dmsj: (lilacs)
2011-06-02 02:45 pm

Spreading some love

Post a comment, and I will reply with a reason why I think you're great. In return, you have to post this same meme on your blog and comment for other people.
dmsj: (hellonurse)
2011-05-24 04:43 pm
Entry tags:

(no subject)

And a killer sinus infection. No wonder I've been so miserable!
dmsj: (TV)
2010-07-10 07:31 pm

Just a Wii little thing

#1. Does anyone have a recommendation of Wii remote chargers that actually WORK and don't suck? We've had two like this from CTA. We returned the first one because it quit working really quickly. Now, maybe 8 or 9 months later, the replacement (which is an updated model because... the first one sucked) also doesn't work properly. :/

#2. I agree with those who've said that the gameplay in Lego Harry Potter is really good. It rates up there with Lego Star Wars, at the very least - I haven't decided which one I actually like more on a strictly mechanics level. (I am biased toward HP rather than SW on a personal level because I actually KNOW the stories a whole lot better.) However... the Wii version of this game is glitchy as HELL. In Year 2 alone, we have had to restart levels three times because something got put into the wrong place and could not be moved from there. And it's not just us - there are reports all over the place of glitches like this. You'd think with the huge delays in its release, they would've had a chance to iron out the kinks before it finally came out!

Don't get me wrong - I am enjoying the Lego Harry Potter. It's just frustrating and annoying to have waited so long for what is still a pretty buggy product.
dmsj: (reading)
2010-04-18 02:34 pm
Entry tags:

Book meme

I'm sure I've done this before, but ...

Bold the ones you've read COMPLETELY, italicize the ones you've read part of. Watching the movie or the cartoon doesn't count. Abridged versions don't count either. BTW, according to the BBC if you've read 7 of these, you are above the average.

Clicky )

I should build my "To Read" list from this - there are a number of books on here that I haven't read but would like to. While 7 is "average," I'm kind of ashamed that I'm only at 16. Note, btw, that all the italicized (save for The Bible) books are ones I was assigned to read in school but only ever skimmed. Some of these, I would like to try again now that I could truly appreciate them.
dmsj: (working)
2010-03-25 08:16 pm

New Beginnings (DW Idol, week 1)

Here we are again, back at my in-laws' place in southwestern Florida. This week has been a roller-coaster ride, not only for us but for all those closest to us. It was supposed to be a vacation, one which started last Sunday, but everything got all muddled up around the middle of last week.

It started with a telephone interview for a job I very much wanted. The interview went very well, and they asked me to come to Bethesda for an in-person interview. Had it happened, that interview would have taken place yesterday. Instead, I spent yesterday (and the day before yesterday, as well as today) driving my way back down the coast from our vacation in upstate New York. The organization wanted someone to start far sooner than I could have managed to relocate my family from Florida and the majority of our stuff from storage in New York. One potential new beginning, ended.

Fast forward, then, to Sunday night. We were due to leave central New York the following morning, making a quick stop in western New York before beginning the trek south. This is where the real turmoil began. I don't know why it was so much harder to say goodbye this time. Perhaps it's that my son (now 2 1/4 years old) is so much more verbal than he was when we last visited, and was so vocal about his goodbyes and how much he missed his grandma after we parted ways. Or perhaps it's that his grandma (my mother), broke down sooner than usual - while she was still in my arms, sharing a farewell hug. Whatever the cause, I was a wreck, and I was convinced that I simply could not return to Florida. Hours later, after he held me as I sobbed, my husband had agreed to contact his former employer in western New York, and ask for his old job back - the job he hated, the job we had agreed was going to be an absolute last resort. But, my emotionally-charged self insisted, perhaps after 7 months, we were at the stage of "last resort."

Before we left our motel room the next morning, my husband had the name of someone to talk to in a different department from the one he left. It was in a whole different building, and I was convinced it would be better. This would be the new beginning we've been needing. Why, then, did all signs seem to be pointing against it? We turned onto the Thruway, and my eye caught the sign in the other direction, saying, "Wrong Way." My stomach felt queasy all morning and afternoon, and when he called me from the office building, the words, "So I appear to have a job," did not fill me with elation. Nor were they particularly enthusiastic in tone.

Yet it wasn't until hours later - after visiting with a friend and suffering a near-panic-attack when my husband told me it was snowing outside, and after utterly failing to find anything remotely within our price range for apartments - that I finally said to him, "I don't want this." All day, I kept shaking my head, seemingly at random. In truth, I was reacting to the myriad thoughts flitting through my head. Desperate though I am to get on our feet again, this was another false start.

