Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Review: LA Fresh Deodorant Towelettes

Sometime in the not-too-distant future I'm going to take a tour of Italy. Having had a serious falling out with all the solid underarm deodorants / antiperspirants, I switched to the clear gel type. Problem is, finding a travel size of what works for me hasn't happened. And gel / liquid deodorants take up a lot of space in the 1 quart baggy you are allowed on a flight. Not so with solids, which have ruined too many of my tops. :(

So I decided to try LA Fresh Deodorant Towelettes for Women. Guess what? They work! Because they are little flat towelette packets, they don't count toward carry-on restrictions either. The effects lasted through a full day of work and overnight as well. Good product so far, plus you lighten your baggage every time you use one.

Yes, I'm planning to take old underwear and discard it along the way instead of bringing it back dirty. It just makes sense, because it's getting raggedy anyway. :)

LA Fresh makes several kinds of towelettes, such as makeup remover, hair gel, and hydrating lotion. There are two formulations for makeup, but I can't remember which worked the best for me. After all, I wear Outlast makeup, which often does outlast the touted 8 hours wearing time. So I will need to do a test of the two formulas vs the Neutrogena towelettes I've been using regularly. (The Neutrogena ones I can let dry out and just moisten them with water when I need to -- great for saving travel weight. Nice.)

I bought mine from, and really liked their service. Besides, I'm a sucker for travel sized stuff. Lol

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Down the Well

Down the Well

Thinking, cutting, carving

Mixing, stirring, soaking

Dabbing, placing, pressing

Splattering, washing, stamping

Never bright enough

Not quite wild enough

Too wild and weird for anyone else

Mind enthralled and distracted

From possible mania

And thinking too much

About other, torturous things

Things that push the mind down so far

It can't even see the light anymore

Or remember that it ever existed

Though it wants to remember

Absolutely aches and bleeds for it

In this cold, dank, lifeless place

Where there was once something

To reach out for.

March 27, 2009. Funny that I thought of this poem exactly three years later... And nothing has change.

Daydreaming Behind the Wizard's Curtain

I have an ever-growing feeling that things are not as they appear to the giddy happy folk. As if I mistakenly took the red pill and ended up in the horrible wasteland of reality behind the Matrix.

Why oh why didn't I take the blue pill? Lol. First, I'm anti-drugs, unless I'm sick. Second, I'm not sure I was ever given a choice between the imaginary world and reality. It has always been gritty and ugly for me. Still, there is something to be said for living with a permanently rose-tinted view. It must be nice.

My life has been like seeing the Wizard behind the curtain and discovering he's not merely ordinary, he's a con man.

But nobody ever promised me anything better, so I don't have any right to complain. Having seen the hidden background world is disappointing, it's true. I see how people deal with me, ignore me, abandon me, use me, and are ugly to me and I finally begin to understand the motivations behind their treatment of me.
It's okay! :). We weren't really friends, I realize. I'd give a friend a kidney. It's a good thing I don't have many real friends, because they can have my blood and bone marrow too.

Okay, I've been giving blood to strangers for years and my bone marrow can go to anybody who needs it, but if you don't love me, I'm not inclined to give you an organ.

Now I see behind the curtain to find the pretender. I was being genuine, but I've been known to be silly like that before. Better that I know this stuff now. After all, my time here is drawing to a close.

I understand that I'm not easy to know or much fun to be around. You pick these things up when people shun you. Lol. I'm beginning to think my friend Tom is right about being a hermit. I will spend more time alone, since that will make the most people happy. :) Still, how do you improve without practice? Social skills aren't like a fine wine that improves with being chilled and aged.

I've been meaning to dedicate more of my time to daydreaming anyway. And sleeping. Who knows, I might even make the two cross one another and have a very rewarding life in my dreams. The waking world hasn't bowed to my desires. Ha ha.
Don't discount daydreams though. It's not like being an alcoholic or a drug addict or even somebody who is just morally ambiguous I can't judge those people. Living my life without all of that hasn't gotten me what I wanted, and who is to say that absolute hedonism isn't the way to go? Okay, I'm saying it isn't. Lol. Sorry if that was tricksy, hobbitses. Spend enough time alone with your thoughts and you turn into Gollum. ;)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Fabric Department Returned

The local Wal-Mart has been putting in new floors as of late, which has made shopping there a highly irritating process. When I go in during normal business hours, I shouldn't be blocked from the milk section.

You see, I need my coffee in the mornings before work. And to make my coffee, I need 12 ounces of milk. Technically, I guess it's a latte. 12 ounces of milk, 2 teaspoons instant coffee (I know, not high quality, but I'm suffering the coffee merely for the caffeine), and an ounce of sugar free coffee flavoring syrup. It's what's wakes me up, fairly guilt free. So I need that skim milk.

In the midst of all of this, the shoebox of a craft department took a tumble. They weren't restocking the meager supplies they did have, and that has really pissed me off lately. I'm an artist. At some things I am a rank amateur, but at others I function absolutely at the professional designer level.

Yes, I am actually an expert in a few things. I'm not bragging. It took a lifetime of self-study to get here.

But you can't make art or even sew a button on your shirt if there are no materials to work with, so I have been angry at the local, district, and corporate yahoos in charge.

Suddenly the craft department was a couple of aisles larger and there were racks that I've seen holding patterns in better-respected stores nearly an hour away in any direction. As of tonight there are actual sewing patterns in those racks and bolts of real fabric are appearing on a couple of aisles.

You know what this means to me? Well, a few things.

1. I'm going to start dressing more girly for teaching because I'll be making my own clothes again. I bought a couple of skirt patterns tonight.

2. I need to have plans in place for organizing sewing materials before I start working on many projects.

3. I need to have plans ready for scrap fabric projects. (Hello, rag rugs. Lol). I don't want a bunch of bags of scrap or leftover yarn or fabric. I'd rather have them sitting around in completed projects that I could sell or give as gifts.

4. I might consider making some things for sale, but I'm not going to set my heart on that. I suck at self-advertising (self-aggrandizing??) and at selling what I make. I won't be staying up nights and missing much-needed rest for the sake of people who may or may not be willing to pay a fair price.

5. I'll consider selling patterns / completed projects on etsy / craftsy / ravelry, but it will be small scale only. It's disheartening to make stuff to sell and then never be able to sell it. I do have a job already, so that's hobby stuff anyway.

6. Next time I have a costume party, people can make their costumes. No, I'm not going to add seamstressing to the list of things I have to do to convince people to have fun with me. Though I might be for hire, if I have tons of leisure time and the desire to do it.

7. When the right fabric and mood arrive, I'm going to make a beautiful long, hooded cloak for myself. Just because I've always wanted one. So there. Nyah!!

8. I'm going to make pretty seasonal curtains and other things for my classroom again. Who knows, I might even slipcover the rolling chairs my students and I use.

This puts a little pressure on me to hurry up and use up Mama's stash of leftover crochet thread. It's taking up valuable real estate, and I don't ever want to drown in supplies.

PS - I used a stylus to type this. I like it. :)

Blogger Free App

I think this may be the app I started mobile blogging on in the first place. I can't remember why I changed apps. But for now, this one is aggravating me less than any others. :) I'll give it a retry, in any case.

Blog Press has gotten on my last nerve. The interface was okay... Until it started choking on the simplest functions. Also, the tendency to delete all of my carriage returns is maddening. I don't like having to access through a variety of machines and/or apps to write simple paragraphs with no images.

Bento Box-type Lunch today.

It worked rather nicely. I was satisfied with it, anyway. ;)

Basically I stuffed a plastic container with a variety of foods. Lol.

Two hard boiled eggs
Cracked black pepper turkey
Chop suey veggies w/ soy sauce
Two sweet tomatoes
Black olives
Goat cheese
Tomato and basil feta cheese

Mmm it was yummy. :). And look - I ate veggies, protein, and even some calcium. I think I'll try it again sometime, maybe even with a little shepherd's pie.

With water. Lol. You know I hate water but I didn't have any Mio with me today.

I must admit I went a little crazy buying cheese. I got the feta, goat cheese, dubliner cheese (I saw a recipe for cheese soup with Guiness that looks yummy), and smoked sharp cheddar. Lol. I saw more that I wanted but I held back. Hahaha

It's too bad that no locals make cheese to sell at the Farmer's Market. Hmm. I wonder when that starts again?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Blend-smash Roster into Gradebook Page

I figured it out and it only took me three hours! Lol. Yes, I would rather do it that way than write it and rewrite it. This is what I wanted to do:

• Use as a background a page from my actual Gradebook, green stripes and all.
• Copy my roster directly from the original page without having to write it by hand
• Have it available for viewing and easy printing from my iPad, iPhone, and MacBook.
• I needed to be able to work in layers (the Photoshop app currently doesn't allow that.)
• I needed to be able to smash the final shot together and turn the pages into an email able PDF.

Here's how I did it:
1. Took photos of each roster page and a blank Gradebook page using CamScannerPro.
2. Cropped the roster sections within the program and then saved them to my camera roll
3. Opened my Sketch Club app and imported the Gradebook page as the bottom layer for a background.
4. On new layers, I added in the roster sections and adjusted the size to fit. (It took some chopping to make the rosters fit with such long lists.)
5. Changed the blend modes to darken for the text sections.
6. Merged down to reconnect the text layers.
7. Exported the finished pages to my camera roll.
8. Created a new PDF with the new Gradebook pages.

