Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Rest of the Story

So I meant that last post to be only about Guitar Hero, but it wound up being a recounting of my Thanksgiving trip AND GH3 AND the list of happiness related items because I was worked up about it and started writing it out longhand then gave up and threw it all here. All evidence to the contarary, I do at least try to stick to a theme in each blog, despite my tendency to spew about everything. I'm going to go way over the top for this one, though, if you consider that a picture is worth a thousand words. This is the rest of that last entry.

What I don't have a picture of my face or my parent's faces when I asked them if they liked my blog. I'd intended for them to read the pioneer woman food blog with lots of pictures (I like the butternut squash entry) but there was something lost in translation when I asked my brother to show it to my mom and they came looking here. Eit! Dad said, "it's a rather public diary." Mom said, "you sure write a lot". Mom always wanted me to be a writer, but it wasn't a compliment. I assured her that my blog has outlasted the attention span of many a fine reader. As I write partly for me and partly for an audience, some entries work better than others. I'm not sure they expected me to talk about my sexuality in public, about not caring about others' sexuality or, if it was just the amount of me I put out for public consumption, which was greater than usual this last month, I think. Maybe I use too many joining words like "so, but, since, although, and then". I'm still confused by their notably lackluster (but completely neutral) response, because I've written way worse garbage before that they thought was great (it was garbage). Since Dad even defended the reading of "My Two Dads" to an elementary class during his school board tenure, I hope it wasn't about my politics. Also since I talk about them here, I didn't intend for them to get ahold of the blog. It is public, but they spend little time online. What with all the "this is me and what I stand for" going on, maybe it was a good day for it. Still and all, they shouldn't have been surprised, they raised me this way. Of course, maybe they just don't like me hanging my every last opinion out for all to see. And all was not lost, as the bro and I changed conversational course and got them started watching Firefly.

Anyhow, onto the CrankyOtter Thanksgiving show, in the style of a pioneer woman recipe. I had to leave out some great photos of my dad in order to omit faces though. He's always happy around food. I'm putting the captions before/ over the pictures so you know what you're getting into. The new game is see how long you last...

Terducken! Who can resist? 12 pounds.
cooked Terducken in roasting pan with hand for scale

This terducken, a deboned duck crammed in a chicken, crammed in a turkey, is also crammed with shrimp and crawfish jambalaya. We overcooked it a bit to avoid germs but the baking bag mitigated the damage. It was de-lish-ous.
Cross section of Terducken Shrimpen

We put it on this festive table in my brother's Austin home, which has been decorated much more than mine. Not that there's any brother sister competition or anything.
counter height marble table with centerpiece and pomegranate

Dinner started out like this, including the Star of Texas sweet potatoes with pecans and marshmallows.
yummy yummy food

And after a little reshuffling, it turned into this on my plate. Clockwise from top: Sweet sweet potatoes, mixed greens, stuffing with gizzards, mashed taters, terducken shrimpen, my favorite cranberry relish. Served with red wine and followed by pumpkin pie. Much, much later.
My thanksgiving meal

The next day, we had Rudy's BBQ for breakfast. This is not at all the same as getting 3 dogs for a dollar at the Chev.ron.
Rudy's BBQ and breakfast taco

The day after that, brunch was Funnel Cakes. I think I didn't cook enough water out of the batter because there was an itsy bitsy issue with about a cup or two of oil escaping the pain in a violent foam. But tasty they were. Next time, a deeper pan is in order, just in cases.
foaming oil dripping on my brother's pristine stove

In between the copious amounts of food, we watched Firefly, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (extremely funny), and played a bunch of Guitar Hero III.

Look, I can use the whammy bar!
GH3 whammy barred note and the back of my head

This is more about the sales awards my brother won, on the table. And me rocking out to Weezer, most likely.
3 black and one silver platter award. And GH3.

After I started playing songs I knew, I stopped getting booed off the stage and did really well! Still not ready to graduate to medium level though.
100% 100% 100%

My brother has been playing a LOT of GH3. I think he needs to move to medium level now. Multiplier 8.
GH3 Multiplier 8, back of brother

I finally got a 50 note streak on "My name is Jonas". My brother got them all the time.
50 note streak

But he got his 100+ point streaks and 2 perfect songs after a Trudy's Mexican Martini (Limit 2).
brother's 100 point streak.

