Monday, July 30, 2007

Portland and Back Again

So I've been neglecting the blog, but it's been a busy couple of weeks. Family and conference (and good food) in Portland, another one of the Dorothy Dunnett books down, thwarted knitting (I thinking I've forgotten how to pick up stitches!), a day at Stinson Beach (hopefully a movie to follow), and just well, lots and lots of work. I did get an intro to iMovie, so hopefully I'll be writing you from Cannes very soon. It's fun, but boy there's another time suck.

And now to bed, accompanied by M and his sweet guitar pickin's....

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Pic Blog

So I'm back at work with a great deal of "managing" to do and not sleeping well at night nor blogging as much, much less exercising as much as I need to and the felting is falling by the wayside…sigh. But. I think I may be in New York in mid-September, which is making me very happy. And for those of you who don't visit my Flickr page regularly, here are some photos worth a couple thousand words at least, eh?

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Fireworks Video

My first video uploaded to YouTube! It's boring, I know, and no sound, but this is my first try so bear with me. I did promise that horrible mime performance, too, didn't I? I'll try that next.

In other news, M's home safe and sound, yay. He's off studying and getting his classroom ready for tomorrw. He unplugged the wireless router for a few moments, and voila, I'm able to be online again. I have mixed feeling since now that means I have to work today, but there it is. I can also visit my blogs, too, and that's a good thing.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Still Not Connected at Home

…but the public library is not only my wireless access point, but cool to boot. There's a security guard here now who makes the rounds of the stack regularly, which I think is good. I've abandoned the furry creatures to their own devices, which mostly means prostration on the hideous kitchen linoleum.

Yesterday was a non-work day. I had good intentions to get all kinds of work-work done, but instead there was felting and home chores and reading and lazing around to do. I've been meaning to cook something too, something substantial that involves ingredients I don't have on hand and a recipe, but it's way too damn hot to bake, and the idea of eating hot food is not at all appealing. After I finish my work assignments, I'll reward myself with lunch at our favorite Japanese restaurant, then go home and sweat with the beasts.

One good thing with the heat-enforced laying around--I thought a lot about my future yesterday. Part of that was spurred by a conversation I had with Julia a t the end of our writers group meeting on Wednesday. She's just taken a new job with a company that helps people sort out and plan their financial future. Part of the reflection is also from reading a book that was left behind at Foo Camp that I picked up, The Four Hour Work Week, most of which seems to be filled with distasteful, self-aggrandizing anecdotes, but does have some thought-provoking nuggets. What do I want to do with my life? I could probably work at my current job til retirement, bursting tech bubbles notwithstanding. But I think I want to do more to help people directly. I'm not quite sure what that is yet. Julia mentioned that she wants to invest in people, and later that day I heard a story on NPR that referenced and, web sites that match you with people that need loans, US folks for the former, third-world micro loans the latter. This must be one of the high signs of middle age, eh, thinking about your legacy? I'm glad to be thinking about it, though. And I also need to make a plan for getting into a new house…

Before I go back to work, the latest IM updates:

7/4 6:32:33pm
Davenport 4 lunch. Walked along Mississippi, muddy brown after 5in of rain last night. Worlds ugliest casino riverboat style. Wally world rounds out the day.

7/4 9:18:04pm
Paw cant wait to be with u. I feel a large overhanging weariness. Wake on the morrow from 3-7. Burial fri. @ 10, lunch @church @ 12. Fly away home @4.

7/5 10:44:58am
Lunch at historic mill turned b&b. Food is best since arrival, & that is saying a lot. Heading back to get ready 4 wake.

7/5 1:07:41pm
Meet the minister. Turns out she took grans job @ clinton engines when the family left in 1956.Gotta love small towns. Love u my paw.

7/5 1:32:09pm
Its weird, can see gran from across the room. She looks good considering, but hollow, a shell, christin is having a bit of a hard time, but recovering. Luv u.

7/5 1:41:13pm
It's good, actually, Mom has nerves of steel. Its just now starting.

7/5 2:12:10pm
Grans got quite a few friends. For the last 7o years.

7/5 3:00:43pm
Just met 3 cousins I haven't seen 4 2o yrs. 3 of grans last surviving classmates r here.

