Friday, September 25, 2015

Q and A-- Part 5

This is the last installment for awhile-- enjoy! 

81. What do you do to keep fit?
Not a lot. I was really good about going to spin class for awhile, but The Agent bought me by own spin bike so I could quit the gym. As I warned The Agent, I am not nearly as dedicated to riding when the bike it right here in the living room. 

82. Does your family have a “motto” – spoken or unspoken?
Not really.... we're really big on always telling the truth, even if you think you might get in trouble. That probably the closest thing we have to a motto.    

83. If you were ruler of your own country what would be the first law you would introduce?
I would probably demand some sort of head examination for everyone, to try to determine how it was decided that I should rule a country. I can't even rule my house, so a country is out of the question. 
84. Who was your favorite teacher in school and why?
Mrs. Joy, 5th grade. I don't know if was as much the teacher as what we did. We had a whole unit on Yosemite pioneers. We had to pick a real pioneer, research them, write a paper on them, and then we had to dress up and pretend to be that person. We made fresh butter and jam,  we carved wooden spoons, made candles and sewed patchwork pillows. Then the enter class got to go to Yosemite over night and pretend we were Yosemite pioneers. My character was Florence Hutchins, the first white child born in Yosemite Valley.
85. What three things do you think of the most each day?

"I shouldn't have said that."
"I still have so much to do before that time."
"Please, just listen." 

86. If you had a warning label, what would yours say?
Warning: liable to explode at any given moment for no particular reason.

87. What song would you say  best sums you up?
Hmmmmm..... I'm going to go with "Cherish" by Madonna. 

88. What celebrity would you like to meet at Starbucks for a cup of coffee?
Ooh! Nicholas Sparks! We would talk books and I would give him his idea for his next novel (which he would dedicate to me!)
89. Who was your first crush?
Kindergarten-- Ronnie Conrad. He was short, with blond hair and blue eyes. He had had open heart surgery at some point in his young life, and you could see the top of his scar when he wore a polo shirt with the buttons  unbuttoned. I used to think that scar was so cute. 

90. What's the most interesting thing you can see out of your office or kitchen window?
I have my back to my office window, so I don't look out it very often. But when I do, there is a very nice view of the water feature fountain thing that is in front of the building. 
91. On a scale of 1-10 how funny would you say you are?
I think I am hilarious, but not everyone agrees. I would say I am a 7. 

92. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Stressed! A 19 year old girl and a 16 year old boy? Heaven help me! 
93. What was your first job?
I was 16 and worked at a pizza parlor. 

94. If you could join any past or current music group which would you want to join?
I used to dream of being one of Madonna's back of singers!

 95. How many languages do  you speak?
Just English. I know enough Spanish to be able to leave my name and phone number on an answering machine, but don't expect me to be able to carry on a conversation! 

96. What is your favorite family tradition?
Didn't we already have this question? I feel like we have. Anyway, the answer is Black Friday shopping with my parents. I lost a lot of seniority when I got promoted into management, so this will likely be the last year I can do it for awhile. 

97. Who is the most intelligent person you know?
The Agent. 
98. If you had to describe yourself as an animal, which one would it be?
A cat. I am soft and sweet, but I scratch your eyeballs out if you cross me. 

99. What is one thing you will never do again?
I will never give birth again.... that makes me a little sad. 

100. Who knows you the best?
Probably The Agent.... he probably knows me better than i know myself, but I still feel like there's things he doesn't know about me. He doesn't know my favorite song, or my favorite movie, or how much syrup I like on my pancakes. I really don't know these things myself, so how can he know? 

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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

What can happen in a bookstore

(This is a repost. I post it every year at this time)

Once upon a time, 14 years ago, I was sitting at a table in front of Barnes and Noble, enjoying the nice weather and writing a letter to my grandmother, who was living at a convalescent hospital in Colorado. I was deep in thought, composing my next sentence in my head, when a man approached me. “My name is Bond,” he said. “Do you mind if I join you?”

I looked up, removed my sunglasses, and stared at him. Who was this yahoo? He was about my age, maybe a little older. He was tall and athletic, looking casual in his jeans and polo shirt. He did not look like a murdering rapist, so I figured I was safe, and told him he could sit. I told him my name was Lovely, and I was in the middle of writing a letter to my grandmother. He was at the bookstore in search of a cookbook.

