Friday, October 29, 2004

game on

this is a Game Weekend. the hippie's boyz are coming into town for a full weekend of D&D madness. yes--it will be geeky as all hell. yes--it will be drunken and probably rowdy, too. yes--we will be packed into the house like so many sardines. yes--the cats will be in a heaven of full time, non-stop petting. yes--i am going to make all the Bad Food in the world and not eat it myself. *sigh*

in fact, there are 6 quarts of chili in the fridge right now just waiting for the guys to get here. i also promised harry some chocolate pudding--i will be making that tonight while they play. and i promised the hippie some oatmeal peanut butter cookies, so i gotta deliver on that too. and heather's famous sausage dip. and the snacks--oh the snacks! the hippie is going to gain 20 pounds in one weekend after 3 weeks of south beach! but hey--isn't it worth it for a weekend with your friends?

i am so excited about them coming. one i have met, and two i haven't. i do feel some small amount of stress at being in the spotlight, but i figure--i am too old to worry TOO much about impressing his friends. i will just be me and hope it's alright with them. i am just glad for the opportunity to get to know them.

my plan for the weekend? make the Bad Food and then take off. i have a full on Girl Day planned with my friend emily tomorrow, and i CANNOT WAIT! we are going to go have some lunch, do a little shopping at the greatest specialty food store in north carolina, maybe hit the mall... who knows where the girl madness will end??!?! and all baby free, too. not that i do not love em's son, but once in a while it's nice to just have a girls only day. this one will be her first in over a year, so i think she may actually be even more excited about it than i am!

right now i am just antsy to get through the work day--the hippie took the day off to work on the adventure and get the last minute things together. meanwhile, i am here at the office, only able to think about things i need to do at home! less than 3 more hours to go--i can make it!!!

here's to a good weekend ahead...

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

sprayed that funk with some Funk-B-Gone®

and man, that Funk-B-Gone® really works.

it's game night again--my how time does fly. and this time, i used it to get a little bit more caught up. scrubbed the bathroom, washed the dishes, straightened, folded some laundry, cut and buffed my nails, put in yet more laundry, returned like 2 of the 50 phone calls i need to return, and called it quits. not to mention making dinner before the hippie departed. go me. throw last night's productivity on there, and i am actually starting to feel less panicked.

no more are things spinning out of control. don't get me wrong--there is still PLENTY to do, but now i am feeling more like it may actually get (mostly) done. whoo hoo!

i am trying to learn not to put so much pressure on myself, but that's kind of hard for us type-As. thank god for friends who can be sane for me and talk me down off ledges when i am freaking out for no good reason.

Monday, October 25, 2004


at work, reading books on how to be good at this job, and feeling a bit bored actually. i knew there would be some down time in the first few weeks before some of my side projects are up and going. my boss warned me about this--thus the investment in the books. but god, there is only so much of that you can read before your brain just shuts down and refuses to listen.

and i am falling into one of those funks that results from not having enough to do at work while there is more to do at home than i can keep up with. i was pretty on top of the domestic things when laid off, and now, i feel like the house is spinning slightly out of control. not that the hippie doesn't help, but i still in my head feel like it is all on me somehow.

i want the day to end so that i can run errands, get home, make dinner, wash dishes, finish a wire thing, fold some laundry, and hopefully knit for 5 minutes before i die of tiredness from getting up at 5:45 am. i am actually getting more used to the early hour, but i am not worth killing in the evening.

listen to me whine. god, just tell me to shut up.

i will get it all done. i will find a way--that is what i do.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

rant: technophobia

god spare me from technophobes!

why is it that otherwise intelligent people cannot understand that an email subject line like, "Re: Campk: Digest#506" is utterly totally useless? change the fucking subject line--it takes like two seconds at most! further, please get it through your headls that if you hit "reply" on an email to a listserve, you are replying to the ENTIRE LIST! how hard is it to change the "to" field to the person you actually intend to email? come on!

get your voicemail set up on your cell phones people! read those instructions, and put some numbers in there. if you hate call waiting, why do you have it? and if you have it, why don't you know how to use it? learn how to change to the other line if someone is calling. if you buy a universal remote, program the damned thing. if you don't have a cell phone, then for god's sake, get a fucking answering machine!

and WHY WHY WHY am i FAXING stuff on PAPER all over the place within the SOFTWARE company i work for?????

technophobia. it rankles.

you are excused form all this ranting if you are over 65. otherwise, get with the program.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

state of the union

today is a MUCH more high energy day than yesterday. granted, i said more high energy, not just high energy--i am still just scraping by. however, it's getting easier every day. here is an update on the status of things:

the new job is going pretty well. there are the thorns in my side that would be there in any job, but i am dealing with those ok. i am learning all the new processes and ways in which things are done fairly quickly. and only occasionally do i have a momentof asking myself, "are you wasting your time doing this kind of job?" and then i remember that all i am trying to do here is fund my life while being useful, not change the world.

