I got an email saying they couldn't get my autopayment to work for my paid account. So I went on my account management tab to update my home address for my credit card and as soon as I tried to click to that page, I got a scary warning from my McAfee antivirus that there might be a problem with the page. So now I really don't want to mess with any credit card updates on it.

Anyone else tried to manage their account lately?
So there is this little article from the Huffington Post about 23 Signs You May Be an Introvert that is making the rounds on Facebook today. I read it and I have to say that I was NOT surprisingly the opposite of most of the ‘signs’. And I just kept nodding at how the signs matched the people I know who are introverts. However, there were a couple of things at which I had to scrunch up my face and with which I have to take issue.

First, there is sign number fifteen, which says that “you notice details that others don’t.” I’m a big fan of personality tests of the Myers Briggs variety where they measure you tendency to either side of a spectrum for each of four personality categories. Extraversion-Introversion (how one reacts to others), Intuiting-Sensing (environment processing), Thinking-Feeling (processing approach to decisions, situations), Judging-Perceiving (response type). Sign fifteen is really more about intuiting-sensing traits than extraversion-introversion. You can be either E or I and still be a sensor. Intuitors are more about big picture, whereas sensors are more about detail. And it is a spectrum, so a person can be equally prone to both or far to either side. I usually fall hard to the E on the E-I spectrum in testing and slightly to S on the N-S spectrum (they use N for intuiting, since they use I for introversion). And if anybody cares, I split the T-F and fall hard on the J (but I’m trying to work on that).

Second, there are signs seven and sixteen, which are a conundrum for me taken together. Seven says “Downtime Doesn’t Feel Unproductive to You” and sixteen says, “You have a constantly running inner monologue” with the accompanying quote that “most extroverts don’t have the same internal talking as we do.” OK. Downtime feels very unproductive to me. I get slightly tense and uncomfortable when I don’t have anything to occupy my mind. That makes me not an introvert, per this article. But the reason I get slightly tense and uncomfortable is BECAUSE I have a constantly running inner monologue. My inner monologue wants me to be productive. My inner monologue harangues me about being lazy and goes off on abusive tangents if I’m not side-tracking it. That does not recharge me – it causes me a lot of stress. So I either have to be engaged in something productive that occupies my brain or I have to use my ‘downtime’ for reading something really interesting, watching an absorbing movie or show, or making up stories in my head. I make up a lot of stories in my head when I’m cleaning house. None that would interest anyone else in the slightest, but they make me happy. Or I make lists in my head or do long range planning. I cannot relax very well without a good book. I totally suck at just sitting on the couch and channel surfing and watching snippets of mindless TV. It makes me fidgety and hungry. So what does that mean?


Mar. 25th, 2011 05:53 pm
Don't get excited. I'm just posting so I can test drive my new user pic. It's time for the annual update.
I drove my Mustang to work today. It was very nice to get into a pre-heated car that got that way without me having to go out into the cold to start it. It was decadent to push a button and have an instantly toasty seat. It was magnificent to zip along the freeway and not chug up the hills.

On the way home from work, I was silly enough to crank up the stereo as loud as it would go all in one quick twist. I nearly exploded my eardrums. Medium volume is more than sufficient.

Here are several photos )
You may have noticed I was a little bit excited last night. Shame on me. I should have known better than to think I was going to have a perfect day.

My oldest was due to arrive at the local airport at about 9PM last night, coming home from college for the holidays. He made it home at about 2:30 this morning. And I think I have a sinus infection. And we have about 2-3 inches of sloppy, wet, heavy, icky snow on the ground with at least a couple more due to arrive in the next twenty-four hours. And I'm so tired. And I have to get to the bank before noon today to get into my safe deposit box and hopefully find the title to my old mini-van (which is now the property of a dealership about an hour south of here - yay!) since I brought them the wrong piece of paper yesterday afternoon.


But I still have a new pony. And my son _did_ get home, even if he had to spend over four and a half hours sitting in a small regional jet on a runway in the sleet/rain mix that central NC was getting last night, waiting to be de-iced (central NC, being unaccustomed to much wintery precipitation, only keeps one de-icing truck and it had some issues last night).

And eventually it will stop snowing and I will be able to take some nice photos of my new (to me) car to share with all of you. I really don't want to share the inside of my garage with you.

I'm very tired. And my face really hurts. But I have a red pony. There is balance.

