Saturday, April 30, 2005

Packing - Volume One

Well, Andi and I have agreed on an apartment.  I like it.  It's bright.  It's clean.  It's close.  And it's available.  It's been quite a hassle -- and it's not over.  But it's happening as it needs to, I suppose.  We've paid a holding fee but nothing is definite until Andi's signature makes it across the state lines and I'm handed the keys.

Still, even if this falls through for some reason (which it won't) we have to move no matter what.  So I spent most of the day packing.  The best purchase I made -- boxes.  I've moved many (too many) times.  Never have I paid money for moving boxes.  I usually get produce remnants from grocery stores.  That makes for creative packing.  But these boxes are all the same size.  I bought 15 small and 5 medium boxes.  The medium are too big for me.  I assembled two but I'm returning the other three in exchange for more small.  I don't have much left to pack really.

I have two weeks worth of laundry to do so I'll have enough clothes to get me to the new place -- which has a washer/dryer in the unit, thankyouverymuch!  I've kept the essentials out -- bathroom and office supplies, tools, vitamins, food and coffee pot.  Lights are still strung.  But as you can see, I can't get to my corner lamp anymore.

Today's adventure confirmed my decision to hire help on moving day.  Sure, I could take a few boxes each day.  We're only moving eight blocks from here.  But I can already feel how exhausting that could be.  Instead, I'm willing to pay a couple of strong guys for two solid hours of their time and muscle.

I don't have a lot of stuff, but things add up.  CDs, DVDs, games, trinkets, towels, blankets, files, files, books, books, books...

One local mover told me not to fill boxes with books.  That's a mover's nightmare.  So I broke everything up.  Books and other heavy items only fill half of each box.  The other half is packed with lighter things, like clothes and towels.  That way, just in case I can't get help to move (or for some stupid reason, I decidenot to hire help), I can lift each box.  Well, I could earlier.  We'll see how I feel tomorrow.  I can feel my body seizing up already.  It's been a day of activity.  Dogpark, pack, dogpark, pack, walk/play with the dogs, pack.  We're all pretty worn out.

I just received two new DVDs from Netflix -- The beginning of Survivor: Season 2.  Yeah baby.  There's no telling when I'll be back now...

P.S.  The above image is animated but it seems to be loading very slow.  Give it a moment and it should fly before your eyes.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

oh to dream...

If I had the extra money (when I have the extra money) I would buy a big community building in the city, only for residents who have dogs.  It would require a lot of upkeep.  But remember, I'll have the extra money.  It'll be worth it.  It'll be the most desired place to live in the city...on the the beach.

The ad will say:  DOGS ONLY.  A minimum of one dog per unit is required.  Will consider other pets.  But must have at least one DOG over 25 lbs to secure move-in.

The community would have plenty of grass, sand, toys, balls, water bowls and wading pools for dogs only.  The grounds would be maintained by dog-friendly people all day, every day.

Oh, I imagine there would be some legalities to consider.  Everyone would be required to sign a waiver accepting full responsibility for their dog's actions - just like a child.

It would be exactly opposite as it is in most city areas.  Dogs will be allowed everywhere.  All doggy playgrounds, sandboxes, walkways, basketball courts and pools will be strictly off-limits for kids.  Kids will only be allowed in "the kid park," a small, messy playground for kids where dogs can torment them and steal their toys.

The rental application would ask for a personal essay on why I want to live here, accompanied by letters of recommendation from friends and/or coworkers.  No banking information would be required.  No credit checks.  No faceless applicants.  All walks of life would be welcome.  Rent would be based on what tenants could afford.  Maybe some would pay in trade for grounds keeping, maintenance, community service, etc.

Yeah, well, that was fun.  Now back to reality.  Still searching ...

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Moving On...

For the past two months I've been negotiating a living situation with my current roommate.  The discussion was about whether I move out or he moves out.  For the first three weeks, every time I mentioned it, his response was, "We have plenty of time."  Finally, six weeks ago I said, "We don't really have plenty of time.  I need to know what your plans are so I can make mine."

