Weird Mood

I’m in the mood to write fiction, but I’m resisting the urge to free write, because I will undoubtedly end up with smut. Yep, that’s me,
Diana, the budding smut novelist. Sigh. My brain takes the weirdest turns
sometimes.

I had a whole little sheet of paper full of what I wanted to
blog about today, but I forgot and left it at work. Same with the Post-It
where I listed everything I ate today and at what times. That was helpful.

I remember a lot of what I’d wanted to say, but I find I don’t
really want to say it anymore. It’s all kind of dumb thoughts in passing,
like how annoyed I am with the women in whose room I work. And our broken
toilet, which now only flushes by lifting up the tank lid and fishing for
the broken flush arm. And the scanner that my computer won’t load anymore.
And, oh yeah, my student loan bill this month is more than my rent. Thanks
for the fisting, Department of Education, can I have another?

I need to chill out on the candle thing, too, unless I intend
to make some sort of game plan for marketing and distributing my wares. Christmas
only comes but once a year, and unless I’m going to be the weird lady who
gives candles to everybody when they come to visit, I couldn’t justify making
candles because it’s fun and just gifting them year round. I’ve already spent
probably a hundred bucks on candle supplies as it is.

I am in one funky-ass mood. Not depressed, and not quite bored,
but definitely on the dark side. Not down on myself (for once), but not in
a positive mood in the slightest. OK, maybe the slightest…

Oh, and guys? Even if the "blog" craze is settling
down, I’ll probably keep doing this thing. I keep a journal anyway, and sharing
it with people seems like the thing to do. Granted, there are some things
I don’t write here that I would write in a private journal, but those are
rare. If it weren’t for blogging, I probably wouldn’t even be keeping a journal
right now, because I usually only write in a paper journal when I have an
emotional crisis to solve. 🙂

No, I’ve changed my mind. I am bored. Which, by my definition,
means nothing I can think of to do sounds good. Guess I’ll go bum around
until I can come up with something.

later…
I attempted to cure my boredom with some websurfing. I’m not
nearly as good at it as I used to be. I forget where my old jumping-off points
were.

Anyway, I downloaded some random stuff on WinMX, too, and found
a techno version of the Sesame Street theme (not the best one I’ve heard,
either). Somehow from that, I ended up thinking of that early 80’s kid’s
show, The Great Space Coaster. Most of you won’t know what the hell I’m talking
about… but for those of you my age or a little older, here’s some nostalgia
for you:

Baxter (with the Huggles)
Gary Gnu (No Gnus is Good Gnus…)
Knock-Knock
Goriddle Gorilla
photo blatantly ripped off from the website of Jim Martin, puppet performer
Speed Reader
The Great Space Coaster logo

Bring back any memories? Man, when I was in Kindergarten through
second grade, this was my FAVORITE show. I’d forgotten. I don’t have any
desire to collect VCDs of it or anything, though, because I know it would
sully my memories of how great it was. I’ll just look at the pictures and
listen to the theme song and remember
how great it was to be five years old and sitting in front of the TV…

Oh, yeah, I need a title.

Did half an hour of stretching and crunches, then half an hour
of buzzing on a trumpet mouthpiece. I’m feelin’ pretty good right about now.
Blood’s flowing, breath is moving, lips are tingling. I feel good. I should
do this every day. That’s my goal, anyway, especially since the upstairs
neighbors are gone to Mexico for two months. (That means embarrassment-free
practice time on the trumpet, in preparation for the mellophone later on.)

I came up with a shitload of random snippets to post up here
today, so bear with me.

This weekend, while spending our respective gift cards and certificates,
Aaron and I found ourselves in Waldenbooks at the Woodland Small here in
BG. And as Aaron was perusing the manga section, I overheard a couple of
high school kids talking down the aisle: "Man, too bad you didn’t wear
your other jacket, with all the big pockets…" and so forth. Meanwhile,
I’m thinking, It’s not too bright to talk about shoplifting from a store
while you’re still IN the store.
Kids these days. Sheesh.