And if anyone is interested in the details before the photos:

Dark red, 2007 GT Premium, black leather interior (I would have preferred a lighter color interior, but after looking for four months, I have determined it is practically impossible to find a red '07 Mustang with anything other than black interior), 27K miles, CD/MP3 player with six CD changer, 'traction control', all sorts of nice little bells and whistles in the driver comfort arena, and fold down rear seating that allows expanded trunk space for carrying large stuff. It also has one of those nifty air scoop dealiewheelies on the hood that makes it look even tougher (although I have no idea if it has a real function or not). And did I mention the remote starter? That was a surprise when I got down south to test drive it. It made me very happy. I hate getting into a cold car and I hate having to run out early to start it to warm it up.

Of course, the black leather will mean hot seat in the summer, so I'll get a little sun shade thing for the front window and maybe a little seat cover for summer. Maybe even a little steering wheel cover for summer, too.

And no, it's not evironmentally friendly. I have a small pang of guilt over that, but not enough to stop me from getting the car I've wanted for as long as I can remember. No more mom-van. It's the dawn of a new era. One that does not involve taxi service, hauling service, spilled food, crumbs, dog kennels, bags of dirt, fertilizer, sand, gravel, or any other yard product being piled in the back. No more waiting half an hour for the heat or air-conditioning to fill up the cavern before the interior reaches a comfy temp. No more wedging a giant vehicle into the limited space in my garage. No more smacking the lawnmower into the rear wall of the garage.

Call it a mid-life crises if you want. I call it 'my turn'.
I bought myself a pony for Christmas. He has 8 cylinders, a rear spoiler, heated seats, lumbar support adjustment, power everything, and a remoter starter. He's dark red and he goes VRRROOOOMMMMMMMM!!!!

I got fired this morning. The term used was "lay-off due to financial considerations". I was called down to my manager's office and escorted to our main conference room to join three other people from my department and with no introduction whatsoever, we were then read a letter explaining that we were being terminated, effective immediately, term, conditions, blah blah blah, most of which I did not hear, because I was quietly crying with my head turned away from the table. Then we were all handed a big packet of stuff that we're supposed to review and sign and then told "to avoid any discomfort from questions from your coworkers" (translation "to avoid a scene") "you will be escorted to collect your personal belongings and exit the building"

I walked out of the room, chased by my manager, went straight to the ladies room, sobbed for a few minutes, came out to find (as expected) my manager waiting outside the door, and was escorted to my cubical to pack up my things. I was not allowed to speak to anyone or take my notebooks. I have written a lot of very ugly things about my manager in my notebooks over the past year and a half. I told him to be sure and read them carefully. Then I threw them on the floor at his feet, told him not to speak to me and told him to be sure and shut the door tightly once I was out of the building so I couldn't get back in, called him a fat little fuck and left.

Just now, I e-mailed my former coworkers to tell them goodbye and good luck and they could call me if they needed any information, since I wasn't allowed to say goodbye before I left.

I'm almost 45 years old. I've had seven jobs in my adult life. This is the only one I've ever been fired from. It's quite the experience.

I have no idea what I'm going to do next. I don't even really know what I'm feeling right now. Sad. Embarrassed. Angry. Betrayed. Pathetic. Scared. Hopeless. Rejected. Abused. Tired. Very tired. And stupid. Very stupid. And apparently I don't even matter enough to ask what I had going on that might be important right now.

So I guess I'll be polishing up that gorgeous resume of mine that shows six jobs in nine years and see if anyone will even give it a second look in this booming economy. It's going to be a great summer.


Apr. 6th, 2009 11:55 pm
I am Tarheel born
And I'm Tarheel bred
And when I die,
I'll be a Tarheel dead!

So, Rah Rah, Carolina-lina!
Rah Rah, Carolina-lina!
Rah Rah, Carolina-lina!

Whooohoooo!!!! Go HEELS!
julival2: (my bears)
SPOILER WARNING: If you are a fan of the TV show "House" and you have not watched tonight's episode (5.20 Simple Explanation), do not click.

WHY??? )

At least my Heels are doing me proud so far.
julival2: (my bears)
Nothing lasts forever...


Including this tiny posting streak.

