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