Category: Blather

Coffee good

I haven’t been sleeping much lately. Not because I’m still all broody from my last post though. No, I’m good. Holidays can be wonderful things, but they can also make you a bit sad, but it’s only now and then. No, I’m not sleeping much due to excessive elation.

I seem to have found myself in a situation I never expected to be in. I wasn’t aiming for it, it just happened. In fact, I was just minding my own business, going about my days, doing my thing. You know how it is. And then wham! Everything flips, life changes, and suddenly all things are different. All things are better. The days seem brighter, things that should make you angry just don’t (I’m looking at you kiddo and your first warning from the cops who pulled you over tonight), food tastes better and so help me, coffee is the nectar of the gods.

Ahhh I wish I could go into details, but now isn’t the time. I am happy. Happier than I thought I could ever be, and before I make everyone reading this throw up, I will shut up πŸ™‚ I just wanted to write it down so I can look back one day and remember this amazing feeling.


I don’t know why, but this year seems particularly tough as far as getting through family-type events. I miss my mom. I alternately miss her and I’m terribly afraid that I’m going to die unexpectedly young. I’ve never talked about that before but I’m trying a new thing where I write without editing myself. So whatever pours out of my head is what’s getting published here.

This is what I think about when I’m sitting in a quiet house late in the evening. Not all the time of course, but this time of year, it seems to creep up. It’s the holidays. I love them and I hate them. Christmas for me, growing up, was always – always – about being with my family and all of our silly little traditions. Dad would let my sister and I open one present on Christmas eve, but the rest were for Christmas morning. We’d have a nice dinner xmas eve (in later years this somehow included oyster stew which I never understood) and then I’d spend a sleepless night waiting for the earliest possible moment when I could wake up the parents and see what “Santa” brought.

Santa brought pressies for us kids until we were 18 πŸ˜‰

Don’t get me wrong, presents were nice, but what I loved most was Christmas morning. The smell of coffee going, and mom would be frying up bacon and making french toast. We’d all just hang out in our PJs and sit around the tree and slowly savour taking turns opening gifts. It lasted for hours and it was all of us, the dog and the cat just hanging, laughing and being a family. Dad would present mom with her annual gifts of her favourite perfume and the most current copy of Writer’s Market (she was always trying to sell her stories to magazines etc.)

After the gifting stuff was done, Kelly and I would spend the day playing with the new stuff or modeling the new clothes. Maybe we’d see friends, or if extended family was in town we’d be getting ready for you usual traditional xmas day dinner.

I miss this terribly. I never worried or thought about death much growing up. Never had to face it. I lost pets of course, a couple of them quite tragically. But that doesn’t prepare you for losing your parents. The first funeral I ever went to in my whole life was my mother’s. Mom wouldn’t have any kind of service for Dad when he died. She just couldn’t face it. They had the Big Love, forever kind of stuff and losing him changed her. She never so much as dated after he died. And she died alone. She had a stupid pulmonary embolism that killed her on the floor in her living room and if she hadn’t been able to make it to the phone to at least dial 911, she would have lain there all day until one of us stopped by to visit.

I don’t know where I’m going with this. Not sure I had a point. Just that it feels like the holidays will be harder than usual this year and I’m not sure why. There are people who are worse off than I am – by far. I shouldn’t bitch. I have people who love me and whom I love. Maybe thinking about that will get me through it. And I will be fine during the brunch my Gran is planning and during the trip we hope to make to Lincoln soon to see Jo and the gang there. I’m sure this is just melancholy brooding. It happens sometimes.

So I may hate Christmas for making me feel like this and love it for the times I got to spend happily laughing away with Mom and Dad and Kelly. It’s not like I’d rather not celebrate the whole ‘being with those you love’ aspect of Christmas. I have Shannon, and family to make more good memories with. And it will be fine.

And I should go to bed now.


The thing to do today, apart from consume turkey/tofurkey and sweet pickles, is to somehow acknowledge the things you’re thankful for as well as be with people you love.

This is me doing the acknowledge thing.

I’m thankful for my beautiful daughter.Β  Every day she surprises and delights me. I love the relationship we have, and I’m eternally grateful she isn’t a thing like I was as a teen πŸ™‚ Instead, she’s got a sensible head on her shouldersΒ  and she’s waaaaay better at math. I love you kid. You are stunning.

