Sunday, September 20, 2009

Commuter Camping!

A busy, full, weekend, but relaxing in its own way. Mabon camping, a wedding to officiate and school or work...whew!
Thursday, I worked early, then went to class. Took the second half of the day off so we could get to the campsite and set up before dark. I got my stuff packed, picked up my friend Tom, and off we went. We did manage to get set up in decent time, though it was dark by the time we were finished. The rain did not help. It wasn't heavy rain, but it was quite muddy, and all the wood was wet. Eventually, we got a fire going, and after a nosh, headed over toward the drumming and fire circle. Poor FoxWoman was struggling with wet wood, too, and eventually the bow-drill gave way to the magic of matches and lighters to get the fire started. Yay, alchemy! We didn't stay too long, but it was good to see who was in camp and get a bit of dancing in.
Friday morning, up at the crack of dawn, since I had class and Tom had work, all at 8:00 a.m. I don't know how I made it through the day, but I suspect the large mug of coffee heavily laced with cream and sugar had something to do with it! After class, I scooted down to the Abq BioPark for the wedding rehearsal. We only had time for a quick walk-through, but it was enough. I got my robe and stole that Erich and Celeste had made for me, and swung by the house to grab a couple of things that we needed for camp. Pick Tom up from work, and back to camp we go!
Friday was a bit easier with the fire-starting, though it was still a bit damp. I'd grabbed some drier wood from my house, and that helped a lot. Dinner was ramen noodles, char-grilled chicken and peaches for dessert. Got done in time to head for the bardic circle, and caught the last go-round. I sang my song that I'd written at EMG again, and Matti sang his latest one "Alive", which he had debuted at Beltane. So much talent from all in this community, too. The transition from the bardic fire to the dance/drum fire was really neat. A procession of torches lit from the bardic fire, leading us all to the other circle. A huge gong, lots of drums and other instruments, all sorts of joyous noises! I danced and sang and drummed a bit, and generally had a good time. Good drink, good smoke, good friends...Gods, it's good to be home!
Saturday morning, up early again. Work for the Tom, and I have to get ready for the wedding. Ok, I admit it, I went home and got a bit of a nap, too! :-) Headed over to my friend Yvonne's house, and she helped me do my hair and makeup. I wanted to be clean and nice for the wedding, and well, if it got any notice from certain fellows in camp, I wouldn't complain! We did take pictures, and those will go up on the Facebook shortly. I really think I looked good, which is rare for me.
The wedding went beautifully. It was small and intimate, and the happy couple were just awesome together. This was the first wedding I've ever officiated, and I was a bit nervous, too. Guess I did okay, though! Paperwork done, I got a bit of a nosh while the pictures were being taken, and then headed off to get Tom and go back to camp. I was still wearing my nice clothes when we got there, and as we'd eaten already, we just grabbed some stuff and headed down to the fire circle. It was an awesome circle. I got warm and had to run back to my tent to change into something cooler. The fire was very large and hot, and eventually, it was just a bumper sticker in action...Happy Naked Pagan Dance! Not me, of course, I don't do skyclad, but I did end up ditching my t-shirt for a while and just wearing my bra and jeans. The ground was cold, so I had to put my boots back on after a while. It was good to see everyone having so much fun. The energy was great, and it was truly magical. Even Tom got out and danced a bit!
Today was a day off, and we got up later than we had been doing. Eggs and bacon for breakfast, and we managed to catch the last workshop of the weekend, a talk by Dorothy Morrison. We finished breaking camp, and were almost done when they called for closing ritual. It was a nice one, and then people started saying goodbyes. Lots of hugs, and then I got the truck moved closer to camp so we could pack out. It didn't really take long, and we were back in town by a quarter to two. I dropped Tom off at his place, then came home and unloaded the truck. A bit of a nap and decompression and I think I'm good to go again.
So, there's a brief overview of my busy weekend! Work hard and play hard, for sure.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

