Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A perfectly good ride home

Ruined. Due to a bunch of kids (pre-teens, not 5 year olds), one of whom had a large stick, who threatened to take my bike and bags. Stupid f*ker. Thankfully he didn't shove it into my wheel to stop me cold, and also didn't whack me with it, so I just kept going. (Maybe because I'm a speed demon? ha...) Oh, but it made me so mad. So many things I wanted to say to him. (I did look back and say f*ker to him though.) I wanted to turn around and go after him and his 'gang' but sometimes though I do have common sense. Thankfully.

So, I got home grumpy, and decided to do some retail therapy. Needed a temperpedic pillow to try and help stop migranes, so went to buy that (did you know they come in different sizes? so I had to have the store guy measure my shoulder to neck length), as well as a wedding present for a friend. And, just so happens there's a shoe store next door (how well the mall planners know their clientele), and I had a $20 coupon with me, so I bought two pairs of shoes, one of which is very practical, one of which is not so much (um, cheetah pewter reptile print heels - they didn't have the brown patent leather in my size! so had to buy the cheetah reptile ones...). I am famous for buying shoes and then returning most of them when I come to my senses, but I just may keep both.

Happy Halloween!

Ok, a bunch of random stuff today.

Got into work, turned on my internet radio station, WFMU, and the song playing was "Bunnyrabbits, Satan, Cheese, and Milk". Cool.

On the way to work today, heard on the radio that it's now safe to eat squirrels in NJ.

It was a nippy bike riding morning this morning. I procrastinated at home until the sun came up at least. Gotta ease into the colder weather biking. I cannot go from 60's/70's to 30's immediately.

Ever danced on bubble wrap? It's fun. Especially the stuff with the big bubbles.

A story of Halloween past. I spent a year in Germany in the mid 80's at a college where everyone (all 50 of us) lived and studied in one building. Very intense experience. This was back in the day when the whole world had not quite yet been Americanized, so when I brought up having a Halloween party, everyone, or most everyone, wondered what I was talking about. So, in the days before the ubiquitous Internet, I wrote to my mom and asked her to send me the history. I went to a nearby farm and got some pumpkins, which were all used to feed animals. We gutted them, carved them, cooked the flesh and the seeds, and made pumpkin stuff. (This was also before I knew there is a difference between pumpkins and the ones we used were likely not to be eaten - but hey, none of us died.) And we had a Halloween party where everyone dressed up and had a GREAT time. I was going to insert a picture, but I realized it looked just like any normal Halloween, except mid 80's getup and German faces. Ach du lieber!

Just stood outside to get some sun. What made me laugh hard and turn red? As I was standing talking with the door guy, a guy walked by, then turned around looked at my lower half, and just turned and shook his head with a smile. I needed that. And I might note, that it's only African American men who ever say anything or show an appreciation for my big trunk. White men look but don't make it obvious and NEVER say anything.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Get you in the mood for Halloween

Here you can carve a virtual pumpkin. Way cool.

Here you can play hangman with a talking skeleton.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Work Hermit Crab

Everyone has left. Everyone being the two immediate people I work with. And I kinda like it like this sometimes. I get it for 15 minutes today, and all day Thursday. I am left with my music, and my computer, and what more could you want? Most times I do need and want human interaction, but sometimes it's really nice to be a hermit at work.

And, while looking for a photo of a female hermit via google (the immediate ones that come up are males - what, don't females become hermits?), I found an interesting science factoid. Did you know that most crab-care books state that it is impossible to tell the sex between male and female land hermit crabs? But apparently it is not that difficult provided your hermit crab is willing to come rather far out of its shell for you. Then you look for the gonopores. It's not so difficult to tell the sex of a work hermit though.

A comic for your Monday

And, BTW, Patriots RULE! And Redskins SUCK! All I could do was yell at the TV - YOU SUCK!

Friday, October 26, 2007

One last change in my life

OK, I promise after this post I'll put something more exciting up - I may start a series about Africa.

But, this morning I sat down and had a conversation with my supervisors about my depression and the impact it has on my job, and the accommodations I've made and acknowledged the accommodations they are making. This is all a part of taking control of my life after falling back into the depression and realizing it's not going away any time soon and I have to take charge (more so) to make my life better. It wasn't to make excuses for my performance/behavior, it was to try and put a different lens on it. To have them acknowledge and to acknowledge to myself that it's a struggle. It's a supportive environment, so I'm lucky.

