July 28, 2014

Call me optimistic...it's better than calling me delusional

As the date for Man-Child's return to college nears, I have found myself buying various items for his apartment.

I FINALLY got a list of the items his room mate will be bringing...it basically boils down to a toaster, a sofa and a table.

Not quite the bounty that Man-Child had led me to believe.  Until I can get into the apartment to see what kind of space I have to work with (hopefully one day this week), I'm holding off on the larger items needed (dresser, bed, etc.).

To say that Man-Child has absolutely NO interest in decorating his apartment; much less outfitting it, is an understatement.  Once I realized that, and acknowledged it, I was able to shake off any indecisiveness that I may have had regarding buying things like dishes, flatware, glasses, etc.  He just doesn't care.  I could buy him a purple and green paisley shower curtain and pair it with yellow and orange striped towels and he wouldn't even notice this hideousness of this combination.

(Let's not even THINK about all the stuff I gave to Goodwill that he could  have used when we moved!  NO.  We will NOT think about that...dammit, if only I could have foreseen the future...we could have easily supplied him with most everything he will need!  But NO!  We aren't THINKING of that....*sigh*)

Today, in a fit of optimism, I bought him cleaning supplies.  Yes, I know.  I KNOW! I am deluding myself to think that he will use these supplies on a regular - or even irregular - basis.  But I remain hopeful.  I have been hammering home the fact that he will be ON HIS OWN.  And he will need to TAKE CARE of his abode - particularly since we would LOVE to get our deposit back.

But considering that his bedroom currently looks like it was ransacked by DEA Agents in pursuit of finding the drug kingpin's stash.  And his bathroom?  UGH.  Actually, I don't even want to TRY to string together the words that would describe his bathroom...because the situation is THAT disgusting.

Yeah, I know...I AM delusional. *sigh*

Further adding to my delusion?  That I'm determined to send those supplies.  And will demand that he use them.  Often.  Or, at the very least, frequently.

Yeah, I know....

Those cleaning supplies will NEVER get used.

Dammit...

July 23, 2014

So, what keeps you amused and inspired during that LONG eight hour day?

The day in and day out drudgery of work.  Oh sure, I like my job - quite a lot, actually - but the whole get up early, get dressed and go out to interact with people five days a week part?  That part doesn't appeal to me as much as you might think.

So in an effort to keep myself amused and coming back every day, I have accumulated a few things, as one does when living in an office by day, that make me smile whenever I see them throughout the day.

Like this little guy...



Now, ordinarily, I'm not a "gnome" person.  Oh sure, I have ceramic toadstools and other little things that hang out in my yard (when I HAD a yard);  but gnomes aren't a part of my collection.  Usually they don't appeal to me.  But *this* little guy?  He makes me smile every time I see him.  Particularly, when I find him fallen off his perch and in the dirt.  How he lands in the dirt EVERY TIME - and not shattering himself on the credenza - I don't know.  It must be part of the gnome magic.

And that little guy behind him?  The one you can barely see?

He is like a metronome.  His little head goes back and forth all day long.  And the complete phrase that he is standing upon?  "I'm in my worry free zone."

Okay; fine!  Here's what he looks like in all his glory...

Why yes, that IS a sandal-shaped notepad behind him.


And then, there is always THIS guy...he NEVER fails to make me smile when he catches my eye.



He's a little Martian-type guy with a magnetic head to hold onto his "hair".  I call him my Google Guy; since Google is imprinted upon his tummy.

And then there is this whole menagerie of creatures...

Yes, the photos in the background are included in the menagerie of "creatures."  

The unopened can of Diet Coke?  Yeah, I can't even remember WHY it's there.  The mug with the phrase, "I've got an attitude and I'm not afraid to use it" is to remind others not to bother me before I've had my coffee...and even then...to tread carefully, as I don't have time for the asinine.

In addition to the things that make me smile, several quotes can often be seen floating around my cubicle.

Like those that remind me to have fun...

"I miss recess" which is a little Nigglywiggly from a random Hershey's Kiss that I came across once.  I loved it so much I taped it to one of my walls.

I also have quotes scribbled on Post-It Notes that remind me to be kind.  Such as this one...

"Kindness is in our power, even when fondness is not." -- Samuel Johnson

I don't remember where I came across that one - but it struck a chord.  A deep chord.  Particularly in the workplace...where I often come across people that I'm not fond of, unfortunately.  So, the reminder is nice.

