Friday, January 30, 2009

Digital Hysteria

I decided to take a break from all my stressful moving duties and started looking for something to make me laugh.

I found a website that I can't believe I have never heard of: Stuff White People Like. It is a riot. Ever wonder why we like Farmer's Markets? Or Girls With Bangs? Or why we are ok with Taking a Year Off? This website explains (in a tongue-in-cheek way) why white people act the way they do. It's been very enlightening thus far. I'm learning a lot about myself. Because I'm about as white as it gets.

And of course, I am relying on my old stand-bys for a Friday afternoon laugh: FAIL blog, Engrish and LOL Dogs. If you don't know these, you can do a google search for them.

But what I really want to share with you is this video my coworker sent to me today. It's about the whole digital tv deadline in a few weeks. You know -- regular tvs won't work anymore and we all have to get digital cable or converter boxes, yada yada. OMG I was crying laughing at this. I watched it twice it was so funny. Enjoy, y'all. And have a great weekend!!!

video

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Big News!!

Hi, Everybody! I know I've been MIA lately, but there's a good reason for it!!!!

No, I'm not engaged.

I know, that's what you were hoping for, right? Don't hold your breath. I know I'm not! My eggs will be shriveled into mummified remains before CN ever pops the question. Argh.

No, I have big news! Good news!! I can tell you what my big secret is now!!

I am moving to Savannah, GA in three weeks.

I am really excited, because that's where I want to live. But I'm really stressed because it's all happening REALLY fast and I am not super-prepared for all of this.

For the past couple of weeks, I've been busy with interviews and job applications and shopping for interview suits for more interviews...and then yesterday, I was offered the position. I'll be working at the library for a well-known Savannah art school.

And I'm scared shitless.

This job will expect a LOT more from me. I will be someone's boss for the first time--2 people, actually. I will be able to work a lot more independently. I am expected to travel more and do more overall. The working environment is (not to dis my current job!) a lot less laid-back and a lot more fast-paced than what I'm used to, so I will have to bring my "A game".

These are all good things, though. I'm just freaking out. I can do it. I'm excited for the challenge. It's just scary to give up all this stability: my house, my friends, my stable job, my boyfriend being right across the street....

So, in addition to that stress, I have the following problems:

1. I am broke as a joke. Moving costs money. And no, they aren't paying any moving expenses. I asked. I will need to get my tax refund ASAP.

2. I have to find someone to rent my house. NOW. (Trying to sell it in this economy is probably a waste of time. Besides, I just started getting equity. I wouldn't even profit if I sold it now.)

3. I can't rent a place in Savannah until I rent mine out, because that will determine if I can get a nice apartment or if I will have to live in my car. (Or in a van down by the river! LOL)

4. I do not know what CN is going to do. He is going to request a transfer from his job, but we don't know if he will get it. If not, we are looking at a long distance relationship until further notice. Which will stink, but it won't be the end of the world. It's only two and a half hours distance.

5. If he does get the job transfer, it will rock because they will pay for the movers.

6. But that also means we would probably end up living together, which is something I really don't want to do because I am old-fashioned, even though financially it makes a LOT of sense.

7. CN's dad took a turn for the worse and it's REALLY bad, so CN and I are stressed out about that, too. (I really think his dad might be pretty much near the end at this point. It's bad, y'all. It's so sad, because he's in a lot of pain. It seriously sucks right now.) And CN is not going to want to move anywhere if his dad stays like this for any length of time. (Which is fine and I totally understand and wouldn't expect him to move under those circumstances anyway. It's just another piece to the puzzle -- if he is planning on moving later, should I get a bigger apartment in anticipation??)

8. I can't tell my boss I am quitting until they finish my background check (no, I have nothing to hide, but it's just a good idea to make sure I'm cleared before I go blabbing about it). Hopefully they will finish it before I would need to give my 2 weeks' notice. *crosses fingers*

9. And did I mention that I am not really getting a raise? On paper, I am. But because of the higher cost-of-living for Savannah, my quality of life will stay pretty much the same.

