Thursday, 17 April 2003

(How I spent My Easter Vacation – Part II)

At three am I was awakened by clicking, like a thousand miniature tapdancers all slightly out of sync. Or maybe it was cracking, like a hundred ice cubes settling into a vat of boiling water. Whatever it was, the cause was the air conditioner. I woke Fuzzy, and made him turn it off and open up the windows, and then we went back to sleep.

I woke again at six am, and heard birdsong. The birds are conducted by the Carpenterias (woodpeckers) who rise before the sun to peck away at anything in their path, including the metal poles that hold up palapas. Such a cozy sound – or not.

My mother came knocking on the casita door, then, and so, leaving Fuzzy to sleep, I went with her to climb the lighthouse stairs to the third floor of her house, which taken up entirely by a palapa-covered deck with a 360-degree view of the Gulf, and the lights on the Malecon of La Paz, and the open desert.

As the light changed the birdsong changed as well, moving through all the different voices in the avian choir. We sat and talked and sipped coffee, and then I went to shower, only to find there was no water pressure, in preparation for a poolside manicure and pedicure ($26 US for both)

After that, I woke Fuzzy, and volunteered to make lunch. Nothing fancy, just tuna and red peppers and grapes, and everything involved lime. We puttered around the house for the rest of the day, took naps, explored the garden, tried to get a picture of Abigail's Lizard. (Abigail is my parents' chihuahua, and she has a 'pet' iguana named Harry who lives in the tree outside the front door.) I took a swim, as well, though I was chased out of the water by a swarm of yellow jackets. My mother swears they only wanted a drink, but I don't believe her.

At sunset, we began to set up for a belated (by one day) Passover party. Not a seder in the traditional sense, but an interesting collection of people, representing Americans, Canadians, Colombians, Israelis, and Mexicans. It was interesting hearing the Israeli take on What Passover Means, as opposed to the North American Catholic and Jewish versions. (The Americans of all religions, and the Canadians, had religious connotations, the Israelis downplayed religious aspects of the holiday).

The dinner reflected the company: Kugel from Yoav, my great-grandfather's meatball recipe from my mother, salad from one of the Candadian women, sugar-free berry cheesecake from one of the other Americans, and Chicken Mole served in Puff Pastry from Maria, my mother's assistant. My contribution was making pitchers of cosmopolitan, which all of the women loved, and the men sneered at, opting for Negro Modelo instead.

The party broke up at a reasonable hour, but eleven at night is LATE when you've been up since six, and we tumbled into bed, and slept almost instantly.

Wednesday, 16 April 2003

We were up before dawn doing all the mad rushing around that we always do before we leave for a trip. We'd hired a car instead of choosing to garage the Forester while we were gone, and while it's not cheap, it's nice being able to nap through the drive to SFO in relative comfort.

Fuzzy kept talking to me, he said, to distract me from the driver's reckless driving. I was trying to sleep, and was completely oblivious, so the talking wasn't appreciated.

The airport was painless. Yes, they made announcements (in English only, how arrogant is that?) that we were on Homeland Security Threat Level Orange, but really, with the exception of the announcements there was no noticable difference in the way anything happened.

We boarded early, and took off early. Yay for Alaska Airlines. The plane was mostly full, but we were in the back, so had three seats for the two of us. A nice bonus. What I love most about flying Alaska to Cabo is that the flight is just long enough to keep you busy from takeoff to landing: first drinks, then lunch (pasta salad and corn chips and scary Carlos V bars, from the Mexican Nestle plant. This chocolate is so bad, I won't even taste it.), then everyone does their immigration cards and customs forms together. “Don't worry about the boxes for your name. There aren't enough boxes. Just write your whole name, just like it is on your passport. You know how the drivers in Mexico never stay in their lanes? Well, we don't stay in the lines,” was the flight attendant's instruction. On the surface it seems racist, but if you've ever driven in Mexico, you know it's /true/.

Then you land. We were early, which annoyed people, so we sat until our projected arrival time until they brought stairs to the plane. Immigration was as painless as ever – sometimes I think they don't even look at your forms, they just like to stamp stuff – and we got lucky at customs and got GREEN lights this time. (If you've never been to Mexico, customs searches entering the country are random – there's a traffic light at the gate, and you press a button. If you get a green light, you pass, if you get a red light, they search your stuff. The last time we were there I had a washing-machine box full of chocolate and tea and pillows and quilts for my parents, and I got the red light, but it was Christmas, so they asked me what was in the box, and believed me when I told them, “Pillows.”)

