18 August, 2016

SUPER Bad Blogger!

Over a week between posts... AGAIN!

This time I have a more legitimate excuse. I have begun training my replacement at work, so can't really keep my personal pages open on my computer (she can see). I know, I shouldn't be anyway, but often that's how I catch up on you all!

Plus, we were away spending time with Brett's family and old friends last weekend. PLUS I've been trying to prepare for a friend's visit - arriving today! 

So I definitely had to post a quickie today, because I know I won't touch this blog again until after the weekend at the very earliest. (Trainee is at lunch.) If I remember, I will take pics this weekend to share our exciting doings.

My replacement will be awesome, and this is great to be able to personally train her, in a leisurely timeframe. Move prep is still the biggest hassle of my life. I think I'm gaining stress-weight. 

More next week!

10 August, 2016

Bad Blogger! (Delays, delays...)

Bad Blogger!

It's been over a week since I wrote! Shame on me. At least I have a good bad excuse: I've become addicted to online Mah-jongg. 

It's bad because I spend so much time playing a stupid game, but it is honestly helping me learn Mandarin! I have my little phrasebook/dictionary, and am learning to translate the characters on the tiles. I can even write my numbers now, and immediately recognize each individually for what it translates as, without having to run through the list 1-10. And the directions. I know my north, south, east and west, too, although I can't draw them all yet.

After a fairly stressful week finding out there were YET MORE documents we needed - and a near meltdown thinking "What have we gotten ourselves into?" - all of our paperwork went out on Monday. Now we wait. Could be 3 weeks before we have approval to apply for work visas. We're hoping they can rush it. On this end, the visas are just a 4 day process. So that's okay.

At my job, I hope to begin training my replacement on Monday. Things are moving along in every area, it seems. I've just not been writing about it. Well, I have... just not finalizing any posts, to be honest. I did so well posting during the A-to-Z Challenge. I think I just need to set up a schedule for writing/posting.

29 July, 2016

Wouldn't it be Lover-ly!

(That title is supposed to be sung in your head a la My Fair Lady.)

I still feel like I'm just getting my blog going again. I have a few regular followers, but am not nearly as active in the Blogo-sphere, so haven't found a lot of connection this time around. Imagine my surprise when I was nominated for an award by one of my new favorite bloggers - Isa-Lee Wolf at A Bit To Read, who also (in addition to blogging) writes fantastically odd fiction! You should check her out. Her blog varies in themes, but is always usually light-hearted, and a delightfully quick read. HA! So are her books!

It is lovely (or lover-ly) to be appreciated by new followers. I will provide the rules accompanying this award, but may not follow them 100%. I will explain.

The guidelines state:
  1. Thank the blogger nominator and link back to them.
  2. Let us get to know you in 7-15 fun facts about you!
  3. Share the blog by nominating 9-15 bloggers for the award and let them know!
I don't believe I KNOW 9-15 active bloggers at this point, as I only re-activated my blog a few months ago. But I'll do my best.

First, a few things about me:

1. I met my husband Brett through blogging. True story! There's a separate tab at the top of my blog that links to our beginnings, but it desperately needs updated.

2. Hubs - aka "pantster" (flies by the seat of, not pulls down) - and I are moving to China in just a couple months.

3. I am an Incredibly private person. The fact that my blog is anonymous is just the tip of the mountain.

4. Growing up with 4 siblings, then attending boarding school, all equated to having very little privacy. Probably the cause of No. 3.

5. I have dealt with depression in the past. Maybe in the future, too. I've realized that depression, like alcoholism, is just something you deal with day by day. You never know what the next trigger may be.

6. I have never confessed my depression in writing before. 

7. I don't do birthdays. Well, I don't do mine. I will happily celebrate yours. There's a funny story about my first birthday after Brett and I started dating. Ha.

8. I don't do Valentines Day either. My rant about that started my romance with Brett. Check out the comments in that post.
 
9. I'm linking these statements to a bunch of old posts because my blog took about a 4-year hiatus after I moved to the Midwest.

Now the hard part. How many blogs do I follow that deserve the prestigious One Lovely Blog award???

