Therapy with Amy

Not sure how to start. Not that it was so earth-shattering that I’m at a complete loss — I just simply don’t know where to start. At the beginning, I guess.

Amy came to visit for the Black Swamp Arts Festival this weekend. She ended up being a few hours behind schedule, due to every little errand blowing up into a gigantic WTF sort of fiasco. Stopping by work, taking a "shortcut" suggested by Grampa… Anyway, when she arrived at 11pm, we went to get some pizza at Myles, and were constantly accosted en route by the drunks from campus. I got a high five from a dude that looked just like Nick Lawson, we got offered a piece of pizza from some random guys (who then claimed to have "nutted" on the pizza), and we had one particularly bookish-looking fellow tell us, "the bars are that way!"

Ate pizza, talked, came home, walked some more, and talked some more. Stayed up till Aaron got home, then talked some more. Basically, that’s what the weekend was all about: talking with Amy.

On Saturday, we checked out the artists’ booths. We were underwhelmed this year, and were particularly disappointed that some of our longtime favorites weren’t at the Festival this year. We did end up buying at least one token "I Was Here" item apiece, but we weren’t terribly geeked about them this year.

Things I discovered while talking to Amy this weekend:

  • I miss having someone to talk to like that. I talk to Aaron, yes, but it’s different. We still talk about important stuff, but Amy has a different perspective on things.
  • If I want a new job, I need to work toward getting one. If I can live with my job for now, I need to do the things that make me happy (photography, web design) in my time away from work, to make the mediocre work worth it.
  • I have more of a social life than I give myself credit for, even if it is just on the weekends and with Aaron’s and my mutual friends instead of alone with my own friends. It’s still social, and it’s still fun.
  • I need to stop belittling myself and beating myself up for my shortcomings. I also need to stop feeling like others are focusing on said shortcomings, and instead be thankful that others (especially Aaron) are patient enough to deal with my faults and still like me for who I am.

Rant, defused

I was so pissed. I was driving home in my car, fuming, planning the scathing blog entry about hating my job and twelve-hour days and having to work holidays, all the while driving like a moderate maniac, peeling out from red lights and honking at the stupidity that regularly happens on the roads of Bowling Green.

I pulled into our driveway, maintaining my righteous anger. Stomped into the house. Turned on the computer. Went into the bathroom and peed. Went into the kitchen and got a brownie. Laid down on the couch to eat my brownie and watch a little TV (forgetting that my computer doesn’t take that long to boot up anymore).

Fell asleep.

Sigh… nothing like a half-hour nap to defuse your righteous rant about work and life and stuff.

Anyway, I really am sick of my job. I really do need to find a new one. And I really do need to stop drinking Mountain Dew and eating chocolate brownie stuff if I’m ever going to ease myself into this Atkins thing.

And I really do need to finish writing about P-Funk… later.

Yay, Computer!

Thank you, Sheryl! Thankyou-thankyou-thankyou! *big sloppy kiss*

My computer works! It runs Windows ME at 1.8 GHz and with 256 megs of RAM. Oh, yes. Aaron says he may start downloading some of the videos that his computer won’t play properly, and watch them on mine. And I’m OK with that. 🙂

I only have had to reinstall Photoshop and Dreamweaver — and this gave me the opportunity to get off my sorry ass and upgrade to Photoshop 7 and Dreamweaver MX, supplied months ago by Kris. Thankfully, I did figure out how to save all my messages from Outlook Express before I wiped the HD the first time, and I found how to re-import them, so I didn’t lose any important messages. I think I might have lost my address book, though, but no biggie. Anything I really needed is saved in my various messages, I think.

So, I bid a fond adieu to my Mac, as I’m sure it will sit and once again gather dust until I need to do some genealogy or print something on the laser printer.

In other news, I have to work tomorrow at 8am. Yep, Aaron’s got the day off and I have to work a full fucking 8-hour day. WTF. But back to general happiness…

Yesterday, Aaron and I headed out to The Taste Of Cleveland festival to eat lots of food and watch P-Funk. Such a great day. Beautiful weather, fresh breeze off the river (this isn’t the fiery Cuyahoga of yesteryear), festive atmosphere, all made for a perfect day trip.

Traffic on the turnpike was smooth on the way, and we found our way to the venue parking with little incident. Parking was six bucks, but that was an expected expense, and the traffic flow there was carefully managed. Parked in the Tower City garage, walked across the street to the venue (with the assistance of traffic cops), and found ourselves at the top of a hill overlooking the entire festival. Tents, booths, games, food, and a large tented ampitheatre area. Oh, yes. This looked promising.

We headed down the hill to the ticket booth: five bucks apiece to get in, with the $2 coupons Aaron found online. That done, we went in and bought our initial batch of food tickets for $20. (That’s where they get ya.) After wandering around agape at all the food — ribs, Thai, Indian, Mediterranean, BBQ chicken, burgers, sausages, almost anything you could want in festival food. We opted for the gyro booth, and the Seafood Delight, which was indeed delightful. Shrimp and imitation crab chunks were sauteed with sweet onions and squash in a delicious saucy juicy liquid, then slopped onto a flatbread pita with some shredded lettuce, wrapped with foil, and served to us with a plastic fork and napkin. Oh, so good. Those cost six tickets apiece, so there went most of our food stash. The rest was gone with two Mountain Dews from the booth next door.