And speaking of gift certificates, I may as well list the stuff
I got with mine: A silky-fuzzy robe, comfy pants (the stretchy fuzzy kind
with snaps at the bottoms of the legs), a teapot, new Skechers shoes, and…
um… I think that’s it. I really like everything I got, though, despite
the shoes being about half a size too small. They’re cool, and I’ll break
’em in. Really.

So, at work today, I think I was finally offended by the people
in my work area. These women are in their early 40’s, I would guess, and
very irreverent. OK, some are in their fifties. Anyway, listening to them
talk about getting totally drunk and one of them trying to use pepperoni
or salami or something to make a bikini—that finally just turned my
gorge. The swear words at work I can handle. Even the F-bombs. But mental
images like that… ugh. Something should be done, but I’m not going to be
the one to rock the boat. As it is, I’ll just sit back and pretend I’m not
there. They seem to do a good enough job of that, anyway.

And if the woman who sits next to me at work, with four kids
and income quite similar to mine and Aaron’s, can be approved for a $130,000+
mortgage loan, certainly Aaron and I can qualify for something. I
mean, really! They’re not even married. They have no downpayment. Do you
mean to tell me that if I’d gotten knocked up instead of doing Life in the
correct order, they’d give me a home loan, too? Well, shit! If I’d known
that was all there was to it…

That’s not fair of me, I know… but it doesn’t stop me from
being bitter.

And, goddammit, I am sick and tired of sneezing! Aargh! I wish
I’d either finish getting sick or get over it. (And, yes, I do have a preference.)

A few days ago, I made Amaretto & Coke candles for Mark and
Amy. I poured them into these nifty stemmed glasses, smoky colored and squarish.
I’ll post a photo eventually. Anyway, in order to get the wax to stick to
the glass right, I’ve been warming the containers in the oven while the wax
is cooling. This time, though, I turned the heat up instead of off, since
I had brownies to attempt afterward. (Stupid brownies… bah.) So, silly
me was used to reaching into a warm oven and pulling out warm glass containers.
So what do I do? I reach into a 350° oven and touch a blistering hot
glass stem. I now have this intriguing blister on the inside of my right
index finger, where I scissored my two fingers around the stem to pick up
the glass. (The middle finger was saved by my massive writing callus.)

And, in lieu of an actual page with this on it, I’m going to
post my Atkins-so-far pics here:

about 250 pounds about 230 pounds about 225 pounds
July 2003

October 2003

November 2003

Christmas Aftermath

I came home this afternoon from my half-day of work feeling anxious… like I’m expecting something good to happen soon. I’m not sure what or why, but I’m enjoying the feeling.

While I’m trying to flesh that one out, I guess I’ll make the annual list of Christmas goodies, first from Aaron:

  • A 28mm wide angle lens + lens hood for my 35mm
  • A dedicated flash w/batteries (again, for my 35mm)
  • The Dark Crystal Collector’s Edition DVD
  • The Last Unicorn on VHS (there’s no official release on DVD yet)
  • The End of Eternity by Isaac Asimov
  • A large stuffed plush Totoro
  • A watering can for my houseplants

Then, from Mom, Gary & Philip:

  • Candles and a snuffer
  • Hair clips and combs
  • A $25 gift certificate to Lane Bryant
  • A DVD carry case

And from Aaron’s family:

  • A large black cherry scented candle
  • A Christmas nutcracker
  • A chess set
  • A vegetable knife
  • Gift certificates to Kohl’s, Wendy’s, House of Meats, and Value
    City, and cash from Dad

Our Christmas trip was quite similar to last year’s: Christmas Eve at Mom and Gary’s, spent the night there, and Christmas Day with Aaron’s family at Poppa & Grammie’s house 15 minutes north. Mom, Gary and I taught Aaron how to play Pinochle, and we played boys vs. girls. Of course, the girls won, although Aaron made a pretty clean sweep one hand by having a bit of a monopoly on the entire suit of spades. 🙂 Oh, by the way, if you and your significant other know how to play Pinochle, or would be willing to learn, Aaron and I would love to hang out and play sometimes… Hell, if you know Hearts or Spades, that would be cool, too. Cards are fun, but no one our age knows how to play anything but kids’ games and Euchre (which
I’m not terribly good at myself).

