Sunday, November 28, 2010

No to Yuppies

That reminds me. My father in-law called me a yuppie a few weeks back. My husband thought I was gonna snap. We often joke about how his sister is a yuppie (but one I like) with her fancy coffee maker, her trips far from her house to a fancy supermarket just to get a deal on wine and her general yuppie lifestyle.

The father in-law, a character in his own right since he has been blackballed (not literally) from urologists in this area and his tendency to curse people out in stores, meant that I was a yuppie due to the fact that him and the husband fix everything (from cars to the house) themselves, while I had people do it for me. I know, not my definition, but at least it wasn’t as insulting as saying I shop at upscale stores, overpaying for labels, driving a status car and drinking wine cause it is trendy.

I like to think I am not a yuppie at all. I am sure some will object. I may be upwardly mobile in my career choice/degrees obtained. I used to drive a Mini Cooper. As opposed to the husband, I have heard of Crate & Barrel (but in my defense I don’t think I have been to one). I do not wear name brands (unless Wal-Mart’s brand counts). I only wear Converse All Star Hi Top shoes. I do not get my “hair done” (actually it’s been 3 years since someone I paid for someone else to cut it).

Yet I am not the extreme the husband is, a self-proclaimed redneck. I wince at this thought since it brings up negative images. He does like to wear camouflage. He just camouflaged the bedroom (I told him years back that he could decorate the bedroom since it was my stuff everywhere else in the house). The funny thing is he admits he hasn’t hunted in 20 years. I joke when I see other people in camo that those are “his people.” The thing is they are a culture all to themselves. I own no camo clothing except for that hat he gave me.

In Need of a Hobby

I have been spending the last few weekends by myself since the husband’s new gig has him working all weekend long. At first I was bummed. We tend to do something on the weekends or go to his folks. Now I am home both days with nothing to do. I used to spend time cleaning when he was working on weekend days. Now that I have two days I lack motivation. Why rush to do tasks I don’t enjoy when I have two days to do them. Plus who wants to do all the cleaning after finally getting the husband to agree to do a couple (and he spends his 3 days off a week doing what he wants). These are the time that being a loner with no friends sucks.

Back when I had friends, in between classes or work, I would do something with them at least one of my weekend days. Not that I miss being drug along to thing I don’t enjoy – like chick flicks or shopping. But I enjoyed going to festivals, fairs, movies, museums and out to eat. I was so poor back then one meal out a week was a treat. Now that the "weren't really good friends" are gone I am forced to find something to do with myself.

The first weekend or two I shuffled around not knowing what to do. I would play on the computer (the usual go to), play stupid mindless games, intermittently clean, watch bad television and yell at the dogs for barking at EVERYTHING. I was forced to think of how to fill my time. In my head I knew I kick myself for not writing more. I read an article about a 30 day to write a novel competition and thought back to my youth and my hopes to write a book one day. A zillion years later (it feels), a million hours of working later, a couple degrees later, a husband later and a couple homes later… I actually have the time. Now to find the motivation.

I did think about what I would write for a few days. I thought back to my old ideas for stories. The slightly immature horror script about a cheesy serial killer. A story about my experience finding the husband and all the tom foolery beforehand. A story about the colorful southern characters I have met along the years. Nothing quite pops out at me.

I tried to explain this to the husband, who hates writing and avoids it at all cost due to his self-consciousness of bad spelling and shaky handwriting. I had looked through old writing when I cleaned out my ten year old filing cabinet. I cringed when I read some of my whiny writing of day to day life in the mid 90s. I realized my younger writings were rather dark. I enjoyed looking at my short lived zine and had forgotten about the smaller second attempt.

I had to face who I was years back and who I was before. That has gotten me thinking. I always thought I would do something in writing. I took film in college and even completed a script (albeit a sad version, but I did complete it in one semester). I have all sorts of books on writing and screenwriting. After my first computer I bought a screenwriting program (on disk, not CD). Never did anything with it and now it's obsolete. I then went to major in journalism. I knew I wasn’t pushy enough to search out stories. I enjoyed the print media, but it makes me sad to see it dying these days. Now the writing I do at work is assessments that justify my position.

