Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Hot, but Disturbing

For my 2nd Harry post of the week... young D.aniel R.adcliffe has wasted no time and posed for his "I'm and adult actor now" photos for his upcoming performance in E.quus on the London stage. (Stealing the 'extra dot' trick from a blogger who's been at this longer because I'm thinking that word combo is going to be getting the hits.)

But I gotta admit I inhaled, I mean looked at those photos. And that boy is hot. Pasty white, still hot. Yet it's pretty disturbing to look at and think about how he's holding that leather strap, I mean how he's still jailbait. And H.arry P.otter. Yikes. I don't know that I wanted to know that about him or myself. If you stare at him long enough, you will notice that he has a really nice manly jawline now. Does that make it okay? I'm cringing internally. Really. I think the isometrics added a little something to the extra ab exercises I did, just in cases.

Dresden's actor is good looking, but not handsome. P.otter's actor doesn't have that issue. Backing slowly away now.


I have allergies. My brother has asthma. I also have a half sister with MS. My personal theory is that some people, for whatever genetic reason, are more susceptible to autoimmune problems, and your expression of and severity of autoimmune problem is related to environment. Some people grow out of allergies and whatnot, but for many expressions of autoimmunity, things just get worse over time. I think there's a common pathway or function or common something in these various autoimmune problems. And I seriously crave a way to reverse the path. For me and pretty much everyone else. If you've seen me near a cat, you'll understand - my allergies are bad enough that I've had allergic reactions to allergic reactions. I'm lucky, though. I can avoid my allergens for the most part, now that I've learned to triple rinse my laundry. Others aren't so lucky, if you can call snot explosions lucky.

I have questions too, not just theories. I wonder how much the symbiotic bacteria and viruses that we live with and get exposed to, and the parasitic ones, affect our expression of autoimmune response. I have a dairy loving friend who became intolerant to milk at the unlikely age of 28 after a round of antibiotics. Are our food allergies controlled by gut bacteria? If I get allergies first, will it make me less susceptible to getting MS, especially if they do find that MS is linked to a certain viral exposure? If the immune cells are already programmed to respond in one way, do they learn new ways or just go with what they know, thus preventing more serious problems? And how come people who get stung by lots of bees (bad) no longer have arthritis (good)? Why do tumors have more, faster mutations than normal cells? And why does cilantro taste like shampoo for me, but some wonderful food stuff for many others who like to put it in or on every dish they make? (I think it's due to a chiral molecule and I have the wrongly handed receptor, but I want to know the real reason.)

One thing I like to do is read about health and science news updates on the web. I was surfing today and found some really interesting stuff that makes me happy because it sounds like someone is looking at autoimmune issues as a whole, and there are new molecular discoveries all the time that seem like promising avenues of research.
  1. It's the sialic acid in IVIG that makes recombinant IgG effective in combating inflammation in cells. The IVIG is a treatment of a collection of antibodies from various people given to people with autoimmune problems like MS or Lupus. This seems like it'll be important.

  2. There's a protein called p100 which links the cell structure building and cell defense mechanisms. You use a little p100 to activate your immune system, but when your cells are overloaded with p100, you get inflammation. And there's some memory effect. The researchers from UCSD point out that this link between the two mechanisms means there's a pathway from inflammation to cellular development changes aka mutations that lead to cancer. I'm thinking that it fits in with the notion that people who don't get enough exposure to various environmental irritants and diseases might be more susceptible to autoimmune/ allergy responses. If you don't train the p100 up right to start with, what if the cellular construction mechanisms go nuts when they all of a sudden get flooded with it. Not only would you get inflammation, but chaos too. It also seems like an important discovery. (Yes I'm aware the news brief came out 6 months ago. I search periodically, today was one of those days.)

  3. Sunlight! I have read numerous articles about how getting a tan makes you feel better. I've felt it myself. (I think I'll sign up for tanning this week, see if I feel better, I've been pretty blah recently.) But researchers are torn about promoting the benefits of sunlight exposure for vitamin D generation because too much exposure is linked strongly to skin cancer. This sun avoidance paranoia drives me crazy, though. I say they get the info out there: get in the sun, but not at noon; wear sunscreen, but don't freak; get a base tan so you don't burn. Stuff like that. Not that everyone is handling the "you can drink red wine, just don't drink a LOT of red wine concept all that well, but I think most people can get the concept that 1 glass is healthy, 1 bottle is not. But the sunlight/vitamin D folks aren't really sure how big a glass of sunlight is compared to a bottle so they keep saying to get out of the sun. And Ricketts is needlessly making a comeback. But I'm glad the sun is not the total demon of the health universe. Especially since getting a tan makes me feel so much better.

  4. Juvenon. I call it my magic Fountain of Youth pill. But the theory makes sense, and it works in rats to extend the length of time their cells function in a healthy manner, so I'm willing to give it a go. And when I read about it for the first time, the researchers said (paraphrased), "It's easy to try yourself. Both supplements are already sold in health supply stores. Take this ratio of thing A to thing B, and you have our new miracle anti-aging elixir." Even now that they make it for sale in just that ratio, they donate profits to more research. I can respect that. An in the meantime, I hope it does get the mitochondrial garbage away from my cells. (Does anyone else get flashes of the "A Wrinkle in Time" series by Madeline L'Engle when confronted with the word mitochondria? Or is it just me?) Yeah, call me lazy, but I'd rather take supplements to make my cells work better and age slower than enact a severe caloric restriction therapy that has been shown to make monkeys really cranky. Yay, so they live longer, but they hate every moment of it. I'm going to assume that caloric restriction makes otters cranky too. This otter is cranky enough without stepping it up a notch. (And yet you don't see the caloric restriction people all in a flutter about promoting anorexia. If we cross them, do we get laid back skinny people with tans?)
Ok. I haven't been sleeping well, so I should get to bed and give it another go. I think I patched the leak in my aerobed, I triple rinsed the sheets and stocked up on breathe right strips. My Sinus Rinse is on standby. Here's hoping for better sleep tonight.

Sunday, January 28, 2007


Can I just say that I love the X-Games!?! I LOVE the X-Games. I have no balance to speak of (I'm getting better with standing yoga poses), so anytime someone launches themselves into the air off a half pipe and lands it like it was nothing, I'm in awe. Shaun White rocks. As does (Danny?) Fisher, who just took first place in half pipe. They had air that was fantastic and made it look easy. There was some even younger kid in the prelims who you could tell would be really good some day, but was getting through on sheer nerve because his landings and transitions were so raw it was almost painful, even though his tricks were good. These top boarders like White, Fisher, Torah Bright and the Aguirre sibs are just so smooth! Sometimes I even prefer when they do fewer rotations with the high (15') air because it's just pure elegance put to alt rock.

