Monthly Archives: March 2010

*Deep Breaths*

OK, I am seriously…I don’t know what I am. Overwhelmed, I guess. It’s a fun blend of guilt, stress, worry, and anxiety.

Why?

Because today my hubby and I tentatively decided on a day when I leave my job.

Which made it all real.

And what day? The end of April. Just over a month away.

That is so soon!

That is when my current project (which I’ve been working on for a month+ already) ends. I’ll be ft on the project up until then, and then I’ll be switching to something else, which would probably also take months. I don’t want to leave them mid-project…but I also don’t want to stay for another 5-6 months. So…that leaves me with April.

*initiate meltdown*

The guilt comes from 1) essentially throwing away money. I could be making my ridiculously-low-for-what-I’m-doing-but-still-far-above-minimum wage at 40 hours a week, and for no “good” reason, I’m going to (probably) drop to a lower hourly rate and work fewer hours. I feel guilty over this. Even though my hubby keeps assuring me that we will be fine. and 2) I feel like I’m lying to everyone in my office. Today my boss stopped by and told me to be sure I get a set of the drawings and insist my three-lettered-friend let me in on the drawing production process, for my long-term professional development. And I just felt my stomach clench as I looked at him and knew that there was no long-term development to worry about. He has been so good about training me in my job despite my lack of background, giving me the experiences I need to grow, being patient with my lack of understanding..and now he’s still doing all of that, but I won’t be paying him back for it with my time as I get more experienced. Plus just talking about long-term projects, I know he plans for all of us way out in the future, I know there’s a lot of office camraderie…and I’m basically lying to all my office friends by omission.

The stress comes from thinking about telling my boss I’m leaving. Going in there as a woman, and telling these macho guys about how my invisible diseases that make me sad and tired are keeping me from being able to cope with the work..um…yeah. That’s gonna go over REALLY well. Especially since things are so personal around here, and I’ve told him every review that things are going well. Because they are. As well as they can be for the situation. Everything he has control over, is good. I just can’t handle the basics.

Worry is from thinking about how my office is going to react. Again, tight-knit group of less than 40 people. Every time someone leaves, everyone knows why, everyone says goodbye, they go out for goodbye lunches/happy hours, they discuss where the person is going at length. And I have no excuse I feel like sharing with the office at large. So I will try to keep it quiet as long as I can. But I want to give my boss a month’s notice. So that’s a long time for things to stay quiet. Possible. But hard. And I’m not going to just disappear, I have to tell my friends…but tell them what? They’re not close-enough friends that I’d tell them about what I’ve got going on (except one. There is one guy who knows I’m leaving. He’s the only other one I know frustrated enough to also want to leave. But for him it’s more company-related problems). So…I need to figure out how I’ll handle that.

Anxiety over what next? Well, over everything I’ve mentioned, and over what’s next. I have possible jobs. I am very qualified to teach. At this point I’m not going to go get certified. It doesn’t make sense if I’m planning on having kids in the next few years (which I am). But I can still go to places like Sylvan Learning Center and work as a tutor. And those places pay well. Some of them even pay more than I’m currently making, to tutor math. And they all need math tutors. So part-time, more flexible work with no commitment I can walk away from any time? Great. Awesome. If I can get the job. If I can land one that pays well. If I can make the scheduling all work out so I still can see my hubby. If it actually is good for me. What if I just am not capable of being happy? What if I will find stress wherever I go? I already know that I often feel guilty when I’m happy. If I’m enjoying something, clearly there’s something “better” I should be doing. But not all the time. Not if I feel like I’ve earned it. Not if I feel like my hubby’s not having to take care of me all the time. Not if I can feel like an equal partner in this marriage, even making less money (who am I kidding? I’m already making 3/4 of what he is at an equivalent job!).