I have 21 days to figure all this crap out. So if you don't hear from me a whole lot over the next month or so, that's why. But I'm sure I'll be stressed and will need to vent, so stay tuned.

I am a giant ball of anxiety right now. I am not sleeping and food disgusts me. I could totally barf on command, thanks to all the butterflies and stress knots in my tummy. The upside to all of this is that it's the best diet ever. I have zero interest in eating!

I will turn 30 in the town I want to live in. Cool. My first day will be the Monday before my birthday. :)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Classic VB Moment

Last Friday, things were pretty slow at work. A coworker and I were just messing around on the internet, and ended up looking at a photo of a topless woman. (No, I am not telling you what we were looking at, but it was NOT porn. I know you don't believe me, but oh well.)

My coworker pointed at the photo and said, "Look at that. Do you think they airbrushed her nipples out?"

Without skipping a beat, I replied, "Oh no. My nipples look just like that in photos."

*I realize what I just said, only too late.*

*awkward silence*

And then we both burst out laughing.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Good Things Come in 3s

1. Last night, I went to the gym, even though it was freezing. I needed to go for a run. My gym has set all the treadmills to stop after 30 minutes, in order to prevent people from hogging them for hours on end. The other day, I found one that is actually set for an hour. To challenge myself, I decided that since I didn't have my usual time restrictions (I can run only a little over 2 miles in a half an hour. Yes, I know I am a slow runner. Shut up.), I would just start running and see what happened. I decided to just run as long as I could.

Forty-five minutes later, I was STILL RUNNING.

I ran almost 4 miles. I still can't believe it. I haven't run that far since I was 13. The crappy part was that I would have kept going, but I was seriously dying of thirst and getting bored! And I didn't have any pain in my shins or my knees or anything. It was frickin AWESOME. The first mile didn't even feel like anything. It was so easy.

At one point, a guy got on the treadmill next to me, and he started running. I was still running when he stopped running. I LOVE it when that happens. I'm a little competitive like that, I guess.

I have no idea how many stars had to align in the sky in order for this to happen, but I really hope it happens again. I felt like a rock star.

2. I got up early this morning and hit the gym again, this time to do a weight lifting class. So that was 2 work outs in 12 hours. I was pretty stoked about that.

Anyway, after the gym, I went to the store where CN bought that awesome water bottle for me. I told the manager my story and asked if he would order some more bottles for me. I told him the make and model of the bottle, and he said he knew exactly what bottle I was referring to. Then he told me it would be no problem at all for him to order some of them. And he was super duper nice about it!!! YESSSS!!! This is awesome.

They will be on the shelves on Sunday! Yippee!!!! Publix is the best store EVER!!!

3. Is sort of a secret. And it might not happen. I mean, things look good, but I don't want to count my chickens. Just let me say that if it happens, it will be BIG news. I won't spill the beans here, but if you email me and ask nicely, I might tell you. :)

Friday, January 09, 2009

A Victory and a Mystery

I almost took that last post down. I got home that day and thought, "I can't believe I just wrote a post about a stupid lost water bottle. My blog has reached a new low."

But then you guys had such great ideas!!! My readers are so helpful! Thanks, everybody. I think I might order one of the Rose Parade ones...or whatever that was. I'm also going to go back to the store where CN bought it and plead with the manager to carry them again. It's worth a shot.

Besides, as you will soon see, THIS is the post which will take my blog to new lows.

I had a small victory this morning when getting ready for work. My 2 weeks of diet and exercise were all worth it when I put on a pair of jeans I could not wear a month ago! YAY!!! Go me! Little things like that really keep me motivated to continue. Because let me tell ya, I am having a hard time cutting out all the sweets I normally eat. I am trying to be more aware of what I'm eating, because I find that when I'm not actively thinking about what goes in my mouth, I usually eat too much or a bunch of crap. And I'm really pushing myself at the gym -- I ran about 3 miles the other day, which is something I haven't done since I was a teenager. I was really proud of that. I am not quite sure how much I've lost, but it's about 2-4 pounds. Definitely a step in the right direction!!!