I had to kind of let Mom down about the Denver trip she’d wanted to make with me in August. I decided I just couldn’t afford to be spending $350+ on a trip with Mom that I really am not too keen on in the first place… especially if Aaron and I a.) want to buy a house soon, and b.) want to take our own vacation together this summer. She was obviously really disappointed, but I just had to come clean and tell her I couldn’t go. I’m compromising, though, and promising to go on a one-tank trip with her somewhere we can take pictures. Maybe somewhere in Pennsylvania
or something.

Aaron’s grandparents’ house is a completely different experience than mine. At any given holiday, depending on who shows up, there’s between 9 and 17 people around the table. I’m really unused to that kind of massive family gathering, but I’m growing to enjoy it more each year. It’s like Aaron said: over at Mom and Gary’s, it’s kind of fun and relaxing, with lots of quality time with just them, but after a while you get bored — especially if they’re watching TV or talking on the phone. At Poppa and Grammie’s, though, it’s exciting and fun to be with so many people at once, but after a while you get frazzled and just need to leave. 🙂

We’re all worried about Grammie, though. Her Alzheimer’s is becoming more pronounced — she still remembers everyone and can function fairly normally, but she forgets why she’s gone into a room, what she’s looking for, what she did five minutes ago, whether she’s put the ham in the oven yet, etc, etc. She also tends to remind us that Uncle Pete got remarried, even though that’s been at least a year or more ago, and we all went to their wedding, and they came to ours in May. She forgets where my family lives, and that my grandmother’s dead. Things like that. She’s almost 80 years old, and Poppa is well into his 80’s himself. I’m afraid of what’s going to happen when… well, just what’s going to happen, period.

My homemade candles were highly upstaged by our wedding photos, which we gave to Aaron’s family as gifts. Made for some quick and easy gift ideas, and everyone loved having them. Fine with me… 🙂

I think that’s a sufficient update for now. My random excitement has subsided, and now I’m afraid that when I stop blogging here, I’m going to be bored. So… I’m off to find something constructive to do. Maybe take more pics with my new lens.

Busy Day

Today I had an interview with HCR Manorcare up in Toledo. Yes, this is the same place I sent a resume over a month ago; they said that the flu outbreak has kept them from completing the hiring process sooner. Anyway, my boss let me leave 15 minutes early, since I told him I had “an appointment in Toledo,” and that I would make up the time by taking a shorter lunch tomorrow. I ended up not really needing the extra time, as I got there 15 minutes early, anyway, and that was after taking a walk around the block to calm down.

I think the interview went rather well. It seems that their “Knowledge Management” department is in need of one or two more people, especially people with experience in audio and video. Kevin, the person who holds the current solo position, also made sure to emphasize that the position is not a “creative” one, but more writing and organizing thoughts and ideas and publishing actual content. I’m actually quite excited about that, as I feel it’s one of my strong points. Ask Aaron how many grammatical errors I catch on a daily basis (and how frustrated he gets about it).

Kevin, who interviewed me, was quite impressed by my portfolio site — especially where I talk about my “services” and have a Q&A section with layers that pop up and answer the questions. Um… glad ya like it. I only wish I really had services… He also seems like either a early-30’s guy who’s prematurely graying, or a late-30’s guy who still acts really young. I like him so far. Seems like he’d be easy to work with… and he has more problem “finding words” than I do (resulting in a Shatner-esque pause), which makes me feel more confident about my ability to do the job, considering.

When I got home, I got a call from the wedding photographer’s assistant, asking if she could go ahead and bring over our wedding reprints. So, she brought those straight to the house, and I looked them over before she left to make sure everything was in order, which it was. Now we have to buy a dozen 5×7 frames for the reprints we bought as Christmas presents. Thank goodness they arrived in time—no, thank goodness Carol drove to the lab in Findlay and insisted that she was not leaving until she had our prints in hand. 🙂

Then, after that, I made Mom’s Christmas candle (I don’t think she reads my blog, but I’m still not telling what scent it is). I made an extra, since it’s just as easy to make two at a time. I added a little more coloring than I had intended, but that’s what these first several batches are all about: experimenting.

