Shall We Plummet?

One of the companies I work for, whom I’ve mentioned on more than one occasion, is filled to the brim with young people. People who are young enough to have played with Transformers and not been looked at askance. People who probably still play with Legos when no one’s looking.

As such, it’s a really fun place to work. Today, we bought pizza and discussed hangovers. Yesterday, we debated in depth about the merits of costly retail apparel vs. Costco clothing. Yeah, we work sometimes too but only when we’re distracted into doing so by a ringing phone or impending pick-up.

About a week ago, my boss called me into his office and asked if I’d like to go sky-diving with the company. I promptly asked him if he’d like me to soil myself. The merest thought of sky-diving is enough to make my hands clammy and cold with fear. I’m light-headed with the heady intoxication that only sheer panic can induce just thinking about it.

Apparently, however, there are people who have done it without perishing. Most of the people at my office have thrown themselves out of a speeding aircraft with nothing other than a flimsy backpack filled with hopes to cushion their epic plummets to the ground.

Knowing this gave me pause, because I’m really not one to be left out of any adventure. Even though I hate rollercoasters, for example, I’ve often found myself clamped into an inevitably sweaty vinyl seat screaming “STOP THE RIDE I WANT TO GET OFF!!!” while the cars carry me away from comfort and the unquestioned security of the food in my stomach.

That being said, I might actually be thinking about doing the sky-diving thing. Maybe. It’s a tickle in the back of my thinking place. After all, many have gone before and only a few have been pulverized by the crushing force of their own inertia, right?

I don’t know, I keep going back and forth on the issue. On the one hand I’m young, and there’s no reason to die for a thrill I’ll probably be blacked out for (from the sheer terror.) On the other hand, I’m young and I don’t wanna die without any scars (of the adventure-having kind.)

Have any of you sky-dived? What did you think, was it worth it? Do any of you want to sky-dive? For goodness’ sake, why?

Beyond Cheesecake

I have money and I don’t know what to do with it. I know many of you would love to have this issue so don’t think that I’m complaining. As a matter of fact, this is a lovely sort of predicament to have. I highly recommend it should you have the chance to procure it for yourself.

Every year, my grandfather sends me money for my birthday. He’s done this every year since I was born and it adds a really cool element of self-indulgence to my birthday. I think that’s his intention, to give me the freedom to buy something fun, and if that’s the case then well done, Grandpa Bill!

The problem is, I have trouble spending money on myself. Throughout my teenage and college years I inevitably put my birthday money into my savings account. I’d always tell myself that I’d spend it later on something fun but I never did.

Theoretically, I guess you could say I spent all those years of birthday savings on my wedding, which ate up my whole savings account, but I’m pretty sure that’s not what I meant by “something fun.” Yeah, our wedding was awesome, but I won’t kid myself by pretending that I put money away with the intention of spending it on a wedding license and Wes’ wedding ring.

This year, I’ve resolved to try something different. I’m going to buy something fun and mean it. In fact, I won’t even deposit my check. I’m going to make it out to cold hard cash and then have some fun. At first, I thought about going to Bed Bath & Beyond (as in, perpetually Beyond my budget) and buying a springform pan (for making cheesecake) and a new shower curtain (because ours is stained red from my many and frequent hair color changes.)

I’m unsettled by this plan of action, however, because while cheesecake is fun, a shower curtain is not. Now we’ve arrived back at my original dilemma: I have money and I don’t know what to do with it.

I could buy some new DVD’s (Sex and the City, I’m looking at you), buy a new book (Chuck Palahniuk has a new one out called Snuff that sounds immensely entertaining and one of my favorite authors, Jen Lancaster, just published a new book as well), or buy some new shirts (apparently holes were only cute in the early 90’s.)

Decisions, decisions. What would you do with some spare cash?

I’m Not Seeing Red, and That’s the Problem

I got a ticket yesterday and not a cool ticket, either (like a moving violation.) A super-lame ticket: a parking ticket.

I really do think that there are gradients in the kinds of tickets you can get. For instance, concert tickets are way cooler than the little number ticket you get at the DMV…Just kidding. In all seriousness, though, doesn’t a speeding ticket seem much more appealing than a parking ticket?

When I think of someone speeding I conjure up an image of someone rocketing down the freeway in a convertible. The sun on their face, their hair in the wind, and their speed in the 80’s. When the police officer pulls them over, he acts all stern but on the inside he’s thinking that speeding in a convertible on a sunny day is a mighty fine idea indeed.

When I think of someone getting a parking ticket, I imagine some poor schmuck running late for a meeting, parking distractedly, and running into a building. A police officer notices that the car is parked illegally, snickers in a nerdy and entirely unbecoming way, and leaves the ticket. When the schmuck sees the ticket, he hurls his briefcase to the ground and sobs inconsolably.

Do you see? There are very definite gradients of cool on the ticket hierarchy.

Questions of coolness aside, I did get a parking ticket. It was a really dumb error: I parked in front of a fire hydrant. Yup, there’s nothing cool about that. When you consider the fact that the hydrant was painted green, settled in the depths of some green bushes, and behind a grey curb, you understand how I could have missed it.

