Thursday, September 30, 2004

Tomorrow is our department off-site activity - we do 3 or so of these a year, and I usually have to plan everything and get to have zero fun. This year, I got the college-aged daughter of one of the guys in my department to organize the whole thing - I basically had to do nothing more than send directions. Even better, I don't know exactly what we're doing, so it will be fun for me, for once. What I do know is that it's a scavenger hunt on the 16th Street Mall in downtown Denver. I've never done a real scavenger hunt, and it seems like my young friend did quite a lot of work. It should be fun - except for the part where the high temperature tomorrow is supposed to be around 45 degrees.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Training last night was all medical - mostly patient packaging (how we get them out of the nasty place they've ended up). I was happily surprised at how much I remembered from my EMT training last year - and then dismayed when I realized that I have to recertify next year. Doing practicals all over again?? Uggh. Hopefully my exposure via the squad between now and then will be enough to make me comfortable with my skills.

A is doing much better. He went back to work yesterday (even driving his car, shifting with his left hand). We had offers from friends to let us borrow a non-stickshift car for him to drive, but I think he feels better just trying to get past this. Any indication that he might not be completely and utterly self-sufficient would of course be out of the question. Boys....

Monday, September 27, 2004


It's Banned Books Week (the last week of September each year). How many of these banned (or "challenged") books have you read?

Here's the list of banned/challenged books in 2004, according to the American Library Association:

    - To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
    - King & King & Family, by Linda de Haan and Stern Nijland
    - Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
    - I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
    - The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
    - Places I Never Meant To Be: Original Stories by Censored Writers, edited by Judy Blume
    - Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
    - Fools Crow, by James Welch
    - Kaffir Boy: The True Story of a Black Youth's Coming of Age in Apartheid South Africa, by Mark Mathabane
    - Stones from the River, by Ursula Hegi

I've read half of these, including two which were required reading in grade school. To Kill A Mockingbird is my favorite book of all time, and I think one of the finest ever written.

To voice your opposition to censorship, read a censored book this week.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

I hate the days at work where you wait just a little too long to make lunch plans, and by the time you're hungry, all of your friends have either already left, or they've already forced themselves to eat the nasty frozen thing that they brought from home. Such is my luck today, so I'm sitting here, eating apple cinnamon Soy Crisps, because that's all I had in my desk. Screw it, I'm heading out to Siamese Plate - there's one next door to a Grease Monkey by my office, so I can get the oil changed while I'm at it!

Monday, September 20, 2004

A's little accident on Friday kind of eclipsed my joyfulness at my purchase - I bought a new camera - finally! And not just any camera, mind you. I bought the Nikon D70. It's the most wonderful camera I've ever used. Within minutes of getting it out of the box (and the battery charged), I had taken a dozen pictures. Of course, I've still got a very thick manual to read, and I have to remember to make copies of the receipt and get it into inventory (for our homeowners insurance), but I'm well on my way to a love affair with this camera. I want to sign up for a photography course (oh, I hope they offer those at night) and take that thing with me everywhere. The photographer at the track saw it, and he drooled, just a little bit.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Friday took a turn for the worse in the afternoon. A had an accident at practice, and I got the call that I dread - he was at the hospital, getting x-rays, 2 hours away. I hopped in the car and headed for Pueblo, working my cell phone furiously - calls to my mother to ask her to pick up Ruby, calls to Mike & Joni to ask them to give Maggie the Diabetic Cat a shot, calls to my brother to beg him to come down to Pueblo with me so that he could drive my car home while I drove A's truck & trailer back. Actually, it all came together - my brother and Kimberly came down to the track in their car, and then my brother drove my car back to Boulder, while A and I took the truck.

