Sunday, September 30, 2007

New Toys

Yes, I'm considering software as a toy. It doesn't always happen that way, but it has today.

My web host had a sale on website design software and I decided to give it a buy and see what it can do. It's pretty cool. Some things are frustrating, and it seems like it's not as intuitive as the program I was using (or, just really new). But, I really like the photo gallery options on this a lot better. I think it will really help get my photo albums back to something close to what they were on Photosite. Or, at least better than a page of thumbnails that link to an uninteresting page with a picture.

So, I've spent the bulk of the day re-building my website with NetObjects Fusion. I got the sailing pictures back up, and the Stonehenge pictures are ready. Now I just need my web host to synchronize with something, and I get to try to upload my site with FTP. I've never done it that way before, so this should be interesting! I think it will be a just fine investment.

Keep with me! If this does work out (and I sure hope it does, because I'm not made of money!) the majority of my site should be back up in no time!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

It's Been a Long Long Day

I got some run-down shoes
Ain't got no place to stay
But any old place will be okay
It's been a long, long day

I only hope our sales figures reflect how incredibly run down we all felt by the end of the day. That would be some comfort at least.

Someone had brought us a big pot full of monkey bread, and one of our workers made whoopie pies (we always eagerly anticipate whoopie pies!). We all had so much sugar today. I think I've exhausted my sugar allowance for a week. The sugar crash hit around 1700, with two hours to go in the day.

I think tomorrow I might have to ride my bike for a few hours to work off today's calories! Good thing I'm not working. It's been a long long day.

I sure could use a friend
Don't know what else to say
I hate to abuse an old cliche
But it's been a long, long day
Its been a long, long day

Friday, September 28, 2007

So Much to Talk About

But I'm really not going to say much. I'm tired. WAM's work is horrid. I'm so glad I won't have to do it on Monday. I'm pissed off beyond thought at my father. He said something inappropriate while in my car that was directed at another motorist, and I just...I'm so ashamed of him. It doesn't matter that the other person didn't hear, I heard. And when I yelled at him, he laughed it off. I don't understand how anyone could be so angry and so prejudice.

I need to get out of here.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Who'd a Thunk It

Happy Birthday, Mom!


Happy Birthday, mom's wonderful sister!

Something Special

I had originally intended to start officially journaling on Samhain, the holiday that many Wiccans and pagans consider the new year of a different solar (some say Celtic-based) calendar. Last night was a full moon, an Esbat, and I did something a little different that simply must be shared.

One of the lovely ladies I work with and her husband are having a house built. They live on nineteen wooded acres in rural Virginia, and their current home does not leave much room for expanding their family.

I have seen the floor plan and pictures of the home they have ordered, and she tells me they will be taking pictures every step of the way (I would too!). Yesterday, they started digging out the basement. As she was explaining this too me, she said they have two pennies (one dated 2004, the year they were married, and one dated 2007, the year the house is to be finished) that they will bury in the soil just before the concrete is poured. I very much like this idea of theirs, and I told her that I would put a charm for peace and protection in my house, where I having one built. She told me that sounded like a good idea but wouldn't know the first thing about making one. Then, suddenly things lined up. I offered to make one for them, that they could bury with their two cents.

I really enjoy making charms like this. When I do, everything is significant, down to the color of the thread I use. Since this is a charm for their new home, the main focus is protection and tranquility, with a little bit of prosperity thrown in for good measure.

The first step was to find what I wanted to use, gather them, and cleanse them (just as you would do if you were making a meal in the kitchen). After that, the work begins. I started by cleansing my aura and creating a sacred space in which to work. I haven't been in the best of spirits lately and needed to be sure that what has been bugging me did not get put into this gift for my friend.

I sat facing the East, for all things begin in the East and this was certainly related to a beginning. I used a brown cotton, brown being the color for homes and cotton a natural fiber that will do no harm to the earth it will be buried in, and started sewing it into a bag with blue thread, blue for its tranquility. I also sewed in a blue hemp drawstring, hemp for, again, it being a natural fiber. During this, the part that takes the most time, I was thinking of my friend and her husband, and how their life together will change and grow in a new home of their choosing.

When the bag was completed, it was time to add the ingredients. I placed five stones in the bag, one by one, naming the properties for which they were chosen. A Carnelian to promote relaxation, a Citrine for peaceful sleep and to burn away negativity, a piece of Hematite to absorb what doesn't get burned away, a Snowflake Obsidian (with one bright spot) for its powerful protective properties, and a Clear Quartz for balance and keeping the other stones clean. Next, I added the herbs. Sage for protection and to keep the energies clean (burning sage is often used to clean spaces in the home or around people, called smudging), Rosemary to lend strong protective energy, and Red Rose Petals, which also have their own protective energy, but I really added it to give my friend and her husband a happy-home boost with the properties of love that are often associated with red roses. Then there were two little extras to add. The first was a pinch of a special blend of ritual incense, used to bring about success.

