I'm effing cold

Jan 27, 2009 at 4:26 PM
It's very cold here in Portland.

I remembered a winter coat, thankfully, but I forgot a pair of mittens or a hat or a scarf or anything. Argh. All that stuff is back in my armoire at home and my little fingies are colder than cold.

Makes me miss Costa Rica even more.

The upside, it's snowing. It's very pretty out. I just don't want to go out into it very much. But at least it's quite pretty.

Must be midlife crisis time.

Jan 26, 2009 at 7:29 PM
Now You See it, Now You Don't
OR
Desi Gets a Blond Streak.

Hee hee.

video

I'm young and bubbly and that is a bad thing as far as men go

Jan 25, 2009 at 7:22 PM
Upside of looking like I'm mid-20s, instead of the 32 I really am:

Younger, hotter men hit on me.

Downside of looking like I'm mid-20s, instead of the 32 I really am:

Younger, immature men hit on me.

Seriously. I know it sounds like a hollow complaint. But, for LTRs, most of the guys who hit on me are just not gonna work. They're looking for someone who's still on the first go 'round, looking for that first spouse, so they can pop out their first batch of kids.

Out of the last ten guys to hit on me (not counting on the interwebnetspacebook), every last one was in their 20s.

But I'm not. I've been around the merry go round a few times already, and I want someone already established. Or at least mature enough to live with the fact that I'm already a whole person. I'm not having any more of those kid things. I have the world's most perfect children (it's official). Why do I need more? All I really want is a guy as great as my kids are, who wants a simple, enjoyable life.

See, here's how this works: I look 5-8 years younger than I am, and I started adult life about 5-8 years earlier than everyone else. Plus maybe the young-looking thing has something to do with that I'm energetic. And I don't do fancy grown up hairdos. (Whatever. Hair is hair. I don't futz with mine.) Or it could be my great big huge buggy eyes. I dunno. Whatever it is, I look younger.

So, when guys hit on me, they are usually poor unsuspecting college age boys who don't realize I'm about 15 years ahead of them in the great wheel of life stages. And that I'm NOT the right age for them.

And men who are ready for a woman at the same stage as me, and to whom I might actually feel a common reality beyond lust, well, they generally don't approach me, and I think it is because they think that I'm too young for them.


It gets fucking lonely on the ranch. Beyond that, I feel pretty danged complete.

And that needs to be OK with him. Which is actually very hard to find. Especially if he's in his early 20s. The idea that a person doesn't NEED him around every second of the day, isn't expecting him to fill in every void in my life, is actually kind of a problem with some guys.

Plus, I've lost a few very good prospects because the kids thing didn't work. He has to get along with my kids (1 prospect lost to that one) and he has to be OK with the fact that I'm done with my childbearing (another few prospects lost to that one).

And that's why it's crappy that I look like I'm in an earlier stage of my life than I actually am in.

So now I need to figure out a way to appear OLDER than I am, so that I can attract the kind of men I actually might be able to build a true relationship with.

How does one start looking one's age? Should I do some highlights with grey hair dye? A month straight of heroin use would probably do the trick, but what kind of man would that get me?

Hmmm. I really don't know.

Maybe I need to get me one of those tacky mid-length hairdoes? I think I'm too old now to learn how to use a blowdrier and curling iron. I've got NO idea how to do all that girly stuff that I was supposed to have learned by now.

Or -- and here's a solution to the problem that it's hard to think wouldn't have negative consequences -- I have to grow the cajones needed to go hit on the right kind of guys instead of waiting for them to hit on me...

Crap. I don't know what to do.

Words

Jan 22, 2009 at 9:32 PM
I have a unique love for words.

Things like the different roots for the many slang terms involving "hook"...

Hooker
Hookie
Hook (a ride)
and others like Left Hook, The Hook, etc.

All have different word roots.

Ancient uses for words that we all use regularly. Like brave as in "a brave coat" or gay as in "a gay and festive affair" or nice as in "a nice sum". These also make me happy, just to hear.

