Saturday, March 31, 2007

Mud Party

It's actually not mud, but henna paste, and my head is currently slathered with it. That's right, I decided to try something new. I'm dying my hair with henna instead of those yucky chemicals I've been using for 13 years. Using henna on your hair is quite different than commercial dyes. It's not a liquid, but a paste, that I've been instructed to 'apply like frosting on a cake.' That's about what it felt like: gooey, sticky, green frosting. You should have heard me last night while I was mixing up my henna potion! It sure looked and smelled like some witchy concoction.

I got used to the smell as I was putting the stuff on my head. It's slightly hay-like and grassy. It's really a very natural, earthy scent. And why wouldn't it be? It's all henna (natural) and lemon juice (natural). My hair is pretty long (oh, how I hope I got it all! It's so very hard to section myself!) and with this cake of henna and plastic wrap and towel over my head, it's really heavy. I've got three more hours to go like this! Maybe I should take a nap....

Poor Branwen, my mother's old Saturn. We finished clearing it out and took off the tags so the Purple Heart charity could come and take it away. While we were doing this, we noticed the driver's side lock looked amiss. It was! The metal lock part was pushed back, and the rubber seal around it was loose. Someone tried to break into our car! We were very upset about this. That is not a fitting end for a car that served us so well for a few months shy of ten years. It looks like they didn't succeed (they wouldn't have gotten far in it anyway), but that's not the point. And it's disturbing to think someone even tried, in this otherwise quite suburb I've lived in all my life. Despicable.

Ah, but the old car is gone now. I hope someone will get some use out of it somewhere. Probably for parts. My mother and I were out shopping. This is a good thing. A car, though not alive, is like a part of your family. You rely on it to get you places, to protect you from the elements and from accidents, to carry things that are important to you. We would have cried to see it go.

Tomorrow is brunch. We get to show off the new car to Fox and his wife. And walk to and from Annapolis in the rain. Should be fun!

Friday, March 30, 2007

Not Sure What to Say

I'm having a hard time finding something to blog about today. Yes, the day is young and something may come up later. I really want to avoid ranting about work, but work is getting unbearable.

It's not the job, because I still very much enjoy what I do, I might be getting some help to get caught up, and I'm otherwise not in bad shape. It's the people. It's specifically one person. 1/4 of my group has decided that the other 3/4 should not be in any way associating with each other. I've had problems with some of my coworkers in the past, and they with me but, within the past couple months, I've felt that we've all arrived at a place where we can work together and get a long and respect each other.

But this one person.... This person has picked the most vulnerable of us, WAM, and decided to fill their head with nonsense. Nonsense that is a direct attack on my and another coworkers character. I'm happy to report that WAM is too smart for that and has been sharing e-mail exchanges with me. So, this other coworker, I'll call them Sam, says that we're misleading and offensive to WAM. I don't know where Sam's information comes from, because WAM and I have been getting along fabulously recently.

I don't put much in the opinions that others have of me, but when I learn about it and learn that it is unjustified, I can't help but be quite upset. I was so upset yesterday when this all came out in the open that I barely did any work, I had a migraine and a stomach ache. You can't just not let it get to you, as much as you try. How can one person, insignificant in the grand scheme of my life, have such a strong effect on me?

Well, really it's because I let them. But there are two things, if nothing else, that I am not. I am not a liar, and I am not racist. And I will be damned before I let anyone accuse me of either. Indirectly, this is what Sam has done.

But it will be ok. WAM and I and the other third of us will be talking to Boss² about it, probably Monday. This needs to get resolved before it hurts our productivity more, before it escalates further. There is an employee here who willingly, deliberately, and constantly tries to cause enmity among the group, and it needs to stop now. This is not an ideal work environment.

Tonight, I'll be mixing up a henna potion. Tomorrow, I'll slather it all over my head. Then I'll have a good 4 hours or so to sit around and play with Poser and Vue. Remember that involved scene I was working on? I got some new models that, I think, will put me that much closer to completing it. And I've got time to do it while my hair color settles in!

Toast to Friday, and leaving a very stressful situation behind me for the weekend!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Washington DC is Searching for a New Slogan

Currently, they use "taxation without representation." While this is a true statement (DC residents are taxed, but do not have a voice in Congress), it doesn't exactly promote people to visit.

