Does that make me crazy?

Hi, it's me again.

It's been so long...or not really.

You may recognize me as the haphazardly dressed woman who wandering around the streets mumbling to her dog (well, borrowed dog) earlier today (as in 15 minutes ago).

The good news, I won't actually be sitting home alone tomorrow for New Year's. I actually have multiple offers.

And my "get rich over a long period of time by donating plasma" continued today with another visit to Biolife.

I know you all have been tracking my progress pretty carefully.

Alright, now that I got those important announcements out of the way, on to the real post.

I may or may not have mentioned some other posts by other people made on other topics some other days that I wanted to share. And it's happening now. This way you won't be in suspense any longer and your blood pressure and/or heartbeat will return to it's normal state.

You're welcome.

Post #1:

By m'dear mom. For years (at least one or two) I've struggled to express my political and religious views in a way that made sense. Well, maybe I didn't try all that hard or all that often. But I've thought about it.

Since my mom's the writer in the family, she magically managed to put it into words ten billion times better than I ever have or will. So I'm claiming her words as my own. Okay, I'm not.

But I do agree. Check out what I'm talking about here.

I don't expect to agree. I've come to the realization during my long and tenuous existence that not all six billion+ people are going to agree about everything or anything. And I'm okay with it.

(Sorry for the random vocabulary today. I played a rousing game of Scrabble last night and can't turn the dictionary in my head off.)

Post #2:

Call him a scrooge, I'll call him my brother. Check out what he had to say about Christmas.

I have to admit that I enjoy the Christmas holiday. I absolutely ADORE giving gifts. It's one of my very favorite past times; I refer to it as guilt free shopping. How can you feel bad about spending money to make another person feel good?!?!

But I also think that we very often forget the significance behind our actions. And we (and this includes me) are not always very well informed.

I just hope there is some meaning behind your holidays, whatever it might be.

I told you these posts were by people I am related to and do I read like a person who would lie. Ever.

I feel like I should have one more to share, because good things come in threes and all that. But I don't.

So two is what you get.

But don't you worry. I'll be back.


Nevermind, for now

I know I said I was going to share a few posts from others that really struck me, or however I phrased it.

And I still sort of am. But not what I originally intended.

Not making sense?

Good. Then my plan is working to perfection. Just kidding. Mostly.

I read this article last night and couldn't believe it.

Well, actually, I could believe it, but I never realized it.

Perhaps you are lazy and did not follow the link. You find yourself wondering, what exactly can she not believe?!

For one day only, I am going to be helpful and provide a little synopsis of the article for all you who couldn't be bothered to take the time to read the article.

(If that sentence wasn't an excellent use of the English language, I don't know what is.)

Okay, back to the synopsis.

1. Rudolph was created by a copywriter at a department store in 1939 for a coloring book. The text later was turned into a song. 2.4 million coloring books were given out the first year. (That's a lot of consumers to get ahold of.)

2. The green been casserole recipe was created for a 1954 Campbell's recipe book. Today 1 in 4 families each the dish at Thanksgiving. (Talk about mass consumption of cream of mushroom soup.)

3. Diamond engagement rings didn't become the norm until the after a 1939 campaign by a jeweler. The discovery of large amounts of diamonds in the 1890s had made the stone practically worthless. The acceptance and common practice ensured their value and a lack of reselling. Most people hold on to their rings forever.

4. In 1892 a candy company tried to convince consumers that giving candy as a gift on Valentine's day was much better than a card, as had been common practice. It worked. By 2004, more than 35 million boxes were being given on the holiday.

5. It wasn't until 1924 that anyone had even thought of wedding registry. Before that only close family and friends even gave presents to newlyweds. Thanks to department stores (specifically Marshall Field & Company) 96% of couples today register their wedding.

Glad to see that consumers are such easy targets, huh?

I'm never going to look at those little Valentine hearts the same again.


Guess who's back...back again...

Name that song.

Okay. Moving on. It's been quite a few days. No surprise there considering the time of year and all the madness that accompanies it.

I have about a million and twenty things to say, but instead what to share a few posts that other people have written recently that really struck a chord with me.

It just so happens that I might be related to (some of) them.

But before I get to that - expect another post in the near future - I want to give you a run down of what the heck has been going on with me.

