30 January 2014

Because paying someone else to scrub my bathtub has proven to be the most immeasurably satisfying way to spend my money in the history of ever.

First let’s hark back to a time (less than a month ago) when I was working 9/10/11/12/13+ hour days, and commuting an hour (minimum) each way for that privilege. I wasn’t home very often.
My house was poorly tended.
These are all changes I made during my BAD JOB PHASE, and while now I’m getting home at a decent hour and maybe COULD tackle these problems myself, I don’t want to. I prefer outsourcing thankyouverymuch.

One evening I was moping to my mother about I HATE MY HOUSE I HATE MY LIFE. My least favorite chore is (and always has been) DISHES. I was talking about how I can’t bring myself to cook because I’m so tired and the thought of cleaning up afterward is so deeply unappealing that let’s all have cheerios for dinner and try to make it through another 24 hours. All these jazzy solutions where I COOK AND YOU CLEAN are great. Except I live alone (with my second grader) and I was getting home at 8pm on an early night, and the aforementioned second grader needed to be hustled pretty much immediately into bed.
My mother, bless her, told me to double Gabriel’s allowance (from $1/week to $2/week) and make anything and everything having to do with dishes his job (in addition to his regular chores).
Game. Changer.
I am so DELIGHTED to pay just ONE AMERICAN DOLLAR for the joy of never touching a dish.
Gabriel is DELIGHTED to get not ONE but TWO AMERICAN DOLLARS every week for his allowance, which is on the high end of the second grade allowance scale.
I’ve been cooking a bit more.

Once I realized how much stress was alleviated by removing dishes from the programme, I started looking for a housekeeper in earnest. This involved tapping all the local people I know who seem successful enough to pay someone else to clean for them and asking EXCUSE ME WHO CLEANS FOR YOU?
One of those people recommended her housekeeper WITH WHOM YOU CAN COMMUNICATE VIA TEXT which was pretty much an enormous selling point of not having to operate a telephone and speak to a stranger.
Every other Friday a nice gentleman named Armando and his mother Rosa clean my house for me, because I pay them to come every other Friday and clean my house for me.
It. Is. Amazing.
They clean better and deeper than I ever will, and the whole thing has allowed me to actually organize some of my deeply disorganized areas (closets), because I’m no longer focused on the basic things I need to do in order not to live in filth.
Who wants to work all day and then come home and work until they go to bed and then wake up the next morning and work all day?
Nobody wants to do that.
And I’m the only adult in my house, and it’s just NO FAIR that I have to do two persons worth of adulting.
I hate that!
And while I recognize that not everyone can afford housekeeping, fuck it.
I’m not sorry.
I *can* afford it (I’ve worked really fucking hard to be able to afford it), and even if I couldn’t, at this point I would cut an ARRAY of other activities before I cut into my housekeeping budget.
I am so much happier and more relaxed.
I have time in the evenings to play with Gabriel or read a book or take an extended bubble bath.
It’s dreamy and magical and fills me with delight.
Also my cleaning day always falls on the Friday after my Thursday payday, so it’s basically the best day ever. I have gotten paid, and I come home to a clean house with fluffed pillows and last week there were even flowers on my table and if you can afford to pay someone to do the things you hate doing, I recommend taking that action.
I recommend it muchly.

28 January 2014

Throwback blogging, old school style. Et cetera.

I’m declaring 2014 the year of the throwback.
First, I’m blogging.
Like, at all.
Guys that is SO 2007.
Second, when Google tried to bully me into liking Google+ by way of eliminating the google reader, I just stopped having a blog reader at all. Which means that I only read blogs if I think “Huh. I wonder what so-and-so is up to”, then type their URL into my address bar, then actually GO to their blog.
This is…not a likely scenario.
Except I did this EXACT thing the other day, by typing www.swistle.com into my address bar and seeing what was to be seen, and one of the things I saw was a comment from AnneNahm, which reminded me that I really love Anne, which I had forgotten, because I don’t have a reader.
And ANNE was talking about old school blogrolls. Remember those?? You could get lost in someone’s blogroll for HOURS if they had good people in there. That’s how I found so many of my internet people!
I had one until a few too many people emailed me to ask why they weren’t on it and how they had offended me. Then I just deleted the whole thing because it seemed easier.
But Anne is bringing back the blogroll! Do you still blog? Let’s blogroll together. I’m bringing it back.
Starting right now.
I'm gonna make it a page.
Join me. 
If you do a blogroll, or want to bring it back with me, let me know, and I'll keep updating mine until I get distracted.

Also tell me what you do for a reader now, because I need to start keeping up and keeping on and whatever.

