Salvaging September

Not that there has been anything particularly wrong with this month- just that I seem to have been seriously slacking on the updating-of-the-blog front.  And not because post-worthy things (and writings) haven't been happening.  No, it's just been one of those months where I think, "Oh that will make a good blog post!" and then I just... don't get around to it.

But check me out, all 'round to it!

I'm feeling more and more comfortable in my role as commuter-cyclist, to the point where I am beginning to acquire paraphernalia.  Yep, I took a walk on my lunch break the other day, and ended up lugging a floor pump back to the office, where I cheerfully strapped it to my little rack and took it home.  Nathan, who'd had a flat tire, was thrilled with the investment.  More evidence of my total assimilation?  My holiday-wish-list is starting to become peppered with items like "skirt guard" and "panniers".  Yes Ladies and Gentlemen, my bike is more than just a passing craze. (Expense justified!  Woo!)

We are making incremental progress on the house: both the ceiling and the walls of the master-bedroom are now painted pale blue and yellow, respectively (although the ceiling-fan remains sitting in its box down in the still-chaotic "crafting-nook"), and we installed the extra shelf in the master-bathroom, so I now have a place to put everything in there without resorting to cardboard boxes.  There is still a long, long list of little tweaks and improvements and personalizations, but hey- we've got years.

Speaking of years, it's been eleven months since I first started really writing my "novel" (and I still feel compelled to put it in quotes), and I am in the middle of getting feedback from the second draft.  So far it's pretty much looking like I need to just entirely re-write the first section, which is depressing.  I hate to admit it, but I'm so sick of the story I just want to burn it.

But I won't.

In happier creative-news, I've gotten about 10,000 words into the Sleeping Beauty book, and I'm liking it just ever so much (we'll see how I feel in about 70,000 more words... although truthfully I think it will end up longer than the Crow book...), and I've been laying some serious ground-work for this year's NaNo book.  Expect excerpts...

But back to Home Owner Adventures: our oven sort of semi-imploded the other day, which, let me tell you, was excitement all around.  Fortunately a home warranty was part of the deal when we bought this house, so all we had to do was call them up and they'd take care of it.

In their own sweet time, apparently.

The oven did its scary-thing on Sunday, but no one came out to look at it until yesterday (that would be Thursday).  And the verdict?  Special parts needs must be ordered, so we can fully expect to be without a functioning oven until 10/11.  A good sixteen days.  Awesome.

Fortunately some wonderful friends had us over for dinner that first night, and we've been relying quite a bit on the grill since then.  And no-cook meals, of course, like bread-and-meat-and-cheese-and-fruit platters.  And, um, ordering pizza...

Speaking of not cooking (see, so many things to write about!) I've also gotten seriously hooked on green monster smoothies.  Holy guacamole, they're delicious!  Plus it's fun to experiment with flavors...  Possibly I will be rambling on about this subject more in the future (with product-shots, naturally).

And that... ought to cover it for the latter-part-of-September ramblings.  I actually do have another post percolating in my brain, but it involves scanning a drawing and that seems like an awful lot of effort at the moment.  (What can I say- it's Friday and I'm a bit wiped)

'Til next time, Gentle Readers!


Color Me Alexander

Which is to say I am having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

Except I'm not.

Really, truly I'm not.  There is nothing objectionable about this day, per se, it's just that I woke up in a mood that said there is.  And I've been halfheartedly fighting the funk ever since.

Part of it, I'm sure, is the discomfort I'm in.  For no reason that I can discern, last week some of my joints decided to freak out, and while it wasn't a big deal at first (beyond my wounded vanity over my normally-slender fingers), as the days have gone by the pain has escalated to the point where it's waking me up at night.  And pain waking me up at night is usually my line in the sand.  Because seriously you guys- I like my sleep.

(Not to mention a vague terror that I might not regain the strength/dexterity in my right hand.  But that, like my "terrible day", is not a real thing.  It's just me being neurotic and worst-case-scenario-y thing.)(It happens.)

Anyway, said line in the sand is the point at which I bother to make an appointment with a doctor, which I have done.  But not just any doctor, oh no!  I am biting the bullet and going outside of my provider's network so that I can, at long last, have dealings with a (highly recommended) doctor of naturopathic medicine.  I am seriously looking forward to my first appointment: a full hour in which she will actually listen to me talk about my medical  history and my observations regarding my health.  And not send me off to get a totally pointless cat scan.  I justified the extra expense by telling myself that if this doctor works out the way I hope she does, she will be just as interested as I am in preventative care, which means I won't end up having to see her as often as I would an in-network provider.

We shall see.

The other part of my general surliness is due, no doubt, to my in-laws having left today.  Yes, you read that correctly: crankiness from in-laws leaving, not arriving.  There were here just shy of a week, and it did not feel like long enough.  Which, I suppose, is the recommended length-of-stay for house-guests: too short for the Last Day to be a true Relief.  It was a fun experience, squiring them about the area, doing my Tour Guide thing.  Not to mention the help they pitched in around the house.  Momma B refinished our end-tables and helped me paint the master bedroom ceiling, while Pops helped me with the gutters and Nathan with the new ceiling fan (which is to say helped him come to the conclusion that we need a real electrician to install the darn thing).

But they are gone now, and I am mopey and Missing Family.