I’m incredible lucky – and fully acknowledge this fact – to have such a cool family. From my dad and his awesome “sweetie” and newly acquired sisters, to my Aunty Jo and Uncle Tom and their amazing kids, Gunter and Hannah and their respective SO’s to my wonderful grandparents, sister and brother-in-law, and of course the cool cousins. It wasn’t so long ago when I was losing my family, and we were so few. It hurt so much.

Very grateful to have a job I love that gives me room to learn and experiment and grow. And I’m extremely grateful to still have this job in these rough times. And I’m lucky to be surrounded with a lot of amazing coworkers. Oh yes, also thankful for Jeans day on Fridays πŸ™‚

The roof over the head and food in bellies, also quite glad to have.

My friends, old and very new, you mean the world to me and I love you all.

And I’d be silly if I didn’t mention the intertubes. Without it, I wouldn’t have some of the stuff mentioned above πŸ™‚

Happy Thanksgiving.


I’m sitting in Galaxy laundry on a Sunday morning doing a hated chore but it must be done because I’m out of knickers πŸ™‚

Life is a funny thing really. A neverending tumult of experiences and joys. Enormous highs and terrible lows and I seem to have encountered it all in the past few weeks alone. I wouldn’t trade any of it for mundanity (not sure that’s actually a word, hehe.)

I see a former coworker putting her stuff in the dryer. She was a victim of layoffs. I didn’t know her, but still, awkward.

Damn forgot to put fabric softener in.

Well it’s on final spin, so signing off.

I Touch rocks

So I’m writing this on a teeny iTouch keyboard. It’s not too bad apart from needing twiglike fingers.

I never gave the Touch a second thought because I thought it was mostly just an organizer, and I learned my lesson with the palm pilot, in that I knew I wouldn’t use it much.

But then a coworker told me what this sucker can do. Well then I was a goner. So happy Xmas and very early bday to me πŸ™‚

Very happy camper.

California ’08

I was trying to think of the best way to approach the recounting of our trip to California to see my baby sister get married. Had trouble figuring out how to keep myself from blathering for pages of scroll πŸ™‚ Decided to take my tweets from the trip and repost them here and maybe expand a bit on some of them. So off we go! (Tweets in italics):

In columbus nebraska. Had lovely soak in hot tub. Bedtime now. Up at 2:30am. Ugh.

It’s stupid o’clock and we’re up and getting ready for the drive to Omaha. Wheeeee!

On shuttle to airport. Only got a little lost πŸ™‚ next stop, minneapolis.

Sitting in seat 9c flight 512 on northwest. Full bloody flight for 7am on a thursday in october.

Fog fog fog. Stuck in plane on runway til fog clears. Got exit row. Yay legroom!

I, and others, found it quite ironic that the very beginning of our trip was met with fog in Omaha, Nebraska considering our destination was known for its daily fog.

Landed an hour late in minneapolis. Ah well. It’s an adventure!

Bad news: stuck in minneapolis for 7 hours. Good news: flying first class on next flight. Woot!

And let me tell you, first class is the only way to fly. Thanks Paris! – Harp player at minn. Airport – Ipod vending machine.

Sitting in rock bottom brewery drinking mocha and iced tea. Killing time. Soooo sleepy.

Contemplating $15 ten minute massage at salon outside brewpub. Am sore from carrying carryons.

Minneapolis isn’t a bad airport to get stuck in for several hours. There’s tons of shopping, restaurants, bookshops, and people-watching to be had. The time passed quickly really and I don’t think any of us were all that grumpy about being stuck there.

Two hours to go til we board. Feel like such a rube since it’s been so long since I’ve flown anywhere. Looking @ everything with wide eyes.

And I did feel like a hick. It’s been years since I’ve flown anywhere (since before 9/11 in fact.) so it was all new to me – security was exactly the hassle I was expecting, and everything just felt “different.”

Heading down to wait at the gate in a mo. Passed some monks earlier. I think they were monks anyway. Could have been Jedis.

I only saw them from behind, so who knows! – First first class ticket ever. I’m such a rube.

“Rube” was my word du jour I guess. – Cop segueway thing. Too busy laughing at cop.

I’m still giggling at this thing. I can imagine being chased down the mall area with its little siren and lights a-flashing. I’d get caught so easily because i wouldn’t be able to stop laughing at the spectacle.

First class = niiiiiice so far. Just got seated. Feel rather elite but wishing I was dressed better.

Yeah I dressed for comfort. Wishing I’d worn sexy ballcap and shades so I could pretend I was trying to be incognito.

Am currently on top of the clouds

And I took lots of pictures of it. You’d think I’d never seen the clouds from this side before. Yeesh.