Long story short-ish:  We decided he would be the one to move out.  On April 1st he agreed to a May 15th move out date.  That would give me time to clean this place up and get it ready for my new roommate.  She's moving from Indiana to Los Angeles at the end of May.  To find out more, you can read her journal, Unhinged.

Two weeks ago, my current roommate begged to pay me $500 if I'd move.  He had been out looking at apartments (like, two of them) and was wiped out.  We had another serious conversation about how important it is that he needs to move out or I'll need to make other plans.  Again, he swore he'd move.

Well, yesterday he called me from his bedroom.  I was in mine.  He was sounding all pathetic and sorry this, sorry that.  After a minute of beating around the bush, I pinned him down to commit to what he was trying to say.  He's not moving afterall.  Well, surprise...not!  This time he offered a thousand dollars to buy me out.

~ I'm really making an effort to edit this entry for the sake of avoiding a TOSable offense. ~

You see, if Andi and I needed to go apartment hunting, she would've planned a trip here ... um ... three weeks ago.  But because my roommate gave his notice and swore he'd move out, Andi didn't need to spend the airfare.  She's already shipping her belongings and flying cross country.  She's been to this apartment.  She knows the layout.  She approved.  But now, to book the same flight with shorter notice would cost double (practically half a month's rent).  Not cool.

As I was writing (and drastically editing) this entry, I realized I have something weighing on my heart.

My move date is 3-4 weeks away.  Most places are asking for a year's lease.  That means I have to make a year's decision on Andi's behalf.  The stress of that alone is almost worse than having to fit six weeks of preparation into three.  I didn't realize it'd be an issue for me.  She's not here to get a feel for these places.  To get a sense of the surrounding areas.  To really see the dimensions, smell the land, feel the cool tile.  Something that I might think has great potential and character may be something she'd run from.  And vice versa.

So far, her experience of the places I've seen, has been one-dimensional - with snippets of my ramblings.

 I'm walking in the front door...oh, that's interesting...ew, weird...there's a room...and another room...and like a window with a thing on it.

Seriously, I don't know how she deals with me.

I'm also quickly finding out I do not have an eye for taking real estate pictures.  Seriously, my photos suck.  No matter how cute, charming, big, small, bright, cheery, dull or dreary, every picture looks like a generic camera mistake.  You know, like when you're near the end of a roll of film and you just want to finish it to get it developed?

If this were at all visible, you'd be able to see there is a wall in the bedroom.  And this is the bathroom door.  Oh, and here's the kitchen floor.

This is a huge responsibility.  A big decision.  Partially-blind trust.  And I'm suddenly not very comfortable with it.

Oh wait.  I might be PMSing.  And it's past my bedtime.  I'll get a fresh start in the morning.  Maybe things will look different.

I do believe everything happens for a reason.  I'm okay with the way things are.  Really I am.  But this whole thing was completely avoidable if I'd just listened to my gut instincts.  I was just so hoping that my current roommate would be able to show up, and be true to his word.  But you know, I just had this nagging feeling.  So far, that's twice in a week - and both were dead on.  Time to start listening.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Backing Up Journal Files

Backing up my journal files has been something looming over my head.  I've put it off because I thought it was going to take a lot of time and energy.  To my pleasant surprise, I spent very little time backing up all entries of my one-and-a-half-year-old journal yesterday.  That's right, very little time.  In fact, it might have been one hour.  I now have html copies of every single entry (plus comments) since the beginning of J2P-time.

If you haven't done this already, please take the time to do so for yourself.  Don't leave fate in the hands of the AOL overlords.  Anything can happen.  A mistake.  A slip.  A server crash.  It doesn't matter.  It's like a safety precaution in case of a fire or emergency.  And it's worth it. 

The best part is, once you're set up for saving, it's easier than making a cup of coffee in the morning.

I'm sure there are many ways to do it.  This is my way.  Once you get the hang of it, you can create a system that works for you.  And please share any insight.  I'm always open to new ideas, especially if they streamline an important process.

1.  Open your journal.  Click VIEW OLDER ENTRIES.  Go to the very first month and year you created your journal.  Click on the link of your very first entry.

