Thursday, February 28, 2013

If your house were burning...?

A few months ago I accidentally discovered Stumble Upon, which has to be the easiest way to lose time in the universe. It was like the internet was randomized and customized to me all at the same time. I lost an entire day the first time I visited it. Now I am much more strict with myself when I go to pressing my Stumble button.

On that first trip down the rabbit hole I discovered a couple of really cool sites including one called Chicquero. It was a site full of interesting photography that had me completely captivated from the first moment. I have been following it ever since, and about once a week am greeted by some truly fantastic images.

This week the images I found in my feed were really cool, documenting the contents of suitcase belonging to patients at a turn of the century lunatic asylum. As intriguing as those were it was a link at the bottom of the page that caught my eye. In the list of articles I might also enjoy were the words: "What if your house was burning?".

How could I resist clicking on a link like that? I mean really? What I found was a project that had been based around the question of what you would save from your home if it were burning. The project took on the view that hearing the answers was cool, but seeing the answers was even cooler. I tend to agree.

It was fascinating to see what people found to be irreplaceable. I assume this project was done by photographers since almost every image had a camera of some sort in it. Almost everyone rescued their laptop and phone and iPod. You can tell which ones were women since most of them grabbed their purses. It appears there were a lot of musicians as well considering the number of instruments that were in the rescue pile.

I was a little surprised there were not more sets of keys than there were. I was also surprised by the lack of pets and old stuffed animals. A few people included a stuffed animal but I only saw one cat and two dogs in the entire series. I just hope these are people with no pets and not people who would save their laptops over their dogs and cats.

It did get me thinking though, what would I save? If my house suddenly caught fire and I only had a minute or so to rescue that which I held closest, what would I grab? I mean I have a lot of stuff that I am fairly closely attached to, but dude the house is burning, gotta make some hard choices.

I would of course save my pets. If I got out nothing but the cats and the dog (and of course the husbeast) then I would be fine. I couldn't really live with myself if I just abandoned them to a fiery doom.I mean it may just involve throwing open a door and scaring them out and hoping I can find them later, but I would get them out.

After that though what would I grab? I guess the practical part of me would grab my purse, wallet, phone, and keys. Those are all right there, so you know, easy enough to grab in one sweeping motion. If I could grab my laptop I would save that too. What can I say, I am a slave to my technology. Though I think as far as practicality goes that would be the limit of it.

Sentimental grabs are much harder. There is a small wooden box in my kitchen that has my grandfathers dog tags in it and my grandmothers charm bracelet in it. I would grab that. I would also grab my grandfathers (and the husbeasts grandfathers) pocket watches out of the jewelery box. While I was in there I would grab my grandmothers pearls and my original wedding band and engagement ring (which are entirely too big on my and are awaiting a resizing once I am confident I am done losing weight) along with the first ring the husbeast ever gave me.

I have a little stuffed bunny, Buttercup, that I would grab. I have had him forever and couldn't leave him behind. The bunny and my blankie from when I was little would have to come with me. I also couldn't leave behind Zachary bear. There is also a snowglobe with a goose in it from my grandfather I would have to save and the tiny Pieta statue my grandmother gave me.

There are a couple of photographs that I don't think we have copies of that I would grab, mostly very old family photos. I would also grab the the copy of the husbeast's grandfathers record. I would also take my Bear Man mug and mirror.

Lastly there is a small table that contains a bunch of random things like rocks collected for me from all over the world, small figurines, a bottle of water that was collected under a blue moon on Halloween in a cemetery from a holy spring, weird stuff like that which has some importance to me and could not be replaced but could all easily be swept into my bag as I ran out the door.

Also this all assumes the husbeast is there with me so he can save his own list. I mean if he weren't there I would feel obligated to grab his laptop and tablet as well as grab his minis bag so as to try and save some of them. Maybe a sword or two as well; the chopper and the wolves for sure. Ohh and Horse, which is a stuffed horse he has had since he was a wee beasty.

