Friday, December 29, 2006

Something not as depressing

1. What did you do in 2006 that you’d never done before?
I bought a house. That's a big one.
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Don't make resolutions.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth? My second cousin Andie. We're sorta close. Been a while since I've seen her but we email.
4. Did anyone close to you die? My great uncle Louis. He's family close and it's causing lots of drama. (See previous posts.)
5. What countries did you visit? None.
6. What would you like to have in 2007 that you lacked in 2006? Hmmm. Not sure. We're ok with most of it.
7. What dates from 2006 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? December 25- not only Christmas but 6 year anniversary with boy. Sept 15-18- ACL.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Buying a house and a new truck.
9. What was your biggest failure? Not getting off my ass and getting a new job.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Other than my constant shin splint issue, not really.
11. What was the best thing you bought? The house.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration. The boy. He did so well with my parental visit.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? My uncle, now disowned.
14. Where did most of your money go? Mortgage, bills, good food. Vegas.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Moving into my house. (See a running theme here?)
16. What song will always remind you of 2006? Fast Cars and Freedom by Rascal Flats is all I can think of right now.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? 
b) thinner or fatter? 
c) richer or poorer? Happier, a bit thinner, and well, somewhat poorer monetarily but generally better off.
18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Travel out of the US, or maybe just travel in general. 19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Dealing with the crappy effects of the boy's job.
20. How will you be spending Christmas? Spent with boy's parents and bro and then drove to Houston to visit a friend.
.21. Did you fall in love in 2006? Yep- with my kitty Gabby.
22. How many one-night stands?None in my whole life.
23. What was your favorite TV program? Grey's Anatomy.
24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? I don't really hate anyone. I dislike quite a few more people.
25. What was the best book you read? Still trying to find that one....
26. What was your greatest musical discovery? The Flaming Lips. I got so freakin tired of them as the boy played them over and over again for months but then I saw them live and I was converted.
27. What did you want and get? A house and a new vehicle.
28. What did you want and not get? A certain ring.
29. What was your favorite film of this year?Film? In the theaters? Still haven't got there.
30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I was 29 and I was at Austin City Limits music festival, saw a bunch of bands, most notably Van Morrison. I got rather drunk but it was much fun.
31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? A better job.
32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2006? Um, well, better fitting clothes I guess. I just buy what I like, as long as it's on sale or clearance.
33. What kept you sane? The boy and the kitties. My house was a mix.
34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Heath Ledger as always.
35. What political issue stirred you the most? Still abortion rights and the crazy religious crap.
36. Who did you miss? Family and friends, the ones that live across the country.
37. Who was the best new person you met? MK and Michelle.
38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2006. Always, always get an inspection before you buy a house and make them fix everything. Also, if you have to get the foundation repaired, make sure you get them to fix any issues that happen afterwards.
39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year."It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right." Yeah, I'll keep that.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

What an asshole

Guess who showed up to Christmas dinner at the parents' house?? Yep, he did. After trying to communicate with him all week and getting nothing, he dared to show up looking for dinner. I would say that I can't believe it but sadly, I can. I thought that somehting like this would happen. It's just sad and sick. How dare he show up?? How dare he!
My dad went out and told him he was not wanted. That was it. Then he left, or tried to. His car stalled. The car is an old rust bucket so it's not a shock. But still. Dad did a nice thing and called AAA for a jump. He wasn't going to do it. Didn't want to deal with him anymore.
We'll see what happens after this.
Louis is still in the morgue as far as I know. Joe has power of attorney. He should be dealing with it.
Note: Ah how I love public records. Did a search on land records and such and found all sorts of liens and things, including the forced sale of the house. The shit still got $175K for the sale, much of which had to go for payments and things but I don't think it was all that... From what I know, he was still able to live in the house until the new owner kicked him out, which was before October 2004, when it was sold to the current owner. It had to be- that place needed extensive repairs to be inhabitable. I need to look for more stuff later.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Nothing New

Louis died Monday. It's Saturday. No one has heard anything. Not a thing. Joe has disappeared. It's sad but it's best that we do nothing. Louis' sister has said to do nothing and nothing has been done. Joe has to deal with this. He took on the responsibilty, he must see it through. We'll see. It sucks though.
Fuck Joe.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

