Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Where Them Lights At?

Thank You Wild Lights at the St. Louis Zoo. Thank you. I hear The Baby Jesus loved him some twinkle...

I don't know if this is because we live in a still slightly ghetto neighborhood, or what, but I'm gonna need to see more Christmas lights next year.

Has anyone else noticed either a dearth of lights this season, or (more disturbingly) people not plugging their stuff in past the actual day of Christmas? Hey, people! It's holiday time up in here! If the lights are already up and the tree is still hanging out in the corner, how hard is it to plug that shit in? At least through New Year's Eve! I mean, really! Do you hate The Baby Jesus, or what?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

And We'll Start Our New Year With Another Funeral

My cousin died on Sunday. Last I'd heard, he was doing astoundingly well, so I have no idea what happened. Say a little prayer for my uncle.

We'll talk more tomorrow.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Merry, And All That

Luanne, Tux, Shakes, HUBS and citygirl wish you all a wild, wonderful, white Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Recent Obsessions: Man V. Food!

I guess I don't need to tell you that eating is very important, and that eating well is even more important. Now, something that's necessary for the soul, if not always the body, is a good, curative, fun meal out.

You know that feeling you get when you walk into a restaurant with the perfect ambiance for your mood and perfect company by your side. You get a really good waitress or waiter, someone who knows how to walk the delicate tightrope that is attentiveness minus cloying-ness. You look at the menu and everything sounds so good it's hard to decide. But when you finally do, and the meal arrives deliciously piping hot before you, isn't it bliss? Like, one of the best things that's ever happened to you?

HUBS and I love going out to eat at what we like to call bring-me-some-food-bitches-! restaurants. (FYI, we would never say that to someone who could defile our victuals.) Being waited on is a nice feeling that most of us don't get to indulge in all that often. Combine that luxury with good (preferably inexpensive) food and you've hit the foodie mother lode.

In the weeks since Thanksgiving, where I was reintroduced to Man V. Food via my mom's cable subscription, I have watched at least two episodes on Netflix view-it-now almost every day. Except for that one day when I watched eight. In a row.

Here is why I love this show: it's the perfect combination of travel, food porn and awe. The host visits three different eateries per city and always ends with a ridiculous food challenge guaranteed to either entertain or horrify. Above is the first part of his visit to my hometown, St. Louis, and below is the second half. I hope everyone who loves eating out loves my recent obsession. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

How'd That Happen?

Saturday is Christmas. Which means next Saturday is 2011. How in the fuck did that happen already? I'm pretty sure I'm still 12 and hoping to stop getting zits within the next year...Right? No? What do you mean by that, exactly?

Oh, you mean I'm 36 and still have one Christmas gift to buy and about eight others to wrap? Dammit...

Well, you know how my mom and I were trying to figure out what to cook for Christmas dinner, since we've both decided we're tired of the stuff we've been making twice every year since 1994? We finally made a decision; we're not cooking. Nothing "special" anyway. No cooked-all-night dressing. No sweet potato pies. And I can honestly say I won't miss it.

The thing that'll really be odd, though, is that since we're looking at a combo of frozen rain and snow starting early on Friday, I likely won't be going to my mom's for Christmas Eve. That will be the first time, literally in my entire life, that I won't be with my mom the day before Christmas. She told me yesterday that she thinks I should just stay at home if the weather is bad, but I already feel neglectful.

And? And! I'm having end-of-year/beginning-of-year anxiety. I can never really find a good way to get myself to get things done. (Important, advance my station/happiness in life things. Not laundry type things; I do that shit all the time.)

I make To-Do lists, and do you know what happens? I do the stuff that doesn't scare me, every time. The really important things always get pushed back because they're not so easy and they freak me out and I'd rather avoid them. Even though I know avoidance has always gotten me nowhere.

Wow! I did not mean to be a downer when I started on this post. Apologies. Now enjoy a little levity via 1967...

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Blast The Bah Humbugs!

Well, thank God! I've successfully pushed away my bah humbuggeries by getting off my ass, baking homemade peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, blasting Ella Fitzgerald holiday tunes and putting up some additional Christmas decorations. I've been craving fresh baked cookies for weeks now, and I'm even cooking dinner for the first time since Monday. EEEEE!

Granted, I went up and down the stairs too many times (made me feel a bit weak and dizzy) getting out decorations, but overall? I feel so much better. Much of this is due to waking up and feeling like a real, non-sick human being this morning and having it last all day long. I didn't even have to take a nap!

Alright, maybe I went overboard with the cookies. But how was I supposed to know the recipe was going to make a million of them?

Listen to Ella, y'all, and make your yuletide gay!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Citygirl Bites! Smoking Joe's BBQ

My lovelies, it's time for another installment of Citygirl Bites! On December 3 HUBS and I finally went to Smoking Joe's BBQ, a joint downtown that we'd been meaning to go to for a few weeks.

Despite the cold and the late hour that we finally got our asses out of the house, I was excited. I luuuuuuuuuuvre BBQ! If would be fair to say it's one of the few foods I really crave on occasion. Unfortunately, after our jaunt to this place, my craving is still intact.

My first objection with the place is that it's freakin' hard to spot on a dark night when you haven't been there before. SJ BBQ! Invest in a large sign, please!

There is a nice atmosphere inside, though. The place is moodily lit for romance, dressed up for Christmas and they even have live music and a bar area. It's more of a BBQ nightclub than a straight-up stuff-your-face joint. They've kicked your standard BBQ place up a notch.

That would be excellent if I didn't think they did it to divert attention away from the food. It's not horrible, but it's not good enough to deal with driving all the way downtown, either.

The meal started off pretty good. We ordered BBQ chicken nachos for an appetizer and they were large and good (though it did take a while for them to get to us). SJ BBQ has three different sauces: sweet, mild and hot, and all were tasty.

I ordered the ribs with beans and cole slaw. Let me start by saying that the sides were excellent. The main course, on the other hand, arrived almost cold. If you don't already know, cold ribs aren't much fun. That wasn't the worst part, though.

My ribs were also incredibly fatty. So much so that I couldn't take a bite without getting gobs of fat. I had to cut around the ribs and remove the fatty bits before eating. Also? Not much fun and kinda irritating. I kept the leftovers but ended up giving them to the stray cats because I knew I wouldn't feel like doing all the work involved to eat around the fat. I'm glad someone was able to enjoy them.

HUBS wanted their small combo platter, but he wanted to sub its chicken and ribs for pork and turkey. They wouldn't let him. Usually BBQ places have a general combo platter where you can get set portions of any of their meats, but not here. And there was nothing on the menu that said No Substitutions, either. That's another strike for them, as far as we're concerned.

