Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Remind Me

Why am I doing this again? Keeping this blog I mean. I'm not entirely sure where it fits in my life any more.

When I started keeping it I was in a big transitional phase between college and the working world. Not to mention being in personal crisis and involved in a few self destructive relationships. I needed a sounding board, a place to vent my thoughts and feelings; publishing those thoughts made me pay more attention what I was spewing into the keyboard. Made me think about what I was saying about myself, and about others. Not to mention making me attempt to pay attention to grammar and word choices. It was a therapeutic writing exercise combined with an attempt to get back into writing again.

There were things I needed to put "out there" just to stop them from knocking around inside my head and distracting me, and in the process of turning those fragmentary thoughts and emotions into the semblance of a cohesive paragraph I would be able to break down the images and line them up somewhat. I'd figure out why they were bugging me. Or at least figure out partly where they came from.

Even after I moved to San Diego, where I lived was no haven and I was actively pursuing a course of therapy for past hurts. There was a lot of re-ordering, reclassification and settling out going on in my head. The grand pie chart project of 2002. Now...I don't need a webspace to act as silent therapist any more. I can talk to Matt. I can talk to my friends. I can talk to my cats if I want to hear back advice no more complex than a squeak and a purr. I'm no longer wondering where the hell I went wrong, I know where I've gone wrong and I know where I took the right path after all.

Yet I keep posting. Laundry lists of what I did the past week. Poor me, I spent a ton on my car, and I'm not completely broke or really that upset, it's just life. My cats are cute, I love my fiance, weddings are expensive, we bought a condo, the cats are still cute and I'm getting to sound like a smug married with no real challenges or internal struggles. Even having facial surgery with very little warning turned out ok, it was hugely traumatic at the time, but I didn't write about it. Whenever I was lost in a reverie about what it could mean to me if I ended up with an ugly scar, I was not about to walk to my computer and start typing. My crises don't hit me when I'm sitting at my desk any more, they're not so overwhelming that they take over my brain until I channel them onto the page. They wait their turn until I'm lying in bed, at worst until I'm driving home (when I quickly shove the worst of them to the back until I'm not negotiating SoCal traffic).

I think the main reason I keep going is that I love being able to click on my archive and see what was going through my head exactly a year ago, or two years. The snippets are so random sometimes. I remember the incidents but can't believe they only happened a year ago, that I was in such an unhappy state so recently, or that this or that bothered me so much back then. The biggest example is how plagued I was by my past, and how I've learned to move on without blocking it completely and setting myself up for another big crash.

I like having a web presence. Of course I also fantasize about having a readership, but I'm pretty sure my "readership" consists solely of a few people who knew me at some point and are curious to see what's going on in my life. Just like I read a couple of blogs kept by people I no longer have contact with, but am curious to see how they're doing. I toy with the idea of a different blog to focus on my currently feeble attempts to knock myself off the fitness plateau, I toy with the idea of forbidding myself from posting anything but a decent bit of creative writing. I toy with the idea of paying more attention to the news and posting some semi intelligent comments on things that are important to me. I've had an offer to write a medical reporting column for an online magazine.

Online Magazine? You know...I should pursue that one. Then I won't be writing pointless crap about re-organizing my underwear drawer. I'll be writing potentially useful crap about recent medical fads and rumors.

Excuse me, I must go talk to a penguin about a new hobby.

Monday, May 17, 2004

If Mainlining Caffiene Doesn't Seem To Be Working

I guess I need to find a different technique to wake myself up. Or make this week a week of early nights to catch up on sleep. Or train the cats to desist from having a session of WWF kitty-wrestling on my legs in the middle of the night.

This is mostly to see if the comments function is working at all. Nothing of great import to report sir.

Friday, May 07, 2004

Price Adjustments and AAA-Emergencies

I followed one day of good and fun financial luck with a week that has left my wallet pleading for mercy.

Last Friday I discovered that the black linen dress I splurged on over a month ago (and still haven't worn) is now half price. After I finished feeling dumb for not waiting for it to go on sale I decided to take the dress, which is still in it's hanging bag and has the tags attached, to Ann Taylor and ask for a price adjustment. If they refused that I was going to return it and buy it again at the cheaper price. Fortunately for me the sales clerk decided to give me a price adjustment with only a mild admonishment for being outside the 14 day grace period. So I walked out of that store having bought earrings for Evie's birthday and STILL carrying a $42 credit on my store card. Yay.

Then I went into the sale section of Banana Republic and found a black velvet top with cream lace trim for a whopping $9.97. Leaving me up one birthday gift, one pretty frilly thing, and still $30 richer.

Matt and I then wandered around and decided how to spend the gift certificate our realtor gave us as a housewarming gift. We decided to use it for something we'd never splurge on with our own money: a good quality pepper grinder and sea-salt grinder. One came from Williams Sonoma, the other from Crate & Barrel, but it turns out they're made by the same company. The final decision on which ones to purchase came after traipsing back and forth a couple of times between the two stores to compare what they had. The gift certificate also covered a plate stand which will be used to hold up our wedding cake, and a box of Godiva for an extra treat.

The most fun shopping sprees are the ones where you walk home with an armload of goodies and are none the poorer.

Unfortunately, this week, to make up for last week's serendipitous money bonus, my car reared it's 12-year-old-84k-mileage status by snapping it's timing belt while I was going 65mph on the 52 West in rush hour...And had left my cell phone at work the night before. CHP rescued me by calling AAA on my behalf and I had them tow me to a repair place I know near work. It's possible my timing belt's decision to crap out saved me from a very expensive problem, one involving an exploding engine or busted head gasket, because I asked them to have a look at the coolant system while they were fixing the timing belt, and they discovered a nice big hole in the radiator and the complete absence of ANY coolant in the system. I knew it needed to be checked out, and had plans to do so...But might not have caught it before my car BLEW UP on me.

So I have a new timing belt, radiator and thermostat, and have been warned that my brake pads are at about 5-10% which means they need to be replaced in the next couple of weeks. My savings account is limping somewhat but it's all pretty routine stuff that any car of a similar age would need done. Pity it hit all at once, but my main feeling is one of having a lucky escape from more serious engine damage, and/or my brakes crapping out on me while driving.