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Saturday, December 27, 2008

Attack of the Lazy

Things started last Friday with a bang. Some last minute Christmas shopping was followed by Friday Night Waltz. That was followed by Dickens Fair, including another Dark Garden window, Gaskells, Dickens Fair, and the party for the cast after the end. The next morning I rose early to drive Erik to the airport, then off to do tear-down for Fezziwigs. Wrapping that up about 6:30, I headed back to Alex & Sherman's place to idle for an hour or so. That's when I realized I was really really tired, but rest would come later. First, dancing at ceili. Then Tuesday was spent wrapping gifts, doing last minute shopping, and putting things away to a minimum level around the house. There wasn't time for actual house cleaning, but I had to be able to walk around and find things. I finished wrapping gifts around three a.m. and headed to bed. Wednesday was slogging towards Sacramento. I was out the door a bit before 1pm, but didn't get to Sac until 5:30. The traffic was awful. For one day, I really missed $4 gasoline. Holiday dinner and presents, and home to mom's house for bed too late, followed by another family gathering and presents, followed by dropping in to see Danny & Steph and share tales of the holidays and some cookies and fudge. Yesterday was chores and shopping stuff because I was almost completely out of cat food. (Now noted that they go through one bag in almost exactly 30 days.) The Browncoat Holiday party was last night.

So this morning, this was the morning that I finally got to sleep in, without anything to get me out of bed. And so I got my lazy morning - woke up, snuggled the kitties, read a book, dozed off, snuggled the kitties, read a bit, and so on. After noon I finally headed to the living room to supplement the book reading with tv watching. This is the day of ultimate laziness. I treat myself to this once a year (if I'm lucky). I'm catching up on Heroes and Pushing Daisies and other stuff on Tivo. I finally made some coffee around 3pm.

Tomorrow I'll be ready to clean the house. Tomorrow I'll sand the patch in the bathroom and scrub the tub. Tomorrow I'll put away everything I got for Christmas. Today, I'm reveling in a moment of laziness, and it feels good.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Pendanceathon 2008

There were a lot of us this year. Four days, five dance events:

I'm very tired today, but bless my Justin Lacers because my feet are doing alright. Still, shopping to do, presents to wrap, and all I really want to do is stay home and snuggle my kitties on the sofa. Ah well. Here's to another highly successful year of Dickens and Fezziwig's. Cheers!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Sugar Makes You Hyper and Poinsettias Are Poisonous

I always love the irony of the wrongness of the things we all just *know*. There are these kernels of wisdom that are so oft repeated that no one ever doubts them. Here is a gentle reminder: don't believe everything your mother tells you. Or your grandma. Or your friend. And just because they all said it, still doesn't make it factual or true.

Christmas Comes Early

Careful what you wish for? Or... not.

First I went to the IT Services Christmas party and got my teammate to Night Fever with me. This was awesome.

Then I went to Kevin and Rachel's place because I *had* to come get my Christmas present. I was momentarily dubious because Kevin kept saying puzzling things about it, but I figured I'm always up for a good excuse to see them both, and for a chance to snuggle the kitties, even if I'm a lame-o who hasn't done anything about getting gifties for friends in the past month. Turns out, I got a ladder!!! Yay! Moreover, it's such a wicked cool fabulously light-weight ladder that I can lift it with one finger. It's totally awesome. (And now Rachel wants one too.) I'm so going home tonight and putting things up in high cupboards. Mwah-ha-ha!

And then I went to Social Tank with Wendy and Jeff and they giddily asked me to hang out for a minute so that they could give me a prezzie. After playing in T & Danielle's Portal LARP with Wendy, they got me Portal so that I can better understand the love of a Companion Cube. I've been wanting to try the game for months now, but I'm going to be a good girl and not install it til after Fezzi tear down on Monday. But then I'll have days off *and* a new game to play and that will be awesome.

And now I'm having my annual "Egad, it's just a few days til Christmas, it's too late to shop online, and I'm so not ready! ACK!!!" moment. Christmas may be coming a little early for me, but it will likely be running a bit late for most of my friends from me. Harumph.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

In Our Genes

For those of us with blue eyes, it all goes back to a single mutation, and one that must have been genetically advantageous. Moreover, there probably weren't any of us prior to about 10,000 years ago. Go figure.

And obesity, well, that's probably in your genes as well. As one who comes from two parents who are heavier, I for one have to be relatively vigilant about getting my exercise and not eating everything that I want. I always wonder at those friends who own their own deep fryer and never seem to gain an ounce.

