Thursday, February 28, 2008

what happens if the world is your oyster and you're allergic to shell fish?

Today the world is doing this thing where it is very slowly snowing: those big fat lazy kind of flakes that swirl and dance as they come down, and don't ever seem to amount to much on the ground. Its beautiful and romantic and causes me to gaze longingly out my window rather than doing things like real work or even fake work (hello blog).
I think I am at heart a lazy sort of a creature. Although my laziness is punctuated by periods of actual productivity. Today, however, would appear to be one of the lazier days.
Yeah, not much productivity in sight. But the snow sure is pretty.
Everyone around me seems to have made it a point to grouse about the snow at least a little bit. But come on people--isn't this what you expect of a proper winter? I think people who aren't directly related to snow industries tend to forget that historically March is the biggest snow month here (I dated a guy in college who did ski business--yes it was a real program. and he lived like he had a trust fund coming to him (he didn't, he just liked to pretend) and spent most of his time on a snowboard. --so I know a bit more than I ever wanted to about the back end of such things--but I also got to go to some World Cup events --and see Wu Tang for free once (honestly, if it wasn't free I would have missed that one) --and Vail for a couple of weeks one year. It certainly wasn't all bad:) ) so we should be expecting more of the same, whether we want it or not.
I've always been a fan of snow. I'm not really excited about driving in it all the time (when things go wrong they can go scarily wrong. I have done my share of accidental 360s) but I don't generally mind (driving chant: slow-n-steady-slow-n-steady). On the whole, though I do like having it around. The winter I lived in England I really missed the snow (England's winters are very very damp plenty of rain and mist, only once while I was there did it "snow" --for all of about 20 minutes) although I did run a lot more that winter than any winter lately. When I was in high school I always traded my sneakers in for skis (nordic) for the winter, but lately I don't feel like I have the cash or time to make that kind of trade--I still have my high school race skis, I just don't have all the assorted upkeep-equipment: the wax and scrapers and iron and klister (eeewe klister-- I worked at an XC place one winter that called their snack bar the Klister Kitchen. Klister is extremely sticky gooey stuff that, if someone brought it into your kitchen, you would probably boil them alive for resulting mess--I always thought that was rather ridiculous. Oh the powers of alliteration)--all that good stuff. Which is another way of saying: I am way too lazy to gather all of this miscellaneous equipment that would probably cost me less than $40 to acquire.
Hah. I have just written yet another post about how lame I am. I guess thats sort of what they always boil down too. I should probably change the title up there to "The Lame Adventures of Cait the Mundane" or something. actually I kind of like how that sounds.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

edit to the last post

Well, this is a first.
I totally forgot about halfway through typing that last bit that I was going somewhere with that first paragraph that I never quite got to(You're not surprised, are you? Of course not. We're talking about the girl who licked a paper towel) . So anyway, where was I?
Okay: so the ranty mcranty rant that I went off on earlier: That whole entitlement thing really makes me queasy, but I totally do it too (doesn't everyone?) about stupid stuff like making my lunch every day for a week (I get to order Thai takeout!) and running over fifteen miles in a given week (automatic ice cream!) and sticking to my savings/ debt repayment goals (trips--next month NC here I come!).
And is there anything that makes you think you've "earned" something like being broke for a week? I wrote earlier about how I screwed up and double-withdrew from my checking its taken until today for things to finally reverse and all to be good again in the Checking World, and so all week I've been making little lists in my head of what I was going to do/have/buy when I got that money back because I have been "broke" all week.
(on a side note: I dated a guy in college who once, between jobs, went (with me in tow) on a CD purchasing binge because, he said "nothing makes me want to buy things quite like being broke" he obviously had some problems with personal finance, but isn't it just the truth sometimes?)
So the money is back in my account, and I don't think I am going to do much of anything with it except put gas in my car and pay back my "utoh"fund for the gas bill. Which sort of makes it a savings extravaganza (sort of) ...kind of makes me want to go out and splurge on something.
Okay, now I think I'm done here.