the kitchen is DONE!!!! thanks to the efforts of the impatient hippie, who basically took over and started painting the world, it is done done done! and it looks about a million times better than it did two weeks ago. our friend jenn walked in and declared that it looks a ton bigger as well as brighter--bonus. i still need to get some things back up on the walls, but it already just looks so good! now how to get rid of the nasty stove... *ponder*

the wire things are utterly stalled since i started working again--NOT GOOD, as they have just started selling better. hoping to finish one order tonight, and start in on a big shipment for the charleston store this weekend. must get moving on this.

have lost roughly seven pounds on this diet so far. whoo hoo! let's hope it keeps up, so i can be svelte by spring. i read a post from someone else's blog about losing weight, and she was so right on about how odd it is to have to re-evaluate your clothes, where you shop, how you think of yourself. while my main concern in this is health, i admit that my vanity will be pleased if i can get as far as she has!!!

i feel like knitting! i have no time for it right this minute, but i have promised myself that i will make time soon! i have lots of cool projects going on, especially a cool burgundy scarf that should be done in just an afternoon or a long evening. jenn finished up a scarf today that was SO COOL! i was jealous! maybe i can work on mine tonight if i finish the wire thing i need to make.

the hippie and i are gettin' ready to bottle us some wine. (another "whoo hoo" should go here, but one of those per post is enough!) we have two batches of cranberry ready to go into bottles and one batch of asian pear that needs to be racked again. look-out weekend, here we come.

and one parting thought for the day--i miss being away from my kitties all day long--i know this is somewhat pathetic, but there you have it. i guess i really am a crazy cat lady.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

can't be bothered

yeah i know. i am suppposed to use game night to catch up around here. there is a basket of laundry to fold, some dishes to wash, a wire thing to make. at some point i need to scrub the bathroom and the kitchen floor. but man--i just can't be bothered to mess with any of it. i am pathetically tired, bleeding like a stuck pig, and just in a generally crappy mood.

at the same time, i am relishing some down time. i have a cup of tea. i might read some blog archives or something before i settle in to a grueling evening of cat petting. or maybe some staring. staring sounds like about all i have the energy for at the moment.

when i feel like this, i really think all i can do is give in and sit still. once in a while, i just need that. going back to work is a big adjustment--i am never alone anymore. it is strange after so much time spent by myself. so right now, while i am alone and the hippie is out, i am just saying fuck it to the chores. fuck it. i'm settin'.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

welcome to south beach

so i am dieting. or rather, i should say we are dieting. i think the hippie is doing it mostly to support me, which is awfully nice of him. monday morning we started the much hyped south beach diet. my whole life, i have avoided faddish diets as just so much bullshit, but this one seems a lot more in line with the nutrition books i have been reading lately. i feel like we are being pretty healthy, even in the very strict first two weeks.

and so far, this diet is working pretty much as advertised. we both seem to be dropping a pound a day or so. so hey--cool! i hope phase two works as well, when i should continue to lose 1-2 pounds a week. it feels weird to be thinking about food this much, but it's worth it if it keeps working so well. if it does, i should reach my goal weight (HATE that term) in about 5 months, maybe 6. and hopefully that will mean i can drop some of the meds i am too young to be taking every day.

but it ain't all a bed of roses. the down side is that i feel like i am cooking pretty much all the time. well--i AM cooking pretty much all the time. and in this week of so much change, it is just exhausting (see previous post). add in that the kitchen is still a complete shambles from all the painting stuff, and you got yourself a grumpy jackie. and the poor hippie is starving. he is a big beer drinker, and the lack of guinness may well kill him before this is all over.

all i want is a piece of seven grain toast with peanut butter on it and a banana for breakfast tomorrow. alas--i cannot have it. this better be worth it!

Monday, October 11, 2004

back in the salt mines

man, i am TIRED. i got up this morning at 5:30 am to go to the gym with the hippie, cooked breakfast, made lunch, got to work early, and am still here waiting for the hippie to get back from his run. as the new job is capped at 40 hours per week, i am not working right now, and blogging seemed the perfect thing to do to keep from passing out under my desk the first day back on the job.

it is a bit surreal being here--i know most of the people, but i am working with completely different people than i used to. plus, i am getting some of that whole--why are you not an engineer anymore stuff from people, which is a pain in the ass to explain. a few people get it, but more just can't understand why i would ever do the job i am doing. but i gotta say--i think i will like it pretty well once i get settled in. there is a lot to learn about the setup of things from the admin/hr side, but once i figure out where everything is, i will be ok. today, for example, i did some event planning, and that is so right up my alley. kind of fun, which is more thani can say for any aspect of the support side of things here--except maybe the team building trips to hawaii.

anyway. brain is tired. body is tired. and i am more than daunted by the thought of putting another coat of paint on the kitchen cabinets tonight. i am not sure i am up to it. i am not even sure i am going to make it through cooking dinner at this point!!! MUST go to bed earlier tonight. and maybe without so much wine this time...

