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An interesting day and several interesting conversations. My friend Karen and I discussed a dilemma smart girls have after an interlude I had today.

One, it is nice when attractive men hit on you, and two, it is even better when they are smart too…and here is the dilemma: smart girls want smart guys, and smart guys often want dumb girls; which then leaves smart girls with cats. No, this does not apply to all men, or to all smart men. I have had the pleasure to date, and am still friends with, the men I have dated who are in the category of smart men who like smart women. Yet, that said I have noticed that trend in some guys–once you start talking and they realize you are bright…it happens sometimes.

I can understand the logic, and it does work both ways too. There are those intelligent women who would rather not be with the smart guy. Again, it just happens sometimes and there should be no shaming on either side, you prefer what you prefer.

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Every feel that way with some people? I can get the allure of no challenege sometimes...but always?

Yet, this conversation also reminded me of one of my favorite shows: The IT Crowd.

It is a brilliant, but very British, comedy. If you do not like British comedy you may not like it. Personally, I have never laughed so hard during the early episodes.

I just love Moss! He is adorably goofy and fun. A character who cannot lie or swear…a bit ocd and well perhaps too smart for his own good. Of course.

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Roy and Moss being...Roy and Moss. :)

Roy has a little more social awareness, maybe not by much. He is definitely awkward, but in a nice way.

Then there is Jen…well, not a nerd but relationship manager of the department. People and not computers are her business. She does have her peculiarities though, like insisting on wearing shoes that are by far not her size.

Finally, Richmond Felicity Avenall. The goth. That they had a character who was a goth was so amusing. His clothing, his love of Cradle of Filth…oh Richmond. A reminder that goths are people too (to quote Jen).

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Jen explains the Internet to the big wigs.

I would be doing a disservice to not mention the boss: there have been two so far…the first so changeable and now his son, who is such a characture of rich CEOs, well you will be amazed at the actor’s ability to keep his energy going throughout an episode.

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Oh Moss...that and his use of the word "Ploppers" rather than swearing.

A pity they can’t have a smart people are people too…I mean sometimes you just want to match wits with someone, metaphorically tumble around. Half the fun is seeing who ends up on top and I like it either way ;)

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So far I have been lucky to not have an issue on either end, but I know it does happen-- ergo I am selective. :)

A Bit of Class

And breathe, half way done…well if you read my tags you will know with what. It never seems to end at times…school.

For me in so many ways is this true. Anyway, it brought a lot to my mind as of late and I am writing to avoid election results. My friend was right, some kind of lottery or common sense would be nice. Anyway, back to class.

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One, I cannot be surprised with myself that I was drawn to one of the few professions that require you to periodically go back to school. Two, I am my own worst and best student. Three, I hate group work.

One, why? I mean I could ask it, in fact I did…or did I? Sometimes it does feel as though I am stuck within a systems of control at times. The Matrix of Plato, the Dream of Descartes, or even Rousseau’s Prison…okay that is pushing it. Though I confess I never got over the revelation in Systems Theory that prisons, factories (you can add some modern office jobs to that now as well), and schools are basically the same model…ergo schools, factories and some offices, are the same system as a prison (different end result mind you, though some may argue that as well). In my case, I love knowledge and learning…so here I am. Fate, Free Will…I digress.

Two, in a class I confess: I am a bit of a procrastinator at times. The reason? As fellow procrastinators would agree, it is layered, but mainly for me it is that I am wickedly bright (you may say arrogant and to a degree I would agree, but I have also proven it enough for the statement to stand–both ways actually, but in school I got this). Sometimes, this naturally leads one to procrastinate as you become too much the perfectionist, just frustrating (yes, I can frustrate myself at times).

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I could have it all done, but no, my perfectionism gets the best of me. I will overanalyze at times and refuse to turn it in until I deem it “worthy” of me. Other times I cannot focus because, you know, squirrel–and mainly day job responsibilities. So there it is not turned in early but on time. Lame complaint I know but a part of me wants to turn it all in four days early. Why not? Oh, day job, and multi-tasking is tricky after all. That or it may be an adrenaline addiction that my friend suggested I take care of by shooting guns at a firing range…tempting, but only with a Hello Kitty gun. I have nerd standards to uphold..glock would be nice too. Back to student life.

