Friday, February 26, 2010

February never changes

There are a thousand things skipping about in my head but not enough to make some kind of reasonable post. So I checked out the last few Februarys in the history of TtheD and found that not a whole lot goes on my life in winter. So I really shouldn't be concerned that the only thing I have on my mind lately is how I hate it when I get up in the morning and it's raining out, and I think about my commute, and getting out of the car with my purse, my coffee, and my umbrella because despite the truth that true Oregonians don't use umbrellas, I have to use one or the entire day will be centered around what chaos my hair is in due to the weather. I'm pretty sure the people in the branch don't want to hear me bitching about my hair, but that's what I do.

Last night I reluctantly agreed to have dinner at the mother's house because my cousin Helen is in town and the mother decided to steal Barbie's thunder and host a dinner. I think it was only supposed to be me, the mother, Helen and Helen's son Mike, but I ended up bringing Tom for reinforcement and Mike ended up calling our other cousin Mo and then Barbie actually came. It freaked the mother out when I told her I was bringing Tom (she hadn't planned for as many people but whatever) and then Tom was fired up that Barbie was coming (she redirects all the attention), so it ended up being actually a pretty fun evening. Which isn't normal for that kind of a scenario. I was home by around 8:45 and went to sleep on time and (despite the customary nightmares I always have following an evening of family) woke up on time and am actually ready to go to work with plenty of time to blog.

I chatted with a long ago friend on FB this morning and he asked me what kind of crazy plans I have for the weekend. People often ask me that. Because I used to be able to come back with some pretty good stuff. But now, you know, I can't. Because I don't have any. The highlight of the weekend will be the cut and color tonight, and the promise of the rescheduling of the hair appointments to accommodate my new requirement of color-every-four-weeks-instead-of-five. And the threat of me actually doing some cleaning. It's awesome. I'm awesome. I'm so flipping interesting that I can't even pretend to you people that I have more going on. Maybe I should start another blog where I am the person I would have been if I actually continued on with my fun and exciting self that left me some time ago.

So that's it, then. It's Friday, thank God, and I am looking forward to waking up at the same time but without an alarm clock, and drinking coffee in front of the cracktop but without a time limit, and potentially cleaning, and general relaxation. That's it. That's all I got. It's almost March, Spring is coming. We'll see what happens.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Facing it

It's time to face the truth. There can be no more avoiding the issue. It's time I just be honest with myself and deal with the reality. Even I can't continue lying to myself about it anymore.

I need to start coloring my hair every FOUR weeks instead of every five.

I'm at four weeks and four days and I look like an 86 year old woman.


Sunday, February 21, 2010

And to think, all I was doing was running a couple errands

I blame myself for the spiraling financial ruin I find myself in (but inwardly, so no one knows) (and really, how bad can it be? "Financial ruin" to me means I can't buy a new bag whenever I want one), because I constantly want stuff, but the purchase of my iPhone last year was probably the smartest thing I've done impulsively in a long time. It's just plain fun. And for once everybody DOESN'T have a better phone than me.

First of all, I think I'm cool because I have my work email on it (as well as my personal one), so if I respond to a customer after hours the signature line says "sent from my iPhone", and then I think THEY think I'm cool, too. I think that's an important part of the game. But also too they dig it because even if I leave work at a reasonable time they know I'm still available. I've literally answered an email at 4:50am before. I think that made the client kind of dig me more.

Secondly, it has all these neato do-dads you can download on them. Some of them, I'll admit, I've downloaded only because my friends have them or they seem like a neato thing to have your phone and then I've never used them, but others are pretty dang handy. Like weather and traffic and GPS and currency converter and find me a gas station and all that. Handy. Plus there are games and the actual internet itself and of course my iPod. Which up until yesterday I barely used.

So here's how I used my trusty $200 phone yesterday:

I phoned my brother and asked if he wanted a ride home from work - he is carless and mid-week carpools but when he works on Saturdays he depends on mass transit. Anyone who uses mass transit knows it's going to tack on some extra time to your commute, so I thought I would be nice and offer a ride. Plus I planned to be down in the area of his work so why not? He took me up on it.

Before I left the house I googled the address of the Target in Wilsonville. Jeri loves that Target and I haven't been to Wilsonville in forever so I set my sites on it. No matter how hard I try I can't leave the house earlier than 11am, and yesterday was no exception. I also have retention issues and didn't pay attention to what Wilsonville exit to take for the Target, but it didn't really matter since I have GPS on my phone, right?

