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Musings of a Melancolic Monkey

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March 29th, 2011


Snerked from ftzzwm.

1. Make a list of 5 things that you can see without getting up:
a. Lubriderm hand cream.
b. Christmas stocking.
c. Pottery jug made by my sister when she was in High School.
d. Thermometer (it is currently 72 degrees in my apartment.)
e. Cross-Stitch project of a Geisha that I am currently working on.

2. How do you style your hair? A few passes with a brush.

3. What are you wearing now? T-shirt, sweat pants, and cross trainers.

4. What's your occupation? Unemployed

5. What do you hear right now? Rain on the window.

6. Who was the last person you hugged? My tax professional.

7. What is/was for dinner? Mac-n-Cheese from The Hub.

8. What did you do today? Project and met courtierka to clean out the storage unit.

9. Dog person or cat person? Two spoiled cats.

10. If you had to change your name, what would you change it to? Why bother? I've been answering to the current on for too long to change now.

11. What was the last thing that you bought? Dinner.

12. If you could afford to go anywhere in the world, where would you go? A return trip to Paris, or a Mediterranean cruise.

13. Where do you see yourself in five years? The future is completely veiled to me.

14. Where's your birthmark? None.

15. What are you doing this weekend? No clue.

16. What is the best flavor of Jello? Cherry.

February 15th, 2011

I can haz cookies

I'm not normally one to crave sweets, especially baked goods. But this evening I wanted dessert. And the ice cream in the freezer wasn't going to cut it. So, I went to Betty Crocker online and found a recipe for simple chocolate chip cookies, went through the cupboards to identify what I had in the house and what I needed to buy, grabbed my fold-up wheeled bag and headed off to Thriftway.

I spent a lot more money than I was planning what with some frozen dinners and barbecue sauce( was missing that for dinner last night) but finally made it home with everything I needed.

So, after washing and drying the new mixing bowl, in go the sugars. Hm, 1 cup of butter SOFTENED, oh Bleep! Well, that is why we have microwaves. Oh, and a cup of butter is TWO sticks, I'm glad I checked that. One egg and a bit of vanilla go in and it is time to put the armstrong mixer to work. Got that mixed together nicely and then in goes the flour in steps. Then the salt and baking soda (it does say baking SODA right? I've made that mistake before.)

I had forgotten how stiff the dough is when you get all the flour in. But I finally got it all mixed in nice and even. The oven has already gone <> to let me know that I am slow. And so the chocolate bits and pecans go in (I prefer pecans to walnuts, I think they have more flavor.) I think that I came near to breaking my wrist or the wooden spoon stirring them in, but I got it mixed and into the oven they went in two batches.

I was very tired from the walk down to the store and back. And I thought about baking tomorrow, but I wanted cookies and I am glad I did do it tonight because they were VERY satisfying.

And here is the first batch just after coming out of the oven.

I will admit that I am no Emeril or Bobby Flay, but this boy can cook!

February 12th, 2011

What's your favorite holiday, and why? Are there any holidays you dislike?

I will probably get lambasted for this answer, but it must be said.
My favorite holiday is probably Labor Day: It signals the coming of my birthday and is usually a time that is spent with friends with no expectations other than to ask if anyone else wants a beer when you get up to get one for yourself.
Are there holidays I dislike? Oh yes. I'm not fond of Christmas. I know this sounds like sacrilege, but I really hate how everyone gets so uptight if you don't celebrate it exactly the same way they do (or don't). And then how people take it as a personal attack on them if I say anything about not liking it.
And then there is the holiday that I detest. Valentine's Day. Aside from having two relationships end on February 14th, I hate the fact that if you happen to not be in a relationship for the holiday (which has been the case for half of my adult life) you are still expected to be excited about love. And if you are fortunate to have a sweetie on the holiday, they expect you to make it perfect, without giving you a clue as to what perfect means. Now I'm an intelligent guy, but my skill at reading minds is nil. So I tend to take women at their word. So when a woman tells me that she doesn't want candy, chocolate, or flowers for Valentine's Day ... guess what, I don't buy candy, chocolate, or flowers. And then I see the disappointment in her eyes when what I did do (say dinner at a nice restaurant, or cook dinner myself, some other thing I believed to be thoughtful) doesn't measure up to what she had fixed in her mind.
I could probably go on and on and bore you to tears. So let's just say that, in general, the only thing I like about holidays is that depending on who you happen to be working for, six or seven times a year you get a paid day off because it a "holiday".

November 13th, 2010

Family History

It is amazing what one can find in a box of old photographs. And it is also interesting the things they used to print in small town newspapers in years gone by. The following is submitted for your edification.

From the Longview Daily News page twelve, Wednesday, November 17, 1952.
"WOODLAND -- Miss Irma Lulu Givens, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Bryant of Woodland, became the bride of John R. Haverinen, son of Mrs. Mary Haverinen of Seattle, on Saturday afternoon, Nov. 13. The ceremony was held at the home of Mayor and Mrs. Earle Bryant in Woodland in the presence of family members and close friends. The Rev. Walter Peterson officiated.
The bride, who was given in marriage by her father, wore an off-white brocaded faille afternoon dress, cut princess style, with a low neckline and small round collar. She carried a nosegay of lavender chrysanthemums centered with white gardenias.