First, the great snowstorm of 2008 appears to be over. The temperature is back in the 40s, where is should be, and snow is melting away. This means that the dog and I are actually able to get out and about. And we're loving every minute of it.

I have started my training! Phew. It was looking a little dicey there with missing materials, snow closures, and poor road conditions, but people came through to make it happen. So I'm slowly chipping away at the lessons. It'll be slow going 'til the fam and friends are back in school, but that's expected. Just don't be surprised if my typing turns weird every once in a while. I'm retraining the fingers with this program and may lose control every once in a while.

(If I never explained the job and train fully, I'll try to cover that in the coming weeks/months/days.)

Christmas was a wonderful, quiet holiday (besides the three dogs fighting for attention) with just the immediate family. It was also smaller than it's been in a while and without a tree. Luckily the mom came through with some decorations so the spirit came alive before C-day, but we settled for a Christmas kennel - thanks to Jamaica for her contribution - instead of a tree.

Otherwise not too much is going on. I have the chance to catch up with a few friends, which is always wonderful. I'm also continuing to plasma donation for as long as the veins, needles and I agree.

My life in a nutshell, I guess.

Boy, aren't you glad I took a whole post to tell you about it?!


Lacking Spirit

I don't know if you realize or not, but it's Christmastime.

In fact, it's Christmas Eve Eve. (I really wasn't sure what to do about capitalization in for that.)

Funny thing though. If you visited my family's house, you would never guess. There is not a Christmas decoration, twinkling light, or even wrapped presents in sight.

Apparently we are lazy. Or something.

We have purchase presents, but not a single one is wrapped which isn't surprising considering my family.

I mean, we tend to wrap birthday presents in grocery bags. Always have it seems like.

Anyways, back to our lack of Christmas. There are many reasons nothing has happened. And at this point, I can pretty much promise nothing much will happen - besides the present wrapping.

We will celebrate though. Not getting lots of stuff, or even something really expensive, but the birth of our Savior.

My faith isn't something I've talked about much on this blog. This hasn't necessarily been purposeful. Mostly I think I tend to pull my blogs from off the top of my head and spiritual thoughts are a little heavier, and tend to sink to the bottom.

If that makes sense.

Christmas is what I really consider the foundation of my faith. It's when Jesus was born, even if it wasn't in December all those years ago - that's not really the crucial part.

Nothing else about what I believe would be possible if he hadn't been born. And I have seen too much, experienced too much, been blessed with too much, not to believe.

I'm taking the next couple days off, but I just wanted to take this moment to wish you a very Merry Christ-mas. I hope that you are able to fully it enjoy it - whatever it might mean to you.

And I hope really and truly that you make it where you want to go for the holidays. This weather has been a beast.


That took too long.

I'm sure my readers are about as tired of hearing about the snow as they were about my unemployment, but I just have to get this off my chest.

I'm alone in a condo with a dog and I get tired of talking to her all the time. Wait, did I write that. I mean...

Anyways, to save you from hearing complaining, I'm just going to give you a blow-by-blow of my trip across town. That's right, across town. Keep in mind this usually takes about 15-20 minutes. It took me somewhere between 45-60 minutes.

9:35 p.m. - Dad drops me off at the grocery store at my car, since it wasn't able to make it up the hill to our house.

9:39 p.m. - After I clear the snow off my car, I get in and try to reverse. No dice. I try again and fail. I try to pull forward, but progress is impeded by a large pile of snow. I give up and resign myself to putting my chains on.

9:43 p.m. - I get the first chain on with out a hitch. The second chain is a little more difficult. I wrestle with it and fight the snow, but succeed.

9:49 p.m. - I make my way through the parking lot rather smoothly and decide that I'll go via freeway. Bad idea, the lack of snow makes the chains painful, but after all the struggle to get them on they're staying. I take the next exit off.

9:57 p.m. - My right chain, the difficult one, is not on tight enough and is creating loud annoying unnecessary noise. I have to stop and adjust. Dang it.

10:06 p.m. - I'm back on the road and stall for the first time. The combination of the snow, the chains, and my frustration is making my car even more temperamental than usual.