We wandered over toward the ampitheatre to find a neutral place to eat our Delights, and found one of the tall tables for standing and eating at. I managed to dump the delicious sauce down my front during the course of the meal. 🙂 After dinner, we decided to take a closer look at the displays and booths, since we had been so hungry when we arrived that we’d beelined for the food. Overall, the most interesting thing we found was the booth for the Gravity Games that we’d already visited on our way in, and the setting sun was totally beaming us right in the eyes. Gah. So, we bought some more tickets and went to enjoy some frozen custard. Mmm… custard. If you’ve never had it, get some whenever you have the chance. Oh, so good.

(Damn, I should be getting to bed… It’s 1:00am and not even really today anymore…)

All right, I’m going to stop here and continue tomorrow. I don’t want to be totally dragging when I finally get home to Aaron after work on everyone else’s day off. Sigh. I’ll tell all about the show (that quite possibly could be the best show I’ve ever attended) later.

Work and Non-Work

Latest on the computer saga: Sheryl called 1-800-2-MAXTOR to find out WTF was up with my second hard drive. She says they told her what to do to make it go, so she’s going to try it tonight and hope it works. See, fdisk was saying the partitions were non-DOS partitions, which makes things difficult. Hopefully this portion of the general computer stupidity will be solved soon. Let’s hear it for Maxtor Tech Support!

I’ve discovered the joy of SHOUTcast, now that I don’t have my many-GB collection of mp3’s to keep me company. My current favorite (when normalradio isn’t on, of course) is Club 977: The 80’s Channel. Right now it’s being a little bitch, losing Glenn Fry’s signal, but this is the first time I’ve had any load problems with it after a couple days of listening. Great selection of tunes, no repeats, wide variety of genres and levels of popularity. I’ve heard songs on here that I never even considered downloading and had successfully forgotten about for years. Not to mention songs I’ve never even heard before. Check it out.

Aaron’s doing so well with his guitar-playing! I’m excited for him. Today when I came home early from work, before he left, he showed me how much he could play of Wish You Were Here. I’m quite impressed, considering that he has about zero musical background… not including that summer he played trumpet in the backyard facing toward the turnpike in 4th or 5th grade.

Aaron also got home early last night — 2:00am instead of 3:30 or four. I shouldn’t have been awake, but I was, so I got to see Aaron for a few minutes before I went to sleep. You know, part of me wishes I could get to see him more often, but part of me thinks that maybe having schedules like this helps us to appreciate the time we do have together, instead of taking it for granted. I mean, I always get so excited when I can spend time with Aaron during the week. Sure, we’re still newlyweds, but we’ve been together for over seven years total, and living together for a year and a half. How many people out there have been with someone that long and still get all giggly and smiley when they spend time together? I think it’s cool.

At work, our supervisor has instituted a new schedule of mail pickups. See, usually the courier shows up with the mail from the Toledo post office between 9:30 and 10:15am. It takes about half an hour to open all 80-some-odd bags with mail in them, and another few minutes to get some work ready for me, Rama, and Loni (or, this week, Andrew) to process. So, we don’t usually get started with our day until at least 10:30am. It’s a good thing we do have such long Mondays, since the rest of the week usually consists of 7-hour days, give or take a half-hour lunch.

The new and improved plan means a much earlier day for everyone. The couriers head up to Toledo bright and early, to get a run of mail to us by 8am. The preppers open the mail and get the heaviest accounts ready to process. We start processing the work at 9am, what there is of it, and the second, normal run of mail shows up between 9:30 and 10:00am. But that’s an hour of work we got done earlier—so even if we have to stay and scratch our asses to get a full 8 hours in, it means staying until 6:00 or 6:30, not some retarded time like 7:30 on a Friday. I’m OK with the earlier start time. I’m sure Loni will be too, when she comes back next week.

Oh, did I mention? Loni’s out on vacation because her daughter-in-law had her third child. Loni’s first granddaughter, out of five grandkids total. Her daughter, Maria, lives in Indiana with her husband Mike, and they have two young boys. Loni’s son, David (aka Crockett) lives around BG with his wife Jolene, and they also have two young boys, in addition to little Lena. So, Loni took the week off of work to help Crockett and Jolene with the boys, and to spend massive quantities of time with her new grandbaby.

Aaron’s massive vacation extravaganza starts in a couple weeks or so. Four weeks straight. No work. Dang. So… this weekend, we’re going to the Taste Of Cleveland on Saturday to eat lots of food and watch P-Funk for $7.00, then next weekend is Black Swamp (which I assume Amy is still coming to…?), and the following weekend is the beginning of Aaron’s massive vacation. I still have about a week total left of vacation, personal, and floating holidays, so I’m planning to take some of that time off to spend with Aaron. This is going to be so cool.

