31 August 2006

Farting Guy

Yesterday was Date Day for my husband and I. We did things that, in his words, "Normal Earthlings would do." Meaning, we ate at a chain restaurant and then walked around the mall holding hands.
It was a weird experience for us since we usually try to be uber creative and unusual with how we spend our time on Date Day.
We went to Granite City for lunch. I got the usual (see, I'm telling you, it was a conventional type of day for me) and Billy got a hamburger (also conventional).
Then we went to the Mall. We were in JC Penney looking at weird socks when an old guy walked behind us, and at every step, he was letting 'em slip. Loudly. Unashamedly.
I have rarely seen my husband completely lose it-- but this is all it took this time. Billy was laughing, sputtering, wheezing, screaming, crying, so weak I had to drag him out of the store. He couldn't help himself.
It was hilarious, I admit. I also felt sorry for the old man. Do you think he knew he was doing it? Or was it just that he didn't develop any hobbies and so his days consisted of being stuck at the mall with his wife where he didn't really have any place to do what any man should be entitled to do at his age--fart whenever he wants?

29 August 2006

Running Away

Remember when you were little and you'd get mad at your mom and then "run away." I think the furthest I ever ran away was to my playhouse or to the trees around our farm. Once I ran away from Bible Day Camp. I ran all the way down mainstreet with Olive Ackerman (the Pastor's wife) and my babysitter, Denise, running behind me. I actually made it all the way to the bridge (which in my mind would've meant true freedom) before Denise caught me. I paid her back by biting her all the way back to the park where the daycamp was being held.
I think I REALLY didn't want to be at daycamp that day. I don't really know why. That's the sort of thing I normally enjoyed.
Today I felt like running away from my job. It was an extremely frustrating morning. I was ripped a new one by an 80 year old woman who is paranoid about people asking for personal information...but,guess what? That's my job. If you want the bank to give you money, you have to supply a plethora of personal information. It's really frustrating when you are actually trying to HELP someone, and all they will do is be mean to you.
Like, for instance, the other day I had to call someone to get some information on the association of condos I was working on. So, i tried to call the president of this particular association, and his wife answered. I asked for the man, and she YELLED at me, saying "Why do you think he'd be here at 9:30 in the morning--he's at work." I explained to her that I had no idea where I was even calling; that this was the number I'd be given for her husband; and that I needed some information. She was very huffy and arrogant and frustrating.
People are very paranoid. And I am here to say that I don't think it is worth it to be so paranoid all of the time. Not everyone out there in the world is out to screw you, general public. Some of us are just trying to do our jobs. And sometimes that means taking your personal information. You can't get something for nothing. You can't have money without proving your income. You can't expect never to have to give some information in return for some information. And not every single business or company is out to screw you. Not everyone is against you. Not everyone is a bad guy.
Now, I'm not saying don't be smart. I am saying, I don't think we are to be PARANOID. I don't think we should be constantly suspicious of everyone and everything. I don't think that's a healthy way to live. And that type of living DOES, in fact, have an impact on those around you.
End rant.
Actually, Billy and I are running away for the weekend. We are going to a B&B literally in the middle of nowhere at a place called Volden Farm (I know, now that I told you that, you are probably going to figure out where that is, stalk me, take my money, and kill me...signed, paranoid person). It is truly in no-man's land, and we will basically be alone.
Being alone with my husband is about the nicest thing I can think of at the moment. We don't see much of each other lately. And getting away to a little house in the middle of the prairie (300 acres to be exact) sounds absolutely sublime.
So, at least when I want to run away, I can always just pull up the website of the place I get to run away to---but I can't go yet. I can't wait to get there. I can't wait to get away from the sounds of the train and from bills and from annoying people working on our street at all hours of the day and night and never finishing, and from demanding bosses and mean, paranoid people, and even the pets.
Last Saturday night I worked at the Pastry Shop. I love the pastry shop. I love the people who work at the pastry shop. It is not a glamorous job--you have to do lots of dishes and things, but I love it. It's a wonderful atmosphere. On Saturday night, the owner sent me home with EVERYTHING that was left in the case. It is insane the amount of stuff I got to take home and share with friends. She told me this is a "perk" of working there. Apparently, another perk is going to be being 300 pounds. Actually, I am hoping that this is my new weight maintenance/loss plan--that I will get so sick of this stuff I will never want to see it, much less eat it again. In truth, I hope that doesn't happen, because I always want to LIKE this place. It is one of the gems of the town in which I live, and I don't ever want to resent anything about it. Plus, I get tips. I have never worked at a job before where I get tips--unexpected money. It's very fun. I have cash. I can go for coffee if I want to.
I have come to the conclusion that this job is a perfect fit for me right now. I never have to work Sundays. I don't ever have to work during the first part of the week. I still have plenty of free time to myself. The only drawback is that it means less time with Billy; however, the silver lining to this is that it is forcing him to have to make plans with his friends. I think this is a healthy thing for him given that he never really gets to see anyone now that he works nights. So, again, it is a really great fit for us, and I like the idea of some extra cash rolling in as well.
Back to purging. I thought I was done with the purging. Well, the other day I read crazy aunt purl's blog about her current round of purging (www.crazyauntpurl.com), and I got really inspired to take another looksie around the house. I think there is still more to be done. Sometimes you have to peel back a layer and then wait for the dust to settle to see what else you can do. I think I want to tackle another round with the clothes and another round with the memorbilia. After that, I think I will just be able to maintain using a principle where you go into a room and in five minutes get rid of 27 things. I tried it a few times, and it really works. I love having things be decluttered, and now that we are finally nearing the end of the clean-up from a year of house projects, I am getting to feel like our house is really our home again.
I think I have to take our little dog to the chiropractor. Yes, our vet has a chiro. Yes, to many of you, I am sure this sounds insane. But I'd rather pay for her adjustment than a bunch of drugs that I then have to attempt to give to her (and if you know this dog, you would understand the complete impossibility of this). Her knee seems to be dislocated. I think she has been playing too hard trying to run after her ball or play with the big dogs. I hate the idea of vet bills. Bah!
In the category of "Yes, we really are losers!" Billy and I are making our fourth run through the entire Alias series in order to be prepared for the Season Five release in November. This leads to us obsessively watching it. Which leads to my husband making the same comments at the same points in the same episodes every time we watch them. It's really, really odd. You think he'd say something else sometimes--but I can almost predict his comments to the extent that I can now predict the episodes (after seeing them four times).
That's all for now. I encourage you all to take a risk in not being paranoid--take a risk to trust someone (a smart risk, mind you), to be vulnerable, to try where maybe before you have failed with someone or something. Leave your paranoia behind!!!!!! And be nice to the little people like me!!!!

