Blog meme.

Jenn posted this meme the other day and I sat down and wrote out half of it and got sidetracked and didn’t finish till today.

1. Do you try to look hot when you go to the grocery store just in case someone recognizes you from your blog?
Hell no. I try to look as ridiculous as necessary so the majority of the people don’t want to bother me. Sometimes I just write “CRAZY!!” on my forehead to get the point across better. The two exclamation points are necessary for that. I think that anybody who’s read my blog would understand my secret code and understand that they are exempt from the “bothering”. πŸ˜‰

2. Are the photos you post Photoshopped or otherwise altered?
Most of them. I add a black and white border to pretty much every picture I take. Also, on a lot of them I duplicate layers and change the top layer property to make the colors pop. I also take all my shots in RAW form now so if I really want to manipulate something I start out by playing with hue/saturation before it even gets touched as a JPEG.

3. Do you like it when creeps or dorks email you?
I enjoy email of all kind. Especially from creeps because then I forward them to my friends and we have a good laugh.

4. Do you lie in your blog?
Please reread #1. I prefer to use “embellish a LOT” to “lie”. πŸ˜‰

5. Are you passive-aggressive in your blog?
Wow, #1 really answers a lot of these questions for me!

6. Do you ever threaten to quit writing so people will tell you not to stop?
Seriously? I have people telling me all the time to WRITE MORE ALREADY so not a problem. But I wouldn’t anyway.

7. Are you in therapy? If not, should you be? If so, is it helping?
Not anymore. But I have been and yes, it helped. Imagine #1 if I hadn’t!

8. Do you delete mean comments? Do you fake nice ones?
In over 4 years I’ve deleted ONE comment but for the most part, I don’t like to censor people. And no, I don’t fake comments. I’d have a lot more comments if I did!

9. Have you ever rubbed one out while reading a blog? How about after?
Who in the hell writes these things?!

10. If your readers knew you in person, would they like you more or like you less?
I’d like to think more but The Blond might prove otherwise.

11. Do you have a job?
Fo’ sho’, yo.

12. If someone offered you a decent salary to blog full-time without restrictions, would you do it?
I really don’t know. I’d love to be paid for writing because I actually enjoy writing much more than I ever talk about it here but I don’t think there is anybody out there that would actually PAY to read the insanity.

13. Which blogger do you want to meet in real life?
All of them! Seriously, I’m fascinated by people and how different upbringings, locations, opinions, etc all vary.

14. Which bloggers have you made out with?

15. Do you usually act like you have more money or less money than you really have?
I don’t think I go either way. We live comfortably but everybody has their money issues and we are certainly not immune to that.

16. Does your family read your blog?
Yes. My dad reads and comments. My mom reads although I’m not sure how much because she pretty much refuses to acknowledge its existence and curls up into a fetal position and shakes whenever I mention it. Cousins read and comment. I know that more people have the address but have never let on that they are reading and if they ARE the should COMMENT. :mrgreen:

17. How old is your blog?
The blog dates back to, gosh, you expect me to actually remember that… I’ll just go with a long time. I’ve had personal domains since 2003 and anything before that is certainly forgettable so I’ll just stick to that.

18. Do you get more than 1000 page views per day? Do you care?
Let me go check!

So according to AwStats my page views jump to over 1000 on the days that I actually post, but the rest of the time it hovers around 750-1000. I really think that page views are a silly way to judge a blogs relevance though unless you are using them for paid blogging. Quality over quantity and all that jazz..

19. Do you have another secret blog in which you write about being , slutty, or a liar?
If you consider this another secret blog then, yes! Yes I do!

20. Have you ever given another blogger money for his/her writing?

21. Do you report the money you earn from your blog on your taxes?
On my other blogs that are specifically to make money, yes.

22. Is blogging narcissistic?
I think it’s probably one of the highest forms of narcissism second only to taking a lot of pictures of yourself. But I think unless you let your ego get the better of you, there’s really nothing wrong with being a bit narcissistic.

