Wednesday, August 31, 2005

@*&(^!%ing computer crap.

Okay, now I'm just venting. Pretned you care, nod your head sympathetically, and I'll be done soon.

It's 3:30. I've spent the entire day so far fighting this damn machine. I came in this morning to a crashed hard drive. Called the local IT desk, and they brought over a hew hard drive. I've probably lost all kinds of personal and work data, but I'll have to deal.

Got that set up, and then spent about an hour onthe phone with an IT desk in Chicago, to try to install a program that's crucial to my work. No luck there.

Back on the phone with the local IT desk to gain access to a folder that I'd had access to for 5+ years. One hour later, he happened across the magic combo. Hooray.

Back to the Chicago desk, to ask for help reconnecting to yet another folder. NO luck.

Anyone need a burger flipper? I cuold probably troubleshoot any problems that came up in the kitchen.

Now back to your regularly scheduled Happy Pam.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

IQ - What's valuable?

I'm watching, with relative disbelief, the havoc that Katrina has wrought in the south. I truly can't imagine ever getting enough rain to flood the streets (since we don't get enough precipitation here to flood my patio, never mind an entire city). And enduring winds strong enough to literally open a domed arena like a can of tuna is beyond my ken.

But I found myself wondering, how will these people rebuild their lives? How many pets have drowned because this just came on so quickly? Did they plan ahead enough to have all their documents in a watertight, portable box? Would I be prepared for something like this? Which brings up today's Insightful Question (perhaps not as lighthearted as the past ones, but something to think about, anyway):

In a natural disaster like a flood or fire, presuming that the kids and pets are safely evacuated, what items do you gather in your one armload that you can grab before things are destroyed?

As for me, I actually do have most of my important documents in a small file box (though not fire-proof...must rectify), so I'd grab that, my Pooh Bear that I've had since I was 4 months old, the book of stories that Nana & Gramps made for me, and probably my box of poems. A big armload, but I'd manage.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Ah, wilderness.....

So, I took a much-needed day off on Friday, and went camping with my beau (known better to you as CBB). Boy, I'd forgotten how much I like being out in the mountains.

As if to punctuate the need for getting away from the city for a while, our drive out of civilization was rudely stopped short by people gawking at the balloons at Chatfield Reservoir. The gear came flying forward and nearly smushed the poor dogs. A quick re-arranging by CBB, and we were back on our way (though a bit more cautiously).

I'm glad we went on a Friday. We had pretty much no traffic on the way up, found a selection of camping spots from which to choose, and had our stuff set on the picnic table to save our chosen spot by 10:00 (why is it that we trust that nobody'll take our stuff when up in the mountains, but we wouldn't leave that stuff sitting outside our back door at home? Hmm.) Then we took off for a nice hike with the pups. Once Sya (my GoofDog) had time to work all the "oh, joy, oh, rapture, oh how exciting" energy out of her, we had a pretty nice walk. Gorgeous weather (I'm not yet convinced that CBB doesn't have some sort of Connection -- we've just had the best luck with weather), not too difficult a trail (just enough to remind me that I need to get into better shape), and fantastic scenery, which goes without saying.

Back at camp that afternoon, everything pretty much just fell into place. It didn't seem to strike CBB as odd that I had a small tent for Sya, nor did I bat an eyelash at the fact that his tent was truly a 2-man deal. Here's where I'm coming from on this: If I'd suggested to The Ex that we spend a night in the mountains, sleeping more or less on the ground, in a bit of nylon that didn't have enough room for a mini-bar, I think I'd probably have been invited to bugger off. Ah but, you say, not all camping has to be quite so primitive. Some people, when they think "camping", think RV, think 4-room tents with awnings and hanging bug zappers, think stereos powered by small generators.

But not me. And not The CBB. And for some reason, that just struck me. Here's a guy who's perfectly happy to sit and have a cup of tea while just listening to the wind in the trees. Who's alright with taking a walk in the woods and not bringing along a beer. Who has a Coleman camping stove, and probably also owns a Svia (or some other tiny backpacking) stove. Who had the foresight to suggest that maybe my trademark jeans weren't the best apparel for camping (yanno, those fancy-schmancy REI hiking pants were really quite comfortable!).

It really was just the nicest mini-break I've had in I-don't-know-how-long. It was like a little validation of my upbringing, that in fact, I wasn't the only person to want to camp like this, that there was nothing odd at all about bringing your dinner in a couple of ready-to-boil pouches, that a handful of trail mix and a Jolly rancher makes a fine dessert for lunch on the trail.

And I'm starting to be really sad at the idea of summer being nearly done, because I'd really like to have another go at that. But then last night, he suggested snowshoeing. A whole different type of Adventure that I'd not considered. Looks like I'll need a different pair of REI pants.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

IQ - "Roll the dice, whatsa matter, roll the dice!"

The trouble with getting on a roll, is that then people get used to it, and I feel the pressure to post more often, whether I have something in mind or not. Guess what sort of day the brain is having today?

