Sturm und drang. So throw me a donut.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

What I did over the weekend...

I'm eyeball deep in the third season of 24. There's nothing like hours and hours and hours of Keifer Sutherland's deep, gritty voice saying things like:

Do you understand?
 
Put the cuffs on!
 
Trust me!
 
I don't have time to explain!
 
Yes, sir, Mr. President (as he gets ready to shoot his own boss in the head).

And then there's Downton Abbey. Holy Cats! Lady Sybil, Edith, Ethel! I love a good costume drama. Imagine if Downton Abbey was more like 24...

Anna would be threatening people with a knife to their throats to make them tell the truth about how Bates' ex-wife died.

Mary would be planning a covert operation to murder and replace key members of Parliament in order to change the law and allow her to un-entail DA and inherit it lock, stock, barrel and squirrely valet who is not-so-secretly gay.

And speaking of Thomas, he would be using unlimited amounts of chloroform to knock out the new footman so he can ravish him under the stairway.

Lady Cora would finally have a reason for rolling her eyes and pointing her chin at the floor every time she stops to say something profound: She is also listening to a live feed of Matthew in the basement beating and interrogating one of the servants over the disappearance of a bottle of expensive wine...

Tell me where the wine is! (Screams of agony) I know you know where the wine is! (More screams and the sound of handcuffs grinding against a metal pipe as the unlucky servant tries to get away) I know you know who knows where the wine is! The Bishop dines with us in an hour! I need that wine! (A scream and then a gurgle of words)
Lady Cora, I have located the wine.

Edith would be collecting intel on all available bachelors in the area whilst Lady Violet would be busy making sure everyone is following protocol and getting their assignments.

Daisy would be a mole for a shady terrorist organization and Ethel would be using prostitution as a cover for hunting the mole...

Ah well. I can't have everything...

Sunday, January 20, 2013

I say, you think

As always, go to subliminal lunanina if you want to see more, or to participate in this word association game.

I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Offered :: Do you offer without expectations? Or is it all about what you'll get in return?
  2. Center :: The middle, able to change course, flexible, keeping options open.
  3. Benefit :: What I pay for.
  4. Yay! :: Momentary happiness.
  5. Wonderful :: When I don't know what else to say, I pull out a word like this.
  6. Currently :: Captain Literal says: Currently (as if not everyone is aware we exist in the present) it is raining outside.
  7. Resignation :: A painful admission that not everything is working out.
  8. Testing :: Life is a test.
  9. Strangely :: Truth is stranger than fiction - a cliche I use.
  10. Clinic :: Dog clinic for behavior problems. That's what I'd like to do for a living.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

I say, you think...

"Rules are, there are no rules. There are no right or wrong answers. Don't limit yourself to one word responses; just say everything that pops into your head."  To play this word association game, go to lunanina.com  and have fun!

Week 520

I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Lizard ::  My little buddies who live in my garage, eating ants and bugs.
  2. Swimming pool ::  That thing I've never had, that thing I don't want, that thing my kids want more than anything in the world so their friends can come over every. single. day.
  3. Tank ::   Cattle tank out in the field, with water pumped into it by an old windmill that squeaks as it turns in the hot, summer breeze.
  4. Horrible ::  Eighty percent of the free books for Kindle.
  5. Cabbage ::  Stuffed cabbage leaves, kimchee, coleslaw, stir fry...I'm the only one in my family who eats it. Jerks.
  6. Pet ::  Sasha, Erin, Skipper, Emma, Tucker...
  7. Photography ::  Only the only thing I'd love to do for a living.
  8. 1970 ::  Bad clothes, until they became retro, Bad hair, until those styles became retro, and Bad cars with bad gas mileage until they rusted out and went to the junk yard.
  9. Ornate ::  Too busy for my eyes.
  10. Turkey ::  I forgot to take it out of the freezer to thaw out for the big day...so we had it for New Year's Day instead.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Caution! Excessive Reading Causes Stys!

Well, at least for me it does. I have a nice, big sty building up under my right eye. That word never looks right...

Sty

      Sti

           Sties?

                Stys!

Over my two-week break for the holidays, I made good use of the public library. I am a HUGE advocate of public libraries. When we move to a new town, the first thing I do is make everyone in the house get a library card. Just think, I tell my boys as they slouch out to the car and act all cool and offended that they have to go to the library, free books, free dvds, free books on cd...you name it! And then they get their cards, find some cool movies and go home happy.

