Thursday, November 30, 2006

How things change

I remember when K got the first Evanescence CD, when Bring Me To Life was a big hit because of the first Spider-Man movie, and he played it for me. I remember telling him, "Gee, I like it, but it's so DARK. I can't really see myself ever being in a mood to listen to something so dark, but I guess I'll burn a copy of it anyway."

I now own my own copy of "Fallen", have "The Open Door", and listen to both regularly. I also listen to a crapload of stuff even darker. My, how things change. How I've changed. Does this mean I've embraced my dark side?

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Thank you, sir, may I have another?

Oh, sweet mother of mercy, I am so mad I'm shaking. I've been contemplating lately the direction things might be taking with Brian - after all, we have been seeing each other for just over a year, you wouldn't think you'd spend that much time dating someone (long-distance, no less) if you didn't see some long-term potential. We haven't had the full-out "conversation" yet, but the subject has been touched upon briefly and he's said some things that sound like he's thinking at least about the possibility of something long-term.

Then tonight, I was perusing a board that's of interest to both of us, and I found this in his introductory post after he said he was seeing someone:

"we enjoy each other's company, but I don't think either one of us are really serious about a life-long commitment at this point"

And then he'd posted in the personals forum there, saying he's seeking a relationship - preferably marriage. Pissed off does not even BEGIN to cover it. Ya know, there's no ring on my finger, but he's said things that imply some long term thinking. That post makes me feel that not only is there no long term thinking, but that he doesn't even see the POSSIBILITY!!! At one point he'd said he'd taken his profile down from the site where we met, he wasn't seeing anyone else, wasn't looking. And then tonight I find this little gem. If he's decided he'd like to see other people, I would have appreciated finding it out some way other than by finding his personals post on a board we both frequent. I know our long-distance situation makes it impractical to seriously contemplate anything long-term and/or permanent right now, because a long-distance marriage would suck. But his posts make it sound like he doesn't even see the potential for anything, and if that's the case, then why continue to spend time with me? Just cut your losses and go find your dream girl already.

To quote an old Black Flag song (I think it was Black Flag, maybe not), "goddamnmotherfuckersonofabitch". I wrote him a big long e-mail, because he needs to know I'm pissed and why. He knows what happened to end my marriage. I will not be taken for granted by any man. So. It may be a Brian weekend, it may not.

At this moment, if I saw him, I'd probably kick him in the balls. And I'd love to take his Christmas present and just set it on fire. But then I couldn't resell it if this actually does turn out to be the end of the relationship.

I'll give him a chance to explain himself and tell me his side of the story - after all, even murderers deserve a chance to present a defense. But trust takes time to build, and longer to rebuild, and tonight it took a major hit.


Well, the poo-poo just hit the fan - my mortgage has memo posted to my account and it is seriously overdrawn. I didn't think it went out until Friday. So now I've got to find $28 cash and get to the branch before it closes to put a stop payment on it.And somehow, I'm curiously calm in all of this.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Wanted to share

I posted this as a comment in response to a couple of other comments (thank you, Kalleigh and Meno!), but since I'm not clever enough to figure out how to save my comments in PDF when I save my blog, I wanted to post this here (with a couple of small additions) for future reference.

(In reference to the thought of giving K full custody of J and me getting a second job) I'm not sure how that would work, given the current logistics - this is why K doesn't keep J during the week as is, as it would be very difficult for him to get J to school each day given where he lives and where he works. I could ask him to keep J some nights so I could get a second job, and we have discussed that (he and I have - not sure if I've posted about it or not). But I think the switch from all the time with mama to all the time with daddy would be too abrupt for J - he's a creature of routine, and it would disrupt him mightily to suddenly be at daddy's house all the time (even if the logistics worked out OK). Something to think about, but I'm not sure it would work out in practice. Thank you for the thought, though, and if you've got any more, feel free to share 'em.

The challenge would also be, with a second job, finding one that paid enough to do any good. If I get a retail job for 10, 15, 20 hours a week paying $7 or $8 an hour, by the time taxes come out of it, I'm not sure it accomplishes anything other than leaving me slightly less in the hole and having almost zero time to spend with my son. So unless I could find something part-time that paid enough to make a real positive impact, it's not worth the disruption of having K keep J all the time.

I sell Pampered Chef - if I could just find the time to put some effort into promoting that, could I make it work? People do, but do those people also work full-time? I don't know. I do calligraphy. I make candles. I do all sorts of little crafty, gifty things that could be potential money-makers. The trick is, finding time to do them and promoting them so that I'll actually make money.

(In response to Meno's comment) Right now, it does feel fairly overwhelming. And what really makes me kind of sad is that K and I suffered and limped along financially while he had a crappy job that was basically temp work (the job itself was decent, low-stress, not fabulous pay but not horrible, he could work there as long as he wanted, and it was 40 hours a week when there was work to do, but they might run out of work for days, weeks, months, and that can pretty well destroy any semblance of a budget) while we were married. If we were still together right now, given that he's now got a good job that pays decently, we'd be doing all right, maybe even kind of sort of well. And that sucks the worst. Things were hard when I was married. Things are hard (hell, harder) now that I'm not married. When do I quit feeling like the butt of a giant cosmic joke?

Yeah, I'm in full-out whine mode right now. I freely admit to wallowing in the pity pit.

OK, it's official....

I could just throw up. My finances are reaching critical mass, and I don't know what to do. Get a second job? In what free time would I do that? Win the lotto? If I knew the winning numbers, I'd have done it already.

And to rub salt in the wound, every day I have to see our company's stock price go up and up. We're constantly hearing about how we're developing this new line of business or acquiring that company, about how we've just reached another milestone for earnings or whatever, best performance in the second quarter, blah blah blah. In short, it sounds like our company is making money hand over fist, and it sickens me to know that the odds of me ever seeing any of that benefit in the form of a raise or bonus is so small as to just about be a negative number. I've been here two and a half years now, and I've never gotten a raise or a bonus. Nothing. With the cost of benefits going up, I'm probably bringing home less than I made when I started. So if things are going to get better, I damn sure can't see how they're going to get better here.

Some days the thought really does cross my mind that if anything happened to me, at least K would have the insurance money to take care of J. Those days, the thought of my little boy is darned near the only thing that keeps me going.

OK, that was odd....

I have my cell phone in my pocket, just like I do every day (well, unless I forget it, like I did yesterday). It's a flip phone, so the keys aren't exposed, and I've never had any buttons inadvertently get pressed with the phone closed (isn't that the point of a flip phone, after all?) Until now. My phone has a camera on it, and as I sat here at my desk, not touching the pocket that my phone is in, not having even opened my phone since I talked to K this morning right after I got to work, I heard the distinctive sound that my phone makes when it's used to take a picture. Huh?! I took it out of my pocket and saw a message on the front screen that said, "Open fold to view image." So I did. And there was an image of the dark inside of my pocket, that my phone apparently took all by its lonesome. I didn't press any buttons, and in all the time I've been carrying my cell phone around in my pocket, this has never happened. What. The. Hell.