And yet, as much as it may seem so, our genes are not inalterable, static things. They can be changed, and sometimes that can be used to our advantage.

Wedding in the Window

So this past weekend I got married. Oh, okay, not really. But we went through all the big wedding milestones: ceremony including vows and rings, pulling back the veil, kissing the bride, toasting the happy couple, first dance, cutting the cake, tossing the bouquet, tossing the garter, and so on. There's a certain regularity to the whole wedding thing that I'm always grateful when it's broken at real weddings, but it made going through motions simple.

The star of the show was not the bride nor the groom, but the minister, Reverend Digby.
Photo courtesy of RJ Johnson
His patience waiting for his frozen celebrants was humorous and his "Oh God!" and "Oh Lord!" and "Amen!" from the Church of England ceremony was fantastic. We had a small struggle keeping a straight face as he went on.

Also amusing was my cousin who came by during the ceremony and remarked later that she really wished she'd had a camera since it was likely the only time she'd ever expect to see me in a veil. Lucky for her, I can attest to the event being well photographed. Josh posted a set by RJ Johnson on Facebook. Others will pop up shortly I'm sure.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Snow on the Mountains

Hiding inside today. There's a whole lot of cold outside including snow on the mountains, and yet today is the day that my little space heater decided not to continue functioning. Wanh! I have a loaner oil-based radiant heater, but it's just not as effective as my little blowing powerhouse of toasty goodness that my grandparents got for me five years ago. Still, hot soup and hot tea and I'm hanging in there. I'll be stopping by OSH and/or Target on the way home to investigate a new space heater. No stairs of Clark for me today!

Bonnet-y Goodness!

Have I mentioned lately what amazingly fabulous friends I have? Because I do. Amazing. Kim says to me, "I feel like making a bonnet for you." So she who makes bonnets made several and let me pick. And now I have an amazingly fabulously wonderful new bonnet. See:
It's got the biggest sashiest ribbon ever and I totally love it! And I got to run around on Sunday morning saying, "I'm a pretty pretty princess with a big blue sash!"

Thursday, December 11, 2008

New Good Habits

I have a bad habit. I drink way too much Diet Coke. This is enabled by the Beckman Bistro offering fill-your-own-cup for fifty cents. I've been thinking that in the new year, I really need to kill this habit off again because I'm so caffeine dependent.

But then I stepped back and looked at it another way. As bad habits go, it's not that big of a deal. It doesn't cost me much money (about $8 a month) and I really enjoy it. It probably does me no particular harm other than the occasional headache when I get to 4pm without a little caffeine.

Meanwhile, I was thinking I really needed to get more exercise. A walk isn't good enough and is sometimes limited by the weather. Then I thought that if I went to go get a bucket of soda, then I could climb the stairs around the Clark Center as I walk by.

So I left the office, filled up, and used my iPhone to play peppy music that sped me up the steps around the Clark Center on my way back. 30 flights of stairs later at the pace of Ray of Light and The Hand That Feeds, my legs were a bit twitchy.

The next day, I was craving my usual soda around two o'clock. I made a deal with myself that I only get that if I climb all the stairs first. So I did. And I did it again today, even though my thighs were a bit grumpy about it after yesterday. It seems a worthy deal: a tasty indulgence in exchange for doing something I should. No stairs, no treat. I've leveraged my bad habit to create a good habit. It doesn't solve the weather problem, but I skip the soda in bad weather anyway. And why wait for the new year to start new good habits. I'll start them now and keep it up in 2009.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Hooray for My Porch Light

I love having Christyn and Brian living so close. I drove by their place last night to borrow a ladder so that I could change a light bulb. I don't have more than a 2 step stool anymore, so light bulbs are all out of reach. I changed not only the porch light, but also changed a bunch of fixtures where one of the two bulbs had burnt out. Since I've finally found a compact fluorescent that doesn't make me squint and cringe, I paired a CFL with the existing standard bulb in many of those cases. This is slightly annoying right now in the bathroom where the first bulb comes on instantly, and the CFL joins it 2 seconds later, but meh, life goes on. Now I just have to figure out the best way to dispose of the two burned out CFLs I have sitting in the kitchen.

I have the oddest wishlist this year. It's populated with really basic stuff I used to have around the house, but which left over the summer. Now when people ask me what I want for Christmas, I can answer confidently, "A cordless drill" or "A ladder" or "A 3-step light-weight step ladder." So far, I've surprised several people with highly confident answers when asked what I want for Christmas.

Friday, December 05, 2008

On the Science of Reproduction

This week seems to be a week of news on reproduction.

