Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Day Thirty-Six--I Won't Grow Up....

My running joke at work is that I am five years old.

Allow me to give you an example.

A typical Saturday at work will have me wearing one of my Looney Tunes t-shirts with my hair in braided pigtails. I will sit at my desk and in between calls I will color in my coloring book (working on Veggie Tales currently) or read a book if it's really slow. My usual lunch will consist of either a bowl of Sketti O's, a grilled cheese sandwich, or a corn dog with French fries. Finally, I have a collection of small rubber ducks set up all around my desk, because one of the ladies at work sells them and people like to buy them for me.

One of these days I may even learn to tie my shoes!

"We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations."
--Anais Nin

Monday, September 21, 2009

Day Thirty-Five -- Snapshot of My Thought Process

As Sam and I were driving home tonight, we passed BJ's (a restaurant chain through out this area). Sam begins talking about his opinion of BJ's (he's not much of a fan), and this is what ran through my head:

Strange, Brad is a huge fan of BJ's.

However, for some reason as I was thinking the thought, the word Brad morphed into Fred.

I then proceeded to start thinking about how Brad and Fred share two letters ("r" and "d" for those keeping score at home), and then I started thinking about the game Text Twist, and how you have a word with six letters and jumble them and try to make smaller words.

So what word has the letters "a," "b," "d," "e," "f," and "r" in it, I wondered.

The word that immediately popped into my head?


I immediately started giggling, which resulted in my having to explain it Sam.

Yeah, I'm strange.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Day Thirty-Four--Techie's Break-through

So, I've officially decided that I'm just not going to do the blog on Thursdays. Sam and I decided at the beginning of the school year that he wouldn't take any gigs and I wouldn't do any overtime on Thursdays so we could spend that night together each week. It's a wonderful idea, and it gives us both something to look forward to all week. However, it means I'm caught in loop of guilty, either because I'm blogging when I'm supposed to be spending that time with Sam, or I'm not blogging when I said I would try to do it every day.

As I am a naturally tense person, I thought I'd remove one stress from my life and arbitrarily declare Thursday No-Blog Day. If I manage to blog on a Thursday, great, but I'm not going to beat myself up over it.

Last night I have no excuse for not blogging, aside from the fact that I got home from work, had a sandwich, and went straight to bed. Sam and I didn't get up this morning until a little after ten. (This resulted in my getting well over twelve hours of sleep-much, much needed!)

Now, with all of that out of the way, I wanted to brag on my cat a little bit.

When I adopted Techie from the SPCA in Dallas, they advised me that he was what they termed a "Halloween Cat." As I'm sure you've noticed from previous pictures, Techie is an all black kitty. When he was originally adopted, it was right around Halloween, and the boys he was living with would tease and abuse him to make him arch his back and puff up like the traditional Halloween cat.

Yeah, it's a good thing I never found out who had him first.

Anyways, as a result of this Techie has always been a very shy and reserved cat. He enjoys affection, but he'll only let people he's been around a lot touch him, and he refuses to sit in anyone's lap. He'll lay down next to you, but that's it.

That is, until Thursday night.

I was sitting in my brand new chair, when I heard Techie meowing next to me. I reached down and petted him, then went back to what I was doing. Next thing I know, Techie has jumped up onto the arm of the chair, and then proceeds to lay down in my lap as if it's no big deal.

I'm fairly sure my heart skipped a couple of beats at that point.

For the next thirty minutes I proceeded to give Techie a very thorough petting and vigorous ear scratching. It makes me very, very happy!

"There are few things in life more heartwarming than to be welcomed by a cat."
--Tay Hohoff

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Day Thirty-One -- Babylon 5, Season 3

Yeah, there's ten this time, because season three is my favorite. So sue me.

