I've been waiting to find the time to write some epic post about my new apartment -- but if we keep waiting for that, it'll never happen. Yes. I moved out of the helll hole I lived in. Part of me wanted to be sad that I was leaving my first home -- the very first place I had all to myself. And as I turned off the lights for the last time and shut the door for the last time, I said a prayer not just to thank God for blessing me with that apartment -- but for the next tenants as well.

Then it was no longer my home.

Its weird -- I've had no mind transition to "I live here now." I suppose I mentally moved out of my old apartment months ago. I just had to wait to move the stuff. And move the stuff we did. I expected a nightmare. I had So. Much. Stuff. And the Uhaul I rented looked so tiny. First lets hit the bad points so I can end on a super happy note:

I had to pay a lot more for the uhaul truck than I expected. I got insurance. I didn't need it -- but what if I had? If I had turned down the insurance, I'd have freaked out about it all day. So I opted for the topmost tier of insurance. I could have ran that thing directly into a building an been covered. And that peace of mind was awesome. So awesome in fact that I drove the truck all day myself. And yes, my friends did have a "you!?" reaction when I said I would be driving it.

And we lost the uhaul keys. Packed it up, everyones in the convoy of cars to move -- and we can't find the keys. We almost started unloading the truck (knowing that the last place the keys were seen was in the truck bed) when Michael discovered them in his pocket. Smart one, Michael ;) And I lost one of the keys to the new apartment too -- but I had given mom one -- Ha! And I lost 300 bucks too. Literally lost it. I was supposed to deposit a wad of cash on Friday but forgot. And while I did not feel comfortable carrying large amounts of cash around, I could not have it spend 4 days in the night deposit box. I had a lot of checks to wrote that weekend and needed that money accessible. So I sealed it in an envelope and kept it in my purse. I spent lots of it, obviously. And when I went to count it before I deposited it on my Monday lunch break... it was gone. There should have been approximately 300 dollars cash left in the envelope. It might have been stolen, or I might have dropped it somewhere... where it was then stolen by whoever found it. I called everywhere I had been all weekend -- no one turned in an envelope of money (yes there was writing on the front which would have been an identifying mark). I beat myself up over it for a few hours -- 300 dollars is so much money -- especially when I was short on money for the move. Ugh. So I've been living this week super cheap -- and I'll be living next week super cheap too. I can't afford anything right now. But god bless pay day is only a week-and-a-half away! Woot!

There were other not-so-great things too. But lets move onto the awesome.

God has blessed me richly with a wonderful bunch of friends. not including myself, my mother and my sister, 11 people came to help me move. Eleven! My friends were wonderful -- they showed up on time and worked their asses off. And one of them must be a witch because somehow we got everything in ONE LOAD. It was physically impossible, hence my witch assumption. Not that I'm complaining. We had the uahul, 2 pick-up trucks, 2 SUVs and a large assortment of cars. And we got it all in 1 load. A fucking miracle.

And we unloaded it all and feasted on 7 pizzas. It was good company all around -- we joked and told stories and caught up with each other. I think we might have actually had fun. I cannot express how humbled I am to have such wonderful friends. I've taken them for granted lately -- but somehow the people I spend most of my time with weren't there... but my true friends really came through -- and came through amazingly. Thank you all. I'm sorry I've not written my thank you cards yet, but they'll be sent out next week, I promise.

And the new apartment is wonderful. I'm so happy here. It's not perfect (in fact when I get home in the evening its like walking into an attic) but its AWESOME. I have tons of space -- its 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. I love the arrangement -- I have a beautiful balcony -- and I love my indoor steps and half-wall in the living room. And I feel so much safer here -- its amazing. And the kids dont vandalize things. Saturday morning I woke up and sat on the balcony for a cup of tea and watched all the kids gather for a baseball game on the playground. It was amazing.

And 4 days after the move, I had almost all of my boxes unpacked. I've still got a few paintings to hang but I've got pictures!

They're not great pictures, but I wanted to get some out there for those of you who havn't been able to come see it yet.