An update at last

A day late, but time for a birthday blog, at least. Had to work yesterday, and still wasn't feeling 100%, but over all it was a decent day. Got many well wishes from friends at work and online, and though I wasn't up to going out or anything after working so late, it was okay. My mom sent a card, and a bit of money, so that was cool. I know I've got some presents coming, too, though it's my own fault that one of them's late...should have thought of what to ask for sooner!
Work has been getting rougher. All of us are feeling it, not just in our department, and we're really trying to pull together to keep each other sane and surviving. More of us are heading back to school this fall, too. It's not the actual work as much as the soul-draining atmosphere. Our supervisors are feeling it nearly as much as we are, and nobody likes to feel like a mistreated drone.
We do have fun, though, and the other day, I was the one getting picked on. Since my birthday was coming, and I'm a bit older than my friend Tom (we're rebuilding a motorbike, and have been hanging out some), I was getting some ribbing about that, especially since he just had his birthday a couple of weeks earlier. I don't know why, I just happen to have several male friends who are a lot younger than I. But the one guy I'd really like to be with is only a year younger, so there! Anyway, cougar jokes aside...
The bike is only progressing slowly, due to financial shortages, but we have gotten a new gas tank and parts to re-do the rear brakes. It's a start! We need to get it running soon, though, so Tom will have an easier way to get back and forth to school and work. His scooter got stolen in July, and was never recovered. Work's within bicycle range for him, but school's too far, and the buses aren't dependable enough. Bicycle and buses don't work for my schedule and location, either, darn the luck. The most I can hope for is on Fridays when I have lab all day, and that's only IF the buses run early enough to get me clear across town in time. I'm skeptical.
School for me this fall is 15 credit hours, including retaking Pharmacology and Drug Calculations classes. I didn't do well enough in those, and want to make sure I get the material down before I try to get into the Paramedic Cohort in January. My other classes are Advanced Trauma (one lecture, one lab), Intro to Fire Science (online) and Financial Literacy (online). The nice thing about the Financial Literacy course is that it will enable me to start a matched savings account through CNM that can be used for school, buying a home or starting a business. The online courses start a few weeks later than the live classes, so that'll give me time to get organized.
I did manage to get student loans, and I hope they'll be enough to get me through. If I get into Cohort in January, the program recommends that you not work, since it's very intensive. Since I'm my only support, I'll have to try and work part-time if I can, and stretch the money as best I can. I am going to get myself a new computer, and I'm getting a MacBook. Other expenses coming out of the loan money are getting the gas turned back on in the apartment, and possibly upgrading my cellphone. I'm also considering getting a Costco card, or at least getting into 'planned bulk shopping' mode to save money. Paying rent ahead is a consideration, and of course I'm getting my teeth fixed while I have the insurance to do it. I'm going on the presumption that I won't be able to work full-time come January. If I don't make Cohort, it'll be the following Fall before another one starts, so I'd continue working and take other classes in the meantime. We shall see. I'm also looking for the chance to start working in EMS even before I finish school, so I can get the experience.
But, before the next round of classes start, there's Bubonicon 41!! Yay! I'm running registration again, and spent a good part of the day laminating badges. We have one last meeting tomorrow, and the con starts on Friday. My good friend Mishalak is coming down from Denver, and three or four of us are going to be sharing a room. Sure, I only live a couple of miles from the hotel, but this way, I have a pied-a-terre at the con, in case I'm too tired to drive home or can't easily leave site. We're also planning out a meal in the Crock-Pot, hot oatmeal for breakfasts, and other good food and drink. Downright civilized, huh? We'll probably do something similar for MileHiCon in October, too.
September's gonna be kinda busy, at least on one weekend. Mabon weekend, the 17th - 20th, is a campout event, and Tom and I are planning to go. But...we'll head out Thursday after work, come back Friday morning so he can work and I can go to lab, then back to camp. He'll stay out Saturday, but I have a wedding to officiate, so an extra trip for me, but Saturday night's gonna be lots of fun, and Sunday, well, we probably both have to work. Crazy, but it just might work!
October's shaping up to be busy, too. My friends Danielle and Gary are getting married in Indiana, and I'm her maid-of-honor! It'll be a short trip, since CNM doesn't have a mid-term break and I have to leave after class on Friday and be back on Tuesday. MileHiCon is at the end of October, and I'm not sure how I'm going to handle that. I may end up driving up after class that Friday, too. I do want to drive, so I can swing by the mountain on the way home and visit.
Other than those outings, it's pretty much gonna be work and school and not much else! Oh, I'm sure I'll get to do some things, and my new schedule will let me start going to ASFS meetings again, at least. But I'll be sticking fairly close to home otherwise. Thank heavens for the internet!!
That's a brief update for ya. It's been a busy summer, and fall's shaping up to be the same. I'm sure it's going to be interesting!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Solstice weekend, Part The Second

And there's even pics to go with this part!