7/6 7:30:06am
Back @ funeral home. Chris says we going to put the fun back in funeral. Gran gets a final ride in a white caddy hearse. I know shed like that.

7/6 7:34:00am
Im in all black with a red tie. Gran is in her obligatory pink. Im hungry but don’t want to eat. Love u

He and his sister are flying back to SoCal this evening after the funeral service, via Dallas--I hope they don't have weather delays. He'll drive home tomorrow, and I'm so glad, I miss him so much. And then back to the grindstone next week--thank goodness, I'll be too busy to keep thinking about my plans for the future soon!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

IMs from IA

[Editor's note, dateline the AppleBox Café with the writers group gals: I wrote this last night and meant to post it, but something funky happened to my settings and I can't get online at home. What will I dooooooo?]

7/1 6:07:48pm
Minor explosion in area. Knocked out power to neighborhood. Power crews scratching their heads. Hospital won't release gran 4 some stupid reason. Luv u paw.
[Editor's note: The power outage had nothing to do with not releasing his grandmother's remains. I know, I was confused too. Oh, and this one's from LA.]

7/2 12:48:01pm
On tarmac. Two hour delay so far in dallas. Luv u.

7/2 3:41:00pm
Cedar rapids. Quaint. Rental car waiting time. Another hour of driving to go. Hungry. Miss u luv u.

7/3 8:46:27am
Luv you. Visit funeral man today. Shades of 6 feet under. Miss u.

7/3 9:45:14am
Pictures from our wedding will be on display. Mom wrote a nice obit 4 the paper. Director is a bit of a character. Love u.

7/3 10:19:23am
I have to do some clothes shopping. Think I can find a big and tall?
[Editor's note: M mentioned that the downtown area was sparsely populated, but that the WalMart just out of town was hopping. Sigh. That's where he'll be shopping. He brought good clothes, but not nice enough to be a pall bearer.]

7/3 11:29:43am
Learned something. Always hated my name, murray.Thought it only came off great grandfathers grave. Wrong. Sterling Murray Turner. Suddenly much prouder. Luv.
[Editor's note: Sterling was M's beloved grandfather.]

7/3 5:48:12pm
Just drove 1oo miles. Got chris. Dinner @ tc,s gran,s favorite bar. Luv u.

7/3 6:11:17pm
My i m is your cannon fodder. Ill work on my eloquence. Iowa is the culinary center of the universe, by the way. Luv u
[Editor's note: He was amazed at his club sandwich composed of supermarket coldcuts and Velveeta. He's been living in NorCal too long, had to remind him that he never had used olive oil til he met me. However, I heard on Talk of the Nation today about how they deep fry dill pickles in Cedar Falls, IA, so maybe Iowa really *is* the center of the culinary universe.]

7/3 7:30:27pm
dairy queen. Struck up a conversation. Mom knows everyone this guy knows. His brother was in her class. He said aunt bonnie busted him 4 throwing a snowball in 1959

7/3 11:30:09pm
The 4th ccme early. Incredible t-storm. Must have rained 2 inc in 2 hours. Still going strong. Aubrey is a commodore off the cape. Has a squadron, must take isle

7/3 11:41:31pm
Call sonic. Theyr nice. Aubrey has to take heavily defended french isle w/ 3ooo soldiers & 5 ships of the line against 4 french frigates. Luv u

7/4 11:56:55am
Our hosts are painfully nice & CLEAN! I suspect christ is involved. We lunched on their deck. I inquired about native fauna. We r now proud owner of buckeye pod

He has a free day tomorrow, now today, which should be a nice break from the duties.


In local news, I worked most of the day (hark, is that the world's smallest violin playing?), but took a break to get Thai food and new knitting needles for a "kitty pi"--basically a large felted bowl for the cats to curl up in. And of course while at the sewing store, I couldn't resist getting a pattern for a felted handbag. I think I might need to find a Felters Anonymous.

I also rented "Marie Antoinette" (the Sofia Coppola version) and "Music and Lyrics" while I was out, but I just can't bring myself to watch them tonight. A treat for tomorrow, then, though once the fireworks start, it'll be canine mayhem in these parts, we live so close to the fairgrounds...

