Thursday, May 31, 2007

I Really Have Nothing to Write About Today

So you get the lyrics to a pretty song!

I heard this tune at First Night Annapolis 2005/06. It was performed by a group called Wolf Creek Session. They said they were going to perform it because 'pretty songs sells CDs.' They were right. Words and music by johnsmith and Buddy Mondlock © 2002. Here, you can find some great information about the Appalachian Trail (parts of it I have walked, but not the whole thing yet by far. It's on my list), for you non-Easterners who may not know about it.

Appalachian Rain

Heading out on this journey
I packed up my regrets.
Now I'm sitting in this shelter,
Seems I don't have many left.
But I'm writing you this letter
On this rainy April day.
You said your heart needed some distance
So I walked away.

I would gladly walk from Georgia
All the way Maine.
I would cross the creeks and the mountain peaks
Whispering your name.
If you ask me I would do this
I would go and not complain
But this walk's for me to find my peace
In the Appalachian rain.

Walking out on the Blue Ridge,
I pulled a pebble from my shoe
And threw it down into the valley
And I sat and thought of you.
I wish it all could be that easy
To just let go of all the pain,
But it's not so I'll keep walking
In the Appalachian rain.

I would gladly walk from Georgia
All the way Maine.
I would cross the creeks and the mountain peaks
Whispering your name.
If you ask me I would do this
I would go and not complain
But this walk's for me to find my peace
In the Appalachian rain.

You can meet me at Katahdin
On that clear September day.
If you're not there where the trail ends
I'll still be okay.

I would gladly walk from Georgia
All the way Maine.
I would cross the creeks and the mountain peaks
Whispering your name.
If you ask me I would do this
I would go and not complain
But this walk's for me to find my peace
In the Appalachian rain.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

It Came From a Bottle

Know this now, and I'm not afraid to admit to it, if you ever see a tan on me, it came from a bottle.

Really! My skin is so fair (thanks, dad) that I completely skip the tanning part and go right to burning. I have a natural SPF in the negative. I wear long sleeves even in the humid summer heat. A sunscreen of SPF 30 gives me about 15 minutes in the sun before I start to burn. I have to reapply every hour or so when I'm out lest I turn redder than the Little Old Lady from Pasadena 's Dodge.

Maybe that's not entirely true; there was one summer not too long ago where I actually had a natural tan, and it wasn't just the burn fading. That's only happened once.

Now, I rely on self-tanners and slightly darker make-up for that summer bronze glow. And apparently my new bottle (Jergen's Natural Glow, if you want to know, actually a fast emptying tube) works really well. Since I started using it, I've had several people comment on my tan and how my skin looks good and healthy. Yeah, that's because the sun didn't do it!

Thanks, everyone, for saying my skin looks great!

Can you tell that I'm really reaching for something to talk about today? Oh! I've got more!

Today, it was hotter than Hell. Truly! I looked it up! Chantilly was one degree hotter than Hell, though Hell had more humidity today. You think I'm joking? To confirm all suspicions, Hell is a town in Michigan. It shares its zip code with Pinckney. For the record, Hell freezes over every year.

Their awesome 'unofficial' website is over here. I totally want to visit Hell! Don't worry, I'll bring my SPF 70 sunblock!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

Visually, this film was really great. Action scenes were..um..full of action. Most of the special effects were really amazing.

The film was quite long, and moved along quickly. A bit too quickly in parts, making it a little hard to follow.

It ended well (don't forget to stay to the end of the credits), and I really hope they don't make any more. They did leave an opening for a continuation, but I think they found a fine place to end the story. I think they should just let it end, before they make another one and have us all wishing they didn't spoil our good memories.

The first one will always be the best, but this continued the story well enough.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Memories on the Water

Fox and mom and I went to the landing a bit further north at the Queen Anne 4-H Center today. This part of the river is usually very swift with quite a lot of obstacles. We figure they will be clearing some of it for the week-long Patuxent River Sojourn in June, so we wanted to see what they might have done. We were in the water at 0940, which wasn't so bad.

The first major obstacle was a very very swift current and fairly shallow water. We couldn't paddle through it, so we had to get out and walk. I stepped out into a place that was deeper than I had thought, and the river was taking my kayak! Well, it didn't really take my kayak, I still had one leg in, but that ankle got scraped against my peddle drive. Ouch! Don't worry, this one didn't bleed, but the cold water stung like crazy.

I feel like we got further along the river than we ever had, but I'm not so sure. There was one log that we had to crawl over before, and one that we never made it past. The first log wasn't there. The second may not have been there either, but there was another log in our way and we still couldn't make it to the bridge at Central Avenue. That's my goal some day, you see.

The current is so swift that what took us an hour and ten minutes to get up, it was less than 40 minutes going back. I love this river!

We've got a few minutes to clean up, then we're out again, off to see Pirates of the Caribbean 3. My life never stops!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

VARF

That sounds like a Pinky-worthy exclamation (you know, of Pinky and The Brain?).

Fox and his wife and I spent the day at the Virginia Renaissance Faire. We spent most of the time shopping, and saw one little show that my dad was in. We missed the last show, though, so we'll have to go back before it's over.

It was hot, we tried really hard to stay hydrated, and in the shade, and covered in sunscreen.

The alpacas were so cute! I have a few pictures, but I'll have to get them up later. Right now, it's totally late, and I'm exhausted! Early start tomorrow!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

And the Heat Begins

We decided to go to the north landing at Jug Bay today; take the Western Branch up a bit then stop at Mount Calvert Mansion and archaeological site. We tried to get in the water early, but we didn't make it before 1050.

We found a couple little side creeks to duck into to avoid the river tours. Did you know that goslings can hold their breath underwater for a very long time? Three little baby geeses dove when they saw us coming. Fox and I were getting worried. It was a long time before they came back up. But, they did!

The mansion was actually open today. There was a little exhibit about the history of the area with some of the artifacts they've been finding at the dig site. The quartz arrow head was pretty neat.

When we were ready to head back, there was a canoe class who decided to stop there as well. In fact, they decided to land right in our way and take up the whole beach (which wasn't much). The teacher of the group didn't tell the people to leave us room to get out until they were already pulling up, and after my mother had said "you're blocking us in." I thought one pair was going to put their canoe on top of my kayak! Fox and I had to carry it out of 'their' way. You know, folks, a little courtesy in the water wouldn't kill you.
We got back to the cars around 1400 or so. It was so hot by then! The humidity suddenly climbed. The paddle back was actually pretty difficult. We were pouring water over us as we were loading. It was so hot.

Cheers to the air-conditioned house!

Friday, May 25, 2007

I Feel Like I Have Nothing to Write Today

I actually got to partake of OBC's early closing day today. We were home before my mother! I will regrettably admit that I did a whole lot of nothing since I got home from work.

