Monday, April 30, 2007
Don't get me wrong, one day I do want to. Just not today, not while I work for my current employer in an understaffed department with all the mess I know I'll have to clean up tomorrow. Some day. Not today.
The day started great. I got to the courthouse just before 0730, the time they want us to report. I had to go back to my car because electronic gaming systems are not allowed in the courthouse. Nice that they tell me that at the door and not, say, on the letter they send that's supposed to tell us what not to bring. Going back to the car took thirty minutes, most of it waiting for a bus that's supposed to run every five minutes. *sigh*
Then I got there, showed them my pocket PC, got in, and stood in a long line to get in to the Jury Assembly room. A long line. A good forty-five minutes of line. Then I got my old summons stamped (remember, I was supposed to be here last week, but had to move the date) and sat and waited.
They lined up a bunch of people and moved them out. And I waited.
I guess it was luck of the draw that this happens to be jury appreciation week. This means that they had coffee and donuts for us, where they normally have nothing. Thanks guys!
Around 1100 or so, I got into a pool and sent to a courtroom. Then the selection process began. For the record, I knew the defense wouldn't want me on their jury, but for some reason, I got sat in the box. Then I got dismissed from the box. Then us rejects went back to the assembly room, by now it was 1230 and lunch time. Break for an hour.
It was a nice little break, really. I dinned with a very interesting fellow-reject from the previous pool. We were back in the assembly room by 1330 and waited some more.
And some more.
Then around 1500, I got into another pool, and we went into the courtroom and sat on those hard wooden benches. And sat.
Everyone was up at the bench talking to the judge. We were sitting. On those hard benches, and after a day of riding, that was really not so fun.
After a good thirty minutes, they broke their huddle, and the wonderful, glorious judge said, "Hello prospective jury, I have good news. We don't need you!" He got a cheer from the 24 of us who were really tired from sitting all day doing nothing.
If they had let me have my GameBoy, it wouldn't have been so bad!
Then it was back to the assembly room, where they told us they were done and we could go home.
What a not-pleasant way to spend a day.
And you know what's really sad? My dad went in to work, and he beat me home! Granted, he left early. But that's really not fair!
I'm in the clear for another three years. Maybe next time it won't be such a waste.
Sunday, April 29, 2007
Fox rode Whiskey again, and brought up the rear of the line again, and I rode a pretty white horse named Traveller. The guider's horse was Chief. Chief really didn't like Traveller. He wanted to run away. A lot. And fast.
It was really fun that way too. I'm still a beginner, but I can handle my horse at a (really) fast trot. And with such a small group, the guide let the horses run a bit more than he did last week, with more people in the line.
The recent rain made the whole trail area lush and green. It was wonderful.
And, as promised, I did not fall on the dismount! Told you so!
Saturday, April 28, 2007
I went to the Southern Maryland Celtic Festival with my friends Fox and his wife. We didn't listen to much of the pipers actually. There was a ton of shopping to do (I admit, probably more than I should have done). Then we planted ourselves under one of the stage tents and caught a lot of jam sessions. Who knew you could jam with a guitar or two, a flute, a couple violins, a hammered dulcimer, and an accordion thrown in for good measure? You can! And it was great! And the official mascot, the swarms of tent caterpillars, found themselves under foot quite a few times.
Not under my feet! Gees! I mean the performers who were busy keeping time!
Really, those sticky crawly things were everywhere. Falling from the dulcimer and microphones, crawling over speakers and people. Everywhere! I don't ever remember seeing so many of them. It was like the cicada boom we had three or so years ago.
Let's see. I bought a couple glass pendants, and some shortbread cookies (yum, yum, and yum), and some really nice blades (of the dagger variety, plus a tomahawk), and a few pieces of jewelry. Not too bad really. I'm going to flop into bed now!
Friday, April 27, 2007
This weekend is the beginning of the festival season! YAY! We'll kick it off with a day at the Southern Maryland Celtic Festival. Shopping, music, bagpiping contests, haggis. Excepting the haggis, you just can't lose here!
"Maybe it's bred in the bone, but the sound of pipes is a little bit of heaven to some of us." So said Nancy O'Keefe.
Sunday is more horse riding. This time I'll dismount without falling. Promise!
And then Monday is not back to work for me it's off to...Jury Duty. oh...yay....
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Did you hear about that new reality show, Independent, where the winner gets $1 million to use towards their, or someone's, presidential campaign?
This was part of the focus on news radio yesterday, and they had people call in and give their opinions and things like that. Most people think it's silly, some people think 'go for it.' Whatever your opinion, there was one caller yesterday who missed the point in her American History/Government class.