10:15 p.m. - I've made it most of the way across town at low speeds due to the chains. Then I stall for the second time. Awesome.

10:22 p.m. - I'm basically home, make it across a small drift into the parking lot only to realize that I should probably take the chains off. I'd hate to have rust problems.

10:29 p.m. - The chains are off, the parents have been called, and the dog has peed. I'm exhausted.

For the first time since I got my car, I'm missing the subaru.

Oh AWD (All-Wheel Drive, if you were confused), how nice you were.

Feeling a little confused

I know I've mentioned the state of the weather here at home a number of times (or maybe it was once or twice) over the past few days.

I just can't get over it.

It's just so weird, abnormal, out of place.

Normal winter weather patterns at home: snow followed within 24 hours with rain and highs of 40-50 degrees.

Current winter weather: it snowed over a week ago, hasn't been above freezing since and has continued to snow since.

We've probably gotten somewhere between a foot and a foot and a half. And in the real world, not this crazy White Christmas, Artic land, two inches is a lot over here. Enough to shut down school and send people to the store to stock up...just in case.


Not surprisingly, Lacey the Labrador is suffering from cabin fever. When the highs are so low and the snow is creeping higher, I've had trouble motivating myself to take her for walks or stand outside for long periods of time to play with her.

Sorry Lacey the Labrador!

On that note, I need to go layer up. Just looking outside makes me feel a little chilly. Shorts and a T aren't cutting it.


Can't get it back

I had put off grocery shopping since I started house/dogsitting. And, boy, do I regret it.

I headed off late this morning to load up on a few necessities and other things that looked yummy.

It was an absolute madhouse out there.

It's almost as if there's a snowstorm expected, Christmas is closing in, and the streets are finally (mostly) clear from the last storm. Almost.

Just finding a parking spot was ridiculous. Then I had to find a cart, which was no easy task. People were waiting by the doors to grab carts that were being dropped off. After wrestling a cart from the hands of a 90-year-old woman with a cane (not really, that was for dramatic effect) I set off to navigate the gridlock that was groceries.

I was so frazzled by it all that I didn't even get everything I set out for.

And it wasn't even just the grocery store. The roads were also ludicrous. (I totally used the thesaurus to avoid using ridiculous again. Oops, there it is.)

I am so exhausted that I have collapsed on the coach to veg out to some college basketball. In a few minutes, all will be right with the world.

For the first time this holiday season I cannot wait for Christmas to be over.

And I'm sad that I can't get those two hours of my life back.


Who, me?

My sister and I are lucky enough to have the same size feet. And both have a love for shoes. It works out pretty well for both us.

I realized today that this fact could come in handy in more than just sharing shoes.

What am I talking about?

Tricking the law.

Just in case we ever are forced to rob houses to put food on the table, I have a plan.

We're both going to wear our snow boots.


They are the same size, they have the same tread. Basically with any luck only one of would get arrested. And then we would both have food on the table.

What's family for other than to go to jail for each other?!

Now that's love.


Schemer or Survivor

For those two or three or four or handful of readers that actually follow my blog regularly, you've been with me through the ups and downs of this fall. With more downs and uncertainty than ups.

(If you aren't an avid reader, I am by no means offended. You just might be a little confused by my references to the past.)

Recently, if you recall, I announced that I had found a job. Yay! We all jumped for joy.

However, the job only starts after I complete the training, which is unpaid. (Bummer, I know.) So I am still finding myself a bit strapped for cash. Just the reality that most of the nation is facing.

(Speaking of which, Costco here in town lost $230,000 just by being open yesterday. No one want to venture out in the snow to spend money.)

I also mentioned a while back that I was scheming to deal with my cash flow issues. Seeing as I graduated from college last spring I know have loans payments, on top of my car payments and other monthly expenditures - which doesn't include rent; thank heavens for living with the parents.

(This story is taking forever to tell. I apologize. But I'm not fixing it.)

One of my schemes came to fruition today. Sorta. Plasma donation. I had my initial session today. All two and a half hours. What a glorious time. I actually found it strangely relaxing once I got through all the necessary screening.

And I found out that I am very healthy. Although I could probably do with a little more iron and a little less fat and sugar in my diet, but couldn't we all.

So now I am $20 richer. All my cash flow issues are solved.

