April 20 - December 28, 2013
April 20, 2013
» Now, where did THAT come from?
Earlier this week, I was having lunch at my desk, as I often do. Boss #2 stopped by to contribute some work-related info (which is, of course, the downside in lunching at one's desk), but as he turned to go, he spied my sandwich. He asked, "Is that ciabatta bread? Did you bake that?" Yes, it was ciabatta bread, but no, I definitely didn't bake it... and even now, I'm curious as to what inspired that question. While I can cook, I'm far from being a culinary legend, and I consider bread-baking something done by unearthly people like Rachael Ray and Martha Stewart. In any event, I decided to take it as a compliment.
The day after the previous incident, I was at Wal-Mart (looking for more ciabatta bread for which I could take baking credit). A fellow customer gets my attention and queries, "Do you have any idea where I would find anchovy paste?" Something about the phrase "anchovy paste" really turns my stomach, but I rose above it and thought for a moment, trying to be helpful. "Might it be with the canned meats?" The lady responded that she hadn't thought of that, and off she went. I was left to wrap my head around the fact that I - apparently - I look like someone familiar with disgustingly-named fish products.
Also this week, the water cooler at work would not dispense cold water, so I called our water-cooler-unit supplier. It would be the next day before the service guy could come out, but the office lady suggested that I "unplug it, wait an hour and plug it back in." So... just so I'm understanding the situation here: I need to reboot the water cooler?! (FYI, I was desperate, so I tried it. Didn't work.)
Last Sunday at church, everyone was meeting and greeting after the evening service. I stopped to shake hands with our newest deacon. After our hellos, he proceeds, "Now, your husband - does he go to church here?" I admit, that question took me so by surprise that I was completely at a loss for how to respond. Fortunately the pastor's wife was one step away, and she informed the deacon that I don't have a husband. Recovering, I agreed: nope, no husband. The deacon was all, "Oh, well, we'll have to work on that," and turned to speak to someone else. Was he embarrassed and trying to change the subject? I hope not. I don't feel insulted; I just wonder what led him to think that I'm married, since he's been attending church there for several years. I had recently posted a message at Facebook, welcoming my boyfriend to the site, and I tried to recall if that deacon was a friend there... but I don't think he is, actually. :shrug:
Speaking of Jeff joining Facebook, it's just another sentence in the story of a guy and a girl... in the age of social media. He joins FB back in April of 2011, finally tells me about it two years later, and then his dad sends me a friend request...? His dad's a nice guy, and I don't write anything at FB (or on-line, really, knowing that a FB friend with time on his hands could follow what I've posted there and wind up here :waves to FB friends:) that's not fit for public viewing, so I accepted the request. But nagging thoughts emerged. "Did I take too long to respond to the request?" "Will he critique what I've written?" "What happens to our friendship status if Jeff and I break up??" Sigh. I'm not sure I'm cut out for the nuances of modern-day relationships...
In other news, I'm busy, busy, busy, as I keep finding things to do. Now that the growing season is here, yard chores constantly beckon, so I'll have even less time for my fun computer hobbies. (:frowny face:) Plus, I've been trying to get organized around the house, because my severe case of "stuff-itis" is starting to stress me out. And at work, the projects keep piling up, so much so that I'm starting to identify strongly with one of my colleagues; she had accepted a position with more responsibility, and after being asked if she was starting to get caught up, she said with resignation, "I have the feeling I'll never be caught up on anything ever again." Sigh, again.
November 10, 2013
» older or wiser?
One of the 40 questions in the year-in-review meme asks whether you consider yourself older or wiser than in the previous year. As with pretty much every one of the questions, (I overthink everything and so) my answer flipflops between the two options. When my so-called ailments are acting up or I recognize that I'm reminiscing yet again about the so-called good old days, I definitely lean toward older.
Still, overall, I would answer "wiser"... I know, it surprised me, too! Sure, there are areas - oh, lots and lots of areas - where I just don't seem to get it. And, in my opinion, most people just don't seem to get me. Plus, lately I have Bad Brain Weeks (TM) with an alarming frequency. Despite all of that, I do think I've gained some proverbial ground, which I'm daring to call wisdom.
