Friday, October 28, 2011


Are Fridays universally appealing?  Are there people who do not like Fridays?

I have made my to-do list for the weekend, I'm scrambling like a fool to try to get work done so I don't have to do anything this weekend, I'm writing a blog post ...  and yet, tonight when I get home I will likely be asleep before midnight.

Why?  Because it's Friday.

I can sleep in on Saturday morning, yet Friday night is typically the night I fall asleep the earliest.  It's usually a combination of the horrid work week and the fact that I don't feel hurried to get stuff done on Friday night, unlike Sunday - Thursday.  I can do that stuff over the weekend (which inevitably translates into Sunday night).

Sunday night on the other hand, I rarely sleep well.  I fight the start of the work week tooth and nail.  I don't want to give up on my weekend.  I want to enjoy every last minute.  Even though inevitably this means I'm tired all day on Monday.  I am not going to give in!  They'll never take me alive!

TGIF.  I'm ready for this weekend.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Do you have a verbal filter?  That thing in your head that catches inappropriate / rude / mean / silly / what-have-you comments as they leave your brain on the way to your mouth?

I think mine is made of carbon fiber.  Or maybe titanium.  It’s seriously industrial strength.

Sometimes this is a good thing.  It certainly helps in the work place while dealing with day-to-day issues.  I am able to be diplomatic because the stuff I want to say (such as “are you bleeping kidding me?”) end up translated into polite speech (such as “I think this deadline is going to present challenges.”). 

In the rest of my life, it can be helpful.  I mean, it’s good not to be mean and offend people, especially when you’re just cranky and inclined to be snippy. 

But I often wish it would go away.  My filter is so strong it can keep me from expressing what I really want.  Sometimes that is good, too – I mean, you can’t always get what you want.  And being selfish is not really a quality people look for in friends.   (At least, I’ve never heard anyone express that desire.)

I recognize that my filter is part of me.  It’s ingrained in me.  It’s how I was raised.  I don’t know how to turn it off, generally speaking.

(Of course, if I am on prescription medicine – or have had a few drinks – it goes away in a poof of smoke!  But that’s not really practical in every day life.)

I admire those who are not only in touch with their emotions, but are able to express them appropriately.  Maybe one day I’ll be there.  Guess we’ll see!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Facebook has ruined birthdays

I think Facebook birthday reminders are crap.  (Yeah, I said it.)  They have de-humanized birthdays.

What does saying "Happy Birthday" mean to you?  To me, it is a way to acknowledge someone because I care about them.  They mean something to me.  I have written down their birthday on my calendar, and I want to show them that they are important to me.

In my opinion, responding to an automated reminder has the opposite meaning.  It reflects "I saw your birthday is today" or perhaps "Hey all these other people are telling you happy birthday, so I will too."

Is this always the case?  I'm sure it isn't, and that some people are quite sincere in their birthday wishes.  But it rubs me the wrong way, and I abstain from responding to it. 

I will post a birthday wish from time to time for people I'm not going to see in person.  But usually it's someone whose birthday is on my calendar, so I feel ethically okay doing so.

It is, aside from privacy policy issues and how often they jack with the news feed, my least favorite thing about Facebook.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


At times, I am a fringe member of the literati.  (I like big words, and I cannot lie.)

I enjoy literature.  I majored in it in college.  I love to read.  I am relatively well-read, though I by no means have read everything. 

But I have to tell you, as much as all of that has trained me to recognize quality literature, that doesn't mean I like it all.

For example, there are two "classic" novels that I absolutely, positively detest and would have to be paid a lot of money to read again:  Lord of the Flies by William Golding and Tess of the d'Urbervilles (aka Tess the Twit in my head) by Thomas Hardy.

Are Golding and Hardy good writers?  Yes, of course.  They produce quality work.  Do I like these books?  Hell no! 

The behavior of the boys in Lord of the Flies (cause it's a very male world, except when a wild animal comes along for a figurative rape) is savage and despicable.  I had a visceral reaction to it, one of repugnance.  (Low brow translation:  it totally made me want to barf.)  I have no desire to re-experience it.

Tess in Tess the Twit Tess of the d'Urbervilles makes one horrible decision after another.  I find her entirely unsympathetic, which is no small feat for a character whose pivotal moment is being sexually assaulted.  I would say this is due to a male author not writing a believable woman, but there are a couple of numbskull men involved as well.  Unfortunately it's just one big cautionary tale about the plight of the lower class in 19th century England that does not work for me.

