31 July 2009


I've written this post twice now. Blogger must have liked the taste of the last incarnation, because Blogger ate it.

Anyway, I MADE IT! NaBloPoMo, over! I wish, to stay with the theme for the last day, that writing was part of my daily routine, but it isn't unless I'm doing this.

The clip below is meant to be funny, but still manage to convey how I feel about having managed NaBloPoMo for the second time. I really wanted only 30 seconds, but I couldn't find that on YouTube, so you will have to make do with this.

30 July 2009

"Real" ID (because, apparently, every ID you already own is a figment of your imagination, i.e. not real.)

I've avoided a whole lot of Current Events postings for about the last year, treading carefully when and how I write about the news and my favorite news programs. My reasons are my own, but since I've written about the Real ID program before, I feel I'm justified in revisiting the issue. Granted, that post was a year and change ago, but the proposal didn't die just because the administration changed.

According to the story I heard the other day, in the end, many states passed laws and resolutions specifically refusing to implement the changes that Real ID was supposed to bring. Good on ya', mate, I think the rights of the individual states are very important and at times supersede the rights of the federal government. But I digress.

Since so many states refused point-blank to make the changes to their drivers' licences, and Uncle Sam never funded the mandate, Real ID is sort of DOA. But wait! There's more! There are people (read: lobbyists) that want Real ID completely funded, left as is, and forced down the throat of every state. Then there is a group of legislators who have gotten together and come up with another version, called Pass ID.

Now, since we all fall for the marketing gimmick of New! Improved! Shiny! New! Better! it would appear that all the legislators are doing is re-packaging Real ID, giving it another name, et volia, new legislation! Allow me to use a phrase from my teen years in response: NOT!

One of the many things about Real ID that got my dander up was that this was supposed to make your state driver's license proof of citizenship, among other things. (Like making driver's licenses immune to faking and tampering, to which I say what-ever!) We already have identification that is proof of citizenship. It is called a passport. You are required to present rock-solid proof of citizenship to get a passport, and worldwide, passports are the standard for proof of citizenship.

Why didn't Congress just require everyone to get a passport and be done with it?

Well, firstly, because that's too expensive, for one. After September 11, the gub'mint raised the fees for passports, and although it was never "cheap" to get a passport, it is costly. Besides the processing fees, you have to go and have a picture taken, fill in a bunch of paperwork, blah, blah, bureaucratic process, blah, blah. It is time consuming, too. If you live in a big city, you can go and get a passport in person, but if you're a country mouse, you have to mail the stuff away, and wait patiently for it to come back to you. Want a delivery confirmation, or to have it shipped more expediently than the US Postal Service? That'll be an additional fee, thankyouverymuch.

So passports for everyone isn't the answer. But Real ID isn't the answer either. Thankfully, figuring out what the answer actually IS - well, that ain't my problem.

29 July 2009

Politics as...unfortunately, usual.

I have been fascinated with politics since I was about 10 years old. True story. I've always been frustrated by voter apathy in America; not to be all rah-rah flag-wavey, but that right to vote for citizens of the United States was a hard-fought battle. Rights for women to vote, also a long uphill battle. So when people complain to me about "the gub'mint," my first question is always always:

"Did you vote in the last election?"

And usually, the answer is no.

But that's not what I really set out to write about. There's a relatively new president, and congress is marginally controlled by the Democrats, something that makes me very happy, liberal lefty that I am.

So why is it that almost nothing has changed? I was listening to the news on the way home, and there was a story about Sonya Sotomayor's dodging of questions of substance during her confirmation hearing. The reporter even pointed out that Sotomayor used the exact same language as Republican Supreme Court nominees (and eventual justices) John Paul Roberts and Sam Alito used during their confirmation hearings to dodge questions about abortion and other hot-button issues of the day. Really? That's just exasperating.

I understand Sotomayor's reluctance to answer. Hell, I understand Roberts and Alito's reluctance. There's a whole nation divided right down the middle and the resulting tumult in Congress...well, it'd ensure that nothing at all got done during this session of congress.

I'm exasparated at the same old, same old partisan bickering, and the fact that the tone is unchanged.

I think it might be time to remind our elected officials serve at the pleasure of the electorate; does anyone remember the words that go something like this:

A government by, of and for the people


28 July 2009

Unintended consequences.

I attended a mandatory session on password security the other day. (Yes, for work, but we don't talk about that here, remember?)

Long story short, I left that session completely paranoid about my one-size-fits-all password that I have been using, oh, EVERYWHERE, for about the last, um, TEN YEARS. Duuuh. Wait, let me say that again. DUUUUUHHHH

The session leader gave us all copies of this article, which suggests some cute ways to make up memorable and un-guessable passwords. Dutifully, I set about doing just that.

Except that my first couple of mnemonics weren't so mnemonic. And I promptly forgot which numbers I'd used. Because, of course, you don't ever ever write passwords down, because then they can be stolen.

I ended up needing to request a password reset from Gmail, Facebook, Yahoo Mail, Amazon & eBay. I think that I have it all straightened 'round now. I think.

But I forgot that the password to G-Mail is also used by my Blackberry to sync both my calendar and e-mail. The calendar sync app asked straight out for the new password when it tried to sync (something it does behind-the-scenes most of the time) and wasn't able to, it popped right up on the screen and said, hey, dumbass, I can't get into your calendar.

I'm still trying to figure out the mess with the Blackberry. Argh.

27 July 2009

Counting down

NaBloPoMo has just 5 more days to run. Yay! I'm almost there.

I spent the vast majority of the past weekend in bed, dozing off and on. I slept even more poorly than usual last week, and I felt like I needed the rest. Sunday, then, I woke up at 3 AM with a headache that lasted until about 7 PM.

So how is it that I'm so tired on a Monday morning?

26 July 2009


Music is such an important part of my life. I'll listen to almost anything, from punk to world beats, hip-hop to classical, and everything in between.

I will happily see almost any act live. Live music ends up being a near-religious experience, or as close as I think an atheist can come.

I had the chance to see a world-renouned pianist play Gershwin's Rhapsody In Blue, an opportunity I happily took advantage of.

The thing for me about seeing live music is the pure joy musicians take in their work. This young pianist was clearly passionate, and thrilled to be doing what he is. I love watching that.

Add a lovely summer evening to the mix, and it is bliss. Bliss, I say.

25 July 2009

Burn The Day

That's from a Dave Matthews Band song, and I'm misquoting it there. The line is actually "DON'T burn the day away".