Once I figured out which of my apps to use, it was easy. But knowing which ones did the tasks I needed was a little more nitpicky. ;)

Procrastination and Inevitability

It is Sunday afternoon. I've been off work for two weeks - my last two-week Spring Break ever. I needed it more than I'll need one more week added onto my summer break, let me tell you. One extra week in summer break means that it's just another week for my employers to fudge up with mandatory meetings. You think I'll ever get 6 weeks away from my job, unpaid as they are? Oh no.

Anyway, over the break my classroom floor was supposedly stripped and rewaxed, thus necessitating I get all of my stuff off the floor, all electric items unplugged, and basically upsetting the order of all things in my classroom. And on Monday, I have a class of brand new 6th graders coming in at 8 am. So that means no time for me to put things back in order unless I do it this evening. Supposedly, they will be fixing my broken keyboard tray that sufficed for a drawer before it disintegrated loose from the pressboard underside it was attached to. Currently, the rails stab my legs, tear my pants, and slice open my hand. Scars that don't want to heal cleanly. I've been promised for a solid year now that it will be fixed. It hasn't been. I need somewhere to put pens and things that weird people like teachers use constantly. My desktop is cluttered because there is no drawer to put them in.

I've a good mind to build my own damn drawer with a keyed lock. That might prevent some theft.

I worked like a demon the week that we left just to get all of my first day paperwork ready for the kids. That act will put me slightly less behind than I was. I will still have to get furniture unstacked from other furniture and put in place. I have hall duty from 7:45 to 8:00, and then students at 8:05. That gives me five minutes on the clock to set up my entire deconstructed classroom. Unless I come in a couple of hours early, off the clock, and get it all ready then. I suppose I should go now and do it all before I miss this week's "Once Upon a Time" but I am so freaking tired right now.

Anybody want to come and give me a hand? No? I didn't think so. Nobody ever does. :(

Stop a Cheater... Really?

I occasionally check the stats on who might be reading my blog, because I wonder if anyone does. It's okay if they do or don't -- it's just writing practice for me and one-sided conversations because there is no one for me to talk to anyway. I don't know how accurate the stats really are, or who actually is reading. I do get a referring site note and a location note but since nobody ever comments, nothing personally identifying.

I'll admit it gives me a little thrill when it looks like someone far away reads what I've written, even if they think terrible things about me for being honest about how I feel. Since counseling never was really available to this abused child, this is my catharsis.

Thanks to the Internet, I have friends around the world that I can trade messages with. It's lovely to hear from the, and get opinions of those NOT in the American Mid-South.

So, my point and I do have one. (Of course I am aware that my writing is not grammatically correct -- I am an English teacher by training, but this is informal writing. Sometime you have to break the rules in your writing or it becomes very dull. Sometimes you have to write in a way that mimics your actual thought and speech patterns. You have my permission.). Early this morning, I did a stats check and noticed that someone .... somewhere.... had looked at a few blog posts. 3 hits, which often include a simple reloading of one page. So I looked at the referring sites, knowing it would say Facebook, because I often post notifications of new blog entries on there. It's the usual place people I already know click through to read. One referring site. Not Facebook. It was

Being a teacher, the first thing I thought was that it was some site for cheating in school and sharing research papers.

I clicked through on the site and saw that it is a program you install on the cell phone of the significant other you just can't seem to trust, and it sends you personal reports on their cell phone activity. Wow. Now, I have trust issues and lots of people know it. I've been cheated on by the vast majority of my boyfriends. (No, I hadn't done anything wrong; they just refused to avoid temptation. I doubt the effort was even made. )

If a cookie is right there in front of you and you know you can't get caught, most will gobble up the cookie even if it doesn't really improve their lives. It's about instant gratification and free cookies. Some will even steal the cookies they know belong to someone else. If it's free and available, why not? I don't like that attitude, because it devalues the much more wonderful cookies your loved one WILL give you.

And then some people abstain from the easily obtained cookies though someone is ready to hand-feed them the cookies, easy and available with neither party being otherwise entangled anyway! You get that? They say, "Those cookies look absolutely delicious and I am famished but I think I'll pass because it wouldn't be good manners to take them. "

Meaning? Although some are total horndogs all the time, there are still those who could have the cookies and choose not to take them. And their loved one swears they see cookie crumbs everywhere. A bit obsessed with the cookie crumbs are we, Lady MacBeth? To the pure (but admittedly dusty) like me, it belies a guilty conscience. Not everyone cheats. I never cheated on boyfriends. You see where that got me? Cheaters often project their sin on others though.

Today I checked the stats again, and this is what I saw:

It could be a coincidence, but do you see the correlation?

Sheesh. If you're going to be so distrustful of your spouse about cookies, maybe you need to change your own cookie recipe. Jazz it up so they become obsessed with only your cookies if you're that insecure. As for me, I haven't made any cookies in a very long time. And my kitchen would be too much of a hassle to visit anyway. Too far away. ;).

By the way, if you are innocent of cookie consumption, the tracker program on your cell phone is mSpy. I suggest that you restore it to factory settings and lock it because YOU can't trust your own spouse. Who knows what they have been up to that's making them feel so guilty?

Me? I don't trust anybody. But I'm not married, so I don't have to.

Note:  Any idea what a PITA it was to get clear pictures posted on this blog?  My ipad app couldn't do it.  My iPad Safari browser couldn't do it.  Snapbucket app couldn't do it.  (They all gave blurry thumbnails.  Yes, I know how to do this!!)  I had to get on my PC, go into my Photobucket account, then into my blog account, and manually add and stretch the photos in the post.  It shouldn't be this much of a problem to accomplish with a paid blogging app.

Hating Blog Press for iPad!

It isn't like I think I have anything marginally important to say in this, my conversation to myself, but darn it, I want the app to work correctly. I can't select posts and I can't edit them because the text window comes up blank.

So I go to the MacBook, and I has a completely dead battery.

Then I go to my PC, which says that my entire wifi network is down. The same network my iPad and iPhone are having no problem utilizing.

Furthermore, the Blogger website doesn't work on any device I try it on. Each device has a different problem, and I'm getting angrier by the second.

When I finally do get BlogPress to allow a post, it always erases all of my line breaks. Whatever you do, don't freaking revise ANYTHING!

Word of warning to the reader -- if I say something angry about you on here, understand that you were in the wrong about it. If I were just venting, I'd keep it in my private journal to work through it. If it is here, you really did hurt me on that matter.

It's almost 5 am and I can't sleep. Probably the Pepsi and two cups of coffee, on top of my anger and frustration, didn't help with that. So I've taken a double dose of melatonin to hopefully get some rest. Who knows if or when I'll wake up, but feel free to wait around on me all day if you've done that to me already in the last few days.

I may wake up and spray paint a T-shirt in the yard. It's as close as I can get to airbrushing, being unable to find a teacher. I can do some nifty things with a can of black spray paint , wait and see.

Of course, I have to go and reassemble my classroom before Monday arrives. That will take some time with nobody to help me. When does anybody ever help? They usually just steal from me.

Wow. I think the melatonin is working after all, and super fast. Though I may never wake again.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Throw your shirts on the floor...

"Rag rug" I made from recycled t-shirts. (Crocheted... See, one of my geeky skills is useful! Buncha haters. LOL) 1 was donated by a student - the bright green one. The white came from one of my blood donor t-shirts that had become stained. :(. No, not with blood. Lol. The usual stains that a well-loved T-shirt typically acquires in wearing.

The rest I bought for 50 cents or a dollar from a local thrift store. I made the rug with the intention of donating it to our school's Relay For Life silent auction. I hope someone will like it enough to buy it. :) I worry that nobody will, of course.

Sorry, there is no pattern I can provide. It just takes basic knowledge of how to crochet in a circle, and manipulate the stitch count so that it doesn't start to bow or ruffle. You have to be willing to rework rows in the process when things get a little wonky. It takes patience, which was what my mother was really trying to teach me at the age of six when she taught me to crochet.

Well, patience as well as not fidgeting. Lol. Poster child for ADHD before there was a label or drugs for it. The threat of spankings kept me in line. ;)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, March 23, 2012

Mauled by a big dog

I saw "The Hunger Games" last night and had a very bad flashback when the muttations came out near the end. I thought I was over it, but I was wrong.
On a cold rainy February night ten years ago, I worked late at the school in the concession stand during a basketball game. One of my team's students and his cousin sneaked out of the house to come to the game and gave us a hand in the concession stand.

I can't really remember whether it was my idea or the other teacher's idea, but it was decided that I would give both boys a ride home because they lived closer to me.

When I got to the first boy's house, his mother was standing on the porch with her arms crossed. I asked the boy if he wanted me to vouch for him and he said yes. So I walked about halfway to the porch and told her that her son had been at the ball game helping us with the concession stand. About that time, their very large dog came up behind her and trying to be cordial, I said, "Oh what a pretty dog you..."

Well, my response was cut short because the dog came running at me and lunged for where my throat had been in the split second before I straightened up. He tore into my bicep instead. I was so shocked that I jerked my arm away and tried to get to my car. Next he bit into my leg, behind my left knee. I was yelling for them to get the dog off me but nobody except me made a move.

Nobody at the house said a word or made any effort to get the dog off me.
By then I had reached my car and I got into it. The boy who was still in the passenger seat was quiet. I asked him if that dog had ever attacked anyone before, and he said, "That dog does that all the time!"

