1. My wedding band 2. oak leaves, in the fall 3. My friend Amy, who has awesome amber/gold eyes 4. bread, fesh out of the oven 5. the finish on new birch or maple 6. my cat's eyes: golden in the sun, jade at night 7. FFP: life-saving liquid gold. 8. Scotch (single malt usually, although Blue will do) 9. Cider 10. Golden, crispy, grilled chicken.
10:57am: Tourney recap
So the wrestling tournament is over (it was yesterday). I stopped posting run-up bits because they devolved into 'x' is what I ate today, 'y'is my workout plan, 'z' is how my weight is. BOOORING. (even to me). So I made my weight goal (weight class was 205, I was 203.5 at weigh-in), and I even felt good - the benefits of a relatively slow weight drop. Unfortunately I didn't win. My first match was against a wrestling coach from a local university - who happened to be 10 years younger than me and a former Division III National qualifier. Yeah, he was good - or at least much better than I was! Second match went much better, but with the same result. Another guy much younger, who does this regularly (just out of college, coaches at his HS) but I feel like I gave a good accounting of myself. I also feel that if I'm going to do this again I need better cardio - I could feel myself losing my wind early on. So, the plan is maintain nutrition, keep working out, and add more running to the routine ...I may also start playing raquetball with some people from work who have a regular game every week.
1:36pm: what kind of madness I'm up to ..
So, things have been busy around here. I'm training to compete in a wrestling tournament in March ...yeah, I know, crazy. I miss the competition sometimes, and I think this caught me in a moment of weakness ...or stupidity. So I'm back at gym 3-4 days a week, the dojo at least twice a week and watching what I eat ...because the top 2 weight classes are 205 and 265. No way I'm gong up agains the big boys - I'd get squeeshed like leetel bug; so I have to work my way bac to under 205. I was there last fall, right before I tore my ankle up and stopped working out for 3 months. So I started my program last week - this is probably going to evolve into a weekly update of how it's going. So far, pretty well. I've modified my gym routine to tone rather than build and cut my diet: portion sizes are about half of what they were, and snacks are but a fond memory. HOWEVER, I have managed to go from 217 last friday to 213.5 today. Not bad for the first week that I've been serious about it. Now I just have to keep it up for another 6 weeks (tourney day is March 27) and hope that I don't make a fool out of myself!
11:18am: ...because I haven't in forever
it's the end of the year. class? i give you A MEME!!! please, to respond if you are so inclined. but don't be surprised if you don't get your response until NEXT YEAR!!!111! maybe even the next decade*.
If you respond to this, I will:
* 1. Tell you why I befriended you.
* 2. Associate you with something - fandom, a song, a color, a photo, etc.
* 3. Tell you something I like about you.
* 4. Tell you a memory I have of you.
* 5. Ask something I've always wanted to know about you.
* 6. Tell you my favorite user pic of yours. (after some searching on my part)
Feel free to repost in your own journal if you like.
1:15pm: Happy Holidays to all
Well, once again it's been a while since my last post. But hey, it's the holidays - busy times around here. More so this year than most, since I invited a my mom and her husband to visit. That turned into my mom, 2 of my aunts, and my neice visiting. They got here wednesday, and left this morning and (although stressful) we had a pretty good time. I got to spend 3 days cooking for people (and they actually liked it), 3 days of good conversations and friendship. Ok, it got really stressful on Christmas when we lost power for 2 1/2 hours in the middle of cooking dinner. But we got around that, used the burners on the stove (gotta love gas stoves) put the roasting pan with the ham inthe grill out on the deck and it was all good once the lights came back on!
Once again Kate and I spoiled each other - even after swearing that we were going to back it down a notch this year. She still got me a nano (yeah, I've never owned an ipod before), so I'm playing with that today ...and jeebus I have too much music :) It's taking forever to convert my files! But we also spoiled the heck out of my neice - 13, plays violin, bass (upright), and guitar, loves the beatles and classic rock - yeah, I like that kid. Kate went girly for her - Vera Bradley purse and such, but I went with music ...the beatles collection songbook and a book of Christmas sheet music. Why not feed the kid's muse?