When do you do your classwork? This is why I try to take classes in the summer. My wick is recouperating but not burning on both ends then. Timing this year is odd. This particular school is hip to such thing, so in order to get participation points you have to have 8 “substantial” comments over three different days. You cannot not think of it throughout the week, no putting it off until Friday. Touche’ university, touche’. Caught on to that trick, which impressed me actually. Downside: seriously? What if you have nothing new to say? Sometimes parrroting back information gets very tedious, but yes, you can now confidentally say I read and understood the material. Well done, university. Mission accomplished.

Three, I hate group work. What is the main project? A group project, and from what I gather there are a lot of group projects at this place. Heck, were I on the other end I would do it that way too. Real world application is a team environment and collaborative learning is highly effective…I just hate it on the other end, always have. Theory vs. Practice.

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That is how I feel sometimes. Oh, and by the way, The IT Crowd is hilarious British comedy to my goofy mind. Enjoy :)

Two things happen in a group with me: one person does most of it (often me), or the other person is like me, beats me to it and now I only have a very little left to contribute. You know, so now you feel like an ass taking credit for what others did mostly but you tried to help out or put in your two cents…I would have been better off solo. Why can’t that be an option? (I can almost hear several of my professors respond to that one in my head…fine). Communicating online only is tricky at best too which does not add to my warm fuzzies on this.

Sigh. So for pleasant thoughts on this: one, almost done as it is just six weeks long; two, I confess to learning cool computer things; three, by synchronistic chance I am bumping into people who know things I need to know like today’s on the fly Photoshop session; four, the universe is taking care of me with unplanned lunches just coming to me–pizza, Rumbi’s, Jimmy John’s. So is all of this Fate or Free Will?

I do not care, right now grateful for the chance encounters, free lessons, and free lunch. Thank you, universe. :)

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Back to the books as it were.

I know, work tomorrow…actually no. Taking the day to work on that big thing I have been working toward…still cannot say what so as not to jinx it entirely, but fingers crossed. I know, then why mention it? Well, when big life things come up I deal with the stress by talking it out, and for me this blog is like talking to friends…and the ether of the Internet. Like a sounding board at times, though lately I confess it has been hard to write too, as noted in my last post, miss my Irish blogging friend. Still she would probably get a kick of my Prof. Trewlaney outift, thoughts like that can help I find.

So it was that on Sunday my friends and I went to the Botanic Gardens and saw the Chihuly glass exhibit before it leaves. When we attempted this last week everything that could go wrong did. It was fun, and honestly another story that will have to be saved for later…when everything falls through it can make a memorable evening. :)

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Mike’s pictures are probably better, but semi-pro photographer that he is, he had another shoot afterward and has yet to post what he got. Busy.Looking back I kind of envy Martine’s take on it she did not photograph, she just was in the moment, and enjoyed it. Something maybe we should all do a bit more of? Just remember things, no need to photograph ever blessed moment…here are some of what I got. Chihuly’s art is fantastic!

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This reminded us of Willy Wonka's choclate ball garden.

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We both loved the water shots...reflections, running water...so cool :)

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Loved the water, and by my favorite spot, the Japanese gardens.

There was more of course. As to pumpkins? Well, the original plan was gardens, lunch, carve pumpkins but Mike had to leave. So it was only the two of us to carve.

It was fun though I forgot how much pumpkin guts can stick to you and get over everything…including down your shirt. As a girl mortifying but expected when you are big-chested, at least it was just us girls thankfully.

My pumpkin is a bit hard to see, but it is a gnome with a scythe. It had that bit of humor that I like but could be scary to little kids just enough.

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That is my Gnome pumpkin, cute and a bit scary :)

First time here in my home and first time with trick-or-treaters in awhile. I have to find out how much candy I should expect to give out here. You never know the neighborhood quite until the first Halloween I think. The people at the other end unit have three pumpkins out, cobwebs, and ghosts, so there may be a bit of traffic–especially on a Friday.

Having moved, and my inclination to not overdo decorations for a holiday as I cannot stand the thought of Hallmark throwing up in my home–I do not have much this year. I always felt it was more you honor the holiday inside you, but I also like good decorations. Just a fine balance that I need to work on.

