Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Since I was in NJ, I got to spend some time with my nieces, A (10) and E (12). Let's see...
- E is a ballet nut and built to dance. She showed me what it's like to be en pointe - in the kitchen (put on her shoes). I didn't know it was so 'clop clop'-y. It looks hard! But it certainly makes the legs look great. A has a completely different body type - more like mine. She's great at sports, but it's funny to see her try and dance. SO not for her.
- A showed me the earring she has, and was fooling around with them. It's magnetic, so she put it in her nose, and on her cheek. Didn't work so well on the tongue. In fact, I'm a bad aunt for suggesting she try it. Very well could have swallowed. But o well if she did - it would come out later.
- We played some version of charades with props - not for points, but just to do it. E did a great job with the 60's. She makes a great hippie. Neither one of them knew any of the ones from the 80's!
- Speaking of which, kind of, neither one likes the muppets. A thinks they are freaky. OH NO!
- One thing I was amazed at - we were sitting at the dinner table eating our souffle (!! my sister is a cook) and A and my sister were across from E and me. They started laughing and we didn't know why. Finally A said that I had something hanging from my nose. I was amazed that they would just laugh and not tell me. A even noted that she hates when people do that to her. Oh well. I let it slide, but obviously it still bothers me a little.
- The day before they were to leave, E apparently wanted to sleep in her own bed (which I had been using). My sister asked me earlier in the evening about where I wanted to be but worded it in a way that it was clear that E wanted to sleep there, but it wasn't a direct statement. I kind of ignored that, and later when the kids went upstairs, I told my sister that I wanted to sleep in the bed, and if E wanted to, she could ask me herself. I heard murmerings upstairs, and then E comes down to ask. It was fine, though a little rude to a guest. Again, not a big deal though.

It was wonderful seeing them. I for sure will see them in the spring as my friend is having a wedding party. So I look forward to that.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Over the last week I had a chance to spend a bit of time with my mom. She's still doing well, though has trouble remembering how to play crazy eights... :-) I had lunch with her at the assisted living center, which was nice. Again, I'm so glad she's there. And apparently so is the staff. Everyone we come into contact with just loves her, because she is a sweet person. I see what they mean - as we sat there waiting for our food a grumpy old man came by with his walker to get to the table next to us - shoving her walker out of the way. My mom just laughed - I'm the one who got irritated.

It's hard for her to travel - she gets very disoriented. For the nighttime, we blocked the top of the stairwell and put a string of lights around the bathroom door, and put signs and special paper to show her where her room was. The first night...around 2:00 am my door squeaks open and there she is, looking for the bedroom. What freaks me out is she has this stare when this happens. It's a non blinking out of it but smiling stare... hard to explain but SO freaky. She apparently was up about 4 more times, though I heard none of them - woo hoo! I tagged my sister for the next night (we were sharing a room).

At the assisted living center she's at breakfast every morning at 7:30 AM. Well, we let her sleep at my brother's. First day, slept until 9:30 I think. Second day, my brother woke her up at 10:30. We did like my mom used to do with my dad when he slept late - go into the room and make sure she's still breathing.

I appreciate more and more how much my sister does for her. She helped her shower, helped her wash up, helped her in the stall when we went out for the day to a museum (my mom got poopystuff on her pants), makes sure she is engaged, helps her walk, etc. She does all this on top of being a mom, handling a house on her own, working like a dog... Superwoman! And she's so nice about it. I'd have to certainly work up to that level of patience and kindness - kind of sad to say. I mean, she laughs when my mom put a pair of her underwear under the bathroom sink at my brother's. I didn't really find it all that funny, but then again...ah, I can't really find an excuse. It's just me.

So, it was really good to see her, and I was sorry I missed a day of visiting her (I couldn't bike there on Tuesday as it was rainy and just ran out of time, as the kids were there and I wouldn't see them for Thanksgiving). What's good about having a mom with memory issues is that Tuesday evening when I talked with her I just said I would visit the next day and she was excited. She forgot I was supposed to visit on Tuesday.

Family... good to be there, good to be away. I've been there so much this year, doesn't feel like I've left.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Lass

Got a call Monday when I was visiting my mom. Area code was California. Alas, I did not get the job. The person with topic matter expertise got it. I was very calm, and OK with it because it was a great opportunity to have so many interviews and be wanted...well, at least sort of. I'm feeling worse today,though not horrible. Can't really focus to work, so I cleaned out some of my sister's garage and organized crap in the basement. She's had no time or energy. People who knew are very sad I didn't get it. The bells toll for me. Ha.