s'not funny

Sometimes I wish the world owed me something. Most of the time I loathe the people who operate that way though--you know the ones? The folks who give in to introspective selfishness and indulge themselves at every given opportunity because they've "earned it" when in reality, or at least from the outside, it doesn't really look like all that much has happened / been earned / is deserved at all.
Privilege. Its one of those things that raises my hackles. Partly because of the class-awareness/ classlessness of the American system , at least in the time I grew up in (the mid-to-late '80s preppie fascination with upper-class stylings; the late '80s-'90s grunge-itude and punk resurgence when the "wrong side of the tracks" was the right one). Partly, I guess, just because .
I think part of the problem we are finding ourselves in today, as a country (hello mortgage crisis, hello credit card debt and negative savings rate, hello corporate scavenging by CEOs CFOs and COOs) is because somewhere in the American Dream propaganda, and the life-will-be-better jargon is this idea that you've earned it--the bigger house (that you can't quite afford)--the flashy flat screen (no cash? put it on the credit card!) --the two cars and daily Starbucks coffee(car payment or savings account? car payment!) --the multi-million dollar bonus even though you have to cut 30,000 jobs to make a profit (this one really gets me--(class warfare!) "competitive benefits" my ass).
Yeah, we work pretty hard. But that doesn't automatically entitle anyone to anything, does it?
I guess it should entitle you to what you've earned: your paycheck. Decent benefits, a modicum of security that your job will be there next quarter or year or decade, or at least a heed-able warning that bad times are coming.
That is certainly not to say that the stereotype I've just drawn is all that wide reaching --I mean, its a caricature if its anything, obviously--but it is also a feeling I get, sometimes, talking to people. My friends from college believing in the Great White Dream (mr. shining armor coming to take their credit card debt and dead end jobs away) the few hospital administrators and insurance types I talk to with any sort of regularity (insurance ethics? now theres a joke), the other kids, like me, a few years out of college or graduate school trying to put things together and making a place for "whats in it for me?" (I work sixty hour weeks. The least I can give myself is a daily mocha latte. And a gym membership. And a monthly pedicure. And a night out with the guys. et cetera et cetera). Its like the whole world is on a treadmill these days: we're not going anywhere, but we're still afraid we might fall off.

Monday, February 25, 2008

smile when they ask you too and you'll get them expecting things

Happy Monday.
I did a stupid thing last week. Or actually, somehow I managed to do a stupid thing a couple of weeks ago, but because it was a stupid thing having to do with automatic transfers of funds, it didn't kick in until last week.
I have set up automatic transfers of money into various accounts, to coincide with my pay dates. Its really nice, an easy way to save money and stay on-budget or close to it. When I first set it up (sometime last year) I was really fanatical about checking every time I had a transfer set to go, to see what the balance was in each account, see when it had gone through, see how much was left in my "spending money" account, that sort of thing. But then I got used to it, and used to just having a certain amount left over after all was said and done with the transfers.
I got a notice from Sharebuilder (who I've been using for a couple of years now, but who I've only been automatically saving with for maybe five months) recommending that I check my account and "re-balance" to make sure I'm meeting my savings goals et cetera. I'm totally invested in Index funds through Sharebuilder, so there isn't really too much to do as far as "balancing", but the stock market is kind of tanking, and it has come to my attention that I am going to need to be investing in a new(-er, it will still be used, rest assured, but it will be a new-to-me) car in the near-er rather than farther future. So I decided to about halve my contributions to Sharebuilder and funnel the other monies into a "car fund". I thought I had gone about doing this correctly, but apparently I never canceled the original transfer-of-funds order for Sharebuilder, I just added another that was half as much. At the same time I set up a transfer into an ING account for half as much. So I got screwed on this one when I tried to withdraw the same money twice basically. I feel like such a doofus. I'm really lucky it didn't screw anything else up, but now I am waiting two more days for that money to get re-deposited into my spending money account so I can buy groceries.
Its always something, isn't it?

Friday, February 22, 2008

how very unexpected

So its snowing here, which was expected. Only I thought for sure it wasn't going to start until later on. So now I'm kind of screwed because I didn't go running this morning.
So instead I am admiring the construction worker outside my window. There is just something about carharts, you know? Man.
Anyway I guess the east coast is supposed to get slammed. Its like a gigantic conspiracy by the internet to make me fat and lazy. And damn is it working well.
Oh universe, why are you against me?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Whats the crisis compadre?