The Transformed Non-conformist, of course. I married him. He is absolutely lovely. The blog is somewhat inactive of late, but he'll pick it back up. He's just working nights and prepping for a GIANT move. (He's also received this before, so I don't know if he'll participate.)
 
I'd say A Beer For the Shower, who've been on my blogroll almost since the beginning, but they're not really "lovely" so much as FUNNY... and probably don't respond to award nominations, because they have a pretty defined format. (they're worth following)

The Lovely Simulacrum, for sure. I mean, "lovely" is right in the title! I followed her in my earlier blog existence, before she had her little one, and she still posts interesting, usually quick tales about life in her sphere.

Smidgens, Snippets and Bits is a blog I found during The A-to-Z Challenge, and "lovely" is a very good description. I read her blog regularly because I find it relaxing. Like talking to an old friend. And she's responsive, which is nice.

Finally I have to nominate Zen & Pi. I found her during A-to-Z, too, and canNOT wait for her book to be published. During A-to-Z, she was writing flash fiction and it was... addictive. So. Awesome. Every day was different, sometimes leaving you wanting more, sometimes bringing you to tears. So good. Not exactly "lovely" again, but worth a recommendation.

So there you have it. All of the above may take this as a nomination if you like, or just consider it a compliment and not worry about the rules. I love you, one and all!

27 July, 2016

Facebook Answers - You need to know this!

Sick of all the negativity spewing from your facebook news-feed? Let me guess, a few facebook "friends" are responsible for posting memes and statements that slam the opposing side to theirs. Negativity.

Sidebar: Studies show that when you do that, all you do is push the opposition further away. People who spew putrescence like that in the hopes of swaying people to their view, or somehow thinking this shows they are "right" only shut down open dialogue. Think about that.

Sometimes it may come from someone who you know in real life is actually nice, kind, light-hearted - funny, even! But they choose to use their facebook page to force their volatile views that would never be brought up in dinner-table conversation with friends.

They are your friend.
You don't want to "un-friend" them.

Facebook allows for you to "unfollow" that person.

This is a beautiful tool that I have been using a lot lately. Actually, right now, because I can't afford to be dragged down into the putrid pool of excrement that is every divisive issue, I unfollow as soon as someone shows they're closed-off to open discussion. Here's how:

See a post demonstrating such negativity? Hover your mouse over that person's name.
If you are friends, there should be three tabs:
"friends" "following" "message"
(image: mytechnews.net)
Hover your mouse over "following" and you will see an option to "unfollow" this person.
Click it. 
Done! See how easy that was?

You may need to also adjust your notification settings. I had set my notifications to always notify me when people in my "close friends" list posted. Some of these people are recent offenders, so I unfollowed them, but still received notifications due to their placement on this list. I had to change my notifications to no longer see all my "close friends". We'll see how that works, but so far, my facebook is a much more friendly and peaceful place!

Good luck, friends!

25 July, 2016

Last Week (end)'s Revelations

We have a move-out date! That is to say, we have decided to write September 30 as our final day, on our lease-breaking documentation. They need to know two months in advance, and we won't have a precise date that soon, so opted to round to the nearest month. 

Since my last post...

We figured out (sort of) how our finances will work in China
I got rid of my camping equipment
More piles of books sorted for various people
One box of men's clothes donated 
One box of women's clothes ready for donation  
I've started mental lists of things "to take", "to store until we return", and "to get rid of". This week, I want to post written versions on the walls in our hallway, that we can add to or edit.
 
 I picked up a Mandarin phrase book. I know small chunks of Mandarin from living in Taiwan during high school, but can't remember a lot. So my goal is to have key phrases down pat before we get to Beijing. That's my latest book, like I need a new one!

As I sort through my books and DVDs - deciding which few to keep, I was about to put in the "donate" box Amy Tan's "Joy Luck Club" then realized there's a lot about Chinese culture there - maybe I should keep it! ...Or give it to a friend here in the States to understand where we're going. I have my dad's old copy of "Tai-Pan" too, and went through the same thought process. I'm still undecided.

