Thought Spill… *CAUTION* It’s a long one!

Oh, I have been gone so long! Things have been extra busy for me at work and I typically don’t blog on the weekends, but here I am. Welcome to a new blog post! How have you all been?

Weekend Happenings: After sleeping off the beginnings of some kind of illness all Friday, I was pretty ready for the weekend. Saturday was chore day (not a routine or typical happening at our house). M. got out and mowed our lawn even though it didn’t look half as bad as a neighbor. This particular neighbor is also at the very beginning of the subdivision while we’re tucked away in the back, so neighbor’s grass is visible to all visitors to our neighborhood. The grass is probably about 3 feet high and going to seed (Clyde and Luigi would definitely get lost in that grass jungle)! That neighbor sucks. Our lawn looks all nice now even without any landscaping…

I did stuff too! I cleaned inside while M. took care of the outside. We now have sparkly fresh bathrooms, vacuumed floors, and Clyde and Luigi are having a much nicer box experience. I also finished reading A Darker Place. I am always excited to find potentially good authors I’ve never read before, so when I saw this book on the shelf at the library tagged as ‘mystery’ and with the cover proclaiming ‘A Nail-Biter Thriller,’ this had to be at least decent, right? Well, it was okay as far as putting together sentences and that sort of thing, but nowhere in the almost 500 pages did I feel it was thrilling (certainly not to the point I was chomping my nails) nor was it what I would call ‘mysterious.’ So much for Laurie R. King as a new author on my book list… This book did get almost 5 stars on Amazon.com, so some people out there like. Not me.

I know you are all here to find out what I’m reading and how much I did or did not enjoy it, so I will tell you once I finished A Darker Place I immediately plunged into The Secret Life of Bees. What a difference! This book is not typed in the same genre as A Darker Place (supposed to be a mystery, but really isn’t) – The Secret Life of Bees is more in the range of literary drama, but oh so much better – even in the first 10 pages! I’ve got about 100 pages left to go and look forward to finishing it up tonight.

I will have plenty of time to read tonight since M. has embarked on a new gaming experience – The Age of Conan. M. has been excited about this online game for some time now and it was just released to a limited number of players for advanced access and M. was lucky enough to register in time for the early access. I am sure he will be totally enthralled in Hyboria tonight. M. has been trying to get me to read the books the game is based on – the Conan series by Robert E. Howard. This is not the kind of book I usually read, but when I am done with my current Book Bag I may try out one, just to see. I did try out the game for a couple hours yesterday and liked it well enough. I do enjoy video games, but those online role playing games where you have to team up with other people to complete quests are totally not for me. I am as antisocial in the online gaming world as I am in real life and do not like to play with others. The Age of Conan has 20 player levels that are single-player before you have to get into all the team up and conquer stuff, so I can play it for awhile – if I can get M. away from it for a bit, that is!

Okay, so the gaming bit last night is a bit out of order. I did do some more productive stuff Sunday before creating Raksasha, the Cimmerian bear shaman. M. and I ventured out to do some errands. Our first stop was the dreaded mega store.

We do try to avoid the mega store whenever we can, but after a bad experience with a ‘all we do is eye exams’ place a couple years ago I decided to go back to the vision center at the mega store. I really like the eye doctor at the mega store – he explained everything he was doing very well and I now more than I ever wanted to about the shape of my eyes, why certain contacts do not work, etc. It was still nicer than him just saying, “Is 1 or 2 better? How about 3 or 4?” So my exam was well over a month ago. Of course because my eyes are shaped weird (I have an astigmatism plus my eyes apparently also lay funny in the socket or something) my contacts have to be ordered, they are not regular stock at mega store’s vision center. No big deal, I had a trial pair that would last me about a month and the ordered contacts were supposed to be in within a week or so. I did get the call that my contacts were ready shortly after ordering them and went in, picked them up and it was all easy peasy. Well, then my trial contacts were done for so I pull out the contacts I picked up. Opened the bag and well, they weren’t the right ones! They were not for astigmatism and were the same strength in both boxes. I’ve known since I was in grade school that my eyes do not require the same amount of correction – my left one is definitely a bit behind my right eye. So I call and mega store vision center doesn’t know how that happened, or where the contacts they ordered for me went, so they reorder.

And that is why M. and I made the stop at the mega store yesterday – to pick up my reordered contacts. We were walking through the parking lot behind a guy waving his cigarette around in the wind and thus burning out our eyes and nostrils because it was Sunday at the mega store and the only available parking was a mile from the store. We finally make it to the doors and pop in expecting a quick in and out, but to our dread the vision center was still dark – it doesn’t open until noon on Sunday and it was 11:55. Well, since we were already at the mega store, we decided to browse a little while waiting for the vision center to open (M. is on a quest to find somewhere that still sells corn nuts). So we browse, and due to the crowds, end up back at the vision center about 12:05. Still dark!

Since it was now 5 minutes past when mega store vision center was supposed to open, M. went over to the greeter and asked if the vision center would be open today. Her response was, “He should be opening soon.” By now there is another person standing at the black ropes keeping people out of the still dark vision center. I want to leave, telling M. I’ll just pop in tomorrow since the mega store is near where I work. M. is insistent we wait.

