Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Hi-Ya!

I officially received my yellow belt tonight. So, that's cool. If I recall correctly, they took a group photo after testing last week but it has not made its way to the website for me to steal and post here, so you can't see how much of a nerd I look like. Oh, well. I'm also now one of the highest ranking students in this particular class... one more testing session and I get to move into the Intermediate classes. Eek! Seriously, though. I love it. I don't suck at it. And it's fun. I consider all these to be good things.

Also, my cold is finally starting to go away. I've been pretty hopped up on cold meds for the last three days, I finally ran out around noon, and while I went to Target after class today, guess what the one thing I forgot to get was. Oh, well. At least I remembered to buy another box of Puffs Plus, since I've pretty successfully plowed through my big box in the last day or so, and left my little one at my friend's place on Sunday. Oops.

I also went on this crazy baking spree tonight (don't worry, it was completely sanitary). I was just going to whip together these chocolate-filled croissants super quick for a birthday thing at work tomorrow... then I got into it and was like, hey, I should make cookies, while I'm at it... So I whipped up a batch of pumpkin spice cookies also. Which is kind of why I'm still up. Because I had to wait for things to finish and cool and all that. I also caught my cat trying to lick out of my salad bowl earlier, so I completely distrust her around people food now. She's pretty good about not ever jumping on the table unless I leave the chairs pulled out though, so that's a plus. But yeah. My half-hour project (seriously, the croissants are like embarrassingly easy) turned into three hours of SHEER BAKING MADNESS. Or, something. Also: I love my Pampered Chef baking stones. GLORIOUS for making cookies and other such pastry-like items. *drool*  

Another significant moment for today was that I went to Target and bought all sorts of essentials, then went and bought all sorts of groceries (I can have REAL FOOD! For more than one meal!)... and I didn't have to worry about draining/overdrawing my bank account. It's actually quite sad, really. The only reason I could swing this was because I got my tax refund last week. I'm stretched way too thin. I really, really, really need to find a subleaser so I can move into that cheaper apartment. Then I could buy groceries all the time! Heh.

Lastly - our retro "prom" is this Saturday and I bought some Madonna gloves today. And some leggings. With lace at the bottom. I am so fucking excited. Expect pictures.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Pop Culture Commentary: SparkleFest 09

So. Twilight. The gleam of every teenage girl's eye. I don't even know what fad of my youth to compare it to because I don't ever think there was one that was that annoying. I was mildly irritated by the franchise when I worked at Target and received boatloads of copies of each of the books every week, for seemingly not actually selling that many (apparently I was wrong? I don't know.) It would have faded from my consciousness if it weren't for the sheer ubiquity of the Twilight cult on facebook, overtaking the Flair application. The fans are crazy and obnoxious and God help me, I refused to ever acknowledge this series as anything worth my attention.

And then the Internet happened. And I stumbled upon the most glorious of glorious blogs, upon which the author provides a snarky and sarcastic play by play of all four of Stephenie Meyer's mini-cult books. God help me, I read them all. The further into the series you get, the more Cleolinda (the blog authoress) finds her groove, and, my God, it's the funniest thing I've ever read. So, in essence, I've "read" the books vicariously through her lenses of snark. And then, God bless her, she wrote a movie review. And I about fell off my chair laughing.

I shared these links with a friend who proceeded to share them with multiple other friends, and the decision was made for us to go see this spectacle when it reached the dollar theater here in town (pay $7? Um, hell to the no.) And lo! The night finally came upon us.

... and I must say. I was surprised. Aside from the sheer cheese factor and the teen angst so thick you could cut it with a knife, and our frequent bouts of inappropriate giggling, it wasn't all bad. Visually, it was a very pretty movie. The scenery of the pacific northwest is gorgeous, and the whole movie had this greenish/bluish tone to it that actually worked very well. And the movie itself? Not completely awful. I'm very surprised by how much I didn't hate it. I'm not going to run out and read all the books, mind you, nor am I going to be adding any "OMG EDWARD CULLEN IS MY BOYFRIEND LOLZ" flair pieces to my facebook page... but it didn't completely suck, and I would not be entirely opposed to watching the sequels whence they come.

