Monthly Archives: November 2010

Blee blee blee

So thanksgiving was good. Slightly more formal than they usually do, this year everyone waited until everyone was at the table to start eating. All really good food. I had been drinking for most of the afternoon leading up to it but never actually got drunk or even tipsy, so the combination of that and food made me pass out afterwards. John and I took a nap and when I woke up I was still super groggy and it took a while before I could handle eating desert. But that dulce de leche cake was totally worth waking up for.

His sister Lauren is still in college and has some really terrible professor who gave them this weird and useless aassignment. Go to the Museum of Natural History, find this one sign on the wall that lists a bunch of extinct species, don’t count more than 10, but use some formula to then calculate how many have gone extinct since 1500. And then watch one of the videos and describe it. What? She also had to design some assignment for a 6th grade class. All useless busywork. But John and I went to the museum with her, and that was fun even though it was way overcrowded.* Then we took the subway back to my house where John’s car was and Lauren got to meet my cats. Her comment on seeing my room? “It looks just like yours, John, just the girl version.” Ha.

*Side story, Lauren is 22, but pretty short and looks sort of young. But, like, 18 young. Not 12. Anyway, when we got our tickets, the woman looked at us and said ”okay, so that’s 2 adults and 1 child”, and Lauren sort of whispered in protest “3 adults! 3!” I was amused.

Other than that, unexciting weekend. I have some sort of weird persistent sore throat. Drinking water seems to help. It’s really cold out these days, but not freezing and while it occasionally smells like snow it has yet to make any real effort at that.

I picked up some work this week, which is excellent. I am sort of hoping that I don’t the week of the 6th, though, and for a silly reason. It’s Big Cat Week on tv! There will be so many gazelles eaten! Cheetahs everywhere! Lions! Tigers! Leopards! I am so excited. It’s a perfectly timed prelude to this Namibia trip. It’s in the middle of winter when all you want to do is sit inside and stare at the wall anyway. Speaking of Namibia, I”m getting more and more excited about that. I bought my ticket a week ago, which was exciting and painful, price-wise. John and I have started doing some pre-research and getting some books and finding papers online. I already have my to-pack list. I still need to figure out my vaccinations and get travel insurance. I have my first aid kit packed and ready to go. Just under 14 weeks to go.


Jello shots!

It’s thanksgiving, which clearly means it’s time for jello shots. I made these lovely rainbow ones with maraschino cherries 

and John made espresso and kahlua ones. I tried one of mine, and it’s pretty good, but very vodka-y. So, perfect.

I’ve realized that in terms of my family thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. We make stuffing and cookies and some form of turkey and some other stuff, and then we make our stuffing and turkey sandwiches and pack it all up and go on a hike. Usually up to this waterfall on Mt Tamalpias in Marin County, but there have been several others. And I really like it. It’s a holiday with no obligations other than me making the cookies, I love stuffing and tangerines, it’s a really nice walk, the waterfall is pretty, and all in all it’s a really nice day. And it’s about going out and enjoying nature while we can. Granted, that’s California, and so fall lasts longer.

Thanksgiving here is totally different. John’s family is all about the giant turkey and sausage in the stuffing, and a huge meal and cooking all day inside. He has no interest in my kind of thanksgiving. Last year I did a poor mans version and made myself some turkey sandwiches and went to Prospect Park. But I don’t really feel like doing that this year, and it’s too cold to go upstate to real trees. So, I’ll do his family thing. Which isn’t bad, it’s just not what I would prefer. But they do have stuffed mushrooms. And this year, jello shots.


I just got all excited because it’s finally really cold, and that means I can go ice skating, and there’s a place to do that in the park that I live right next to, and then I looked it up and they’re CLOSED! For the year! So they can build some silly fancy new thing! Bah! I liked what they had before. This is silly. I want to go ice skating. Oh, I know, there’s other places. But they’re further away. And the most accesible one, Bryant Park, is always super crowded with tourists. Maybe Central Park, being bigger, is more reasonable. But oh so far away. BAH.

