The Last Day of the Year

Omigod, this country is cold! My feet are cold, and my legs are cold. And my jeans are cold and when they brush up against my legs, my legs get colder. I am such a Texan! This coldness is bewildering! Heat I understand. I’ll complain about it, but I understand it. Cold is new, and very very cold.

So it’s the last day of the year. Traditionally I have always loved the New Year. It’s a time of renewal, a time to restate what’s important and set out the plans to achieve those things. It’s easy to make fun of New Year’s Resolutions because we very seldom hold to them, but I still think they’re important… and fun! I, of course, will make my Resolutions with pride and when I don’t follow them, I won’t be bummed. I’ll just make them again next year and try again. There will be a couple of new ones this year: finish my Great American Novel and put up the Wizard Moon website.

Matt and I want to have a baby in 2002 as well. I turn 34 years old in 2002 and my baby window is getting smaller. We’re both nervous about having kids, but we’ve decided to take the plunge next year.

The Woodings brothers are planning to have friends over to welcome the New Year. I have become very antisocial in the past couple of days. I tend to stay in our room reading, and come out for meals or games in the evening. I need a couple of days at my home in Austin to be by myself, and then I could socialize again. But you don’t get that on vacation. It’s constant socializing with people I don’t know very well yet, although that will change over the years. So I’ve been holing up in our room. I hope I’m not offending the Woodingses. It’s not their company that I dislike; I just need some downtime. I’m not a very social person. And I’m also not really looking forward to this evening when the house is filled with more people that I know even less. I think I’ll be sneaking away to my hiding room a lot this evening.

Ah, the life of an introvert. I guess extroverts have their own trials and tribulations they have to face. I wouldn’t know what those are, but I’m sure there are some.

Happy New Year.

December 31st, 2001 | General | No Comments -

Boxing day ends on another excellent hair day

So the hair has been in top performance while I’ve been in England. I wish my hair would be so excellent in Austin. This would be the very least the Woodings would say about their new daughter-in-law if they didn’t like me:
Random Person: So how do you like your new daughter-in-law?
Woodings: Well…. she has very nice hair.

But I think they do like me so yay!

Boxing day is a big deal here in England. All the Americans have returned to work and the Brits are still partying. The Woodings made a huge and totally yummy buffet meal that sat out all day, and people started arriving around 1pm. There’s still a roomful of people downstairs playing Balderdash but I just excused myself because it’s almost 1am and I’m a bit tired. The Woodings family is a lot of fun. If I must spend Christmas away from my family, they are definitely my first choice.

We bought a beautiful diamondback rattlesnake skin for Matt’s aunt Teresa and her family, and they loved it! I was worried that it would be just too weird of a present, but it was a big hit with everyone. 🙂

I thought I had more to say, but it turns out that I’m really tired. So, g’nite.

December 27th, 2001 | General | No Comments -

Lonely thoughts on another good hair day

So the hair has been cooperating while I try to impress my in-laws, and the skin has finally fallen into line. At least they’ll think their son married someone with pretty red hair.

I miss my family. I didn’t spend last Christmas with them either. It’s been hard on both me and Matt. He knows I miss my family at Christmas and he wants me to be happy. And I know that he didn’t get to see his family all year because he lives in Texas now and I want him to be happy. We’re both so close to our families but our families are 6000 miles apart. I think the bigger problems will show up when we have children. I want my children to know both sides of the family because the Clarks and the Woodings are both excellent families. We’ll really have to work something out so the families don’t get separated over such long distances.

I love you, my little Texas family having Christmas at Surfside Beach. I’m thinking of you guys on this Christmas Eve.

December 24th, 2001 | General | No Comments -

A good hair day

So today was a good hair day. I wish everyday could be a good hair day. It gives you that extra bit of confidence… that nice little “Wow, my hair looks really great” feeling whenever you go to the restroom and check out your reflection while washing your hands. Good hair days rock.

Myself and the Woodings family went to see Fellowship of the Ring. I loved the movie even though I was a bit upset that they changed so much of the book. Tolkein’s words are beautiful. I don’t know why they had to go making up their own dialogue. Also, they changed things they didn’t need to. Like when they are ascending Caradhas (sp?) and Gandalf says they will let the ring-bearer decide whether to go over the mountain or go under it through Moria. Why would they change that? It would take just as much film time to stick with the original, which was Gandalf made the decisions. He was the leader. That was the change that irked me the most. A lot of the changes were made because they went from book to movie format. This was just a change for changes sake. And it was a significant change. Grrr….

The other part that irked me was they completely changed how the fellowship broke up in the end. Well, not completely, but by quite a bit. Why do they feel the need to change from the original? I just don’t understand it.

The last thing I didn’t like was Hugo Weaving’s portrayal as Elrond. I thought he would make a great Elrond but I was sorely disappointed. He was a disapproving daddy Elrond and I didn’t like it.

