Sunday, May 31, 2009

Update: BookFest 2009

Well, I'm exhausted, but happy.  Today was hot and Powell's was crowded - I guess the Rose Festival traffic and a beautiful day brought lots of people to buy books.  I wanted them to GO OUTSIDE and stop standing in the middle of the aisle jabbering.  If you're going to talk, take it elsewhere - where there is space.

I succeeded in taking a whole new path in my purchases.  Usually, I have a lot of female authors, lots of books about family issues, relationships, blah blah.  This time, I have a couple of mysteries (not genre, but stories), a couple of foodie type stories, 3 books with young girls as the protagonist, a couple of books on other cultures, some morality commentaries and some Americana, mostly written by men.  What a strange and interesting turnaround.

Book list to come.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

BookFest 2009 is Tomorrow!!

Kevin called me today to remind me (ha! as if I would forget or cancel!) that BookFest 2009 is upon us. We are embarking on our annual guilt-free book-buying spree! Thanks for being the planner, KGV. :)

I don't have a plan this year, again. I usually don't have one. The only plan I have is that the books need to be either books I am absolutely certain I don't already have (I have a lot of's hard to keep track all the time), or books that were published in 2009.

My goal is to buy books that I will ACTUALLY READ. Sometimes I buy books that I want to want to read, or books I should read, or books I'm compelled to buy. Now I want to buy books I'm compelled to read. Then, I'm going to start reading this year's books and work my way back through the books I have not read from years past (there are a lot of books and a lot of years).

I will be posting the take on my BookFest Blog (I don't visit often, but it is a place for me to track the BookFest booty) sometime this week. Look for it!

Wish me well on my book buying tomorrow! I CAN'T WAIT!!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Internet down and no moving boxes

My internet has been down most of the day at the's the modem. Have to replace it.

We are moving my entire office to a new location and I asked for boxes 5 weeks ago. The move is 15 days away and I still don't have the moving boxes. There are very few people who will be able to help when the time comes...I'm stressed. I have been dreaming about it.


Thursday, May 28, 2009


As I was getting ready to run out the door to work (running later than usual), they had a segment on the CBS Morning show about how parents can download an application for their iPhone to turn it into a rattle for their baby.

WHAT?!?  Have we all gone insane?  Why would we think that it is ok to give a baby an electronic device like that?  I mean, isn't it bad enough that we are all exposed to all the wifi, signals, tv and radio signals, all the stuff that is in the air electronically that we can't see?  Do we REALLY need to give a baby an iPhone?  

We really have all lost our minds, haven't we?  I just want to move to a quiet island with my books and hide until the apocolypse.  It feels like it is coming. Soon.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

One Regret

I regret that I never got married at the official 24-hour Church of Elvis when I had the chance.  I went, I toured, I won a prize for answering crazy questions about Days of Our Lives from when I was a teenager watching the soap, but I never got married.

Nostalgia caught me tonight and I decided to look up 24-Hour Church of Elvis and I found out that they are ONLINE!!!  Yahoo! You can now visit by going to NOT to be confused with which is apparently very official and corporate-looking.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Leaving the Past Behind or Conquering Secret Demons

So, my little-known secret is that I keep text messages for WAY too long. In fact, I have my two-way pager from 1997 still...and up until the last time the battery went dead (probably during my vacation), I checked it every couple of days and changed the battery regularly. Apparently, this time, I left it too long and all the messages are gone. For good.

I have some anxiety over this and I know it is irrational - the messages are not the people...the messages are not anything other than that. I don't know why I keep them...I didn't read them every day, but I knew they were there. Birthday wishes, congratulatory pages, pages about my friends who have died, messages with secret codes and silly little memories. I have the memories. I actually have a really good memory, but for some reason, I cling to these things.

I know it has something to do with growing up and moving around so much. I guess because I have such a strong memory (mostly), I read the words from a page or email or letter and I can remember the circumstances, the people involved, the event, the colors, the smells...the words evoke strong feelings and vivid pictures. I'm pretty sure that if it is important enough, I remember it anyway, but I worry about the day that I DON'T. I guess that's why I have this blog. To record the minutiae. 

I am still working on my Roby stories.  I think I just need to write a list of the stories that I want to remember and then start writing them out...

