Friday, December 19, 2008

Random thoughts and hidden talents (aka "therapy")

It occurred to me that perhaps I should post on here before Blogger eats my blog or something for lack of activity. Gee, since the last time I posted, Michelle won Biggest Loser (yay Michelle!), I've had a birthday, and my bowling team came in second last season and is currently in first place heading into the championships this season. CilleyLand is in the grips of an arctic freeze (TM all the news channels), with more to come tomorrow.

So, since the weather wouldn't take that long to write about (there's snow, there's ice, it's cold, I'm dreading getting the electric bill since the heat has been running constantly) I thought I'd talk about some things that may not be apparent when people meet me. Or in some cases even when they've known me for a while. Or just little known facts that sound interesting at the moment I'm writing it.

Here we go.

I really enjoy the music of Shaggy. And a lot of Eminem. Go figure.

I've seen Barry Manilow live in concert at least four times.

I've also seen the Beach Boys live in concert at least six times. They used to play the Puyallup Fair every year.

I know a lot about rodeo.

I have deep and abiding attachments to several fictional characters, including Derek Blazestar, Stu Redman, Thomas Black, and Harry Dresden.

I have a thing for bunnies, transvestites, and the Muppets. Only one of those is remotely sexual. You can discuss amongst yourselves.

I am acrophobic. Deeply, deeply acrophobic. Like anything above about eight feet. I can fly commercially but the small ones are pretty dicey depending on the size of the windows and my location relative to them. Helicopters would really freak me out. Even pictures of heights on TV and the movies make me ill. Since it is a phobia, I am not getting over it so don't even try. Ever seen Vertigo? Where Jimmy Stewart is looking down and the camera zooms in and out and then the swirly thing starts? It's a lot like that. Just deal with it. I do.

I can drive a tractor. I can also pretty much take an older car apart and put it back together again so that it works.

I can bowl pretty well. Sometimes beer helps. Sometimes not.

My fastest typing speed ever was over 120 wpm. I'm still pretty fast.

I'm somewhere between an atheist and a pagan. I'm pretty sure that if there is a god, he's a she.

I love zoos. No, I don't think much about the ethicality of animals in cages, except that I do strongly believe the animals need the best zoo habitats they can get. The ones that don't really look like cages. So vote for your local zoo measures.

I believe in verbalizing my feelings. For example, I say "ow" a lot. Usually no lasting damage but I'm living in the moment. Go with it.

While I do not have a truly eidetic memory, it's close. Sometimes I think that might be because I either have a longer short-term memory buffer than most or that I have learned to move information from my short-term memory to my long-term memory more quickly than most. I think that most people don't have poor memories, they just don't actually pay attention.

People who don't pay attention really piss me off. This relates closely to people who are slow on the uptake. Those who are slow on the uptake because they're not really paying attention really piss me off.

I went to summer camp for eleven summers in a row.

Sometimes I suspect my parents didn't really want me around during the summer.

I have many fruit issues. I enjoy many fruits, but not when there is work for me involved. Biting into an apple occupies one hand until you are finished. Cutting up the apple is a lot of work. Hence, I don't eat a lot of apples even though I really like them. Mostly I just eat bananas since they only tie up one hand for less than two minutes.

Yes, fruit issues.

I got a perfect score in spelling on the Washington Pre-College Test.

I don't understand not knowing how to spell. There is one way to spell a word. Everything else is wrong.

I hate to be wrong.

I was deemed too mentally healthy for therapy after one and a half sessions. Seriously. The psychologist kicked me out. Guess when you've been clinically depressed since you were seven, you learn how to deal.

I've been clinically depressed since I was seven. I took notes.

I like my antidepressants very much, thank you.

I have long suspected that I will never been confirmed by the Senate for any sort of federal position whatsoever.

I have also long suspected that this is enough for today. Revelation is good for the soul, but a job is better for the paycheck.

Cheers,
the CilleyGirl

Sunday, October 12, 2008

What have you done today to make you feel proud?

In the event you're not a TV junkie like me (or have a big butt like me), that's the theme song to The Biggest Loser. I don't watch it during the weeks but I try to catch the replay on Sunday evenings on the FLN network. During the week it makes me feel a little depressed to watch it, but I'm finding that it is much more motivating on a Sunday night. It helps to gather my oomph around me and to focus on starting the week on a good note.

So, what have I done today to make me feel proud?

Well, I cleaned up the yard, including raking leaves, when I really didn't feel like it. When it was exactly on the edge of "nah, I'll do it later in the week." When I knew that with the days ending earlier and earlier that it was highly unlikely that I would do it later in the week. Even when I was picking up the yard I was on the edge of saying "yeah, that's enough, I'll rake next weekend." Two of my least favorite chores, particularly in tandem (cause you can't see to pick up anything for all of the leaves, dammit), but I did them.

I also did big grocery shopping today. I'm tired of going what feels like every few days. Because money is tight, I've been trying to buy only what I need at that very moment and putting off the things that I need but can wait another week or so (like paper towels or stuff for breakfast next weekend). I haven't wanted to cook a lot lately. I don't know why. I haven't been eating really horribly, but there've been enough pizza and wings incidents that I know that eventually they'll add up. On my ass.

So, I made a list and then I shopped. Got four whole bags of groceries plus four 12-packs of soda, all for under $100. The only "bad" things I bought were a couple of bags of Halloween candy. I usually don't get trick or treaters, but I like to be prepared. Plus, with some candy at home it makes it easier not to eat any at work because I can have it as a treat after dinner rather than mindlessly munching (and associating it with stress eating) during the day.

Then I made dinner tonight. Baked chicken breast, rice, creamed corn, and salad. I'm still just a tad hungry but dessert tonight will be a piece of candy and a honeycrisp apple and maybe a small glass of milk. That will be perfect. Lunch is already made for tomorrow, and all I'll have to do for dinner is make a salad and reheat the rest (either leftover chicken or ravioli with meat sauce). Yay me!

And what have you done today to make you feel proud?

--the CG

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Life with dogs

A few years ago, my dogs figured out that there might be something for them in the bags I bring home. I tend to do my grocery shopping on weekends but whenever I have to go during the week (meaning they've had to be stuck inside for an extra hour or so), I try to bring them home a special treat. It's gotten to the point where I can't leave a bag (paper or plastic) on the floor without one of them sticking her head into it. Usually Maggie, usually after she's loaded up her flews with water.

So, whenever I bring home bags they follow me closely, hoping for treats. I in fact tell them that I have brought them treats, as I am apologizing for leaving them in the house so long without a potty break.

The rule in the house is that only good dogs who eat all their dinner will get treats. The dogs understand this phrase.

Last night, I had Maggie underfoot as I was trying to unload the groceries. She was in no mood to wait for me to unload the groceries and then feed them dinner before they got their treats. For fun (because I am evil), I started showing everything I was unpacking from the bags. A bunch of bananas. Grapes. A four pack of yogurt. A gallon of milk. With each item, she'd bounce as I held it out to her. Then she'd sniff it very carefully. After a few sniffs, she would back away and shake her head. This went on through two bags of groceries, at least 25 different items. Ginger was watching, but not really sniffing (she's a herding dog, all about conserving energy).

Finally, I got down to it. A box of dog biscuits. Maggie sniffed -- and then shook her head. No? I held them out to Ginger. Ginger was much more interested. The box was sealed, but she clearly knew there may be something good about these.

Then I pulled out the big chewy dog bones. Maggie bounced and bounced and bounced and sniffed....

And shook her head again.

My dog is not very bright.

She did know, though, that I did get them a treat, because I had told them so. And I never lie to my dogs. Hardly ever. Okay, occasionally I tell them the truth.

I fed them, reminded them of the good dogs rule. Ginger ate hers right down, but Maggie was holding out for the treats. A fifteen minute battle of wills later, she finally ate her food. And they got their treats. And all was silent in the CilleyHouse for at least a quarter of an hour. Then Maggie finished hers, gargoyled over Ginger for a while trying to steal her bone, then came and tried to convince me that I in fact had another treat hidden away just for her. I did not, but she didn't believe me.

Because I lie to my dogs. It's fun. You should try it.

And one of these days I'll tell you how they are with Christmas presents.

--the CilleyGirl

Saturday, September 20, 2008

I love CilleyLand

Because of stuff like this and this.

In other news (cause it is all about me), the CilleyGirl joined a bowling league and our first match was this past week. We got our asses kicked, but that's okay because we got our team motto out of it: We Suck. It goes well with our team name, Woody's Peckers. Say it together with me -- Woody's Peckers: We Suck. I'm hoping to put together a graphic of Woody Woodpecker with a strategically placed bowling pin and two balls. Blue, of course. I'll post it here if I manage to swing it (no pun intended. oh, who am I kidding?)

