Thursday, October 28, 2010

Sountrack's for Life

As previously mentioned, there has been a lot of negativity at work. It was particularly bad this morning and I started brainstorming some "cheer me up" songs. I am not just looking for up beat/positive songs, I am looking for songs that remind you that life is not all bad and you need to move forward. Here is what I came up with so far:

"If you ever stopped loving me", featuring the line "Thats alright, I'm OK, it ain't nothing but another day," in its chorus
"It's a Great Day to be alive", featuring the chorus "It's a great day to be alive, I know the sun's still shining when I close my eyes, been some hard times in the neighborhood but I wish everyday could be just this good".
"Bad Day" - which just has the right feel despite the fact I can't find the lyrics that make it work

I have mental song lists for other things as well. For awhile I really wanted to make a "driving" sound track, for all the songs that make me feel cool when I drive the 300C (which I get to drive this week BTW because we had a battery issue with it and don't want it to stall in DH's garage again if it turns out to be the alternator because there is no way a tow truck could get in there if need be). That list included "Supermassive Black Hole" and "Meet me on the Equinox" from the Twilight Saga Soundtracks, "Diamond" from the Snatch Sound track, and "Spybreak!" from the lobby scene in The Matrix. However, I have not come up with 8-10 more songs to add to make it a full mixed CD.

So. Any recommendations for either of these playlists? I know I don't have many readers, but would be happy for more ideas if anyone out there has any?

I think creating your own "soundstracks" for life is great. Our senior year of high school we made a 3-disk high school soundtrack. I unfortunately lost the CDs, but I still enjoy the music from them and it is really reminiscent of those years of my life. I also made a soundtrack of songs my family likes. It was called "Volume 1", I think it could be about time to make Volume II. I also think we should have a Christmas Volume. I would also like to make an "Truman Sound track" for my undergraduate years, though I have not made a list for it. The problem with all of this is that I don't have great access to getting the songs I want for these CDs or a good set up/computer to do it on. I have had problems with many of our CD burners. I have not tried the newest laptop, so maybe its better, but alas. My father has an awesome set up for making CDs. I always intend to make some CDs when I go home, but I never have the time (when I am there I would rather spend my time doing other things, like shopping with my Mom or playing board games with family, or cooking, or visiting high school friends, etc). Alas. Alas alas alas.

Oh well :-)

Please comment and help me add to my song lists.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Two Themes

They have honest-to-god real snow and slush in Duluth today! I am so jealous!! I am burning up here today, its probably 75 degrees outside and feels a gajillion degrees in the building. But, the weird part is, my little sister got the day off school. This is so odd to me! I feel like an old geezer, but I can't help but say that when I was young it took more than a little snow and slush to cancel school!! It took ice coating EVERYTHING, or very rapid snow accumulation, or extremely cold weather (like 20 below w/windchill of 50 below). I know, this is totally a "we walked to school up hill both ways" type of complaint, but I SWEAR things have changed!!

Second, today is my area's recognition event for the quarter. That means we have an area-wide potluck and have a short event where we all talk about how great everyone is and hand out gift cards at random. I was lucky enough to get a Starbucks gift card (I swear, the universe is TRYING to feed my habit!!). My unit provided breakfast. Our supervisor has this thing for breakfast and really went ALL OUT. I brought 4+ dozen mini muffins. Our supervisor brought a whole hot breakfast - cheesy hashbrowns, eggs benedict, waffles, and breakfast meat (bacon, link sausage, AND patty sausage). We also had fruit, cinnamon rolls, donuts, juice, yogurt, and scambled eggs. Remember, this is just our unit that provided breakfast. There is 6 units in our area. We have a full nacho bar, two units worth of desserts, and more meats, salads, and pastas. I think that in the first hour of work I consumed 800 calories and worked on one case. In the second hour I consumed 400 more calories and worked on one more case. I have been eating and then bezzling more ALL DAY. I currently have a bowl of veggies w/dip that I am snacking on. I am SOO FULL. I dont know why I am eating! But it is delicious, and its once every three months. No work, all food, all the time :-)

Monday, October 25, 2010


In high school we used to make list of "happy thoughts". These were lists of little things (or big things) that made us smile. They were chalked full of inside jokes, crushes, and other typical high school nonsense. I think though that the idea is a good one - a list of reminders of things that are good in life instead of just complaints. But, in order for a happy thoughts list to be effective at the moment I think I need to vent a few other things.

