Friday, April 30, 2004

Ideas for Mothers Day Brunch

We've decided to have a nice little brunch to show our appreciation to our mothers...
I'm throwing around some ideas for the menu and they include:
Menu 1:
*Tropical Fruit Kebabs with honey-cinnamon yogurt
*Sweet potato pancakes with fresh apple compote
*Turkey Sausage with fresh herbs
*Home-made cinnamon rolls

*Assorted Herbal Teas
*Coffee
*Mimosas

Menu 2
*Potato Pancakes with gravlax and Dill or
*Pickled Herring
*Fresh bagels/ assorted spreads
*Fresh vegetable quiche
*Fruit salad

*Assorted Herbal Teas
*Coffee

Hmmm... viral marketing... I kind of find this intriguing: http://www.wilsonweb.com/wmt5/viral-principles.htm

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Fuck, do I have to go back to school...

Someone just suggested that I go back to school to study human factors engineering or pursue my degree in econ... I think I dropped this idea 2nd semester of my Freshman year in college.

Do I really need to go back to school? I hate school, I don't mind research, or even writing papers. Though I've considered that If I want to take a path in a more analytical field. I may need to take this route. I've been considering that if I stay in a 'normal' business or corporate environment... Hopefully at a smaller company. I will have to look for a different role. Aye... Considering the possibilities and the condition the market is in now, I know my choices are limited, but I'm willing to fight for a role where I have more contact with people, where I have the opportunity to learn as well as mentor and teach others.

I still feel that I need to break away from that notion that I am and will be chained to a role where most of my work will be analytical. That's defeatist In-hell talk speaking:
*That's four and half years of working for an organization that encourages paranoia in their employees and not always in the constructive sense.
*That's the poison gaseous atmosphere of breathing in the gassy bloat of an department (my sub group) that's become entrenched in bureaucracy due to years without dynamic change.

No, I'm going to try to plug my ears whenever I hear that. To bastardize the words of some well-quoted 19th century German philosopher...What I don't worry about doesn't weigh me down. To paraphrase that well-known southern belle... I'll worry about all that when it's about to bite me in the ass.

Dont, worry none, boss. I'll keep my eye out for what needs be.

Lotteries and fodder for fantasy

My father buys a Powerball ticket (or more) twice a week. He's been playing the lottery in some form since I was very little. Each time you ask him about it, his face lights up and he immediately begins to describe what he will do when he gets this money. I think that these little fantasies are harmless as long as you don't become so deluded to rely on the fantasy of winning as if it will become a reality one day. Now, if people could feel the impossibility of winning the lottery in a tangible sense (say in the form of a sharp pinch on the buttocks every time they considered the possibility), no one would ever play... unless they had a fetish for being pinched on the buttocks.

I should not criticize participation in this sort of fantasy-play, because I do buy a ticket every now and then subsequently I do a little play-acting myself... that customary masturbation with possibilities- I would quit my job, start my own business, I would be free.

Two conditions usually prevail in my life during those weeks that I play the lottery: 1.)My job is extra shitty 2.) the pot is worth a considerable amount.

Playing the lottery is a lot like praying in askance. Something happens to you when you're thinking about how things could be - your outlook starts to lighten up, a smile might fit the corners of your face, your heart might pick up a few beats. But when the reality hits you and you discover that not one of your numbers even made the line-up then you fall down from the high. Continuing to play the lottery week after week seems like having faith that you will visit another solar system in your lifetime. You know it exists, but damned if you'll ever see one?

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Here... I go again... another cover letter, but this one is for a job I really like (better take the advice I gave to Brian, and keep it cool... I never get the jobs that I'm eager for). This is an external one... I'd be working with teachers to deliver training on computer lab courses. What a dream job. (I think), but then again, everything else looks more appealing to me right now. Especially as this morning I was confronted with the possibility that the administrative load in my job may actually increase.

I need to get involved in some serious cover-letter writing training. Beef up for any challenge and be able to explain why I'd be good for a job right on the fly. I can do it. I know I can. I like a challenge. Working at this job has been a lot like making myself swallow cod liver oil and pretend to like it.

-I don't like my job
-and I'm bored here


simply will not cut it.

Let me just tell you, I can't be the only person who feels underappreciated and overqualified for what they do. But when you have people who are outside the door desparately waiting for your job, then it sort of puts things in a little perspective... for me this lasts about four hours... but the joke's on them because I don't think this job is even going to be here.

Monday, April 26, 2004

Apparently Google or Blogger has decided that I am Certifiable

Whatever...

Latest banner ads:

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I guess I'm no better than anyone else who's fretting about the possibility of four more years of the jackass handpuppet in the White House. He's the least of our problems. Like I said below it's the people that surround him that we should fear.

I hope this guy keeps his promise to complete these articles:

http://www.johnkerryisadouchebagbutimvotingforhimanyway.com/

Is everyone so isolated and embattled?

These four people seem to think that they are... conservatives feel that they are surrounded by liberals... and vice-versa. Everyone seems to be crying out... I just wanna be where I feel like it's home.

Remember what I just said about being around too many people who say that you're not normal?

I have decided that there are three things that cause a person to go insane or go into some sort of mental crisis (don’t worry I’m working on this list and it will probably grow by the end of the year). I guess I'm just trying to work this all out here for my own benefit.

1.)Being born that way – (being predisposed to mental illness which of course is no laughing matter, I'm sure I have a few people in my own family who require some sort of chemical help up. People though who are aware of this fact should take the responsibility to medicate themselves). I did try taking perscription medication at the suggestion of my physician. These were the usual heavily marketed drugs, but I discovered that a.) they only muted my ability to feel or emote b.) they diminished my desire to have sex. I don't know about you but these are two things that I cannot live without the ability to feel and my libido. Instead of taking the chemical way, I opted for regular exercise, diet, sleep, and cognitive behavioral therapy. Though I know that I am fortunate because I probably fit in that category that only becomes mildly to moderately depressed.

2.)Being surrounded by people who tell you that you are not NORMAL I always felt very sorry for those women who were in their 20s-40s during that period circa 1947-1970. If I were a woman during this time I would probably take a lot of perscription drugs and become alcoholic too. I believe that the ideal woman as domestic saint and wiling servant - of this time was an by-product of the impetus towards progressive change in views of womens' roles. Usually before a movement or era dies, there are some kind of death throes that include the over-emphasis of certain values that are threatened (or perceived to be threatened). I think this is a natural reaction to change.

But don't you notice that they often poke at those people who clamor for change and try to put them down by, of course, saying that they are insane - fucked or out of whack?

Still, I believe that women of this time (or anyone regardless of their sex) would be ostracized if they did not fit in the normal mold of what a woman was supposed to be (mother, wife, house-frau, etc). Please don't assume that I'm saying that these are bad things. I am just very content and elated that I have other options in this day and age.
Sometimes I think that if I had lived during this time I would have preferred to live the life of the 'quiet librarian' in the small town. If I had lived earlier (and many people who think they know me would laugh incredulously at the thought... though I did just mention above that I could not live without ...shhh... s - e - x) I would have chosen life in a nunnery if I could... at least there would be a decent chance that I would get to read books.

3.)Being surrounded by people who put too many demands on your physical, mental, emotional well-being.
I don't want to talk to much about this here because I would only appear to be complaining (not that I do much of that any way... heh).

Sunday, April 25, 2004

FUCK CHENEY AND FAT CATS OF HIS ILK

I haven't been living inside a paper bag, but I cannot understand how we can live with these kind of people in such high offices of government power.

