Archive for July, 2004

Jul 27 2004

I am so Barnes and Noble’s bitch.

Published by under Friends,Media,Photos,The Man

I went to Barnes and Noble after work and selected my Drummond Island reading material. The cashier actually said “Very eclectic book selection you have here.” I’ve never had anyone comment on my purchases before. I wonder if she thought I had multiple personalities.

And just a question, but did John Steinbeck write any long books? I have three of his books on my “to read…eventually” list: The Moon is Down, Of Mice and Men (yes, I’m the only one in the universe who hasn’t read it yet shut up) and The Pearl (which I read in 10th grade but wouldn’t mind looking at again). But seriously. All these books are teeny-tiny. I didn’t buy any of them because I didn’t want to haul three teeny-tiny books up when I could haul one bigger book.

Anyway, what made the cut:

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes. This is the heavy hitter. I didn’t know it was such a big book. Big book, lots of pages. I doubt I’ll be done with it by the time we come home.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. It was in the Sci-Fi section and not in Fiction/Literature. Who decides what is literature and what is just a book? What’s the difference anyway?

A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway. I’ve never read any Hemingway. This one sounded interesting, although Amazon promises “no happy ending”. But I get the feeling Hemingway didn’t do happy endings.

High Fidelity by Nick Hornby. I’ve done chick lit, now I guess it’s time for lad lit. This is my “not so heavy reading” book.

Some books got rejected for length (like all the Steinbecks) and some got rejected because I can only get so serious on my vacation. Although the above are not the cheeriest books ever to be written, not by a long shot.

Oh hell, you want the truth? I walked around with a couple titles in my head, and if I saw one of them, I picked it up. Except Fahrenheit 451. That one I made it my business to locate because it wasn’t where I expected it to be.

I also browsed the Reference section, where I obviously don’t spend NEARLY enough time, because they had a book there called The Hippie Dictionary. Rock. On. I toyed with the idea of picking up a Garner’s, but I couldn’t justify buying a big ol’ reference book right before a vacation when I knew damn well I wouldn’t be using it for awhile.

Only two days to go before vacation starts (I took Friday off to launder and pack things). I am so ready to leave right now. The more time I spend at work the more my head hurts. Normally, I’d be worrying about things like The House and The Cats, but this year I am worrying less because we have The Houseboy. I trust all the other folks I’ve asked to check in on my homes and animals over the past couple of years, but they didn’t live in the house or with the animals. Chris knows our routines, knows the little idiosyncrasies of cats and house, and I don’t have to remember to tell him that to unlock the front door you have to pull it out a bit before turning the key. He knows all that stuff.

But that doesn’t mean that I’m not leaving him a big piece of paper with instructions and emergency numbers on it. Sorry, Chris. You live with a paranoia freak. Just ask The Man. He’ll tell you.

In closing, I want to see this advertising campaign in public libraries as soon as possible:

Reading Fucking Rocks!

Young lady, there is no thrashing in the library!

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Jul 23 2004

The Man fixed my Crest SpinBrush!

I just realized how much of a hypocrite I am.  Because I get all huffy and feel all let down when my favorite writers don’t update EVERY SINGLE DAY, yet, I haven’t updated EVERY SINGLE DAY in a couple of months now.  But that’s excusable.  You see?  It’s excusable because I don’t read my own journal for entertainment, and thus do not rely on my own words to keep myself amused.  If you had any doubt left that I am kind of self-centered, just re-read that last statement.


I also realized that most of my daily reads come from Diaryland, as opposed to my own home of Diary-X.  Because I have nothing better to do with my time, I tried to analyze why this would be, and I came to the conclusion that Diarylanders are better at pimping themselves out.  Diaryland is set up with banner ads, public “favorites” lists, and several portal communities that highlight good journals.  Diaryland is kind of like one big block party, and the D-Xers are more like the people who sit in their houses and bitch about the loud block party.  What a clunky analogy that was!  Anyway, regardless of this I will never move to Diaryland because A) I hate the color scheme at the site and B) it seems to have more problems than Diary-X.  When D-X is down, it is DOWN, and Stephen is generally right on the ball with things.  When Diaryland is messing up, it slows down, and then maybe pages won’t load on the first try, or the comments won’t work, or whatever.  It’s a very whiny service.  If it doesn’t feel loved, it acts out all passive-aggressively, so you think maybe your connection is the problem.  Also, Notify List (hiss) is run by the same guy who runs Diaryland, and I think we all know my feelings on Notify List.