On her call, she was appalled at the idea of this TV show. She thought it mocked our government. "It means just anybody can run for president!" And she was angry about that.
I'm sorry, honey, that's the part you missed. Just anybody can run for president. What Joe Public lacks is the funding to do so. But the basis of our democracy is that any John or Jane can.
Yes, I think the show is silly. But if I were the proper age (I'm not yet) I would be considering it. Maybe we need someone who is not a professional politician to be in that office and tell it like it is for the little guy. That is something many current politicians seem to forget; what it's like to be Mr. or Ms. Average.
I'm not here to talk politics. Really! Just, you know, in a few more years, I might be asking you to write me in. Especially if we have one of those 'vote for the lesser of two evils' kinds of races. Don't do that, just vote for me!
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
That's all I have time to say today. No one did any of that critical work I do while I was out yesterday. It will take me forever to catch up!
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Monday, April 23, 2007
The other night, Callie decided to eat a piece of scotch tape. She started to cough, quietly and gingerly so as to not wake me up (I was already awake). That wasn't working though, so she let out a mighty hoark! That worked. Poor thing. I sat up and turned the light on to make sure she was ok. She just looked at me all innocent and her stomach made the strangest gurgling sound, and she looked kind of guilty. Silly cat shouldn't have tried to eat the tape!
I have an interview tomorrow. I feel really good about this position, I know I'm going to be great at it. I know it's a good move for me. If you could send some happy job-getting thoughts my way, I would really really appreciate it!
Sunday, April 22, 2007
I rode Scout, a beautiful brown and white painted horse. He was quite the independent thinker though. He tried to eat every few feet and stayed well behind the horse in front of him. Fox rode Whiskey, a very pretty brown horse. They were behind us, and we were both at the end of the line. We couldn't really hear our guide, but there was an experienced rider in front of us who relayed important information back.
I'm still learning. I'm not the kind of person who would pretend I have more experience than I have. I've only spent 3 hours in the saddle (including this time out), I've got a lot more to learn and experience. Owing to my noviceness, they probably shouldn't have given me a horse that would challenge me so much (as they told me he would by his stopping to eat grass and all of that). We did alright together, Scout and I.
At the end of the ride, my foot found a nice soft hole in the sand while I was getting off, my ankle buckled and down I went. Don't panic, I'm not hurt. I was pointed downward anyway. And the sand was soft. And there was no poo around. And Scout looked at me like, "I did all the work and now you can't stand?" I'm sure I'm not the first person learning to ride to have fallen at some point. I'm glad I fell, because now I know what to expect if it should happen while I wasn't getting off anyway. A few parts are starting to report in about what will hurt in the morning: My left foot that was still in the stirrup, my shoulders and elbows and wrists that caught me, my right knee and ankle that gave out in the hole that my foot found itself in. Really, I'm not hurt! Just got out of a nice hot bath, actually. Fox and I are already planning to go back again next week.
It was a great ending to the weekend, roll in the sand and all. I'm off to find some ibuprofen.
Saturday, April 21, 2007
Then we went to the hospital to visit my aunt (not actual aunt; grandmother's best friend, but more family to me than some actual family). She had complained of back pain and had a panic attack, she doesn't want to move to New Mexico, but her daughter wants her too. We think that might have been the panic and the stress. She was glad to see us and wasn't expecting us at all. I don't want her to move, but it's not up to me. I guess we'll just have to see.
The weather has been great! Fox and I are going to try a new stable tomorrow.
Friday, April 20, 2007
Virginia Tech students, alumni, or families of them are everywhere in this area. While I think we've always known that VT gets a lot of its student body from Northern Virginia, we may not have realized just how many there are.
On Monday, a friend of mine, a current student, left work early to head to campus in support, suddenly relieved that he doesn't have classes on Mondays. Another was instructed by her parents to forget her classes and any gatherings in Blacksburg and come straight home. She spent Monday morning in her dorm with a stomach ache. By Wednesday, everyone I know who does or did got to VT had reported to me that they're relatively ok.
And relatively, we're not ok. I'm not, and I did not go to VT, but I know a lot of people who do or did. And I did go to college, I lived on campus. I remember feeling safe there, despite the occasional alert about a mental patient who may have found their way to campus. It was a safe place, secure. I could walk alone at night. I could leave my dorm room door wide open. I never questioned anyone wandering in the library, the dining hall, or any of the classroom buildings. I was safe there.