I am now the proud recipient of a $38 ticket for essentially being a moron. I have requested a mitigation hearing and hopefully the magistrate will take pity on my poor first-time-offender’s head. I’ll let you know how that goes.

In the meantime, I’m thinking seriously about reviving the brightly colored fire hydrant. Honestly, what chance do firemen have if we’re hiding our hydrants with camoflage and discreet shrubbery? Someone has to speak up for our men and women in yellow!

I say we go whole-hog and paint the fire hydrants yellow and the curbs in front of them red. Sure, it will look like an elementary school-kid vomited his finger-painting project all over suburbia but I think it will greatly decrease the number of camoflage-related parking violations around the country. Really, wouldn’t that be worth it?

Whimsical, Gravitationally-Challenged Apples

If there were an award for best birthday ever, I think lucky number 23 would claim the prize for sure. It was my 23rd birthday last weekend and I’m sure I’ve never had more fun. The whole weekend was filled with friends, family, and phantasmagoria and I couldn’t be more thrilled with everything.

We spent the night at a Bed and Breakfast near my mom’s house and spent some excellent time with my mom, step-dad, and grandparents. It’s pretty freaking fantastic to be 23, I think. I’m still young so I can still get away with things like tackling my husband when he’s not looking but I’m old enough to appreciate my family without angsting about all the things I dislike about them.

Essentially, I’m finally old enough to realize that, while my family’s not perfect, they’re still some of my very favorite people and it’s OK to resemble them. When I was a teenager I would have cut you if you told me I reminded you of my mother (Wes made this mistake a few times.) After therapy, however, I learned that one of the most excellent priveleges we are given is the opportunity to learn from our parents and adopt for ourselves the things that work and discard the things that don’t.

It was when I stopped worrying about whether or not I was like my family that I experienced the freedom to be at peace with who I am.

Blah blah, no more maudlin confessions of never-ending family love, I promise.

The whole point of that long intro was to pave the way for this little gem from the weekend: Wes and I were eating breakfast with everyone and my grandmother was telling everyone about her experience with getting her lung removed. My grandfather was telling us that he could never find her in her room. She was supposed to be recuperating but she’d always be out and about, mingling with everyone she could find.

When asked why, she replied that she couldn’t die if she wasn’t in her room. She avoided her room like the plague because she believed that they wouldn’t be able to drape her with the white sheet if she wasn’t lying in her bed.

Wes started considerably when he heard this, and exclaimed that in this respect the apple hardly fell from the tree at all. I am guilty of similar flights of illogical fancy and he has the pleasure of being privy to my bouts of whimsy with alarming regularity.

That being said, I reveled in my family this weekend and was very glad to know that perhaps my quirky nature is hereditary and will be passed along to my kids. I have the feeling that will be quite fun indeed.

Internet Shenanigans

As a result of my job with Qvisory I traffic through a lot of blogs. I read the posts, read the comments, write comments of my own, and just generally roll around in the great dog-pile that is the blogosphere.

One of the funniest things I see (and I see it a lot) is when people mistake the anonymity of the Internet as a license to be a complete jerk. I notice this a lot on mom blogs, where moms tear each other apart for perceived injustices or mistakes. I’ve never understood the point of that because, since these women neither know nor care what these strangers think of their parenting skills, the advice generally goes nowhere. As I’ve made my stance on unsolicited advice rather clear, I’ll leave it at that.

I came across an interesting blog post today and one of the comments nearly made me choke on my Cheerios. It was a prime example of how the Internet helped someone completely lose touch with reality.

This woman called the blog author all sorts of names, told her she thought she probably overpaid for something and had therefore made an uneducated decision, and then offered her services as a mortgage broker. I’m not certain, but something tells me that woman won’t be getting a call back.

I also came across another gem this morning, this one from a commenter who is the epitome of the soapbox speaker who is speaking into the wrong end of the bullhorn. The post is about gender stereotypes and how men and women get perceived differently than men.

This woman responded with the especial vitriol usually found in feminists who have reason to hate the men-folk. Her response went something like this:

“Even in this day and age, women are expected to be pure and brainless. I am an activist who has been fighting for women for the Fair Pay Act! One of my senators inthe state in which I live, and she’s a woman voted against it. Has she been paid off to vote against it or is she one of those who believes in “Wives, submit to your husbands” ideology? Even in 2008, you would think our society has evolved. It seems people are going backwards insteadd of forward. He’s childless? We know who gets stuck taking care of the brat and it’s not him. Men are just trying to suck the life out of us while they claim they are too tired. Oh that’s okay! I know sh will cook dinner as office work is easier than physical work. I believe that we are still looking for our voice in this present time. It’s there and up front. We have to make our voices louder ladies!!”

In my mind, the only thing she convinced me to do was avoid feminists. I’d like to think her motives were good but they really got lost in translation. I don’t think anyone is served by calling children brats and stating that men are trying to suck the life out of us all.

Everyone knows, if you’re trying to convince people to change, you probably shouldn’t accuse them of life-sucking. She’s not trying to convince women to change their perceptions, she’s trying to convince men and no man I know was ever persuaded after a speech like that.

I could be wrong, though. Was anyone rallied by her comment?