Sunday morning dawned bright and sunny, but that's just a guess, as I was still asleep. Not for long, granted, but I did stay in bed till almost 9:00. The sunburn wasn't going to let me sleep, anyway. Got myself together, gassed up the SUV, then went to pick Tom up. Kennard and Kristen were letting us borrow the utility trailer, so that was our next stop, after a pass through McDonald's drive-thru to snag some breakfast. Kennard wanted to make sure the trailer axles were properly greased, so did that while we waited. He popped one of the caps off while filling it, and eventually got it back on. We hitched up, and off to Eldorado we went. Tom was having fun with the GPS on his phone, but I had directions anyway, so there! Got to our destination, and there it was....a Yamaha XS400, and it's all ours. It needs a shit-tonne of work, but we knew that, and that's why it was so cheap. The bike was in the bed of a pickup, so it was easy to move it down onto the trailer. We tied it down, chatted for a while, then headed back. A stop at the grocery store to get drinks and adjust the tiedowns again after the bumpy gravel road, and off again.
Then, just outside Santa Fe on Hwy 14 (not taking a laden trailer on the freeway, thank you), I started smelling something. I pulled over, and remember that grease cap that popped off that morning? We'd lost it again, and who knows when or where. Tom got on the phone, I got on my phone, and we got hold of an RV place to see if they had a cap. Get this – the place wasn't open, but the owner was on site and opened up just to help us out. How cool is that? So if you ever need RV repair in Santa Fe, go to Hal Burns' RV and talk to David Burns. He didn't have a cap that fit quite right (dang Harbor Freight Chinese metric trailer...), but we found one that was close and duct taped it on to make it home with. He didn't even want to charge us for it, but I gave him some money for his trouble. Back on the road at last, and I'm regretting the addition to my sunburn already. We were going to stop for a burger at Mine Shaft Tavern in Madrid, but it was packed, and I didn't feel like fighting the trailer into a space. Taking the back way down was really nice, though. We finally made it back to my house, offloaded the bike and took the trailer back. Kennard was cool about the hubcap, thank goodness. If Tom and I keep using the trailer, we may see about helping rebuild it with new wood.
Time for some dinner, and we hit the buffet at Furr's. Hey, it's the cheapest way to feed a very hungry Tom. It wasn't as good as I'd hoped, but I attribute that to it being crowded for Father's Day. Dropped Tom off at his place, and then home at last.
My sunburn was really nasty by then, even with trying to keep sunscreen on it, so I just took one of my pain pills leftover from my MRSA infection a couple of weeks ago and tried to get to sleep.'s a link to pics of the bike as it is. Trust me, it will look much better in a few months!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Solstice weekend, Part The First

Yes, I think it may take two posts to blog such a busy weekend.
Saturday actually started Friday night; maybe that's why it felt so long, even with it being the 'longest day'. I got off work as usual, then went and picked up a rider to head out to the Long Dance site. We arrived at about 11 p.m., and I pretty much said hi to a few people, picked out a tree to roll under, and laid out my sleeping bag to try and get some rest. Sunrise comes pretty darned early, you know! Well, the guys in the next camp over were setting up and talking for quite a while, but I managed to doze off a bit. Just about the time I was going to fall asleep for real, the rain started. No, I hadn't taken my tent. And yes, the truck was still full of stuff. So, I dragged myself about 20 feet over, and curled up under the shade tarps that were hung by the main circle. It's funny how, after all these years, my tenting instincts still kick in and I listen for pockets in the roof...and get up and poke the tarp up to drain, and lie back down, get the picture. At least I had enough wits about me to pick the sleeping spot that was not in danger of pocketing!
Just as the birds were singing their wake-up song to the trees, two folks came down from the house, with chimes, and gently woke up the camp. Assembling at the house (praise the gods for coffee), we set off with the center pole to greet the sun at the eastern hill of the property. Clouds notwithstanding, it was officially declared to be sunrise. We then proceeded to the main circle for opening ritual and the raising of the pole. It was a very cool telling/acting of the legend of how the People came up from the dark first world to this, the sunlit fifth world. The long thin pole that we would dance around is that center of the world where Locust's magic staff poked through the roof of the world below this one and let the People come forth.
The drums commenced. Matti starts, by tradition, on the big drum, which is about 3 feet across, and double headed with rawhide. He got a good beat going, and others of us joined in. I was even able to play my bodhran for a while, till the rhythm shifted to a easier beat for the hand drummers to follow. Breakfast started magically appearing at the table outside the circle, and Matti had me take over the big drum for a while. I felt really honored that he chose me first. So, we switched over, one mallet at a time so the beat would be continuous. I think I must have drummed for nearly an hour or so, that first session, and it really felt good. I passed the mallets to the next person who stepped up to take a turn, and got my breakfast.
Somewhere in the morning, the rain came back again. I was already out dancing, and Alan and I were making sure that there was always someone doing that, too. He dug little trenches with his feet to try and direct the water away from the circle, and it did help. My feet were soon covered in mud, but the ground underneath was hard, and it got a bit slippery. The sun returned again, and dried everything out. It settled down to being a mostly sunny day, which was nice.
I did have a bout of negativity come after me in the midst of things, so I took myself out of circle to try and get myself back together. A bit of food and water, a sitdown and a reality check, and I was soon working my way back to where I needed to be. Thank the gods for good friends. I went back to drumming for a while, and Matti made me a bagel sandwich to eat which was very good. More dancing, more drumming, and singing! We got some chants and songs going which was pretty cool. Io was there, and she even complimented my singing. Praise from a master, indeed.
Throughout the day, we took individual breaks, but the music and movement never stopped. Dawn had her big hula hoops with her, which was cool. I even managed to do it! I haven't worked a hula hoop successfully in years! I think I might have to make one now, it's good exercise and good movement.
At a certain point in the afternoon, we had another ritual, this one to call the benificent rains (tomorrow, please). It was really cool, with water hoses making a mist to cool people off and get them dancing again at the end of it.
I was starting to lag a bit, so sat and sang some more, drummed some more, and danced when it was needed. I need more sunscreen, it's not helping... I also did make sure I got a chance to climb the 'woodpecker tree' and tap on the woodblock hanging there. There was a ladder attached to the tree, but it's still quite a climb. Good view, though, and I'm glad I went up.
Sunset was going to officially be at 8:00, but who's counting? Poor Matti almost missed the end, as he had to go talk to a tree. He came hurrying back, because he heard us pick up the beat, and I was hitting the big drum pretty solidly. He did make it, though, and it wouldn't have been right for him to not be there at the end as he was at the start. We all got up and went to stand in circle, and it sprinkled just enough to give us a glorious rainbow! How magical, and what a lovely blessing for the day!
Hugs all around after the last circle, and believe me, nobody wanted it to end. Matti hugged me and thanked me for the great work on the drum and singing. I complimented him in return, of course. The circle and tarps were soon cleaned up, and those of us who weren't staying another night packed up our gear. A lovely potluck up at the house, and a chance to ground and wind down among friends.
More hugs, and finally I had to leave so I could get some rest before Sunday's adventures. I got home and realized just how tired and sore and sunburnt I was, so went to bed in pretty short order.

