Tuesday, February 27, 2007

In Which Big Sister Comes to the Rescue

I had a long day stuffing thousands of envelopes. Not exciting, but just about perfect for my mood and completely un-alert state.

5:00pm couldn't come fast enough today. I took the last few minutes of the day to wash off my desk and actually clean up some grass seed that wasn't too far from sprouting behind the computer monitor (the desk was that way when I got it). So I hoofed it out to my car as fast as I could after work, only to have my sister call me to say her tire was flat.


Mom and Dad, being twenty miles away, wouldn't help, and my sister had never changed a tire before. I drove the two or three blocks to her car where she and our cousin and another girl are sitting inside the car to stay out of the rain.

You can't fix a flat tire while sitting in the car.

I had her pull the spare out of the trunk, got the equipment out, and immediately got soaked in a downpour. Meanwhile, our cousin and her friend are standing there under an umbrella talking on their cell phones. My sister kept calling Dad, but Dad's superpowers weren't going to help. I reached an impass when I couldn't get the jack out of her trunk. Not sure what was wrong there, but I grabbed mine from my car (a jack's a jack, right?), took a moment to get it situated, and started cranking. The girls all thought I was nuts.

I didn't win any pit-stop contests with my half-hour time, but by golly I changed that tire all by myself. Whitney did help with the jack... and by help, I mean she turned it the wrong way a few times before figuring it out... but she did help.

I remember how I felt with my dead battery a few weeks ago, having to call Chris to bail me out, being so thankful he was willing and able, especially since he was sick. So I'm glad I could pass that on to my sister.

Even though she should know how to do that herself next time.

Monday, February 26, 2007

I'm Becoming my own Enemy

I've always disliked women who gripe and nag at their significant others. That chirpy, whiny, obnoxious voice... the one that says so little with so much effort.

For example, when a female complains, "You're not going put that there, are you?" she's really trying to say, "I would prefer that you put that someplace else, perhaps on the third shelf so that I don't accidentally knock it off. Thank you."

But, alas, I found myself saying such a horrible thing recently. I said it, realized what I'd said, and immediately wanted to wash my mouth out with soap. Seriously! I whined, nagged, and bitched about something trivial.

It is my right and privilege as a female and girlfriend to gripe. It is also my responsibility to use such powers with great care.

Unless I am in physical or emotional danger, the event causes me monetary loss, or otherwise causes undue grief to myself or others, I vow to not become the Enemy.

I will not be a whiny, nagging, harping, griping, clingy, needy, bitchy girlfriend.

... okay, maybe just a tiny bit, but I reserve this tiny bit in lieu of emotional outbursts and ending arguments in "FINE!"

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Mecca for Geocachers

on this day, Sunday,
February 25, 2007
at the listed coordinates.

I came, I 'cached, I photographed.

And I am very, very happy. :)

"In the Key of Drunk"

I had a good weekend spent almost entirely with my boyfriend. I had originally planned to stay with him Saturday night, but he convinced me to stay both Friday and Saturday. After work Friday, I made him dinner, my not-exactly-famous-but-still-amazing hashbrowns and sausage. I think my work was appreciated, as we both were stuffed and enjoyed the food. Saturday morning dawned early with a quick trip out for muffins before heading to Albany around noon so I could attend my cousin's bridal shower. Due to my caffeine addiction and a lack of caffeine Saturday morning, by 2pm I was in some pretty serious headache pain. Chris picked me up after the shower, and I slept the whole drive to Oregon City. He had plans to attend a party with some of his friends at one of their parents' houses.

The problem: I didn't know we were going to stay the night up there. And I do NOT like surprises.

Even though I was rather upset to find out last-minute about the change in plans, I agreed to go along with him and trust his judgment. That kind of trust comes very hard for me, so I'm proud of me. :)

The house we stayed at was grand! I've been in some huge houses, and I've cleaned a couple big ones... this one was newer and very, very large. Chris and I shared the guest suite (some of the best accommodations I've ever had by two incredibly generous hosts).

