Thursday, July 28, 2005

More geek knitting

This site lists lots and lots of fun geek knitting. I'm absolutely going to learn how to double knit so that I can make that tectonics scarf.

ETA: The other day Marie asked our new coworker if she wanted to join the needlework group. Said new coworker burst out laughing. "I'm not a domestic person," she said, among other things. This part struck me because I don't think knitting is really domestic, any more than woodcarving is. Nobody's household depends on knitting for clothing. It's just a hobby. Apparently shopping and manicures are more her thing. Different strokes (of the needles or polish brush, respectively, I guess).

So much for that idea.

The Big Over Easy is out. And I was going to swear off bookstores for a while. Well, darn. Guess I'd better fish that Books & Co 10% off coupon out of the recycle bin.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

The old man is getting his rest at last.

It's raiiiining, it's pouuuuuring. I thought on my way into work this morning about how many different words I know for 'raining': misting, sprinkling, drizzling, showering, storming, blustering, blatting, pouring. Whatever word you use, it's lovely. It's twenty degrees cooler (still the same slightly-too-cold temperature inside, though) and gray and the perfect day to FINISH A TRANSCRIPTION and sit in front of a movie I've seen a dozen times before and knit or even work on my scrapbook. Not that I will, or not until evening, anyway; I've got actual work (besides the transcription, I mean) that will be moderately interesting for a project that I can't talk about (which always adds interest, anyway) and that proposal to rewrite whenever I get the time, so no slacking off for me. When I've got real work to do I don't feel so much like slacking off, anyway. I read a link this morning about when to quit your job. Yeah.

I got another e-mail from the one company that wanted to know my interview availability a month ago. This e-mail was from the HR department, and wanted to know only if I was interestd in relocating. I couldn't think of anything else to add, so I sent back an e-mail just saying, basically, "Yes." We'll see if this produces anything. My current company took about ten months to decide they wanted to hire me, you know. It took them about a month for some of my coworkers. Admittedly it turns out perhaps they were right to be hesitant, but still.

I finished two Harry Potter bookscarves last night minus the fringe for one. They're cute. I won't have enough red yarn for a third, so Marie will have to go without. And I started Eric's DNA scarf, altered to have ten bonds per turn rather than eight, made of the yarn E brought back from Germany expressly for me to do this. It's black sport-weight microspun, nice and soft but too small to do this scarf properly. I'm doubling it but I'm afraid it'll be too soft and textured to show the cables well. We'll see. When I'm done I'll use any yarn left over to make a Marvin doll. In the meantime I wish I'd quit thinking about my to-do list so much. Maybe I should just throw out all the yarn and fabric I have and start over. Or not start over, and do things like weed my yard and enjoy the rain.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

It's not the heat getting to me, because the office is air-conditioned.

Here's part of a nice little note I just got: "At this point you are overqualified for what my client has in mind." Don't be too sure, lady.

My soul hurts. I'm wondering why. Possibly, and even probably, because of this thing with work where I'm feeling I'm probably doing lousy work and people are only giving me work out of pity or duty and I don't want to make the changes I was told I'd have to make in order to be a shiny exemplary employee (smile more, ingratiate more, be smarter, be male) (well, okay, I couldn't make that last change anyway, or not without expensive procedures I have no interest in undergoing). I'm merely hoping to find another job before they get terminally tired of me.

I was thinking idly about stay-at-home-momdom, and whether I'd enjoy it. I might or I might not--I don't think I'll know until I actually have children--but right now if I went for it, assuming I could, it would only be because I'm giving up on work. I'm twenty-five. That would be ridiculous.

