Thursday, May 29, 2008

Fraternal Time

I had supper with my brother and sister-in-law last night. He's off on Wednesdays so they decided to drive up and visit the Biltmore House for the afternoon. They missed the prime blooming time for the spring gardens by a couple weeks, but there were still loads of flowers and plants blossoming so they still got to see oodles of nifty colors.

I met up with them at TGI Friday's since there's one nearby and we had a good time socializing. They have mentioned the possibility of moving to the Asheville area at some point in the near future so I think they were doing a bit of a scouting trip too. I think it would be cool to have them here, if they do eventually move up the mountain. I've never lived in the same city as a family member (not as an adult), so it would be kind of weird having a relative that close by. And I mean weird in a good way. It would be nice to be able to spend more time with them and my niece and nephew.

Monday, May 26, 2008


I've been 39 for a couple of days now and can't say I feel any changes from being 38. 'Course it doesn't usually sink in that I've had a birthday until the first time I have to answer the "How old are you?" question. And I've done this enough times to know that you don't magically feel differently just because a particular day of the year came and went.

At least not after you pass 25 or so. Younger than that and each birthday seems special somehow. I think it's because there are so many milestones when you're younger: starting school, hitting double digits, becoming a teenager, driving, high school, etc. After you hit 25 the only thing that's left is just endless years of aging; all the fun stuff's already happened. At least from the perspective of someone under 25, obviously.

I suppose I need to make this year memorable somehow though, as it's my final year in my 30's. I'll see what I can come up with.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


We're having a staff meeting tomorrow at work, and they just sent around the notice for it a bit ago. It's one of those mandatory things that all employees have to attend, so you know it's going to be boring and probably be about something that's either going to be bureaucratic bullshit or some kind of policy change that is sure to upset someone. It's split up into 2 meetings to make the groups smaller, and is scheduled first thing in the morning.

I'm not listed on the schedule for either meeting. The lady who organized the meetings and sent out the memos about them said she forgot to put me on the list, but I'm free to attend either one I choose. Now normally I wouldn't really care about it; I'd make a joke or two about not having to go since my name wasn't on the schedule, and then forget about it. But this isn't the first time she's "forgotten" to include me in staff-related notices. It's not the 2nd time either. It's starting to become a pattern with her, and I'm beginning to worry about it. I'm probably overreacting about nothing, but I'm wondering if she has some kind of problem with me and is doing it on purpose.

I hate work drama.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Things I've done

I don't really have much going on right now and not a lot to talk about. So here's a list of stuff I saw on another blog.

In bold are things that I've done.
In italics are things I want to do.
  1. Bought everyone in the pub/bar a drink
  2. Climbed a mountain
  3. Held a tarantula
  4. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
  5. Been in love
  6. Broken someone's heart
  7. Had my heart broken
  8. Done a striptease
  9. Bungee jumped
  10. Watched a lightning storm at sea
  11. Stayed up all night long, and watched the sun rise
  12. Seen the Northern Lights
  13. Gone to a huge sports game
  14. Grown and eaten my own vegetables
  15. Slept under the stars
  16. Changed a baby's diaper
  17. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
  18. Watched a meteor shower
  19. Gotten drunk on champagne
  20. Given money to charity
  21. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
  22. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
  23. Had a food fight
  24. Bet on a winning horse
  25. Taken a sick day when I wasn't ill
  26. Had a snowball fight
  27. Photocopied my butt or any other intimate body part
  28. Held a lamb
  29. Gone skinny dipping
  30. Taken an ice cold shower
  31. Seen a total eclipse
  32. Ridden a roller coaster
  33. Hit a home run
  34. Been arrested
  35. Visited all 50 states
  36. Taken care of someone who was shit faced
  37. Stolen a street/highway sign
  38. Backpacked in Europe
  39. Taken a road-trip
  40. Taken a midnight walk on the beach
  41. Gone sky diving
  42. Milked a cow
  43. Alphabetized my records/CDs
  44. Sung karaoke
  45. Lounged around in bed all day
  46. Gone scuba diving
  47. Danced in the rain
  48. Gone to a drive-in theater
  49. Started a business
  50. Gotten married
  51. Been in a movie
  52. Crashed a party
  53. Gotten divorced
  54. Had sex at the office
  55. Made cookies from scratch
  56. Gotten a tattoo
  57. Been on television
  58. Had sex a public place
  59. Got so drunk I don't remember anything
  60. Recorded music
  61. Had a one-night stand
  62. Bought a house
  63. Shaved or waxed off my pubic hair
  64. Been on a cruise ship
  65. Spoken more than one language fluently
  66. Bounced a check
  67. Called or written my Congressperson
  68. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
  69. Sung loudly by myself in the car
  70. Written articles for a large publication
  71. Piloted an airplane
  72. Helped an animal give birth
  73. Been fired or laid off from a job
  74. Won money on a TV game show
  75. Broken a bone
  76. Ridden a motorcycle
  77. Had a body part below the neck pierced
  78. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
  79. Ridden a horse
  80. Had major surgery
  81. Had sex on a moving train
  82. Slept through an entire flight: takeoff, flight, and landing
  83. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
  84. Visited all 7 continents
  85. Eaten sushi
  86. Had my picture in the newspaper
  87. Parasailed
  88. Changed my name
  89. Dyed my hair
  90. Been a DJ

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Blackberry Winter

The blackberries are starting to bloom again. And conveniently we're getting a nice little cold snap rolling through the area. It's dipping into the mid 40s this evening and low 40s tomorrow, which is a bit chilly for us this time of year. Especially since we've had a few weeks of temps in the 50s and 60s at night already.