Anyway, I don't like to talk about this anxiety that I have.  I am making progress on it.  So, one less thing to do/remember.  I will put a message on the voicemail - close the pager down in 30 days.  Saves some money.  Step in the right direction, right?  A little less device at a time.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Life Goes On - Memorial Day 2009

"In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on." ~Robert Frost

Even though my dad didn't die in a war, he served in Vietnam - two tours, I believe. Every year, on Memorial Day, I miss him. The military was his life and when he retired (to keep my parents' promise not to make us move during high school), all the fight kind of went out of him. He changed a lot over the years, for the better, but he was never the same guy once he retired.

I miss him.

Dad getting a commendation at Tyndall Air Force Base (1977-1979)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Shiftless Sunday

I spent a shiftless day napping, reading, enjoying the sunshine and doing nothing useful. It was good.

I looked for a meme to do today or something interesting to write about and I came up empty-handed. I guess being shiftless does that - I didn't DO anything interesting or see anyone interesting, so therefore, I don't have anything inteteresting to write about.

Still missing Roby. Been having dreams about constricted spaces, having to crawl through small spaces, which is weird and makes me a little claustrophobic. I have never had dreams like this before. I wonder what it means. Has been a theme for more than a month now. Hmmm.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Melancholy Saturday

So, I just got back from vacation. I should be full of energy. Really, the whole week kicked my butt - I was exhausted every night. Today, I woke up early and put in "In the Land of Women" which made me cry. Then I put in "Definitely, Maybe" after watching a couple of cooking shows. That movie made me cry, too. Now, I have "Bounce" in, but I haven't really been paying attention to it.

Mostly, I have been feeling kinda down. The weight of the responsibilities I have at work has been really taking its toll lately and I feel like once you strip away the work - the M-F job, the interpreting, the theatre...what's left? When I started my job, I worked 3:30pm - midnight, necessitating a huge life change. It wasn't that hard as much of my personal life had already disintegrated - people moving, friends growing away from each other, people coupling up. So, working til midnight kind of gave me a reason not to have an active personal life. Now, I just work and get tired, go home...mostly, it is fine. But some days, this kind of solitary life backs up on me a little.

I had a dream about Roby last night and I have been missing him all day. Missing having someone who just gets you in those funny ways that friends do. Missing someone to just hang with or call on the phone. Maybe, if he hadn't died, we wouldn't still be doing that, anyway...? Maybe he would have coupled off or we would have grown apart or one of us would have moved away. Maybe, we would be sitting in one of our living rooms, feet tangled as we watched some movie.

I don't indulge in "what if" much, but today, I'm just feeling the pull of him.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Fridays are Good

When I was a freelance interpreter, I never understood people's whole TGIF thing...I worked such different hours and potentially worked every day, so Friday and the weekend didn't have the same meaning to me that it did to the rest of the world.

Now that I work in an office setting and I work Monday through Friday, for the most part, I completely understand looking forward to Friday. It isn't that I don't like my job, but by Friday, I'm so ready not to have to get up at that time, get in the shower in a hurry, drive an hour and work all day. It is the breaking of the routine for me that is most significant.

The Memorial Day Weekend is upon us. It is supposed to be nice, too. I may drive down to the Iris fields in Keizer and pick up some flowers for Roby. I used to be more diligent about keeping flowers up there for him, but once the ownership changed hands, they decided that the cemetary was supposed to look like a park and they didn't want any "memorobilia" littering the gravesites. It kind of pissed everyone off and Shirlee took all the stuff we had up there down. I haven't really been up there much since - only for his birthday and the anniversary date. I think I'm due.

Here's where I go:

Here's a photo of the place from

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Pressure to Perform

I am feeling yukky today and all I can think about is sleep...I feel the call of the blog and the desire to write more, to think more...but that isn't going to happen today. I just have to go to bed. I promise, something meatier or at least fun this weekend. I just haven't recovered from coming back to "real life".

Isn't it strange that "real life" is so different than the joyfulness of a vacation of quiet and rest? Shouldn't I be revitalized? What's wrong with this picture? I am just dragging this week. I'm worried. This isn't a good sign.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Brain dead

I was thinking that I would come back from vacation and have all this "stuff" I wanted to talk about - wit and wisdom or SOMETHING.