I love words. Words like perspicacity and persnippety, effluence and affluence, marmalade and marmaduke, all enthrall me. I enjoy playing with them, and I enjoy filling out the remainder of an unfulfilled thought by simply beginning the process of writing it out.

Which is why I love blogging. Not only do I get to share my view of things, but i get a chance to write. Words. Real words, for all the world (or at least the three of you) to read.

I didn't say I'm any good at it, I just said I love it.

I started this blog to lessen my fear of writing publicly. Like public speaking, I had a fear of writing publicly. Which is a problem for a writer, for someone who comes up with plot stories as often as meal ideas.

Plus I was a deathly shy child. You'd never know it now, but I have been continually working on improving my willingness and confront to speak out, tell things, make words count, get my writing OUT THERE. Get my words out there.

Now I'm finally to the point where I might actually have the fortitude to truly accomplish one of my life's goals. Even if it never bears fruit or makes me money. I think sometime soon I'll turn one of those plots into a plan. And, sometime after that, I may turn one of those plans into a book. Full of words.

Very exciting to feel like I'm nearly ready.

--------

Why is it unique? Because I know very few people like me. I have two friends, Kat and Shelley, who I feel share that love of words. And of course there is my Dad, whom I can thank (blame) for this deep and abiding love of words. But that's three out of thousands of people I know.

Obama Speech in Brief

Jan 20, 2009 at 3:00 PM


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BEijvc7d4oI

1. Click through the link if you want, because the comments beneath this speech (eloquent yet minimalistically florid speech about coming together and bringing forth our better character and urging patience in the hard times ahead) are so petty and small that I feel discouraged about the dwindling intelligencia, the shrinking numbers of the well-spoken among us, the thoughtful and the considerate. All comments about political parties or race. So totally not the point.

So he's mixed race, neither black nor white. Both black and white. Get over his blackness or lack thereof. What the blazes does it have to do with his? ...

character
intent
goodwill
competence
virtues
integrity
intellect
persona
strength
compassion
fortitude


or other important qualities...

Nothing, I say. The vast majority of the comments completely miss the point of the speech or the man. He's President. He's mixed race, like my children. Good. No label defines him to the point where you can pigeonhole him. It's freeing. So forget race and move on to his character. Because that is ALL that matters right now.

He's of a political party I have been VERY disappointed by in the past. But they can all disappoint. Or they can all rise beyound labels. Let's hope, despite whatever you may have him labeled as, that he can be a good President and that our tenuous hold on the America we love is not altered. Change can be good or bad. Let's hope there is more good than bad. And let's hope nothing that our freedoms pivot on is changed.

2. You know, I'm one of the few people I know who doesn't feel strong emotions about Barack Obama. He makes me uneasy, but it is just a gut reaction to the unknown. I don't like unknowns. He is a mystery in action. His words are evocative, yet vague. He has unknown potential as a leader, and I suppose I'm just waiting to see what happens when the well chosen words stop and the signing of bills start.

I've told you before, I judge leaders by the actions and laws they create, not the words they say. So I'm still holding my breath on our new President.

3. Will he make a good President? I honestly don't know. None of us do, because if you think you do, you're acting on FAITH, which is only applicable to religious matters. Faith does not apply to leadership, unless we're willing to go back to having Pharoahs or God Kings. Which America is definitely not founded on. So it's time for a "wait and see" approach.

Back Pain Exercise

Jan 19, 2009 at 4:03 PM
Hi -

My momma sent this, said it works. Let me know if it helps you.

Schmeekly Meanderings

at 2:08 PM
Quit doing that days of the week thing. You know what I mean. Weekly Wind-Up, Friday Fantasies, Wednesday Wanderings, Monday Matriculations. Whatever.

I'm reminded of a movie reference to a movie. We've got mail, Tom Hanks copies The Don, "Monday, Wednesday, Thursday".

Whatever.

I think you're making me older faster, by pointing out all the time that days are ticking by.

I don't think with days of the week. Another reason that working at home for or by myself appealed to me.

