Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Today's Walk

Lately I've been waking up between 5 and 6. And frankly, I'm sick of it. As if getting up at 6:30 isn't early enough?

I was worried I would be too sore to run, and I was also worried it'd be too cold. But I put on some leggings under my pants and tore out of the house, 10 minutes later than I was yesterday. I started off at a faster pace, which was bad - must start slowly because I burned out at a half-mile. Then I walked and then ran another half mile. The cardinals weren't out as much this morning, but a beaver was! Well, maybe a woodchuck. All I saw was his little brown body running back into the growth. It's really peaceful to get out among nature in the morning. Tomorrow's going to be really hard - it's going to frost tonight, and when I start out, it's still kinda dark. Oh well. Wonder if the birdies will be out. The worms, they will be dead. Poor worms.

Monday, April 28, 2008


The New York Times had an article today on Ansel Adams and how people try to recreate his pictures. I think some people could accuse me of doing the same thing; I love taking pictures in black and white. To me, there's a timeless, ethereal quality. Don't get me wrong - I love color in photos, especially in fall. But I truly love the challenges shooting in black and white presents. Part of the article said that people may find disappointment because they can't quite reproduce the effect. And to this, I say that while imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, just shoot. Make your mark. Take hundreds of photographs. How many pictures do you think dear Ansel took of the same landscape? Methinks more than one. Experiment. One thing that I pride myself on is that I take photos of everything. Everything! What you see on the blog just scratches the surface of what I have on my hard drive. I have pictures of the veins inside leaves. I have tons of pictures of Wiley, of rooms, shrubs, rocks, the ground, the sky, buildings, streets....everything I can. Because you never know when you've got a masterpiece on your hands. The worst photo is the one not taken. So go play!

We're Going to be Washed Away.

Man, this weather is odd. During lunch, my car was practically blown sideways, and then it poured down rain, and now the sun is out. I think Mother Nature is going through menopause.

Tonight I got some borax and sprinkled my furniture with it and pushed it into the floor where the wood doesn't quite meet the wall. On Wednesday, we vacuum. I've also washed all the blankets and my bedding and am keeping the cats out of my room. They hate that. They love the bed! But sleep last night was not easy. I think it was midnight before I went to bed, and 1 before I fell asleep. And then I had dreams that spiders were falling from the ceiling, and that I got to work and my inbox was overflowing with stuff I had to get done that day. So when 6:19 rolled around, my phone woke me up - Wiley got some more money for his phone so he could text me - and I grudgingly got up. He's currently in Zvornik interviewing people, which turned out to be a bad time because of the holidays (Easter and then another one I can't remember). His phone thinks he's in Serbia, so it eats money. But he's taking pictures so soon you (and I) will see! So morning came early, but I got up, fed the cats, and went for a run - a whole mile without stopping once! The trail I use was deserted this morning at that time - just me and one other person, then two on my way back. The trail is around 3 miles, but I only go about a mile into it and then the mile back. I don't have much time, especially if I walk it. But my arse, oh boy, what pain it feels. I think it may rain tomorrow, which will hamper my plans, but if not, I'll attempt again and hopefully the muscles will feel better. It's times like this that I apologize to my body for abusing it and not using it regularly like I should.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

I'm Itchy.

I treated Dixie a couple of weeks ago with Revolution because I thought she had ear mites. I left Rewind untreated. This evening, as I wrestled Dixie to the ground to give her her ear medicine, I found a flea on her head. This put me in a bit of a panic, so I grabbed Rewind and combed him and found two fleas. I put them in the toilet and flushed. I finished combing him, which is relatively easy because he doesn't have a whole lot of fur and he's really thin, and found no other fleas, and no flea dirt on him. Then I grabbed Dixie, and found nothing else on her either. I've been washing blankets and bed linens ever since I found the little critters, but my sister tells me Revolution will only kill the fleas that get on the cats, not keep them off period. I wonder if there were fleas already here because as far as I knew, neither of them had them when I picked them up a month ago. Right now, the cats are quiet - neither one is fussing with fur at all, so I hope I got the fleas before they spread. Tomorrow I'll be going to Wal Mart to get some borax to sprinkle on my couches and in the cracks of my house, and I thought about going to the vet to get Capstar, which is an adulticide to get rid of any more fleas that might somehow be hiding on the cats. I'm glad I took a nap earlier. This could be kinda a late night.

