Sunday, December 21, 2008

Part of why I haven't posted lately...

I've been working on this!

This was the entry in the Gingerbread House competition for the Midwinter event in the Barony of al-Barran, Outlands. It was a group effort by the local bros and watchees: Rhianwen, Ealasaid, Morgan, Tiou, Rurik and myself, with additional help from Brian (Tiou's bf), Trey/Tenkai (Rurik's buddy) and Tanley (friend of mine w/gingerbread experience). It took 4 days of work, with final assembly done on site. Omar did the label placards, "Peaceful Pastoral Nomads".
We have the yurt on a cardboard cart, with oxen, brothers, and even a leashed Scot (complete with kilt). The decorations are done in icing, licorice, peppermint sticks, and pretzels, and if I can get a good close-up picture, there are even tiny date bits for "ox plops" that are being collected behind the cart. Other than the cart and the ground board, the rest is edible and even tasty!
I was honestly hoping for more competition. There were two really cute entries in the children's division, and a very nice gothic castle with gummy fish in the moat for the other adult entry. We gave the castle a Mongol guard after the judging, with the owner's permission, to guard the fish in the moat.
I think we came in second for the table-setting competition, but the winners did a complete traditional Japanese setup, and even brought their own tables! Very nicely done, indeed. The codpiece competition was a bit of a bust, unfortunately, for lack of entries. The spiffy garb was nice to see, and I forget the fellow who won it, but he looked sharp.
More pics to come eventually, but I'll probably put them in the flickr and just post a link.
Besides, it was worth waiting till this was done to make it my 100th post in this blog!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Stick a fork in me, I'm done.

Seriously, is today over yet?
Thursday was good, had way too much food for Thanksgiving, and got to see Kung Fu Panda, among other DVDs. Good times.
Yesterday, back to work. Not fun. Everybody had to work. This means that there are not enough desks to go around, even if all the computers and phones at those desks worked. Which they don't. People would go to lunch and someone else would just chuck their stuff somewhere and take over the desk. Stupid, inefficient, and stressful. Luckily, I ended up 'floorwalking' for the day, so could use one of the nonworking pods as my base to log in at.
Today, not so lucky. Still horribly overcrowded, though I think some people did call in. I ended up back on the phones all day. Managed to get the pod I was at to work, finally. That was about the best part, then it started going downhill. That time of the month caught me without any supplies and ruined my last decent pair of undies. Then, at lunch, I broke my tooth. Not all of it, just a good sized chunk off the molar that's been plaguing me for the last few months. It doesn't hurt, but the sharp edge is a bit annoying. I'll see about getting some dental putty on it when I get a chance. Insurance doesn't kick in till after the first of the year, so hopefully I can hold off till then. Ugh. And all I was eating for lunch was bread and soup! I went to take a bite and somehow hit wrong and crunched my own tooth. I'm just glad that it's relatively minor and isn't painful. Sure didn't need the stress today, though.
Tomorrow's Sunday, so a day off. Gotta try to clean house, of course, and ought to do some laundry. I really need to go walkabout tomorrow, because I want to try and get a good spot arranged to do some busking on Thursday for the Nob Hill Shop-N-Stroll. It's up to the store owners, so I will be asking around the businesses. Otherwise, I'll find a vacant storefront to set up in front of. I'm nervous, I haven't done much public playing, and haven't had time to practice as much as I'd like. I'll just be taking the whistles and voice, I think. Guitar's got a possible spot, but fiddle's not nearly ready to debut yet. Weather is also a factor, but it shouldn't be too bad.
After all that, I'm tired. I've had some dinner, and a cup of green tea. Okay, a couple of cookies, too. A bit of TV, a bit of Internet, and bedtime soon.
It will get better, I know. I am officially registered for my classes at CNM, and the prospect of better employment through this education is keeping me going. I have the part I need to replace on my truck, so can fix that soon. I've found land that I can almost afford, putting me that much closer to my dream home. And I'm better off than I was last year at this time. Little steps still get me forward, as long as I keep them going in the right direction.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tuesday is blog day

Accomplished a fair bit today.
I walked to the CNM campus and took my placement tests, had a talk with an advisor, and explored the campus a bit. I know what classes I need to register for this semester now; EMT-Basic, a general Health class (mainly about HIPAA and such), and a Math class. The math is needed for doing drug calculations, of course, and can be taken as a co-requisite. My test scores were actually pretty good, considering how long it has been since my last math course (1983 or 84, in college). Naturally, my English and Reading tests were very good, and I wasn't worried about them at all. I also found out that I can register on 11/26 instead of waiting till 12/1, so I'm less likely to be shut out of a full class. Books are my next worry, and even though the bookstore doesn't have the books in yet, I can go online and find the exact list I need so I can look for used books or online bargains if need be. Once I've registered, I can get my ID card, bus pass and parking permit. I'm looking forward to that, believe me. Access to the library, computer labs, student discounts...oh, yeah!
Having school to look forward to is already helping me. I was in a deep blue funk for most of the past week, and being able to think about school and what it will help me do in the future helped pull me out of it. Or pull my head out of my ass, take your choice...
Walking back from CNM, I had a snack and then stopped by a used book store. I had found one book on the dollar cart (on archery), but the owner was on an errand, so I waited till she got back so I could go inside and look around. Found two other books (Victorian Murderesses and a Zen Macrobiotic Cookbook), and since I'd waited, she only charged me two bucks for all three! How nice!
Stopped for a bit at Satellite Cafe on Central for a cup of "London Fog". It's Earl Grey tea with steamed milk and a shot of vanilla, yummy. A bit of blog while I'm here, then I'll walk the rest of the way home soon. I think we're plotting at Rurik's again tonight, so I'll drive to that since it'll be dark by then.
Plotting...hee hee. There are enough Hordefolk here in al-Barran now that we are going to start working on making our presence felt. To that end, we are planning entries for the A&S competitions at the Midwinter event. Details later, but it will be good and there will be photos....
Let's see, I also made bread on Sunday, with a new-to-me recipe that calls for evaporated goat's milk and oats. It was quite easy and good bread, so that recipe will stay in the repertoire. The goat milk made me think of Irina....
Last but certainly not least, a big shout out to all Veterans and current members of the Armed Services. Thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. I honor you as I honor my ancestors, both blood kin and heart kin. Those who know me have heard me speak of the fact that there has been at least one service member in each generation of my family, in a line that stretches back to the French and Indian War. Some of them didn't make it home. I am grateful for their sacrifice. Most of them did come back, and for them I am thankful. If you love your freedoms, thank a veteran. 'Nuff said.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

And now, for my next trick...

No going back now, if I'm telling everyone about it, right?

I'm going back to school next semester.
I've enrolled at CNM (the community college), and am going to become an EMT and hopefully Paramedic. If I go all the way, it'll be two years of classes. Not bad at all, and I could probably get work in the field once I finish EMT-Basic classes.
I'm already brushing up on my math and algebra skills for the placement tests. I'll go in for those next week, no appointment needed. The tuition is free, since I'm in the tax district. All I need to buy is textbooks and some basic equipment (hello, eBay?), and pay any fees. You bet I'm nervous! I haven't done any formal schooling in almost 20 years. This is a totally new field for me, even though I've been First Aid and CPR trained for ages, and have done chirurgeon work in the SCA as well. I have enjoyed doing that, and can use these skills not only for a career, but also for SCA, SilverMoon (the local pagan event healthcare volunteers), and if the world goes to heck in a handbasket.
Wish me luck!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

And today's entry....

