Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Post That Shouldn't Be

This is a phantom post. I set it up to post while I couldn't physically be posting, because I'm on a plane to Texas to see the baby sister graduate from high school. Just thought it would be fun to throw that out there for you.

Lost Speculation Revisited

NOTICE: Contains spoilers from last night's season finale. Come back and read this later if you haven't see it yet. If you don't intend to watch it, then you can read or not, but mostly I would expect that you wouldn't want to.

After finishing watching season 4's finale last night, I decided to go back to the post I did before the season started, and see how I did on all this guesswork.

1. Richard -- I had decided this character was special in some way, due to his lack of aging over the decades. He is still an enigma, but we know he's more important now that this season is complete. He has been recruiting John Locke, basically since birth, and he definitely seems to be the non-figurehead leader. It's like the opposite of the Queen of England who's all for look and has little to no real power. I look for him to be very important as the last two seasons progress.

2. Mikhail -- After surviving the sonic fence and a gunshot in the back, it appeared Mikhail was invincible on the island. After his hand-grenade-in-the-underwater-station trick, though, he hasn't returned this season. Is it possible that being just off the coast of the island was enough to lose the island's protection, and he finally died? Or is he just lurking out of view for a season with a return to the show still in his future?

3. Ben -- I opined that Ben was a poser, and had never been special. However, now it seems likely that he was special at some point, and has since lost favor with the island for something. Perhaps it was as simple as the island getting John Locke, and therefore being done with Ben, or it might be that Ben did something to make the island mad, and he is now being punished. I may have to go dig for more details on this one to see what I may have missed on that front.

4. John -- He was, indeed, the man in the coffin. I was so excited when I saw that I'd gotten that right -- like maybe I've developed some kind of intuition on this story along the way. Regardless, now we have a new name for him -- Jeremy Bentham. This appears to be some sort of code name so that other people in the regular world don't get wind of the fact that this is another of the Oceanic survivors. We know he becomes the leader of the others in place of Ben, but we'll have to wait to see what made him leave the island to try to return the Oceanic 6 to the island.

5. Christian -- I had thought that maybe there was an alternate time stream where Jack's dad was still alive. That seems clear not to be the case. However, he'd had all these weird red-herring-style appearances before, and now he seems to be more and more of a player in this saga. And how is Claire now becoming a similar enigma to her dad. It makes me wonder if she died?

So, on these predictions, I turned out to be a big 2-3. Not so bad, but there are still so many questions remaining. For example:

We know there is a time differential, and not really a split. However, we we don't really know how that time differential plays into things, completely, so that will continue to be in the mix of stuff to be elaborated further.

We still don't know why Ben became the leader of the Others. His extinction of the Dharma Initiative folks was more of his proof that he was committed to the group, but it doesn't give us any idea as to why they gave him the chance. Just because his dead mama talked to him as a boy? That seems a stretch.

Are there any Dharma folks left? On this, I would say a hearty...well, mostly no. However, if Charlotte was actually born on the island, is that because she was part of the DI? Or did I misunderstand, and she's looking for some other mysterious place that she came from? Hard to say, but it's clear that will be more story, and she may be part of that Dharma thing.

That crazy specialness is also still a mystery. Now we have this idea that Hurley is "special", too, because he saw Jacob's cabin. That's certainly a different kind of special than I had identified at the beginning of the season, but maybe that's just because he didn't have a physical calamity to be healed from. Maybe the island made him mentally better, and that's why he's back in the institution after returning from the island.

Plus, the new characters are just questions for the future seasons. All very interesting, and keeping me ready for that next season, and wondering why I'll have to wait so long for that.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Friday Random Ten

I mentioned last week that I would use the Pandora website to come up with some different music to list on this site. You start with the name of a song or artist, and it generates a radio playlist for you based on stuff that is considered to be related. I thought I'd start this little game off with the groups I've seen live over time.