2.  In the main menu bar, choose FILE - SAVE (shortcut, ctrl+s)  [this will show a window of your computer files]

3.  Create a new folder and name it:  JOURNAL BACKUP.  Open that file.

4.  Create another new folder and name it the entry's corresponding month and year.  For example, Journey to Peace was created in September 2003 so my folder looks like this: 09_2003.  Open that file.

5.  Click SAVE (or, enter)

6.  Click on the next entry in your journal and repeat steps 2 & 5.

Remember, when you get to the next month, create a new folder in JOURNAL BACKUP to reflect the month and date.

For example, my folders look like this:

     My Documents
     [AND SO ON]

Once you have all of your entries saved on your computer, you only have to do this every ten entries.  Your main journal page consists of the most recent ten entries.  Even better; make it part of your daily ritual.

When you're finished, head over to Robbie's for another very good reminder about saving important information that you have uploaded to your FTP space.

AOL-J is a great place to be.  Let's do our share to keep it that way.  Don't leave room for error.  Doing this keeps the power in your hands.  Take responsibility.

var __pid=3100; Free Web Counter

Thursday, April 21, 2005

It's not over yet...

Tired and busier than I thought.  More calls.  More work.  This weekend is beginning to look like a weekday of dogwalking (in addition to our two overnight guests).  Hunny is so great to tolerate them - she actually seems to be enjoying herself.  To add to the chaos, I made an appointment for a handyman to come check out the leaky ceiling on Saturday.  Talk about a full house.  We're expecting rain this weekend.  No time to put it off.

So I went for what was supposed to be my last dental visit for a long time.  The crown has been placed and filed.  I'm there so often that everyone knows me by now.  Three assistants hovered over my mouth to marvel at the beauty of the crown.  Two of them weren't even working with me today.  They just wanted to see.  Ha!  Hey, it makes for a more enjoyable experience.

I love my new dentist.  Her care makes a world of difference.  She takes her time.  She explains things in a way that I can understand what's going on.  She shares fun stories and kicks back while novocaine is setting in.  I'm referring my friends to her.  Even when my insurance runs out (end of this month) I'm going to continue with her.

This thirty-minute visit turned into two hours because I've been experiencing pain in a different area for a few days now.  Today was the worst.  I walked into my appointment holding my cheek.  Timing is everything.  I haven't been able to put anything in my mouth without feeling pain.  Hot, cold, warm, soft, hard, sweet, bland, NOTHING.  Eating a banana this morning was excruciating.  How could this be?  Those cavities were filled a few weeks ago.

Remember that other dentist who kept rushing and making mistakes?  Remember how I went back to the office the day after my fillings because I was feeling pain?  [remember that's how i found this new dentist?]  Well, one of those fillings/teeth is the cause of the pain.  This pain runs from my upper gums, to my cheek, to my ear, to my bottom gums, through my eyes, to my head.  I couldn't find the source.

My new dentist found the source.  She had to remove the filling and let the tooth relax (something about white fillings that expand in the process. Mine was too expansive, allowing air, food, water to hit the exposed nerve of the dentine).  The filling was so close to the nerve, she thought I might need a root canal.  But she's trying this one thing first.  She filled the deepest part of the cavity with some kind of heavy duty cement (technical term, you know) and covered that with a temporary filling.

I have one month to let the tooth relax and see how it feels to eat, drink and breathe on that side.  If all is well, I'll go back to get another layer of protection and then a permanent filling.  I don't know how many visits that will require.  And I don't care.  I trust her.

If a root canal is needed that'll suck.  But I trust that I'm in good hands.  Still, let's hope this works.

And because she's reworking a cavity that should've been taken care of in the first place, there is no charge.  What a relief.

General question:  What's your favorite kind/brand of dental floss?

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Full Days

This is just one small aspect of my life this week.  Morning hikes.  As difficult as it is to get up each morning, I find myself thankful as we're hiking up and down quiet hillsides.  Each breath is a blessing.  No, I mean that.  I haven't hiked since last summer.  My body is readjusting.  My muscles ache - the good ache.  My heartrate goes up.  I sweat in the brisk morning air.  It's a joy.  And it's a pain in the ass.  You know what I mean.

Already I feel more energetic.  I can feel the shift in my sleep.  It's a little more restful.  And my body is already showing signs of, well, you know, workout signs.

