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What I want to post on Facebook

... but can't because it would provoke a fight. I am sick of having to juggle all the different people in my FB who get offended at this and that. I post a seemingly innocuous post that I figure will get very little response, and instead I get an ex-Mormon on a rant about how this or that thing is wrong, let's dredge up all the racist past, etc. Which is NOT the conversation I really wanted to have. And honestly, it just makes me not want to deal with it at all anymore. I've already deleted the obvious idiots, but I think what I really need to do is cut off all the people I don't know in real life, and no longer friend people who want to follow me for children's book things. They can just either subscribe to my public posts, or follow me on Twitter. But how do you change that policy without telling people they didn't "make the cut," which is just silly?
While I talk on here mostly of work things, sometimes I talk about personal things because Facebook is generally more for personal things. That means that I, as a Mormon, will sometimes talk about being Mormon. If you have a problem with that, or if you have a problem with the LDS church and feel that I need to somehow justify the church or my beliefs to you, you can either keep it to yourself, or we can just end it here, thanks.

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Geriatric dating

So I've been reading this dating self-help book (so help me). I couldn't resist--I've been checking out all sorts of e-books from the library, and a book that promises "get married in a year with our tips!" needs to be read if just to be mocked.

And it starts out pretty predictably, stuff like "There's so much wrong with you! You suck! But you should feel like you're fabulous or you'll never get married!" and "You're beautiful just the way you are! But you should lose weight if you want to feel confident and expect anyone to pay any attention to you!" Okay, so not in so many words, but that's pretty much the jist of it.

And then we get to the chapter on stress. "Do you find dating stressful?" *raises hand* Oh yes. Ever so much. And I thought, maybe there's some tiny bit of information I can glean from this. First she asks these questions:
  1. Are you scared or tense about dating? (Scared, no, but tense, sure.)
  2. Do you discourage other singles' efforts to meet you? (Depends on the single.)
  3. Do you work or date hard with no breaks? (Work, yes. I wouldn't exactly say my dating has had "no breaks.")
  4. Are you not enjoying dates because you're distracted or worried about other parts of your life? (No so much that as wondering if the guy is ever going to get off the subject of sports.)
  5. Are you having trouble saying no to dead-end dates? (This is a definite yes. The guilt that I haven't been out on a date in months or years will do that to you.)
  6. Is your diet, exercise regimen, and sleep pattern not what they should be? (See work answer above.)
  7. Do you criticize yourself and your dates often? (No comment.)
  8. Do you spend more time doing what you don't want to rather than what you'd like to be doing? (I love my job, and I have plenty of time to do what I want to after work as well, so no.)
  9. Are you worried that if you start dating you won't be able to get your work, housecleaning, ________ done? (Housecleaning already doesn't really get done, so I think that's moot.)
  10. Do you feel like your house, car, desk, etc., is a mess? (Yup.)
Then they say, "Three or more yes answers means that you need to pause and take care of you. Return to dating when you can enjoy it. Having fun helps lower your stress level!"

So... I can date once I retire? HA!

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A question of hair color

I'm up and bored at almost 2 am, which always gets me into trouble. Currently debating: Should I go back to blonde, which is how I've always seen myself even since my hair started going darker in my 20s? Or should I keep it as is, despite the mousy-brown-ness that it's changing to? I suppose it has a style all its own, but it's not like it's a deep dark color, or a rich brown, or even reddish (though it's been getting redDER as I get older, weirdly enough). And though I'd love a blue or purple streak, it's probably not the most professional of choices. I should have done it when I worked at Wizards, where everyone had "unnatural" colors in their hair.

I'm also thinking of growing it out again--it's been a long while since it's been longer than shoulder length. I had it down almost to my waist for most of grad school, but chopped it when I was working at Wizards for a couple reasons. One, my allergies caused massive sinus headaches and the sheer weight of my hair added to the pain, and two, well, had to do with showing a boy I was sassy and cute. I no longer live in Seattle, and that guy is ancient history. I like my layers, but I never do anything with my hair anymore--it's too short to braid, and is always getting in my way when I work, so my go-to hairstyle is a ridiculous up-swoop into a clip on top my head that makes me feel bald most of the time. If it were long again, maybe I'd feel the need to braid it Legolas/hippy-style more often... or something.

At any rate, I am kind of of the opinion that the blonder hair feels more slimming. Same for the longer hair. Though... maybe I was just slimmer. Well, I was, but not by much. But maybe that little bit makes all the difference. At any rate, the question tonight is of hair.

Or, maybe not. I'm pretty lazy when it comes to regular prettifying. I'm lucky when I remember to put on mascara so as to look as if I have eyelashes on a regular basis. I felt pretty cool on Sunday when I had enough time to put on eye shadow before church.

At any rate: here's what I look like now, and what my old long hair looked like. So, shoulder-length layers, or long? Mouse-brown/ashy, or blonde? Opinions, please!

