Saturday, March 31, 2012

Happy Blogoversary to me!

Yes yes today marks one year since I started this happy little blog. For me this is considerably cool. I am so very happy that I started this whole adventure, and I am looking forward to this blog continuing on and thriving.

In a year I have managed 175 posts, which to me seems like a more than seasonable number of posts in a year. I actually did a post every single day in November so that probably ups the numbers some. I participated in at least one cross-blog event, and that was also a lot of fun.

I have also met some pretty great people through this whole blogging experience, so you know that is a pretty big bonus. You people, all of you reading, totally make this whole experience well worth the effort. Without you I would just be talking to myself. Lets face it, I don't need anymore marks against me in the crazy column of life.

I'm not sure what else to say about this though. I don't foresee any changes coming to the blog in any form or fashion. Unless someone decides to donate their time and skills to me, the blog will probably always look like this. I am sometimes amazed I figured out how to do this much on my own. The content isn't going to change, since it is still going to be me blathering on about this that and another.

So I would just like to say I am happy I joined the blogosphere and I am happy that you all have joined me in my adventure. Here is to many more years of posts and enjoying the adventure together.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Rubbed the wrong way

I have decided that there are just some days I do not belong on the internet. Today is most likely one of those days. Obviously this knowledge isn't stopping me, but in my own defense the internet is sort of part of my sanity at my job. I am a fan of keeping what little sanity I have left.

It is probably the incredible amount of stress I am feeling just now combined with some really asinine working conditions that have put me in my current state of mind. I can not decide if that is an excuse or an explanation, but I am certain you will take it how you will. I have had more than my fair share of excuses lobbed at me lately, and frankly I am sick of them. With that thought I am not sure I want to make any excuses for myself.

I've been thinking long and hard about the difference between the difference between excuses and explanations. I have come to the decision that the former is separated from the latter with a firm confirmation of fault. If you say "I know I screwed up but here is why" that is an explanation. If you just say "Well this this and this happened" then it is an excuse. I am not a fan of the latter just now.

I digress.

So like I said in the beginning, today is one of those days I don't belong on the internet. I can't seem to say or do anything right today. I have put a self imposed ban on making comments on other peoples blogs because what I am saying is not coming across well at all. That and for some reason my comments are receiving replies that sort of make me want to stab someone, so that is a level of stress and anxiety I don't particularly need just now.

Actually it makes me not want to comment with anything of any actual content ever again. One poorly worded comment on my behalf has me feeling like an idiot and second guessing whether or not I should say anything at all.

I think my skin is just too thin right now and I need to avoid any form of confrontation until I have managed to sort myself out. I am not trying to make excuses here, I am just trying to explain. I am apparently in a bad head space right now, and I am sorry for anything I say that is stupid. I don't mean to offend, my filters are just broken.

I'm gonna go over here and quietly sit until the stress wears off and I am my normal rational self again. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

How the internet made us friends

The internet is a strange place to be. It is both real and not real at the same time. Everyday we meet and interact with people over the internet even though we are sometimes thousands of miles apart. It doesn't make the interaction or the relationship less real, it is just different. Things like internet dating and friendships have become more acceptable and normal than they were even ten years ago.

I like many other people have friends that I met online. For the longest time most of them were just online friends. They lived in other states and countries, and while we shared common interests that build friendships, there was a distance that only the internet could defeat. We never spoke on the phone, we never were going to meet in person, we were only ever going to meet up in IMs and chat rooms.

Then something changed.

For years I have played in an online RP chat room. One of my college friends got me sucked into it, and I have been doing it ever since. I met a lot of great people through the room that ended up becoming very good friends. We talked about so much more than the game. We talked about families, relationships, work, religion, politics, and anything else you would discuss with a real friend.

With friendship though, especially for someone like me who is very physically connected to people I care for, internet isn't always enough. I was closer to some of these people than I was to some friends I saw face to face every say. I wanted to be closer to them. I wanted that face to face physical connection. A warm body to put with the person on the other side of the screen.

Distance was still a factor. Being a poor college student or newly wed didn't really give a lot of opportunity to run off to Indiana or New York for a weekend to hang out with these people I wanted to be closer to. Schedules also became an issue, as when they managed to be in Texas for other reasons, I was always out of town or working in some way. We always just missed one another.

Then one night I got an IM from one of my closest online friends Toni, who we always called Dana or Zuul. She wanted to call me on the phone. At this point we had known one another probably six years and had never spoken on the phone. I immediately gave her my number.

We talked for hours. At one point she had to go plug her phone in and sit on the floor beside the power outlet so we could keep talking. My phone got so hot it became uncomfortable to hold to my ear. I hadn't talked on the phone like that since I was in high school and practically lived with the phone connected to my head. I can't remember a thing of what we talked about, but we talked all night long.

