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I had a better day at work than the day I had on Monday. Today I came home with a headache. One of the girls I work with has ongoing health problems. It makes her an unreliable employee and I need people who are going to show up for work when they’re scheduled to come in. I have the weekend off. I made up the schedule in advance knowing this weekend was going to be tough. Three of the guys I work with go to school together. They live together and they’re all biology majors so they all have the same big test to study for which is part of the reason none of them want to work this weekend.

The two teenage girls I work with are in band and tennis. One of them has a doctor’s appointment. I want to tell these kids that working four or five hours a week is nothing because I used to work all weekend every weekend when I was in high school but I wouldn’t want that kind of a schedule for anyone else because youth is the only time you have for some of those things. I’m going to the nodermeet this weekend. I’m excited to have the weekend off and I’ve probably jammed too many people, places and things into three short days but I don’t care because I don’t have opportunities like this very often. I would really like to go to the nodermeet Dimview is hostessing but it looks like right now I have the option to move out or go to Denmark and I’ll probably pick moving out because I can not stand living at home anymore.

There are a lot of reasons why noding about your personal life can be a bad idea. I need an outlet for things but people in my real life read my writeups so what I try to do is take real things and make them fictional and vice versa. Just to clear things up, Troy is not a real person. He’s the sum of people that I know and he’s a convenient character to rail against because I can’t write about the real people in my life. For a while I was trying to do a node a day but it’s too much work and too much of a time commitment right now. I think I could do it but other areas of my life would suffer and I can’t afford to cut any more corners. I still love Everything2 because I’ve met so many interesting people here. Two of them especially have turned into good friends. They’re the kind of friends I can chat with. It’s not usually anything deep or intellectual but it’s a great feeling knowing that I have people I can talk to about everything that’s going on.

The woman I’m thinking about moving in with is a friend of mine but I don’t know her all that well. She has some health issues. She’s been divorced for about two years. She’s lonely, in need of a roommate and I need a place to stay. I’ve been giving this a lot of thought lately. Is moving out the right thing to do? I can’t afford to get a place of my own. I’ve had to make some unexpected purchases recently. My oldest daughter needed glasses. I lost my cell phone and chose to replace it with a new one and some of you already know that earlier this summer I had a big repair bill for my car after the right rear strut snapped and my car went off the road. That was pretty fucking scary. I really thought another car was going to hit me and one of the reasons I believe in guardian angels is because me and my car left the scene without a scratch.

I’ve been trying to stay focused on the positive. I have great kids. They’re a lot of fun and they whine and cry and act up just like any other kids their age but they’re smart, they’re pretty darn cute and best of all they have a tremendous ability to love and empathize with others. I think they probably get some of that from me as most people don’t generally describe their father as highly empathetic. Of course he’s not overly dramatic and highly emotional either. There are always tradeoffs in life. Every time I think I might be getting less emotional someone calls and I start sobbing. I think the guy who called the other night didn’t know what to say when I started crying. He handled it perfectly though. Most of the conversation was me melting down. He kept telling me it was okay and there were a lot of; hang in there kiddo, aw, sweetheart, type things in there. That might not sound like much but it was huge at the time. I was outside wandering around my subdivision. My neighbors already know I’m crazy but I don’t usually take off in the middle of the night and walk around the neighborhood crying like that.

It seems like no matter how young or old you are there are always times to cry in life. My youngest daughter was the one crying at the optometrist when she realized she wasn’t getting new glasses like her big sister. I was frustrated with the situation. You feel like everyone is looking at you and wondering why your child is crying at the eye doctor and why aren’t you as a parent doing something to stop the infernal noise?

Something really bizarre happened to me the other day. A friend of mine was upset. I told her to hang in there and I gave her a little just because present because sometimes those are nice to get and sometimes there’s nothing else you can do. She gave the present to someone else and that person came back to me and said something about it. It was a totally freaky experience. She didn’t know who the gift was from. I didn’t know she would pass it along to someone else and I sure as hell didn’t expect some guy to tell me he was crying about something someone had given him. It was bizarre but it was really neat and I’m really glad that sometimes I am impulsive and do crazy things just because it feels right at the time. That kind of behavior gets me into some trouble but every once in a while I do something good and right for a change and the other night was one of those nights.

My daughter’s report card came home. She needs to work on getting her homework in on time and that’s one of those gray parenting areas. It’s her homework. I passed second grade (just barely) and so did her father. How much parental involvement should there be in the homework process and when and how and who should intervene and to what extent? My daughter has had to walk laps around the playground during recess. Her teacher assigns laps to people who don’t turn their homework in and I really don’t understand why my daughter isn’t doing her homework. She likes school. Apart from math she excels at it and even when she was a first grader she was reading at a third grade level. She loves to read, she’ll read almost anything so why the heck isn’t she doing her twenty minutes worth of reading every night?

