Monday, June 29, 2015

June Pointless Lists

I haven't really been paying attention lately, you guys, so the end of June has taken me quite by surprise...

Books read
This month I decided to tackle Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I also figured I'd be on Deathly Hallows by now, but it was not meant to be. I'm still not finished with Half-Blood Prince. Whatever. Knowing what I know, I see all sorts of clues and stuff, and that's kind of fun but also kind of depressing because: Dumbledore! And that's just the beginning.

Eric update
The play structure is gone and the new basketball court is done, and there's been many a game of HORSE going on in the Walker household since then. Eric is pretty pleased that his project has been so well received. And that weeds can't grow through concrete.

He also played golf on Saturday for the first time probably since Abby was a baby. He was quite pleased with himself and his performance, although the attributes that to "beginner's luck." His poor hands are blistered, though. I guess that's what you get for taking such a long hiatus.

Abby update
ARW has started a summer job at the lavender farm literally a hundred steps from our driveway. (Actually, now I'm curious. I'm going to count next time I take a walk.) It's a great situation because she won't get her license until the end of July, and she was worried about how she was going to be able to get to and from a job in the meantime. Basically her tasks include welcoming visitors to the farm and helping them with the U-Pick portion of the experience, watering, deadheading and weeding. In these days of upper 90ºs to low 100ºs, it's a bit of a strain, but hey, employees get free water! (Um...)

And she went to a basketball camp at Gonzaga University the week after school was out, and came home utterly exhausted. I think she slept for the next week. Living on campus was a good experience for her -- like how there were three showers for an entire floor. Ah, college! That's just a good time right there.

Johanna update
School is out and Johanna is pretty happy about that. She claims she wants to "sleep in," but she's never been one for that nonsense, so mostly it just means she's up at her regular time but now she gets to watch cartoons on the iPad over breakfast. (We need to have a talk about her television consumption, now that I think about it.)

But! She did go to a basketball camp the week after school was out (she missed the last day because of Grandpa's funeral) and has been enjoying the new basketball court very much -- she's usually the one organizing those HORSE games, and she's always up for an audience even if she's just shooting around.

Project 333
I get to pick out a whole new wardrobe once July 1 hits, and I've already been working at it a bit. I'll write more about this later -- I've got too much to say to fit in a pointless update. ;) (P333 info here.)

Light update
At the beginning of the month, I was all set to work on the digital photo clutter we've got on our computer, and I even went so far as to buy a new 16 gig USB drive, and then I went on Snapfish to complete a book order.

And learned that Snapfish has changed its operating system or something and I couldn't even find my book. I tried the whole live chat thing and it wasn't particularly helpful. So no book, no pictures off the hard drive, and nothing to show for the month.

Failure! The end.

Supernatural update
Abby has watched a few episodes without me, but that's okay. We're on season four, and here's all you need to know: Everyone is mad at Sam and Dean's all moody because he just spent 40 years in Hell. Sam's got some super powers or something, and Dean's got an angel that keeps popping in on him.

It's probably not supposed to be hilarious, but I am enjoying it, even though it is a bit dark. Sometimes I find myself pondering what's going on or what has happened in the last show we watched. Well, you've got to do something to pass the time.

Weather update
They say when you start talking about the weather, you've officially run out of things to say. But in this case, I'd like to point out that it's pretty rare to have 100º-plus days in June in Oregon. That heatwave last year that totally messed up the rest of the country? Passed us right by. We've been in the 90ºs and 100ºs for the last week, and the forecast looks like so:

Well, whatever, I guess. I kind of like it -- I like being warm -- but it does get exhausting when it's a day in, day out sort of ordeal. Eh, we have air conditioning, and nothing has burned down yet (you know there's going to be major fires this year with as dry as everything is), so there you go.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The five stages of grief are dumb

It's been a hell of a week and a half, and I'm just... I don't even know. Mostly I'm just trying to exist until this whole ordeal gets easier.

I have no idea if it will get easier. I assume it has to. But I don't know.

I keep trying to figure out where I am with the five stages of grief. Like maybe if I can pinpoint where I am with all that, I'll be able to predict when I'll be able to breathe again. But you know what? The five stages of grief are stupid.