Obviously. Onto the next scheme.


The Sky is Falling

I live in a place that doesn't really get much snow. We get the obligatory snowfall each year. People freak out, schools are cancelled and then it melts within 24 hours.

Story of my life.

Currently, though, we are mid snowstorm. The temperature hasn't been above freezing in days, which is a long time here. There was even green grass showing this morning, but no longer.

Lacey the Labrador and I are quite housebound, and a little confused by it all. Doesn't she look annoyed.

This snow stuff is blowing all over, it's cold - making me want to consume large quantities of hot soup and cocoa, and it's come to a place that isn't really prepared to deal with it. (I think we have two plows for the entire city - not a pretty picture)

Let's just say that school is out for the holidays. There's no way we'll be able to dig ourselves out in the next couple days.

Lacey the Labrador and I are headed to bunk down with the fam, so we can all go stir crazy together. Three dogs, five people - sounds like a recipe for...disaster? insanity? hilarity?

I don't know, but we're going to find out.


Hours of...

I spent way too much time watching TV today. This is the complete truth.

Part of me felt that I had abandoned my post as dogsitter extraordinaire this weekend and felt the need to stay with Lacey the Labrador all day long to make up for it. And then I finished the one book I had around ten o'clock this morning.

Added to that was the fact that the temperature was hovering around 0 degrees Fahrenheit with the windchill. No dog walking excursions outside, that was for sure.

The situation was dire, to say the least.

So I turned to the telly. And I suppose in its own way it did help me out.

I watched the end of a Can You Duet marathon on CMT. For those who are unaware this is a country singing competition for duos, in case the title didn't provide that info for you.

Maybe I can convince my sister to go try out with me.

I hit up TLC for some Jon & Kate Plus 8 action, as well as What Not To Wear. (although if you ask me Tim Gunn's Guide to Style is a much better show)

I checked out a few reused holiday specials on the Food Network.

I watched part of an episode of Trading Spouses, but didn't have the guts to stick it out to the end. In all honesty, the show kind of creeps me out. Don't ask me to explain it; I can quite put it into words.

CMT reminded me of my love for songs such as Chicken Fried (Zac Brown Band) and Feel the Fire (Dierks Bentley).

And when I finally went out into to public I was wearing boot cut wranglers with cowboy boots.

That doesn't really have anything to do with TV, but I thought I'd share it anyways. Hopefully tomorrow is just as successful.


Drift Away

My mom already blogged on our day's adventures here. But given the day, and more specifically, the morning that we had, I can't help share my own version of it.

Let me start by saying that a trip that took me just over six hours on Friday took almost ten hours today. That's right. Ten. Hours.

What happened?! Snowstorm 2008, as my dad said.

The snow itself wasn't that bad. But there was wind, and that means drifts. Only two slowed me down, but it was two too many.

I also managed to get someone into the ditch on the second drift. Hi-five for me.

The temperature was in the single digits, that's Fahrenheit people. And this is the genius to walk a mile or so without her coat and only a sweatshirt.

Sometimes I wonder if I'll make it to thirty. Really.

Luckily the rest of the trip went fairly smoothly. My aunt is, I'm assuming since I haven't heard otherwise, back home in SoCal. My mom and I are back in the Ham.

And I was ready to go to bed over an hour ago. It's 9:30.

The best moment of the not so fun adventure came when I was talking to one of the many locals I trapped with my car.

I asked an older gentleman how he was doing today.

His response:
"The same as every other day, just fantastic. Any day I wake is a great day!"

I should try that attitude out a little more often.



My cousin graduated today with her baccalaureate degree, and like the good and loving family we are, some of us sat through (at least part of) the ceremony.

All I have to say (besides congrats to her accomplishments - a B.A. in less than four years) is that how in the world did people survive before cell phones and text messaging.

Seriously. I'm not even joking.

Commencement speakers are always hit and miss, and unfortunately in my experience more miss than hit. But this one was not good, bad some might even say. We were lectured. All of us. Not encouraged, not given instructions for making our way in the world, no stories were told.

Nope. But I can tell you how and why the newspaper industry is struggling, and how we can help change that.

Of course, I studied communication some in college, so I could have told you most of it prior to today.

