Friday, September 29, 2006

My Morning Schedule

CMHL posted her take on "Rawhide" the other day, along with her typical morning routine. In the interests of not posting anything too huge in her comments, I thought I'd share this morning's schedule as it was fairly typical.

I may have mentioned a time or two that I am nocturnal by nature. I don't willingly do mornings. My coffee mug at works says "A morning without coffee is like sleep." and I mean every word of it.

Something else, I sleep like the dead. I fall asleep almost before I make it under the covers and I don't move again without 10 or so alarm clocks buzzing, ringing and squawking in and around my ears. I can sleep just about anywhere, and through just about anything. Once when I was young, my father attempted to pry me out of bed by picking up one side of the mattress and flipping me onto the floor. It didn't wake me up. My brother and my mom are the same way.

One side effect of this is that I do not wake up well. None of my blood has been moving for several hours, and things just don't work. I usually fall at least once, 'cause I essentially have to relearn how to stand and walk. My voice is a rusty croak, I can't see, I have no cognitive abilities - actually, you won't see a better shambling zombie impression anywhere. Well, anywhere outside my family.

I have learned to cope as much as possible. My morning routine begins the night before. I pack a lunch and leave it in the fridge, set up the coffeepot so it'll have the elixir waiting for me, set up the coffee mug - 1 teaspoon of sugar and some milk in a mug and leave it in the fridge in its spot, put my badge (electronic, to get in the door at work) and my house keys in my purse, gather everything that needs to go to work and pile it by the door, set out whatever I'm wearing the next day including jewelry and shoes, and ensure all alarms are set properly and ready to go. If there's anything special that I need to remember, I write myself a note on the mirror in dry erase marker, and leave a post-it on the door at eye level. I shower and wash my hair every night. (This is partly 'cause my hair eats dryers and this way it can air dry overnight.) Once I've done everything possible the night before, I snuggle into unconsciousness.

So this morning...
I know the alarms started blaring when the clocks read 6:30. (Actual time: somewhere around 5:45 - I change it regularly to keep myself off-balance) I started smacking snooze buttons between 5 and 10 minutes after that. When the clocks read 7:15, I crawled out of bed, and flipped the covers back up. (That's all that is necessary to make the bed. I really don't move at night.) Stumbled to the bathroom for the morning absolutions, fell over the kitten on the way. From the bathroom, headed to the kitchen (whacked into recliner, the coffee table and only one wall this morning), retrieved my mug from the fridge and poured the first cup. Sucked that one down, took the refilled mug (black this time) to the bedroom and got dressed. Grabbed the cell phone and the blackberry and left the bedroom, shutting off the light on the way. Back to the kitchen to put cell phone in purse and refill coffee mug. Back to the bathroom to brush teeth, fight with hair and take vitamins. Yum, coffee, multi-vitamin and calcium tablets - the breakfast of champions. Turned off light, back to kitchen to change cat water and refill food bowl and chug last mug of coffee. This morning was my turn to drive, so I gathered up my stuff and was out the door by 7:15.

From there, I picked up my friend and headed for work. In the building by 7:50, clip on the badge, hit the power button on the 'puter and head for the coffee pot with my carafe for pot #2.

Once I'm done in a room, I turn the light off. Otherwise I will, at some point, wander back in there and then just stand in the middle of the room, trying to figure out why I'm there.

I use Oberweiss milk, which comes in glass containers. I am not coordinated enough in the morning to handle the bottle without dropping it, which is why the mug is prepared the night before. Also, that keeps me from putting the coffee pot in the fridge and trying to stuff the bottle under the coffee drip. (Yes, I have done this before. More than once. If you expose a cold milk bottle to a hot burner enough times, you too can experience the nearly explosive cracking force from the temperature extremes.)

This morning was uneventful. Some mornings are worse than others.

My father works nights, so he was just getting ready to go bed when my brother and I were living at home and starting our days. He used to be very entertained watching us bumble around. We have actually ran smack dab into each other, and then both fallen. *sigh* At least I'm not alone!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Things I've Done, Part 3 (questions 101-150)

Finally finished! Whew.

So, part one can be found here.
Part two can be found here.