Cheney is a cocksucking (I'm sorry I know that someone once told me that people who swore usually had less of a vocabulary; however, I don't believe that DICK is worth wasting my effort and vocabulary on) corrupt bastard.

Fat Dragon! Is this reactionary of me to say this, that it seems that the extremely rich only get fatter? We have executives who garnish their earnings from retirement funds and company holdings... and they essentially get away with it. We have Fat Cats like DICK. You want to know where our tax dollars are going. They are going to support this war. There are so many fishy things about how Cheney was so adamant about pushing the war on Iraq. Read below and perhaps you'll understand. What I don't understand is why more Americans aren't at least skeptical about what is going on or even irate. We've become so tired and worn. We've forgotten about our responsibility to understand where the government is leading us. Many of use are just so tired and jaded. Growing numbers of us are unemployed and growing desparate to find ways to support ourselves. The middle class may not have hit rock bottom but it is shrinking.

The other night I had French Revolutionary Fantasies about the guilotine, cheney, and bush. It's a fantasy, Okay! Me? Madame Defarge Pix? Wait, I don't have a wart on my nose.


Read if you want to puke:
http://www.corpwatch.org/news/PND.jsp?articleid=8689
http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&node=&contentId=A10129-2002Jul15¬Found=true

http://www.nationalreview.com/york/york072502.asp
http://www.corpwatch.org/news/PND.jsp?articleid=9330
http://www.corpwatch.org/news/PND.jsp?articleid=9989
http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=15445

If I could wish for three things...

1. Win the Powerball at over 100 million (of course, and I know that it's not very imaginative and I'm fully aware that it would NOT solve all of my problems).

2. Revenge over my enemies. (By now, you've probably figured out that I'm only listing this cliche wishes to accomplish that old standard of listing things in 3's)

3. Most of all... to have turrets syndrome (only at the most opportune moments). I would love to be able to spew from my cubicle... at random moments. Can you imagine what the dynamic duo in the cube nextdoor (the man who cannot explain things and the woman who does not listen) would say if one of their customary arguments was interrupted by...

Cocksucker! Fuck face! Fuck Face!. Shit! Shit! Shit!!!

Did you ever wonder what a person with turrets who were born in a completely isolated environment and culture (not that that's completely possible now adays) ... how would the swear? What would they sound like if they had never at all been exposed to profanity? Would they just make animal sounds. Though I think it would be funny if I spent half the afternoon barking and oinking sporadically in my cube.

Imagine how the Amish would swear. You dull axe wielding son of a carpenter who builds lopsided barns... For all I know the Amish could have the filthiest mouths in the world... after all I don't speak German.

Saturday, April 24, 2004

Fried Rice for Breakfast?

I'm sure that billions have been served with this tasty dish at breakfast. I know I ate enough of the stuff as my morning meal when I was growing up. I whipped this up myself this morning.

fried rice
1 1/2 c. jasmine rice, washed and drained
1 3/4 c. water

1/2 lb. small, peeled deveined shrimp (frozen from a bag and pre-cooked)
3 cured Chinese sausage sliced thin*
1/2 c. frozen peas
1/2 c. chopped green onions
1 large egg (or 2 if you like egg)

Seasoning
Sesame oil
Fish sauce
Soy sauce
White pepper
Salt
MSG (if you want)

Cook the rice. If you don't have a rice cooker, cook the rice in a thick bottomed pot. Bring the rice and water to boil. Cover and reduce heat to simmer. Leave on the stove for about 15 min. Remove from heat.

In a large frying pan or wok, fry the sausage over medium high heat until you have a good deal of fat in the pan (about 2-3 tbsps). Add the rice and cook over medium heat for a few minutes stirring all the while with a wooden spoon. Add the Shrimp and frozen peas and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes. Break the egg into the hot rice mixture and distribute evenly or not so evenly if you like the bits of egg in it (like in the chinese restaurant.

Season the mixture with a few light dashes of sesame oil. 1 tbsp. fish sauce. 1 1/2 tbsp. of soy sauce. Salt and pepper. Make sure that the seasoning is evenly distributed throughout the rice by stirring. You can always add more of the seasonings if you want. Remove from the heat and garnish with chopped green onion. This is pretty much a meal in itself.


* You can purchase these from an Asian food market.

Friday, April 23, 2004

Consumer Alert -

I've decided to do a periodic check of what appears to be marketed on the internet via our blogs...

Though I may be actually endorsing these curiousities further. (Please note, again, that I don't do so intentionally). I think that these ads are a good indication of what we are being fed or what is being trafficked on the internet. Now, much of this is not a surprise for many of us, but still I think it's a good idea to become aware of our supposed diet as consumers. Though I suppose as always we'll only learn that the internet is frequented mainly by lonely people such as the neglected and overburdened person stuck at home who spends her free time buy geegads on eBay or the poor horny bastard who can't find a date, or the poor bastard who's given up on the dating scene and resorted to the safe realm on on-line porn-sites.

Though I'm sure that this has been outlined in some economics 101 book somewhere. Unfortunately my mind is so clouded right now that Adam Smith with all of his drabness would make far more sense. I've been thinking lately that consumption is a double-sided mirror. On one side of the mirror lies their (marketers) perception of our needs: We buy or demand and they give it back to us. On the other side of the mirror is Our actual demand: They give it back to us because they perceive that we demand it.

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Comment: Get results... sounds like a claim for a hair-growth product or potting soil fertilizer... Garden Weasel?

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Comment: nice photo... are those two women?

Tangent brought forth by "This Application is Not Responding"

I've had it with microsoft word. I guess I've been bad to poor little word as it is a grandchild of papa Gates... making him work extra hard for me.. taxing the very system I work on by asking it to incorporate graphic files and odd text orientations to the layout of this document I'm working on. Poor little word is just not equiped or tutored (programmed) correctly to suit my needs. Someone once asked me why I couldn't get proper publishing software... I replied (my department doesn't want to fork out the cash to buy it). At least they aren't expecting me to do all my graphic rendering and photo-editing with the sophisticated 'paint program' included in the accessories folder.

So I think of papa Gates and all of the large corporations that dominate the world market. I think of the fortune 500 companies. I just read recently that Thomas Jefferson once augured that financial institutions and corporations would one day threaten democracy. Objectivists, and corporate allies would argue (not publicly, of course) that a true democracy was never really a viable possibility. There must always be people at the bottom and people at the top. Sure whatever, at least the people at the bottom and the middle could be taken care of better.

I think that we'd be blind if we didn't see how the growth of corporate power has affected us (my god, here she goes again... she's starting to sound like a populist)
On the level of consumption...many of our choices even as bottom and middle-rung consumers have been seriously limited by the monopolies. We can only buy what is offered to us by the big dogs that are left at the end of the take-over wars. I must act as a beta-tester for Microsoft even though I am their customer.

Don't get me started on how marketing to the masses also limits our choices. Yes, to some extent I can choose to buy things at little boutiques and off the path record stores, but I've noticed lately that many of these places have gone out of business... despite my efforts to frequent them, and I'm not just talking about the weird and off the wall places that are just flash in the pan fad vendors. On my street alone, I've witnessed three or four businesses that were there over five years ago go tits up.

If you want the bottom-line here: Middle-class businesses, small-businesses cannot compete with the monopolies and big businesses. I do get hope every now and then... when I read an article like this one. Cheers to the community of Inglewood, CA who decided to vote the Wal-mart out of their neighborhood.

I think the problem

in working in a corporate environment is that you become spoiled and dependant upon the paycheck. You become dependant on mother corporation's teat. Sometimes, and if you're in a position where you're not exactly expendable. They will work you so hard that you will feel either too tired to look for another job or convinced that there's nothing better for you to do out there.

