TTDNST: Random and Strange

I’ve gotten into the disturbing habit of going outside and weeding every day when I get home from work.  The sun is too delicious to waste, and after a day of looking at the computer I have next to no desire to sit in front of it while the sun is out.  My concern has to do with my gardening gloves, and what my tan lines will look like after an entire summer spent outside weeding.  I’ll be Erika “Albino Hands” Mitchell all winter…

Another thing I’ll be?  Is a freak, because apparently I’m the only one in the world who hates buying toilet paper.  I wrote a guest post about it for Alice and the post only got one comment.  My last post for them got 15 comments total (about half of which were from me responding to people) so I’m going to take this one personally.  Whatever, I’m just trying to keep it real around here.  I’m really a freak, so does it not logically follow that my posts would be slightly off from center?  If the world’s not ready for my thoughts on buying toilet paper, I’ll just have to peddle them elsewhere.

In the same vein as my strange blog post for Alice is this week’s Thing That Does Not Suck.  I found it through happy happenstance today and it’s had me giggling all afternoon.  It’s another comic, but this one is cool in exactly the opposite way as the last comic I featured on here.  This comic is strange, and odd, and may not be funny the first time you look at it.  Take a peek:

marriedtothesea.com

See?  You’re probably not laughing.  But look closer.  Look at the guy’s face in particular.  Something about the strangeness of the humor has kept me in stitches all afternoon.  I found it on this site called Married to the Sea, and the blog’s full to the brim with random comics.  I’ve scrolled through the first page and I think they’re hilarious.  If this gives you a whole new thing to waste time looking at while you’re working I couldn’t be happier.  If this isn’t really your cup of tea, maybe next week will be more to your taste.

I’m off to go lick my wounds and scheme up more topics I can blog about that no one else will agree with…

Consistently Uncool

As you may have noticed on my Twitter update last night, Wes walked by my computer last night and said, “You have a Christina Aguilera channel on Pandora?”  His voice, tinged with disbelief and rife with judgment, hung in the silence of the house before I replied, “You listen to The Darkness voluntarily?”

I’ve been thinking about this all day and it’s really got me going.  I’ve already shared here that I don’t have the best taste in movies.  Sure, I thought Citizen Kanewas teriffic, but I also think The Day After Tomorrow is ten kinds of awesome fun.  I’ve never been one to pretend I was cool, so why start now?

For example, I hate concerts.  I would love to say that I adore concerts, get a thrill from listening to live bands, get a kick out of being being pressed up against countless hundreds of sweaty strangers; but that’s just not the case.  I also dislike Alice in Chains, The Pursuit of Happyness, and The Beastie Boys.  Can’t stand ’em.

I’m so not cool it’s painful.

What do I like?  I like Christina Aguilera.  I love Muse.  I adore LostLars and the Real Girlmade me laugh so hard I cried a little.  Queen rocks my socks, and Journey lights up my whole freaking life.  I like bad natural disaster action movies and cheesy power ballads.  I drink my coffee with creamer (the sweet, completely obscuring kind) and I always fasten my seatbelt.  I’m pretty lame and I like it that way.

I’m not an idiot, nor am I a tween girl, but I like Christina Aguilera.  Her voice impresses me, and I think her music’s fun.  She may not fit into the list of bands I normally list as my favorites (like Muse, Radiohead, Damien Rice, Franz Ferdinand, etc.) and her music may not be the best ever in the history of the world, but hey.  I like her.  So there.

Which musicians do you keep locked away with the skeletons in your closet?

In Geekdom We Trust

First of all, I have to share a joke that Wes told me.  It’s pretty awesome, and it makes me giggle every time he tells it to me (which is often, because I ask him to at least once per week).  Ready?  Here goes:

Rene Descartes walks into a bar.  The bartender asks him, “Will you be having the usual tonight, sir?”  Rene thinks for a moment and replies, “I think not.”  Then he disappears into a puff of smoke.

My husband has the most delicious wit.

Speaking of my husband, there’s been quite a lot of talk about him lately here at Casa de Mitchell.  In a totally good way, I promise.  Let’s see, where to start?  Do I start in the past or the present?  Let’s start in the past and I’ll bring you up to the present.

Wes didn’t finish college.  There, I said it.  He was in college studying music composition.  He’s a gifted musician and had aspirations of writing film scores when we first met.  He completed an internship, had several projects under his belt, and was doing really well.  This interest naturally led to an interest in music production, which he’s extremely good at.  After producing several albums for local (small) bands, an opportunity opened up in sales at a car dealership.

He jumped at the sales opportunity because producing albums pays next to nothing.  Unless you’re Timbaland.  He excelled at sales, and quickly moved through the ranks at the dealership and won all kinds of awards.  Then, an opportunity opened up at Wells Fargo as a home mortgage consultant and he seized that particular day.

The job was awesome at first.  He loved the work, his boss, and the income was steady and enough to allow us to start making some financial progress (hooray!).  Tragedy struck last year in the form of the economic crisis and ensuing credit lockdown.  Home loans became close to impossible to attain, ergo so did his paychecks.

He toughed it out as long as he could, but he and Wells Fargo parted ways in October of last year and he signed on to be the national sales director for a company that does loan modifications.  It’s a decent gig, but it’s still sales.

Therein lies the rub, which also happens to be the entire point of me writing about my husband’s work history.

Sales.  It’s a tough industry.  You never know how much you’ll be making in any given month, and you’re subject to the whims of the economy and consumers.  Even though Wes is one heckuva salesman, he’s looking out at the future and it is bleak.  He doesn’t want to wait until it’s too late to make a switch, so he started eyeing going back to school.

