Sunday, July 31, 2005

"If you're gonna spew..."

Nope, not a post about hurling. For the purposes of this discussion, "spew" = "journaling". There's more of a story, but you'll need to ask Dejo about that.

I just finished reading the final entry of the "Holy Book of Spew", which is an account of the travels of one really cute blond boy (IMHO), and his friends through Europe. Because Dejo was so dedicated in his descriptions of their adventures, I was able to travel along, nearly 20 years later. I wish I could say I've always been that good about journaling, myself.

I've been fortunate enough to travel quite a lot in my life thus far, including several trips to Europe, starting when I was nearly 11. I kept a small journal of our travels (at my Dad's suggestion, I believe -- good call!), but clearly hadn't yet realized the value of putting in any detail. For example, here's my entry from the day we visited Westminster Abbey in London:

Monday August 6

Mom & I went to Westminster Abbey. I stood on the burial places of Dickens, Kipling & Hardy. Mom & I rode the 2-decker bus.

Exciting, no? Can't you just feel the bustle of the city, the awe of being in a place saturated with as much history as Westminster is? Yeah, neither can I.

Thankfully, I've gotten a little better as the years have gone on. I tried to find the journal that I know I kept when I was in Europe the summer I turned 16. I'd love to see how descriptive I was in that one -- not only about the sights we saw, but my general feelings of the day. I think I was more or less a pain in the ass, being a 15-year-old who really didn't see the value in being in Europe if it meant she had to be with her parents the whole time.

Specifically, I'd like to read my account of the day that we went to the Olympic ice rink in Salzburg. I remember that we went ice-skating, and I somehow got into a conversation with a few handsome young men, who turned out to be recent recruits in the Austrian army. We each tested our ability to speak the other's language (them with more success), and eventually, they invited me to join them that evening at a party. I recall thinking my father was terribly unreasonable for not letting me go -- after all, they'd invited the whole family, but if they didn't want to go, why shouldn't I be able to? In retrospect, not letting his 15-year-old daughter go party with 18-year-old Austrian Army guys was one of my Dad's wiser decisions.

I've kept a journal of most of my major trips since then. It sure helps in remembering what actually happened, instead of letting my brain tweak the details. But I'll not be publishing mine, as Dejo has done. Nope, the difference between "Spew" and "Writing It Down So I Don't Forget" is that only one is available for your perusal.

'Scuse me, I've gotta go lock away some journals.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Do you smell something?

I'm not crazy.

Okay, I might be, but it's not because I think pine trees have different smells. As long as I can remember, I have enjoyed stopping by the occasional pine tree to sniff it. Why? Because some of them smell like vanilla, chocolate, butterscotch, and the rare one like strawberry. Not all of them smell like anything other than plain ol' pine tree, but you never know. I think it's mostly the Ponderosas that have this unique scent. My Gramps thought we were nutters, even though he had a very plainly chocolate-scented one in his front yard.

Yesterday, I had confirmation from Cute Blonde Boy that the tree in front of my townhome has a distinct butterscotch scent to it. It's my personal theory that all these scents are part of what make the smell of a Rocky Mountain forest so divine. Sortof an ice cream sundae potpourri.

And while the only time I'm likely to actually hug a tree is if I'm lost (seriously -- best information I ever got from Girl Scouts), you'll often find me taking time to smell not only the roses, but the pines.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

"Rainin' on my head like a memory"

We had rain today. At last.

It brought to mind a couple of PPP's (for those who haven't read my early Mumblings, this is a Past Poetic Pretense) that I penned in my high school & college years. Actually, this is the one that came to mind first (I'll spare you the other one for now):

"Thunder and Irony"

The irony of crying
During a thunderstorm
Is that there’s
Never enough thunder to
Mask my sobs
But I can never cry enough to
Out-pour the rain.


I promise, I'm much more stable now. I don't break out in tears nearly as often as I used to. Of course, that's put a bit of a crimp in the volume of my writing. Until I found this blog thingy, which adds a whole new dimension to it all.

Friday, July 22, 2005


When I did the spell check on my previous post, the word "blog" came up as something that might be misspelled.


....aaand, I'm 13 again....