So what books do I like?  Well, my two favorite novels happen to be of the highest quality:  To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee & Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.  Both written by women, which possibly influenced my selections. 

But that is not to say I don't read "crap" as well.  I like what I like, and I'm confident enough that I don't particularly care if someone else approves or not.  I have read more than my share of books for critical reasons; now I get to read what I want to read!

Man, now I just want to go home and read. 

Friday, October 14, 2011


Disclaimer:  I am not currently nor have I ever been married.

I simply do not understand why weddings have become so ridiculous.

The average cost of a wedding in the United States is now $26,500, according to my bff google.  For comparison, this is slightly less than the average price of a new car in the U.S.  Or if you prefer, it is also equivalent to a 15% down payment on a $176,000 home.

$26,500.  For a celebration on one day of your life.  Scratch that, a handful of hours on one day of your life.  And theoretically pictures and/or video for the rest of your life. 

Of course, the average duration of a marriage in the U.S. is 8 years.   (Yes, it can be much longer … or much shorter.  It’s just an average, not a commentary.)

The average price of a wedding dress is $1,500.  I mean, I love wedding dresses - they are beautiful.  But is a $1,500 dress really that much prettier than a $500 dress?  I don't know - I guess it depends.

I am happy for people who love each other so much that they want to commit to one another.  I just don't think that you have to spend this much money to do so.  If you just have the money sitting around, good for you.  Spend it how you like.  But it doesn't matter if you spend $5,000 or $50,000 - you're not any more "married" than anyone else.

One thing I don't enjoy at all is the drama that surrounds weddings.  The stress, the dealing with family that doesn't always get along or has different expectations / wants, the work and hours required for picking things from invitations to locations to what have you.  It is just bonkers.  How does any of that help you proclaim to the world that you love someone enough to be legally and/or spiritually bound to them?  

I still maintain that if I ever do get married, I want to have a destination wedding (which is basically a fancy way of saying I want to elope).  Less drama, less arguing about what "should" happen.  I can have a party when I get back.  And keep the other $20,000 in my pocket.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Voices in my head, pt 1

I am a quick learner when something interests me.  But if I know that learning something (and by "something" today I mean: software) will lead me to change how I do something, or add to my ever-growing list of responsibilities, I am more stubborn than a mule.

(I have to say "more" stubborn than a mule because my standard status is "as" stubborn as a mule.)

I'm in the middle of a conversation with myself about this.  I have lots of conversations with myself.  They are fun (especially if I've been drinking).  I also can make myself laugh pretty easily - but that's another post.

An excerpt from the voices in my head:

This is stupid.
You're totally right.  This IS stupid.  But we have to do it anyway.
Why?  We could just quit.
Yeah, and how would we pay for important things - like video games, cat food, GenCon? 
Haven't figured that out yet.
Let me know if you do.
Why can't we just be retired already?  Or independently wealthy?
Cause that's what our parents get to do now, when they aren't busy pointing at us and laughing.
Oh yeah.  ... Jerks.
Shut up, you love those jerks.
So, they're still jerks.
Sigh... fine.  Whatever.  I've got to get back to work now.
No, you should totally blog about this.
Will that shut you up.
... For now.


I believe this will be part 1 in a series.  Mostly because I got the other voice to shut up with this bribe.

Monday, October 3, 2011

I love October

I love October.  It's my favorite month of the year!

There are lots of good things that happen in October.  My sister's birthday.  My birthday.  My parents anniversary.  Halloween.

All of those are fun.  But really, I love October because of the weather.

I don't enjoy the summer because I don't like being hot.  You can always put more clothes on if it's cold, but there are only so many you can take off if it's hot.  October yields actual fall weather in Texas.  (We hit 100 degrees last week, for presumably the last time this year.)

The trees do change colors here, but sort of instantly.  I have a Bradford Pear tree in my front yard, and it is a gorgeous shade of red for precisely six days in the fall.  Then all those leaves are on my grass instead of the tree.  It's a go-out-of-town-and-you'll-miss-it event.

My air conditioner also enjoys the cooler weather.  It gets about 6 weeks of little work between ridiculously hot weather and weather you might need the heater on for.

The first weekend in October has come and gone, and I intend to savor the remaining four!