It’s midnight—I need to either shower and get to bed, or get to bed now so I can shower in the morning. I could write more, but I guess I’ll have to save it for tomorrow.

Happy Yule, everyone.

John Lee Walters, 1932-2003

Grandpa and Amy after her graduation - May 6, 2000

Well, I don’t particularly feel like blogging right now… but I don’t feel like doing anything else, either, except maybe zoning out completely or soaking in the tub or something.

I had today off of work, so it was serendipitous that Amy’s grandpa’s funeral was scheduled for today. Like I told her, I wasn’t about to stay at home, kicked back and saying, "Hey, Amy’s miserable right now…" No. She’s my best friend, and he was a great, funny, witty, selfless guy, and I just have too much respect for the both of them not to drive two hours to attend his funeral service. Plus, I knew Amy would need some support — not just because of her grandpa’s sudden passing, but because her mother was coming to the funeral.

Now, normally, having your mother at your grandfather’s funeral wouldn’t be a problem. But when you have a mother like Amy’s mother, it becomes an issue. I could go on about how she’s a self-centered pathological liar,
but I’ll just put it this way: Amy’s grandpa specifically had a clause in his will stating that his daughter (Amy’s mother) was intentionally omitted from the will. While I can appreciate her wanting to mourn her somewhat-estranged father, despite what she’s said about him in the past, I don’t feel that stirring up trouble is appropriate. Especially since he’d said he didn’t want her to even know when he ever died, so she wouldn’t be at the funeral and wouldn’t cause a stink.

And, here’s the kicker: At a family funeral in the past (I don’t recall for whom), Amy’s mother took pictures. As for myself, I find it interesting that death is the one part of life that we as a society don’t feel comfortable documenting in photos, and I’m intrigued by those who go against the mores of society. But Grandpa was frankly disgusted by the picture-taking, and specifically stated in the funeral arrangements (made back in 1986 — how’s that for planning ahead?) that he wanted no photographs taken at his funeral. So what does Amy’s mother do? Brings a damn disposable camera with a flash and takes a freakin’ photo shoot. All her kids there in the funeral home. Him in his casket in the funeral home. The pallbearers bringing the casket to the interment site. The list goes on. That steamed Amy’s grandma sooo much. It felt like one final ‘fuck you’ to Grandpa’s wishes.

Gypsy and BabyBut, anyway. After the interment, Amy invited me to follow them to their house and relax for a while before heading back home. I got to meet their dogs, and her Grandma bought us all KFC, and everybody got to rant about Amy’s mother for a while. 🙂

I still feel like I need some quality Amy-and-Diana time to discuss some philosophical issues, like how she felt as an atheist reading Psalm 69 at the service. Personally, I have known for some time now that I am no longer a Christian (and I feel I can admit that freely here on this website, knowing the few of you who are my audience). I don’t know what I do believe, precisely, especially with the passing of my own grandmother, but I know I don’t believe in the Judeo-Christian form of God. To avoid alienating my readership entirely, I won’t go into detail about how I feel about Christianity, but suffice to say that listening to a funeral service makes me uncomfortable.

Well, then. My train of thought has come to a screeching halt, so maybe it’s time I found something else to do. I’m hungry but I don’t want to eat, tired but I don’t want to sleep, bored but don’t want to read or watch TV.

Poor Amy. She’s got so much to deal with… but that’s a story for another day. Just… poor Amy.

later…
I know what else I was going to say. At both of the open-casket viewings I’ve been to in the past couple of months (not my Memaw’s; that one was closed-casket), I have been really creeped out by seeing a dead person lying there. I’ve been creeped out (and, yes, "creeped out" goes beyond "disturbed") by all the open viewings I’ve been to, from Brother Cothran from church back when I was 12 or 13 up until Grandpa today.
Thankfully, there was a stretch through high school and again from my early college years until Memaw’s death that I hadn’t been to a viewing or a funeral. Anyway, I can appreciate "needing closure" and all that… but at both of the open-casket viewings I’ve been to recently, I went up to "pay my respects," reflected on how almost-lifelike the body looked, and then my sense of humor took over and I said to myself, "Yep, it’s a dead guy," and moved on. Maybe it’s a defense mechanism, triggered by my being disturbed at seeing a deceased body. I don’t know. Probably.