Luckily, however, out of the six teams in our league, two others suck as well and so far even worse than we do. Updates to come!

- the CilleyGirl

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Everybody needs a hobby

I don't know why this article amuses me so much. But it does.

And so does this one.

This one too. Second place on the backhoe! Woo hoo!

Just one more. I hope. Note that he broke his own record.

I wonder if you have to plant those daffodils along Oleson or you can take them home to plant them. Because I love daffodils. I've been to a festival and everything.

-the CG

P.S. On a related note, thank god they finally finished that damn road.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Summer memories

I was thinking a lot today about Camp Sealth. Every summer, between the ages of 6 and 17, I went off to Camp Sealth. I think I started with three days and by my years at a CIT (counselor in training) I was there for three weeks (with a one week break in there to go home and do laundry, have caffeine, etc.).

Seems kind of odd now that my mom sent me off for three days as a six year old, although that first year I did go with a buddy (was it Tanna? I think it was Tanna). I, of course, always wanted to go to camp for longer, but mom was either smarter than me or we couldn't afford it. Probably a combination of the two: I always couldn't wait to go to camp each summer, but until the summer before 9th grade I was always pretty miserable while I was there. See, I was a big ol' crybaby for a good part of my childhood. Unfortunately, I'd have to say my childhood lasted until was about 24. I know now that it's a chemical thing -- I had my first bout of clinical depression at age 7 plus my ovaries don't work properly -- but that's a whole 'nother blog. I was also effectively an only child and therefore very much into getting my own way. Plus I had an emotionally and verbally abusive stepfather and.... well, a whole 'nother blog.

Anyhow, I can say with confidence that it was a chemical thing, as evidence by about half the problems going away when I was 24 thanks to one medication and the other half going away when I was about 30 thanks to another medication. But that didn't help much when I was a whiny, crying, bossy little bitch of a child that most other kids really didn't like all that much. Let's just say I've burned a lot of bridges in my time. I came to expect other kids not to like me (a problem that does still exist to this day) and it was generally a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Moving on, as a consequence I both loved and hated camp until my 9th grade year at which time I had an epiphany. Nobody at camp knew I was a whiny, crying, bossy little bitch. I could pretend I was really a cool and awesome kid with the fabulously crazy ideas, the one that was stuck behind all the bad moods and overreactions. And you know what? It worked.

That year, I was the one everyone in the cabin looked to for fun and for guidance (by that time, I'd been coming to Sealth for eight years and I knew everything about that place; I eventually became a "lifer" which means you've been coming for ten years and you get a ceremony and a plaque and everything). I was the instigator of nude Jane Fonda. I was the one who pointed out that the ice cream we were making really did need eggs (unfortunately, they didn't listen and we ended up with soft serve ice cream). I was the one who knew every camp song they did, better than the gal whose job it was to lead us in songs after meals (she was like Julie, our Cruise Director). They pulled me up onto the stairs to lead songs while we were waiting for meals. I was a star. I have a friend from that year whom I am still in touch with. I kept the mindset in later years and each year got better and better. My last two years, I was a CIT, discovered I prefer little boys to little girls (not in that way, you dirty people), and kept some of those friendships alive for years (another blog on that one some day). And of course I gathered a billion happy memories to me that I pull out on days when I'm feeling blue.

There was nude Jane Fonda, as I've mentioned. Okay, not nude -- we were wearing bras. I don't think they really had sports bras in the mainstream yet. I was the only one who would've even been close to needing one anyhow (C cup by end of high school, baybee). Unfortunately, our aerobics coincided with the spotting of someone on camp grounds who didn't belong. I'm pretty sure he was skulking around before all this, but apparently we could be seen to some extent from the orchard below. Party poopers.

Oh, and in the nude Jane Fonda year we girls were so disappointed because instead of having one cabin of girls and one cabin of boys in our session, the other cabin was chock full of Japanese exchange students. Granted, they were all boys and one girl (she was so traumatized by us, I'm sure) but hmm, not the summer experience we were looking for. Did learn how to say "air raid" in Japanese (no PC in 1984, folks) and we were extremely amused by one guy we dubbed the Japanese Billy Idol. It was the hair. Those guys used more hair products than Elvis. Or Brad Pitt. Or Vidal Sassoon.

There were all the times I've looked back at the camp counselors and realized that I really have no gaydar. I'm sure one of my first counselors was a lesbian. Or heavily into the feminist movement where you don't shave. Then there were the camps we visited as CITs. Apparently after Sealth became co-ed in the mid-70s all the lesbians went to work at the Girl Scouts camp. There is a disturbing incident that comes to mind where we visiting CITs had to run the gauntlet of welcome through many cheering Girl Scout campers and counselors. Many bottoms were swatted and not one of them belonged to the two very cute male CITs or the very cute male driver (Chark! Tweet tweet, get out of the water!) we had with us that year. Nothing wrong with anyone's persuasion, whichever way they lean. The moral of the story is just that I have no gaydar and I never have. I'm still convinced Barry Manilow is straight.

There was the time I ended up at second base with another very cute male CIT in a squeaky camp bunk while five other CITs slept around us. Good kisser that guy. Another Scorpio. We stayed in touch for several years. I still have a piece of his pants on my camp tie from that summer.

Then there was the time I did a live-in as a CIT with one of the boys' cabins. A live-in was part of being a second year CIT where you spent a whole session (five days for this one, I think) shadowing a counselor with their cabin. I had started out with a girls' cabin (cause I thought I preferred working with girls) but some of the campers didn't show up and they disbanded my cabin so they moved me over to one of the boys' cabins. I became the darling of the Milky Way unit (four boys' cabins, at least 40 boys that session). All the Village girls (7th and 8th grade) were in love with my boys. I was the only girl allowed (by the boys) in any of their cabins in the unit. As part of the live-in, we did an overnight in the woods. It was me (couple months shy of my 17th birthday), two male counselors (probably about 19 or 20 years old), and 20 little boys age 6 to 12 in the woods. Somehow, practically every counselor in camp found a reason to do a walk through at our site (a few counselors, usually the leaders of a unit, were assigned to walk through each of the sites being occupied for an overnight to see how they were doing, if they needed anything -- kind of like a performance review combined with a what-did-you-forget-to-pack). We found it fairly amusing, the two counselors and I, mostly because this particular site was set up so that the sleeping shelter was some distance away from the main fire area. In other words, me and two guys are in sleeping bags hanging out by the fire and gossiping about counselors while all our campers are out of our (and their) sight, although we could still hear them if they needed us. So a counselor comes strolling up, sees we're off by ourselves and chats us up as long as they possibly can. They leave, then about 15 minutes later here comes another counselor. I think at least five of them came by our site that night. Really funny part, as I found out later, was that one of the counselors in that unit -- although not on the overnight with us -- was very interested in me. Wonder what ever happened to him?

I learned a lot of things at Camp Sealth. I started to learn that I could be who I was, not who anyone else expected me to be (or tried to force me to be). I learned to cook just about damn thing you could imagine on a camp fire. We're talking five course chinese meals here, people. Dinners cooked in foil. Dinners cooked in mailboxes. Cakes. This stuff was fantastic that we cooked. I learned to eat salad at summer camp (you always had to take at least three bluebird bites of anything before saying no). I learned how to sucker punch a guy. I learned you can smoke the leaves of some random bush in the woods wrapped up in toilet paper (aka "Shippy's Retreat"). I learned that I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. I learned that fairies are real. I learned that singing songs from the movie Grease 2 on a 45 minute hike through the woods will not endear you to anyone. I learned that the secret to a really fabulous camp fire is to use a plate. We nearly set the woods on fire one night. But it was a really fabulous camp fire.

--the CilleyCampingGirl

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Guess who's coming to dinner?

It's you!

I was bored tonight so I took out the camera while I was cooking my dinner. So you get to come along for the ride. Heh.

Tonight's menu is a small green salad with a balsamic vinaigrette, steak, baked potato with sour cream, glazed carrots, and a whole wheat roll. Total calories: 614.

To cook tonight's steak extravaganzaa I had to fire up this big-ass grill....

To cook this itty bitty steak.....

Don't blame me. The grill belonged to my ex. He left it behind along with the dog.

I definitely got the better end of the deal. That's her waiting down below for a chance to lick the plate and maybe get a bite of steak. Speaking of which, let's see how it's doing, shall we?

Oooh, very pretty.

And very lonely here on this big grill with no one to keep it company but a roll (the baked potato was in the microwave.



All in all, it was a successful dinner. I love those glazed carrots.


I typically cook every night. My budget doesn't stretch to eating out every night, and neither do my jeans. Earlier this week there were turkey bacon burgers with roasted potatos and baked beans. Also some carrots. Did I mention I like glazed carrots? Tomorrow will again be steak, freshly grilled on the big-ass grill. After that, maybe turkey burgers, maybe chicken caesar salad. This weekend? I'm thinking salmon.