Speaking of HORROR and DOOM (aka Notify List), I am already becoming disenfranchised with my new service of Coollist.  It seems they put advertisements at the bottoms of my e-mails, which I did not know about, and also that in order for you guys to get notifications, you have to join Coollist yourselves.  That seems dumb to me.  I’m thinking of just creating a distribution list off of my hosting service and adding everyone to that.  No ads.  No messing with a third-party.  Sweet and to the point.  Or maybe I’ll just get rid of my notify list dealie altogether.  It’s such a dilemma.  If you have an opinion, leave it in the comments.


I finally got my test results from the one test I’ve taken so far in my management class.  I managed to eke out an 82, which is good considering how little effort I’ve been putting into this class.

The other thing I got in the mail was an invitation to join my college’s honor society.  Because I made the mistake of pulling a 4.0 out of my ass, they want to reward me with MORE WORK.  I find this a little unjust.  Couldn’t they give me an all-expenses-paid semester or something instead of offering me more work as a reward?  I looked over the brochure which outlined requirements for honor society as well as some of the benefits that I could earn (scholarships, awards, etc.).  Turns out I have to take so many “honors” courses AND a required class called Honors Colloquy which apparently has to do with critical thinking.

First of all, NONE (and I mean none) of these honors courses apply to my degree.  I am going to school for management, why oh why would I take General Psych or something about Sex and Humanity?  Oh, yes, for the experience.  Well, let me enlighten those of you new to the show: I go to a small community college.  I chose this small college for several reasons:  1) it was cheap 2) it was close 3) it offered classes at a variety of times.  I know I am not getting the highest level of education possible, I know that this college cannot stand up to most other colleges/universities in terms of quality, but that doesn’t bother me.  I’m learning what I need to learn, and I can still work a full-time day job.  Most of the people who go to this college are there for the same reasons I am.  I appreciate the fact that my college is trying to enrich my education, but I did not choose this college to be enriched.  I chose it because it would get me what I needed with the least amount of fuss possible.  If they wanted to create honors classes in business, or ethics, or whatever, then I might be down with that.  But I am not going to delay my degree by taking classes I will never use just so I can join an honor society that will mean precisely dick after I graduate.


Lately I’ve become obsessed with M&Ms.  I make The Man buy me large bags of these things almost every other day, and I eat them while I study.  And while I read.  And while I watch TV.  I’ve been eating them while writing this entry.  It’s getting to the point where I’ll need an M&M IV-type line that will deposit M&Ms directly into my mouth so I don’t have to reach into the bag anymore.  Eventually I’ll get bored with them and move on to something worse.  Like chocolate-covered lard balls or something.  Chocolate-covered lard balls dipped in peanut butter!  With a thick coating of caramel!


I know some of you out there are rather fond of our current president.  You think he hangs the moon, is super-groovy, and a swell guy, and you’ve tried to convince me of these things many times.  Well, if you go read Marn’s latest entry, you will realize the biggest reason that I could never and will never vote for Bush:  he’s a crackpot.  Sorry folks.  Once a man says that God speaks through him, I generally back away slowly and don’t make eye contact anymore.

I can already see the huge amount of comments I am going to receive for that last paragraph!

I’m going to leave you now.  I took this picture this morning, and it looked nice and bright on my home monitor.  It’s kind of shady here at work, so I hope it’s coming through for you.

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Jul 21 2004

Stupid self-pity entry.

Published by under Introspection

I’m pretty bummed out tonight.  I would say “depressed”, but my current mood doesn’t really qualify for a descriptor that strong.  I’m just bummed out.  The worst part is that there is no real reason for it.

Oh, it’s pretty hot and humid, and that’s never particularly made me happy.  And I’m sweaty, which is one of my least favorite states to be in.  But that’s all trivial.

Actually, most of what is making me unhappy is trivial.  I ate crap all day long and now my stomach is upset. I just spent a lot of time looking through old web cam pictures where I look thinner, happier, have better hair and smile more convincingly than I can manage to do right now.

The promised “big storm” once again failed to hit us with any enthusiasm, and nothing lets me down more than the promise of a serious thunderstorm that is not delivered.