Chris and his friends and I went out to dinner, a little dive off a country road, dimly lit and kinda smoky inside. I went out on a limb and ordered a special, the lemon-pepper chicken with mashed potatoes. That was damn good chicken, and with a salad and huge dinner roll, quite a deal at just over $10. Kinda sketchy from the outside... looks are totally deceiving.

The party got started when we returned to the mansion house. The guys hooked up a few Game Cubes and brought out the alcohol. Three hours later, they'd consumed enough to be singing "in the key of drunk," shouting at each other and the TV as they raced around the screen in a MarioKart battle-of-the-accelerator-buttons. I played a few times; yes, I still suck at video games. I did have one drink, a hard lemonade, but mostly just because I was thirsty and didn't want to drink anything else. Due to my headache earlier in the day, I was very tired by 10pm, so I showered and went to bed well before anyone else. The party carried on, loud and rowdy, for several hours.

This morning, Chris and I awoke to a breakfast buffet prepared for us and the other house guests. I'm very thankful for the hospitality and generosity of these parents. :)

We left around 10am and made a quick and slightly adventurous drive over to a very special place. Chris and I found the very first Geocache ever. The original 'cache was removed, but an honorary plaque and replacement cache have been placed. We also grabbed the nearby 'cache up the muddy hill. We looked for quite a while before giving up. In an effort to not go down the same way we came up ('sliding' would be an understatement), we walked a little bit more before I spotted a very out-of-place piece of burl-wood. :) bingo. Hooray for two very special finds.

Before I end this rambling bit of script, I'd like to mention one amazing thing I learned about my boyfriend this weekend. I'm dating a guy with patience and kindness beyond my imagination. To experience Chris outside our usual pattern was a treat. I feel very fortunate to have learned such a neat and valuable thing about him.

Remember how looks can be deceiving? That's a good lesson to learn. :)

Friday, February 23, 2007

Will You Please Go Wash Your Hands?

I don't have a compulsion. I could possibly be labeled a neat/clean freak. And yes, I wash my hands several times each day.

Perhaps I wash my hands so often because I worked in food service for five years. I washed my hands twenty or thirty times in an eight-hour shift, and nobody thought I was weird. Perhaps I am weary of running around with germs on my hands because some of them can make us sick. Perhaps I wash my hands because that's what Mother taught me to do. If I wash my hands, then walk around the neighborhood or go for a bike ride, it doesn't matter that I never touched anything else, I still wash my hands when I go inside again. The same is true especially after touching our cats or any other animals.

The two times I can't stand not washing my hands are after using the restroom or before eating. I always wash my hands with soap and water. I'd prefer warm water, but that doesn't always happen. When I'm in a public restroom and hear someone flush the toilet and walk out, a little part of me dies. Eww, ewww, eeewwwwww. Sure, you can go do your thing and not touch any part of you and never touch the toilet or the door or the sink and probably not get a single thing on you. It's a matter of courtesy to others.

OSU removed all paper towel and soap dispensers from their dorms (or something close to that) and replaced them with antibacterial solution that one doesn't need water to use. THE HORROR! Great, now instead of killing and removing the germs from their hands, dorm residents are sealing the germs to their own skin repeatedly. And people wonder why dorms here are hotbeds of infection and disease. Sheesh! (I'm not a big fan of the antibacterial lotions for several reasons, both scientific and personal.)

I'm not obsessive-compulsive when it comes to cleaning. I'm organized and put-away, but not compulsive. My parents will attest to my non-compulsion of cleaning.

But seriously, will you please go wash your hands?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Where's the Love?

Only one person treated me like an adult today. One person respected me enough to ask questions about life and love. That one person was the only person to ask me how I was doing and actually care about the answer.

I really like my coworkers, and I enjoy my job. Being the youngest (by thirty years in some cases), I'm very much "The Kid." This has it's benefits... but I'd really like to be able to relate to my coworkers on a higher level.

