In:

Being mauled by a rabid cat

While I was getting ready for work today (and by that I mean that I was rooting through my clean laundry hamper trying desperately to find clean clothes that matched) I was thinking to myself, gee, self, you should really think of something to write about. Fortunately, my sweet, loving, adorable little kitty decided to help out.


"You need something to write about?" her wicked little eyes seemed to say. "Here, I'll give you something to write about!" She launched herself at my defenseless hand and gashed my forefinger and thumb with her vicious claws, then ran off, chuckling to herself.

I was struck speechless as I watched the wounds instantly start gushing blood, mostly because I couldn't figure out which profanity to utter in my cat's general direction.

This was what it felt like attacked me:



But this is what actually attacked me:




I'm beginning to see a striking similarity.

In other news, I was tagged by Heather Rose over at Mad Madam Mim's Mimsy (absolutely LOVE that blog title) to list seven quirky things about me. And even though I'm having trouble thinking about anything other than the fact that my finger and thumb look like they got trapped in a running garbage disposal, I'm going to give it a shot!

1. In my computer room, I have a big piece of black posterboard tacked above my desk. On it are a slew of band stickers from a bunch of concerts I attended several years ago, because at one point I thought it would be neat to have a collage of band stickers. On black posterboard. >_<>

2. Speaking of Into Eternity, I was at one point determined to have a one night stand with bassist Troy Bleich.* And actually may still be determined to have a one night stand with Troy Bleich.

3. There was a time when I absolutely hated olives. Any kind of olives. But I just thought they were so neat that I desperately wanted to like them. So every time they were available I would force myself to have one or two, and now actually enjoy limited amounts of black olives on pizza and sub sandwiches, and almond stuffed green olives. Behold my awesome willpower!

4. I have never had a cavity. (knock on wood!)

5. I hate wasting soda, but I can rarely drink a whole can. So, to remedy this problem, I'll put the partially finished soda in my fridge with the full intention of finishing it later. Of course I never do, so if you ever open my fridge you're likely to find at least two or three forgotten half empty soda cans forlornly awaiting being emptied and tossed in the recycling.

6. I don't mind cleaning my bathroom, but hate cleaning my kitchen. I usually have a clean sink and toilet, and a counterful of dirty dishes.

7. My cat is psychotic and bent on destroying my hands, but I love her to death anyway. ^_^

The rules were to tag seven people, but I'm tagging anyone who wants to share their quirkiness with the internet! But since I don't completely disregard authority, here are the original rules:

  • Link to your original tagger(s).

  • Share seven facts about yourself in the post-some random, some weird.

  • Tag seven people at the end of your post by leaving their names and the links to their blogs.

  • Let them know they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs/twitter.

  • List these rules.


*I got closer to achieving this goal than I would ever have thought possible, by which I mean I actually hung out and had a beer with Troy after a few of his shows, and he remembered who I was. Then I stopped going to concerts because I was broke. Pretty sure he wouldn't remember me now. *sigh*

In:

Snow makes me CRANKY

I know I've been absent, right after I promised I would get back to posting. But here in my little corner of western Washington we were smacked hard with about nine or twelve or a thousand inches of snow. This might not sound like a lot, but it's rare for us to get more than an inch or two maybe once or twice a year. And when I say rare I mean that the last time it snowed this hard was probably about twelve years ago.

Unfortunately this means that the entire town grinds to a screeching halt. Roads don't get plowed or sanded until you're ready to start screaming in frustration, and even then it's only the main roads that are cleared, and none of the little side roads that people actually live on. My neighbor's friend actually had to haul my car up three side streets to the main drag with his giant truck so I could get to my parent's house yesterday.

And by the way, Neighbor's-Friend-Whose-Name-I-Didn't-Catch, I love you forever and am leaving everything I own to you in my will.

I was stuck and unable to get anywhere under my own power for a week. That's enough to make you sort of hostile. Cranky. Somewhat homicidal, even. I still can't park in my driveway, so every time I have to go somewhere I have to tromp through eight billion miles of snow, ice, and slush to get to my car. Which means I'm wearing jeans and work boots to work today, but hey, I'm AT WORK so if anyone complains I'm going to kick them in the shins. And these work boots? Steel toed.

Whew. Sorry. Still sort of cranky. Anyway, all that is why I haven't really felt like posting.

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas. I certainly did. You know, after my father and grandfather had to come out and push my car down their unplowed side road after I got stuck halfway down.

In:

Five things

So I know I said there would be a real post coming soon. I have two posts written and saved, but the accompanying photos are still living in my camera because I haven't had time to transfer them to my computer*. After expending all my creative energy writing two whole posts I was completely tapped.

Fortunately the 20Something Blogger December carnival topic came to my rescue.


Sight



That's right. Jensen Ackles. Even though Supernatural is on hiatus until next month, The Most Beautiful Man Alive still finds his way onto my blog. If someone could give him a call and tell him he needs to come live with me, that would be great. Thanks!


Smell


Most incense can instantly put me in a good mood. It's relaxing and smells wonderful. On the rare occasions that I am actually motivated to clean the bio hazard zone (a.k.a. my home) I love burning some incense right after I finish cleaning.

Touch


Yesterday I visited a local yarn store and spent nearly my entire lunch hour just touching and marveling over all the different textures. I love yarn.

Hearing


Dropkick Murphys. One of my all time favorite bands to see live. I've seen them three or four times now, and I've never walked away saying, "well, that could have been better." They always put on a fantastic show. They're playing again in Seattle on the 23rd of February. If you need me, I'll be in the pit.


Taste


*SWOON*



*In other words, I am exceptionally lazy.

In:

Bits and Pieces: December Edition

After a bit of a hiatus which may or may not have been caused by a sudden obsession with 'Bones', I'm back! And because I'm sure you're wondering what I've been up to for the past couple of weeks....



  • I... uh.... watched a lot of 'Bones'. Two whole seasons to be exact.

  • I got my Christmas tree! I visited a tree farm with the full intention of finding the ugliest tree I could in the reject pile (a.k.a. the clearance area) and despite my best efforts, actually ended up with a really nice looking tree!

  • I got my eyes examined to the tune of $257. Because everyone loves an extra $257 bill to pay, especially in December. It's not like we have anything else that we need to spent that money on, like gifts. Oh, wait....

  • I learned how to knit! Which has been a lot more fun than I expected it to be! I am rocking those knitted dishcloths. Although I have yet to figure out what one is actually supposed to do with a dishcloth...

  • I've had a conniption fit two weeks in a row when I rushed over to Pat's house to watch Supernatural only to discover the episode to be a rerun. I knew they were breaking over the holidays, but I was thinking they were back by now. Last night after enduring my shrieks of rage at the television (the only expression I could find for my now extremely severe Supernatural Withdrawal) Pat looked the show up on the internet and pointed out that the next new episode wouldn't be aired until January 15th. ERRRRGH.

  • I realized that it's been so long since I got new Netflix that my little Netflix widget shows that there has been no recent activity on my account. And by 'recent' I'm pretty sure they mean there hasn't been any activity for, oh, six months? Time to put the movies in the mail...


I also caught up on all my favorite blogs, and while doing so, realized that Sleepyjane has presented me with the Superior Scribbler award (which she probably would not have done if she'd known I was going to go AWOL just to sit in front of a TV and watch 'Bones'). Go visit Sleepyjane's blog, she's wonderful!




I would like to pass the Superior Scribbler award on to some wonderful writers that I've recently discovered. Each of these bloggers are most definitely Superior Scribblers.



Arjewtino

Miss Musing

Wild ARS Chase

Misunderstood Milly

Music Musings (okay so this one isn't new, but he's finally posting again! Yay Andrew!)



I'll be back with a real post later, promise. ^_^

In:

I had a dream the other night...

I was a crazy bad ass special agent who had the power to turn back time by several minutes at will. I had an important mission to save the Dalai Lama from something dire, but I needed the help of an old friend of mine, a female mercenary.

I found her house looking fairly ominous. Before I could walk up to the door and knock, the mercenary and a second woman came leaping out of second floor windows, landing to my right and left, while a man appeared in the front doorway. They all started shooting me. I pulled my guns and started to shoot back, then stopped. Faintly irritated, I thought 'well THIS isn't going to work' and turned back time.