I’ve spent most of my night reading The Evening Star, not a very happy book, but I like the character of Aurora Greenway.  The book still bums me out though.

My cat wants to be all cuddly, but it is too hot and she is shedding too much to let her on my lap, so I feel like a bad Cat Mommy because I keep pushing her down.  I’d brush her, but I can’t find the cat brush, and that is also pissing me off.

I haven’t talked to any of my girlfriends in days – weeks – and that is partly my fault because I haven’t picked up the phone.  But sitting here at 10:10 PM it isn’t doing anything for my mood to admit that I am partly to blame.

My arms are flabby but it’s too hot and humid to exercise.  All I’ll end up doing is throwing up and then passing out, two things which don’t sound fun even under the best of circumstances.

I am totally out of candy, but come to think of it, my flabby arms don’t really need more candy.  Not to speak of my Big Fat Ass.

And I feel a bit lonely, which is supremely stupid because I have two people here that wouldn’t mind hanging out with me if I expressed any interest in doing so.  But the main fact is that I don’t feel like being around people right now, even though that is probably what is best for me.  I don’t like being around others when I am feeling a little bit of self-pity and self-hatred, and those two things are pretty evident if I can bother to look below the “bummed out” surface and get down to what is bothering me.

I’ma go see if I can find the kitty brush and spend some time brushing my kitties.  If I can’t be happy, I might as well make someone else happy, and my cats sure would be glad if I brushed away the metric ton of loose fur they both have going on.

I hope I feel better tomorrow.

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Jul 19 2004

Nice day for a white wedding.

Published by under Education,Friends,Photos,The Fam,The Man

Another frantic weekend! Will the pace ever slacken??? One can only hope. See, this is why I am not overly social. I had two things to do this weekend and it seemed like I was busy, busy, busy. I can only imagine if I was one of those people who went out for breakfast, then to a luncheon, then had a baby shower, then went to dinner, then to the bar, and the next day had a wedding to attend. As it stands, I only had the baby shower and the wedding, and they were enough for me.


Saturday was Lucky’s wedding to Galleta. We left our house at about 9:15 and went to pick up D– and Vampyre Hunter D. 4 adults and one child packed into the Cavalier with a bunch of melathian in the trunk made for a noisy and smelly trip. We left the windows down because melathian smells like sewage that has been served over rotten boiled cabbage, so everyone was shouting over the rush of air.

Once we got there, I did my usual thing of floating around, lending a hand when needed. The wedding was at Dr. Mom’s home in the lower peninsula, and there was stuff still to be done. I helped set up chairs, mostly, but after awhile I ended up carrying Rowan around (she’s The Man’s 5 month old niece) so her mom could get ready for the wedding. Usually babies and small children don’t seem to like me, but Rowan was cool. She hung out and grabbed my necklace and ate her dress. After awhile I needed to change my shirt into something more lightweight, so I took her with me into the bathroom. And that’s when I discovered that 5 month old babies cannot sit up on their own. There was really nowhere to prop her safely where she couldn’t fall over and smack her noggin, so I got a blanket and put her on the floor. And because I didn’t want her to start screaming, I stood over her while I changed and made faces and talked in my “isn’t this exciting?” voice: “Hey Rowan! What are you doing on that floor? Are you having fun? Are you eating your dress? Look at that smile, gummy-mouth! Aren’t you just the cutest!” and so on, and so on. She didn’t cry, she actually laid there and giggled at me, probably because I was acting like a retard and she knew it.

Once everyone was dressed, and all the chairs and tables were set up, and everyone figured out what was happening, we had the wedding. Only about 20 people were invited to the ceremony itself, so everyone else who showed up early kind of milled around by the tents. The wedding was very nice, short, and informal. Galleta looked awesome, Lucky looked happy, and the wedding itself was fun, because it wasn’t too serious. I had to jump up while the processional was playing to break up a dog fight between Dr. Mom’s two Welsh Corgis and a Weinereimer owned by Rowan’s mom and dad. No one needed to try to ignore a dog fight during the wedding. Galleta put Lucky’s ring on the wrong hand, and the minister called Galleta by the wrong name once, but all these things were minor and the important thing is that the wedding took place and Galleta and Lucky looked terribly happy and pleased with themselves.