I'm not heeding his advice. I'm tired, haven't slept well all week and ya know what? The house can be cleaned tomorrow. So say I!

If you will excuse me, I'm off to take a nap.

24 July 2009

Oh coffee, my coffee

I miss Swedish coffee. I miss Swedish coffee a whole lot.

I brought home two "bricks" of Zoegas (brand name) Skåneroast (roast "flavor") and I shipped a couple of bricks of Gevalia (another brand). I say bricks because that is what the 500 gram packages look like; bricks.

I kept one of the Zoegas, gave one to my mother, and I am still waiting patiently for a package to arrive that I mailed from Ängleholm on May 19th. Sigh.

I used the last of my brick of Zoegas this week. Not to worry, though, I have found an online supplier; two, in fact.

One is an importer that operates out of Fort Bragg, NC, and it appears that all they do is import Zoegas. Their website is clunky, but it appears that they have every single roast that Zoegas makes, from the very light roast to the darkest and oiliest roasted beans available. Whole bean, or in the brick format. Unfortunately, when I tried to order the whole beans, their website took the order form and turned it into a bunch of gibberish, opened Microsoft Word as an e-mail editor (GAH!) and did nothing else. I've sent a normal, regular e-mail to them asking what was up, but I'm guessing that they're going to tell me "no dice" for the whole bean.

The other online supplier intrigues me more, as it is based in Sweden, and appears to be a mom-and-pop enterprise dedicated to bringing Swedish expatriates a taste of home. A translated name of their website would be "The Homesickness Boutique". That makes me laugh right there. Their website is less clunky, although still not like the smoothly navigable e-commerce sites that I think we all expect these days. It forces you to look at page after page of groceries, all under the heading of "food", (no further categorization) but on the upside, they have a few other things that were in my lost box, like the orange marmalade.

They carry Digestiv crackers/cookies, too. Digestivs are kind of like graham crackers, but they have a more mild taste than graham crackers. They're good with cool whip on them, but they're also really good with a mild cheese, lending themselves to both sweet and savory alternatives. I brought only one package of them home with me in May (transporting them is a pain, they're VERY fragile) and of course, they're gone. Want. More.

Then there are the books. They have a wide assortment of trashy novels, both books that are by Swedish authors written in Swedish, and books that are by American and Brit authors that have been translated into Swedish.

I spent a merry hour or so cruising around The Homesickness Boutique, adding everything that caught my eye at will to my shopping cart. The grand total for this? SEK 1,044, not including any possible duties, tarrifs, or customs fees. Just $135, for 4 paperback books, a jar of marmalade, two packages of crackers, and one brick of coffee. Ouch. I did not click the "order now" button after seeing the total. Oh, but I want to.

The proprietors of Butik Hemlängtan are also willing to search out anything else you'd like from the grocery store or the chemists' in Sweden. I'm fighting the urge to e-mail them and ask them to ship me the Bliw Björk & Äng soap, whole bean coffee, and to ask them to run to Apotek, the state-run pharmacies/chemists' to fetch some lip balm that I fell in love with. The soap and the lip balm, as best as I can determine from extensive research (read: wasting huge chunks of time surfing teh interweb) can't be purchased in America.

Well, that's not exactly true. The soap, at least, is a no-go. So far, every online store that I've come across that sells Bliw in the US does not have my prefered scent. And all the Swedish websites that do sell it, well, they won't ship it to the US.

The lip balm, however, is of a skin-care brand carried widely here in the US, Eucerin. Unfortunately, the lip balm isn't part of the US line of products Eucerin sells. Bugger! I even called Eucerin's customer relations; first they told me that there is no such thing as Eucerin Lip Balm in the US. I asked the clerk to look at the web site I was looking at;


and whaddya know, they did have it once upon a time, but that's an "old product line and shouldn't be on the web at all".

eBay has the lip balm (but not the soap) at the completely outrageous price of $11.39 for a 4 gram tube. $11.39! For lip balm! WHAT? From a seller located in Thailand. I knew the dollar is rather weak right now, but I wouldn't think the exchange rate was so out of whack that it would turn from 23 SEK ($2.50) to $11.39. Yeesh.

So if we added the lip balm, the soap, and the whole bean coffee to the novels, marmalade and cookies/crackers, we're looking at about $150 worth of stuff from Sweden. Worth it? Le sigh. I think so, but money talks, and I'm not spending that money on those things at this time. Oh, coffee. I miss you.

23 July 2009

Mooooooooom! Are we there yet???

Sit down and pipe down you little whippersnappers, or I will stop this car right now!!!

No, we're not there yet. NaBloPoMo still has a few days let to run, like 8. And just like last time, it is going to be a slog through to the bitter end.

/topic shift

I was reading a new blog I've picked up recently, Crazy Aunt Purl, and she has a nice post about her little garden.

Sadly, I didn't get much of a garden planted this year. No tomatoes. No cucumbers came up, although I did plant them. The lettuce has been left alone by the bunnies and the deer, amazingly, but it is just hanging out, I haven't bothered to harvest it. I planted a few beets, because I'm informed that if you pluck them young, they're sweet and delicious, but I think I missed the "young" harvest.

My herbs. Oh, sigh, my herbs. I have more oregano than I could ever use in one lifetime, but the thyme is struggling, the cilantro never came up, the parsley has some issue with aphids or disease, and the mint is taking over, while the landscapers hurt my small, precious lavender patch by heartlessly tossing a shovel-full of dark, heavy mulch on top of my wee little sprigs. By the time I managed to dig it out, irreparable damage had been done, although I am sure it will come up in fine form next year.

Bill Alexander, author of "The $64 Tomato", noted serenely that gardeners have eternal hope; if it didn't work so well this year, there's always next yet.

Yes, I hope so.

22 July 2009

Just a few years later...

Today is my 9th wedding anniversary. I'm happy about that, of course, but I'm thinking about the folks who danced at my wedding that aren't around any more, and that makes me sad.

I started the day of my wedding with my hairdresser washing my hair in the kitchen sink in my parent's house. He did my hair, and my sisters' hair. He even trimmed my Dad's hair, a spur-of-the-moment request that he granted graciously. We laughed as he unrolled his little leather case that he carried his scissors around in; there had been no plans to cut anyone's hair, but he told us that he never went anyplace without them, as impromptu haircuts happen all the time when you're a hairdresser. He died earlier this year, and there was no funeral. There is a memorial a little later in the summer that I am both looking forward to and dreading.