Now, this evening, we've arrived back to our temporary home, armed with to-do lists and with goals firmly in our minds. Somewhere, there is a new beginning waiting for us. Sometime, and I hope it will be soon, we will open the right door, and we'll start to get our lives under our own control again.
dmsj: (twolumps_scream)
2010-03-22 07:14 pm
Entry tags:

Stop the World, I Want to Get Off

This is one crazy-assed road I've been on for the past 24 hours. Last night was mostly composed of sobbing on the floor of the motel room, cuddling with O, letting him hold me as I sobbed uncontrollably, and saying lots of, "I can't do this!" In the end, we agreed that he would call his former employer (pre-Xerox) and ask what opportunities might be available. He did that this morning, got a name for someone in a department that was hiring, and met with him. He was offered a job.

We made a snap decision, and started telling people that we were moving back here. While talking to Beth, though, I became more and more aware that ... this doesn't feel right. This isn't where either of us wants to be, the job isn't one he wants to take, and we're just FINALLY starting to see results in FL. Plus, there's a job fair in Tampa next month, so that holds more potential, too.

If all this wasn't enough... the job would barely pay more than O makes on unemployment (about 1/2 what he made at Xerox), and living anyplace that wouldn't require at least a 30-45 minute commute would cost more than we could afford or be in neighborhoods we feel safe in. Plus, he was miserable there. Not so much in the second department he was in, but he still wasn't himself.

We aren't saying no to the job. Not yet. But we're no longer jumping at it. We are going to go ahead with our plans to drive back down to Florida, and make our decision by the end of the week. We're scared, both of us. We're scared to take it and be stuck right where we were before L was born, or worse. And we're scared that if he doesn't take it, nothing else will come along. (I'm more scared of that than he is. He has a really positive outlook, based on the fact that things were starting to look up for us, before we took this vacation.)

I REALLY need a vacation from this vacation. I'm actually looking forward to the 3 days in the car on the way back because it will be more relaxing than what the end of this vacation has been.

(Comments disabled because there are ALREADY too many conflicting thoughts in my head, and O and I just need to figure this all out for ourselves.)
dmsj: (working)
2010-03-19 08:17 pm
Entry tags:

Not this time...

E-mail received today, re: my aforementioned interview )

Logistics got in the way again. Following the schedule she would need, I would be in Maryland until Friday, drive for two days back to Florida... to then pack everything up and be moved to Maryland by the following Tuesday. That's just not possible.

Job hunting from out-of-state is hard. :/

Right now, I'm leaning towards continuing work on our own business plan while also searching for work in FL itself. I think that will be easier to manage. I don't want to close any doors, obviously, but that is my current feeling.
dmsj: (writing)
2010-03-18 08:17 am
Entry tags:


I'm only skimming at best until we're back in FL. This goes for LJ, DW, and FB, and I'm not really checking Twitter at all. So if there's something you want me to know about, e-mail or text is the best way. I also check my own FB messages/wall - I'm just not reading everyone's statuses at the moment.

I'll be back to my usual 'net-addicted self next weekend, I imagine. ;)
dmsj: (TV)
2010-03-12 11:18 pm
Entry tags:

Time-Traveler's Wife

For those who don't know, this is my FAVORITE book. When I found out they were doing a movie, I was ecstatic. And then terrified because they were sure to break it.

I don't want to give many spoilers here because I know a lot of you haven't seen it yet, but have read the book. Suffice it to say, though ... it's worth seeing. It did not make me sob the way the book does (every single time I read it!), and there was a lot left out (because there has to be, honestly)... but it is still a truly beautiful story.


And now I want to re-read the book, for what I believe will be my 4th time, because I want to revisit all the scenes that got cut out from the movie version. :)
dmsj: (run)
2010-02-11 02:23 pm
Entry tags:

Car update

We're still carless. The theory was that it was probably the serpentine belt. It was... and also the two parts next to it. So instead of a $35 easy-fix, it's a $300+ complicated fix that requires parts no one in town has. Remind me not to buy another Subaru/other foreign car next time around. :P Earliest it'll be ready is tomorrow, if they can get the parts by then.

In the meantime, though I'm honestly not missing it very much. I am absolutely WIPED out today. All the recent stress has caught up to me in the form of a head-cold and major ass-kicking fatigue. On the plus side, I've gotten a lot of job-hunting done (thanks mostly to Oliver, who's helped me find most of the things to which I've applied, and helped me to optimize my job search engines).

I did have to cancel my doctor's appointment, which is annoying. And I'd really like to be able to get to the library for some new DVDs (both for us and for Liam), but today I'm pretty content to just sit on the couch and use my computer or read.

If the car is gone all weekend, though, I expect I'll change my tune. :P
dmsj: (baby)
2010-02-07 08:04 pm
Entry tags:

Baby Fever!

