Random Thoughts

Today at work I jotted down several blogworthy thoughts I had over the course of the mind-numbing workday:

When the temperature in the office reaches a certain point β€” say, 75Β°F or so β€” the vents open to allow outside air to filter in and cool things down. Over the past couple of days, this outside air has smelled of a slight tinge of spring. So cruel… so cruel. Barely above freezing, and my nostrils are dreaming of the spring thaw.

Some people at my work have accused others of being resistant to change. One person in particular, by the name of Loni, has done this accusing. Since our boss has begun a transition in our record-keeping from Microsoft Excel (which Loni set up herself about three years ago) to an Access database, it’s amazing how resistant this accuser is to change…

I read an article about premarital counseling in the Wall Street Journal yesterday. It had mundane but important questions like, “will you love your spouse if she gains 50 pounds?” Then I realized how much Aaron must really love me… because I have gained 50 pounds since he met me. Literally. I’m surprized he hasn’t staged an intervention in the meantime. πŸ™‚

I’m not eating enough. (Nice segue.) I wake up too late to eat breakfast (I have to be awake awhile before I can stomach it), then when I eat lunch, I just have one of those little Weight Watchers-type frozen meals. When I’m done eating, I’m still hungry. I wait the prescribed 20 minutes after eating, for the food to “hit bottom,” and I’m still hungry. It’s easier to ignore the hunger while I’m at work, but I’m sure that it’s not healthy, anyway. Then I come home and am either too hungry to eat, or I go on an evening-long food binge. Ramen… canned veggies… hot dogs… ham… plum… all the stuff I probably should have eaten (or not) during the course of the day, crammed into a few hours of down-time at home. I need to fix this if I want to lose weight and be healthier.

Loni was telling about the wedding she went to in Chicago over the weekend β€” apparently the bride wore a scarf over her shoulder, bearing her family’s Irish colors. Neat idea. Then it occured to me… if I were to claim so-called citizenship of only one family in my genealogy, which would it be? There are certain lines I’ve been inclined to research more than others β€” some because they’re easier to find, some because they’re more interesting to learn about, and some because I’m closest to their descendants. I think I’d probably claim citizenship in the White family if I had to choose one. That’s my Granny’s mama, Maudie (which would be my mom’s mother’s mother’s mother, my great-great-grandmother). Interesting that I choose the matriarchal line; we’ve got some strong females in my family. …So what happened to me?

As far as my last blog entry, where I wondered if I’d become less of a person because I’ve ceased to struggle against my less-than-relevant job, I’ve come to a conclusion of sorts. I’d rather be sated, unruffled and relatively content in a job I didn’t intend to work than be miserable and unsatisfied in the same job. If I can ride things out, waiting in the wings and watching for opportunities, and make rent money in the process, why not?

Mary at work thinks I’ve lost weight. I was wearing my new black pants with the elastic waistband that doesn’t make my fat ooze out where it shouldn’t, and on top of that I wore a thigh-length blouse. I think it was all an optical illusion, since I’ve really only lost six pounds.

Oh, and in case you were wondering: no, I didn’t write all of this at work. I took notes so I’d know what to write later. I don’t have that kind of free time at my job…

Momentum

Before I begin… the jury’s still out as to whether or not I’m a big goober for pretty much mourning Mr. Rogers. When the general sadness stretches to a second day, I think it qualifies as mourning. I think his passing reawakened the memories of my early childhood, when things were simple and I knew all the words to every one of Mr. Rogers’ songs and Daniel Striped Tiger was the sweetest thing on TV. Maybe I realized what I’d forgotten since then. Maybe I realized… I don’t know. What’s important, maybe. And that even amongst my friends, I don’t think I would be so thanked and loved and missed. Even when he was alive, Fred Rogers got “Thank You”s on the street from grown-ups who loved him as children, and appreciated him even more as adults with perspective.

But that’s neither here nor there. On to my intended topic.