"Your Ambassador Delenn has a wonderful phrase: 'Faith manages.'"
-- Brother Theo to Sheridan in Babylon 5:"Passing Through Gethsemane"

"For you, personally, what is the defining moment of your belief? Not the history, the doctrines,
but the emotional core of it."
"On the night before our Lord was crucified, he spent the night alone in the garden at Gethsemane. And he knew they were gonna come for him, and in a moment of weakness, he asked if this cup could pass from him. If he could be spared the pain and death that would come with the morning. And of course, the cup would not pass, and the soldiers would come to Gethsemane. But he did not have to be there when they arrived. He could have chosen to leave, to postpone the inevitable for a few hours or even days. He knew what would happen, but he chose to stay. To sacrifice himself, and thus atone for the sins of others. It's a very fragile, human moment. And I've often thought about that night. And I honestly, don't know if I would have had the courage to have stayed."
-- Delenn and Brother Edward in Babylon 5:"Passing Through Gethsemane"

"I thought the purpose of filing these reports was to provide accurate intelligence."
"Vir, intelligence has nothing to do with politics."
-- Vir and Londo in Babylon 5:"Point of No Return"

"This is Ambassador Delenn of the Minbari. Babylon 5 is under our protection. Withdraw, .. or be destroyed." [in the White Star!]
"Negative. We have authority here. Do not force us to engage your ship."
"Why not? Only one human captain has ever survived battle with a Minbari fleet. He is behind me. You are in front of me. If you value your lives, be somewhere else."
-- Delenn and Captain Drake in Babylon 5:"Severed Dreams"

"Everything I was, everything I had, all of it died that night. I don't have anything left to give."
"And that is exactly what you must give up. Yes, you have lost much, endured much, sacrificed greatly, but you cling to the memory of your sacrifices, of all the things you have lost or left behind. They drag behind you, like chains of your own making. They can have a terrible power over you, Marcus. The power of grief, and loss, and regret. Yes, you have let go of the people, the places, the things, but you have not let go of the pain. You have not forgiven yourself."
"For what?"
"Being alive."
-- Marcus and Delenn in Babylon 5:"Ceremonies of Light and Dark"

"No. No. No. No-no. Not good. No, no."
"Come on, find what you need and lets get away from here. We are running out of time."
"Can not run out of time, there is infinite time. You are finite, Zathras is finite. This is... wrong tool. No. No. Not good. No. No. Never use this."
-- Zathras and Ivanova in Babylon 5:"War Without End #2"

"I'll wake you in four hours."
"Thanks. That's assuming I can get any sleep in these. The Captain warned me about these things, but I had no idea.."
"They are wery restful, good for the back."
"Well, someday I want to be stationed in somewhere with big four-poster bed, canopy, and maybe a window with a view of a garden."
"I like gardens, .. and big four-poster beds. .. Right. See you in four hours."
-- Marcus and Ivanova in Babylon 5:"Shadow Dancing"

"You had to find your own way?"
"I ran away. I realized that I always defined myself in terms what I wasn't. I wasn't a good soldier like my father, I wasn't .. the job.. I wasn't a good prospect for marriage or kids. Always what I wasn't, never what I was. But when you do that, you miss the moments. And the moments are all we've got. When I thought I was going to die, even after everything that's happened, I realized I didn't want to let go. I was willing to do it all over again and this time I could appreciate the moments. I can't go back, but I can appreciate what I have right now, and I can define myself by what I am, instead of what I'm not."
"And what are you?"
"Alive. Everything else is negotiable."
-- Sheridan and Franklin in Babylon 5:"Shadow Dancing"

"Who are you?"
"Now, that's really not important."
"Who are you?"
"Who decides that the workday is from 9 to 5, instead of 11 to 4? Who decides that the hemlines will be below the knee this year and short again next year? Who draws up the borders, controls the currency, handles all of the decisions that happen transparently around us?"
"I don't know."
"Ah! I'm with them. Same group, different department. Think of me as a sort of middleman, and the name is Justin. Come in, sit, sit. The tea is getting cold."
-- Sheridan and Justin in Babylon 5:"Z'ha'dum"

"It was the end of the Earth year 2260, and the war had paused, suddenly and unexpectedly. .. All around us, it was as if the universe were holding its breath, waiting. All of life can be broken down into moments of transition or moments .. of revelation. This had the feeling of both."
"G'Quan wrote: 'There is a greater darkness than the one we fight. It is the darkness of the soul that has lost its way. The war we fight is not against powers and principalities, it is against chaos and despair. Greater than the death of flesh is the death of hope, the death of dreams. Against this peril we can never surrender. The future is all around us, waiting in moments of transition, to be born in moments of revelation. No one knows the shape of that future, or where it will take us. We know only that it is always born in pain.'"
-- G'Kar in Babylon 5:"Z'ha'dum"

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Day Thirty -- What Month is It?

