Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve

Guess what? It's the last day of the year.

The last day of 2009, and I don't have any plans. I'm probably going to sit at home and watch When Harry Met Sally and eat cookies. Sounds like a thrilling evening, right? Let's throw some laundry in the mix and see how that spices things up.

Why When Harry Met Sally? Because that's the only movie I can think of that I would classify as a "New Year's" movie. The whole climax of the movie takes place on New Year's Eve! I might also watch the New Year's episode from the first season of "The O.C." That was a good episode.

My only hope is that I don't poop out before midnight. I've been having a hard time staying up late these days, but it's the one day a year that I really want to stay up that late. Well, one of two days a year. I always end up staying up until past midnight on Christmas Eve, too.

Next year I want to throw a party for New Year's Eve. I want to have a big, fun party. I want to party like it's 1999. Oh yeah.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Pets and Planning

Looking over the lists I wrote the other day made me realize something: I'm going to need a lot of money. If I get lucky and win big in Vegas for my 30th birthday party, then I'll be fine. But I can't count on that (as much as I want to) - not to mention, I'm going to need to save up some money so I can actually GET to Vegas for my birthday.

I was emailing a friend today about pets. I want a pet. Anything furry will do, really. But There's practicality involved. And I realized, as I was planning my future hamster's "Tube City" mansion in my mind, that there's no way I can afford something as simple as a hamster, let alone a cat or a dog. Also, I can barely keep a plant alive - what makes me think I can actually care for an animal?

So, pets are out for the time being. I would still like to have a cat someday, but not for a while.

I've decided to tackle the money situation the best way I know how: making a list. The following is a list of things I will no longer be spending money on:

1. Non-essential clothes (meaning no more Woot shirts, no new packs of socks and underwear because I don't feel like doing a load of laundry, no skirts because I never actually wear them, no pants that I won't wear more than once: the only acceptable clothes are work-appropriate attire and other clothing to replace old/damaged/stained articles of clothing that I cannot function without).
2. Froofy coffee drinks from Caribou (or Starbucks or Dunn Bros or Cafe Patteen, etc). I can buy flavored creamer at the grocery store to use in office-provided coffee.
3. Food delivered to my house unless it's related to a party or gathering or roommate bonding session.
4. Other restaurant food must be limited, but not eliminated. Perhaps I will allow myself to eat lunch out once a week, and dinner out at JJ's and a certain number of times per month (maybe five? Still need to figure this out).
5. DVDs, Video Games, and Other entertainment expenses: if a really awesome movie is on the $5 DVD rack, I can pick it up. But it has to be awesome. As for TV on DVD: I can buy the most recent season of Bones and Lost only if they're on sale for at least 40% off. Netflix can stay. Gamefly is on the fence. No new video games unless I specifically set aside money for it and/or I trade in old games.

That's just a start. There are other things I will limit - and just use my best judgement. I don't need any more kitchen gadgets, no matter how cheap they are on

Perhaps I'll try this for a while: in addition to limiting my spending, I'll look at my checking account the day before I get paid. Then, after I get my paycheck, I'll transfer my account balance from the previous day to my savings account. This way, any money from my paycheck that remains unspent by the time the next paycheck comes will be moved to savings. However much that is will give me an indication on how well I'm doing with my spending every two weeks.

I can do this. If I want everything on that list, I have to do this. A raise would help too.

Monday, December 28, 2009


In a few days, the decade will come to an end. This also means a new one is about to start. I think this is a good time to evaluate my life, and to see what I can accomplish in the next 10 years. Because of the awesomeness of the year I was born (1980), this is also another "decade" in my life - it'll be my 30s. Again, a great time to think about life and goals.

To honor this, I am making 10 lists of 10 things I want to do/achieve in the upcoming decade.

List 1: Life Goals

1. Apply, attend, and graduate from business school
2. Buy a house
3. Create life (have a baby, whatever you want to call it - if it doesn't happen in the next 10 years, it's unlikely to happen at all, so it might as well be on the list - ideally a man to have the kid with will be in the picture as well, but I don't like making unreasonable goals).
4. Healthify myself. Get to the point where my blood pressure no longer needs to be medicated.
5. Get a cat
6. Write a novel that's worth trying to get published, then find an agent.
7. Be in shape to the point where I can comfortably run a 5k.
8. Find and join a community band and/or choir.
9. Teach someone to play the piano.
10. Learn Spanish.

List 2: Reading Goals.

