Welcome to my wonderful, terrible, soap opera sit-com world.
Friday, March 31, 2006
True story. So yesterday, we were under a tornado warning for most of the state for most of the day. About 50 miles north of here, they were watching some forming tornadoes and predicting half-dollar size hail in Stillwater.
It misted and drizzled on and off for a good part of the day.
At about 2:30pm I was on the phone with a client when it suddenly sounded like someone was throwing handfuls of gravel at my window. I turned around and it was raining - SIDEWAYS - HARD - into the windows. A sudden downpour of what looked like pebbles.
This went on for about two minutes. High winds continued after the rain went away for about another 10 minutes.
By 3:00 when S. got off work, the sun was shining.
Today, it is completely clear, it is beautiful out, and I have all the windows open.
Thursday, March 30, 2006
So instead of getting a refund, we are applying that to my first estimated tax payment.
Yeah, that's about it.
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Lately, hits per day: 85.
Yesterday's hits: 185.
After getting lectured by my husband, I have to welcome the cruisers with open arms. I write so people can read it, I write for myself, nothing has to change, blah, blah, blah, he said some other stuff but I was too busy freaking out to have listened to every word he had to say.
Then I drank a bunch of wine and completely forgot about why I was freaked out.
So good morning, my friends. Talk quietly. I have a headache.
Monday, March 27, 2006
Someone who I like very much, whom I know from the cruise forum I have written about here previously, was doing a little creative cruise-ship googling.
And they googled the Conquest.
And they found this place.
And they posted the link.
And like 30 people have come here.
My worlds are colliding, albeit in a fairly inconsequential way.
But if anyone from the cruise forum is reading this, um, hi!
Sunday, March 26, 2006here. We'd love to have you.
This week's topic is "Congratulations."
When I was younger, I had a plan for my life. It was a meticulous and well-thought-out plan with many facets and "plans B and C" in case "Plan A" did not work out exactly as projected. It was based on my ability and my drive and my focus on shaping my life up, and was designed to keep me on the straight and narrow and focused on what I thought were the most important things in my life.
The plan was:
Graduate from college (22 years old)
Get married (don't get married until a college grad, so if anything didn't work out then I could support myself)
Have kid #1 by the time I was 25-26
Have kid #2 by the time I was 27-28
Be "back to work" in a corporate setting by the time I was 30
Live happily ever after.
Anybody who has read this blog for longer than two seconds will know what is wrong with this picture. I am a college graduate (age 22). I got married (age 26). I got divorced (age 31). I got remarried (age 33). There's no mention of any children in that scenario, which isn't even plan J or plan M or plan Q or plan W. But it was never right. I knew in my heart to trust that I'd know when it was right. My first husband was a dipshit, and it was never right. My second husband is amazing, and it is finally right. So at age 36, we are on our way back onto plan... probably somewhere around E, F or G.
And yet, I have always been surrounded by people who were pregnant. I've been to many baby showers, of the in-person variety and of the cyber-variety. I've seen friends of mine get blessed with the gift of little ones, expected and unexpected, and I've watched their hearts swell to three times the size just to accommodate all the love they have for their babes.
I have always secretly hoped there was, in fact, "something in the water" and I might "unexpectedly" wind up pregnant. Although if something unexpected were to happen to me (the queen freak of all control freaks), I think my head would explode.
About nine months ago, my cousin got married. My cousin is a month younger than me. He is the man who sold cocaine to my ex-husband under the guise of "playing basketball." He is the man who benefited from the demise of my first marriage. He is the man who looked me in the face at multiple family occasions while I would calmly and quietly try to avoid questions about "how everything is going," becuase I couldn't tell them we were $20,000 in debt and that my ex-husband had lost yet another job for failing a drug test, and just smile and nod while knowing that a lot of my money was going straight into his pocket. He is the man who I had to call on the phone one day and tell him that I thought he was a lying sack of shit, and that if he ever so much as spoke to my husband (at the time) again, I would call the police on him and get him sent to prison for dealing narcotics. He is the man who lied to his first wife and bought a boat, kept it at someone else's house, and while he was snorting half their money (and mine) up his nose in cocaine, was making boat payments with the other half. He's the first cousin to get divorced. He's the one who has held multiple, questionable jobs, and has partied like he was 23 years old well into his 30s. That cousin.
Two weeks after they got married, after the actual wedding ceremony (which I was able to miss becuase we had moved to Oklahoma), he announced to the family that his new bride was pregnant (supposedly on the honeymoon). And my family has been doting about his upcoming offspring, cooing and oohing and ahhing about how great it is going to be to have another grandchild/great grandchild around, and frankly, wondering if being a father was going to finally be enough to make him straighten himself out.