Ok. X-games make me happy. It makes me happy that the women, esp. Bright, are kicking it up. I still wonder why I never see girls skateboarding at the beach out here. Only boys. And I'm not surprised at all not to see any girls/women doing snowmobile stunt flips. That's just insane. Looks cool, but is insane.

The other thing that entertains me about the x-games is when they show the superfans waiting below... it's always their sisters and brothers, or parents. Very few boyfriends or girlfriends because they're so young. It's so cute! Now, how can I find my self an adult snowboarder? Oh, yeah, keep trying to snowboard. Except for that weird edge-panic I get, and the fact that I can only turn left, I'm right on it.

X-Games was happy thing one. Happy thing two is that I met up with a book club pal in Santa Monica and took in the shops and atmosphere. We had banana pancakes for brunch, bought some Guess jeans on sale (50%offlowestmarkdownprice), and walked down the boardwalk. I managed not to get my feet in the ocean like all the other people who are in CA, dammit and are going to go to the beach! It was about 55F and not really beach weather. But it was nice walking around weather.

Thing three: I need a couch. I love shopping for couches. There's actually a leather one from IKEA that I like in the sofa w/chaise style in orange (or white) leather. I'm still debating whether to go with this one or a different one, but I'm kinda diggin' it. The legs are a little too spindly, but it has the right height, the narrow arms that don't hog space, and doesn't look frumpy or cluttery.

Crank of the day. My internet connection was out all day yesterday, the day I'd set aside to work on internet related activities. I realized when I called today, and got annoyed listening to their recorded voices telling me how much faster it would all go if I just logged into their website (don't get me started!), that contacting someone to fix your problems needs to address 2 problems: the issue that's causing angst, and how this angst is affecting your life. And if they just had a blow-off-steam valve for you to vent your frustrations before you get to the person you need to be nice to in order to actually get your problem fixed, we would all be much happier in our service calls. I would hate to be the person listening on the bitch line, though. and I would want someone to actually listen.

Well, my contacts are dessicating, so I'm off to put in eyedrops and watch more of the Dresden Files. Because the X-games coverage is over for now.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Isn't it ironic?

After the Alanis Morrisette debacle with Irony (great song, aside from the fact it was about tragic coincidences, not irony) I sometimes have to stop and think if something is really ironic or if my brain was destroyed by alternative rock.

So I leave it to the reader(s) of my blog... Is it Ironic or Tragically Coincident that the day after I

    (a) rip apart the first 4 chapters of a book for being horribly written and not entrancing enough to make myself not care about the flaws
    (b) take my first foray into posting links to other blogs, including "Romance by the Blog" which often features guest authors as bloggers

Ta Da! The guest blogger today is none other than the one who wrote that book with the chartered plane crash which I disdain. (And the fateful book appears to be book one of at least four.)

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Decorate Your Life

That was my "fortune", or directive rather, from my Dove chocolate today. I like it. First thought was that I need some Arm Candy. Need to publish that Match.com profile already. Next thing I thought of was the progress on my condo. The hall is now the right shade of green. It's bright and cheery and aprox the color of my blog background, not the color of a dank cave.

Had a bit of a delay in the blog entries. Here's why: I love my mom. She's a great mom and a good person. And we stomp all over each others buttons as adults. My brother can live with my parents (but doesn't, don't worry); I can't. After a couple of days of sociability we drive each other nuts without meaning to. I didn't want to vent all that angst here; I've done enough of that already. And she did get the sharp sand ground mostly off the hall walls which took 2 days. These 3 small, declawed walls were finally able to be repainted in a bright lime green of my choosing (technically, of my architect's choosing) that perked the place up. And mom pulled out a super ugly light box, made of 1 board and some metal strips which held no load, that was held in with 49 (count 'em 49!!!) 1.25" nails. And some staples, just to be on the safe side I guess. I kid you not - she was so stunned at the excess that she saved them all to show me. And it's just not right to bitch excessively about someone who'll help you decorate your life like that, so no blog for me.

I've saved up a lot of randomness since the last post. Don't know about the happiness - I've mostly been in coma mode since mom left and then my aerobed deflated. I'm trying their online recommended fix from the FAQ - but I'll try.
  1. Cancer. No this doesn't make me happy. But I have a good friend who is now done with her cancer treatments, her hair is coming back in, and she's going strong. And I just checked out the EFO website and found that they cycle their songs while you surf the site. I haven't listened to them in a while, and and forgot how much I like them so have spent the last hour listening to tunes. You and me in a rowboat to Rio. Need to update the iPod library... anyhow, I wondered what was up with Julie, their lead singer who got breast cancer in '05. They had a concert in my old hometown after I moved, and it appears from other web updates (not theirs, strangely) that she's on the mend. US cancer deaths have dropped 7% in the last measurement period. And there's now a vaccine for preventing 70% of cervical cancer. Will pap smears become a thing of the past? Here's hoping.
  2. I made a change to a process at work that made things better. The equipment recovered from a down state more quickly and gave more controlled results with a couple of simple changes, one of which was suggested by the equipment guys, one I came up with myself. The equipment came up quickly from a major overhaul and was running production before I left. Yay! Now I just have to finalize the documentation and we'll be all set.
  3. Ameci's Pizza with sausage, mushrooms, and pepperoncini. I can't justify the cost of also adding black olives, but those are good too. It's thankfully near my workplace and one small pizza is enough for 2-3 meals. Their cheese reheats well and doesn't turn to oil. The sauce is tasty and added in sufficient quantity. The crust it puffy (I prefer thin) but is so tasty I enjoy it anyway. It's good tasty pizza. And comes with Dr. Pepper at lunch.
  4. Found a fun blog to read. Like her prose and her take on life. And her online name.
Ok. Just going to ramble now.

Saw a movie trailer for "Bridge to Terabithia". It looks like it'll be a fantastical romp for older kids, but I remember it as the unnecessarily upsetting book that put me off award winning "literature" the same year I learned to spell chrysanthemum and parentheses. Spoiler: the depressed kid's larger than life new best friend dies in a river accident. I never did figure out how that was necessary to the story. I read romance novels now. People might die in them, but you can count on the hero and heroine (or hero and hero, depending on sub genre) being better off at the end of the book than they were at the beginning, character and relationship growth, and other good things. One could argue that the mini-hero of Terabithia is better off for having known our tomboy heroine (who I never remembered as a little personality), but I still think he'd have been better off if she hadn't died and nothing in 26 years has changed my mind.