In other news, I’m supposed to spend today preparing to apply for a job that I’m not totally qualified for. But I know the company well, and I’ve been encouraged to apply. And it has benefits. So. I think I’ll start that after I watch some hulu and get a bagel with cream cheese and tomato. I’m mostly prepared already, it’s mostly the damn cover letter that needs to be written.

Zoo, and Romanians.

Goodness! Fun times. I haven’t worked since I last wrote, which is unnerving, but nice for now. John was also not working, but on vacation and not doing anything with it, so I hung out with him a bunch. We went to the zoo again on friday, which was great. At the siberian tiger place, they were setting up to film a little thing about tiger conservation, and some summit happening soon with all the countries coming together and pledging to better protect their tiger populations. So we, being well-mannered adults, got to stay while the herds of screaming children were ushered past. Best of all, to keep the tiger cubs (oh, yeah, did I mention there are cubs right now? It’s awesome) in the background of the guy being interviewed, they had someone on the roof throwing meatwads down for the tigers. In between takes I got some really good pictures. 

I have a really great one, but I entered it into a contest to win a fancy camera that I’ll either give to John or sell (or maybe use. But I’m so in love with my pentax, and this beautiful lens that I just got that I don’t want to switch to another) and they have some rule about the pictures not having been displayed in a  public whatever, and it’s somewhat unclear as to what that means, and I think it was decided that stuff on facebook was okay, but I’m not sure about others. In any case, I figure it’s safer not to post anything that I used until after the 29th.

This contest is making a photobook on a particular website, and is judged half on creativity and half on originality. Those are also really unclear. I’m hoping that I have a good chance because aside from having some fantastic pictures, I haven’t seen anyone else have them of wild animals. So many people did their family, or babies, or friends, or maybe pets or flowers. None of those are original, especially when 80 people in front of you just submitted one of those. I figure those are sort of out no matter how cute or artistic the pictures are. There were a few that I saw that did interesting things, though, one in particular of broken down things. We’ll see. I don’t particularly think I’ll win, but I gave it a go, and I had some great pictures.

Speaking of. There were also fighting deer, and monkeys, and a funny faced turtle.

All in all, an excellent day. Then we went back to his house and ate and watched Great Migrations.

Yesterday was John’s brother, Craig’s engagement party. Oh my god. It was like a freaking wedding reception. Everyone else had spent the night before setting up. John and I had driven the fiance’s grandparents there, dropped them off, and then attempted to find parking for about half an hour before we were told they didn’t need us and to go home. I’m not sure we were even needed to be a taxi service, there seemed to be enough seats in other cars, but whatever. So yesterday, John and his sister Lauren and I got there really early. It looked really nice, all the tables set up, nice centerpieces. There was the main table dias overlooking everything, and apparently siblings of the couple were supposed to be there (assigned seating for everyone!) so I was supposed to be up there too.  Around that time was when I got the idea that this was more like a reception than an engagement party. But what do I know. The big table ended up barely being used. A few of us ate there, Craig never even sat down, and Lauren totally abandoned it.

John hasn’t been to any family functions in over 10 years, so there was lots of meeting and catching up, and apparently whenever I left people would comment on how great I was, which I figure was at least partially politeness because I just kind of stand there and smile and occasionally said something or other. I always feel pretty awkward when I don’t know anyone in a place. But it was fun in general. I did know a few people and kept up with some conversations, the food was pretty good. I had been hoping to polka, since there was an accordion player, but all the dancing to that was Romanian circle dancing. Which I learned a little of! The most basic one. Then they took off with the rest and it was crazy. Lots of little fast footwork. Apparently Diana and her cousins are or were all on the Romanian dance team, and always won first place against all the other Romanian dance teams. Who knew. That was a lot of fun to watch. The music in general was sort of atrocious. The Romanian stuff was live, and good, but earplittingly loud, and while the DJ did play some pretty good stuff, he also played it earsplittingly loud. Which would have been fine if everyone had been dancing. But when 90% of your crowd is milling around talking to each other, you need to recognize that. Apparently behind the scenes there was a lot going wrong with various things, and Craig spent most of his time trying to make stuff happen and yelling at the people who had been hired who seemingly weren’t doing anything. No fun. But the rest of us didn’t really notice, and it went well. John had work but was going in late, so he and I left at about 11 30. Apparently the Romanians were going to keep going till 6am. Or until the moonshine ran out. Yeah. One of Diana’s relatives makes this plum brandy that they call moonshine.