After that disappointment, HUBS settled on their pulled pork platter with potato salad and green beans. This time, at least, the main dish was as good as the sides. The pork was tender and flavorful and those green beans were a definite stand-out.

All in all the main attraction for this place is the price. Most of their menu items cost $8.99 or less. Be aware of the live music times, too. It got really loud in there once the band started and having to shout across the table at each other was a bit maddening. (I know, we sound like old fogies. Oh, wait, we kinda are!) If you're already in the area, I'd give them a shot. But stay away from the ribs.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tuesday Tipday: Longing For The Days Of A Sore Throat

Well, well, well...Looks like my body decided that an intermittent sore throat wasn't punishment enough. As of last night I've got a full blown cold: running nose, congestion, tired, fuzzy-headedness and all. Yay!

On the plus side this cold is nothing compared to what one of my cousins has been going through. He's been battling pneumonia since August; the doctors put him in a drug induced coma for a while and then on life support. Each time they tried to dial down the life support, though, his organs stopped working on their own.

On Friday my mom told me my uncle had decided to fully take him off life support. We were all expecting that Saturday would be his last day, but we got an actual Christmas miracle when all of his bodily functions kicked in and he woke up. That? That's some unbelievable God Magic right there. Can we all say a little prayer that he'll continue to get better? Thanks.

Now, on to the fun stuff. Do you see that video up there? Friends, it just happens to be the music video for my all-time favorite modern Christmas song, Wham's Last Christmas. I figured since a large portion of the country is in the grips of winter weather advisories and such my music offerings could stand to get in the spirit of the season.

I ,myself, am having trouble getting into that same spirit. My lack of holiday enthusiasm started before I got sick, and now that I think about it I might see what the problem is: everything is the same every year. Mom and I cook the same stuff (We did talk about that and she's bored with what we cook, too! And totally game to make something different.), and HUBS and I run around on Thanksgiving and Christmas days to PT's and his parents, who are two hours away.

I suppose I'm just a little tired of the routine, though I've got no idea what we could do differently. Remember when you were a kid and the holidays seemed so magical and mysterious and full of fun? I suppose it'll never feel like that again, but I wish I could get some of that tingly feeling back.

So, today's tip: Don't get so bogged down in feeling the holiday spirit that you can't have any fun. I think it's natural to have a "blah, it's the holidays again" feeling every now and then.

How are you 'feeling' your holiday of choice this year?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Contests Beget Progress

Internet! Things are good today. I may still feel a bit on the iffy side, but in my haze I've managed to accomplish something very big this week.

See, there's a screenplay I've been knocking around for six years now. The last time I actually looked at it and did any editing was almost three years ago when I entered it into a contest. Well, another contest deadline comes along tonight before midnight, and I finally went back to my work Wednesday and today. I added some stuff, moved some things around and took out others. All of this is to say that I'm moments away from entering it into another contest!

Winning is a long shot, I know. But, the big thing here is that I revisited the screenplay. It's the very first one I ever started, and is currently the only one I've ever fully written down. It feels basically finished to me now, unlike last time I put it in the running for a competition, and I think I can finally start to really work on some of the other ideas I have.

So, progress! Yay!

In other news, there's a contest over at Chronicle Books that ends today. There are two ways to win: post a list of all the Chronicle Books titles you want (up to $500) on your blog, or comment on someone else's blog list. Blogger and commenter will win all the books on the list. Here's mine:

Chronicle Books Dream List

1) Allure by Diana Vreeland $35
2) Curious Cats by Mitsuaki Iwago $16.95
3) Lickshot by Ben Watts $50
4) Hot Shots by Kevin Meredith, Heather Champ & Derek Powazek $16.95
5) Secret Lives of Great Filmmakers by Robert Schnakenberg $16.95
6) Art of the Modern Movie Poster by Judith Salavetz,Spencer Drate, Sam Sarowitz $75
7) Television Without Pity by Tara Ariano & Sarah Bunting $15.95
8) Picture Show by Dianna Edwards $19.95
9) The Sexy Book of Sexy Sex by Kristen Schaal & Rich Blomquist $24.95
10) Gig Posters Volume I by Clay Hayes $40
11) What's Next? by Kerry Hannon $22.95
12) Curious Lists: A Creative Journal for List-Lovers $12.95
13) 1,001 Ways to Live in the Moment by Barbara Kipfer $9.95
14) Living Out Loud by Keri Smith $17.95
15) Penny Saving Household Helper by Rebecca DiLiberto $12.95
16) Secrets of Stylists by Sasha Charnin Morrison $24.95
17) Macaroni & Cheese by Marlena Spieler & Noel Barnhurst $16.95
18) The Big Book of Breakfast by Maryana Vollstedt $19.95
19) The Big Book of Casseroles by Maryana Vollstedt $19.95
20) Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey by Jill O'Connor & Leigh Beisch $22.95

There's my awesomely long list. Don't forget to comment and maybe we can both win!

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Citygirl Bites!

The soft pretzels and cheese and Kirkwood Ice and Fuel.

Since HUBS and I like to try new restaurants and eat out in general, I've decided to begin a new feature here on citygirl where I review some of these places for a little bit of food porn.

Up first is Kirkwood Ice and Fuel. We've been passing by this place for three years and finally went in the Sunday after my birthday back in November. It was surprisingly dive-y inside, but luckily that doesn't mean the food is crappy. These folks know what they're doing!

Those pretzels were perfect, soft and warm with a bit of crispiness outside and just the right amount of salt. The cheese sauce was warm and creamy. Very nice.

I got this Cajun chicken sandwich which came on a nice wheat bun. It was perfectly seasoned and juicy and the onion rings were amazing, just filled with crunchy, onion-y goodness.

HUBS went with the chili nachos for his meal, and even though it's really an appetizer there's more than enough for a main course. Good, cheesy, bean-y chippy nachos.

If the look on HUBS' face isn't enough, listen up: GO TO KIRKWOOD ICE & FUEL. I don't believe you'll be disappointed.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Tuesday Tipday! Switcharoo!!

Wow. I mean really, I thought I was basically over my sore throat/extreme tiredness issue this weekend, but after trying for two days to act like a normal person who doesn't need to sleep all day, I can see that that's not the case.

It always floors me when I get sick. I stay away from filthy little children, I wash my hands well and avoid sick people and hospitals whenever possible. And yet, sometimes a little bug will still catch up with me. Blech. Of course, it doesn't help that 'the store's closed', which is HUBS' way of saying that I'm on my period. As he put it yesterday, "it's hard to re-open when the employees come in late, keep asking for time off and won't get their overtime pre-approved."

Ain't that the truth.

