Friday, June 16, 2006

afternoon djs

I really don't like my afternoon DJs. They have annoying voices, they are obnoxious, they say dumb things, and everytime I hear them speak I wish they'd hurry up and put another song on already. I may have thought that the bad-DJ phenomenon was coincidental, but I have 4 radio stations, and they all have bad afternoon DJs.

My morning DJs are nice. They have pleasant voices. They are funny. They talk about interesting and amusing things. In short, they make my drive to work a little more enjoyable.

So why does it all fall apart in the afternoon? I would think that radio stations would want to put their best and brightest on the air during commute times, as that is when they get the most listenership. Either good DJs are hard to find, or radio stations don't value my patronage. Which is a-ok with me, my iPod never lets me down.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

ode to the tostadita

My husband has to hear me complain about how I can't get my tostadita at baja fresh anymore at least once a month, so I thought I'd commit my complaint to the written word.

My love of the tostadita stems from the fact that, though I am a grown adult, I cannot eat adult-sized portions. I cannot eat a 1200 calorie meal in one sitting. I just don't have it in me. Don't get me wrong, over the course of a day, I can put away close to 3000 calories (I don't do that EVERY day, mom, don't worry). I just can't do it in one sitting.

And so comes my abuse of children's menus in fast food restaurants everywhere. Happy meals, Adventure meals, you name, I've eaten it. And thus, I discovered the tostadita at baja fresh.

The tostadita (from the children's menu, of course) was a small flour tortilla shell (deep-fried, just the way nature intended) with a scoop of beans (black or pinto), a scoop of rice, a scoop of steak (or chicken), a scoop of pico de gallo, and a sprinkling of cheese. I loved the tostadita. I loved it every time I went to baja fresh. But, apparently I was the only person on the planet who ever ordered it, because they removed it from their children's menu.

And now, I must eat the tostada. Or, rather, I must spend 7.89 to eat half the tostada and throw the other half away (you can't save a deep-fried tortilla). The tostado, however, is filled with lettuce - and guacamole, no matter how much I ask them to not put that green squishiness on it - and is most decidedly missing rice. It's not quite the same as my beloved tostadita - but perhaps it's time I graduated to grown-up food.

the 9 to 5 is killing me

I'm not the kind of person who can do the same thing every day. I thrive on schedule variation. I loved college, with classes scattered throughout the week, with time to use for studying, labs, homework, apartment cleaning and shopping, to do at my discretion, and at my whim. Plus, the schedule changed every 4 months.

I've been slogging through this daily 9 to 5 for 4 years now, and it's wearing me down. Vacations help, but then it's right back into that same old same old.

I have a great job with flexible hours, and I think that helps me cope. I get paid monthly, so I just have to make sure I get my hours worked within the month. On my timecard, I work anywhere from 0 to 11 hours in a day. Today, for example, I was there for an hour. And then I left. I'm sure people think I must be sick or something, but the truth is, I was completely unmotivated to do anything on my at-work todo list. Which is a shame, because there really are a lot of things I'm supposed to be working on. Due to the fact that I'm the 'last man standing', as it were, we've had 3 developers leave in the last 6 months. And they've been replaced with one. Who is awesome, but he's still coming up to speed, and they're trying to preserve his sanity by letting him focus on one project. As opposed to, say, 8. (Oh, I wish I were exaggerating...)

I am not a lazy person. In fact, I just wrote out a todo list of what I'm going to do with my random day off, and I will be hard pressed to accomplish it. Especially if I keep getting distracted by things, like, oh, blogging. Here is what I hope to get done today: Laundry (2 or 3 loads), possibly some ironing (I really hate ironing, so I probably won't do it), change the kitty litter, take tortellini for a walk and give her a bath, put away the camp gear (this involves cleaning a lot of it first), dishes (you'd be amazed at how many dirty dishes 2 people can generate, all 32 of our forks are dirty), straighten up the living room and kitchen (the two rooms on the main floor, once they are clean, the house is clean enough for guests), change the sheets (oh, that will make another load of laundry), clean the floors, and dig up a bush stump or 3. Before I can do the laundry or dig up the bushes, however, I will need to buy dryer sheets and a root cutting tool. Which means 2 stores, and seeing as I am incapable of just walking into a store and purchasing the one necessary item, I will have to allot an hour or two for shopping. Because I love wandering through stores. Even Home Depot...