Last tweet was ages ago actually. No cell service at 32,000 feet. Just landed at san jose.

On the way to monterey. Big drama. Fire evac at wedding site. Sister a wreck. Need to get to hen party to see just how bad it all …

I kept getting texts from people saying Kelly was just a wreck because the forecast was for rain, and now a fire threatened to close Point 16. So she was at her Hen party at the bar at the Hyatt (Knuckles was the name I believe) getting very very drunk.

Talked to sis just now. She is very very drunk. Which is good because she’s a happy drunk. Should be most amusing til she sobers up.

Kelly is very funny to observe when she’s drunk. It doesn’t happen often πŸ˜‰ But when it does, pop some popcorn, sit back and watch the show. When I spoke to her she made a point of telling me she had a balloon tied to her ass. Draw your own conclusions. – Bride to be kelly πŸ™‚

And here she is πŸ™‚ Her t-shirt says “I do…” Hehe. Partcularly love the ‘…’ part of it.

Didn’t sleep well. still tired. heading for brekkie with Meechie soon. Then manicures with sis, then rehearsal dinner.

We had to stay at my friend Meechie’s house the first night. It just wasn’t fun. I’ll leave it at that.

Having weird spinach shroom egg hamb. Thing for brek. Heading to del monte mall next. Meechie took off to deal with his bf (much drama) …

At monterey bus plaza, heading to mall. Wheeeeee.

Taking a break at mall before meeting sis for manis. Hoping not to get cut this time. Not fond of getting manicures.

And after this manicure, I’ve decided I’m just not girly enough to enjoy this sort of thing. Hadn’t done a professional manicure since my days in Cosmetology school years ago, and when I went with Aunty Jo and Miss C, the manicurist left me bleeding and sore. This time my manicurist was too bossy for my tastes. So, don’t think I like this particular girl bonding thing. – At Gianni’s pizza for rehearsal dinner.

Ahhh Gianni’s. We used to go there often when we lived in Monterey. I have good memories, and now I have one more. There was an old guy playing the accordion for tips, good pizza, LOTS of people turned out to wish the bride and groom luck. It was a good night. We played the recording of Grampa giving them a little toast (had trouble with the iHome thing, but they got to hear it eventually :)) and I think that made them happy.

Wedding day! Pouring rain atm. Hopefully will end this morning. My god. My baby sis is getting married. sniffle.

Sniffle indeed. Martin and Debbie (our gracious and lovely family friends who we were staying with) were stressing bigtime over the weather, but Kelly had adopted an ‘Eh. It’s too late to worry about it now’ attitude, truly earning her ‘Bride-chilla’ nickname.

Bride drying hair and very cheerful despite waking up to rain. She looks beautiful.

Bride is coiffed and off to big sur. Intermittent rain, but she’s had some bailey’s.

Buses about to leave now that the wine has arrived. Groom is nervous. It’s so cute.

Groom board and away we go! Looking forward to windy hwy 1 for next 90 minutes.

And that was the last of my tweets until we returned to Monterey. There was no cell service waaaaay out at Point 16. But it was a beautiful wedding. The weather cleared up just in time and the day turned out to be gorgeous (rainbow included) and all the worry was for nothing. The bride and groom had their own vows. Matty said he’s listened to thousands of love songs but now he “gets” them, and he just melted hearts throughout the crowd with his sweet words to Kelly. Kelly, in true Kelly style, whipped her vows out of her cleavage, and proceeded to tell Matty that she had nothing left to wish for now that she’d found him. I’m paraphrasing of course, it was much more romantic and I have it all on video, but my favourite line from her vows was that she was glad to find someone who shared her love of ghost-themed TV shows πŸ™‚ That’s so Kelly.

Martin and Debbie walked my sister down the aisle to Bobby Darin’s “Beyond the Sea” and the newlyweds walked back up the aisle to their song, “Sh-boom” by The Chords. Their first dance together as a married couple was “Never Let Go” by Tom Waits to which they waltzed, followed by “California Love” by 2Pac. What a mix! It was great. The whole rest of the day was a mix of laughter, tears, beautiful toasts, good company and awesome music. Kelly’s Scottish contingent (a few wore their kilts and man, there is nothing hotter than a guy in a kilt) even got a bunch of folks to try their hand at some traditional Scottish dancing.