I took home a centerpiece. I should have kidnapped some of the left over deserts, too, but they were so overly sweet. And I would just end up eating that all day and not getting around to real food. Speaking of. Time for breakfast.

I am awesome.

Yesterday was a great day. My neck is feeling almost completely better, my cold is almost gone. I still don’t have my phone battery, but oh well.

I got to sleep in some and then in the afternoon went and worked at the show with all the terrible gear mistakes. It was a rehearsal mostly, so we did a few things and then sat around listening to really pretty music for a while, and then hung a few lights outside. And then we had a four hour break! Which normally is a little bit of a dilemma, like, is it worth it to go home for two hours, can you actually get anything done then. But this time I did. I went and deposited a check and found that I have barrels of money and am still waiting on almost as much money as I already have. Which is good because I don’t have any work planned after now. Which is a little worrying, but I”ll worry later.

Anyway. Then I went and bought some books which I haven’t done in months, I think since I was in california. I got some good ones, and am almost done with one of them. And then I went and got ramen from this really good real ramen place. I got the spicy version, which was at the higher level of my tolerance, and really good. It had two chili peppers next to it on the menu. The extremely spicy one had 9 chilis. Ouch. It was great to sit and eat and read. Another thing I haven’t done in a while. And then I went and sat in s-bucks for a while, nursing a peppermint hot chocolate and reading.

Almost the best part of the evening, though, was the strike, when I went back to work. I had so much energy, and we were able to start loading trucks really early. We almost tipped over a genie lift trying to drop it off the curb and into the truck, but the truck driver and I muscled it back upright. Which was awesome! A couple people saw, which is always good. It felt great, to feel that strong and to know that it was starting to fall and I, through my own strength, held it up and pushed it back. Those things are pretty freaking heavy, too. And then the rest of it just went really fast. All of us were either motivated to get it done (everyone else) or on some kind of super adrenaline rush (me) and we just busted it out and the show that took two days to put in came down and was packed onto trucks in 4 hours. And then they fed us some pizza and some of us stayed to wait for the carpenters truck to help them load it. They’d helped us all evening, and I don’t have work today so I stayed. The wait sucked since it was just sitting around, and we all lost energy and started to be tired finally (it was also after 2 in the morning), but when the truck finally showed up we loaded that thing in 9 minutes. It was great.

Because I had a book again (I’ve been avoiding bringing them partially because the last couple I started are good but depressing, and because I was trying to keep my bag light what with all my back and neck issues lately) the train ride went incredibly fast. By good luck I noticed 3 stops before mine and started paying attention, or I would have missed it. I only noticed about 2 of the other 30 stops go by. And then my tax return check was waiting for me! Hurray! Even more money! I’m going to go switch my bank stuff around today so I can get on the mileage thing so I can buy my ticket. I almost have enough to pay for everything right now. I’m very proud of myself. I managed so far to save 2700 above and beyond what I need to live. At 3600, I’ll have paid for everything. I’m so close. Hopefully work doesn’t actually slow down, otherwise I’ll be slightly screwed. But I think it will be okay.

Conclusion point- I had an awesome day yesterday, and feel great about myself, and am pretty much where I want to be in life. Hold on to that feeling, because in two weeks when I haven’t worked that whole time, the panic and doubt and displeasure will set in hard. But maybe that won’t happen! Maybe I’ll have a couple nice days off and then get work again!

Week of crap

Well this week has been fun. I had another few days of work that were good, but halfway through I dropped my phone and my battery bounced out and fell down a hole. That was exciting. Especially since I went to two phone stores and neither had my battery. So I ordered it on amazon for about 30 bucks less, which is great, except that it won’t show up for another day or two. I’m not pining for my phone, but it is pretty inconvenient to not have it. I use it for a ton of things every day. Oh well.

