Every other year or so, I make a vow to get more fit. And every time I do, I wonder why I don't just keep it up rather than suffer through the pain of getting my nicely entropied muscles moving again.

Because of my hip, I'm fairly limited in the exercise I can do. I can't do all those high impact aerobics, and I can't even sit cross-legged, so I don't know if I could manage yoga. I do some weight training, but it gets so boring that I always give it up (I do this at home, since I lost my free gym membership when I lost my last job.)

I never learned how to swim as a child, so about 5 years ago I signed up for adult swimming lessons. I kept it up for 3 years straight, even over the winter, swimming at least 3 times a week. And then I just stopped going. It all happened when I took my current job - my hours changed and I suddenly couldn't fit everything in.

Anyway, I once again made my fitness vow, so I signed up for adult swimming again, and last night I had my first lesson. Oh, man, I am sore. We did laps - forward crawl, backstroke, elementary backstroke, and then we started to learn the breaststroke. I don't think there is a muscle in my body that wasn't jarred awake. My eyebrow muscles hurt.


Congratulations, you lucky 50,000 winners!

I just can't express what a brilliant way this is to run Medicare. It's almost like the reality show of administration policy. Why care about who needs the drugs the most! Hey, the wheel of fortune has already given you cancer, you're due for a change of luck, right?

I just love this quote:

The program will mirror the 2006 drug benefit, meaning that there will be a gap in coverage — known as a doughnut hole — in which patients will bear the entire cost of the medicines. People still will have to spend about $5,300 a year for Gleevec, but that represents nearly 90 percent off the annual average wholesale price of $45,952, Medicare said.

"Only a cynical pessimist can look at a doughnut and complain about the hole," Thompson said.

If you happen to be poor, or even lower middle class, and you grumble about having to pay $5,300 a year, why, you're just a cynical pessimist. It's only $450 a month!


I'm Still Here

Sorry about my lack of posts, I've been on an impromptu vacation with the extended family. We went to Storyland in New Hampshire on biker weekend, had a big marital spat that everyone agrees is 100% Loki's fault (except for Loki (/me shaking my fist in his general direction), and deciding to turn down the job offer after I did some math and realized that even though my happiness is worth taking a pay cut for, GMAC and Citimortgage don't give a rat's ass about my happiness and I have to pay them every month, which I can't afford to do if I take the pay cut the new job offered me.

I also went to see the movie Dodgeball with Sweetness - I thought it was stupid but hilarious, she just thought it was stupid - I had a brief pregnancy scare (which was only scary because I'm still mad at Loki), bought a new pet for Monkey*, did a ton of laundry (and that may actually be literally a ton), and felt powerless and pissed off about world events.

*Monkey is a very responsible pet owner. We have several pets in the maurinsky household: Spud the Basset Hound, Cas and Mad our kitties, Fee the goldfish, and Flippers the beta fish. Monkey just got a second beta fish, Rainbow. She feeds all the animals, cleans the litter box, takes the dog for walks and plays with him, and cleans the fish bowls out weekly without being asked. I know it's because she's angling for a pony, but it ain't gonna happen. Maybe a rabbit or a guinea pig, but our yard isn't big enough for a Labrador, let along a pony.



My 12 or so regular readers may know that I hate my job, and that I recently had a job interview. I got the job offer on Friday. It is less money than I make at the job that makes me dread waking up every morning, which didn't matter to me when I was being interviewed, but now that I've got the offer, I'm actually worried about making less.

I have another iron in the job fire as well, for a position at my previous place of employement, where I worked happily for 7 years before my department was relocated out of state. It's for a job I'm completely qualified for, but my old company is notorious for taking FOREVER to hire people, so I haven't heard anything yet.

I'm slightly reluctant to take the job offer because I would hate to pass up the potential job with my old company, but then I think about the bird in the hand being worth the two in the bush, and I wonder if I should just take the job and cut back on a few key areas.

