Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day Miscellaneous Stuff

First off, please take a moment to go read this post at 37Days. It made me cry and remember my dad's fierce response to Memorial Day. He remembered being spat on and yelled at and treated poorly when he came home from Vietnam. I know the memory of that was burned in his mind forever and it pained him until he died.

My mom and I went to see "Letters to Juliet" today (thumbs up, by the way). I saw two powerful trailers - totally different kinds of films, but both made me curious. One was just a regular movie with Zac Efron (I know, I know) called "Charlie St. Cloud". I think he has potential - kind of like Ashton Kutcher. The other film, "Waiting for Superman" is a documentary about the Seed School in Washington, D.C. I saw a report about it last week - they hold a lottery drawing to choose the students who will enroll the following year. I'm going to pledge to see it. Below is the trailer I saw today:

I have never made such a smart decision as coming home on Sunday! The airports were quiet in Sacramento and Portland (quieter in Sacramento). The traffic was calm. Today, right around the time I would have been coming home, a tree fell on the freeway and blocked the eastbound lanes. I would not have been a happy camper. Just having the extra time was such a relief and I also felt like I had a day of vacation that didn't involve running around or being "on". For me, it doesn't matter how close you are with people - when you are staying together, there is an element of being "on" to make sure we get along and have a good time. I'm a big believer in "off" time, too. I'm glad I had it.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Home, Jeeves

Luckily, I packed everything last night, so that when I got up today, I didn't have to rush around packing and miss just being with my friends. While I was packing, I found a 1937 Buffalo nickel - kind of exciting, even though I have no idea if it is worth anything or not. I just think it is cool to have something that has been around that long.

Went to lunch with my hosts and a couple of other friends. We laughed and laughed again today. We went to Ruen Thai in Roseville (I think). The poor woman there was SLAMMED for the Sunday lunch of Memorial Day weekend. She was gracious and we tried to be as flexible as we could. The food was great (VERY SPICY) and I tasted some of the best Thai fried rice I have ever had. It was a lovely way to end the trip.

Then, off to the airport. I got there with plenty of time - it was the perfect plan to travel just off the holiday - both on the way and back, the airports were really pretty quiet and I didn't feel like I had to run around or stand in endless lines. Sat and read, watched some TV. Slept on the plane.

Home. Ahh. Familiar food and drink. My bed. Good. (I've had a rumbly in my tumbly with all the water and food that I don't normally eat. I hate being "sensitive".) All in all, a great trip. :)

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Set In My Ways

It is so funny how we get set in our ways and we don't even realize how much until we are plopped down in different circumstances. Everything is different when you are away from home. For me, it isn't even so much how mentally I am set in my ways - it is more the physical. The water I drink when I'm away affects me, the food, the access to a car so that if I have a need, I can take care of it independently - no help needed, no conversation needed.

The brands of food, the kinds of produce, the type of pop or water - even the names of stores are different. Smart and Final. That's the name of a store here. It just cracks me up. And BevMo (Beverages and More). Who'd have thunk?

Anyway, having a good time. Watching lots of Glee, talking Broadway, getting ready for the Tony awards soon. Movies, friends, lots of laughter. It's a very good thing.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Birthday Mission Accomplished

We had a great day yesterday and I even took pictures. I'm sure some of them are crappy, but I will post what I can when I get home. Lovely brunch at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, drove the scenic route to the Exploratorium.

Note that if you want to go to a hands-on museum for science in the middle of the day in May on a week day, you will encounter LARGE numbers of school children who are barely supervised.

After the Exploratorium, a drive through the Presidio and on the scenic route around San Franscisco. We ended up at a lovely place near the ocean for some beverages and a little nibble before heading off to Morrocan food. I don't remember the name of the restaurant, but I have a photo. :) Took a couple of hours for dinner, then drove back through the city to head "home" to Sacramento. Got home around 10:30pm with enough time to wach some "GLEE"! Yay!

Today, lunch with a friend and more fun - maybe a movie. Who knows!