I have just sort of been in a funk. No really telling exactly why, though I have my suspicions. A cloud was cast over the weekend because on Thursday night River bit me. Now, River has bit me before, but this time was different. As usual, it involved resource guarding. We were in the bedroom and Grim had a nice rawhide. River had her own rawhide, but that hardly matters it seems. Anyways, River attacked Grim, I pulled her off. All of this is fairly standard at our house unfortunately. In the past when I have been bitten I have literally stuck my leg inbetween the dogs or some such thing in order to break up the fight. This time I had already pulled river off Grim and had her five feet away, off the bed, when she spun in her collar and bit my arm. Don't worry, its not serious. A nasty bruise, a cut that looks like it is nothing but bled a bit more than expected. Now all healing. We already have had issues with River, clearly, but this indecent throws into serious question whether we will be able to keep her in the long run. Aaron and I are not scared of River and feel no immediate threat. She still has not shown direct human aggression. We can still literally take food or rawhide out of her mouth if we want without being bitten. BUT, when happens if she is not so respectful of other people? If she does not see them as dominant/in charge as she does us? Especially with regards to kids. So... who knows that we will do. We are controlling the resources more. We are not giving her an inch in terms of rawhide or food. She now eats separately and chews rawhide separately from Grim. We of course will probably be doing more obedience. But ultimately I don't think any of these things actually solve the problem. She is resource aggressive towards other dogs, and when she gets wound up over this she snaps at anything that gets near her. Controlling the resources or teaching her to sit on command is not going to change this. I guess its just an issue we will deal with when we get there however.

I bet some of you are wondering why you did not hear about this sooner, thinking "I SPOKE with her on the phone, why did she not mention it?". I didn't mention it because I don't like retelling it over and over. I don't like the look of the people (or silence on the phone?) as they wait for me to account for what we are going to do about it. Lets just say it involves a lot of issues that are close to the heart.

Ok, so besides River, there has been some negativity at work. There was a contest for unit decoration my unit feels was unfairly judged, a meeting with the administration that turned into a complaint fest, and other various little things. Nothing major, just little bits here and there. Also, I have been having some difficulty concentrating at work. I used to always be ahead or at least caught up, but I have not been working as hard and therefore have not been as caught up, and I am not sure why, or how to fix it. (Note, I am still way ahead of the average, just not up to my own standards and abilities). This may be as much a symptom as a cause, who knows.

I have not hosted or had people over in FOREVER. I feel like the carpet in the front room has to be replaced or removed before I am comfortable having people over. It is in bad shape thanks to the combine efforts of the animals, to the point it is embarrassing. I am already up to $900 for its replacement (I am saving up my overtime), so we are getting there, but it would just make me really happy to have it taken care of.

As far as Halloween, I have just not been as into it as normal. I did not have any desire to host my usual pumpkin carving party (and didn't). I did not even carve my own pumpkin. I did not get a costume yet, though we have a working idea. I am at least excited for the halloween party. I uncharacteristically have the urge to pull out all my Christmas stuff 2 months early and start decorating for that. I have NO IDEA why. I mean, normally I am all about Halloween, and then Thanksgiving, and only want to decorate for Christmas when the time comes. But right now I seriously think some green and red would make things look nicer.

I am not excited about things I am reading. I have just completed two books (How Proust Can Change Your Life and Blood Diamonds) that are one star reads. My next two books are book club books. One is a re-read, which is a very good book but I am not in the mood for re-reads. The other is a new read but its by an author I have read before and found to be just OK.

I originally was going to start this post with complaints and end it with a list of happy thoughts, but it appears that I am just not in the mood for the good part (big surprise). The two main things that were going to be on the happy thoughts list though:

- Tomorrow is Rockbandholiday (Rockband 3 comes out)
- I get to go home to Duluth in 3.5 weeks

Monday, October 18, 2010

Another Weekend Update

This blog is rapidly becoming a slew of weekend updates. I do think of other things to blog about, but typically either don't have time or my enthusiasm wanes before I have the time. I am sure anyone else who tries to keep a blog understands entirely.