Not pictured: The husbeasts laptop as he was on it, his mini's bag because I forgot it, and the animals because seriously there is no way I could get all four of them and all this in a picture, let alone the 4 of them together where blood was not being shed.

I took my own picture but it isn't all that great. I sort of forgot I wanted to take it until just before we went to bed so I was in a rush and a little sleepy. Also the batteries in my actual camera were dead so I had to use the Husbeasts phone to take the shot. Also the white of the bedspread doesn't help things. The little cellophane looking baggies are actually cellophane baggies. They have my rocks from the Galapagos, Machu Pichu, and sand from Scarborough in them. Anyways it gives an idea of what I am talking about.

I know it sounds like a lot of stuff (and looks like it too), but  I could easily do it. My biggest issue would be getting the animals out and not breaking the five or six breakable items on my list. If I started at one end of the house and rushed through I could manage it all. I hope I never have to find out.

What about you? What would you save if your house was burning?

Monday, February 25, 2013

Breaking point

I worked in customer service over the phones for a number of years. How many? It doesn't really matter, but having known a number of people to hold jobs like mine I can say any amount of time is really too long. It is a very thankless and trying job. No one likes the person on the other end of the phone when it is not a social call. Heck sometimes you don't even like the person during a social call.

Being on the phones taught me a few things. The first, and a fact that my mother would have never believed when I was a teenager, is that I despise talking on the phone. That may have simply been a side effect of working on the phones, but it is certainly a truth now. For a girl who could easily spend eight hours on the phone during high school, this is an interesting revelation.

The second thing it taught me, and the more important thing, is that I never want to treat anyone the way I was so frequently treated. Irate customers are very common, but most of the time it is not actually the phone reps fault. Most of the time the customer is mad at the corporation or the circumstances and they will lash out at the perfectly innocent rep that had the misfortune to answer their call.

Having been cursed at in ways that would embarrass a seasoned sailor and hung up on more times than I can count, I determined never to be that person. As long as the rep is being as helpful and polite as they can be, I won't be that asshat on the other end of the phone.

When I am angry I will preface my conversation with some sort of disclaimer like "I am not mad at you, but I am very angry, and I may shout some and say some ugly things, but it is not directed at you.". I will also not hang up on people. I hate being hung up on, so I don't want to do that to someone else.

This morning I broke all my own rules and became that person. I hate that I did that, but I was so incredibly angry I couldn't help myself. Everyone has their limit, and I found mine today.

A little background:

We own our house in the way most people own their houses; we owe a small fortune to banks to which we will be paying off until we retire. We had the unfortunate pleasure of purchasing our house mere  months before the housing bubble burst and were among those poor saps who got predatory loans. Our large loan was horrible, our small loan was just annoying.

A few years ago we managed to refinance our way out of our very predatory large loan and were happy with what we had. Then our small loan was sold to a very large well known financial institution. This turned out to be anything but a good thing.

Our house sits in a flood zone. Actually one five foot section of the far end of our back yard sits in a flood zone. Still this is enough to require us to have some ridiculously expensive flood insurance required on our home. In the beginning we purchased our own insurance but quickly found this to be an issue.

For some weird reason our larger mortgage company kept insisting we didn't have sufficient flood insurance. They wanted equal flood and homeowners insurance on our house. Considering we have a significantly larger amount of home owners insurance than flood insurance this was an issue. Flood insurance is only supposed to cover the physical property, not contents. My home owners insurance covers both.

This was a long drawn out fight that ended with us telling them to take out their own damned policy and rolling it into our escrow. It was so asinine.  In the end the policy they took out for us cost the same as the policy we had taken out for ourselves. If it meant I didn't have to fight with them anymore I was happy.

The only problem is they can't ever seem to send the renewal of policy notice to our other mortgage company. So every year for the last five years my smaller mortgage company (big well known financial institution of doom) has sent us angry  notices about not having flood insurance.

This is a dance I am annoyingly familiar with. Every July when our insurance renews I get the new policy and immediately fax it to all appropriate parties. After a month we start getting angry notes. I refax the information. After a few months we start getting the letters again, this time they are certified. I fax the information yet again.