Then I had my first serious relationship, bought a house and sold out by working for major corporations. I did have the two year blog about daily life and my quest for myself. I completed school. I reached goals. I have a decent gig. I am close to being licensed. Yet I am still without a major goal, a focus for my new free time. A person (even one my husband claims has OCD) can only do so much cleaning to fill two days. I don’t have OCD; I just do more cleaning than his none.

I have been thinking about what I did when I was younger. Back in the day I was off a couple days during the week. During the pizza business days I would take myself to the dollar movies and out to lunch as my splurge. Sometimes I would just drive around. Sometimes I would go to a museum or somewhere I had always wanted to go. That is always an option. I do tend to like movies that the husband balks at. But in a day of instant movies downloaded from the internet and movies that come thru the mail I have become more and more of a recluse. Not that I am working on a manifesto. Yet I do like the idea of getting off the grid and I already live in a rural area. Although the internet issues are starting to drive me bonkers (I am currently “stealing” someone’s Wi-Fi in the neighborhood since the air card we had sucked).

And see, I just wrote over a page on pretty much nothing. I lack brevity!

Anyway, as usual I was sidetracked. The dogs bark at any movement on the street. So the point… I need a hobby. I have known this for years. A hobby should not be watching TV or playing stupid things on the internet. Ok, for some, but my choices are really blah. I even have a problem about repeatedly playing Spider Solitaire.
The other year I bought some things for growing vegetables. They still are sitting idly by. I am not the most outdoorsy person, although I attain to be. The husband’s new job keeps giving him free plants. Flowers, berry bushes etc. Now there is one live plant in my house. I think it is a kind that can’t be killed. The husband says that we are partitioning the side yard to plant the freebies once the cold weather is over. I even own a hat with a wide brim he got me to keep my face from burning. So there is an option that I can put off until after winter (even though I live in Florida and that lasts about 5 minutes).

I often joke about whittling, but I figure I would end up cutting myself and really, who wants me with a sharp knife.

I am not all that crafty although I tend to look at other people’s crafts and appreciate slash critique them.

I am too poor to shop as a hobby. Yet I like to wander around certain stores on occasion and look at things. There is just something about Target. I know they have some scent or visual thing that brings people in. The husband is immune to it. The place is a few steps above Wal-Mart and yet not too fancy for simple folks like me. Maybe it is the bulls eye logo that brings me in. Maybe it is the red stickers on the marked down merchandise the draws me. Yet I don’t want to be a true Target chick since when I look around there they are yuppies and I have an aversion to them. [see yuppie post]

So back to the hobby deal. I actually found a book at Walmart for $4 called Get a Hobby! 101 All-Consuming Diversions for Any Lifestyle.

It even has a quiz to find the type of hobbies most fitted to you (artistic, outdoorsy, social, sporty, technical…). I took the quiz and I came out animal loving-independent-nature loving-nurturing-patient. The hobbies that hit most of my top interests were:

Ant Farming (I hate ants)
Beach combing (I live a ways from the beach and hate the sun)
Beehiving (I have been stung too many times already)
Birding (I can do this from my front porch)
Collecting (I already collect magnets from vacations, little mini coopers, Matchbox/Hot Wheels, books, name tags, Brian from Family Guy, puppets, skulls)
Entering Contests
Fish Keeping (my past fish committed suicide)
Journaling / Blogging (doing that NOW)
Mushroom Hunting (not interested in shrooms)
Species Protecting
Vegetable or Herb Gardening (the plants return)

Well, at least that narrows down some choices. :)

Some options that did not make the book, but sound interesting are:

Tai Chi
Yoga (lord knows I need exercise desperately)
Urban exploration

I have been recycling. I recycled more at my previous address due to the county giving me two recycling bins that I could throw all recyclable things into together and they took it away. At the new homestead I have to separate and the husband takes it to the dump. I manage to recycle cans and bottles. It's not as rewarding. The husband even recycled a trash can he found at the dump that he brought home for me to put more recycling into.

I have also been reading things online about making things from other things, ie non-dirty recycling. I am not so sure if I am crafty enough, but I found a few ideas for Christmas presents. The husband says I shouldn't be sending presents to ungrateful nieces/nephew. I just don't think I should cut off the little ones who don't know that it is polite to send a thank you card or at least a Christmas card. This has been the discussion for the past week. Even his father got into it. They both think I should not give a thing to the teen nieces who are just plain rude to me. I agree I shouldn't spend so much. I also think that the little ones should get something. They all live so far away that it gets harder and harder to figure out what to get.