This past weekend went by quickly, but was nice. On Friday we watched The Blind Side. It was pretty good, entertaining and interesting, a bit too feel good, which I expected. We are absolutely loving Netflix and can now stream programs through our PS3. Some other things we have watched: Doctor Who, The Guild, A Haunting in Conneticut, and Dr Horrible's Sing Along Blog. DH has been watching a lot of documentaries. Its so nice to have all of this good entertainment at the tip of our fingers and not have to rely on television programming.

Saturday I worked a little OT (money money money money money ... Money). After that I spend the afternoon baking a cake and watching football. In the evening we went to a dinner party. DH did not want to go because the OSU-Wisconsin game was on, but alas, social ettiquete. Anyways, it turned out to be good in multiple ways. The dinner party food was good (and more difficult, OK for Aaron), the chocolate cake was a hit, the company was good, and we played a fun game called Acquire (about hotel monopolies). Best of all, we did not watch the blood bath that was OSU getting beaten up by Wisconsin. I am glad I did not see the ridiculous, frustrating game.
Sunday morning we relaxed, got McD breakfast (yum.. I can't help it, I love fast food breakfast!!), watched some Netflix. I did some cleaning. In the afternoon we watched football and I read. I finished my book Mockingjay, which is the third in the series that starts with Hunger Games. It is YA Sci Fi Dystopia. I would post a review here, but it would contain spoilers and I don't know if any of my readers are reading that series. Suffice it to say, I gave it five stars. After I finished I headed up to Grandma's. Unfortunately I had a pretty bad migraine, so I was pretty miserbale company I am afraid, but it was still nice to be up there as it has been awhile. I made it home by 10pm and went pretty much straight to bed.

I have been having a ridiculous # of headaches recently. It has been a long time since I have had these many problems with them. They had become somewhat rare. *sigh*.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Gallavanting Across the Midwest

DH and I headed to St Louis this week to visit his parents. We had a long weekend because of Columbus Day. It was a pleasant and relaxing weekend. FIL was unfortunately sick with a lingering cold/fever. Because of this we kept it low key. MIL and I did some shopping and hung out, the guys mostly watched football. We all watched some football. I bought a pretty new fall jacket from Kohl's. It's orange and it makes me smile. (see if here). I also bought a couple of patterns (a simple skirt, shirt, and dress, as well as a doggie jacket, which may be the first project because River needs it). We had a lot of fun sorting through fabrics and drinking Starbucks.

Saturday night we went out for Mexican (FIL was feeling a bit better), and then watched "Book of Eli", which was terrible in my opinion - boring, preachy, and unrealistic. Great combination. After the movie we bowled, batted, pitched, hoola-hooped, skiied, and flew on the Wii. Lots of friendly competition, lots of fun. By Sunday FIL was mostly better and MIL was starting to go down hill. We watched the Lions beat up on the Rams, did a bit more shopping, and just enjoyed the day and each other's company. We had burgers and fried potatoes for dinner, and my Apple Cake for dessert, all of which was delicious.

Monday morning FIL had to head off to work bright and early. MIL stayed home for a couple of hours to see us off. We watched "The Express", which was pretty good, sorted through some of MILs fabric, and eventually headed off, which is when the real adventure began. DH was driving and I was not paying attention. We crossed the bridge from Missouri to Illinois and thought we were on our merry way across 70E, towards Columbus. WRONG. At the bridge, about 6 gajillion roads all cross the same bridge and then branch off their seperate ways. Apparently while I was babbling about random gossip, or singing along to some song, DH managed to take the wrong lane and head for Chicago on 55N. We did not realize this until we stopped for lunch over an hour later. After eating we went to get back on 70 and realized 70 was not there. By this time we were so far north it did not make sense to just back track. We also managed to do this on the one trip that we did not have our GPS with us (this might actually have contributed to the problem, since when I do have the GPS I check it frequently for fun). So, with no map, and no GPS, I ended up calling home for directions. My mom pulled out her map and directed us across 48 to 72. This new route happened to land us directly in Urbana-Champaign, so we called up our friend who live their and stopped for ice-cream before continuing on. Back on the road, DH managed to get a speeding ticket, so I took over the wheel. It felt like it took FOREVER to get around Indianapolis and back to Ohio. We left St Louis before noon and did not get home until after 10pm. While it was great seeing our friends in Illinois, it was a really long day and rather exhausting. I did not get to sleep until after midnight and had to be up at 6am this morning.