A, my co-worker at Sky Bank, graduated with an art degree almost a year ago now. Naturally, she’s peeved at having to work a job that gives her no satisfaction and no personal reward. She’s on the lookout for a job in California, so she can move out to where the proverbial “action” is. And every single day, she never tires of telling me and/or my other co-workers how much she dislikes her job. β€” Well, maybe “dislikes” isn’t the right word for it. Well, maybe it is, at that. She’s disappointed in the fact that she has to work an unfulfilling job that is unrelated to her degree field, just to pay the bills. She’s frustrated that she was unable to land a job that is rewarding to her and for her, and takes that as some sort of personal failure, I think.

…Is this sounding familiar to anyone yet? Like, how I felt about six months ago? When I was in precisely her situation? That being: working as a temp, wanting to be hired on permanently for security’s sake, yet still frustrated at the scope of my job position and its irrelevancy to anything I really intend to do for the rest of my life.

Thinking on this makes me face a tough question: Am I “at peace” with my station in life now? Or, does the fact that I have ceased to struggle (for now, at least) make me a weaker person?

I haven’t seriously thought about finding a new job for a few months now. When Aaron and I went in for the credit check before we bought our new car, I was told that my nine months at Manpower didn’t bode well for my car credit, since it’s a temp agency. Also, since I’d only been working at my current job for three months at the time (now five), the short timespan hurt my credit, as well. That really shot any ideas I’d had of changing jobs. Even if I could find one. I’m currently rebuilding my poor, shoddy credit, and I need all the help I can get, so staying at Sky made sense.

Now, though… I find I’m just running on momentum. Doing a day’s work, just like every other day. I try not to complain, since it just wastes energy and ticks off everyone around me. Brings them down. One of my co-workers calls me “the perfect worker,” and I think I resent that, but I’m not sure. Conscientious, sure. Dedicated… maybe on the surface. But mainly just doing my job. Doing what needs to be done, just because it’s there.

A’s rebellious nature is awakening something in me that has lain dormant for a few months, though. A desire to fulfill myself. To remember, as my mother used to say, who I am and where I come from.

To go off on a brief tangent (it’s really related, trust me)… Back in SOC 101, the graduate student teaching the class told us about Roles. I forget if that’s the correct terminology, but it serves the purpose. Since the human race is, at its core, a race of social beings (though some of us might not want to admit it), each of us is defined by our roles in society. There are minor roles and there are major, defining roles. To find out who you are, you must define yourself in respect to others, and the activities you engage in with others. For example:

+ I am a fianceΓ©.
+ I am a daughter.
+ I am a grand-daughter.
+ I am a Sky Bank employee.
+ I am a web designer.
+ I am a drumcorps alumna.

And so on. These all define me in relation to others. But one of these (listed or not) is my major role in life. For parents, it’s usually their parental role. For corporate CEO’s and upper management, maybe their job position is their major role. For me… I’m not sure anymore. When I was a music major, and even before that, in high school, I could say unequivocally that my major role was that of Musician. When I changed majors, I changed who I was intrinsically. For a while, I almost made myself believe that my main role was that of web designer… but I still maintain that my design skills are mediocre at best. Within the design industry, at least. (Doesn’t stop me from trying.)

Finding a wedding photographer who has a day job has made me see things a little differently, though. It’s obvious to me that she defines herself as a portrait photographer. But… she works 9-to-5 (or thereabouts) in an unrelated corporate setting, where she has a 401(k) and five weeks vacation. She only does photography on evenings and weekends. And she has a decent-sized studio and an impressive body of work. She’s a photographer with a day job.

I need to seek out who I am again. I need to go out and do the things I love in my spare time. I need… I need.

And when I figure it out, I need to dive into what I love and immerse myself in it for a time. Think about it while I’m processing checks and invoices at Sky. Think about it during lunch. Think about getting home to it and doing what I want to do, instead of what I have to do. It doesn’t have to be my full-time job. I am not my job. I am me.

Whoever that is…

 

P.S. – To anyone who ever said to me, “we should start a business…” I’m currently considering it. I have no client base. I intend to enter the web design foray by donating my design time to local non-profit organizations. I have no immediate business plan. I need friends. If you were ever serious, let me know. I’ll do it on my own if I must. It won’t be instantaneous profit. But if you’re looking for something that may fulfill your need for accomplishment, let’s talk.