Also, because I know that you know that you want to read them, I am providing the links for said snark-tastic reviews. IF you had any desire to read the books without actually having to read them, I recommend this route. You will find out exactly what it's about, but through a much more interesting POV. Also, this chick is hilarious. Seriously. Reading these is like crack. I encourage you to read them all. It will kill away a lot of that pesky free time that you were wanting to dispense with, but, trust me. Totally worth it. Hi-larious.

Without further ado...

Twilight Review (Book 1)

New Moon Review (Book 2)

Eclipse Review (Book 3)

Breaking Dawn pt.1 (Book 4)

Breaking Dawn pt.2 (Book 4)

Breaking Dawn pt.3 (Book 4)

and, of course...

Twilight in 15 Minutes (Movie Review)

Anyway. That should be enough to keep y'all entertained. I'm going to hunt down some more NyQuil and Pass Out. 


EDIT: I almost forgot the best part! Molly made CUPCAKES. Twilight Cupcakes. Sparkly Twilight Cupcakes. Both vampire and werewolf themed, though we are getting ahead of ourselves chronologically. Whatever, they were awesome.


Friday, February 20, 2009

Brush With Fame

A couple weeks ago my sister called me and was all "OMG David Cook is coming to UNI!" and my response was something to the effect of, "Was that the guy that won American Idol last year?"

I didn't watch American Idol... in fact I don't even think I had cable plugged in until I'd been in my apartment for about six months last year. Still, I wasn't completely oblivious to the world and I occasionally catch wind of who wins these things. My sister is big into the pop culture world and so naturally she was ecstatic. She wanted to know if I wanted to come? Please? It would be really fun. Tickets are only $5.  To which I went, hey, even if it sucks, it's only a five dollar show, and it would make her happy, and it would be an excuse to take a freaking day off. And it's always fun to go visit her and my bro-in-law. So I said sure, and kind of went about my business. (Somewhere in the back of my head, I figured if nothing else, I know enough AI groupies that I could make jealous, haha).

So, last night was the show... not my normal scene, I'll give you that much. No matter how "rock" this guy claims to be, I still view it as more of a pop genre, but whatev. Minus the hoards of screaming girls and the fact that I did not know any of the songs (save for a cover he did of a song whose name I can never remember, but damn it was creepily dead-on), it was a good show. Both he and the opening act dude can sing, that's for sure. His stage banter was pretty adorable, and all in all it was a good time. My sister wanted to stay after and hang out to see if she could get him to sign her CD. So we did... and we waited... and waited... and I was wearing the dumbest shoes I could have probably worn to a concert, a cheapo pair of canvas flats with no support whatsoever, I mean, I've been to a billion shows, I of all people should know better, my feet were killing me... But I was going to be a good sport about it, even if it hurt to put any pressure on my heels... Anyway, just as we were about to give up and leave... Lo! There he was. 

And, I must say, he is a super nice guy. He made sure that he talked to anybody that was there waiting, signed autographs, took pictures, gave out hugs (that's right... I got to hug David Cook. He was very huggable, I must say. Me being me, I had to resist the urge to do something completely inappropriate instead...) Between the fact that he was just the right degree of scruffy, had a cute smile, was a Nice Person, and, of course, a musician (default "win" in my book, because God help me if I'm not hopelessly attracted to a man who can sing or play an instrument), I've decided that this man is now my future husband. Even if I don't really listen to his music. 

Me & my lil sis

My future husband, serenading me. 
(ok, ok, and a whole swarm of other girls. Whatever.)

Be jealous, y'all.



Monday, February 16, 2009

BLOG! The Musical.

Northerly winds will whisper the name of a former love in your ear, ruthlessly mocking you for having had a relationship with someone called "Ooooouuuuussssshhhhhh."
- horoscope courtesy of The Onion

So, kids, it's been a while. Like SINCE LAST WEDNESDAY. Omgz I can barely even remember my name anymore, it's been so long. JUST kidding. It's been pretty uneventful. I worked and then came home and pissed away my evening on the Internets, later rinse repeat. I have been evaluating this routine and I think I should start leaving work closer to on time so I have even MORE time to piss away on the Internets. It's a genius plan. 

I also enforced my very firm policy of doing absolutely as little as possible this weekend. That's the only thing that probably keeps me from going stark raving mad after a long crazy week at work. The mere thought of making plans is somewhat exhausting, when all I want is an uninterrupted block of time to sleeeeeeep. Again, perhaps I should work less hours. I'm just saying. 

