Posted in crushes, feelings, follow-up, meme, websites, work

a year in review – 2019

1. What did you do in 2019 that you’d never done before?
participated in the Walk Through The Old Testament Bible study, learned to check the traffic flow in Google Maps, used the Opera browser, noticed quail in the yard, set a snap mousetrap, tried less-sugar Chobani and Campbell’s Healthy Request Bean and Bacon Soup, purchased and cooked a non-fish-stick-equivalent fish fillet, heard the train-rumble sound of a possible nearby tornado, printed at Staples from a flash drive, and got bit by a tick

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
For 2019 my goal (repeated from 2018) was to spend more time on what adds value to my life, and I did indeed labor in several “valuable” areas. Loosely in order from least to greatest attempt: improving communication, nutritional eating, accomplishing tasks more efficiently, and upward thinking of the Biblical kind.
For 2020, my theme is to simplify. Pare down my stockpile of stuff. Reduce over-analyzing and over-to-do-listing. Focus more on the next priority, and less on nailing down the legion of conceivable tangents.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
No.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Thankfully, no. But quite a few people I know lost loved ones.

5. Where did you travel?
only to local cities that I’ve visited before

6. What would you like to have in 2020 that you lacked in 2019?
the ability to consistently style all of my hair in a way that looks good to me

7. What event from 2019 will remain etched upon your memory?
seeing the storage shed door open, and realizing that someone had cut the lock

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
completing an overhaul of my signature site, www.rusted-crush.com

9. What was your biggest failure?
Far too many times, I was annoyed with certain people — and I peevishly let them know it. :winces:

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
In addition to regular recurrences of familiar digestive, sinus, age-related, and overuse issues, a backache slowed me down for a month.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
I purchased a tall cabinet to corral my foodstuffs. (Technically, the unit is for storing officesupplystuffs but it’s fine as a pantry.)

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
A group I’m working with on a certain project. They listen when I talk (WOW, NOT EVERYONE INTERRUPTS), and they make me feel as if my input is appreciated.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
The main object of my affection sent a *clear* sign of disinterest in a Painfully Awkward Moment. I don’t think he intended to be harsh, but I distinctly felt the harshness of rejection. :*(

14. Where did most of your money go?
household expenses

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
the — mysterious, wonderful — ways God is redeeming my story

16. What song will always remind you of 2019?
probably “Look Up, Child” by Lauren Daigle because the phrase was part of this year’s resolution

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
Happier or sadder? happier
Older or wiser? older. I reach for reading glasses more than ever. (Sigh.)
Thinner or fatter? judging by my clothes, about the same
Richer or poorer? judging by my bottom line, about the same

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
nipped a potential negative in the bud

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
balked at the slightest deviation from what I was expecting

20. Did your heart break?
For the first time in years, no. Although — to be sure — there were plenty of hard days that bent it

21. How did you spend Christmas?
I worked on these questions while waiting for late-risers. 😉 My mom, sister and I opened our gifts around nine-thirty, after I set up our 22-year-old, low-frills video camera. I then took pictures of our decorations and unwrapped gifts, and we cleaned up. Lunch was red salmon loaf, corn, boiled potatoes, and crock-pot green bean casserole. A lovely afternoon of casual puttering was followed by a soup supper. I walked outside to enjoy the 70-degree sunny-ness. The fam and I ended the day watching DVDs.

22. How will you spend New Year’s Eve?
I have to work. Later, the fam and I will watch DVDs, and then ring the new year in as we typically do: sleeping. (At least, we’ll attempt to sleep, because the neighbors usually go overboard with fireworks.)

23. What was your favorite TV program?
My TV time is still spent rerunning past favorites such as Scarecrow and Mrs. King, Quantum Leap, and Parker Lewis Can’t Lose. I also added What’s Happening? to my DVD collection.

24. What were your greatest food discoveries?
I gained an affinity for snacking on Oatmeal Squares cereal, for Publix egg salad on an Aldi rice cake, and for Ezekiel bread. I also found a delicious and versatile broccoli fish bake.

25. What was the best book you read?
Jesus Calling by Sarah Young is the only book I’ll finish this year, but it remains an all-time favorite. Almost every day, some truth in it resonates with me.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
“Native Tongue” by Switchfoot: set to a mesmerizing beat, the lyrics are a fresh look at the wonder of God’s amazing love. (Not to mention a challenge to me to be more loving.) “The Strength to Let Go,” also by Switchfoot, expresses my heart’s prayer in the struggles of this current season.

