Friday, July 31, 2009

Saturday Hunt - Winter

A reminder of winter. That alas, I broke.


Short post since I'm already at work. But at the end of the work day I'm officially on vacation! I'm so excited and so ready for it. To get away from it ALL. I'm going to San Francisco, and going for a few days to Sacramento to climb. I'm also meeting a stranger guy for lunch. Story is the radio talk show I listen to on WFMU occasionally does this match up thing where they ask listeners to call in and say where they are going and ask other listeners in that area to call to offer to show them around. I called in. Some weird guy called in to say I should go down to the pier and meet one of the street performers which maybe I might have done if the guy hadn't said he used to be one and he was NOT someone I'd want to meet (no humor, arrogant, etc.). Since there weren't many calls that day, I called back to say if that guy was representative, I'm not sure I'd want to do that. So some semi-normal seeming guy called to say he would show me around - meeting in a public place of course. We exchanged emails. I googled and found his twitter feed which scared me (lots of talk of sex etc.) and told him I wasn't up for sex or sex talk. Eventually he sent a normal sounding email and we talked on the phone, so I figured what the hell. I can't die or get raped over lunch - and I'm a good judge of character, so I'll know when I meet him. Wish me luck! I also have a few days on my own in SF, and my friend B is taking Friday off so we'll get some extra time to hang out (whatever she wants to do - I have NO agenda, except for the rock climbing). My biggest challenge is packing for a week in two carry ons and being in really hot (Sacramento) to cool (SF). ACK! All the best. I'm not promising any blogging, though I might do the Scavenger Hunt tonight. If not, then when I return.

So much for a short post.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Death of Love

I learned something a while back. The first guy I was completely in love with let me move away. Yet whenever we were in the same area we'd get together and it would be great. So much so, he came to visit with the idea of finally figuring out us. And decided again, no. Despite my devastation, I remained friends with him, because I'm not one to give up relationships easily. The last time I saw him the way I knew him, I still felt the way I had always felt. I mean, I had had boyfriends, but it just wasn't the same.

Soon after that, he came down with Creuzfeld Jakob's disease, which eats away at your brain. When he called to tell me he was sick, I had no problem at all saying I love you. Because I always had. His parents told me that I should come visit him, and I did. He was still talking and moving when I arrived and he was excited to see me. And for some reason the nurses assigned to him were really small! So, they needed help helping him in the shower, and it was no problem doing that. He needed assistance eating, but he still had spirit. I would have happily lived my life with him like that.

But then later that day he had a horrible seizure, and it was the beginning of the real end. He lasted another month I think. I went out for the memorial, and everyone treated me like I was the widow. Sitting with his parents up front, photos in the album of me and him - everything. It was crazy. But I felt like a widow. And they needed a widow. I wished I had had the time to be with him.

But really, he had to die for me to move on with my life. We weren't going to be together, and his dying finally made me believe it. How strange to write.

And the lesson learned from that is sometimes you have to think of the person being dead in order to move on. Or at least I do. Because otherwise...there's always pain, and sometimes hope. So, for example, I'll think of my ex as dead. And if I see him in the gym alive and climbing, I'll be amazed and might have to worship him since he's risen from the dead. And that will really piss him off, since he is so religious. Oh well...

I swear this will be my last super serious post. I've just had to get stuff out.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Chasing away fear

My friend with the airplane and I went on some adventures this past weekend. He made a comment about feeling uncomfortable with me in the plane. I asked him why yesterday, and not surprisingly, part of it was because of my issue with motion sickness - me barfing in the plane. But not necessarily because of the barf, but more because it means I'm not enjoying it as much as him. I told him that noone can enjoy it as much as him, but also that I'm still getting used to it. When we ran through turbulence this time, I wasn't scared. But I was in the past.