I hope everyone has wonderful turkey! or Tofurky.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Brrr chilly

Ya know, you'd think since I have control over the heating situation in my place I'd turn up the heat, but just don't do that. So I sit here cold. Brr...

Had interview #3 for the job, and I liked it. I had a bunch of questions and asked them and now I'm more interested in the job. So, we'll see what happens. I'll be ok too if I don't get it, though my bank account won't be happy.

Had my first instance of someone sending me a job announcement to see if I was interested - as a result of some networking I had done. Kind of interesting position, so I applied.

I'm off to Boston and NJ and DC area for work and family/Thanksgiving. Leaving tomorrow. We'll see how much I can post.

Still no camera. Sigh.

Don't work too hard!!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What if you don't like what they see? It's so simple

So, what if you thought you were one way yet others said you were another? How many opinions would it take to make you stop and take note?


My whole family has a tendency to be low key. We just aren't energetic in a bubbly sense. I however thought that I was one of the exceptions. Yet, I hear from M that I'm not. I talk to a friend yesterday and say that I'm not ecstatic about the job and she notes that she's never known me to be ecstatic about anything. And it makes me think of my brother, who's a wonderful person but often is annoying to me to be around because he's so un-ecstatic. I'm closer to him than I thought I was. And it's me and some things aren't going to change too much - to have that energy... [I stop writing because perhaps you can change? I'm not sure...]

Life can be simple or life can be hard. Far too often I choose hard. E.g. I don't like that I'm so slow climbing. I'll agonize about it and think that people won't want to climb and I should stop climbing, etc. How about just acknowledge it and start practicing climbing faster. Done. Or, I want to volunteer and do some good work for a nonprofit but what they have is doing it remotely which isn't really what I want to do but I sign up anyway because I also like person organizing and I don't do as much as I want to / should and I keep apologizing and making excuses for not doing it. How about I just say I've done what I can and sorry but I won't be able to do more. Done.

I think I'm doing a great job learning to be a DJ. But then I get a detailed review of my 1.5 hours and see all the things I can improve. I can wallow in the details and bang my head against a wall and beat myself up, or I can change things one at a time. And if I don't want to change it and it's just too much for me, well, then I don't continue being a DJ. Done.

Simple or complex. Ecstatic or reserved. Both can be somewhere in between.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Movin' right along

I missed posting on 11/11/11! at 11:11. That would have been a way to mark the day/time. I had the great idea of sending myself a postcard from J-tree (where I was) but the 11th was a postal holiday. Arg! Even so, I think my date/time is eastern zone, so I would have had to post at 8:11... way too complicated and not about to get up early when we got into J-tree at 2 AM.

I spent some hours though in the AM at the local Starbucks. It's really a gathering place which is kind of cool. Though I'm hoping that soon people move to the old Water Canyon Cafe which is now Ma Rouge. They are local and nice and need the business.

Highlights from my weekend:
- buying and cooking a turkey in a bag as M will not really have a Thanksgiving this year. I'm going to the east to see my family and connect it with a business trip. He's not sure what he's doing yet (is any guy ever certain of what he's doing until he's doing it? most men I know don't plan).
- going for a short 1 mile hike that brought incredible views of the storms all around.
- losing my camera on said hike or someplace after that, about which I am VERY sad. I have hopes of finding it, or someone finding it, but I don't have any identifying info on it so it's easier for someone to just keep it if they find it, despite all the personal photos on there (I tend to not delete my photos!).
- climbing a 5.5 and getting spanked. The first pitch was a chimney and I am NOT used to chimneys. I did it though, and in the end was glad. But I have really nasty knees right now, and I would take a photo if I had my camera... :-( We then went and top-roped another climb
- doing work

Apparently the org called one reference on Friday, and another today, so things are moving along. People are saying nice things about me, which is good. I feel so bad and am amazed --> One reference - her sister just died a couple weeks ago, and her brother just died today AND she gave a reference for me this morning! I am so hoping it was before she knew about her brother.

OK, work calls...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Adventures in SF

After some freak out crying this morning, I pulled out my steadiness and had my second interview and it went very well. Meaning mostly that I liked the dialogue and learned some good things about the organization / people. And I feel like I could work there. A good sign was that they offered me some gourmet chocolate... and though I didn't take it at the beginning, I got one before I left. Not that I need it... Since last time I didn't think I did well and I got a second interview, I won't begin to guess how it's going. Though they did ask me for references...