Ta ta for now.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Day in the City

It is B.'s birthday. First a brunch at the Hyatt hotel with a FANTASTIC waitress, then a little work (boo) on the computer at .50 a minute (I'm keeping this short). Next, off to the Exploratorium (?) - I have to admit ignorance, but it is the birthday wish. We may end up at Ghiradelli Square at some point...who knows.

More later. :)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Safe and Sound

Flew out to Sacramento and arrived safe and sound. Met by friends, new haircuts, American Idol chat, GLEE talk and a drive to San Francisco. Ate at the Blue Frog (they even have frog legs, but I didn't eat those). Then into the city at the Embarcadero Hyatt Hotel. Very fancy.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tuesday Tidbits

**I was digging around for something over the weekend and I found the little Max figure that I photographed for the banner of the blog. I haven't really paid attention to it for a long time other than the photo. Turns out it is really only about 6 inches tall - if that! I was so surprised when I saw it - his personality is so big and the photos are so close that the figure lives in my mind as a much larger piece. It's funny how our mind can trick us that way.

**I totally should have packed tonight but I watched "American Idol" and "Glee" and totally loved them. I love the guy who plays Kurt on "Glee" and I thought the show was particularly powerful tonight. I didn't love that they had Idina Menzel sing "Funny Girl" - I didn't think it worked in that particular context. I'm not a Lady Gaga fan, either, but I thought they did some great stuff tonight. I was particularly impressed with the girl who plays Santana. I thought she sounded great.

**Can I just say that I can't wait until the FCC decides on the VRS reimbursement rates? The politics are exhausting. I can't wait to be done.

**I'm excited to go on vacation - I'm going to have time to READ and not feel guilty! I love that. I haven't decided what I'm going to bring to read. I'm trying to travel light, so I have to actually decide on something. I'm going to bring my Kindle, too, but I'm not sure I have what I want on there.

**Vacations are GOOD. I'm going to take a beach vacation during the summer - this is more of a mini-vacation. Can't have too many of those. I have three weeks of time off coming to me, so I'm happy to use some of it.

**I'm loving "Friends" right now. Each time I watch the series, I find new things that are so funny or a new character to focus on. I don't have a favorite character, but right now, I'm watching Chandler a lot. I also love the whole thing when Joey doesn't know how to use the air quotes, "I'm sorry". Hee hee. I love that. I know you have to know what I'm talking about to think it is funny, but trust me, it is FUNNY. I was a late-comer to the "Friends" party, but I'm totally on board now.

**Good night, friends. More tomorrow.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Did I mention that I am going out of town on Wednesday? Means I have all kinds of stuff to do to get ready. Luckily, this trip is for PLEASURE only. My friend's birthday! We are going to SF and we are going to play and then go home and play and watch GLEE and maybe go to the movies and other fun stuff.

I will be posting, never fear. :) I have a commitment to myself.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sunday, Again? Already?

Where does the time go?  I thought I would get all this stuff done this weekend (every weekend) and I didn't!  Now it is 9:33pm and I am thinking of all the lists of things I wanted to accomplish this weekend and about my trip and what I need to do to prepare.  Instead of doing that, I am half-watching the Brooks and Dunn tribute and typing this post.

I don't know ANY Brooks and Dunn music, to be utterly truthful, but I wanted to see/hear Jennifer Hudson (who sang beautifully and looked beautiful) and Carrie Underwood (looked great and sang beautifully). Taylor Swift also sang and that was the first time I have ever heard her sing without flinching...

I think I am seriously going to start writing lists of what I want to do each day. Not a general list - those are always so freaking long that I get intimidated after the first day when I only get 3-4 things marked off (I always manage to do a bunch of things that I didn't think to put on the list). I think if I have a plan, maybe I will be better about executing it?

I'm always torn - I really need the rejuvenation of a quiet weekend and I like to do a few things for myself, but I get frustrated that I didn't get more stuff done. I will find a balance. I just have to MAKE it balance. I can do it!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Feeding the Broadway Beast

I somehow ended up on YouTube tonight. :) 

Found this great version of "I Dreamed a Dream" sung by Andrea McArdle.  She played the original "Annie" on Broadway and this is one of my very favorite Broadway songs. Great combo.