I take these few dogs on a morning hike for 45 minutes.  After that, I take Gizmo on a 30 minute walk.  Then I pick up my group and go to the dogpark for an hour.  Then I have one more individual 30 minute walk.  Sounds simple, but with driving time, it adds up.  I get tired.  Really tired.

In addition to all that, I picked up a new doggie this afternoon who will stay with us till Sunday.  Plus Winnie will spend the weekend with us as well.  So, it's a full house at the Freeepeace Estate.  Oh, and did I mention it's supposed to rain all weekend?  No?  Well, it's supposed to rain all weekend.  And no, my leaky ceiling has not been fixed...yet.  I'm on it!  Think: handyman.

Now that the pups have finally calmed down and found their choice places of slumber, I think I'm going to do the same.  They'll be chompin at the bit bright and early -- I've gotta be ready!

Good night all.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Shopping and More

Over the weekend, I went on a major shopping spree.  I was happy to find just about everything on a list I'd been building for a couple of weeks.  And yes, I left the house without the list.  So, this was all done by memory.  Which is why there are some items missing and some items that found their way home with me, by happenstance.

It looks like I'm pretty much set in the cargo shorts area.  Work attire, you know.  I don't know where all my clothes have gone, but I seem to have given away my spring/fall dogwalking garb.  Luckily I've put on this 'womanly' weight because I now totally fit into the small men's shorts.  I was at a total loss in the women's department.  Short-shorts are just not for me.  They may look cute, but they are foreign and feel uncomfortable on my body.  So, yay me, in men's cargos.

If you look closely in the picture, you can see all the unmentionables that made their way in my freshly organized drawers.  The socks are too big.  So are the undies & tanks, but they'll shrink (or I'll expand).  Ha!  Whatever.

The brown sandals are comfortable.  I love the watch.  And believe it or not, I love-love-love the black shoes!  Granted, I don't have anything to wear them with, but I love everything about them.  Plus, Payless was having their "BOGO" sale (Hey, I don't make this shit up).  So, the black shoes were like, seven bucks.  They looked adorable with those orange shorts but you know, that just seems so...wrong.

The day had gotten to me.  Hours had passed.  I only meant to be out for an hour or so.  I started to feel weak and shaky, so I headed down the junk food aisle (the only food aisle in Target).  I saw Pop Tarts and jumped at the chance.  They didn't have the exact kind I was drooling for.  But this other brand did, so I went for it.  Now I can honestly say, when it comes to Pop Tarts - accept no substitutes.  I shouldn't be eating this crap anyway.  But if I'm gonna go for the crap, I might as well go for the good crap.

The purse ... may go back.  I like it.  I mean, I like the idea of it.  I went looking for a wallet and left with a purse.  What's my deal?  This would be great if I were a purse carrier.  But I still need a wallet.  The theory in this purse is that the wallet is that whole front section.  There are slots for credit cards, license, currency, etc.  Still, a pain for me when I just want to toss my wallet in my backpack (like, just about every day).  I haven't completely given up on the idea though.  So, we'll see.  So far, it's a nuisance.

I bought a few things to prepare for my new apartment living.  The jury's still out on a few things. (i.e. If I'm moving. If my roommate's moving out).  No matter what happens in my living situation, one thing remains consistent:  I will still have to wash dishes.  To cheer things up a bit, I bought one of those sponges where you put the dish liquid in the handle.  Big purchase.  Commitment.

Working a lot this week, and next (and probably all weeks to follow).  I think I mentioned, it's the beginning of the busy season.  I had a great hike this morning.  I'd forgotten what that felt like.  It's nice to wake up to a serene, quiet workout.  Tomorrow (Tuesday) will be busier than today.  Plus, I'm scheduled to get my hair cut.  That's exciting.  But I'm already exhausted and worried I won't make it on time.

I'm not used to getting up early.  I don't take too well to alarm clocks.  I usually set them wrong, because I'm not used to them.  So I've asked a friend to help me out with a wake-up call at 6am.  In this moment I'm wishing I asked for 7 instead.  Since she's in a different time zone, she'll already be at work and ready to YakYak in my ear, till I'm good and awake (or pissed off).