Then this show I’m working on now there are a few bad things about. First we lost almost the whole first day because the towers that we were using didn’t have outriggers. The rental company threw them away this summer. And didn’t mention that when they rented them to us. So, we had hung them and gotten them ready to put up, and then had to take them all down. We’re also doing this in a church so we have to bring everything up from the basement at the start of the day and take it all back down at the end. Minor but annoying. Then, about 20 minutes into unloading the truck, I pulled a muscle in my back. Again. Not as bad this time, but damn bad enough. It sucks. It’s higher and involves neck muscles, so I’ve been roboting around work not being able to turn well or look up. I can still lift and carry and push and hand things to people, though, so I’ve still managed to be useful and work, but it hurts a good bit and I really hate being injured. Especially so soon after the last time. Especially on top of having a cold. And not having my phone. Erg.

The designer for this is one that I really like, who I met at Berkeley and then assisted here some. While I don’t really want to do design stuff anymore, it does hurt a little to see him with another assistant. And it was a little hard to tell him that I’m actually working on ditching all this. Good thing I have something awesome that I’m leaving it for, but still. Leaving anything that you spent years working on feels a little like a copout and failure, I imagine. Or maybe it feels like a relief sometimes. Oh well.

I have to head to work in a little bit which sucks. Especially since it’s a short call. I guess a longer call would be worse, but a short one feels like I’m getting out of bed for nothing. It’s been very nice to rest and not have to hold my head up all day. I would have tried to call out, but this gig is so screwed and I feel really bad for my boss. None of these fuckups with gear have been her fault, and she’s very nice so I don’t want to screw her by leaving her short staffed for the evening. But at the same time, it’s a 4 hour call (less if we still have the hard out at midnight rule we’ve been sticking to). An hour of which will be hauling shit out of the basement and putting it away. Do they really need me there? Probably. Bah. In any case, it’s good to leave the house at least once a day.

Fooood. Sleep. Trapeze?

Between my cold and the temperature drop, I’m in full winter hibernation mode. All I want to do is eat and sleep. And walk around, which is unrelated, except that walking around when it’s cold sucks. So I don’t really want to. But sort of. I ate about 3 dinners tonight, and I’m deciding it doesn’t count because I didn’t eat lunch. So there.

I try really hard not to be one of those neurotic women blogging about my weight and how I feel about it and what I eat, partially because I think it’s silly, partially because I actually don’t care, and partially because I think about all that and am somewhat embarrassed that I do. And for the most part, I think I don’t. I think that I think about writing about it, and like when you have a realistic dream, it’s tricked me into thinking that I write about it all the time. I really miss my teenage metabolism, though. I hate that if I want to stay at a certain fitness level I have to take that into account. I hate that I have jeans in a few different sizes and they fit at different times. And I hate that I can’t really give in to my hibernating instincts. And I hate that I’m writing about it now. So, no more.

Speaking of, though, my old trapeze studio is looking for more renters, and offering a really good deal, 185 bucks a month for 10 hours a week. Madeline and I are looking at splitting it, if we can. It would be great to have 4 or 5 hours a week in a studio. I would be on my own, but then I’d learn how to work out by myself. I’m really bad at that now, I get lazy and don’t really push myself, just do the bare minimum (or, lately, nothing). But I wonder what the terms of the rental are. Like, if I wanted to teach classes during that time, could I? Or bring someone else along to do aerial conditioning? And could I use her equipment, or would that cost extra? I have my own trapeze, but for some stuff I need a higher bar, mine is fairly low in that space. So, questions. But, it’s a pretty great opportunity. We’ll see what happens.

HA. I just got an email about all of that. The only thing not answered is about having other people in, and I think I know the answer to that already, she’s been very prickly about that in the past. But in any case, this is good.


So, I recovered from the back thing, had a few days, and now have a cold. Blarg. Back in bed for a couple days. Not that I really need to, it’s not stopping me from doing anything, but I feel fully lousy, and I don’t have anything for tomorrow, so I might as well. I did work this morning, from 8-10. We banged it out and actually had about half an hour sitting around waiting for the truck, which is always nice.