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

*Deep breaths*

But to help me get over this…Corey is super awesome! Remember when I declared I was going to walk 5,000 steps every day (and even kind of did it!) ’cause she challenged us to take care of ourselves? Well, there was more to it than just a challenge. Telling her how we’d take care of ourselves was also our entry into a drawing. A drawing for heavenly Bath and Body Works presents. And I won!!! I honestly do not think I have ever won a drawing. Ever. Maybe I did and I’m forgetting. But if so, it’s still pretty dang rare.

So that totally made my night. And I’m very excited for my body scrub to arrive :-D

And while I was finishing this, my puppy crawled across my lap and plopped down, letting his body put pressure on me and giving me his warmth and comfort.

How can I be stressed?

Letting it go for tonight…

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Friday fun

That’s right, it’s time for another Friday full of fun and memes! Let’s start it out with some letters, courtesy of…

(click the link to see the host page)

Dear lovely student,

You clearly love your dog and are good with her. She’s a very lucky puppy and has a great life. And I agree, positive training is great, but that doesn’t mean you can’t discipline your dog or occaisionally tell her no (like you do your child), as some people on dog boards you belong to have said, frustrating you. But that does not mean Cesar Milan has all the answers. Your dog is not scared of you because you are “alpha,” she’s nervous because you’re big and a bit overpowering at first to a puppy, unlike your wife and daughter. When you are wrestling and she ends up on her back, she is not submitting or being “alpha rolled,” she is playing and happy. That does nothing to establish your dominance. It does everything to establish your bond. However, that’s what really matters in ending up with a well-trained dog.

I’ll just keep showing you the right way to train (which you are totally open to) and let you keep using Milan’s made-up language to describe it. Please just don’t start following his methods.

Thanks,
Frustrated trainer

***********************************************************************

Dear Cesar Milan,

GET OFF THE AIR. I am so sick of cleaning up your messes.  You have admitted you have no training in dog behavior or training. You have told us you base your methods off wolf-pack dynamic theory, which was thoroughly and completely disproved in the 90s for wolves, let alone dogs. You have no idea what you’re talking about, and while your heart is in the right place, that doesn’t mean you can’t still do enormous damage. I know you’re working with extreme cases of dogs. You can do more long-term in those cases with positive training. Please look into it.  A great starting place would be Victoria Stillwell’s episode “Tiny Tyrant.”

Your methods do more harm than good. For example, if you’ve got a dog terrified of thunderstorms, making her run on a treadmill with video and sound of thunderstorms around until she stops panicking does not help solve the problem, any more than locking someone whose afraid of spiders in a closet full of spiders until she stops screaming and flailing cures her of her fear of spiders. Choking and holding an aggressive dog until he is so exhausted and overwhelmed he stops fighting (but still shows enormous signs of stress) and lets you incorrectly “alpha roll” him does not mean he’s submitted. It means he’s shut down.

There are some things you do right, even if you don’t know it. But the harm outweighs the good in the hands of all your viewers. Please stop.

Thanks,
A trainer who has actually studied modern research and methods and successfully helped dogs who had gotten worse under your kind of training

***********************************************************************

Dear sunshine,

Thank you for coming back. I have missed you. If you could warm up the air a bit that’d be awesome, but even if not, it’s nice to just have you around.

Signed,
your biggest fan

***********************************************************************

Dear hubby,

Thank you for taking care of me. Even when I’m stupid and tired and at the end of my rope. Promise I don’t mean the stupid things I say.

Have fun going sports-crazy the next couple days, and extra thanks for letting me stay home ;-)

Love love love,
your Eileen

***********************************************************************

Dear former student,

When you came to me at the end of your rope, we worked with your dog and she improved a lot. A lot. I am so proud of both of you. You did a lot for your sweet, happy, silly dog. But ultimately, you decided that your home was not the best place for her, and turned her over to a low-kill shelter.