I like this city, and I tend to not like big cities in general. There are many things to see; museums, historical places, monuments, memorials, Japanese Sakura trees. The place is teething with interesting things that don't have to cost any money to enjoy. It is the capital of a nation, a nation that is a world power, and all we can think of is "taxation without representation."

Well, truth be told, they need to fix that lack of representation part, but they want something new to say about this fine city. People have been calling in to local radio and TV stations and city officials. Here are some suggestions:

Welcome to Washington DC, Don't Park Here.

Welcome to Washington DC, Now Leave.

Washington DC, Traffic Beast of the East.

I vote for the last one (you thought this was going to be a serious political blog entry, didn't you?).

I plan for a few mishaps along my 50 mile commute in and around the DC area. Even sitting in a 30 minute back up, I should be able to get to work by 7:00. So, some poor soul broke down on the bridge this morning, blocking the left lane and creating a 30 minute backup along five miles. No problem, we're still going fine on our time table. Then some fool in a landscaping truck crunched up the back of a little black car, creating another 30 minute backup along another five miles of Beltway. 30 minutes I can take. Not one hour. I was 30 minutes late. Yuck.

Yup. Traffic Beast of the East gets my vote.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Four Months from Now

In four months, I will be visiting my friends in Idaho. A lot will happen between now and then, making it seem like so far away. That time will get here before we know it though!

I dreamt last night that it was July, and I had just arrived at my friends' home. One cat, Ashy, came right up and said her kitty hello (much like she did when I met her last year). The other female, Pandora, really really really wanted attention from me (only slightly unlike what she did when I met her last year). The other cat, Bandit, spent much of the first part of the dream hiding from me (exactly as he did when I met him last year). But, I was able to tempt him out with a handful of kitty treats, and Willow and I were trying to hold off Pandora as I gave Bandit treats so he'd remember me. In the midst of all these kitties, I realized that I forgot my laptop (horrors!) and my tarot cards (more horrors!) and a few other things that I really wanted to bring.

I know I'm not actually going to forget those things in July (how can I possibly forget my cards?), but now my trip really does seem so far away. I know it's not. My Spring and Summer days are pretty full right now, so I'm sure it will come before I know it. Soon, I tell you, soon!

I've been looking forward to this since I left them last year. Everyone around the office thinks my life must be pretty dull if I'm that excited about going to Idaho. I don't care! It's not dull! And I am excited! So there!

Last night I re-downloaded that three hour download onto my laptop so I can write a back-up copy to a DVD. Downloading to my laptop took one hour. I figured it out though! Three hours to one hour is the difference between a 10MB hub and a 100MB hub. I need one of those on my desk computer! New upgrade to Vue coming soon!

If anyone wants to know, all back office systems at work are down right now. And nothing is on the Africam to keep me occupied. I completely cleared job #1 of the four I have to cover yesterday, though. A step closer!

That's all the bored rambling for now, I think!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

For Willow

What is 2400 miles? A distance that could take some two days to traverse over land. But with a few circuits and cables, that space is covered in an instant. With the speed of thought and a few firing electronics, 2400 miles doesn't seem quite so far.

How many people in our lives would never have been there if it wasn't for modern technology? What an amazing world we live in.

Have a wonderfully happy birthday, Willow. And here's a little Danish Proverb that I've always believed: The road to a friend's house is never long.

While I'm at it, here's to the 400th post! What fun!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Let's Exercise Together!

Today, we will jump to conclusions, run logical circles around each other, and stretch the truth.

Don't ask! I had two cups of coffee today! One more than the average work day. That caffeine crash is going to suck!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

How Long??

Somehow, Poser 7 got released without me. I don't mind too terribly much, Poser 6 does what I need on most occasions. However, it's always nice to be up-to-date. And the new version of Vue, 6, is completely compatible with Poser 7, where parts of Poser 6 were not. With me so far?

I am going to upgrade Vue eventually, so I might as well upgrade Poser too. I purchased my upgrade version today and started downloading the .zip file. Holy smokes! The progress screen estimates three hours to download the .zip! It's ok, I've got the time. Then again, if it takes three hours to download a .zip file, how long do you think it will take to install that sucker? Methinks the computer will be on all night.

