Thursday, April 27, 2006

Rhythm of My Heart

A Wednesday practice race can mean only one thing, Sailing season is about to begin! Welcome to a second season aboard Tzatsky Too.

We had quite an adventure last night, actually. First, we forgot to put the speed indicator in, so we did that in motion (which can cause the cabin to be a little wet). Then, the fuel pump was accidentally shut off, which caused the engine to shut off (for lack of fuel, of course) before we were out of the harbor channel. We tried to keep an eye on everything else after that!

We were the first across the starting line, and were actually in front for a while. Alas, all good things come to an end, and we came at the end! It really wasn't a bad night to be out, but it was a little cold.

We had Paul on our minds for the night, so much that Captain kept calling my dad Paul (which is not his name). We did not see Gone With The Wind in the shipyard and are thinking it has been sold. It makes me sad, I have many wonderful memories from my experience on that boat. I was missing my friend last night, and many times since the year and couple months of his passing.

Perhaps we sail for him, who I'm sure is riding the winds wherever he is now.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Take a Moment

to remember the hundreds of thousands of people who's lives were effected by the worst technological catastrophe the world has ever seen.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

For LaTanya

I really have no words for you. The best I can do is give you this empty space, to fill with anything you need to release.

Careful, I've got a hug hiding in there somewhere.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Call for Action

Faithful blog readers, The Barnaby Council for Celtic Studies needs you!

BCCS has hosted the Potomac Celtic Festival for 13 years. This fine festival brings artisans, entertainers, and living history actors from around the world to Leesburg Virginia for one fun-filled weekend in June. True, PCFest is small in comparison to some of the other local happenings, but it is a great place to learn about clans, try some haggis (if you dare) or jam with bands both great and small.

A few years ago, PCFest suffered a rain out. The festival is open rain or shine, but Morven Park Equestrian Center (beautiful setting for our beloved festival), when mixed with rain, turns to mud. Lots and lots of mud. We love our festival, but it's hard to love mud. The sad truth is that the festival never recovered from the mud-bath. It doesn't draw the crowds it used to, and Loudon County is pulling some of the necessary grants that keep the festival running. What this means, my blog friends, is that there may not be a 14th annual Potomac Celtic Festival.

This is where you come in! How about spending a weekend in beautiful, forested rural Virginia? There's a major airport nearby! For those of you in the area, come out and spend a weekend! Maybe you've got time to volunteer. Or you could consider making a tax-deductible donation. More information can be found at

Help us save our festival!

"Maybe it's bred in the bone, but the sound of pipes is a little bit of heaven to some of us." ~ Nancy O'Keefe

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Climate Control

In a sense!

Ok, for you, gentle readers, who do not know, I still live with my parents. While that's good for me on a financial level, it's not so good on a social level. My parents are very kind and generous to not charge me rent, though sometimes I think both of them get their own benefit from me staying there. I am not ungrateful to them, I would never be able to afford living in this area on my own (in fact, no one I know in my age group does. Everyone has a spouse, significant other, or one or more roommates). It does kind of put a damper on inviting a potential mate home for coffee, but since I don't have one of those, it doesn't make too much of a difference.

But, living with my parents also means I spend a lot of time with them. A lot. I carpool with my dad, go shopping with my mother, we even have friends and hobbies in common, so recreational time is spent with them too. I rarely get the house to myself, and sometimes I really need it.
Don't get me wrong, I love my parents, I'm very happy that I count them among my friends. But I'd like to not live with them when I'm 30. You know what that means? You got it, I don't have a whole lot of time to move out.

Which brings me to the point. I want to hear from YOU!

Let me tell you about where I live. I am in the suburbs of a major metropolitan area. The roads are congested and everywhere you turn, they are tearing down trees for new subdivisions and McMansions. Jobs are far away, public transportation is virtually non-existent. Other than the fact that I am in the suburbs of a major city, these are what I don't like about my area.

Wherever I go, there are a few things that I need. I need Spring with blooms, Summers that are not too humid, Autumns in colored leaves, and Winters that bring a little snow. I'd like to stay away from lots of humidity, ice, hurricanes, tornados, and earthquakes. I need lots of trees, and to be very close to a decently major body of water that allows for, at least, non-whitewater kayaking. I'd like a major/historic city to be somewhat nearby, and have no qualms about living near a nuclear power station. The less congested the roadways, the better, and places to work within 30 miles.

So, how about it, wonderful readers? Know any place like my little paradise? Tell me about it! Don't forget that one little contingency about it being affordable for a single person with a student loan to pay off. Is there a place in the world like the place I want to find? Let me know, you don't have to have an account with this blogger to post a reply here! I'll worry about finding the type of dwelling that I'm looking for later.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Stranger Things

I guess I'll have to pause work ranting for a while.

No, it's not because I'm no longer working at OBC, but they've surprised me quite a bit.

I've explained how, recently, they've been on my case about the time that I arrive despite the fact that the 50 miles I have to go leaves lots of room for things to go wrong. It had seemed for quite some time that, while I thought I had improved significantly, they were not taking that into account at all. It has been very frustrating, and would sure be a silly thing to be fired over. So, I did my best to improve my time. I had mentioned to Boss² that I was concerned and she said the two of us would get together and discuss it. Well, that never happened.