I did one very difficult thing. I asked that I no longer be a supervisor. I tried, but right now in my life is not a good time. I'm missing out on a learning opportunity, but I just can't deal with it right now. I've cried about it this morning to my sister, and she said the appropriate supporting words. It's still hard though because I'm not a quitter. And I need to see this as not quitting, but rather taking care of myself. But it still sucks.

I'm glad it's raining! Fits the mood... But the sun will shine again. And there's Krispy Kreme doughnuts in the kitchen.

It's amazing what a book (Eat, Pray, Love) and an editorial (Dali Lama) will do.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

One less secret

Thanks so much to WNG. She gave me the radical idea that there could be people who know I blog, but I could maintain my privacy. What a radical concept. Setting boundaries. So, I tried it out. Thankfully my husband and I had a therapy session last night, so I was able to do it in a safe environment. Why did I feel I need a safe environment? I tend to think that people will want and need all or nothing from me, and I tend to feel that I am required to give it. Yes, he was a bit freaked out, and a bit disappointed that I didn't tell him earlier, but also accepted that I didn't want him to view it given I talk about my issues with him sometimes. Once I gave examples of what I write, what it means to me, then he let go. Of course, I doubt it's the end. It'll come up at another time, but at least for now, all is good.

OK, I will admit one thing. I didn't have the heart to say that there are few flesh and blood people who read it. Damn... so I still have a secret. Crap. Oh well, it's still one less than before.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Want Free Will?

I have these warring selves inside me.

One wants to be told what to do. To take no responsibility for anything, but rather work to live up to expectations that others set. Relinquish control.

One wants to think for herself and be responsible for her own self. Exercise her free will. Be in control. Take charge.

I'm not quite sure where I learned the former - because it is a learned behavior. Learned helplessness? The latter feels like it requires so much energy right now.

I'm thinking of all this because I'm reading Eat, Pray, Love a woman's journey to learn about herself after a divorce and depression. Her spiritual journey takes her to India, and either a Yogi or a Guru says to her that she should never let herself collapse/fall apart (I forget the wording) because it becomes all the more easier to do it at a later time. So, to always choose to be strong. And I've been thinking about choice, how you always have a choice how you respond to any situation. Even depression. I can let it rule me, be helpless, use it as an excuse to do nothing, or I can be strong and work to do what I need/want to do despite the depression. Trouble is, I don't feel very strong at the moment.

I want I want I want. There are many things I want. But I'm always seeking someone to tell me that it's ok to want them. It's ok to get them. It's ok to make mistakes along the way. The thing is, I need to start making that person be me. To exercise my free will.

postscript: there's a name mentioned in the book that I recognized. turns out someone she knows is someone I dated once. ok, sing along: it's a small world after all...

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

This just in - Wildfire photo

Amazing. A satellite image captures the fires...

Monday, October 22, 2007

Meet the kitties

Meet Billy and Cleo, my kitties. Sitting of course on the one thing they shouldn't be sitting on - a quilt I was working on. Cats know where to go to get attention. This was when I first got Billy, and Cleo would go outside (hence the tag). This was when Billy was skinny and Cleo was well endowed, not the way it is now. Billy is a big beast and Cleo is skin and bones because she has diabetes.

Cleo is the first kitty I ever had. I was living alone, and decided it was time to get a cat. She was a street kitty, and when she came to me she was pregnant. Luckily she didn't have kitty AIDS, so she could keep the kittens. She gave birth when I was away climbing one weekend to 5 kittens. She was a great mom, and the kittens had the run of the apartment. It was a lot of fun actually, and they were well behaved, for kittens. They would be quiet while I slept (not sit at the door and meow), but would come running when I would open the door. I gave away all the kittens though, since I had had a cat when young that we kept two of the kittens, and the mom and the kittens did not get along. Besides, everyone wants kittens, and I am happy adopting older cats, so I let them go. It was very sad...

Eventually I got another cat to keep Cleo company. I'll tell the story of him another time. But then Billy came along - another street kitty. He, however, was not as outgoing as Cleo. He spent a long time hidden under the bed in the spare room (I had moved to a shared house). I would go in and lie on the floor and talk to him, and spend time, and slowly he came out from under the bed, and would BONK the hell out of my head - so hard it almost hurt. I gained his trust, but unfortunately I had to bring him for a second rabies shot, and that was bad for the trust issue. Damn cat bit me - but it was just because he was so scared. Now he is a sweetheart and loves affection. He is a talker too, which is sometimes quite funny. Both he and Cleo listen to me (they wait to start eating, they come when I call, etc.), but that doesn't always mean he's happy about it. I'll chastise him for something, tell him to stop, and he'll walk away with one last 'fuck you' meow. Quite funny. And he bonks the hell out of Cleo - at this point almost knocks her down.