I feel relatively calm about the move consciously, but everything else in the world sometimes gets me down. So I'm working on my positive attitude. I've unfollowed facebook friends who post too much negativity - political, news, personal - and I'm working on having a smiling "resting face" so I appear pleasant. Smiling on the outside leads to smiling on the inside. Here's hoping!

The weekend was productive. We had supper with my parents on Friday. It was an enjoyable, un-argumentative evening! Then on Saturday did errand-y things - oil change, car wash, groceries - and we started taking the nails out of the walls from picturesFound a new Mexican restaurant too. With rather darker-themed seating than I usually see!
Not just the cock-fight, but there's a little girl watching!


To relax, last night we watched the movie "Trumbo" starring Bryan Cranston (of Breaking Bad and Malcolm In The Middle fame). Cranston's involvement was all I knew about it going in, but I recognized a good chunk of the cast. Good movie about the days of communism fear-mongering in the US. Ironic to watch that as I prep to move STRAIGHT INTO a communist country! (or isn't it ironic?) 

I was also told by my boss that I can keep working here as long as I need to. They are actively seeking my replacement, so that I can help train her. Now I know that even if they hire her tomorrow, I can stay on, and get some of the "ongoing" projects completed.

Looking Forward - My sister comes this weekend to take away more furniture - some just for safe-keeping. Among the items she requested is my grandfather's old WWII army trunk. I've been using it as a cool-looking coffee table, and that's what she'll do, too. Still has papers, photos, letters, etc. inside, but she can hold onto those!

Maybe we can make a dent in my liquor cabinet while she's over.

19 July, 2016

Funny Ol' Thing, Life!

Life is a funny ol' thing, as I've heard numerous characters say in (probably mostly British) books and TV shows. I have learned from some of the newer bloggers I read (as in, I'm new to them, they are not new to blogging), the value of doing a recap periodically. I can't say I have enough to write about every week, but for now, I'm going to try something similar, if for no other reason than to keep this outrageous move in perspective. (I say "outrageous" as in, "larger than life" - What other word would work? Seriously, I'm interested. Please comment.)

Oddly enough My Mind has been dwelling more on all the violence in the world than on the events in my own life. Enough. I can't control what others do. I can pray, and I can try to be a little sweeter, a little kinder, a little more compassionate, to brighten my own corner of the world. I need to be present in my present.

I'm still Reading Christopher Moore's Sacre Bleu which my sister gave me for Christmas a couple years ago. We both enjoy his books, and she keeps saying how much she loved this one. It was hard for me to get into, but I only have about a quarter of it left. Maybe I'm just not into the visual arts enough: It begins with Van Gogh's death (not a spoiler, that's on the back cover and in the first few pages) and involves a bunch of artists from that period in France. But I WILL finish it.

I'm also trying to catch up on my Elle magazines so I can leave them with my stepdaughter. Of fashion magazines, I prefer this one, to stay up-to-date on makeup trends, and she likes the strong female influence through all the articles. 

Since I'm trying to finish my reading, I'm not Watching a lot of TV these days. When we finished up Orange Is The New Black this past weekend, I declined to begin a new Netflix series. I'm watching a couple of other shows that I'd like to wrap up before the move, and meanwhile, I'm reading more.

We did go see Ghostbusters this weekend. We both thoroughly enjoyed it. I highly recommend it.
The crazy blonde one is my favorite. She's nuts.


I also realized over the weekend that we will need to have a big ol' party sometime before we leave, Drinking up the liquor in the cabinet! I don't do mixed drinks a lot - gin & tonic in the summer, maybe a 7&7 occasionally - but I bake fruitcakes in the winter, so I have over half a bottle of spiced rum, a small half-full bottle of Bacardi, Grand Marnier, some tequila leftover from margaritas with my sister, and half a bottle of vodka from a distillery we toured down south! Maybe we can have a party in September. 
Not this, exactly, but kinda similar!

Looking Forward - I'm still awaiting the "all clear" on our background checks. Meanwhile, we move forward - iron out what we need to do to break our lease, tackle legal matters, pack and sort books, china, and donation items. We may even write a will! I'm trying to take advantage of all the free services that come with my current benefits plan, before we leave the country.

I guess it was a pretty busy week, after all. We'll see about next week!