Afterwards, party time! The drinking started pretty much immediately both because it was hot and because we were there to party. The Man’s other brother (Rowan’s dad) and D– started to dig up the pig so we could eat (the main course was roasted pig, but it was buried in a pit). I once again played Hold-The-Child because Rowan’s older brother was Way Too Close to the pig pit – he wanted to see what was going on, but being only 2 years old, he was in danger of falling in the pit and/or being smacked with a shovelful of dirt so I picked him up and carted him around for another half-hour. Then he started to freak out so I found his mom.

The reception was nice, the food was good, and everyone seemed to be having a good time. It rained off and on starting at about 4 PM, but we were under big tents, so no harm done. However, I started crashing hard at about 4:30, and The Man, Chris, and D– weren’t in much better shape. We left around 5:30.


Sunday was a baby shower. A small baby shower, but a baby shower none the less. This one was hosted by my mother, so luckily that meant No Stupid Games, as mom’s tolerance for such things is lower than mine. We ate, opened gifts, and talked for awhile, and then everyone kind of filtered away, leaving only me, mom, my sister, and my grandma left. After the clean-up was over, we sat around the table and traded stories about our significant others. I left at about 6 PM, because I had laundry to do.


Laundry took way too long. Unfortunately, it was one of those deals where I had skipped laundry last week, so there was double the amount of dirty stuff to clean. I think I went to bed at around 12:30, and there was still a load in the dryer. Ugh. I didn’t get a lot of things done that I meant to get done this weekend, but lucky for me there are more weekends coming and the work will wait for awhile. Right now, I’d really just rather be done with my management class. I had to call my instructor today because I never got a grade for my first test, and I’m wondering if it was lost or something. Because this is a telecourse, I have to take my tests in the Testing Center, so I’m not real sure if my test ever made it to my instructor. If it’s lost, and I have to retake it, I’m going to be really, really, pissed off.

I’m tired of writing, but I will leave you with a picture. I took this one this morning, because I wanted to see just how long my hair really is. I see it in the mirror, but I am very much like Cher in Clueless – I don’t trust mirrors so I rely on Polaroids, or in my case, The World’s Worst Web CamTM. And the WWWC says: damn, girl, you have hippie-chick hair.

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Jul 12 2004

Urban sprawl and Mackinac Island.

Published by under Rants

One of my little joys in life is to go to my favorite real estate listing site and check on the houses up for sale in places that I would live if I were independently wealthy and didn’t have to hold down a job.  One of my favorite places to browse real estate is Mackinac (or Macinac or Mackinaw) Island here in the great state of Michigan (it’s a Great! Lakes! State!).  Except that Mackinac Island has a little monopoly real estate thing going on, so for their listings I have to go to Mackinac Island Realty.

Side Note:  For those of you who don’t know, Mackinac Island is a little teeny island between the upper and lower peninsulas in Lake Huron.  It’s almost inside the Straits of Mackinac, which is the little bit of water that divides the Yoopers from the Trolls (trolls being people who live under the Bridge, get it?)  And when I say it’s teensy, that’s what I mean.  The island is perhaps nine miles in circumference.  The island is just bursting at the seams with historical stuff and it’s 80% national parkland.

So, I’m looking at homes on Mackinac Island, and I’m trying not to have a heart attack at the same time, and I’m also trying not to fall on my sword all dramatic and Japanese-like, because it’s always been a secret wish of mine to live on Mackinac Island.  But. . . the cheapest “house” I saw was $325,000.  And it’s not a house, it’s a condo!  Which means more fees and other annoyances!  And I’m looking on this site, and I’m wondering why the only things for sale are annoying condos and “cottages” that sleep 20 (and sell for upwards of $700,000) and then I realize that some godforsaken real estate developer must have plowed under a bunch of the charming, smaller, ACTUAL cottages that I love to see when I’m biking around Mackinac Island.  Many of those things must have been bulldozed to put up the THREE new subdivisions that are being advertised on the real estate site.  That pisses me off.