Negotiating hwy 1 on a bus full of very drunk scots – kinda scary fun πŸ™‚

The bus ride back was fun. We had the Scots on our bus and they sang the whole way back – everything from old Scottish tunes to Queen to the Hokey Pokey. All in good fun and I loved it – especially when they got around to the Proclaimers, “500 miles” when we were all (mostly) doing the ‘Duh-duh-dun-duh’ bit. Only damper was the tool sitting across from us who spent most of the trip making fun of them. Wanted to smack his rude ass. Sorry Kelly, the guy was like the dumb jocks in high school who just don’t get it.

Heading back to monterey on bus. Wedding was spectacular. Weather perfect. Cried like a girl.

At the Hyatt now. Not sure what the plan is. Happy couple off to their suite to… You know πŸ˜‰ party in bar but am knackered.

And with that tweet, we headed back to Martin and Debbie’s to crash.

Sitting in hyatt lobby wondering where the hell the bride is.

My cousin told us we’d either have to go back to San Jose with them on Sunday or find our own way back there after the last party at Debbie’s sister’s house in Carmel. They had their own plans to meet friends and visit brewpubs and stuff and couldn’t stick around the bay for a late party. So, alas, we had to head back with them. But I wanted to say goodbye to Kelly (and get my ring back, hehe. Her something borrowed was Mom’s wedding ring which I always wear. She put it together with Dad’s wedding ring and a locket on a chain and wore it during the ceremony. Her something old was that locket, something new was the dress and veil, something borrowed was mom’s ring, and something blue was a pair of beautiful sapphire earrings Matty had given her for Christmas one year.)

Currently in Peter B’s brewpub in monterey having lunch before chillaxing in san jose.

At this point we realized Shannon had left her swimsuit in Nebraska on the night we stayed at cousin’s house and hot tubbed before leaving for Cali.

Apparently in sunny california you can’t find a freaking swimsuit for sale anywhere in october.

And we never did find a damn suit. Ended up borrowing one from Rick and Paris’s friend Choo. And then my veggie burger I ate in Monterey decided to play silly buggers with my stomach.

Sitting in mariott, having somee kind of food poisoning issue. Feel awful. Sux, wanted to go swimming. Stuck in room now.

Bed. still feeling ill. Will never eat a veggie burger with eggplant, zucchini and portobello shrooms again.

I came to the conclusion that it was the eggplant. I vaguely remembered the same reaction to it last time i cooked with it. Which totally sucks because I love eggplant. but I was starting to feel better by the time I went to bed. Was able to soak in the hot tub for a bit too. – The poooool. So enticing.

feeling better today thank goodness. On to Winchester Mystery house now πŸ™‚ – Here we are at winchester mystery house – Winchester gingerbread house πŸ™‚

I’ve been to the Winchester many times but Shannon hadn’t, so it was a lot of fun to take her on the tour (man have the prices gone up for it though. Ugh.) She enjoyed it and I dug the nostalgic-ness of it πŸ™‚

Sitting in salon so shannon can go home with “California highlights.”

Shannon was bound and determined to come home from California with her hair highlighted. Originally she wanted Meechie to do it, but it didn’t work out, so we ended up at some random salon we passed in San Jose and she got her California highlights πŸ™‚ Which meant no more getting her hair wet in the pool for the rest of the trip. “Worth it” she says.

Thought highlights would take longer, but guess not. Now onto ihop, then will get totally lost going back to hotel.

Ok, I have never been to an IHOP. I know, I know weird eh? So earlier in the day when we were picking up the rental car we passed one, so after the highlights, we decided to try one out. It was delicious.

At an ihop. Funnily enough, i’ve never been to one of these before. Next up: seeing if there is a benihana’s here.

There is no Benihana’s within “Stephanie won’t get lost” distance of the Mariott by the airport. Shannon disappointed. – My rental car is so red it hurts.

At a mall. Westfield I think. No Benihana in SJ. Shannon disappointed.

Totally got the hardsell from hair flattener salesman. 200 bucks for flatiron?? Uh how about, no.

Ok, dude. This guy spent half an hour trying to sell me a $200 hair flattener. He took my hesitation as me trying to haggle when in actuality I was trying to think of a polite way to get out of the situation. I can’t just be rude no matter how much I may want to. Admittedly, it was a pretty spiffy flattener and he did amazing things with it to Shannon’s hair. But $200?? I’m from Nebraska dude, but I’m not stupid. Went to a Sally’s when we got back, and got the same sort of flattener for 40 bucks and it does everything his magic one did. Suck it Mr. ‘Look at me, I’m a millionaire from selling these.’ Pfft. – For @TongaLH πŸ™‚

Had to take a piccy of Tonga’s Mecca πŸ™‚ And then had to go in and load up on free samples. We got out of the gigantic mall with a small bag of See’s candy, Sephora free samples and that’s it. I’m good.