The second was a last minute addition: I thought about it as I was gathering my supplies and it was just perfect. Years ago, when I first started on this path, my brother and I made a charm for our home. I had always had a fear of my house burning down, or getting struck by lightening, or some other horrific end to the place I lived and loved. We took our instructions from Scott Cunningham's Earth Power; he had an anti-fire charm, and I wanted to make it. Even then, I was adjusting other people's recipes to suit me. I, with my brother's help, took a piece of oak and burned it to ashes. We then dowsed the ashes in water. When they dried, we tied them up in a blue bag (blue being the color of water, which quenches fire) and hung that in the heart of the house, the room that is used the most. Its presence has served me well, especially during thunder storms of which I used to have a terrible fear. It has been hanging there, undisturbed, for fourteen years. Yesterday, I added a pinch of ash from that charm to the one I was making for my friend, for its additional protective properties.

The charm, being complete, was tied up and then cleansed and charged with Reiki. I set it on my windowsill overnight to absorb the energy of the full moon.

I presented my friend with her little gift this morning, who was very happy to receive it. I can't think of a better way to have spent my Esbat. As I said earlier, the timing was perfect. They had just started digging, it was the night of the full moon, and my friends were going to bury the tokens this weekend. I even left the bag closed but not tied, so they may add their coins to it if they wish. My friend seemed very excited about the prospect of putting it all together.

I'm very excited about their new home. I suppose homes are an exciting thing, but this one isn't even mine. I am just so happy for them. And I really enjoy making charms like this for others. I had mentioned how I haven't been in the best mood lately. While what was upsetting me is still upsetting me, it feels very distant today. And I slept well last night, better than I have in a long time.

You never know what doing something for others can also do for you. Let a little magick in your life.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Disappearing Coffee

WAM is out today (and tomorrow, and the next day) and I have to do the work that won't get done. There are two main jobs that WAM does, I was ordered by Adolf to only worry about one of them (because OBC gets fined if they don't get completed).

I'm ok with this, this is what that big training session a couple weeks ago was for. So, at about 0830, I went to the folder to pick up the file that I was supposed to worry about. Keep in mind that while doing this, my regular stuff with the 1500 deadline does not get worked. Formatting the report is time-consuming. Really time-consuming. It probably took thirty minutes just to get the report to the place where I could start working it.

Add to this having to answer the phone during my shift and WAM's, and don't forget about my regular stuff, and the voice mail, and the group e-mails. I just finished that report. Just finished!

It took me all day!! I have a couple breaks in there to do the really urgent things of my normal work, and of course answering the phone, and it's a good think I only take thirty minutes for lunch. That friggin' thing took me all damn day! It was so long that I don't even remember finishing my coffee. I remember getting it, and drinking some. But something happened to the last third of the cup that I'm sure I didn't finish.

I really wanted to print that report out and fold it up into a little airplane and burn it with a magnifying glass.

And I get to do it all again tomorrow. Maybe I'll sleep better tonight, and the report will only have twenty lines to update as opposed to today's eighty. Here's hoping.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Cause and Effect

When someone shows you who they are, believe them.
~ Maya Angelou

I must down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by.
~ John Masefield

Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light.
I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.
~ Sarah Williams

Faith is knowing there is an ocean because you have seen a brook.
~ William Arthur Ward

We rest here while we can, but we hear the ocean calling in our dreams,
And we know by the morning, the wind will fill our sails to test the seams.
The calm is on the water and part of us would linger by the shore.
For ships are safe in harbour, but that's not what ships are for.
~ Michael Lille

Monday, September 24, 2007

Turning No Where

Have you ever had a time where you felt there was no one to go to for comfort, or just to listen, or even to sit in silence because presence sometimes helps?

That's what depression is, and you can be depressed about everything, or just one thing, large issues, or silly non-issues.

I have not been feeling like my normal cheerful, happy self recently. There's no need to worry. I've had to deal with it on my own since high school, when I was diagnosed with severe clinical depression. I've had lots of practice and I know how to deal with it now.

Some days are lower than others, and help is completely in my court.

I've tried therapy in the past. It didn't help. Especially since I was forced to go without for nine months of the year. I have the same opinion of psychologists as I do medical doctors: I have yet to meet one who actually wants to help.