P.P.S. – If you ever read my blog, A: I’m sorry, but I found your LiveJournal a couple months back, and never told you. I’ve been reading your blog without you knowing, and I apologize for the intrusion. If you read mine without my knowing… I guess we’re even. πŸ™‚

A Letter To Myself

(To Myself eight years in the past: February 1995)

Dear Self,

If this letter reaches you when I hope it will, you will currently be failing all of your classes except Athletic Band, attending camps for the Northern Aurora Drum & Bugle Corps, IRC-ing too much, racking up too much credit card debt, and trying to get into a relationship without getting laid. Life is pretty fucked up for you right now. I know.

If I told you everything you needed to know to straighten out your life in the next few years, then I wouldn’t be here later to tell you about it. We don’t want some weird Back to the Future II paradox going on… so I’ll tell you about the little things, and advise you about the bigger ones. I wouldn’t want the major things to change, anyway… but you’ll find out why later.

First off, I know you’ve been seeing guys from the IRC [internet relay chat]. I think you’ve already found this out the hard way, but always meet guys in public. Never go to their house to watch a movie the first time you meet. And don’t feel obligated to go further than you want. Oh, yeah… and watch your roving hands. They could get you in trouble.

Matt is a dork, but he’s harmless. He’ll go away eventually. Jon isn’t worth the heartache. He’s too old for you, and no matter what it may seem like while you’re together, he’s really not your type. Don’t sweat it if nothing ends up happening between you two. Adam is a total dork, too. I don’t care if he is a bit of a local celebrity. He’s called the Virgin Freak for a reason. Don’t go to his dorm room, and don’t make out with him. It’ll just cause an IRC soap-opera, and you’ll end up being weird about each other. Better off just to be IRC buddies and leave it at that.

Bryan is a different kind of dork β€” he’s got more relationship experience, and he’s more “normal.” If you’re going to make out with somebody, he’s probably the one to make out with. As far as physical stuff goes, he knows what he’s doing. Even if he does make fun of your ratty old shoes. β€” And don’t be afraid to stick up for yourself. Tell him to buy you new shoes, and tell him you wear a size 10. See if he does anything about it.

And don’t be such a prude. Don’t be afraid to let guys touch you in your bathing-suit area. Sure, wait on sex, but don’t be afraid of physical intimacy.

On a different subject: I know it’s early in the semester, but I regret to inform you that you’re going to flunk out. No, no, not permanently, just for a semester. It’s OK… this is going to be the best thing for you so far. You know you’re getting sick of school β€” admit it. When you come back almost a year from now, you’ll be ready to be here. While you’re home, you might consider getting a job. Don’t wait for Gary to goad you into it.

Oh, did I mention Gary? He’s Mom’s new guy. Get used to him; he’ll be around awhile. You’ll think he’s a total dick, especially when Mom starts bringing him home while you’re living there. He’ll try to start treating you like his own kid, and trying to “raise” you or something. Don’t be all pissed off about it. You won’t want to admit it, but he’s got some valid points. For instance, your job (or lack thereof). You’re not going to find something you really like, not at age 19 with no experience. You just need something to get you some money. Save up for drumcorps next year.

Drumcorps is going to be the most kickass thing in your life for quite a while. You’ll wish you’d gotten involved in it sooner β€” as it is, you’ll only have three years of marching eligibility. Make ’em good ones. Talk to people. Make friends. Don’t be afraid to be a dork. Get in shape before you get there. Go check out the Rec β€” it’s right across the street, and it’s actually pretty cool. Go jog or something. Being in shape will help you enjoy the experience more. It’s totally intense, as you already know. And it gets better.

Off-topic: Steve P. is an asshole. He might be fun on the trips up to Saginaw, and he might like some cool music, but he’s generally an asshole. If you ever consider him to be attractive, smack yourself. You’re too desperate. Something better will come along soon, I promise.