I'm beginning to believe that this attitude is no different than a prison.

Julia, Thanks for the note on www.assessment.com! I look took my assessment and it looks like I should go back into a profession where I am helping others... probably teaching. I do enjoy working with kids a great deal... even though I am not you're average portrait of a kindergarten teacher. Oy, did I swear that I would never go back into teaching. I really did not like working with the other teachers (mainly the suburban ones...I don't know how to play nicely with most of them and I don't understand their scrapbook culture, but getting a position in a good urban school is terribly difficult).... guess I'd have to work for it. I think now if I were to try to apply for a job as a teacher I would promote myself in terms of what I could bring into the school community.

Cool lamps

These were done by someone I met in NY on my last visit. Nice guy... I like his sense of humor, and I will probably buy one of his lamps. This is only one example that indicates why I (in the eyes of some or most) should not work with small children.

Thundar the aquarian:
http://www.fotolog.net/hominy/?photo_id=7540504

And you thought they were cute, fluffy and harmless
http://www.fotolog.net/hominy/?photo_id=7362906

Beware of my lemur:
http://www.fotolog.net/hominy/?photo_id=6071772

Not sure what to think about this one...
http://www.fotolog.net/hominy/?photo_id=7632097

There was this one episode of Knightrider...
http://www.fotolog.net/hominy/?photo_id=6627974

The artist's homesite:
http://www.fotolog.net/hominy/

Thursday, April 22, 2004

I need to take a quick break here from what I'm doing... at work

This morning I was driving to the freeway behind a guy in an SUV complete with a ski-rack. He had a Nader 2000 sticker on the back of his car next to one in Rasta colors that spelled out IRIE. Before I say what he was or what he looked like please note that I mentioned that he had a ski rack on top of his car. As soon as he made a right turn out of my sight, the started playing "Free to Be U and Me" on the radio (okay, I was listening to the local kids station. sometimes I need to brighten my day with child-like goofiness rather than tarnish it with bad news about the adult world. By the way.. did you hear that they're temporarily shutting down the porn industry because of an AIDS scare. Freakasaurus Rex!

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

I've come to the conclusion that working in this environment hasn't been to great for my self-esteem. Okay, I get paid fairly well and my job until recently has been very secure, but I haven't had the opportunity to stretch my skills and imagination as I'd like. About 60%-75% of my time or more is spent on adminstrative tasks. I usually have to sneak away time from home to do my learning and my project work. Not to mention, I've been feeling terribly bad and pressured that I can't do everything. Then there are moments where I feel my body and soul giving work the finger because I cannot be the perfect employee and clone and yet come up with innnovative solutions at the same time.

Maybe I'm just burnt out from working for this group.

It just as well that they will probably dissolve my group by the end of the year (if we don't get funding). Even then I'm going to begin looking for a

By the way I just received a note from the person whom I sent the inquiry/cover letter about the job, that they are already finishing the interview process. Maybe he simply wasn't impressed. To be honest, I'm absolutely terrible at writing this corporate speak and meaning it. I am pretty good at making fun of it.

As I was writing the cover letter, I kept thinking do I really want to stay here? Then an even tinier inner voice chimed in a irritating chorus, "Do you really have a choice? You've built up time and experience working here. This could provide you leverage to get a higher position" But then I think... Is this what I really want? I will get paid more, but they will only OWN more of my ass... I mean time.

I need to think more positively. I will have to if I want to survive.

I read somewhere that if you really want something (maybe it was in the Suze Orman book... haha)... you should wake up each morning and repeat what you want over and over to yourself in the mirror.

I want to get out of here...
I want to get out of here...
I want to get out of here...

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

I'm super fucking lucky

Even though I find some hardships in my job... even though I struggle with my feelings of loneliness and frustration at work (who doesn't?), I'm still a pretty fortunate gal. I have a guy in my life who makes me feel beautiful and loved, and he's someone I can learn from constantly, incessantly. God, if he read this he'd probably turn red, but it's all good, Baby, and I mean it that way.

There are times when I start feeling a little paranoid... as if I could do something terrible to fuck everything up... but he pretty much accepts me for who I am - kooky, spacy, a little on the fried and eccentric side. And here's the big surprise... when we were first going out... I didn't suspect that this was all possible. I had been completely drained by the whole dog/pony world of dating (you know, the interview sessions over a beer at McMenamins), I really wasn't expecting to find such a person. And I just knew that I really enjoyed being with him and laughing.

I'm finding joy in other things outside of work. I'm buying a house (freaky!). I know a friend of mine spoke to me over the phone (he's been reading my blog) and he said "Are you sure you want to buy a house? This may mean that you're stuck there for a while longer?" (He knows how much I love working here). I've decided that this is a good opportunity for me and who know's I'm not so afraid anymore of CHANGE. If I find another job, if I don't work here anymore, I will still be me. I will still function as I usually do. Only I'll be experiencing things differently. I think my biggest problem lately was that I was afraid of change and loss of security... and unable to take risks.

In addition to all of these small revelations, I'm learning new stuff about myself all the time... such as, I shoudl really stop beating up on myself, because I'm really not that bad... good person, in fact.

Shhhhh...

(whispering) I've been trying to write a cover letter for the past 40 minutes... for a different job. I don't know if it's worth applying, because it's been up for a while, but you never know.

I am really trying my best to skillfully craft it. I decided that I would start by writing a description of myself in 3rd person and then convert it into a cover letter. Of course, I have to be extremely careful about changing the person and grammar consistently throughout the letter. I've found that thinking about myself 'from the outside' helps me write these things, because when I approach it from the 'i" perspective then I cannot do myself any justice what so ever.

Ode to La Perruque

Definition: an act in which the employee does things for him or herself while ostensibly working for the boss—writing a love letter on the job, for example, or using the company's tools to make something to take home. These acts persist despite measure takento repress them. *


All the talk lately about "The Man" has got me into this idea and notion that it might be possible to subvert him... at least in little ways. Whatever happened to the spirit of resistance from the 60's and the 70's? I'll tell you what happened. Most people discovered that it's not really possible (as Alan put it) to counter "The Man." So most of us have relented to a state of complacency. We find ways to live in the system and at times do make attempts to get around it.

La Perruque and Dilbert:
http://pcasacas.org/SPC/spcissues/21.1/tormey.htm
http://liberalarts.udmercy.edu/~witkowdt/dilbert_foucault.htm

*http://168.96.200.17/ar/libros/lasa97/levine.pdf

Monday, April 19, 2004

In search of friends and hobbies

At lunch today a friend of mine related his experience with an acquaintance who didn’t seem to have any friends outside of his wife and family. More, this person seemed to be interested in reaching out to others, but social interaction is not this guy’s forte. Normally, I would respond to such a revelation with a good hearty, “So?” However, I found myself feeling sympathetic to the guy and wondering if there was any advice for people who are socially challenged and in their thirties. After typing the customary search on Google, among several results I found a letter from a young man (god, am I that old that I am allowed to use the term ‘young man?’) who related his difficulties with social anxiety and how he found it terribly difficult to make friends.

http://www.suite101.com/discussion.cfm/6789/70372#message_1

In part of the letter he revealed that he had found what he felt to be his ‘perfect female equivalent.’ He found her on-line, but then somehow lost her. While I felt some sympathy for this poor dude, I could remember how I made a mistake once several years ago by assuming that the perfect partner for me would be the male version of myself. God, now I know you’re laughing your ass off on the ground right now. This seems like a common mistake made by younger people and those who continue to be relationshiply-challenged for the rest of their lives. In seeking a partner, they look for a mirror-image of themselves or in the case of some complete narcissists they look for a parrot or a programmable robot.