(to be continued)

Sunday, May 31, 2009

So, here's my trip.

Sunday afternoon, time to blog my little trip.
It was good, but fast.

Friday morning, got a ride to the airport (thanks, Pat B.) and headed out. Frontier always stops in Denver, so I had a short layover there of an hour or so. Just chilled in the airport, got online for a bit, then on to my Chicago flight. Gotta love those Midway landings, and I felt a bit like a Bugs Bunny cartoon waiting for the brakes to work...ok, not really. Ambr picked me up and we made a couple of stops on the way back to the house. The new Asian Market near her is nearly as big as TaLin, and (since they were out of tuna, darn the luck) we picked up a salmon fillet that was just amazing. No odor, and beautiful texture. Yeah, had to nibble on some before it went into the marinade. Definitely sashimi-worthy. We figured out timing for trains and buses for Friday, and when Norman got home, we had a nice quiet dinner. I got a shower (hot water is so nice) and headed for bed.
Friday morning, got up, and Norman and I went to catch the train into town. We split up at Union Station, and I managed to find the bus I needed up to the Westin Hotel on North Michigan. It's just a block from the Water Tower, and there was an express which worked out rather nicely. I arrived in plenty of time, and tried to steady my nerves with some Incredible String Band on the MP3 player till some of the other people started arriving. Apparently, the people from the show had not realized that they were in a different room for the day, so things were a bit delayed, but not by much. Auditions had been going on all week, it seems, three sessions a day, about 20 or so in each lot. It adds up, it really does.
There are about 400 slots for each season, and they haven't started taping the next season yet, so this is really the best time to be auditioning. I'll be in the contestant pool for 18 months, so we'll see if I get called. We took a 50 question quiz, fairly quick, then went up in groups of three to play a mock game. I think I did well, and hope I made a good impression.
After the audition, it was only about noon, so I decided to walk a bit and get some lunch. The bus had gone right past Pizzeria Uno on the way up, and it was a short walk to get there. I had the express lunch special, which is an individual deep dish pizza with a small salad. To quote the old commercial, “I can't believe I ate the whole thing!”, but I did. I continued walking back toward the station, and stopped to take a couple pics of the Eastland Steamer site and plaque. Look it up, if you like, it was one of the biggest maritime losses of life in America, and it happened right in the Chicago River. They say that Harpo studios is partially haunted because its building was the Armory which served as a temporary morgue that day.
Got back to Union Station in fine time to catch a train back out to Lisle, and Ambr picked me up after her puppy-sitting gig. When we got home, I think my sinuses caught up to me at last, and when Ambr said I looked like I needed a nap, I didn't argue. I slept for quite a while, and when I did get up again, Norman was home and it was time for dinner. We ate, and figured out how to get me back to the airport on Saturday. Ambr and I stayed up a bit, and watched some TV. A new-to-me show called “Primeval” which looked pretty good, and most of the movie of Elizabeth with Cate Blanchett. Then to bed so I could get up in the morning.
Saturday's travel was good, a bit bumpy in a couple of spots, but that's just cloud kicking. I had a longer layover in Denver this time, but still too short to try and hook up with anyone. When we were coming in to land in Albuquerque, we had to make a second go-round because of the wind, but that was all. I caught buses home and started getting ready for my evening.
My friend Ryan had called me while I was in Chicago, and we'd arranged to go to the show together. Ah, yes, the show. The Brothers Ericksen Variety Show. It rocked. So much talent in one place, and it was a blast, even if they didn't manage to get the liquor license in time. That was the city's fault. Short films, puppetry, music, more amazing music, juggling and entertainment..oh, it was fantastic! Justifiable fangirl squee!
After the show, Ryan and I sat by my fire pit and shared a few beers till I was just too tired to stay up any longer. During the night, my sinuses must have gotten the go-ahead to really start kicking my butt, so now I'm sitting here trying to blog, do homework, and watch a stop-and-go stream of Sweeney Todd on the telly/pc. I have meds, I have tissues, and even got some orange juice. The thai noodles I picked up from the Co-op deli, however, are rather disappointing; too starchy and the noodles are mushy. Can't win 'em all.
Homework. Somewhere in there, I think I have a quiz to do, too. Ugh. At least the quiz can be taken at home, online, and open book. I had to take my first exam before I left because that was my only chance to get to the testing center on Main Campus. I also managed to take my Thursday class on Tuesday, so at least I didn't miss the lecture. At least after this week, I won't be having to study for the state test at the same time.
I haven't decided yet what to do about actual work in the EMS field. I have a few ideas, but hate to switch horses in mid-stream till I have some solid plans. I just hope my body and my brains are up to it. I've got to get in better physical shape if I ever hope to do this well. I have been still losing weight, slowly, but there's more I should do. I am taking my vitamins, and trying to eat right. Sandy calls it the ELF diet (Eat Less Food), and maybe if I had an elf or two to play with that could take care of the exercise portion... LOL
Anyway, that's my weekend.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Time flies when you don't blog, I guess...

