Friday, December 29, 2006

"Down in the west Texas town of..."

I had to work today, even though most of my office mates were out for various reasons (which all translated into either "I'm AT the football game" or "I'm watching the football game"). The four of us left turned up the radio and kept an ear on the OSU game today. The thing that struck me most was the announcer. Where did OSU win it's game today? "Down in the west Texas town of El Paso!" Where were they broadcasting live from today? "Down in the west Texas town of El Paso!" Could the announcer say that he was in El Paso, Texas, just once without quoting Marty Robbins' song? I grew up listening to Marty Robbins, and while I'm not into country music on the whole anymore, there is some that I do like. As for the announcer, well, I really wanted to yell out, "Down in the west Texas town of shut the fuck up already!" ...but I was at work. And the Beavers won. I guess I can't complain about that. :)

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Life Goes On

Life has been good lately, if not a little repetitive. Work is work... mostly good. I might be more satisfied right now if I weren't so burned out on doing the same thing for eight hours straight every day. Not like I get tired of being there, but just typing numbers, tabbing to the next field, and then typing more numbers--definitely not glamorous. I can't complain, though, because I'm learning a lot in the process.

Lebanon recently lost a valued citizen. Dee Carter passed away late last week. He lived a stone's throw from my family's Century Farm. My father and grandmother attended the funeral, and Dad's cousin acted as a pallbearer. You can read a neat story about him here and read the obituary here. -- A quick but neat story: I took a pre-education course for my option (like a minor) in college and met a nice girl. While driving to a teaching opportunity, I mentioned I was from Lebanon. The girl told me her grandpa lived here. I don't know very many people here, but I asked who he was anyway. When she mentioned that her grandfather was Dee Carter, I literally gasped out loud. I ran home and called Grandma to have her explain again how we are related to the Carters. After some diagramming and careful thought, I learned that I was actually related to a girl in my class, third cousins once removed. How weird is that?

In an effort to spend more time on myself this week, I cut my hair last night and actually did my nails for the first time in eons. They're all shiny now, but no polish. Nail polish is icky.

I haven't been sleeping well at all this week, just a few hours each night. I will get in bed and lay there, tossing and turning, tangling up in my sheets. I wake up unrested and cranky. I'm very tired now.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Puddle in the Road

Apparently, this road is closed. Note the giant puddle in the middle of it...

I spent my lunch hour taking pictures of water today. My first adventure took me to where Tangent Drive crosses the Calapooia River, or, well, where the river crosses the road now. I did indeed drive past the "road closed" sign, and I might have even stuck my toes in the water to get a better picture.

After that, I hurried out to Jackson-Frasier Wetland. I absolutely adore walking out there, and today was really neat with all of the wetland flooded.

But this high water stuff... it's all fine and good until I have to swim to work. Do I get "flood days" as a temp?

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Two Girls + Two Drinks = Giggling!

Rachel came over tonight. I mixed us some drinks. We giggled and talked and gossiped and stalked people online and maybe got a little tipsy. I don't really like being tipsy, but I love those little moments shared with special friends.

And then Rachel explained to me how "they" got the glitter stuck to the popcorn-style ceilings in the 70's (because apparently some houses have glitter on the ceilings). Her onomatopoeia-ically graphic description involved an air compressor. She is not allowed to do any home decorating for me. Ever.

In other news, my route home tonight was blocked by high water. This makes me not happy. And then I got to see a few fields completely under water. That was pretty cool... seeing lake where I expected to see grass. I always wonder if the water hurts the grass. I'm told water is good for living things though... like me... like me, especially after drinking... a whole... one drink.

I'm such a cheap drunk. :)

Sleepy.

Quiet Holiday

World's Fastest Holiday Update: I had four days off from work, Friday through Monday. On Friday, I ran a bunch of errands for my mother, then quilted a 20"x20" Sudoku game quilt for her for Christmas. Saturday was spent cutting the Sudoku numbers out of 1/8" foam stock, watching movies, and wrapping presents. Sunday, Christmas Eve, my parents, sister, grandmother, and sister's boyfriend joined me at a small feast much like the one we had for Thanksgiving. Monday was quiet with Mom, Dad, sister, and myself exchanging presents, and then a quick visit in Albany with Mom's parents. I watched five movies and a ton of DVD extras. I was very much ready to go to work this morning.

