Saturday, October 30, 2004

I got to thinking about something this morning and I can't seem to get it out of my head. And here you are inside...

There is probably a simple answer to this that I just never read far enough or long enough to figure out... I've been thinking about the President's approval rating. I don't really understand this concept. The media is forever talking about how the President's approval rating went up or down, and I recently read an article that stated that it is a known fact that the President's approval rating will go up by as much as 3 points whenever the terror alert is raised. What I want to know is -- where is this rating coming from? Are there people randomly polled? Is it done by phone or a man on the street? How is the question rated? "Do you approve of the President?" Are the same people always called? "How do you feel about him RIGHT NOW?" Is there some criteria you have to meet before being able to say you approve or disapprove of the job the President is doing? Do you have to take a test? Is there an SOL for this?

I'm curious in part because while I have been inundated with political messages (ha -- no more of that since I lost the answering machine) and mailers, no one has EVER called me to ask if I approve of the job the President is doing. Nor have I ever been stopped on the street and polled for this information. So, who are these people? Where do they live? I don't get it.

And finally, in more of our continuing series on how Heather gets all of her news from Comedy Central if you didn't get a chance to see last weeks South Park then you really must before the election. I haven't seen anything that hit the issues and malfunctions that surround this entire campaign more than those badly drawn kids -- oh my God. I haven't laughed that hard since... Well, since the last time I laughed that hard!

I slept well for the first time in ages and woke up to one of my (new) all time favorite movies on HBO this morning (Somethings Gotta Give) -- it's going to be a very good day! Tonight we're going on a double date that isn't a date but it is and doing company stuff. It's yet another time that I'm missing all the Halloween stuff, which I'm bummed about. I was invited to one cool party and would have crashed another that I WASN'T invited to... I mean, HONESTLY -- is it not time to let old dramas friggin' die already and be around people that were formerly uncomfortable situations again? It's totally ridiculous. I'm well over 30 and married, I could give a crap about the situation that (I assume) kept me from getting an invite to this other party and yet it continues to rage on. Oh well. Guess I'll have to look forward to seeing pictures of everyone in their spooky wear -- I'll be "dressy casual" this evening.

Now if only I could figure out what the fuck THAT means. Dressy casual. Think I'm going to wear a sequined top and pajama pants!

Sunday, October 17, 2004

VH-1 has a show called The Best Week Ever that is one of my favorite shows. It's basically a round-up of all the pop culture happenings, but includes "real news" as well. This week if they were going to make a show about my life, I think it would be called The Dumbest Week Ever, because I have felt on the low end of the intelligence scale this week.

It started when we rolled back into town after my friend Katrina's wedding. The first draft of my research paper had been mailed back to me with all of the needed revisions. I realized that even if I made all the revisions and did them PERFECTLY the best I could hope to get on the paper was a C. And that's IF I max out on all the points she's allotting for the revisions. (I wouldn't be so marginal on the 'C' if this hag hadnt refused to accept a stage in this research paper process because we didn't turn it into her office when she wasn't at class the night it was due -- but that is a long story that just feeds my ulcer.) So, basically I'm looking at 'D' on the paper more likely than not. Which blows. I feel DUMB to be looking at getting a D on anything. I don't feel like a D student and it's depressing to realize that this friggin' class with this worthless teacher is going to cost me my 4.0 gpa. But, I also realize that part of my grade is based on my poor attitude about the class and my inability to take it seriously enough to really do the work -- which just plays back into my feeling dumb.

Next up, work life. I have moved to a new unit in the last month or so where my responsibilities are now 99% related to issuing Homeowners Insurance. The move means that I am now reporting to a new "senior." Whenever someone wants something that is outside of the box, it has to be sent over to an Underwriter for approval. (An example of something outside of the box in Insurance World would be an older house with old electrical systems; someone who works out of their home and has lots business inventory in the house; or someone who has a had a lot of property claims.) Before it goes to the Underwriter, my senior reviews it and makes a recommendation. My senior is somewhat old school and MUCH more thorough than I am. I came to work on Wednesday morning and three out of four of the referrals I sent over the day before had been kicked back to me because they were lacking information or didn't have enough of the right information. This, too, made me feel really dumb because, like my school work, I have always really prided myself on my referrals. I have often been told that they are very good, very thorough, and my seniors in the past have always agreed with my recommendations. But, it's a new ball game. One of my first seniors used to talk very candidly with me about other people's referrals and how they missed the same things over and over and how lacking they were in most ways. I don't ever want anyone to think that about me. I take my work pretty seriously (though I'll grant most people would be a little surprised by that) and it's really important to me to have people respect what I do there. Not because I'm interested in climbing the corporate ladder or anything but just because I don't want to make anyone's life any harder than it has to be because that just comes back to bite you in the ass. So, I felt really bad about that. Took a while to get over. But, what're you going to do?