At any rate, I’m glad Memaw’s viewing wasn’t open-casket, because she looked nothing like herself by the time she died. And I got exactly the reaction I’d been hoping for by displaying a photo of her in her late 40’s or early 50’s by the casket: before the service, I heard the woman sitting behind us say, "She was so beautiful…"

When I die, assuming I’m not cremated… don’t look at me, please. I’m sure that, wherever I am, it’ll creep me out.

Randomness

I have a veritable potpourri of items to mention today, so don’t
expect this entry to have any sort of continuity. 🙂

I’ve been doing deposit verifications at work this week — when
the apartment complex you want to live in asks which bank you hold your accounts
with, and they send in a request to see your average balance for the past
six months, it goes to someone like me. I look up people’s accounts, write
down the requested information, and sign and date the provided form. So,
I’ve been getting a lot of practice signing my married name. Heh.
I’ve pretty much got it down now, though. Learning to forge my mom’s name
really had an impact on my "S" (my mom’s name is Suzanne, and I
swoosh my Schnuth "S" kind of like hers now).

Rama enjoyed her candle, though she didn’t realize at first that
I’d made it for her. I don’t really think it smells like Hazelnut
Eggnog, having made real hazelnut eggnog a couple weeks ago, but
it still smells good. I even took my dye block and crunched it up to sprinkle
fake nutmeg on the top. I took pictures to post on my candle page, when I
get it going on.

I went with most of Lockbox to El Zarape for lunch today, too,
to wish Rama well. Her last day is Friday, after which she and her husband
will be going on vacation to visit friends, then she’ll be taking three grad
classes for her MBA. She’s hoping to be done in two years. —Anyway,
back to El Zarape. I’ll bet you’re thinking I went off my diet. Au contraire!
I ordered the fajitas, with the warm tortillas that come separate, and just
didn’t eat the tortillas or the rice. I’m sure I ate more carbs than I should
have, anyway, with all the veggies, but I didn’t do too bad, considering.

In light of the spread of the flu, I have been washing my hands
at work like an obsessive-compulsive. Well, OK, maybe not that much,
but I’m being much more thorough than usual. I’ve been sneezing and having
those nasty wintry dry boogers up my nose, so I’ve just been waiting to wake
up sick one day… but it hasn’t happened yet. I will continue to wash my
hands and take my vitamins, and hope to stave off the assault of the flu
season.

Even though there’s barely a snowball’s chance that the person
I’m about to reference will ever find my page and read it, I will nonetheless
not mention her name… Don’t worry, it’s nobody you know. OK, now that the
disclaimer’s out of the way: I am so, so glad that Aaron and I have
a healthy relationship. I’m glad we don’t play mind games with each other,
or guilt-trip each other, or threaten to leave each other at the drop of
a hat. I’m glad we don’t have insane mood swings and changes of opinion.
I’m glad we’re similar ages and levels of maturity. I’m glad we didn’t have
children before we were married.

And speaking of children… Jesus H. Tapdancing Christ, why does
everybody at work think I need to have kids RIGHT NOW? I mean, Rama said
to me today, "Let me know when you have a baby." Huh?
It’s gonna be a while, sister, but I’ll let you know… in a few years. It’s
not like we’re actively trying right now, or have plans to conceive in the
near future. I swear, these people are worse than my own mother… and Mom’s
been known to hound us about grandkids, though not as much as Aaron’s grandparents
do. 🙂

And, to wrap this thing up, here’s the weekly (really bad) joke
from the Sky intranet:

Q: What’s worse than raining cats and dogs?

A: Hailing taxis.

Um… stuff.

As I was desirous to read different and more up-to-date blogs (except for Beth’s, which is always current), I was glad to discover that my friend Jason started a Xanga. Unfortunately, I couldn’t comment or give him "eProps" unless I was signed up. So, I did. (It just points back here, anyway.) Then, I read Beth’s entry for today, which was basically aimed at me, being the only non-LiveJournal member of her usual audience. So, I signed up there, too. (Again, it just points back here.) I figure, maybe it’ll be a sort of link to my real site, and I’ll get more traffic from my LJ and Xanga-owning friends.