There. He wins the decorated living room competition and does better at GH, but I could hold my own after a while. And I have the cool shirt which I don't think I'll sell after all. I enjoy wearing it.
Guitar Hero shirt from game release party

Now to figure out what to bore you with blog about next.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

No Experience to Speak Of

So I'm enjoying Austin and the fambly. Funnel cakes were good except where they bubbled up the oil all over the stove. Twice. I've got pictures, but no way to upload them, so all the fun stuff will have to wait, but I wanted to blog while the topics were still relevant. Mom & Dad were flying standby, and tomorrow's flights filled up, so they decided to go fly back this evening. After a quick stop for bubble tea, and to answer grandma's new cell phone (soooo cute! My 91 yr old grandma and her 87 yr old newer man have a cell phone. And already can use it better than my parents.), the bro and I dropped them at the aeroporto. Thankfully, they made their flight.

Then we meandered around taking in the Austin scenes. I got to go look at Bull Creek, near the bro's old place, we picked up hot bevrege from Mozart's coffee roasters, and saw Hitman at the Alamo Drafthouse Theater with the accompaniment of chips, queso, and several drafts. Tried to hit the local ones but snuck in a belgian beer in a fancy glass too. The movie was fun, but not deep. I had some questions about character motivation and plot that were answered when I noticed that Vin Diesel is the Executive Producer.

Which finally brings me to my topic of the day. Guitar Hero. My brother fired it up as soon as we walked in the door, and on the strength of 2 beers (over two hours, plus coffee) managed to rack up 2 perfect scores! Exciting stuff. Eventually, after I got the jeans and shoes with cheese on them into the washer, he turned the control over to me. I did pretty well too!

I am inclined to like Guitar Hero on principle because I know one of the original game designers. I used to live with ten guys, most of whom worked in the gaming industry. Due to carpal tunnel issues, I rarely played games, but knew much about them due to shop talk and watching them play. It turns out that it's super fun (for me, anyway) to watch game designers play video games - they're really, really good at what they do. So most of my gaming experience is from watching or listening to people extol the virtues of their favorite WoW strategies. When I do risk the wrists, I do best with the geometry based games like Tetris and Klax (board 100, baby).

Despite going to the original GH game release party, I didn't pay a ton of attention to the game as I went for the live bands. Later, my Boston friends and I tossed around the idea of playing GH2. Now that GH3 is blazing off the shelves, I finally got a chance to see it up close and personal because my brother owns it and looovesss it. Imagine my surprise to find out that guitar hero looks a LOT like Klax! I thought I could do well with it right out of the gate. Not so fast there, otter grrl. I got booed off the stage a few times.

My primary mistakes are hitting the bar more than once on a held note, confusing the middle row (yellow notes) with the middle finger... and not being in synch with the timing. (I was told in the 5th grade, after testing, to play any instrument but drums, and the advice is still relevant.) I tried out a tutorial, and while I didn't learn anything new, it seemed to help me coordinate myself a little better. I also stopped tuning out the music to watch the notes, and synched up with the song rhythms. After that, I started making it all the way through some songs.

Fortunately, my brother had already pounded through all the songs on the Easy level, so I could pick and choose where I wanted because I didn't do as well sticking with the first couple groupings. While supposedly easier, I was doing 80-ish percents. The songs I was more familiar with were further down, and when I had songs that I've been listening to since 1990 to pick from, I did A-OK. My best (after beer also) was my fine job on Social D's "The Story of My Life" where I 100%ed most of the first half of the song and had 3 50-note streaks! Go Me! I got my best streak of 84 notes on Weezer's "My Name is Jonah" because the rhythm was so familiar. I also rocked out pretty hard to "Miss Mur.der" a song I know well, but never knew the title artist.