I've Lost Two Uncles and One Isn't Physically Dead

I no longer have an uncle but he’s not dead yet

He may as well be though. He’s a first class asswipe, and that’s being kind. There are no words that would accurately describe him or his behavior. His actions have shown us that he wants no part of our family, and so be it. It sucks that this is all coming to pass around the holidays but what are you going to do?
I don’t even know where to start. He’s my dad’s older brother, the oldest of 3 boys. Dad is the middle one and there’s a younger brother who’s an alcoholic. By some miracle, my dad is the only nice one. The one with a heart but also one who will beat your ass if needed. He’s a good guy, but he can be an asshole too.
Anyway, Uncle Joe was the golden child. According to Nana, he could do no wrong, even if he did. Every little thing was covered up or never talked about. Joe could do no wrong. (I’m using his real name because I don’t care if he reads this or not. It doesn’t matter anymore.) He was an altar boy and there was an incident. (Not with the priest but with other, younger boys.) That was all hush-hush and has never been talked about until recently.
When my grandmother died, being the eldest, he got the estate, as Nana didn’t have a will. My grandfather had died years earlier, before I was born. Dad didn’t want to create problems and decided not to fight for his share. He should have because things might be so very different today. Joe was selfish and didn’t even offer anything. Gerard wasn’t going to do anything because he was barely functioning through the alcohol. So Joe got a house, a car, the contents of the house, and a decent amount of money. The house was paid for too. At the time, Joe had a pretty decent job and was making lots of money. He traveled a lot, mostly to Amsterdam, and was actually fairly generous to us kids. But there was always tension between him and my dad.
He never married, and we’re pretty sure we know why, but he’s never stepped out of the closet to us. All the signs are there, mostly male friends, never a girlfriend to speak of, lots of AIDS memorials, stuff like that. We never really cared either way and let him know that, but he never said anything. Maybe it’s because he sensed we never really liked him as a person and thought oh they hate gays or something. Whatever it was, we know, and I think he knows we know, but nothing has ever been said.
He’s always had an assholish personality. I don’t know how to describe it, but he’s arrogant and snobbish. He’s the kind of guy who would do just about anything to benefit himself, no matter who or what it hurt.
Things took a turn for the worse somewhere in the late 90s for him. We don’t know what really happened, but he did work for a bank that went under. He got another job after that but lost it around ’98 or so, and took to fraud. It was obvious he wasn’t doing as well, because he still had the same car that he had 20 years ago. The gifts to us kids had definitely diminished, and his clothes had gotten much shabbier. (Went from all sorts of gourmet stuff, really cool clothes, to maybe a card.) He had always been a sharp dresser, immaculate, lots of cologne, designer clothes. He started wearing lots of tracksuits and cheaper clothes. He never offered any information and never answered if we asked. He didn’t seem to care.
So that happened. Then my great uncle, Louis, had a stroke. Joe ended up taking care of him and taking over his things. This was the good side to him, as Louis always liked Joe, but there was another motive. Louis was loaded. He had had a good job, with a great pension, and lived like a miser. I’m talking re-using the coffee grounds 4-5 times at least. He was fond of dumpster diving. Yet he was always generous. Us kids called him Uncle Moneybags, because he would always leave us with a $10 or $20 after each visit. Before his stroke, he gave my parents $20,000 for our education. He was that kind of guy. He cared about his family and wanted to make sure we did ok. He was never the same after his stroke.
Joe got power of attorney when Louis started really losing his facilities. That meant he had control over his pension and everything else that came with it. That becomes importat. We wanted to do more, but at the time my family was dealing with the death of my mom’s mother and the subsequent move of my Aunt to live with us. So it fell to Joe to do this, and he did. Louis had 2 sisters, but they were elderly and couldn’t do as much. They tried though.
Joe somehow managed to go through most of Louis’ money quite quickly, well before he was put in the expensive Assisted living place that Louis HATED. It wasn’t his style. But Joe insisted because he wanted to show how much he cared, even though Louis really wasn’t thrilled.
Thanksgiving 2003 was the turning point. Joe hadn’t been in a whole lot of contact with anyone, except to drop a bomb saying that he was selling the house, the house my dad grew up in, the house that still contained all of my grandparents’ things. He said he had to sell the house. Words were said, and we weren’t sure if he was going to show up for Thanksgiving dinner, but he did. Never could pass up a free meal. Things were still tense and Dad really wanted to hurt uncle Joe, but for the sake of peace, nothing was done. The boy and I were actually there for once. We had managed to scrape together money for plane tickets, so the boy got the introduction to Joe.
During dinner, Joe casually mentioned the fact that he was going to be moving soon. The house had sold, and if we wanted anything from it, we needed to do it soon, as he didn’t know how long he would be there. (The new owners were letting him stay indefinitely or something.) We were shocked to say the least, and scrambled to figure out how we were going to do this. The boy and I scrapped our plans to do Boston the day after Thanksgiving to help deal with all of this.
So we went over to the house to see what we could save. Oh I could have cried. The house that my Nana had kept so pretty, so clean, was in disrepair. Nana must have turned so many times in her grave that she must have been dizzy. Oh it was bad. The lawn was overgrown, the paint was chipped and faded, the roof needed repair, and oh the backyard. That was just the outside. The inside was dark and dank and musty. It was disgusting. Things were everywhere. Nothing was organized. It was all just there.
We dug in and cleaned and sorted and just went through everything. We managed to save Nana’s hope chest with her wedding dress and other things. We packed up dozens of glasses and antiques. We threw out even more. It took all day Friday and we came back Saturday for more. We were glad that my dad had to work those days because it would have killed him to see the house that way. We had free reign of the house so I did some digging around in some paperwork that I found. Turned out Joe had re-mortgaged the house and had not made payments in a long time. The house had been foreclosed upon. (I later looked it up on a deed site and it was indeed true.) That hurt more than anything. He could have asked. My parents would have helped. Other relatives would have helped, and what had happened with Louis’ money? We all could have saved the house. It was a nice house, a good neighborhood. It didn’t have to end up this way.
While Googling for the information, I also found that Joe had been convicted of credit card and insurance fraud some years before. That wasn’t exactly a shock and it would explain a lot of things.
We didn’t really have much contact with him for a while. He came to KidBro’s college graduation but that was it. He attended holiday dinners and the like but not much else. Relations were strained to say the least.
Then Louis got worse a few weeks ago. He had another massive stroke and got sicker. He had internal bleeding and brain damage. It was bad. Joe kept him alive as long as he could, doing all sorts of things, even when the doctors were saying it wasn’t really worth it. Louis wouldn’t have wanted it, he would have been the first person to tell you to shoot him. But Joe kept him alive, more we think for the checks than anything, and some to just show the world that he pretended to care when if he really did, he would have let him go.
Louis died on Monday. Joe called my dad to tell him the news, and then asked my dad to pay for the funeral. You see, Joe had no money for it. He never saved any of Louis’ money to pay for it and there was nothing. We’re not sure about Life Insurance but we think he may have scammed his way into something there, cashed it, and run through the money. Mom and Dad are NOT happy about this.
Two days pass and they have heard nothing further on the matter. Nothing about a funeral or even anything. No one can get a hold of Joe. Dad calls Aunt Lucy, Louis’ sister, to see if she knows anything. Turns out she didn’t even know that Louis had died. Dad ended up breaking the news. Apparently Joe felt that my parents should be doing it all, even though he had been Louis’ primary caretaker and next of kin for year now. Lucy was upset and furious but also not shocked. Joe’s behavior is no family secret. Dad made a few calls and it turns out that Louis’ body still has not been claimed from the hospital. It’s been 2 days mind you, and there’s only been a phone call from Joe asking my parents to pay for the funeral and they didn’t say yes.
Lucy, Louis’ sister, whom Joe had driven to the hospital only days before mind you, is saying let it be. Let Joe deal with the consequences on this one. Louis doesn’t really deserve this but Joe does. My parents are furious. Dad is ready to find Joe and pummel him. This is the last straw. But wait, there’s more. Oh is there ever more.
It turns out that Joe did move soon after the house clean out. He just never told anyone but Lucy. We didn’t know. Mom has been sending cards and things to the old address for 3 years now. He moved 3 YEARS AGO and didn’t tell us. He still visited and had dinners and things with the family, attended my brother’s graduation, did all sorts of things, but never mentioned a change of address. He did take the phone number with him, a phone number that is still in his father’s name, the father who died 32 years ago. That makes me think that he may still be using his fathers SS# and other things to obtain other stuff.
KidBro Googled Joe again and came up with some new information on him. Turns out that Joe is currently on probation for insurance fraud and kiting checks, plus he has been charged with doing it again. He apparently wrote checks for his car insurance in 2004 from a bank that has been closed since 1992. What a good person he is. Dad is thinking about talking to buddies of his that still work at the prison (Dad is a retired corrections officer) and having them run Joe’s name in the system. If he is on probation, the probation officer will be alerted to the fact that someone ran his name. That’s enough to raise red flags and get him in a bit of hot water. Plus it would make his PO contact him, and since no one can seem to contact him right now… hmmm.
I spent an hour talking this over with my dad last night. He needed to blow off some steam and since I understand him, we cursed Joe over the phone last night. He regrets not doing things differently, not demanding his respect. We always let things be, in order to keep the peace. We shouldn’t have. Like everyone else in the family, I warned my dad not to do anything stupid since he was so pissed off. Dad can get hotheaded and all, and knows people and ways to um, do things. You don’t piss Dad off. We have all put a familial restraining order on Dad to not be alone with Joe for a while, but Dad has realized that he’s just not worth it anymore.
We’ll see how things develop. I’m sure I’ll have updates soon. Joe just sucks, but he isn’t going to be a part of this family anymore. He no longer has the right.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Holiday Madness

