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.

June 14, 2014

You guys?! Guess what I found?!

As I was driving through a neighborhood that I pass through once or twice a week, I spotted something new.  And magical!  (At least to me)

This is NOT the one I saw.  I stole  borrowed this from here.

A LITTLE FREE LIBRARY!!

Ever since I've heard about these I've been wanting to stumble across one.  And make one.  Or thirty.

You all know how much I love to read.

I had been to their website and knew that we had a few in town; but didn't seek any of them out, because I wanted to "stumble across one."  And I did.  And It.Made.My.Day!!

Unfortunately, I didn't have time to stop.  But today, I made my way there...on purpose.  I left off some books to be passed on.  I didn't take any, but one day soon, I'm sure I will.

As I said, ever since I've heard about these I've wanted one.  But our last house was on a busy road and it wasn't safe.  Here, we are renting and I don't think the owner would approve.

But I'm wondering if I could slip one past the Homeowner's Association in one of the public areas...if I didn't register it, they'd never know it was me...unless they read my blog (doubtful).

I know, without a doubt, that our next house will be sporting one of these.  And, if I can figure out a way to sprinkle these all over town - I would.  It's a fabulous idea.  Take a book...leave a book.

June 11, 2014

I've always suspected but now I know....

Our receptionist is one of the nicest people in the world.  Really.  BUT...in the many years that I have been with this company I have always been of the opinion that she sends crazy phone calls to random departments just to screw with us.

Today, I discovered that this, is in fact, the truth.

Every time I see a phone call being transferred from the front desk to either my line or my one of my bosses lines, I know it's going to be a doozy.  See my last post about random phone calls from the front desk...

But, as I mentioned earlier, today I have the proof.

Today, I received a call from the mail room.  Remember that...it's an integral part to this story.

The guy from the mail room started off the conversation with this...

"So-n-So sent this call to me; so I'm sending it to you..."

I headed him off at the pass.  Because with an opening like THAT, I KNEW this was a call I DID NOT want to take - particularly considering that it was almost 4:30 pm.  Everyone knows that after 4:30 pm no real work is getting done, if you can avoid it.

I asked what they wanted.  And he informed me that this was an individual who was NOT HAPPY.  And that if we didn't give him money he was going to sue...  What is it with these people?  Do they think we sit here and write out handsome checks to people just because they utter the word lawsuit?

I informed the mail room guy that he should tell the guy to call his lawyer.  Because, honestly?  It really isn't my job to help some random person sue the company that I currently WORK FOR.

Two minutes later, I received another call from the mail room...this time asking me if I knew John Doe?  Basically, playing the "Don't you know who I am?!" card.  I replied that I damn sure did not and, to be clear, I didn't care.

After that the phone was quiet.  And then, after thinking about the situation, the truth became glaringly obvious.  The receptionist IS screwing with us all.  Because WHY, in God's name, would you send someone who is screaming "lawsuit" to the mail room and not the Legal Department?