Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Photos from the Swamp

I was working in Southern Louisiana, supervising the clearing of these 55-yr old drilling mud pits. It was really, really boring. Mainly because the work consisted of watching some dude on a trackhoe move muck around. But I managed to get some pretty cool pictures...

First off... here's an example of where I was working. Isn't it lovely?

Sunrise and fog over rice fields on the way to work one morning:

Big ass banana spider:

Red Fern

Maple leaves (never mind the fact that we kinda ran this tree over and it will be dead in a week or so...)

Swamp plants (moss, trees, and palmettos)

And my favorite - sunrise on Black Bayou

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

After Dinner Conversation

I'm in southern Louisiana for work this week - staying in a bed and breakfast b/c most hotels in the area are booked with hurricane relief people. Tonight, the host family and their friends are sitting by the fire outside on the back patio, drinking beers, and talking. Somehow, the conversation turned to my generation, particularly people like me who are educated and not procreating. You know, because that's our function in life, and its a sin not to have 10 babies, and blah blah blah. Host's friend starts spouting a conversation that went mostly like this:

My daughter only has 2 kids and doesn't want any more. I keep telling her that *those* people (you know, the poor uneducated people) are having 5 kids, and the sum of the parents and kids will OUT VOTE you and your family.

First of all - how is voting a good argument to convice your daughter to have MORE kids? Granted, the logic kinda makes sense, but the argument is flawed. Then she spurts out this gem:
And what about the 3.5 million [give or take] BABIES they've killed? (We're wondering, what babies?) You know, all those babies that have been MURDERED by abortion.

Her point was that most white, educated people with money get abortions, whereas poorer non-white people do not get abortions, and therefore in 30 years she will be in the minority. Granted, she's southern and 65, but damn.

And this is about the point where I decide its best to head inside the house and drink my beer by myself.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Jello Flavors revisited

I have this handy dandy thing on my blog called sitemeter. It tracks who visits my blog, where they're from, how long they stay, and the referring website from whence they came.

In the past two days, I have had three (3!!) different visitors (Idaho, New Zealand, Arizona) who located me b/c my blog came up on a search for Jello. Who are you and WHY are you doing an internet search on jello flavors? Is this a research project? You want to find out the latest and greatest in jello taste trends? Want to locate a hard-to-find flavor for your next jello shot party? (btw, if any of you people can find me some Barbie flavored jello - don't ask - let me know ASAP b/c I need it for an upcoming jello shot party).

This little search trend has just made me chuckle today - and for that I thank you. Keep the jello searches alive!

Monday, October 17, 2005

Anniversary Camping Trip

Will and I have kinda turned our anniversary into an excuse to go camping. Not exactly the most romantic thing to do, but we like to camp and generally have fun doing so. Nothing exciting to report from this trip. Neighboring campers were actually good (and quiet), campsite was nice, and the racoon managed to break into our cooler (which was latched) the last night and stole what was left of our anniversary cake. And for that, I hope he got really, horribly sick. We also went on a really nice hike Sunday and managed to get enveloped in literally a cloud of monarch butterflies. Which was the coolest feeling. Until I heard buzzing right next to me (and within the cloud) and realized I was standing right next to a bees nest. So, I then admired the monarchs from a distance and snapped a bunch of photos.

Here's Will thinking he's clever and smoking a cigar. He's doing this b/c he knows he can get away with it here.
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Our campsite (and me drinking a beer)
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Sunset Saturday Night
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View from the top of Twin Peak (yeah, its really a hill, but I guess for Texas its a "peak")
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Classic Texas shot. Rusty barbed wire fence and greenery.
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Pretty plants where we stopped for lunch
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Harvest moon over our tent
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Wednesday, October 12, 2005


I don't know who is responsible for this at my old college, but I think they're frigging awesome! This was a postcard that the Admissions people gave us to hand out at high school recruting fairs. Nerds! In 1978 playing basketball! I *love* it!

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Why can't he just go away?

My dad and I do not get along. Well, in his head, he thinks that he is a great father and I'm the messed up one for not wanting a relationship with him. In reality, he was very emotionally abusive to me - to the point where I became physically ill. I on more than one occasion tried to explain to him what he was doing to me - and he just turned what I said around on me and said it was examples of how selfish and horrible I was. I don't know. Being on pain killers when you're 15 b/c you're so stressed out over what your dad does to you that you can't move your neck or back really isn't what I would call healthy. Long story short, he is a horrible, evil example of a human being, took custody of my younger brother and has completely screwed him up, and I basically booted him out of my life shortly after my 16th birthday. Because if I didn't do that, I really don't think I'd be alive or sane at this point.

Despite the fact that he's evil, karma has yet to recoginze this. Which sucks in ways well beyond what words can express. It can really only be expressed in horrible, exhausting sobs and tears that are specially reserved for him and the way he torments me.

Normally, I go on about my life never even thinking of him. Which is great, all things considered. But he has this nasty habit of doing something every 1.5 years (give or take a few months) that makes him pop up again on my radar, which results in a minimum of 2 days to about a week of depression and tears.