In happier parts of my brain, I'm thinking of making Harry Potter scarf bookmarks for my needlework group coworkers. I still have leftover yarn from the scarf I made Cody last Christmas (there has been no mention of it, ever; I suspect it's in the back of his closet) so instead of using floss and tiny needles (that I don't have; but I betcha toothpicks would work) I'll just use that yarn. Everyone in the group except Marie is a fan. Lucy and I had a long conversation about it the other day and Ophelia borrowed the book last Thursday and returned it yesterday morning. Well, Annika probably isn't, but she's been out and won't be at the next one either, and Peggy may never come. So that's, um, close enough, right? They'll take miniscule amounts of time and it'll be nice to finish something. I have that tremendous long list of things I want to finish. Maybe that's another reason I'm feeling like this. Too much goal orientation. Or possibly too much damned stuff. Or too little damned brain. Or something.

Dear coworkers: I understand you like fantasy baseball, but if you must discuss it for fifteen minutes or longer,

please get out of my doorway.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Same old new things every day.

Well, shame isn't working, and it's not really any fun at the moment, so I'm giving up on Shoelace for the time being. I'll finish the PV edits--I really do have to do those--instead. And work on the Petra outline. And figure out what quilts I'll be doing until the end of the year. I started on the templates for WUALF and the Penrose quilt last night, but I won't be finishing the latter this year. And I have one definite Christmas project. That leaves a space of about two months to do a quilt for my other aunt, but only if they actually, you know, want one; for this big a project I'm thinking I'm going to ask first. And if they only want a lap quilt rather than a bed quilt it would be much easier, and more doable in two months. I can, but I'm not sure I want to. Or I can make one for me that'll actually cover my bed. What do people who don't have any hobbies do in their spare time? Probably take care of the yard. I didn't. I'll try to this week, though, as I ought to have the grass cut again sometime soon. I love deep summer when the grass doesn't grow, though.

I finished Sunshine. My only real complaint is that her introspective description of the world goes on for too long between bits of action, and even that isn't so bad. It's a delightful book. I'm now working on The King's Cavalier, a really old book I picked up...somewhere...that was part of my unread books stack. I like old books, and this one's pretty well-written. I've been on a read-new-books phase recently. I hope it lasts.

Oh, yeah. After a season of bug-eaten leaves, I have morning glories! I glanced out my back window on the way to the car and two brilliant blue blooms stared back at me. They're beautiful. Tonight I have to look and see whether the evening glories also lived.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Making things

No words worth recording. Weight up one pound. One long bloody scratch down my thigh from a pin sticking out too far when I adjusted TST on my lap. Numerous tiny pinpricks from same. I'll use safety pins rather than T-pins to baste next time.

I've just finished making a completely useless presentation for Huxley. I know it's completely useless because I've never done a presentation--or any other kind of product, come to think of it--that he's liked, or that he hasn't asked me to completely reconstruct, anyway. Yet he continues to ask me to make things. Still, I enjoy using PowerPoint, much more than reading over the proposal the presentation is based on and making criticism and suggestions. He and I originally wrote this proposal together, but it's no longer mine, as he decided to change the proposal halfway through and rewrote the whole thing without telling me what he was changing, or why (other than "I think the sponsor would like it"). It lost, which is why we're reviewing it now. My one remaining good reason to want to stay at this company and become a senior person is so I can tell people like him, and like Maggie, that this sort of behavior is not so much good business as annoying and rude.

I'm slightly embarrassed about enjoying PowerPoint, but I do anyway. I enjoyed using...what's it called...HyperCard in seventh-grade computer lab, too. We were supposed to create an informational presentation as a unit project and include a simple animation. I made my presentation on the solar system with (as I think back on it) truly annoying transitions and many more cards than required. I ran out of disk space to finish my animation, but I got full credit anyway, probably because I helped a couple of my classmates with theirs. I had fun in that class. I got scolded for making a burglar's database of houses to hit rather than the store inventory she thought she had restricted us to making (I wouldn't have made my database if it hadn't fit the rules as far as I knew them, but she told me she'd expected a pet store, you know, like all my normal classmates--I wonder if she ever worries what became of me) and cautioned not to help Hillary (or Mindy? Or Patty? I don't remember) too much when her animation of ducks swimming upstream confused her. I straightened it out over a lunch period. I really enjoyed all that stuff. I wonder why I didn't go into programming. Some days I really worry about having gone into the things I did and what it's going to mean for me. Not often, though. And anyway, I can always be a barista.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005