My parents have a difficult time treating me like anything but their child. I realize I am their child, but I am also an adult. They mean well. I know they love me. I just wish it weren't so hard for them to understand I'm more capable and mature than they give me credit.

One person. Just one. I probably talked to fifty people today. I laughed, I ranted, I wondered and mused. I shared stories. I had a great lunch and dinner with someone special.

And still, Grandma was the only person to make me feel valuable today.

I realize self-worth should come from within.
But sometimes it feels good to hear it from someone else.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Frozen In Motion

I'm not sure how well this totally neat ice turned out, but I'll try to explain what you are seeing. First, the blue is a cheap 3' wide kiddie pool. It filled with rainwater, and then the water froze in our January freeze. The little lines you see are ice bubbles that froze slowly enough to elongate through the dense water and make long pockets of air. The ice is about four inches thick here, and it lasted for several weeks. The bubble-lines are about a centimeter or two long.

Just one of the totally awesome things I saw...

Sunday, February 18, 2007

A Good Weekend, Overall

The weekend draws to a close. I've been moderately productive:
-Washed my car
-Four loads of laundry, which is most of the clothes I own, and Mom totally helped here by doing the last three loads for me, and folded everything (I'm so spoiled and very thankful)
-Transferred all of my music and picture files from Old PC to New PC
-Chatted with a few friends via IM and the phone, much-needed conversations
-Bought and watched The Princess Bride: Dread Pirate Edition
-Cleaned my room, reorganized some stuff, moved some stuff, and made room for more stuff (I think I'm channeling George Carlin on that one)
-Ate chocolate (so stressful, I know...)
-Planned a cool hike that never happened due to rain

Grandpa went into the hospital a week ago today, and I thought (on Tuesday) he'd been released. In fact, he was not released and remained at the hospital through Saturday due to several reasons I won't discuss. On Thursday, things were definitely not looking good. Friday saw some improvement, and the doctor let him go to a nursing/rehab facility yesterday. Mom was not impressed with the facility today. I hope he won't be there long. The week has been very long due to this and much more, and I'm glad the weekend has brought much better news.

I have cabin fever.
Work sounds like the best thing ever right now, and that thought is a whole lot of weirdness.
Time to start the week...

Saturday, February 17, 2007

I Have Synesthesia

...and I didn't even know it.

The colors are normal to me. I never thought I was different. But, apparently I have this thing called "Synesthesia." Here is the Wiki and a Google search if you'd like to read more.

The big idea of Synesthesia is that a person experiences one sense as another. Some people see letters as colors. Some people taste music. Some people smell words.

I have two distinct ways of thinking that apparently differ from what normal people experience. The first one I've talked about on my blog before, and I've always thought it's weird, but can't explain it correctly. I associate colors to people and emotions. I have one friend who is pink, another friend who is blue, and so on. People's colors don't often change. They are arbitrary, and I don't have a problem telling a person what color I see them as. Well, that's not to say that when I physically look at a person, their skin appears pink or blue, but in my head, when I think about that person, I see their color instead of their face (or with their face). I have always had a hard time remembering what faces look like, but I don't forget a person's color.

Associating colors to emotions has been hard. I see shapes and colors as thoughts. I might think of a great idea as purple ovals and stars and yellow and orange triangles. The shapes are both geometric and organic and sometimes in 3-D. When I get angry, I often see turquoise and lavender. When I'm happy, I see greens and reds and blues. When I'm sad, I get yellow and black. Orange is a pretty odd emotion to explain, and I've never understood my pink emotions very well. I experience these emotions and thoughts, but I'm unable to describe them to other people or put them into words, which then also appear in my head.

The second thing that's different is how I process words. When I am saying a word or hearing a word, the word flashes in my head like a ticker or like someone is writing it on a chalkboard. When I say "cat," I see the word "cat" in my head. So when I'm saying a full sentence, each word flashes in my head separately. The word colors change, but I haven't payed enough attention to notice if the colors are consistent across word repetition.