The mess hath begun. Twas the week before Christmas and the stores were getting packed. It wasn’t bad this weekend- didn’t seem as if anyone was out shopping really. Traffic was fine and people weren’t bad. My only issue is that the grocery stores kept running out of butter. Damn you people! Stock more unsalted butter!
One of my co-workers went out shopping last night. She said it was crazy out there. Target was packed and it was impossible to get someone to help you. She was also looking for a Nintendo DS for her kids. Everyone is sold out of them at the moment. That’s always fun. She went to 5 stores and nada. Gotta love that. The boy was at Toys R US and he said it was wiped out. He still found something decent but still.
I’m glad I finished all of my shopping last weekend. I know I should start earlier, but no one gives me any idea of what they want until a month or so before, and we’re the kind of people that if we see it and want it, we buy it. Planning ahead of time for this stuff just doesn’t work.
I’ve finished most of my baking. Last weekend was cookie weekend. I made 5 different kinds of cookies and am making 2 more. I distributed a sampler to my co-workers but we have tons more at home. The boy wanted cookies and now he has them. Of course now he says that there are too many and he wants something else other than cookies. I can’t win. We’re going to a dinner party tonight so I’m bringing some of them with me.
The boy’s restaurant Holiday party was Sunday. That was fun. Good food and lots of wine and beer. Plus we got a bottle of pink champagne and a French press. Yay! Of course it meant a late night for me on a work night but oh well. My work party is this Friday and well, it won’t be as good. It’s during work hours for one and it’s a freakin’ potluck. They say they’ll supply the drinks but what will they be? Ugh. Whatever.

