Sunday, March 29, 2009

Unsolicited plug

So that Dionne from work reminded me of this fab YouTube video that another coworker's husband put up. Everyone can use a little more exposure, and this is just a phenomenal song. Here's a totally unsolicited plug for James Erickson's cover of the Eagles' "Waiting in the Weeds". It's long, but seriously, it's really worth it. And just so you know, all that back up stuff you hear is him, too. He's pretty flipping good.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

What goes on in a small town when the snow starts to melt

My friends Marita and Dave over there in Wisconsin are spending the weekend up in the northern part of that state somewhere, in a town whose name I don't remember, so it is probably pretty small. Last night she sent me a picture of a man wearing nothing but what the good Lord gave him and a pair of socks, in profile, from her iPhone. When prodded for an explanation, she replied that he was their host for the weekend, and his name was Naked Steve. It's times like this that I think Marita should have a blog.

Today I ran an obscene amount of errands, and upon finishing up in the supermarket, I noticed I had a text message from Marita. The following is the exact transcript. I just thought it was too funny not to share.*

Marita: NS bought a thong at the last bar. For later. For later at the bar. A woman's thong.

Joyce: I think I love him.

M: Pics to follow.

J: Two words: man junk.

M: I almost peed myself. He said he's ok as long as no face. This is very educational

J: Tell him I only have so much imagination. And that I promise I don't know how to use the internet.

M: I will. Soon we go back to another bar for a meet raffle. Good Lord. Then there is a "beaver" shirt discussion.

J: Hate the Beavers, am a Duck. Life up north seems kinda adventurous.

M: Not the same Beaver. This involves exposure. So they tell me. It's interesting. So very interesting.

J: Oh my hell! Girl junk? Careful out there, Marita, you might be the special guest star...

M: Right I

About 45 minutes later, in the middle of my nap so I didn't hear the phone beep, this came ~

M: I'm on the Beaver Club. good Lord.


M: You, too, Can become a member. Free T shirt. Email pic now. Boobs.

* Please note that I did not correct grammar or spelling errors to keep the integrity and fun of the texts themselves. I can only assume that the "meet" in "meet raffle" was supposed to be "meat", and I am not really sure what she meant by "Right I" unless she was in the middle of texting "Right I am getting the hell out of this town" and got hit over the head by Naked Steve's henchmen.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Readership drops dramatically

They just blocked TtheD from our work internet. This is huge. Half of you 17 read from work. This is not good, not good at all.

I ask you again, how bitter am I?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

An interesting thought (to me, anyway)

I had dinner tonight with a great friend from long ago, Lisa L (now Y), and she brought up a point that inspired me to stay up past my bed time to share. Lisa, by the way, is in that picture a few posts back of the baseball team, summer of '82 - she lives out of state now and is in town for work. I am really glad to have met up with her tonight (thanks AGAIN to the magic of social networking sites), it was great fun catching up.

So anyway, she suggested that perhaps kids today, those graduating from high school or college and moving on, living in the era of social networking sites like Facebook or MySpace, won't actually lose touch with the people in their current circles. They might move out of state, or go away to school, but the internet goes with you. They are always going to know what their friends are doing right now, or what's on their mind, where they are living and what new friends they have made. They'll have pictures to view and birthday greetings to send and all kinds of good karma. They may never disconnect with most of their circle, and as their circles grow, so do their friends' circles, and so on and so on.

So if there is no disconnecting, then the opportunity to RE-connect will be lost on them.

What might it be like for this graduating generation to never wonder about an old friend, to never have the joy of getting a phone call from the past, to not look into the eyes of a person they knew 20 years ago and see the same eyes in a just slightly older, more experienced face? To hear the Readers Digest version of their life, and see the results of that life sitting across the table and feel genuine happiness for that person?

I think sometimes the best part of losing yourself is being found. If I didn't have the opportunity to tell stories about what I've done for the past 43 years, I wouldn't have a reason to speak.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

How bitter am I?

Okay NOW it works. But I liked my other one better. Let's see if I can work on the first one.

Wordle: TtheD2

And now, THIS one works. I obviously liked the layout of the first one so I used it again.

