Sunday, 29 January 2006

I'm Missing the Girly-Girl Gene

Well, I'm not missing it in a "Gee, wouldn't it be nice if I had it" kind of way. I like me, I like being me, and I have good firm friendships with men that wouldn't be able to talk to me as they do if I were very girly. I'm not masculine. At least I don't think I am - but I'm not at all frilly, weak, prone to gushy emotional outbursts, own very little and almost never wear make-up (once in a great while, maybe once every two years, I will tromp it out and apply just a teensy bit to my eyes and lips and that is as good as it gets, folks!), have zero interest in staying at home and even less in the rearing of - ye gods - children, and never watch shows such as "As the World Turns", "Home Make-Overs" or whatever they are called, nothing on WE, and absolutely, positively no Grammy, Emmy or any other award shows! I do cry in the movie theatre, though, and I like to decorate the house (but not with window valances and frilly, sacarine sweet things!).

So if you are looking for a delicate wall flower, move on. Very few female EMTs are wall flowers anyway, and we aren't as a rule spineless. You deal enough with the morons (most impaired, some just abysmally stupid as their norm) and you will grow a spine. I have discovered just how commanding I can be when it is needed. Once a polite "you're going to the hospital" is turned down at 0300, you develop that steely 'I'm not kidding and I mean business" tone that only a pissed off, sleep deprived, somewhat-involved-in-law-enforcement EMT can get. So this is a vocation where a girly-girl would not do well. Also, the blood and icky body stuff would really turn most girly-girls off.

I'm also in Human Resources and again, it is not an area where weaker people would succeed. If you are a crier, someone who cries when people upset you or push you over into the wonderful world of "how angry am I?" then this is clearly not for you. It's one thing to cry when someone dies or something catactrophic happens, but in the day-to-day grind of life, crying is really not practical. I'm not an angry person and I am not easily moved to tears (except in the movies) in any event, but never, ever, have I responded to anger or frustration in any facet of life by crying. I also have never been able to summon tears when pulled over by the police (not that this is an often-occuring thing, mind you!), which, with the opposite sex is supposed to be a real deal-breaker for ticket parcelling but I usually find that the police like me and find me to be just Joe-oops,-look-what-I-did driver. And I never say, "No, I don't know why you pulled me over, Officer," if I have blatantly been speeding. I tell the nice man in the hot uniform that I do know why - unless I actually don't, like the time the rookie cop in Jefferson pulled me over for a lapsed inspection sticker on a dealership car. Duh. I don't get a ticket for that. I fought that and won.

So there it is about me. So not a girly-girl.

I ran across the street today to pick up some groceries and got the week's issue of People Magazine, the only not-science-related, partially gossipy magazine I get and there are plenty of interesting things in it. In fact, if you read my second posting you will see that this is what spurred me on to keeping a blog. It was called "First Topic: 40-Year-Old Virgins" and it came from here. They never print my letters so here are all my opinions about things. Anyhoo, there was this week's issue, with Jennifer Aniston and how she is coping. As pleasant a person as Jennifer may seem or be, well, this is her thing to get through. More intersting that Jennifer's handling the news of Brad Pitt's impending fatherhood was an article entitled "For Eighteen Months, I Was a Guy". Norah Vincent, an author, wrote "Self-Made Man" after going undercover in five different states as "Ned". I loved reading this article, which I imagine is from the book, so this is a book worth exploring! I love that she did this. It was an eye-opener for me and I'm more savvy when it comes to the human condition - which just shows that no matter how much you know, there is a lot more to be learned!

A whole lot more...

Just Because YOU Find It Boring...

I am fascinated by science. I love science. I am fascinated by religion, too, but that is the same way I am fascinated by excellent science fiction. I am a Celtic Wiccan but there is too much of the scientist in me to be a very good anything [religious]. Science gives clear, concise, logical answers where religion shrugs, tells me that God (or the gods) works in mysterious ways, and just expects that I will be a believer. Not a chance. The scientist part of me makes an acceptable Wiccan but a horrendous Catholic - by and far the largest of the "let's keep the population stupid as the stupid make better believers" offenders wandering the planet. Where would you like me to start? The earth is only 6,000 years old or Adam and Eve or Noah's Ark? Which theory would you like me, with the wonderous assistance of science, to debunk first?

Well, why discriminate? I can debunk them all. I don't need to support any evidence that the earth is hell and gone older than 6,000 years old, as the worst of the hard-core, "let's teach the Catholic doctrine next to science", "we don't believe in science" (??) believers of dogma buy into and espouse. Carbon-dating is a beautiful thing. Hand over the rocks and the fossils that are clearly much older than a mere 6,000 years old. Adam and Eve? Cute, but one absolutely must have a base population of 50,000 or more to be a viable, groth-oriented society or the gene pool won't be big enough. And Noah's Ark? A perfect segway into what this post was originally supposed to be about, my pet interests in science - volcanoes. Well, volcanoes, earthquakes, weather, tsunamis, astronomy. Those are my pet interests that others find boring and I don't. Anyway, no ark could fit two of each animal (which also brings us back to the viable 50,000 or more populace...) and Noah may have exsisted and been out with his family for a sailing jaunt around the Mediterranean when he ran afoul of a tsunami from the explosive eruption of Santorini. Helllllloooooooo, science!


I love volcanoes. They are amazing. Someone at Microsoft did as well... if you go into Properties by left-clicking on the Windows screen and type in the word "volcano", the 3-D word screen saver will not display the word "volcano", it will display all the names of the Cascade Ranges volcanoes, one at a time. Yes, it really does. Only Windows 98, though. It is the one and only thing I miss about Windows 98 (Windows XP is MUCH better - but it doesn't have that volcano thing - naturally I tried it!). Anyway, back to volcanoes.


I get e-mails from the Volcano List Server about volcano stuff:


AUGUSTINE VOLCANO (CAVW#1103-01-) 59.3633 176;N 153.4333 176;W, Summit Elevation 4134 ft (1260 m) Current Level of Concern Color Code: RED. Four explosive eruptions have occurred in the last 12 hours. The first began at20:24 AKST 27 January (0524 UTC 28 January) and had a total duration of 9minutes. According to the National Weather Service (NWS), an ash cloud reached a maximum height of around 30,000 feet above sea level (asl) and driftedsoutheast. The second occurred at 23:37 AKST [Alaska or Aleutian Standard time] 27 January (0837 UTC 28 January) and had a duration of 1 minute. No ash was detected above 10,000 feet after this event. The third occurred at 02:04 AKST (1104 UTC) 28 January and had a duration of 2 minutes. Ash drifted SE at a height of up to 26,000 feet (NWS). The fourth occurred at 07:42 AKST (1642 UTC) 28 January and had a duration of 3 minutes. The ash cloud drifted NE at a maximum height of 25,000 feet (NWS). Ashfall advisories are issued by NWS and the most up to date information can be found at http://pafc.arh.noaa.gov/augustine.php.


Don't laugh - this is juicy stuff! This is the stuff of real life! Yes, I know, Angelina Jolie is pregnant with Brad Pitt's baby. No offence, but really - who cares? People have babies all the time - but volcanoes are not constantly spouting in the Cascades or in Alaska. Well, they really are - at least, worldwide - but still much more exciting than Angelina Jolie's impending doom - I mean, parenthood. All I want to know about Angelina and Brad's kid is that they don't name it after a fruit or a crime or any thing wacky that this poor kid will have to live with!


Fifi Trixibelle, Peaches, Apple, Coco, Phineas and Hazel, Stella, Emerson (for a girl, no less), Alchamy, Nico Blue, Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily (could I make that up?!), Prince Michael (not that anyone expects normalcy from Michael Jackson, but the ego...), Steveanna Genevieve, Beauregard, Tallulah Pine, Moon Unit, Atticus, Banjo, Betty Kitten, Blue Angel (for shame, Edge!), Elijah Bob Patricus Guggi Q (worse shame, Bono! And I looked up to you!), Pilot Inspektor, Liberty, Scout, Speck Wildhorse, and my all-time favourite (and most mentally disturbing for the kid), Moxie CrimeFighter. That is from Penn Jillette, another person I thought highly of and have had to revise downward to some degree.