That was when I realized that I was bleeding. My shirt sleeve was torn but my jeans weren't. Still, I was hurting, and when I dropped the other kid off, I called my brother-in-law's mother, a nurse. I asked her if I should go to the hospital, and she asked (in one of those "are you stupid?" tones) if I was bleeding. I was a little confused, and said yes. (give me a break, it was my first time in shock, and I lived alone so I didn't know what to do.)

She told me to get to the hospital immediately, and I let my very hysterical dog out to potty before I went. She was upset by the smell of my blood.

When I got to the emergency room, I had to wait for a few minutes for a room and for the police to get there, and I was told to find out the name of the dog owner and call my family.

For some reason, I couldn't make my sister understand the very simple description of my evening. She later said that I was hysterical on the phone. On the contrary -- she was hysterical. I was calm and cold. The police verified that. Lol

I had a gaping hole in my arm. The flesh was actually gone. The back of my leg was torn open too, through my jeans. Tetanus shots, bleeding for days and difficulty walking for a long time. It took months for the hole in my leg to close, and now I have a creepy scar there with absolutely no sensation.

The man from animal control came in with the police and said that the dog had never had ANY shots, and the owner refused to surrender the dog for the mandatory rabies observation period. The police officer with him gave her a choice -- give up the dog or he would shoot the vicious animal where it stood and let her deal with the carcass.

She let them take the dog. It didn't have rabies so she got it back and was completely off the hook for all of it. She never even apologized.

I should have pressed charges and sued, because a some time later, the same dog put a little boy in the hospital. He was a student of mine, and knew it was me because they said the dog had already attacked a woman that was a teacher.

The police ordered the dog destroyed then.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Ewell Ave,Dyersburg,United States

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Pools and Pears

I dream a lot when I sleep. I know that not everybody has the vivid nighttime imagination that I do. There is a purpose to my dreams. After all, there is the belief that not dreaming will make you psychotic. I've also taken a lot of scornful criticism, especially growing up, that my "crazy dreams" meant that I'm crazy. I think someone is just jealous (and maybe afraid) that I remember.

Last night I dreamed that I had bought a new house and I was trying to decide what size swimming pool I wanted to put in. (I remember that I had a conversation yesterday involving my desire for a big spacious house and how surprised I am that I'm a decent swimmer still, despite my energy issues.) I would absolutely dive in after someone in trouble. I've done it before and gotten them out of the path of a boat, though I had to remove my own life vest to get to them fast enough. It wasn't a life-threatening emergency, but he was afraid and needed rescuing. Some people stand on the boat and yell angrily "Swim!" and others go after the scared person and tow them back. Alleviating someone's fear is important when you can't do anything about your own.

Once again the number three figured in my dream. Three pools of differing sizes for me to test swimming. The largest was first, and I crossed it in three strokes. Wow, I felt powerful. Lol. And a little annoyed that all of my swimming laps would be short and fast. Still, I remember laughing in my dream about how fast I crossed the green pool.

If I could design my own pool it would look a place from mythology where you might find water nymphs, instead of a prefab blue painted rectangle. I'd want it to look like a cool woodland pool with waterfalls, caves, and lillies. Of course I'd want some unobtrusive way to turn it into an indoor area for winter. *sigh*. At the moment I'm wondering if I was in a previously unseen part of the house I always go to in my dreams.

I seem to be building myself a place to go that will forever be my big empty home. If you go out the kitchen door on the left side of the house, I'm pretty sure you'll see that crazy pear and grape tree. :) Just be careful that you don't get lost in my house. It's a crazy maze in there at times.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Banquet of Absence and Silence

Sometimes I need to remind myself that there is some hidden purpose to my being here, though I have yet to understand what it is. I'm pretty sure it is NOT to be support for those who would just use me. And there are a lot of them out there who feel justified in doing so.

Don't try and convince me that it is reciprocal. I discovered proof of that after I spent so much time alone after surgery. A couple of family members dropped by for a brief visit, so I'm thankful for that. By the time anyone else asked if I wanted them to come by and help me with anything, I was actually too angry at being abandoned to tolerate their presence. I had also had time to heal already.

I may bruise easily and hang onto the bruises for a long time, but I've discovered that I heal rapidly with stitches. Thanks but no thanks, I've got this. I don't need your help or care, but since I didn't get either, don't think I'll forget how I hung around you for your surgery aftercare, helping you with anything your heart desired.

I remember that I didn't get a phone call.

And you know what? I expected the cold shoulder.

I don't think that I'll back you up anymore when you want money. Next time you pull a dine and dash with one of your pals, don't think I'm footing the bill for you. Oh yes, it was obvious you did it deliberately. Nobody forgets to pay for their meal and their loser friend who should have paid for his own instead of expecting his date to handle it for him. What a man. Just the caliber of fella I would allow to play matchmaker for me, right?? Tell me, how does one forget to pay the bill when the only exit takes you right past the cash register? Next time I'll pass your contact information to the cashier and you can get arrested. By the way, you owe me $20. I tipped very well to cover the inconvenience of the waitress being ripped off.

I'm pretty weary of being the permanent support system when you're unhappy. Too many people expect me to listen to them and help them and just be there for them when they are miserable, but I can't count on them for that. (There are maybe two people I can count on, when they aren't occupied. You would be surprised who they are.) If I need to talk, I am made aware just how much I am imposing on your right to splash around in your giddiness. It's time you had a taste of it. More than a taste. An entire banquet.

I'm tired of being the one expected to cover financial, educational, and entertainment time and expenses for kids whose parents don't want to be bothered. I love kids. But you had the fun of creating them, and will have them to love you, though they probably won't realize that a good chunk of things they needed to get along were actually supplied by me. It's what I do, not because it is my professional duty or filial obligation (guess what? It isn't), but because I know that gnawing empty need for something that you can't just get for yourself. I would buy it if I could, but emotional security can't be quantified and purchased. It takes a lifetime of building it up, and if there are gaps knocked in along the way, I don't really believe those can ever be repaired. Anyone is welcome to prove me wrong at any time, but I have already lost most of my faith that human beings can ever be good. The rest of my faith is on shaky, crumbling ground.

Back to my rant, I suppose.
I don't want to be anybody's ego boost either, and I had that suspicion confirmed by an outside source. Get over yourself if you are getting your jollies out of thinking I'm pining over you. Go ahead and run in the other direction if that is your intention, but know that you are missing something. And I will forget you utterly rather quickly. I don't maintain affection for egotists.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Orange Antidepressant

No, I'm not feeling any better. Thinking about bullets, blades, and a bathtub full of blood. I thought industry would help so I brushed Citrustrip on the bathroom door and went to see Dad. When I came back, the house smelled so oddly clean and fresh. (the carpet needs a serious cleaning. I'll admit that because I'm not the one who rendered it necessary. Blame. The. Dog. I do. )

No methanol in this stuff. And the paint came off much more easily.

Maybe I need to get some oranges, since the smell of the torn peels is sometimes uplifting. They always smell so much happier than they taste.

There is a darkness settling down over me, like a dark fog falling from above.

I'm planning to see The Hunger Games tomorrow night. I finished rereading it last night and I had forgotten how brutally emotional certain scenes were. I'll rue the day I don't bring a bunch of tissue, pun intended. Prim in the last book will absolutely crush me. This is going to be bad.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

To Make it Different...

I've been wanting things to be different for such a long time now. But the old cliche is true -- the more things change, the more they stay the same. The world around me changes, and others' lives change, but mine doesn't. I'm frozen here.

Please don't put on your raincoat of feigned caring and snark that my life would magically improve if I just moved away (from you). I'm guessing you don't realize that I did move away, not once, but three times.

Isolation is worse at a distance.

Sometimes people read random parts of my blog because I post the links on social networks. I won't post this one. I seriously doubt anyone will ever read it. After all, no one ever comments on the blog. I often wonder if I'm really here, or if my reality is imagined, a la "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge". Maybe I'm hanging in that second between life and death now, unable to affect a change on anything and missing my moment of redemption.

I really do try not to drag anyone else into the swirling water where I'm drowning, but sometimes there is that uncontrollable instinct to reach out and cry for help, though people safely on the shore don't want to get their feet wet for any reason. There are some who want me to just surrender to oblivion so the don't have to tolerate me anymore. I'm aware of who some of them are. They don't know why I'm still hanging on.

There is that stupid optimism that keeps rearing up, thinking things will get better. They won't. And don't tell me to be patient. What dropped into your lap so easily years ago is what I've been waiting on for 25 years. Maybe you'd understand the cracks in my veneer if you had held out for this long. I've been patient. Something good is long overdue. Let's suck all of the joy out of your life for 25 years, and then I can tell you to take some dangerous drugs to shut you up, while insisting you have to be patient.

You don't understand patience. I can only hope that someday you will.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Funny things you remember when you're bleeding.

Most people know that I had surgery on my neck in October. If you didn't, but you noticed a big scar slashing across my neck, well, that's where it came from. I really wanted to tell the kids in my class I was the winner of a spontaneous knife fight, but only one asked me about it and that was weeks after the fact. I was disappointed. I wanted a little harmless entertaining drama and didn't get it.

The very first thing that I remember on waking up was the nurse urgently telling me NOT to wake up yet. She seemed a little panicked and told me, "Oh, honey, you don't need to be waking up yet! It's too soon! You need to go on back to sleep and stop fighting it!". She was about ten feet away from the foot of my bed and I was in the middle of an open recovery room. (Hey, at least that time I didn't wake up completely blind and knowing that I had to throw up. in, everything was black. It has happened to me.)

