Wednesday, August 31, 2016

3 Things I'm Good At; 3 Things I'm Bad At...and a really good book i read.

I just finished this book yesterday. And I read it probably for three hours, maybe more because it was due at the library today. I am still thinking about it. It deals with friendship, forgiveness, self-abuse like cutting (never explained to me before in such a way), suicidal thoughts, love, addiction, and characters who are gay or are struggling with sexual issues. It's a bit much and not for everyone but it's a book i will think about and not often do i finish a book crying. I can't really recommend it to people because it's a hard book to read. But I called my brother Troy because he is the only one i think will feel the same way about it as i do. Troy has had so much loss in his life (his son committed suicide this month 7 years ago) that i think it helps me understand how he is able to put one foot in front of the other in the manner that he does. It is also a great story about friendship.

In this book one of the characters asks the brilliant, but fragile character to tell him three things that he is better at than anyone else. The character cannot come up with an answer, so the asker of the question says 'how about three things that you do well?' And i thought that would be a good question for this blog. So if you are here and posting. What are three things you do well?.... let's say....better than maybe the average person.

Here are mine:
Three Things i Am Good At: 
#1. I am very good at goal setting and deadlines. It's why i am still running 36 years after i made a resolution on New Years 1980 and i've kept that commitment for all this time, and except for a few illnesses, i've never given it up. I also set a goal (back when i was around 35 or 38 when the age 60 seemed old) that i would keep it up until i was 60. And here i am, still able to run a 10K at any time i need to, though not as fast as i might wish. But the kicker is...i have never really liked running. I live for my days off. (This is not news for anyone who knows me well.) Also i can't think of a time when i didn't meet a deadline at work. I love knowing when something is due. It's also why i read that library book for 3+ hours yesterday, because it was due today.

#2. I am very good at saying NO to things i really really don't want to do. Not that i don't sometimes do stuff i don't want to, but i'm pretty up front about what i will and will not do. It kept me sane at the union office career that i had.


hmmmm. i am having some trouble coming up with a third one.

#3. OH, i got it! I stand up when i see something that feels wrong. And i try to rally others around it. It is why i got in union work in the first place. Some people may think i am wrong when i do it, but i feel strongly about it. I know people who feel the same way who would never stand up and would be so willing to let others do that, and still won't even say 'yeah, i agree' out of fear. I am thinking about my work in the union office. But recently even with condo board (again) about stuff going on around here.

SOOOO, this brings me to the Three Things I Am Bad At. And i think I can say: SEE ABOVE. My strengths are my weaknesses!

#1. Because i am a person who meets deadlines, who likes goals and is mostly always on time, i am not very tolerant of those who are not like this. At my job when people failed to do theirs and made more work for me I would be so mad. And because of my #2 and my #3, that can cause tension. I have never been a boss or supervisor and i am really not happy when people in those positions do not lead or are fearful of confrontation or need to be so liked too much.

#2. I am not likely to make the first move (with an apology) if i get in an altercation with someone. Luckily my husband and i don't fight much and never to the point that we go even an hour without talking because we are mad, but i have to admit he is probably the one who breaks the ice. And he usually does it in a very funny way. I am that way with most people when something comes up. I am sometimes a little bit afraid of how easily i can walk away. Maybe it is the military brat in me that had to give up friends every 2 or 3 years in school. Maybe it's the two divorces, but when things no longer feel like a fit, it feels easier to let it go.

#3. I am so terrible with retention. If i had a SuperPower, it would be to retain absolutely everything I have ever read. I feel strongly about so many things but i can never remember what i read to back up my positions on  politics, how i feel about movies and books (because i can't remember plots after a few weeks)! I remember i had this problem in school too which is why i learned to take copious notes and use memory games and tricks to get me through school. It's also why i love research so much. I almost paralyze myself with the research i do about so many things i buy, including even a simple thing as a sound bar for our TV or a fan! (Have to admit i did very well on the fan, while Brian didn't do so well on the sound bar because he didn't research!) Anyway, i could never be on a debate team.

OK, so if you are the few folks reading, what are your three good things and three bad things?