So, that's Billy Boy on the left, and Cleo Sweetie Pie on the right.

A little privacy, please

OK, is there anyone you would NOT want to be reading your blog? Or anyone for whom it's just too late to tell?

I for one would never let my mom see it. Nor my brothers. No way.

I was talking with my therapist about blogs (she's behind the times) and I realized there's no way I want her to read it. And I don't know why not. She hears so much from me that comes from deep inside. I guess I just need a little bit of privacy/control over what she sees/hears.

And finally, my husband does not know about my blog. I started it partly as a way to figure out what the hell I was doing with him, and what to do about it all. He's a very private person, so there's no way he'd be happy about it, even though it's 'anonymous' (some of my flesh and blood friends vs. virtual friends know about it, so not so anonymous). And I don't want to stop, or delete the stuff about him, so, it's a big secret. And once you have one or two big secrets, they can multiply like bunny cakes.

For this reason I can't join Namoblomoplo or whatever it's called. When I write at home, I have to do it after my husband has gone to bed, or when he's showering, or off exercising. And be sure to delete the private data on Firefox so there's no record of me being where I was. Sneaking. I've become good at sneaking - perhaps not such a good thing to be good at. Maybe fate will intervene, and my blog info will get lost in cyberspace, and I'll start anew and be able to say, oh, by the way, I'm a blogger. But I won't hold my breath, and I really don't want that to happen.

Or maybe conversely, he'll 'catch' me writing on my blog (in quotes, because it's not evil or anything, just a secret). And I'd see what happens. I dislike having secrets, and it seems like I'm living with so many now. For example, most of the people in my life don't know I was even living apart from my husband for a while. Also, not too many people know I'm taking anti-depressants, though I've been trying to be quite open about that, but not to the point of working it into random conversations ("wow, this is great pie" "yeah, it goes well with anti-depressants").

I grew up in a family that didn't talk about ANYTHING, and I've tried to live my life conversely, but I guess it's just reality that not everyone needs to know everything, and you always gotta decide where those lines are. I would like a husband I can say anything to, but I've never felt that way with my husband, and that is bad. But, I'm not going along that path at the moment... gotta keep some things secret for a little while longer. :-)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Dalai Lama quote

From an editorial published today.

A scientist from Chile once told me that it is inappropriate for a scientist to be attached to his particular field of study, because that would undermine his objectivity. I am a Buddhist practitioner, but if I mix up my devotion for Buddhism with an attachment to it, my mind will be biased toward it. A biased mind never sees the complete picture, and any action that results will not be in tune with reality. If religious practitioners can heed this scientist's advice and refrain from being attached to their own faith traditions, it could prevent the growth of fundamentalism. It also could enable such followers to genuinely respect faith traditions other than their own. [...]

In the end, whether one is a believer or a nonbeliever, what matters is that one be a good, kind and warmhearted person. A deep sense of caring for others, based on a profound sense of interconnection, is the essence of the teachings of all great religions of the world. [...]

Large human movements spring from individual human initiatives. If you feel that you cannot have much of an effect, the next person may also become discouraged, and a great opportunity will have been lost. On the other hand, each of us can inspire others simply by working to develop our own altruistic motivations -- and engaging the world with a compassion-tempered heart and mind.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Tasty Perfume

NOT! I think getting perfume in your mouth is one of the nastiest things - worse than soap, which of course I NEVER had to wash my mouth out with, since I was a good girl. I just brushed my teeth with a toothbrush I have here at work, and didn't realize there was perfume on it until too late. Or is there something worse?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Noble Prize

Doris Lessing won the Nobel Prize for Literature last week. She really has a wonderful body of work, both in fiction and nonfiction. I'm most familiar with her fiction - specifically African Stories [Here, as she sees them, are the complexities, the agonies and joys, the textures of African life and society.], and the Children of Violence series [the ‘Martha Quest’ books is where she explored her life in Rhodesia, her uneasy relationship with domestic life and her break with the communist party]. Her writing evokes the feeling of Africa for me - I'm not a short story reader, but truly African Stories is one of my favorite books.