In the past, his re-appearance in my life has been by him sending me letters that he's been writing over time and then he'll mail them to me in hopes he'll guilt me into caring, hiring a P.I. to get my personal information and then him calling me "to see how I am" (that was a short conversation), to him sending me a letter about how great his life is and attaching a short story he'd written about a camping trip we took when I was 8 (which was so full of lies that it made me question my childhood and memories). Then this past Friday, my mom mailed me a news article about him The man formerly known as my father has donated the largest contribution ever to his alma matter - so much in fact that they've now named a branch of the university after him.

I've known about him having money for a while (he made a smaller contribution about 5 years ago). I know he "discovered" some large natural gas supply and is now worth way more money than someone that evil should ever see. I know that he keeps my brother at arms length and on the payroll (with the agreement that he won't appear on his doorstep - b/c what would his rich neighbors think?). And I know that what pisses him off more than anything is that his responsible and upstanding daughter - who would be great for press releases such as for this University donation - will have nothing to do with him. Its his desire to "look good" to his following and public that drives him to reappear in my life.

So, I read through this newspaper clipping. And like and idiot I had to go online and read the release from the University. There's video interviews, photos, all sorts of crap. And just seeing pictures of him sent me into sobbing hysterics in about 5 minutes. When this happens, I always start out saying to myself "no problem, this is routine, you can handle it." But then I settle into this haze of memories of my past, think about how horrible he was, and how much different my life could be now if only I made one simple phone call. If I called him, I'd never have a financial worry again. Ever. However, the strings that would be attached to that money would strangle and kill me. But I can't help thinking of the "what ifs". Especially when I'm so sick of my job - so tired of working. But I must be strong and not give in to what's "easy".

I just think over how when I was younger, he'd drive us home from our court-ordered every-other-weekend visit, and he'd sit and write out his child support check ($500/month for 2 kids - when he owned his own oil exploration company). The whole time he'd be writing this check, he'd bitch about how much he resented having to make out this check every month and how horrible my mom was. Then he'd hand ME the check and then it was my job to hand it to my mother. And there was the time when I had my wisdom teeth removed and he refused to pay for his share of the surgery. But instead he went to Hawaii on vacation and was kind enough to send me a postcard with a stick figure drawn on it - the stick figure was meant to be me and it was his way of expressing how he wish I could be on vacation with him instead of RECOVERING FROM SURGERY. And how after he got custody of my brother, he went on an african safari, and instead of taking my brother with, or paying someone to care for him, he put him in basically a juvanile detenion hall. There's tons of examples where he had money and for whatever sick reason, he wouldn't provide for his kids.

But now, he is more than willing to help out who knows how many people, as long as he gets the publicity and his name on the door.

I guess all I can hope for is that someday karma will kick in. I'm hoping that this happens sooner than later, because it seems that every time he reappears on my radar, it gets harder and harder for me to stand my ground. I get tired of the waves of grief and my husband's inability to even remotely have a clue of what to say to make me feel better. I get tired of the battle of ethics going on in my head. I get tired of feeling like I have to do the right thing all the time while others involved get all the benefits. And I get tired of the fact that this cycle will continue every 1.5 years until he finally decides to go away for good.

All in all, I'm just tired.

itunes tag

Thanks KT for the tag! I don't subscribe to itunes (I instead LOVE XM radio), but I can play along.....

THE RULES: List five songs that you are currently loving. It doesn't matter what genre they are from, whether they have words, or even if they're any good, but they must be songs you're really enjoying right now. Post these instructions, the artists, and the songs in your blog, then 'tag' six other bloggers/friends to see what they're listening to.

1. Franz Ferdinand - Do you want to
2. The Killers - Things that I have done
3. The Killers - Mr. Brightside
4. Garbage - Metal Heart
5. Green Day - Jesus of Suburbia

I tag (and its not going to be six bloggers, b/c well, I don't know all that many bloggers that haven't already been tagged by this):

Just Ask Jess

Sunday, October 02, 2005

I give up

On a lot of things, really.

1) Having my own cool custom logo for this blog. It didn't work. I have no idea how to make it work. I've reverted back to a blogger format..... but at least it works.

2)Work has been really, really, really crappy. At the risk of blogging about work here, I'm just really unhappy. I've been there just over a year - and have never really fit in or felt comfortable/needed/respected. I came in as a mid-manager and they didn't have any substantial projects to give me. The majority of what I've ended up with are projects where former co-workers did a crap job, blew the budget, and the project still needs to get finished. And its never been - "Hey, do what you need to do (even if you go further over) and get this done." Its been more like "Why is this even more over budget and what are you doing to minimizing charges?" When you have complete idiots who screwed the projects up - its really hard to be able to predict the level of effort that needs to be done to complete it. In several cases, I've had to start over from scratch. Anyways, I'm not working on that many projects that are billable, I just got my 2nd negative review (out of 3 in the past year). And my boss refused to provide specific examples of why I deserved a negative review. And I really don't understand the negative points, as I thought I've been doing a good job. Whatever. Anyways, this just means that its time to give up and move on. Hopefully.