Thursday, September 29, 2005

Major life-altering decision

I hate to admit this, but I'm a woman who hates shoe-shopping. It's an overwhelming experience for me.

I've been out looking for shoes about 5 times now over the past year (just never can find the time to do it) because I really need to replace my flat black shoes that I wear to work. They are actually split on the bottom of them (cheap shoes) and every time it rains here, my feet get wet if I walk through the smallest puddle. They've been this way for about 3 years now, but since I have been pregnant for approximately half of that 3-year period and didn't know if my feet might grow to enormous proportions due to those pregnancies, I wanted to wait to actually buy any new shoes.

So yesterday I was at the shoe store and thought I had found some shoes that were fine - just fine. They were flat enough, comfortable enough, and fit my feet, but I just had to tempt fate and go back to the sale rack to see if there were any cheaper options (I am, after all, a cheap engineer). I hadn't found any that were better until I again decided to tempt fate and check the 1/2 size larger section to see if any of those might run a little small and fit my feet. There, like a beacon shining through my shopping-induced brain fog, were the perfect pair of shoes. Just stylish enough, but not too dated looking, flat enough, shoe-like and not slipper-like, 40% off the regular price, and when I tried them on, pillowy soft and comfortable! Ahhhh....

Oh, but wait, when I tried walking in the shoe, it was just a little bit too big on my large foot - I actually have one foot that is almost a complete size smaller than the other. I put both shoes on, knowing what the verdict would be for these shoes. I almost completely walked out of the left shoe. And then the practical side in me had to speak up and say that if the shoe is a little too big on my big foot, once I wear them a little while and they stretch, then they'll really be too big. Oh why, oh why can't I just be a normal woman and buy shoes compulsively and in bulk quantities at my every whim and fancy?

No, no, I have to remind myself that I will wear these shoes for several years - until they, too, begin falling apart - and therefore that makes my decision to buy a shoe a major life-altering decision. I may go out again today and test my luck once more, but I really don't know what that will do to me...

Am I crazy or what?!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Black or White? Red or Blue? Neither...

I know that everything has probably been said by now about Hurricane Katrina, but there's something that I've been wanting to write about for awhile and haven't had the time to really sit down and put my thoughts into words. It's also taken me quite awhile to mull this through and figure out what my thoughts actually are.

It's about how it took so long for the federal government to actually take notice about all the people who were stranded in New Orleans.

I originally agreed with the idea that the reason there was such apathy shown by Bush and his administration was because the people who needed help were mostly poor and black. The images the media presented us with of looting and lawlessness made it hard for the rest of the country to really feel sorry for these people who had such blatant disregard for other people in a time of obvious crisis. It was hard to separate those images from the rest of the people who really did need desperate help in the Convention Center.

I also read a story by a liberal columnist who suggested the reason Bush didn't care about New Orleans and Louisiana, in general, was because in the grand scheme of an election, Louisiana doesn't have enough electoral votes to really make a difference and is therefore not important to the Republican agenda. I don't really think that's the case, either.

I think the larger issue is really self-importance and ignorance.

It seems that once a person is put into some kind of power, they immediately forget about what it took to put them into that power and they begin to feel overly self-important. And it also seems that their radius of importance restricts upon themselves.

It happens all the time in big companies. As people are promoted, they begin to feel like they are the most important people, completely forgetting about the people who actually DO the work in the company and ultimately giving themselves big fat bonuses. This culminates into the final insult where the CEO of any given company gets millions of dollars in bonuses while the retirement funds of all the worker-bees get cut to fund the one-time big bonus.

The other part of the equation is the ignorance part. It seems that not very many people really understand what it takes to make this country run (besides oil). After hurricanes Katrina and Rita, I hope it's becoming more clear to people how important the whole country is and not just the northeast, where the politics happen, and California, where the entertainment industry is located.

I truly believe that if something like this would have happened in Chicago, Seattle, Houston, or Omaha, the reaction would have been similar. But as it stands now, the only parts of the country that seem to matter to people are the "upper-management zones". We in the "worker-bee zones" may be out of luck when it comes to getting the respect that we are due.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Hurricane Rita

Well, luckily, Hurricane Rita turned and lost steam before hitting Houston.

We were infinitely prepared, however! After waffling back and forth as to whether or not we would try to brave the traffic and leave Houston, we finally decided to brave the storm from our problem-ridden home which would be sure to lose it's roof to the impending gales, at which point, we would run down to Rice University and huddle with the students in their shelters there.

But, talk about prepared! We had all three bathtubs full of water (to allow us to flush our toilets in case we lost water - you can just fill up the tank of the toilet with water and flush it), we filled every large pot we owned so that we would have water with which to cook, we filled up all other available containers with drinking water and bought a couple of other cases of water, and began making and saving ice on Wednesday, which we stored at a friend's house down the street because he's the ultimate bachelor and has literally nothing in his freezer. (really, NOTHING!)

On Thursday afternoon when it looked like Rita might turn and only side-swipe Houston, we decided we'd probably just stay and then Friday when we found that we almost certainly would be out of harm's way, we took the kids for a bike ride. It was starting to get windy, but it was still a good ride. :)

Turned out that we got quite a bit of wind, very little rain, and the only thing that happened was a bunch of tiny twigs and branches fell out of the trees and created a huge mess in our neighborhood. We never even lost power or cable (until last night for some odd reason) and were able to remove the tape from our windows and empty our tubs and pots on Saturday morning. We were really lucky.

