Thursday, March 28, 2013

Pre-trip Jitters

Today is a big day.  Not because I fly to Arizona tomorrow.  I'm not a nervous flyer, never have been.  I do always get butterflies for about eight to twelve hours before my flight but I reckon that's because I'm nervous about missing my flight.  As soon as I'm at the gate waiting to board, the butterflies take a nap.

Its not because I'm going to the Grand Canyon (finally, right?).

It's not because I'm once again intrusting the lives of my "kids" to someone else.  I happen to have a reliable pet sitter who, as far as I can tell, does well by my cat and dog. I will surely have several days of the shadows when I get back though.  They follow me around relentlessly for at least three days after I get back from any trip longer than two days.

No, today is a big day because tomorrow I go on a trip with someone I'm dating. This is a first. Virgin Territory for me. I didn't even go on a real trip with my ex-husband.  I don't count a trip from Utah back to Seattle to visit family, doubly so because we drove and there was no hotels or equal stressors.

We fly out Friday very, very, painfully early and we'll be back almost as early on Thursday. That means fully six and a half days together. That means practically living together for those days.  We will be eating, sleeping, um . . everything-ing together. He's going to meet my mom and step-dad for the first time too. Which I'm not terribly concerned about but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't at all concerned about.

I think we've maneuvered through the minefield of expenses pretty darn well so far.  We haven't been seeing each other so long yet that we've merged incomes and unfortunately, neither of us is independently wealthy.  Instead, we had to have a talk about expected expenses for the trip, how much each of use can afford, how we like to travel (five-star hotels or one-star tragedies?), etc.  We have both put money out for reservations so that if either back out, we're equally screwed.

We've made some rough plans about things we want to see, like the Grand Canyon and a huge telescope, but left the overall itinerary mostly open. I feel like it will be a good "test" (I don't really want to use that word, but have here for lack of the exact sentiment  I want).  People are different when they are under stress, in airports, trying to give or take direction, worried about costs and keeping their partner happy.  To be honest, I'm more worried about him seeing a side of me that surprises him or turns him off than vice versa.  I've cautioned him about the seasoned traveler in me that shuns meandering in the airport and packs sparsely. I'll definitely need to remember that I'm not traveling alone for work and act accordingly.

Wish me luck. You'll hear about it next week, whether you want to or not!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Happy I-didn't-die-in-the-last-year Day

I had a birthday. Hooray.

I haven't been big into birthdays for quite a few years. I had birthday parties every year as a kid.  Some great one like with pinatas or build your own tacos or pizzas. As you get to be an adult though, birthdays change.

Gifts, for example, become sort of superfluous. As an adult, you make your own money.  If there is something you really need or want, you'll buy it.  Additionally, the items that you want as an adult are vastly more expensive than what kids want.  This year I am considering a Mariners six game pack of tickets (roughly $180), a backpacking sleeping bag ($100plus), potentially a new high end rain jacket or television. It's hard to ask anyone to spend that much on you.  I don't know about all of you, but I have gotten a little pickier about what I want over the years.  I don't want just any old sleeping bag.  It needs to be under three pounds, pack size less than 7x16, minimum temperature 30 degrees, ideally with a hood and ability to zip to another bag. That's a lot to ask someone to look for, especially if they aren't at all interested in sleeping bags.

Parties are different as well. As a kid my parents (probably mom) arranged everything. The cake, the food, the gifts, the theme.  It feels almost as self-center/egotistical to make my own party as it does to write a blog and assume people read it. The crux of the deal is that I did arrange a get together and was mildly disappointed at the minimal turn out. Out of 17 invites, five people showed up, two leaving after dinner.  That being said, those were the folks I am closer to and would want and expect to show up. This year, dinner, drinks and then a variety show was a great way to celebrate.