I finally got the mercenary to join me, and we went to visit a Haitian soothsayer who could see the future. We reached her house and walked in without knocking. She had hundreds of tiny snakes held in jars of embalming fluid all over the house. I immediately got the creeps and told the mercenary that we had to leave. She told me not to be stupid, and we wandered around until we found the Haitian. As soon as she saw me, she threw a handful of tiny venomous snakes into my face, and I turned back time.

We decided to forget about the Haitian.

I finally reached were I was supposed to be and found that I had to impersonate the Dalai Lama. This sort of seemed somewhat blasphemous, but I was doing it to save his life. I disguised myself by putting on some robes.... and that was it. Prepared and clearly looking exactly like the Dalai Lama, I went out to sit cross legged on the roof of a car for some kind of procession. I was openly armed with two swords, two guns in shoulder holsters, and a Rambo knife. Everyone was fooled by my ingenious disguise. At the end of the procession, the bad guys finally saw through my charade, and I was forced to engage in an epic action movie battle that would have made an action hero you could name proud.


It was awesome.

In:

Things to be thankful for

My Thanksgiving was wonderful. I spent a good five hours or so with my parents, grandparents, sisters, and one sister's boyfriend. There were traditional dishes like turkey, gravy, stuffing, crumb coated potatoes, and green bean casserole, along with the slightly different brussel sprout thing* and pumpkin rolls. I ate myself into a coma - almost literally. Directly after dinner I staggered to the sofa where I promptly fell asleep for an hour, despite repeated attempts to keep me awake by my little sister. I even missed the call for dessert. Falling asleep was no mean feat, especially since when we're all together, my family is very loud.

My favorite part of the evening was when I sat with my two younger sisters reminiscing about the past and sharing our fond memories of each other.

Caroline, 19, chuckled at a sudden thought. "Hey, remember that time years ago that you dragged me up the stairs by my hair to do your chores?"

I laughed. "Oooh yeah, I remember that! Matt was over!"

"Yeah, and he thought it was hilarious!" Caroline looked down at her arms. "Your nails were all long, and you scratched me up."

"Now that part was an accident."

"Oh, I know!" Caroline grinned. "But the pulling me up the stairs by my hair part wasn't."

"What about that time you threw a glass of water on me when I was in bed asleep, and I chased you up the stairs, punched you a few times, then repeatedly slammed your head into the wall with the door!" I shook my head, remembering the event. "I was in a rage!"

Caroline burst out laughing. "OF COURSE! I was terrified! If I'd only run just a little bit faster I would have made it to Mom's room, locked the door, and gone out the window!"

"Teach you to throw water on me," I said with a laugh.

Susannah, 11, smiled smugly. "I was an angel."

I gave her a look. "Oh please. You were an unholy terror. You were biting way past when you should not have been biting any more. I was hauling you to your room for time out once, and you bit me so hard you drew blood through my sweatshirt."

"I remember the biting," Caroline groaned.

At this point my dad, who had been watching us, laughing intermittently but mostly just staring, broke in. "Do you guys have any good memories of each other?" he asked.

Silence.

Caroline sobered, lost in thought, then visibly brightened as she turned to me. "You read the Shannara books out loud to me! That was great!"

"That was great," I agreed.

Silence.

"Umm.... that's about it," I said to my dad.

We all laughed.

We were joking around, of course. We've had a lot of really great times together that didn't involve violence. I realize that the conversation related above makes us sound like homicidal maniacs (me, especially), but I promise we're not. We were rambunctious kids always testing the limits with each other, and these things that seem to horrific when hearing about them for the first time have really turned into a huge source of amusement for my sisters and I. "Hey, remember that time when you kicked me in the face and broke my glasses"** is always great for a laugh, however strange that may sound.

It sounds cheesy, this last holiday being Thanksgiving an all, but it's times like that, when we're all together and having a good time, that reminds me to be thankful for my family. Thankful that we're all together and relatively healthy and sane. We may fight bitterly at times, we may go through as many awful patches as good ones, but there really is no replacement for family.

Now if only the aunt, uncles, and cousins would move here from the east coast, we'd be set!

How was your Thanksgiving?


*The brussel sprout thing and I have a love/hate relationship. I hate looking at it, but then I eat it and I love it but hate it at the same time because even though it tastes really good I can't stand the texture. Then I look at it and think, "I don't want any more" but I remember how good it tasted so I try it one more time and love it but hate it too....

**That was Caroline kicking me in the face. Just for clarification.

In:

When you lose your keys...

This morning I really did not want to get up. And when I say I really didn't want to get up, I mean that I repeatedly pushed the snooze button for the alarms on both my clock and my phone until the alarm on my phone stopped displaying a snooze option.

I rolled out of bed, blinked blearily, and started looking for clothes. My cat was curled up asleep on my bed so I poked at her. "If I have to wake up, you have to wake up," I snapped waspishly. It was childish and mean, but Stella just blinked her big eyes at me, stretched luxuriously, then curled up into a furry ball and went back to sleep.

I went through the rest of my morning ritual in a daze, mostly thinking about the fact that I have a four day weekend coming up and I would be able to sleep in for all four of those days. Aside from the yearning for my bed, the morning was going fairly smoothly until I was ready to walk out the door and couldn't find my keys.

I don't lose my keys. I just don't. There are three places I put them when I walk in the door; my dining room table, a basket on top of my tower speaker, or the front pocket in my battered old leather jacket. They were in none of these places. I checked the kitchen (actually clean for once), the mess on my dining room table, the living room, the computer room where I had spent most of the evening playing World of Warcraft, my bedroom, even the bathroom. They were nowhere. Mystification quickly turned into panic when I realized I was running late.

"Kitty, where are my KEYS?!" I shrieked.

Stella, of course, refused to get up and help me find them. Which in retrospect was probably in retaliation for my behavior towards her earlier.

I finally dug my spare car key out of a jar filled with pens, spare change, gum, inch long plastic ninjas, and an earring, tromped out to my car, scraped the ice off my windshield with a seldom used credit card, and went to work ten minutes late.

I found my keys three hours later in my purse.

It's just one of those days.

In:

Recovering

Well, after being sick Friday through Monday I finally feel almost human again. Awful headache and wracking cough aside, that is. Sitting around at home being too miserable to enjoy the three day weekend I ended up having left me lots of time to reflect on deep, philosophical truths.

Reflections on being sick:

It sucks.

Reflections on cold remedies:

If you put enough Jameson in your vanilla nut tea with honey, you will start to feel much better.

Reflections on sneezing 50,000 times:

Ouch.

Reflections on bad movies:

While Scott Speedman is very attractive, he is still a terrible actor. His presence does not make watching Underworld: Evolution acceptable. At all.

Reflections on World of Warcraft:

If you're sick and spend all day on the computer playing WoW, you will get an even worse headache. Also, there are too many Death Knights.

Reflections on Thanksgiving:

I'm actually going to have a four day weekend that I can enjoy!

Reflections on blogging:

Too sick. Leave me alone.

Reflections on working out and the gym:

Too sick. Leave me alone.

Reflections on CONTINUING to forgot to put the Netflix in the mail:

AAAARRRRRGGGGHHHHH!!!!

Reflections on my family:

They bring me cold medicine when I am sick and cranky and don't want to leave the house. Also, Mom is very sympathetic and lets me whine as much as I want. Which is a lot.

Reflections on my boyfriend:

Pat takes very good care of me. Unfortunately also facilitates spending too much time on WoW.

Reflections on being back at work:



Reflections on that photo:

Too sick. Leave me alone.

In:

Bits and Pieces vol. 2

I have an amazing story to tell that involves time travel and amateur haircuts, but I must wait until I get the photos off my phone before telling that story. It's just not as good without visuals. So until then, we have bullets!


  • I've felt like I've been getting a cold for the past two days, and I still can't tell if I'm really getting sick, or if it's just really bad allergies. Regardless, I'm cranky. My sinuses are so pressurized I feel like my face might explode, I have a headache, my nose won't stop running, and my throat is scratchy. SEE?! I AM JUSTIFIED IN MY CRANKINESS!