Ouch. Now you see why I prefer volcanoes to celebrities and their baby names choices. (Although Gwyneth Paltrow is pregnant again and I wonder... will it be Grapefruit? Grape? Orange? Maybe too typical for them... Kumquat? Pomegranite? Acorn Squash? Oops - that is a veggie. Wrong food group...


And so I will stick with science. Much safer!

Saturday, 28 January 2006

Love - the BioChemical Reaction

I recieved my February issue of National Geographic in the mail and as usual, I am delighted with it. And maybe more so than usual. This month's issue has a photo of a very romantic looking couple and the main article is entitled "Love - the Chemicla Reaction". Ah, yes, a topic near and dear to my heart.

One of the reasons that I can so easily distance love and sex and other emotional responses is the clear knowledge that these are obviously physical - as much as mental - and therefore can exert a much stronger pull. The discovery that sex is one part of the brain and hormones and love another was very helpful and enlightening. There is a huge difference. And the description of love (very much the same as a "crush", which is a crushingly adult term for what is still obviously love) is completely a biochemical reaction. It involves the brain, a complex thing, and does bizarre things to it but it is still a lighting up of the caudate nucleus (in the brain) and lowers one's seratonin levels to match someone with OCD. An interesting correlation: love and mental illness look very much the same.

I would argue about this being love. I love Luis. We have been together 16 years (in March) and while the love has morphed and changed, it is still love and I would not want to envision life without him. But the crush thing happens. Still. Consistently. And I know with my very logical and practical mind that this is not love - I don't know my objects of the crushes nearly that well - but it certainly is no different than that first time I "fell in love" with my downstairs neighbour. Oh, did I mention I was 11 or 12 and he was 30-something? Yes. There it is. I knew it was love. Now, I know better and it is clearly really bad angst (lust) but women aren't wired like men and our fantasies often involve a level of secondary details that make it look more like love. Men want the raw, wanton sex. So do we, but we are envisioning the situations that get us to that point, the scents, sounds, events, etc.

I'm going through the crush thing again, as usual. He's tall, about five years older than me, has some silver shot through the thick, silky enticing black hair (oh, how my fingers ache to run through that hair!). The mostly wonderfully shaped brown eyes. (I normally gravitate toward blue or green eyes but I will happily make an exception for him.) He has a good body. I have no idea what lies beneath but I would be delighted to discover it. He smells delicious. He has the right pheromones! Sure, the fantasies are involved and convoluted and are really full-length feature films, but the simple fact is that I want this man on a purely physical level - I am not the least interested in a forming a romantic attachment to him and am not seeking it. But if he showed up tomorrow at my front door and said, "This is a one-time thing and you can do with me as you will for the next eight hours," I would be deliriuously happy and not turn him down! Sadly, I don't see this happening but there it is.

All the signs and symptoms are there. I think about him at least several times a day. I see him and my pupils dialate and my heart rate is faster and my body is humming like an antenna receiving all the right signals. I have dreams about him - not just the waking fantasies but real, I'm-sleeping-and-he's-intruding-into-my-time dreams about him. I can't wait to see him again. I want to touch him. I want to leap up into his arms and wrap my legs around his waist and not let go. Seeing him and hearing his voice doesn't quench anything - it just works me up more. And the fact is that even if I could have him, it would be a repeated thing as one time of raw, amazing sex would not satisfy - I would want him until I had my fill and who knows how many times or how long that would take! The wet, explosive heat would drive me to want more and more until finally I would be sated. That is not a slow process or a one-time only deal. This I know.

But what relief to know that going through this is not something weird or abnormal. I have met men that have aroused this kind of response in me - there is usually one at every job; one on the squad; one at the New York Renaissance Faire. It is a cycle that I will go through with someone else down the road. For now, my apologies to the object of my unbelievable lust. He'll get through it... and he knows exactly who he is. I've told him I want him.

That's me.

Sunday, 22 January 2006

More Sexual Dissertation...

More Sexual Dissertation...
(Or: Attack of the Killer Hormones)
Being around me has to be disconcerting...

I'm all sexed up and have no where to go. Anyone who is slightly empathic should avoid me completely - I am emoting all kinds of desire and I would have to apologise profusely. But most totally non-psi humans likely - without really knowing it or understanding it - feel quite discomfitted around me, anyway. I am giving off pheremones at an alarming level. I am always bouncing off the walls with all kinds of intense sexual energy.

It absolutely does not help that, as usual, there is someone who I am absolutely aching to have in the worst way right now. I see this person and I can't concentrate. Saying "hello" stirs up a thousand fantasies. On Friday night, I dreamt of this person - sexual dreams are the worst as you can never seem to reach the Big O and instead wake up so utterly and insatiably frustrated, that screaming blue murder would not relieve it. (Not that Luis doesn't benefit immensely from this...)

So not only am I wired for sound with insatiable desire, but I am very likely electrically shocking to anyone standing too near. Actually, this would explain a lot. The damnedest people hit on me and are attracted to me and I wonder at that - I'm overweight and it is hard to see what they find so enthralling but they do. However, if I am giving off enough pheremones to send them running off to get laid right now! then that would explain a lot. It just happens that instead of making those particular individuals grossly uncomfortable, I am making them excited and they are responding positively to my specific-gravity pheremones. OK. That does rather explain it. (I'm not flattering myself that much. The percentage that do react to me that way is tiny. Most people are outright uncomfortable.)

So as if it isn't enough to be just me, as I am a highly sexual person just normally, now I am under a biological imperative to go out and get it on with almost any male. This is the one downside to not having children (yes, there is an earlier post about this... either in December or November). My body is positively humming with sexual energy now and my doctor has told me that there is a good chance that this will continue right into menopause. YE GODS! I will be 38 in four days. I don't envision menopause for at least 10 years. Another decade of this would kill me outright! I would never have thought that I might look forward to menopause! Being this randy is not only disconcerting to others, it is off-putting to me, as well! I don't always mind it, but for the most part it intrudes at the worst moments (although I have to admit that the high intensity of emergency response is never superceded by this overbearing sexuality. That is the one situation in which I have not been at all distracted by my physical state of readiness. Or is it neediness? Well, whatever).

So maybe that is the answer. I need to ride more. More on the rig, not people!

Saturday, 21 January 2006

Some People Live On the World, Not In It!

Oh, how I delight in the autumn! I used to despise autumn as it meant the resuming of the heinous institution of school. American education being what it was (and really, still is) I got most of my knowledge from reading (nothing that was dictated to me by the schools, either). I hated going to school with the exception of a small number of classes and/or teachers that made that particular 42-minute period worthwhile. For the most part, though, I really hated school and so the end of summer was a death-knell for me.

As an adult, I get through the summer in thinking about the fall. No doubt there. I am usually a lover of extremes, being quite extreme myself, but temperature extremes is not on that list. I don't care for winter and I definitely am not a lover of summer in New Jersey. The humidity tends to be unbearable. In the winter, as in summer, I look forward to the autumn. The sad facts are that a. New Jersey hasn't seen a real spring in a long time... we tend to leap out of winter into summer and 2. the spring season (when we have had one) is rainy and I am not a fan of that, either.

And then there is that magic day in September when the temperatures are suddenly in the high 60s and the air is crisp and clear and there is no humidity and the light sweaters can come out of hiding. The sky becomes a rich cerulean blue that only September and October can bring. The slight chill is present in the air in the early morning and the late evening but the cacophany of insect orchestras are still heard clearly late into the night. Oh, the delight of autumn! I cannot wait to wear sweaters and jeans and my hiking boots. I am delirious with happiness that the night air is cool and crisp. I still have the long lingering sunsets and longish days. And then the leaves begin their dance from the deepest green of summer to the russets, oranges, reds and yellows of fall. The air becomes full of brilliantly coloured swirling leaves that are not just little crispy critters like in the winter, but lovely soft, smooth, riotously painted bits of natural beauty!