Turns out that despite catapulting off the bike and cushioning his fall with his head, A is in pretty good shape. His right collarbone is broken, but other than that, he's fine. His helmet did its job (God bless Shoei) and probably saved his life. It certainly saved his face - I took a look at the helmet, and there are deep scratches/grooves along the visor and the part of his helmet that covers the forehead and ear. He's in quite a bit of pain from the shoulder, and far too stubborn to properly medicate himself, but he's in good spirits. He was so stressed and overworked last week, so it's ironic that now he CAN'T work right now. He agreed with me that maybe this was a sign to slow down for a while.

Friday, September 17, 2004

I'm experiencing Buyers Remorse. I bought something very expensive today. It's not yet in my hands, so of course I'm rethinking the whole thing...I'm going to have to go pick it up before I change my mind....(hint - it's not a Mac).
I've been a slacker this week about posting. It has been the busiest week at work that I can ever remember, plus I've had stuff going on each night. The good news is that I managed to attend a rally, go to school, get my hair done and go to the rescue squad, in addition to a full work week that included a 7-hour budget meeting yesterday.

Training for tomorrow has been canceled, so I'm going to sleep in (yeah, sure) and then head down to Pueblo tomorrow. I get to spend the night in the brand-spanking-new TrackAddix trailer tomorrow night. If it's too hot outside, I plan to sit in the new condo-on-wheels and enjoy the A/C.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Good news twice over. Not only did my Packers prevail tonight, but I was voted in as a candidate member of the rescue squad! I'm not exactly sure what happens now (other than continuing to attend training and meetings) - at some point there will be another vote, which will transition me from candidate to active member. For the most part though, I've effectively been made a member.

Work was as unpleasant as ever today. Morale is so low in my group - one coworker is considering whether to take another job, and that person's supervisor ratted them out to HR and my boss (the department head). What a sh*tty thing to do. This after my coworker told their supervisor in confidence that they were looking, and why. There are others that I'm aware of who are actively looking, myself included, but I won't make the same mistake and tell the Big Mouth anything.

As to the other work situation that was like a festering sore for a while, nothing much has changed. The Hated and Feared Brown-Noser (hereafter referred to as the HFBN) has ignored me completely, which I guess is what I wanted. However, many people have noticed, and so are specifically not including me in meetings or conversations where I would have otherwise been expected to be there, but for the fact that the HFBN is there. There has been talk from higher up about assigning him and his staff their own admin from outside our department, to which I said that I'd probably quit if they did that. It absolutely validates his bad behavior, and gives the appearance that I'm the problem - that I couldn't handle working for him, and so someone else needs to be tasked with it. No way, Jose.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Just back from dinner at my mother's house. We BBQd tonight - steak, asparagus, bell peppers, corn on the cob - all on the grill. We also had yams, prepared with my new ricer that I bought today at the Mile High Flea Market.

The Flea Market was quite the adventure. Mike, Joni, the boys, and our friend Kira and I all traipsed down toward the airport, and joined the 3,000 or so other people who decided to shop today. There wasn't too much unique stuff - probably a dozen interesting areas where people were selling what appeared to be their own belongings. Other than that, it was like a bunch of little franchises, all selling the same T-shirts, baseball hats, umbrellas and sunglasses. We stayed for a couple of hours and wandered around, but it was damn hot, and the little boys were kinda grumpy. After gorging ourselves on turkey legs and lemonade ices, it was time to go. I had just enough time to hit Costco and head home to take a bath before it was time to head off to dinner. Whew. I'm beat.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Besides being the third anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the US, today is also Volunteer Day. Our rescue squad training for today was canceled, so we played host to about a dozen volunteers who helped out around the station today - there were people stuffing envelopes for a fund-raising campaign, some high school kids who helped wash all the trucks, and some very nice ladies who cleaned all the tables and chairs in our meeting room, and then swept and mopped the floors. I stripped beds in the crew quarters and washed all the sheets, helped set up lunch, helped stuff envelopes, etc.