1. Something by Dickens that isn't "A Tale of Two Cities"
2. "Infinite Jest" by David Foster Wallace
3. More Stephen King
4. Finish the Thursday Next books
5. "Jane Eyre" so that the first Thursday Next book makes more sense.
6. Take another stab at Hemingway - maybe "The Sun Also Rises"
7. George R. R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" series
8. Something by Kurt Vonnegut
9. Another book by Wilkie Collins - "The Woman in White" was amazing.
10. The Shopaholic books (what? The main character's name is Becky! Fine. I'll also read Vanity Fair - the book, not the magazine. That one also stars a Becky.)

List 3: Travel Goals.

1. Visit Lake Itasca and the start of the Mississippi River.
2. Take a baseball road trip to Kansas City to see the Twins play the Royals.
3. Visit the Pacific Northwest
4. Go hiking. Real hiking.
5. Travel to another continent. If it's Europe, visit a country I haven't been to before.
6. Go on a cruise (Alaskan or Caribbean)
7. Visit friends in Chicago again
8. Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Maybe. Mardi Gras somewhere.
9. Visit Toronto. Do I know anyone who lives there?
10. See more of Las Vegas

List 4: Movies to watch

1. Citizen Kane
2. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
3. A Streetcar Named Desire
4. Escape to Witch Mountain (both the original and the recent remake starring The Rock)
5. Lethal Weapon (the first one for sure, more if I like it)
6. The rest of the Rocky movies
7. Marathon the 6 Star Wars movies in chronological (not release date) order
8. Get a copy of The American President on DVD
9. The Apartment
10. Marathon the Lord of the Rings movies, including The Hobbit (if it comes out in the next 10 years).

Ok, so that's only 4 lists so far. I've got time to think up more. My brain can't handle it right now.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

*Spoiler Alert*

No, I'm not actually going to spoil anything in this topic. I'm just going to talk about the concept of spoilers.

I watch a lot of TV. If you know me at all, you know that. Lately, it's my favorite form of entertainment. However, I'm still catching up on a lot of shows. For example, I'm only in the beginning of season 3 of Dexter - lots of catching up to do. From what I hear, the 4th season just ended not too long ago, and it was quite the thrilling end. Thanks to my nosing about on TV-related message boards, a big part of that thrilling end was spoiled for me, and I'm upset about that. I wasn't even reading a topic about Dexter (I've been avoiding those). It was a topic about scenes in TV shows that make you cry. Sure. That's fine. Say that the season 4 finale of Dexter made you cry. That's fine. Lots of finales make me cry. But don't say what happened in it that made you cry unless you give us warning!

I've been watching The Office lately - I recently discovered how great the show is. I saw an episode from the current season when I was on the plane on my way to Mexico. I didn't realize the damage it was doing, however, until I got to season 5 (last year's season) in my watch-through. The end of season 5 totally lost its effect because I knew something from watching that season 6 episode. Kind of a bummer, but not nearly as bad as the Dexter thing. I actually knew a lot about the plot of The Office before watching it, and I think it was fine because it's a comedy. The show is still funny to watch even if I know what's going to happen in the overlying story arc.

In other news, I hear it's going to snow a lot in the next few days. Why is there always bad weather on Christmas Eve when I'm driving to Maple Grove in the dark with a car that isn't mine? I hope our landlord can keep up with the shoveling. I did wear my boots today.

I'm still not done with my Christmas shopping. I've got 2 things that I need to get today or tomorrow. Things for my friends can wait until after Christmas is over. Wait. Is it really only 2 things? I find this hard to believe. Thinking... thinking... yes. Only 2 things. Woo-hoo! But then I need to wrap things. Bah. I'll have to put on the Christmas music tomorrow night and have my own personal wrapping party.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Is it the Weekend Yet?

Dear Blog,

Today is difficult. I'm struggling with fading motivation - motivation that I didn't have much of to start with - and only a small pile of projects to accomplish today. With my boss out of the office, I'm finding it extremely difficult to concentrate at all on my work. I'm restless and sleepy despite the large Ho Ho Mocha I bought at Caribou this morning (as it turns out, medium is the right size for me - I lose interest by the time I get to the bottom of the large). Next week is a short week due to the holiday, and it's really hard for me to think about anything work related.

I want to go home!

But I can't. I have to do this work. I have to be a good employee and do the things I was asked to do. I think I'll wait until after lunch. Yes, that should make the afternoon go by faster.

I wonder if I can talk my roommate into going bead shopping with me this weekend. I want to make some things for presents this year, and I want to try making some ornaments for myself. Michael's should have all the things I need.

This is so lame - I'm even running out of things to write here. Pathetic.

