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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 โ€” 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

We’re all worried about Grammie, though. Her Alzheimer’s is becoming more pronounced โ€” 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… ๐Ÿ™‚

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 โ€” 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 timeโ€”no, thank goodness Carol drove to the lab in Findlay and insisted that she was not leaving until she had our prints in hand. ๐Ÿ™‚

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 midnightโ€”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 โ€” 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 โ€” 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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.

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.


I have a veritable potpourri of items to mention today, so don’t
expect this entry to have any sort of continuity. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve been doing deposit verifications at work this week โ€” 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. โ€”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

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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 โ€” 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.
๐Ÿ™‚ 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 โ€” 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
. 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
โ€” 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:

Ladiesโ€”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 timeโ€”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 weekendโ€”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, 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

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 โ€” 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 โ€” 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 โ€” 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.

What Happened This Week

Well, I haven’t posted a real, substantive entry all week, and I’m quite backlogged with ideas. So, here I go.

Just today I got my pictures from Signature Color. Yeah, the ones from Halloween? Over a month later, I finally got the prints. I swear, when I ever get a digital camera, Signature Color is so out of my life.

I had a fucked-up dream a couple nights ago. I was on-campus at a grad school, looking for Dan Clouse (I marched drumcorps with him in the mid-90’s, and we’ve kept in touch ever since). I wasn’t attending classes there, but the campus had a dorm/hotel where I had a temporary room. Anyway, I finally managed to locate where Dan was living โ€” he had a small, tentlike abode on a hill behind the dorm. Once I found him, he didn’t really want to hang out much, despite the fact that our old corps-mate, Jessie Fleming, was joining me directly so we could all hang out together. He seemed to be kind of in hermit-mode.

So, Jessie arrived, and for whatever reason, we went to the Ben Franklin craft store. Except it wasn’t just crafts, but included thrifty junk-store stuff like used space heaters. And who should I find in the space heaters but Amy! You know, my college roomie? I didn’t even know she was at the school, so I was understandably surprized. I ran up to talk to her, with Jessie in tow, and Amy told me where in the dorm she lived (top floor, far corner). So, I’m catching up with Amy, who’s itching to take her space heater up to her dorm room, and meanwhile Jessie is bent on going clubbing, and her nagging is really harshing my Amy mellow. I finally asked her where she wanted to go, and she named some place that I knew was in Toledo, not even in BG (where we apparently were in my dream at this point). So, Jessie bailed, kind of pissing me off, and I woke up.

Why can’t I have normal dreams like Aaron, where he got a promotional cat from Lenny Kravitz, or where REM was playing in his kitchen and his cats were requesting songs?

Oh, I suppose I should give an update on my new job, eh? First, though, let me tell you how fubar Lockbox is now. Now, before I left, this was the hierarchy:

  1. Loni
  2. Me
  3. Rama (temp used-to-be-processor but didn’t like the hours)
  4. Angie (temp & processor)
  5. Dawn (temp)
  6. Brett (newest temp, at about two months)

In the short span since I left Lockbox โ€” mainly in the past week โ€” several changes have been made to the old hierarchy. First, I posted out. In my stead, Angie got hired in and Dawn got moved up into Angie’s temp-processor spot. They didn’t get a new temp for a few days. Then, at the beginning of this week, Rama gave her two weeks’ notice. Dawn also complained to the bosses about the change in her hours, since she’d been promised she could keep her 8-to-5 and it was changed to 9-to-6. Dawn was subsequently "cancelled," which is what you call it when you fire a temp. Two new temps were brought in after that. So, despite the fact that
Brett has never even watched the processors run work, he was moved up to processor today, and the three brand-new temps were left to prep all the work after Rama left for her doctor’s appointment at noon. Oh, boy. So, the new hierarchy, in another week, will be:

  1. Loni
  2. Angie
  3. Brett (temp & new processor)
  4. One-and-a-half week temp
  5. Few-days temp #1
  6. Few-days temp #2

Remember now, Loni is actively attempting to post out, and has a good chance of getting out soon. She may not even be required to give two weeks before she transfers. Poor, poor Angie. ๐Ÿ™‚

On to my job. It’s a little tedious now, but we don’t even have several of the reports we’ll eventually be going through. Right now, the job could easily be done by one person, but once everything pans out, it sounds like it really will be a job for two. Yeah, it’s still a relatively tedious data entry job, but at least it’s less stressful. I know I come in at 8am every day, I get to take two guilt-free breaks and a full hour lunch, and I leave at 5:00. The end. Rinse and repeat. This compared to working in Lockbox, where I would come in at 8:30am on Monday and leave God-knows-when, probably around 9:00pm or after; in on Tuesday at 9:30am and out probably around 3:30pm; and in around 9:30am and out between 4:00pm and 6:30pm for the rest of the week, all with half-hour lunches (if any at all) and no breaks (except for potty breaks). I like my new gig a lot better on that front.

