Thursday, September 28, 2006

I came home last night with nothing on my mind beyond getting a nap in and getting back to work on an assignment. I determined this was the best course of action after almost falling asleep during lunch while watching the physics lecture video I attend each Wednesday. I'm also assuming my extreme tired is due to my body fighting something off, especially since everyone at work is hacking and sneezing like crazy. Well given the time and the fact that I have yet to place my head upon a pillow you know how well that went.

But all of those other things I've needed to do are done at last.
- Two loads of laundry clean and away
- Vaccuum
- Clean the bathroom sink
- Dishes put away from the dish washer
- Week 6's assignments for the class I'm teaching are posted
- The last of the first assignment grades are recorded
- The fan club website is updated with the announcement of Rowe and Wallace returning
- Bermuda sand in cute little containers
- Gorgeous Bermuda photo placed into it's frame

With a shower I was damn near to bed at a :normal: hour - for me anyhow. I also had to get up a few early to haul the Stratus in for the replacement tail light. My life and schedule are my own fault, I know that... but it's my blog I'll bitch about it when I want.

I also got to see an amazing moon above the last colors of the sunset and a huge crescent of the moon after all went black. We do have some lovely evenings here. Maybe next summer I can sit out on my deck at least once and enjoy it.

The above I tried to post last evening (I've reworded some since) but couldn't get my blog to update. Some small updates as of this morning:

Jeff Zehr is headed to the UHL! Good luck in Flint Jeff. Anyone hunting for some of his old jerseys... I have a few I'm willing to sell! :)

Today at work I'm seeing the boxes moving about. It's never pleasant to think coworkers might be getting the axe, less pleasant is the fact that nothing is ever secure, even if you think you're safe. I still hold my breath every time I see a handfull of boxes.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The sweet sweet smell of a clean Vixen is now permeating my house. Many thanks to Beth for helping to hold the beast in place. I'm sleeping much better lately, which for me means waking up at 4 or 5am feeling refreshed and getting that exuberant moment when I realize I have another couple of hours to roll back over. I'm also not struggling to get out of bed in the morning.

I truly have little else of excitement to share about my life other than my sleeping habits at present. I haven't been able to focus on getting excited about the nearing hockey season or to start tracking the games that are going on. I'm a bad fan.

I am hunting for flights to my sisters somewhere around the holidays, we'll see what prices float their way up. In the mean time I need to crank out the rest of my section in our group paper. I'm still just not sure what to write. I'm _not_ the expert, I don't know... plus at this point I don't think my writing makes the grade this semester. To make matters worse I'm trying to figure out how to send out a letter on plagarism in the class I'm teaching. It's just stressful to have to do this to someone. I guess it's no one's fault but their own.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

"Cereal killer" is on the prowl again. Vixen took out a possum at my mother's house last evening. I'm sure anyone looking out their window at midnight had to wonder what was up with the small flashlight and shovel. Wouldn't have been a big issue had my mother not let her out in the morning to roll in the spot where she dropped the carcass before I took care of it. So, my dog once again stinks to high heaven.

Of course, when I visit mom so does the uninvited one. True to form she didn't leave until after I gave up and left... that was over 4 hours after she arrived.

As to friends - one down. 0 to exclusive in .9 months. I hope I was right on the bets I've wagered as to the order of success.

Ok, I'm pimping cards too by the way - so anyone who needs their Chiefs sets... come hit up the auction. Speaking of Chiefs, the Springfield camp opens tomorrow and will have Rowe and Roche up there as well as Andress. Good luck boys. I really am hoping you won't be relegated to Johnstown.

Time to try and get something real done. My mind needs cleansed.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

I tried to sleep in this morning. Made it to 10am, pretty impressive for me as of late. I haven't been able to sleep until noon or 1pm on the weekend in well over a year. I got a little bit of work done today and then got a call from my mother which promped me to head to Altoona.

One of my cousins was in a fatal car accident out in Colorado. While coming to Altoona doesn't help the situation per se it was the right thing to do. This cousin, which I haven't seen in many years and probably wouldn't recognize, is one of the few that was fairly close to my age. The rest were 10-15 years older than me, if not more. So I guess in some ways it feels relevant. I feel bad however because I can say it's unfortunate and sad, and I can comprehend how hard it is for my aunt, uncle, and other cousin (his brother), I can't put myself on some emotional overload saying how horrible and tragic it is. Once again I feel like a bad person.