A few weeks later I got another call from my friend, but this time it wasn't to chat. She wanted to make some changes in her life. She was unemployed and unhappy in Indianapolis and wanted to try something new. She wanted to move to Texas and try to start over. Her sister and brother in law lived in Dallas but they didn't have room to let her stay with them. She needed someplace to stay and wanted to know if I would let her live with us until she got one her feet.

I was torn. Part of me wanted to flat out say yes. This was one of my closest friends, and I had had friends who took us in when we moved to Dallas so that we could have the chance to get on our feet. Paying it forward seemed like the right thing to do. On the other hand I had never met this person before. We had been friends for a long time, but I had never physically laid eyes on her. Was this wise?

I told her I had to clear it with the husbeast. I was really not sure he would be alright with letting a stranger live in our house. To my surprise he didn't even bat an eyelash about it. He told me yes without much thinking about it at all. He was ready to pay it forward.

So I told her yes. Dates were set, plans were made, and all there was to do was wait the month for her to get there. I was a nervous wreck. I cleaned and organized and prepared and fretted the entire time. I had no idea what I had gotten myself into or if it was a good idea. I wanted to back out of it every day we waited for her to arrive.

The day she came our AC died. It was the end of September, but in Texas that doesn't mean a lot. The house was clean and ready for her to arrive, even if it was hot. We went to a friends dance show and out to dinner since she was going to be late driving in from Indiana. I could barely focus on the dancing or the food, I was a mess.

As we sat close to midnight in our incredibly warm house, a breeze filtering through the open windows, I was sick with worry over whether this was a good decision or not. What if she was a slob? What if we didn't get along in person? What if she is some sort of crazy person? What if, what if, what if.

We saw her lights as she pulled up, and we went out to meet her. I had seen pictures of her, but I still really wasn't certain what to expect. This adorable little woman came rolling out of her car, stiff from a 13 hour drive, and all tired smiles for finally being at her destination.

There was perhaps a half second of awkward verification as we looked at one another, finally seeing this friend after so many years of not meeting. That half a second faded and so did my anxiety. We hugged and all of those what if's faded away, and I couldn't remember why I had been freaked out in the first place. I knew this girl, and she knew me. She was one of my best friends and I was so happy to finally have her with me.

She only stayed with us for nine months before she went back to Indianapolis. There were lots of reasons she left, mostly because of her boyfriend, now husband, who was still back home. She got to do both faires with me, become part of our circle of friends, and grow closer as friends in that time. I wouldn't trade any of it for all the money in the world.

I was sad to see her leave, and there really isn't much of a day that passes that I don't wish she was closer. I get to see her once a year when she is down to work an anime convention here in Dallas, but that isn't nearly enough time.

We still are friends through the internet, but I discovered something by having her actually in my life for a time. I discovered that while internet friendships are great, once you make that solid connection, it really pales in comparison to what you can have in real life.

I am grateful that the internet allowed me to find this friend, and others, and I am grateful that it allows me to continue to keep close despite distance. I am just a little sad that I can't have more.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

My Night with Circus Freaks

Rhythmic music pulsed through the dimly lit room. All around me people moved fluidly with the music, surrounded by brilliant colored flags swirling about them like water, glowing wands on strings that swirled in incomprehensible patterns, and hoops that circled effortlessly up and down and along the supple and lithe forms of women about the floor. The smell of a freshly lit hookah wafted over from a table where a beat poet took a drag before passing it to a man in dreads and goggles that they only referred to as Monkey. A woman in a corset and a bowler hat moved past with an electric fiddle that was almost as much art as it was an instrument. A glowing blue ball bounced across my feet for the tenth time quickly followed by a girl with mousy hair who apologized again for losing her balls before running back to her juggling lesson. This strange world I had landed in ignited around me, seemingly unaware of the deluge going on outside. I sat silently watching, taking it all in, not wanting to disturb the flow just yet.

For nearly a year now one of my dear friends has been trying to get the me and the husbeast to come with him to a thing called Open Stage. The House of Poets he said. Circus freaks he said. Live music he said. I will pay your way in he said. I was intrigued.

Monday nights tend to be a bad night for me socially. Every week would begin with the same offer, but every week I found that I was simply not up for new experiences. I was certain it would be an interesting time, I just couldn't seem to get fired up about it. I wasn't sure what I was going to be walking into honestly. I am a shy person, and I get anxious in new situations, which often leads to me sitting on my couch watching tv instead of going to a group of circus freaks open mic night.

