Friday, February 27, 2009

Safari Adventure

I feel like there's lots to do this weekend but I'm slowly realizing everything's almost done. Last weekend, I ripped off wallpaper in the bathroom to get it ready for an adventure in color. This week, Pmo filled in some holes and sanded most of the rough spots on the walls. Today, I went bright and early (for me anyway) to Ace (because it's the place) and bought supplies. I came home, taped off the trim (and whatever else I didn't want to paint) and primed most of the walls. I even threw on some color to see what it was going to look like. I can't tell yet whether "Safari" is going to work. I figure it's best to paint the whole room first, then decide. Pmo's also not sure at this stage in the game.

Tonight, Pmo informed me I could now prime the remaining areas because he had sanded again. So when I get home, on this Friday night, I plan to get into my work clothes and prime what's left. Tomorrow, all we have to do is slap on 2 coats of paint and let it dry. Of course, we still need a few accessories. A longer towel rack, shower curtain, and probably towels. But just a little work by each of us here and there added up, and now we're ready to paint!

It's amazing what you can do even if you don't have a big block of time, like a full day or weekend. I tend to shy away from such projects if I know I have to do something else like work or run errands. This is our first attempt at renovating part of the house so I'm hoping it goes well. And I really hope I don't have to buy another gallon of paint. It wasn't exactly cheap. Maybe the safari will grow on us.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Morbid Reality

I've been having morbid thoughts. All of sudden, I started thinking about death and all that comes with it. The grief, of course. But the details are bothering me. What will my insurance cover? Where will I be buried? Do I want to be cremated? Are my finances in order? Will my debts be paid off? What will I do when my parents die? Do they have a will? Where do they want to be buried? What will I do with their property?

I've never really thought about this before. Well, I guess I've thought about it, but not to the point where I felt I really needed to take control of the situation. I think working in the news and seeing all of the unfortunate things that happen to innocent people made me realize that you really can "go" at any second. But that could never happen to me, right? Wrong. Anything can happen. A car crash. A house explosion. A plane crashing into a house, which scares me the most. Cancer. Childbirth. Anything.

I think I scared Pmo the other night because I came home rambling on and on about it. I was asking him what arrangements he would want when he died. He seemed half asleep and not interested, but he followed up with me the next day, bless his heart. I guess I should just read up on everything. See what exactly my life and mortgage insurance cover and if I need to "up" anything. Make sure to change my beneficiaries to Pmo when we get married. Decide what I want done after I die. I really don't know. I do know that I don't want to leave the matter up to other people. Because of the burden as well as my controlling nature. It's not that I have a lot of money or property. I just feel a bit unsettled knowing if I die tomorrow, no one will know what I wanted.

I'm not a worrier. I promise you. I can't stand people who worry about things all of the time that are out of their control. Like planes flying into houses, right? And I used to hate it when someone wanted me to call when I got home to make sure I made it. If you don't hear from me, it's good news. But the older I get, I do tend to get more concerned about things I didn't used to give much thought. Like, I haven't heard Pmo stirring around outside, I wonder if he's okay. Or, Bug's having trouble getting on and off the couch, is he on his last leg? And then there's my dad, who, in just a few years time, managed to break both his femur and his ankle on the same leg by doing outdoor activities he's done all of his life and never gave a second thought about. Those are two phone calls I don't ever want to get again.

But the moral of my story is you can't sit around worrying about these things like I'm doing right now. So I will prepare the best I can for myself and my family and go on with my life. That's what I'm going to do. I think.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Unfinished Business

Saturday started out with the internet, bacon, and eggs. The rain and snow I saw out the window curbed any urge I had to get up and get moving. Even so, we were thinking about venturing out to look for an end table for the recliner since we were using a wire cart to hold some of my magazines and books. To add to the awkwardness, the lamp sitting in the cart was an obstacle between me in the chair and Pmo on the couch. I had to lean up or flop back to see him. But instead of buying furniture, Pmo got the idea to move the end table (with a built-in, tall lamp) from the couch over to the recliner. There was really no need for it by the sofa anyway, because the coffee table was surface enough for keys and coasters. So after eating breakfast and spending some time on Facebook, I started reorganizing the living room while Pmo tended to a dresser problem he'd been having in the bedroom. Moving the end table also freed up space next to the couch for the rocking chair which had been homeless since the futon's arrival last weekend. So, at least for now, there's a place for everything and everything in its place.

