Friday, June 28, 2013

Unpopular Opinion

     This is my opinion for what that is worth, and I have no desire to offend anyone in the sisterhood know...women!
     I've been thinking, for awhile now, about this subject, due to a couple of books I have read and personal observation....
     Bad boys. I could write for days about the vampire craze and when in the world did "horror" figures become romanticized, and why? But I won't go there, as it is fairly obvious that I am mostly a "lone wolf" on the subject. For all of my dear friends and readers (if indeed I have any readers), who feel differently, that's fine. We can still be friends!! We maybe just can't discuss vampires.
     Or "50 Shades of Grey". I'm almost embarrassed to admit that I read it. All three books. I wasn't going to. I KNEW it would be a mistake, but there was all that HYPE, and so many people RAVING about it, and my curiosity got the best of me. After I was done hating the first one, I read the second, thinking that with all that raving going on, surely it would get better. Not, but I hung in there until the bitter end.
     Which brings us back to "bad boys". What is it with us girls and "bad boys"? I count myself in, btw, but after years of blood, sweat, and experience, I have an entirely different view.
     It seems like "we" like the "bad boys", but then we want them to be good boyfriends, partners, husbands. Reality is, a bad boy is going to be a bad boyfriend, partner, husband, and then we're  surprised by that!  The other side of the coin: "oh, he's too NICE." I know, right? How tragic would that be, to be with someone who is NICE to us?!
     I haven't always been a big fan of reality.  Isn't there a song that says something about, reality is a nice place to visit, but I don't want to live there? I dig fantasy and escapism myself, but it doesn't hurt to visit reality once in awhile. It is my own "lone wolf" opinion that all those "romance" novels (which I refuse to read anymore, although they were once my first choice for reading material) are a disservice. Honestly, the whole formula (that is wildly popular and obviously works) seems ridiculous to me. "I hate you, but I have to have you!" And i'm pretty sure that ordinary folks who aren't astoundingly attractive or unbelievably wealthy can have love and happy lives. I am almost always more interested in the side stories going on and want to know more about THEM. Besides all that, it perpetuates the whole myth of the "bad boy" guy who is secretly not so bad or is just misunderstood and eventually turns into this fabulous romantic husband. Sometimes i'm afraid that my eyes are going to stay stuck in the back of my head, I roll them so hard! 
   Make that a double for "50 shades". I KNOW I am going to get grief for this, as I have some VERY good friends who I love SO much who loved this story. (I see that it is being made into a "big screen" movie!!!!) ????  The idea that this man who is SOOO irreversibly much so that an entire childhood-into-adulthood with a wonderful stable family and ALLLLL those years of intensive, expensive therapy didn't help overcome the first four years of his going to be changed by a not very interesting girl is so ludicrous to me!
     Honest injun, I don't know what planet I came from, but I just don't get it.
I do love the saying "follow your heart, but take your head with you". I wish we could actually believe that. Our "hearts" and "feelings" are unreliable and subject to being misled by hormones and brain chemistry blips.
     *end of rant

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A "C" essay for your reading pleasure