I may be jaded or snarky, but it does seem sort of silly to celebrate birthdays because everyone has one.  We are celebrating the fact that you managed not to die between your last birthday and this one.  You didn't bore yourself, your mother gets the credit there.  You didn't accomplish anything to earn your birthday, you didn't have to purchase or claim it. Everyone gets one. I can see celebrating birthdays for senior citizens because, as crass as it may be, hey! they didn't die!! Celebrating birthdays for kids could be pertinent too since in the olden days lots of kids did die. In 2013, in a first world country (I'm ignoring the obvious conversation we could have here about how appalling the state of healthcare and how high the infant mortality rate in the US is), it seems less necessary to have birthdays.

That all said, thank you for the birthday wishes.  It is nice to know someone stopped and thought of you.  I'm not the best about doing the facebook birthday wishes but I do show up for drinks, events, etc.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Weird Eats

I mentioned that I'm on a health kick lately. I've been going to the gym, eating less fried food and sugary stuff.  On that note, I've also been eating a lot of vegetables.  Now I like fruits and vegetables.  As a kid mom used to tell me I'd make myself sick because I would eat a whole bag of cherries or three nectarines.  Somehow I never got sick. Maybe that was a foreshadowing of my steel stomach that got me through SE Asia. I didn't mind vegetables growing up but I'm not sure I had a particular fondness for them.  I can't recall.

I learned to cook by cooking with my mom.  I know how to make tomato pasta sauce, meatloaf, various chicken dishes, potatoes au gratin, among other dishes, because I helped her make them.  My sister and I were often allowed to help prep and cook food for dinner in addition to making cookies, brownies, cakes and the like.

I can't imagine why this liver wasn't appealing.
My folks both grew up having to eat liver and hating it. As a result, I've never had liver. Dad spent part of his childhood on a farm.  He'd had sweetbread (cow brain), liver, rabbit. All sort of things that are maybe less common now that they were in the Fifties and Sixties or on a farm. Neither of my parents were the hugest seafood fans, which is a bit of a pity given that we live in Seattle.  We had white fish or salmon fillets but that was about it.  Veggies were run of the mill - broccoli, salads, asparagus, corn and potatoes.

As a consequence, there are lots of things I don't know how to cook but I've begun adventuring.  Sometimes I start with a recipe. I made Thai chicken noodle soup from this article in an Outside magazine.  It was intimidating as I started the stock cooking.  The combination of soy, hoisin and fish sauces made it very black. The end result however, was fantastic and produced about six servings.  I'm going to attempt both beef jerky and kale chips from recipes this week.  My first ever batch of banana bread didn't go to badly either though I've got a few tweaks to the recipe to try. Oh, and don't forget the Sri Racha salt I've made but yet to try.

Other times I sort of make up dishes. I made was was deemed by someone other than myself, a very good dish that seems gumbo-esque. Jalapeno and cheese turkey sausages, brown rice, bell peppers, onion, spinach with a cohesive lemon/herb/teriyaki sauce. I've been pan warming (very lightly cooked) all kind of veggies - bell peppers, onion, mushrooms, zucchini, eggplant, squash, spinach - in varying combos with different seasoning every time.  I roasted a bell pepper stuffed with a mix of tofu, asparagus, spinach and topped with a slice of dill havarti cheese (a current favorite).

White turnip and sweet potatoes
I also am conducting tests to see what I like.  I bought a sweet potato, a yam, a turnip and a beet.  I cleaned and sliced them then baked them.  It was a great opportunity for me to see the difference in cooking time, taste and consistency.  It also prompted me to do some research.  Why, other than taste, would one eat a turnip instead of a potato? It turns out that turnips have fewer calories and more vitamin C.  Turnip greens are especially full of vitamins and anti-oxidants but so far I'm having trouble finding turnips with the greens left on.  Beets were definitely my least favorite, took the longest to cook and seem the least versatile.  I think some seafood will probably be next on the testing list, first fish then shellfish.