The roommate and I are going to put up our tree this weekend. I hope we can find a good spot for it. Our house isn't really set up in such a way that there's an obvious place to put a tree. At least it's a little tree. I like it. It's cute and short and it already has lights on it.


What was that? You say I'm at work, and that I should be working at work instead of writing random crap in my blog?

... I suppose you do have a point.

Happy Weekend, Blog-land.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Ponderings on Cheetos and the End of a Decade

First of all, huge shout-out to my mom - happy birthday! Without you there would be no me - thanks for being you. :)

I had a dream last night that involved a large amount of Cheetos. Not really sure why, but I bought some at the convenience store downstairs to have with my lunch today. They're quite tasty, but extremely salty. It's probably for the best that I don't eat them very often. As happens every time I eat Cheetos, I think back to college. Senior year I lived with two of my best friends. Any time we had consumed a reasonable amount of alcohol (it may have been St. Olaf, but we were also 20 and 21 - of course we drank), we always wanted snacks. Nine times out of ten, that snack ended up being Cheetos. It didn't take long for me to always associate the snack food with the feeling of being drunk. I have a feeling it has become a Pavlovian response for me to think of that year any time I eat Cheetos. And that's not a bad thing - senior year of college was one of the best years of my life. I can't deny that.

The other day I realized that Christmas is next week. Do you realize what that means? 2009 is almost over. That means the decade is almost over.

Before we know it, the Ohs will be a thing of the past. (That's what I'm calling this decade - since we always referred to the years as "oh-nine" and "oh-eight," et cetera, it only seemed fitting to refer to the decade as a whole as the "Ohs." Like the nineties or the eighties - it makes sense when you think about it).

On a message board I read regularly, someone posted a list of their favorite TV episodes of the decade. We all know how much I love TV. So that got me thinking... what are MY favorite TV episodes of the Ohs?

Man, that's a tough question. I don't even know my favorite shows of the Ohs. Maybe I should concentrate on that. Here is a short(ish) list of shows from the past decade that I felt were particularly awesome (in no particular order):

... actually, that could go on for a while. I like way too much TV. Instead, given the nature of the holiday, I'm going to list my five favorite holiday episodes.

  1. "The Chrismukkah That Almost Wasn't" from The OC Season 2
  2. "The Man in the Fallout Shelter" from Bones Season 1
  3. "How Lily Stole Christmas" from How I Met Your Mother Season 2
  4. "The Strike" from Seinfeld Season 9 (the "Festivus" episode)
  5. "The One With the Holiday Armadillo" from Friends Season 7

What are some of your favorite TV holiday memories?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Wait... What?

I looked at a calendar today. It was probably work-related, but I looked at a calendar nonetheless. And I noticed something. Christmas is next week. Next week! Holy crap!

So, naturally, I promptly signed on to and bought my dad's Christmas present. I still need to figure out everything else I'm going to buy, but at least I'm one present closer to being done.

Usually, I take a day off a week or so before Christmas to do all my shopping. But, due to the Mexico vacation, I don't really feel like I should take another day off work. This means I need to either do all my shopping online or brave the malls on the weekend. Yikes. If I opt for online, I might have to pay extra to make sure everything gets here on time. If I opt for the mall... well, let's just say I don't do well with crowds.

I've got some thinking to do.

So, let's worry about that later. Let's talk about Mexico some more instead!

You may remember before I left that I couldn't find my watch and forgot to buy a new one. I knew for a fact that the resort was significantly lacking in clocks, and I wasn't about to bring my cell phone and turn it on and subject myself to international charges on my next bill. So I brought my phone with me so I could check in with people at my layovers in Miami, and so I could call my friend to pick me up at the airport when I got home on Sunday.

On my way to Mexico, at the layover in Miami, I spent $15 on a watch. I was able to use it on the plane and keep an eye on the time while waiting for my folks to land in Cancun (we were all sharing a shuttle to the resort from the airport, so I had to wait for their plane to land). Little did I know that when I met up with my parents in Cancun, they told me that they bought me a watch at the airport - it was only $10. And it was slightly more comfortable than the $15 watch I bought, so I donned it and wore it at the resort.

By 11:00 AM the next day, the $10 watch stopped. It was still ticking, but the hands weren't moving. We all thought it would at least last the weekend, but no dice. Thankfully, I had the $15 watch to fall back on. And I knew that once I was back in America I'd be able to use my phone as a watch...

... or so I thought.

