Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Well Day

I woke up this morning determined to have a good, productive day.  I wasn't feeling great but I thought that if  I wore my favorite jeans AND my favorite shirt together, which I usually try to space out a little bit so I can enjoy my favorites for more than one day and usually hold off so long that my favorites are my least-worn clothes because I'm always saving them, I could really make myself feel better.  It worked.  
As is the custom now I got sent home from work at 10 am.  Only today I didn't go home, I set out to find another job.  I went to the unemployment office (where two other people who work where I work were doing the same thing, which should say something about our employer) thinking they might give me some direction.  As it turns out there was only one direction, not many as I had hoped, and that direction led me straight to a 2 pm appointment to take a test to be a census taker.  I had a few hours to kill before 2 pm.
I went and saw a friend whom I hadn't seen in a long time.  It was nice to see her a laugh at stupid or sad things for a while.  Then I got a newspaper and looked for other jobs (there are none unless you're a nurse or something that has to do with chickens or machinery, and I want nothing to do with either; nurse wouldn't be so bad...).  I went to lunch by myself and thumbed through the rest of the paper.  It was about 1:00 pm.  As I was thumbing I came across a list of community events for the day.  On that list was an Alzheimer's Family Support Group.  My mother has Alzheimer's, she also lives hundreds of miles away and I have a horrible time being so far from her and Dad.  I thought it would be nice to talk with some other people who are dealing with the same disaster.  Then I thought it would be nice if I could make it to the meeting.  It started at 2:00 pm.  I finished my lunch and hurried out the door.
There were only about four people at the meeting, all women, women much older than me. Most of them were there for their parents but one woman was there for her husband.  He was diagnosed with Alzheimer's when he was 57.  The woman said that that was about seven years ago.  I loved listening to her talk and how she handled her new life with this disease.  It helped me understand not only what is going on with Mom but also what it's like to be Dad.  Dad, I know you're probably reading this so I won't say a whole lot, but she was really great to talk to. She also quit giving him the Alzheimer's medication because it didn't seem to be doing any good, but she gives him Good 'n' Plenty's-the pink ones-in it's place because he liked taking it - they work a lot better.  It was a great group and I hope I get sent home from work next week so that I can go again.  
I left the meeting early so I could go take my census test.  It was fun like in "Alice's Restaurant" when they're all in jail, or were they getting drafted?, I can't remember that but they were playing with the pencils and stuff and having a great time, only in my version it was pens, cheap pens that said "U.S. Government" on the barrel, that I thought I would get to keep but didn't.  Another, different from those mentioned above, guy who works where I work was also there.  We laughed about how crazy the economy is and how we both ended up at an unemployment office in a tiny room with a tiny guy asking for his government pens back after such bright prospects in our younger days.  I ended up getting a 94% on my test, a little pamphlet about why the census is good, and assurance that I would be contacted if I pass the background check (which I will, Mom and Dad) and a census taker is needed in my area.  I'm holding my breath, U.S. Government.
Then I picked up Story and came home.  It was a pretty night, my favorite kind actually.  It was really nice out today, nearly 70 degrees, so it was warm.  There were storm clouds on one side of the sky and the setting sun on the other which made the light really soft and pretty and I opened the windows so the rainy air could blow in.  We ate some supper, he shoved some trains down his shirt for a while, as he likes to do these days, we went to church, came home and now he's in bed and I'm sitting in my bed listening to the thunder and wind outside, which is my favorite thing to do at night. 
 This is not much of a story, and probably not very interesting to read, but I wrote it because I started off this morning with no plan other than to have a good, productive day. Usually I try to plan everything out and make it all fit like a Tetris game, I know some of you know what I'm talking about.  My Mom would say that it was a good day because I "set my intention" on a good day.  My church friends would say that it was a good day because I allowed God to be in control.  I think that it's both, or maybe they're the same thing. Whatever it is I'm going to sleep thankful tonight, after being sent home from work after only two hours, sitting for hours at an unemployment office, eating lunch by myself, and going to a support group for family members dealing with a dread disease, and I just wanted to share that with all of you.  Life is amazing, so are my favorite jeans and favorite shirt, I feel like, in wearing them both on the same day, I've found some sort of formula for greatness.  I'm still probably going to space them out though.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Sick Day

I don't get really sick very often, for which I'm so thankful.  Right now is one of those rare times though and I'm going to try to remember now that I should be much more thankful when I'm well.  I'm not sure if  I was poisoned by something that I ate or if I caught some killer bug, or maybe my humors just got unbalanced somehow; I know I'm definitely feeling phlegmatic and a bit melancholy. Normally I wouldn't be here typing but my job, at which I raise money for various charities, has been sending us home two hours after we arrive if we don't "sell" $25 worth of clear consciouses per hour. Which means I went home at 10 am.  Normally this would make me panic about money and job security but today I thought it was a gift from God and welcomed it simply as that.   When I got home I crawled back in bed and slept for about four hours and now am facing picking Story up in two, which means I feel like I've wasted a whole Story-free day to get things done (the panic is setting in).  Not that there's anything to do, I just feel that if Story isn't here I should be taking advantage of things like having an open container sitting on the edge of the side table and getting on the computer without being mauled by little hands, both of which I'm doing right now so the day is not a total loss.  I feel a little better.  I think I'll go eat some Tums without hiding in a closet (Story's all-time favorite thing to eat is Tums, over candy and potato chips and everything) and maybe put a puzzle together on the floor, I never do puzzles but it's nice to have that option, or I could set the sugar bowl back on the counter for a few hours where it looks so nice but is filled with sugar and thus cannot be easily accessible.  I love Story like the sky is blue but a more active kid was never born.  Here's to sick days and daycare