After I left the station, I was beat and dreaming of a nap. However, being that it's September, that means FOOTBALL! I got caught up in a couple of the college games, especially the CU game. A few of those players must have angels on their shoulders, it was a pretty lucky win.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Just killing time at work, waiting for it to be 4:30. I have happy hour plans tonight with a friend from work, going back to my favorite old haunt, Japango, for happy hour sushi and two-for-one Kirin on tap. While I don't do sushi, I do love edamame and gyoza, so I'll be a happy girl.

I'm looking forward to a restful weekend. Training on Saturday morning, Saturday afternoon free, maybe a matinee with Joni on Sunday. I do have to stop by the office at some point, I bought two wooden bookcases at a company garage sale, and they have to be picked up by Monday. Of course, the truck is back in the shop (again!) and so I'll have to beg borrow or steal someone's wheels - these suckers are way too big for my little car. Speaking of Boo, I've been testing him lately, pushing his little engine as hard as I can. While not the turbo, he's definitely the little engine that could.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Anne Lamott returns to (I missed you, Anne!).

"It's too hot and the light is unforgiving and the days go on way too long. Spring is sweet, the baby season; but summer is the teenage season -- too much energy, too much growth and beauty and heat and late nights, none of them what they were cracked up to be.

So I lay down to practice my Prone Yoga, and I remembered that people already had said things that helped: Martin Luther King said the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward freedom. Molly Ivins said during the reign of George Herbert Walker Sushi Barfing Bush, that freedom fighters don't always win, but they're always right. I started to feel better. And this is when I came up with the Dark Side Rising Beauty, Diet and Exercise Program, which I follow strictly now."

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Wednesday, September 08, 2004

I'm overwhelmed by work today, and so rather than taking the time to think about things and come up with some news to post, I'm going to borrow a list (with my own answers, of course!) that I read in Tequila Mockingbird's archives...

Ten things I really liked when I was a teenager that I don't much care for now:
1. skinny, peg-leg jeans
2. headbands
3. green eyeshadow
4. jelly bellys
5. michael jackson
6. shoulder pads
7. molly ringwald
8. white flats (I had Mias)
9. big earrings
10. doritos

Ten things I didn't much care for as a teenager but I really like now:
1. vegetables
2. foreign films
3. yoga
4. knitting
5. reading every night
6. levis
7. my brother and sister
8. long road trips
9. clogs
10. volunteering

Ten things I didn't like then and I still don't like now:
1. fish
2. heavy metal
3. snobby girls my age
4. little tiny dogs
5. spandex
6. being outdoors when it's HOT
7. Weird Al (I just don't get it...)
8. abuse of people, animals, the environment
9. gossips
10. whiskey

Ten things I've always liked and probably always will:
1. animals
2. camping
3. the beach
4. little cars that are really fast
5. guys with longish dark hair and a smirk
6. my mom and my dad
7. sleeping on the left side of the bed
8. tuna salad
9. movies
10. driving with the windows down

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Despite all hopes and wishes to the contrary, work was still there and expecting me this morning. I think I was subconsciously avoiding going back, because I slept through two different alarms and only woke when A poked me in the back and said "Aren't you going to work today?". My boss leaves for a trip to Europe tomorrow, and in his usual fails-to-plan way, dropped a bomb on me around 10am - a marketing brochure that he wanted edited and printed (200 color double-sided card stock) by 3pm. Thank God for Copy Max.

I'm trying to settle in and do some data entry for the new site, but it's hard. When you go to a new office setup, nothing is ever where you think it is, plus there are all of the "new" issues - my internet connection worked for my Mac, but not the Windows machine that it shares a switch box with, the new monitor worked for the Mac, but not the windows machine...wait, I'm starting to sense a theme here...

Monday, September 06, 2004

Sleeping late on a day when you would ordinarily be at work is the best - you almost feel a little guilty, like you're cheating somehow...but I didn't let that bother me for too long. A got home late last night, so we slept in, and then went to breakfast at the Village Coffee Shop - a kind of locals-only, be-prepared-to-wrestle-for-a-table kind of place. The service is fast, the food is pretty good, and you usually don't have to wait long for a seat because the servers chase people out within minutes of having delivered their food.

