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Monday, January 29, 2007

Myspace Migration: Dating & My Inbox

Current mood:happy
Otherwise known as "Top 10 Reasons to Pull Myself Out of the Dating Game." Ok, so I made what I consider to be the ostensible decision to pull myself out of the "search" for a relationship this morning while getting some much needed relaxation in the tub (1). I came to the conclusion that I'm just not in the mood to date. Now, I know some of you are thinking, "Ok, well Crystal, if you don't date, you're never going to be 'relationship girl.'" No. Not true. That really denotes more of a frame of mind and in truth, is part of the reason I'm ready to quit the "proactive dating scene."
For the past several months, I have done most of the dating that I've done through meeting people on various dating sites. Some of the people I met were great and are still friends, some are rediculous (2). There was the guy that ended up being gay - now that was a barrel of fun. There was the uber-rich guy that needed to tell me how uber-rich, awesome and great he was from the moment we started talking... nah, that doesn't reek of rampant insecurity. There were one or two guys that had the timing been better, I probably would have liked to explore a relationship with... but, it wasn't. And then there were just a bunch of guys that were nice guys, but weren't for me... we either just didn't click or they were single and didn't get the whole 'single mom gig' (3), or whatever.

Online dating is fine. You meet a lot of people (at least I have) and you get to do some much needed screening/introductions before you show up for that first meeting. But, don't kid yourself: figuring out who you want to date long-term is a lot of work. I think, though, it's supposed to be fun.

But for me, it's not. Not anymore. I'm spending too much time trying to figure out where to fit someone new in and how do I get to know this guy and that guy while balancing A (kids), B (work), and C (friends). For me, A, B, and C will always come before (D) - new guy. I have the weekend in which to balance C and D. I guarantee you that one day/night in each weekend is going to be reserved for my friends and running errands. So, that typically leaves me Friday and Sunday during the day. It's really quite difficult to foster a relationship when you only really have 2 times in a week where you're available to see someone.

I get that I COULD make more time, but I don't want to. I LIKE my life the way it is. My work is important to me and I like going up to the office on Saturdays. My friends are who I want to be spending my time with and there's no way in hell I'm going to repeatedly dump my kids off on a sitter each week to date someone. My kids come first. That's my time with them, that's when I get to be the parent, friend and confidant that they need and I chose to be. So, lately, I end up really wishing I could cancel my dates instead of going on them. And, that's not the frame of mind I think you should be in when you're dating people. So, top 10 reasons I'm pulling myself out of the dating game:

10. I'm getting carpal tunnel from clicking on all these darn profiles.
9. Martini Park is more fun with Friends.
8. Guys really don't like being the subject of your blogs and goodness knows how much I love to blog.
7. I talk on the phone all day for a living. There are whole nights where I don't want to talk to anyone.
6. Because grocery shopping, oil changes and walking the dog doesn't do itself. (though wouldn't it be nice if it did?)
5. I suck at letting guys pay if I don't know whether or not I want to go out with them again and for some reason, that's found offensive.
4. I'd rather make $25,000 off placing a candidate on a Saturday than I would spending money eating at Bob's with some guy who thought I'd find that impressive
(and really, I'd find some hole-in-the-wall Mexican joint, more fun anyway)
3. Like I don't already have enough to do.
2. Candyland is way cooler that drinks at Duke's and if I'm not there to play it, who will?
1. I really need some 'me time.'

All of this to say, I'm just done being 'proactive' searching. If something comes up through my singles group (which IS a lot of fun and a great way to meet people of both genders who are in the same space in life to do stuff with and make friends with), or with someone I'm already friends with and know.. ok. It's not like I'm refusing to date. I'm just done with looking for people to date and recognize that just by doing that, I'll free up time and allow myself to focus on the things I've determined are my priorities.

(1) I will NEVER, NEVER, NEVER again cave on making the girls get a flu shot. Natalie has been sick with Influenza, Type A (see bulletin for the reference I made to that) for a week, her sleep schedule is ALL screwed up and of course the only place she can sleep well is my room. So, I'm about ready to collapse.
(2) Who needs 3 therapists? Now I have a friend who has 2 and I kind of got that.. but 3???? Couldn't you roll some of that craziness together for just one therapist?
(3) Telling you my kid is sick should really come along with the self-explinatory "So, I can't go out and do stuff." I should not be put in a position to where I'm having to tell you later that day, "No, I can't meet you for lunch" after I texted that morning with "My kid's sick and throwing up in the bathroom."