I think, and my VT alumni friends agree, that I felt safe because I should. The truth is, there was no reason to feel safe. Sure, you had to show your ID at the front desk of the residence halls, but there wasn't a gate, there was nothing to stop someone from running in. Or even checking themselves in. The on campus apartments didn't even have a front desk that checked ID cards. There was no special security in the classroom buildings. They were unlocked pretty much 24/7. In the dining hall, it was easy to sneak people in (not that I ever did), and no one checked at the campus center or the bookstore or the library. There were no gates to the campus itself either. In reality, it was not as secure as it felt.
It should feel safe. It should be safe.
Today, the otherwise unlikely combination of maroon and orange was everyone. People made ribbons and pins, threw together anything with the right colors, or borrowed clothes from students. VT is everywhere. And at 12:00 today, people on the phones got put on hold, keyboards stopped clicking, questions waited to be asked. For just a moment, there was no sound to hear while we spent some mental time with our friends and neighbors a few miles SouthWest.
Today, we were all Hokies.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Just as funny as the WAAHAHA license plate, today my dad and I drove by a fish. You know, those little metallic fish, some have feet and say DARWIN and some say JEEBUS and that kind of thing? This fish had "N' CHIPS"!! My dad and I just about passed out from laughing at it! A Fish N' Chips of my very own has already been ordered. I tend to not stick things to my car, but I had a few stickers from my CafePress Shop on it before Hedwig got a new bumper. This one I think I can handle.
Well, that's all I can fudge through this post! Possible riding this weekend, and the weather is supposed to be nice. Goody!
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
It was as my dad and I were driving home today. At the same time (we tend to notice things at the same time in the car) we both started to giggle, and then to laugh. We didn't say what we were laughing at (or with?) but we were doing it, and we both knew that the other had seen it too.
It was a good laugh. The free, 'that's funnier than it should be' kind of laugh. The kind you really need after a stressful day.
Did he know that his plate would make people laugh? Probably.
Well done, sir, and thank you!
Monday, April 16, 2007
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Actually, I have nothing to report here either. I spent the day playing Final Fantasy VI for the GameBoy Advance on my DS. All day.
I was reminded, while sitting there battling the evil forces of Kefka and the Geshtalian Empire, how much my brother and I loved this game (released as FFIII on the SNES). The story was good, the game play was new and varied (compared to previous FF games that we also loved to play) and it was like two games in one. (I'm almost to the end of the first half. They changed the words to the opera!!) Then they released it on the Playstation in Final Fantasy Anthology, with nifty new CGI movies (drool-worthy) and Final Fantasy V (which I also have for the GBA, and FFIV and 1 & 2, and FFIII for the DS. I love my Final Fantasy, can you tell?).
Ok, I'm sure all you non-gaming types and you non-rpg-gaming types out there are wondering how long I can blab on about a video game. A LOT! But I'll stop there for today. What else can you expect me to talk about today? The rain? The wind? That's all that's happening.
And also keep in mind that I may not be the writer I am today without all this wonderful gaming inspiration!
Saturday, April 14, 2007
This was good shopping too, it was clothes, and some spiffy new vitamins at the recommendation of someone who actually knows what she's talking about, and lunch at the PA Dutch Market. We got home just as it started to rain. I took a nap and had a little bit of the evening to myself. Which is one of the best ways to enjoy Whole Foods sushi, alone, in front of The Princess Bride, where I could sit and recite to my heart's content.
Tomorrow proves to be a very ugly weather day, so nothing is planned. That's ok. If the weather is forcing me to take some ease, so be it!
Friday, April 13, 2007
Have you seen this woman?
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
I know! I'll give you a link-fest instead!
Warmer weather means outdoor faire and festival season. Now if the warmer weather would just get here.
So, it starts with the Southern Maryland Celtic Festival on April 28th. Then we have the Maryland Faerie Festival on May 19th and 20th. The Virginia Renaissance Faire starts May 19th and runs weekends through June 17th. During that run, we have the Potomac Celtic Festival on June 9th. After that is Celtic Fling and Highland Games on the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire grounds June 22nd through the 24th. Then there's a little bit of a break before the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire starts on August 11th and runs through October 28, and then the good ole home-based Maryland Renaissance Festival from August 25th through October 21st. Whew!
Add to that: weekend kayaking and horseback riding (not at the same time!), maybe a hop into town now and then, Wednesday night sailing, and somewhere in there my trip to Idaho, and I'm looking at one busy Summer!
The most wonderful time of the year, says I!
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
I used to say that the best way to convince me of your opinion is not to tell me that mine is wrong. Tell me instead why yours is right. Give me logic, science, whatever is at your disposal (other than 'because I said so') and I'll listen. Then give me a chance to tell you, by science or logic or whatever, why I have the opinion I have, and now we can discuss it like civilized human beings. This website was not like that at all. It was all 'this is wrong, that is wrong, and that over there is wrong, because it's not what I accept." Ladies and Gentlemen, you are not making a compelling argument.