This first week, I thought I'd use the first concert I went to. The opening band was a new band in the music scene, one called Jars of Clay. You may have heard me mention them before. I was one of those obssessed fans who read everything I could find about them. When I heard they were doing a concert for about 300 people just 3 hours away, I suckered three of my friends into road-tripping with me. They were a small-time band, back then, with just one album, so it wasn't too tough to know all their songs. That tour, they traveled with most of a string section, and it was a great show, the best even. A year or two later, I saw them again at a much bigger venue, and a few years back at Stubbs in Austin. I'm a big fan of these guys, in case you couldn't tell. Here's the gratuitous YouTube video of their well-known mainstream song, to remind you how you do actually know who these guys are (and to remind you that 1995 was a really long time ago -- just look at those haircuts and outfits!):

And now, without further ado, here is what Pandora gave me to go with these guys.

"Worlds Apart" by Jars of Clay* on Jars of Clay
"My Savior My God" by Aaron Shust on Anything Worth Saying
"Indescribable (Live)" by Chris Tomlin* on Live From Austin Music Hall
"Love Heals Your Heart" by Third Day on Whereever You Are
"Love Song For A Savior" by Jars of Clay* on Jars of Clay
"Dare You To Move" by Switchfoot on The Beautiful Letdown
"In Christ Alone (My Hope Is Found)" by Promise Keepers on The Awakening Worship
"Stillness" by Aaron Shust on Anything Worth Saying
"The Day Before You" by Matthew West on History
"Disappear" by Jars of Clay* on The Eleventh Hour (which I somehow don't own....hmmmmm)

Well, the randomness left something to be desired, but I suppose that's the point of the site. I'd never heard the Third Day or the Matthew West song (though I've heard others by them), and I did like them, so I think that counts for something positive learned today. Every day should be so lucky. Plus, with a visual to go with each song, I feel like I have a chance of remembering songs that go with a particular artist (I'm terrible at that particular skill -- I think it stayed in the untappable back of my brain with the audio learning that I never got either. I still wonder how I got a degree in a lecture-styled education system.).

* Acts I've seen live

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Weekly 5Ks

I signed up for an event that runs every Wednesday night from March to August. There is a 1K ocean swim and a 5k run each week, and you can do one or the other or both. I am still not brave enough to enter the frigid waters of the Pacific (currently around 55 degrees Fahrenheit), so I haven't done the ocean swim, but I have now done 4 weeks worth of 5k runs. Last night was a personal best time.

It's a really easy course, uphill for about 2k and then downhill 3k. It's so nice to have that net downhill (finishing a ways below the starting point), and that makes it easy, in my book. Plus, it's in the early evening with the calm ocean breezes and lots of people out with their dogs and kids making it busy and animated.

The first week, I ran it cold, with no training runs for a good several months prior (can you tell I was suckered in at the last minute?), and was shocked to still finish under 35 minutes. I know, 7 minute kilometers (11:30ish minute miles) is nothing to be impressed by, but I derive my happiness from small accomplishments -- I jogged the whole thing and didn't have to walk, and that counts for something in my little brain. The second week, I cratered (it was either the lack of water all day, or starting out the run too fast, or the poached egg I'd eaten that afternoon -- all of these things are strict no-nos!!!), and took almost 41 minutes to finish the little run. The third week I was back on a bit better track, but still took around 36 minutes to finish.

And then there was last night. I started out slow, forcing myself not to keep up with people around me, not to allow the speed of the group to push me faster than my little legs and heart can handle. At the 1-mile marker, I was surprised how good I really felt, so I sped up. As the downhill started, I really lengthened my stride to allow gravity to just pull me down to the finish. I know that my legs are pretty long for my height, but I don't have them trained for the right length stride for serious speed, yet. But this was a measure of what might be possible, as I careened in for a 32:18 finish. That would be my best 5K yet, and I now see the possibility of breaking the 30-minute mark before the end of the summer.

I know I'm still not fast (the fastest time last night was still twice my speed, and the fastest woman was sub-19 minutes), but I'm still proud of what I did. And now we'll see what happens from here.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Tiptoe Through The Tulips: Epidendrums (Star Orchids)

This one suprised me by turning out to be in the orchid family. The flowers are so small, they reminded me of the lantana bushes from Texas. I guess that's why I was so sure they had to be nearly a weed, only pretty. Our versions are purple and orange, and you can see the long-stemmed growth in this picture.