Yes, that is a shoe on the table behind my laptop and coffee cup. That shoe makes me happy and cheers me up while i'm doing homework.
This essay that i'm about to post is one of my famous "C" grade essays, but I don't turn it in until tomorrow. Here I am at 10 pm, attempting to polish it up! So, you get a sneak preview. Who knows, it may even be a "FAIL" essay and I just don't know it yet.
This is a "definition" essay, and the subject is "artistic endeavor".  The professor warned us that this was a tough subject and that we would be better off choosing "respect" or "freedom", but me being me, I had to go for the one that I was warned off of! We will see how THAT goes. Drum roll please, and here we go!
     "If one were to look up the word "art" in a dictionary-Webster's New Compact Desk  Dictionary, for example-one would be faced with ambiguity. There are no less than ten entries in the aforementioned dictionary under the heading of "art". Number one is "human creativity" and number ten says ""sly trick;wile". To learn more about the concept of art, one might look up "The Arts". This would be an exercise in futility. There is no such entry in Webster's New Compact Desk Dictionary.  Google would be a better source of information on "The Arts", and would surely lead one to the knowledgeable Wikipedia, which states that "The arts are a vast subdivision of culture , composed of many endeavors (or artforms) united by their employment of the human creative impulse." That clears the issue up, doesn't it? If one were to wonder what is meant by "artistic endeavor", looking it up in the dictionary or on Google would leave one none the wiser, as well. A little detective work and research, however, could yield information that would "paint a picture" so to speak of what is meant by "artistic endeavor".  The definitions for both "art" and "the arts" make mention of human creativity. The definition in Webster's New Compact Desk Dictionary for endeavor says "en-deav-or, vi, to make an earnest attempt; try: usually with an infinitive." One might surmise, then, that a definition for "artistic endeavor" would be "to attempt to create".
    Paint and canvas easily come to mind when considering art and the act of creating. One might even think of Thomas Kincaid, The Painter of Light, who obviously knew about artistic endeavors. Whether or not a painting ends up in a gallery or is offered for sale online for thousands of dollars, it is the act of applying paint to canvas that constitutes an artistic endeavor. The canvas one employs could be, besides the traditional kind" a cabinet door, a garden bench, a t-shirt, or even a wall. Perhaps one's paint has been purchased in tubes large or small, in squeeze bottles, in a gallon bucket, or even contained in a spray can. The tool for delivering the paint to the canvas might be a brush, a wadded up rag, or the bottom of one's foot. Regardless of the end result, the process, beginning with a squeeze of a paint tube and ending with a desired result, is an artistic endeavor. It is an attempt to create.
     Fabric, needles, thread, and yarn are all materials that could be used in the act of creating. A bolt of fabric doesn't turn into a garment or a quilt by magic alone. Currently, clothing is most often mass produced in factories, but there are some individuals who still, with the help of some scissors, needles, and thread, turn a length of fabric into a garment. Others do the same, but the end result might be a quilt.  Yarn and knitting or crochet needles are useful when creating hats and scarves and sweaters. Whether it occurs that the sweater has a dropped stitch in row three on the left arm, is unraveled and reverted back into a tangled ball, or is sold on Etsy for $30, the first stitch signals an attempt to create.
     What about dinner? If one is interested in a meal beyond what can be purchased in the Burger King drive through or in the frozen foods section of the grocery store, some creating must take place. An assortment of ingredients must be gathered, prepared and blended together to create a meal. Those ingredients might be ground beef, onion, bell pepper, an egg, bread crumbs and salsa for meatloaf, or blueberries, chicken breasts, and Velveeta cheese for Blueberry Chicken with Queso. One would hope for an end result that is pleasing to the eye and to the palate, but if it's final destination is the family Rottweiler's food dish, an attempt to create has taken place.
     A blank sheet of paper and a pen laying on a desk might not look like much, but should a person gather those materials, along with some thoughts and some words,  an attempt to create could be imminent. One might choose to begin the 5-7-5 meter of a haiku, or the rhyme of poetry. A short story might be taking shape, or a family newsletter being drafted.
     The term "artistic endeavor" can be loosely translated as "an attempt to create".  Applying paint to canvas, piecing together fabric shapes, choosing and combining ingredients to form a meal, and stringing words together in a piece of writing could all be considered to be a manifestation of an attempt to create. Human creativity is at the heart of art. . The definition for art is vague, and open to individual interpretation.  To paraphrase a popular saying, "One man's trash is another man's art."  
Ok, well, the conclusion is weak. I'm going to let it stew overnight, and get up EARLY in the morning to finalize it. Anyone with thoughts or suggestions, please pipe up before 5 Am.
A dozen quacks!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Oh my stars and squares

 I am from the star shaped land of fun. If you don't know where that is, check out Mark Gungor's video on youtube, A Tale of Two Brains. He is sooo funny, and right on, too. It is ridiculous how we as human beings complicate every dang thing, including relationships. Anyway, he explains the star shaped land of fun, which is where I come from.  
 Mark also talks about that square shaped land, which is where the Chief is from. It's the controlling git r done land. Not controlling, in the sense of controlling ME, just to clarify.  It makes me laugh when Mark talks about the bulldozer being the square's favorite vehicle, and how they don't care who they kill as long as they are gettin' it done, because that so describes my hubs.
    This is why I blame the Chief for my current quandary of unfun summer school. I had not planned on summer school. I was just going to have FUN this summer, and pick up again in the fall. But then the Chief said: Why not just git r done? Take the summer session, and GIT R DONE!
    So. I am gettin' r done, but not having a lot of fun in the process.
I'm not having much fun today, either. Big Chief Get R Done is home, and he has decided to clean up the computer. That means, he is deleting things that don't make sense to him, and so who knows whether or not the computer will actually operate when he's done. He once deleted the entire operating system off of a prior computer! Fortunately, we still had the disc to reinstall.
   Me, i'm supposed to be studying some algebra and figuring out my next essay. It's a "definition" essay, and the subject is "artistic endeavor". I'm actually jazzed about the subject, but as a star shaped free spirit, I don't want to fit into the box of "intro paragraph with thesis statement, supporting paragraphs, conclusion" that is a Freshman essay. So instead i'm making a blog post, again without pictures, about not much! Procrastination at it's finest!
 One thing for sure that I have learned, before fun comes work. I have no real idea what I am doing or where I am headed, and i'm just taking it on faith that I will figure it out in the process, and that someday, i'll be doing SOMETHING to earn a wage, the Chief can come home from the oil patch and get a reasonable type job, and we will get to have more fun!
In the meantime, two of my duckies had birthdays this month and are now 27 and 29, and how is that even possible??