And that got me thinking about wondering if my whole life is about standing up to my fears. My fear of being alone (learning how to be social), my fear of being social (my fear that noone will like me), the fear that noone will like me (speaking my mind in spite of it), the fear of speaking my mind (getting in touch with what I'm thinking and doing the best I can), my fear of not being perfect (learning how to relax the standards, given that I am human), the fear of being human (learning that I have limitations), the fear of having limitations (focusing on the things I CAN do), fearing things I do not yet know how to do or have enough (recent) experience in (taking it slowly)....

I could go on.

People are sometimes surprised to hear how much fear I have. How much anxiety. My adaption is taking things slowly. Recognizing when I'm uncomfortable, and slowing it down. I sometimes get too wrapped up in fear - like when something new has to be addressed, like riding in a small plane, getting a different kind of migraine, etc. And I have to get over it. Some things take more time than others. There are some I've given up trying to get over - like riding a horse - given everything else there is to do in life. But I can't stop addressing the fears inherent in how I deal with myself and my relationships. I gotta keep trying.

Monday, July 27, 2009


Life events including my ex deciding he doesn't want to interact with me but not telling me that, have as you can tell made me think again about my life and men.

I've only had a couple men in my life that I've felt a deep soul-mingling connect with (and no, my ex was not one of them). Have you ever experienced that? Where you can feel your 'self' touching the other 'self'. Where you can sense so much more than words can ever convey. I guess these are the true loves maybe - I've had it with my mom and my dad, so it's not a sexual thing.

In fact, the first time I ever had it with a guy, I ended up breaking up with him because the physical part in our relationship was missing. I just was simply not attracted to him physically. Yet still, when I said to him (on the phone, alas, because at the time we were living in different states) that it really was the end, I felt his 'self' rip away from me. I should try and convey it in an art piece or something. Or draw it. It was the worst feeling imaginable. I often wondered afterwards if I made the right decision, because isn't that closeness enough? I mean, it was amazing to have. But I want it all with a partner - I want connections on all levels. And I hope to have it someday. I've made mistakes along the way, and perhaps the right combination will never come along, but I'll wait for it this time.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Dear Diary

I've been looking at old diaries to see what my life has been all about. Boys figure pretty prominently. A major life crisis - there's a boy. Often. And then there was my marriage. I was married in fall 2002.

August 2003:

But still not sleeping well. Waking up early, etc. I keep thinking about [EX] and I. I experience people that it's easy to talk to and long for that in my marriage. Then I think you can't have a perfect marriage and start wondering again and keep going on. [...] I keep making lists in my head comparing back and forth. Stupid. Either I'm in this or I'm not. If I'm going to jump into it, it has to be now because otherwise I'll always wonder. Try it for a month and see what happens. If you don't try, nothing will happen. Otherwise it's all an excuse for being lazy.

May 2005:

I've been trying things that I know to make things better with us. Yes they are better than 1.5 years ago. But I am not happy. Still. And because the methods that I know are not working or being rejected, I'm giving up. I'm stuck. I am in limbo and waiting for you to take over and lead us into a better marriage.

Nov 2006:

I just feel dead. The living dead. I see people kissing and I don't remember what it feels like to kiss and enjoy it. I don't see any really happy marriages.

[April 2007: Left home for the first time.]

I was talking with a friend last night, about life, and men, and my marriage, and she reminded me that I had doubts even before I was married. And apparently I said that if I called off the wedding it would hurt my mother. It hurt me to be in a marriage that wasn't a marriage. He was and is a good man, just not my good man. I will never put someone else before me again. And I don't mean that in a 'I hate people' sort of way. Hopefully you understand.

Saturday Hunt-Summer

I don't normally do typical summer things, but this weekend I went to the beach. Nothing says summer like the beach.

One of these set of feet is mine...

Jaws is alive and not well - he's caged.

Still life with jellyfish.

Friday, July 24, 2009

I don't exist for a while

Well, seems my ex decided he doesn't want to be in contact with me. But doesn't really tell me that. I just have to infer from his actions. Which were not responding to a request I sent, an offer I sent, and thanking me for the sour cherry jam I left in his mailbox while he was away. I went to the gym last night, which is the night he usually goes, and just ignored him, which was very petty of me. But it touches a nerve, since that's what he did during our whole fucking marriage. I don't really give a shit if men are from mars. They live in this fucking world and in my opinion can learn to express what they are feeling. Or at least try. And continue trying.