We spend the rest of the day watching "Night at the Museum" then finally got out of the house. A few stops at Rural King, two Goodwills, two liquor stores, Los Bravos and we were back home. I proceeded to drink a bottle of wine while Pmo enjoyed his rum and Coke. We watched "Pyscho." Weird, I know, but he got it for my birthday in November and we had yet to watch it. It's not a movie you can start one night and finish another. Believe me, I'm an expert at that. In fact, I plan on finishing "Under the Tuscan Sun" with Diane Lane tomorrow. But if I'm going to watch something like "Psycho," it's got to be from start to finish. After the movie was over, I remembered what I liked about it. It's not like today's movies where you walk out of the theater going, "What the hell was that about?" I remember that feeling with "Vanilla Sky" and "The Dark Knight." I mean, I got the point, but it seem like much of it went over my head and I missed out on all those important details. In the end, "Psycho" is explained perfectly to the viewer as well as the other characters in the movie who were wondering what was going on, too. It's all tied up with a nice, little bow.

Sunday began with the newspaper, Pop Tarts and blueberry muffins. We helped a co-worker and his wife load up our firewood left over from Hurricane Ike and visited with them for awhile. Then Pmo had another idea. He was just full of them this weekend. He'd been asking me about redoing the bathroom for some time now. And I've been in no big hurry to do it because I spent two years of my life renovating a house only to move out of it with one room left to go. But Pmo mentioned something about painting, and for some reason, I jumped at the idea. So that afternoon, I started tearing down wallpaper. Why do people wallpaper anyway? I don't get it. It's such a pain if you want to change it. The paper itself usually comes off easy. It's the backing that stuck to the wall that's the problem. But after the paper was piled on the floor, I dipped a washcloth in a hot water/cleaning solution mixture and wiped it all over the area I was working on and turned my metal spatula into a scraper. And it worked. It was just one wall. The next steps are priming and painting. We should be able to finish up this coming weekend.

I decided on appetizers for dinner: buffalo wings with ranch dressing, pigs in a blanket and chips. The wings weren't as great as I remembered, but I switched brands so that probably had something to do with it. We spent the rest of the night watching the Oscars and, during commerical breaks, funny home videos. I was rooting for Rourke and Winslett but grew tired of the Slumdog Millionaire hype. I haven't seen the movie but I'm just sick of hearing about it. Yet, "Jai Ho" is stuck in my head.

This week, I have no pressing to-do items. My taxes have been sent off to my uncle for processing. My ring was dropped off at the jeweler's for resizing. So I'm waiting for those two things to come back to me. I plan on doing some grocery shopping tomorrow, but I can't go crazy because payday's not until next Tuesday. Plus I've got paint supplies to buy now. I hope to get in some more walks with the dogs. The weather's supposed to warm up a bit. Maybe I can catch up on my reading that I never seem to have the time or attention for doing. I've been reading the same book for months now. It's not even mine. I've got more books I borrowed from my mom that I need to get going on. Gee, I've got more to do than I thought.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Spring Fever

I know I'm not alone on this one. I can't wait for spring to get here. I don't remember ever wishing for warmer weather before. It's not that I like the cold. But I hate extreme heat so I'm not always thrilled when the dog days of summer arrive. However, we haven't been able to take the dogs for a scenic walk in a long time. Or sit outside and enjoy the breeze. Get out the grill and cook up some brats. Take a ride on my motorcycle and not freeze to death. Leave a window open and get some fresh air into the house.

Even though it looks like it's not going to warm up anytime soon, I'm starting to get into a routine of walking the dogs about a mile in the morning. We walked 4 times last week and 2 times so far this week. It all depends on the weather, of course. I've decided if it's 40 degrees or above, I'm making the effort. I just can't stand to get out there in the freezing cold, even if I'm all bundled up. Jack loves it but I think he'd rather run. Bug hates it but he tags along. He doesn't have much choice. They need the exercise just as much as I do.

As I listen to the furnace running full blast in the house, I can only dream up some outdoor ideas for my future spring. Maybe March will be nice to us.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Odd Holidays

I need a job where I get all of these crazy holidays off. President's Day, Martin Luther King, Columbus Day. The only perk I get is if the holiday falls in front of a payday, I get money in the bank earlier than normal. Which could happen tonight.