I don’t know, but I think that many people have such difficulty finding the right people for friendships or partnerships in their younger years, because they simply don’t know themselves that well. I might add that I feel that many of the married people I know don’t make enough of an effort to expand outward and make sure that their worlds extend past their front door and work. If you have interests there are most-likely other people out there who share them with you. My ex’s mother was an avid knitter, and she was quite skilled at it. She tried becoming involved with knitting social circles, but then later declared that all the women involved were usually neurotic and uptight little busy bodies. I thought it was a little ironic that she was, in essence, describing herself. Maybe she should have taken up bowling… at least she could sneak a drink at the bar between games.

Go, Andy Rooney!

http://www.snopes.com/politics/soapbox/rooney5.asp

Dear Multnomah County

I don't think I should have to pay this tax.
I know I've been hollering about the importance of civic involvement,
but I don't think that this means your further
involvement in my wallet.

At least there are other people who feel as I do.

http://www.theoutlookonline.com/article/2291

Thanks,

Imogene.

-------------
You know I was considering walking into a school/ any Portland Public School and just scoping out whether or not my couple of hundred dollars was being spent correctly. Maybe, I should pay a visit to the PS Administrative offices. I think it's only fair that the people know how their money is being used. I know that this doesn't sound so original. I'm sure some disgruntled individual in the recent and not so recent past has made the vain attempts to do the same.

Allright, I think I've said my share... well maybe.

Sunday, April 18, 2004

My attempts at verbal expression

...resemble fingerpainting done by a two year old. At least this is how I've felt lately. I know that most of the time, I'm making an attempt to squeeze out my thoughts and I have to battle with the fact that I'm usually trying to write when I'm pissed off or pressed for time.

Anxious moments, disturbing dreams peppered my sleep last night. I could hear everything happening outside with an mind-deafening acuteness. At 2:30 AM I was awakened by the man honking his horn repeatedly outside his girfriend's apartment. "Please Stop!" I wanted to yell out the window. " She doesn't want you any more. She's fucking someone now who makes more than you do." Cruel and bitchy, no, but I refrained from doing so, because I realized that it probably would only contribute to making the rest of the block angry. I tried to cover my head with a pillow, but not only did I have a difficult time breathing. I could still hear the human-like snores coming from Otto. Here was my pug-nosed dog struggling to breathe in his sleep... and here I was trying to suffocate the outside sounds and myself. I eventually drifted off to sleep and dreamt a dream of 'interior design hell.' I dreamt that J wanted to decorate the house in neapolitan ice-cream colors with chartreuse accents. I dreamt that I was paralyzed to act because I actually had no sense of taste and style (in the dream). I was awakened who knows when by the incessant morning song of a bird outside my window. SHUT UP YOU HAPPY LITTLE BIRD!

I usually sleep quite well on the weekends, so I concluded that this was all due to left-over anxiety from tax-time and buying a home. Baskin and Robin colors, oh my!

When life gives you sour milk... make a coffee cake.

This morning's meal included a coffee cake. I was suprisingly pleased with how it turned out: moist and rich with a delicate crunchy topping that had a butterscotch flavor.

Two topping coffee cake
Cake
2 c. flour
1 c. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 c. butter
1/4 c. shortening
1/2 c. sour milk or butter milk
1 egg beaten
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Topping 1
1 tbsp. flour
1 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cardamom

Topping 2
1/2 c. bakers coconut
1 tbsp brown sugar

FIRST: Prepare topping 1 ahead of time...
Cut the butter into the flour, sugar and spices until you have a crumbly mixture.

SECOND: Work on the cake...
Preheat oven to 375F. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder in a large bowl. If you don't have any butter milk take 1/2 c. whole milk and add 1/2 tsp white vinegar. Set aside. Stir vanilla into the beaten egg and set this aside as well. Take the butter and shortening and cut them both into the flour mixture using a pastry cutter or two butter knives (see instructions below if you don't have a clue). When you've blended the butter and shortening into the dry mixture until it has become crumbly. Stir in the egg and combine until the the mixture is moistened. Add the milk and combine well until you have a thick sticky batter. Drop the batter by the spoonful onto a 9 inch square baking dish that has been buttered and floured. Sprinkle topping 1 onto the batter. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven. It will be done if you can insert a butter knife in the center and remove it cleanly.

THIRD: Prepare topping 2
Set oven to broil. Mix coconut and brown sugar. Cover the cake with this mixture and return to oven on broil for just a few minutes. Make sure to carefully monitor the cake otherwise the coconut will burn. Remove from oven and serve.

How to cut shortening/butter into pastry using two butter knives.
Maxe sure you used a pretty sturdy and chip-free bowl. With you dry mixture in the bowl. Add the butter or shortening. Hold a butter knife in each hand with the sharp edges facing down in the bowl (bear with me, I can't draw a picture right now). With a quick motion repeatedly pull the knives outward and cut the butter into the flour. You can actually take out a lot of aggression with this method, so naturally I prefer it over using the pastry blender. I also prefer to beat my egg whites by hand for a similar reasons. Though I do have a copper pot, and this makes beating egg whites much easier. In any case, cut the fat into the flour until you've got a crumbly mixture.

Resources:
**A little information on sour milk
**About egg-whites (even though you won't need this knowledge for the above recipe)
**Wikipedia on egg whites, including how copper bowls make better beaten whites.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Who needs prozac when you have goals..that you can reach?

If ignorance is bliss, why are some many suckers so goddamn unhappy?

J. & I were talking about how in western society, it seems that so many people wrangle with depression. He noted, "It seems to me that if people just have a few goals that they can reach and they can make them happen even with little steps at a time, then they wouldn't need to take prozac or feel depressed."

It seems so simple, but there must be something to this.

I remember a few years ago my Mother gave me this book by Suze Orman, The Courage to be Rich. I promptly hid it beneath copies of Harpers and a coffee-table book on Majorca. I didn't want to read this... the white woman with nicely coifed hair on the cover, she didn't seem like someone I could relate to. She probably kept all her appointments striaight on a PDA, she probably enjoyed reading Under the Tuscan Sun. I could never be like her. Plus the title of the book freaked me out a little. Courage to Be Rich? Sounds like the Gumption to be Successful. I simply found that I had little stomach for most of those motivational speakers who promised that they could teach you to spin gold from foreclosures. Once a very long time ago I went to one of those get-rich-quick seminars and I felt myself cringing every time the people in the audience clapped their approval or uttered sounds of awe during the flim-flam speech… I felt as if I was in church, but the preacher was really pitching his sales, and the checks going into the baskets were for hundreds not just fives and tens. I remembered the movie The Grifters and began to feel my throat knotting up my stomach churned and I felt ill because I knew what was happening. I left before I could get my free danish and orange juice.

This and a number of other experiences, convinced me that there was a thing such as the Protestant Work Ethic. So I became convinced that success meant nothing but hard work…uh, hard, boring work. Stupid? Peurile, No? You might think, “There she goes again, over- generalizing how life really is.” I wasn’t too happy about having to relent and play bitch to “the Man.” (Though if you think about it, that's exactly what I'm doing in this job).


Sounds ridiculous, but it's true. I spent an awful lot of time in my early youth resisting certain behaviors and choices in my life, because I felt like I had nothing to loose, or I simply was not the kind of person who could live a normal life. Unfortunately, I confused suburban living with normal life.