No extra hours this week. Sucky boo. Really could use the overtime, but the time away from work is helpful. The house is a real mess lately.
On the plus side, I think I've found the black hole that's eating up my money. Just not sure I can do anything about it in time to fix it before it gets worse. Gotta try. I'm looking at other money-making opportunities, too, and in order to do them, I need my internet. So, I'm going with the cheaper alternative of dsl. It's cheaper than tethering my cell phone, going back to cable or buying an aircard. Dialup is right out. The service should be turned on by Thursday evening, after Mercury has gone direct, thank you very much!
The weather's turned cool and rainy, so I fired up the furnaces in the apartment at long last. They are both working fine, which is a good thing. The cats are also pleased. I did do a bit of walking today, but not a full hike. Too much to get done on my 'day off' to take the time to walk everywhere. But I am taking the time to enjoy one last pot of tea at the Flying Star and get on their wi-fi.
I am rather pleased that my Paid Time Off request for MileHiCon has been approved. That will give me time to enjoy the trip more. It looks like I will have to fly, rather than drive, as the brake job that the truck needs would eat most of my budget for that pay period, and I need to get out of the hole. The plane ticket is much cheaper, even if I have to go to an agency and pay by check before my paycheck comes in on 10/24. I have crash space (as far as I know) and will be on several panels. It's going to be fun.

Written offline on Saturday night, 10/12/08

Time to catch up on a little bit of blogging.
I've been working an awful lot lately, trying to get as many extra hours of work as possible. I have to get the truck's brakes fixed as soon as I can, and definitely before I head up to Denver for Mile Hi Con. I may not have to drive to the con, depending on whether my friend Dante wants to ride up with me, but if I can, I'd like to. It was a pleasant drive last year, and I have extra time budgeted in to the trip. I'll still look at flight options, for economy's sake. Flying would give more time, that's for sure. I'll work that out later. I'm just bummed that my dear Gaffer won't be coming down for Khural the weekend before that, so won't be riding back up with me.
I've been dealing with a toothache today. It's from the hole in my one molar where the filling came out about two years ago. I think the nerve is finally exposed, and it started kicking up suddenly this afternoon. I've been putting clove oil on it, but the percoset that I had left from my surgery doesn't seem to touch it. I'll get some spilanthes, too, to help with the long-term healing and prevent infection. I've heard that there's a dental clinic that works on an income-related basis, and I'll check it out as soon as I can get the paperwork I need.
I did get online a bit earlier this afternoon, after getting home from Ryan's and doing a couple of errands. The pain made me stop before I got everything done that I had wanted to, but once I got my clove oil, I was able to enjoy the Shop & Stroll in Nob Hill. I'd forgotten that it was going on, but it was nice to get out.
Central Ave. was blocked off between Carlisle and Girard, about a quarter-mile stretch. It was quite festive, with sidewalk sales, bands and music, and even some bellydancers. A lot of the shops that are usually not open on Sundays when I go for my walk were open today. One place that had caught my eye was better than I had expected – it has lovely Asian and East Indian clothing and accessories, and they even hand tailor kimonos! The prices looked reasonable, too. Definitely a place to put on the wish list.
My errands this morning took me to the fabric store to get supplies for my Halloween costume. I'm really looking forward to the Witches' Ball, and Ryan is planning to go with me, too. Of course, I have to work that day before we go, but as it's the day after Halloween, I may be able to get away with wearing part of my costume there, or at least change into it at the end of the day. I'm going as a Nekomata, (oh, just google it), so kimono, ears/tail, wig and makeup. Easy enough to do, especially as I'll have the wig pre-styled. Ryan's going to wear his kilt (and, he says, “nothing else”) so maybe I'll see if he wants some woad for decoration.
Last night, we watched American Beauty and Pink Floyd's The Wall with a few Coronas and a sixpack of Pete's Wicked Ale Strawberry Blonde. I was bummed that the store was out of Wild Blue, but the Strawberry wasn't bad. It felt good to kick back and relax, knowing that I didn't have to get up and go to work today. This morning, I got ambitious, walked to the store and got stuff to make breakfast. Cinnamon rolls and hot chocolate, just right in the cool weather.
Tonight, a few more episodes of “Rome” on DVD, and then to bed. Having the tower computer hooked up to the TV is pretty cool, and since I've no internet or cable for now, I've got time to catch up on DVDs. When I finish these, I can borrow others from friends or the library. Plus, I've still got a few movies on my external hard drive that look so much better on the bigger screen.
Tomorrow's back to work. Don't know if there's overtime this week, so can't really do extra on Mondays, as I'd have to go in early. I'm on the closing shift, so staying late isn't an option, it's got to be going in early instead. Frankly, I don't mind having one day that's not a 12-hour shift.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Safely landed

I'm back from my little jaunt to Indiana. Got in this afternoon, showered and took a well-deserved, much needed nap. Many thanks to all who helped me with crash space, rides and food!
I'm still kinda bummed that I didn't get a chance to run up the last 100 miles and see my mom. No gas money, even with the offer of a borrowed vehicle, and just not enough time to do it. I did call her, though, and it works out - she got called in to work that day after all and wouldn't have had time to spend with me!
Tomorrow, it's back to work. There should still be overtime, so I'm planning to go in early and start pulling more of those 12-hour days. Gotta get the brakes fixed, gotta get bills paid, and MileHiCon is the week after Khural... I'll rest in November, maybe.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

One whupped puppy, that's me!

Tired as heck, sore, and quite content with that.
I'm in Indiana at the moment, having flown back yesterday to attend and DJ at a wedding today. My friends Linda and Dustin got hitched. Nice simple ceremony, somewhat Hindu style, but not too pagan for the other family members.
I managed to get the earlier flight yesterday, on standby. 8 am is a much better time than 1 pm, especially when you don't want to deal with Chicago during rush hour. Granted, leaving the house at 5 a.m. was not so much fun, and I rarely sleep well before traveling. The flight was good, a full plane, and I was glad to have gotten a seat. Ambr picked me up at O'Hare, and drove me to South Bend. Nice bonus, hadn't planned on that. Our dinner at Fiddler's was rather disappointing. The food wasn't up to the usual standards, and when we mentioned it, they still didn't do anything about it. I hope it's just a fluke, but on a home game Friday, they can't afford to be anything less than their best!
After dinner, Ambr, Bill, Lori and I walked around the corner to the Spurious Fugitive art gallery for this month's opening. Caught up with my friend Kevin, but Larry didn't make it this time. Then it was off to Linda and Dustin's to prep stuff and try to get some sleep.
I say try, because sharing a room with 6 cats, and their litterboxes, is not conducive to a good night's rest. At least the pillow and blanket smelled nice and helped to counteract the rest. But these cats aren't well-socialized yet, plus one of them peed on my jammie pants when I had kicked them off from the warmth. Another made a poo and then tracked it onto the bed. Add in the achy knee and the work-dreams, and I didn't sleep much.
Got up when I couldn't stand it any more, threw my pants into the washer right away, cleaned up the mess, got dressed and helped Linda get ready. The wedding went well, except for my CD drive flaking out, having to make an emergency speaker purchase (didn't realize the cords to my PA system weren't with it), and not being able to pull one song off of Linda's hard drive. The food was good, but the fatigue caught up to some of us. Ambr went home, and I arranged to borrow Sandymom's truck for the afternoon and evening. I went over to Kyle's (my old house) to get another bagful of stuff to take home with me. Found some things I'd been wanting, didn't find others, but all in all a productive few hours.
Now I'm at a different friend's house for the night. While I'm using the internet connection, she's going through my music collection on the Disk of Holding and enjoying some tunes. Tomorrow, we'll go to church, and then I'll catch a ride to the South Shore train so I can head up to Chicago. My flight out is Monday morning, so I'll stay Sunday night with Ambr and Norman, and she'll take me to O'Hare on Monday morning. I had hoped to go up and see my mom, but I haven't the time or the gas money to do it. If I hadn't had to spend 200 dollars on my truck's brakes, I could have done it. Grrr. Mom understands, of course, but I had hoped.
I'm running out of steam, so will head to bed soon. It's only 8:20 back in Abq, but I'm feeling more tired than I usually am at 10:20 which is what it is here. Night!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The reincarnation meme

For those who know me, this will come as no surprise...