The cats were pretty spastic and unhappy for a week, but they're settling in. They arent even growling at each other anymore :)

Speaking of cats, I had the pleasure to volunteer to adopt out cats at Bridgestreet Saturday. It was wonderfully fulfilling. Even if I did scold anyone who even mentioned declawing. Ginger was a little shocked at my confrontations about it (I try to keep my best face forward at work). We talked about it today and want to get the word about Softpaws out there. So next adoption day, Captain Jack himself shall be in attendance wearing a fresh set of Softpaws. I hope we'll be able to get the word out there -- that there is an alternative to the evils of cutting off an animals fingers to save your fucking couch. Ehem. Not the time for that soapbox.

At least if I die tomorrow,

At least if I die tomorrow, most of my shits packed up. Just drop it off at some charity. (But ask the guy under the Memorial Parkway and 565 interchange if he needs anything. I like him).

I've still not started the kitchen or the bathroom (the bathroom will be easy) and i've got a very small bit left in my bedroom.

I'm 80% ashamed at how much crap I have (100% would be me throwing stuff out the window or just refusing to open my door). I kinda want to hide some of it. But I'm having lots of people help move it -- so if I hide it they can't move it... I'm gonna be very embarrassed on moving day -- probably in many ways.

I've also got 4 large garbage bags and 1 box of clothes to donate to charity. I don't wanna donate it to a thrift store or somewhere where it will end up at a thrift store. Let me not pull out my soap box for the thrift store discussion. I'd like it to go somewhere it will go directly to people who need it -- at no cost to them. Does anyone have any suggestions of a charity like that in Huntsville or Madison Alabama?

If I get no suggestions (I've emailed my friends), I'll just start calling churches, I guess.

Full of win.


My life has been enriched by this picture.

My mental "happy place" has lolcats, otters holding hands and floating in a lazy river, nathan doing the otter dance and the fuck you anteater. Holy fuck it's the happiest happy place ever!

Fuck it.

I don't want to be doing what I'm doing. i don't want to be a programmer. I want to be an artist and a stay at home wife. But I can't make the latter happen. But you know what I CAN make happen? The first part of the latter. How can I ever have a stained glass business if I just wait for it to drop in my lap?

By the time I'm 35 (about 9 years from now), I'm going to have a stained glass studio and be taking commissions for new works and repairing antique stained glass. I declare it thus. I'm not stipulating that I should be living off stained glass -- I'm not stipulating that I have a business location. It might just be a weekend job in a dedicated part of the house -- but I'll be doing something with my life that I ENJOY. I might still be a software engineer, but if I am, I'll be a software engineer with a side business I love.

I'm doing it.

Work Tid-Bits

1) Today was flu-shot day at work. Every October we get flu shots. They're free so I'm all for it.

Short unrelated tangent: They didn't have stressballs this year. I've been looking forward to it so I could get stressballs and there were no stressballs.

So yeah, flu shots. I never realized how many people are scared of needles. Freaking phd captain of the army is scared to get a shot. Whats that about? And the girl in front of me in line was freaking out. What the hell? I'm not saying I like to look at the needle going in or anything, but the only shots that really hurt are tetanus shots. And I've had a lot of shots. Little prick -- slight burn and it's over. 50 people in line in front of you just did it -- just sit down and look away.

2) I'm sitting there getting my shot and the lady asks if I'm ok. So I'm like what? That didn't even hurt, I'm good. And she tried to comfort me and then I realized -- oh wait, I always shake a little bit. She thought I was shaking because I was scared of the shot. I have this problem -- when I try to sit still, I vibrate a little bit. When I try to hold something steady -- my hands shake. When I try to draw a straight line, it's not gonna happen. Am I the only one with this problem? I'm perfectly steady until I try to hold perfectly still -- and then I'm not. This is why I could never be a surgeon or a bomb taker-aparter. Never once got a piece out of Operation without the damn thing buzzing -- never. once.

3) I can't work the door at work. We have little RFIDs in our badges to get us in the doors. So to go out of the doors, you have to hit a button before you open it. I've been doing this nearly 2 years. Walk by - bam button, open door. No pause required -- just slap it as you walk past, right?