Arguably, the most important advance this year is having realized I finally feel as if I've found my voice. Since high school, one of my most frequent sources of frustration has been the perspective that no one is listening to me, so this is huge! A big part of my feeling heard has been being able to ponder, protest, and pour my heart out to my dear friend Michele, since waaaaay back in 2001. She not only listens but is also in many of the same boats I am, so her attentiveness is doubly appreciated.
I also attribute this feeling of finding my voice to all these years of running websites. Nothing fancy or earth-shattering. Simply writing my thoughts and making them available is, as writers know, cathartic. As I say on one site, "Even if no one reads every word, just knowing that they could makes me feel as if I've been heard." Adding to that, the bits of feedback I've received - mentions in books about the fandoms, comments from site visitors, repeatedly making it onto the first page of Google search results - have been invaluable. People *have* noticed my efforts. My words. Me!
I've even come to see that my family does listen to me, even if it's not always like I would prefer.
Another gain is that I have developed a strong sense of self. Actually, I've had that for several years now, basically accepting who I am. It's like in that saying, "First, we worry about what others think of us. Then, we don't care what they think of us. Finally, we discover they haven't been thinking of us at all." I am solidly - okay, usually - in the don't-care-what-they-think category. No, I don't aim to antagonize people by throwing our differences in their faces. (I remain one who hates to argue. I mean, what a pointless waste of time!) My default mode is to try to be a nice, likeable... albeit introverted... person because, sure, I would rather people like me.
Unfortunately, lately, I find myself around people who want to lift themselves up by putting others down. Surely you know the type: they heckle you by pointing out your quirks, or mock your mis-speaks in a desperate attempt to make themselves look smarter. I confess, I can be as quirky a person as you'll meet on any given day, and so a nitpicker-type will have no shortage of material to try to use against me. Ah, but my sense of self triumphs more and more: the disapproval of such a person means nothing to me. Which is good because it occurs to me that if you start changing to please them, they'll just find something else about you to hate on. And I equate their efforts to impose their own standards to the playground challenge of declaring that "last one there is a rotten egg!" When you're a kid, you play along with such dares, because heaven forbid you be labeled a rotten egg. But as an adult, you reject that. "Why? Because you say so? Whatever!" Not to mention that I'll now take my goofiness over their condescension any day of the week.
So, yay! I have one question answered. Thirty-nine to go. At this rate, it's good that I started early!
December 28, 2013
» a year in review - 2013
1. What did you do in 2013 that you'd never done before?
Sat in an interview as one of the interviewers, waited three years to wear a coat I bought, made crock-pot green bean casserole, discovered I get body aches when I chew sugar-free gum regularly, used a rebate credit card, wore a wrist brace at work, used reading glasses, made an online purchase on "cyber Monday," used the shuttle service during a car repair, had a bird poop in my coffee cup, and learned to use caution while walking under trees with an open coffee cup.
2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
For 2013, I wanted to make more nutritious food choices and walk more; I'd say I accomplished the first but could've done much better on the second.
For 2014, I want to continue to make nutritious food choices and read the Old Testament.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
4. Did anyone close to you die?
Yes. Loki, the last of the batch of kittens that I took over feeding when their mom disappeared. Wow, I loved that cat.
5. Where did you travel?
only to local cities that I've visited before
6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?
My biggest dream is still to own a home. If I can get closer to that in 2014, that would be awesome.
7. What date from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Perhaps Black Friday, because quite a few things happened, such as, I found #11, and the power button popped off of our TV.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I organized the Thanksgiving pot-luck lunch for my office, and I thought it turned out really well.
9. What was your biggest failure?
At work I made at least 3 *completely* boneheaded mistakes.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
My left eye eye began (and continues, sigh) to show strong signs of eye strain, making this the third time in a row that I'll end the year with a new "ailment."
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Captain America: The First Avenger. I'd been waiting for a good sale (because rare is the movie I like well enough to pay more than $10 for), and I found it for $6! (Needless to say that was a previously-viewed version, but it plays perfectly.)
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
the people at my church
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Let's just say that someone close to me made a decision that I disagreed with. Very much.
14. Where did most of your money go?
Well, it seemed as if I was always at the gas station. Gotta love commuting. :\
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
The fact that I *do* seem closer - close! - to getting my own home!