Good things:

  1. Saw the Fambly; we're all still standing (we get along GREAT over the phone).
  2. I'm feeling more culturally relevant now, and my brother and I rocked out for a couple hours to something a friend had a hand in designing.
  3. We then popped in disc 3 of firefly (if I could only choose one, it would be this disc) after getting the 'rents grooving on discs 1&2 on previous nights.
  4. And I haven't been hungry in 3 solid days. The harvest was good.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

She's Going to Texas

Had all sorts of ideas of things to blog about, but I have to be on the airport shuttle in 15 minutes, so maybe later. Heading to my brother's place in Austin. Happy Thanksgiving all! We're having Terducken this year. And funnel cakes.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

I Shouldn't Know This

I may not have mentioned it before, but I love to bake bread. I find it easy, and I love to knead. Like beer, it needs only 4 ingredients: yeast, flour, water, and salt. Everything else is optional except heat. Heat is also important - warm for rising, hot for baking. From there, it's mostly a matter of waiting it out. The only bread I ever made that I couldn't eat was the pepper-cheddar loaf where I used 1T fresh ground pepper instead of 1T peppercorns, freshly ground. The racoons thought it was lovely, but it was hotter than vindaloo for me.

Anyhow, one of the breads I least like making is pancake batter because it is pesky and ephemeral. Doesn't matter if it's from scratch or Bisquick or your favorite mix, I avoid making my own pancakes. But I like pancakes and thus go to IHOP. Even more than pancakes and waffles, I love funnel cakes with an unholy passion. I allow myself one a year from a fair, or it's likely I would be made entirely from funnel cake (and salad). Imagine my surprise when I watched a Good Eats episode and learned that Patê a Choux, the same batter used for eclairs and cream puffs, will also make funnel cakes. It looked easy.

In a fit of drunken baking, I took the recipe I copied directly from the TV show on thursday, and came home after happy hour on friday thinking the only possible way to spend the evening was making funnel cakes. Of course. And this only confirmed it's just about the easiest, fastest bread ever. It is not good that I know this.
My first funnel cakes

Then today, I headed off to the glass studio to pick up some ornaments. The manager is sick though and was still asleep so I decided to go look at appliances by way of killing time until he woke up for real. On my way to the mall off Topanga Canyon road, though, I ran across a craft fair. Like buffets, I should not be left alone at craft fairs. I cannot be trusted not to overindulge.

There were tons of people selling glass, but mostly dichroic or stained. The one glassblower had some nice stuff, but made terrible pumpkins. Tall vases and bathroom sinks he could do, and he had some fun cherries with long, tall, hard-to-ship stems. But I feel good about my pumpkin pricing and quality. I also spoke to someone who does the most unique fused glass and metal sculpture - she was fun and talented. I wish I could afford her stuff.

I actually managed to avoid overindulging, by finding a lady selling these fantastic cloth books for kids, and just buying enough for, well, everyone. They are all interactive and not lame. I fell in love. I have a lot of kids to buy for (since I'm still not convinced "baby's first glass ornament" is the best way to go). If the parents or kids don't like them, feel free to send them back and I'll play with them some more. So while I probably shouldn't know about these either due to my desire to own them all, I think I was somewhat restrained-ish, but let me tell you, that vendor loves me now. Here's what you parents can expect in your mail box this year:

Click on the picture for the website. I never did look at appliances, but I did get my car washed, finally!, and my contract ornaments and witch balls look good, so it was a good day all around. Even if I just spent all the money I just made on the glass by "reinvesting" it in art.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

You are the Brute Squad

I've had a flareup of carpal tunnel in my right wrist/thumb in the last couple weeks. My previous flareups were overcome by making sure my keyboard is always lower than my elbows, my mouse is joystick shaped (an issue with the home 'puter still due to the "sleek" 1 button mac mouse), and the keyboard is split so my boobs don't cut off blood flow to my lower arms. I also slept with wrist braces until I stopped folding my wrists 90deg and jamming them into my face while I sleep. (Overcome by now jamming my knuckles into my face.)

But this flareup is weird. It's mostly in my thumb where the lowest joint is. If I just stand around, it's fine. If I try to cap a glassblowing pipe or grip a twist off cap, not so much. I've started wearing an ace bandage on it during the day because the rigid overnight braces irk me. Since I started wearing the bandage, I have gotten the following queries about why:

5Did you punch somebody?
3Are you okay?
2carpal tunnel, huh
1oooh, that's not from glassblowing, is it?
1What does your boyfriend's eye look like?
1Didn't you have a black eye last week? What's going on?