At the time I was in the middle of trying to sit up. I don't know why I wanted so desperately to do it, but something was telling me to get moving because bad people had done bad things to me and they might come back for more. Furthermore, I was strapped to the bed at my waist and couldn't sit up completely even though I wanted to.

Oh horrors! Now wasn't that silly? I suppose the most childlike part of my psyche reared up and couldn't be convinced that I was there on a voluntary basis. But fatigue body-slammed my terror, I relaxed, and went back to sleep.

I woke up again sometime later and they had moved my gurney to a curtained part of the room, which makes me wonder if I I woke up within minutes of leaving the Operating Room. Hmm. I suppose that could be a problem. I was a good girl and did what I was told. I pretty much do that all the time. I know, it's boring.

I do recall that I was awake for quite a while before they brought my father in to see me. It was probably a whole five minutes that seemed like an hour. He asked me how I was, and the moment try to speak I realized I had been intubated. Good grief. I freaking hate that. I know, it had to be done because I had my neck twisted at a weird angle during surgery and my airway probably was squashed. Still, it meant that I had a raw throat for several days afterward. Speaking was nearly impossible, but Dad did not seem to realize that. He kept asking questions and insisting that I answer.

All I could think about was my desperate desire to drink a Sprite. I'm a Pepsi lover but there's something about surgery that makes me crave Sprite. Dad kept telling me that the sooner I drink my Sprite and had something to eat the sooner they would let us leave. So he started force-feeding me! And I started getting choked. I couldn't tell him to stop jamming the straw against my teeth and squeezing the can, so I finally just shoved it away from my face really angrily. The perfect opportunity to absolutely tell someone off with impunity and I could not make the words. Figures doesnt it?

Next I had to use the bathroom and I almost begged my nurse to help me instead of Dad. He was acting so mean. I guess he just didn't want to be there after 6 hours, but try a week in a hospital room, or even a night, trying to keep an extremely combative patient in his bed, paranoid and angry.

Sorry. Next time I'll hire a stranger to pick me up after surgery and drop me off at home by myself. (See, that's why I overdid the hydrocodone the next day and had glassy eyes that wouldn't focus. My judgment while I was alone all that time was a bit ... Impaired... I was just trying not to be a burden to anybody. Sure was lonely till my brother and nephew dropped by to check on me.

I recovered okay. Removing my bandages and pulling out the drain was kinda squicky, but I don't think another person would have pressed the air out of the incision and pushed all of the blood out until it was clear. Yeah, nasty, but knowing there was an air pocket in there just disturbed me. Lol

My surgeon told me when I had my stitches removed that mine was the cleanest healing incision he had seen in a long time, so yay on that. I was very careful with it. I'm still massaging the tightness of the scar tissue away though.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Sparking, sickness, and Chinese cuisine

Well something made me sick.

Last night I went to a local coffee shop to help with a Jailbreak. Had the signature drink with whipped cream on it even though I was about to go eat Chinese food with my brother. His client meeting ran late so I decided to have something rather than get wired and irritable from low blood sugar. It couldn't be helped that he was late. No harm, no foul. I was with a friend I really enjoy hanging out with anyway. He makes me laugh a lot and he's fun. :).

So, the drink tasted a little heavy on the coffee and the whipped cream was greasy, for lack of a better word. First time I've ever experienced that. I didn't finish it because I was developing a greasy coating on the roof of my mouth. What the heck? I didn't think anything of it until later.

We went across the shopping center to the Chinese restaurant and David continued with the jail breaking while my brother and I ate. I had my hot and sour soup and a few bites of mushrooms and not much tasted very good after that, so I just picked at the rest.

Apparently one of the servers is sweet on my brother, because she kept getting him fresh food from the kitchen and there was an exchange of phone numbers. Yay Tommy. ;)

First it was food at the buffet line. Fresher bread than he had chosen for himself. Then it was frog legs. (Okay, hold the phone. I think that's a nasty concept no matter how good you say they taste. Why would you eat those?? Americans, especially Southerners, can choose some of the weirdest things to eat. I suppose most of us will never starve to death as long as there is a supply of lard and forage.)

The frog legs had already made me feel queasy. Then she came back with a plate of freshly cooked salt and pepper shrimp in peppers and onions. I like shrimp, but last night it was suddenly revolting. Then the lack of deveining was pointed out and I just felt greener around the gills.

A few minutes later she came back with a big plate of chicken smothered in some kind of sauce that smelled so horrible that my stomach started trying to reverse. I couldn't block out the smell even with the sleeve of my jacket. So I did the only thing I could....

I tried to coolly walk to the bathroom, deathly afraid I was not going to make it before I got sick. I don't know why their bathroom floor is always drenched in water and slick, but it is. I came out with soggy jeans legs. Ick. If'd had to get on my knees in there.... Oh my gosh. My brain intervened on behalf of my stomach and told it to just wait till we got home where I can lie on my own cold floor and cry. Thank you brain.

There is nothing I hate worse than vomiting, no matter the reason why. All the icky complications of it aside, such as that need to brush your teeth and throat about a hundred times afterward, just the excruciating pain of it makes it awful. I'd almost rather keep in what has upset me than getting it out that way. Once I even sprained my tongue way back in the back trying to fight the impulse. I failed, and the whole bottom of my mouth and tongue hurt for a week afterward.

Sometimes nature overrules and says, "Toss it, you fool!" Nobody fools Mother Nature.

I didn't get sick, though I thought I would, even when I got home. I was so sure of it I did a pre-cleaning of the toilet, just to make it less horrifying.
I didn't go out because my stomach was gurgling all evening, rather ominously. I was expecting to wake up in the wee hours wracked with pain and sweating, trying to make it to the bathroom. Strange... Every time I eat cheesecake from that coffee shop, I get food poisoning. Okay, don't jump to any conclusions there -- certain kinds of cheesecake have always made me sick. I'm not sure which recipe troubles me to illness, but they buy that cheesecake already made anyway. I suspect someone is using raw eggs in their cheesecakes, and I can't handle it.

But anyway, I think it was the weird coffee with greasy whipped cream that did it. Either it was a mild case of food poisoning, or lactose intolerance.. (Couldn't be though ... I drink 10 ounces of skim milk in my homemade lattes every morning with no I'll effects.). Would it be funny to find out someone had been instructed to poison me? It isn't likely, because who would go to such a length regarding me, but it would make for an interesting plot element in a story.

It did occur to me at the restaurant that this is one of the glorious moments of pregnancy that I completely missed out on, being an old maid. (At least I don't look like an old maid, and I couldn't possibly be pregnant.) Still... The thought that everything I smelled would make me violently ill... Yikes. Maybe it's a little warning that even if some miracle occurred at my greatly advanced age of 41 (/end sarcasm), it would not be wise to even consider having a child. Yes, that ship has sailed, been scuttled before leaving the bay, and undoubtedly sunk into a rusting underwater heap. And after last night and today, still feeling icky, I'm not quite sorry about that. ;)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Peach Market Bag completed. :) Stash reduced by one. More to follow.

Oddly enough, it wasn't as difficult as I had thought it would be to use a size H hook with #10 crochet cotton. The crocheted string bag worked up just as quickly with thin thread as with heavy. The finished bag is smaller, but it easily held 8 cans of soda when I tested it. Maybe next time I'll try a larger hook and see what happens. :). I am relieved that I only had to work with one strand of thread. It still looks like a tough little shopping bag, and I've used up almost a whole ball of thread making it. That was sort of the point. Alleviating stash guilt. I don't want to have a huge stash of yarn and thread waiting to be made useful. That takes up too much room and I dislike it. I'd rather have a stash of completed projects ready to give away.

I washed the bag right after I made it. Eww it was smelly and grungy, but a little soap and warm water seemed to work wonders. I hope my mother approves. She was always interested in making pretty things while I have always wanted to make useful, practical things. Hence the face cloths, dish cloths, and all the densely made blankets.

I don't believe in having guest towels and guest soaps in the bathroom. They always just got dusty and faded in our house. Only guests were allowed to use them, and a lot our guests were family so they didn't feel like they guests entitled to use the guest items. Not quite a catch-22, but close.
These days I have hand towels and the same soap for all. Lol. Sorry if that doesn't make you feel special in my tiny bathroom. But there is always toilet paper! When I am rich and live in a huge house with lots f space I may change my mind. But then I'll likely have much fancier towels and soap for everybody to use. Lol. And everyone will be a guest anyway.

I have a small collection of French crochet string market bags that I like. And I'll make more... Just not tonight. I may put together leftover bits of thread balls into a rainbow styled bag. I just need to reclaim the space used for storing them NOW. And there are also those little balls of #8 perle cotton I bought by mistake. I'd planned to make an Irish lace top, but there was a matter of color compatibility with available thread sizes. It seems mother Russia has a much better supply of that material and patterns too. Oh well, it may come back around but rest assured that my home town s rapidly devolving into a ghost town devoid of art supplies.

I may be weird for saying this, but NO I do not blame the mayor. I don't understand how Wal-Mart screwing over the crafters by killing the craft department is his fault. Nor do I believe that industries leaving town and the country is his fault either. They are greedy, so they leave here and take their jobs with them. Or they mismanage finances and have to shut down. Not his fault. Isn't that job a manager's position? That's what he has been doing. He isn't supposed to be Superman. I'm not one of his social pals. My views are made from the distance of a commoner who has no status in this town.