I took the main Wilsonville exit instead of the North one, because, I thought as I went sailing by, it couldn't be that one or wouldn't Jeri call it the North Wilsonville Target? (I also don't notice things so you'd think that the big fat Target sign on the side of the freeway would have attracted my attention but it didn't). I ended up getting a pretty good tour of Wilsonville, which, you know, is pretty much like any other city in Southern California (except that it's in Oregon) and after driving around for about 30 minutes looking for anything that looked like it would house a Target, I pulled over and used my google maps. And realized I should have taken the other exit. But what was nice about it was that I wasn't exactly sure where I was and the map thing told me exactly how to get to my destination. Bitchin.

The Target was like any other Target, but it was a pretty neato strip mall situation, and it was clean, so that was nice. I managed to get out of there under $80 (seriously, like $79.82) (I was there to get a baby shower gift and part of the gig was to also bring a can of formula for some game and can I just say something? Why is formula so flipping expensive? I've never had to buy this shit but for the love of Mike, it's like break-the-bank expensive! I don't consider myself poor by any means but I am telling you there is NO WAY I could afford to buy formula, not enough to actually keep the baby fed on a regular basis. So what the fuck? How do low income people do this? Does this make ANY sense? I'm speechless) and then had about another hour to kill. I popped back on the freeway and went to yet another strip mall in Tualatin that I had been to before that had a whole bunch of stores and I was thinking I needed a Radio Shack. There wasn't one in there but I went in to a Starbucks, got a coffee, and looked up the location of the nearest Radio Shack on the internet.

To fill you in on why I needed a Radio Shack... so the other day John and Chris and I were coming back from lunch and I was using his car charger to charge my phone. He pulls out this OTHER cord and plugs it in and lo and behold it suddenly starts playing my iPod on his radio! Now, I consider myself fairly smart, and I knew this was something one could do, I just didn't know how and didn't really think beyond "wouldn't it be cool if I could play this in my car"... on account of the developing late stage adult ADD I think. Anyway, I started searching around my own car for the little plug in thingie but couldn't find it.. It has the one where the cigarette lighter used to be, and I use that, and there's another one of those in the center console.. but yeah, I don't know. Anyway divinity stepped in while I was driving up the freeway from the Target to the Starbucks and sure enough I found it right under the cigarette lighter thingie. Sweet!

I did find a Radio Shack very near the Starbucks I was at, and even closer to Tom's work, so I drove on over (as neato as it is to have the GPS thing on the phone, however, there is no accounting for my inability to believe a telephone and my never having learned left and right during those all important developmental years - I learned about those on the back of a can of Enfamil at the Target) and got lost a couple of times, but found it, and bought the little cable for $6 (yay!) and then got BACK in the car, took a wrong turn, broke two laws trying to get to where I wanted to be, but plugged that bitch in and started jamming to ANYTHING that wasn't the Portland radio station drivel.

So you see, folks, as much as I bitch about being poor, and knowing it's my own fault, and wondering why I have to have all the cool stuff, this one particular cool thing I have is very handy. Let this be a lesson to you - those of you, that is, that don't have to buy formula so your kid can eat - if it's really neato and you don't have any money but you can figure out a way to charge it, I say go for it. You only go around once. You might as well have fun doing it.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Saturday in the sunshine

I love Saturday mornings. I've probably blogged about that in the last almost five years, I'm sure. Saturday morning is a get-up-early-drink-a-couple-cups-of-coffee-in-the-pink-Saturday-mug-I've-had-for-roughly-20-years(oh my God, really?!)-and-be-all-optimistic-and-shit kind of time. And it's been sunny and warm-for-February-ish so the attitude is up. Things can be kinda shitty everywhere else, but a sunny Saturday morning is always a good thing.

So what's been going on? From the looks of this blog, not much. But there are things to be done today so I can imagine I will have more fodder soon. Today I am trying out a new (to me) Target - Wilsonville. I never go to Wilsonville. I mean I don't think I have been even remotely near Wilsonville in like ten years. Jeri loves the Wilsonville Target so I guess I should go check it out. I mean, what else have I got to do?