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Myspace Migration: My Experience With The Sims &... Dude, Where's My Kleenex?!

No, I'm not sick. My kids are, though. And for someone who could take stock out in the Kleenex company, I'll be darned if I can find ONE box of Kleenex in this house when it's needed (which is really kinda sad, because I own six). Anyway, my day has been filled with chicken soup, thermometers, tylenol (of which I'm now out and am contemplating a store run), juice (of which I'm also out), finding kleenex and then trying to keep our dog away from the kleenex... incidentally, Kleenex shreds very easily and is kind of a pain to pick out of your carpet.

We had company pictures yesterday. In a few weeks, we'll get to see if he shot one where I wasn't blinking, sporting the "short bus smile", talking, brushing my hair away from my face, looking like the world is coming to an end NOW, or half a dozen other perfectly picturesque poses... none of which you actually WANT in a picture. LOL - Last year, I seriously looked like I had been drugged or something. We'll see...

So, Lindsey and I were playing this game today - Sims2. First of all, I've GOT to start paying attention to the rating systems for these games. There are parts of it that are definitely not appropriate for kids. In this game, each Sim has different personalities, interests, and values. They also have "aspirations" - either family, fortune, popularity, romance, or knowledge. You can choose your Sim's aspiration when you make them. So, Lindsey and I make this sim - Lauren Baker. Lauren ends up following the Fortune aspiration (Lindsey liked that they have to buy a bunch of stuff on that track to stay happy) and met Mortimer Goth. Mortimer and Lauren chat and joke and play and end up friends. Eventually, they flirt and date and then, it's time for her to propose. "Engagement" wasn't an option - just "move-in."

Fortunately, Lindsey just assumed that meant they would be married... and honestly, I did too, at first. Um, No. Turns out, Mortimer's MARRIED to someone else! That was disturbing. Going further, Lindsey decides she wants a baby in the house. So, I'm clicking around and figure out how to make that happen - but, I don't want her to see it. Why? They get to make "whoo-hoo" and they also have "try for a baby" when they're both in bed. Can you say not appropriate for children? So, I sent her out of the room to clean her nose and made that happen.

The.Bed.Shakes.Bounces.Up.and.Down.and.Fireworks.Go.Off when they're done. Also, unlike the original version of Sims, Lauren became more visibly pregnant, in stages. We got to watch her tummy grow, she went on maternity leave and then Poof! She went into labor (which had me seriously concerned and I had to cover Lindsey's eyes, just in case) and the little green diamond above her head seperated into two. They had a family. Of course, he was still married to someone else - but, they had a family and they stayed together until Mortimer's Life Span expired and he died. Oh yah, they die in this one. It's a generational game.

What did strike me as interesting about this was that each Sim had his/her own value code. When Lindsey wasn't watching, I explored the game a little further. Turns out, some Sims are ok with "whoo-hoo" before sharing a house, some are ok with moving in but not getting married; some want to get married before moving in. Some Sims want to have a baby, but not a family/marriage. And, it appears as though you can have same-sex relationships, though I couldn't bring myself to fully test that theory.

Also, another interesting facet was the "aspiration bar." Yesterday, I was talking with Witty, my mentor, about needing to figure out what my practice is aspiring to. I mean, I have a vague to somewhat-defined idea of what I want the end goal to be - but, I haven't mapped out all the moves. This game had it all mapped out: you knew what they wanted, when they wanted it and how to get them there. I'm almost embarrassed to say that it somewhat inspired me to map my business out - although, I would have done it even if it hadn't.

Finally, I found it interesting that when Lindsey & I made a girl Sim, Elle, who most closely resembled me... she was the most happy and successful when there was no man in her life. Go figure. So there's my experience with the Sims. I seriously let my "inner dork" flag fly and I had to share it.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Myspace Migration: Kicking Off the New Year

Current mood:chipper
... it's so beautiful outside today. It's cold, drizzly, and utterly winter. And you know what? I like it. It's NOT going to be particularly friendly to my hair, however. And since tonight is the company kick-off party, I wish it would be. Although, as I type this, I kind of wonder what it matters, as I'm not bringing a date to this thing, anyway.