And on my part, I need to know what I want, and what I need, and forgive yet not forget, and try, but don't run over my own needs in the process. So, thinking about it, I left a message on his home number today and told him I had left jam in his mailbox, and also that I'm assuming he doesn't want to be in contact with him. And wished him all the best and to let me know when/if he ever wanted to be in contact. That might not have been the best solution, but I thought it was pretty good and better than nothing.

I'm hoping that all my life experiences with men continue to make me grow and maybe someday lead to a relationship that is lasting and loving in physical, mental, and emotional ways. I can't sit around and say poor me for too long, because that's not living. And since I've worked so hard to learn how to live, I don't think I should go back to the desire to not live. I just get sad sometimes. And have to accept that will happen, know that it's there, and move on, but remembering the past, all the good and the bad. The love and the hate. The joy and the sorrow. The pain and the pleasure.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Follow up

Well, I never wrote anything after my rants about my life. Turns out the big thing I was angry about didn't really exist. It was a misunderstanding - which I didn't realize until Wednesday. I felt horrible the whole weekend, and even Monday and Tuesday because of this. I was thinking about it all weekend. It affected my sleep. It affected my waking hours.

Until by Tuesday I said to myself that really truly I need to change my attitude. And I have. I go in early, get work done, and ignore any personal feelings I might have. OK, not ignore. I push them away. Meaning, I acknowledge that they are there, and then push them away. My new attitude is that they don't rule me.

That's not to say I won't fall into similar traps in the future. But for now, at least this week, things have gone better. I was almost sick with worry because Wednesday AM is my normal meeting with my boss. But it was fine. It was official. And she followed up on something she said in her email - about reducing my work load. I had written back that there's nothing that can be transferred to someone else, and it just needs to get done. And she came in with ideas and we adjusted some things and some deadlines got pushed back. I still have a lot of work, but I'm working, rather than obsessing. We have our differences, but there is good.

And I am truly trying to let things go. Today we had a conference call with bigwigs, trying to create partnerships. I went to push the phone so I could talk, and I hung us up instead of un-muting. She did a big sigh and tapped her foot, and she was extremely irritated, and it irritated me that she got so upset about it when it's a stupid simple mistake, but I let it go. Really I think I did.

Is it the medication or is it me? I don't really care. I just know what I'm doing. OK, so I do care a bit, but I'm right now taking all the credit for it. I have the power.

FB update I can't quite write

No you CANNOT have a bite of my peach.

I truly have an amazing peach that I am about ready to eat right now. I mean a piece of fruit people!!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Training stories

Tuesday I trained with my trainer. He occasionally does one thing (and not just with me) where you lie face down on one of those workout benches, but only halfway on. And the goal is to exercise your lower back. And you stay on the bench by him sitting on your legs.

So one. Two. Three.

Then, uh oh.

Get off my legs! And I roll onto the floor. And fart (SBD).

He knew exactly what was going on the second I said to get off my legs, and he just stood there laughing. I thought it was very nice of me to warn him...

Later on I called him a doofus for something, which is one of my 'words'. A few minutes later we're talking, and he calls me a doofessa. First time I've ever had someone call me that. It's a great word.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Baby baby don't get hooked on me...

So, as part of my relaxing weekend, I made dinner for my friends with 7 mo twins and just over 2 yo boy. So much for relaxing! Whew...

But, best part was that the two year old (I'll call him Cowboy) decided that night to have a crush on me. Pam this, Pam that, Pam... [I'm not gonna make him say Pamela]. So, my friend decides to have Cowboy sing all his songs for me, and puts him on a 'stage' - the cooler. He happily sang his three songs (Twinkle Twinkle, ABC, and oops, forgetting the last one).

I decided to give him a little attention back, and so told him to jump off into my arms and I would catch him. With very little hesitation, Cowboy jumped. And of course I had to lift him into the air. Wheeee!!!!