23. Do you feel guilty when you donÒ€ℒt post for a long time?
I do actually. But not because I think the readers want it. I feel guilty because that means I haven’t taken the time to sit down and hammer things out.

24. Do you like John Mayer?
As long as he leaves me alone in the grocery store, we’re cool.

25. Do you have enemies?
Enemies? I don’t think so. ‘Enemy’ is a strong word. I certainly have people I’d like to backhand sometimes but the one thing I’ve learned well from Ben is not to hold on to those feelings. Life is too short to walk around hating people.

26. Are you lonely?
No. I have a lot of people to love. πŸ™‚

27. Why bother?
Because never trying seems like a silly alternative.

Five things I’ve learned since my last blog post. Bulleted.

  • When you get to the grocery store and there is not a single cart outside, run. As fast as you can. Away from the store. That is a sign that every cart is in use IN the store and venturing in will lead to cussing and general feelings of discontent.
  • Never assume that handing in a paper is the end of an assignment. In 4th grade, it only means that you’ve STARTED and two weeks from that point there will be a “project” to turn in that your nine year old will suddenly remember to tell you about 48 hours before it’s due.
  • When you go to hack illegally upgrade your iPhone, it’s not best to start that 74,526 step process at 11:30PM. Because to get from 1.0.2 to a jailbroken 1.1.2 you have to upgrade to 1.1.2, then downgrade to 1.1.1 then jailbreak, then hack, then upgrade to 1.1.2 again, then jailbreak… again. And at 11:30PM you have the patience and clarity of thinking of a gnat.
  • Don’t ever trust that America’s Tire has a mother fucking clue about anything related to tires. Or to understand how studs work. Or that they should probably check to see if wheels are STAGGERED before they put them back on your car. Because they won’t. And they’ll screw up your studs, put the front wheels on the back and the back wheels on the front somehow try and blame YOU because you have boobies instead of balls and “you’ll be out of her in 35 minutes” will turn into the most frustrating 4 hours OF YOUR LIFE.
  • Cats will, without fail, wait till you have mopped all 2000 square feet of house before going outside, ingesting large amounts of grass and then throwing it up in various spots around said house. Cute little green packages of warm love… for me to step in.

Thanksgiving is tomorrow! We have company coming and I’m cooking enough food to feed 70 people. So if you are in the Bay Area and have nowhere to go, come on by, pull up a chair, enjoy the gluttony, and be thankful for stuff! If not, have a great Thanksgiving wherever you may be headed. πŸ™‚

The only reason people get lost in thought is because it’s unfamiliar territory.

I’m a website Nazi. I like eye candy. Web 2.0 graphics and simple design that allows content to shine while not feeling like you are being slapped in the face by a decaying trout. I like different without being tacky. I’ll close a blog simply because it’s header image is a blend of Avril Lavigne from 12 different angles in the same outfit. Even if it’s the most profound, well thought out, earth moving piece of literature, it’s just too painful to have to scroll past that image. The same image I’ve been looking at since 1995 only then it was a still innocent and cocaine free Britney.

And I feel like a hypocritical asswad for writing that given the state that aflux is in right now. There are times I come to the site and am actually a little embarrassed. It’s not that the design isn’t nice because it is. It’s a beautifully coded theme but it’s not MINE. There is nothing original about it at all. You can google the name and come up with thousands of pages of people using it. Yet I’ll sit here and judge YOU for doing the exact same thing.