Total for all 150 questions:
Yes: 34 + 23 + 23 = 80
Half-credit: 5 + 4 + 3 = 12
No: 11 + 23 + 24 = 58


Total count for the third part:
Yes: 23
Half-credit: 3
No: 24

Yes: 102, 104, 109-111, 116, 118, 120, 122, 125, 127-130, 133-136, 138, 140, 144, 145
Half-credit: 108, 114, 146
No: 101, 103, 105-107, 112, 113, 115, 117, 119, 121, 123, 124, 126, 131, 132, 137, 139, 142, 143, 147-150

101 - Walked The Golden Gate Bridge. I haven't spent any time in SanFranciscoo. My cousin is getting married there next spring, so this will hopefully change.

102 - Sang loudly in the car and didn't stop when you knew someone was looking. Certainly. Haven't you?

103 - Had plastic surgery. Nope.

104 - Survived an accident that you shouldn't have survived. More than one of them, actually.

105 - Wrote articles for a large publication. Nope.
106 - Lost over 100 pounds. Nope.
107 - Held someone while they were having a flashback. Nope.

108 - Piloted an airplane. I'm going to say half credit here, 'cause I dated a guy once who ran a charter service with his dad. I've never taken off, but I've flown, and even landed once.

109 - Petted a stingray. Pre-Katrina Aquarium of the Americas in New Orleans had an area where you could pat little ones. Scratchy.

110 - Broken someone's heart. I didn't mean to.

111 - Helped an animal give birth. If by help, you mean stand there, ready to speed dial the vet.

112 - Won money on a TV game show. Nope.

113 - Broken a bone. Nope. I bounce - at least so far.

114 - Gone on an African photo safari. See #5. I have gone to The Wilds, near Cambridge, Ohio so, I'll say half credit here 'cause I went on an African ANIMAL photo safari, even if I was in Ohio.

115 - Had a body part of yours below the neck pierced. Not intentionally. I did staple my thumbs together once though. Man, that hurt!

116 - Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol. Of course. My father taught me early and well.

117 - Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild. Yuck. Fungus.

118 - Ridden a horse. I grew up with them, and ride every chance I get.

119 - Had major surgery. Nope, thankfully. My closest (and only) was the extraction of my wisdom teeth this spring.

120 - Had a snake as a pet. Once, on vacation, we found 2 black racer snakes in our cabin. The ranger wouldn't touch the margarine container once he knew what was in it, so we took them home. We had them for a couple of years. They were neat.

121 - Hiked to the bottom of The Grand Canyon.

122 - Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours. My personal record was right after I graduated from college. That semester ranks as the 16 worst weeks of my life - working 30+ hours a week, taking 21 credit hours of engineering classes and running two households while my grandmother and my mother were out of commission. I fell into bed after the graduation ceremony and woke up 36 hours later.

123 - Visited more foreign countries than U.S. States. See # 5.

124 - Visited all 7 continents. See #5.

125 - Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than two days. Yup - in high school a bunch of us went. It was a lot of fun and I wouldn't mind doing it again.

126 - Eaten kangaroo meat. No. I'm not really interested in it either.

127 - Eaten sushi. Tried it. Yuck.

128 - Had your picture in the newspaper. I was quite the nerd in high school, and routinely got my picture in the paper for awards for writing and science and such.

129 - Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about. You do not want to get me started on the state of civil liberties in our current, so-called "free" society.

130 - Gone back to school. I went to college directly out of high school, was there for 2 years and quit. Two years later, I went back and finished my degree.

131 - Parasailed. Not yet, but I want to - it looks like SO much fun!

132 - Petted a cockroach. I've sucked a couple up in vacuum cleaners, and squashed a couple, but never have I petted one. Why in God's name would you?!? *shudder*

133 - Eaten fried green tomatoes. I didn't really care for them.

134 - Read The Iliad And The Odyssey. Turns out Miss Gradwell and Mrs. Berry knew what they were doing.

135 - Selected an important author who you missed in school and read something they wrote. I managed to miss "Les Miserables" during school.

136 - Killed and prepared an animal for eating. Only if you count fish as animals. I'm too squeamish about my little forest friends to hurt them. I didn't kill the chicken, but I did prepare and cook one - starting with the plucking. I didn't eat it though. I was too grossed out by the whole process of preparation.

137 - Skipped all your school reunions. Nope. I went to my ten year, and will probably go to my fifteen year.

138 - Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language. Sure, especially if you count critters.

139 - Been elected to public office.

140 - Written your own computer language. Fortran sucks, but I've done it.