Why do most of those have to do with me inflicting violence? I didn't think that was my vibe, really. I'm a big girl, but not a boxer. And the "black eye last week" comment was because I was wearing prescription sunglasses one day. I did that because I can't wear contacts at work and both my regular glasses had nose pads that landed directly on a GIANT, painful zit that was well nigh unconquerable. The sunglasses were less painful. That's it. But I did get asked about the black eye, hangover, death in the family, etc.

One good sign was that my boss asked the most tactful question each time - something along the lines of "are you ok today, is there something I need to know?" I showed her the zit from hell. I'm supposed to tell the safety guy about the wrist, just in case. I don't remember what day it started hurting or if it was glassblowing related or ergonomic mouse related. Or if I crushed it in my sleep.

Other good things:
  1. I asked some of our consultants to have dinner with me since they eat out anyway, they said yes and we had a nice Thai dinner at a new place for me. I also asked how they go about orienting themselves in a new place when they'll be there semi-longterm. Then I had a little verbal vomit because I still need people to talk to in person on a regular basis. But overall, a nice dinner.
  2. Our SWE chapter had a lunch meeting where 3 members presented their engineering experience. One lady makes live fire targets for military testing and couldn't contain her enthusiasm for the job. I might get a tour.
  3. I got my FMEA uploaded into the new database and the import feature worked the first time.

PS. That's not spoiler space above the table - do you see a giant gap there? Does blogger not support tables? Or is it my mac or the fir.ef.ox? I don't want the giant gap, but can't figure out how to make it go away. Advice welcome.

Edited to Add:
PPS. Turns out I'm not the first to have this problem. All line breaks in the table code are translated to (invisible) "br" commands placed before the table. Blogger does this automagically for you. So taking all the line breaks out of a table post fixes the "spoiler space" issue. Now if only I could get the same line breaks in my paragraphs after lists and tables as before, life would be grand.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Fruity Oaty Bars/ Hi, I'm Tom!

I finally got my Collectors Edition of Serenity. I'm slowly working my way through the special features in an attempt to savor the experience a little. One of bonuses is the Fruity Oaty Bars commercial that triggers River to go postal at the bar. I was reminded of it by the last line in this article, sent by a friend who has volunteered for Mass Equality, about how todays Massachusetts GLBT teens are having an easier time of coming out. One intriguing comment was buy a girl who said it wasn't being gay that was hard to talk about, but identifying to her parents as a sexual being at all. By contrast, I'm still not sure I've done this, at least not overtly. Oh well.

Other things to be happy about today:
  1. When I woke up, I woke up refreshed and full of energy. It's not the usual thing and it is freeing to have this energy at the start of the day.

  2. I called my grandma, the one in assisted living. Her memory is not good. Sadly, neither is mine, it turns out. I had two back to back conversations that were very, "Hi, I'm Tom" from 50 First Dates a favorite movie of mine. One with grandma asking 6 times if I liked where I lived and me not being sure she remembered I moved to CA. One where I forgot a friend went out of the country even though he stopped to stay with me for two days on his way out not 6 months ago. I need the eye rolling smilie. But still, it was good to connect.

  3. I also picked up a mellow christmas CD at starbucks that is very cool. Lots of favorite artists on it - Hem, Sara MacLaughlin, Jack Johnson, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole. I have room for aproximately 2 CDs on my holiday music space on the CD rack and told myself not 2 weeks ago not to buy any more, but this was worth it. Jack Johnson's Rudolph takes the other reindeer to task for their fair weather friendship and they promise to try harder next time.

  4. Ooh, also Kaiser Permanente is batting 2 for 2 for cuteness in their recent ads. One features a 6 year old kid speaking a script for a 60 yr old man saying he got off to a rocky start but will now treat himself better. The one that just came on has a gray haired gentleman with a gut and orange high-tops out strutting his stuff to "Staying Alive" and it made me giggle.