I finished the sixth Harry Potter book. I also finished Into the Green (Charles de Lint), Storm Front (Jim Butcher), and Bad Magic (Stephen Zielinski)--not all yesterday, but recently. Also I'm working on Sunshine (Robin McKinley), which is wonderful and which I may recommend to Bev because it reminds me of a book of hers she read until the covers fell off (and had loaned me one summer previous to the falling-off). My book report proceeds as follows:

Harry Potter I read in six and a half hours (about a hundred pages an hour) right after I got it Monday evening. I thought the ending was in some respects a little too similar to the ending of the previous one, and the story didn't feel as big as I hoped, for some reason. One minor thing: Inferi? They're zombies. Why did she not just call them zombies? And as for events at the end (which Beth has also commented on in a roundabout way) I think it makes sense in order to have Harry become heroic and adult and all that for the end of the series, so in a story way it's good. No comment on how it impacts the reader. I was also intrigued by the revealing-my-true-nature bit by one of the characters (at least, I think it was). Also, M, I did catch that typographical error but it only irritated me for a page or two. Still, the book was good and engaging and fun. I am lending it to a coworker because, she says, the library wait list is ridiculously long. I expect to get it back within a few days.

Into the Green was the first de Lint book I've read. It's not fast reading, but only because the style makes me slow down to take it in. I liked the half-fairy tale tone. I wouldn't necessarily go out and buy all the rest of his books, but not because I don't like them; they're just not quite my style. I'd happily read another.

Storm Front was a book I picked up with Jen when we went book-shopping several weeks ago. As she said, it's a first novel and it shows. It had some fun concepts and ideas, but I thought it could have used another draft or at least some serious editing--for one thing, I skipped right over the details of everybody's build, hair, and eye color; for another, the plot felt a little...rickety. I won't be reading the next in the series.

Bad Magic was wonderful. The ending was a little abrupt and the denouement perplexed me, but the pacing was good and the characters were good and the world concept was great.

I took yesterday off and spent it at home writing (not much, I'm afraid--274 words--but I think having all this good and lyrical prose in my head from reading is going to help; and I also spent some time contemplating a Three-Day in about six weeks. I have a partial outline) and quilting and knitting and cleaning. It was lovely. Last weekend I went to a quilt show with (a different) Jen up in Toledo, and though the things she liked tended to be different from the things I liked we both agreed there are a lot of techniques we ought to try. I admired the close quilting, but as I was thinking yesterday while fussing with TST, quilting is the part of making a quilt I like least, and I like puffy blankets. By the by, TST is lousy, at least color-wise. Also I've got to quit using the material I used for block backgrounds in the inner border. I'll do better next time. I also thought about my quilt line-up--specifically, whether it would be better to ask if Aunt Kris and Uncle Bob would be interested in the CitW design, and if so as a bed or a couch quilt. If I do that this year, next year would be for cousins. Only I could really use a big-enough blanket for my own bed. Why do I have this drive to only make things for other people? It's silly.

And that's the state of me, not quite organized and more ambitious than active, but this is not unusual. Today I have reading and transcription to do and I'm back in the flow of work, but that's okay. Tonight I--oh, another report: Crystal Caste makes nice dice. (Hematite. For Eric. If I'd been shopping for myself I would have been interested in the blue jasper or the jade or the quartz.) And they're going to replace the two defective ones they sent me (what are the chances of getting two defective dice out of seven?) so they're honest, too. Tonight I go to Joann to get cord for a bag for said dice and see if all this prose in my head will suffuse anything into the prose in my fingers.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Time off.