What we've learned from this:
1. We're going to get some wood pre-cut to fit our front windows and figure out a way of attaching them to the windows so that we can easily and quickly get ready for the next hurricane.
2. Next time, we'll leave town - hopefully before the rush. We don't want to tempt fate again.
3. All kinds of people will call you (even my brother) to check up on you if there's a hurricane bearing down on you. :)
(actually my brother only called because he wanted to comment on my blog...)

So, all is well here in Houston. Again, we got really lucky!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Word Choice and Two-year-olds

We've been having a lot of "fun" lately trying to get baby boy interested in potty training. Well, I should re-phrase that - he really wants to sit on the potty all the time, but once he gets there, he just wants to play and talk and he's not really interested in the task at hand. (Apparently we've been emphasizing the going to sit on the potty part too much...)

Anyway, a couple of times, my husband and I have said to baby boy, "Focus!" And so the other day after saying this to him, baby boy says back to us, "Fukuh-Mommy, Fukuh-Daddy..."

We've begun using the word "concentrate" now.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Days of Insanity Remaining

I was going to add this to my sidebar, but didn't want to be reminded daily about it, so thought it would be a good thing to put in a posting instead.

I found this very useful site today:

Hopefully this will work and I'll be able to reference this posting whenever I want to be depressed about how many days of insanity we have left...

Sunday, September 18, 2005

A name that should not be in politics

I have noticed that there must be an election coming up sometime soon for Houston. There are candidate signs sprouting up all over the place, but one in particular caught my attention today.

Anne Clutterbuck is running for Houston City Council.

As my husband said, "I'm not sure a person with a name that's only two small letters away from being a collosal mess would really be the best candidate to put up for a position in politics."

I agree!!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

W Rocks!

Thanks to Mister Crunchy for finding this article:

George W Bush Still Rocks!

Unfortunately, it's sad, but true.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

My Favorite Things

I was thinking back to my youth and thought it would be interesting to compare and contrast some things.

Tasty Treats:
Back then - MacDonald's, fried shrimp, Oreos
Now - Fish sticks, mac-n-cheese, and peas because it's the one meal baby boy will eat.

Fun Activities:
Back then - playing outside, going to grandma's to play with baby kitties, jumping on trampoline
Now - going to bed early, sleeping past 6:30am, taking a nap

My constant companion:
Back then - my blankie (which I slept with until I was in 2nd grade, I think!!)
Now - my breastpump

Back then - Dragonriders of Pern
Now - books?!

TV Shows:
Back then - Gilligan's Island, Brady Bunch, Dukes of Hazzard, Love Boat
Now - CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, Property Ladder
(this is obviously the only thing I have the energy to do these days, huh?)

Anyone else remember their favorites? Courtney?

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Super-Regenerative Powers

I've been busy at work for the past week, so I haven't had a chance to let you all know that baby boy's lip healed up nicely within the week and never got infected.

Wouldn't it be nice if we could all have these super-regenerative powers that children do? While doing all that running, jumping, and climbing, their little bodies STILL have the extra energy to devote to growing and healing themselves from all their bumps and bruises. It amazes me.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

First Trip to the ER

Well, we had our first trip to the ER this weekend for baby boy. It was my fault, too. :(

We were headed up the stairs Saturday evening and he refused to walk up the stairs by himself. He was leaning backwards so far that I was basically carrying him up the stairs. I tried a couple of times to tell him to stand up and walk up the stairs himself, and tried to lift him up so that he would be upright, but he just wouldn't do it. I finally got a little too forceful and ended up flinging him forwards and he hit his lip on the (carpeted, thankfully) stairs.

His lip split open and blood gushed everywhere. It stopped amazingly quickly, but we could see quite a deep cut in his lip. So, we were off to the Texas Children's Hospital Emergency Room.

As soon as we got there, a nurse asked us the reason for our visit and he took a look at the busted lip. He thought they probably wouldn't do anything about it, but instead of making us wait for 5 hours, he would have a doctor come and look at it quickly to let us know for sure. The doctor looked at it and said they could put a suture in it, but at baby boy's age, they would have to sedate him, so it probably wouldn't be worth it. He told us to watch it and if it gets infected, we'd need to get some antibiotics. From the time we entered the parking garage to the time we left, it was only 22 minutes. It was quite amazing!

So, it was a bit of a wasted trip, but I was happy to make sure that we checked with a doctor about it. And at least now we know where the emergency room is, in case we ever actually have an emergency.

I'm now waiting for CPS to read this post and come get me...

Friday, September 02, 2005

Life is crazy

This week has been pretty crazy-busy here at work. I stayed up until past midnight on Wednesday, working on some drawings that needed to be done by the next day. Thursday afternoon, they decided those drawings don't need to be done until NEXT Thursday. Ugh.

In the meantime, I've been trying also to keep up with the news from New Orleans. Some of you may know that my in-laws have a place in New Orleans. My MIL left from New Orleans to come over here to Houston on Saturday morning, so everyone is safe and sound here and it sounds like their house may actually be OK, too.

The same thing can't be said for all the people who are still stranded in New Orleans, however, without food and water in the middle of that stinking mess. I hope that someone is able to get their act together and get those people evacuated!

Which brings me back to my thoughts about work. Yesterday as I was working on finishing up these all-important drawings, I thought about how I'm sitting here in the comfort of my office with my hunger satisfied after lunch and a cup of water readily available on my desk while thousands of people are struggling to even stay alive in New Orleans. Life is crazy, eh?