A few pics from the concert
I didn't get many, but here are some!
They were selling glowing devil ears for $15 and a surprising amount of people bought them.
The concert was a really broad mix of people and ages. There were the slutty fake boob ladies and the old mullets and families with kids (!!!) and teenagers...
They didn't allow cameras (Chris smuggled the PowerShot in his back pocket), which I think is a stupid rule these days considering the abundance of cell phone cameras at every concert.
Glowing cell phone screens double as lighters in the dark... One guy actually held up a lighter for a second (for what song, I can't remember), but I didn't get a pic in time.
At concerts, I'm fairly obsessed with noting the details. While scanning the stage with the binoculars, I noticed that they had a teleprompter. I doubt they had to use it much, but it's still funny. Way to look old and forgetful, guys.
Here's a blurry Chris:
He had the best time. And even though he is notoriously frugal (he got sick last week from eating some Indian sauce from the cupboard that had expired in April because he refuses to throw stuff away) and the concert cost $300+ for the both of us, he said it was "worth every penny." Amazing.
¶ 2:06 PM0 comments
Helllloooo! I've been quite quiet lately. I have just had no desire to be online at all lately for some reason.
Let's see.. Not much going on, really. Christmas was very quiet. I have not had to see Chris's mom at all and now she's headed back up north, so hahahahaha. I told Chris he can tell her that maybe next year I'll feel up to seeing her. Maybe.
Oh! Chris's sister Patty got engaged right before Christmas. Good news. :) Of course, she started dating her now fiance um.. two months after Chris and I started dating, so.. um, yeah. Ahem, Chris. AHEM. Dark-haired little babies, AHEM.
Good news on the dog front! Maggie and Gretch got in a fight today and I had to separate them but they were both fine. Maggie didn't really bite. I was really worried about Gretchey when we started examining her, but was so happy when she wasn't hurt.
They were both shaking and scared afterwards and Gretchey kept getting in Maggie's face to lick her and get licked. Very strange relationship that those two have these days.
seriously, this woman... i love her. :) she's fierce. pretty, excellent voice, excellent dancer. she has this direct tv ad out based on her 'upgrade u' song and i swear i totally freeze every time it comes on.
i've now watched this video, like, three times in a row.
pardon my whine
tonight we were supposed to go to dinner at patty's boyfriend's parents' place. (phew.)
chris had to work until 6, though... and he's on call. and it turns out he has to go to a hospital to see a patient after work. so there's no way we'll make it to dinner.
i guess this is a good thing... when we were talking about just going late, the idea of having to see chris's mom put me in tears. it really makes me mad that she has f'd things up so bad that the idea of seeing her on a holiday gets me that upset. :(
so anyway. i guess i'm hanging out here tonight.. hopefully chris won't be too late.
also, i have cramps.
this holiday has been kind of a bummer. i wish i could snap out of it.
¶ 6:15 PM0 comments
Monday, December 22, 2008
This is what happens when you take four lit classes in one semester:
I just accessed my final book list.
I have 31 books to buy. !!!
Including one I just sent to my niece for Christmas (Maus I & II) - I hope she will loan them to me.
Also including Moby Dick, a book I have thus far been able to avoid. Dammit!
¶ 10:15 PM0 comments
To tell the truth?
I had this weird mole thing come out of nowhere a few years back and grow and grow and grow. I asked a few different doctor-types about it. Everyone said not to worry; it wasn't skin cancer. But it kept growing. I went to a doc that Chris suggested and they did a biopsy. It came back that it was a neurofibroma.. Ha ha, which I startingly realized was what the lady had that I watched the show about - she had a 200+ lb tumor! It got so big that the blood meant for all her organs was being diverted to the tumor... Eventually she started hallucinating when her brain was being deprived of blood. No one wanted to operate on her, though - this thing was so big that she couldn't even walk, and it was so entangled with all her veins and arteries that no one wanted to try to get it off. Long story short, someone took a chance and got it off and in six months she went from looking like a cadaver to a chunky housewife. Amazing.
Anyway, I don't quite get it but the doctor said that it was a little inconclusive - or something - so they just suggested I get it taken off. Chris suggested a guy he works with and he cut it off last week. They gave me percocet for when the lidocaine wore off, but it never was bad, at all.