Despite the shorter day, I was very productive at work today. Maybe that makes up for the doing nothing afterwards.

I've had very little to eat today. I know; not good! I had a hard boiled egg and some coffee for breakfast with a couple small apple filled pastries around 0900. Then half a grapefruit, a soy cheese sandwich, and some peanuts for lunch around 1500. And finished it all off with a salad and four bites of chicken just now at 2000. You know? I think I can afford some ice cream!

Let's see...weekend! Tomorrow is kayaking, Sunday is VARF, Monday is more kayaking. And my weekend is so full already, I don't think we'll have time for Pirates. Maybe next weekend.

Let me get back to doing nothing!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

HOLY CRAP!!!

One of my coworkers has a custom ring-tone on his cell phone that his brother made for him. It's the victory music from Final Fantasy! Oh!! I need a better phone so he can beam it to me!

Nightmares

There is a person at OBC who has the job of 'facilities manager.' I'm not going to come up with a name for her (I don't know her actual name anyway) and I'm not going to disguise her gender because, well, why? Anyway, the group of folks that I often eat lunch with and I think that she has a chair fetish.

There is a nice eating area upstairs on the top of three floors in the building. It's in the middle of the floor with high frosted glass 'windows' that would look out into cubeland, executive cubeland, I might add. There are lots of tables and a big flat panel TV. We never eat up there. We must be quiet lest we disturb the execs, it's enclosed and therefore not a very pleasant atmosphere, and I really don't want to eat and try to have conversations with my group while people are watching TV (something that I don't do much of anyway; watching TV).

There is a nice eating area here on the second floor right in front of the elevators. It's open to the lobby below and has huge windows that look out towards the nearby park, and on clear days, you can see the Blue Ridge Mountains in the distance (how I love those mountains). There are tables and chairs and big soft comfy chairs and a leather couch here. This is where we like to eat. We have to mind what we talk about out here, but we can get rather loud without disturbing anyone. We all enjoy being able to see the world outside. It's just a nicer area.

Well, when the new facilities manager came to work here, the first thing she did was remove all the chairs from that open second floor area. She put a little note on one of the tables that said we cannot take chairs from conference rooms or cubicles and 'they' are re-evaluating the use of that space. The tables are still there, so we move the big soft comfy chairs up to the tables when we eat.

A few days later, she went through all the unoccupied cubes and took those chairs. WHAT THE HELL!!! Where are new employees supposed to sit, then? If there was a chair at the end of the rows of cubes (that we sometimes use when, say, the managers want to sit behind us while we show them something on the computer), she took those too. We have no idea where the chairs went, but this woman likes to take chairs. You'd better hope your cube looks occupied, or you may find yourself without a place to sit!

She also likes bright florescent unnatural light. The lights in here are too bright for some people with sensitive eyes. A few of us had spoken with the previous facilities manager and the maintenance director about those irritating lights and getting them to NOT put lights in them. The light directly above me, for example, is one of them. They marked those lights with little dots so when people come to change the lights, they know they should put none in the ones that are marked. We came back from a weekend to find every single bracket with a light in it. GAH! One of my wonderful coworkers started climbing on desks and pulling lights out of the fixtures at our requests. THANK YOU, GLENN!

Just to give you a picture of the light and chair Nazi.

Wow, this is shaping up to be quite a background intro! And it will probably be longer than the actual story I'm trying to set up!

I've mentioned that I used to work at a retail pharmacy. I was the AssMan (that's Assistant Manager). I hated so much about that job, but particularly when the company cared more about the products that were stolen then their employee (me) who was elbowed in the ribs by the shoplifter. That was actually what made me quit that job. I have a problem when the people are less important than the products, and they had their priorities way out of whack. Now that I've been out of retail for nearly four years, I think I would have to be really desperate or extremely invested to go back.

So, last night, I was sleeping deeply and getting much needed rest when I suddenly found myself in a nightmare. This was the worst kind of nightmare imaginable; I wasn't being chased, I wasn't getting killed, I was WORKING AT THE PHARMACY!! AND IT WAS TRUCK-DAY!! AND I HAD WILLINGLY AGREED TO DO IT! In this horrible dream, I was working part-time, stocking the shelves with the new shipment of merchandise. I stayed well away from the front of the store because I didn't want to be put on the register. And to make it on the boarder of a night-terror, the aforementioned light and chair Nazi was my manager! AHHHHHHHHH!!!!

It's times like this when you just want to hammer out your mind's eye once you wake up.

Wow. Reading over that, now I'm thinking "big overture, little show!" I suppose I could go into more detail about my dream; how I could see the price stickers and wanted to use my employee discount to buy a parting gift for the actual coworker who's last day is tomorrow. But I won't. Because I'd like to forget that that awful dream ever happened! Maybe I shouldn't have immortalized it in my blog, huh?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Paradox

I'm sitting here at the dentist's office. My teeth are clean and tingly and my dad is in there right now getting his teeth all clean and tingly.

We arrived about 8 minutes before my appointment. This is an accomplishment, as I tend to be late for everything when someone is going with me (when left to my own devices, I'm early and I like it that way). I got called back for my 1130 appointment pretty much on time.

I am now sitting in the waiting room, listening to a gal on her cell phone. She also had an 1130 appointment but arrived early (by about an hour or so). It is now 1215, and counting, and the poor thing is still waiting.

This is like any other medical-type office. You're required to make an appointment and encouraged to arrive early or on time, and charged a fee if you don't show up or have to cancel at the last minute or if you are late. But, the office sure doesn't pay you if you have to wait because of them. This is the paradox of our appointment filled world.

Now 1220 and the lady just got called back. Fifty minutes after her appointment, two hours or so after arriving. All I can say is that I'm glad my hygienist was on time!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Searching for....

I've been trying to think of what to blog today, and I'm just at a loss. I came up with several topics during the drive home, but I can't remember one of them.

My dad and I were able to identify the hawks I've been seeing everywhere and pointing out to him. They're Cooper's Hawks. They're too big to be Sharp-shinned Hawks and too brown to be Northern Goshawks and too thin to be Red-tailed Hawks. I'm starting to really adore this bird. I see at least one every day, to or from work, and sometimes even on weekends when I don't drive through Walney.

I didn't mention that I bought a new porcelain doll on last week's trip to PA, did I? She wasn't at all expensive ($20ish) but far less than my most expensive porcelain (some $70ish, but she's also imported from Ireland and dressed in genuine Irish linen). I don't have a lot of porcelain dolls in my rather large doll collection, but I love the few I have.

I guess I've never really talked about my dolls except to mention the OOAKs on my website. I have more than 100 dolls of various kinds in my collection (Barbie and friends, porcelain, action figures and other toy dolls, some fresh in their boxes, some not).

