Sunday, October 23, 2005

Out from under a rock and Doug changing jobs...

When there is nothing to say except "I've been working a lot" this journal tends to suffer. But because I don't write about my job (having learned some good hard lessons) that means most of what happens to me is not blog fodder. Suffice to say, when I get home here, the last place I want to sit is in front of another computer screen.

I've come down with a headcold. Saturday morning I woke up with a suffy nose and killer sore throat and I'm on meds to keep this at bay. Remind me not to lick your face when I see you, okay? Don't want you to catch this.

We keep the heat off in the house for as long as we can all stand it, and that moment came last night and it was 48 degrees in our livingroom. Nice. So the heat is on, the fleece is wrapped around me, and I'm needing a cup of tea.

My feeling like death didn't stop us from geocaching yesterday. The past four weekends we've been kooped up with each other and Doug didn't want another weekend indoors. We headed into southern Maine because the forecast said that if we stayed here or went south it would rain on us.

The forecast was 100% correct. It was cloudy and cold in the Sanford area, but no rain until we got on the road to come home and got to Portsmouth. We also stopped at Yummies, which is this obscenely well stocked candy store in Kittery on Rte 1 north of the shops. We each bought one bag of our favorites (I got peanut brittle, Geoff got chocolate covered pretzels, Jess got gummi bears and Doug got Pecan Bark) and we shared the snack as we rode home in the rain.

Yesterday was a nice day.

Today it's going to be all about laundry. Folding that which is clean and languishing in baskets, and washing that which has become dirty since last weekend. I posted flickr pictures from yesterday. Here is my favorite. Click the picture and go to the photo page for the large version. It's really cute.

jack running

I think Doug is going to be changing jobs.

He had a recent discussion with his management which resulted in them offering him more money and a different place to work because he isn't feeling the love where he is. I thought their offer was generous, but they told him before he accepts it, consider other options and see what's best for him but they're willing to work at retaining him.

He got an offer within 2 days of starting his search for an obscene amount of money. The only problem is he'll have to split his time between two nursing homes and they're kind of far apart, so his life won't be as flexible as it is now.

But it is a HUGE amount of money. So much so that I almost started laughing. Not only is it a crazy amount of money, they'll give him a signing bonus of like 2500 dollars right up front.

I'm totally in the wrong field. So I am now in a position where I think I have to hire an after school day care person to help us out. I don't want to. I liked how we were managing our family time with him early one day, me early another, babysitter from upstairs and then Jessie watching Geoff for 2 days. There is no way I can leave work at 2pm daily to be the one who gets home. If he accepts this job, he may take his 2 weeks vacation as time instead of pay out that way he has a little time to catch up on some things that I'm not riding his ass about. And then he'll start the other job. He bought XM radio today because he's going to most likely be spending 3 hours a day in the car. Now I want one.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Steady on, Gromit!

So the streak of torrential rain continues into the beginning of the week... This weekend saw rain like I haven't seen in months, and it's about time. We had a really dry September, August and July, after a hugely wet June. It will be nice to hear the creek sing for a couple of days before it gets too cold to sleep with the windows open.

After it poured sheets of rain on Saturday, preventing us from even taking the dog out for longer than a quick squat, and spending the day Sunday watching football and more football and some bullriding and then some football, and Monsters Inc and some more football and the news followed by some football, I realized I could not spend one more second in this house with these people on Monday.

We opted for the movies.

We were going to go into Boston for a visit to the Museum of Science, but we opted against it because we knew everyone with a kid out of school for the holiday was going to be there. We opted for Wallace And Gromit, bought our tickets through Fandango, and headed to the theatre.

I'm not sure I like Fandango, or at least I don't like the theatre we went to and how they handle it.The ticket printer kiosks were all out of paper, there wasn't a soul anywhere who knew how to refill it. And the ticket man, a kindly older gentleman, couldn't figure out how to scan the printout directly (like it says on the print out that he can do) so we almost didn't get seats in the theatre.

A rainy day matinee on a school holiday combined with the biggest kids movie to splurt out onto screens in years meant the place would be packed, and we cut it close by trying to save time. Not so good.

Geoff and Jess love Wallace and Gromit, so it was well worth the trip even though noisy family in front of us would not shut up and their kids didn't get any of the jokes at all "What did he say?" "Why is that funny?"

It was exhausting.

Last night, the Steelers played Monday Night Football and it was a doozy of a game. I wanted them to be winning convincingly by the half so I could just go to bed, but that was not happening. At the end of the third quarter, Doug and I looked at one another and said "this is too good a game to give up on now! We're in to the end!" and we watched to the finish.