21 August 2006

After Photos (And the best chair ever)

11 August 2006


I think it is absolutely strange beyond strange that when you go to the doctor to pee in the cup they tell you to "void" into the cup. Void. What connection does urine have to the word "void." When I think of "void" I think of the vast emptiness of empty, dark, cold, lifeless, space where there are no stars, no planets, nothing. That is the void.
What does this have to do with pee?
Does it mean that now I have a void in my bladder?
I don't know. I just think it is weird.
I had my woman appointment today. I'm glad that's over for another year. Apparently I am in perfect health which is nice. I have to say that my doctor, a woman, is an artisan of the PS, so much that when she does it, you literally almost can't even feel anything. And it isn't awkward at all. I think she is a true artist with the speculum. Thank you Dr. Johnson.
Moving on, I would like to report that I have applied for a part-time job. The reason for this is three-fold: 1) with Billy working nights, I will have a lot of time on my hands once the home renovations are complete, 2) we could really use the money plus the sooner the debt is paid off, the sooner I can quit my real job, 3) I want to do SOMETHING, ANYTHING with even an OUNCE of creativity involved. So, I applied to Nichole's Fine Pastries, and was called back within a day's time to come in an chat with the owner. The chat went well. She is a former farm girl who thought she was going to be an accountant until one day, she saw a fruit tart and decided that pastry was her calling. She has trained all over the world with a lot of very famous chef's, and I am so excited to have the possibility of maybe learning something from this woman. If she can work out the schedule, she will hire me, and I love the thought of working there. The place has a real French flare to it, and you know how I feel about anything Francophone. I will learn about coffee, wine, and dessert, and how to bake better, and how to run a cash register, and how to run a small business. I think that working there is going to give me a lot of insight into running a small business and if I ever really, actually want to do that (which at this point, I believe I still do). Plus, it will be warm, cozy, smell amazing, play fun music, and deal with customers that really WANT to be there, so I don't think it will be so bad.
I hope I get the job.
I also have another part time job (I know, I know, but we need the money, and I need the experience) working as the administrative assistant for the Chamber Chorale here in town. I will be working under a colleage/good friend of mine, Athena. Athena is everything you'd think she'd be. Very eccentric and fun, and I love her. We have a great time working together, and we don't mind suffering through awful circumstances together, so I think that will be great. Plus they wrote a grant just so they could pay me, so I have to follow through on that now, and at least it has SOMETHING to do with music.
Given these two developments, I am feeling better about my career path knowing that, even though I still have the full-time job, I am at least staying involved with the creative community and possibly, maybe easing into something else in the future.
This makes me extremely hopeful.
Something else makes me hopeful. Today we are beginning to put the bathroom back together. That's right, the tiling, grouting, painting, caulking, window installing, window insullating, stress-inducing, sleeping in a 100 degree room days may soon be over. If Billy can find some brute strong enough to help, they are going to move the tub back in today. The tub. The beautiful, copper painted, chrome-footed, clawfoot tub with read: ridiculously expensive plumbing fixtures, will soon be installed in my new bathroom. Which means that this weekend, come hell or high water, I am taking a bath in that gd tub. In my own house.
However, I am nervous because with all of the hub-bub and chaos associated with all of the various house projects for the past year (yes, it has been nearly a year), Billy and I never did test the tub to verify that it actually will hold (and not leak) water.
I suppose we should have done that.
Another example of us doing things completely bass-ackwards.