Combine my current physical states with the fact that I got overconfident on Sunday night and stayed up watching a stupid movie that I, nonetheless, remember fondly from my childhood. I was up until 2:30 Monday morning, and then got up at 8:30 to drive HUBS to work and spend the day with him. BIG MISTAKE STAYING OUT IN PUBLIC FOR 10 FULL HOURS WHEN I FELT LIKE TOTAL CRAP. BIG.

Yeah, this is what I watched...On purpose.

I'm trying to comfort myself, but nothing seems to work. So for Tuesday Tipday this week I'd like your tips. How do you guys pamper yourselves when you're feeling down or just plain sick?

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Wednesday Tipday And Music Extravaganza!

Woooooo! Is anybody else worn out from Thanksgiving? I managed to pick up a mild sore throat/hard to breathe deeply/upper chest tightness thingie that had me in bed most of the day on Saturday, Monday and today, though, I must say, I do feel better.

I tried to create a fantastic playlist for you guys Monday, but my widget service was on the fritz, and since yesterday's Tipday was short-circuited by my convalescence, I figured I'd mash everything into one Mega Wednesday Post!!

As you can see, I'm posting videos throughout so you never get bored. Speaking of boredom, do you guys eat the same thing for Thanksgiving each year? My mom and I always make the same stuff: cornbread & turkey dressing, sweet potato pies, homemade mac 'n' cheese, candied yams and some kind of veggie (glazed carrots, Mexicorn, fresh green beans...). I had an inkling about this last year, but now I know it for sure...I'm tired of it. Especially since we eat the same thing at Christmas every year, too.

The thing is, I don't know what other meal will feel like the holidays to me. Plus, making the pies and dressing is kind of a big deal, mom and I have been making these things since the early '90s together; it's a tradition. And since we've lost so much family lately, and so much has changed, I'm afraid of hurting her feelings or freaking her out by switching things up now.

I know it seems like it's just food, but it's really more. We bonded over those pre-holiday nights cooking when I was at home from college and my dad had already crapped out on us. If we don't have those, rather involved, dishes to cook what are we going to do on Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve? Will anything I suggest be doable for PT, who already had a history of hating change and difficulty making small decisions even before she lost her big brother and mom in less than a year? If you guys have any suggestions, I'd really appreciate them.

Meanwhile, since the holidays are fully upon us, I thought I'd pass along some tips from around the web that should make all your festive planning go a bit smoother. Happy Wednesday, y'all!

Got an action-packed December? Plan the shit out of it.

Need help with in-law irritations? Killing them is not the answer.

Like a little help getting into the spirit of things? Try these movie guides and music guides.

Want to eat and drink your way merry?

Are you letting holiday pressures beat you down? Stop it.

Last, but not least, don't forget to laugh:

Monday, November 22, 2010

Music Monday: Favorite Things!

In honor of Oprah's last Favorite Things show ever, which aired today, I'd like to present some of my favorite songs. This is my no means an exhaustive list, I love music too much to be able to do that! But, this is a pretty good sampling of the songs that make me tingle every time I hear them.

Thanks for all the birthday wishes and Happy Monday!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Music Midweek! Old School Rap

Aren't Wednesdays nice? Just a couple more days until the weekend...And, my birthday, which is on Friday. I spent a huge amount of time today trying to think of cool things to do that won't cost too much money. I thought about having us go to a bounce house this weekend, but now I'm not sure.

Any ideas for my 36th birthday festivities? No? Well, maybe listening to some old school rap from my youthful glory days will help. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tuesday Tipday!

My grandmother as a little girl, standing beside her dad, in the hat. By the way, she grew up to look almost exactly like her mom, just a bit lighter.

Happy Tuesday everybody! I do apologize for missing our Music Monday, but I'm working on a playlist for tomorrow so we can have Music Midweek instead.

I hope everyone had a good weekend. Mine turned into more of an ordeal than I thought it would. I got my hair did Saturday and then stopped by my mom's place since she lives near the hair dresser's. It was supposed to be a quick trip, but I ended up staying for about four hours.

Why? Well, shortly after I arrived my mom started crying...And then revealed that she'd been crying all day long. My uncle and grandmother's birthdays were the last week in October, and mom has been having a really hard time dealing with their loss since then. I immediately felt horrible because it didn't occur to me to call her on either of those days to see how she was. Fuck, I'm a bad daughter.

But, she did say that talking to me helped her. It is unbelievably hard to watch my mom cry and listen to her talk about how lonely she's been and how she feels stuck and can't move on. She talked a lot about the fact that everybody else is moving forward and she feels like she's the only one who can't quite get over losing those two less than a year apart. I had to keep reminding her that just because her siblings seem to be fine, it doesn't mean they aren't crying themselves to sleep three times a week. Appearances and actuality are often two very different things.

So, I've got two tips for today:

1) Remember, everyone's going through something. Regardless of how happy they look (or are).


2) If you'll notice the photo above, you will see HUBS and my current joint home improvement pride and joy: we refinished our deck. I swear I thought it would only take one weekend but ended up taking a whole freakin' week; with all the sanding, power washing, drying, waiting to make sure it didn't rain, first coating, more drying and second coating. We finished in late October and I was sore until early November. Here's a guide if you decide to tackle the job yourself. I would recommend buying a power washer, power sander and stain sprayer if at all possible, or at least renting them. Getting between slats is a tricky, tricky business without 'em.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Tuesday Tipday!

Man, I am tired! I don't know what's going on with me this evening, but when the clock hit two? I was done for. Unfortunately, I was still in my first digital storytelling class and still had to write my SLIFF movie wrap-up. I have never had a tougher time writing, I don't think.

Today's tip is all based on the day I've had. When you need to sleep, do it. When you need to slow down, do it. When you need to lock yourself away from the world and be alone, go ahead and get it done. You'll just make things worse if you wear yourself out, even if you think it's for all the "right" reasons.

Now, off to eat a cookie and sleep.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Music Monday: Kitten Rescue!

HUBS and I did something that felt really good on Saturday; we rescued a one month old kitten.

We were about to eat dinner when HUBS looked out the window and saw a tiny kitten following some of the other strays around. We'd never seen this one before, but earlier in the day a neighbor knocked on our door because his mom had sent him to ask us what to do about a bunch of kittens wandering around in their driveway.

Why'd she send him to us? 'Cause the whole street knows we're the cat people. Observe our front yard on a daily basis:

Anyway, it was pretty obvious that this kitten got away from that other bunch because he was so small and aimlessly following the others, meowing and praying someone was his mom. The other cats were not being nice to the little guy, so we went out to see if he'd let us catch him.