Hungry now? Good!

--the CilleyCookingGirl

Sunday, September 07, 2008

What's love got to do with it?

I was asked recently what I thought love was. It's not something I've really tried to formulate into words, so consequently I've been thinking a lot about it.

I think people are like pieces of a puzzle. We each have one of those pieces that pokes out and one of those places where another piece pops in. It doesn't mean we're incomplete on our own; the net effect is zero. But our own pieces don't fit together. For one thing, we don't bend that way. For another, the pieces are different sizes. So we look in others for the pieces that fit ours, and in turn fit theirs.

Some people never find another who fits. Maybe their pieces are too big for yours, or yours are too small; either way, the balance is tipped. You can go on like that; some people are willing to stay with a partner who meets most although not all of their needs. they believe, for whatever reason, that they should stay; close is good enough in light of the risk that they'll never find the piece that fits.

Some people believe it's worse to have a piece that doesn't fit. Again, we're not less without the other piece, but rather than with them we're more. If we find the other piece, it's the brass ring. If not, we get along.

There may be more than one perfect fit. And others are so close, you'd never notice. All of it depends on you and how you want to live your life and how you want to be a part of another's.

I've only lived with one person in my thirty-mumble years. He wasn't a good fit by any means. But it's all I have to gauge whether what I'd like to have in a relationship is really feasible. I think it is.

I want someone who complements me. I'm introverted, nearly socially phobic in certain situations. I have no problem striking up a conversation in an anonymous setting, like a department store. I'll chat about all sorts of things with the cashier ringing up my purchases. But put me in a setting where a relationship is supposed to result and on my own I can not do it. The other night I was at a mixer where people were there to meet their sports teams. As luck would have it, it turns out I was the only person there who didn't have a team. As I looked around at everyone else getting to know their teammates, I felt absolutely excluded. My approach to most social situations like this is, why would anyone want to talk to me? In this instance, where everyone had a reason to talk to everyone but me, I was frozen. I couldn't make myself go up to anyone. They were meeting their teammates, I wasn't a teammate, why would they want to talk to me? And I left, as soon as I could.

Anyone who doesn't have this problem is reading this and thinking I'm crazy. But a phobia isn't rational.

Now, in a relationship I'd want a partner who wouldn't push me out of my comfort zone but rather would lead me out of it. Take me by the hand, walk up to the nearest stranger or two and say "Hi! I'm blah, and this is my girlfriend/fiancee/wife." After that, I can do it. I can take it from there. It's that first step that I need someone to help me to take.

So, requirement one: Someone whose strengths are my weaknesses. And vice versa. Because, oddly, if he needed me to walk up with him to strangers and strike up a conversation? I could do that. Yes, I know it makes no sense. Again, phobia, no rational.

What else? Requirement two: Physically intimate. I need affection. I need to show affection. Not sex (or at least not just sex), but all the thousand little touches between two people. I've kind of been saving up.

Requirement three: Someone who wants to take care of me, and who wants and lets me take care of him. I'm a big nester. I've always wanted a home and someone to take care of. I've gotten used to taking care of myself, and it can be a little difficult to let someone take care of me but I'm willing to try.

Requirement four: Shared and separate interests. I want things we can do together, but also some things we can do apart. Again, big nester. I like to read. I like to watch TV. Go off and scale mountains or something while I do that. Then later we'll have things to talk about.

I'll put some more thought into this and see what else I come up. Such a serious topic for a CilleyGirl.

Today,
the Not-So-CilleyGirl

Thursday, September 04, 2008

What to say?

Hmm, I thought I'd figure out what to say when I started to write, but so far no dice. I guess I will try again later!

Still Cilley,
That Girl

Friday, August 08, 2008

Creepiest or coolest thing ever?



You make the call!

In case you're wondering (and who wouldn't, really?), this is a star-nosed mole and no, that is not the view from the rear. Check out the top 10 oddballs of the animal world at MSNBC.com for more. I also love the one that looks like a cross between an orangutan and a lobster.

I'm off to dance my buns off to the Crazy 8s at the Bite of CilleyLand.

-- the CG

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Moo

While I was brushing my teeth this morning, I figured out how (or why) there could have been a stampede at a Hindu temple in India. It has to do with the cows. I'm guessing there was a large contingent of sacred cows milling about, and it was the cows, rather than the worshippers, who stampeded.

Not sure why I didn't figure this one out while I was chowing down on a cheeseburger last night, but there you have it.

-CG

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Keeping my fingers limber

After returning from vacation, I apparently had forgotten how to type. Plus I wanted to post here more than once every three months.

Random observations:

"Sexigesimal" is not only a real word, it's not even what you might think it is.

Over 160 people died in a stampede today at a Hindu temple in India. What could possibly be a reason for a stampede at a Hindu temple? I doubt it's to get there before all the communion wafers and wine are gone. More people died in this stampede than did in descending from K2.

I love Donna Andrews' books. Even the titles crack me up.

It's still hot in CilleyLand.

My kitty may be getting ready to go to that big catnip patch in the sky.

Who bankrolls a movie like Pineapple Express?

My head hurts.

--the CilleyGirl

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Long time gone

I didn't realize it had been so long since I'd posted here. I'm typing on the dreaded laptop keyboard (or the Dread Laptop Keyboard for those Princess Bride fans) so I probably won't type much.







Not sure if I'm doing this right, but if I did then above will be a YouTube video for the song I Love You by the Climax Blues Band. It's been kind of an odd week in CilleyLand. This Friday is my 20th high school reunion. So, lots of side trips down memory lane -- for a while now. As part of the build up to the reunion, I had signed up with classmates.com. This week, I got not only an email from one of my two best friends from childhood (I lived elsewhere at the time, so they won't be at the reunion -- in fact, haven't heard from them in 26 years) but I also got an email from my first boyfriend, who was also my first love, who I also haven't heard from in 26 years. I always thought of this song as "our" song, and since I couldn't find it at the music store I'm putting it here.

Love,
your CilleyGirl

Monday, May 26, 2008

It's time I had some time alone

Not really, but that song's on the player right now so I thought I'd go with it.


After several weeks of having to wear a wrist brace every evening or suffer the consequences the next day, I finally moved my computer back up to the den where it is supposed to live. I love having the convenience of using my laptop anywhere in the house (usually the couch, but that makes me sound like a slug) thanks to the wireless connection (which finally works regularly since I switched antivirus software), but using the touchpad mouse was really doing a number on my right thumb and wrist. Plus having a real keyboard to type on is simply bliss.


Not much new in CilleyLand, mostly same old same old. Rain rain go away so I can finish some yard work.


What I've Been Reading:


I've been into the cozies lately. For those of you who aren't mystery fans, a "cozy" mystery is one where it's more about the characters, the plot's kind of there but not incredibly essential, and nobody dies, at least not violently or if they did die violently (or were murdered) it wasn't recently. I started out reading the latest in Nancy Atherton's Aunt Dimity series, Aunt Dimity: Vampire Hunter. When the one character finally got together with the other character, I went back trying to find where the girl had declared she loved/was going to marry the guy (the girl was like 14 at the time, the guy was in his 30s -- sort of the typical girlhood crush intention type of thing, except you gotta know this girl). I ended up starting the series over again. And weird thing, just like in the first book (where the main character, Lori, in re-reading actual stories from her childhood about Aunt Dimity realizes that her memories of them now have become colored by her less than stellar luck in life -- in other words, she asks herself "when did I become so bitter?"), I realized that I am not remembering the books themselves as they truly were. While I imagine I will still be annoyed by Lori's tendency for several books to develop a serious crush on whatever man comes along (you have to read them to understand the annoyance -- well, maybe not, she's happily marred with twin boys) I am having a great time rediscovering old friends. I met Nancy Atherton when she came to Portland years ago for a book signing. She swears I look just like a friend of hers in the midwest (Wisconsin? Michigan?). I wonder if she'll come to town again any time soon.


I'm also reading Suze Orman's Women & Money, which is fascinating. I'll have to blog more on that later.


I recently finished a book called Making a Change for Good: A Guide to Compassionate Self-Discipline by Cheri Huber. I had seen a quote from the book in an article about.... hmm, must've been about dieting and lifestyle changes. Anyhow, impressed me enough that I wrote down the name and author and then ordered it from the library. It was very interesting, all about how we have these subpersonalities that were formed in early childhood as survival tools and that they are the source of the voices in our head that drive basic impulses or behaviors. Like when you tell yourself you deserve something -- ice cream, new shoes, a car -- for whatever reason -- you had a bad day, you had a good day, your parents never bought you anything. Some of those voices don't even like you very much, like when you decide to do something (say, lose weight). If you don't lose weight, you're no good and you should just quit. If you stick with it or do lose weight, self-sabotage starts in and then you will never succedd at anything or you're a quitter. What you want to do is learn how to be present in the moment, to acknowledge the subpersonalities or voices but not listen to them. (The book is much clearer.)