Miss Diane Bridgefarmer, the bride's only attendant, wore a cocoa brown faille afternoon dress and her corsage was of cymbidium orchids.

Miss Grace Bryant was the candlelighter.

Raymond V. Rehtinen of Seattle was best man for Mr. Haverinen.

Preceding the ceremony, Mrs. Earle Bryant sang, "I Love You Truly," accompanied at the piano by John Fluke, who also played the other nuptial music.

For her daughter's wedding, Mrs. Bryant chose an afternoon dress of blue taffeta with navy accessories and her corsage was of miniature lavender orchids. Mrs. Haverinen wore a dark blue crepe dress with matching accessories and her corsage was of miniature gold orchids.

The buffet table for the reception which followed was covered with a lace cloth and was centered with an arrangement of white rose-buds and tapers in crystal holders.

The tiered wedding cake was cut by Mrs, Roy Givens of Seattle, sister-in-law of the bride.

Mrs. William Myers of Seattle, sister of the bride, presided at the coffee urn.

The couple will make their home in Seattle following a honeymoon to Eastern Oregon.

The new Mrs. Haverinen is a graduate of Woodland High School and of Clark Junior College in Vancouver."

This is one of two different newspaper articles in the box giving details of my parents' wedding. I suppose that the amount of detail could help you to remember the event more clearly, as I can barely remember much of my own wedding day. But it does seem rather silly to me to mention who presided over the coffee urn, even if it was the bride's own sister.

The box has also offered up pictures of my sisters, my cousins, aunts and uncles, grand parents, and great grand parents. As well as extended family members that I don't think that I have ever met or even heard their names.

I will have to check with my sisters since than are older than I am and may be able to identify some of the mystery subjects.

November 1st, 2010


Well, I was not really planning on participating in National Novel Writing Month again this year. Until last week when I happened to run across the planning I did for last year's unfortunate attempt.
That is when the ol' grey matter kicked in, and in the matter of an hour chopped up and totally transformed the story idea into something much more exciting (at least to me) and rounded.

Last year's idea was a first person point of view with only one major character. I got bored and frustrated with it before reaching 2500 words.

The reworked idea is now a third person POV story with three viewpoint characters. The scope of the story is much smaller, about a third of the original story concept, and having three major plot threads the opportunities to create conflict and pacing are greatly enhanced.

My plan is to try and put updates on my progress here. Maybe even including some story summary of the bits I have written.

But for now I need to finish my lunch and then get back to work.

October 22nd, 2010

The ax has started to swing

Several months ago I shared that the company I work for lost its government contract, and we would all be losing our jobs.

Well, today the first layoffs came out. Three people are gone, including the coworker that helps me. No three week notice as promised back in June. No, they are gone today.

The information we have at this point is that those of us left who do not get new jobs and bail beforehand, will be here until December 10th.

I have not been sitting idle; I have sent out nearly 50 resumes since July. I have at this point gotten three rejection emails. And that is all. No inverviews, no interest what-so-ever.

So, I continue. Working at a job that is about to go away, and sending out resumes in the hope that the economy really is starting to turn around.

August 19th, 2010

What is your ultimate dream job? Do you think you'll ever live the dream?

For me, I have dreamed of being a full-time writer since I was a teenager. I still dream of it and am trying to take steps in moving that direction. The appeal to me is the freedom of schedule it would give. I really hate being a wage-slave.

June 25th, 2010

Writer's Block: Mind blitz

Is there anyone you would permanently erase from your life and memory? If so, who and why?

Yes there is. And the fact of the who makes me very sad. But it is the why of the equation that is what puts this person there - you cannot regret losing something that you never had.

This person is from deep in my past, but the effects of the encounter have probably skewed every aspect of my life from that point onward. I often wonder what my life would have been like had we never met.

June 11th, 2010


So I have spent the last hour trying in vain to write an email to my friends to see what their plans are for tonight. But every thing that I wrote sounded like a whiny, pathetic plea to guilt people into spending time with me and commiserate on the news that I will be out of work soon.

I fancy myself a writer; so why can't I put into words my desire for a little company?

Worse yet is that as bad as I feel about my own situation, I hear about friends of friends that are in even worse straits than I am. So I feel guilty for being a pathetic little whiner. Life just sucks!

If I don't ask for company I will feel bad because I will be drinking alone, something I really hate to do. But if I do ask, then I feel bad because I have guilted my friends into trying to cheer me up when I am sure they had other things that need to be done after another long, tiring week.

Then again, isn't this whole post just a thinly veiled attempt to gain sympathy and get the attention I am craving?

Well, on that note I am off to work. And so I will not feel guilty about it, I am going to turn off comments to this pathetic little post.

Have a good weekend all.

February 14th, 2010


I walk through the valley of the shadow of death . . .
Saying, "Here kitty, kitty."
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