Thursday, January 31, 2008

"It's my bar of chocolate, give it to me now!"

Hi. This is me blogging.

Yes, it's true, I'm leaving my job. I decided that I couldn't very well give other people my "if you're not happy with your circumstances then change them" speech unless I was willing to put it into practice myself. My last day will be March 15 (beware the ides!), and in the meantime I'm looking for another job. Preferably somewhere that won't stick me in a windowless office all by myself with a boss with whom I don't communicate well. In the last 6 months of working there I feel like I've become a far more anxious and grumpy person, and I don't like it at all. Kind of what Gollum is to Smeagol, but with more hair, less phlegm, and better posture.

My job must be making me pretty unhappy to drive me to the point of facing unemployment again, because truly there is nothing in this world that I loathe more than job hunting. Believe it or not, the job boards aren't teeming with social services jobs that aren't soul-sucking that will pay you a decent amount of money. Your soul must either be sucked or your pocket emptied. I consistently find myself searching for jobs that don't exist, refusing to bend to the reality that fun jobs aren't well-paid, because the fun you have each day is part of your wages. You can't fill your car with gas on fun. I tried once... whooping and hollering and yee-hawing while pumping the gas, and the dirty bugger still wanted $45 bucks from me when I was done.

So sometimes I'll catch myself yelling at the universe to change its rules, rather than just buck up and play by them. Like I've gotten to the checkout stand with an item I really want, and I insist that the cashier give it to me for less money than its worth, which they obviously can't do (unless you're in Mexico... but I never am, even in my metaphors). Rather than pony up the dough, I stand there and complain about the injustice of the justice. And the people behind me are rolling their eyes impatiently as I whine. I don't know what they represent... maybe all the things that are waiting to happen in my life if I'd just shut up and pay the price.

I'm concerned for our generation and its hesitancy to sacrifice. So many things provide us immediate gratification that anything that makes us wait even the littlest bit is pushed to the side. And I feel preemptively guilty for my future children who are going to be the uncool ones because they won't have a cell phone until they can afford to pay for it themselves. (A note: This is completely hypocritical of me to do because as we speak my father still pays for my cell phone bill, but that's different. Okay, it's not. Get off my case, okay? I have a lot of other things to worry about than the potential emotional and psychological damage that I could to do my imaginary children... because at this rate I should be more worried about what kind of reptiles I can legally house as I grow old single and alone and become the Crazy Snake Lady who gives awesome treats at Halloween.)

I fear I've strayed from my original point. Oh well, time for bed.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

I once was blind, but now I see.

I bought a new camera on Monday. When I woke up to see the massive snowstorm that had hit overnight, I almost decided to wait another day. But then I thought that maybe it was the universe conspiring against my desires for a camera, and, being one who likes to defy the universe, I hopped in my car at 9am and made the treacherous trip to Best Buy nonetheless.
I didn't investigate cameras too much before I went, mostly because I know at this point in my life I mostly don't care. I just want something that will allow me to record amusing moments because my brain is bound to lose them at this rate. So after consulting with the friendly salesman, I bought this guy:

He's the Sony Cybershot DSC W80. If that doesn't mean anything to you, then join the club. All I know is it can take both pictures and video, and has a rapid-fire picture-taking option for when I'm trying to take a shot of someone flying through the air or something (which happens more often than you think.) The salesman told me it was the cheaper of the two he suggested, and this one had a turny-wheely-thing to select my settings rather than having to fish through a bunch of push-button options on the camera screen (like the other one), so I was sold. I was so excited that the moment I got into my car I opened the package, stuck the battery and memory card into the camera, and took this picture:

My beloved Best Buy, with my new car B.J. I'm inheriting B.J. (along with her payments) from my little brother, who is leaving on a mission in a couple weeks. B.J. stands for Billie Jean, because that song came on my iPod while driving it for one of the first times and it just seemed right.

So now that I "got my camera on" as my friend Logan would say, I'm pleased to present to you Spider-man and Friends:

A few years ago I purchased some coloring books for my roommates for Christmas, and this is the one I bought for Wendy because, well, she likes Spiderman. Little did I know that in this coloring book, not only are Spiderman and his friends about seven years old, but they're doing the most effemenite and least-superhero-like things imaginable. I submit for your enjoyment the silliest coloring book ever, complete with my own MST3K-esque commentary:

Hulk heard the sirens outside and scrambled to find somewhere to hide the stash.

This is pretty much what every single picture taken of a mother right after giving birth looks like.

Captain America visits Lifetouch studios to take pictures to give all his friends at high school.

That puddle underneath him is awfully suspicious. I've never been THAT excited to fly a kite...

"I challenge you to a duel, you sexy, sexy man..."

Ten bucks says he's playing Return to Pooh Corner.

Either he's very thoughtful or there's something terribly wrong with that banana.

After her father's tragic death and the burn accident that left her masked for life, Bindi Irwin decided to stalk animals that didn't have razor sharp teeth.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Stick a needle in my eye

I vow to purchase a camera this week. I have a coloring book that I absolutely MUST show the public. Words cannot describe, so I won't even try.

But here are a few other seemingly random things I have learned in the last week or so:

I am not an alto, according to my voice teacher. It broke my heart. Do I still think I'm Karen Carpenter? Yes... she had an amazing range but just chose to sing low most of the time (her direct quote: "The basement is where the money is.") Will I still be singing alto in any given choir? You betcha. After all, an alto is just a soprano who can sightread... (sorry, couldn't help it.)

If you don't like attention, don't quit a job at which you're well liked.

Eating a Cafe Rio salad after fasting all day may sound like a good idea, but it isn't.