This is my first blog post using my iPad. Now everything on my iPhone looks impossibly small. Ha ha. I really like the iPad though. I can almost type on it like a real keyboard. I suppose that's an advantage of having small hands, for a change. Normally they are a disadvantage. I most definitely need a case / stand for this, however. I can type if the tablet is at the correct angle for me.

However, I've already learned that using the correct charging block is crucial. I left it plugged into my iPhone charger and after 8 hours, it had only charged from 40% to 70%. Yikes. I put it on the right charger, and in half an hour I have gained another 10%. So yes, my dear students learning Basic Electricity, size does matter. Well, rating does. Refer to your chapter on safety and protection devices and you'll find out why the iPhone block gets warm when you charge an iPad with it. Probably not an experiment I'm likely to repeat.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, March 16, 2012

Depleting My Mother's Stash

I'm sitting on my couch waiting for FedEx to bring my new iPad, typing on my iPhone. They say they will be here by 3 pm, and I've been waiting for almost three hours already.
Bored, and yes, my back hurts. I woke up this way, feeling like someone rabbit-punched my kidneys all night. It's possible Quincy did that, but it could also be that my body is protesting the sudden drought I've forced it through. I just hate drinking water, even with Mio. I have to make myself drink it, so that's what today is for.
Needing to keep myself occupied, I pulled out some of Mama's crochet thread leftover from either previous lacemaking projects (I see some of the variegated yellow she made a tablecloth for me from - where did it go?) or just good intentions that never made it to fruition. Ah yes, I know how that happens. My brain is Short Attention Span Theater too. Lol
I kept all of it, though I had no idea what to do with it. It has been in a plastic box in my closet at work since before she died and we did the big living room cleanup that hurt her feelings.
Understand that she wasn't able to clean up that room herself any longer and it was piled with creative detritus in every spare inch. She also couldn't work on any of her projects anymore. So we cleaned up for her and had to discard a lot of things. She thought we just did a heartless clean sweep, but I kept the useful crafting things instead of throwing them away.
What made her angriest was finding out we had tossed a large piece of red fleece. Sure, it would have been very useful... If the entire thing hadn't been impregnated with spider eggs. Not just in it... IN IT, within the knit of the fabric. They never would have come out and it gave me the creeps just picking it up to put in a trash bags.
Therefore, I had a hard time getting rid of the otherwise useless crochet cotton. Until now. I've started making string shopping bags and I think I can put her thread to good use this way. Mismatched odds and ends of balls in assorted colors and weights are impossible to utilize effectively, so this is my answer. It won't be wasted. It will be out to good use and I'll have a big chunk of storage space returned to me.
Just one problem. This stuff is dirty. Dusty and nicotine stained, and I can't wash this stuff as it sits on paper tubes. I'm working it up a bag at a time, and I'll have to wash the bags as soon as I finish them. It's pretty disgusting. Good thing it only takes a few hours to make each bag, because I'm utterly icked out by it. The lovely peach thread I'm using now is, upon closer examination, filthy. :(. Not a pleasant task, but possibly a noble one.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Be realistic.

Now that I've played with the crochet designer program for a couple of hours, I like it. :)  The copy / paste problem is vexing me, though.  I don't really want to define a new stitch every time I turn around because it was a pain to do in the first place.  I guess that is what I am stuck with for now.  Understand this program has huge potential... it's just a tiny bit buggy on the part I want to work. :D

I suppose all this sounds unforgiveably crafty-geeky, but that might be because it's a special set of artisan skills that others just don't have.  It took a lot of work and money to get here, and I can make gorgeous handmade lace that you just can't buy.  :)

Yeah, someday I'm gonna make myself a lace wedding dress.  If I ever get married, which is no longer high on my list of life priorities.  Hey, I was putting out the effort all this time but seriously, if I hear one more man my age (or even older) tell me that I'm too old for him because he wants an 18 year old, I'm going to give him a reality check.    Do we need to discuss missing hair on the head, excess hair in other places, paunch, love handles, wrinkles, and all that stuff?  They just aren't babe-magnets unless you have a whole lot of money, and honestly, the young ones would only want you for the money anyway.  (Try telling Miss Hot Young Thing you are in debt up to your eyeballs and don't have money to take her shopping, or you don't want her going out with her young friends.  Tell her you can't wait for your retirement in just a few years so that she can spend all her time working and then coming home and taking care of you ... Not babe attractors.)

I mean, really?  You're going to Florida for spring break and expecting to pick up some hot chicks?  .... You don't think maybe that there might be some hot guys there already on said chickies' radar?  We're all getting older.  And we all look like it.  ;)

I'm just saying, be realistic.  I am.  That's why getting married isn't something I'm all that interested in anymore.  I've seen too much of the dark side and it would take someone really special to make me take that chance now.  (And let's face it -- not many guys are interesting in making someone else happy.  That's pretty darn rare in the world of "It's all about me.")  So... what's the hurry these days?  There's no hurry, especially not for me.  Children are probably not even a possibility for me, as far as I know, and it doesn't sting as much as it used to knowing that.  After all, there's no point in crying over the impossible NOT  happening.  Obviously, it was always an impossibility for me.

Oh sure, it was kind of romantic to think that when I'm dead, part of me will live on through my own family...    But that's not going to happen.  When I'm gone, it's probably for the best that I was a dead end.  (See Charles Darwin for an explanation.) Go on and pass out my organs when I croak, with my blessing. Or I will haunt you, ya sorry dog. ;)  It may be the only real usefulness I had. LOL  Well, other than the gallons of blood I've donated in my life.  Still, it's also romantic to think that my death might save some other person.  Someone more worthwhile. :)

Just don't go and kill me YET.  I still have a lot of paperwork to do.

Crochet Charts - Stitch Works Software

I'm a little irritated by the lace top I've been trying to crochet.  First, I ran out of thread and of course it isn't available in any quantity locally.  A couple of nights ago I found some at Wal-Mart again, presumably because they are redoing the floors and things have been shuffled around.  I guess they found it somewhere.  *sigh*  Still, only three more balls of black #3 cotton, and that won't be enough.  (Gee, the pattern description seems to be wrong on that account...  Looks like I'll need at least double the amount of thread specified.)

Furthermore, the instructions specified that at the end of the round I'm on, I will have 42 qdc groups.  Well, I have 42 now, and I'm not quite halfway around this row yet.  I've been carefully counting my stitches as I go, so I'm a bit confused now.  I know how to follow patterns -- I've been doing it nearly 30 years.  So... Hmm.  What to do?  Finish the section as it is, then try it on to see if the blouse is going to fit me correctly?  Finish a sleeve as well?

Just by luck, I actually found software online to create crochet charts using symbols.  It is called Crochet Charts and it is made by Stitch Works Software.  They allow a free trial, so I figure the least I can do is give it my unprofessional review.  So far it looks like it can be used to design patterns in the round, in rows, and freeform.  I'm going to test it out on my possibly faulty pattern, and see where I messed up.  IF I messed up.  There's always that vague possibility that I'm not the one in error.  After all, the pattern designer did act like she was sending me the second pattern I purchased from her as a free bonus, when she left it out the first time after I'd already paid for it.  *sigh*  I guess if I buy any more of her patterns, I'll get them from Ravelry (instant download and more accurate thread and hook size descriptions) as opposed to Etsy, where I had to wait on her to email me the patterns... and then wait on her to email me the WHOLE patterns, and then wait once more for her to email me my second purchase as if I hadn't already paid her for it.   Caveat emptor, indeed.

From my quick read through, the software seems to have been around only since October 2011, with upcoming promised additions of more stitches, such as Tunisian stitches - my favorite. :)  From what I've seen, there are already lots of stitches available, and the software is only $50.  Plus, it is licensed by user, not by computer, so I can possibly use it on my PC at home and on my MacBook laptop for portability.  No iPad versions yet -- though I get the impression that if there were enough demand, that might happen in the future.

Okay, problem.  Prominently used in this pattern is a quadruple crochet (wrap 3 times, pull up a loop, then pull through 2 loops 4 times to complete the stitch) and there is no such stitch available in the pattern.  Argh.  I guess I'll just have to use the tallest stitch available and then see if I can stretch the scale.  What the heck, I'm just checking my work against the pattern anyway.

I just realized that I can create my own custom stitch sets, but as I was trying to save what I had made as a new stitch, the program crashed.  I am aware that the trial version of the program does not allow for saving or exporting, so that might just be what caused the crash - I was trying to do something not allowed in the free demo.  So I will reserve judgment on the stitch editing feature until I've played a little bit more with the software.  Update:  I checked the Ravelry users' group and someone mentioned this particular crash (copy / paste stictch group) a couple of days ago.  The programmer said that he is working on a fix and hopes to have it ready in a couple of weeks.  Darn.  You know I like magical instant fixes.  :)  Still, it is a huge bonus that the programmer is within reach when you have a problem. However, until this problem is fixed, I don't think I'll be able to use the program for error detection on an existing pattern, unless I can define my groups of stitches as new stitches without crashes.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Ugh... more methanol

I finished stripping the paint from the bathroom closet door... it took me about 7 hours today.  They did pass in a strange foggy state of confusion, because I had to close the bathroom door to do it, and there was no ventilation.  More methanol poisoning.  You know what that means... tomorrow I'll still be high as a kite in a most unfortunate way.  The minute I start inhaling those fumes, my heart rate starts hammering in a most unnerving way, and that's with the mask on.