There’s lots of stuff happening at the boy’s restaurant, not a lot that’s good. It’s going to be interesting as to how it all plays out. All I know is that the boy really needs to get another job, because this one is really hurting him. It’s stressing him out to the max. It’s time to leave and he knows it. He just can’t because it would leave a friend hanging, but it’s the friend who has messed everything up. He can’t manage. It’s such a mess and people are going to end up hurt, have already ended up hurt. Boss crossed personal with business and it’s all coming back to haunt him. There’s nothing we can do except to let it blow up and hope the boy doesn’t get completely caught in the crosshairs.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Of Mice and Men

Eeeeew. We have rats and mice. Not at home but at work. They came in looking for warmth and water and stayed for the food. We started noticing things weren’t right months ago, but they’re only now doing something. The first hint was a chewed up phone cord. It was split in two. Then we noticed that one of the mini-pumpkins on a desk had bite marks taken out of it. We all had one, but that one was the only pumpkin to be affected. Then a coworker’s phone display stopped working. We eventually found out it was because her phone cord had been partially chewed up. Rats.
There are now traps everywhere, and not just the glue boards. They don’t want to use the glue boards as they don’t want the rodents to chew off legs and stuff. So they’re using the traditional traps with peanut butter as bait. It’s been working but I don’t think that will solve the problem. We need outside traps to prevent them from coming in.
There’s also a lovely new rule that prevents us from eating at our desk. No more working through lunch to leave early, no more snacking at your desk even. All food consumption must be done in the one break room. That’s it. That decree has not been met with good cheer. In fact people have grumbled mightily, including me.
It’s thrown my whole eating pattern off. I need to eat on a schedule, due to the whole low blood sugar thing. I now eat breakfast an hour earlier due to the fact that I can’t eat it at my desk. Therefore, I get hungry for lunch way earlier than I should and I need to snack but I have to get up and go somewhere else to do it. We scarf down our lunches quickly so we can come back to our desks to do other stuff at lunch, as we can’t surf the net during the day. And then we snack again in the afternoon. We used to bring in all sorts of things for each other and have potluck breakfasts or lunches all the time. No more. Which stinks. All because of the rodents, and most of us don’t even think this will really solve the problem. The big problem is the holes in the building, of which there are many. When it rains, it pours inside in places.
Oh well. This whole thing sucks but there’s nothing we can do right now, except sneak in bites when we need to, and right now, I need something.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Merry Christmas from the Family