I have a baby shower tomorrow for the daughter of my brother's best friend from high school (they're still best friends, it's just that they became best friends in high school, and I don't have to tell you it's been roughly 29 years since high school for Tom and Tony) (Good Lord, why all these references to how long ago things are? I didn't sit down to write about my age..), and she is registered at Target, so it's really all about a purpose, but I do love Target and don't get there nearly enough.

So my neighbors are all moving away. Even the broad next door with the kid she is constantly screaming at. I saw a for rent sign on her window the other day and I thought, what? I just figured she owned. She's been here as long as I have, and she's a bitch. I don't know her, but she is never friendly when I see her. Even after I put the note on her door thanking her friend for shoveling the snow a year ago December. Her kid, on the other hand, is always friendly - waves at me when they drive up in the car, says hi and tells me about football when we run into each other in the parking lot. She could learn a lot from her kid. But nevertheless, it's kind of sad to see her go. Not because I hope to break through her hard candy shell, but because there is some sort of mild, apartment-dweller comfort in hearing them come home from some event with her chewing him out at the top of her lungs and no doubt embarrassing the shit out of him. Now it's just me, and nobody to the left or right, and the Duck fan upstairs on one side and the old lady with the creaky bed on the other. Let's hope to heaven no young pot smoking roommate types move in next door. I don't have anything against pot-smokers, young people or roommates, but I do have plenty against riff raff, and that's generally what those kinds of tenants bring with them.

So as is the custom for me this sunny Saturday morning, I've been up since 5:30, finally showered, almost ready to leave the house, but probably won't until 11am. It's too relaxing listening to my iTunes, drinking coffee, catching up on the news and watching Seca completely lose it all over the house (I don't know what kind of kitty-cat demons she has, but they chase her constantly). I love the sun, but I love my Saturday morning, too, and it lasts just a little bit less time than today's weather.

Happy weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Happy Birthday Elizabeth!

Sure I stole the picture from you, and yes it's a year old, but it's still festive and it's still you, so HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!

Isn't she fun? Like a lizard? Woo hoo it's your birthday!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Mentally exhausted

Work wore me out today. It's not like there is a ton of business, but the business we have is harder than it used to be. Sometimes the systems we put in place look good on paper, but don't really pan out in real life. It's those instances that put me in a position of scrambling at the last minute, making mistakes, losing my confidence and then sending the whole last half of the day into a tailspin that I never regain control of. So at like 4:45 I end up having to walk away from the desk and announce that I'm done. But I'm not, because I'm rarely ever done, and having my work email on my phone means I don't ever really stray too far from it.

Plus things at work are tense, and it bums me out. There is always change, and there is constant regrouping, and it affects everyone differently. Some branches are harder to work in than others. I like the one I am in right now, but there is much tension in the air and I wish I could make it go away. Because despite everything that is going on, it's still a place we spend most of our lives at and we might as well try to have a good time.

Oh and it's February, so that means it's ant season... right? Probably not anywhere else except my dishwasher, where I discovered them shaking off the winter and busily setting about the plan to terrorize my spring. I blasted and washed and blasted again and will lay traps down again like last year, and hand wash my dishes for a month until I realize it isn't working and then ultimately I will call around to a pest control company and just pay for the dang thing myself. As much as I liked last year's bug guy, their service is just way too expensive. Who knows, maybe I'll like the new bug guy just as well.

And now Seca has been worrying me. I think there might be something wrong with her teeth. I think I only think this because a coworker just had her cat in for some tooth work last week (that cost her a fortune) and lately Seca has been trying to eat all the metal in the house - the new lamp, the faucet, the towel rack. I tried to look at her teeth but she barely lets me pick her up let alone paw at her mouth, so it's difficult. So I am worried that there might be something wrong and I am not sure that I can afford to take her in. Which makes me a bad cat-owner because what if she's in pain? What if she is just suffering silently like some kind of martyr (only I would have martyr cats..) and I am just not paying enough attention to the signs? I need a cheap vet. The vet I took them to when they got fixed was something like $800 and that was with the Rescue-Kitty discount.

What I need is a whole bunch of money. But that really isn't happening right now, under all the circumstances and potential circumstances.

I shouldn't be thinking about all these things while so mentally exhausted, but that's usually when the worries creep up on you. I think instead I'll just go to bed. It's about the only thing I am equipped to do successfully right now.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Back west

Back from a really quick turnaround trip to eastern Oregon, and gearing up for a grueling two days of work with a three-day weekend to finish it up. It's tough. And I'm kind of being facetious.