What else…? Oh, yeah. Stop using your credit cards now. Use the job you get in the Fall to pay them off a little. You might want credit sometime in the next seven years, and it’ll suck to be without for that long.

Take pictures of everything. You never know when it’ll be gone, and you’ll want to remember, and you’ll be frightened at how much memory has passed you by. Take pictures of friends and loved ones, of places and events and buildings. Take pictures of Tom and of Memaw. Take pictures of your boyfriends (and I use the term loosely). Chronicle your life, so you won’t forget the bad parts. Or the good parts.

Something else: when you come back to school next Spring, your roommate will be a little weird. Be ready for it. She’s cool, but she’s weird. She’s got cool friends, too.

Now, not to get you too excited, but… you’re going to meet somebody. Somebody Special. You might not know it at first, but he’s different. He’s not going to try to get you in the sack on the first date. He’s funny, and honest, and tall. He will love you to the ends of the earth. It’ll be cool. Only thing is… he can’t sing, and he doesn’t like drumcorps. πŸ™‚

I don’t want to give you too much to think about at one time, so I think I’ll leave it at that. Just remember, when things seem totally fucked up, and all you want to do is sit in your room and eat and be miserable, and Life seems intent on fucking with you, and you think you’ll never get out of your funk… remember that things always work themselves out eventually. It sounds like so much crap, but it’s true. It’s just a matter of sticking it out and doing what needs to be done.

Things are going to look up for you. It’ll be a rough year ahead (except the kickass drumcorps part in the summer), but it’ll work out. You’ll see.

β€” Your Future Self

Great Weekend

This weekend was the most fun and productive one I’ve had in a while. Saturday started off with lunch (of course), followed by the Wedding Fair at the small (aka Woodland Towne Centre). There, we ate some yummy moist wedding cake, avoided the DJs, talked to photographers, and ended up choosing one. She has interesting, professional-looking work; she has a good sense of humor; and she has very competitive prices. We scheduled a meeting at her studio for the following day at 7:30pm for contract-signing and an engagement sitting.

After the Wedding Fair was an attempt at the monthly BG Flea Market, held at the fairgrounds. However, by this point it was after 3:00, and most of the vendors were closing up shop. We walked in, saw this, and opted to wait until Sunday. So, we went to Wal-Mart instead.

At Wal-Mart, we got some basic necessities, like new dress pants for me and a can of compressed air for my streaky laser printer. Then back home to chill for a couple hours before heading back out again.

That evening, we met a couple of friends up at the Red Robin in Toledo for dinner. Excellent food, great alcoholic milkshakes, biggest BBQ Chicken salad in the known universe. Weirdest mascot you’ve ever seen. It’s a giant red robin (go figure), in the new-Freddy-Falcon style, for those of you from BGSU. You know, the cartoony-looking Freddy with the creepy big eyes and huge smiling beak. Mark got a picture of Aaron with the scary robin dude. We’ll see how that turns out.

Anyway, after dinner, we still had a couple hours before we had to be at Frankie’s, our destination point for the evening. So, we hung out in Barnes & Noble. Aaron & Kris both bought William Gibson’s new novel, Pattern Recognition, and I bought a copy of Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine. We tried to waste a decent amount of time there, but eventually we decided to go seek out Frankie’s, where none of us had been for years (and some of us never).

Back in the heyday of the Alternative Music Scene, Frankie’s was apparently the place to be to see great bands like Goober & the Peas, the Afghan Whigs, the Smashing Pumpkins, Pure, and dozens of other groups whose flyers are posted on Frankie’s Wall of Fame. Now, though… Frankie’s has turned into a bit of a dive. Unbeknownst to us, of course, until we found the place and wandered into the cold, dim bar.

After the door-dude found us and took our seven bucks apiece, we wandered about, reading the Wall of Fame and wondering what the hell happened. As the first “band,” MC Habitat, was setting up its turntables and mics, we made a break for the outer room, where lived two pool tables (in use), six chairs, and three dirty tables. We pulled a table from against the wall, found four chairs without too many tears in their linings, and proceeded to sit and freeze our asses off.