And here is Andrea McArdle in "Annie" back in the late 1970s or early 1980s.

"Annie" was the first musical I fell in love with when I was 12 years old. I kept checking the album out from our school library. Every week, I would take it back, dreading the day someone would have a hold on it. No one ever did, so I had it for months. Then finally, at some point, I had a copy of my own. I'm sure it was a Christmas or birthday gift, much to my sister's dismay. I sang all the songs and listened to it incessantly.  Little did I know how well Broadway tunes carry or how the clarity of a Broadway voice can pierce through walls, other music and try the patience of everyone else in the household. Little did I know that Broadway music would ultimately be my music of choice and would play such an important part in my world.

Right now, I am listening to "The Lion King" in preparation for the show in late June. Only one of the 5 CDs in my car CD changer is pop music - all the others are Broadway shows.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Gift Giving

So, I'm stepping out on a ledge here...on a topic that is kind of silly, but it has been bothering me.  Here goes...

I have noticed over the years that gift-giving has become much more difficult. I'm not sure what it is.  Is it that I was more confident in my ability to buy something that people would like?  Is it that I just bought whatever seemed good and didn't pay attention to what people would like?  Is it that now I'm just more concerned about making people happy?  I have no idea, but I know that gift giving, which I LOVE, had been more of a challenge as I get older.

When I was younger, Roby and I just bought stuff for each other all the time. Sometimes just goofy little things, sometimes things the other person had been dying to have. We just took such pleasure in gifting each other. Later, I was friends with a person who insisted that we come to a spending amount agreement - "what if one person spends a lot and the other person doesn't spend as much?" It was a little odd and uncomfortable. One time, with $3.98 left of my agreed upon $50, I ended up buying a bag of Skittles and a glass jar to put them in. I felt like I should include the receipts as proof that I spent the whole amount.

The next gift-influencer was a person who told me that they "hated the obligatory gift-giving that was associated with holidays like Christmas and birthdays". Instead of asking questions (which would have helped), I then spun into the self-questioning. "What if I find something they like? Do they like presents at all? What if they don't like it? If I give them a present, will they feel like I am obligating them to reciprocate? If I find something they might like but it is too close to a holiday, should I wait to give it to them until the holiday is farther away?" This definitely had a negative impact on my willingness to put myself out there.

Then there are the flower haters. I used to love to just get some flowers or a balloon for someone, but then I met a bunch of people who don't like to get flowers for various reasons.

Maybe I shouldn't worry about any of this. Gift-giving is an act of friendship and I guess if I want to do it, I should just do it and not worry about all the other stuff. Unfortunately, not worrying is not in my nature. I worry that people won't like it, already have it, will be irritated. It might be the wrong color or brand or edition. It isn't the perfect thing...Aaarrgghh! It shouldn't be this hard.

Anyway, I did overcome my fears for a friend this week and decided to just try. I think the success was in the fact that there was giftage and that I made an attempt to get them gifties that were in the realm of their interests. That's really all I can do. And hope that they know that the gifts are from the heart and that the intentions are good.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Dirty Litte Secret

So, I saw a BIZARRO video on Facebook tonight, but it inspired me to reflect on the topic of Texting while driving.

Back when I first started the job I'm at now, I was given a smart phone and expected to be "on call" pretty much all the time. That lasted for several years, but I think the first year was the most intense. I was hired to work as the swing shift supervisor and I worked from 3:30 PM to 12:00 AM. The emails and phone calls and AIMS started early in the day and there were many days when I was driving to work and the phone would ring, the AIM would go off and I would pull over. I had a number of conversations with people and I would let them know that I needed to get back on the road and they would marvel that I wasn't texting while driving or calling them while on the road.