Also, here are three things in the news y'all might want to talk about too (aside from anything Trump or Hillary):

Colin Kaepernick.  - So he doesn't want to stand up for the National Anthem and the flag and it seems like every conservative person in the world is in an uproar about this , even as it is his constitutional right. and yet the same people, i swear it is the same people, don't give a shit  at all about all the blatant racist crap going around which is unconstitutional, ignoring the justice for all and everyone created equal. I don't like Colin, but i support his stand. I am a little bit worried though about the wackos at the football games who might do something. But i get it, if you stand for something(or in this case un-stand) then you do it all the time.  This is the reason i sort of understand people (though don't agree with it) about people who say no abortion even if in the case of rape or if the baby has Zika virus. If you are against abortion, then be against it all the way. (AGAIN, not saying i agree.)

Facebook's New Trending News Sucks - dammit, they are now hooking us with only the bare minimum on Facebook about what is trending. For example right now as i post it says : Sarasota, Florida 34K people talking about this ; Alicia Keys - 160K people talking about this; Twins First Day of School 39K people talking about this. It used to tell you WHY!!! So i think oh lord, so many people talking about Alicia , did she die? And i find out she didn't wear makeup to the VMA awards. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Then i click on Sarasota thinking maybe a hurricane, but it's about a woman who stole money - $85,000 from the Girl Scouts. And i am not EVEN going to click on the twins one now. Unless this is cute news about my nephew Brady's twins or Sarah's grandbaby twins i don't want to know.

Ryan Lochte - I bet he is glad that Kaepernick did what he did. Enough said. I'm sick of hearing about that guy, but i gotta put it here for history. What a douchebag Ryan Lochte is.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

I'm still here.

Brian and me, unplugged at Chevy Chase Beach Cabins July 2016
Wow, it's been almost two months since i last wrote on this blog. Funny how i gave up doing so many things i never had time for when i was working now that i have time for them. I am going to try and get through this whole blog post without making any political references. Let's see if i can do it.

I don't want to leave this blog entirely so i'm just going to start numbering and writing and see what comes out of me, like a speedwriting exercise. and if i don't like it i will just save it as a draft instead. (I actually have done that quite often.)

1. Recently i couldn't help myself and took some of those stupid tests going around Facebook. I found out i am only 20% Hippie; I have a 22,000 word vocabulary, (which doesn't sound like enough words to me, given that Sarah's mom who is i think 88 or 96 years old (I get her age mixed up with my friend Dick's mom because they are both so sharp) tested at 33,000, though to be fair, she is a really smart person, but at 88 or 96 years old you would think she might forget a few words); i thought i would pass the Pulp Fiction movie test but i got 6 out of 30 wrong. I think i am remembering that correctly, or maybe that was the M*A*S*H TV test. And though it was not a test i found out i am a "social introvert" because i hit every single one of those criteria!

2. I don't even attempt those geography or history tests on FB.

3. Recently my husband and i went on a vacation and for four days unplugged even though the place had wireless. I was amazed at how easy it was. Brian would check his phone once in the morning and i would check mine before bed, ONLY to make sure there were no emergencies. It was GREAT!!!! I didn't miss Facebook or email or texting at all. We played more Scrabble and cards than normally because of it. There was no cable either so we didn't watch news. I am going to try that every time we go away. I highly recommend it.

4. I don't think i am an addictive personality but i believe because i am slightly OCD and like all things familiar and therefore i tend to settle most comfortably into habits. And i lam finding that it's a good thing to mix those habits up. Like running a different route while exercising; not always pouring  a glass of wine while cooking or blogging - make hot tea instead;  not rummaging around for a cracker or snack the minute i walk in the door; shutting down the iPad for Facebook and email.  Also I have started leaving my phone at home when i run quick errands and today i put it in the trunk of my car when i was gone most of the day and never checked it. (The phone is the easiest habit since i've not had a phone that long anyway.)  It's been liberating to know that i can do this.

5. Hahaha.. Though i am NOT having hot tea right now!

6. Today i noticed that our row of maple trees was starting to turn colors. AND it is pitch black outside and only 9:14 as i type and that always makes me a little bit sad when i realize that autumn is on its way.

