Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Moving Right Along (To the beat of a different drummer)

I saw this shirt online today and laughed smugly to myself. Not just because it is funny but also because, for me, it is true. I've been moving all over the place and each move has been different. I utilize everything from suburbans to suitcases. I have moved all my possessions that I "need" to live in 6 suitcases. I have loaned couches to friends. I have ruthlessly used said friends to help me move. I have done many, many things. I think the next time I have a "moving party" I will make it a costume one...or provide Zorro masks. Why? Because its FUN!
In other news, pray for me. God is showing me that stability is a thing I need to depend on Him for. And I'm having a nice little yelling contest with Him about His methods.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

When Scott and I saw this picture, we both knew it was awesome. But it was Scott who pointed out why. Yes, indeed, this is another perfect example to go into the informational pamphlet that we will someday publish entitled "The Joys of Force-Lightning" Of course, when the picture is in the pamphlet, it will be enhanced to show the actual force lightning being generated by Hilary's evil, evil mind.
So, this week I've got a new job - and it may just be the best one yet. I'm not sure why this position was called a "receptionist" - because that's not anything like what I do. I am working in the Rotman MBA program's Admission & Recruitment office. It is an amazingly fulfilling job. Which, just goes to say, "I told you so!" Well, maybe not you specifically, but I certainly told many people that I'd like working for a university department office. And boy, oh boy do I enjoy it. The really interesting thing is that, it is the intangibles that make this job better than all the rest. I've actually had jobs that pay more, jobs with better perks (i.e. free coffee, sodas & lots of gourmet food.), and jobs where I had a more comfortable chair, much more free time and many other things that other people might consider good. But this job makes me feel good. I am Making Things Right, Working for the Little Man, being the Only Voice that many prospective students have.

This is a good feeling. I am working intensely, thoroughly and doing much more than I have in other jobs. There is a regular banter between myself and the other lady in my office regarding the stupidity of people who send e-mails asking questions of an MBA program. I mean, they're trying to get an MBA...and about 50% of the e-mails we get I copy-paste replies direct from the website! That they HAD to have visited to get the e-mail address. Sheesh.

But then there are people like the lovely young lady whose only fault is that she took her degree in Mexico. Her English is better than many people who may get into our program this year, but she still has to take the TOEFL...and therefore can't get into the program she wants to apply for. Such sorrow! And all because of a test date!

All that to say, I like my job. Because it is fulfilling. And also, and I have to say, this is a factor, I think this job may last me a good long time...maybe until we leave this here country.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

A Challenger Has Emerged!

You have to use three words to answer each question. No more, no less.
It's harder than you think.

1. Where is your cell phone?
Don't have one.

2. Your boyfriend/girlfriend?
Silly Bouncy Boy

3. Your hair?
Changes Color Often

4. Where is your father?
At home, eating

5. Cheesecake?
Where? Give, now!

6. Your favorite thing to do?
Read, Game, Eat.

7. Your dream last night?
Antics with Broccoli

8. Your favorite drink?
Vanilla Herbal Tea

9. Your dream car?
Convertible Mustang Hybrid

10. The room you're in?
Warm yellow, red

11. George Bush?
Good times, but...

12. Your fears?
Clowns. Snakes. Falling.

13. Nipple rings?
Why torture yourself?

14. Who did you hang out with last night?
Dear sweet hubby

15. What you're not good at?
Lying to friends

16. Your best friends?
Sweet cuppin' cakes!

17. One of your wish list items?
apple iPod touch

18. Where did you grow up?
Abilene, O Abilene

19. The last thing you did?
Ate yummy potatoes

20. What are you wearing?
comfy green PJs

21. Tattoo on the lower back?
No, nay, never!

22. Ketchup?
Seasoned Fries Better!

23. Your computer?
Mac Mini Happiness!

24. Your life?
Full of anticipation.

25. Your mood?
Slightly guilty...fixable.

26. Missing?
Three Acceptance Letters

27. What are you thinking about right now?
Love my honey

28. Your car?
Don't Drive. TTC!

29. Your work?
Changes Almost Constantly

30. Your summer?
Home where warm?!

31. Your relationship status?
Head over heels!

32. Your favorite color(s):
Green for growth!

33. Last time you laughed?
Reading teh lolcats

34. Last time you cried?
Sad TV moment

35. High school?
Home school girl!

36. This quiz?
Fun but easy.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Music Hath Charms

The lyrics of some songs are most agreeable in their disagreement with their music. I shall 'splain...no, there is too much, let me sum up. On the other hand, 'splaining is fun - and kinda the purpose of this blog. So perhaps I should 'splain instead.