Although the job offer is less money, my friend works there and says it's a great environment. There is also the potential for advancement, which does not exist at my current job. The benefits at my current job are extremely inexpensive (we piggyback on the state contract), so I'm sure there would be an increase in the cost of insurance. But I hate my current job so much.

I just don't know what to do.


The Clothes *HAD* No Emperor

We were so busy over the weekend that I didn't know Ronald Reagan was dead until late on Sunday. That prompts me to recommend a book I've enjoyed re-reading many, many times: The Clothes Have No Emperor by Paul Slansky.

While GWB might make Reagan seem like such a sweet old man in comparison, this book reminds me of the many reasons why I didn't like Reagan when he was president.


The church/porn connection

Seen at church yesterday: a regular attendee wearing a Penthouse magazine t-shirt.


Grinning like a fool

That was me on my way home from work tonight. There was a thunderstorm in the afternoon, and the sky was half sunny and half dark and stormy as I drove home. And every car on the road was kicking up rainbows. I may be cynical, but I'm not immune to the charms of rainbows!


The joys of owning your own business

Flea over at One Good Thing has a great post up that offers some insight into why someone would bother to open a small business in this world of big boxes and brand names.

I have my own dream of a small business. I took up knitting as a hobby when Sweetness was born (before it became the fad it is now, but certainly, I couldn't claim to be the first knitter, or probably even the millionth person to take up knitting.) I learned how to knit from a book, and thus I am a pretty poor knitter. Let me rephrase that...I'm actually a very good knitter, I'm just bad at making my knitting look like something that one would want to wear on their person. I could knit scarves and blankets all day long, but if the pattern requires counting, increasing, decreasing, or finishing, I can guarantee you it will never be completed by my hands.

Still, I love yarn, I love the actual act of knitting, and so I drew up some plans for my yarn shop, which I will call "Ripping Yarns", a name Loki really liked because it could be the same place where we could fulfill his small business dream of owning his own used Sci-Fi/Fantasy bookstore. (I realize it is also the name of a defunct BBC series that members of Monty Python wrote and performed on. More power to the name, I say.)

I am always scouting locations for the shop. I have drawn up floor plans, I designed some shelving that I want my father to build for the shop. I have lighting fixtures picked out. What I don't have is money, or any idea how one runs a retail business. I'm going to have to ask Flea how she ended up with her store.

Upcoming events

This Friday, Sweetness' drama group is doing an evening of one acts, although that is really a misnomer, since it's really an evening of 10 minute plays. Sweetness is directing "Funeral Parlor" by Christopher Durang, and she is appearing in a musical selection from the musical "Godspell". Next Monday is the Peforming Arts Awards ceremony, and we've already been notified that Sweetness will be receiving an award.

Next Tuesday, Monkey is going to perform "Hit Me With Your Best Shot"* at the first grade talent show. Loki and I were contemplating letting her perform Joan Jett's "Bad Reputation" (after our Freaks & Geeks marathon), but we decided that enough people at the school already think poorly of us. Monkey is planning to be a rock star when she grows up, and I think she has more talent than required to do it, so I'm a supportive mom. We don't expose her to Britney Spears or Jessica Simpson, and she is a die-hard fan of The Clash at age 7, so I think we are off to a good start.

Next Friday, Sweetness and I will be singing the songs of George & Ira Gershwin at our church choir pops concert. Last year we did Andrew Lloyd Webber, so this is a big step up, but I'm pushing for Cole Porter or Stephen Sondheim next year - although one of our tenors has requested an evening of TV show theme songs, so who knows what will happen.

*I think this is the only Pat Benatar song I like.

Mean People

Last Friday, Loki dropped Monkey off at school, and he was standing outside the classroom talking to one of the moms when he heard the teacher screaming: "You had a month to do that project!!!! What is wrong with you!!!!"

Moments later, a little boy (J.) came running out of the classroom in tears. Loki took J.'s hand, brought him to the principal, told her that Mrs. Mean just destroyed J., and then he went back to the classroom, signed Monkey out, and they went out to breakfast and then saw Shrek 2. Only 10.5 more days and then Monkey's year with Mrs. Mean is over.