Thursday, January 29, 2009

Snow STILL sucks, but...

So, I survived yesterday. My boss is a peach and coordinated ordering in Chinese - she wanted to pay for the whole thing (there were four of us who made it in for our department) but we insisted on paying for our own and letting her pick up the tip, which we wanted to be HUGE since our delivery man braved the storm to feed us.

I ended up being asked to write a letter to associates on behalf of our HR director, explaining our strategy. We joked that my boss assigned me to it because I was most irritated and that writing something from the management perspective would help me choke down the Flavor Aid and calm me down. (The truth is that I have somehow become"the" letter writer for these occasions, and I love it.)

I did and just heard from the HR director and he is really happy with it. I hope it helps our associates understand and also quells their frustration from yesterday.

And I carefully, carefully, carefully rolled home last night. I say roll because actual driving requires acceleration. I rolled. (Yeah, that is an actual photo of the ice living on my side mirror as a result of the ice storm...)

And then, from about 6:15 - 10:30, I continued to paint the kitchen, hang cabinets back up and paint the small dining area. What a change this is making! To go from stark (and somewhat marked and scratched up) white to these warm and inviting colors is quite a change. I'll be getting a butcher block table from my parent's house soon (our cousin gave it to them and they can't use it) and that should complete the homey feel.

I finally stopped to eat a cracker with cheese around 10:30 (I skipped dinner because I'd eaten Chinese at lunch and was on a roll and didn't want to stop) and turned around to admire the work I'd done. When I saw I'd hung two of the cabinet doors upside-down, I knew it was time for bed...

Tonight I hope to get groceries in and go home and do some touchups and mop the floors and vacuum and put things away so that when Steinvic (hopefully) arrives tomorrow (depends on the weather, I suppose) he will be simply amazed at my Clean House style "reveal." I always keep a tidy house, but I'm going for the "wow" these days...

Here's to snowy weather kicking my domesticity into high gear...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Why Snow Sucks...

Living in Ohio means that you either get extremely mild weather or extremely sucky weather.

This week, we're experiencing the extremely sucky stuff.

Yesterday, it snowed and snowed and snowed. Last evening, the icey rain began and by this morning, there was about an inch of ice on my car. The ice turned back to snow as I chipped out. And it's still snowing and snowing and snowing.

My company apparently decided to delay our starting time (from 8 a.m. til 10 a.m.), but since the only station we report to didn't display the delay before 6:30 a.m., lots of our employees were already on the road by then. I missed the annoucement and came on in.

Now we're stuck here. In my opinion, we shouldn't even be open today. The University of Cincinnati closed today and they NEVER close!

The cafeteria is closed for today, so anyone who does manage to make it here, thinking they're going to get to eat lunch at some point, is going to be unhappy...there is no way anyone could go out for lunch today - most of the restaurants are closed.

So, I'm kind of p*ssed off. I have no idea how I'm going to get home, no idea why we are here, no idea.

Yes, I'm blessed to have a job...thank goodness for my job. I love my job. But this is just plain old dangerous...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Assault by Taco

After you read this story, I'd be interested in hearing what you think.

Although, I have to say, a few things come to my mind immediately:

  • If you have a person over the age of 18 living in your house and this person refuses to work or go to school or do anything, why are you making dinner for him?
  • If he is a slacker, why does he have an XBox provided for him?
  • How did she get him to stay around while she called the 5-0 on his ass?

I do like that she is refusing his calls, though I can't imagine what kind of relationship they'll have after he gets out. I mean, he now has an arrest on his record as well as domestic violence...good luck finding a job with his photo on the Internet, tied to assaulting his mother with a taco!

Good grief...wish they'd included a photo of his Mom...I'm envisioning June Cleaver covered with lettuce and cheese.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

It's Inauguration Day!

Yes, I'm very excited about today for a number of reasons. That's as far as I'll go with politics here know...politics, they get some people really fired up. I'm not trying to do that!

I bought paint this weekend and began the makeover on the kitchen/dining area. All I've finished so far is removing the top cabinets from one side, painting them and painting around them, but WOW - what a difference! I do have one question, did anyone paint prior to painter's tape?

We braved temperatures below zero this weekend, and thankfully, our heat pump continues to trudge along, though the furnace man told me that it probably wouldn't last through the winter. I had to - suprise! - buy a furnace right before Christmas to the tune of $2500, which I know was a very fair price, but the wonderful repair guy - he really is a trustworthy person - told me that the heat pump was on her way out and I'd be buying one shortly. it's $2200. Since as you know that my goal is to pay cash for EVERYTHING in 2009, I'd like it to hold out a little bit far, so good.

Speaking of money, Steinvic researched airfare for a trip out West next month and I think he found a reasonable flight. Not for me...just for him. I haven't mentioned it here, but his cousin is very ill and doesn't have long to live. We hoped that both of us could go back to see him, but moneywise and airfarewise and timingwise, it didn't look good for me to be able to go, too. Still, I feel like it's really important that he go now, before it's too late. So, I think he's going to go the last week in February. I'm sad that I won't be there with him, but I know it will mean a lot for him to go and also to his aunts and uncles who are out there.