I land in Miami on the way home. The first thing I do is turn on my cell phone. And nothing happens. It flashes on, then turns itself off. It doesn't give me any indication that it has a low battery. And even if that were all the trouble, there was no way for me to charge it as I left my charger at home. I didn't think I would need it, since my phone was going to be sitting off the entire time I was in Mexico, and it wasn't on the verge of death before I left. I was confused.

After going through customs and security in Miami, I was wandering around the terminal looking for some kiosk or something that I could use to access the internet so I could get a message to my friend that my phone wasn't working. Nothing. No possible way for me to access the internet without asking a stranger if I can use their laptop. And I wasn't about to do that.

Thankfully, when I got to Minneapolis, there was an internet kiosk right next to the gate. I hopped on, paid my $5 fee, and sent an email to my friend. I tried to look up my phone book online (I backed it up once) so that I could use a pay phone to call my friend (the airport seems to be the only place there are pay phones anymore). Because, naturally, I didn't actually know her phone number. I don't know anyone's phone number. But I couldn't remember the password to access my online phone book. Rats! I just had to hope.

Thankfully, my friend checked her email and was able to pick me up as planned - it was a little bit later than it would have been otherwise, but it wasn't too bad.

By the way - my $15 watch? Still telling time.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety-Jig, or Flying While Fat: The Overweight Gal's Guide to a Slightly More Comfortable Vacation

The temperature difference between Minneapolis and the Yucatan area of Mexico is insane. Our resort (next door to Xcaret park, a little ways south of Playa del Carmen) was so warm and humid that I was sweating even in the air conditioning. I came home to snow - as in, when my friend picked me up at the airport (more on that later), the snow was falling from the sky. There was a winter storm just before I left on vacation last week.

At the passport control desk in Miami, the guy behind the counter looked at my documents and said, "Rebecca from Minnesota - it's cold up there!" Yes. Yes it is. It is very cold up here.

But that's all right, because for four days I was able to get away from it all. I wore a bathing suit and plopped myself down in a beach chair and sat in the sun for hours. I swam. I ate meals outdoors. I longed for a decent pair of sandals and some shorts that fit - everything I brought was too warm. But I survived. I had fun. I drank tequila and cervesa. It was great.

My flights were interesting. As a large woman, I pretty much freak out every time I'm about to fly. I never know who will be seated next to me, and I'm terrified that they're going to complain to the airline or something and somehow find a way to make me pay for an extra seat. As we're all congregating around the gate area in the airport, I can feel the stares of other people on the flight, looking at me through the corners of their eyes, hoping and praying that they won't have to sit next to the fat lady. It's not a very fun position to be in.

The first flight was perfect. I was by myself - no one sat next to me for the whole flight. It was fantastic. For the second flight, however (Miami to Cancun), I was really disappointed in myself for not taking the $50 upgrade to first class. The seats were so small that I could barely wedge myself into my seat. My thigh was pushing the button to make the chair recline, so I had to make myself sit up during takeoff so that my chair didn't lean back - quite the ab workout, actually. But it was extremely uncomfortable.

On the flights home, the only really bad thing was on the flight from Miami back to Minneapolis. I was wedged into my seat, and I was trying to keep to my own space as well as I could, but it was difficult. It took me forever to realize why I was having so much pain in my thigh where the armrest was getting me - it hadn't been nearly that painful on other flights. Then I realized - it wasn't because of the armrest or the plane or anything specific. It was my thigh that was the problem. You see, the day before I was laying out in the sun reading a book, and i hadn't realized that I missed a spot while applying sunscreen. That's right - the spot right where the armrest was digging into my leg. Sunburned. Ow. For three hours and 45 minutes. I couldn't wait to get off that plane.

The part of the trip that didn't involve airports or airplanes was the best, though. The resort has fantastic guacamole. I was in heaven.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


I leave for Mexico in just under 48 hours. My flight is scheduled to depart at 6:00 AM on Thursday. So early!

Tonight we have the Brit's Pub Quiz Grand Final. I hope we do well. I hope we don't make fools of ourselves. I hope we win.

I still have a lot of work to do to really be caught up before vacation. I should probably get working on that instead of updating this blog. I worked until 4 yesterday and have until 5:30 to work today. I should be able to get it all done.

I'm not working tomorrow. There are things I need to get done before the vacation can actually happen. I need to:
  1. Get my hair cut. Appointment is for 1:00 tomorrow.
  2. Shave my legs. Yeah. It's winter.
  3. Pack. And before I can pack I need to make a packing list and actually decide what I'm bringing.
  4. Stop at Barnes & Noble and check out the crossword puzzle magazines. If one looks good, pick it up for the trip.
  5. Find my watch. If I don't find it, I may need to buy a new one.
  6. Get some $1 bills for tips at the resort. Should probably also have some cash for food/coffee/water at airports and something to tip the shuttle drivers.
  7. Figure out what I'm forgetting... because there's always something.
  8. Refill any prescriptions that may run out while I'm gone.
  9. Freak out about how much I have to do and how little time I have left to do it.