As you can probably tell, I don't have a ton of things going on right now. But I did experience something totally disgusting yesterday. So if you're eating while reading, I suggest you stop. Also, don't read this before lunch or anything, because it just about killed my lunch appetite yesterday.

I tell people all the time, "I can't believe CN puts up with me." This statement is usually met with amazement, as most people don't know how weird and/or stupid I can be at times. Allow me to enlighten you, dear readers.

I was walking Sammy, just like I always do on my lunch break. I take him down our street and go behind our little neighborhood. It's basically an empty lot behind our street, so he is free to be a dog back there. There's a little clearing where Sammy likes to do #2. I was walking him back there, when I saw it: a piece of clothing on the ground.

"Hmm, that wasn't here when I walked Sammy this morning," I thought.

Then I realized this meant that our resident homeless guy was probably back. He comes and goes, but we always know when he's around because one of us will spot him or there will suddenly be a lot of trash in the empty lot. Which makes sense -- it's not like he has access to a trashcan. He hangs out in the woods beyond the empty lot. My elderly neighbors and CN tell me not to go behind our street during these times, but I think he's harmless, so I just don't go as far back as I normally would, just to be safe. If he wanted to do something, he would have done it by now-- asked for food or money. I think he just wants to be left alone, because I've never even laid eyes on the guy. I try to have sympathy for people in unfortunate circumstances like that. I don't want to just jump to stereotypes, because I think a lot of homeless people are addicts, mentally ill or just down on their luck-- they have real problems. I believe most homeless people mean no harm at all, and are usually just misunderstood. I don't like it when people assume they are criminals or evil. That's just not fair. It's only out of sheer luck that I'm not one of them, so I try to keep that in mind.

As Sammy is sniffing around and marking his territory, I am studying the piece of clothing. What is odd to me is that it looks like it has been ripped off of someone's body. It was just thrown on the ground, and I didn't want to touch it, so it was kind of difficult to tell what it was exactly. Nearby, I saw a (presumably) empty box of cigarettes.

And something else.

Oh. My. Is that....what I think it is??? Because if it is, that is....totally effing disgusting. Dear God!

Out of shock, I backed away from it and turned around and went back home, much to the irritation of Sammy, who possesses what must be an endless supply of pee.

I decided to get CN and take him with me to look at it again. I needed a second opinion. So after work, I hurried home before the sun set to drag him with me. "What is it?" he asked.

"Just come here. I want to show it to you. I'm not sure what it is," I replied.

I took him to the back lot, over to the little clearing where Sammy usually does his business. I pointed. "Is that what I think that is?" I asked. "Because if it is, that is totally incredible and disgusting. I mean, look at it! It's massive. And in one straight piece. I've never seen anything like it!"

"I can't believe you made me stop working to come over here and look at a giant piece of shit, VB," CN said.

"So it is shit, then?" I asked, stupidly. "Because I wasn't totally sure if it was human or not. It could be from a big dog. A really big dog. I thought maybe it was some kind of food or something. You know, all that rain we had, I thought maybe it was dissolving food that just looked like shit," I continued.

"I can't believe you. I'm going back inside. This is ridiculous," he said, turning around to leave.

"No! Wait! Do you think it's from the homeless guy?" I asked, grabbing his arm.

"Of course it's from the homeless guy!" he said, frustrated. "I mean, look -- that's his underwear right there!" CN pointed to the mysterious article of clothing I'd spotted earlier. Aha! It was a pair of ripped boxers! Mystery solved.

"But it looks like he literally ripped it off his body," I said.

"Well, by the looks of it, I don't think he had a lot of time to waste," CN chuckled.

"No kidding. I've never seen anything like it! I'm going to go get the camera and take a picture of it," I said.