I found such joy in my thirty minute ride yesterday. It was slower going than I probably would have done if I were not riding while my mother was walking, but it was fantastic just the same. Part of it was probably the solitude, even though I was with my mother, I was also not (if that makes any sense). I hope I will have a chance to go back out tonight when I get home. Willow once told me that she heard somewhere that bike riding doesn't help to work your ab muscles. Whoever said that probably had not ridden a bike in a while! I felt like at least the lower ones were being worked fine. And, it really works your core muscles, and those are quite important.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

It's Catching Up With Me

I haven't been sleeping very well lately, and I think I'm really starting to notice during the day. I had to do some gift shopping today, but I really just wanted to stay home. Play on the computer, ride my bike, work on my websites.

I suppose part of the shopping dread was also that we had to go to Wal-Mart. We avoid the Wal-Marts around here. They're really awful. The other part of the shopping dread was because I was getting a wedding gift. And we all know how much I enjoy everything that has to do with weddings.

After breakfast and shopping, I took a nap. I think my mom watched some of the game and took a nap too. Then we got up, put the finishing touches on dinner, and took a turn about the neighborhood while the last bit simmered in the slow cooker.

I'm still a little not used to riding a bicycle, but I really enjoyed the thirty minutes we took before dinner. My mother was walking as I was getting a feel for my new bike; how it turns, how it breaks, how I used to be able to take both hands off the handlebars but can't do that anymore! At least, not yet. I haven't uploaded the new pictures yet, but I'll get them to you later.

After our little outing in the so-much-nicer-than-yesterday weather, we had dinner. This was a delectable stew of veggies; carrots and onions and garlic, with fall-apart chicken and potatoes (the latter I didn't have, of course!), complimented with a harvest salad; greens, pears, dried cherries, pecans, in a cherry vinaigrette. And we finished it off with the last of the Lake Side Red from the Lake Anna Winery. A perfect holiday dinner!

Now, it's time to hit up a movie (probably Buffy, the Vampire Slayer) and then crawl into bed!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Hot, Sticky, Melting

Oh, holy bones, what a day! My curls lasted about an hour in the humidity. By the end of the day, I had to buy a snood. It was so hot, I couldn't take my hair being down any longer!

On the bright side (and also not so much), the faire was a busy busy place. There were lots of people, and lots of people actually buying things. Those are good days! I'm glad the shop I work in doesn't operate on commission, but we do get a bonus based on the sales for the day. Everyone gets the same bonus, so I guess we work on a collective commission. I like it better that way. There's no pressure on us to sell things, and yet, there's incentive for all of us to do so.

And I bought that hat that I had been eyeing since the third. It was waiting for me!

Now it's time to wash off the dust and get to bed. I'm tired!

Friday, September 21, 2007

All My Doing

Oh, I just had an awful day! It's starting to catch up with me that I don't return most of the voice mail messages. I knew it would one day, and I brought it upon myself (even if management is incapable of making sure people are signed on to take calls when they should be). No, I didn't get in trouble or anything like that. Not yet, anyway.

Work just came crashing in on me today. The phone ringing, the e-mails, the voice mails (believe it or not, some days I do answer them all), the new employees who refuse to learn the correct way to send me work. I had to tell the newest one how to do it the right way five times, and he still wasn't doing it! I should only have to tell you once, maybe twice, by then, if you can't get it, you need to go back into training. When he started hounding me about getting his incorrectly-sent work done, that's when I lost my patience.

I didn't get a chance to play around on my bike today. My mother was going to pick up my grandmother's car and use that to get to work while my brother has the CR-V, but we went to pick up my bike yesterday. Mom drove my car to work today, but we had to go to my grandmother's and get her car tonight. When I was hoping to be taking pictures of my new toy in the daylight. I won't get another chance for that until Sunday. I will get better pictures for you, though!

I'm dreading working at the faire tomorrow, but I can't elaborate on that here. It's Adventure Weekend (which used to be Pirate Invasion Weekend), so I just spent the last forty minutes putting my hair up in rollers. The curls go with the costume, get it?

My hair is rather fine and bone straight. To get it to curl, I need a quarter of a bottle of extra strength Wash'N'Curl, special soft spiral rollers, lots of moose and hair spray, at least eight hours to let it sit (usually spent overnight), lots more moose and hair spray, and occasionally a blow dryer. If it's not too humid, my curls will last for two or three days. With the weather what they say it will be tomorrow, they may not last to the night. Yeah, I'm dedicated.

That's all I've got for today! TV in twenty!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

I Got My Bike!