Standing outside the building talking on the phone, a guy came up to me to tell me that he liked my boots. Then I saw an old guy with shoulder length grey hair and line drawings on his smiling face wheel by in his wheelchair (and no legs). Then soon thereafter I saw twin homeless women - dressed alike even - walking by.

Of course, when it rains there are a few other raindrops. I have no other solid leads, but did get connected to another organization from someone I talked with yesterday, and one guy I've been in contact with wants to discuss a business proposition with me AND others (yes, it sounded fishy at first... but it isn't... I think).

So, I'm tired now. Too much excitement... :-)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


I went to a meeting yesterday which was sort of background research for my job interview. So I had time to think - or rather thoughts bubbled their way to the surface. I realized that I am very nervous about having a job in which I have to interact with people face to face. I've done so well in the recent past in part because I have the luxury of mostly doing things via email. The two jobs before this which required me to interact day to day, I had a lot of issues with my bosses. Ok, I'm writing this and I realize it's not as bad as I make it out to be. I struggled but worked through it. I'm creating apprehension when it doesn't need to be there. I need to forget about all the implications of getting or not getting the job and just have the damn interview. Arg.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Graham Parker

Went and saw Graham Parker last night. I really had never heard his stuff, but I knew M liked him a lot so when I saw the notice I told him and we went! It was an acoustic show, except for a few songs on which he played electric guitar. He's really interesting and got a British wit about him - dry - which suits me perfectly. He's a contemporary of Joe Jackson and Elvis Costello and you can hear that. I guess the world could only handle two at the time. Very small venue - we were 4 rows back. He came out afterward to sign CD's - before he came out there was a line to buy CD's and then empty table next to it. So when he walked out and didn't really know where to go, I said 'right here!' and we were first in line - a very down to earth guy. M gets so star struck it's funny. But he was very happy.

My favorite song I heard with respect to lyrics. I can't decide amongst others as to which I liked the best. Endless Night

Thursday, November 3, 2011


I sit here eating my Halloween sized 100 Grand bar. When I was a kid, it used to be a 100,000 dollar bar. In case you don't know it, it's a hunk of caramel with puffed rice (or rice krispies) on top, covered in chocolate. I used to eat off all the rice and then eat the caramel... mm... It says on the label: 30% Less Fat than the leading chocolate brand. Huh? How vague is that? But I guess it does get the attention... And no, I didn't buy candy just for me - there's a bunch of stuff at the radio station and I took a bunch Tuesday night. Though I shouldn't have... don't do enough exercise to deserve to eat it.

I remember when Twix first came out (apparently it was 1979). The first time I tried it, the cookie was stale-ish; they must have shipped leftovers from England. I wasn't too impressed because it was stale, but over time I have grown to really like them.

I think my first love though was Canada mints. Circles of peppermint. I would eat almost a whole bag when I was a kid. Different ways including holding it in the middle and rotating it around while I scraped it with my teeth. I never was able to just suck on it until it disappeared. I liked to chew... mmm...

Stop your dirty minds and go eat some candy.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Puff and stuff

Early morning in the campground

Went to Yosemite this past weekend with two guys, one my regular climbing partner and a 25 year old. We had a really nice time and did some great climbs. The 25yo hasn't really done much trad climbing so he was in the middle the whole time, whilst my friend and I led. It was kind of scary though because the 25yo doesn't know how to belay from above. He's used to using a Grigri, with which it's not so important to hang on to the rope 100% of the time. I watched and couldn't believe it, and then finally said something. But he still forgot to hang on. I think a bigger intervention is needed. Obviously very dangerous.

Speaking of dangerous, on the last climb (Super Slide), I did two difficult long pitches together. And so was tired and felt bad for going slowly. The next party came up to join me on the ledge, and I wanted to move over for him, and I took myself completely off. As I was doing it I knew it was wrong, but I was standing on a ledge and not thinking clearly... Thankfully obviously I did not fall. Very stupid me.

I mention that the one guy is 25yo because it's another world. Not too out there, as he was born in Russia and thus has a wider perspective on the world, but still rides his motorcycle fast and is interested in different things (like young women... :-) ) We had a discussion about women at one point, and apparently if he does not find a marriageable woman by 30, he'll go back to Russia for a couple months and find a wife. Really! Odd odd...

OK, I hope everyone is well. I'll go look ...