Part of the book talks about identifying the subpersonalities (sounds so much more sane than calling them the voices). So I've been working on that. So far, I've got:



  • the Big White Evil Bunny, who has made an appearance on this blog before. The Bunny thinks its fun to hurt people or to make them feel stupid (and both is a bonus!) 'cause they've done something to deserve it.

  • the Entitlement Kid, who can never say no to anything she wants because her parents never got her anything much beyond the basics of food, shelter, and clothing. Entitlement Kid has racked up a lot of debt, let me tell you. Also a lot of poundage.

  • Daddy's Girl, who ignored her own dreams and desired path in life to pursue one that would make daddy happy. Lot of debt wrapped up with her too.

  • the Perfect Child, who has to be perfect at everything she does or tries (or else why bother). If she's perfect, no one will leave her or laugh at her or yell at her or hurt her. The Perfect Child and Daddy's Girl often work together.

There's more but it's late and it's muggy. I'll close with a preview of the promised zoo blog part deux.

This is seriously the same otter, same pinkie, different day. I think he remembered me.



And he told friends about me, 'cause this meerkat got busy right after I showed up with my camera.

I'm telling you, it's a gift.

--the CilleyGirl

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Someone's got a sense of humor

As I've mentioned before, I'm on a lot of county websites as part of my job. Today's find is the website for Glacier County, Montana -- home of the Blackfeet Nation. And, apparently, someone with a sense of humor.

When I first pulled up the page, my browser told me I needed a plug-in, which I dutifully downloaded. I reloaded the page and found that what I was missing was background music. It's a really cheesy instrumental, nothing I needed. When I navigated away from the page the music stops (thankfully, I'm not real fond of pages with background music). However, as I was subjected to one or two second snippets as I hunted for what I needed, I kept thinking it sounded vaguely familiar. Right as I closed the page for good I realized what the song was.

It's "Afternoon Delight."

Heh.

I'm tempted to email them and congratulate them on their choice of music, particularly now that I just discovered that the rest of their pages (the ones I wasn't looking at) have an old-timey countryish song as their background music. But then they'd probably take away "Afternoon Delight" and I need all the laughs I can get.

--the CilleyGirl

P.S. Yes, I'm way behind on posting lately. I'll do something soon, particularly about my recent return to the zoo. I've discovered I have a gift with animals. Yes, it involves otters.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Who's a pretty bird?

As I pulled into my driveway tonight, I was fascinated by a bird I noticed in the trees. It was a little smaller than a robin, with a bright yellowish body and a bright redish head. I just spent about 15 minutes browsing a website of birds likely to be seen in Oregon, and finally found this:



My visitor was a Western Tanager. Looked just like the guy at the bottom, which makes him a breeding male. I see goldfinches all the time at my parents' place up in Eastern Washington, but this is the first time I can remember seeing a yellowish bird like this on the west side of the state.

Now I'm hoping more will show up and land in my yard so I can catch them on film.

--the CilleyBirdWatchingGirl

If I had a life

This is what I'd be doing this weekend.

(Although in all fairness, I should amend that title to "If I had a life, and/or friends who weren't prone to nightmares from things like zombie and vampire movies".)

--the CilleyZombieGirl

Friday, May 02, 2008

Help me, I think I'm falling....

...not in love with you, as the song says (who is that? Joni Mitchell? Carole King?), but off the wagon. I'm not feeling so great today (can't get warm and I'm stiff and achy and although I got at least ten hours of sleep last night I'm still exhausted AND my right eye was all swollen when I woke up) and I couldn't resist the croissant (but hey, a fourth of that croissant is only 75 calories), but now the chocolate cherry ganache cake and the chocolate pop-tarts are calling (in case of emergency, eat pop tart).

Help. I need help. Sending out emergency thought vibes for help to all those out there who are also trying to resist the siren call of snack foods.

This is when I need Richard Simmons to prance up to me in his stripey short shorts and bedazzled fuchsia tank top and bop me on the head with his glittery magic wand. Oh come on, you know he's got one.

Wish me luck. The truffles are chiming in now.

--CG

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Taking a night off

I probably shouldn't, but I am. Going to go sush and then bed early. I have worked out three times this week already (starting from Sunday), and last night, well, all I can say is "Who writes these instructions?"

Let me explain. As I mentioned previously, I signed up for the Self Challenge. This is the first week of the first month of the challenge. For me, at least. Anyhow, in the first month the goal is to do two 25-minute cardio workouts a week and three 10-minute strength training workouts a week. (I'd be done with the cardio except they start from Monday so I still need one more for this week, but now I have until Sunday to do it. So neener.)

Last night I did the first strength training workout. There is a set of eight exercises that you are supposed to do. And the instructions are not written well. For example, is the goal to do all eight exercises in ten minutes? 'Cause that ain't happening (just not physically possible). Maybe it's to do some of the exercises (dealer's choice?) for ten minutes. Okay, except the instructions for each exercise say you're supposed to do so many sets or reps of that exercise. So that doesn't work. This kind of question at 8:30 at night isn't good for me.

I decide to do all of the exercises and see how long it takes me. I end up skipping two because for one I didn't want to move a chair over to do it (I have very little room to do these as it is) and then I just couldn't figure out the instructions. Am I exaggerating? Hmm, let me give you the best example.

One exercise, called "ABC", says to hold a dumbbell up with your arms as you stand on one leg while with the other you are to trace the alphabet with the other pointed toe about six inches above the ground. There's a picture, sounds easy enough, yes? No. I'm going great until about G when I start to get really tired. Plus it's hard to trace the letters. Should I do all capitals? Cursive? Really demarcate the lines? By Z, I'm dying. And now I have to switch legs. Which I do. Cursing the person who created this little gem, I go back to the instructions because I just can't believe you're supposed to do it this way, because at the end it says to repeat. Like six times. With each leg. I'm still thinking we're on the ten minute total plan, and just doing this once with one leg is taking about five minutes.

Long story short (too late, but I gotta get to the post office), my best guess is that you are only supposed to spell out "A B C" and then switch. At least, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

And man, my ass hurts today.

--CilleySoreGirl

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

She's making a list and checkin' it twice

Okay, not really. I'm making a list and crossing things off it. Yay! I love it when I can do that. In this instance, it's for work. I'm still playing ketchup from being out for a week with remote access to the office that those tortoises in the DSL commercial would envy (in other words, it was rrrrreeeaallllly sssssslllloooowwwww).

Now, however, I'm making another list, one that will be great to add things to. I'm going to keep track of all of the evil crap I wanted to eat but didn't. The idea will be that upon reaching certain goals maybe I can have something from that list. Today, so far, we've got:

  • A tasty, yummy, buttery croissant from Starbucks. (Boss brought us lattes and goodies this morning. Must've had an early meeting.)

  • A tasty, yummy bagel from Starbucks. Not entirely certain what kind it is but it does involve cheese. I love cheese. Luckily we have no cream cheese as I might lose this battle since I can smell this bagel from about ten feet away from the kitchen.

Hopefully I will have more to add to this list later today, as EOM is planning to do chocolate cake and champagne this afternoon. Evil evil evil office mate.

--CilleyGirl

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I might as well exercise, I'm in a bad mood anyway

I had that poster up on my wall for years as a kid (Garfield, don't ya know). Probably explains a lot. Although back then I didn't exercise when I was in a bad mood. Or a good mood. Or any kind of mood. As an adult, though, I've learned the hard lesson that sometimes you just gotta do it. I signed up to do the Self Challenge this year, and it started today. So I hopped on the treadmill when I got home and did 30 minutes, 5 more than the Challenge wanted. Aren't I good?

I was gone all last week at a conference up in Wenatchee, and I'm still trying to reacclimate to being home. It was very draining, with long hours on little sleep and irregular meals. I did get to stay at my mom's for the week, so that was nice to be able to visit in the few hours I was there (and awake).

Weird coincidence at the conference -- turns out that one of the CPAs that a lot of my clients work with is an old friend of mine from college, I'll call him "Big John". We were neighbors for three years so we were pretty close at the time. I haven't spoken with him in at least 15 years, so it was so odd to see him walk into the conference on the first day. I just never made the connection between the two. I'm looking forward to catching up with him once our respective work schedules settle down. He was one of those guys that you just don't realize is such a great catch until it's too late. In other words, I was too young and stupid to figure out I should've made a play for him.

