0

Just work observations

by

We had a great inter-departmental meeting over lunch today, where the folks working on the user guides got together with other technical writers in the company. There’s always been a bizarre wall up between some of the writers and developers, and there’s new leadership over in the user guide group. Sharon wants us to all work together, not have to re-invent the wheel, and all think about writing for the correct audience and writing in the most efficient way. It reminded me of the excitement I had at my last courseware developer job, when I saw people learning to reach over the departmental lines and do the best work possible for the company.

Have I mentioned today how much I love my job? *hee hee*

Of course, I was lazy today about going to the gym, but I’ll try and get there sometime later this week.

* * * * *
Recently Listened to: Tori Amos, “To Venus and Back” (Disc 1: Live and Orbiting)

0

Old Friends

by

I nearly cried this morning with joy. My best friend from Junior High has written me a short email to say “Hi, is this you?” Back in seventh grade, I met Mary in the first week of school. She was late for gym (I was too, but I can’t remember why) because she was at the dentist with her mom. Mary is the only child, and hearing, of two deaf parents. So she was interpretting for my Mom’s appt. with the dentist. I was facinated, and we talked all the way to gym that morning. And we never stopped, for several years—we were “joined at the hip” as they say.

Being so warmly invited into her family, her friends, and her church, was a defining moment in my life. I learned a lot of sign language from them, growing up, but we lost contact when I moved from Ohio my senior year of high school. But I’d never forgotten them or how much they meant to me, and I’ve missed her for twenty years now. It finally dawned on me, about two weeks ago, to try looking up deaf churches back in my hometown to see if there was anyone I could email to see if they knew how to get ahold or her, her family, or friends of her family. She wrote me just a sentence or two, but it meant all the world to me to hear from her. I can’t wait to catch up further.

I did make it to the gym today, but what an effort that was. Well, maybe not the workout itself, those seem to be getting a tiny bit easier each time. But just the mental block of “ugh, now I have to go exercise.” I’m going to have to find a way to get through that more often.

* * * * *
Recently Listened to: Tori Amos, “To Venus and Back” (Disc 1: Live and Orbiting)

0

New furniture, tired body

by

Yesterday was absolutely lovely and today as completely exhausting. I’m going to have to remember to take photos of these amazing carved end tables and coffee table, to show off how incredible they are. But back to the story-telling.

I left work early on Friday, to do this truck project, and when I arrived home my roomie Mel was already there. Bless her heart, I love how reliable she is! I really ought to spend more time with her, because she is so darn cool.

The weather, however, was not cool and there’s nothing like being stuck in LA Friday get-away traffic in the heat. But we drove up in her car, used the A/C a bit when we were actually traveling at a good clip, and just stuck it out while we were, well, stuck. She’s doing a sword-teaching and demo thing at the Ren Faire with friends tomorrow, so while I drove, she was hand-stiching another new doublet. She’s doing some amazing things with “slash-and-puff” techniques, in preparation for teaching a class this fall, and it’s fun to also admire her skill and creativity with a needle and thread.

Thankfully picking up the U-Haul was non-eventful, and all we needed to do was fill up her tank and send her on her way.

I got over to Mom’s and Larry’s, and he helped me pack everything into the truck. Mom had survived the Northridge earthquake, years ago, and gained a healthy dose of CA earthquake paranoia. I say a “healthy dose” because it means she does those things you’re *supposed* to do in California—strap your bookcases to walls, use earthquake-hold on your breakables, etc. Unfortunately, this means that one of my end tables currently has a lamp affixed to the glass top so securely that we can’t remove it. The goo hasn’t exactly hardened, but the ceramic is pressed so tightly that we can’t get *to* the goo to break its suction-hold on the glass. This, of course, complicated wrapping and packing the glass table tops for the move. Let’s say I drove with a bit of trepidation of jarring and breaking things.

I’d forgotten to get rope or ties, to secure everything in the back of the truck. But my step-brother had ties to loan me, which solved the problem.

Since Mom and Larry are headed out on vacation, and won’t be here for Mother’s Day, my step-sister threw a big Mom’s-Day-bash for all the family mommies Friday night. So after we finished packing the truck, I went over with Mom and Larry to Petula’s house, and we had a great dinner and visit with everyone. Pet is also a hair-stylist, by trade, and she’s created this really *lovely* studio in her garage at her home. Since she was coloring my Mom’s roots and trimming her dad’s hair, I managed to stand in line and get a trim while I was there. I was highly complimented that she didn’t think my hair looked like I had been the one to cut it (I had, twice), but it was nice to get a real trim and the correct shaping done to the back of the hair. I have to admit, it feels really weird to have the neckline shaved/trimmed so close, but I’m sure I’ll be glad for it later. Right now I just keep playing with it, kind of like when guys get their heads shaved and they play with the stubble afterwards.

Finally, I had to decide to just crash on Mom’s couch since I was too tired to drive home yet. It was disorienting to be stranded somewhere without my car, since I have all my overnight supplies always packed—pajamas, toothbrush, hairbrush, contact solution and case, etc. But I managed and had a lovely sleep in before getting my contacts back in and a huge latte for the road.

The drive was uneventful, and unpacking was exhausting. But now I have three bookcases in my room, a coffee table and two end tables (and a stuck lamp!) in the living room, and the house is really starting to look grown-up and adult. Not quite like a make-over show on cable, but not quite so college.