I have a nasty, nasty headache that isn't impressed by medication. Admittedly I'm only going by the label instructions so far. This headache is making my stomach queasy and my eyes hurt. I don't get migraines, so this is not good. (Well, it wouldn't be good if I did get migraines, but you know what I mean.) The medication I'm taking warns that sudden, severe headaches are a side effect I should contact my doctor about. It also says that losing sight in one or both eyes is possible, a result of a clot in the eye, and is a side effect I should contact my doctor about. The headache I could bear, but the suddenly not being able to see bit terrifies me. It doesn't say that blindness is preceded by hurting eyes, but it doesn't say it doesn't, either. I believe I shall be contacting my doctor. If she tells me I'm insane it will be nice to have a firm medical opinion on the subject.

I'd also go home right now to do it, only I have a meeting with Huxley. Supposedly. He's been in a meeting with someone else for the past twenty-three minutes, not coincidentally also the amount of time ago our meeting was supposed to start. I'm thinking of walking out on him. I was planning on taking tomorrow off anyway--I need a day to myself--and now I sort of have an excuse, or anyway I would if I used sick time to cover it. On the other hand--well, no, not on the other hand. Another thing, then, is that tonight I wanted to go retrieve my copy of the sixth Harry Potter book. (How scary is it that everyone wants to get this book and read it quickly so as not to have it spoiled by someone else?) And it's just occurred to me that in that case, I might be spending tomorrow reading instead of doing the other things I was thinking of doing. But would that be so bad? I don't think so. Reading with a (please not literally) blinding headache, though; that's something different.

Friday, July 15, 2005

All the while

It's Friday? Thank God. Everything I've done this week has been wrong. Actually, that's not true. I'm helping finish up Bucky's project, and even finished two tables in approximately correct style. He says he'll take Helen and me out to lunch if there's time. I'm not sure I want to sit through a lunch with him, but I'm not as violently opposed to it as I would have been earlier this week. I think realizing that all he really wants is someone to listen to him talk--not necessarily pay attention, but just be there--helped. I'll have nothing to do next week, but Huxley has finally agreed to meet with me to discuss work and writing proposals and things like that, so maybe I'll get something out of it--or if not, at least the satisfaction of knowing that I'm trying and he's not.

I've been working on the first sleeve of Mariah for forever now, mostly because I started it last winter and then put it away. I'm about twelve inches up. Today (while sitting on the couch trying to convince myself to get ready for work--no, that's not true; I was simply sitting there not getting ready for work), I wrapped it around my wrist and lower arm, and it occurred to me that most sleeves are not rectangles. So I dug out the pattern--I've just been following the chart--and read the next page, where it says

Work sleeve in patt as set until work measures 6 inches, ending with a WS row. Increase Row [RS]: K1, m1, work in patt as set to last st, m1, k1.
*Work 9[7, 6, 5, 5] rows in patt as set.
Work Increase Row. Rep from * 9[12, 15, 17, 17] times more, working increased sts in patt as set in Chart A. 86[92, 98, 102, 102] sts.

Translated to normal English, this means: follow the chart(s) until the sleeve is 6 inches long, then start steadily widening the sides. As I said, I'm about 12 inches in. Dammit. I considered starting from where I was and hoping it would fit anyway, but that wouldn't work out when it came time to attach the sleeves to the body. I'm going to have to rip out 6 painstaking inches of work and try again. It's a good thing I pulled this out again now. I may have it finished by winter, even. Maybe.

(Oh, yeah! I finished the Unbiased bag--the knitting part, at least. It needs a lining, though. I still have no idea how to put a lining into something like this, unless I take very tiny stitches very close to the folded-over ends of the fabric. I'll give it a shot if I ever do the laundry and thus wash the bag to make sure it won't change shape on me. Come to think of it, everything I've knitted has expanded when I got it wet. Maybe Mariah would be okay--? But no, still wouldn't fit to the body.)

I need to job-hunt and finish quilting TST (I meant to this week, but then came the project) and write (I did a little on the T2 but I haven't counted it) and sand those damned bathroom drawers so I can paint them. And get an oil change. And work in the yard. One afternoon of getting rid of weeds and dead plants would do it, but I never seem to want to and I haven't been home on the weekends in a month--but next weekend I will.