On a bright note tomorrow mother and I will be making ham potpie. I really need to get this recipe down. I can't imagine a lifetime without this meal when she's gone. This evening we went to a small place that my mother likes for dinner and stopped at my one aunts. It's astonishing to me how many telephone calls she got while we were there - other aunts and uncles calling with regard to the accident. My mom is one of like 13 or 14 you see.

Friday, September 22, 2006

My stress levels are just wacky this week. I've become such a bitch that I yelled at my sister on the phone... ok, not at her but towards her because I just needed to yell at that particular moment. To try and get my mind the hell out of it's current state and to make some progress on everything I need to do I headed to the Haven with my laptop in tow.

I managed to get everything graded that needed handled, but I need some time to figure out how to handle some of the grading before I can actually provide feedback. And I added a few more notes to pile in for my group assignment... but I still haven't a clue how or what to really write for my class assignment. I feel a little better since I made some progress and had a drink or two. I even got to see our favorite front office gent out and about *smile*

More shockingly was that Lamonts burned down! I passed the chared remains. I haven't been there in quite some time, so it won't be awfully missed by me, but still shocking to see something that has been there in so many years of my memories gone. Things don't change too quick in Jtown unless forced to.

I think I'm going to go try to relax and finish out a DVD so I can get a real night's sleep. I can only assume my poor sleeping lately is a result of not chilling a few before trying to wipe out. Maybe a good night's sleep will aid me in being more productive tomorrow.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Bates scores the first goal for the Leafs last night off of a feed from O. Sporting #33 eh?

Photo from this article

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Today I miss my biggie.

I bought some Irish Creme (with a hint of mint) whilest away on my cruise, but I've been leaving the bottle untapped. Partly because I've not been overly eager to mix up a drink but partly because Irish Creme will always make me think of her. Tonight I decided to pour a glass and, as expected, it has me a little reminiscent.

As cold as it is here right now it would be nice to have a dog climbing over me to get at my glass.
If you're wondering why I've been so quiet lately I'm just in one of those mood swings. If you've never tracked your own body's rhythms for a month or two I highly encourage you to do so. You'll start to understand why teary eyed psychotic feelings are happening or why you're just tired as can be for a few days in a row. I'm in the majorly tired phase lately. I've been asleep before midnight all week. For me and my schedule - that is a major feat.

I have things to get done but not an obscene amount just yet. At least I've started preparing for some of the larger tasks that are forthcoming, like my individual main project for my current class. Finishing a teleconference with the professor I know what I need to plan for at this point and it's actually something useful, so I'm excited to know the effort should flow, even if there is writing to go along with it. Now if I can just get back into one of those lively moods where I can stay up later, stay focused, and rest well when I do crash I'll be able to get a few things organized and moving forward for all of my written assignments and build a bit of a comfort level before the hockey season starts.

Speaking of which, yeah, too quiet. Springfield's camp starts next week so I'm thinking we'll start to hear a little noise before long. Tampa Bay pushed down quite a few players that are familiar names and were names I hedged bets on arriving here at some point. Peterson is off to Florida making the signing of John Adams in the Tampa Bay system all the more clear it was someone they foresee coming our way.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Casey and Vanessa are married! Yesterday went by so quickly... up early to get the hair and nails done, both of which looked really nice, then off to Vanessa's parents. It goes without saying that Vanessa and her dress were stunning and we're all pretty impressed with how spiffy Casey can look. It was nice to have a front row seat to their smiling faces. I even remembered 99% of the little catholic nuances.

I did try to be good and follow the rules, but it was tough with some of the family members encouraging everyone to do shots. The mix of champagne, beer (in between the wedding and reception), two drinks (part of a third), and a huge shot I was pretty happy go lucky... a little more than I wanted to be. I was still good enough that I knew the folks I saw talking to the groom's one brother weren't with the wedding but I still took a moment to chat with "Dave and Anne Marie" and to get flung around the dance floor a bit by Dave. Wedding crashers do exist!

I forgot in my earlier posting of this entry to note that the limo driver somehow managed to bust out the tail light on my car. I actually laughed, I'm glad I didn't have the Durango. I think the dealership is going to get sick of seeing me soon.

Either way, I think everything was just right. To Casey and Vanessa - cheers and God bless!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Luckily I had my post for this week's class participation well underway before realizing the error of my ways last night. So I was able to finish things up with a late night and some clean up this morning to meet the revised deadline. I have never been so frightened to respond, but I guess I need to tighten my upper lip and take a lump or two and just keep trying to alter my writing to correct the issues laid out for me one at a time. That - and pray that I don't blow my GPA.