We chatted for a bit, and then Bond said, “We’re having a nice conversation here. Would you like to have dinner with me?”

I considered for a bit. I was single, so I could certainly go out to dinner if I wanted. But seriously, who WAS this guy? Who does this? He seemed nice, but I’ve never had a total stranger ask me out to dinner before. He needed some sort of test. “Tell you what,” I said after a bit, “My father’s birthday is next week, and I need to buy him a present. If you go shopping with me now, I’ll go to dinner with you afterward.”

Bond agreed, and we drove to the mall together. I drove-- I was young and crazy, but not completely stupid. I wasn’t getting into a car with a stranger. He allowed me to chauffeur him across town to the mall, and he followed me around until I found something suitable: The Who CD box set. We discussed musical interests while I shopped. His all-time favorite band was AC/DC, mine was U2. I had been listening to Staind, Puddle of Mudd, and Nickelback lately, he was listening to Shania Twain.

He was nice and respectful and had a sense of humor. He was good looking and he seemed to think I was pretty. I was enjoying myself. I made my purchase and agreed to go to dinner with him. We went to an Italian place, great food, better company. I told him that I had just broken up with my boyfriend of two years about a month earlier. He revealed that he was recently divorced and had just started dating again.

It was still early after we finished dinner. “We’re having such a nice conversation,” he said. “would you like to go somewhere else?” I took a chance and told him we could go for a drive, as long as I was driving. Bond agreed and away we went. We drove out of town, into the mountains and back, talking all the way, about anything and everything.

We met at about 2 pm. I pulled back into the parking lot of Barnes and Noble at 10:30 pm. I drove Bond back to his truck and told him I had a nice day and it was nice meeting him. “It was nice meeting you too," he said. "Do you think I could have your phone number?”

He called me two days later. I haven’t been able to get rid of him since.

We got married in Hawaii, 3 years after the day we met.

Happy anniversary, Agent. 11 years married, 14 years together. I am so thankful I took a chance on you that day. You are my everything.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Choices you make

It never rains, but it pours.

My mother sent me a super huge long text while I was at work the other day, saying that my sister Kari was in hospital for anxiety issues. I've written about Kari before, but long story short-- she's 21 with a 3 year old boy and 5 year old girl, from two different fathers (who happen to be brothers). She's not with either of the fathers currently. The father of my nephew still sees him on the weekends, but the father of my niece does not claim her and doesn't want  to have anything to do with her. Kari can certainly pick some winners, let me tell you.

So, anyway, Kari was admitted into the hospital. I wasn't impressed. She needed to get her life together. Life is difficult, I get that it's hard. Heck, I just wrote yesterday about how my life doesn't work when The Agent isn't around. But Kari doesn't have The Agent in her life. She also doesn't have a job and lives with my mother for free. She needs to figure her life out.

So, my mother took a week off work so that she could take care of the kids while Kari was going through whatever anxiety issue she has. I asked my mother what she was going to do when the week was up and she didn't have an answer, just that hopefully Kari would be out of the hospital by then.

I suspected, even then, the cause of Kari's anxiety. Call me a cynic.

The next day, my mother texted me again. The hospital Kari was staying at can only keep her for 72 hours, but she was in a high risk room for drug users or people who are experiencing homicidal tendencies. She's not talking to anyone, but apparently she had said earlier that their neighbor had put cameras and wire taps all throughout the house. My suspicions were confirmed-- Kari is on some kind of drug, but which one is unknown at this point.

My mother believes that Kari's on meth. I'm not sure why she thinks that, or how she even knows what meth is. I've never taken it, so I don't know how it work. Do you smoke  it? Shoot it? Take it in a pill? I am blissfully ignorant. But anyway, my mom told Kari not to come home if she was on drugs. It turned out not to be an issue, because when Kari was released from the hospital, she was transported to a recovery center for substance abuse and mental illness.

(fyi-- do not google pictures of meth users. You'll have nightmares for weeks.) 

That is the extent of the information my mother has to date. But I am not optimistic. I am worried that she is going to lose those children. It might not be so bad with my nephew, he's still so young, and he has a father that is willing to be part of his life, but I am very worried about my niece's future. She already has one parent that doesn't want to be a part of her life-- what is she going to do if she loses the other one?

