my occupational dream

I love going into a temp job where the supervisor greets me and says, "Oh, good! You brought a book!"

It's seriously my dream: 80 percent of my work hours was spent reading.

Now that's a job.


July 28, 2009: I caved . . . but give me some credit

Yes. I went to Borders. Yes. I had a coupon for 30 percent off any one item. Yes. I spent an hour browsing through the shelves and shelves of books. Yes. Even though I have no money, I went anyway. And yes. I found myself at the check-out counter.

However, you can give me some credit here. This is the first time all summer I've entered Borders, only the second time I've purchased a book all summer long. I've been Borders-sober up until yesterday around noon. I found several books I wanted to purchase but restrained myself and only bought one, a book I knew I'd like based on the recommendation of my sister.

I've been home since April 25 and haven't gone into Borders until July 29. And I bought only one book. That's control.

Operation Superhuman Reader: Summer Book #8

Atonement Atonement by Ian McEwan

My rating: 1 of 5 stars
I couldn't finish it. I hated the characters and barely got halfway through the book. I tried. I really did. I just couldn't finish it.

View all my reviews >>


It's Like Being Out of Town . . . But Not

Monday night we experienced a huge hail storm. Huge. Disastrous. Mom's garden was decimated, our siding destroyed, and our power out for a full 48 hours.

I didn't spend too much time at our house during those two days, but really it didn't feel like our house. It felt almost like a ghost house: no lights, everything was in disarray, unusually quiet, not like home. It was weird. Ha, plus our hot water went out. That's when Emily, Sarah, and I spent the night at Grandma's.

It's been a bizarre week; I've felt like I'm in limbo or something. It felt like I was out of town or something--weird. Needless to say, I was super glad to come home to power and hot water!

**Check out Mom's and Emily's blogs for more detailed accounts.**



**I'm going to pull a Jessie and give a TMI warning on this post. Feel free to stop here if you want. I'm going to keep things pretty general, but some of this you may not have wanted to know. Just so you know.**

It all started back in December when I felt ill for a couple of days over break. I had intense abdominal pain that I connected with my period. I'd never had cramps that bad, but I thought that it was a combination of regular cramps, horrible-yet-delicious sugary holiday diet, and having blood in my stomach from a particularly nasty bloody nose. In February, the pain came back. In April, it came back again.

And let me clarify--this pain is not just uncomfortable cramps. I'm resigned to huddling on the couch or bed painfully trying to find a position that minimizes the pain that never completely goes away. I sit with the heating pad on and occasionally throw up. I'm completely incapacitated for at least two days. This is a problem.

I went to the doctor for a physical and brought up my concerns. He said that sometimes stress brings on more intense cramps and to call if it happens again. Great. . . . So two weeks later I'm in again, and the doctor issues a prescription. He said that it often takes a couple months for the hormones to work on bad cramps.

Come June, I'm in Utah visiting a friend and find myself lying on his family's bathroom floor huddled in the fetal position two feet away from my own vomit making a hysterical phone call to my mom. Worst pain I've ever experienced. Ever. The next day I was more functional but still in pain, threw up five times that morning, and still moved as little as possible. And even though I was able to get around okay the next few days (I was able to fly home when scheduled), I still felt sick and weak through mid-week.

So I called the doctor again. A nurse called me back and said to come in for an ultrasound if it happens again. Awesome. Because I really want to go through that again. Thanks.

So, last Tuesday. It was the most mild episode yet, but still. I had to give up my ticket to the midnight showing of the new Harry Potter movie and spent the whole next day on the couch still in pain and feeling nauseous. This time Mom called the doctor, and he got me into a clinic for an ultrasound. It looks like I have an ovarian cyst, but he referred me to another doctor to confirm. At least I have a prescription for Vicodin at the ready in case I'm violently ill again.

And to top it all off, in Costco today, I started getting the migraine-y visual disturbance, aura thing, for which I downed two Excedrin. The funny wavy colored peripheral aura is gone, but I still feel funny.

What the hell.


In case you were wondering

In case you were wondering what exactly I write for these articles, here's a sample. This article came from a batch I just finished last week.

I didn't promise great writing, but it merited a check in the mail.

**Edit: I found my favorite article I've ever written. I wasn't sure if it was posted on the tips site, but here it is, in all its tongue-in-cheek glory.**


Happy birthday, Number One!

Emily just turned nineteen on Monday. (Back in February, I wrote a tribute to my number one--you can read it here, if you want.) Here are nineteen things about her. She's pretty much amazing. I love her.

1. When we were little and played "The Little Mermaid," I was always Ariel and made her be "the blue one." I think she's recovered from that injustice :)

2. She loves to clean and cleans our house all the time. She even coined the term "Mopping Mondays."

3. She's drawn to domesticity.

4. She has and wears an "I Heart Mom" t-shirt.

5. She introduced me to the wondrous world of Big Gulps.

6. She is the most service-oriented person I know. Regardless of how tired she is or how much she has to do, she will always take time to dust and vacuum, unload the dishwasher, or pick the kids up from school.