Now, granted, there is nothing but magic in the months of September and October. But all year round, there are amazing sights, smells and sounds. I may not like temperature extremes, but I will happily live with them to have four separate and distinct seasons. This is very important to me. I love the desert but could I live some place with no snow? No supercell thunderstorms? No brilliant displays of colourful leaves? No, I don't think I could. I suspect retiring to the desert will be perfectly acceptable (although when the tarantulas migrate I would have to get out of Dodge - I am terribly arachniphobic), but to go there now, well, that would not work.

I can always see something amazing. This morning as I looked out the window at 0650, there was the vibant orange of the soon-to-rise sun, the huge flock of birds skitting across the colourful sky, the silhoettes of two squirrels in the maple tree in the front. When I walked across the street to the store, there was the pink of the sunrise-lit cirrus clouds overhead and the not-quite half-moon there, high in the westering sky. At that time, the sky had an almost crepescular look as the clouds obscurred the sun. It was quite amazing. That was all in a total of maybe three minutes.

I never want to miss a moment of the show that life puts on for me.
Photo: Taken from my flight home from Dallas, Texas - a supercell storm forming over Arkansas.

In June 2004, I came in to work late - planned as it was, so I could see the transit of Venus across the sun, an occurrence that comes one every 105.5 - 121.5 years. It is something that occurs once in some lifetimes - the last transit was December 1874 and December 1882 - and always in pairs, just 8 years less two days apart. I am fortunate enough to have been alive and have the right telescope with the right lense (for looking directly at the sun), on a perfectly clear beautiful sunny morning on 8 June 2004. It was magic. It was like being invited to the most amazing opera in the world! I loved every second of it and although I was constantly readjusting the telescope - I thought the moon raced across the sky! - it was so worth it. But then, I love astronomy and my telescope is my baby!

For those of you who may want to see this, not to worry. The next transit will be 6 June 2012. I certainly plan to be outside with my telescope on that day, too.

Only three objects pass between us and the sun - the moon, approximately once a year; Mercury, approximately 13 times a century; and Venus, approximately 13 times every 1,000 years. Venus was at perihelion to Earth, a mere 26 million miles away and delightfully visible as it tracked across the sun that glorious early summer morning.

I try to see every lunar eclipse and do so whenever weather conditions permit. I saw one solar eclipse when I was seven or eight but since then, I have only seen a partial solar eclipse (sans telescope but using two pieces of cardboard) in 1993. There won't be another solar eclipse until 29 March, but none of the solar eclipses from now through 2010, will be visible in North America. So who knows if I will see another in my life time. Lunar eclipses are not always visible to us, either. The last one was... I'm not sure... I can't find my 2005 Farmer's Almanac. I have them from 1991 through now. So the 2005 one is floating about somewhere. Anyway, I think the last one was 27 October 2004... the next one that is visible from here is not until 2007. There are partial and penumbral eclipses but no totals until next year. A dry time for me! The only eclipse even a little visible this year in the Northeast (any of the U.S., really) is 14 March, a penumbral eclipse of the moon. It won't be much to watch, just a slight dimming of the moon.

But still, even though there may not be any truly "flashy" events during this time, every day there is something amazing to behold.
Photo: A shot of the eclipse beginning on 27 October 2004 - my father's 60th birthday, ironically. I took this with my digital camera, by holding it up to the eyepiece of my refractive lense of my telescope - it was not easy but so worth it!

Friday, 20 January 2006

The Ocean - Revisited

I love the ocean. I love it and I try to get to it once a year. So here are a few images of the ocean that I've taken and want to share.


July 2001 - Under the boardwalk. I love the way the water looks here.
This is from November 2002. I love the colour and the way the water looks surrounding the pilings. I went down to Barnegat Light to visit and stay with a couple I'm friends with - I went this year, too. And this was just a lovely image, the seaweed, waving majestically in the water. I find that moving water is completely fascinating.
















The ocean last year in Marblehead, Massachusettes.
Saying it is beautiful is rather banal. It is breathtaking.













This is the ocean in York, Maine. I loved this part of the Atlantic more than any other part, I think. The water was the most amazing deep blue. It was a strikingly rich colour.








This is from our trip to Palm Springs, CA. Obviously this particular day was not spent in Palm Springs, but in Laguna, where the amazing coast of the Pacific Ocean is... well... on the wrong side!













Atlantic City, November 2004. I always take my father to AC for his birthday and this was a magickal photo taken on a very unusually warm day there.


This is taken in Atlantic City as well, but in February of 2003. It is unusual for me to see snow at the ocean. I loved taking this with the snow in the foreground and the sand and ocean there. It is strange!

Guns - Why Do We Have Them?

Guns - Why Do We Have Them?

Someone let me handle his gun today.

No, that is not some weird euphemism for something sexual. Someone I know is in law enforcement and I asked to see it. And it seems that everyday it is something different. He must own heaps of them. I don't know and I am not sure that I want to. I understand that police must carry a weapon 24/7 because even though he is on a specific shift schedule, the real on duty never ends. This of course creates more questions than answers and at some point (and I am positive he is well aware of this) I will ask them all. Maybe twice.

He took it all very well, even when I took it from him as though handling a dead rat. And I have to admit that I am impressed. It weighed nothing... I was expecting something rather metallic and quite heavy - I read a lot - but this was almost like plastic. It was light and not at all metallic. Apparently it is titanium. I certainly know what titanium is, I just had no idea that firearms were made out of that material. Interesting, indeed. This was an ankle piece (good thinking on his part... I'd hate to lug around a big heavy gun on my foot). I guess the titanium firearm was made with this in mind. Yesterday it was a more regular piece - a hip holster that is part of the belt. I make fun of him all the time for being out there passing out tickets like candy (how long before MY luck runs out and he pulls me over just for giving such a hard time?), but in truth, that is not by any means a normal job and he is definitely putting up with much more than anyone should just to earn a living. Who needs to wonder if some nut will be your next pulled-over driver? Or worry that the person he is dealing with is armed? I don't give that kind of thing any thought when I am at work!

I wonder if he realises that I'll ask to see the other gun too? Well. I shouldn't ruin his weekend with that. I will just ask about it next week... As usual, he will take it with his usual nonchalance as he does everything...

He certainly seems very nonchalant about running around with a thing that will kill people. Well, okay, I can live with the argument that people kill people, not guns... but why create such things in the first place? What is it about the human race that makes us so... volatile? Violent? And when I say I could not kill someone or that I would save anyone, he creates these hideous scenarios in which no logical person could really say anything but "I would kill that person" or "I would let this person die". Eesh. The fact is - not that there is any explaining this to him - I don't honestly know what I would do in these scenarios. They have not happened to me. (I always hate it when people do that... the whole devil's advocate thing. It makes me want to shoot him. I know he's just trying to prove a point but there are some things that even I don't want to think about.)

You know, I never did ask him if he's gotten shot. I suppose not. But I will ask now that it is on my mind. Actually, two close friends of mine have been shot, and I have seen the long-healed wounds. It is a very distinctive thing and not mistakable as anything other than a gunshot wound. The scar is quite unique.
(13 February addendum: No, he has never been shot. He did relate a time when he was nearly shot, though... it'd make you pee your pants!)

I've been the victim of a violent crime and I did not like it. It never occured to me that I might want to shoot the person who did it. In fact, I can't say that I would like to now, either. I have worked through it, dealt with the pain and whatever baggage came with it. It's like someone asking me if I would have the bad memories erased - the answer is no - the good and the bad experiences are me - without them I would not be complete.

Would I be complete if I killed someone? Having seen plenty of people die, some in my care and some there before I got to the scene, I can honestly say I don't know but... I hope I am never in a position to find out. I guess the way I can be an EMT and not be crushed by the blood and death and whatever else I see, hear and deal with, this person can deal with killing people. I don't know how. I don't know if I like that about him. Well, I hope I never find out. I feel quite complete now in that respect.

