Wednesday, February 28, 2007

What's in a name...

I've never played World of Warcraft, but I'm very tempted to name my little colony of brine shrimp The Horde. Is that allowed, since I'm not at all an aficionado? I'm in fact, not even a novice. I am completely uninitiated.

I'm also thinking of naming them Spawn.

Or Bob. Yeah.

Thoughts? Any other suggestions? One syllable would be optimal.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Hur du Foder Upp Dina Sea-Monkeys

I really wish I knew how to put the correct diacritical marks on that. Swedish is my guess.

Anywho. My tank is all rinsed...

(Why, what's in *your* drainboard?)

...filled and prepped...

...and ready to sit for 24 or more hours until I can get back and add packet #2. Thursday's the big day, after I pay my rent and go to the bandhall to copy music, and maybe even take my computer into the shop to find out why I can't burn CDs. Then I'll come home and unwind by bringing my leetle shreempees to life. Yay! :-D

Oh, and by the way, those plates are in the drainboard because I have new ones now, and I don't know what to do with the old ones, but they were dirty, and I didn't want to keep them around like that. So I washed them. My car no longer has the same initials as Dave, though, which is sadness. :-P

Oh, and thought to ponder for the day. If I hadn't gotten a speeding ticket day after last Thanksgiving, I wouldn't have been out at the UPS store getting a form notarized. And if I hadn't been out there getting a form notarized, I wouldn't have seen the beautiful soft sunset in the sky this evening. And if I hadn't seen that sunset, some of the joy in my life right now would not have come. I would still have all the grumps not associated with my speeding ticket, and none of the gentle beauty of that sunset.

Great evil can come of great good, but great good can come of great evil. Tone down all those superlative terms like great and evil, and you have my lesson for the day.

Love you guys!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Grootbengen van je Sea Monkeys!

I have no idea what language that is, but I saw it on the instructions, and I think it's fabulous! I'm guessing Dutch.

I have Sea-Monkeys!!! Check it out!

And here's a closer-up of their tank! It's a pirate ship! Arrrrr!

I'll be setting their tank up tomorrow, but probably not evoking the little hatchlings until Thursday. I want to make sure I have time to watch them hatch, and Wednesday I'll be running off to rehearsal.

For now, I'm terribly excited. Someone asked me if I was going to name each one of them. While that would just be silly, I *would* like to name them in the aggragate. Does anyone have any suggestions for what to name a pod of Sea-Monkeys?

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Fountain of Youth

Our obsession with being chronologically and physiologically young is something that has always bothered me about our culture. In less than a year I will be 30, and I resent the idea that this is some sort of expiration date.

I grew up in a family that had five generations before I was in high school. I knew grandparents and great grandparents and I've seen the work that they did, and the life they led, and the fun and joy they were blessed with and shared well into their 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, and even past 100. When my father died at 53, he was truly in the prime of his life. He was still the mischievous, fun-loving, idealistic, and fully alive soul that he must have been when he was younger. But he had grown in wisdom, in depth, in love, visibly, as I had grown up myself. Even young as I was, I had seen him shed self-consciousness and insecurities and gain balance and self-knowledge and love over his 30’s and 40’s.

This is why I can’t understand why so many people feel like their life must be fully defined and will become static (or will even be over) once they’ve finished their 20’s. As far as I can see, your life will only stop being enjoyable if you so choose. If you cling, terrified to the person you were, or thought you were, instead of enjoying the person you are, and the person you will always be becoming. Even professionally, in a lot of fields, we privilege the young, high-octane up and comer just out of school and with the hottest new modes of thought over the professional who’s been in the field for decades and amassed an amount of knowledge some of us younger folk will never have the focus or patience to achieve.

Some people say high school and college were the best years of their life. I remember high school, and I remember college, and I remember years and years of self-doubt, of pain, of anxiety, of terror, of out of control hormones. Of fascination, of magic, and of growth also, yes, but I don’t want to stay there. I want to keep the magic going, is all. And as for physically aging, I would never trade a younger skin and thinner figure for the ability to know and love myself that I’ve only arrived at so lately. And to be honest, this confidence and self-understanding has only increased my enjoyment of and desire for physical intimacy. I’m pretty sure that part of my life isn’t going to shut down in a matter of months. I think in the future life is going to hold a lot more for me because I’m able to reach out and take it.

While part of this is because of things that have happened to me, a lot of it is also just growth. The sort of growth you can’t speed up. The sort of growth that comes from waking up every new morning, and going to sleep every night in anticipation of the next morning. I thank God for the blessing of each day. Even the days filled with hurt and anger and depression. Because by facing these and wading through them, I grow. I learn.