And the fun never ends

This morning was relatively drama-free from a J perspective, which was nice. I overslept, though, so we hit the ground running. (Bribery with candy works wonders at keeping the TV off! Yep, I know, they've revoked my good parent card.) It was kind of sad at school this morning, though - J gave me a hug and kiss and told me bye like he has been, and then he said, "I'll stand at the door and watch you, Mama." There are two doors, both glass, one to the gym where he goes before class and one going out to the parking lot. He stood at the gym door and watched me go with a wistful little expression on his face, and it makes me want to cry just thinking about it. I'm not sure what prompted that, but it made me want to run hug him again. I didn't, I just blew him a kiss and smiled and went on to work. But still.

My checking account is overdrawn. Again. I am so, so sick of worrying so much about money. I can't DO anything about it, not immediately - I can't get more money from anywhere, and I can't make a job work out any faster for me. But I'm sick of worrying about it, sick of having to tell my child no, we can't do thus-and-such, we don't have extra money for it, sick of feeling like I can't do anything extra, anything just for fun, can't pick up a surprise gift for someone just because, can't get all my bills paid on time, can't, can't, can't, can't. I know money isn't everything. But it would be nice to at least make enough to pay all the bills when they're due and to be able to treat J to McDonald's or Whataburger sometimes just because he asks. It would be nice to pick up something on sale when I see it just because I think someone I know would like it as a Christmas gift. It would be nice to be able to buy a birthday gift for K on his actual birthday instead of three months down the road, or to start paying him back for all the help he's given me. It would be nice to be able to do birthday and Christmas gifts for my sister and nieces, rather than just a card. (She understands, her finances suck as much as mine, but still - it *would* be nice to be able to do for them.) It would be nice to buy three of something I like and use when it's on for a really good price, instead of buying just one and only then if I really need it. It would be nice to be able to look for the best deal instead of the cheapest option right now (because that often isn't the best deal). This sucks.

I applied for a job with a law firm this morning. They say they're different, and if you're an associate looking to make a change, to get in touch with them. The application form was interesting - two of the questions were, "Which do you prefer, the Beatles or the Rolling Stones?" and "Is there really a difference between rap and hip-hop?" Now there are some questions you don't see on a job app every day. They also mentioned that the base salary was $135,000 a year, which wouldn't hurt. So we'll see if I get any response from that. I've tended to steer clear of firms, because I'm concerned about the possibility of having to work really long days (which can be expected at a lot of law firms - I know, not all of them work that way, but a lot of them don't exactly function on an 8-to-5 schedule), which doesn't work well for a single mom. But I'm to the point that it can't hurt to try, and God knows nothing else is panning out. Maybe I'll get lucky and find a firm out there that isn't a sweatshop. Maybe there's a family law firm that focuses on adoptions who's just looking for a good attorney to help them out (being as how I'm adopted, I have a particular interest in the field, and being as how I'm a mom, I have a particular interest in protecting children).

But it's so frustrating. The situation sucks, but I can't seem to find a way out, and I don't know WHY. Why am I supposed to be here? What am I supposed to be learning from this? What am I supposed to accomplish? Who am I supposed to help? What, why, who? And WHEN do I get OUT of here?!

If you put any stock in horoscopes, mine seem to be telling me to stay put, too. First, 11/22:

Things are moving to a deeper level in a very shallow area of your life. This could mean that a relationship is about to move to a new level, that a burgeoning friendship will blossom, or that you will finally overcome a challenging learning curve at work. This is a sign that you're doing the right thing right now, and that where you are in life is the perfect place to be. Congratulate yourself and prepare to enjoy a richer happiness.

Oh, yeah, richer happiness. Well? I'm waiting.

Here's the one from 11/24:

The stars promise to deliver what you need, but you have to be willing to hang on and see these developments through all the way to the end. That means riding it through the smooth times and the rougher ones.

Be very careful about getting involved in any business dealings right now, no matter how promising they may seem. Circumstances beyond your control are holding you back, and you don't have all the freedom you need in order to make the right choices or investments. You can try to negotiate with the things or people restraining you, but your time will be better spent accepting the situation the way it is right now. Wait for another chance -- it is coming along soon.

From 11/25:

All of your efforts pay off when you realize there's a whole new way to look at this situation. You may not understand what the point of all this work is, but you'll soon see that you were meant to be on this new path.

From my monthly horoscope for November on Astrology Zone:

More importantly, whatever position you think you will take on will not be quite be as you imagine it to be. Everything is in flux right now, so obviously, it would be a bad time to make a professional switch. If you do want to change jobs because your present job is intolerable or because you are currently out of work, then wait until November 20, or your lucky day, November 21.

If you aim for a bigger job and a better title, the eclipse on March 3, 2007, will probably change your career life anyway in a big dramatic way, so wait until then before making any decisions.

Wait, wait, wait. You're on the right path. Hang on all the way to the end. Ride it out. That seems to be what I hear every way I turn, and anything I apply for, no matter how promising it seems, doesn't work out and I find myself stuck with staying the course no matter how much I don't want to. WHY?! If I knew why I was here, or how long I might be staying here, it would be easier to deal with. At least then I'd have a sense of purpose, or a sense that an end will come to this rough patch eventually. But right now, all I have is job stress, money stress, kid stress, commute stress - stress, stress and more stress.

And here's today's horoscope from

The apprehension in the air may turn into a real crisis, but you cannot avoid your duties. Even if you prefer to take the day off, something happens that shifts you into high gear. Unfortunately, the fog could be so thick that you cannot see the road. Whatever obstacles appear must now be faced with a sense of humor. You are being tested for a reason, yet it may take a few days for you to realize what it's all about.

Ya know, whatever that's supposed to mean, I'm not sure I like the sound of it. Tested for what reason? Obstacles? Sense of humor?! And I've been muddling along here for over 2 1/2 years now, and I still don't realize what it's all about. AARGH!!!!!

I did get a bit of wisdom from an unexpected place, though - one of J's Garfield videos, of all things. One of the characters said that there are two kinds of problems in life, the ones you can do something about and the ones you can't. Then he said it doesn't help to worry about the problems you can do something about, and it doesn't help to worry about the ones you can't, so why worry? Good advice, if you can implement it. I'm trying not to worry about things I can't change - starting small, like not worrying about what time I leave work and not worrying about traffic as I'm on my way to pick J up. I can't change it, it is what it is. Deep breath, don't fret. Same thing with my morning commute - traffic is what it is, take a deep breath and quit worrying about whether you get to work at 8:30 or 8:35. It seems to help with those problems, but I'm not sure I'm quite able to apply the philosophy to bigger problems yet. Maybe I'll get there one of these days.