Utes gymnastics is INSANELY popular. I'm talking like ten thousand people at their meet on Friday. I don't care how awesome they are at what they do, it's gymnastics. I had no idea it had such crowd appeal.

The movie 27 Dresses is a very silly chick flick. No surprises. If you go, you'll get exactly what you expect from that kind of movie.

The movie Cloverfield is a very intense monster movie. Look out, it doesn't end well. And whatever you do, don't let the creature's little spawn things bite you...

That's it for now. Hopefully the next post will be full of visuals...

Saturday, January 12, 2008

An ode.

Farewell, my friend.
So many memories we've shared now seem even more vivid with your passing.
We once sat around the campfire, and I protected you from falling embers as we both soaked in the radiating warmth.
And a time when we cleaned the bathroom together, me accidentally squirting a bit of bleach on you. I laughed. You didn't. It's better that you didn't.
The many hikes we've shared: to caves, to lakes, to school.
But as is often the case, I began to take you for granted. The more fun I was having, the more damage I was doing, the more you were fading.
Oh, if I had but known!
In retrospect, if I had just paused to see how worn you had become, I would have changed things. Mended things. Cherished things.
But you are beyond repair now, my favorite pair of jeans.
I lunged one too many lunges into a tall car, and now you are gone.
You must be replaced, but it will just not be the same.
Never again will I find such trust and love for only $14.99.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

I got rhythm, I got music

I've done some thinking.

My good and talented friend Robin has a blog that I can't seem to go a day without checking. Even some of my friends who aren't acquainted with Robin in person have admitted to me that they blog-stalk her on occasion (don't worry, I won't tell on you.)

So why is Robin's blog so cool and fun to read? Well, other than the fact that she's a cool and fun person? Her entries are short, to the point, and frequent. Well, and they have cool pictures. Mine, well... you have to be a devoted friend to want to read the novels I post on a once-a-week-at-best basis (thank you, devoted friends.) The pictures thing I can't help at the moment, but soon, oh so soon...

My new goal: blog small, blog often. And no, Robin did not pay me to write this ode to her blog. I promise, she doesn't need the advertising.

Speaking of songbirds, I started voice lessons this week. It's amazing how different you sound when standing in front of an intimidating voice teacher compared to how you sound in your car on the way to work. But my teacher is very warm and easy to like, so I don't think I'll be afraid for long.

The picture at the top has nothing to do with this post. I've had to result to old pictures to spice things up around here a bit. Believe it or not, I used to dance. And, it may explain why I hated the color pink until I was 23.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

The adventures of Haleynook of the North

A log of my workdays as of late:

Dec 20th - Near the end of the day a power outage follows an exploding sound at work. Power comes back on right before everyone goes home.
Dec 21st - Arrive at work to find no heat. Temperature: 55 degrees. Survival methods include space heaters and blankets. Sent home at noon due to cold.
Dec 27th (after the break) - Temperature at work now only 40 degrees. Not only is heat not working, but freezing air has been blowing during the break. VERY tempted to unwrap the blanket that is in the back of my car intended to be a gift, but resist temptation. Heating unit replaced, sent home at noon with guarantee of heat tomorrow.
Dec 28th - No heat, but no freezing air. Diagnosis is now a broken circuit, can only be replaced by turning off power to the whole building, which can't be done until the weekend. Sent home at noon again.
Dec 31st - No heat, but a bearable 60 degrees. Maybe my skin is just getting thicker. Still, sent home at noon instead of 3 as scheduled.
Jan 2nd - No heat. Able to create a cocoon of warmth in my office by cranking the space heater, wrapping up in blanket, and keeping the door closed. Manage to stay at work a full 8 hours for the first time in a long time.
Jan 3rd - No heat, AND a high speed chase ended with a car taking out the fire hydrant in front of our building, so no bathroom for an hour or so in the morning. Director of the agency sends everyone to Chili's for lunch to thaw out, and everyone sent home at 4 instead of 5 so they can get accurate readings of the temperature in the building. At the end of the day they have replaced every imaginable part to the heating unit and still can't figure out what is wrong.
Jan 4th - Boss calls to instruct me to "work from home" today, because heat won't be on at all. Spend the day doing pretty much what I would've done in the office - puppy-guarding the email inbox and answering business-related emails.

...Who knows what Monday will bring?

Speaking of cold, I went snowshoeing with some friends today. Because of the short hours of daylight in the winter I rarely see the light of day these days now that I work full-time (my office has no window), so it felt terriffic to be outside and active and communing with nature. And by communing with nature I mean interrupting the nap of a baby moose because it chose to sleep right in our pathway, and being very fortunate that Mom moose didn't come tearing through the woods to eat us. I wanted to take pictures of these events, but alas...

But good news! My new year's eve celebration consisted of an evening full of gambling with fake money at my cousins' house, which also included a Texas Hold-em tournament. I was hesitant to play because among the 12 other players in the tournament there were 5 or 6 seasoned veterans of the game and I had only ever watched it played. However, after about two and a half hours of intense poker playing later, my ace and king beat my cousin's ace and queen and I won the entire tournament. My adult male cousins pretended to be gracious about it, but I could tell they were a bit put out because they had been talking up their mad poker skills all night.

My prize (which I didn't know existed until about 5 minutes before I won the whole thing) was a $50 gift certificate to Best Buy, which I've decided will go toward the purchasing of a new camera when I get a little more money saved up. Visuals will return to my blog that much sooner, thanks to some lucky hands, a few smart plays, and sad hours of watching Celebrity Poker Showdown while I was unemployed this summer.