Wesley has a ton of natural strengths, but by far one of his most discerning characteristics is his geekdom.  He’s a hardware whiz, a software warlock, and has yet to meet a computer/programming problem he couldn’t figure out.  Seeing as how we’re located square in the middle of one of the software capitals of the nation, he looked into going back to school to learn software programming.

He researched the most stable career in the most stable industry and selected the best program at the best school with the aim of achieving the best qualifications to do the most stable career.  He met with a reputable local school, took a personality test, and discussed options.  We palavered, we researched, and we planned.  It’s official: Wes is going back to school.

He’ll be in classes at least two nights every week for five months, but by the time he’s done he will be qualified and eminently hireable (as affirmed by the recruiters he talked to during his research).  We’re taking on more student loan debt (hooray!) but it’s worth it to know that Wes will be able to do a new career he loves and make the kind of income with the kind of stability that will give me the chance to (hopefully) be a stay-at-home mother.  Who blogs.  And writes novels.  And maybe compulsively takes on new projects because she gets bored easily.

With this decision made and behind us, we can cross one Big Life Issue off our list of issues to discuss.  There are times when even my bones feel weary from making so many big decisions all the time.  I want to surrender my Adult Club card and go eat cookies and play outside.  I feel dwarfed and exhausted, unsure and too sure simultaneously.

But.  No matter what decisions me make well or screw up, there’s one thing I can trust: My husband is a geek.  Even if all else falls apart I know that, which is why I feel so certain Wes will be an excellent software developer.  And stand-up philosophy comic.  But mostly I feel good about the software developing.

Big Deals Cooking

Sorry for the radio silence around here.  Wes and I have some big deals cooking and those projects required my attention during what is usually known as my blogging time around here.  Fret not, I expect to be back to my regular inanity sometime tomorrow.

For now, here are the things we know:

  1. Our wallets love Pedigree dog food (for the delightful cheapness) but Doc’s stomach certainly does not.  Our downstairs family room has become a bit of a biohazard zone as of late.  We’re considering making Doc’s colon an outdoor colon.
  2. Barring a global disaster of some kind, Wes will be going back to school on Monday.  I’ll get into the details of that decision later.
  3. Our home loan modification is almost done.  THANK GOODNESS.
  4. Eating two brownies in one evening always seems like a terrific idea until afterward when your stomach is indignant and you can’t move for fear of losing dessert and dinner.
  5. Seriously.  The dog.  Oh my goodness.

I hope you’re all having a lovely evening/morning/afternoon/day and I look forward to dishing the details on most of that stuff tomorrow.

TTDNST: A Total Mind Trip

Sorry for disappearing on you yesterday, I started working on my novel and before I knew it my husband was home and wanted me to make him dinner or something.  The nerve.  It’s a funny thing, I never had any interest in editing my first novel.  I think it’s because it needs so much help that in order to make it better I just need to rewrite the whole dang thing.  I’m not often in the mood to rewrite entire novels so I never touch it.  From what I’ve heard first novels are supposed to stay locked away in drawers untouched by the light of day anyway so I’m not too worried.

This novel, though, is the apple of my hyper-critical, demanding, and ambitious eye.  I had to laugh at myself last night because I was talking about how easy it would be to turn this story into a movie.  Not only have I gotten published in my mind, I’m making movies too!

Lucky for me (and my gigantically inflated dreamer’s head) today is Thursday.  Thursdays mean the focus is off me and on whatever wonder I’ve found to enthrall you for the week.  Specifically, Thursdays are reserved for Things That Do Not Suck.  If you’ll recall, I started Things That Do Not Suck Thursdays as a kind of counterweight against all the bad news that’s all around nowadays.  A neat side effect is that I’m constantly on the lookout for neat things to share.

I was tempted to take a picture of some random middle-aged dude I saw riding his motorcycle without a shirt so that I could share it, but I decided that a shirtless middle-aged man on a hog doesn’t really qualify.  Not only would that make one heck of a mess if he crashed, he had moobs (man boobs) and the last thing I need to see when I’m zooming down the road are some dude’s moobs swaying gently in the breeze.

What I did find is pretty special, though, so I’m not disappointed that the half-naked motorcyclist didn’t work out.  These photos come courtesy of an email from my step-father, who thought I’d enjoy them.  I did.

image021

Seriously, this is the coolest thing ever.

I guess there’s this British artist named Julian Beever who does chalk drawings throughout Europe and Australia and he’s simply incredible.

Wouldn't it be cool to see that in person?

Wouldn't it be fun to see that in person?

People with talent like this blow me away.  What he can do with a stretch of pavement and some chalk quite simple makes me sit at the computer catching flies in my open-in-awe mouth.

Really messes with your mind, doesn't it?

Really messes with your mind, doesn't it?

Makes me feel embarrassed by my stunted little drawings that barely even qualify as stick figures.  I have to admire this guy’s work because at no point, even if I went to art school for 100 years, could I ever hope to do something this cool with concrete and chalk.  When your four year old niece looks at a picture you drew of a horse, pats your head, and tells you how proud of you she is because you tried to draw a horse, you know drawing’s not your gig.

If you want a real mind trip, look at those pictures and remind yourself that these are flat surfaces.  Especially with the Batman and Robin one, look at that one and tell yourself that both his feet are flat on the ground and even with the rest of the picture.  This has been making me crazy all week!