Which brings me to my social life, as in it's non-existent once again. I thought maybe, but apparently I was wrong. But in other news, I heard from The Boy again. Seems that one of those "hey, it could happen scenarios" did happen. My guess was that either he was a huge jerk, or he got hit by a bus or something. Turns out he had a computer meltdown, and since he didn't have my number.... Do I believe him? Eh, maybe. I might not really care, given that he lives in Seattle and I'm thinking someone local would be best in the long run.

In the meantime, I will play with my gym equipment and do what's best for me and me alone. That's all you can really do, yes?

--CG

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Extra! Extra! Black hole discovered in Portland suburb!

My week has sucked so massively that "suck" barely describes it. A black hole over my office is the only explanation.

Bookending the fun and games is my office computer having some sort of schizophrenic breakdown. I've had the blue screen of death at least a half dozen times in the past four days. I either can't get my computer to work or it's being worked on to figure out what's wrong with it. When it does work, I'm scrambling to dash out the bare minimum of the million things that need to be done. So we missed a deadline yesterday.

My shoulders are so tight they feel like granite. My queendom for a tranquilizer.

Hope the rest of you out in CilleyLand are having a better time of it than I.

--CG

Monday, April 07, 2008

More daffs than you can shake a stick at

Yesterday my friend Sunshine and I headed down south to Amity for the annual Amity Daffodil Festival. As we had a thoroughly enjoyable time, I highly recommend the trip.

There is a daffodil show, art show, nursery sales, and buffet lunch throughout the day at the Amity Elementary School. There is also a driving tour set up to hit a half dozen or show locations in and around Amity. We ended up hitting various things at random.

After getting the lay of the land, we stopped for brunch at Ashes Cafe. The place looks small, but is much larger than you first think. They had an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet going on, so after checking to see what was in there, we both went for it. They had this amazingly thick and tasty bacon, delicious sausage, fluffy biscuits, some sausage gravy that was pretty good once you added a tad more pepper to it, scrambled eggs, thick french toast, cinnamon rolls, and breakfast potatoes. Yum yum yum yum yum. I am all about the biscuits and gravy. If there had been hashbrowns, I would've been in redneck heaven. We managed not to go back for seconds (although there was some debate about bacon). Total cost of this tasty brunch with tip was under $25 (and we tipped well).

We were the only people in there not from Amity.

After brunch, we stopped in at an antiques store around the corner that was going out of business. Most of the place was junque, but I picked up a beautiful pair of amber and sterling earrings for $20. Sunshine nabbed a great deal on a long strand of genuine pearls ($15) plus a sterling and amber pendant and chain.

From there we took a short walk around the corner and made the best stop of our trip at Coelho Winery's tasting room. This was worth the whole trip in itself. It's a small family owned winery with their tasting room located in a gorgeous old building (according to their website, built in the 1930s) right off the main drag in Amity. And they're not kidding about being small and family owned. The two manning the tasting bar are the son and daughter of the husband and wife owners. The husband and wife came over and chatted with us for more than an hour, telling us stories of their families, the wines, the history of the labels and the logo (can you spot the bunny?). On top of all of this, they have fabulous wine. I left with a bottle of Pinot Gris and their 2005 Pinot Noir, while Sunshine got their Rose, the 2006 Pinot Noir, and their Portuguese red table wine. I am saving mine for my mom's visit in May.

After a great time at Coelho, we detoured by the elementary school to see the daffodil show. I had no idea there were varieties of daffodils I've never seen before, including a few that don't necessary look like daffodils. (To give you an idea, they do look like excellent subjects for a Georgia O'Keefe painting.) Again, we were just about the only people there who aren't from Amity.

Next was the Brigittine Monastery, or "monkery" as I like to call it. They are the only Brigittine monastery in the United States, and they support themselves by making fudge and truffles. We got to sample the fudge; it was awfully darn good. The recipe comes straight from God, you know. While I like the occasional nibble of fudge, it is often too much for me, particularly if it is a chocolate fudge. My fudgey druthers lean towards the peanut butter variety, which they did not have, so instead I purchased dark chocolate truffles. I am also saving these for mom's visit.

Last, but not least, we visited the alpaca farm Wings & a Prayer. Again, very very friendly people. Mr. Alpaca Farmer Guy (whose name I just learned is Randy) came and chatted with us for a good long while as we admired the alpacas and their three Great Pyrenees, two of whom had recently had puppies sired by the third (he was quite the big stud). They have about 70 alpaca in their own herd, with the rest being boarders (i.e., people who lost to temptation and got their own alpaca after visiting the farm). Luckily, we couldn't fit an alpaca into the car (and the puppies were too young) so we escaped unscathed but knowing an awful lot more about alpacas. I should've broken out the camera for those guys. At least for the puppies.

And throughout it all, the weather cooperated to a reasonable extent with sunshine and blue sky most of the time. Who'd've thunk it in Oregon!

All in all, a great weekend for the CilleyGirl. Hope yours was too!

--CG

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Zoo are you - part 5

"Hey man, I hear the Ramones might be lookin' for someone?"

It was feeding time for the elephants, and first the keepers make them do a little trick before they get to go inside.


They have elk, cougar, bald eagles, and wolves in the Great Northwest exhibit. You know, the one that looks like 80% of the Northwest.


There was a sign up for the elk and wolves that they have arthritis but not to worry, their keepers are watching them closely. So the wolf is thinking "forget the steak, pass the Tylenol."


And last, but not least, the black bear and I are ready for our naps.

Hope you enjoyed the Cilley day at the zoo!

Zoo are you - part 4


"You scoot over." "No, you scoot over."

(Hippos, in case you were wondering.)


Hello zeeba neighba!


Don't you just know that this Nile Monitor lizard speaks with a deep bass voice?


One reason this little deer came so close to me was someone's kid had dropped its sunglasses into the habitat. The deer decided they didn't taste so good.



"What are you lookin' at? Huh?"

Zoo are you - part 3

Ladies and jellyspoons, I present to you the great Malaysian Sun Bear smack down!




The only time when the answer to the question is "mommy, are they wrestling?" is "yes!"

Unlike when I was in the bat house. But it was too dark to take pics in there.



"I disapprove of disapproval being limited to only rabbits."

Zoo are you - part 2

As promised, sea lion photos.


Unfortunately, not many turned out. These are through the glass, where the sea lions were underwater.

Next up, lorikeets!!




If you haven't been to the lorikeet exhibit at the Oregon Zoo, it's in an open aviary. You can purchase little cups of nectar for $1, then the lorikeets will come land on you to drink from the cups. When people have the nectar cups, the lorikeets pretty much leave the people without the nectar cups (like me) alone. I found this one guy, though....


Who was hanging out on a piece of wood, with his little foot raised. You could just hear him thinking "I'd like a drink, please... someone? Anyone? Hold out your arm and if you have a cup of nectar I'll climb on. Hello? Is this thing on?"

I visited the tigers next. Most weren't out since it was raining, plus they are working on a new "Roar" exhibit for 2009. But this tiger was willing to come out and pose for me.

Zoo are you

It was a beautiful day to be at the zoo. If you have gills.

It was very wet, ranging between sprinkles and a decent rain. But not lots of crowds so that was good. First up were the bighorn sheep.


Where I got this great picture of a garden variety duck.


Around the corner is Stellar Cove. The sea lions were underwater at this point, so pics of them will come later. Next to the sea lions are the otters. My favorite part of my day at the zoo, as it turned out, because this cute little guy was out and about, playing with toys, frolicing in the water....


....and, as it turns out, chewing on his penis. It cracked me up, because, not shown here, are some pictures of the otter playing with a milk crate that had some floats in it. Then he would dive underwater, come back up and play with some other toys, dive back down, then float around on his back. And he started chewing up something on his tummy. I had been there for a bit at this point, watching him play, and I couldn't figure out when he'd picked up something to eat. And I'm looking and looking.... and finally realize he's not eating something, he's doing some very personal grooming. If you look really close at this next picture --


--you can see there's something bright pink in his mouth. That would be an otter rocket. Yes, it would. So then I'm standing there (taking more pictures, 'cause the big white evil bunny in my head made do it -- we're thinking it's this year's Christmas card), laughing to myself at "Otters Gone Wild", and other people are coming up to the exhibit. They're saying "look, how cute, he's chewing on something", and then they get real quiet as they realize just what he's chewing on.

No, these pictures never make the zoo brochure, do they? They like ones like this, of Mr. Polar Bear.



More to come!

Friday, April 04, 2008

If you were in my mind right now

You would hear the following conversation between me and the big white evil bunny in my head:

CilleyGirl: She deleted my comment. I'm really tempted to go post another one.

Big white evil bunny: You should absolutely do that. Be thorough. Make her cry.

CG: Yeah, that would be fun. But I'd regret it later. And you know how I hate to have regrets.

BWEB: Hence your current debt situation.

CG: Exactly. And what would be the point of throwing all of that in her virtual face?