First, smart guys have better sperm. So their may be an evolutionary reason behind the growth in our intelligence as a species. (Though nowadays, I suspect that other factors are pushing things in the opposite direction.)

Second, there's the bit about how gents who smell good to you are probably a good match for having kids, but more than that: your preference it what smells good can be affected by taking birth control. Overall, the whole idea of my nose being that involved in my dating choices is just a hugely bizarre concept, but one I have to get behind on some level. Those guys who smell funky never have a shot.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The History of the Pledge of Allegiance

I'm fascinated by the process where things go from inception to tradition to sacred. The Pledge of Allegiance is one of those things that has gone from a thing written by one guy (a socialist, no less), to a tradition, but one that could be altered even sixty-something years later, and then finally to something that gets people into paroxysms about the sanctity of it. Anyhoo, this was an interesting little history of the Pledge of Allegiance.

This process happens again and again though. Heck - Stagecoach used to be an improvisational story, and then it was written down, and nowadays if someone alters a single word, there are frowns from those who know better.

Well, off to home for me. I have to get ready for a monthly tradition I'm hosting this time in my office. One time my boss invited us down to taste some pear vodka with treats to go with it. We decided it was such a good time that we should do it again. So the tradition of First Friday Cocktails was born. Will it make the leap from mere tradition to sacred and unalterable? Unlikely, but you never know.

Hey Kids, Let's Put On a Show!

Just when you thought all the Prop. 8 stuff was safely settled back into hibernation until the next court battle comes to fruition, here comes Prop. 8: The Musical!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Mazurka Girls

Heh - Larry caught me in action.

I honestly have no idea what day this was. I remember dancing with that lady, but the days just blur together. Still, it's just one of those perfect illustrations - there I am, grabbing some random lady for a dance, and it turns out she can mazurka with the best of them. I love this gig.

Caught Being Cute

Monday, December 01, 2008

First Weekend

Day one of Dickens: Went like clockwork. It's like we've been doing this for 9 years or something. Danced every dance during my lead and backup shifts save for 2 schottisches. Go me! Followed this with a trip to Watercourse Way with Bates, Molly, and Erik. This was exactly the right answer. The staff at Watercourse were fascinated by the whole Dickens Fair idea, fed us some of their birthday cake, and let us stay extra time since there was no one in the room after us for the rest of the night. Bates had never been there before and he was completely blown away. I gave a comp to the woman who was most interested.

Day two: Never could quite catch the train. It was unnaturally hot in the Cow Palace. I melted. Picked up chocolate for Mr. Fezziwig's desk on the way home. Felt like a melted Ammy til after the shower, whereupon I woke up and realized all that I still had left to do. Instead of going to bed, I pulled together something resembling an idea for my Dark Garden window the next day, replied to email, and did laundry. This was necessary, but ultimately a bad idea. Note to self: next time take a shower and then eat dinner.

Day three: The Cow Palace has invaded my sinuses. I'm not sick per se, but oy, with the Cow Palace funk in my head. Still, got back on the train, did the thing, and had a good day. The Dark Garden window, last minute planning and all, apparently went well.
credit to Miss Darling
I managed to some how stave off the eye watering and nose dripping issue that started in the first ten minutes. The rest of the day passed at light speed. At six, I thought we were about to do Stagecoach, but it turns out I was an hour off. We closed out the day, packed up the food, inventoried the Things Box, and headed out. I dropped James at home and headed to Hayward for Spaghetti Sunday with Josh and Magenta. This was truly Shamu Hour. Sherman demonstrated his patter (which is truly hilarious, but maybe not quite as funny as it seemed then). Elbows! Laura looked at her watch and told us all it was an hour later than it was because the numbers fell out of her head. Much laughter was had by all. Reverend and Mrs. Digby are a fabulous addition to the cast. I quipped that they were like spare Fezziwig's we'd forgotten in the back of a closet and finally remembered to press the On button.

Post-Dickens Monday: The Cow Palace is still in my nose. I'm not sick, but I'm doing a decent imitation of it, working on coughing up the last of the funk. I'm not sure I could do Dickens if I didn't have a ridiculous surplus of vacation. The Mondays off save me. I slept til 10:30, lounged in bed with the kitties and read, and followed that with some errands to refill the Things Box and get food for the week. I got a massage, came home and made more soup, and took care of my feet. Opted for the exercise of wisdom and stayed home instead of going to ceili. Leeloo and Pixel are really happy with that choice and have been trading off snuggle time for the past 2 hours while I soak my feet and watch Buckaroo Banzai.