And then over and over and over and over... I tried moving the cooler to the other side of the deck and told him if he brought the cooler over to me I'd catch him. Kids don't logic well. I barely had enough time to get to the other side of the deck before he jumped. I looked at my friends and asked 'how do I make him stop?' They just looked at me, kinda dead eyed, since you know, they had dealt with the kids all day.

Finally I tried simply moving the cooler by the table and sitting on it. He was distracted. Whew. And all was well.

The next morning, I could barely lift my arms. Wow... great workout!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Morning, Glory

Every morning now there's at least 5 flowers. Different colors. I like the deep purple the best. The bees like them all. I saw a bee go in one, and leave pollen footprints on the petals. Neat.

A horse walks into a bar

and the bartender looks at it and says 'why the long face'?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

All managers have their Dilbert day

This is one of the issues I have with my boss. Now, let me just say that I vent in the extreme here. Given what it could be, my boss is amazing. But that still doesn't make it comfortable for me in the long haul. And her attitude towards me is soured given all the mistakes I've made in the last year+ with all the stress I had been under. I came to the conclusion Friday that I need to do something to make real change. I'm still not sure yet how to define that - whether it be getting a new job or surviving on a half time job (my job is split in two there). I know how I felt when my job was on the line - scared but also relieved. That was about a year ago. Right now I'm stronger, and I can make change. To what and how, not sure... I'll be working on that and maybe daydreaming here. IN the meantime, my attitude is that I have to work extra hours to get done what my boss expects to get done. And that's that and I won't whine about it (unless I get really tired). I've had it realllly good for three years, and it's time to suck it up. Work/life balance can be tilted to one end and I can still survive. Just watch me.

And I believe someone will love me, and I'm not a sheep... ;-)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Saturday hunt - obsession

Shoes are an obsession for many women.

Seems that Smurf likes shoes too, but can't judge the size accurately.

Friday, July 17, 2009

It's business, not personal

This will be my new mantra at work. It's all business. I don't care about social interaction with my boss. It's all business. I need to respond professionally all the time, and when I can't, I need to step back until I can.

Though this doesn't stop me from gloating internally when she notes yesterday after a little rant by me about how learning the email newsletter system was taking so much time and how that is why I am not meeting other objectives and her responding that I should have estimated time better, that when she looked at the next iteration and wanted changes to the format I noted to all that I do not have the time for it, alas, because it has already taken longer than I expected and other things have fallen by the wayside.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

My life with Billy

So, I'm going to start focusing this blog on the Smurf and Billy. That'll be the entire blog. Howz that?

Maybe not.

But I will tell a Billy story or two. He was there at the window when I got out of the cab, waiting for me to come in. It's so nice to have a moving creature (vs. plants) be waiting for you. Be interested in having you home.

This morning, he was all frantic after I fed him. Kept wanting me to go downstairs. I thought he had just gotten spoiled by getting a whole can of food at once when I was away. Finally I went down there (I give him the can to lick as I'm leaving) and it turned out he had stepped into the water and tipped the bowl so the cat food dish was full of water. Heaven forbid!! I made it work so all was well and he ate.

And he loved me forever.

Or at least until the next meal.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Back from the conference. Whenever I would get a little bored, I'd stare at the floor. This is the carpet.

What's this?

I realized I really love the juxtaposition of old and new, especially in buildings. So, took some photos. Or rather, I took photos and realized I loved the juxtaposition.

Old and new again.

Some more old building.

Detail of neat old building.

Neat design on concrete wall.

Came back to a couple tomatoes. One I had to throw out because too much gone. The other has three bites in it (the left one). The big one is clean and clear... We'll see how it is..

So, knee is better, because I realized it's a pinched nerve and I've attacked it. Still will go to the doctor to just have it all checked out. Lesson learned. Sorry I'm not writing more. Have to go to bed... Missed you all!

Monday, July 13, 2009


Sorry, I'm rushing around - had family in town this weekend, and off to Chicago today for 3 days. Couple things though:

- Go see Up if you haven't. I think they marketed it way different than it really is. I had little interest in seeing it, but went yesterday with the family and really liked it.