141 - Somehow or another, this one got lost in the shuffle, so I'm making up my own question. Have you ever consumed more than 5 pots of coffee in a day? Yes. During that last hell semester of college, I was subsisting on two hours or so of sleep a night and between eight and ten pots of coffee during the day. I don't recommend it.

142 - Had to put someone you love into hospice care. Not yet. The day is coming, however.

143 - Built your own PC from parts. No. I'm kind of surprised at myself. Maybe that's what I'll do this weekend.

144 - Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you. Actually this one and the next are rather closely tied together as I sold some of my paintings at a street fair.

145 - Had a booth at a street fair. Yup. See above.

146 - Dyed your hair. I'm going to say half credit here. I've dyed it for Halloween with that washout stuff and once it was inadvertently turned grass green by pool chemicals.

147 - Been a DJ. Nope.

148 - Shaved your head. No, but it felt like it when I got sick of my hair in high school and chopped off several feet.

149 - Caused a car accident. Not that I know of.

150 - Saved someone's life. Not that I know of.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Things I've Done, Part 2 (questions 51-100)

Wow, this is taking me forever. Who put this thing together anyway?

See here for Part 1.

Total Count for the second part:
Yes: 23
1/2 credit: 4
No: 23

Yes: 53, 55-59, 62-65, 69, 70, 73, 74, 77, 80, 83, 84, 87-89, 98, 100
1/2 credit: 67, 76, 85, 86
No: 51, 52, 54, 60, 61, 66, 68, 71, 72, 75, 78, 79, 81, 82, 90-97, 99

51 - Visited Ireland. See #5

52 - Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love. Nope. I'm fairly shallow.

53 - In a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table and had a meal with them. Hibachi Japan in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio is VERY tasty if you're ever in the neighborhood. They've got a great plum wine, and you sit at tables of 8. If you don't have 8 in your party, you meet new people over dinner.

54 - Visited Japan. See #5

55 - Milked a cow. See #32 - that whole rural thing. I've been cow tipping too.

56 - Alphabetized your CDs. Umm. Doesn't everyone? How do you find anything if you haven't.

57 - Pretended to be a superhero. Sure. Not lately, but as a kid, I frequently pinned a towel around my neck for a cape and went swooping around the house.

58 - Sung karaoke. Dogs cried. Trust me, you're better off not personally witnessing this.

59 - Lounged around in bed all day. I don't think *lounged* per se is the right word, but sleeping all day is a typical weekend activity for me.

60 - Posed nude in front of strangers. Oh, hell no.

61 - Gone scuba diving. *sigh* I ended up an engineer at least partly because in high school I signed up for a summer camp to become certified in scuba. I didn't get into the scuba camp but the same university also had an engineering camp and they put me in that. At the camp, I came to realize that the scuba camp was bait and everyone in the engineering camp applied for the scuba one. Flash forward several years, and everyone I kept in touch with majored in... engineering. AND, not one of us ever managed a scuba certification.

62 - Kissed in the rain. Of course. If you haven't, I'm sorry.

63 - Played in the mud. Certainly. I like to feel it squishing between my toes, and I make a mean mud pie.

64 - Played in the rain. In high school physics, we proved (somehow or another) that you get wetter running through the rain than you would just walking through it. Assuming I'm not going to spend a lot of time afterwards in wet denim, I'd rather stomp in puddles and play.

65 - Gone to a drive-in theater. There used to be a theatre in Akron, Ohio called the Gala. My friends and I regularly went - there was a futon mattress in the back of my pickup for years 'cause we'd take the cap off and lounge in the bed with a cooler and watch the double features. The most fun was probably the "Anaconda"/"Relic" double-feature. Yay creature movies!

66 - Visited The Great Wall Of China. See #5

67 - Started a business. I'll say half credit here, 'cause I'm not sure lemonade stands at age 7 count. Although, I occasionally have enough done to have a booth at a craft show.

68 - Fallen in love and not had your heart broken. Hearts break all the time, at least a little.

69 - Toured ancient sites. Many as I've wandered the highways and byways of our very interesting country. One of the coolest: the serpent mound in Adams County, Ohio. It's a very spiritual place. If you're ever in the neighborhood, check it out here.

70 - Taken a martial arts class. I've taken several. I actually need to start back up - I enjoyed it thoroughly.