The side view of one of the purple clusters can be seen here. The picture ended up being fuzzy, but I really tried a lot of times (darn macro setting on a tiny flower that keeps moving in the wind), and this was the best I got. Meanwhile, I'll close out with a pretty top view of an orange cluster that sat nicely for its portrait to be taken:

So, as I mentioned before, I was surprised that while investigating the boat orchids of last week, I came across a picture of these guys. Wasn't expecting to find them there. However, on closer review, the petals with the central showy beak that is common in orchids, not sure why I didn't make that connection. Oh, right, I'm a plant idiot trying to change her ways. Regardless, these are definitely Epidendrums, also known as Star Orchids, and these are nice and hardy (which should be read as Heather will likely not kill them). However, the fact that they are long and gangly in my backyard means that I'm not fertilizing them with a low-nitrogen fertilizer (no duh -- not fertilizing them at all, yet), and I'm not watering them enough. At least I know how to keep these guys going stronger in the future!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Friday Random Ten

"We Are The Dinosaurs" by Trout Fishing In America* on Big Trouble
"What's In A Name" by Petra on Beyond Belief
"The Me Nobody Knows" by Marilyn McCoo on The Me Nobody Knows
"No Holly For Miss Quinn" by Enya on Shepherd Moons
"Rock 'N Me" by Steve Miller Band on Greatest Hits
"Sweet Little Loving" by White Lion on Pride
"The Joker" by Steve Miller Band on Greatest Hits
"War Child" by The Cranberries on To The Faithful Departed
"Dying Man" by PFR* on Goldie's Last Day
"Famous Last Words" by Jars of Clay* on If I Left The Zoo

This week appears to be an identity week -- we're everything from dinosaurs to unknown to a joker to a child of war to an adult at the end of life. We like rock and loving (okay, I'm stretching here to keep to the theme), but overall we may not be ready for our last words, depending on who we know. Interesting stuff, that iTunes.

Next week, I'm planning on employing Pandora for this space to see what it gives me based on my seed group or song. Should make for some interesting collections of stuff, and some discoveries, and I'm looking forward to seeing what comes of that. Plus, I need to add some new stuff to my iTunes library for future listening.

* Acts I've seen live

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Where Ye Be Going?

In a recent perusal of the keywords that have brought unsuspecting people to HIAHS, I found some special selections. These are generally phrases that really make me wonder how search engines work. In the "Go Figure" category, we have:

court martial for heather post -- Currently, I'm wondering if Heather Post is being court martialed, or if someone was looking for a post on the court martial of a more generic Heather. Regardless, there is no past, present or future court martial for this Heather, so you may want to move along.

green jelly -- Apparently, once upon a time, I had a Friday Random Ten that included a song by a group of this name. Never even knew I had such a band reflected in my collection. Clearly from a mish-mash CD of random stuff. Meanwhile, if you are hoping to find out about jelly made from pears or granny smith apples or grapes or jalepenos, you should look elsewhere. At least until I post the recipe for such things.

french bread varieties -- I'm no expert, but I thought there was just the one variety. You know, French bread. For more options, find someone who knows stuff.

derailleur? i hardly knew her! -- People actually put these kinds of things in search engines?

chicken marsala when you are pregnant -- I can vouch for chicken marsala being tasty, but I have no insight into how that might taste when you're pregnant.

Also, in the "Maybe I should Collegify My Vocabulary" category, apparently "um yeah" and "eh" also brought people to my blog. Of course, if that's how they are searching, I assume their expectations of the content here should be similarly low, and that could be a good thing...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Recipes are Good Blog Fodder

Last week I was in North Carolina visiting my sister. I was there to go to her graduation and her commissioning as a Naval officer, and stuck around the whole week, because traveling from one coast to another and back just for a weekend seems silly. I worked from her apartment for the week while she went to work, and then we hung out at night doing various things -- chilling in bars where a guy tried to pick up yours truly, doing karaoke where another guy tried to do the same, sucking at trivia, and just generally drinking too much and being out too late. It was a good week.

Anyway, by Friday night, I was pretty tired. My sister informed me it was my job to plan our evening's festivities, and I was really itching to cook. So I did. And I even had access to recipes from home, just via an internet connection.