But now I have this cut on my arm... I try to keep it covered since sun is really bad for scarring, so even when I try the least conspicuous cover - two bandaids - I get people asking what happened. I tell the truth and say I had a mole thing taken off, and I always feel like the people regretted asking. I mean, I understanding - the cutting off of a mole isn't the sexiest thing I can imagine either.
But the question is... Do I keep telling the truth? Embarassing myself and others? Or do I think up a lie? Like.. I dunno. Drive-by? Shank fight? Baby shark attack? Help.
Now, I tend to be a pretty honest person, but I am faced right now with another question of dishonesty. A real dilemma here, since I am kinda being forced to lie.
See, Chris's mom is real big on education. Chris's family of five are three medical doctors, one Ph.D., and one Master's (of Education, I think). Back before his mom turned into the super-evil lady whose opinion neither of us care anything about, Chris foresaw her freaking out to the fact that I am still working on my Bachelor's and told a lie - without consulting me first - that I had a degree already. Myself, I would've just told the truth and if she didn't like it, she could kiss my blue collar background ass. I mean, being 30 and in school isn't ideal, but at least i'm doing it? That's what I tell myself. But Chris got me into a lie. He said it wasn't a big deal - to lie - but it would save us both a lot of headache, so that's fine.
She was suspicious - why would a degree-holder in English be working as a "marketing assistant"? So when I went back to school, Chris said I was studying to be a teacher. He may have even said I was going for my Master's. I don't even know at this point. She was looking up the salary for teachers in Florida, and apparently was satisfied by the $40,000 starting salary. Little did she know, but that's about how much I was making in my menial marketing assistant job anyhow.
ANYWAY. So last Christmas, I had to go along with the lie a little bit. A couple of sentences, that was it. But now she was asking what I was doing and Chris said that I was student teaching? I'm like, what?! I kinda wish he would consult with me first. He said I can say I'm still working at my old job - she doesn't know I am going to school full-time - and student teaching too. I don't even think he knows what he told her at this point, so I can't get it straight from him; he just tells me to say whatever.
As for me, I wish I could tell the truth... But at this point, it would be bad stuff upon bad stuff in the Me & Chris's mom department. I mean... I don't want to say that Chris was lying, but I don't know what TO say that makes sense. I think I will only have to see her at the Christmas Eve dinner family dinner, anyhow, so I hope we stay clear of the subject.
The bad part is that I am THIS FAR [pinching together index finger & thumb over here] from just going off on her. I go over what I'd say in my head. Usually when Chris says things like that she wanted to take me out to lunch. Like, are you FUCKING KIDDING ME?! When I see her, I am aiming for "civil" but I think I will only be able to barely manage that much. I mean, what if she tries to do that polite hug/kiss thing? No fucking way.
For those of you who don't remember, she went off in a series of emails to Chris about the fact that I am not good enough. Not pretty enough. Apparently she thinks my hair is pretty, but that is the only thing. If he didn't break up with me by Christmas, she said, we would not be invited to spend time with them. (Yes, say it with me now: OH DARN.) And please understand, this is nearly out of nowhere. Last year at Christmas, she liked me... and then I backed Chris up when he said to stop yelling so much, all the time, about everything. Ever since then...
For the record, she's totally crazy. Chris never introduced ANY of his girlfriends to her in the past for this very reason... And no one was ever good enough for him. But she was incredibly cold and downright evil in her emails... To the point that I don't really know how you get past it. It didn't hit me so hard until she came to town and stopped by our house the other day... But I was agitated and upset just to have her standing in our driveway.
Anyway. Yay crazy old ladies.
So what do I do? Change the subject? Or should I say, yes, I'm student teaching, and also I am an astronaut. Chris said I can make up anything I want. I don't know how "full-time student" would go over, though, since I supposedly already HAD my B.A. So yeah, I'm thinking astronaut. Or stripper. Or just to amuse myself maybe I could say I am studying nuclear fusion but pronounce nuclear like Sarah Palin did ("nucular"). Ideas?