That's all I have time for tonight... a friend is on the way over, and I really need to be social. With no dancing for three weeks, I might forget how to talk to people. I won't forget the dance steps... just how to talk to people and not sound like a moron.

I miss my friends.

Oh, and if you're looking for one of those Christmas letter thingies where I tell you all about my year, check out the Blog Year Retrospective at the left. That's the best I can do.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

I Don't Like Candles!

While some people love the flowery and fruity scents, the warm glow, and the soft light, I freakin' hate candles. They just sit there. They collect dust. Or else they take up valuable shelf space hiding away avoiding dust. I take special joy in watching a seemingly beautiful candle wilt and fold under slight heat. Allow me to expound...

1. Candles don't actually provide much heat value. One candle does not provide enough heat to warm a house, let alone a tent. If you do have enough candles in your house to heat it, you also have a fire hazard. And if you have a candle in a tent, well... good luck with that.
2. Candles don't actually provide much light. Unless it's a hundred-wick candle completely ablaze in a small room with seventeen lamps, it's not going to give off much light. Eating by candlelight? I actually like to see my food before I eat it, thank you.
3. But they're so romantic! I fail to see how something burning, something so faint and short-lived can be romantic. Put up some mini lights and call it good, seriously.
4. What about when the power goes out? Wind-up LED flashlights and lanterns are a lot safer and reusable than a candle. I might concede just a little tiny bit about how candles are an option here, but there are definitely alternatives that don't create as much smoke.
5. Candles smell good and are relaxing. Umm... they give me headaches. I've only ever smelled one candle that did smell good, but it was also burning the pumpkin up at the same time. (Okay, Jack O'Lanterns are one positive use of candles.)

You know what my favorite thing to do with a candle is? Re-gifting. Especially those intricately carved ones that people automatically assume I'll love because they're art. I'd rather watch the artist carve the candle than ever own one... the art is in the process, not in the burning. Some people love them, but I don't like candles!

If someone can accurately capture the scent of Oregon rain and mildew, of a summery grass field, or of a good book... maybe... or "fresh-showered boy..." now THAT would be sweet!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

I Collect Pencils

They're small, sturdy, and cheap. They're also useful. And sometimes, they're pretty.

I started my pencil collection in Kindergarten. During the weekly school assembly, the teachers announced students who had birthdays recently. Each student went forward and selected a prize. Prizes varied from balsa airplanes one week to yo-yos the next. I happened to receive a round, white pencil with Garfield and Odie on it and "Happy Birthday" down the side.

The picture here is a few of the many hundred pencils I have collected. I have sparkley ones, shaped ones, fancy eraser ones, and even some plain ones. A few are duplicates, but that's okay. Every time we went on vacation, Dad made sure a few pencils followed us home. My aunt and grandparents faithfully sent pencils from wherever they happened to travel. The State Fair and home or expo shows are particularly good for collecting (free is always a good price). I have a friend headed to Europe soon, and he's promised to bring me back my first "overseas pencil." I'm pretty excited about that. :)

Do I have a favorite pencil? I have several... and I think I remember where I got each one still... which is pretty good with hundreds of memories! I do prefer unsharpened ones without barcode stickers (that leave a residue). I'd been collecting pencils for several years, a decade perhaps, before I got my first plain yellow #2 pencil.

The irony: I use mechanical pencils almost exclusively, even over pens.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Naked in the Shower

I shower naked. This might come as a shock to some of you, but it is the truth. Naked. No jewelry, no hair ties, not even nail polish. Now before you start picturing me naked, allow me to offer one tiny bit of information. No, I will not take a camera with me and take photos next time I shower.

Do not fear, though, my male friends: it is not impossible to see me naked. You just have to jump through a few hoops, treat me really well, and be worth me taking my clothes off for.

