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Archive for November, 2011

My very first computer was an e-machine. You’ve probably never heard of it If you don’t remember those, they were the Hyundai Accents of personal computers: a cheap thing that gets you from Point A to Point B,  and when it craps out and you just buy another one. Like the Accent, it was a good product for the young person who had never owned such a machine before and was likely to fuck it up beyond all repair.

I was thirteen, and it was a Christmas present from my mother (she said I would need it for high school, but I think she was tired of sharing a computer with a teenager who tried out every neon desktop theme that Windows 98 offered).  I knew it was a cheap machine, but I loved it and it served my teenage purposes until it died in a bloody sea of file-sharing-related viruses.

I also never met anyone else who owned one. Once in a school computer class, we had to list three brands of PCs as part of a quiz. I naturally included “e-machine” in my answer, and it was marked wrong– because my computer teacher (computer teacher) had never heard of the brand & thought I had made it up.

I should also mention that until 1999, our family had a computer that ran Windows 3.1 and no internet.

It’s like I was hipster before hipster was cool.

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Hey hipsters, you want to be “retro” and “vintage?” Get yourself a desktop computer that runs Windows 3.1, and ditch your Wi-Fi for dial-up (you’ll need to buy a modem for that, of course). Let’s see how committed you are to this thing.

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Thankful

I started to write a post about all the things I’m thankful for, but it got so long-winded and after a while it started to seem like a brag list of my semi-charmed life. In short: I’m thankful I have so much to be thankful for.

 

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East- Bound & Down

I’ve been sick with a head cold for the last two days. Doesn’t matter: We’re packing up and hitting the road for East Texas in a couple of hours.

(Fun fact: My brain is so cold-boggled that at first I typed “we’re packing the road and hitting up for East Texas.” Oops!)

For the last year or two, I’ve felt unusually tense during the big family holidays. There’s always the big holiday hustle, of course; but there’s also feeling the need to look your best/act your best in front of your family and prove to them that you are a civilized and functioning adult. Double that if you are maried and need to look good in front of your spouse’s family, as well.

What am I tense about this time? First of all, there’s the being-sick thing: One like to have their best foot forward when visiting the in-laws, which does NOT involve being sick and puffy-eyed and gross-sounding (stuffy-sounding voice! Sniffling! Horrific-sounding-cough! I’m an Orchestra of Icky!). I’m taking medicine and praying I start sounding/looking better tomorrow. I do NOT want to be an ugly zombie around my husband’s family; especially not a mere five months after they saw me marry him as a pretty lady.

"I promise I haven't let myself go already. Really."

 

Then there’s the fact that we’re going deep in the East-Texas countryside; which to me seems inherently chillier, cloudier and 70 years behind the rest of the state (but I’ve only been there twice on not-pretty days, so I’m sure I’m wrong there). Or that driving there means two hours in the truck with my husband’s conservative talk radio.
Maybe I’m also bitter because I’m in a cleaning frenzy; hoping that the cleaner the place is when we leave, the less filthy it will be when we come back. I know what you’re saying: “But nobody’s going to be home except your three cats!” Exactly.

All that said, though, I AM looking forward to seeing Hubs’ family again. They’re a bunch of truly sweet, fun country folks; savvy homesteaders and hard-working business owners. There’s always good-smelling food cooking, beer flowing, and people laughing. It’s a good time…even if the other locals are redneck-scary and I have to listen to Rush Limbaugh on the way there.

I’d like to say that I’ll keep in touch via Twitter, but where we’re going is SO remote we can’t get a cell phone signal. Instead, I’ll take this time to wish everyone reading this a Happy Thanksgiving– or, if you’re outside the U.S., just a really great week. 🙂
(Hopefully I’ll get to write a REAL Thanksgiving post sometime this weekend, when I’m not feeling crappy and super-cynical like I do now).

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to load my iPod with Bill Hicks and Bach and classic rock. There’s only so much right-wing radio I can stand.

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Thank you to all of the veterans out there who have served or are currently serving our country. This wouldn’t be the greatest country in the world without your help.