Also, Saturday was the Holiday of Forced Romance, which I generally don't observe, BUT you will all be happy that I spared you any sort of Cliche Bitter Single Gal Rant (despite the annual tradition that it has become). I mean, really? After so many years, there's not much new to say. It is what it is, and it's lame, but it's just another freaking day. And I'm sure the economy needed the boost.

Today was another round of belt testing, so I tested for my yellow belt tonight. I think it went pretty well. I was less, well, petrified than I was the first time, which I think they sensed, because they called me up first just to instill some terror in me. It's all kind of a blank in my head but I don't think I fucked up or made an ass of myself, so that's a plus. I don't know. I didn't get my normal workout today since the general span of activity during testing is under five minutes (though an intense five minutes it is), which made me feel kind of worthless given that we are currently in our wellness challenge at work right now. So, in a burst of unholy motivation, I managed some semblance of physical activity after I got home. Nothing major, just enough to make me sweaty and afraid of being minorly sore tomorrow. The lady that came to talk to us at our fitness kickoff thing said we should keep a journal of what we do. I will never do this, or find it, or get beyond post-its, so I'm thinking maybe I'll just start another blog because, let's face it, all I do is sit on the Internet. Maybe I'll remember. I have this weird narcissistic obsession with updating blogs, even though I clearly have nothing interesting to say and nobody cares anyway. Heh. Time to place your bets on how long it will last...

Meanwhile... my poor kitty remains unnamed. Tigger came up as a possibility this weekend, because she's so freaking jumpy, but it was vetoed as not being original enough. I offered up the option of Princess Spazzypants, but I'm not sure that's quite suitable. I am open to suggestions. 

In other news, I'm freaking exhausted and I'm going to bed. 

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Eureka!

Something weird just happened. Like, something clicked in my head… and I suddenly realized that I finally know what the hell I am talking about, and I kick ass with understanding the world of commercial printing. I am working on this somewhat tricky folder piece that has all these parts and multiple spot varnishes of varying types, and it all makes sense in my head. Like, I understand this job as well as if I'd conceived it, sketched it out, designed it up, and constructed the original proof myself. When in actuality, it's a job that's been pulled out of our archives from two years ago that is finally being reprinted. I turned the piece over a few times, looked at the previous job notes, and WHA-BAM! I suddenly knew this piece inside and out. And I knew what to say and who to email and what changes to make in order to get this baby to press AND in a timely matter (oh yeah, it happens to be a rush job). Like, I can't even describe it... I mean, I've never really been super confused by my job, or all the printing specs that I deal with regularly, and I've managed to stumble through a couple rather sizeable, rather tricky jobs..' but all of a sudden, it's like I understand. I don’t know. It's like this project and I have this weird affinity, a rapport of some sort, where like I understand it 100% and it's just there for me to understand it. I probably sound like a raving lunatic but it's just… WEIRD. After ten months in this job, still learning new things every day and going crazy over frustrating and confusing projects, it was just suddenly like the skies opened up and a ray of sunlight beamed over this marketing piece and I realized that I actually know what the eff I am doing (For the most part). I UNDERSTAND HOW IT WORKS! I CAN SPEAK THE LANGUAGE!!! I AM IN THE CLUB!!!

Which is a great happy feeling in the midst of a week of turmoil and "OMG MY HEAD IS GOING TO EXPLODE NOBODY ASK FOR ANYTHING ELSE PLEASE LET ME GET CAUGHT UP FIRST" and such. I don't know. I'm slowly losing my mind (yes, I'm aware that implies that I still had some sanity LEFT to begin with), I'm pretty sure, but at least I will lose it knowing that I used it. Haha.

Also, if it snows again, I'm going to call in sick and sit at home and pout all day. Just kidding. But I will pout all day.

Monday, February 9, 2009

My Insignificantly Lame But Crappy Week, Part Infinity

So I started writing a blog post last week and totally didn't post it (oops) and while nothing in it was earth shattering, I still feel a sense of failure for the incompletion.

I don't even remember what happened last week other than the fact that it mostly sucked. It was super stressful, and very up and down, and made me want to cry a lot. I wasn't even PMSing! My account exec was in San Francisco with clients for the week, which meant I was there by myself holding down the fort...  which wasn't a big deal, and wasn't really a factor in my work level (minus a major billing fiasco on Tuesday). My to-do list still, however, managed to grow at a rate that was faster than I could keep up with it, and that got to be real overwhelming real fast.

