Wednesday, March 21, 2007

I Don't Practice Feuderia

As Athena leapt from her father's head fully cloaked in armor, so too was Mr. DeWinter squeezed from the neck of his mother by a dermatologist by the name of "Arnie". As pictured above, just moments before he emerged dressed in his infamous White Linen Pants, coated in a fine layer of chocolate dust, an unlit cigar in his hand.

As he dusted himself off, surveying the look of shock, horror, awe, more horror, and utter disgust displayed in the faces of his mother and "Arnie", Mr. DeWinter looked about exam room #4 with its pale yellow walls and its large photos of various skin diseases (the most prominent of which being the photo of a particularly bad case of psoriasis complete with magnified inset, as "Arnie" was considered something of a specialist in the field), smiled politely and asked, "What are the chances that a guy can get a match around here?"

Despite an overwhelming urge to vomit when she found herself in his presence, Mrs. DeWinter took her little bundle of joy home with her. As time went long, Mr. DeWinter took, much to his mother's dismay, to calling her "Ma." As in, "Hey Ma! What's this cassarole shit? What's a guy gotta do to get a steak around here?" Or, "Hey Ma! I told ya a dozen times, starch on my white shirts, see, STARCH."

Each and every time he opened his mouth it became a greater and greater burden to bear. And she wondered to herself what the protocol was for having "birthed" a full-grown man. Do they stay for 18 years, or could she make him get a job and an apartment and relieve herself of her suffering?

I believe the final straw came one bright sunny day when upon returning from 18 holes with the retired neighbor, Carmine, Mr. DeWinter threw down his clubs on the living room floor in front of her weaving loom (she was currently working on a highly satisfying depiction of the senior Mr. DeWinter expelling their demanding son from their cape cod via the front door with what might have been considered by the neighbors as undue force, but she never really cared what the neighbors thought anyway) and in a state of great agitation announced that she obviously didn't have her heart in cleaning his clubs. "This nine iron is disgusting! And there's still piña colada on one of the woods! Do you take no pride in your work, woman?"

The particulars of Mr. DeWinter's expulsion from the familial homestead need not be gone into here. Suffice to say that the DeWinter family parted ways on the best terms under the circumstances. He's still allowed in their quiet little cod on holidays or birthdays, anniversaries and such. And Mr. DeWinter makes due with giving orders to his cat army for fetching of fine chocolate, clean linen pants from Morty the Dry Cleaner, and exotic cheeses. Ah, the politics of compromise.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Temporal Dysphoria

So I've been having this thing lately, where weather conditions or smells or some such thing are causing me to experience moments of Déjà Vu. Where I feel like I'm someplace else - to wit:

Couple of weeks ago, walking to my car it was early morning and warm, smelled like spring outside, the sun was shining brightly through what little greenery there is and it felt like Madison. That same week I walked outside on another warm and sunny morning, my car was parked far away and it felt like my morning walk to grade school.

A week or so ago, I walked outside, I was downtown, the air smelling of food and paint, it was sunny but cool and I was inadequately dressed for the temperature and it felt like Prague.

Just now, just this very minute I walked out onto my porch - the sky a diffused opalescent shade of blue, cold with my ankles exposed and it felt like Whitewater.

This keeps happening lately and I'm not sure why. It's been kind of weird, kind of comforting, and kind of sad all at the same time.

Random Web Travels Amusement

Hehehehehe. Found on BoingBoing, which was mined from R. Stevens's News Post, which is an original by Mike Cina. Which is, in turn, made approximately 3x's as amusing when one considers my previous post. Stay tuned for an exciting blog feud entry, which is currently in the works.

Saturday, March 10, 2007


So apparently there are some people reading my blog that I don't talk to on a regular basis or are RPers... 2 of them to be exact. One being my aforementioned ex-boyfriend, the other, a close friend of his. I am suddenly very glad I don't allow anonymous comments.

Remember how I mentioned that I told my ex that I still wanted to be friends? Well, in the final, dwindling days of February I contacted him to wish him a happy birthday and invite him out for a birthday drink on me. To that end, (I totally forgot about the birthday drink when we got there... ooops) I got together with him last night. We were having a fine time, if slightly scrambling for things to talk about. I believe it was when he hit his 3rd or 4th beer that he brought to light why he came to meet up with me. He had a bit of an agenda.