Then the freaks came to us. Last weekend they came out to faire to teach us some classes on hand flags and juggling. I skipped the classes since coordination is very low on my skill set, and crying in frustration over such things is very high on my responses to learning such things. The husbeast did attend though, and once they were gone his interest had been piqued enough to want to venture out on a Monday night to see what it was all about.

We pulled into the parking lot as the sky opened up and a torrential downpour began. I wasn't really sure if this was a good sign or not. 'House of Poets' was clearly displayed on a fabric swag over the door of a shop at the end of a very old strip center. It looked anything but permanent, and had my friend not been standing in the doorway I might have been dubious about going inside.  

We sprinted through the rain to the door, and despite our parking close we were fairly well drenched right off. I was really beginning to think we picked a bad night to come. There was a small crowd of regulars about the doorway to the shop, which looked like a strange book shop almost. As people entered they drifted through to a set of black curtains leading into the back of the room from which a jazzy sort of music was drifting out.

Our friend paid for us to enter and introduced us to a man in a vest and tie and a bowler hat. He was friendly shaking our hands and leading us over to an easel with a sign full of rules. He lightly covered a few of them; don't sue us (we have no money he said), be prepared to be photographed, be positive, and participate. The rules seemed simple and he passed us off to a lovely woman in a brown corset and matching bowler.

Our new escort parted the curtains and led us inside insisting we stop once we had passed the threshold. I took the moment to take in what was around me. A house band sat jamming on the far side of the room in front of a counter full of hookahs, a smattering of tables and clusters of leather sofas and chairs decorated one half of the hall while a small column lined stage sat beside a dance floor which was covered in large pillows.Overall the room was really cool.

Before I could process much more in the dark room our escort called out 'Hey!' and the band went silent as the entire room shouted back 'What!'. She bellowed to the room 'First timers' and everyone cheered. I was vaguely reminded of Rocky Horror for a second which filled me with a little terror, but that quickly passed.

We made our way to our friends and settled into some comfy chairs in what we were told was a good spot. The head of this whole thing made his way over to say hello. He had taught the hand flag class and taken a liking to the husbeast. They chatted contentedly as he kept his eyes open for what was going on; a consummate host.

There was an hour before the show was to start, and so I sat back and people watched. A few people were out on the dance floor spinning poi or doing hoop work, which is very fascinating to me since I don't have the coordination to manage any of it. The house band was amazingly good which was making the experience that much more enjoyable while we waited.

Finally, after a short delay to allow people to make it despite the weather, things began. Our host, the Emcee, made his way up onto the small stage. He had changed from his jeans and t-shirt to some very baggy harem pants, a jerkin, and a bowler over a head wrap. I instantly recognized the outfit as Moressca, one of our faire vendors, which made me smile and feel suddenly a little more at home.

He started the show making some announcements about what the troupe had been doing during the week. They had worked a con, they had done a spin fest in the park, and some other things. He ended by mentioning that there were a few members of the performance company of the ren faire in the audience. I was suddenly glad it was dark, because I could feel a ping of anxiety as we smiled and waved. 

They had all the new people come up to the stage, though I admit I stayed right where I was. There was no missing the husbeast, so he had to go, but I slunk down in my chair and stayed put. I had no idea what they were going to do, but I wasn't really eager to try just yet. I was not that comfortable. It turns out they were just reading the rules of Open Stage, which I heard fine from my seat.

After all the legalities and formalities were out of the way, the Emcee returned to the stage and did a monologue. He talked about being an artist and being stifled and his journey to where he is now. He talked about contributing and collaborating and creating. He talked about finding himself and his community. He quite honestly made me tear up a little. As a creative person he touched something in me that I think lives in all creative people.

Then the show began. Over the next hour we were treated to some wonderful belly dancing, several fantastic poetry readings, foul drinking songs, a spectacular hand flag routine, some fun silly burlesque type singing, and a lot of entertaining moments from the tech crew and our incredibly charismatic and talented Emcee. I found myself laughing and cheering with everyone else. I was left in awe at several moments and am pretty sure I didn't stop smiling the entire time.

The show ended and the floor opened up to what they called free play. Suddenly half the audience was out on the dance floor doing all manner of cool things; flag spinners, poi spinners with lighted balls and sticks, hoopers, jugglers, and dancers everywhere. It was suddenly like I was in the middle of a circus freak rave.

The Emcee came over to chat again asking how we liked the show. He ribbed the husbeast good naturedly about a particularly good heckle the husbeast had thrown out during one of the Emcee's between act bits. It was all in good fun and the Emcee seemed impressed, though he promised he would get the husbeast back once the husbeast was on stage.