I dreamed last night that it was 9:28 tonight and someone was telling me, "The new Harry Potter book is out, and no one knows what's in it except the people who are reading it on the West Coast, and they're discussing it in the chat rooms Amazon set up for them." Obviously my subconscious doesn't fully grok what direction the Earth turns, but I thought it was interesting that I dreamed not only about the book (which I discussed yesterday) but also the fact that people on one coast will be able to get it before people on the other coast (would anyone near a time zone divider be fanatic enough to cross to get it an hour earlier? Or attend the parties for longer?) and also about at all (congratulations, consumerism: you win).

Aaaand my computer says "Do you want to restart your computer now? Yes" so I'm publishing this and restarting, cursing Windows all the while.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

My grievances

I'm on a project that I am not actually (net) contributing to but that has caused me to work late the last two nights, precluding words or exercise (last night anyway) or quilting or being non-grouchy. Feeling gray and mediocre for no good reason hasn't helped with that last. Essentially we have to deliver a bunch of stuff on Friday that we didn't have as of Monday, and I can't create anything to Bucky's standard. Being told what his standard was beforehand might have helped. Tuesday I stayed home and read and coded transcripts and came to the check-in meeting pleased I'd gotten them all done. At the meeting I was told I was supposed to have done that last night--instead of sleeping, I suppose--and come in Tuesday morning to do a group analysis session. This made me contrite and annoyed, which is not a good combination. Last night I worked on a table based on a table I had previously created that Bucky had praised (in his over-the-top, probably-isn't-mockery way, but still) with the clients' suggestions added; today I've found that half the columns have been changed and half now mean something different. So I told him I give up, essentially, as he was constructing the table from scratch based on his ideas and expounding at length on any point I ventured to bring up and then abruptly going back to studying the transcript when he was finished talking. ARRGH. I'm not really being fair here but too bad since it's my blog. ARRGH.

Also, I canceled the interview next Tuesday. I just didn't want to go. I think my reasons for not wanting to go are sound. If they're not, well, I'll know when I get the same feeling next time when I get an interview for my ideal job, and I'll go anyway.

Also, I need a wedding present for my aunt. Dad suggested a game, which could work if I could pick something that she doesn't already have. Some people collect books, others collect Daisy Duck paraphernalia. My aunt collects games.

Also, it's been gray and rainy all day. I don't really object to this except in that it's perfect weather to stay home, and I can't because I'm too busy not contributing things. Though I did participate in a pilot experiment this morning that was fun--Marie and I were driven to the middle of nowhere, given a faulty map, and asked to make our way back. We didn't do too badly and I'll be reimbursed for the gas, which is a darn good thing. I saw gas for $2.27 while we were lost and considered getting some except that that really wasn't a good thing to do on project time.

Friday, July 08, 2005


It's sunny and beautiful but it's raining in my mind. Why is that, anyway? I guess everyone has oddly down days. You'd think this being a Friday would alleviate it, but then there's this assignment that I feel I'm doing badly and don't want to be doing at all (hence the badly) but must finish by Monday or Bucky will tell me how to use Excel again.

I continue to love the walking foot, but Caroline herself continues to fight me. Last night I ended up having to rip out a block of quilting with inexplicably tiny stitches most of the way around--this is not why I had to rip it out, but it did cause the process to take about three times longer than it should have. It is a chilling experience to spend half a minute snagging a half-millimeter of thread only to realize that now that you have it, if you move another muscle you're going to rip into the fabric itself. I'll be so glad when this quilt is over (and I can go on to the next one, and the next, and the next...).