The most expensive doll in my collection, and I have never even come close to spending this much on a doll before or since, is the $2000 Mary Kay Star Consultant Exclusive. (Google for an image, I don't have pictures.) Technically, I got her legit (meaning I didn't get mine from eBay), she was introduced as one of the rewards in the first quarter of my very very short career as a Mary Kay Consultant. Yes, it took $2000 worth of product to get her, and I'll admit to my incredible failure as a cosmetic seller and independent business owner in that I had to swallow every penny of that cost. I made absolutely no profit, not even a return, on that rather short-lived (year long) business. But, I have a limited edition doll that was made for something I was involved in. That makes me feel kind of special.

She's not my most prized doll either. Actually, I'm not really sure what is, or might be considered such. Maybe the Secret Spells threesome. Or my near complete Princesses of the World collection. Or the beautiful Maiko doll. Gee, I don't know! I guess that's why I collect them! Oh, I really love the Dark Crystal dolls too (they're not Barbies!).

I can actually talk quite a bit about my doll collection, but maybe some day I'll get some pictures to you. And, as you may have guessed, I am a member of the Barbie Fan Club. Though I was late on renewing this year (because the fools didn't send me a notice!! GAH!).

I have an e-mail address (one of 5 or 6) that does nothing but collect spam. My dad even pays for that worse-than-hotmail service! Time to stop rambling about my dolls and clean that out! Ciao!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Would You Say I'm Crazy

If I told you I wanted to learn ventriloquy? For no other reason than that I think it's cool?

If you don't think it's cool, you're nuts! Have you ever seen a skilled ventriloquist perform? (If not, you're in luck, get ye a DVD.) There are no batteries and no snazzy special effects (what the heck is snazzy, anyway?). Just a puppet and a person who knows how to control their voice without their lips. Amazing!

And now back to our regularly scheduled blog.

While I trust the waters of the Patuxent River are clean enough to be on my skin and on my boat, I wouldn't eat fish from there, nor drink the water, nor do I really wish to swim in it. With that said, I will offer this little bit of advice. If you should cut yourself, even a little bit, and perhaps it bleeds and perhaps it doesn't, clean it out and cover it up right then and there. If you don't, you may forget, and if you forget, you may wake up the next morning with a swollen immobile joint and a tiny bit of infection.

Yes, I forgot about the teeny tiny little bit of a pinprick cut I got on my finger yesterday from my zipper pull. I had just put my glove on and figured it would be ok like it normally is, and if it looked too bad, I'd clean it up when I got home. I glanced at it, in that one second, it looked fine! Maybe now, I'll be more mindful of the dirty water I spend my weekends in.

Work has been pretty taxing today. One of my coworkers is out and I have to do his work, one of my coworkers is leaving at the end of the week and I have to learn her work. At least they had people doing mine in my absence (and pretty well, I might add, there were 37 jobs waiting for me today, I left it at 114). And I'm once again confident that the work will get done when I'm not here on Wednesday for a dental appointment.

With that said, I need to get back to work!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

No Rest

Why would I want to rest? It was a beautiful day and the sun was shining and it wasn't too hot, so of course, we're going to kayak!

Fox came over pretty early. They just got new cars and he wanted to learn about the Thule rack system that we use to carry our kayaks. He helped us load and get ready and off we went. First, we stopped by the office to renew our park use pass, then it was in the water.

Putting in was a little annoying, actually. There was a couple with a young child who was busy prepping a canoe. There was a family with a power boat who didn't want to wait for the canoers (yes, I know that's not a word!) to move, and there were a ton of people fishing (everyone ignores the 'no fishing on weekends and holidays' sign). We unloaded pretty far back from the water and brought the kayaks forward. The canoers looked like they were ready to knock me to the side to get in the water. Because of their impatience, Fox and I (mom was already out) launched in a very hasty way, and had to finish putting things on and zipping things up on the water. I cut my finger on my PFD zipper pull. It bled. We were off around 1140.

We went down Mattaponi Creek with intention to stop at the first landing and walk to the observation tower for lunch. To our dismay, there was a fleet of some 15-20 canoes at our landing. We floated around for a good...maybe 20 minutes while they launched and headed back up the river. It was a class with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

We didn't really feel like walking the mile there and back to the tower, so ate lunch right at the landing. As we were there, the impatient canoeing family showed up to land and eat. We offered to help bring them in, but they didn't accept it after they said they needed it.

After lunch, we asked them to take our picture and we got back in the water and headed back to the landing. We wanted to go easy, this being our first day out in the season. Back at the dock, we were met with the canoe class. They had parked their hauling trucks right in the loading area and were getting a lesson about the health of the river at the dock. We had to bring our cars down to the water's edge to load our boats (the area that we try to keep clear for the power boaters). Then, while we were loading, the canoeing family returned. And the family with the power boat. It was a very busy landing! Well, we were all pissed off at the canoe class for not moving their vehicles out of the way for the other people who use the area. The canoeing family enlisted some help (oh, now you want it) to load at the top of the hill, and the friggin power-boater pulled his van and trailer right in the middle of everything, so we weren't going anywhere until he got out of the way. When we were done loading, we asked him to move, which he kindly complied (in a manner that suggested that he didn't realize he had blocked us in. HELLO?? Where am I going to go? In the water?????). We were glad to get out of that!

Then it was dinner, a touch of shopping, back home, wash the boats, now we're here! I need a weekend from my weekend!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Running Low

Today, mom and I got up early. Dad left for opening weekend of the Virginia Renaissance Faire (the volunteer cast of which he is a member). So, mom and I got up and walked two miles to try to make up for the lack of exercise we did the past two days.

Then we did a little bit of the gardening. The lavender at the corners of the house needed to move to make room for the oak leaf hydrangeas, and I got up another big root that was once part of my maple. That was just the front yard! Then we headed to the back; mom mowed the lawn (we have a little non-electronic push mower) and I sprayed down the deck with weed killer and chucked the bits of root I had dug up into the backyard woods. Whew! Then it was off to my grandmother's for lunch and to take my aunt to the airport. That took quite a bit of our day because airports aren't exactly close and, of course, she flies from the one of three that is furthest away. It was a short visit before we sent her back to her husband in Park City. I did learn that she will next visit sometime in October.

After that it was home and nap time. We were both so beat! We slept a little longer than we had intended, but still got to a decent showing of Spider-man. People still reacted to the same part; one scene that hushed all the movie theater chatter.

You know, it's instances like this that made me want to go into acting. I think it's too easy to be on stage. You've got the audience right there, reacting to you, and you can adjust your performance if they don't seem to be reacting the way you intend. The camera doesn't give that kind of instant feedback. You must do your thing and hope you got it right the first time, because the camera won't tell you if you need to adjust your performance. That's more of a challenge to me. I wanted to be the person on that screen who, when doing something, made the audience gasp or cry or react to me even though I wasn't really there in their presence. I think being able to do that is what a screen actor should strive for. You're not just there to say your line and walk your part. You're there to connect, and you'll never know if you actually did it. It's not impossible.