Let's see if I can catch up.

Beltane: Totally rocked, despite the wild and woolly weather. Rain, hail, sun, we had it all! Got to see good friends, hear good music, dance and drum. Good stuff. Had a friend join us for his first Beltane, and he's already talking about the next event, so that's a good sign, I hope.
I've got plans for Summer Solstice, and I'm the coordinator for the Lughnasadh event, so that'll keep me busy and involved with the pagan community. Several of the folk in the community are also taking time to teach me the local culture and traditions, and I'm feeling quite honored by this.

School: Got a 4.0 in the Spring classes. Studying now for the state EMT test, which I'll take on June 6th. I'm a tad nervous about it, since there's the gap between class and the test. I've already started my next set of classes, though, so that helps me get my mind back into that mode of thinking. I'm still short one book, but it'll have to wait till my scholarship check comes in. I've already had to spend more on books than I care to think about.
I have five classes for summer term, but one's only 5 weeks long, and two of them are half-term in the same time slot, so it's not as bad as it sounds. Ten credit hours, though, so I'm gonna be working hard.

Life: I have sent off my last truck payment! W00T!!!! On the downside, the gas is off, so all the baking I was doing to raise money for my little Chicago trip next week is done for now. I should be able to save up enough to get it back on late next month. Luckily, the days I have to go to Clovis for the EMT test are a pay week, so I will not have to worry about that expense yet.
Ok, the Chicago trip...For those who haven't heard, I have an appointment for a live Jeopardy! audition on May 29th, in Chi-town. I'm flying out on Thursday, the day before, and coming back on the Saturday. I'm really excited, and a bit nervous. This audition will put me in the contestant pool for a year, and I may or may not get called to actually do the show, but this is a lot closer than I've ever been! And yeah, I already know what I'll do with my winnings. ;-)
The reason for coming back on Saturday is also important. Go check out and you'll see. These are my friends, and they're doing a show, one night only. I am not going to miss this! Anybody in Abq who can make it, come on out. It's gonna be a lot of fun.

Anyway, I'm off to a barbeque, hosted by one of my co-workers. I have my box of Boca burgers, and she said we didn't have to bring anything else, so off I go.
Last night, I went to hear some live music (Dianivy & Tribe), then went to see Cheech & Chong's “Up In Smoke” at the Guild with a friend. Wow. I have a social life! LOL

Sunday, April 12, 2009

My Bi-Polar Life

It has been another rollercoaster week.
Losing Stormy last Friday was, and is, really rough. The house is too quiet, even with my other cat, Ghost, here. I'm keeping an eye on her to see how she does with being an only cat, especially with me out of the house so much. If she gets too lonely, it will influence whether I think about getting another cat to keep her company. I am also concerned about not being able to be there to help integrate another feline to the household. No hurry, honestly, just things to consider.
I did get the grave dug today, after the rains stopped. The first place I chose had too many tree roots and I couldn't do anything with it. I settled on a spot by the back wall. I'm thinking maybe a 6 p.m. funeral, since some of my friends have expressed an interest in coming to pay respects. For now, I have a cat in my freezer. A bit macabre, perhaps, but his box is surrounded by my frozen seafood stash, so I suppose it's somewhat fitting, and I hope Stormy doesn't mind.
Had another test in EMT class this past week, and two online quizzes to do. The test had stuff that, again, we hadn't gone over yet, so I only got 89.8 on it. I wanted to do better. The quizzes have pulled 96 each, and I can live with that. I don't like taking exams on the computer. What worries me is Monday's final written exam, because it's obviously comprehensive, and there are several chapters not covered in lectures that we will need to know. After the final, we concentrate on skills lab, with those tests being done the next week. If we pass all that, we get our completion certificates which will let us sit for the state exams in June. Whew!
Math class is going fine, I'm carrying an A there with no problems. I am confident that I'll do fine on that final in a couple of weeks. We did have a chapter exam Friday, and I did alright on that, I'm sure.
Also on Friday, I registered for Summer Term. I got all but the biggest class I need to take, and I just can't do the other one and still manage to work. I have to survive, first and foremost, and I'd lose 3/5 of my workweek if I tried to take the Advanced Trauma. So, it looks like it'll be Pharmacology, Drug Calculations (only one month of Mondays), Legal Issues & Reporting (1st half), GI/GU Emergencies (2nd half), and Human Systems & Development (anatomy/physiology stuff).
So much for the usual....I will have to miss a day of class and a couple of days of work at the end of May, as I need to make a quick trip to Chicago. I have an appointment for a live audition to possibly be a Jeopardy! contestant!! How cool is that? It'll be a whirlwind trip, I'm afraid, as I have to be back on Saturday to make it to “The Brothers Ericksen Puppet Movie Mayhem and Variety Show” at the Guild Cinema. It's a must-see for so many reasons! Anyway, I'm thinking of raising money for my trip by selling homemade bread and cookies. Many of my co-workers have said they'll buy some already. I find myself truly needing a mixer now, but haven't been able to find an affordable stand mixer that's sturdy enough to meet my needs. The KitchenAids at Wal-mart are too low powered, and too small. A KitchenAid Professional 600 would be nice, and I could manage an Electrolux Assistent DLX-2000, I'd be in heaven! Right now, though, I don't even have the budget for a Sunbeam or Hamilton Beach cheapie.
Beltane is coming up in a few weeks, and I'll be helping with the Main Ritual. I plan to be healthier and better prepared for Beltane this year. More warm clothes and blankets, and, gods willing, I'll be able to find myself a willing human space heater! (Better plan on finding new longjohns, I'm afraid, especially compared to my slim chances of getting the warm body of my choice into the ol' bedroll.)