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Negative Infinity Cubed. And diced. Maybe shredded, too.

I sort of regret that my posts don't have pictures. All the really good ones do. On the other hand, I don't care enough to take the time to learn how to take good pics/post them on the blog, evidently!

So, here I am, catching up. I meant to write a "Joey" tribute on the first anniversary of his death. (June 11.) However, I ended up having a mini-melt down instead. Plus, I had hours and hours of homework. And then my daddy died THE VERY NEXT DAY!

My daddy died.

One year and one day after Joey died.


It was time for daddy to go. He was so sick and so miserable, and he was at peace. Still, one never really wants to lose a parent, even when one is well aware that nobody is immortal.
I don't think that I have really fully absorbed that I won't ever again see him in his recliner, or shuffling to the bathroom, or hear him calling my mama "Sugar". 

The timing was just so crazy!! Through the whole ordeal, I often had "deja vu" moments. He passed on June 12. Joey died on June 11.  Services for him were the day before Father's Day, and the day before Christopher's birthday. Joey's funeral was the day AFTER Father's Day, two days after Chris's birthday. Same time last year. So weird!

I came home from that to an algebra test! That, naturally, I did not study for. I had other things going on, ya know.

Speaking of Algebra....

Summer school was the worst idea ever!!!! And I may have the worst instructor ever! It occurs to me that I am paying him to teach me algebra. So teach me already!!! Golly gee willikers! This is how it goes: he gives us a brief outline of the very basics out of two chapters every day. Every! Day! And then I come home and do homework online. Two chapters worth. And guess what!! The problems on the homework bear very little resemblance to what he showed us!! Fortunately, there is a feature that says "see similar problem", which shows me how to work through that kind of problem, and that is how I have been teaching myself. It takes HOURS, though!! I spend four hours a day, M-Th, in class (English, then math) and then I have at LEAST 4-6 hours of math homework, plus English! In doing my homework today, the "see similar problem" feature is GONE, so I was clueless, missed half of the problems, and at this point I! DON'T! CARE! I just want to be done! I don't even care if I FAIL! I'll take the class again during the regular semester, have a basic idea of what's going on, and maybe just maybe have a chance to actually learn this stuff.
And then there is English. I honestly thought that this class was going to be an easy A. Silly me. This isn't high school. And anyway, high school was thirty years ago.  I do well on the grammar portion, although I have forgotten some of the rules. I am VERY frustrated with the writing portion! I really don't know what this man wants from me, to start with! We have a book explaining the different kinds of essays, with samples of each kind. Except, the samples were written by professional writers, they break the rules, and are not Freshman essays, so we can't write like that. SO WHY are we using them for EXAMPLES??? Anywho, I got a c+ on my first essay, and after I cried and fussed and fumed, I had to admit that was probably generous. After all, I wrote the thing in the middle of two nights, after all that algebra, and it kind of sucked. I'm sure the one I turned in won't be all that much better, because I just remembered a sentence fragment in there that I meant to correct and never did. I am not crazy about formal writing. At all. (Sentence fragment.)

The good book says, God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble.
This college thing is humbling! And I am not as smart as I thought I was. Which is pretty pathetic when you consider that I never thought I was all that brilliant. I did think I could write an essay without any problem, though.

So. I don't care. I DON'T CARE!! If I have to do them over, I just do. A waste of $600 bucks and a month I could have been going swimming and to the park with my grandkid, but ya live and you learn!
I don't cook, I don't clean, I don't do anything but go to school and do homework. Over and over. I eat what ever is put in front of me, and I am gaining my Freshman 15, I think!
Also, I completely lost my sense of humor for a minute or two, but I think it's coming back!