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Hangover

I spend most of my free time, those precious hours between 8 PM and about 10 PM, watching movies. It's usually just the first part of them because, truth be told, I'm usually sound asleep by about 9 PM, and usually I'm disappointed because Justin's come home with some made-in-a-dorm-room slasher movie with lots of what looks like ketchup and no actual movie. I was looking forward to "The Hangover" because I'd seen the ads on TV and because it was actually released in theaters by a major motion picture company, but I figured I'd still fall asleep about half way through.  Not only did I make it through the whole thing, I've watched it about three times since that first viewing.
I'm not crazy about writing movie reviews or using this blog as a place to air my commentary about pop culture, but something has got to be said for "The Hangover."  It's hilarious.  I rarely see a movie that makes me laugh out loud, but I was nearly in tears watching this one, happy, funny tears.  I used to think many things were funny, and I laughed a lot.  The "Ernest" movies always made me laugh, but now I'm just irritated by them.  "Pure Luck" was hilarious when I was ten but now only makes me laugh when Martin Short gets bitten by the bee in the airplane.  I guess my sense of humor has changed.  Lots of things are humorous, but laugh-out-loud funny, no.  "The Hangover" was funny from beginning to end and not only that but it made me want to make three friends, get one of them engaged, go to Las Vegas, get slipped some roofies in my drink, and wake up with a tiger, a chicken, and a baby in my hotel room, and I've never had any desire to visit Las Vegas.
So, I've been thinking all week about something to write and I've not come up with anything.  This week, instead of just complaining about my life I thought, since I've got nothing new to complain about, I'd offer this public service: go see "The Hangover."  It will make you laugh, it will also make you want the soundtrack.  I think a lot of the songs are not actually on the soundtrack because there must be some law about putting the Baha Men and Danzig on one CD, but that will just make you want to go out and get an iTunes card and make your own soundtrack in honor of the movie.  It's awesome.  Go see it and let me know what you think. Watch the end credits too, tell me I'm not the only one who likes Flo Rida now.  

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Purpose of Trucks

It's hard to believe now that I lived 22 years of my life without a truck.  In the past I always thought that the decision to buy a truck was determined by over-inflated ego or an under-inflated sense of self-worth (you thought I was going to say something else didn't you?). Either of the personality extremes could justify one of those giant, gas guzzling, possibly camouflaged, definitely Rhino-lined monstrosities, but certainly necessity could not.  Looking back I think I assumed that anything with a motor could pull anything else with a motor.  I had never seen a Honda Accord pulling a John Deere tractor, but that was only because anyone with a John Deere tractor would never condescend to drive a Honda Accord.  And, again, I was completely wrong and I apologize belatedly and silently for all those negative attitudes and dirty looks one of these drivers may have received from me.  
Justin drives a truck, always has, and that was something I had to overcome when I first met him.  It took a while to realize that it wasn't just a style choice or masculinity choice on his part.  He truly needed a truck, not just for pulling things but for all kinds of various functions. I began to think, what did Mom and Dad do when they bought a piece of furniture?  What if something didn't fit in the trunk?  I always wondered why I never got one of those awesome Fisher-Price play kitchens when I was little.  It wasn't because my parents were cruel and wanted to deprive me of an outlet for my domestic tendencies as a five-year-old girl, it was because how on Earth would they have gotten the thing home?
Since I've known Justin we've moved about four times, first down here from Chicago, then to Dover, then to Russellville, then back here to Dover and never once was a moving van required. We just attached the trailer to the truck and moved on down the road.  
Of course, I still can't say that every family needs a truck for buying their kids awesome toys and moving about once a year.  It turns out that trucks are actually needed to pull equipment, you can't do it with a Honda.  First Justin had a Toyota truck that was cute and I liked it because it was kind of old and small and simple, like something that you'd use to drive through the forest, nothing fancy, just a truck.  When he bought the stump grinder he had to buy a bigger truck to pull it.  I know this because I've been in the Toyota when it was trying to pull something heavy and, you know, you could really tell there was something back there weighing it down.  The truck we have now is a good truck, it's a three-quarter ton and has all kinds of places on the dash that I think have something to do with trailer brakes or lights or both.  I've driven it without the trailer on the back and it's a tank. It's really fun to drive, when you're not running it out of gas on a huge hill, which I've also done.  When there is a trailer on the back you can tell a difference.  I watch Justin lower that trailer onto the hitch and it sets that truck down about half a foot, and I see now that a trailer with a stump grinder and a tractor would probably rip the engine, not to mention the entire back end, out of my Honda.  I see also that Justin has a point when he says he really needs an even larger truck.  
I like the truck we've got now, it's big and it is single-handedly destroying the environment but, like the Toyota, it's simple and functional.  Everything on there has a purpose.  The toolbox in the back is even full of tools, I thought those were probably for show too. Those brush guard things on the front of trucks?  You know, those big chrome casings that go over the lights? Those are actually for driving your truck though brush, and they do protect the lights from getting broken.  Justin actually needs one of those.  The lights that go over the cab of the truck? Those are so you can work even when it starts getting dark.  For those out there who are worried about their egos or self-worth there are all kinds of accessories you can get to make your truck look like a serious son-of-a-bitch (sorry Mom, I had to use that phrase, nothing else would sound as good, I tried), but there are also just simple guys trying to make a living who really do need tools and headlights that aren't broken and floodlights so they can fix their stump grinder in the dark.  Let that be a lesson to you, all you who are judgemental like me. Sometimes fashion is functional, and what is fashionable can also be functional, as I think of my wardrobe, so some men think of their trucks.