On the other hand, I have to be grateful that he is as he is. For how can I live without those who would easily do that job and kill the people who might kill me? So I guess I do like that about him. I must admit he is very likable. And he was good enough to let me handle that piece. He did all the proper things - took the bullets out and made sure it was completely safe to handle it. He was also - and this I had to laugh at - amused by the fact that I reminded him strongly of his kids. Apparently they are as curious as I am about the guns.

Well, I am curious about many things. And given any opportunity I like to satisfy my curiousity. I suspect he enjoys it anyway - I ask a lot of questions and he never seems to mind answering them. I'm very direct and forthright and the right people appreciate it and respond well. I love that. I hate it when people are vague and don't tell me things. I can't experience what it is to be a policeman, so I need to see it through his eyes. And he is really great about giving me his worldview and allowing me that tiny glimpse of what it is to live in his world. I still don't like guns... but I can appreciate what it is to have someone carrying one who is protecting me. I defintely like that.

So... thank you. Every day. For putting yourself in danger that I might live my life and be curious and ask a million questions.

Sunday, 15 January 2006

Fun Photos! 19 Years of Working the Renaissance Festival












Me with Garth (another Faire crafter, Gary) having fun. I guess it would be more fun if one could see his face, but as it was, this picture came out rather well! And yes, I am grabbing what you think I am grabbing! The joys of working at Faire! This picture is about 12 or 13 years old.























This is a photo taken of me at our only jaunt to the Cloisters Faire, which now runs concurrent with the NYRF. We had gone around 12 years ago when it was the Sunday after the NYRF closed.













Another photo of Garth and this time with Puck (Tom) in it. This is about 10 years old, after our booth ended up just off of Spendepenny Lane. This is a fun picture, although I need to find the original and rescan it.













Me with Eric Heppel.. oh, must be nine years ago. I always thought he was a hot property!















My wonderful and longest friend ever from the NYRF and now the CTRF - Raum (Roger) who now lives in Rhode Island with his very sweet wife, Tiger. I knew him my first year there, when I was all of 18, and I really had it bad for him (would you believe he turned me down? I was quite smitten back then!). But I have known him for 19 years now, and he is a great friend, and we keep in touch - the three of us! It's things like this that make life the treat that it is! This was taken in 2001 (the Blogger program doesn't like my 2005 photo from the Connecticut Faire!















Ah, my sweet Talon! How I miss you! This was taken circa 1998.












The old days when Luis and I were together maybe 3 years. This March (2006) we will be celebrating 16 years together.



















This is my favourite eye candy now. I guess this particular photo makes us look like we are in love or something but no, that is just me grinning fatuously at someone I would really like to jump in the worst way! He is very attractive to me. He is also considerably younger than me, but hey... I can live with that!


















Here I am sitting in our skychair in our booth, just this past summer. I always like to have a real rose tucked into my enhanced breasts (bodices do have their plusses!) for men to stop and smell the flowers!



















And finally (also from this year, 2005), a photo of me and Firebow (Bruce), a regular thing - everyyear he comes up and we chat and have our picture taken together. I should send this to him so he can see it.

Aquarius Defined

I found this on Tania's blog and while her comment was "surprisingly accurate", I was flabbergasted by how accurate it was! The only thing missing was the "flexible morality" portion...

"Aquarius: The Amorous Nature

This charming, funny, brainy, tantalizing woman doesn't have to play games to fascinate a man. She plays herself. There is a special magnetism to Aquarius that some astrologers have called distant glamour. Like all the air signs (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius), she lives in a world of ideas and possesses a certain detached quality. Curiously, this attracts men who want to stir her emotions.

She is not aloof, cold, or removed from feeling, but warm, friendly, outgoing, concerned with others, a woman with a strong romantic streak. Romance for Aquarius is an idea, an ideal, not a sweeping passion. In truth, she is wary of emotion, for it can be troublesome and tiresome. She is above that; she is able to deal rationally with life.

Aquarius female is subject to no man's whim and follows no dictates but her own. She was a liberated woman before anyone ever heard of the woman's movement. This supremely independent woman cares little what the rest of the world thinks. Part of her attitude is reflected in her imaginative approach to sex. Her boudoir behavior is usually innovative and creative; she seeks novelty and diversion more than heavy-breathing passion.

However unconventional her attitudes may be, and however flirtatious she may seem, a man will have to convince her that she's not simply his target-for-tonight. He cannot make the mistake of treating her as a sex object. She expects to be courted, and a man should not press matters to a conclusion until he knows more about her than her telephone number. Passion is not important to her; communication is. Aquarius sees a man as an individual first, and a bed partner second.

In marriage or a serious relationship she often finds it hard to give of herself. She is an unconventional person who lives most intensely in her mind. She's too concerned with her projects, hobbies, interests, friends, so her love tends to be diffuse. She has been accused of loving mankind rather than one particular man.

Once her passions are aroused and directed toward a specific man, however, she is loyal and devoted. When Aquarius makes a promise she stands by her word. After all, that is what honor and idealism are about, and those are hallmarks of this sign. Some say Aquarian woman is the perfect mate because she is easy to deal with—tolerant, slow to take offense, never jealous or unreasonable, never over-emotional or clinging. All she asks is for a man to respect her privacy and not stand in the way of her far-reaching interests.

The quickest way to lose her is to try to hold her fast. What intrigues her is the hill beyond the unexplored horizon. She is never content to stay where she is. There's too much out there waiting to be discovered. A man has to share her love of a challenge or he will soon be left behind. She will move on without a backward glance, a grand ship sailing on without an inkling of the tragedy in her wake." posted by tania

That is rather frighteningly descriptive of me. I don't know that it fits all Aquarians, but it certainly is almost tailor-made for this one. I am amazed. I have never seen one quite this perspicatious. I love it!

Being an Aquarius is neat. And I am as always, looking forward to my 38th birthday.

Naked vs Nude

So I ask you: what is the difference? Is there one? Is there something "dirty" about being naked and clean and artsy about being nude? Let's face it, no one calls art figures "naked" they are always referred to as nude. So there must be some strange difference in the connotation of one over the other.

Don't look at me - I don't know the difference! Yet...

Let's explore that. In the movie "Calendar Girls", one of the inducements to get some of the more reluctant women to pose was to say, "No, no, it's not naked (pronounced nay-khed), it;s nude." Oh. Ok, then.

So we shall get out my absolute favourite book of all time: my 8.5lb, updated, revised, deluxe edition of the Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language. I'm not kidding, it weighs between 8.5 and nine pounds. I actually checked it out by weighing myself without and then with the ungodly heavy thing! You might say only I would own such a ridiculously heavy dictionary. Not so. My parents do, too!

Well, here it is.

"Naked (nā´kid), adj. 1. being without clothing or covering; nude: naked children swimming in the lake.

I could go on, but ye gods, I would bore any readers I have to death. It went on with 15 different uses: the first five having to do with covering, the sixth, about inadequate covering, up to the eleventh in areas like that. Then it got into really different categorized usage: law, botany (a – c), and zoological. OK. The fact that nude was mentioned as a synonym right there in the first definition suggests that there is no really difference. It’s more or less imposed and implied by those suffering from nakedness-itis. The idea that somehow being unclothed is dirty or wrong. I would argue (successfully, I should think) that since we are born with the latest fashion on, nudity is natural to us and therefore delightful!

Onto the second hurdle…

Nude (nōōd, nyōōd), adj. 1. naked or unclothed, as a person or the body.

I rest my case. Nude only had nine different uses, almost all the same—wait! What’s this… 3. (of a painting, photograph, statue, etc.) being or prominently displaying a representation of the nude human figure. I might add that after that was the same law one as 13 under naked…

So the answer is there. No difference. Not really. None of the entries suggested anything wrong or implied wrong with the words. And they are mostly interchangeable - even the legal use of "naked" and "nude"!