Isn't the internet grand?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Tiptoe Through The Tulips: Cymbidium (Boat Orchids)

This homely plant looks remarkably like an iris with its long straight leaves and its clustered appearance.
It just sits in the back against the fence, quietly enjoying life, until the day comes along that it POOF blooms all over the place. That day was recently here at the HIAHS household. Here you can see one of the stems with several flowers on it.

You can also see a closeup of the flowers here:

Gorgeous little orchids that they are, my identification journey took me to find that they are most likely in the Cymbidium genus, and are also known as boat orchids. While I'm likely going to kill this plant with its watering needs (don't let it get dry, but don't let it be too soggy), it appears to thrive with the cool nights we have here. Plus, it is definitely an established plant, so I'm hopeful that with that on my side I won't do so badly. Meanwhile, it's good to know what I should be doing with that little guy.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

More to Learn, Eh?

I stole this meme from Niobe. The rules aren't too hard:

1. Click on this link. The title of the page is the name of your band.

2. Click on this link. The last four words of the final quotation on the page are the title of your album.

3. Click on this link this link. The third picture is your album cover.

4. Take the pic, add your band name and album title.

I'm not particularly artistic, but I do like the result I came to:

It's pretty basic, so I'm not too sure why I like the end product so much. I think I like how the album title is almost nestled in the safest part of the flower, just waiting to be pushed out into the crazy world. I feel that way, sometimes, in my more depressed and sentimental moments. And I can imagine that I have enough of those to make a whole album from them, were I able to write music.

I would love to see the results of anyone that does this -- include the link in the comments, or if you just can't add two lines of text to a JPG, include your resulting band and album names in the comments, instead. I hope most of you that read this will participate. What if I say, "Please"? Please?

Friday, May 16, 2008

Friday Random Ten

"We Live" by Superchick on Beauty From Pain
"Overweight" by Blue October on Foiled
"Three Little Pigs" by Green Jelly on Dr. Dememto 25th Anniversary
"You Lord" by PFR* on Pray For Rain
"Sara" by Fleetwood Mac on Greatest Hits
"Pat A Pan" by Mannheim Steamroller on Christmas Live
"Solid As The Rock" by Michael English on Michael English
"The River" by Rich Mullins* on The World As Best As I Remember It, Vol. 1
"Lullaby" by Trout Fishing in America* on Big Trouble
"My Home Town" by Tom Lehrer on Songs & More Songs

This was a nice Friday afternoon mix of stuff that makes me wonder if my iTunes pick different stuff when I'm not at home. It wasn't a particularly Carolina-esque grouping, but it was mellow and very enjoyable.

* Acts I've seen live

Thursday, May 15, 2008


I recently changed my main password at work, so I can now share what my last one was. The title of my post is the password I used to get into my computer, several tools I use frequently, to get to about 3 other computers that I use regularly, and to get my email over the web. Not surprisingly, I typed it a lot. And every time, it made me smile. I know that's not a password's job. It's supposed to be secure, and I darn well think it succeeded. However, this password is a morphed version of:


So that's what I thought everytime I typed it, and that made me happy to think about. That password almost lasted me the full season, and I appreciate that happy spring pick-me-up that I've had.

Season 3 started to drag a bit, but season 4 has made up for it with a vengeance! There is a whole lotta story left, and just two more seasons. Can you tell I'm going to be in Lost withdrawal when I have to wait until the next season starts? Well, I will. Check in on me periodically -- I may have to write some of my posts from the Santa Rosa Mental Hospital if things get too bad!

Monday, May 12, 2008

New Name for the Crazy Sister

I definitely know people that know my family well, and for those people, I refer to my sisters by their names. However, for the many people with whom I speak that do not know my sisters, I have descriptive monikers for them instead -- they are my crazy sister and my baby sister. For a long time, it was just "my sister" and "my baby sister", but then the middle child embarked on a set of life experiences that deemed a new adjective appropriate for her.

The crazy sister has been through some drama in her life. She's testified at felony court martial proceedings, had a nine-month marriage involving restraining orders, spent time in nearly all Austin-area medical hospitals, gone to four different colleges, went missing from jobs and apartments, etc., etc., etc. I can't even begin to try to count the number of wallets/sets of keys/cell phones she's lost to have people throwing irresponsible in with the crazy. She's the kind of girl that, while not being the cause of all the drama around her, is certainly a magnet for cases of the crazies.