If you think you know who I am, well, you probably know almost as much as I do. I share a lot about myself pretty easily. Maybe it would be better if I left more to the imagination. If I were more of a mystery. But then, I am a mystery. Because even my closest friends can’t know any more than I know myself. And I am an onion and no matter how many layers I peel back and examine, there will always be another layer. The onion grows as I peel it. Or maybe, in some strange way, we peel away layers from the center out.

You may be wondering what has sparked this particular introspection. I went to a club last night to hear a friend play trumpet with a funk combo sort of band. It was terribly fun! And a lot of the people there and out on the dance floor were 40+. Many of the women were probably in their 50’s or later. And these people were having a BLAST. They were dancing, they were cuddling, they were full of life and drive. I respect that, I admire it, I reverence it, I covet it. There are still so many ways in which I’m too self-conscious to let go and have that kind of fun. I hope in 15 to 20 years, I have that energy. I hope I have that confidence. I hope I feel that attractive and alive and young.

And that’s what it means, I guess, when they say you’re only as old as you feel. It’s nice to know I’ll only get old if I let myself. And I think I’m actually getting younger every day!

Ponce de Leon, eat your heart out. ;-)

Monday, February 19, 2007

Gratitude, a Prayer

God, I thank you for today.
For joy that falls like manna,
And like manna cannot be saved
Cannot be hoarded for tomorrow.

The joy that comes easily
For no reason, inspiration
Caught like quickening fire from the air
And may fade to nothing,
But will never have not been.

Today I stretched out my hands
And ran my fingers through life
Held magic in my arms and leaned my head
On the breast of Peace.

I fill my mind with sky
And my soul with pure waters
My feet feel the earth's firm warm touch
And I raise my head and arms to you
And feel your blessing
Starlight on my face.


Waiting clouds slope northward
Carded smooth by a warm south breeze.
The sun wades through them punching tickets
Paid in silver linings, sends them on their way
Back to winter, leaving blue between.
A robin waits brown in brown grass,
Looks at me with eyes that know
The crucible cooling, darkness fading.
The smell of spring waits in the air,
A smell of softer, brighter gray.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

A day in the life...

My to do/shopping list for today/this week:
  • Get a haircut
  • Dye
  • Manilla folders
  • Hanging folders
  • Take computer to the shop
  • Cereal
  • Laundry
  • Take recycling
  • Deposit checks
  • Bring in patio furniture
  • Organize tax papers
  • E-mail the accountant
  • Take out trash
  • Clean out fridge
  • Return tupperware
  • Return DVDs
  • Check mail
This last task was completed and yeilded a Valentine's day card from my mom with a $20 in it. Sweet!

Also in the mail was my new health insurance card. A'ight.

Oh, huh, and a jury summons. Guess I'm finally on the radar. I haven't been summoned for jury duty since I was about 19. And then I was summoned for duty in Bexar County, while I was going to school at Rice, so Mom filled out the exemption thing and sent that in for me.

This time, there's no getting out of it. On Friday, March 16, at 8 AM. Actually, I'm kind of looking forward to it. It'll be somewhat interesting to see in person how this works.

They sent me a form to fill out and bring with me. There's this question, "Have you ever sustained any accidental bodily injury requiring medical attention?" Check "Yes" or "No" then "If yes, what type?"


Anybody know why they ask that? It seems incredibly random. Anywho. Back to crossing off things on my list.

I almost wrote down laundry twice. It's pretty urgent.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Happiness According to Hawthorne

"Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued is just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may light upon you."
~ Nathaniel Hawthorne

I used to sit so still. The birds would forget I was there, and come back to their nests. I used to be so patient and quiet, I would sneak up on rabbits, and stand two feet away from them, just amazed to be so close to their soft fur and wild little hearts. I would sit for hours watching the ants go by with little bits of food and twig.

Back last July, I went to Glacier National Park. I was alone one morning, and I walked up to a hill over-looking a lake. And I sat and just... breathed. And it felt like my soul grew, swelled, pushed beyond my skin. That it spread and billowed out around me. That I could feel the breeze stirred by the hawk's wing high in the sky, feel the tickle of the ants underground. The water of the lake was cold and clear as my soul fell through it like the sunbeams that turned it to jade. All as I sat still, and let myself be, and let the world be around me. And through me. And in me.

But as far as happiness goes, I'm not so patient any more. Maybe it's easier to be patient in Glacier. Or the hills I grew up in. Right now, in this city, my soul is no bigger than my apartment. Is rarely bigger than my skin. For a little while I found someone I could touch, and like a new plant that unfolds and shakes off the seed husk as it lifts its head, my soul opened like that, even here. Even here. And I believed all things.