Anyways, all the negatives things being said, I did really like the movie. Everything through Moria was brilliant, especially the final battle with the Balrog. I loved Boromir’s final battle. The shire and Bilbo’s birthday party were exquisite and spot on. 75% of the movie was great and 25% will make you a bit irked if you’ve read the books.

It’s strange having an in-law family. I went with all the Woodingses to the movie– Mom, Dad and the three sons. I’m the first married-in wife. This family has been with each other all their lives, and I just showed up in the last year. I feel like a third wheel– very uncomfortable. I also feel like I’m the witch that came between them and their beloved brother/son. Being married definitely has bits that are uncomfortable and have to be worked through. I can only imagine that this is common- trying to fit into a new family when you’re just married. I’m afraid I don’t like it, but I’m also afraid that it’s necessary to a marriage and for my husband’s happiness. Hopefully with time I will feel like less of an outsider and interloper in the Woodings home.

Nitey nite from England.

December 24th, 2001 | General | No Comments -

In England

So I’ve finally arrived in Lincoln, England, where Matt’s family lives. My sister took us to the airport Wednesday at noon and we just arrived here. It’s Friday at 10pm here. The Woodings parents picked us up from Gatwick yesterday and then we drove to Reims, France. I’d never been to France before so that was fun, if a little tiring. We drove from Gatwick Airport in London to the white cliffs of Dover. That was very pretty. The cliffs, not the drive I mean. I slept for most of the drive. It was really neat to see where invading armies from France landed. Now I know what it looks like from both sides of the armies, English and French– to imagine the English watch seeing the French ships showing up on the horizon, or the French troops seeing the white cliffs knowing they are about to land and fight.

We then got on a very large ferry to cross the English Channel from Dover to Calais, France. That was fun and I didn’t get seasick. Then I slept for most the ride from Calais to Reims, but I did get to see some of the French countryside and the miles upon miles of grape fields. They had no leaves or grapes, of course, because it was winter, but it was still impressive.

We stayed in a very small and pleasant French hotel which had a very old and very cool elevator. We walked to the cathedral in the town and then had a nice dinner and then Matt and I slept like the dead. The next morning we went to visit the Woodings’ friend Nickola Morley who runs the Morley Champagne house with the rest of his family. He showed us how champagne is made and the caves under the house where they store 300,000 bottles of champagne. I really enjoyed it. Then we had a wonderful lunch cooked by Madame Morley, bought lots of champagne and started the long journey from Reims, France to Lincoln, England. We left Reims at about 11am England time (noon French time) and arrived in England at 9pm England time.

Phew!! What a long journey from Austin, Texas! But I’m glad we went to France even though it was a very long and very tiring journey. Reims is beautiful and Nickola Morley and his mother are two wonderful people.

That’s all the travel news for now. I think I’m going to sleep for two days now. No more planes, boats or cars for me for awhile. I think I’ve had my fill.

December 21st, 2001 | General | No Comments -

Spooky day

So Matt got an email from his boss asking him to send in a weekly report saying what he spent his time on and what he plans to do the following week. The email ended with a disturbing paragraph that could’ve been interpreted as: you won’t be with us much longer. And the company is laying off 1/2 of their workforce as it is.

He emailed his boss back, saying “I’ll definitely start sending you those reports, and should I look for another job?” That’s not verbatim of course. 🙂 While we waited for his boss to answer, we discussed possible futures in a very unhappy way. We both felt the stress and the conversation wasn’t very helpful. His boss emailed back saying that everything was fine. They have plenty of work for him, but that he needs to send in these reports to keep the accountant-types of his boss’ back.

So the stress and worry immediately melted away and I was able to think clearly again. Two things came from this. The first was an interesting realization. Stress and worry seized up my mind and I was near useless. I wasn’t helpful in coming up with a solution to our possible problem. Hopefully, since I’m now aware of this, next time I’ll be a little more coherent.

The second thing I decided was that I’m not going to get a toy job. When we returned from England after the New Year, I was going to try to get a job at a comic book store or some other similar situation. The pay would be minimal with no benefits. I was trying to find something with little stress and that I found enjoyable. But now I’ve decided to get a real job.

I’ve been out of work for nearly six months now, and I’m ready to go back. I really needed the break. I worked for two start-ups in three years with no vacation. The stress broke me into little tiny pieces by the time we got laid off last June. But after my six-month break, I’m ready to go back. But not to another high-stress job. I’m done with that. I know I won’t get paid as much, but I can’t deal with all the bullshit and the inane hours they expect you to work. The money isn’t worth it to me.

I talked to Carla about my idea of her moving in with either me or Mom if Steve gets that job in Alaska. She and Steve had already been talking about that and she had already discussed the possibility with Mom. We’ll have to see what happens. I think her and Steve really want Steve to get that job because that would get them out of debt. And Steve suggested that she spend that year going back to school full time. One more year and she would have her associates degree from ACC in business management.