MotoX vs 4S - I hate everything

So I got a MotoX before Christmas (disclosure! It was free!).
Prior to that I had an iPhone 4S.
The switch….has just made me hate both phones.

Some pros and cons, if you’ll join me:

Things that are better about the MotoX as compared to the iPhone 4S:
It’s way way way way way way way way way faster, in every way that a phone can be faster.
I like the touch screen better. Like...it's more responsive?
All of my google things (email, calendar, etc.) are easier to sync and whatever.
It’s pretty (like the outside actual phone).
I like swype a lot.

Things that are (in my opinion) vastly better about the iPhone:
The camera takes WAY better pictures than the bizarrely crappy ones the MotoX takes. I dunno why. The MotoX one is perfectly high megapixel or whatever. But it does. The camera is crappy. And I care A LOT about the camera quality on my smartphone.
Stop trying to bully me into having a Google+ account! I don’t WANT one! Leave me alone!
Texting is clunky.
Group messaging is not as intuitive.
I often just DO NOT RECEIVE texts sent to me from iPhones.
The emoticons looks like horrible melted monsters so I never want to use them. But then people send them to me and they are, as I said, HORRIFIC, and also, even if I did want to send you a melted smiley face with smeared lipstick, I can only do it as a text. The emoji keyboard is not accessible from any apps.
My computer is a Mac, so it’s hard to sync it to my STUFF, and it’s annoying to put my music on it, and etc.
I haven’t actually tried, but idle poking around on the internet seems to be telling me that rooting a droid is significantly more complicated and more risky than jailbreaking an iPhone. I was thinking maybe I could solve some of my problems by rooting it, but I have no interest in bricking it.
I just don't prefer android to iOS. I came into it with an open mind, but I don't.

Anyhow! I don’t like my new phone!
But the things that are better (speed, processing, actually having 4GLTE instead of 3G) are SO MUCH better that neither can I happily go back to my 4S.

So I think what I need is an iPhone 5S.
Except! Sidebar!
I have unlimited data on my cellphone plan, which Verizon is trying to disappear from its offerings, so you can’t upgrade your phone without losing your data. Except…my unlimited data is cheaper than the LEAST amount of data you can get on their current plans (2GB for $30/month) so….why? Would I want to do that?
So I think I’m just going to buy a new phone at cost because I don’t like either phone that I have and whatever.
This has been a review.
As you were.

20 January 2014

And what about some 2013 photographs, too? For good measure?

My brother and my sister in law at their medical school graduation. Because they are DOCTORS. My sister and my adorable nieces (both). Just because. Elliot wearing Duncan's cap and gown, over there on the left.
Here's a bunch of boys jumping into a pool. That happened.
I went snowboarding exactly one (1) time.
I finally learned how to do a sock bun!!
I finally finished my tattoo!! Although, this is not actually a finished picture. This is the most finished picture I have, however. There's something going on with the moon that's not as pictured. Go with it.
I did as much Gabriel-ing as possible. We had kind of a hard year.
Although the weather was magic.
My niece you guys.
I went to Vegas! Did some unapologetic bikini wearing because I have no fucks to give, that's why.
We got a new cat. His name is Kevin.

2013, and maybe we're on a lunar calendar

Hey yeah so it's significantly NOT the end of 2013 anymore, but I haven't done this! I usually do this! I'll try not to let the first three weeks of 2014 color my thoughts too much.

1. What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?
I'm a CPA now. That's pretty nifty. Don't ask me to do your taxes because I don't actually do taxes.
Uninteresting fact: many CPAs do no taxes.  