First of all. . . If you’ve committed to living on Mackinac Island, aside from HUGELY expensive propery tax, these are some of the fringe benefits you will receive:

  • You are not allowed to own any type of motorized vehicle, other than a snowmobile and perhaps a four-wheeler.  Cars and motorcycles and motorized scooters are not allowed on the island.  At all.  They scare the horses.  You will get around by bicycle or horse.
  • For a great part of the year, you will only reach the mainland by snowmobile or four-wheeler.  You will have to wait for the ice bridge for form and the government to mark the safe trail.  The ferries will not run up until this point, so I hope you have your private jet ready for action.
  • Tourists will constantly be getting lost and riding rented horses on your property.
  • Your grocery bill will be higher than hell because all supplies must be shipped or flown in from the mainland.
  • You will have about 1800 acres of wooded national park land to wander through.
  • You will probably know all of your neighbors.
  • You will be able to live on one of the most beautiful islands in the United States.

Many of these things do not scream “rich asshole” to me.  However, the latest condo developments definitely DO.  In my world, if you are going to live on an island that is 80% national park and only easily accessible for part of the year, you will not live in a goddamned condominium!  You will live in a house that you have built or caused to be built so that it fits in with the freaking historical and environmental nature of the area in which you have chosen to live!  If you want to live in a soulless condo, crammed in right next to your other wealthy neighbors, you will live somewhere else!  You will not cause money-grubbing real estate bozos to put up some stupid SUBDIVISION on Mackinac Island!  Subdivisions belong in the suburbs, not in BFE.  I suppose you could call Mackinac Island a suburb of the Upper Peninsula if you wanted to be all global about the whole thing, but it’s not.  It’s supposed to be a charming, small, friendly place where people ride horses and bicycles and you can let your kids run amok at 3 AM because where the HELL are they going to go anyway?

This is a very disorganized digital frothing at the mouth.  What really pisses me off is:
A) I will probably never be able to afford living on Mackinac Island
B) By the time I might be able to afford it, it will probably no longer be the type of place I would like to live.

Michigan is – to me – one of the most beautiful places in the world.  I love the sheer amount of TREES and WATER there are here.  But it really pisses me off that other people who claim to love the same TREES and WATER will buy up houses in subdivisions, which are available because some asshole allowed a real estate developer to come in and bulldoze a forest and put 30 houses out in the middle of nowhere just because some selfish pricks didn’t want to live in the city.  Guess what, asshole?  YOU STILL LIVE IN THE CITY IF YOU HAVE 30 NEIGHBORS.  You do not by any stretch of the imagination live in a “rural” area if your neighborhood is named.  Named anything at all – Oak Grove or Dutch Elm Manors or Bubbling Brook Condos.   If you want to live in the country, live in the damn country.  If you want to live in a small town, live in a small town.  And if you want to live in the city, by all means, live in the city.  There are plenty of houses in all three locations to choose from.  Don’t contribute to this problem by buying a home in what amounts to a brand-new town just because you don’t want to do any work fixing up a current home to your specifications.

Fight urban sprawl!  Firebomb a subdivision!
Um. . . don’t do that.  I got carried away.  No firebombing.

And I am fully aware that not all subdivisions are out in the middle of BFE.  Those ones, I don’t have a problem with.  When a subdivision is attached to a city or large town, it is serving its intended purpose – allowing people to live CLOSE to a city and still have a yard.  What pisses me off is when I am driving through miles of farmland or forested land and then – OUT OF NOWHERE – Shady Acres Homes!  And then nothing again for another 15 miles and then – OUT OF NOWHERE – Mama Bessy’s Condos and Fritters.  It’s ridiculous.  Stop building very small towns!  We have enough of them.  Build a house in an already established very small town and boost the economy.

I’m running out of steam here, and I’m not sure how a depressing whine about not being able to afford to live on Mackinac Island turned into a rant on urban sprawl, but there it is.  It pisses me off.  It makes me want to go buy 120 acres of virgin hardwood and build a small house and live out of the way of my fellow humans because collectively, we are a selfish and ignorant lot.

But my new neighbors wave at me every time they drive past my house and we have a new responsibility to return all lost dogs in the neighborhood to their respective owners, and several people on our road love giving illegal fireworks shows.  I like where I live, especially since the house I live in was built in the late 1800′s and comes with a generous yard.  I like that our road is on the way to nowhere in particular and that it is mostly already as developed as its going to get.  I chose to live here because of these things.

I just hate people who only think about themselves.  And that’s what these detached subdivisions seem to represent to me.  The extreme selfishness “You will build me a small town right here because I want lots of neighbors but I don’t want to live in an older home that I have to work on.  And cut down all those trees.”

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