I don't think I have stayed up for a Monday night game in YEARS... and this one was well worth it, although I'm exhausted and need more caffeine. I'm sure Steelers Nation is with me in wishing Ben Roethlisberger the best after he took a direct hit to the knee in the final minute of the game and had to be carted off. I hope it is a simple case of hyperextension and that his knee isn't blasted into oblivion... like it looked.

Today will find me half asleep by 3pm. Guaranteed.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Go Walt, Go!

A Walt update is called for. I talked to Bonnie yesterday afternoon and she said that the surgery went very well, that the heart was a great match, and that it is looking good for pops there.

Bonnie's brother Mark left a comment in the entry from Friday night saying:

"God is GOOD! It has now been 24 hours since the surgery was completed, and Dad is stable and seems to be doing just great. As with any transplant, keep the prayers coming since there is still great risk in rejection over the next few weeks. Thank you all so much for your thoughts, prayers, and yes even MOJO baby! It means so much.


Indeed! Go, Walt! Go!

And Go, You Guys! Go! Thanks so much for your prayers! Bonnie told me that she and the whole family appreciate the kind thoughts and prayers (yes and even mojo) that everyone across the board is sending them. And I appreciate the comments folks left sharing their personal experiences with transplants and family and life (Annie, Virginia especially you!)

So yeah, it has done nothing but rain. It was so tropical that we turned on the AC yesterday (Thank Goodness we're lazy and hadn't removed it from the window yet!) just to take the edge of the humidity out of the house. Then, the temp dropped about 30 degrees in a few hours and we opened the windows and now it is a billion degrees below zero and I'm wearing a fleece. I am, of course, the queen of hyperbole. But you catch my drift.

Rainy weekends are always taxing because in our house we're always right on top of one another, and after a few hours it just makes one totally mental. This is why we always go geocaching or hiking or something. It puts some space between our bodies.

I would put money on Geoff getting totally screamed at by one of the three of us before four pm today. I am glad the deluge has stopped, because I might just make him put on shoes and go outside and run around the dog pen 10 times just to get him out of doors.

Guess that's about it. Thanks again everyone for your notes and comments. Keep the prayers rolling because he'll need it for a while.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Prayers for Walt...

Back in March, I got a phone call from my roommate from college Bonnie. It was about her dad. Walt needs a new heart. Walt is on an LVAD, which is a machine heart, and it is keeping him from being dead.

LVADs last only about 18 months, and we're into month seven here. Bonnie and I had talked over the past several months and she said that one of the amazing things about all this is that in order for her father to live, someone else had to die.

And someone else died. And.


This heart is a match.

Bonnie is on Storrow Drive, just drove past Fenway Park where the Red Sox are fighting their own elimination and possible death in tonight's game against the White Sox. And she is on her way to be with her family and kiss her father before he goes into the surgery.

It is sad that someone else dies in order for someone to receive. There are about four hours in the window for the heart to go from person A to person B. There isn't much time for families to think, ponder, question. There is decision.

And right now, a family grieves for their loss. But they gave the most amazing gift. I swear to you, this moment -- these people are more valuable and important than any president, any clergy, any decision maker, any movie mogul. These people lost a father, a child, a daughter, a sister, someone. And they decided to give.

Perhaps the individual had the donor sticker on his or her license. And the decision wasn't hard, the family went with the will of the lost one. That is beautiful. Instead of mincing, fighting, arguing, they just did it. They gave.

Walter will receive. In their grief, they saw hope for someone else. To them, my heart sings and cries and rejoices. Thank you for making this decision. Thank you so much.

So right now, I turn to you my friends, all like five of you. Heh.

If you pray. Please pray. Please send mojo, good thoughts, positive vibrations. Please pause for a minute and just say "Go, Walt! Go!"

Go, Walt! Go!

Give thanks and praise for the heart and the giver, and pray for Walt to withstand yet another surgery. And hopefully his longevity, which we wish for, is in tune with the will of the Maker.

Thank you for your time. Leave a comment for mojo if you want.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

BNL Presale

Finally. Presale tickets for BNL at Mohegan Sun on December 2nd went on sale. I got my set yesterday and Tree's will go on sale later today, so I'll nab hers too and life is good. Right now, we're going to see them on December 2nd at Mohegan with Tree and Powder, and I do believe my 2nd seat is being taken by K's mom, because she said her husband can score us discounted rooms at Mohegan Sun IN the casino, because he's like a wheeler dealer poker guy... we shall see. We could end up staying at the nearby no tell motel, but regardless, it'll be fun. And the night before, on December 1st, K's mom, K, Jessie and I are seeing them in Portland.

I think we'll get a room for the overnight, and I'll have Doug be on boy duty in the morning. I'll keep the girl out of school and then take the day off on the 2nd to ready-up for the trip to Mohegan, AND make Jessie do dishes or something in exchange for the day off. Mwah ha ha.