I'm sure my mother will read that and grimace or something. See, the thing is, Mom, I have enough self-respect to know that I'm not going to take my clothes off for just anybody (as much as every guy I know wishes I would).

I guess I don't know what the big deal is... if you want pictures of naked women, I bet you can find some nice ones online somewhere. As for seeing me naked... well, I do it every day, naked in the shower, and I'm nothing special. No, people, no naked shower pictures.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Slippery Floors

My mother Pledged my bathroom woodwork today and got Pledge on the vinyl floor. The woodwork looks beautiful and shiny and bright. The floor... also... looks shiny and bright. Until you set one sock-encased foot on it and slide with enough velocity to ricochet off the tub, toilet, and cabinet at the same time. We have some rugs in there, in front of the sink for example, that have a "sticky" rubber backing. When the floor is so freakin' slick that the sticky rubber glides effortlessly, you know you've got OCD issues. There are ice rinks with more friction than my bathroom floor. I could practice curling in there, I swear! My favorite part: stepping from the slick floor into the shower. Once your feet pick up just a tiny bit of that Pledge and you step onto a hard, already wet flooring... oh, it's all over. I think I took dancing in the shower to a whole new art form. I really appreciate that Mom was trying to make things look good. I'm not very swift most of the time, so the slick floor is kind of adding insult injury to injury.

Otherwise, today was pretty good. I called the friend that I had dinner/dancing with earlier in the week and asked him to go shopping with me. We met, wandered, talked, laughed... even had a fantastic lunch. I really don't like shopping, but I'm almost done anyway, and the day with him was nice. :)

*NOTE* a link has been added in the "Posts of Note" section to another blog post that links to my MySpace music profile. YOU CAN LISTEN TO ME PLAYING THERE!

After inspiring the "Nick Names" post by 'Mr. The Guy Who Writes This' over at Astoria Oregon Rust (a totally cool blog), he had this to say about me (more shameless self-promotion to boost my already bursting ego): "Jaggy, I read you every day. Even if I don't comment very often, I'm still a devoted reader. Some days you inspire me, and some days I'd just like to take you out for ice cream and tell you everything will be OK." --- I like ice cream. :) Thank you so much for the kind words and thoughts.

I'm smiling. :)

Friday, December 15, 2006

Back to the Blog!

It may not have been the black plague, but it was still a nasty cold. I ended up taking Tuesday off of work, hoping that I'd be able to work Wednesday. I went in on Wednesday, but I was sneezing and generally not well enough to work, so I left at noon. I crashed hard Wednesday afternoon and evening, and took Thursday off to really recuperate. I probably could have worked yesterday, except that my post-nasal drip caused me to gag constantly, and I couldn't really keep food down for long. Is that too much information? I don't care. :) I survived another cold.

My weekend plans have all disappeared, been canceled, or changed, so I'm kinda left wondering what to do. I'm healthy, happy, and bored. Which only leads to trouble. Or a whole lot of solitaire. Somebody? Anybody...?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

*sniffle*

I have a cold. A nasty, awful, taking-the-day-off-from-work cold. Yesterday, I felt like my nose was awfully drippy, but sometimes it's just like that. By the end of work, I was sure I was getting sick. When I got home at 10pm (after dinner and just a little dancing with a very nice guy), I was dead. I don't think I slept much last night, and this morning's nap wasn't much better. But I discovered the Vicks Vapor Inhaler: it's a stick that you put under your nose and breathe in... instant relief. IF you can inhale through your nose. Hmm, poor planning? Anyway, I have used it, and it's pretty neat. I think I'll go to work tomorrow.

I'm not exactly known for my hydration skills... but, by golly, I'm doing really good today! I've had four or five glasses of water/juice/diet pop already, and more is on the way. Mostly because all of my meds say "take with plenty of water." I might argue with one med box, but not six or seven. Propel is my friend. :)

Now if only I could get warm and stay warm...
I might need some help with that...
Any handsome boys willing to lend me some body heat?
Oh, right, sick. Darn.

Back into bed I go...