Ya know, just when I think I'm mostly grown up (and at thirty-something, I really should be), I get this little setback.

I really was trying to read the selection for tomorrow's book club, but then a really good movie was on. Okay, it was "Princess Diaries 2" -- not exactly Oscar material. But I'm a girl -- forgive me for getting sucked into the fairy tale.

I'm pretty good at that, actually. Not being a girl -- I deplore shoe shopping, don't use moisturizer very often, and don't own a single actual matching set of bra & knickers. No, I'm really good at getting sucked into the fairy tale -- have been since I had a crush on Robin Hood (yes, the cartoon character).

Just every once in a while, I watch a chick flick and get that indescribable feeling deep in my stomach that is a combination of yearning for that written-for-the-silver-screen romance (complete with the requisite conflict) and the fear of never having it. Used to be, when this feeling afflicted me, I'd run to my typewriter to try and capture that topsy-turvy feeling on paper. I've got dozens of "poems" which were written in my teens (and a bit in my early 20's), most of which I can associate with whichever specific cute boy was occupying my heart at the time. I was going to post an example here, but they're just too cheesy. Thank goodness I don't do that anymore.

Nope, I've got my blog.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

For the love of doG....

Pet owners:

Pretty pretty please, get your pet microchipped.

I found another stray dog (it is my lot -- nay, my pleasure -- in life to stop and help a stray animal whenever I can) last night. Gorgeous husky, and I'm sure someone out there misses him terribly right now. With no collar on him (perhaps that came off before he got to my neighborhood?), I took him right to my vet, to have him scanned. Imagine my disappointment when nothing came up.

So, now I have a gorgeous, friendly, obviously-someone's-pet dog hanging out at my house, and I'm reduced to calling all the shelters and leaving a description, posting ads on CraigsList and the online classifieds, and wrestling with the question of "Exactly when do I cave, and take him to the shelter?"

So pretty please -- microchip your pet, so that in the unlikely event he or she gets all Houdini on yer ass, a sap like me can get them back to you. Cuz that's what I'd really like.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Tasty treat, or baneful broth?

So, I bought a box of Fla•Vor•Ice pops last night, and stuck them in my freezer. Yes, I realize there's nothing natural about them (despite the claim on the package of "With Real Fruit Juice!"). I luurrrvve them on a hot summer day.

Got home, stuck them in the freezer, and then on my way out the door this morning, I decided that it might be nice to have a couple of these at work (you know, to get me ready for when the sub-arctic A/C kicks in, about 3:00). I tore off a strip -- one of each color -- and noticed that they were all frozen except the blue one, which still looked just as much like windshield washer fluid as it did when it went into the Maytag last night.

So, that got me to it possible that it really IS windshield washer fluid? 'Cuz that stuff doesn't freeze til something like -20° F. The I went to get a tasty frozen treat from my tiny work fridge just now, and the blue one is frozen.

Powerful little fridge, that. Managed to freeze windshield washer fluid.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Ms. Rowling, I don't know that I like you very much right now...

So, that spoiler was true, and I didn't know who the HBP was.

And now that I've spent an hour in tears (had to go home and read the last 100 pages at lunch) and am no good for doing any actual work, I'm left to contemplate 2 things:

1. Why, Jo, why? I know, if I'll just reflect back on everything, it'll become apparent, but still. Why?

2. Am I really letting a book distract me like this?

My eyes! My eyes!

Aaack! I was looking through an e-mail digest of a Harry Potter Yahoo group I belong to, and though there was a "Spoiler" warning, there wasn't enough space between that and the actual spoiler. I saw something that made my heart sink. Dammit. Now I have to sit here all day before I can go home and read as fast as ever I can, to see if maybe somebody wasn't just being (a) really mean or (b) really stupid.

Just as I was starting to warm up to Ms. Rowling's storyline, with some of the recent developments I"d just gotten to, and had actually clutched the book to my chest and said -- out loud -- "I love this book!!"

I hate not being a speed reader....oh, wait....that's what got me in this little pickle to begin with, wadn't it?

Sunday, July 17, 2005

I think I know who the Half-Blood Prince is...