I did the necessary laundry yesterday, but I might need to throw a load in tomorrow just in case.

I think that's it.

Mexico, here I come.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Baby, it's Cold Outside

In the grand scheme of things, this is Minnesota. It's not really as cold as it seems. But it's snowing, and that makes it seem colder. And that wind tearing down the streets of downtown Minneapolis? That's downright freezing. This morning, before the sun rose, I was crossing Marquette Avenue to get to the building where I work. Thanks to all the buildings downtown, the streets become brutal wind tunnels that never seem to let up. That was by far the coldest intersection I've crossed so far this season.

Of course, all this would be made more pleasant if I just broke down and got my winter coat out and actually wore it. But I'm not ready for that yet. I'm a Minnesota girl, I can take it. It's not even below zero yet!

This whole cold-and-snow thing isn't so bad, though. Why not? Because it's getting me into the spirit of the upcoming holiday. No, not Christmas. Not Hanukkah or Kwanzaa or the Winter Solstice. No, this is the greatest holiday of all: Cookie Day.

What? You don't celebrate Cookie Day? It's only the greatest holiday ever created! It's an entire December day devoted to gathering with your family and baking a gross of cookies (at the minimum, usually more) and a variety of candies. Traditional meals include tuna salad sandwiches for lunch and pizza for dinner. And lots and lots of cookies.

This year the holiday is a bit early, but that's OK by me. I'm excited. I'm pumped. I'm ready to bake my heart out.

**Warning: Extemporaneous poetry ahead**

Oh, Cookie Day, Cookie Day...
You're less than 24 hours away...
With flour and butter and sugar I'll play...
At Cookie Day, Cookie Day, Cookie Day!

Oh yeah. That's how much I love Cookie Day. I just wrote a poem about it. That's the true magic of the holiday. It's my favorite day.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Just a Casual Glance

I am a single, straight woman nearing the 30-year-old mark.

This frightens me.

But that's not what this post is about. This post is about how I - as a single, straight woman approaching 30 - deal with the men I meet on a daily basis. Because, believe it or not, I do meet men daily! Ok, so maybe I don't meet them. I see them. I order food from them in restaurants. I sit next to them on the bus. I encounter them, shall we say.

Today, for example, I was ordering my beverage at Caribou (yes, yet another Ho Ho Mocha - this time they didn't screw it up at all). For those of you who aren't familiar with the coffee shop chain, it's a lot like Starbucks, but I think they have better coffee (but, like Starbucks, if you cross the street in Minneapolis, you'll come to another Caribou - I'm pretty sure there's one in every building downtown). They have a trivia question (that varies by location) every day, and if you answer the question correctly, you get 10 cents off your order (measly prize, but it's still fun). I answered the trivia question today because I knew the answer - the question was something about a composer dying while working on his 10th symphony. Obviously, it was Beethoven (ok, it's obvious to anyone who took a music history class - the question also supplied the year of his death). As the cashier was ringing in my discount, I said, "Yay! Finally that music major is finally paying off!" And he told me that he, too, was a music major! I thought to myself, this guy is a little young, has a little more facial hair than I prefer, but he wears glasses and seems pretty nice. And a good conversationalist, too!

So, I did what any good single, straight, almost-30-year-old woman does: I glanced at the ring finger on his left hand. Sure enough, he wore a nice gold band on his ring finger. Married. Taken. Off the market. Tied down. Locked in. No banana for me.

So much for that.

This is a normal chain of events for me. Nice conversation, reasonable level of attractiveness, casual glance to the finger. I'm used to it. And - damn - there are a LOT of married guys around here.

Last night was the TGIO party for NaNoWriMo (TGIO = "thank god it's over"). I've gotten to know a number of people in the local NaNo community thanks to write-ins and the various parties. We're sitting around, chatting, eating food, comparing crap levels of each other's novels, when suddenly a guy walks in that I don't recognize. He sits down without getting any food, and he sits near the podium where the excerpts will be read. I ask the people around me if anyone knows who he is - no one does. Mystery Man seems to have a laptop with him. Perhaps he will read? But being the true social butterfly that I am, I don't listen to any of the readings because I want to socialize with the other chatty people in the group. I don't know if he reads anything or not. I don't know what his name is, how old he is, or anything about him. But he piqued my interest.

