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Showing posts from 2010

Top 10 reasons why I hate New Year's Eve

The looming holiday of New Year’s Eve always fills me with a vague sort of nausea, much like the feeling I get when I've had too many Christmas cookies.I hate the huge reminder that another year of my life has come and gone and nothing (or very little) has changed since last year.This is punctuated by my masochistic tradition of writing resolutions and then evaluating them when the year is over.Unfortunately for me (but lucky for you) I couldn’t find my list from last year.I looked on this computer, on my old computer, on my storage drive, and even in a handwritten journal.Nothing.I guess I slacked on the 2010 list.Hooray for my lack of ambition, because I didn’t accomplish anything this year anyway – so I guess I succeeded with my resolutions, right? I am hoping that, by posting my New Year’s resolutions for all the world to see, I will be motivated to really follow through because I have a community of people cheering me on.Or watching me out of the corner of their eye just waiti…

My Christmas Wish

It's Christmas!  Okay, it's almost Christmas.  I don't know about you, but I'm looking forward to life going back to normal.  I went to Wegmans today for cat food, and it was almost as bad as Wal-Mart on black friday.  Fortunately, a benevolent shopper, who was standing in front of me at the express line (with far more than 20 items in her cart), allowed me go ahead of her in line.  That made my heart fill with Christmas spirit - for a couple of minutes anyway - until a different shopper almost knocked me over with her cart on the way out the door.  I can't blame her though.  It looked like she had the shopping cart that wouldn't roll straight no matter how hard she tried.

Anyway, my blog has suffered the past few weeks because I've been working on other pursuits (playing Christmas music in a band, writing projects, babysitting, etc.), but I don't have anything remotely interesting to say anyway.  I've been enjoying Christmas cards and pictures from …

Since when are Christmas presents supposed to stress you out?

Every year at Christmas I look forward to a reunion of family with good food, fine beverages, engaging conversation, and, of course, a day off work, even if only for one day.Despite my rejection of the religion on which I was raised, I always remember and respect the meaning of the holiday.I also enjoy the silly stuff such as the commercials, the NFL-on-Fox robot wearing a Santa Hat, jingle bells in the background of radio or TV shows, and a hot beverage on a snow-squally day.I make the best of the season just like everyone else.However, the one thing I dread is the shopping.
This year, since Black Friday, I have arrived at the conclusion that I will not be participating in any gift-giving this year.  The only thing you will find under my tree is a napping kitty or two.  Fortunately for me, I have no children, nieces, or nephews to shop for, and my family has agreed to nix our usual Secret Santa tradition due to the economic black cloud that hangs over us.Besides, gift-wrapping is chal…

I NEVER thought I'd do this.

I swore I would never go shopping on Black Friday, and up until this year, I hadn’t.  But they got into my head this year.  That damn Wal-Mart flyer had the laptop I wanted on sale for $298, starting at 5:00 am.  I decided to go, just to have the experience, and if I got a new computer in the process, great.  If not, then at least I’d get to observe the gross consumer-driven commercialization of an otherwise beautiful holiday.  And what better place to watch humanity at its very worst than Wal-Mart?

I arrived at Wal-Mart at 4:50 am, ten minutes before the “doorbuster” sale began.  I parked in McDonald’s parking lot (because the Wal-Mart lot was full) and walked through the dark and the rain to the bright store, a twinkle in my eye.  I had my flyer in hand, already turned to page six where the picture, specs, and price of my new computer beckoned.

What I walked into was something I wasn’t expecting:  The store was bedlam, just like the movies, parodies, and newspaper articles depict.  I …

Communion with friends and words.

“Sharing food is communion with friends and the Earth.”  I can’t remember where I got this quote, but I wrote it on my kitchen chalkboard last year when I had my fifteen closest friends and family gathered in my home.  The meal was a combined effort… everyone shared their talents to make the day special, either by helping to prepare the food, bringing a dish or dessert, setting the table, serving drinks, making music, or making great conversation.