27. What did you want and get?
My tick bite did NOT result in symptoms of a tick-borne illness. #PraiseTheLord

28. What did you want and not get?
for my new coworker to have potential to become a close friend

29. What was your favorite film?
There were none. I thought Captain Marvel was okay. I pretend Avengers Endgame was just a bad dream. #NeverHappened

30. What did you do on your birthday?
It was largely a repeat of last year, with taking the day off from work, computering, shopping in Madison, and hiking at Rainbow Mountain Trail. However, there was some newness in that the heat set a record: 100 degrees, in October! That meant cutting my hike short. On the bright side, I could shed my fall layers for a cute summer top.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
if I had connected more with people

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2019?
still business casual — with function over fashion, since I prefer not to shiver all day in our 63-degree office

33. What kept you sane?
choosing peaceful thoughts

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I was drawn to the strength and competence of Captain Stottlemeyer on Monk. Also, after seeing Captain Marvel, I outlined a fanfiction scene inspired by Jude Law.

35. What political issue or news story stirred you the most?
For a change, a positive news byte stood out to me: “I feel like it’s so easy to love. People like that, you never know what they’re going through. You just want to help them.” – gymnast Katelyn Ohashi’s gracious response to would-be body shamers

36. Who did you miss?
my former coworker, Tricia

37. Who was the best new person you met?
Clarice and Beth from church

38. What changed the most in your life this year?
Sweeping reorganization efforts continued across the board. Two significant changes were renaming my blog and being relieved of the website forums that I started back in 2004.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2019.
Earlier this year a tweet by Beth Moore (“Thought I’d arrive at spiritual maturity then just abide right there undisturbed… Instead, here I am… still grappling”) caught my eye because it echoed my own perplexity. I, too, expected some sort of fill-her-up zap, after which I’d be perpetually unflappable. :sheepish: The lesson for me has been that when I trust that God *is* working, right where I am? That struggling is part of the faith-building process? Hallelujah, what a awesome gamechanger!

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
“I know You have Your reasons for everything, so I will keep believing.” ~ “No Matter What” by Kerrie Roberts

Posted in crushes, feelings

just for a moment I was back at school

Once upon a time there was a girl. The girl went to school, and from sixth grade to eighth grade, she had a huge crush on a certain boy.

Alas, the girl moved to a new school after eighth grade. Time passed, and she graduated from high school and then from college. She went to work – at more jobs than she cares to admit, actually – and finally settled into something resembling a career.

And in the meantime, computers – which the girl always loved – saw huge advances in their capabilities and popularity. Someone invented the Internet… and other people *claimed* to have invented the Internet… and, anyway, the girl spent many, many happy hours on-line, connecting with people and sharing her thoughts.

And then one day the girl made her weekly visit to a certain social networking site and noticed that several of her friends were now friends with… Middle School Crush Boy! After a moment of debate (given that he had known about her crush, and she’d hate for him to think she was now some kind of stalker), she decided to go ahead and send a friend request. The girl’s sister then scolded her, and the girl was all, “WHAT? I’m not trying to date him. It’s just nice to reconnect and see what people have been up to.”

And then two days passed, and she’d received no response, and she oh-so-briefly (and oh-so-irrationally) felt the sting of rejection once again.

And she marveled that technology has, apparently, advanced so far as to be able to transport her back in time.

Posted in crushes, feelings

in love with an image time is bound to see through

While meeting my boyfriend at Sears on Saturday, I was distracted by my latest celebrity obsession playing the guitar with his band in high-definition on one of the large flat-screen TVs. I stared, transfixed and delighted. The song was ending, but MAN, it was cool.

I went on to meet my boyfriend, although I did insist that we stop by that TV (several times, heh heh) to see if I could catch the full-length song by Mr. Celebrity Obsession. I was actually proud of myself for wanting to see it, because it was a recent clip. I’ve been watching the guy’s music videos from the ‘80s/late ‘70s, and diligently avoiding all the current stuff, i.e. reality. Indeed, seeing him looking his age was eye-opening, but I think I needed that.

However, as we watched, my boyfriend felt compelled to snark, “Is he on drugs right now??” Okay, maybe I was slightly out of line, mildly gushing over some public figure, but honey? You putting him down does *not* make me like you more.

Then, the next day my sister felt compelled to mention my obsession’s, um, chemical reputation, and I wondered why everyone is so determined to bash my little, albeit irrational fantasy. I don’t have a job. It takes effort to find things to occupy my days and my thoughts, and lately I’m trying hard not to dwell on how it seems as if everything I’ve ever wanted has been for nothing. So, IF IT’S NOT TOO MUCH TO ASK, could I just enjoy a few happy thoughts? At least in this case, I *know* not to expect them to come true.

Well, I say that and yet, with such an in-your-face reminder that they won’t come true, I admit that I’ve been left largely disenchanted with my celebrity obsession. Sure, I still enjoy his music, but congratulations, sis and boyfriend! Yet again, I feel like a girl without a dream.

