Thursday, June 14, 2007

Au Revoir

So this will officially be my last post until I get back from my trip July 1st. I can't say I can do anything to tide you guys over for the time being, but I would like to thank those who are helping us out in our absence:

Ron, thanks for offering to give us a ride to Jon's parents' house so late at night. Now, mow our lawn and make us sandwiches...STAT!

Tam, thanks for actually wanting to take care of "the foul". My bird will appreciate the fact that she's getting fed much more often than normal. You'll be her new best friend. I'll take the necessary precautions to ensure she doesn't fly home with you (bye, bye, flight feathers). Oh, and thanks for grabbing our mail, so the mailman doesn't think we've died.

ron, thanks for keeping an eye on Tam. I know this was unexpected, but you're inadvertently going to have to do it. Someone has to. Matt can only do so much. Oh, and take your dang Super Troopers back, and re-watch Anchorman. Watch it until you can quote it word for word from beginning to end. I own it if you and Tam want to have a marathon together.

To the people I work with: Thank you for taking care of all my work--or rather, pseudo-work--while I'm gone. I don't miss it, but I appreciate the fact that you're there to do it. I know you don't want to, and that makes me happy. While you're dealing with difficult customers, the most I'll be dealing with is a heat wave at the Grand Canyon and, Should I get chicken or should I get steak today? Oh, dear...'tis a hard life.

Mom and Dad, I appreciate your wise decision to not take care of my bird while I'm gone. She's grown accustomed to Millcreek, and a life back in the 'Ville for a couple weeks would be far too traumatizing. In all seriousness, thanks for the prayers and well wishes for our trip. We'll bring you back a souvenier or two of the nature kind.

Pepsi and Snowball, you're no help whatsoever, but you're worth mentioning. Plus, you're going to be stuck at a pet hospital for two weeks, so you'd better appreciate us when we come back. We feed you and keep you alive. I expect a thank-you letter or blog when we return.

Thank you to anyone else I may have forgotten. See you all when we return!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Yet Another Reason I Can't Stand Drunks

Sometimes I just really loathe my job. It's mostly when I get ignorant, drunk people harassing me. This is the clientele that my place of work attracts, unfortunately, and I have to put up with it on occasion. I'm just lucky I'm not drop-dead gorgeous or I'd have some real problems on my hands.

Last week, I decided to go outside for my lunch as I tend to do when it's nice out. I sat in my car eating and basking in the sunlight shining through my open sunroof in hopes of getting a tan by the end of August. About five minutes into my lunch, a white car pulls in diagonal to mine in the parking lot. Not that race really matters, but for the sake of being descriptive, I'll mention it. They were either Hispanic or Indian (couldn't really tell) men in their 50s or 60s, and they were being extremely obnoxious. They let one of their passengers out of the car to go inside the store while the rest waited behind.

I heard them saying things fairly loudly in their car, but I couldn't understand what they were saying because I had my music on. I was trying to focus on the peacefulness of that and ignore the background noise. I didn't fare too well on that one, but it was worth the effort.

A couple minutes before my lunch was ending, the guy who had gone into the store stumbled back into the car, and they just sat there. I was wishing they would just drive off and go away, so I could at least enjoy the last 30 seconds of my lunch. That didn't happen. My time was up, so I needed to head back to clock in.
I got out of my car, and as I started heading towards the store, one of the guys stuck his head out the window and yelled, "Hey, honey!! Hey, honey!!" I just ignored him. I fought off the urge to flip him off for fear I'd get the crap beaten out of me right in the parking lot. There's no telling what they'd do.

Since I didn't respond, I elicited a strange noise in return. It reminded me of those who are mentally disabled who have trouble speaking and can only make various grunts and groans as their mouths try to make out words. I continued onward anyway.

I clocked back in, and I began thinking, What if they do something to my car since I didn't acknowledge them? I went to our LP right away to tell him what had happened, and he started telling me how they were watching a guy for a while in there because he was so drunk he was falling over. He even got a box of shoes, and he could barely carry it to the registers without dropping it about 5 times. He even asked our LP if he could help him carry it to the registers since it was "so heavy."

After talking to him for a while, we both figured out that this guy was part of the group that was harassing me outside. By this time, the men had driven away. They were going to call the police if the guy that was stumbling all over the store had been the driver. I still think the actual driver was drunk, as well. They were all acting like it.