I don't like religions and this is a part of it. Where in the name of all that is holy did all these weird ideas and ideals of humanity come from that rule out nudity and sexual activities as wrong? That just bugs me fifty different ways. (So does the whole "infidelity" thing but that is a topic for another time. All I will say about that is how we are fighting the human genetic coding all over the place with that ridiculousness.) I am staggered by how many people teach their children that there is something wrong with nudity. A lesson my parents went out of their way to not teach me! The human body is a beautiful thing. All of it. Without exception. The scientist and the naked person in me will say that any time. The hair, the eyes, the mouth, the line of the neck leading into the space created by the clavicles... the pulse beating gently in the carotid artery... the musculature of a man's upper arm (I love that!), the curve of the bottom of a breast, the silky soft skin of the belly... the look of a six-pack on a man's belly. Yowza...

Want me to go on? You know where I am heading... right down to the tips of the toes. (With a lengthy poetic but completely distracting stop at the genitals, of course. Now, really, what kind of sexual dynamo are you if you cannot see the aesthetic beauty in the vagina and in the penis. Aesthetics are incredibly important! Some people don't have aesthetically pleasing penises (peni?) and therefore I lose interest. Oh, sure, it's still functional but do you really want to put something that is wholly unattractive in your mouth? The answer is (at least for me) no. It's the same reason I am completely disinclined to put cottage cheese in my mouth. It reminds me too graphically of what comes out of a herion addict who has just overdosed. Yuck!

This photo, for example. Don't look at it in a sexual context. It isn't really a sexual photo. The curve of the breast, the line down the centre to the belly. The long tapered fingers. What is wrong about this?

Clearly hookers do not suffer from this... I can envy that but I am not unhappy with being at least a teensy bit finicky about what I will eat or substitute as a lolly-pop.

I also take photos of the many penises I know at the Renaissance Faire. I have never posted them and in all honesty I suppose I would have to get the owners' permission before I could do that. I will have to do that. Tune in to see if I am successful at a later date.

I take the photos of them flaccid as that is the normal state (no matter what any enterprising braggart tells you) and because they are aesthetically beautiful that way instead of completely distracting and beautiful. Let's face it , poetry and insipid love songs do not go through my head when facing a completely hard penis! There is a whole lot going through there, but none of it is artsy!

Well. I love being nude - or naked - take your pick. And yes, I pose for photographs. I may not give them out because I would like to wait until I have a sexier body, but I alone do appreciate my naked (or nude) body!

Words, Words, Words...

I love words. They are the magick that allows us to share ideas and convey concepts, paint pictures without any artistic ability, swing people over to our way of seeing the world or conversely, turn people off to it. Without words, we would still be scrabbling in the mud without any inventions or forward momentum.

This brings me back to my wonderful dictionary! How do I love this tome, let me count the ways! Or should I say, "let me count the words". I believe that there are some 440,000 words in the English language. It is a rich language that is replete with many beautiful, amazingly descriptive words, only a fraction of which are used by the average person. What a waste! Can you believe that? What use is a language of such variation that so few use? Well, anyone who knows me, knows I am determined to put many of the words to some use. Why say "cop" or "policeman" when you can say "constable", a wonderfully polysyllabic word! Why say "Wussy" or "spineless" when the favourite word of mine, "puscillanimous", is there? And I love telling anyone who'll listen what a humunculous is! In this case, though, look it up! Get to know your dictionary. It's your best friend!

Any who read my last posting will know that I am still on the page with "nude" and in the lower right-hand corner of the right page, is the word "nugatory". I don't know that one. It means "of no real value; trifling; worthless. I shall try to use that tomorrow.

Flip to any old page. Let me see... the first word I see is "scientism" - "the style, assumptions, techniques, prctices, etc., typifying or regarded as typifying scientists."

Another page... cranksided. This hales from the southern US. It means "lopsided; askew."

So now you know! What a wonderful thing your dictionary can be. Mine has all of the English words in it. Right down to "fuck". There are, I might point out, 12 different uses there. Almost all of them are listed as slang or vulgar, and it is. But how about the history? This is where your dictionary is incomplete. However, there are other books for word history, known as etymology. If you were erudite, as I am to some small degree (a very small one, I suspect), you would know this. Not to sound like a snob... I don't mean to. But really, what a crime it is to be a typical speaker of English, who uses 50,000 words only of the full bodied language we call English.

Back to history and the word fuck, it stems from "Fornication Under Consent of the King". Yes, one our earlier acronyms, and eventually soaked up into the normal language as such. The term came from the once accepted practice of the ruling party having to give his consent of the nuptials and usually having first rites to the virgin bride. Kings commonly had the right to deflower any woman just before her wedding. Nice, huh? For the king, anyway. I suppose if the king was an incredibly accomplished lover with some thought for his partner this wasn't such a bad thing. How often do you think that was the case? More often I suspect the king was a slovenly overweight beast that would make you hurl as soon as look at him! Still, there you go. The history of fuck!

Don't laugh at English as a language! Just because the typical user is poorly versed in the richness of this conglomeration of influences, doesn't mean the language in and of itself is lacking. It is your history that is. I have a delightful book called "Dictionary of Word Origins", the history of more than 8,000 English words. It is a masterpiece but it opens up with a bit of history. It is an Indo-European language, one of many in that family. It is generally agreed upon that the family originated out of the area north of the Black Sea and then regionally underwent many changes to become the many languages that are inclusive, such as the Indo-Iranian launguages, the Slavic languages, and the Celtic languages. With English, two primary groups contributed - the Romance languages, such as classical Latin, and following, the Germanic languages.

Old English began to end during the Norman invasion of 1066. You would not recognise Old English as being a long-lost cousin to current or modern English. This era began Middle English and trust me, that is not too much better. Having read Chaucer in the original text, I can tell you it was not easy. The Norman invasion of 1066 introduced the Anglo-Norman words as well as the Old French words commonly spoken from the 9th century to the 16th. This revolutionised English into almost an entirely different language. There was also an influx of Gaulish words (that is French before the modern French killed it), a Celtic language commonly used then.

It is Latin and Greek that gave us our next shot forward. You can thank the Renaissance for that! This amazing period of history brought all those words back into vouge. And as merchants travelled they too incorporated new words, happily stolen from other languages into English. Never sneer at thievery of this kind. Our use of words is all the better for it!

We have words from Italian, Hindu, Gaelic, Finnish, Tibetan, German, you name it. Diversity is a beautiful thing!

I love hurling insults through better English. Anyone can call another individual an "ass". It takes class to call someone an "enincephalic humunculous" and trust me, the recipient will not have a clue as to what that means unless he or she is in the medical field or a real history buff. Or you can use more interesting terms such as guttersnipe or blowmaunger (1879), or maybe pilgarlick (1811).

Or even modern British lingo: bugger off, mate, time to scapa!

The Art of Shaving

(or: How I Spent My Afternoon)

Shaving is absolutely an art. And I disciver this anew every time I get in the shower and find myself working tirelessly over the acreage that grows unsightly hair.

This afternoon I had a nice long soak in the tub (something immensely enjoyable to women that totally mistifies men the world over. Well, except Luis - he loves soaking in the tub almost as much as I do! He is unusual...

Well, after my long soak I realised that the bath wasn't over just yet. The shaving thing was needed. My legs were hairy. No, not stubbly, hairy. It happens in the winter. I so cannot be bothered to whip out that Torquemada's device every three days the way I do in the summer when no one has a hope in hell of seeing my legs! In the winter it is a miracle to see any extraneous skin on me - I hate the cold in a way that defies description.

So I shaved my legs. And my armpits. And my chin (don't ask, just accept it). And then, once done with the bath part and now into the shower part, I went after my pubic hair.

Have you ever watched a good (ha, ha) porn movie and noticed that one of the women has a shaped patch? You know, shaped like a heart or something. I thought that might be interesting (I've done the shaving off all of it and hated it. It itches abominably when it returns and of course, looking prepubescent right there with a clearly adult body looks... well... wrong. It just does.

Trust me when I tell you that these enterprising actresses have someone else do the cutsey shaving job that produces the design of your choice. I tried for that heart shape and it was not easy and not without taking off a lot more hair than I'd planned. It is also a matter of having the right tool for the right job. As it turned out, once I started using that, things became quite a bit easier. Until then, yikes. A normal razor won't work. But still there is the angle. This is key. Looking down from my view, it came out... well. Lopsided and weird. I suspect that as a third party it would have been fine.