I've been talking to too many authors and reading too many blogs about writing. I've been getting picky about what I read. (I'm trying also to incorporate my new knowledge into my own writing, but am not having this professionally published so I'm off the hook. I know I use too many parentheses. Was it to hide from the end of BtT?) Published authors are not absolved.
  • I picked up a book from the TBR pile this week. There was a confusing punctuation error in the first paragraph. The second paragraph had a "chartered plane crash" - how much does it cost to charter a crash? It was hard to tell if the book was supposed to be from the POV of an omniscient narrator, just omniscient, or from the hero/heroine. I'm struggling with chapter 3 and I think it's the H/H POV. But she head hops in bad ways, or just writes in such a way that the POV could be from anyone, so it feels detached. One "rule" used by author Suzanne Brockmann is that if you're describing a scene from one character's POV, anything that character identifies with in that scene needs to be evident to the reader. Well, in this chapter 3, the 'hero' is trying to start a summer camp for kids suffering with his personal academic problems, but avoids letting us know what those problems are, even when we see his grey matter agitating over it. I'm 90% certain it's dyslexia, and am 100% certain that it's not worth the suspense of keeping the particular problem a secret from the reader, whether or not I'm right. He knows what the problem is, we're in his head, we should know it too.
  • I was reading another book by an author that I sometimes enjoy a lot and sometimes don't: Susan Donovan (Take a Chance on Me, with the vet, is fantastic). I was recently reading a later book and it was fun but... Most of the characters were pretty one dimensional. People had problems, but they got resolved too easily. The ex-husband was such a schmuck you know he's gone for good and good riddance, there's no messiness of trying to blend lives. And there was a theme building about the Heroine's (H) artwork. Author Jenny Cruise recently blogged about story arcs. She arcs the characters, the plots, and the secondary details/themes, and now I know why. In this book, we're left hanging! H starts thinking about getting back into painting. H goes to get art supplies and buys 3 large panels. H starts thinking about what to paint on the 3 panels to make a triptych. So far so good. We see some of her inspiration. Hero sets up lovely studio for H that is big enough for the triptych. Then nothing! I'm now 5 days done with the book and still waiting to see what goes on the triptych! SD went through the bother of building up this detail step by step in an arc that paralleled H's growth, then let it vanish into thin air. Why? Where did it go? Without it, there was very little need for H to be an artist. She could have vented her angst in some way that intruded into the story less. And without that payoff, this detail was just an intrusion.

One last thing. The hills directly across the freeway from my new home were redecorated by fire a coupla days ago. That's right, I saw flames and drove by fire trucks when I got off my exit at the freeway. I guess I'm really a Californian now. I'm starting to think that keeping the camping gear in the trunk is the way to go. Mom got me a hand cranked generator for Christmas to keep the cell phone fired up in case the fires or earthquakes take out the electricity and I'm cut off from civilization.

There, is that enough? I still need to do my glass site and match profile, so it better be.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Putting the Cranky in Cranky Otter

I love my mom. Really I do. And she's been here helping out with the place all week. But I need space. I have been all kinds of cranked up this week. On the plus side, mom is getting better about not pushing my hot buttons, so it's been kind of okay. It might not be so fun for her, though, because she came for the worst weather SoCal has seen in years (we lost pretty much all of the current citrus crop), and I haven't been at my most pleasant - and it's worst from about 6-9pm so I'm not very productive during those hours, and after that, who wants to start a construction project? I had hoped we could work on the patio, but it's been in the 40s for most of the week, so that's rather a no go.

Part of the crankiness is hormonal (and is strangely intense this week). But it kind of came to a head last night. After a not so quick trip to the beach only to find Ventura Harbor smelling like raw sewage along several miles of drive, we came back and I tried to clean up some construction dust. I have the worst designed expensive vacuum in the world. It was the Consumer Reports top rated machine the year I bought it, so I was very excited to do research and get something good for my money. But it has stupid design flaws that make me hate it every time I use it. After it once again fell over, and in doing so jammed and bent my thumbnail back an eighth of an inch into my nail bed, I'd had it. I quickly devised a plan to kick the crap out of my lousy vacuum and throw it over a cliff and see it smashed into tiny, tiny bits. I got as far as kicking it a couple of times when my mom told me I should probably have a beer and think it over. Newcastle Brown Ale to the rescue.

I woke up this morning feeling much better, and much less cranky. I got a little extra sleep which helped. I started thinking about the completely unfounded but pervasive notion that women can't make good decisions because of being hostage to nature by way of their hormones, and the implied opposite, that men can make good decisions and aren't hormone hostages. It's probably more true to say that since women get so much experience making decisions with varied body chemistries that we're actually more suited to making critical decisions at any time of the month, than men are when they're just a bit off from normal. (Yes, that could be an equally unfair notion.) Anyhow, I was wondering if my little incident with my POS vacuum should be reviewed in the light of day with a different set of hormones flooding my synapses. So in the light of day, after a little distance and on the way to work, I thought about it more calmly. In theory, I could get some money on a trade in for this sucker. In reality, had I truly gone off the deep end, driven the vacuum into the hills and pushed it over, I wouldn't have regretted it this morning. Just because I hate it more than usual during my period, doesn't mean that destroying the evil vacuum is the wrong decision. In fact, in the rational light of day, I'm kind of disappointed that I didn't have the satisfaction of seeing it die a horrible death.

Anyhow. Trying to be happy here, right? Maybe.
  1. Mom and I are not pushing each other's buttons as much as usual. We are both still alive and mostly having an ok time. Mom is helping me with stuff around the condo like the evil sand wall. (Cranky: Some jackass put exterior grade, very sharp, sand infused paint on the interior hall wall best positioned to snag ones clothes in passing. And it won't come off for love nor money. My mom is always at her most determined when she's fighting a lost cause though, so progress is being made, even if it's slow and probably not worth as much effort as she's putting into it. It's starting to look like a good place to try Venetian plaster.)
  2. I've decided that I need a new vacuum, no more putting up with this one. I hear many good things about the Dyson, but I'm leery as I've also heard a rare few people who are extremely dissatisfied with them and they aren't cheap. I think I'll buy the bagless $100 brand that my brother has as he really likes it and stupid design flaws tick him off too.
  3. Work is actually pretty interesting this week, but as usual, that means that something is going a little wrong. Troubleshooting is fun stuff, but often something has to break first.
  4. Bonus: Newcastle Brown Ale. It is tasty, tasty beer. I don't like bitter things, and this one is sweet, smooth, and flavorful. Even better, it's reliably stocked or on tap at most SoCal bars - unlike Sam's Seasonals, my usual standby. Anyhow. Brown Ale. Great stuff.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Mom is still alive and well

So far so good. See, mom and I love each other, but it works better at a distance of one, or two, thousand miles. We get along great over the phone. Not so much in person. But we managed a day and a half with no screaming, which is good. Now I'm at work and she's cleaning everything she can reach and we're both happy. I hope.

We had hoped my dad would be able to join us as well, but there wasn't enough room on the flights for him to get on as a standby. And maybe by the time he does get here, I'll have more room for guests.

