Sunday, March 25, 2007

A disturbance in the force

You ever feel like there's something out there on your periphery, like the way the sky gets very dark and twirly before a tornado? Granted I'm a nut, so I probably get this much more than necessary. But the clouds have been gathering.

In any case, I chatted with an old friend today and while catching up somehow the evil-ex came up in conversation. We were talking about doing game night and about the card game Phase 10. I mentioned how I learned to be cut-throat at that due to the friend, the evil-ex and his brothers.

Oh, says the friend, I am working with him now .... blah blah blah.

Whoa. Back up the boat. Put out the anchor. Hell, call the coast guard!

What do you mean, I stammer. He's in Portland, right.

Uh, he says, [evil-ex] moved back in Colorado.

Ack, I screech. You were supposed to warn me so I don't have a heart attack accidentally bumping into him at Costco or something.

I thought you knew, says friend. But don't worry. He lives in the south side of town.

Still there's a much better chance I could bump into him in the same city, then if he was still in Portland. Dammit, Colorado is my state. I was *born* here.

Yes, I have moved on. I am happily married. But quite honestly I would like to just completely forget he existed. A blip in the continuum. No it doesn't really bother me, except that it's 1:30 in the morning and I'm here complaining about it.

Argh.

Monday, March 19, 2007

You say it's your birthday?

It's my birthday too!

I think I may have reached that point in my life where you start to use birthdays as mile markers -- something to re-access your life. I'm 37 (and still think I'm somewhere in my 20s). Wow, time flies!

But when I really sit back and think about it, there isn't too much I'm behind on. I'd like to have kids and that opportunity is diminishing. I did think I would have done that by now.

Other than that, the cool thing about my birthday is it's the last day of Winter. Around here Spring has been hanging about for a week or two. Lots of crocus and other bulbs are popping up. I have the urge to stick my hands in the dirt and plant stuff.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Furry Scurry time!

The Flounder-Pounder pup and I will be doing our annual Furry Scurry to raise funds for the Denver Dumb Friends League. We're part of friend Pam's ManiaTV team.

Support us by donating -- here's our link.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Friday, March 09, 2007

Obsessed? No, not me.

When I get a hobby, it's not a small thing. I have to go all out. I've always been this way. As a kid, I carefully cataloged all my stamps. I set up a library system for all my books. I got my first penpal when I was 10 years old, and by high school I had 60 of them.

As an adult, I became a fan of the TV show Northern Exposure. I collected plenty of NoEx things including actual items from the show. When I did a web site tribute, I didn't just do a single page or two. I went hog wild (moose wild?).

The hubby bought me an MP3 player a couple of years ago. I heard a song I liked on Grey's Anatomy. I looked it up, downloaded it from Napster. Then I decided that ALL the music on Grey's is pretty cool so spent an afternoon downloading all the songs from seasons one and two. (I'm behind in the current season, but not for long, for sure).

Another hobby gets me off the computer and lets me be a little more creative. I make cards and things with stamps. Because I've spent so much time (and money) with it, I recently became a Stampin Up demonstrator. Although this may have made this worse. I can buy a lot more now!

One of my latest obsession is books. Part of it stemmed from dismanteling and moving my floor to ceiling bookshelves from one room to another. I started to realize how many books I have and how many I haven't read. I have to hold myself back at the 3-for-2 Borders table or at Costco. Even looking at amazon.com the other day, I had to refrain from ordering used books from my amazon wish list.

A couple of years ago, I joined Bookcrossing.com. I had heard something about it somewhere and thought, what a cool idea. You register your books and pass them on when they're read. It's a little tough to let some go (and they have a Permanent Collection section). I've released and caught several books so far. But now I've been into "controlled releases" where I'm handing off the book to someone I know will read it. The idea is that people will journal the travels of the book as they get it. You don't have to be a member to journal. I'd love to know where they go.

I've discovered a couple of companion sites to bookcrossing. The first is RABCK.com. That stands for Random Act of Bookcrossing Kindness. Basically you sign up on the site, enter a few key things (like your mailing address and book type preferences). So it's not completely random in the sense of the word, but you can search through the database, find someone who has a reading preference for a book you're releasing and send it to them in the mail.

Related to this one, another Bookcrosser set up a place for you to list your books wish list. So if you're on RABCK, someone can look at your wish list and maybe surprise send you one of those books.

Bookcrossing has many places to join up fellow readers. I've been signing up for bookrings and bookrays. Basically a ring is where you set up a group of people who want to read a particular book. The first person reads and sends it to the second, etc. until the last person who then sends it back to the first person (who started it). It's way to see your book travel and a bit more controlled (since other members are BC members, greater chance they'll journal it and pass it on).

The last related site is paperbackswap.com -- which pretty much explains itself. You get credits for uploading your list and for each book that reaches its destination. Again -- more of a controlled release because the recipient is looking for that exact title. Kind of another cool way to swap your books.

Now if I could just get obsessed with spring cleaning ...

Currently reading: "Alphabet Weekends" - Elizabeth Noble

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Inconceivable!

Vizzini

Which Princess Bride Character are You?
this quiz was made by mysti

I'll take your heathen dollars!

