31 March 2010

Profound thought about parking

Parking: Sometimes you get lucky, and sometimes you get exercise. Either way, you win.

29 March 2010


I don't understand diet foods. I am on a very strict food budget. I need to get enough fuel to keep me going on a set amount of money. Why would I buy a watered down version of the fruit and veggie juice I drink all the time if it has half the calories for the same price? Why would I buy light ice cream if it + milk = a meal for me?

I guess it just puzzles me, too, since diet foods tend to have fewer calories because they have less of real, good, actual food substance in them. And then people eat twice as much of the diet food. They pay for it in more ways than one.

Are there any "diet" foods or beverages you like so much you prefer them to their non-diet originals?

26 March 2010

Stuff Christians Like: are you ready for this?

Oh, dear. This is kind of a hoot. It's an obvious rip-off of Stuff White People Like, but it's a really well-done rip-off. Too many things are spot on for me to ignore.

Page through it in a bookstore or take a look at the blog to see if it would be good coffee table/bathroom reading for you or someone you love. It helps to have grown up in a Protestant church, but people I showed it to who don't really have a church background found it pretty snort-inducing, too.

I really liked the one about the church band not practicing and then blaming their poor performance on Satan attacking them.  And the author's view of what Satan really thinks of it.  Classic.

24 March 2010

Not again: pain keeping me awake

The pain woke me up a few nights ago. It sort of slugged me and sneered, "That's all the sleep YOU'RE getting today." It's been bad lately.

As often happens when it gets bad (less sleep, more pain all day), I overcompensate a bit. I seem buoyant, but it's more like a sort of manic cheerfulness or maybe it's a form of reactionary dark humor with a bad accent from a gangster movie. "You think you're gonna get the best of me, do yas? Huh, punk?!" I have less self-control and self-censorship, so I say things I normally wouldn't, and I sometimes appall myself with what comes out.

I kind of wish I could hibernate during bad weeks, but this is a busy bad week, so I can't really just fold now. Or any time in the immediate future. Saved from meltdown by overscheduling? Going to hear a free concert from a Renaissance group I love, writing, working on a book manuscript: beauty and passion can keep you going sometimes. We'll see if they can distract me enough to keep me functioning.

22 March 2010

Fingernails (not on a chalkboard)

I was getting a bit more ticked off than was strictly necessary about not hearing back about yet another job application, and I laughed when I realized my ire was fingernail-related, which is somewhat unexpected and out of character for me. I am not a girly-girl.

Usually, I keep my nails cut very short. That way, there's less chance of snagging and chipping and breaking in the wild world of retail. Also, I can't really file them or make them look pretty because of my wrist problems. (I feel that I should add that even if I didn't have wrist problems, I think I still wouldn't do anything with them.)

When I have interviews or concerts, I let my nails grow out to a more professional-looking length. The interviews were supposed to be scheduled two weeks ago. This means my nails were ridiculously long (for me). This was irksome.

I have decided that I am unlikely to get this job. I am too much of a coward to email the person in charge to find out. I cut my nails. I am strangely happier. Maybe this means I'll get a call about an interview tomorrow. :) I'll keep my fingers with their short fingernails crossed.

19 March 2010

Going gray gracefully

Do you ever wonder if the amount of gray/white/silver hair you have is normal? I sure do. Mostly I wonder because everyone my age who has any seems to dye their hair. Even my older sister dyes hers (unconfirmed accusation). I have no idea when she started.

My hair started going back in college, but my mom said it was a genetic gift from her mom. I think she said her mom's hair was all white by the time she turned 30. I was kind of looking forward to that because my excessively oily skin makes my face look younger, and white hair with that face would have been startling. It didn't happen, and I'm okay with that.

I can only think of one person I know who let her hair go gray without hiding it. How sad is that? Dye is so expensive I could never afford it, but even if I could, I'm too cheap to spend money on it. (And then agonize about when my face looks old enough that I need to get my hair dyed gray or risk looking really creepy . . .)

