Thursday, November 19, 2009

Hello to the void...

So, here it is, months and months gone. A whole entire season has passed (and then some) since the last time that I posted. Life has continued. Time has marched on. And decisions were finally made. Last week, after months and months of tense waiting, we received the news that I'm about to shoot out into the ether that is the internet... they are closing The Mister's facility and moving it to Ohio.

Okay. Well, no more uncertainty about that, eh? To say that the mood is far from light around here would be an understatement. All these months of waiting, for this? All the champions of keeping this group where it is have been defeated by big business.

Corporations suck. Period.

As life would have it, on one of the most beautiful fall days to spend walking the beach, the day before they made the dreaded announcement, we got word that one of The Mister's good friends and former colleagues (he was at work when he had the seizure that would lead to his diagnosis) finally succumbed to brain cancer. He was in his later 40's. Perhaps it was the last gift that he could give to those at work who were so close to him: the gift of perspective. Viewed through the lens of his death, people were talking about how life is too short and precious to be living in a place where you wouldn't be happy.

Do we want to move? No, we do not. We know that we would give up too much personal happiness. So, what happens now? I wish that I knew. I also wish that it hadn't taken so damn long for them to announce their decision... being a huge corporation, I'm sure that their decision was made ages ago.

There's not much for me to decide, really. I'd rather eat glass than move, at this point, but that's neither here nor there. So, what to do? Currently immersing myself in French fiction and red wine to distract myself from the possible outcomes, I haven't the vaguest notion of where this will all end. 'Til later....

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

I Need a Drink.

Just when it seems that I get my sh*% together for even half a minute, something kicks out a leg from under me and I drop it all again. Dammit!

The Mr. comes home from work on Friday and tells me that his boss asked him if he is willing to relocate to the crime-ridden, Mid-western city where the company headquarters is located. I mean, seriously crime-ridden... it comfortably makes the FBI top 20 list of most dangerous cities in the US.

This is the point where I throw up.

We live in a safe, pretty place with major cities within driving distance, lots of amazing cultural opportunities, stellar museums, world renowned universities and hospitals, mountains, the ocean, and we're being asked if we'll give it up to move to a land-locked, economically declining, crime-ridden city??? It is, shall we say, an undesirable request.

To give you an idea of how undesirable it is, when the company offered relocation packages a few years back to get the people from one of the departments to relocate from our city to the headquarters, only 2 people out of 35 took the package. The rest quit outright. This says something. It says that, despite the fact that a comparably priced home out there would be a McMansion (bleh!) compared to a small, overpriced, three-bedroom house on a fairly teeny lot, there is nothing, NOTHING there that would make the move worthwhile. Personally, I've lived in that state before and I vowed that I would never go back.

I'm also rather disturbed by what I've seen in that state as far as race relations go. As a mixed-race couple with Eurasian children, the last place that we'd want to be is in an area that has a large, active, KKK membership and an active KKK recruiting headquarters. The kids are unfortunately going to have to learn about this kind of awfulness eventually, but this is not something that I want my kids to have to live with when they're so young.

So, time for The Mr. to get a new job, right? Hahahahaha!! In this job climate?? He doesn't want to move either, but it may be a choice between that and no job at all if it comes down to it. I have every reason for not wanting to move my children there. As for my own selfishness, I've realized in the last decade that I need to be near the ocean. I mean that I REALLY NEED TO be near the ocean. It's the one thing guaranteed to keep me on an even keel. Well, the last time that state was ocean front property was when the plesiosaurs still prowled the sea that ran right through the middle of the continent.

But in the end, this whole decision isn't really up to me, is it? Economic necessity may decide for us. As of this writing, we don't know how cut and dried this thing is and won't know for several weeks until his boss comes back from house hunting (he's relocating to that city from Germany and I strongly suspect that he has no clue what he and his family are in for). Maybe he was only feeling things out. Maybe he'll realize that he's going to lose most of his department and will rethink the whole thing. We won't know his decision until the end of the month.

In the meantime, if anybody needs me I'll be in the bedroom with the covers over my head. After I go throw up, that is.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Another Lost Wiikend

"Hi, my name is Velvet and I'm a Dance Dance Revolution Addict."

Yes, I have fallen off the gaming wagon and have been under the influence of Wii. What fun. It's really nice to be able to indulge in video gaming without the couch potato-ness that comes along with it. Sure, there are all sorts of standard video games to play on it, but we've been getting a lot more mileage out of Wii Fit, Wii Ski, and the ironically named Active Life: Outdoor Challenge.