Dry rub, good for all sorts of meat
I've been using more tofu to bump up my protein in low fat ways.  I add ground flaxseed to lots of things because it doesn't have much taste and sort of cooks in to sauces. I've made some sauces and soups plus my first batch of from scratch chili, that end up being re-imagined in all sorts of ways.  Chili tacos were a good one.  I'd gotten some advice about using dry rubs on meats that has proven to be invaluable.  When using a dry rub on chicken/pork/beef, slather the meat first in yellow mustard.  Cheap, generic yellow mustard.  Then cover it in the rub and wrap tightly in plastic wrap for 18-24 hours ideally. When you are ready to cook, unwrap and roast/bake/grill.  There isn't even a trace of mustard taste but it keeps the meat really moist and juicy plus seems to allow the rub flavors to adhere to the meat better.  The chicken was fantastic and just as good left over.  We tried it with pork rib meat to the same result. It's been added to my cooking rotation.
The end result looks a bit like this.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Retaining Sanity and Losing Weight

Since I'm waiting to find out where I'll be working next, and with which company, I've got some time on my hands.  When you're working full time, time off sounds great.  When you're waiting to work and don't know when your next paycheck is going to come in, time off can be the kiss of death. If I already knew when and where I was going to start working, I could go on vacation, maybe scuba somewhere or visit some friends on other continents. Since I don't, I end up trying to stay home . . . a lot.  Inevitably, leaving the house means spending money.  I go to Home Depot to get supplies for house projects, I go for acupuncture, I go out to have a meal with a friend.  It all costs.
To try and keep the costs down while maintaining what's left of my sanity (I hear you snickering, I know there's not much left!), I've been hitting the gym.  I already had a membership, so no additional money out the door there.  It gets me out of the house and since it's Spring in the PNW, the weather is more often than not still pretty lousy (see yesterday's post). Not to mention that everyone else is working so it's darn tough to find a hiking/snowshoeing buddy midweek.

I had my first monthly check-in with a trainer in nine months.  Now, I'd gotten on the gym kick not long after I moved back to Seattle.  The problem came first during the holidays as I got out of the habit and when I was on the road.  Sure there was a gym at the hotel, but it didn't have the set up I wanted and really, after an eleven hour day, it was the last thing I wanted to do. So, my first weigh in, measurement check since May of 2012.  Honestly, I knew it wasn't going to be pretty.  I could tell a few ounces here, a few more there had snuck in.  I am up about ten pounds from where I was in May. By May, I had been working out about ten weeks solidly so I was lighter than when I first got back.  That being said, half of that ten pounds I put on was lean muscle and my tape measurements (weight, hips, etc) hadn't changed much.
I've got some goals on the horizon and instead of doing what I usually do, which is: I don't tell anyone that I'm making changes, hope someone notices, am accountable to no one else, and end up falling off the wagon. Intead, I'm telling all of you.  I mentioned that I want to do four mud run/obstacle courses this year.  I'm hoping for one in each month of June, July, august and September.  Anything beyond that is a bonus. The Tacoma metro area also hosts fun runs and pub runs that start as short as two miles.  I'm going to do at least two.  While I realize that I could go out and run on my own without paying an entry fee ranging from $10 to $75, I know I won't.  I hate running.  I'll swim, I'll bike, I'll do the elliptical at the gym, but I won't run unless I'm financially and socially obligated. I know I'm not the only one since these runs have gained a huge following in the last several years.
I want to lose at least fifteen pounds and gain definition, tone and health. I want to be ready for a four day backpacking trip in September.  I want to keep up with the hiking group much better than last year. I want to feel great in a swim suit this summer.

On that note, I'm off to tackle a to do list.  I've gone to the gym the last three days in a row and I'm so sore I could hardly get my coffee cup off the shelf today.  I'm taking the day off the gym and instead doing fun things like hanging artwork, and a closet door, painting patched up dings in the hallway, and cleaning the bathroom.  Wooooooo!!!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Happy Spring!

To celebrate, the Puget Sound area is having a weather advisory.
"Wind Advisory
in effect from Wednesday, March 20, 9:00 AM until Wednesday, March 20, 8:00 PM





in effect from Wednesday, March 20, 9:00 AM until Wednesday, March 20, 8:00 PM"

It means that as I look out my window today I've seen serious dark, black clouds, pouring rain, drizzle, no rain but gray clouds, blue sky with puffy white clouds racing across the sky, partial sun, full sun and almost every combination there of. There was talk at the gym of possible snow tonight and mention that the mountains got a foot last night.