...Post-movie now, and home again. Went to the Guild to see The Dark Crystal. Yeah, big screen. Plus, one of the guys who worked on puppetry for both this and Labyrinth is a local, so he was there to do comments and Q&A afterwards. A nice geek's night out, as I got my ticket early then went over and had a snack at Flying Star while waiting for the movie. So, naturally, as I was walking home after midnight, I was singing Patsy Cline songs to myself....
Tomorrow morning, some of our geek crew is meeting for Sunday brunch. Seems like a good time to do it, even though most of us don't celebrate Easter all that much. Off to bed, then!

Friday, April 3, 2009

I haz a sad :-(

My dear kitty, Stormcloud Thunderpaws (Stormy) died today. It was sudden and unexpected.
I noticed Wednesday night that he seemed to be feeling badly, listless, out of sorts, and looking like he'd lost weight. I managed to find a vet Thursday morning (after several tries), and they put him on oxygen and fluids overnight. When they went to work with him this morning, he suddenly had a seizure and died before they could do anything to save him.
The necropsy this afternoon revealed advanced pancreatic cancer. There's no way it could have been found earlier, and even if it had been, there's nothing that could have been done.
I suppose it's some comfort that nothing I did or didn't do caused his death. He'd been with me for almost 7 years, since he was a kitten.
My other cat, Ghost, seems to know that he's gone. If I can tell that the house seems emptier, I know she can.
It's gonna be a long weekend...

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Happy Ostara!

Whew, what a weekend!
Classes were good this week, but work was a bit of a grind. I think we were all glad to see the end of the workweek, whenever it was!
Yesterday I got up early, and went to get my truck worked on. There's a church out here, Sagebrush Community Church, that runs a program called Pit Stop Ministries. I found out about them through my college. They hold a clinic once a month to help people in need with car repairs and maintenance. So, I got my front brakes done, with new calipers, pads and rotors, plus an oil change, for no charge! What a blessing! Of course, you know I'm not one to sit idly by, so I jumped in and helped, not only with my own truck, but with a couple of other cars that were getting oil changes and such. Met some really good people, too. Next month's clinic, I'll be able to go back and we'll do the rear brakes (which are really bad) and in between, I can get my idler arm replaced, too. Plus, I have a coupon for 15% off the alignment I'll be needing. Yay! This is really a weight off my shoulders, as I've been quite worried about the truck. I got the wheel hub fixed on my own, and between that and the brakes, I can now go down the interstates safely!
Which leads to today...I was able to go down the interstate to get to Sunflower River for the Ostara celebration. It was a nice simple ritual, with an Eostre Egg hunt! The potluck was yummy, too. There were about 30 in attendance, a good number, but of course not all of our community. There was a later evening event planned by CUUPS, and some folk went to that one instead, I'm sure, and some managed to go to both! I decided to just do the one event, so I stuck around for the music and drumming. A nice relaxing day, which I really needed. My contributions to the potluck were a carmelized onion and pinon pizza, and a carmelized onion quiche, plus a raspberry pie that I had been given.
I do have a nice toasty sunburn on my face and neck, even my ear tops! Most of it's from yesterday, but I'm sure I put a bit more red onto it today. The wind didn't help, either! Guess I'm still not quite New Mexican yet, huh? I wonder if eating more green chile will help with melanin production so I can actually have a tan someday. Probably not ;-) Just too much Irish in me, I suppose.
Time to head to bed, as I have class in the morning. We're past the halfway mark now, and while I didn't do as well as I'd hoped on the midterm for EMS, I could have done worse. It's tied in with my old conditioning, I know, where I have to be the best in order to be anything worthwhile. I'm just hard on myself, that's all, and I'm actually doing better at not getting down on myself for being human and less that perfect. But I still gotta show up on time!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

'Bout dang time!