7. The upside is that our Seahawks play soon!

OK. I got nothing really. Just gonna hit send and let it go. Retirement is fun, but it has made me less creative i am afraid! ;)

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Like Gumbo YaYa.....A Totally Random Wine Musings Post

I have no idea what i am going to say and will just let her rip, like i did in the old days back when Gumbo YaYa was running hot!

1. First on the list: let's talk about Brock (Turner) the Rapist. I love so much that this story is getting traction. And because of that traction i think i have a better appreciation for Facebook. There was no real justice for Brock's victim ....but the posts on Facebook have leveled the field and i read every word of her letter. It was powerful. Like i said on Facebook, this case could be the one that finally puts the spotlight on rape and women's rights. AND not only that, the discrepancy about how white men are charged and sentenced and African American men are charged. I have never been raped. But someone close to me has been this kind of victim:where she thought she was so drunk it was her fault for going with the guy in the first place, so she didn't report it.

2. Hillary and Bernie: I actually surprise myself that i am not all over the Bernie Bandwagon, because i was so into Howard Dean and the anti-Iraq war movement. But my thing with Bernie is i don't buy into idealism. Bernie feels like the grandparent who promised you on your 4th birthday to take you to Disneyland when you got a little bit older, and they never did. And you remembered when you turned 9. I like having a president who is qualified and who knows how to stand the fuck up when the hits keep coming. And that is Hillary. She may be the toughest candidate to ever run for President when you think about it.

3. And i don't buy into Bernie's free college for all. First off...not everyone needs to go to college. And too many will go and fuck around because it's free. And then what happens to our military if everyone is going to college? (Actually, that might be a good thing, now that i think about it, because we can't declare wars without a strong military)   I never had the chance to go to college though i had very good grades all through high school. And as a pragmatic personality, i like starting big things small. I think Bernie should start with free community college for any high school student who has the grades before he declares free college for all.

 4. Grace and Frankie! I love this Netflix series with Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin! I wish there were more episodes to binge watch. I think i sailed through them in about four mornings. Jane Fonda looks amazing. And Lily Tomlin looks great too. She has inspired me to just let my hair just do the fuck what it wants to do.  I cancelled my haircut appointment after watching and decided to just let it grow like Lily's and pull it back. I will still color it for awhile because it's such a sickly dishwater gray, but i already know i'm not ready for the work of cutting it short and trying to make it not look like the gal on Murder She Wrote because it's so curly and frizzy when short.

5. I told a lie. I wrote on Facebook that inferred that i turned 60 years old. I didn't exactly come out and say that i was 60, but i made it sound like that....because i am trying it on for size. Turning 50 wasn't that bad because i am still middle age. But 60 is different. I am older than the age my mom was when Brian and i first got together in 1992 and my mom was old! Yet she was only 57 years old. I am starting to not like how i look and how i feel when i wake up. But i know it's not terrible. After all i can still run a 10K if i want to. So that's something. But there is not doubt. This is the beginning of old age. I don't like beginnings. I think i will like the middle better!

6. When i turned 40 i cut off all of my hair and bought a one piece bathing suit, which was really stupid when i look back on it, because i actually was probably in my best physical shape at the time. And everything was firm and not lost to gravity. And i had a libido. And i didn't hurt when i woke up in the morning. And i didn't worry about being on top! hahahha... That's sort of why i want to grow my hair out like Lily's. Don't want to make that mistake again. But i am aware.

7. Family. I do not know where i would be without my brothers and their kids. My niece Kylee gets married a week from Saturday. My favorite nephew Brian's daughter will be born in July (we jokingly refer to her as Clementine now because i texted the name to Brian as a joke and he loved it, though his wife , Adrienne, understandably did not) and i love his little boy Brady so much already. (The grandkids i always wanted without having kids myself.)  My brother Troy just got a great job that took two months of hoops to jump through, with Garrette Construction. My niece Ashley and her husband (who my husband Brian who officiated their marriage ceremony last August) are such a great couple who i truly believe will be married for life are in touch often. My parents are both stlll kicking though i worry for how long. Brian's mom is a special lady too and i worry though about her the most. But all in all. This is a good time for family. Weddings and babies.