It took about ten minutes but I was finally able to sneak up on him and scoop our new pal up. HUBS ran inside, covered our dinners, got my purse and his keys and we set out for the Humane Society. We got there in about 20 minutes and in that very short time came up with a name for him: Murray Von Katenstein. I think it suits him well, what do you think?

So, for this Music Monday, I'm sharing some songs to rescue kittens to. Enjoy!

Friday, November 05, 2010

Did I Tell You About My Teeth?

This must be another of the signs that my body is giving me to show that I'm getting old.

I used to be able to brush my teeth like a normal person. Brush for a bit, swirl some mouth wash around, maybe floss, and in about two minutes I was done. Then, out of nowhere, around January my gums started to hurt. I was scheduled for a dentist visit anyway and told him about it when I went.

He did his dentist thing and started poking around with that little silver hook, and my gums started to gush blood (Sorry!). I was shocked and oh so massively horrified. See, I've always had really good teeth. I've never had so much as a cavity. My dentist even calls me Miss Perfect. It just never occurred to me that I'd ever have chomper trouble. Then, at my latest visit about two months ago, the final verdict: I had...Gingivitis!!!

I've had to develop a very serious and rather lengthy regimen to keep my gums from getting torn apart when I brush. I brush for the complete recommended two minutes, then I floss, then I gargle for the complete recommended one minute, all while walking in place. (Two birds to kill, and all that.)

Believe me when I say it feels like it takes longer than three to four minutes. I have to brush very, very gingerly to avoid irritating my still raw gums. Though I am happy to say they no longer bleed.

On the plus side? I still totally have teeth! I. AM. AWESOME!

Happy weekend everybody!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Are We Really This Fucked Up?

I tell you what, I learn something new and frustratingly sad every day, it seems. Have you guys heard of drunkorexia? Apparently a lot of young women are not eating during the day so they can go out after work and drink their asses off without gaining weight.

God. Really? They're that worried about gaining weight? And they need to drink that much...Every night? Sometimes I just need people to stop and think, but they almost never do. I hope anyone taking part in this craziness comes to their senses sooner rather than later.

Also? Drunkorexia is a fucked up word. If this unfortunate business has to be a real thing, can we at least get some kind of clinical terminology for it? Please?

Have you ever done anything that seriously jeopardized your health? What made you stop?

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Tuesday Tipday!


Do you all know about the free stuff? When money got really tight a few months ago, I got plugged into the internet freebie web. I've gotten magazine subscriptions, vitamins, Post-It Notes, whole bottles of Advil, sodas, toothpaste, laundry detergent, cereal bars and loads of other samples and full-sized products totally free and for little or no effort.

Now, the linkage:

1) All You Magazine

2) Hey It's Free!

3) Kraft First Taste

4) Freebies 4 Mom

5) P&G Everyday Solutions

6) My Points

7) Right at Home

8) Walmart

Want another tip for tipday? If you decide to go the My Points route (and I really think it's worth it) or even the multiple contest entry route (here and basically every major magazine website) it's worth opening up another email account just for that stuff so that your freebie mail doesn't get in the way of your business/family emails. That was one of the best decisions I made when I started entering contests about ten years ago.

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, November 01, 2010

Music Monday: Dance!

How was your weekend? Considering the flurry of activity around here (dinner out on Friday, a trip to pick up the 10 film screeners I'll be reviewing for SLIFF, lots of shopping on Saturday and a Sunday spent recovering from all the previous day's running around), I thought we could use a Music Monday dance party to start the week off right.

Put your dancin' pants on...Let's go!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Lazy Days Into Winter

You know when you get a song stuck in your head and can't stop humming it or singing to yourself? Even as you grow tired of repeating the same lines, you can't stop yourself; if you're awake, there it is, stalking the corners of your mind.

I've been having the same sensation for the past few weeks, but with a single quote that I've heard in two different places over the course of about a month.

"How you spend your days is how you spend your life."

Every time I sit on my ass and do nothing (even when nothing-doing is well-deserved, like after cleaning the living room windows and scrubbing the bathroom) it rings in my head like a school bell. It's become an automatic response, and I know why.

I have a history of wild and improbable ideas. Things I really, truly desire to try or just plain get done. But, I also have a magnificent history of letting the enormity of those ideas push me into ambition-less funks where nothing gets done because all I can think of is the impossible-seeming glory that'll result from the end product.

If you didn't already know, I'm screwy.

So I know this quote from, I believe, Annie Dillard is my mind's way of pushing me forward. And yet, as the words reverberate in my own mental voice, all I can seem to do is what needs to be done: empty the dishwasher, clean the windows, do the laundry, feed the cats, take a bath, pay bills, run books back to the library...

I don't want to leave this Earth only having done what I needed to. I want to finish my screenplay and build on my other ideas, write my books and get them published, sell my photographs, spiff up this blog even more, go to networking events and not vomit from fear beforehand, travel wildly and make money doing something I enjoy. You know, among other things.

I suppose I've made some small steps recently. Last week I signed up for a digital storytelling class that may lead to work (Paid? God, I hope paid.) with our local PBS station. Last night HUBS and I went mini-golfing in the dark. That may not sound like a big step, but I'd never been mini-golfing before and it was on my list of things to try. We had fun and I foresee us doing it again soon.

I want to know, how do you spend your days and how do you want to spend your days going forward?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Dammit Grooveshark! And, Tuesday Tip Day!

I fully intended to file the first half of this post yesterday. But, as you can partially see from the title, I was having trouble with my nifty little widget. But! Today I finally figured the thing out and now I present to you the inaugural (pretend it's still Monday, y'all...) Music Monday!

See, I've decided to start some weekly features here on citygirl to keep things fresh for me and you. I love music. Almost as much as I love movies, self-help books and TV shows that make me feel warm and things that sparkle. Also? I think I've got pretty fine taste in music and I have a knack for finding cool new music.

The playlist above is a gift for when you're in a turn off the TV, wrap yourself in a big sweater and ruminate over your life's many dilemmas mood. Just a little bit of rock, some soul, some oldies and some pure fun pop for when you need a bit of background music.

In other news, there's also a weekly feature for today! From now on Tuesdays will be Tuesday Tip Day.

Today's Tip: When trying to save money, use half. I've been using half a dryer sheet for months now with no change in the static free-ness of our clothes. Try it. Half a slice of cheese on your sandwich, half a tank of gas if you're not driving much these days, half of that giant cookie you probably shouldn't eat all in one sitting anyway. You'll stretch your resources and save some dinero.

Editor's Note: If you have trouble playing the songs, let me know. I don't want to have to put a smackdown on Grooveshark, but I will for you internet.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Television: The Best Ever Reason To Stay On Your Ass? Discuss...