The baby was born last week, and I got a phone call. Apparently it's a boy, he seems to be (mostly) healthy (some minor complications due to the mother not taking very good care of herself while she was pregnant), and that the mother is also doing okay but is being observed carefully. They speculate that everything's going to be fine. Everyone wants to believe they're going to try to be good parents. And that they're going to do the right thing. And slow down their partying lives. And actually act like, well, parents. They hope so, anyway.
And now today, as I sit here with the cramps of another menstrual period coming on, craving something salty and crunchy and trying not to be a freaked out, hormonal emotional wreck; as I look at a couple of period-related pimples that have sprouted on my chin and glance at the calendar, and as I look at the unused pregnancy test that I had hoped to use today, all I can do is write a card that says, "Congratulations."
Thursday, March 23, 2006
1) American Idol. Although I didn't believe Kevin would make it to the end, as my loving husband said last night, "The fact that Bucky is still there proves Oklahomans are voting for American Idol." I'm sorry, that hillbilly huckleberry has got to go.
Oh my god. This television show is going to be the fucking best television show on the air, on any channel, of any time, of any year, ever. EVER, I TELL YOU.
Did anyone watch it? Do I need to explain it here? Oh my god. This is going to be insane. It's a lot to explain and I'm tired, but I'll come back and do it if someone doesn't know what it's about.
UPDATE: HERE IS WHAT IT'S ABOUT.
9 people sign up for a reality game show, they don't know what it is. They are led into a bunker underground. No windows. No clocks. No cameramen (only remote cameras and robot cameras and hidden cameras).
They get their watches taken away.
They're asked to sit around a table and they get told that the reason why they're there, is that they are able to win $1,500,000.00. Only one of them can win it, and "all they have to do" is have a unanimous vote about who the money gets given to. But they can't leave this underground bunker with zero outside contact to the regular world, until someone wins. Then he tells them that if anyone LEAVES THE BUNKER, the money instantly gets cut in half. (Implied: for every person taht leaves the bunker, the money gets cut in half again)
So they all start to freak out. And then they're told to start to get to know each other, so people start lying about shit (one guy is lying, saying he's suffering from testicular cancer and has no health insurance, so that's why he needs the money) etc.
Now, here's where it gets fucked up.
They're asked to make their first vote. Of course, it is not unanimous.
So the host comes on the screen and says, "You failed to complete your mission and reach your goal, and there are consequences." A box of folders comes up, each one holds a "secret" that "you wouldn't want any of the other participants to know." All the secrets are anonymous. They have to pick three and read them. And then they have to decide as a group, which secret is so heinous that they would choose that person to remove them from the competition. So they start reading secrets.
One of them filed for bankruptcy with a combined yearly income of over $100k.
One of them was a patient in a mental ward.
One of them was "detained by authorities for carrying live ammunition."
So then it ends for the night, while they are deliberating who gets "kicked off," but it gives us a peek of next week:
1) turns out, whoever gets removed from the competition STILL HAS TO LIVE IN THE BUNKER -- their vote counts, but they can't win. They still have to stay there (or the $$ goes down by half when they leave) and vote to give the money to someone else. Which means, after the group has turned on someone and chosen them to be not worthy of winning, they now have to convince them to stay to protect the pot.
2) In an effort to "encourage" them to come to a decision quicker, with every SECOND they are in the bunker w/o a unanimous decision, the amount of money decreases. We don't know if it's a penny a second (which would be about 695 hours total, or a month in the bunker) or more than that.
Couple that with the deliberate positioning of people who are guaranteed to be volatile -- a gay guy vs. a preacher, for example -- and these psychos are going to want to kill one another.
My new favorite show.
3) Chef's Return to South Park -- this was comedy gold. "We shouldn't hate Chef for leaving us. We should hate the gay little club for scrambling his brain."
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Monday, March 20, 2006
Tsssss, as if you've never done it.
But when S. came home last night from the Commissary, he came home with a pint bottle of creamer.
I have sworn off liquid creamer, too many calories.
Now, I can't pass it up.
International Delight makes Hershey Chocolate Caramel creamer. 40 calories for a serving.
I'm gonna have to find a way to work that into my points.
I'd give you a link but it's so goddamned new there's no link.
I'm still sick, I feel like hell, and I'm working.
On with what is actually last week's topic, which is "Messages." I'm late to the party.
Our relationship has always been an odd one. Good, but odd. We met at 1:00 a.m. in a Yahoo! Paganism chat room. We sent e-mails back and forth for a week before he got up the gumption to ask me out on our first date.
We spent hours on the phone -- but we also spent hours over IM, sending messages back and forth to one another. Cell phone text messages. Voice mail messages. Handwritten notes. You name it, we've done it.
No instant, or any other, message has changed my life quite like this one:
Him: so about this getting married thing. Do you want to?