Listing the rest of the folks that have passed on since that day is entirely too depressing a task for a day to be celebrated. So I shall resist.

I can scarce believe that 9 years have gone by; almost as if they've slipped away when I wasn't looking. Happily slipped away, don't misunderstand. Just that the passage of time does indeed speed up as the years go by.

Here's to DH, for standing by and everything else he does for me, in the Swedish tradition: Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah!

21 July 2009

Yes. This.


It is my humble opinion that these two teenagers are not the exception to the rule, rather there are more of them out there than we know about. I found this story particularly inspirational.

20 July 2009

Does this happen to you?

There is a shit-storm of drama brewing up on one of the forum boards I participate in daily. Snark, the usual order of the day, intended to be funny, can sometimes cut into tears.

I'm not involved, just a lurking bystander, reading the posts as they show up at lightening speed.

And even though I am not involved in this particular brouhaha, it makes my stomach hurt and upsets me to see the drama, and people who are usually making each other laugh hurting one another and being nasty.

Thank all that is holy that I am not a moderator for this group; mods will eventually step in and tell everyone to stop being blockheads, and possibly bar someone from posting for a while, dependant on how bad/nasty the bickering gets. I would swear that modding is a full-time job in of itself.

Unless someone drags me into the mess, I plan to stay the hell away, but it makes my heart ache to watch "friends" tear each other apart, even in the virtual world.

19 July 2009

Alright, still.

Title of Lily Allen's album. Every time I see her in the gossip rags, I think of that.

Because it reminds me of telling stories to friends when we were teenagers, and angst and drama. It sounded a little like this:

Person A: But then, she apologized for calling me a skank, and turned around and kissed three guys.

Person B: She did apologize, though.

Person A: Alright, still. She's the skank.

Yeah, those were some deep, intellectual conversations there, eh?

18 July 2009

Aw, hell.

I'm up too early on a Saturday morning, and while I wait for laundry to be done, I grabbed the computer, intending to surf a bit on teh internets.

And then I remembered I'm doing NaBloPoMo.

Heck, now instead of looking at patterns on Rav, I have to do some work. Meh.

17 July 2009

Book Reports (all trashy summer reading)

I'm not sure if I should be amused or disgusted that Teenaged Vampire Romance is a genre of novels, like SciFi or Mystery.

Thanks to the juggernaut of Twilight, a whole horde of writers have glomed on to the phenomenon, resulting in both bright lights and dreck. Mostly dreck; I read this type of stuff as escapism, and then I feel semi-guilty that I'm not reading things like Desmond Tutu's memoir, or The Year of Magical Thinking.

It was mostly due to reading a bunch of crappy novels that I started writing my own back in the dark ages. It languishes, unfinished, and may stay there for the rest of my life. But I was writing because I couldn't find anything I actually wanted to read.

I digress.

The novels I've blown through in the last few months are mostly of that aforementioned Teen-aged Vampire Romance Novel genre. First is Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy series; I read the first book sitting in Barnes and Noble that horrible winter where I should have been out on the road doing sales. I didn't know that she'd written two more until very recently. I bought them both, and breezed through both of them in a few hours. The fourth book is due out soon, and I will read it as well.

My opinion of most of these books is somewhat akin to my opinion about the Twilight series; the stories are compelling, enough to hold my attention, but we're certainly not talking about writing of a quality of Hemingway or Goethe. I hasten to add - before any of these authors' fans flame me - that the intent of the TAVRNs is of course, not world-changing, world-class writing. They're intended as a good time, an escapist read, and they accomplish that well.

The next series I stumbled across is The House of Night, by mother-daughter team PC and Kristen Cast. I have to admit, shallowly, that it was the shiny black-on-black designs on the covers of these books that made me pull them off the shelf. They drew me in from the first page of the first book, and the end of the second book made me sob, that bit of the writing was so powerful. It is impossible to tell where the mother-daughter team trades off, because it is seamless.

By the time I got to the end of the 4th book, though, exactly like my fatigue with Laurel K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series, I wanted the endless drama of the multiple lovers of the main character to either sort itself out, neaten itself up, or go the hell away.

In Hamilton's series, the main character, Anita Blake, goes from a prudish vampire-hater to promiscuous vampire protector in about 6 books. Her promiscuity is explained away as 'needful' (she's sort of a vamp herself - heh, pun intended - and "feeds" off of orgasm, sort of) and I understand that characters change and grow throughout a series, but this is 1. too extreme and 2. honestly, the multiple orgies get boring.


In the Casts' books, Zoey goes from one dopey football player high school boyfriend to being in a situation by the end of the 4th book where the high school boyfriend is still around, there's a vampire boyfriend who had been a fellow House of Night student (but graduated, sort of), there's the teacher that she slept with (!!!!) who was later murdered, there's an evil spirit who wants her and she's not sure if she can stay away from him, plus another student who she spends all of 4 paragraphs talking to before he dies in her arms and she thinks they might be soul mates. (Him dying and coming back to life just complicate that whole thing further.) Let's see....that's 5? No, wait, 4, because the murdered teacher doesn't come back to life. Yeah. I'm mostly over that. The classic literary device, the love triangle, is fine, but this is a love....pentagram?

I've also decided while reading all of these that I absolutely despise the literary device of foreshadowing. I think for horror writers, it is supposed to add to the doom that you feel building up while you read, but it just irritates the hell out of me. Maybe because my beloved DH loves to play "I Know Something You Don't Know" and that also annoys me. (You must imagine the game title in a sing-songy 5 year-old voice for it to work properly!)

So - verdict, then, for these two TAVRNs? Get 'em from the library. If you like them well enough, then buy them. But the $13 - $20 on the trade paperback editions? Nah, not worth it until you know that you want them in your collection.

16 July 2009

The Triumph of the Proletariat

(or something)

Politics have endlessly fascinated me since the 1984 presidential elections, when I was <> 10.

My mother was a freelance reporter for our little tiny town weekly, and as part of that, she covered the local government councils, a village and a township. I went, whenever I could talk her into it, and had lots of questions on the way home. Even at 10-11-12, I thought that the township trustees were petty, back-biting, bickering brats, and the village council members were hoity-toity.

But the political process has continued to fascinate me, and the fact that we as citizens can contribute to that process with not just our money and our votes, but with our voices....well, at 34, I still think it is pretty freaking amazing.