So, eh-hem. Back to my day! After the movie, which my mother thought was very well-done, we went to Panera for dinner and came home with yummy lattes. I called Fox to confirm tomorrow's plans and heard the most dreadful news.

A year ago tomorrow, I wrote a brief blog entry congratulating some friends on their much-anticipated nuptials. These two people are long friends of my father, and friends of mine from my work at the Renaissance Festival. I learned tonight that Deanna's mother passed on a few days ago. Apparently, Fox told dad, and confirmed with dad that he would let me know, but no one let me know.

I'm disappointed in my father for not sharing this important news about a woman who is my friend. And, Dee, I'm so terribly sorry. Times like this makes the day to day seem rather unimportant.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Third Time not a Charm

I'm sorry to report that Shrek the Third was not nearly as good as Shrek one and two.

It seemed to be lacking in comedy, and it seemed to be lacking in adventure, and it was just a little bit rushed. Truth is, my mother and I agree that we can't really put our fingers on why we didn't like it as well as 1 or 2, but we did not.

We couldn't garden today because it's raining. So we decided to do some shopping and take in our movie. What fun!

We just finished watching the two Spider-Man's on DVD, because I'll be taking mom to see it tomorrow after we drop off my aunt at the airport. Busy, busy, busy!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

A Heathen Among the Choir

I got talked into joining my mother and a group from her church for a fund raising event in Strasburg Pennsylvania. This little excursion was basically a trip to the much-acclaimed Sight & Sound production of In The Beginning. (Don't yell at me for linking, it's only fair!)

The theater was a huge building (yeah, the front page of that clicky up there) that resembled a Middle Eastern style mosque. It really was lovely. The set for the show was really breathtaking, content not so much. Maybe that was just me. Even my mother had a hard time swallowing the "accept Christ as your savior" bit at the end. Though, I will commend them for this: the production was a dramatization of the first few stories in the Bible; what I'm commending the production for is the inclusion of dinosaurs (because, you know, dinosaurs and man lived on the earth at the same time in the same geographic area as lions and moose and deer and giraffe and peacocks and goats and ducks and fig trees).

No, really! See, the Bible doesn't mention dinosaurs (because the person who wrote that book didn't know about them) so, kudos to Sight & Sound for at least admitting that dinosaurs were actual creatures on the planet too.

In short, I felt very out of place, and while I was impressed with the technical aspects of the show, I don't need to go back there for another.

After the show, and a brief medical issue with one of the ladies on the trip, it was over to the incredibly well-known Good 'N Plenty Restaurant. I've been there before, actually, many many years ago when my parents took my brother and I to Hershey Park and some of the many attractions in Pennsylvania Dutch country. This place is known for the delectable fried chicken. I have one word for that (is it a word?): YUM!

Then home again, home again!

On the bus ride up, we saw (in the very nice charter bus) Dream Girls. I had been wanting to see that, and Jennifer Hudson was very good and worthy of her supporting actress Academy Award, but I won't be buying it or anything. Much of the singing style in the film just isn't my cup of tea, but I'm happy I saw it anyway.

On the ride back, we saw The Pursuit of Happyness, another film I had been wanting to see. This one was, as I had predicted, very stressful. Stressful as in the main character was met with bad luck after bad luck and it was just stressful to watch. It turned out alright in the end, the person the story was based on even had a little walk on at the end (that was neat!). I probably would have been crying if I wasn't on a bus full of people from my mother's church (though we were all prepared for it). I do recommend, if you haven't, that you see this film. If nothing else, it's a beautiful story of how a person can be on the bottom, but try and try and try and eventually come out on top.

Whew! What a day! I'm so tired! Yard work tomorrow and maybe a nice showing of Shrek 3! (I know this isn't technically a weekend day, but it counts because it felt like a part of the weekend!)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

I Won't Stay for Long

I've been working my fingers off today!

You may remember how I've said my work at OBC comes in through e-mail, and how I've said that I average about 60 jobs a day but strive for 80. I may also have mentioned that the most I've ever done in a day was 120 (some two years ago) and the closest I've ever come to that record again was 100, very rarely. Today, in anticipation of my absence from work for the next two days and the weekend and because I've been consistently two weeks behind in jobs because of all the other things they have me doing and because my last day off had no one doing those jobs at all, I far surpassed that one-time record. I did 155 jobs today!

I spent hours focusing, moving nothing but my fingers as I worked. My neck is killing me now! But I got the steady 200+ jobs (exactly 237 this morning) down to a more manageable 114. I feel accomplished. Sore, yes, but that I did very good out-of-office preparation.

Go me!

And now, with that said, I can't look at the computer any more today! Good thing it's almost time to head home.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

I Just Found the Best Webstore

This store has DVDs of complete seasons of cartoons and TV shows that I used to watch and would love to own. Cartoons like the Transformers, Bionic Six, Voltron, and Thundercats, TV shoes like the Greatest American Hero and Red Dwarf. I'm going to have to make a list and pace myself, I can go broke on this site!

I know you're waiting for me to tell you what it is! Here! I found it by chance as I was searching for information on the new Transformers movie. (I'm totally going to be there, probably that midnight showing. Soon, very soon.)

I'm not getting a lot of work done today, can you tell? Let me stop writing here and get some things done! Only one more day after this, and then a wondrous four day weekend, with Shrek 3 thrown in there somewhere!

Monday, May 14, 2007

I Changed My Mind

I almost started typing out a blog that was nothing but negative and depressing. But I stopped, because I'm not really feeling that today. Granted, I'm exhausted from the weekend spent running all over the place and would sure like the chance to just sleep for an hour or two, but I'm not feeling that down today. So I decided what I had started to write had no place here.

Today, the sun is shining. Oh!! I've got it!

Oh, the Summer time is coming.
And the trees are sweetly blooming,
Where the Wild Mountain Thyme
grows around the blooming heather.

Will ye go, lassie, go?
And we'll all go together
To pull wild mountain thyme
All around the blooming heather.
Will ye go, lassie, go?

Ok, I don't know any patches of wild mountain thyme, but that sentence I started to write just threw that song right into my mind!

The sun is shining, the sky is cloudless, and even though I'm tired and not getting much work done, I am going to have a good day.

There are a few light fixtures in the office that a few of us have purposely told the maintenance people to not put lights in. The ones right over those people's desks that are just too bright. I'm one of those people. I need natural light (window!). We have a new facilities manager, who ignored our collective request for less light and had a light put in every possible place for a light.