Taking a little tour of my desk, every once in awhile, and remembering how and why I have that tiara or the shoe tape dispenser...or the Google guy, for that matter, never fails to bring a smile.

So...what about you?  What do you keep at your desk that makes you smile, reminisce or inspires you?

July 7, 2014

How do you DO conversation? No, really. HOW?

My dad just called to wish me a Happy Birthday.  For tomorrow.  He figured since he wouldn't be home tomorrow, he'd call today.

My birthday isn't tomorrow.  But, he gets points, just the same.  He remembered the correct month.

All this just brought back the memory of him signing me up for the lone season that I played baseball on a team.  As he was filling out the paperwork, he looked up and asked me what my birth date was - I was shocked.  HOW could he not KNOW this?  The date of birth of his only daughter?!

Looking back, I can see how it happened.  Hell, I can barely remember how old I am these days; so now I know why so many women declare themselves 29, year after year...it's because they aren't quite sure exactly how old they really are and the effort of doing the math is just too much.

My dad and I aren't as close as I wish we were.  I know he loves me and he knows that I love him; but conversationalists, we are not.

I also know that we are two peas in a pod.  According to my mother, I look like him and that used to tick her off to no end after they were divorced.  Particularly, if we were not seeing eye to eye at a particular moment and then she would declare, "MY GOD!  You look JUST like your father right now!"

I've also discovered another way in which we are alike.  We aren't good at "chit-chat."  I don't call him as often as I should because of this (and, there is the fact that I'm not really a fan of talking on the phone these days...I have a feeling he isn't either); because it's physically PAINFUL to try and carry on a conversation between the two of us.

As he is now retired and living on his own - he doesn't have any day to day to experiences to relate.  When I ask what he's been up to, his reply, invariably is "Nothing.  Just sitting around."  To say that he isn't living up to his potential for a man his age is an understatement.  But, considering his health issues, I suppose I can understand.

When he asks how we are doing, I invariably reply "Fine.  Nothing going on around here.  Just going to work and coming home."

The conversation then devolves into talking about the weather...*sigh*

Did you know, that where he lives, there hasn't been any rain in several weeks?!  And that's it's HOT?!

Even if he watched much television, we couldn't talk about that - as I don't watch much either.

And then there are the long silences, as we both struggle to come up with SOMETHING to talk about.

It's painful, y'all.  Very, very painful.

So tell me, all you extroverts...how do you do it?  How do you chit-chat?  No, really.  Tell me.  How do you start, and keep, a conversation going?  Because I'm here to tell you - a conversation between two introverts is pretty much nonexistent.



July 6, 2014

Setting up house...

As most of you may remember, Man-Child will be living off campus in the coming school year.

While I AM happy to report that he was able to find housing and a roommate before I finished hyperventilating over the fact that he'd missed the housing deadline and before I had to step in to figure it out...I have to admit the whole thought of him living off campus gives me pause.  Mainly because, even though he IS in college and is ALMOST twenty (hyperventilating again...HOW in the hell did THAT happen?!), it's that first HUGE step into adulthood...living on his own without a meal plan, etc.

And then?  Then I looked up and it was already July (HOW in the hell did THAT happen?!) and realized...he will be going back to school in about a month...already (I'd add another "HOW in the hell did THAT happen?!" here - but that would be overkill.  Right?)  And then further realized, he is in no way, shape or form, armed to live off campus.

No.  I'm not too concerned about the possibility of his starving.  Although, I do believe his cooking skills might rival mine (although, to be fair, he has been having sporadic cooking lessons with his father.  In the meantime, I have not.  So he's probably further along than I am at this point).  I am positive of the fact that he is perfectly capable of taking himself off to someplace that serves food.

No; today it dawned on me.  Not living in a dorm = needing more stuff.

Yes, he has sheets and towels.  He has a shower caddy.  He has a microwave.  He is perfectly outfitted for living in a dorm.  What he doesn't have?  Everything else.

I remember moving into my first apartment.  I, literally, had nothing.  No furniture. No kitchenware (not that I really needed any - and still don't, apparently).  I had no inkling what went into setting up house.  I bought what I needed as I went along - when I could afford it.