Although I don't remember reading it, the title of the following book came into my head last week when I was dealing with the whole depression thing: Briefing for a Descent into Hell [Doris Lessing believes that society's treatment of the mentally ill is a great and dangerous blind spot, that through the minds of the "broken-down" appear the truths, important to our civilization, that we deliberately choose to shut out.] I should re-read.

Anyway, celebrate her win by reading some African Stories!

A joke I used to have memorized

An atom walked into a bar and took a seat.
"What's the matter, buddy?" the bartender asked. "You look kind of
"Yeah, I think I lost an electron," the atom replied.
"Are you sure?" the bartender asked.
The atom replied, "I'm positive."

Geeky science joke. Gotta love it.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

My favorite foreign words

There's been some talk of words in other blogs, and I've been thinking about this for a while actually. Below are my favorite words in various languages. Oops, except English. I'll have to think about that one.

Doch - German - negates a negative. So, if you said 'she's ugly' and I said 'doch' then I'm disagreeing and saying she's pretty. It's such a useful word and can be said with such force, as can most German words I suppose.

Ahorita - Spanish - hmm.. I always thought it meant 'in a little bit' but it means 'right now' according to I learned it in Mexico - perhaps there's a different meaning there? In any event, I love it because it's so fun to say, and because it's a play on 'now' (ahora).

Japanese - deska - has no literal translation I don't think (I'm moving into languages I know less about). It is a word that makes a statement a question. For you Heroes fans, listen to Hiro or one of the other Japanese characters speaking and when they ask a question, that word is on the end. I like it because it's a peculiarity of Japanese (I don't know of other languages that do that though I am SURE there's one) and because it's one of the few Japanese words I know. I was on a work trip in Vietnam and happened across a TV show that was teaching Japanese, and I learned how to say 'how much does this cost [question]' and used it when I went to Japan the next week! In a thrift store in Japan! It was great. Of course I couldn't understand the answer, but hey, that's why there's pen and paper.

Alor - French - I think it means something like 'ok' - sort of one of those filler words. It's just so French, and when you say it you have to be French or have a French attitude. I could be wrong about this one - spelling and meaning - I know so little French.

Magwanani - Shona - Good morning. Again, I like how it sounds, and I used it quite a bit in Zimbabwe. It's nice to be able to connect, even simply, with people in their language.

Babci - Polish - grandmother. How can you not like grandmothers?

American Sign Language - Thank you. It's easy to learn, and so important.

That's it for now...your trip around the world.

Monday, October 15, 2007

My Office Space

Here is my slice of work life.

I took this one so you can see my basket of food/tea, the summer shoes under my desk that need to be switched out to fall/winter, the clothes I keep hanging on the door in case of coldness/emergency, and the mess on my desk (normal - actually, this is kind of neat for me). My poor roses didn't make it through the weekend. But you can still see the color.

My computer has knick-knacks from all over around it. My favorite is the one I bought for myself - the glass pig with tiny dice in it. If I shake it it clears my head if I'm feeling anxious/overwhelmed. There's also some unopened pistachio nuts that I have around and smash open when I need to take out some aggression and am hungry (often they go together). In the background is my Caution! Senior Moment sign that I got for my 40th birthday. And a Habitat for Humanity mug. Can you find the Pez?

Here we have the rest of the mess. You can see one of the faces of the twins I mentioned in a previous post. They look and wonder what the heck the crazy muzungu (mzungu?) is doing [white person].

Fringes asked. I complied.

Want some cheese with that whine?

Ugh. My head feels like there's a vice on it. I could use a head/neck rub... We have a big meeting on Wed that we have to prepare for, and there's tons to do, and we have a temp in that I'm managing, and I was up at 3:00 AM for a long while because the bedroom smelled like buffalo burgers and my stomach woke me up thinking it was hungry so I had to get up and eat something and drink warm milk to get to sleep but then I was worried about an online purchase of a camera I had made so I had to go check the credit card online to make sure there weren't any fraudulent purchases and then a weird animal walked by outside the sounded like a baby crying in pain and then my husband's alarm went off and then mine and then it was morning and I had to get in before the temp because I was in charge of her and so I was stressed to have a deadline I had to be in by and when I got in I realized I had made my return flight for a work trip for the wrong day so now I have to pay money out of my own pocket.