As soon as I put my bag down, I announce "this will have to go!" WAM laughed and agreed. Then I said, "that's a migraine in two minutes!" Then one of our newer employees got up, climbed on my desk, and pulled the lights out of the fixtures. THANKYOU! THANKYOU! THANKYOU! Repeat over a couple more desks and we're all happy again.

It's still too bright in here, but at least I don't have the Light of Judgement right over my head. (You probably missed it, that was a game reference.)

Have a good day!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

No Rest on the Weekend

After being out late for Friday's movie, I had to get up early, go to the store with mom, go to the airport with mom, then go to my grandmother's with mom and aunt, all on one bagel at 0900.

Mom and I admit that was pretty stupid. Running around like crazy on no food isn't a good way to spend the day. But the frozen pizza we had for dinner was good. (thawed and heated, of course!)

This morning, mom woke me up before she went to church. She was making rolls for tonight's dinner and needed to leave before they were done. My job was to set the timer for 12 minutes after they were done rising and turn on the oven. No problem. I still would have time to run to the store and buy her flowers (which I couldn't do any other time except while she's at church. I'm not a last minute gift giver, that was just the only time it worked out, and the only thing my mom ever seems to want is flowers, which would die if I got them sooner). Still, no problem. The alarm sounded that rising was done. I set the timer, turned on the oven, and proceeded to get dressed. There was even a fleeting moment when I thought I should make sure I actually started the timer, but of course I did, I was right there.

You know where this is going, don't you?

No, I did not start the timer. By the time I realized this (hmm...I'm sure twelve minutes have passed by now), they had been in the oven, baking away for thirty minutes. I think I could have been arrested for running a suspected deadly weapon factory. The inside of the the rolls were nice and warm and chewy, but you had to break into them. I did manage to run to the store and get mom some roses before she got home, when I admitted to the thorough burning of the rolls. That's life! We'll just have to buy some on our way.

After mom got back from church, it was off to the EMS kayak demo day. Fox and his wife got to show off their new cars, both Hondas. We're trendsetters, I tell you! Fox as a cute little Fit. I want one of those! It's adorable!

Do you remember a couple years ago, before I bought my first kayak the Hobie Lanai? I was looking at a Prowler by Ocean Kayaks. I had tried one then and felt it was very wobbly and unstable. Well! What a difference two seasons of experience makes! I loved that kayak! I tried a Prowler 13 (that number indicated feet of length, my Mirage is about 9.5). It was 54 lbs, up a bit from the 48 lbs of my Hobie. This was a nice kayak. I also tried a Prowler that had a rudder with foot controls. That boat was 69 lbs, it was heavy, didn't sit deep in the water and took a lot of effort to move. I didn't like it at all! I guess if I was going to do a lot of fishing, that would be the right kayak. I'm not a fisher. But I wouldn't mind one of those Prowlers (the non-angler edition seems to suit me better).

They also had some kayaks that I've never seen before. This brand was Necky. I tried the Chatham 16, great lightweight boat for going straight with little effort, even at 51 lbs, but turning was HARD! I need a more sporty boat as it is, with all the little bends and turns in the creeks we like to paddle. The Necky that I really liked was the Manitou Sport. This boat was almost 11 feet long and weighed 44 lbs. It was short so it turned easily, and it was light so it moved through the water quickly. If I were to have a second boat, it would be this one. It's an open cockpit style, very different from the sit on tops of the Hobies and the Prowler, but I really liked it.

Afterwards, I had my last beef hot dog at Johnny Rocket's (if you don't have one near you, I'm sorry! This is such a fun place!). I say last because tomorrow, I'm starting a diet. You might have heard "Eat Right for Your Type" which is a diet that has choice foods based on your blood type. Of course, a lot of my favorite things (bacon, bananas, beef, tomatoes, cashews, to name a few) are on my do not eat list. This will be tough! Then mom and I went to Trader Joe's for a few things. Then it was home, put stuff away, shower and change, back out to the store for rolls, and off to my grandmother's for mother's day dinner.

It was nice. We watched Lady in the Water again. And now that I'm home, I've got just enough time to brush my teeth and fall into bed! I'm tired!

Happy Mother's Day, mom. I'm glad you're my mother, and I'm glad you're my friend.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Spiderman 3

I've established that these films that are based on books (or comic books) are actually not so bad if you expect them to be nothing like their original counterparts.

With that said, this film was amazing! (Spoilers may follow, stop reading now if you haven't seen it but plan to.)

I think it was the best of the three. That's saying quite a bit actually, because MJ spent the film moping and whining 'poor me' about her failing acting career. Sorry to say, she wasn't a good actor from movie #2 when seeing someone in the audience made her forget her lines. Being an actor myself, I can make a judgement on that!

So, MJ is moping, and Peter is kind of oblivious to it, but he tired, he just forgot the first rule of relationships: when your girlfriend has a problem, shut up and listen. That was kind of annoying.

There was a point that drew an audible gasp out of the audience. A mark of some good filmmanship (like my word?). And by the end, you really really wanted the bad-guy-turned-good to make it out ok.

Yup, definitely on the list of things to see and see again. I saw it with Monty last night, I still need to take my mother. Maybe next week. GAH! Shrek 3 is next week!

Harry Potter 5 preview was totally cool!

Oh, and THE movie I am waiting for opens on the fourth of July. I'm so there. I don't know how, because I know we plan to kayak that day, but I have to be there!

Friday, May 11, 2007

What to Say on Friday

I'm kind of worn out today. I've been staying up later than I should, and oversleeping. Otherwise, I feel pretty good, but I don't have much to say today.

So, weekend plans! Tonight, I'm taking Monty to Spiderman 3 for an early birthday present. Tomorrow, my aunt is flying in from Utah, so mom and I will be picking her up at the airport. Sunday is Mother's Day, and that will be spent at my grandmother's house for dinner. We'll be missing the EMS kayak demo day. Who's stupid idea was it to put that on a semi-holiday anyway? Fox said he heard it was going to be quite an event this year. Oh well! Pick a better day, morons!

While I'm here, I want to amend Tuesday's post a little. Don't worry, this is short! While I don't believe in fictional characters like smart blonds, Santa Clause, and good men, I do recognize that sometimes they happen in nature. I'm not going to pass an opportunity if one should come along, but I'm not going to waste my days hoping for something impossible to happen either.

Hopefully that will satisfy those of you (you know who you are!) who decided to yell at me that someone might come along. Maybe, but I don't believe one will and so won't wait around for one, but won't deny it if it should happen! Better?

Thursday, May 10, 2007

In the Name of the Season

Every morning on my way to work, I drive through a park formerly known as Walney. I've never actually spent any time here other than driving through it in the mornings, but it is filled with trails and trees and event halls and a little meandering creek.

All through the winter, we got a great view of the creek where we cross it and deeper into the forest. We occasionally joke about how creek-like it is, or is not after a rain. The water trickles on by most days, and some days, there are downright rapids there!