I got my bike! I'm so very excited about it! I took it for a spin around the parking lot (it's been years since I rode a non-stationary bike)! It will take some getting used to, only because it has been so long.

And here it is all folded nice and compact!

Unfortunately, it is night and dark and I didn't get a very good picture (even worse of it not folded). That's ok, tomorrow I'll have some time with daylight to take some good pictures for you. I'm so very happy!

On Monday, when dad and I got home from work, mom was outside looking all forlorn. I asked what was wrong and she mumbled "nothing." Then she said that my brother had called and wanted to borrow the CR-V for the week. He and a friend were going to a cabin in the mountains, and the CR-V was the best-suited vehicle for the trip. My mother told him he could borrow the car, but was all sad about it.

My brother just left. He came by to drop off his car and pick up ours. We visited for a minute, I showing off my new bike and he showing off his new shotgun. One day, maybe I can go shooting with him. If you're laughing now, remind me to show you the target from the first time I ever shot a gun.

My brother also told us that they were looking at a house in Harrisonburg, and were hoping to close on it this month or next. It's got some flaws, as houses go (like a pool that hasn't been used in years), but otherwise is a good size; three bedrooms, two full baths, set back on two acres. Sounds nice! And they really need to get out of where they are. They've been living with my sister-in-law's sister's family for about a year, and it's really hard on them.

If this house has everything they want (I'm not sure how they plan to fit four children into it, which is how many they want, but hey! Maybe they can expand), I hope they get it. That's exciting.

So, I got to see my brother today, the CR-V is gone for the week, and I have a new bike to play with! Oh, how I wish I didn't have to work tomorrow!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Ahoy, Me Hearties!

It be International Talk Like a Pirate Day again! Avast!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Comes and Goes

Work was rather annoying today.

You may remember how much I dislike the phone, how I have to answer the voice mail and be prepared to take calls for four hours. Well, with training on Friday morning and all the work that fell behind, I didn't get a chance to check the voice mail on Friday. With all the back-up work I was doing yesterday, in addition to the stuff that my back-up was not doing, I didn't get a chance to check the voice mail yesterday either. Today, I got yelled at because the inbox was full and people could no longer leave messages. This is upsetting, because you know WAM did not get yelled at for all the calls on Thursday that did not get answered during WAM's shift (apparently, WAM never signed on Thursday to take those calls, and I was ordered not to jump in during someone else's shift, even though I have to answer the messages that get left). Grrr.

So, a new study was released today that indicated the DC area ranks second in the country for the worst traffic. DUH! We're behind LA and tied with San Francisco and Atlanta. As if we need to be told the traffic here is bad.

I have a friend who is going over the Thesaurus Arcanum for me. You know, checking out the layout and organization, looking at the information (which isn't much right now), that kind of thing. If she likes how it's looking and I don't have much to change, I should be able to get the site up soon, even as there are still quite a lot of things to add to it. It is moving right along.

I still don't have much to say. I've been very tired lately, but not sleeping very well. I think on that note, I'll be going to bed.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Something To Say

But I don't know what it is. I had to do WAM's work this morning, and the work that didn't get done by WAM on Friday. And my work that wasn't getting done by my back-up while I was doing other things.

I'm still very very sore from Saturday, and very tired from yesterday. It was a great weekend!

I'm sorry, faithful blog readers, I know I didn't have much to say yesterday either. Maybe tomorrow will be more eventful. Or less sore.

Oh, the good news is that REI might still have those sunglasses that I bought on clearance over a year ago and was sucked off my face by the ocean. Yay!

That's it, that's all I have today.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Clear Skies

The nice weather from yesterday carried on to today. This means there were lots of people, and lots of buying people at the Renaissance Festival today. The rain on Friday kept the dust down, which helped a lot.

I actually have nothing else to talk about today. But I'm really tired and hungry and I am sooo sore from yesterday! I feel like I was beat up!

I think it's time for some kale soup and a nice hot shower.

And happy birthday, Trent!

Seven years old, where do the years go?

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Roll on, Deep and Dark Blue Ocean, Roll

Ten thousand fleets sweep over thee in vain. Man marks the earth with ruin, but his control stops with the shore.
~Lord Byron

Pat and I got a nice early start for our day in Ocean City, Maryland. We left my place a little before 0800 and arrived around 1100 or so. There was some big motorcycle event going on, but the beach itself wasn't that crowded.

The rain and the clouds moved out, and the wind moved in. It blew tiny grains of sand like needles against skin, and the sand filled every fold of fabric it could possibly get to. The air temperature, however was rather pleasant, and the water temperature was still quite nice. The wind did account for the inability to use a shade umbrella and the rather large waves crashing on the shore (large compared to what I'm used to seeing, anyway. I wouldn't try to hold a surfing tournament on them.).