Good Morning.

This morning, Wiley got on a bus to go to Zvornik, which means my morning was free. After finding my bread that was on the counter wrapped up on the floor and half chewed through (anyone want a cat?), I decided to make use of the good weather, and I grabbed my keys and headed over to the Bloomington Rail Trail. Talk about nice! I took my iPod but didn't listen to it until I was almost to my car. I walked three miles, and during that time, I saw cardinals, green finches, and Canada geese. There were two geese who had landed before I spotted them, but as I was walking past, four geese honked from the sky, and the two on the ground honked back. I thought the fliers were going to keep going past, but then they all turned, and using their little feet as rudders, dipping a right foot lower than the left, they all landed near their friends. Had I had my iPod on, I probably wouldn't have noticed the honking.

When I got home, there was a gold finch in my back yard. I haven't seen one of those in years - usually I only see the green one. And then there were these two bright blue birds...little, and thin, thinner than a sparrow. I think it's an indigo grosbeak, but I'm not sure. Having the internet at your fingertips is a wonderful thing. I don't know how I ever survived without it.

Today, since I'm still icky from my walk, will be a day of attempting to make the house a little more homey. The basics are down; now it's time to find space for a few more things. Hopefully after Tuesday I can start packing a few things up again in anticipation of moving in July/August.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

1 Down, Several to Go

Well, I tried to be one with nature, but today, I couldn't take it. I decided to take back my hammock from the mud daubers. We coexisted peacefully for about 5 minutes before they took off, and then they came back with reinforcements. As soon as they started buzzing around my head, I knew I'd had enough and came inside. I went back out to grab a chair and sit when I noticed a mud dauber making a nest on my seat! Well, that ticked me off quite a bit, so I stood from inside my house and sprayed the nest with the wasp on it, and it fell. Hopefully it's dead. I'll go out tonight and see what else might be out there waiting for me. Are mud daubers vindictive?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Milko Adventures

Since Melinda went home, I've been experimenting with different milks. Like everywhere else, the price of milk has increased dramatically this year. We started the year paying 1.10 KM for a liter of milk and now it is 1.80. This price increase has resulted in more brands in the marketplace, so I've been using brands we didn't use when Melinda was here. We only used two kinds. When we were lucky enough to get fresh milk from Mercator, we did so. Otherwise we got the H-Milk, the stuff you can keep on the shelf for months if you don't open it. It doesn't quite taste the same, but that's all they have at the grocery stores near our apartment. I haven't been to the big nice grocery store since Melinda left. She took the backpack and herself, and I have no interest carrying stuff from that far away.

So, I've switched to a cheaper brand with the same fat content (no skim milk here, .9% is the best you get). It's 20 percent cheaper and taste's the same to me. Unfortunately, i can't figure out how to open it correctly. The H-Milk comes in little bible-shaped cartons. The more expensive kind had a plastic spout that flipped up, then you just had to peal off some foil like the top of Texsun orange juice. The new stuff has a screw top instead of the flap. that's no problem, except the foil does not want to peal off. Instead of just a little flap to peal off, there is a plastic hoop attached to the foil.

On my first attempt, I unscrewed the top, saw the hoop and pulled it. Instead of pulling off the foil, it pulled off the entire top of the carton. it made a real mess every time I used it.

On the second attempt, I thought I had it figured out, so I held the plastic thing and attempted to pull on the ring. But the foil attached to the ring wouldn't budge and I couldn't get leverage to pull harder. So, I grabbed a knife and used the handle to pull on the ring. But then the ring broke! I had to resort to using the knife to dig out the foil, which only half works but avoids the mess.

And that's where I stand now. The whole point is the rip out the foil, but not only is the foil stronger than the ring meant to pull it out but also the glue holding the cap to the carton.