Sunday, March 19, 2006
I'm sick, and I WORKED FOR FOUR HOURS TODAY because I am a fucking idiot.
I'm a sucker for deadlines, and couldn't not live up to one I said I'd meet.
In other news, I have so much work Monday-Wednesday of this week I don't imagine I will get to take any time off to rest.
S. went to the Commissary without me today, leaving me home to rest, work, work on some Pork Soup (had leftover rib bones from some country-style ribs that I only wanted for the tender meat a couple weeks ago, and had frozen them -- baked them in the oven until brown and delicious and have had them on the simmer with stock fixins... bought some beautiful pork loin for $2.75/lb from the Asian supermarket yesterday and am going to cube that and add it to the soup in a little while).
He brought me home orange juice. And microwave popcorn. And since he's heading back out for a last minute errand, he's going to bring me a 20-ounce bottle of Coke. I only crave Coke when I'm sick. I don't know why.
I can't stop sneezing, my head feels like it has 25 bricks in it, I can't even smell my soup (though I've been told it smells great). Time to go sit on the couch and sip some orange juice, take another decongestant, and moan.
Friday, March 17, 2006
Growing up in my German/Polish/Basque family, we still always had corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick's Day. So, do you think I am carrying on that tradition?
We didn't even go to the commissary this week. Sometimes we can get away with that -- the pantry is just full enough of stuff, that you know, I can cook during the week without a trip for much else besides milk and/or some vegetables. But I had a crapload of frozen veggies in the freezer this week, so that solved that problem.
Last night, what did we do for dinner?
Last night, we went down to the apartment office, ate Green Eggs and Ham (with biscuits and jelly) with our fellow residents at a Resident Appreciation gathering, and drank free Irish beer. The good stuff. Harp and Guinness, thankyouverymuch. I think S. is going to go down there this afternoon and ask them if they need any help getting rid of the "leftovers," as there were quite a few Guinness in the fridge when we left the party, without many more folks indulging.
Tonight, we will EITHER be going out to have some Thai food with FaerieLady, although that might be tomorrow, OR we will scrounge around and try to find something we can eat since I did not get off my duff to prepare an Irish feast.
But I'm a Kraut-Polock, so I can't be expected to adhere to all of these Irish rules and regulations, yo.
In other news, I have been translating Spanish all week. So, my brain is much. Jello. Mashed potatoes. Thankfully I am doing some English transcription this morning so I can get back up and running. Doing the Spanish makes me the cashola, certainly, but it turns me into a vegetable. That's a lot of thinking to do in an 8-10 hour workday.
S. went to the chiropractor and his back is feeling MUCH BETTER. I am just hoping my back strain goes away, and it is doing, um, better. My pinched nerve, though, has completely disappeared, it seems.
I scored a couple of new clients locally for my resume business (have I told you that I used to type/consult about resumes? $25.00 for a resume re-do. E-mail me.) and hopefully that will get me a little bit of word-of-mouth for that.
Tomorrow, we get to go to the Super Cao Nguyen Asian market because S. is out of his energy drink, I am out of fresh Asian produce, and I am determined to get ahold of a bunch of Dim-Sum specialites out of their frozen/refrigerated aisles so I can make our own little Dim Sum night here at the apartment.
And! We are meeting some friends for Dim Sum! Tomorrow! At 11:30! I am very excited!
Overall it's been a good week. The seedlings are doing well -- I can now tell "by smell" which herbs ar oregano, bail, and sage. I am frustrated in that my cilantro has not yet sprouted, and I really need it to take off. So I think I will be planting more cilantro. I am all about the Cilantro.
I also need to get my lavender plant to come back from the dead (not bloody likely) and wish my mint would take a little better root and send some shoots up above ground. Is it too much to ask? Isn't it Spring yet? The BEER is green, for chrissakes, why can't my garden be?
Big Irish Blarney-stone kisses to everyone! Mwah!
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Shanna already wrote about this, cuz she was "there when it happened," so I am going to follow her lead. She said a lot of things in what I think was the best way possible, so I'm gonna cut-and-paste some of her entry into mine in the interest of quickness. Love ya, sister.
Instant Messenger Phishing Scam Alert
A couple of days ago I was minding my own business, when I got a fairly random message from someone in my buddy list that I hadn't heard from in a while. The message said:
ok everyone I uploaded a few pics to this geocities site http://www.geocities.com/theserealpictures please go take a quick peek ty 1736
In IM, it's a happy little world. In general, there haven't been any IM viruses, worms, or anything that would "make" someone else write you something they didn't want to write you. And because I hadn't talked to this person in quite a while, I thought maybe there were some life updates. So, I clicked on the link.