And every time you mention what day of the week it is, or write themed posts based on a particular day, I get slammed into the same day as you, whereas previously I was where ever I wanted to be.

You're messing up my personal space-time continuum, but you don't stop there. You're now adding to that offense the crime of making me have to limit my frame of reference on that time, into smaller spaces. Now that I'm slammed into the same day as you, you then compartmentalize that day to be ENTIRELY and ONLY about some theme or meme.

Jeezy creezy. I prefer to blog about whatever I feel like talking about whenever I feel like talking about it. No danged tiny boxes to fit in for ME, thanks.

I'm now going to ignore the titles of your blog posts and judge the "day-themed" posts on their private merits, without any consideration of the theme's gimmick.

On the other hand, some of my very favorite posts of all-o-y'alls were sometimes themed. So for those posts, and to those posts, I say "Well done on rising up to the creme out of the cruft of a meme or the schmulz of a theme".

Wow, that rhymes.

OK, From now on, Monday is "Rhyming Accolades Monday".

Edward is lame

Jan 17, 2009 at 7:25 PM
I have read the first two books of Twilight now. Libs brought Twilight wiht her, and we bought the second book when in Portland last week.

OK. Is it just me or is Jacob seriously just a BETTER PERSON than Edward?

But I never even liked Edward much; I thought Bella's love seemed obsessive and childish, rather than uplifting or wonderful.

And I thought Edward seemed rather pointlessly broody.

I know I'm building a huge "hate" club by saying this, but I have a far more mature view of what love is than the Twilight books do.

Therefore, I think that happy, helpful, kind, fun, loving, THERE, and temperature-or-otherwise hot Jacob is a FAR better choice.

Hate me if you will. I'm pissed at Bella for loving beautiful but moody Edward. The whole first book read like a very immaturely thought out romance novel, rather than a real dialog about the nature of endless affectionate love.

Ad after reading the second book, I found that the actions he does and the effect Jacob has on Bella mean that Jacob is SOOO much better of a choice.

How can anyone still want Bella and Edward together after book two? I don't get it? Even Edward's half-assed not-nearly-extensive-enough apologies at the end of book 2 didn't do it for me. I still think he's flighty, immature, rash, and pointlessly broody and moody and grumpy.

Whatever.

I almost don't want to read the rest of the books now.

The movie was godawful, too. Edward looked like a member of The Cure, and they both acted like foolish young idiots instead of "mature" for their ages. And the acting/writing/trouble put into making it right were not enough to make me feel it was meant for "thinkers" or serious readers like me.

Whatever.

Pshhh.

Monopoly, Maturity, Music, etc

Jan 16, 2009 at 6:58 PM
My little sister and I have been playing Monopoly every couple of days since she got here.

We both LOVE playing this endless game, and we both have the same house rules. Free Parking contains a pot, which accrues all taxes and fees throughout the game. Landing directly on Go gets you $400. Neither of us cheat, we both always own up to paying our rent whether asked or not, and our trades are usually pretty fair.

However, I hate to lose this game.

It's not Libby's fault. She s the most fun to play it with of anyone I know. It's leftover from playing with my older sister, who always won... and always cheated. I think I'm scarred for life.

Anyway, we're totally even right now, she's won as many as I have.

But I've been conceding once it's clear I've lost, whereas Libs will play through the very end.

And that makes her a better sport than me. At 12 years my junior.

------------

My little sister is 12 years younger, if you didn't catch that. She's really quite lazy, an amazing artist, and my very favorite person that didn't spring from my loins.

We get along better than any two sisters ever, I think. Positively wonderfully. I think the only time we've fought in the last few years was ONCE, last year when she was going through a very difficult time and had made a few bad choices.

I called them like I saw them. Thing was, I was wrong. But not about enough of it for me to feel too bad for calling her out on it.

So, anyway, once that was all worked out, we were back to normal.

Plus, she's been coming into her own recently, more than I think even she realizes. I think it won't be much longer before she'll be a grown-up, at least something approximating a grownup, but with punky hair and piercings and tats and stuff. And probably however it is that she chooses to be a grown-up, it'll be unconventional and truly won't conform to any kind of recommended allowed suggestions made by family.