We were told that there was an open mic portion, which they call the Dregs, where anyone could get up and do whatever. He was apparently hoping to drag the husbeast up there to do something, though I am not certain what. Not that the husbeast doesn't have talents, I am just not certain what he could do on such short notice with no tools.

As it turned out we couldn't stay for the Dregs as the hour was growing late and we had work in the  morning. Just as the first Dregs performer was plugging in his guitar we slipped out the black curtains and back into the real world. The keepers of the door told us we couldn't leave yet, but we sadly had to excuse ourselves from what had been an incredibly pleasant evening.

They call themselves circus freaks, though they don't fit my definition. I have met some circus freaks in my past that are actual side show performers, and these people look nothing like those people. I am well aware though that looks are not everything, it is more about what is in your heart and soul. It felt like I was in some strange world that seemed like a group of light goths got in with some rave kids and decided to throw a party in the middle of some beatniks open mic night that had been stumbled upon by some rennies. In other words, my sort of people.

If you are ever in the Dallas area on a Monday night and you are not otherwise occupied I highly suggest you occupy yourself with the Open Stage. It may seem strange and foreign but it is so worth stepping out of your comfort zone to try. It is a welcoming, positive, fun, and truly magical experience.

I experience the magic of faire all the time, and that is something amazing and powerful. I was so happy to find that magic lives somewhere else too.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

I am not sure if it is really possible to both love and hate something in the same breath, but I seem to have achieved this state when it comes to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. I finished reading the book over a week ago and I am still having problems really putting into solid thoughts of what I thought about it. On one hand I hated reading the book. On the other hand I really liked the story.

I think the first time I saw the book I was in the airport on the way to Vegas. This was a few years ago, and the title struck some chord in my brain, so I am certain I had heard even at that point that this was supposed to be a good book. We were looking for a book for the husbeast though, so I really didn't give it a second glance.

Sometime last year someone I know told me that it was actually an amazing book. In fact they told me the whole series was amazing, though they warned that the second book was about the same characters but about a different case, whereas the second and third books were more closely related. At this point I decided that my curiosity was piqued and I put them on my amazon list.

Low and behold I got the first two books for Christmas, and while they were fairly far back in my stack of books to be read, I was happy to just have them. I didn't intend on starting them until I had all three books. I hate getting into a series and then having to stop because I am missing a book, especially if it is the last book. After I flew through the Percy Jackson series and the Hunger Games trilogy, I for some strange reason decided that I had to read this series next despite having plenty of other things to read.

The prologue to the book was promising. It spoke of an intriguing mystery that I was very eager to see unfold before us. It was a great way to start; it grabbed onto me and made me want to read more. Sadly the first chapter of the book held nothing of interest, and was in fact incredibly painful to read. To say I felt cheated is an understatement.

I was suddenly reminded of House of the Seven Gables by Hawthorn. I read it in high school, and the prologue was great, promising a story of mystery and intrigue which makes you really want to read the book. Honestly I don't remember what the rest of the book was about other than it was not the ghost story I was promised.

I felt as cheated by Hawthorn as I was feeling from Larsson. Had I been duped again? If the entire book was going to be like the first chapter there is no way I would be able to read it. Dry and boring doesn't even begin to cover it. It was full of completely useless details. What could have been summarized effectively in a few paragraphs or a page at most was stretched into an entire chapter. 

So I did what any person of our time would do, I went straight to Facebook and asked what I had gotten myself into. Sadly I did not receive one positive response. Instead what I got was comment after comment about how people regretted wasting their time reading the book. Everyone was saying that they just didn't get why the book was supposed to be amazing. One person went so far as to tell me the exact page number that interesting stuff started happening, which was still a few chapters off for me.

I was disheartened to say the least, and was seriously considering taking the repeated suggestion of putting the book on my shelf and just watching the movies. It was tempting, very very tempting, but I decided to give it one more try.

The next few chapters were better. They were still not what I was looking for, but at least I could read them without wanting to stab myself in the eye. I will take the small victories. I was still considering just watching the movies, but by this point I felt committed to the books.

As I read I found a method which made reading easier, and made me enjoy the story more; I simply skimmed over and skipped any point when the author started rambling about things that made no difference at all. Any time the main character went to the store and we would have to sit and read out every single useless item they bought including the prices, I skipped it. Every time anyone ate I skipped it because I don't care that they ate an open-faced boiled egg and caviar sandwich* with coffee and then smoked a cigarette.The author just loved putting in these long passages of mundane banal information that actually had zero impact on the story.

I also found that all of the foreign names and references were confusing and distracting. Again I realize it is written by a guy in Sweden about Swedish places and events, but it doesn't make it easy for me to read as an American. It took me a while to figure out what was money, and what was their main highway, and all the other little things that I assume would have been obvious to a reader who had ever spent time in Sweden.