¶ 9:17 PM3 comments
so i have the weirdest affliction ever: i'm allergic to crying.
seriously. every time i bawl about something, i end up sniffling and sneezing so bad that it's basically like i'm really, really sick - and it lasts a couple of days.
i was crying yesterday. a bunch of reasons, with PMS as the cherry on top. nothing big i need to talk about here or anything.. but because of it, i basically still feel like i'm sick. i had to take nyquil allergy last night and use my inhaler before i went to bed. awful. chris keeps saying that it should teach me not to cry. and that's true.. but how do you help it? i think the next time i start to feel like crying, i'll just take something to knock me out and hopefully i'll sleep through it.
one thing - chris's mom is in town. he won't let her come over here.. yesterday she showed up and he basically stood outside and talked to her for, like, an hour. just having her outside.. ugh. just bad, bad feelings. and the funny part is that today she said she wanted to take me out to lunch. chris said that he was certain that i wouldn't want to. ask, she said. chris told her that he didn't need to. and he was right.
good news... i had answered an ad for a substitute for a montessori school a while back. i hadn't heard anything, but then last week i got an email. blissfully, the school is only about 10 minutes from here. friday i went in for an interview, and the lady seemed to like me so it sounds as if i'll be the one she'll call starting in january when she needs a sub. it's a very small school and they do infants & toddlers only.. i think i'll really like it, and i'm actually excited about it. it doesn't pay all that much - duh - but i don't really care; i'm just happy i was able to find something to do part-time that i'll actually LIKE. she said a lot of her substitutes end up as permanent employees, so i can see if it's something i enjoy.. and if i do, i would get a montessori teaching certificate and that's that. it's an idea i like, but i am not going to put too much thought into it until after i spend some time there and see how i like it.
it was funny... she warned me that, due to the age group, some of what is required of the teacher is dirty work, like diaper changing and stuff. i'm thinking about the fact that i WILLINGLY clean up doggy poop for anywhere between 2 and 4 hours a week... for free! i don't think a mere diaper change is going to turn me off to a job like this. :D
off to stand in a steaming hot shower for a few hours to try to relieve some of this sinus pressure!!!
¶ 5:33 PM2 comments
This is my little friend, Bacon. He has been at the shelter since I started volunteering there in July. He's small and cute and just a doll, but he's fairly plain looking, especially when you consider all the pure-breds and hard-luck stories at the shelter.
I have taken him to the doggy park a couple of times. He's great there - kinda my little shadow, and so sweet. I had to push him back in his cage the first time I brought him back to the shelter, which broke my heart.
Last week when I was there, I gave him treats after his walk but he didn't want them. I felt so guilty and asked the shelter manager if we could move him to one of the running common areas, rather than leave him a small crate all the time. Apparently he jumps out when you try to keep him in one of those areas, so he had to stay in the crate. Ugh.
Then I asked if we could lower his adoption fee from $200. I felt it would be easier to try to "sell" him if we lowered the fee.
I stopped by Friday and took some dog pics, and was already wearing get-dirty clothes and had some time, so grabbed him and a really spazzy dog named Lucky and took them to the park. I gave them baths and let them run. Lucky was the star of the park - he ran at full speed for about an hour. He was playful with the other dogs and so happy to be free for a while. Everyone at the park loved him, and I tried to spread the word as much as possible that they both needed homes.
Bacon kept following me around at the park. If I held my arms out - or sometimes even if I didn't - he would jump up so he could cuddle with me. When I sat at the picnic table, he was on my lap, snuggling. I felt incredibly sad the whole time that such a sweet dog should be homeless and living in a crate.
I've been emailing everyone on Craigslist who said they are looking for a small dog. Today I went to to it again and went to get Bacon's profile off of Petfinder for them and... it was gone! I called the shelter manager and she said that HE GOT ADOPTED. A family came in yesterday and decided on Bacon; he'll be going home tomorrow.
I cannot even say how happy I am. Seriously. The shelter manager said it must be something I did, since it's been a good five months and NO ONE has looked at those dogs, and all of a sudden...!
Also? Lucky is being adopted right now. He's been there for a couple of months. I'm so glad someone is willing to take a chance on such a high-energy dog, 'cause he's a sweetie too. Pure happiness.
now that i'm not stuck reading short stories by stephen crane and shakespeare's sonnets, you'd think i would be fed up with reading.
but i'm not.. in fact, i'm finally getting around to frank mccourt's 'tis, which has been on my shelf for a year or so.
it's the continuation of frank mccourt's biography, which continues from where it left off in angela's ashes. angela's ashes is one of the best books i've read in years. i'm actually thinking about re-reading it, and i am usually not the type to re-read anything.