BWEB: Other than it would be fun?

CG: Other than that.

BWEB: That's really all I've got. I am a big white evil bunny, after all. We're kind of limited in our range.

CG: Still, it is tempting. Maybe I should just be satisfied with posting it all on my blog.

BWEB: That does carry a certain level of evil fun with it.

CG: Besides, maybe she didn't even see the comment. Maybe he deleted it before she could.

BWEB: 'Cause truth is fluid for him.

CG: Exactly.

BWEB: He's slick.

CG: I know. I gave him the nickname. He had to know it was me.

BWEB: Even though you restrained yourself, it had a very evil vibe to it.

CG: It was the only way I was going to be able to let it go and get to sleep. Even after looking at all those pictures of him swelled up like Jerry Lewis on prednisone with his vacant dull eye.

BWEB: Eye. Heh. I applaud you with my big white evil bunny paws.

CG: Do you think all this talk of evil and how fun it is will be seen by Blog Guy?

BWEB: Probably.

CG: Do you think he'll think poorly of me?

BWEB: Possibly. But you do have that rule about never harming small children and animals.

CG: Which is why I phrased my comment so carefully. There is a small child involved here. Hobby spawn, if you will.

BWEB: She has his eye.

CG: Yes, yes she does. You know, I think I'm good with the whole Slick thing. Good riddance.

BWEB: I think so too. Let's go plot evil things against ________ instead.

CG: She needs a nickname.

BWEB: I think "Mrs. Danvers" would do quite nicely.

CG: Never read it. Did you?

BWEB: I'm a big white evil bunny. No opposable thumbs.

CG: Like that's ever stopped you.

BWEB: Still, it is a fitting nickname. Here, Google it.

CG: I see what you mean. I had been leaning more towards "Spinster McSourpuss".

BWEB: I bow my big white evil bunny ears to you in awe.

CG: Awww, you're too kind, big white evil bunny. I think Mrs. Danvers will do quite nicely. After all, she would get the reference.

BWEB: Mrs. Danvers it is. Excuse me while I go chew on her power cords for a while.

CG: Catch you later.

--the CilleyEvilBunnyGirl

Update

Awww, she deleted my comment!

That's fine by me. I said what I needed to say.

I'm done. On to bigger (so many comments to make here, all of them tacky) and better things.

--the CilleyGirl

P.S. Apparently if you post something that repeatedly uses words like "dick", you immediately get a comment on your blog to the effect of "if you like dick, come check me out at ---". Tempting, but gosh, I've got somewhere else I need to be.

P.P.S. Today's CilleyGirl forecast: The weather sucks. Yes, it was nice yesterday but you live in Portland. Where the weather sucks this time of year. Tomorrow it will suck again. Sunday it will also suck. Monday it will suck intermittently, although it will be very nice in the morning because it is no longer the weekend and the weather gods like to mess with your head.

Good news is, the crowds previously anticipated to appear throughout my weekend plans are getting smaller by the raindrop. Wimps!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

I had a great subject line but then I forgot it

It was a pretty good day to blow off steam in Cilley Land. My boss's birthday is tomorrow and he's taking the day off, so we threw him a birthday lunch today. Got some great Italian food brought in from Zeppo, in Lake Oswego. I had the penne porcini, penne pasta with a cream thyme sauce with porcini mushrooms and sausage. Their antipasti plates are really good too. Between the four of us, we polished off two bottles of champagne. I was lightly buzzed between 1:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. I haven't eaten mentioned the chocolate chocolate cake. No, this wasn't on my diet. Yes, I may have Pepto Bismol later this evening.

Hopefully tomorrow I can catch up on all the work I've pushed aside for the past two weeks. Boss is heading to the beach for the weekend and is supposed to play golf in the early afternoon, so he may not even call in. Yay!

What I'm Reading:

I finally managed to finish Murder Without Reservations. Now I'm on to My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon. Yes, there was a My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding.

I've been keeping a list of the books I've read this year. So far I've read 33, for a total of 11,206 pages. We're what, about twelve weeks into the year, so roughly two and a half books a week. Evelyn Wood is my idol.

All this champagne has made me sleepy so I'm calling it a night.

Cilley Dreams!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The Gut got the boot

I didn't watch the DwtS results show last night. As I said previously, I'm just not all that in to this season and the results shows are always 55 minutes of filler and five minutes of stuff worth watching (unless Barry Manilow is the musical guest, then I'm all over it). But apparently I missed one of the best shows in a long time. For those not into the show, Steve Guttenberg's partner Anna was extremely sick over the past week, so her husband Jonathan, also a pro dancer but voted off first, stood in for her in teaching the Gut the tango. They showed some little snippets of it during Monday's clips. On each results show, the judges pick the dance they liked the best from the night before to do an encore performance. This time they wanted to see the "mango" -- the tango with Steve and Jonathan performing it. I guess it was great; they played it straight (heh, no pun intended) for the most part. In the end, though, the Gut got the boot. I'm hoping he starts hanging out with Kenny Mayne as the latest member of the Dance Center team.

There were also otters on last night's show. I think the universe is behind my zoo plans for the weekend.

So, on to other bloggy things.

I'm having a hard time keeping my focus on my health. I'm within two pounds of a preliminary goal of mine. I feel like if I can get below this number that I can truly succeed in this. And I can't get there. Work's been stressful and with the early onset of spring allergy season I haven't been sleeping well and it frequently turns into insomnia. Of course, if I would remember to refill my rozerem prescription I'd have a better time of it, but I only seem to remember at 1:00 a.m. when I've been trying to sleep for three hours.

Last night I tried to distract myself from not being able to sleep by picturing myself at my goal weight. How I'd look. What I'd wear. I couldn't do it. I couldn't see beyond where I am right now. I couldn't even think of an old photo of myself that I could build on.

I've also been too focused on guys. The Boy. A couple other fantasies I've had. Thinking about how nice it would be to be part of a couple again, to have someone else who cares if I'm happy or sad or even home. Someone who gives me hugs and smootchies other than my gay stylist Brian. My pets care (and give hugs and smootchies), but it's just not the same thing.

Anyhow, the possibility that another part of my life might click into place has made other things, like my health, seem less important, less urgent. But that's not the case. I made significant choices in the past (where to go to college, what career to choose, where to go to law school) because of other people who turned out to be transitory in my life or otherwise just not worth that level of regard. I can't live my life that way. In the end, I'm the most important person in my life. I have to be. Because while I've been willing to share that position with others, so far no one else has.

Well, I know how to bring down a room, don't I?

Long story short (too late!), I need to find a way to remember why I'm doing this, what I want from it, what I need from it. Will everything else in my life click into place when I reach my goal weight? Probably not. And I'm okay with that. One thing at a time.

Sweet dreams,
the not always so CilleyGirl

What did the hoop ever do to you?

As part of my job, I am frequently on county websites. Occasionally they have they oddest things on there. Like what I found today on Lane County's website:

Signs Popping Up Where They Shouldn’t


Contacts: John Petsch, Lane County Public Works, 682-6999


The slowing real estate market has caused an increase in signs in Lane County road right-of-ways. Illegally placed signs and basketball hoops put everyone in jeopardy and they’re popping up more frequently.


Lane County Public Works crews will remove illegally placed signs and basketball hoops in right-of-ways. A poorly placed sign or basketball hoop could cause a deadly traffic accident if it obstructs the view of a motorist, bicyclist, or pedestrian.


"Real estate signs, garage sale signs, estate sale signs, and other signs can create hazards on our roadways," said John Petsch, Lane County Public Works. "A large number of signs located at a major intersection can obstruct sight and creates the potential for accidents."


County road maintenance crews have been instructed to pick up any signs located in Lane County right-of-ways. Crews remove basketball hoops only after a formal complaint is made.


Please follow these guidelines when placing signs:


Signs (garage/yard/estate sales signs, political signs, real estate signs, for rent signs, items for sale or any other signs) should not be placed within Lane County road right-of-ways. In unincorporated parts of the city that means the planting area between the sidewalk and curb. In rural areas, it would be from the pavement to the fence (anywhere maintenance vehicles would drive.) Signs placed near a rural road should be placed on private property behind any utility facilities (poles, closures, etc.) or sidewalks.


Basketball hoops should be located on private property and not obstruct the vision of people on the road whether motorist, bicyclist, or pedestrian. Also, please be aware: poorly placed basketball hoops can pose a safety risk to children playing too near the road.


If you place a sign illegally, it may be removed by Lane County Public Works. You can be reunited with your sign(s) at 3040 N. Delta Highway within 30 days of removal. But, after 30 days, the sign(s) will be destroyed.


By placing the signs properly, you can avoid unnecessary expense and hassle for yourself, save taxpayer money by saving Public Works personnel from having to handle the signs, and protect your neighbors and visitors from accidents.