I think I will be hitting the sack early tonight. Now lets just cross our fingers and hope that DH and I did not catch the bug that was going around STL.

PS: WHat does it say about middle america that you can be 50 miles away from the area you usually see and not notice a difference?

Friday, October 8, 2010

Its been a long time... I think I should be going

It is rapidly closing in on two weeks since my last post. An unintentional lapse sparked mostly, I believe, by my brief but rabid dedication to Les Miserables, which I finished on Wednesday night. I was reading that book in all the times I would normally be writing blog posts. I am sure a lot has happened since my last post, but I am not entirely sure what, or which things are interesting enough to blog about.

Some Highlights (and low lights for that matter):
- first beef stew of the season
- OSU football w/50 pack of McNuggets
- DH got a new wool coat, it looks great
- Nestie Dinner in Dublin
- Two Nights of Trivia (one of which we won)
- Review of Mansfield Park (see good reads, I am quite proud of that review)
- Les Miserables
- Found Money
- My first overtime/raise paycheck
- Low productivity at work- my first substantive quality assurance return
- Middlemarch: the movie
- the motorcycle vs Fools Rush in Bet
- "Shiver" book messing up MN
- "Forever" book taking Forever to read.
- DH's lost wedding ring.- last minute trip to St Louis (pending).

See? Things Happen. But nothing that is so amazing it dictates it's own post. So, you get some rambling. I am sure you are used to it. She was not able to reach the clmt.

I am currently on hold with Binder and Binder. Their hold message is really annoying. It is one of the Binder's talking in a low, calming voice, about how you might be eligible and they have a large staff that will be with you shortly. Let me be honest here. Binder and Binder is probably the last company I would go to if I wanted to file a disability claim. My opinion may be biased by my position on the "other side", but they are hard to work with, they don't allow us to speak to the clmt and they are not consistent at calling back with information. They do not respond to call-in letters. It is annoying.

I have been reading a lot lately, clearly. It is nice. The main reason DH and I made the challenge concerning Les Miserbables and Pride and Prejudice is because these are books we wanted the other person to read. I wanted Aaron to read Jane Austen, he wanted me to read Les Miserables. As far as I can tell, it is his favorite book. I spent a lot of time while I was reading Les Miserables complaining about it. First, about the long historic narratives of things I did not care about, then about the abuse of coincedences in forming the plot, then about the pages and pages harping on particular points, beating you over the head with ideas that could have been offered covertly with as much effectiveness (if not more). Victor Hugo wanted to be SURE that you knew what the book was about. He was not taking any chances of it being misinterpretted. Anyways, after all that complaining and whining, I ended up giving the book four stars. DH was surprised. The fact is, despite all of these annoyances, the book was chalked full of philosophy and interesting ideas, the part of it that actually concerned the characters was gripping and even a page turner, and it has an emotional satisfaction to it. Now, if I could, I would edit out 500+ pages, but I can see why it is classic and why DH likes it. I am sure we will soon watch the Mini-series version of it, and then perhaps the musical. Anyways, this reading challenge had nothing riding on it.
Another bet, however, had a bit riding on it. DH wants a motorcycle. I am OK with one from most perspectives, but would like to make sure that it makes sense moneywise. Would DH get as much utility out of a motorcycle as we could get out of using the money to go to Europe or fix up the house? I don't know. And so we have been debating the motorcycle. Well, trivia last week they asked a "casting call" question: What movie features Matthew Perry, Salma Hayek, and Jon Tenney? DH said "its that one movie that you own, where they get married fast and go down to south America." I told him I had no idea what he was talking about and I had never seen a movie like that. I told him I own the movie "Three to Tango", which has Matthew Perry, Naomi Cambell, and that guy from Law & Order. He did not believe me. We made a guess, which turned out to be wrong. The correct answer is "Fools Rush In", a movie I have heard of but never seen. DH continued to insist I owned it, until finally we made a bet. It was DH's idea. He said that if I owned it, he got to choose if he got a motorcycle, and if I did not own it, then he would not bother me about it for a year. Worked like a charm. I OF COURSE do not own it. DH cannot bug me about the motorcycle anymore. So, tell me, why do we put something HUGE like a motorcycle on a stupid little thing (whether I own a movie?) and put nothing on a big challege that we both have control over, like a reading race? I don't have a clue, but hey, whatever works.
I should go back to work. Bis Spaeter.