OK, here's the cheese to go with the whine.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Apple time

I love the fall. It's apple picking season. And I love it even more when it's $5 bag weekend!!! So, I got four bags of apples - 3 of Stayman and 1 of Granny Smith. I use the pickers on the sticks, and also climb the trees. Learned a lesson this time around - don't climb a tree with a plastic bag because when it's halfway full the bag will break and all your beautiful apples will fall to the ground, and you'll yell 'Shit!' around tons of children and grandparents. Ack! So you go with the time tested method of putting them down your tucked-in shirt until you look really pregnant with some sort of alien. I picked out one tree because it was REALLY good - you do know you need to test the trees, right? One tree tastes different than the next. One can have NO flavor, and right next door there's a good, crisp, juicy, flavorful tree.

I'll give a bunch away, and going to try making my mom's apple squares tonight. I had to call three people and spend 45 minutes getting the recipe. I called my mom first, but her method of cooking is 'mix it together until it looks right'. Sigh. So I called one brother, and he didn't have it. Then I called another, who had a real handwritten recipe with measurements and temperatures and everything. I likely will even attempt to make the crust, which I am SCARED to do. No good at crusts. If it's pretty, I'll take a photo. OK, so it's not pretty. But here they are.

And the truth comes out. From my mom: I always had trouble rolling it to
fit the pan. It will come with experience but I always thought it was a pain doing it. I still say that they looked pretty good to me.

Friday, October 12, 2007

This just in - March on Washington

It's good we have various media to keep us informed.

Here's the story.

Stealing Seagull

A seagull in Scotland has developed the habit of stealing chips from a neighborhood shop.

The seagull waits until the shopkeeper isn't looking, and then walks into the store and grabs a snack-size bag of cheese Doritos.

Once outside, the bag gets ripped open and shared by other birds.

The seagull's shoplifting started early this month when he first swooped into the store in Aberdeen, Scotland, and helped himself to a bag of chips. Since then, he's become a regular. and he always takes the same type of chips.

Customers have begun paying for the seagull's stolen bags of chips because they think it's so funny.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Poster Child for Mental Illness

What's on my mind? What's in my head? Messed up chemicals, that's what. For a few brief glorious months I felt free of depression. Was only on minor doses of medications that I was going to wean off of. Then BAM two weeks ago, I start feeling a familiar feeling in the pit of my stomach, and it's not PMS. And it doesn't go away. And starts to get worse. So I double my medication while on vacation in Vegas to keep it at bay, and my psychiatrist tells me to come back soon after a recent appointment to discuss options.

It's the first time I've been depressed and not consumed by it. Perhaps because this is the first time it's mostly a chemical imbalance, and not 50% emotionally based. It's very strange. It doesn't stop the deadening, the loss of interest in things, the lack of concentration. But it's different. It's certainly not a happy place, but not a horrible one either.

I've been on medication for several years (!!!) and it still hasn't completely gone away. At my last appointment I was told this is not unusual for someone who has gone through several cycles of untreated depression, which I have (this is at least my 4th, but likely 5th - and they got more and more severe over time). But apparently there's also the issue of it potentially being something else - and I almost hate to write it - but a form of bipolar disorder (2). Apparently not everyone who is bipolar goes through the EXTREME cycles of mania - someone can have mild mild mania and severe depression. And that might be me.

So I become the poster child for mental illness. Crap.

That was written yesterday. But, after the appointment today, I stay on the regular drug for a while and get back on track, because it's not so clear at all that I have bp2 (and in fact, apparently it never is - some people take 10-15 years to get diagnosed). I want to feel free again, and laugh a lot, and I was hoping it wouldn't take drugs to help me do that. But I have to give in and let the drugs help. And realize that it's not an exact science, no matter how much I want it to be. I had a good cry at the doctor's office about it, and now I move on. And continue my cognitive behavioral therapy. And feel better. I just self medicated with dark chocolate and bought myself some nice $4 dusty purple roses off the street vendor.

As an aside, one of the many reasons I HAD to quit my old job was because my boss, who uses a wheelchair due to polio a long time ago, was EXCITED when I said I had depression because she wanted to use me to show how 'such people' could work and live normal lives. Just thinking of that raises my blood pressure. Ugh. She'd also get excited when she heard about people being affected by polio since there'd be more people like her.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


So, being that I was in Las Vegas and all, I had to write about excesses.