I do not think less of you for doing this. You gave your dog everything you had, you worked hard for her, and you helped her improve her behavior and her quality of life. You gave her a good, long stretch of time with you, and saved her from death row several years ago. Sometimes, it’s just not safe to keep a dog in your home due to certain situations. She can get better, but it will take time. And sometimes that’s time you don’t have. You were thinking of your other dogs and your family. Your silly girl will find a family whose needs meet her own. I promise I’ll do what I can to help her do so. Sometimes, the best thing you can do for a dog is letting her find a family that is better suited to her.

I’m sorry for the pain you feel. I’m sorry for the situation you were in. I’m sorry you feel embarrassed to talk to me about how you “gave up” on her. You did a good thing taking her in and working with her, and in the end, it just didn’t work out. So you did a good thing in finding her a family that can give her all she needs safely.

I hope you can find peace soon.

Sincerely,
your former trainer and always friend

***********************************************************************

Dear Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert,

Thank you for helping me laugh at the stupidity of politics. It is much preferable to crying. I will be spending some quality time with you soon.

Signed,
your loyal viewer

*phew!* Wanted to get those first two off my chest for awhile. Listening to my awesome, extremely positve-based student lecturing me (who he thought agreed) on the awesomeness of Milan was just painful. Can’t say anything, because I don’t want to alienate someone who I could show a better way to (and he loves the better way, he just thinks it’s in line with Milan), but if you know me you know that I have a hard time keeping my mouth shut. It’s just discouraging. (It shall be interesting to see how many Milan-defenders I get commenting. Veeeery interesting. Those who know nothing about dog-training tend to love him, it all looks so good!)

Moving right along. Let’s throw in some happiness.

(Again, click on the image to go to the host page)

Mmmm, lets ruminate on some happiness.

I am happy that I got through another week of stress and exhaustion! (I can see this one becoming a theme…)

I am happy that my new client, who I meet tomorrow, had one question for me before she decided to hire me: “Do you like or agree with Cesar Milan?” Thank you for refusing to hurt your aggressive dog. We’ll get her under control.

I am happy that the sun is out!!!

I am happy that I have a low-key weekend coming up where I can relax and train my own puppy!

I am happy that I managed to get up and going this morning earlier and faster than I have in a couple weeks. Yay going home early(er)!

Mmm, that took some thinking this morning. But it’s all good stuff. Love focusing on the positive!

Now a new one, Aloha Friday!

(There’s a pattern, click the link to visit the host)

Here’s how the host describes Aloha Fridays:

In Hawaii, Aloha Friday is the day that we take it easy and look forward to the weekend. So I thought that on Fridays I would take it easy on posting, too. Therefore, I’ll ask a simple question for you to answer. Nothing that requires a lengthy response.

Of COURSE this isn’t a shameless plug to get comments. *cough* But seriously, simple and fun :-) Not that I take it easy posting on Fridays…*scuffs toes*

All right, my question:

If you were getting a dog, what breed would you want?

For me, assuming I was getting a big dog, I’d get a shelter mutt, but likely a pit bull. There are lots in the shelters and they are SO SWEET and eager to please, not to mention great family dogs. And I think they’re beautiful :-) How ’bout you? Let me know in the comments!

And finally, going to play along with Friday Follow again:

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WW: Reliving a day

No, you know what? I’m staying up and write one more post. Because as I was about to head up to bed, this post at Mommy Drinks Because You Cry (love the name) popped up in my reader (and who are we kidding, I was just going to stay passive-aggressively at my computer anyway) and reminded me of Writer’s Workshop. So I popped over to see what the prompts are. And I want to go to bed on a happy note, dammit. And just thinking of my answer to this prompt made me smile:

1.) If you had to relive a day in your life what day would it be?

What instantly popped into my head was the first day my husband and I kissed.