Now to pack up some ornaments!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Train Wreck

I've been in the mood for reading historical romances recently. It often happens after I read a really good contemporary and want to just dwell there for a while, yet still read. The historical details make me realize just how far we've come as a society toward acceptance and tolerance (with some glaring exceptions, yes) and equality in the last hundred years.

First, I think birth control - particularly birth control controlled by women - has given women our best opportunities for equality. (Since I'm going all political these days anyway, I'm in the keep abortion safe, legal, and rare camp. Because otherwise my crazy neighbor might have more say about my reproduction than I do, and that just ain't right.) People still have kids, but I think it's a lot easier if you choose to do it when it's best for you rather than have kids inflicted as a punishment for being human and stepping out.

Women in my country can now wear pants, vote, own property, and hold jobs with positions of authority over men. (Reading romances even from 1980 I cringe at the young nurses marrying old doctors and quitting their job to stay home and run the mansion.) Women can even use their own names instead of being introduced as "Mrs. Mike Anderson". That introduction made some women proud - "yes, THAT Mike Anderson!" but to me it seems a socially acceptable way to "disappear" someone. And certainly going back to "Plain Marge Johnson" was seen as a step backward by the neighbors, even if that Mike was a real loser.

Marriage really does affect how people self identify - as part of a couple and not out on their own - and is the one place you can choose who your family is. The others you're just stuck with by chance. I'm of two minds about changing last names with a marriage - I can see where changing it makes sense, but I also resent the idea a little. I've known some people who were able to gracefully combine both names into a new one. I guess I'll have to search harder for a date if I ever want this musing to be relevant to me because until then, my opinion isn't necessary. Good thing I just wasted a paragraph on it!

This blog entry has gotten a little out of control - I started it by thinking about what people used to whisper about but don't have to any more, went into a mild feminist rant, and got a little stuck. Did I say thanks yet to whomever invented "Insteads"? Tampons are all well and good, but if I ever went back in time, I'd want a stash of insteads. And condoms. And some really good moisturizer and hair conditioner. And my glasses. And a microscope to show people germs and convince them sanitation is important. And antibiotics. Ibuprofen wouldn't hurt either. Which brings me to never wanting to go back in time. Plus, horses kind of scare me. At least horse-riding women today aren't forced to ride sidesaddle. In a skirt.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

You Don't Have to Whisper

I listen to KCLU, our local version of National Public Radio (NPR), as part of my awakening process. Usually it gets me so riled at the weirdly conservative slant that I wake up. But today, I woke up crying. Yet not in a bad way, really. It was more relief that someone found comfort she desperately needed, even though it came from a stranger. The broadcast was a reflection on the "StoryCorps" project which has come out as a book. I love the StoryCorps features generally - I also own a Smithsonian Folkways collection of music recorded in the 30s as an archival program which I greatly enjoy. I always think I'll look the audio stories up, but today I finally did.

If you follow the link above I'd recommend listening. In a nutshell, one StoryCorps participant found herself opening up about something she'd never really talked about in order to say thank you to a man she had only ever seen once. She had nursed her brother through his painful death from AIDS, back when people thought you could only get it if you were gay. She'd had so many people tell her that it was "God's will" or "for the best" that she got to the point where, when buying yet another sympathy card, she remarked to the clerk in merely a whisper that her brother had died of AIDS. The clerk looked at her and said, "You don't have to whisper." Then came around and gave her a hug. This makes me cry even writing about it.

Because it is the furthest thing from a whisper is one reason why I love Suz Brockman's book "All Through the Night". It's a fun book. All the money goes to support equal rights for gay citizens. Mostly, though, the book is an screaming example of doing just that. One of the main characters, Jules, has always received full love and support from his family because he was a normal guy who happened also to be gay. This book celebrates his wedding to the man of his dreams. Sadly, this is not the norm. People who are otherwise nice turn wiggy when confronted with the reality of homosexuality and some don't acquit themselves well. This book is full of people who acquit themselves well.