Wordle: TtheD

I am SO not smart enough to figure out how to make them bigger, so just flipping click on them if you are really THAT INTERESTED in seeing them clearly. Christ.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Funny how that happens

I had a thought in my head all afternoon, a line from the movie "Grease" (because sometimes I let myself think things I shouldn't and I let them bother me and then I go from bothered to irritated and then downright pissed but all inside, you know, because this usually happens when I am at home with only the kitties around me and I have a bunch of time on my hands because stupid Twilight book #4 is not catching my interest so much so my mind wanders but then I take a nap and it all sort of goes away and I'm fine again). It's the one where Sandy sees Danny at the pep rally for the first time and at first he's all excited to see her and of course she is and then he realizes all his friends are watching him be not cool so he blows her off and she throws her pom poms at him and says "You're a fake and a phoney and I wish I never laid eyes on you!" and runs off to cry on a car.

So tonight I'm flipping channels and I see, of course, that "Grease" is on the ABC Family Channel and so I flip to it, because deep down I know, because this is the way my mind and the universe work together, and sure enough, it is RIGHT AT THE PART where Rizzo is bringing Sandy over to Danny and his boys, and sure enough, there's the line.

"You're a fake and a phoney and I wish I never laid eyes on you!"

If I had pom poms they would be at your feet right now. But I wouldn't be crying on a car because I really don't care that much.


Planning, planning

My sister and I are heavily planning a family reunion this 4th of July weekend out in Ontario, Oregon. It is for the families of Thomas and Martin Joyce (Martin was my grandfather), and it's getting quite close, so there is much to be done. I've never done this sort of thing before, but it is keeping me somewhat busy and that's a good thing. I haven't been out that way in a while now, and I do like the eastern Oregon scene. We're planning on roughly 110 people (a large chunk of that being my own siblings and their families, though there aren't as many as you would think there would be, and no, I am not bringing the kitties) so there are rooms to block, food to decide on, bartenders to hire (um, yeah...), all manner of things I probably haven't even thought of. I like a good party. So it's got me in a pretty good mood.

Stinkingwater Pass, Harney County, Oregon

Friday, March 20, 2009

That red you see is merely irritation.

I've started a post over and over again but frankly I have nothing to say and no creative way to say it. To say nothing. Because I have nothing to say. But I've been on a roll and now I feel like I'm letting some of you 17 down because I've set this precedent.

What I really wanted to do was post this Wordle situation that Angela posted on HER blog and I can't make it work on MY blog and it's pissing me off because it's pretty cool. I can't make it work. It's stressing me out and making my face all red.

No, wait. That's the tanning bed sunburn I got last night.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


There is simply no reason out there for me to see the new Julia Roberts flick. She just bugs the crap out of me. Plays the same character in every movie. I don't need to hear that gigantic mouth guffaw. I think the only movie I ever liked with her in it was "Mystic Pizza", and probably because she was a nobody. Never saw the one about the hookers, not all the way through, and though I really like the movie "Steel Magnolias", I think they should have cast someone else for her role.

I never wear green on St. Patrick's Day because I am Irish and have green blood.

Speaking of St. Patrick's Day, I used to take the second half of the day off on SPD and the first half off of the day after so that I could go celebrate and not be all hungover the next morning. The best SPD memory I have is getting to Silky Sullivan's in Fountain Valley, CA at opening time, sucking up to the owner, and then sneaking all my friends in through the kitchen all day rather than have them wait in the horrendous lines to get in. That was a great day.

Since I have no money I have decided to shop for a new digital camera.

I wonder sometimes if Seca ever looks at Lava and says "Shit I want her fur."

My mood is completely controlled by the weather. When it rains I am a raving bitch. When it is sunny I am everybody's best friend. I would hate being my coworker. I can be pretty mean.

Since I started waxing my upper lip I've noticed that I can go from bare to complete '70s porn-star 'stache over night. Literally. It doesn't slowly grow back, it comes back with a vengeance. One day I'm smooth and the next day I've got hair in my food.