Your result for Reincarnation Placement Exam...

Gypsy Camp

You sing! You dance! You flee from the authorities!

You were a bit difficult to place, because you like civilization and humanity -- but when it comes to work, you don't really fit into the system, the ruts and the rituals, that modern civilization embraces. You like your own ways... your old ways.

We've placed you among a hardy Gypsy family. They'll have you plucking a violin before you can talk, and dancing before you can walk. The road is your home, and your horses are members of your family. You get to wear lots of shiny things.

We expect that you'll have a good life. Even if your people are surrounded by a world where they don't really fit in, they have each other, an oasis of compatibility in an unbalanced world. We know you'll make the most of it!

Take Reincarnation Placement Exam at HelloQuizzy

Thursday, September 4, 2008

August wore me out!

Sorry, all, I'd really meant to post before this, but what with Bubonicon and work and everything else....
The con went well, my birthday not so much, and work
The rest of life is a mixed bag, and there's some stuff going on that I'm debating whether or not to blog about. I'm ambivalent, because even though I don't think it would hurt the others in the tale, I'm still not sure of the effect on my readers. Presuming I have any, that is.

Work is gonna get a bit suckier this next week. My schedule is now not only the opposite of what I wanted, but what I got wasn't even on the bid list when I filled it out! I'll be working 12:30 to 9:00 p.m., *if* I get out on time, and my days off will be Sunday and Tuesday. If it weren't for the queue being closed on Sundays, I'd probably end up working those, too. So, now I won't be able to get to my meetings, even the ones on Saturdays. Social life? Down the shitter at this rate. And I was actually starting to have a social life, too, dammit.

On the plus side, I do have some paid time off earned at long last, and will be using it in October. I've got a weekend trip to Indiana the first weekend (friend's wedding, she bought the ticket!), and Mile Hi Con in Denver the last weekend. Also, friends coming into town for a meeting halfway through the month. Whee...

This Sunday is Pagan Pride Day. I'll be in the ritual for the event, helping run a booth, and telling a story to the kids' corner. Busy day, but should be fun. Luckily, it also won't cost any money. Unlike the state fair, which starts tomorrow. I'd like to go, but there's an admission charge. Oh, well.

More another time when I have the energy.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Lughnasadh Update

Ok, I think I’ve recovered from my Lughnasadh weekend campout. It was excellent, and well worth taking the time off from work. Honestly, I needed the break.
Work is going fine, but now that I’m in “Laptop Connect”, the calls are more challenging and take longer to resolve. I still get frustrated with the ones I can’t quite fix, but the number of those calls is dropping. And many times, the problem lies in the computer, and there’s nothing I can do except tell them they need to get to a repair tech.
So, yeah, stress relief was definitely in order this weekend. Not that I wasn’t nervous about the opening ritual I wrote, or running a workshop!
The event started Thursday, and I got up to the site at about 1 p.m. It was a bit later than I’d hoped, but since I was towing a borrowed trailer full of stuff for the event, I took my time getting there. No way am I going to try and go 70 on the highway with a trailer, not with my little V-6 engine! Luckily, there were only about 8 miles of actual freeway, with the rest on smaller highways and roads.
I had plenty of time to get my camp set up, and get some people to read parts for the ritual. It was a pretty simple opening, and everyone seemed to like it. The theme for the whole event was “Lugh’s Games”, so playful and fun was called for! The circle was cast with blowing bubbles, and the Spirit was invoked in the form of the Holy Fool. Short and simple, just like I hoped.
Friday I participated in a couple of workshops, worked security/safety for a while, and then we had the Body Painting Jam and Fantasia Fling. The painting was fun, with everybody taking turns decorating each other. Watercolor pencils are great for this, even though some folks sweated off some of the paint before the Fling.
Saturday, more workshops, the Main Ritual, and that evening was the potluck feast. Yum! Some very talented cooks in this bunch, I tell ya. Considering that I’d been getting by on granola bars, dried fruit and the like, I was hungry! Bardic Circle was that evening, too, and I hoped that the beers I’d drunk wouldn’t mess me up! I did “For Three Of Us”, which I’d learned from Tempest, and one of John Inchingham’s songs, “The Rogue Wizard’s Lament”. It felt good to sing again, especially as I had next to no voice at Beltane. After Bardic, the drumming and dancing, and we were able to have a really good fire to gather around. Hooray for rain and less danger of wildfires!! I ended up being Fire Tender for the evening, so was the last one out. A few of us stayed out late, lying on the ground by the fire and enjoying the night sky. Lots of falling stars, nearly no light pollution...combined with the new moon and solar eclipse energy, it was just magical.
I think I got to bed about 4 a.m., after dousing the fire thoroughly. About an hour or so later, I (and most of the camp) woke to the yipping of a young coyote! Boy, he was loud! He was checking out the generator about 50 ft. from my tent, apparently. After a while he heard the rest of the pack calling from the other ridge and took off to join them. First time I’d ever really heard a coyote live. Pretty cool.
Sunday was Closing Ritual and packing out. I didn’t get to the sunscreen in time, so got kinda toasted. Serves me right, I guess. After I got the trailer dropped off, and got my shower, I pretty much crashed for the evening. The rains waited till that evening, thank goodness.
All in all, a good weekend. I feel much better for having had the time off and getting out to camp. There were a lot of little things that made me think of my friends off at Pennsic, too. We even had a yurt in the camp, and that made me smile for many reasons.
I don’t know if I’ll be able to go to the Mabon event, but I’m sure looking forward to Witches’ Ball for Samhain!

Thursday, June 26, 2008


So, not only has my HordeBrother Starhelm been chosen by a Pale Horse, but I got the word this morning that my Aunt Barbara has joined the ancestors as of yesterday morning. One unexpected loss, one expected.
To borrow a phrase..."DO NOT WANT!!!!" Two losses in one day is too much.

Barbara is my mom's sister, the one next older than her. She had a massive stroke in February, and was not going to be able to recover, honestly. My one cousin was realistic about the end, but the other was not ready to let go until about a week ago. She finally realized that extreme measures (daily dialysis, large doses of meds, etc.) were not going to help, and that Barb was never going to be able to leave a nursing home. I can only imagine how hard it has been on both the girls.
I'm very glad now that I made it back home for Christmas this past year. Barb had moved back to Jonesville last year, Mom and Uncle Bob share Mom's house there, Uncle Lynn lives across town and Aunt Lois is only about an hour away. That's 5 of the 8 siblings. In order from eldest to youngest, they are: Lois, Frankie (deceased), Bob, Lynn, Irene (deceased), Barbara (now deceased), Beverly (MOM), and John. John's in Colorado, but his son Jeff & family live less than a block from Mom now. My brother Frank and his wife live 5 miles away in the next town. Other cousins are all over the country and world. My family has been in that area of Michigan for 4 generations, at least.
You might have noticed that family is very important to me. Not only the family with which I share DNA, but my families of the heart. My Horde Brothers in the SCA. My brothers and sisters of the pagan communities I belong to. My adopted family on the mountain. My friends who are dear to me and sometimes closer than my blood kin. Even those who have left this world and joined the ancestors are still my kin and kith, and they live on in my memory and the stories we tell each time the family gathers.
But, dammit, I'm tired of these constant reminders of my own increasing age and mortality. My mind knows that these passages will happen, but my heart is never quite ready. Whose heart ever is? I miss each and every one that has left us lately, and am worried lest I forget a name on the growing list. In a few weeks, it will be yet another yahrzeit for a friend gone before. All I can do is remember and be glad for having known all these wonderful people.

I finally found the quote I wanted to share. It's John Donne's "Meditation XVII"...
"All mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated...As therefore the bell that rings to a sermon, calls not upon the preacher only, but upon the congregation to come: so this bell calls us all: but how much more me, who am brought so near the door by this sickness....No man is an island, entire of itself...any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee."