Oh, the drama

Last night was a giant drama fest. J wasn't so much impatient as just pissed about not getting his way, but when I told him it was time to turn off the computer (after two or three times of telling him in advance, when we finish x, it's time to turn the computer off, and setting a timer and telling him five more minutes, when the timer beeps the computer goes off, and getting, "OK, Mama" as a response, so you'd think he'd heard and understood), he lay in the floor and screamed like I was pulling his toenails out. He didn't WANT to turn it off, he didn't WANT to take a bath, he was SCARED to take a bath ("scared" is, 95% of the time, J-speak for "I don't want to", not necessarily that he's actually scared of something). So that whole scene ended with me carrying him part-way to the bath (he's so big, I can't carry him far), him throwing himself down in the floor and screaming some more when I put him down and asked him to walk with me (he knows I can't carry him, so what am I going to do?), me telling him several times that we'd read no books before bed if he couldn't come take a bath without fussing, him continuing to pout in the middle of the floor, me telling him OK, no books before bed, him screaming all the way to the bath that he WANTED books, he LIKED books, and finally getting him into the bath. So even beyond his impatience (which rivals my own, sad to say!), if you tell him something he doesn't want to hear or ask him to do something he doesn't want to do, you get a big screaming throwdown. Would a simple "no, I don't want to, Mama" not suffice? Must it all be so dramatic? And how in the world do you help your child learn that sometimes the answer he gets is not the one he wants to hear?

He did get the chance to earn his books back, though. When it was time to get out of the bath, he started to whine and grump, and I told him we could read three books if he could get out of the bath when I told him to AND without fussing. He thought about it and started to whine again about not WANTING to get out. I asked him, hey, do you want three books or no books, because those are the options. He pouted for a bit, chewed on that some more, and got out of the bath with a minimum of fuss. He then earned two more books by being exceptionally well-behaved while I trimmed his nails (something he HATES, and screams at every time I do it). So we ended up reading our books after all, but all that drama just makes me plumb tired. I tend more to the practical side most days, I don't understand drama, I don't like drama, and now I deal with it daily.

Somewhere I think God and my mother are having a good chuckle over this.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Now here's a holiday we can all support!

Repeal Day is December 5th. That's the anniversary of the day that Prohibition was repealed. Here are some pretty darned good reasons why we should celebrate it, and I, for one, plan to lift a glass on December 5th this year.

Catching up

Just wanted to catch up on all the things I wanted to write about earlier.

On Black Friday, I was happily surprised - the crowd at Target was quite orderly. (Gave Best Buy a miss, as the line was aaaaaaaaall the way around the building and snaking through the parking lot - some people had been there since 4:00 Thursday afternoon. Now that's nuts.) I got up at 3:45 Friday morning, went to Best Buy first, saw the line and said screw it, and got to Target about 4:45. Points to the employees there - they kept it orderly, and it wasn't terrible. They had employees and local police officers out front to make sure people didn't cut in line (and there were a big group of people clustered near the front door who looked like they'd intended to do just that!). Crowded, yes, but not a free-for-all. I got my camera! I need a dock for it, but I can get that later. I also got a 6 1/2 foot pre-lit Christmas tree for $30 - that was for J. He was so excited to see me bring this big box home and tell him it was for him. Unfortunately the tree ended up missing a part of the stand, so I had to return it and get a more expensive one (the special deals were all gone), but J is thrilled with it. If he wanted stuff that was on sale, I'd totally do it again next year. But only at Target. I feel pretty sure everything else was ugliness in the extreme. I wouldn't have gone to a local mall on a bet.

Later on Friday we went to Sergeant's (Western wear store) to get boots for J. PaPa gave him some money to get ropers like daddy wears. J found some black ropers, like daddy's, that he just loves - he's worn them pretty much non-stop since we got them, with the exception of bathtime and bedtime. He was also fascinated with Sergeant's - he couldn't get over the fact that they had a windmill inside the store, and he was tickled with the sofas covered in a cow-print fabric. He's told me we have to give away our sofas so we can get cow couches.

We also went to Barnes & Noble. J got a book and a DVD with the rest of the money PaPa gave him (and still had some left over!), and I got the new Josh Groban CD. Haven't had a chance to listen to all of it yet, but I like the bits I have listened to. K got the new Loreena McKennitt CD and let me burn a copy. Again, I haven't heard it all, but I like what I have heard.

Saturday - J woke up covered in poop, and K's parents went back to Louisiana. J and I went to Target to return the first tree, and we picked out the one we have now. It's 7 feet tall, pre-lit (multicolored lights - J's choice, but I like them!), and cost more than the one I got such a good deal on. Oh well, it's only money, and my child is only young and enthralled with Christmas once, right?

Behavior: J has had multiple moments that make me want to pinch his head off. He takes offense at the most random things and just starts screaming and whining fit to beat the band, and it makes me NUTS. I have a hard time maintaining any semblance of calm, and I tend to end up raising my voice and getting pretty peeved myself. Yeah, we're Italian - he's four, and we stand there and yell at each other. He got really frustrated while we were on the computer. He wanted the Wiggles, so I typed in, like always. They've changed the website - he's seen the new one and played on it - so I was surprised when he started whining that he didn't want this one, he wanted the other Wiggles. Now keep in mind, I'm PMSing big-time at this point and I'm super-tired and way more bitchy than usual - not good. So I'm clicking all over the place trying to figure out what he wants, and he's just whining that he didn't want this one, he wants the other one. WHAT other one? Of course, he can't or won't explain farther, just keeps on screaming. So I'm frustrated, and trying to tell him that there are no other Wiggles that I know of, this is it, and I can't give him what he wants if I don't even know what it is. And finally he says he wants the purple one, the one with the Wiggly website. And it dawns on me - he wants the OLD website. That's what used to come up, a purple screen with the Wiggles, and they'd say, "Hi! Welcome to our Wiggly website!" He wanted THAT. So then I had to try to explain that I can't give him that, that the website has changed and it doesn't do the same things now. Finally he changed his mind and decided to do something else entirely. But damn, that nearly wore me out.

And working on "not right now" not meaning the same thing as "no". I can't tell you how many times I've told him "not right now" when he asks to do something and he just breaks out into a pure fit, screaming like it's the end of the world. I've tried explaining every way I know how that "not right now" means you'll get what you want, just not THIS SECOND, to no avail. If he doesn't get his way right when he wants it, he's gonna blow. That's killing me.

Also, the whole questioning thing. I know that's how kids learn, asking questions. But this is more like arguing purely for the sake of arguing. He asks me a question, I give him an answer, he immediately contradicts me. Over and over and over, on everything. "Mama, is it dark outside?" "Yes, J." "No, it isn't!" Um, look outside. "Mama, is dinner ready?" "No, not quite, we have x more minutes." "Yes, it is, it's ready RIGHT NOW!" And on and on. He contradicts me not on things where there could be room for disagreement, but on things where there's an answer and I've just given it to him. If it's dark outside, it is - no gray area there. If dinner isn't ready, it isn't, and no amount of screaming will make it get ready any faster. AARGH.

And today, it's back to work. Woo.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Good ideas for leftovers?

I've got gobs of leftover ham and turkey - anyone have any good suggestions on what I can do with them?

Saturday, November 25, 2006

And today's horoscope

Today's horoscope:

All of your efforts pay off when you realize there's a whole new way to look at this situation. You may not understand what the point of all this work is, but you'll soon see that you were meant to be on this new path.

Well, all righty then. So where's the payoff, and when?

Oh, and let's not forget....