- Knee hurts more and more each day (up to 500 mg of ibuprofin at night, and will likely go up), so going to the doctor on Friday. Earliest I could go. I am wondering if it's a pinched nerve. Don't know though.

- Talked to my ex this morning. Someone died at the place we climb regularly - and on a climb my ex had done and likes. He fell and his rope was cut. Damn.

- As I was talking to him my sister was doing something and I told her to stop. My ex asks where I was. I said at home. He said, who's that. It's my sister. She's still here. So, I wrote him an email and told him I had planned on letting him know if I'm ever dating/getting to the point where someone is sleeping over. yeah, I don't have to. But it would be polite.

OK, too much already. Gotta go get stuff done. Hope you all have wonderful 3 days. I'll try and check in.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Saturday Hunt - Scrap

Climber Smurf likes to sleep in my piles of scrap material. Especially the scraps from kids quilts. Camouflage you know...

Friday, July 10, 2009

A few quick updates

- got my hand looked at and I had fractured my finger, and using it too much caused the fracture to widen. At this point, there's not too much I can do except let it heal for a couple more months. There will always be issues using it though. Stupid me.

- my therapist called me this am and we had a conversation. and she essentially apologized for the way she handled stuff. So we're on speaking terms and will move forward. Still not sure if I'll stay in therapy. I kind feel NOT being in therapy will force me to handle issues better. Not sure.

- driving back from the doctor I tried so hard to get out from behind this dump truck. but not quick enough. so yet another crack on my windshield. I JUST had one fixed last week.

- I am apparently becoming (am?) a Smith Slider 01 addict. I have the pink ones, as you may remember. Well, I just bought white ones. My theory is, well, the ones I have will break sometime, so best to have another pair. And now I have two colors to choose from...

- Family coming this weekend! First time mom will see the place. Oh dear.

The weekend, the final chapter

Whew, it comes to an end.

I forgot to mention that Sat AM we stopped in at a cafe to try and get some breakfast. An organic place. Man, those people were happy. Happy organic people. So happy, we had to leave. As ex-b said, I can't take that much happiness without coffee. We also at an organic place Sat night, and the service was bad and the food overpriced and not so great. But they were happy. Ex-b looks at me, and says that it's places like these that give vegetarianism/organics a bad name.

OK, Sunday morning. We decided to do a 6 to take it kind of easy. A 3 star one that I had never done. I got first pitch, and he got second (his choice) because I offered to do the first two together and do a hanging belay. I climbed, did ok, and set up the belay after much thinking - it had been a long time since I did a hanging belay. Then I belayed him up and belayed him on the second pitch. Uneventful except that again, it had been a long time since I set up a hanging belay, and I didn't really put it in a good place. By the time he got to the top, I was dying. My hips, my waist. Ouch. But I followed, and then we rapped down.

Uneventful. A good way to end the weekend.

Sorry, I took no photos except for this one on the drive home. I'm not sure it conveys, but the clouds were really interesting.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The weekend, part 3

Saturday we were at the rock early, and ex-b decided he'd try an 8. He decided on a climb I had notes in my book that both pitches were nice (I had done in 1998, Son of Easy O). We looked up at it and the guy ahead of us was climbing through this roofie area. I thought he was making it harder than it was supposed to be, so told ex-b to go ahead.

So he did pitch one and took a while. As I'm belaying and waiting, I asked the guy when he came down on rappel if that was really the second pitch. And he says yes. CRAP! He said that you need to be secure in 5.8 roofs. CRAP! He starts to make noises about how I could avoid it, and I just said 'I'm going to do it. I just wanted to know.'

So, I follow pitch one, and the bottom was slick so scary, and at one point you have to use a small ledge and my right hand is still a bit messed up so I couldn't do what I needed, so I cheated. Yes, I cheated. I held onto the sling on the gear above and pulled myself up to the next good hold. And I didn't really care one bit. OK, maybe a little bit, but I figured I'd give myself a break. I finished the first pitch, and ex-b was in shock from that pitch. I congratulated him, but he had already been beating himself up about how it was only an 8 and it was so difficult. Jeez, this is different climbing!!!

