Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A few quick updates - the new front door is in and I like it alot! Granted, everything will look better when the day comes that the front entry is gone, but progress is good (and inspiring). They were here at 7am today, so I was up early and worked from home. The day went pretty fast and I made good progress on test procedures too. One thing on the semi-negative side, and only because of my distaste for change, is finding out that I have a new boss. I have no gripes with the new one so things should go smoothly but I do still wonder why some changes play out the way they do at a deeper level.

One good thing about being here is I was able to fire up the stove a few minutes before the end of the day so I am making good use of some left over ground beef for a yummy burger. Hopefully the day will continue down its successful path this evening all I have left this week of free evenings are tonight and tomorrow so it is time to dig in.

Monday, September 29, 2008

There is ALWAYS one that likes to piss in your wheaties. I knew I shouldn't have come in today. I am shaking angry right now. What exactly is it about me that makes people feel the need to try and dominate me? Honestly, I've tried talking face to face to come to terms with this person. I want to do my job right and I refuse to be paralyzed by _their_ opinions of how I should do my job? No. F no.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Gladly, I was able to sleep a little later today than I did yesterday. A few more things are crossed off of my to do list including getting the entry clear in preparation for the new front door effort that is taking place on Tuesday. As part of this I sucked it up and moved the heavy-ass pieces that were bought for the would-be front porch down to the basement. Today I also scrubbed the kitchen, hall, and bathroom floor and ripped the rest of the 50/50 tickets I had grabbed. Oh... and I got my vaca pictures dealt with and ordered. But every time I try to get through all 250 removing checks from those I don't want to share invariably everything magically gets deselected (I don't like Shutterfly's new interface), so I have nothing to show you here at this time. Doesn't sound like much in hind sight, but I'm pooped.

I really wanted to get my winter wear tops out and sort through what is the drawers to make a pile for goodwill, but it just didn't happen. I also wish I had more hours to have crossed some reading and additional work off of my list but here we are instead facing the end of another weekend. They always go so friggin fast.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

I cleared my day so I could get some cleaning and other things I've been putting off done, but here I am at 3pm pooped. At least the laundy is started, the vacuum is run, and the basement is swept up. I also did my shopping tasks which included a stop at Wolf's where I finally committed to a new bed frame and upgraded to a queen bed. I guess this means I really really need to get the upstairs organized so I can put the old bed up there. Maybe a little nap won't hurt and will give me a second wind.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Plenty to do, little motivation to do it - and it isn't because I just came back from vaca, it is because I am fighting off weepy moods. I guess the timing is about right, but I still don't like it. Between wanting to share something and not feeling like someone wants to be a part of it to sharing and not feeling appreciated I am just bummed.

Top it off - problems with the ring - with the diamond to be specific. Let's put it this way FRACTURE. Yeah, that sucks, but at least it happened while still there, so the jeweler is trying to get ahold of where it came from and things are not ruined but delayed and, clearly, I need to find another diamond. I did pick out a simple setting for the pear earrings and pendant.

My uncle stopped by earlier this evening to help clear out the rest of the gutters, so at least that is out of the way. Unfortunately, he doesn't think we can use the gutter covers I bought so I guess more ladders and fear of heights are in my future. I guess I should get my butt in gear and finish this module's posting tonight. I am just not feeling it.

Monday, September 22, 2008

At least my mommy is proud of me.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

I'm back on dry land and trying to get more crossed off the post-vacation to do list before heading back to work. Time for some details on the vaca, I am going to date them to the appropriate day, so be sure to scroll down a little. As a bit of a high level overview I will say this: the cruise was mostly older people. We were told that the average age was 65 and that there was only a few hundred out of the 3000+ that were under the age of 40.

On a bright note there were very few children, but the old people acted like spoiled brats at times, so I guess it was an even trade. I tell you - seeing old people ready to throw down and verbally squabbling over being first into the dining room or letting people off the elevator was entertaining. I have never seen so many scooters, wheelchairs, and canes w/ a fold up chair in my entire life. Don't get me wrong there were still quite a few youthful folks and great people to chat with. We were well paired with three couples at our dinner table who were great conversation and lots of fun.

It is good to be back home and in my own bed, but I'd rather not have to return to daily life for another week or so. Needless to say I relaxed a good bit!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

On the road - just a small note about the drive back... we saw the straight talk express on the PA turnpike between the Somerset and Breezewood exits. Looking at the schedule it seems that McCain or Palin was headed to Scranton.

Friday, September 19, 2008

At sea

Slept in while slips headed off to ice skate again. The big event on this, our final day, was slips buying a beautiful floral picture at the art auction.