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Dancing in Portland II

I danced through blisters, through pain, and through some weird songs...

Friday night, Emily came into Corvallis, and we went out to dinner with some friends. The event itself wasn't too exciting, but I really enjoyed spending time with Emily. I miss my old roommates terribly. I never thought I'd be able to live with other people, and sure, they drove me a little nuts at times, but I miss them every day. Mostly, I miss being able to hear them giggling down the hallway, just a few steps if I needed to laugh or talk.

While at dinner on Friday, Emily mentioned that there would be a dance up in Portland on Saturday night. I knew I had a big project at home to complete this weekend, but I really wanted to go dancing. After some persuasion, I convinced a friend to drive up with me, and probably ten or so of us from OSU were there, including Emily. We danced. And we danced. Mostly West Coast, but some Nightclub Two-step and Foxtrot as well... three and a half hours of dancing. I think I only sat down through one song. I was really happy that I danced the whole time -- but holy crap, between my sore feet and aching knees, I was limping back to the car at the end of the night. The crowd shifted to Shari's, where we waited a decade for ice water, laughed over some insanely good french toast, and then laughed some more. I didn't get home until 3:45am and finally slid into bed around 4:15am. My WCS skills improved dramatically over the course of the night. I got to dance with some very cool guys, especially one kick-ass Lindy with a great lead (from OSU, of course). I danced with a couple strangers... some of the guys were a little too clingy if you ask me, but maybe that's just how people up there dance. I'm used to the polite, respectful guys at OSU that don't run their hands in my "no zone."

The only obnoxious part of last night was the spinning. I love to spin when I'm dancing! I do not, however, like it when a guy sends me out for a spin and yanks my arm back before I'm done with the rotation. I know I hurt my shoulder dancing last weekend. I'm even more positive I didn't do it any good this weekend.

BUT!!! Whiny as I may be, those sore muscles are looking awfully good again. I need to work out or dance or do something before that secretarial "spreading ass disease" takes over.

Got up this morning around 11am, motivated enough to clean my car (detailed the inside), and did some laundry. That's enough for one weekend, I think...

Yeah, time for food, heating pads, blankets, and sleep.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

The Most Disgusting Grapefruit on Earth

Fire? No... worms? No... exploding fruit? No... just the world's worst hand model. :) Okay, so Dad doesn't have pretty hands, but they do some of the most beautiful work.

But what is the pink stuff?







I think it's a tongue. This has to be the most vile, disgusting, horrific looking fruit on earth.

This is why I don't eat fruit. Nothing that looks that bad can possibly be "healthy."










It. Has. Hair.

And is... juicy.

And... *swoon*

ew.

Snowy Bench

I thought for a minute that I might like to sit down...



...not a bad way to spend a morning break at work.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Red Light!

You know those red laser-like motion detectors that you wave your hand in front of and the door magically opens? Those are not the same as barcode readers. I know. Just trust me...

No, no, just trust me.
I know the truth.
I have seen the light. :)
The light is red.
And it told me my pop was not worth what I paid for it. :P

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest came out on DVD this week, and I've seen the movie twice since Tuesday, one more for sure tomorrow when I listen to the commentary track. I pretty much have it memorized already, after a total of three viewings... :D

I took my colorful kusudama into work to help brighten up my desk a little bit, and I've had so many comments on it! It was absolutely never my intent to attract attention to myself or my paper-folding hobby/talent, but being recognized feels really good. People stop by my desk all day long, picking it up, holding it, looking at it, wondering about it, asking questions. Maybe I'll make something else to take to work now... like cookies!

And somehow, in the méleé of it all, I think I did something to my shoulder dancing last weekend. I remember hurting then, but I don't know if it's muscle or nerve damage. I've had a tingly arm/hand at randomly during the week, different than when my arm goes to sleep. Plus my knee is hurting a lot more lately, probably because I'm not as active as I used to be, and the muscles that keep my kneecap from grinding on my femur aren't pulling correctly. My right side is just falling apart... sheesh!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Battle Scars

I finally had the motivation to confront my ex and ask him why he broke up with me. I feel better hearing from him that I didn't do anything wrong. I also feel better now about walking away from the friendship he claimed to want. His definition of friendship obviously differed from mine, and once I realized I wasn't really losing a friend so much as letting go of something I never had, I felt a lot better.