Today will be a day to relax and eat leftovers ...and we'll be doing that for days due to the way we cooked!
10:02am: More troubles in paradise
Friday we had tickets for Anthony Bourdain. The man gives god value for his audience. 90 minutes of stream-of-consciousness patter, over an hour taking questions from the audience and a lot longer signing things for fans afterward. I knew I liked the guy, but now I'm positive: he's good people.
However, Saturday I woke up feeling a bit under the weather. Low-grade temp, cough with lovely yellow chunks. Meh. So I huddled on the couch in sweats and my bathrobe. By noon the 'low-grade' temp was up to 101, and I was asleep with the heating pad cranked up and the down comforter on. By sunday morning I was living on NyQuil and tea, and wasn't even hungry ...I got up for a wonderful breakfast my lovely wife made for me, had 3 bites and went back to bed for 2 hours, completely worn out. This morning the fever was down to 100.3, so i got in to see my doc - it's a "species of flu" thanks doc, that's a polite way of telling me I'm one with the pig - the only 'species' of flu currently active is H1N1, so that kinda rules out anythign else! However, I'm over the 48 hour mark, so I can't benefit from tamiflu, so I'm just keeping up with mucinex and fluids. And let me tell you, my boss is so happy to hear that after calling in all weekend I may call in this week too.
1:58am: it's been a busy time
I've mostly been doing a lot of work (at home and at work) with more Irish dance than usual and a lot of MMA. The dance time has been increased because once again we've been invited to represent our school for the North Atlantic Regional competition Thanksgiving weekend in Philly. So we've been doing 2 extra practices every week since my ankle healed. I'm startign to think we're almost ready. Work is just ...work. I still love what I do, but my boss is a yes-man twat, and has surrounded himself with brown-nosers and people who's heads are so far up his ass they look like ring-neck pheasants. MMA has been a big stress reliever for me. MMA went well tonight - lots of stand-up hand work and no ground-n-pound, but it was still a good evenings spar. After thanksgiving I'll be going more often - I'm going to enter in the Old-Timers wrestling tournament in Batavia in March (think wrestling tournament only for the over 30 crowd) so I've got to get ready for it. Fortunately one of our other students is a wrestling coach at a local HS, so I'll get quality coaching. Post ankle injury I'm back up to 220lbs, from a low of ~205; I'll need to get back to about 200 lbs. Weight classes on the fat-guy end are 195 and 220, so I'd rather be closer to the former and rely on speed and endurance, than closer to the latter and go out feeling slow and pudgy. ...here's hoping! Also, our much loved moderator has revived the writing group that I was a part of last year. I'll be posting (and have already posted) short stories based on her prompts. Feel free to comment on what you read - I write because I like to, but criticism only makes me better at what I like doing.
Be well in this holiday season my friends, be well!
So cold it was silver Fiction 350 words Actual count 476 Monday, Nov. 9
For those who don't know, I'm part of a group who write. The mod of our l'il corner of the web postes 'seeds' (see above) and we write accordin to the prompt. We've been away for a while, but we got a new prompt last week. So I'm posting it here, as well as to the writers community. below and behind the cut are the story and a bit of my comentary on the prompt. Read if you so choose.
First seed in a while. This one kicked my ass, and did *not* want to be written. It started as fantasy, tried to be horror, tried to go noir, tried to be sci-fi, and finally went back to fantasy. And I'm actually not sure that I like it,or even that it's good. But I leave the judgement on that to you, the readers.
11:02am: slowly coming back
Well, the ankle (according to the doc and PT) is almost healed. Still hurts if I move too fast, or too much, but at least I get to go back to work this week. And in regards to that; I'm still waiting to see if my disability claim will be approved or denied. Last week I got a call from the company that administers our claims, letting me know that my claim was goign to be denied 'because i wasn't off work long enough'. WFT??? So I looked at my paperwork from the doc, and there were different dates on the two sets fo paperwork. Lovely. I'm hoping that their office can straighten this out - missing two weeks of work is bad; having to go without 2 weeks of pay will be that much worse. GRRRR
However, the PT says that I can start to resume my normal activities this week. So I can finally mow the lawn (it's been almost 3 weeks) and next week I'll start back to kung-fu. Yay for being back to 'normal' (whatever *that* is)!
