Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Not only is tomorrow Thanksgiving Day but k_sra also chose the word gratitude for the scavenger hunt. I will have to provide photos later, but I did want to express my gratitude for the following:
- my family
- my friends, both in flesh and virtual
- my boyfriends/partners/fuckbuddies
- my doctors/therapist/trainer who help keep me together
- my colleagues
- my cat (! yes, even him)
And for all the blessings I have been given in terms of luck and intelligence and capability and perseverance.

Have a wonderful holiday, and if you need assistance during these lean, hard times, do not be afraid to ask for it. You are responsible for creating your luck and your present and your future. As I told my doorman friend when he said he wasn't going anywhere for Thanksgiving, and had nothing to do for the weekend, create a life for yourself! Either that, or be happy with bending over and letting circumstances or life fuck you over. (I really told him that - how sweet am I?)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Twitter Tuesday - related to climbing

So, sitting in the booth at Biscuit World one morning of my climbing trip, I see a couple policemen outside their cars in the parking lot. They had the big flashlights out, and one seemed to be selling the good points of this one flashlight. I resume eating, and next time I look out the window one of the policemen is alone, and is hitting himself on the back with the flashlight. So, it's good to know that police brutality in WV means police on self violence.

One weekend I climbed with a woman I hadn't met before. I'm not sure I told this story before but too lazy to look it up. She and her partner (male) of 20+ years have never lived together in the same house, but live in the same city. They each have their own space. And love each other. It was interesting that this example came to me when I was thinking about possible alternative types of relationships I could have in the future.

So climbing over my bed yesterday, with my comforter on one side of the bed hanging over, I don't know where the edge is so I fall off and smack my head on the window sill. I do many dangerous things, but get hurt doing silly things. I have a nice big bump on my head - felt it when I put my helmet on this morning.

I'm off to Joshua Tree for Thanksgiving weekend - staying at my friend's house with 8+ other people. We'll have a massive turkey day, and do some climbing the next couple days. I have a red eye back and will be in the office Tuesday, in body, but likely not in mind.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Saturday Hunt: Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

At this conference a colleague/friend attended. For a housewarming present she made me a beautiful little rug which was really super wonderful of her. And not atrocious at all. It's hand hooked (she likes to call herself a hooker because of it) and the first one she's ever done - she's so precocious! I'm proud to have it, and it's right by my bed so I have a warm place to step on when I get out of bed.

I'm sending it back to k_sra...

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Hi there - exhausted. Lying in bed, ready to sleep. Still have 1.5 more days to go. Biggest news is that some idiot stole 3 laptops from our supposedly secure business space in the hotel. I say idiot because there's security cameras and since they had a window of time to review, they have a photo. Worst part of it was one computer was my boss' personal one. She's working on her PhD and working full time, and going almost nuts, and lost much work when the computer disappeared. So she's home taking care of that business, while I cover for her with the other business.

I'll promise to do the scavenger hunt when I have a brain. Can I choose Cricket to choose the next word or is she not playing?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Wow, I have lips

It's really dry here. A colleague from afar just gave me her extra tube of Ginger Mentha Lip Shine bought at Bath and Body Works. It has sparkles in it! It makes my lips stand out without seeming like a hooker (ie, you can't tell there's sparkles). Damn, don't want to get addicted to it. $7.50 a tube. As you can maybe tell, I don't normally wear lipstick (or any makeup, for that matter).

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Pet peeve at conference centers

They use containers for hot water for tea that have been used billions of time for coffee, so if you drink herbal tea, or have a sensitive palate, like me for both, it tastes like coffee.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Flowers to take your mind off my question

Straw Flowers
The pick your own flower farm in Maine.
So, anyone know why my car sometimes smells like cat urine inside after it rains? No, my cat never peed in my car.

Likely won't post until Sunday. Behave yourselves. Or have fun. Or both.
I have a guest post at Not Fainthearted on the 19th.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Childhood loves

I finished a quilt last Thursday for my colleague who is due to pop any moment. She's great (most importantly laughs at my jokes, and also is a very calming influence for both my boss and myself) so I was willing to spend time on making her a quilt. (plus it got me out of paying hard cash to contribute to the car seat 'everyone' bought her). It's below.