These are men and women who fought in wars they didn’t believe in, left their families behind, watched their friends die, suffered terrible physical injuries and psychological traumas…because their country needed help.

These men and women made the ultimate sacrifice so we could have fast food and TiVo and blog about the politicians we hate.

They are our heroes, and we owe them everything.

Thank you, and God bless you.

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~ Why do Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have so many kids? It’s not like they actually parent them. The kids are cared for by Brangelina’s personal staff while Mom & Dad make movies and do fabulous famous-people things. It seems like the kids are living, breathing accessories that they whip out to look nice for magazine pictures (and then sell those pictures for eight figures. As you do).

Then again, this *is* America: If you have enough money, you can do whatever the fuck you want here.

At least they’ll have enough money for the therapy those six kids will surely need.

~ Speaking of Brangelina: I feel like him/her/Jennifer Aniston have been on the cover of at least one tabloid a week for the last ten years, regarding their little love triangle (Wikipedia tells me that Brad/Jen divorced in 2005… so it’s only been six years, but it FEELS like ten). Does ANYBODY care? Really? I don’t even want to hear about my neighbor’s marital problems, let alone some rich actor’s marital problems.

~ Celebrity drug use is easy to understand:
Q: What do you do with unlimited money and freedom?
A:

Cocaine! Lots and lots of it!

(Ditto to hookers, heavy drinking, and anything else Charlie Sheen does.*)

~ ‘Jersey Shore:’ I can’t even begin to get my head around it.
Is “stupid sells” the new “sex sells?” (If so, GOD HELP US)
Is Italian exploitation the new blaxploitation?
If so, couldn’t they have stuck with exploiting the rich probably-in-the-Mafia Italians? At least that’s interesting. Personally, I’d rather watch a bunch of hairy guys kick each other’s asses than a watch a bunch of drunk oily gym rats grinding on a fat girl; But that’s just me.

~ Scientology seems to be the preferred belief system of celebrities. I think it’s because super rich people want their own God. Anybody else? (Granted, that’s an extremely simplified statement)

~ Don’t even get me started on THIS shit:

Yet gay people in meaningful relationships can’t get married because it ruins the holy institution.

Remember what I said earlier about how you can do anything you want in this country if you have enough money?

….

That’s all for now, folks. Rant over!

*When I did a google image search for “pile of cocaine,” Charlie Sheen’s picture turned up in the second row of results. Hee!

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We were in home-buying mode. We were thisclose to buying a perfect little condo on the Creek, barely 100 yards from where we live now. Almost everything was squared up, all we needed to do was close and move our stuff in.

Two weeks ago, on October 18th– three days before our closing– my husband was laid off.

We had been approved for financing when hubs was still working. After he lost his job, we no longer had financing. In the end, we did not get to move to our Very Own Condo.

Instead, we will have to stay in our current place another year. An whole extra year in this lake-front penthouse with a spectacular view. Wow. Doesn’t it just suck to be u?

In case you missed the sarcasm: NO IT SURE DOESN'T.

So, that’s that. Here we are and here we stay. Hubs has another job lined up, but has not started yet. In the meantime, he’s been fishing a lot…which rocks, actually. Our freezer is stacked to the top with his catches; he eats freshly-caught fish every night, and we don’t have to spend money on meat for his meals. Fishing: fun, nutritious, and economical. Fishing!

Brought to you by the Fish Council.

I’m on the hunt for a job…I had an audition last week, but nothing came of it (it was one of those situations where you realize within the first five minutes that you don’t have a prayer). And while I’m keeping my eyes pen for more auditions… I also had to drop out of dance classes due to our financial situation. Instead I’ve been working out in the gym and stretching several hours a day. Which is fine, but it’s not the same as a technique class. So. Um Yeah. We’ll see.

Anyway! We’re getting along fine. Saying prayers and staying optimistic. And, if nothing else, enjoying our days off (it’s like a vacation, only with the undercurrent of anxiety that comes with unemployment! Whee!). I’m sure we’ll be back to busy before we know it.

 

I hope so, anyway.

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