What I really have is exhaustion and a wish for quiet and a nap. I know that is just because it is my first couple of days back. As I said yesterday, my job requires an enormous amount of mental and emotional energy. Hard to get back in the groove...I don't want to be in the same grooves, I want to make new ones. Better ones. Ones that involve 8 hour days not 12 hours. I manage it for a while, then I start slipping again.

I hope to be back in full force by the weekend, but I will continue to forge ahead.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Energy Realization

It has been a really long time since I took a vacation unhooked completely. Usually, I check my email while away, just to keep up with things. This time, I didn't do that once I left for the beach.

Wow. I am amazed at how much energy I use when I'm at work. Today wasn't particularly hard, but I had a lot of catching up to do. I felt the tension rise up in my neck by about noon. I was needing a nap by about 2:30pm. By 8pm, when I was finally able to leave, I was DRAGGING.

It isn't just the energy it takes to be around people - it is the energy it takes to multi-task, to track all decisions and comments and protocols as they change day to day, sometimes minute by minute. It is the energy it takes to understand people's cryptic messaging - the more communication technology we have, the less clear our communication seems to be.

I had a good day, but it made me realize that I have to CREATE time and opportunities for unhooking more regularly. I can't be "ON" all the time or I will eventually turn off.

Monday, May 18, 2009

"Pledge to Be Positive" - What a Great Idea!

I saw this ad today on television as I was cleaning my living room:

I love the idea of pledging to do something positive and I am even going to try to get a couple of the tickets to the Rose Parade...something I normally would not do. I am going to continue to prepare and do my Hope Revolution project and will post about it here.

Amazing what a vacation can do for you, huh?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

May 17: Home Again

The morning started out bright and shiny - the gulls were flying around, the skies were clear. As we drove away from the condo around 11:15am, the fog had rolled in and socked in Depoe Bay, Boiler Bay and Lincoln City, almost as if to send us home without regret.

I feel like I had an actual vacation. I feel rested, although I could rest some more. I feel like my head is clearer and I loved being at the coast. I watched some great movies, read my great book, listened to some good music, ate some good food, and sat on the deck and enjoyed the sunshine and the ocean as much as I could.

It was a quieter vacation than I am used to - I often end up running around doing stuff I like, but would rather not do on vacation...this time, there was none of that. I went to bed when I was tired, I read and napped and ate when I felt like it. What a great week.

I wish I could have just a few more days to really cement the feeling. But alas, no luck. But it was still sunny when we got home, so I threw open the curtains in the living room and enjoyed the sunshine here, too.

Some last, similar photos of the deck view. I don't know why I didn't take photos of other stuff. I guess because I didn't see much else. I don't care. I loved it.

Photos from 5/17/09:

My feet are sad that vacation is almost over...and that there is no sun on the balcony at 10:00am.

See, it was sunny this morning, before we left

Gorgeous blue sky

Down the coastline

The drive home was beautiful and all the clover fields were in bloom as well as the rhodie at the house:

Saturday, May 16, 2009

May 16: Last Full Day (No Day But Today)

It is so hard to think about going home. Today, I just got up, ate breakfast and sat outside reading for a good portion of the day. Oh, I did watch some "American Idols: Where are they Now" on the TV Guide channel and a special on Animal Planet about rescuing Orangutans. I'm glad I didn't use the TV in the bedroom until today or I might have gone all squarehead and watched TV from bed all day long. That would have sucked.

Instead, I made great progress in "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix". I am hoping to finish "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" before the movie comes out this summer. I have only read that one once - and listened to the audiobook version. I want to read it again before I see the film.

One thing I did yesterday and today that I forgot to mention in my writing yesterday - I have been reading "Life is a Verb" again. I was really flipping through, reading things that struck my fancy. I started jotting down little quotes from the book and from the quotes Patti uses on postcards in colored ink. I think I am going to use some of these quotes for my Hope Revolution project. I am going to put information about how to buy "Life is a Verb" on the back side of the postcard. I can't wait! I tried to make them look artful, but I really just want them to be lovely surprises for people.