It came out really nice. There's 2 types of African fabric (she's a daughter of a Kenyan and something else). It has childish flannel fabric on the back. It's very pretty but so boring to make. I hate patterns.

BUT, that's not the point here. When I gave it to her she remarked that she just wanted to hang it on the wall. I told her in no uncertain terms that she had to USE it. I've said this before, but quilts are made to be used and loved. It's the best when a child develops an emotional connection with something you've made. So the four of us had a discussion about childhood items. My colleague said she once threw away her roommate's blanket that she had kept from childhood because it was all ratty, etc. and OF COURSE her roommate was so upset and fished it out of the garbage.

I admitted that I still have my blanket from when I was little. Please see the photo below.

I came soooo close to throwing it away when I moved out of my husband's house. But I just couldn't do it. My rationale was that I could use it for packing material. Which I did. Of course, now it sits staring at me, wondering what will happen to it next. And I don't know. I remember loving it soo much - not quite to death, but certainly one foot in the grave.

Do you still have anything you loved from childhood? That kept you warm, safe secure?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Scavenger Hunt - next week's word

I was tagged to choose the word. As I will be at a conference, I'm not sure when I'll be able to post my entry, but I've chosen a very special word.

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious [suːpɚˌkælɪˌfrædʒəlˌɪstɪkˌɛkspiːˌælɪˈdoʊʃəs/)]

And in an anime dance mix:

An award!

Thank you to both Mrs. and Tara for this wonderful award, which is to acknowledge attitude and gratitude... I humbly accept this award... But since I'm feeling a bit out of sorts today, I'm not going to pass it on for fear I forget someone important... Hope that's ok, and not a bad attiutde :-)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Saturday Hunt - Lacuna

When you go up in an elevator, what do you see in the gap between the doors? What is in the gap between the elevator and the walls you are whizzing past? You can't stop when you want, only when it wants you to...

My body fat percentage

Average is 20-27.
Quote from my trainer: Not bad. Could be better.

Quick post - 'to shark'

I actually have to get something out the door today, so working hard... Here's something from my old blog...

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The verb 'to shark'
OK, I was belaying someone up a climb, and the people next to me were talking. And of course, you have to listen in. This one woman was telling this other woman about this third person she knew, who liked to "shark" people. What this person does is when she's lowering someone off a climb, she makes a fin with her hand and, well, you know... stuffs it in the person's crack.

So weird, crazy, and so many possibilities for using it in other contexts!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

On a completely sort of unrelated note - counter is +1

Bra again.

For G, wherever he may be

Bonus points to him if he knows where it came from. I just got it off the playlist for my favorite Wed AM program on WFMU.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Graffiti for Evil-E

Actually, is it graffiti or is it art? These figures appear randomly. Obviously this one's on the street. I like it a lot, and am happy to see it every time I cross that street. I once in a university level photography class took a photo of a message someone had painted on the sidewalk, and there was much discussion about why I took it. Sometimes graffiti like that (that makes you think, or at least stop for a second to think) I think is useful.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A song for me and you

I have noone to call

So I have to write out to you all. Weeping in my office. Will these fucking emotions never get stabilized? I'd so rather be happy high all the time. It's not happening any time soon, or even again, since that's why I'm taking the medication.

Oh, I give up

My first name is Pamela. I just started using a personal gmail account and sometimes forget that I'm signed in there when making comments on blogs. And I'm tired of being freaked about it. It's just a first name. Jeepers creepers. But I prefer NoR in blogland... thanks!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Twittering the night before

- [Adding this Tues] - Today is Veteran's Day. I helped a veteran with directions on the way to work today. Felt good. I forgot to say thank you to HIM though.