So during the last discussion I decided that I should try to find a less expensive way to gift as well as get my point across (it's the dang counselor in me). So I have been researching (my actual hobby I think since I don't mind putting in time to find out info or get a good deal). I found some simple crafty things I could make with things I already have or would only need a couple extra purchases to complete. I also looked around the house for things I could re-gift. Why not in the recycling/green friendly world we live in. If I go to Goodwill and find them something it is the same thing. I am also paring down my possessions - which I have been working on since before I moved. A win-win. Plus I have a pile of things to take to Goodwill to donate.

I used to find deals during the year and put everything in a box, but somehow I still spent too much. The last few years I have been getting them mainly clothes because that is what I am told they need. I like finding the deals and picking out stuff I would want if I was a kid, but then worry that they won't like it since I don;t really know these kids. I hear I send good gifts. I don't think the little ones are greedy since they don't get much. I got so excited the last couple years when I got to pick out little boy clothes. The husband doesn't like being dragged around the kid clothes sections, but he does it.

So now I have a list (another thing I do a lot of) and am working on a definite plan. Plus I only have a couple weeks before I have to mail it all off. I have joked about sending the older kids ugly Christmas sweaters or sending everyone socks. But I think I will compile all the things I am re-gifting, make a couple things and buy a few things to fill in. It will be more personal than a gift card and if I want to I can throw in an etiquette book to peeve the teens. :)

Well back to research and next week I shop and create! Wow, a hobby for this month.

P.S. I tend to save lots of things. I went through all the Christmas stuff and found I have 50 cards from previous years that I didn't use. I do not have to buy cards for a couple years!

Monday, October 25, 2010

High Fallutin

A month later and still no part 2 on the vacation. The vacation feels further and further away every day. The things from vacation don't even stay with me. Like how on vacation I tried new things. Ok, the other day I tried Cervici, the Peruvian dish, however it is spelled. But that has been it lately.

On vacation I did not watch TV. Now you all know that was blown to hell five minutes after getting home. And it is not as if I watch quality stuff. Still watching Jersey Shore and feeling dirty and wrong afterward, not unlike the people on the show, the people filming it and especially MTV. I still watch too many versions of The Real Housewives. Since when are these women housewives? I started recording my "cultural" program this week - The CBS Early Show. Yup, in redneck country that show is pretty high fallutin.

On vacation I read 2 books. Since vacation I haven't read more than a news article or a magazine. My pile of books remains. So sad.

On vacation I went lots of interesting places. Since vacation I have been in the same area. Not really going anywhere but home, work and the store.

The husband has divised a new thing... Movie Monday. I got tired of watching movies I already saw this week and that is where I am now, outside on a partially screened porch typing since the internet doesn't work in the house (and barely on the porch). At least I am not stealing the neighbors internet, at the moment.

ON vacation I figured when I got home I could use my free time, since I didn't go to get the doctorate, to study topics I always wanted to know more about (and not pay thousands for a degree). I know more about celebrities and Swamp People than psychology topics now.

And what have a learned as I typed for 15 minutes....

That vacations rock and regular life doesn't. Ok, that sounds pathetic. I think I need to get on a better schedule of things to do, not go on facebook so much, read a book, write more and stick to my guns on things I want to do. Movie Mondays is one step. Now to get a cool name for the other days...

Tuesdays with Books
Wednesday Game Night
Thursday Study

ugh, how can you top Movie Monday.

I think I will go in and pick up a book before TV and the internet rot my brain further.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

New Mexican Educational Vacation Part 1

I have been wondering where I should go with this blog since I started this, the second one. The first was all about me going on and on about life and those who annoyed me. And also being single and living alone. I do enjoy a good rant, but I don't want to bore the one person who may stop on this blog randomly at 3 am one day three months from now.

How about writing about what I come across. It seems to be varied topics if you knew what I watch on TV and what I google. And I have referred to myself as "The Googler" enough times that my husband has also referred to me as that. I am either "The Googler" or my husband is easily manipulated.

While out on vacation it took an educational slant since I have Internet on my phone. If I wonder about anything I Google it and read it to the husband or whomever is closest to me. This could be informative and interesting or very annoying. I am hoping it was the first.