This morning, I looked out my window and smiled at this little creek on its lazy way as we crossed its little bridge. Just down the road, you can see a bend through the trees, and I looked, expecting to see the water rushing by some fallen branches and rocks.

What I saw was not the creek at all, but a verdant curtain of growth. The trees were thick with Spring leaves layering the view with ruffles of leaf-covered branches.

The forest is springing with life, obscuring the view of the forest floor, and the fallen branches, and the rocks, and the little creek.

What a wondrous day to be surrounded by the lushness of life.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Here's Something to Think About

Why do people so often not tell the truth about how they feel? Like, when you get asked a question that has to do with someone doing something that involves you and ends with "how do you feel about that," why is it that so many people will say it's fine or give some other kind of answer that masks how they really feel about it? Why can't you (in general) just say how you really feel? You wouldn't have been asked if they didn't want the answer, right?

What are we (in general) trying to hide when we do this? Other than our feelings, I mean. Or is it just that we're hiding our feelings, but then why? I know you, gentle readers, know the situation I'm talking about. You've done it, it's been done to you, I've done it, and it's been done to me. Why do we do this?

Like:

"I invited so-and-so to come along, that's ok, right?" They ask.

"That's fine." We say, but we really mean, 'no, that's not ok, but since you've already done it, I feel like there's no point in telling you how I really feel about it, which is that I'd rather it just be you and I.'

or:

"Why don't you want to do this thing that you used to do a lot?" They ask.

"Because it ends too late and I'm always tired." we say. This may be true, but why don't we say the rest of it, that we don't want to do it because we don't feel like we belong.

Ok, I have an answer for that last one. The last time I said I didn't want to be involved because I didn't feel like I belonged got a lot of people really angry with me and I still don't know quite why.

I don't think I've answered my own question though, that's only part of it. (That answer, if you missed it, is to save people from getting mad at me for reasons I don't know.) But still, why do we do it? I mean, someone cares about you enough to ask the question, I guess it depends on the person, but they wouldn't be asking if they didn't want the honest answer, right?

I didn't tell either of my parents the feelings that are part of the reason why I don't want to sail this year: that it isn't very enjoyable to me because of some of the people involved. But I don't know why I left that part out, and only talked about how tired I always am and how I don't wake up early to exercise. Why the half answer? I mean, it's not a lie, but why do I feel it's best not to say it?

This all came about after I talked to my coworker last Wednesday and today and he reassured me that one of my reasons was exactly what I had been feeling. And I said I didn't mention that part and he said "Why not?" Well...I don't know.

Humans act so strange sometimes.

It does feel strange to not be planning on going tonight. But when I think that I could go, I remember why I don't want to. The missing anticipation isn't enough to make me want to do it again. This is only the second week. I miss it and I knew I would. But not that much to go right now.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Here's the Deal

So everyone understands, will have the knowledge, and will stop bugging me about it.

I am single. I have been since...dear...I think my second year of college. So, nearly ten years. And I will be forever.

There's something about me, that I don't know what it is, that no one wants. I'm pretty, and fun to be around, and willing to try new things, and can hold a good conversation. I'm in good health, and it's easier to find me in a good mood than not. I'm in control of my life, have (very flexible) plans for my future alone, and keep my finances in order. I have a variety of interests, and friends and acquaintances all over the world.

But, that's not good enough.

One person in that span of near ten years told me he didn't think he fit into my plan. He never asked me what that was, and never told me why he thought he didn't fit in it. Even to someone who shows interest, I'm not worth pursuing. And before you tell me the door swings both ways, if you don't believe in dragons, you're not going to waste your life looking for one.

Now, before you sit back and think this is going to be one of those "boo hoo, poor me" blog entries, it's not. I'm ok with this. I accepted long ago that I'll be on my own for all of my life. And I'm moving forward, in the right direction to get what I want.

The reason I'm saying this is to stop everyone from saying "oh, you haven't met the right guy" or "you're still young" or "someone will come along, you'll see." He doesn't exist, no I'm not, and no he won't.

Also, and you know who you are, I would like you to stop coming to me for relationship advice. The one who hasn't had any success probably isn't the best person to ask. And I don't want you, and you know who you are, to complain about how awful your life is even though you have a job you're good at, and a house, and a spouse, and kids, but you're still in the worst place imaginable. My friends, there are people in the world who will never have what you have. Please stop complaining to them about what you lack.

I'm also hoping this will help you, fair readers, to understand why I loathe weddings (and all the related hubbub surrounding them) and new baby parties. Don't be offended if I don't stay to the bitter end or decline to come at all. Yes, I'm happy for you, but your moment of happiness reminds me of the most lamentable shattered dream I've ever had. I'd much rather tell you I'm happy for you and be on my way back to my own little looking-after-me world. It's a 24/7 operation, you see, because no one is going to do it if I don't. I can't take my attentions away for very long.

Don't worry, dear friends and kind readers, I am happy. I am on track. I am not bitter, or angry, or going to spend my days waiting for a fictional character to walk through my door (no offence to living fictional characters everywhere, I do know you're out there. You're just meant for some other fairy princess.). So, please, for me, stop pestering and badgering and insisting that there is someone in the world who could be my life partner. It is too late for him to show up, therefore he must not be.

And I don't want to hear "it's never too late." If you believe that, you've never missed a bus or a plane or an appointment. Thanks for your understanding.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Terrified Beyond the Capacity for Rational Thought

What's that from? (this one is easy)

Last night, as my mother and I were going to head up to bed, we noticed Miss Luna staring into the fireplace. Then there was this sudden buzzing sound, like someone using a weed whacker next door. At 2100. Right.

We turned on closer lights and were met with the hugest hornet I've ever seen. Safely behind the glass in the fireplace, the sucker was a good inch and a half to two inches long, and about half an inch wide and tall (excepting legs and wings) with a brownish red face. It was so much bigger than the little guy who got me last Autumn. It buzzed loudly against the glass of the fireplace. When it wasn't buzzing with its wings, it was crawling around the inside searching for a way out.

I think we haven't yet closed the flue from winter.

Miss Luna really really really wanted that hornet. And I really really really wanted her to stay far far away from it. When it wasn't making noise, it wasn't interesting to her.

I did try to take a picture of the giant thing, but it was too dark, and behind the glass isn't good for camera flash. I grilled my dad about possible ways it might get out of the fireplace and into the house (I don't want one of the kitties to decided to 'play' with it and get stung!). He assured me those big openings at the top are not connected to the main part where the fire goes at the base. What's their purpose if they're not connected? Beats me, and whether it was true or not, it made me feel better.

Did you know that hornets, and the Giant European Hornet that I think this guy was, are actually not aggressive? You don't want to get stung by one, but it wouldn't attack you unless you're near it's nest or bothering it. You know, bothering it like a cat pouncing on it.

