Sunday, 29 October 2006

More Meaningful Music

A Rush Of Blood to The Head

He said I'm going to buy this place and burn it down.
I'm going to put it six feet underground.
He said I'm going to buy this place and watch it fall.
Stand here beside me baby in the crumbling walls.

Oh I'm going to buy this place and start a fire.
Stand here until I fill all your heart's desires.
Because I'm going to buy this place and see it burn.
Do back the things it did to you in return.

He said Oh I'm going to buy a gun and start a war.
If you can tell me something worth fighting for.
Oh and I'm going to buy this place that's what I said.
Blame it upon a rush of blood to the head.

And all the movements you're starting to make.
See me crumble and fall on my face,
and I know the mistakes that I made.
See it all disappear without a trace,
and they call as they beckon you on.
They say start as you mean to go on.
Start as you mean to go on.

He said I'm going to buy this place and see it go.
Stand here beside my baby watch the orange glow.
Some will laugh and some just sit and cry,
but you just sit down there and you wonder why.

So I'm going to buy a gun and start a war.
If you can tell me something worth fighting for,
and I'm gonna buy this place that’s what I said,
blame it upon a rush of blood to the head, oh to the head.

Honey, all the movements you're starting to make.
see me crumble and fall on my face,
and I know the mistakes that I made.
See it all disappear without trace,
and they call as they beckon you on.
They said start as you mean to go on.
As you mean to go on, as you mean to go on

So meet me by the bridge, meet me by the lane.
When am I going to see that pretty face again.
Meet me on the road, meet me where I said blame it all upon,
A rush of blood to the head

Saturday, 28 October 2006

The Road Less Traveled

My favourite phrase is "the road not taken", since it seems that there are often crossroads in our lives and there is, if not a fork, several paths to choose from. Do we look back and wonder if we took the right path? Sure, we do. And if someone tells that they never look back, don't believe them. As much as I go for a good, guilt-free existance, sometimes I wonder about the road not taken. It is the human condition. There will always be situations where you know definitively that you made the wrong choice. There will always be situations where you know that you absolutely made the right choice. And there will be situations where you won't know. Maybe for a short time, maybe forever. But the doubt and wonder will find you.

Well, one of my coworkers has a poster up in her office that reads, "Sometimes the road less traveled is the road less traveled for a reason". Jerry Seinfeld said it. He is right. In fact, I would venture to guess this to usually be the case. I had to laugh at that, but at the same time, it really caught my attention. Completely, fully. I have been thinking about it all week.

How many roads do I have that are less traveled? I have a few. Not many, since I am one to cogitate continously about things, good, bad or indifferent. I prefer to examine those various things in life that affect me and who can affect me more than... me? Let's face it, other people have an effect on me, but they are coming out with their own things, and I am reacting. But I am always doing things, saying things, thinking things... that at some point or another will have an effect on how other people view me, on events, on what I do next or how I feel or how someone else feels. That is a lot of responsibility. I find myself driving and shaking my head at SO many people. Why? Other people are the most inconsiderate drivers. In general, as a rule, I am not an inconsiderate driver. I make an effort not to tailgate people; not to cut people off; to not let that hideously rude person drive down the shoulder to get home faster. You don't like traffic? Move to Kentucky - they don't have any!

But I am not always a considerate driver... and isn't it amazing how I can mentally justify that? I try to not do that, but every so often, life just gets to me or (usually the case) I'm on autopilot and the crash sensor isn't working... so to speak. Ever get to work or get home and you can't recall anything about the trip home? Yes, I have been down that road. It's ugly... that should not happen. But it is just like taking a shower - it is all on autopilot...

Maybe that is a road I shouldn't take...

At any rate, now that I am forging a really positive relationship with my biological father, Harry, let's look at this. Talk about the road less traveled. We might never travel down this road at all had I not been lying in bed watching M. Night Shamalyan's "The Sixth Sense", and finally - finally - got the courage to write to Harry and tell him I would like to open a dialogue - no pressure, no strings, no expectations, but just to get some history. And look at how amazing a ride - a journey - this has been. (Thank you, M. Night Shamalyan!) I'm the road less traveled! Yes - look at it from his point of view. I can see his point of view in a positive and unbiased way now... at age 38, having done and seen enough to know that everyone has roads less traveled or not taken. Thinking about the options then, he felt at that time that this was the right path to take. The best possible road was to cut off all ties and head that direction. I doubt it was an easy decision. And he wrote that he regretted it and would I forgive him?

I wrote back that forgiveness was not what was needed. No forgiveness necessary. More importantly, no apologises needed. It was not a capital crime and I am not unhappy with my life as it turned out. And I understand giving up something at one point and then wondering or outright regretting it for a long time. I have my skeletons, my own dirty little secrets. Who doesn't? And so there really isn't anything to forgive or apologise for - now that the right road is being taken. At least we are not too late to go down this path!

So sometimes, it is a good thing to not just wonder about the road less traveled... but to actually summon up the courage to travel it.

Friday, 27 October 2006


It seems like no matter how much you think you have, it is never enough.

Time seems to weigh heavy on the human race. We can only move in one direction through it: forward. And even if we are mired in the past, stuck in the present or trying to live in the future, it still moves at its steady, stalwart pace, and just in that one direction. But we always want it to hurry up... or slow down... or stay in a moment, but it ignores our pleas to remain where, or should I say, when, we are happiest.

And that is the thing about time. At work, I never have enough. And I love my job, but I won't give up my other parts of life for it, as I won't give up working for other areas of life. It is all of my life, and I make sure to break it down into equal parts. I want life to be special. If I neglect or give up time in one facet, then I am cheating myself - and that part of my life, be it work, Luis, family (parents and realtives), friends, or my own alone-time. I try to slice the pie as evenly as possible.

But time... I need more.

And what would I do with more time? There really is a lot of it. I guess the real problem with time is that I just don't know how much of it I really have. I could die tomorrow (I certainly hope not but it could happen) or I might not be slated to die until 5 July 2048 (which would make me a little over 80 years and six months old. Not bad...). I don't know. If I knew, for example, that my ETD (estimated time of death) would be 14:38. Friday, 13 October 2017, what would I do with that knowledge? Well, I would not tell my employer, obviously. I have to be honest, talk about incentive to replace me. Not right away, maybe, but not too far down the road. I might start actively training someone in early 2017, but I would not let on until much closer to my end date that this is my ETD. But I would definitely make sure I travel. I would do heaps of travelling! I would make sure that my cats (I always have cats) will be taken care of. I would be sure to have a will ready. And I would pretty much continue as I have, with one exception. If cutting out sugar and learning to eat vegetables would change that ETD or push it off longer, well, I would make those changes, too.

But as much as I fall into the trap of thinking that I don't have time, I do think I live life to its fullest each and every day. I may not use my time as wisely as I should, but I can't look back and say I haven't jam packed it full of good, worthwhile living; that I robbed myself of experiences I wanted to have. I try to live as best as I can and as much as I can. Life is worth it. Life is wonderful and full of great things to try. To do. To experience. To learn - oh, that is by far my favourite thing is to learn. And every day I do learn.

