Saturday, February 28, 2004

oh, my achin' synapses...

Ugh. I have a lot on my mind since hubby and I had a heart-to-heart about where I am going with my career. I know I definitely want to leave PR behind. It truly does not match my personality, even though it did give me an opportunity to write for a living to a certain extent.

But hubby has reservations about the master's in clinical social work. I am primarily earning that degree to be a therapist. Now, if I had opted to get a PhD (debt Piled Higher and Deeper), I would be more likely to go straight into a therapist's type of job, but the road from social work degree to outpatient therapist is not so clear cut. There are a variety of hoops to go through, crappy jobs to earn your stripes, licenses to earn and a horrible salary to draw. At nearly 40, working the lower levels of the salt mine can be pretty painful. He wonders if it will be worth it. I can't answer that question. What he did express is that he feels I should follow my art more fully. I think he believes there's something special there.

This coming fall, I will have to work a social work field placement, my full-time PR job, take classes and try not to lose touch with my art. I don't know how I am going to do this. Money is too tight to go part-time unless I clean out my retirement funds and pay off a bunch of stuff. Even then it would be pretty tough.

I have been thinking through many different scenarios, all of which are giving me a terrible headache. It's important to me to fulfill a destiny, to follow my heart and to perform the tasks I was meant to do here on this dusty little rock.

Well, thank God I compiled an obscene stash of knitting yarn while finances were fluffier. At my stitch per second rate, I've got enough yarn to keep me busy until I retire. Hey, you gotta look at the bright side. ;-)

Friday, February 27, 2004

just another INFP blabbering...

Yesterday, hubby and I visited the East Tennessee Historical Museum to view the 9-11 exhibit on display there. It was definitely strange to touch twisted steel from the Twin Towers and view pieces of the planes that crashed into them. It deeply affected me. There's not much more to say about that. I was really speechless afterward.

Wednesday night's class was interesting. We were given back our Myers-Briggs analysis and I, once again, was a strong INFP. We also had a union organizer as a guest speaker. This was particularly interesting to me. Having worked most of my time in corporate offices, "union" has always been a nasty word, although privately I never really thought so. I keep a lot of things to myself at work. It is a very conservative, company-line chattering type of atmosphere (reason number 349,202...).

Anyway, my BA in Advertising, the first round of my college education, was all about getting the sale, however creatively. The mindset was more of what is taught in the business school: executing a plan, making it work and getting a big payoff. Going back to school to get a master's in social work was a rude (and good) awakening from that "must win" mentality. It was also a reality check about how we stereotype one another. The "bleeding hearts" versus the "heartless businessperson." Neither is correct most of the time, but even our educators teach us to take these adversarial positions. I wish I could "split screen" two classrooms--one in the business school and one in the college of social work. The effect would be just phenomenally bizarre.

Having been educated in one arena (the heartless moneygrubbers) and then the other (the bleeding hearts who just don't understand the way of the world) has provided to me a really unique view into how we all (don't) work together. It's not that anyone is all right or all wrong, it's just that we are constantly fighting each other to get something better than what exists now. Half the time the fight is just a misperception of who and what we are. The older I get, the more bizarre I view human behavior in general. You would think by now we would know how to be human. We are the most troublesome species on the planet.

With that said, it should be a beautiful weekend and I have plenty to do: preparing an exam, finishing a hat for a client, working on my Kansas City Doll (finally). Time's a wastin'. Gosh, I'll never finish knitting anything, but right now that's way down on the list.

Sorry such a long post, I just had to get that out. Toodles and hugs to you all!!!

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

What'd Y'all Get?

87% (Dixie). Did you have any Confederate ancestors?
I just love this little Yankee/Dixie quiz. I reckon' my score's about right.

Thank God above I am among the living today. I haven't had a stomach virus like that since I was a kid! Awful!! Avoid all germ-carriers with fervor or suffer dire consequences! Wash thy hands! Commit all unclean brethren to the hinterlands!