Okay, let me catch you all up on progress so far.
I am getting A's in both my classes, EMT and Algebra, though it's not a cruising A. I'm working for it, and while the math is not too hard, I get tired and do silly mistakes if I'm not careful. EMT stuff is harder, of course, and makes for a lot of memorization in brain as well as hands. But I'm confident that I'll do well.
I've filled out my FAFSA for next school year, and we'll see if I can qualify for some financial aid. If it's enough, I would consider going to school full-time for the paramedic courses.
Work has been "meh". It's work, and the good calls and bad calls average out on most days. It's the ones that come in at the last second and keep me way past my scheduled time that honk me off. That, and the ones transferred from another center in particular; no info gathered that the rep should have gotten, nothing done at all, and sometimes they don't even tell the customer that they'll be getting transferred. Grrrr!
I have been getting out and about a bit, though not as much as I'd like. Ryan and I did get together last night for margaritas and Buffy DVDs, and it was worth skipping the margarita night with my co-workers. I should stay away from tequila, though, because that's the one booze that ever gave me a hangover. Granted, that was over 20 years ago, but I don't care to go through that ever again! Just gotta remember to eat, and drink water.
Laundry today, while I catch up on the blog and my surfing. I'll study more tomorrow, as we have a quiz Monday morning. Memorizing drug doses and rules is very important, so it's good that we're getting another quiz on it.
The weather has started to get nice, and the sunshine makes it feel warmer than the thermometer says it is. I'm just looking forward to getting out on my bicycle again. Next weekend, when I'm helping with the Medieval conference (MAP 2009) at UNM, I'm just going to leave the truck at home and do the bus/bike thing. Saves on parking fees, too. As a bonus, the more I can walk/bike, the better my success with losing weight! I splurged on a couple of pairs of jeans at the thrift store, and ended up going with the pairs that I thought would be too small when I pulled them from the rack! Nice feeling, that. Pretty soon, I hope to be freecycling some of my clothes that have gotten too big.
I'm working on getting the needed repairs done on my truck. I have gotten hooked up with a local charity called Pit Stop Ministry that helps folks fix up and maintain cars. They will help me with my brakes! I need to get the front right hub bearing replaced first (about $300) and as much of the rest of the front end as I can manage, then front brakes will be done in March, rear at the April clinic, and then I can get the tires and alignment. The truck will be paid off in May or June, and then things should improve greatly. My EMT test will be in June, and we'll go on from there!
Other than that, Ostara's coming, and that's gonna be a nice celebration. On top of St. Paddy's Day earlier that week, I'm gonna get my share of socializing, I'm sure! Work hard, play hard. Sounds like a plan.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

I'm an Auntie!!

Woohoo! I can tell y'all about it now.
My brother and his wife will be returning from Colombia in a week or so, with my new nephew and niece in tow. The kids are blood siblings, so it's good that they can stay together in their new family. I always said that Frank would make our mom a grandma first, anyway.
Work is crazy, we're shorthanded and swamped, and tempers are starting to flare. Dissatisfaction is growing, and it makes me glad that I'm going to school already. I just hope things stay stable till I'm ready to move on.
School's keeping me busy, of course, but I think I'm doing okay. Still readjusting to the schedule demands, but trying to stay ahead of things. I've finished the Clinical Prep class, as of today, and got my certification cards for
I did finally succumb to the pressure to try World of Warcraft. Biggest problem was getting the dang program to download and install. I've got a character and have done one little quest, but have been too tired to do much more than that. My trial will end soon, unfortunately, so I'm not sure if I'm gonna try to get a paid account or not. I'm just not that into it, yet, and the expense is a deterrent, too. I really don't need another indoor activity.
I did manage to get my eye exam on Thursday, and am working with a trial pair of contact lenses in the new prescription. They seem to work well, though the doc did advise a weak pair of reading glasses for close up work. Wonder if I can get a pair that look like Dumbledore's glasses? Probably can, actually....
Tomorrow's the Imbolc celebration here in town, and I plan to go. It's an indoor event, as it's still a tad chilly to be out in the evenings. The days are getting a bit warmer, though. I've started hearing birdsong in the mornings, and the sun seems to be showing itself more. It's cooling off tonight, though, and there is snow in the forecast for many parts of the state. It would be a good night to curl up by a fireplace, if I had one. I'll make do with a pot of tea and a warm laptop, I guess!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Whee...adjusting to school and work