Now, there are opposing opinions as to whether I've actually done something wrong in this situation. He was quite upset with me over some of the details contained in the "File Under" post. He was very hurt and said that he would never post such personal stuff about me online. I didn't think it was that bad, neither did my friend. My mother, however, thinks I've definately tresspassed against him and that I should redact the details in the first couple of paragraphs. That people have forgotten how to be nice with the supposition of anonymity as their shield. But I know, quite well already, that there is no anonymity on the net.

Did I feel bad? Yes, and I still do. I wanted to crawl under my bar stool or creep on my belly out of the bar and into the chill, wet night to find some rock appropriate to my amphibious status. I didn't intend for him to read that. It honestly never even crossed my mind that he would. Which was both stupid and ignorant of me. I know him, I know how he rolls on the interwebs, I should have known better than to think he wouldn't find it.

Now, I'm posing a few questions to my readers - One, do you think I did something wrong? Or is it, as I said later that night when I'd had too much wine and I got a little angry, a situation where if you go looking for it you kind of deserve whatever you find? Two, am I furthering the offense by posting this? And lastly, should I delete the offending details out of kindness and consideration of his feelings?

I'm honestly left wondering. Is it a terrible fault in the blog-o-verse that we post things that contain details about other people? Should we only post about things that have only to do with ourselves? Is that how other people do and I just didn't know it? Did Rachel Kramer Bussel set a bad example for me and I blindly followed it when she posted exhaustively about her feelings about her last relationship? (okay, that's just really an opportunity for some link love and vain attempt at passing the buck, probably) But truly, is this a huge flaw? Did I have the right?

I don't know what I think now. I felt so sure last night but now... dammit Mom, makin' think about my actions and stuff.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Battle Royale

This, my friends, is an artist's rendering of Mr. DeWinter's ultimate woman. Four arms to hold him, a belgian beer in each of her many hands... toenails good for scratchin' his back.

He met her in the Ukraine the summer of '89 and he's never forgotten her since. Her sweaty breath, her stringy hair, her elephantine limbs. She was a vision in rough-weave undyed sack-cloth. At night, when the hour is late and he is alone in his bed he dreams not of sugarplums, but the sight of four hairy armpits flying towards him as she reaches out for an embrace. Lips curled with anticipation, eyes blinking back the rivulets of sweat her bushy eyebrows couldn't hold back. Gerzerka, Gerzerka, won't you be mine.

Creative Cuisine Solutions: Get the Bread Out!

Okay, everybody is on this "low carbs" thingie... still. And while I certainly don't shy away from the bread, I think it's important not to eat it with every meal. I believe 21 grams of fiber is the magic number and 1 serving of bread per day will do that if my memory serves me correctly. I usually have Whole Foods' Seeduction toast with peanut butter (and sliced banana this morning! YUM!) for breakfast so when it comes time for lunch I'm usually staring down the barrel of another salad or a wheat-free veggie alternative tortilla or something like that. Just now, just this afternoon, modeled after some fast food joint's lettuce wraps (can't remember which, I try to be responsible for everything that goes into my mouth and yes, that does sound dirty) which are modeled after a Thai creation I can't think of the name of, I just created the following:

Tuna Salad Spinach Wraps

1 individual serving-sized can white albacore tuna packed in water
2 tbsps Vegenaise
2 finely chopped stalks celery
2 finely chopped scallions
2 tsps dried cilantro
4 finely chopped fresh basil leaves
pepper to taste

Mix it all up in a bowl and yank out your spinach - I used organic stuff from Whole Foods cuz some of the leaves are appropriately enormous for wrapping purposes. Wash and roll, it works cuz the ends of the leaves kinda curl under so you just roll 'em up and munch 'em down like dolmaldes. Super tasty, super easy. Just watch out for the sodium content in the tuna - if you buy Chicken of the Sea you're looking at over 300 grams.

This is Why This Blog is Called Jenn Addenda

Addenda to the Previous Post:

In going back and obsessively reading all of my previous posts I came to realize that some major things have happened between posts about my personal life that I didn't exactly make really clear on the blog... many of you probably already know about these things say, if you actually talk to me in RL or if you are an RPer you probably know these things from my posts there, but anybody (not that I'm suggesting that people outside those circles necessarily read my blog but hey, a girl can dream, can't she?) else might not. So here is a list of things that have happened since my original post that started the blog in the first place:

1. I accepted the position the acceptance process of which drove me to the brink of insanity. I accepted it at the offered rate of pay, despite a rejected counter-offer because, as I mentioned, it is a great opportunity for me.