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Not the blog I'd planned to write!

So, here I was, thinking of posting a nice blog Sunday night with a re-telling of the first stage of building the adobe 'horno' oven. Nope. That post will have to wait a bit. Not because it didn't happen; it did and it was a lot of fun.
No, I ended up going to the UNM Hospital ER Sunday night with the gallbladder attack from Hell. I have a pretty high tolerance for pain, honestly, but OMFGs! I even scared my neighbor Roslee (she's an RN) with how bad I was. So she takes me in to the ER, and waits with me. And we waited. And waited. We'd gotten there at about 11 p.m., and they did do some triage and blood draws eventually, but we waited. At about 3 or 4 a.m. the pain had actually passed off, and I was feeling better. Not vomiting anymore, able to form coherent sentences again. Around 8 a.m. (Monday morning) they finally called me back to get checked out. Great, will they believe me now? I'm not hurting anymore, they've done a shift change, so anyone who saw me in pain may have gone home, but okay, I'm here, I want to know what to do.
I got checked over, then got sent up for an ultrasound so they can try to see what's going on in there. At least I was able to get my cell phone shortly after that, and call in to work. At least gonna be late, not sure. Also was able to call some friends and get the support network activated. Mongol juju, Pagan energy of several flavors, and oh, better call my mom... And then I wait some more. Results finally come back, and yeah, we think we'd better get that gallbladder out of there. I really had hoped to avoid surgery, not just for financial reasons, but also because I still had all my original parts and I kinda like that idea! But the more we discussed the options, the more that surgery now seemed to be the intelligent choice. So we'll do it. As soon as we can. Stay here and wait. And wait. Someone sent back a book for me to read, and I did sleep a bit.
One of our local pagan clergy had gotten word of where I was, and came to visit for a bit. That was darned nice. Other folks were calling to check on me, too. Shoot, my cell phone ran out of juice, partially because of the crappy signal. Finally, everything's set and it's time to go upstairs to the OR. This is about 9 p.m, I think? I didn't have my glasses, so couldn't see a clock. All I had with me was my nightie and shoes that I'd worn in, and my phone. I did have someone to bring me clothes for when I got out, thank goodness!
So I had my little chat with the anesthesiologist (no, not the one I know from elsewhere), and she gives me some uber-valium in my I.V. line. That's all I remember till I woke up in recovery at about 4 a.m. with a cotton mouth and a bursting bladder. I was in and out of sleep for a while, but by about 8:30 or 9 this morning, I was up and making trips to the bathroom. By 10 a.m. I was discharged (think I surprised/impressed the nurses) and my ride took me home. I got my stuff together, hit the bank, picked up my drugs at the store, and went to work.
I managed to work from 12:30 to 5:45 today, but by then my brain was getting fuzzy and I decided that "they stuck a fork in me, I'm done" and came home.
Now, remember Roslee taking me in on Sunday night? Well, today was her scheduled surgery! She had a total knee replacement, and was under the knife while I was getting up and out this morning. I guess we're 'surgery sisters' now. Honest, I'd rather not have, and we were joking that I just had to do her one better ;-) Anyway, our friend Kathy came by to check on me, and I rode up to UNMH with her to visit Roslee. She's doing fine, and very glad to have the 'happy drug button' to push.

So here I am, home again, somewhat perforated, rather sore, and hoping that my little drugs will help me sleep tonight. My cats are glad to have me back, too. I will be going to work tomorrow, and should be able to make it through the whole day.
Many thanks to all who have sent well-wishes, and my apologies to those I didn't have a chance to notify beforehand.
Nap tiem nao, yes? Kthxbai!

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Stepping outside of the box...

Something completely different today. I am at the Verb Art Collective for the day, as part of the Porque Burque craft show. It's the finale to the art exhibition of the same name, being put on by Duke City Fix, a webgroup I'm involved in.
I didn't have enough money to make dream pillows (HR messed up our paychecks!), so I have my hand-painted tiles for sale, and have set out the Tarot Reader shingle, too.

Okay, I think I've remembered how to put pics in here...
I've made more tiles since I took these pics this morning, and have even made one sale! I'll make sure to get shots of the other tiles, too, don't worry.
My main accomplishment today is to be here doing this. I'm sleep deprived, in over my head, outside my comfort zone, but darn it, I'm here! I guess if I believe that I'm an artist, then I am. I would have been more comfortable having the pillows to sell, too, but the universe had other ideas. Anyway, back to the painting!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Mulberries, munchies and monsters, oh my!

Had a fun-filled day today. It started very early, with me getting up at about 7 a.m. to clean out the truck and meet the rest of the FreeForAllFruit group for mulberry picking. Believe me, after getting home from work around 1 a.m., and to bed later than that, it was an accomplishment to get up after only a few hours of sleep! Five of us met up and headed over to the UNM campus, where we’d earmarked five trees to harvest. We had a couple of ladders, and a couple of us were even up in the trees themselves gathering berries. I haven’t climbed a tree in way too long! Our total haul after about two hours was a good 9 pints of berries, and there are plenty of unripe ones left to go back for. Back to the house, then, and we started sorting and cleaning the fruit. Some fresh to munch on, some to freeze, some to dry and the rest for jam. We had enough to make about 6 pints of jam, so after a quick store run for more sugar and a box of pectin, we did just that. By 12:30, the jam was cooling, the lids were sealing, and we called it a morning.

Next on my agenda were a nap and a shower. Got back up around 5, and Roslee and I went to get a bit of dinner before heading over to Craig’s to watch movies. There were 6 of us for movies, and we watched National Treasure: Book of Secrets (fun) and Tremors (wonderfully cheesy fun!). We had thought about watching the original Indiana Jones movie, but since National Treasure had come in, we went with that one. So now it’s about 1:30 a.m., and I’m back home. Bedtime as soon as I wind down, I think. But I wanted to blog about the berry-picking, at the very least.

Tomorrow, I’ll try to make some bread to go under my mulberry jam! I also need to get supplies for my projects for next weekend's craft fair and get started on those. Whee!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Yeah, I'm here.

Finally getting some of my energy back. Between the weather, my allergies (who knew?), stress, and a lovely little 'black-dog-depression', it's been a tough couple of weeks. I think the planets are beginning to get back in line, though, and I'm feeling better.
The late training shift I've been on for the last couple of weeks hasn't helped, either. 4 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. is a crappy shift in many ways, and by the end of the night, most of the class is pretty brain-dead! Luckily, we're ahead of schedule overall as far as getting through the curriculum for the Consumer Data Services dept. Yeah, support for PDAs and Smartphones, like Blackberry, Palm and such. I have a geek job. Wow.
To top it off, we *do* have to work Monday, Memorial Day. If I'd been there for 6 months, I'd get double time and a half. As it is, I'll be getting time and a half, since I'm working. If I wasn't working, I'd get nothing at all! So, yeah, I'll problem... It'll probably be an easy day, anyway, as many of us will be tired from the weekend.
So, tomorrow's payday. We're doing a potluck at work, that'll be cool. There's a gas grill out back that we can use, and a cookout sounds like fun. We had thought of just getting food from a local BBQ joint, but that was going to be too much food and money. I'm the only vegetarian in the class, but there will be enough side dishes to keep me happy, and I may pick up a pack of Boca Burgers or Veggie Dogs for myself. My contribution is some sodas and a bucket of ice cream for Root Beer Floats. Yum!
Today, I've made some yummy Pad Thai for dinner (packing for later), a batch of Molasses Crybaby cookies for work, and am watching a couple of good shows on the History Channel in between things. One on "The Dark Ages", which kinda annoyed me in its biased view (anti-viking), and a better one on Chinggis Khan. Yay, Mongols!
So there's the latest glimpse into my bi-polar life (I'm not bi-polar, just my life).