Ah, and then there's Dance Dance Revolution... it's a pretty well known game in the arcades, but for those of you who have never seen it, you stand on a square floor pad that has four arrows on it: a left arrow, a right arrow, a front arrow, and a back arrow, all in their respective positions. You choose a song from a list and a pattern of arrows comes streaming up from the bottom of the screen as the song plays. When the arrows reach an area on the top of the screen, you step on that respective arrow on the floor pad. Simple, right?

Well, when we first started playing, we thought that we might have gotten the wrong game in our package because there sure wasn't a whole lot of anything that looked like dancing happening. Had we gotten the black market copy of another game? Perhaps we got Stumble Stumble Revolution, Hop Trip Revolution, or perhaps Desperate Off-Tempo Toe Stab Revolution. It looked like we might have been drinking and dancing which may just be illegal in this state.

At our wedding, our future brother-in-law decided to get out on the dance floor for some group dancing (my hat is off to him for getting out there, I assure you) and ended up doing a dance that we later dubbed "The Hoparena"; it's like The Macarena, only it looks more like hopping arhythmically and touching yourself in random places. I can honestly say that we have now been doing a version of the Hoparena with the best (?) of them. What a shame, then, that we're actually getting better at this. We must have found the Dance Dance Revolution game disc was somewhere in that case after all.

I have discovered one thing, though: there's a "Golden Moment of Dance Dance Revolution". This is the kissing cousin to the Golden Moment of Pool, which is when things are flowing smoothly, you're playing really well, sinking every shot, and then you take just one more sip of your beer/drink... and your pool playing night is OVER. And so it is with DDR, too.

Well, I suppose even us addicts have to take a break sometime.

Friday, January 2, 2009


So, I was sitting in the waiting room of the mammography office one day, filling out the usual pre-torture, personal/family medical history questionnaire, when my attention drifted to the satellite radio music being piped in over the tastefully concealed speakers in the ceiling.

I listened for a few moments until it dawned on me what I was hearing.

"You make me feel... you make me fell... you make me feel... like... a... na-tur-al.... wo-o-man..."

I chuckled to myself. They couldn't possibly be serious.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year, New Post, New Blah Blah Blah

Well, here it is 2009 and I start the new year surrounded by a seemingly endless, post-holiday, ADD wonderland of Nintendo Wii games and more Legos than should be allowed in one family. Not to say that it's bad; on the contrary, we're doing the lion's share of the Lego construction (boy, what hard work for us to play with build all those Lego sets) and the Wii is not for the kids, it's for the grown-ups. Maybe we'll let them play with them if they're reaaallly good... for the next few years or so. Hey, they're bound to hate us for something eventually, so it may as well be for something that we have fun doing.

But back to the present day. We've been celebrating the fresh start of a new year since man created calendars and it's a time of hopefulness that lasts at least for a week or two until life returns to normal and we realize that nothing has really changed. It's not a useless time, though. It can help us reflect on what's been going on in our lives, too, and what we can dream will happen during our next ride around the sun. I suppose we can also think about how we can learn from our mistakes and do better next time.

I don't bother to make any resolutions because, well, I know myself far too well. It would just be something to feel bad about breaking and who needs that? I'd rather be happy. But I have been thinking about the new year and reflecting on the past year a little. It's been... interesting? Educational? Frustrating? I suppose that I've pretty much spent most of my life really, well, "inside" my head, a bit too reflective and philosophical for my own good, but I'll spare you much of the details of what I've found there.

Here is a list, in no particular order and by no means all equal in significance, of some of my thoughts on this past year that I'll pull out of my.... um... hat right now:

-This past year has made me realize that I'm waaaay more political than I thought I was, but won't get into the nuts and bolts of it here. This space would like to remain free of politics and religion, though I have abundant opinions on both.

-Even though we know that the fairy tale is absolute bollocks, even cynics like myself sometimes reflexively use it as a yardstick for how life should be. That is, until reason kicks in. Sorry, Cinderella. The prince probably snores, is no doubt flatulent, and probably has a lot of habits that he picked up from his mother. And while you're at it, doll, you probably have a lot of annoying habits, too. Suck it up and deal.

-I did get around to spinning fire poi for the first time a few months ago, as I had said I wanted to do. I really, really liked it. I enjoy spinning poi anyway (I find it very meditative), but fire was just icing on the cake.

-My friends who don't have kids do not even remotely understand the limitations of living a family life. They won't get it until they get there (if they choose to do so).

-A good friend is worth their weight in gold and true friendships can come from really unexpected places and after even years of being acquaintances. Sometimes they finally click.