Then around Christmas they decide they will just take out a policy for us and throw an insane escrow onto my account jacking up my monthly payments to nearly three times what they normally are. I fax the information to them again after an angry phone call.

Then they return my January mortgage payment saying they do not accept partial payments. Then I get late notices and angry letters saying I owe them a hell of a lot more money than I really do and that they don't appreciate me skipping a payment despite them having auto drafted my payment like they always do. More angry phone calls and more faxing.

February payment is also brushed off as an unacceptable partial payment. I am now getting late fees and penalties piled up on me, not to mention what this is doing to my credit. Every rep I talk to through gritted teeth insists that even if this is their mistake they can't stop the collection and foreclosure process. We have to pay everything the system insists we owe or else.

Finally I manage to get a rep to get my other mortgage company on the phone who gets their insurance company on the phone and then there is a long confusing four way conversation that concludes with confirmation on all sides that I have flood insurance.

Seven to ten business days and I will be able to fix the issue with my payments not being current is what I was told a week and a half ago. I called this morning to straighten things out. I got a curt young woman telling me I owed way more than I do insisting that I still had an escrow.

This was when I started losing it. I told her to just transfer me to escrow so I could fix this. She kept asking me stupid questions and I started snapping at her. I started cursing. She transferred me as fast as she could. I was not any nicer to the next woman who answered. She made some noises as she checked my case notes and told me she requested that they remove the escrow; 3 to 5 business days and I should be able to call back to discuss the issue of missed payments.

At this point I think I may have shouted at her despite being at work in my cube. I am pretty sure I said something along the lines of 'You people are all grossly incompetent fuck up' and ranted a little about how it was unacceptable that I have had to do this bullshit for five years. Then I hung up on her.

I am so disgusted with the situation that I can't actually manage to work up being upset with the way I behaved. I am flustered and agitated. I shouldn't have to put up with this sort of thing. It is complete crap. I should behave better, but every person has their breaking point.

What is a girl supposed to do?

Friday, February 22, 2013

I come by my quirky honestly

The first time I ever sewed anything was when I was a young girl. I think I had to be around 7 or 8 at the time. I remember I made a pillow, you know the typical really simple project for a young kid to be able to accomplish. I want to say that this little project was done at the behest of my Aunt Frances, who was one of the strangest funniest women I have ever met.

No seriously, Aunt Frances was nothing short of amazing. She was actually my great aunt, but we were very close to all of my mothers aunts and uncles so we never really made the distinction between aunts and uncles and the great variety of the same title. Aunt Frances was always my favorite.

How do I describe her? Well quite simply she was like a white Nell Carter. If you don't know who Nell Carter is, well that is a damn shame. If you do know who she is you are probably smiling and nodding to yourself now. You probably also now understand why she was my favorite.

I can remember the first time that my sister (step) met Aunt Frances. We had driven out to the middle of nowhere East Texas where she lived. I can't remember why, probably for a funeral since that is the only reason we ever went out there as a large group. Still Nicky had to be around seven or eight at the time and she had never met any of the extended family before.

We were standing out in the garage chatting when Aunt Frances came out to see why we were all just standing around outside. My mom introduced her to my dad and my sister. Frances looked my sister up and down, planted her little fists on her waist and frowned before saying "Well aren't  you just the ugliest little thing I have ever seen."

Yea that was Aunt Frances, traumatizing little girls for the fun of it.

My sister may or may not have started to cry some. I think she actually just stared gap mouthed at this little round woman in front of her. Frances obviously saw nothing wrong with what she had said. Without missing a beat she took my sister by the shoulder saying "Come on ugly, lets go in the kitchen and make some biscuits."

My poor sister looked back to me and my mom, and all we could do was snicker and tell her that Frances didn't really mean she was ugly (Frances said oh yes I do) and that the biscuits were well worth anything she said. I don't think my sister ever actually believed us, well not about Frances not meaning the ugly thing, the biscuits really were worth it.