My daddy died. One year and one day after my baby duck, Joey.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Just Numbers!

     When I stepped on the scale, it said that I now weigh 0.0 lbs. That can't be right, can it?? I'm thinking that the battery might be on the blink. It's maddening, not knowing exactly what I weigh on any given day. It's an obsession, and not necessarily a healthy one.
     I was reading a weight loss blog post this morning, and the writer was saying that she has always told others what she weights, because it is just a number. I thought, right on, and began mulling that over. She's right, it is just a number, and many of us have read that quote saying something about how the scale just tells us what we weigh, not what kind of person we are, and we all think, "Ya! That's right!", but how many of us really believe that for ourselves?
     I've often wondered why many women are so secretive about their age. That is one number that I, personally, am not hung up on. But, unless a person is in my weight loss group, I don't really want to say what the scale says out loud. Or what size my clothing is. I'm suddenly feeling very silly about that. I mean, WHO CARES?? If another person is going to think badly of me, criticize or make fun of me for what I weigh or what size I wear, that says much more about them than it does about me. Life is far too short to give so much power to what other people might think of us! At least, for shallow ridiculous reasons.  I have a great husby that likes me, my children think I rock, I have a lot of friends who love me, no matter how old I am, how much I weigh, or what my bank balance is! Who else matters, as far as secular matters go? Oh, right? Nobody!
     So this morning, I am here to hurtle over that hang up right now!

My numbers are:
Age: 48  I want credit for living every one of those years, and I don't get why many women are so hung up on that! Isn't aging a natural progression of life? Why is there this idea that aging is somehow bad or shameful? The higher the number, the more we have survived!

Height: 5' 2" Hobbit stature

Weight: 175  I don't really care for that number, but that's the truth of it! Why don't we want to say what we weigh? It's not like others can't look at us and make a good guess! What do we think we are keeping so secret, and why does it matter so much?? You may have heard, obesity is epidemic and magazine models are airbrushed and whatnot. My highest weight was 230. The people who loved me for me still loved me. Many are glad that I've made the effort to reduce that number. but for health reasons.

Pounds lost: 55, and it's taken about 2.5 years, which is a long time, but who cares, it's still happened.
Size: 14 
Healthy weight: 130-140

Shoe size: 7.5 wide

I have 1300 in savings, I've had 3 husbands, (which i'm not so proud of, but is the truth), and I drink about 5 cups of coffee in the morning, AND I have a 94 average in Algebra.

I'm sure there are more, but I have to take Savanna to work. Does any
one like me less now?


Thursday, June 6, 2013

Summer school...a good thing, or not?

I'm not entirely sure that summer school was the best idea ever. I keep changing my mind about that. Monday morning, I would have said that, yes, it was an excellent idea. By Monday evening, I was ready to give up on this college adventure altogether!
Imagine, if you will, what a relief it was to finish the Algebra class that I did not want to take, to have earned an A+, and to feel so accomplished and yet so free! DONE! Algebra conquered! Moving right a long now...
Only to then learn, on the first day of summer school, that oh, well, nobody bothered to clarify this for you, but surprise! You have two more semesters of math to do before you can be done! WHAAA?
If there is one thing I've learned along this college going trail, it's that college personnel don't really want to help you. They pretty much want to give out as little information as possible,and for you to leave them alone and figure it out for yourself!
I was sitting in  my adviser's office Monday afternoon, faced with a choice that  had to be made immediately! Everyone knows that making decisions of this magnitude is a lengthy process of thinking, rethinking, and thinking again! But yet, here he was telling me that I had to decide right that minute if I was going to drop English, or add math! So what I did was panic, and enrolled in math, pulling the money from savings..IE, Joey's headstone fund.
Naturally, only one math class had one opening, and therefore, I had to change English classes. That means that the one class that I did attend was just a waste of time, and by the way, the book that I had purchased for that class is nonreturnable! I had to buy a different book for the new English class! Then I was a day behind in BOTH classes, and a day in summer session is equal to a week! I've been scrambling to catch up, and "scrambling" and "math" don't go well together!
Thus far, i'm glad for the change of English classes. I very much liked that first professor, but the class had a very casual, unstructured feel to it, and we were plunked down in front of computers. In the new class, the professor is actually the head of the department, funny and charismatic, but more formal and structured...and the books we are using are way more interesting. Mr. P is very intellectual and knowledgeable about a variety of things, which is both fascinating and intimidating.
The math class on the other hand....! As Savanna would say, to the garbage with that, yo! I hate it soooo much!! I hate it more than I hated last semester! I hate that we are using an online program. I hate that the class is casual and unstructured and chaotic, and I hate that I have a couple of mediocre homework grades, not because of the Algebra, but because of issues with the computer and program! Click the wrong box just trying to get the stupid thing to CLICK, even though you knew the right answer..BEEEP! WRONG! I miss my little Japanese professor! I miss the traditional classroom setting! This is why I did NOT opt for online classes to start with!
Besides sitting in a classroom for 4 hours every day, I also have 5 or 6 hours of homework daily. So the next month is all about school!
I'm fairly certain that if I had known up front about the math, I would have skipped the summer session. On the other hand, I do enjoy an adrenaline rush and a good challenge!
Also, I am keeping very, very busy. There is not much time to dwell on that elephant in the room that we are all circling around, looking at then glancing away from, grappling with the reality of.... at this very moment, one year ago, we were living Joey's last week of life and had no clue.
I don't know if there is a "right" way to deal with that, but I choose to remember but not to dwell, to continue to make the daily choice not to be sucked into the shadows from which there may be no return, but to walk in the light, and to pass Algebra once again.