I have to be doing something wrong. I'm tempted to see if the next door neighbor lady can help me.

Oh well.... such are the adventures of living abroad.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

When It Grows, They Come

Well, today was the last day to get the yard mowed. Landlord came over sans lawnmower, stating he hadn't fixed it yet. Surprise, surprise. Meanwhile, my grass has grown another three inches. My neighbor next door took pity on me and asked her brother to come over and ask if I wanted my yard mowed. I enthusiastically told him yes since the guy who lives on the other side of me didn't know when his schmucks were coming. So he left to get his mower and weedwhacker, and while he's gone, Cornhole Joe comes over and just starts mowing my yard. At this time, I was outside talking to the neighbor lady, so I ran over and told him that I really appreciated it, but it wasn't necessary. He shrugged and said, "I'm here anyway, I'll just do it and you can tell him to do it next time." I ran over to the lady's house, to no avail, so I ran back and told the guy just to do half the lawn. So he did, and I gave him two beers, which he started drinking right away, chucking the cap into the stream near his duplex. Cornhole Joe did not have on his cutoff shirt today, but at some point in time, he took off his t-shirt to get a little more tan. I have no idea what this guy does because he's home a lot, he's tan, and he has no tan lines. I'm still leading towards drugs of some kind, but he seemed sober today. Neighbor lady told me that on the other street near us were the druggies and the dopies, and that the guy on the other side of me had his home broken into last year. Can I move now, please?

Finally, her brother comes back and mows the rest of my front lawn and back yard. I hijack his mower to mow the back yard of my neighbor guy, and I can promise you I'm not doing his yard again. Stepping in and mowing over boxer poop was no fun, and his yard was so uneven, I'm sure my belly will bruise because of all the times I ran into the mower. So my side of the yard is mulched; his is not. I've been weedwhacked, so I don't need to do that again for another couple of weeks or so...hopefully. But that was not my idea of a good time, though the brother said he'd cut the grass cheaper than my landlord would. I think I can handle the front yard and my half of the back. But no way am I doing the back yard of my neighbor. Ick.

My computer keyboard decided to stop working again. It's been an ongoing problem for about a year now. I finally gave up and went to the surplus store to look at keyboards, and I got a brand new Dell keyboard for $4.00. Four dollars!! Sam's offered them for $14 and Target $20. When it's time to get the four-drawer filing cabinet, I'm going back.

Tomorrow is my last day of freedom during the week. I really am excited about working again, especially at such a cushy place...an hour of lunch, don't have to be to work until 8:30, out at 5...I am so excited. So excited!!!

Today, We Tackle

the lawn. Landlord came over last night to look at my oven and forgot his electric thingamajiggy to figure out if the current is still there or broken. He asked about the yard and if I was able to get into the shed, and I led him to it, keeping care to not step in any boxer dog-poop (it's a bit of a feat, really). I showed him the hole in the roof, which he didn't know about and is going to fix, and then we got out the "brand new" lawnmower. Landlord showed me how to prime it ("press this button 3 times") and how to pull on the cord, and blue smoke shot out from the side, and the lawnmower died. Landlord tried five more times before deciding to take the lawnmower home with him and fix it. He is supposed to come back today to look at the oven again and give me my lawnmower. As today is the last nice day of the week, my neighbor's friends still haven't bothered to come over and we're running out of time. So screw them, I'm going to do it myself. But it wouldn't surprise me if the landlord brought it back completely empty of gas. After all, buying the gas is my responsibility, and apparently so is getting the gas can. Bull honky, I say, and told him as such. I can get the gas, but he should provide the can. Wal Mart and every other place is on the other side of town so it'll take me a half-hour just to get that, then get the gas. Hopefully he'll get me a new oven soon so I can make those cookies.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Got me a job. Start soon with a local law firm - better benefits AND a whole week of vacation RIGHT NOW. All with a 37.5 hour work-week, and now that gas has gone up to $3.62 here, much easier on the pocketbook. I might even be able to figure out the bus schedule and bus it from here!