  • I got to play a little bit of Fallout 3 last night, and.... WOW. Just WOW. I need an X-box 360. Now would be nice.


  • Pat is helping me put my new DVD drive into my computer this evening before Supernatural so I can finally install Wrath of the Lich King! /cheer!


  • Speaking of Pat, I learned that when Pat assures me that he didn't ruin the ramen noodles, he actually did ruin the ramen noodles. Next time he is not allowed to "fix" the ramen. It's one of the few things I actually can prepare without having an anxiety attack. I will handle it.


  • The new gym I joined is amazing. Easily the cleanest, best smelling gym I've ever been in. Cardio machines all benefit from the several fans affixed to the ceiling (but not ceiling fans, real fans), there are rows of flat panel televisions on the walls, and sparkling new equipment. I still haven't gone as much as I should have, mainly because I haven't really felt all that great.


  • My phone is still amazing.


  • I just spellchecked this post before publishing it, and you would not believe the amount of typos I managed to make...

In:

Family geekery

My littlest sister is turning twelve this year (we're going to carefully ignore the fact that I was confused for most of the year and actually thought she was turning thirteen). It seems like it was just a few weeks ago that she was sinking her teeth into my arm as I carried her to her room and throwing the most incredible tantrums. Instead of biting and shrieking, she now plays Guitar Hero with me and asks me about comic books.

Susannah is twelve years younger than I am, and it's always been more of a challenge for me to connect with her on any level. Then I called my mom one day and Susannah picked up the phone. "GUESS WHAT," she exclaimed when she realized it was me.

"What?" I asked.

"My PS2 memory card wiped itself again! I didn't touch anything!"

"Damn!" I was honestly shocked, because as every gamer knows, there are very few things worse than having your whole freaking memory card wipe itself. "We really need to get you either a Sony brand memory card or that off brand that I use, can't remember the name. I've never had any problems with them. Damn that sucks!"

She sighed. "I'm not really worried about the Champions of Norrath files or most of the other stuff on there, but I lost my Kingdom Hearts file! There are some hard bosses in that game!"

And it was right about then that I realized my little sister is a gamer.

She also just watched the X-Men movies and is suddenly very interested in comic books. I wanted to laugh with delight when she starting asking me "so does this happen in the comic book series? What about that? How did that happen in the comics? Can I borrow some of your comic books?"

I was just about her age, maybe a year older, when I bought my first comic book, an Uncanny X-Men.

She's old enough now that I suddenly see things I can relate to. I'm excited to start introducing her to comics. First the big name companies, Marvel and DC, then I can start showing her the smaller independents. I can take her to the Seattle ComiCon. I can play video games with her.

Dealing with a twelve year age difference is hard, but I think we're going to have a blast.

In: ,

The new phone

I wasn't even sure what I was going to write about today, but I told myself STOP PLAYING WITH THE PHONE AND POST!


So naturally since I'm not allowing myself to play with it, I might as well post about it.

<------ this is my new phone.

It is amazing.

Now I loved my last phone. It's your basic Samsung slide phone with a great interface (and makes cheerful little noises when you push the buttons). It was hard to convince myself to give it up. But.... this phone... it's like alien technology. It still boggles my mind that in this day and age we can hold a slim piece of electronics, poke at it with a finger, and instantly have our email, instant messaging, a map, music, movie times, or our calendars miraculously appear before us.

Oh yeah. It can make calls, too.

I got this thing on Sunday and literally have yet to avoiding touching it for longer than five minutes. I'm pretty sure I was even reaching out to stroke it in my sleep.

What an amazing age we live in.

What I find even more amazing is that in just a few years the things I find so astonishing now will either be commonplace or obsolete, replaced by a new wave of technology that I can't even imagine.

I wish I could still be alive a hundred years from now, just to see what the future of technology actually brings us.

In:

Conversations: The car ride home

The Scene: Pat and I are on our way back to my place after watching Supernatural and eating amazing homemade meatball subs with his parents. Pat is driving. I'm throwing a fit about street signs.

Me: What the hell? WHO NAMES THESE STREETS?! No seriously, I want to know whose job it is to name streets! Who gets to decide that a street is called Widme?! Or Big Rock?! Or Noll?!

Pat: (is laughing, and trying to pretend he isn't) Becca, a lot of these streets are people's names.

Me: Hidden Springs? Are there hidden springs down that road? Can we go find them?

Pat: No.

Me: Why not?

Pat: Because then they wouldn't be hidden anymore, and they'd have to rename the street.

Me: So? Anyway, I still want to know who decides - WHAT?! Seriously, Bjermerland?!

Pat: That sounds like it should be a nordic fortress or something.

Me: Well, there is a fortress down there.

Pat: There is not.

Me: Have you been down there?

Pat: Yes! That's where the driving school is!

Me: The fortress is new. You probably haven't seen it yet.

Pat: (turns off the headlights as we approach another street sign)

Me: (screeching) What are you doing?!

Pat: (turns them back on) Nothing. Just keeping you from reading every street sign we see.

Me: Knock it off! You're going to get pulled over!

Pat acquiesces to my hysteria and leaves the headlights on. There is a brief moment of silence while we hear some radio talk show mention Hilary Clinton is going to be Secretary of State (no idea if that's true, just barely heard it in passing).

Me: I don't even know what the Secretary of State does. What does the Secretary of State even do?

Pat: Mmm....

Me: You have no idea.

Pat: (gives me a look) Of course I know. The Secretary of State names all the streets.

Me: (laughing) Oh yeah?

Pat: When the Secretary of State first walks in his or her office, they're handed a bunch of boxes. In the boxes are lists of streets that all need names. The Secretary of State tries to name as many they can as quickly as possible. Because then they get more points. And if they get enough points, they get to go into the Street Naming High Scores Hall of Fame.

Me: Wow. I had no idea.

Pat: (laughs) If I was in charge, the government would be awesome.

Another thirty seconds of silence as my mind races around to places that aren't useful or intelligent in the slightest.

Me: Hey, remember Kongs?

Pat: WHAT?

Me: Kongs!

Pat: Are you just making up words now?

Me: No! They're dog toys! Rubber dog toys that go like bloop bloop bloop (making hand motions to indicate a small top widening to a larger base). And they're open in the bottom, so you can put treats and stuff in there.

Pat: I think you're making this up.

Me: Am not! They're red and black and who named that street CALDART?

Pat: That's probably somebody's name!

Me: CALDART?

Pat: Yeah! Look, Jensen! That's somebody's name too!

Me: All streets are not named after people!

Pat: Yes they are. Look, 10th. That's totally somebody's name. (a few seconds later) Highway 305! I'm totally naming my first kid Highway 305.

Me: You shouldn't be allowed anywhere near the naming process for your children. Why are you so stuck on the idea of streets named after Transformers?

Pat: ........ WHAT?

Me: I mean... I mean people's names! I was just thinking about the Transformers and my words got mixed up!

Pat: (laughing helplessly)

Me: Look, Viking! Are you going to tell me that's named after a person?

Pat: No, that's named Viking because there used to be vikings who lived here.

Me: You have absolutely no clue what you're talking about.

Pat: Of course I do.

Me: Do not.

(we pull onto my street)

Pat: You'd better watch it or I'm going to have the Secretary of State rename your road Becca is a Stupid Dumbface Lane.

Me: That would be a pain to write on an envelope.

Pat: You're right. And all your neighbors would be mad at you.

Me: I don't think you would really do that.

(we pull into my driveway and Pat parks the car)

Pat: (laughs) No, I wouldn't. I love you.

Me: Love you too. Lets go play Guitar Hero!

In: , ,

World of Warcraft Geekery

When I finally made my way to the Gamestop register, I smiled nervously at the cheerful man behind the counter. I could tell he was just as excited about the product release as I was, and didn't mind being at work at midnight. Which of course made what I was about to do even more humiliating.

"I fail at life and didn't pre-order," I admitted, my face flushing in shame. I couldn't look the man across from me in the eye. "Any chance I can still get a copy?" The last was almost a mumble. I couldn't bring myself to raise my voice. Surely the rest of the line behind me would hear.