Well apparently it's getting a little old because you have to hold it down for a second now. You'd think I'd be quick to figure this out -- but no. No I wouldn't. I'll tell you what happened the other day. I hit the button -- BAM smack the doors with my locked elbows to puch it open. Pause. Hit the button, slam the door to quickly open it. No go. What the fuck? Button, door denied. Button door denied. So now I'm cursing at it because dammit, it's my time to go home. I'm calling the door a piece of shit and on about the 7th try I finally get it to open. Then I forget it.

Today, heading out after work to go to class -- hit the button, bam, the door doesn't open. WTF? Hit the button again, door doesn't open. So I mumble to myself "What the fuck!? Piece of shit door you're gonna..." "-you have to hold the button down." It was C -- me and C are buddies so it's not horribly embarrassing and she won't be bothered by the cursing (yes, I actually do curse more in person than I do on this blog -- I don't curse at work typically, unless I'm frustrated -- but this was just me mumbling in an empty hallway).

C informed me that she couldn't get it to open the other day until someone walked up to open it and told her to hold the button down. Then she commented that we're a company of engineers -- you'd think we'd figure something like that out quickly. And she right. Even though the buttons been working for every day for the past two years -- why should we expect to have to hold it down now? Thats not the way it's worked for 2 years.

Ok, I've talked about the button enough that it's sad so number 3:

4) I'm moving next week! Next. Week. Moving. It's scary because I have to pack and get my stuff moved but I'm getting out of this shit hole! I'm so excited! Tomorrow I have to go by the gas company and get the gas turned on -- and then go by the power company and transfer my power. And Drop 20+ Halloween cards in the mail with my brand new shiny return address!

Robert Downey Jr = Multitalented

We all know Robert Downey Jr is an awesome actor -- his film (and TV) roles show that. Not just his roles, but the man went to prison and came out swinging with a great line up of movies. Why? Because he's that good.

He's also an amazing musician. I just downloaded (on iTunes) his album, The Futurist and I absolutely love it. His voice is amazing. The album is jazzy and soulful -- not at all what I expected. I've listened to it so many times already that I'm ashamed (6 times in about 4 days). The songs replay in my head all day and when I get home, I just want to play it again.

I expected his album to be a little angry, to speak of his rough past and trials -- but it's not. It's the sound of someone who has... found themselves. It caught me off guard. Track 4, "The Futurist" speaks of love and leaves me with a longing to find it. I think Track 5, "Little Clownz" has to be my favorite -- but I love the last track, "Smile" too. Though "Smile" is a cover, so I think I'll go with Little Clownz. I love every song on the album -- they're all 4 or 5 stars for me. And with every listen I like them even better.

I'm sad to hear he most likely won't be doing another album as he feels like his efforts were not compensated on this one. So I'm encouraging you to buy it because maybe we can change his mind. I hope he'll make more.

If you don't want to commit to a purchase, but want to hear his sound, almost all the tracks can be heard on youtube. You can also hear his awesome voice doing a duo with Sting on the show Ally McBeal -- also available on youtube.

Here's how much I want you to hear this album, I shall find and link to all the music I can find online. Where possible I linked videos of Mr Downey recording the songs; where that was not possible, I linked to lame ass photo-montages (its the internet, people, at least you get to hear the song); and where neither was possible, I linked to the iTunes URL which will give you a 30 second sample:

+ "Every Breath You Take" - duo with Sting (this video also has Pee Wee Herman in it which is a little disturbing)
+ Track 1 "Man Like Me"
+ Track 2 "Broken"
+ Track 3 "Kimberly Glide"
+ Track 4 "The Futurist"
+ Track 5 "Little Clownz"
+ Track 6 "5:30"
+ Track 7 "Your Move"
+ Track 8 "Details"
+ Track 9 "Hannah"
+ Track 10 "Smile"

I can't believe how much peace and love is in this album. It makes me hopeful. If Mr Downey, who has seen very hard times -- all in the public eye, can get to a place of beauty and acceptance -- a place of happiness... Then there's hope for me too. He even got a hot wife. Of course he's insanely hot himself so maybe there's not as much hope for me on that last bit.

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