There is nothing wrong with a healthy dose of skepticism. Even if it's just something like "I've never seen it proven, I've been unable to test for myself, I can't find it plausible." That's fine. That doesn't mean it's not plausible, but it's ok to be a little skeptic now and then. When everything that doesn't fit into your world view is not plausible, then we have a problem. We have a prepossession that's more like an outright bias. It's not about trying to find the answers. It's about everything else being wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong.
I'm not going to support this website by posting a link. But what I will do is urge everyone, skeptics and critics and all out prejudice people alike, you can keep your reservations, but please test, experiment, and experience for yourself before you make such final and public judgements. Also remember that what works for me may not work for you, but that doesn't mean what works for me is any less valid. Yes, this works both ways. If you think you know the site I'm talking about and you love it. Good for you. It didn't work for me.
And an extra note for you die hard skeptics out there; a truth that I have come to realize. Some things cannot be proven by a human's means. That doesn't mean they aren't valid, just can't be measured. Sometimes, you really can benefit from a little bit of faith.
Monday, April 09, 2007
I want to play my Nintendo DS, not read my book, or take a shower, or get ready for bed. (Before I give you too much pause, I do want to take a shower. I just don't want to do it right now, and I've only got an hour and ten minutes before I need to be in bed.) This is what I don't like about working overtime. There's time in the evening to do a quick e-mail check, a quick blog write, eat dinner, then hop in to bed.
But, then there's extra money. And that will be nice.
That's all the time we have today!
Sunday, April 08, 2007
Saturday, April 07, 2007
My dad threatened to attach my cheesecake last night, he can't wait for our Easter dinner. Thankfully, I fought him off! It takes three hours, there's not enough time to make another!
I spent the day playing Final Fantasy VI on the GameBoy. That was one of the greatest FF games, but I had to tear myself away because I'm tired and need sleep.
I think that's it. It was a nice, lazy, yummy-baking day!
Friday, April 06, 2007
We were going to pay a visit to the Sakura tomorrow, but not in the snow! The news report said the blossoms were looking a little ragged anyway. What a shame. Next weeks National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade will be without the guests of honor. This happens a lot, actually, but it's still disappointing. The National Cherry Blossom Festival is very popular, but they can't really schedule a major tourist attraction around when the trees actually bloom. I'm not sure why that is, but there's the reason. I'm sad that I will see no National Sakura this year. Check out some cool festival details here if you like! We're going to the parade anyway.
So, tomorrow instead of viewing Sakura in the Snow, I get to stay home and bake a cheesecake! It's a good thing for the snow, I guess, because my cheesecake takes three hours in the oven and I wasn't sure when I'd be able to make it otherwise.
It hasn't started snowing yet. It is a whole 39°F out there though. Yike! Come back, April!
Thursday, April 05, 2007
Come back, April! We need you! We miss you! We love you! Come back and stay a while!!
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
A bhaint ullai de gheaga no a bhuachailleacht bo
Ma shinim seal uaire faoi chrann a deanamh so
O caide sin do'n te sin nach mbaineann sin do
Ma theimse chuig airneal is rince is sport
Chuig aonach is rasai's gach cruinniu den tsort
Ma chim daoine sugach is ma bhim sugach leo
O caide sin do'n te sin nach mbaineann sin do
Ma chim daoine sugach is ma bhim sugach leo
O caide sin do'n te sin nach mbaineann sin do
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
There are a handful of online forums that I'm registered and active on. You can't be a part of everything though, right? One particular forum, the one I am most active on out of all that I visit, recently had some server switching trouble that resulted in some really annoying downtime. During that time, as I understand it, three other members made great use of the chat room, with the occasional participation of one of the administrators. When the forums got back up and running, again as I understand it, these three fine ladies decided that they missed being in the chat room and asked the administrators to set up a section of the forums just for them to get down with their chatting selves. I also understand that they occasionally still met in the chat room or with a group instant messenger or something like that.
I was noticing people's post count going up (I keep an eye on it because you reach a new level with a certain number of posts and it's fun to see what the next level is, and I had the #2 highest post count, second to aforementioned administrator, so it was really fun to be the first to see what the next level is. Doesn't mean anything, just fun.) but no one was posting anything. So the administrator told me that they had a secret forum all their own and do a lot of posting there. That answers that question.