I am bitter.
The CBS morning news show just confirmed. My Bauers, Spauldings, Coopers, Shaynes, Lewises, Boudreaus,Riveras, Wolfes, Marlers, Winslows and assorted others have only six months to live. They are terminal. I don't know what I'm going to do. I'm going to cry through every episode for the next sixth months. I cried myself to sleep last night.

What other show can I watch for my treadmill? It was my carrot. I despise doing my workout, but I can't watch my show unless I do it from the treadmill (unless I'm sick or have a whole stash of vacation ones to catch up on). What else comes on every week day with never a repeat - ever - with out fail? Nothing but another soapie or the news. The news IS depressing. Another soapie would be like moving to a new town. I'd have to get to know everyone from scratch. I wouldn't know their histories or their little secrets. And then it would get canceled, too. *sigh*

This is just wrong. It's been part of my life for 26 years. Longer than Jeff! There are still eight cast members who are the original actors who were on the show when I started watching it in 1983. They've left and come back a few times over the years, but they are my constants. Beth Raines Spaulding Lemay Spaulding Bauer almost Spaulding again had her first child when I had my first child. And amazingly enough, little Lizzie Spaulding didn't go through the horrors of Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome like a lot of soapie kids. She's a little older than my son is now, but not a lot. She just had to endure childhood Leukemia, shooting her mother's abusive boyfriend, and growing up in the Spaulding mansion with her psychotic grandfather.

I have to go to work now. I am in denial. This can't really happen. What am I going to do?
This is probably going to sound really stupid to most of you, if not all of you, but I am heartsick right now. I opened up my Road Runner home page to check the news tonight and found this:


I started watching what was then called "The Guiding Light" (they dropped the "The" several years ago in some lame attempt to be cooler) in the fall of 1983. It was the beginning of my freshman year of college and I'd found out that my aunt was going to have a short term guest role on the show. Her character was around for about six weeks and was instrumental in match-making two other characters who are still on the show this year.

I had never been allowed to watch soap operas when I lived at home with my parents because my mom said they were "too depressing". My soap opera was never depressing. It was funny, it was scary, it was enraging on occasion. It was silly and quirky and innovative (this particular show had tons and tons of firsts in the industry). There were love stories, betrayals, mysteries, comedies, tear jerkers, and just family stuff. They threw in the occasional supernatural or sci-fi plot line to keep it unpredictable and they had a few real turkeys along the way and a lot of true gems.

The cast over the years has been amazing. It seems like hardly a week goes by that I don't see someone in a tv show or a movie and say "hey! He/she used to be on my soapie!" A few of the big names include Hayden Panettiere of Heroes fame, Melina Kanakeredes of Judging Amy, Kevin Bacon (he of the six degrees of separation), and Taye Diggs. I have seen actors and actresses literaly grow up on the show. I have mourned the deaths of actors and actresses who passed away while still under contract.

My favorite character is one Reva Shayne. I practically idolize her. I've had mad crushes on numerous of the actors over the years and I've been so impressed with the growth I've seen in some of them.

I watch the show every single week day. It's what I do when I'm working out on my treadmill. I got a VCR in 1987 and I can count on my fingers the number of episodes I've missed since that time. When we go on vacation, I record every episode and watch them en masse when we get back.

I don't even know what I'm going to do when it goes off the air in September. Jeff compared it to his favorite baseball team going out of business. That doesn't even come close. Anyone who knows me and knows my reading habits knows I'm all about characters. I get to know my characters. I get very attached to them. I often still have dreams about book characters for weeks after I finish a particularly compelling novel. This is going to be almost like losing a whole town's worth of friends all in one shot.

I know you think I'm exaggerating or joking or crazy. WAIT...maybe it's some horrible April Fools joke!!! It had damned well better be. I won't even feel silly if it is. It would be a HUGE relief, in fact. Otherwise, I'm really going to cry. This sucks.
So, um...is it just me, or is the Forum AWOL today?
I thought I'd play with this, too. It took me more than 30 seconds. Some of the titles, I wasn't sure if I'd seen or not. I figure if I didn't like it enough to remember the name, I might as well not mark it.

And I must ask - where the hell are The Shawshank Redemption (1994) and Raising Arizona (1987) and Forrest Gump (1994)??? Surely they should have beaten out freakin Titanic, Rushmore, and Hoop Dreams.

Entertainment Weekly released a list of the top movies of the last 25 years.

1. Bold the ones you have watched.
2. Italicize the ones you love, and will watch over and over.
3. Strikethrough the ones you will never watch or sicerely wish you'd never watched in the first place.