I looked up. And looked up. So, put the gear on, and thought I'd try the first move and see if I wanted to go further. At least it wasn't slick. Did one move, put in one piece of gear (which I still could have pulled out and got away with backing down), and did one more move. And another move. And finally I said to ex-b, I guess I'm doing the climb. Each move was slow. Another guy came up pitch 1 was waiting and I told them they could bring the second up - I didn't want to feel rushed. But the guy down below said he'd wait for me.

So, I kept going. At the roof area, for the first part I went up and down at least 6 times to find out if I could keep going without gear (no) where to put gear (there) get the gear I needed and put it in (whew it fit) and put the draw in and clip, and then to get energy to keep going. Since I didn't know what I'd find (this was a Gunks 8 remember), at the next decent area in the middle of the roof and before another big roof part, I stopped to put in gear - stemmed out with one drop knee. I actually put two pieces in, and had no chalk so hands sweating and switching hands back and forth while I put the gear in.

Then I went, made it, made it around the corner, and said some expletive, looked back at ex-b and said, that wasn't so hard. So, made it to the belay station and started pulling ex-b up. He comes up in almost no time. Crap! 'you did that so fast!'. He looks at me and says, 'well I didn't stop, just pulled gear and went, and am still pumped out. you did a great job.'

Then the guy who was coming up after us came around the corner. He had the same name as my ex-b so he said hello. I said my name, and he looks at me: "you are AWEsome Pam!" "I've never seen anyone stay so long in the roof." So, that felt good, kinda, since I did spend a long time there when I could have gone through. So, anyway, I gave him some kind of shit as he was passing by, as I am wont to do. Above us, he calls down to me "you're not so awesome anymore". Which was hilarious. "don't you know you're supposed to be nice to people above you?"

After rapping down, we went to do a 6 that I had never done and always wanted to: Moonlight. Ex-b chose the first pitch and I got to do the second, apparently the exciting pitch. And, man, was it exciting. Mind fuck #1 was running into a wasp's nest. Which FREAKS me out. I had to say out loud to convince myself "I'm not going to freak out. I'm not freaking out" and kept going. Then there was a traverse and you had to go around a bulge that sticks out - so you are above open air. Mind fuck #2. I was petrified because the hand holds weren't great and the last piece behind me wasn't so close. Ex-b asks if I want beta from the people who on the ledge with him. NO! Finally finally, hands sweating like mad, I made it around the corner.

You'd think it all would have been ok from there. But noooooo. #1, I had created tremendous rope drag from the pieces I put in on the traverse. #2, the climb is rated PG, so gear is not abundant. And the moves were not easy (for a 6). So mind fuck #3 was climbing up the rest of the way feeling like someone was trying to pull me back down. Brain was toast for the day.

And there's the danger. Although I had eaten, the brain was toast. I was aware enough to tell ex-b to go first on the rappel so he could find the next station, but when I went to rappel, I was just about to step off the ledge and realized my belay device was not in the belay loop, but on one of my gear loops, which is not at all rated to take such weight. That would have been the end of me. So, someday that is how I'm going to die or get severely maimed - on rappel after climbing hard. I'm not looking forward to it and will try to avoid it to the best of my ability, but chances are...

On that bright note, have a nice day. Sorry I didn't check blogs last night - too busy writing this post and listening and participating in Seven Second Delay.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The weekend, interrupted

Hi all - due to some internal turmoil happening here in my life, I'm making a pact with myself to only check email and all the associated virtual friendship things outside of work. Or maybe only check stuff at lunch. I have to get used to this new way of life, and feel a bit sad about it, but it must be done I believe. So, if I don't visit or talk as much, that's why.

