Monday, February 23, 2009

spread out

One of the most maddening things about the foreign service lifestyle are all the transitions. I knew when we left Baku that we would be in the US for about a year. So we had to try to reduce our household into the most used items that would fit into 600 pounds of air freight. Now if you don't know, 600 pounds is a lot of stuff, but it doesn't fit everything. We left behind a good portion of the kitchen stuff, all of our lamps, rugs, pictures, etc. half of Babes' toys, and various other things that make up a household. And while we are pretty well set up here in our furnished rental, it doesn't cover everything. You've got your basic cooking equipment, but no baking pans, so I have been either putting off baking or purchasing baking pans.
You also tend to forget what you've packed or not, and I think in the excitement of packing I left some things that I intended to bring, and brought things that I intended to leave. It's so frustrating because I'm sometimes positive that I brought something and I tear apart the apartment only to discover that it's not here. And if it's not here is it at my parent's house, or my in-law's house? I hate being so spread out! Sometimes I feel as if I can't find ANYTHING!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

money matters

I'm getting a little tired of all these "money saving" tips that you get from mainstream media. They are so lame that they border on the rediculous sometimes. Do people really not know some of this stuff? For instance, one such tip said that if you brew your own coffee at home instead of going to starbucks everyday you will save hundreds of dollars a year. Who didn't know this? Seriously? A cup of coffee at starbucks costs at least $2, a bag of coffee at the grocery store costs $8. If you drink more than 4 cups you have saved money.
I have gotten to the point where I no longer read these so called money saving tips because they don't tell me anything I don't already know. I mean I already cook at home. I don't order wine when I go to restaraunts. I shop for clothes at season end clearances. Buy store brand food. I know how to use a budget. *SIGH* I guess I could start bathing the dog at home, but it is totally worth the $25 to have somebody else do it. I don't have to bathe her in my tub, or with a garden hose in 30 degree weather, I drop her off and three house later she is magically clean. That and custom purses from viv pickle are my two big frivolous expenses.
I didn't realize that my parents were teaching me to be frugal, I just thought it was the way everyone was raised. I didn't know that people were going to McDonald's everyday or buying things for their kids that they couldn't afford. And I never really felt deprived, I might have felt slighted or unfairly cheated, but I got over it. I think we have somehow forgotten that life is full of ups and downs and that kids need to experience these things in order to be able to be happy as adults. If you always sugar coat life how are they going to learn how to deal with bad times when they move out of your house. No matter what you do, you will not be able to protect your kids forever. They need to know that plants, animals, and people all die, and that death is a part of life, as is sadness, and sometimes pain. You will also not be able to get everything you want, sometimes no matter what you do there will be things you can't have.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Babes and I just returned yesterday from another trip out to Columbus, OH to see my Gparents. My grandfather turned 89 this past weekend. Unfortunately, he has reached 89 under the fog of an Alzheimer's like disease which has left him uncommunicative and unresponsive. My grandmother, who is only slightly younger than my grandfather, is still a tiny little fireball of energy and will power. She does a wonderful job celebrating his life and makes sure that no one overlooks or ignores my grandfather. When you call on the phone, you must say a word to him, if she is having a party, she will bring him home from the place where he is staying to be a part of the party. And she will try as much as possible to include him in the festivities. It is not so bad now that he lives in a nursing home, but when she was taking care of him it was incredibly frustrating. When Babes was born we drove for 12 hours to bring her my baby, but she was so busy managing my grandfather that she didn't even really look at Babes. I guess my problem is that we are so busy trying not to leave my grandfather out, that we never get to do anything in Columbus that resembles anything. For the first time, this last visit, I was able to eat at a restaraunt that was not Old Time Country Buffett. I never say anything, because I know my mom has a hard time with the situation, and I know my grandmother is doing the best she can, and the only thing she knows to do, but I'm still frustrated.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Man, I'm a grown up

It started out as a small thing, really. I noticed it first when watching Superman Returns a couple of years ago. It might not have been the first time I thought it, but it was the first time I noticed thinking it. What I thought was, "will insurance cover this?" Not, "will Superman pull through?" Not, "how will he defeat this guy?" But, "will insurance cover this?" I was disturbed by this thought, apparently my believe button was not getting enough use, or maybe it just needed a tune up, or something. I didn't think anything was seriously wrong. But, now! OH!
I am currently reading the Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer, it's not a bad, aside from the overwhelming teenage angst I kind of like it. BUT! And here's where I know that my believe button is severely damaged. The part of the story that bugs me, I mean really gets to me, is not that there are vampires and werewolves, no. I get stuck trying to figure out what on earth a 200 year old vampire wants with a 17 year old girl. I know this is a recent thing because it never bothered me while watching Buffy. Angel was just as old, and Buffy just as young, but I never once thought about it. Now it almost ruins the story. After all, I find 17 year olds a little irritating, and I'm only a little older. I can't imagine what it would be like after 200 years, unless it is as I suspected and men really don't age past 17.
UGH! Does anyone know where I can get a believe button fixed?

PS for those of you wondering what a believe button is, think of it like an imagination cap, or whatever. It's the button you push when watching things like Independence Day that let you buy that an advanced civilization of aliens can be brought low by a computer virus uploaded from a mac.