My mother and I went to brunch by the Bay today. We didn't wear quite enough coat so didn't walk the docks. Still, the sun was shining and the breeze was blowing and the gulls were flying. *sigh* I like Spring!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

I Don't Know What to Say Today

I got up at the regular time and went into work. I got there an hour earlier than usual (skipped my workout, you see). I came home and took a nap, now I've got that groggy after-nap feeling.

In other news, this is the action on the Africam last night. LOOK AT ALL THOSE CAPE BUFFALO!! And they were making Cape Buffalo noises!

They haven't approved my registration for the Africam forums yet, so I have to post my screenshots here. I can mind the forums without posting anyway. I never thought I'd find something more addictive than EverQuest.

Looks like I have the house to myself tonight. This happens so infrequently. Let us reflect on that for a moment.

I might mess with that image I'm trying to create on Poser tonight. Or I might cuddle up with a Callie-cat in front of the Lion King, or something. I can run amok!

Amok, amok, amok, amok!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Little Somethings

This is for my friend Willow, maybe a little taste of home. This is the 'guest cottage' that my second cousin (mother's cousin) is in the process of building at his home in Hawai'i. I'm sure he's got extended family that he didn't know he had who want to come and visit when it's done. I do! But he already knows about me. :)

I'm not sure exactly where he is. I've been told that he's in the path of the lava flow, if a lava flow was to occur. I should ask him for a more specific location some day.

This is also for Willow. Fondly dubbed 'Ellie' by Africam forum members, I've seen this bull twice. Doesn't he look happy?!

You can waste away the hours viewing the Africam here. That's what I did last night. And why I didn't get to bed on time.

Have a good day, Willow!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

What Doesn't Bend Breaks

I am so glad that the weekend is fast approaching. It won't be much of a weekend because I intend to go into work on Saturday. And I'll be doing a task I'm not looking forward to. But, when you as for help and they say there is none, that means they pay me extra to do it.

Today, my parents and I had occasion to contemplate the fallen branches in our backyard from the ice storm we had a month ago. It was quite confusing. Two branches from the same tree fell in a T pattern, with other trees and their limbs all around it. That must have been some really heavy ice to get that top branch where it was. The force of nature, even its destructive force, can be so awesome.

That small part of forested land has changed a lot since I was young and played among those trees. It's thinner now, much has died and fallen. But the oak is still proud and tall. It's the tallest thing around, actually. If we ever lose that tree, it will be a sad day. As sad as when I lost my maple in the front.

Some things just should last forever. But in my memory, they will.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

For My Brother


What can I say about my brother? We used to fight all the time. He's only a year and a few months older than me. As we both got older, we got along better. I don't have any epic stories of one such time where we just connected, but they happened. He looked out for me, and I desired to see him happy.

On Samhain 2004, my brother married a wonderful woman. We were in the same violin class in middle school. (Most of our mutual friends were always so shocked to find out we were related. That never made sense to me but it happened all the time. We have the same, not super common, last name, duh!) Anyway, we just adore my sister-in-law. She is creative and passionate and when they are together, you can just tell that it is right.

He is living pretty far away now, a good three hours away, and we don't talk to him as much as my mother or I would like. But out of sight is not out of mind. He is my brother, my only sibling. No matter how far either of us go, he'll always be my brother.

And happy birthday to Ichus too! (That's his cat, by the way!)

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Influence of People

Don't let other people make you have a bad day. Say, repeat, believe.

I started out this morning having a good day. And it's going to stay that way. Despite the micro managing at work.

Let's see, I learned a lot about South Dakota and Tennessee yesterday. If you haven't looked at the ThanksUSA treasure hunt, I encourage you to do so. It's a worthy cause, and you get to research and learn stuff in a fun way. I'm not halfway done yet.

I didn't work on the elaborate image that I mentioned yesterday, but that's ok. I've seen people use these programs to do some pretty amazing stuff, so I decided I wanted to try it too. I don't want to give you too many details because I know this will take hours of work across several days, so we'll all have to wait. What I will tell you is that I've got multiple characters and I'll have to come up with some nifty scene to put them in. It should be fun! Maybe I'll get back to that on Thursday. Today and tomorrow will be busy with other things.

That's it. Don't let other people make you have a bad day!

P.S. Happy Ostara!

