Friday, July 31, 2009

I love fridays!

Okay, so last night's post was a little Debbie Downer, but having let all of that out, I feel somewhat lighter.

And besides...IT'S FRIDAY!

And I totally think I need to win this little giveway from ♥Aubrey. I mean really I could use a little pampering!

I will have to post pictures of my house since that last ones where just of the foundation. I have walls and a roof and cement porches and patios and driveways (okay, only one driveway). They painted the inside yesterday and my cabinets are up. BUT most exciting of all, my closing date is set for August 24! That is just around the corner.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

It's my party and I'll cry if I want to.

I have found myself close to tears almost everyday for the last week. The smallest thing can make me just want to burst into tears. I have even cried myself to sleep several nights in a row.

Everything is changing and I don't do change well. I am closing on my house August 24th and that means I will be moving out of my boyfriend's house. I will be living on my own for the first time ever. I will be a home owner and that is just terrifying.

My boyfriend and I have reached a crossroads in our relationship. At this point he should be able to tell me if he sees us getting married one day or if he wants children one day. And he can't. That hurts. But I know I don't have to convince anyone to marry me. One day I will find someone who thinks the sun shines out of my ass. I know that once I move out we most likely won't be together much longer.

But I still want him to act like he is going to miss me for more than the rent money I paid him. I want to feel like I was important to him and that he enjoyed our time living together. I want to know I mattered to him and I can't just be replaced easy breezy. While I know he will miss me and I know he loves me as much as he is able, he doesn't really say much about me leaving. Does it mean he doesn't care? Does it mean he wants pretend it's not really happening because he doesn't want to deal with his feelings? I don't know.

I am also trying to get a new job. I am stagnating in my current position. I dread going in to work most days because I get so bored. I really want this new position. But I am so shy around new people and interviewing is not my strong suit. I get so flustered. I can do this job and I can do it very very well. The key is getting the position. I want it so badly!

On top of that our union has renegotiated our contract. We are not getting any cost of living adjustment, our step increases have been frozen for the coming year, and to top it all off we are going to have to take furloughs (mandatory unpaid days off). Because of my income level I will be required to take 12 furloughs. I am only $14 away from having to take 14. Learning I am going to be taking about a 5% pay cut right as I am getting ready to take on the responsibility of a home owner makes me break out into a panicked sweat.

Everything is changing and changing fast for me. I am trying to take it all in stride, but part of that stride apparently is me crying my way through.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Relay for Life 2009

For several years I have wanted to participate in Relay for Life and this year I decided to actually DO something. I created a team and jumped through all the hoops. My team of 9 fundraised almost $1000 in a 3 month span. The local event was this weekend. It went from noon on Friday to noon on Saturday.

I am so proud of my team, we kicked ass! Each team is required to have a team member walking the track at all times and it was HOT this weekend. Three of us set up our tent site starting at 10:30 Friday morning and it was already quite warm. It wasn't long until I was drenched in sweat (totally sexy, I know).

I had a total of 3.5 hrs of sleep. I walked 12 miles in the 24 hr period and I definitely feel it! I managed to not get a sunburn except for the tops of my hands and the tip of my nose, sunscreen is my best friend. That (not getting a sunburn) is a miracle in and of itself. That's what I do when exposed to sun, burn, but not this weekend.

My right hip has reminded me of the soccer injury from years ago when I tore my hip muscle, my knees have reminded me of all the knee injuries I suffered over the 12 years of serious soccer playing. My body hurts. But of all the aches and pains, the thing that hurts the most are my blisters. My poor feet! Last night they were so swollen I almost couldn't put my flip flops on.

I need a pedicure, fo sho!

My left foot, this was a blister on top of a blister

My right foot, this blister hurt a LOT!

This is a continuation of the right foot blister, it went up between my toes :(

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Pull the thread and the sweater unravels.

Hello my lovelies,

I know I haven't been very active lately, but my world 'in real life' has been super busy.

*My best friend is getting married in less than 4 weeks, last weekend was her bachelorette party (post on that to come...I swear!). And there are lots of little things I am trying to help her with in the coming weeks.

*I am in the process of having a house built and it is going to be completed early. So, I have been trying to get everything in order for that. Including buying a refrigerator and front loading washer/dryers (I know, my hippie is showing)

*This weekend is Relay For Life and I am the team captain and have been working feverishly to get everything in order for that.

*I work 40 hours a week

*I am applying for a developmental position that will hopefully turn into a permanent position and my application and cover letter and supplemental questions are all due on Thursday.