Occasionally someone will call in at work that I just cannot help but feel sorry for. Typically because I've been in that person's shoes. Sometimes it is because they're going through a loss in the family, they've lost their job, their house was broken into, etc.

And then there was today's call.

Not long before I was to go home for the night, this lady calls in to tell me that we "need to give her more time to pay her bill and to waive the late fees, because she just got her bill today and her bill was due on the 29th!"

"Ma'am," I say, "today is the 15th. The 29th is still two weeks away."

There's a few moments of silence, and then the woman starts laughing.

"It's been that sort of a month. I saw the due date and had it in my head it was October already."

Admit it, folks. We've all been there.

"Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so."
--Douglas Adams

Monday, September 14, 2009

Day Twenty-Nine -- Make'em Laugh!

Today, I thought I'd provide a diversion in the form of five different comic archives located online. Please enjoy (And maybe even laugh out loud!).

Unfortunately, neither Peanuts nor Far Side had decent archives online that I locate, but we live with what we have...

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Day Twenty-Eight -- Tales from the Front Lines, Part Two

So this should have has us completely back up to date. Sorry everybody!

Here are some examples of people/situations I've ran into at work this week.

--I had to deal with a person's psychiatrist over the phone because he suffered from an anxiety disorder and his bill was giving him a panic-attack.

--There was also a woman who spoke with a very thick Russian accent who refused to pay her bill because of her service wouldn't work, even though we had documented proof she'd been using it.

--An old man called in because their old equipment (not what they're currently using, but what they used before) was "stolen" by that "shady teen" next door and he needed the serial number from the old equipment and the original retail price. Forty-five minutes later after I'd finally tracked down all the information, he asked me to keep the info handy, and if he needed it for the police report he would call back for it.

--A lady called in and wanted to know why she had to pay a deductible to replace her equipment when she'd been paying for insurance for years. After explaining that just like with insurance for your house or your car, you pay a monthly premium and then if something happens you pay a small deductible instead of the full price to replace everything, she then said she was very disillusioned with us and would call back later to cancel her service.

Don't you wish you had my job?

"Yes ma'am, Hawaii is considered part of the United States."

Day Twenty-Seven -- 9

Tonight we went and saw 9 with Brad, Regina, and Sherri. I truly enjoyed the movie. There were a couple of plot points that required some leaps in logic from the audience, bit overall I felt it an enjoyable show.

My favorites were 3 and 4, because they were absolutely adorable.

And now it's bedtime. Sleeeeeeeepy.....

"Sometimes, fear is the appropriate response."

Day Twenty-Six -- Give Me Some Sugar!

For the record, I have the best sister ever! Sherri got her hands on some Sugarland tickets (check out this, this, and this for a flavor of their songs), so Sam, Sherri and I went to see them.

Sugarland is currently my favorite band in the country world, and when I mentioned I wished I could see them when they came to town to Sherri, she began performing ancient magic and tickets appeared from the ether. (Okay, so she actually used connections at her workplace, but my version sounds cooler.)

The guy who was playing when we got there was a little lackluster, but to be fair I wasn't paying much attention because I was trying to find a place for Sam to sit down, since we had just walked a couple of miles from where we had parked to the amphitheater and Sam has a bum toe.

(Sam dropped an amp case on his foot Monday, and while it didn't actually break his toe, it's completely bruised and he has a large blood blister under his toenail. Poor guy.)

The next person to play was Billy Currington, which I completely enjoyed as I knew most of the songs he played. I believe Sherri was surprised how many of the songs she knew. Sam just had fun watching the two of us, I think.