Plans plans plans. We always seem to have about five different plans in the works at any one time. One plan doesn’t work out, you just smoothly shift tracks and try Plan B.

By the way, marriage isn’t as easy as I thought it was. I guess it seemed easy because we are newlyweds. The biggest problem that we have is that Matt is so far from his family. That makes me really sad, and we don’t really have a good solution for that one.

That’s all my thoughts for now. Sudden ending.

December 13th, 2001 | General | No Comments -

staying up with my husband

So my husband has to stay up for another 3 hours or so to write documentation. Bleh. I’ve written documentation before and it’s so not fun. He’s been doing it for two days and he wants to finish it tonight so he’ll be done with it. Anyways, I’m trying to stay up with him. He works so hard and it’s the money that he brings in that pays the bills and buys the food. So when he stays up late, I often try to stay up with him for moral support. That doesn’t always happen though. He’s had to stay up til 3am before and I don’t make it much past midnight or 1am.

So Shelly is starting an online journal. It’s the wave of the future! Actually it’s really fun, and I can’t wait to start reading her entries. She’s been too busy so nothing yet. Now I just have to break Gene down and get him to publish his thoughts onto the world bulletin board.

Steve is looking into a job that would take him to Alaska for a year. It’s a lot of money and would get him and Carla out of debt and put money in savings. However, if this happens, Carla and their baby will be alone for a year. I don’t like that idea at all. I think she should move in with Matt and I or move to Kentucky and live with Mom for a year. I’m going to tell her my idea tomorrow. It’s all just hypothetical right now because Steve hasn’t even contacted the job people. Who knows if this will happen or not.

Gosh, really not a lot to say this evening. I think it’s because I’m very tired. I’m also trying to keep two journals at once. I’m keeping a journal that is just letters to Mom and when I’m finished I’m going to mail it to her. But I’m trying to not repeat information twice.

Definitely tired. I don’t know if I’m going to be able to stay up with Matt…. sleepy….

December 12th, 2001 | General | No Comments -

Long time, no write

I haven’t written in this in awhile. I regularly read Dudley’s and yet never actually talk to Dudley. Apparently Gene does the same. What a bizarre time we live in. We communicate with each other like ghosts or like I’m a fly on the wall of Dudley’s life. Gene said he’s going to be the one friend that doesn’t start an online journal so all his friends say “Dammit! I have to CALL him! Why won’t he just be normal and write an online journal.” while they are dialing his phone number.

I also find the online journal a bizarre thing. It’s public yet only if someone happens to stumble upon it and find it interesting enough to read. So we post our thoughts publicly but it’s on a message board that’s so huge that the chances of anyone finding it are very slim. And many many people do this. What’s the appeal? There’s obviously an appeal, but what is it? The need to express our opinion? The need to shine our little flashlights into the infinite night sky? Or, oh hey, that might just be me. I think Dudley just uses it to keep in touch with his friends. *wink*

So, I play EverQuest a lot and the EQ shorthand is creeping into my everyday digital communication. Let me give you an example: Glenn ICQs saying “Where’s your husband? He won’t answer my ICQs.” and I answer “He’s afk atm. He’ll brb. )” And then of course I have to write another ICQ that is not in shorthand when I realize what gibberish I just sent to Glenn.

So then of course that makes me realize that I’m turning into my mom. My mom is worried that the art of written communication is being lost. She says that letters that were written in the 1800s and early 1900s were very well written, but with email, we are not expressing ourselves as eloquently. I guess because you get email almost instantly whereas in the 1800s a letter was infrequent and treasured. Anyways, there is a TON of kids on EQ, and they all write like that. Here’s an example of something typical on EQ: “ru noob. jk =P” Let me translate: “Are you a newbie? Just kidding. [face with a tongue sticking out the side]” Why, asks the normal person over the age of 25, do they write like that? A lot less keystrokes. It’s realtime chat, and who knows if they have taken “keyboarding” in school yet. (The name of the class is really “keyboarding.” I’m not making that up.)

So I of course think, “Geez, how are these kids going to speak and write when they grow up?” We all turn into our parents. Do not kid yourself about that. I hope you like your parents and wouldn’t mind looking like them and thinking like them. I’m lucky. I have a great mom. 🙂

And what is with the new way to spell cool?! “Kewl” Yuch! *sigh* I am so un-kewl these days, too old. I don’t like loud music anymore either.

Well, not so much an update on my life as a lot of rambling thoughts. But that’s me, the great unemployed philosopher. That’s what all unemployed people do, you know. Some people think that we sit around and watch daytime talk shows and wonder if we should enroll in ITT Technical Institute. No! We download mp3s all day and philosophize about the universe. We’ll have it all figured out for you employed people around 2010. Hang in there until then!

Nitey nite. I’m off to my secret lab now to finish my plans to take over the world.

December 9th, 2001 | General | No Comments -