That is definitely not the start I want for my son.  He has assured me he has a bed.  But other than that?  Nothing.  And, to be honest, I'm not too sure about the whole bed thing.  He says his roommate has a bunk bed set and will let him use the one he's not using. He also claims that he has some other furniture - but what, I'm not quite clear on.

So now I'm making lists and trying to remember what it was like to figure out what was necessary and what wasn't.

Plates.  Silverware.  Glasses.  Pots. Pans. Vacuum cleaner, broom, mop, toilet brush (hahaha - like he'd actually USE any of it?). What else?  Shower curtain.  That one, I recall, DID surprise me.  For some reason, it had never occurred to me that showers didn't come with shower curtains (or necessarily, rods).  God, I was SO naive and clueless.  Looking back, it's a miracle I've made it this far in life...

So today I took a drive out to Ikea to see what I could see.  And discovered he needs EVERYTHING.  Upon my return (with only two bath mats...which are intended for this household, I might add *small pat on the back for frugality*), I have instructed Man-Child to reach out to his roommate to find out EXACTLY what he will be bringing.  I then told Man-Child that we need to take a trip up the mountain in the next couple of weeks for measuring, etc.  And then we will be taking another trip to Ikea to round out his needs.

I have also determined that Ikea needs to be much closer than an hour and a half drive from my house.  And upon second thought - maybe it IS a good thing that they are an hour and a half drive from my house.

So what say you?  What am I forgetting?

July 2, 2014

I can't even come up with a title for this...

It's finally happened...we knew it was bound to happen...eventually.

The boy has found my blog.  Well, technically, he has found out the title to my blog.  Which means, shortly, he will be reading my blog (until his eyes cross from the utter boredom of it all and he wanders away).  Luckily, for me, he was unable to actually Google my blog at the time.  Perhaps he was distracted by someone until it was time for him to leave for an appointment...

At any rate, he's gone - for now. But he'll be back eventually.  Because he is curious about whether or not he makes a regular appearance here.  So, here's the deal.  He doesn't.  That's our story and we are sticking to it.

The boy is actually quite the contributor at a very successful sports blog-type place on his own.  I've read his stuff and must say I'm quite impressed; even though I really don't understand the content about the game, I am able to appreciate his ability to research his topics and express his thoughts and opinions so clearly.  I, of course, take full credit for that.  Since he's mine, I'm allowed to do that, you know.

I, of course, have been blogging here fairly regularly (I use that term quite loosely since lately, it's been few and far between) for quite some time now.  Anonymously.  And have come to appreciate having this space to share my thoughts and opinions.  But more than that, I have come to appreciate and value the friendships that have been borne from this humble space.

He can't understand why I don't want to "share" my writings with him.  It's not that I don't want to share.  It's more along the lines of this is MY space.  And, there is a fair share of embarrassment.  And there is another fair share of "I really don't want people I know to see this" because, from the beginning, I have kept a sharp line between In Real Life and my online life.  Not because I'm being ugly or hateful about the people in my Real Life - but because I don't want to have to censor myself.

If I have to worry about censoring (even more than I already do) then there isn't much point to doing this, in my opinion.  Which is why I have this irrational fear (as if it will ever happen) that one of these days one of my posts might go "viral" - because, God forbid, should that happen then things would have to change.

So, my dear son, here's the deal - if you are reading this (and I'm fairly certain you will be); know this...it's MY space.  And I want to keep it anonymous...so no sharing with your friends or anyone we know.  If you want to stop by, on occasion, feel free.  But, you must realize, that you may occasionally make an appearance here - mainly because I love you to the ends of the earth and back; because I am SO proud of you and your accomplishments to date; and because occasionally you say or do something that makes me laugh so hard, that I can't help sharing.

And if you ARE going to be stopping by here to see what I'm up to - feel free to comment, if you desire.  But remember, it's anonymous, so choose your "handle" wisely.

And, by the way?  I love you.

June 23, 2014

Annoyances (aka #firstworldproblems)

Yeah, yeah, I know...#firstworldproblems.  Be that as it may, it's still annoying...

The past few days have been filled with a few of these pesky, irritants.  I'm going to give you a sample of what has been annoying me lately.  You're welcome.