Partly why I'm keeping my mouth shut about recommendations. I know better. You never knew a more willful person in your life.

I love that about her.

She reminds me of what I was before I had my kids. I lost my own identity for a while, just became "mom". Which is honestly fine. I really didn't have time to be much more than mom. But that's changing.

Back to the point. Libs, and why I love her.

We have a GREAT DEAL in common. Plus, what we dont' have in common, I admire.

What does it say about me that someone twelve years younger than me can be one of my very best friends?

I guess it's OK when it's your sister. But I have been feeling a little less mature than usual these days. But it's especially OK because I've been feeling less mature while also feeling less weighed down by the world and less "old".

So it's all working out. Libs' been getting more mature, and I've been getting less. Soon we'll reach equalibrium.

---------

Yesterday, Libs was playing piano in my house. Handel pieces, very soothing, very clean. I love them.

I was cleaning while she played, and then sitting and fixing my laptop (which I did a beautiful job of, beautiful new screen installed without a hitch). And then I was sitting on the couch just listening.

She is quite a beautiful pianist. She's better at reading sheet music than me; my forte is playing them until I perfect them and can play them without sheets. She knows about 500 more pieces than me, but must have sheets with her -- which explains the half-suitcase of piano books she brought along.

It was so unbelievable lovely to have someone playing my piano other than me. And especially lovely to have it be my little sister.

----------

What else did I remind you to have me write about? I'm too lazy busy to figure it out right now.

Shoe Trees and Muddy Gravel

Jan 12, 2009 at 5:22 PM
The shoe tree here on the ranch is dead. It fell over.

It has been a local landmark for AGES. Everyone who came here or visited has left a pair of shoes hanging on this large dead tree overhanging a cliffside above a beautiful meadow, right above the flood plain, flat flat land with a winding river in the center.

Last week we had a winter storm. Here is the coast that means HEAVY winds. Remember the one? It knocked out my power?

Anyway, the next day, I felt a visceral shock when I was driving along and saw the shoe tree tipped over. What a loss.

It finished its fall and is now somewhere down the side of the slope it previously overhung.

--------

I love my road here. It is everchanging, constantly shifting, clay and mud covered gravel. Every year, the road gets lower in some spots, muddied in others, new potholes, newly flattened and graded sections, gets slippery new gravel somewhere, or it slips slightly further down the hill somewhere else.

You can never take that kind of road for granted.

It makes you vigilant, as it winds and dips, climbs and changes.

Every winter, there are new branches and trees and mudslides in the road.

Every summer, the log trucks pound and blast their way along the road, making even a drive to town a potentially lethal affair.

Every Spring and Fall, new gravel is laid down somewhere, and acts like marbles on a dance floor for a while, until we grind it down by driving over it. And lose a lot of rubber off our tires simultaneously.

And for whatever odd reason, I love it more than I could ever love any other road. I enjoy having a challenging, difficult trip here. It's what keeps the rest of the world OUT of my beautiful woodland haven. And it's part of why the others who live here, Adam, JD, Dad, Marie, Tammy, Frank and Janey so extra extra special to me. They also understand that it is BECAUSE life is hard here that we love it so much.

And because of the amazing views. No hilltop mansion in any city has the view that my converted barn / aerie has. I LOVE my view. Just as I loved my view from down in the valley last year for different reasons.

I do hate being so distant, so far from anything worthwhile. For instance, the nearest Trader Joe's - my favorite store ever - is 5 hours away. If it wasn't for e-commerce, I'd seriously not be able to live here. I wish Trader Joe's had an online store. I don't see why they don't. The concept of being a Trader means you work with outlying areas. And they dont' HAVE stores in outlying areas. I do understand that the "Trader" part is mostly gimmick, but I still wish they thought of us remote, distant lovers of all things Joe.

Anyway, that's what's on my mind today.

Remind me to post about sleepless nights, thrifting in Portland, the fact that I'm not any more mature than my 20 year old sister. And how much I HATE losing at Monopoly.