I never thought any of this was weird. I thought everyone had these same things happening in their heads. Apparently that's not true.

I have Synesthesia, and I like it.

Vista Fixed, Memory Gone

I can't believe I haven't posted since Wednesday. The world has kept me away from computers, even my new one. Vista has been a headache and a half, but I'm learning a lot as I go. Within one day, I'd somehow caused my screen saver to be disabled. After some thought and reading online, it appears that my Microsoft-brand digital wireless mouse and keyboard were preventing my computer's screen saver and power-save mode from starting. I had to download a patch to fix that bug. Then, I couldn't get Aero to work correctly. I'd change my them to Aero, and it would default itself back to Basic. Problem: Trillian (my IM program) is QuickTime based, and the graphics part of QuickTime interfered with Aero. I have since corrected this little issue. Both Aero and my screen saver are working correctly. Except now the screen saver comes on when I'm watching something on TV on my computer. I hope to have that issue resolved before the end of the night.

My game will not play. Ubisoft games are not supported by Vista. I am sorely disappointed, but hopeful that either or both companies will solve this problem soon.

Work continues, and I'm still learning something every day. I was even able to help two people this week without having to transfer them to someone else.

And Chris is back from Nevada/California! He took me down to meet his parents last night. I was pretty nervous, but things went well. I am comfortable with Chris, more so than with any guy before. We are often on the same wavelength, and that's pretty darn weird. The fun part is that, even though we're both satisfied with the relationship (I hope), we're both out to impress the other one just a little. He has definitely pushed me to try new things, encourages me to step out of my shell, and tests my boundaries as often as possible (like asking me to try "new" foods). I feel like I could use the gentle push, although I also resist knowing that I'm comfortable with me. I don't think I've trusted someone that much in a long time--and that's a little bit scary.

More to come, but I have to go rescue my forgotten pillow. I've lost me mind... and me pillow!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Vista is giving me a headache

It all started with a trip to Radio Shack.

I have two computers now, an old one and a new one. I'd really like all of my personal files to be on the new computer. After careful research, some price shopping, and a bit of deliberating, I decided to get a USB transfer cable. I went to Bi-Mart: no luck there. In avoidance of all things Wal-Mart, I decided to go to Radio Shack. Two feet inside the store and I was accosted by a fat man in a tiny polo shirt. He asked if he could help, and I told him I needed a USB transfer cable. Instead of pointing me in their direction, he walked me over to the aisle and pointed out an A/A USB cable. I told him I did not want one of those, I wanted what I'd said before. He looked puzzled, stepped back, and glanced one rack lower. He pulled up a crossover ethernet cable. *look, dumbass, I know what I want!* I politely told him, again, that I was looking for a USB transfer cable. He said that they didn't carry those. Um... "Right, you don't carry these," I commented as I found the row of the cables I wanted. I'd really appreciate it if people would just let me look for what I want and then ask me if I need help. ARRRGH! I didn't want to spend as much as I did, but at least I found the cable and should have personal files backed up and transferred this weekend.

One of the reasons I got a totally kick-ass video card is to run games. I'm not huge into gaming, but I do have some graphics-intense games, and I really want to run them. I have Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30 from a friend. I was unable to run it on my XP system due to an incompatible video card. But the Ubisoft game is not supported by Vista. *Wonderful.*

But, then again, I recorded Mythbusters while I blogged tonight, all on my computer. AND I figured out how to prevent my computer from going into sleep mode and disconnecting my IM programs.

Oh, and I've already seen the dreaded Blue Screen of Death tonight, too.

And that stupid IE7 hijacked my computer and wouldn't let me run Firefox as my default web browser. I despise IE, and Firefox has been wonderful, so switching back would have killed me. I'd probably pack this thing up and sent it away if Firefox wasn't my default. After an hour of searching, I figured out how to fix my problem. YAY! At least one thing on this compy is working the way I want.