Lately, I've felt like I've been waking (slowly) from some fog of self-doubt and loathing. Last year I began to become acutely aware that I really was out of place in the corporate environment as well as the suburban hole. I became truculent, ornery. More than this, I was starting to become depressed because I felt alienated from most of the people who were working around me, what I call these quiet folk who scurry away without a word, without looking you in the eye. It may appear to be so in this blog, but there were times that I felt like I was simply sinking into cynical quagmire… soon after experiencing these feelings of futility I’d promptly fall into a fit of depression.

However, with the help of my therapist, I’ve been slowly beginning to realize that I’ve been using the wrong yardstick to measure my success, and that I don’t necessarily need to aspire to be successful as the others around me are (or I perceive them to be).

You must be thinking, “...duh.”

Maybe it’s because in this place of business we live under the assumption that we will be canned if we don’t meet the grade…and with each rating period… someone always gets the axe no matter how high they were at one point. This is the corporate jungle law which dictates that there is no place for the old/feeble and the weak. Unless, of course you can afford an ass-kicking lawyer.


Somethings to check out:

One man speaks out against the Protestant Work Ethic.

Penitente Agite...wait that's Latin-Catholic. Damn at least the puritans weren't into S&M.

Max Weber & The Spirit of Capitalism

Spartacus & the Protestant Work Ethic?!

Hack the P.W. Ethic - Crackers Crack the System (... hackers, dude, not white people).

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Reluctant and cautious patriot?

I've become increasingly aware of how much I rely on this blog to help cleanse my head, and perhaps even my conscience. I've been pretty lackadaisical about my civic involvment lately, and honestly I've been driven away from being vocal or active because I don't feel like I can identify with the more visible groups in politics (i'm not just talking demo/repub here... more like the anti-war vs. the pro-bush factions). I wrote earlier that I feel like I don't have a party or group which I feel fits my needs and disposition. Surely, I cannot be alone in feeling this way.

I've been thinking more and more about our responsibilities as citizens of a democracy. Remember that cheesey sci-fi flick Starship Troopers? The director/writer both seemed bent on poking fun at how sometimes following the whims of the republic blindly makes us into fools without wills. There's been a lot of this sentiment against patriotism or even the questioning of why one should be patriotic... sort of that the self is more important than the body argument. However, I really feel that with unemployment rising, the shifting of global markets, and or tenuous situation in foreign entanglements, we will have to experience some sort of unity as Americans. I think it's there, but dormant. My god, I'm giving myself a headache thinking about this.

Too, I think that we cannot blindly follow and support our country and government without being responsible enough to question how it's policies and laws impact us. Sure this sounds like a conveniently pragmatist stance, and this is easier said than done, but we've still got to owe up to the responsibilities of being vigilant members of the civic body regardless of how difficult this may seem.

Truth of the matter is politics and laws have become far more complicated than our 7th grade minds can truly comprehend. We can't rely on Reality for Dummies... there's only so much truth that can be encapsulated in a nutshell or on a bulleted powerpoint slide. Most of us, including myself, we're too mired in the everyday responsibilitiies of living and working that we have little time to discern what's true or not. However, we still have to owe up to the responsibility that critical thinking is something that we cannot avoid. Am I being unrealistic? Am I being a sanctimonious bitch by admitting that I feel uncomfortable living in a world were most of us are willing to bend over and take things like bleating sheep in a field? I think Brian posted earlier: "We're basically happy to let other people make policy for us, then we just complain when things get messy."

I've made the decision lately, that I can't sit idly and watch things happen around me.

I've been finding that this blog-world is a pretty good way of communicating with others or learning more about the issues that concern me. Now, I'm not vouching on the veracity of everything I read or come upon, but at least I can see that others are asking the same questions as me... looking for the same sources.

I'd like to finish this, but I really need to be getting home. I will try to add to these thoughts later. I'm tired... I'm worn. Taxes, houses, invoices, schedules, spreadsheets, electrical wiring, driveways, property values, stock sales, capital gains. I should complain right? Others have it worse.

20 Questions?

I needed a quick diversion, I've been working on heavy scheduling and logistics this morning... yawn. I hate this shit, though I've fairly good at it when I put my mind to it, I just don't feel like a deeper part of me is being challenged.


http://y.20q.net:8095/btest

I love playing - and I've stumped the computer a number of times.

I was thinking of the Blarney Stone (in Ireland) don't ask me why, as St. Patrick's day is long over. Though god bless any ethnic group who has a holiday that encourages liberal drinking. Maybe it's because I've been craving these little cakes I used to get from my Granny (I'll talk about her later). They were delicate little white cakes covered with a sort of fondant icing and rolled in chopped peanuts and breadcrumbs. I remember hoarding these cakes like they were gold.

Blarney Stones
4 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Frosting:
1 cup butter
2 to 2 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
crushed salted peanuts
Separate eggs ; Beat yolks with rotary beater until thick and lemon colored. Add sugar gradually beating continuously. Add dry ingredients, sifted together, alternately with boiling water. Add vanilla and beat well. Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites. Bake 20 minutes at 350 degrees in shallow sheet cake pan. When almost cool, ice with frosting. Cut in squares.
Frosting:
Cream butter; gradually blend in sugar. Cream until soft and smooth. After spreading frosting on Blarney Stones, sprinkle crushed peanuts over frosting.
Yield 3 dozen squares.

From:
http://southernfood.about.com/library/prntnews/nn118.htm

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Cat fight! Cat fight!

The tax season must be getting to folks around here...(not to mention that it's almost 6:30 and we should all actually be home right now) I just turned up my headsets to drown out the sounds of the people on the other side of the aisle who are yelling at each other because someone fucked up on something... the details I did not catch... nor do I want to know. I only know that I will probably go deaf because I need to turn up my headsets in order to drown out those angry voices coming from the other side of the cubicle wall.

Multnomah County Income TAX!!!?

I guess I have to pay an additional county income tax on a tax that was voted on by the public... Oy, I got what I asked for when I called for public involvement. The people of this county voted for the tax before I moved into it last year... Doy!

The tax funds will go to insure that Portland area schools will run for a full year.

Huh?! I thought our normal property taxes (which are already high supposedly to compensate for our lack of a sales tax) are supposed to pay for this.

I'll pay the goddamn 1% of my income without reservation if I can be COMPLETELY assured that the students in this county receive the best education possible... which uh, I don't think they get.

Fact is public schools systems eat up much of the money they are alotted by the federal and state governments and property taxes because of the fat buracracies which are never evaluated for cost-effectiveness. Also, didn't you notice that bad teachers don't die? They just go into administration. Think of all the assistant principals you ever knew... remember when they were called in to subsitute for a teacher in an emergency... you would sit there for the entire period waiting for the class to end and thinking all the while, "How did this putz ever become a teacher?"

I have lost faith in the effectiveness of our public school systems. I don't blame the teachers or the parents, but I think in many cases the system has become so fat, sluggish and dull that no tangible positive change will ever be possible. Businesses and organizations that succeed are those that have the power to make drastic changes. The average public school district doesn't have this power. Districts and State Curriculum boards often swing back and forth when it comes to their general approach towards focus in the schools. One good example of this is the change in emphasis on standardized testing that happens every five or so years: Testing is good- teachers must teach to the tests/Testing is bad -teachers need to focus on a more learner-centered environment.

Testing is bad...
Testing is good...


hmmmm...

Four legs good!
Two legs bad!


This pendulum approach to attacking problems has always seemed (to me) to be a symptom of a old, fat and ailing bureacracy.

from official multnomah county income tax site:

What does the tax pay for?
The County personal income tax is expected to raise $128 million this year. Most of the money ($89 million, or $3 out of $4) will be divided equally, on a per-pupil basis among all County school districts. Schools will use the money to help ensure a full school year, retain teachers to keep down class size, retain some extracurricular activities such as high school sports, and on other classroom needs.