I can't wait to get away from this for a while. Two more days...

Monday, June 11, 2007

Will You Miss Me When I'm Gone?

This blog has gone by the wayside the past week or so, and for that I apologize. It's been incredibly hard to update while trying to accomplish all that I'm trying to do before we go on the trip. You're probably all wondering what kind of trip this is going to be anyway. It's a pretty big deal to me since I haven't been anywhere past Kentucky/Tennessee, so to go all the way out to Utah and the surrounding states is a jump.

We're leaving late Thursday night to take a train out to Chicago, Ill. where we'll have a several-hour layover before boarding the sleeper cars to head out to Salt Lake City, Utah. While we're out there, we'll be doing everything under the sun. I'm particularly excited for the whitewater rafting trip down the Snake River. I've been wanting to do that for years (I was quite infatuated with The River Wild when I was a kid), so now I finally get my chance.

We'll also be horseback riding and hiking, and we'll be at the Grand Teton Mountains, Yellowstone National Park, and the Grand Canyon. Those rechargeable batteries will definitely come in handy.
From what I hear, it's like a whole different country on the west side. I can't say the eastern part of the country has much to appreciate, but maybe that's because I've lived here my entire life.

Just trying to prepare for this trip is somewhat stressful. I'm afraid I'm going to forget some vital thing, and then I'll be screwed. I've never been gone from home for 2½ weeks, but I'm going to enjoy every second of it. Being away from work for that long is going to be one of the most enjoyable parts. I can't even begin to tell you how these last two work days are going to be the longest of my life.

If I don't get to blog again before my trip, I hope you guys don't miss me too much or stop reading my blog because of my absence. I promise I'll be back at it by July 2nd! So au revoir, paka, goodbye.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Gas Company Guys Are Creepy

Tuesday evening I was lying on the living room floor playing Kingdom Hearts II because I wasn't feeling too well. I don't know if I was about to come down with a fever, but I decided to take some precautions a little earlier by taking a couple tablets of Extra Strength Tylenol. Jon had gone to the Y, while I stayed behind to remedy this fever (or faux fever; whatever it happened to be).
It was around 8:00 PM when I heard the doorbell ring, and within about a second of that, I hear the person open the screen door and attempt to open our main door. Thankfully, I had it locked, but they jiggled it as if they were trying to get inside. I was a little nervous to answer the door after that, but I did anyway.
A young guy--about my age--stood at the door with a company gun (not a firearm, folks, but in the device sense), and he asked to check the gas meter. If it weren't for the gas truck sitting outside, I'd be even more cautious about letting him inside.

Even still, I wondered why he would have tried to open the door. When you come to my front door, you can tell there's no foyer after that main door. It just goes directly to the living room, so what would possess someone to attempt to open it in the first place?

It scares me to think what could have happened if I weren't in the habit of keeping my doors locked. Would he have just walked in? Jon was thinking about calling the gas company to complain about it. The more I think about it, the more I think it would be a good idea. Also, do they really check meters at 8:00 at night? That seems a little late for house calls.
I can't say this experience helped my fear of strange men coming to my door when I'm home alone.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Been A While

Sorry I haven't written in here for a few days, guys/gals. I, surprisingly, haven't spent a whole lot of time on the computer recently (I think hell just froze over). I've been busy doing things outside the house, despite being sick...still. I haven't got too much time before we leave for our trip out west for two and a half weeks. Where I used to have an empty schedule, I now have one that's almost completely full leading up to the trip. I wanted to get some posts in here before we leave on Thursday since I won't be back until July 1st.
I do want to briefly address my last post though:

I had some good--as well as some heated--feedback on the topic of monogamy. I think I need to clear up some assumptions people have about where I stand as far as monogamy's roots. I think some people misconstrued what my title was trying to say. I wasn't saying that monogamy or the "happy marriage" ended after the 50s because I certainly know that infidelity didn't start in the 60s. I know infidelity has been around for centuries. I do feel, however, that it's more prominent now than it was in earlier years, and with each passing day, it gets worse and worse. I don't think it just seems that way because people are more open about it and we have more ways of tracking spouses'/partners' every moves, but I think that it actually does happen more often. I think it's foolish to be naïve in thinking otherwise. To say our society hasn't changed sexually is stupid to say. Because people are more open about it today than they were 50 years ago, people are more likely to do it and more often because it's no longer thought of as something bad or to be kept secret. What's considered socially acceptable is what the majority is doing. Think about it.