At work, we have the standard 6 holidays per year. I usually work some of those to get extra money. I never really thought about it, but I bet I only take off half of those holidays. I usually work New Year's, 1 or 2 of the 3 summer holidays, and either Thanksgiving or Christmas. I have two weeks of vacation plus two floating holidays so I get at least 12 days off during the year plus weekends. Wow, that's depressing. But next year, I'll get another week of vacation because of my 5 years at the station. That's something to look forward to.

It's not that I don't want to take the holidays off, especially when Pmo is off for all of them. But it's not really up to me. Because I'm in news, it's up to my bosses and my bank account. When the decision is left up to me, it's difficult because it's such an easy way to bank some cash without actually working overtime. But I like time off, too. However, I'm grateful for the options I have if I do have to work a holiday: take an extra 8 hours pay or take a different day off.

So I may not get to enjoy these odd holidays, but at least I have a job. I have a career. I have insurance. I can still get overtime. So I don't have Monday off, so what? What else was I going to do? How do you celebrate President's Day anyway?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Valentine Adventures

Last week, we were asked to buy valentines for our co-workers. Just like millions of elementary school children are probably doing this week across the country. I'll admit, I thought it was a pretty hokey idea at first. But I went out and bought a set of Shrek cards and attached suckers to them this morning. I'll probably distribute them amongst the pre-made bags in the break room tomorrow night. Now I'm looking forward to what I might get Friday. I'm also sending cards to my mom and grandma tomorrow. I think it will be a nice surprise.

Pmo and I are celebrating Valentine's Day by going to a wedding reception. We'll probably exchange gifts over breakfast in the morning but we'll be heading to Perry County in the afternoon. I don't think it's how he pictured spending the holiday but he's a sweetheart for agreeing to go with me. I'll get to see my best friend from high school and her family. Plus we'll eat a good meal and hopefully do some dancing. I'm looking forward to it, but I still have to pick out something to wear.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Favorite Things

Sounds from a washer and dryer

Finding new Facebook friends

Eating BBQ wings and ranch

Jack rolling around on the floor with a toy

Bug nestled in a blanket on the couch

Sounds of Pmo cooking breakfast

Finding the perfect Valentine's Day card

Cutting off my soon-to-be mullet

Searching for the perfect wedding shoes

Blogging about whatever I feel like

5 Year Itch

Last Monday marked my 5 year anniversary at 14 WFIE. It doesn't seem like a lengthy period compared to other people who have been there for so long. But it's the longest time I've ever spent at a job. I think that says something in this day and age when people tend to climb the corporate ladder a little quicker and switch companies on the way up.

My friend and I were having a conversation a few weeks ago about our careers and finances. We see our other friends getting promoted with new titles and raises. Or going after all the glory and green they can get as they race their way to the top. But she and I are content to stay where we are. We feel lucky to even have jobs right now and the stability that goes along with them. We decided it must boil down to personality types. The aggressive types seem to make the big bucks while the passive settle for making ends meet.

I think I've written about this before, but for me to move up, I'd have to aspire to be a news director or move to a bigger market. I choose neither of those options and I doubt I ever will. I wouldn't mind getting out of the news business if I could find something I'm qualified for that would pay the same or more. Wouldn't it be lovely to not ever have to hear a scanner again? The answer is a definite yes.

We're judged by others on how much money we make, what kind of house we live in, and what kind of relationships we have. But sometimes I pass judgment on myself. Why don't I want to move to a bigger city and further my career? Why don't I try to find a job outside the news? I guess I'm not disgruntled enough. Actually, I'm pretty happy with my job, my home, and my life. So why do I feel guilty for being content? What is the pursuit of happiness all about? Is anyone listening?

"Look at us now, we’re all grown up
We got it all together, got it all sewn up
But is this all, it all was leading to
Did we just run out of dreams when all our dreams came true?"
-"Love on a Rooftop" by Desmond Child

Weekend Warriors

Sunday was our 6 month anniversary of being homeowners. It also marked yet another weekend we spent outside cleaning up a mess in the yard. This time it was the ice storm damage which is now prominently displayed by the curb. Before that, we spent several weekends raking and bagging leaves. And of course, there was Hurricane Ike that came through about a month after we moved in, which required pulling down a huge tree branch, cutting it up, and transporting it to the front.