I feel I have gone too minimalist this year, pumpkin and a doormat that is it. Balance is a beautiful thing and next year I figure I will have more of a knack for how to tastefully decorate my new home. Still on a bit of a learning curve. Meantime, pumpkin, mat, candy…trick-or-treat :)

Always

Well, I noticed it has been awhile…and with the season in mind, this has also been on my mind: Why is the animal of Ravenclaw an eagle, and not a Raven? While on that subject, why a lion and not a griffin either? It is a school of witchcraft and wizardry…mythical creatures would not be that great a leap. Heck, just looking at Scotland’s unicorn, even Muggles are down with mythical creatures…unless this is also a hint that maybe, just maybe, Scotland is where wizards and Muggles openly coexist?

Coincidence? I think not!

See, I am not alone in this:

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From Harry Potter memes on Facebook

That is right, Harry Potter has been on my mind lately. I partly blame the costume theme idea going around at work, but it could also be that most people can relate to the series. Not surprising really (and yes, shocker there is a series on Harry Potter and philosophy, if you are curious).

Another sidenote: notice the hatred for she who is uptight and wears pink contrasted with Bellatrix. We can almost forgive Bellatrix’s crazy as she was touched, maybe even in love, compared to the micromanaging and just strict lawful evilness of Umbridge. Just saying, there is a greater implication going on there.

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She was always into...like everything. No privacy, Orwellian...

The series just encompanses so much we can all relate to and/or learn: growing up, finding yourself and being true to yourself, loss, empathy, continuing in the face of adversity, sacrifice for the greater good (and in Voldemort’s case power itself), etc.

For me it is some of the humor through the drama that keeps it real, and “human” as even the greatest of wizards can be flawed. Enjoy a smile or two, beginning with snarky and sarcastic Snape (check out my alliteration, woot!) :

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The condescending tone just adds to the charm :)

And a little more for you:

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A smart alec gps, who could pass on that?

Professor McGonagal and her shapeshifting ways:

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From HP memes on FB of course.

Then there is this thought that at times, I confess I wonder:

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And finally, these two bits of truth that can keep you going:

There is always hope, hang in there…

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One of my favorites :)

And of course, there are those for whom we say, “always.”

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Right in the feels again, sir. Well played.

He did such an outstanding job portraying the subtleties that Snape always had a hidden agenda, a good guy all the way through, but we did not know until the end. He was only given a glimpse from the author that there would be something deeper to the character, that he was more complex than what the surface revealed. Hence the fandom now goes:

Even after all this time…always.

The Moon and the Kats

I probably should be asleep…in fact I know I should. I should also cut down my caffeine-intake. It was explained to me quite simply today: if you can endure one terrible week, it will get better. It takes the body about that long to readjust when cutting down caffeine. Even just cutting down half what I do would be an improvement overall, if I can just make one week of sluggishness.

It is hard, and it is a cycle. Addictions are difficult to break because that is their very nature. You are tired so you crave it; you have trouble sleeping in part because you had too much or had it too late in the day. Which then leads you to wanting espresso in the morning.

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So why not switch my method of intake? Going back to tea, green tea is a little less caffeine than espresso…I think. It may or may not help I know, but if it does help that would be brilliant, and probably healthier.

It was with that in mind in part that I went to Estes Park to my favorite tea shoppe, Moon Kats. My only regret was getting there late (I am very skilled at sleeping in on weekends, or staying up to the wee am for some reason I have no problems, but good rest times during the week, pa-fah–I live off Americanos).

It was lovely, the food, the view, the overall serenity of the place and my chair. Well, not my chair, but it practically was for a time on Sundays when they were at Isis. Staci, co-owner and baker extraordinaire (seriously outstanding breads and cakes), laughed at how appropriate it was to see me back in the chair and writing. She snapped the following:

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This was my favorite chair, and apparently it still is.

Always look on the bright side. I try to, like having friends who are understanding of my…well…lately forgetfulness, which goes back to cutting down on caffeine. Still…

Still it was a great space for breathing and writing. The tea was lovely, the view of the mountains ascending all around…the only thing that would have topped off the day would have been a hot stone massage. I just wish I could make it up there to Moon Kats more than once a month, but for now, that will do.

Back to pen and paper…or of I am lucky bed. Only three hours until it is time to rise…and maybe shine, probably imbibe a bit of espresso knowing me. Oh, the wicked mistress of that warm sinful brew…I am so whipped, and not in a good way.

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I know, I know, it is a bit dramatic, but we are talking a serious caffeine addiction like Smaug was addicted to gold...just sayin'.