What's happened?
- my boss basically told me she's at her wits end with me. Tried all she could. If she could, she'd divorce me I think. Not all of it are my issues - she comes with her own baggage as with any relationship, but I have to make additional effort.
- this comes on the tail of me having yet another pms/bipolar induced irritated,etc. time, where I feel I can't control it, and tried to adjust (by closing door, etc.) but it wasn't enough, so I need some new methods
- in the middle of this angst of is it me or is it the disease and how much can I control and what can I do, I have my therapist give me in a session the old 'well, if you want to just rely on the meds, go ahead, be my guest'. My brain was soooo confounded and didn't know what to do, to clear my head I slammed my hand into the radiator in front of her. Never done that in front of anyone and it surprised the hell out of her. 'I can see you are frustrated. did that make yu feel better' I just answered 'I quit. Not sure if I'll be back' And I don't want to go back. I have tools and I'm sick of her doing shit like that. But, they always say in therapy that you have to work things out. So, we'll see.

My life. In a very big nutshell.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The weekend, part 2

So, we arrived around 11:00 so had plenty of time, hopefully, to do some climbing. The forecast was for scattered showers. Ex-b had been talking about how he would work up to 10b's hopefully by the end of the weekend, but smartly wanted to start on a 7. He climbed high 10's out west, but it had also been a year since he placed gear.

So, we got on Limelight, a classic 7 that I believe I had never done. The first pitch is 5, so I did that. And holy crap, I felt so inadequate what with his talk and what I was facing. But I did not succumb to self induced pressure and took the time I needed, which is always the best way forward. Thing is, you can just as easily (ok, maybe not quite as easily) make a mistake on an easy climb and fall and get hurt. In fact, often it's more likely you get hurt since there are generally more ledges. The thing was, there was hardly any gear and it wandered. So, I had to search carefully. And it wasn't a gimme 5. Again, thinking.

So I belay up ex-b and he looks at me and says 'if that's a 5 I don't know if I'll be doing anything harder than a 7!' and so I felt a little better. Of course he said it was fine for me to take the time I needed, which is the best answer. So, I belayed him up the 7 pitch. As he's climbing, I look to the left and there's a wall of rain coming our way. I didn't say anything and just hoped it would wait to arrive. Thankfully just as he put me on belay it started to rain some. So, I started climbing in the rain. It stopped though and I followed a not at all easy 7. Part of the problem is that these climbs have been climbed so much they've started to get a little slick, which adds to the adventure. He did a great job.

And in the distance we saw the shower that had thankfully skirted around us. It was obviously pouring rain, in a very very localized area. So beautiful.

We decided to take a chance and go find a climb we could do one pitch on if we needed to. Ex-b started up and was halfway up the pitch when it really started to rain. It's hard to look up and belay when raindrops are falling in your eyes, and it's doubly hard to climb when the rock is wet. And we heard thunder. Someone had just rappelled down next to him and offered their rope, so he decided to bail, taking out the gear as he went down. And we left for the day at 5:30, which was fine because we were mentally a little tired (me, in part because I had gotten up at 4 am to start driving).

Turns out the campground, 10 miles away, had gotten 3 thunderstorms that afternoon (!) so we were indeed lucky. There was a river down the road and the field was a swamp, but we set up our tents. Unfortunately for ex-b one of the groups was up until 5 am, and thus so was he. I was so tired, I would wake up for a minute, then put the pillow back over my head, and go back to sleep. All the people in the field looked at each other the next morning, sleepy/bleary, and many people complained so Bill yelled and screamed at them during the day and it was quiet Sat night.

Huh, this took a lot longer to explain... guess my weekend will last three days here...

Monday, July 6, 2009

The weekend, part 1

I'm making it short this morning. Turning over a new leaf and focus focus focus at work. What a concept.

Let's see, I'll talk about the climbing later. You all wanted to know how it went with the ex-b? Fine and dandy. I arrived at his house around 8 am and got to meet his wife, who is of course very nice. It's still odd to think of him being married.

But, we had a good time. It helps that I haven't seen him in at least 7-8 years. It's so odd to think of that. I have in my climbing book notes on every climb I've done, and the ones with him are from 1999! He wanted to do some of those, and not sure how many we did.