Good things;
  1. Mom made it here. And the time worked out well because I had enough time to blow glass and eat yummy Indian food (which she doesn't think is yummy) before picking her up at the airport which is about 2 miles from glassblowing and food. And no shouting.
  2. Confirmed that the sink I want at IKEA is still there and it's a beauty and I need to own it.
  3. Got in some exercise even with company. Took a walk around the neighborhood. Then had to move the guest air mattress out of the way to get through the body rev routines, but that was easy enough.

Cranky bits:
Had a bit of a row with one of the "parking enforcers" at LAX. I had called mom, knew she was waiting at terminal 2, pulled in at terminal 2, and as I was pulling toward the curb and reaching for the cell phone, this guy in a "traffic" vest yells through my window "You need to move or I'll give you a ticket!" WTF? Oh screw it. What the FUCK!?!?! I've been there 2 seconds. He then says, "you need to point out your party right now or you need to move" - well, he can make severe trouble for me or give me an expensive ticket just because I can't see my short mom through the crowd of people bursting out of the airport??? If I circled around, I'd just have the same problem. If I call while I'm driving, I'm likely to hit someone. If I'd been sitting there for minutes looking bored, that's one thing, but as I'm fucking pulling to the curb is not a reasonable time limit.

So it was my 3rd time, ever, driving at LAX. In theory, it's a simple U shape numbered counterclockwise from 1-7. I went to number 2. It turns out that number 2 covers a lot of area and is not labelled uniformly. It was stressful in the extreme to be:

  1. yelled at the instant I pulled in
  2. under threat of getting a ticket
  3. trying to talk to/reason with the parking attendant while talking to my mom on the phone at the same time
  4. while both of us were looking for the other AND trying to figure out where we were.

As it was, between my dual and confusing conversation, my mom eventually found us and came over. The traffic guy actually apologized to me. And the whole procedure took about 5X longer than it would have had he not pestered me at all.

Here's the thing. Letting someone sit at the airport for >5 minutes while not appearing to look for anyone, I can see making them move, just for reasons of courtesy. But someone who is clearly actively looking for someone and has been there mere moments, should be left the fuck alone.

I now hate pretty much everything about air travel. The TSA rules are so restrictive that half the value of travelling somewhere in person by air, that of couriering items that would otherwise be cost prohibitive or pointless to ship, is completely lost to us. AND WE'RE NOT SAFER! It's like a sick, terrible, badly done joke. (If you don't understand why we're not safer, I can write that up in another entry.) In this case, my mom wanted to bring me some hand lotion and soaps and some homemade jelly. The lotion and soap I could buy here, but not for the discount she got, which was excellent was not enough to justify the postage. The mom-made wild-plum jelly, I can't get from anywhere else in the world but my mom. Yet all of these things are banned from carryon luggage as a placebo for people to feel safer and Mom was flying standby, so couldn't easily check luggage. She showed up at my place like a refugee fleeing a third world nation, but with better shoes.

Hopefully some retail therapy will get me out of this crank. Because even thinking about the airport is enough to make me want to scream and yell. And for those who don't know, I've been flying all over the US and Europe for nearly 18 years. And it's only really started to suck out loud since last august. In my opinion, 12 guys with some bags of gel have now disrupted the regular lives of millions upon millions of people - "the terrorists" have already won.

Friday, January 12, 2007

These things? They worked out better in my head.

Mara Levi quote. Relevant to my week.

After my middle of the night post, I couldn't sleep, until I finally could, and overslept the alarm by 5.5 hours. Yikes! I thought I was done with the lack of restful sleep that would have me so insensate that I couldn't respond to any number of alarms set right next to my head. In this case, I didn't fall asleep until about 2 hours before it went off, which is right in the heaviest part of my sleep cycle. When I fall asleep, I wake up 4 hours later. At 2 or 3 hours, I am so deeply asleep, that I could sleep through most anything. Including 2 hours of very loud alarm, apparently.

I've decided to try some Breathe Right strips to see if more air helps me sleep better. I don't have sleep apnea. I do sleep on my side because I can breathe better that way, and I'm already using my "Sinus Rinse" and taking allergy meds so maybe taking it one step further will help. The acupuncture and valerian root aren't doing enough right now I guess.

But even more, my mom is coming to visit. Probably. She's flying standby, so when she gets here is still up in the air. And I have great visions in my head of how this place will look when I clean in up. And like with the still unfinished websites, I've had no motivation to do any of it this week. And thinking of one sends my thoughts skittering to another. My plan is to start with the obvious, make sure necessary things are clean, not just picked up, and then do the stuff that requires decisions (put the paper away). I could really use a secretary. And if that all gets done, I get to exercise. Yep.

The good stuff:
  1. Made progress on a problem at work. Much, much closer to root cause. Stayed 2 hours late on a friday to inspect a lot and document my findings. Granted this means I don't have to spend 4 hours repeating my experiment just to get basic information. I have the basic information and can take an experiment to further refine my theory.
  2. My boss is both smart and reasonable. She comes up with the most insightful comments in most of the meetings we both go to, and she didn't freak about my late morning (without condoning it). And she respects the work I do. It makes all the difference in the world to have a boss that works with me and not against me.
  3. CPR/AED/First Aid recertification.
    I volunteer to do first aid at work, and in exchange, they bring in instructors I don't have to pay for. I've been certified in CPR on and off since age 11 or so, and in using an AED for the last 4. There were some changes to the Heart Association's recommendations this year: Now everyone gets the same number of compressions, and the same number of breaths regardless of age. It's 30 compressions to 2 breaths. And will move to 50 compressions once people get used to the large number. And if you can't/won't do rescue breathing, just do compressions - they'll help. This is based on a 5 year study of survivability after first aid variants according to the instructor.

    This is first aid of the sort where your primary funtion is to call EMS:
    1. assess safety of the scene
    2. assess responsiveness of victim (if unknown), gain permission to aid
    3. call EMS, get AED and first aid kit
    4. assess injuries/status/breathing
    5. stop blood, start CPR, keep calm and
    6. keep going until EMS arrives.
      It's not the kind of training that will allow me to field dress a gunshot wound and splint a broken ulna in preparation for hiking out of a canyon, unless these things can be done with pressure on gauze on wounds. Granted, in the best of all possible worlds, I won't ever have to use this knowledge.
    Funniest new thing, though. If you're at high risk for a heart attack? Take out those nipple rings. Apparently speed of getting the defibrillation shock trumps burns from electrified metal.

Off to condense boxes so they aren't the "accent piece" my mom sees when she first walks in.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The TV! THE TV!!!

Quote is from the famed Simpsons episode with MIT students. They unplug the TV to plug in some tech toy during an Itchy and Scratchy exclusive. Geek boy asks which to plug in, and with horror in their eyes, Bart and Lisa act in unison for one of the few times in the history of the show and scream "The TV!, THE TV!!!" Classic.