I honestly believe that the ventilator mask was withholding oxygen.  I got mad and took it off about an hour into the job because it was squashing my nose flat and I felt like Hannibal Lecter in the hockey mask.  Well, hello Clarice.  Have the lambs stopped screaming?  (Seriously, you should read the book.  So much more awesome than any of the movies ever were.)  Geez, what happens when you have a BIG nose and wear one of those?

So right now I'm buzzing along like I'm in the Twilight Zone... No, not the same one that hits before hypomania.  ;)  Just fairly out of it.  It probably didn't help that I didn't eat anything all day, either.  Well, I'm remedying that right now with some parmesan chicken and penne.  Mmmm... Managed to almost cook it to a crisp before I got control over my brain, but it's all good.

On the downside, I'm going to need a third can of stripper to get the back of the bathroom door, and then I can start painting.  Then I can get the crown molding put up in there, too.

I guess this means that I decided to make some use of my days off for Spring Break after all.  What can I say?  The urge to do it just crept over me with no warning, and I'm glad for that.  My lovely twilight mauve bathroom needs to be finished.

I managed to get fewer acid burns this time, but working in sweats and long sleeves with shoes on was not my zone of comfort and I am feeling some stinging places that caught drips and splatters.  Even with the AC on, I was sweating under my goggles and mask.  Ick.  Yeah, hot shower for me in just a few minutes.  Until the hot water runs out, which should take the usual ten minutes.  Add "new water heater" to the list.  I've been thinking about doing that for years.  Can't even take a decent bath because of that clanky old thing.

I'd love to replace it with an on-demand water heater, but aside from the cost, I really don't trust anybody local to do that without blowing up the house via gas line.  I guess the same applies even if I just replace the old one with a similar model, huh?

Anti App(le) fangirl-ism - not quite ;)

I don't utilize my tech stuff to the extent that I could, so I have been working on that.  :)  I justified buying an iPhone to replace my flip phone *ducking* (Hey, no throwing hard objects!)  by ensuring that it would be a multi-purpose device for me. Wow, is it ever. I love my iPhone.  I can't get an assistant for work, but my phone sure does come close, even if Siri is a smartypants.

Now, I'm not an Apple fangirl.  I was forced to use Apple at work, and still maintain a PC desktop and laptop at home.  Here's the kicker -- when my classroom computers were upgraded 3 years ago, there was no consideration of even purchasing replacement PCs.  We are an Apple school system.  Okay.  The software company only makes programming for PCs.  With a good-natured laugh, Jimmy, our system tech guru, assured me that running their PC-only software on a classroom full of Macs wouldn't be a bit of a problem with Parallels.  

The software company didn't believe him.  I refuse to advertise for them, because of how condescending they have been to me BECAUSE I'M A WOMAN!  And I've noticed that over the last 4 years in this class, I'm the teacher who has not made a single tech support call when there is a problem.  (I was not sent for the training my predecessors were.  I heard that my request to be trained was flat-out denied.  Sink or swim, I have been on my own without even usage manuals for the "stuff".)  Oh yes, this chick is capable of making electronics repairs by herself! Tremble in fear, ye men who don't get that yet.  I'm not as stupid as I used to think I was.

Jimmy proved to them that it does work, ha ha.  He gave them a whole new platform to sell their software on.  And did they say thanks in any way?  I don't believe they did.  So, no free advertising here, company.  And isn't it a good thing I've hung onto my Windows skills?  I have to work in Windows and Mac OS all day every day, and at times it's a little confusing to navigate the file structures. 

But anyway, I'm waiting on an iPad to be delivered to me on Friday... some time...  No idea when because local UPS is always so vague about delivery times.  Probably the small-town disadvantage there.  Carter Crews was kind enough to offer me suggestions on apps that I will love.  :)  Thanks, Carter!  I have several favorites of my own as well, not necessarily listed in order of favoritism, but just in the random order my memory dredges them up.  

Words With Friends - 
Scrabble. I wound up getting the ad-free version because the ads really did annoy me after awhile.  I'm learning new words and maybe even growing my brain a little, though I'll admit that the progress is slow for me.  I blame it on never having played Scrabble for real until I got this app.  Everybody else in the world who ever played it on the board game is so far ahead of me.  This might explain why I lose so much of the time.  LOL  I'm not going to blame it on chancy tile allotments.  This fail is all me. :)

Facebook - 
*sigh* Can't live with it, can't live without it.  It's full of bugs and repeated notifications, as well as phantom notifications for games I've blocked.  Still, sometimes I just want to know what's going on in the world outside with people I know.  And I chatter a bit too much about stuff nobody cares to know about me.  So go on and just block me already if you don't want me commenting on your stuff. LOL  Oh... wait, you still value me as a *customer*, huh?   Oh so mercenary of you.  Touche'.  (BTW - your paranoia amuses me.)

Twitter -
Faster than looking on my PC, but not as easy to block spam from the app.  Touchscreens make jumping around a quick option, but the app does lack the full functionality of the website.  Still, there's a lot to be said for the handiness of portability.  

Spotify - 
Ooh, I love Spotify... on my computer... where I can stream music for free.  It's not a free thing on my iPhone or iPad, and I don't want to spend $10 a month for it, so... the mobile app is only able to play music that I already have stored on my phone.  Not really useful for me as an app past that free 48 hour trial.  I was asleep for a lot of those hours, anyway. LOL

CamScanner Pro - 
Take pictures of pages I want scanned with my phone, auto-crop and edit (if I want it, or I can do it manually, which is for the best at times), and creating multi-page pdfs that I can email, message, store, or place in my file allotment areas of places like Google Docs, Dropbox, Evernote, etc.  Of course I know it's just a photo :)....  but... I'd rather have that photo available to print in color immediately when I want to give a student an enrichment assignment from one of my techie magazines and I don't want to wag it home to my flatbed scanner and process it there.  It is a very fast solution.  The free version is also excellent, but it watermarks.  If that doesn't matter to you, fabulous. :)  CamScanner + does almost everything that Pro does, but Pro has the added ability to do OCR and text searching.  I haven't put it to the test for that function yet, but I'm sure I will soon.  I was in a waiting room and didn't have time to read some very interesting articles from WebMD magazine, so I CamScanned them to read them at my leisure, and I didn't have to damage someone else's property to do it.  (No, I'm not going to distribute someone else's literature outside of acceptable use in my classroom.)

Garage Band - 
Oh....  I can play an orchestra of instruments on here!!!  Not that I know what I'm doing, but I do know that on my MacBook, I can also purchase lessons to learn to play.  :)  It takes up a massive amount of memory on my iPhone, that's for sure.  But I can save, share, and collaboratively jam on songs that I create myself... someday, when I have to skills to do ANY of that.  hahaha. I don't know much about making music, but I know that this app  is absolutely amazing.  :)  And... you can plug in real instruments with the correct attachments.  Wow. Wonder how it'll be on an iPad?  :D

I love making incredible pictures.  This app makes them happen for me with interchangeable lenses, films, and flashes.  I've got all of them. LOL  Hipstamatic has made me love grainy black and white photos and bizarre randomly colored ones too. Go to their website and read the backstory about the app, and the brothers who died in a tragic accident just as they were about to have a successful disposable camera business in the early 80s.  Hipstamatic is a tribute to their memory by their surviving brother.

I can make multiple lists, give detailed descriptions, and oh heck, just scan the upc codes of things I want to remember to get while I'm out.  Check them off as I go, and it's just awesome.  Oh, I don't use it just for shopping!  I like to make lists and check them off, and I just keep them here forever.  To-do lists, things I want to find online, packing lists (yes, this is how I can pack for a weekend trip in under 15 minutes and still have the stuff I need with me, while not bringing unneeded junk), and even my Christmas list.  Organization is comforting.

Fast bluetooth swapping of files, photos, and contacts, even across platforms.  I've used Bump with my brother's Android phone and a friend's iPhone  :)  Works great.  :D

This app got me some really nasty looks from one seriously nosey teacher during a county-wide inservice.  She spent her time turned around and glaring at me, instead of listening to Harry and Rosemary Wong's presentation while I was taking photos of their ideas and furiously typing in as much of their pearls of wisdom as I could.  Even on an iPhone, I can type much faster than writing on paper.  So... who was rude?  The one ignoring the presenters in favor of glaring at me, or the one who was silently taking copious notes on everything they said?  Yeah.   Evernote is free and accessible on desktops and laptops with all your information.  Great for organizing, and adding pictures is easy.  Definitely my favorite writing app.

Great, but I think I'll like it on iPad better. :) Most of my homemade movies were completed in iMovie.  I'm hoping that sometime in the near future I'll begin having a reason to video activities again.  Opportunities have been lacking in the memory-making department for a while.  I hate that they put the Ken Burns effect on every single still photo by default, though.

Glad they fixed the app to actually work, but it needs to be zoomable.