However, as she's grown up and matured in the last seven years since she enlisted in the Navy, she has really not had a crazy moment that I can point to in the last several years. They decided she'd make a good officer, and this weekend I was in North Carolina to celebrate with her as she graduated cum laude with a Nuclear Engineering degree and was commissioned as an Ensign in the Navy with orders to report to her ship in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in June. We had a wonderful weekend, including a graduation party she threw for all of the NE graduates, a spa day to celebrate our mother, and absolutely no scheduling snafus. Nice stuff. I'm proud of her, and all that she's come through to get to this major milestone this weekend.

So, it feels like I need to come up with a new name for her than "Crazy Sister". I could call her the "Navy Sister", but crazy was just so colorful that it was fun. I think that's why I kept using it while she was getting less and less crazy all the time. I'm sure it would help me remember that she's not so crazy if I quit calling her that, though, so I guess I should change it in my personal vocabulary.

If any of you hear me refer to her as the crazy sister in the future, please remind me she's no longer crazy.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

(Not) Recommended: The Corrections

Kyle, previously/currently of Eight Parts and newly of The Letter Eleven regarding his new twin girls (hey, Kyle, what's up with the numbers in your blog names??), recommended that I read The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen.

I completed reading it several months ago, but I've had a lot of trouble writing about it. At its most basic, the storyline is about a older midwestern couple that are trying to figure out how best to interact with their three children and the life choices they've made, choices that mostly go against everything that a midwestern family would have considered valuable. On the other side of things, the book is long enough to explore each character's complicated motivations for the way they interact with their family. There's the dad, who had been the breadwinner as an engineer and now is in failing health. He isn't sure how to connect with the family that he provided for, but was otherwise mostly uninvolved with for his whole life. There is the overinvolved mom, whose entire life is in the memories she built with her family in their midwestern house that is falling apart. If she gives in to the failing house, her life must be a failure, too, and you can see the struggle as her ailing husband has more and more trouble in that house. There's the oldest son who is fighting depression in a relationship that hasn't been supportive for years. His own kids have been largely turned against him during this time. He wants to support his parents, but only in the way that he deems best. The middle child, a daughter, ran to the big city to become a famous chef, married a much older man and had a closeted (to her family, at least) lesbian affair. She seems to be the only of the kids that actually sees her parents as people with real feelings, and wants to help them where they are and with whatever makes them most comfortable. Finally, there's the youngest son whose near addiction to sex got him in some trouble in his last job, making him reckless with new opportunities that come his way. After enough badgering, he puts on a show of caring about his parents, but almost in a my-life-is-such-a-mess-and-you've-got-a-place-I-can-sleep sort of way.

I can't say I really liked this story. It was so bleak (some may say realistic), and depressingly sad, not cathartic-emotional-outbreak-sad, that I can't really recommend it. Originally my title had been meant to indicate that the book had been recommended to me, but I realized it could also be taken to mean that I recommended it, so that's why you have what you have instead. The characters were incredibly realistic, the individual stories were each heartbreaking in their own way, but I just came away with this overall sad feeling for the way that we move on and ignore the people we came from that I can't say it was enjoyable. I just keep coming back to "bleak". If you've forgotten what that feeling feels like, please, by all means, use this book to remind yourself. Otherwise, just try to respect your elders and continue on with your life.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Friday Random Ten

In the spirit of getting back into the mode of posting regularly, I'm bringing back the random ten. You know, in case you're wondering what's in my iTunes these days.

"It's the End of the World As We Know It" by R.E.M. on Eponymous
"Alleluja from Exultate, Jubilate" by Mozart on Lutheran Summer Music Camp
"Almost September" by Trout Fishing in America* on Closer to the Truth
"Take It Easy" by The Eagles on Their Greatest Hits
"How Blue Can You Get" by B.B. King on B.B. King Anthology
"Stay" by PFR* on Pray For Rain
"I Wonder As I Wander" by Wayne Watson on One Christmas Eve
"This Blood" by Carman on The Absolute Best
"How To Grow Up Big and Strong" by Rich Mullins* on A Liturgy, A Legacy & A Ragamuffin Band
"I'm Coming Home" by C.J. Chenier on Zydeco Essentials

I've recently moved all my digital life to a new computer, so that lost all my records of which songs I've played in the iTunes library (I'm sure I could have transferred that, too, but I was too lazy to figure out how). Now, though, I'm thinking this resulted in an extra-crazy mix of music for the random ten today. Ah well -- nice start to a schizophrenic travel day.