Yesterday, I was called to a meeting with Adolf and Boss² about this issue. I had been keeping a list of what time I arrived and why if I was late, and so brought that with me, fully prepared to shout the Q-word if they were being unreasonable. Lo and behold! They told me I had improved significantly since our last meeting nearly three months ago. They did say it could be better (I was still coming in during the 'grace period' most days) but it had improved. Well, sometimes people surprise you. I left that meeting feeling pretty good.

Later in the afternoon, one of my coworkers, who had just had a meeting with them, said they wanted to see me next. I was baffled, I saw them that morning, what could they possibly have to say now? I went, a little leery. Who wants to guess what they had to say? Don't worry, I'll tell you. They said I've been doing a great job, my work is stellar and DING! you are now level three!
Ok, that was an EverQuest reference. See, we have levels in my office to make it feel like you've been promoted. I've been level two for two years. At my last review in August, they told me I would not go any further in my current position. My attempts to change positions were thwarted by them (they weren't going to promote me until I corrected my tardiness, among other things), so I was certain I was stuck in level two until I could think of something. Level three means more work, yes, but more money too. I've been working pretty hard recently, and since I did improve my arrival time, and I guess they re-evaluated my performance, and here I am. Believe it or not, I'm feeling pretty good about work right now. 50 mile commute and all.

Stranger things have happened, I suppose, but this was pretty strange!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Powers of Persuasion

A couple weeks ago, I was having lunch with the regular crew whom I'm not supposed to have lunch with. The person who delivers our coffee supplies came in, and we started talking about the flavored creamer. We have two kinds, you see, French Vanilla and hazelnut. When we saw the delivery gent walk in, one of the girls said, "Oh good, now I can have vanilla instead of that awful hazelnut." For the most part, vanilla is the preferred flavor among most of my coworkers, and hazelnut gets used only when there is no vanilla. You can imagine that we run out of vanilla quickly, while the hazelnut lingers. Yes, there is a point here.

So, while we were talking about the lack of hazelnut-likers in the company, we started talking about the other flavors that we know are available. I mentioned that the box says Irish Cream is available, and that it would be nice if he could take the hazelnut away and give us that. Bear in mind, we are out having lunch, and the delivery person is not even in our sight, let alone earshot. When lunch was over, and we scrambled to the kitchen to have some yummy vanilla coffee, what did we find? Yep, all the unopened boxes of hazelnut were gone and in their place, pretty green Irish Cream boxes! I'm good!

That's not all. The Washington Nationals were playing in Texas last Monday. They had gone into extra innings and brought in a pinch hitter, Marlin Byrd. The announcers were talking about Byrd's record last year, how many hits/rbi's/homers/etc. They mentioned his home run record, and just as the pitcher was pitching, I cheerfully said, "He can do one of those right now if he wants to!" Lo and behold! It's going back and back and the center fielder is running for it, and it's gone! I gave them a home run!

So, I have persuasive power over coffee and baseball. Hmm... My office pool will have the winning numbers for tonight's $265 Million jackpot!

Did it work?

Friday, April 14, 2006

I Really Am Still Here!

Hello, faithful blog readers!

I'm sure you're all wondering where I've been! Well, no where special, actually. Everything is pretty much the same. I'm still getting nowhere at OBC (though I did tell them exactly what I thought of them in our anonymous employee survey). I'm still living with my parents (that's because I couldn't afford to live on my own, OBC doesn't pay enough for that).

I've been studying Reiki, and my attunement is next week. I'm very excited about this and have some pretty big ambitions about where it will take me. We'll see!

I've also done some serious inner studying. I've identified my true friends and have started working to remove the false ones who have a negative impact on me from my life. This is not an easy process, but it starts with me not lying to myself on their behalf.

The thing about friends that I've noticed, gentle readers, is that it is nearly impossible to have one 'best friend.' What puts a friend above all others? Is it their ability to keep in touch? Their willingness to listen to you, and be able to tell when help is what you want other than just a listener? Is it in their wish to keep you close by when their life takes them far away? Is it because their friends are your friends, or because it's ok if they're not? Are they best because the association is mutual, or is it ok for them to be your best friend even if you are not theirs? Because you tell them everything and they know everything about you?

Go ahead and try to answer those. There is not one person that I share everything with. Some people have strengths in one area that doesn't work for all things, you see. Perhaps that makes me a different person to each of my friends, and that's fine. There might have been one person who fit that bill, but we lost touch long ago. And even so, that was how I felt then, the years may have changed both of us to where that would not apply. That certainly has happened before.
I think the fact that my friends are generally not friends with each other is a good thing, otherwise where would you turn if there was a problem, or something you need to vent about? Just as one religion does not work for all people, one friend does not work for all things friends are needed for. Think about it. Who is your 'best friend?' Do they work for everything? Is there nothing you won't share with them? Truly? For those of you thinking, "yes, my wife/husband/fiance" remember that spouses are in a different class than average friends. (So says the one without one of those =)

Wow, I guess a lot can happen in a month! The annual National Cherry Blossom Festival was wonderful. We went on April 1st, the blooms were lovely as always, and I finally got to see the Ruby Slippers at the Smithsonian. A zoo trip occupied April 9th. Tai Shan is so terribly cute. Get ye to DC soon if you want to see him while he's still cubby. OH! And I saw the wolves finally! Yay!! Pictures will be coming to my website (come on, you should know that by now) soon™.

I'm going to try (again) to update this more often. It might be easier this time, though. Warmer weather gives way to the days of sail and 'yak, and will then lead us to Faire time!