My apologies for the dearth of posts this week. HUBS and I have undertaken a deck renovation project that was supposed to take one weekend but has instead lasted all freakin' week long. We are sorer and tireder (yeah, I made those up) than we thought we'd be, but we plan to finish (For Real!) tonight. Let's all pray we make it through.

So, we're several weeks into the new TV season now. I fully admit that I've become mighty jaded in my old TV viewing ways. It used to be that I was always excited about some new show or another, but now I've just been burned too many times by stuff that sounded good but turned out iffy.

Even when I spy something right up my sci-fi/fantasy/government conspiracy/ooh-I-like-that-actor alley, instead of thinking Wooo, I'm there baby! my mind can only work itself up to We'll see, fuckers. We'll see...

But! This doesn't mean I don't find at least a couple of shows to try out every year. Here's what I'm watching and what I think about the new crop of ass-planting entertainment.

1) The Event: As far as I'm concerned this is the only reason to watch TV on Monday nights. (Don't talk to me about How I Met Your Mother. I've watched it about 15 times across the past umpteen seasons and laughed a total of two times. That's just not good enough HIMYM. Not good enough at all.) The first episode didn't grab me immediately like Lost, Supernatural, The X-Files or 24, but they did make me want more and didn't irritate me a single time during the hour. It's growing on me; I like that I can figure some stuff out, but not everything. Thanks for surprising me, The Event.

2) Hawaii Five-0: HUBS is kinda crazy for this show, and I've never known him to like your standard issue cop drama. I've been watching it with him, but Lord knows why. Aside from the scenery and the fact that I'm glad Jin and Sharon have jobs again, it's not really doing anything for me.

3) Raising Hope: The only reason I watched this was because of all the good press it got, and that first ep was hilarious. The following shows haven't been quite as funny, but I'm enjoying the cast and where they're going with things. It's absolutely worth a look if you haven't seen it yet.

4) Undercovers: I want to love this show like I love a cool, fall day, but I just don't. And? I can't even explain why it's letting me down. A show staring black people that has nothing to do with them being black and also isn't an insipid half hour comedy? I should be eating this shit up! They get to be sexy, in love, funny, deadly, gorgeous and super skilled at wildly difficult things! But the show is still sorta boring! And yet I keep watching! Because I feel I have to!

5) Hellcats: Was anybody else expecting to hate everyone in this show, only to catch the repeat of the pilot and realize it doesn't make heads explode with bitchy teen drama mediocrity? That's what hit HUBS and I when we caught the show this week, totally by accident. I'll actually be looking for this one next week.

6) Outsourced: I've been watching this every week even though the pilot only made me laugh once. And I haven't been completely amused by any of the other episodes either. I think I'm watching it as a place-holder for the sublime Parks and Recreation. They better still be bringing my show back at mid-season. You hear me NBC?!

What fall shows have you hooked? Or semi-hooked, as the case may be?

Friday, October 15, 2010

And...We're Old!

I had no idea things would fall apart this quickly. I mean, I much prefer getting old to the alternative (Death? Yeah, until we find a way to actually turn back time, death is the only other way...), but that doesn't mean it's not odd how our bodies can change so fast.

For instance? I can't stay up all night anymore. I know! It's super sad and shit! Well, really I can still stay up, but the aftermath is exhausting.

The last time HUBS and I spent the night awake was probably around April. It was fun; coffee and hot chocolate were imbibed, movies were watched and internet browsed. But, for the entire week after I. Was. Ruined. For the first time in months I had to sleep until noon every single day, and then after a few hours awake I was tired again.

Then, around August, we both discovered we were having difficulties making it to our (now standard) bedtime of 1 a.m. We had gotten in the habit of watching Craig and then drifting off to sleep. But now? We usually fall asleep on the couch by 10:30 or 11.

I suppose it won't be long now until we're eating dinner at 4 p.m., hitting the sack at 8 p.m. and starting our day before the sun does. Where's my Denny's discount?

Can anybody else feel middle/old age creeping up on them? What's it doing to you?

Thursday, October 14, 2010


The activity around here today has been mostly in my head, but did, nonetheless, give me that oh-my-God-must-remember-it-all-and-get-it-done head rush feeling I dislike.

But, I've still managed to:

1) Supervise the putting in of a new front door and make note to call tomorrow so they can fix a weird missing wood chunk thing.

2) Mostly figure out the best way to pay off our debts.

3) Sign up for my first ever bank CD.

4) Find an easy recipe for dinner.

5) Register my Panera Bread rewards card.

6) Walk almost two miles just in the house.

7) Shower and get clothes on just in time for the door guy to show up.

8) List all our outstanding credit card debt.

9) Do minor chemical exfoliation to some dark spots (thanks zits!) on my face.

10) Get 50 free business cards at moo.

11) Find the best stain for our deck and the cheapest power washer to clean it with first.

And I've got other stuff I still need to do! Like actually cook dinner and make some more phone calls. I am not fond of getting things done, but only in a way that makes me feel like my life is nothing but busywork. That's how I've felt all week.

How busy was your day today? Are you doing any of the things you want to do?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Weekend Wonderful

It's unbelievably nice to have some money on the weekends. Here's what we did with a bit of ours.

1) Took my mom out to lunch and shopping for her birthday (she's 60) on Saturday. Our haul totaled 1 lip balm, 1 fingernail polish and 1 body butter. We were gone for six hours. Clearly we are shopping superstars. I'm thinking of a rematch sometime this week. Let me tell you, though, it was so nice to be able to treat my mom to lunch. I haven't been able to do that in years.

2) Went grocery shopping at three different stores. Spent more in one grocery trip then we ever have and finally stocked up on some things. Had a deliriously good time at Sunday night's Festival of Trying Different Things. Also? You need to buy this now. And eat it. It's the best freakin' icy treat in the world as far as I'm concerned.

3) Ate out without worrying that we really should have been eating beans and rice again. On Friday HUBS and I managed a $20 dinner at Olive Garden, and Sunday afternoon was all about happy hour specials at La Salsa, where we spent $11 total. By the way? I think our general new rule-of-eating-out-thumb will be to get an appetizer, share one entree and maybe get one drink that we share while the other person gets water. I know eating out is not the best use of funds, but dammit, I find it completely enjoyable!

4) When I was with my mom, HUBS was walking around the strip malls close to our house. He got some stuff we've been wanting/needing for awhile. When I got home he introduced me to our new Foreman Grill, his new Nike Air shoes and Mizzou baseball cap, and the St. Louis Browns cap he got as a Christmas gift for his grandfather. HUBS also told me about a certain sparkly something he got me as a late anniversary/birthday present! He claims it's well hidden, but let's see how long it takes me to happen upon it while cleaning.