I came of age as AIDS was making the rounds and killing people off before they really knew what hit them. It was(is) really horrific. Because the gay community was hit hard with the disease, some of the horror was pushed in their direction, adding insult to injury. Personally, I'd never bought the notion that one could only get AIDS if you were gay. There were many reasons for this. I remember watching a news program when I was young (I'm going to guess 10) that detailed the progress of this disease or one very similar to it as it attacked a pre-pubescent girl even while it mentioned something about the vector being an airline flight attendant in 1977 or so. I am also aware of how diseases and germs don't discriminate between good and evil. One has a native or medically enhanced resistance to various diseases - some are more susceptible than others. Various behaviors put one at risk of contagion, but do not cause the contagion in and of themselves. For instance, I did nothing as a child to warrant a hideous case of chicken pox aside from play with my very mildly afflicted brother. (I still have an eyelash free spot on my lower left lid where a spot took hold - now I'm just waiting for the day my shingles erupt there.) People need to stop viewing disease as a punishment for sins. Don't we know better?

I really don't give a damn who you choose to love, or even toy with, as long as they make you happy. (Just don't give me the intimate details, I'll save that for my fiction, thanks!) I vividly remember when I made that decision, that homosexuality didn't bother me, or at least didn't overcome my greed. It was a conscious choice. It was my first week of college and we had dorm rush. I'd already been around for a week doing ROTC prep, and my roommate and I decided to head out together to check out the dorms. We decided to start on the far end of campus and work our way back. We looked at the Daily Confusion, a list of about 4000 things going on during every minute of the day written in 4pt font, and noticed something at the first dorm called a "Fruit Fest" with smoothies for all.

I can be oversensitive to some peoples moods and completely oblivious to other nuances. I love fruit smoothies, but even my oblivious self realized that "fruit" carried two meanings here. I had a little conversation in my head when I realized I'd never before been confronted with having to think about homosexuality other than indirectly. I had a vague sense of unease from years of living with casual slurs in that place called high school. I thought about whether my love of fruit was stronger than my distaste for "fruits" and decided I was willing to like anyone who gave me a smoothie. And that was that. My roommate asked if I was okay with our first choice, I said I was, and we had a great time and learned some Indigo Girls songs. I think I had 3 smoothies. Later, I still had a couple twinges of residual, conditioned unease that went away once I realized that gay people are just people. I like some of them, I don't like others, but it never had anything to do with their sexual orientation.

Back then, people were coming out of the woodwork to make quilt squares representing their loved ones who had died of AIDS, and these quilts were hauled around the country to raise awareness and humanize the impact of AIDS. I don't remember how many times a quilt showed up on campus, but it got to the point where I wondered why people still bothered. Didn't everyone know already? Shortly afterward the anti-retroviral drugs came on the market and started allowing people to live with AIDS, but there is still no cure. Every so often I vaguely wonder why I don't see the quilts anymore.

But this morning's story really made me reflect on why those quilts were important, and why Suz's book is important. There is almost nothing more painful in an average life than being shunned. Indifference is a killer. I am lucky. I never understood just how underground homosexuality was. By the time it hit my consciousness, I was in a place of great acceptance that valued diversity. The shunning by keeping homosexuality underground, not discussed, not acknowledged, not accepted, hurt(s) people. I just checked out my friend's New Door Knobs blog (see sidebar!) and reading about how they have to be concerned about how their family is viewed reminds me that it's not enough to just accept, but one has to share their acceptance so that the love overpowers the hate.

When the lives and loves and losses of friends, family, and neighbors goes uncelebrated, it hurts people. And there's no reason for it. Go to their wedding; invite them to your party. If you love someone who marches to the beat of their own drummer, whether they are gay, straight, geek, artist, autistic, salesman, or CEO, be proud of them in front of other people. Even if they come to a painful end. You don't have to whisper.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

95 Degrees on the Blacktop

I went to Phoenix and it was OK. Actually, it was HOT. I had a fine time. My hosts were gracious and gave me my own bathroom. The dogs and kids were happy and well behaved, and the shelves had lots of books, games, and a leetle booze. My friend and I went out and she gave me the tour of a local constructed wetland (in Phoenix, who knew?) and the touristy old gold mine where we had a fine chat with the local brothel owner, I mean museum guide. We also got out with another book club friend for margaritas, dinner, and dancing. Good food, good friends, good times, good times. I managed to avoid singing karaoke, which is good too.