It was an eventful yet uneventful weekend. Friday night we went out for Mexican. We intended to go to our usual place, Matt’s for margaritas and enchiladas but it was packed and there was no getting to the bar, where we’ve eaten many times before. We didn’t want to wait an hour for dinner, so we decided to try one of the many Taquerias by our house. Taquerias don’t sell alcohol, it’s usually BYOB. But that was ok, we were really just hungry. It was good and really cheap, the way it should be. If only they were open past nine pm. There’s one open until 1am on the weekends that is down the street from us, but it’s not nearly as good. Still, when it’s late, you’re half drunk, and hungry, it does the trick. Nothing like a combo of breakfast and regular tacos in the wee hours of the morning.
Saturday I ran some errands and went Christmas looking. I didn’t buy anything because it was crazy and I couldn’t find anything I wanted. People suck extra during Christmas shopping season. The crazies were out driving, if you could call it driving, and people were just rude in the stores. (The salespeople weren’t but everyone else was. The salespeople were amazingly in good moods. For now.)
Then, when the boy got home, we got on the road to his parents house. We had stuff to get out of storage and we were going to go to a concert. It was Robert Earl Keen’s Christmas Show at Flores Country Store. It’s an annual thing and it always sells out. Lots of beer, fun, and rednecks. A helluva good time. We saw him twice before this year, and I have to say that Saturday’s show was so much better than the other two. He was in a way better mood and he played a better set list. Everybody was singing along and having fun. The coozies were out in full force (everyone seems to have one on hand at all times for a beer emergency I guess.). We had a great time.
We stopped at a diner on the way home for breakfast, it being 1am and all. Drunken eggs and potatoes, yum. We had intended to leave early-ish on Sunday, as we had to get home to give a neighbor’s cat his medicine, but we didn’t. We left around 1:30 or so. It was rainy and cold, so we didn’t get to take everything from storage that we wanted to. But the cat was just fine and was more pissed off that we disturbed his nap than anything. (He has a thing where his jaw swells and hurts but he was just fine and was meowing like crazy.)
We just sat around and watched football for the rest of the day. I made some chili for dinner and that was about it. A pretty good weekend in all.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Tis the season for spending $$$

Yep, tis the season for that. I’ve done about half of mine so far. The big Christmas present for me and the boy is the truck. It was going to be a present anyway, it was just going to occur closer to Christmas but oh well. I still got him something else. He’s so hard to shop for as his hobbies are so specialized, you sort of have to know stuff about it to buy stuff. Plants and records. I can’t just get any plants and any record. If I come across certain ones, sure, I know about those, but other stuff? No clue. And when I ask him, he says, oh you just know. Like that helps. So I hit upon something that hopefully will work, a car converter for his Ipod. This will make things easier, as instead of carrying the cd case around, he can just use all the songs he has loaded onto his Ipod. It is a 30G one, so it holds a hell of a lot.
I also just discovered a game store in North Austin that sells older video games. We have an original Nintendo set and the boy loves to play games all the time. I think I may just go and get a few games for him. (He doesn’t read this so I know I’m ok blogging her about it.)
I bought stuff for my mom during the Day after Turkey Day crazy sales. She’s easy. My aunt will be getting kitchen towels and such as she may be finally moving into her own little spot. (As long as all that fun goes ok. Aunt is mentally handicapped and has always lived with my grandmother and now my parents. This will be a change.) Bro is the standard gift card, as that’s all he wants, and then there’s Dad. Mom doesn’t even know what to get dad usually. So we talk for weeks and then she tells me what to get him. It works pretty well.
This year Dad is getting a wooden banana holder. Yeah. That’s all my mom could come up with. He has no hobbies really and he’s retired. So urgh. I’m getting him some good Texas jerky so that will be something different too but still. Dad does have a weird thing for banana holders.
I should get something for the boy’s parents too, and the boy’s brother, but I leave that to the Boy, as he does better with that most times. Then again, he has no clue about his parents either. Also, boy’s brother likes a lot of the same stuff as the boy so… I have enlisted his help tons of times for stuff. Maybe I’ll ask him again this year.
We realized last night that we have a few more people to buy for. There’s our friends P&C and their son. Sigh. And the boy’s grandmother. And his great-uncle’s widow. Oi. So many people and not nearly enough $$ for this. What to buy them? We have no idea.
And then there’s Christmas cards. I really should send them out this year. Really. I say that every year but I never get around to it. I need to though.
So all you who made it through this post and all that, email me your address so I can send a card out. It might make it by whatever holiday you celebrate and if not, just think of it as an all-encompassing Holiday card. Yeah, that’s it.

Monday, December 04, 2006

100 Things Part Deux

51. I apparently look like I’m 5-6 years younger than I actually am. Most people don’t believe me when I tell them my real age. I get carded everywhere. Funnily enough, the Boy doesn’t and he’s 2 years younger.