Change is never easy.

But I have to say... change never looked so good...

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

TV and Blogging *at the same time*

My new computer arrived today.

The first thing I downloaded was Firefox, followed quickly by Trillian.

I am learning to use Vista, and some things are different, but the GUI is nice.

I am also watching TV while I blog. On the same monitor, at the same time.

I'd really like to post something dramatic and awe-inspiring, but I'm tired and don't know the right words to mark this moment.

My monitor is so big, I have to turn my head to look at both sides of it.

Oh, and before I forget:
Chris asked me to be his Valentine about a week ago, and I agreed. Part of me needed to ask him, though, so tonight (when he called to brag that he was going to Lindy Hop in San Francisco, the lucky guy!), I asked him to be mine. Apparently my asking him negated his asking me, so he had to do it all over again. *Sigh* I have a Valentine this year! Which is kinda silly since I don't especially like the holiday, and I won't even get to see my boyfriend the whole day, and I'll be at work instead of here on the new compy.

I'm going to go load a game now that I've been waiting six months to play. You might not hear from me for several days if it's a good game...

Monday, February 12, 2007

What Is Happening to Me?

Today is my mother's birthday. Happy Birthday, Mom!

But Mom did not have a good day. Her father went to the ER yesterday and was admitted immediately. The doctors don't know what's wrong with him, but they buffed him up and discharged him today. Nothing they can (or are willing to) do. It nearly kills me to say it, but I wish he wouldn't suffer. Parkinson's Disease, the medications involved, Alzheimer's, and it's medications, and poor overall health are not a good combination. He's taking drugs just to fix what the other drugs do to him. Since Grandma doesn't feel (and isn't) capable of taking care of him right now, he will be released to a nursing facility as soon as possible. I am sad, hopeful, and weary of the situation all at once. Is that what being an adult does to a kid?

My boyfriend left town on Thursday for seven days. I am not a clingy girlfriend, and I have a life away from him, definitely. I've always had this with any boy, and I love my independence. Before, if a boyfriend said he was leaving for a week, I would usually celebrate the freedom or at least enjoy the space for a while. This time has been really hard, and I don't know why. I can't say that I'm in love (one month is far from enough time to make that determination for me), and I have had plenty to do to keep myself busy.

I guess I realized I miss my boyfriend a lot when I realized I was more worried about the next time I'd see him versus when my new computer would arrive, and I've wanted this new computer for months and months. I'm totally excited for it to come (hopefully tomorrow). But if he came back at the exact same moment, I'm not sure that new computer would exist.

What is happening to me?

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Silence is Golden

I like the quiet. All day at work, I'm exposed to computers and fax machines and people talking. In the evenings, I'm dancing or watching TV or listening to music. Right now, I can hear my own very quiet computer and the sound of a cat scratching at the back door thirty feet (and two walls) away. I can hear the rain in the grass through a closed window. Clicky keys are the only thing that sound unnatural. The near-silence is wonderful.

My favorite time of day is that precious few moments when waking before everyone else in the house. No cars roaring down the road, no hair dryer or washing machine, no TV or telephone. The air is still, the sun coming up, and my toes sink into the carpet as I pad down the hall silently, still groggy, in search of my morning Eggos or first Diet Coke of the day.

When I was little, I'd get up early every weekend morning at that precious hour. I didn't usually watch cartoons or make breakfast. I didn't run into my parents' room to rouse them. I'd pull on some clothes and go out into the garage to work on stuff with Dad. Wood shops are often noisy, but on those mornings, he'd let me help him sand a piece of scrap wood or glue random bits of wood together. We didn't talk much. The silence was golden.

Sometimes I didn't wake up first. Once in a while, I'd slide out of bed and pop out into the kitchen to find Mom working on some pancakes or cinnamon rolls. Mom makes the best cinnamon rolls. Kitchens are pretty noisy places (I know: I worked in one for five years), but Mom can cook so quietly. Just ignore the sound of the metal spoon tinking on the bottom of a can of tomato sauce repeated as she attempts to remove every last bit from the can (that sound drives me crazy).