* Acts I've seen live

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Stolen Meme

I've gone to stealing memes from other people. I took this one from George. Here are the nitty gritty details of this meme that I stole.

Here are the rules:
A) The rules of the game get posted at the beginning.
B) Each player answers the questions about himself or herself.
C) At the end of the post, the player then tags five people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

1) Ten years ago I was...

Stressing about my Complex Variables class, wondering whether I would get to graduate. To add to that stress, I was also finalizing the craziness on my fast-approaching wedding. Why I ever think I'm stressed now, I just don't know.

2) Five things on today's to-do list:

Get a customer's import working once and for all (it's been marginally working for several years)
Clean both bathrooms in preparation for being out of town next week
Change the utilities over to our names from the previous owner
Clean up the kitchen
Run a 5k

3) Things I'd do if I were a billionaire:

Reduce my job to part-time (I still have to do something with my brain to keep from going insane!)
Pay the house down significantly
Buy a Tesla Roadster
Find groups that are doing good alternative energy research, and donate time and money
Go back to school for a completely different career

4) Three bad habits:

Only three?!?!?!?

Biting my nails
Getting down on myself
Leaving the dirty dishes for the next morning

5) Five places I've lived:

Only five?!?!?!?!?

Hong Kong; Barrio Magsaysay, The Philippines; Ames, Iowa; Austin, Texas; Fort Wayne, Indiana

(I have quite a few more, but these are the ones you get.)

6) Six jobs I've had in my life:

Nursery worker, waitperson, summer camp counselor, tech support manager, math department grader, customer service representative.

I have more of those, like the one I have now, but hey, the meme only asks for six. Meanwhile, I tag James, Monica, Stephanie. I also think Cat and Rosa should do this, and even though I don't have a blog to link to, y'all can do this in the comments. Shouldn't take too long!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Blind Date #2

Yesterday I went on my second blind date with a girl from my Craigslist experiment. You can read the result of the first, here.

This second date wasn't quite as great as the first one. We met for happy hour, and she drank water, which immediately made me uncomfortable with my margarita order. However, the conversation flowed smoothly, and I'm sure we'll get together again. So, while I say it wasn't as great as the first, it still was great in its own more-subdued way. I'm hoping this is just one of those relationships that starts out more slowly, but builds to something deeper over time.

So far, I'm two for two. There will be second dates in both cases. Woohoo!

Tiptoe Through the Tulips: Epiphyllum (Orchid Cactus)

Several things collided at once to lead to this new feature on HIAHS. One is that I seem to need a motivating reason to post periodically, or we'll end up with no new posts here. Another is that we have a bunch of plants in our yard (!It's really ours now, so I better get a handle on it!) that I really need to identify -- who knew that California plants would be so different from the Texas plants I already know? As a result, I'll be taking a picture (or multiple pictures) each week of plants in the yard here, and then working on identifying them. And you'll get to be witness to all the botanical mistakes that I'll make along the way. Lucky for you!

Our first entrant for TTTT is this lovely hanging cactusy thing in the yard:

It hangs in the trees, and the blooms are 4-5 inches across. It appears to be one of the many epiphyllum hybrids (not sure which one, but it might also be a type of disocactus, but that seems less likely). Sometimes referred to as Orchid Cacti (though those bloom strictly at night, and ours is more of a day-time bloomer), they shouldn't be watered more than once a week, as they get grumpy if too moist. Mostly, though, they just pick up moisture from the air, so they do fine on their own. Usually they will flower in the couple of days after being watered, so if you're coming for a visit, remind me to water it, so you can enjoy all the pretty flowers on it in person.