Happiness things:
1. HGTV:
I'm obsessed with HGTV's Designed to Sell. Maybe it's because I need to see how a space looks without stuff. If you see my last post, that picture is busy busy busy with all my stuff. Mostly books, but lots of stuff too. And I learn a lot of things about how to stage an area for pleasing space when I watch but have to keep in mind that it's not necessarily "Designed to Live". Design on a Dime gives me hope and some ideas, like using $4 placemats instead of a $175 custom frame to get the perfect look for a unique art piece. I also love ReDesign. For those with bigger budgets, Kenneth Brown has some wacky but cool, funky ideas and pulls it off in the end. Candace Olson of Divine Design does some lush looking things as well, but lots faster than Ken, who works on a more normal design timetable, I suspect. She also sounds like she had speech therapy for an /s/ lisp which makes her name unfortunate for her. Nonetheless, she looks and sounds like a Minnesotan with the "Olson", height, blond hair, and accent and has turned out quite well as an adult. Small Space, Big Style has great ideas for places of the size I live in, although is usually high budget. Some of my other very favorites are the shows where they take stuff you already own and remix, move, and repurpose it to make it work for you: Design ReMix, Decorating Cents, and FreeStyle rock my world. With their motivation, I turned a dresser I didn't like into a media center I love with a quick drill hole in the back and an attached power strip. And I had a bookshelf that vacationed as a great windowseat and is back to being a shelf in the new place.

Shows that make me Cranky:
Buy Me, on right after Designed to Sell, is where the people consistently dis their realtors' advice and come to a bad middle while being rude about it. Haven't managed to finish a show yet to see if they come to a bad end, also. I'm not psyched about What You Get for the Money either because it's kind of false advertising. They always show oddball places, and not the "average" area house. They once profiled a condo in the town I used to live in, and it was lovely and unique and expensive, and absolutely one of a kind. Despite 90% of the living spaces being 3-5 bedroom family friendly triple deckers with parlors and built in butler's pantries, they went with a loft converted by a top architect to have an open plan which precluded having kids or stuff. That condo was not in any way representative of what you could expect to get in my town. All jealousy issues aside (80% of shows profile a price range I can't afford), the houses they show are lovely, but are not representative, which makes the show useless for the education the title implies and makes it a purely voyeuristic experience. Nothing wrong with voyeurism (you're reading my blog after all, doesn't do to insult the guests) but they should change the title. Finally, House Hunters. It's not a bad show, but it's HGTV's most popular so it's on all the damn time. And while it's useful to see people look at 3 houses, none of which meet all their initial criteria, and still manage to get a place they like, ultimately, they are deciding things based on their personal criteria which aren't mine, or relevant to me. It's more the learning experience I would expect from "what you get for the money" on a neighborhood scale. But I don't learn much beyond that basic "get what best works for you". They don't teach me how to improve focal points, find cheap lamps, or anything else I want. They do show people saying things like "I don't like all that clutter" - duh! you're not buying the clutter! Look at the room size and mounted fixtures already! So I don't want to watch it as often as they show it.

2. Strangely, I've been enjoying watching "Girls Next Door" starring Hugh Hefner's three live in blonde girlfriends. It actually makes me feel better about my life. The girlfriends seem nicer than I'd expect (when on camera at least), but their lives are very controlled: 9pm curfew if not with Hef; Thursday night is club night; Sunday is pool party day. Is Tuesday foursome night? And their little amusements aren't my little amusements. Maybe because I was never The Hot Chick, but still, not for me. And wow, Hugh can be a grumpy old man who likes to have his dinner on time and not go anywhere while ogling sweet young things and getting his way. I expect Holly, the head GF, is hoping for a long, long residency. She seems to like curmudgeon boy well enough, but she's there at his pleasure and is constantly aware of it, so I think it adds a lot of stress to her life which you wouldn't expect as someone thinking of the glamorous, near mythical, "Playboy Mansion" lifestyle. Ok. It disturbs me that "Hefner" is in the yahoo and blogger spell check. God forbid I spell it "Heffner". Won't get my pool party invitation now.

3. Spent the afternoon at work doing solid process engineering work. Managed to get out of a meeting that keeps happening over and over with little to no forward progress because we need to have time to go do our action items before we can give an update, and not have a meeting once in a while! Gah! So I took it on myself to do that and I enjoyed my job today because of it. Yay!

I think that's quite enough, don't you? I fell asleep on the couch for 4 hours again, which is why I'm posting at an "unreasonable hour". If I didn't do something at least kinda constructive in this time between nap and bed, I'd just feel worse for wasting it all. So I exercised and blogged. Didn't get to my other two website updates though. Tomorrow. Well, technically, later today.

Monday, January 8, 2007

Back to Basics

This is fun. I'm using this space to rant and have an outlet for things that might not have an audience. A diary for exhibitionists. But I'm going to try to stick to my Original Idea, at least every once in a while.

Happy things today:
  1. New lamp. It's my first "Adult" table lamp. No, it does not have batteries nor does it vibrate nor does it resemble Adrian Paul with long hair wielding a sword. Photobucket - Video and Image HostingThe Lamp is a craftsman inspired base with a "pagoda lichen" shade. I would call the shade a classic, squared sage silk myself, but then I'm not an expert at product names. The Lamp is an actual base and lampshade purchased separately but to go together, from Restoration Hardware. I was forced to go against my basic nature and return a gift there (it shed too much and died in the dryer - don't get all horrified, it's not a pet store). The gift giver mentioned that she wanted to go for practical housewarming gift instead of funky. I think I managed to replace it with something that's both. Whew!
  2. In fact, let's hear it for alternate plans.
  3. Cherries. Yes, they are a repeat offender. But I had a chat with my brother about the joy of cherries and had to go get more after he described the sweet burst of cherry juice that pops out of the ripe cherry skin when they're just right, and how he ate 3 bags of them. I'm thinking that's about 3-5 pounds of cherries. If you're thinking about this too, you'll realize I'm just happy I'm not my brother for the next 24 hours.
So much for my intent to be pithy rather than verbose. I have a feeling that may never happen, but I always have hope.

Day Laborer Pick Up Next Right

I've been wondering about the dozens of guys who hang out on the corner every morning. I drive along the main street near my place and hook a right to get to the freeway. At this corner where I turn on my way to work in the mornings, there are clusters of Mexican men hanging out. They've added sweatshirts recently as it has gotten chillier, as some days they stand there for hours. It doesn't appear to be a bunch of illegals as it's totally out in the open, and this morning, there were 4 or 5 professional highway-grade signs set up, directing people to a little pull in between the corner and the freeway saying "Day Laborer Pick Up Next Right."

But I have questions because I'd never seen this before except on TV.