I realize The Punxatawny Phil said early spring. I think he's a liar. Easter is coming. While I gave up my celebration of the day when it was ok to eat more than one Cadbury Creme Egg years ago, I don't like the idea of dozens of little toddlers getting rained on while they try to find some "hidden" plastic eggs. March 20th is the Spring Equinox.  It's the official start of spring, but anyone in the Puget Sound area knows better than to actually believe it's spring. It will still be a couple months before nice weather is a regular visitor here. Good thing I haven't put away my long underwear for the year. I have however, transitioned from wool pea coats that signal Winter to layering polar fleece with a waterproof shell. Ahh Spring!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Thirteen months and Three Days ago

Thirteen months and three days ago, I flew home.

I left Jakarta.  Its been an interesting year.  I'm not sure what I was expecting, but I can't complain (not that it does any good anyway). In the last year I:

  • made a few great friends and some good ones too,
  • completed two mud run, obstacle courses,
  • went snowshoeing, hiking, kayaking,
  • took over the house after mom moved,
  • visited California, Oregon, Montana and Eastern Washington,
  • worked the majority of the year in a new field where I learned and excelled,
  • went to two music festivals and several other shows
  • dated and more specifically, I started dating one particular person, 
  • started on the path to being a healthier, happier me physically, mentally and emotionally. 
My transition back to the ol' US of A was fairly smooth.  As with most of the big changes in my life, it was in a lot of ways made possible by my mom. She was the one who suggested I get in to Epic training, she housed me when I got home, she supported me as I learned the pros and cons of contracting work. I made myself get out and make connections, make new friends and have new experiences.

There are a few things that I miss about Jakarta.  Mostly the people. It's very hard to stay in touch with people half the world and fifteen hours time difference away. I occasionally miss having a maid but I've managed to get back in the routine of doing my dishes and vacuuming without any tears. I rarely tire of driving instead of taxiing around.  I do hate the cost of the car (insurance, gas, maintenance), but other than after nights of drinking, don't miss taxis much.  I definitely don't miss the lack of outdoor opportunities.  About once a month I get a real hankering for warung friend rice or satay. Other than missing my friends, I miss how far money goes there including traveling for weeks at a time to amazing places.

As you can tell if you've read many of my blog posts, I'm a list maker.  I constantly have to do lists, shopping lists, follow up on lists, etc. I didn't exactly make New Years resolutions but I've got a few lists.

I want to complete:
  • 2 or more scuba trips
  • 2 or more camp trips 
  • 3 or more live music shows
  • 3 or more trips to other states (first one at the end of this month!!)
  • 4 or more mud runs
  • 5 or more kayak outtings
  • 8 or more hikes

We (the guy I'm dating and I) also have a to do list.  I'm really excited about it to be honest. It includes things that are touristy Seattle things, some more generic/routine things, some specific to us things. Not only have I met someone who indulges my list making, but also wanting to make a list with me. It's maybe the best list yet.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Pit falls of traveling for work

When you think abstractly about traveling for work it sounds great.  The company pays for your airfare, hotel, rental car and gives you a stipend or reimburses you for food. You'll go to new and different places. It will be FUN! It will be EXCITING!

In actuality it will be EXHAUSTING! It will GET OLD!

Most people in airports don't travel weekly, or even monthly. They stop in the middle of the walkway, they let their kids wander all over, they run into people and things with their rolling suitcases.  Want to know a secret?  When you go through security, get in the line with the most business flyers. They know, as do I, how to go through any mental detector without setting it off.  They won't forget to take their laptop or liquids out of their suitcase.  They will have worn shoes that are easy on/easy off and will know that you have to take off your belt, jacket and scarf. Don't, under any circumstance, get in the line with families, seniors who travel yearly at best, groups of teenagers for school or sport trips. If I could fly for work going to airport that only contained other business flyers that would be brilliant.