Sorry, but this is Business.

Jan 9, 2009 at 5:34 PM
Hi. You know I don't write about work, but I wanted to post a warning. If you are one of my personal readers, skip this post.

I care about my job. I have integrity and ethics despite being in a field FULL of PR spinners and scammers. SEO and website design. It's my pet peeve when someone I work with gets scammed or treated poorly, or simply gets the shaft end of the stick.

I have a client that I spent time and effort helping to reach #1 in search for all their terms. I built them a beautiful website, perfect and cleanly coded, that performed beautifully in search. It ranked like a pro, consistently for years.

Overnight, that site dropped out of search. We spent a while trying to find out why, and I discovered when talking about PPC with them what had happened. They lost all their rank because they hired a PPC firm that created a mirror site. A complete duplicate of their website, that was put up entirely to generate PAID clicks.

Duplicate content is a well known no-no in internet design. Never make duplicates of the content on your primary website. It gets you dropped like a hot potato.

So, basically, creating a mirror site for PPC that makes you lose all natural traffic only benefits one person, the firm that is managing the PPC campaign. They make more money because the only site that shows up in search is the paid one.

Money-motivated people in my business make me soooo angry.

Anyway, anyone worth their salt as a company should have known this - that mirror sites are a very bad move.

Usually, the best you can do with Google -- to manage a good PPC (pay per click) campaign -- is to really train up on them, read all their inhouse training, read up from experts and also have a contact at Google if you can, or at least read up on the work-related blogs of everyone you can at Google. I continue to do all that, and it works beautifully.

Anyway, This firm that made the mirror site controls the domain that has the mirror site on it, basically making it impossible to control the domain or the website directly. Domain controls are just conveniently missing from the interface. All you can do is carefully review the "leads" they send. So you're totally at their mercy.

It's terrible form to forcibly require someone's cooperation from you and thereby keep your clients. It's totally uncool to make someone keep paying you in order to keep things going smoothly. It's totally uncool to not turn over domain controls.

And the quality of leads they sent was abysmal, as far as actual leads go. Lots of bad clicks, mostly.

So basically, they -- either maliciously or accidentally -- screwed over my client. Years of hard work to get natural search rankings were undone overnight. It's fixable, but not by them.

Stay away, people, or at least make sure you control any domains and websites that they use.

You're warned.

Confession Time

Jan 6, 2009 at 4:03 PM
1. I cannot drive stick. To save my life. And I've tried a few times now.

2. I bite my nails when I'm nervous or thinking really hard.

3. I am endlessly jealous of my perfect-looking-barbie acquaintances.

4. Despite all my bitching, I think tattoos are pretty cool if you're comfortable with them and not spreading messages of hate. And I secretly want one. A specific one. I just don't know where I want to put it yet.

Fading

Jan 5, 2009 at 8:53 PM
My tan is fading.

I really am far more vain than I am willing to admit, because I am HEARTBROKEN.

The best, deepest, most inadvertent and natural tan I've ever had. It was perfect.

I will never be the coloring my hair, getting my nails done, going to the tanning salon type.

But that was beautiful and wonderful and I am mourning it, as it slowly fades from existence, here in this place where I cannot possibly replenish it.

Boo hoo.

Familiarity

Jan 2, 2009 at 6:20 PM
Last night, a windstorm kicked up, and started blowing things around. Cold as a tin outhouse on the lee side of a mountain, the wind was trying its darndest to break my HUGE HUGE HUGE glass windows that take up the whole side of the house.

Things are creaking, it sounds like a herd of elephants out there, some branch or something flies into my laundry room from outside and slams against the wall, scaring the bejeesus out of me, and I'm sitting on my couch.

It's the middle of the night, and it's too loud to sleep.

I sigh. At that moment, I miss Costa Rica WAY too much.

Suddenly the power goes out.

Awww. Thanks, God, for reminding me of Costa Rica, where the power goes out like clockwork at least once a week.

I suddenly felt kind of happy.