On tap for next weekend is finally washing/staining our deck and possibly getting Luanne groomed. She's developed a ton of fur clumps that brushing simply is not taking care of, and trying to cut them out myself was nearly impossible with all her squirming and clawing and questioning of my motives.

You can't really see the extent of her fluff here. She's like a sheep cat.

How was your weekend?

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Why Is It...

Drawing courtesy here

That every time I'm with HUBS at his job and we're alone there into the night, I fear a zombie invasion?

I'm so odd.

So, what are you guys doing this weekend? Anything fun? Can I come?

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Is It Fall Yet, Or Not?

After quite a few days of unseasonably cool weather, we're about to hurtle back into the 80s again this weekend.

This is bad because anything over 75 and sunny feels like an oven to me.

This is good because we will finally have the right combination of money and warm, but not ass-killing hot temperatures in order to stain our back deck. Something we haven't done in two years because of our financial issues.

I anticipate HUBS doing most of the staining while I supervise (i.e. kick back with a magazine and a Black Cherry Freeze and pay no attention to the work being done at all. Hi HUBS!)

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Have You Heard The One About The 35-Year-Old Woman And Her 401K?

It goes like this:

So a woman works for the same company for almost 10 years, right? And, she hates it almost the whole time. But then she finally leaves, happy to be free and really happy to have built up a nice little nest egg in her 401k.

The woman has a degree from a good university and a steady work history, she thinks she'll finally have a good job that she enjoys within a few months. But, the woman was wrong. The economy dips to the ninth circle of Hell shortly after she leaves her old, hated job and she can't get hired. Not even Best Buy, Walmart or Target will take her.

So, when almost three years have gone by and all unemployment benefits have run out, the woman and her husband are in deep, deep, shitty credit card debt. They are scared and angry. They know they should have done things differently: lived more frugally and had the woman back-burner the dream job search sooner. But also! They weren't out buying yachts and crap. They mostly used the credit to pay for much needed (sudden) home/car repairs and groceries.

The woman talks to 10 Consumer Credit Counseling agencies. Some won't offer any deals at all because of the negative income the couple has at the end of the month. The others offer deals that they still cannot afford.

The woman gives in and gives it all to God. She's tired of the phone calls, the crying, the constant math-doing and bill shuffling. She's tired of the stress, the sleepless nights, the headaches, body aches and the constant beans and rice eating, the woman is gassy enough without all that.

That woman? She lets go of her fear and obstinacy and sees one way out. She cashes in her 401k.

I freely admit that when HUBS brought up the idea of using my 401k to help us out of this jam it made me incredibly angry. Not because he suggested it. Because it felt like I would then have nothing to show for my unnecessarily long stint at a job I mostly despised.

Then last Saturday, after yet another talk with a creditor, I felt something change. The idea of doing this big, major thing made me feel free. Things will still be tight, but not can't-afford-groceries-must-eat-the-same-things-day-and-night tight.

I can see that I needed this; to have a financial fuck up so big that I had to use my retirement fund to fuel my rescue. And, if we had done this over a year ago, when HUBS first suggested it, there would have been considerably less money to work with.

I can also see what a blessing it is that I had that option in the first place. (Well, last place really. Believe me when I say using your retirement fund to bail yourself out is always an absolute last resort option.) Some people get into this kind of bind and only have bankruptcy to look forward to.

I am committed to not using credit cards until we dig ourselves out of this mess totally, and then only sparingly. I am committed to finding an in-the-meantime job until someone realizes how fabulous I am and pays me lots of moolah to write. I am committed to living within our means and helping HUBS do the same.

Thank God, y'all.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Word To The Wise

If you're using the NuvaRing for birth control, don't skip a month because you don't have enough money for the prescription. Find the cash, yo. Especially if you were prone to heavy periods prior to starting on the thing, because your body? She will not like that.

I skipped my ring usage back in July, and as a result had my period for almost the full month of August and a heavy period in September. I'm tellin' you, it's like my four years on the thing didn't matter at all! And? Do you know how stressful it is to have low-grade bleeding for three weeks? I've never used any other form of lady-time-interruptus birth control, so I don't know if this would happen with the others, but...Gah!

The one really does rule them all.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Show Your Knees!

These are totally as good as Naomi Campbell's knees...I'm just sayin'.

I had an epiphany recently. Last month, I bought and started wearing a pair of shorts. And these were not just any pair of shorts, oh no. These shorts show my knees. I know, I know, that sounds ridiculous, so let me give you some back story.

I have not worn shorts since sometime around 1995 when I was still in college. At the time, the only shorts I wore were guys shorts. They weren't tight or showy and they hid my knees. Oh, my knees. They've been a sore spot of mine since I was a wee child. When I was about 10 years old I decided my knees were best left an unseen entity by the known world.

My issues with them were many and varied:

1) They were badly scarred and discolored from an accident when I was 6.
2) They were fat.
3) They were stretch-marked from all that fast food I ate.

Alright, so I only had three issues with my knees, but they were bigguns y'all! And until last month I'd firmly committed myself to never letting them see the light of day. (Aside from the odd trip to the pool, which brought up so many other body traumas that my fatty, marked-up knees actually became the least of my concerns.)

So, what happened in August? Well, I was shopping for another pair of work appropriate walking shorts. You know, something in a nice, tailored style that would let my legs breathe a little but not show too much. I was browsing one of my favorite sites when I saw these:

photo courtesy

Oh my God, I thought, they're so cute! And they were ten bucks, so I bought them. I got them home and tried them on. They were downright cozy, those shorts! Nice, airy fabric with a nice color and nice pockets. I felt good in them.

Until I looked down and saw my knees. There they were, two banes of my existence just hangin' out and saying How Do! to the world at large. Dammit, I thought, can't keep 'em.

I had resolved to send them back. But, over the course of a week I tried them on for my mom and HUBS and put them on at least twice just to look at myself in them again, something I never do. Generally when I buy clothing, that's it. I try it on, I like it, I buy it, I cut the tags off and put it away. I couldn't do that here. There was a new kind of feeling I had when I put these shorts on. I felt nervous and excited and free and scared. Like I was doing something naughty; maybe even something that the general population wouldn't approve of...And? It felt good.

I decided to cheat a bit: I'd wear the shorts out once, and if I felt uncomfortable or kept tugging at them or kept looking to see how others were responding to The Knees, I'd send them back. Do you know what mighty amazing thing happened? I totally didn't care what random strangers might be thinking! And I was comfortable! And I didn't tug at them once!

I was freeeeeeeee! Over the course of the next month I wore my new Freedom Shorts about two or three times a week. Now I'm thinking of getting tights (something I haven't worn since about 2000) so I can keep rockin' my freedom as the weather gets cooler.