The silver lining is that my pants are loose today. Hope Y'ALL have a nice day!

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

moan, groan, complain...

Two words: stomach virus.
Two more words: Since Saturday.
Even two more: Still miserable.
Will return when I can stand up straight again.

Friday, February 20, 2004


Our laundry room these days is inaccessible to the kitties, but we used to live in an apartment where the washer and dryer were adjacent to the dining room. When we took hot laundry out of the dryer and plopped it on the table to be folded, it wouldn't be long before some little furkids of ours found the warm fluffy mountain and laid claim. I gave up having non-hair-covered clothes long ago. Atticus is the orange kitty hiding his eyes; Baxter is the white kitty, who is nearly 20 pounds in this picture; Rooney, our Manx kitty, is hiding the back. Grayson apparently hadn't found this luxurious feline spa at the time of snapping this shot.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

top of the food chain...

When stories like this pop up, I sit there dumbfounded. While millions of people ponder whether or not what he said was appropriate and whether or not he's a jerk and whether or not the allegations are true, I am INCREDULOUS that IT EVER HAPPENS ANYWHERE. EVER. I am reminded that the human race can be as FOUL and undeserving as can be imagined. Our culture is disturbingly accepting of sexual violence and coercion. Just a reminder of how ridiculous the problem is when it comes to sexual assault:

National Statistics:

  • 1,871 adult women are raped every day.
    Rape in America: A Report to the Nation. Kilpatrick, Edmunds, and Seymour; National Victim Center, 1992.
  • 78% of rapes are committed by someone the victim knows: an acquaintance; a spouse or intimate partner; or other relative. 22% of perpetrators are strangers to the victim.
    Rape in America: A Report to the Nation. Kilpatrick, Edmunds, and Seymour; National Victim Center, 1992.
  • It is estimated that only 16% of rape offenses are ever reported to law enforcement and 98% of rape victims never see their attacker arrested, tried, or imprisoned.
    The Response to Rape: Detours on the Road to Equal Justice. Senate Judiciary Committee, May 1993.
  • A convicted rapist is 50% more likely to receive probation (not go to jail) than a convicted robber. 50% of all convicted rapists serve an average of a year or less behind bars.
    The Response to Rape: Detours on the Road to Equal Justice. Senate Judiciary Committee, May 1993.

    Even if the statistics are way off, they would still be unbelievable. It's almost statistically impossible to NOT know someone who has been assaulted. I am reminded of the statistics everytime I am in a public place alone; especially after dark--every woman is.

  • party at the RTB...

    Les Jones is hosting the RTB Tailgate party...check it out.

    but, can't I be Snoopy?

    You are Schroeder!

    Which Peanuts Character are You?
    brought to you by Quizilla

    Shamelessly stolen from new visitor and super-cutie-pie Beagle owner At the Green Frog.

    Wednesday, February 18, 2004

    Iman! Iman! Donde esta Iman?

    And that's what I remember from taking six years of Spanish in school. Pepito was looking for his dog, Iman. That line is ingrained in my mind forever. I even named a parakeet after Pepito in high school. If I'm lucky enough to make it to slobbering-old-cootdom, I'm sure that's what I'll be screaming as I run down the halls of the nursing home.

    So, I put my pups on Dogster last night because basically I have no life. But it's still cute and it's still fun. Look on the menu bar on the left for the Dogster logo you'll see links to Sadie and Pickles. Pickles already got a request for a doggie friend. (Man, I've really lost it.)

    Here's a nice quote I found worth sharing:

    Mankind's true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies hidden from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals.
    -Milan Kundera

    Tuesday, February 17, 2004

    ah, shaddup!

    My stomach has been talking to me all day. I don't think gastrointestinal pieces and parts should talk to one another. They shouldn't be in one another's business, and if they are, I don't want to know about it. Guts have no manners. The large colon has been sending Bronx cheers to the small intestine most of the afternoon, who, in turn, has responded like Mrs. Cravitz in spreading the gossip throughout the entire GI system. Nosey bitch. The sphincter community is all worried and has instituted a neighborhood watch for these inconsiderate jerks. The police are stuck way up in the pancreas eating doughnuts to convert into insulin, so they are no help. It's societal dysfunction at its worst.