More to come on these that I like:

BrainPop - all sorts of good learning. :)
HBOGo (would be excellent if the local cable company would allow access... I'm paying for it already, darn it!)
Find iPhone - because it's mine, not yours, and I know of cases where yes, it has helped find stolen iPhones even at my workplace.
DocsToGo - Office on your phone.  Nice.
My Xbox Live
Zazzle - this is the designer's app, and yes, I am a designer and sell my stuff on there.  :) However, I sell a lot more on Cafe Press and they don't have an app.  *sigh*
FindMyCar - have yet to really put it to the test.  I'm not much for shopping.
Sketch Club - hey...  layered photo editing and drawing!  Similar vein to Photoshop, but the Photoshop app can't do layers.  Hmm....
Pin - for creation of new Pinterest pins, because the Pinterest app can't do it. LOL
Ticketmaster - Great idea, but what if I want to buy tickets for a concert that is more than three months away? Will there be any tickets left by the time this app has the show available?

Squishy Ice Pillow... I love you

Another day, another migraine.  I've learned to live with it.  Tylenol isn't helping... Hydrocodone isn't helping, and caffeine isn't helping.  Neither are water or darkness.  So I keep the ice bag handy for nights like this one, when I know I'll be awake for hours yet, in pain yet unable to sleep it off.

Really, I'm used to it.  As the wise bipolar man said, "I know that I can't stop the pain, but oh, the pain cannot stop me."  See how awesome I am?  I can quote Adam Ant in the midst of my head exploding.  ;)

On the slightly less grim side of things, in my never-ending quest to refrigerate my brain, I found a nice large cold pack in the pharmacy at Wal-Mart that I can wrap around the front of my head while I've got the back packed in crushed ice.  All in the name of getting a mediocre night's sleep.  I'll be shivering all night, but it's my last resort.

This one started today when I put on my glasses.  That's all it took.  I don't know why I can't get along with my glasses after a quarter of a year.  That's not simply a matter of vanity, I promise. And really, that vanity stems from all of the mean things that were said to me about my glasses growing up.  Yeah, kids are cruel.  The evil that men do lives after them, as well.  And I don't often forget.  My gift is to forget the good things.  But a friend once told me that we remember the bad things because of tangible pain that accompanies them. It's conditioning.

I'm thrilled about finding a compatible ice pack that is nice and squishy.  :)

I played Scrabble all day today with an old friend who is soundly beating me at two games simultaneously.  Amusing conversation and that is likely all.

I'm disappointed that I have another week and a half off work for Spring Break and I can't get motivated to do much of anything creative. I did finish the t-shirt rag rug that I'm donating to the Relay Auction. I found a little bit of thread and a bit of the right yarn at Wal-Mart tonight, and I could finish my lace blouse and the half-finished baby blanket I'm going to hold for the next, inevitable baby shower. They never stop coming.

The showers are becoming occasions I want to avoid. I'd like to skip those and all the gooey lovey dovey declarations I have to see every day.  I know they believe that everyone else loves to see all that, like the people who go nuts sharing hundreds of photos of their kids every month.  Bless them,  I know they are happy.  But their happiness is not contagious to me.

No more apple cider at the store for now.  :( Darn it.

Something odd I have discovered about the massive headboard of my bed with all the carvings... It's picking up the sound from the tv and creating a surround sound effect.  The slightest whispers in the background sound are amplified to the point I thought I was hearing things before I understood.

Started watching Being Human on Netflix and find it very amusing.  Is there a vampire I find attractive on there? Well, is there one with dark hair and intense eyes?  LOL  Of course.  But oh, my goodness, he sure does remind me of someone from my undergrad days. (It's the hairstyle...) Someone I woke up to find watching me sleep on the living room floor once.   (Well, the couch was too short for me.)  It was part of his "dark and mysterious" act.  Not a bit interested in me.  He just wanted me to give him a ride across town. LOL

Choices are made. Some choose to manipulate, and hopefully they get their recompense in full.  Some choose not to reach out to others that need them.  Or they reach out only to mockingly slap the hand whose grip on the edge has grown slick with sweat and tears.  And sometimes the others choose to stop hoping for help, and simply fold inwards on themselves, falling to whatever chance has left for them.

The Fates keep spinning the thread, weaving the web, and cutting it whenever they deem the time appropriate.

Just hope that Clotho never runs out of roving to spin, and that Atropos continually misplaces her shears.  :)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Apologize? .... nah.

I feel sometimes like I should apologize for what I write, and to some people, that I should apologize for even intruding on their happy little cloud.

Okay, here's the thing:  If you don't like what I write, don't read it.   And count yourself lucky that you can't even get to the really personal stuff. My blog posts are fairly sanitized -- just of my feelings.   There's not much call for whitewashing the content. I don't get up to much mischief at all.  LOL  Not anymore. :)

If you are truly concerned that what I've said is some kind of warning sign that I'm in danger, I respectfully request that you talk to me in depth about it.  Adding snarky and hateful responses to something I've posted when I'm obviously upset doesn't do anybody any good, least of all me.  Uh uh... you thought I'd believe that was a caring gesture?  (I'm not writing to entertain you... I'm getting things off my chest because I rarely have someone with an open mind to talk through it with. )

Get it straight -- I'm not your errant kid, and no, the "tough love" thing does not work with me, considering that I didn't step on your toes in the first place.  So lay off the nasty barbs.  I may decide to pay you back in kind.  Just be nice. :)

So I'm not going to apologize for being me, but I will explain a little bit.  You might understand; you might not.  I don't yet.

I'm dealing with rapid-cycling mood swings on a daily basis.  Over the last four days, I've gone from a normal flatline mood to the lowest level of acute depression four separate times.  Yeah, every single day it has happened, and so fast that I was having trouble breathing.  Today I got a serving of chest pains with my anxiety. All with normal blood pressure, but they caught my resting heart rate at 100 at my appointment today.  I was already at a doctor's office for something else, and I was too embarrassed to say anything about the anxiety attacks because it sounded so weak.  So I pretended to be okay.  (Gimme a break -- they wouldn't do anything about it anyway.)

It could just be a female thing.... But I wouldn't know because when I asked my mother about it several years ago, she resentfully refused to give me any information. *sigh*  I don't think that's it though. Deep down I know exactly what is going on, but far be it from me to tell a medical professional that I want to be evaluated for that condition, and usurp their position as the holder of all medical knowledge.  I don't want to take those drugs anyway.

Thanks, but I don't think that there's a pill for every problem.  Distracting me with activities involving other people that aren't stabbing me in the back works. :)  Did that Saturday night and had a lot of fun.  Still didn't do any dancing like I said I would.  It just didn't come up.  Maybe there'll be a next time.

Need I say that I feel a certain affinity with a favorite musician of mine?  Want to know why?  Now that I've read his autobiography, I see we have a lot in common with regard to the freaky mood swings and depression.  It's like reading a case study at times because he was pretty honest and didn't cut himself much slack about it.  It's a cautionary tale for me.  (Hey... he's the promiscuous one, not me. LOL We don't have that in common. haha)  Still, I think he'd be a lot of fun to be friends with, even though I realize just seeing him perform live is going to be nearly impossible. No venues close enough, timing is all wrong with my job, and not a single person wants to do me a favor and go with me.  Oh well.  Of course I would fly to another city and take personal days off from work, but I'm scared to do all of that solo.  I feel like I am always an intrusion when i do things with others.

As Adam says, ridicule is nothing to be scared of.
I think he means suck it up and deal with it, because you have to be an adult instead of hiding in your house all the time waiting for the years to pass and for this all to be over with.

I should be directing my attention back to the things I can do by myself.  Running... I need to work on my running and now that the time has changed, I could possibly even hit the park some days after work.  STEP won't last for much longer, and I'll have my afternoons free.  I've got stories in the works now too. Started a new one with the protagonist as the bad.. um... girl.    They've been on hold because I lost interest in ... well, everything when the blues hit so hard and so fast. Maybe I should apologize to all the people who have suffered my presence ever since the depressive episodes started when I was a kid.  (And if you didn't know, it's because I apparently do have some talent in acting.) Maybe someone should apologize to me for always turning a deaf ear and blind eye when it might have looked like I could use a little help, even if it was just someone to listen.   Oh, but that would be too much to ask, right?

I'm okay.  I learned to handle everything all on my own because I had to.

I'm considering getting some magazine subscriptions when my iPad arrives. I love my iPhone, but it is too small for extensive reading in comfort.  Part of  me is going, "Yay!  New toy on the way!"  Yet another part is thinking that I've still got another iPad yet to purchase.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Mood Music

I wonder what other people listen to in their different moods.

I'm missing someone, so it's "Sister Golden Hair" for now.  A wistful feeling of wanting to close the distance makes me need to hear the song.  Does it lift me up?  No.  But it smoothes things a little bit for a few minutes.

I listen to Adam Ant when I need some energy.  His punk-era songs, specifically. Yeah, they make me dance and wish I could play some musical instrument.  Makes me wanna be in a band.  LOL  I listen to "Wonderful" when I need my mood lifted.  Sometimes it works.  His videos actually work better, because they have such a splash of his sense of humor in them.  It's a lot like my own.

Rick Springfield when I'm attempting to time travel back to my teen years when I still believed in a universe of possibilities.  The idea that there was ever a variety of choices is, of course, an illusion.  Still, he makes me remember being a happy and optimistic person.  In a bizarre way, I still am rather optimistic... at times.  And then I'm the polar opposite.  Guess it's a split personality kind of thing.

And Nine Inch Nails when I'm really angry.  REALLY angry.  Though I get some really bad ideas when I hear that music.