So you'll be an Austrian nobleman
Commissioning a symphony in c
Which defies all earthly descriptions
You'll be commissioning a symphony in c

I have no idea which particular historical Austrian nobleman is referred to here, probably one who commissioned a symphony or two in his time...possibly from Motzart. And, for the first time, I find myself mourning my inability to post music - because the contrast I'm looking at here is between the story that these lyrics don't so much tell as allude to and the hip, bouncy rock music it is sung to.

With money you squeeze from the peasants

To your nephew you can give it as a present
This magnificent symphony in c
Youll be commissioning a symphony in c

Completely filling the palace concert hall
Its warm and golden like an oven thats wide open
It has a melody both happy and sad
Built on victorious young triads

I think this last phrase is what really makes me like this song. The "victorious young triads" is exactly what the rock music is based off of - but, when you think of "victorious chords" and "symphonies" - you really, really don't think of those employed by Cake. They are masters of the subtle dance between lyric and music. And they do it while barely making any sense at all. Many artists have to write about compelling things to succeed - but not Cake - they can write nonsense and have it be both pleasant and historically referential nonsense. And people will probably enjoy it. I look forward to "The Rhineland Crematory Waltz"... :-p

In contrast, I shall put forth "Dangerous Game" from Jekyll & Hyde.

At the touch of your hand -

At the sound of your voice -
At the moment your eyes meet mine -
I am out of control -
I am out of my mind -
Full of feelings I can't define!

Here the music & lyrics amp each other up to great extremes. Even without brilliant actors (like Seibert & Organ of my ACU homecoming musical wonderfulness) portraying this dynamic struggle, you can hear it in the voices, the words, everything plays up in the very best of dramatic music. (For those of you who weren't there or didn't know, I used another piece from Jekyll & Hyde in my wedding...because it's BEAUTIFUL...plus I had an amazing soloist for a MOH, so I had someone who could do it proper.)

Friday, March 07, 2008

Pictures of Pubs that inspire me

After my last post, I decided to get some visual elements to make me happy about my pub hopings...here are a few.

Of course, a pub called the "Green Lady" has to have a beer garden.

Homes I have yet to live in

I'd love to think about something that isn't work or money related - but it is very, very hard to do. I think the closest I can come while actually at work (where I have much free time, but am stuck at a computer and can't read or play Wii...my true escapes) is 2 homes - both of them future hopes & dreams. It's almost like a 5 & 30 year plan....but that would be thinking about money - so I stick to the visuals, the dreamy parts.

In the next five years...

I want to buy & sell a house at a profit. I've been watching a lot of shows where people "flip" houses for loads of money - but that's not what I really want to do. Well, sort of - on a very protracted basis. What I want to do is buy the ugly house, the fixer-upper with excellent structure but hideous paint & a couple of walls that need careful knocking down. I could learn to knock down walls. Surely there's a self-help book out there "How to Knock Down Walls for Fun & Profit".

But this house wouldn't just be about profit - it would be about testing my many design ideas, discovering my limits in some new & exciting ways...and all without winding up with a "Disaster DIY" or some such. Careful planning is the key - I think, careful planning and lots of good advice & help. That and friends who are carpenters, plumbers, etc. And we would live in this house for the 5 years while Scott is getting his doctorate - and we'd pay it off, coming out of the bargain with enough profit to buy a nicer house for our "permanent home"...and hopefully without a huge mortgage on that one. This is all "the plan" - and I dream about "the plan" and the house, and what I might do with it...and I look on realty websites and find out where I could spend money well and where it would be silly...etc. This is my five year plan. Isn't it lovely?

In thirty years...or maybe 35...

This is our "retirement" plan, the way to be relaxed and happy at age 55. And it is called "The Green Lady." It is a home, but also a business. We assume that by this time, Scott will be an established professor with tenure at a lovely university. We have been putting money back, hopefully ever since Scott got his first position at a university and we moved into a little "family house" to raise our little family. So, we've been putting money into a special savings account labelled "Green Lady" - and once we get a nice tidy sum, (say $1000), we'll put that into a good mutual fund...and just keep contributing to it.

