Monday, March 30, 2009

Stream of Something, Probably Not Conscious

What a craptastic day!

First, it's Monday, so of course it sucks. And, I slept ALL weekend long, so of course I was up until oh-dawn-thirty this morning, so I got about two hours of sleep and my hair was still dripping wet when I rolled out of bed this morning, completely late. I got ready to leave while on a conference call, which I totally thought I had muted myself, right up until I started swearing at the damn cat, at which point the very polite German gentlemen pointed out that they'd been listening to me mutter to myself for 15 minutes and what exactly did $%)(#%)@#(*T)$^)#(*)@#$)($#*T mean anyway. Then I fell down my steps, tripping over the same damn cat.

Made it into work to find my little German shadow in the office - I'd COMPLETELY forgotten that he'd be here ALL this week. I was talking to him while I made the coffee and apparently I can't talk and scoop 'cause the coffee turned out so awful that the shadow gagged and spit it on himself when he tried to drink it, which I found so entertaining that I snorted coffee out my nose, which REALLY burns.

My shadow not only made it impossible for me to get any freakin' thing done today, he made me late to every meeting. My computer choked and ate a spreadsheet that I'd been working on for 2 days - 10 minutes before I was due to present it.

Then I went to lunch with the shadow and a friend, and the cute little server "forgot her paper but she could totally remember the order" which strangely enough didn't print in the kitchen meaning it was almost a 2 hour lunch.

Got back to the office and stood up someone important 'cause my boss' boss came in and made himself cozy with my shadow and I and I couldn't escape from either one of them. Then I ended up staying at work until 11:30 pm, trying to make up for all of the stuff I didn't get done today 'cause of the shadow. Then I tried to leave and couldn't find my car keys ANYWHERE because I'm fairly sure that they're in the back of the shadow's rental car, so I ended up taking a cab home 'cause everyone I know here is in bed by 10.

Finally managed to make it inside my house only to burn dinner AND have to murder a roach, which means that first thing on the agenda tomorrow is a call to the bug people to come kill everything under 10 pounds in my house. And, the blogger thing ATE all of my links and is now saying that I'm not following anyone and I know that if I have to recreate it, I won't remember half of them 'cause I'm totally cool like that.

So, I'm going to drag off to bed quickly before this day attacks any more - but I have to get up super early tomorrow to try to cage a ride into work from someone. *sigh* It's going to be a GREAT week, I can just sense it.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Strangeness on a Walk...

I got home early enough from work the other day that I was able to take a walk while it was still light outside. Just a couple of blocks from my house is a tiny little park that provides public access to the river.

Next to the pocket park is a large industrial area that has been abandoned long enough to be largely reclaimed by nature - which doesn't take long in this climate. The property had a large fence all around it during my last visit, but this walk showed that someone had removed the water front fencing and brush-hogged the whole thing - probably sprucing it up for the new for sale sign.

Taking the opportunity presented, I explored a bit, and discovered something odd. First, a single shoe.

And then another.

A sweater...

And pants...

Even shorts

and briefs.

I looked around a bit for the person, but found (thankfully) only spring flowers.

Still, it seems strange to me to find an entire outfit scattered through the grass.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Shackleford Banks

A friend came to visit last weekend, and on Saturday we ventured into the breezy bracing day to explore Shackleford Banks. We drove to Beaufort and took a water taxi over to the island. She's horse crazy, so a significant reason to go was the herd of wild horses that live on the island.

We didn't have to wander far to find them - there were several right over the dunes from where we unloaded.

Eventually we decided that we'd tried their patience enough so we cut across the middle of the island to reach the Atlantic side of the island. I love the ocean. I can spend happy hours just staring at the waves.

But there were dunes to explore and shells to collect and mysteries to contemplate...

What do you suppose happened to him?

Is there a lost and found for mermaid purses?

I thought that boat was pointed the other way when we were on the way here?

Pardon me, sir, but which way to the boat home? As the gull flies is fine - there really isn't a trail anyway.

A different group of horses was kind enough to lead us in the right direction back to the pick up point. (Hint: Don't head for the Fort. That would be the wrong way. Point yourself roughly between the hotel and the water tower.)

And see that we continued on our way.

We returned to the mainland tired, hungry and sunburned but well content with our respective treasure troves of shells - which took both of us to haul back across the island. They don't seem heavy when you find them, but it adds up fast!

These are mine. (I collected enough last time that I felt I could afford to be choosy this time. Also, I gave my friend her choice of our finds.) The one I am happiest about is the Scotch Bonnet (top row, fourth from your left) - it's the North Carolina state shell, the critter involved lives in deep water and I'm told it's rare to find an intact one of any size.

These are hers. She was very happy about the whelk shells. We found a good selection.

All in all, a lovely day!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A Hard Battle, Lost.

She beat the odds for longer than anyone expected, and fought harder than anyone I've known. I'm not sure she did herself any favors, because it hurt. It hurt her, and her husband and all who knew her and watched the struggle and the pain, the small victories and the gradual defeats.

Today, though the spirit was still willing, the flesh had finally had enough. My friend's wife died today. You first heard of her last fall, when the doctors said that she wouldn't see Christmas. She did, and she was still fighting when we went back on a rainy January day and took the outside lights back down again.

This morning, she told her husband that she loved him and she'd like some juice. She was gone when he came back to the room. I hope she's finally stopped hurting.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Belated Pi Day Salutations...

It's weird how some people don't celebrate Pi Day. What's wrong with them?? Cool numbers and PIE - what's not to love??

Since 3.14 fell on a Saturday this year, my coworkers and I combined St. Paddy's Day and Pi Day into one really yummy lunch. Corned beef, cabbage, mashed potatoes, and pie. Yummy!

I've been hungry for derby pie. (It's like pecan pie, but with chocolate chips and walnuts instead of pecans.) So that's the pie I made, in my special pi plate... I'm such an uber-dork sometimes.

The only problem? I had meetings all freakin' day and I got one tiny little sliver of pie. After my meetings, I came back to collect leftovers and found this:

Bastards ate the whole thing. I'm thinking about making one just for me. What's slowing me down is dread of dealing with the crust. I do NOT use store bought crust, but heavens I struggle. My mom has the touch with crusts - they come out perfect every time, blast her. Me? I struggle and curse and mutter. Ugh. Wretched things.

Anyway, happy pi day!!! (If you missed this one, the European Pi Day is July 22 so you have another shot at it this year.)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Shallow As A Dry Creek Bed...

You know what's pissing me off about this recession? Well, lots of things but the one right now is that my job is brain-numbingly awful. I literally come home and curl up in a ball in the corner. And I have no one to whine to because everyone here is insane and everyone else is unemployed, so anything I say about my job gets "at least you have one" in response.

This crap needs to end. One, so I can whine again. And two, so someone is hiring and I can get the hell outta here.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Lessons Learned While Traveling, Part 1

No matter how tired and medicated you are, DO NOT write "chicken" on the documents they give you on the plane when you're returning to the States from Mexico... even if what you are talking about is a small clay statue of a chicken. Those border people have NO sense of humor about livestock.