Staying in hotels sounds like fun too.  You have a restaurant in the lobby, you can get room service, most have a pool, perhaps a sauna, someone will clean up after you every day. It's also not home.  You don't have all your things there.  There may be a fridge in the room but it will have about two square foot capacity. You want to try to eat healthy right?  That holds three yogurts, two apples, a bottle of juice and one of tea, a small carton of milk, a half dozen string cheese and that's about it. Remember, you have to buy things that either does require cooking or you can make using hot water from the coffee maker or potentially a microwave, though I only get a room with a micro about half the time. Wait, you're traveling. You don't have to eat in your room,  you can go out to eat. Most people like the idea of eating out . . . until they've eaten out for two weeks straight.  The food isn't usually the healthiest, and if it is you're surely going over your stipend.  Not to mention that sometimes you want something prepared exactly as you like it. Frito pie with extra cheese, the fritos and chili in layers, a few globs of sour cream and topped with Sri Racha?  Not in a restaurant.

The only time I watch TV (aside from the rare Hulu binge) is when I'm in hotels.  I don't have a TV or cable/dish at home. I'll admit it was fun to watch the Grammy's and the Academy Awards since I happened to have a big, flat screen TV mounted in my room. Unfortunately, I also learned there are shows called "Swamp people" "My 600lb life" and "My Strange Addiction". There was plenty to scare me away from TV watching.  The first week or two I watched TV most nights.  I'd turn it on for noise in the room.  It wasn't long before I was making two or three passes through the roughly 35 channels and seeing absolutely nothing worth watching, and I do think my "worth watch" bar is reasonably low.  I watched a couple nights of Storage Wars marathons after all.

At least you get to see some cool new places right? Not so much.  When you work nine to twelve hour days, it makes it very tough to go see the city after.  Doubly true for small towns where shops close up early. Not to mention I was going to snow based cities in January and February.  With my luck, I'd get sent to Florida in July. 

Lastly, I didn't really exist.  I got a few text messages from friends asking if I'd died or just dropped off the face of the earth. I couldn't make any plans because even if I was going to be home for the weekend, the odds were high that I'd be exhausted. I'd fly in and get to my house about 9:30pm Friday night.  I had to do laundry and repack, hang out with my "kids" Skeeter the dog and BJ the cat, invariably do a few errands, then it was about 4pm on Sunday and time to head back to the airport. I missed beerfests, birthdays and special events.  I missed 80% of snowshoe season.

Fingers crossed I can find a local job and enjoy some time at home, being out and active, seeing my friends and keeping the "kids" company.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Ultimatums and Requests

I have really held off in giving many ultimatums in my relationships in the past.  I finally gave my ex an ultimatum of "get involved with me and our marriage or I'm done here" after the train had gone off the rails months and months before. I don't generally think that people (myself included) respond well to a "do this or else" scenario.  That said, there are times when necessity requires a hard stop to evaluate, then a decision is made.

Dan Savage refers to some ultimatums as the "price of admission".  If the person you are dating says once a month they want the freedom to go sleep with someone else, that's their price of admission.  You can decide that is a price you are willing to pay, or not. If the person is worth the trouble, the compromise, the hassle, then you'll probably pay the price . . .of admission.  If not, it's a good signal to go your separate ways.  I believer everyone has these prices, some come cheap, others are very costly.

I've realized that as I get pickier about who I date and what I want in a relationship, I have these lines-in-the-sand. There are few things that I'm really strict about, but those are absolutes. A few examples: accepting of all sexualities, races, religions and creeds, not a video gamer, active/non-couch potato. Most of my requirements are fairly broad and can be open to interpretation (by me of course) as need dictates. Dating is a process to filter out the men who don't meet my requirements and hopefully find one who does. 