It occurred to me at work today that my sloth will be my undoing. Mainly because I’ve been showing up 10 to 15 minutes late for work, and taking a 45-minute lunch to compensate. Pretty soon, my boss is going to notice while he’s doing payroll, and I’m going to hear about it. I need to get to sleep earlier and get up earlier. And actually get up, not hit the snooze then turn it off so I won’t bug Aaron then wake up when I should be going to the car then leave when I should have already been there. Thankfully, work is only a 10-minute drive, even when I catch all the red lights. (If all the planets align, I can make it in seven.)

I also see what people mean when they talk about the last hour of the workday being wasted. I didn’t understand before, when my volume of work determined when I would get to leave. But now, when it doesn’t really matter how much I get done before five, I totally shirk the last half-hour or more.

Rama’s last day of Lockbox is Friday, but since I’m going to be off in Dayton at Amy’s grandpa’s funeral, I won’t be at work to wish her well. So, I’m going to make her a candle to give her as a good-luck-happy-holidays present, and give it to her tomorrow. I’d better get to it.

Doesn’t anybody update anymore?

Hey, guys? Um… I don’t know if this blog phenomenon may have
peaked or something, but Beth
is the only one besides me still aggressively updating her blog. I either
need to find more friends with blogs, or beat you all about the head until
you update. Hell, Colvey’s page doesn’t even come up anymore. Maybe I need
to go spelunking for more blogs to check…

My new fragrance oils are wonderful. Hershey’s Chocolate, Drakkar,
and — oops, I can’t tell you that one. Mom might be reading. I’ll tell
you later. Wonderful fragrances all. I now have quite the fragrance arsenal.

After work today, I went out to finish Christmas shopping for
Aaron. Got a couple things, one of which he’s sure to recognize under the
ttree if he gives it a little thought. Ah, well. He should have known he was
getting it, anyway. I feel like we’re a little more even now, present-wise.
🙂 Also headed to Goodwill, hoping that the other two of the diamond-pattern
glass mugs I bought this weekend would still be there. Alas, they were not,
but I got some other glassware instead.

And holy cow, do I have an inventory of glassware now. I’ve got
a total of… *opening cupboard and counting* …19 containers, each holding
from four to six ounces. Four sundae cups (I have big plans for those), four
smoky-colored squarish goblets (intended for amaretto-and-coke), two diamond-pattern
glass cups, two glass jars with lids, one brown lidded jar, and miscellaneous
small votive holders, including a ceramic watering can (obviously being saved
for a floral scent, when I get one).

I’d been having a hankering for hot chocolate, so I found a recipe
on the Atkins Diet Bulletin Board last week. Aaron bought me some unsweetened
powdered cocoa with the groceries on Sunday, and I just made myself some
hot chocolate this evening. This here hot chocolate makes Swiss Miss taste
like a sugar cube sprinkled with cocoa. Never before I started Atkins had
I truly appreciated the less sweet side of chocolate — I hesitate to
say "bitter," since that has such negative connotations, but I
think "darker" is the more apt description. I mean, I liked Hershey’s
Dark Miniatures and all, but I didn’t realize how insanely sweet your standard
chocolate bar really is. I think I now prefer tasting all the spectrum of
flavors, rather than just sweetness. Who knew? [Note: a while later,
the hot chocolate made me a little queasy. Don’t know why. Maybe I’m just
getting sick.]

Hmm, what else was I going to say…?

Oh, yeah. Kris, if you’re reading my blog (as you sometimes do),
your Jack White comments are ticking me off. (Yes, Aaron shared them with
me.) You don’t know the full story, and neither do I. Neither does the
media
. All I’ve got to say for now is, if you were really pissed
at someone, would you have a.) the balls to punch him in the face, and/or
b.) the physical strength to bloody his nose and drag him to the ground?
Not me. Although I disapprove of his lack of restraint, I’m impressed with
his… what’s the word I’m looking for? Strength? Sense of purpose? Presence?
Drive? I’m not quite finding it, but I hope you know what I mean. In summary,
I may not agree with what he did, but damn, he did it well.