Monday, March 19, 2007

I Changed My Mind

After I posted here, I decided to have a better day. And a better day I did have.

No, the work didn't go away. But I didn't stay to work it in overtime either. So I got home, retrieved a very important phone message I had been hoping to get, found pie waiting for me, and that's that.

Now, I have some time to absorb my message, and work on this really elaborate scene I'm doing in Poser (that I started this weekend when I was without the internet), and maybe even do a few more ThanksUSA chapters.

Oh! WAM got this phone call today. They answered the phone like they always do. "Thank you for calling merchant services, this is WAM, how can I help you?" And the person on the other end said, "is this a real live person?" Well, after WAM got off the phone and reported that to me, we had a good laugh about what we might say when someone says that. "No, I am a chinchilla." Or, "No, I am a voice recorder who's name is WAM." Or, "wait, let me check. . . . Yep, still living!" Or, "No, I have traversed to a higher plane of existence. You are speaking to a formerly live person, though." Or, "I was in my past life." We had a good laugh about that.

It was like that time I was working at the pharmacy, I was wearing my employee vest and name tag and I had just finished ringing up someone at the photo counter. The next customer approached and asked the question that all retail store employees hate to hear, "Do you work here?" I said, "No, I'm trying to rob the place, but I can't get this register open." Thankfully, the guy had a sense of humor and admitted to having asked a not so bright question. Then there was that time, still in vest and name tag, I walked out of the "employees only" door and someone stopped me and asked, "Do you work here?" I turned back, looked at the sign on the door, turned back around and said, "I hope so, or I might get in trouble for being back there." This gent also admitted to asking a silly question.

Just don't ever wear a red shirt and khaki something to Target. I've been yelled at by unhappy customers before. Who always look quite flustered when I tell them I don't work there.

No Update Today

I don't feel like posting today. I'm really busy at work. I'm no where near being caught up. I've been fretting over something stupid. I've given up on a few things that I used to hope for. And I just feel depressed today.

Yeah, I have nothing to blog about today.

Sunday, March 18, 2007


That's the best you're going to get out of me; the cable internet has been out since yesterday. How did I get a post for yesterday, you ask? How, indeed.

It happened while I was researching the next puzzle for this year's ThanksUSA treasure hunt. I registered last year but didn't play. I couldn't get past the sudoku in the first chapter. I feel better about this year though. The purpose of the game, folks, is to raise money to help our nation's service men and women and their families. I'm not going to go through the details of the operation, but the game was thought up by two young girls from Virginia. They have created a wonderful monster!

So, that's how it is. Cable's back. That company is rotten. The game is underway. And it's past my bedtime! Ciao!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

What if I bobbed my hair?

Happy Saint Patrick's Day, everyone! I hope your day was filled with beer and very few pinches.

We went shopping for a new car for mom and ended up with a slightly-used (expensive) Honda CR-V. It has less than 30000 miles on it and is three years old. That's not so bad. It will take some getting used to; the steering wheel is slightly off-center of the seat, and it has automatic everything. This is the first time that someone in my house will not be driving a Saturn since I got mine in 2001. I'm jealous, it's a really nice, not too big, SUV. In Silver, and it's name is Paddy, in honor of the day.

We tried to go to Bennigan's for lunch but they were playing this awful rap music. I like to say I can take all kinds when I comes to music, but that was the total opposite of what I wanted to hear, and they were playing it so loud and I've had a headache all day. So we went to Red Robin, where they were putting green color in the Guinness. Whatever works!

This evening, my mother and I sat down to a long night of Peter Jackson's King Kong and this is what I found in the couch.

There's a Callie-cat there! I wonder if she thinks Miss Luna can't find her.

Anyway, movie time! Go easy on the beer!

Erin go bragh.

Friday, March 16, 2007

I'm not cheap, but I can be bought

While my dad and I were driving home yesterday, we were listening to the local news radio (as we always do, we need the traffic reports!). There was a report on business news, the stock market and stuff like that, that said something about some company buying some other company for $3 billion. To which I cheerfully said, "I'd like to be bought for $3 billion!"

The way that statement came out was not the way it was intended, especially in the presence of my dad!

There are two quotes that my dad often likes to repeat. One is the title of this blog entry. The other (usually when I'm subject to some fatherly advice) is: "Every man has his price, hold out for yours." Then we started talking about what that price might be.