Some things I've neglected to report since catching back up:
When I went to get the Durango it turns out a set of yellowjackets decided under the back gate would be a good place to build a nest. Luckily it was a bit cool out the day I went for the car and the few that were "home" were lethargic.

Vixen aka "Killer" also took out a small mouse she found in the basement. Who says that is cat's work? Talented though she is, nothing will ever be funnier than watching Satin kill small critters like cockroaches or bees by stomping them to death in an enraged fit.

And now, for something new:
The Cresson Lake Playhouse is doing a Rocky Horror Picture Show LIVE! I'm so there.
Even being down with "E" and getting to share the wealth with my checking account today doesn't help cheer me up right now. It seems not only am I not capable of writing to a suitable level for my current course but I'm also now getting classmates in trouble for engaging in a reading assignment discussion I spurred. Yeah, I feel about two inches high and shrinking. This is going to be a very long and painful semester. I'm so incredibly unprepared. Inadequate inadequate inadequate. Why wasn't I an el-ed major or something?

Hopefully the puffy post-crying eyes will be gone in time for the rehersal dinner Friday evening.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

I finally pulled together my photos from our trip onboard the Empress of the Seas to Bermuda. Enjoy!

Yesterday I had the Durango at Wagner Dodge. Everyone gives me strange looks like they feel bad for me when I tell them I took my car to the dealership, but seriously they treat me well. Here is yet another example. When I had the Durango inspected a couple months ago it passed but I was told I'd need breaks soon. I decided to delay until after the cruise since brakes can be a bit costly. So I took her in yesterday to get that out of the way and I left w/ a $20 bill. How can this be? Not only did they not jump to needlessly replace the brakes during inspection but they said "you only put on 30 miles since we inspected it, put on another 1000 miles and come see us". Nice, huh. At least there is one place I don't have to worry about being taken for a ride as a female.

Here it is Wednesday and I'm still trying to cross off a ton of little things that need done before I can fully get back into the swing of daily life. I truly do need a few more hours a day.

Monday, September 11, 2006

I'm still working on the vacation photos. With my slow connection I can only get about 26-30 of them uploaded each session online. Hopefully they'll be finished tonight.

I've come back to less email than I expected but I'm already displeased. My first assignment for class can only be summarized as piss poor after reading my professor's comments. I was already frightened of this class, and this isn't helping. I have a bad feeling my writing style, which has been good for the past 2 1/2 years is going to fail me miserably.

Further, I've again witnessed a gal managing to strong arm her way back in with someone. I reiterate: next time I'll just tell my guy "no", then he won't bail and I won't be single. Seems to work for lesser women.

I also wanted to ask why oh why is CNN replaying everything from 5 years ago? It is not too early, it will never been "right". I didn't know anyone who died on September 11th, but I couldn't bare to watch all of that again. I can't imagine what this does to people who did lose loved ones. The instant reply is to not watch, but if I were at home, much like after the incident, it would have been impossible to turn off. You feel obligated and drawn in.

I'm destined to be grumpy for a few days. Just steer clear people.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

I will start by saying I selected very wisely. It appears Empress of the Seas will be heading to the Bahamas for the 9/9 sailing, which was my alternative selection. Instead we sailed, as planned, to Bermuda on the 9/2 Empress sailing.

Friday 9/1
Gee, why was Judy so psycho that day and running about with the Durango? Well it was to get my fuzzy one off to "camp" so I could head out in the afternoon for Philadelphia. Beff and I loaded up and headed East to Harrisburg to pick up Eric and continue on our way. A quick hotel check in and we then caught up with Bill who came into Philly just to hang for an evening.

With Ernesto heading through the area travel was rainy the whole way, but it was not as bad as it could have been. We headed out for dinner in the rain to Chickie's and Pete's. Cheap, but rather unappealing. From there through the wet streets of Philly for some rather interesting shopping, *wink*, a quick stop to dry off at the Mako and back out to the rain.

The hotel was suitable. I think we got a good deal through the CruisePhilly setup, but I didn't get a good night's sleep as I laid there listening to Ernesto whipping things about with most certain doom that Empress wouldn't be able to dock in the morning much less leave with us onboard.

I will note here that on this fine evening I was confused for Slippy by someone who traditionally would recognize his "itch oss'" voice.

Saturday 9/2
Up early, winds continued gusting, but we haul off to the port where we easily caught up with the rest of our boys (M, "Dad", B, and J) - oh, and we discovered one stow-a-way mooonkey. Tsk tsk.

While we didn't get out on time, we did leave. I missed hearing the horn however, which I can't fathom how that happened. The wind and rain persisted and I was really starting to think we were going to have a gloomy seven nights. Most of the ship was rather ill. I was a-okay, much to the surprise of many who looked on in shock asking "you didn't take anything!?"