So I live each day as though it were my last. My watch keeps ticking and I keep ticking with it.
PS. The clocks will be going back soon, just a couple of days. This is good for many, bad for me. More sleepless times, more issues with getting up and functioning well in the morning. Talk about what time can do to one. I love time, but I do not love when my mornings have shifted into daylight (which will disappear soon enough), and my evenings into darkness by 1730, which in the "dead" of winter will mean the sun is setting around 1630 - ugh! So by 1830 it feels like midnight.

Thursday, 26 October 2006

In Sickness... And In Sickness

No, I'm not feeling too good.

What began as a mild cold has now turned into a full-blown flu, which had I been thinking, I'd have know that this would happen. I never get a "mild cold" - such a thing as that does not exist for me. I get knock-down, drag-out, kick you while you are down colds and nothing in between or less than that. Or I get something far more heinous. It's hard to say if I did this to myself... I mean, I know where the originating bug came from but neither vector has had any flu symptoms, so I can't benchmark what I have. Kids often carry the germs around and give them to a whole passel of people without ever coming down with it - likely they've already had it and so the germs are just using them to travel and spread to others. But Molly came down with symptoms (just more mild) as well. I'm the only one, though, who got hit with the full force of it.

Makes sense, really. Molly is constantly exposed to her children and so has more opportunities to build up her immunities just by going through the colds and illnesses that they bring home from school and daycare or friends. I have so little exposure to kids in my normal day-to-day living that I don't have the same opporutunities to build up a resistance to several strains of whatever in one shot. It is expected that parents will get sick a lot in the first so many months or years of their kids getting exposure to other kids, whether it is school or daycare or friends or playdates; and then after that, they will be immune to a lot of the childhood maladies that hit the common grounds listed above. School teachers go through that, too. But then there is me. No kids and not much exposure to them. The only child I spend any time with is Matthew, but he really isn't up to doing playdates and Alayna is a fulltime mom, so there is no daycare involved. He won't be heading off to school for a long time yet, so he is not down with something all the time the way more socially active children are.

Well. Reason 3,496 as to why I am not having children. They are carriers of contagion!

Wednesday, 25 October 2006

Winter Seems to Be Coming Early

Don't worry, it's not here yet...

But it is clearly on its way. There are preliminary reports of a nor'easter heading our way for this weekend. Blustery strong winds with a boatload (no pun intended) of rain. Sounds very late autumn-ish, doesn't it? And it is not late autumn, it's only half over. But the trees are already mostly bare and I suspect that the high winds for Friday night through Saturday will strip the last of the leaves from the already most bare trees. Sigh.

I am feeling very unwell. I am hoping it will pass, but I think I know better. I think Atlantic City will have to wait until a couple of weeks from now.

Back to the original topic. When I woke up on Sunday morning in Keene, New Hampshire, at about 06:00, it was dark, 20 degrees outside, and there was a full layer of frost - more like solid ice - on my poor exposed car (I have a garage to park in at home; up there, no garage. Well, they have one, but like most people, it ends up being used for storage. When we bouhgt this house I allowed it to be used for storage for a short time and then cleaned it out in full and decreed that I would be parking in it! I was determined to never have to clean ice and sleet and snow off of my vehicle again!) Anyway, that was what told me (that and having to be in to work the next day...) that it was time to migrate south again. But I can only migrate to the mid-Atlantic region, as this is called in most maps and the Old Farmer's Almanac, and that means that I am only putting off the inevitable, and not getting away from it in full.

True, our winters are generally much less severe than in interior New England. And our location makes it a crap shoot. We are sometimes south of the rain/snow line; sometimes north of it; sometimes right on it. It is roughly around here that the difference between snow and rain or the inbetween and most feared of all conditions, freezing rain, might be. Some winters we avoid a lot of the snow and Sussex County gets it. Other years, we are right in the middle and get hammered with freezing rain (by and far the most dangerous of all weather conditions. And yet other years we get snow - one fall right after the next. Two winters ago was like that.

So I may be wrong. We may not be hurling towards an early winter. But then again, we might be. I guess we will just have to wait and see.

Tuesday, 24 October 2006

A Week From Today

A week from today it will be Samhain, the Wiccan New Year.

I happen to love Samhain. It is a fun holiday for Wiccans now, not the scary thing it used to be when Druids or those masquerading as Druids (history is unclear on this) did human sacrifices to the Oak King on Samhain. I think the Gaels of the 8th century were afraid of the Oak King, who was said to eat children, and so made a sacrifice each New Year of a child who hadn't reached his 8th year. The reason for that was at 8 years old, a child took on his or her "name" that he or she would be called for life. Up until that time, they usually had descriptive nicknames that served as their names until they reached adulthood and so had the right to select a name for themselves. Once that occurred, they were "safe" from being sacrificed to the Oak King.

We don't believe that now. And most Wiccans were not ones for human or animal sacrifice for any reason. It's one thing to kill animals for the food, the hide and the bones and antlers or horns. All life lives at the expense of other life. Or, "Nature is red in tooth and claw." Take your pick. But to take something's life to prolong yours or to read the future? That is just wrong.

Some cultures do practice such things and I would not align myself with any groups like that.

The other thing that happens a week from tonight, in Irish folklore, is that this is a Moving Day for faeiries. I love Irish folklore and read all I can on it. According to this, there are moving fairies and they move twice a year - once on May Day and once on All Souls' Day (also known as All Saints' Day), 1 May and 1 November, respectively. They do it on the stroke of twelve at midnight. They move all around the world.

"We the globe can compass soon,
Swifter than the wandering moon."

And they create trouble and mischief to those who encounter them. It's said that fairies won't bother drunkards or fools. They have a love of gold and a hatred for silver, as it is a metal of the moon. There is a good side and a dark side though, and woe to he that encouters the Amadán-na-Briona (Gaelic for "The Fool") and his coursers, who ride the night, hunting for anything that gets in their path. And there is True Tom, the only human who lives among the Daonie Shidhe, as the Wee Folk are called.

"And we fairies, that do run,
By the triple Hecate's team,
From the presence of the sun,
Following darkness like a dream."

Wondering how to find them? Well, if you should come across a fairie mound, you would face the setting sun and then cirle it nine times widdershins (anticlockwise) until you see the entrance to the hill, a cave. Once you are in, if you say, "By the Blessèd St. Patrick, our Lady and in the name of our Lord, guide my way", a guide will present itself to you. It might be a golden spinning ball, it might be a raven, a man or a woman who speak a foriegn language, or a child. But guide you they will. There are the Bright Lands, the Shadow Lands, and the Dark Lands. Once it was all one, and the King and Queen ruled together. But at some point it divided and the King became the Fool, or Amadán-na-Briona, and the Queen remained in the Bright Lands. You might reconise them as Oberon and Titania from A Midsummer Night's Dream by Shakespeare. Good play for learning some of the Irish folklore that abounds still.

"If we shadows have offended,
Think but this and all is mended,
That you have but slumber'd here,
While these visions did appear."