My dear friend Nisha had a baby at the beginning of January, the only girl in a 4-child family.

Another online friend gave birth to her rainbow baby girl 2 weeks ago.

This afternoon, [personal profile] phoenixsong and [personal profile] hkellick became parents to a darling baby boy, whom I can't wait to meet!

All these pictures and stories are SO making me have baby fever! :)
dmsj: (2years)
2010-01-29 11:32 am
Entry tags:

Conversations with Bug

Buggie: *tugging on my arm as I sit on the couch putting on my shoes* Mommy, go away.

O: *chuckling* Hey, that's not very nice.

Buggie: Please!
dmsj: (working)
2010-01-25 11:49 am

Signal Boost Request

Alright, I'm getting desperate. O lost his job in July - 6 months ago. We moved to FL in August. In the past 5 months, I've had a 3-week temp assignment. And nothing else. No interviews, nothing. O has had not even a bite, either. We need a new plan. I want to move back to NY. O would rather end up in the DC area. The Boston area is also a consideration. These are the areas we're now concentrating on, all but completely abandoning the FL idea entirely because it is just not panning out.

What I am asking of my readers is this: boost our signal, please. If you know anyone in NY (specifically upstate, ideally Albany or Ithaca areas) or the DC/MD/VA areas who might be in the market for an part-time office assistant/writer/editor (any or all of the above, and full-time will be considered, for the right position) and/or a jack-of-all-trades IT guy who specializes in web design, social media marketing, and UNIX administration... send them our way, please.

Feel free to repost this, ideally with a link back to this post, or copy it into an e-mail to send out to everyone you know, or whatever you need to do to get the word out.

A couple of you have already responded to similar request I put out via e-mail, and I thank you wholeheartedly for your help. But the further we can spread the word, the more likely it is that the message will reach the right ears and eyes.

dmsj: (me)
2010-01-22 03:44 pm
Entry tags:


"I know that 2009 was pretty horrid for a lot of people. One way we might make 2010 a bit better is to spread some love around. So if you care to reply to this post I will give you a response of something I like about you.

If you like participating in these sorts of things and want to repost this in your LJ that'd be fun, too."
dmsj: (Christmas tree)
2009-12-25 05:34 pm

Merry Christmas!

Cut because there are quite a few pics in here )

And now it's time for Christmas dinner! I hope you're all having a magical holiday!
dmsj: (me)
2009-12-23 12:45 pm
Entry tags:

Year in Review

2009 brought a lot of change - some good, some way less than good.

1. What did you do in 2009 that you'd never done before?
Went through most of the process of buying a house, moved out of NYS, visited Florida, drove down the East coast, got a paid writing gig.

2. Did you keep your New Year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't think I made any. Generally speaking, I'd rather just work on continually setting goals for myself, rather than making yearly resolutions.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
My oldest friend had a little girl in late-August.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
We had to put my eldest cat to sleep after he went feral and attacked Oliver.

5. What countries did you visit?
Canada, just once, back in January

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
a job

7. What date from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
July 8th - it was when [personal profile] kolys lost his job

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
not (completely) falling apart when our lives got turned upside down

9. What was your biggest failure?
the times when I've lost my temper or said things that were unkind

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
nothing major

11. What were the best things you bought?
nothing is immediately springing to mind

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My husband, for being so supportive and loving, and for being such a wonderful daddy.
All of my friends and family who supported us when times got difficult, and those who helped us to move all our stuff into storage before we moved out of state.
My in-laws, for allowing us to use their vacation home until we can get on our feet.
The friends and family who helped us during the home-buying process.
My son, for being the smart and amazing little guy he is!

13. Whose behavior appalled you?
Xerox - for allowing their bureaucracy to totally contradict itself and defy logic

14. Where did most of your money go?

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
buying our first home

16. What song will always remind you of 2009?
I can't honestly think of one.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? Hmm... some of each.
ii. thinner or fatter? About the same, I think. Maybe a little thinner.
iii. richer or poorer? poorer

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Spent time with my family and friends in NY.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
focusing on the negative

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
With my boys, in our PJs, watching Christmas specials on TV and relaxing around the house with yummy snacks and each other's company.

21. Why is there no Question 21?
I don't know; I didn't write the questions.

22. Did you fall in love in 2009?
I fell in love with places, and remained in love with people.

23. How many one-night stands?

24. What was your favorite TV program?
Veronica Mars

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
I'm still very bitter with Xerox, but I think I'm starting to let it go.

26. What was the best book you read?
The Night Listener by Armistead Maupin, though I'm also really enjoying the one I just started today: Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Hmm - I don't know as though I made any musical discoveries this year! I surprised myself recently by enjoying Taylor Swift's single and there have been other things I've liked... but nothing stands out, which is really weird!