So yeah, yesterday around 4:30 I found my key. It had fallen out of my pants and into the crack in the floor in front of the dryer. What a freaking nightmare that was. I had looked and looked there... but for some reason didn't see it. Lighting, dilligence, attention to detail, all these things were factors. And I found it. And I kicked myself and got the huge "You do this ALL the TIME" lecture from the husband. Yes, I do, if you think once a year is all the time.

But it is one too many times in the past five. I think I need to have the key surgically implanted (in my ass?!) so this doesn't happen again.

I did manage to get a crazy amount of work done here though. Between floorplans for the office and cleaning while looking for the key, hell yeah. I was one sassy and productive babe yesterday. And if losing a key has to make that happen, well... then it was a good thing. Right?

Not to be ... morbid or anything, but I was thinking a lot about the pleasure cruise boat that sank on Lake George yesterday while I was working, and I couldn't help but think of Bob Dylan's Talkin' Bear Mountain Picnic Massacre... wowee. Pretty Scary. And I was laughing and thinking about the song, which is pretty amusing, and about Dylan and his Woodie Guthrie-esque period and how much I prefer just him and a guitar. And I started thinking about all the old people on that tour boat.

What a horrid way to go. I feel horribly for the people who drowned, and this is the kind of thing that goes through my mind when I'm on the Ferry to Long Island. What if this ferry starts going down? What if I'm wearing my life jacket, but I can't get out of the boat? What if I can't find my kids? Gah. And then I got sick to my stomach because it's not funny or amusing or kind of wacky anymore.

I'm getting old. Back in the day I would have just shaken this off, thought nothing of it. But I thought "dude, that could so have been my in-laws, because this is the kind of thing that they go on when they go touring around the country..." I couldn't imagine having to show up in NY state somewhere at Bear Mountain or Lake George or whatever to claim their bodies.

I guess it's time to shower and get ready for work. Lots to do today at the ole office. This is the week before the next cycle starts so it is guaranteed to once again make my head explode and stress me out beyond belief. Pass the gin and tonic please.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Lost my keys again....

Longtime readers know I have a penchant for losing things. My keys, my wallet, my mind.

And this morning finds me sans keys. We had two keys to the VW. One got trashed and because it was this proprietary VW Über Schlüssel which costs $250 to replace, we passed on getting it done. Which left us with the back-up key, which I cannot find this morning.

Readers familiar with my history will recall back in 2001 when I lost my keys and then locked myself out of the house and had to climb back in the window, and I hurt myself.

Go ahead, read the entry linked to there. It's a laugh riot.

I didn't freak out this time. And to be honest, it is all because of how my work situation is. I've been working here at my desk since 8am, except for the few minutes that I took Geoff to the bus, and I'm getting so much done that it is just crazy funny. I am fortunate to have this set up now.

Part of what I had to do today is give my buddy France some floorplans. Seeing as I have them on the laptop, and they are like 8mb each, I figured I'd make a temporary webpage for him to pull the stuff down. But. I found that I'm almost totally out of room on my server. Nice way to find it out... I have about 40mb left of space, which for the journal is okay, each of these pages is a few k, but not so good for uploading 20 floorplans of about 8mb each.

So we've had to have me upload a few at a time, and then delete as he downloaded. It is so sad and pathetic... but it is what it is.

Beats walking to work.

I will find my key, and it will be okay. And there is no freaking out going to take place... and I'm alright.

Guess that's about it for me right now. Perhaps some wonderful and exciting developments will befall us later...

oh -- for those of you who have expressed concern about our land/garage situation with the neighbor, don't worry: Before we do anything, we're on the phone with a real estate lawyer and/or our buyers broker through whom we bought the house. It'll all work out. This I believe. Like I know I'll find my key. But pray for us in all aspects, because, you know, we could always use the mojo.

Update 4:29pm
Found the key. It had fallen out of the dryer, hit the ground between the two wood pallettes that the dryer sits upon, and got mixed up with the lint that hasn't been cleaned in that little gap for nigh unto 10 years. I looked there this morning, but the light wasn't good and my tactile sense was not quite awake yet. I went down to search the same places a second time, seeing as the upstairs had a thorough go-through, and there it was.

This is especially good because I talked to the VW dealership and didn't like their solution, because it takes days and is freaking expensive.

I hate this key. It is a jerk. But I'm glad I found it, and I gave it a stern talking to and kicked my own ass repeatedly, so all is right with the world.

Thanks for your mojo. I know you sent it.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Canadian land grab

New Canada As part of his current, ongoing obsessive map and state knowledge phase, last night Geoff annexed Canada to be our 51st state.