Oh, yeah, and my CD drive is dead, and it sounds like my sound card is going, too. So much fun here :/
12:35pm: Ankle update Well, the ankle is worse than we thought. I have 3 spot bruises; all are lateral and below the malleolus. Yes folks, those would be the tendon attachment points. My doc wants me to take a week off work, go to PT, and rest. Does she have any idea how poorly I do that last? Does she have any idea how much I hate the first (to say nothing of what my boss is going to say)? GRRRRRRRR
8:09pm: True you ride the finest horse, that I've ever seen
Well, as posted in my last entry my shoulder is finally healed. As a reward for this, last night at dance I gave myself one hell of an ankle sprain. Bad enough that I went willingly (ok, not so willingly, but I went) to the ER. After xrays and exams it was determined (mostly by my Physical Therapist ...love ya honey!) that it's a grade 2 sprain, including at least 2 of the 3 ligaments. Yeah, nice work! So, since I had a training seminar today I spent the day gimping around the hospital. Let me just say this: Crutches suck dead weasles. We hates them precious, we hates them all.
...And I am beginning to suspect that I might be getting old.
11:13am: red hair and black leather, my favorite color scheme
What's new with us? Well, there was a lot fo rehearsal packed into a *very* short time, promptly followed by a weekend long pirate festival. It went very well, actually. Considering that it was only the third time we (the group of crazies who act/sing/fight) have done this festival we did well. Lots of compliments from people who weren't dressed funny (important), from the organizer (very important), and from a few hardcore reenactors who randomly showed up (niiice). Links to pice will be posted once I have the links in question.
Also in the news, I did moer damage to my shoulder than had thought ...it's now 2 weeks without a visit to the gym and I think I'm having withdrawal symptoms ...and since it's not improving, I'll be skipping MMA this week too. Damnit!!
However, this weekend is the Rochester Irish Festival. We (Kate and I) will be dancing as members of the Young School of Irish Dance on Sunday 9/13. Interestingly enough, *last* Sunday was our 6th Anniversary ...which we spent acting like pirates. We'll be going out for a nice dinner this weekend to make up for that! At any rate, anybody who wants to come see us (and the rest of the adult dancers in the school) put on a bit of a show, we're on stage at 2pm on Sunday.
It's been a busy few weeks. Vacation - which was nice - then work and catching up on all the crap agound the house. Finally finished several of my woodworking and workshop projects. Faire has been kicking my ass this summer, but we're done with that now, and despite all the issues that we had with faire in general and the booth in particular this year, I'm still hit by post-faire letdown. Last week Kate's grandmother passed away. It was rough on her mother, and for Kate and her brother. It made for a really hard weekend, but after 98 years, she had told all of us that she was ready to move on. And she did. I hope that I'm as ready and as organized when my time comes. So faire is done, summer is ending on a down note, and work beckons. More news later.
2:07am: Another boring damn post
Back from vacation as of this evening. A week on the south Delaware shore, in Bethany Beach, with the Wife's family. And it was a good time. We hung out on the beach, boogie boarded, swam in the Atlantic, lounged in the sun and read, and generally enjoyed life. I had nearly as much fun as I did when we spent a week in the Outer Banks, and it was fantastic to be able to unwind like that. As an aside, my chosen beach read was 'A Peoples History of the United States'. A good read, but a very scary look at how our country became what it is.
Also, I made the wife watch a movie called 'The Gamers: Dorkness Rising'. We nearly wet ourselves laughing. Go find it on YouTube ...the funny will commence.
10:26am: Life, in a nutshell
Well opening weekend was ...cold ...and empty (on Saturday, anyway). Sunday was better, from both a weather perspective (I didn't need the cloak, always a bonus) and from a business standpoint (but not by much). Here's hoping that it gets better. The new location of the booth? Yeah, not so good.
