Thursday, March 31, 2011

What's next: you decide

Well hello there, readers! Miss me?  Do you still stop by in the vain hope that I might write something?  Sorry about that.  My well seems to have run a little bit dry lately.

But!  Now I have not just one but two, count 'em two ideas for posts, and I can't decide which one I want to write first.  And so I've decided to stage an informal poll.  Tell me in the comments section which you want to hear about first: bats or lightning. 

If it turns out I'm talking to myself (in other words, if no one answers me because they've all gone away to read the blogs of people who actually post on a regular basis, dammit), I'll probably just flip a coin.  Please don't make me go dig a coin out of my purse.

Friday, March 18, 2011

An exercise in restraint

I found coconut M&Ms at Target this week.  I bought a bag to bring with me when I go visit my parents at Easter.  Easter is four weeks away.  What's the likelihood that bag is gonna make it that long without getting opened?

Well, until I publish this, not very good.  As soon as I do, though, the chances of this bag making it into and Easter basket in upstate Pennsylvania will increase astronomically.  Here's why:
  1. My Mom and sister both read my blog, and I'm pretty sure I'll be seeing both of them in 4 weeks.  So they know these are coming.
  2. This is a holiday-specific flavor--like the mint ones that show up around Christmas--and they only make a limited amount of them.  I think they first made an appearance last Easter, and they went very fast.  I only heard a rumor of them but never found any.  Buying a second bag should the first on disappear down my gullet?  Probably not an option.
  3. I'm going to pack them into the bag I'm taking with me just as soon as I get home.  So I might forget I have them until it's time to pack for the trip (scoffs internally at one's naivete).  
I love playing mind games with myself.  I must.  I do it all the time.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Public service announcement

We interrupt this blog for a public service announcement:

Why are they still using lead in paint?  Especially in things that go in the mouth, for pity's sake?  What surprised me is that it isn't all from China, either.

I  guess the cat is safer playing with my wool and alpaca yarn, which she seems to prefer anyway.

No noodle soup for me, thanks

When I leave for lunch I usually go down the center aisle and either into the break room or out the front door, depending upon whether I've brought my lunch or am eating out.  On my way I pass lots of people in their cubicles, in various stages of eating lunch. Yesterday as I was making my way to my yogurt and soup I was struck by a bizarre sense of despair right there in the middle of the aisle.  It only lasted a moment. It slowed me down for a second, but I didn't stop and evaluate.  It was over almost as soon as it started.  I think I would have forgotten about it if it hadn't happened again today in exactly the same spot. 

Back when I'd just graduated college and was trying to simultaneously keep body and soul together, pay rent, appease the student loan people (who wanted their money right! now! dammit!), and find full-time work, this stuff was a huge staple in my pantry.  And by that I mean it was practically the only thing in my pantry.  I lived on it.  It's easy to make, doesn't require much in the way of kitchen clean-up afterward, and (most importantly) it's dirt cheap.  I think I used to get them 4 for a dollar at the local grocery store. Some weeks they were all I could afford.

This almost two-year state of lack of money/constant fear of illness/job-hunting/keeping the loan folks off my back felt like a deep dark hole I was never going to get out of.  Some days it was all I could do not to throw back my head and howl with frustration, despair, and rage.

It's exactly how I felt when I walked past Hui's cubicle yesterday, and again today.  I figured it out though.  Guess what she was eating for lunch?

Yup. Ramen noodle cup-a-soup. Come to think of it, I've never bought one pack of those things in the almost 20 years it's been since I could afford other food. 

Talk about smell being a powerful memory aid.  Ugh.  I think that until the weather gets warmer and it's too hot for soup, I'm going down the side-aisle to get out of the work room.  Don't want to burst into tears in the middle of the room just because of ramen noodles.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Very glad to be here

I had my annual review meeting on Wednesday, and I just got the written results about an hour ago.

The phrases "great skill," "strong contributions," and "I am very pleased" figure strongly in the letter from my department head (my supervisor retired in December, so our head is doing these all by herself. I do not envy her). There's a lot of "very" in there, and "excellent" shows up at least half a dozen times. I'm over here blushing.


To celebrate (even though I was gonna do it anyway, before she gave me my letter) I'm going to the $1 cinema tomorrow to finally see the latest Harry Potter movie. After that I'm buying myself a book at Barnes & Noble--The Langauge of Bees, by Laurie R. King. I was going to wait until the one after it was available in paperback and get them both at once, but I just decided I want it now.

I am constantly surprised by how easy it is to please my current boss(es). Points out to me (again) that the place I used to work, where they treated me alternately as an idiot or a very bright 8-year-old, was right smack in the middle of Crazytown.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Happy 1st day of spring!

Someone I follow on twitter is a meteorologist. I don't know if he works for Accu-Weather or is part of a university meteorology department, but today he wished us all a happy first day of meteorological spring. It seems that we don't have to wait the 20th or 21st for spring to start, it just did. Huzzah!

I'm starting to scheme about my garden. A woman at work is selling Easter candy and flower seeds/bulbs as a fundraiser for her daughter's elementary school, and I bought some. Flowers, I mean. I bought one of those seed mat things, where you cut it out to the shape you want and just lay it out in your garden, water it, and stuff grows. You know what I mean? I got the one for the butterfly garden. Going to plant it under the living room window, give Sophie something to look at all summer.

I also bought ranunculus bulbs. Really pretty. They look to me like a cabbage rose. Here, I went Googling and found some pictures. Here's what I mean. They're perennial, and they take sun and partial shade. And apparently they taste nasty, so the chipmunks (or whatever's been munching on my garden) will leave them alone. Sounds like a keeper to me, provided they'll grow for me.

I'm also thinking of planting pennyroyal in the bed, to keep beetles and ants away. I have no idea if it'll work.

I just went and looked up pennyroyal. Maybe I won't be planting that. It's a touch too poisonous. Don't want to accidentally kill a neighbor's dog.

Anyway, spring fever has set in over here. Looking forward to the day I can turn off the heat. How is everyone else?