When I got there, I could see the Geocities URL but it suggested i needed to sign into Yahoo! Photos, to be able to see the pictures in question. I put in my username and p-word, and nothing happened. So I messaged my friend back and told her that I couldn't log in to see her pictures. "What?" was the reply. I asked her if she had sent me that link, she said no, but that Yahoo had been acting flaky for her (doesn't it act flaky for all of us at one time or another?) So, we just mutually figured it was a Yahoo burp and went on about our day.
I was chatting with Shanna via Yahoo! Messenger yesterday when something odd happened.
I had been working, doing some other things, when suddenly, my Yahoo! messenger told me, "You have logged out, becuase you have signed in at another location." When I came back, and logged back on, 5 people paged me and told me they were "trying to see my pictures, but couldn't."
I asked Shanna if she had received some funky pictures message from me (I wasn't yet putting two and two together).
Shanna started doing some research online and found out this was an instant messaging phishing scam. Please see here for more details: Please Log In - YM Phishing; this is a link to TrendMicro. There's also more info on this scam here: Yahoo! Phishing Attack uses Geocities.
That logon page was the exact one that came up when everyone clicked on "my" link, and the same page I had seen a day or so before when I clicked on the other link.
I've changed my Yahoo! account password, and we're fairly sure that's all they were able to get into - as my Yahoo! email is just a spare, spam-catcher account with no valid personal informaton in it. Just to be safe though, I did also change the PW on my "alternate e-mail account." But if this were to happen to someone like Shanna, who uses their Yahoo! email for just about *everything*, they'd got all kinds of crazy personal information.
The more people who are aware of these scams, the less likely they will be to fall prey to them. Visit the sites listed above, learn about the scam and what the fake Yahoo! Photos page looks like (though, remember, it could be a totally different page depending on what the scammers create).
So if you ever run into this sort of IM quirk again, you know what it is and you know what to do. I have notified everyone on my Yahoo! buddy list about what happened to me, and hopefully am heading it off at the pass that way... but thought I would share here too. Spread the word. Don't be dumb or too trusting, like I was.
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
This wasn't exactly an international-quality auto show.
We saw like two concept cars, or something. We took funny pictures of the car club guys standing in front of, or sitting inside of, Escalades and Navigators with their hats cocked sideways and making faces. Bling bling, yo.
And then I saw it.
Let me be clear. I love my truck. I drive a 2000 Isuzu Rodeo, with only 54,000 miles on it, and I love it. It's never had any major mechanical issues. It gets decent gas mileage for being a SUV. It's raised up so I can see the whole road. It's comfortable. And it's mine. Mine, I say, mine, with no payment, no lien holder, no "someone else's name on the title of the truck," anything like that. It is mine, free and clear, and I love my Rodeo, and I like to think she loves me.
But the Ford Escape Hybrid is doing its best to woo me. Us. Okay, me.
I had talked about wanting to see one up close and personal before we went to the show. I didn't imagine they were going to serve one up on a silver platter. Moonroof. Super-expanded ultra-audiophile stereo system with graphic panel that shows you whether or not your battery is charging or you're using gas or you're not using gas or whatever else. Leather seats. Leather. Seats. I don't like leather seats, but that was all it took to sway S. into wiping a little drool from his chin, too.
The seats? Comfortable. The cargo space? Well, the Rodeo has 81 cubic feet. The Escape only has 65. But who needs the extra 15 cubic feet? Who needs it, I ask you?
And then there's the issue of the mileage.
36mpg city/31mpg highway.
And it comes with a safety package for every possible air bag and rollover prevention and everything else necessary for a family that has a new little one (no, I am not yet preggo).
The price tag, though, is where my mistress the Ford Escape Hybrid would have kicked me in the nuts, if I had nuts. S. got kicked. $31,000.00.
So for right now, apparently, I have to leave the dance with the one who brought me. We owe nothing on the Rodeo. Zero. And we are determined to be a no-car-payment or one-car-payment family. Considering we have another 18 months left to pay on the Mustang, I'm guessing we aren't going to be exploring a new Escape Hybrid any time soon.
It's okay though. Maybe by then I can buy a used one, or something.
NO PAYMENT > PAYMENT.
Adieu, my beloved Ford Escape Hybrid. I'll be back for you. Some day.
Saturday, March 11, 2006
Which is making it hard to sit, hard to walk, hard to lay down, hard to do fucking ANYTHING.
So let's recap:
1) pinched nerve in my shoulder
2) fatigue and headaches
3) back spasms
Yup, time to quit working 10-12 hour days and weekends.
I'm cracking up, y'all.
Thursday, March 09, 2006
Anybody out there psychically inclined, read tarot cards, pendulum, runes, anything like that? If any of you have time for a brief reading, I wonder if you could IM me using the buttons on the sidebar under "contact me."