'tis isn't quite as good as angela's ashes. but anyway, my point is to go out and get angela's ashes. even if you've seen the movie, 'cause the movie versions never measure up. (although i think i will finally see the movie, too.)
if you don't know anything about it, it's about frank mccourt's very difficult childhood in ireland. it's hard to imagine life as he knew it.. everyone was poverty-stricken and hungry and sick and running around in the cold with no shoes. it's been a while since i read it, but what i remember is that it's one of those immensely sad but heart-swelling books.
speaking of books and movies, also - the other boleyn girl is actually a really good book. but the movie was painfully bad, to the point that i didn't finish watching it even after ordering it on pay-per-view.
¶ 12:39 AM0 comments
Monday, December 15, 2008
my hardest term so far, i think. even harder than the ones when i had to take MATH.
Amer Lit:19th Cent Traditions... A- Intro to Literary Studies............. B+ (all lit theory. omg.) Renaissance Lyric Poetry........... A (hard hard hard class) Structure of Modern English....... A (easy, except memorizing the grammar book) History of Civilization 2................ B
it ain't straight As - i used to have all As until i took astronomy, which earned me my first B and thankfully broke this streak i felt like i had to continue. which is good because the term after that i had to take math, and if i would've been expecting to continue getting all As, i would've been sorely disappointed.
but anyway, after this bitch of a term, i'm happy with As and Bs.
Electronics hate me, and they just keep showing it.
I went to take this baby's pics last Thursday. I looked through the pics about a dozen times, as I often do, to decide which ones I want to process, etc. And admire the cute ones. :)
When I got home, I set up the tripod and turned all the house lights off and took a bunch of Christmas tree pics. Tree shots, ornament shots, etc. I showed those to Chris too.
At about 1 a.m. I decide I want to go upload them and turn the camera on and am flipping through the pics and get confused - so many of the pics are missing, it seems. I go up and down and, sure enough, there are hardly any pics. Hardly any pics for me means 61 pictures, of course, but that only covers the first 15 minutes or so that I was taking pics of the baby. And all the Christmas pics were gone.
I haven't even heard of anything like this happening - wtf? I don't think I can recover the pics, but I'm downloading some software to try. I wrote to the lady and told her what happened.. Thankfully I had SOMETHING to send her as she was hoping I would have a keeper for her birth announcement. Then next week I'll go back to do another shoot.
I am trying to look at the bright side here.
#1. I get to re-do the shoot, something that doesn't happen often. Of course, there were plenty of keepers on the first try, but I'll be a bit better prepared this time, and can do things I wish I had done last time like getting pics of the woman holding her baby by the window.
#2. Hopefully it will be a sunny day and we'll get GOOD window light, instead of the barely-there light we got the other day - a rainy, gloomy day.
#3. My equipment is testing me. If this would've been a PAID gig, it would be much worse than it is now. As it is now, I'm doing the folks a favor, so messing up on it isn't the end of the world. Now I know that I am not going to trust off-brand memory cards (this one is DanElec or something) and any time I'm taking very important pics, I am going to back them up as soon as I get to my car with my little external hard drive storage thing. That is not usually necessary.. In fact it's probably nearly unnecessary, but losing all the pics was a huge stomachache. Seriously. I didn't touch the pics for two days, nor the computer, because I was so heartsick and disgusted over it.
#4. Oh, as a bonus, the woman is going to have her friend come over with her two-week-old for the re-shoot. So I can do two babies! Maybe get them both in some shots. :)
May as well make it three posts to make up for my quiet spell, right?
So you may remember the whole Wynne thing. My brother-in-law's daughter? She's just.. well, she's like 19, which doesn't help ANYTHING.
She has the boyfriend who.. Well, let me put it bluntly, since I don't think it's a secret. Her boyfriend WALKED IN ON HER cheating. And then she wound up pregnant, so of course they didn't know whose it was. And they're both Asian, so it's not as if you can tell by looking at the little kid.
The boyfriend and her fight... He's off drag-racing and whatnot and she gets upset about it. That happened while Chris & I were visiting last summer. Chris was totally confused by the idea of Asians not being overachievers - the Hmongs in La Crosse can be little gang-bangers and drag racers and stuff. ANYway...