For reasons beyond me, about 2.5-3 weeks after the creation of this exclusive area (I'm not entirely sure of the exact time), I was invited to join them. I'm really not sure why. I don't have time to be in a chat room or on IM, I don't have kids or significant others to talk about (which I was told seemed to be much of the conversations), and I'd never spoken to any of them outside the regular forums excepting the two board administrators. Why they thought of me at all is still baffling.
I don't really like exclusivity, I never got along with the cliques in school, and it's impossible to discover an area of a forums that only a few people have access to and not think of it as a clique (unless it's for administrative purposes like a moderators section or something, or planning a trip and making a section for those involved. That's different. A section that exists solely for the purpose of a few people chatting is a clique.). Maybe they didn't realize that's the impression their little group gave, but it is. They call it a 'sisterhood.' That's great that they've built up that kind of fellowship. I no longer speak with the last person I called 'sister.' I actually wasn't going to join from the beginning, but I ended up getting kind of backed into a corner about it. Someone had posted a 'we're glad to have you here' message for me before I actually said yes or no, and it would have been exceptionally rude of me to say no after that (since everyone had the impression of me saying yes).
So, I tried to contribute. I quickly learned that they were still chatting in the chat room or on the IM and a good 2/3 of what was posted to the forum was a continuation of a conversation not the beginning of one. Having no time to be in chat or on IM, it was very clear that everyone else had some prior knowledge to things and I was just there. It's like being invited into the clubhouse to watch the secret handshake but no one was going to bother showing me how to do it. Maybe it's easy to forget that not everyone there was there since the beginning. I got tired of reading things that everyone else knew about, and then it once again made me wonder why they wanted me there at all.
I sent the person who invited me a message thanking her for doing it, but I felt like I wasn't really a part of their group (if it all started from talking in the chat room, then I really wasn't a part of their group), and that I would remove myself from it. Now they can have their private space back and talk about last night's chat or whatever and don't have to worry that there may be someone who doesn't know what's going on. I don't think they ever thought of that anyway. So, for you ladies who probably don't read my blog anyway, I had no idea what was going on 9 times out of 10, and after I joined, things just carried on like they previously had. That's not a fun way to spend ones time so I removed myself from the situation before I started to get angry about yet another post that required being a part of a prior conversation to understand.
I regret that they all seem to be mad at me now. I am not angry with any of them, and I am not bitter about it. It just wasn't any fun not being part of the group, so why be there in the first place? I'm sorry they're upset, as I'm sure they didn't realize the 'secret club' impression they give off. But now they can keep it to it's origins and I won't have reason to be annoyed at not being a part of it. I never should have joined in the first place, and that's my fault for not going with my gut.
Who ever thought that someone could write so much about something so insignificant? I guess I never really thought people would be upset about it either, and I'm sorry to have been the cause of that.
Monday, April 02, 2007
The weather was perfect for baseball! It would have been more perfect if the home team actually won. Unfortunately, no one seems to think that the Washington Nationals are going to do well this year. And why not? The *#&^#&$ owners traded away most of the good players when they took over. For the first time, the first game was actually a home game, and they still couldn't win (9 to 3 to the Florida Marlins).
And next year, they'll have a brand-spankin new stadium, DC United will have one too, and the beloved and historical RFK will sit quietly once more. I actually heard that city officials wanted to take it down. That's crazy! And would be a sad, sad day. Even worse than when they blew up the CapsCenter (which was pretty cool, but also sad).
How long can I ramble on about sports stadiums? Don't worry, that's it. I'm tapped. And let that pizza cool before you bite it! Oh, so yucky! And painful too!
Sunday, April 01, 2007
My mother and I just finished watching The Secret. It's not a film like The Fountain, which was metaphysical and thought-provoking. It's not a film like Jurassic Park, where you sit and watch a story being told before you. This film, I think, was intended to be a key to a door that will open up your life as you truly want it to be.
The Secret is the Law of Attraction. Physicists know it, Metaphysicists know it, Hermetists know it, witches know it. This is the basic law that like attracts like: what you think will manifest. Some call it magic, some call it luck, the truth is it is both of those and neither. It is something that is open to everyone.
Without giving you a little lesson on the principals of life that Doreen Virtue, PhD calls "Divine Magic," I'm just going to say one thing. If you haven't seen the film or read the Emerald Tablet (or The Kybalion that is the basis of Hermetics, the teachings of Hermes Trismegistus as written on the Emerald Tablet) go find it. Watch it, maybe pick up the book. Watch and believe. You can command your life.
Signs were everywhere that I needed to see this film. It contained principals and concepts that I knew and believed but did not put into every day practice. I got the message.