We sat there for an hour.

Finally, after one of our friends came to join us and promptly gave up and left, and a few of Kris’s friends (who are also friends of the band we were there to see) showed up and said hello, and after our tizoes and nizoes were frizoze, we decided to go check out band number two of three: The Satisfactions. This band is from BG, which gave us pause. Historically, very few bands from Bowling Green have amounted to shit. The Satisfactions were no exception. Their set started out mediocre, and only went downhill. By the end of the set, the lead singer took notice that the crowd (except their groupies) no longer gave a shit about their music, and decided to go climb on the light rig just above the stage. When he didn’t fall and crack his fool head open, or bring the lights crashing down on everyone, he climbed back down and lay on the floor in the midst of the disinterested crowd to sing the remainder of the penultimate song.

The final number of their set took the proverbial cake, though. The opening riff reminded me of a song I knew, and I tried to pin it down as they sang the first verse. I still hadn’t figured it out when Kris poked his head in between Aaron’s and mine and started singing, “I’m comin’ baaaack with my dinosaur aaaact…” Their chord structure was an exact mimic (OK, ripoff) of Matthew Sweet’s song “Dinosaur Act,” from the 1993 album Altered Beast. We sang the chorus a couple times, as the band sang the words to their own little song. Then, mercifully, they were done.

After that came the band we’d actually gone to see: The Soledad Brothers. (You know, I think eventually I’ll put all these paragraphs into my reviews section…) The Toledo-based Soledads were once a two-piece, but have added another Brother to the mix, to make one drummer, one guitarist/lead vocalist, and one guitarist/saxophonist. This is the most explosive band I have ever seen live. The genre is blues. The atmosphere is electric. The volume is loud.

Yeah… I think I’ll expound later in my reviews section. At any rate, we got out of there at around 2am. Kick-ass show. Amazing. I’ve never seen anything like it. Go to their website and take a listen, though they’re much better live than in the studio, IMO.

So, Sunday morning/afternoon rolled around, and Sheryl called. She wanted to go to the Flea Market. Well, I’ll be damned… so did we. We told her we’d give her a call when we were going to head out there. We finished waking up and getting ready, then called Sheryl and left a message to meet us at said Flea Market at two o’clock. And we went to have our lunch at the China Dragon. Yummy.

When we got to the fairgrounds, Sheryl was inside waiting. She surprized the hell out of us by giving us the gift of a prepaid cell phone. Apparently, her Japanese friend Mariko was going to come visit, and Sheryl had gotten her the phone for her stay. But… Japan says that the U.S. is going to war in March, and that was going to be when Mariko’s return trip would have been. So, she opted out of the visit, leaving Sheryl with much unhappiness and a paid-for cell phone.

But once again, the BG Flea Market was unfulfilling. The only real amusement came from the generic Ken-doll look-alikes, dressed in full 80’s gay regalia, with black mesh tops and shiny shorts. We made the rounds of the building, thanked Sheryl and bid her adieu, and headed off to do our grocery shopping.

Usually, we do shopping and laundry on Sunday evening. But, since we were planning to go meet with our photographer in the evening, we’d had to rearrange our little schedule. So, off to do shopping and laundry. Fun times.

By the time we were finished with laundry, it was time to get ready for engagement photos and head off to Fostoria. We’d never been to Fostoria, so driving at night in the boonies was a lot of fun. Anyway, we got there with little incident, and found the studio no problem.