The lady who called yesterday said she'd send me an e-mail with more details about the interview, where to go and who to ask for and so on, and that I should forward my flight times to her that way. No e-mail has arrived. I don't think I'm buying this ticket until I've received said e-mail--and, as Dad suggested, inquired whether they're willing to reimburse me for some or all of it. And I was thinking about what would happen if, for example, Eric got this job that's perfect for him in Portland. I'd like to live in Portland. Nobody I've applied to there seems in the least interested in me, but that's really not very many applications. I could always do temp work, or, as a last resort, bookstore work. I bet Bev and Philip would board me for not very much. Of course then I'd have to live with constant allergic reactions to their cat. There's probably no market for original quilts by someone with no knowledge of color theory. (Though one of my next two projects is going to be the froggy baby quilt. I have no baby designated as the recipient. Who's got a cold baby?) I could be a barista if they'd let me have a notebook for slow times. Or maybe it's time to reconsider that voodoo doll business.

Blecchh. No weekend should start this way. Well, I have three hours to make it better.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

The only reality show I've ever had the remotest interest in.

From Kellie (who provides any number of good links, come to think of it), the writer's version of American Idol, American Icon. I would want to go if I lived in the area. I wonder if they'd offer cocoa in place of the coffee.

Whine, whine, whine.

I got a phone call from a company in Washington I applied to a couple of weeks ago, asking if I want to come out for an interview. I said yes, and the lady said the interview would consist mostly of lunch and me giving a 45-minute presentation on the topic of my choice. They'd qualify that 'of my choice' if they knew me better. "We're looking pretty quick," the lady said. "Can you come out the 14th?" I said, "It depends on the airlines," thinking, "No," and she said, "Well, let's make it the 19th, would that work better?" Apparently the company isn't going to pay for my flight. I may not go just because of this factor considering my options are a $350 flight to stay for four days (three of them work days) or a $550 flight to stay for two days. Ugh. But if I want to get back to the West Coast I'm eventually going to have to be taking these kinds of trips (it's the west-to-east flight that eats up all the time) and I probably won't have much to do that week. But still ugh.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

A quilting/sewing geek moment. Don't mind me.

A walking foot rocks. (A walking foot, meaning a sewing machine attachment that pulls the top fabric along, whereas with the normal foot only the bottom is pulled.) It took me a while to find one, and then it took me a while to figure out how to install it, but by God it is the best thing since the seam ripper. I've been putting off finishing TST because the first couple of times I tried machine quilting the backing got all bunched and horrible, but with the walking foot both the backing and the top go all smooth and beautiful. This is not to say my machine quilting can't use work--this is only the second time I've tried it--but I'm not dreading the idea anymore. I never spent a better $25. (That was for the walking foot plus a darning foot, a 1/4" seam foot, and a cloth guide in a kit; Sears didn't sell them individually.)

Speaking of spending better money, I took a look at my credit card statement. It's got my digital camera on it (did I mention that my digital camera also rocks?), which accounts for a lot of it, and the rest is taken up in gifts (a little), gas, and then food and books in equal amounts. I really ought to lighten up on the book-buying. Which means I really ought to stay out of bookstores. I just need to pick up Half-Blood Prince on the 18th (since I prepurchased it for 46% off at Books & Co and won't be in town that weekend) and then I will. For, um, some amount of time. I've been much better about staying away from fabric purchases--but now that TST has a chance of being finished before next Christmas, the chances of that continuing are getting smaller.

Dear Bucky,


Also, don't leave Marie's chair in my space, requiring me to push it back myself, when you've finally gotten up from telling me how I can use Sort to find particular items (on the database you call 'broken' because you didn't specify what you wanted because you didn't KNOW what you wanted before this morning).

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

What I did on my summer vacation, of course.

The Red Hat Society had a convention in Las Vegas last week. I saw dozens of women in purple clothes and red hats in the airports. Dad stopped two of them outside our hotel and asked what they were, and they explained: "We're the Red Hat Society! All you have to do is be fifty."

"So you barely made it, then?" Dad said and they made a nice show of being charmed.