What else?  I'm tired.  I still have thirty minutes of grooming to complete before settling comfortably into bed.  (body, face, teeth)  I never knew flossing could feel so gratifying.  Especially now with this new floss.  And I love the feeling of my face after a good mud mask and toner made by my facialist.  I haven't even mentioned Egyptian Magic.  I've had this same jar for years.  I'm finding it to be the best cure for eczema.  It's a great moisturizer.  And I know it's supposed to be a great scar healer (which is why I took it out of the cabinet in the first place).  Go to their site and read the testimonials.  Pretty cool, I must say.

That's it for now.  If I weren't so tired, I might try to put this into some kind of coherent order.  But if I don't post now, I won't post at all.

Good night folks.  Hope you are all well.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Flyby Comments

Imagine, if you will, a community where all the doors are not only unlocked but left wide open, welcoming visitors.  You are invited to step inside, take your shoes off and make yourself comfortable.  Perhaps you have tea or coffee, or a martini.  You share, listen, explore, question, relate and reflect with the residents.  You leave a smile, a hug, a word or a song.  And you visit the next house on the block.

That's how I picture the AOL Journals community.  We created this.

Now imagine a local news editor visiting, looking for anything to feed the outside world, exposing our community.  Giving us recognition.  Putting us on the map.  Showing others what is possible.  Nice thought right?

It all depends on where that expose is posted.  Those unfamiliar with the unspoken, unwritten guidelines of this community stampede through the streets, tossing eggs at our homes, tramping through the halls and into our bedrooms telling us to quit our bitching or go screw ourselves.  They eat our food, shit in our toilets and rest on our couches before they wipe their filthy shoes on our carpets as they trip out the front door...never to be seen again.

What's the purpose?  There is none.  Some people are bored and angry.  And maybe a little uptight.  Still, no excuse.  We all have our moments.  But I have the courtesy to at least flush!

Sharing opinions, thoughts, feelings, ideas and such are welcome here.  But I expect a certain level of respect for me, my journal, and our community.  Only because I hold myself to these standards.  No one is exempt. 

Flyby comments suck!

So, to those who just can't control your behavior:  If you can't resist brainbarf in the comments section of J2P - or at least form an articulate statement - I respectfully ask that you GET OUTTA MY SPACE. 

This has been a public journals announcement from Freeepeace, brought to you by the power of love and respect - and a dash of humor.


All flyby comments subject to IBD.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

LIFE in pictures

Following up on a previous entry.  Here's the skirt.  I love it.  But I'm afraid it might be another one of those things that hangs in my closet unnoticed for years.  I'm willing to break that cycle. 

* * * * *

Another thing I mentioned is my recent dental work.  Hopefully these pictures will be my reminder to keep it up.  Crooked teeth and all.

* * * * *

This post wouldn't be complete without the most adorable picture of Hunny Bunny Boo!  She spent a long time, patiently watching the whole photo shoot (all ten minutes of it).  At first I thought she was confused and embarrassed:   Who are you and what are you wearing?  But then I wondered if she wanted to play dress up too.  Imagine her in a tiara, with wings and a magic wand.


Monday, April 11, 2005

Sunday, April 10, 2005


Forgive me if I repeat myself in here.  I haven't been posting consistently, but my mind has.  So I can't remember what I've actually shared and what I think I've shared.  Such is a busy, fulfilling life.  No complaints.  Well, maybe a few.

BODY, MIND & SPIRIT -- Allergies.  It's been excessively windy here this week.  Dust is kicking up everywhere, especially near the beach.  This affects so many of us.  And my poor nose and head are dry and sore.  Makes me sick, weak, tired and angry.  I'm mostly angry about being sick, weak and tired. 

I've gained a little weight.  I guess in actuality, I've just "evened out".  I was sick last year, dropping inches and pounds every day.  I got so skinny (scrawny) that I had to buy new clothes that fit.  Of course now those clothes don't fit as well today.  Well, I could fit in them.  I just shouldn't.  It's just wrong.

So, I made a pit stop at my favorite discount shopping mecca, Ross--Dress for Less.  I ran in, grabbed t-shirts from the juniors racks.  I'm always in need of dogwalking clothes.  Then I hit the jeans and pants aisles.  I haven't had as much luck with pants there.  But I rummaged and found an arm full of potentials.