This is what my granny always referred to as Blackberry Winter. Every year around the early part of May, the blackberry bushes start to bloom and we get a final bout of chilly weather before the temperatures begin to stay warmer at night. It usually happens after a few weeks of mild weather and the trees have started budding. She'd say it in that matter-of-fact tone that grandparents have when they're passing on ancient wisdom from generations before, and then give a little nod of her head. "It must be Blackberry Winter. It'll get warm and stay warm now."

It meant that the woods around my grandparents' house were soon to transform into a sea of white blossoms for the next few weeks. And then in a few months time, a gaggle of grandkids would be stomping through the trees towards Blackberry Kingdom and Blackberry Palace (our nicknames for the two huge patches of blackberry bushes near their house) to pick bowl after bowl of fresh berries for use in granny's homemade blackberry pies.

It's not foolproof weather prediction, obviously, and I never quite acquired a taste for blackberries or her blackberry pies (although everyone else in the family raved over them). But it did make me like this time of the year. The cold weather and long winter nights are finally over. Things will get warmer now.

Thursday, May 8, 2008


This picture is from Chester, South Carolina and was taken in the year 1908. It's from one of my favorite sites in the web, The site has pics dating back into the early 1800s and the quality of most of them is simply amazing.

I look at pictures like this and get drawn into the people and their surroundings and try to imagine what their lives must have been like. And not just for the instant in time when the snapshot was taken. The children below have all more than likely lived out their entire lives and moved on to whatever comes next. They were probably approaching the ends of their lives when I was just starting mine. I find that incredibly interesting.

(Click to make bigger)

It makes me wonder what people are going to think in 2108 when they look back at some of the photos on sites like Flickr.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


Came across this clip on Youtube a couple weeks ago and I keep going back and watching it every few days. I spent every Saturday morning glued to the television beside my brother and sister watching cartoons, and this was my all-time favorite. Still is.

My brother got me a Superfriends t-shirt for the December Holidays, and I absolutely love it. I 'm afraid to wear it because I know I'll spill something on it within a few seconds of putting it on.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Anger Holes

I was just on the phone with a customer service rep. One of those people you call and have to rattle off a 10-digit account number, a phone number, address, cock size, and last 4 of your social to “for confirmation” that I am who I was claiming to be. The call didn’t go too well since I was complaining to them about my service, and instead of listening to what I was trying to say they were very good at parroting obscure lines from their EULA back to me. While I was right about what I was saying, the whole situation was completely my fault as I did something a few weeks ago that led to today’s problem.

The customer service and what happened to cause it isn’t really important though. The big problem here is that it made me angry. I was in a blind, seething rage. My face and upper body turned red from the blood pumping so hard (I was literally “seeing red”); my hands and voice were shaking with anger; I even started sweating and could feel the heat pouring off my face. All over a situation that wasn’t really important to begin with and in the end, was my fault and not the poor customer service person unlucky enough to answer my call.

I’ve always had a bad temper though; it runs in the family. My brother and sister have bad ones too, and both my parents’ tempers are legendary. One of the few images that I can clearly recall from growing up is of my father hurling a skateboard out a 2nd floor window because he was mad at us kids. It’s among the scariest (and saddest) memories of my childhood. Yet here I am 25 years later doing the same thing…losing my temper at the drop of a hat over piddling little things. I didn’t toss anything out the window, but I probably would have if I’d thought of it.

It’s not something I’m proud of and I know I’m as much to blame as any genetic inclination that may factor into the deal. I’ve never been good at dealing with my emotions. As a child I felt everything acutely. Emotions were physical presences for me, they came from my core and I could feel them pulsing inside as they bubbled to the surface. But as I got older and and my emotions started getting stronger, I ran from what I was feeling. Instead of dealing with it and allowing myself to grow through the pain and disillusionment, I locked my emotions away and began isolating myself from everyone and everything around me. I put up my shields and built my barriers, then quietly found a nice dark corner and settled in. I’ve been doing it for so long that there are times when I don’t know if I can feel anything anymore. Not much seems like it’s really happening; whole weeks go by with me on auto-pilot just going through the motions.

But every now and then that all-powerful rage comes blasting through my defenses. And while I know it’s not a good thing to have all that anger bottled up inside or have it explode out of me like it did earlier on the phone…maybe, just maybe, the hole it blew through my walls will stay open this time and some of my other emotions will come out. Perhaps I should tear down a few of them this time and move a little closer. It would be nice to feel something real again.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Still Here

Well, I survived the stent surgery. I'm still pretty sore so I'm taking another day off work to heal up a bit more before driving much and sitting upright in a chair for hours on end.

One of the balloons burst and partially deployed the stent during the procedure (which then got stuck in the blood vessel in the wrong spot) so they had to go into another artery in my left leg and pull it out from the opposite direction. Apparently this second incision was a bit more invasive than the one in my right leg so it's extremely sore and turning a nice purplish color as it bruises up. Because of that the procedure took about 3½ hours instead of the usual 1 hour or so. I'm on blood thinners to keep the stents from forming clots so later that evening when I was finally allowed to stand up, one of the incision spots started bleeding and I got to spend the night flat on my back trying not to move my legs much, and having vitals taken every 1-2 hours.

Other than that though, everything went well. I'm scheduled for a quick follow-up visit next week and then another in 2-3 weeks. Hopefully the stents will make as big a difference as they're thinking and I can lower some of the meds I'm taking. But even if that doesn't happen, my kidneys are at least getting normal blood flow again and I'm not in danger of going into kidney failure without warning. So all this fun has been worth it.