A few weeks ago, I posted about Ohio's budget crisis, and the plan that our Democratic Governor, Ted Strickland, proposed to lawmakers, which would result in our state-run libraries operating next fiscal year with 50% of the budget of the previous fiscal year. I urged one and all to visit SaveOhioLibraries.com, where further information is available about how you can tell your Ohio elected official just what you thought of the plan to cut the libraries to such a devastating low.

I am proud, and humbled, by the number of people from Ohio (and beyond, too, impressively) who wrote to their local state reps, and to Gov Strickland, telling them was an abysmal idea the funding cuts were. Strickland spoke out vehemently against this public outcry, claiming he wasn't going to budge an inch on his proposed budget.

The folks elected to the Ohio State House and Ohio State Senate, however, recognized political suicide when they saw it.

In the end, the state cut 84 million dollars from the budget of Ohio's 251 library systems; painful, yes, but not as devastating as Strickland's proposed 227 million dollars. The state-wide protests, held in front of libraries and in Columbus on the steps of the capital, not only made noise, they got attention. National news coverage. I heard, although I have no source for this, that the telephone systems at the state house were so overwhelmed with the number of citizens calling to protest that they crashed a few times during this period.

So yea, I'm feeling pretty damn triumphant, and proud. A little of my faith in our system of government has been restored; they listened. It worked just like it ought to. Our elected officials work for us after all!

Power to the people, y'all!

15 July 2009


After about two solid weeks of the lower dose of anti-depressants, I'm ready to declare the experiment a failure. I'm overwhelmed, super-tired, and not particularly cheerful.

But this isn't supposed to be easy, and getting ON the meds was tough, too. They take about 6 weeks to work their way into your system, although I don't understand the whys of that, since you take them every damn day. So the "I'll show you" side of my personality wants to stick with it partly in the belief that it will get better and partly to prove to myself that I can. Lowering the dose is never going to be easier than in the summer; trying this in the depths of winter would be catastrophic. I can picture that resulting in getting back to the point where losing my car keys is major meltdown time.

If I give up on it now, therefore, I won't try again until next summer.

I keep saying that I'm OK with the fact that I might need the meds for the rest of my life, but maybe I'm not OK with that. Because I don't think it is all right to need the maximum daily dosage for the rest of my life, really. What would happen to me if I was living in the times before these drugs were so readily available? Would I have been one of those people that friends and family would natter to pull myself up by my own bootstraps? Or would I have been one of the millions that suffered in silence, quietly choosing a handful of sleeping pills over the stigma of admitting that I had a mental illness? Thank goodness for the modern age, and for the meds.

Stepping down the dose is at the suggestion of my doctor, although we did not discuss the ramifications of it. He told me to step it down by 150 mg, which means that I take one 300 mg pill a day instead of one 300 mg and one 150 mg daily. I didn't expect it to be difficult. I didn't expect it to be such a roller-coaster. If nothing worthwhile is easy, though, I don't know why I thought this would be simple.

I should, in the interest of science, give it the same 6 weeks I gave the meds to start working. Give my body that time to adjust to alteration (again) of my brain's chemistry. But I'm sticking with the adage of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," and going back to the 450 mg dosage. The negative effects of lowering the amount that I take each day is not worth it to me right now.

One of my personality traits that I really don't like is that I'm indecisive. It is good to be able to look at a problem from many sides, to be able to see all the benefits of a particular decision, but not good to waffle between two or three options. I'm not fence-sitting on this one, and I'm going to try to stop fence-sitting in the rest of my life, too. June 1, 2010 seems like a good date to me to try again.

14 July 2009

And on the downside...

I'm second-guessing myself with the decision to step down the meds. I had a moment yesterday where I felt completely overwhelmed. This was a moment where someone who does not have a mental illness would take a deeeep breath and think, wow, dude, I've got a lot to do. Let's make a list.

I, on the other hand, took a deep breath and thought, OMGWTFBBQ, what the hell am I going to do? I'm going to fail, and everyone will see and laugh and say they knew I couldn't manage and and and and OMG, Luce this has to STOP NAO! You stop it right now! {gave myself a little shake-till-your-teeth-rattle} Pull yourself together. You can do this. One. Step. At. A. Time. Logically, step by step. Make a list. Cross things off of it. Communicate that you're overwhelmed. Prioritize.

And I was back to being mostly all right. The fact that I can stop that train right in its tracks is something I am pretty fucking proud of, if you'll pardon the foul language. A few years ago when that train left the station, I might have walked out to play in traffic.

Things that the meds help that I'm missing: sleeping. I was up much past my self-appointed bed time of roughly 10 PM. Not that I'm not tired. I am. I'm not sleepy. I gave up around 1 AM, took an ambien, and slept until the alarm went off at 6. Early to bed tonight, no ifs, ands, or buts!

13 July 2009

Down the steps

Not long after I wrote in a post about the Doc telling me to step-down my meds, I finally remembered to do it, and have been for about a week now.

It seems to be going OK.

I'm reminded of the book Is It Me Or Is It My Meds by David Karp when I tell you that one of the few effects I've noticed from taking less of my Wellbutrin is that I'm more apt to say something nasty or biting to someone. Not funny-sarcastic-snarky. Downright obnoxiously rude. My gut instinct is to just - bam - snit back at someone, instead of answering them nicely. DH, unfortunately, seems to bear the brunt of this.

So then the question seems to be: am I really and truly a total bitch, and the meds kept that in check? And I'm quite afraid that the answer is yes. And I don't like that answer very much. Which means I don't like me very much. Which starts the whole vicious downward-spiraling tornado of the mental imbalance that is depression, since the disease insists to you that you're worthless.

I'm not worthless. I won't listen to that particular demon. I can fight against that, and I can do it with less of the medication. It is time, ffs, to begin the path to cut down the dose. I freely admit that I may need the meds for the rest of my life. I'm OK with that. But I don't think that I need the maximum dose every day for the rest of my life. Nearly 2 years of the maximum dosage is enough time to turn it around, and my life is much better than it was 2 years ago. (At this time 2 years ago, for those of you just tuning in, I was unemployed and deeply unhappy.) So I'm comfortable with the decision to step it down, and I'll work on that snark response reaction. This time, "down" will not be equal to "out".

12 July 2009

Hate being hot

The weather is finally summertime here in Ohio, and while I spend time in the winter bitching about the abysmal cold weather, I don't care for the heat, either.

I don't like to sweat. And I don't like to stink. But they go hand in hand as soon as the weather warms up.

I woke up last night soaked to the skin with sweat. Why, you ask, did that happen in my air conditioned house? Because the upstairs gets warm, and we run fans to cool it off. The fans annoy my DH, and he turns them off because he doesn't like the noise.