From the MIL into my email in-box:

<< Isn't that un-constitutional???FYI Subject: Do not accecept them-
U.S. Government to Release New Dollar Coins

You guessed it'IN GOD WE TRUST'IS GONE!!!
Who originally put 'In God We Trust' onto our currency?
My bet is that it was one of the Presidents on these coins.
All our U.S. Government has done is Dishonor them, and disgust me!!!
If ever there was a reason to boycott something, THIS IS IT!!!!
DO NOT ACCEPT THE NEW DOLLAR COINS AS CHANGE
Together we can force them out of circulation. Please send to all on you mail list !!! >>

Can I tell you how much I hate these emails? In any case, the amusing thing is some moron started it (and I'm not sure about those who keep passing it on). I've been trying to teach those who send me these things to do a little research first.

For example, by simply going to the US Mint's page, you can see that indeed "In God We Trust" is on the coin, around the edge, along with E Pluribus Unum. (Strangely, I didn't get the email from those freaked out by that missing.)

And further research indicates that yes, in fact about 50,000 new US dollar coins were accidentally put into circulation missing the text In God We Trust (and E Pluribus Unum). The first one went on ebay for about $600 but the rest will probably settle around $40 - $60 each (since there are many).

So yes, please send me your heathen coins. I'll take them off your hands. (And please learn spell-check!)

Monday, March 05, 2007

Dog wrangling

Last Thursday night, my neighbor Bridget and I arrived home from Jazzercise to see a sweet mini collie in our cul-du-sac. It was a cold night with a colder wind. I checked his tag. His name was Max and he was about 5 miles from his home -- over several busy roads and a highway. I picked him up and put him in my husband's car then went inside to google the address. I tried calling the number several times but it went directly to voice mail.

When I came back out of the house, I noticed a second dog in the shadows, a chow mix. He wouldn't come to me but seemed a little concerned I had his buddy in the car. I went back in for some puppy biscuits to entice him. But when I came out, he had disappeared.

So as I was driving my buddy Max, the sweetest little guy, back to his house, I wondered if the address was correct. Still no one answered at the number (my guess is dial-up internet) so figured I'll do something else if I get there and that's not his address. The distance over the highway and the road seemed a bit odd for this little guy.

I got to the address and most of the lights were off but I saw a shadow behind the door window and rang the bell. A teenaged boy answered the door. I had Max in my arms. "Is this a buddy of yours?," I asked. He looked preplexed and said yes. So I set Max down. I asked if he had a second pup, a chow mix and he again said yes. I told him where I lived and that I wasn't able to catch the second one (named Rusty).

His mother came down the stairs and he didn't say anything so I said, I found your Max wandering around my neighborhood and wow, he went far. She laughed. Ends up her daughter lives in my neighborhood and had both Max and Rusty. I said, oops! Do you want me to take him back? And she laughed and said no, she'd make her come get the pup. But thanked me for bringing him home.

Bottom line - make sure your dog's tags are current. At least this was one of Max's homes. It would have been worse if the whole family had moved. I would have had no way to find his home. But I always will pick up a wayward pup -- I would hope if mine ever wandered away, someone would do the same.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Self-help books

I belong to a book club. The primary purpose of this really has not been to delve deeply into books, but more of a gathering of friends once a month with the excuse of reading a book. However I usually enjoy reading said book and the bit of discussion we do have about it. However, sometimes we venture into the non-fiction world. March's pick is a self-help book.

Uhg.

I hate self-help books -- except the ones that I buy specifically for me and my problems/issues/questions. For example: I suffer from PCOS (and the inability to get pregnant) so I have recently added a couple of PCOS treatment/diet books to help me treat this and all its underlying issues. But this is a specific need for my own self. I wouldn't pick it for a group of people to read and discuss. I wouldn't assume that this applies to everyone else.

Our book club's March's selection is a bit broader -- "Law of Attraction: The Science of Attracting More of What You Want and Less of What You Don't Want". But again, what if I am not looking for this? I guess I don't believe a book, especially a 142 page paperback, is going to change my life: make me skinnier, wealthier, healthier and pregnant. I believe that while life is a journey, it's also a job. Just by believing something (or sending out positive energy) is not going to make it happen. You also have to take steps to make what you want happen. I have to eat right to be better fit. I have to treat my disorder to be healthier. I have to exercise for both. I have to work to earn money and be wise about how I spend it, in order to be better off financially.

I know that even with hard work -- life happens. Shit happens. Bliss happens. Whether that is luck, serendipity or simply laws of the universe, it's going to happen no matter what. This is why these books drive me bonkers.

The friend who has picked it is looking for enlightenment. She is sincere in sharing this. So this I'll accept. I'll begrudingly give her book a chance, and longingly look at the huge stack of fiction and chick-lit waiting for me to read. I guess I get enough real life every day. I like to read fiction. It's an escape from your life, not a dissection.

The original book picked was "The Secret." But I have figured out what the secret is: it's how to get you to spend money for possible enlightenment (more of "lighten the wallet"). The book ($23.95) is a companion piece to the movie DVD ($29.95) and I am sure there are t-shirts, coasters, mugs and more.

Both the Secret and Law of Attraction are non-fiction bestsellers. Perhaps this is a trend that Americans are searching for something more. Seems like we could actually do well with less: less on our schedules, less food, less objects for our lives and our homes. Why are people always looking for how to be happy with their lives? Why not just try it? Just enjoy what you have. Work for what you want. Be in the moment. Just knock it off and be happy, dammit!

Hey – I think I have a new bestselling self-help book there. I'll call Oprah.