12-hour workdays and moving sales

I’ve gotta find a new job. One that doesn’t require a 12-hour day on Mondays. Ugh.

But the good news is two-fold: 1) UPS was overstaffed yesterday, so Aaron got to come home early, and 2) while he was home (and I was still at work), Sheryl and Sarah came to get my computer. Yes, Sheryl has taken pity on me and is in the process of figuring out what the fuck I did to my PC. I hope she doesn’t have to erase my second hard drive… although I would be happy that my computer was once again functional, I would be extremely sad that many gigs of downloaded material (mostly .mp3 and .shn files) would be no more. Still, though… I have faith in you, Sheryl! *grin*

To Sheryl: Thank you so, so much for making my computer go. I feel bad for embarking on what was supposed to be a super-cool Upgrade By Diana and having it end up Sheryl Saves Diana’s Ass Yet Again. I feel like I must be putting you out, even though you volunteered to help. (You always volunteer to help…) 🙂 Anyway, I just wanted to tell you that I really, really appreciate your help, especially since you live all the way up in Toledo now, and I’m really the only thing in BG besides, oh, Pollyeyes. (Well… not the only thing… I mean, there’s a college campus and a post office and a mall of sorts… but you know what I mean.) End of speech.

Now for something completely different… I’ve talked about Ellie and her blog before, and you might find me strange for taking such interest in a complete stranger and her activities, but you’re entitled to that. It’s not one of those envy-type interests, nor is it one of those point-and-laugh-at-a-stranger interests. Rather, I find myself thinking that I would have wanted to be friends with Ellie and her crowd, had we gone to the same college — but it probably would have been kind of like a few friends I have now, where I’m kind of a friend, but more of an acquaintance, and not really someone they’d hang out with all the time. Someone I’d want to be closer friends with, but they just must not think I’m cool enough. —Yeah, that’s a lot to read into a stranger’s blog, I know. 🙂

Anyway, Ellie has a great SHOUTcast stream called normalradio. Ellie has great taste in music. She’s a big Morrissey freak/fan, but in the past several minutes of listening to normalradio, I’ve heard The Counting Crows, James, Dashboard Confessional, and the Lightning Seeds. Currently she’s playing Dubstar, whom I’m not really familiar with, but I’m digging it anyway. I don’t think Aaron would particularly like normalradio, but I’ll bet Sheryl would listen for a while and be happy with a few choices (like James). She’s not always on and broadcasting—it’s whatever she’s playing on her own computer—but when it’s up and running, I’m loving it. *sigh* And I can’t find all the cables to my cool-ass AppleDesign speakers… Damn you, quiet little internal speaker.

Now that I’m using my Mac so much more, I’m contemplating getting some more RAM for it, and maybe blowing $100 on a G3 upgrade… but I’m not going to, since my PC will eventually kick this thing’s little ass. I’ll always keep my Mac, but since more applications are available for Windows, I’ll probably always use it more, unfortunately.

I have got to get myself some James. Ellie’s playing another James song, and I’m finding myself hooked. Sheryl, I see why you like this band so much.

Speaking of music and bands… I’m not much into popular music these days, so whenever I find a band I like, I’m all ecstatic. I know you guys who read this don’t generally share all my musical tastes, but these are the bands and artists I find myself listening to the most these days (and no, this isn’t a comprehensive list):

  • Coldplay
  • Bob Mould / Sugar (not a recent band, I know)
  • Matthew Sweet
  • Catherine Wheel (another 90’s alterna-pick)
  • The Flaming Lips
  • Alanis Morrisette

This past weekend, Aaron and I bought something cool at a garage sale. Actually, it was a moving sale, the kind that’s held indoors because most of the items are too big to move outside more than once. We almost didn’t go in, because we were kind of creeped out by having to go inside to see the stuff—but since we ended up not being able to just drive through the alleyway to the next street, we were forced by our good natures to check it out, anyway. And it’s a good thing we did, because in the entry hallway of the guy’s upstairs apartment was a gorgeous black electric guitar, labeled with a $200 price tag. Aaron and I didn’t want to discuss our potential purchase there in front of the guy, so we looked around and left under the pretense of “we’ll think about it, and maybe we’ll be back later.” In actuality, we drove out of the parking lot, talked it over, took the money out of the bank, and came back for the guitar sooner than the guy probably expected.

So, we have a 1969 Kay Vintage electric guitar (this model was manufactured with a Les Paul body), an Epiphone bass amp, electronic tuner, three picks, soft case, cables and cords, all for a very good price. Aaron looked for more info about our "new" guitar online, and found that the same guy we’d just bought it from had tried to sell it for that same price on eBay. Apparently the high bidder stiffed him, so he sold it to us for the same price at his moving sale.

It’s a bigger purchase than we generally make at a garage sale, but we figured it was worth the investment. Both of us have been playing more often now that we have a decent axe. The Kay is far and away much better than the Silvertone Amp-in-Case model we had before, with the fabulous twanging sitar sound. *smirk*

My, what a novel I’ve written. Even though I have to handcode now, maybe I ought to update more often again…