*Things in my personal life are difficult and have only been adding to my stress level. I am sure there will be a post on this as well, but I don't know when. I don't know when I want to share all of that.

I feel like I am juggling so many balls and I just know one is going to drop and it will all come tumbling down. I just need a second to breathe, yet I can't seem to find one.

Thanks for bearing with me!


Saturday, July 18, 2009

May cause drunk texting

My best friend Jen is getting married 4 weeks from today. So tonight we are celebrating the end of her singledom (okay, she has been part of a happy couple for over 2 and half years, but you know what I mean). As her maid of honor I was responsible for throwing her the most KICK ASS bachelorette party evah! And I think I have succeeded...if I am coherent enough tomorrow I will try to post a recap.

To celebrate Jen, today I have rented out the local skating rink. There will be about 12 of us and we get the rink all to ourselves for two hours. I am sure we will rock out to the raddest 80's songs, some cheesy early 90's. And of course you can't roller skate without doing the Hokey Pokey! While at the rink we will enjoy ice cream cake and cotton candy, okay, the cotton candy is iffy.

After we finish with skating we are heading off to dinner. Mexican food is yummy! There we will down margaritas, see just how red Jen can turn as she opens all the inappropriate porn shop gifts, and get evil glares from other diners because we are giggling so obnoxiously. It will be great.

When dinner is finished and we have all fully embraced the fun and festive ambiance, we will all head over to our friends, Amber & Beth's house where we will freshen up for a night on the town.

One of my co-workers also moonlights as a limo driver so he hooked me up with a sweet deal and is going to drive us around town to all the bars in this bad boy:

Martine assured me that he would have the limo FULLY LOADED, champagne toasts here we come. We are going to paint this town as red as Jen's face.

I am so excited! I hope you all have just as fabulous a day as I am anticipating.

P.S. The photo of the limo was taken in the city where I live. I live in such a beautiful State. It is just a short 10 minute drive for me to get to that exact location. Isn't that view gorgeous?!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

He's a dog and hates reading

So I guess my dog Jackie is mad at me because he was left home all day. I was out with my best friend Jen today running errands for her wedding. And then we practiced making bouquets and put together her center pieces. It was an all day adventure. I headed out about 11am and came home to feed the dogs and let them out around 6:30pm, then headed back to Jen's about 7:15pm. This isn't a completely unusual time period for the dogs to be home unsupervised. Well, apparently today Jackie took exception. This is what I came home to tonight at about 11pm.

They don't even look the slightest bit apologetic. Bastards!

Jackie did not care for reproductive advice...maybe because he's neutered. This book used to be 'Pathways to Pregnancy and Parturition'. (I have an Animal Science Degree, I was gonna go to vet school and animal husbandry was a required course and I have always found genetics and reproduction fascinating.)

Jackie also destroyed Animal Breeding and two other books about horses.

I was so mad I was in tears. I called both Jen and Mike in tears just to tell someone else how upset I was. And the worst part...even though I wanted to yell at Jackie, I knew he wouldn't understand why he was being yelled at. And it's not like you can explain to the dog why what they did was wrong. But I scolded anyway.

I think Jackie is also mad because Mike has been gone since Wednesday. So all his people were gone today. Now Jackie is going back to his crate I also know it was Jackie because I have seen him pull down a book before (not since last Sept, thought he had grown out of this bad habit) and before we got Jackie, my books were never in danger. Shadow had no interest in them. He just wants any food that may have been left out.

*Sigh* Ok, I am off to blow my nose, wash my face, and pet my dog and let him know he is still loved.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

So it's been a long couple of days...

But tonight:

DVRed Tour de France - Check

Now onto So You Think You Can Dance - Check

Alcoholic libation - Check

Pasta Alfredo - Check

Yeah, tonight is gonna be a good night!


Monday, July 6, 2009

I like to watch

The Tour de France you pervs, the Tour de France!

Mind. Gutter. Out.

My love affair with the Tour began five summers ago. I had just moved back to Oregon after being in Idaho for school. My best friend and I had moved together and when we moved back we were both unemployed and living with my parents. There was nothing to watch during the day except Soap Operas and I just couldn't get into those and you could only fill out so many job applications. Then one day I turned on the TV and there was the Tour. I was hooked.

It was the Tour de France where Lance Armstrong was going for his 6th win and the following year he went for his record breaking 7th win. I was riveted. That summer during the month of July my parents were also having all the carpets in the house replaced. Watching the Tour gave me something to do while the carpet guys where there and it meant I didn't have to make small talk (something I can SUCK at) and it also was something that wasn't cheesy or embarrassing to admit I was watching. They would ask, "what are you watching?" and I would be all, "oh, you know, the Tour de France."