Yesterday, after over a week of not mowing because it was raining, I hacked my way through the jungle that surrounds the house. Literally an all-day job. I started at 9, finished around 3:30, but managed to get the mowing, triming, and some of the weeding done. Man, that was some heavy-duty work; I suppose that will teach me to go do a silly thing like fertilize the lawn!
The payoff for spending all day mowing? I knew where all the ripe blackberries were. So I started this morning picking them ...and ended up with 2 pints! I guess the selective pruning of the bushes is helping them a bit (and I'm sure that the rain is too). Last year we got almost no berries, so it's nice to have a bounty this time. Perhaps I can talk my lovely wife into baking some muffins. MMMMmmmmmmmm blackberry muffins! So, fresh berries on teh cereal, and now to begin my favorite part of faire: 'Garblaundry'(tm)!
1:15am: Wow. It's been a while, hasn't it?
So ...twelve weeks. What's been going on with me for that time? Well, I've fried my hard drive, had two massive viruses (one before the HD problem and one after). Work's been kicking my ass - lost of crazy SOB's and even more psycho family members (I know all about the stresses they are under; there's still no reason to tell me 'I know people, you won't make it to your car tomorrow'). I need to renew 2 of my certifications before fall. We have nine (count 'em 9) new hires starting in july ...and 4 good, proven nurses leaving. They just hired a new mid-level manager ...who they fired 2 years ago - when she was a bedside nurse - becuase she was *this far* from completely useless. Stress? nah, not really. We've still kept up with the Kung-fu and I'm still doing the MMA; trust me when I say that stepping into the cage and working full-tilt for several rounds is a great stress burner. And I'm still going to the gym to run and lift. I'm pleased to report that I'm down to 212, from a high last August of 235+. I'm pretty pleased actually.
We've done a few things to the house too. Spring landscaping, flowers in the beds, and a new lilac bush. All to the good. I also installed screen doors on the front and side entrances. And ripped out the old (32") front door and replaced it with a new (36") insulated steel door. It makes a nice presentation on the front of the house ...pictures will follow, I promise. It was a bit of an adventure, but much easier than my worst imaginings would have had me believe. And it's got a great paint job on it as well - tip for you, if you buy a new door don't pay to have it painted at the shop. Buy a primered door (usually $150 to $300 cheaper that way) and go see the nice fellas at the local autobody shop. My paint job cost me a weekend without a front door and $135. And the color was *exactly* to my specifications ...both outside and a different color inside. Pretty cool, that.
I'm looking forward to Sterling starting in a few weeks, and hopefully getting to see all of my 'faire friends' - both in-state and out. Oh yeah, and once again with the Stanley Cup Finals going on, we're a house divided ....Pittsburgh Girl and Detroit Boy keep watching, cheering and trying to not resent the others' team successes. GO WINGS!!!
You are a determined and responsible. You strive for success, and you know what it takes to get things done. People find you to be trustworthy and a good leader. You treat people well, and they benefit from your wisdom.
When You Are Comfortable:
You are a strong person. You're driven and assertive. Success is yours, as much as you want it. People find you to be clever and spirited. You're a bit saucy too... delightfully so!
And now I'm hooked on the damn thing. We're now taking Praying Mantis Kung-Fu, and the yoga-on-tap that Wii Fit offers is helping quite a bit with my flexability. And while I've been back to the gym for several months now, the areobic workout that I can get from the Wii Fit is helping banish the pudge (don't laugh - I'm down from a high last summer of 235 to 219 as of this morning). I'll grant that the workouts are pretty basic. You choose a yoga pose and the digital trainer (who I refer to as Wil Wii-ton, 'cause I'm like that) talks you through it. The balance board is pretty nifty, utilizing pressure sensors to determine how well you're maintaining your balance. I feel like such a geek, though, gettign my workouts from a frakking video game console. ...Oh, wait, I *AM* a geek. nevermind. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- In honor of my geekiness, I have stolen a meme from sirhc_warriorWhich five book characters are you most like (including, if you want, one of your own)?