I wonder how much of this poor economy we are in is media-driven - since the media SAYS the economy is poor, then it MUST be poor. Because seriously I still can't find a parking spot at Nordstrom.

Why is it that in the time it took for me to unplug the curling iron, get dressed and sit back down to the cracktop I have forgotten most of what I intended to write this morning? It was really good, too.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

It's that time of year again ~

Back in high school, when I was just a young, shy, innocent thing (don't laugh, it's true), I was the scorekeeper for Beaverton High School's varsity baseball team. I think that might have been when I first realized the value of connections - the coach, Mike Bubalo, had coached Barry S., a family friend, and when it was discovered one day in sophomore health class and Bub learned of my love of the game, he asked me to do the job. Perfect opportunity - I was new to the public school scene, loved the game, had secret crushes on many of the ball players, and had the time. I was pretty quiet back then, which made Bub happy I'm sure, and I got to spend my afternoons surrounded by the one thing that made me completely happy. It was the first step toward me becoming the me you see today. Well, the good part anyway. Plus, they paid me - $4 an hour in 1980 wasn't too shabby.

I have incredible memories of those days. Beaverton's baseball team was pretty much untouchable in our league and really, the state. We were good. We had incredible talent and serious coaching. We went on road trips for spring break and then, in the summer league, travelled a little bit more. I am not really sure what my mother was thinking, allowing her 15 year old daughter travel with a bunch of hormone-riddled high school boys, but she probably assumed I wouldn't have known what to do with them if they even attempted anything. They really never did (Well, not in the beginning anyway. We definitely had our fun...). I think the first trip me and my co-scorekeeper stayed in a room with one of the boys' mothers. That was the first and last time for that, however. After that, I had gained Bub's trust, though I might not have actually deserved it.

Baseball afforded me great friendships - Lisa L., Jeri T., even Kathy M., all pretty much came as a result of that gig. It gave me some confidence and sort of put me on the high school map - not in any big way, but at least people recognized me. Though there were a couple of girls in my French class that made fun of me and called me a whore, overall it was a completely rewarding experience that I would not change for anything. Sure I learned how to officially keep score, discern one pitch from the other, and figure out important statistics, but over those three years I also learned how to evade authority, party without letting the grownups know, manipulate store clerks into selling a 16 year old beer, and flirt mightily with boys from the other teams that I knew I would never see again. These are all valuable tools that I still use to this day.

It's no secret winter is not good on me, and I can remember way back to 8th and 9th grade, hanging with my friends, bemoaning the rain and darkness and just waiting for baseball to start. That has never changed. I still get the blues in the winter, but there is always hope for me when I know pitchers and catchers are reporting soon. I don't follow the game as much as I used to, it's hard when you don't live in a major league city, but seeing it on TV for the first time of the season, I can almost smell the grass, feel the fresh air, hear the crack of ball on bat... it lifts my spirits and makes me feel whole.

I envy kids with all that in front of them sometimes. And I am eternally grateful for what it has done for me.
I actually have this picture, but I don't have a scanner, so this comes courtesy of Todd F. and HIS scanner.

And yes, I am in this picture.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

In support of small business

My brother in law Paul can be pretty aggressive for such a laid back guy. He phoned me tonight, giving me shit about not commenting on his blog (he alleges I haven't read it lately - I have, but I'm a little behind these days), and wouldn't flipping hang up until I read his most recent post. It was about a friend of his, a small business owner in Newburg, Oregon, that Paul hooked up with in his quest to fulfill his lifelong dream of draining the bank accounts and remaining young no matter how much hair he loses.

Paul's blog is all about adventure, and not just off-road. Though there is a lot of off-road-related stuff in it. He's become quite popular in the FJ Cruiser world, and does his part to plug his vendors and supporters. Metal-tech 4x4 is one of those that Paul holds near and dear to his heart. Normally if Paul pushes me to do something I either change the subject, hang up, delete, or ignore. This time I took his nagging to heart and read the blog post. Here's a little excerpt (because I can't explain it better myself):

"Intuit, the guys who brought you Quicken software, are running a competition for users of their business software. The competition involves writing a story about your business and exposing yourself to the public vote for best story. The top 50 stories will move on to the next phase of the competition with the winners eventually receiving cash grants to build their business."

