Monday, November 29, 2004

Turkey day is done (burp)

Well what do you know, someone actually read my posts! I'll have to read the information on how to increase visibility of this blog, but meanwhile, hello to all those getting here via the redheaded blog ring (I guess it really does work!) . My hair color, by the way, is not just a matter of random choice, but for years (decades) I colored my strawberry blonde hair to golden blonde, only realizing as I got older that it was a hard color to carry off for middle age and gray coverage. The red covers gray better, matches my eyebrow and lash color, and suits my paleface to rosy skin color, which has never tanned and only burned (as many redheads know) and green eyes. Both my kids have ash blonde hair and gray eyes, oddly enough. My 23 year old daughter is already going grey.

Thanksgiving day was accomplished with a minimum of fuss and a maximum amount of food. I haven't seen the shelves of my refrigerator in over a week, but the only leftovers now are of Tums. For Christmas dinner we will break with tradition and have steak, baked potato and tossed salad, period. No leftovers. If this weird warm weather continues we can even grill the things outside. I abstained from the day-after-Thanksgiving mad shopping frenzy, as I am planning to utilize catalogs and online shopping almost exclusively this year. I did go to an earlier "preferred customer" shopping on a Sunday night, and boy was I sorry.. I didn't realize there were so many thousands of preferred shoppers for one tiny town, and I got, you should forgive the pun, malled. I don't plan to repeat the experience. Years ago we used to drive to the megalopolis 90 miles to our north at this time of year, but I have developed (sigh) a fear of city traffic -- the result of too many years driving on two lane narrow twisty mountain roads, and not enough on 12 lane superhighways, where you can see the exit you need, but can't possibly reach it in time. Plus, I drive a Miata, so I am automatically regarded as grill fodder for 75% of the other cards on the road. And to make it all the worse, I have the directional sense of a gerbil, and have been known to get lost in my own driveway, truly a unique attribute.
So I let my fingers do the walking through the web pages, and get some pretty neat stuff too.

I have cats, or rather they have me. There are five of the blighters in the house, lording it over the mere bipeds, who are useful only at litter box and feeding time. They range from a stately elegant white cat who weighs enough to tip the coffee table up on one end when he jumps on it, to a small agile grey tom who thinks his primary role in life is dish polisher, not his, yours. I hasten to explain that I DO NOT encourage this behavior, but it is amusing to see what, if anything, he WON'T eat, like chili peppers and raw cabbage. Nearly everything else is acceptable, even if he has to steal it to get a sample, with favorites including cantaloupe, jelly beans, green beans, bread, and corn on the cob. Pizza crusts. Cheese. Spagetti, with or without sauce. He has, by the way, terrible breath. Where he developed his eclectic appetite I have no idea, we first realized it when he chased the 125 lb dog away from her dinner dish until he'd eaten his fill of dog food and table scraps.

I work as a professional nag at a large university, telling other people what to do so they know which rules to ignore with impunity. For this I have a large office, all the latest in computers, palm pilots, scanners, etc., and I wander from room to room pointing out safety infractions, writing them down, sending reports, follow up visits that are also ignored, and in general make a total nuisance of myself, a task for which I trained some 30 years to do. I love my job, it makes me feel like a prophet, warning of dire consequences that never occur, although sometimes I feel like I'd like to set a fire or two just to sharpen everybody up a bit. Maybe firemen get like that too? All I know is, the important thing is to Write Down What You Say so you can cover your own a** if there is ever a problem. Hence the need for all the computers.

And speaking of nagging, I have a husband too, whom I never nag, since after 34 years of marriage I have exhausted all possible topics of nagsomeness, and when I found I was starting to repeat myself over and over, I quit. We talk less now, but it's way more amicable. Kids are the same way, they tune out everything that doesn't involve threats of grievous bodily harm, and even those lose their punch after a while. Money still talks.

As mentioned earlier, both parents and my one sister are all dead, I put flowers on their graves regularly, I don't know why, exactly. Guilt? Trying to impress (who?) with my devotion? Do you know, there are people in this world who steal flower arrangements off grave sites? Is that not low? Do you suppose they do it regularly, explain to visitors the best graveyards to visit, justify it by saying "they're dead anyway, what's the difference?" I wonder. This is a strange old world.