Treat to Self Motivation

This week has been rough–hectic, work intensive, just one of those weeks when half way through and it seems nothing quite works right. All you can think to do is look up and say, “Really?” (Anyone else have issues with Windows updates, blank screens, and all that work you need to do??…yeah.) We have all been there, it happens. In retrospect it is not a big deal comparative to the story of others…loss of jobs, homes…piddly when you think of it, but in the thick of it, it is hard to immediately have that Zen state (but progress, nice).

So you find something positive to focus on. It can vary, but you think of some kind of treat to self as we continue a bit of behaviorial conditioning that worked well when we were little. Get through this and Saturday LOTR or Star Wars marathon; Indian food night; nice bath and book time; hike day…whatever works, you create that light at the end of a short term tunnel.

For me it is Moon Kats this Saturday. Free time and decent mountain road conditions so far. I am heading up there, having my favorite tea and salad, amd then I am just writing in the mountains. Just sounds so freaking good right now. Be in the mountains, write, and drink tea. Just…ah…

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We have all been there, I know. Any favorite rewards to self? I like to mix mine up, but is that good? If I were more consistent would it be easier or a better motivator (behaviorial conditioning tool)? Does changing it up help make it more of a treat then?

I know, overthinking it…this is what happens late night, too much caffeine during the day. Sigh, have to cut down. Point is, we all have treats to self to help us through a rough patch, and sometimes it is the little pleasures that are the best. :)

In this case, tea, mountains, writing…my other option is sci-fi marathon, always lovely too, but in the mood to be more active. Enough blogging back to memorizing lines…long story.

Friendiversary

Friendship is a complex social relationship that transcends blood relation, mainly as you are not related to one another by any direct familial bond, and yet you still love each other and tolerate one another’s flaws. We choose these people to be in our lives and they likewise choose us.

There are of course many different kinds of frienships and durations: casual, aquaintance, school, season, reason, or lifetime. That said, there are some friendships that last longer than some romantic relationships, including marriages.

Yet, these friendships can also be as difficult to maintain. After all you are dealing with two, or more, humans in a social relationship. Issues are bound to come up as well as personality conflicts, resolutions, etc. As such, why do we not honor friendships in America as much as other countries? Why minimalize these relationships?

So my friend and I decided we should celebrate our 20th year friendiversary. We went to Chicago.

It just seemed the thing to do.

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Chicago cityscape.

So we got to stay at her parent’s condo while they were out of town. It was glorious! Walking distance to great restaurants, convenient bus system…and right by the Lincoln Park Zoo, which was free.

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Thought of you, Karen. There were flamingos :)

We also did some touristy things like check out the bean, great for photos.

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The "bean" great for photos.

The art museum for a Ferris Bueller moment.

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Okay, my timing with people not the best...but we got to get up close and stare just like Cameron. :)

We also loved the Museum of Science and Industry, submarine inside the museum, coal mine inside the museum, and the best fairytale castle ever…the list goes on.

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And they had real farm equipment...so much bigger than I expected. :)

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Mini fairytale castle with detailed roon of about every fairytale...so awesome!

96 floors up and enjoy a cocktail…sweet city view.

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96 floors up...views all round are spectacular.

The Untouchables tour, fun, informative, and highly entertaining.

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Informative: the wall where the Valentine's Day Massacre occurred.

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Entertaining: these guys had a great sense of humor. :)

Eataly…there are no words for this mecca for Italian foodies…but alas, I have no pictures.

And of course the Buckingham fountain which reminds me of “Married With Children”.

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Based on the Buckingham fountain.

It was a great trip and Martine and I had a great time.

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Our female friends are as important as our romantic relationships. In our time together Martine also pointed out that should we get into a serious romantic relationship with a guy anytime soon, we can draw on what we learned being friends together, communication, compromise, all that has worked, and it should help us to make a relationship last (should we so choose).

*Now I am not minimizing the other friends I have that also have a 20-yeariversary with; however, in this case it just so happened that we could go and as we are the only single friends we have it made sense to make a big fuss. I look forward to celebrating a friendiversaries with my other friends as well when schedules allow. Ladies, I am thinking when we all hit 30 yrs we should find a way to do Ireland, or a resort by a beach…thoughts? *

Should Hallmark, and/or resorts, catch on and capitalize on this concept of a friendiversary, I feel some credit would be nice. :)

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