Though… I should still be looking for something in my field, anyway. Those other two or three leads didn’t end up panning out โ€” I never heard from HCR Manorcare or World-whatever-it-was.

3oz rootbeer candle in mini-mug - poured 12/10/03I’m insanely into soy candles now. I just bought another bag of soy wax, three more fragrances, and one dye. โ€”Hey, I was down to two small candles’ worth of wax, and while I was ordering that, I mean, what’s ten more bucks? Right? ๐Ÿ™‚ So, I found a fragrance oil that’ll be perfect for a candle for Mom (just in case she reads my website before Christmas, I won’t put which one it is), and I bought some Drakkar-type (ah, reminding me of the days when I sold PartyLite Candles with Mel) and some Hershey’s Chocolate scent.

I don’t know what the fuck I’m going to do with all these candles. Burn some, obviously. Give some away for Christmas presents. After that… I really didn’t intend to sell them, but I guess if my friends know people who’d like some… *shrug* That’s how Aaron’s mom got into doing crazy crafty shit, but after hearing all about craft shows and the lingering scent of essential oils, I don’t think I’m too keen on making it a big business or anything. Although I did always say I want to work out of my home after I have kids… I don’t know, though. If I ended up trying this online, I’d have some crazy insane inventorying to do, since I love to thrift unique and unusual candle containers for now.

Curious about my current candle inventory? Outside of wicks, wax and dyes, I have:

+ one 4oz Eggnog
+ two 4oz Amaretto
   (in sundae cups)
+ two 3oz Rootbeer
   (in mini-mugs, above)
Fragrance Oils:
+ Eggnog (3.5 fl.oz.)
+ Amaretto (.5 fl.oz.)
+ Rootbeer
+ Hazelnut (1 fl.oz.)
+ Patchouli (1 fl.oz.)
+ Very Vanilla (1 fl.oz.)
+ Cola (1 fl.oz.)

After this next shipment, I’m going to lay off of the new fragrances and just try out the ones I have. So far, the eggnog is ‘ehh’ (I didn’t put enough fragrance in the candles), the amaretto is actually pretty good, and the rootbeer is weird. Smells good cold, but the hot scent throw smells… well, not like rootbeer. It’s just weird. Anyway, I still have to master the finer aspects of soy candlemaking, which should be obvious from the discolored rootbeer candle. I think it’s mainly a pouring-temperature issue. I get too anxious to make the candles, and I don’t wait for the wax to cool enough before pouring, so it doesn’t stick to the container right. I think.

Oh, no… now I’m going to have to make a web page just for my candles… ๐Ÿ™‚

The State of Popular Music

It doesn’t just suck here. It sucks in the UK, too.

While reading yet another surfed-upon blog by a total stranger,
I learned that a cover of Barry Manilow’s 70’s hit Mandy has been chosen
as the UK’s Song
of the Year
by a local
radio station
in Kent. (For you Ohioans, that’s Kent in the UK, not Kent
as in Kent State. Just making sure.) Just out of sheer perversity, I fired
up WinMX and downloaded the tune, by a band called Westlife… and OMFG,
it sounds like some random pop singer(s) doing karaoke to Manilow. I posted
to the blog where I found the linkage, and informed her that popular music
in the UK must be as bad as here in the States, if a cover of Barry Manilow
can make Song of the Year.

In other news, I’ve been feeling like a neglectful Secret Santa
these past couple of weeks. All I got my person was the big gift she’s getting
on Wednesday, which cost nearly the full alloted $15 limit: a mixer. She
probably thinks I’ve forgotten her, especially since I’ve gotten gifts from
my Secret Santa every day since the thing’s been going on. So…
I went to Ben Franklin and spent some more on my person โ€” another twenty
bucks more, actually. I got her a bunch of piddly crap, and the pixie/fairy
doll I bought her was the most expensive for $9.99. I also got her butterfly
stickers, a butterfly suncatcher, a Slinky with butterflies printed on it
(she likes butterflies… could you tell?), and some candy canes. She also
collects fairies and dolphins, but I couldn’t locate any good dolphins. Anyway,
I bought a nice fuzzy stocking to stuff it all in, and I’m going to give
it to her tomorrow.

As soon as I find out where her desk is…