 

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I'm not sure if I've mentioned here that I've finally decided to learn Korean. I know enough to recognize the sound of it because of my Korean roommates and a few Korean friends I've had over the years, but it took watching all this Korean TV for me to really want to sit down and learn something--mostly because sometimes the subtitles fail me. I wanted to learn Japanese when I was watching anime all the time too, but I just never decided to do something about it, though I picked up a word here and there.

So in my Korean-inspired mood, I went to Koreatown on my way home from work yesterday afternoon--I got off at 1 for the holiday weekend--to pick up some Korean take-out for lunch/dinner (by the time I got home at 4, it turned into dinner). This is not unusual for me, because Koreatown is just down the street from where I work.

I'm sitting there waiting for my take-out, and this cute guy is standing across from me. He's maybe 20-23, 24 tops, and at first I figured he was just switching spots to be the new door greeter, when the Korean girl who greeted me went to get me water.

But then I realized he was staring at me. I'd like to say he was all impressed because I'd thanked the girl who brought me water in Korean, or that he thought I was gorgeous or something (ha) but it turns out that he was actually staring at my phone, which I was reading on while I waited. He wanted to know how games were on my Droid X because my screen was bigger than his, which was some other Android model. Ha!

Though that brief moment where I thought he was looking interested in me was kind of gratifying, even if he was young enough to be my little cousin. :D

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YW camp recap

Wow, Girls' Camp really is an experience! For the most part a positive one. (Did I mention I never went when I was a YW myself? It always conflicted with dance/drill camp and/or we never had the money for both, and if I wanted to be on the dance team I had to go to pom camp. Plus I went camping/trail riding with my family a good 4 or 5 times every summer anyway.) We spent the mornings after breakfast and scripture study working on certification, which I was in charge of. I was with the first year girls, and we covered a lot of the basics: fire safety, how not to get lost on a hike, what to do if you do get lost, stuff like that. And we had a nice little project to encourage everyone at camp to recycle (making signs to label the trash cans one or the other). And the nights before the rain came were so nice and clear that we were able to stargaze and find the Big and Little Dippers, the North Star, and so forth.

Despite my knee pain (I really did a number on my left knee with all the downhill hiking--I think I need to go to the doctor) and my bruised hips from sleeping on the ground, overall I'd call it a positive experience, even with the teen girl drama. I mean, I read it all the time, but experiencing it first-hand is an altogether different thing. And oh was there drama! But I think (hope) most of the girls came away with a positive experience, and that's what it's all about--even the city girls seemed to have a good time being out in nature.

I took lots of pictures, but one of the teens took a WHOLE lot more, and I think I'll just let those be the ones that go in the ward newsletter, because I haven't had the chance to even download anything, and they need them today.

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Movies that trigger

Just tried to watch Winter's Bone, but within ten minutes I couldn't do it anymore. The main character (who will play Katniss in The Hunger Games) looked a lot like my sister and I did at that age, and combine that with the setting looking like home (down to an old house that's falling apart--their kitchen looked almost exactly like our kitchen in the house I lived in from 4th grade on, down to the yellow fridge), the horses, the abject poverty (though we and our animals, thankfully, never starved on the farm because Dad raised corn, oats, and hay for the animals and we had a huge garden that fed us most of the year).


Add a starving horse the girl pawns off on a neighbor to feed after it hadn't eaten for 4 days (my veterinarian uncle has busted multiple farms that didn't feed their horses) and the sweet dog who starts begging for food because it has none, and I was done. Even now while watching How to Succeed in Business without Even Trying, I'm still feeling emotionally traumatized by 10 minutes of a sad movie. Probably most of all because of how beautifully understated it was--it wasn't over-the-top melodrama, it was realistic pain. And man, if I could go all the rest of my life without being reminded of my childhood growing up like that, I would. As it is, the real-life reminders are enough.


This is also why I can't read animal stories anymore. They always find ways to torture the animals, even if they don't end up dying like Old Yeller (which they usually do). I ate up those stories when I was a kid, but after dealing with my horse get hit by a car at age 11 (I was 11, the horse was 1 1/2)--breaking his leg and making him have to be put down, which no one told me about until after it happened because they didn't want to wake me up because it'd be too traumatizing--I can't watch movies like Secretariat where the down-and-out horse goes through such awful things, even if it wins and lives in the end. I just can't do it.


Same for A Beautiful Mind. I won't ever see it, no matter how "beautiful" people who don't have mentally ill members of their family say it is. They don't know the everyday reality of it.



And tonight I finally realized why I can't deal with these movies--they're triggers to deep emotional scars that I'm trying to leave behind. You see "trigger warning" for sexual abuse/rape discussions all the time, but what most people don't warn about are things like this. Is there such a thing as an "abject poverty in the rural Midwest trigger warning"? If there is, I'd like one, please. 