"That dumb chick," they would whisper to each other, snickering behind their hands. "She didn't pre-order and thinks she can still get a copy. HA! I pre-ordered my collector's edition, like, a year ago."

Instead of laughing in my face and sending me out the door wrapped in a shroud of embarrassment, the Gamestop employee graced me with a benevolent smile which transformed his face from that of an ordinary human to something radiant that clearly transcended the mortal plane. "I've still got a couple copies left," he told me. "I'll get one for you."

I nearly cried with relief. "Oh, thank you, thank you!" I gasped. It was all I could do to not fall to my knees in gratitude. I still had the presence of mind to realize that although he was obviously a divine being, he might not appear so to the rest of the line behind me.

He pressed the box into my hands. "Servers are going to be a mess tonight," he said gently as though bestowing a saintly prediction.


"Yeah, no kidding," I replied. I flashed him my best smile, thanked him again, and moved away from the register before the line behind me started foaming at the mouth and/or having seizures.

Yes, I am now the proud owner of a brand-spanking-new copy of Wrath of the Lich King. And yes, you bet your ass I tromped out of the house at midnight to stand in a huge line in front of my local Gamestop. Fortunately I wasn't alone in this geekery - Pat and our friend John were there too.

The time we spent waiting in the line was fun. We babbled happily about instances, Death Knights, inscription, siege machines, and all the grand new things that were coming with our purchase of WotLK. Periodically when discussing a raid, Pat would call out "looking for more heals! Need four more heals!" to which he received responses such as "what about DPS? I'm DPS!"

We also got to see a lone woman dressed in a guild tabbard and wearing a full length black cloak. Honestly, not a huge deal. I'm sure in the larger cities there was a lot more dressing up going on. Really the only reason I mention this woman is because she had to be in her fifties. I would generally expect teenagers or especially geeky twentysomethings to dress up - not women nearly old enough to be my grandmother! But you know what? I hope she had a blast, and if she wants to dress up, more power to her.

The wait was actually very short. The Gamestop had set things up very efficiently, and they powered through the line in what I'm sure was record time. It helped that most of the people there had pre paid for their copies, so all they had to do was waltz in and flash their receipt.

Ah.... good times.

Of course...

...I can't actually install WotLK yet because my freaking DVD drive is still broken.

/epic fail.

In:

For once, a productive day

Happily, yesterday was a holiday which meant no work for me. And while having a day off in the middle of the week completely throws off my internal calendar*, I'm really not going to complain too much about it.

For once, I actually had a productive day off.

Come on, now, no scoffing! I'm actually serious!

I woke up at about ten and dawdled in bed playing X-Men Legends 2 on my PSP until noonish when I suddenly realized HEY! I've got stuff to get done! I cast aside my Cleaning Inhibitor (which is what I'm calling all of my video game consoles at the moment), threw on some jeans, put Kansas in the record player, and cleaned the crap out of my dining room. I then proceeded to take all the recycling out, throw away all the pizza boxes in the kitchen, replace Kansas with Uriah Heep, put a load of laundry in, and wash windows. I then tromped outside, found my seldom used gardening gloves, and got rid of all the dead potted plants that were making my patio look like the courtyard for a Gothic Castle of Doom and Despair. Err... a Gothic Duplex of Doom and Despair, anyway.

I had some errands to run so I went to take a shower, only to realize that I had no hot water. This happens when you have an itty bitty hot water heater and a washing machine hooked up wrong so it always washes clothes in hot water, even when you tell it to use cold (which is totally Andrew's fault** ^_^ ). Refusing to be deterred from my unusual burst of productivity, I put my I-haven't-showered-yet-today hat on and took off to return library books (HA! No fines for me! THE DAY IS MINE, LIBRARY!), pick up contact lenses, buy kitty litter, light bulbs, and lipstick***, and drop by my mom's house where my ex happened to be hanging out to return some of his stuff.

With all these things accomplished I had barely enough time to get back home and take a shower before I met up with Pat and his friend Lucas to go see a movie. What movie did we go see? Well, of course the only terrible, low budget horror movie out right now; House. Surprisingly enough, I got a kick out of it. I'll write a review later.

On the agenda today: Clean the kitchen while listening to Boston and possibly Foreigner, clean out the refrigerator, clean out my car, and join the gym. Possibly try to start sorting out my back room?

I plan to get as much done as possible before my usual lethargy sets in. Wish me luck!

*Seriously, I actually went so far as to prepare the Monday morning staff meeting agenda before remembering that it was Wednesday.

**Although if he hooked it up wrong three and a half years ago and I never fixed it, does it really still count as his fault?

***Because clearly when making a trip to your local drugstore to buy kitty litter and light bulbs, you must also peruse the makeup. Or is that just me?

Wow, talk about footnote happy today! Good lord!

In: ,

Oh, how things change...

You know, I never used to get freaked out when I played survival horror video games. I stoically plowed my way through the Silent Hill series, cheerfully played the Fatal Frame games, and got cranky with the controls in the old Resident Evils. I was never jumpy. I never got creeped out. One of my favorite things to do was drag Nils over to my place and shriek with delight at how terrified he got when playing Silent Hill.


It was always a good day when I found out a new Silent Hill game had been released. I would call Nils, and our conversations would go something like this:

Me: HI!!!!!

Nils: Hey! What's up?

Me: GUESS WHAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nils: What?

Me: THERE'S A NEW SILENT HILL GAME! YOU HAVE TO COME OOOOOVERRRRRR!!!!!!!

Nils: Oh, dear lord...

Me: (maniacal laughing)

And yet, somehow the tables have turned.

Pat and I were playing Obscure last month. The two of us had just started the game, both of our characters had guns, and we were creeping through a basement. Suddenly a door exploded into a million pieces, revealing some kind of horrific monster. Pat immediately started mashing the "shoot" button, then stopped and gave me a look when he realized he wasn't accomplishing anything - he was looking at the pause screen. This happened because while his first instinct was to shoot the monster, apparently mine was to leap a mile into the air while jabbing my finger at the "pause" button.

The other night we were taking turns playing Resident Evil 4.

Pat: Stop running! Stop running! Turn around and shoot them! You have to stop running!!! (exasperated look as I press "pause") Becca, you can't just run away from everything!*

I still don't get creeped out. But my god am I jumpy! I'm not really sure how this happened, and I'm still not even remotely jumpy when I watch horror films, but for some reason these games startle the hell out of me now!

Clearly the only reasonable response to this unpleasant discovery about myself is to play as many survival horror games as I possibly can to retrieve my previous nerves of steel.


*My response to that being to give him my own exasperated look and snap, "It's just a game, Pat, quit being so cranky!" Because seriously, it's not the end of the world if I want to run away. And I was just trying to find a strategic position to shoot from, anyway....

In: ,

Early morning panic

I started writing this in August and never posted it - mainly because I was too lazy to get the photo I needed out of my camera. But here it is!

I woke up this morning with a start. Disconcerted and groggy, I flipped my clock over*. 6AM? I don't think so. But as I rolled over in a huff, prepared to go back to sleep with a vengeance, I froze.

The walls of my bedroom were bathed in an otherwordly reddish light. Gasping, I tried to think of what could be happening. Zombies? Nuclear explosions? Gathering my courage I whirled around to look out of my bedroom window, prepared for the worst, mentally calculating how long it would take to find pants, scoop up Stella, and flee from the path of whatever impending catastrophe happened to be barrelling towards me.

It turned out to be unnecessary.









Wow.

I got up, went outside to my front porch, and sat on the railing while I watched the sun come up.


*My alarm clock lives upside down on my nightstand because of its horrendously bright blue display that lights up my bedroom better than the 60 watt bulb in my lamp.

In: ,

Preview my application to marry into Canada?

One of my favorite bloggers, the generous, selfless, Canadian Ben over at No Ordinary Rollercoaster is offering his hand in marriage to some lucky individual desperate to escape America in the event that Senator McCain wins the election. I've decided to prepare an application just in case it becomes necessary. I would love for you all to review it and give me suggestions to help ensure that I appear an extremely desirable marriage prospect.