To back up, we started dating in spite of ourselves. I had a “boyfriend,” one of those everyone-says-you-should-be-dating-and-you-do-after-school-activities-together-so-what-the-heck deals. To clarify, I was finishing my junior year of high school at this point (Yes, I married my high school sweetheart. I really don’t care if common wisdom says that was dumb. He is awesome, and I wasn’t going to break up with him just ’cause we met in high school). Well, this guy was just..nothing. Nice kid, year younger than me, very immature, just..nothing. All of us, the hubby, my boyfriend, and I, along with 20-ish other students, travelled to a national science competition (remember when I said I embraced my nerdiness?). My hubby and I both had failures out of our control in our big events. I was competing in an event where you build a structure as light weight as possible which holds 15 kilograms of weight (about 33 pounds held up by 0.033 pounds in my case). So it was made of lightweight sticks of wood. I built it in the high desert of Boise, the national competition was on the humid East coast; despite all precautions the structure which had successfully worked in Idaho warped visibly and failed at the national competition. My hubby competed in an event where he and a partner built instruments, played them, and took a test on music and sound. Once there he was disqualified by an error the judge made. She thought he was wrong, he knew he was right, you only have one hour to file a protest, and by the time he got out of the event, found the coach, and found the people to report to..hour’s up. They told him he was right later, if that helps.

Not that I’m still sore. :P

Anyway, that evening we were gathered in a common room of the hotel lobby, getting our evening speech from our coach. After it was over, the hubby saw a grand piano. He was upset, so he went over to start playing and vent. I love music, so I went over to listen. At this point I had no interest in him. Zero. He had been obviously crushing on me for the past year plus, being very overt about it at first…right as I was starting to “date” my “boyfriend” (homeschooled until high school, reading social cues and being subtle weren’t strong points, it took awhile to get him to back off). Anyway, I headed over for the music, not the company. I stood by the piano, I listened to him play..and I could just feel all of the hurt and frustration pouring out into the instrument as I took in his music. My hubby is an amazing pianist. He was as a senior in high school, and he is now. He has the ability to listen to something a few times and then sit down and play it. And it is beautiful. What he played touched my soul. I know no other way to describe it. I have never felt music in that way.

I fell in love with him right there.

Of course, I didn’t admit it, not even to myself. I mean, even if I did “like” him now, he was about to graduate in a few weeks and go to college. I was about to leave to spend a summer living in Japan as an exchange student in a couple months. Things could not work out.

But when we got back home, I dumped my then-boyfriend. Not for my hubby. Like I said, I figured that was impossible. But from that time by the piano, and a talk my hubby and I had later that night, I realized that I deserved so much better than I had with that guy. He’s a good guy…but he wasn’t what I needed. He just did nothing for me. So I ended it.

A friendship was formed over that piano. We talked later that night. And then my hubby invited me over to his place to play music. Not that anything happened there, the four younger siblings he had at home at that point kept us in line. Not to mention that I “knew” it couldn’t work and he “knew” he’d blown his chance by being so obvious and awkward and pushy a year prior.  But we hung out and talked and played music and I was happy and relaxed in a way I usually can’t be…even while extremely tense with “boy” stress.

We got together a few more times that summer. I was trying to deny that I was falling in love. Because it could not work out. We were looking at a year apart. And we only had a few weeks to get any base put together for it. Not happening. Not to mention that no one falls in love in high school. It was stupid. It was impractical. It made no sense. But that didn’t stop me from e-mailing him non-stop and IMing with him until late at night. As friends.

A few days before I left, it was my birthday. He got together with a girl friend of mine to take me out and celebrate. He got me a little birthday present, a CD of a group he liked. We hung out and had fun and pretended there was no tension between us. He had set up so that my girl friend would leave before him and we could talk a bit. I remember that we talked sitting on a picnic table outside of a rose garden. Neither of us could quite come up with what to say. I was holding a Styrofoam cup. I remember, because with my nail I carved, “I like you” into the side, or some such sentiment, but just could not get up the nerve to say it out loud or show it to him. He drove me back to my car, saying good bye for what would be the last time before I left for Japan and we probably never physically saw each other again.

And subconsciously or luckily, I forgot my present in his car.