And in an interesting turn of events, Wiley and I might be moving to the other side of town to rent a professor's house while he's gone to another university on fellowship. The best parts? A baby grand piano at my fingertips. A canopy bed. Skylights. And I can walk to the law office if we move into this new house in the fall!

Monday, April 21, 2008


Mud daubers and a sheriff all in one day!! I went to my hammock to do some reading, and as soon as I get out there, mud daubers abound...so far, I've counted five. So I go inside. Damn stingers. I hate them.

As I'm reaching into my refrigerator to grab some cookie dough (hey, cookies are still edible in this form), a loud knock comes from my front door. I open it to find a sheriff staring at me, asking me if I'm someone I'm not. I reply that I'm not and I've only been here a few weeks, and he gets all in my business, asking me where I'm from and why I'm here and what I'm going to do. He asks if this place is quiet now because it never used to be (I'm thinking my landlord isn't as honest as I thought he was), and tells me to look into being a court reporter or a probation officer because the law firms here don't pay squat compared to Indianapolis or other cities. Very helpful, though the mud daubers also like the front of the house and are buzzing by me as I'm trying to talk to him and remain calm.

My dad was stung as a child, so I have a rather insane fear of being stung. I've never been stung, and I will probably be ok if I am stung, but I just hate the idea of having stinging critters around my house. The yard is REALLY long, and I've asked my next-door neighbor to contact his friend to mow it, and he said he did and it should happen this week, but it has yet to happen, and if they're nesting in the grass, then yuck yuck yuck yuck yuck. I feel like a prisoner in my house. It's nice outside and I'm inside because those stingers creep me out. While I read that they don't sting unless handled, I still think I'm going to make a trip to Wal Mart to get some spray if my landlord doesn't show up with any.

One Pet Peeve.

If I ask a question, answer it, even if the answer is no. Don't answer something I didn't ask. Please.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

iPod is On

The cats got fed late, so they're going crazy. And earlier today, I went crazy with my iPod. For the wedding, we're doing a half and half thing...I will use songs from my iPod for the seating of the guests and while the guests are eating, and then the band will play after we cut the cake and start dancing...I think. I'm starting to think doing this whole thing with my iPod might be more fun, simply because then I know exactly what songs will be played and how they'll sound. Wiley and I decided that we wanted to waltz for our first song because it's more fun to watch than salsa ("You can move around the dance floor more," Wiley tells me), and when I mentioned that we wanted to waltz to the booking manager/musician, he told me a popular song was "Can I Have This Dance" by Anne Murray. I found the song online and listened for about 30 seconds before I emailed the guy back and nixed it. No country. Too twangy. Hate it. Moving on. I'm now thinking that perhaps "The Way You Look Tonight" by Sinatra might be a fun song...Michael Buble performed a nice rendition of it. I also attempted to organize the songs that will be played while people eat...slower in the beginning, then a little more upbeat near the end to get people in the mood to get up and dance.

After that, I started listening to the songs on my iPod that everyone could dance to, and Justin Timberlake's "Damn Girl" is stuck in my head. It's got a '70s feel to it. I hate to admit it, but the boy's got talent. His FutureSex/LoveSounds CD is really quite good. It gets me in the dancing mood. Something tells me the band won't be able to play this song.


Tonight was supposed to be Girls' Night, but it turns out a friend's wife was in town (she's a prof. in Virginia while hubby is still here), so we went to a local Mexican joint and then went back to the house to play cards. We decided on Hearts.

As I'd only played Hearts on the computer, I wasn't sure I could play with people. But I turned out to be pretty good, garnering some "ooohs" and "aaahhhs" when I played a certain card. When we finished, I was in second place, having gotten the queen of spades just one time and maybe 22 hearts.