Another $32 million will be divided equally between County public safety and health and human service programs, preventing the layoff of Sheriff's deputies, and retention of some senior and mental health services.

The remaining $7 million is reserved for collection costs, audits and other administration.

Monday, April 12, 2004

I knew we should have been pushing the Scientific Method more

when I was teaching grade-school science. Remember when Ross Perot got all in arms about football coaches teaching math? Well, he had a point.

Here's an article that made my skin crawl a bit, mainly because I knew five years ago (and even from my own experience as a student in elementary and highschools) that most American educational institutions were poorly equipped to teach students in the areas of Science, Math and Technology.

There are schools and programs out there that encourage activities in technology. Some of these programs such as StRUT (Students Recycling Used Technology) are not affiliated with the PS systems (thank god). However, these are volunteer organizations. I've considered it before, but I would love to pioneer some sort of curriculum development or actual program which educated children on computer tech that focused on actual building of technology, understanding products and software. Among other goals such a program should focus on helping students explore and even build systems... and this should be something available to all students from all neighborhoods (poor and rich alike). God, I sound like something on the side of a box of McDonaldland cookies.

More, I do think it's very important to help children understand the value of critical thinking in science (ie. how to set up tests, controlled experiments). We go over this in schools, but I don't think we do the best job. I think I had too many teachers who made it sound so fucking boring and laborious that it's amazing that I even developed an interest in science at all. Also, to be frank, most teachers I came across (especially in the elementary level) had a somewhat strong aversion to teaching science and working with computers.... in a public school where I held a regular position. I think many of the teachers used computer time to just drop their students off a the computer lab to play 'educational games.' These teachers spoke out vociferously against having the lab split up to bring computers into their rooms. On top of this I saw that many local districts favored Macs versus PC's. While this may have made sense from a maintenance and user-friendly point of view, at the time it limited students to only the most superficial experience with computers in the sense that they were used as a tool just to run applications (not that this isn't helpful... it just isn't enough). We're not expecting them to become versed in LINUX...well, not just yet.

We will have to rely on the innovation of the next generation to become forerrunners in sci-tech. We may be short of jobs for the short-term, but hopefully as this article in Wired points out, necessity is the mother of invention. I still would like to see a somewhat detailed game plan for the directions we should be going in

Our responsibility

In response to Brian:

Yes, I agree. Maybe I'm projecting my own situation on others as usual, but it seems like the average hardworking American has less time to get involved with government (local and otherwise). We are one of the most over-worked people on the planet. With many of us receiving less vacation than our European and even Japanese counterparts, and more of us working longer business hours, who has the time to really become involved with the governing process and politics? However, it is after all a responsibility we have as citizens of a democracy. Though the nature of our democracy is far different than that of the concept of the city-state per Solon and the idea of the polis, we still have a civic duty to become as involved as we can. Funny, how I didn't really start considering this until I started noticing how much of my earnings were being siphoned off by taxes.

I don't think I'll ever become one of those concerned citizens that runs for city council, but you know I think the media and lawyers have pushed the rung reserved for politicians further up towards the day-time world of good... or at least displaced them so that they're higher up away from the 'inferno.' Though you all may have another opinon about this.
For the past few years of my life, my appreciation of our freedoms as Americans has truly become cemented in my understanding of what it is like to be an American, and I don't need to wear flag earrings or oversized sweatshirts with flag-motifs... maybe a Wonder Woman outfit, who knows.


Definition of the polis and democracy.

Sunday, April 11, 2004

Corruption in America? Or am I waking from a funk?

I keep meaning to write more about what seems to me to be the recent up-swing in visible examples of the corruption of the privileged. I should bit on the muscle inside my mouth now - maybe just a gentle nip - as someone will undoubtly bring up the obvious point that the rich have for the most part proven their shady nature time and time again in the past.

I was writing to someone just yesterday that I felt that we're experiencing times not too unlike what was going on during the Harding and Hoover administrations. In terms of some obvious graft taking place with the government. The current executive administration seems to bow to the will of corporations. The president's cronies shamelessly flaunt their abuse of power (Cheney/Halleburton). Governments are for the most part corrupt any way you look at them. Perhaps I've been raised just to assume that human abuse of power structures is inevitable. Perhaps our I'm only seeing things subjectively because I want to see what's wrong with the current administration. However, it just seems to me that people don't openly challenge things the way they did in the 70's and 60's. Am I making a unfounded broad sweeping statement here?

I sometimes happen to be downtown when a big war protest is taking place, and It seems like just another event to pick up on people. People wearing face paint, children playing with sparklers and pin-wheels, signs that say "Meat is Murder." I wasn't really clear about what people were protesting? Were they protesting the war? No one was able to give me what I found to be a satisfactory reason for why they were there. I knew they were protesting the President's foreign policy, but NO ONE had a convincing argument that went past bumper sticker logic... they were all following a rationale similar to that Clark was accusing the President of - unsophisticated, black and white.


I wonder if we're equiped to be citizens of a true democratic republic. Maybe it's just me.

Friday, April 09, 2004

House update

I put an offer up on another home that we found. It
was not as pretty as the last, but the listing
agent/realtor for this home didn't seem to have such a
big drilling bug up her ass. I haven't been talking
about what's been going on in great detail but here's
a summary the events that have taken place since last
Friday.

Last Friday - I'd asked the realtor to put a hold on
my earnest money on House #1 (the 1911 house with the
beautifully remodeled kitchen). We submitted my
acknowledgement of the offer. My realtor calls the
listing agent for this home and the woman off-handedly
makes a threat by telling us that there have been two
additional offers made on the house. Plus the two that
were in competition with me earlier. This truly
started to ring fishy with me. I told my realtor, "You
know I am willing to put up the amount that I agreed
to pay for this home, but if they or (the listing
agent) persists in playing these sort of manipulative
games, I will withdraw my offer. I don't want to do
business with people who behave in such an
unprofessional way."

Saturday - Went to view the house again to get a
better look at everything. I took my father & J with
me. We came to agree that there were some problems
with the house that I may have to deal with. I didn't
feel comfortable with the fact that the owners were in
the house while we were viewing it and trying very
hard to persuade me that their house was an
'excellent' buy. They showed me pictures of their home
before the restoration. Which was nice, but still I
got the sense that they were being a little pushy.
That night I spent more time reassessing the
neighborhoods I was looking at and made up a new list
of about 15 more homes to view.

Sunday- I decide not to take the house and cancel the
offer. During the day I went around N. Portland,
scouring every street and stopping at every open house
I could find (even the more expensive houses). I had
been doing this for the last 4 Sundays. Of all the
houses I saw... I really liked the house I described
below. I was very impressed by the fact that it was so
close to the MAX and downtown. I decided that I would
put an offer on the house.

Monday/Tuesday The seller of Home#1 calls my realtor
directly. He's extremely irate and basically confronts
her using some obscenities. For real. Owners of house
#2 send me a counter offer.

Wednesday- I accept the counter offer and I set up an
appointment for the home inspection.

Friday- I downloaded a home inspection kit, just
because I wanted to be educated on the whole
inspection procedure.