The best moment of silence happened when I was fifteen or sixteen. I was at the University of Oregon's Drum Major Leadership camp (it's like band camp, but without instruments). We were in Beall Hall, about 200 of us, basking in the cool air as we'd been out in the sun dehydrating for five days. The instructors brought us all up onto the stage and we found a place to sit. They started a song, the title or melody forgotten, and we were told to find the beat and "direct" the song. We closed our eyes and directed. The song went on for several minutes before fading out into nothingness. But no one moved. No words said, no coughing or twitching... just silence in the cool, dark auditorium. Probably one of the greatest moments in my life.

Friday, February 09, 2007

The Exclamation Point Madness Must Stop!

Somebody, please, get me a hammer.

Have you ever read someone's blog post and find it littered with gratuitous exclamation points? Have you ever been reading and find one in a totally random place? Or have you ever had one sneak up on you and *wham* exclamation point.

I'm sure there is a time and place for these literary gems. I'm also pretty sure using seven or twelve or fifty in a row doesn't make things more exclamatory as much as filling empty white space.

New rule: One exclamation point per post, unless you're actually ranting about something valid (like a car accident or bad family vacation), or if you're PMSing, in pain, if you're a pirate, or your "shift" key is locked and you really meant to press "1."

Because I said so.

*Disclaimer* No exclamation points were harmed in the writing of this blog.

Hammer? Please? ARRRRRRGH!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

"And Then They Slept"

I think it's a generational thing.

Back in the day (we're not talking very long ago), if a young woman said she spent the night with a young man, everyone assumed they were having sex. To my parents' generation, this would be true. To my grandparents' generation, this would have been an extreme taboo. And to those of the Victorian Era, wholly immoral. But to my generation, it's normal.

The first time I "spent the night" with a guy, we didn't really talk about it. We watched a movie, then watched another, and then a third very early in the morning, and then he asked if he could stay with me in my bed. I knew he wasn't intending to have sex, so I agreed. That was our first date. We dated four months, and he stayed several times. No sex. This idea absolutely stunned Grandma. She does not understand how two people can sleep in the same bed and not have sex.

Literally sleeping with someone is possible. I've done it. There is nothing immoral or improper about it. The Bible doesn't reference this (because way back in that day, people could have been burned at the stake for it or something...), and popular culture doesn't even make a passing remark about it because it's so trivial to our society ('And Then They Slept,' coming to a theater near you!). I've "spent the night" with a few guys, a short and distinguished list, and I am all the better for it. I enjoy falling asleep cuddled up in my boyfriend's arms, and I like waking up next to him. Of course, I'm not saying I'm a saint, but telling details would not be lady-like at all. :)

Awww, now I wish I had somebody to cuddle with tonight!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Bean Counting = Tired Jaggy

Today was a very long day. I'm sort of a bean counter at work, and today I counted and audited beans all day. I counted thousands. I audited hundreds of thousands. I'm really tired now.

Last night was rough: I was actually too tired to sleep well, so the three or four hours of rest/sleep I did get were not very restful. I danced tonight (yay!), so hopefully the physical exertion will help me sleep in a bit.

Much thanks to Astoria Oregon Rust for the link-back!

Nothing else new to report, and I'm too tired to be creative, witty, or remotely coherent, so I will keep this short and move on to something better. Like my pillow. :)

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Drama is Life, and I have Life

My boyfriend commented to a friend tonight that I seem to have a lot of drama in my life. I thought about it the whole way home, and that's a long drive when I take backroads (25 miles or so). I suppose I do have some drama, but my life is pretty tame compared to how it was living with two girls. Rachel, Emily, and I rarely had drama between the three of us. We didn't ever fight or really get angry with each other, and what drama we did have ended fairly quickly. We each had our own drama, and I think Emily and Rachel had more boy drama than I ever had, seeing that they dated more guys and were much more popular than I was.