Plus there were things like, oh, more car issues (the fuel pump relay needed to be replaced, whatever the eff that is), and this and that and it's been snowballing into a lot of suck. Mostly money-related suck. I have $49 to get me through until my tax refund shows up or my next paycheck, whichever comes first, although both are scheduled to arrive on the same day. Which is... a week from Friday. Add on that the fact that I can't donate plasma yet until they get my blood tests back (assuming that my protein levels are ok)... and I'm pretty much effed. 

It's super encouraging, let me tell you.

Other things are starting to amass as well. I've taken on a larger role with the Des Moines Music Coalition as one of the web content editors, which is all well and good, it's fun, but it will take up a little bit of time. That and I almost had to hunt down and bitchslap one of the writers that is underneath me for completely ripping off an already-written press release as "a solid draft". Punkass kid... that's freaking plagiarism. And I will have none of it. 

Still, mostly, it's the money. I hate money. I hate the lack of money. I hate what the lack of money does to me. It makes me worry and stress out and get sad. I really, really need to take that cheaper apartment. If the girls that come look at my apartment tomorrow decide not to sublease it, I'm going to sit down and cry. And perhaps spend $5 of that $49 on a pint of Ben & Jerry's. 

Other than the ever-present financial woes, it's mostly just little things that are trying to break me down. Fortunately, it's a lot of little things that are picking me back up, too. An encouraging facebook message from a friend... a night out with a couple guys from work... a new padfolio of pen samples from my favorite vendor... 


Oh yes. They sent me more. Swiss pens FTW!

Anyway. There are a couple other things circling around in my head that I need to figure out. Or perhaps I wont' figure them out, and I can just dismiss them from their place of annoyance, and that will be that. Whatever.

I've noticed that my blog posts are growing increasingly more lame as I increasingly hold back what I actually want to talk about. I should remedy that I suppose. Not that all six people that *maybe* read this will actually care one way or the other what I say, so I don't know why I don't just say it. I'm still a fairly private person for one who otherwise has no qualms about throwing my life out on the Internet. Yeah, I don't understand it either.


Monday, February 2, 2009

Historic Occasion: A Monday That Didn't Completely Suck

Ok, so here's a quick update.

1. My car apparently has several things wrong with it. The biggest one and the one that got fixed today was the fuel pump relay, whatever the hell that is. $136. Not bad. They actually told me a whole bunch of stuff, including spark plugs and boots (spark plugs have boots?) and all in all it was about $350. I went HOSHITNOOOO and called my dad. My dad was all, WTF, so I had him talk to the mechanic cause I am just a dumb girl that knows nothing about cars, apparently. (Well, it's sort of true. In that it IS true.) Anyway the spark plugs will need replaced, soon or eventually, but most likely it will be by someone I know and will not cost $200. Anyway. This should take care of my car issues for a while. I hope. Also, I need an oil change. This has nothing to do with anything except that I occasionally need to keep reminding myself so that when payday rolls around on Friday, I'll remember to actually go do it.

2. My protein levels are super low. (CALLED IT!). This is neither unsurprising or cause for excessive worry. Although it probably should because this is the second blood test I've had where my protein has been unheathily low. I suppose I should look into it? Instead, I went and had a cheesburger (YUM) after class tonight. Hey, it was a good workout and I deserved it. Also: BEEF! Yum. It was glorious. 

In other news, well, I don't have much for other news. I slipped and fell on the ice in our parking lot today which not only was embarrassing but I got my pants muddy. Fortunately I was headed back to my apartment anyway, so I could change them. But DAMMIT I JUST WASHED THOSE. They still had a good few more wears in them. *Grumble*.

Also, I am incapable of using grammatically correct sentences anymore because I spent an unholy amount of time on the Internet and it is corroding my sense of speech. This is going to become a problem soon, I fear.

Also also, I need a shower. Badly. I'm going to go do that now. Bye all.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

EFFBOMBS! or: today really sucked.

I retract my statement from yesterday of "I have weird luck" to "I have CRAPPY luck."