After a little bit of shopping and some lunch, we set up on the beach. We enjoyed the sun and the sound of the surf for a while before heading into the water. It was very cold in the wind after being in that nice cold water. But, once we dried off, it wasn't so bad. At least, I thought so. It was a bit too cold for Pat, so he just napped on the beach, and ignored my insistence that he put on some sunscreen since the umbrella was unusable.

I went into the water again. This time, a rather large wave came at me, and I was unable to swim closer to shore because of the water going out. It crested right over my head! Down I went, and flipped all around, and scraped knees and shins and hips against the hard shell-encrusted sand, and felt my sunglasses whisked off my face by the wave. I wasn't trying to dunk my head in the water, that's why I didn't leave my sunglasses on the shore!

After a little break, I went back into the waves. When we arrived, there was joy in the sound of them. And then in the sand between my toes. And then in the water around me like a warm embrace. Even when I stood my ground as the waves came at me, and felt them pound against me like a great fist. Still, there is the joy of the ocean.

I did manage to get a little bit of nap in there, but mostly I wanted to commune with the water. The sun had just started to set as we were leaving the town. We only had to endure a tiny bit of traffic on our way. Pat and I agreed that it was a good thing we left when we did; before we got caught up in the biker traffic heading out of town.

This is a picture of a cool church that we passed on the way. I'm happy that I had the camera ready this time.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Stuff To Do

I got trained by WAM today. As you can imagine, WAM is an awful trainer. That is all I shall say on it.

So, this weekend! Tomorrow, Pat and I will go to Ocean City. You may remember that we ended up not going when I got back from Idaho. The weather is supposed to be perfect. We both really need the beach right now. Maybe this time I'll remember to bring my camera.

And then Sunday, I'll be working at the faire. It should also be really nice weather. Which should translate into actually being comfortable in my 'uniform' and lots of people buying things. What more can you ask for?

That's all I have for today! I've got to get ready for the beach!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I Forgot

I completely forgot what I was going to talk about today.

How about a fun picture?

This shot was taken in September a year ago. Tropical Storm Ernesto had just come through the area, and I wanted to take advantage of the storm surge. Actually, I wrote about this venture over here. In that entry, I talked about the bridge that usually stands five or six feet above the water. Here it is, not much above the water at all! Certainly not enough for a person in a kayak to get under.

We haven't been kayaking in a while. Looking at this picture makes me long for it. I hope we get a chance to go again soon. It looks like we won't make it to the PA Renaissance Faire this year, though. Of course, it's the year we buy tickets in advance that we can't go! That's the way things work out sometimes.

And I still haven't remembered what I really wanted to talk about today!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Feed Me, Seymour!

One of my coworkers saw the picture of poor sick Lily and said it reminded him of "that plant thing in that movie." He's talking about Audrey II, of course! I didn't try to give Lily any blood, but some nice fertilizer might make him happy.

Incidentally, Little Shop of Horrors was the first musical I was ever in. It's actually quite a fun show. I was only in the chorus, but I got to do some rather funny things. The chorus members were, of course, the urchins of Skid Row, and so had many rather disgusting habits when they appeared. At one point, I mimed picking my nose and offering my prize to one of the other urchins, who didn't want it. So, I offered it to the one on the other side of me, who mimed taking it and eating it, and gave me a big thumbs-up. We got a gratifying "ewwww" from the front rows of people who noticed the little exchange.

An actor named Rod was the puppeteer of Audrey II, which was mostly plywood in our budget. Rod had to wear a full green body suit with some rather ridiculous looking gauzy things sticking out all over. He also was Audrey II's foliage, you see, and in such a costume it wasn't bad to see him moving behind the prop. I remember Rod telling me how utterly scared he was to have to take his curtain call in that suit. He knew he looked silly in it, and wished there was time to change before coming out. There wasn't, and I told him no one would know what he did if he completely changed clothes anyway. In the end, Mr. Wadas, our director, insisted Rod and the person who did Audrey II's voice bow together, and no, there was no time for Rod to change. At the end of opening night, Rod stepped out in his unbelievably green get-up next to the voice actor, and the two of them received the absolute loudest cheer and applause of the whole company. That was a "you really love me" moment!

It was a rather morbid show for a Catholic high school to perform. I'm so glad we were able to get away with things like that!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Just as I Said

Lily made quite an improvement on yesterday, didn't he? He had many visitors today too; coming by to say how much better he looked. Yep. My plant is popular.

I'm also glad he's nice an healthy and not all pitiful and droopy like yesterday.