So while on vacation in the most beautiful state of New Mexico, which I have never been to before in my life, our first stop was Elephant Butte. My husband's family has a single wide trailer right there by the Butte and I fell in love with the place.

I will admit that I have been utilizing Wikipedia more in recent years even though I have always made fun of it. I picked on the site due to my brief background in journalism and its lack of credibility since anyone can post anything on it. Yet with a slow internet phone I take what I can from the first few sites to come up on Google and it is usually Wikipedia. If I want to report my experiences here in the blog I will try and get reputable sites slash sources. I know, that goes against all that blogs stand for (hahaha, nothing personal, I am kidding).

According to the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department site, Elephant Butte is the most popular and largest lake in New Mexico. And it was HUGE! There were a bunch of campers, boaters, fishing folks and swimmers at this beautiful lake. Oh, I forgot the second weekend when they had hot air balloons. That was beautiful too. The husband and I discovered that we both like hot air balloons when we went on this trip. That is what led us to the Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum.

It cost $4 for non-residents ($3 for New Mexicans). We wandered around a cute, small museum that covered the history of balloons since, well forever. They even had interactive parts. The husband attempted flying a balloon. I tried to make my own colorful balloon. The staff were very nice. They have a nice sized gift shop. I bought a magnet, of course. It was informative and interesting. I had no idea that Japan had sent thousands of balloons to the US during World War II. See, I told you there was educational aspect to the vacations.

I ate at a La Pinata Restaurant in Truth or Consequences, NM. I had a great New Mexican burrito. I didn't know they could come with potatoes in them. Of course I had green chilies on it. Good prices and a small, small town restaurant where the waitress says people don't like her because they are jealous. Not quite Flo from Alice, but she would do for some town gossip I am sure.

We didn't get to do anymore than drive through Truth or Consequences, or TOC according to the locals. From the ride through it looked a little like the small town I live in. Small movie theater, a downtown area and lots of trailers.

It also makes me want to watch the film Truth or Consequences, NM again. Although the town has little to do with the film it wasn't a bad flick. Check it out. The 90s had some good indie films.


A Few Months Later...

Man, what a few months can do for ya.

I moved. I rented my house to folks who couldn't pay on time the first month.

I came within a week of starting the doctorate and changed my mind after wrestling with it for months and being ready (except for the renter money need to travel).

I went on an awesome vacation to New Mexico.

I swear I gained 20 more pounds.

I changed job locations, but do the same exact job.

I bought my first jump drive.

I read a few books.

I started being less stressed and more calm.

My husband was laid off.

We wish we could move to New Mexico. Maybe it was the high altitude making me so dizzy or the beautiful scenery.

My mother might have Hepatitis A.

My oldest niece got all teenager on me and isn't texting anymore.

My sister neglected to tell me she left the country the other month (I am sure she left her kids alone).

My cat is regressing and pooping in the wrong places.

I had to move all my stuff after not moving in 10 years.

I realized that I don't have a lot of clothes, but I have a lot of heavy books.

I decided on a design scheme for the house - 40s dining room. 60s living room. 50s kitchen. The husband claims the master bedroom and bathroom. They will be urban camo and Gators respectively.

I was told I talk like a Valley Girl last week.

Ok, that is mainly what I just thought of. Most everything else is the same - watching too much TV and reading the news on my lunch break. I have been arguing with the husband more. Of course there has been a lot happening and a lot of stress. I just call him on it when he is acting like he has the cranky pants on. What more can I do? He doesn't like to admit grumpy/crankiness and being understanding isn't always working.

Now I am trying to figure out what to do with myself. The husband is on the job hunt. I read more on vacation than since I have been back. I want to read more. I am also working on getting chores done during the week so I won't feel bogged down on the weekends. I am also working on hunting up a second gig since money is so short now. I also want to write more. I am great at putting that off.

So here I have been playing online for hours while hanging at the in-laws. We went to the flea market trying to find a screen door for the porch since yesterday the husband and father in-law up and screened the porch. All we need is a door. No deals there so we are going to build one. I know, with what money? If the renters pay their rent next week it is on.

We ended up here all day. We ate dinner and then the late Gator game has us still here. The laptop I bought for school keeps me busy while I am here. I did manage to play games, read a cool blog about houses, look at stuff advertised on the TV (laptop skins) and generally screw around, I thought in the fourth quarter of the game how I ought to pull up the old blog.