    In other news, P*ris H*lton is putting together an know, of music, uh, where she sings and stuff. Pass the cocktail forks darling, I'm going to poke my eyes out.

    Speaking of poking my eyes month I will have worked for my company for 15 years. Count 'em...FIFTEEN. Gah, that's sick! This ain't the 50's, dude. Move on!

    This is going to be a big year of change for me; some of which I can't blog about just yet-but would like to! Like Peter Brady says, "It's time for a cha-a-a-nge." I want to get going. Now. I'm tired of feeling impatient. *furrows brows, sports quizzical look*

    time's up...

    Doggone it. I think I hail from the Land of the Not-Being-In-the-Moment.

    1. What do I think about on Monday? Friday.
    2. What do I think about while I'm eating the main meal? Dessert.
    3. What do I think about while I'm eating breakfast? Lunch.
    4. What do I think about while I'm eating lunch? Dinner.
    5. What do I think about while I'm eating a rich dessert? Going on a diet.
    6. What do I think about while I'm knitting and watching TV? Exercise.
    7. What do I think about while I'm knitting something? Knitting the other project I started.
    8. What do I think about after I put my shoes on? Being barefoot.
    9. What do I think about while at work during the day? 5:30 p.m. (when I go home)
    10. What do I think about while I'm petting one dog*? That the other dog* isn't getting petted.
    11. *insert "cat"
    12. What do I think about after I wake up? Going back to sleep.
    13. What do I think about while I'm trying to go to sleep? Staying up later.
    14. What do I think about while I'm working? Blogging.
    15. What do I think about while I'm blogging? Working.
    Sheesh. Maybe I need to rustle up my Zinn book Wherever You Go, There You Are.

    Monday, February 16, 2004

    if it hadn't been for those meddling kids...

    Well it looks like Shag and the crew abandoned the van for good. On the way back from the cabin I finally decided to take a picture of the old Mystery Machine. This van has been on the side of the road for years near the Ocoee River, site of the 1996 Olympics white water rafting event.
    I have no idea why it's there, but it gives me a good chuckle everytime I see it. If it hadn't been so muddy I would have taken a photo of the other side which is in better shape. We also pass The Purple Bus on this same road. It's a big bus painted bright purple and it serves as a jewelry and bead store. There are twinkling lights inside and, I'm sure, one terribly eclectic person. Maybe next time I'll talk hubby into stopping.

    Sunday, February 15, 2004


    Just what I needed--a weekend away. Hubby and I got away to a relative's cabin in the Chattahoochie National Forest for the weekend. Quiet. Time to talk. Time to laugh, build a fire and relax. It was really the best Valentine's Day of my life. We were able to relocate the peace within us.

    We saw quite a bit of wildlife including a bobcat and more than 40 deer. We think we saw a coyote crossing the road, but we couldn't catch up to it to see for sure.

    I swatched and started Banff from Knitty while there and knitting by the fire was soooooo relaxing. I hope everyone else got to have a weekend just as nice.

    Wednesday, February 11, 2004

    han yammer...

    ::::censored for your protection::::: The post got so negative that I censored myself! Bah! Man, I've GOT to bounce back from this! Sorry about all the negativity, y'all.

    So, I'm done yammering for the week. I'll be back next week, having morphed into something better or worse than what I am now. Ciao!

    Have a wonderful Valentine's Day everyone!


    Even though I'm a vegetarian, I get really frustrated with PETA. I really think they do more harm than good for the vegetarian "movement." First of all, they pick the poster-child for no-class-surgically-altered-bimbos as one of their main spokespersons. I ain't namin' names, I'm just sayin' it helps to pick credible people to speak for you. I also don't like their sensationalistic tactics, which usually involve the act-now-and-think-later train of thought. I don't think they are radical, but I do think they are reckless. A message imbued with passion is a powerful thing, but a message levied as an attack lessens credibility in my eyes. I don't think they understand the fine line between the two.