Okay, here it goes!


RE: Need to marry into Canada?


Dear Ben,


Let me first say that I thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving us the chance to escape a country that would flounder and suffer under the despotic rule of another republican. You are most certainly a gentleman, willing to sacrifice for the good of another. And you're hilarious. And beautiful. And amazing.

(Do you think I went overboard with the flattery?)


I would first like to address the requirements you laid out to prove that I did indeed read them, and I know what I'm applying for. I will not address every single requirement; I believe this will unnecessarily lengthen my application, and I understand that you are a busy man with many of these to sort through. If you would like clarification on a particular point, please feel free to contact me; I am at your beck and call.


1.) A man of your impeccable taste of course deserves to have his spouse cover all of his travel, living, and marriage expenses. Even if you had not specifically indicated that this was a requirement, I would have simply assumed that this would be the way things would work.


(You don't think he'll guess that I'm totally broke most of the time, do you?)


8.) I feel that I have a very good grasp of what will constitute your problems and my problems. Your examples were very helpful. I would be very good at solving "someone is dying in the living room" and "dog poop everywhere" problems. I am also frequently at a loss when I am desperate to give someone a massage and when I have free concert tickets. I believe we will compliment each other very well.


9.) Oh, Ben. You listed "ninja" as a trade that would be useful to you. Don't forget that not only am I a Winja, I am a superhero. Just think of the possibilities.


12.) I despise sci-fi shows, and am more than willing to sync dirty looks. If you choose to accept my application, we will be Dirty Look Masters. People far and wide will fear our Dual Dirty Look Combo.


(No one should mention to Ben that I love sci-fi shows. I mean, MY GOD, the new Battlestar Galactica? WOW! And Firefly was totally one of the best shows ever. So SHHHHH!)


15.) I am a Winja and a superhero. I am not concerned.


I would now like to discuss some of the reasons I think I would be a wise choice. One of the most important, at least in my opinion, is that if we were ever faced with a zombie outbreak or placed in a teen slasher flick, you, the newf, Calvin, Theo, and myself would all escape alive - I am inundated with horror scenario knowledge. I will bring a diverse collection of DVDs, music, books, and video games with me, which, according to requirement # 5, will all become yours. And last but not least, I am sweet, funny, encouraging, am very good at giving advice, and will always give you my honest opinion when you ask for it.




Now, if we are to enter into this marriage arrangement, I have two requirements. This may seem a bit presumptuous, but although I would very much like to escape this country, I am not a doormat.


1.) I require someone to watch Supernatural with me. You will definitely not find this onerous, I promise. I mean, Jensen Ackles. 'Nuff said. "Watching Supernatural" entails curling up together and squealing at the bounty of stunning men provided by the show.


2.) I'm bringing Stella, my cat, with me. She's loving, adorable, and so sweet you won't believe it.




(Okay, I'm definitely lying about that one. He didn't watch that video I posted where she wouldn't stop attacking me, did he?)




I look forward to hearing from you and participating in your reality TV show.




Love,



Becca


P.S.





Just think. We could be a part of your family for four to eight years!

So, what do you think? Hopefully it won't be necessary to send it in, but you never know. I like to be prepared. ^_^

In:

Post Halloween Sugar Comas

I've been running around like a chicken with my head cut off all damn day, and I am taking a break.

And to preface the rest of this: Yes, I voted. I now have full right to complain bitterly and at great length if the election doesn't go the way I want it to.

I'm sort of drifting in and out of a sugar induced coma. On Halloween, I sat in the grocery store parking lot and debated about whether or not to buy candy. There are a few small children in my neighborhood, and while I was skeptical that I would be visited since my porch light has burned out (and apparently I can't be bothered to replace the bulb), I had this sick feeling that even the pitch blackness surrounding my front door wouldn't keep them away. I could envision two scenarios;

Scenario 1: Small, excited children trying to be adorable/scary while scoring as much candy as humanly possible ring the doorbell. I huddle in my dark house watching Dawn of the Dead and pretend I didn't hear. Feel guilty for the rest of the night.

Scenario 2: Small, excited children trying to be adorable/scary while scoring as much candy as humanly possible ring the doorbell. I answer the door and explain that I don't have any candy because I was miserably unprepared for the holiday this year. Feel guilty for the rest of the night.

Since I was already having enough trouble with Halloween this year without battling guilt, I marched into the store (skipping the alcohol aisle, be proud of me) and found the candy. I stood looking at the giant bags and thought to myself, sure, I really only need one just in case kids to drop by, but... they are two for $4. So I bought a bag of Almond Joys and Butterfingers. My two favorite candy bars. I also happened to find THE FUZZY GREEN CUPCAKE MONSTER OF DOOM*.

Naturally no children knocked on my door or rang my doorbell. And what do you do with two giant bags of mini candy bars that were two for $4? Well, you eat them, of course. Which is also what you do with a Fuzzy Green Cupcake Monster of Doom.

You eat them all weekend. And all Monday.

Hence, the sugar coma.

Blargh.....

*I'll post a picture later. You will understand.

In:

Bits and Pieces

  • I am currently having a love affair with Vinyl. Yes, Vinyl with a capital 'V'. I'll be doing a full post about this sooner or later, but I want to have photos of my turntable and albums first. (Plus I don't really know what I'm going to say, other than "EEEEEEE VINYL ROXXX!!!!!")


  • My parents were tossing around the idea of getting a puppy, and now they're leaning towards 'no'. I mean, why would they be so selfish as do deny me the pleasure of their puppy? My plan was to go over and play with the puppy, then go home and let them deal with the potty training, chewed furniture, barking, etc. I thought it was perfect. Apparently they didn't agree. *sigh*


  • I'm kind of bummed about not doing anything for Halloween. I didn't carve pumpkins, I didn't decorate, and I have no reason to dress up. Therefore I intend to sit at my dining room table feeling sorry for myself while working my way through a bottle of Three Olives vodka and listening to Jackson Browne. Because there is no better way to be depressed than to drink heavily while listening to old albums. It'll be a blast. Want to come over?


  • I've been put in charge of the re-design of one of my company's websites. I'm kind of excited about it!


  • I finally paid off my $40 fine at the library. Yes, this fine consisted solely of overdue fees. A lot of overdue fees. Naturally after I had paid, I walked out of the library with about ten to fifteen books. I think my friends are taking bets on how long I can avoid new fines.


  • I have two weeks before Wrath of the Lich King comes out. Which means I have two weeks to get a new DVD drive for my computer. O_O

In:

Crooked Little Vein

I just finished reading a fascinating little book.


I say "little" because although "Crooked Little Vein" by Warren Ellis has almost 300 pages (which doesn't exactly classify it as "little") it is an amazingly fast read. I do read quickly, but even so I blasted through the book in just a couple of hours.

"Crooked Little Vein" is Ellis's first novel - he has spent most of his career writing comic books for Marvel, Wildstorm, and DC, and you can definitely tell. The book is fast paced, rich in dialog but thin in detail, and honestly kind of reads like a graphic novel without any graphics. In most books I would say this is a detriment, but Ellis pulls it off perfectly.

The premise is completely unrealistic but fun, featuring a private detective main character (whom you can't help but feel an odd mixture of affection, distaste, and sympathy for) and a host of strange supporting characters traversing bizarre, gag-reflex triggering, often shocking situations in their hunt for a magical book misplaced by the White House. Novels looking to get in your face by throwing shocking situations at you are a dime a dozen these days, but what makes Ellis's debut really interesting is how surprisingly deep it is.

My favorite scene saw Mike, the main character, having a conversation with a serial killer on a plane. He ends up telling the serial killer about crawling through America's underground, to which the serial killer asks him to share his experiences. Mike does, all he gets for a response is, "I've seen most of that on the internet." The serial killer goes on to discuss what can now constitute "mainstream" and "underground" in this day and age. Really an interesting chapter.

All in all, it was surprisingly thought provoking, but certainly nothing that will give you an epiphany and change your outlook on life. The perverted scenarios are a little off-putting, but I think they actually really enhance the message Ellis was trying to convey instead of just being there to shock you.