The reading isn't for ME, it's for a dear friend of mine (who has requested it) but I can't seem to get anything clear and can't seem to disconnect myself enough from their situation to be able to feel focused enough to read, in an unbiased way.
So, I am wondering if someone can give me a reading about it so I can pass it on to the friend. I am not privy to a lot of details and can't share all the ones I do know, but can speak in generalities about the matter if necessary.
Calling out the witchy crew. I'll owe you if we hook up.
//EDIT for FRIDAY MORNING:
I have one response and one pending. Anyone who feels like giving it a whirl should Yahoo! messenger me today, I'm here and working as I am every day. Thanks a million!
Wednesday, March 08, 2006It's the One Million Blogs project!
I see a bunch of you already there! You! And you! And you and you and you! I'm proud and excited to say a bunch of the guys and gals on my blogroll are already taking up space at this very neato bandito project.
Dave, the owner of the site, was inspired by the Million Dollar Home Page and decided to do it for blogs. But instead of teeny weeny little things, every $1 buys you a 30x30 pixel for your blog.
Once he reaches a million blogs (or a million bucks?) he's going to turn around and re-invest that money into the participating blogs by buying ad space on the blogs.
I pitched in, who can't spare a dollar? Or in my case, more than a dollar, but hey. I don't parcipate in any other blog traffic generating things really, so I figured, what the hell.
I am blog number 375.
What number will you be?
S. has insisted that, due to an anxiety attack, lethargy and some other issues including my pinched nerve, I go on a 7am-3pm work schedule.
So far it's been more like 8am-4pm, but at least it's working out. I just have to get used to not working past a certain time and not beating myself up for it.
Right now, I am on the verge of a freak-out and am trying not to be on the verge of a freak-out, so I am going to just go work. In the hopes that it will keep me from freaking out.
And it's only Wednesday.
Sometimes there are people in your life you want to help, and you can't. You can't just reach across the miles, through the computer or through the phone lines to make everything right for them and everything perfect in their life and to take away their anxiety or their pain.
And that's where I am right now. Wishing I could help the people who mean so much to me, that I can't help. And wishing I could make everything right. and wishing I could fix their pain. and I can't.
Monday, March 06, 2006Weekly Anamnesis. Click the link for information on this living, breathing, growing writing project. It now has its own blog: Weekly Anamnesis.
This week's topic is: Waiting.
At 6:30, when I hadn't heard from you, I knew exactly what was going on. Even though you wanted me to believe things were changing, they weren't. The fact that you weren't home after having worked a 7a-3p shift was all the hint I needed. I know we had just had this conversation, but it's amazing how many things cocaine makes you forget and how quickly. Not surprisingly, tonight it had made you forget to come home.
I'm sure it had made you forget how angry and hurt and detroyed I was the last time you didn't come home. Or the time before that. Or the time before that.
Some part of me wanted to believe that you'd walk in the door any moment. For that reason, I did not call my mother. I did not call my friends. I did not even log into the multi-line BBS to chat with anyone. The internet would not be around, as I now know it, for another few years.
I turned on the stereo and started cleaning house, but I left dinner on the stove in case you made it back "in time to eat." I paced the floor. I tried to read. I tried to lose myself in some television. But somehow, some way, every bit of information that hit my eyes and ears reminded me of you, reminded me that you were not home, reminded me that you had forgotten me.
I wondered if you were making out with girls, snorting cocaine off each other like in the movies about the crazy, club-hopping 1970s. I wondered if you were drinking with your drugging, and whether or not you'd try to get behind the wheel and actually come home. I wondered if you were with my cousin, the drug dealer. I wondered if you had any clue how I felt. Or if you did have a clue, why it didn't matter to you.
I wandered aimlessly from room to room until stumbling upon a large rolling suitcase in the hallway closet. I thought maybe I should pack myself a bag. Then I said fuck it, and decided I should pack you a bag. I had the suitcase half filled before I thought better of it, and wondered if you would take a swing at me or throw something at me if you stumbled home in a drug-induced haze to find me packing your shit, ready to throw you out of our house. My house.
I unpacked the suitcase, putting your clothes back neatly where I found them. It had been hours, now. Just when I would start to lose hope of you showing up, some part of me would find it again and I'd just be sure you were going to stroll through the door at any second. It was like riding a roller coaster, but with only one hill. Up. Anticipating. Down. Ride's over. Disappointment. Up again.
After four or five hours of waiting, I decided I was going to claim my rightful place as the ruler of my own house. And the first step to getting that done was getting rid of you. I took the suitcase back out of the closet. I took all the pictures of us and of your family off of every room in the house. Even on your desk in the office, which was your territory, I removed every reminder of you. I made them into neat stacks, and leaned them facing in to the wall so only the boring backs of the frames were visible.