After some harrowing experiences with the bathrooms (the girl's stalls had no locks on them and would swing open on you, while the guys apparently had a "trough"), we returned in time for Sugarland to start their set.

Allow me to say, they put on a hell of a good show.

And the lead singer, Jennifer, is absolutely adorable. Also, it was apparently her birthday on Friday, so they had fun with that.

I think my favorite part was the bubbles!

Anyway, it's obvious that everyone in the band is a performer, and they were having a rocking good time up on that on that stage. I also, of course, loved the lighting and use of video throughout the performance.

Overall, a very excellent night. Sherri is awesome!

"So remember when I said it was my birthday and I was turning 22? I lied. I'm 23."
--Jennifer from Sugarland

Day Twenty-Five -- Date Night

I've been doing my blogging on my iPhone, which for some reason has not been translating to the actual blog. So now we start playing catch-up.

This is a small note to let you know I'm still alive. Sam and I have date nights on Thursdays (I believe I've mentioned this before), so I'll be moving along.

However, Sam did get me a chair tonight! He even ran through the rain with his busted toe to get the jeep so we could load my chair.

That is all.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Day Twenty-Four -- Babylon 5, Season 2

I am in love with Babylon 5, and have been for a very long time. Thus, I bring to you today's installment of B5 quotes, this time from Season 2:

"You will have to wear a cast. And it's gonna hurt."
"Swell. Ouch."
"I can give you something for the pain."
"Oh, great, now you can give me something for the pain. Where were you when I was going through puberty?"
-- Franklin and Ivanova in Babylon 5:"The Geometry of Shadows"

"Then I will tell you a great secret, Captain. Perhaps the greatest of all time. The molecules of your body are the same molecules that make up this station and the nebula outside, that burn inside the stars themselves. We are starstuff, we are the universe made manifest, trying to figure itself out. As we have both learned, sometimes the universe requires a change of perspective."
-- Delenn to Sheridan in Babylon 5:"A Distant Star"

"I never forget the feeling of helplessness. I never thought there could be anything worse than being all alone in the night."
"But there is. Being all alone in a crowd."
-- Sheridan and Delenn in Babylon 5:"There All the Honor Lies"

"No dictator, no invader, can hold an imprisoned population by the force of arms forever. There is no greater power in the universe than the need for freedom. Against that power governments, and tyrants, and armies can not stand. The Centauri learned this lesson once. We will teach it to them again. Though it take a thousand years, we will be free."
-- G'Kar in Babylon 5:"The Long, Twilight Struggle"

"The city was drowning in decay, .. chaos, immorality. A message needed to be sent, etched in blood, for all the world to see: a warning. In the pursuit of my .. holy cause, I .. did things, terrible things, unspeakable things. The world condemned me, but it didn't matter, because I believed I was right and the world was wrong. I believed I was the divine messenger. I believed I was--"
".. I was .. found by the Vorlons. They showed me the terrible depth of my mistake, .. my crimes, my .. presumption. I have done 400 years of penance in their service. A job, for which they said I was ideally suited. Now, perhaps, they will finally let me die."
"I think that might be wise."
"Good luck to you in your holy cause, Captain Sheridan. May your choices have better results than mine. Remembered, not as a messenger, remembered not as a reformer, not as a prophet, not as a hero, not even as Sebastian. Remembered only .. as Jack."
-- Sebastian to Sheridan in Babylon 5:"Comes the Inquisitor"

"I apologize. I'm .. sorry. I'm sorry we had to defend ourselves against an unwarranted attack. I'm sorry that your crew was stupid enough to fire on a station filled with a quarter million civilians, including your own people. And I'm sorry I waited as long as I did before I blew them all straight to hell. .. As with everything else, it's the thought that counts."
-- Sheridan in Babylon 5:"The Fall of Night"

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Day Twenty-Three -- Games

Many people would not--do not--consider me a "true" video gamer--not the hard core video gamer that so many of my friends are/claim to be. I'm not obsessed with the gaming world, and if I play more than two new video games in the course of a year, I'm doing really, really well.