On Saturday, we pretty much wore ourselves out in a hurry. Pmo cut the big limbs with his new chainsaw while I borrowed the neighbor's wheelbarrow and carried debris to the front. The mud didn't help matters much. Our shoes and jean legs were covered in grime, and every time I tried to move the wheelbarrow, I got stuck or made ruts across the yard. We ended up making as much progress as we could then going inside to rest. We scarfed down chicken wings and potato chips and crashed. It was only late afternoon but we had done so much so quickly we just had no more to give.

On Sunday, we ran a few errands then came home and finished the yard job. We still need to bundle the limbs for pickup but we decided to leave that for another day. Or we may just stuff the debris in trash cans until it's all gone. We also jump started my motorcycle so I could take it for a spin. It needs a new battery plus it's been sitting in the garage for so long. During my ride to Alcoa and back, it was a bit chilly and I really wished it was summer. And I'm not one that longs for the heat, but I sure did yesterday after our latest bouts with frigid temperatures, snow and ice. Finally, Pmo and I settled inside for the night, cooked and ate dinner, and watched the Grammys.

Today, I feel I've been a bit productive as well. I took the dogs for a walk, washed some dishes, got ready for work early, and now it's about time to head that direction. I forgot to eat lunch though, after the big bowl of Frosted Flakes I had this morning. So I guess I'll find something to eat before officially starting my Monday.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Rude or Real?

I'm not good at small talk. I don't like it. I've been told I'm too shy and I need to talk to new people. To that, I now say, no, I don't. I talk to who I want and that's plenty for me. I'm not against meeting new people but I can pretty much tell within about 2 minutes if they're my kind of normal. And if they're not, I'd rather not waste my time.

I don't think it's necessary to continue a conversation just to fill the awkward silence. Oh, I can do the, "hi, how are you, just fine" stuff. I just don't mingle well. I don't ask people questions. I will answer questions and speak when spoken to, but otherwise, I'm perfectly content with keeping quiet if I have nothing to say. Filler is fodder.

I hate when I'm waiting for my prescription at the pharmacy or sitting in the lobby during an oil change and the one person stuck with me is a talker. And they either talk directly to me or just random thoughts come spilling out of their mouthes and they expect me to chime in.

Or people who don't usually talk to me try to butter me up because they want something. Just spill it, man. Get to it. I don't have time for you to kiss my butt. I don't like you, you don't like me. We know this. Just, on with it, please.

I'm sure some people think I'm rude, or bitchy, or just plain mean. And that's fine, I've never claimed to be a nice person. I doubt at my funeral someone will get up and say, "She was so sweet, always had a kind word to say, never raised her voice. Such a lady." That's not me and I've accepted that. But at least I'm real.

"And I no longer justify reasons for the way that I behave. I offer no apologies for the things that I believe and say. And I like it that way." - Real Live Woman" by Trisha Yearwood

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Rage Against the Beans

Commericals obviously have the intention of selling you a product. And maybe they do persuade me to buy something without my being aware of it. But mostly I just think they're funny. I love the Nextel spots where the firefighters and roadies run the world. And the delivery people that reroute the kid to detention. Even the Mr. Bill/Mastercard commercials deserve a chuckle.

But there's one that makes me start yelling at the TV every time it comes on: Bush's Baked Beans. You know, the one with the "Chili Changer?" The woman brings plates to the table and says, "Sandwich?" The man says, "On a cold day?" Of course, there's snow blowing out the window to show how cold it is. Then the "Chili Changer" transforms the crappy sandwich to a delicious bowl of chili. I think the man even says something like, "That's what I was wanting!"

Each time it airs, I end up screaming: "If you don't want a sandwich, then fix something else your damn self!" I guess it's the housewife anger in me. Granted, it doesn't take much time or effort to make a sandwich. It's not like she slaved over it all day. But she's made sure he has something to eat, and the ungrateful slob rejects it? Why doesn't he get his butt in the kitchen and whip up a nice pot of chili? What a tool.