Except this morning my wireless keyboard took a dump, and I'm not sure why. It was working last night. I hate typing on the laptop keyboard. It's not the batteries, and I hit the little reset button (which I had to look for since I have never ever had to hit it before..), but I'm not getting any response and it's kind of pissing me off. I'm sure that by the time I get behind the first really slow driver I'll forget all about it.

Rain in the forecast. Maybe I should move to eastern Oregon. The weather is just different. It was cold, and it snows there, but it's not this damp, bone-chilling cold we get here. And it didn't rain at all while we were there - it started up on the drive back once we got through Hood River maybe. Plus it was light until around 6:30pm. Granted it's in the Mountain time zone, and it was dark in the morning until around 8:15, but still. By the time afternoon rolls around I have completely forgotten about morning.

The funeral was nice. Barbie gave the eulogy and shocked the congregation by breaking out into song. Truth be told there wasn't a dry eye in the house. It's hard enough to speak in a clear voice, but to sing a song like "Oh Danny Boy"? Props to her for not breaking a sweat. It was good to see everyone and to represent, as we do. There is talk about an April trip (not sure I can swing that) and a July 4th trip to the ranch in Drewsey (that I can do), but then again my cousin Greg is doing very poorly and I'm not sure how that will all pan out.

Family drama does not limit itself to the west side of the mountains, however, so we had a good dose of controversey to keep the flow going, very little down time and lots of conversation. Barbie and I took a trip to the cemetery to see that part of the family that is watching our backs, and of course we had the Jolts n Juice to keep us going. All in all, a good trip, if for the worst of reasons.

What's funny (to me) about the people over there is how they don't give it a second thought to drive 150 miles to a funeral or a rosary and turn around and go home that day. I might be stretching the mileage part, but seriously, some of these ranchers have to drive for miles to get to an event that lasts three hours max and then go home and calf. It makes me think about what a wuss I can be, not wanting to drive to northeast Portland to Ikea to get a TV stand because it's so faaaaaaaaaaar. Perspective. Second nature for them, huge adaptation for me.

I do love it over there. I wonder if I could keep myself busy living there for good. Doubtful. But it's kind of fun to think about.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Briefly east

So far it's been kind of harrowing. We left Portland on time, 6:15am, and made it to Ontario by 1:45 local time (they're an hour ahead of us), which is pretty dang good considering we stopped for gas and for breakfast. And considering it's February and we had to go over my favorite hill, which is usually just one big ice-covered rollercoaster. It wasn't this time, though.

Not only did the aunt pass, but the cousin, her son, is in some serious health-related dire straits. He is currently on a ventilator in the CCU of Holy Rosary Medical Center in Ontario, in and out of lucidity (physician assisted) and fighting his own battle. Nobody has actually come right out and told him his mother has died. Barbie and I went up to see him yesterday and it was not so pretty. I think he knows. But like I said, nobody has actually come right out and told him.

So we've been kind of all over the place in the last 24 hours - I was on little sleep from Sunday night to begin with and so by the time the rosary was over I was not far from the aunt and the cousin in terms of lucidity myself.

The upside of these kinds of things? Revisiting the extended family, seeing the land, hanging out with Helen and Dan, not being cold and damp (being cold, yes, but this is high desert so it's cold and dry). The downside? Open caskets and the CCU. But this is the cirlce of life, I suppose, and sooner or later we will all have our own turn as the guest of honor.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Thinking out loud

I want to start out by apologizing for my last post. It was bad. It was really bad. The idea seemed like an okay one when it was in my mind, and since my TV is on a lot and I see a lot of really bad commercials I figured it would fly. But it didn't. It was poorly written and my head just wasn't in the right place when I wrote it. So let's forget it ever happened and move on, shall we?

So it's not even noon on Saturday and I'm already home from all my Saturday-running-around errands. I'm stunned. I owe it all to the 9am wax appointment (which, by the way, has taken a turn again. I don't know what it is with my wax situation. The girl that I liked and actually scheduled appointments in advance with suddenly quit the salon and hasn't been heard from since. By me anyway. I can't win. And so the battle continues.) that gets me up, showered, coffeed and dressed before 11am, which is usually when I start my errands. This is great because I have a ton of shit I need to get done today and tomorrow.