Ask me if I was happy when I woke up in the middle of the night, sweating. Go on. Ask.

11 July 2009

Routine Disruption

Once upon a time, I was very very involved in a television show. You remember this, right?

Somewhere during the fourth season, which ended in May, I stopped watching. Not for lack of interest; for lack of sleep and time, I simply set the DVR and recorded the episodes. Then I was getting ready to go to Sweden, then I went to Sweden, then I came home, and OMG, we're at the middle of July and I have 9 episodes of Supernatural to catch up on.

That is, I need to park my butt in front of the television for 9 hours. Nuh-uh, ain't happenin. Not while the sun is shining, the days are long, and the garden needs tending.

While I still love the show, and still like Jensen Ackles a whole lot, I've managed to stay away from most of fandom for more than a year. It is a little like high school; I've kept in touch with the fandom friends, but I don't feel the need to visit the boards and spend time obsessing over it all.

This is a good thing.

10 July 2009

The Wisdom Routine

Does it gall you or amuse you that things your elders told you as a child are true or proven "proverbs"? A bit of both for me.

My grandfather used to say two things that stick with me.

"What you can't carry in your head, you carry in your feet."

Meaning whatever you don't remember to bring, you're going to go back and get it.

"My Daddy didn't have any dumb kids."

Said when we were trying to fool him.

The best/worst one, however, is one of my Dad's, that is biting me in the rear end right now as I slog through NaBloPoMo.

"Everyone has 24 hours in a day. What you choose to do with them is up to you."


09 July 2009

Just sick

I brought a cold home from Florida and feel like crap.

Listening to an interview with Nancy Pelosi made me feel worse.

I'm so disillusioned! It seems that even with the Senate and the White House being held by Dems, still, STILL, nothing gets done.

Business as usual -i.e. ROUTINE - in Washington. Bleh.

08 July 2009

Full Moon Fever

As DH and I left the Pittsburgh airport on Monday night, exhausted and cranky, we were both looking for was to make the other laugh, cheer each other up a bit at 1:30 AM. I commented, "It's a nice night. Look at the moon."

He agreed. It was a pleasant night, the temperature was nice, low humidity, and the moon was pretty. The fact that we don't usually hang out to appreciate the moon in the wee small hours of the morning didn't make it more alluring, though.

When I worked as a teller for Ye Olde Evile Bank, I discovered that there is truth to the old axiom about strange things happening around a full moon. Weird telephone calls, strange customers, computers behaving badly, all due to a full moon.

Yesterday, the telephone calls I received at work went from "that's odd" to "really?" to "wow, weird" to "dude, seriously" to "WTF, people?!" in no time flat.

It is a trend I notice every time the moon is full in my little corner of the world. A routine, honestly, that I could do without, thanks.

07 July 2009

Full of fail.

That's the short short version of How My Trip To Florida Was.

Not a complete disaster, but I wouldn't call it a rousing success, either.

The whole flying routine, fine. Got through that on the way to Florida with no problem. Uneventful flights are good.

My parents bought a house in Florida, a foreclosure house. Sad for someone else, but a boon for them. The downside is that it has been empty for a year, is filthy dirty, has overgrown landscaping, and a myriad of problems that come with a house that has been empty for a while.

This was a working vacation for all of us; solve the problems with the house that could be solved in a few short days, celebrate my grandmother's 90th birthday, and then back to the grind.


Ha. Ha.

Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha.


The universe had other plans.

The running around necessacary for the party was accomplished with no problems. Minor issues at the 'new' house, solved easily. Landscapers contracted, the gross kitchen scrubbed within an inch of its life, and the 90th birthday was lovely.

We got my grandmother a digital photo frame, which we loaded with family pictures from her wedding day up until last week. Don't tell me about being "too old" for technology; my 90 year old grandmother LOVES the digital frame, and can operate it with no problem.

My parents have a house they've been renting in Florida. We stayed there, as the new house has no furniture. The new house does, however, have electricity, running water, and air conditioning, a fact that will be relevant to the story later. The rental house is a furnished 3 bedroom affair, a nice place. They were unsure, when they initially retired, if they'd like the whole Florida vibe, so they rented in the begining.

We came back from Grandma's birthday party to find 4 inches of water through the entire rental house. Everywhere. We sloshed through the house, in complete disbelief. We were gone for 8 hours; a pipe in the laundry room burst, and we have no idea when that happened, but it leaked long enough for the entire house to fill with water.

Everything was drenched. Everything. My suitcase was on the floor, and every piece of clothing I brought with me was soaked. I brought a backpack with a knitting project, two novels, my iPod and various other things; it was sitting on the floor next to my suitcase. DH had piled his clothing on the bed before we left, and his bag was sitting on a chair. His things remained dry. The parents had both wet and dry things. Two garbage cans full of wet and dry things.

Casualties: my iPod, which is gutting; my passport (not so gutting, I hated the pic and am glad for an excuse to get a new one); and one of the two novels. The book is a bummer because it was a Swedish translation of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, hardback, that I bought in Malmö. Nearly impossible to replace on this side of the pond. It is really wet. Maybe a loss. Maybe not. I'm hoping not, but time will tell.

Not destroyed, but damaged: very expensive yarn; a blank book; clothes.

We carried furniture and clothes and stuff out of the house until midnight that night. Trucked several loads of stuff to the new house in the parent's Florida car, a 4-door sedan. That was fun. Got eaten alive by mosquitos. They don't grow mozzies big in Florida; they grow them MEAN. I have at least 15 bites, all of them very itchy.

We collapsed on to matteresses on the floor at the new house around 1:30 AM. The next day, my dad and DH did landscaping while my mother and I scrubbed inside some more. Our flight home to Ohio was due to leave Florida at about 7PM last night, and we were looking forward to getting out of the oppressive heat, home to our own bed.

Ha. Again.

Our flight didn't leave until almost 10 PM. We pulled in to our driveway at home at 2:30 AM.


06 July 2009

I'm 4!

Happy Blogversary to me!

I managed to write all of 9 posts in 2005, mostly about politics and women's rights. 2006 I got to all of 95 posts, and 249 in 2007. That averages out to about 141 posts a year. For a while in 2007, I was writing nearly every day. It was part of my near-daily routine. Of course, I was unemployed for 4 months in 2007, so I did have a bit more time to devote to it.