Monday, April 28, 2008

Wow, what a Beltane! (very long)

This weekend was the big Beltane gathering out here. Wow. 350 people all camping together in a Forest. It wasn't till I got to talking with some of the others that I realized that this is not only my first Beltane here, but also the first time I've ever been to a large-scale pagan gathering like this. I never made it to Pan-Pagan in Indiana!
So, here’s how most of my weekend went….
I'd been feeling a bit icky all week, mainly allergies, I think. The usual scratchy throat and a bit of fever from being tired. But I wasn't gonna miss this event! I got all my stuff packed, loaded, and cooked in plenty of time to head out Friday to the campsite. It's only about half an hour away, but of course it feels like longer if you don't know quite where you're going! I found the area of the Cibola National Forest that we were going to be in, and the minute I hit the borders of the "Beltane Village", I could feel the energy shift. I found a spot to set up my tent, got registered and signed up for my volunteer shifts. It's been forever since I've used a dome tent, and this one was new to me, so that was an interesting exercise in itself. I hadn't had time to put it up in the backyard to test it, either. Luckily, everything worked fine, and the tent is big enough to stand up in. Of course, I'm still missing some of my usual camping amenities, but I had enough stuff to be comfortable for a weekend.
Off to explore the site, then, and it's a nice area. There's a sea of concrete with lots of concrete picnic tables, and people liked to gather there, but the main center of activity was the big clearing that served as the ritual area. The merchants area was close to where I'd camped, and there were clusters of campers all through the area we had. It was a bit odd not being able to have fires other than campstoves or propane, but under the circumstances it was wise. Despite all the snow over the winter, it has been a very dry spring, and there's a major wildfire going on about 20 miles south of where we were. Nobody's taking any chances!
Fortunately, propane was okay, so that's what we had for our Balefire. We dug a fire pit, laid in a rectangular burner (pipes w/holes) and covered it with rocks and lava rocks. I helped dig the hole and the trench for the hose that ran to the propane tank. When we lit it, it worked really well.
Friday evening was the Opening Ritual. It was neat to be in such a huge circle. After ritual, we got out the drums and instruments and such and gathered around the firepit for a Bardic Circle. I was still feeling icky, and already losing my voice, but I managed to get one song out before I lost it completely. I sang one of my originals, "Drummer Boy", and it was very well received, even without having my full voice. It was so cold that I couldn't get my fingers to work on my guitar, so I just sang it unaccompanied. For my second turn, I just played a tune on my tinwhistle.
After bardic, we got out the drums and the dancers showed up. How some of these gals were able to run around topless in that weather, I'll never know. Even if I'd been feeling 100 percent, I'd have been cold! Anyway, I eventually ended up joining the dancers in order to get closer to the fire and get warm. We passed around all sorts of drink, and I shared out the last remaining good meads from Indiana. It was my way of partying with all my friends in both places. It must have worked well, because I was certainly feeling no pain after a while. Then again, it might have been the brownies, too. Chocolate, mead, drumming, cute guys...oh, yeah, it's Beltane!!
My favorite lad had been there earlier in the day, but couldn't stay the weekend, darn the luck. At least I got to see him at all, because he said he'd just shown up on a lark! Thank you, Universe, for putting the idea in his head! We hung out a bit, and he had his guitar with him, so some of us ended up singing along while he played. That was awesome. Anyway, he'd left even before the opening ritual, so I was missing him, but having fun anyway.
One of the other drummers and I were getting along pretty well, even before he found out that I had bourbon to share. We'd hung out a bit at Ostara, too, talking music and such. Anyway, the circle was winding down, and when we stood up, we realized that we probably should have quit drinking a bit earlier than we had. He was in worse shape than I, so of course I had to make sure he got home safely. ;-) Okay, so I didn't know where his tent was...and he seemed to be quite disoriented...but after a slight detour, we found it and I left him safely tucked in. I headed back to my own tent after stopping back at the circle to make sure the fire was properly turned off.
One word for that night...COLD!!! I crawled into my bed fully dressed, covered my head and tried to get warm. I eventually fell asleep, then woke to find out that Mother Nature was going to add her own lovely twist to the weekend. Dammit, that wasn't supposed to start till Tuesday!! Grrrr.... Out of the relative warmth of the bed, out to the latrines, change clothes when I got back, back to bed. Feh. Oh, well, it'll keep me out of trouble, I guess. Dammit.
Saturday morning, I think I got up out of self-defense, just so I could go find a sunny spot to warm up in. I was surprised to find that even though I'd slept in my contact lenses, they weren't bugging me at all. A bit of saline in the eyes and good to go. The main ritual was set for noonish, and by then I was feeling thawed out. I had gone to the med tent in hopes of something to help me feel better, and had ended up with a mug of hot Gypsy Cold Care tea. It really helped, and the heat felt good on my raw throat. I still didn't have much voice, but at least I didn't feel as feverish. A bunch of us had already started drumming while the crew was digging the hole for the maypole. Four feet deep this year, so it wouldn't fall over. The pole is quite the piece of work. It's about 25 feet long or so, about 8 inches diameter at the base, tapering up to about 3 inch diameter where the wrought iron crown fits on. It's beautifully carved, with the bottom made to look like a phallus, and words spiraling around the shaft. The guy who brought it down from its storage place (on top of his pickup truck) said he got quite the reaction driving through town on the way....I can only imagine!
The ritual was really cool, a dramatization of a god and goddess searching in the four directions for wisdom from other deities about their purpose (of course, it's love...) and then they brought in the maypole. All the men went to fetch it, and they bore it into the circle with the outgoing May Queen riding atop it. The pole was crowned and set upright amidst great cheers. The winding of the pole was so much like the way we do it at Live Oak, not so much for the size of the group, but the way we still manage to make it look good in spite of the missteps in the dance. Kinda like life, I suppose. I did get up from my drum and weave a bit, and was in on the last wraps. Lots of good energy. Then the new May King and Queen were chosen. Couldn't happen to a nicer couple. (One of these years, maybe it'll be my lad and me....maybe.)
After ritual, the feast! Big potluck, mostly cooked ahead, but not all of it. They had split up the list of what to bring by Sign Elements. I'm a Fire Sign, so dessert....cookies, naturally. I think people were still noshing on leftovers till after dark! I took advantage of being warm and full-tummied, and headed back to my tent for a nice nap.
In the evening, we set up and lit the firepit for the Balefire. Another nice ritual, and then the fire jumping began. I managed to make a decent leap, I think, but I was really hurting by this time, so I went back to drumming and trying to stay warm. I actually had another fellow ask me to jump the fire with him! How about that? Here I am, a cold, painful, bleeding mess, and I've got somebody hitting on me? How the heck did that happen? I mean, this is me! Attention from two cute guys in one weekend??? Well, I hobbled up and we stepped over the fire, since I was really stiff from sitting. I explained my feeling icky, and he was quite understanding about it. I did get a nice backrub, though, and that helped a lot. I was able to stay out and drum a while longer, but by the time the dancing started in earnest after dark, I was just too dead to do anything, even after my nap. So I turned in early, all bundled up and with my hat on.
From what someone said Sunday morning, it got down to about 23 degrees F that night. No wonder I was cold! Thank the gods for hot pancakes and coffee for breakfast! After a couple cups of java, I actually got most of my voice back, too. It was a nice mellow morning, hanging out with folks, getting and giving lots of hugs and kisses.

Closing ritual at noon, then down comes the maypole. That was a lot of work, especially getting the rocks out that had been used to keep the pole steady in its hole. The ribbon ends had been trimmed off by then, and people were gathering them for souvenirs. I got some, and am going to send a piece up to my mountain lad, along with copies of the pics I took of the new King and Queen. The ribbon wrappings are removed from the pole in one piece, and the newly-crowned May Queen gets to keep them forever, holding that energy for the community during the coming year. Pretty neat.
After that, it was time to tear down and pack up. It didn't take me long, as I had already done a fair amount of prep work already. I helped some of the others, and spent a bit more time with my drummer friend from Friday night. Then back to the real world, and a Bubonicon Con-Com meeting. How's that for a mental shift?