So my Aunt Jean died this last week. She was my mom's brother's wife (he died in like 2000 or something) and lived in an assisted living facility in Ontario. She had Alzheimer's and hasn't recognized me in a year, but when we saw her in November and she didn't recognize Barbie it was pretty bad. Barbie was her favorite. So Barbie, my mom, and I are all loading up the Lexus and heading east on Monday. Barbie will be giving the eulogy.

But can I just mention this? It's February. I don't like driving over Cabbage Hill in July let alone February. Barbie assures me all will be well but yeah, um, I'm still not feeling good about it. Maybe it's all those dreams I've had where my car goes careening off the side of a cliff. I mean I know dreams like that just signify a loss of control in one's life, but it still doesn't make me wonder if sometimes I am just really psychic and can foretell my future. At any rate, there is still plenty of hair left on my head and I haven't had anything stress me out enough to make it fall out in clumps in a while, so I guess this is just the best option for me to worry about.

This also means I will be off work until Thursday. I don't like that so much. My job is to cover people who are off work, and I don't think it's fair to not be there suddenly. Of course nobody really has any control over something like a death, so what can I do? But still.

And you know, I like going to eastern Oregon. I don't necessarily like the circumstances, but it's a good-feeling place for me. And with any luck it will be somewhat bright out - it doesn't rain over there as much as it does here - and maybe that will help pull me out of the funk that still lingers and causes me to write really shitty posts like the last one. And, really, this one, but I have to write something.

So that's the update. Sad to leave my stint at Orenco because my God we have fun over there. Every office has its good points, though, and I continue to be happily employed. For now. January was an horrific month. So...

Maybe now I have something else to worry about. It might take my mind off Cabbage Hill.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

TV Commercials I Hate Part 2

Back in August of 2007 I wrote a post about commercials I hated. And it isn't because I have not been forced to watch commercials that I hate since then, it's just that right now I don't have much to report and there are a few out there that have been driving me bananas lately. But quietly, in my head.

- Each and every Proactiv commercial, short or long. But there ARE no short ones, so every one of them. There is nothing worse than relaxing on a Saturday afternoon, drifting off to nap time, when the show you are sort of watching on Discovery Investigation channel is interrupted by a Proactiv commercial. Seriously they are like 20 minutes long. This is not an embellishment. They are 20 minutes long.

- They don't play them much anymore, but the same thing goes for the Bare Minerals commercials. I am offended because nobody that I know or care to know looks in the mirror the way these models do when they are putting on their makeup. Most people are like me, checking their watch, realizing they are running late, picking at a blemish and battling two cats on the vanity. But they don't play them much anymore so you'd think I'd be over it.

- I'm an AT&T customer, and have been for a few years, by choice, and now that I have my iPhone I HAVE to be one, but if I could I would drop them like a hot rock based solely on the current commercials featuring Luke Wilson. I used to like him, but now I can't stand him because he is in everything, every bad movie, guest spots on sitcoms, and now these stupid stupid AT&T commercials. Who is his agent booking him for all this stuff? Doesn't he know how to say no? Stop. Just... stop.

- Olive Garden commercials in general, because everybody in them is an idiot. The families portrayed are like no family I have ever known, and the friends-getting-together ones are a bunch of complete tools I hope I am never friends with. Plus the food makes me kind of nauseous.

- Anything by Comcast. You're wasting everyone's time.

- The York peppermint patty one where the really pale girl is experiencing this type of candy, or peppermint in general, for the first time ever. I don't believe anyone has ever been this affected by a candy bar.

- E-Surance. Stupid, stupid, stupid. I'm going to buy my car insurance from a cartoon? I'd rather buy it from a gecko or a caveman. Or, you know, a real live insurance agent.

- Healthy Express Fresh Mixers (I should google that and make sure that's right), the ones with Julia Louis-Dreyfuss in them. I don't know. She just isn't the same since Seinfeld. I know everyone tells me I should watch her new show but I just can't. She isn't the same and every time I watch she is doing something either boneheaded or pathetic, and I can't take it. So I'm not buying the meals, and I don't think Elaine would, either.

Just about every show I watch is on at 10pm so I DVR them and can fast forward through all this garbage. Maybe I'm the only cynic. Maybe I'm the odd man out for not fitting their target audience. That's okay. I prefer it.