- I spent Saturday all by myself. And it was fine. I went to a store that sells German food, and bought myself some brats, beet salad, mustard and a beer. The guy at the checkout asked me if I was going to a themed party and had to bring a little bit of stuff. I said No, I'm making a nice dinner for myself. It seemed to embarrass him.

- My 91 year old neighbor, Clara, asked me if I get my exercise by walking up and down the stairs because she can hear every step. Then she said she hears it when I turn the light switch on and off at my place. Oh dear. I fear for the days either 1) when a new noisy neighbor moves in or 2) I have a boytoy/boyfriend who stays over.

- Later that day as I was taking down a cabinet it fell on my knee. I yelled 'fuck me' twice. Then really loud laughter after my friend made some kind of comment. Wonder what Clara thought of that.

- My trainer is not shy about expressing himself at the gym. Loudly. And he generally has pessimistic comments. Last week I nearly died laughing when some other trainers were kidding him, saying that he should write on book on how bad life is and how to commit suicide - and it'd be a best seller as a book on CD or as an upload to a car navigator because it would tell you when to turn right to go off a bridge. OK, I can't explain it as funny as it was, but maybe I was just in the mood for suicide jokes. Luckily he can laugh at himself, and knows it's all true.

- Secret ingredient in the apple pie I made for my friend. Shhhh... don't tell. Cardamom.

- Just read The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell. Really good. Thoughtful. Combining religion and science fiction.

- I had my friend take a picture of me sitting on my front steps. My brother had given me some Christmas cards that you insert photos into. So special people will get me for the holidays. ;-)

- How pathetic am I? I just started migrating to a personal gmail account (not my NoRegrets account) and was chatting with a friend. And got soooo excited when the faces were animated! I loved the one where the tongue sticks out. And it winks!!! Oh oh oh (excitement), I didn't try and combine the two... next time.

- Needless to say, my mood has evened out finally. Friday night the 1.5 week funk ended. Of course, we change the meds a little more on the 12th, so I may go through the whole cycle again. I sincerely hope not.

- Here's a song for you. Gotta love Mac Davis. ;-)

Job Market 2009

If you haven't seen this, it's a good one. Although, if that is your line of work, I'm so sorry. Yes, the economy sucks. Of course I started the kitchen before things got so bad, and gotta finish it now!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Next phase in kitchen work - cabinets

Howdy all. So, it's kinda like one step forward, two steps back when you're doing a kitchen. I was feeling kinda nice and semi normal about cooking. Even made a pie for my helper friend. And then we attack the cabinets.

So, notice something missing? Yup. We had to take down the ones that were over the stove so we could move them over so they are correctly centered over the stove. (Remember everything was moved over to accommodate the dishwasher?)

What's so exciting is what we found. Yes! Space above so I can easily put in a ducted vent system. Yes! Wood that the cabinets are screwed into, so they can be easily put back up. No! Not to code wiring for the vent - oops, that'll need to be changed.

Another very good reason we are moving these cabinets is all the nastiness that's up there from the frying that the previous owners had done without a true vented system. What you see below is the side of one cabinet after I sprayed it with commercial strength degreaser. YUCKY! (hmm... maybe I should be using gloves to do this - my fingers are going numb...)

So, now I get to spend more money sooner than I thought. I have to buy the vent! And the ducts! Oh well... I'm doing my part to boost the economy.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Saturday Hunt - Water

There are so many ways to do the word water, but I just chose two:
First, there's what happens without water. A plant that is virtually indestructible will wither if it's not watered for a month or two (who knows how long).

Then there's the mystery water bowl in the basement. It's a mystery because it never goes down. It's my cat's water bowl. Yet he pees. So, he must drink. It refills itself. Anyone want to buy it for $10,000? It's a bargain!!!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Something Uplifting, and ripe for un-PC comments

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Students at the Ohio State School for the Blind screamed with joy when they learned their marching band will make history at the 2010 Tournament of Roses Parade.

It will be the first time a blind marching band takes part in the flower-bedecked parade in Pasadena, Calif., said the school's music director, Carol Agler.

It's the only blind marching band in the whole country, she said.