Once I filtered out all the useless information and confusing Swedish terminology, I found that story that everyone, other than my friends, had fallen in love with. I am not certain I fell in love with the story, but I found it highly intriguing. I even, by the end, was made to care about the secondary storyline about the journalists libel case and how he was solving it. I think I would have liked to have seen more focus on the bad guys. I felt once we got to them it was sort of rushed through their motivations. I mean seriously we spent and entire chapter on rehashing a story that started the events in motion for the secondary story line, could we not dedicate that much effort to the serial killers who are actually interesting?

When it was all said and done I enjoyed the book. I still hated reading it, but the story was enough to make it not a total loss. I did go watch the movie in Swedish and I was fairly disappointed. I am actually glad I didn't watch it first. For a movie that was said to be amazing, I found it to be passable at best. I found that I was not keen on the changes they made from the book, and I also found that they totally lost the charm of the male lead. I also think that there was a lack on intensity in the female lead. The actress was good at staring intently, but I felt there was not much going on behind her staring. I am hoping the American version is more satisfying.

I am trying to read the second book, The Girl Who Played With Fire, now. I have found it thus far to be better than the first book, although that might be because I know that I have to skip over large chunks to enjoy it. I have to admit I went and read the summary on wikipedia because I had this sneaking suspicion that the first quarter of the book would have nothing to do with the rest of the book, which would just piss me off since it was actually interesting. I am pretty sure my suspicions are correct, and now I again feel betrayed and don't want to continue reading. We will see if I do.

So overall I would have to say don't read this book unless you really enjoy reading banal details or are really good at identifying and skipping over the useless mundane facts that this book is overrun with. Good story, but almost not worth the frustration. If you just watch the movie you will never know what you are missing, and in this case I don't think that is a bad thing.

*Seriously most of the food in the book made me sick to my stomach. I get it, they are Swedish, they eat weird stuff. I still don't like the sounds of it.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

One thing leads to another

The office is almost unbearable today.

I strolled in 15 minutes early this morning, which has been a disturbing trend of late, and was ready to get my day started so it would end. I can't say I was particularly looking forward to the day in the office due to a plethora of things to do at home that were nagging at my brain. I hadn't even opened the double glass doors to the office before I knew it was going to be a much longer day than I wanted it to be.

The front doors to our office are directly across from the only conference room in our building*. Normally this space is empty, especially so early in the morning. This morning however there was a man I had never seen before prepping the room. He was young and wearing a suit that looks like it costs more than most anything in my wardrobe. This can only mean that there is either a client meeting or a meeting with execs from one of our many sister companies.

I particularly hate these meetings because I hate strangers roaming around our area. I feel really self conscious because they are all wearing expensive suits and I am in my jeans and old fluffy sweater. I feel like I look like a slob, even if I don't. My job lets me wear jeans and sneakers daily, but still, it feels wrong when I am surrounded by suits.

I tried to assure myself that the awkwardness would be kept to a minimum if I just hid out in my cube all day. This wouldn't be so hard since my friend who I normally lunch with is out of the office all week. As I headed into the office I realized that even hiding in my cube I would not keep from being annoyed.

Where there had been a large open space the night before there are now three offices being constructed. I could smell and taste the drywall dust in the air. The workmen were milling about already, and I could see that they weren't going to wait to continue construction until after we left tonight. All day long there has been the constant sound of drills, vacuums, saws, hammers, staple guns, and workmen talking about what to do next. Plus did I mention the drywall dust that is making my eyes water and a constant cough going?

If all of this wasn't enough, the women on the other side of my cube wall are in rare form today. They work on the phones with client inquiries, and with all of the noise from the workmen they are talking extra loud today. I find their chatter obnoxious on a regular day, but today it is even worse. Captain Negativity** has responded out loud every time her phone rings with a "Really?", "You've got to be kidding me?", "Again?", "Already?", "For heavens sake!", "Ugg stop calling!", or some other such phrase in an incredibly bitchy and indignant tone. Plus they have all been shouting questions and comments to one another since they are incapable of using the interoffice IM system like the rest of us.

So I am listening to my iPod at pretty much top volume to attempt to drown out the noise but all I seem to be accomplishing is a headache from the high volume level, and an inability to concentrate on anything but the lyrics. If I could just bury myself in work at least the day would fly by and I would be free.

Wait that would mean we had work to do, which we don't. I finished what I had left this morning. Unless we get a download at some point today I have absolutely nothing to do for the next four and a half hours. Well nothing but try and drown out the construction noises and voices of my obnoxious coworkers, and try to hide in my cube from the roaming suits, and try to look busy without having anything to do.

Fun times.