And we had our last rehearsal of the month at the studio, since all the guys are taking one week vacations one week after another all month long. This should afford me some extra time to compose lyrics for the third CD, and take some time to get organized and motivated again in several other projects. I like to joke that I’m “single-and-bored-bored-bored” but I’m not really bored in life in general. When friends say I wouldn’t have time to date anyways, I know I’d be likely to change my schedule for someone special, but then again I wonder what projects would I really drop? I *do* enjoy my hectic full life, and I’m quite thankful for it.

0

Friends and Freeways (and Rain)

by

I had a lovely time yesterday enduring Southern CA traffic (hmm, lovely?) for the benefit of getting to see friends at a business meeting for that historical club that I do. Now that I’m finally in a job with some flexibility, slightly further north than the last job, with more money, I can finally afford to go to the monthly business meetings and more fully participate in my northern group. Although I live about an hour and 20 minutes south of them, I still think of them as my “home.”

We even had a really large group head out for dinner afterwards (TGIFriday’s), and had a great time catching up, telling stories, and general mayhem and goodness. I missed this, and I’m glad it’s back in my life again. [And I had a scrumptious veggie grilled dish that I will have to remember to order again sometime.]

The drive home was mostly uneventful, although I have to laugh at myself when I find cute neighborhoods to catch a quick nap when I’m having trouble staying awake for the entire drive home. And I was fortunate to miss being out in the heavy rains, but I did get to see some amazingly beautiful lightning on the last leg of the trip. California doesn’t get nearly the lightning that I grew up with in Ohio, and I miss the lightning storms sometimes too.

This morning I also lucked out with the rain. It was pouring in sheets when I first parked my car at the office, and then just as suddenly as it started, it stopped as soon as I had my bags organized and ready to walk inside. I *did* forget to buy more soymilk for my latte at work, but I’ll survive.

* * * * *

Supposedly I’ll get to finally move the bookcases, end tables, and coffee table from my Mom’s tonight. *AND* there’s supposed to be a last-minute almost-surprise Mother’s Day dinner at my step-sister’s house. So hopefully with the rental truck, the roomie, the siblings, the parental units, the traffic, and the rain… hopefully I’ll have an enjoyable afternoon and evening today. I’m a little nervous, but we’ll see what happens.

* * * * *

Finally, a topic of some frustration and sadness. A dear friend of mine at work—her best friend died two weeks ago. He and his partner were together 27 years, three kids, several grandkids—and now they’re having problems putting together a memorial service because the local churches can’t get past the fact that they were a gay couple.

It’s sad and frustrating to see a source of comfort in their lives (the church) give them no comfort in their time of grief (in his death and now the family’s grieving process). Hopefully I’ve been able to hook her up with some loving and caring ministers in the gay churches in the area, to bring them love and comfort and blessing in this time of struggle and loss. But it saddens me to see her hurt by the loss of her best friend, and the family’s grief trying to find a spiritual celebration of his life.

* * * * *
Recently Listened to: Tori Amos, “To Venus and Back” (Disc 1: Live and Orbiting)

2

CA Wildflowers

by

First, my Mom sent this amazing California wildflowers graphic to me at work today. I’ve put the original large file up on a separate webpage for you, in case you’d like to download it yourself. There’s three different file formats—JPG, BMP, and PNG. If you plan to save the photo for your Windows Desktop, you need the BMP version. But it’s huge, so it loads more slowly. If you just want to look at the larger picture, click on the one for the JPG version. It loads quickly and you can enjoy the original photo. It’s quite impressive, as you can see from this small thumbnail:


Click on the thumbnail to go see the larger links.

* * * * *

Last night I got to see some old friends from my last job, sorta. You see, the last month or so before I left, there was a huge push to fix some problems on the contract. We started involving some other people across the country on phone conferences, and I made friends with a gal named Courtney. She and I hit it off well on the phone, and she was really bummed when I left the contract. She has family in Southern CA and she wished she could have met me someday when she was out visiting. Then LuAnn was hired after I left, and she and I have also hit it off really well since she came on the project. I’d met her in person one other time, over dinner and drinks on a Friday night, and we’d done some serious training over the phone and email to get her up to speed.

Well, Courtney was out in CA for both work and family-related things, and whined to LuAnn that she wished she could have met me after all. LuAnn rang me up, we all made dinner plans, and I went down to Benihana’s for dinner and drinks after work last night. Now, since I had a good 90 minute drive home, obviously I wasn’t drinking alcohol over dinner. But the restaurant was a block from Courtney’s hotel, so let’s say she had maybe a few more glasses of wine than typical for a work night.

Gee, I haven’t been around drunk people in a long while!

We had a great meal, and earlier the Happy Hour specials while we were waiting were great too—Wednesday Happy Hour sushi deal was three handrolls for only $5, so we had a Philadelphia roll, a Benihana special (crab, avocado, and veggies), and a Shrimp roll. Our chef was fun, although maybe not quite as flashy as some, and made the fried rice into a heart shape (for the Anniversary couple at the table) and then into Mickey Mouse (for the tourist Japanese folks at the table, and the Disneyland Anniversary this week). I had some very yummy chicken and shrimp, although next time I may get the scallops because they looked amazing.

Courtney’s husband hates mushrooms, so she kept saying she felt like she was cheating on him by eating mushrooms.

We finally had to convince her to let us drive her the block home to her hotel, but she relented after a little peer pressure. What is it about alcohol that makes people think they’re fine to drive? *she rolls her eyes*

So then I got home without incident, and I have some fun photos to send to both gals in memory of our spiffy dinner.

* * * * *
Recently Listened to: Tori Amos, “To Venus and Back” (Disc 1: Live and Orbiting)

1 110 111 112 113