This morning started at 6 AM when J said, "Mama, I've got poo on me." And the floor (where he slept last night - his call, he's got a perfectly good bed he could have slept in, but he wanted to sleep in the same room as MaMa), and the blanket he was using, and ALL over his legs. Eww. So, it was a quick rinse-off and scrub for him and a damn good disinfecting for the bathtub, and not nearly enough coffee to keep me going.

Yeah, I should have been asleep an hour ago.

Post-Thanksgiving letdown?

I have a lot to write about, but I'm so very, very tired. I fell asleep a couple of times this afternoon while J was playing on the computer. He had to holler at me to get my attention. I think this is another round of PMS from hell coming on, where I'm so tired I can barely function and bitchy as all get out. YUCK.

So I'll just jot down a couple of notes to remind myself what I might want to talk about later:

~The Black Friday free-for-all - Target actually wasn't terrible, and my trip was 50% successful. Got the camera and the Christmas tree, but the tree was missing one of the four pieces to the stand, so it had to go back today.

~K's parents. I'm telling you, if I ever get remarried, my future in-laws don't stand a chance. K's parents are beyond wonderful. That's how I want to be for J.

~J. Whoever said "terrible twos" had it aaaaaaaall wrong. We're smack in the middle of the fearsome fours, and there are days my child's behavior makes me want to bang my head into the nearest wall and scream in frustration. It doesn't help that he's just as pigheaded as I am and is prone to argue purely for the sake of arguing. I keep telling myself, "he won't be little forever, he won't be little forever". Some days it helps.

~J's new boots. PaPa decided he needed ropers, so he gave J some money and off we went to the Western wear store. J was SO PROUD of his boots, I'm surprised he hasn't tried to sleep in them! He was also fascinated by the "cow couch" at the Western store (it was a couch done up in a black and white cow print, and he's informed me several times that we need a cow couch, and we'll have to get rid of the ones we have to make room for them). See, he does enough cute stuff over things like this that I'm not totally ready to sell him to the gypsies.

~Our Christmas tree! It's not totally decorated yet, but we put it up this afternoon. J loves it, and that makes me happy.

I'm sure there's more, but this will do for now. I'm so tired I'm cross-eyed. I think I'll just call it a night and go to sleep.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

What are you thankful for?

Here's my list:

~J. He is my little sunshine, and I adore him even when he makes me want to bang my head against the nearest wall. My life would probably be quieter and better organized if I didn't have him, but it sure would be a lot less fun, and I wouldn't trade him for anything or anyone!

~K. Yeah, he's got some flaws (and don't we all), and yeah, sometimes I want to hit him with a really big stick. But he's helped me out way more than he has to, he's a good dad, he's involved, and a girl could do a lot worse for an ex-husband.

~My job. It sucks, but some job is better than no job.

~My health. I'm strong enough to keep going and do what I have to, and that counts for a lot.

~My friends. I do a crappy job of staying in touch, and yet they're always there for me.

~My family. Wish I got to see them more often.

~Having my computer back and all my pictures still there. I will never take my computer, or the need to back up data, for granted again.

Happy Thanksgiving, y'all!

The perfect place to be?

Well. This is my horoscope for today:

Things are moving to a deeper level in a very shallow area of your life. This could mean that a relationship is about to move to a new level, that a burgeoning friendship will blossom, or that you will finally overcome a challenging learning curve at work. This is a sign that you're doing the right thing right now, and that where you are in life is the perfect place to be. Congratulate yourself and prepare to enjoy a richer happiness.

What exactly does one make of that? And if where I am is the perfect place to be, why does my life feel about as comfortable as a straitjacket some days?

I had to be at work by 8:00 this morning since we get off at 2:00, and J usually dawdles something terrible in the mornings, largely over the TV. So this morning I told him that if we left the TV off, he could have a treat for breakfast (he chose a Jolly Rancher sucker). I am so going to parenting hell, they are revoking my good parent card, and my mother is banging her head against a wall somewhere - candy for breakfast. But hey, it got us out the door easily and quickly, and I was actually early to work (made it here by 7:45, well before my manager - and you know how happy that makes me!).

I am so not in the mood to work today. And alas, I have things I *have* to get done. Maybe I can get most of them done by lunchtime, and then just goof off for a couple of hours.

I'll probably be offline for a couple of days with family here. Happy Thanksgiving, y'all!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Is it just me...

or is this stupid? We have this new software program that's supposed to be rolled out soon. We were required to take online training, which I did. Now we're also required to sit through a virtual meeting session, which, as near as I can tell, is the exact same thing as the training, only live instead of recorded. (We're still seeing it all on a computer screen, no live speaker, just by conference call instead of pre-recorded as was done with the training online.) What the hell is the point of that?! And really, I'd prefer to just get the program, get into it and learn by doing rather than watching someone else work in it. What a pain.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Someone please tell me there's a Christmas miracle in my future....

I just can't stand this job. I am so tired of people not liking what we do, not liking what we have to tell them, not getting why we do things the way we do or why accounts are set up the way they are. If I had a dollar for every person who complained that they were going to move their account, I wouldn't be rich, but I could buy myself a mighty nice Christmas present of some kind. I get enough whining from the four-year-old, I hate that I have to deal with it from grown-ups every damn day as well. Please, please, please, let there be a new and improved career path ahead for me in the New Year.

I know things happen for a reason, but I sure can't fathom the reason for this particular thing.

I thought 4 was supposed to get better?

And let's see, what else do I have to write about? The fact that, in the past 48 hours, at least, 4 has seemed a LOT worse than 2.

First off, J wanted to go to Target yesterday. He howled and screamed and cried after I told him no, we weren't going, we didn't need anything. He finally got over that. Then I got the idea to finally put together the bookcase he'd gotten for his birthday (from Target, of course). I started taking pieces out of the box and discovered that one shelf was broken. Not just chipped or something you could work with, but had a big ol' crack cutting across about a third of the shelf. So I told J, hey, it's your lucky day, we have to take this back to Target. He was all excited. I boxed the thing back up, got it in the car (no small task - keep in mind, this is a 5-shelf bookcase, taller than me by nearly a foot when assembled), and off we went. I got it out of the car and we took the bookcase to customer service first, where they gave us a slip for the return. J got one little bitty thing, and I told him we now had to get the bookcase and a few other things, and then we'd be ready to go. Got the bookcase - no problem other than that it was damn heavy (and we were able to get it in a cherry finish this time instead of maple, which I like better anyway :-) ), and we went to get the few other things I needed. Well, at one point we were in the section with the plates and glasses and whatnot, and J wanted to know if we were ready to go yet. I told him no, I needed a couple more things, and then we could go, that it wouldn't be long. (He wasn't able to ride in the buggy because the bookcase took up most of the space.) Well, he grabbed a dish - just a random black bowl, breakable, of course - and said he wanted it. I had visions of it shattering into pieces on the floor through a careless move, so I grabbed his hand away from it, and told him no, we didn't need it, and it was breakable and he didn't need to touch it. He then went into full pigheaded 4-year-old mode - he started touching darn near every breakable thing on the aisle, in spite of being told no in no uncertain terms. So I grabbed his arm, put my arm around his shoulders, and told him his behavior was horrid, that if he didn't knock it off right now, no toys would be going home with us, we'd leave what he'd gotten there. He proceeded to howl that he didn't WANT to leave it there, he'd be GOOD. Um, son, you aren't listening - if you straighten up, the toy comes home. It's only if you keep acting like a little wildebeest that it stays here. Yesterday I was the parent I feel sorry for in Target.