The lesson here, I think, is that so often we tell ourselves what we can't do/shouldn't do because of our or others' outdated ideas of ourselves. People! I missed out on shorts because, decades after I made the decision to keep them under wraps, I figured that was still the best option for me. If I'd tried to wear shorts earlier, who knows when I would have realized that I didn't need to hide anymore.

So? Just do it! At least once every few years, see how it feels to show your flabby upper arms (been there; busted that fear with my sleeveless wedding dress two years ago), your raggedy feet, your varicose veined calves and yes, even your fat, imperfect knees.

One day you may find clothing that makes you feel good, even with your (former) dislikes flashing the world.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

So? What Do You Think?

It was really time. After writing this blog for almost a full five years, things were starting to feel tired, cramped, dark and old. I wanted something brighter, fresher and with more room for my photos.

So, after taking a couple days off and lots of naps, I feel a bit renewed. We'll be back to regular posting tomorrow and I'm going to commit myself to three or more posts a week.

I hope you like the new look. Now, go have something awesome for dinner!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Another New Thing I'm Trying

I know that I can be negative. It's one of the things about my personality that haunts me most. I've been prone to depressed cynical-ness since I was a little kid.

So, in an effort to recognize good stuff more, I'm going to try bitching about what I need to bitch about...And then writing down an upside to the problem at hand.

It'll go like this: HUBS and I have very little money for groceries. The good thing about that is that I've had to get seriously creative and have come up with some cool little recipes all on my own.

See that photo above? I made that all by my lonesome! No cookbook, cooking show or semi-divine inspiration from Daisy. Here's what I did:

Heat enough olive oil in a large skillet to cover bottom. Slice 2 or 3 medium potatoes (I use Yukon Gold) to no more than 1/4 an inch thick and layer in pan with sliced onion, fresh basil, pepper, sea salt and deli sliced honey ham. Cook without turning until the bottom layer is nice and crispy, then, flip the whole thing over and let that side get golden. Feel free to add more olive oil if you think things are sticking to the pan. I usually flip it one more time to let the stuff in the center get crispy, and then I put a lid on it for about 10 minutes to make sure all the potatoes are done through.

While all that's cooking I put a bed of field greens or baby lettuce (I prefer baby lettuce) on plates, drizzle on some red wine vinegar and sprinkle on some cheese (parmesan, reggiano and asiago work well). When the potatoes are done, throw them on top and you're ready to eat! The whole thing takes about half an hour.

Chow down, lovelies!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Why We're All Gathered Here Today

I've been thinking a lot lately about why I write this blog and what it's supposed to mean. Let's face it, there are trillions of blogs out there (I read a fair number of them), and in trying to decide if I really want to start publicizing this blog (mainly to drum up freelance writing work and buyers for my photographs), I've been ruminating on 'what it all means, man.'

I love writing. I love getting my thoughts out. And even though I'm not very vocal in person, I love the idea that someone, somewhere is listening to me. CITYGIRL started because, frankly, everyone else was doing it and I'd grown tired of the standard method of journaling. At the time I was really active on FLICKR, feeling more involved in life and starting to get out more offline as well. I wanted to connect with folks more; the internet was making that a lot easier for my shy-ass self.

It boils down to this: CITYGIRL makes me feel connected. I've gotten a bit of flack for complaining/not grabbing life by the balls/dwelling on the negative/dot dot dot/xyz, and here's the thing: I don't care. This is my personal journal. I talk about my life. Ups, downs, in-betweens, mistakes, triumphs, confusions and delusions, one and all.

What benefit does that have for you, the average blog reader who could pour themselves into a myriad of inspirational, designy, self-helpy, feel-good-all-the-time blogs? It's this: YOU ARE NOT ALONE. As much as I love being inspired, seeing beautiful things, helping myself and feeling good, life doesn't always bring the beauty full time, no matter how hard we may try to get it to do just that or attempt to always see the silver lining.

I want my readers to know that they can come here in their darkest hour and see someone else who has:

1. Waited way too long to leave a job she hated
2. Found solace in a lonely grocery store isle so she could fart in peace, only to have to abandon it quickly when a stranger interrupted her gassy session
3. Been unemployed for almost three years
4. Lived on beans and rice for a full week
5. Traveled alone and loved it
6. Let yet another job she hated make her actually, physically ill
7. Taken jobs just to make money
8. Had heavy periods
9. Waited until she was 31 to have sex
10. Refused to date because it seemed like too much bullshit
11. Eaten too much chocolate
12. Gotten too overweight
13. Driven back from an Ikea road trip with a rented SUV filled so full she couldn't see out any windows but the a torrential rain storm
14. Sat on the couch for too many hours on too many days in a row
15. Racked up way too much credit card debt
16. Never really felt very feminine, despite her totally committed love of pink, purple, purses, shoes, clothes, makeup and sparkly things
17. Refused to budget and made lame attempts to build up a savings account
18. Taken only 3 airplane trips in her entire life (NYC, Austin TX and Las Vegas)
19. Loved too many kitty cats
20. Given up or delayed acting on too many dreams
21. Lived life in fits and starts
22. Been afraid to go to parties
23. Cried so hard as she crossed the street she almost got hit by a car
24. Been so depressed nothing mattered, not even herself
25. Had a maxi pad flip over during the day so that she had to cut it out to change it
26. Gotten angry when friends and family don't stand up for themselves
27. Given good advice but failed, continually, to use that good advice in her own life
28. Not wanted to have kids
29. Tried to start her own business/work as a freelance writer/sell her creative wares with low overhead
30. Lived a wonderful, yet mistake filled life

This is what it's about for me: letting others know they're not alone in their weirdness, failings, fumblings, consternations, joys, miseries and downright freakishness. I'm there, too! And even if I don't hear from you, I know you're out there. I feel less alone, hopefully you feel less alone too and we can all ride off into the burnt amber sunset together.


Monday, August 30, 2010


HUBS and I were out and about Friday in a very popular area. It was a nice night; people were walking, dining outside, going to concerts, shopping in boutiques. It made me wistful. I'm starting to get that Friday-night-just-got-paid-wanna-spend-some-money-honey feeling.

You know that feeling. It shouts, I have a job, I worked hard all week and now I'm gonna have some real fun for a couple of days. Honestly, as much as I really want to not have the weekends be the end-all-be-all like they are when you have a job that feels like work, I miss having my weekends mean something. Right now the weekends are just like every other day.

Don't get me wrong, I'd love to love the next job I get. But, to get that feeling back, I'd settle for enjoy mostly.

What's your favorite thing to do on weekends?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


I've been silent for a while here. Mostly because I've been working on getting a more cohesive web presence together. Look!