I hope my tentativity (sounded better than tentativeness in my head, grammar be darned) with plant identification gets better. I think we all will be able to see pretty clearly why I didn't become a botanist.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Future Dating will Save Me

I clearly suck at posting. When I do post, I find myself wanting to write 3-4 posts and then if I post them all, people will be back the next day expecting more. And then I just imagine all their depressed faces when they notice it's been 6 weeks since my last entry. I hate the idea that I am adding so much sadness to the world (can you all detect the sarcasm dripping off my fingers?), and now Blogger has come to my rescue. I will now be able to put together all my crazy posts, and then space them out to keep you coming back for more. Because that's what I'm all about. Type-written whoring of my self for your consumption.

I hope you're all a little happier.

* This post future-dated, just for fun.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

In the Not-Sure-How-That-Happened Camp

The six-month offer process on our hours came to a close about a week ago. I haven't written about it, mostly, because of a whole host of reasons. Let me try to go into them here.

1. I'm not completely convinced it was real. Besides the fact that in this state you sign documents and then wait a couple of days for the really anti-climactic "closing" to happen, maybe, it really feels like the second shoe is waiting to drop.

2. I'm not sure that buying a house in an expensive market in an economy that is approaching depression (or at least recession) during a mortgage crisis is the smartest financial move we've made. More likely the worst one.

3. Until the owner removes her belongings from the house (circa 2030 at the current rate of things), it's pretty hard for us to start doing the remodeling that I know will get me all excited about owning a house again.

4. The first mortgage bill hasn't come, and until that happens, I can't really be sure the loan went through (see item #1).

5. I don't have another reason, but five reasons just seemed more symmetrical than four.

So, we have a house. And I'm a little freaked out. But I expect that to pass as we start doing more and more crazy things to it. Fast-forward to the nifty idea we just discussed about a secret passageway to the basement from the stairs in the living room for an idea of the direction we're planning to head. Expect pictures to chronicle the craziness that will be our improvements.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Blind Date

I know I've been MIA for a while, but traveling and house-buying and general craziness has been going on. I'll be filling you in on all those things that have already passed, but in the meantime, I wanted to tell you about my blind date from yesterday.

Yes, I went on a blind lunch date yesterday. It was in response to a Craigslist personal ad. It is as sad and pathetic as it sounds. And it went loverly.

I've decided that this whole trying-to-make-friends thing is WAY harder than I expected it to be. I knew I worked from home and I knew I wouldn't have a lot of ways to meet people, but I really expected everyone in this town not to be so, well, old. There are college kids over by campus, but I've been out of college a long time now. I've met some people watching basketball at sports bars, but they are all widowed men over 70. Not, precisely, my type for the casual friendship. Now, if I wanted a sugar daddy, I'm sure I'd have no trouble. But, see, I don't want a sugar daddy. I've met some wonderful ladies at my church, but I'm younger than the group I know by a good 20 years. At least. Lovely ladies, but not likely to join me for a cocktail on a Friday night. My neighbors avoid me like the plague. I'm assuming that's just carryover from the previous owner who everyone seems to have hated, rather than something aimed at me for all the wild parties we host here. Even the people standing next to me in lines look at me like a mental assylum escapee when I try to strike up conversations with them. It's like I violate every known rule of polite society when I go to the grocery store.

So, I responded to a few personal ads from other desperate women, like me, looking for that elusive friendship in this town. The first face-to-face meeting was lunch, yesterday. I really felt like I was prepping for a date. I referred to it as my blind date with GB, which made him just laugh at me. I was nervous, and prepped a few conversation re-starting questions, should they be necessary. Would she like me? Would she think I'm a dork? Would we have anything to talk about? Would she be fake? Will I hope to get that hour of my life back?

It turns out I had nothing to fear. Heather and I hit it off immediately. How couldn't we? -- we have the same name! After the two-hour lunch, with margaritas, we wandered over to the rose garden, which is just exploding with smells and beauty this spring. After a few more hours, we headed to our respective homes with vehement statements about how we must do this again, real soon.

I have my next blind date from this experience on Monday for Happy Hour. Be sure to check back to see how that went. Already, though, I feel better. My meeting on Monday is likely to have so many less nerves than yesterday did. Maybe I should have done a practice blind date to prepare for it....