*My group of 30 moved to a new building late last year. The main building is across the parking lot. Since there are so few of us we only have one conference room.

** We tend to nickname everyone in the office. Captain Negativity earned hers for never having anything happy to say. Seriously we were given a Keurig machine and provided free pods for it, and all she could do was complain about the pods they decided to buy. Apparently twenty options was not enough for her.

Monday, March 12, 2012

*Self Censored*

I've done it again. I wrote an entire post and then deleted it without ever giving it the chance to be posted. It wasn't that it wasn't good, it was just not right. Honestly I think it was a bit boring even if I find what I was writing interesting. Sometimes I shouldn't share everything that is in my head.

Really though I know the problem was the content of the post. It is not so much that it was bad content, it was more that it was the wrong content. What I was writing was not what I wanted to write, and when my heart and head are not fully behind what I am writing, my writing suffers. I am sure you writers out there can get behind that statement as well.

The things I want to write about...well I just can't. It is not that I am physically not capable of writing it, it is just that there are ramifications to everything I write, and I am not prepared for the ones that would come from me writing these things in public.

I tried to think of something I could write that would at least serve as a good analogy for my frustrations, but that didn't even work. Possibly it is because my feelings are very raw just now, and I want to verbalize them in clear and concise terms. Making some round about moral story or analogy just isn't going to cut it this time.

So until I can get this out of my system some way other than putting it in print, I am not certain what I will post about. Hopefully something more pressing will come along and I can talk about that instead. Somehow though I see myself stewing about this for a while longer.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Coming up short

I have decided not to participate in the second platform building challenge. I had a lot of fun doing the first one, but I really can not seem to devote the brain power to the second one. I can honestly barely devote any brain power to anything just now.

I have hit a point during the faire prep process where my brain sort of overloads and then shuts down. I try and do simple things and they just come out all wrong. I suppose that is part of the reason it took me two attempts to draft a simple shirt pattern.

I wrote a blog entry this morning. It was something that I sort of wrote in my head on the drive into work. It was talking all about age being a state of mind and how most of my friends are what some would consider significantly older or younger than me. I never see them as any age, they are just my friends.

It was pretty awful when I was done. It was an endless rambling stream of blathering on my behalf. I saved you all from it by deleting it. Trust me, it was for the good of everyone everywhere.

I made another attempt in the early afternoon to write a different blog post, but I didn't even get as far as hating and deleting it. Instead I sort of stared blankly at the screen and typed nothing at all. I couldn't even organize my thoughts enough to know what I was wanting to write.

I managed to plow through the rather sizeable eviction file that was waiting for me, and I am amazed I did that much. It is thankfully completely mindless work, so I am fairly certain I didn't screw anything up with that. After that I am not certain I can manage anything else with even an iota of critical thought.

I am sure that after the stress of getting all of the costuming done on time has passed my brain will start functioning again. I really  hope it does since I have of late come up with some interesting ideas for my WIP, as well as found some small amount of desire to work on it.

For now though I am just going to quietly sit over here and try not to do anything to complicated.

And I want a donut.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Road Hazard

So there I was, driving home from work, singing along to Jukebox Hero on the radio, and planning out my evening in my head. I was going to go home and clean up the kitchen, make a nice simple dinner for the sick husbeast, and then sew the night away. The plan was a good one, but you know what they say about making plans.

All of a sudden out of nowhere there is this noise. I can't even describe what the noise was. All I know is suddenly something was wrong. The warning light on my dashboard came on and bells started going off. The steering wheel began to jerk and things started getting rough.

I quickly limped into the nearest parking lot and parked. As I got out and started circling the car I was afraid of what I might find. A flat tire was what I was hoping to find. Not that a flat tire is good, but it is an easy fix and not to terribly expensive. In theory it could be a really cheap patch job at vest.

Yea, so I am not really lucky. I was not prepared for what I found.

That is my rear passenger tire, and that is a large piece of debris jutting out from the side. What the hell?!

Yea I was not expecting to see a large spike of wood imbedded in my tire. How the hell does that even happen? I mean aren't tires supposed to be tough enough that a piece of wood, even a giant piece of wood, can not penetrate them? At least that is what I always though. Judging by my tire, I am sorely misinformed.

Now I am struck with the problem of the situation. I get off of work an hour before the husbeast does. I also can't actually change a tire, not that I have a spare tire to use. Now I know you are freaking out thinking how can I not know how to change a tire.

Lets get things clear, I know how to change a tire, I simply can not actually do it. I have a bad back and on the list of things my doctor has told me never to do includes changing tires. There is a level of physical exertion I can't achieve anymore. When I was younger it wasn't a problem for me, now it is.