It should be noted here that I was the person who said on the regional NaNo forum that I originally joined NaNo to meet men.

Naturally, my next series of thoughts was: "Mystery Man must be creative, since he's here for the big party for writers. Is he single? Is he straight? Is he as old as he looks? I wonder if he's wearing a ring?" But I'm too distracted talking to everyone at the party. By the time I think to look for him - and possibly build up the courage to talk to him - he was gone.

If others hadn't seen him as well, I would wonder if he were a ghost or a figment of my imagination. I never even got to see whether or not he had a ring.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Not off to a great start...

Today is the first day of December. Noveling is done, Thanksgiving is over, and there are limited hours of sunlight. Truth be told, this is not my favorite month of the year. Too busy, both in my professional and personal life. The weather is getting colder, but I'm too stubborn to get my winter coat out of the closet. There are vacations, holidays, and parties, which should all be exciting to me, but lately it's getting a bit much to handle.

So the burden of December is upon us. I woke up late, had to rush through my shower (when I prefer a nice, relaxing shower) and throw on some clothes in order to get to the bus stop on time.

It should be noted that I am a creature of habit. I follow mostly the same routine every week day. Every morning I take the same pills in the same order, for example. I also like to sit in the same seat every morning on the bus - the way home is less important because there are a lot more people in the way. Lately, there's been a guy who always sits in "my" seat, but he would get off the bus a block after I got on, so it wasn't a problem - I was able to sit there without a problem.

This morning, the seat was open. I smiled to myself, convinced it would be a good day. I sit down in the seat (on the new hybrid busses, "my" seat is up the stairs just behind the back door of the bus). I sit down, put my bus pass away, and close my eyes to start my morning nap.

... but I am interrupted. The lady sitting behind me - the one holding a clipboard - taps me on the shoulder. "Would you mind moving to that seat over there?" she asks, pointing to the empty seat on the other side of the aisle. "I need to see who is getting on and off the bus, and you're kind of broad... you're blocking my view."

I was speechless for a few seconds. Broad? Really? That's the word you choose? Because that's not insulting at all. But then I think to myself, "who is this lady, and why couldn't she move? I came in, sat in an open seat - if I was in her way, why wasn't she sitting in this seat to begin with? And what is she doing that she needs to see who is getting on and off the bus? Does she work for Metro Transit? She's not wearing a uniform or name tag or anything? Is it a project for a class? Does she have any idea how full this bus will get by the time we hit downtown? It's rush hour on a busy bus line!"

I moved, because I didn't know what else to do. And once I sat in the other seat, I remembered why I liked my seat. My seat is all window - no window edges or anything taking up valuable elbow space. And that side of the bus, the right side when you're sitting there, doesn't have lights on - the left side (the side behind the driver) has a long row of lights that are always illuminated, making the whole morning-nap thing a lot more difficult. And the seat behind the door doesn't have anyone sitting directly in front of me, so I feel like it's easier to hold on to my purse without worrying about whacking someone in the shoulder or head or something when I move. Most of it's petty, but I like my seat. And it was early. I can't be expected to be rational when it's so early.

Nobody got on or off the bus for a good 15 blocks. The next person who got on the bus sat in "my" seat. The lady with the clipboard didn't say anything, she just shifted in her seat a little. I guess that person wasn't too "broad." And just as I predicted, the bus got really full. Clipboard Lady had to stand up to see who was getting on and off the bus. She seemed quite flustered, and I have to admit, I found joy in that.

That was the bus ride. But that wasn't the end of it. One of the good things about December is the holiday-themed coffee drinks at Caribou Coffee. My personal favorite is the Ho Ho Mint Mocha. It's chocolatey and minty and delicious. It's wonderful. Yesterday I ordered one, and as I patiently waited for the guy to make my coffee, I realized that all the other customers were gone - even the ones who arrived after I did. The guy was cleaning up his fancy espresso machine when he saw me standing there. "Were you waiting for something?" he asked. They had somehow missed my order, so he made me one. I didn't want to say anything, but I was hoping they would throw in an extra espresso shot or bump me up to a large. No dice. But the Ho Ho Mocha was fantastic, as usual.

Today, I used my $1 off coupon that I got from the Turkey Day 5k. I got a large Ho Ho Mocha today. I was excited. It was a girl making the drinks this time. She put it up on the counter, and said "here's your mocha." Just to be sure, I said, "Is that a Ho Ho Mocha?"