I know the exact moment that I gave in to the pressure. The very first time I had to fly down to Headquarters. The flight was booked for me and I arrived and got my rental car. I had NO IDEA where I was but had directions from a fellow supervisor who lived in the area. I was driving along and my AIM kept going off while I was looking at my directions (saved on my sidekick). As I'm driving, I'm seeing AIMs that say, "Where are you? We have a meeting in 10 minutes." Now, they had booked my flight and had the itinerary. They lived in Sacramento and knew that it took at least 30 minutes to get from the airport to headquarters. They also knew that my flight didn't land until 11:00am and yet they planned a meeting for like 11:30am, not taking into account that I had to take a shuttle to get a rental car. I started AIMing with them while on a strange road in a strange city driving a strange car. What an idiot! By the grace of God or sheer dumb luck or SOMETHING, I wasn't hurt.

During the time I was there, all week, I rode in cars with people who texted while driving and talking to me and sometimes, there was even signing involved in the conversations. It seemed like it was a normal progression and they all seemed comfortable and GOOD at it...I was a little freaked (I NEVER texted while anyone was in the car with me), but I didn't say anything.

After that, it just felt like it was expected that I would respond immediately. I took my sidekick everywhere and always answered as quickly as possible. I actually got "pretty good" at doing it - meaning I don't think I killed anyone.  No one made me do it - there was just some implicit agreement that it was "the thing to do" to ensure that I was always in touch with my staff, my supervisors, the business, etc.

A couple of years ago (I don't know when exactly), the state of Washington (where I work) banned talking on cell phones without a hands-free device - it was a secondary offense, but it basically meant you can't text because you can't have your cell in your hands while driving. I found the provided earbud so that if I was on a call, I didn't have to hold my phone, but it pretty much ended texting in the car for me and I try to only talk on the phone briefly or if there is some kind of conference call. On conference calls, I dial and join before I start and mute myself. The beauty is that if it gets intense or something is happening in traffic, I just pull the earbud out and ignore the call.

I immediately felt such a sense of relief when I gave myself permission NOT TO text and talk on the phone in the car. I regained my peace and quiet in the car on the way home and that pressure of feeling like I am always "ON" had decreased dramatically. I tried texting a couple of times, briefly WAY after I stopped doing it - I'm sure I thought it was some kind of emergency - but I hadn't use the skill in so long, it was actually really difficult, so it made me even more nervous. Now, I just keep my phone in my purse and that way I'm not even tempted to use it. Sometimes, I have to make a call, but I use my earbuds and speed dial.  Otherwise, it stays all zipped up in my bag until I arrive at my destination.

As I see more and more conversation about texting and driving and  more tragic outcomes because we are all so distracted and deluded into thinking we CAN text and control a ton of moving metal at the same time, I am proud of myself. I'm glad I didn't just stop doing it because Oprah asked me to or because someone died in my sphere (although this is a good reason to stop). It is nice to know, for once, that common sense can really prevail. Now, I just hope it catches on.

So, there you go. My dirty little secret.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Multitasking or Multidistracting?

Today, I started doing about 100 things and then the phone rang or I got an AIM or an email and I diverted to the new thing which then led to being diverted to the new thing.  By the end of the day, I had worked on at least 3 big projects but didn't complete any of them. Luckily, I made progress and none of them are due tomorrow...

I have to go back to that Yale professor's book...I think it is called "Happy" or something like that...He did a lecture on PBS (I think I posted about it...I will have to look it up) and talked about how our IQ drops 10 points when we are multitasking. I know that the perception is that people who can super-duper multi-task are more productive and more successful, but I KNOW that I am more productive, accurate and clearheaded when I can focus on one thing at a time.

When I first started this job, I felt like I had suddenly developed ADD or something...the layers of multitasking, the fast pace of change and technology seemed related to the job, but I realize now that we were just on the cutting edge. Working in the telecommunications field in a specialized area just means we were facing some of those issues earlier than the mainstream. In the beginning, it was fun to have a smart phone, to have AIM and email and phone and text with a pop out keyboard and to have instant access to communication. Now, five years later, I can't wait to unplug when I get home.