Sorry for the radio silence, but I'm trying not to log in much at work, and I've been distracted at home. I have lurked a bit, which is unusual for me because I find it hard to not say something. I am around. Other good stuff has been going on:
  • My dad got re-elected for school board. This will be years 16-19 of public servitude! Yoipes!
  • I managed to deflect my mom from talking about something that makes us both angry, and she let me. And we had a conversation without getting angry.
  • I got an audiobook copy of Suz Brockmann's All Through the Night, which I thoroughly enjoyed the first couple times I read it, and the cashier managed to give me a coupon even though I forgot mine by remembering and manually typing in the long number.
  • I'm digging my new living room arrangement. It's only partway done, but it's much more spacious, functional and restful.
  • I found somewhere to get my oil changed, and they didn't make me print out the coupon either. The car needs a wash, but needed new oil more.
  • I've been eating a pomegranate a day since I picked up a bunch of them on my trip.
  • My former colleague who moved to Phoenix has a new baby girl, and aside from feeling like a cow, is doing well and they are all healthy.
  • I got mostly done with a glass commission. I had to develop a new process to make it work, so the yield wasn't high, but I'm satisfied with the work and figuring out the solution to a problem.
  • I presented data to turn on my new tool at work and it got approved. Go me.
  • The space shuttle landed safely after an interesting mission. Both the space shuttle and international space station commanders were/are women for this trip - and look! The sky didn't fall! Nor did the shuttle or station. The shuttle commander, AF Colonel Pamela Melroy, turns out to be the college buddy of a Boston friend whose boss let her watch the landing on TV at work.
With the success of the Guitar Hero games, I've been considering e.B.ay-ing my T shirt from the 1st GH release party. But if it's not going to go for a ton of money ($50+), I'm thinking I'd just rather keep it because I can spend $35 on things I forget about. What do you think my chances are?

Friday, November 2, 2007

Fleeting Thoughts

I'm headed to Phoenix to visit a book club friend. I'll have a lovely 3 day weekend, and see Phoenix when it's merely pleasantly warm, not scorching. And since ATTN just came out, we can discuss amongst the fruit pizza and margaritas.

I'm looking at the pile of clothes I've set aside - outfit for fri, 2 for sat, outfit for sunday, workout outfit, sleep outfit, spare shirt. I'll be out for 72 hours and while I tried to go lean on the packing, I somehow have 3 pairs of pants, a skirt, 2 pairs of shorts, and half a dozen shirts. Along with 5 or 6 pairs of shoes for showering, walking, dancing, exercising, whathaveyou. And this for clothes that mostly go together. Well off to see if I can cram them all in a carry on. Then I'll decide whether to take contacts or sunscreen... Can't fit all my dangerous personal hygiene products in the baggie. Yes, that was an eye roll.

Apparently my every month to every other month long weekends are making my coworkers think I'm always on vacation. I'm a little annoyed at this since I've taken maybe 8 of my 15 days off this year and several of the coworkers had 2+ week vacations or had months of maternity/paternity leave, during which my ability to take vacation days was restricted. Another coworker took every other friday off for several months and no one said boo about that. Could it be because I don't bring them trinkets? People tend to bring back trinkets like ooloos from Alaska or beaded bags or masks from Africa and I only brought a box of cape-cod saltwater taffy to share. But on a vacation that cost $50 plus plane/car expenses, I'm not going to be spending twice that just to get them stuff they don't need. Anyhow, I need to change the perception.

Well, that was cranky and not happy. Let's flip that frown upside down.
1) I get tomorrow off and get to go visit a fun friend in a city I've never been to.
2) My week of vendor visit went well and I was left fairly well alone to spend time learning what I needed to about my new tool. We both talked ourselves hoarse and I learned a lot. My confidence in my ability to use the tool effectively is much improved.
3) Vendor bought dinner for me and my equipment engineer and didn't mind me making a mess of the Thai lettuce wraps. Or snagging some of his leftover bang-bang chicken and shrimp.
4) I've decided what clothes to pack and it's not 4am.