1. Pulp Fiction (1994)
2. The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001-03)
3. Titanic (1997)
4. Blue Velvet (1986)
5. Toy Story (1995)
6. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
7. Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)
8. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
9. Die Hard (1988)
10. Moulin Rouge (2001)
11. This Is Spinal Tap (1984)
12. The Matrix (1999)
13. GoodFellas (1990)
14. Crumb (1995)
15. Edward Scissorhands (1990)
16. Boogie Nights (1997)
17. Jerry Maguire (1996)
18. Do the Right Thing (1989)
19. Casino Royale (2006)
20. The Lion King (1994)
21. Schindler's List (1993)
22. Rushmore (1998)
23. Memento (2001)
24. A Room With a View (1986)
25. Shrek (2001)
26. Hoop Dreams (1994)
27. Aliens (1986)
28. Wings of Desire (1988)
29. The Bourne Supremacy (2004)
30. When Harry Met Sally... (1989)
31. Brokeback Mountain (2005)
32. Fight Club (1999)
33. The Breakfast Club (1985)
34. Fargo (1996)
35. The Incredibles (2004)
36. Spider-Man 2 (2004)
37. Pretty Woman (1990)
38. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
39. The Sixth Sense (1999)
40. Speed (1994)
41. Dazed and Confused (1993)
42. Clueless (1995)
43. Gladiator (2000)
44. The Player (1992)
45. Rain Man (1988)
46. Children of Men (2006)
47. Men in Black (1997)
48. Scarface (1983)
49. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
50. The Piano (1993)
51. There Will Be Blood (2007)
52. The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad (1988)
53. The Truman Show (1998)
54. Fatal Attraction (1987)
55. Risky Business (1983)
56. The Lives of Others (2006)
57. There's Something About Mary (1998)
58. Ghostbusters (1984)
59. L.A. Confidential (1997)
60. Scream (1996)
61. Beverly Hills Cop (1984)
62. sex, lies and videotape (1989)
63. Big (1988)
64. No Country For Old Men (2007)
65. Dirty Dancing (1987)
66. Natural Born Killers (1994)
67. Donnie Brasco (1997)
68. Witness (1985)
69. All About My Mother (1999)
70. Broadcast News (1987)
71. Unforgiven (1992)
72. Thelma & Louise (1991)
73. Office Space (1999)
74. Drugstore Cowboy (1989)
75. Out of Africa (1985)
76. The Departed (2006)
77. Sid and Nancy (1986)
78. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
79. Waiting for Guffman (1996)
80. Michael Clayton (2007)
81. Moonstruck (1987)
82. Lost in Translation (2003)
83. Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn (1987)
84. Sideways (2004)
85. The 40 Year-Old Virgin (2005)
86. Y Tu Mamá También (2002)
87. Swingers (1996)
88. Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)
89. Breaking the Waves (1996)
90. Napoleon Dynamite (2004)
91. Back to the Future (1985)
92. Menace II Society (1993)
93. Ed Wood (1994)
94. Full Metal Jacket (1987)
95. In the Mood for Love (2001)
96. Far From Heaven (2002)
97. Glory (1989)
98. The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)
99. The Blair Witch Project (1999)
100. South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut (1999)

Wow, I've only seen 2/3 of them. It seems like I should have seen more. Oh well.
Pat and I were discussing the glories of pot pies in chat last night and I was reminded of a recipe I haven't pulled out in a while. When Jeff and I were newly married, I asked his mom for a list of any of his particular favorite meals and recipes. I will eat just about anything, as long as I can pick out the onions (which I love, but which do not love me). Jeff has broadened his food horizens significantly since marrying me, but he was a pretty picky eater in the early days. Thus the need for tried and true recipes of his youth.

Surprisingly, his mom really didn't have a whole lot to share. I guess she wasn't as much in to cooking when her kids were growing up as she is now. But the following is one recipe that never failed in our house. We all love it. I tended to save it for special occasions like birthdays and family gatherings, because it makes a lot of food and requires a bit of extra prep time. But I haven't made this dish in probably 2-3 years for some reason. It's time to have it again!

Melt in Your Mouth Chicken Pie

Prep time involves about two hours to stew and prep the meat, which can be done as early as the day before you bake the pie. The actual assembly and baking time is less than an hour.