But on the other hand, she seems happy that there's now magical chili on the table in front of her, so maybe I'm getting upset over nothing. But am I the only one who's bothered by this? I'm fine with that, if that's the case. I was just wondering if anyone else had rage against the beans.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Work Related

Pmo and I have an advantage in our relationship because we work at the same place in different departments. I produce the 10pm news at night. He does graphics for sales on the web during the day. If I come home ranting about my show, Pmo knows exactly what I'm talking about because he used to work in production. If he calls me about the trouble he's having, I can put a face to the name or know what program is aggravating him. This was a big help for me in the past few days with the power outages and icy mess. Producing can be a very stressful job when all of the information is coming in and you're trying to decide what to do with it, where to put it, and how to get it in within 30 minutes. And Pmo gets that. I hope I understand his stressful situations as well.

You may be surprised to know how many couples have sprung from the loins of 14WFIE. When I first started here 5 years ago, I couldn't believe it. Seemed like everyone was paired off. Now Pmo and I are one of two couples left. Most have went onto other jobs or moved away. Or half the couple is still here. I always thought it was odd because you're always advised not to date anyone at work because if things don't work out, it could get ugly. And I'm sure there have been some unpleasantries but I've never heard of a major altercation. Besides, if Pmo and I were ever in a tizzy, we don't have to see each other at work if we don't want to. It's not like we work alongside each other. But it's nice to have that accessibility when you only see each other for a half hour at night. It was also handy when we didn't live together because we would have never seen each other if it wasn't for work. And of course, if it wasn't for work, we would never have met. So I can't really think of a negative in this situation. It's positively working.


This was written this morning at home. I posted it when I got to work.

Our power is out. Again. This is the third or fourth time since the ice storm. But I’m not complaining. I know many people out there have been without electricity and water for days now. We’re lucky. But it still sucks. Especially when you’ve had power on for awhile and then it’s gone. So I decided to have some guilty pleasures for breakfast to ease my struggle: Diet Coke with cream cheese and crackers.

My computer will work as long as the battery holds out. Looks like I have 39 minutes left. I have a battery powered radio on so at least I have some entertainment. The dogs don’t care. They’re curled up on the couch. We had another power outage yesterday. 2 minutes after I finished fixing food for the Super Bowl. I don’t think we even saw the first play and all of a sudden down it went. So the first 45 minutes of the game were spent eating chicken wings, lil’ smokies, pizza rolls, and tortilla chips with cheese and salsa by candlelight. We listened to the game on the radio, but of course we couldn’t see the commercials. The power kicked back on about 45 minutes later, but we were holding our breath, waiting for it go out again. But it didn’t. Until now.

It’s really not that big of deal, just annoying. We went searching for alternate heat after the first outage last week so we have a propane heater if it gets too cold. We should still have enough hot water for a shower, but I can’t blow dry my hair. That means I’ll be headbanding it to work which is not pretty. But what can I do about it? Not much. My biggest concern is my refrigerator. I bought a bunch of groceries yesterday and I’d hate to lose them all. But the last outage was only 45 minutes so hopefully this will be similar.

28 minutes left on the computer. The rest of my weekend was pretty fun. I went home Friday to pick up Mom for the Toby Keith concert. We met Pmo at Pizza Chef for the Friday night buffet, then Mom and I made our way to Roberts Stadium. We didn’t get there as early as last time so I had trouble finding a parking spot. Plus they had snow piled up so not all the spaces were available. But we got settled, enjoyed the show, and soon were back in the parking lot waiting for someone to let us out. We got back to my house before midnight.

Saturday, I took Mom home and got back to my house in the afternoon. Pmo and I made dinner then watched “Anchorman” on TV. We drank some daiquiris and a bottle of wine and called it a night. Next day, Pmo cleaned up our kitchen mess from the night before while I straightened up the living room and read the Sunday newspaper. It really warmed up and the sun came out so we had some pretty good melting going on outside. I ended up spending way too much at the grocery store and came home with several bags of food. That brings us up to the Super Bowl power outage mentioned above.

18 minutes left. I was thinking about catching up on some reading this morning and I guess I have no choice now. I saw a truck come through with a plow on our street earlier but it didn't do much. The street was a sheet of ice up until yesterday. It’s not completely clear, but it’s thawed a lot. I have 11 minutes left so I guess I’ll shut down and post this when I get to work. Meanwhile, I’ll go find something read, curl up in a blanket, and hope I don’t have to go to work with limp locks.

The power came back on after 1 hour and 15 minutes. I was able to get ready for work and watch "Days of Our Lives" like normal. Ah, the joys of electricity.