I think I started this paragraph ten different ways, each one more cruel than the last... being mean won't help. It's over, and I'm moving on without a friend. I am sad that he doesn't want to live up to being my friend, but I refuse to tarnish the friendships I have to keep someone who hasn't earned the title 'friend.'

Not to totally put myself up on a pedestal, but I deserve better, and I can do better. My friends are telling me this, too. Eh, his loss. :)

~*~*~*~*~*~

I wrote this poem a while ago, not really about one person specifically as I combined several experiences into one idea. I wasn't going to publish it, but in an effort to keep things here open and honest, I'm working on emptying out the "drafts" folder.

too many unanswered
..........questions
too angry to
.......... see through
.................... unsaid lies
always too busy
.......... to stop your
.................... vaguely important life
too eager to forget
.......... what you had
.................... and never wanted
too idle the conversation and
.......... false the kindness
too many passing glances
.......... followed only by
.................... callous indifference
too often jumping
.......... to wrong conclusions
...........blaming myself
.................... for your foolishness
too quickly I played the game
.......... buying into your
.................... boyish smile
too late did I realize
.......... your power to hurt
too many lies and
.......... unanswered questions

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Bad Cherries

There is an individual in my life that makes me feel awful about myself. Unfortunately, there is nothing I can do to change him or the situation, save removing myself from it. Even worse, I knew this is how it would end a long time ago.

It all started with a different person (let's call this person 'Henry'). Henry and I met under some unusual circumstances but became friends quickly. We dated, sort of, and throughout our friendship, he lied to me, used me, and even failed to give me common courtesy at times. I thought I could be a sense of direction for him, the light that helped him find himself, find a better self. In the process, I lost part of me: some innocence. It took everything I had to walk away from him. Henry and I parted ways quietly, and as much as it hurt, I'm so very glad he's not my friend now. Still, I cannot escape Henry--he is friends with some of my friends. The worst part of it is that, when we do talk, I feel as though I'm making a pact with the devil. He makes me not like me.

Fast-forward about a year to "Adam." Adam and I were really close for a few months, and then without warning, he turn-coated. He claims to want to be my friend, but the pattern seems to be repeating itself. The dropped phone calls, the avoidance... through his actions, words, and overwhelming disloyalty, Adam makes me feel the way Henry used to make me feel.

Many people place a high price on different virtues, but loyalty, to me, is most important. I've surrounded myself with truly good people. My friends are amazing, wonderful friends, loyal to the end. I suppose I only have a few very good friends for that reason... the loyalty I demand is hard to stand up to. I don't know what I'm doing to push these boys away. They claim to want to be my friends, and I'm absolutely willing to be there for them. But I will not stand here, again, to be trampled.

Sometimes I think being married or dating is easier than being friends, because as "just friends," we think we can back out at any second and not be friends anymore. Friendship, just like any other relationship, takes time, loyalty, and commitment. Henry wouldn't give me the time. And now Adam...

Martin Luther King Jr. probably said it best, "In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." I don't want to lose another friend. But I won't sacrifice myself to keep one either.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Punk Dance

I had a great weekend! Saturday morning, my parents and I went to Eugene and did some serious shopping. I didn't buy much, just some beautiful black gloves so my hands won't freeze in the mornings while I chip the ice off my car (plus the gloves were 55% off!) and two shirts. Saturday evening, I finished up the calendars for the family, a huge yearly endeavor that leaves me stressed and frustrated trying to out-do myself every year. But they're done and they look really good, so I'm happy with them.

Today has been great as well. I cleaned a ton of stuff out, getting rid of some crap I've had for years and never touched. I finished my costume for the dance tonight, and then I visited my grandma for a while. Later, I went to a friend's house and watched Departed on DVD. Not sure exactly how he got a DVD of a movie still in theaters, but I didn't ask and he didn't tell, so that's okay with me. The movie was good... though I still think Donnie Brasco is a much better film of that genre. Then I went to the last "formal" dance of the term.