Thursday, October 07, 2004

home improvement

i am finally, after MUCH procrastination, getting around to painting the kitchen. i spent the bulk of today cleaning and prepping--i always forget how long it takes. and god, is sanding the kitchen cabinets not my favorite thing to do. further, it is truly amazing how much crap i can fit into one tiny room--i spent at least an hour just moving things out into the dining room so i could actually get to the walls to paint them.

here is the plan: i am getting ready to wake up the nasty boring awfully painted kitchen, and i can't wait tio see how it looks when i am finished! right now, the walls are yellowish smoker's cream, and the trim is uber-glossy greenish smoker's cream. the walls have 8-pointed, very messy looking, gold-colored stars stencilled on them. i think someone at some point was trying to make this place work with the hideous, circa 1972, green and gold and white linoleum or something. anyway--the cabinets are the same nasty cream with olive green doors. and here is the real problem: the smoker's cream was an oil based paint, while the gold and olive paints someone applied long ago are latex--this means that the color is partially peeled off. pretty easy for that to happen when the person who last painted it put on exactly one streaky-ass coat of paint to begin with. it's just god awful. BUT--if all goes well, by the end of the weekend, the walls will be a light apple-y green and the cabinetry (such as it is) will all be white white white, as will the trim. i expect that it will make the kitchen look approximately double in size. sadly, i also expect that it will make the beige stove look even worse than it already does. oh, if there were only a way to get the landlord to replace the stove entirely! however, i have my doubts on that score.

NOTE: the hippie is of the opinion that if you do any kind of home improvement on a house where the last people did terrible things or badly executed things, then you should have to right to hunt them down and bitch slap them to your satisfaction. after all the things we have had to repair in our improvements to this rental house, i have to agree 100%. people suck. people suck worse when they are dealing with rental property. but i digress...

here is the current status: the walls i can get to are cleaned, half the kitchen cabinets are sanded, but i still need to do some trim sanding. all the holes are patched and sanded but one--a stupid HUGE screw up near the ceiling that i missed because WHY IS IT THERE????! the paint is upstairs and in position, and the counters are cleared off, cleaned, and taped up. i am ready to get started with the parts i can reach. of course these parts are not the parts behind the stove and the fridge, because i can't move those by myself. those will be attacked this weekend when the hippie is in the house. (fear what we will find under/behind the stove and refridgerator. i am filled with dread just thinking about it.)

here are the goals: have the kitchen finished before the hippie's game weekend, the last weekend in october. have the mildew encrusted bathroom redone and all the interior trim painted by the end of november. also have my workroom completley set up by the end of november. have the entryway, which we share with our wonderful upstairs neighbor, painted by christmas. and man, you should see that thing now!!! lilac pink and kelly green are two colors that should never be combined except in plant life.

i'll keep you posted as i make progress. :)

Wednesday, October 06, 2004


i was talking to a friend the other day about being a snob. she said, "i think i am a snob." and i was like--you are SO not a snob! we are not snobs. but then i have been thinking about it, and now i wonder. where is the line between just wanting to be around people you know you will get along with, people with similar educations, backgrounds, interests, tastes, and/or intelligence levels and just plain being a sbob?

i guess my attitude goes something like this:
  1. anyone deserves a chance, no matter what your first impression is.
  2. you can't tell shit about a person by looking at them. this includes guesses you may be making about their income, education, intelligence, taste, etc. you have to talk to them for a while to see what they are about. but man, sometimes it is hard to remember that and not prejudge.
  3. every person you meet can teach you something. most times they can make you see something in a new way, which is always good. once in a while all you learn is that inbreeding is bad, but hey--that is certainly an important lesson.
  4. there is nothing wrong with gravitating to people who are similar to you in attitude, education, etc. i mean, you are the way you are because that is what you want to be, right? so why would it make sense that you would surround yourself with people who were utterly dissimilar? what will you talk about if you have nothing at all in common?
and if we take this into the realm of romance, then i think you are under no obligation to date a person who does not have enough in common with you. even if you like and respect a person and have started dating him/her because he/she has qualities you like, you are under no obligation to stay with that person if you come to recognize that his/her personal educational, financial, and stylistic goals don't meet what you have always wanted for yourself and your potential children. and no--i don't think that makes you a snob. it is not like you are saying to the person--you do not measure up. you are saying--you are not the right person for me. and that is important to say if it is true, no matter what the reason. a relationship has to be a meeting of equals or it will never work.