"Hallelujah" when I'm sad. I don't particularly like KD Lang but her version is in my key or whatever for singing.  I like the Rufus Wainwright and Leonard Cohen versions but...  I can't sing with those.  One of these days I'll give karaoke a shot with this song.   Right now my vocal cords are still trying to heal from the sinus infection and bronchitis and I need a little more encouragement. Oh forget that... LOL I just listened to myself.  Horrible.  I may never sing where another human can hear me again.

Dreamer in the rain

Last night I put myself to sleep listening to an entrainment app with the intention of having vivid dreams.  Theta waves and a rainstorm.  I fell asleep so fast I don't remember but a minute of it.

Wow, did I have vivid dreams. Down to the detail of the track I was running on -- it was made of a rubbery material and every lane of the track had diagonal red and white stripes about an inch apart.  For once I wasn't running away from something with sticky feet that wouldn't let me get away.  I was running just for the fun of it and I could feel my feet spring off that track with every step, just like when I was young.

It was a really happy place to be in my head.  I think it was an indoor track, but I had a strong impression that the sun was shining gorgeously outside.  I could feel it in my skin somehow.

I could have done without the last movie I saw last night creeping in to become a part of it.  I'd been watching "Wonderland."  I really didn't want to be a first-hand witness to the Wonderland Murders.  Maybe I was one of the people who died and that's why I felt like a ghost seeing it all happen.  (I mean, a ghost in the dream.)  Just the power of suggestion from seeing the movie.

Darn it, I'd meant to dream about something and SOMEONE else.  LOL

When I woke up this morning, I felt like I had a hangover.  Headache and groggy feeling.  *sigh*  Couldn't figure it out.  Then I remembered.  A conversation earlier in the evening which had me crying, though I think I kept that evidence out of the conversation. Watched episodes of Amazing Stories, which amazingly enough, hurt more to watch than they did when I was a kid.  Okay, the Adam Ant episode didn't make me cry, but it sure started things off on a sad note.  The rest of them did.  Then another conversation which shouldn't have upset me, but did when my own issues crept in.

I don't know about all the tears.  Someone told me once that I shouldn't worry about that, because the ability to feel all that pain so acutely means that I have the ability to love just as deeply, though they know I work hard to hide that I feel anything at all.  Niobe.  *sigh*

Love Your Children

You're lucky to have children... especially if you have GOOD kids who want to do more with their lives than sit on their behinds and let you fund a life of Doritos and TV for them.

I know that you will probably say that after nearly 18 years of teaching, I couldn't possibly know anything about children because I haven't given birth to any, but take it from the outsider...

You are making a huge mistake when you forsake your children for ... to put it delicately, a little "romance".  I've been there, as the child, and grown up through it, and I can tell you for a fact that it fractures your relationship with them.  Sometimes irreparably.  You can possibly fix it, but realize that the difficulty is purely due to your own parenting choices.  Your kids are just trying to survive it.

Children see more than you realize, and when you don't give them a good understanding to work with, they will manage to fill in the gaps with, at the very least, assumptions you'd rather they'd not made.  They see, they remember, and when what they don't see is your caring and attention, the results won't be good.

They'll either turn on themselves, or they'll turn on you.  Personally, having turned it on myself most of my life, I'd rather see them turn it on you than to blame themselves for not being as exciting as the fluff you threw them over for.  They didn't do anything to deserve that abandonment, so as a parent, you have to understand that they will find a way to cope with that hurt, and it's not likely to be time spent in seeing you on the pedestal you used to occupy in their hearts.

I heard someone speak of their child once as being "too old" to bother with celebrating their birthday.  The child was 14.  It upset me and I did voice my opinion about it.  I think that you should make a big deal out of your kids' birthdays forever.  It matters more than you'll ever admit.  It will always matter that you show your children definite proof of your love and that you are glad that they were born.  If you drop the ball with the excuse that it's how you were treated, it's continuing the cycle of hurting someone who doesn't deserve it.

I heard someone else speak of how they had "raised their children!" and did not intend to ever take care of anyone else again.  So proud of having raised their children that they forgot the minute detail that at the age of four, no child can possibly have been "raised."  Okay, I'll admit that it was my mother who said that.  I didn't quite feel complete in my raising at the age of four.  That's about when she left us.  I'm a little foggy on that detail and I don't even want to ask about it.  I have some crystal clear memories of that time that make me wish I hadn't had that photographic toddler memory.  I remember an atmosphere of unhappiness that terrified me because I didn't understand what was going on.

For all that I do remember, do you know what I don't remember?  A single memory of my parents together and happy.  Nothing there.

We already had a damaged relationship for reasons I won't disclose here, but hearing her say that as an adult knocked one massive crumbling crack in the foundation.  I don't know how my siblings feel about all of it, but being the last born, my gut tells me that my arrival was the straw that broke the camel's back. I was an "accident" after all, as she was fond of introducing me to strangers.  "And this one is the accident.  hahaha"  Even as a little girl I knew what that meant.   So those who are thinking that I was momma's baby, this is your wake-up call.  I knew where I stood even as a child.

On my mother's deathbed, I was alone and holding her hand while she died.  I knew she was slipping away while I watched and all I could think of was the bad things.  As an adult, I find myself judging her harshly for her choices, because they didn't include concern for me.  I was stony-hearted at her funeral.  I held it together that day because I suspected I wasn't crying for my mother, but for what my mother could have been to me and chose not to be.

She taught me to knit and crochet, sew and embroider.  Possibly to keep me out of her hair on our weekends with her.  Spending every weekend with her turned into every other weekend.  And then it became just alternating Saturdays.  She told me that was my father's doing -- that he was doing it to keep us apart.  I found out later on that I was wrongly blaming him.  She had complained that having us all weekend was cramping her social life.  So our time with her dwindled away to occasional visits.  By that time, I was 16, and filling in the gaps of my mother's love with other things.  I had a "real" job and started dating.

It just so happened that was about the time she needed me again.  Too bad that I had other obligations by then.  The chasm between us just continued to widen.  She kept making poor parenting choices.  And she became spiteful about it all at times.  I think she blamed me for coming along and ruining her plans for her life.

Some people think that when their kids turn 18, they are off the hook for being decent parents.  It's not true.  You'll be their parent for the rest of their lives.  But what about those who shut out their kids even before then?  When you have only a few hours at a time with your kids, you most definitely should give them all of your attention while you have them.  You never know when they will start making the choice not to be around you anymore, and you'll have the nerve later on to question why they don't come to see you anymore.

There comes a point when you will NEVER be able to repair the hurt you've caused someone else.  Don't ignore it.

When you dance with the devil,
The devil doesn't change.
The devil changes YOU.

Do you really think that it's a change for good?

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Amazing Stories on Netflix

By chance I came across Amazing Stories being streamed on Netflix. So naturally, I checked around to see which episode Adam Ant was in. Wow... he was so cute. :) It was called "Such Interesting Neighbors" and he was part of a family of time travelers running from authorities because they had their son the old fashioned way instead of in a lab. Hey, I was just watching for the eye candy. He did a good job in it. :) I wish that he was still acting, but he said that he didn't like jumping through hoops and he never really got good enough at acting to do well.  

I really wish that I could see him perform when he does his North American tour in the fall.  From what I've seen on youtube, he puts on a great show.  But... who would I ever get to go with me?  It's not like I have the kind of friends who would say, "Sure, I'll go with you even though it's not my kind of thing, so you don't have to go alone."  Yep, that's too much for me to ask anyone.  I know better than to ask.

I had forgotten that a lot of those episodes made me cry my eyes out. And here I go again. I'm watching an episode I remember, called "Without Diana". A little girl disappears from a picnic and 40 years later she comes home to her father as her mother is dying... and she's still 8 years old. They've turned their house into a school.

Seems like I remember the little girl came back home to get her mother. :(

Yep... that was it. And they left him there all alone. *sigh*

Okay... going to watch "The Mission" which supposedly has a Kiefer Sutherland so young I won't even recognize him. Oh, I'm pretty sure I'll recognize him. This was probably done about the time that "The Bay Boy" was made... (oh geez, there was a pervy priest in that movie YUCK!) and I remember how he looked when he was that age. No spiky platinum blonde hair then... Just a sandy-haired kid with a slightly chubby face. :) Hey, Kevin Costner. LOL

Aww... Saw him already. He's definitely recognizable. Especially that voice. LOL Now if you see "Trapped in Silence" well... that's a kinda creepy, especially when he starts talking about wanting to murder his stepfather and splatter his brains all in the street. Eww. Well, as I recall, he had a very good reason.

Pinterest, change your terms.

I'm blaming Pinterest for the sudden case of the willies that their legal department has created in threatening all of us users. Darn it, I liked Pinterest. I was so inspired!

I've made over 20 separate projects since I started browsing around but now they're bandying about terms like copyright infringement if you don't get the express permission of the owner of the content, to pin their content. All legal fees for lawsuits on my head, blah blah blah, they're taking use of the site as permission to steal someone else's copyrighted stuff and then put the blame on me...

Oh, I don't think so, P. You're going to be sorry for that tactic, oh you bet you will. Users will dry up. And whatever potential money you stood to earn in an honest way, well, forget it. Nobody likes being threatened.

And please forgive me for misunderstanding your purpose in existing. I thought it was for sharing bookmarks of neat websites. I guess the underlying money-maker is all the lawsuits you plan on profiting from.

Fix it or I'm leaving, inspiration be damned.

Darn it, you're going to push me to put together my own book of craft projects that I designed, aren't you? And when it doesn't sell and I feel bad, I'm blaming Pinterest. LOL I'm not kidding!