So, I'm taking a break from making my way through the 652 pages of J.K. Rowling's latest installment of the Harry Potter series. I've realized I'm not going to finish the book this weekend, which annoys me just a little. For the 5th book, I went to the book release party just as I did this time (thanks, Katy, for keeping me company!), came home and starting reading, just as I did this time. I read for about 3 hours, I think (this time, I only managed about 45 minutes, which I attribute to my lack of disco nap beforehand). I slept as little as possible, then got up and spent about 8 hours solid on the couch, reading, moving only for nature's calls (mine, and the dog's). This time, however, I had a band gig to attend to about mid-day each day, which ate into the reading time, and also a couple of dates (I think -- still no sparks, but plenty of good conversation).

There's also the little annoyance of my eyes falling shut on me after a couple of hours' worth of reading. I take me sleep very seriously, I LOVE to sleep, but was rather planning to save it all for the nighttime, for a change. Still, I'm about 2/3 done with the book, and still reserving judgment on what Ms. Rowling is doing with a particular character -- I really hope I'm wrong on this one. I think I've figured out who the Half-Blood Prince is (it seems too easy -- am I missing something?), and am sometimes literally yelling at a character or two to get pull their heads out of their arses and wise up.

Just another evening or so, and I'll be done. Then I can re-read the 5th, and then the 6th book again. Ah, crap. Just remembered I've got a book club book to buy and read by Saturday next.

Do you suppose Hermione knows any speed-reading spells?

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Simple pleasures

I think, as long as I live, I will never tire of a few simple pleasures in life. There are several, actually, but the one that spurs this post was expereienced again last night. A warm summer evening, at the point where it's not too warm, driving along with all the windows open, your hand out the window, doing aeropalmics (my best friend's word for the little things everyone does, of making an airplane rudder out of your hand), and just generally enjoying driving for driving's sake.

Add a Slurpee® and the experience is pure bliss.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Oh, that zodiac...

So, I went out on a 3rd (or maybe 2nd-and-a-half -- I'm not quite sure) date last night. Lovely conversation, plenty of funny moments, movie, a post-movie drink.....and yet, I'm not entirely certain that this guy really fancies me.

As a Leo, of course, I should assume that of COURSE he fancies me -- who wouldn't? But I expect to be told so, in no uncertain terms. I've been on a couple of dates with another guy -- a fellow Leo -- who has made it quite clear that I am, in fact, a dish. I dont know if that particular partnering could ever turn into a LTR, but at the moment, I don't really care. It's a great time, we have great conversation, and he nibbles my neck. Durrrrrr.....

Now this other fellow -- a Cancer -- would seem to enjoy my company, judging by the fact that he's gone to a baseball game with me (despite the fact that this is not his favourite sport), and offered to have our dogs meet at the dog park, and then suggested a movie later that evening (hence my question as to whether it was a 3rd date, or simply an extension of the 2nd), and suggested hiking next weekend. But getting eye contact from him is tough to do. Now, is that simply becuse he's shy? Or because I'm too direct? Or...? And though we sat through a 2-hour film, and then hung out for an hour or so over a beer, I've had no solid indication that perhaps he might think I'm cute or funny or interesting. I'm really not used to having to fish for these clues, and -- Leo though I am -- I'm not very good at simply coming out and saying "Hey, you're kinda cute -- kiss me, wouldja?"

Let me make it clear that, while I think the way the planets and stars are aligned at the moment of one's birth (and more so, conception), could have a small effect on the development of a person's physiology, how one is brought up, and how one's chemistry develops plays a bigger role in their personality. But you can't deny that so many of us display traits that are ascribed to our sun signs. And as I read the description of a Cancer ("...this sensual man doesn't come at you directly....Cancerians don't rush headlong into anything..."), it seems that I'll need to learn to be more of an aggressor, if I expect anything to come of this. That, or just be patient.

And as you may know, we Leos are not good at being patient. I want the adoration that's due me, and I want it NOW. ;)

Just to clarify, the Cancer (herafter known as Cute Blonde Boy) has confirmed that he does, in fact, fancy me, and the Leo has been out of the picture for some time now. I'm quite happy to call Cute Blonde Boy my beau. *grin*

Thursday, July 07, 2005

"I was not angry....until this instant."