16. What song will always remind you of 2013?
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
Happier or sadder? Happier
Older or wiser? Wiser
Thinner or fatter? Maybe a little fatter
Richer or poorer? Richer, because - unlike in 2012 - I was employed for the whole year
18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
responded appropriately to situations I find myself in and to other people
19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
been annoyed at my family
20. Did your heart break?
Yes. See #4. :*(
21. How did you spend Christmas?
My mom, sister and I opened our gifts around nine, after I set up our two low-frills video cameras to capture the festivities. Again this year, the new camera had "low battery" issues, even with new batteries. Then, I made lunch, including crock-pot green bean casserole and our traditional Yum Yum Muffins. I took pictures of our opened gifts, then computered on two smallish projects. We ended the day with Mom and me watching the videotape of our 2012 Christmas while I recorded it to DVD, and (again this year) we enjoyed the cheese-tastic Babes in Toyland, 1986 version.
22. How will you spend New Year's Eve?
I'll be holding down the fort at work along with the 2 or 3 other people who are not on vacation. Later at home, the fam and I will probably watch some DVDs, and then ring the new year in as we typically do: sleeping.
23. What was your favorite TV program?
Thanks to DVDs, I'm enjoying getting reacquainted with that 80's classic, Square Pegs.
24. What were your greatest food discoveries?
I re-found the mega-delicious Lean Cuisine Butternut Squash frozen entrée that I used to get years ago.
25. What was the best book you read?
The New Testament (in the Bible, in case that's not clear)
26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Arguably, my favorite of the new songs I've heard this year is "Every Good Thing" by The Afters.
27. What did you want and get?
There were several biggies, with one of those being that my "mystery" side pain from 2011 continues to show much improvement.
28. What did you want and not get?
For my eye issues to clear up... although they are improving. I think. I hope!
29. What was your favorite film?
Films Seen This Year and Really Liked: Thor: The Dark World
Films Seen This Year and Liked: Argo, Iron Man 3
Films Seen This Year That Weren't Quite What I Expected: Red 2
30. What did you do on your birthday?
I took off of work. I started the day "computering" on a few small projects. I ate my favorite lunch, watched some of my favorite music videos, and listened to some of my favorite songs. I made a fruitless attempt at shopping; fortunately I'd already purchased some things in the weeks before. I downloaded a song that I had forgotten how much I liked. I tried a few artsy shots with the camera, although the end results did not work for what I had in mind.
31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
if I had heard "thank you" more at work
32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?
I made one change to my look: I decided to grow my hair out a bit, because I still don't recognize myself in pictures with shorter hair. As far as clothes go, basically the same as last year: casual, with many days of wearing jeans and "girly" tops when the weather's warm. :)
33. What kept you sane?
Faith - and the music of WAY-FM to remind me of what matters
34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I remain enamored with (the character) Loki, from The Avengers and the Thor movie series.
Runner-up: Steven Weber's character on the TV show Wings, because I can't look at him without being reminded of Loki...albeit a smarmy and much less violent version.
Third Place: Bruce Davison's character on the TV show Hunter also caught my eye.
35. What political issue stirred you the most?
Obamacare. While I concur that changes to the healthcare system were/are in order, THIS is so(!) not(!) what was needed - and I think its disastrous rollout proves that.
36. Who did you miss?
our sweet kitties, Loki and Thora
37. Who was the best new person you met?
Bonnie, the hairstylist who gives me the kind of cut I need, while including the features I want
38. What changed the most in your life this year?
I found out that I'm related to my best friend from third grade! Her grandfather and my great-grandfather were brothers.
39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.
I don't have to keep a lot of material things in order to hold on to the memories.
40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
"This is the stuff that gets under my skin, but I've gotta trust You know exactly what You're doing. Might not be what I would choose, but this the stuff You use." ~ "This Is The Stuff" by Francesca Battistelli
N A V I G A T E
F O O T · N O T E D
- These opinions are snapshots of my experiences and feelings at specific points in time. Please don't extend these glimpses to draw negative conclusions about who I am today, or - even worse - exit angry, never to return. Before you become offended, unfriend me, try to sue, etc. please, use the contact link below and let's start a discussion.
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