On the other hand, I'll be damned if I am letting ANYONE near that particular area with a razor!

Sunday, 8 January 2006

How Much Does a Father-Figure Figure?


Taken straight out of one of the fourth season episodes of Sex & the City, it is a worthy question. I do love the show; but I cannot sympathise with the characters too much - I have a very healthy relationship and am not terminally dating or looking for that Mr. Right with the usual over-inflated expectations. But that is one title that needs to be mulled over.

One of the debates in that episode was whether or not the main character has issues with men because it is said that your relationship with your father will determine how you deal with men in the future... this was clearly aimed at women. I can't say how faulty that is. I love my father and have an excellent relationship with him. There is nothing unhealthy about it. We are friends and related and while that friendship never intrudes in our being father and daughter, it makes us unique. How many people have that closeness with their parents? But then there is the rather inconsequential but genetically significant fact that Ray is not my biological father. He is my father in every possible sense, but not that one. If you look at my relationship with Harry Trebilcox, the perpetrator of my existence... well. I should be a completely different person! I have my father issues thanks to that divorce but do I blame that on one person? My aunt hates men for the crimes of one... what a dopey thing that is. One man does not represent the entire gender any more than one woman.

Well, so where does that leave that theory? Hard to say. I see a lot of little similarities between Ray and Luis but not big ones. I don't think I am looking for a man like my father. I certainly don't gravitate toward his basic personality type - Ray is MUCH more laid back and non-confrontational than I am. I am terribly confrontational and one to get it all out in the open (just ask my embarrassed coworker!) and I hold few topics sacred or untouchable. Ask anyone I work with... someone was trying to make a point about changes being slow and using the metaphor of sacred cows. I responded, "I'm not terribly religious. I'd be more than happy to eat the sacred cows."

Truly you cannot take me anywhere.

But back to the father figure thing. Does that mean I should have an excellent relationship with Luis because I have an excellent relationship with Ray? Or am I supposed to be the man-hater, man-eating bitch because Harry and I have zero relationship and our few communications have been rather acrimonious?

Here's the kicker. I have an excellent relationship with Luis. He is my soulmate, my wonderful husband. He and I have our issues - who doesn't - but they are all annoying and liveable. We have a great life together. He understands me and accepts me and I understand and accept him. So I suppose right there I have answered the question... and pretty much the way the characters in Sex & the City did.

It's a crapshoot.

Life is What Happens While You're Busy Making Other Plans - Part I

That seems to be true enough. I wasn't planning on being in bed all day. It is 16:52 and Sunday has -mostly - come and gone. Life gave me a very bad stomach - liquid out of all ends - whilst I had other plans. Fortunately I did not have really serious plans today. However, spending the entire day in bed watching Sex & the City (the entire fourth season) wasn't in there. It's life. Usually I say that life is good. And usually it is - certainly it is a HELL of a lot better than this! Today is one of those life is not so good days. I'm still alive and no one's died and the world is still turning as evidenced in looking at the darkening sky out my window. But it wasn't a good time, either. I spend some "quality" time in the bathroom assisting all that liquid stuff and a moment or two in the kitchen to feed the monsters but that was it - all the rest was in bed. I had some Saltines and some Rice Crispies. Truly invigorating, ha, ha.

Which brings us to the next topic...

Friday, 6 January 2006

Some Pictures

It's kind of funny. I love having my picture taken, but I don't look good in them! I usually look overweight (which can be contributed to actually being overweight...), or my face is fat, or whatever. But I keep hoping I will suddenly look like Michelle Pfeiffer when the next photo is taken!

This photo was taken in NYC by Harry about two years ago... I don't think it was taken last year but who knows... I can never remember when things happen - not like this as it is not tied to an event of some kind. I periodically go into the city to hang out with Harry. We usually talk on the phone for a couple of hours, so we are perfectly capable of wandering all over NYC chatting and shopping and eating and just having a great time.

This image (to the left) is quite old. It was taken at the New York Renaissance Festival, after hours (I'm not wearing garb there). This has to be somewhere between 1989 and 1992... you can tell by my face, which is quite a bit thinner and my eyebrows, which are quite a bit thicker. And the hair is long - for me. Funny, isn't it? I don't know why I was making such a face... I guess I was just being my usual weird self. I should grow my hair again. I like being able to do different things with it. It's just hard as an EMT to wear it long. Patients like to grab it and pull. Still I miss having hair - hair to put up or down and especially to have the long woven whatchacallits in it. I forget what they are called. I usually get them at the NYRF. The woman there will take different colour threads and weave them into a bit of my hair and then continue to make it as long or as short as I want it. Oh - yes! Hair wraps! I have a great shot of hair wraps I had in 2003.


Yes, that is my big butt there. I had a tight velvet dress on. Not a good look for someone with my excess weight but there it is. THe interesting part is my hair. It was long so I had it pulled back in a style similar to the Amish women (but not so tight that it would fall out), then in a bun at the base of my neck. It is a very comfortable way to wear it. Hanging from the back are two really long things and those are hair wraps. They are most definitely permanent unless I take a scissor to them. I love them. And Luis likes them too - gives him something to play with. Men and their toys! Luis loves it when I have long hair. Although "long" is something of a misnomer. My hair never gets much longer than the above picture. For whatever reason it reaches a certain point and then it is finished. It will get this far and no further. I don't know why that is. It never lasts very long anyway. It is a lot of work to keep it that long and I don't have a good face for it. I have a long face to begin with so the long hair (when down) makes it look sort of horsey. It's nothing to do with my weight - it is just the natural shape of my face.

This was taken in 1996. That was my garb back then - still quite a bit lighter in weight then. I love that bodice and still have it... just on the off-chance I lose the excess weight and can fit in it again. I certain hope that this happens some day! I think this was taken on a rainy day there as I'm carrying a really heavy weight cloak and have on long sleeves. This faire runs August through September and usually is warm if not quite hot. I'm wearing too much for it to be a normal day there. This is a great outfit but not a good look for my face! I have quite the double chin there, thanks to the angle of my head! And what is up with that stupid "cat that ate the canary" grin? Maybe I got lucky up there that day!


This was taken in 2001 at the NYRF, working with David and Dorita. She makes the most amazing articles of clothing. It is strange but wonderful - this was when they were really just starting to sell this. The clothing is a little expensive but not unreasonable - it's hand made silk cloque and it is a time consuming long process with incredible results in colour and texture. It is silk and Merino wool, which are not inexpensive materials. I love their clothing. I have a couple of skirts that are really nice and very unusual. I wear them to work and they get comments. Most are positive, but I dress a little unusual, so I'm sure it is odd in the environment I'm working in now. They'll get over it!

One reason I have been working at the NYRF almost twenty years now is because I can dress up in almost any way I would like (in a Renaissance way, though - no modern garb - and it is okay. This me showing off my boots in 2002. And it is a lot of fun. Most of my exhibitionist tendencies come out here. It's okay to be blatant and sexual and let it all hang out! My breasts are generally considered public domain. Or Harry calls them Sydney and George. I don't know where he came up with those names for them. But Sydney and George have been so named for a long, long time. Talon used to come up every day for his woobies. He would bury his face between my breasts and shake it. He loved doing that and I certainly never minded. Oddly enough, it wasn't sexual - well, not for me... but I don't think it was for him either! It was fun and funny and everyone expected it!

Me getting my hair wrapped in August of 2003. I was a First Responder at that point. We had moved between the previous Ren and this one but I still had long hair - for the last time - it all came off in January of 2004, during EMT school. You can tell that this was taken early into the Ren season - my breasts were milky-white then, something that they never are by the time the faire is winding down. I don't try to tan but it just happens. I look a little weird there - I don't know why. I miss having the hair wraps and that is another reason to grow the mess again!

The Chinese food just got here. I will finish this later!

7 January 2006; 17:36

I'm back. Took a whole day to return, but here I am! I am fresh as a flower (just had a nice long soak and a shower to follow), I have on Split Enz, and I am in a towel (I like being casually dressed). Life is good!