But, I think Chris is right. I do have a lot of drama. Most of my drama stems from work or home. Work is a challenge because I don't always understand things and have to ask questions. The office manager is in the process of turning my temporary position into a permanent one, and there are no guarantees I'll be rehired in this change, so I have a bit of drama there. And they're teaching me new things, which is nice, but of course, it's stressful.

I think my family causes most of my drama. I come from a big extended family, and I live with my immediate family, so I'm constantly exposed to this group. My sister and I have had a rough time turning our childhood friendship/rivalry into an adult sisterhood. My sister is dating my ex-roommate (a boy I'm not particularly fond of, although we are civil now), and that definitely created some drama at one point. My parents are not always the best at allowing me to grow and do my own thing--something I fight hard to retain. Mom is particularly difficult when she says one thing and then says something else. Dad isn't a bed of roses when he's angry either. I have tons of cousins, lots of aunts and uncles... and there is always something happening. When nothing happens in my family, we're all just waiting for the other shoe to drop. And the gossiping: I plan on a post dedicated to that alone.

I do not think this drama is all bad, though. I talk to my family, and I love my family, and I share in their lives. I wouldn't be nearly the person I am without my family. Moving out and having a bit of distance would make me a much better and happier person--and that will happen soon. So yeah, I have drama. I have a family that has drama. I even have friends with drama. It's not always good, and I don't think I have nearly as much drama as some people do, but...

Drama is life.

I guess that means I'm living life. Dramatic, wonderful, emotion-filled, crazy life.

Got a problem with that? "Y'all can just suck it." (<--For K.)

Monday, February 05, 2007

The New Computer

Dell Dimension E521:
  • 20" widescreen digital flat panel monitor
  • AMD Athlon X2 Dual-Core 5000+
  • 1 GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM
  • 256MB NVIDIA Geforce 7300LE TurboCache
  • 320GB Serial ATA Hard Drive
  • 7.1 Dolby Digital sound card
  • 16x DVD+/-RW drive
  • TV tuner with remote
  • Windows Vista upgrade to Premium
Not too shabby. :) THANK YOU, Mom and Dad, for the graduation gift!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Lazy Sundays are the best

I was in bed today until 4pm. Wasn't sick, felt fine... bed was warm and I didn't have anything better to do. Didn't watch the sports thingy today. Didn't even make lunch. Mom and I ordered my new computer today! And I talked to a friend.

Spent a good hour last night chatting at Grandma's, just the two of us. She cleared up some doubts I've had lately, and made me feel a bit more grown-up than everyone around me usually does.

Oh, and I linked my blog to the Facebook Notes. This probably isn't the best idea, seeing that I post here more often than anyone else does on Facebook... but I can always take it off if people get too annoyed.

Time to get out of my house for a bit!

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Fighting the Age War

I don't understand people who are prejudiced against age. What does age have to do with maturity or intelligence or wisdom?

My first encounter with this age-related bias was working in a retirement facility. The job was not glamorous, and it was difficult at times, but I never once treated a facility resident poorly or rudely because they happened to be older than me. I did get frustrated by individuals, but that was always a reflection of the individual and not their age. My friends asked how I could stand to work with old people. I never understood that question. Were they asking how I could work with people who grew up before me? Were they asking how I could work with people who are stereotypically cantankerous? Now I'm not saying it was all a bed of roses and that "old people" stereotypes are completely wrong... but working with elderly folks has been a complete pleasure!

My second encounter with blatant age-ism occurred late last year when I dated a guy twelve years older than me. I'm 23, and I'm wise enough to make the decision about whether or not a twelve-year gap makes a difference to me. I never had a problem with the gap. My friends told me I was in denial, and one of them still swears that I am. The guy had kids. He was never disrespectful or hurtful, and he wasn't into me for sex. While the relationship didn't work out, the failure was not a function of my age or his age or the difference thereof. I really liked it when people told me they supported my decision to date the guy while we were dating, but then told me that he was too old for me after we broke up. If people thought that, why not say it? Oh, right, because it's my decision.