Ohh those biscuits. Now there is something I will always remember. She always made homemade biscuits when we visited. I actually can't tell you now what they tasted like, but I remember how excited I would get about the biscuits. I just remember they were amazing. I wish I had been older when I last had them so I could remember more of why they were so amazing.

Aunt Frances used to always tell us that when she died she wanted a giant 7 foot statue of an angel placed over her grave. It wasn't so much that she wanted a giant angel on her grave, because that would be too simple. It was the fact that in the family cemetery her plot was directly in front of my great grandparents grave. She said she wanted her angel to cast a shadow over great grandma Emma's grave for all times.

Yea that was Aunt Frances, plotting to annoy her mother-in-law from beyond the grave.

You know I didn't even start out this post intending to write about her, but as soon as I started typing I realized that there was no way I couldn't write about her. Aunt Frances was just one of those people that deserve to be talked about. I so very much she was still with us, I think I would really enjoy knowing her as an adult.

The world needs more quirky eccentric happy women like Frances in the world. I hope that some day I will be looked at like I looked at Aunt Frances. I hope someday I can be that cool. It is good to have things to shoot for.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

When I grow old

This past weekend during workshops for faire we asked our students during character class what it was, when they were young, that they wanted to be when they grew up. The exercise had a point relevant to character development, but it isn't relative to this post so I will skip over that. We always start these exercises with the instructors giving their answers as an example. When it came my turn I proved to be a bad example.

I wasn't a bad example because I sat there and hemmed and hawed over what my childhood dream job was, it wasn't because I seemed caught off guard by the question and faltered, it was because I honestly had no answer to give. Quite simply, when I was a little girl, I did not want to be anything when I grew up.

I am certain if you asked my mother she would say I wanted to be something like a vet, or Miss America, or some other random thing kids say. That is just it though it was a random thing I would say. I was very aware I should have some sort of future ambition, I simply didn't. Since people love to ask kids what they want to be when they grow up, I had to have some sort of generic answer to keep them from bugging me.

I don't think I lacked in ambition or in goals, I just could never really see myself as a grown up. Some days I still can't see me as a grown up and I am almost 32. It was always this nebulous eventuality that I sort of figured would sort itself out when I got there.

When I was in high school I could have told you easily what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wanted to be an actress. Not necessarily in the movies, more likely a Broadway star. Of course I wouldn't turn down the chance to be a big film star if it was offered to me.

Theater was my passion at that point in my life. It was almost an obsession. During my four years in high school I spent more time in the theater than I did in all my other classes combined. I absolutely loved everything about it. There was nothing I wanted to do more in the world.

When I got to college, I had the same opinion; theater was life. I started to change my focus from performing to costuming, but it was all in the same world. I still loved acting, but I loved costuming too. My biggest problem with college is that they wanted me to study other things that I didn't care about like geology and algebra.

Then I left college and in my mind for the longest time, I just left theater behind. I had a 'real' job in a cube farm, I was married with a mortgage and two car payments, and theater was something I certainly had no time for. It had been this driving force in my life for so long, and honestly the mere idea of a theater life suddenly seemed exhausting. That dream and the life I really love didn't seem to mesh any more.

A few years back I was at a Shakespear in the the Park production of Mid Summers Nights Dream (coincidentally the first show I ever did) that a dear friend of mine from college was directing. Several of my friends from college were also in the production. It was a fabulous show, but it gave me a slight pang inside that I couldn't describe. Maybe it was regret or a sense of loss or just bitersweet memories of how much this used to be my life.

After the performance I stood on the hill chatting with my college friends and the question came up as to what I was doing theater wise now. I was very uncomfortable suddenly. I sort of shrugged and said I wasn't doing anything in theater anymore, which promptly earned me a punch to the arm from the friends I had brought with me to the show.

They were quick to remind me that I was doing faire. It suddenly occurred to me that they were right. I hadn't given up theater. I was a member of a professional acting troupe and performed regularly. I was also a costume designer. Sure it isn't Broadway or the movies, but it is something that is very real and legitimate. I am still living that passion.