Yesterday, this all reminded me how, when I was in school, I’d get a crush on a guy, and I’d have it for a long while, and no one else would do. I admit, sometimes I get a little bitter that not one of them worked out. Looking back, it finally occurred to me that maybe I was being unrealistic, focusing so much effort on someone who didn’t reciprocate. In my defense, I was a teenage girl! And we want what we want, right?

To be honest, I now suspect that the fantasy was more enjoyable than reality with those guys could have ever been. When you’re with someone, the newness is bound to wear off (this I know all too well, sigh). Sure, the lows of pining from afar – namely the rejection – were low, but the highs … wow. It can be pretty awesome when just seeing the object of your affection is a thrill.

Hmm, could it be that the whole point of the crush is the pursuit? With that in mind, I’m off to YouTube to watch some videos. There are some by Mr. Celebrity Obsession that I haven’t seen. *smiles*

Posted in crushes, etcetera, feelings

the last Beatlemaniac?

I may be forty years behind, but recently I’ve been developing a mild obsession with the Beatles. Not so much John, but very much George.

It started a few weeks ago when the radio station I was listening to played some Beatles songs as part of a special oldies program. It’d been a long time since I’d heard any of their non-solo music, and I enjoyed that trip down Penny Memory Lane so much that I had to get up and dance. Multiple times. (Good thing I was alone in my apartment, or there could’ve been mocking.)

When I heard “She Loves You,” the line “I can hurt you too. Apologize to her.” really struck me and in a good way. Ooh! Threatening Beatles! Me *like*!

At some point between that radio broadcast and now, I was clued in to the fact that Eric Clapton wrote “Layla” for George Harrison’s wife, Pattie. That snippet of info piqued my curiosity, and I had to look it up. I read that Pattie had said George was the most beautiful man she had ever seen. Really? George? I’d never paid that much attention to him – or any of them, truth be known – during my brief previous exposures to the Beatles, but the picture at Wikipedia of him with Pattie was not bad.

I’d been wanting to hear “She Loves You” again, so earlier this week, I watched the video at YouTube, then I watched several others, and I must admit that George is absolutely gorgeous. His eyes . . . wow, do I love a man with dark, dark eyes. :dreamy sigh: To see more of him/them, I watched the group’s first movie. I had no idea what to expect with that, but it’s actually pretty funny. Then again, that could just be the mania talking. 😉

This week I’ve also read quite a bit about the guys, their other projects, even about John’s murderer, who will be up for parole again in October of this year.

Oh, and about the situation with Eric Clapton: Pattie left George for Eric. Shame on you, Eric Clapton … although the rest of the story reveals that apparently George was no saint either. And this? Is why I typically make it a point not to read too much about famous people that I’m obsessing over. I usually find out something that I’d rather have gone on not knowing.

I’m feeling a bit less obsessive now.

Posted in crushes

I ain’t that crushy yet

Last week, the Cute New Guy dropped by to see OfficeMate and me. CNG had a question, but he lingered for several minutes and we all chatted. (I think everyone was in a loopy, unproductive mood that day.)

At one point, I could see another employee approaching from the hall, and I gave her a knowing look, because she’d earlier told a story in which Cute New Guy tried to be sarcastic and got shut down so hard it can only be called a burn. She walked in, saw him, tried to turn to ask me a question, then had to stop and walk outside the office (out of the line of sight of CNG and OM) where she stood chuckling, unable to say whatever she had come in for. I could see her, so I laughed too, thinking about the story she’d told.

After she left, she returned to stand in the hall at the other end, and then two other employees stood in turn, each looking at me. One scolded me with the “shame shame” fingers which puzzled me a bit …

… Until a bit later, when the first employee was telling the story to the guy in the office next door, and I heard her say, “Anne had the strangest look on her face, then I stepped in the office, and I saw why!” The office next door guy asked if I have a little crush on Cute New Guy, and the other employee said that that would explain my look. At that point, I knew it was fruitless to deny it. They’re obviously going to see what they want to see.

I *know* I don’t have a crush on that guy. (Sure, he’s attractive, but he’s too young, and he’s a major flirt.) I do, however, find it hilarious that my co-workers think themselves so clever and me so unable to hide my silly infatuations, and yet not one of the real crushes I’ve rambled about here has been discovered.

So, when people try to tease me about Cute New Guy, I just have a bit of fun with it. Today for example, I declared that I’ve decided to crush over everyone there a week at a time “to be fair.”

Little do they know that I’ve just about done that already! 😉

Posted in crushes, feelings, follow-up

false alarm

“You know how sometimes the last sentence you said, like, echoes in your brain? And it just keeps sounding stupider? And you have to say something else just to make it stop?”