So, in light of my upcoming camping trip with Cute Blonde Boy, where there will be no IM, no internet, no TV, no cinema - just us, the woods, the dogs and a deck of's today's Insightful Question:

What's your favourite board game?

Since I grew up in a family where playing board games was a once-in-a-while special treat, I actually really enjoy playing them. If it's just me and another, then I like things like cribbage, Pass the Pigs, Monopoly, Life. If there's a bunch of us, I'll kick your ass at Pictionary any day.

'Course, nothing beats a good game of Mouse Trap.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

IQ - "He can call me Flower, if he wants to."

Okay, it's a quote from Bambi. It's all that came to my head this early in the morning.

So, this past Saturday, when Cute Blonde Boy came over before we headed up to the birthday celebration, he brought me a bouquet of flowers. (Isn't he the most??) And a nice bouquet of pretty, long-lasting flowers, so that I didn't have to throw them away 2 days after I got them. And as I was putting them in some water, he asked what my favourite flowers were. Hmm.... I think every girl likes roses, but they wilt so damn quickly, it's just sad. Mind you, I'm hard-pressed to resist a bouquet of gorgeous roses (like the brilliant sunset-orange ones I bought for myself last summer, because I just couldn't stop staring at them), but if I'm going to put forth a preference for cut flowers, I'll take something that will still be there in a few days.

So, here's today's Insightful Question (in 2 parts):

1) What's your favourite cut flower?
2) What's your favourite flower to see growing as it's meant to be?

My answer isn't a cut-and-dried one (no pun intended). I really love roses, but they wilt. I like things like tiger lilies or snapdragons, but they're not in most of your traditional floral arrangments. So I think a nice, bright bouquet of daisies is about as nice as anything. And it's still there days later, saying "Hi!" as cheerfully as the first day.

As for flowers in the field, I can't resist playing with a snapdragon ("Rahgh!"). But a patch of columbine will stop me in my tracks every time. Maybe there's be some still in bloom this weekend, when I go camping with Cute Blonde Boy.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Must've done something good, somewhere....

Well, no Insightful Question today -- yet.

But I wanted to thank everyone who came out to help me celebrate my birthday on Saturday -- what a lucky girl I am!

I had a marvelous time, just celebrating with (most of) my favourite people, drinking a few ciders (and not too many!), and enjoying life in general. I really had only one thing in mind that I wanted for my birthday (only one thing that anyone has any control over, anyway), and I got that: some kick-ass kitchen piping. Neal and Adam both obliged my request to bring their pipes to the Celtic Tavern, and busted out some jigs, reels, hornpipes, etc. Neal even went to the effort to learn a new tune in time for my birthday: P/M George Allan. What a cool tune that is!!! And since I know he has about a bazillion other things going on in his life, too, I appreciate it that much more.

Thanks again to everyone who was able to make it (and to those who tried, but were detained). I really am so happy to have been surrounded by so many people that I adore.

What a lucky girl I am.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

IQ - You sweet thang....

You ready? Here's today's Insightful Question:

You're at the theater, and you've got the obligatory popcorn and ginormous soda. Presuming this is the non-existant Dream Theater, what candy do you take into the show with you?

As for me, I think I'll grab a box of gummi bears (but they'd better be free of any actual fruit juice, fer Pete's sake). And you'll see me holding them up to the screen to determine which ones are the white ones -- I save those for last.

"Haribo macht Kinder froh....Jungen ünd Mädchen liebt es so!"

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

IQ - Oh, how I wish.....

Spent a lovely evening at the BB King concert last night, with Cute Blonde Boy, and as I noticed the first star in the sky, and the waxing moon, it occured to me that I hadn't wished on the evening star. I usually don't. I do wish to the moon pretty frequently, though. So from that, here comes today's Insightful Question:

What do you wish upon?

As for me, my favorites are a shooting star (where I lick my right thumb, press it into my left palm and wish as hard as I can -- must've gotten this from a book I read in about 3rd grade) and wishing on a stray eyelash. Odd, I know, but there you have it.

I'll not ask what you wish for, as everyone knows that negates the wish.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005


Once again, for those who care, I've got a new Mumbling (I know -- twice in 2 weeks - -what gives??)

IQ - Ha, ha, very funny.

Today's Insightful Question is inspired by a comic I saw this morning, and just had to send to Cute Blonde Boy. The question is this:

What comic strip would you live in for a week, if you had to?

As for me, I think I'd like to hang out with Frazz and his buddies for a while. They're just so darned intelligent/ironic/insightful.

Today's MiniMumbling has been brought to you by the letter I.

Monday, August 15, 2005

IQ - Leonard Nimoy, we salute you.

Today's Insightful Question comes not from an e-mail quiz, but from what's going 'round in my head, as a result of the book I'm reading (courtesy of Cute Blonde Boy).

What mythological/supernatural creature do you secretly believe could actually exist?

As for me, I'm not quite sure that the Loch Ness Monster is a myth. I looked for her when we drove the perimeter of the loch, which has been a looong time. Alas, no Nessie.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

We rock.