However, I am a gamer. I play it all--card games, board games, console games, PC games, flash games, word games, mind games, logic games, puzzle games, counting games, pen-and-paper games, table top games--the whole gamut. I'm good at maybe a handful, but I absolutely love playing any and all games. Nothing makes me happier than getting a group of my friends together and playing a board game, or being with my family and playing a card game, or sitting at home and playing the Sims 3, or a small flash game on my iPhone. Games bring me a joy and contentment that is hard to describe--though they certainly have their frustrating moments.

It's not that I'm obscenely competitive--in fact, most of the time I could care less if I win or lose (which is not to say I won't practice to improve--I do have pride). Mostly I just enjoy either the chance to hang out with people or the chance to keep my brain active whenever I don't feel like reading. Or when I'm trying to ignore a customer.

Wait, forget that last sentence.

Games spark my imagination in numerous ways--yes, even something as dry as Sudoku. Whenever I'm stressed games help me relax, and whenever I need to truly focus on something and think it through, playing a game at the same time diverts my attention just enough that I actually will think clearer on the problem I'm facing.

While books will always edge out over games, I must confess it is by a much smaller margin than most people would assume.

"If you must play, decide on three things at the start: the rules of the game, the stakes, and the quitting time.
--Chinese Proverb

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Day Twenty-Two -- Labor Day!

Allow me to say that I am grateful on a completely selfish note that today was a national holiday--it meant that a) very few people called in to the call center today and b) I got to go home early today!

Ahh, it really doesn't take much to make me happy, does it? Of course, I'll pay for it tomorrow because it'll be three times as busy as normal. But whatever.

Also, I am becoming very excited about the fact that SYTYCD starts back up on Wednesday!!! Sadly, with church I won't be able to watch it when it airs, but that's one of the benefits of the Internet, aye?

Another thing that makes me happy is that there have been no further issues with Nala since getting the automated kitty box. This makes for a much happier household.

And finally, allow me to share an awesome video that Sam came across. I love the music! Of course, it does get stuck in my head. A lot.

"It's hard to say that I'd rather stay awake when I'm asleep / Cause my dreams are bursting at the seams"
--Owl City, Fireflies

Day Twenty-One -- I am not dead.

This is a quick note to let you know I am not dead.

If you would like further information as to why I did not post, highlight the text below. However, 99% of you will consider it TMI. Just be happy I'm not dead.

I am having fun with prep for my first period in nearly five months (cramping, bloatedness, general ickiness). I know that in the end it will be better for me. But it makes me an unhappy person.

Now I'm going to go curl back up in bed with the lovely comics that Sherri, Brad, and Regina got me.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Day Nineteen -- Babylon 5, Season 1

Sorry friends--I realized as I was checking my sites this morning that I never actually hit publish post. This was written at approximately 7 pm last night. We will resume our regularly scheduled posts tonight.

This Friday's Filler is my favorite five quotes for Babylon 5 from season 1. Enjoy!

"Commander, please. On the issue of galactic peace, I am long past innocence and fast approaching apathy. It's all a game -- a paper fantasy of names and borders. Only one thing matters, Commander. Blood calls out for blood."
-- Londo Mollari, Midnight on the Firing Line

"No. We have to stay here and there's a simple reason why. Ask ten different scientists about the environment, population control, genetics and you'll get ten different answers, but there's one thing every scientist on the planet agrees on. Whether it happens in a hundred years or a thousand years or a million years, eventually our Sun will grow cold and go out. When that happens, it won't just take us. It'll take Marilyn Monroe and Lao-Tzu, Einstein, Morobuto, Buddy Holly, Aristophanes .. and all of this .. all of this was for nothing unless we go to the stars."
Jeffrey Sinclair, Infection

"Ambassador Kosh has been a busy boy today."
"They say God works in mysterious ways."
"Maybe so, but He's a con man compared to the Vorlon."
---Michael Garibaldi and Jeffrey Sinclair, Deathwalker

"The universe is driven by the complex interaction between three ingredients: matter, energy, and enlightened self-interest."
--G'Kar, Survivor

"Sleep well?"
"Sleeping is not the problem. Waking up -- that is a problem. I've always had hard time getting up when it's dark outside."
"But in space it's always dark."
"I know, I know."
--Jeffrey Sinclair and Susan Ivanova, Signs and Portents

Happy Friday!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Day Eightteen--Nala's Last Chance

For the record, this post may be considered TMI. Feel warned.