A Midsummer Night's Dream, Act V, scene i

Friday, 20 October 2006



So I looked in your direction,
But you pay me no attention, do you.
I know you don't listen to me.
'cause you say you see straight through me, don't you.
On and on from the moment I wake,
To the moment I sleep,
I'll be there by your side,
Just you try and stop me,
I'll be waiting in line,
Just to see if you care.

Did she want me to change?
But I change for good.
And I want you to know.
But you always get your way,
I wanted to say,
[Chorus] Don't you Shiver?
Shiver, Shiver
I'll always be waiting for you,

So you know how much I need ya,
But you never even see me, do you?
And this is my final chance of getting you.
On and on from the moment I wake....
Did she want me to change?...
[Chorus] Sing it loud and clear.
I'll always be waiting for you.
[x3]Yeah I'll always be waiting for you.
And it's you I see, but you don't see me.
And it's you I hear, so loud and clear.
I sing it loud and clear.
And I'll always be waiting for you.

So I look in your direction,
But you pay me no attention,
And you know how much I need you,
But you’ve never even seen me.

Thursday, 19 October 2006

Don't Panic

Don't Panic
Oh, we're sinking like stones
All that we fall for
All those places we've grown
All of us are done for

We live in a beautiful world,
Yeah we do, yeah we do,
We live in a beautiful world,

Oh, we're sinking like stones
All that we fall for
Homes, places we've grown
All of us are done for

We live in a beautiful world,
Yeah we do, yeah we do,
We live in a beautiful world.

Oh, all that I know,
There's nothing here to run from,
And there, everybody here's got somebody to lean on.

Wednesday, 18 October 2006

Life is Not a Spectator Sport

Very true.

Tomorrow morning I am driving up to New Hampshire to visit my friend Molly and her family, go to the Pumpkin Festival and see more of New England, which I am loving more and more. I really see the beauty in this part of the world.

We will be going to see America's Stonehenge on Friday and stopping at a haunted tavern on the way home. Then we will go see the lit up pumpkins in the square that night and then Saturday is the actual festival. The weather forecast is still quite promising for Saturday, so I'm OK with the rainy Friday and Sunday. Saturday is the one I really want to see be beautiful. It will be a little cold at 12 degrees C, but I can still live with that.

But where, you say, does this fit into the title?

Well, it's living. I love living. I want to live life to its fullest and this is part of it. Life is not a spectator sport. It's a game - and it isn't winning or losing that is important, it is how you play that is the key. When you are 80 years old and looking back, will you smile and see all those things that brought joy? Or will you have permanent lines and look miserable? I want all of my wrinkles to be the ones of someone who smiles all the time and laughs often. I am not a watcher, I'm a doer. This is doing. This is living, and that is the most important thing I can to do - just to be. I don't want to let life get me down. But the only one who can do that... is me! It's my life. How will I live it?

I will live it as though it is my last day on earth.

Tuesday, 17 October 2006

My First Real Vacation Day

Ok, Saturday was really my first vacation day. I stopped working on Friday night and even though it was my rotation night on Saturday, that is not work, it's... fun. It's a break from regular life. I made no life or death decisions and Bob and I had fun on both of our calls. It was all good. But today the weekend is over and the workweek is in progress and so I am home alone. The weather - and I have discoursed a'plenty on how affected by the weather I am - is terrible. It was overcast this morning but around 11h00 it ceased to just be overcast and began raining in earnest. And my friend that I thought would call about going out to breakfast did not call.

So I was in bed until noon watching "Grey's Anatomy" (the second season) and then I got up, went to the sun room (which is dark and dreary and watched more of "Grey's Anatomy". It's an excellent show. I love the actors, the medical stuff and they make you think... Like the Christmas episode with the different reactions that people have to the holidays and such. I am not too into Christmas - not on a religious level at all, of course, but also not into going crazy with it. I like putting up a tree and lights in each window and I like the gift-giving and all, but the let's go everywhere and see everyone thing gets old... fast. It gets old to be out every weekend visiting people. I like my alone time. Today it just happened to be depressing to be home, alone, with everyone else working and the weather too crappy to go out. I really wanted to be out. I wanted to move around, go hiking, do stuff. But doing stuff alone isn't really fun. And hiking in the rain is not an option.

So instead of being a vacation day, it was a lot more like a sick day. Sad, isn't it? I'm sad. I'm pathetic and today was proof of that. I sat around, did nothing (it's not as though there aren't a gazillion household things to be done!), and ate myself into a new size. Not healthy - not mentally healthy, not physically healthy. Good thing I have yoga to look forward to. I love yoga. And then I have my completely exhausting, healthy workout that makes me feel super-fat right after that. Nothing like 168lbs of flesh bobbling and jiggling around to Salsa and belly dancing music, right?

At least tomorrow looks much more promising. There is a graveyard in Sussex County that is supposedly haunted, maybe I will go see that. I have seen a ghost (at work, if you can imagine) but it was only the most fleeting glimpse. Not as much as an ethereal experience as one might hope!

OK, I'm too depressing to be blogging, aren't I. I miss work, can you believe it? That's a nice thing... I never missed my other jobs when I took time off. I guess today especially, feeling lonely and bored and definitely feeling the adverse effects of a dull, dreary day, it is intensified.

I'm off. Maybe yoga and belly dancing will make those endorfins go crazy and make me feel better...

Monday, 16 October 2006

A Day With Luis

Luis took today off, thinking that I wanted him to for a trip to Pennsylvania... I had told him that the trip to Pennsylvania was off until some time in November, and I guess I thought he would cancel the request. Instead, he kept it in and took yesterday off.


We spent the morning looking for his missing wallet until he suddenly remembered for sure that he left it at my parents' house. We went there and retrieved it, then went to Rockaway Mall to get my candles that finally came in and then to the bookstore, where I promptly and easily blew $125.00 on books! Well, books are like that - they are worth it all. So while yes, I can easily spend $125.00 anyway, on books, well, that's just too easy.

After that we came home, relaxed, did our own things, then met to veg out in front of the telly until bedtime.

Sunday, 15 October 2006

A Fun Family Reunion!

I'm getting this one in just under the wire. I promised one post per day and this is one minute to midnight, so here I am, diligently making my one post per day. It was a busy day. I was up late, past midnight, and then we went out on another lifting assist call at 04h30 hours. We got lucky - Lucy showed up too, so we had help. The cop was there on scene, but it was a weird call - we couldn't get the same story from the patient as from the Russian woman taking care of her, so some dimensia was involved. But we lifted her into bed. She didn't know if she wanted to go to the hospital, but since her mental status was questionable, we let the son make the decision. About ten minutes later we were released from the scene, heading home. Yay!

I got in the house at 05h17, went to bed and read until 06h00, turned off the plektron and slept until 10h40 - something I usually don't like to do, but I was tired - not nearly enough sleep. We hung around the house and I did more organising until 13h00, when we showered, dressed, and headed over to my parents to be in the Kellogg family reunion. My uncle Bob and aunt Barbara were there already (they'd spent the weekend) and then shortly after we came, my aunt Phyllis and her new husband Pat came. We headed down to Willowbrook Mall to pick up my cousins, Dawn and David Fredericks, from the bus stop. Apparently Dawn moved back from California to New York some three or four years ago. David had been in Russia for a while but I guess he also returned to the local area. I hadn't seen Dawn in about three years but David I haven't seen since we were teenagers!