"No, it's just a mocha."

"I ordered a Ho Ho Mocha."

Turns out the person who rang me up rang it in wrong. The girl takes the mocha off the counter, throws away the chocolate covered espresso bean, and adds some peppermint crunchies to the top of the drink, then hands it back to me.

Let me tell you, folks: peppermint crunchies do not a Ho Ho Mocha make. There needs to be mint flavoring in the drink itself. I tasted it, and it is NOT a Ho Ho Mocha. It's still tasty, sure, but it's not a Ho Ho Mocha.

I should have said something, but I was too fed up at that point. Really? 2 days in a row that Caribou messes up with me? And no apology today, either. At least yesterday the guy apologized for not making my drink. Today, nothing. What happened to customer service? Is this no longer something that is valued in our society?

December, you're not off to a good start. But I say, bring it on. Give me your worst, December. Just don't give me a blizzard on the 10th. I really don't want my flight to Mexico to be canceled.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Online Dating and Taxidermy

Actually, this post has nothing whatsoever to do with taxidermy. I just thought it would make for an interesting title to a blog post. And I like the word.

I've been involved in the online dating scene for almost a decade now. That's a bit of a frightening thought, but it's true. Recently I joined to take advantage of their guarantee - they advertised on television and said that you're guaranteed to meet someone you actually want to date (not in those words, of course) within 6 months of joining. Of course, in order to get them to hold up their end of the bargain, you have to pay for those 6 months up front, and you have to remain an active member during the entirety of those 6 months - and, to them, remaining "active" means that you need to send messages to at least 5 unique users every month. Normally this would be easy. Piece of cake. But it was actually quite difficult for me to find 5 users each month worthy of contact in my eyes. They were all too beautiful or pretentious or religious. And for three months, I diligently contacted my required 5 people a month. How many messages did I receive in return? One. One stinking message. And it wasn't even someone who wanted to get to know me. No. It was a guy who had "winked" at me on the site, so I sent him a message. He returned the message to say to me "sorry, I clicked the wink button accidentally, I didn't mean to send that to you." RAGE.

Today I realized that the next month has passed and I haven't sent all 5 messages. But you know what? I don't care. I don't like the guys on And their stupid guarantee doesn't give you your money back if you don't find someone. No, it just gives you another 6 months membership for free. Riddle me this, Batman - if I haven't found the man of my dreams on your website in the first 6 months, what makes you think that I'll find him in another 6 months? I highly doubt it would happen. So I don't care anymore.

Besides, I've become more active on another dating site. And this one is FREE. And fun. And guys there think I'm cute. And they send me long messages with complete sentences and everything. And no one sends me messages by mistake., you're the winner. You are now my preferred online dating website. And if I get bored trying to find Mr. Right, I can always take some dorky personality quizzes to pass the time. That's the magic of OkCupid. They're fun, and inviting, and free.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Throwing in the Towel

I haven't touched my novel in over 48 hours.

It's still November, it's still National Novel Writing Month. I should be worried about my word count, and I should be working on the novel right now. But I just don't care anymore. The craptastic opus I created has sucked every ounce of my will to write fiction and I can't do it anymore.

I've hit the "what's the point" wall. Why bother busting my butt over this novel thing when I'm going to ultimately get nothing out of it? It's just going to be a file saved on my computer for the rest of time that I'm never going to touch again because it's not worth editing. I went most of the month, and that's gotta count for something.

Follow-through? Yeah, that's not something I've ever been good at. I tried. I really wanted to finish this year to prove that I could actually finish something that I start, but I don't have the drive anymore. I did my walking goal - I walked the 5k on Thanksgiving morning. That was a success. So at least there's something in my life that I can be proud of.

I'm not a writer. Not a writer of fiction, anyway. This kind of writing, here, that I'm doing right now, this is the stuff I can crank out until the cows come home. I just don't think I'm the right kind of creative for fiction. Maybe for NaNo next year I'll try writing a memoir or something. That might come a lot easier than some piece of fabricated fluff that once floated around in my mind.

I'm going to enjoy my Saturday now. I have a coffee table to put together, a baby shower to attend, a video game to play, and a lot of episodes of The Office to watch on DVD. It's going to be a good weekend.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

She's Writing a Novel

That song has been going through my head all month - mainly the opening lines:

She's writing, She's writing
She's writing a novel.
She's writing, she's weaving,
Conceiving a plot

Because that's what I'm doing. I'm writing a novel. I'm creating something out of nothing, and conceiving a plot. It's not a good plot. It's not a good novel. But it's something. If I finish, it'll be the third novel I've completed writing. Admittedly, I've never edited a novel. None of them are good enough to even consider editing.