I was quite confused at the end of dinner as I was asked for my contact information, we'll see if I hear from the waiter again.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Halifax, Nova Scotia

We headed to the maritime museum, but were a bit disappointed. Don't get me wrong, it was nice as far as museums go, but we had expected more on Titanic. Halifax seems like quite the nice place. We walked the boardwalk, headed to the public gardens which were lovely, had a beavers tail (it's a little like funnel cake), and found yet another Cows ice cream location. We tried taking the FRED (free bus) which was convenient, but jammed and had tinted windows, so you couldn't even cheat and use it as a quick tour.

I found a cherry amber ring and pendant while in Halifax that I picked up and also snagged a local bottle of ice wine. That evening Slips and I acted as the two female team leaders for the Quest and our team took 2nd place. I think we were robbed - the cruise director didn't like our team for some reason. We also hit the dance club (the Chamber) on this evening for some 70s and 80s tunes. I really dug the Chamber, it is what it sounds like - very medival looking.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

At sea

One negative thing we did notice on this trip was how inaccurate things were. Sure this itinerary has not been done repeatedly by RC, but there were just so many errors in the cruise compass and confusion onboard where the staff didn't know what was and was not scheduled for when. It caused a little bit of irritation, but it was survivable.

Today I purchased a few loose gemstones onboard, including one for a gift. It was pretty windy on deck but we still went up top to mini putt.

As most cruises are there was food food food. This day was no exception and they even had a late night food fest on the prominade. Unfortunately, they didn't open things for photos only before they allowed everyone to dive in, so I couldn't quite get photos as I normally would have at a midnight buffet.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Quebec City

The day started early, so for the first time ever I used room service to get breakfast and then we were out and off on our only shore excursion. We picked this because we both definitely wanted to see Montmorency Falls, which is 90 ft taller than Niagra. It was very pretty, but the water was quite dirty brown. From there our tour went to the basilica of Sainte Anne de Beaupre (Mary's mother). This church is so very ornate and beautiful. I bought a few items for mother as a small gift from my trip and had them blessed on site.

When we headed back from the tour we headed into Quebec City on foot taking in new and old Quebec. I found my Canada sweatshirt that I was eyeing and a lanyard and we headed for lunch at Le Creperie by taking the funicular. Good stuff! We split an asparagus and white sauce crepe and a ham and cheese crepe and then had a chocolate/banana crepe for desert. Of course, I had to have a liter of cider with my lunch. The funicular is like a little baby sized version of our inclined plane, but it did save us from taking the stairs up!

Everything in Quebec was very European and so comfy. I could have spent a great deal longer there and enjoyed myself. Our feet were a bit sore when we returned to the ship so this time we submerged our entire selves into the whirlpool.

Monday, September 15, 2008

At sea and heading up the Saguenay River

The morning was quite foggy so I got to hear a lot of the horn. It was windy and less than lovely earlier in the day, but we stayed busy. We hit Johnny Rockets which left me feeling like I had eaten a rock for the rest of the evening.

The Saguenay River was pretty, but alas we didn't see any Beluga whales. I also put in paperwork to take advantage of the new open booking program that RC has now, so at least if I select another trip (Europe REX!) I'll have onboard credit waiting.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Charlottestown, Prince Edward Island

Nicer area with more shopping and sights to see. We did not go on a tour here either, but managed to keep ourselves busy. The only thing we had planned was trying to find Cows ice cream, which we did and it was indeed excellent ice cream! I had Wowie Cowie and bought a Sydney Cowsby tee shirt.

One thing PEI is well known for is being where "Anne of Green Gables" was written, so of course there are red braids and hats everywhere. Folks that did tours said the countryside was gorgeous, but we kept busy enough in town.

We got back on board and soaked our feet in the hot tub for awhile and then headed straight to the spa for our appointment where we both got a mini massage, mini facial, foot massage, and scalp massage. While getting my massage the horn sounded to announce we were again on our way - God I love the horn.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Sydney, Nova Scotia

We weren't in port until 1pm, so we ice skated in the morning. Gladly they had hockey skates available, so I avoided the certain fate that would have been the toe pick.

Sydney is very irish-inspired. We saw lots of churches and crafts, but there really wasn't much shaking in town. In hind sight this trip could do without Sydney and spend an overnight in Quebec to make it ideal.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Our first full day was at sea and was easily the busiest day activity-wise. I did sleep a little late,but then headed to the art auction, cruise critic meet and mingle, and scheduled next summer's cruise. We also went to the ice show, which was pretty nifty considering the small ice surface.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The typical first day onboard getting into the room and getting organized, meeting our wait staff, Vincent and Venis, and whatnot. Just after we pulled out and came back down from the deck we hung out on the balcony for a while. While out there a NYPD chopper came by waving, that was pretty cool, but I didn't have a camera readily available and missed the shot. You definitely get a nice view of Manhattan and the statue of Liberty while leaving the Bayonne cruise port, but she is at a bit of a distance.