It was really nice - we had a great time and then went out to the Garlic Rose for dinner and that was lovely, too. The food there is just out of this world. We had a great time there and then returned to Wayne to have cake for Ray's upcoming birthday (next Friday, not this one coming) and then Luis and I dropped Dawn and David off at Willowbrook on our way home to catch their bus home. We got in around 22h30.

I have been up straightening up a bit, putting more things away and finishing laundry - I keep odd hours when I don't work. More so when I ride, but this whole week I will be a little off-kilter, because I will stay up past midnight (not a lot past midnight, but at least a little), and I will get up around 08h30 - 09h00, which is really late for me.

Now, it is time to finish up those last few things before calling it a night.

Saturday, 14 October 2006

Saturday the 14th

Anther Saturday rotation is underway!

Yes, every six weeks we give up one Saturday night to listen for the call of those in distress. This happens to be my weekend to do so. It's just myself, Bob and the Village Idiot; after 21h00, we need not worry about the Village Idiot. As it happens, we didn't anyway - we were blown out for a call around 19h30, as I'm standing in line at the grocery store with milk, skim milk, yogurt... all perishables. Isn't that nice? Of course I'm about to pay for my boatload of groceries when my plektron starts screaming (and can be heard across the store) and so had to dump the goods and race over to the squadhouse. The call is for a house over in the catacombs as we used to call them - all the little side streets of Lake Parsippany. This is 65's territory, not ours, so I did not know specifically where Northfield was. I got in and pulled the rig out, waited for Bob and the VI to join me when another call - also for the other side of town - was blown out.

We began heading for the first call - I can get to Allentown Road no problem, but finding Northfield - well, I get ahead of myself. We heard 65 get on the air - it's Chris Miller and it's only Chris Miller. You can't roll a rig out with only one person, so we stop at the corner of Allentown, drop off the Village Idiot (oh, yes, Chris won't be thanking us for that...), and happily head down Allentown to grope our way through the catacombs to find this house. What a trip - we were all over the local area, us in our humungous vehicle on these tiny streets. We finally find the house (with no cop waiting on scene!) and go in, lift up our patient and after about ten minutes, we are out of there, released from the scene. I don't remember what the other call was - the usual, I imagine. Feeling sick, difficulty breathing or possible chest pain (which is almost never a heart attack). They went to the hospital, so Bob and I just went back to the squadhouse and went home. Well, he went home - I went to FoodTown to retrieve and pay for my groceries.

I came home and Tom, Alayna and Matthew were there. Matthew is no longer a happy, pass-me-along-to-the-next-person-in-line baby. He has reached the nobody-but-my-parents-get-to-touch-me-now stage, so he took a look at me and cried. Wonderful. And they have a helmet on him, too. I mean, yes, he's kind of a funny looking kid. And he will be for a while. But the whole craze to ensure that your kid has a round head is just too stupid for me. I have seen more and more of this phenomenon showing up and honestly, is this what parents worry about? There are better things in life to focus on than this...

We had a fun night and it was interruption-free. We ordered Chinese, had a great time sitting around talking and then sitting around talking and eating. They stayed until cose to 22h00 and then went home. Luis was in bed watching the telly while I began sorting through both the summer clothing that was divided into two piles: going away for storage and going into a bag for the clothing drive I'm running. The winter clothes, in three huge bins that I stored them in, were also sorted through, and swapped. The summer clothing I'm keeping was both put into one of the three bins and hung up in the closet down in the library. (I had thoroughly cleaned out the library this morning - I mean, I really went in there with a vengeance and cleaned out all kinds of crap - I threw out tons of stuff. I also got things into storage containers and books put away and it looks great down there! Just beautiful! And the cleaning ladies came today and cleaned the floor, so it looks perfect!

Anyway, it's midnight (almost), so that is half the shift over. C0nsidering that we are apparently covering all of Parsippany and not just our third, this is saying something!

Friday, 13 October 2006

Happy Friday the 13th!

I never understand the superstitions of things like this and how it grips people as it does. Buildings with well over thirteen floors often don't have a designated thirteenth floor. It is skipped over and no one in this society - or any other British/American areas - seem to question it or have any issue with it. And it is not merely the number 13, there are a great many superstitions that flood the world that really have no basis in reality or actual events or repeating problems of signifigance. One's luck is a chance thing. Luck - whether bad or good - is one of those freaky, uncontrollable things. It is what we do with that luck - how we react to it - that matters, and little else.

But back to the number 13, which has taken on such ominous meaning...

I have two books, one entitled "13 - The Story of the World's Most Popular Superstition" by Nathaniel Lachenmeyer, and one entitled "A Dictionary of Omens and Superstitions" by Phillipa Waring. Just because I am not a particular believer in superstition that does not mean I am not fascinated by the things that different societies consider frightening or of ill fate or bad luck or whatever. And every single society, no matter how practical or pragmatic, has them - boatloads of them!

I never did get far into the first book, since it is a little on the dry side. I know that it opens with 13 Superstitions About 13...

1. Thirteen is an unlucky number

2. If thirteen people sit at a table, one will die within a year

3. The thirteenth day of the month is unlucky

4. Friday the 13th is an unlucky day

5. It is unlucky to start a journey on the 13th

6. The 13th floor is unlucky

7. Room No. 13 is unlucky

8. It is unlucky to have the number 13 in your street address

9. Thirteen steps lead to bad luck

10. A clock striking 13 protends a death in the family

11. It is unlucky to have 13 letters in your name

12. Numbers that add up to 13 are unlucky (e.g., 454)

13. It is unlucky to have 13 coins in your pocket

Yikes. Seems like everything is fraught with the bad luck that only the number 13 can bring. You'll notice that while Christians consider the number 6 to be bad and 666 to be the sign of the devil, you won't really see anyone going that much out of their way to avoid it. And some embrace it, such as the movie makers behind the recently redone "Omen", which was released on 6 June 2006 - 6.6.06. Very funny. I feel bad for the numbers 6 and 13 - how'd they get such a bad reputation? And yet the number 7 is lucky. Go figure that one out.

Friday has long been considered an unlucky day - how this is I don't know and will need to research, as most everyone I know, at least in the corporate world, looks upon Friday as a wonderful day - the start of the weekend! Who doesn't look forward to those two days off between the work weeks? So that must have started prior to the determined workweek, and even then, I suspect that Saturday was the last working day and Sunday the only day off, as people used to work much more and without any protective laws until only in recent times.

13 as an unlucky number has been around far longer and quite honestly, its origins are steeped in the Last Supper - a supper attended by 13 people - Christ and his 12 apostles (trust Christians to give 13 a bad name. Those people seem to consider everything to be bad luck or ill-fated).