The last time i was in a denny’s was 7 yrs ago. In one now. They STILL have moons over my hammy.

We were starving after the mall, so we hit a nearby Denny’s. We don’t have Denny’s here in my town, but the one in Monterey used to be my hangout back in high school, so I have fond memories of Denny’s.

@Cascata Can’t believe you’re in Cali and ordered chicken fried steak. Weirdo.

*shakes her head* (Cascata is Shannon btw.)

Off to brekkie, then heading into Monterey again to go to Cannery Row and Aquarium, then BEACHTIME! Woohoo!

There are french ppl behind me and kid in tix line at aquarium. We comprends! C’est fantastique! – Manta rays at MB Aquarium – God i missed this.

We really enjoyed the aquarium. It gets bigger and better every visit. Best part – Otters. We stopped in a tourist trap little shop selling tourist crap tshirts etc. and we ended up getting a couple hoodies and a cute little soft otter stuffed animal. Then we meandered down Cannery Row and I marvelled at the changes. Oscar Hossenfelder’s and the full-size carousel inside is gone. Now it’s a bloody IMAX. The historical Doc Rickett’s actual lab is dwarfed by a big hotel. But KNRY (where my mom used to work) and the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory are still there πŸ™‚

Getting lunch at the carls jr. That i had my first car accident at when i was 16. Hehe.

Ugh. I was going through the drive-thru not long after I got my license and was counting out my money and didn’t realize the car was moving. i squished the headlight against a wooden post and did over $1000 worth of damage going around 3mph. Yeah, I was grounded. – At Asilomar beach. So awesome.

Asilomar is so great for sitting and absorbing the beauty and wildness of the Pacific ocean. It’s not so great for walking barefoot as the sand is like gravel. On the plus side, we got great pedicures walking from the beach to the car.

I needed a place to cavort in the waves a little on this trip because I love the beach. Living in Nebraska made me appreciate something I took advantage of when it was nearby. So I couldn’t go home without sticking my feet in the water. So we headed to Seaside Beach, near my old high school, where I knew the sand was softer. There, we did our cavorting and had a lovely old time. Then it was time to head back to San Jose and turn in the rental car.

Watched debate at Red Brick Pizza by hotel. Decided hot tub for achy feet sounded good. Now enjoying last of See’s Candy. Mmmmm.

Waking up. Last morning in Cali *sigh*. For some reason, the thought of going back to Nebraska is utterly depressing.

God, was it ever.

Leaving san jose. Bye california! I’ll miss you!

*sigh* And I do.

At minneapolis. Not for 8 hours this time πŸ™‚ home soon. Looking forward to seeing Spooky. 3 hr drive from omaha 1st. – Gate 16 at minn. Last trip twitpic cos omaha is boring.

Home sweet home. Cat purring. Unpacking can wait. Good to be home, but still wishing I was back in California.

And that was it. I hate that feeling after a lovely vacation when you’ve just arrived home but you weren’t quite ready to end the good times and get back to your daily life. Yeah it was good to see Spooky, and show off pics and videos, play with souvenirs and all that. But I had such a great time out there. I wish I was still there.

Late night sleepy post

So I now have a decent pair of glasses. I just got them today and couldn’t wait to wear them. Normally, I hate wearing glasses. but after several years of just wearing contacts, sometimes I just don’t want to mess with them. I have wretched vision, so either contacts or glasses are a necessity. After returning from the gym tonight (which is going smashingly btw. Love the treadmills and discovered I’m kind of good at racquetball.) I put on the new specs.

And I remembered why I don’t like wearing them. My eyes feel tired and heavy. Contact wearers you know what I mean. Putting contacts in kind of wakes you up. A nice cold plop of liquid on the old eyeballs and you feel kind of refreshed and ready to go. At least I do anyway. Without them I feel sleepy. It’s weird.

But I’m going to wear them to work tomorrow just for the novelty of it. But if I end up dozing in the afternoon, I’m blaming the specs.

What a fascinating post this is! πŸ™‚ I didn’t have a point to it really. I’m worn out after a crap day at work and exercise my body isn’t used to yet, so I’m just sort of freeform rambling. It’s getting late now though so I’d better put this post out of its misery and go to bed. Night!