  • Do these people get picked up by contractors on a regular basis, or is it always a crap shoot?
  • Isn't it scary to just get in the truck of whomever comes by? (I guess that's why there are no women doing this.)
  • What kind of work do they do?
  • How do they determine the pay rate?
  • Do they get paid more if they're picked up first?
  • Do they pay taxes?
  • Do these guys speak English?
  • Could I get them to help me renovate? ('Cuz it's about me.)
  • How early do they get there? They seem to be gone by noon, so do they all get hired, or do they have a backup job?
  • What's the average wait time?
  • I haven't picked out any regulars yet, how long do these men work the corner before landing a regular job?
  • If they land a regular job, is it a contract job that will spit them back on to the corner after a while?
  • What kind of life to do they have? What are their expenses? What do they do in their off time? One of the condos I looked into buying was a very spartan 2 bedroom. The master had 2 bunkbeds, the air was close, and my realtor mentioned that it was most likely shared by immigrants while the owners lived with their baby in the smaller room. Is that the standard housing, or do these guys earn enough to have a regular apartment?

I may never know the answers to these questions. But I ask them to myself a lot.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Pump up the Volume

I got another response to my query about how to wordsmith my Match profile. It included a cautionary tale about paying attention to the first email one gets. The negative example was a guy who put his car radio on loud and went for a drive to deal with stress and frustration. Just to show how different people are, I thought this sounded pretty perfect. I just managed to go a respectable speed up the Camarillo grade in my freshly washed Mazda3 while blasting my new "The Killers, Sam's Town" CD. It felt fantastic!

I particularly like the song "Read My Mind" with the phrases "happiness soaking my spine" and "I don't mind if you don't mind, 'cuz I don't shine if you don't shine". For some reason I love both the music and the lyrics, and I could listen to it over and over and over and over. In fact, I'm doing that now while I download it onto "The Brain", my IPod. The chorus is reminiscent of a favorite band "Honest Bob and the Factory to Dealer Incentives", but really, bunch of scruffy guys coming up with this stuff makes me teary eyed, as I rock hard.

Other good driving favorites: The Beasties!, The Donnas, The Psychadelic Furs, Blink 182. For calmer stuff, I like Anna Nalick and all sorts of things. In fact, The Brain is mostly filled with mellow tunes, come to think of it. And the one about dying her hair orange with "Tangerines." Makes me smile every time.

Still weird

I spoke to my mom on the phone last night and she didn't sleep much or well for 3 nights this week either - the night of the full moon, and those before and after. She's mentioned this on and off through the years, but last night, for the first time, she blamed me. Apparently I really am 1/3 werewolf. She first started having trouble sleeping through full moons when she was pregnant with me, and has had intermittent trouble with it since. I've always had trouble with sleep generally (in retrospect, it's easier to notice), so it's only been in the last few years of having good, quality sleep that I notice how some things cause sleep disturbances: caffeine, jetlag, and other things that never made my sleep worse than it usually was. Apparently one of those other things is a need to howl at the moon.

On another topic, but still weird, I went out to eat last night after a run to Mecca (as my friend Quiche calls Target) to get some toilet paper and other necessary items like a great little end table and glitter glue in the $1 spot ... I can't get out of that $1 spot without dropping $20. And now they've added $2.50 items as well. I don't feel too bad about it because when I get home with that stuff, I always have a place for it to go - it's often stuff that I'd looked for before but didn't want to spend money or something that would supplement stuff I have. At any rate, I had a giant 16 pack of TP in the back seat, wedged in to keep the fully assembled table from sliding and getting damaged, when I stopped for dinner.

I sat at the bar, because that's what one does when dining alone. After weeks of no action of any sort, I got hit on by 3 guys last night. All I could think of was the fact that I had to go home and get the toilet paper inside before my last half roll ran out and isn't that sexy thought? But it was still no good because it was not what I would call good, healthy action. One creepy grizzled old dude, who fortunately didn't sit in the chair right next to me, mentioned several times that he'd be interested, despite my keeping my back to him pretty much from the start. Another guy actually followed me into the bathroom (WTF?!?!) and thought it might be hot to get it on over a toilet. Thankfully, one of his buddies came in an hauled him out of there.

I've puzzled it out since, and I think he just moved on the only woman left in the bar when it was closing down since I hadn't noticed him looking at me even once in the 2 hours prior to this. And it's not like I was closing down the bar on purpose - it just wasn't that late! I got there a little after 9, had my dinner, started chatting with a few of the soccer players, thanks to the sweet young thing who sat next to me while waiting for a sober ride home who caught their attention, and next thing I know, the bartender is cashing out at 11pm. On a saturday night. I truly do live in the suburb of early nights. Maybe I should look for dates in the valley, where things stay open later. And some randy soccer player has no reason to think I'm the only game in town. I got the number of the 3rd guy, but he's in northern CA and just here for the soccer coaching clinic at CLU, which ends thursday. I'm thinking I should label his number in my cell as "do not answer" now that I've had time to think about it.

Well, I'm off for a carwash and to see if I can find more of Julie Ortolon's books. I got a couple in a book exchange and finally read them and find them really enjoyable. The characters have issues to work on, and they work on them. I believe in their conflict resolution skills. The plots aren't genius, but the handling of character development is. And they're a tad steamy. It's good fantasy escapism but where you like the people because they seem real, or at least possible. One thing I find kind of funny is that I keep mentally saying her name as /OR-lah-ton/ which is all mixed up -- and she's so dyslexic that she only learned to read in her early 20s. She does have a small issue with homophones (Marino/Murano), but I can let it slide if there's a good reason like dyslexia. Although I still have an issue with editors, generally, and hers specifically, for letting stuff like this (averse/adverse) through. Author Jenny Crusie blogged last year about how words are an author's medium, so they should know them, use them correctly, and not expect editors to fix their mistakes. I absolutely agree. But I can see how someone who only knows words by sound, and not spelling, would need to have backup.

I haven't been up long enough for 3 really deep happy things, but I have 3 nonetheless:
  1. The car wash plan. I pay a low monthly fee and can go to the car wash whenever I want to. In addition to the usual, they clean the windows inside and out, vacuum, throw out my trash, and it's fast. Three visits/month is enough to be saving money and I need at least that many. I might have washed my Golf twice a year in Boston. But in CA, there's so much dust from lack of rain, and any spots from birds or trees will get fried into the paint from the sun, that even I, the queen of not washing my car, look at my car after a week and think, "carwash, stat". I even washed the rental.
  2. Irish Breakfast Tea. I love assam tea. Nothing says good morning like a hot cup.
  3. In unit laundry. Never had it before in my adult life. Now, I don't have to schedule my life around laundry and acquisition of quarters. I put a load in last night, dried it this morning while I showered and breakfasted, and look! Clean laundry with no fuss! No lugging 40 pounds down 3 flights of stairs! No fevered rush to make sure I'm at the machine the second the "in use" light goes off. It's so civilized! Now if only the dryer vent had the draw of my fireplace vent, all would be well. It's clean enough not to catch fire, but before I hook up a new unit, I'll get someone professional out to rout it more throughly.
I think that's enough for one day. I actually need to go do something with it.