It turns out the baby is his. So they were going to get married in June. Then like, um, a few weeks ago or so, they got into another fight. He was going to move out. Next thing Wynne called, it was to say that they had moved up the wedding. UP. Everyone is upset since not only do they not get along, but Wynne is always talking to ex boyfriends and stuff on her MySpace.
But apparently they think a wedding is a good idea. They were going to have it in the BASEMENT of a LOCAL BAR. In the winter. Like, January. Kamille pointed out that maybe that's not the best place for a wedding, so now they're just going to the JoP and having the RECEPTION at the bar. The wedding is TOMORROW.
This is the doggy Kamille adopted. Apparently Amanda wanted a pug, so Kamille looked into rescues in the area and found one named the Thyme & Sage Ranch. When they went in, they met a few pugs and this little girl seemed like a sweetie. She's about 3 years old and was used at a puppy mill for breeding. She had a collar pretty much embedded into her neck and was skinny, and also her puppies had been taken away from her too early. Not sure how they tell that, but I guess 'cause she was bleeding still and her puppies were gone? She looks like she's overcome the weight problem. ;)
She has a pretty sad little face, I think, but she's doing quite well there. She's playful and loves Kamille's family. Amanda sleeps on the couch so she can be close to her crate at night, which apparently Sofie has gotten used to; when Amanda wasn't there, she cried until Kamille went and slept next to her. (She doesn't get to sleep in the bed yet 'cause she's not fully housetrained.)
I have been all "I can't wait to go back to Costa Rica!" lately, about every 10 minutes. Seriously...
The other day I was at the grocery store and was trying to pick out some flowers.. Did you know that daisies, the old-school white ones, not the flashy gerberas, last, like, forever? Chris gets gerber daisies usually and they start falling apart soon after they get home and are in the trash within a week. The lilies, same thing. But this $4 bunch of daisies just kept lasting and lasting... After 2+ weeks, a few of the flowers started to wilt, but they still looked pretty good. And the water didn't get all gross either.
Anyway, original point was that they had bunches of hydrangeas there, and I was hit by a wave of nostalgia looking at them. Nostalgic for... Costa Rica! There were hydrageas everywhere up in the mountains. None anywhere else, but they were everywhere up there when we went to Monteverde.
You can see the bushes here in the pic of our hotel up there:
Whenever I think of Costa Rica, I get so.. I dunno. I just loved it there, I guess you could say. It was quiet and beautiful and there were these surprises everywhere, e.g.:
(Bats hanging from the ceiling of one of the restaurants by Parque Manuel Antonio)
(Birds flitting around the feeder outside the same restaurant)
Then there was the whole thing where you had to be mindful of what was in the tress above you - was it a bird? A squirrel monkey? A sloth? What kind of sloth?
It's hard to explain, really. I think it's kinda like describing what it's like to be home, in Wisconsin. I am comfortable there. I know I'm home. It just feels good and right. I feel like going back to Costa Rica will feel a lot like that, only with a significantly larger amount of delight in my surroundings swirling about.
So I can't wait to go back to Costa Rica. :) Other places I wish I could go back:
- Bahamas. Particularly that one night. We were on the boat and decided to sleep at the dive site where we had been diving earlier. I can only describe it as magical. It was completely dark out - the sky was so clear and the stars so bright there. We were the only ones around.. We sat up on the front of the boat and just felt the rocking and watched the stars for a while. We could hear things swimming in the water, fish breaking the surface of the water around our boat... There were little glowing sea creatures everywhere in the water. We were hanging off the side of the boat with lights to try to get a better look at them. That whole thing.. It was like being a kid again, just amazed and in disbelief at what you were seeing. I mean, who expects to see something new at age 28 or whatever? It was just perfect. Thankfully we didn't know what would be happening at about 4 a.m. - the seas were about to get really, really rough which made for a really, really hard ride home. But the night before that ride? Blissful.
Oh yeah, this is the place:
- Galapagos. Off of Wolf Island.. or was it Darwin?