And then there was the Wine Festival yesterday, for the personal life aspect of my "Dumbest Week Ever" show. I got really schnockered and made a bit of an ass out of myself, in front of my husband's co-workers. Oops. It was the strangest thing. One minute I had a happy buzz on, buying some wine, and then the next I turned the corner onto Full On Drunk St. and was flashing on-lookers. (What IS it about me and flashing my boobs whenever I've been drinking? I swear I never did this before New Orleans so that is the only explanation I can come up with.) I don't like getting that drunk, I don't know why I do it other than "it seems like a good idea at the time". But I don't like how dumb I feel the next day when everyone tells me all the stupid things I do. This makes me feel dumb. Other people get drunk and they manage to keep their boobs in their shirts -- why can't I? It's not a good feeling and I'm having all kinds of day-after remorse. Which is THE worst kind of "dumb", because you can't change it -- you can't fix it or make it not happened. I can't cover my eyes and pretend it didn't happen. I only hope that I have really learned my lesson this time and can be just a LITTLE more moderate next time. But, don't bet the farm on it.

So, that's it. The Dumbest Week Ever. I'm sure this is what led to my "maybe I shouldn't blog anymore" post. I'm just frustrated with myself for letting myself down. I recognize that I do have high expectations of myself and that I beat myself up a lot when I don't meet them, I just don't know how to stop doing it.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

I started the folowing post from work a few days ago...

Talk the talk?

I am really starting to think that I am an introvert. This will shock the shoes off of most people who know me but I can’t think of any other explanation…

My best friend got married this weekend and I was in the wedding. It was a beautiful occasion – something right out of Bride magazine, swear. I was surrounded by her friends and those she held most dear and was embarrassed to find myself nearly crippled with the prospect of carrying on even the most basic of small talk. All I seemed to be able to do was talk about how I couldn’t talk. This is not normal.

I’ve been thinking about my social circle at work. I know quite a few people around my office but am close with but a scant few. And even then, close is in a “work sense.” I eat lunch with the same people every day and that’s an exercise in anti-socializing right there – we each read or do the crossword puzzle or both. When it’s the same people every day, you can only do but so much catching up and who wants to talk about work in the only break you get?

>>> And now here it is a few days later and I still haven't posted. I feel like I've lost my knack, my blogging edge. Part of it is this introversion thing that's coming over me. The inability to really relate to vast amounts of people the way that I used to. Part of it has been my friggin' writing class at school. It's EXTREMELY demoralizing to take Freshman Comp at 31 and realize that all the years you thought you could turn a clever and intelligent phrase were just a dream. I barely have the desire to sit in front of the computer and type out a phrase. It's just not what I intended... And then, I was introduced to Cattiva's blog. ("Does this mean I'm a grown-up" over on the side.) I love it -- it's got so much of what I started out blogging for. The witty little insights into silly little things that have happened. I think I used to be pithier. Or something. Now I feel like I'm preachy or whining and neither one of these things were where I want to be. That's just so cookie cutter and I'm not really about cookie cutters. I don't even bake, for pity's sake. Back to Catt in a minute...

I think part of that is because I started sending more and more people links over here and telling them that I was out here blogging and then I felt pressured to put out a good product and that just led to me either not blogging or whining and being preachy. (HUGE run-on sentence, and then I wonder why I get bad grades in English? Oy!) Because, I was telling all these people to read and I didn't want to say things to offend them or shock them or whatever. Silly. I'm just as likely to say things to shock or offend them to their faces as I am here in this blog.

So, Catt. She's out there, doing that witty anecdote thing and talking about her family. Sheesh, her tribute to her daughter just made ME want to have kids, for pity's sake. And we all know how unlikely THAT is. (Despite people holding polls about the question as a new parlour game.) So, if I'm not writing as much as I used to -- pop in on Catt's blog and you'll see what I admire in blogging. (Ish, what kind of sycophant have I become?)

I'm off to eat the rest of my dictionary and contemplate my introversion and the direction of blogging, etc. Maybe I'll chill out with the Bloom County gang for a while. I always liked that dude in the wheelchair -- Cutter John? What was his name?

You know who I mean.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Please do not dump a lot of hatorade on me for what I'm about to say.

I don't know much about politics and what goes on in the world today. This is inexcusable but I've just been so busy examining my navel for most of my life that I've been unable to focus on much else. I realize in retrospect that this is not quite as good of an excuse as I had orginally thought. So, I'm trying.

One of my known readers has recently blogged about those who vote without information. I admit to having fallen into this category in the past. I wanted to be part of the process, I wanted to be a voter, so I voted. I tried to be informed, after all I have some basic ideologies, and tried to vote for the people who seemed to represent these same ideologies...

And here we are today.

I'm trying to get informed. I've been watching the debates and here are some of the things I've gathered. The Republicans seem to like to take key phrases and pepper them through the party and through the media outlets that they control. ("wrong war, wrong time", "global test", "flip-flopper", etc) It makes me sick to hear the same phrases over and over and over again. Sound bites, buzz words, catch phrases, whatever you want to call it -- makes me feel like someone is trying to manipulate me and I don't like it.