1.  Idiots, who obviously should NOT have EVER been given a driver's license in the first place, that can't figure out the rules of a three way stop.  Why is this annoying?  Because EVERY.SINGLE.TIME. that I come across this particular intersection, I am very nearly killed.  It has reached the point, that I am seriously considering erecting a large sign in the median that states "No, you DO NOT have the right of way, idiot."

2.  The newspaper.  Yes, I know.  HOW can a newspaper annoy me?  To clarify, the newspaper itself is not annoying me (well...to be fair, yes.  It sometimes does annoy me.  But that's another story for another day).  No, it's the staff at this particular newspaper.  As we all know, I prefer to start my mornings quietly.  With a cup of coffee and the paper.  Granted, I usually skim most of it to get to the Life section and the crossword.  Then - out of the blue - it stopped coming.  So I logged on to the website and clicked on the "I didn't get my paper delivered link."  In the past, I usually receive a response fairly quickly.  I got nothing.  The next day?  Same thing.  Finally, on the third day, I received a response.  This one, rather than rectifying the problem told me to call the office.

Well, we all know me.  I made my husband call.

Apparently, the bill hadn't been paid...BUT, this has become an issue for the paper as the bills were now coming from a new payment center and customers were throwing away the bills, thinking they were junk.  But, they promised, they would restore service and send us a new bill.  Well, they fulfilled half their promise.  The paper resumed service.

For about a week or two.  And then it stopped again.  My long suffering husband once again called.  And once again, they promised to re-bill us.  And then nothing.

Today, I sent an email to both the Business Manager and the Circulation Manager.  They have promised that, after calling my husband and accepting payment over the phone, the issue is resolved.  We shall see.

I have the publisher's email address...just in case.  I have no problem escalating this to the very top, if I have to...I NEED my morning routine...just ask my long suffering husband.

3.  I bought a new shirt on Sunday.  Usually, this is a cause for celebration, no?  I was happy with the shirt (something rare these days, as most of the stuff I find in the store is hideous) AND the price.  But, upon returning home, I discovered that the clerk had neglected to remove the security tag.  *sigh*  That, of course, meant a return trip today - on my lunch hour - to have them remove it.

4.  Blogger.  Honestly.  I logged on this morning - since I didn't have my PAPER - only to discover that the only thing I could see on my dashboard was the most recent post from one of the many people I follow.  I fired off a tweet - but, of course, Blogger never responded.  I had hoped that someone at Google would take pity on me and have this issue fixed by the time I got home.  But, of course, they hadn't.  This evening I clicked on the "Send Feedback" button but I really don't think that will help.

So in the meantime, I will have to click on each and every individual blogger to see if anything new has posted. *MAJOR sigh*

(As a side note - is anyone else who utilizes the Blogger dashboard experiencing this problem?  No?  Is it just me?)

As I stated at the beginning - yes, these are #firstworldproblems.  But nonetheless, they ARE fairly annoying.

June 22, 2014

Maleficent...from my point of view

When I first saw the trailers for Maleficent, I knew this was a movie I wanted to see.

Unfortunately, my usual movie date (my son) was not as interested as I.  Of my back up movie dates, one was out of town and the other not so interested either.

Eventually, I wore Man-Child down (after reminding him of all the mindless, inane movies that were targeted to the tween boy demographic that I had attended with him) and today he agreed to go.

As, I'm sure you've heard by now, this is the story of Sleeping Beauty from a different viewpoint. After watching the movie, I realized I couldn't quite remember WHY Maleficent was so spiteful as to curse an innocent child in an effort to hurt the parents (remember, I had a boy-child; so I didn't re-see all the Disney princess movies/stories.  In this house it was more along the lines of Peter Pan, etc.).  So away to Google I went.

I read a couple of different versions but the premise was pretty much the same...because she wasn't invited to the christening in the first place.  Definitely NOT a good reason to curse a child, but unfortunately, both in fairy tales and real life, there are people who are that spiteful.

In THIS version, I can almost agree with why she cursed the child.  A woman done dirty is one thing.  To strip the very essence of who that woman was is another.  And to do so for power and glory?  Inexcusable.

And, as we all know, hell hath no fury as a woman scorned (and disfigured)....

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this movie.  Man-Child wasn't as enthusiastic about it as I; but has conceded that "it was good."  High praise, indeed.

So, in my opinion, if you are even a little curious about this movie, go see it.  Unless you are a Disney purist.  If you are, then you probably won't like it.  At all.