    Back when I was taking undergraduate classes in psychology I actually had a multiple-choice question about PETA. One of the answers was something like "PETA is a useless organization filled with crackpots..." Of course, I didn't pick that one, but when I got my test back that was the right answer. There should have been an extra choice that read "and the professor is an opinionated asshole," but really that incident demonstrates my point. That's the kind of reaction PETA inspires. I wish they would be more Schweitzer-esque in their strategy. I think it would improve their results.

    I'm not saying they don't do good work to help animals in abusive situations, etc., I'm just saying their communication style could be more effective and credible.

    Sheesh, you're wondering, what crawled up her arse? This morning I heard on the radio that PETA had attacked the Atkins diet because of the good doctor's condition at death. Even though I don't think anyone had all the facts on that yet, they started yammering anyway. Bah. Note to self: Get clawhammer to get panties out of a wad.

    Tuesday, February 10, 2004

    Mama, intarsia made fun of me!

    Gosh, I don't know what to do, I have a finished knitting project. Although I am far too lazy to knit intarsia, I muddled through it anyway. I'll probably redo the intarsia part again because I learned my lesson about cheating with intarsia. Bah, I hate intarsia. Pattern from Mags Kandis Simple pattern book.

    In other news, we went out to dinner last night for the mother-in-law's birthday. It was pretty uneventful, but nice I guess. Everyone seemed to be in a pretty good mood. My one niece ate everything except the table and the other refused to eat at all and talked the entire time about how great she was. Reading Dooce yesterday almost made me doubt my decision to not have kids, but then,

    The worst part about not having kids is the jealousy you create in others who do have kids. "Must be nice to have time to do that..." "Just think if you had kids, you'd..." "Well, you don't have kids, so..." Then there's the people who tell you outright you are selfish for not having kids. Yes, I've been told that point blank. My older niece is always asking me why I don't have kids...wonder who put her up to that? I like kids just fine but not having them was just the best thing for us. It was a painful decision that took a couple of years to get clear on and now that I'm 39, I don't think I'll back out now. I have isolated moments of regret (like when I read Dooce's entry), but I know I will have to deal with those from time to time. So, don't lash out at your childless counterparts--it does hurt.

    Sunday, February 08, 2004

    Well, ok...

    You are Merino Wool.
    You are Merino Wool.
    You are very easygoing and sweet. People like to
    keep you close because you are so softhearted.
    You love to be comfortable and warm from your
    head to your toes.

    What kind of yarn are you?
    brought to you by Quizilla

    suck this...

    I mean, I got a new vacuum cleaner. The other one had a variety of problems and with four cats and two dogs, 2 1/2 weeks of no vacuum means certain death from "fur-lung." We were dying. So, this new "turbo" bagless would probably shred a small poodle like a food processor. I am afraid of it. It doesn't get hung on the throw-rug fringe and make an awful burning smell like the old one, it rips the fringe out and afterward laughs like Linda Blair in the Exorcist. It likes to dismember things. The cats scattered like a surprise sneeze when I revved up the 12 amp motor. Poof! They know evil when they see it.

    We finally went out to see Big Fish, so here's my review. You're either going to love it and cry your eyes out, or you are not going to get it and be bored. It's not a typical Tim Burton movie, although there are plenty of fantasy elements to the story. If you get it, you'll love it. I thought it was really touching in a way I would not forget anytime soon. It's been a long time since my heart hurt that bad during a movie. But, I can't really say that it was a sad movie. If you haven't seen it, you should. If you don't like it, well come on over and I'll show you my vacuum cleaner...