52. I have short, blond hair and blue eyes. My hair used to be a bit longer but I HATE it long. Short is so much easier and manageable. I hated spending half an hour in the morning just dealing with my hair. Now it’s less than 5 minutes.

53. I have 2 cats who love to double-team me in the morning, begging for their morning food. They’re crazy kittens and I love them to death.

54. I am so not a morning person. I’m not an evening person either as I tend to fall asleep too early. I like mid-afternoon best, but only if I’ve gotten enough sleep.

55. I never thought that I’d be living in Texas when I was younger. If you would have told me this in high school, I would have laughed. I didn’t understand the allure then but I sure do now.

56. I did think that I wouldn’t be living in Massachusetts anymore because I wanted out. I hadn’t lived anywhere else other than my parents house and I wanted a change. Boy did I get it.

57. I have lived in 3 different states and 2 countries so far. I don’t see us moving from Texas any time soon so I don’t think that will change.

58. I don’t know how I ever lived without easily accessible Mexican food. Or Pho.

59. I didn’t even try most ethnic foods I love until college because they weren’t really available in my hometown. There was Chinese and Italian and that’s about it.

60. I grew up surrounded by Italians. My hometown is or rather was very Italian while I was growing up. There used to be a red, white, and green line running through one of the main throroughfares instead of the yellow double line. We had a huge church-run Italian festival every year that the whole town went to.

61. My brother and I look nothing alike. He got the Italian, olive skinned looks while I got the pale, French looks.

62. I, apparently, look just like my dad’s cousin Annette whom I’ve never met. We found this out when she was on Donahue one day for living in a common-law marriage arrangement.

63. That’s pretty interesting since I find myself in a similar arrangement now, except that we haven’t filed the paperwork for the common-law thing, though most people consider us married by now.

64. We’ll have been together 6 years in December.

65. I want kids but sometimes I’m not so sure I actually do. I’m terrified of pregnancy and childbirth.

66. I do know that the boy and I are on the same page when it comes to raising kids and all but it’s still scary. I don’t know how we’ll do it.

67. I don’t make friends easily. I never have. I had close friends in high school and we still keep in touch mostly, but it was hard finding them. Same with college. Now that I’m out in the “real world”, I still don’t have many friends.

68. Most of my friends live across the country now. My best friend lives in PA, my high school friends live mostly in MA, college friends in VA. I have some friends here but a lot of them are the boy’s friends/coworkers.

69. Then there are the internet friends with whom I could not do without. It seems so much easier to communicate this way.

70. I love make-up but usually can’t be bothered to actually spend time on it. My current favorite stuff is ELF products. Cheap and good stuff.

71. I have sensitive skin so everything makes me break out. I still haven’t found anything to work for me, but I also hate to spend a lot of money on it. I guess I’m going to have to soon.

72. I love to shop. LOVE it. But I’m the consummate bargain hunter. I rarely, if ever, pay full price. I shop sales and clearance only.

73. My favorite stores to shop are Target, Old Navy, New York and Company, Kohl’s, JC Penney and TJ Maxx. I’d shop Marshall’s if there was one closer. I used to shop Filenes/Foley’s/Hecht’s before they got bought out by Macy’s. If there was an H&M here, I’d rejoice.

74. I am an earlybird, not in the sense of early to rise, but I’m always early to things like work and meeting up with people. I’m very punctual. I HATE being late. The boy on the other hand, doesn’t care so much about time. That bugs me.

75. My eyesight is terrible. I wear contacts at –10 in my right eye and –9.5 in my left. That’s bad. I have to wear reading glasses over my contacts to read and use the computer or things go fuzzy and I get headaches. I’ve been like this since I was 9.

76. My eyesight changed so quickly when I was little, I thought I was going blind. I went from wearing no glasses, to wearing them for distance, to all the time, to bifocals in 2 years. It sucked.

77. I got contacts in 9th grade and have never looked back. I love them so much more than my glasses, even though my new ones are sort of sexy. I like seeing in the shower.

78. I first smoked a cigarette when I was in France. I was very drunk but I had been around so much smoke I had sort of started to crave them. It was ok. It didn’t make me like them but every now and then I want one when I’m drunk.

79. The boy rolls his own cigarettes and they are so much better than the others. He even puts filters in them.

80. My first smoking experience was in 2002 with the Boy. It wasn’t very good.

81. I’m not a huge fan of and don’t do it very often. It makes me sleepy.

82. I never thought I’d say this, but I’ve become a fan of country music. Hard to believe, but it’s true. I’m going to Robert Earl Keen’s Christmas show next weekend and I can’t wait.

83. I don’t like talking on the phone. I don’t know why, as I’m perfectly find talking through email, but I hate talking on the phone.