As some of you may or may not know, for the past month or so we've been having issues with Nala deciding that she doesn't like to use the litter box any more. At first we thought it may be that we weren't cleaning the box often enough, so we started doing it twice a day.

That didn't work.

Our second attempt was to try using a different litter/deodorizer in case there was something about it Nala didn't like.


Next we put down aluminum foil in the place where she was doing her business, because Sam had read that cats don't like the sound of their urine hitting the foil.

The internet lies. Lies I tell you!

Then Sam tried using some deodorizing cleaner from PetCo that was supposed to convince her "hey, don't use this spot any more!" After awhile it seemed to be working. And then this morning we woke up to find she had pissed on the tile in the bathroom. Twice.

At least we had upgraded from carpet.

Tonight we've made a last ditch effort and purchased one of those automatic kitty litter boxes, so that it cleans itself after the cat uses it. If this doesn't work, it may be time to find Nala a new home.

Here's hoping it finally works.

"I've been imagining Techie trying to explain to Nala all day why the gods are angry at her."

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Day Seventeen -- Busy Bee

Some days, I feel utterly lazy and lethargic. Other days, I feel extremely accomplished and a little like superwoman.

Today was one of the latter:
  • I did dishes (admittedly before I dirtied every pot and pan in the kitchen).
  • I cooked three full meals to freeze and eat off for the next week (ham with scalloped potatoes and veggies, teriyaki chicken with rice, and cheeseburger mac).
  • I read several chapters in Fires of Heaven (I'm not quite halfway through my Wheel of Time reread. Gathering Storm comes out October 27th!).
  • I did some badly needed replenishing of clothing (Sam insisted).
  • I went to church and traded ideas with the tech guys there on how to set up their lighting rig so that it, you know, works (they even have four intelligent lights and a WholeHog 3 setup!).
Now if I could just have a day off from my day off....

"No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance."

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Day Sixteen -- Tales from the Front Lines

Today I thought I'd share with you one of my favorite stories that I've come across since I started working here in Oklahoma. I am sure that many of you have heard me tell this one before, but it really is one of my favorites.

In case you were unaware, I currently work in the customer service industry helping people to understand the joys and wonders of technology. Also, I help them to learn how to read bills. Very important job, that.

Anyhow, when I first started, one of my trainers decided to share with me an experience she had when she was still answering phones.

By this point my trainer--we'll call her Chrissy--had been with the company for over five years and was working in the cancellation department, trying to convince people that they didn't want to end their service. One day a man called in who was totally, utterly, and completely irate. Before Chrissy could ask any questions, he proceeded to tell her how the company was ran by nothing but a pack of thieves who were incapable of doing anything correctly, that they were stealing money away from him--had been for years--and that he was sick and tired of dealing with people at the company. When Chrissy started to talk to him again he interrupted her and said, "I don't give a flying [censored] who you are, I want to talk to the person who's closest to God in your company!"

Now Chrissy is normally a very sweet, laid back kind of gal. Like, Sherri-type sweet and laid back kind of gal. However, she had been working overtime for nearly two months straight and was finally at the end of her rope. When she heard him declare I want to talk to the person who's closest to God in your company! she did not respond with the normal platitudes we're taught to answer with. She said in the sweetest, nicest possible tone:

"Well, sir, we have many highly religious people who work here in this department. Which one would you like to speak with?'

There was a ten second silence on the line before he responded. "Well, I guess that was out of line."

Chrissy's only saving grace was that no one was actually listening in on that call.

"If Franz Kafka were alive today he'd be writing about customer service."
--Jonathan Alter