71 - Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight. I've never understood that game.

72 - Gotten married. Nope. Never even got close. I fully expect to be the crazy old lady with a million cats. Maybe you'll see me on the news one day.

73 - Been in a movie. "In" a movie might be an exaggeration. I was an inadvertent extra several times, and a couple friends are amateur filmmakers. I've been in their movies - usually I end up getting killed off in some improbable fashion.

74 - Crashed a party. Just a couple of weeks ago, my friend and her sister had a house warming. They gave directions to their cluster of townhouses and said to follow the balloons. I did that and ended up sitting in a garage full of people I'd never seen before. I just figured them for my friend's sister's friends. Gradually it occurred to me that I was the only white person there and they were all looking at me weirdly. Turns out, I took a wrong turn and ended up in the wrong cluster - at someone's family reunion. Whoops. I should have eaten there - whatever they were cooking smelled fantastic and I ended up eating cold pizza and burnt sloppy joes.

75 - Gotten divorced. My parents are still my parents and otherwise, you need to get married to get divorced.

76 - Gone without food for 5 days. We'll say half credit here, 'cause I had a nasty, horrible bout with the stomach flu once that lasted nearly 2 weeks. I couldn't keep water down. It was awful.

77 - Made cookies from scratch. *blink* Of course. Any other way doesn't really count. I feel this was about all baking and most cooking. If you use a store-bought pie crust, it doesn't count as baking either. (Yes, I'm a baking and a cooking snob.)

78 - Won first prize in a costume contest. No, but if you're ever in Kent, Ohio around Halloween, you should really go and check out their costumes. Kent has a very good fashion design program and Halloween costumes were part of one of the classes.

79 - Ridden a gondola in Venice. See #5.

80 - Gotten a tattoo. So far, just one but they really are like potato chips. I hadn't even healed from it before I was contemplating what to do next.

81 - Rafted The Snake River. Several others, but not that one. Not yet anyway.

82 - Been on a television news program as an expert. And not likely to be, ever.

83 - Got flowers for no reason. My friend and I exchange flowers for no reason at random points throughout the year. It perks both of us up.

84 - Performed on stage. Not particularly well, and not since high school.

85 - Been to Las Vegas. Half credit here - I've spent several hours in the airport on layovers.

86 - Recorded music. Nothing I've ever personally produced could ever even be called lyrical. I've taped music off of the radio and made my own cd collections. Does that count? We'll say half credit here.

87 - Eaten shark. I tried it. Yuck.

88 - Eaten fugu (pufferfish). Same as above.

89 - Had a one-night stand. *sigh* I went through a period where my ability to make intelligent decisions took a powder. It's okay, I'm mostly over it.

90 - Gone to Thailand. See #5

91 - Bought a house. Not yet. Once day, hopefully.

92 - Been in a combat zone. I'm assuming you mean a real one, and not my friend's marriage.

93 - Buried one/both of your parents. I can't even contemplate it.

94 - Been on a cruise ship. Nope. Maybe one day.

95 - Spoken more than one language fluently. Are you kidding? I'm usually incoherent in English. I am attempting to learn Spanish though. And if I manage that, I did promise my grandmother to learn German - the native tongue, if you will.

96 - Performed in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I've never ever seen the whole show in a theatre.

97 - Raised children. I spent several months as a nanny. It was hell, and completely reinforced my decision to never breed.

98 - Followed your favorite band/singer on tour. Not for the entire tour, but for several cities.

99 - Taken a bicycle tour in a foreign country. See #5.

100 - Picked up and moved to another city just to start over. At 21, I took a wild hair and moved to Southern California for several months. At 30, I moved several hundred miles away for a new job. Very traumatic.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Avast, Me Mateys!

We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming to bring you...


And no, I'm not making this up. Someone else did. So there.

An Update:

I went into full-blown Martha Stewart mode for this. (I do this occasionally. It's okay, so far I've always come back from it unscathed.)

So, I put together goody bags for my friends, since we went out to celebrate. I got plain black gift bags and decorated them with pirate stickers. Then I filled the bags with eye patches, goofy paper hats, chocolate "coins," plastic pieces of eight, bags of gold gum, pirates of the Caribbean puzzles and some other random pirate booty. As a centerpiece for our table I made a chocolate treasure chest from a mold I got at the Wilton Tent Sale and filled it with gobstoppers and Hershey's huggables. (Yes, I've been planning this for a while.)