I like how the stated message of the article is to warn about signs, but that basketball hoops keep cropping up. Here's the public relations office drafting up this press release -- "Signs! Signs are dangerous! Think before you sink!" -- and meanwhile Tony's over in the corner going "And basketball hoops! Don't forget to add in about the hoops! For the love of god, people, someone could lose an eye!" I'm thinking somebody has a grudge. Or a story.

--CG

Monday, March 31, 2008

The Gut has got it good

Monday night and it's time to Dance with the Stars LIIIIIIVVEEEE!

Up so far:

Marlee Matlin with the jive. It's impressive how good she is. Personally I think she's got an advantage not being able to hear since the music can't screw her up.

The Gut did the tango. The man tango. His best dance so far. A 21 from the judges.

Loved today's Disapproving Rabbit. You should check them out.

Back up a pound today on the weight loss front, although I have a feeling that the scale will show a drop if I weigh again tomorrow morning. Just in case, though, I administered an emergency infusion of pizza and wings. Proven to help you lose weight. So long as you're me.

Cristian of the girly name pronunciation is jiving tonight. Ooh, he's pissing off Cheryl. Yay! They're at Sea World!!!!!! With Clyde the sea lion! I love Sea World!!!

Yes, there is something wrong with me.

$20 says he pulled a groin muscle in his first move. Okay, fabulous arms, the man has fabulous arms. But he looks like such a geek doing this dance. Plus the song sucks. And he nailed a stage light with his feet. I predict he'll get a 19, 20 at the most. A 25? Huh?

On The Boy front, I sent an email this weekend as I said. And..... nothing. Nada, zip, zero, zilch. (Mr. Dovalina, Mr. Bob Dovalina) So, I'm done. I think what I need is someone I refer to as The Man, not The Boy. Or maybe The Guy, since calling anyone The Man makes me sound like a bit player in Undercover Brother. But a bit player in white vinyl go-go boots.

Mario is dancing the tango to the weirdest version of Roxanne I've ever heard. It's like when I break into song except that it's Elmer Fudd sings David Bowie ("put on your wed shoes and dance the bwues") or James Earl Jones sings Rod Stewart ("if you want my body, and you think.... I'm sexy"). I have a strong suspicion that Mario is Chris Rock's son. Looks so much like him, especially when he smiles. Hmm, they gave Mario the scores they should've given to Cristian the girly man.

Well, Monday is finally over. Long day on little sleep with a raging headache. Not sure if I'll manage to tolerate all of DwtS. I'm not finding this season's celebrities all that enjoyable.

Tomorrow is April 1st, April Fool's Day for those living under a rock. For me, it is the deadline to file exemption and special assessment applications. I feel like I've been running the office singlehandedly of late (technically I kind of was) yet not getting the benefits in trade off. All day long today I felt the need to explore our office bar. We have a large one. We are lawyers, after all.

Tonight is the night for bizarre songs. A much too slow version of Adam Ant's Goody Two Shoes. Consequently, Shannon Elizabeth's jive ain't all that. And is it just me, or can you not watch Shannon Elizabeth in anything without picturing her famous scene in American Pie? Just me? Okay.

Once Tuesday is over, the rest of the week should be relatively quiet, playing catch up from everything else I've ignored for the past ten days while prepping for tomorrow's deadline. And once April is over, it's May and time to start prepping for the big Washington deadline on July 1. Which reminds me, I need to make a note on my calendar to remember to get drugs for Ginger before July 4th. It's that or teach her how to drink until she passes out. Oh, the dilemmas ;)

And Sunday I'm going to the zooooooooo!!! Maybe I'll find some hot guy between now and then to go with me. 'Cause a guy who likes the zoo too, yum!

Adam Carolla is on next so I think I'm done for tonight. Otter smiles and seal dreams to you!

Sayonara,
the Cilley Girl

Jumping out of my skin

I'm all atwitter. I'm bouncing in my chair. I'm so excited I can't stand it! There is a prime CilleyGirl event occurring this weekend and I'm going to go.



I just learned this morning that the Oregon Zoo's Gone Wild for Spring Break.




Can't head to the tropics for spring break? Come to the Oregon Zoo for a
tropical party! Get crazy with crocodiles and party with polar bears during the
fifth annual Oregon Zoo's Gone Wild Celebration March 24-April 6, 2008.


I have missed most of the activities, but check out this weekend:



Pirate Day Saturday March 29 & Saturday April 5

10:00 Meerkat Mateys: Meerkats play with a pirate ship and
explore a mermaid picture board

11:00 Dead Man’s Cove: Tide pool keeper talk

11:30 Trunkful o’ Treasure: Elephant keeper talk and elephants
receive tropical fruit treats

1:00 Pirate Pig-Out: Cougars receive a pirate feast with
papier-mâché pigs, piñatas and tropical fruit

2:30 Party With the Penguins: Penguins Play with ice
floats

2:45 Plundering Penguins: Penguin keeper talk while the birds receive
frozen ice balls


Pirate Day Sunday March 30 & Sunday April 6

10:00 Treasure Island: Polar bears play on a snowy Treasure
Island with palm trees, a pirate ship and a treasure chest stuffed with
pineapple pieces of eight

11:30 Arrrrrrrg! Tropical Trunk Show: Rama the elephant
demonstrates tropical-themed painting

1:00 Lorikeet Luau: Lorikeets receive edible fruits and
flowers

1:30 Ocelots Ahoy! Ocelot keeper talk

2:30 Bootylicious: Elephants play pirates and receive a
cardboard pirate ship filled with treats

2:45 Plundering Penguins: Penguin keeper talk while the birds
play with ice balls


I am SOOOO tempted to play hookey on Friday just so I can see the sea otters lay siege to a plastic pirate ship and feast on a booty of shrimp. I have this thing about sea animals (well, except for sharks but that's another blog entry). I LOVE them. If I could get married at Sea World, with seals and walruses (walrii?) walking me down the aisle, I would. I can watch the otters at the zoo for hours.

Is the weekend here yet??

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Now if I can remember where I parked it...

Weirdest horoscope for me today. Check this out:



You may need to keep your spaceship idle today and perform a safety
check for you and your crew, dear Scorpio. Make sure everyone on board is
completely informed of their destination. It could be that you just picked
them off the street without really telling them where they would end up. It
is important that you don't drag people into your world unwittingly. If they
voluntarily give up the controls to you, however, that is a different horoscope.



Okey dokey.

I have no idea what it means, but maybe it has to do with The Boy, plus another little thing I've been thinking about doing. On The Boy, I sent him an e-mail last night, saying I guessed that one of two things had happened. Either (1) he didn't get my last e-mail and he's wondering why he hasn't heard from me in a week, or (2) he did get my last e-mail and he's thinking about how to respond. There could be a (3), that he did get my last e-mail and I'll never hear from him again, but I've known him since I was 16 and he's really not that type of guy.

Of course, it is important that I don't drag people into my world unwittingly. I'm thinking of adopting this as a new motto. Or maybe a guideline. I conferred with Merriam-Webster and a motto is "a short expression of a guiding principle." Motto it is. I think this one will be right up there with "I'm never cruel to small children or animals." (Large children are fair game.)

I'll have to think on whether I have any other mottos.* I had planned on doing a post soon on all my dating rules. I think I have three. Mottos could be a follow-up post. As we are all about amusement here at CilleyGirl.

Well, it's a dreary, wet and cold day in Portland. Luckily I picked yesterday to get out and do my errands. I was in REI during the huge hailstorm. They have a metal roof, did you know? Sounds pretty cool during a huge hailstorm.

Checking on the CilleyGirl forecast, today as I mentioned sucks, so build a fire if you've got a fireplace, otherwise light candles and hold down the couch 'cause it's currently 35 degrees. Monday's not going to suck as much, with a high of 50 predicted and occasional sunbreaks in an otherwise cloudy day. Tuesday through Thursday may actually be decent, getting all the way up near 60 by Thursday, but this is Portland so don't count on it. By Friday we'll have occasional showers and a high of 57, meaning that Friday will be cooler but beautiful but the weekend will really suck. That's your forecast, I'm the CilleyGirl, stay good and stay dry.

The animals have already assumed their positions for the day:


Sammi will sleep on the back of the sofa. Here, though, she was just blinking from the flash going off.

Maggie will be out like a light next to me. Right now, she came back up to the den and is staring at her reflection in the china hutch. She's very cute, but not all that bright.
Ginger will want to stay outside in the cold and damp all day. It's the fur, you see.

--CG



*For the Dan Quayle folks, it's "mottoes". Merriam -Webster says both are correct. So neener.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Rick 'em, rack 'em, rick 'em, ruck 'em

Get that ball and really fight!

I just love Robin Williams, don't you? I'm looking forward to his guest turn on Law & Order. Which one, I can't remember. One of them.

