Wednesday, November 26, 2008

getting ready for Turkey Day

Our plans for the loooong weekend are coming together as I type this. So far, things are looking good! I'll be having some kind of tofu/veggie thing from Mamasans for lunch momentarily. Tomorrow, we'll be joining Ryan's and my parents for a feast up in Irondequoit, followed by an impromptu gathering in the evening at our house. Friday might entail some birding for lifers at Durand (we'll be looking for white-winged crossbills). I will NOT be shopping on Friday. Saturday I will be getting the hair that is dangerously nearing my waist-line CUT OFF. Finally. Sunday, Ryan and I will be enjoying The Nutcracker. As in, the ballet.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Frigid Cemetery

For today's Skywatch Friday post, I would like to share with you a photo that I took last Winter during a visit to Mt. Hope Cemetery. It's one of my favorites. I know it's an old photo and some of you may have seen it before because I'm sure I posted it soon after I took it. It effectively captures the mood I'm feeling today. It's very cold and windy outside, and the sun has yet to make an appearance. But, I'm optimistic that the weekend will be a little better.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

less stress but not stress-less

Yep. It's getting to be that time of year again. The time when I typically want to bury myself under my down comforter and not come out until December 26th.

As a loyal and faithful (and paid) church musician, my time in the next few weeks will be spent furiously coordinating extra rehearsals, re-arranging music because volunteers have suddenly decided they are too busy to come to rehearsals, and general peace-keeping among those who think that I, as the Music Director, am not focusing my attention where they think it ought to be focused.

I calculated that I've already worked a total of 48 hours this week, as of today, between my church duties and my 8-to-5 paralegal gig. By Saturday I'll be well over 50. Which, to me, is a lot. However (and that is a big 'however'), for some reason, this year seems a lot less hectic than years past. Of course, I haven't hit the 4-rehearsals-a-week mode yet. That doesn't come until the week after Thanksgiving. But, still, I'm in a much more calm state of mind today. Perhaps it's because I have planned out my time better this year. Or, perhaps it's because of the Yoga stretches I've been trying to do each night and the Prem Joshua tunes I've been listening to at my desk all day long. It's hard to say.

I've been mostly relaxed about everything, but I do want to let loose a few gripes. Here are some of the things which have been really irritating me lately:

1. Tailgaters. Seriously, people. I can only drive as fast as the person in front of me. Back off.
2. People who talk to me like I'm stupid. And it's not really condescension. It's stupid people talking to me as if my IQ, like theirs, is below room temperature.
3. Junk mail. It is SUCH a waste.
4. Our cold house. It's freezing. Especially the toilet seat.
5. I somehow expect everyone to be patient and uber-flexible with me, when I, myself, need to work on these traits. I'm not good about being go-with-the-flow. I'll keep trying.

Now, here are the things that are making me smile lately:

1. The Welcoming Committee. That would be the kitties greeting me at the door with their excited 'meows' (read: 'feed me') when I come home from work. That would also be Ryan waiting with a hello kiss and the glass of wine he already has poured for me.
2. Crocheting. The blanket I've been working on for over a year is almost done. I'm also working on a shawl and a butt-warmer to put over the c-c-c-cold leather seat in my....
3. car! Now that my old one finally has been put to rest, I no longer have to worry about making it to work safely every morning.
4. Having everything I need. A roof over my head, good food to eat, a healthy, loving relationship, two good jobs, health-care coverage, a supportive family, the freedom to do and say whatever I want, and many other blessings.

Pictures to come soon. Maybe.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Questionable Music Purchases

Thanks to Julia for tagging me on this one.....

These are really bad.

Pre-18 years old (Go ahead and laugh, I give you my full permission):
1. Whitney Houston: Whitney Houston, released in 1985 (I got this with my hard-earned baby-sitting cash just for the song How Will I Know?)
2. Huey Lewis and the News: Fore!, released in 1986
3. Clint Black: Killin' Time, released in 1990 (Don't even ask. I was going through a brooding, teen-angst period, and for some reason, country music was a good outlet at the time.)
4. I also remember purchasing at least one or two Weird Al Yankovic albums, but I don't remember which ones.

I need to spend some time thinking about the embarrassing music I've purchased as an adult. Perhaps I'll have to do a Part-2 post.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Skywatch Friday - 11/7/08

Montezuma NWR is still lovely on the cloudiest, dreariest of days.

Be sure to visit Skywatch for more cool photos!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

my post-election post

Watching the returns come in on Tuesday was exhilarating. Ryan and I sat on the couch in front of the laptop, refreshing CNN every 30 seconds or so. Around 9:00 p.m., I turned on the little TV and we watched everything unfold. We were nervous until Obama clinched California, and then we started to realize what was actually happening.

We had voted earlier that evening. Our polling place is a small neighborhood church right around the corner from our house, within walking distance. It was a gorgeous, balmy evening, and on the way home I remarked how I had just voted for our next President.

Later, as we were watching Obama's victory speech, Ryan and I both choked up and got a little teary. We were deeply moved by his words. Ryan commented that he hoped this historically important day would help this country begin healing from the 400 year old rift that has been the cause of so much pain for so many people.

In the few days since the election, I've had some heated arguments with my co-workers. We're a divided office and I am often out-numbered. The card-carrying Republicans I work with are not happy about the election results. In fact, they think this is the beginning of the end of the world, acting as if Armageddon is inevitable and right around the corner.

Now, my office is pretty laid back. It's a small office of about 10 people or so, and we often call ourselves a dysfunctional family. Everyone is in everyone else's business, and yes, we call ourselves friends. But some topics around the office are definitely bones of contention. Politics is one of them. In the last two days, I've been called Socialist, Communist, lazy, and ignorant, among other things.


My response to that was "walk a mile in my shoes and then make a judgment call."

Politics can do nasty things to people, but in the last several months it has also ignited a certain fire. My greatest hope, however, is that once people get over themselves, and once Obama starts implementing the great ideas he's told us about, we'll all be better off.