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
It's extremely easy to look through your archives when you post fewer than 20 times in a year! So, I see that I made 2013 Wishes, which are not exactly resolutions. Let's do a quick analysis:
- I hope that 2013 is the year that I actually stop hearing from that-ex-who-gets-creepier-every-time-he-contacts-me-or-leaves-things-for-me-on-my-doorstep. YES! Well, one of them. The one this was about. The other one that I don't like hearing from....I did. Kind of a lot.
- I really really really want the 49ers to win the Super Bowl. Uh, that didn't happen. And that won't happen this year, either. Stay faithful!
- CPA license. YES! DONE!
- Let's make passing that fourth CPA exam an official wish/resolution. YES! DONE!
- Finish knitting the hat I started before busy season started, make a non-hat garment (could be for myself or someone else). Finished one hat, started....another hat. Oh well.
- Go on vacation. Mini-vacations! I'm going to count them.
- Live through busy season. I did this, but I'm not actually sure how.
- Return this pair of shoes to Zappos before the 365 day expiration date on my ability to do that. Haaaaaaa. No. But after the 365 day mark passed, I decided I like the shoes. So...it was intentional?
- Hang the rest of my curtains. Yes.
- Put up this extremely pain in the ass and messy looking window film stuff that I bought. NOPE.
- Finish painting my half-painted bathroom. YES!!
- Take some pictures (I'm not going to hem myself in with a QUANTITY GOAL) with my Real Actual Camera. NOPE
- Finish the tattoo I started 4 or 5 or god knows how many years ago. YES!
- Try to be less standoffish with and mean to boys. Uhm...somewhat.
- However, also: Maybe punch the next douchebag I meet right in the crotch. UHM....SOMEwhat.
- Put some pictures on my walls. Partially completed.
- Fix my broken shoe rack. Somewhat.
- Unpack the rest of my boxes! I think I did this!
- Organize Gabriel's room situation (he has a room SITUATION). NOPE
- Pay more attention to my cat. I dunno, maybe.
- Get some sleep. Sort of.
- See my friends. At times.
Okay then! Mixed, but mostly successful.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Some people I KNOW gave birth in 2013, but I wouldn't say anyone on the CLOSE TO ME radar, if we're being honest about what 'close' means here.  

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Uh, no. Or if they did, I guess maybe we weren't actually that close, because I'm not thinking of anyone.  

5. What countries did you visit?
The United States of America.  

6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?
Work life balance! And this looks like already achieved!!! 

7. What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
I can't think of a single interesting 2013 date. I CAN think of some events, and some general timelines. I had weird cat drama in February, and we lost our kids in the woods and had to call the sheriffs and I thought my baby was dead and I think that was maybe early March, I HAD CAR RATS IN MAY. I got my CPA license and my new job offer in December.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
CPA, got the job I want.  

9. What was your biggest failure?
Eh, I dunno. There was just a lot of STRANGE THINGS, y'know? 

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I think I broke my foot last week but that was JANUARY 2014. I got a kidney infection and maybe almost died. That was August.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
I took my mom and Gabriel to Calistoga for my birthday.  

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My family is ridiculously supportive.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

14. Where did most of your money go?
Living my life or whatever.  

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
MOLLY'S BABY MOLLY HAD A BABY (the baby was born in 2014 so it doesn't get a mention above)

16. What song will always remind you of 2013?

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Happier.
b) thinner or fatter? Fatter (sigh, etc).
c) richer or poorer? At this MOMENT poorer, overall richer.  

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

20. How did you spend Christmas?
At home and with family.

21. Did you fall in love in 2013?
I dunno. This is the same answer as 2012, and probably 2011 if I looked it up. I don't know why I never know the answer to this question. I'm a weirdo. Or I'm Forest Gump and don't know what love is. Oh wait. He may not be a smart man, but he DOES know what love is. Shit. I don't know what's wrong with me.

22. What was your favorite TV program?
Eh. I didn't really watch anything. I'm lame.  

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Nah, not really.  

24. What was the best book you read?
Oh what did I read? Oh! I liked Where'd you go, Bernadette! I dunno if it was the BEST book I read, but I don't feel like trying to figure out what I read.  

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Love the new albums of: Beyonce, J. Cole, Drake. I know, I'm secretly a 14-year-old girl. 

26. What did you want and get?
Job, CPA License.  

27. What did you want and not get?
Time with Gabriel.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
I don't think I saw any movies this year? Like not new ones in theaters. Can that be accurate? I think that's accurate.  

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Went to Calistoga! I'm 31. Whatever.  

30. What is one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Driving less.  

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?
Leggings at Work. 

32. What kept you sane?
Alcohol. Caffeine.

 33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I'm totally part of the J. Law fan club and I'm not even a little bit sorry.  

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
The government was really, really stupid this year. 

35. Who did you miss?
So much time with Gabriel that I'll never get back. I have almost 20 saved voicemails on my phone from Gabriel during busy season, asking me if and when I'm coming home, and if he will get to see me that day. I should have played them for my exit interview.  

36. Who was the best new person you met?
One of the best turned out to be one of the worst. I don't think I met too many new people though.

 37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.
Work. Hard. You can get it. Just keep swimming. 

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Bow down bitches.

05 January 2014

2014 Desires

- That I settle on a haircut that I like.

- That I like I my new job.

- That I love my new job.

- That I don't have to use my time off for any illness or injury.

- That I visit my brother in Arizona.

- That married men stop hitting on me on the internet, most particularly the ones who simultaneously act all worshipful of their wives and like they aren't terrible people.

- That I stop expanding in size.

- That nothing terrible happens to my people.

- That it starts raining again.

- That I have fun.