Why do you suppose people get so panicky about gray hair? Are you panicky about it?

How do you feel about going gray naturally? Are you planning on doing it?

P.S. Tonight's moon is a lovely silver Cheshire cat smirk.

18 March 2010

Why I'm glad I don't drive a tall car

When my parents visited me last spring, they saw deer every day they came to visit me. I am glad my car is tiny and low to the ground because I think the deer wouldn't seem nearly as magical if I saw them every day.

15 March 2010

Things not to tell your mom, part 3

A predatory sex offender has moved into my building (or the one next door). Oh, joy. But don't worry, it appears that he prefers to prey on junior high school boys, so I'm safe; though I'm worried about the junior high half a mile up the road.

Keep me (and the kids) in your prayers . . .

12 March 2010

Why I love my father

He calls me to say
he's in the car
driving and listening
to a CD, and it reminded him

of the time years ago
when I moved away
to graduate school.
He tells me the album.

"Wow, what an album! We
listened to it when
we were driving through
Wisconsin. Anyway,

it made me think of you,
so I called to say hi
and I love you."

08 March 2010

Why I shouldn't read business books

I was skimming through some business books about how to improve employee morale, and it was kind of depressing. There were so many easy-to-implement, common-sense ways to improve morale. The most important thing, they all said, is clear communication.

Clear communication is what I've been fighting for in our store for the last several years, and it's the last thing my boss wants to do. Momentarily, I wondered if this is because she's self-conscious about her poor grammar (and the fact that she knows we notice it). That can't be why, though, because she writes and distributes long, confusing, unhelpful memos frequently.

Man, I sound a tad bitter, don't I?

The main problem with our situation is that all the books I've looked at are about what management can do to improve morale, not what employees can do to improve morale when the boss is against it (by her actions).

Does anyone know of any resources for that type of situation (other than the zen-y ones that tell you to put a positive spin on the bad situations you can't control and can't stand)?

07 March 2010

Am I passive-aggressive?

I have been accused of being passive-aggressive for writing letters to my bosses when there are specific issues I feel need to be addressed (and no one else will talk to management about them because they're smart enough to know management doesn't care).  I'm a little confused by the way this term is used.

From what I understand, a passive-aggressive response to, say, her terrible, are-you-seriously-a-college-graduate constant grammar/spelling/syntax errors would be to put a stack of hilarious and difficult to understand memos and emails on her chair with grammar and style comments marked in red and place a copy of "I Judge You When You Use Poor Grammar" on top of the pile.

I consider writing an essay with bullet points and formatting designed to clearly communicate problems and proposed solutions to be a form of properly documented alternative conflict resolution.  (Except that it never works because getting any kind of response in writing is impossible, thus making the whole exercise pointless.)

Am I really being passive aggressive?  Is the only correct way to air grievances (especially to an illogical, combative, defensive, incompetent boss) to have a conversation that escalates into a shouting match that could get me fired?  If it is, I'd rather be passive aggressive and have all those letters formally on file for my defense should the time come.

In your opinion, where is the line for passive-aggressive behavior?

04 March 2010

The best exit

I had not misjudged
the location
of the flashing lights,
I had not chosen
this wrong exit
for my impromptu detour,
would not have seen
this moon
monstrously misshapen
grotesque eerie orange
a celestial cheddar souffle
just above the horizon
failing to rise

If I had not chosen
this wrong exit,
I would not have seen
this moon.

02 March 2010

Winter Prayer of Contentment

God may not have given me
the job I need to pay off
my bills or good health

or freedom from pain or
any of the important
things I want (but

have never been promised
by God in the first place), but
He did give me

a perfect twilight
four deer in the yard
across the street

no traffic
so I could sit
in the middle

of the road and stare
at the deer
staring at me,

and He never promised
me that, either, but
sometimes, like today,

it's more than enough.