I also started a Two-Year project from an impromptu book purchase. I bought "Building the Best You" a two-year discovery journal. I started it on the first night of this vacation. It asks some basic questions - the same ones daily for two years:

What did I do today?
What did I feel today?
What am I grateful for today?
What challenged me today?
How can I overcome that challenge?
What did I savor today?

Then every six weeks or so, it asks more questions:

Do I enjoy spending time with others?
Would I like to connect with more people?
Do I feel happy when I'm alone?
Do I feel safe and secure when I'm by myself?
Do I need others to feel whole?
Does my life include other people?
What was my high point in the preceding weeks?
What was my low point?
Did the time flow smoothly?
Did I create goals?
Did I work towards these goals?
Did I achieve these goals?

I can't wait to see what the outcome will be. I needed this - something simple - it takes five minutes to fill out right now, but I suspect it will get deeper as I go along. I hope so...

Anyway, May 16 photos:

Tonight, back to the entertainment center in the clubhouse to watch "RENT" Final Broadway Performance. Perfect! And I will bring my script with me so it will seem productive. Not like I need it...I know it all by heart. "There's only now, there's only here. Give in to love or live in fear. No other road, no other way, no day but today."

Friday, May 15, 2009

May 15: Ventured out - No photos outside of Condo...

Today, I traveled to Lincoln City and Depoe Bay briefly. No real shopping - just some groceries and checking out movie times for "Earth" at the local theatre. Didn't go to the movies. Watched "Mamma Mia" in the Entertainment Center at the condo clubhouse instead- 10 seats, big screen TV, great volume. It was fun.

Lots of time spent on the deck reading today, too, although not as much as yesterday. Yesterday, I read all day and had a nap. That was great. Today I had a short nap, but mostly, was in motion.

Outing, back for lunch, swimming, deck and reading, nap, dinner, "Mamma Mia", then "Buffy" - "Tabula Rasa" (one of my favorite episodes), then bed.

Starting to feel the tension ease out of my shoulders.

No Photos from 5/15/09. I have NO IDEA why I didn't take any photos in Depoe Bay or Lincoln City. I guess because I wasn't at the beach or sightseeing - I was on a mission to get groceries.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

May 14: Weird Dream

Weird dream.

I dreamed that I was sick and went to a hospital/clinic. They put me in a room right by the reception/intake desk and had me call a phone number.

I had to convince the phone tree that I didn't need an interpreter (ha!) and when I got a peson on the line, they had a Spanish accent of some kind and asked me what the voices were telling me. I laughed and said, "Well, I hear your voice and one that told me to call here. I don't need an interpreter."

Then I was transported elsewhere, waiting in my flowered nightgown. I felt stuffy and puffy like I felt when I woke up this morning (allergic to the pillows). I waited and waited and finally walked back to the reception/intake area.

When I went back, Patti Digh was there at the receptioin desk calling my name. I told her it was me and she smiled sweetly, "I can't just let you leave on your own knowing you haven't had your meds. Schizophrenia meds are powerful."

"Schizophrenia?!" I laughed. "No, no."

She looked at me kindly but with a look that said, "Of course you would say that."

"Who said I was schizophrenic? It was the voice on the phone, right?" She nodded.
"He *asked* me about voices. I don't hear voices unless it is a person on the phone or you talking to me!" She smiled serenely and patted my hand.

"Patti! NO!!" And I woke up.

It is calmer here today. No rain, less wind. It was beautifully stormy all day yesterday and the sound of the waves crashing was soothing all night. Today, I'm listening to my iPod - Carrie Underwood and Motherlode so far. In bed still, but beautiful day starting.

Photos from 5/14/09:

These are my feet on vacation (it's cold out, though)

This was right after I woke up...

First sight this morning

Actual view from my bedroom on 5/14/09

Big Splash

Jean and Mom soaking in the rays

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

May 13: Arrival in a Storm

It was cold and wet at home today, so I assumed it would be cold and wet at the coast. I checked the weather last night and it showed some rain, but it didn't say STORM on the Oregon Coast! It doesn't even matter, though, because I have a warm place to stay and I can open the windows and listen to the roar of the waves as they crash against the rocks below.