    Holy shate. I might actually finish something in the giant UFO stash. I started this cute little duffle bag by Mags Kandis more than a year ago and, as is tradition in my house, let it languish--er, I mean "season"--in a project bag for at least a year. So, I'm really close to finishing it. And I now I'm pretty sure I hate intarsia. In fact I cheated and you can tell. For some reason I don't care and I can't figure out why. Usually I'm kind of anal about visible mistakes. Even worse, I got so cocky I finished out the intarsia hearts how I saw fit, completely ignoring the chart and doing it by sight. Eh, who cares. I'm a freak, what do you expect?

    I guess I need to be putting up some Ebay items since I bought a new vacuum cleaner. Can't have more going out than coming in you know!

    I don't know if you've noticed, but I did find a cheap photoblog and there's a link to it right under my 100 things link if you are so inclined. It ain't no gallery of fine images, but mostly a record of projects, ideas, pets, friends and family, etc.

    Later, taters. Hope you've all had a great weekend and that you're "fine as frog's hair," as one local used to say to me. Gawd, I love the South.

    Friday, February 06, 2004

    Gah, first the giant ball, now...

    Dammit K-town, can't we be in the news for something more interesting than giant balls and conservative cow-poke law? Wah. Pass the grits, me thinks I seen a boob!

    so I'm a lemming...

    Looks like I have been neglecting my northern neighbors...states I've visited are in red.

    create your own visited states map
    or write about it on the open travel guide
    Well, everyone else was doing it...

    happy baby!

    And in a HAPPY post that deserves its own spot, the Dooce-meister has had a healthy baby girl. Congratulations to mom and beautiful baby!

    no more...

    My heart is heavy for the family of Carl*e Bruc*a. Every time something like this happens I watch the headline fill the top slot of the breaking news...and slowly throughout the day or week, it drops down through the list, becomes old news and then the grieving is left in the family's lap while we all go on about our business. It's not possible to really understand the "why." They will walk around with gaping holes in their hearts that will not heal. But, eventually they will learn to live with the hole and from time to time will be able to touch it and remember what it was like before it was ripped away.

    Why, indeed.

    Thursday, February 05, 2004

    not so bad...

    The test wasn't so bad. I didn't even need happy juice. The best thing is there's no cancer cells or deteriorating bladder lining...which makes me wonder why the hell I just went through all that, but I shall not look a gift horse in the mouth. I'm due back in a couple of months for monitoring. And that's that.

    Hell, I might even be in a good mood tomorrow for a change. Thanks for the happy thoughts. I'm counting my lucky stars and being thankful.

    remember, killing people is against the law...

    Class was short and sweet last night, but afterward was a rekindling of the last-nerve-abrasion-syndrome I seem to have lately.

    On the way home, I stopped to get one of two expensive meds I have to take. My insurance company that is owned by the company I work for, has raised the Rx cost to include a $100 deductible at the beginning of the year and now only pays 60 percent of brand-name drugs. Well, lucky me, both drugs I have to take every freakin' day do not have a generic equivalent. So I pull up to the window, having paid my deductible, and ask for my script. "That will be $75." Instant headache. The moment money is tightest for us is the moment everything everywhere has doubled. Arrgggghhhh.

    I got home, having cussed my insurance company the whole way, and hubby is not there, but there is a message on the machine. "I'm at the emergency room in room X." He had fallen and seriously bruised his ribs and nearly broke his wrist. Oh my God. Let me also throw in that I am at the very peak of PMS.

    So, I got right back in my car, talking to myself the whole way like someone who has escaped the bowels of a turn-of-the-century institution and made my way to the hospital. Yup, there he was, white-faced and couldn't move without releasing a gutteral groan. I said half-jokingly, "I don't know whether to poke your eyes out or hug you." Dear gawd. The nurse brought his anti-imflammatory and pain-killer scripts and we proceed to check-out, where we pay our $100 co-pay. I go BACK to the drugstore, fill his scripts and throw him in a bath of epsom salts when I get home.

    Heavens-to-mergatroids. I think I am going to ask for that happy shot when I get my cystoscopy done this afternoon. I need to be knocked out for an hour or two.