Thank you, Angela Chase of My So-Called Life, for putting into words how I’ve been feeling for a few days. Since writing the last post, I’ve been hit hard with a case of blogger’s remorse. At the time, revealing the identity of my crush seemed a necessary detail to show the full circle of weirdness of the situation I was describing. And though I knew he might read it, I decided that if he read anything else I’ve written, he’d know that it wasn’t a huge deal. I mean, I admitted that I know nothing can come from it. I know that he’s got someone, and he knows I’ve got someone. There’s just something that I like about him, and as I wrote the last entry, it was important to me that he knew it. I thought that he’d maybe be flattered and then laugh it off.

However, it wasn’t long before my imagination went wild, fearing that I’d put ideas in his head, and I pictured everything from him being conflicted to learn of my crush to him showing up at my door to talk. I figured at the very least, given the way he hasn’t stopped by the office to say hello lately, that he was feeling awkward, thinking I’m pining away for him, or something.

Just now, I thought to check my blog stats for the last week. I’m fairly sure that if he did find his way here, it would be from my “personal site.” It is *crazy* how relieved I am to see no report of any visitors clicking here from there. :relaxes after holding breath: Oh, I’m aware that people from work could still find my websites, I’m just glad to think that, for now, one certain person has not.

Posted in crushes, follow-up, websites, work

me and my big blog

I’m happy to report that the old, non-working refrigerator has been removed from my apartment, and a new, working one stands in its place. Given the seventeen inch gash down the side, I’m guessing it was from some scratch-and-dent collection, but as long as it works, I’m good with it.

Moving on to the tale behind my subject line, a few weeks ago my OfficeMate (OM, as I call him here for short) mentioned possibly doing a website for the side business he’s trying to start. After briefly considering whether I was sharing too much, I confided that I have had quite a few websites for quite a long while, and we chatted about that, with him asking me various HTML-related questions.

Note that I didn’t go so far as telling him what the sites specifically are. He agreed when the topic came up again a bit later that it was best he didn’t know, because he didn’t trust himself not to spill the virtual beans when he gets to talking. Since then, he’s made reference to my websites while various people have been in the office. As OM is widely known for being misleading, I’ve been able to just roll my eyes at his remarks, and people remember the rule: “When OM talks, we don’t believe him.

Until last Friday. OM again mentioned my sites – I’ve seriously started accusing him of being compulsive – and our visitor asked, in a somewhat derogatory tone, if I have a myspace page. OM is all, “Oh, she’s gone BEYOND myspace.” Our visitor looked quizzically at me, and I admitted vaguely that I have “a website.” The visitor continued to look at me, like, “Well, what is it?” I said that I wasn’t going to tell him what it was. He said confidently that he would find it.

Now, although I’m very cautious in what information I post – why do you think I avoid posting real names as I tell these tales? No, I’m not *trying* to be annoying – I know that it’s possible to find my domains if you know what to search for. I had every confidence that Website Searcher Guy would find one, so I asked that when he finds it, he not tell me. He said that he’d leave a message in the guestbook. 

WSG left the room, and I griped at my officemate for again sharing information that I told him in confidence. OM was typically unrepentant, saying that although he jokes about it, he’s really impressed with my hobby. Yeah, I don’t accept that as a valid excuse, but thanks for showing your true colors once again, OM, before I trust you with something truly important.

I considered the ramifications of WSG finding the sites. I figured that finding this blog would be too big of a coup not to share, and I imagined him telling everyone at work. I briefly entertained the thought that I might become the local dooce.

And making all of this a little more complicated? WSG also just happens to be the Inappropriate Crush Guy that I mentioned two posts ago. Perhaps my biggest fear of all in this is that WSG/ICG (wow, even the abbreviations are getting complicated) would find that post and ask me who I was crushing on. I pictured him hounding me about it, and me – as I marveled over one of the weirdest turn of events ever in my life – answering, “Would you believe that it’s you?” I don’t see how things could be anything but awkward after that.

Today, WSG/ICG came to work a bit later, but he finally did pay us a visit. I almost held my breath, waiting for him to tell what he found. Thanks to OM, the topic at hand quickly spiraled into talk of my website. WSG/ICG said that he looked but couldn’t find it, and he expressed doubt that I even have one. I sighed with relief.

Still I can’t escape the thought that perhaps he did find the sites, but he’s honoring my request and not telling me. Yes, I think he’s a decent enough guy to do that. This is why I don’t mind admitting here that he is the one I was talking about last week. I never have to know that he knows, he never has to know that I know, and all that awkwardness … remains unknown.

In any event, I don’t think I’ll be able to keep my on-line presence (such as it is) a secret for long. I try to bear that in mind as I write these things. As I like to quote: “Do not be ashamed to say what you’re not ashamed to think.”