We had a good time, the goody bags went over very well, but the highlight of the evening was the package of temporary tattoos that I picked up on a whim. We all put one on, although mine is the only one even remotely visible - I put a three masted schooner on my inside left wrist. (It still looks really cool - these things are more durable than I thought they'd be.) The other two ladies put theirs up high on their arms. The guys put theirs on a - his chest, b & c - their shoulders, in the back. It was quite entertaining to watch the contortions as they struggled to reach under layers of clothes and remain in their seats.

I have to say, however, that I did a much better job of being a pirate than they did. After I returned home, I changed into jeans and ventured out for plundering - AMNESTY DAY has once again arrived. YAY! It's like a village-wide garage sale, but everything is free!

It's probably fairly sad that I have SO much fun rooting around in other people's trash. But, man, I got some cool stuff!

* I found a really neat Keystone beer sign that will look great in my brother's basement, near the pool table and the dart board. It looks like a giant can of beer and it lights up.

* A complete, working Nintendo 64 system with extra controllers and a couple of games plus the Tomb Raider Gold game CDs

* A working HP fax machine

* A like-new, very nice, Lexmark printer - complete with a bunch of extra ink cartridges

* A storage container of someone's fabric remnants, including a wonderful selection of colored felt and some really nifty Christmas fabric (I quilt, so this makes me very happy.)

* A weekender-sized rolling luggage - the only good rolling luggage I have is HUGE and I've been meaning to buy something I can carry on

* Another alarm clock - I just murdered another one and was down to 7 so this is very welcome

* Other assorted cool things such as a Pouges CD, a nifty mirror, a paperback copy of "The Odyssey," a medical reference book, a like-new mini food processor, a plastic "briefcase" that will be a very cool travel case for some of my stitchery, some interesting cotton wadding - quite a bit of my score came from outside a dentist's office - including an unopened whitening kit although I may be too chicken to use that.

But, the best, the coolest score of the night was the garden stuff. Ooh, I'm so happy! Background - my mom's got this planter. It's black metal and about five feet tall and it looks kinda like a spiral staircase. There's a basket on top, and then 'steps' or shelves as it curls around a central post. Anyway, it's REALLY cool looking and I've made several attempts to steal it over the years. She's thwarted me every time - it's one of her favorites too. In the summer, it sits outside near the side of the house, and the flowers cascade around and down in a river of purple. It's beautiful! Guess what?!? I found one! I'll have to check more carefully, but it may be identical - it's very close. So now I have my own! Yay! Definitely was the high point of my evening! But, I also found a long tray planter at one place, a trellis at another, and chicken wire at yet another so next year, my morning glories will have room to spread out and flourish. Once I got it home, I realized that the tray planter had stuff in it - a hose nozzle and this really neat rake thing. (I described it to Mom and she LOVES hers - says it's great for breaking up clumps, and the gods know, with my clay I've got LOTS of clumps to contend with.) I also took the statue/bird feeder/outside dust collector of a bunny under an open flower. Quite cute. And I found a metal tripod thingie that I think I can make work as a tomato cage next year. So, I'm good for the garden stuff.

As with the last Amnesty Day, I started out "just going for a walk" to the library... with a flashlight. And I just kinda glanced around while I was walking. Then I really got into it and started rooting around. (I was going to link to my adventures last time and then I realized that I haven't finished it and it's languishing in edit. Oops.) And, unlike MM's looters, I'm so compulsive that I leave the trash more together and organized than when I found it. Actually, what really bothers me is the waste. As much as I enjoy scavenging, I'm somewhat appalled by the stuff that just gets thrown away. I won't go all philosophical about how much we take for granted living in a land of plenty, as least not right now, but it really bugs me. So, once again, I collected an entire Jeep load of stuff that I dropped off at Goodwill. You know, there are organizations that will come to your house and pick stuff up. They're happy to do it. There's really no need to toss entire leaf bags of clothes with the tags still attached, boxes of kitchen wares, working appliances, sporting equipment, etc in the trash. *sigh* Of course, if they didn't put that stuff and more out, I wouldn't get to play in it.