I decided to read for my two-week vacation and this is what I chose:

The Memoir Project by Marion Roach Smith -

This is a very non-standard and practical approach to writing. I loved it! The last page is a punch list, which I copied and added my own notes to for future reference. The best bit from this book: This is what my piece is about (general theme)___________________,  and this story of mine (focused illustration)_______________________ is how I'll illustrate it. It helps to keep a story focused and to cut out all the extraneous junk.


Thirteen Moons by Charles Frazier -

The story of frontier America when the frontier was just west of the Appalachian Mountains. It's historical fiction and revolves around the character of Will Cooper, who is sold into indentured servitude to run a trading post in the wilderness of western North Carolina. Through Will, we get a fascinating picture of what it was like to see this country grow and move west. 
(This is the author of Cold Mountain)


Nightwoods by Charles Frazier -

A single woman finds herself raising her murdered sister's young children...children who are badly damaged by what they've seen. It is small-town North Carolina in the 1960's. One of the beauties of this book is what it doesn't say. There's no long, involved discussions of the children or what she's going to do with them, which makes it all feel very real and immediate.


Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell -

Written in the 1860's, this is a novel about people and their lives in early 1800's England. I've never been a fan of books written in this time period because I often found myself bogged down with the endless descriptions and even more endless discussions between characters. But either I've matured or else this book strikes just the right balance between description, discussion and brevity. More likely, I've just grown up! It's also fascinating to learn about the rigid social rules young ladies of a certain class had to live by. I would've been run out of town on a rail or burned at the stake as a witch! Anyway, at 652 pages, it's not a quick read, but I was enthralled with the lives of Cynthia and Molly from beginning to end. And thank dog I don't have to change my clothes six times a day!


The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury -

I first read a giant doorstop of a book called "The Short Stories of Ray Bradbury" when I was in high school. A good deal of the stories from "The Martian Chronicles" are in that book. However, not all of them and it's not arranged the same way. "The Martian Chronicles" is arranged chronologically, and some of the stories are short bridges to the next story...making it read more like a journal; if Mars kept a journal. No one can touch Bradbury in creating a nostalgic, magical and golden world in his work. I also read part of "Dandelion Wine," but I didn't finish it because someone else wanted to read it.

Plus, I threw in a few trashy novels (mostly ★ just for effort) on Kindle. I got the Kindle for PC app and it's great. There's a lot of free stuff to download and read, it you're willing to troll through all the really bad romance novels. Hint: If a book is offered for FREE, there's probably a good reason!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Escape

 

 
 
Really, it's the little things that keep me amused. If I owned the fields behind this sign, I'd put up scarecrows in orange jumpsuits. Scarecrows with pitchforks and chainsaws (made out of cardboard, of course) just to keep people on their toes.
 
In other news, I ended my vacation from unpacking, repacking and rearranging boxes in my apartment and the garage. Our apartment has two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a kitchen/dining/living room. We don't have a lot of extra space with four people living here. So, we rented a garage in the complex. A few days ago, my husband and I finished repacking all our stuff into plastic bins and moved in the last large piece of furniture: our second bedroom dresser. According to my sons, who helped carry it up to our second floor apartment, the dresser weighs 10,000 pounds. Every time we move, I have fresh regrets over buying any furniture made out of real wood. But since the garage isn't sealed off from bugs or humidity, everything worth more than a few dollars has to be in the apartment. Such is life. I'm going to bug bomb the garage and hope for the best...after I catch and remove the geckos of course!
 
This two weeks off for the holidays has been nice, but I'm getting bored. Bored because I'm stuck in a vortex of inertia (not a real scientific term!)  and I can't make myself do  much of anything. Family drama to the left, family drama to the right and I sure am glad I live far away from all of them. Maybe the lack of direction or ambition is really just my brain taking a break. I received my diploma a few weeks ago - I'm a bonafied college graduate with a degree in English - and so now I can look for a different job. Only, I don't want to look for another job my inner three-year-old whines. Try plugging in "Writing," "Technical Writing," "Editing," "Proof reading," " Public Relations," and "Copy Writing" into a search engine and most of the jobs are either writing handbooks for engineers or administrative assistants. I would love to be a technical writer for engineers or doctors but WOW do they want credentials and experience. This is going to take a while.  And probably help from a professional. And a wine bottle.
 