So the mid-life-crisis our fathers had has turned into a quarter-life or first-third-of-life or third-decade-of-life -crisis for our generation.
So many folks I know who are on the eve of their third decade seem to be taking a break or breaking things off or trying to change some huge thing about their lives right now--like where they live, or the industry they work in, or the company they keep. Its really kind of fascinating.
Myself, I don't know. My roommate and I were talking last night about making a list of things we want to do before we turn thirty (its kind of a big number, and if you're in your mid-twenties anyway, it has begun to feel land-mark-ish and like it is approaching rather quickly).
Maybe this comes from what they were saying in Time and People and other singular-word-named-publications when I was in high school: that we, as a generation, were growing up faster than our parents had (even with the drugs sex and rock'n'roll of their time)--we're all revved on group supervised activities created to improve our marketable skills and computers in our bedrooms, all jaded and promiscuous because of the easy availability of condoms and ecstasy since our early teens.
And maybe now we're just hitting the wall: we've been out of college for a decent handful of years and what has any of us accomplished? I know a lot of girls who have gotten married (and at least one who has subsequently gotten divorced) some are pregnant with their first child, others have dropped a sprog already (sorry, that sounds cruder than I meant it to). But are we where we want to be?
Is anyone ever where they want to be?
Has anyone even figured out where they want to be yet? I sure haven't. And that is certainly worrying. Shouldn't I know by now? If I don't know now, will I ever?
I have several female friends who each, singularly, have a fantasy of a male savior. Of some guy sweeping in and taking care of their life, marrying them, taking them away from the work-a-day world and up into something infinitely preferable: marriage and being a stay-at-home-mom seems to be the general way this particular fantasy ends. I can't really stomach that one, myself. Its just too fatalistic. Too little control of your own destiny is disgusting, as far as I can see. But for these friends its not really the end (hazy-misted and far away as it is) that matters, its the idea that something else might exist within reach, that gets them through a dead-end day at a dead-end job. Keeps the crisis at bay.
And what keeps my own personal crisis at bay? Well, I'm trying to see life as a work in progress and not freak out too much about level-setting and goalposts. I think its important to remember that the ultimate goal of this particular journey is a graveyard somewhere (oh I'm just so happy. What pleasant imagery, huh?). But seriously: thats what we get to at the end, no matter what sort of crisis we have or avert today. So you might as well enjoy it while you've got it.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

bitter orange

So, contrary to popular opinion, losing weight and skinny pants are apparently not correlated in my life.
I stepped on the scale yesterday to discover that I had gained about 4 pounds. This is depressing because I wanted to lose about 10 before this incident, so now I want to lose about 15. Man. Isn't that just always the way?
I haven't been doing a whole lot of running lately, in the winter its always a little harder to talk myself into getting out and doing it--it becomes more of a "get it over with" kind of thing, rather than a "yeah! lets do this!" kind of thing, and I am just not dedicated enough to "get it over with" more than once or twice a week I guess.
Well, unless you bring weight into it. Stepping on the scale and seeing the numbers go up rather than down is always something that will make me rethink my commitment level (which obviously isn't all that high). So I know I need to do more.
Weird thing is:
This morning I was pretty much totally out of pants. I haven't done laundry in over a week, so I've managed to make most all of them slightly too grimy for work. I pull out the dreaded skinny pants--which usually fit if I'm running 15+ miles a week or so (my hips shrink, I swear) and give them a look, knowing that the scale has said they shouldn't fit right now. But I try them on anyway, because I'm desperate for pants. And they do fit. Weird. I mean, I did have to do a little shimmy to get them over my hips to begin with, but they button fine and are not saran-wrap tight or anything. its very strange.
Whats bad is what this particular information could do to that revised commitment level. Yeah. I'll try not to let the pants go to my head, but its going to be hard. I mean, they're the skinny pants!
I am so going running this afternoon. I so am.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

now in tasty snack size

So this is just a post to remember that I like to post. Type type type. oh how fun.
Things are not too bad, not to spectacular, not too too--you know?
nothing very exciting has happened in awhile. so I am not ignoring this thing or anything, I just don't have too much going on right now. and I can't seem to come up with a rich inner life to fill in the gaps either.
Maybe next week will be better.