I have to go back to the 9 to 5 tomorrow. But as for right now - I have some laundry to do.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

fame and fortune

Alas, blogging has not brought me the fame I had hoped it would. I had high hopes of being discovered as an up-and-coming writer, and getting a book deal. Or, perhaps, a paying writing gig such as the folks at Television Without Pity get.

But, here it is, two months later and no one has discovered me. The only people that read my blog are people I harass into reading it. (That would be my family and my friends, I haven't yet resorted to passing out the URL to people at the grocery store. Though, that *might* expand my reader-base...)

I had grand plans to quit my day job, publish new york times best sellers from time to time, and to travel the world. Then, I could write a new york times best seller about traveling the world! Who wouldn't want to read that?

My husband tells me I need to have a large collection of articles for potential publishers to read, before I can get famous. So here's one more article for the pile o' discovery.

Friday, June 09, 2006

high school reunions

Next year will be the 10-year mark for my husband's high school graduation, and the year after will be mine. I really don't have much interest in going to mine (I'd much rather spend the vacation time doing something ... fun), but my husband wants to go to his. Mostly so he can show all the losers he graduated with that he makes twice as much money as they do. And that he married someone outside his gene pool.

He grew up in a small Texas town, of 2500 people. And, apparently, small towns have a tendency to inbreed. And, also, a tendency to make anyone not part of the 'in' group feel very much 'out' - which is the catalyst for my husband wanting to go to his reunion.

The problem with attending his reunion, however, is that no one may bother to plan it. I don't know how many high school classes forego reunions, but it seems to me that entrusting 4 people to plan events 10, 20, 30, and 40 years in the future would mean that a lot of those events just don't happen. Things that were important in high school, really hold no importance 10 years later. And sometimes, people die. You may not know this, but dead people really throw terrible parties.

Even if the blessed event does get planned, my husband fears that he may not be invited. For one, he doesn't live even live in Texas anymore. Also, his family has relocated to Houston, and his mother has remarried and has a different last name. All of these things will make it difficult to track my husband down. For another thing, the senior class president hated my husband, and, in fact, had a small group of close associates. My husband thinks it highly likely that the event will be a small affair, comprised of people who still live nearby (many in their parent's basements), with invitation passed by word of mouth.

Me, I'm hoping the thing doesn't happen. My husband and I both have a limited number of vacation days, and I'd really like to see Scotland next summer. Or Disney World. Or maybe a cruise...

Thursday, June 08, 2006

too many hobbies

The older I get, the more I realize that there is just not enough time in the day. After 9 or 10 hours of working (only 8 of working, I'm no workaholic, 1 or 2 is reserved for commuting and lunch), and then another 7 for sleeping, and that doesn't leave much free time.

Free time for shopping! I love malls, outlet malls, Target, Best Buy, office supply stores, Costco, sporting good stores, furniture stores, home goods stores, craft stores, book stores, dollar stores - I'm not picky. I don't even need to buy anything to have a good time shopping. It's all about the pursuit of that perfect thing, of researching available options, of watching the sales, and of finally finding the ultimate whatever.

Free time for video games! Yup, I said it. I am a solitaire addict, and I spent months honing my mah jong game so I could beat my dad (1 minute, 47 seconds). My current passion, however is World of Warcraft. I love that game! For anyone who cares, I have a level 50 leather-making troll hunter and a level 40 potion-making tauren warrior. There are so many aspects to the game, it's something almost anyone can get into. My husband likes the raiding, where you organize 40 people to play for 6 hours to accomplish a common goal. Me, I like my leather-making and potion-making professions. And the auction house, so I can sell my leather goods and magical potions! Shopping, now that's something I can really get into.

Free time for knitting. I just took it up, but knitting is kinda fun. I'm halfway through one baby blanket that I'm going to give to my friend who's having twins in october - as long I can finish a second blanket, that is... It's going to be rough going, I think, to pull it off, but I'm up for the challenge.

Free time for my tv shows! Luckily, it's the summer, so I'll have a little break from ER, Lost, Gilmore Girls (I don't even know why I watch anymore, that show has turned into such a disappointment, I guess I feel like I invested so much time in it, I have to stick it out), and then all my husband's reality tv. We are currently watching all 7 seasons of Voyager, in preparation for the Star Trek Convention, so that will keep us busy till August. We've almost made it through 2 seasons. It's gonna be a long summer...