At last, a chance to blog. It's been a busy week, with school starting, changes in my work schedule because of it, and even some social activities.
School is good so far, despite the adjustment to getting up very early. I'm up at 6:30 a.m., with classes starting at 8:00 on Monday and Wednesday, or 8:30 on Friday. Add to that my work, which goes till 9:30 at least, and it makes for a long day. I'm glad to be able to recover on the other days! I have homework already, of course, and I needed to replace my printer. Darn thing starts off fine, then fades out halfway through the page. The ink is full, so I can't figure out what's going on. I think it's just worn out, as it was a cheap one to begin with. Luckily, I found another one that uses the same cartridges. Our EMT lectures have powerpoint slides, and we need to print out copies to make notes with.
I'm grateful to my friend Ryan for giving me a calculator to use for my algebra class. The prof prefers that we use them, which is very unusual to me. I can see his point, though, as the process of doing the algebra is far more important to learn, and we should all know math by now, so why waste time on doing it all by hand. I still do some of it in my head, though!
We don't have class tomorrow, for the MLK, Jr. holiday, but that just gives me a chance to catch up for Wednesday's class. There's a lot to learn, and I'm glad that I have a whole semester to do it in. I'm not sure which class will be hardest, so I'm trying to take it a bit at a time. There are many changes in the whole classroom setting, especially the online part. Yeah....last time I was in college for any length of time, there was no such thing! Now, my textbooks come with DVDs and online materials that are required for quizzes and tests. Very strange.
I have also had to break down and get a coffeemaker. It's a 4-cup, freecycled, but it's enough to get me through a morning. Finally found a use for the travel mug I got at the Woodwind/Brasswind! I'm not a big coffee drinker, honestly, but I may turn into one at this rate. I got myself some good coffee, too. All I need are some filters, and I'm running some weak vinegar water through it to make sure it's clean.
I also managed to come up with a better desktop computer over the weekend, on the extreme cheap, and have been putting it together. I'm missing some of my disks, so it was trial and error getting it going. Had to reformat and do a fresh install on the HD, and all I had available was XP Home. I much prefer Pro, and now that I've got the thing set up and online, I think I'll be upgrading at least that far soon. I'm tempted to try out Windows 7 Beta, and there's always Ubuntu, if I can ever manage to get it downloaded.
As for the socializing, one of my co-workers hosted a RockBand party at a local gaming center. I've never played it before, and was happy to find out that there's even a way to play by singing! Don't know how it compares to Guitar Hero, which I've also not played, but I really had a fun time with the crew from work. That was Saturday, and Friday was the ASFS meeting (which I missed 95% of, naturally) so I got to have some weekend fun. Coming up this Friday, a band containing two other co-workers is playing at a local bar, so I'll be going to that, I think.
All work and no play makes Harriet a raving stress-bomb, so hopefully I'll get to keep balancing the two.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

What a week!

Finally feeling up to a bit of blogging tonight. It's been a rough week. My broken tooth started acting up again, and developed an abcess infection. Not good, especially for someone who talks for a living! Luckily, my dental insurance kicked in on New Year's Day, and I was able to go to a dental clinic on Friday morning before work. Yay!
For now, the dentist was able to clean out some of the decayed tooth, pack medicine into it, drain some of the infection and put a temporary patch on the tooth. No more broken edge for a while, the swelling is going down, and the pain is subsiding. I have pain pills and antibiotics, and an appointment for Thursday to go back for an exam. Now the long-term work starts, to get my mouth healthy again. I'm just glad that I can eat and sleep. Granted, today started with me feeling like someone had punched me in the face! The only time I'm ever accused of having a small mouth is when I'm getting dental work, and my muscles are a bit sore. On the plus side, it looks like they'll be able to save the bad molar without too much trouble, and eventually straighten my front teeth.
Work was really busy this week, almost too hectic. I guess a lot of people got new computers or aircards for Christmas! It's rough when there's no time between calls to gather your thoughts or reset your brain, and most of our tech support calls are fairly long. Lunchtimes and breaks are often delayed till you can finish a call. At least my customers can't hear my stomach growl!
I'm looking forward to starting classes on the 12th. I've gotten one of my books in the mail already, and the others should be arriving soon. I'll have to pick the last one up at the bookstore when they open up again, since it's only available there. I think I've got the rest of what I need, though I might have to get a calculator if I can't find mine. I'm sure I'll find out more once I get to class.
For New Year's, I did go over to a friend's house after work that night, but left shortly after midnight due to my toothache. Had to work New Year's Day anyway, so didn't want to be out too late, especially that night.
I did go out on Monday night, though, to see a local band, My Majestic Mind. Two of the guys in the band are co-workers of mine. Good stuff, very talented group, and it was fun. Gonna hit their next show in a few weeks, too. They have a MySpace if you want to check them out.
Other than that, I've been working on a few projects. I'm still baking what I can, have some sewing to do, and am writing my latest bit of fiction. I've also got some non-fiction writing planned that will be shared online. More on that when it's ready to go.
Hopes and goals for 2009? Sure, I've got 'em. I'm optimistic, overall, as far as the material things I want to accomplish. The personal stuff, well, what I can control, I will. What I can't control, I will let the universe take care of. That's the harder part, for me, honestly. We'll see how that works out!