2. I am back in school part-time.

3. I agreed to continue working for my former employer, one day a week until the end of June when my new position has the possibility to go full-time and the office overhaul at the old job takes place.

I know readers could probably have figured those things out from the preceeding post but it's nice to have everything laid out in #000033, ya know? ;)

Question to my readers: When I go back and edit previous posts for grammatical, spelling, and various other small errors, does it send subscribers an update message? I'd hate to think you guys are getting 3-4 messages for such tiny little changes... if this is the case I'll either try and be more careful when I publish the post or just leave the imperfections alone. (Which might, truthfully, prove difficult.)

...And We're Back

Oh... my... god. Where did February go? One day it was smack-dab in the middle and then suddenly I had to decide if I wanted to send my ex-boyfriend a birthday card on the 28th and now it's freakin' March! How the hell did that happen?

Not that I necessarily need to apologize to you guys - you all understand, right? I was crazy-busy with work and school, and totally exhausted in the time in between all that. Every time I sat down to write I felt like I had so much to tell you guys that I'd get overwhelmed and write nothing. I'd go read a book instead. Or watch Scrubs re-runs on the couch, splayed out like somebody dropped me from the ceiling.

This "working two jobs" stuff is tough. For one thing, the new job should so definately not be a part-time job. I feel like I have so much to do and practically no time to do it in. And getting the IT department to get me all set up has proven to be a part-time job in and of itself. It took me two weeks of constantly pestering them to get me a log-in code for my computer and email (they killed my student account and I was forced to use my gmail for professional purposes for like, a week - how professional is that?), and I still don't have my voicemail or access to the shared drive. Or speakers. Or a printer that works. Despite my best efforts.

All last week the office manager was on vacation and she submitted the requests for my speakers and for them to fix my network portal on the printer, try as I might I couldn't find the helpdesk tickets - so I wasn't able to do anything with those requests. But you have no idea how many emails I sent that started out, "I know you asked me to be patient, and I do very much appreciate the help that you've given me so far... but can you tell me the status of ticket #..." She's back on Monday so hopefully next week those two things can get resolved because HOLY CRAP do I hate working without music. The percussion of the ergo keyboard and mouse alone are a bit repetitive. Oh, dear... somewhere, somehow I've given Mike Patten an idea.

As for school... dear god do I hate intro classes. I'm doing well, so that's something. We recently had our first exams and in my morning class - 100% which is awesome - and for my afternoon class I got the highest score in the class, after he added back points because so many people had done so poorly, I had a 94%. Class average for the morning was an 88, I believe. It was a 75 for the afternoon. Lazy no-readin' or note-takin' young'uns. Anyway... the classtime is fairly worthless. Dude starts every class with "Current Events" wherein students are invited to bring in and summarize class-related news articles for discussion. These discussions usually last the whole first hour of the class and involve him (the "prof") finding some way to get up on his political soapbox and "tell us how it is" - which may work for the people in the class who just graduated from high school and don't really have any opinions about these things, but for me, I have opinions about these things and they quite differ from his. For the sake of the class and my sanity I've decided to keep my damn mouth shut but lemme tell ya, sometimes it ain't easy. Otherwise he talks about his personal life. I know it's a thing now for teachers to talk about themselves to eliminate the air of stodgy mystery that has traditionally surrounded profs... the austere orators of old... I think I miss that. I don't care how much he paid for his new Ikea lighting system, or what his father died from, or what his girlfriend does for a living, or how is daughter did in her gymnastics competition. TEACH THE DAMNED CLASS. We maybe get 25 minutes of actual instruction. I'm learning waaaay more from the book than I am from that dingleberry. He covers the same material a number of times... he doesn't remember whether he assigned us work. Seriously, what the fuck?!