I'll go on record saying this -- Bush screwed up getting us into this war but in some ways you have to admire his tenacity for sticking to the decision no matter how screwed up it is. I would like to believe that the reason for this is because he feels it is important to show a strong face as the President and not let his guard down. I would LIKE to believe this, but I don't. I think that he really thinks he's doing the right thing continuing this mess and that scares the fuck out of me.

I appreciate the fact that Kerry seems to be a thinking man. He voted to go into Iraq based on the information he had and then has changed his position because there was no real reason for us to be there. Sure, Saddam Hussein was a bad ass mother, but he wasn't posing any imminent threat to the US. Or that's not the way I understand it. (See above.)

I don't know much about the budget either, but this deficit thing I'm thinking isn't a good thing. If I spent all of my household money and then spent way into the negatives, I think the bank would have some things to say about that. Maybe that's just me. I like that John Edwards said flat out tonight that they can't cure that problem -- honesty is so refreshing! Much more refreshing than denial and rhetoric. Cheney with his "I never said there was a connection between Iraq and 9/11" honestly made me gasp. I haven't been that shocked since the Mominator called out of the blue and asked Scott if he wanted any kittens...

Anyways, I'm not voting for Bush, I don't mind saying it. It's basically because I don't like his politics and I don't like his "people" and I think the amount of discord and hate that's been generated in this country under his administration is appalling. And scary.

But, what do I know? I'm just an uninformed American.

Sunday, October 03, 2004


I've never been someone who has been afraid to experiment with my hair, especially the color. I think my coloring fetish probably began when my mother first told me that I could NOT color my hair ever. Many years later my defiance of this order would eventually lead me to become a cautionary tale known simply as "the Feria girl." (The short version is this -- if you think that you may ever want to have your hair PROFESSIONALLY colored then do NOT color privately with Feria.)

Nevertheless, none of this experimentation has led me into the bangs path. I lived in South Dakota for a while and had huge 80's like hair with teased bangs to boot. It's a powerful temptation to tease those suckers and I'm weak, I tell you, weak. AND I have a cowlick that encourages teasing, so I have avoided the bangs. Since moving out of the midwest I've taken some proud in having modern hair. (No, most people in the midwest do not have dated hair but it is a phenomenon that has no explanation.) But, lately so-called modern hair has been sporting a lot of bangs. I like the look on other people and have been drawn to it so many times but always back off because it's a commitment. Hair color is definitely not a commitment that can't be changed but hair length -- yes. (Unless you're Christina Aguilera and have a closet full of tracks as my hairdress likes to point out.) But, I caved. I already had a shorter piece around my face, it didn't seem like much of a leap. I realized this wasn't the case when I got home and my napping husband's first response was "you got bangs."

I should say that Scott has never been one of those men who's particularly adament about what I should or shouldn't do with my hair. You know what I mean -- "I can't cut my hair, George just LOOOOVES my long hair." Fuck George, he isn't washing it, drying it, buying products for it, staring at its split ends, can't see when it's windy, can't drive with the windows down, blah blah blah. George will get used to short hair, damn it! Frankly, that is the kind of spiteful bitch I am, which I admit isn't always conducive to the most tender of relationships. However, this is the only thing that I'm pretty rampantly a feminazi about. I just feel like there enough pressure from society to look a certain way, and damn it George can't you just love me with my buzz cut? (Why am I picking on George?? I don't even know anyone named George!)

Where was I? Oh, Scott... So yes, he's never been one of those "don't cut your hair, don't dye your hair, don't wash your hair, etc" guys. He has opinions, but he really doesn't care as long as I look somewhat normal and not scare him when he wakes up. But one thing he's been pretty insistent about is that he doesn't like bangs, doesn't want me to have them. Who knows? Perhaps this is the driving force in getting them -- to show him! But, actually it turned out that Scott didn't really know what bangs were. He thought it meant I would have that page boy thing going on with the thick, curled under thing. I realized this when I started asking what he thought about certain actress's hairstyles. "Do you like HER hair? How about if I cut my hair like that?" Many times I would get at least a moderately positive response and would have to explain that THOSE were bangs. Granted, no matter how much he said he liked it, he always followed it with "why can't you just keep your hair the same?" but I'm not going for an overwhelming endorsement -- I just need a little push.

I'm not sure about the bangs. I think they look pretty cute but I forgot about the impractical part -- just how often they get in the way and how I don't really know what to do with them.

Let me say this (especially to Lori if you're still out there and aren't plotting my demise and torture): it's just hair. And if I like it or don't like it, it doesn't matter. I LOVE the person who does my hair (see Ode to my Hairdress, 3/1/04) and enjoy my frequent hair visits because it means I get to visit with HER frequently. If I don't like the bangs, it doesn't mean I don't like the artist. I knew going in there that I might not like it. I've been with her longer than I've been with some of my friends AND my husband -- I'm not going anywhere. Scott says I shouldn't share with her his "you got bangs" comment. Maybe not. But, it's just hair and I hope that she doesn't ever think I'm diminishing her abilities if something doesn't work for me. If it doesn't work, we'll do something different next time. Besides, some of the things I wasn't that crazy about at first I wound up really loving after a while. It's all a matter of adaptation. And it's just hair!

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