Well, at any rate, Happy Talk (and maybe Act) Like A Pirate Day!!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Things I've Done, Part 1 (questions 1-50)

Total count for first 50:
Yes: 34
1/2 Credit: 5
No: 11

Yes: 1, 6-10, 12-14, 15, 17, 19, 20, 22-27, 29-34, 37-39, 41-43, 45, 47, 49
1/2: 3, 4, 28, 44, 48
No: 2, 5, 11, 16, 18, 21, 35, 36, 40, 46, 50

1 - Bought everyone in the bar a drink. Fortunately, the place was almost empty, so it wasn’t as painful as it could have been.

2 - Swam with wild dolphins. No, but it sure sounds cool.

3 - Climbed a mountain. But really, does it count if you don’t *need* special equipment? I’ve scaled several but they were all friendly – I haven’t ever used rappelling gear and such. We’ll say half credit here.

4 - Taken a Ferrari for a test drive. I’m going to say half credit here as well, ‘cause I had a Viper for a weekend, and I’ve driven a Lamborgini (AND I didn’t stall it!).

5 - Been inside The Great Pyramid. The only other countries I’ve been to are Canada and Mexico.

6 - Held a tarantula. It tickled as it walked around on me. They’re quite fuzzy, you know.

7 - Taken a candlelit bath with someone. Until the hives appeared, he didn’t believe that I was indeed allergic to bubble bath. That relationship didn’t last much longer than the bubbles.

8 - Said "I love you" and meant it. To family, friends, pets, all manner of creatures great and small.

9 - Hugged a tree. Some of my best friends are trees.

10 - Bungee jumped. From a railroad bridge in Pennsylvania. I didn’t really think about the whole getting back down part until it was really too late. Then I went and did it again, once I got the hang (so to speak) of unclipping myself and falling into the water.

11 - Visited Paris. See #5 I’ve been to Paris, Ohio. Does that count?

12 - Watched a lightning storm at sea. Sitting on the beach in Southern California, watching it approach over the Pacific. One of the coolest things I’ve ever seen.

13 - Stayed up all night long and saw the sunrise. I am a nocturnal creature. In my happy place, I go to bed as the sun’s coming up. Too bad my job doesn’t agree with that.

14 - Seen The Northern Lights. Sometimes, they are visible in the lower 48. Once, while flying to Seattle, I saw them from the air and that was REALLY neat.

15 - Gone to a huge sports game. How do you classify huge? Professional? Yup – baseball, football (zzzz), soccer, hockey, NASCAR. A couple of them were capacity crowds.

16 - Walked the stairs to the top of The Leaning Tower Of Pisa. See #5.

17 - Grown and eaten your own vegetables. Yum. Tomatoes, corn, peas, green peppers, squash, watermelon, musk melon, apples, cherries, plums, pears, etc. You’ll never find the same quality in the store.

18 - Touched an iceberg. There aren’t many of them lurking around Ohio. Or Chicago, for that matter.

19 - Slept under the stars. Frequently. Sometimes, I even meant to, instead of just falling asleep on the pool furniture.

20 - Changed a baby's diaper. Yuck. One reason I have no desire to produce any of those things on my own.

21 - Taken a trip in a hot air balloon. I came close several times – they fly (float?) over my parents’ house all the time.

22 - Watched a meteor shower. Several times. The best was inadvertent. I was VERY lost somewhere in Texas, or possibly New Mexico and there wasn’t a light to be seen for miles – except for the stars, and the meteors. Very cool experience. Never did figure out where the hell I was.

23 - Gotten drunk on champagne. Mimosas with some of my best girlfriends. Yummy and a wonderful time. The right friends can make even hangovers kinda fun.

24 - Given more than you can afford to charity. Every penny I gave while in college was really more than I could afford.

25 - Looked up at the night sky through a telescope. One of dad’s friends had one. We went to their house to see a meteor shower once when I was a kid.

26 - Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment. I tend to get the giggles when I’m scared stiff. Either that, or I get really p*ssed off. In this case, I was delivering a eulogy in front of several hundred people that I didn’t know, was struck by how my dead friend would have reacted to me in this situation and just lost it. *sigh* That impressed the hell out of ‘em.

27 - Had a food fight. A couple in the school cafeteria growing up, and every year, a friend’s family had a huge tomato fight in their garden with all of the extra, rotten tomatoes. It was tons of fun.

28 - Bet on a winning horse. Half credit here, ‘cause it was not an official race, and I was riding the winning horse.