CN promptly talked me out of this idea. But I do kind of wish I could share it with you. It was at least a foot long. And in a perfect line, not in a pile like you'd think it would be. Which makes me wonder if he sort of walked it out, if you get what I'm saying. Too graphic? If so, I apologize. But this was one amazing turd, y'all. And really, he was not far at all from some of my neighbors' windows. Someone could have easily seen him squatting. But come to think of it, that supports CN's theory that this guy didn't have time to waste.

And the other discarded things sort of tell a story. I bet he had a nice smoke, and then thought, "Uh. Oh." He was in such a hurry, he had to literally rip his clothes off before it was too late. WOW.

I continued rambling on about The Amazing Poo, and CN reprimanded me: "Look, keep it down. I'm sure he doesn't want us standing around, talking about his poo. He's probably watching us right now. Listen, I don't want you coming back here anymore, do you understand?"

I nodded, staring at my feet and feeling ashamed.

As if being homeless isn't enough, this guy has to deal with strangers discussing his poos.

But it is a pretty impressive turd.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The $300 Water Bottle

I am nothing if not determined. And patient. And thorough.

Y'all would die laughing if you knew how I spend my time on some days. I can spend a week looking for a song I heard. Once, I spent a week looking for a friend of mine from childhood, Tori Condorodis. (Tori, if you are reading this, I have been looking for your ass for years, girl! YEARS!) I have stubbornly hunted down lyrics, book titles, SNL skits, the cheapest airline tickets, historical facts, urban legends, etymology tidbits, untold unusual items on eBay, the perfect paint color for my bathroom and recipes for coconut cheesecake. And then there's the whole genealogy thing I've been on for the past few months. That's an entirely different story!

It's only made worse by the fact that I'm a professional librarian, because not only do I know where to go and how to search for something, I am also trained to be resourceful and think of other ways to find whatever it is I'm looking for when I hit a stumbling block.

And today, I have hit a big one. So I am taking a break from my searching before I scream and pull out my hair so that I may vent here.

A little back story for you. Right when we first started dating, I mentioned to CN how much I disliked most re-usable water bottles on the market. I don't like the ones with the straws, because the straws are too difficult to clean, and sometimes they fall off the lid, which causes you to stop what you're doing, unscrew the lid and stick the straw back in. I hate the ones you squeeze, because I somehow either end up choking on the water or spilling it everywhere. I don't like the ones where you have to unscrew a top to get to the water. And all the other ones I've tried are poorly made, and break too easily. Or they are too tall to fit into the dishwasher. I just got a new one, and it is horrid -- it leaks EVERYWHERE. I have been on a quest for a great water bottle for years, people. YEARS. On the top shelf of my kitchen cupboard resides a graveyard of discarded water bottles that didn't make the cut.

One day a few weeks later, CN came over and told me he had gotten me something. This is one of my favorite things he says, so he had my undivided attention. From behind his back, he pulled out a large, green water bottle.

It.

Was.

Perfect.

High quality plastic, a beautiful green color, large enough to hold enough water for a long workout, a little plastic ring to make it easy to carry...and the best part of all: a GENIUS lid. All you do is push this little button, and the top flips up to reveal an ergonomical spout from which to drink your water -- no squeezy thing, no straws. When closed, the lid protects the spout and the water from germs, dirt and debris. Which was a feature I hadn't even thought of, but instantly loved.

"And it's dishwasher safe," CN explained proudly.

I may have fallen in love with him right at that moment.

Do you see where this is going? Yeah. About a month or so ago, I lost it. I cannot find it anywhere, not even in my car, which is where my lost things usually end up. The last time I remember having it, I was finishing up a workout with my trainer. Despite my repeated pleadings with the gym staff to search in the lost and found "just one more time, please", it has not turned up. The gym staff thinks I am a psycho, because I come up to the desk once a week, frantically searching for a stupid $5 water bottle, but I don't care. I am lost without it. I regret that I never truly appreciated the water bottle until I lost it. It was always my favorite, mostly because CN gave it to me, but now I appreciate it for its impeccable design.