For some reason I was fascinated. All the jockeying and strategy. The Tour is not won by an individual, it is won by a team. Without the sacrifices of his teammates, Lance Armstrong would never have won a single Tour.

I have a whole new vocabulary...

GC: General Classification

Peloton: French for group, in cycling it means the main bunch of riders. When the main bunch splits up, there can be several pelotons.

Feed Zone: Designated riders from each team collect musettes for their teammates and pass them out.

Musette: A cloth shoulder bag handed to riders at feed zones filled with drinks and food. Fans go crazy trying to get one when riders discard them when they are finished eating.

Breakaway: When a solitary rider or group of riders pulls off the front of the main bunch. Strategy and luck have a lot to do with whether the break will arrive successfully at the finish line. If there’s a rider who’s considered dangerous in the overall classification, the other teams will collaborate to bring the breakaway back. But sometimes if a rider is so far down in the overall standings or if the main bunch is too tired to work, a strong breakaway can survive to fight for the victory.

Drafting: It’s easier to ride behind someone else than to ride at the front breaking through the air mass, so riders will take turns cutting the wind and then save energy riding on the wheel of the bike directly in front of them.

The Tour is 23 days long and the competitors ride everyday but 2. There are flat stages, mountain stages, and time trials. And...


There are two US sponsored teams, Team Columbia and Team Garmin, but they are made up of riders from around the world. Lance Armstrong used to ride with Team Columbia, which was known as Team Discovery Channel and prior to that Team US Postal Service. This year, Lance (we are on a first name basis) is riding for Team Astana this year and it is a team based out of Kazakhstan. I love watching Lance ride, he is such an amazing rider and so aware of everything that is going on around him.

But my absolute favorite rider is Big George Hincapie.
George Hincapie - (c) Ken Conley
Photo by Ken Conley

He is currently participating in his 14th Tour. He is only 2 away from tying the record. While he has never won a Tour, he was Lance's right hand man in every Tour he won. This year they are on different teams and I wonder what that is like. George Hincapie is simply a great rider and a true team player.

Am I aware that this makes me a nerd. Yes, the nerdiest. And I am okay with that. Now, I must go, the finish for today's stage is just about upon us...

Happy cycling!

Saturday, July 4, 2009


I hope everyone has a fabulous 4th of July! I am excited for beer, BBQ, and fireworks! Today I am guest posting over at Fidgeting Gidget go check it out. 'Cause she's awesome.

Have a happy and safe holiday.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Flashback Friday - Family Vacation the end!

Yea for Flashback Friday! Here is the final installment of the family vacation saga. I have also included photos for your viewing pleasure. And as always, stop by ScaryMommy's blog since Flashback Friday is all her idea.


Originally posted on myspace on 12/8/07

Family vacations are always fun

I am home. We all made it alive and in one piece. There were tears and there was laughter and overall some great memories were made and some not so great photos were taken ;)

Disembarking the boat was similar to a giant cattle call. We waited in our cabins for our section to be called, then we were ushered off the ship and into the customs line. Somehow my family managed to get into the line with the slowest customs agent ever! Both lines on either side of us were flowing and ours was at a standstill. Seriously all he has to do is say...anything to declare? any fruits or vegetables?, no, okay. And then we would all be off and running. We were only technically out of the country for one day, what do you think I did in one day. I had to get back on the ship anyway after being out of the country and they were super strict on what we could and could not bring back on board. (I am still a little confused as to why I was not allowed to bring a small pocket knife on board but at dinner they would give me a serrated steak knife, um, ok.)

After customs, make our way to the airport in LA with a brief stop at my Aunt Kerry's to say hi. We return our rented minivan, oh yeah, don't be hatin', we was big pimpin' style in the minivan. A minor dispute occurs between Sam and myself, while trying to fill up the gas tank before dropping off the van We get back to the rental agency and grab the shuttle to the airport. On a side note, my dad turned into a freaky California drive and I was in fear for my life once or twice while driving in the chaotic LA traffic.

Our first flight from LA to Vegas is a on time and we are looking good to get home on schedule. We land in Vegas as expected and then we begin out short layover before heading out on the last leg of our journey. On the flight from LA to Vegas, Alex made a friend with the guy sitting next to him on the plane. He was visiting Vegas for several days to catch a boxing match, he had come all the way from the United Kingdom...that is some serious dedication to your sport.