My oven decided to quit working today. I emailed the landlord, who assured me when I moved in that he would come out the same day I reported a problem to take a look. Hmmm...unless he's coming in the next 45 minutes, ain't gonna happen today. What really pisses me off was that I was making cookies...had them on the sheets ready to go in, and kaput. Burners work, but not the oven itself. I toggled the heating coils, but got nothing in return. So now the cookie dough sits in the fridge, waiting to be baked. The bad thing is that I also like cookie dough, so it's hard not to get into it...after all, it's just sitting there. A friend used to like me to make her a batch without the egg so she could just munch on it. Tasty vittles.

Article on Travel in Bosnia

New York Times published this article today about traveling and seeing Bosnia. Read it here. I'll wait.

While Croatia is SPECTACULAR and everyone who ever gets to Eastern Europe should take a few days to spend there, there are lots of places in Bosnia that are untouched and beautiful. Look at our hiking pictures if you don't believe me. I wasn't able to go on as many outings as I would've liked, but I'm a firm believer in seeing Mother Nature raw. Bosnia offers countless opportunities.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Better Late than Never

So, an earthquake was felt in Indiana Friday morning. I had been told it was around 4:30, but news sites say it happened at 5:37, which is just about the time I was leaving town, and originally, I didn't feel anything because I originally thought I was in bed sleeping, but I actually was in the car going through town, and there was one time that I thought I hit a real rough patch and the car shook. Who can tell a 5.2 earthquake from hitting a pothole? Apparently not me. My flight left at 7:45 am, no problems whatsoever, though I later heard that they shut down the airport to make sure the runways were ok. But I got out just fine, and made it to KC about a half-hour early.

After meeting up with my friend, we went to the jeweler, and voila! Sapphire for my wedding band all picked out. Mission accomplished. Lunch at Touch of Asia, which rocks my world and if you want a great Indian experience, go there (on Metcalf and near 435), then a stop by the old law firm to say my hellos and see what was up with my old gang. Then it was off to see an Austrian film called The Counterfeiters with another friend (great soundtrack and I really enjoyed the movie), then dinner, where the bacon was left off our burgers ("Oh, I know you'll tell the waiter when he comes back," quipped McCoy) and I was told that I'm nice but crispy. "There were signs you needed to leave," he said. "There's a reason you dated a guy in Indiana." Oh, really? I always thought I was such a good actress. And now my world has crumbled! Are you reading this, McCoy? Crumbled!!!

Today I had breakfast at Corner Cafe - if you've not been to this little slice of heaven in Riverside, get thee up there now. They have cinnamon rolls as big as your head. I had some delicious pancakes, golden hashbrowns, bacon, and an egg. Oh, yum, yum, yum.

I got to the airport about a half-hour before my flight left. I have to stop misreading my flight information. I thought it left at 12:20, so I intended to be there at 11, but then my ride decided to drop off her recycling on the way, so at 11:25, I was finally at the airport. No biggie. I flew on Southwest today, and I got to experience the whole "it's less of a cattle call now" experience. Instead of just having a boarding card of A, B or C, you get to have a letter AND a number. I was A39, so now you get the privilege of asking people around you what number they are and then you line up accordingly. I suppose it's a nice way of networking, if you're into that sort of thing.

The flight went smoothly. I talked to a lady from Texas who's coming up to help her sister and then flying over to Utah to help her son after his surgery. He works for Southwest, so she gets free flights wherever and whenever. What a perk!! Arriving at the Indianapolis airport was bittersweet. This is the first time I've flown into the airport where Wiley hasn't been waiting for me. So while I was glad to be getting home to my cats (I've discovered Rewind likes chocolate chip cookies, as he opened the bag and ate one that I made for a friend, so I hoped there wasn't a mountain of puke waiting for me), I was sad that only the cats welcomed me home.

I have an interview with a promising firm on Tuesday. Hopefully things go well enough that I land a job. Whatever hocus pocus you believe in, do it now for me!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Good Gravy!!!

Found a new position posted online today in the local paper. Sent in resume. ALREADY RECEIVED a response telling me the administrator is going to be in Bloomington tomorrow and could I interview? Problem: I'm flying to KC tomorrow! So, do I cancel my flight, drive over instead, spend Saturday and Sunday there instead of Friday and Saturday, or respond that I've already got out of town plans that really can't be changed and could I meet with him next week? Gah!!!