Because no one grieves the same, of course, and anyway, some of them don't even apply to my situation. How can I bargain if I have nothing to bargain with? So does that mean I just skip to the fourth stage, depression, or does that mean I'm stuck here at stage three forever?

Also, why can't denial, stage one, last longer?

Why did I marry someone who doesn't even know how to fight? I haven't been able to vent any of my anger. That's stage two. I want a proper stage two!

And why can't I be angry and depressed and in acceptance? I'm a realist, you guys, I know what happened.

So it turns out the five stages of grief are too black and white for my tastes. And P.S., I have written this post and written this post, and erased a thousand words at least, and all I can come up with is this: Grief sucks. All the stages in the world can't change that.

Talk about pointless.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Goodbye, Gramps


Love you forever, Gramps. Thank you for being such a big, wonderful part of my life.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

7 pointless updates

1. I got word this evening that my 92-year-old grandfather was "unresponsive" at lunch today, and the paramedics were called, and they worked on him "for quite a while" and "brought him back" and now he's in the hospital. Apparently he had no pulse. I have no idea what's going on, and I can't concentrate. That's why you get a list of updates. Anything more is beyond my abilities at the moment.

1.5. UPDATE: Saturday, June 13: I'd be remiss to not mention that my grandpa is still in the hospital, but is doing okay. Apparently the valve (a valve?) on his heart partially closed, causing the "episode." My mother says he has a great doctor, that Gramps is fine until he tries to stand up (and his blood pressure drops), and that all signs point to him being able to go "home" to assisted living.

P.S. My grandparents gave their notice to leave at the end of the month -- they want to go home so badly even though it's basically suicide -- but the doctor is telling them to stay in assisted living for their safety. (Uh, you think?)

2. Tomorrow is Abby's and Johanna's last day of school. Come 3:30 p.m., we will have a fifth grader and a junior. I. Can't. Even.

3. Our blueberry bushes are already pumping out the blueberries. We've picked twice. We should probably pick again.

4. I have not checked the raspberries yet. I love raspberries. I really should.

5. I missed the farmers' market this evening because I was tired after a long day at work, I hadn't had time to hit the bank for cash, and I'd forgotten my reusable bags when I'd left the house this morning. So instead of the planned salad and fresh bread, we had industrial pizza and my stomach is pissed.

6. The dog shelter people came to Jo's classroom today, and she really bonded with Josie, and she was SO EXCITED to come home and tell Dad about it and maybe get us signed up as foster dog parents. Because wouldn't it be fun to have Josie for a week? She's calm and a cuddler! Her optimism was no match for Eric's firm refusal. We are truly not dog people, but I can't help but think a dog would be really great for Johanna. It's just that we do better with pets that ignore us is all. Dogs actually require responsibility.

7. It really sucks that I have no idea what the future holds. I like to maintain an illusion of control, but at the end of the day, all I can do is shrug my shoulders and pretend to be okay with the fact that I am NOT.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

I've been spammed!

I've been probably a little too excited lately because I've actually gotten a couple comments here on the blog -- and from people who don't know me, either.

So imagine my first reaction when I saw I had a new comment Monday! Hooray!

But upon reading said comment, I could tell right away that it wasn't legit. First of all, the writer complemented me on my "excellent article" that contained "just the information" they were looking for. It was TOTALLY going to help them with the paper they were writing, and here were a couple of links I could check out because obviously this was a topic of interest.

Riiiiiiight. The article they got so much useful information from? Doughnut Lottery. So I can only assume A) they were searching for the word "lottery" and stumbled upon my "article," or 2) they were writing a paper on board games invented by 10-year-olds.

Well, it IS pretty awesome.

Also: Did they not even bother to read my tagline? (I chose "Because there's enough useful content online already" for a reason.)

Well, whatever. The moral of this story is that I removed the comment and wished I could also remove the spammer's name, which is highlighted and therefore a live link, because I don't want ANYONE to click that thing EVER.

Also: Note to spammers, maybe at least skim the post you're commenting on so you have kind of an idea of what's going on. Otherwise the tip-off is just too easy.

Monday, June 8, 2015

It's "Harry Potter" weather

This week in Portland. If you google "Oregon Weather," it just assumes
Portland is the center of the Oregon universe. Depressing.