Monday, February 01, 2010

The Fabulous Fun Place

On a day like today, when you feel like your head's going to explode and all the things you have known how to do properly for the past 14 years or so suddenly become completely obsolete and you have to re-learn stuff for the benefit of absolutely no one, it's not hard to sit at your desk, ignore the incessant ringing of the phone and the never-ending incoming emails, stare out into space and think about the past.

Did I ever tell you about my first job?

Well, I guess it wasn't my first paying job, but it was my first fill-out-an-application-interview-and-wait-for-them-to-phone-and-offer-me-the-job gig. My first paying job wasn't really a job at all - it was doing something I loved and the paying part was kind of a fluke. Anyway, the job to which I refer was at Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour. Perhaps you've heard of it. Or perhaps not.

Where I grew up, that's pretty much where you had your birthday parties. You got a free sundae and the staff put a hat on your head, stood you up on the booth, made some crazy announcement to the rest of the restaurant and sang happy birthday while banging on a drum and letting off a siren. It was quite festive.

One Halloween night after a party somewhere on the hill, Tim P and I were doing donuts in the Raleigh Hills Fred Meyer parking lot, and he ran out of gas. Luckily just on the other side of the Fred Meyer was a gas station, so off we went in search of gas. We had to cut through Farrell's parking lot on the way, and came upon a bunch of people hanging out by their cars, drinking and having a good time. I recognized a kid from a Health class I teacher-assisted, and decided then and there that I should get a job there. They seemed to be having so much fun, and I never did like to be left out of things.

I was on shift within a few days, complete with uniform and styrofoam pork pie hat. The beauty of this job was that the owners were two brothers aged 21 and 23, and the rest of us were just a little bit younger. We had a blast pretty much every night, and even when it was busier than crap and food was dropped and ice cream was melting every where and people complained or dined and dashed or the kids from your Health class insisted on sitting in your section and NEVER tipped, it was a fabulous place to work. It was the kind of place with the kind of staff that just created our own fun. I have a thousand memories from there and I think I only worked there until about April, when I had to quit to avoid being fired (long story involving a change in ownership from the fun young guys to the stodgy Mormon family of 25 or so who thought since I was from a family of 12 that I was Mormon also and when Mrs. Mormon found out I was in fact Catholic she made my life pretty much hell. I'm not kidding you. This is not an over exaggerated memory of the 17 year old me, this is a true fact). (Anyway it all worked out because my other job had started up and I was getting paid more per hour than the waitressing gig).

But I guess what it all boils down to is that was the kind of job that you didn't take home with you (well, you took your uniform home with you, and if you had brothers that would come home all hours drunk and you happened to leave your styrofoam pork pie hat on the TV you might just wake up to find a big bite taken out of the brim, and it would stress you out because it was the custom to have your coworkers sign the inside of your hat, and they wrote some pretty cool things, and now you had to go BUY another one, for NINE DOLLARS, which was like THREE HOURS of work, practically a whole shift, and then after you had everyone sign it again and things were feeling pretty comfortable around the house, you let your guard down and left it on the TV again, and sure enough there were a few more bites out of the new hat, and you had to buy ANOTHER one and then a couple of weeks later your brothers and their friends took like TWENTY FIVE bites out the next one, and pretty much you realized that you were not, in fact, working to supplement your social life and the high cost of beer, but instead to supplement the cost of constantly having to buy nine dollar hats for work) like escrow is, and the only real stress (besides the hat situation) was wondering who you were going to work with that shift (would it be wimpy Tom, who got drunk WAY too fast on WAY too little booze at the Christmas party and asked you out and you were totally skeeved out by him from then on, or would it be Paul Paul Butterball, Fountain Boy extraoridinaire?). I miss that. I miss just showing up for work on time and clocking out when it was done and moving on to your real life.

Except now, the more expansive your job, and the more mind-power it involves, and the more money it pays, sort of dictates what your real life is about. I know I shouldn't consider my work my life, but sometimes it's hard not to, when you go to bed at night hoping that your HUD will be approved in time for the bloody short sale you've been working on for months to close, or wondering if you will ever fully master the "new" HUD. And all the other crap we worry about every day. I remember when I was in Mexico for about nine months or so thinking, wow, I wish I had a job where I had to be smart again; now that I am back in the thick of it and going strong, I sort of miss the jobs where I didn't have to be smart. I just had to remember the code for Fudge Mint Marvel.

And to keep my stupid hat off the TV.