Sighted assistants help band members stay in formation.

Stacy Houser, the parade's music committee chairwoman, said Monday she hopes the selection will be an inspiration to others.

The band and the rest of the student body got the news during an assembly Monday when Agler held her cell phone up to a microphone for the announcement from Gary DiSano, president of the 2010 parade. The school's students range from kindergartners to high schoolers.

Macy McClain, the band's flute and piccolo player, compared the honor to being picked for "American Idol." "Except you don't have to stand in line," she said.

The band was formed in 2005 when the football team from the neighboring Ohio School for the Deaf was looking for a band to play at its games. Band members have played in parades before, though never in anything as long as the nearly 6-mile Rose Parade, so they'll be practicing on treadmills, Agler said.

Agler said the school will need to raise an estimated $1,500 in travel costs for each person making the trip, including the 17 band members and a number of alumni to beef up their ranks.

And here's a zen moment. Seemed like a good day for that too. Although, I just viewed it and it seems less zen than I thought - kinda seasicky.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Seeking the best emotional metaphor

Emotional Bulemia?
It seems since the divorce became final I've been binging and purging on emotion. Acknowledging and wallowing in the connections I've had (not just with my husband), and purging them.

Emotional Slalom Course?
It seems since my divorce became final I've been hurtling down a mountainside, past all these relationships that sometimes I go right by, and sometimes slap me in the side/face/whatever. The ultimate goal I'm going towards - not sure.

Sailing Alone with my Emotions?
Nah, that one doesn't work.

Emotional Funerals?
It seems that since my divorce became final I've been killing off fantasies/relationships and attending their funerals. All in the hope of moving on. To what, I don't know.

I wish I were a writer. I wish I had the poetic tools to describe what I'm going through. It's not fun. It's not easy. I guess I'm trying to look at my life head on - realistically - and not hide in whatever labels I've been putting on pieces of it. Crushes I might have had I look at and see them for what they are. Feelings I have I am acknowledging and letting flow over me, to see what comes next. I want to hide in a cave (my home) and not come out for a while. But I go to the gym to maintain a semblance of normalcy for myself, though I don't act normal. I'm trying to be like the willow tree I suppose - to be strong but bend in the wind. But it feels sometimes like there's beetles burrowing up my trunk - destroying me from the inside out. It feels sometimes like there's some yewt carving a swear word on my trunk on the outside. I have a feeling of cleansing myself, but kinda with alcohol after walking through some prickle bushes.

I'm acknowledging that I'm alone, that I don't have someone to love right now. Except myself. And dammit, that's a tough one. It's so much easier to be good to other people. Because they deserve it more than me (yes, I know that's not true). It's also really hard to hug yourself, unless you have reallllly long arms. And cats love you because you feed them or because you have a warm lap they can sit on, despite how much they might protest otherwise. So is their affection real? Whatever. It helps.

It's nice that there's tremendous external/national change to think about.

The Election teaches me grammar

I was going to write, "isn't it *an* historic moment?". But before doing so, I googled, and came up with:
You probably know the grammar rule that says you use an before vowel sounds (e.g. an accident, an item, an hour) and a otherwise; e.g. a book, a report, a hotel.

Following this rule, we would say "a historic", not "an historic".

Words of three or more syllables that start with h are treated differently by some speakers, though. For example, which of these pairs of sentences sounds correct to you?

* It is a historic occasion.
* It is an historic occasion.

* We can't agree on a hypothesis.
* We can't agree on an hypothesis.

A quick bit of Googling reveals that — as of March 2008 — the phrase "a historic" is used on 5.1 million pages (68%), and "an historic" on 2.34 million pages (32%).

There is a clear preference here in favour of "a historic". Even so, roughly one-third of the usage is for the other form. This supports the view that which form you use is little more than a personal preference.

Both usages are sufficiently common to be considered correct in modern English.

How fitting that both are acceptable.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I Voted. Did you?