Let's hear it for finally paying off library overdue fines!

In:

Satisfaction

Work has been crazy since Friday. My boss and office manager were out of town until this morning, which means that aside from the sporadic and brief appearances of a few of the buyer agents and office assistant, I've been manning the office solo.

And why is it that whenever you're left alone in charge of your entire professional world that everything just goes to shit?

If I were to vent about everything that happened from Friday through Monday this post would be the length of a novel. A novel like The Stand, not a short story. Let me put it this way; I woke up at about eight in the morning on Sunday with my jaw so tight and painful that I couldn't open my mouth. It felt like someone had taken a hammer to it. Know what causes that? Grinding your teeth in your sleep.

But somehow it all becomes worth it when you're cleaning your kitchen while listening to Billy Idol's Rebel Yell on vinyl, and you realize...

I had the skill, the finesse, and the knowledge to handle every crisis that came up.

And then you smile as the realization that you're awesome slowly sinks in, you finish loading the dishwasher, and you almost don't even mind going to work the next day.

Almost.

In:

Okay, one more Jensen Ackles post

Okay, I PROMISE this is the last Supernatural related post for a while.

But I had to post this video of Jensen Ackles goofing off during the credits of the last episode. Mostly for my mom, since she neglected to watch the credits...

I'll post something more substantial soon, I promise. ^_^


In:

Conversations: Gmail Chat with Mom

Caught my mom online this afternoon. Naturally we started talking about Supernatural, Jensen Ackles, and Jared Padalecki.

marmay5: god, those boys are seriously adorable. Why don't you go and get one?
We could use them around the holidays and such.

me: LOL

marmay5: I bet they play a mean game of Zombies

me: sure, I'll get right on that....
OMG I bet they would!
can I have both of them, maybe?
menage a trois?

marmay5: Sure.

me: I'd totally be down for that

marmay5: Looks like they're familiar with each other anyway.
Adding you wouldn't be much of a burden.

me: hehehehe down ALL THE TIME lol

marmay5: sigh You're nasty. Seriously.

me: you'd never see me again
I'd be too busy having sex

marmay5: No, you'd have to come up for air to at least have a holiday meal and play Zombies. or World of Warcraft

Ahhh.....

Good, intelligent, wholesome conversation....

In: ,

Jensen Ackles and... Bai Ling?

Well, the next all new Supernatural episode airs tonight, which means it must ALSO be post-stunning-picture-of-Most-Beautiful-Man-Alive-day.

I really love Supernatural day!

The rest of this post has absolutely nothing to do with Supernatural, but I can't say I'm going to be really upset about staring at Dean while I write.










Oh....

Yeah, I'm supposed to write.




I am currently fascinated by Bai Ling. I know, kind of random, but it's true. I haven't seen her in many films, but after seeing her in those... umm.... outfits.... on Go Fug Yourself (a website my mother made me aware of - it's hilarious) I was strangely, intensely curious about her.

Then I discovered she has a blog!


Called simply "Hello", it looks like the blog has been around since 2007 and is filled with odd posts that are strange, bizarre, and yet somehow infinitely endearing. Between the massive quanitities of photos and videos of herself, Bai Ling writes cryptic sentences such as:

"Not to use your mind but your feelings......like those crazy people do, in between......

I found myself sometimes like twins, body and heart? Or heart and body? Never cross the red line.......

Tiredness is the time of confusing, just like how I feel right now, but something, someone is still keep me awake and wondering and going insane..... "




So if you get a second, pay a visit to Bai Ling at Hello. It's a trip.

In:

And here it is



20SB Vlog from Rebecca M on Vimeo.

I realize I sound like an idiot. Be nice. ^_^

Also, my memory card ran out of space before I told my story. Oh well. ^_^

In: ,

Vlog entry.... kind of....

So I recorded a vlog entry. It's kind of bland, but hey, my first time ever! Still getting used to it! However, I almost had the file tranferred from my camera to my computer when my battery died. So until the camera lives again, here is a video I actually forgot about from the shenanigans at Fort Worden this summer with Nils!

(This is us trying to pretend that the Fort Worden bunker is scarier than it actually is...)

(Oh, and Nils swears a couple times. Just a heads up.)




Untitled from Rebecca M on Vimeo.

Okay, so I just have one thing. First line I say? "ARE YOU VIDEOING?"

MY GOD.

I speak the English good.....

In:

Vlog Day

When I checked my email this morning I had a message waiting in my inbox from 20 Something Bloggers, sending me a helpful reminder that today is "vlog" day. At first I decided to ignore it. Film myself and post it on my blog? I'd look like an idiot. Nooooo way. No thanks. **ignore**


But then....


I realized that it might be kind of fun.


So I'm going to make an attempt this afternoon. O_O Scary! New! Different!


Eeep!

In the meantime, here's a lolcat!


funny pictures



Which reminds me, I need to watch The Matrix again!

In:

The Monday Perspective: Marriage

Well holy crap, look who actually has something to write about on Monday morning! I only got about three hours of sleep last night, so bear with me if this isn't written all that well.

I was talking to my mom the other day, basically being outraged over the fact that same sex marriage is only legal in four (I think? Can't remember) states. There is really very little that can piss me off faster than discussing that sad state of affairs. Four states.

My mom mentioned that one of our family friends (wickedly smart and notoriously argumentative) doesn't believe in same sex marriage. Before I flew off the handle, she added that he doesn't believe in marriage period.

Brian has been married for a long time with two lovely daughters. He loves his family. His point, then?

Marriage is a religious institution and therefore should not be recognized by the state at all. There is a division between church and state for a reason, and really, when I think about it, he's right. Civil unions should be recognized, not marriage. If a couple wants to get "married" within their church, fine! Go for it! But you should have to have an official civil union to have that "marriage" recognized by the state.

The rights granted to a married couple should not be granted to them because they're married, they should be granted upon a civil union.

So I guess right now you could say I'm "pro civil union" and "anti marriage" now. ^_^

I'm curious - what do you think?

In:

Oh yeah - Supernatural!

I suddenly realize I do have something to write about - my very favorite TV show ever aired, Supernatural! We are going to overlook the fact that this post is mostly pictures, okay?

This post will contain some spoilers, for those who watch and haven't seen the most recent episodes. But first, some Dean pictures (because I can't write about Supernatural without flashing The Most Beautiful Man Alive's face on my blog)!





When the first episode of the fourth season aired, I was beyond excited. My favorite Winchester, dragged out of hell and resurrected by - wait - an angel. The angel Castiel was played to perfection by Misha Collins as a cool, somewhat uncaring being with a complete disregard for humans injured and the body he had possessed. I loved it.

However, during the next few episodes I'll admit I was starting to get concerned about the direction the show was taking. Castiel began talking about the end of days. While I've still enjoyed every single episode I've seen, I'm concerned about the main premise.

The apocalypse? It's been done before. It's been done nearly to death. It's going to take some very creative writing to keep the show as unique and interesting as it's been up to this point. Beyond that, dealing with the apocalypse is a very touchy subject. Stray too far from actual scripture, and you run the risk of making people angry. Stay to close, and you risk making some viewers start thinking of the show as purely religious entertainment.

That being said, I have faith that if any show can walk that fine line, it will be Supernatural.

For the most part, the acting as been absolutely phenomenal. Jensen Ackles has truly been shining (and no, I'm not just saying that because of his stunningly good looks, I promise), especially in the last two episodes I've seen. Jared Padalecki has been good, especially in the last episode, but he has been completely overshadowed by Ackles and his incredible, believable, displays of emotion.

Fortunately the notorious Ruby (still can't remember the actress's name) whom I slammed in my last Supernatural discussion has made only a few appearances, and even then for only a few minutes at a time. I think I'm not the only one who was so disgusted with this replacement actress.

It's Supernatural night tonight - Pat and I will be ensconced in Pat's living room, lights turned low, eyes fixed to the TV from 9PM to 10PM. And I guarantee I won't think about World of Warcraft once.
Well...

Maybe during the commercials.