In the meantime, I am reorganizing the apartment, making the most of our limited space and dreaming of the day we can move into something as grand as a three or four bedroom apartment.  
 
 The other big news is that there's an infinitesimal chance that there will be falling snow in south Texas. When pigs fly outta my ass. Pictures to follow...maybe.
 
 
 
 
 



Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Christmas Letter I Never Sent :)


Dear Friends and Family,                                                                    Dec. 24, 2012

 

Nothing new happened this year. No adventure, no unexpected happenings and no fun. It was a boring year; so boring that there’s hardly anything worth mentioning.

 

In this year of our Lord, 2012, the most pressing First World Problem my family had to deal with was whether or not to join a gym and lose weight. Well, some of us need to lose weight, but not me. Our youngest son was the biggest whiner and insisted on a strict training regimen of five mile runs and weight lifting in between meal breaks consisting of meat sandwiches and Dr. Pepper. I told him to stop drinking all that pop or his bones would melt and he’d be three feet tall for the rest of his life and the only employment he’d be able to find would be in a circus sideshow as the World’s Smallest Long Distance Runner. He’d just slam his bedroom door shut and text all his friends about what a cranky old woman I am.


My husband insisted on long walks every evening, so I grudgingly complied. Because he is feeling so much better this year, with enjoyable employment and the absence of the urge to punch his boss, my husband loves to drag me outside and force me to talk to him and take pictures of birds and sunsets. This year, my husband decided to grow a beard. He’s tired of The Man gouging him with the ridiculous prices for razor blades. I think he really just wants to have a beard like the guys in ZZ Top, now that we’re living in Texas. Or else he wants an extra place to store his lunch. Either way, the love of my life now has a white beard and the kids call him Santa Claus.


Our oldest son graduated from high school! After four excruciating years of ignoring his teachers and teaching himself how to build and program computers, our son is a high school graduate. I don't know who is more relieved...our son or his parents. He is now working at a grocery store and spends his days bagging groceries, pushing carts and saying “Yes Ma’am!”   is biding his time until he can go to college. The nearby college campus has another First World Problem: Two-thirds of the students are women. If nothing else, my son could spend a few years taking home economics classes and earning his MRS degree.

And what about me? Eh, not much happened. I paid out a boat load of cash to get an English degree and all I got was a piece of paper with a bunch of letters on it. Although I am working at a job that generally doesn’t require me to write much beyond office referrals and detention slips, I still manage to write a few things here and there. There’s always the possibility that I will get a Texas license and teach English here…but then again H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks might freeze over first.


Did I tell you that we moved? We’ve been living out of suitcases like hobos for the last decade, so it was easy. My husband and oldest son moved to Texas first and found a nice apartment. The younger son and I stayed in Washington so I could finish my classes over summer quarter…and it turns out so my son could spend three more months with his girlfriend. The teenage angst was thick enough to cut with a knife. But everyone has survived the separation, more or less intact. My husband and son drove a UHaul 2,300 miles in three days. Then, they hauled all the furniture and boxes up to our new, second floor apartment. It was the best anniversary gift anyone has ever given me: On June 14, 2012, in temperatures normally only seen on the surface of the sun, I did not have to lift a finger to move into our new abode. My sister, who lives here in town, was kind enough to help…she opened and closed the front door as the guys trudged in and out.


In August, the other son and I moved from Washington State to Texas. We packed the truck with the rest of our junk and loaded up a cooler with bottled coffee and Monster to keep us awake. We decided to drive down the West Coast and stick to one major highway to reduce the chances of getting lost. On the orders of my husband, the boy who was with me was to drive no more than two hours a day because he is only 16 years old and not used to long distance driving. My spouse did not take into account my love of sleeping in moving vehicles to fend off motion sickness. During the two hours a day I was awake in the truck, the kid drove just fine. Let’s just say that New Mexico passed in a flash. And my son developed an interesting new vocabulary for talking to our GPS unit, which we lovingly named La Fonda. It turns out that even La Fonda gets lost sometimes. But after five days of hilarity and mother-son bonding (that would be yelling at me to stop snoring), we arrived in Texas and reunited the family.
 
The best part of being here is that we've escaped the lingering recession in the Pacific Northwest...but the hard part about being here is that we're not in the Pacific Northwest. For the first time in my life, I'm homesick. Or maybe it's just that we won't have any money to travel for a while and I'm feeling stuck. Either way, it's going to be a new year in a new place, we all have jobs and we are all together.
 
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!