Seriously, work functions are not the time to bring a date - as I learned last year when I took someone who SHOULD have realized what needed to happen. But didn't, and so I heard "Can we go now? Can we go now? Can we go now?" every five seconds. Which after the 30th one of those was when I made the resolve that I was never going to bring someone to one of these things again unless we were engaged or married and then you pretty much have to, you know?

So, had an odd moment. Not sure how you'd categorize it, but it was a funny odd, just the same. Woke up this morning and got ready for work as I always do. Saw a friend's Christmas present on my counter, same as I do every morning and evening as I'm washing my face/brushing my teeth/fixing my hair and so on. It's actually gotten to the point that it looks like part of the landscape, lol. Anyway, this morning I actually focused on it for a second and wondered how my friend was doing (I've been so busy and caught up in my own life that not only has he still NOT gotten his gift, but I haven't even really had a chance to say hello or anything of the like)... and guess what? I heard from him today! That kind of cracked me up.. well, amused me at least.

I hope Jason gets the girls so I can go to this thing tonight. It's one of those things I kind of want to go to, but at the same time, I'd really be ok curling up under my blanket, reading for a bit and going to bed. LOL But, as with most other things in my life... I'll have fun once I get there. Actually, now that I have a clear direction on where I want the book to go; I kind of want to hurry up and finish the yearbook stuff and focus on that in my free time. I know I have girlfriends (amd a couple of guy friends, come to think of it) reading this thinking, "In no way will that improve your love life." My response to this (so don't bother telling me this in 'real time'): "You're absolutely right and I really don't care." So there (insert mental picture of me sticking my tongue out at you here, lol). :)

Now I'm just avoiding going to get ready. I had more serious stuff to talk about, but I don't remember what it was. Maybe I'll write more later. I'm looking forward to going bowling with Bev and the Community tomorrow! :)

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Myspace Migration: So the Book's Morphing a Little

I think I'm going to take the book in more of a dating direction, like someone that reads my blog suggested way back when. I'm setting this to private, but I'm not really sure if it'll work or not since I've never tried that before. Figured I'd just jot down some snippets of things I actually got to experience (unfortunately! LOL).. not sure they'll meld together or not, it's just stuff that I was thinking about during the girl scout meeting.

...So, I think that I'm a fairly logical person. Heck, that's why the whole 'internet dating' thing appealed to me. But, as I'm sitting across from this guy who looks like I could bench press with one hand and my eyes closed - and let's face it, I'm not exactly buff - I'm failing to see the logic in this match. Not because he's a pint size version of a grown-up man, or because of anything physical, really. No, it's an illogical match because I think rationally and obviously, he doesn't.
"See, I know that I may not be as attractive as say, the waiter over there. But what balances it out; what allows me to have my pick of pretty much whomever I want... is my income. I'm banking. No really, I make a lot of money."

What do you say to that?? "Wow, well..." I'm wondering if pausing will help me think of something to say that will make the autrosity that just came out of his mouth a little better.. or at least, a little less distasteful. Um, nope. "That's really great that you have such a good confidence level."
"It helps that there are ten times more desperate women than there are men. How many responses do you get a day?"
"I don't know. Maybe 10? Obviously, they're not the right ones, though..."
"Wait. I contacted you!"
"Yeah, so anyway...."

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Myspace Migration: Deadlines, Long Lines, & the Tax Man Cometh

I think we'd all agree that patience is a virtue... or, at least, we're all told it is. Some times I'm more patient than others, but I think that's fairly normal. This particular blog centers more around the "impatient moments" of my life as of late.
We have to finish 48 pages of the yearbook by this Thursday. Something of an arduous task, made worse by the fact that I have an Executive Board Meeting of the PTA tonight and this just in, our pictures are all screwed up. I can't tell what kid is in what class and there's no way to properly flow the pictures onto the pages (1). So, I put a call and email in to my friendly yearbook advisor at Lifetouch ~ and I have yet to hear back from her. I'm guessing she didn't work yesterday due to the inclement weather, but man! I'm on a deadline and would it kill her to check her email???? LOL Really, I'm not upset, I'm just needing to get.this.done!!