Free time for road trips! I love road trips. To anywhere. Annapolis, Baltimore, Virginia Beach, Williamsburg, Norfolk (check out the naval museum, they let you pet sharks), New York City, Niagara Falls, Philadelphia, Hershey PA (chocolate and shopping = HEAVEN), Boston, it's fun to just get in the car and go someplace. Except for Boston, the drive there was no fun - next time, I'm flying.

Free time for playing with my mac! I love my adorable little mac, and I feel bad for neglecting it. As we speak, I'm sitting in my husband's recliner with my laptop. <*sigh*> I really do like my mac, but there's just something about a recliner... and there's also something about the 62 degree basement... brrrr!

Free time for taking my turtle for walks. My poor tortellini, sits and mopes in her cage all day. It's warm outside now, so I could take her out to the backyard where she can sit and mope in the not-simulated sunlight, but I seem to only think of it after the sun has gone down. Like right now, at 10:30 at night...

Free time for playing with my kitties! I love my havok and forge, and some days, they decide I might be ok. I used to have a laser pointer that they LOVED, but I put it in my pocket one day, and it went through the wash. Didn't work so well after that. Actually, didn't work at all, as I recall.

Free time for playing with my money. I love Quicken! More than any healthy person probably should. I love all the little graphs and charts it makes, I love the way it keeps track of all my bills, I love that it keeps up with all my loans. In short, I love that it keeps track of one of my obsessions, in one little tool.

Free time for blogging! Blogging is the best thing ever. Everyone should blog, it's so much fun. Even without fans. Which, I would know, as I have no fans... I take that back - I do have fans - but they are either related to me, or they work with me, or they work with my husband. I have to admit, though, it makes it a little more fun, when people talk to me about things I said on my blog. It also reminds me not to be *too* truthful.

Free time for landscaping. I have grand plans to tear out all the plants in my front yard (exept for the 2 trees), install a raised flowerbed, and then fill that flowerbed with rocks. And sand. In true Japanese fashion. (I'm part Japanese. I promise. So I'm totally allowed to have a rock garden.)

Free time for reading! The only time I ever read anymore is when I fly somewhere. Especially when I fly to Washington to visit the folks. Washington to Washington is quite the day of flying...

Free time for planning my brothers' lives! It's a never-ending task, as they never seem to like the plans I make for them, so it requires constant revisions.

Free time for camping. I'm actually going this weekend- I'm really excited to sleep on the ground, not shower, and smell like a campfire. There's just nothing else quite like it.

Free time for picking up NEW hobbies! In the last year, I've taken up blogging, knitting, mac mini-ing, and landscaping. The year before, I took up WOW. The year before that, I took up (and DROPPED, it's really not all the fun it's cracked up to be) wedding planning. There are just too many things out there to try, to only stick with one thing. Unfortunately, when you keep liking the things you try, it does get to be a challenge to keep up with everything. I think I've invented a new hobby: collecting hobbies.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

don't tell my mom . . .

But I'm making a comic book. Of my wedding. I found a real life comic book publisher that will make me 2 authentic comic books for $40, once I send him the files. That might sound a little steep, but it's a for real publisher, with all the fancy paper and what not. He's basically selling me two 'proofs', with the understanding that I don't want to do a real run. Because, honestly, who besides my husband will enjoy a comic book of the most special day of my life?

So now I have two dilemmas: writing the story, and turning my wedding photos into cartoony pics.

The story, you may think, already exists. But who wants to read about bridesmaid blunders (groom's ring in the trash) or DJ mishaps (I almost got to walk down the aisle to Turtle Power) in a comic book? Comic books are for mutant powers and saving the world from ultimate destruction. So now I just have to decide what super powers I want to have, and how I'm going to use them to save the world. I suppose my husband can have some powers, too...

So, the second dilemma: cartoony pics. I have gimp, which has a built-in cartoon filter. It works GREAT on some pics (me and husband in front of the Houston temple, the building behind us is amazing) but not so great on others. I need to play with it some more to make all my pics look equally cartoony.

I have a comic book maker, courtesy of apple, that came pre-installed on my mac mini. It even exports pages to pdf, which is perfect for sending to my newfound publisher.

Time to get cracking!