The dance theme this time was "punk." I definitely went punk. I had on a tight black shirt that I'd put safety pins all along the bottom edge, a pair of parachute-style pants (kinda) that were strategically safety-pinned, dance shoes, and a safety pin choker. I had black lines on my fingernails, and I'd tattooed myself earlier in the day with black ink (my name in elvish, and a pirate symbol). OH! And my make-up was soooooo good. Eyeliner and dark eyeshadow... I was as close to being a goth punk as one can get, but the pants were dark green so I looked more punk than goth. And to all the people out there that say "punk is a way of life," no, I'm sorry, you're wrong. Buddhism is a way of life. Vegan is a way of life. Punk is a fashion mistake gone trendy. Punk does not define you, rather you define your level of punk. Tonight, I was punk. :)

Got cornered by a weird guy tonight for about ten minutes. Was really hoping somebody would come along and rescue me, but nobody did. I'm going to have to find a wingman or something... I do owe a special thanks to a very cool guy for cleaning up my Viennese waltz tremendously, and thanks to another sweet guy for letting me hijack our WCS to the point of being distracting. :) I love that dance...

So the night was really fun! I'll try to see if anybody got pictures, then post links/pics for y'all...

Friday, December 01, 2006

So Why "Jaggy"?

The reason to watch JAGIt all started one Tuesday night in seventh grade. Dad suggested I join him for an hour while a military law show aired on TV. He turned the TV on, and adjusted the channel to the show. A few people stood there on the screen in dark uniforms, and I distinctly remember them standing in a rose garden. The rest of the episode is a blur, but addicted might be an understatement. JAG changed my life. That smile... the handsome David James Elliott kept me watching JAG for the rest of the show's lifetime. I taped every episode I watched, usually while I watched it. There was a time in eighth grade where I'd watch the original airing, then I'd rewind immediately and rewatch the episode, then I'd go to bed and get up very early to watch it again before going to school. I have seen a couple episodes so many times that I've memorized the order of the commercials. I tried writing a fanfic once, but it never turned out--I couldn't write the courtroom scenes very well as an eighth grader. My friends eventually refused to listen to me babble on about my show. They called me "obsessed." None of my friends or family understood. I tried explaining that JAG was more than just a TV show. Character chemistry, dynamic plots, consistent writing, good photography, cheap/cheesy special effects stolen from movies, and some killer one-liners lightened my life for years. I literally grew up with JAG. I learned my geography, the phonetic alphabet (useful, surprisingly), how to figure time zones, military ranks and insignia, plenty of courtroom terms, how to evade poachers in the woods, and how to crash an F-14 without killing myself.

By high school, I earned a nickname. My friends started calling me "Jaggy." I hated it. The name didn't fit with the online terms, and I really wanted to have a better nickname. Time has passed, and I've accepted the nickname, though no one calls me that anymore. I'm pretty sure there are three people out there that don't know my real first name, because they always called me "Jaggy."

JAG ended its glorious ten-season run in 2005. I guess I know how people felt when M*A*S*H* ended: someone could have burned the house down around me, because there is no way I was going to miss that episode. I didn't cry, but it was still the end of an era for me. I was there for the rose garden, crashed planes, "the kiss," "the deal," trips to Russia, promotions, kidnapping, births, a wedding, and dozens of courtroom moments. LOL, I'm still a huge fan!

Watching and growing up a die-hard JAG fan wasn't a bad thing. From a young age, I was exposed to many things. I understand more and am interested in knowing more about history, politics, diplomacy, foreign countries, law, the military, and airplanes. JAG helped to shape the individual I am today, without question. I think it made me more thankful too, of the liberties I have and the people protecting them.

Of course, I will always have a special place in my heart for a tall, dark, handsome lawyers in dress whites and gold wings... and I still think Tuesdays ought to be declared holidays.

That sounds like the long of it... of why I'm "Jaggy." Any questions?