84. I love to talk though.

85. Yes, I do talk to myself at times, and in different languages. Sometimes it’s the only way to practice my French.

86. Trashy romance novels that have been translated into French are some of my favorite vocabulary builders. No joke. It’s conversational, which isn’t what they always teach you in school.

87. I wish they had taught us more practical things in French classes like how to get a haircut and how to deal with banks and things like that. It would have made things a bit easier. I know how to do that now, but it would have been nice to know.

88. My ideal job would be running a study abroad company or working for a French speaking person. Anything to really use my degree.

89. I double majored in French and International Affairs, both subjects I liked, not necessarily ones that will make me money.

90. I went to a small college, where class sizes maybe reached 30. Maybe. We had 2 French majors graduate my year.

91. I hate French literature. HATE it. If I had wanted to read lots of literature I would have majored in English. I just wish our major had included more linguistics and language skills.
92. I love beer. The wine expert in the house is the boy. I’m the beer girl, which seems strange to people as I was the one who lived in France, but the area I lived in was big on beer. Mmm Belgian beer.

93. I would love to be able to travel out of the country more, but life keeps getting in the way. I wish I had done more before setting down but loans and bills kept getting in the way.

94. We do manage to travel a little bit, with my family being in MA, but it’s hard. Most of our traveling now is done visiting family.

95. I love to research. Research papers were actually fun for me to do. I know that’s weird but true.

96. I can find most anything if asked. If it’s on the web, I’ll find it. If not, I know where to go to get the information. I’m really good at just knowing where to look.

97. I have an innate sense of direction. I rarely get lost. I can usually figure my way out of things. I have problems reading a map though.

98. I give directions and remember things by landmarks. Most of the time I couldn’t tell you the street name, but I can tell you what’s on the corner.

99. I kissed a girl once. It didn’t do anything for me. We were both really drunk. The boy is really mad he missed that.

100. I can sing. I can carry a tune and it sounds rather good but it’s not pop star quality. It’s more choir-like. I just don’t feel like joining a choir though. I’d rather sing in the shower and freak out the cats.