To get on a more relaxed subject, I've been out trying to get ends tied before we go on our trip. I went to the doctor on Monday to get a refill for my Epi-Pens (bee sting allergies suck). God-forbid I get stung while I'm out hiking with the family. I'm assuming the bees are much bigger and hostile out there. Having never been out to Utah and the surrounding states, I wouldn't have a clue (MJ, you would know, so let a sister know).

Last night I got to go to a picnic my coworker was throwing. Her sister is here from Russia for a month, so this gave us a chance to get to know her a little bit. My coworker's grandson was there, also. He's three and a half months old and such a doll. It was small crowd, but I like it better like that. It's easier to have discussions with people when it's not so packed. The food was good; the company was good.

As for today, I get to get my blood work done and get my Epi-Pen prescription filled. I'm so hungry, so I hope I can be in and out of the ACL. Afterwards, I'm going to relax and spend some time with my parents since this will probably be my last chance before I leave, and then I'll be out to eat with Tam; her cousin, Steve; and ron (hopefully).

After that, six days of work in a row. Ick. I'll try to blog as much as possible though.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Monogamy: That's So 1950s

Maybe it's just the times we're living in, but I thought there was one point in time where marriage was regarded as something important and was taken seriously. These days I'm not so sure. Where the mold was the happy, monogamous, married couple some amount of years ago, a new mold has taken its place: The couple with various partners and children by different fathers. What's sad is that this is socially acceptable today; so much so that I have to constantly fight off people who expect my marriage to fail just because it either didn't work for them, I'm "too young", or whatever other reasons they want to throw out there. Frankly, I'm sick of it.

Yes, I understand the divorce rate for someone my age (and in general) is not working in my favor, but I don't like to think of our relationship as a statistic. If I did that, I'd think my marriage to failure. I know I made the right decision, and when I stood up there and said my vows over a year ago, I took every one of them seriously, and so did he. We're two people who don't believe divorce will solve problems. Now, I can understand desperate situations for people whose only route is divorce, and it's only as a means to get away from an abusive husband/wife or an extremely destructive husband/wife. I'm not attacking people who have gotten divorced. I'm just saying that's not for me.

If I'm not going to stand here and lecture you about getting a divorce and how wrong it is, can you do me the same respect and not lecture me about how horrible it was for me to get married to begin with? I've watched so many situations with these same people who think they can guarantee my marriage will fail. I've watched them as they do things to perpetuate the problem. I scratch my head in disbelief. Why do you prove over and over again that we have different takes on relationships and monogamy in general but act like we're on the same level?

I watch as these people cheat on their boyfriends/girlfriends, fianceés, or husbands/wives. How can you do that and even begin to dictate how my marriage will fail? Apparently, you don't know me at all. I don't need to cheat on my husband to be happy. I married him because this is the person I want to stick by for the rest of my life. It wasn't so I would have someone to come home to after having escapades with other men behind his back. What kind of sick world do we live in where people can't be faithful to each other?

Another thing that bothers me are people that just jump into marriage at the drop of a hat. Granted, Jon and I had only dated 9 months before we got engaged, but it wasn't too rushed because we spent nearly everyday together. Some people get engaged sooner than that, but I have to question the people that get engaged to someone within a couple weeks or less of dating them and knowing them. How could you possibly know this is a person you want to spend forever with? I didn't have all the information I needed to make that kind of decision about Jon within a week or two of knowing him. I'd just barely known his last name and favorite color by that point. I guess I have no place to judge, but I just don't understand.

My wish would be for everyone to take marriage and relationships as seriously as I do or as seriously as they're intended to be taken. We've gotten so off-course over the years, and it's just getting worse and worse by the minute. I can't stand to watch people I know making the problem in society worse. Where I used to just see celebrities or people from afar committing these acts, I'm now in close contingency with these people, and it saddens me.
I don't need marital advice from individuals who aren't on the right track with their own relationships. Spare me.

Saturday, June 2, 2007


I'm looking forward to the hours ahead of me tonight since I get to spend them going out with my husband. We rarely end up going out and doing things together anymore. We're either preoccupied with whatever is going on in our lives (work, friends, etc.) or we just don't have the money to go out. Last night we decided it was time to spend some quality time with eachother. He asked if I wanted to go to dinner and see the new Pirates of the Carribean movie. I wasn't feeling up to it last night, so I asked if we could take a rain check for tonight, so that's what we're planning to do (minus the dinner since we got some last night).