Let's stick with the $3 billion. It would first be $3 billion a year, and I'm not greedy, I'll say 10 years. There will also have to be a house, that won't cost any of my $3 billion. They're building a really pretty one near my home: decently sized with really gorgeous brick and stone details. It would have to be fully furnished and decorated and all of that, with grounds keepers and house keepers. And it would include a full wardrobe with clothing from my two favorite clothing stores, Chico's and Newport News. I'll also need a sailboat like Gone with the Wind, 36 feet long with comfortable quarters below. And a slip to keep it in that also won't cost any of my annual $3 billion. And I'll need a private beach or other landing on some not-well-travelled creek for kayaking. And I'll need trips to several places in the world; Ireland, Egypt, China, Japan, Australia, Italy, Brazil, and a few others. And maybe even a flight to space for good measure. That would probably be enough.

Yeah, I'm not cheap, but I can be bought.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

I Found Planet Earth

I'm living on it! HAHA!

Actually, Planet Earth is a documentary mini series on the Discovery Channel. I saw a preview for it when I saw The Number 23 on Sunday. It looks fabulous! Starts March 25th at 2000, mark your calendar! One of my coworkers said she would DVR it for me or something (like how I make nouns into verbs?). Fun!

Today, I've learned that plane tickets are a good $200 cheaper if you buy them four months in advance of your trip rather than one week. That's so very nice!

My Boise trip is also now set in stone, lest I loose a little more than $400. That wouldn't be too fun, I don't have that kind of money to throw around! I don't have any money to throw around! The other benefit of booking this early is that I can probably have that credit card paid off by the time the trip actually gets here. It's only four months away.

It will be here soon enough!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Smoother Days

I finally got accosted by Boss² about my workload and why I am 2 days behind. I had a meeting with Boss² and ActingSup this morning about it. We established that I am doing more than I was when I first had this task, and more than the person who was doing it when they took it away from me. There is no one to pass off my work to, and I understand that (that is also why I was trying not to complain and work overtime to catch up). After throwing around a few ideas to help me get caught up (since I've been behind since I took it over and therefore do not have accurate numbers about what I'm faced with daily), they decided to remove one thing from my daily tasks. My vice, the thing I hate but ironically happen to be really really good at, answering that phone.

I'm happy about this, though I still have to answer the voice mail box. But taking time away from what I'm doing, and I have to get these done in a certain amount of time, puts me further and further behind. One thing down and leave to continue overtime to catch up should help.

Probably not by Monday, though. That's my up-to-date deadline. I'll try.

In other news, time off for my Boise trip has been approved. Can we say 'yay?'

It took some convincing, and I still had to shorten it by about a week, and then move it back, but I'm ready to go shopping for tickets! Yahoo!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Poor Branwen

The weather has been lovely. We're in the 70's today, and will be tomorrow, and Thursday too. Saturday is looking at a tiny bit of snow with the coldness, it probably won't be enough to do anything. This is good. Because car shopping is on the list of things to do on Saturday.

My mother's little green Saturn, the first Saturn that we had, is sick. It's making funny zipping noises. The mechanic said it needs a new water pump, has something weird about the engine, it's had an oil leak for about a year, and it has constantly squeaky breaks.

This is a '97 model with 185000+ miles on it. We bought it new. Maybe it is time to bite the car bullet. It's a shame though. That little Saturn shuttled me to and from college. And I hope and hope and hope that my car lasts just a smidgen longer than 10 years.

We're going to look at a few small SUV's. Something we could hitch a trailer on and carry a few kayaks around. There are also a few little cars my mother wants to look at, our current method of hauling kayaks works. The Honda CR-V is at the top of out list. I'm slightly jealous, because I'd look good in a vehicle like that. But I love Hedwig too, and want her to last many more years. I'll get to drive whatever mom gets anyway. I'm the official driver, after all!

Here's to you, Branwen! (In case you haven't guessed, Branwen is the name of mom's car. We picked a Celtic one to go with it's shiny greenness!)

Monday, March 12, 2007


I just watched a squirrel jump from the tiniest twig of our great oak to a tree in the neighbor's yard some 2 or 3 feet away. He thought about it, turned around to go back, then turned back around and took a mighty leap.