Thinking about that summer reminds me that it was two years ago that I went to Lilydale. I'd really like to do that again. I had such a sense of peace there. I went by myself, stayed in a hotel with no air conditioning (I was lucky that it was very cool for the week or so I stayed there) with a community bathroom down the hall, and I was happy as a clam. I just spent about 20 minutes searching my blog archive and my on line calendar to see if I can figure out exactly when I was in Lilydale, but all I can come up with is that I wrote a blog post from there on July 10. I think I stayed for 3-5 days, but I don't remember. I recently cleaned up the storage area in my house, and I pitched the program guide from Lilydale for the summer of 2007, which I could have consulted for definite dates...but no, I have that organize-tidy-clean gene.

Perhaps I think about Lilydale on my blogversary because it completely slipped by without me noticing that year. Too wrapped up in the myth, fantasy, curiosity (and lunacy) of Spirtiualism, as well as the fact that I'd lost my job just days prior.

This year, instead of the cool hills of western New York state, as you read this, I'll be in sweltering hot Florida. My beloved paternal grandmother turns 90 on July 4, and today is our last day in Florida. Since my parents retired and spend half of the year in Florida, flying there and home is pretty routine. I don't take any liquids (no need for shampoo, etc because it is all at the parent's house) and therefore don't check any luggage. Direct flights are nice when we can get them, but more often than not we have to change planes in Atlanta, my least favorite airport in the world. Ugh.

I guess there is always next year for Lilydale; I'd like to make that part of my yearly routine, because it is such a peaceful place. I was able to do nothing at all or keep busy with seminars if I wanted to. My atheism and skepticism of their faith was readily accepted; they're well used to skeptics and non-believers. Perhaps in future years, that's how I'll celebrate this anniversary; the blog gets another year older, and I get to spend a few days on my own.

Happy Blogversary to Well Behaved Women!

05 July 2009

A terrible, terrible new addiction.

One of my groups on Ravelry is good for a laugh, all the time. Sure, there's lots of posts in the forums like "ZOMG, my life is a mess!" but there's a lot that makes me giggle too.

It is entirely their fault that I've started reading Texts From Last Night. I use an RSS reader, so I don't see the "good night" "bad night" commentaries, which I find highly annoying. The premise is that they publish texts that people send one another when they probably....shouldn't.

Which reminds me about something totally unrelated.

I first heard the term "drunk dial" just a few years ago. This is when you get drunk and call an ex-lover on your mobile phone, and perhaps end up in bed with them, despite the fact that you know they're bad news and you really, really shouldn't. Or you just end up making an ass of yourself. Either way, not a good thing.

Texts from last night are examples of "drunk texting". That confuses me a little, because typing text messages is a pain in the butt and difficult when you're sober. I have a QWERTY keyboard on my mobile phone, and I still struggle with typing texts; when you just have a numbered keypad, how the heck do you do this when you're intoxicated?

TFLN are sometimes unintentionally hilarious, sometime sad, and sometimes terrifying. Examples?

--Well, you'll be happy to know Aaron Carter hit on me.

--I met a girl last night who charged by the inch. She'd be too expensive for me, but I thought you'd get a deal.

--brb, k???!? plz don't leave i want 2 talk bout r rltnshp

--is your mom at the bar?

Gems, all of them.

I want each and every one of you (all 4!) who read this to note that I am refraining from losing my shit over the grammar and spelling or lack thereof on those texts. I will not. I will not. I will not...

04 July 2009

Libraries are important places

The Governor of the Great State of Ohio has a proposed budget on the table in Columbus.

I like to think of myself as an idealist, and that people who seek and hold public office actually have a desire to serve the public.

Oh, how cute and sheltered, eh?

Ted Strickland was elected as governor on a platform of education, and a whole lot of other things that I like lots. He's pro-choice, which was enough to get my vote.

His proposed budget cuts the funding for libraries in Ohio an additional 30%. This is AFTER the libraries have already had a 20% budget cut. So Ohio libraries, which have always been tax-funded, would operate the next fiscal year at 50% of the budget from last fiscal year.

This is quite the 180 degree turnaround from his election promises. Sad.

I've never made a secret of the fact that I don't like living in Ohio. I'd flee in an instant if I could. I have a bad case of Anywhere But Here, and I think I'd trade living in a shoebox for living in Ohio. (Most days, anyway.) One of the ONLY things I have ever been proud of about the Buckeye State is that we have some of the nation's best libraries.

Free. It does not cost you one red cent to get a library card, anywhere in the state.

Filled with books and DVDs and videos and CDs and books on tape. Want to read a new bestseller? The public library in your small podunk Ohio town will have it. Need a manual for your 2003 Honda Civic? The public library has that too. Textbooks, cookbooks, self-help, biographies, non-fiction books about anything you can imagine. If they don't have it, they can get it for you from an inter-library loan.

Seventy percent of Ohio's libraries are entirely funded by the fund the good ole gov wants to cut. The other thirty percent have local levies or other sources of income in addition to the state funding.

The planned cuts will mean mass closures of branches throughout Ohio's 251 branch system. In the two counties that I live and work in, every branch except the two "mains" will be closed. That means the public library in your small podunk Ohio town won't be there. All bookmobile services, which provide books to shut-ins and places where there are no branches, will disappear. Ohio's libraries have Internet-capable computers, assistance with writing resumes and business plans, and the majority of the genealogy research for the state.

This spending plan is a disaster, and devastating, too.

I know librarians in both counties. But my passion about this cause is NOT because my two friends would likely lose their jobs. (Sorry, guys. Not that I don't love you. I do. I would hate for you to be unemployed.) It is because the library has played such a vital role in my life.

I can afford to buy most of the books I want to purchase. I have high speed internet at home. I know how to write a resume. But there are people in this state who can't or don't. Libraries help to close the digital divide. Libraries serve the entire population, not elitist snobs, and not just those at the bottom of the food chain either. They're equalizers.

If you're reading this in Ohio, please go to Save Ohio Libraries and do what you can to show our elected morons officials that cutting library funding is unacceptable. Use your right to speak up, today especially.

03 July 2009

Oh, it's ON.

I've been hinting that I was going to write about this for a while, but rather than make it to actual text, it has been floating about in my head for quite some time.

Being "on" is related to being a guest. Related to good manners, and showing the nicer side of yourself. (Yeah, it's hard.)

While I was in Sweden with the Rotary GSE, I was "on" whenever I was awake.

For me, this meant being gracious and polite, being enthusiastic even when I felt like shit, and having an open mind to trying everything that was offered.