This picture is from 2004 - October, I think. I did not have a really good image from the Ren Faire, but this is not the greatest image, either... I just look like a big walking breast! I had no idea this shirt makes me look so... busty. Yikes. Yes, somewhere under the enormous rack is a person... Goodness. I think this is an image that should not get out. But, well, there it is. Like I said, I love having my picture taken, but I don't look too good!

That's me in October of this year, taken at the Connecticut Renaissance Faire. I was wet and cold and probably not feeling my best. It was not an easy weekend there. Three days in soaking rain and cold will take all the good humour out of anyone! Still, it's one of the better images, even though my hair is all ratty and curly and I wasn't looking at the camera. Oh, and that's an "om" (sp? - the Hindu symbol) on my left breast, not an arachnid!

The big black thing on my forehead is a horn - one of David's horns that should be paired with another, so that I would look like a satyr. Instead I took just one, applied some crazy glue to it and stuck it square in the middle of my forehead! Looks weird, eh? Get used to it - I do a lot of wacky shit like that! And the symbol on my breast was in henna. It stayed on for the better part of two days, and when the henna fell off it left a reddish design there for nearly two weeks. I love it and will do it again next year at the beginning of the NYRF to create the tan lines, which will last a much longer time!

That is thus far the only image of me in the new year. That is Luis and me with Matthew. It's not a great image - the lighting is horrendous. But there I am, over the last five years. All images prior to that are on film and that would be a lot of scanning... I suppose I do have some older images scanned in from 1997 when I first designed my own Web site (www.aislinge.com) - I'll have to look. Some day I should scan in my photographs but I was almost as prolific with that camera as I am with my digital one, so it would take a lifetime to do that. A worthwhile project, I suppose, but quite long-term.

This was taken in 2001, I think. I stood outside in a thunderstorm, tucked under the awning of the back door of our old house on the other side of Parsippany and just snapped away until I managed this incredibly lucky shot. I took some 200+ images to get this one. I scrapped the rest except one other lightning shot. I have tried to do this since and not been successful. Still, this is a big accomplishment! I love this image. I worked bloody hard to get this! New Jersey gets far more heat [sheet] lightning than bolt lightning so it was not just a matter of waiting for a storm but waiting for the right storm! No easy task. And you can even see the step leader on this.

This is an image of my beloved kitties. Yes, both are there - Chelsea, whose eyes are eerily glowing, is behind Ariel, sleeping in the foreground. This is a rare photo of them together. In general, they've little liking for one another and keep a distance. This is a wonderful photo... I think it was taken in 2004, when we got this quilt from my mother, who discovered she couldn't squeeze it into the washing machine. It's a very nice quilt. Right now our bed is boring as the down comforter is on it and that is just plain white. It has been beastly cold, though, so boring and toasty warm beats cold and pretty any time!

This is Chelsea yawning. This was almost as hard to get as that lightning shot. I did not sit there and take 200+ shots of the cat awaiting a yawn - it was a completely lucky shot! I love it - she would likely be humiliated if she'd ever seen it but cats are much more forgiving of this kind of thing. It is slightly over-exposed, as much as a digital shot can be, but it still came out well. This is my all-time favourite of her and that is over the course of 14 years - almost 15. I have hundreds of photos of them both. I love my kitties heaps.

And that is a particularly interesting shot of Ariel, who'd been playing with a catnip toy. Yes, I love giving them kitty narcotics - they love catnip and get really wacky on it. So there she is, high as a kite and giving me those freaky eyes. I love that. She's really my baby. Chelsea loves me and comes for nocturnal visits, as I call them, but Ariel sleeps with me, under the covers, tucked in by my side. She's very sweet and silky soft. Chelsea will occasionally curl up by my head and sleep there but Ariel has to come sleep with me every night.

And last, my favourite photo of Luis and me. This was taken in our old house. I really like this photo. Luis looks very cute in it, but then, he tends to photograph really well. So does his belly, but that is another story! And this is one of the rare pictures of me that I don't find objectionable. There are not many! This was taken circa 2000.

Well, this post is ungodly long and full of images. Time to stop!

The ONE Disadvantage...

How is this for irony? I have actually discovered the one disadvantage to not having children!

It is not a huge thing and really falls into the category of nuisance issues. It is a nuisance. It is one of those "don't sweat the small stuff" things that really is easy enough to live with and doesn't huge impact my life in some enormously negative way. It is rather just... distracting.

Because I have no children and the reason we formed out of the protoplasm with the sole purpose of procreating, around the time I was reaching my 35th birthday, my body threw the hormones into overdrive. Now, let's be honest, here. I have never had anything less than a healthy sex drive and some might say too healthy. When this started, though, it made me ask my doctor if there was something hormonally wrong with me! Suddenly I was completely preoccupied with sex! I was horny all the time. I would come home from work and tell Luis to come to bed. After a month of this he began to say no... even he has his limit! I have toys around for the times he is on the road or I'm just too randy to wait! Everyone I see looks pretty good - well, not really, but I am noticing men more - as if that was possible.

I am still this way, even worse! I will be sitting in traffic and suddenly remembering some amazing encounter and the seat will be flooded. I'll be sitting at work, concentrating on what ever it is I am working on and suddenly I will have a strikingly clear memory of some round of sex and that is it for the concentration! It is a huge nuisance then! Sometimes I can't focus on what one of my former crewmates is saying because I always found him attractive and I'm suddenly imagining what it would be like if he would take me right there! Tell me that is not distracting!

And me being me, I will say the most openly outrageous things to people I am comfortable with. I had one of my coworkers turning the most amazing shade of red, ever. I can't remember the last time I shocked someone that badly. He may be scarred for life now (although he still seems to like talking to me!) - but I have an interest in that particular individual so there you are - I'm distracted anyway! (He can't help it - I find him very attractive.)

So there it is. The ONE and only teeny-weeny disadvantage to not having kids!

Monday, 2 January 2006

Another SURVEY!

Someone had put this on their blog and I came across it while looking at EMT blogs. Here it is, with my answers in it:

Happy New Year Survey:

01. What did you do in 2005 that you’d never done before?
I ran six calls myself with only a driver from Rescue & Recovery (a million thanks to John from Car 69!)

02. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Resolutions are goals that no one reaches. The answer is no. I won't do it this year, either!

03. Did someone close to you give birth?
Yes! My very close friends had a baby boy; a good co-worker also had a baby boy.

04. Did anyone close to you die?
Yes, Lee McCombs from a company I worked for. We worked together and he was magickal. He is in one of my posts.

05. What countries did you visit?
This year? None that would be counted as such by others; I did go to Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont for the first time (I have now been to all of New England) and trust me, they are indeed other countries! (In a good way!)

06. What would you like to have in 2006 that you lacked in 2005?
More confidence on calls and more practice backing that wretched rig up.

07. What date from 2005 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Working for Givaudan and all that happened there. Lee was my new best friend and cancer took him away.

And many other things. My first young fatality - well, not the dead person but the survivor.

My father telling me that he is looking into permanent disability.

Many other things.

08. What was your biggest achievement(s) of the year?
Every patient I help is an achievement. Every day alive is an achievement. Every thing I do is an achievement. Or a learning experience or both. To give a specific example? Wow. Let me think...

Getting my CEVO certification and clearance to drive the rigs.

What was your biggest failure(s)?
Not getting the position at Givaudan.

Every disagreement with my husband.

Spending money as fast as I get it! That's an ongoing issue. It is still a failure.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Yes. I have limb-girdle muscular distrophy. I get injured all the time!

11. What was the best thing you bought?
HOLY SHIT! You are talking to a rabid money-spender! In 2002 I would have answered our house. In 2004, I would have answered my car! (A 2001 Acura CL Type S. Gotta love it!) This year... I have no idea... let me think. OK! I have it!