From Shakespeare's Henry V, this was among the first thoughts in my head this morning, when I heard of the attacks in London.

I'm angry, of course, at the terrorists. You bastards. How dare you touch the city I love more dearly than nearly any other place on earth? How dare you fuck up the lives and routines of the people who merely want to live, work, and holiday in London? Go blow up something meaningful, like your own closed little minds.

I'm also angry at that farce of a President we have, for getting us into a meaningless, pointless war solely for the purposes of his own re-election, which has now caused other countries to be the target of the same terrorism that we are subject to. We're big bullies, yes, but did we have to drag our friends into this?


My heartfelt sympathies are, of course, with the friends and family of those absolutely innocent people whose lives have been snatched away by this morning's actions. I also send out prayers for patience and serenity for everyone who will have to figure out another way to travel around Londinium for the next, oh, few years (as I've seen the effects that a single incident can have on a Tube station -- nevermind actual explosions at mulitple, multi-line stations).

"Oh, that I were in an alehouse in London"

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Laps around London?

So, there you go: London has won the bid to host the 2012 Olympic games. So now the questions begin:
  • Are they going to rip up the city to build another Tube line, á la the Jubilee line? (Please God, no, says the likely pre-2012 London visitor)
  • Will we see the construction of another monstrosity like the Millenium Dome? Actually, now that I think about it, we'll probably see several, won't we? Perhaps they'll be in outlying areas. Well, they'd have to be, wouldn't they? What are the gonna do -- put the high jump in the Buckingam Palace back gardens?
  • Could I go and volunteer for the games? They have a link on their site, but seeing as there's no way to say "I don't live there, but I'm happy to come spend the summer there to help out", I'll bet they would rather I come as a paying visitor.
  • Just how much Boddington's will they have to produce, to sate the thirsts of a few million visitors?

Very exciting, though -- and since I listen to BBC Radio One all day at work, I'll be hearing all about the country's excitement about this. For 7 years.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Jetset jonesin'

Why is it, that when I have such great/defined/admirable plans for the winnings, I don't win the lottery more often (aside from the fact that I don't play very often -- picky, picky, picky...)?

After the charitable contributions (humane socities galore) and taking care of the housing/transportation needs of myself and my closest friends & family, there is just a whole lotta traveling to be done.

An UmFriend of mine is headed off to England this week, and I couldn't be more envious. Never mind the fact that this is his first trip to the UK, whereas I've been fortunate enough to set foot on the island 5 or 6 times now. I wanna go!

And not just to Britain (though it really has been too long since I've been to Scotland, and that needs to be remedied ASAP). There's more of Switzerland, Germany, France and Austria that I need to explore. And good heavens, if I die before I've gotten to Italy, wouldn't that be a travesty??

It floors me that there are actually people in this world who have no interest in traveling anywhere, let alone overseas. The person I thought could have been my soulmate (except for the fact that he's now married and a daddy) mentioned in one of our e-mails that his idea of a perfect vacation would be to hang out in his bay window, playing guitar. A nice weekend, perhaps -- but to never want to meet new people, get lost and discover a fantastic restaurant, have the excitement of finally figuring out another city's public transportation system? Perish the thought.

Sigh. There, but for money, go I. Anyone out there need a personal tour guide for Scotland?

Monday, July 04, 2005

Is this really necessary?

I already have Mumblings, so why do I need to supplement it with a blog? Well, perhaps I'll be more prone to drop a line here when I just have a Tiny Thought, instead of waiting until I can work up an entire Mumbling. And I kinda like the idea that you, Dear Reader (gotta think up a better Nickname for you, since that one seems to have been in use by a certain newspaper columnist for several decades now) can add your comments to my musings.

I have several friends who already blog (Psycho Kitty, Andrew, Patrick, Stiffa), and I like being able to add a comment. And I like the thought that perhaps I can learn from this -- I mean, other than the learning I already gain from getting these thoughts in writing.

No promises on the frequency here, but we'll give it a shot. And I'm counting on you give me what-for when I'm negligent.