I was upset. I wanted my present. It was from him. I convinced my mom to let us get together once more just so I could pick up my present. My mom was skeptical, probably thinking I’d made the whole thing up. Which was reasonable, but not the case. She let me go.

He drove out to a park near my house and I met him there. We met at parks a lot, because they were public (good Catholic kids) and yet gave us some privacy. We went for a short walk around the perimeter of the tiny park. Part way around, we stopped under a tree to sit and talk, rigidly holding ourselves apart, aware every time a hand brushed an arm or shoulder or leg. And then…suddenly…we were looking in each other’s eyes and he kissed me.

And the world stopped.

It was incredible. And not from any skill of ours. He had never kissed anyone before. I had kissed my previous boyfriend..but honestly, my thoughts were always, “What’s the big deal?” It was just weird. And I always had to kiss him, he never kissed me, which I hated.

But this..this..this was mind blowing. So powerful. So sweet. So deep. It was like time stopped. It was like the entire world went away. It was like nothing else existed except us.

We parted. We smiled. I think I leaned on him a bit. We talked more. We kissed more. Though still very chaste. Remember, very little experience here. He started kissing like most kids do, closed mouth like you’re kissing someone’s cheek, just on the lips. We explored and learned the basics of kissing together. I taught him some, and some we learned together. But even what I “taught” was completely different than what I had ever experienced before.

Too soon I had to go home. I was just supposed to be meeting him to pick up my CD.

I floated all the way.

That night we chatted, and I asked him if we were dating. I knew my dad would ask me, and I wanted to know what to say. I was me, even at that point, so I didn’t want to assume that someone could actually like me without confirming it.

He laughed and said, “Well we just kissed, so I hope so!”

I was in heaven.

That one kiss got us through the months of me being in Japan. No phone, no internet, just old-fashioned snail-mail. We would write letters to eachother every day, and then mail them about once a week. We would relive that afternoon, the power of that kiss, still in awe that such a simple thing could touch us so deeply. We described being together as being in “our place,” where the whole world just disappears. For me, especially, this was incredible. Keep in mind how hyper-vigilant I am about everyone around me. That I could be with him and have no idea of who was near was..mindblowing. It completely rocked my world.

At one point he wrote out the words to “Breathe” by Faith Hill in a letter

I can feel the magic floating in the air
Being with you gets me that way
I watch the sunlight dance across your face and I’ve
Never been this swept away

All my thoughts just seem to settle on the breeze
When I’m lying wrapped up in your arms
The whole world just fades away
The only thing I hear
Is the beating of your heart

‘Cause I can feel you breathe
It’s washing over me
Suddenly I’m melting into you
There’s nothing left to prove
Baby all we need is just to be
Caught up in the touch
The slow and steady rush
Baby, isn’t that the way that love’s supposed to be
I can feel you breathe
Just breathe

In a way I know my heart is waking up
As all the walls come tumbling down
I’m closer than I’ve ever felt before
And I know
And you know
There’s no need for words right now

‘Cause I can feel you breathe
It’s washing over me
Suddenly I’m melting into you
There’s nothing left to prove
Baby all we need is just to be
Caught up in the touch
The slow and steady rush
Baby, isn’t that the way that love’s supposed to be
I can feel you breathe
Just breathe

They so perfectly described what we had felt. We had no idea such things could be real.

That day also helped get us through the next 9 months with him at college and me still in high school, finishing up my senior year. We had some more days in between my return from Japan and his departure, and a few on his breaks from school or when I visited the college, but not many. My dad was raised in Iran and is very protective, he didn’t even like me dating in college. My mom was worried about me and how quickly and hard I’d fallen for this stranger she’d never heard about. I don’t blame her. But at the time I was just frustrated I couldn’t see him more.

That day helped us through the first year of our relationship, when we were almost always apart.

And even writing about it today, 7 years later, that day is still sustaining and uplifting.

I’m going to go fall asleep smiling now…

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…Friday?