So I crashed out with the kids last night (I know, nothing new). But, because I went to sleep so much earlier than normal, I woke up at 2am... totally bored, to an infomercial. They were talking about creating "long lines" - some exercise product that I couldn't see because my contacts had once again slipped to the back of my eye (which is probably why you shouldn't fall asleep with them in!). Ok, now I know it's been awhile since I was in school... but I'm thinking that the "lines" we have are pretty much the same length regardless of whether they're curved or straight? Am I not remembering my middle school math right? It's an illusion that the curved line is shorter?? Since that is my current belief system, I laughed at the infomercial and changed the channel. Like anyone needs yet another Pilates DVD, anyway (speaking of which, I'm really enjoying the 3rd one I got, lol).

Got my W-2 in over the weekend. Will probably go ahead and get my tax returns done today. I hit a different tax bracket and so I lost all my cool deductions. Drat. Even still, I have something of a refund coming back (about 4k), so I'm not complaining. Now, I know all you financially saavy people are screaming at the monitor that I'm a dolt for giving the government a tax-free loan. That I could MAKE money by changing my deductions and getting a 1-yr CD. And, you know what? You're right. And you're wrong. First of all, I already claim 9 deductions, which is darn near close to the most I can take. I think I gave our payroll chick some kind of pause, because she even emailed me about it! But, the deal is that I work on commission... so my commission checks are taxed at around 33% (like a bonus). So, I paid about 30k in taxes last year - with 9 deductions on my regular paychecks. There's really not much more I can do.

Secondly, even though you COULD put that money into a CD, you can't do it in the same year. Think this through: the money I get back in 2007, I paid all throughout 2006. So, assuming I could increase my deductions and keep more, I'd have to put THAT money in a savings account throughout the year so that in 2007, I could then put that money into a CD. In 2006, with simple interest in the savings account, I'd probably make what? Ten dollars? Woowzers! And, when you really think it through further, you're assuming I have the discipline to not just let it become part of my household income, as most Americans do. Which, I'm telling you now, that extra $40 that I actually have control over would probably NOT be saved - it'd probably go to frivolous junk like little girl clothes, or ballet lessons or something of the like.

Finally, I'm one of those weird-os that just feels comfortable getting a check back from Uncle Sam. I like it. I really do. That's "fun money" for the family. This year, we got a TV. The rest of it will go to savings. Last year, I bought a new desktop computer for the girls and I. And the rest went into savings. I'm ok with that.... now, the Good Lord help me if I ever have to pay the Tax Man anything more than what I pay throughout the year. I'm pretty sure that'd give me a heart attack.
On a final note, I'm getting my taxes prepared at Jackson Hewitt. Why? Because they've done a great job over the last 6 years and I don't get audited. Also, because my old accountant bought a franchise and I like him. Thirdly, they pay for the attorney's fees SHOULD I ever get audited and I'm pretty sure the fine (if there is one) up to 5k. I'm a safety-girl... that makes me feel warm and fuzzy. All for the bargain basement price of a couple hundred dollars. That I get to deduct come the next tax year. :) But, to tie in the whole patience angle (I know you've been waiting patiently for it! :p), I really think that once you put in your return, they should give you your money back within 48 hours. It's checked by a computer, anyway. I don't see why it should take longer than two days.

Have a good day, guys and dolls.. I've got to go find a sweater and get to work!!
(1) I know the whole flow thing doesn't make a lot of sense to anyone not putting together the yearbook. We're using a web-based system that has a portrait library where you pick a number (which is supposed to represent a class), it will "flow" that set of pictures onto the page. Except ours is screwed up and not working that way. Fun, fun, fun.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Myspace Migration: I AM Self-Sufficient... With the Help of My Friends. :p

I AM Self-Sufficient, Really... With the Help of My Friends, That Is!
Every once in awhile I kind of wonder what I would do if I lived in another city, completely cut off from everyone I know and love. How would that affect my quality of life? I mean, I say I'm self-sufficient, and I guess for the most part I am. But..