About 12:08 we see someone beginning to move around in the darkened vision center. It is the smoking marvel who irritated our nasal passages on the way in. He’s kind of moving around in there – not too fast despite the line growing outside the black ropes. Finally, he makes his way over to the ropes and removes them (still no lights). The guy waiting in front of M. and I slowly enters the darkened area. M. and I slowly enter behind him. It’s still dark, but it’s now almost 10 minutes past opening time, so is the vision center open or is it not? Smoking marvel still hasn’t said a word. He goes over to a table of sunglasses and begins dinking around with them. No, “I will be right with you people who have been waiting and waiting since I decided to do whatever it was I was doing in the back instead of opening on time.” No, “I am so sorry I had to have that last bit of cancer-inducing death stick instead of getting my butt in here to open on time.”

Now the guy who entered in front of us is giving us that hesitant, “What the hell is going on” smile and we’re giving it right back to him. It was probably only a few seconds between the dinking around at the sunglasses table until smoking marvel turned on the lights in the vision center, but it felt like an awkward 5 additional minutes. Finally, he helps the guy who entered in front of us. Of course, smoking marvel hasn’t unlocked anything yet, so as he sets about helping in front-of-us-guy, he is also doing what he should have in that 5 minutes before noon (or the 10+ minutes he would have had if he’d skipped the cigarette).

When in front-of-us-guy is done I explain to smoking marvel why I am there. When I tell him that I was given the wrong contacts and I am now here to pick up the correct ones he exclaims, “Really? That has never happened before.” Well, goodie gumdrops smoking marvel, please just get me my contacts! Which he did, and it took all of 2 seconds. A much snarkier situation than it should have been.

So then we’re out of mega store having spent about 21 minutes/1 second more than we’d anticipated being in mega store. Then it was off to pick up an allergy prescription for M., some lunch, and our final stop, a home improvement place so M. could exchange his mom’s defective wind chime and I could pick up terrarium supplies which took longer than M. had patience for and cost more than I had expected. Then it was home again, home again so M. could rush off to our 3-year old niece‘s birthday party.

My plan for the afternoon while M. was at the party was to try out his new Conan game. It seemed like the perfect time since he would be at the party, not hovering over my shoulder griping about how I chose to plan games or anxiously waiting for his turn at it again. So I got my terrarium supplies situated on our front porch (so the cats couldn’t chew the plants) and tried to log in. Alas, the game was down for “tweaks and updates.” Likely downtime = approximately 2 hours.

Okay, no problem. I had terrariums to plant. So I prepared my kitchen for that project. I laid mats over our table, brought in all the supplies from the front porch, got my containers out, and set to. I got as far as washing the containers and placing the drainage layer of rocks into the bottoms. I then realized despite the exorbitant amount of time I took to gather my supplies (exorbitant at least in M.’s mind), I had forgotten to get charcoal – a necessary layer to prevent soil mold and rot. Well, after spending as much as I did on the plants and other supplies, I was not going to let it go to waste by letting my soil fall prey to mold or stinky rot.

So I had a dilemma: go back to town and get some charcoal or back everything up and try again another day. Once I get into a project I rarely like to quit right at the beginning (if it’s long and drawn out I may quit later, but not at the beginning) so I decided to head back to the home improvement store. I looked all over that darn store’s garden section. No horticulture charcoal. Well, I knew where I could get some charcoal for certain – the mega store. Even if they didn’t have horticulture charcoal, the fish supplies section would have charcoal for the fishy filters. So for the second time in one day I was back at the dreaded mega store. But I was right, they had charcoal, so mission accomplished.

And, because the people in front of my in the ’10 items or less speedy checkout’ had forgotten something and I had time to look over the impulse register items, I ended up buying some of these ‘As Seen on TV’ Green Bags. I thought since I am doing way more cooking and because we buy a lot more fresh produce that eventually doesn’t all get used because it’s just the two of us, these things would be handy (as long as they work like they are supposed to).

Back at home, I was now prepared to plant some terrariums! But the approximate two hour downtime for the game had passed, and since I had my plants securely shut away in a cabinet, I decided to try out the game. After all, once M. got home he would want to play the game and then I would have free time to plant. Well, on second attempt to log into the game server I found out that they were now approximating another hour of downtime. Well, poo! Back to the plants…

Once again I got everything out. I had planned to take pictures of my in-progress work on the terrariums, but between the unexpected charcoal trip, the ever-increasing game downtime, and attempting to keep cats off counters and out of dirt and plants, the pictures were forgotten. I even forgot to take pictures of the end products, but I created four very lovely terrariums. I left two at home and have two in my office. If any of my fellow office workers would like to stop by and visit, you can also admire my horticulture skill. I’ll have to try to remember some photos for the blog too.

I did end up trying out the game, but you already knew that from reading one of the paragraphs way up there in this post. M. graciously gave me some time to try it out after he got home and practiced his guitar in the meantime.

So there is a very long step-by-step theme on ‘What I Did This Weekend.’ Now on to:

Monday Snarkiness: (Typically, this is Monday morning snarkiness, but my weekend took up so much time that it’s now afternoon…) Here are today’s random snarks, brought to you from my office:

  • Bossman is out of town and has sent me two emails in which he just forwards something he received and gives me no explanation of what I am supposed to do with this information…
  • There’s lemon cake in the break room. You ask what is snarky about lemon cake? Well, it’s more to do with who brought in the lemon cake. It’s just a symbolic reminder of the sappy happy this person exudes while at work. Sappy happy makes me want to vomit.
  • The library bookcase is still empty and makes me snarky every time I walk in the front door.
  • I was told if I got my self-evaluation completed by May 9th, my annual review would take place on time this year (a great feat for this place). Well, I turned the blasted thing in on the 8th and my review still has not been scheduled. Tomorrow is my 4 year anniversary here.
  • The search feature thingy on my blog is not working right (Google is having some serious issues lately), so I’ve really had to hunt around to find past posts I want to link to this post.
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