You read that right. I call it him and I call him Lily.

Some amazingly loud thunder storms came through last night. The lightening was bright and the thunder was loud and nearby. My poor kitties were near beside themselves (and each other, which is quite a feat). Both Callie and Miss Luna were strays before they came to live in our house. I wonder if their fear comes from their memories of being out in the world with little or no shelter. I remind them every storm that they're safe here. Callie is getting better, it only took her nine years. I guess Miss Luna needs some more time.

Anyway, because of my worried cats and the loud storms, I barely got any sleep last night. Because I barely got any sleep last night, I'm going to forgo all the stories I had thought about writing today and just go to bed.

How about that!

Monday, September 10, 2007

It Just Needs Water

In the cubeland that is my office, there is a cabinet. On the cabinet, there is a peace lily. Most days, this plant likes it here. It is green and lush and thriving. It has dutiful caretakers when I'm on vacation, and people who look out for its well-being even when I'm there. You can imagine that the sight of this on this Monday morning caused quite a stir.

I've seen it happen before; my Lily looking all wilted and droopy. But this was wilted and droopy with yellowing leaves and bone-dry soil. Poor Lily needed water!!!

I set to work right away, and filled it to overflowing. Then cleaned it up. When this has happened before, it was usually nice and perky by the end of my work day. Alas, this picture was taken at the end of my work day.

Through the course of the day, Lily's various caretakers came to my desk to inquire after Lily's health. I told them he was just dry, and should perk up (despite the fact that I made sure he had water before I left for the weekend). Maybe the recurring air conditioning problems dried him out over the weekend? Hopefully this time, they're fixed for good.

Whatever the cause, I'm expecting to see him nice and perky when I get there in the morning. And then I'll clip away the yellow leaves and everything will be ok again. He shouldn't need repotting yet, but if he dries out fast, I'll know that's what he needs.

Yes, today I learned that my plant is the most popular being in the office. Even people I don't regularly speak with came by to show their concern for Lily. Go figure!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

More Shopping

Today, mom and I went to the other local major shopping area. This is the only place for quite a lot of miles around where we can find Trader Joe's and Whole Foods (if you don't have these stores in your area, poor you! They're great!). And we added a quick trip to the bookstore and some nice Chico's clothes.

I know you're thinking that I had a crazy shopping weekend, and I did, but I also haven't done that in a really long time. Not since my trip to Idaho, actually. And despite all the spending, I put a significant chunk of change into my savings account too.

Then we spent the rest of the evening watching The Mummy and playing with Shrinky Dinks. Really! Who remembers Shrinky Dinks? I found a pack of blank sheets at the fabric store today and I simply had to have them. I remember my brother and I coloring He-Man Shrinky Dinks (I am certain I still have Tee-La somewhere), and recently I found a Harry Potter themed set, but I sure can't remember what I did with it. Coloring and shrinking plastic. Hours of entertainment, I tell you! Now, if only I could find that elusive hole puncher....

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Order Placed

Originally, mom and Fox and I were going to go hiking today. But, I'm still getting over that lingering cold and it's been very hot and humid and we don't want another cold (or another episode of heat exhaustion like the last time we hiked). We'll have to do that another time. Instead, mom and I did some much needed shopping.

On July 4th, while we were wandering around Annapolis, we crossed paths with a couple who had some really strange bicycles. I honestly don't remember if we asked them about their mode of transportation, or if we somehow knew, but we learned that they were riding folding bicycles. Mom and I did some research and decided we wanted some of our own, and found a local bike shop that sold a popular brand. We checked out what was available before my trip to Idaho (they don't keep any in stock so I couldn't get it before my trip). I had to wait for a few more things to happen, but my bike has been ordered! It should be here in a couple weeks. I'm very excited!

I also bought some dolls, something I haven't done in a very long time. They've got some a new Wizard of Oz series that I need to get! I only have the Munchkins and the Winkie and Flying Monkey. I know, I've got six more dolls to get! In time.

All the shopping we normally do is things we need (like groceries), so it was a rather nice change to be able to add some recreational shopping to.

Unfortunately, we've been having some local power issues, and I don't trust it to stay on long enough to do any real work on my websites.

Friday, September 07, 2007

A Regret

I have one photo album up on my website. It's not nearly as cool as it was on Photosite, but it will work.

The regretful part is not in the lack of cool slideshow, but in the lack of music. Two of my Photosite albums played music. This one in particular played a piece of music called "Skyward Glance." It was so beyond perfect for the 'mood' of that album that I was trying to convey. It seems that there is truly no way to save the sound so that I can embed it in the new page.