5-6 pounds of stewed chicken (I usually use 6-8 large chicken breasts with skin and bone on. They stew better that way.)
1 1/2 to 2 cups of saved broth from the stewing
10 1/2 ounce can of cream of chicken soup (you could use cream of mushroom if you prefer)
1/2 tsp salt
dash pepper
1 stick of margerine or butter, melted
2 cups of self-rising flour (for some reason, I was thinking it was Jiffy mix, but it's not. She used that for her short cakes.) You do need the self rising flour for the biscuit crust to work right.
2 cups of buttermilk (my mother in law would by a big box of powdered buttermilk and mix it up before adding it to the biscuit dough. I much prefer to use real buttermilk - it makes the dough a lot better.)

For stewing, I fill a five quart pot with about an inch or so of water and add a generous dollop of cooking sherry and a whole bay leaf. I put four of the breasts in the bottom of the pot, not stacked, add salt and pepper on top, and bring the liquid to a boil. Then I cover them and let them simmer for about an hour and a half. You can do this twice if you only have one pot, but since I have two, I just do them all at once. You could probably do it in a crock pot all day, too. I've never tried that.

After the chicken has cooled enough to work with, skin it, pull the meat off the bones, and tear or cut the chicken into bite sized hunks. Then put the hunks in the bottom of a greased 9x13" casserole (or similar size). If you're doing this over two days, you can store the chicken and the saved broth in the fridge and prep it the next day. If you want the broth to be less fatty, that works well, because the fat congeals on the top and you can just scoop it off the next day.

Combine the saved broth and soup in a sauce pan, bring to a boil and pour over the chicken (meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to 425°F).

Combine the self rising flour, melted margerine, salt, pepper and buttermilk. I use a whisk to make it as smooth as possible. Then, using a large spoon, scoop out dollops of the biscuit dough and plop on top of the chicken and gravy to cover.

Bake at 425°F for 25-30 minutes, until the biscuit crust is golden brown.

I serve this with little green peas. Mmmmm.
Home. Tired. Excellent vacation. Not so excellent trip home. Photos and exposition eventually. G'nite.
A day late, but hey, I was drinking last night and the concept of WHY we were hunting wedding photos didn't click until this morning. Heh. I always think it was in June.

I scanned and cropped these from printed non-digital photos. They're a little grainy. )
Carrie and I were poking around old sites last night trying to find some photos of her wedding week and I found my way back to my original on line journal over at diary land. I only posted there for a few months back in the spring of 2003 before I was lured into the shinier format of Live Journal by the same people who lured me to diaryland in the first place. I tried cross posting at the two sites for a while, but I think it was only for about 3-4 entries before I got tired of that and just moved here completely.

They made my DL site inactive at some point, but when I tried to access it last night, they told me I could have it recovered - all I had to do was click OK. I checked this morning and there it is - back up up and fully accessible. So in the interest of not losing all that material again, I've decided to copy and paste all the old posts (30 or so) into LJ. I will lock all but the first one to myself only, so your friends pages don't get swamped with my repeats, but I found it entertaining to re-read this first one, so I'm leaving it open.

Experimental Notes: )


Apr. 21st, 2008 05:45 pm
Not that anyone else will be the least bit concerned one way or another, but I really need to record this moment for my own satisfaction. Yesterday I beat the expert level of Spider Solitaire, after a whopping 56 attempts. It made me very happy. It was even more satisfying than beating expert level minesweeper. Excellent.

My Personality
Openness to Experience
You do not feel nervous in social situations, and have a good impression of what others think of you, however you feel strong cravings and urges that you have difficulty resisting. You tend to prefer short-term pleasures and rewards over long-term consequences. You are not prone to spells of energetic high spirits. You are not interested in the arts and do not display aesthetic sensitivity. You will help others if they are in need. If people ask for too much of your time you feel that they are imposing on you, however you are not adverse to confrontation and will sometimes even intimidate others to get your own way. You are well-organized and like to live according to routines and schedules. Often you will keep lists and make plans.

Take a Personality Test now or view the full Personality Report.

The best Buying Pet Gifts.

I was a little concerned about my agreeableness score until I read the explanation thing. I thought the summary was pretty accurate on some things and a little harsh on others. I don't think my answers expressed a total disregard for the arts. Maybe I misread a question or two - the wording was tricky in some of them.
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