Our flight from Vegas to Eugene was slightly delayed by about 45 minutes but other than that our return trip was much less eventful than the trip down, (thank you sweet baby Jesus).

Finally around 2:30am we reach my parents' house. My mom turns to me and says, "So, are you staying here tonight?" Are you freaking kidding me?! I have just been with all of you for the last 8 days. I am so close to my own bed and my own home that I can taste it. I do not want to wake up tomorrow and have to look any of you offense.

As much as I complained about this "family vacation", I had a great time, it was fun to be able to spend this time with my family. But ultimately, I am most grateful to be home. You cannot truly appreciate your home until you are unable to be in your comfort zone. Jack was so excited to see me and I was thrilled to see him (and yes, he does lokk super fabulous in his poncho!) My cats seemed happy to see me and both slept with me throughout the night. And above all I am really happy to be sleeping in a bed that does not rock back and forth!

This was the cabin my brothers and I shared for a week. And we are all still alive. You should be very impressed!


What have I gotten myself into?

Isn't my brother Alex just precious :)

Hey boys, over here!

Aren't they funny...

DISNEYLAND - Happiest place on earth?

The Parentals

Alex, Me, Sam waiting in line

That's my family. All in line at Disneyland, smile people!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

A Dude

Dear A Dude,

I find your anonymity interesting because you felt the need to comment on my blog, knowing that what you posted could be controversial and could possibly hit a nerve. And instead of owning your comment you chose to use the name “A Dude” and didn’t link back to anything. Maybe you simply don’t have a blog to link back to, in which case why would you chose to not even leave a name. If there is no link, how am I supposed to know this John from that one.

While E and Perkster are not my real names, they are both nicknames that I go by. I also don’t think that it is any secret that my real name is Erica. But while E and Perkster are not my real name, I also own my blog and what is in it. I owned the words I chose to write and I am willing to defend what I wrote because it is something that I feel strongly about. I don’t leave anonymous comments on others blogs. I own my comments, the good and the bad.

I wrote my blog because I wanted to vent my feelings on being labeled as something I am not. And as I stated numerous times, I do not believe this woman meant any insult, but I was still insulted. And I am allowed to feel the way I do, especially as a member of a group that is marginalized in society. I also do bring it to people’s attention when I feel the time and place are appropriate. Did I feel it was appropriate to call this woman out on referring to me as a girl in passing in the work place? No. So I picked my blog as my outlet.

Gender equality is something I am very passionate about. And gender inequality should not be passed on from one member of the group to another. While the incident with my co-worker was not intended to be insulting or demeaning, I used it in my blog because it was an example of how pervasive this type of language is and how blindly we throw out labels without thinking what that label really implies. Was there a deeper meaning in what this woman called me? No. But eventually I am called a girl one too many times or I am referred to as guy all day long and I just can’t remain silent for another moment. Language seeps into our subconscious and we attach meaning and definitions to words we hear and when we hear terms like girl when referring to a grown adult female, subconsciously we are labeling her as less than in regards to her male counterpart who is referred to as a man.

Do you truly not see the difference in the implications of being called a Tomboy vs being called a Sissy? Do you not see how the term used for a boy showing ‘feminine’ qualities is offensive, while the term for a girl showing ‘masculine’ qualities is not inherently offensive? What is wrong with boys and men showing softness, gentleness, compassion and vulnerability? And how does this make them less of a man? I believe that men and women are made up of both masculine and feminine parts and society is what has determined which is more acceptable for those with penises and those with vaginas. Doesn’t tapping into these different aspects make us more well rounded people? Why then is the feminine aspect spurned and degraded when expressed by those who are male?

In response to your question:
“If the majority of people don’t consider the language oppressive, but you do, does that say more about you or more about them?”
I will tell you what it says about me. It says that I am aware of the androcentric world we live in and I am aware of how language perpetuates gender inequality. I don’t go around with my head in the sand. Someone has to question things. If no one ever questioned the “way things are” then there would still be slavery, women would not be able to vote, women and children would still be considered property, the US would still be an English territory, Monarchs would still rule France, etc.

Part of me hopes that maybe you just like playing devil’s advocate and stirring the pot. If not, I hope you take a moment and think next time you go to refer to a woman as a girl or a group of people as guys or are looking for an insult for your male friends.

I never claimed my blog was unbiased or the influences in my life would be left out of all my ramblings. My experiences are what make me who I am today and of course they are going to come out in my posts. Am I always PC? No. This where I talk about my day and express how I feel about different incidents. You are welcome to read it, that is why my blog is not private and you are welcome to comment. If you truly disagree with what I say, then I would love to hear it. But if you chose to comment simply to rile me up, please feel free to go elsewhere.