So here's the gig: we've all been there in some way, shape or form, working with little money and trying to keep the dream alive. How about clicking on this link, voting for the story (as either useful, inspiring or funny) and helping Metal-tech out. You may learn something. You'll definitely be helping a small business grow. And you may just be inspired.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Being there

What kind of advice do you give to someone whose heart was just stomped on? What can you say to make it better? How do you find the words to stop the pain that is so fresh, so real, when you've been through it and know how bad it's going to be?

Nothing. You can't. There are no words. It's something most of us go through, at least once. It doesn't get easier. It may not go away for a long time. But one morning you know they'll wake up, and want to feel better. Just a little. Telling them that now doesn't make it hurt any less, but sometimes it's all you've got.

I know you'll come through this, but I don't know when. I know you're one of the bright stars that shine on our world even if he doesn't realize it. I know you are not going to be alone and I know you deserve someone who can give you everything you need. You'll get it, that's how it works for you. You'll believe that soon. But for now, I'm just a phone call away, feeling your pain.

Monday, March 09, 2009

"How hard it is, sometimes, to trust the evidence of one's senses! How reluctantly the mind consents to reality."
- Norman Douglas

I just really like that quote. It's desperately true. Sometimes we want something so badly that we discount our logical selves and just run on hope. Sometimes it is totally unrealistic, and though deep down we know that, we still hang on to that tiny shred of possibility. Or maybe it's just me.

If the last couple of months have taught me anything, it's patience. And I'm at the end of it, I think. Maybe. I've been dealing with some situations that have done a lot for me, in terms of my emotions. Like showing me that I actually have some, beyond your basic every day irritation. This is good, because a life void of emotion is no life at all. And it's bad, because hurting sucks. Happiness, on the other hand, does NOT suck, but happiness tends to come and go, especially in these situations to which I refer. I guess the happiness is worth the hurt, if I am going to be philosophical about it, which I guess I will be for now. Blame it on that quote - it made me think.

I won't dwell on specifics. I won't even dwell on the whole irritatiing scenario from here forward, because it doesn't do me any good. What was found is now lost again, but, for a very brief period, I had some happiness. I suppose I am lucky to have had even that, considering the number of people who do not have any at all. It's getting past the hurt that makes today hard, and will probably make tomorrow hard, but I'll do it, because I have to.

I have always described myself as selfish, and I'm guessing I base that on the fact that when I want something, I get it, no matter how frivolous. But I am also codependent, and tend to put the needs for others in front of mine. Doesn't make much sense, does it? I guess it's safe to say that when I want STUFF, I get it, but the NEEDS I'm talking about are the intangible things. The things where you give of yourself. Instead of STUFF. I don't give a lot of attention to my own NEEDS, beyond a weekend nap here and there. What does it say about a person who doesn't feel like her own nurturing is important? It can't be good. And I guess it's good that I have the time to work on that.

Because I have the time, like I had before January.

And yet, I still hope.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

In a perfect world...

You know what would be great? If people like, thought something, and then told you what that was. Or felt something and told you how they felt. You know, nicely, but still. Then we wouldn't sit around wondering for weeks at a time what the HELL was going on in their heads. People accept the truth, when it is presented to them. They don't really have a choice. And they certainly wouldn't have to waste so much time wondering about shit if they just knew.


Tuesday, March 03, 2009

The meaning of everyone else's life

** Disclaimer ** It's not really my intention to slam anyone in this post. I am simply voicing my opinion. I would like to go on record by saying that what one person deems to be their American dream, another person may not. That's what makes this country great.

Sometimes I lie in bed, in the moments before sleep takes me to the whacked-out dreamland of my psyche, and wonder about the meaning of life. What's it all about? Where am I going? Is this really all there is? Am I meant for something meaningful and gigantic? Have I made the right decisions in my life, and am I heading in the right direction?