Explorer is the first of the newer ships I have been on. The Prominade was quite nice, but was always packed and near impossible to find a seat unless you went at very odd times. When I did get down there it was nice to people watch. Later on the first evening we watched the first prominade parade from up a couple of floors with old people damn near climbing our backs.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Slips and I headed out for Bayonne NJ in the morning, dropping the girls off at camp, and getting on the road. Our hotel was nice, not as good of a score as the one I had in Baltimore, but still a great deal for the Priceline price. It was right across the street from NJ's largest outlet mall, so we went for a quick shop but didn't buy much. I also need to note diner at Ruby Tuesdays because of their cherry iced tea - OMG, I could have drank 2 gallons of that stuff.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

On my way to work I was thinking and I realized that my first instinct was not panic about the basement when the rain started last night! Of course the second I start to discount the evil that is large amounts of rain I get a quick reminder.

First at the light on Donald Lane, which is where I turned sideways on wet roads when I had the Stratus, some moron slams on their brakes because the light went yellow and I skidded to a stop behind them. I may have had two inches to spare. You know you get that really dizzy and queasy feeling when you narrowly avoid something bad? Yeah big time. Then, I get into the parking lot and see the muddy river. Hey, thanks Lockheed. Three cheers for engineers. These little tiny overflow pools? Seriously people, it's Johnstown, it RAINS here. If the hole isn't deep enough to hide 20 bodies and keep them hidden w/o being covered it isn't deep enough to handle a real rain storm. Ok, I'm exaggerating... 15 bodies.
I found myself wide awake pretty fast before 6am today - thanks to the major thunderboomer that blasted through Jingletown. The lightning was pouring in the room and seemed to be coming from right outside the window. Yes, I admit it, I made my attempts to convince the dogs to curl up with me and took what I could get (finding myself cuddled up with Vixen's butt). As much as I love to sit on a covered porch and watch the lightning and rain, I cower at its presence when I am trying to sleep.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

What on earth was Judy doing up at 8am on a Sunday? I was actually rejuvenated enough to get kicking that early! Saturday I was up early too, but just long enough to head to an appointment, come back and curl back up. Aside from a few small moments of awake I stayed in the zone and did the catching up I needed. So alas, here we were early on Sunday and I finally got up. Yes, do the math, I was out for an easy 20 hours and yes, I slept just fine on Friday night too.

At last I am energized. It's probably wrong that it takes that much sleep to feel this vibrant, but I am taking advantage either way. Here's what got crossed off the list today: finished my reading assignments for module 2, responded to my questions for module 2, and replied to others for module 1 (with those my to do for school work before going away is DONE), ran the dishwasher, then I made a run to Ollie's, emptied the dishwasher, ran a load of laundry and folded it and put it away, cleaned the toilet and bathroom sink, vacuumed, cleaned off the dresser, cleaned off the kitchen table, cleaned up dog poo out back, chased Danika about the back yard with a new ball she got from Ollie's, relaxed on the deck swing looking at the clouds and changing leaves, and spent an hour online for work. Then I ran to meet Mithy for a wee spot of ice cream and to pick up a candle order. Not too shabby - huh? and it's not even 10pm yet.

There are still a few things on my to do list, namely packing, but they're mostly easy and desirable things - I made great progress this weekend. I don't even MIND going to work tomorrow, but ask me what I think when the alarm goes off in 9 hours and I may tell you something different.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

I fought off the burning desire to nap and instead read all about the disgustingness of small pox and what the difference between the two types of plague are... time to head in and enjoy my cute little TV for a while before I drift off into wacky dreams (thanks to my reading materials). Not much longer. I can and WILL cross everything off of the urgent list before vaca.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The new TV is here! Whee...
My very messy house, the girls, and I entertained a guest last night. Gladly their standards weren't high and they crashed easily on the couch! Had some good grub at 4 Corners again - even if I am such a creature of complete and utter habit. I really need to get so much cleaned up around the house. For this summer and last I said I was going to organize the extra schtuff that was sitting around and have a yard sale, but I never did it. If I could clear out all of that stuff perhaps I could find it within reason to fully reorganize upstairs and get some assemblance of uncluttered going on.

I remain in a feeling of overwhelmed and am feeling a twinge on the left side of my neck, so I am sure thinking about the above doesn't help much. I need to just focus on crossing off the urgent stuff and putting the rest off until after vacation. It seems a lot further away than it is. Heck I haven't even pulled out my suitcase yet! It's just so hard to focus on the high priorities when everything _feels_ urgent. Time for me to kick into list-making mode to soothe my sanity away.

At least my inbox at work is now barely scrolling, progress!