I always reflect this time of year on the things for which I’m thankful.  When I first started pondering the blessings of my life this year, I thought it was going to be a short (or maybe even nonexistent) list.  I was focusing on the stress and uncertainty I’ve been experiencing recently, and found it hard to come up with anything.

Last week, I had an unexpected turn-around in my attitude about many things.  I’m not sure what precipitated this sudden change of heart, but I started seeing the clean slate as an opportunity rather than a dauntin…

Can cheating lead to acceptance? Yes, in a way.

I just read an article that infuriated me.  It was a confessional written by a ghostwriter who sells customized essays, term papers, theses, and other scholarly works to undergrads and post-grads.  The article describes how these students pay this ghostwriter top dollar to write their papers, on short notice, sending specific instructions in almost illegible English.  This ghostwriter has written countless application essays, term papers, and theses.  His clientele includes graduate and PhD students, and he makes $66,000 a year from this rather unethical career.  It was a well-written article, although a bit cocky and seemingly embellished for effect, it was an interesting perspective from the (mostly) invisible side of cheating.

There is no denying that these services exist, regardless of the extent to which this ghostwriter exaggerated his article to increase Facebook posts.  With the internet, especially Wikipedia and Google, it is likely much easier to cheat today than it was back …

Small cash inspires large decisions.

I am learning by experience that the first priority upon starting over is to find a way to make money.  Forget all of my great ideas to volunteer at the animal shelter, read War and Peace, write a novel, and learn to cook French food (from Julia Child’s cookbook, of course).  Money is everything, no matter how much I wish that it wasn’t.  And, honestly, cooking French food is pretty expensive.

I have a few sources of income right now.  I am still looking for the elusive job that not only pays the bills and has benefits, but also makes me excited to get out of bed in the morning.  But, I confess, my favorite job right now involves blonde-haired blue-eyed Matthew.  I love him.  He’s laid back, funny, smart, loves dogs, reads books, and he laughs at my jokes.

Never fear, this blog (hopefully) will not contain any boring, self-indulgent analysis over my past or present relationships.  But I may not be able to resist saying how cute Matthew is.  Of course he’s cute… he’s one year old.  And I…

Apparently, you can't fix everything.

Chiropractors sure are good at what they do… convincing you that they will fix you and then taking all your money.

I wanted it to work, I really did.  I wanted to start my “new life” without pain.

They took x-rays and found that I indeed have some serious issues in my lower back, which are due to the fact that I have an asymmetrical skeleton (sounds like careless Halloween d├ęcor, no?).  Three adjustments per week for three weeks will get me straightened out, and the pain will start to go away, they promised me.  Okay.  It was expensive (and of course not covered by insurance), but I wanted to cure the problem holistically rather than begging a doctor for vicodin.  I hate taking pills, and the pain was crippling me to the point where it brought tears to my eyes.  I have a very high pain tolerance, but this was becoming so unbearable that I thought being beaten to death by a Vera Bradley purse might be preferable.

So the thrice-weekly adjustments started making a difference, maybe.  The…

Start Over

I’m sure most people would just call it a mid-life crisis, but I’d like to think that it’s a little more important than that.  Besides, I did what most sane, rational people would only read about in a chick-lit novel (which makes it sound a little pathetic, but I’m trying to get over that).  I left my job, my house, and a lot of important people – one in particular.  I sure hope it was worth it.  Last night, a good friend jokingly reminded me of my age (it’s okay, he’s the same age as me)… but it made me consider the possibility that I should have done what most people would have done in my situation:  Suck it up and get some happy pills.
What is “The Chrome Phase?”  In 2001, I moved into a dark, drafty, run-down apartment in the first floor of an old house that was, I’m pretty sure, held together with bubble gum and duct tape.  The rent was unrealistically cheap, so it was appealing for that reason if nothing else.  In a desperate attempt to spruce up the kitchen (which hadn’t been up…