1. Fred Weasley. Inveterate smartass, occasional trouble maker, and above all else loyal to his friends and to himself.
2. Tanis, from The Dragonlance Chronicles: Oh, how I loathe having to lead (or manage) and be responsible for other people. I'm fine with responsibility for myself, and while I have no problem with guiding other people to the right place to find their answers I'd honestly rather do things myself rather than have to manage (lead) a group.
3. Harry Dresden, from The Dresden Files (no, not the TV show, the books). Bullheaded. Too stubborn to walk away from a problem. Often relying on force over subtlety. Not bright enough to ask for help most of the time (just ask my wife, she'll tell you)
4. Skeeve, from Robert Asprin's Myth series. Often clueless, frequently in the wrong place at the wrong time, regularly self-deprecating, and nearly always lucky enough to fumble his way to the right solution.
5. D'Artagnan. Often too wrapped up in trying to do the 'right' thing. Easily distraced by beautiful women and good wine. Gets into fights (well, I used to anyway) far more often than is healty or wise.
3:22pm: Music on my Mind
Blame this on matociquala . She posted a fantastic youtube vid of Mark Knopfler a few days back, and I followed the trail to a few of my favorite songs ...which I now post for you. Damn youtube for swallowing my day whole, and enjoy the songs. Mark Knopfler with a great version of 'Brothers in Arms' www.youtube.com/watch
No, that wasn't snark or irony - for the first time since I've been of voting age, I'm not working around the Inauguration (hey, I work nights; I'm not getting up in the middle of the day to watch).
The invocation by Pastor Rick Warren was beautiful. I have to admit a great personal distaste of the man, based on his stated beliefs and previous published bits that I've read. HOWEVER, he did a masterful job of leaving his beliefs out of his prayer, and simply asking for guidance and wisdom for our nation and its leaders. When asked to perform a service for the new president, he left his dogma at the door. Thanks Pastor Warren. You don't get a pass on future asshattery, but you've shown that you are more than just a fount of intolerance as you were accused.
Aretha Franklin singing 'My Country 'Tis of Thee' ...meh. I'm a huge fan of old Mowtown and R&B in general, and Aretha's voice in particular; but as a native Detroiter I have to say that the stunts she's pulled in the recent past leave me less than impressed with her character ...which should count for more than her talent.
Yo-yo Ma, Itzhak Pearlman, Gabriela Montero and Anthony McGill playing a piece written by John Williams for the Inauguration. What a beautiful piece, and wonderfully played.
President Obama's speech. Well said sir, well said. A plea for inclusion, a nod to the past, a reminder that we are strongest when we work together. I especially liked the bit about how the founding fathers gave us our liberties, and refused to curtail any of them for the sake of expedience in obtaining safety. EDIT: Link to the speech courtesy of chris_warrior: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/Inauguration/story?id=6689022&page=1
I'd guess we're off to a good start - our usually fractious country seems to be uniting behind our n00b president. Perhaps, with luck, it will stay that way long enough to accomplish some of the things he talks about (health care, infrastructure overhaul, clean energy) before we balkanize into our little clans again.
10:44am: Musings, and a follow-up to my previous post
Well, I got my Holiday off. Through pure serendipity, there were multiple sick calls on day shift just prior to the holiday. Now, I *WILL NOT* work days; but I can be persuaded to pick up an additional night shift to free up somebody who will. So rather than just giving me the holiday off (like they were supposed to) they gave me the day off (and covered it with vacation time - of which I have an overabundance), paid me overtime to work an extra shift that week, and gave me 'incentive pay' (hospital mandated, as I was covering a shift which was more than 2 staff short. Yeah, having your boss over a barrel: PRICELESS!!! So we got to go see family for the holiday, which was a lot of fun; and a whole lot of driving - but worth it. I got spoiled by m'lady - and spoiled her a bit, too. We got each other snowshoes (and had a bit of fun using them already, too), I got her a serger (thanks rarely!) and I got new music (box sets rule!). Best of all, we got to spend time during and around the holiday with many of the people we love most. Thank you, my friends and the family I've chosen, for making our holidays wonderful.