So it took me longer than most to figure out what it was that I wanted to do with my life. Really though I think I always knew, and I am not even sure that theater was the answer. I think I couldn't say what it was when I was a child because I didn't understand. I do now though.

When I was young, and still to this day, when I grew up I wanted to be passionate about my life. I wanted to do something in some way that I could be passionate about. It is that act that makes life so much more colorful and fulfilling.

I guess I got my dream after all.

Friday, February 15, 2013


I am lucky to be a person of many varied talents. I have a number of skills and talents that some would consider impressive. I think I am at least passingly fair at most of them. I can cook, I write, I can design and make costumes, I act, and I am sure I am forgetting something. Still that is a pretty impressive list when you sit down and think about it.

For as many things I am good at though, I am equally bad at other things. I am in no way musically inclined for example. I sing very badly. I mean I am not going to make dogs howl when I sing along with the radio, but I would most certainly be that painful American Idol audition that the judges and the public mock.

I also can't play any musical instruments. I just lack in things like a natural sense of rhythm that are sort of important to playing music. I took piano lessons for years as a kid and I don't think I was ever anything but passable. I enjoyed the hell out of it, but it just was not something I was any good at despite wanting to be.

Going along with a lack of rhythm I have a complete lack of natural grace, which means dancing is right out. In fact most physical activities are not in my wheel house. I suck at sports, though I honestly never wanted to be good at sports. Dancing was something I actually wanted to be good at.

When I was a very little girl I can remember taking ballet and tap classes. I loved putting on my tights and my tap shoes and just giving it my all. I think I was too young to really grasp the fact that I completely sucked. I believe my teacher finally told my mother to find me something I was more suited for, preferably something that did not involve moving. A little harsh I guess, but it really was true.

When I got to college I took a stage movement class as part of my core theater work. We covered all sorts of things including a lot of different dance styles. I was passable in most of them, and by passable I mean my teacher didn't flunk me on the section. When we got to tap though I was struggling so much because while I could get the motions right I couldn't get the sound right.

I think a lack or rhythm is worst for tap dancing than most any other sound. I am expected to move and make sound at the same time. We already covered my lack of musical ability so you can imagine how frustrating this was for me. There were tears involved at least once.

I spent that section in a group of students who were referred to as 'remedial'. I can't tell you how incredibly discouraging that is. I mean I already knew I sucked, but now I am being labeled as sucking. Again it was a little harsh but for the best. We were slowing down the rest of the class. Hell I am pretty sure I was slowing down the remedial kids.

When it came time to test for the section we were allowed to test in groups of equal skill. I can remember my teacher actually stopping me short and giving me the nicest smile saying "Really that is close enough. Just stop." I think she was trying to avoid me bursting into tears. I passed simply because I never gave up trying and she recognized that I was never going to be able to do what I was supposed to be doing.

While I would love to be able to play an instrument or be able to sing, I think if I had to choose a talent to have it would be dance. I mean not being any good at it doesn't stop me from flailing about like an idiot, but I would love to be good at it too. When I hear my friends who can sing I am a little envious, but when I watch my friends who dance I am truly jealous.

It just is not in the cards. I will never sing, I will never play an instrument, and I will never dance and earn praise for it. These are things that I have long since accepted. None of this will stop me though from singing at the top of my lungs when a song I like comes on the radio, or singing softly to myself when I am alone. It will not stop me from dancing like an idiot every chance I get. You don't need talent to have fun.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Let your geek flag fly

I am a geek. I will proudly stand up and say this to anyone and not care whether I get ridiculed for it or not. I work at a Renaissance faire, do you seriously think that I am not used to being publicly ridiculed? Seriously though, I have no idea why anyone would think that being a geek was a bad thing.

I know geek is very chic now days. Everywhere you look you have geek thrown in your face saying that it is alright. From Big Bang Theory to The Guild to celebrities endorsing games like WoW (Mr T anyone?) and D&D (Vin Diesel actually wrote a forward to the 20th anniversary addition core rule book) we are being told more and more that being a geek is good. I just don't think I needed to be told this.You hear the phrase 'Let your geek flag fly" and I have to wonder if I ever was afraid to do that.