8. Retirement. I didn't think i would love it this much. I keep thinking i can probably go off of my blood pressure medication now. I am as busy as i want to be and sometimes busier. Still not bored at all.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Totally Random, Unscripted, Unedited, Winging it Blog Post

I don't even know where to start. And it's not because I have anything worthwhile to say, because I hardly ever do. But I am not ready to give up blogging. I don't care if people do it or not. I'm going to still write when I get the urge the just write stupid shit about everyday life. It's a Friday night and my husband is over the mountains to see his mom. My brother Troy is in the other room taking an online test on my desktop for a final phase in his job hunting. It's sort of an IQ test. He doesn't want my help. Hahaha! So I just poured a glass of wine and am waiting for him to finish so we can eat dinner I have in the oven.

I have no idea what I want to write about but I'll just start numbering and see what happens.

1. Record breaking temperatures in our area. Oh my, it was 87 degrees last Monday! For three days in a row we had hot summer temperatures and no rain. It was wonderful. I got me inspired to do that horrible job of switching out the winter clothes for summer. I hate doing that and it takes so much longer than you think. And why do I have about 47 tank tops? I don't even look good in them anymore. I swear I used to be so vain about my arms, which back in the day rivaled Michelle Obama's. Really, should find a photo and put it up later to prove it. I could have beaten her arm wrestling. But now they are starting the get that crepe-y look and a little bit of wiggle, even though I am still doing my 8 lb free weights every few days.

2. Just started a new YMCA schedule again after giving up yoga back in September because it was too stressful for me, what with the people showing up late, old ladies who couldn't stand any deviation from the routine and even requesting more lights be turned on and the final straw for me was that chick who came in 5 minutes late, grabbed a YMCA mat and proceeded to scrub it down with some kind of scouring pad that sounded like fingernails on the chalkboard. The instructor said not a word and THAT is what pissed me off the most. I never went back. So now I'm going to try Pilates.

Get ready. I'm sure I will have some Pilate Rants.

3. Politics. Holy Moly. Who could ever predict that this would happen? I am going for Hillary though of course I chose Obama over Hillary before. I like Bernie but he's out there. And maybe it's his supporters that even irritate me more. The ones who won't vote for anyone but Bernie. I haven't sent Hillary any money, yet. Maybe I won't even. I like her but I'm not super passionate about her as I was Obama. Besides she probably doesn't need my money. But I get a little bit irritated with the Bernie folks in the same way I get irritated with people who proudly claim they never ever watch TV, as if they are beneath it. There is a lot of good shit on TV first of all. Maybe they are just too cheap to pay for cable.

4. Speaking of TV. My new favorite show is "Better Call Saul". Jonathan Banks and Bob Odenkirk are so awesome! I also love "Walking Dead". And my all time favorite show is "Breaking Bad" (which is why I am watching Saul). Never thought I would like anything more than "The West Wing", but I do!

5. I was thinking about stuff I am missing. I was thinking about cars and I said to someone the other day that I really miss chrome bumpers on cars. You know, like in a '68 Camaro or an older Mustang. And I miss playing CDs. I think they sound better than streaming music. I still play them and in fact right now I'm playing Dylan's "Blood on the Tracks" as I type. I miss when people used to talk to each other in restaurants instead of looking at their phones. Damn, I am going to quit with just these because I am starting to sound old or like Clint Eastwood in the El Camino movie....(speaking of chrome!)

Prince died yesterday. And all of a sudden I sort of got obsessed with his death. It feels like when Michael Jackson died. I actually don't own any Prince CDs but I really love so many of his songs and "Little Red Corvette" and "When Doves Cry" are way up there in my all time favorite songs. But I mostly loved them covered by someone else. I could never find a version that Prince did that didn't sound like that 80's pop sound (which I hate). The Be Good Tanyas do a great version of "When Doves Cry". I always hoped Prince would do acoustic versions and release them. And of course Sinead O'Connor's "Nothing Compares to U" was so amazing.

7. Lately I've been thinking that maybe I am starting to get Alzheimer's. The broke my favorite Le Creuset lasagne pan because I laid it on the burner to make room but I didn't turn off the burner and even though it was on low it heated that cookware up and shattered and just like that $200+ dollars out the window. Yesterday I caught myself starting to put the leftover salad bag in the cupboard instead of the refrigerator. And where I used to be good at remembering names I am no longer. Also I can't keep characters straight in books, though in truth, I always did have a hard time with retention in  anything I read unless I wrote it down. That's where I learned to take copious notes and write really fast! Anyway I put this down for reference. I am going to be 59 years old and I feel like I'm slipping.