It feels like Friday.

I DO NOT want to go to work tomorrow.

Today was only a 7 hour day and it would. Not. End.

*whine* *whine* *temper tantrum* *whine*

So I am being passive aggressive against myself and not going to bed, even though I’ve decided to at least 3 times in the last 45 minute.

On the up side, Toby and I started our new (more advanced) agility class today. He did awesome. Awesome. I think the warmth + light is really helping him out. That and practice. Once a week is better than nonce a week! It feels good to succeed at something.

Getting closer to quitting my crappy, poorly-paying job every. Day. Cannot wait. Oh happiness…I have forgotten what it is to experience you…please come back.

Also, been bad about updating on my steps. Also been bad about getting my steps. Two nights ago I got home and the hubby sent me to bed 45 minutes later (at 8:30) because I have been so freaking tired. Of course, then we talked til 10:30, but it was good, about some stuff we needed to get talked out (aka “Can I really quit? Really? You won’t be mad? Really?”). So no walking. Only 3,206 steps. If it helps, much of that was with a ginormous bag on my shoulder, as I walked l.o.n.g distances to find a bus stop that was actually open (they closed multiple bus stops on my route. Back-to-back stops. With no signage or announcement beforehand. Causing me to miss the last bus as I searched for a place to get on it.)

Yesterday I was a good girl. Went out and got my walk. Barely. 5,035 steps. Woo-hoo!

Today, not so much. Tired, down day. (Even with agility. I hate how these stupid depressions are not necessarily TRIGGERED by anything, so I can have a great hour and still for no reason go crashing down shortly thereafter while doing things I enjoy. I know it is stupid. Does that matter? No. That’s why it’s “depression” and not “sadness.”) But still, for a day without a booster walk, I done good. 4,335. Not bad. My average is s.l.o.w.l.y increasing. Or so I’d like to think.

Now I can’t stay up any longer. Must crawl up to bed. And try to find the part of me that cares enough to set an alarm.

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Catholics and $$

I do not understand St. Patrick’s Day. How is this a holiday we all celebrate? I mean..it’s a Catholic holiday. A white Catholic holiday. How did it become a national celebration?

Oh yeah. Beer.

But seriously, if we’re going to take a holiday that was religious and cultural and apply it to all, how ’bout we include some other religions/cultures’ holidays, too. No? OK, just saying… I’m not wearing green. I didn’t think about it. Because I do not care. I extra don’t-care as a disgruntled former Catholic :-) So sorry if I stay out of the holiday spirit.

Speaking of being a disgruntled former Catholic, I’m currently reading The Sparrow, which I wrote about in yesterday’s Teaser Tuesday. It’s a very, very interesting book about a Jesuit mission trip to another planet. Written in such a way that I’m moving through it slowly and carefully, trying to keep everything straight, and fascinated..but it’s complex enough in how the story is told that I’m not sucked in and burning through it.

Anyway.

This morning on the bus I came across some passages I found fascinating. As background (PSEUDO SPOILER ALERT – from what I can tell what I’m going to describe is not a major plot element, just a little romantic bit that I don’t even know will lead anywhere, but it’s not apparent at the start of the book) Emilio is a priest, and while he’s been true to his vows, now he’s found a woman who is challenging them. Now I shall share those passages, on the requirement of celibacy for priests and the nature of vows taken in our 20s, whether they be celibacy or marriage.

“But he’s a priest!” Jimmy protested, as though that settled something. “He’s taken vows!”

“Oh, God, Jimmy! Why are we so damned hard on priests when they find someone to love? What exactly is the crime here?” she demanded. “What is so terrible about loving a woman! Or even just needing to get laid once in a while, for crying out loud.[…]We all make vows, Jimmy. And there is something very beautiful and touching and noble about wanting good impulses to be permanent and true forever,” she said. “Most of us stand up and vow to love, honor and cherish someone. And we really truly mean it, at the time. But two or twelve or twenty years down the road, the lawyers are negotiating the property settlement.”