I took some photos when we first got here...We are just outside of Depoe Bay.

First photo from the window out onto the deck.

More deck photos. At one point, the rain was almost sideways. The deck was soaked and the rain came through all the way to the sliding glass doors.

Here is a tour of the condo:

Fireplace on the living room side

The kitchen and hallway

The living room

The Master Bedroom (I forgot to take pics of the bathroom and other bedroom...)

The fireplace from the Master Bedroom side

More rainy pictures from the deck

Vacation Get-Away

I am still participating in May Nablopomo - I will be doing manual "posts" from my coastal get-away. If there is internet around, I will type them up and post them, but if there isn't, I will post them when I get home.

In my opinion, those count. :) I am excited to get away from life here - unplug, unwind and enjoy the Oregon coast.

See you Sunday!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

iPod iNcompetence

So, I bought an iPod shuffle to help introduce myself into the iPod/digital music world after the dismal failure of the Pink mp3 player I had for several years before I actually opened the plastic in plastic in plastic container only to find that the battery did not work right. Couldn't have been the fact that it was past the warranty before I ever used it, right? I have learned my lesson.

So when I purchased my shuffle, I used it right away. Enough to help me realize that I really did want to have a device that could hold a bunch of my music in one place - but I FOR SURE wanted one that I could control so that I could listen to a CD in order (now, I think you can do that on a shuffle, but it took me a while to figure out...). My goal, to have my next Broadway season loaded into my iPod so that I don't have to run around my house looking for the CDs 30 days before the show.

I did a show that was unexpected and particularly painful and decided I would use the unbudgeted money to purchase an iPod Nano - 16 GB version. On the way home from the show, I stopped by Powell's Books in Beaverton, parked the car and as I was walking towards the door, I saw a Mac Store RIGHT THERE!! It was FATE! So I purchased my iPod Nano.

I have part of my goal accomplished. I have most of my Broadway show CDs for next year loaded into iTunes, ready to load into my iPod Nano.

Unfortunately, my computer decided not to recognize either iPod, so I have been unable to sync them to get new music on there. So I followed the troubleshooting directions. Over and over and over again. The 5 Rs. I restarted my computer, redownloaded iTunes. Then I reloaded the iPod Nano. BIG MISTAKE. The Reload is where it removes EVERYTHING and is supposed to put it all back and then some. It did not. Somewhere in the middle, it decided that it couldn't find the file. I fought and fought and fought with it and finally, I decided that I will bring my CD player to the beach with me for vacation because I didn't want to waste another minute on the damn thing.


I just want it to work. I have been to the Apple website a zillion times and have tried all kinds of things, but it just isn't working. I'm so frustrated. I just decided to deal with it later.

Monday, May 11, 2009

"Les Miserables" on 20/20 (1987)

"Les Miserables" is one of my FAVORITE musicals. I started listening to the Original London Cast recording in 1986. I finally saw it live in NYC in 1987 (right before New Year's) with Roby. It was overwhelming and I wept nearly the entire show and for about 15 minutes afterwards. It was the whole reason I went to NYC the first time, one of the ways that I was convinced to become an interpreter (dreaming of interpreting it, even though I didn't know that people actually did that kind of work) and the first musical I ever DID interpret - starting a long and lovely career interpreting Broadway musicals.

I love this show dearly and every couple of years, my musical heart goes back to it. With all those folks on "Britain's Got Talent" singing songs from the show, it made me want to hear the original folks. I hope you enjoy the clips like I did.

Les Miserables on 20/20 part 1

Les Miserables on 20/20 part 2

Les Miserables on 20/20 part 3

Les Miserables on 20/20 part 4

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

I had a nice time with my mother yesterday. We dinked around in the mornign, saw "Wolverine" (my what big arms you have, Hugh!), and went to Chez Jose over by Lewis and Clark College. I had my favorite pollo en salsa de cacahuate, chicken in a lovely peanut sauce.

I want to be able to scan some pics of my mom and add them here, but haven't been able to do that. Will be doing that as soon as I can.

Happy Mother's Day to all my Mom-friends out there! I hope you know how wonderful you all are!

Here is photo of my mom's best friend, my mom and me. None of us knew the others were going to be wearing some shade of red or pink!


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