    Wednesday, February 04, 2004

    just call me "Gardyloo"...

    Look out, because I'm in one hell of a mood today...again. Gah, enough with the bad moods already! Very bad night of sleep. Oh well, I'll get over it. Tonight is filled up with social work class and maybe a few rows of poor little Kyoto. Hell, it keeps me out of trouble I guess.

    I added some links to some of the information in my "100 Things" list. I also decided my list should grow with even more absolutely worthless information. Being the curmudgeon I am, I had to be different; thus, the "Addendumb." Get it?

    Tomorrow, the cystoscopy. No big deal. Just get it over with so I can go about my business!!! I have things to do, wool to felt and strange little figures to make for crying out loud!!!

    Today's conundrum: I want a photoblog that's easy and free. I don't want to install MT. I have a limited number of brain cells and I have to protect them all. I want something easy like Typepad, but I don't want to pay for it, or at least not pay over $15 for a whole year. It seems I can get either "easy" or "free," but not both at the same time. Why? Why?!! WHY!!!???

    Tuesday, February 03, 2004

    confessions of a naughty knitter...

    I had to rip Kyoto down to an inch of work. Yes, I had to rip the easiest pattern available in the modern world. Somehow, I didn't pay attention to, oh, say, at least three spots in the seed stitch sash section. Seed stitch needs to be perfect. Because I like seed stitch--it's like Stockinette with a perfectly proportioned rash. Ew. Well, I like it anyway. But I do not like bobbles. I don't know why but I think they're sissy. I just don't like 'em. [Update:The truth is I'm too "big-boned" to look good in extra yardage piled up in little wads. Bobbles are for skinny people...damn them.]

    Anyway, lessons learned the hard way:

  • Do not knit anything more than Stockinette Stitch with anything more than a buzz.
  • Do not knit while sick--period. It's going to look just how you feel.
  • You may knit while angry, but check your work twice as often.
  • Knit more slowly while gossiping, er...discussing current events.
  • Do not knit while on the toilet. It's just not right. Really.

    Oh, and I added one of those ridiculous "100 Things" list. Gah, I'm such a follower.

  • Well, uh, that was fun...

    I had my intravenous pyelogram yesterday. The test wasn't all that bad, but I really had a hard time with the prep stuff. You know, the blast-your-guts-out saline solution gunk. I've had to take it before to prep for surgery, but for some reason, it made me really ill with nausea this time, not to mention it didn't start working until it was time to go to bed. I was up all night either so nauseated I couldn't sleep or presiding over the World of Musical Stink on my shiny white throne.

    And all of that would have been okay...

    except for the fact that when you take that stuff that makes you go, go, go, there's nothing to make it stop, stop, stop...until you are just empty. Apparently, I'm quite full of shit, which I admit I have been told before. I think the anxiety of exploding during the test was worse than the test. The only bad part of the actual test was trouble with the IV insertion. Apparently my veins decided to go AWOL. I've had IVs before and these (it tooks tries on both hands) were by far the most painful. Usually I don't flinch at needles. I was probably too dehydrated or something. I still feel crappy today from having my electrolytes sizzled and rearranged.

    Janet Jackson's boob? Whatever. She has an album coming up. What a coincidence. Oh, the scandal. I couldn't care less. I thought it was a classless fiasco, but hey, it worked...she is the talk of the music industry this week.

    The only show I make sure I get to see? My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance. Oh yes. Randi is being such a good sport, but her family is the most self-centered bunch of people I've ever seen. Even though it's a joke, their only concern is how they feel about her "fiance." Can you say "enmeshed?" Boundaries are good things people--she's a grown-up. Now, his family? Too entertaining in such a bad, bad way. It's going to be a culture clash extraordinare next week.

    I dropped a bunch of stitches on Kyoto and have to rip three rows of seed stitch. Bugger. That's what I get for knitting on the toilet. No more dehydrated knitting.


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