And, on a lighter note… I’ve been surfing around, looking for
new blogs to hit, old people to catch up with… and found that the typical
high school jock I went to high school with, Scott Marcum, is a now police
officer in my hometown. (Check
him out
— he’s the one on the right. Do you see the football player
in him?)

OK, I gotta go to bed now.

My Candle Addiction

I’ve been meaning to mention this for a while, but I keep forgetting:

Ladies—have you ever been walking behind someone, maybe someone at work, and finally taken a good look at their ass? And then you say to yourself, ‘My God… I hope my ass doesn’t look like that!’

I made another pair of candles tonight (patchouli this time—not exactly Aaron’s favorite), and used up the last of my first bag of soy wax. I have another bag arriving tomorrow, along with my new scents and wick clips. Anyway, this time, I preheated my containers and let my wax cool down more
before pouring. I still get impatient, though. I know I shouldn’t, but I
do. I can’t wait to see what the finished product will look like, and it’s
so hard to go slowly and do the process right instead of rushing through
to get it done. Freakin’ sit there for fifteen minutes stirring to cool the
wax with one hand and holding a hot blow-dryer to my empty containers with
the other. And I still jumped the gun and may have poured too soon. We’ll
see in a bit.

Both Kris and Mark, when they found out about my candlemaking,
asked me first off, "So, when are you going to start selling them?"
Should this be a clue, or is it just an assumption on their part? If I do
decide to sell my candles, I’ll probably sell them all online by word of
mouth. That’s assuming everybody likes the Christmas candles I make. Yeah,
I’m going for a cheap and simple Christmas: wedding pics and candles.

🙂

I was standing by the printer at work and overheard one guy (the
token "do-you-think-he’s-gay" guy) talking about chocolates with
raspberry creme filling, and chocolate-raspberry coffee. In one moment I
wanted to turn to him and jokingly say, "I hate you," but as I
was walking back to my desk, it occured to me that Chocolate Raspberry would
be a great candle scent. I was also inspired by Kris’ coffee this weekend—I
believe it was Sugar Cookie Caramel Cappuccino or something equally sweet
and scrumptious-smelling.

Aaron made a great analogy this weekend. He said that, with being
on the Atkins diet, watching the Food Network is like being single and watching
porn. Oooh-ing and aaah-ing over fudge truffles and the like, all very much
out-of-reach, but appreciated for what they are nonetheless.

I think I’ve decided that making candles is kind of like that,
too. If I can’t stimulate my taste sense with yummy goodness (although there
are plenty of good things I can still eat), I may as well stimulate my sense
of smell. It’s close enough. Plus, it’s artsy-craftsy, and makes me feel
productive and talented.

Oh, and speaking of talent, Kris brought his trumpet over for
me to practice on. I have zero chops left, man. I got nothin’. Of course,
iit never helps when you’re trying to play softly because you live in a duplex.
I may have to bite the bullet, overcome my embarrassment, and go practice
in the practice wings of the music building on-campus. Those rooms aren’t
totally soundproof, and people can easily hear you in the hallway, which
is one reason why I never used to like to practice for my requisite two hours
per day.

Anyway, I’m going to start out doing sirens on the mouthpiece
and thoroughly annoying my upstairs neighbor. Once I can successfully maintain
sirens and long tones on the mouthpiece alone, I’ll pull out the Bluecoats
brass book and do some warmups from that. Once I can get back up to the advanced
exercises that I could do in ’97, then I’ll feel confident again. The trouble,
though, is that I was never good at doing solely exercises. But I can’t start
on the actual tune we’ll be playing at the LakeShoremen, because I don’t
want to confuse my chops by playing it in entirely the wrong key. (Trumpet
= Bb, Mellophone = F) Even if I learn the right fingerings, it’ll feel different
when I go to play it on a mello.