I wonder if there is a message there. Maybe to remind us to take chances. Even when it looks like it may not be worth the risk, you just might land with a firm grip.

What chance are you thinking of backing out on today?

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Home Again

The first game (charity, cancer-fighting event) was pretty mellow, as hockey games go. But the home team won, and that's what we like. Not too bad for my first hockey game. The second one, well... I went to a fight and a really bad hockey game broke out.

The Richmond Renegades are actually a pretty good team, even though they lost 6 to 1. They still played like they could come back. Even those last two minutes, where most teams in most other sports don't even put forth an effort, they played like they were planning on scoring a goal a second until the end. It was pretty neat. And most of their players can take someone out in one gloved punch. That was kind of cool too. It would have been better if they won, but hey, I wasn't disappointed.

Today, it's take my aunt to the airport, followed by dinner and the Number 23 with Monty. This part I don't really want to do, but I said I would. At least I had a fun Saturday.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Outta Here!

Bye folks! I'm spending the eve in Richmond for a hockey game and some quality time with Turtle and our friend (who doesn't have a blog alias yet). Don't forget to set your clocks ahead! (If you live in one of those areas that does observe Daylight Saving Time.)

Friday, March 09, 2007

Times Like This

Have you noticed that for a month or so, I've been in a generally good mood? I mean, I haven't had a real work rant for a while, I've even been mostly getting along with WAM (who, by the way, apologized yesterday for snapping at me about that task I hadn't had time to do). Well, I'm sorry to say that I just have to rant.

I am the kind of employee who rarely asks for days off. I hardly ever take sick days, I never ask for time around Christmas or New Years (when everyone wants off), not even the Friday after Thanksgiving. I tend to take a day here, a day there, and maybe a few spanning a weekend to minimize my time out of the office as much as possible.

Last year, I had such a great time during my short visit to Goldentree Wands headquarters in Idaho that I've been saving up my PTO and planning to take as much time as I could get when the season rolled around again this year. The office has allowed people to go away for months at a time before, so I had no reason to believe that three weeks would be an issue, especially if I asked for it four months in advance.

Maybe it's my fault that I didn't consider that two of the people in my department, but not in my group, are pregnant. And apparently there is one other person who has been approved for extended leave during that time frame that I asked for. This means that the one who otherwise never asks for this kind of time off can't have it.

I don't get it. As far as I can tell, the three people who will be out are not in my group. I'm so swamped with my work, I don't have time to help out other groups, so how does them being out really make a difference whether I am or not?

There are several purposes for my three week trip. The first is that I can go to Utah and visit my aunt, which I've only done once. Then there's GoddessFest, where I'll be offering Reiki again, and on top of that, it will allow me to finish my Reiki Master level and actually complete my training. We're trying to plan a few outings here and there and I'm also going to be checking out the local job and housing markets. I really need that time that I want to take.

Conceivably, I could cut the trip to two weeks, eliminate visiting my aunt in Utah and come back to work right after I get off the plane like a zombie. It won't make much of a difference here at work if I do that. Or, I could always say that my last day of employment would be when my vacation would start anyway. I know, that's extreme, but if OBC would hire some people to replace the ones we've lost recently, then we wouldn't be in this position. I wouldn't be in this position. Cutting my trip short is only going to make me bitter and resentful.

Then again, four months should be plenty of time to find a new job. I'll update my resume and send it to Manpower or something. Post on a few internet sites. I'm still waiting to hear back from that job I applied for last month (which is started to not look very hopeful as that deadline is less than two weeks away). Or, I could up and move to the area I'm thinking of 2 years in advance.

I hate being put in this kind of position. I am not owned by the place that rents my time, but I can't make plans without their approval. Why, oh, why did I not win that lottery?!?!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Slow Down!

When its cold enough to snow, it's probably cold enough to freeze. Yesterday's measly inch of snow wasn't so bad, but this morning was COLD! There were areas around here in the single digits (and single digits as in 1°). And it was foggy, really foggy. So, fog puts moisture in the air, moisture in the air puts moisture on the roads, and moisture on the roads with a whole degree of temperature makes ice. Lots of ice. Ice everywhere.