All in all, aside from my concerns about the main direction of the show, it's been amazing. So far I've been more impressed with this season than the third, and so long as they keep up the good work, this is shaping up to be one of the best seasons in the shows' career.
Oh, and....








What?



I most certainly did NOT blog about Supernatural just so I could search for Dean pictures....



I have no idea why you would think that.

In: ,

Thank you to SleepyJane for giving The Dauntless Muse its first award!

So I've been totally and completely consumed by World of Warcraft since Tuesday when THE PATCH released, changing everything. I'm hard pressed to concentrate on anything that doesn't have to do with WoW. While I'm at work I'm constantly thinking about the game and the changes, how they apply to me, etc.

I've been very hard pressed to think of something to write about that doesn't involve WoW. But I'm still reading everyone's blog (and am getting more and more ashamed of the fact that my brain is so centered around a video game).

I would very much like to thank SleepyJane for giving me the "Perfect Blend of Friendship" award!


I'm touched and honored that she would think of me when giving this award. Her blog is smart, funny, honest, and heartwarming - if for some reason you've never visited, go do it now!

I would like to pass the love to Country Mouse, Anne, Mary, Nils, and ShallowGal - I love you all!


So, how about... that, uh.... the weather looks kind of...

...So I was thinking that if I don't put points into Unleashed Rage, I could put some points into Convection, which would help with mana consumption. I don't use Lightning Shield so I don't need Static Shock... is it really worth it to put points in Earthen Power? Well, I am doing a lot of BGs....

In:

Illustrator training

My office manager signed me up for the Lynda.com training programs, specifically so I could learn more about Adobe Illustrator.  A graphic artist recently redesigned several of our template files in Illustrator, and it has been a battle trying to scramble around and figure the program out so I can tweak my templates.  I'm a Photoshop girl, damnit!


The training videos have been great, and I like the instructor.

"....we can enjoy a no tears, no tantrums, all smiles training experience.  Let's make Illustrator behave!"

Awesome, Deke!  I am all about avoiding tantrums and making Illustrator my bitch - I mean, making Illustrator behave!  Let's do this!

In:

An Office Dweller's Monday Perspective: .....Mondays?

You know, last week when I posted the "Monday Perspective" on real estate I intended to do something similar each Monday. Choose an issue, write something semi intelligent that proves I haven't killed all of my brain cells, publish. I even made a special label to file these posts under.

What I neglected to remember was that most of the time on Mondays I have difficulty focusing on anything, much less expressing my opinion in a reasonably coherent manner. This is pretty much what runs through my head on Monday mornings:

I'm soooo tired/COFFEE/the weekend went by really fast/COFFEE/do I have the meeting agenda completely prepared?/COFFEE/why does the phone always ring a bajillion times in the morning?/COFFEE/I need to remember to write that number down/COFFEE/COFFEE/COFFEE

So....

Yeah. I got nothin' today.

In:

Becca watches the vice presidential debate

Yes, Becca knows she's going about this backwards. But hey, at least she's doing it! Again, it should be noted that the reactions documented here are solely Becca's opinions of the debate, not what she knows about the candidates, blah blah blah.

First impressions:

Becca thinks it's a little inappropriate for Governor Palin to ask Senator Biden right off the bat if she can call him "Joe".

"Darn right..." "Heck of a lot..." Becca wonders if Governor Palin realizes how uneducated she sounds. Especially compared to Senator Biden, who so far is speaking beautifully.

Governor Palin said "Darn right" again.

Governor Palin just straight up said she will not reply to questions as they are posed. WOW. Well, at least if she's going to not answer questions, she's going to be up front about it.

Governor Palin said "espoused". Becca wonders if it was on her Word a Day calendar.

Governor Palin seems very smug and amused. Becca can't figure out why.

Becca would like to take a moment to note how, aside from Senator Biden's occasional slips in mixing up Senators Obama and McCain's names (which now that Becca thinks about it, is fairly troublesome?), he sounds extremely intelligent and knowledgeable, whether or not Becca agrees with everything he says. Oh, and he's pretty much actually answering the questions asked. Novel concept.

BRAVO! Senator Biden destroys Senator McCain's health care plan by *gasp* explaining realistic consequences!

Becca is wondering if Governor Palin was told that answering questions is optional.

Becca is agog (which is her new favorite word)! When Gwen Ifyll tries to pin down Governor Palin to get her to answer the question, "due to the financial situation what promises can't you keep", the governor says, "well, I've only been at this for five weeks, so I haven't promised a whole lot." Becca wonders if the governor is actually running for vice president, or if this is just a bad joke. She's really hoping this is a bad joke.

Governor Palin has ignored so many questions Becca isn't even sure it's worth commenting on any more.

Governor Palin does not believe that the climate changes are manmade. Senator Biden does. Becca is pretty sure she's going to have to come down with Joe on this one.

Becca simply can't listen to Governor Palin talk about Iraq any more.

Becca will be honest - she doesn't know as much as she should about Iran and Pakistan, so will refrain from commenting on what the governor and senator have to say about it.

Becca is a little confused, but she thinks Governor Palin is saying "no" to diplomacy with enemies, and Senator Biden is saying "yes"? Who can reasonably say "no" to attempting diplomacy?

Becca is kinda zoning out.

Becca's attention is caught when Governor Palin basically says that the democratic ticket is focusing too much on mistakes made by the current administration, then goes on to say that yes, she agrees that there have been huge "blunders" made, but gee, we shouldn't think about it, we need to look forward to the future and to change. Becca thinks it is important to see mistakes identified, fingers pointed at them, and politicians saying this is what went wrong, and this what I will correct. Becca also thinks that Governor Palin wouldn't know where to point a finger if she wanted to.

Becca thinks Senator Biden is sounding a little manic! She thinks he needs to take a deep breath.

Becca is cringing as she listens to Goveror Palin once again ignore a question. This one regarding when and if nuclear weapons should be used. Her obvious complete confusion as she searches for something to say is just painful. "...can we talk about Afghanistan for a minute?"

Senator Biden did not answer the question either. Becca is irritated.

Becca thinks it is kind of funny that they keep the current question being debated at the bottom of the screen. The questions seem to rarely have anything to do with what politicians are talking about.

Becca is zoning out again.... and there is still an entire half hour left.

Aww, Governor Palin is such a quaint, adorable "Washington outsider" who just "doesn't understand how you guys work..."

Becca is reading blogs and not really paying attention to the debate.

Becca needs a break.

Break.

Whew. Okay, Becca's back.

ZZZZzzzzZZZzzzzz........

Becca is jolted out of her doze by Governor Palin triggering her gag reflex. Again. "Say it ain't so, Joe!" Becca is too disgusted for words.

Becca is completely bowled over when Governor Palin makes a "shout out" to her husband's elementary school class ("and remember, you get extra credit for watching this debate!"). What does she think this is, a talk show?!

Senator Biden slams Governor Palin about her lack of understanding about what kind of power the office of vice president actually holds (based on her answer to a question about VP power). Yowch.

Becca is having a harder and harder time paying attention to the debate.

Becca is extremely impressed by Governor Palin's compassion when Senator Biden briefly got choked up discussing losing his wife and child. Very impressed. She is not being sarcastic at all.

Becca is ready for the debate to be over.

Becca is chatting with her mom on Gmail again.

Becca has to admit she really hasn't been listening to this last fifteen minutes at all.

Becca is laughing at Governor Palin again. The governor is making her closing statement, and says that she really enjoys "being able to answer these tough questions". Becca would like the governor to state which questions she has actually answered. Heh.

Where Governor Palin babbles on in her closing statement about fighting for freedom, and how we face the danger of "sitting back in our twilight years telling our children and our children's children about a time when Americans were free," Senator Biden recaps some issues, and overall sounds pretty much three times as intelligent as the governor.

And it's over!


Conclusion?

Becca is disappointed that she didn't get to see the governor's very remarked upon wink at the camera - she wasn't able to actually watch most of the video since she was trying to work and write a blog post at the same time.

But seriously.

Becca has honestly come to realize that she could never, ever vote for Senator McCain. She could never cast a vote that would put Governor Palin that close to the presidency.

In:

Ugh...