My Own

So, of course you have to go out to an all you can eat place at least ONCE when you are in Las Vegas. They aren't $6 anymore, but such is life. We went to one that had seafood, which was fine, but the BESTEST thing was that one of the desserts was cotton candy!!!! I had not one, not two, but three. Yup. And it was great. Two pink and one blue. I thought I'd overdone it, but I could still eat more now.

I think this calls for a haiku:

Floating on a stick
My fluffy cloud of sweetness
Cotton Candy dream

Everyone Else's

Water water nowhere and many drops to drink/bathe in/flush/shower in. We stayed in a nice hotel, being that it was a wedding weekend and all, and all I could think of was the fact that the hotel did not: 1- offer to save water by suggesting you reuse your towels 2-have a flow control on the shower so it wasn't pumping gallons of water a second 3- have low flow toilets 4- watered the sidewalks and not the plants. And why do developments want to grow GRASS in the desert? Why not appropriate plants like sagebrush, etc.?

My Own in Reaction to Above

OK, so I'm a little nuts. I felt like I had to do something, so I collected all the plastic bottles that we used and brought them back home to recycle. Yup, a little nuts. But not too nuts - they didn't weigh much!

[note: what every cotton candy lover needs - their own machine!]

Bathroom Break

OK, so, who goes to the ladies' room and sits there and has a conversation on the cell phone? Someone in my building, that's who. Very strange. I've answered the phone in the bathroom, sure, but haven't sat on the toilet having a conversation. (I only do that at home - wouldn't want people to think I'm weird, like THAT woman was.)

And speaking of the bathrooms here, they play music, I guess to cover up the noises. It's very disturbing though at the times when the Wedding March plays as you enter the bathroom. Just wrong.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Red Rocks

Non-red rocks at red rocks.

Hey, there really are red rocks at Red Rocks!

So, this park is amazingly beautiful in a desert sort of way. And the rock is incredible for climbing. Lots of stickiness, lots of neat formations, edges that don't break off (for the most part), etc. Sport climbing (up to the classic 17 pitch Epinephrine) and trad climbing (um, not sure there's a huge entire trad climb - Levitation 29?).

A short aside - when you do a first ascent, you get to name the climb. And as in the past it was a male-dominated sport, the climb names are oriented to please the male gender. So, day 1 we climbed on Panty Wall, on climbs with names like Thong, Cover My Buttress, Silk Panties, Panty Raid, etc.

Day 2, my husband and I were the only smart ones, and went to Icebox Canyon - where it's generally 15 degrees colder than any other area. But the temperature was supposed to be 90, so that was fine with us. And everyone else got attacked by the wind, but we were fine. Yay! My husband did a 5.8 to warm up, and on the way down we looked at the 5.9 next door. I decided to do it, despite how scary it looked. Sensuous Mortician was the name, and it was an excellent climb, though quite the challenge in spots. Run-out areas, and hard to find gear made it quite interesting. And then a little roofie at the end! But I did it, and was very proud. Actually, one friend who tends to scoff at what others do looked quite impressed that I had done it, so that was nice (not that I did it for that, but it was a nice bonus). My husband and I tend to climb slowly so that was it for the day.

Black Corridor Sideways (too lazy to rotate)

Day 3, winds were forecast for up to 50 mph gusts, so we went to the Black Corridor. Kind of feels like a gym - bolted, 15 feet between the wals, lots of people. Unfortunately the wind frequently blew down the corridor, so we had quite a bit of sand in our face, and it was a tad chilly. It calmed down, but unfortunately I got a migrane, so we had to leave. Too bad...

Day 4, two days later, we went to go do a 3 pitch finger crack, which my husband loves, which was down a 2 mile dirt road (in a crappy rental car), then a 45 minute hike uphill. He decided not to do it, which ultimately is a good decision, but I was pissed because he had been making noises about potentially not doing it before we went down the dirt road. Oh well. We found a one pitch climb which he did, and that ended the day/trip.

We HAVE to go back.

Close up of red rocks

Anyone need a decorated cake?

My sister just took a class and wants to practice. Here's a photo of her final exam... 'course, she lives in northern NJ, so you'd have to be within driving distance. I don't think she knows how to ship. I'm so proud.

Elvis lives

And I do too, barely...

Below are some photos of Elvis' participation in the wedding. You can see now why we need a new camera - sorry for the poor quality! But, it's ok - he was pretty good, but kind of an in-between Elvis (in-between young and old).