On my way to the dressing rooms, something caught my eye, and my heart.  It was calling me, like a long lost friend.  A vaguely familiar voice from the past.  I couldn't pass by without connecting.  I tried to walk away.  My arms were overloaded already.  I gently released it off the rack.  The only one.  My supposed size.  What the hell, I thought.  Give it a try.

I didn't try on any of the t-shirts.  Out of 5, only 1 needs to be returned.  Luckily I tried the pants.  All were a close call.  But nothing exactly right.  I bought two pair anyway.  They'll probably get returned.

The only thing that fit perfectly was that long lost item - as if it were the missing link to my world.  Holy crap.  Am I really gonna do this?  What would I wear with it?  Who cares?  It's cute.  It fits.  So what if it's a  :::gasp:::  SKIRT!  I'll be the best dressed dogwalker at the park. [ha. kidding.]  It'll look adorable with sneakers and a t-shirt.  It better!  That's all I've got. [ha. not kidding.]

On the way out, I happened by the girly/womanly tops.  I was like a kid in a candy shop.  All were so cute.  Sexy even.  Lace. Ribbon. Silky. Flowy.  I bought five different styles.  Only one fit.  But the others were so close, I'm going back to exchange them for my size.  Whatever that is!  None were the same size.  One small was too small.  A medium was too big.  Another small was too big.  How are we supposed to know which small is too small and which small is too big? 

All last year I was feeling cute with my bony body. (except for when it was "scary bony")  Today, trying these clothes on made me feel womanly.  Finally.  I see what the weight does.  It fills those places that were emaciated.  I'm curvy.  I have boobs.  All I have to do is wear things that accentuate the goods, instead of trying to fit into the regulars.

So what if my pants have gone back up a size?  Five, six, seven.  Who knows?  Maybe even eight or nine.  Who cares?  I'm ripping the tags out anyway!

The only place I wish wouldn't gain weight first is my face.  But whatever.  I'm lucky in that I don't know what it's like to gain weight in my ass.  But I can always count on my Buddha Belly.  Ommmm...

DENTIST UPDATE -- So that dentist I've been seeing.  Honestly, it's a damn good thing I've done my spiritual work around my terror of dentists because this woman would've sent me straight to the psych ward for all the careless, heartless, unnecessary pain she's put me through.  I wasn't able to change dentist's offices because of the insurance (long boring story).  So I was planning on sticking with her till every last bit of work (covered by insurance) was done.  Still, the co-pay has come out to over $1000.

Anyway, remember the first time, she hurt me and kept drilling?  "Ten more seconds."  (Grrr)  The next time she thankfully loaded me with novocaine.  Still, because I couldn't move my tongue away from my mouth (hello!) she cut my tongue with the drill.  Then she bumped my front teeth with the back end of the drill in a quick movement. (slow down dammit!)

The topper of all careless, rush jobs was when she drilled and filled two cavities with mercury.  (yes! they still use that stuff.)  The pain in my jaw, from keeping my mouth open for long periods of time was much worse than any of the drilling and filling.  I was leaving when the assistant told me to wait a minute.  The dentist came back and said, "Whoops, I made a big mistake."  She had to redrill and refill both cavities with white fillings.

I was furious, but she had the drill.  And I just wanted the silver out of my mouth.  And like I said, insurance kept me there.

Later that night and the next morning, my teeth, gums and nerves were shooting with pain.  More than I was used to after getting fillings.  I was already taking a heavy duty pain killer.   So I went in to have them check it.  My dentist wasn't working that day.  But the other dentist was -- my NEW dentist.  The Angel of Mercy.  The mother of all scared little adult children.  She took her time, explained everything, listened to my concerns, looked me in the eyes, smiled.  That's all it took.

I'd like to switch dentists please. 

Why, you like her better? 

YUP!   :::::big, bright, white smile:::::

So, now that we're almost finished with the recommended work, I get to leave this whole dental experience with that continuing smile.  When my insurance runs out at the end of this month, I feel confident enough to go back to her for whatever else.