And just to add insult to injury, I am now the class goody-two-shoes. We had an assignment last week and walking up to the classroom the students were congregated outside, the prof hadn't arrived yet... as I rounded the corner one of the students said, "there she is, I'll bet you did the assignment, didn't you?" Well, yes, of course I had I said. "Nobody else did." I sat in class while the people on either side of me marveled over the sheet of printed paper they'd asked to read, not only had I done it - but it was typed and well-organized. "I like how you did this." Said the girl that sits next to me - when she comes to class - in the open-toed shoes. (Wisconsin - not warm in February or the beginning of March. Weird-looking girl, Wisconsin. Wisconsin, weird-looking girl. Maybe you guys should have the little convo about marginally appropriate footwear usually involving toes. Here's a little guideline - if it's snowing, try boots.) The guy on the other side of me started copying stuff down - I gave him the stink-eye. He gave my paper back. Bastid. And stranger still, on Tuesday the prof said, "Who wants to volunteer for an assignment?" My hand shot up. He picked me. WTF?!? Who am I and what have I done with the little rebel who was absolutely convinced she could coast along on her smarts? When did I start taking school seriously? When did I turn into one of those girls?

So I stayed up late on Wednesday night, taking this little assignment possibly all-too seriously, doing research and re-reading the chapters we were (Probably he'll push it back AGAIN now keep reading to find out why - last time we had the test a week and a half after the original date because he kept pushing it back owing to the fact that a lot of people had missed the class before the test due to insanely cold temps outside... it was driving me crazy. I'd study, I'd come to class, no test. Next time. Repeat.) going to be tested on next week and then read one chapter ahead. Then I got up at 4-fucking-am to type up the assignment and work on my notes. It was a nasty morning. It had snowed early and then, for the last hour before I left it turned to sleety rain. The roads were decidedly not pleasant to drive but I got to school in enough time to print out my assignment and a bunch of articles in the lab (my printer's totally dead). I ran into a couple of people in class who said they had heard class was canceled today. I was actually disappointed. Not having seen for ourselves, one of the guys from my class and I walked up to the room. Sure enough, two pink cancellation sheets were affixed to the doorframe. I thought about going home and going back to bed, I thought about going and getting some coffee and reading for a while in the student center. But ultimately, I ended up going in to work 3 1/2 hours early. It turned out for the best, I managed to be there for a budget meeting. Though, I was so tired I felt like I was floating. Then my boss asked me to verify that she had allotted me enough in my line items. This is so strange guys, I feel like grown-up and yet... often, I feel like a fraud. Like they're gonna find out soon that I have NO IDEA what I'm doing. I've never written a justification before. With the old job's budgets I simply raised the budget by 2% every year. That's all. Modified last year's budget forms. This time, I had to actually get people on the phone get estimates (which, I have to say, is NOT easy around that joint), and admit that I had no plans for one of the line items yet.

And this waking up loooong before the sun stuff... it's become a thing. It's been going on for more than a month that I wake up between 4:30 - 5:30. I have not, in my adult life, been a morning person. I have NO idea why the sudden change. It even bleeds over into the weekend. On one hand it's nice, I have PLENTY of time to get ready and putz and read comics, the news, various blogs, AND get stuff like the dishes done in the morning. On the other, I normally hate morning. Hate waking up. Long to stay in bed. I'm not kidding, people... what happened to me?

And the last bit of news... I know some of you probably don't want to hear about this, especially in the form of a complaint but be advised I'm not complaining about my figure but some of the side-effects of having my figure... but... I've now lost so much weight that I hardly have any clothes that fit. I do have some, from like, 5 years ago that are nice enough for work if slightly out-dated. (I'm probably the only one who notices that. Flare-legs are always flattering.) Not only can I not afford to go buy a bunch of new clothes, but I'm afraid to buy a bunch of new clothes. What if this is a fluke? What if it doesn't stick? What if I get lazy again and stop working out and gain back 10-15lbs? It's crazy. I worked so hard. So very, very hard. I totally overhauled my diet, I severely limited my alcohol intake (from the girl who used to go through 2 bottles of wine a week on her own... yesterday I read about a surpressed NIH study that in the 70's uncovered the health benefits of red wine, at the end of the article the author says you should be drinking one-half to two glasses of alcohol a day. A DAY! Two glasses of alcohol a DAY?! I can't drink that much! I thought... WHO AM I?!?!), I have actually stuck to a workout schedule (mostly), I do research to make sure that I'm getting enough protein, enough vitamins and minerals and enough fat so that I can digest them. But now... now I've got my mother after me. "You've gotten too thin" she says. "We're worried you're not getting enough protein since you don't eat meat during the week" she says. "You're enjoying this too much" she says.