I never made it a secret that I played role playing games. In college I openly turned down clubbing and partying in favor of marathon D&D games. We even were known to go out of town to a friends secluded farm so we could be totally uninterrupted in our gaming indulgence.

I have had a weekly D&D game running at my house for over six years now. Every Tuesday (or Wednesday depending on people's schedules) I have a group of friends to my house for dinner and D&D. If anyone asks me to do something on that night I never make an excuse or simply say I am busy, I will tell them that I have D&D.

I have been playing in online RP chatrooms for well over a decade now and have never had any problem talking about my stories in public. I am a huge Harry Potter geek and have been known to have loud feverish fangirl discussions in crowded places. I am not ashamed to admit that I sobbed (loudly) through the final movie. Of course pretty much half of the people in the theater were my friend and most of them were sobbing messes too.

I have been involved in debates over comic book cannon standing in a theater before and after movies like X-Men. I have even been involved in educating patrons of said movies when they seemed clueless at why people were so amused by certain moments in the film. I have stood in book stores and totally geeked out to strangers who have asked my opinion on a book I really enjoy.

I am also a huge history geek. If me working for a Renaissance faire didn't give that one away I don't know what else would. Of course there are a lot of people who would say me working for faire is a good indicator that I am not a history geek since faires aren't always historically accurate. That will incur a rant of epic proportions from me.

I have squeed and gushed in front of people over getting things like The History of Salt for my birthday. I was truly intrigued by the recent discovery of Richard III bones, and actually laughed at (and understood) the jokes and meme's going all over Facebook. If you have no idea what I am talking about, obviously you don't have friends as geeky as mine.

So whether it is popular now or popular in the future is not going to change my geek status. I am going to continue happily in my geekdoms as I always have. I don't need to be told to let my geek flag fly as I have never hidden it away. Long live the geek.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Back to base

I have been told for years that you should write what you know. I suppose that is why I like writing this blog. Everything that I write here is something I know. Or at least I fake it pretty well most of the time. Either way it is writing I enjoy and normally comes to me fairly easily.

I have also been told that when all else fails, go back to things you are familiar with. I suppose it is the idea that when you are lost or stuck, the familiar will help you regain your footing. Start back at the basics before you try and launch into the more complicated.

For me, the familiar and what I know happen to be the same thing. It is a nameless project that has been in the works for what seems like forever. It is a story that I know so intimately that I am always surprised when some new aspect reveals itself to me. It is a thing that has grown and changed so many times over the years but has at its core always been the same.

I am not certain if it is a project that will ever be completed. In some ways that makes me very sad. It is a story I really want to share. I think it is a story that others would very much enjoy. I think seeing its completion would be so radically satisfying.

At the same time it is a story I never really want to end. I love that it is always there waiting for me to come back and work on it some more. I love how it will suddenly grow and shift and take me to places I didn't know existed. I love how it seems so alive. Finishing it would take all of that from me.

I feel sort of guilty that I never give the story the focus it deserves. Every six months to a year I go back and start opening all the files again. I lovingly read over what is there and make notes about how it needs to change. Sometimes I cringe at the poor writing I left behind, and sometimes I have to smile at what I see as a rather brilliant use of words.

I will work on it feverishly for a few days or a few weeks and then once again it will be set aside. It will lay dormant again until I need it while other projects are lovingly tended to. I will plod along on other things while it waits, knowing I will be back.

I think maybe though, the best part of this particular story is that it is not just mine. It is a shared piece between myself and one of my favorite people in the world. We have been telling this story together so long that it is as much a part of our friendship as anything else.

I love that I can always share the love of this story with her. I love that my passion for this world and these characters can always be shared with someone. I can turn to her and tell her some new revelation I have had and she will squee with excitement as it becomes real in her mind as well. I love that she can in turn do the same for me. We can grow this world together.