Bedtime last night - he howled and screamed and carried on that he didn't WANT to go to bed. Well, guess what, it's after 9:30, "want" really doesn't play into it at this point.

And this morning. We were leaving the house, and running late already (which I worry about, since I really have to mind my p's and q's at work). I asked J if he had his drink, his snack, all his stuff. Yes. So, out we went. Just as I locked the door behind me, J said he wanted Curious George. I told him that he knew how we did it, that once we're outside we don't go in for anything not essential, that we need to make sure we have all our things before we leave. And he proceeded to throw the grandpappy of all fits, and I was really hoping the neighbors weren't outside, because if they were, they probably thought I was beating my kid. He howled and screamed, and sobbed that he WANTED Curious George right NOW. And he cried so much I was worried he might make himself throw up. I kept telling him no, we weren't going back in, and he needed to come with me and get in the car, that Curious George would be here when we got home tonight and that he already had toys in the car. (Only about a kabillion at last count.) And he screamed and hollered and carried on some more, and I lost my temper and yelled and felt like the worst parent ever. I tried telling him that I wasn't getting him what he wanted after he threw a fit because he'd think that crying was how you got your way, and he said, "But I won't throw a fit next time!" I told him that he said that now, but next time he wanted something, he'd remember that mama gave in after he'd screamed enough, and he'd do it again because I would have led him to believe that that worked, and I told him I wasn't going to have him growing up thinking that. And I tried explaining to him - I asked him if he liked it when he got time out at school, "No". I tried explaining that if I don't get to work when I'm supposed to, I get in trouble, and that's kind of like a time out for me, and I don't like being in trouble at work any more than he likes being in trouble at school. He chewed on that for a minute, and then started howling for George again. I finally told him to get in the car, and he walked over to his door, howling all the way. He stood there and I asked him to please get in the car. "Noooooo, I don't WANT to!" I told him fine, he might be a big boy, but I could still pick him up and put him in the car, and that's what I did. And he howled and cried some more, and I hugged him and told him I knew he really wanted George, and that we'd all like to get what we want all the time, but that sometimes the answer has to be no. And finally he settled down and was OK, but damn, that kind of start to a morning takes it out of you.

If we have another fit like that tonight, my head might pop right off.

On the bright side, I did get the bookcase put together. I moved the small one out of J's room into the hallway, put the big one into J's room, and got most of the books replaced. Go, me! That was some hard work!

Secret lives of breadwinner wives

Secret lives of breadwinner wives - MSN Money

Secret lives of breadwinner wives

We knew the deal going in. But we can't escape the stubborn fantasy: That Mr. Right will step up and start bringing home the big bucks.

By MP Dunleavey

Editor's note: Join columnist MP Dunleavey and a group of women as they seek to strip away the myths around money, liberate themselves from debt and find financial sanity. Follow the ongoing quest of the Women in Red every other Wednesday in Dunleavey's column on MSN Money.

Every time you turn around it seems there's another rah-rah story about the rise of the "alpha earner" wife -- women who bring home most of the bacon while their husbands happily shuttle the kids to and from soccer practice.

I am just such an alpha female, apparently -- as are all of the married members of the Women in Red -- and I'm tired of the pep rally.

What gets left out of the Norman Rockwell portrait of the new nuclear family is a muddy little truth no one wants to discuss: It's not easy being the breadwinner, and many women are having a hard time in that role.

Despite knowing that the man they were choosing to marry was not likely to become the primary earner, some women secretly harbor the wish that their spouse would start bringing home the bucks and support them for a change.

That's a problem. While I can understand feeling ambivalent about being the primary earner, especially when kids enter the picture, women who nurture Cinderella dreams put themselves in a financially precarious position.

The rise of the alpha earner Take Anna. A hard-driving Washington, D.C., lobbyist who knew from the moment she met her struggling-actor husband that she always would be the breadwinner, she is still finding it hard to sort out her own expectations.

"The great thing about him is that he really doesn't care about money," says Anna, 42.
"On the flip side, the problem is that he doesn't care about money -- so I have to," she says. "That's a big burden."

It was a relief to hear Anna's unsparing take on what may no longer be a trend but a new world order.

It wasn't so long ago that my heart would race with pride and excitement when I heard upbeat statistics about women's earning prowess:

According to a 2003 survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about a third of wives earn more than their husbands.

According to a study by the Families and Work Institute, a nonpartisan research organization in New York, women overall bring in 43% of household incomes.

I'm over that now. As the mother of a nearly two-month-old son whose husband is leaving his job to take on most of the child care and prep for graduate school, the title "breadwinner" has come to feel an awful lot like "albatross."

"We're in a significant transition," says Ellen Galinsky, director of the Families and Work Institute, acknowledging the difficulties many women face. "Women increasingly define their roles as both emotional provider and economic provider."

And yet it's hard to feel comfortable in that role when you're not sure what the rules are -- and neither is the person you're married to.

Where the girls are I was surprised by how many women are grappling with this issue of role reversal and reversed expectations on the Women in Red message board.

What seems to work within the traditional male-as-breadwinner model doesn't translate when the family relies more on the woman's income.

As one reader wrote: "If you were paying all the bills, and when you got home your husband had the house clean, dinner ready and the kids all dressed/sleeping/whatever, maybe you wouldn't feel so badly about being the breadwinner. When you have to financially support your household … but then come home and cook/clean/take care of the kids, then it becomes too much to handle."

Of course, not all women feel that way. Of the Women in Red who are married -- Anna, Beth, Stephanie and I -- all are or were the primary earners. (Read more about each of them in "Meet the Women in Red.") But each woman brings a very different attitude to her situation.

Beth: Like Anna and me, Beth, 40, was the primary earner in her relationship from the start -- and she enjoyed it. It has been hard for her to depend solely on her husband's salary during the year she has been in school studying massage therapy.

"It may sound weird, but I always felt that I needed to earn more in order to feel equal," she says.

When she gets her license early next year, Beth is looking forward to regaining her breadwinner status.

Stephanie: On the other hand, Stephanie, 28, is fighting the whole idea of being a breadwinner. She's thrilled that her career in marketing has taken off, but she hates the fact that her salary has outpaced her husband's.

When they started dating in college, it wasn't something she anticipated, but she knew when she agreed to marry him that he was working for a nonprofit organization.

Stephanie knows that she is more ambitious than he is, but she resents the fact that she bears the burden for most of their household expenses. "I wish he would earn at least $50,000 a year," she says.

Anna: Since their daughter was born two years ago, her husband has become the main caregiver. "I feel lucky that we can afford to do that," she says.

At the same time, she admits, she covers all the household expenses and cuts him a check for his needs, "and that part is uncomfortable," she says.

While Anna hopes he'll start working again once their daughter is in school, they haven't discussed that.

