Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I Love California. (An Overview of a Journey)

I love California. I love San Diego. I love Mission Beach. I was warned that I would fall in love. I didn't know it would hit this hard. The palm trees, the sand, the sunshine, the sunset. Surfing the waves in the ocean--twice. The highlight of the journey was that we visited a friend. We met new friends. I left a part of myself there and took a part of California home with me. I love Mission Beach. I love San Diego. I love California.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Off to Las Vegas and California

Oh, yay! I am very stoked that we are leaving tonight for a fun trip to Las Vegas and California. I will try to blog the adventures as we travel, but may need to wait until I return. And then there will be a ton of photos and stories to tell! Off to do last-minute stuff before we leave this evening! --xo

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Porch Time, Scat, and Greenie's New Gash

(Latte on the Couch, SJS 2009)
(Java in Cat Bed on the Porch, LCS 2009)
(Java in Standoff with Resident Squirrel, SJS 2009)
It's been awhile since I've enlightened you with photos of the fur children. Java and Latte have been taking turns demanding attention from us. Java has been particularly affectionate and demanding of the petting. It's now springtime (thank goodness) and the cats are now jonesing for porch time. I can't blame them. It was a beautiful day today and a gorgeous sunset tonight. Today I attended service and played conga drums, then arrived home. Ironically, not ten minutes after arriving home and resting on the porch did a man and woman (Jehovah's Witnesses) ring my doorbell and attempt to convert me (and the wonderful, kind, sweet person I am, cut them off mid-sentence.) A friend called me and wanted to go walking before she went to work. So we trotted around the boulevard and visited Merrifield Park. After she left, I took my iPod and trotted some more, then cleaned up for book club. The discussed title was Scat by Carl Hiaasen. Honestly, I haven't cracked open the book yet, but love love love this author and wanted to attend and hear what everyone else had to say. The pasta was delicious (thanks K!) and the hospitality was wonderful. Unfortunately, a neighbor tagged poor Greenie in the front bumper. It was witnessed by K's wonderful spouse and the neighbor (who attends the same church where I play the congas) left all of her information. Thank goodness. Perhaps this is karma for cutting off door-to-door Christians?

Friday, March 20, 2009

Annie Oakley, Painting and Music

It's Friday evening again. The PC is mostly fixed (except for the reinstallation of Windows--Steve's going to take care of that.) It was a busy week in libraryland. I need to read up on Annie Oakley so I am prepared tomorrow. For Women's History month, there will be people portraying significant women like Cleopatra, Sacajawea, Madame C.J. Walker, etc.,at the Main Library for a tea for girls in grades 3-8. It will be fun. Thanks to friends who have horse riding gear, I should be in good shape (at least costume-wise) to give my presentation. I had art therapy today and took home the orange and yellow painting. I named it "Imagery of Jack." It's being custom framed and will be hung in our upstairs hallway. So when we return home, it should be finished. It's with acrylics, so the artist/framer recommended that it be framed under glass. I'll try to make taekwondo tomorrow. Sunday I will play congas in services. In April, I'll bring the whole drumset in to play. On the music front (I'm discontinuing New Wave Wednesday--I'm bored with it), I'm listening to jazz by Weather Report. The album is called Black Market. It's pretty good. After I'm finished blogging, I'm going to listen to it.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

PCs and California

Like me, my PC laptop is broken. The PC is being fixed. There's layers and layers of viruses in the damn thing, so the technician is working on it and hopefully it will be ready by tomorrow. Steve will reinstall the windows program and salvage my writing that is on the computer. I am so grateful that we will be going to California next week. We're leaving Wednesday evening and it's not soon enough. I love my job, I just need some time to play, watch the ocean, and reflect.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Monday Hairapy and PC Frustration