I stumbled groggily into the kitchen and realized dinner had been sitting on the stove, "staying warm," for five hours. It was nearly midnight, there was no sign of you, and the meal I had prepared for us was now inedible. I stood in the kitchen crying because I had ruined dinner. It took me a few minutes to realize that it was you that had ruined dinner. That's the kind of hold our fucked up life had on me -- I was so used to feeling like everything was my fault. I was so used to being out of control. I was so used to having to operate according to what you wanted. I was so used to waiting.
After a glass of wine and a sleeping pill, I was somehow able to kick the image of you returning home from my anxious mind and doze off, but it wasn't restful. At 5:00 a.m. I awoke to find your half of the bed empty, your suitcase still sitting in the hallway, and all of our pictures still hidden. My anger, frustration, and sadness hung thick like a fog in every room of the house. Even my morning shower couldn't wash the hurt away.
I was dressed, high heel shoes, fashionable suit, purse, day planner, on my way out the door when you pulled into the driveway. You walked up to me, red, bloodshot eyes, the funk of the last 24 hours on your breath. I didn't even bother asking you why you hadn't called. I just made sure you saw the pictures off the walls and your suitcase in the hallway. It wasn't until I got in the truck to drive to work that I actually cried.
That was a year-and-a-half into our marriage. I spent the next three-and-a-half years waiting for you. Waiting for you to come home. Waiting for you to sober up. Waiting for you to find a job you could keep without getting fired. Waiting for you to get your priorities straight. Waiting for you to grow up. Waiting for you to be a husband. Waiting for you to be a man.
I guess I got tired of Waiting.
PS: To my friends who cared enough to write me asking why I'd banned them, thanks for at least taking it to e-mail so I would have the chance to explain that I didn't ban ANYONE... and for not just freaking out and writing me off.
PROOF here if anyone's wondering. Of course, we couldn't even e-mail Blogger about the issue and so had to resort to google groups... it took them a good 2-3 hours to find the problem on their own. Bah.
Here was our rationale:
They were actually two round-trip tickets each. San Antonio to Phoenix, and Phoenix to Cabo.
San Antonio --> Phoenix.
3 days in town.
Phoenix --> Cabo.
7 days in Cabo.
Cabo --> Phoenix.
Phoenix --> San Antonio.
So, it's 2 trips each. One trip from San Antonio to Phoenix, round-trip. One trip from Phoenix to Cabo, round-trip.
The other thing that gave me some perspective but pissed me off at the same time?
TAXES AND "FEES."
$246.66 in taxes and fees. That's $123.33 PER PERSON in taxes and fees. $95 of that, PER PERSON, is "taxes and fees" for Mexico travel, since it's international. Security, Homeland Security, Security, Security, and more Homeland Security. Bah.
But that makes it $544.00 per person for two tickets, which is like $272/pp BEFORE TAXES AND FEES for each leg of the trip which doesn't work out to be that bad of a deal. And when you consider that we aren't staying in a hotel anywhere, or anything, it'll be fine. Even if you count the taxes and fees, it's still $333.66 per person for each "leg" of the trip. That's kind of a demonic looking number, though, now that I think about it.
So yeah, we bought the tickets. Please, if you could spare some "please let S. get his leave approved" mojo, that would be awesome. Because otherwise we're fucked... travel insurance does NOT COVER MILITARY DUTY except in case of "national disaster." They actually exclude, now, "war." Military duty -- "except in case of war."
2) Philip Seymour Hoffman is an amazing actor, and I am totally thrilled to hear that he won the Best Actor Oscar, although I do lurves me some Heath Ledger. But not because I think he's Best Actor material (having not seen Brokeback Mountain, yet) but because he is one tall, blonde hunk of man, and I wouldn't kick him out of bed for eating crackers. But I have admired PSH's work since he started with small supporting roles in non-huge movies, and I am ecstatic that he won.
3) Nice to hear ONE of the "gay movies" won a biggie (Best Actor). Now I have to rent Capote, which I was going to anyway, but I am going to have to (1) wait longer because they'll re-release it to theatres and (2) fight with people on Netflix who want to see "that oscar-winning movie," not because they know anything or care anything about Truman Capote.
4) I was excited to see that some underdogs (Crash) got recognized.
5) I <3 Jon Stewart and love the fact that reports I'm reading say he came out doing what he does best, making fun of politicos and the like.
Makes me wish I would have watched the Oscars, but I was on a mission of stress relief and not working and some other things that are brewing over here.
I'll try to get a breather later on today and fill you in.
Friday, March 03, 2006
I can't effin' believe I made it.
This week has just been an emotional roller coaster for me, and I can't rightly say why. I suppose a really, really good guess would be that I've been a squeaking, blubbering ball of hormones and "girl stuff" all week, so I'd like to give the Saintly Husband Of The Week award to S. for tolerating me when I couldn't even tolerate myself.