I guess this is all leading up to the fact that I’ve realized this now and am ready to do something about it. I’m ready to comit more time to making it into something that you, the reader, will enjoy. Before now I’ve always been about me. I blog for me and that won’t change but in the times that I’ve let the site sit idle for weeks between posts and watched the site stats fizzle and comments come to a halt… I really miss you guys! I’m not about having the most comments, or visitors, or how little the number of my technorati score becomes… I miss YOU GUYS. I miss interacting with the people that for whatever reason, seem to want to hear what I have to say. I miss writing. I don’t expect to become the next dooce, or have the following that RSM has and honeslty, I don’t think I’d want that. I’ve only been hatemailed a handful of times and I’d like to keep it that way. I’ve seen the kind of spazzed out cocksuckers that even my tiny little corner of the web can attract and I never want to deal with ALL THAT.

I have a design started. It’s a much bigger undertaking than anything I’ve attempted before and I can’t believe how much things have changed in the world of web deign. It’s been a good two years since I’ve designed and coded something and it actually feels really good to “get my feet wet” again.

This is also me saying publicly that I’m going to try and stop the asswadishness. I’m not going to judge a site based on it’s color scheme or how painful the sting is as the trout whips across my face over and over and over again. I’m going to be better about returning comments. Because if you have taken the time to actually read and respond to me, the very least I can do is take the time to get to know you better and let you know that I care.

PS – Hopefully I’ve kissed ass enough that you don’t hate me for the new text links. I’ll be writing more about them very soon. Please don’t hate me?

I’m not offended by all the dumb-blonde jokes because I know that I’m not dumb. I also know I’m not blonde.

036/365 - Dear Self,

This morning I woke up with the imprint of the remont control on my stomach. Hot, right? I can’t help it. It just comes to me naturally.

So I’m in kind of a rut. After being sick for almost two months straight and living in jeans and tshirts (which is actually what I wear when I’m NOT sick but whatever) and I haven’t done anything with my hair except put in into ponytails and my entire MAC obsession sat there in the bathroom untouched and unloved and I am SO UNWORTHY!!!!

Anyway, I’m ready for a change. I’ve put on makeup EVERY DAY THIS WEEK. I even did a fantastic smokey eye for work today that had FIVE shades of eyeshadow and EYELINER! Do you hear that? That’s the devil trying to melt the ice forming in Hell. Somebody get that man some salt!

Bored Anticipation

So here is where I ask the internet for help. 99.9999% of the time my hair looks like that first picture. I spend stupid amounts of money on shampoos and conditioners and serums and balms to make it healthy and shiny and it is that stuff… but that’s all it is. I need change.

I conned the manger at Walgreens to sell me a really nice set of curlers for half of what they are supposed to cost and have played them for the last two nights. The second picture is one of the outcomes. It looks great, right? The problem is that about 30 minutes later it looked like picture #1 again. It frustrates the hell out of me.

So girls, I need your help. Tips, tricks, magical potions, whatever! What are you hair secrets? How in the hell do you get those curls to hang around past the appetizers?

Three equals one.

I’ve been trying to write this post for three days now but it’s just not happening the way I want it to. I can’t get the words to formulate correctly into sentences that properly convey what I’m trying to say and it feels like if I don’t say it correctly or enough or with the proper amount of conviction that its a failed attempt.

I’m going to try again and see how it goes.

Last Friday a parent at Cassidy’s school very RUDELY questioned Ben’s parental authority… in front of Cassidy. That’s really the nicest way I can say it. I tend to fill the sentences with F and C words when I tell it in person. Man, backspace keys rule.

In reality she basically said to Ben: “You’re not her father so you don’t make that decision.”

Seriously, five days later the emotion those words stir up are… violent. Caustic acidic emotions that I want to spit directly into her face. Instead when I saw her that afternoon when she tried to speak to me I kept it very short and sweet:

“Do not EVER presume to think you can tell my fiance or daughter who IS and IS NOT her parent. Ben has raised Cassidy for over HALF HER LIFE. He IS HER DAD.”

What is a dad? Is a dad somebody that makes sure her teeth are brushed every morning? Who takes the time to explain long devision over and over and over with he patience of a SAINT? Who makes her laugh so hard she turns red and cries? Who helps gang up on mom and frustrate her to the point of actual brain combustion? Who makes sure she gets to school on time? Who provides food, clothes, toys and health insurance?