Quack Quack!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Dish soap matters

I vehemently dislike the washing of dishes. And housekeeping in general. It's just all so mindless, and has to be done over and over and over again! It's never finished! This dislike of repetitive gruntwork has caused me to feel bad about myself. If I were a real, feminine woman, wouldn't I be all domestic??  But frankly, I just don't care anymore, which is one of the perks of having lived past 40. I'm still a goddess, just not a domestic one, and I'm almost sure that I have other redeeming qualities. Concerning dish washing: someone has to do it, regardless of how loathsome it may be, and that someone is me! I did get this handy dandy new dishwasher for my birthday recently.....

It's a real thrill that it actually cleans the dishes without them having to be washed by hand first! My old dishwasher was basically a handy storage place for clean dishes. That way, I didn't have to dry them and put them away, you see! 
Still, there are items that don't fit, or not dishwasher safe, and therefore must be hand washed. 

See my coffee cup shelf? Think I have enough? It amazes me how quickly this duck family goes through those cups. 

I generally just use plain blue Dawn. It works well, and I can use it on other things, like greasy oilfield laundry. Sometimes, though, I decide to try something new, just cuz I'm a girl. And also, hoping that those who claim to be allergic to Dawn will give it a try. 

No luck there! And I haven't gotten the same results with the new stuff....until now! 

(Cue celestial music)

This Clorox green works dishsoap is magic! 

Lest ye think otherwise, the folks at Clorox have not a clue of my existence , and have not paid me to plug their product.

This dishsoap works beautifully, cuts the grease and cleans the dishes, and I don't have to change my water 50 times. And plus it smells sooo good! Fresh and clean and spa like, it is a sensory delight, and makes the chore of washing dishes remarkably less awful. 


Sunday, June 2, 2013

About books, and a review

This is my Kindle. I love it. My dude, the Big Chief, gave it to me.

This is a small sampling of my book collection. I love my books, too. The Big Chief used to surprise me with books, but not since the Kindle came into my life. I miss the books.
I just read a story inhabited by vampires and witches and daemons and humans. I wasn't really loving it, but then there was this description of daemon characteristics. (Don't ask me what a daemon is, because I don't know. But my spellchecker recognizes the word.) "blazing arguments, frantic activity, or dangerous depressions". They sound bipolar, right? As a person in the bipolar-spere, I was interested to see how that played out, but it just didn't. Humans are dull and stupid, daemons are bipolar and unbalanced, and the witches and vampires are the bomb diggety. They are not supposed to associate, but of course the witch and vampire fall in love. Incidentally, the witch is a twit who takes herself far too seriously. Other than that, the story was way too long and involved, there was a confusing array of characters, and it took a couple of left turns that left me wondering if I was still in the same story! I don't care enough to see what happens in the sequel. Not my most satisfying reading experience!  
I've just decided that my next book is going to be an actual paper-and-ink-betweentwocovers book! 
Quack quack!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Ta-da! Here is my blog! More to come! As soon as I get this all figured out! Quack!