“You and George didn’t go back on your promises.”

She laughed. “Lemme tell ya something, sweetface. I have been married at least four times, to four different men.” She watched him chew that over for a moment before continuing, “They’ve all been named George Edwards but, believe me, the man who is waiting for me down the hall is a whole different animal from the boy I married back before there was dirt. Oh, there are continuities[…]People change. Cultures change. Empires rise and fall. Shit. Geology changes! Every ten years or so, George and I have faced the fact that we have changed and we’ve had to decide if it makes sense to create a new marriage between these two new people.”  She flopped back against her chair. “Which is why vows are such a tricky business. Because nothing stays the same forever.[…]What unnatural words. Always and forever! Those aren’t human words, Jim. Not even stones are always and forever.[…]I honestly don’t know if the world would be better or worse if we all held ourselves to the vows of our youth.”

I really like this for a couple reasons. 1) The question of why do we give priests such a hard time for breaking their vows, when non-celibates do so much more regularly and with much less fuss? Aren’t they allowed to change, too? 2) People change. Vowing something forever is hard. I don’t even know that it’s possible. It certainly isn’t reasonable. I think we all want the comfort of thinking things will be there forever..but it’s just not realistic to think we can know. Making a promise to try? Yes. But otherwise is just setting up for failure. In my opinion. I certainly have no desire to leave my husband. But if at some point he evolved into Glen Beck..well…that’s not the man I married…and I don’t think I could live with that man. Though who knows? I’ll change, too. (Please, not into that)

I read a lot of fantasy/sci fi, so the cultures are different. In some of the made-up cultures, marriages are not “forever,” they are for 1 or 5 or 10 years, which makes more sense to me. You have something to depend on which you can actually depend on, and then you both re-evaluate. Or in other “cultures,” marriages are more open. Your spouse doesn’t have to be your “soul-mate” forever, and you can be close with other people. Again, in some ways, it makes sense.  Not saying I’d want either of these set-ups. Just saying it’s interesting to consider. Something we normally wouldn’t even think of.

Another:

But even Jimmy could see that Emilio and Sofia would be good for each other and that their children would be beautiful and bright and beloved. And, following in the footsteps of centuries of compassionate Catholics before him, Jimmy  now wondered why guys like Emilio had to make a choice between loving God and loving a woman like Sofia Mendes.

He asked himself how he’d feel if he found out someday that Emilio had kept his vow, always and forever. To his surprise, he leaned toward sad.

Again, interesting. Celibacy did not make sense to me when I was a devout Catholic.  I could defend the idea and I didn’t think it was wrong, but it was just kind of a “Why? No, really, why?” type of feeling. I think it’s sad. Especially given, from the first quote, how hard it is to leave.

What do you guys think? Can we make promises in our 20s that we can uphold for our entire lives? Should we? Is the celibacy of priests a good thing or bad? (Note: celibacy is not a central Catholic teaching, and at times in the past it has been revoked. Thus it is more open to change than most practices, and really not a key thing) Chime in, share your thoughts, I love to hear opposition. As long as it’s respectful, I’ll let it post (sarcasm is OK. I <3 sarcasm. Personal attacks/pointless insults, not so much. I’m sorry if you disagree with my judgment of “respectful.” My blog, I have all the power *evil grin*)

Moving on.