So, there's my weekend in relatively short form. Of course, I'm not telling you everything! In spite of feeling like crap for a good portion of it, I did have a good time overall. There are other events coming up, and I'm looking forward to them, now that I'm feeling more a part of the community out here. I've made more friends, and that's always good. It reminds me of how I felt when I first found Live Oak. I'm finding a new home, and while I sure do miss the old home, it's good to be here.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

My eyes hurt...

I don't know if it's the contact lenses, the dry weather, the wind, allergies or all of the above, but my eyes are bugging me a lot this week. Neither my glasses nor my contacts are the right prescription anymore, and I know that doesn't help. So I'll rest my eyes a bit by wearing my glasses for a couple of days, even though I end up taking them off when I'm working on the computers.
The most frustrating thing is that I'm having trouble focusing. I need the glasses or contacts to see far, but now neither do any good for anything within a couple of feet. I can manage, but it's blurry. The contacts are actually doing better for work, as I can adjust the computer there to be able to read it enough to work, and still see the rest of the room. But I can't read a book or write very well. With the glasses, I have almost the same problem, so do my close up work without them. I dread going to the eye doctor (whenever I can manage to do that) because I really am not mentally ready for bifocals! I also worry about things like glaucoma, since there's a bit of family history of it. I really hope I can get laser surgery someday, even if I still end up with reading glasses
The dry windy weather is really kicking in now. There are wildfire watches all across the state, and at least one big fire that's got people worried. Add in the pollen from who knows what's blooming right now, and it seems like everyone's sneezing these days. I'm drinking extra water, too, just to stay hydrated. Chapped lips are no fun at all!

Looking forward, I'm trying to get my act together for next weekend's Beltane campout. I'm working every day till then so I can get my hours in and still have the weekend off. I just got a tent given to me, and I have to see what condition it's in. Hope it's in good enough shape to get me through the weekend! I'm a bit nervous about going to a new event, but excited, too. I'm hoping a certain friend of mine will be there, but haven't heard anything (no surprise there). I just hope I can stay comfortable and have a good fun time.

Interesting side note: A year ago, at this time, I was on my vacation out here in NM, staying at the mountain home for the first time. Looking over the past year, I am stunned at the whirlwind I've been riding. I know the ride's far from over, too, but hopefully it will be a bit less hectic at some point! Just goes to show that you never can tell what's coming your way!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Best Ostara Evar! (long)

Apologies for the length of this post, and the possible "squee factor". I really had a better day than I'd dared to hope, and I am still energized.

Here's how my Ostara went today:

Got up this morning, glad to have the day off and be able to go to the Ostara gathering. I packed my feast basket with the homemade rolls for the potluck, got the shovels from the backyard, loaded up my drums and stuff. The shovels were for the tree-planting we were gonna do as part of the ritual.

Found Sunflower River easily enough, and pulled into the yard. This place is a small farm, really, now being rehabbed into a working farm again. Four people sharing the place, Alan, Kat, Jenny and Tristan. The same ones I’d met at the concert so long ago! Jenny’s the one who finally got me the info for the gathering, since she’s in ASFS as well.

People were arriving for a while, and one of the young guys from work even showed up with his folks. That was pretty funny, actually, especially as he usually doesn’t come out for circles. I was lighting and tending the fire, meeting people, having a good time, and got the urge to call Sandy. Talked to her for a few, then to Fred when he came in. That was cool.

After that, I headed back up toward the house for some reason, and stopped dead in my tracks. Lo and behold, there was Matti! I honestly did not expect him to come down for Ostara! We hugged and said hi, and I continued on into the house. Of course, I had to scoot out the other door and around the corner to immediately call Sandy back and tell her that he’d made it down…*grin*

Eventually, we all headed to the ‘ritual grove’ area, beyond the sheds and chicken coop, and gathered for ritual. The current May King and Queen presided, and it was very nice. We had bread and strawberries with mead or juice for libation, and then got divided up into seven teams to plant the new fruit trees for the farm. We’ll all get a share of the fruit eventually, whether it be as mead or desserts, too. Some of the people who weren’t up to the digging kept the chanting going while we worked. When the trees were all in, they were watered, and each team fed their tree some energy. We went back to the circle and closed things down, and headed back to the main yard. I put my shovels back in the truck, and walked with Matt over to the van while he was putting his away. We talked a bit about how things are up at the mountain home, and the possibility of pooling our resources for Beltane’s camping event. I went back to the house as he was getting his drum and guitar out and locking up. I really hope he didn’t see me step in the hole and fall on my face by the kitchen door… I wasn’t hurt, just embarrassed.

The food at our feast was very good, lots of variety. The fire I’d started was our cooking fire, and the firepit ring had a grill built into it. There was chicken and elk steak, Portobello mushrooms and eggplant. Add the salads, desserts and drinks, and we all ate very well. I had a tiny bite of chicken and a tiny bit of the elk, as they just smelled so good! I had some plum mead and a bottle of a wonderful Ginger Stout that Jamie had made.

After dinner, the drums and instruments started appearing from their hiding place in the yurt. I ended up sharing out some of my tinwhistles in an impromptu ‘petting zoo’, and a couple of people even tried the bodhran. Phoenix got his drums going, Matt joined in, and I moved over to play my little doumbek. A few other drums appeared, Alan had the didgeridoo out, and it just grew from there. It was a great jam, and I don’t know how long it lasted, really. We sang several songs, some of the other gals started dancing, it was just too cool. I’ve been waiting a year and a half for the chance to drum and sing with Matti, and I finally got it today. W00t! There truly is a groove that you get into when drumming and I was feeling it. The rhythms would change, and I was right there in perfect sync, not realizing it until seconds later. My kind of magic.

The sun was starting to sink when we packed up the drums, and people started saying their goodbyes. I got one more hug from Matt and sent him off with a hug for Mama, too. I stayed to help clean up and put things away, then headed home myself.

All day long, I had been having a good day, and thanking the gods that I had been able to go out. I managed to keep most of the energy either under control or grounded, but on the way home I had my music cranked, shouting my thanks to the Universe! I really needed a good day, and the good days are coming around more often than they used to. Sometimes I really can tell when things are “right”. Today was like that. Thanks for letting me share it.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

A day off...did I get anything done?

Well, to be fair, I did get some things done. Not near as much as I'd have liked, but the day is only so long, y'know?
Since I was scheduled off for today, I do have to work Saturday. Bit of a bummer, that, as the Winterwolf SCA event is Saturday at UNM. I work 11:30-8, so it's not even worth trying to get to a day event like that.
Today I did my plasma donation, which takes about 2 hours or so including the wait time. Not bad, really, and I may have helped someone there get a job where I work. He was going to check it out, at least, and if he gets in and stays for 90 days, I'll get a reward, too! After that, I picked up a couple of Freecycle items I'd arranged for. I now have my very own Cibola HS Soccer t-shirt. I also got a bunch of homeopathic and dietary supplements to use and share. Stopped at Title Wave Books, where a couple of friends work, since I was in the area. Snagged a couple of free binders for work, even. A bit of lunch to follow, then off to the laundromat. I was running out of work-worthy clothes - I like to go for the upper end of the dress code when I can. Might help get brownie points and/or promotion in the future. A quick dinner at home, then I went down to the Guild Theater for this week's movie. Just got home from that a little while ago.
The movie this time was "The Rape of Europa", an excellent documentary from 2006 about the plundering and recovery of the great artworks of Europe during WWII. Fascinating, heartbreaking in spots, and very well done. I learned a lot from it, including the fact that there are still thousands of artworks that cannot be accounted for. There is hope that some may be found eventually. Work begun after the war is ongoing, especially with the frescoes of Pisa's Camposanto, and returning even small religious items to descendents of Holocaust victims. I have a new heroine, too. Her name is Rose Valland, and she single-handedly managed to keep an inventory of French artwork stolen by the Nazis and who it was stolen from. Nobody at the Jeu de Paume museum she worked at knew that she spoke German, and she memorized huge lists every day to write down at night. Amazing. She's in Wikipedia, btw, look her up.
So what didn't I get done? Garden stuff, mainly. I'm still trying to finish making notes from a book that needs to go back to the library. Gotta buy my own copy eventually. I need to get digging out back, finish measuring off areas...just all sorts of stuff. Maybe Sunday, I'm off then.
Work's going well, still a bit hectic when I come up with a situation I'm not sure how to handle, but there's always help handy. My team leader's cool, and the other TLs don't hesitate to help no matter who's asking. I'm encouraged.
I'll finish off by putting in a few pictures of my backyard so you can see "before", at least!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Finally sitting down for a few!