Miss Luna did lose interest. Callie never had any. And I was able to shut my door and sleep without dreams of large stinging critters crawling all over me.

I feel kind of bad for it, because it's just going to die in there and then we'll open up the fireplace and close the flue. Maybe it found its way out in the night.

Just because it, and stinging creatures like it big and small, filled me with a mortal kind of horror, doesn't mean I wished it dead. That usually comes after they've spent hours in my skirt or stung me.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Another One?

Look, two posts in one day!

Remember that image that I've been working on? Of course you do, I talked about it last night (probably when everyone else was in bed!). Two versions of the image are up on my site (click the "My Corner Just Got Bigger" link to the right). You'll find the full image in 3D Landscapes, and the close-up in 3D Figures. The image is called 'Heroes' and please try to ignore the intellectual property gobbily gook that will one day grace all my images.

Let me tell you about the work.

At first, I put the five figures together. Unfortunately, it took four hours to render with no texture or material details. That's no fun! So, I gave each figure a separate working file (the Elf and the wolf are together), breaking it up into four figure files to detail, texture, and add material maps. Those alone took a good ten to fifteen minutes to render. (Render, I believe I have mentioned, is the act of the program of taking the image in it's primitive polygon form and transforming it into the realistic images you see in the finished image: applying lights and shadow and the aforementioned details of texture and material. This is the act that makes a rectangular block look like a metal mace.) I had a very annoying problem with the Fighter figure, her working file saved blank. I did her over a few times before it actually saved.

Then, when I had my four figures done and rendered in Poser, it was off to Vue. Somewhere in there, a software upgrade for both programs happened. Then I created the setting: a huge castle on an open plain in sunset. And zoomed in on a nifty little ally in the castle to put my figures. Then, again one by one, using the cool new functions of Vue 6, I imported the four detailed Poser figures into the scene (and a fifth that didn't make it to the final render). Rendering them all together in Vue, you see, equalizes the lighting and the shadows and actually puts the characters in the environment. Well...my castle was so huge, even though only one part of it is seen the rest is there, and my figures were very detailed and Vue couldn't take it and so crashed like a kid who just took the training wheels off his bike. This was very discouraging.

So, I had to set the lights in Vue and render the scene figure-less. Then I had to go back to the combined figure file, adjust the lights accordingly, re-split into the four separate files, and re-render. All seemed to be going well, because from this point it was a simple matter of cut and paste in Photoshop. That's it, I'm...not done.

This time I realized my Poser window was not large enough and cut off three out of five shadows. Back to Poser I went to take the individual files and move them over to get all of the carefully set shadow. This was last night, after having finished the Fighter and Bard, when I discovered the Knight file saved blank like the Fighter file had previously done. GAH! Back to the combined file, split it up again, re-detail/texture/material map, move over, render.

Then we're back to importing into the background in Photoshop. But wait! I moved the camera wrong in the Bard file and his shadow was skewed. Simple fix (considering), re-render, and import. That's it! Call it done.

The post work wasn't too bad, it was the rendering of the five very large files (six if you include the one that didn't make the final cut, but will have to be used elsewhere). I'm really proud of this image, actually, even if the last figure had to be omitted. For the record, it was a big red dragon looming over them behind the far castle wall. This one had to be cut because it was still to much to render in Vue, but since he was behind the castle, I couldn't cut him out and still get the figure to not look pasted in. Maybe I'll try again later.

And while I've been working on this, I'm wondering if anyone would be interested in a Hero on a t-shirt? I think the individual figures would look really neat on the black t-shirts offered by Caf├ęPress. And they're already in the right format. Maybe?

Oh, and even better, they're going to need names and backgrounds and an adventure or two. This might qualify as the first thing I've started to write that was based on an image I made (usually the images are based on the stories).

Anyway. What do you think? Be gentle!

In the Grand Scheme of Things

That wasn't so bad. About an hour and a half of extra work to fix the shadow problem and the lack of working file problem. I think I might actually be satisfied enough to call it done too. I had to cut out one part that I might add later, but that's really ok.

Yes, I think I will have to say it's done. I lost count after twenty-four hours of work, you know. And I know you're all excited to see what I've been doing. "That's very comforting, but I'm afraid you'll just have to wait!"

I've been quoting a lot lately!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Inspiration

My mother and I just finished watching Lady in the Water. That was an amazing film! Well-performed, with characters you quickly care about.

I'm too tired to write more about it. If you haven't seen it, now would be a good time!

I've mentioned about a big project I'm working on with Poser and Vue. I got to work on it some more today, and I thought I was done, until I realized that shadows had been cut off. Oops! That's ok, go back into Poser, move the camera over, re-render. Piece of cake, right?

See, this thing that I'm working on is so large and detailed that I can't do it all at once. I have to break it up 'into it's little buggy parts' (ok, that's a quote from somewhere! Who knows it?). I have to work on it one piece at a time, like a puzzle. Because even my rather nifty computer can't handle what I'm trying to do all at once.

So, go back into Poser, one at a time, move the camera over, re-render. Did one. No problem! Did two. No problem! But when I opened up the working file for part three: nothing. I can't re-render it, because nothing is there. That working file was the only version of the pre-render image number three (can't work in the full, non-broken up image, remember? It's too large). It's gone. I don't know why it saved blank, but it's blank. It opens up in Poser into a blank room. We are not happy.

So, while I should be getting to bed because it's been a long day and I have to go to the high school graduation and 18th birthday party of someone I knew as a child (oh, I feel so old. ), I'm still awake, re-detailing this image. So I can move the camera over and re-render it.

This has proven to be the most involved thing I've attempted. It's already far surpassed the ten hour fan art I did for The Many Moons of Astra. And I have this dreadful feeling that I'll finish it, and get it up on my website and show it to you, and everyone's going to be like: "Um...ok...So, why did it take so long?"

Well, that's probably a fear of almost any artist, really. But still. I want to finish this thing that's taken more than a day and counting and have people go "WOW! That's fabulous!"

I'm trying!

Friday, May 04, 2007

The Swamps of Home

Many moons ago in a far off place....

Ok, if you know the show, you'll know today's post title and that opening line are not from the same song.

But, many moons ago in a not so far off place, I was in a production of Once Upon a Mattress, a musical based on The Princess and the Pea. The moon was May 1996 and I was a junior in high school. I was thinking about this show, you see, because I was going through the contents of a magnetic picture holder on my closet and came across this little gem.


That's yours truly as Lady Rowena with her beloved, Sir Eddie on opening night.

I have several stories about this show. The first is that most of my friends in high school were one year ahead of me, and in the drama club like myself, which means this was their last production. Well, now that I've said it, that was kind of sad. I miss them!