There are some extremely good points about this house
and some caveats as well (god I hate using this word
now because it's strewn over staff room talk and
documents left and right at work. I'll bet most of
these people don't know more than 15 phrases or words
in Latin. It's pretty sad)


Good
- Walking distance to the MAX line/ going downtown
- less than 5 minutes from Downtown
- Very close to shopping
- Nice up and coming neighborhood with a lot of
younger couples moving in.
- On a quieter street
- Nearby a school - one that I've substitute taught at
and actually liked
-House was built after 1950's
-We can furnish and decorate the house with a
mid-century modern/dansk look and it won't look out of
place
-It felt nice inside.
-We checked the attic and the crawlspace and found the
house to be well-insulated.
-The couple who is selling is retiring and has lived
there for almost 30 years
- The house seems to be well taken care of... the yard
is in pretty good shape.
- Gas not oil. Means I can get a kick ass stove.
- Hardwood floors under the carpet.
- The neighborhood has promise, as it's right off the new MAX line.

Bad
- Street is not finished and is rough
- Neighborhood crime stats have improved, but they
have a spotty history
- There is a hotel two blocks away
- The water tower is located 3 blocks away and you can
view it from the house
- The house down the street looks a little sketchy
- The house is located on a road that passes behind
two houses. We're facing the yards of two houses.

Thursday, April 08, 2004

Watch who you're putting the blame on

Off the blogger main site, I found this link: http://blameindiawatch.blogspot.com/

It brings up a point which I felt was ignored by many people who argued against the outsourcing debate. I myself have felt a little unnerved about the notion that my job or many other jobs like it are being re-located to India, Malaysia, and elsewhere; however, as I've mused before, it seems that blaming a nation and it's people was at most counter-productive and detrimental to our cause.

We should instead be questioning HR and management... perhaps even the whole ethiacl or un-ethical nature of corporations in general.... God, how communist of me?!***

It is clear that the Indian government and outsourcing agencies (based both in India and the US) have a vested interest in getting US businesses to look their way. However, I think, as always, we should always be wary of pinpointing our anger on specific groups... or that would seem a bit 'pin-headed' of us wouldn't it?

***Really, I'm not a communist I swear. I tried being libertarian for awhile and that didn't sit right. I don't trust the Democrats either...so what am I? Let's just say I didn't vote for NADER... what a sanctimonious ass!

Ignore this post if you don't want to hear about administrative b.s.

I hate this time of year... it seems that forecasting classes... quite an antiquated way of setting up course schedules via detail encumbered excel spreadsheets coincided with tax season. I feel awful that I'm bitching about having to fill out a spreadsheet instead of using a web-based form using php or sql. After all, recording and tabulating information via spreadsheets was state of the art 10 years ago. Is it unreasonable to complain about using backwards technologies, when I work for a company that so proudly claims that it's 100% e-business.

The group whom we process the spreadsheets/schedules claims that they don't receive the funding to create a better automated system which will 1.) encompass the large bureaucracy they've built around their infrastructure 2.) Provide an efficient scheduling situation for all the parties they work with. I suppose I can be a little more sympathetic when I take this into consideration.

I should really just bite it because I work for a mongo company... and when you work for such a humongoloid organization, you should expect some amount of bureaucracy and inefficiency. That's one law of the corporate jungle.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

A good point... where are all the replacement jobs coming from?

Here's an interesting article.. quote...

There is little doubt that U.S. companies are reaping short- term benefits from offshoring," added Ron Hira, chair of IEEE- USA's Career & Workforce Policy Committee. "It's not as clear, however, whether the U.S. economy - especially at a time of little or no job creation -- benefits from it. Positive net benefits depend on re-employing displaced workers in equal or better jobs, which is not occurring right now, despite economists' predictions.

http://releases.usnewswire.com/GetRelease.asp?id=160-03302004

By the way... why are people (the cross-bearing fundamentalists) so bent on preventing gays from marrying? Why, so they can't experience the precious joy of marriage?

I'm sorry, but as a soon to be owner of property I wouldn't mind it if a few gay and married couples moved into my neighborhood. Ooops, did I just support the stereotype that gay people often appear to be hard-working, taxpaying professionals who improve their homes and keep their yards clean? Don't you ever notice that people don't call assumptions about certain groups or people stereotypes when they're 'positive' ones?

My brother actually married his partner last month and I'm very happy for them. They've been together over five years and they seem to benefit from their relationship on many levels. Not only that but I've always considered them to have a very healthy relationship better than one modeled on any guidelines set by Oprah.

Response to Brian - regarding 27 years old and ripe enough to bear fruit

So you're friend's bio clock is going off?

Uh... she should make sure she's got the right sperm donor for her eggs. I've seen too many women settle for the first guy who lies still. If you ask me marriage is highly over-rated, most especially with the WRONG individual. I think I'm being realistic in saying... for most individuals in this fast-serve society, your average long-term relationship, unless of course you are bonded by plastic adhesive or punitive belief system that contends that you will go to hell if you are living in sin, lasts about 5-7 years. Those people who wait until they are a little older to pair-bond usually stay together longer, and there's a reason why second marriages are usually far more successful than first marriages. The problem is when you're in you're 20's and ready to procreate your criteria for choosing a mate is based primarily on what makes you horny (excuse me) and for women, add to that some pretty muddled ideals that come from creative play with Barbie and the Betty Crocker Easy Bake Oven (don't worry I didn't cook her... in the oven) and you've got the perfect equation for picking the wrong partner... or at least being a little misguided about your selection. Those people on Jerry Springer, the ones who reveal that their secret lover is their son's friend's girlfriend, I don't think that they were thinking about whether or not their partner would be a good choice for the long term.

Plenty of women in their 20's dig bad boys... I guess the you can find the older ones who haven't learned their lesson on Jerry Springer. They haven't realized that it's not all about being bad, as you can be 'bad' in ways that don't wreak mental and emotional havoc on those around you. You can be 'bad,' exciting, passionate... without having to drop into that category of patio furniture owning republican. No offense, to republicans, especially those who believe that Darwinian theory is still a plausible theory. I guess I could be accused of having the 'bad boy' fetish... once. I’ve added my theory below about why the ‘bad boy’ has become an icon for male attraction. I suppose there's nothing wrong with that as long as you're not too serious about settling down, and you don't let anyone drag you down, but the heart is a pretty heavy item and the science of attachment can open up a web of intricate traps. I think I may have just opened a big can of worms.

Too many people base their self-worth on being in a partership with the opposite sex - or in a romantic partnership. Sorry... I'll get off this box now. I seem to be getting on it quite frequently.


Why do we enjoy bad boys? – this is for pure entertainment only…and I’m still working on it.

Maybe it’s me and the my constant need to have a reasonably logical answer to most human behavior, but I have always felt that humans and their instincts have been influenced and shaped by the many eons of life that have passed since our days as hairy ape-like primitives who wandered the Earth. More, our ways of interacting today have been influenced by our animal and biological past.

Perhaps at one point we, the fairer-sex, were once drawn to the most aggressive males because we assumed that these were the ones who would
a.) provide some protective power over us and our brood
b.) pass on successfully strong/aggressive genes to our offspring…

At some point aggressive was translated into ‘bad’ (as in bad-ass, leather jacket wearing, aggressive, insolent, smart-ass, rugged-looking, devil-may-care) or any other adjectives you might apply to the quintessential bad boy.

Good-looking... that's another criteria... and I've met some pretty squat looking individuals who still qualify as 'bad boys... and they still seem to be able to reel in the chicks.

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Two more potshots, and then I'm done... for now

From match.com


EXAMPLE #1: SWM, age 35
Comment: This guy must work in marketing

Buckle Up!I am very athletic, educated, motivated, attractive, and hard working. I work hard and play hard. I am financially secure and easy going.