Being on is a little like acting. You're smiling, being cheerful, and listening intently even when you're pissed, unhappy, and bored.

I love Sweden. I love its people, its culture, its food, its language, its cities and its countryside. There isn't much I don't love about Sweden. But even someone as Swedish-crazy as I am can get to the end of their rope.

The Swedish diet is quite full of herring. Fried herring. Pickled herring. Sour pickled herring (bleh!). Herring sliced up and mixed with other stuff and baked into a casserole. Then there's the boiled potatoes, smoked salmon, low-brow caviar, lingonberry jam, and Swedish meatballs. I like all of those things, with the exception of the sour stuff. I really like Swedish meatballs and boiled potatoes with lingonberry jam. (Don't knock it 'til you've tried it, sweetcheeks.) I got really tired of the herring during this trip. Thankfully, no one served the team sour pickled herring. But the rest of it, pickled and fried and casserole-style, man-oh-man did I get tired of it.

When we would arrive at wherever we were going to have lunch, and the menu was herring again, you couldn't roll your eyes or show exasperation. You had to be polite and cheerful, non-snarky and appreciative. That's what I mean by saying that I was "on" all the time. Being a gracious guest isn't a huge burden to bear, but it can certainly get old after a while. (Like 5 weeks.)

All of this makes me sound like an entitled, ungrateful, and overprivledged brat. I am exceedingly grateful for the chance to visit Sweden on someone else's dime, and to have learned everything that I did, to have met everyone that I did. Really and truly. Being in Sweden makes me happy. Speaking Swedish makes me happy.

Not having my own space or my own stuff for five weeks isn't with the happy-making.

I got into a tiff with one of the other team members during the third week we were there; it is a long backstory, but relates to exactly what I'm talking about.

He is one of those people that thrives on having someone to pick on, to belittle, as compensation for what I don't know, but I'm assuming he does it to compensate for a tiny male appendage. He teased me about shirts that I wore, which had the logo of my employer embroidered on them. Small and tasteful, business attire (shells to wear under suit jackets. fine-gauge sweaters.) that I wore on a near-daily basis. I own eight of these embroidered shirts, which run the gamut of colors and are, as I said, tasteful. He started a pool to guess which color and style shirt I'd wear the next day.

I put up with this for a while, silently, or chuckling along with everyone else. I've had experience with his type before. Letting them know that they're getting to you is like pouring gasoline on a fire, so I kept my mouth shut even though it annoyed me. It wasn't enough to get worked up over, and it kept him from being obnoxious to the Swedes. No worries, I'm a big girl and can handle being teased.

I put up with it even when I didn't think it was funny anymore. I kept quiet when he actually drew a complicated matrix in his notebook, showing the mathematical probability of which shirt I would wear which day. I'm enough of a grown-up to admit that the geek in me was vastly entertained that he was that much of a geek too, despite the uber-urbane airs he put on.

I put up with it when he invited one of the Rotarians that we all really liked to join the pool, even when it made me feel like an ass. It made me feel small and provincial and stupid.

The point at which I no longer put up with it even came AFTER he announced the winner of one of his ridiculous pools at A FORMAL ROTARY GATHERING WITH 30 PEOPLE IN ATTENDANCE. Talk about feeling like an asshole. He explained (in English, with no translator) what the pool was about to the assembled guests, all of whom were Swedish, i.e., non-native speakers of English. Then he announced the winner. A polite round of applause followed. None of the Swedes really understood what it was all about, other than it was making fun of Lucy, ha-ha-ha, isn't Arnie Asshole funny.

I said nothing at the party. I said nothing for another two days, at which time he invited two more Rotarians, who were our guides/drivers for that day to join the pool while we were having coffee at a cafe. That was my breaking point. I'm not sure why that particular bit was the breaking point. I didn't say anything to him previously because I knew it would simply get worse, but that right there? That was IT.

As he went to hand the notebook to the Swedes for them to note their guesses, the notebook came to me on the way to them. I took it, handed it back to him, and said, "Could you please find some ONE or some THING else to pick on? Because I'm over it." My tone was nasty, but at my normal volume. My facial expression was pissed. My intent was not unclear.

{In my defense, I didn't punch him in the face, tear his stupid notebook to shreds, dump my hot cup of coffee over his smug head, or do what I wanted to most, which was kick him where it would have hurt. Bad. Real bad. I resisted those urges.}

Our hostesses for the day were shocked. Stunned silence greeted this outburst. Then he said, sounding like an innocent little boy who doesn't know any better, "Really?"

"Yes, really," I snarked back. "Enough."

The Swedes tend to be stoic. Public disagreements are rare. Shouting at someone in public is absolutely a faux pas. I didn't shout at him, but the moment was very, very awkward. Moments later, we all cleared the table, put our dishes where they belonged, and walked out.

I walked with one of the hosts, starting a conversation about something trivial. She was a typical Swede and being polite as they usually are, she didn't ask for details about what had just happened. The rest of the team followed clustered in a group behind me, whispering to one another.

Fucking fantastic. Oh, and oops.

My team leader pulled me aside a little later and didn't tell me off, but she did say that it was unfortunate that I'd chosen to bitch him out in front of our hosts. I agree; it was. Presenting a united (and happy with one another) front to the Swedes as a team was important. We specifically sidestepped political questions because we didn't agree about the president, or anything else in American government, for that matter, and we didn't want to seem fracturous.

It is quite possible that we could be the only Americans that some of the people we met would ever see. For example? If you've only ever met one Puerto Rican, and she/he was rude and nasty, you just might form the opinion that every Puerto Rican was a nasty brat. Likewise, if the entire group fought the whole time we were there, Swedes that we met could get the impression that all Americans behave this way all the time. As ambassadors of our country, we needed to act the part. I wasn't "on" in that moment, not at all.

I have yet to apologize to him for biting his head off. I have no intentions of doing so, either. He never did ask me for an explanation of my behavior, but if he had, he'd've gotten chapter and verse on what an asshole I thought/think he is/was. Nothing else was said about it for the entire journey, although one other teammate did ask later that same day if I'd thought of perhaps pulling him aside and asking him to stop before verbally attacking him. No, I didn't. Because I knew what would happen, he'd keep it up AND make it worse.

What's that? What does this have to do with routine? Meh. Not much. I wasn't following the Nice Girl Routine there.....

But there are some people who just bring that out in me. Thankfully, I no longer have to deal with him frequently. But if I did? And he was still a pain in the ass? Oh, it'd be ON then, my friend!