28. What did you want and get?
a gorgeous new camera for my birthday, a healthy and mostly-happy family, a visit from my mom, a new spiritual-home, someplace to stay when O lost his job

29. What did you want and not get?
a job (well, several jobs, really), a house, a new (to us) car

30. What was your favorite film of this year?
I don't see many films, honestly, but Up was especially good

31. What did you do on your birthday?
My husband took me out to dinner at a restaurant on the beach, which our son spent the evening with a babysitter

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?
Mostly - comfortable and casual. I was a SAHM most of the year, and often didn't leave my house other than for walks with the Bug.

34. What kept you sane?
My boys, writing.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Edward Cullen from the books - I don't find Robert Patinson all that attractive, but the character ... Mmmm. :) Also, I kinda had a crush on Jason Dohring.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
It's a tie between health care reform and gay marriage rights

37. Who did you miss?
In the last part of the year, almost everyone.

38. Who was the best new person you met?
I don't think I would claim ONE person as the best, but I've met some great folks down here - all from my church.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009.
You just never know.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
If you find somebody to love in this world
You better hang on tooth and nail
The wolf is always at the door
In a New York Minute
Everything can change
In a New York Minute
Things can get a little strange
dmsj: (2years)
2009-12-17 01:16 pm
Entry tags:


Our little boy is quite a talker. I've mentioned before that he knows the names of a bunch of different dinosaurs, all his numbers and letters (and he's starting to get them in order now, too - especially if we sign them for him), and lots of shapes and colors. He amazes me.

But sometimes, he just cracks me up, and I wanted to share some of his funny or unique phrases and pronunciations.

* "Sorry, Liam foot!" when he stubs his toe on something, or just "Sorry, Liam!" when he in some other way bumps himself on something.

* "2,4,5 - Ready or Not - SURPRISE!" (sometimes it also includes "Habby Dirthday!")

* His frequent lunch-on-the-go of cheese, pickles, and olives has become known as "oh my," because of a silly joke I made one day recently when he was having it.

* "Hung'y Herbivores!" (his favorite song from Dinosaur Train) ... which now comes complete with little munching sounds when he plays with his new dino playset

* "beach booms" (aka waves in the ocean)

* "bibbit bibbit" (frog noise)

* "G'een agglepas, gyue agglepas." (green pacifier, blue pacifer)

* "Mommy/Daddy/Grandma/ball/other toy or object, c'mere!" (funniest when it's said to an animal or inanimate object)

* "gyeb" = bread

* "yum"/"yee-um" = Liam

I think I'm going to start posting these periodically and make a collection of them, as there are so many things we just don't want to forget!
dmsj: (working)
2009-12-08 01:27 pm

CA Update

At this point, we're not moving to CA. O got an automated e-mail last night, telling him he didn't get the job he'd interviewed for. He found 2 others on their site this morning (and I found one as well, but mine is in their DC-area office, so obviously we couldn't both accept offers), and e-mailed his friend again.

It seems like we're spending an awful lot of time at square one. :P From here, though, we just redouble our efforts in the DC-area, the RTP area, and here in FL until something eventually pans out. It will, sooner or later.
dmsj: (catnap)
2009-12-06 08:57 pm

2 Ferrets Looking for a Home

My friends in Western MA are trying to rehome two female ferrets. More information here, if you're interested.
dmsj: (Gaia)
2009-11-20 05:52 pm

It's time for a new plan

I'm not sure the "one year in Florida" plan is actually going to come to fruition. We've both changed our focus a little since coming back from NY and me starting this temp. job and such. It started with a resume-request from one of O's friends, for a position in Palo Alto, CA. This is the same company he was considering during the summer, but we ruled it out because of location. Now, however, we're starting to wonder if we need to change location because let's face it - things have not been all that promising for us here in Florida. We'd both been hoping this possible position was in the company's DC-area office, but it turned out to also be in CA.

However, the company does have a similar (though not identical) position in their DC office. This realization got some wheels turning for both of us, and we're both feeling like maybe that area is the way to go. If anywhere is going to have a decent job market at all, it's going to be that area first. And we have friends there. And the seasons, while much milder than NY, still change there. And it's closer to NY. And there are long-term opportunities there in fields we both desperately want to get into.

And it's not on the west coast, which is looking to be our other major option. If we have to do that, we will. But neither of us want to, particularly. (The thought of it still makes me want to cry; I'm just afraid of closing any doors right now.)

I am posting this as a desperate plea for prayers/positive thoughts/etc. Please keep us in your thoughts in the coming weeks as we try to put this new plan in motion. Please pray that this works out for us in the way we are hoping. I am praying as hard as I can, myself.