I think so. And Ben is all those things and so much more. He does all those thing, not out of a sense of duty, but because he loves Cassidy. Blood or not, she is his daughter.

This is not to say that Troy is NOT her dad. He is. And Mary is her step-mom and Amber is still her grandma and Big Troy is still her grandpa.

Ben and I have both taken the time to explain “step” people to Cassidy before. She knows that Nana is my “step-mom” and that I have “step-sisters”. But she also knows that Papa loves my step-sisters as much as he loves me. Equal. Not less or more. And she understands that while one Nana is my “mom” and one Nana is my “step-mom”, we love both grandmas equally. And they both love us just as much back. To us, “steps” just equal more love! Why have ONE Nana when you can have TWO!?

To Ben:

You are an excellent father. I know that. You know that. Cassidy knows that. Anybody that truly knows you, knows that. When she does something she is so proud of she wants to burst, you are the first person she runs to tell. When she wants somebody to explain something thats really important to her, it’s you she turns to. When I have a question or a concern, you are the first person I turn to. When I start to second guess my parenting or a decision I’ve made, you are the first person I turn to.

You are not only her father, you are my equal partner in raising OUR child. She will be the product of our upbringing. I can’t tell you how thankful that I am that she has you in her life, that WE have you in our lives. I can’t keep every moron out there from saying idiotic things to you, but I can remind you that the three of us are one family and that I love you and I look forward to raising Cassidy together with you. Until the day she turns 18 and we kick her out of the house.

There is no relief like the sight of her face.

I’ll start this post by saying that I am having the worst period OF MY LIFE. The only explanation to the amount of blood I’ve lost in the last two days is that I AM DYING.

I woke up Saturday, and about passed out. I normally am not bothered by the site of blood but I guess when it’s your own and THAT much it fucks with your head a little bit. I threw on the nearest clothes I could find and ran downstairs…

Ben: So I figured out how to..
Me: I have to go to Walgreens.
*grab keys, head for door*
Ben: Oookay.

Walgreens is only about two blocks away and I was there and back in about 2.75 minutes.


1 – Box Super Absorbent Tampons
1 – Box Regular Absorbent Tampons
1 – Package Super Absorbent Pads
1 – Box Midol
1 – Massive bar of Hershey’s Chocolate

The cashier was too scared to make eye contact. As she handed me my bag she said “Have a nice weekend?” In question form. Like, “Is it okay for me to say that or should I just shut up?”

The latter. But thanks!

The rest of the day was spent on the couch in labor. That’s the only way I can really explain the cramping. I did manage to catch up on all my DVR’s shows. Small victories.

This morning after breakfast with my mom is when the worst hour of my life took place. Cassidy was finishing up a chore (emptying the dishwasher) when Lydia, a neighbor girl, knocked on the door and asked if she could play so I told Cassidy as soon as she was done she could go.

Now, before I start keep in mind a few things. We live directly next to a cul-de-sac with houses on only one side. There are a TON of kids down there and it’s the only place Cassidy is allowed to go play. Up until today she has always been very good about staying in that cul-de-sac and ASKING BEFORE SHE GOES INTO A HOUSE. Just Friday she asked to go in Lydia’s house to watch a movie after they had already been playing for an hour or so.


Cassidy finishes her dishes and asks to go out. I say GO! BURN ENERGY! GOODBYE!

10 minutes later: Lydia knocks on the door asking for her. I tell her she must have gotten sidetracked at Nathans. Check there.

2 minutes later: Lydia is back. She’s not there. Okay, I’ll go out and look she’s probably wandering and they are missing each other somehow.

5 minutes later: I’m back at the house. I can’t find her. Get Ben, help me look.

5 minutes later: Checked at all the houses I can think of EXCEPT Grace’s because Lydia said she had asked to play there and they were leaving so she’s not home.