I got a new television yesterday. I decided I wanted a new TV more than I wanted new living room furniture right now (life's a trade-off). It wasn't particularly heavy, and so I figured I'd be able to take care of it myself, right?? Yeah, it was kind of too bulky to get out of my car. Fortunately, Dave, Wendy's husband was there to help me with it. I need something to connect to the TV that allows for me to hook up both my TV and my DVD player. I'm not sure exactly what that is, but I'm sure when I go to the store today to buy a new operating system for my computer, I can figure it out.

That's right.. a new operating system. I don't know if that'll help my soundcard, because it's SUPPOSED to be compatible with Windows 2000 SP4, which is what I have since I lost my Windows XP disc. I probably left it at Beau's, along with my router, my dvd player, the table my father made me for my wedding, nearly $500 worth of bedding, and a slew of other stuff that I totally forgot when we parted ways. Oh, well. Fortunately, I can get another perfectly lovely OEM version of Windows XP Pro for the bargain basement price of $100. I just hope that fixes my problem!!! I really miss having a soundcard and being able to listen to my music. I can download a trial version, but it won't allow me to upgrade. Would TOTALLY have to reinstall and I'm just not quite sure I want to do that. And I have to find a cd burner application (that I KNOW I left at Beau's) before I can do that, anyway. So, this morning I'm researching that... but, I really have no idea what I'm doing.

But, since I'm self-sufficient (grin), I'm going to make myself an expresso and fake it until I do. Pity party for one? Your table is now ready.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Myspace Migration: So What's the Deal with Valentine's Day?

Current mood:indifferent
Really? It's a holiday I've never quite understood. Even when I was happily married (for the whole few months we were in that state), I didn't get it. It just kind of seemed like a Hallmark Holiday to me. Why pick ONE day to really go all out and express your feelings for your partner? Why just one? It seems to me that many little gestures throughout the year would mean a lot more than one day of gifts and eating out.
I don't look forward to Valentine's Day. I do heart-shaped pancakes for breakfast and heart-shaped steaks at night for the kids, which is fun - because I don't want them growing up jaded against a holiday on my account ... much better to let them pick and choose which holidays they love or despise (like me, can't say I'm a fan of Valentine's Day, but I love St. Patrick's Day... but who wouldn't love a holiday dedicated to little men in green and beer?). They get the little card and bear every year. But, then again, to my earlier point - they get that kind of stuff SEVERAL times throughout the year.. it doesn't take a holiday for them to know they're loved and appreciated.

I realize I'm in the minority on this. I know this because even as I write this, stores have and continue to gear up for "the big day." There are even heart-shaped wreaths at Target for you to hang on your front door (which, as a chick, would be really tempting to purchase if I were more into that holiday)! I know this goes against chick-dom in general, but I just don't get it. I tried once or twice to "get into the spirit of the holiday" - heck, last year I even did this big, elaborate scavenger hunt thing for Beau... but it always seems to be ... I don't know... misguided or something (especially since that night I found out he completely screwed me over, lol). And most people like the day of gifts. Personally, I'd rather be in a relationship where my partner made little gestures like cooking dinner with me now and again or helping me fold socks, even though it wasn't something they liked to do - that kind of thing...

What do you think about it? Are you looking forward to it? Do you have any holiday rituals that make it a special day for you? Why do you like it... or not

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Myspace Migration: Everybody in the House is Like 'OH MY GAWD!'

And not because there's any particular hotness here. Oh, no.. it's because of my garage. So, I'm taking down my holiday decorations and decide that I don't want to take apart the Christmas tree. It's a total pain-in-the-butt to mess with the lights. So, I get this beyond genius idea to just leave it put together and put it in my garage. Cool. Well, to do that, I've got to actually CLEAN my garage so I have room for it.

And that's where the "Oh My Gawd" title comes in. My garage is this cornucopia of crap - stuff I can't bring myself to throw away. And while I did throw away an entire HUGE trash can of stuff today, mostly I just better organized the crap. Why? Because I'm a pack rat. So, now it's after 11am, I'm really nowhere closer to getting the Christmas Tree in my house than I was at 8ish when I started and I'm wondering what is with me that I have to save every random little thing.