It turns out that Friday is unlucky because this day, supposedly, is the one on which Eve tempted Adam with the apple. Again, the Christians. I was born on a Friday - Friday, 26 January, 1968, at 10h39. I don't view any of my birth or my life as unluckier than most. In fact, I have been lucky in many, many ways and can look back on events that were negative then and turned out to make for a better journey through life in the current. So. I think that trashes that right there. As for the thirtheenth and Friday, I have noted the day as it is by most every time it occurs (usually twice to three times per calendar year) and it is day like any other. Some are spectacular. Some are awful. Most are just regular days with regular happenings. And since they are almost always work days (Good Friday possibly being the only exception, and that isn't part of my beliefs anyway), well, then they truly are a mix of good and bad. I did fire someone today... pretty funny, hmmm. I guess it was an unlucky day for him but the fact is, he did it to himself. The day and date had nothing to do with it. (I'm surprised no one mentioned it...)

So much for that!

Thursday, 12 October 2006

Another Fun Night...

We have a newbie on the squad, one who has First Responder credentials and has done some riding (I think) before - well. alright! We need more members quite badly and I would welcome anyone to our team at this point. He's a nice kid (he's young) and he had a lot to share with us and seems to have been in ambulances before - more as a patient than as an EMT/First Responder, but he has been in them. Bob showed him how to board and collar me if I was a patient at an accident or fall scene. We had a good time showing him the rig and going through rig check with him. It was a good night. Well, what we have had of it.
In fact, Bob and I headed home around 2015 and maybe two minutes after I'd been in the house we were blown out for a call - typical. So I ran right over and called out our new guy's name and started up the ambulance. Bob pulled in right as I was pulling the rig out of the bay, and shortly after Rob showed up (yes, unfortunately he's on until 2100). We raced down to Baldwin Oaks (oh, no) and there was our pateint, feeling ill. How long have been feeling ill, ma'am?

Oh, three or four days now...

Welcome to EMS!

Wednesday, 11 October 2006

Trying to Do it All

I'm not sure if work vacations are truly as beneficial as all that. For the lower level positions, absolutely it is. It is easy for a server to take a week of paid vacation time off - there is a whole pool of servers to rearrange your schedule should you need to. But then there is me. Or any of the managers. Our jobs are highly specialised ones with certain tasks that only we can do. For me, and the other managers more than most - no one can do payroll but me and the Controller - who is rusty at it but does know that system. But I can't do any aspect of the Controller's job. And he cannot really do any other aspect of my job. None of us are qualified to do what the highest in command does.
So here I am, the last work week before my one-week vacation starts, ready to go but not ready to go. There is so, SO much to prepare - for the Controller, who will be stuck with payroll, for me, for the other employees with things that cannot wait (but not so much). Those things (and I am sure that while some things can wait, I have them listed as not waitable), must - MUST - be completed or at the next phase prior to leaving! It's extremely stressful, more so than not going on vacation.
And, of course, we all know the aftermath of a week off and the kind of unmitigated stress that THIS causes!

Happy vacation!

Tuesday, 10 October 2006

Lots of Things

There's all kinds of things floating through my head...
How fat I looked in the "diva dancing" class. Two other extremely fit, attractive women... and me.
How much I enjoyed singing "American Pie" and "A Day in the Life" on the ride home from Classics Gym.
How much I want to wake up tomorrow with a great body.
How lovely the stars are.
How much I want to find some belly dancing music so I can practice at home and lose all this weight.
It's all jumbled around in there, knocking about. Mostly, it's me agonising over this hideously fat body. It isn't enough that my evil paternal grandmother bequeathed me one thing - her flabby, flapping upper arms - but then I have a "baby pouch" and never had a baby (a wonderful thing, but what's my excuse for looking like this? The worst thing is that when I don't have a mirror nearby, I forget that I am the big woman that I've become and really feel like a normal, slender person. And I'm not. I won't be without losing quite a lot of weight. I go do yoga once a week and now I do this dance class once a week, but the rest of the week nothing happens. I don't want to be this moosy person.
When I was a teen and a young woman, I had a great body - even better than my mother's for one reason - I have an ass (must be the Trebilcox side, as the Plachek side hasn't had one!). I was smokin' then, as they say. Now I have all sorts of extra weight. At my worst I was 210lbs; now I am at the lowest in a long time - around 168 or so - but I can't seem to get past that, to continue going down. I seem to be holding stable. Not that that isn't great, but I'm still a fat woman who looks awful when belly dancing.
OK. Enough of this. Tomorrow will be a new day and there will be other agonising things to think about.

Monday, 9 October 2006

How Many Kids Do You Need to Have?

There is an interesting article on my opening page of Yahoo!. Unfortunately, it scares me me as to how thoughtless people are when it comes to this sort of thing...

Bucking Norm, Some Relish Big Families
NEW YORK - Laura Bennett isn't bound by convention. Professionally, at age 42, she's pursuing a mid-career switch into big-time fashion design. At home, she's a mother of five — with No. 6 due next month. "It was nothing that we planned ahead of time," Bennett says. "It's more that we were enjoying all the kids. We have a happy home. Why not have as many children as we can?"

It's barely a blip on the nation's demographic radar — 11 percent of U.S. births in 2004 were to women who already had three children, up from 10 percent in 1995. But there seems to be a growing openness to having more than two children, in some case more than four.

The reasons are diverse — from religious to, as Bennett reasons, "Why not?"

The families involved cut across economic lines, though a sizable part of the increase is attributed to a baby boom in affluent suburbs, with more upper-middle-class couples deciding that a three- or four-child household can be both affordable and fun.

The Bennetts still stand out. Among other well-off families in Manhattan, three children is generally the maximum — one or two is much more common as parents contemplate private-school tuition of $25,000 a year even for kindergarten, and a real estate market that is far from family-friendly. Bennett's husband, Peter Shelton, is a successful architect, and the family can afford child-care help while Bennett — also an architect by training — pursues her fashion-design aspirations as a finalist on the TV reality show "Project Runway." But their motives sound similar to those of other, less wealthy parents nationwide who have opted for five or more children.

Dr. Jeff Brown, a pediatrician affiliated with Greenwich Hospital in Connecticut's wealthy southwestern suburbs, has noticed a clear trend in recent years. "I don't hear people say, 'We'll have two and then we're done,' where I used to hear that before," he said. "People are much more open to three-children families than they were 10 years ago." However, really big families remain rare, Brown said, in part because many women are giving birth at older ages — they may not have their third child until in their 40s, when the prospect of a fourth might seem too daunting.

The Census Department says it has no national data specifying which demographic sectors are having more kids these days. But a leading expert on family size, Duke University sociologist Philip Morgan, says it makes sense that some well-off couples are opting for more children as concern about global overcrowding eases because of lowering birth rates overall.

"The population explosion — fears about that are over," he said. "People used to think that having more than two kids was not only expensive but immoral. Now, people say if you can afford three kids, four kids, that's great." Yet Morgan, who has three children of his own, doubts there will be a boom in extra-large families. "No matter how much money the parents have, most think each of their kids should have their own place and time," he said. "More than four — that's when people start thinking you're crazy, that you're shortchanging the ones you already have."