and yes, i think this attitude can be carried too far, and then you leave the realm of the stongly opinionated and cross the line into cocksnobbery. the catty comments begin, and all sense of human decency and mutual respect is lost. it's so easy to do and can, perhaps unfortunately, be pretty damned entertaining.

for example, every day i look at the daily photo over at, and every day, i think to myself--cool picture, but jeezus these are some inane comments!!! i really don't know what these people are thinking, and i don't care a whit if i ever meet any of them. if i were dooce, i would be rolling my eyes. hell, i AM rolling my eyes, and it's not even my site! i have always had a problem with stupid people. does that make me a snob? maybe...

so am i a snob? i don't think so, but hey--you be the judge.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

last week of freedom

i am relishing this last week of freedom. as of next monday, i am back in the ranks of the gainfully employed. of course, i have bittersweet feelings about it. i am very very very relieved to be solvent again. but i am also sad to have to give up some of the things i have been enjoying so much. for example, i will probably have to move my studio space back home. going over to jenn and harry's in the evenings is too disruptive to both our families, and if i have to work on the wire things at night, i would rather do it at home. the good news, however, is that this new job is capped at 40 hours per week, so i don't have to give the wire things up entirely. nor do i need to sacrafice any of my other personal creative goals. i am still planning to keep knitting, making stained glass pieces, and learning more about web design and digital art. i am still hoping to teach some in the spring, depending on how things go. as jobs go, this one is about perfect for right now.

so this week is my last week of relative freedom, and i plan to make the most of it. today i went to the museum of natural sciences with emily and shane and thence to a wonderful lunch. we sat outside in the beautiful fall weather. and this afternoon, i will make a couple of wire things and perhaps read some books or knit. i am hoping thursday will be a similar sort of laid back day.

in other news, my rents DID come, and we all four survived. the lion cubs were divine, as were the baby meercats and the baby patas monkey. i rejected the rocking chairs as they were too small, and the hippie and i are still planning to go get the ones we want at some point in the near future. i think my mother's favorite thing about the entire visit was getting to pet the kitties--she really misses having one of her own. (granted, we ARE blessed with really great cats--i think i paid all my Bad Cat dues with jojo.)

sadly, on the way home from the zoo, my car collapsed and swooned under the weight of all the excitement. it is still in the hospital, but ready to be discharged as soon as we can go get it. more on this adventure later.

Friday, October 01, 2004

gasp and swoon, my parents are coming!

although i will not believe it until i see my mother sitting on our couch, my parents tell me they are coming this weekend. this is HUGE, dude! my parents have not been all that accepting of my relationship with the hippie for a number of reasons, but they actually seem to be coming around a little bit. the rents have very firm ideas on marriage, the institution, and marriage, the religious state, and marriage, the justification for sex and/or children and/or living together. and well--the hippie and i are not only not married, but we also have no intention of ever being married. it's just not for us. so to my rents, we are living in sin and always will be. add onto this that the hippie was married before, and that my mother views me as "the other woman" in his marriage (although neither the hippie or i feel that this was exactly the case), and you have a woman who is not really ready to accept our living arrangements or let us sleep in the same bed at her house.

the road to acceptance actually began with the hippie fixing my father's email within the first hour of the first weekend that i took him home to meet them. they actually like the hippie a lot, so that goes a long way. but fighting against that is my mother's general distrust of men and my ability to take care of myself, coupled with her beliefs about marriage.

the last time we went home to visit my parents, we opted to stay in a B&B in my hometown. and although i would not recommend this particular B&B to anyone, i still think it was the right thing to do. we wanted to see the rents, and we wanted to be able to sleep, so we compromised. but i think my mother saw it as us drawing some kind of accept-us-or-else line in the sand or something. that was not at all our intention, but it seems to be having a positive effect none the less.

i mean, for our birthdays, they bought us rocking chairs for the porch of the house where we live together in sin.

imagine my surprise last weekend when i called home to find my mother, who does NOT travel AT ALL, thinking about coming to visit. imagine my surprise when i suggested that they meet us at the zoo this coming weekend and then come home with us and was not met with total disdain. imagine my surprise to find that they are actually planning to do it.

so this is the plan: we are meeting them at 10 am tomorrow at the asheboro zoo where we hope to take a gander at the new, 2 month old lion cubs, and then they will come back to raleigh with us for one night. they are not staying with us in our house of sin, but will rather be staying in a rather crappy hotel somewhat nearby. had they the ability to make plans ahead of time, they could have stayed at a beautiful B&B right here in our hood, but alas it is all booked up. my father called at 7:15 this morning to tell me to find them a hotel, and that has actually been something of a challenge--almost everything in raleigh is full, as this is homecoming weekend for NCSU. so yeah. they are coming. we'll see how this goes. i love my parents, and i do want their acceptance, so i am really glad they are making an effort. i just hope it goes well, and i will be a bit nervous until they are actually here.

if nothing else, i really can't wait to see the baby lions. :)