Let me, there's not enough time....let me sum up! ;-)

Saturday was a full day. My neighbor Roslee and I went to a free class on 'Edible Landscapes' at a local garden center. Way cool, lots of good info and resources. She bought us some books, and I got "The Permaculture Guide to Ferment and Human Nutrition" by Bill Mollison. Everything from pickles to sourdough to alcohols. I'm enjoying it immensely! After the talk, we went out to pick up a computer monitor from a freecycler. I got a desktop computer from another freecycler last week, and am working on getting it up and running. Anyway, the people with the monitor raise miniature horses, and give away the bagged manure! Awesome connection for gardening, so yay!
Back towards town, and we stopped at a little Italian restaurant for lunch. Very good food, we split an antipasto salad (I just picked the meat out), and I had Lasagna Napoli. The minestrone soup was excellent, especially as it was meatless also. We didn't have room for dessert after that, so my iced cappuccino filled that need. Next time, we'll just go for cannoli!
Home again, and out to the yard. I pulled out some more bricks and trash, and drew diagrams in the dirt for some ideas we have. A corner for relaxation and shady retreats, a fire pit, the masonry oven, things like that. It looks like the thorns I was finding are from goatheads, and as long as I can keep those from growing, then I can keep the yard barefoot-safe eventually. I still want to get a sledge hammer and do some heavier work, especially if I can get rid of the useless cinderblock bin in the back corner. If I can salvage the blocks, so much the better, because I can use them for part of the oven base.
Got the computer up and running, and with a wireless adapter, it's even online. Only one small problem. Literally, in the harddrive is only 3 Gb! Can't even do a full WinXP install on it, because SP2 won't fit. It runs on basic XP for now, so that's cool. I don't see it taking over from the laptop, but it'll be a good backup. It's a P3/733 mHz, 640 mB of RAM, originally a Dell. Not bad. I'm glad to know that I haven't forgotten how to work on computers, too. By the time I got to that point, I was tired, and went to bed.
Today was housework. I did dishes, and swept & mopped the kitchen. Picked up the spare computer parts in the front room, too. I have another nearly bare case for a Celeron 366, and may turn that into a Linux box. Later today, I plan to walk down to the Guild Cinema to see the fully restored version of Blade Runner. Should be good!
Tomorrow's work schedule is a bit earlier, starting at 2 instead of 4. I should know by Tuesday what my real schedule is going to be. I'm hoping to get back on a daytime schedule. My days off won't be the same from week to week, nor will my hours be exactly the same day to day, but they give us our schedule in advance, so I can plan ahead. I do want to see if I can work 4x10 (four ten-hour shifts) and that will free up more time, too. As long as I can get time for the cons and events I want to do, I'll be fine with that.

If you want to see some "before" pics of the backyard, they're at in the album 'My ABQ Digs'. I'll try to post more as things progress.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Second shift...what fun...

Believe me, I'm not really complaining. It's just taking a bit of adjustment time to get used to the schedule. And once I'm done with training, my schedule will change again.
So...I've been in training at work for two days. Monday was just orientation stuff, getting our badge pictures taken, a short tour, meeting the people in the class and basic company policy stuff. Last night we started getting into the real learning, like how to clock in on the computer, and customer service quality. If we keep going at this pace, the two weeks in class and one week of transition work should be plenty to get us up to speed. There's a lot to learn, and most of it seems to be which computer program to use for which need.
It's still hard to stay awake and alert through the whole shift, and by second break at 10 p.m., a lot of us are yawning. Too bad the coffee vending machine is a piece of crap. Several people have already gotten out the thermoses to bring their own coffee! I'm thinking that chocolate covered espresso beans are going to be a good thing to find, when I have some money. They're still better for me than soda or 'energy drinks'.
Anyway, it's sounding like this is going to be a good place to work. There's opportunity for overtime, promotions and advancement, unlike other places I've worked at. The company is big enough to have some decent benefits, and I hope this works out till I can get my other dreams off the ground.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

It's official...I have work again.

I start Monday evening, working at an incoming call center. There's 3 weeks of paid training and then I get a regular schedule. For now, it's 2nd shift for the classes, and after that, who knows? Pay's decent enough, and I still have time to get a part-time job on top of it. I am still looking for other income sources, of course.
At least things are looking up a bit now. Hopefully, I'll be able to not only catch up but have enough to save up for "con season"!
I am very relieved.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Quick update

Still no work. Still putting in applications and resumes, two or three a day minimum. Getting very discouraged and worried. The month is half over, and I've got bugger all to show for it, it seems.
On the plus side, today is Rugby Day at Two Fools Tavern, so that'll be fun to hang out at. I get to go out with some friends tonight, too.
Last night was filking night, at another friend's house. We sat around and talked, sang and had fun. Not a bad way to spend an evening. Didn't make it to the pub afterwards, though, I was too tired.
I'm wondering if I still have some low-level bug floating around in my system. I'm not sick enough to feel sick, but my temperature's up by a degree or so and I'm feeling cold and lethargic lately. It's more annoying than anything else. I've got too much to do to be dealing with this on top of it all!
Guess I'd better get started....

Friday, February 8, 2008

Makin' some bread, man....

Today's been a busy day and a laid-back one at the same time.
Started off by running over to the post office to send off a car payment from my last paycheck. Then I went over and donated plasma for some money. Hey, it's an income of sorts, even if it's not much. They had the movie "Saving Silverman" playing, and it's a really dumb flick that had us all laughing. After that, I swung by the grocery to get some shortening. Got margarine instead, as it's way cheaper and made of the same stuff. Why margarine/shortening? I'm making bread!
I guess the bread bug bit me yesterday when I was applying for a job at a local bakery. We've got the ASFS meeting tonight, so I'm taking homemade rolls, herb butter and honey butter. Yum! The rolls are in the oven right now, and already smelling wonderful.
Got a new CD today that I'd ordered a while back. The East Village Opera Company. Same idea as Trans-Siberian Orchestra, but with vocals, doing opera arias and overtures. It was a most excellent rocking CD, and I could still sing along with the arias I remember from college. "Nessun Dorma" is an all-time favorite of mine.
Tomorrow afternoon, I'm getting my tarot/astrology reading, and then Sunday evening, I'm doing a reading for a friend. Should be an interesting weekend!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Job hunting again...

Y'know, I'm getting a bit tired of this.
I'm out of work again. Back to more job applications, and trying to figure out what to do.
I've got leads, and places to look. I'm trying to stay motivated. Hardest part is that right now I have no phone. Kinda hard to get callbacks without one. At least I can still get email. I should hopefully be able to get the phone/net/cable back this week out of my last paycheck and money made from donating plasma.
A friend of mine has gifted me with an indepth tarot/astrology/counseling session to help me find some direction. She said it helped her immensely when she was in similar straits. I'm thinking it's just what I may need to figure out what the heck I should be doing. What I've been doing isn't working for me anymore, and I need some help from outside my own head.
Wish me luck.