Carol Creeger reminds me of someone’s mom. She has an open and honest sense of humor about her, but is totally professional about her work. We sat down and completed the contract first, with her giving us some time to discuss while she set up the studio for our portraits. Once all the details were ironed out, she gave us the nickel tour of the studio and got us ready for our sitting. She shot digital, which was excellent; she got to see the images as she took them, and got to get our approval before keeping them. We got a feel for how she works, and she got a feel for what we like. I only had to mention my stupid double-chin once before she adjusted our posing and her lighting to make it disappear. We also learned not to make Diana say anything silly before taking the exposure, because Diana’s eyebrows go up and her mouth looks funny. πŸ™‚

After the sitting (which was short and sweet), she showed us around her office, and we just shot the shit for a few minutes before Aaron wrote her the check for the deposit. The engagement sitting is included, and we’ll get a matted 8×10 of one photo for guest signatures. We can also order reprints β€” we’ll probably get some wallets for $15 a dozen, which isn’t unreasonable. Two weeks before the wedding, we need to send her the remaining balance plus our sheet of necessary shots. Overall, we came away from Carol’s studio with an overwhelming sense of relief, and the knowledge that we will have some quality photos of our wedding day.

Nine o’clock. Hungry. Dinnertime, chillin’ out time, TV time, printer-cleaning time, computer time. Which then brings us to now. Which is midnight. Bedtime.

Valentine’s Day

Today at work, I was surprized to have the receptionist give me a call and inform me that I had a delivery. Today, that could only mean one thing: for the first time in my life, I was among the ranks of those whose sweethearts bought them flowers and had them sent to their workplace. (awww…) So, I got to spend the day with a dozen red carnations on my desk, their vase tied with ribbon and anchoring a red heart-shaped foil balloon. Not bad.

Now, on to the daily rant: Macs. As in, Macintosh computers. I consider myself to have turned from an exclusively Macintosh user to a bit of a Macintosh agnostic. Not that I have doubts about the actual existence of the Mac, but that I have doubts about my previous proselyting (sp?) of the platform as The Best Computing Platform.

check out The 6400 Zone websiteThe ideal Mac user has enough money to actually purchase a new model, along with all the software he or she might need. This would require me either to be independently wealthy or to take out a loan nearly akin to my recent car loan. I’ve recently moved up from a 7600/80 to a 6500/275 (yes, it is a move upward), neither of which have a G3 processor. I’m living in 1994 here. Most of the software I own is not current, having been purchased legally from thrift stores and eBay vendors. I do have some pirated Mac software living on my 6500 (mainly Photoshop 5.5), but Office 2000 and PageMaker 6.0 and all my internet software is legal.

I didn’t use my old 7600 or my newer 6500 for several months (no, make that over a year) thanks to Sheryl coming to my rescue. My piddly 80 MHz processor (after I upgraded the motherboard!) and 28K modem weren’t cutting it, so she let me kind of rent-to-own her extra PII 333MHz with monitor. For a shade under $200 (she knocked off a little since I bought my own monitor later), I had a pretty kickass computer. At least, for what I use it for. Don’t get me wrong: I’d love to edit audio and video on my computer, and to barely think about opening an application before it’s launched and ready… but that’s just not in the scope of things right now.

My PC is more upgradeable than my Mac. I got a 16X CD-R drive for Christmas, and Aaron and I installed it, no problem. I’ve added RAM to beef this bad boy up to 90MB. (w00t!) Sheryl helped us add a NIC so we could get cable internet. I installed and partitioned a 60GB HD to make a second and third drive for storage. And, I do admit, I have hundreds if not thousands of dollars of pirated software on my machine. Oh, yeah, and mp3’s. (Hit me with your best shot, RIAA…)

My 6500 hasn’t been totally neglected, though. I installed a NIC in it, too, and would have installed a Radius Thunder video card, had the card not been too damned long to fit in my funky-ass case in amongst the cable-age. I also purchased a video switchbox and high-quality cables so I can see my Mac in 17 inches of glory.

I’m just wondering… is it just my knowledge of the MacOS that made me such a Mac person before? I can zap the PRAM, rebuild the desktop, troubleshoot the network, use dozens of keyboard shortcuts, produce almost any punctuation mark imaginable, search for a valid system disk, et cetera, et cetera. Windows? Um… run winipcfg? Release and Renew? Reboot?

Since I’ve been using Windows exclusively for some time now, I find that I like the faster mouse. I find myself looking to the bottom right for the time. I find my thumb instinctively seeking out the Control key when I’m starting a keystroke shortcut. I really like the QuickLaunch bar and the taskbar and minimizing windows and clicking quickly between apps. It’s just a different feel… but when I get back on my Mac, once I get used to the slower mouse, it’s just like old home week.

