Thursday, October 19, 2006

Opportunity and Regret

I received another invitation last weekend. This one was from some Laureate Scholars program, and was an invitation to go to China, Australia, or Central and Eastern Europe (including Hungary and Venice!) Of course I knew immediately that there was no way I was going to be able to go, even if it was a legitimate offer (which I haven’t checked, since I can’t go anyway). But the very idea that I could go to another country – and I’ve always wanted to go to both Australia and Europe, especially Venice, and Chris still has family in Hungary – makes me regret that I didn’t stay in school back when I was young and free and didn’t have responsibilities so that when I got these kinds of offers I could actually go.

And then I realized that even if I had stayed in school way back when, I probably wouldn’t have done nearly as well as I am now, and that I am getting a lot more out of my education now than I ever would have before.

All this has had me thinking about opportunities and regrets. Mostly regrets. You know the old saying, it’s what you don’t do that you regret. I’ve decided, at least for me, that this is pretty much true. To this day, I still regret that I agreed not to go to that Pink Floyd concert in 1987. It was in Joplin or Kansas City, I can’t remember, and it was the last tour before they had that last disagreement and split up forever. We had the tickets and the acid, and everything was set. I hadn’t asked if I could go, since I knew there was no way in hell Mom was going to let me go to a concert in another state. Hell, I wasn’t allowed to drive to the next city! But she found out and we agreed to a trade, she’d do something I’d wanted and I wouldn’t go. That didn’t quite work out as planned, and I’ve always regretted it.

So if I regret what I didn’t do, how about the things I did do. The thing that immediately popped into my head was, of course, my drug use, and the relationship that I was involved in back in 1998, and all of the drama that went along with it. And I realized that, No, I don’t regret that, not even shooting up meth. If I hadn’t been in the situation that I was, I would never have accepted Sandie’s life-saving invitation to move here and start over. (Have I ever really thanked you for that? If not, I need to, very badly, because I really do believe that you saved my life.) If I hadn’t moved here when I did, I wouldn’t have gotten the job that I did. If I hadn’t gotten the job that I did, I wouldn’t have met Chris. And I never would have met my perfect match. (Oh, isn’t that just so sappy?)

So even though it was a terrible time in my life, and I did things that I swore I would never do, and at the time I felt like I was running away from everything rather than running TO something else, if it hadn’t all happened, I wouldn’t be where I am today, and I just cannot regret that.

But I am going to regret, just a little, that I’m not young and single and able to drop everything to go to Australia or Europe.


I've been a fan of the X-Men for many years now. The first I ever saw of them was on Saturday morning cartoons (and yes, I watched Saturday cartoons up until just a few years ago) and boy, was I hooked! I even started getting the comic books. I knew all the different story lines, including the alternate universe ones.

As you can imagine, when the first movie came out I was ecstatic! And they did a great job with the first one, followed the comic books pretty well, and what they didn't follow didn't detract from the movie.

When the second one came out, I was a little leery - you know how sequels work. But again I was pleasantly surprised.

Then there was a third one coming out, and I told Chris that we might actually have to go to the theater to see it - and I haven't been in a movie theater since I was a teenager! Then we didn't hear anymore about it, so I thought it had gotten held up for some reason. The next thing I knew it came out on video. Okay, I don't know how I missed that, but we ordered it from Netflix, and we got it yesterday.

We watched it last night, and I was SO disappointed. Most of the effects are great, and there's a decent fight scene or two, but all of the characters were flat. I didn't see the same character personalities from the first two, and there was no real development of the new characters. It was almost like they did it just for the effects and fight scenes.

It wasn't so bad I wanted to turn it off or anything, but it wasn't what I was hoping for, not by a long shot.

Shoot me now, please

I was just singing along with the radio, and when the song was over, they said it was Nick what's his name - you know, Nick & Jessica. And I was actually enjoying the song!

Please, just shoot me!

Friday, October 13, 2006


The biggest issue Chris had at his last 2 jobs was that he wasn't working as quickly as they thought he should. The other day, he told his helper to go home because "I'm not going to pay him to stand around smoking cigarettes and throw the ball for the dog."