What did we do last night instead? Well, I subjected him and his parents to a family video from 1989 that included--but was not limited to--my and my sister's 5th birthday party, a trip to Sea World, and a day at the Erie Zoo. They got to marvel over the fact that my looks haven't changed at all over the past eighteen years other than maturing from a 5 year-old to a 23 year-old and how my sister "wore the pants" in our relationship.
Most people don't enjoy showing people pictures or videos from when they were kids, but I actually don't mind it. Please don't think I'm trying to show myself off as if I were some cute child, but I just figure, why fight it? It's inevitable that someone (especially a boyfriend/girlfriend or husband/wife) is going to see pictures of you from when you were a kid, whether your parents show them or another outside party does. May as well go with the flow.

Besides, I enjoy making fun of different things that happen in the video that really epitomize the relationship I had with my sister. They're just cute, hilarious happenings that you wish you could relive for the sheer joy and nostalgia they bring. I went over some of them in the vlog I made a couple months ago.
One instance had me playing Miss Submissive. Who am I kidding? I played that role everyday with my sister. When we first got real bikes for our birthday, they had training wheels on them, of course. While we were out riding them one morning, she was coming one direction on the sidewalk, and I was going the other. As soon as I got close to her, I automatically rode my bike right into the grass (and was stuck, of course), as she rode happily past me. Be sure to note the obligatory scowl on my face after this happens, if you ever see that video.

As we were watching the video, and I happened to say something really stupid on there, I turned to my husband and reminded him, "This is what you married, hun." I can't say I was the brightest kid in the world, but I think we've all had our moments at some point. I just enjoy sharing the childhood stupidity I had with other people and just laugh at myself with them. Anyone else do the same?

Friday, June 1, 2007

That Didn't Take Long

I just uploaded that drawing of Arnold Schwarzenegger yesterday, and someone already wanted to use it on their site (thanks to Creative Commons). I gave permission, so now it's over here, as well. I wish I'd had the chance to fix and finish the drawing before it's displayed anywhere else on the net. Oh, well. I suppose I'll take the compliment (I guess) and go with it.

Hidden Talents (Part Dva)

I got a lot of good feedback on my last post, which was inspiring. I don't usually talk much about my drawings or the fact that I do draw. It's been one of those hobbies that I keep to myself somewhat. I don't know if it's because I'm ashamed if I can't draw up to the expectations of others or if it's for some other reason. I listen far too much to the opinions of other people, and I let that affect how much I draw.

I used to have people ask me to draw pictures of certain people for them. I'd start them, and then I'd never finish the drawing. One of my dad's friends wanted me to draw a collage of pictures of his wife, and it would be a present for either their anniversary or her birthday. I can't recall which. I never finished it. I finished drawing her entire face on one picture, and I stopped. I just became embarassed of what I was drawing instead of being proud of it (mistakes and all) and continuing on until I finished it. I suppose I could have tweaked it along the way, but I didn't give myself a chance to.

If you can recall, I mentioned a Tom Cruise drawing in my last post, and I talked about how frustrated I got with it. My husband was probably terrified of me that night. I don't think I get upset with anything else in this world more than I do with my drawings. If they're not perfect, I'm no picnic to be around.
We went to Borders one night to look at magazines because I felt inspired to draw something. That month Tom Cruise was on the cover of Fade In because this was at the time he was promoting MI:3 and War of the Worlds. I decided to buy that one because they had a lot of good pictures in there, and the cover really caught my eye. I did end up drawing the cover. I got about halfway through my drawing when I realized that the proportion was all wrong on his face, and it was nearly irreparable. I had to stop working on it to keep from ripping my sketch pad to pieces. To this day, I haven't once touched that drawing again, and it's been about 2½ years since I first drew it.

It's moments like that where I'm brought back down to reality; just when I think I could make a career out of this. I couldn't see myself doing this day in and day out when I get so frustrated. I wouldn't last long, and I think (as I said before) I would grow to resent drawing altogether. I'd hate to do that with the one thing I know I'm at least semi-good at.
At the same time, I'm left confused as to what exactly I'm supposed to be doing as a career if art isn't it. What else could I see myself doing and enjoying for the rest of my life? It's certainly not retail...