Geeeeesh. Yet, as I'm cleaning things up, move it around, organizing and piling things around... it's like walking through the past. I see the blue puppy bowl that I bought for Frodo before I had to take him back. I saw all the stuff from the Spongebob birthday parties that I threw for the kiddos (Lindsey wanted one two years in a row); the toys, outfits I bought on the fly on my way to somewhere else... my life for the last few years. And then there was the ancient stuff: the books I read like a million times in middle school - like Vanity Fair and Last of the Mohicans. There were the Reader's Digest Compilation Books that my Grandfather gave me; my mother's favorite books as a girl (I read Ginny and the cooking contest probably 50 times my fifth grade year - no kidding) and the books I learned to read on (I have the entire Care Bear hardback series collection, lol). I found my first pair of rollerblades and my bowling ball... I can see why I had a hard time letting go of a lot of this stuff. It's me. It's still a cornucopia of crap, but.. it's MY crap.

I'll be making a trip to the Container Store sometime this week to make it look more organized, though. Looks like with one more hour of work, I'll be able to fit not only my tree, but my car as well!!

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Myspace Migration: Just a Little Endeavor I've Enjoyed

Current mood:optimistic
So, last month, for no particular reason other than I was in a good mood one day; I decided to begin a little exercise: every day, I was going to give once sincere compliment to someone. Didn't matter about what, how large or small it was - but just to spread a little sunshine and see what happened.

Thirty days and change has now gone by. Today, my compliment to a gentleman in the building about how I liked his the tone-on-tone suit he was wearing (it really was quite striking) sent him whistling down the hall and he stopped and complimented someone else. I can't tell you how big of a grin I broke into as I was walking away to have heard that. Wouldn't it be great if everyone I've encountered like that perked up enough to perk someone else up? It's like an emotional "Pay-it-Forward" then, huh??

Anyway, I have to say, I have love the way I've felt over the last month. Now, I know I'm typically a shiny, happy person anyway; but, this has really made me feel even better! When you spend your day looking at things in a positive light, the world is just a better place. :) Ya'll should try it; it's fun!

Monday, January 1, 2007

Myspace Migration: Welcoming in 2007

Current mood:awake
Had a good time gambling at the Casino thing with Bev, Jackie, Wendy and Steve (who, by the way, is now my favorite card dealer!)... won a flat screen monitor and over 250k in chips. Blackjack is fun. We even got a little rowdy and danced.. I saw Jackie do the Humptey.. holy cow. Nothing beats the chick I'll be putting on U-tube later today, though... and I'll probably add a slideshow either on this blog or on my page....

So, new day, new year... I guess it's time for resolutions. I'm not big on resolutions for the sheer reason that most people don't keep them. Why make yourself a promise you're not prepared to keep? That being said, I thought long and hard the last couple of weeks about what I'm willing to "resolve" to and have come up with my 2007 resolutions:

1) I will make partner in 2007.

2) Be present wherever I am. This is probably going to mean I'm going to have to lessen the death-grip addiction I have to my Treo, but... I need to do it. Kid calls and work calls prior to 8pm on weekends excluded, I'm going to learn to put my phone on "vibrate" and not check email after 8.

3) I'm going to allow myself to find a real relationship this year. I think, to a degree, we have the relationships we allow ourselves to have ~ if we're not willing and ready to be present and available mentally, emotionally.. then we won't be and we won't get that back. I think I'm at a place where I'm ready to be "relationship girl" as Bev calls it.

4) Lose those last 30. Yes, I did say 30 (which would put me pretty much back to where I was at 18, but I'm thinking it's obtainable) on a public blog where I HATE to admit those kind of things... but, with the aid of the "eat-right diet" I was already doing before the holidays and the exercise routine I have and the equipment I've purchased/am purchasing.. I'm really set up to. No excuses, health is good - no reason not to!

5) Just.Say.No. Thank you, but no - to all the random things people "entrust" me with .. committees, chairs, projects.. that don't fit in with my life plan. This is a benefit to them as much as it is to me - I don't have time to be everything to everybody and wouldn't be able to do that well, anyway!
6) Finish the darn book.

There you have it. My Resolutions for the New Year.