Saturday, January 6, 2007

So... That Happened

Wow, what a weird week. Now I know, I get self obsessed when I don't sleep. Between Tuesday AM and Friday PM, I slept about 9 hours, and 4 of it was lousy sleep on the sofa, which in reality is a too-old, beat up loveseat a couple feet shorter than I am. I was a little worried coming home last night that I wouldn't be able to sleep (hah!) after drinking Dr. Pepper at lunch (I have no willpower sometimes). After the world's slowest ab workout, I started to drift off with the BodyRev still on said abs, and took myself off to bed. I have to admit that I'm feeling a lot better after FIFTEEN straight hours of sleep. Yay!

I have a friend who goes a few days at a time not eating much, then floors everyone when she can down 3 hamburgers in an afternoon. She's convinced that she's like a camel who drinks a lot then lives off the stores, storing up food so she doesn't need to eat quite as regularly. I'm starting to think I might be a sleep camel. If I sleep too long one day, I don't sleep much the next. I got a lot of sleep over the holiday break, and almost none after coming back to work. Or maybe I'm a werewolf and can't sleep at or near a full moon?

I'm going to do my 3 happy things for both today and yesterday
  1. I found my missing parts. I have a qual at work and one box of parts labelled "Bin 1" = good, were actually rejects. I managed to find the real Bin 1's in the reject box, so all's well. The interior labeling was right, the exterior a little suspect.
  2. I've managed to ask my friends about what's going on in their life, and not just telling them about mine. Despite my solipsism this week, I love hearing about what other people are up to. And I got some useful advice on my match profile in the mix.
  3. Cherries. I really love good cherries. I finished off my stash for breakfast, along with some yummy Tazo chai tea I got for christmas.
Here's hoping the rest of the year isn't this weird. Happy New Year!

Friday, January 5, 2007

Marketing Moi

I've spent the oodles of time since my last post thinking about how to sell myself on the internet. I'm posting yet again because I can't sleep for all the thinking about myself.

One aspect of this cogitation is that I'm glassblower and a friend is helping me set up a website to sell my art. She needs more words and pictures from me to make it work so this is on my mind. The other is I've decided to sign up on Match.com so I have to think about literally selling myself. Why would I be some guy's new best friend and lover, and how do they know that from reading about me? For all that I am very indescriminate about casting my thoughts into the ether, telling perfect strangers how I hate all poetry but haiku unless it's set to a tune, I am not at all comfortable marketing the magic that is me.

I'm learning about spin. Spin is probably the most negative word to put on the concept, but I've been assimilated to the belief that presentation is a very large part of your message. It's why sarcasm doesn't work well in text; without the droll tone of voice, people think you're serious. If you approach someone assertively, you get different results than if you're apologetic or aggressive and argumentative when trying to convey a single idea. An example in the news recently shows "Death Tax" evokes a different response than "Estate Tax". The first implies that the tax is unavoidable and applies universally because everyone dies. The second that it applies to someone else, those "others" with "estates". A populace that never thought about "Estate Taxes" (primarily because they didn't have to), will get up in arms about the injustice of a "Death Tax". And the result is that tax laws put in place to help promote a strong middle class by preventing gross inequities in wealth distribution are repealed.

Naturally, the topic now returns to me. The problem I have with "marketing spin" is that I need to describe myself. While I like to think I'm complex and hard to pin down, mostly I'm extremely literal and indecisive. Sometimes I'm good with nuance, but oftentimes I need someone to let me know I need to dig beneath the surface or read between the lines. It's a skill I've learned, but some aspects of it don't come easily for me. (Jeanne, if you ever read this, think about your mom's boat.) When I say "I'm a glassblower" and stop, I can't help but think, "actually, I'm a singing engineer with the furnace fetish who can speak with her hands". If I read that someone else is a glassblower, I have certain expectations of them and those expectations don't describe me completely enough for me to be comfortable using just that one label. So I need more labels, but which ones? How many? And how do I choose? Am I "Big and Beautiful", carrying "a few extra pounds" or a chubby athlete (not a choice)? How much will this decision matter? And if I fudge it a bit, will it come back to bite me in person when it'll be worse? This is why I don't lie, as a general rule; I'm constitutionally incapable without rigorous coaching, or a belief that it's not actually a lie. If I can talk myself around to thinking of an idea in a context such that it's no longer a lie, I can use it. Thus, spinning an idea increases my comfort when I can't convey the whole truth at once.

Decisions are stressful things for me. I'm extremely good at looking at multiple points of view. I'm not adept at weighing the relative importance of those points of view or the decision itself. Whatever I'm pondering at the time is the most important thing ever even if it's whether to throw out junk mail. What if I need an oil change and don't have the coupon? How could I live with myself for wasting that five dollars? Even though I've learned to step back and query, "What decision will move this forward?" or "How much pain does a bad decision cost here?" (if it's only $5, fuhgeddaboudit) it's still a emotional grinder for me. Even blogging, I've edited almost all of my posts so far. I almost always feel calmer after making a decision, but I can and have lived for years with deferred decisions. (Ask Jeanne how many years of paperwork she helped me throw out and organize. And how many years I talked about leaving my last job.)

Right now the decision of prioritizing when I work on the glass website, when I blog, and when I work on my match profile has me spinning in circles. I'm ineffectual at all but the easiest, vomiting my opinion into the ether as a way of thinking things through in the hopes that it helps, because they are all very important to me so I feel guilty working on one and not the other. I know that working on any one is not "cheating" on the other website, but it's how I feel. I don't give my complete attention to the glass because I need a social life, but I don't give my complete attention to the profile because I want the glass website functional in time to funnel my existing customers through it this month. Simply thinking about one makes my mind jump to the other. There, I've reasoned that through. I'll have to give myself permission to focus on one at a time so I can get to a point where at least one is not in limbo.

Also on my mind - this is my blog, and I'm already boring myself to tears talking about me. God help anyone who stumbles upon my self-love fest inadvertently. I was such a mess this year that I got NO ONE Christmas gifts, if you don't count toiletries and hand-me-down sweaters, which I don't. This non-giving state of affairs sucks for several reasons: I love giving thoughtful gifts, I have gotten some REALLY nice gifts from friends in the last couple years, and I didn't have clue one what anyone would want this year and it scares me to be that thoughtless. I need to think about someone(s) that is (are) not me or I will become someone I do not care to be around. I think I'm going to have to add a codicil to my happiness posts - I have to make at least one attempt to make someone else happy. This implies that I need to think about someone else, care enough to think things through, and then do my thing for them. Which would be a nice change of pace, don't you think?