The director joked that I understudied the whole show. The thing is, I did! During one point or another of the production, there was always someone who was thinking of not doing it, or close to being cut from the cast because they didn't come to rehearsals, and there I was, ready to step in, fill in, and maybe get a bigger part. (Whoever said "there are no small parts, only small actors" was lying!) I didn't get any of those parts, because everyone who was on the verge of not being involved 'really wanted to do it' and so were allowed to do so. These were fairly good parts too, in the grand scheme of things: the Jester and Princess #12 to name two. Definitely a step up from a lowly lady in waiting.

I complained to the director about this, actually. She let them keep their parts even though they missed a lot of rehearsals and caused a lot of re-blocking. I was always there, I always knew my part and everyone else's, blocking and choreography too, I was always ready to step in and fill in. You know what she said to me? "You'll get the lead role next year." To which I said "Right." To which she replied, "you'll be a senior!" Like that's the reason someone gets a good part. I don't want a part because it's the end of my run, I want a part because they think I can do it. (As it turns out, my circumstances changed and I didn't want a lead role my last year, but that's another story for another time.) She gave us all cards at the end of the year. Mine read "I can't wait to see the one-woman show of Mattress!" You know, that bit part I had in The Miser may have been small, but it was earned. That's a story for another time too.

In this show, I was a lady in waiting. Well, I was a klutzy lady in waiting. In every scene, I stumbled or tripped or fell or was pushed over or fell asleep. And every time, no one laughed. Except the security guard, who had seen us rehearse and knew I was acting. He told me he got the nastiest looks from people in the audience when I did some comical "WHOOP!" as I fell over and no one but him was laughing. The grandmother of the girl who played the queen told her "How nice of the director to hire that poor handicapped girl. She must be so hard to work with in rehearsals. What does she have, a palsy?" "No, grandma, she's acting!" I milked it for all it was worth on closing night and got results. SO THERE! There was this scene near the end where the queen gives Princess Fred a sleeping draught (to make her sleep through the night and not notice the pea, right?). She didn't drink it all, so I finished it off. "GLUG, GLUG, GLUG!" And stood there, yawning. Suddenly snapping awake. Yawning some more. Before I just couldn't keep my eyes open and fell over (to show how powerful the draught was, get it?). They had to drag me off-stage, don't worry, it's in the script. Yeah, even that part didn't get noticed much until the end of the run. But I had them the last night!

I think that means the one woman show of Mattress would be something to see indeed!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Travelling Cheap

This was passed on to me by a coworker and friend and I just had to share it.

1. Go to google.com

2. Click on Maps.

3. Click on Get Directions.

4. Enter the From location: New York, NY.

5. Enter the To location: London.

6. Read line #23 and then #24.

7. Laugh.

8. Pass it on!

Have a great Day before Friday, everyone!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

So Much to Write About Today

Yesterday I learned that today is the start of the sailing season. My dad and I were invited again to crew Tzatsky Too, and my dad replied in the affirmative for both of us.

Now that it's here and starting, I don't want to. It's not that I don't want to sail, I love it. Even looking through my pictures and reading through some of my past entries, I love it.

But, I've been so tired lately. And sailing ends so late and we get home so late and to bed so late and have to get up so early. And it's straight on - from home, to work, to boat, to home, to bed, then back to work. Yes, the sail in itself is downtime, but....

Well, the end of last season really wasn't a lot of unwind time for me. I started sailing twelve years ago. I have enough experience in all kinds of weather to call myself and able-bodied seawoman. I know how to trim the jib and the main, I know how to cast off and secure the boat, I know to wear the right shoes and clothes and to prepare to get wet. I know how to swim, but I also know how to stay on the boat. And I know how to do these things within my body (meaning, for example, my wrists are weak from carpal tunnel syndrome and tendinitis and I don't have a very good grip in either hand because of it. But I can still hold a line with the weight of the heavy canvas sail and several knots of wind pushing against it. I know how to work my own body to do these things that are necessary for sailors to do). The end of last season in particular, I felt like I was getting a lot of criticism from my captain. Yes, yes, I understand it's his boat and he wants things done a certain way and probably doesn't understand why I may not be able to do it that way. But just the way it came across made me feel like I didn't have the twelve prior years of experience that I have. When one's skills are called into question, whether intentional or not, it doesn't really make for an enjoyable time.

And when I heard this news yesterday - that today it was going to start - I was really really missing Paul. I never had those feelings on his crew.

I think my dad was disappointed when I told him I didn't want to go. And I'm not sure he understood that I meant for the season. We've been doing this together for twelve years, after all. I love sailing, and I'll miss it; the wind and the Bay and the sunsets. But all good things must end.

That's one of the things I wanted to write about!

I spent the morning not doing work and went through all 400+ posts of my blog (including the previous blogspot archive) adding labels where I saw it fit to do so. Now you can sort by label and there's a lot more than weekends to look at! I could have put more, but this is good for now. And I have to work sometime.

That's two.

I just finished talking to one of my coworkers, who understands why I don't seem to want to sail anymore. He said "it's lost its luster." I tried it, but this crew isn't the same crew/captain/boat that I sailed for ten of my twelve years. It isn't the same, especially since things changed when a very dear friend died. He said I tried and it's good that I tried, but if it doesn't have the pleasure it had, it's not worth it to continue. He's right.

That's part of one.

Aunt Betty is going to leave. I talked about it before, how her daughter is pressuring her to move to New Mexico.

Aunt Betty has been in and out of the hospital over the past several weeks. It was mostly for anxiety; she was telling us how much she hated the place her daughter wanted her to go. But, the anxiety and nervousness and really pushed her, and she'll be leaving sometime soon. In a little more than two weeks.

This woman is such a dear family friend. She is as much a grandmother to my brother and I as my mother's mother. And my grandmother relies on her so much. We are all going to suffer when she leaves. I don't want her to go. I know the choice is hers, but I don't want her to go. Don't let me wimp out. Don't let me forget to tell her how much we love her.

I think there was more that I wanted to write about, but I'll stop there for today. There's a lot of ending going on right now. I hope that means something new is about to begin.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Like Another Monday

I hate those weeks with two Mondays, don't you?

I shouldn't have such a bad opinion of Mondays, I was born on one! Maybe we should start the work week on a different day. What do you think? Make Monday part of the weekend and then start on Tuesday? Then we'd all like Mondays again.

Willow just reminded me that it is Tuesday. See, they go shopping and to the post office on Tuesday, and she said something about when she gets back from shopping, and I thought "but today is Monday!" No, it's not!

Oh, what a long day! And my dad has to stay late for a meeting. Which means I have to stay late for his meeting. Maybe I'll actually get some work done.

Maybe.

Is it nap time yet? Or time to go home? I'll take either!

P.S. Happy Beltain!