Saturday morning I packed an overnight bag and hit the road north, to Seattle. It's about a three-hour drive, provided you don't constantly stop to pee or hunt down coffee. My destination was my great friend Rebecca's home that she shares with her husband John and her two young boys. The drive was great (I overdid the coffee thing though and had the shakes by the time I actually arrived, which is to be expected in such a situation), as were her directions, and I arrived around noon at her mid-century modern house on the northeast side of Seattle. She has a great home with a fabulous view of Puget Sound and Bainbridge Island. The occasion was, more or less, to attend her brother's birthday party, but mostly it was to get my happy ass up to Seattle and visit her for God's sake, I haven't been to one of her homes in years and I was maid of honor in her wedding. Make an effort.

Anyway it was a great little getaway; we talked away the afternoon, took a little sightseeing drive, explored a neighborhood, had some more coffee. The party came off without a hitch (it was a surprise party) for the most part and a good time was had by all. Sunday morning I got up, had breakfast, and left around 11:15 or so. Home by 2:30, napping by 3:30. It was a really nice weekend.

Except for the one thing that has been bothering me a little bit since then.

Every time I sat down to blog about the weekend, one thing kept bugging me, kept creeping into my mind. I didn't want to blog until I figured out how to get around that little niggling without actually offending someone. Hence the disclaimer. I'm not slamming anyone, I'm just giving you my observation.

And that observation is this: OH MY HELL I'm glad I did not ever have designs to get married, have a couple of kids, get a job at Microsoft and live in Seattle. Seriously, those people are all the same! Look the same, talk the same, dress the same, have the same house (this is how you know I am not talking about you, Rebecca), drive the same cars, have the same hobbies, have the same LIFE. They were nice enough people but for God's sake!

I've often thought that the people that move to Seattle or even Portland for that matter from some other part of the country all have this idealized dream of what it is like to live in the Pacific Northwest. It's all backpacking and recycling and taking mass transit and telling everyone they don't watch TV. It's like moving here will somehow make you instantly hip. Or envied by everyone else in Iowa. Or something. Then you get your dream job in some high tech cubie and buy your Subaru and meet the coworker of your dreams and buy a house on a postage-stamp sized lot on top of everyone else in some cool or soon-to-be-cool neighborhood and then the kids come and you suddenly find yourself sitting at your laptop in any coffee shop that ISN'T Starbucks and talking about "Slumdog Millionaire" at parties filled with the same people as you. The same. As. You. Boring the natives to tears.

I've never liked the state of Washington, for obvious reasons (obvious to me, but some of you 17 may not realize that the University of Washington is in Washington and being a Duck, I hate that place and everything it represents), but I've given Seattle enough opportunities to prove to me it's not a bad place to visit. I've seen the Tribe play at Safeco Field, I've seen the Browns play at whatever the hell they call their football stadium. I've watched seaplanes land on Lake Union and I've been chased around a club at closing time by a bouncer who really wanted me to put down my drink. It's fine, it's a city that's bigger than Portland, is kind of like Portland, but isn't Portland. It just isn't Mecca. Somebody needs to tell these recent college grads that.

Here's the thing - living in a city that people from other parts of the country think is cool and working at a company that is so huge that nobody knows anybody else that works there outside of their own department and doing all the things this ideal seems to make you think you WANT, well, that's just not being yourself. I cannot imagine thinking that being just like 10,000 other people would be appealing. Definitely not something to aspire to.

So where do I fit in all of this? I realized after my little getaway, which really was a good time, that I am glad that I live here, believe it or not, in Beaverton, where if people are trying to be something they are not, then I don't have to see it. I'm glad I wasn't raised with the mentality that there are things you have to do, like get married and have kids. I'm glad that I am a free spirit, even if my spirit isn't as free as it used to be. I'm thrilled that I can totally be MYSELF at work, that I can swear and slam phones around and voice my opinion and laugh REALLY REALLY LOUD and not know enough about the computer system. That I can go home and chill on my sofa with my kittens and watch America's Next Top Model reruns and nap and not feel guilty that I'm not out riding my bike on a trail in the rain or shopping at Whole Foods and buying soy milk and the protein-bar-du-jour. Most of all I am grateful that I am me living my life and doing my thing.

So that's it. Every day, living and learning a new thing. What a great country.