The taxi driver at the other end of the customs gate tried hard to get us to ride with him, but my parents, and Abigail Maria Sanchez (their neurotic blonde chihuahua) were already there, waiting. We loaded the car, and within minutes were on Highway One driving West from San Jose del Cabo through Cabo San Lucas, and then North on the Pacific road to Rancho Nuevo.

The drive, by the way, is amazing. You're driving on a road that winds over mountains, through gardens of cardon cactus, century plants, and agave, knowing absolutely that this is the living desert, but off to the west is the ocean, right at the edge of the cactus groves, and off to the east, as yet unseen, is the Gulf of California (formerly known as the Sea of Cortez).

* * *

Rancho Nuevo is a development on the Pacific (ocean) side of Baja Sur, and my parents had originally owned a lot there, and planned to build. My mother realized very quickly, however, that she does not have the necessary personality for someone building a house without a place to live, which is how they ended up in El Comitan, but that's another story.

Their friends, Melanie and Gunther, live right on the beach in Rancho Nuevo, in a three story house where all the power is solar. (Because of this, they have a propane-powered refrigerator, well, actually, three of them, because they're tiny), and they greeted us with Pacifico Claro beer (con limon) and guacamole, and then we ate grilled hot dogs and pasta salad with shrimp under their palapa while the sun set over the water. I've exchanged email with Melanie over the years that my parents have lived in Baja, and it was wonderful finally meeting this woman. Gunther and I got along from the start, teasing each other like mad, and it was a wonderful way to begin a vacation.

The drive home over the mountain road through Todos Santos was fine until full dark, and then Chris and I, to spare my mother's sanity, took to 'helping' my stepfather. “No, Ira, there are six cars in the oncoming lane, don't pass.” “Oh, Ira, if it says TOPE: 500m that means there really is a tope coming up.” “Hey, stop for cows!” (For the uninitiated, topes are speed bumps, but they're really tall and triangular. In some places, in an attempt to make it clearer for English speakers they're also labelled “Bumpo”).

We finally made it home, though, and had tea and a snack and went to bed in the casita, after a brief tour. I hadn't seen my parents house /finished/ and it was – is – lovely. But I still think the bed in the casita is too hard. :) (More to come)

I Name Thee…

Lifted from

The following are based on my birth name.

You want to be productive and feel useful, and enjoy helping solve problems. You like to be busy and not waste time. You can be quite inventive and quite curious. You have a diplomatic flair to your nature. Equality and fairness are important to you. You are relatively demonstrative in your affections. You enjoy being stroked verbally and physically. You try to be prudent. You have good business acumen. You have a need to earn money to prove your success to society and must learn the true value of material gains and status. You have much enthusiasm with a driving attitude toward achievement in life.

You have much enthusiasm with a driving attitude toward achievement in life. You can handle details well. You have a methodical mind. You must learn to give 'wise' service and not be a martyr. You need to learn to be expressive. You are a person who cannot tolerate being misunderstood. Your privacy is important to you. You have a rich inner life. You need to learn faith in place of fear. You need to learn to be expressive. You are a person who cannot tolerate being misunderstood.

You have good recuperative abilities and strong mental determination. You are very private and dislike others prying into your affairs. You must learn the lessons of self-worth; learn to love yourself before you can love others. You need to learn to give and receive love for love's sake. You have a need to be assured of affection. You must learn to give 'wise' service and not be a martyr. You have a discriminating nature coupled with perseverance and family pride. You need to learn to give and receive love for love's sake. You have a need to be assured of affection. You need to learn to be expressive. You are a person who cannot tolerate being misunderstood. You must learn to give 'wise' service and not be a martyr. You have a need to earn money to prove your success to society and must learn the true value of material gains and status. You need to learn faith in place of fear.

But since I succumbed to wanting a name that would fit on forms, and be easier to spell, here's the result for my married name, as well (first and middle don't change).