On the way out of the office today, I decided I was going to make a list of all the daily things I need to do and then a list of projects and a list of things I WANT to do. Then I'm going to come up with some kind of plan to try to limit the unnecessary distractions. The phone is always going to ring and people will need to talk, but there are some distractions I can work to minimize so that I can regain some sense of sanity.

Oh - completely off topic - bought plane tickets to go to Sacramento to visit my friends. I can't wait!! There for a few days of R&R, then back to start rehearsals for "The Lion King". Yay!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Boxed In

I have been feeling lately a little boxed in both here and in my Facebook world.  Facebook really isn't a place I feel comfortable sharing anything too personal - I have a weird mix of old friends and new, work folks, clients old and new, family, etc.  Feels too volatile to be super expressive there.  The sense I have here is not quite the same.  It all goes back to that idea that only about 10% of our lives are really blogworthy.  That is a tiny percent for me...cuz there isn't that much going on aside from work.  I don't want to talk about work here. Hence my conundrum.

So tonight, I reveal my American Idol preference for lack of a better topic.  I love LEE!! I have liked him since the beginning and I really hope he will win, but at least go to the finals.

So, there you go.  That is the part of the 10% of my day that I can share.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Book Commitment

I have narrowed down my options for the book that is going to jump start my reading again. All the selections have been nearby for quite some time but when I approached them today, they gave a good "Read Me" vibe.  Right now, I'm not looking for the most literary book in the world - just something that will hold my attention for longer than 5 seconds. So...drum roll please...

1. The Twilight books (sometimes reading something I have already read is a good place to start...I have only read them once)
2. Heat Stoke by Rachel Caine- book 2 in a series. I like series books...
3. Harry Potter books - especially the last book. I have only read that one once and have listened to it on tape about 3-4 times.
4. Alice by Sara Flanigan (I prefer "Sudie and Simpson" but I can't find my copy.
5.  The Freedom Writers' Diaries

I think these should provide enough diversity to spark that reading energy in me. I miss reading so much and I'm trying to figure out what it is that stops me from reading when it was such a big part of my life and my relaxation. I think maybe one of the problems is that I don't often feel like I can relax. I'm always thinking that I "should be" doing something. I think I just have to start making a plan - a list. If I accomplish what I need to (important and urgent) then I can take that time for myself and do what I enjoy. It isn't like I'm using the time WELL now - I'm not.

So, this is the plan. Starting now.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Dreaming of BookFest!

I have been thinking about books a lot lately and BookFest, in particular.  I haven't been reading my 30 minutes a day lately and I want to change that. I was thinking that I should start just reading my BookFest books and plow through them one by one until I'm done. I haven't been good about making the time and making sure that I use the time for the things I want to do (need to do).

I think that is one reason why I have committed to writing here on a daily basis - it would be easy to just let it go some days, but I don't take/make time for the things that are really important to me. I know that I will often sit down and intend to read but end up watching some crappy television show instead. I'm not a TV hater, but I also know that there are lots of things that would "feed" me better than some random show that I barely even like.

I'm going to take a look at some of the books I have laying around and formulate some plan...I wish I knew how to make some of the cool badges that people make for challenges online - I would make my own little badge. That's ok, though. I will make my commitment once I make a plan. I just know I need to add something else to my world right now.

And then, in June or July - BOOKFEST!! Yay! I think this year, my books will all be books I want to read this summer. That would be cool! A big pile of "Must Read Right Away". :) I can't wait.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

"The Invention of Lying"

I watched the Ricky Gervais/Jennifer Garner movie called, "The Invention of Lying". The basic premise is that no one has ever told a lie (and everyone over-shares). Suddenly, one day, Ricky Gervais' character tells the first lie out of desperation. Since no one has ever lied before, everyone believes everything he says. The good news, even though he does lie for his own benefit sometimes, mostly, he has a conscience.

One of the lies that he tells is about what happens to us after we die. His mother is told she will die that evening and she is afraid of just entering the vast nothingness, so he tells her about "heaven" only he doesn't call it that.