Ok, I think I can sleep now. We've established that I'd make a terrible spy and I've asked friends for advice on the profile and website, I'll have to see if anyone helps me out and finish the profile tomorrow, before the 6'5" pilot is snatched up, and work on the glass site next week.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

On topic

My three items of happiness for the day:
  1. Acupuncture! It keeps me going. And now that I've found a local acupuncturist who speaks English and I don't have to get whichever Amgen employee is in the waiting room to translate for me, things are going much better. I'm not meeting as many people from Amgen, but it's easier just to speak directly. And the acupuncturists at this office give massages after the needle treatment. It takes forever, but it's wonderful.
  2. Had to solve a problem on a tool at work that was strange enough and urgent enough that I got to devote time to digging through the tool, thereby learning more about how it ticks, so to speak. But it wound up being something that didn't put product at risk (good) and had an easy and relatively quick solution (also good) so it should be back to normal by the production priority meeting in the morning and I won't be called on to explain my down tool (very good).
  3. I got my errands done with little fuss and no procrastination. I mailed a dozen holiday cards, returned my library books on time, did my Legs/cardio/abs workout, and aren't I fabulous? Yeah, this one is no good. I'm happier that I got cherries at the grocery store and they are tasty, ripe, succulent, firm (not spongy, al dente, need a better word), and bursting with cherry goodness.
B: Do they make bibs for adults? I had oily pasta for lunch and managed to flick the spaghetti ends all over on the way to my mouth, and thus oil all over my shirt. I managed to camouflage it a bit with my necklace and badge, but yechk!

Righteous Indignation

Never fear, ether audience, I found something to be cranky about!

I'm all for the language growing and expanding when new words come into play, or a word being repurposed when it makes sense to do so. But using words incorrectly for no good reason is not something I can condone. Specifically, the use of the noun woman instead of the adjective female is driving me to distraction.

For instance, the headline "Nancy Pelosi is First Woman Speaker of the House". Why can't she be the "First Female Speaker of the House"? It's not like woMAN is an improvement over feMALE when looking at patriarchal word derivation and associations. "First Man Nurse is Crowned Nurse of the Year" is just strange and wrong. And confusing to boot. What is going on? And why do I see this incorrect usage EVERYWHERE? Are there no editors who know nouns from adjectives anymore? Has everyone lost their minds?

And why do we still have so few women in positions of power that a woman is still a novelty? The last batch of statistics I read about percentages of women in governmental roles had us being handily beaten out by Iraq.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Squirelly Otter

Wow, I had really bad sleep last night. I used to have severe problems with quality of sleep but after years of acupuncture it seemed to be better. It seems I need to keep up with the acupuncture still. And stop falling asleep on the couch. If I lay down on the couch, I will fall asleep. I will likely sleep with a crooked neck for 4 hours. I need to learn this. So far: Couch=20, Me=1. If that. For this year, Couch won twice so far. Not good. Must stop fooling myself that I will exercise after I sit down. The activation energy to get back up is just too much for me on a normal day.

A fellow blogger alerted me to an update on author Jenny Crusie's personal blog, Argh Ink. She's written a great New Year's post about "indulgences" before moving on to resolutions.

I'm going to flop her idea around a bit and do my indulgences now, since I already did the resolutions. On the happy news front, some of them overlap.
  1. Read! Yep. I read romance. I read a lot. I particularly like
    • Suzanne Brockmann
    • Jenny Crusie
    • Julia Quinn
    • Catherine Mann
    • Mary Balogh
    • Barbara Kingsolver
    • and many, many other authors move in and out of the top 10.
    One of these day's I'll add their links to my sidebar, but not today.

  2. Blog! I have a tendency to be wordy. I like to talk. Sometimes I care about having an audience but not always, which makes blogging great for me. But still, it feels more like self indulgence than cheap therapy.

  3. Remodel my kitchen and and bathroom. Buy a new sofa/couch/davenport. This will be done on a budget but after 10 years of renting, I want to rip something apart and rebuild it the right way. Those spoon drawers will be a thing of the past. And it might involve buying more power tools. I seriously want a compound sliding miter saw, but might have to content myself with a table saw with a router mount.

  4. Take gratuitous walks on the beach. Translation = date.

  5. Pay for cable. I love design shows on HGTV. Dirty Jobs and Mythbusters on Discovery are also great. Food TV. I will occasionally watch Network TV because of That 70s Show reruns, but I think I'll have to rent a couple seasons to catch up with the Gilmore Girls.

3 good things for today:
  1. I stayed awake and alert at work all day despite VERY screwball sleep last night - most of it on the little, old, squashed couch. The rest of the night was spent tossing and turning. Gah!
  2. I did my exercise after work like I should. I'm not sure if this makes me happy so much as it makes me relieved. I really hate my love donut, though.
  3. Email. I was able to email a couple people to relieve the worry about the sleep. And they put up with it! Thanks cyberpals!
Now after all of that happy talk, I'm having trouble with the bitchy part. I think I didn't have enough excess energy after the sleep worry to get really worked up. It'll come though, stay tuned.

Monday, January 1, 2007

Happy New Year!

I started out having a low key, kind of eh New Year's Eve. But by the time it was over, I'd spoken to many of my good friends on the phone, and that made me feel all warm and fuzzy about the year. So many of us made huge changes this year, and so far it's working out well.

I don't think I'll do justice to picking just 3 good things about last year, but I'll try.
  1. I got out of my old job, got a new job, and pushed RESET on my whole life by moving to Southern CA. It was a good change. Especially now that I have my own glass tools and a friendly studio to rent time in.
  2. I bought a condo. Now I can wreck whatever I want to and paint the place orange.
  3. The new James Bond movie ROCKS! I so wanted to like the Pierce Brosnan Bond movies, but the scripts were terrible and the movies were unwatchably bad. But Daniel Craig struts his stuff in and out of a new Dinner Jacket, and it's a wonderful thing to behold. In fact, I think I'll go behold it again. I should be sending out Holiday Cards - I wrote the insert letter and everything - but Bond! Bond!!

And I suppose I'm going to have to list a couple resolutions too.
  • Really do a good job at being a Process Engineer. Work proactively, set up solid processes, improve what I can improve, and work collaboratively with my colleagues to solve the trickier problems. I want to really understand my tools and how they operate and error proof them as much as possible.
  • Turn the glassblowing hobby into a business that makes a profit.
  • Pay attention to my happiness and realize that that means being fit and healthy and interactive. I'm going to keep exercising, and try dating a lot more. And keep up with friends and family.
  • Remodel the kitchen on a really tight budget. I keep thinking that I could make cabinets. How hard could it be? Um...
We'll see how that goes. Inherent is keeping a roof overhead.

Happy New Year all!