I do think that having requirements is slightly different than ultimatums.  To me, an ultimatum is like a cease and desist order.  You've been doing A.  I find A to be unacceptable.  Please cease and desist. At what point in a relationship do you give an ultimatum?  That being said, what makes an ultimatum inherently different than a request?  I've been involved with a person or two that making requests, both on his part and mine, were the opposite of the high drama, be-all-end-all of an ultimatum. I asked if he wouldn't mind now smoking around me, or he asked if I would limit my snarky comments to ten a day.  Neither request was met with any hostility.  Part of a good relationship is being able to ask for what you want/need without the other person overreacting.  Relationships are always a give and take. 

The difference must be that an ultimatum means "if you say no, we're over" where any other request is still open for debate and compromise. The timeline of what you can/should ask for and when or how often . . . That is in need of a much finer comb to untangle.

Friday, March 15, 2013

How Not To Do Anything

get a migraine. 

That stops the world.

The US National Library of Medicine says:
A migraine is a common type of headache that may occur with symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, or sensitivity to light. In many people, a throbbing pain is felt only on one side of the head.
Some people who get migraines have warning symptoms, called an aura, before the actual headache begins. An aura is a group of symptoms, including vision disturbances, that are a warning sign that a bad headache is coming. Also see Tension Headache, Cluster Headache.
Most images online for Migraines look like this.
Anyone who suffers (and I don't use that verb lightly) from migraines knows that the definition should really be:
A headache that creeps in, usually behind the eyes, near the sinus, that will blow any plans you had out of the water because you can't even think straight enough to spell your own name, let alone accomplish a meaningful task or interaction with another living being.  Symptoms include pain that feels like someone drove a railroad spike through your eye, a quartet of trolls banging on your brain with Acme hammers, tunnel vision, ringing or popping ears, and an overwhelming desire to curl up into a ball and die. Occasionally, my teeth, face and soul hurt too.
I think this is a much more accurate representation.
Suggested solutions include: taking over-the-counter painkillers like acetaminophen, ibuprofen and the like, putting a drop of peppermint oil on one's forehead, placing an ice pack on one's head, lying in a cool, dark room, taking B-12, magnesium, riboflavin and all sort of various weeds and homeopathic things that you'd never keep on hand and definitely can't manage to go out and get when you are suffering from a migraine. Also, none of those sites note what happens if you take all those vitamins/supplements together.

More realistic solutions only suggested by victims of migraines, not rational people who treat them, include but are not limited to: dropping an anvil on one's head, a la Looney tunes, a lobotomy, medicating with marijuana until one passes out  or jumping off a bridge . . .a HIGH bridge.

Websites also give you all sorts of "helpful" information about how to avoid getting a migraine.  IF I COULD DO THAT I WOULDN'T BE GOOGLING "HOW TO TREAT A MIGRAINE" NOW WOULD I??!!

I had a headache Wednesday night as I went to bed and thought it was from the bottle of wine I shared over dinner. It was still hanging on Thursday morning and over the course of the day, despite drinking caffeine, water, taking pain pills including codeine and trying both fresh air and exercise as well as being a lump, nothing worked and it turned into a migraine.  If I can get to bed at night, I can often short circuit the migraine and wake up feeling better.  But not today. Today I woke up at 1:26am and went down for an ice pack. I work again at 4:38 for a second one and more drugs. And of course, today is the day everyone and their cousin wants to text and fb me so I woke to a Ping, PING, PING and a semi conscious thought that if I just ripped my eye out, I could massage whatever it was behind it that was making me miserable.

This is why there wasn't a blog yesterday.  This may be why there isn't a blog tomorrow.  For those of you living in the Seattle area,  if there isn't a blog again in the next three days, call the authorities.  I've surely gone to war with the hammer-swinging trolls.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Missoula to Spokane and back again

Apparently traveling for six weeks for work isn't conducive to much other than work and exhaustion.

I spent two weeks in Missoula, Montana. Its a college town, home to U of Montana.  There are a few redeeming qualities, like the local breweries. I went to Draught Works and Tamarack Brewing.  I had Bayern, Big Sky and Kettlehouse beers as well as Whitefish brewing from Whitefish, MT.