We got our butts whooped at name that tune, grubbed, hit the show, and unpacked into our tiny room. When they say the Empress is a bit smaller than most, they are not kidding folks. But the three of us fit.

Sunday 9/3 - at Sea
We slept a little too late to catch breakfast, so Eric and I headed to the cooking demonstration where we then ate black forest cake for breakfast. We also then took the silver in the doubles ping pong tourny, fear us. At lunch we sat with people from Jerome. Yes, again, the small world cruise ship syndrome. In the afternoon, the swing dance lessons were fun, even if I am completely uncoordinated and Beth just refuses to lead.

This evening was my favorite show, Los Pampas Gauchos, the flourescents were bitchin and the drum lines were groovy. We also hit the majority rules game show and went dancing in the Viking crown. Tired. Sleep!

Monday 9/4 - St. George
As we entered the area we squeezed through a rather narrow channel and pulled up to the town crier announcing our arrival. We came into St. George on a holiday so, many stores were closed, but the area is still nice to see. I still managed to find a store where I could stock up on souvenirs in the form of Bermudan rum cakes.

We wandered about and ended up seeing St. Peter's, the unfinished church, and Tobacco Bay. Quite lovely for the first beach we got to check out. The rock formations around Bermuda add such a lovely contrast to the blue skies and multi-tonal waters.

We headed off on a candlelight walk which disappointed a bit as it was not what we expected and ran longer than expected. From there, back to the ship where our little crew entered the Quest and came out in first place *whooo* I nearly lost my favorite bra to a tragic quest incident, but came out only having my tube of bitchin Mary Kay lipstick smashed to smithereens. *hiss* At least we won.

Tuesday 9/5 - Hamilton
Beth is not much of a morning person, so Eric and I headed off of the ship for some quick shopping. The big plans of the day were snorkeling which included Eric, Beth, "Dad", M, and I. We went out on the Jesse James snorkel trip which included three stops, and was worth every penny and all the pain.

The first stop, a beach stop, to get the noobs familiar with the equipment but there was still plenty of fish to see. There was one fish on the poster hanging on the boat called the "Slippery Dick". Needless to say this made me laugh, but I had no clue I was going to see one, traumatically enough. (Gentlemen, please wear lined bathing suits.) The second stop took us over a few ship wrecks (including the Vixen *smile*), also quite cool, and minus the horrifying sights.

The final stop was over a lovely reef with a ton of life, if you could hold still and silent long enough for them to come out in abundance. People, if you're going to snorkel - learn how to kick with out flailing. All you do is scare away the fish. Further, don't kick me, or push off of me unless you want me to drown your ass. I did take with me an aquapac which allowed me to take my digital camera underwater. I was nervous, but it worked out pretty well, minus the issue of actually seeing through the snorkel and through the view finder. As bright as it was the view panel on the back was a wash, so we'll have to see how good my aim, and photos, turn out in a day or so (so much to do right now).

As to the evening's show the highlight was "Dad" hitting the stage. Super-star!

Wednesday 9/6 - Hamilton
Beff and I snagged a ferry and bus pass while some of the boys headed off to kayak and we hauled off to the Crystal and Fantasy caves, which were nice, but a bit of a let down. If it had been closer on our other desired path and we had gotten to see more beaches I would have been happier.

From there we hauled on the Ferry from Hamilton to King's Wharf where we peeked at the Glass works and hopped a bus to hit a few beaches before we had to be back to the ship. First stop Church Bay - wow. Second stop the ever popular Horseshoe bay for a glimpse at some of the pink sand. We didn't get a lot of time at either beach, but I sure couldn't slide into a suit with my already glowing red back anyhow. So we just took some photos and froliced our feet about in the surf.

While harbor nights went on we headed off for a nightlife cruise. The water was too murky to see anything through the glass bottom boat, I don't care how many lights you have. At least I got to try a Rum Swizzle and a Dark and Stormy while onboard.

Thursday/Friday 9/7-8 - at Sea
Everything was catching up to me, so I did some sleeping on this fine day. I finally tried to take my butt up the rock wall and I even played a little shuffleboard. Man, those old ppl are in shape. I think I threw out an ass muscle. Amusingly I am a bit gimpy today. There was more booze etc, but it was a nice way to wind down after running around like mad all week.

Saturday 9/9
Off the ship and driving back to good old Jtown. We snagged up the wee one and she's been too tired to eat her dinner or to snarf her pigs ear! I think she had a good time at camp while I was away.