There's something about 80º-plus weather that makes me want to read Harry Potter. I think that's because the books were always released in the summertime, and I associate heat with Harry. 

Ah, the good ol' days. I'd reread all of the books before the launch of the next installment, out on the deck in the sunshine. This was pre-employment, you understand, so I had a lot of time on my hands. There's only so much laundry and sweeping you can do before you need to go find something else.

Hey, true story, I never planned to even read the books until they were all out, because I'm kind of terrible about waiting, but then I subbed at the middle school library (my old job pre-Abby) when Abby was four, and the series was there to "Order of the Phoenix," and the kids were all talking about them, so I started reading and came up for air like three days later pissed that I'd have to wait another two or three years for the next one because "Order" had just been released.

God, Umbridge. I'm still scarred.

Anyway, there is no point to any of this, other than I was sitting on the deck yesterday, looking at the mountain and thinking of Harry and how I'd really like to read the sixth and seventh books again (just because I haven't read them nearly as many times as the first five). So that will probably be my week, just FYI.

This mountain. This was the header image for the newspaper
a couple of months ago. I tell you this so you understand just
how big of a poser I am.
The end.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Eh, what's a little slander, really?

I'm not entirely sure what to write, and it doesn't help that I'm bone tired thanks to a kind of hectic week at work. But this is just to say that one of my stories Wednesday drew a letter to the editor claiming I'd slandered someone. Um, technically it's libel when you're talking about print -- slander is spoken word -- but really, I'm just splitting hairs here.

The fact that what I wrote was no where near libelous is beside the point, too, since when people respond, they're really just going from their gut, but it bothers me anyway. I guess because I tried so hard (and in particular with this story, since the topic was a wee bit contentious) and got so far, but in the end, it doesn't really matter.

No, wait. That's Linkin Park. My bad.

(That's plagiarism, by the way. I'm going for broke.)

(Also one of my all-time favorite songs.)

I kind of forgot what my point is, except that I'm tired and this doesn't help my self esteem any, even though my self esteem is ridiculously high. Every time I start feeling good about myself, I get a lesson in humility.

Probably not the worst thing.

The end, I guess.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Project 333: Ode to my little black dress

Before Project 333, I thought I needed a different outfit for each day, and if a special occasion happened to befall me, that required Special Occasion Wear.

Kind of stressful for a girl who doesn't even like shopping.

But that was then and this is now. I haven't gone through almost two years of dressing with less for nothing.

Recently I added a little black dress to my 33. I've been on the hunt for one for a while, but hadn't found one that was quite right until a couple of months ago. I liked its lines and simplicity.

Huh. My picture is sad. But trust me, this is
a great dress.

All of this is just to say that in the last four days, I've worn my dress three times: On Thursday to work, on Saturday to a funeral, and on Sunday to a confirmation service. And I felt pretty good about myself too boot.

I've said before that I don't mind wearing things over and over -- I will wear whatever I want whenever I want, repeats be damned. Because you guys, no one cares. And even if they do care, why should I? The world is not going to end if I wear a sweater twice in a row or the same pants twice in a week.

Um, kind of lost my train of thought. Sometimes it's harder to be pointless than you'd expect.

On Thursday, the hottest day of the year, I wore the dress because it was my coolest option. I dressed it up with a pendent and wore the cardigan inside when the air conditioner got out of control.

On Saturday, it had gone from the 80ºs to the 60ºs, but the funeral was inside a church with no graveside service, so I wasn't too worried about staying warm. I used a scarf as a wrap.

And on Sunday, we were again in the 60ºs and again in a church -- this time for my Godson's confirmation. (And can I just say this kid is awesome? He makes me laugh.) I repeated the cardigan and added pearls.

Eric gave me pearls for our 5th
anniversary... 15 years ago.

I kind of missed my dress today when I wore something else. I could maybe do a One Dress Project, now that I think about it.

Fine, my "outfits" aren't really that different. But I tell you this, having just the one dress made getting ready was terribly easy. Minimalism in action! But I'm not telling you to go out and get a little black dress. That would be dumb. Because maybe you don't like black. Maybe you don't like dresses. Maybe you'd rather have a navy dress. Maybe you'd rather have a pair of pants and a t-shirt. I don't know, you guys. I'm just telling a story about my dress and how I rocked the world.

The end.