-I've come to realize that there really is a generation gap and it seems that I fell through it. I don't fit in with my peers and am having an interesting time seeing what my mindset was probably like when I was in my 20's, like many of my friends. Been there, done that, no wish to re-live it. sigh. Well, it is what it is. As they say in pool parlance, you've got to play the table. Perspective helps.

-Other people make all the difference in our lives, for better or for worse. The middle school-ish social nonsense from a handful of the people in the climbing group that I mingle with have really turned me off on climbing. I've neither the time nor the interest to relive the pre-teenish drama, gossip, back stabbing, and character assassination. It's mean and unnecessary.

-More than one young guy has told me that they'd exercise twice as hard when they get older in order to prevent middle age spread while still being able to eat exactly the way that they do now. To this I have this to say: HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Okay, guys. Get back to me when you get there and we'll discuss it.

-that 2009 has the potential to be a very interesting year. Easy? Most likely not. Peaceful? Probably far from it. Prosperous? Well, let's not go into that. Still, it has the making of being something different and most likely not boring at all. And that just may be a fresh start in itself.

Here's wishing you all a healthy, safe, and Happy New Year, wherever you are. Hopefully I'll get a little time to check in on the blogosphere more than life has allowed lately and it would be nice to be mingling out here again as this interesting new year unfolds.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Mosquitos suck. FACT.

They do. They really, really do.

Yeah, okay, so nobody is a fan, but we live in an area that is so mosquito heavy that I keep forgetting what it's like to live in an area that has a normal bug level. For example, I had to do some yard work on Sunday (one of the rare days of sun that we've had in I don't know how long), so I donned my summer work clothes, put on my work shoes, and stepped out the front door. Then, in the safety of the open air, I took my handy bottle of anti-bug spray and fogged myself with a lovely, toxic cloud of DEET. Arms, legs torso front & back... I even sprayed my hands and rubbed them in my hair and on my face. Pretty extreme for daytime, eh

It's not so extreme for our neighborhood because we have to put bug spray on our legs since the deer moved into our area and brought deer ticks with them. Lyme disease is insanely thick in our area and, after finding three deer ticks on my youngest son a.k.a. "Tick Magnet", I'm not so jazzed on deer. They may be cute, but I really wish that they'd be cute somewhere else. But I digress.

Anyway, freshly soaked in toxic chemicals I headed into the yard to work.

In the sunny yard.

In mid-afternoon.

I still got MUNCHED. Desite sun and heat, those buggers made a b-line for me like starving women to a banquet table. Those aggressive, sun loving buggers found the chinks in my chemical armor, like in my armpit, a spot on my shorts where the DEET must have been less concentrated, and in a momentary gap between my shirt and shorts in the back. The desperate/brain affected ones were ready to take on my chem soaked arms, but I killed them when I could. These weren't the gently buzzing kind of mosquitos either, they attacked with the speed and gusto of attack squadrons. Of course, this wasn't unexpected. Really aggressive insect popultations aren't exactly an unusual thing in this part of the country and, as a matter of fact, one of the guidebooks for a climbing area not too far away carries this statement right in the guide book: "Don't even think of visiting in May or June, when man-eating insects abound. If you slather on enough DEET, you'll probably survive, but the blood loss will be staggering."

These are tough bugs out here. I'll be that they drink DEET for breakfast. Citronella leaves them rolling on the floor holding their sides with laughter. We protect ourselves the best that we can if we go out in our yards in the daytime, but you take your life in your own hands if you step out at night, even to put out the trash. I secretly suspect that your family would find your dry, shrivelled remains in the driveway the next morning if you stayed out for too long.

Man, I miss the city.

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Summer That Wasn't

It may be of interest to nobody in particular that, yes, I am still alive and that I do intend to actually return to blogging after a reaaaalllly long hiatus and/or sporadic posting.

So, what the heck have I been up to? I wish that I had a good answer, but I'm afraid that it amounts to "not much". We are in the middle/late stages of "the summer that simply wasn't" where, inundated with what seems like an absurd amount of rain and thunderstorms and some uncharacteristically cool weather, there hasn't been too much opportunity to do anything recreational. I take that back... it would have been an ideal summer to play "Lightning Roulette" out in an open field somewhere. As a matter of fact, this is the first week this summer that I can remember where there are two days in a row without a chance of rain. Rapture!!! It's so weird to have lush green lawn in August when it's supposed to be a bit droughty and it's too bad that I couldn't figure out a way to send all of our overabundant wet weather to our friends who need it so desperately.

Other than that, the fire performance things have been going slowly, perhaps too slowly for my tastes as I still haven't been able to light up yet. Soon, I hope, soon. Hey, if I can channel my energies into something creative then it will be a good thing.

Good to see you here again and I hope to post again soon.