Bonny Clark, a mother of five from the Minneapolis suburb of Circle Pines, has encountered such skepticism. When pregnant with twins four year ago — with three other children already on hand — even some of her friends were dismayed. "There were a lot of unwelcome comments, like, 'If I had three kids and was having twins, I'd kill myself,'" Clark said. Clark, 38, is aware of the buzz that large families — in the suburbs, at least — are a new status symbol. "I thought it was kind of funny," she said "Most people who have a lot of kids don't have the time or energy to care what about others think." On top of other family duties, Clark has an extra, self-imposed workload — homeschooling all five children ranging from the twins to an adolescent daughter. "One of the biggest struggles for me," she said, "is that 4-year-olds' interests aren't the same as a 13-year-old's interests." Her husband, who runs the mail center at a local college and does landscaping, has limited spare time, and the family constantly improvises to make do financially.

Carmen and Frank Staicer of Virginia Beach, Va., have an even bigger brood — six children aged 2 through 14. The two youngest — including 2-year-old Riley, who is autistic — are at home with Carmen during the day; the others go to local Roman Catholic schools. Carmen embraces the challenges of raising so large a family but doesn't minimize them. "There are many nights I go to bed mentally exhausted, after trying to deal with high school bullies and first-grade spelling words," she said. "But I can't think of anything that I'd rather do than be dealing with these incredibly funny, wonderful individuals." Even with her husband's income as a car dealership finance manager, Staicer says budget-balancing can require buying secondhand sports gear and controlling food bills with coupons and leftovers. Each weekday afternoon, she switches into chauffeur mode, driving her children to afterschool activities. "I don't want them to grow up thinking that because we had all these kids, they couldn't do anything," she said. Her oldest children — Nikolas, 14, and Allegra, 11 — sometimes weary of the decibel level around the house, but they also see upsides. If she's briefly feuding with one of her siblings, said Allegra, there's always someone else to play with.

One gauge of the Staicers' home life is laundry — 20 loads in an average week. In South Orange, N.J., where Diana and Ronald Baseman have raised 10 children, trash output is a challenge — at one point, garbagemen needed to be tipped before they would haul away the family's refuse. The Basemans had six biological children, then — after Diana had three miscarriages — adopted four more from Guatemala, the oldest 8 and the youngest barely a year old. One factor was Diana Baseman's refusal, as a Roman Catholic, to use artificial birth control, but even as a child she aspired to have a big family.

"I have learned so much from children that I never would have learned otherwise," Baseman said. Even with the two oldest children in their 20s and living elsewhere, Baseman has her hands full homeschooling the others.

"My biggest frustration is that I make the schedule and then there's an emergency — practically every day," she said. "But a lot people get exhausted by taking care of their children. I don't."

From far-flung communities, many parents of large families enjoy comparing notes. Several Web sites have surfaced to accommodate such exchanges, including, founded this year by Meagan Francis of Williamston, Mich.

Francis, 29, has four children — fewer than many of her site's regular bloggers, but enough to raise eyebrows in her suburb outside Lansing. "People thought I was insane," she said.

From overseeing the Web site, Francis has concluded that large families don't fit the stereotypes sometimes applied to them.

"Some are really religious, others aren't. A lot are homeschoolers but many are not," she said. "There are stay-at-home moms, working moms, some with lots of money, some with not much ... We don't all fit a mold."
Francis is bemused by the recent buzz that large families are a status symbol.

"The majority of the large families I know have made adjustments — the kids share bedrooms, they don't always get new toys," she said. "It's more a question of valuing things a little differently."

Laura Bennett believes mothers with lots of children should make a point of doing something just for themselves on a regular basis. In her case, it's dressing well every day, "not getting sucked into sweatsuits and sneakers."

Bennett's oldest child, a daughter from a previous marriage, goes to college in Houston. The four children she has had with Shelton, sons ranging from 10 to 3, share a bunkroom. A fifth brother is expected at the end of November.

The main reaction Bennett gets from mothers with fewer children is, "How do you do it?" "My answer is I don't think about it too much," she said. "You do what you need to do, and you have to just let go of a few things. Don't expect things to be perfect every day."
Well, if that is what makes you sleep better at night, assuming you can sleep at all, great. Good for you. Has it occured to any of these families that this planet as a whole can only support so many people and that we as a race have far exceeded that number? Clearly not. And I have an even lower opinion of unplanned pregnancies and children - that seems unbelievably irresponsible. Of course, no one seems to put any financial thought into this process, either. In fact, there really is not a whole lot of thinking going on at all. People just seem to go forward with this, wanted or not, without putting any logical thought into any of this process. That is really sad. I realise I'm unusual in being an only child, but I am happy at how my childhood turned out. I didn't like some things about but having a sibling would not have helped with any of those issues - if anything, it might have made them worse!

But this.... this is disturbing on a deep level.

Sunday, 8 October 2006

So Far, So Good!

Today was another good day, and no, I did not fall or in any way injure myself - event better. We spent the morning watching our shows that we both like, reading, enjoying each other, and then wandered over to my parents' house around 13h00 to close up the pool. The whole thing was so easy and painless and not at all like all the years past. It went so smoothly! It also helped that Luis and Ma helped with putting the tarp on.
(Can you believe this? I have managed to post something every single day this month so far! That is a miracle. Next weekend should be interesting. Ray's family is coming up to have reunion (yikes!) and so I will see my cousins Dawn and David and my Aunt Phyllis and her husband and my Uncle Bob and his wife. Bob is 19 years older than Ray if you can imagine, so he is 80 or just 81 and Ray will be 62 the end of this month. I will be taking a lot of pictures and writing heaps about this! But this month, like October of last year, will have plenty to write about! But last year I made one - that is it, one - post to the blog. This October I have sworn to put in something every day - it is, after all, my absolute favourite month!)

The weather was gorgeous again and so warm! It was in the mid-20s Celsius or the high 70s Farenheit. It was really amazing. I was sweating quite a bit between the exertion and the blazing sun. It really has been very chilly this week, giving that foreboding feeling that winter is fast approaching, unlike last year, when autumn leaves did not show until November!

We got all that done and Ray and I put the summer furniture away and got the shade thing down. The water was terribly murky and cloudy, so I don't think this will look too attractive when we open the pool in May of next year. But we shall see.

Ray, Luis and I trooped out to Michael's Arts & Crafts place for me to find a suitable glass jar big enough to really load in some jelly beans. We found one with a really unique shape and it will hold about 9 - 10lbs of Jelly Bellies (only the best for my employees!). From there we went to Costco to pick up some Jelly Bellies and the usual paper goods (toilet paper and paper towels) and Luis bought enough chewing gum to last months. After that we came home (my parents' home, I mean, but I have keys and come and go as I like, so it is still home to me as well), unloaded Ray's stuff, went in for about twenty minutes and came home. I have e-mails from Harry to answer and I was so happy - deliriously happy - to read the one that came today. So many answers to so many questions and all of them ones that are helpful and things that I can easily move through and work out and not carry that bit of baggage around. Wow. What a feeling. How can I describe it? Like a weight lifted from my shoulders. A weight I wasn't aware I was loaded down with as much as I was. I knew I had it... I just did not realise how much I had; sounds very cliché, but there it is.

Another joyous day has passed!

Saturday, 7 October 2006

A Day At Bear Mountain

This post came enormously close to being entitled "An Evening in the Bear Mountain Infirmary"! Happily, it did not.