I know, I know. I'm so lucky to have problems like this!!!!! *dances around the living room*

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Warbling Wednesdays

The cardinals were at it again today. I need to get food for those little birdies!! I think the cats would like to watch them...not to mention eat them, but my cats are vegetarians.

And speaking of cats, I think my cats are allergic to me. Dixie had a habit of licking her belly to the point where she'd bleed. "Hot spots," the vet called them. When Dixie lived with Cara, the hot spots went away. But lo and behold, I looked at Dixie's belly tonight (she loves having her belly rubbed), I saw a little bit of pink under her thick white coat. My mouser, Deeder, who is still living in KC, was also a licker, but she just pulled out her fur, so her white belly showed with a little black fuzz on top of it. She has also stopped licking. So if it's not me, it's my male, Rewind, who's causing all this trouble. I hope it's him and not me.

I've been applying for jobs all day today: Indiana U, a law office, even an assistant chief probation officer. Yep, I was a bit worried too. I thought, You mean I filled out all your information and send you six references and this is what you pair me with? Uh-uh. But I looked at the description, and I wouldn't be the probation officer, I'd oversee other probation officers and do HR stuff - hire, train, go to job fairs, etc. Oh, I see plenty of problems with this; one such being probation officers who've been around the block awhile, sniggering behind my back: "How can she do the job? She's never been a probation officer." True. So we'll just see where this leads us. If I don't apply, I may not win, see?

Then I saw this clinical affairs manager job...basically, dealing with clinical phases and clinical sites...I will probably apply for this too. I have no experience myself with the clinical sites, but I've read a lot of information on them. So that means I can give it a shot. And for $75k, why not??? Then I could pay for my wedding AND take a honeymoon, all without donating plasma or that kidney.

Still kidding, Auntie Em.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I Miss

my camera. I have to resort to taking pictures of things with my phone, which of course, stinks. I have some kick-azz high grass right now. I think it'd be fun to set the camera down in it and take a picture with the blades reaching and almost touching the sky.

OMG my head hurts. I think my brain has exploded.

Tuesday Time

I really like being unemployed on sunny days. I was able to clean up my house and then read in my hammock for awhile while the sun warmed my spirit. I listened to the birds chirp, and today I learned the sound a cardinal makes. He would sing, and then he'd be answered by an unseen cardinal, and then he'd sing again, and he'd be answered again, and then he flew away to find either his brother or his mate. (I don't know if females sound the same or not.) It's kinda fun to stop and breathe in a day.

I also got a key to the shed that houses the lawnmower. Shed is filthy and has a huge hole in the ceiling, so the bins will not be going in there. I saved a big black furry caterpillar from certain death by moving him out of the way of the door. I realized that boxers leave big piles of poop, which is no wonder why I smell it when I'm in said hammock. I need to figure out a solution to this stinky situation.

I tried to update my iPod today, and my computer said my virtual memory was low. Now I don't understand why this is happening to me, and I don't quite know how to fix it. My iTunes is on my external hard drive.

And I made my famous cookies tonight. A friend's birthday is today, so I thought I would give her the gift of fat. Dinner out with her fiance isn't enough in my opinion!

Now I have a huge headache, and I just spilled all my Aleve on the floor. You know what? Screw it. They're still digestible. Note to self: do not offer any Aleve to friends.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Cake, I Love You.

Nearly every day for the past two weeks, I've gone past this little store called Angel B's - A Galleria of Cakes. Being a cake person, I was intrigued, so I went online and checked them out, and my oh my, their cakes and pastries looked scrumptious. Check this out:

After staying up last night until 1 am looking up information online for my new case, and dreaming all night about my case, this morning, as I was driving into work to fix the paperwork I knew I screwed up (which I hadn't, but I needed to add something, so I did), I said, "Screw it, I'm stopping in." I'm so glad I did. That little apple pastry above? Outstanding; even better when it's warmed up. They also had little cupcakes, and since I just love cake, I had to get one. So I got two: one chocolate and one raspberry. YUMMY. The frosting was light, almost like the whipped icing, but not quite. And the flower on top was a different kind of light...as in not so much, but not as heavy as those really big flowers on the corners of birthday cakes.