I took today off because of working yesterday. I thought it would be an enjoyable day. The first part was nice with hairapy. No more tinsel on top. That's always a good feeling. And the person who colored my hair is married to a high school classmate. (The other stylists I usually go to were out of the salon today.) Small world. After chatting with a lot of the staff, I drove home. I was going to check email, get on facebook, finish writing the third review to submit, etc. etc. etc., and the laptop completely broke. Damn Damn Double Damn this PC!! So poor Steve catches the brunt of my frustration as I insist that he quit trying to fix it (it's been acting up for almost a month) and get it to a repair shop! So bless his patient kind heart, he did. It has a virus, despite the significant amount of virus protection Steve installs. So I'm blogging on our creaky old Gateway which tends to spontaneously shut down at inopportune times, which we're going to sell to a colleague/friend for a reasonable price so his son can learn to do stuff with it. (Target practice, anyone?) Anyway, it's been a frustrating day on many levels (not just the PC, but I've done enough lamenting for one posting.) I did sneak a quick nap with the cats out on the porch today. It was a beautiful pre-spring day. Java hung out in her little cube while Latte slept on the pillow with me. I did not realize how much space a small cat can claim.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Retail Therapy and the Little Book of Zen

It's been a fast weekend. Friday night I was invited and attended a craft circle at a colleague/friend's house. We made clay jewelry. The hostess (with the mostest) made the most delicious lasagna and pasta noodles. Yum. We had a great time in her lovely home. :) I didn't have art therapy, so I painted after arriving home. Watercolors and a dainty brush seems so civilized compared to hurling black acrylic paints on canvas. But the result was catharsis, so it served it's purpose. I'm reading The Little Book of Zen and it's interesting. The book contains haiku, koans, and sayings. So far I'm cherishing the haiku (it's divided up by the seasons) so it will be slow reading. Perhaps I will take this little gem with us to California. :) Saturday I had all the best intentions of attending taekwondo, but was too rundown and tired. So I went back to sleep. (I apologize, Master Sponseller.) Will be a vigiliant little student this week. Steve and I had coffee talk with a friend (she treated to coffee--thank you) and we chatted for a couple of hours. Then I called a friend and we engaged in retail therapy at Chico's. It was a costly adventure. But damn, it was worth it. I spruced up my spring and summer wardrobe and can wear most of the clothes to play library. We spent the evening with friends... they made us corn beef and cabbage. It was delicious. Today, I need to crank out two book reviews and play library at Main reference. Then, Dad will take us out to dinner tonight. It will be a nice day.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Not So New Wave Wednesday: a Folk Song Instead

This afternoon I weeded children's books (beginning readers) at a library branch. While I was doing this mind-numbing and enjoyable task, a song softly entered my mind. It surprised me because the radio wasn't playing, nor was I listening to anything folksy on the radio before arriving at the library. (I've been listening to Smashing Pumpkins in the car. ) The song was Follow Me by John Denver. How the heck did John Denver creep into my mind? Then the a-ha moment arrived. Mom loved John Denver's music. The song made me think of her. And comforted me. And then the song triggered another fond memory. My sister, Mom, and I attended John Denver's concert at the Morris Civic Auditorium. We enjoyed a nice dinner (I remember being very tired, though) and enjoyed the concert, except for an obnoxious person kicking the chair behind me. But I do remember at the very beginning, there was a clip of the Muppet Show, the Christmas one with John Denver and the muppets singing The Twelve Days of Christmas. Despite my fatigue and the annoying chair-kicker, I'm so glad we went.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Practicing Round Kicks While Listening to B.B. King

It was a decent Monday. I was branch-hopping, training at one branch, weeding books at another branch, and visiting another to see a staff member. Tonight Steve (bless his heart) made dinner and took me to taekwondo tonight. There was my sensai and another black belt, so it was almost like a private lesson. I appreciate the session so much and feel like I am getting back on the right path. :) Something that is so kind is that Steve accompanies me to class, to help me build my confidence back up and to get some uninterrupted reading time in. On Saturday, there were a lot of Moms there with their kids. They were asking each other, "Which ones are yours?" They were referring to the students. Steve said to me if they asked him, he would say the tall redhead in the middle. (Yes, I was the only adult amongst the kids in this session . I had a Kramer moment.) What was also really cool is that we were practicing roundhouse kicks and self-defense moves to B.B. King. Master Sponseller always has interesting music playing during martial arts.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Another Night Out and Book Recommendation

