harly, Lisa, me, Jasmine, Shannon, Irv)

Dillon, Carson

Me and Jillian

Plus many, many more.

25 April 2010

Saturday, in pictures

Bathroom Portraits

IMG_1033

Awesome.

IMG_1051

IMG_1052

IMG_1069

IMG_1092

IMG_1094

And then my sister told a table full of people I don't know all that well, in detail, everything that is flawed about my breasts. 
And then she cried because I got mad.
But up until that point? 
Fun.

All pictures are here, there are lots.

23 April 2010

Travel Pics, and some Life List Fail

After my Girl Talk Thursday post, I decided to dig out some old travel pics.
It turns out that most of my pictures are either drunken bar photos or poorly shot scenery pics where you'd be better off with a postcard.
Anyhow!
In totally non-sequential order!

Lesotho, 2003
Me next to a Land Rover in Lesotho.  It was cold.  There were chickens.  And some huts. And some whiskey.  And it was cold. Really, fucking, cold.

South Africa, 2003
Here's a picture (that's my foot), taken in South Africa, from the angle of what I can only describe as a partially motorized flying tricycle.  I don't think it was street legal. 

Surfing, South Africa, 2003
Here's me surfing, also in South Africa.  And yes, learn to surf is on my life list. But! This was like, the single time I stood up, and totally after the wave broke, etc.  So that gets to stay on my list until I learn how to surf for reals.

That does not, however, excuse this:
Cinque Terre, 2002
Taken in the summer of 2002, in the ocean, in Cinque Terre.  That is most definitely the Mediterranean.  Swim in the Mediterranean? Checked off before I even wrote it down, but I'm a Mental Giant, and didn't even remember MY OWN LIFE ADVENTURES.  Suck.

Durban, South Africa, 2003
Another one from South Africa, Durban this time.  Ah Durban, where a Japanese tour bus had recently been mauled.  We weren't allowed to leave the hotel without security.  Security with guns.

God's Window, South Africa, 2003
God's Window, which is in South Africa as well. And JAYZUS was I ever ahead of the times on that giant sunglasses trend.

Assissi's Garden, Italy, 1999
Including this from my 1999 trip to Italy so we can all smile fondly and give a collective "AWWWW" at this skinny, blonde, 16-year-old version of myself.

Florence, 2002
Florence in 2002.

Florence, 2002
Had to include one drinking picture.  This is also from Florence, 2002.  By the way I didn't scan ANY of my Spain pics, because, well, that's a lot of fuzzy drunk pictures and bad postcards is what that is.

Venice, 2002
Venice, 2002.  That's me with the braid.

Not included are pictures from Chile or the UK or Ireland, cuz I suddenly got terribly bored with my scanner.

22 April 2010

GTT - Travel Destinations


Warning, this list is going to be LONG.

I'll start with where I've already been:

United States (not including airport stop-overs):
-Arizona
-California
-Colorado
-Florida
-Georgia
-Hawaii
-Idaho
-Illinois
-Maine
-Massachusetts
-Nevada
-New Hampshire
-New Jersey
-New Mexico
-New York
-Pennsylvania
-South Carolina
-Utah
-Vermont
-Virginia
-Washington
-Wyoming

Other Countries (not including airport stop-overs):
-Chile (about four days after I found out I was pregnant, making my brother Duncan one of the first people to find out about it when I couldn't drink with him)
-Ireland (twice)
-Italy (twice)
-Lesotho (one of the only times I have willingly guzzled whiskey, in the name of getting warm (with chickens pecking at my feet (fresh off the back of a Land Rover)))
-Mexico (but pretty much only to a whorehouse in Rosarito so I don't think it counts)
-South Africa
-Spain
-United Kingdom (twice) (inclusive of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, but not Wales)

WITH THAT IN MIND, Travel Dreams:
-I have a genuine desire to set my feet down in all 50 states, however I'd particularly like to explore the South, I can't believe I've never been to Oregon, there are some states I'd like to see under better circumstances (i.e. not for funerals and/or miserably awkward family reunions) and I plan on squeezing in a whole lot more Hawaii before I die).
-It'd be cool to go to Mexico for LONGER than 30 hours, and perhaps see MORE than whorehouses and a single, isolated flea market.
-At some point I'm going to HAVE to cross that Canadian border.  I particularly think I'd like Vancouver.
-Argentina, Peru, Brazil, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Panama, Belize.
-I'd like to go back to Ireland, and I'd also like to revisit the UK, and there are ALL THESE PLACES in Spain I'd still like to see, and of course there are parts of Italy I still dream about.
But.
That I've never been to:
-Austria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland.
-Russia.
-Morocco.
-Tanzania, Zanzibar, Madagascar.
-Turkey.
-Indonesia, India, Thailand.
-Australia.
-New Zealand.
-Fiji.
-Jamaica.
-Virgin Islands.

My yellow fever vaccine* is good through 2013, so let's get crackin' on some of those countries where that piece of paper is required.