Elvis and the Bride

Elvis Hugs

Elvis Signs Photos

Elvis Works on Being Fat Elvis

The wedding itself was very nice - both the church wedding and the Elvis vows. The bride was beautiful, as they always are. :-) I got a reputation for being lucky at gambling - as we played the penny slots while waiting to get into the reception room. I kept increasing people's money ($1 to $1.50, $1 to $2.52, $20 to $39.50). It didn't work when I did it with my own money though - I'm better at betting with other people's money. I think because I stop at a good time rather than go on and lose all the winnings - as I did with the $5 chips that we got as favors at the wedding.

Our friends were very generous, and those of us who stayed around until Monday were invited to go see Cirque de Soleil. There are 4 or 5 shows in Las Vegas - one based around water, one erotic one (not to go with with parents!), one based on Beatles music, and the one we went to - Mystique. If you've never been to a show, and like acrobatics, you should go. Your mouth with drop open in amazement. At least mine did. One example - how someone can hold onto a pole and stretch their body out horizontally and keep it there is amazing.

My husband and I went one night into Vegas and walked the strip. These nice men handed me a special offer to get $500 to just take off my clothes! Wow, what a bargain - hell, I don't mind being naked - so got some money to gamble with. They said there was no video camera, and why would they lie?

I'll write about the rock climbing tomorrow. Gotta go catch up on blogs. Oh yeah, and work. Already had a 'surprise meeting' that I had forgotten to put on my calendar..ack!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Viva Las Vegas

Off to Vegas, baby. Elvis will perform a wedding ceremony, and there will be rock climbing. See you next week.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Tera's a Clever Girl

1. I am dying to know about the birth of your love for wildlife and/the outdoors.
Growing up in a family of six kids, I think the cheapest thing for my parents to do was to take us all for a hike/fishing/apple picking/strawberry picking/to the zoo/whatever. So we did stuff outdoors a lot. Plus we had a field behind our house and we'd play there. But I never camped in a tent until I was 18 or 19 and it freaked me out! I quickly got over that though, and learned to love it. Nature is great, even the wildlife. :-)

2. If you could pick 3 of your blogger friends to spend an evening out on the town with, who would pick, and what would you do?
Well, since there are four of the Quad, I wouldn't want to start a Quadwar (ha), so I'd leave them out of consideration. And since the person who asks you the question is always included, I'd add Susan, Heather, and DD to Tera. I think no matter what we did it would be fun. Crazy weird, but fun. Perhaps a Chippendale show? Nothing like gay, well built men dancing for you. If there are any with chest hair, they would be mine though.

3. Your best friend is considering leaving her husband because she is not happy anymore...what advice do you give her?
I would ask her if she has talked things out with her husband, and told him what she needs/why she's not happy to see what the response would be. If she didn't like the response or if didn't seem to make a difference, and didn't have kids, then listen to herself, as she only has one life to live. If she did have kids, take some time and think about it. But saying that, I know how hard it is to listen to yourself.

Recently there was an article about marriage and love. A woman celebrating her 10 year anniversary. A quote from it:

I know of plenty of people who "won," who got the mate of their desire, the one they believed they needed in order to feel loved. And yet, the winning didn't change anything. They still don't feel loved.

People say, "Oh, it doesn't matter." They say, "You shouldn't need a man in your life to complete you." I believed that for a while, then beat myself up for wanting -- really wanting -- love. That was a big waste of time. If you need love, you need love. I don't think it's anything to be ashamed of.

My life is better with him, that's all. I am a better person with him. I don't think a sense of self-worth comes from being happily married for 10 years. I think it works the other way around.

4. What are your 5 favorite movies of all time?
Believe it or not, but this is the hardest question for me! I see movies, I love them, I move on. Two that I know for sure are Grease and the Sound of Music. Cheesy musicals. Gotta love 'em. Shrek would likely be the third. Fourth and Fifth rotate. (I like weird, cheesy, intellectual, sappy, funny, beautiful movies, though perhaps not all in one package. Examples: Truly, Madly, Deeply; 32 Short Films about Glenn Gould; Princess Bride; Amadeus)

5. What is one characteristic that you possess which sets you apart from the rest?
Brutal honesty. Sometimes it takes me a while to be honest, either with myself, or others, but eventually I get there.

Interview rules: 1) If you would like to be interviewed leave me a comment saying "interview me".2) I will respond by emailing you 5 questions, I get to pick the questions.3) Update your blog with a post containing the answers.4) Include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.5) When others comment asking to be interviewed, you ask them 5 questions.