Luckily we all came prepared with our cell phones and spent the entire time texting each other.

I might have gone crazy otherwise.

Never before has the audience been so enthusiastic about getting to hear hundreds of names read.


Over the river and through the woods

Who spent over six hours alone in a car today? (My hand is raised.)

Who completely forgot to bring music? (My hand is still in the air.)

That's right. I spent hours in the car driving across the state with only the radio for company. Luckily, I didn't run out of radio stations, which is surprising considering I drove through the middle of nowhere.

I heard a whole spectrum of music, too. Soft rock, hard rock, classic rock, alternative rock, country, christian, latino, oldies, christmas. You name it, I heard it.

The only reason this was even an issue was the fact I was driving my parent's car. This was helpful when I had AWD over the snowy pass. But my car, Gweneth, has a nice stereo system that hooks up directly to my iPod. I've become pretty spoiled is what I'm saying.

I made it though, and I didn't go crazy.


Things are getting crazy

I started house/dogsitting today. Lacey the Labrador and I will be the best of friends for the next month or so.

It's a pretty sweet set up. I'm living in a retirement condo community, so it's going to get pretty crazy. I'll tell you what, you haven't partied 'til you've partied with the retired folks. It's off the hook.

Wait, did I really just use the phrase 'off the hook.' I don't know what came over me.

Anyways, Lacey the Labrador (she's actually a mix, but I like alliterations) is a pretty sweet dog. In every sense of the word sweet. So we should have a good time together.

Her parents headed off to Alaska - that's right, Alaska - to see their kids for the holidays. Personally, I think Lacey the Labrador got the better end of the deal. She doesn't have to fly, deal with the cold weather, or live in the darkness. And she gets me.

Lucky dog! (pun intended)

I'll be sure to keep you apprised of our adventures together. And maybe one of these days I'll actually include a picture or too. If I get around to it.


Everyday Surprises

I got some more cleaning and organizing done in my room today. It was quite exciting. Jackson and Jamaica were riveted. Or they were asleep on my bed.

What can I say, our dogs lead really rough lives.

Anyways, I sorted through makeup and jewelry and a few other random items.

And I was shocked to realize how much jewelry I have. Holy hosanna! It took me by surprise.

Not only do I have a lot of jewelry, but I have a lot jewelry that I have never even worn. While with clothes I tend to get rid of things that haven't been worn in a while, I can't quite bring myself to be as ruthless with jewelry.

Mostly, I think, because I like what I have and wish that I would wear it.

I also have quite a bit of makeup, but there were quite a few items that I just tossed. Let's just say that my makeup taste over the course of growing up has changed somewhat. I'll leave it at that.

It was kind of fun to look through everything. Kind of like shopping, but free.

And now I am one step closer to having my life organized.


A Helping Hand

It seems to me that the holidays bring out the best and the worst in people.

Maybe you never knew Aunt Mildred could eat an entire double batch of sugar cookies, until last week when you saw the massacre happen. (I don't have an Aunt Mildred; this example is purely fiction.)

On the other hand, Little Timmy spent his entire life savings to get his sister a new pair of shoes.

I don't know all the stories. I just make them up.

But really the holidays do that. Except for those individuals that are smart enough to go into hiding for the month of craziness.

Kids get greedy, or giving, parents get stressed, people plan and go on big trips, employees get trampled. It's just bonkers if you ask me.

Here's the thing. The Christmas that exists for most Americans is not a Christian holiday anymore; it's a consumer holiday. I mean, economists are banking on how much Americans spend, not on how much they pray.

People go into to debt to get themselves or someone else the latest 'it' thing. That is a completely different kind of heaven.

I remember a debate in one of my high school classes. Students were discussing whether or not adopting families for Christmas was an appropriate fundraiser for a public high school.

I get the issue. I believe that America was founded on the idea of equality, even if we seem to have confused the idea of equality for most of the countries history. I don't want to take away from, or belittle, or ignore that not everyone believes (or even doesn't believe) in the same thing.

But I also believe that the holidays provide an opportunity to help those in need. Perhaps, the only time some will accept some kind of help.

It's about giving a family a meal to eat and a few essentials they can afford to buy themselves. You can try handing that out in the middle of May, but I have a feeling it's not going to be received in quite the same way.