The Green Lady is our little pipe dream. And we talk about it all the time. It is a pub, it is a boarding house and it is our home. We hope to build it ourselves...but would not be adverse to restoring some old monstrosity. It is close to the university, right on a corner between commercial & residential. It has 3 floors at minimum. The basement is the pub. We have limited hours and do not depend on income from the pub to do more than support the pub. We sell the best burgers & fries anywhere and we have procured the recipe for Mushroom Pepperpot from the Eagle & Child. We bring in esoteric beers...and attract the beer snobs. We encourage philosophy clubs and the occasional poetry night. This is the heart of the Green Lady - this is where you can join your professor for a pint. We host poker nights but not Texas Hold-Em tournements.

The second floor is for boarders. This is where a few (between 5 & 10 probably...but it might be more...depending on roommate situation) students get to live. We promise their parents that we'll look after them and we promise the students that while we won't interfere - but that we will care. We are not an apartment complex or a dorm - we are a boarding house. We have rules and expect our tenants to follow them. The idea is that eventually living at the Green Lady will be a kind of "secret priviledge" - something that is neither the talk of the university nor completely unknown. And that the right tenants would begat future tenants, through recommendations, friends, siblings, etc.

Who am I kidding, we'll be starting this project as soon as it's affordable! I get so excited just writing about it. Once Scott gets tenure...we shall proceed! This is my big dream - the reason I'm so interested in the hotel and B&B business. A way to bring a little bit of the UK home with us and live in it always. Big comfy chairs & little Victorian cozy booths with lots of woodwork & wrought iron.

So...these are the things that I think of when I want to avoid thinking about the stresses that are currently majorly bugging me out. These are my long term goals...to live happily with my hubby...to make enough money during the semester that we can travel during the summer...and to have a little place that is all our own, and distinctly so. I can't think of the "reality" of these dreams yet - I can't even put aside any money for them, there are too many immediate things going on to do that. But I can scheme. I can know WHEN I should be putting down money for them. I can collect pictures and watch home improvement shows and visit lots & lots of pubs, B&Bs and "college student housing." These things I can do. So that when I'm a little older, a little greyer, but no less spry of mind (I have high hopes of taking after my paternal grandmother who is a force to be reckoned with to this day, all leather and wit), then I can paint a wooden sign, put up a chalkboard with the "brews of the month" and polish a bar 'til the granite gleams. (or wood...but right now I'm thinking dark green granite on a wooden base...sounds nice, huh?)

Tumbleweed Me (Good Advice)

I am sincerely tempted to photoshop up a picture of me as a tumbleweed. But I have no idea what it'd look like, except probably something out of a really bad '80s horror flick. So, no - I am nothing if not a professionally dressed tumbleweed. But a tumbleweed is what I am - the Texas tumbleweed that blows along, going from one place to another not out of its own voalition, but instead out of the whims of others. So, a new metaphor for my life as a temp.

Sometimes I wonder if I should've called this blog "the adventures of a temporary employee" or something like that. Perhaps. But I intend to be writing about my days much longer than I intend to be a temp. So there. It shall remain the enigmatic and inside joke "A Truck You Say?!" and that's that. For the true wisdoms behind my adventures as a temp, you may look to my up & coming wikiHow on "How to Succeed as a Temporary Employee" - where I dispense my hard won advice for free!

Someone once told me that advice is worth just about exactly what you pay for it, and I tend to agree...but I always take into consideration payments made not by me. For instance, when my Dad gives me advice, he dispenses it for the price of "I listen to him" - but the advice comes at the price of his own experience, which is considerable. Needless to say, I listen to his advice and usually (but not always) take it. I always, however, take something from it.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Step by Step

Well, things are progressing here in the cold North. The wind doth blow and the snow doth fall and the drifts doth form. I eat my oatmeal with no sugar, only raisins (yay! This is good! Less sugar!) I'm also working on a D&D campaign that should be lots of fun. I'd love to say what it's all about, but some of the people who read this blog are in it. But this is my first time DMing, so I'm pretty excited. We're going to do the whole thing online - via e-mail & chat. Should be a good experience, y'know? Fun times shall be had by all.

I'm realizing now that this is the first post of March. Well, this week has been decidedly odd. I'm working at TD securities, at least a little - I'll get...31 hours total from them this week. But, honestly, the less hours are worth the less aggravation. I'm just covering shifts @ lunch & breaks...helping out with a few things, but even only working 6 hours, I still spend a lot of time just sitting around. Without a computer! Well, speaking of, I've gotta go. Don't want to be late, y'know.