Friday is finally over. What a long week. It's supposed to snow again tomorrow. I'm looking forward to lazing around. Got the latest Midsomer Murders from Netflix. Got a new book waiting to be picked up at the library. Got about 30 episodes of Passport to Europe DVR'd. I'm set.

I felt like such a girl today. I finally decided to go for a spin on the Bare Minerals bandwagon. Bought a starter kit at Sephora the other day, and tried it out this morning. It's not bad. Doesn't feel much like wearing makeup at all. Maybe I could get back into the habit again.

I haven't worn makeup all that often for years. I started wearing makeup really, really early, back when I was about ten or so. I don't know what my mother was thinking. Although after a few years of wearing it, I gradually tapered off until I only wear it when I go out to a party. Which is practically never. So maybe mom had a plan, I don't know.

Part of the reason I don't wear it now is that I work with only three other people, and we rarely have clients or other visitors at the office. I'd rather sleep in 15 extra minutes than put on makeup nobody ever sees. Plus I don't have a problem with how I look unenhanced, unlike some people who can't take out the trash without lipstick and mascara.

Another part of the reason is once you've got foundation, powder, and blush, you have to do the eyes. That stuff started to irritate my contacts; eventually I stopped wearing contacts. I've never been fond about wearing eye makeup with glasses, you can barely see it so again why bother? I'm going to try contacts again in a few weeks, but I won't risk the health of my eyes so that they look really pretty for the same three people every day who don't really matter in that arena anyway.

I've also never liked lipstick. Most of it feels weird, and it gets all over everything. And I like the natural color of my lips.

Lastly, makeup is a pain to take off. I feel like I have to do it the minute I get home (right after the bra comes off -- the girls need to be free!), only to have to wash my face a second time before I go to bed.

Being a girl is a lot of work.

But maybe I'll give it a serious effort again for a while.

Ciao,
the CilleyGirlyGirl

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Two whole posts in one day!

Of course, it's all subject to being able to tolerate this PITA laptop keyboard. We'll see.

Good to know that my horoscope is telling me that I should be feeling run down. It's nice to have validation.

My Cougs lost to North Carolina today. We were up to 4th in the eastern regional; NC was 1st. Since I don't follow basketball, I have no idea what that means for WSU now, although it looks like we won't be going to the Final Four. Oh well, maybe they'll be in again next year and play in Portland. I might actually go see them in that case.

MSN is telling me that it'll be rainy this weekend, but KGW is telling me it'll be sunny. At least on Sunday. Why do all weathermen feel the need to make the weather sound so optimistic? Wouldn't it be great to have a depressed weatherman instead? "It's Portland. It's March. It's going to rain. Then it will rain some more. Other stations will tease you, tell you it will be sunny in just ten more days. They're lying. It's Portland. It's March. It's going to rain. Deal with it." Yep, that would be my kind of weatherman.

If is going to be dry (at least, sorta), then I'll take the pups out hiking. I walked them over to PCC tonight after work and the trilliums are blooming. The grass is still one big mud sponge, but the dogs had a blast rolling in it. Maggie took one roll in the grass, then a roll in the leaves, then a second roll in the grass. Repeat as necessary. It was great to watch them play while soaking up the last bit of the afternoon sun.

I'm thinking I'll go to Tryon Creek since trillium is now in bloom. Maybe even if it's snowing. Which apparently is now the forecast for tomorrow.

I just hope the weather clears up for the weekend after next. It's the Amity Daffodil festival and my friend Sunshine and I are going to go check it out. There's wine tasting involved. And daffodils.

I wish the ice cream fairy would show up.

CG




Still only Thursday? Are you sure?

It's been a slow but productive week here in CilleyGirl land. I had the place pretty much to myself for two days. Got lots done and got to wear jeans while doing it. Granted, I could probably wear jeans to work all week long if I wanted to, but so far I've resisted the temptation. Now that I think about it, I could've worn sweats earlier in the week (I was doing full-contact filing those two days -- don't ask), except that I don't have any that fit right now. Up to 20 lbs gone, and still going. Yay me.

What I'm Reading:

Not much since I worked through three lunches this week. Just finished Creation in Death by J.D. Robb. Not as much sex as per the usual. It was actually a nice change. Nobody orgasms that much in real life. Do they? I'm suddenly feeling like I've been dating all the wrong men.

I've started Elaine Viets' latest Murder with Reservations and am actually taking a real lunch break today, although I'm spending it on the computer.

Cilley Stuff:

Speaking of dating, I was reading some earlier posts by a blogger I started reading a few weeks ago who was talking about getting back into the pool. The dating pool, that is. That's been on my mind a lot lately. [side note -- it's starting to snow again!] I had originally intended to avoid all dating possibilities until this summer after the reunion. But karma's messing with me again.

The Boy I've mentioned previously is someone I went to high school with, then freshman year of college. He got in touch with me a few weeks ago, and we've been swapping e-mails and flirting ever since. Recently we'd reached the point where it was either time to get together in person or let the e-mails dwindle down to "hey, how's it going?".

For anyone who knows me really well (I think there's two of you these days, how are those club meetings? Plenty of refreshments to go around?), they know that I'm gun shy when it comes to dating, particularly potentially serious dating. Because I've had three serious relationships in my life, and in all three the guy has gone on to meet, marry, and impregnate (not necessarily in that order) the very next woman he gets involved with after we have broken up. And we're not talking years later, here. Months later. Weeks later. I'm thinking of incorporating and offering it as a professional service, a training ground for men to try out and then realize that yes, they are ready to settle down. With her, over there.

Don't get me wrong, there aren't any hard feelings about this. It's just really, really weird. My last boyfriend and I split up in large part because he never wanted to get married again and he did not want to have children. This was a different point of view for him from when we began dating. I'm on the fence about the kids, but haven't foreclosed on the marriage issue so we broke up. There was other stuff in there too, but even if we worked out all of that the other stuff was a deal-breaker. We parted fairly amicably, we shared custody of his dog, yadda yadda yadda.

Break up was in February. Fast forward to late October. I get an e-mail saying that he and his new girlfriend were quite surprised to find out they'll be parents and consequently they're getting married. I'm thinking, wow, awfully fast, especially since he said he'd found out she was pregnant in August and at that time they'd been together for about six months. Yes, do the math. He later said he misspoke; I'll let that one slide. No matter what the timeline, next woman up: impregnate and marry.

Granted, given his history, I know he was serious when he said he didn't want to marry or ever have kids. Kid was an accident (although, when you don't want children USE LOTS OF BIRTH CONTROL, MORON). They got married, 'cause for him that's what you do. Even if I had been stupid enough to get pregnant, I wouldn't have married him for that reason. In all honesty, not for any reason.

Anyhow, I'm very cautious about getting involved with someone. I'd say more, but some day the examples in question might read this and we're still friends. But I have really, really good reasons for being cautious.

Cause even before I set the hard and fast Dating Rule No. 1, I was growing up enough to realize that you can't make anyone love you, or really even like you. No one is really going to change, no matter how much you want them to. Your feelings are what they are, so speak up and there will be no hard feelings.

There will be hard feelings if you don't speak up, however. Said guy wanted out of the relationship for at least two or three months, but didn't say so. I finally ended it. That's when Dating Rule No. 1 was codified: If you do not want to date me, for whatever reason, tell me. I will do the same. We've save time and pain. I'll think of you fondly. Note that Dating Rule No. 1 applies before the relationship even begins. Don't like me? Don't find me attractive? I'm not your type? That's cool. Just do me the courtesy of telling me. Don't never call again. That's just childish.

Back to the Boy and the Pool:

Okay, so I've mentioned Dating Rule No. 1 to the Boy. Sunday night I added a serious part to the rest of my flirty reply to his latest e-mail. To wit: it sounds like we are both interested in getting together and seeing if we still have this chemistry in person. I added that before we did that, I would need to know if he was thinking just a fling -- a nice little interlude that might continue through a few random weekends when we both had the time and the money -- or if he was entertaining the outside possibility that maybe it could turn into something more. Because if it was the latter, he had to know at the start that my professional is so specialized that the chances of my being able to relocate back up to Seattle (where I'm from) are pretty much nil. If things worked out, he'd have to be willing to move to Portland.

Today's Thursday and I haven't heard a peep.

I'm thinking that he either (1) didn't get my e-mail and he's waiting for me to write to him, since it was my turn, or (2) he's giving serious thought to my question. There could be a (3), in that I freaked him out and I'll never hear from him again, which could be a possibility if we had met online and never in person, but I've known the Boy since I was 16. He's just not that type. So, it's probably (2).

I guess that makes me feel better. Should I check my e-mail again? Yes? No? Maybe?

Dating sucks.

Stay silly,
the CilleyGirl