One thing that's great is he's a big birder. So, any noise and I could ask what it was. Only one he didn't know. I swear, it was a weekend of wildlife - birds alone at least 10 different kinds: red tail hawk, peregrine falcon (way cool), turkey vulture, wood thrush, osprey, wren, robin, 2 different woodpeckers at least, sparrow, etc. And we saw two snakes - garter and black racer. I screamed at the black racer since it was crossing the path in front of us. That is my wont. And there were the ever present chiggers, alas. At least 5 in my crotch area - sucks to have to squat to pee.

And then there was the human wildlife. The campground owner, Bill, who is a yack-er. But really nice guy. The squirrel and his favorite tree. The people at the bottom of climbs and their conversations and observations. One dude gets down off rappel and immediately lights up his joint. Then he's yacking with his friend as they are packing up about this woman he's dating or at least had sex with once, who lets her 4 dogs stay in her bed. He left at 1:30 am one time and gets a text from her that she wanted to cuddle. But apparently the dogs were licking his ears and there was no space. I'd leave too! And the guy who remarks about the calls of the wildlife in climbing areas: "on belay!" "off rappel!" "climbing!"

My ride home. Well, imagine a dollar sign. The straight line is the way to go with no traffic. The curvy parts around it is how you go when there's traffic. I went all curvy. Lonnnnnng ride. But made it back.

OK, smoking break is over. Gotta go work.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Saturday Hunt - Vault

Did you know that Climber Smurf's middle name is Pooh? Did you wonder why? Well, since you see what he has in his vault and how happy he is to be there, you might know now.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

All repairmen have come and gone

- All repairmen have come and gone. I'm not too poor, since one wasn't supposed to charge me and didn't (insurance covered), another charged me less than he should have (Something about having older men who have daughters work on my house - I think they feel sorry for me being alone and all. I don't ask for a discount - I just get it. Now that I have mentioned it, I will get no more. Which is fine...), another was supposed to charge me $49 service fee just for showing up, and then $350 to scope the drain!!!!! a fee they never explained so I called the manager and offered to just pay half the $49 but she completely waived it, and finally the last poor guy who did my dishwasher, well, it was expensive ($195) but he was here for 2.5 hours figuring stuff out, cleaning it thoroughly, and he checked out my washing machine for free, and I know my motor works. I tipped him $10. I just felt I had to. Of course, I have a lot of money yet to spend on that drain... but I'll not think of that now.

- I'm off this weekend to the Gunks yet again, but this time with the ex boyfriend who just got married. Not even sure I'll be meeting his wife, since she's off somewhere else for the weekend. It's odd, yes, but oh well. I was talking to my ex (husband) and he was talking about his woes of trying to find a climbing partner for this weekend. I hesitated and said, well, it would be awfully odd for me to be climbing with two ex's but if you want to come along you can. He said no, thank you very much, yes it would be odd, and I can really only climb 2 days anyway. Whew. I just want to be nice.

- If you would like to hear my voice, I called into Seven Second Delay last night to harass. Long time listener, first time caller, and I forgot to say that! Not sure what time I got on - maybe 20 minutes in? I'm too lazy to make a link. And btw, I do NOT have money under my tampon box. Or at least anymore.

Have a great weekend!

My morning

I am up early because I need to work and await the four repairmen I have coming this morning.
1-guy to fix a small ding in my windshield
2-electrician to install my ceiling fans, and do a few other odds and ends
3-dishwasher repair guy
4-plumber to scope the outside drain and really SEE what's happening

I'm afraid the electrician may make the work of the dishwasher repair guy more difficult, but I think he'll be flexible...

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Cute Cuke

From my garden.

I called my neighbor yesterday to ask if she wanted basil. She said not right now, but can I come over when I'm making spaghetti sauce and take some? Sure. Nice of you to pretend like it matters that I'm there or not. I ended the conversation saying, Please don't steal my cucumbers. She laughed and said she wouldn't. Not sure I believe her.