You would think that people would notice the ice or know it may be out there, but no, that would require logic. And as a result, people were crashing up their cars left and right and backwards and all around. We were actually doing really good this morning, left early with time to clean off my car, until that ...person... crashed right before my exit on the Beltway. This blocked the two left lanes of the Beltway a good, I don't even know; maybe 5 miles. We slowed to a barely moving crawl, and I ended up 45 minutes late.

Thanks people who can't drive on ice!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Ugh, Ugh, and More Ugh.

I've been having generally good days for a while now. Today was not so much.

First, I didn't win the near $400 million lottery. That would have been nice.☺

Also, WAM got wind of a task that I'm supposed to complete that I haven't had time to do. Instead of discussing it with me, they couldn't wait to run over and tell the Acting Supervisor. Now, it really doesn't hurt anything that I haven't done this yet, so there's really no point in rocking the boat. I did 101 jobs yesterday to try to catch up (I'm still very far behind) so the last thing I will tolerate is any of management thinking that I'm not working. If WAM is so concerned, maybe WAM should do it.

Snow started falling sometime in the morning. They were saying 1-3 inches, and it's so cold everything that falls with stick. Through the day, it didn't look so bad, so I decided to go ahead and work my planned overtime.

MISTAKE!! I misjudged this one, I admit, but it's still no fun when it takes 2.5 hours to drive home.

How's that for Wednesday?

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

I'm a Planner

I have to plan things in advance. It's not that I don't like doing things spontaneously, but, how can I say this? I don't have a whole lot of friends (that's not important anyway) but I am very close to the few I have. They all like to take entire days of my time (ie, we can't just get together for a movie in the evening, it has to be shopping and dinner and a movie that takes the whole day). This isn't so bad, really, except I don't get a whole lot of 'me' time as it is. And if I don't plan, plan, PLAN, I may end up double-booking.

Despite my best efforts, this weekend managed to get quadruple-booked. Gees, I think it's even more than that.

First is Saturday. Miss Luna needs to go to the vet for her annual shots. This is way overdue and is not negotiable.
Then, Turtle wanted me to visit her in Richmond for a charity hockey game. Hockey isn't my game, going to Richmond would include booking Sunday as well, and my aforementioned date from V-day will be there.
Monty wanted to catch dinner and The Number 23. I thought that we were going to do this last weekend. Apparently, we never actually mentioned dates to each other, so this is how this happened.
Or, I could have dinner with my grandmother and aunt on her last night here.
On Sunday, I have to take my Aunt to the airport. Or see that movie with Monty. Or drive home from Richmond. Or play a board game with Fox since I missed his annual birthday game (it's the more involved, all-day games that he and some friends get together to play).

Of course, a lot about Sunday depends on what I do on Saturday. If I don't go to Richmond, then I'd join my aunt for dinner, so Monty's movie is out. Fox already gave me leave to go to Richmond instead of his game, so that won't be done. Technically, my weekend in Richmond could start on Friday night, except Miss Luna needs her shots.

Are you confused yet? There's Turtle (and V-date), Fox, Monty, and my mother (who goes with the cat and my aunt) who want a piece of my time this weekend.

So it would seem that going to Richmond is the thing that will get done. Two people want me there, and another doesn't mind altering our plans so I can go without feeling like I let someone down. So, I can leave after Miss Luna's appointment on Saturday morning. If I drive down with my friend, we'd be back pretty early on Sunday because he has to work. That would give me time to take my aunt to the airport and then maybe take in that movie with Monty. And I'll do the game with Fox another day.

Anyone want to trade schedules? This will be another one of those weekends where I don't do anything for me.

Don't get me wrong, I want to see Turtle in Richmond. But at a hockey game is not how I enjoy spending my time. I'll have to bring a book to read or write or something.

I bet you're wondering why I don't just tell some of these people no, right? It's the guilt-tripping. That's really a rotten way to make someone spend time with you, but most of my friends do it. They try to convince me of why they are more deserving of my time, or how much more important their plans are than any other plans. I hate hearing those arguments, so I end up squeezing every ounce possible into my schedule just so I don't have to hear them complain about why they were the ones left out. Yes, it does make me resentful. And tired. And resentful. Maybe if everyone was more understanding about plans, it wouldn't happen. You can see I'm already resentful and the weekend isn't even here yet.

Overtime this week, booked solid for the weekend, probably overtime next week too. And my next vacation is not nearly close enough!