Monday, November 15, 2004

I'm OK, You're OK

Well, it occurs to me that I could be writing and posting something that is never seen by another living soul. How weird is that thought? I remember when...(here we go again) (shuddup) the only web sites were .edu ones and .gov ones, and you'd have to remember the address because web browsers didn't have bookmarks--in fact, there weren't any real web browsers as such until Netscape came out--it was all ftp this and text-only sites. So now anyone can post blogs like this, and it's there for the entire world to see--only no one does. I know one site where 14,400 people have logged into a page to view a --toothbrush. How weird is that? I 'm using this blog as a sort of diary (not to be confused with dairy, which is altogether messier) and as a sounding board to--who? I haven't made any attempt to tell friends or family about it, it's "MY" little secret. If someone actually reads this, could you post a comment to that effect? Just so I know. If I knew how to post one of those counters, I'd do that, just to see if anyone at all stumbles across this accidentally.

The gorgeous fall season is all but over and the winter grimmers are soon to start. That's when it's dark in the morning on the way to work, dark on the way home, and cold and dreary in between. At least I have a window now, it's way up high with only a view of the sky and the tip-top of a tree outside, but hey, I worked for years in basements with only power outages and fire drills to look forward to, times when you could legitimately hang outside for a short while. In comparison, this is nirvana. I actually have my own office too, not 'sharing' with 3 other people or more, so I get to choose the wallpaper, color theme, screen saver and so on for Windows, woohoo. It's even a new Dell inspiron laptop, not some old piece of Pentium II crap that no one else wanted. Yep, I'm walking in tall grass these days. I got a raise last month, and I work with nice people too. I see my old (bastard) boss from time to time and I smile smile smile, just to think I don't have to put up with his tantrums and eccentricities anymore. I get to take a week off for Turkey Day and time off from Dec. 22 to Jan. 3rd without having to come in AT ALL. I feel giddy just thinking about it, such a change from the last 30 years. I may even take a vacation this spring, just since I can.

Now, if I could get past all the crazy stuff, my son could get a job, either my son or my daughter could provide me with my inalienable right to a grandchild or so, I'd allow as how the future might even be worth waiting around for. ("Where are you all from?" the southern belle asked the snooty Yankee lady. "Somewhere where we know not to end a sentence in a preposition," she sniffed. "Alright then, " replied the belle, "Where are you all from, bitch?") Anyway, I'm doing my best to hang in there long enough to be problem for my children, bless their pea-pickin lil hearts. I plan to spend all their inheritance and then some, if I can, and I'll enjoy every last dime of it too. And, I wear purple NOW, and it isn't the least becoming with
red hair, I might add.

Just so you know.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Feeling dark

Am I the only one, or are there other people out there who have noticed that getting older is really about loss? Not the funny kind of losses, like losing your car in a big parking lot, finding it at last only to discover you've also lost your keys. No, I mean the biggies. In the last 5 years, I've lost both my parents, my only sibling, a job I loved, two of my closest friends, my self-respect, my self esteem, and my health. I miss lots of little things too, the ability to fall instantly into a refreshing sleep, the energy to tackle big projects and get them finished, zip zip!, the pleasure of shopping, being able to read the fine print, the camaderie of people who have known you a long time, even dumb things like the horses that used to graze in a pasture nearby (housing development now), and the nice man at the dry cleaners. It seems like there is nothing, nothing at all, that Time hasn't had its heavy hand upon. Life is about change, I know, but why does it seem all the change is for the worse? Why do people seem so rude, so enraged, so careless of who they hurt? I know it's a cliche for old folks to rant about "in my day....(fill in)" but honey, I'm not THAT old. I didn't walk to school 3 miles through driving snow uphill, both ways! If this is but a taste of what's to come, can I be excused now? Is there some cosmic purpose in separating us from our comfortable, predictable, satisfying lives, and make us regret every day we passed in careless disregard for all the things we soon wouldn't have?
I know there are people out there who have suffered horribly from losses far greater than mine, people homeless, in war-torn cities, those who see their children go to bed hungry and cold, those who continue to smile and help out others even in the face of burdens of illness and pain I can't even imagine. I know it's tempting fate to say you've lost so much, 'cause you always have more to lose down the line a bit, so that this Now will look like heaven on earth in another 20 years or even 20 months. But damn, if I feel so bereft now, what will the future be like?

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Well crikey....

I doesn't look to me like the ring-thingy is working. Sigh. This is supposed to be simple; if I Wanted a Challenge I'd be working on my taxes. Bear with me......

Redheaded Ring

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