Of course, Chris' bosses on those last 2 jobs wanted him to go to a house, throw some freon in, and leave without spending any more time there, and Chris would stay long enough to actually fix whatever the problem was, whereas his helper was just standing around smoking. I still thought it was pretty funny - though I didn't tell Chris that!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Arkansas Part 2 (finally)

After safely escaping from Pine Bluff, we stopped for dinner at Western Sizzlin’ in Hot Springs. It cost us almost $25.00 for the two of us for the buffet meal? I asked about it, and it turns out that in Hot Springs, the sales tax at a restaurant is 11%! 11%. Did you see that? 11% WTF???? We won’t be eating in Hot Springs ever again!!!

I wanted to do some crystal digging, and had done my research online and found a place that let you dig by the hour instead of having to pay for the whole day. So I called to find out how late they were open and all that, and she told us of a couple campgrounds within a few miles of where she’s located. One had a shower but was much busier, and the other had some nice restrooms but no shower and fewer people. We chose the fewer people. This is the view from the tent:
We got there right before sunset, and so were frantically trying to get our monster tent up (for the very first time) before it got dark. We didn’t make it. Chris can get very imaginative when it comes to cursing! Here’s the picture I took of the monster tent the next morning:
We did however get the privy set up and I got to use it for the first time! Totally awesome, and I don’t know how I ever camped without one before. I certainly will never do so again!
Sunday morning we got a slow start, and finally headed over to Crystal Seen just about noon. Julie was very helpful and friendly, and gave us way too much information to take in all at once. There was a big pile of dirt, and we had some gardening tools and we dug to our heart’s content. Chris found all of the good stuff – most of what I found were broken pieces and little flakes, although I did find some small points. Here’s the biggest piece Chris found:
That picture is just about real size!

After we finished digging crystals, we headed for Talihina Drive – which was absolutely beautiful. I want to go back at the end of the month when more of the trees have changed color. Here’s a couple pictures:
Then we headed to get our puppy, whom I’ve already introduced you to, so here’s a picture, just cuz I can!
And finally, on our way home from picking up Rascal, we stopped to see some friends who live outside Shawnee – in BFE. On the way back out, we saw this:
This is a copperhead, and Chris took the picture from about a foot away. I of course was have a little freak out back in the truck, but he did get an awesome picture, and the snake never did try to bite him, so it was all good.

And then we were home!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Nothing makes me feel quite as bad

As Dad calling me and saying that he wasn't sure if he could call me since I got mad at him yesterday and hung up on him. And never called him back. And didn't go and see him like I promised I would.

I forget sometimes that he's like a little kid that way. You don't make promises you're not going to keep, and you don't punish by ignoring. Which isn't what I was trying to do, but it's what I did.

He's so difficult to deal with sometimes, and yet I feel so sorry for him and worry so much about him, and love him so very much....

If I didn't have a test tonight (that I'm not prepared for anyway), I'd cut class and go spend some time with him. Maybe tomorrow I'll take Rascal up there to see him, spend a couple hours before going home.

Our newest family member

I was going to post Arkansas part 2 first, but I have to show off our new daughter, who I believe is going to be named Rascal.

We've taken several pictures of her, but she won't sit still long enough to get a good one. She moved her head on the one above just as I snapped the picture.


This is the only other decent one I've been able to get of her. She is totally fearless and has had no problem moving to a new home. She knows who her Mom and Dad are, and already has Daddy wrapped around that little paw.

Don't worry, you'll be hearing and seeing a lot more of her, but I've got to get back to work now!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Having a bad life

I never really wanted that much out of life. I didn’t dream of being a rock star or a movie star. I never wanted to be rich and famous. Well, rich, but not famous. I just wanted to grow up and do my own thing.

I don’t like the person I am right now. I don’t like constantly fighting with both of my parents about money. Every conversation is a struggle and I just can’t do it anymore.

I’m going to talk to Chris tonight, but I’m thinking about turning everything back over to Mom and telling both of them that’s it. If they want to spend every dime they have on junk, then that’s fine. But when the money’s gone, I’m not going to be buying them cigarettes, or paying for trips to the casino, or anything like that.

I’m just so tired of being the responsible one. The ONLY responsible one. They don’t seem to understand that this isn’t 20 years ago. They aren’t rich. In fact, they spend several thousand dollars more a month than they have coming in. And yet they want to know where it goes and why they can’t do all those things they used to do.

I want to go to work in the morning and go home every evening to my husband. I want to have weekly phone calls with my parents and occasional visits, and that’s all. I don’t want to have to deal with the drama anymore. I’m not sure I can even if I wanted to.

I want to be able to focus on my life instead of theirs. Is that really so much to ask?