Sometimes old is new, and new is old, but there is always a peace and comfort in the familiar and what we know. I think it is well past time for me to go and get comfortable again.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Word search

Sometimes I just can not find the words.

Actually I take that back. I can always find words. Words are always a constant. I should more aptly say; Sometimes I can not find the right words. Saying stuff is easy. Saying the right stuff at the right time is actually really quite difficult.

Here lately I have been full of the wrong words. There have been plenty of things flying from my fingertips, and yet no content being generated. I will sit and write and write until I am satisfied that I have written all there is for the moment, but when I look back on the words I deflate. These are not the words I wanted to write.

I think in the last week I have deleted four completed blog posts. I have written everything from lists of random personal facts, to stories from my youth, to talking about current injuries. Every one of them fell flat. I felt nothing for what I had written. If I can't get behind reading it how can I expect anyone else to?

It isn't just here in my little blog either. I have been doing the same for my stories for a while now. I will write pages of content on a story and in the end have nothing to show for it. I think that I can always go back and edit it and change it if it sucks. Then I go back and re read it and realize that 'editing' in this case would be 'deleting and rewriting' because it doesn't even begin to resemble what the story needs.

I don't know what I am doing wrong. I don't know that I am doing anything wrong. I can't say I am lacking in inspiration or missing my muse, because that isn't it. I know what I want to write. I know what I want to say. I even know I want to do it. It just isn't working out that way.

I am doing the one thing I know I should do. I am writing. I sit down and put my fingers on the keyboard or a pen to paper, and I just write. I write until I am done and hope that what I have put down is worth something. I write in hopes that even if it is worthless in content that it will push me through to writing what needs to be done.

I just have to keep searching for my words.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Beylit and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day

Do you ever have one of those days where absolutely nothing seems to go right? One of those days where everything you do is wrong and everything around you just seems to fall apart. One of those days where things break in a way that there is no fixing anything leaving you to just sit around and hope nothing else screws up. Yea that was yesterday for me.

I had such a lovely weekend. The husbeast and I went on a mini vacation to Shreveport to the boats. We have both been under a lot of stress and with faire starting for us this week we desperately needed a little down time before we give up all our free time until June. A little lighthearted gambling was just what we needed.

We came home Sunday night relaxed and content. By 7:30am Monday morning any calm I had achieved was totally gone. That has to be some sort of record considering I only woke up at 7am. All of it gone out the window with one simple text letting me know that there was a crisis waiting for me at work. That is the way I love to start my day.

I wish I could say that work was the only thing troubling me, but alas that would have just made it a typical Monday, and not a day really worth complaining about. No on top of work pretty much remaining at the halt it has been at for over a week, add into that a nice fight with my mortgage company. It is the same fight I have to have with them every year at this time when the magically lose our flood insurance and start suddenly charging us an extra $500 a month for their own lender placed policy.

I also came across a startling and upsetting realization that I completely screwed up while trying to rebook our reservations for the hotel last weekend. In the end instead of having a free nights stay I actually cost us $30. I know it is not much, but in my head it is more like $170 and still incredibly stupid. I hate wasting money.

By lunch I was so agitated and cranky I decided to run across the street and work out for a bit to try and work off some of the anger. That is a healthy way to channel my angst. Before I even left the office though I realized I couldn't find my headphones anywhere. My moderately expensive and comfortable headphones of joy had apparently fallen out of my purse at the hotel. I had to borrow ear buds from my friend in the office. I discovered to my dismay that ear buds (because my head phones go over my ears not in them) cause me to be able to hear my own heartbeat and breathing when working out. Both are incredibly distracting.

Still I went and worked out. It was the right thing to do. No good deed goes unpunished though. I was rewarded by this positive activity by limping back into the office with a pulled calf muscle and still  being every bit as cranky as I was when I headed to the gym.

Then I discovered that I didn't have the microwave lunch in my cupboard at work like I thought I did, so the main component of my lunch was non existent. I ended up eating all my sides and my yogurt that was supposed to be a snack for lunch, and later having to eat a pack of peanuts out of my purse to keep from stabbing anyone from hunger rage.