On the leg from Atlanta to Las Vegas I sat on the aisle next to a man (in the middle) and the man's wife (on the other side). I took out my Palm T2, set it up on its keyboard, and typed about 500 words on Shoelace. At one point while I was doing this, the man's wife reached across him and tapped me on the wrist. I looked at her, and she said, "Is that an iPod?"

Vegas itself was fun, though not quite what I was expecting. (The pirate fight in front of Treasure Island was not what I was led to believe, either, but that wasn't Mom's and Aunt Kris's fault as they hadn't seen it for years and were just as surprised as I was, though quite a bit less amused since Cody was along.) I spent ten dollars on gambling. I've decided I don't like slot machines because they require absolutely no involvement from me. Video poker was somewhat better. We didn't see all the hotels, but several, plus a couple of mall areas. We got lost in the Caesar Palace Forums after the Celine Dion concert, which was--contrary to expectations--impressive. Some of the choreography didn't work for me, but I liked the man in yellow and the man in white who were part of the whole show, doing their own things...sort of id- and ego-like. I didn't like the fact that she didn't talk until well into the performance, or some of the things she said. I watched it in a rather evaluative and analytical mood, I'm afraid, but overall I thought it was well done. And Mom and Aunt Kris said it was worth every penny, so that was good, too. They looked at me funny when I said I didn't want a copy of the CD Mom bought there, but oh well.

On Monday we rode in a sixteen-passenger plane over the Grand Canyon, which was worth the motion sickness it caused in all of us except Cody (who wants to be a pilot). On Tuesday we took a bus to Hoover Dam and took the tour (not worth the $10), then had lunch at a buffet--I think we went to four buffets in the five days we were there--and went on a boat across Lake Mead and had strawberry daiquiris. We had dinner at a Mexican place at my request, the Blue Iguana at Circus Circus, which was very good--they have an array of five different salsas to try with the chips. I paid for dinner, which turned out to be an excellent move. You'd think that as I was staying with Mom and Dad and not paying for the tours or most of my meals this was the least I could do, but my family was all impressed. Sheesh.

Wednesday we went up to the top of the Stratosphere (1100 feet) and saw a man jump off it--then open a parachute and float safely down, as he was helping film a pilot for some TV show. We also watched people ride this ride that shot them off the edge of the tower and suspended them there, then shook them up and down and back and forth a few times. It looked like torture to me. In the elevator on the way down a girl, about ten, stepped in looking nervous and her father or grandfather with her said, "And now we enter the worst ride of all, the elevator." He looked around and announced, "She's been on all four rides at the top of the tower but she's scared about the elevator ride." The girl murmured, "The rides have seatbelts," while all of us around her said wow and good for you and we're not that brave.

Thursday my flights were just fine, unlike Mom and Dad's whose plane was delayed three hours and unlike James's (to Hawaii, hence why he didn't come to Las Vegas) which didn't go out until the next morning. I came home at about 9:15 and at about 9:30 the power went out. My water is from a well, and the pump is electric, so I brushed my teeth with filtered water from the fridge and went to bed without a shower. The next morning the power still hadn't come on, so I rescued a few things from the fridge and freezer, including the crack bread, and headed to Eric's early to take a shower there. The crack bread subsequently got used at dinner at Jen and Pete's. It appears truly to be crack bread, as Jen and Pete had a couple of slices each despite the spread of other good food and wouldn't let us take it home (not that we intended to). Over the weekend we also decided that the bar at TBC should prominently display Liquid Death.

Finally, I am now at work again. I don't mind. I feel ready to tackle my regular schedule now and maybe even be productive with it--maybe not, but at least I feel all motivated and energized and such. (A participant of a previous workshop--the one I no longer organize--wrote, "I liked talking with [your] staff because they are so enervating." The organizer at the time wrote next to it, "I looked up enervate and it means 'to deprive of strength, force, vigor, etc.; weaken physically, mentally, or morally; devitalize; debilitate.' Great job group! Let’s keep up the good work!") Vacations are lovely things.