It took about half an hour for the husbeast to get out of work and to me. He was shocked by the sight of my tire. We both agreed that I don't do anything half-assed.  This spike is huge!

We managed to get the tire off after the husbeast fought with my crappy jack. Then we drove as fast as we could to the nearest Discount Tire. You see my car as on a jack in a slightly shady parking lot and the sun was going down. That and Discount Tire closes at 6pm.

We made a very dangerous turn from the middle lane and I practically jumped out of the moving car and ran at the front door. The guy literally locked the door behind me while the husbeast was still in the parking lot pulling the tire out of the car. We were really lucky tonight, in the past we have had to drive around for over an hour to find an open tire shop.

The entire process ended up taking about two hours. We managed to get the new tire on the car without having the car fall off the jack, which was impressive considering we traded out jacks twice. Yea nothing simple in my world.

This was not the way I wanted to spend my evening. In the end I am down $150, I got no cleaning done, we ate leftovers, and I got no sewing done. I suppose it could be worse though, I mean this thing could have done a lot more damage I am sure.

Roll of paper towel for size comparison.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Parting is such sweet sorrow

I am one of those girls who has never really coveted other peoples hair, though I by no means have always loved mine. I mean you normally here women saying they want curls instead of straight hair, or straight hair instead of curls, and brunets want to be blonds and so on and so forth. I have never really wished for different hair for more than a day. Straight hair is nice to visit but I don't want to get rid of my curls.

When I was younger my hair was ridiculously thick and annoyingly frizzy. The latter came from the fact that I had neither the knowledge nor inclination to take care of my massive mane of curls.  As I got older my hair started to resemble my mothers hair; baby fine and thinning. That wasn't exactly the trait I was hoping to get from my mother.

Curls are a pain to take care of. Seriously the number of rules for curly hair are just stupid. You have to pay attention to length, and avoid layers, and avoid brushes and combs, and you have to use product, and cold water is better than hot, and too much heat does bad things, and too much moisture does worse things, and you have to volumize your roots without weighing down your ends.

Then there is the general annoyance of the curls getting caught in everything. Your head is practically velcro. When I could wear earrings I never wore anything dangly or complicated as my hair would inevitably eat them. Fuzz is constantly getting stuck in the ringlets as well as any number of other things like leaves, string, and crumbs*.

Still for all the trouble it is I adore my hair. I love having all these curls, and honestly so does everyone else. I hear more people talking about coveting my ringlets than you would believe. I know they would hate them if they had to suddenly try and tame them, but they will probably never know what trouble they really are.

Recently I have been making an effort to love my curls more. I am a low maintenance sort of girl. If I could be no maintenance I so would be, but I am not sure anyone who wants to be socially acceptable can be no maintenance. As it is things like makeup and actual hair styling are reserved for special occasions only. I am told I can get away with this and I will continue to believe it is true because I have those sorts of friends.**

Part of loving my curls though means more maintenance. As I mentioned before I am already restricted in how I care for my hair in measures of water temperature, combing, drying, and types of product. This has not changed, I have simply added product and changed some procedures. Where I would normally towel dry my hair I now just ring it out and sort of blot the ends to keep from dripping. Where I used to just use a leave in conditioner or BioSilk and some curl defining spray, I have now added in a curl volumizer.

My routine now involves me standing with my head turned upside down as I scrunch my hair up with goo covered hands. The husbeast came in for a goodbye kiss this morning and I had to deny him because I was right in the middle of applying the product and didn't want to get it on him or mess up my curls.

The other actual change is that I have stopped parting my hair. I can't remember a time when I didn't part my hair. When I was little it was a side part, and then in middle and high school, all the way through my mid 20's it was a center part. After I took a chunk out of my hair with a dremel*** I went back to a side part to cover up the horror that was my hair.

Now with all of this flipping and scrunching and curl staging, I find that any forced part looks odd. I tried a side part and a center part, but every time my curls looked like they were laying wrong. It ruined the mostly messy look that is so attractive to the curls. So I have parted with the idea of a part.

So far this new technique is working alright. I feel my hair looks a little crunchy, but my friends are insisting that it looks really good. I suppose I will trust them for now. The nice thing about hair is that if I decide I don't like it I can change it, and if all else fails, it will grow out and I can try something new.

*Ok so crumbs only happened when my hair was long enough to fall over my shoulders. Besides my hair my boobs catch the most crumbs when eating.

**My friends wouldn't let me walk around looking stupid. I am pretty sure it is because they care and not because they don't want to be judged for being with me.

***It wasn't on purpose. My hair came loose while I was dremeling a table and got wrapped up around the spinning head. I ended up with a 1" nub of hair in the front. It was...traumatic.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

You like me, you really like me!