I went to bed early with the ambitious goal of getting up and going to the Saturday taekwondo class at 9. At 8:55 I am lying in my bed debating crawling out of my warm little cocoon and into the world, and finally I mentally yelled at myself for being lazy, and dammit, testing is in less than two weeks now, and besides, remember how good it felt to work out this week? yeah you should go. So I call the lady I work with that takes the class with me and am all "I'm coming! But I'll be a little bit late!" and naturally she was a tad surprised, given my past history of Saturday attendance, but enthused that I was going to be there, which of course made me more enthused about being there.

So, I'm heading out, and it's already warm for 9 am, which means it's going to be a gorgeous day, finally, and... my car... is having more starting issues. It will turn over, at least, so it's not the battery. Which means... it's something else. Something probably more expensive. I called my dad, as is my initial reaction anytime something is not right with my car, and he was at a loss - it could be something with the starter, or maybe a fuel pump, which would be expensive (awesome)... one of my friends said maybe it could be a spark plug? That would be lovely - those are cheap. Not probable, given my luck, but it would be nice. So then I call my friend to see if I can get a lift to my plasma donation appointment later that day. I'm kind of counting on this money at this point, since I'm a bit short of being able to pay my rent this month. (At this point, I'm going to have to just pay it, and eat the overdraft charge. Which I'm kind of okay with.) My other friend announced that my car, being a shitty American-made Pontiac, is probably not actually going to last me too terribly much longer anyway (WHY would you tell me that!? That worries and depresses me and I cannot afford to get a new one.)

... And they wouldn't let me donate today. Normally it's something like, oh your hematocrit is low, blah blah blah, usual reasons. I had anticipated this as a possibility which is why I don't ever 100% count on the plasma money (girls tend to have more issues with hematocrit levels than guys do - we're just built differently, plus the whole menstruation thing throws it off whack). Nope. I couldn't even get that far because my file was flagged. They periodically do blood tests to make sure everything is ok with the source plasma, etc. Well they had just tested mine last Saturday and while they let me donate Thursday, apparently something flagged the system that there was something wrong with it, so I'm not able to donate until they do another blood test. Which they can't do until they actually get the results back from this one. Stellar. In all reality, it's probably something stupid and minor - my initial guess is that it could be related to when we did health screenings for work, and my protein levels were reallysuper low. Or maybe something is wrong with the clotting factor concentrates... I have been kind of exceptionally bleedy lately when I've come home. Possibly some other indication of malnourishment because I've been eating crappy because I can't afford to go buy groceries. Part of me is a bit worried, though, because in one conversation I had with my account exec, he said that the plasma center in Waterloo had told him that he had hepatitis and his friend that he had HIV, both of which were extremely incorrect, but... still. You don't ever want to HEAR that. (Also, Waterloo's plasma center = apparently very shady.) Neither of these is likely and there is no way I could have possibly contracted any sort of disease unless it was actually FROM Biolife themselves, in which case, they've got bigger problems than I do. Still, even if it's something minor like the protein thing, the fact that it's significant enough to trigger a red flag makes me worry that maybe I should be worried. I never really got around to finding a local doctor in this town, because I always had the student health center (as crappy as it may be) to fall back on, when I wasn't at home to go to the doctor I've had for ages. Soooo if I would randomly have health issues, I don't know where I'd go. Anyway, I'm going to call them Monday (and Tuesday, and Wednesday) to see if they've gotten the results back as to what the F was up with my blood. And I can has donations again plz?

Anyway, to summarize the morning: something is wrong with my car, and something is possibly wrong with ME.

Awesome.

The day did get a little better because I went to Target after the Plasma Rejection to fill a prescription and managed to hit the pharmacy literally two minutes before they closed for lunch, so they were able to fill my Rx super fast. So that was nice. And then I came home and crawled into bed and tried to avoid the rest of the world, until I went to my friend's band's show, which was fun. (Side bonus: I even managed to straighten my hair without severely burning any of my fingers. Also, my burn wound from last Sunday is finally starting to heal up to where I can fit it under one band-aid instead of two.)

Still. This morning just made me want to sit down and cry. I knew things were starting to go too smoothly for me... now shit's just going to fall apart on me again and quite frankly I am not equipped to handle that right now. Not sure what I did to piss God off but I best find a way to fix it soon, I guess. In the meantime, I'm a big fan of just hiding in my bed letting the outside world do its thing without me for a while.