02 July 2009

The travel routine

For a few days I'm going to try the theme.

I love to travel. Wait, let me be a little more clear. I love being in another geographical location, someplace that isn't home. The actual travel itself, getting to the airport, going through security, lugging my bags, sprinting across a terminal for a gate change, not so much. Although I don't mind flying in the least. I've never been a fearful flyer. I have several irrational fears myself (drowning, heights, dogs, spiders) which would make you think that I'd have empathy for those who are afraid to fly. I don't, because I don't understand it.

As Saint Augustine (Nov 13, 354 - Aug 28, 430) famously said, "The world is a book, and those that do not travel read only one page." So it baffles me that someone would choose not to travel because they're afraid to get on an airplane. Sure, sure, you run the risk of dying every time you get on an airplane. You run the risk of dying every time you cross a street, too.

I've traveled a lot over the years. When I was a child, there were yearly trips to Florida to visit my paternal grandparents and to Michigan for summer vacation. We went to Niagara Falls often, New York City once or twice, Washington DC a time or two. We almost always drove. And because there were 5 of us, quite often my dad put a luggage carrier on top of the car. So I had a bag for inside the car and one for the luggage rack. Dad (reasonably so) would not open the car carrier once we were underway, so you had to have whatever you wanted to play with or read in the bag that went in the car. Mom always had a bag with snacks and a small cooler with drinks too, because we weren't stopping for such trivialities once under way. Florida was a 24 hour drive and Michigan was 10.

As I've gotten older, I'm much more likely to fly than to drive, especially to places like Florida. But since 2001, flying has gotten to be a much bigger pain in the ass. The stepped-up security I understand, although I don't think it makes us much safer. The liquid restrictions I don't understand, and I don't think those make us safer either. Hassle factor: 10,000.

Shoes off. Belt removed. Pockets emptied. Zip-top bag of liquids out of the suitcase. Cellular phone and camera through the x-ray machine. Computer out of the bag. Boarding pass in hand. Walk through the metal detector. Gather all of your paraphernalia up, stuff you feet back into your shoes, and get the hell out of the way so the lines keep moving.

I quit checking luggage a long time ago, unless it is truly necessary, because the airlines routinely lose my luggage; as if I have an indelible mark on the bags that say "lose me"! Unless I am forced to, I just can't bring myself to turn the bags over to them. Of course, that forces me to be creative in my choices for what to pack and to slim down the number of shoes I want to take.

I have a habit for that, too. I choose what I want to take, thin it down once, stuff it all in the suitcase, and if it fits and zips shut, fine. If not, I pare down further. I'm a big believer in taking things that can be utilized several times - a black t-shirt, for instance, with jeans for casual, or under a suit for more businesslike - and I'm also a believer in "if I don't have it/forget it/or can't fit it in the suitcase, I can buy it there."

Packing takes me minutes. It takes DH hours. He didn't travel much as a kid, and I can't help but wonder if that's part of the reason. He's as much of a list maker as I am, but for some reason, he gets bogged down during the process, while I'm focused and determined.

We'll be doing the travel routine for the Fourth of July holiday; my grandmother is turning 90, and there's a party in Florida to mark the occasion. While I'm looking forward to the trip, being in South Florida in July ain't my idea of paradise. The weather just now in Oh-hia-ia is unseasonably cool, and to my mind, pleasant. I am not excited about 90 degrees (30+C) and 1000% humidity. Bleh.

01 July 2009

She must be crazy.

That will be what you're forced to conclude. If you're not reading this on an RSS feeder, have a look over to the right, and you'll see that I did indeed decide to participate in this month's NaBloPoMo, with the July theme of "routine".

The rules state that you don't need to use the theme, it is just a suggestion. If I remember right, last time around I ignored it unless I was bereft of something to say. Since that seldom happens, I doubt I'd need to rely on the theme, but I think I'm going to try to give it a shot.

Routine, to me, means same old, same old. Get up. Get a shower. Get dressed. Go to work. Work 8-10 hours. Go home. Find some dinner. Go to sleep. Get up the next morning and do it again. Weekends are a slight alteration; get up. Find something to wear. Run errands. Do laundry. Clean the house. Go to the grocery store.

But for all that, routine is safe. Routine is stability.

When I had that awful sales job, there was no stability, no particular routine each day. I didn't get up much before 9, didn't schedule appointments before 11 unless I had to, and usually only left the house a few hours before DH was due home so it looked like I was doing something productive. When I would leave the house, I would go either to a Panera Bread or a book store, and I'd either surf the web or read a book that I couldn't afford to buy, because commissioned sales sucks.

Did I write about that at the time? No, I don't think I did. Not extensively. Partly because it was terrifying and upsetting to me that I wasn't doing so well at the job. I have never attempted anything else in my life that I was so spectacularly bad at doing! I'm smart, a quick study, and I expect of myself to be able to learn how to do something quickly, and get better at it as time goes on. Sales didn't work that way for me. It made me feel like even more of a failure to talk about it, which really helped the depression. (Sarcasm, people, sarcasm.)

It is only with more than a year's perspective on that time that I am now able to see that I was in worse shape than I thought I was, and that's saying something.

Thankfully, once my meds got to be, ahem, routine, and at the proper dosage, that evened out, and when I was able to flip the sales job the bird, things improved more. Earlier this year, I promised my doc that I would begin to scale back the dosage of my Wellbutrin XL. I have not yet done so. I have had several days where I've forgotten to take them - entirely unintentionally, I hasten to assure you - and I feel like I've been hit by a semi. I'm also much more irritated by small things, stupid shit will leave me tailspinning. So going off of the meds isn't the answer yet. Stepping down the dose isn't a bad idea, though; I just have yet to remember to do that when I take my daily prescriptions each day. I look at them in my hand and think, "allergy pill, yep, birth control pill, yep, Wellbutrin 1, yep, Wellbutrin 2, yep, 1-2-3-4, good, that's all of them." That is so much a part of my daily routine. It is only after I have actually swallowed the pills that I remember, damn, I wanted to try taking 300 mg instead of 450 to see what happens. Ooops.

Being an obsessive-compulsive (my manifestations, that is) means that patterns, routine, and order appeal to me. Color-coded, alphabetical, lined up straight, square edges, mapped, diagrammed, charted things are good. Disorderly, messy, unorganized and sloppy makes me twitchy. Add the fact that I'm a Capricorn (Caps tend to be organized) to my OCD, and you have a recipe for a routine fanatic.