It's true, and I never thought of it. This feeling only comes to me in the still small voice that you can't hear if you're running. Does it come to me, or is it the seed that lies within me, just waiting for me to stop and breathe deeply, and give it time to grow without jarring it against my corporeal insides?

I'm not a patient person. When I have a problem, I want to *fix* it. By *doing* something. I know I can't fix this problem on my own. And I've done damage to myself by trying to fix it by... well... trying.

I won't go all English major and do an analysis of Hawthorne's use of the butterfly (it appears in one of the works that depressed me quite a bit). For now I will only keep this quote in my heart and think on it a while.

Hah! I feel like I've promised not to look, and I've held out my hand.

It's so hard not to peek!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Sunny Alvarado, TX - It just keeps getting better.

So, that day off on Friday the boss told me to take?

Not happening.

Several things apparently got delayed, so a lot of stuff they'd like me to capture will be happening Friday. *Hopefully* early Friday, so I can take the afternoon off to drive home. But my solemn oath to be back in time for Valhalla is probably shot.


Oh, and I have to get up at 5am tomorrow. Because something I need to video tape will happen at 6am.


Oh, and the lady that makes calls over the PA out there has the most INCREDIBLY irritating dialect I've ever heard. She often requests that so and so call the operator. Only... when she says "operator"... she says it like "opiterrr" and I'm not even sure how that works.

The only good thing about staying until Friday is it means I can most definitely meat my cousin and her friend somewhere for dinner Thursday.

So I'm going out with friends tonight *and* tomorrow. That should help boost morale. The good thing is, work continues to be interesting and engaging. And the people continue to be friendly and informative.

But... 5am???


Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Sunny Alvarado, TX - Day 2

want to go home. I don't like it here.

Work is fine. The pizza I got for dinner was good.

But I still don't like it here at all. :-(

The water is incredibly soft, and does weird things to my hair. There's a squalor about this town, with its run-down houses and seedy restaurants and the roughnecks in the KFC every day at lunch.

The motel rises abruptly out of dull brown prairie, new, with no trees or shrubs to soften the way it just juts out of the earth. And the earth it juts out of doesn't become it. It's so empty here. So plain.

And I hate king sized beds. I HATE them. I didn't realize this until I got here Sunday. After a long drive. Tired. Scared. Dislocated.

I like to feel warm and safe and comforted. I do not like bedding down in hotel sheets and hotel blankets over a matress the size of apartment kitchen. It makes me feel small. It makes me feel lost.

It makes me feel lonely. I only ever sleep on one half of my own little full sized bed. And there I can burrow down under soft sheets, fluffy pillows, a quilt, a feather comfortor, and feel nestled and warm and protected from the world. It's soft and it's snug and it's familiar. It's home. Here, today, I came home after work and I'm too tired to be social with near strangers, and I haven't been able to meet with any of my friends in the area, so I'm just camped out in my room. And they're nice people, at the site, but they aren't my friends. They don't know me and love me and really care that I'm there.

Not that my whining is very endearing right now, I guess. I want to see everyone I possibly can on Friday when I get back. I'll be at Valhalla by 5:00PM, I hope. I want to see everyone there, so I can get this personal little hell out of my system as quickly as possible. I promise I'll be much more pleasant company than I am right now.

I'm sorry for being such a downer. Please forgive me. I'm just so tired and lonely and discouraged. I want to go home.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Sunny Alvarado, TX - Day 1

This is not a Travelblog, cuz I really haven't gone too far afield. And besides, it's for work, not fun. But still, I'm actually having an interesting enough time to write about it, which is saying something, when you look around the countryside.

The Super 8 Motel is pretty new. It has free high-speed in my room. Yippee! That means I don't have to be all lonely. I can still IM with you wonderful people. And I can blog. It has breakfast, which I haven't sampled yet. Maybe tomorrow. Only I have to be at the site by 7AM. Ick.

Speaking of ick, I had to watch a safety video today about radiation, so I could get my dosimeter badge. So I can go in the fill room. That produces less radiation than a day at the airport. The video was a taped production of a PowerPoint presentation. *shudder* But I did learn that the word "rankin" that I'd heard and the word "Roentgen" that I'd seen are *actually* the same word. So there. I suppose it was all worth it. :-P

I was also very proud of myself because today I was able to explain an electrical thing to some pretty spiffing engineers. Yay me! On the whole, I'm learning an incredible amount about some F'in' AWESOME technology. None of which am I at liberty to disclose, I imagine. Oh well!

So I'm bummed I won't be at band any this week, or get to see any my friends until I get back. But this will definitely be an amazing professional experience.

If anything else interesting happens, I'll keep y'all posted!