I had one of those mornings. One of those wake up with that sick feeling because you absolutely know you're running late mornings. Sure enough, glance at the clock - 8:21AM. My alarm had been blaring for about a half hour in a futile, good faith attempt to drag me out of whatever dream I was mired in, and honestly, I have no clue how I managed to sleep through it.

So, yeah... quick fact? I usually need to be out the door by about 8:20 if I'm going to make it to work by 8:30.

By 8:24 I was dressed (in matching clothes, no less), hair combed, teeth brushed, and in the car ready to go.

By 8:31 I was pulling into the office parking lot.

I ended up being alone in the office until after 9AM. Talk about rushing for no reason.

Excuse me. I'm still a little.....

O_o

......ugh.

In:

Becca watches the second presidential debate

Becca sat down at her desk this morning and started listening to the last presidential debate. She would like to note this is solely her opinion of the debate and does not reflect what she knows about candidate track records, voting records, etc.

First impressions?

Becca wishes Senator McCain would stop calling everyone "my friends". Becca is not the senator's friend, and she is pretty sure that most of the people the senator is addressing are not friends with him either. Becca is sure the senator does have friends, but she is also sure that he can't possibly even be acquainted with most Americans.

Becca wishes both senators would stop being rude to the moderator, ignoring his attempts to insist that they actually answer the questions that are being asked and ignoring their time limits. (Becca is aware that this is nothing new.)

Becca is intrigued by listening to Senator Obama talk about energy.

Becca notices that Senator McCain is still calling everyone "my friends".

Becca is very nervous about Senator McCain's health care plan.

Wait, what? Did Becca just hear Senator McCain suggest putting health records online? What does that mean? O_O Becca thinks that sounds awfully unsafe, and isn't sure she likes it - at all!

Becca realizes that she really misses John Edwards.

"America is the greatest force for good..." "We are peacemakers and we are peacekeepers." Becca thinks that Senator McCain may be thinking of a different country? This doesn't sound like the America she knows.

Becca is pretty sure that Senator Obama really doesn't have any idea what he's talking about when it comes to foreign policy.

Becca notices that Senator McCain is still calling everyone "my friends."

Becca is wondering how Senator McCain intends to bring troops back "with victory and with honor". She thinks it's a little late for that. Especially the "honor" part.

Becca notices that Senator Obama is dodging the question about whether or not we should invade Pakistan in pursuit of terrorists. Oh wait - Senator Obama is now saying we should invade Pakistan, err, we should "stop coddling" them.

Becca appreciates what Senator McCain has to say about Pakistan. She thinks he sounds much more level and reasonable than Senator Obama.

Becca feels like her brain is melting and is having some difficulty paying attention to the debate. She has no idea what question the senators are responding to at the moment.

82 minutes in and Becca is chatting with her mom on Gmail. Is she listening to the debate? Not really.

Becca thinks the Senators are talking about Iran?

Becca's eyes have rolled back in her head.

"What I don't know is what the unexpected will be." Gem of a quote from Senator McCain. It pulls Becca out of her politics-induced stupor and makes her smile.

Finally! The end of the debate!

Conclusion?


Becca is voting for Batman.

In:

Aaaaand we're back

After an excruciating day and a half filled with XML and Photoshop after I had the sudden realization that I could no longer stand my template, I have my own brand new layout and header.

TaDA!

There is still a good amount of work to be done, but it's functional. AND I have my blogroll back. WHEW!

In:

O_O

I'm popped on to read all the blogs on my blogroll (for some reason I still don't use a reader) and had a panic attack when I realized I don't have a blogroll.

GOD.

I have got to get my blog pulled back together!

In:

Under Construction

In the process of finding a new template!

An Office Dweller's Monday Perspective: Real Estate

!Dry, Boring Post Warning!

Oh, the beautiful world of real estate sales.

The Monday morning staff meeting started off fairly quietly. The Boss was out of the office taking a class, and one of the agents was off getting a certification (real estate agents sure like those important looking letters after their names), effectively leaving the meeting with just four attendees; myself, Office Manager, and two agents. We discussed a new listing, bickered good-naturedly over who was holding a house open for the agent tour tomorrow, talked about our newest overhaul to one of the company websites....

Then we arrived at our list of closed and pending sales.

It's no mystery to anyone in the country that the real estate market has plummeted, a fact that is driven home every time I look at statistics, and especially so when I glanced at the office's closed/pending sales report this morning. There's not much on there. It's a low number. Scary low. Lower than I've ever seen. Granted, here in my small corner of Western Washington we're not as bad off as some parts of the country, but it's still not a pretty picture.

There are a few things I wanted to touch on here concerning the real estate market in my town. The first is Washington's new(ish) "Distressed Home" sales law. This law, enacted somewhere around June of this year, created new duties for real estate agents and brokers who were selling "distressed" homes; that is, homes that are in danger of/ in the process of foreclosure. An agent/broker who agreed to help someone sell a "distressed" home is now a Distressed Home Consultant, which entails additional duties and much greater liabilities, including the potential for incurring much greater actual damages in the event of a violation of the law. From my take on things, this was an extremely important step that needed to be taken. Foreclosures have skyrocketed as homeowners default on mortgages, leaving them vulnerable to foreclosure rescue scams. Unfortunately the extreme increase of liability associated with taking on the responsibilities of a "DHC" caused many larger real estate offices to refuse to allow their agents to accept a distressed listing, leaving homeowners little option but to have their homes repossessed, something I'm sure the banks weren't all that thrilled by. They don't want the houses back.

The swell of foreclosures was met by an equal tide of cheap new construction homes, leaving resale houses to linger on the market.

Interestingly enough, home prices have not fallen all that much in my county (in comparison to other areas). Of course, the trade off is that there are fewer and fewer sales. Home prices are being forced to adjust until affordability is again on par with income, and from my personal experience, sellers are unwilling to acknowledge the fact that prices are dropping. They insist that the price of their home is exactly where it should be. The value of a home is a touchy subject for homeowners. It can be deeply personal, especially if the homeowner has done a lot of work to the property; put in a new deck, perfected the landscaping, added that bonus room.... they are often unable to recognize the fact that prices are dropping around them as their home spends more and more time on the market, with newer, lower priced listings leaving them behind, trailing in the dust. All listings are engaged in two separate battles - a pricing war and a beauty contest. Homes have to win both to even attract a showing, much less a reasonable offer. Top real estate agents in the country are now encouraging brokers to be extremely selective with the listings they accept - taking a listing is extremely draining financially with all the marketing and time necessary to attract a buyer, and if the seller isn't motivated and understanding of the current market, it is frequently, to be perfectly honest, not worth a broker/agent's time to attempt to sell it.

As more houses maintain an unrealistic asking price and don't sell, additional houses appear on the market, swelling the inventory.

Of course in conjunction with the rising home inventory, it has become more and more difficult to obtain a loan. We had a meeting last week with a lender from Countrywide that we frequently do business with. Countrywide has recently been purchased by Bank of America, and the lender expressed considerable relief. "Hey, at least Bank of America still has money," she told us. She explained a lot about mortgages that were still available though it is more difficult to qualify.

I'll admit, I'm not as knowledgeable as I probably should be. I don't know all that much about loans, though I do think it's probably a good thing that companies aren't handing out mortgages left and right to people who can't afford them. What I know about the statistics and seller reactions are what's staring me in the face every time I come to work. I could do more research, but I don't. Why? Honestly, I'm kind of freaked out. It's not a real fun time to be working in real estate. Agents are having their own homes foreclosed on, and dropping out of the business. An agent working in my office, two years older than I am, told me today that he thought he was going to have to find a second job. He's brilliant at what he does, and has done exceedingly well in the last couple of years, only to tank in this difficult market like so many other agents.

So....

Most of this morning's meeting was taken up by discussing the market. One of the agents asked my office manager (my boss's husband) and asked if he had ever seen a market this bad.

Office manager shook his head. "Honestly? No."

I know this has been a pretty disjointed ramble, but hey, it's Monday. Give me a break. ^_^




(By the way, I had to write that note backwards for Photobooth. My handwriting really isn't that bad, promise.)