Highland games -- just over. How'd we do? Glad you asked.

Quick March Medley on Saturday: 1st place.

Timed medley on Sunday: 1st place.

I've another post brewing, but I'm not focused enough right now. Just wanted to let you know how much we rock.

Friday, August 12, 2005

IQ - ...well, besides a blue ribbon, that is...

In light of this weekend's Highland Games, today's Insightful Question comes not from any e-mail quiz, but from my own experience. Anyone who's ever worn a kilt has had The Question put to them, and some of us have a stash of interesting answers.

In response to the time-honored question of "What do you wear under your kilt?", what's your favorite answer (if you've been asked, yourself), or what answer would you most like to hear (if approaching an attractive kilt-wearer)?

Mine is tried and true:

"My shoes."

Thursday, August 11, 2005

IQ - I got some iiiiiice cream.....

Thanks to those of you who posted your replies to the previous post (and if you didn't, get yer arse down there and do so, please). Here's your next Insightful Question:

16. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

As for me, it varies by my mood, but today, it's Praline Pecan.

Sadly, I'll have to settle for the banana yogurt that is my breakfast this morning. Not nearly the same, is it?

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

IQ - At least it's not Leo Sayer.

Alright, I was going to forward one of those cutesy e-mails that asks you a bazillion questions about yourself, and you have to answer and send it on to a plethora of other people. Mostly, I'm dying to see The CBB's answers. But I thought what I'd do is this:
I'll post one question, every so often, and see if anyone's willing to Comment with their answer. I really am interested in what you have to say about these, so don't be shy, step on up.

#8: What is your most embarrassing CD?

I'll start:

Paula Abdul, "Forever Your Girl". Although I still like it, so it's not that embarrassing....

Now you.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Time to appreciate the little things

So, I'm out of town on business -- again. And while I'd much rather be at home, chillin' with my kitty, or kicking ass at trivia with Cute Blonde Boy, I have found a few things here that don't suck.

They've put us up this time at the Hard Rock Hotel Chicago, which is pretty cool. Here's a short list of Things I'm Pretty Thankful For, In A Hotel Room:
  • Quiet. The first time they brought us out here, we were in a hotel that thinks quite a lot of itself, and (being very literal here) when I sneezed in my room, someone next door said "Bless you."
  • Big-ass towels. Take that "big-ass" in whatever sense you like. It's nice to have a towel that will cover one. Of course, you don't need it so much, if you have been provided with....
  • Terrycloth robes. I love mine at home, and am very happy to not have to pack one on the road.
  • Good conditioner. Those little bottles of "conditioning shampoo" just don't cut it.
  • Water pressure.
  • A DVD player. Mind you, none of the 5 slots in my fancy-schmancy Sony DVD changer in this room seem to want to play Eddie Izzard for me, but it's a nice thought nonetheless.
  • Feather pillows. Mmmm.....squishy and ball-uppable.
  • Feather comforter. Don't have one at home, but boy, do I need to change that.
  • Free internet access. How else would I tell you how much I'm appreciating the niceties of this room?

And, even though I'm not much of a schmoozer, if the circumstances are right, I sure do appreciate a meal on the boss's AmEx. So that's where I'm off to -- dinner with the team, much wine, I'm sure, and who knows what frivolity afterwards (this group + karaoke = fun!).

But no matter what, I know I'll appreciate many things in my room when I come back.

Like my plane ticket.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Sum, not the parts

So, in the midst of my giddy drive home from a fantastic date tonight with Cute Blonde Boy, I came to realize something.

The parts don't matter so much.

Stop it. I know where you're going, and that road isn't on this particular map.

It occurred to me that I don't know so many things about him, and yet am increasingly mad about him.

And he reads this, so I'm going out on a limb by putting this much of my heart out there for all to see and reject or critique, but here goes. So often, when I have a crush on someone, I focus on the individual components, as if they were ingredients in a recipe.
"Does he dance? Check. Do I know his political bent? Check. Is he interested in the same bands as I am? Check." And so on. But I fail to see that, even with the best ingredients, it still adds up to rhubarb pie, and I just don't like rhubarb pie.

Nope. This time, I know comparatively little. And I don't really care. Sure, eventually, it would be nice to know if he's willing to go Christmas shopping with me, or what his favourite colour is, but right now, I'm having a hell of a time just spending time with him. It's chocolate cake, and whether the flour is Gold Medal or generic, whether the cocoa is Ghirardelli or Nestle, it all adds up to a yummy chocolate cake.

Eventually, I'll get around to asking him about piddly stuff such as his take on the war in Iraq, his past relationships, or whether he likes rhubarb pie.

More Mumblings

For those that care, I've added another Mumbling.

It's a small one, but seeing as how most of my rambling has been over here recently, and my parents don't have access to this (on purpose), I figured I should make an appearance there occasionally.

It'll do you good to have some variety, for Pete's sake. Get over there, read it, then meander around my site until you just can't help but buy a T-shirt from the band.