Since they cleaned my teeth, filled some cavities, and crowned some others, I've been serious about taking care of these beauties.  I floss every night.  I figure, this is a lifetime investment.  I never really thought of it this way.  But I feel so good when I brush, floss and swish a mouth full of warm salt water.  Ahhhh.

Every six months you guys!  I'm telling you.  It's worth it.  It makes me wanna smile even more.  Yeah, my teeth are crooked, but they're mine.  They're real.  They're fairly white.  And damn, they're strong.  Thank you teeth.  Thanks for not giving out on me.

This is a huge accomplishment.  The dentist was one of my biggest fears all my life.  Right up there with surgery.  Major strides!  Woohoo!

FACE, HAIR & MAKEUP -- I finally bought the supplies I need to keep up with my skin care.  And now that I'm wearing makeup (minerals, but still, it's makeup) I need to be extra conscious of facial care.  I'm still on the hunt for a great facial sunscreen.  One that's oil free.  One that won't clog my sensitive skin's pores.  One I can wear all day, walking dogs.  And one that will block the sun from my face.

I wear hats and I'm buying more.  I'm really understanding the importance of protecting my skin.  Especially my face.  I want to receive necessary vitamins from the sun naturally.  But I do not want a natural sun tan this season.  It's only just the beginning.  I hope to remember this in a month or two or three, when the sun is hottest.

I have an appointment with my hair artiste a week from Tuesday.  I haven't done anything too drastic with my hair in a year.  Last year she gave me a new style that has recently grown right back to same-old-same-old.  Not that I mind.  It's an easy, low maintenance style.  I need that.  If I have to spend more time in addition to washing and conditioning, I won't do it on a daily basis.  But I want a style that's versatile.  You know, for those rare occasions that I will spend time primping.

I'll keep you posted.  My style is in her hands.  She's the genius.  I just show up.  Do you have any idea what a blessing that is?

WORK -- busy busy busy.  I'm at the point where I need to get set up with (and fully understand) this Quicken program I bought, or I could lose potential business.  The busy season is hitting.  I'm getting calls and missing others.  It doesn't help that I was sick some of this week.  But it's all working out the way it needs to.

Gizmo is coming along beautifully.  Healing, listening, learning.  She's starting to calm down around other dogs and people.  We still have a long way to go.  But we've come far in a short time.  I adore her.  [ach. my heart.] 

A huge thanks to my friend Danielle who referred me to Gizmo.  And a special thanks to her friend Dawn (You Lucky Dog) for donating more than enough chew toys, bones and treats to keep Gizzy bizzy!  True animal lovers, by heart. Really, thanks lovelies!

I'm constantly learning.  My work is challenging enough to teach me more about myself than I ever thought.  Patience, strength, communication, abilities, disabilities.  It's humbling.  There's so much room to grow and so much more to learn.  Very exciting.

HOME -- Ah yes, my living situation.  Lots of changes in the air.  Processing, researching, budgeting, weighing every option.  It's all good.  More about that after I get my taxes done this week.

Monday, April 4, 2005

The Flu?

The pictures are from last week's mineral makeup tryout.  They don't really have anything to do with the entry.  I was inspired by Andi's presentation today.  (more later about the fabulous makeup samples - and other goodies - I received from Aileen.  But today, I'm sicky.)

I started feeling not-so-great yesterday.  But I was also ... um ... suffering in my ... womanhood.  Nothing a handful of Advil and a little nap couldn't cure.  But what about these other mysterious symptoms?  I drank some coffee later in the day to relieve my throbbing headache.  Yes, the one that didn't go away.  Now, what to do about this sore throat.  The aches.  The chills.

Well, I woke up this morning, moaning and groaning like a whiny child.  Uh-oh.  Sick.  My doctor wasn't available today so I was scheduled to see someone else.  No one compares to my doctor.  My doc rocks.

So, I waited to see this other guy.  Meanwhile, I weighed in (no news. still 10 extra lbs in my pockets).  Blood pressure and temp were fine.  Back to the waiting room for fifteen minutes.  I was finally called into an exam room, where I waited another ten minutes.  This gave me time to brush up on my Spanish translations of everything that could possibly be wrong with my body that antibiotics cannot cure because it's a virus, not a bacterial infection.