Monday, March 05, 2007


While it's hard for me to do, I really like doing it. And it's not just the extra money. I get to use my overtime hours to catch up a few things in my own work and when that's done, I get to help out another group who really really needs it.

The difficult part of working overtime is that I only have some two hours once I get home before I have to get in bed and do it all again. That's a touch annoying, and why I don't put in some overtime more often. See, it's not about the money!

The extra dough is nice, though. If I can keep this up, I'm going to have this year's trip to Boise paid off before I even get there! That's WooHoo worthy. WOOHOO!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Brunch and Hats and All That Jazz

I'm usually the person who tells everyone when there's anything of note in the sky. It was very odd, last night, almost everyone was beating me to it! My grandmother, my aunt, my uncle. Everyone knew about this eclipse.

I think my family was a little disappointed because it was so dark. Hello?! It's an eclipse! The very nature of the thing means it will be dark! Of course, that made it too dark for pictures. It was an awesome deep red though.

Then we went to the monthly brunch, I bought a new hat (knit cap, to help keep my ears warm in the cold wind). Then we came home and went shopping again. We never made it to the grocery store yesterday, you see, and needed a few things for the week.

I think I'll be working some more overtime this week. While it's sometimes very hard to do, extra cash will help fund this year's trip to Boise. July seems so far away!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Always Fun Times

Shopping was this morning, and in a little while my mom and I will head to the airport to pick up her sister. I love it when she visits.

It's actually been pretty warm today, though they say it will get colder this evening. As long as the clouds stay away so we can see the eclipse.

Did you know there is an eclipse tonight? The moon will rise about when the sun sets (full moons just do that). On the East Coast, it will already be completely eclipsed upon rising. If you're in Europe, you can watch the whole thing. If you're on the West side of the Americas, you'll see the end of it when the moon rises. It should be a nice reddish color. Doesn't that sound like fun?!

Friday, March 02, 2007

Case of Fridayitis

Have you ever worked a job where your energy and production is just down on Friday? I'm going to assume that most people have and know what I'm talking about. Welcome to Friday!

I'm all here, and doing work. Albeit, I was a little late because ten vehicles did a paint exchange on the Wilson Bridge. But I can't seem to find a groove today. Maybe it's because I was late. Or because I couldn't muster the energy to get up and exercise this morning. Or because the day started out rainy and gloomy and I can't see the blue sky from my desk. Or because it's Friday. Or because my aunt is coming in from Utah tomorrow, and there will be a full moon and a total lunar eclipse and Mercury is in retrograde.

Who knows!

I think I need to ask again to move to a window seat. I think Boss² forgot.

At least my day is already halfway over.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

My Hero, Our Hero

Let me tell you a little about Ted.

He is a young man I have never met. On September 20th of 2006, there was a post on a forum that I frequent asking for some healing energy and prayers for Ted. Ted was 14 and in the hospital fighting leukemia for the third time since he was 12. He was in a special hospital in Minnesota, miles away from home in Chicago, waiting for a stem cell transplant from Europe.

Over the next few months, Ted received radiation therapy. The cells in his mouth did not regenerate because of this, he had a fever and an infection. He was totally sedated with a pulmonary hemorrhage. His body did start to recover and produce its own white blood cells, but then his kidneys started to fail from all the medication. He received white blood cells from his mother to help him heal. They started weaning him off the ventilator and the meds that kept him sedated. He got another lung infection and a bladder infection, but was moved out of ICU. An oral infection caused the tissue along his gum line to die. Halfway through December, his leukemia was in full remission.

On December 20th, Ted turned 15 and was back in ICU with another infection. He apologized to his family for them being in the hospital with him at Christmas. They managed to relieve the pain he was in, and replaced his dead jawbone with a titanium one. By the end of January, he was still cancer-free, and the doctors were talking about sending him to a hospital closer to home for recovery.

February 22nd, they found bacteria in Ted's lungs. In a matter of days he was on a ventilator again and fully sedated. His parents signed a do not resuscitate order. Yesterday, his pain ended.

Ted won his fight. His cancer was in remission and he is now free of the pain of his long battle. This child had more strength and courage than anyone I have ever known. Even from the distance that I was, I saw his amazing ability to be selfless. I know the next path his soul will take will be incredible beyond words.