Luis and I had an enjoyable morning hanging 'round the house, then got up (finally), showered, and headed briefly to his office to see what the renovations were looking like. Well, his office really won't be usable tomorrow unless more work was done over the past day, but it is smaller and the front will be a tight cubicle space for someone but it is what it is. We were there maybe 20 minutes. And then it was off to Bear Mountain. By the time we got there, sometime after 15h00, the weather, so typical for New Jersey and by proximaty, New York, had gone from cold and overcast to cool and not so clear, and then it became gorgeous with totally clear blue skies! It was still cool, but I prefer cool and the three shirts made it better. One short sleeved shirt under a light long sleeved shirt with a heavy swearshirt and I was ready!
They had the Oktoberfest going on there (yawn) and so after a very quick trip through there and determining that not a single healthy food existed there, we turned to the regular path around the lake. OK. The lake is lovely and the trees are mostly green (about 60% still green) but the other 40% ranged from splotchy patches of colour, some leaves with just the edges getting colour or "oh, my gods, how beautiful is this" to wow! Some leaves were a vermillion that rivalled the best setting sun ever. Some were lighter green but with yellow or orange edges to them. They were leaves, though, and I love leaves. And acorns, although the bloody critters tried to kill me.

After a summer of seeing the most wonderful of childhood summertime creaturers (and never having my camera with me when I encounter them) I finally found one at the right moment and the right setting - a gorgeous Monarch butterfly. We had millions of them in Pennsylvania when I was growing up there and then there came a span of years when they disappeared from the area and that was it. They were gone. About ten years ago, they slowly began to reappear and now, working at a golf course with so many delightfully manicured plants and lovely flowers, they are out and about and just so visible. And other more rare butterflies, too. So when this one pictured above landed in some flowers just hiding there in the shoreline, I had to slowly, so slowly, approach the flowers and patiently wait for him or her to come out from the side of the water. Eventually he'd show... and he did!

We wandered off the nicely manicured and macadamed path to the more challenging hiking into the woods trail, obviously a trail. The ground was knotty with rocks and stumps and roots, and it was uneven and exactly what a walk in the woods should be. And the acrons... goodness me, I have never seen so many acorns on the ground! It was unbelieveble and it made me very cautious. The trip up was arduous, except for where there were some stone steps, very reminiscent of the three-hundred stone steps in Parsippany. We made it close to 2/3 of the way up, but decided that it was getting steeper and more difficult and that now it was 16h30 and getting to the top and then back down before darkness was not only unlikely but bloody near impossible. So we turned around.

I'll be damned if that trek did not somehow make itself steeper when we turned around. I took a picture of the downhill trip and could not believe I'd made it up that! Somehow, down was scarier than up. It wasn't easy at all. And then, just as we are at the bottom of the steepest part of the hill, WHAM! I'm on my back, looking up through the trees at the bits of blue sky and there is Luis, not looking worried (he never does, which is disconcerting, and yet I'm grateful that he is not one to blindly panic. Anyone else would have. I avoided really hurting myself - my backpack took the brunt of the fall and saved me from hitting the occipital lobe on a very sharp rock. It did jar my brain around enough, however, that the front - my forehead - had a terrible headache. My feet, legs and arms were intact and my breathing was OK - a little fast with all that adrenalin running through, but normal under the circumstances and then I felt the back of my head for any moisture (no indication of bleeding so that was good). I seemed to be fine, although I was quite shaken. One elbow was a little scratched up but otherwise fine. It took me a few minutes, though, to summon up the courage to try to get up - once the adrenal left, it was nearly naptime and nothing wanted to move.

Luis took my hand and tried to help me up but those wretched acorns, which had done this in the first place, were still there (damn things were everywhere) and I could not get any traction at all. It was like trying to walk on marbles! So I waited a minute, really examined my surroundings and then slowly managed to find footholds and roots to hold on to where there were no acorns or anything else slippery to get me.

It was very easy going from there and we were back on the normal path fairly quickly. I was quite relieved and checked my head a few times as we went. No knots or any bumps or contusions there, so I just had the headache in front - which was rather severe - to deal with. I must have really given myself quite a whipping of the head to get that. But I took some aspirin when I got home and that was really all it took.

We got to the car and headed out, a good full hour trip to the Rockaway Mall. I needed to return something and of course we made other stops along the way, more money out of my pocket. The second season of "Grey's Anatomy" is out, so I had to have that. Luis had to have the three-pack of the X-Men movies (with a rebate that I get to fill out), and we agreed that $9.00 was a great price for "Shrek II", which we loved. Then we went to the book store (always a dangerous place) where I got my 2007 Old Farmer's Almanac, the next "For Better or For Worse" book, a book by the Weird New Jersey guys called "Weird Hauntings" and the October issue of "Weird New Jersey". It only comes out in April and October of each year, a publication by Mark Sceurman and Mark Moran. They also had a show on one of the better cable channels called "Weird US", where they would travel around and find the same local legends, weird stone things, historical bits, hauntings and tales that they found all the time in my home state.That's me, looking quite small by the huge glacial rocks! I love glacial rocks.

I've been to our petroglyphic rocks, the 300 stone steps and Tripod Rock (quite a hike but well worth it!). There are a million other sites to see. I love the Weird books. With my upcoming trip to New Hampshire, I need to look into my Weird New England and see what might be along the way!

We finished up at the mall, came home and watched some telly, then went to bed. Life is good!

Friday, 6 October 2006

Friday the 6th...

...which is always, inevitably followed by Friday the 13th.
I am not stupidstitious. That's what I call it. I am the first one to pet the black cat walking in front of me, walk under the ladder in the bookstore, not throw salt over my shoulders, not worry about killing spiders, not worry about anything like that. I even utter the "Q word" on Thursdays - EMTs are convinced that if you say "quiet" in reference to how that night will be, you are doomed to an all-nighter of endless emergency calls.
That isn't me. It will never be me. Other EMS stupidstitions include wearing new boots/shoes, thus guaranteeing a very gory call that will end up all over your new apparel. This includes any new form of apparel. If you say something about having not been on an MVC or baby birth, you will absolutely end up on one that night - and not at the hour you'd like, say at 20h00 - no, these things wait until 03h00 to get you (that actually is true but only because tired makes for massive stupidity and percentage-wise, most people die in the night hours and most are born in the morning hours. The wee morning hours. No one likes those hours...).

So, today was just another day of insanity with filling on all the missing times for the many employees from the Grounds department, which ate up a good portion of the day. So did sitting with Yolanda going through the handbook but that is really time enjoyed - she and I make the other laugh. This week coming should be enjoyable too.
So Happy Friday the 6th!

Thursday, 5 October 2006

Time Clocks, Dental Deductions & Pizza

It's been a week from beyond...
Remember I mentioned October storms? Well, even as tranquilised as I was to sleep, the storm that raged through here last night (actually, in the wee hours of this morning) very likely disturbed the dead... the windows rattled, the house shook, the lightning lit up the room even as shuttered as the windows were and the thunder howled and boomed and thrummed through everything. Made ripples in the waterbed, no doubt!