Just made the mistake of checking the local headlines. If you're not from the Cincinnati area, look a the quality of some of the individuals who live in this town! I mean, gaze upon this-waste-of-flesh-useless-piece-of-crap-who-is-taking-up-valuable-space-who-will-soon-find-out-just-how-bad-life-can-suck. If you read the comments, one reader said this guy was brought in for domestic in 2007 and got NOTHING. Totally amazing. Ah, justice...I hope that the scratches on his fat, pathetic face are from the woman he raped and that she got a few other hits in there, too.

This is why I hate reading the news...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

"Real" Housewives...

I don't watch a lot of television. Steinvic and I have some shows we enjoy during down time on the weekends, but I'm still usually multi-tasking: some home project, art project, cooking, sewing...

However, during the week when I'm home alone, I like to put on movies or Clean House on the Style Channel for some home makeovery goodness as background noise while I'm doing our laundry or cleaning or whatever. Usually, it's a movie or episode that I've already seen. That way, I don't feel compelled to glance at the TV often, or come back into the room to see what I'm missing.

But last night, Style was running some of their E! True Hollywood Stories, (for whatever reason, by the time they air on Style, they're usually several years old = out of date.) I didn't want to hear Angelina Jolie up to the year 2005 in the background, so I flipped around for something else.

I stumbled upon the Real Wives of Orange County on Bravo and while I'm not one to slow down in traffic to stare at an accident, I found myself actually watching this foolishness. Who are these people? How in the hell did they find these ladies to star in this show? I'd love to see the ad inviting people like this to apply:

Do you love yourself a lot? A whole lot?
Enough to share your self love and your drama with all of America?
Even if it makes people feel sad for your spoiled children and neglected, henpecked husbands?
If so, please apply here!

I went to junior high school for three years in a slightly tough part of town and I can tell you...even in the (super scary, drama-and-conflict-filled) gymnasium locker room, I never witnessed the kind of back biting immaturity that I saw between these ladies in an hour long show!

Last night's episode involved one of the wives, Tamra, attempting to get another, Gretchen, the newest neighbor, "naked wasted" at a lavish dinner party because they do not like her. Why they do not like her, I can't understand, since she is exactly like the rest of them in most ways except for one: she seems to know who she is and she enjoys herself anyway and doesn't give a damn what anyone on the show thinks. She knows she's artificial, she knows she loves material things, and she knows she is a trophy fiancee. But she just wants to have fun...if the other ladies like her, great! If not, great! (The fact that she is engaged to a man with a terminal illness and still macks on one of the wives' sons (Ryan) is pretty tacky, but still.) She was trashed and Ryan was beyond flirtatious and very interested in her. Also, it was kind of funny, because Ryan's mom is Tamra. Tamra had said at one point, "Let's get her drunk so she'll do something stupid!" I was laughing my ass off when I realized that the something stupid that Gretchen would "do" might be Tamra's son! I'm sure it was a little freaky for her to see her own son trying to hook up. Ugh. The show ended with the viewer listening in on Gretchen and Ryan in some closed off room (but of course, the mics are still on) in a compromising conversation..."to be continued."

Good gosh. Will I watch again? Hmmmm... Entertaining, yes. Worth my time? Not really, even though I did need some sit-on-my-ass-time after a rigorous workout. Embarrassed that I watched? A little. Will I ever get that hour back? Unfortunately, no. And I probably won't watch again, unless I'm feeling nosey, because I wouldn't hang out with people like this. Watching people on TV in my living room while I'm wearing comfy pants is kind of like hanging out with them. And I don't want their nastiness to rub off on me.

If you want to feel slightly superior about yourself, your hardworking lifestyle, good manners, reasonable appearance and true relationships, tune into this show to see these ladies not just behaving badly, but voluntarily behaving badly for everyone in the country to see, all the while thinking that they are totally hot...

Monday, January 12, 2009

Puppy Decision

We had a great weekend...lots of time together and Steinvic had us all prepared for the crummy weather - he'd gone to the grocery at lunch on Friday (what a trooper!) for supplies and after we had cocktails with his brother and sister-in-law Friday night after work, we hunkered down at home and had a cozy weekend.

The most discussed topic of the weekend was, of course, the puppy. Steinvic was totally supportive and wonderful, and I was completely all over the charts: yes, no, and a dozen reasons why we should or shouldn't. I made out the pro/con list and came out about even. I made a list of things that we'd need to buy, and Steinvic researched baby gates online.

I finally decided last night - because we are at the point where we HAVE to decide - we'd get her.

And then this morning, as I rolled out of bed at 4:45 a.m. to get ready and make the commute, I realized that I couldn't do it. Not now. To have enough time to commute from Columbus AND go home on Mondays before work? I'd be getting up at 4:00 a.m., and that is in good weather.

It wouldn't be fair to a puppy and it wouldn't be fair to me.