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Mistaken identity

Funny thing happened last night: Just as I got home, someone buzzed my apartment. Not expecting anyone, I was puzzled, especially when I opened the door to the missionaries, looking winded like they were late for a dinner appointment. I hadn't signed up for any meals (single woman, not allowed to feed the missionaries alone; too much of a hassle to arrange it so a man can come chaperone me just so I can give food to the missionaries).

Turns out they were meeting with the people who used to live in my apartment--and still had their old address. (It's just a coincidence that another Mormon happens to live in their old place.) Sorry, guys!

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Daily leeway

I really love my job. I do. I've been really busy at it for the last month or so, working toward getting Fall books out the door and working toward acquiring/editing the books I've acquired for the next couple seasons. There just aren't enough hours in the day to do it all AND have a life. Well, at least, a very interesting one.

Today I was hanging out with a friend and he asked me--I believe in the context of me talking about yet another TV show I've watched--just what do I do after work. Maybe it's because I was feeling like I don't have much of a life--I'm still looking for my niche here in this city in many ways--I was a little embarrassed to admit that if I don't have somewhere to be, I just go home and veg, probably watch a lot of TV. The answer might have involved WoW if I remembered to play anymore--I've gotten out of the habit these last few months.

But I've been thinking about it and I don't know that I have much to be embarrassed about. Here's my day: I get up at 7--if I haven't stayed up too late the night before. If I have stayed up too late, I end up dragging myself out of bed at maybe 7:20, 7:40, or as late as 8 if I'm having a really bad day. Whether I have time to eat breakfast AND shower depends on how early I get up, but I have to be out the door to work at 8:30, or even earlier if I have trash to carry down with me on my way out.

An hour commute; at work by 9:30. Work all day, though I try to take a full hour for lunch because I tend to work late and I need the mid-day break. I officially get off at 5:30, but I generally don't leave then unless I have somewhere to go in the early evening. Otherwise, I usually end up working till at least 6, if not 7, because I've just got so much to do. A week ago Friday, I was at work till 10 pm because I had a project I was trying to finish (and ended up having to finish it Monday because I made myself go home at 10 with just 2 or 3 things left to finish).

But on a normal night I'll leave at 6, 6:30, 7 or so. Then there's an hour on the subway to get home, maybe a half hour walking through the park either in the middle of my commute (I can transfer near Central Park and I like to ramble through the park on nice days) or through the Cloisters on a nice day, or running errands at the grocery or pet store... and by the time I get home it's at LEAST 8 pm, if not 8:30 or 9.

Feed the cats, change clothes, maybe wash the dishes, finally remember to eat dinner, and it's already 10 pm most weeknights!

No wonder I'm so exhausted all the time. It really IS okay to watch a little TV at ten o'clock at night. Or even eight or nine. And sometimes I don't want to watch TV so I'll read blogs, socialize on Twitter, or all the above at once. If I actually remember I might call my sister and chat, but I've been really bad at that lately. But generally I've been reading all day, so watching something is a good way to decompress. I might come home and read a book, but I rarely want to read at home.

And it's not like it's every night. I might leave early from work to attend a book event of some sort--a signing or reading or something. I'll still get home just as late, but at least I've been out real-life socializing in the meantime.

Weekends are varied. Some weekends I might stay in and marathon Eureka or Doctor Who. Some I might be out on a bike ride in the afternoon and watching a movie with friends or playing WoW in the evening (that's the plan for this weekend, only the video games will be on one of my friend's consoles, not a MMORPG).

So perhaps my life isn't so boring as I think it is. It's just that I exhaust myself enough in the weekdays that I have to remember to allow myself leeway in the evenings.

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Paid account vs. free

Is it worth it to continue paying $20 a year for my paid account? What has changed for the free account? Do I lose access to certain archives, or something like that?

$20 isn't much, but if the only benefit is more userpics, it might not be worth it for this personal account (I keep it on my business one to avoid serving up ads that I can't even make any money off of).

Who has paid accounts? Who does the free one? Why do you do what you do?

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Finally, I have a couch

It's cute, though it'll be cuter when I figure out the right size pillow for my own accent pillows that I got way back in Seattle at a white elephant Christmas gift exchange. A friend got them on her travels in China, and gave me the matching set of red covers a year after I won the orange covers. Right now only the orange covers have pillows inside them, and they're down-filled and I am allergic to down, so it's not a good combination. I just keep forgetting to either make custom pillows (well, "forgetting" as in my sewing machine has been broken for 6 years and I haven't replaced it; the part that the movers broke when moving it into my first Seattle apartment isn't fixable, so why am I moving it from place to place?!) or pick up plain square pillows that are the right size at Michael's or something.

At any rate, here's the couch. Imagine it with the pillow design on the couch below--two red, two orange. (That was my living room in Utah--the first one, the one that got flooded. You can see the basketball court that was the source of all the water out the patio door.)



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