All four seasons of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Tom Filliman. He really stepped up and has been amazing as a parent.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
A crewmate who I put in a written complaint about. He and I sat with the Captain and it was the most acrimonious meeting. He said all kinds of horrible things to try to hurt me. He sounded like a petulant 5-year-old who wasn't getting his way. The only positive thing was that he lied so outrageously that while I felt depressed about it, I did not feel hurt.

14. Where did most of your money go?
(Not in any order) Sensa pens, writing paper, EMT stuff, CDs, DVDs, books.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
The possibility of not being a temp and being hired by not one but two companies (Givaudan in June and now my current assignment. I still don't know, though!

16. What song(s) will always remind you of 2005?
"Square One", "White Shadows", "Talk", "The Speed of Sound" and "Suffer Well".

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or hardened?
Both. I cannot become one without the other.

ii. fatter or thinner?
Hard to say - roughly the same.

iii. richer or poorer?
Oh, absolutely richer. As broke as I am, USI paid me nothing - I am earning more now.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
More sex! As much as I got (and it was a lot) I still want MORE!

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Agonising about my employment status.
Spending.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
What, in 2006? Haven't gotten that far. Christmas Eve is always with my mother's family; Chrismtas Day with my parents and John and Safia.

22. Did you fall in love in 2005?
Sure I did. With my beloved husband - again.

23. How many one-night stands?
None, unfortunately. I would love to have sex with someone, no strings, for one night. I wonder if Antonio Banderas is available...?

24. What was your favorite TV program?
CSI: Las Vegas.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
There are very, very few people I truly hate. It isn't healthy.

If I had to name one, it would be George W. Bush. What an idiot.

26. What was the best book you read?
Good gods on a bicycle. Do you know how many books I read in a year? No idea.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Coldplay!

28. What did you want and get?
Clearance to drive the rigs!

29. What did you want and not get?
A permanent job! Were you not paying attention?!

30. Favorite film of this year?
None. I saw two movies: "The Fantastic Four" - utter garbage! And Harry Potter's latest. It was OK. Give me the books any time. I hate to disappoint. I have none.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 37, on 26 January. I believe we went out for dinner at the Garlic Rose. The after-dinner lovemaking was wonderful!

32.What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
This again? Permanent WORK!

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2005?
Ecclectic. Odd. Unusual. Sexual. Artist-y. Not the norm.

34. What kept you sane?
Writing to all my overseas and out of state penfriends.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Fancy as in "wouldn't it be nice if he showed up at my house with just ribbon tied smartly around his waist, wanting me?" Antonio Banderas; Brendan Fraser; a local cop I am working with.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
None. I pay so little attention to politics.

37. Who do you miss?
I miss my Pop-pop. I miss Steve Sudol terribly. I miss Talon heaps. I miss Lee - all the time.

38. Who was the best new person you met?
Lee. He was incredible. I think of him every day.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2005:
Well, sometines life gives us lessons sent in rediculous packaging.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
Are you lost or incomplete?
Do you feel like a puzzle, you can't find your missing piece?
Tell me how do you feel?
Well I feel like they're talking in a language I don't speak
And they're talking it to me

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

In my A.Word.A.Day e-mail, it began with this:

"The wheel of time keeps moving. The old year goes away and the new year claims its place. There's a reason we call it the "wheel" of time. The word "annual" comes from the Latin annus meaning a circuit of the sun, hence a year.

Flowers don't bloom any differently just because a new year has begun. Clouds move at the same pace whether it's a new day or a new century. Yet for humans these convenient markers along the trail of life are quite convenient. We brood about what happened yesterday. We plan things for the next week. And with a new year, we feel our knapsack of time is replenished. Again. What we missed doing last year we might be able to accomplish this time.

And so the wheel turns.

Ultimately, it's all relative. A story goes that a man prays to God. God appears and the man says, "Lord! Our billions of years are your one second. Our billions of dollars are merely a penny for you. Could you grant me a penny?" God smiles, says "Certainly! Back in a second," and disappears.

May all your wishes be granted in the new year!"

A kind soul at work hugged me and said, "May your best day of this year be your worst day of next year." I really liked that. It seems so caring - and my best day of last year is hidden to me in amongst many great days that all rate highly - I think it is a good sign that while the year of 2005 had its pitfalls and downward spirals it also had its magickal moments and great accomplishments and wondrous experiences.

And lots of great sex.

Oops, did I say that? Luis would be quite aghast at that. Not really shocked but a little put off that I would print that - it is rather blatant. But hey, I was thinking it so I daresay it needed to be said. What good's a blog if I can't pop right out and say really outrageous things?

Anyhoo... 2005 was an interesting year. The midpoint of what will be an interesting decade. Life should always be rich and interesting and full of strange adventures and amazing experiences. Why do you think I love the EMT thing so much? As much as it may sound like the same thing over and over, it is not. Even with the same patient for the same issue it is still different and exciting and exhilarating - and even though they annoy me sometimes, it is still a little fascinating bump in the road of life that I got to drive over and see up close and personal.

On Thursday night we had a double header - two accidents on Route 46 West - both were rear-enders - and our accident was a single-patient MVC but the back-up rig, which took the MVC involving three people just 700 - 1,000 feet west of us, had three flat patients to our one, so we stopped there along the way and grabbed a second patient. It created no end of confusion filling out our call sheets as well. We did that but before we could finish, we were blown out for a patient who passed out in the restroom of the Chili's Restaurant on Route 46 West. This individual told me that they'd had 2 - 3 Zinfandel's (you must realise that I cannot tell this and divulge the gender of the patient). May response was, "Is that by the bottle?" Not very PC, but really - I never drink and would not be nearly that plastered. You cannot get me to buy that this person was less tolerant than I am as almost no one is the tee-totaller that I am! At any rate we took our very inebriated and embarrassed patient to the hospital. That all happened between 17h45 and 20h00... So it was rather unpleasant to be dragged from my warm bed at 23h01 for another detox patient. A frequent flier that wanted to go to detox. Hmmm. This is the third or fourth time I have taken this individual to rehab... I think somehow this person is missing the long-term goal... Yes, that is sarcasm.

I took two calls yesterday - two drunken Mexicans who managed to totally wreck their van on Route 80 West at 09h30 - ye gods, isn't that some extended drinking! Or maybe they are just getting an early start on their New Year's Day drinking... hard to tell. The second was an elderly Irish person taking a walk in the frigid air in his pajamas (either early-onset Alzheimer's or dimensia... still, not bad for being in the mid-90s - usually early onset anything hits well before the brain makes it to it's 90s... Hope if I get some illness of that nature that it waits until I am VERY advanced in age so it will be likely that my body will give out before my mind turns into utter mush. Anyway, the patient was fine. Other than a little confusion about where he or she is, (he or she wanted to go visit a friend living just up the road on West 85th) the patient was fine. No hypothermia or diminished vitals. I couldn't get any pulse ox reading but the elderly often have poor circulation and after being out in the cold, it was less strong. So there was no getting a reading but everything else was good.

So I have already started my New Year off with a bang. I have all my Christmas decorations down as well. I am militant about that. The day after New Year's Day, working or not, it all comes down! None of this Epiphany crap for me! Luis used to tell me that he wanted to keep the Christmas tree up until 8 January for some Roman Catholic holiday. I looked it up and saw that this holiday, Epiphany, is quite low on the list of weird Roman Catholic observances. And what the hell - I have no idea who had an epiphany but I get 'em all the time and it hasn't made me the font of all wisdom, nor has it conferred upon me my very own holiday. And for someone with no Roman Catholic tendencies or use for the dogmatic side of religion, what is this sudden urge to practice this? He doesn't celebrate Epiphany (in all honesty I don't how one would) but the bloody tree is not - NOT - staying up until next Sunday! Bloody well told. I am not dealing with the needles and clean up after the Roman Catholics tell me I can.

So the lights are off, the tree outside on the corner, and the house is... well... almost back to normal. I still need to return the living room to rights. I will do that now, actually!

Kudos to the Parsippany township and police for getting us to highband! It is wonderful! I went to Wayne today to visit my parents and heard all of the dispatch and Car 67 and it is just amazing! YAY!

Happy New Year!