Arkansas Part 1

We made it back from Arkansas in one piece. It was looking a little scary there for a while, but we made it safe and sound.

We left Friday morning (late of course!), and made it to Pinebluff before 6:00. We drove past a city lake less than a mile from the hotel, so Chris was pretty excited that there would be nearby fishing. About 2 blocks from the hotel we watched a crack deal going down (great), and when we checked into the hotel it looked pretty good, they were obviously doing some remodeling but there was no obviously damaged areas until you got upstairs to the rooms, which were nice and big and had balconies and a fridge and coffee pot in the room. They also had water damage and peeling wallpaper, but you know, when you pay $70.00 for a room what do you expect? (That was the PTK discounted rate, regular rate was $85.00.) Of course, I expect at least the quality that I would get for $40.00 at say a Motel 6 or wherever, but that’s just me.

I had a meeting Friday night, so Chris went up to the room and took a nap (that he wouldn’t wake up from) and then I went to the room and tried to sleep over the DJ and karaoke that was playing 5 floors below me. They sounded like they were right on my balcony. I gave up trying to sleep and decided to watch tv, but had to turn it up so loud to hear the dialogue that I was really surprised I didn’t wake Chris up. Then I decided that since I wasn’t going to sleep, I might as well make a pot of coffee, because surely there was going to be some at breakfast in the morning, so I wouldn’t need to have coffee in the room. Right? Except the coffee pot and both of the cups they provided were dirty – as in they might have been rinsed out after the last people used them, but they sure as hell hadn’t been washed. I think there was still some left-over creamer in the bottom of one of the mugs!

Saturday morning we get up and head downstairs to get our complimentary breakfast. You’d think by this point that I wouldn’t have high expectations, but I’m an eternal optimist and was looking forward to some eggs or bagels or something. How about a nice bowl of cold cereal along with a shriveled up apple? No coffee. There was orange juice, and what I hope was apple juice, but I wasn’t getting anywhere near it to find out for sure. Chris and I headed for McDonalds, where we ordered our usuals and where, as usual, they messed up the order. We finally got that straightened out and were enjoying breakfast until I bit into my hashbrown and some brown shell thing that I didn’t look too closely at. Sometimes I just really don’t want to know!

We made it back in time for my meetings to start, they were about what you would expect. The conference was a mini-institute over PTK’s honor study topic for 2006-2008, which is Gold, Gods, and Glory – The Global Dynamics of Power, a relevant topic for the times. We had 3 general sessions for everyone, one on Gold, one on Gods, and one on Glory. Then there was a “breakout” session where you got to pick one of 5 speakers you wanted to go listen to. 3 of them were related to the 3 G’s, one was on this case study deal, and one was on the PTK alumni organization. I chose to go to the Gods breakout session, and the speaker had me from the very beginning. The first words he said were “There is only one God. Whether you are Muslim (he was), Christian, whatever, they are all the same God.” Which is pretty much what I’ve always believed. So we had an interesting discussion about the 1st Crusade, and how it was just as much about Gold and Glory as it was about God. Very interesting.

Then we went back for the Gods general session where we got to listen to a minister (who convinced me he was a fanatic) try to give us logical reasons why Creationism should be taught in school right alongside Evolutionism. And then there was a lively debate afterwards that looked like it could have gone on for hours. And it was lunch time and I was hungry (scared to eat, but hungry), so luckily the question and answer segment of this session was cut short.

On the subject, my main question about teaching Creationism in school is “Which version of the creation story are you going to teach? The Christian one? The Muslim one? How about the many Native American ones? Or the Buddist, or whatever other ones are out there?” Isn’t that part of what you learn at church – whichever church you go to? And what about the atheists? Are you going to force them to learn your religion regardless of their beliefs?

Then we went and had a really awesome catered lunch, after which I called Chris to see if he wanted to come and visit before the next session started. So he did, and informs me that he had gone to the lake to see how the fishing looked, and ran into a local who told him that that was the best fishing lake in the area, but that he didn’t want to go there. Chris asked “Alligators?” cuz apparently there are alligators in the area, so you don’t want to do any swimming there, and the guy says “No, you’ll just get mugged and shot.” Oh, well, if that’s all! Apparently, we were not in a particularly safe part of town.

That was the last exciting thing that happened in Pinebluff. As soon as the last session was over, we hoped in the car and got the hell out of there! We headed toward Mt. Ida to camp since I wanted to do some digging for crystals the next morning. More about that later since this is already a long post.

To be continued……

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