E, The Perkster, Erica

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

I have a soapbox and today it is called Feminism

First let me say, I am a feminist. This is not a dirty word. It doesn’t mean I hate men. It simply means that I believe there should be equality between the sexes. I think the patriarchal foundation of our society needs to be questioned and rocked. We should not all be sheep who simply go along with everything that is fed to us everyday by society through the media and bureaucracies and institutions that mold us into contributing members of society. I don’t think men should be pushed down so that woman can get ahead. Neither of us should be oppressed. Oppressing men so women can succeed, is still oppression and wrong. And when I say I think there needs to be equality between the sexes, I mean the good and the bad. If men have to register for the draft, then so should women, etc etc. Yes, I shave my armpits and legs (though I did struggle with this for a long time). I like to wear make-up and feel pretty. I like to feel feminine. But I don’t think my femaleness should somehow make me less than.

The other day at work I was called a girl.

This irritated me more than I probably should have let it, but whatever.

I am not a girl. While I may look like I am barely 16, I am a full fledged adult. I am a woman.

It sounds silly when I say that, but I AM a woman. I am not an old woman or even a middle aged woman. I am a young woman, although I can see 30 from where I sit. I can legally vote and drink. I am buying my first home. I pay all my bills. I am self sufficient. I am NOT a girl.

While the woman who referred to me as a girl meant no malice or insult, I still found it insulting. Yes, she is older than I am and may even have children who are close to me in age. But I am not her child and in the work place I am her co-worker and peer. In fact I am a higher classification than she is and I have more seniority. I am not trying to sound bitchy, it is just so frustrating.

There is no way to bring attention to this issue without it coming off as my being a whiny kid. Which is exactly what I am trying to NOT be perceived as.

Too often we throw out language and don’t think about the connotation of the word we chose or how the recipient will interpret it.

1 a: a female child from birth to adulthood b: DAUGHTER c: a young unmarried woman dsometimes offensive : a single or married woman of any age
2 a: SWEETHEART bsometimes offensive : a female servant or employee

I know you may be reading these definitions and be thinking well, you could be a girl. Except we no longer live in society where young women are expected to get married or marriage somehow makes a person more of an adult. Does being married a 28 make someone less of girl than myself who is not married at 28? No.

I also cringe when I am referred to as a guy or a group of women are referred to as guys. I am not a guy. Guy is a masculine term and I am not male. By referring to me as a guy or a group of woman as guys, it erases our gender, our femaleness. It singles us out as “others” we are not the norm, which is male. How would a group of men feel if someone walked up to them and said, “Hey gals!” And I hate when people are referred to as guys and girls.

The terms guys and girls are not equitable. Guys and gals, boys and girls, ladies and gentlemen, men and women, these are the correct pairings. By calling people guys and girls there is a subconscious inferiority of females inferred.

I don’t think people are deliberately offensive or trying to create inferiority. I try to believe people generally mean well. But language is so important and people just don’t pay attention. The issue is not whether someone intended an insult, but whether or not an insult was perceived. Ignorance is not an excuse. People need to be aware of the impact of their words.

Think of all the degrading names for men or people who show weakness:
Pansy Ass
Acting like a little girl
Throw like a girl
Scream like a girl

All of these have a negative connotation with being female in some capacity and that being feminine is not to be desired. What is wrong with being female? We make up more than 50% of the world’s population! Did you know that all fetuses start out as female and begin to develop as female in the first few weeks? (ok, that is a simplification and technically the sex is determined at conception with the melding of XX or XY chromosomes, but prior to the influence of testosterone the fetus goes along as female) That is why men have nipples, the body was preparing to be female and starting the process of creating mammaries. But the XY combination releases hormones early on to stimulate male development. (Of course there is a lot more to it and I don’t have all day to explain)

I am also a fluent Spanish speaker so I am aware that English is not the only sexist language. Most of the “romance” languages are extremely sexist. A whole gaggle of people could be hanging out together and there is only one male in the whole group and the rest are female, but when referring to the group the masculine form is used. I get that. But it doesn’t make it okay or right or any less oppressive.

If you made it all the way to the bottom of this and don’t want to send me hate mail…Yea for you! I am now stepping off of my soapbox and going back to work :)
The Perkster - Ramblings of a hungry fat girl. Design by Exotic Mommie. Illustraion By DaPino