My first instinct was to ask my trainer if he'd picked it up for me. No dice. (He also looked at me like I was a little crazy.) Since then, I have scanned the gym every time I am there, looking for the bastard who ganked my bottle. I know what happened. I left it sitting on a bench while I dug for my keys, and then I just left it there when I walked out. Someone with a good eye for a perfect water bottle came along and decided to just keep it. Which is really stealing, in essence. A responsible person, like yours truly, returns things to the front desk. (I found a watch once, and a wallet -- I promptly turned them in to the staff. You'd think karma would pay me back for that!!!)

But one day, they will screw up. I know it. Right now, they are laying low, hiding out with my water bottle. They probably only use it at home or at work. They are too afraid to return to the scene of the crime with it. But one day.....one day....They will forget that they stole it, and bring it to the gym, where I will see them using it, and confront them, probably with much hostility. And possible bloodshed. *In Arnold Schwarzenegger voice* I will get it back.

This is what I get for not appreciating my bottle!! It has been taken away from me!! And given to someone else who loves it, probably as much as I do!! And I cannot even bear to tell CN that I lost it. It is my dirty little secret I am keeping from him. I am ashamed of myself. One of the best things he ever gave me, and I carelessly leave it laying around for someone who is too cheap to go buy his own water bottle.

Just to rub salt into the wound, that bitch Karma has ensured that I will never be able to get a water bottle like that again. The store where CN got it no longer sells them. Which prompted me to go on a searching binge to buy one online. "Oh, one little trip over to Amazon.com will take care of that," I thought.

Not so fast, VB. Amazon only sells your average, flawed water bottles. So does Target. And Walmart. And Dick's Sporting Goods. And the camping supply store in town. And all the grocery stores (yes, I have visited just about every one in town). Buying one off of eBay just doesn't sound like a good idea. Who knows where the water bottle has been??

An intensive, hours-long Internet search led me to -- JOY!! -- a website selling the same bottle, but with a company logo on it. Logo, schmogo -- I wanted my water bottle NOW! Who cares if it promotes a company? I click "Buy" and...

"This item is no longer available."

Are you freaking kidding me.

I went back to the drawing board. Eventually, I managed to find out the make and model of the water bottle. (Yes, it's like a car. This is the Cadillac of water bottles, I'm telling you.) Now, I have something to work with!! Surely, some retailer sells these little buggers online! I did a search for the make and model. A bazillion hits. Jackpot!!!!

Upon further inspection, I realize that Little Miss Karma is a sick, evil and twisted little bitch: the bottles are only sold through those business promotions companies, you know, the places where you go to get your company logo put onto 450 coffee cups or 1600 ballpoint pens.

In my frenzied state of desperation, I almost went for it: "Ok, let's see. I can get 36 of them for $7.19 each...plus a $50 flat rate for the order set-up....which comes out to....$308.84. Plus shipping. Hmmm. Maybe I can get an Indiana University logo on it...or a cute message, and then I can give them out as gifts! Yeah!"

When reality set back in, I realized this was far too much to spend on water bottles. Worse yet, my friends would hate me for giving them a stupid water bottle every year for their birthdays. "But check out the lid! It flips! Isn't that awesome? This year, I decided to give you a purple one!" I would say.

*sigh*

So, my search continues. But if you are one of those people who orders the little freebies with the company logo imprinted on them, will you please get your logo put onto H2Go's Zuma water bottle?? I'll take any color. I'll buy 10 from you. And I will I verbally promote your business until the cows come home! I promise!

And if you happen to see one of my beloved Zuma water bottles for sale at your local store, please buy me 3 of them. Trust me, I will make it worth your time! Here's a photo, which can be easily printed out and carried in your wallet for reference purposes:


Saturday, January 03, 2009

Happy New Year!!

Ok, so I am blogging from CN's computer while he's busy watching the Falcons game. They are in the playoffs, and I can hear a lot of cursing coming from his living room. :)

When the commercials come on, he gets up to pee and give me a kiss. It's pretty cute. He just walked in here to ask me if I like his wiener or not. What a dork.