One of those inspired no small amount of introspection during the turning of the year. We'll call him "B", a local musician, whom I knew only peripherally prior to last year. Last year, however, he became very ill, and spent a considerable amount of time in my ICU. (I’m telling no unknown tales here: those who know, already know and the rest aren’t likely to ever meet him and make the connection.) I avoided taking him as a patient for a while, because of the number of people I know who both knew him and where he was receiving care, simply to avoid questions. Oh, I was in the room helping his primary care people, but I didn’t actually take care of him for the first week or so; after that he became one of my ‘regulars’, and I was pleasantly surprised by how many people didn’t ask me about him. As he recovered, kirvin3 was involved as his Physical Therapist (twice, due to unfortunate set-backs), and we both became better acquainted with both “B” and his wife. We had, just before Christmas, the singular joy of watching this new friend play his first solo set since his illness at a local Irish Pub. After his night ended (and last call was given) I had a chance to talk to him for a while. I had a chance to tell him how great it was to see him doing what the loves again, and I actually found it hard to articulate how much it meant to me to be a part of that, other than to say “It makes me realize that what I do matters.” Which sounded pretty stupid to me, even at that moment. Fast forward to Christmas day – I’m in church (yeah, it surprised me, too …the things I do for my family!). The sermon was about Christmas, and how Christmas wasn’t peace, or love or presents under the tree: it was about Hope. And it hit me; that’s what it was, when I watched “B” playing his sets that night. It was the hope represented there. Most of my patients end up in extended care facilities, long-term rehab centers, or the morgue. It’s the nature of what I do – I specialize in extremely critical patients, and few have happy endings to their stories. The few who do, usually we never see again (and I can’t blame them, who wants to remember their close calls?). But I wouldn’t have said that it gets me down; it’s just part of the territory, it’s the nature of the beast. I couldn’t have guessed how much it might mean to me to be able to see somebody who came so close to the edge return to a normal life. Thanks “B”. You gave me a nice Christmas present there. I appreciate the reminder that even in the worst moments ‘back to a normal life’ is only a short distance away.
Who knew that an Irish story could have a happy ending?
10:50am: Here we go again ...
So, here I sit, no real posts in several months. I'd promised myself regular posts, then when it didn't happen I told myself I'd at least post the interesting things. Oh, and btw, a big thank-you to dawntreader90 & thewhitedragon for putting us up (or is that putting up with us) on our yearly pilgrimage to MD (since I completely blew off my usual post on the happenings there). About the time we got back from that weekend, I began having problems with the schedule coordinator at work. Those of you with long memories may note that this occured at the last job as well (except that the schedule there was made by the boss). Now, I don't ask for much - a day here or there in most schedules: I'd prefer mondays off (the wife and I dance - class is that night), sometimes a particular weekend, and my off holidays OFF. Not much to ask, right? I've worked 9 of the last 10 mondays. we try to get out and see friends for celtic music nights on sunday (although I don't request them off, we're only supposed to work 48 hours of weekend time in a 6 week schedule block) - yeah, I've worked 8 of the last 10. So our Christmas schedule came out last week (posted 12/11, the schedule starts 12/21 - there's supposed to be a 3 week lead) and although I'm off Christmas (it's supposed to be a three day strech off: day before, day of, day after; if it's your holiday on, you work all three) I work the night of the 26th into the 27th. Yeah, there goes my trip home for the holiday. The best part was when I called the coordinator on it. His response? "well, somebody has to work it, we were short that night, so I moved you there. And I'm going to be on that night too, it's not like management is blowing this off." Yeah, thanks you wanker, like seeing your stupid face is a consolation for not seeing family on MY HOLIDAY OFF. There are half a dozen new hires (the rule is new hires are supposed to fill holiday holes before other staff) off for the holiday, and then I get to come back and work what *is* my holiday on - New Years.
Now I have to call my family and explain that, even though I worked christmas last year, I'm not coming home this year either. Fuck.