Friday, February 15, 2008

measured in verticle inches

Do you ever have those mornings where once you get out of bed nothing else is easy? Not having trouble getting out of bed, but upon leaving your bedroom being suddenly sapped for energy and ready to return and stay? I'm currently having one of those. Oh yeah.
So easily distracted and uninterested in it all.
Oh and did I mention theboy called from NZ? Do I even have to mention? It was really good to talk to him blah blah blah but then after that I didn't even have to get drunk to feel like I have a hangover/got hit by a truck in my sleep last night.
well, I'm a dipshit, what can I say. And also this is officially the world's weirdest "breakup" (yes it deserves quotes. it is not all in my head. I swear. I hope) I mean. why does every conversation end with "I love you"? whats up with that? I keep making ultimatums to myself about moving on or (how stupid is this?!) what to say to him when he comes back (oh yeah. in a year? or more. I'm such an ass)
Do you ever do that (I say that like other people read this thing. I have some ego today, let me tell you) ? I mean, plan a conversation, or plan responses to imaginary questions? Sort of get your story straight or provide your own imaginary witty banter as you get ready for your day (imagine: putting on your socks and having this conversation "what? oh these socks, hah, my mother made them. they are very fuzzy but quite warm. yes yes so funny" as if anyone is ever going to ask you who made your socks--but if you, too have stupid imaginary dialog, you too should try blogging!)
But anyway, yeah. I have this list of things I want to do, and indicators that I am generally an ass when it comes to making decisions that relate to men (case in point: mr.goodbye-i-don't-owe-you-anything, whose cell phone I paid for for three months after our breakup, who I loaned money to so he could break our lease (losing me the security deposit, which of course I had paid in full for us both) and who owes me money to this day--I try to forget about that one most days, but he certainly was a series of lessons learned).
I don't even know if any of the plans are worth it--am I just trying vainly to make myself worthwhile? How lame is that? I wish a dinosaur would eat me.
But the conversation I like to pretend I would have with Theboy goes a little like this
(him): I missed you! I want you back!
(me, all calm-cool-collected): oh i don't know, I've grown so accustomed to not having you around.
(him, obviously frantic and repentant): oh no! please take me back!
(me, kind and sad): well you see, there are things i would like to do before i get seriously involved with someone again. i need time for myself.
(him, dropping to the ground in despair): is there anything i can do?
...yeah, i know. fantastic isn't it? my imagination is rather trite today. maybe after that last bit he should get eaten by a dinosaur. put him out of his misery.
too bad i am too vengeful to be "kind and sad" like the script calls for up there.
also i've never been referred to as "calm cool and collected" either, save for in my little fantasy- mind-scripts. I'm more likely to attack someone with a spoon or cry uncontrollably. oh well.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Who doesn't love a strange word?
Apparently there are a lot of people who don't. I always find it quite amazing that some people seem so totally uninspired by the language--how can you go about your daily business without at least noticing (if not pausing to ponder) the wonder that is modern language structure?
I have particular words that I am fond of, even particular letters that are favorites and not-so-favorites of mine (I have never liked the letter k. And I can really give you no good reason, other than the fact that probably someone in my formative years attempted to spell "cait" with a "k" and I hated on that change the way children often do). You know the ones that keep you up at night / get you up in the morning: anathema, indefatigable, leachate, orangutan, cake, wobbly, muffin, pants, lobby, existential, lupine, prosaic, libertine, dilettante, mouse, pancake.
so I was very greatly pleased to discover this . A very neat thing indeed (and probably the perfect place to put that list right there too, huh?) total swoon.
In other news: one of the bars downtown had dollar drafts last night. Yet another beautiful thing. Sad that it was so frickin freezing that I drove to the bar and had exactly $1 worth of beer. But it was tasty nonetheless. I am hoping against hope for warmer weather next monday so that I might manage several more dollars worth and have a leisurely stagger home.
I'm all about the responsibility or rather the un-shouldering of it.

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Shallow Cup

Sorry for being so lame about this thing lately.
Haven't really been very good at motivating myself lately. I need to find a way around that, but so far its a lot easier to just wallow in it. I kind of wish I was a fatalist lately. That I could just sort of give it up and wait for something to happen to me. But I've never been much for that. Fatalism is for floaters. I don't want to float, I want to swim run bike whatever the terrain requires. I'm leaving under my own power.
Its just one of those things. I'm a girl, and I'm small and I have a total lack of upper-body strength and I haven't ever wanted to give in just because of any of that. I am going to do it on my own, even if I can't actually do it at all. I've never been good at asking for help (with pretty much anything: heavy objects, a total lack of paycheck, whatever, I am much better at giving help than receiving it. I'm always too ashamed--I feel like its cheating, and like other people probably need that help more anyway).
But yeah, so I'm in sort of a funk. The kind of funk where I don't really feel much like doing much of anything at all. Writing included. But I am trying to move past that by just ignoring the whiny pansy-ass part of my mind that is crying "Noooooooo!" every time I get out of bed and just going on with things as though it weren't there at all.
This morning I pretended that my cat needed me to get out of bed, that she was my sidekick in a wacky comedy series and she was sick (cough, cough) and I had to go to work to get her medicine and so I had to get up otherwise the tv audience watching at home would know that I was a lazy sack and stop tuning in every week for our outrageous adventures, and then we would have to get real jobs again and poor sick sidekick kitten would never be able to hold down a real job so we might end up out on the street. She totally played along by getting up even more slowly than I did (loaf--kitty) and then getting all mouthy and following me into the bathroom to perch on the sink and serenade (berate) me while I showered.
I know its rather more involved than it ought to be probably, but providing a zany and improbable backstory to my morning makes it at least slightly better.
I was going to go running yesterday but I couldn't hack it and now the temperature has dropped and its about 10 degrees out and man am I going to feel lame if I can't talk myself into a mid-afternoon run. Perhaps it is some sort of challenge? Maybe I need to rescue a group of retired clowns who are on a hijacked school bus headed toward the ocean. ..yeah, I don't know about that one either.