Anyway, just wanted to write a short blog post to update y'all on stuff. Since I get almost 3 weeks off from work during the holidays, it's hard for me to get to a computer. CN's letting me use his. Although I doubt he knows I'm blogging right now....

Thank you, everyone who commented on my last post. It was a very painful post to write, so I appreciate the sympathy and empathy. And I don't always feel like that about my mom, it's just that she and I go through phases. We are currently in one of those phases where I seriously cannot stand her. She's not a horrible person, we just bash heads sometimes. She does it all (mostly, I think, anyway) from love and out of worry for me. It's just the methods she chooses that irk me. I really have to start letting it roll off my back, because she's never going to change. So I have to just change the way I react to her. And THB, I didn't take down your 2nd comment, even though it was a repeat, because I read it twice. It was that good! So I think it deserves to be said twice!! But seriously, my readers are the best. All of your comments made me feel so much better. It was definitely an "I love blogging, because blog readers are the best!!!" moment. :)

Going home to visit The Czarina went very well this year. WHEW. I credit Fat Dog's new girlfriend with my mother's MUCH improved behavior. I think that is the key to surviving visits with her -- bring an outsider. It keeps her on good behavior. As an added bonus, I really like Fat Dog's girlfriend. She is teeny tiny and very nice. She's totally his type -- petite, athletic, brunette who doesn't wear a lot of makeup. They are really cute together.

I got KICK ASS presents this year!!! Best Buy (hell-O ipod!!!) gift card from CN and a Lowe's gift card from Fat Dog, plus a beautiful --

DAMMIT, CN!!! STOP CHASING SAMMY AND MAKING ALL THAT NOISE!!!!!

ok, sorry about that. I swear, I am dating a 12 year old.....

Where was I? Oh, yes, CN got my that gorgeous wallet I wanted. I also got some jewelry, DVDs, potpourri, a frog tape dispenser, JP gave me a French press for coffee (although I have no idea how to use it!) and MJ gave me some Christmas decorations (because I never buy any and she thinks this is horrible) and an herb garden. Sammy got a big container of gourmet dog cookies.

And The Czarina gave me a big, phat check made out to Capital One -- that was her present to me. Along with the jewelry and the tape dispenser. It's a pretty sweet present, because she knows how much I want to pay off my Visa. I gotta give the Mom some props on that one.

And for the last week, I have been cooking, cleaning, organizing and decorating. I love working on a college student's schedule. One of the best things about my job. My house is super clean and neatly organized, and I have finished a LOT of projects I've been putting off. Soon, I will start painting E's old bedroom and the bathroom and hang up some curtains. Unfortunately, that's just about all the decorating I will be able to do for a while, since I need to focus on the credit card debt.

I'm trying to decide if I want to get a part time job or not. I really should, for the extra money and debt-paying purposes, especially since I won't have a roommate anymore. But I am ULTRA motivated to lose some weight, a part time job would really impact my gym time. I have worked out 6 days in a row, and yesterday I ran for 33 minutes straight -- a feat I have not achieved since I was in college!! GO ME!!!

I'm not doing too badly at the dieting thing, either. Not perfect, but at least conscious and aware of what goes in my mouth. I am trying not to bring junk into the house, which helps a LOT.

Although my whole body is a little sore, I am in a great mood, sleeping like a rock and have noticed how much energy I have. I think my tummy's a little flatter, but it may just be my imagination. It feels great to be getting back in shape. I hope I can keep this up. So far, so good on my New Year's Resolution.

Everyone is doing great -- CN's dad is still hanging in there, MJ and JP are doing well. Except that one of MJ's dogs died. :( And CN is wonderful, as usual.

When I'm done with my decorating, I will take some pics of my house and share with you. I have done a lot since the last time I shared pics.

Sorry this post is kind of random! I'm in a hurry and have some stuff I want to do before CN and I head out to go bowling. I'll try and catch up on everyone's blogs as soon as I can.

Happy New Year!!!