What a rainy windy day! The weather outside feels like a collage of April and October. However, we didn't come across any mud. :P We noticed sunshine peeking out at us after several quick and dramatic rainstorms. What a good day. I accidentally overslept and missed services today (oops.) Will try again next week. We celebrated my mother-in-law's birthday today and dined at Red Lobster. I ordered the crab legs again. Tasty! Thank goodness Steve and I worked out prior to eating out. I may need to do a little more exercising to offset the complimentary dinners. :) I am grateful. I should almost rename this blogsite "The Grief Blog," because that's what's on my mind so much lately. But it would be unnatural if I didn't grieve. There's a wonderful book I purchased recently entitled On Grief and Grieving by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross and David Kessler. It's absolutely comforting and wonderful. The authors completely understand what's going on with me now. The authors affirm your grief, discuss the stages, and provide examples on how to move forward. I highly recommend this read for anyone who has ever lost a loved one.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Stuck in the Mud Next to An Adult Bookstore

I am still giggling. This is totally blog worthy. But I'm giving you fair warning--it involves an adult bookstore, so if you are faint of heart or eyes, stop reading now. I finished a blog and one of my girlfriends calls me. There are three of them and their vehicle is stuck in the mud waiting for a tow truck. This wouldn't be particularly funny, except that my adventurous friends are stuck in a field next to an adult bookstore. This is a place where one would want to remain anonymous. Apparently, from curiosity or necessity, one of the girls wanted to visit this venue and purchase a few items. Well, the store appeared to be open, but my friends couldn't find the door to the entrance. One of my friends actually pounded on the door and yelled "Hey, is anyone in there?" At this point there were several neighbors who were observing. They couldn't get in the door, so my friends went out to the field next to the shop and attempted to drive away. With the rains that we were having today, it was quite muddy. And they were stuck. And full of mud! (I didn't ask.) So, my friends had to call a tow truck and tell them where they were located (next to the adult bookstore). Then, they had to call the insurance company and tell them where they were stuck. So much for subtlety. You can't make this stuff up.

Saturday Night Rain

A soft rain is comforting and even romantic. I reflected on this week. Despite my challenges and my sadness, two friends treated me to lunch this week and two friends/family treated me to dinner. I am thankful to have such wonderful people in my life. One of my friends actually called me out on the fact that I am starting to withdraw from people. He's right. He also noted that not only was I not giving enough face time but I was not blogging as often, chatting, facebooking, etc., much recently. It's good to know, especially now that grief is in full force, that a) someone is looking out for me and b) that I need to stay busy and have fun. I purchased a few CDs at a local store to upload to my iPod. I listened to Beck's latest CD in its entirety, Modern Guilt. His music is classic Beck with his collage of different styles of music and eclectic song lyrics. But his sound seems older with a bit of wisdom and sadness. My favorite song is #5 entitled Youthless. Perhaps Beck was listening to Saturday night rain as he wrote his music.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Taxing

I'm trying to stay positive, but it's been difficult in late. We visited our tax preparer tonight. I marked something wrong on my W-4, so we owe. Like a lot. We are quite disappointed. I can't seem to catch a break emotionally, fiscally, or physically. I'm tired of disappointment. I'm tired of feeling fragmented. I'm tired of feeling alone. I'm just tired and taxed.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

New Wave Wednesday:LoveSong by the Cure

It's been a good week so far, learning processes for the new LaSalle Branch which is exciting. I also joined a new neighborhood group. Also, Steve and I are finalizing our plans for California. We're so happy to have some time to play and enjoy the beaches and the ocean. Our cubicle area is turning into an animal menagerie. One of my friends made me a tiny saddle (she read a previous blog about saddles.) Right now the saddle is affixed on Rat. For New Wave Wednesday, I chose "LoveSong" by the Cure. Unfortunately, the embedding was disabled, so here is the link if you are interested: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pAmalgOOOa0

November Musings and Happy Early Thanksgiving

Has it been two months already? Happy autumn! In about a month, winter will be here. It's starting to feel like it outside. Enough ab...