Right now, she's trying to cope with a more immediate issue -- one that preoccupies many women, especially when your income is larger: Who is responsible for the household chores?
Quoting the 1970s perfume commercial that featured a do-it-all working wife singing, "I can bring home the bacon/And fry it up in a pan . . . ," Anna points out: "They never told you that you end up serving the bacon and cleaning the pan, too."

MP: And then there's me. Despite the fact that my husband does the lion's share (or is it the lioness' share?) of the domestic duties -- and I count my blessings that he doesn't resent the fact that my career, right now, is more lucrative -- I am a conflicted mess of gratitude, pride and steaming resentment.

To the outside world, we probably look like the storybook version of a spunky female career gal who falls for the supersmart artsy guy -- and together (cue the harps and a nice big sunset) they make it all work!

But in reality, I guess I was kinda sorta hoping this arrangement would be temporary.

The high cost of financial-emotional turmoil And as we all know -- or at least, those of us who have been writing and reading the WIR columns faithfully know -- the only trouble with having really huge unresolved emotional issues is that sooner or later they're gonna cost you.
So while you could argue that there's nothing wrong with feeling ambivalent about being the major source of income in your household, the peril for women is when the confusion, resentment, uncertainty, hostility, anger, denial or Prince Charming fantasy causes women to fumble the financial ball.

In wishing, even for one stupid second, that my husband earned six figures, I'm dodging the fact that if anyone is going to earn big bucks, it's going to be me. And, as they said in "Cool Hand Luke," I'd better get my mind right about that, or I really will dig myself into a big ol' hole by waiting and hoping that it's not really my job.

Although Anna is the most matter-of-fact about her breadwinner status, she hates being the one to initiate all of the difficult money talks. Alas, She Who Earns usually ends up being She Who Plans. And unless Anna is OK with her husband remaining unemployed after their daughter starts school -- and what that unemployment might mean for their retirement savings -- she will have to put on her chin guard and insist on a clearer career strategy.

As much as Stephanie would like her husband to be on an equal financial footing, or close to it, she'd do better to insist that the two of them get more in sync about how they spend and save the money they earn now.

Keep these fundamentals front and center We could spend hours debating the emotional nuances of what it means -- for feminism? for the family? -- that the male-as-breadwinner species may be as endangered as the two-toed sloth. But in order to find and keep your financial sanity as a female breadwinner, you have to accept a few basic laws of nature:

You're in charge. This doesn't meant you and your partner can't share equally in financial decisions, but you need to accept the fact that you will probably be the one to initiate most discussions, monitor how your money is organized and orchestrate your financial future.

Clarify roles and expectations. Given that female breadwinners lack for role models, you have to start with what you've got -- and improvise. That means sitting down with your spouse and expressing what your ideas and expectations are for everything from spending to laundry -- and likewise listening to his.

Squash those fairy tale fantasies. You can't be CFO and Cinderella at the same time. If you are the main provider, it's unlikely your mate will be taking care of you financially anytime soon. After all, how many men marry women hoping they will switch roles as breadwinner at some point?

Ask for what you need. You don't have to be superwoman. Just be clear in your own mind what you want from him -- emotional support, a little more help around the house, more time with the kids -- and ask for it. You may not always get it, but you'll never get it if you don't ask.


A friend of mine posted this article on another board, and I thought it was interesting. OK, technically I'm no longer a breadwinner wife, but I am the sole income earner at the moment. And my earning potential will probably be greater than that of most guys I meet - not saying that I'll necessarily *make* more than whoever I meet, but that my earning potential will likely equal or exceed his (having a law degree does give me a boost in the earning potential department, although I clearly don't have enough common sense to go out and get a *real* lawyer job and earn a real lawyer salary). So, this could be me - was me with K. Me lawyer, him paralegal - I earned more, and barring some really odd career twists, I always would have. And yeah, it was hard. I'm not sure I ever really grew up with Cinderella dreams - I always expected to go to college and have a career - but I didn't grow up ever thinking I'd be the one carrying a majority of the financial burden. And it really is a lot to carry. My sister and I were talking once, and she said that it doesn't matter how strong a woman is (and she, my mom and I are all very strong women), that we just aren't cut out to carry the burden of providing for a family alone. And I think she's right.

I'm not sure there's any answer to this. I think it's like everything else in life - you just keep trying until you find something that works for you and yours, and the heck with what the rest of the world thinks about your situation. But even if I've pretty much given up on Prince Charming sweeping me off my feet and providing me undying love and lifelong financial security, I can still hope to win the lotto - right?

Friday, November 17, 2006

Everything DOES happen for a reason

I've been looking back through my blog for grins and giggles and to see if I do anything other than bitch and whine, and I found this post. At the time, I sure was disappointed not to have gotten a job at this other company after interviewing for three different positions, all of which seemed pretty well suited to me. All things happen for a reason, though, even if we can't see it at the time. We have a new hire starting after Thanksgiving, and she came up for our luncheon earlier this week. She formerly worked at this other company, and now it seems that people are being laid off, there's reorganization going on, a lot of uncertainty in the ranks, and it sounds like a place I really wouldn't want to be right now. God has a way of looking out for me even when I can't or won't look out for myself - had I gotten a job there, I could either be wondering when the pink slip was coming or just out of a job altogether. So. My job may suck, but at least I have one. All things for a reason.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Sweet mother of mercy....

I. Have. My. PICTURES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Just for grins, I thought I'd check my external hard drive, not even thinking of pictures being there - after all, I had gotten all those funky error messages during backups, and I hadn't been able to boot from the external drive. Well, butter my butt and call me a biscuit, but ALL my data is there. My pictures, my music, my job search stuff, EVERYTHING. I am so happy, I'm crying. I've just uploaded over 300 pictures to Shutterfly, and that's just J's first four months of life. I'm uploading EVERY picture I have, good, not so good, you name it. I am backing them ALL up six ways to Sunday, because I don't ever want to be afraid I've lost them all again. Yeah, I know, they're just pictures, but they're my memories of my sweet baby boy.

Have I mentioned that I'm really, really, REALLY happy right now? I'm going to feel like shit on a stick when the alarm goes off in four hours, but I don't care. Work, schmork, I've got my pictures back!

Back online!

Happy, happy, joy, joy!!! I have my computer back! I don't have everything reconnected and reinstalled yet, but it's up and running. And the tech got confused and installed the 250 GB drive they'd ordered for me in another computer, so I got the 300 GB drive ordered for the other customer at the price I was quoted for the 250 GB drive. Bonus!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Fun with the monkey boy

I was up late last night - I had to make pie for our Thanksgiving luncheon today. I made ancho chile fudge pie, yummy. I figured it would be easier to let J stay up while I made pies, instead of getting him to bed (late enough) and then trying to get back up and make pies. Well, we were up until after 11, because he caught a second wind and got all wound up and insisted he wasn't sleepy. But once he fell asleep, I don't think he moved all night - he still had the blanket on him this morning, which never happens. But he wasn't tired. LOL

We had to get a birthday present for his friend Hannah yesterday - K is taking J to Hannah's party this weekend. We picked out an Ariel doll for Hannah (she's having a princess party, so I'm thinking she likes the princesses), and J nearly came home with an Ariel doll for himself - that's what he insisted he wanted until he saw the Cars figures and decided they were more fun. K would have choked. At this age, though, I'm not going to sweat it if he wants to play with the occasional girl toy. God knows he's got enough trucks and monster trucks and diggers and tools and boy things. I do think it's hilarious that he looked through the Target toy catalog and told me that his favorite thing was the Barbie Hot Tub Party Bus, though.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Woo hoo!!!!!!!!!!!!