29 - Asked out a stranger. Yeah, and for all my blather about equality, I’m glad I’m not a boy. It was terrifying.

30 - Had a snowball fight. Please, I grew up in the snow belt. What the hell else are we going to do for 8 months out of the year?

31 - Screamed as loudly as you possibly could. One Halloween, for reasons that currently escape me, we had a contest. I think I popped my own eardrums.

32 - Held a lamb. I grew up rural. I’ve held all sorts of baby farm animals.

33 - Seen a total eclipse. In primary school, I can remember the teachers all herding us out into the driveway. They’d made puddles in the parking lot, and we watched it in the puddles and they yelled at anyone who looked up at the sun.

34 - Ridden a roller coaster. I LOVE roller coasters! We used to go to Cedar Point and Geauga Lake every summer.

35 - Hit a home run. Not very athletic. I’ve BEEN hit by home runs. It hurt.

36 - Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking. Too self-conscious for that sort of thing.

37 - Adopted an accent for an entire day. It was a dare from an Australian friend. Way harder than you’d think.

38 - Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment. I was drunk, but who cares. It was a great 60 or so seconds.

39 - Had two hard drives for your computer. Is that bad? Cut me some slack, I’m an engineer – I’ve installed more than that in my computer.

40 - Visited all 50 states. Not yet. I’m working on it.

41 - Taken care of someone who was wasted. Routinely. We take turns.

42 - Had amazing friends. All friends are amazing. Anyone who can put up with me for any length of time is astonishing.

43 - Danced with a stranger in a foreign country. In Canada. In a casino. I was wearing a fabulous dress too. Sometimes off the wall bachlorette parties are really cool!

44 - Watched wild whales. I’m going to say half credit here, ‘cause while visiting my aunt in Seattle, I spent several minutes starting at glimmery things that she still swears were orcas. All I saw were waves, but it coulda been whales.

45 - Stolen a sign. Many of them, of all sorts. I’m currently eye-balling a sign for a retirement home that’s an old people crossing sign. One of the people is hunched over with a cane, and the other one is either helping them along, or about to push them over. Either way, it’s really funny.

46 - Backpacked in Europe. See #5

47 - Taken a road trip. Too many to count. The biggest ones were to and from my little adventure in California. (That’s when I got so lost in Texas. Or New Mexico.)

48 - Gone rock climbing. See #3. I’ve clambered around on all sorts of rocks, but never with any more gear than a rope and a prayer. Oh, and once, a stick. I really thought I was going to die that time.

49 - Midnight walk on the beach. As previously mentioned, I’m nocturnal. And I spent several months living in Southern California. I’ve actually walked along beaches on both sides of the country at midnight. I enjoy it, and I really miss having an ocean next door (stupid land-locked states).

50 - Gone skydiving. Not yet. It’s on the list, right next to hang-gliding, of things to do before I die. Hopefully I’ll live to check it off and move on.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Huh, Weird.

Alright, well, over here in real life, the end of our fiscal year is approaching and I'm freaking out trying to cram all the crap in that I've neglected for the past several months. Eek!

More fun, I'm working on that freaking HUGE list of things that I've done. I don't remember now who I stole it from. Could be Stu, Suldog, or a couple of others. It's REALLY long though, and taking me longer than I thought. I think I'm going to have to break it into several posts - it's too long even for one of my epic novels.

Here's where the weird part comes in. My profile view thingie jumped from 74 to 97 over the weekend. It was 74 for months, after a jump from 53. Before that, it was 32. Are these the most random number ever or what?? How in the bejeezus do they figure this stuff?

More weirdness, from my truly crappy weekend: why would someone who is smart, drop dead gorgeous, sweet (and, incidentally, one of my best friends) return to the loser asshole who introduced her to the wonders of physical and emotional abuse? She called me this weekend to ask me to call the police department in her town and tell them that I had either lied or was mistaken in the Aft of David that I submitted to them via a lawyer's office over a year ago. This was after she had fled the state, and her soon-to-be-ex husband, after he walked through a restraining order and hurt her again. She arrived at the airport black and blue and barely able to walk. I refused to do any such thing, which lead to a lovely little screaming match. After she hung up on me, I called her parents and demanded to know what the f*ck was going on. This was the first that her father had heard that she had taken the scumball back. Shortly thereafter, she called back to call me an interfering bitch for ratting her out to her folks. To which I replied that she was 35 years old and it should be a clue that she was sneaking around behind her family's back at this point in her life. How can she be so stupid??