Maybe I’ve just reached a happy medium, finally. I own both platforms, and I have no intention of eliminating one of them. I like them both. I’m not platform-monogamous, but I don’t feel like I’m cheating. πŸ™‚

P.S. – Oh, yeah… and my laser printer only works with my Mac.

Hot or Not?

What the fuck has society come to when a moderately degrading but humorous website has become a TV game show? Twenty-somethings parading themselves up a runway to have three judges decide whether they’re hot or not? (Criteria are face, body, and overall sex appeal, in case you were wondering.) This is not healthy for society, I’m sure.

It’s bad enough that we have to deal with supermodels in ads and on television, and either consciously or subconsciously compare ourselves to them. Do we have to see the 2% of the population that almost look like them, too? And do we have to keep judging people on their looks? Weren’t we told in 4th grade that it’s what’s on the inside that counts?

Apparently our teachers were full of shit. But that’s no surprize.

The Sky Is Falling…

Be sure to visit your local hardware store soon, because supplies of duct tape and plastic sheeting are going fast! After all, you don’t want to be the only one in the country without an Disaster Supply Kit.

Because you know that Al Qaeda’s first target will be [insert your hometown here], U.S.A.

Call me a cynic. Call me a typical apathetic Gen-Xer. I just don’t think that the biological weaponry, whatever it may be, will end up here in Bowling Green, Ohio. If the assailants are dumb enough to release some sort of something-or-other that will propagate all the way here from wherever they dump it, something tells me that a.) duct tape on the windows won’t help, and b.) it’ll get them eventually, too.

I just refuse to get sucked into a panic before the situation warrants.

And now for something completely different… I’m very proud of myself. Last week, I received my shipment from fixyourownprinter.com, including a new pickup roller and installation video CD-ROM. In only, oh, an hour and a half, I managed to disassemble my LaserWriter II NT, change the pickup roller, clean the registration roller, install some new felt pads in the electronics of the printer, and reassemble it… in working order. πŸ™‚ My printer will now be happy and will print pretty wedding announcements.

General crap

I don’t update this thing enough. There are people out there who update their blogs / journals / diaries / what-have-you on a daily basis. Me, I’m probably one of the people who pisses off my friends during their daily blog-checks. (If you have a page linked from mine: yes, I do check your page every day to see if there’s something new.)

So… what’s up in my life. Yesterday our temp was sick with the flu and called off work. We’d gotten so used to having three people to do the work of, oh, two-and-a-half, that being one person short on a Monday really threw us for a loop. Loni and I parceled out A’s work betwixt the two of us, and somehow managed to get through the morning. I opted to skip lunch (bad idea) and worked straight into the afternoon. Loni had to leave at 6:00pm to go to a church function (as usual on Mondays), which then left me and my supervisor to run the systems. Keep in mind that my supe doesn’t really know how to run the Citation systems very well. So, by 9:00 at night, I was still processing work, along with my supervisor and the upper-middle-aged woman who was previously banned from running the systems due to her immense number of fuck-ups and bizarro computer errors.

Let’s hear it for twelve-hour days.
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“yay…” </python>

In contrast, today was nice. I got to come in at 10am, and leave at 4:00pm. Super-light workload, pleasant day, sunshine streaming through the blinds. Got home in time to spend some time with Aaron before he went to work, which is always neat.

As far as wedding crap goes: I’m almost dressed. I have my dress, crinoline (aka poofy hoop skirt), veil, and corset. I still need shoes, and some sort of headpiece. I had decided I didn’t want a headpiece, but I’m not sure what I’m going to do with my hair if I don’t have one. I’d also thought of having my hair down, but I think it looks a little funky underneath the veil, so ix-nay on that. My Mom will have a cow, but it can’t be avoided.

Aaron and I also went shopping for accessories and color swatches this past weekend. My burgundy color has somehow morphed into a pretty cinnamon, which is OK by me. We found some ribbon for the centerpieces first.