Nathan has not been entirely unaffected by all of this, either, and so he and I have agreed to spend the evening doing precisely nothing (or in my case, only things which I find soothing, such as whining to my blog and ironing sheets) (don't judge).  So at least there's that to temper the awfulness of this not-actually-awful day.


Boys Is Boys

I'm raining down delighted destruction upon some of the more errant of my eyebrow hairs when I hear, wafting up from the livingroom,

"I think I have some duct tape in the truck."

I freeze, tweezers poised, and yell, "You are not duct-taping the walls!"  Silence from below, then a muttered,

"...think she'd let us duct tape the window?"

I roll my eyes at my reflection, but it's counterbalanced by the wave of affection swelling up in my bosom.  You see, the person threatening duct tape on my dwelling is my brother, who has come down for a visit.  He and Nathan have teamed up for the very serious masculine pursuit of Watching Football, but in order to watch the next game (Oregon vs LSU) they needed an antenna (which Nathan went out and bought) but more importantly they need the antenna to work, so apparently now they are now... doing things to get it to work.

I think I hear Nathan say something about painter's tape (I relax ever-so-slightly at that) and the next clear snippet of conversation that floats up is him saying,

"You hold,  I'll tape."

Which makes me giggle.  Few things in life make me so happy as having my loved ones near, and the combination of my husband and my brother, those two most beloved males, is enough to put me into Constant Purr Mode.  I finish up my eyebrows and decide to join them...

...and they've left me a spot on the couch.

(That's the Georgia game on the smaller screen.)


Adulthood Achieved

I open the mailbox and give a little squeak of delight as I see the new issue of Real Simple awaiting my careful attentions.  But once I start pawing through the rest of the mail during my saunter up the driveway, the real joy comes.  For there, amidst the statements and the junk mail, is a hand-addressed card.

Ooo, I think.  Real mail!

And I recognize the hand, as well: it is the elegant penmanship of my old-world grandmother.

Hmph, I think.  I wonder what this is all about.

And then I realize what I'm looking at.  Because the card is not addressed to "Mrs. R" or even "Mr. and Mrs. R".  It is addressed to "O-R"

My face splits into a giant grin.  What miracle is this?  Has my grandmother finally accepted that I kept my surname?  After less than three full years?   Hot diggity!

So I go inside and open the little card up, and do you know what it is?  It's a thank you card.  A thank you card!  Now, maybe this is not a big deal to you, but to me?  Oh, this is huge.  You see, I've been sending thank you cards to my grandmother for as long as I've been able to hold a writing implement, because they are important to her and I don't want to make my mother look like she can't raise a properly courteous daughter (in time I came to enjoy writing thank you cards for their own sake, but that is another story).  But never once in all that time have I received a thank-you card for any of the gifts or cards I've sent to her over the years.

Until today.

It's a lovely little card, full of sincere gratitude for the photos I'd sent and compliments for the house, and  it just makes me feel so very, very happy.  Because now I know that I've finally made it; no longer am I a little girl in my grandmother's eyes, too frivolous to know what I want.

No, now I know I'm adult, with all the honors, rights, and privileges pertaining thereto (including my own name).

Nerd: A Tale of Faking and Making

I have a confession to make.

I hate wearing my helmet.  I hate it so much.  And not just because I hate how it physically feels, pressing my sweat-soaked hair against my equally sweat-soaked scalp, denying me the glorious sensation of wind that is the natural born right of everyone who straddles a bike.  No, my hatred and resentment goes beyond that.  I hate wearing my helmet because in spite of all my ballsy proclamations that, "Safety is sexy!", the truth of the matter is that my helmet makes me look like a nerd.  A nerdy-goody-two-shoes-rule-follower.  And I cannot stand knowing that I look like a nerd, gentle readers...

...because I am a nerd.

I'm not talking about being a geek.  I'm not talking about my love of science fiction and fantasy, of my proclivity for reading comic books and playing RPGs, or of my sporadic status as "girl gamer".  None of these things make me uncool (helllllooo geek-chic).  But my deep-rooted instinct to be a "good girl"?  To play it safe?  Total nerdsville.  And I am... still kind of insecure about that.

I know, I know- I am probably the least insecure person you know.  I not only am fully aware of my own awesomeness, I am fully willing to go on- at length!- about it to anyone who cares to listen.  Fer Pete's sake, I write a blog.  Obviously I do not have self-esteem issues, here.  And for the most part that's very true... but what's also true is that my self-confidence is a decades-old, carefully cultivated facade that has slowly but surely become reality.  I acted confident and uncaring-of-others'-opinions until it became the truth.  More or less.  But deep deep down I am afraid that any minute now people are going to look at me, see past my tattoos and bright lips and uninhibited dancing and realize:

This girl freaks out about jaywalking.  Cool people do not take pause at the prospect of jaywalking.

Cool people do not wear helmets, because cool people do bother to think about the consequences of not wearing helmets.  Or, if they are really cool, they do wear helmets, and don't even think about whether or not they look cool because hey- cool people are cool no matter what they do.

Which brings us back to me being a nerd.  I am a nerd because I am afraid that people will see a nerd when they look at me.  Not because of anything that I do, or wear, but because of who and what I am.

But I will pretend that I don't care what people think when they see me wearing my dorktastic helmet and one of these days... it will be true.