Monday, July 02, 2007

Good News I Forgot to Mention

So a couple of great things happened at work last week--I hired a new employee, who started on Monday, and the company gave us this Thursday and Friday off! I know, I know, I already planned to take those days off anyway. But, that saves me two vacation days, and even better, it will be much easier to catch up when I return. Part of the bitch of taking vacation is wading through the hundreds of emails on the first day (or two) back in the office. Though one of my goals is to actually be completely caught up starting on Monday, we'll see how that goes. And now that I have a new employee, I can just do my own job, and not mine *and* someone else's, so hopefully I will never be this behind again. I hope. We'll see.

And in even more good news, my stepsister had her baby! Another boy, named Toby.


This day off was a good one, though I did work much of it. Went to the gym, cleaned a little more, finished watching "The Last King of Scotland"--in broad daylight!--and now I think I'll put the laptop aside and do something creative. Or maybe sit on the deck with a book and a glass of wine. Or, continuing my bachelorette theme, Why Choose?

The other nice thing about being off during the week? My neighbors were gone all day! It was so wonderfully quiet.

M texted me that he and family have arrived in Iowa after some delays. Hope to get a phone call from him soon with more details.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

"Oh yeah? And you're not a *real* man!"

That was the retort I came up with, 30 minutes too late, to my neighbor, who was admonishing Daisy, his pit bull, to pay no attention to Rex, who was barking his fool head off at Daisy from his side of the fence, because "he's not a REAL dog." How many steaming piles of dog poo has he ever had to clean up after from Rex? None--unlike his dogs, who he condones letting fly in our yard. How many enormous muddy paw prints from Rex has he ever had to wipe from his light colored carpeting because we've been unable to keep him--a much smaller size, I might add--from escaping into his yard? Again, not once. So what makes a "real" dog, I ask you? Reproductive organs? Or the ability to live with humans?

The fence work, which continued today, is, I think, almost completed. Thank FSM, cuz I gots a lot of lounging around on the deck to do, and having my neighbor with his nail-pounding, compressor-roaring, "shut UPing" ways in my backyard is putting me way off my relaxation feed.


M is flying out tomorrow with his family to Iowa bury his grandma beside her husband. Unfortunately, the process is not going smoothly. But hopefully it will all work out in time.


So M is gone and I'm a lonely bachelorette. When I leave town, I come home to an undisturbed fridge and an inordinate amount of pizza boxes in the garbage can. Since I have the whole week off, I decided it was my turn to a gastrointestinal indulgence. But I had a dilemma tonight--white trash or gourmet bachelorette? Would it be brie, a perfectly ripe avocado, assorted Greek olives, and a succulent Temperanillo? Or Pringles, Miller Lite, and Kettle Korn? And of course the answer is, "Why choose?"

In other non-food related plans for the week, I will (of course) be working, but I also plan to be personally productive as well. And so far, two days in, I feel successful.

with Liz & Katch at Pt. Reyes
Originally uploaded by suzipaw
Yesterday I joined two friends for a hike at Pt. Reyes (though I didn't stretch before the walk, and boy was I hurting--I don't do eight miles like I used to) followed by lunch in Pt. Reyes Station. Today I spent cleaning the house, which really needed it, and will continue more tomorrow. This will free up the mental space to start a couple of knitting projects, a poem about hands vs. wings, and to indulge in lots of sleep over the next week. I think I'm in heaven. Though of course it's a working heaven.


Speaking of sleep and of heaven, I had an awful dream the other night. I was in Southern California, and heard on the news that I had been killed in a terrible attack. The scene changed, and there I was in a campground (Big Bear Lake?), limp in a camp chair trying to pretend I was already dead or asleep as a bear rummaged through the garbage can nearby. It sensed I wasn't asleep and came over, began to paw me. Since I knew from the news report that I was dead, it dawned on me that I was about to experience an excruciatingly painful death…it wasn't the being dead part that frightened me but the dying part, being ripped limb from limb by the long claws and slavering jaws of huge bear. I woke myself up rather than experience that, and thought about taking "Grizzly Man" off my netflix list. I could not get back to sleep.

You Stephen Colbert fans may find it funny, but it was not, I assure you!