I also paid the rent.
Speaking of writing big fat checks, too, we are now in THIS pickle: my dad wants us to go visit. In Mexico. In June. This is a fabulous thing. It's going to involve us canceling the October cruise to be able to swing it, but it is a fabulous thing.
Here's where I ask for your feedback: we never fly anywhere. No, seriously, we don't fly. Anywhere. Ever. So, we are going to fly from San Antonio (driving to TX to drop off the dog with family) to Phoenix, where we will stay for a few days, see family, then go to Cabo San Lucas. Then from there, we will fly back to San Antonio.
Is $667.33 a bad deal, per person, for that kind of air travel? We're going to be gone about 10+ days all together, provided it works out and we can go. Plus, we will have basically zero expenses in Phoenix or in Mexico, as we will be staying with family. Is that a good deal? For a vacation?
In other news, now we have to figure out how to justify $1,500 in non-refundable airline tickets for a trip that S. doesn't have actual, in-writing, leave approved for. Ah, the military life. Love it. (Before you ask, by the way, I've called travel insurance companies, who do NOT -- let me repeat this -- do NOT cover military service as a valid reason for not being able to go somewhere, unless your "leave is revoked" or you are "called into active duty for any reason other than war."
Pardon me while I take a moment and slam my head on my desk, won't you?
So, I'm going to call US Airways (America West) back today and see how much the refundable version of those tickets is. Bleah. And S. is going to see about getting some kind of leave in writing, with the understanding that it can be "revoked" if they need him to stay. Considering it's two and a half or three months off, though, it's not bloody likely he'll get that.
But it's Friday, and that means things are looking up. Becuase Friday means Saturday. Friday means I can get my nails done tomorrow. Friday means S. will get a pedicure tomorrow. Friday means I can work on my garden on Saturday and Sunday. Friday means I can sleep in tomorrow. Friday means S. is going to take me out for some Thai food. Friday is supposed to mean a lot of things.
I wish Friday meant it's already Saturday and I didn't have to do all the work I have on my plate today. But it doesn't.
It just means I'm 8 hours away from a two-day vacation.
BTW, I have started my seedlings -- I don't know if I posted about that -- and a couple of them look like they're already starting to do their thing and work their mojo. I'm keeping them all inside for now, because the weather here is just too erratic yet.
I also am watering my sage, mint, chives, rosemary and lavender from last year in the hopes that they just went dormant from the cold, and not that they went dead from, you know, me not nurturing them (because it was cold), and that they will come back. Fingers crossed. Circle of life, miracle of rebirth, Springtime, I need it all to collide in a rainbow-colored sunshine festival on my patio.
I know there was somewhere I was going with this, you guys, and now I can't think of it for the life of me. So, talk to me, okay? Comment, would you? Say hello and tell me what you're doing this weekend, or something. Cabin fever has me in the throes, and I'm more than interested in a little socialization today.
PS: I am an American Idol nut. If you've been reading for a while, you might know that S. and I typically make bets on shows like this. We were supposed to "pick our horses" this week, but we missed the women on Tuesday because we met some friends for dinner at 7:30. So, next week we will be picking our horses out of the current lineup.
The fact that Sway is gone doesn't surprise me. Peter Brady can loosen up a little bit and get some charisma, but Sway... I don't know what his major malfunction is, but he hasn't been up to par. He didn't know the lyrics in Hollywood and made it through anyway. He sang Earth, Wind and Fire in falsetto, which may have been difficult to do, but it was not appealing to my ears. And his version of Stevie Wonder the other night -- if he had sang it how he did it LAST NIGHT while his ass was on its way out the door, he never would have been in the bottom 3. He needed to come through with his personal style, and he didn't.
I'm glad the butt-slapper girl is gone, though. And was it me or did the blonde look really angry when she got kicked off?
Last night, my husband, whom I love very much, told me that if I were 10 years younger or if they did American Idol when I was 10 years younger, that I could have made it to Hollywood. He knows just what to tell me while he's handing me a 98% fat free ice cream sammich and a glass of wine.
Thursday, March 02, 2006
Me: Uh, hello?
Him: Oh hi, uh, is Rog - uh - Rose - there?
Me: I'm Rose, but since you don't know my name I'm going to ask you to take me off your list, please.
Him: All righty then, have a good day.
Wednesday, March 01, 2006this is why we do it.
My contribution to the weekly anamnesis writing project is as follows. Rules to be found in the above link. If you choose to participate, report your participation to Natalie here.
I thrive on stability.
We have a private joke that if I hadn't met my husband when I did, I would have lived in my house in Scottsdale, AZ until it fell apart, I had 200 cats, and the weeds were growing above the rooftop. But I would have the same job, and drive the same car, and be oddly, but morbidly, stable.