My computer is FIXED!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The repair shop just called - it's ready. I'm taking 1/2 day off Thursday morning to go to J's Thanksgiving feast at school, so I'll be at the shop at 9 AM to pick up my computer. I'm sure I'll then spend the rest of the time before the feast putting it back together. I'll have to reinstall a few things - DSL, printer, scanner - but that's no big. I am just SO HAPPY that I'll be online at home again!

Let the job search recommence!

Monday, November 13, 2006


My high school graduating class now has a Yahoo group. I've spent part of the afternoon looking at pics from our recent 20-year reunion (which I missed). It's interesting seeing who looks better now than they did then, who looks worse, and who you hardly recognize. I'm fatter (most of which is in my butt and thighs) and have more gray in my hair, and I now wear glasses all the time instead of contacts, but I think I look much the same otherwise. I saw a few of the pics and read the caption under them, and did a double take when I saw who the person was - had I seen them on the street, I don't know if I'd have recognized them. It's funny, too, seeing how some of the women have gone the too tan/too blonde (or frosted) route for whatever reason and how some have chosen to age gracefully. Me, I'm generally going for the aging gracefully - I hate tanning and I'd look funny as a blonde. Here's me in high school - so, do I look mostly like I do now or not?

Homecoming 1985, fall of my senior year.

May 2006

But looking at all my friends from so many years ago makes me thoughtful. How could my life have turned out differently? If I'd made different choices, where would I be now? What would I be doing? What would I look like? Would I have kids? Would I be married? Would I be happy? It's a rather unsettling thought process.

When it comes down to it, though, I am where I am and who I am, and all I can do is make the best of what I've got. Which is nothing to sneeze at, with the exception of my crappy job.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

A good laugh on a Thursday morning

OK, I'm just laughing here. A friend of mine from high school and I have been mailing back and forth - she's in the Dallas area, too, and we've gotten back in touch. We had a 20-year reunion in October - I couldn't make it due to too short of a notice, and she's been updating me. She said she'd heard a rumor that K and I had split up, but nothing definite, and she also told me that one of the guys I graduated with was asking about me (to use her word) a LOT. I can't tell you how much this amuses me. I am so not used to being the object of male attention that the idea of anyone from my past asking about me cracks me right up.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Well, crap.

Found out yesterday that my hard drive is fried - no data can be recovered without resorting to forensic recovery. I sobbed mightily when I first heard, but then I took a breath and thought - K has lots of pictures (the ones from when J was a baby, especially) on his computer and on CD from where I copied them so he could put them on his computer. I have all J's 4th birthday pics on the memory card in my digital camera, and between K's mom and I, we have a ton of actual prints that I can scan. And I've got a bunch uploaded to Shutterfly, just not all. So it's not the end of the world. It just felt like it for a moment.

I talked to the tech for a while yesterday. Forensic recovery can run anywhere from $500 to $1500 depending on drive size and how hard the data is to recover, and they charge $100 just to look at the drive and give you an estimate. So, it's not in the budget right now by any stretch of the imagination. I want to keep my old drive, to have the forensic recovery done when money isn't so tight (after I get a better job and save up a little cash), but if Dell were to replace the drive, they'd keep the old one. Over my dead body. If the local shop replaces my drive, it voids my warranty with Dell, but right now I don't give a rat's ass about my warranty with Dell. They suck rocks. So I told him to go ahead and replace it. They'll put in a new Western Digital 250GB drive (same size as my old one), reinstall Windows XP and all my software, they'll even get my printer and scanner installed if I bring them in. They'll get everything to where it's like a new system, and it will only set me back $200 plus tax. Not nearly as bad as I'd feared, and at least I'll have my computer back then (so I can seriously job hunt!). They're going to store the old drive in an anti-static bag and box it up for me, so I can keep it in a safe place until I can afford forensic recovery. So, it's not the outcome I'd hoped for, but it isn't terrible, at least.

I refuse to think of what pictures I might have lost, though, or even look to see what I do have. That would just make me cry right now, and I did enough of that yesterday.


K and A took J to dinner last night. I had a little time to myself. I talked to Brian for a bit before he went to class, and then it was just me. Usually when I'm by myself, I enjoy the break. Last night was the first time I really felt lonely being alone. I was sort of at loose ends - guess I didn't really know what to do with myself, not having J at a time when I normally do have him.

They brought him home around 8:30, and I got to meet A. She seems nice. She was pretty quiet, but I'm quite in new situations, so that's understandable. I think she and I could probably get along pretty well. J certainly likes her. She got him a little flashlight (it's pretty cool - has a compass and all kinds of cool stuff in it), and he told me numerous times about how A got him that flashlight and he liked A. I'm glad J likes her, but I did caution K about having J spend too much time around her until he has a pretty good sense of where the relationship is going. J does like her, and if K and A can't make a go of it for whatever reason, I don't want J so attached to her that he really suffers from the fallout.

I guess that's one reason I haven't had J meet Brian - I don't know *for sure* where the relationship may be going, and I don't want him to get attached to someone only to have that someone disappear down the road. I figure it's hard enough for him to get used to not having mama and daddy in the same house, much less would I want him to have to deal with having someone else drop out of his life. Granted, I don't guess it would be quite such a big deal with Brian at this point, as I don't see him as often as K sees A (and therefore the possibilities of J seeing Brian are less than of J seeing A). But still, I worry about that.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Just another manic Monday

Still no word on my computer. I've left two messages. I'm starting to get a bit peeved.

I had my quarterly review with my manager this morning. The review wasn't as bad as it could be - he's gotten it to where I'm a Meets/Meets on expectations and can therefore look internally for positions, which is good, and I feel like he's really trying to help - but if things that need improvement don't improve, it will be awful next time. As in, no more job for Lisa awful. I just feel so frustrated that it's *this* job that's making me crazed and that I can't seem to get a grip on. It's not that hard, intellectually. I mean, I'm an attorney licensed in two states, for crying out loud. Not like I'm some screaming moron or incapable of doing some pretty challenging work. So now I'm free to look elsewhere in the company, and I am - I applied for a compliance position today, and I will of course continue to look outside the company. I wish I'd get my computer back soon, so I could do more looking from home.

In other news: K and A are taking J to dinner tomorrow night. I'm OK with this. K said I might get to meet A when they bring J back home, if she's not too nervous to get out of the car. Apparently she's a bit intimidated by me, the whole ten years older and being a lawyer thing. Being as how I generally see myself as about as intimidating as a squishy bear if I haven't worked up a good mad, I find that vastly entertaining. There are days I can't intimidate my four-year-old. But I suppose if it were me in that position, I might be a little freaked out, too. So we'll see if I meet A or not. If she and K are going to end up together for the long term, I reckon she'll have to meet me at some point!