I managed to get through the grocery store after work without incident, and was really just ready for the day to end. I just wanted to make dinner and then sit on the couch watching TV for the rest of the night. I started prepping the pork chops to cook, and realized only a moment too late that I had not grabbed the pepper can out of the spice cabinet. I sat there staring down at the thick brownish red coating on my pork chop inhaling the sweet smell of cinnamon and began cursing so loud I scared the cat that was napping at my feet.

I managed to wash most of the cinnamon off, and thankfully the mild cinnamon flavor that infected the meat was mostly complimentary. If the husbeast did not like it he was wise enough not to comment on the flavor after I admitted my mistake to him. I couldn't avoid it, he could smell the cinnamon in the air when he walked in the door.

By the time dinner was done I was really ready to just curl up on the couch with an entire carton of ice cream and a spoon. I sort of wanted to drown out the day in empty calories and tell the world where they could shove it. Instead I had a salad. It wasn't as satisfying but at least I wasn't having to deal with guilt over my bad coping habits.

Thankfully today things seem to be better. I can't recover monies lost, I can't actually fix work, the battle with the mortgage company is ongoing, I am suffering with ear buds in my ears until I can afford new headphones, my calf hurts like hell anytime I walk, but that is not stopping my day from being better than yesterday.

Today I have my lunch of tasty leftovers. Today I have something to occupy my work day. Today my office smells like freshly baking cookies. Today is game day so I can let my leg rest and not feel guilty about not working out. Today things are getting done.

It is a damn good thing yesterdays don't stick around to todays.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Down with Nimh

I have a very particular, and not particularly popular amongst my friends, view on vermin. I think they should all die. I don't believe in catch and release, I believe in using lethal force whether by way of traps or poison. I want them dead and gone.

When I say vermin I am really not limiting myself to the field mice and rats that like to take up residency in my house during the winter months. We live on a golf course and it is pretty much an unavoidable reality. It gets cold and the rats move in.

When I say vermin I actually include racoons and opossums in that list as well. You might think that they look all cute and what not, but have you ever seen what one of those things will do to your dog if they catch them? They are mean and very often diseased.

I get the whole argument that we have invaded their territory and we should try and live with them or at least not kill them. I understand why you would say that, and I would love to go with you on that. I really would like to be that soft hearted and good. Only I am not.

I have seen the damage that they can do. I have seen a dog mauled by a rabid coon. I have seen what a coon in your attic will do to your insulation and wiring.  I don't have enough good in my heart to give the critter a pass because my house and his territory transect. My wallet isn't that well padded.

We had a gnarled old raccoon come into the yard a few years ago. My poor dog was having fits over it. When we finally caught sight of it the husbeast and I knew that it had to go. The thing was as big as our dog and it showed signs of having fought many battles and had lived to tell the tale. We were worried for our very timid dogs safety.

What came about after that was a very comical evening of the husbeast and the kid in the backyard with a boar spear (what you don't have a boar spear laying around your house?) trying to kill the raccoon. Unfortunately we have very tall dense oak trees and they were unable to reach to intruder. As much as they tried the raccoon lived on to terrorize our dog.

After a few weeks we realized we hadn't seen the raccoon again. We mostly thought that it had just moved on after all the hub bub. It wasn't like we were making this a quiet and inviting new home for it. Plus there was that pesky dog.

This is when we discovered that while our dog is very much an omega around people, in the yard she is the great huntress. We discovered one day on our porch a single raccoon paw that had been gnawed upon greatly. We never found the rest of the body and there was not a single mark on the dog. Either that thing died of a heart attack or she got the jump on it. Either way it was dead, and I didn't care.

Right now I have two exterminators in my attic laying snap traps and spreading poison. Hopefully in a few days the rat problem will once again be dealt with, and by dealt with I mean dead. I know they aren't anything as large as coons, but if it were raccoons in my attic, I would be saying the same thing.