Overall impressions of Empress
Small but lovely. It was nice to not have as far of a walk to every little thing. She did have a bit of a water issue however. In many areas huge air dryers were running to try and de-sog the carpet in main areas. Mayhaps people who weren't feeling well created a mess early in the week? I'm uncertain, but it was a bit less than pleasant to smell mildew in some of the halls and to go sliding when I stepped from the carpet onto some of the tiled areas.

I was also disappointed that we were told/encouraged to attend dinner in shorts etc. The whole point of the formal dinning room is that it is nice, so I was a bit bummed at this encouragement, even if it did allow some of our less prepared travelers to attend more meals.

Overall impressions of Bermuda
Absolutely beautiful! Incredibly expensive. Best way to see it is definitely on a ship where you can haul back on board to eat and to bed down for the night. Bus and ferry passes definitely the way to get around on this small island. We easily saw a good bit in our time there, and we only picked up a one-day pass.

Bermuda most definitely does have the island feel with all of the brightly colored houses littering the gentle hillside.

Continuing themes of the trip
Sunburn. Snorkeling was not friendly to me. I can show you my front - nice and pasty white, and I can show you my back - and you'll sing rock lobster. I've been in pain since, but it's my own fault. I was really surprised how lit up I got.

One thing I dislike is someone who gathers information on people and then spreads it to others. If we wanted our feelings shared, we would do it ourselves - thanks. The other thing I really dislike are liars and people who will hit on every single female onboard telling them things they think will woo them. I'm insulted to think anyone would believe me to be stupid enough to buy their farse as such, and moreso when someone moves on from my friend to me or vice versa.

Friday, September 01, 2006

I hauled out of bed at 6am, well two minutes before the alarm as I predicted, and headed to Stahlstown. I am lucky I didn't have the Durango, for I fear I would have plastered a deer. You see, large vehicle... harder to stop. Never mind that I'm not use to pushing that hard anymore and the brakes are getting replaced on the 12th.

I continue to try and ease my stomach which is either upset from my plans being tossed into upheaval, trying to fend off whatever sickness is circulating here, or the airborne stuff I drank last night didn't sit well with my GI in general.

I had the strangest and most vivid dreams last night, one where I woke up, I know I was up but I hadn't figured out that it wasn't real yet for a second or two. I guess we'll see if they were a premonition or my own personal insanity and paranoia in a week or so.
I am a control freak. I admit it. Things must go as I have them laid out or I need to be in control of the change or it makes me tense. A prime example can be illustrated with my evening:
Simply because I had planned to take the Durango tomorrow morning things had to go horribly wrong. I have, of course, failed to start and run it often enough this summer... thus the battery was dead (glad I tried it tonight). Being stubborn, instead of conceding to just take the Stratus, I ran to sears to get a longer set of jumper cables, drove across my lawn, and attempted to be a big girl.

If you read three different sets of instructions you'll get three different sets of direction. This is indeed what happened which made me paranoid that I was not doing things correctly. Next, when the neutral was connected to the dead Durango on the frame - it sparked - and it scared the living crap out of me (refer back a few months to my previous attempt to electrocute myself). So there I am half in tears, and I wander down the street to ask a less than happy to see me neighbor if that is normal, get the answer that yes it is, and start back to the house as the tears finally come.

You see, this is one of those occasions that spirals out of control in my head and has me wallowing in singledom. It would be nice to have that someone to call that will laugh at me for not knowing how to jump my own car, but whom would still haul over and help me fix the problem. Of course, the last time I called upon my love for such help, friends were sent to rescue me instead. But I guess that's another story.

So on the way back the neighbor immediately beside me sees me and comes out asking if all is okay. She promptly sees I'm distraught and comes to help. I've never seen a woman wield wires and current like she was whipping up mousse. It was quick, it was fluid, my car was running. So my hero came in the form of a nice woman with a word of encouragement that we don't need a guy to do this for us. Ok, so it's running. I leave it run for 15 minutes and head out to Beff's with it. It ran for nearly a half an hour, and both the guy at Sears and the neighbor said 'eh, 15 minutes' would suffice. So I figured I was good. Bzzt. So Beff got to bring me home again. Frankly it can sit there until it's appointment to get the brakes done, then I'll jump the bugger again - long enough to get it downtown.

I guess all happens for a reason and at least the car is out of the way for the construction of the curbs out front to continue without stranding one of my vehicles on the other side of the motes that are forming around our homes. But here I am just peeved that I'll have to deal with jumping the car again and that my plans were forced to change.