My eyes are going wacky from staring at the screen all day. So here is the cool house blog...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Movin On Up?

I can now fully understand what people mean about the trauma of moving. I have not moved in 10 years. I now realize that other than furniture, kitchen stuff and clothes, I mainly own toys and books. Is that really a bad thing? So far I have made the bedroom, bathroom and kitchen up to speed for use. the other day I put all my books on one of the surviving shelves. There were some furniture casualties during the move. I think some of the husband's ex's furniture had some bad voodoo. A bureau tried to "take him out." It had to be put out of its misery.

I do think I have post-moving depression. I don't feel like doing anything. I am still getting used to my new environment. I know there is plenty to do, I just have no motivation. I did finally get all the laundry done almost 2 weeks after being here. Well, it did take a week to get the dryer on board. It needed a new plug, then it was clogged with gunk and had a wire loose. I know how that feels. It also took a week to get the dishwasher hooked up. So I should be 100% now with my appliances.

The move and change has affected me more than I could have expected. The husband has been crankier. Besides the move a lot has been going on at both our jobs, we have less money and haven't been able to do much fun stuff.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

To Be Randall

I feel like a total bum. As a lot of people you start with good intentions... writing more, doing something more constructive, a project... but we all know that hell was paved with those good intentions.

I spend the majority of time away from work playing inane games on the computer or reading about the inane things other people do or watching far too much inane television. It's not as if I am watching anything worthwhile or informative. I am ashamed to admit I watch more "reality" TV than I should.

I am truly ashamed of myself. I do think some of these shows are informative. I have learned a lot about drag, show-womanship, presentation and how helpful duct tape & a hot glue gun can be from RuPaul's Drag Race. I feel that is a cultural show. I have a better understanding of the culture of drag, or at least the TV version of how to be the top one in the field.

I do not feel I learn anything from any of the housewives, househusbands, bratty rich kids famous for no reason shows. Are my guilty pleasure? I can't say they are a pleasure. I feel they are mind numbing. I have talked to multiple people in the field who say after a day chocked full of psychology & counseling they like to do things to unwind.

While unwinding is one thing I think that the rut I have gotten myself into is making me dumber. Sure, I am up on pop culture, but this doesn't even relate to my clients who do not have cable and only a handful really pay attention to current events past sports, let alone know what the date is.

But I am getting off topic. The topic was how I was suppose to find things to rant about and keep up the writing. I even bought some books that are collecting dust next to my bed. And yes they are not literature, but one is a Pulitzer prize winning book. I guess I though by my late 30s I would have a room full of books instead of just a shelf full.

Maybe it is a mid life crisis or pushing ever closer to 40 or getting into contact with more and more people I haven't talked to since high school on the social networking sites that are taking up far too much of all of our time these days. But I have been thinking about how I am different from who I was in high school. I try to think that I am far from the shy, introverted girl of my youth. I try to think that my core values are the same. I try to think that I am a better version of myself. But I am not sure.

Some people I have emailed after 10-20 years have mentioned my writing and the short lived 'zine. The other day someone mentioned my comic strip. Those things were what spurred me to create another blog to start anew, fresh from my last one which was focused on my experiences a a single evolving chick. Yet this one has been mostly the same - bitching and moaning about those around me. It is time for me to be more critical of myself.

Perhaps that is my problem. I have been quite critical of myself lately. We all have things about ourselves that we know we need to work on but laziness takes precedence. I am actually a very lazy person. Those at work would not believe that because that is where I am the most organized, the most ambitious. Yet it is ambition to nowhere. The position goes no further. I am already one of the best at my gig, but that doesn't say much when most are in it for eight and then hit the gate. I have the admiration of my supervisor who thinks I do no wrong, yet he is just now learning what all the job entails.

Man do I go off topic. But I still love the stream of consciousness writing. It can lead you anywhere. So the point is I am lazy and I am upset with myself for not doing more. I just like to blather on. It is what I do. So as one of my favorite characters would say "Shit or get off the pot." Okay, Randall was not the first to say that, but he was wise. Dante was all about the bitching and moaning while getting nothing accomplished. I am Dante, but I strive to be Randall.