What really upsets is that 6 years ago, when Kari was 14 and pregnant, we offered to adopt the baby. We had just lost Adam, we hadn't been matched with BK yet, and we said we would adopt the baby and love her as our own. Kari said no. She said she wouldn't be able to live with herself if she made that decision. At the time, it turned out ok, because we got the call for BK two months later, and I always thought it was nice to have cousins that are only 6 months apart in age.

But can you live with yourself now, Kari? Who's going to help you now?

Ugh. I hope this story has a happier ending.

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Monday, September 21, 2015

I was lost, but now I'm found

The Agent has been gone, working in the jungles of Wisconsin, while I'm here in drought-and-fire-infested California, playing single parent to two kids, all while trying to figure out my new job, which I have received very limited training on.

My company gave me a new laptop, presumably so I can be available at all hours of the day and night. I received it on Friday, and the tech savvy guys moved everything from my desktop on to my laptop and then told me to have a nice day.

The bad thing is that I have to take the stinkin' thing home every night. So, on Saturday morning, I figured I had this shiny new laptop, I might as well figure out how it works. So I turned it on, hooked up  the wireless, and was able to get online. Not really sure why I couldn't do all this on my personal laptop, but whatever.

But then I got on my email, and noticed that I didn't have any of my  saved email folders. I know I had them on Friday, but on Saturday they were gone. I've been with the company for 13 years, so it goes without saying that I have  A LOT of emails saved. I immediately called tech support.

Two hours later, the guy from India had not recovered my email folders, I was crying, and the children were wondering why lunch wasn't being served. I told tech support to get the guy who put all this stuff on to my laptop to begin with to get over here immediately and fix this. I was told to call back on Monday.

Add that to the PMS I was suffering from and my inability to handle everything on my own, and I lost it. I called The Agent and begged him to come home. He wasn't supposed to come home for another 6 days, and I knew that, but my life doesn't work without him.

He came home the next day.

It was selfish of me, he had work to do, but I don't even care. I am lost without him. And now I'm found.

(The Agent maintains that his work was done and he was going to come home early anyway, to surprise me. But I like my version better!) 


Friday, September 18, 2015

Q and A, part 4

More questions and answers.... are you learning all about me? Enjoy! 

61. How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?
The alarm goes off at 6 and we're out the door by 7:20, and that's with me having a cup of coffee and making the kids' lunches. I don't get all fancy while getting ready. 
62. What kitchen appliance do you use every day?
The coffee maker

63. What's your favorite fast food chain?
Hmmmm.... probably Wendy's. Love their fries.

64. What's your favorite family recipe?
My mom makes excellent pinto beans.... my stepmother's mother makes bomb potato salad.... my dad makes the best fried okra ever. All delicious choices. 

65. Do you love or hate rollercoasters?
Love them at a reputable amusement park.... you can't pay me enough to get on one of those rickety county fair coasters.   

66. What's your favorite family tradition?
Probably Black Friday shopping!

67. What is your favorite childhood memory?
camping with my family, with all the aunts, uncles, and cousins. My cousins and I were gone from morning to night and up to no good! 

68. What's your favorite movie?
Ever? Gosh, that's tough. I love 80's brat pack movies-- St. Elmo's Fire, The Breakfast Club, Say Anything, 16 Candles... all excellent. 

69. How old were you when you learned Santa wasn't real? How did you find out?
I don't remember a time when I thought Santa was real. BK is 6 and he still believes. Bug suspected when she was 7 and knew for sure when she was 8. 
70. Is your glass half full or half empty?

71. What's the craziest thing you’ve done in the name of love?
Ummm.... moved to a different city where I didn't know anyone and didn't have a job. But that turned out ok. I got a good job, made myself some good friends, and married the guy. 

72. What three items would you take with you on a deserted island?
Assuming that I had food and water, I would take chapstick, a solar powered kindle (with an internet connection!), and a pillow. 

73. What was your favorite subject in school?
It's always been English.... reading, writing, and grammar.   

74. What's the most unusual thing you've ever eaten?
I've had escargot.    

75. Do you collect anything?
I collect books on my kindle, and my house collects dust.

76. Is there anything you wished would come back into fashion?

Not really.... I wish it was fashionable to be moderately overweight!

77. Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
I just took three different personality tests, and they all said i was ambivert, right in the middle. If i had to choose, I would say I am introvert, although I often force myself to be extrovert. 

78. Which of the five senses would you say is your strongest?
Hmmm.... I would say sight. 

79. Have you ever had a surprise party? (that was an actual surprise)

80. Are you related or distantly related to anyone famous?
No.... not that I know of! 

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Monday, September 14, 2015

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Remember when I used to do weekend updates every Monday?

Yeah, if something interesting happened this weekend, I would have written about it.

Actually, something kind of interesting happened. Bug had a sleep over at a girlfriend's house. I dropped Bug off and the house was... not as clean as I would have had it.

Don't get me wrong. My house has been as messy as this house before, but I wouldn't have let anyone inside. This mom not only let me inside, she gave me tour.

I came home and thought about this mom and her house. She's a single mom with two kids, working fulltime. It's no wonder that she doesn't have time for a clean house. I don't have time now, and I have The Agent to help me.

(Then again, The Agent makes the majority of the messes.)

I loved that the mom was completely unashamed. She made no apologies for the state of her home. This is who she is: love it or leave it.

I picked up Bug the next day, and the house looked no better. And that was ok.

"Did you have fun at Cassie's house?" I asked on the way home.

"Sure, it was nice," Bug replied. "But next time, can Cassie come over to our house? Her house was a MESS!"

Oh. I guess I better start cleaning the house.

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Friday, September 11, 2015

Q and A, Part 3

More questions and answers! 

41. How many pairs of shoes do you own?
ugh.... too many to count. 5 or 6 pairs of boots, 3 or 4 pairs of flip flops, 3 pairs of flats, 3 or 4 pairs of heels, 3 pairs of gym shoes, pair of hiking boots... plus probably several that I can't remember. Such is the life of a career girl. 

42. If you were a super-hero, what powers would you have?
I want the ability to freeze my enemies. 

43. What would you do if you won the lottery?
Put in my two week notice. Peace out, job! 

44. What form of public transportation do you prefer? (air, boat, train, bus, car, etc.)
Air! All other forms of public transportation can suck it. 

45. What's your favorite zoo animal?
I love the giraffes at the San Francisco zoo.    

46. If you could go back in time to change one thing, what would it be?
The events of the past make you the person you are today.... But  there are a few things that I wish I had handled more maturely.    

47. If you could share a meal with any 4 individuals, living or dead, who would they be?
I'dneat with my husband and kiddos.... and my stepmother's grandmother, Grandma Alice. She never got to meet my kids. She would have loved them. 

48. How many pillows do you sleep with?
Just one   

49. What's the longest you've gone without sleep (and why)?
I need my sleep. But I used to work a graveyard shift, so I woke up at 9 pm, got to work at 11 pm, and worked until 7:30 am. As soon as my shift was over one day, I grabbed the boyfriend I had at the time and drove to Vegas (an 8 hour drive). I think with stops and everything, we got to the hotel at 5, and (much to my boyfriend's disappointment) I was probably asleep by 8. So, almost 24 hours. 
50. What's the tallest building you've been to the top in?
I've been to the top of the Stratosphere in Las Vegas.... it's 1,149 feet tall. 

51. Would you rather trade intelligence for looks or looks for intelligence?
Why can't I have both? 

52. How often do you buy clothes?
As often as I can! But on average, once a month.  
53. Have you ever had a secret admirer?
I don't think so. I've had some not-so-secret admirers. If you're someone's secret admirer, please let them know. You shouldn't keep it a secret. 

54. What's your favorite holiday?

55. What's the most daring thing you've ever done?
I tried out for a play a couple years ago.... I thought that was pretty daring!    

56. What was the last thing you recorded on TV?
I don't have DVR. I think I was in Jr High the last time I recorded something.... Madonna's Blond Ambition tour was shown on HBO. I taped it and watched it constantly after that. I had the whole concert memorized.    

57. What was the last book you read?
I just finished The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty
58. What's your favorite type of foreign food?
Hmmmmm..... probably Italian. But Mexican is delicious, too!   

59. Are you a clean or messy person?
I'm pretty messy, but I long to be clean!

60. Who would you want to play you in a movie of your life?
Probably Sandra Bullock.... but The Agent thinks I look just like Neve Campbell! 

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