I have enough money for my Namibia ticket! So I’ll buy that soon. I have to wait until I swap my debit card around, I’m trading for an airline miles debit card, and I want to get the most out of that, like buying my ticket with it. I’m so close, though, to actually having my ticket, so even if I don’t make enough money for the project (which I totally will) I’ll still be going to Namibia to run around.

I was going to have all week free, but then I picked up work. Which is great, but man. I never have work this constantly. It’s a little weird.


Whee! What an exhausting bunch of work. They were good days, though. And my back seems to be just about totally better now, so that’s exciting.

I was working a fancy event at that museum with the spiral ramp. I had it sort of easy, in a way. One team went to put lights up inside, one team went to do the outside, and a buddy and I were sent to gel all of the building lights. This place has these inset circle lights outside, and then inside, triangles. The triangles were nice because we put them up with magnets, so that made life easier. But there were so many of them. It just kept going. And then we had to cut them down because they were too big. And then we ran out and had to cut more. It took 7 hours. 7 HOURS. To put rose purple gel on triangles. Eesh. It’s not that it was that hard at all, but doing any one repetitive specific thing like that for that long makes it feel ridiculous. I was working, and getting tired (it was also an overnight call, 6pm to 5am) but it really didn’t feel like I was doing anything. We finally finished and got to use wrenches a little bit. That was exciting.

Also exciting was the cake. I made it the afternoon before work (which meant not sleeping all day, but that was okay), and it turned out pretty well. I was a little worried because I burned it some, but once it was assembled and had sat there for a while, you couldn’t tell. I had to make it at John’s house because Madeline finally found a new place and came and reclaimed all her furniture, including the kitchen table, so I had nowhere to make it at home. It’s always weird cooking there, but this went pretty smoothly. I had wanted to do the thing of taking pictures of the steps, and blogging my process, but that would have meant carrying my camera with me and my bag was already way too heavy. But in any case, it came out well. Everyone loved it. There was a good bit left over for just Andrew to take home. It was a nice thing to have at our break.

Also extra exciting! It must have been an awesome cake, because Andrew asked me to be the regular board op for stuff like this. He called me over and said “I want to talk to you about something” which always makes me think I’m in trouble and I started wondering what I’ve done. But then he explained, and by the end I was hopping up and down flapping my gloves. I handle things maturely. But anyway, this way I can take over some of the stuff he’s been having to do, and I’ll know how to set it up like he and the designer like, and it will be consistent and everyone will be happy. Especially me, since I’ll be making a lot of money. This means more hours guaranteed, and they just bumped our rate up. Hurray!

Time to get up and visit John and not have to do anything today. The work was good, but in between the 10 hour call and the 14 hour one, I got 4 hours of sleep. And I made a cake before the 10 hour call, so it was sort of like I actually worked 13 hours that day. Sleeping in is really nice when you’re sleep deprived.


After 6 days of mild irritation to blinding pain, my back seems to be better. Hurray! It’s not totally back to normal, of course, but it is vastly improved. To the point where today my back felt better when I got home from work than when I’d left for it. Amazing.

I spent sunday eating*. And I can tell. 5 days of lying in bed making an effort to do nothing have taken a toll. As soon as I’m all funtional again, I’m going to start working out and possibly actually running. Though it did just shift into winter weather here, so who knows about that. Also, all of the bikes from downstairs have disappeared. It’s really weird. My good bike was stolen over the summer, which was upsetting, but I never really used it, and I still had the crappy one. But now that, and two bikes belonging to downstairs neighbors, are gone. Again, never really used it, but still. I’m sort of bewildered and upset by this. And surprised that I haven’t heard anything from the neighbors about it.

I haven’t paid too much attention to the election fun going on. I did a little bit of research for New York, picked some people and left it at that. A lot of people I know are getting all sorts of steamed up, and I’m sure they’re right. I don’t have the energy to care right now, and while I took the time to vote it still feels all sorts of futile. Maybe it won’t soon. OR maybe it will be worse. Who knows.

Tomorrow I’m working an overnight, so I’m staying up late tonight so I can sleep in, but I think it’s about time to throw in the towel.




*Ice cream and white cheddar cheezits for breakfast. Mallomars for lunch. Two boxes of Annie’s alfredo shells for dinner. Even I am impressed.