I have to end this because blogging is a bitch on the iPad and my brother is still online with my desktop. Maybe I will come back and edit and add a Prince video or a photo of my favorite Le Cruset pan, RIP! :)

Friday, March 18, 2016

I'm Baaaack. And Old Fashioned Random Blog Posting.

Numbered of course!

1. Well, this is disconcerting. Back in the day when i would go to log into my blog i only needed to type the L (for Letmetellyouwhatithink) and it would go to my blog. Today when i started to type in my blog name it popped up 'Lamps Plus".

2. Best thing happening: Brian and i discovered Blue Apron meals a month ago and we love it so much i feel like it's changed our life! No more calling each other "whaddya want for dinner" ; "I dunno, maybe Pho?"; "Yeah, i don't want to go to the grocery store"; Now it's delivered to our door. I am going to do a post about this on Facebook because i want other people to know because i wish someone had told me sooner. The food is amazing. We cook it, but the quality of the ingredients is so good and the recipes are perfect for us. I did do a lot of research online before i chose them.

3. Best books I've read all year: A Man Called Ove. Now i'm reading his other book My Grandmother Told Me To Tell You She's Sorry. The other is Home is Burning by Dan Marshall, which is a memoir written by a young guy who dropped everything to go home and help take care of his dad who had ALS. I would like to be friends with Dan Marshall and recently clicked to follow him on Facebook. He's hilarious.

4. Oh for Fuck's sake.... I was so so so very wrong about this election! I said Bernie had no chance and wouldn't go far. I said no way would Trump be the nominee, that it would be between Mark Rubio and Jeb Bush, maybe even Chris Christie. I am going to the Democratic caucus this month and gathering with friends afterwards. I almost want to go in uncommitted because i want to see how the Bernie folks sell me.

5. I will be turning 59 years old pretty soon, but i wish i was turning 60 so i could just get it over with. When i turned 39 i told everyone i was turning 40 for the same reason. When the folks at the office where i work gave me a 40th bday party and i never told them i was only 39.

5. For me, turning 40 and 60 are very similar feeling birthdays.  Turning 40 makes you officially middle age, which isn't a good feeling when you are still feeling like you are 28. And turning 60 is BEYOND middle age. Nobody lives to 120. So yeah....60 is undeniably ....not youthful.

6. Holy shit. Just to make an example of how shitty it is to get old ... i just now went in to the kitchen to pour myself a glass of wine. And while doing so i thought of what to put up for #6 Random Thought. And in the 32 steps (since we live in a small condo) back to the computer room i forgot what i was going to say.

7. I do this running very often too. I think of lots of stuff while running. But since i am not running with a paper and pen i forget what they are when i get back. Brian says it happens to him often too and we laugh and talk about how we might get alzheimers at the same time and maybe it would be nice in our old age because we would feel like we are always just meeting each other again and that newborn fragile madness of falling in love could be fun when you are 80 years old.

8.  My favorite musical artist these days is a guy i've mentioned before on here. Jason Isbell is amazing. I bought his new cd and have to stop myself from overplaying it. I forget the title but my favorite song on there is How to Forget. Another artist i love right now is Andrew Duhon. His song Evelyn slays me. My favorite nephew Brian and his wife Adrienne (Brady's parents) are going to have a little girl this summer and it's fun coming up with girl names. I told him Clementine as a joke but he actually likes the name and on his phone he is keeping a list of girl names and Clementine is at the top of his list. I was totally joking. But then i told him Evelyn, because i do like that name - in part because i don't think it's trendy. So i told him to listen to the song by Andrew Duhon. It will be fun to see what they come up with.

9. I'm going to look for the YouTube of Evelyn by Andrew Duhon and call it a night. Hope i remember how to do that on blogger! It's been awhile.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Let's Go Chris Rock!

OK, I will likely be here by myself blogging about the Oscars, but it's been kind of tradition for me and even though I'm almost always disappointed in the Best Picture I do like making fun of the celebrities and love their dresses.