2 minutes later: On phone with police giving them Cassidy’s description, address, cops on the way.

2 minutes later: Neighborhood parents and Ben have all headed out in different cars to search.

1 minute later: First two cops show up. Seriously, it was fast. Asking questions, searching neighborhood.

5 minutes later: Worst moment of my life “We are going to need about four recent pictures to identify her.” I almost vomit. I actually have to swallow back breakfast to hold it in. I’m about to lose it.

2 minutes later: Must stop pictures in head. Can’t think about that. Must stop them. Can’t concentrate. There is a picture of her on my desk but it’s over a year old and he said recent. Still can’t think because of the images.

1 minute later: Remember pictures I took this morning. Try to print. Printer won’t work. That’s it, I give up. I can’t do this. I just can’t do this. Brain starts to shut down. Sit in chair, put head between legs, going to vomit, can’t breathe.

Police officer outside: “We found her!!”
Me: “What?! Where?! Where is she?!”

Ben pulls back up at house.

Police officer: “She was in a house down the street.”

The one house I hadn’t checked. Grace’s fucking house. Grace who I thought wasn’t home because I wasn’t thinking with my HEAD and listened to an 8 year old.

The rest is a blur except I remember the officer telling me not to be too hard on her, the good news is we found her and she’s safe. I have a feeling he’s done this a few times.

Grab her, don’t want to let go. Feel like my heart is pumping for the first time in an hour. Still can’t breathe but food is going the correct direction in my esophagus. Ears start to ring. Blood rushing into my head. Adrenaline pumping. Can’t let go of her…

There really are no words to adequately describe the feeling. Those of you who are parents understand. Those who aren’t yet don’t and the words I could type would never be descriptive enough to tell what was going on when I sat in that computer chair. There just aren’t words.

She’s grounded. I’d like to say FOR THE REST OF HER LIFE but I’m trying to be realistic. She knows the rule about asking before going into houses and until today, she had always been very good about doing that. I’m also considering making her carry her cell phone with her from now on so there are no more days like this. I have pretty much every parent’s phone number EXCEPT Grace’s because they haven’t been living there that long.

And now I’m going to go help her build a fort in her room to sleep in tonight. And hug her. A lot. A week of being stuck in the house with me hugging her every 15 minutes so I can smell the top of her head and feel the warmth of her body ought to be enough to teach her a lesson since she turned 9 last month and suddenly hugging is SO NOT COOL.

You could be my flamingo.

It’s on it’s way. And it’s PINK! Flamingo pink actually. Shut up.

I hit refresh on the refurbished Dell website about 562,226,529,526 times today and there was ONE laptop that met all the requirements. As soon as it popped up I called Ben and tried to act like my brain was not in the process of exploding RIGHT THEN AND THERE because OH MY GOD I WANT THIS LAPTOP and he ordered it for me right away. *swoon*

Inspiron 1520 Notebook: Intel Core 2 Duo T7300 (2.0GHz/800Mhz FSB/4MB cache)
160 GB SATA Hard Drive (5400RPM)
15.4 inch WSXGA+ Notebook Screen with TrueLife (1680 x 1050)
8X DVD +/- RW w/dbl layer write capability
9 Cell Primary Battery
Genuine Windows Vista Home Premium
256MB NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT
2 GB DDR2 SDRAM 677MHz (2 DIMMs)
Intel 4965 802.11a/g/n Dual-Band Mini Card

I do have to say though, what was with all the pink laptops that had still had stock integrated graphics but upgrades for integrated webcams?! Girls, seriously. What the hell is up with that? I’m kind of ashamed.

P.S. – This is an official reminder to myself to post something soon about Ben’s War of the Ants. It’s getting pretty out of hand. He passed the Raid hurdle and I think I saw him searching google for Do it Yourself Napalm earlier. It’s about to get serious up in here.