I promised talk of $$. And I’m very excited. My hubby got a raise! And a good raise! Where he works the average raise across the engineers was guaranteed to be 5% (or put another way, the average amount of $$ available for raises was 5% of the salaries of all the engineers). My hubby? A bit over 6%. Go hubby! I have still never received a raise at my company, but I only expect to be here for 6 more months at the outside. I’m OK with him getting all the bumps :-)

And speaking of that, I was just reminded how much I do. Not. Care. Hour plus long meeting with my boss and my three-lettered-friend, they were asking me questions I didn’t know the answer to, and..*shrug* Whatever, I’ll figure it out or give you my guess. For me, who obsesses about what others think of me (and thus if I’m coming across as doing a good job) that’s a big deal. Change is on the horizon…can’t wait…

One final topic about $$: the census. What is the freaking big deal? I know all these people complaining about “government intrusion” because they are asking what ages of people live in their house. Or how it’s a giant waste of money (“1 billion dollars!!!”). The census is 10 questions. It asks how many people live in the house and some information on who they are. This is then used for things like, oh, schools. Where to build schools, how to draw districts, trying to keep class-size reasonable. To do that, they need to know how many kids are where. This wasn’t an issue when the constitution was drawn up. Or how about parks or roads or any other public service? Not to mention statistics. I hear people all the time quote stats on cities, the average age, racial distribution. Maybe that’s not needed, but everyone (including conservatives) sure love to use them. As for the money, they use the data from the $1 billion the census costs to decide how to most efficiently spend over $400 billion. That means less than 1/4 of one percent of their budget is given over to trying to plan how to most efficiently use the money. See, that’s smart. That’s nothing. If you guess blind, there is more than 1/4 of one percent of waste, I can guarantee it. And that’s not even the only thing done with the census (distribution of House seats, anyone?). *sigh* I wish people would just stop screaming government takeover at every.single.thing.

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TTT: Secret Indulgences

Time for another installment of Too True Tuesday! As Essie puts it:

Too True Tues(day) is your chance to tell it like it is. Tell the world the truth on alternate Tuesdays one blog at a time. Confession is good for the soul and great fun for the rest of us to read.

The topic this week is Secret Indulgences. What would you continue buying, even if you had no money left? Fill in Essie’s blank:

I make my family eat actual grass and twigs so I can buy…….(blank).

I’ve been thinking about this one for awhile now, and having a hard time coming up with anything. I mean, I like my cushy life just the way it is, I don’t really want to cut back anywhere thankyouverymuch. So it’s hard to think, is luxury A more important to me than luxury B (sometimes referred to as “food”)? I don’t know. I think I could give up all of my current little indulgences if it meant eating; books, TV, anything above basic phone service (that is needed for any job, not an indulgence), sweets, dinners out, movies…on and on.

And then it hit me. And this will come as a shock to all of you, I know.

What I refuse to give up is my dog. Or puppy. Or whatever I have at the time. I will always have at least one dog in my life. I don’t care if I have to feed my (future) children literal twigs and leaves, I will have a dog in my home.

But if it makes you feel any better, I’d feed the dog twigs and leaves, too.

So there’s my not-so-secret indulgence. Well, I guess it’s a secret because the average person looking at me would not know the extent to which I am obsessed with value my dog. Most people tend to have a bit of a thing about putting animals above humans, not sure why that is. But if everyone’s eating grass, well, then it’s equal treatment!

What’s your secret indulgence? Share, link up at Essie’s, and then laugh along with everyone else! Happy gut-spilling!

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Teaser Tuesday

Mmmm, a meme about reading. And it’s easy. All over that.

In short, you grab whatever book you’re reading, flip to a random page, and give us two sentences out of it. No spoilers unless you warn! No spoilers here.

I’m currently reading The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell. Very interesting thus far. It’s a sci-fi book..about a Jesuit mission trip. So, well, the trip is to another planet.  Short review to come when I’m done, hopefully before the next Teaser Tuesday, but I’ve been slow as of late.

And now: on to the quote!

“Shit, Emilio, I don’t know–maybe God is as real for you as George and I are for each other…We were barely twenty when we got married, back before the Earth’s crust cooled. And believe me, nobody gets through forty years together without noticing a few attractive alternatives along the way.”

These lines are on pg. 41. No, I did not count the “…” as the end of a sentence. I like the whole quote. Sue me.

So there you have it! Click on the meme’s picture to play along!

As always, book recommendations directly to me are welcome :-)

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