At least I'm off from riding tonight, which is a good thing - I needed a break! This week - yesterday - I did nothing except work on the time clocks being routed to me (one was and one wasn't) and then the ugly truth came out - I needed to enter all those employees from scratch. From scratch. I have never heard of software morphing SO much that you could not transfer the data over. That's only my largest department, thank you very little! So that afternoon at 1400 I began entering in all of those employees into the system. Down in the Grounds department, Janet and Dan had to enter all of them into the hand clock by hand as well. Again, couldn't upload that data until I had it in my computer to download it into their clock. I got to 1800 and after working a 12-hour day, I had to call it quits. I pulled out the last 13 EE files I needed to enter and went home. At 0600 this morning, there I was, entering the last of the missing EEs and polling the clocks. Then I had to put together the spreadsheet of all my employees who elected dental coverage and enter them all into the Ceridian payroll system. It is not too bad to make global changes like that although it is not as user-friendly as one could wish - there is always room for improvement. So that took up a lot of time on a rather tedious job. But, it needed to be done. And one does not want to wait until payroll day (Monday) to go through this onerous task! This coming Monday should be... interesting.

Ans tonight I invited a coworker to dinner for Hawaiian pizza. It was fun, although one of the main reasons I don't form friendships with very many coworkers is due to the fact that they really can't help but ask questions about work that they KNOW they shouldn't ask me. I really like this person and wish to be friends outside of work but obviously this will only work one of two ways: I lay down the law and tell him NO work conversations are to be held in our offtime or I don't invite him over or allow any other relationship than a work one. I think we have enough in common to do this but really, that will be up to him.

So the week seems to be mostly ending well.

Wednesday, 4 October 2006

Yoga, Belly Dancing & Love

The most meaningful word in the language. And also the most meaningless, really. It is funny how that can happen. But I am getting ahead of myself.

I went to Classics Gym, did an intensive hour or more of Yoga, then hopped up to the aerobic room or whatever it is called and prepared to be exhausted with Salsa and Belly Dancing. I had gotten some new exercise clothes over the weekend to really not look so... moosey and it worked wonders. Not that anything can be done with these big flabby arms, but the legs and hips did not look so bad. What looks really bad... is the belly. There is no disguising this shelf-like thing that hangs just above the pubic area. It's pretty awful. That and the Trebilcox arms that I have learned to despise so much are what I really can't stand.

But the class was great, lots of fun and really gave me a workout! I sweated a lot! It is much more intensive than anyone realises.

And then I came home...

...and downloaded an e-mail - two, actually - from my father, Harry. (Don't worry if you are confused. To some degree I am, too. Now I have two fathers and I call them both by name. I don't know when I will reach the point of calling Harry "Daddy" again... or if I ever will. I think, though, as the relationship grows stronger and the kinks and bad memories and good ones, too, are shared, relived and gone through, that I will reach that point. But right now, at this moment in time, it is... strange.)
And in the e-mail he wrote at the end this: "Anyway, October, Indian restaurant across the highway from Crossings? Name a date..

All my best.

I love you. I always have. Should I apologize?"

I burst into tears. This man has not been in my life for many, many years, and the few run ins we had through mail were... acrimonious at best, and he tells me that he loves me and always has. What is not to forgive? But I told him not to apologise - the fact that we are corresponding, being totally open with each other, is all the apology I could ever need or want.

And so that was my Tuesday: yoga, belly dancing and love.

Tuesday, 3 October 2006

What do You Mean, Corresponding Secretary?!

Wait a minute!

What do you mean, you are nominating me for Corresponding Secretary? That can't be right... Well. That really doesn't mean anything anyway. I still would have to be voted in at next month's meeting, which will be a zoo. Everyone who never shows except to vote will be there. I went through this last year, too. My name went in and a couple of other people were nominated and James Clark was voted in. James is a 21-year-old guy who isn't trying to be popular but is just a really great person.

Which is fine and a little off-putting at the same time. James wasn't too much more keyed up about it than I was, to be sure. If I win this election, I will have to be there every meeting, which is only once a month, but I really don't enjoy these little get-togethers. As with any meeting, there are those who have no lives outside of this and want to drag it on forever. (The last meeting was drawn out due to nominations, but still considerably less painful due to the lack of a married couple's presence... they love the squad and they do a lot of helpful things, but they can draw out these meetings until we are all climbing the walls and screaming to leave.

Well, I suppose I will be updating everyone on Tuesday, 7 November, with the news as to whether or not I will be voted in or not.

Monday, 2 October 2006

Autumn is Coming Fast!

Well, the astronomical autumn has been here since 23 September, really. But I mean the actual season. The trees in the park along the walkway are red. And they are not turning into the brilliant red that makes them so wonderful and bright but rather just a brownish red that is too dry and falling off the trees too quickly. It is a little - well, a lot - disappointing. I may be wrong and I hope I am but winter may be coming to the Northeast a little too soon.

On the other hand, it is not yet peak season and so the leaves may surprise me and become incredible beacons of bright colours that will light up the landscape and make it all a wonderland.

In the workplace, I was VERY disappointed at how few people noticed my hair cut! Even Kevin, normally a very observant person, hadn't said anything. Fran was the first to notice and say something. But oddly enough, a lot of people got haircuts over the weekend. Mitch, Kevin and someone else - oh, yes, Chef - got haircuts over the weekend. I guess we were all feeling the need...
Mitch did notice (somehow) that a sign was missing - again - and came back to reclaim it. I had this taken by someone else (no, not an accomplice) to show that I had successfully taken this sign three times, and twice without his staff knowing it! Hey, you kow, you have to have fun at work, too. And I know Kevin would be very amused at this.

I don't know what autumn does to other people. In childhood, I hated September and October as it was back to school, a place I will never feel mostalgic about. Ever. In a million years. As an adult, though, it meant the end of the heat and humidity and a magickal time when the earth's vegetation is dying but in doing so, paints the landscape with many magickal, mystical colours. Entirely worth going through the starkness of winter. I can put up with a lot for a gorgerous, magickal autumn!

It also can bring some amazing storms. Just wait...

Sunday, 1 October 2006


I love October! My favourite month, finally, has arrived! It blew in just now, while I was downloading music and ripping CDs and generally drowsing and marking music as best as I could all at the same time. I looked up and realised that September 2006 has passed and now, wondefully, it is now October. The best time of the year!

I need to change all the calendars and then I shall return.

OK. This month is going to be jam-packed with stuff... Every weekend has at least one booked day. This weekend will be Luis being home and helping Ray close the pool. Next weekend I am on call on Saturday night and then we shall see what Saturday brings, so that I can figure out if Sunday will be a day to do anything - or just recover from the night before. After that I will be in the wilds of New Hampshire, at the Pumpkin Festival. And the weekend following will be our annual trip to Atlantic City with Ray to play craps and see the ocean (which I have not seen at all this year!). That will be 28 October and three days later we will have Samhain and then be into November. Sigh! It will be over too soon!

So each day I will be sure to post something. It may not be much, but every single day in October there will be something to say.

I did get my haircut and it looks better. It is not quite what I have been looking at in the book but then, it never really is, so I don't worry too much. It will grow back anyway!

On to bed now. It's October and I stayed up just to see it roll in!