The really cool thing is that there was a little cake called Black and Tan at a little eatery, and I found it today at Angel B's! This is closer, so I look forward to sampling it and the little carrot cakes. Oh, cake. Don't ever stop tasting so, so good.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Hang On to Your Hats!

Today was a whirlwind day. I went in for training from 10-12, then was told to go have lunch and then I'd get my cases and could start calling people. Hang on: training. TRAINING. Not calling. Day off today. Coming in because I'm nice. And now you saddle me with cases?

But wait, it gets better. They changed my days off, so now I'm supposed to work next weekend, even though I'm going to be out of town and can't. Which means I have to find someone to cover my shyt. And not only did I get a case, but it had to be dealt with THIS VERY DAY. So from 3 pm until 9, I was out in the field, and from 9 to almost 11, I was doing paperwork for said work in the field. And I have more paperwork to do! Headus hurtus muchus. At what point in time do you say, "No, I'm not working slave labor. Even if it means helping out needy kids."? I want to ask my coworkers if they have spouses to support them in this job because one coworker said she spent over $1000 in one month in gas...she then qualified it by saying maybe there was a car repair in there. Hmmm....$1000 a month in gas for a Honda. Holy shyt, did I pick the wrong job.

And just wait, something will be wrong with my paperwork. I just know it. And then I won't get paid my bupkus! Now, if only I could turn off my brain.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Not the Happy Homecoming

What happened today that gas decided to jump 22 cents a gallon? I left home today just after 10, and upon returning at 7:30 to my nice little street in my nice little town, I see that the Marathon station's price is now $3.45 a gallon. WTF happened here, people? Do you know what this does to Melinda's heart? It makes it stop beating. For today, and for the rest of my life while I'm in this town, I will be driving and usually eating about 1/3 of a tank a day...that means I'll fill up twice in a week...which means I'll be spending a lot of money on gas, and the gas subsidy I get from work won't my gas bill. Damn, did I pick the wrong job.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Language and Youth

I’m watching Bush’s visit to Zagreb on Croatian TV this morning. Of course, Bush doesn’t speak Croatian. He also doesn’t speak English all that well (He said “Nucular” again instead of Nuclear during his speech to NATO). However, the Croatian Prime Minister, Ivo Sanader did manage to speak a little English without much of an accent, which makes me think he speaks it fairly well… or maybe just has a good accent coach. That made me wonder at what point in his life he started really learning English. He studied comparative literature, so he’s fluent in five languages.

Sanader is a bad example because of his background, but the idea of successful people (especially men) learning foreign languages strikes me as funny. I’m sure that they do, but the idea strikes me as funny because learning a new language is a lot like going back to being a child. I used to joke when I lived in Switzerland after only two years of German that I felt like the village idiot. In English, I’m a reasonably well-spoken person with a sense of humor. In German at the time, I was able to speak simply about my needs and wants, but I was the village idiot when it came to anything more complicated. I remember accidentally telling my guest family that my parents were dead instead of divorced (which made it very confusing when I called them on the phone).

I’ve spent much of the last 10 years learning two languages, and for both cases I went through the same process of being an idiot before I reached the point where I don’t sound like an idiot. So, it just makes me laugh thinking of these big-shot government leaders going through the same process of being a high-status person through most of their life and then being the village idiot while trying to learn some language.

Friday, April 4, 2008


Lookie here! New Kids on the Block are back!!! Take a look at this picture - little Joey is not the shortest anymore! The "tough guy" is!

So, what brought the Kids back together? Could it be mid-life crisis time? Did they figure out they had it really good and wanted a taste of what life used to be like? I wasn't a huge fan of them the first-time around, though I have to give them a little credit. They helped launch Marky Mark's career, and I just love me some Mark Wahlberg. I just hope their dance moves don't suck. It's no fun for the girls to watch as a knee pops out of joint.