Friday, December 01, 2006

100 Things Part I (as per pantalones)

1. I am a sucker for sweet and sour chicken.
2. Those crab puffs too, even though they're really mostly just cream cheese stuffed fried wontons.
3. But I'd love to eat actual Chinese food one day. In China. I like trying authentic foods.
4. I still can't believe I'm a homeowner. Still seems like a weird dream.
5. One of my hard and fast deal-breakers for the house was thatit had to have a gas stove. That and no HOA. I was flexible on most everything else.
6. My favorite color is blue. I abhor pink and try to keep it out of my wardrobe as much as possible, which isn't easy as manufacturers seem to think that all girls love pink. I never have.
7. I was a tomboy as a little girl. I was the girl who was always playing with the boys. I played kickball and soccer with the best of them.
8. In dresses. I loved wearing skirts and dresses and still do. They're way cooler than pants in the summer, a fact I discovered while working in an un-air-conditioned warehouse one summer.
9. I have a whipped cream problem. I'll fill a bowl with the stuff from the can and eat it straight. Sometimes I put hot fudge or chocolate shavings on it, but mostly I like it plain. And it has to be the canned stuff too. I love fresh whipped cream but the canned stuff is just,mmmm.
10. I don't eat as many veggies and fruits as I should. I just don't really like them all that much. I love apples, broccoli, spinach, and strawberries. The others are all just meh.
11. I really hate peas. Really really. I also hate bananas.
12. I have a texture thing with food. If I don't like the texture of something, I can't eat it. This is why I can't eat shrimp. I don't mind the taste but the texture is all weird to me. I would actually eat tripe if it didn't have that weird texture.
13. I am a highly visual learner. I have to write it down or read it to really understand it.
14. If you tell me your name, and I don't write it down, I won't remember it. Even if you just told me a minute ago.
15. Same goes for errands and tasks. I have to write it down. Remind me to write it down if you have to. Just asking won't make a difference. If it's not on my grocery list, I will forget it, even if it's an important ingredient.
16. The boy and I met in Barcelona. In a youth hostel. On Christmas.
17. He was actually intended to be the one and only one night-stand I could ever bring myself to have. That obviously didn't happen.
18. We bonded over mutual love for the New England Patriots, which is a rare thing for a Texas boy. Well, that and great sex.
19. I'm a planner. I like to plan things. I have schedules and routines all planned and mapped out. I already have my weekend errand trip planned out that way.
20. I even organize my grocery list by aisle of the store. I can be in and out of the store in under half an hour.
21. But my actual house and things are a complete mess. I'm so disorganized that way. I'm a clutter bug.
22. I HATE when other people try to organize my stuff for me. I can never find what I'm looking for as I have my own system, which doesn't work for anyone else. I know it's weird, it's just the way I am.
23. I'm a Francophile, but not as obsessed as you'd think I'd be. I tend to defend the French for their thinking because they always get blamed for things, even though they just have a weirdly different mindset.
24. I speak fluent French, some Spanish, and a bit of Italian. My Spanish is improving and my Italian still sounds a lot like Spanish.
25. Living in France for a year was one of the best experiences of my life. I'd move back in a second if I could, though not to Paris. I want to live in a smaller town. Valenciennes, the town I lived in, was ideal. It was big but not big enough so that you couldn't walk everywhere,yet it also had a great bus system. Plus it was close to major cities.
26. I had a pretty normal childhood. No dysfunctional family at all really.
27. My uncle is gay but he's still closeted. We all know but he will never admit it. We're not exactly sure why. He's not a very good person though.
28. My other uncle is an alcoholic. Last we heard, which was years and years ago, he was living in a bar somewhere and had lost an eye. We think he's still alive, as my dad is listed as next of kin and we haven'tbeen notified of a death. This uncle is actually a good guy with serious problems.
29. On my mom's side of the family, I have a mentally disabled aunt. The doctor was blind drunk at her birth and she didn't get enough oxygen and was brain damaged. Thus she will be forever 5ish.
30. My aunt and I used to fight over Barbies. It was weird fighting with a 30something over Barbies, now that I think about it, but back then I just wanted to play.
31. My grandma was a really cool person. I get my independent, wanderlust streak from her. She moved away from home, at a time when it was considered horrific for unmarried girls to do so. She didn't care.
32. I never really got to know my paternal grandparents. Mygrandfather died before I was born and my grandmother died when I was 5. All I remember is visiting her in the hospital and having Eggos and Danishes atthe gathering after the funeral.
33. Nana was very Italian though and I'm told I get my cooking streak from her. She never really liked my mom as no one was ever good enough for her boys.
34. Funnily enough, out of those 3 boys, my dad turned out the best. (Not just saying this because he's my dad either.) He's the only one to have his life together.
35. My dad is retired at age 54. He was a Corrections Officer. He never went to college.
36. The year after he retired, my brother became a Corrections Officer. He graduated college in May 2005. He really wants to be a police officer.
37. I am a nerd and a voracious bookworm.
38. I love Monty Python and The Search for the Holy Grail is my all-time favorite movie.
39. It was my British neighbor who introduced me to British comedy. I used to baby-sit his kids every other Saturday night. Easiest job there was, except for the nights when Mary learned to take her diaper off. (Duct tape is an effective solution for that.) He also introduced me to Douglas Adams and Harry Potter.
40. I got extremely good grades all my life, so much that I graduated 5th in my high school class. In elementary school, the only thing that kept me from straight A's all the time was penmanship. My handwritingis still comparable to chicken scratch.
41. I was a goody-two shoes in high school, and my rebellious streak consisted of sneaking off with my boyfriend to fool around. We spenta lot of time at the "coffee shop".
42. I never got detention but the principal knew me well. Of course it was for good things. I was pretty well known by all the teachers and administrators.
43. Somehow we managed to convince the administration to let us use our National Honor Society cards as Hall Passes. We roamed freely around the school and could go where we pleased during study hall, though not off campus. We were a closed campus. But I still went wherever I wanted in the school. No one really asked me for the pass though. They always figured I had a reason to be out and about.
44. I never really drank in high school. Never really had the opportunity either though. My friends were also goody two shoes types. I could have drank when I went on an exchange in 10th grade but no, I didn't want to. The one time I did was when we were on a school trip to Quebec and I was 18 already so I could legally buy booze there. I bought for our little group and we drank wine coolers. I didn't get drunk though.
45. We always had a sort of parent chaperone when at each others' houses, especially when both boys and girls were present, even in senior year. Our parents wouldn't have let us go otherwise. Didn't matter what kind of gathering it was, a parent had to be home if a boy was going to be there. Of course that didn't stop the sex from happening, but they tried.
46. My parents were extremely overprotective, which is a good and a bad thing.
47. Good thing meant that they knew what I was doing most of the time and thus protected me from doing stupid things.
48. Bad thing was that I didn't do a lot of stupid things then and did them as I got older, which wasn't always the best time for it all.
49. I need 8 hours of sleep function properly. I've always been that way, and was probably one of the few high schoolers who didn't mind going to bed by 10pm.
50. I never really got into late night TV as I was never awake. I still don't watch it as I'm still in bed by 10 pm.