Something like this:
There were birds flying overhead the entire time. Something that this South Florida girl can only describe like as landfill-like. And the rocks there ahead of me? We were anchored far away from the rock, but if you looked at it, you could see dolphins everywhere. Jumping out of the water right next to the rock, making perfect circles. Like, we'd just be sitting there and talking and you would look over your friend's shoulder and there were dolphins! And it was like it was nothing. Weird. So this is the same place we were one morning.. I was sick so couldn't go diving. Everyone else was suiting up to go for a dive and I was on the top deck. The sun was rising, painting the sky, we were surrounded by water and close to this huge island. And it was if God just all of a sudden cued the dolphins. The water between the boat and the rock - a big stretch - was just alive. There were hundreds of them, jumping out and dipping back into the water in their little circles. It is one of those moments that will stay with me forever. That sounds cheesy to say, but it's truer than I can explain.
Also, hanging off the panga after our night dive and sticking my face in the water over and over so I could wave my hand and see the phosphoresence everywhere in front of me, like the night sky was six inches from my face.
Amazing stuff. And only, um, less than three months until I get to go back to Costa Rica. See little monkeys crossing the road in front of us. Eat papaya on the beach. Wish that I lived there.
¶ 12:17 AM0 comments
Monday, December 08, 2008
Lately I've been a bit consumed by school. Actually totally ignoring it since I finished my test on Thursday (that test started at 7:45, which I had to go to on three hours of sleep), but I'm three tests away from being done for the semester... So it's still on my mind.
I've also been thinking a lot about kids. Maybe I'm ovulating?
Anyway, the two sometimes combine. And I think about how I definitely, definitely want to teach my kids to be different than me in a whole bunch of ways.
Take my style of doing schoolwork. It's always last-minute.
Even when I have really good intentions of getting a big project done ahead of time, or at least partly done ahead of time, it never happens. Even if I go sit at the computer with good intentions of doing, say, a paper or something, I usually end up avoiding it altogether. Instead, everything that'd due gets done the day before, whether it's a two-page response paper or an eight-page research paper. And sometimes "the day before" turns into "the entire night before."
So, like I said, I was thinking about how I could teach my children to be better about stuff like this. Project for school? I think I would help them set a timeline of goals, so the day before the project you just had to tie everything up. Do you think that would help a kid into becoming a non-procrastinating person?
I asked Chris how he was about doing schoolwork. He always does stuff ahead of time. Of course. You know, he said, you're always noticing things that need to be changed in a paper, so if you do it ahead of time then you have the opportunity to think about it and make those changes. Must be nice to be so organized, you know?
I really can't wait to have the kids. And I'm happy that they'll have some things I didn't. For example, I've always wished I could play an instrument. Chris plays the piano (and the guitar) and our kids will get piano lessons. When he plays sometimes in the evenings, I think of how proud I'll be when I have little kids that can play piano with Daddy. Is that silly?
Oh, yeah, and they're going to get swimming lessons, starting really young. You know Chris was captain of the swim team? Me.. Uh, yeah, I didn't learn to swim until I was 27 or so. I still can't get over that my mom never thought to teach me to swim or get me lessons or something.
Anyway, yeah. Back to schoolwork. (Ah, who am I kidding? That'll wait 'til tomorrow. ;)
¶ 1:09 AM0 comments
I'm Stacey. I'm a 31(!)-year-old Wisconsin girl living in sunny South Florida. The highlights in my life are my lovely boyfriend, my aloof cats, my adorable/adoring stepdogs, my two lumbering tortoises, select family members, being outside, being underwater, taking pictures, yadda yadda. Stay tuned for lots of babbling!
A small boy lived by the ocean. He loved the creatures of the sea, especially the starfish, and he spent much of his time exploring the seashore.
One day the boy learned there would be a minus tide that would leave the starfish stranded on the sand.
When the tide went out, he went down to the beach, began picking up the stranded starfish, and tossing them back into the ocean.
An elderly man who lived next door came down to the beach to see what the boy was doing. Seeing the man's quizzical expression, the boy paused as he approached. "I'm saving the starfish!" the boy proudly declared.
When the neighbor saw all of the stranded starfish he shook his head and said: "I'm sorry to disappoint you, young man, but if you look down the beach, there are stranded starfish as far as the eye can see. And if you look up the beach the other way, it's the same. One little boy like you isn't going to make much of a difference."
The boy thought about this for a moment. Then he reached his small hand down to the sand, picked up another starfish, tossed it out into the ocean, and said: "Well, I sure made a difference for that one!"