I like that there's one site where people can access all my online articles, blogs, photo portfolios, stores and consulting info. The next step will be updating this blog and my photo blog. I'm hoping to get that done within the next week. I've also got an idea for either an e-book or e-course on photography. Are you guys interested in either of those? Would you pay, say $15 to take part in something like that?

Also, let me know what you think of the page and all the links. Any input from those of you who like the blog would be greatly appreciated!

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Monday, August 16, 2010

We Will Not Talk About...

- How our air conditioner went out last Thursday and I had to ask my mom for money to get it fixed.

- How once I got to her house to pick the money up I collapsed into a tearful heap, finally told her how screwed up all our finances are and apologized for letting her down and being a loser.

- How, when I got back home and talked to the repair man, the money she gave us wouldn't be enough anyway because we'd need a brand, spankin' new air conditioner. Hello $4,000!!

- How we had to get a credit limit increase on the same card we used to buy the furnace in January to pay for the new air conditioner. Thank God they allowed it or we'd be completely fucked!

- How the cats went a little bit nutty from the 95 degree temps in the house and then being locked in the basement for several (several) hours to keep them cool.

- How, even though I called in Thursday to say I may or may not be in to work, the company I was working for fired me and the temp agency will now never work with me again (that's right, I've been fired by a temp agency).

- How I fear that I totally sabotaged that job by possibly not making myself clear when I called in the first time and then resisting the later urge to call back and tell them I definitely wasn't coming in.

- How I've been repeating the mantra I make $100,000 a year 25 times a day for the past week, hoping it will come true by way of making me work harder...Or by magic, either way is fine with me.

What we will talk about is this...

God! These things are so good! We had the full sized ones sometime last year and I wasn't impressed. But, the minis? Somehow a thousand times more tastier. Yes, I said more tastier. You should eat these.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

You Have Reasons To Be Excited!

I've been meditating at work. See, I need something to keep me focused on positive stuff during the breaks between calls (which can last anywhere from a few seconds to 10 minutes). I wrote down some affirmations to repeat to myself in the down time. They do seem to be helping me deal with work.

Last night as I was repeating one of my sayings (I have reasons to be excited) I realized that I was actually feeling sadder and sadder. So I made a list of my reasons to be excited.

Here goes:
-we're closer to fall
-we have $115 extra coming to us this month
-we might get into consumer credit counseling or debt relief
-I won't be doing this job for much longer
-I've done this work now and know I never want to do it again
-I've had another book idea & started working on it
-I still have gas in my car
-I might finish a book I got from the library in time to return it in two days
-I have a car
-we have pet food & litter to last a couple weeks
-we have shelter & some food
-I have a free career counseling session scheduled (for today, actually)
-found job & photo selling opportunities online over the weekend (thanks Sugar!)
-we are healthy and not dead
-no one has died for a while (As I wrote this one I was afraid I was jinxing it. Sure enough, HUBS and I found a very small black kitten in the road last night, he'd been hit by a car. Just a few hours after writing how nice it was to not have death hovering over us, there he was laying in the street. I picked him up and said a little blessing, but can't for the life of me think of a name for the little guy. I hope he went quickly.)

The net effect is that I wrote all this cool stuff that I've got going for me (we've got going for us) and yet when one bad thing happened it really did ruin what was left of my night.

I pray that you all have reasons to be excited that make the bad stuff bearable.

Happy Wednesday :)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Clearly This Is Not Going To Work

Sunday, at work, I came up with a schedule to help me plan my time so I can actually get stuff done with this freaky night time work. It's a good, reasonable itinerary. See?

get ready for bed 11:30pm
bed 12:30pm
up 8:30am
blog 9am
book work 9:30am
exercise 10am
coffee & reading 10:30am
enter contests & internet randomness 11am
nap? 12pm
lunch 1pm

It works in things I know I should be doing (exercising and working on that book idea I haven't looked at since April) and things I already do daily. There's just one problem: I hate it.

I hate being told what to do when, even by my own self, apparently. As I was writing my plan I could feel freedom falling away as I became resistant to every action in every time period. You mean I have to go to be at 12:30? And, what if I don't wanna blog first thing in the morning? Hey, who do you think you are anyway!?

Doing five random things a day has generally become pretty easy for me now. But I was looking for a way to fill my morning with things that really matter to me. Another problem I see is that there's really no breathing room here. If something comes up or I sleep late the whole plan is thrown into disarray. Like yesterday, when I ended up doing not much of anything important before work, including my list of five things to get done. I didn't even get those taken care of after work.

The prospects just ain't lookin' great, here.

In other news, I spent all my post-dinner time at work last night farting. I blame the hummus. And my wonky digestive system. And the propensity of women in my family toward excessive gassiness as they age.

Damn you heredity! Daaaaaammmnn yooooouuuuu!! *shakes fist at belly*

Friday, August 06, 2010

Very Early

Remember being happy without reservations? Me neither, but I do remember things being easier.

I've been awake for about half an hour. It's 7:06am, I got up to pee and someone happened to be mowing their lawn. Which meant it was a bit noisy. Which, in turn, meant I couldn't get back to sleep quickly. Which, therefore, meant that as I was trying to sleep I started thinking.

Thinking. Dreaded, dreaded thinking.

When I was at work last night I made a tiny list of things I wanted to buy/do with the money I'm going to get today; the money I made at work last week (thank GOD for weekly paychecks).

It was a small, rather modest list that went like this:

-Stray Food
-HUBS undies
-Green Tea Growth Treatment
-Hot Dogs
-Tater Tots
-Schnucks Asiago Rolls
-Frozen Veggies
-Canned Goods
-Brown Sugar

-$3 in savings?
-54th Street anniversary dinner?
-$10 Verizon?
-Other Bills?

The questions marks are because I didn't know how much of my check we'd get to play around with after paying bills, but until HUBS gets paid next Friday. Turns out it's only $8.

HUBS let me know this last night when he finally got home around 11:05pm, after doing about six hours of work gratis for the second night in a row because his school district (as large and acclaimed and fairly well-off as it is) has no money left for overtime pay.

He was freaked out about his gas card. It's now basically maxed out, meaning we won't even be able to put gas in our cars if we're out of cash. I'm guessing if it comes to that, one of us is going to have to take the bus to work. And that 'one of us' is probably going to be me.

Here I am, working again, and it's still not enough. HUBS was talking about trying to sell the house last night. I'm going to have to get a part-time job during the day. Or, find someone to pay me for my writing. Because it's good, right? You like this blog post and the others and my writing is mainly what makes up these posts, right?

Sorry guys. Just a little early morning depression. Thanks, as always, for listening. And, if you have any freelance writing job leads, let me know. (Yes, I'm totally serious about that.)

Have a great weekend :)


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