My other task for the day (besides ridding my house of accumulated dog hair) was homework - I read the chapter, did the assignment, took the quiz. I'm even halfway through the chapter we'll be starting on Wednesday. I'd almost forgotten what it was like to take a class that you were really excited about.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

I went to the movies with my mom and Joni today - we saw "Vanity Fair" - pretty good, but awfully long. I'm not the world's biggest Reese Witherspoon fan to begin with, but 2.5 hours was a long time to watch her. Don't get me wrong, she was very, very good - but she's just not one of my favorites. The story seemed a bit all over the place as well...but certainly a good afternoon escape. The only downside was that the weather was so beautiful that it seemed a shame to be indoors. This Labor Day weekend has been by far the most pleasant weather that I can remember since we came to Boulder.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

One of the reasons that I'm not in Iowa, biting my nails while I watch A fly around a track, is that today was dive tender training (for me), while the squad helped with a practice dive for Front Range Rescue Dogs - the dogs were amazing to watch. I've never seen such absolute focus from an animal, and if it was one of the dogs that was waiting on shore while another worked the water, the shore dog was quivering in anticipation of the command that would send him/her in.

That training was from 8am to 2pm, so I came home and crashed for a couple of hours after that. Now that Ruby is fed and Maggie has had her shot, I'm watching the CU-CSU game for a bit before I have to head back to the station and wait to see if we get called out for riot control. Hopefully not...

Friday, September 03, 2004

I spent a long time today reading blogs - huge numbers of blogs, far and wide. Some of them I visit frequently, others I've heard about from other blogs and have barely begun to check out. There's so much interesting stuff out there - too much to ever take in, really. I've created a new links section (--> right) for blogs that I enjoy - go take a look, there may be one there that becomes the one you want to read every day.

In the spirit of blogs I read daily, I really like LJC FYI - her posts are always either cool stuff she does around the house or with her hubby, or (even better!) about products(!!). Like me, Jenny is hooked on Method products. After reading a post a couple of days ago, I went to my local Target and hit the jackpot of new Method products - I picked up laundry sheets in Morning Bloom, hand soap in Green Tea, wood cleaner (some kind of almond scent), dish(washer) cubes in Sweetwater, and candles in French Lavender, Sweetwater and Creamy Vanilla (they didn't have Red Currant or I would have bought that, too.). You can't imagine how good my house smells!

Everyone keep good thoughts for the CU-CSU game tomorrow night - not just that the Buffs win, but that there are no riots and our friends in public safety have a very quiet night.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

This has been the longest week I can remember in a while - so much going on! I decided to skip school tonight - we have our 2005 budget due tomorrow morning, and I'm still going over it, looking for holes. Plus, I was just ready for a night off. I need to have more than an hour between the time I arrive home and the time I go to bed.

I got most of my office set up last night, just have to finish up with the router tonight so that I've got internet service on both machines. I'm really enjoying my Oracle class, and I'd like to be diving into the exercises and homework.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

I feel a bit more caught up with things today - getting a handle on my SQL class really helped. I need to put the same effort into Spanish class now - but I don't think I'm going to make it tomorrow, because our first draft of the 2005 budget is due Friday morning, and I have a feeling I'm going to get stuck polishing it on Thursday night. Plus, A leaves Friday morning for the weekend, and I'd like to spend some time with him before he goes.

Work is still weird and tense - the bad man avoids me, but it's such deliberate avoidance that it's loud - does that make sense? He took away my proxy to view his office calendar (oooh, hurt me), which I thought was a pretty stupid move on his part - I mean, he can't very well complain that I'm not "supporting" him as an admin when he's taken away my ability to see his calendar - dork.