For this, I am very sad.

If anyone has any tips for getting those music files, I'd be so beyond glad to hear them.


The street I live on is called King Richard Place. There's a nice green street sign on the corner that says "KING RICHARD PL" in big white letters.

There is a NASCAR driver named Richard Petty. I hear he's pretty accomplished as race car drivers go. He's won the NASCAR Championship seven times. Through his chosen career path, he managed to be nicknamed "King Richard."

My friend Turtle and her family are huge NASCAR fans. So much that I consulted with her father as an expert source for an Anthropology in Sports project in college. I have been to one NASCAR race in my life, the Pepsi 400 in Daytona, on a vacation with them.

I'm not entirely sure how this came to pass, but Turtle's dad somehow got his pilfering hands on the street sign that usually graced the top of a pole on the corner. The pillaged sign accompanied him to some NASCAR event, where Turtle's dad stood among a throng of screaming Richard Petty fans and was told by some bodyguard types that he wasn't there to sign any autographs. Mr. Petty took one look at my street's sign and declared "I'm signing that!"

The tale does not end with that newly gaffitied sign being returned to it's place of origin, though. Neat as that would be. Unless Turtle's burgling dad traded it for some e-Bay cash, it's in their home two miles away. I've told them I claim that sign if they ever tire of it. After all, I'm the one who lives there!

How's that for a random story?!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Up and Off and Away!

There's nothing like getting carried away into the vast world of personal websites!

My mother and I were planning to watch some movie at 1900 tonight (sadly, the movie we want to watch, Muppet Treasure Island, is no where to be found and we have no idea what happened to it). Well, you can see it's past 1900 and I'm still in front of the computer!

I've been spending my evening setting up a brand new, all my own, e-mail address to go with my super cool domain. No, you can't have it. I'm still trying to figure out how to combine my two Yahoo addresses and three Gmail addresses to this one I-pay-for-it address. I don't think the Gmail addresses can go anywhere anyway, as I use at least one for this blog. We'll see how this all goes!

That's all the time I have today! I think we're going to watch some Monsters Inc. since we can't find what we really want. Who would have thought it so easy to lose a VHS tape in a big plastic, Disney-style tape box? I guess it's time to comb some stores for the DVD. Of course, my DVD of Charlie's Angels went missing too.... Who's taking my movies?!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

I'm Melting...Meeeellltiiing!

The air conditioner fan is broken. It happened some time yesterday after lunch.

Imagine, if you will, an enclosed second floor room with three secured entrances and about 100 work stations, each with a 98.6° body (give or take) and a heat-producing computer humming away. Also put into this space two running fax machines, a big hot copy machine, three printers, a microwave, three coffee pots, a broken ice machine, and a rancid refrigerator. We're not even counting the exceptionally bright lights (half of which are off!). Now, turn off the a/c and make it a mere 90° outside. Welcome to my office.

The cold pack that I brought in my lunch is currently between my back and my chair. My hair has been pulled up. And my water becomes room temperature faster than I can drink it. Ick. Don't forget that I've been sick, and still am a bit. This heat is especially torturous.

On the bright side, misery loves company and all 100-odd of us are pretty miserable! What I wouldn't give for a trip through the data center, aka the meat locker, that has it's own cooling system owing to the many very hot servers in a very small space.

At least I get to go home soon! Sooooooonnnnnnnnn..........

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


Today is my mother's father's birthday. He died when I was ten years old. He would have been 92 years old this year. It's hard to believe it has been so long.

I remember having crab feasts at his house. I remember my brother and I driving through the mountains with him and my grandmother.

I remember when he was in the hospital. I remember wanting to visit him so badly, but no one would let me. I remember when my parents brought my brother and I into their room. I remember dad telling us that my aunt called last night. And I remember how sad beyond sad I was when dad said, "Poppop's dead." What I don't remember is how long I cried that morning.

I also remember not crying any other time, and not being able to understand why. Not at his funeral. Not when a counselor read a children's book called "Why did Grandpa die?" to my brother and I. Not even when my brother was bawling at the end of it.

Death can be a strange thing. Sometimes we know instantly what it means, and sometimes all it takes is one moment, or a rather long moment, of release to be at peace with it. And those who leave us here still can walk with us and talk with us and tell us not to worry because we're walking in the right direction.

Happy birthday, Poppop. I still miss you.

Monday, September 03, 2007

I Already Can't Breathe!

And today, I had nothing but RennFaire dust to breathe!