*Remind me to tell you this funny story about the time that I got my yellow fever vaccine in a hospital in KwaZulu-Natal in an effort to travel to Zanzibar.  I was currently being jabbed in the arm by the nice nurse lady whilst the German woman who was with us reassuringly cluck-clucked about the safety of South African hospitals.  And then mentioned in an offhanded sort of a way that we shouldn't worry, even though she herself had contracted Hepatitis B from a contaminated needle.  AT THIS VERY HOSPITAL.
Spoiler Alert:  I don't have HepB.
And I didn't get to go to Zanzibar.

Sand Castles

The other day Kat met us at the park. She's a much more obliging playmate than I am, and helped Gabriel with his sand castle endeavors.
There's a moat and a gate and there are two guards. And on the inside live Spider-Man and Star Wars Dude*.

*Gabriel calls him his Star Wars Dude, but I don't actually know if that's true. It's some lizard-headed spaceman guy.

All pics courtesy of Kat.

21 April 2010

How Do You Sleep At Night?

First, I wrote about wine over here, if you'd like to see.

From Julia.

So. My preference when I'm alone in my house (i.e. my kid is not going to come talk to me at 3am) is to sleep naked.  Of course my lifetime without roommates or kids has been extremely limited, so I usually don't.
The 95% of the time when nekkid isn't an option, I like to sleep in some sort of shirt that won't touch my neck AT ALL because otherwise I feel like I AM CHOKING AND ABOUT TO DIE.  It can be a tank top as long as my bewb won't somehow fall out of it while I sleep and make me feel saggy and old.
On the bottom I either wear a pair of 'jamma shorts or some undies.  Pants involve too much bunching around my legs, etc.  I also sometimes wear some sort of shortie nightgown or long shirt that fills all of my NOT CHOKING ME and NO BOOB FALLING OUT and NO BUNCHING AROUND MY LEGS problems. 

I hate it when sheets or blankies are tucked in at the feet of my bed.
I sleep with a down comforter and usually three or four pillows to choose from depending on whether I'm sleeping on my tummy, side, etc.
But.  I can't sleep when I'm hot OR if I don't have some sort of blankie covering so if it's summertime and boiling I usually use a topsheet for that purpose.
If it's summertime and REALLY hot (like if you live in Chico for instance), I will sometimes freak out from how hot I am and stick my head in the shower so my wet hair or will cool me off, or, if I'm really miserable, I will totally run my topsheet under the sink, which, I know from experience, drives EVERYONE crazy who isn't me, including Gabey who's like, WHY IS YOUR BED WET AND COLD?? and I'm like BECAUSE I'M HOT AND I CAN'T SLEEP WHEN I'M HOT AND THIS FEELS DELICIOUS.

Gabriel more or less sleeps in his own bed but if he wakes up to pee in the middle of the night he tends to wander into my room instead of his.

I'm pretty sure I talk in my sleep, and also I toss and turn and wake up to look at the clock a lot.  My aunt once described sharing a bed with me as sleeping with a spinning starfish, which sounds super appealing.

Abundant

From the thesaurus of my silly head.

Bountiful
Ample
Profuse
Copious
Plentiful
Replete

This week's diptych is not up yet, obviously.
I haven't taken the right shot yet.  Stay tuned.
Kellee and I will be posting as soon as I get my head on straight and manage to snap the right picture.
Next week is, 'urgent.'

20 April 2010

Deep Sea Wines

(A reader discount is included at the end of this post, please to enjoy)
--
So. Deep Sea Wines offered me the opportunity to drink some, and tell y'all what I think.
Yes.
Please.

I was offered two bottles of wine to review, the red, and the chardonnay.

Deep Sea Wine
The Bottles Themselves, plus random background kitchen knickknacks

Now I am by no means a wine expert. My preference tends to be towards red wines, unless it's hot and summery, in which case I'll go for white, tending towards chardonnay.
I know for a fact that I don't like chianti or port, but beyond that, meh. This isn't going to be the J. Peterman of wine reviews, is all I'm saying.
So, I started by drinking the red, which I managed to do quite entirely and satisfactorily over the course of a weekend.

Deep Sea Wine
Awkward Self-Portraiture, Deep Sea Wine Edition

The red was deep and rich, without being at all overwhelming. It was smooth and easy to drink, and would go well with dark chocolate or fruit.
If I'd ordered it at a restaurant or bought the bottle myself, I would have been pleased.

My next project was tasting the chardonnay. The chardonnay fell somewhere between fruity and buttery. It was dry, but not overly so. Light, easy to drink, tasty. It was like the chardonnays that I tend to like, and I recognize that's a total fail in terms of technical description, but there you go.
My friend who was drinking it with me liked it too!
If I'd ordered it at a restaurant or bought the bottle myself, I would have been pleased.

So!
Deep Sea Wines!
I would buy the bottles myself, and I would be pleased.


Readers can get 30% off their Deep Sea Wine purchase by entering the code CORK at checkout!
--
I was given my wine free of charge.
I was not financially compensated for my review.
My words are my own.