7. She has an infectious laugh.

8. She has an unnatural fascination with the ShamWow and all infomercials in general.

9. She's going to be Vince Shlomi, the ShamWow promoter, for Halloween this year.

10. She has a quick and clever wit.

11. She comes up with the funniest poses and has since she was little.

12. She loves Disney Channel shows like Hannah Montana, Sonny with a Chance, and Jonas.

13. She's an incredible pianist.

14. She often thinks she's gangsta. Good grief.

15. She's a peacemaker.

16. She loves big sunglasses.

17. She makes funny faces in the mirror. Her signature face is the Paula Abdul face.

18. She talks in her sleep.

19. She can play most Guitar Hero songs on hard and some on expert.

Emily, you have always been such an example to me of spirituality and obedience. You're an amazing young woman with infinite potential. I love you.

You're my number one.

Where Two Worlds Collide

I've spent the majority of my time over the past week and a half in the heart of downtown Denver covering reception at an environmental engineering company, and I've gained a much more educated perspective on the concept of the metropolis.

I love it.

Adele sings this song "Hometown Glory," and at one point sings, "I love it in the city where two worlds collide." Exactly. I have my own suburban, relatively sheltered world colliding with the hustle-bustle-make-it-or-break-it-I'd-like-a-grande-latte-please world of downtown Denver. And while they collide, they don't crash; my own world takes on a different meaning, and for the moment, I'm swallowed into the life of the city, a life made up of the lives of thousands--if not millions--of disconnected people who all lead their lives within their own worlds that collide with the city's.

I love the sleepy sun that can't break over the skyscrapers at 7:15 in the morning as I get off the bus at 17th and Welton.

I love pushing my way through the revolving door and swiping my pass to use the elevator before 7:30.

I love the rush up the elevator as I speed to the eleventh floor.

I love sitting in the open plaza at the metal table reading The Bell Jar during my breaks.

I love strolling down to the 16th Street Mall to grab a Jamba Juice, listening to the music coming from the shops fight with the sounds of the light rail.

I love walking past the the Brown Palace and smelling the petunias.

And yet, still, when I leave at 4:30 and catch the bus, I can't wait to be driven back to my nook of the world where everything makes a little more sense, where I don't have pretend that I know what I'm doing when really I don't, where affectation isn't necessary, where I know I belong.

Thanks, dear readers, for indulging my reflections on being urban.


Death by Member Appreciation

Whenever I get those emails from Borders rewards with a 25-percent-off member appreciation coupon and I know that I can't go because I have no money, it just kills me.


Operation Superhuman Reader: Summer Book #7

The Picture of Dorian Gray The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
I'd give it 3 1/2 if I could. Wilde's morals (ha or lack thereof) are fascinating, and even though Wilde himself lived a Dandy life similar to Lord Henry's and Dorian's lives, he seems to condemn that in his book . . . I think. I found it interesting that Wilde posited that one's choices are reflected in their appearance, and I agree. Gray's corruption is frightening, and his end conveys the message that you can't escape accountability for your actions. It's a compelling book, but not a favorite.

View all my reviews.

blame it on Chase

So months back, Chase bank bought out WaMu, my bank. My banking needs are simple and straightforward, so I haven't given much thought to the change. Yesterday in the mail I received my new Chase debit card. I was a little resentful at first, because I didn't want a new debit card. Now I have to change all my online shopping info and my automatic payments. Oh well.

Anyway, last night after I activated my new card, I took out my wallet and inserted the new card into its new place. Then I forgot to put my wallet back into my purse.

Fast forward to 6:40 this morning as I see the bus peak over the horizon at Simms and 32nd Ave, heading my way. My wallet is at home. I'm at the bus stop needing to get to work downtown.


I beg my way onto the bus, promising I'll pay double tomorrow. I don't think he believed me, but I'll show him tomorrow morning when I insert $4 into the fare box instead of $2.

I think there's a WaMu on 16th Street Mall where I can go withdraw the $2 for the ride home.

I never would have touched my wallet if I hadn't needed a new debit card. This is all Chase's fault.


Really Superhuman Reader

I'm at this temp job and got bored (surprise, surprise) and didn't have motivation this morning to work on my articles (I'll hit them this afternoon). So I went onto goodreads and started browsing through everyone's book lists. Oh dear. I more than doubled my to-read list. Let's be glad I'm poor and can't afford to step inside a Borders. Like, for real.


Missing Out

Today is Emily's birthday. I love birthdays. Everyone in my family is taking the day off and staying home, eating treats, and watching movies.

What do I get to do all day?

"Good morning, CDM." (Hey, it's a job for now, right?)

Until 4:30.

I'm sparing my birthday excitement until then.


Operation Superhuman Reader: Summer Book #6

The Bell Jar The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book was beautifully compelling. Esther was such an accessible character, even though I've never dealt with depression myself. The writing was just beautiful: I could follow Esther and her thought processes, seeing how frighteningly rational her depression and madness are to her. I read this book quickly and loved it. I think I'll definitely reread this book. Esther's (really Sylvia's) story is tragic and scary, but Plath's honesty is palpable and her hopelessness startlingly accessible. And despite the tragic nature of the story, the writing is littered with funny turns of phrase and clever descriptions. I often found myself laughing. I definitely recommend this book to anyone; it's well worth the time.

View all my reviews.



May is still definitely spring. June is springish (and this June has been full of rainstorms galore--love it). July, however, is summer to me. It's starting to get hot (I'm bracing myself for my un-air conditioned car and un-air conditioned house--ew), and July just feels like summer. I don't know if it's the Fourth celebrations or what, but now I feel that I'm in the summer. It's nice.
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