I've had experiences trying to find jobs or trying to get Mom to allow me to do something when I was younger: "we don't think you're old enough." What does being old enough have to do with anything? I get the whole "not having enough experience" part, but give me a shot. Mom wouldn't let me wear make-up until I was sixteen. Ignoring the fact that I still don't wear much make-up (a whole other blog topic), is fifteen too young? Sure, grade school is too young, but what "age" is make-up suddenly appropriate? Or shaving my legs? That had to wait until 8th grade. The part that made me angry wasn't that I had to wait for a certain age, but that my little sister could do anything as soon as I could do it. I swear, if it weren't for state law, she'd have been driving a month later than me even though she's three years younger.

Birthdays are a celebration of life on earth. Why do people dread birthdays? I hear the groans, "Oh man, I'm 35 this year..." or the dreaded 4-0 or 5-0... I think it's cool. I treat age as a celebration of life experiences. People who are older have had more life experiences. I can ask questions, learn from them, and swap stories (even though I don't have many yet).

Age Things I've Learned:
1. Age doesn't make you smarter, wiser, funnier, nicer, meaner, or anything but older.
2. Being old isn't bad or good or anything but not being as young as you were a second ago.
3. People who embrace age don't have bad birthday parties.
4. Young people fear aging.
5. Wise people come from all ages.
6. People who are prejudiced against age are not generally cool people.

I don't care what your age is. I don't care how old you were when you got married or had kids or graduated from whatever or got your first job. I will like you based on how you treat me and the people I care about. Can you do that for me, too?

The Things We Do (for the ones we love or really want to impress)

I'm not really into going out to parties. I can probably count on one hand the number of times I've had a good time at a party. The fault most likely is with me: I'm just not a social creature. Sure, I have friends, and I like to hang out, but parties aren't much fun for me. Maybe I have a social phobia--although I have performed on stage and love that adrenaline rush from performing or having the spotlight on me. I like to go dancing, and it doesn't get much more social than to be glued to a person for the length of a song, trying to make that silly small-talk that you'll never remember.

So why don't I like going out to parties? I relate it back to 5th grade. A friend invited me to her birthday party. The other ten girls at the party ganged up on me while I was sleeping and put make-up on me, rolled me inside my sleeping bag, soaked and froze my underwear from my bag, and otherwise teased and tormented me until my mother came to pick me up the next morning. Until college, this was the only sleep-over I attended.

I'm not totally against drinking, and I do drink occasionally (read: once a month or less). Parties have always seemed like an excuse to drink as much as possible. People swap binge-night tales and play games to get drunk. I'm not a nice drunk, and alcohol does not lower my inhibitions. People try to get me to drink at parties. They offer a sip of this or a bottle of that... they say that there is an alcohol for everyone. I've not found something I couldn't live without.

The point of this background information: last night, I went to a party with my boyfriend. Chris really wanted to see his friends, and he also wanted to introduce me to them. While I don't mind hanging on his arm all night, I'd rather be introduced in a situation where I'm comfortable. I knew exactly two people at the party: my boyfriend and Jeff. Chris wandered off for a minute to talk to a friend and one of the hosts walked up to Jeff and me (the two of us hanging out talking on the edge of the crowd). I'm not sure if the host was drunk or just an ass, but his comments were less than flattering. Once Jeff left, I tried my best to look approachable and chat with some girls... Chris and I danced a little bit, but there wasn't enough room to do anything. He polished off a bottle of wine in the three hours we were there, so I drove us home (so very thankful to be out of the drunken crowd).

My question to myself, then, is "why did I go?" Did I go to impress my boyfriend? Did I go to prove to myself that not all parties are scary and bad? Did I go to be a part of a crowd? Did I go to be social?

I don't know.

The things we do for the ones we love...