So I have to say I was completely shocked to check my blog this morning to find that someone had left me not one, but two awards. I have to say I was a little flabbergasted. I've not been given an award before for my blog, and here I am with two.

I've always seen these things on other peoples blogs and felt a little left out. Sure they are just a fun little meme disguised as an award, but I wasn't being asked to play and that is never fun. I like getting to play too!!

So I have to thank the lovely Becky over at Once Upon a Time for these awards. She is a new minion joining us from the writers platform building campaign. I am so glad I found her because I find her own blog to be refreshing and enjoyable.

So on to the awards.

First we have the Sunshine Award!

With this award I have to:

  • Thank the person who gave you the award and provide a link.
  • Write a post about it
  • Answer the questions below.
  • Pass it on to 10 bloggers who you think really deserve it and let them know
Answer 10 Questions:
  1. Favorite color – Purple
  2. Favorite animal – If I was a little girl I would have screamed horse at you very loudly, but now I am not really sure. I like cats. We will go with cat. Yea.
  3. Favorite number –  5. I have no idea why either, I just know it has been my favorite number since I was very little.
  4. Favorite non-alcoholic drink – Milk. I gave up soda about a year ago or I probably would have said Dr Pepper, but honestly milk is the better answer. I have loved milk for a very long time. My mother should have loved this, only I drank enough of the stuff to make it annoying for her.
  5. Facebook or Twitter –Facebook. I just don't get Twitter. I have an account, but I sort of lurk there and never say anything because I just feel awkward.
  6. My passion – Should we be talking about this in polite company? Oh mean...not...umm, cooking, and faire all sort of tie. DON'T MAKE ME CHOOSE!
  7. Getting or giving presents? – I like getting presents, I am only human, but I LOVE giving presents. Love, love, love it!!
  8. Favorite pattern – I feel like I should say something witty or nerdy like Fibonacci, but honestly I got nothing for this. 
  9. Favorite day of the week – I have to say Saturday. Not because I don't have to go to my day job, but for a good portion of the year I don't have to be me on Saturdays.
  10. Favorite flower – Dasies

The second award is the Kreative Blogger Award!

For this award I have to:

  • Thank the blogger who gave you the award and provide a link.
  • List 7 interesting things about yourself that your readers might find interesting
  • Nominate 7 other bloggers, provide links, and let them know!
7 Interesting Things:
  1. I in the performance company at Scarborough Renaissance Festival. I also am one of the costuming directors for the cast.
  2. I am the third eldest of 11 children; 1 full brother (older), 1 step brother (older), 2 half brothers, 2 half sisters, and 4 step sisters. I am only close to my full brother and one step sister. The rest I have not seen since they were young, and mostly only keep up with through Facebook.
  3. I can bend all the fingers on my left hand, including my thumb, backwards to touch my wrist. Also the tendon that connects my middle and ring finger on that hand is more separated than the average person allowing me to move the two fingers independently of one another on a level most people can not.
  4. I was so uncoordinated as a child that my dance instructor told my mom that she should find me a hobby that didn't involve movement. This is still the truth.
  5. My right eye has had more traumas than any other part of my body. I had a severe paper cut in my eye when I was in 1st grade. I got stabbed in the eye with a coffee straw in the 5th grade. I got a piece of sand in my eye and severely scratched it in the 7th grade. I stabbed myself in the eye with a liquid eyeliner brush in 12th grade (my actual eyeball was stained black for a few days and then was red for another week from the burst blood vessels). Finally my optometrist thought I had cancer in my right eye when I was 19, though it turned out to just be a freckle after they did a sonogram of my eye (and yes you have to use that goo to do a sonogram anywhere, including the eye).
  6. I have a super keen sense of smell which the husbeast swears is actually my super power. Trust me it is not the super power I would have ever wished for.
  7. My dreams are so vivid and so epic that I can recall a good majority of them in perfect detail years after I first had them. I can still remember every detail of a dream I had when I was 7 (that is almost 24 years for those trying to do the math).

Thinking of interesting things is always so hard. I mean what I think is interesting might not be interesting to you, or you might already know it and then I am just repeating myself, or actually it is more freaky than interesting and you want to run away and pretend you never read my blog. Or maybe I am just being neurotic.

So yea, the final bit where I pass these awards on to others (and this is actually the part I really don't like because I am never sure if the people will be excited and think it is cool, or roll their eyes and think it is lame and be annoyed.)
3. My sweet Toni over at They All Start Out As Toads
5. Sarah over at Empty White Pages
6. LEBean! over at Bean on Parade
7. Joanna over at Skin and Paper

Yea only 7, but its the best I can do. Enjoy!