This year, it's been a struggle. I really want to finish. This is my sixth year participating in National Novel Writing Month, and if I reach the required 50,000 word count before November 30, it will be my third time winning. But motivation has been lacking. On the weekends, I've been fantastic, cranking out 5,000, one time nearly 8,000 words. But during the week I've been slacking, telling myself that there's plenty of time to catch up.

My current word count is around 32,700. We're supposed to hit 40,000 today or tomorrow (I don't have my tracking spreadsheet with me, and I'm too lazy to do the mat right now) to stay on track. I'm behind. I'm falling farther and farther behind every day I don't write at least the average pace of 1,667 words a day. I've been steadily writing 10,000 words a week, but that doesn't get me across the finish line on time.

But why am I obsessing so much about averages and pace and word counts? Shouldn't I be doing this for the writing? For the joy of telling my story? That's why I'm struggling. I hate my story. I like bits and pieces of it, but I had no idea a month ago that a story about 5 coworkers who win the lottery together would be so freaking BORING.

Also, it's mostly dialogue. Boring, mundane dialogue.

But that doesn't matter. It's still a novel. Hopefully the story will wrap itself up when I get to 50k. Maybe I'll like it better on a read-through. I've got almost the entire Thanksgiving weekend to get caught up - it's like two weekends in one! I can do this.

She's writing, she's writing,
She's writing a novel...

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Am I... ?

There's a new TV show on this fall that I've really been enjoying watching. The show is NBC's Mercy, a hospital drama that focuses on the nurses who work in the ICU ward of a hospital (the "Mercy" of the title). At least, I think it's the ICU. It's hard to tell - it's not a very realistic hospital, now that I think about it. Anyway, I'm pretty sure that every single episode of this show has made me cry. Every. Single. Episode. I was just watching an episode that had been on last week (I had it saved on the DVR), and I thought I was going to get through it without a tear, but then, right at the end... BAM. And I was crying.

So this got me thinking. If something as simple as a TV show can make me cry week after week, is that a sign of something more?

Am I depressed?

My doctor asked me that question the last time I saw him, and I wasn't sure how to answer it. I go through a lot of moods throughout any given day, but I don't know if I'm actually depressed. And the last thing I need is another pill to take every day. But maybe some therapy might be good?

The last time I tried therapy, it didn't go well. I went into it not really prepared - I didn't know what I wanted to get out of it, and the therapist ended up fixated on one area of my life that I wasn't really sure needed to be repaired. I quit going without getting out of it, and I'm not sure that if I went back (even with a new therapist) that it would be any better. I think I'm too stubborn to get anything out of therapy at all.

Of course, there's still the question of whether I even need it or not.

But as I've been writing this post, I've also been watching the movie "Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay," and now, at the end, it's making me tear up a bit.

There's gotta be something wrong with me.

Friday, November 20, 2009

The First Post: Already More Than You Were Expecting

I haven't updated my bus blog or my reviews blog in a really long time. So, instead of updating one of those, I'm going to start a NEW blog!



I think a lot of things. Most of them I probably shouldn't share with people, but lately I've been severely lacking in a sense of privacy, and a large number of my filters seem to have mysteriously disappeared. Maybe it's the recent burst of noveling, I don't know. I do know that I recently published a post on Facebook about sexy bras. Completely inappropriate, especially considering my parents (all 4 of them) are on my Facebook friends list. They'll probably all get a link to this blog when I post it on Facebook. (Hi Mom!)

But this time, I'll be taking it a step farther. (Dad, you might want to stop reading now.) Yeah.

Remember those bras? They arrived in the mail yesterday. One of them wasn't nearly as sexy as I was led to believe. It's really not very different from my normal bras, except for some nice lacy trim. But it's quite pretty, and it fits me well. The other bra, now, that one is SEXY. Seriously. I'm wearing it right now. It has no padding, unlike my usual bras (they have little air bubbles in them), but the shape of it is really quite nice. And the actual bra material only covers a little bit... then there's strategically placed black lace that leaves NOTHING to the imagination. It's awesome. I feel sexy, I LOOK sexy (what I can see in the bathroom mirror, at least), and I'm even turned on by my own boobs a little bit. Which is a little weird.

See? TMI, right? But I'm not going to delete that. I'm putting it out there in cyberspace (do people still say that anymore?) for everyone to read. That's what this blog is about. Saying whatever I want to say whether or not anyone wants to read it.

You've been warned.