Speaking of monkey boy - J has had a rough 24 hours. I told him to stay off the toy chest yesterday afternoon. He got on it - in sock feet - and promptly fell off and bonked his knee. (And then we had the whole conversation on "see why I tell you to stay off the toy chest".) He fell off the stepstool getting out of bed. He fell out of bed about 11:30 last night. And he totally walked into the island in the kitchen this morning when he was getting a drink out of the fridge. Poor baby, he is my child - he's a klutz, just like his mama.

He is enthralled with the toy organizer that I got from Target, though, and thinks it's FUN to put his toys up. Score for mama!!! Next project: a bookcase. You think I can put it together by myself?

Last night we were both asleep by 9:30. We both woke up at 11:30 when he fell out of bed (he was OK, and went back to sleep in short order), and then I was awakened around 4:00 by the violent thunderstorm going through. At one point, it was thundering so hard that my house was shaking. I could literally hear things rattling. Scary. J somehow slept through all of it, and I guess I fell back asleep sometime before 5:00.

And now I can write a bit more about my weekend with Brian.

It was just a low-key weekend. We went out to dinner Friday night after he got here, and then we spent the rest of the weekend watching season 5 of Buffy. Yep, all 22 episodes. There was some sleep involved, and some fun of a nature I won't describe here. And I miss him now that he isn't here.

I wish I got to see him more often. I know that it's OK now for him to meet J, and I expect that that will happen before too long. But even with that not keeping us from seeing each other, there's still the distance factor, and gas isn't cheap. So it's not like I'll have much of a chance to see him during the week even if it's OK for him to see me when J is with me. And today I'm just feeling really bummed by his not being here. Do you think it means something when you feel down just because a person isn't around? I was thinking about this while writing in my handwritten journal last night. We've been going out for a year. I'll admit to liking Brian a tremendous amount, but I hesitate to call it love. Can I see a future with him? Yes, and without much difficulty other than the fact that we live in two different places. So why not love? Do I just not want to be the one to say it first? I know that Brian saw someone in the past who was a distance away, and he broke that off because he didn't see it going anywhere. So, a year into it, and we're both still willing to put forth the time and effort in spite of the distance. That says something, doesn't it? Perhaps Brian and I should just have a talk. Ugh, I hate talks.

But I guess I'd like to have some idea as to where things are going. If we both see a future, are we willing to work something out in the event we don't both end up in the same place? Do we both have to end up in the same place first before anything else can happen? If that doesn't happen is it a total deal-breaker?

And on some level, I'm nervous about the answer. If Brian were to say both of us not being in the same place would be a deal-breaker, I'd just want to lay down and die. I feel for him like I've never felt about anyone, not even K (and as I was married to K for 11 years, I think that's saying something), not even thinking back to when K and I were dating. But mostly, if we had to be in the same place for anything to go any further or for any serious thought to be given to the possibility, I'd be sad. I'd worry, well, how long do we keep trying that, waiting to see if things work out? But is knowing where I stand better than not knowing? If things weren't going to work out, I guess I'd rather know sooner than later. It's just a big scary thing, and I hate big scary things.

Thursday, November 02, 2006


I'm listening to an interesting audiobook - Angels, Guides & Ghosts by Sylvia Browne. In it, she talks about psychic attacks, being around people or things that are so negatively charged that they just drain you of your energy. She suggests starting the day by praying for God to surround you with mirrors, to reflect back what people give to you. If evil/negativity is directed toward you, the thinking goes, it will be reflected back and drive away whatever's causing it. If good is directed toward you, that will be reflected back and encourage the good to stay. You aren't asking for harm to come to anyone, just for whatever they give out to be reflected back to them. I thought it was an interesting concept, and I'm trying it. This place is bound to be just a whirlpool of negative energy.

Light a million candles

Saw this on one of my message boards and thought I'd share:

The innocent victims of Internet child abuse cannot speak for themselves.

But you can.

With your help, we can eradicate this evil trade.

We do not need your money.

We need you to light a candle of support at

We're aiming to light at least One Million Candles by December 31, 2006.

This petition will be used to encourage governments, politicians, financial institutions, payment organisations, Internet service providers, technology companies and law enforcement agencies to eradicate the commercial viability of online child abuse.

They have the power to work together. You have the power to get them to take action.

Please light your candle at or send an email of support to

Together, we can destroy the commercial viability of Internet child abuse sites that are destroying the lives of innocent children.

Kindly forward this information to your friends, relatives and work colleagues so that they can light a candle too.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Zero to bitch in 1.2 seconds

That's how I've felt the past few days. In a bad, bad, bad mood. I think it's mostly hormonally induced, but I think part of it is due to feeling like work treats me like a child. How are you supposed to hold your head up high and feel like a contributing member of society if you're treated like you're about five years old? So I'm sure that isn't helping my mood any. It's been so bad that I've contemplated asking my doc about some kind of anti-anxiety or anti-depressant meds. I really don't like myself much when I'm in moods like this, and I don't imagine anyone else does, either. I've noticed a real difference, too, on days where I forget to take my blood pressure meds. The Toprol really does have an anti-anxiety effect (at least consciously - work still stresses me internally because my blood pressure stays up, even if consciously I'm not wigging out as much) for me.

I'm tired. Tired of being understanding and empathetic and compassionate and polite in the face of anger and resentment. I'm really a bit of an introvert, and all the human contact can be draining at times. I'm turning into my dad - the older I get, the less I seem to like "people" in the sense of the general public. I think I'll see what I'd have to do to get my master's in library science, and work with books. A JD degree and a master's in library science, I could be a kick-ass law librarian. I could handle patrons talking back occasionally. I'm just tired of the constant press of needy, needy people that this job involves. I realize that not all jobs in this field are like this. But when you're working with smaller accounts (relatively speaking), with people whose needs exceed their resources and can't understand why you don't just give them what they want and aren't at all happy about being told no, it's not a lot of fun some of the time. So perhaps it's not so much that I don't like people, it's more that I don't like whiny people and having too much work. A former co-worker is now doing a job comparable to mine in a different area of the company, and it's worlds different - she said the pace is so laid back and she's so used to being busy constantly from being here, and she's so not overwhelmingly busy there, that it's too SLOW for her. I can't even imagine. I think I could handle boredom from not having enough to do better than stress from having way too much to do.

I just called about my computer again (the hard drive is failing, but it's still under warranty with Dell, so I won't have to pay for a new drive). Data recovery is going very slowly, and there are a lot of bad clusters on the drive. And there's no way to tell what's been recovered until the program finishes running - they can't stop it in the middle. Piece of crap drive. Dammit. I could cry. They'll call when that's done, and when it is, then they'll call Dell to replace the hard drive (it's under warranty until 2009, and if anyone else replaces it, that voids the warranty). *SIGH* Not sure if I need hugs or need to smack something, or both. If I can't get my pictures back, I may throw up. And there's no way to tell why it went bad - the tech said it could have been a power surge, the computer could have been bumped or kicked or jostled (not likely, it's been sitting in the same place on my desktop for nearly two years), it could have just been a dud and didn't crap out until now. Whatever the reason, I could just cry.