β€” No, wait. First came Aaron’s discovery at the Dollar Tree in the small last week. He saw a shelf of nifty little vase-glasses, about 8 inches tall (or maybe six, I’m not positive) with a wine-glass stem and a curvy shape. He pointed to them and said, “Those would make good centerpieces.”

[light streaming from sky, angels singing in chorus, herald trumpets sounding]

I bought ten of them: one each for nine tables, plus one extra for when I break one.

So, this past weekend, Aaron and I got eight yards of ribbon from Ben Franklin, and three square yards of matching cloth and some pinking shears from Wal-Mart. We also discovered that Wal-Mart has a wedding supplies aisle in the crafts section of the store. I could buy my throw-away garter (in white or light blue), bits and pieces for my headpiece, even a veil. (Doh!)

Anyway, next on the wedding-crap list is a.) book a photographer, and b.) let my bridesmaids know WTF’s going on with dresses. Oh, yeah, didn’t tell you about that, did I? I’ve decided to let my bridesmaids pick out their own individual dresses. I’m sending them fabric swatches and guidelines: ankle-length dress, rounded neckline (scoop, tank, ballet, whatever). Tan hose, black flats. The end. I haven’t broken the news to Amy yet (she’s my maid of honor, for anyone who’s been out to lunch this whole time), but she should be happy, considering that she’s been politely reminding me that I’ve been slacking off in my bridal duties. I figure, with the extremes in size and shape that I have with my ladeez, doing things this way will make things cheaper and easier for them, plus they’ll be able to choose their own cut and style.

Um… I think I’ve updated sufficiently now. Yeah.

Heroes

No, no, not David Bowie.

I have weird trains of thought. I hadn’t done my daily blog checks for a few days, so I headed first to Sheryl’s site, then to Beth’s, where I got impersonally schooled for not updating more often. (::ouch::) Anyway, I read about her weight-loss frustrations, which turned my thoughts to my own weight-loss kick. (After, of course, wondering why Beth would think she needs to lose weight.)

To help bolster my weight-loss motivation, I put a big scowling picture of Henry Rollins on my desktop. He’s looking directly at me, silently chanting his seven-word solution to losing weight: "Eat less. Eat better. Move your body." This has become my mantra since seeing Henry’s spoken word gig in Columbus on Saturday.

This thought led me to the conclusion: Henry Rollins is my fitness hero.

I’ve ruminated on the hero/role-model concept ever since my pre-teen years in Sunday School, when they told us to find a role model and emulate him or her. It occured to me even then that I couldn’t find anyone who was quite where I wanted to be, who was quite who I wanted to be. Since that point, I’ve denounced the idea of an overall personal role-model as absurd. If I try to be Person X… then who am I? And how does my attempt to be Person X belittle him or her β€” especially if I’m successful? Her uniqueness factor is kicked down a notch. As is my own.

On the other hand… if I could find someone who personifies each aspect of myself, and emulate that aspect of them, our uniqueness as individuals remains intact. Plus, I’m not forced to cheapen myself on other aspects of my being that Person X might not have, or have as strongly as I do.

Some of my other heroes are a little personal, so I won’t blab them here. Some of my personal heroes change from year to year. Some are famous (like Hank). Some of them are people you know.

I challenge you to identify your own personal heroes. Be truthful. It might be strange on some levels, but you might be surprized at who you actually emulate.

Finally, An Ohayocon Post!

The first of a series of posts about this most interesting of experiences. I don’t have my own pictures developed yet, but I do have some I downloaded online. Here we have the joy of CosPlay: dressing up like your favorite fictional character. Left = weirdo in costume, Right = who they’re supposed to look like:

 
Jareth, the Goblin King (played by David Bowie) in the 1986 film Labyrinth

 
Lain, from the anime series Serial Experiments Lain

 
Vash the Stampede from the anime series Trigun

 
Cloud from the Playstation game Final Fantasy VII

 
Seres Victoria from the anime series Hellsing

 
Pepsiman, Japanese mascot for Pepsi-Cola