I might sound like a total wuss (there are tons of people who get up for work earlier than that, right?) but it's not just about me. It's about a tiny puppy in the dark front seat of a car for two hours, who would then be dropped off and all alone on Monday mornings after that car ride. I think that's kind of mean. And I'd be stressed, believe me. Traffic around our house is awful. The commute can be kind of tough sometimes.

See how I'm convincing myself, right now, even as I type? It's not never. It's just not now...not this one.

So silly that I have a lump in my throat over a puppy that was never even ours...

Friday, January 9, 2009

Literary News Flash

Andrew Hudgins is one of the greatest poets ever. And I'm not the only one who feels this way...

He actually taught one of my classes when I was in college. Now he teaches at The Ohio State University. (His wife, Erin McGraw, is an excellent fiction writer. Though to be honest, I haven't actually read any of her work, but I've heard her read - it was a story about a woman losing her father - and I was amazed.)

I kept in touch with Hudgins and he gave me some sound advice after graduation, and also helped me shape up my portfolio enough that I got a partial scholarship to the 1996 Indiana University Writer's Conference (without that scholarship, I wouldn't have been able to go...I was so broke back then). And when I wanted to go back to college to take some night courses, he was really great about advising me on who would be the best instructor for what I wanted to accomplish at that time. (He was spot on about that instructor, by the way...)

I was cleaning out my "favorites" in my saved Web sites and came across a Hudgins interview I'd saved. So, I googled him + "new book" and lo and behold...

Even if you don't think you like poetry, or even if you don't know a damn thing about poetry, or even if you got scared off by some horrid poetry unit in high school or a required course in college that was poorly might still like Hudgins' work. He is that good. You don't have to like or understand poetry to really enjoy his fine writing and imagery.

So, I'm about to pre-order my copy. I can't wait! This book sounds like something different than anything he's done and since everything else he's tried has been incredible, I'm pretty excited. I'll be counting the days...

Should we get a puppy?

My dear friend, Marta, is adopting a puppy. She has a beagle who is awesome, but forever, Marta has wanted a dachshund, too.

Her co-worker's mini-dachshund just had puppies on December 23. They are incredibly cute...

So, Marta e-mails photos to me and I send them on to Steinvic, saying, "Oh-aren't-these-cute-and-yes-she-offered-us-one-and-yes-I-was-good-and-told-her-we-couldn't-right-now-I-just-wanted-to-share!"

And Steinvic blows my mind (as he often does) by replying with, "They are cute, and if you want one, let's get one. And yes, I am serious."

And so, my darlings, the dilemma. I want one... Even though after having to put my cat down a few years ago, I told myself I wouldn't get any more pets. Even though I already have a crazy lifestyle that includes Steinvic and I living two hours apart and alternating home fronts on the weekends. Even though puppies are expensive and I am upping my financial conservativeness this year (pay cash for EVERYTHING!) as much as humanly possible. Even though I sometimes question my ability to possess a 'mothering nature.'

Marta (who lives in St. Louis) even offered to drive to meet us halfway so that none of us has to use vacation time. Totally sweet of her.

The ONLY things that have me a little concerned are:
  • So, we go get this dog on Saturday, bring it home on Sunday and then boom! Monday comes and Steinvic goes back to his town, and I go to work for 9 hours. What does the puppy do all day by herself? I don't want to be cruel or neglectful, leaving her all alone. She'd be safe, have food and water and she'd be warm, but man, she'd be scared, wouldn't she?
  • In my commitment to pay cash for EVERYTHING in 2009, a puppy is potentially a big expense. I have the cash for this puppy. But I know I have some other expenses coming up. The puppy is $225, and the only reason it's owner is charging is because the momma had to have a C-section and the shots and worming are all included in the cost. Still, it's $225 and I'd like to buy Steinvic's son two tires for his car for his upcoming birthday. I know there will be vet bills, supplies to buy, and more.
  • Since I commute on many weekends, I would have to go pretty far out of my way in 5:00 Friday evening traffic to pick up the puppy on my way to Steinvic's. This means not getting to Steinvic's until probably close to 7:30 or 8:00 p.m., which isn't the end of the world, unless we have things to do.

I know my Mom will help me out with this. I know she would love to spend time with the puppy and that she would go above and beyond the call. But I'm grown and don't want to put her out or rely on my mommy to make it all better. That isn't fair.

We're meeting Steinvic's brother and his brother's wife for drinks tonight. They have a dachshund and a mini, too. I want to learn more from them about how all this puppy business works...

So, what do you think? Puppy or no puppy?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

New Year, Clean Slate

Happy 2009!

While it may look like I'm just starting out, it's not true. I had a ton of crap out here that I just decided...I didn't want to exist any longer. So, I deleted every entry in my blog.

"Insanity!" you proclaim, but it's not true. This is who I am. I do this all the time...go through my closet and in an instant, have half of the contents strewn across my bed, ready to bag up for Goodwill.

Constantly reinventing and improving. Is it because I'm not happy with where I'm at? Never pleased with myself? Nope...that isn't it.

I just believe I can do it better.'s to it.

What about your reinvention? Do you find yourself getting stale in the same habits and routines? Or do you gut your closet now and then, peering into the corners to see what you've forgotten...what you can live without?