Yummy Bayern
My first day in town.  There was snow on the ground all the time I was there.

Tamarack Brewing
There might be lovely things to do in Montana in the late Spring/Summer such as hiking, camping, whitewater kayaking, fishing, etc, etc. In winter, it was just dark and cold.  I walked to work in the dark and walked home in the dark.  I worked eleven of the twelve days I was there and I saw very little of the town as most of it closed up at 6pm on weeknights. My one day off was partially spent doing laundry, but I did get to see it in daylight. It's a quaint town that feels like it's behind the times and underpopulated.  I'm sure the area near the university had a different feel but I was in the old downtown area.
Missoula - My hotel was the big rectangular one on the right.
After Missoula, I spent four weeks in Spokane.  I could easily repeat most of the above about  Spokane. It's a college town, with several big universities around. It would have been great to go snowshoe on Mt. Spokane but that was not to be.  Aside from that, breweries, good food etc. I was there during Restaurant Week and enjoyed an amazing meal at Clinkerdagger. I had company come visit me the last weekend I was there instead of flying back home.  We got to enjoy some sunshine, a long walk around town and Boo Radley's novelty store.
Spokane, Riverside park.  My hotel was the opposite side of the river and north about two blocks.
While I did get to go home three weekends during the six weeks, it often felt it was barely worth the effort. I'd get home about 9:30pm on Friday night after catching a 6:30 or 7pm flight and picking up my car on arrival.  At least part of Saturday was spent doing laundry, repacking, doing errands.  Then on Sunday, I'd leave again for the airport about 4pm. 

All of that considered, it felt wonderful to not have to fly out again on Monday the fourth.  I've been home a week and a half now and have happily settled back in to my routines.  The pooch and cog (my cat who acts like a dog) are both very content that I am home, walking and spoiling, I mean feeding them again. I've been cooking up a storm.  Chili, cornbread, banana bread, chicken, banana bites. It's nice to be able to make what I want, when I want it and not be limited to only a microwave and tiny fridge.

There really is no place like home!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

How NOT to blog

Apparently, there are several things that are less than ideal for blogging.

The first, very obviously, is being on the road for work for six weeks working lots and not having a laptop.
I know this seems like a "well duh!" moment, but I thought I could work around it.  I bought a tablet because my laptop is old and slow and cripplingly heavy. I kept the tablet for a whopping three weeks.  It didn't support some of the programs I wanted, I didn't use it nearly as much as I thought I would (like for blogging!) so I got my $250 back. I thought I'd blog the first two weeks I was away when I did have my laptop with me.

I didn't.

I didn't blog when I was home on the weekends.  Granted, I'd fly to Seattle and arrive at home about 21:30 Friday night then leave again for the airport about 16:00 Sunday. That left roughly 43 hours at home. I spend those meager hours enjoying myself and to some small degree, feeling guilty about not doing chores even though that was the last thing I wanted to do.  I only got home three of the five weekends that I was working away so honestly, I don't feel that guilty about not doing chores.(promise and threat, expect at least one more blog about work).

The second thing that is less than ideal for blogging is happiness.  I know that some people do blog about all the sunshine/smiley/happy moments in life.  I've approached blogging much like a songwriter. Pain, frustration and suffering make for great songs! They are the nourishment needed for poets to create. Happiness, at least in my case, breeds blogging laziness. When I'm (mostly) happy, I don't have anything to rant about (except work of course). I have more patience.  The storm in my soul has weakened from a Nor'Easterner to a springtime Seattle drizzle.

I might be able to talk about my happiness . . . there are two reasons I probably won't.  One - It's hard to be witty and biting and sarcastic about happy things. Two - I understand that things on the internet exist forever.   I don't mind that when I'm snarky.  The happiness in my life I protect to the exclusion of blogs.  It's easy to jinx happiness in my experience. So to that end. . .

Expect a few blog coming up but still containing vitriol about common stupidity, inane life happenings and work, because that's a great thing to vent about.  Don't expect me to extol the details of my happy internal land of sunshine, kittens and ice cream.