I am wearing a 15 year old pair of drawstring baggy rolled up cuff pants from Costco that I think I paid $17 for. I have a glass of Spellbound Syrah in my glass. Not sure I will stick it out for the whole time, but I am interested in Chris Rock.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Facebitch, Cam Newton, and other stuff i sorta hate and sorta like

I've said it before and I'm saying it again. I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook.  In the past year i feel like it's been sliding deep into a shallow pool of banality, stupidity and polarity and some other 'ity' words that i could probably come up with if i had a better vocabulary.

I blame it on memes.

I am sick of these types of memes: People keep falling for this shit and don't realize it's click baiting, click jacking or whatever the hell you want to call it. Don't do it people! Just don't! It's a scam!

Here are some memes I like: 

What i like about Facebook: .. real photos, especially photos people post that are old and back in the day when they were taken with Kodak Instamatic cameras and the month and year were stamped in the border; i don't mind baby photos (unless you post them all the time); YouTube videos of Jimmy Fallon playing as Neil Young, Springsteen, etc. and other good music i like;  recipes ( actually cook often from stuff i see on Facebook!) and funny stories that happened to people.

What i don't like: People posting about their dying family member, (though having said that i understand the obituary posts, but that might be because i have a fascination with a well written obituary and collect them for my scrapbook); the type of memes i posted above, especially those gushy ones about how much you love your family. You know what i think? If you are posting memes about how much you love your husband, daughter, son, probably means you are feeling like they don't love you back. It feel so manipulative!

I have a couple of friends who post about breast feeding rights which makes me a little crazy because they are fairly militant about it. I don't like anything extreme on Facebook. Our race issues/gun/abortion/Muslim vs God/ debates will never be solved on Facebook and i wonder why people even try and wish they would stop.

Now... about Cam Newton.... 
My brothers Scott and Troy taught me a lot about football and i was quite a fan of football back in the 1970's. They never stopped watching the NFL since they were kids and were totally invested in the Seahawks from the beginning.  I only watched when i liked the players which was when Richard Sherman and Russell Wilson came on board. (Like a novel i need to find a character i like in the book before i can continue reading it.) 

After we lost our chances for the SuperBowl I mentioned how much i don't like Cam Newton for all the reasons you've heard, (one of them being he ripped a 12th Man flag from the game we lost and threw it on the ground). Scott said he didn't mind him at all and felt Cam was misunderstood because if you watch him, his antics are mostly exuberance because he loves the game so much, he's always smiling and giving the balls away to the kids....and he added wouldn't we sort of like to see Russell Wilson break out of his controlled personality and let loose a little? I had to admit he had a point. Not only that, i realize my favorite Richard Sherman is also vilified for doing what Cam does. And i can see where other teams might not appreciate the 12th fan so much. (I get fairly irritated by the WSU Coug spirit where we live.) So yeah, Cam, maybe you're not so bad, but i'm still going for Denver and Peyton Manning. (LOVE those ridiculous insurance commercials he does.) But i have to say, that Cam Newton is a fucking amazing quarterback and i think they are going to cream Denver. (If i were that good i too would probably be doing the Superman antics and more.) 

Going Back to Work: 
I have been working part-time again at Washington Education Association, my old job since last September and will be working until April. First i was at headquarters for a few months and this month i started at my old office because my replacement (who is also a Jo) is doing organizing work in the field. I work two days a week for 9 1/2 hours a day. I like the paycheck - (they pay me my regular wage that i had before i retired) and i like that it I have to be somewhere a couple of days a week. 

What it reminds me of though is how burned out I was on organizing work and politics. And how it sucked the soul out of me for that kind of work which i used to think i was good at. They have hired me to only do the financial duties and membership database work, work that can't be done by the others in the office. As things swirls around me i feel how i am no longer invested in the importance of that work. And it makes me kind of sad. 

When i was working i did so much more than i am doing now. I haven't volunteered politically or working with kids or anything now that i have the time. I am not bored being retired, but i wonder what happened to my mojo for those things. 

That cliche is true : If you want something done, find a busy person. 

P.S. Re: the word meme: Who else saw the word "NO" first?