Also, I am nervous because, frankly, things have gone too well with this project. Nothing horrible has happened yet. This is not typical for us. Something has to go drastically wrong. Otherwise, the project is just too good to be true.
Work has been extremely stressful this week. I have been covering for my boss while he's gone. Filling his shoes is not easy, and I have to deal with a lot of types of people that I don't normally deal with, and all of them want everything right now, and the phone rang off the hook for the first part of the week, and there are a lot of nervous customers to deal with also. I don't mind the variety, though--getting to do something different from normal--and being stretched out of my "comfort zone" at work (but really, this entire job and entire lifestyle is outside of my comfort zone, so I give myself credit for even showing up at all, frankly).
Tonight I get to attend a barbeque soirree at a good friend's of mine. Well, actually, it is Sara here at work, the one who wrote about the work poop situation. There will be some other very fun friends there, good food, drinks, etc. I relish the thought of doing something like this after spending every other evening this week on my hands and knees tiling, grouting, caulking, etc. Not to say that I don't enjoy the houseprojects, because I do, but to say instead that I have felt like something of a hermit, and also I've been eating bread crusts and ice cream for supper every night, and it will be nice to eat normal food and talk to actual human beings instead of just the pets.
This week I did do something social. I attended a going-away party for a highschool friend of mine who is getting shipped off to Iraq. She is with a finance unit, of all things, that is going to help the GI's over there with their financial situations, etc. It's kind of interesting; I didn't know the military would send someone over there for that purpose. Anyway, a couple of other high school friends were at this party. It was nice to see them, but I was really surprised by how bitter some of them were/are at our upbringing in a small town, and how much this bitterness has basically paralyzed them into not being able to do anything with their lives. It's difficult to even talk to this one individual because she has nothing good to say about anything, especially herself. And she is clear about the fact that she is miserable in every way, and that it is the Upbringing in an Opressive Small Town that is to blame for her paralysis. But, there just comes a point where a person has to be able to get over whatever is bothering them from their past, stop being a victim, and stop letting their feelings keep them from figuring out who they are. Well, some of my classmates are stuck to varying degrees in this strange paralysis. I understand it to a certain extent. I wasn't exactly happy with my time in college, for instance. But at least I am able to function on a rather basic level, and this one individual does not seem to be able to. In fact, she seems more awkward and unhappy than I've ever seen her, and I just don't even know what to say to her about it anymore. She refuses to listen to encouragement. She seems happy to be despondent. She is kind of an Eyore.
I have no idea how to spell Eyore and I don't care.
I guess seeing her again was just a lesson to me that you have to rise above whatever you perceive to have "wronged" you in your life and instead push ahead to try to figure out who you are. Nobody else can do that for you. And it seems to me more and more that when we take risks to do try to figure out ourselves, our lifes, and what we were meant to do, that God rewards that somehow, and that circumstances work themselves out. Sometimes a person has to be creative with how they start moving down a different path, too, and kind of seek solutions that are maybe a little bit "out of the box" for themselves and their families. But I think more than we realize, we don't need to be "stuck." We don't need to be in the void.

09 August 2006

Step Three: It's just you and me (and this awesome floor)

The floor is glued. The walls are painted.

The only things left to do are: grout, seal, caulk, put in window trim, reinstall everything.

No more pictures until the finished product.

07 August 2006

Step One: we can have lots of fun; Step Two: There's so much we can do!

03 August 2006

Visual progress report