Gah. I'm going to go soak my head. Maybe this will make more sense then.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Well, Now What The Hell Do I Do?

So, I'm back in the office. Yay. I went home for Labor Day, and while I was there, I interviewed for a job.

I'm a bit leery - the HR person told a completely different story that the quality manager which differed from the story told by the operations manager. I had to wait for almost 45 minutes for them since a meeting was running over. They still haven't defined the job, or gotten approval for the req. It will be a minimum of 3 weeks before I hear anything, either way. Their systems are in even worse shape that the ones I deal with now and I'm not sure about the culture of the company. In addition, I've learned that when you work for this company, you essentially sell your soul to the company store - they own you. If I am offered this job, and take it, I will be taking the job almost solely to get back home. Then I learned that they have the option of moving you every two years - and they usually do. So, if I take the job to get home (assuming one is offered), I could be in a worse place in two years when/if they ship me even further away than I am now. And, given Ohio's economy, I can't really count on finding something else to replace the job and stay in the area. This requires deliberation. Part of it is that I'm really good at talking myself out of things. I don't like change, I prefer my own comfy little rut, thank you very much. Even for things that are good for me, I am more than capable of dissuading myself from nearly anything that requires a change in the status quo. So am I really that worried about this new opportunity or am I just being my typical cowardly self?

And, lately I've had to face something fairly unpleasant for me to deal with: that my life has, without my knowledge or approval, shifted from there to here. It seems obvious that it would, now that I'm trying to be clear-headed about it - I mean, I'm here so of course my life would be. But... it wasn't supposed to happen like this. My life was there - my friends, my family, nearly all that was most important to me. I had nothing here to hold me, and I've spent the last three years essentially counting the days until I could go home.

Recently though, I've come to the realization that things have changed. I've essentially lost contact with the circle of college friends that meant so much to me when I lived there. I was in their weddings, threw their baby showers, helped them move - all the things you do with people who are friends, that you think will always be friends. We've been reduced to me emailing them to say I'll be in town, and an emailed response that they'll be on vacation and will hopefully catch me next time. The part that really makes me sad is that I'm not particularly upset by this. When I do visit them, it feels more like I'm there 'cause I think I should be instead of because I want to spend time with them. I do still have friends there, very close ones, and some family - but my brother moved three hours closer to here (so it only takes me five or so hours to get to his house, and eight or nine to get home). My best friend's parents just sold their homestead and moved to Nashville to be near their grandchildren. Everything that felt so important just seems to be sifting through my fingers like sand.

At the same time, I've begun to realize how important the people here have become to me. I have a circle of friends here now. The last several weekends in a row have been booked solid - and my calendar is filling up for the rest of the month. We started out having lunch together in the cafeteria. Then we'd catch the occasional beer after work. Now, I know their families, I've been to their homes, we have a shared history. We even catch crap from others at work 'cause we're "clique-y." When the hell did that happen?!? I realized all of this just recently when I was offered a job in this area. One of the reasons that I turned it down (aside from deciding that they were minions of evil, and I'd be consigning myself to purgatory to work there) was that I wasn't ready to leave here. Not because of the job itself - that is also hellish - but because of the people.

Adding to my confusion is that I'm actually *gasp* contemplating dipping my toes back into the dating pool - for the first time in nearly 11 years. I'm still about half convinced that I'd rather just be the crazy old lady with a million cats. What am I thinking?!? My ex called last week, and we talked for an hour or so - for the first time since January - and here's the weird thing: I felt nothing. We were together for ten years. At one point, I thought he would be The One. And all I felt was a mild pity for his situation.

I don't, as a general rule, view my workplace as a happy hunting ground the way so many of my coworkers seem to, but there is a guy here. Something may be developing. I haven't felt this rush of possibilities in a long time. You know that sensation, the uncertainty - it's kinda like growing some exotic plant from a seed. The seed has germinated - there's that cute little baby sprout. Now, do I nuture it along or decide that's not the variety I was after and let it wither? *sigh*

So, what the hell do I do now? Stay here at this company? In this role or try for another one that interests me? Stay in this area but move to a different company? Nuture the seed? Or continue to try to get home and pick up my life there where I left it? Can I? Do I want to? Gah.