It is for that reason - the need for stability - that I have not left jobs until I absolutely had to, for one reason or another.
I tried to leave my first "real" career job when my boss, a philandering, greasy, slimy real estate executive from Southern California who commuted to his Phoenix office once every week or two to escape his wife and children, promoted the hot, sexy blonde in the office past me when she'd only been there two weeks. He used to send her flowers to the office and they used to go on "business lunches" for two or three hours at a time. And since I did the payroll, I knew how much she was getting paid. So one day, I just calmly walked in his office and handed him an envelope.
"What is this?" He stared at me.
Two days later, I walked back into his office with the same envelope, now wrinkled for having been carried around in my purse for a few days, and told him I was still resigning. He asked what it would take to make me stay. I told him I wanted to make more than Allison and I wanted it made clear that I did not report to her. He increased my pay, gave me a promotion (made me her peer), and replaced me with someone else who still never did as much work as I did. Allison hated me. I didn't care.
A year later, when I saw the company was taking a turn it wouldn't recover from, I quit. And right on my heels, Allison quit, the girl who had replaced me quit, and they laid off a bunch of other staff. I felt vindicated.
At my next job, the one I left my FIRST job for, unbeknownst to me the unprofessional pricks had hired two of us to do the very same job. The EXACT SAME JOB. But we were located at different "hotel properties" in the same city and while we knew of one another, we did not realize we were doing the same job. I did a better job than he did. So they fired him.
After having been there about a year, they found themselves in a quandary. All of the things they needed someone to "handle" (read: managing a million-dollar marketing budget, the production of advertising materials, customer relations, etc.) was now a well-oiled machine, and they thought they could handle it themselves without me. So, they held a meeting and where I was sure they were going to lay me off, they instead promoted me. PROMOTED ME. Knowing it was too good to be true, I sent off a follow-up in writing to them outlining the terms of my promotion, my new responsibilities, all the fantastical projects I would be working on, and thanking them for the opportunity. That's when they laid me off. I think they were figuring I would freak out at the "promotion" and decide it was too much work for not enough money, and quit. When that didn't happen and they saw I was going to hold them to their word, they let me go suddenly.
A week later, I started another position. It was never hard for me to find a job. I was in that job for a few years, until my boss started fucking his secretary (who was supposed to also be helping/supporting me, but then decided that since he stuck his dick in her, she was higher on the ladder than I was). Same secretary helped turn my staff against me, and then everything took a turn for the worse when my boss called me at home one night.
"Well hi there," he said, "I just wanted to make sure you got home all right."
That was a Friday. On Monday, I walked into his office.
"Paul, I'm just going to be up-front about this, because it's really none of my business. But I think you need to update your phone list."
From that day on, he went out of his way to find mistakes with everything I did, even if there were no mistakes. He helped his assistant turn my staff against me. He made me out to be a liar, and a cheat, irresponsible and dishonest, to my co-workers and superiors. So after I put it all together (if I was a dishonest liar and a cheat, then if I ever told anyone about their affair it would be much easier to discount my words) I found another job and quit. But on my exit interview, I made sure everyone knew why I had found the working environment unbearable.
After I left that job, they fired him, fired her, couldn't keep a replacement in my position to save their lives, and had "massive turnover" in the department, losing about half of the staff who couldn't take it any more either.
At my next job, things were great at the job and I won all kinds of awards and accolades, but over time things started to change. By the time I knew I wanted to leave, they knew I wanted to leave too. And again, I got a "promotion" but this time without a "pay raise," because they thought I should take on more responsibilities to be challenged, but they were "punishing" me by not giving me the raise to go with. I chose standing up for myself instead of getting steamrolled, and my best friend knew of a job opening where he was. I took a few days off work on short notice, interviewed, got the job, and gave my notice -- they paid me out my two weeks plus my vacation at The Job From Hell and sent me on my way.
Right before I left, another one of my friends quit. Right AFTER I left, another of my friends quit. I've since heard they had some pretty massive turnover after I left... everyone was just as fed up as I was.
Seems to me, my cue for what warrants a job change, is when there is no longer a meeting of the minds. When the way I am being treated no longer warrants the desire to be treated that way. I wonder if I'll ever get to that point working for myself, or if I will be flexible enough to grow and change the job as I grow and change as a person. I'm sure I will; I am a cool boss. And I won't disrespect myself. Bonus.
My job as a military wife is
to make it as easy as possible
for my beloved husband to do his job.
Where he leads, I will follow.
Husband: SSgt, USAF
Current Location: Tinker AFB, OK
Job: Self-Employed Transcriptionist
and Domestic Goddess
I am currently pimping:
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Iksar Necromancer, Kithicor
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