Thursday, January 31, 2008


I hate getting sick. Especially when it makes me miss work, and leaves me feeling like I've been beaten with a blunt object. Hopefully it was just a 24-hour bug, but I think it worked overtime, because it started Tuesday evening and I'm still not back up to par. I did manage to eat tonight, which is a good sign. I'll spare you the rest of the details, unless you happen to read my LJ, and even it's not too graphic.
The weather is cold again, and I think the front thermostat is acting up because it was only 55 in the frontroom this morning! I checked tonight, and tried resetting it again. If it doesn't straighten out, I'll have to call the landlord. Phooey.
Both my phones are out, apparently, and it'll be at least next week till I can get comcast paid. Rent's due this week, and missing a day of work last week due to weather didn't help at all. I'll make it, but it'll be tight, and another no-frills week for me. As long as I can stay healthy, I'm fine.
I have my little party coming up on Saturday, and it looks like most of the people I invited will be able to make it. It'll be nice to have people over, and I'm looking forward to it.
My pot of tea is finished, so time to leave the cafe and head home to bed.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Time for another update

Let's see. Work, commute, tired, broke. Yeah, that's about par for the course. ;-)
I'm looking for better work, and have found some good positions to apply for. So far, I've got apps in with the City for library paraprofessional jobs and emergency communications jobs, I just emailed a letter and resume in for an entry level editor trainee job at a publishing company, and I'm filling out apps for the local co-op store and a couple of other part time supplemental jobs.
Money's still extremely tight, so no cellphone, and now no cable/net. Cable phone is still on, but if I can't get it paid up by the 8th, I'll lose it, too. I should be able to pay that by then, but it means I have to go out for wi-fi for a while again.
I have gotten back into donating plasma for cash, and that's gonna help some. If I can donate on Friday and Sunday, then I can get $65 a week between the two days. Not bad. I'm also looking at setting out my shingle as a Tarot reader. I'm hoping to arrange a place other than my apartment to read at, though, so that might take a bit of work. I can get advertising fairly cheap or free, and there are bulletin boards to post flyers on. I just want to be classy and professional, y'know?
I'm working on getting another vehicle, since I don't know if I'll be able to keep my truck. The payments are a real stress right now. A good friend of mine has offered me a great deal on a '73 Mustang that she can't drive anymore due to the bucket seats hurting her injured hip. She and her dad were working on restoring it, and have parts cars for it, too! It's gonna be a neat project, and a sweet ride when I get her going again. The car has been parked for a couple of years, but is in good shape otherwise. Heh, might have to go cruise Central Ave. sometime this summer, if I get her looking pretty! Then again, it's a Mustang, with a 351 Cleveland and a CarterAFB 4-barrel carburetor. It ain't about pretty...this horse will run! Makes the idea of a day trip to the mountain home very appealing, even if I know she's gonna eat gas like nobody's business. (*sigh* My inner geek is also a big ol' gearhead...)
Yesterday was a bit odd. I tried to make it to work, and had to turn back around after about 25 miles. The highway was sheer ice, with no visibility from the freezing fog, and they closed the road!! So I called in from the gas station, turned around and came back home. Weather here is fine, but up there it was hellish. Go figure. You know the roads are bad when *I* give up and go home. I'm no wimp when I drive, but this was more than I cared to risk. There had been half a dozen rollovers reported when I stopped, and they were before the big hill south of Santa Fe that is so dangerous. By the time I got turned back around, in ten minutes, there had been three more! Insane.
That's how I ended up tinkering around with the Mustang some more, and spending way too long at the plasma place. I did get treated to dinner last night, which was fun, and the few of us who'd gone out went back to one house and watched 'The Musketeer' together. Good movie, awesome Wire Fu fighting! Fast and loose with the story in a way, but a fun movie to watch.
Today, I'm at Satellite Coffee for the wi-fi, and I'll probably hit the library later. Of course, I have to go to the grocery store for some gooshyfood for the cats, too, or they might not let me back into the house!
The sun is shining, it's 45 degrees (above zero, thank you!) and all in all, it looks like a pretty good day. I'm gonna make it a good day!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Too tired to blog

Sorry, gang, I really have been too tired to do much of anything.
A typical work day has the alarm going off at 5 a.m., and either I drive to Santa Fe or catch the bus. Both involve leaving the house by 6 a.m. to get to work by 7:30 or 8 a.m. If I work till 5 p.m., I'm home by about 6:30, because I drove. Can't catch the 5:22 bus in time. If I work till 4:30, then I can catch that bus, and get home by 7 p.m. I generally have to head for bed at 9:00 or shortly thereafter, in order to try and get enough sleep to stumble out in the morning.
I think I need to get a better bed, too. I'm not sleeping well, apparently, or I'd be feeling a lot better than I have lately. I'm trying to eat as well as I can, and taking vitamins, but the aches and pains and fatigue are starting to get to me. The weekends are better, as I can sleep in some, but I still find it hard to get everything done.
Anyway, I just wanted to drop a note that I'm still alive, though not living as well as I'd like, yet!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Rain? In January?

Yeah, it's raining. Sheesh. I'm staying in, trying to keep warm. So much for taking a walk today.
I'm just on the edge of being cold, even though the thermostat says it's 70 degrees F in here. The floor is cold, and my slippers aren't helping much. I'm wearing one of my bathrobes, and if I don't warm up soon, I'll put a heavier one on. This is strange, because I'm usually the one who feels warm no matter what! It could be a side effect of the depression I've been fighting, I suppose.
I made it through the work week alright, but have been very tired. I'm so broke that I don't quite know how I'm gonna make it to work this next week! My cell phone is off, because I didn't get the bill paid in time. At least I should get paid on Thursday coming up. Just gotta make it till then.
On Tuesday, I've got an appointment to take a big computerized test for a job with the TSA as an airport security person. I'm not sure yet whether I really want the job, but it's worth taking the test. The current openings are at the Santa Fe airport, anyway, and they say it might be 'split shifts'. Not sure I like the sound of that, either. I guess it would have to be a big jump up in pay and bennies to get me to change jobs. I like where I am, at the herb factory, and hope to get hired in there as a real employee soon.
Either way, I really need to see about getting new glasses or contacts soon. I'm having more trouble focusing, and the glasses I've been wearing are the prescription before last. I'm trying the old contact lenses again today. Reading the back of the food box was not easy, but I managed. *sigh* I hate this feeling of getting old. Not that I've ever been free of aches and pains, not even as a kid, but this is enough of a change that I'm really noticing it.
Anyway, I spent yesterday and part of today rearranging things and making room for a new-to-me chair and entertainment center. I got them from some friends, and they even brought them over in their truck. How cool is that? I also got a fish tank stand which is now my altar. I've gotten my TV, stereo and other electronics up off of the floor, and the front room looks quite nice now. I'd still like to get a coffee table and a rug in here eventually, but it's starting to look like a home now.
Ok, time to make another pot of hot tea and get the heavier robe on. Maybe I should just stick my feet in the hot water instead? Nah, that wouldn't make very good tea... ;-)

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year

And what an adventure it was getting home...
The traditional New Year's Eve snowstorm was right on time, which meant that my flight home was anything but. Over 3 hours delayed, but at least it wasn't cancelled! Landed in Abq at about 12:30, and couldn't get a cab for over an hour! Got home about 2:30, and went to bed as soon as I got warmed up and wound down. And some idiot tried to call me at 7 a.m. Grrr! I got up for a bit around 9, then decided to go back to bed till I was less grumpy.
The sleep was just what the cats and I needed, I think, because when I got up for real, I felt a lot better. Lazed around a bit, got a good hot shower, eventually got dressed and went to the store. Picked up a few perishable essentials, and made my traditional New Year's dinner of fried cabbage with onions and garlic, blackeyed peas, sweet potatoes and cornbread. Yummy!
Now, to finish unpacking, clean up a bit more and get ready to go back to work tomorrow.
Happy New Year everyone, and may 2008 bring us all the good things we want and deserve!