That's as it tends to be, unless it has rained recently (it has not). It wasn't a record-breaking day, to be sure. The shop was busy, but not too busy. I'm ok with that, actually. I wasn't completely up to par as it is. But I went armed with lots of tissues and hand sanitizer!

We have a hat in the back room that's one of my favorite styles in a deep, smooth velvet, purple. No, I didn't buy it, but I sure wanted to! I have a feeling if it's still there when next I work, it will be mine. Then again, this hat did have gold trim and I'm more of a silver-wearing person. I've never asked my boss for a custom hat, but for this, I might. Hmmm...maybe it's good that I didn't buy it after all....

It was a hard day's work, and I'm ready to wash off the dust and go to bed!

Oh, one more note about my friend's wedding on Saturday. Apparently, she called and left a message on my cell phone early Saturday morning. I tell everyone that my cell phone should be the last point of contact, but everyone who has the number uses it as the first. Anyway, we arrived at the place on Saturday rather early, and I checked for messages then. There were none. This message that she left didn't actually get to me until yesterday evening, when I called Fox to tell him not to worry about picking me up today (as was the plan). Had I gotten the message, I would have known that she still wanted me to do a reading, and would have been able to accost the groom for a copy of it to read over! Ah, well! I think it worked out anyway. Remind me to apologize that her message did not get to me in any sort of timely way!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

We Do the Best We Can

Yesterday, I woke up miserable. I watched my fever climb through the morning hours, and then slowly move the other way as I did everything I could think of to bring it down. I had a wedding to go to!

Thankfully, I was able to get my fever down and drive to Richmond to be perfectly miserable at a wedding that I knew I would otherwise enjoy. Of all the weekends to get sick! As it turns out, it was a good thing that I did make it, because I was called up by the officiant to read a little passage for them.

About three months ago, the bride asked me to read something during her ceremony. At first, I said I wasn't interested (owing to the general not liking of weddings that I have), but I had thought more on it and changed my mind. I met her in 1988, after all, we were in the same fourth grade class. She is the one person of all the non-relatives I know whom I had known the longest. After I told her I really would like to be a (small) part of her ceremony, she said great and that's all I heard on it. Sitting there yesterday, I figured she probably changed her ceremony or something and had decided to not go with a reading after all.

No, not how it worked out! They called me up, so there my sick little self strode, without even so much as a second to read over the few sentences they wanted me to read (as the bride announced that I had no preparation for this), and off I read. As they were setting up the reception, a lot of people approached and said it was very nice, and very nice that I did it with no warning. True, I had three months warning, but that was all! Everyone also said I didn't sound sick (that's because I'm an actor and know how to manipulate my voice when it counts). All things being considered, I'm glad my part went as well as it did.

I admit that I often don't remember the exact moment when I meet people who are later important in my life. I could name three people where the particulars of such events are no longer in my memory right now. This means that my memory of first meeting this friend may be quite off from reality. What I do remember that I'm sure is accurate, is that we played together during recess. We played with Sylvanian Families, and talked about unicorns (one lived on the playground, you know). I learned that she lived actually very close to my home, which allowed us to see each other for other things (like movie days and parties) and I got to meet her sister. I actually have a picture of the three of us at my house. A few years after it was taken, I had thought I lost touch with her, and so circled her on the picture and drew a sad face :(.

After they moved, we kept in not-so-close contact by writing letters, and I remember going to one of her birthday parties, that was the first time I saw The Princess Bride. They moved again, and again, and even out of the country. Every now and then, I'd get a letter and reply. Sometime in high school, one of her letters mentioned what college she would be going to, and that was the last I had heard from her in a long time.

So, it was in college that I started missing her and her letters. I remembered where she said she would be going and looked her up in their student directory. That little trick wouldn't work now, I think, with all the protections on people's privacy, but it worked then, I found an e-mail address. I wrote a short "if you are who I think you are, write back" kind of message, at that was that. We then had e-mail, and exchanged addresses (well, I got a new one from her, mine hasn't changed any!), and now we're up to cell phones (as unreliable as mine is). Maybe I'm just not the kind of person who lets someone go if I can help it!

If nothing else, sick and all, I'm glad that I was at her wedding. I would have had a better time of it sans this nasty cold, but I'm still very glad that I didn't miss it. And her now-husband is a very great guy. I hope, just as I know, that they will have a great life together.

I was supposed to be at work at the Faire today, but my dad happened to mention that I wasn't feeling well and so the booth manager ordered me to stay home. I welcome the chance to actually rest and be better for tomorrow, because they can't spare me then. Off to sleep with me!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Wedding #2

Congratulations, Rhiannon and Scott!

It's only #2 because it's the second one I've gone to this near-Fall season, not in importance!