Enter:  Young, cute doctor.  Not quite like that.  Think: propeller hat and scooter.

So Doogie (D) asked me (Me) a few questions about my symptoms. 

Me:  "I'm achy all over, headache, sore throat.  I have chills but it could be period related..." 

D:   Do you work?

Me:  Yes...?

D:   Do you feel too sick to perform your job duties?  [he was perched with pen and paper in hand, ready to write me a get-out-of-work-free note.]

Me:  Uhh...that's all me doc.  A note won't do me any good.  I'm self-employed.  But...thanks?

D:   Hmm...Do you have a cough?

Me:  No.

He checked my ears and throat, then listened to my lungs through three layers of clothing.  Supposedly, good to go in those departments.  I mentioned my sore, dry nose.  But apparently he didn't feel the need to take a look.  [this guy's a mental genius!]

So, No fever: check
Clear lungs: check
Clear throat: check
No cough: check

His assessment was made.

D:   It's the flu.

Me:  Huh?

D:   Yes, and unfortunately it will get worse before it gets better.  Advil or Tylenol for the fever.  It'll help with your cramps too. 

Me:  Uhh...I don't have a fever.  And I didn't say I have cramps.

D:   I could prescribe something with codeine to help you sleep at night, if you have a cough.

Me:,  I still don't have a cough.

D:   Okay then, you sure you don't need a note for work?

Me:,  I'm still self-employed.

D:   Okay then.

Me:  As long as it's not strep or pneumonia.  Some clients were sick with both in the last couple of weeks.  I just wanted to make sure.

D:   Well, it could become strep or pneumonia.

Me:  Okay then.  So...what you're really saying is, you don't know what the hell you're doing.

D:   It was nice meeting you.  Have a nice week.  And take care of yourself.

Me:  Yeah, can I have a refund?

I want my doctor. :(

Saturday, April 2, 2005

Nuts and Bolts

SITTING PRETTY   <-- yeah yeah, click there for a TM music sample.
c. Trish Monaco 1999

Nuh-uh! Yah-huh!

I'm telling ya, I caught a bug.  After posting about that home studio (microphone) the other day, I've been researching about recording software and what's needed to get myself started with a home studio.  Ebrains has given me much food for thought and his suggested links led me to some free software for download.  Nuh-uh!  Yah-huh!

Clearly I don't have what I need to record professional sounding quality. No, I mean, I have no equipment. Nothing. Not even a microphone.  Thanks to my webcam, I have a pinhole mic.  But this recording software is what I've needed to get ideas down.  You know, from my head, to the computer and back to my head.  Just to see if it's remotely close to what it sounds like in my head.

So, this recording is literally the first scratch recording.  Just to see what it's all about.  Not a full song.  Just an effect or two.  And bang.  30 minutes later, I was done.  Nuh-uh!  Yah-huh!

Most of the time was spent trying to figure how to convert a .wav file to an .mp3 file.  I swear, sometimes I amaze even myself.

I recorded on KRISTAL Audio Engine (free download).  It doesn't translate to .mp3.  But it saves to .wav and a few others I didn't recognize.  But a .wav is a large file!  So, I opened the saved copy of the .wav in Musicmatch Jukebox (which I usually don't enjoy...but I like the benefits of easy file conversions) and converted it to .mp3.

Then I uploaded it to my AOL FTP space.

One thing KRISTAL couldn't do (or I just haven't figured it out yet) is an audio fade in/out.  So I opened Audacity the other free software I had downloaded just to see if it would have that function easily available.  Sure enough, it did.  But that's for use in another post.Nuh-uh! Yah-huh!

This is like a raw cut of original material.  Hey, it's a start.  Click here for full song lyrics.

Friday, April 1, 2005

Happy Birthday Ahn-DRAY-uh!

CLICK HERE to visit the witty, quirky, kind-hearted, adorable, brilliant novelist, AndreaKingme -- one of JLand's original journalers.

I treasure our friendship Andi.  Thanks for being born.  Enjoy your day.  Celebrate you!

Seriously, we're way overdue for a YakYak Convention!