I'm enjoying this too much? What the hell does that mean, exactly? You're goddamn right I'm enjoying this! I worked VERY hard for this. (In November of last year I was comfortable in a 10, now I've dropped to a 4. I probably weigh in at around 110 but I'm only 5'2" and I wear a size 5 1/2 shoe - I was never meant to carry around much more weight than this, I don't think.) And you know, I did a lot of reading when I started this "journey". (I hate using that word, it's so cliche, but it fits.) And one of the things that I read was a blog post by Chris Pirillo, (Chris Pirillo, Chris Pirillo) a well-known blogger and technology writer. In it he makes a point of saying that you shouldn't necessarily listen to the people who love you when they decide "you've lost enough weight". I don't know if my parents are jealous of my success. It's possible. My mom has struggled with her weight all of her life. We both have this mental defect where even when we are quite in our targeted weight, or just slightly over, we feel like cows. Neither of us has (for the most part) ever been happy. I still look in the mirror and sometimes I'm almost positive that I'm not actually seeing the reality. I still look and see problem areas. But for the most part, now I'm happy. I need to work on toning up and that's coming along more slowly than the actual losing the weight part but it is happening. Point being, she's recently been struggling with losing weight and had some success but certainly not to my level. She's older (obviously, she's my mother... duh) so it's going slower and watching the way my parents eat I still see problems with serving size and pre-packaged foods. I guess it is possible she's jealous. And that it's that emotion that is driving her to harass me EVERY time she sees me. My Dad's taken to calling me "bony", and recently told me that I now have no ass. Which differs from when he told me I had a square ass in high school.*le sigh* I'm trying to shrug it off, I'm trying to assure her (repeatedly) that I AM actually eating and not skipping meals, I'm trying to let her know that I am doing research and working hard at making sure I'm getting proper nutrition. I'm not pasty-pale grey and malnourished-looking... I was able to donate blood last month, so I'm not anemic... what more does she want from me? Oh yes... to gain back at least 5lbs. *double le sigh*

One would think that now in my newer, sleeker form I'd be popular with the gentlemen, right? Uhm, not really. I guess it doesn't help that I've been a total homebody but when the thing that most of your friends are doing is drinking and that's one of the things you're trying to avoid, this is how it works out. I've been reading A LOT. (I have a blog entry brewing about The History of Love... I do, in fact, have to eat some of my words. Dammit. Just some though.) I've been watching a lot of movies, taking a lot of baths, making a lot of really nice dinners but I'm kind of missing out on the human interaction quotent. Most Friday and Saturday nights I spend at home, alone. (Which one would think would lead to more blog entries, but not so much.) So now I guess I need to develop my hobbies. Aside from reading and listening to NPR. And watching movies. Or walking to the theatre to watch movies. Or hanging out in the bookstore. I would love to sign up for ballet classes to help in my toning quest but I don't think I'm going to get a date there either. And then there's that whole funding issue popping up again. I've also been thinking of signing up for writing classes at indie bookstore in the bohemian neighborhood, but I think their schedule is about to have run its course. Mebbe I should do something sporty over the summer... volleyball league or soccer or something. But truth be told, I've never been the sporty sort. I dunno, I just got out of a relationship-thingie at the end of December and I'm working really hard at putting my life together which means I'm not really looking for a relationship since I know how I behave and that behavior is NOT conducive to what I'm trying to do. But a date once in a while would be nice. Kisses would be great. Makeouts are teh awesome and well... you can imagine what else I miss. I know I'll find my way through this. That things will keep getting better as long as I can hold it together and "fake it 'til I make it". But it's rough, and I'm a little lonely lately. I had some really close relationships at my last job and I don't think it's going to be the same at the new job. But maybe that's good.

Wow. That's quite the post. I think I've brought everybody up to date on what's going on in my universe. I'll try and make more time for this so I don't have to bombard y'all with ginormous posts. And stay tuned to see if Wikipedia is right and if you mention Chris Pirillo three times in your blog post, he'll come and comment! I hope it works! Bloody Mary never did. Puh.