Let's help out our neighbor and create a spirit of giving, instead of a spirit of wanting.

Who's with me?


Fast Forward

I don't know if I've ever mentioned much about my grandmother - Grammacy, my mom's mom.

She has Alzheimers, but up until recently had been fading rather slowly. First she lost words, then had trouble reading, followed by not being able to read a clock or change the channel on a TV.

But just recently she took a huge turn for the worst. It started out with a fall down the stairs, apparently when she forgot what they were. That resulted in a dislocated ankle, broken in two places.

Unfortunately, this only seemed to accelerate the dementia. If she couldn't see the injured leg she thought people had taken it from her. Then she thought her bad leg was her brother and her good leg was her sister - Grammacy was an only child.

Today things went from bad to worse. While alone in her room, she tried to prove that she could walk. This resulted in a broken hip, the other leg.

Luckily my mother was already headed east to lend my aunt, who has been trying to handle the whole thing alone, a much-needed helping hand.

Things aren't good. It seems as if my aunt, now my mom, and the doctors and just trying to sick the fingers in the wholes my grandmother has sprouted.

Up until now the damage from alzheimers hasn't been so, well for lack of a better word, damaging.

It feels like someone hit fast forward on her illness and none of us know when the movie will end.


Sputter, sputter; cough, cough

Good news: I have started sorting through my stuff and getting rid of some of the unnecessary items.
Bad news: I kind of got distracted part way through the project and my room actually looks worse than when I started.

Good news: I also started organizing my blog today. I had done a terrible job of tagging posts so that they could be more easily identified later. I decided to fix that today.
Bad news: I didn't even make it through twenty posts before getting rather bored of the project.

Basically, I need to get my act together.

Now, what tag applies to this blog...


Exciting News

So I pretty much have a job. (I almost capitalized every word in that sentence, no idea why.)

I had a meeting today, not really a job interview, and the job is mine for the taking.

I have to be trained, so I won't really make any money the first couple months. I can handle it though.

I have plans. House/dogsitting, plasma donation, and whatever else comes my way. In March I'll mow nights and weekends again. So I'll make it.

I just have this to say.

I'm no longer unemployed!!!



I opened up my Powerbook today for the first time in months. I got a new Mac in September and since then my old G4 has been sitting on the back of desk unnoticed.

I had forgotten why I felt the need to get a new computer, but my G4 wasted little time in reminding me.

When it first turned on, years after I hit the power button, it informed me that there be some issues because the date was set prior to March 1, 2001. I have no idea what happened March 1, 2001, but apparently it was important.

This, of course, peaked my interest. What did my computer think the date was? December 31, 1969. Before it's birth, before my birth, before quite a few things really.

I carried on though. My first goal: blogging. I had started a post yesterday, but couldn't quite find my muse. I just knew I needed to say something.

Unfortunately, G4 decided that Google was not to be trusted. Didn't have the right paperwork filed or something.

It was quite the process. Let me tell you.

So G4 is possessed and really should go to computer heaven. It served me well and deserves to have all the memory and ram and amazing drives that it can dream of.

Me, I'm just hoping my brother's German project is completed soon so Macbook and I can be reunited.


Putting it Off

I have kind of been avoiding blogging. Right now you are probably asking yourself, 'but didn't you just blog yesterday?' I did.

But if you scan the post, you'll see that I didn't say much of anything.

Mostly I've been avoiding it because I feel like I'm waiting.

A job. A life. A direction.

My life is stalled. My days consist of hanging out on the couch with my mom and the novelty of it has worn off.

Granted there are things I could and should be doing. Like, ahem, the Ultimate Sort. It was supposed to start today, this great sort and elimination of my stuff. And by start I mean that I put some clothes away. It's important not to rush the process.

So I'm waiting. The good news is this is a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel, but I'm not talking about it for fear of jinxing the possibility.

And I have some big plans for the coming weeks. House/dogsitting - I'll introduce you to that later. A little more Christmas shopping and preparation. Various schemes that I have cooked up in my spare time, like falling in love with a rich man so I can stop worrying about a job.

Daydreaming is hard work, I don't care what you say.

But mostly I've been and will probably continue to wait. The question is, for what?