And incidentally, I’ve decided that once April rolls around and
it’s time to renew dianaschnuth.com, I’m switching over to HostRocket. I
know enough people who’ve had their sites hosted through them that I’m pretty
confident in their services. After putting up with eCom’s bullshit for a
couple of years, I’ve had enough. Even if their service would improve if
I went to one of the higher-priced plans, I wouldn’t stay with them because
of their low-grade customer service. Plus with HostRocket, for $9.95 a month
(two years prepaid), I get a full gig of storage space plus backend capabilities
and unlimited email addies and unlimited subdomains (like details.dianaschnuth.com
or candles.dianaschnuth.com).

So, I think I’m going to go check and see how my candles are
setting up, and maybe try photographing some of my other candles for posterity.
My fingers smell like patchouli. I smell like a hippie… minus the B.O.

Weekend Shenanigans

What a fascinating weekend I’ve had. Really.

On Saturday, Aaron and I hung out with Kris, then went up to Detroit with Mark to watch a band called Blanche perform at the Magic Stick. The openers were a band called the Waxwings, who weren’t bad, and a solo act (with backup singer/harmonica player) named Brendan Bensen. Also pretty good. I enjoyed his set a lot.

Now, I hadn’t been going to talk about this on my blog, but since the cat’s already out of the bag, I see no harm in repeating what I saw at the show. Mark is a giant fan of the White Stripes, and we’re always geeked when we see Jack and Meg at a Detroit show. They like to support the local scene, especially since a lot of the bands who are growing in popularity are longtime friends of Jack. For instance, members of Blanche were also bandmembers with Jack in Goober and the Peas in the 90’s. Anyway, we were watching Brendan do his gig, and quite enjoying the show. And who should walk up in the crowd next to Mark but Jack White himself! We were pretty excited, and surprized that he’s so much bigger in person than he looks on TV appearances. He looks like a waify dude, but he’s really a decently large fellow, though not quite as tall as Aaron, I don’t think. Anyway, he stayed for a song or so, then left the crowd. We all shrugged and kept watching.

Then, a couple songs later, he came back and beelined for one particular guy in the crowd, who we found out later was Jason from the Von Bondies. As Mark put it when he was explaining the incident on the way home after the show, there’s bad blood between them. Fortunately or unfortunately, I saw most of the incident, though I couldn’t hear it due to my earplugs and our extra-close proximity to the speaker stacks. Jack shouted something into Jason’s ear, they had a brief exchange of words while a young woman (also from the Von Bondies) was poking Jack in the back, trying to calm him down — then Jack White of the White Stripes slugged Jason of the Von Bondies right in the nose. Only show where I’ve witnessed a fistfight firsthand, and it was like freakin’ Celebrity Deathmatch. Jack ended up on top of Jason on the floor, punching his lights out, and it took several people (including one burly bouncer) to break it up. Jason needed help off the floor, and two of his bandmates (I believe) helped him backstage.

So, yeah. Brendan Bensen cut his set short right there and then, and we decided to make ourselves scarce and move to the other side of the crowd. This so that a.) we wouldn’t be shoved into the blood spatters on the floor and b.) so we wouldn’t be questioned about what we saw. Especially since Mark and I saw most of it. Of course, once we got to the other side of the venue, there were a couple weirdos there, too, when Blanche went on — one guy had a giant cardboard cutout of Patrick Swayze’s head strapped to his face, and he had a friend in a satiny gray vest who thought that was absolutely great. Everybody else thought they were both drunken idiots. Strangest show I’ve been to in a long, long time.

That didn’t exactly quench my jones for a concert, either.

Then, today, Aaron and I were cleaning the apartment when Amy called. Anyone who knows Amy or ever met her Grandpa — he died yesterday. They knew he wasn’t in the best health for some time now, but that sort of thing is never expected. You know. I talked with Amy on the phone for probably about half an hour, and asked her to let me know when the service is. If I can’t go, I want to at least send flowers or something. If anyone wants details, I can let you know as soon as I do. Shoot me an e-mail. Grandpa was a great guy with a bizarre sense of humor, and it’s really sad to see him go. It’s also sad that the memorial is going to be more of a soap-opera/three-ring circus with the various family members who hate each other and such. Poor Amy.

So, yeah. Bizarreness all around this weekend. Mark’s hero tarnished, Amy’s Grandpa gone, and our house actually clean. Probably blasphemous to put those three occurrences together in the same sentence, but hey. It’s me.