EXAMPLE #2: SWF Age 35
Comment: Lucky for this gal that there are plenty o' fellas (feelers) that are into her sort of thing. Kathy Lee couldn't twinkle as brightly... if you ask me anyone who writes this way probably has the potential of becoming an obsessive psycho.

Sparkly, Fun and Fit
I've been told that I'm "cute as a button". Well.....it was my Uncle Wayne when I was six ;)I love my workouts at the gym


Oh by the way (this goes for both sexes)...

those sunglasses don't make you look any thinner.


Translations

For reading the on-line personals...


I hike = I'm not fat
I like my job/I enjoy my work = I will not bitch or whine about it around you
Looking for a mature professional = you better have a J-O-B
I am looking for someone who is open-minded about world views = you better be liberal hands down
I'm vegan = I have issues with food and most likely am suffering from an eating disorder.
I listen to NPR = I'm trying to put on the best show that I'm educated or I'm looking for someone who thinks their as educated as me


I will add more to these. Feel free to add your own.

Jeesus... the internet is all about hooking up...

Ad off of my own page...

http://www.recipeforlove.com/
Can I ask them to take this off the banner? I want to puke.

Check out this winner.

Sunday, April 04, 2004

Imago?

This was posted off of another blog. This is probably not the most original crackpot approach to understanding relationships, but I still found it pretty laughable.

http://www.geneshelly.com/mainWhatIsImago.htm

Bullus Shitus.

From the text:
We were born whole and complete individuals. We became wounded in relationships during the early nurturing and socialization stages of development by our primary caretakers (usually inadvertently, in relationships with parents who were doing their best). We developed a composite image of all the positive and negative traits of our primary caretakers deep in our unconscious mind. This we call our "Imago." It is like a blueprint of the one we need to marry someday.

Didn't someone named Freud come up with this one?

We marry someone who is an Imago Match; that is, someone who matches this blueprint of the composite image of our primary caretakers. This is important because we marry for the purpose of healing and repairing the unfinished business of childhood. Since we were wounded in relationship we need to repair in a relationship.

Uh, I don't know about you, but I usually run from any inkling that a man is openly comparing me with his mother. This, in fact, makes my skin crawl.

Premature

Maybe I was in a hurry, and my judgement was not as good as I would of liked it to be. Yesterday, I brought my father and J. to see the house. Both of them liked many of the things I liked, but both of them saw the same things that were a problem with the house. These were things that I didn't see as I was blinded by the wonderful things I saw with the interior, the kitchen, the special fixtures, the yard, and the love and care that went into the renovation of the house.

There arguments basically boiled down to two things:
1. The house was too old.
2. The house would be too hard to maintain.

I also had spoken with my manager, who in a past life had built houses himself. I asked him some questions about the foundation and the structure of the house, especially the strange wall in the basement. From the floor up to about my shoulders the basement had extremely thick concrete walls, which were at least 1 1/2 feet in thickness. After this point, the house appeared to be raised by cinderblocks for another 3-4 feet. I found out later that the house had actually been a farm house with a cellar and at one point the owners raised the house to create a basement. He asked me to check the joists to see how they were fastened to the cinderblocks. When I checked the house this second time I could not see what he was talking about. Also, I found that the garage was actually a shed built around 1911. The structure of the garage itself was not sound and there was no electricity going to the garage.

I feel a little foolish, perhaps because in my family and the environment I work in at work. You are not supposed to take risks if they are obviously bad. You loose face if you make such risks. It's better to be paranoid. At work you're supposed to be paranoid and efficient at the same time. Maybe this is not such a comfortable thing for a girl who found it a little traumatic to play 'Perfection' (the game where you had to fit some 16? puzzle pieces into their appropriate place before the buzzer went off after what seemed to be 15 seconds).

Why do I berate and chide myself for making bad decisions. Maybe it wasn't a bad decision, because after all, I didn't actually finalize it. I brought two people to see the house whose opinions I trusted. I wanted to benefit from their experience and knowledge and determine whether the risk I was about to take in purchasing this house was worth it.

I also think that yesterday and the day before I was feeling slightly pressured to buy the house because that stupid bitch of a listing agent was dangling the possibilty that the house had other offers in line. This was Friday and I told my realtor that I was not about to play any ridiculous bidding games. My offer was as it stood. If she and or the owners were going to engage in any games. I would withdraw my offer right away, as I don't do business with... finks.

Ah, this is far more complicated that I could have ever imagined, but I'm learning.

Friday, April 02, 2004

Shit...

I think I just bought a house.

I mean I know I bought it, but my offer was actually accepted even though two other offers were on the table.

Of course we need to go through the housing inspection and I have to finalize the details with the mortgage, homeowners insurance, etc. etc. But suddenly, I feel a little alone... but in a good way. I know that this is only the beginning of course.

My head is spinning, but in a good way.

I had so many reasons/excuses why I didn't do this until now. After all, I am thirty-four.

- I don't have enough money (which wasn't true)
- I don't want to be tied down (that's negotiable)
- I was uncertain about my future and I was waiting in my last relationship to 'get fixed.' (When the only remedy was to end things)
- I'm not ready
- I can't do any better
- I am not responsible enough

Thursday, April 01, 2004

Tie me down, tie me up

In response to Brian:

Hmmm... I've thought that buying a house might tie me down. I've entertained this fear for the last five years. However, I'm looking at this purchase as more of an investment. I guess I'm sounding 'right out of the book' right now, but I've been toying withe the idea of home ownership for the past few years. My only hesitation is that I could be buying a little too early at this point in time. Not because I'm setttlin' because this place is perfect for me... but because I could be buying before the time that I'm not buying at the exact time that most strategically advantageous for buyers. Maybe if I waited a little more and locked in on an interest rate right now I could have better purchasing power for my money in 2-3 months. In respects to being tied down? Yes, I considered that, but I'm trying to buy a prop in an area that would be attractive for re-sale within 2-3 years or even as a good rental (to people who would be responsible renters). This neighborhood has some potential for growth. God, I sound like one of those droning grubbing folks. Really... for me... I just want a little security, piece of mind. I guess i'd also like to save enough to buy more property... just enough to keep me safe. Hmmmm... five years ago I wouldn't have even thought this.

As an aside, it looks like someone put in another offer on this property. I'm going to leave my offer as it stands. Although this is the perfect property for me right now. I somehow know that I may be able to enounter other opportunities that will be just as nice as this one. I know what I want, but I won't feel entirely pressured to buy right now as I have a place to live. I've never responded well to being pressured into anything. I'm pretty stubborn and bullheaded that way. So no, I don't actually enjoyed being tied up... literally, that is.

I think I found a place that actually felt right

In my search for "a place for my stuff," I did find a place that seemed to work for me. I didn't feel terribly out of sorts in it... and the Kitchen was re-done quite beautifully with granite countertops. There's a wet-bar, a hot-tub and a dog kennel out back for Dr. O. Generally, the place felt as if it had been loved and cared for, not slapped together with the latest doodads from home-depot just as a way to make extra cash. It's not in the best, best part of North Portland, but it is still in the area that could improve with the opening of the new MAX line. I stayed up late last night working with the realtor to get an offer set.

I'm a little freaked out right now... okay, that's an understatement. I'm pretty fragmented and on the edge right now... but I just have to let out a little sigh, straighten my skirt and pick up. I'll be fine. I'll be okay.

Butt rock

I took this quiz on line (beware of the advertising on this site... too much): Which Heavy Metal Band Are You?

My results:

Dream Theater
Metallica
and MegaDeath

Being somewhat musically illiterate, I don't even know what the first one is. Though I don't like the sound of it. God, I'm a fucking cliche.