You have a tendency to resist change. Don't miss opportunities for growth. You have a love of creature comforts, but must learn to handle money. You have a need to be up front. You enjoy a challenge. You can take thought-directed actions. You need to learn faith in place of fear. You need to learn to be expressive. You are a person who cannot tolerate being misunderstood. You must learn the lessons of self-worth; learn to love yourself before you can love others. You must learn the lessons of self-worth; learn to love yourself before you can love others.

And if you want to do your own name, you can go here


This has nothing to do with the film.

This has everything to do with not being able to sleep. Alright, yes, its's after 6:30 in the morning, but I'm spoiled, I don't start work til ten, I never get up this early.

I woke at 6:17, for no real reason, as I've been doing almost every morning for the last month, no matter how late I go to bed. It's a completely random time, and yet, every morning, that's what the clock says.

Cleo pushed me into semi-wakefulness at 5:47, also, because she saw or smelled or heard, or dreamed she saw, smelled, or heard, a cat within a mile of the house. More and more, we think she thinks she's a Staffy (Staffordshire Bull Terrier), at least in part, despite her being only 22 pounds, because she ACTS just like one. And she makes the funniest noises when she's on Patrol, grumbling and warbling to herself as she moves from window to window and then does circuits around the yard. At least, they're cute at more reasonable hours.

So it's early, and I could start the day – take a shower, make coffee, be productive. OR, I could crawl back into bed until nine.

I feel all groggy and disoriented.
Guess which option wins :)

*sigh* Tuesday

I haven't been posting much. I've been reading what everyone else is writing, but not posting much, and I feel like a bad houseguest who uses the sheets and doesn't even bother to strip the bed before she leaves.

Thursday, I bought two (only two) books: Cerulean Sins and The Nanny Diaries. By bedtime Thursday night, I was only 1/3 away from finishing the first.

Friday, I bought a new keyboard – a natural one, which used to be my usual, and then it wasn't. I'm still in the stage of getting used to it, where it feels like I'm typing on a basketball. I also bought one of those cute little USB drive / keychain thingies. Well, mine's actually a necklace, not a keychain. But you know what I mean. Just as I was enamoured with the thought of storing data on a stick of gum, I am also intrigued by having 128 MB of storage in something that looks like a cigarette lighter.

Saturday: Finished Cerulean Sins, puttered around the house, went with Fuzzy to Pixel USA to get a new fan for his old system,bought flowers, had a massage. I still ache from the accupressure on my shoulders and arm, and my fingers are still fuzzy, but I don't feel as tight. Which is good. She said if I'm diligent about stretching and resting from keyboard use, and keeping up with the massage, I should be able to feel my fingers by the end of summer. Also good.

Sunday: I finished The Nanny Diaries and mostly puttered. I've been fatigued to the point of it not being funny lately, and I can't figure out why. So I'm trying to boost electrolytes, and drink more water, but anyone who knows me also knows that too much water makes me sick.

Monday: Birthday at the office for CL. Brought cake. We were all in grumpy bitchy crabby moods, and we all bailed around 4:00. Today, I plan to leave as soon as my files are done. I don't have a lot.

I've been scarce on the net because my hand hurts and I'm tired, and I don't want to inflict my mood on other people unless I have no other choice.

Blatant Advertising

(Filched from )

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Telgar lies blanketed with winter snow, and storms rage just beyond — for all that this provides respite from Threadfall. Yet Nimiriel's gold Daelyth shows signs of being ready to rise, and may well take to the skies any day, now. Soon, then, there will be eggs hardening upon Telgar's sands, and Searchriders bringing worthy Candidates back to the Weyr.

We attempt to make Telgar an open and inviting venue for fun, interesting, and involved roleplay, with an emphasis on cooperation and where everyone from the Senior Weyrwoman to the lowliest drudge is made to feel important and welcomed. Anyone can participate in or help organize and run stories of all stripes, and we value constructive criticism to help make Telgar a better place. We're particularly enthusiastic about Search, as it represents an opportunity for us to bring new riders into the fold; you can take a look here to get an idea of the kind of effort we put into making each hatching, indeed each dragon, special. Females can impress to any color dragon save bronze, and males to any color dragon save gold. Leadership positions are awarded according to merit rather than politics, and with the exception of Weyrwoman and Weyrleader, are open to any rider.
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