If not, go vote...
I voted with a paper ballot. Just realized the thing didn't tell me which way to put it in. CRAP. Hopefully my vote counted.
Oh, and WFMU has a special web only Electile Dysfunction stream today.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Climbing with hornets

I went climbing on Saturday with some friends locally - a place where you can climb for a half day or so and then you're done. It has some great climbs so it's definitely fun to go to. And easy easy access.

Well, there were many bugs flying around the rocks. Ladybugs and what I just looked up and found out to be hornets.

Ladybugs. You may think, aw, how nice, but if so you have never climbed in the fall when they start swarming. And you've never had one bite you. It doesn't hurt ALL that much, but it's a bite nonetheless. So you swear at them and swat them away.

But hornets. Ladybugs are much less scary looking. Holy crap. Noone really knew what they were, but they didn't SEEM interested in stinging. For my third climb, I did this one route with a big big overhang - burly. The scariest part for me though was the first 3 bolts on the vertical wall, down where the hornets were. I kept having to say to myself 'it will all be ok' to convince myself that it would be so I could start the climb. And it was. And I completed the climb, with a few rests.

The next climb I top-roped. My burly-does-my-plumbing-friend had led a mixed route that was 11a (mixed=bolts and gear). I had never done it before so really really wanted to do it. Thing is, the wall was hornet land. And they would go in and out the rock - landing on what could be your next handhold. It didn't matter to me that everyone else said that they weren't interested in stinging. It didn't matter to me that one guy said he put his hand on two and they didn't sting. It didn't matter to me that it looked like they were mating and more interested in that (see below ** for verification of this). I was fucking freaked out. I swear to god it was on par with jumping out of an airplane for me.

I made it past the first roof - I was climbing really well. And then a nice ledge and you start up a wall where all the hornets were. I stood there while some flew around me. One even buzzed my ear. Each time they came close I'd either flinch or scream. Most of my friends know about my screaming when I fall or around bugs so they kinda just laughed at me. I didn't know if I could even start it, but I did, and did NOT put my hand on one. As I climbed I had to with every move overcome the fear.

Finally I fell due to a hard move. And as the hornets flew around, I looked down and said, I can't do this. Not because of the climbing, but the mental stress of overcoming my hornet fear. He just looked at me and told me to wait for the break (they'd kinda go in waves). So, since I hated the idea of giving up due to bugs and I really wanted to try the climb, I continued. Fell once or twice again, but did the climb.

And I was toast. I did another climb on another wall that didn't have that many hornets at all. But then there was another hard climb my friend and my ex had put up, and I really wanted to do it. I tied in, and went up to the first ledge. And the hornets buzzed around. And I realized mentally I was just DONE. Physically I could have done it, because I was strong that day, but mentally, kaput geworden. I untied and stepped down. And felt like shit, but also ok with not putting myself through the terror. Which it was for me, especially given my semi-fragile mental state - terrifying.

Anyway, that was my day. I did have fun, believe it or not. But I'm being nice to myself and not biking home today, because I just don't feel like it. Sometimes it's good to just say No.

Adult males do not participate in nest maintenance, foraging, or caretaking of the larvae. In early to mid-autumn they leave the nest and mate during "nuptial flights". Males die shortly after mating. The workers and queens survive at most until mid to late autumn; only the fertilized queens survive over winter.

Simpsons Halloween

If you didn't see the Simpsons special last night, oh my god, the transformers one was hilarious! Despite my mood I was laughing hysterically at several of the things - like the cars that transformed and Ned and Homer were sticking our their arses, and the plane that landed, transformed and started fighting with another, and then stopped to barf up the passengers. Oh boy.

Anyway, I'm so not exciting lately. Sorry!

Trying to be Zen

I wish I could delete the sound from it... turn off your speaker and just look at the image. This is from Maine. Oh, and BTW, do I add to the counter if I forgot my SHIRT? I'm so pissed because I wanted to look 'put together' today to improve my mood, which is generally pissy or depressed depending on the minute it seems (ah, gotta love changing meds).

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Saturday Hunt - Street

I'm boring this week. This is a photo of my one way street.