Canada will henceforth be known as New Canada, and the cities are all being renamed. He drew up a map, which is BEST viewed in its larger format. Click here to view that action.

But here is the thumbnail so you can get an idea of what's going on with New Canada. Greatly enjoyed the state bird, state flower, and the state fruit.

Welcome, Canada, we're happy you're part of our union. Have a fruit roll-up. Aren't you gonna eat it? Aw fer chrissake!

Speaking of that line from BNL, Jessica found out what her role in the school play is this year. She is a "crazy old lady." From what she understands, there will be a lot of opportunity for improv, something she is greatly fond of, and able to do without laughing her ass off. She watches HOURS of "Whose Line is it Anyway," both the original BBC and the Drew Carey versions, and she is really gaining a strong knowledge of timing and delivery.

So as "crazy old lady" she plans on running out the line "Excuse me, do you know where the Bryant Street Theatre is?"

While I may be the only person who laughs when she does it, perhaps there will be another Barenaked Ladies fan who knows the Sweetest Old Lady bit from the end of Rock Spectacle, and they'll laugh too.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

It was just a tree

Doug bought a chainsaw last night in order to take down the fallen tree.

We went out and as we were working through it, cutting it into smaller, more manageable pieces, I couldn't help feel incredibly sad and sorry. I know that deep down I'm just projecting my feelings for Kinger, it's so obvious, but it is just another example of how sudden and unexpected death can be.

This tree was very vibrant and alive. It was habitat, and our cardinals are really pissed. It was the tree the squirrel always escaped up when Jack came tearing after him every day, perfectly positioned in our yard, and among the evergreens it was a laurel and very unique and beautiful. Unique in all the world, to steal from The Little Prince...

As we cut, it ran sap, which made me think or how hard trees have to work to get moisture from the ground up to the beautiful top leaves... and how I should water my trees as often as I water my garden plants.

Its death was sudden, like Kinger's, and was an accident, and was unexpected and unfortunate. I will actually miss this tree.

Doug counted 17-20 rings when he was showing Geoff how to figure out the tree's age. And all told we've been here for close to 10, so I feel our participating in part of its life was a real privilege, a blessing. And it is now gone.

counting circles

bye tree. you were good to have around.

It is Saturday night now. We went geocaching earlier and I blew up at Doug because he once again made a bad trail choice and got us wandering and bushwhacking, which pissed me off to no end. I let him have it with all barrels, which is something I never do.

We've not kissed and made up, but dinner and some margaritas have us on speaking terms once again. And I think that I was overtly harsh but he is overtly .... bushwhackey, and it really gets to me after a while.

I love hiking. I love geocaching. I hate hate HATE having to fight to get to a safe trail. Bushwhacking is not my bag. And he thinks it is all "part of the adventure." Perhaps. But it pisses me off to no end when I suggest a safer route and he's all "nah, let's go THIS way!" and it is ... not so good.

It could be worse. I could have a husband who beats me and gambles all our money away. I can't complain when he misjudges how a trail may turn out, or a direction in the woods may pay off. But today was taxing on our hiking relationship and I almost called geocaching mutiny.

What I really wanted to write about was how freaking FUN chainsaws are. No lie kids. Wicked fun. And starting off with the sad passing of a tree and bitching about my husband's trail choices sort of put a damper on that. But make no mistake, my sadness for the tree's demise is not overshadowed by the "wrewww wrewww WREWWWW!" of a freaking Poulin Chainsaw revving up in the long morning shadows of an early autumn day, bitches!

wild thingDoug bought a chainsaw which is purple and neon green so it looks all 80s dance hall and punk. It is even called "Wild Thing" which is Funny as Shit.

And it rocks.

It cut like butter through some older dry stump of a tree we have in our yard, and it was so wicked that I want to chainsaw the entire universe. No lie.

We have this nice pile of cut wood logs from the downed tree now, and I turned my mental attention to the remainder of the pile of wood from our neighbor. When he cleared his property for his trucks back a few years ago, he gave us all the downed wood... but each log is like 3 feet long. They alll need to be shortened. I think the chainsaw and I may have a date with this older wood, shortening things so they fit more easily into the fire pit. Mwah ha ha ha...

We are probably going camping next weekend, and it is my sincere hope that we take our own wood, cut and dried and seasoned for 3 years, instead of scrounging for wood. I'm also hoping that the weather is nice. And in my heart I miss Kinger, because a year ago Columbus Day Weekend we took my favorite picture ever together. And I'll miss him.

Sigh. He was such a happy dog. And we were so so so happy that day.
Anyway. I recall this hike like it was yesterday.
Life goes on right?