I get frustrated at that, lose my temper and then she starts crying and the whole evening and my plans to go to the Y with the kids disintegrate and that’s frustrating too. I’m not going to stand over my daughter’s shoulder and make sure she does her homework when she’s supposed to. That’s not my job. If she can’t figure it out she’s going to have to suffer the consequences. I still don’t like how that interferes with things I have scheduled but that’s how life is and that’s how life with kids is too. I just got off the phone with one of the guys I work with. I never thought I’d have such a great working relationship with some of the guys I work with. I have my favorites but I try not to let that get in the way of doing my job and I really try to make things equitable for everyone.

It was a little disappointing to find out I didn’t get the job I interviewed for but that’s part of life and at least I could take a walk with my daughter after I got the bad news. I packed some lunch for us and she hasn’t ridden in the stroller in years so it was kind of fun to walk down by the lake with me pushing her in the stroller like she was much younger than five. I kept touching her hair as I walked. It’s still soft and fluffy. Her older sister cut her hair so her bangs are almost non-existent but at least she can pull off the pixie look. I started crying when I was walking. I was looking at my daughter’s baby fine hair. At this time of year she has sunny streaks of color running through her hair. It’s caramel, butterscotch, honey and with the golden sunshine picking up the flaxen strands, for some reason thinking about that made me cry even harder.

I was listening to her soft little voice talking as we walked along. We played her version of the alphabet game. I had to come up with words that started with a certain letter. She babbled along and she’s my quiet one so it was neat to see her come out of her shell a little. I’ve been trying to take the girls swimming more often since we have a Y membership again. It’s great family time and I’d love to sign all of us up for swimming lessons but I can’t afford it right now. My youngest daughter came into the deeper part of the pool with me. She went under for a moment and when I pulled her up she wouldn’t let go. She’s very cautious in the water. Just being in the deeper water is a huge step for her and I’m hoping that going under doesn’t mean a step backwards in the learning to swim process. If it comes down to her needing private lessons to learn how to swim then I’m willing to pay for it but hopefully it won’t come to that and just spending more time in the pool will help her out.

There’s so many things I want to do with my life. Looking back I can’t believe how far I’ve come since July 26, 2008. I still have my list of things to do but I’ve been making progress in most of the areas so even though I have a bad headache and my jaw hurts I’m going to say that right now life is good. My children are enjoying good health. They love school and they seem to be well adjusted even with all the shit going on around them and I’m very grateful for that.

I’m grateful for the family I have. I don’t talk about them much but they are absolutely there for me when I need them and they’re there even when I’m a bitch and shoving them away. It’s hard to talk to people who really know you well because a lot of times they tell you things you don’t want to hear but this is long enough already so I’ll wrap this up by telling you how cute my daughter Jill looks with her new pink glasses. Her left front tooth is practically dangling but it’s not ready to come out yet. She’s reading this as I type which means she must want something from me so this is goodbye for now.

Notes from the Surf

Pie Chart
These statistics don't lie.

Sixth book of the Hitchhiker's Guide trilogy to be written
Sad to say And Another Thing... is not pieced together from drafts found in the desk of Douglas Adams. Nothing's right, I'm torn.

Man Tells Fax Spammers To Go Fax Themselves... And They Comply
Ah, vengeance can be so sweet, even if it makes you feel all dirty inside.

Brazil and Argentina no longer have to rely on US dollar to trade with each other
It was kind of silly for them to have to resort to using it anyway.

The Complete (Though Ever-Changing) Elite Consensus Over the Financial Collapse
A few days ago elite opinion seemed to be cheering Paulson's "no bailout" line, and now they're cheering a trillion bucks thrown down the crapper.

The Proposed $700 Billion Bailout of Wall Street, the Largest Government Bailout of Private Industry in US History
"For years now, they’ve told us that we can’t afford—that the government providing healthcare to all people is just unimaginable; it can’t be done. We don’t have the money to rebuild our infrastructure. We don’t have the money to wipe out poverty. We can’t do it. But all of a sudden, yeah, we do have $700 billion for a bailout of Wall Street."

Which one is the elitist again?
...actually, I highly doubt many politicians (and many voters) really know the depths of the country they've helped create, but anyway...

35 Years After Original 9/11: New Transcripts of Kissinger's Role in Chilean Coup
Kissinger: The only question is how one defines 'backfire.'
Rogers: Getting caught doing something. After all we've said about elections, if the first time a Communist wins the U.S. tries to prevent the constitutional process from coming into play we will look very bad.

Mall of America Video of the Privatized World
You are free to shop, but if you're just here to celebrate the reinstatement of a union employee, it wouldn't be much of a police state if we let you, would it?

Free to be exploited, but not free to join a union
"People live in fear out there that their employer will find out that they are going to stand up for their rights."

In the news...

This week, I think the top stories from China have been about the upcoming launch of Shenzhou-7 and the scandal about melamine in dairy products.

I watched a special tonight on CCTV-9 about the Shenzhou-7 launch. During this mission will be the first space walk for a Taikonaut. The special was hosted by that bitchy, short haired woman who often hosts Dialogue (a show in which she spends an hour "interviewing" people by mostly begging the question.)

I'm mostly learning about the dairy scandal through other media. It sounds horrible and I don't think the Chinese government wants to broadcast that much about it on CCTV-9.


P.S. I don't know how much those things really cost, I made those numbers up...

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