I was moved by this movie unexpectedly. It made me think about all the parents who don't tell their kids about Santa or the Tooth Fairy because they don't want to "lie". This movie brings to light the idea that if we weren't able to talk about things that haven't happened or things we don't know about or to lie, we wouldn't have stories or hope or purpose or movies or love or churches or...or...or...

Great cast. Nice bit of hope and humanity. Funny in parts. Sweet.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Broke My Word to Myself

I was really going to go to the interpreter gathering...I was...but I worked so late and I knew a bunch of people who were otherwise engaged and I didn't go. I hate that...I should have just gone by for a little while.

It's been a long week with scheduling and all.

Tonight, I am reminded of a song from the tv show "Fame": "Friday night, gonna be all right. Gonna be all right, now baby." It has been playing in my head all day. Must mean something - like how glad I am to have a couple of days off!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Jean Meet Wall

I hit the overwhelmed wall again today. I feel the weight of my responsibilites and commitments as heavily as can be. Some days, I just feel like I'm hanging on to everything by my toenails. The feeling will pass, but it is just getting through the days before it does...

I remembered fondly the days when I was a barista and how much I enjoyed that - looking into a mirror and chatting with the customers as I made their cappuccino with whole milk (this was in the old days - pre-Starbucks, pre-half-caf, non-fat soy latte with 3 shots of chocolate pudding and a shot of tequila...Simpler coffee times. :)

Anyway, I had a little cry-fest at my desk and that was cathartic enough to get through the rest of the day. The chaos in the industry is getting to me a little - just all the noise and conversation about all the crazy stuff. Even if you don't take any of it too seriously, it still adds up to a cacophony and that can give you a headache sometimes.

Good news: tomorrow is FRIDAY!!!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Jury Duty

I forgot to report back on Jury Duty. I was called to Jury Duty for yesterday and I went. There was a huge long line to get into the courthouse because they don't open until 7:45am but they want everyone in by 8:00am...seemed a little weird when they called 353 people and only had one door open.

Anyway, we all assembled in the Jury room and filled out all the appropriate paperwork, watched the video and the first group was called. Of course, I was called into the first group, but we had to wait a while before any movement occurred. I pulled out my WordSearch and started working on it. To my left, a nice young woman who apparently married too young, had a child, got divorced and is now dating an older man she met at work. To my right, a woman I spotted immediately when she entered the space. Her energy (and voice) took up a lot of space in the room. She was loudly talking to the woman in charge about not knowing something about being there on time or something. Then, when I took all my paperwork up front, I took my purse with me and she promptly took my seat. She left one between herself and the young mother, so I sat there as the room was filling up quickly. Big energy woman then proceeded to call at least 3 people from her workplace to announce that she had just found out the night before that she had jury duty and she wasn't going to make it in for her shift. To be honest, I couldn't wait to go be in the courtroom to escape her phone calls.

I was a little disappointed that I wasn't selected to be on a jury, but I know it was for the best for me since I had a ton of work to do. I made it back to work and I was able to put in a full day in addition to the jury duty. I did my civic duty, even if I didn't have the opportunity to be involved in a trial. Honestly, I don't really need more responsibility in my life, so I'm fine with it.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Comfort Food Part Deux - the Photos!

Comfort Food

I'm not much of a cook. I think cooking is fascinating, but I never really learned to cook anything fancy or interesting. I have ventured into culinary land a few times, but I'm really a better helper. I was Roby's detail person - he made the pasta and the sauce and I stuffed the tortellini and rolled the ends. He made the chocolate cake and I painted the chocolate leaves...

There is one thing I can cook though. When people ask me about my favorite food, I often will say Thai food or Indian food or something like that. In truth, my very favorite food, the thing that I want to eat when I'm sick or depressed or just sick of all the other food I could eat but am not in the mood for, is macaroni and tomato sauce. And it is NOT Spaghetti!

Macaroni and tomato sauce (we just called it macaroni when I was a kid) was my family's version of macaroni and cheese. We were not big cheese eaters, so this fit the bill much better. It is simple - some macaroni that is al dente, some tomato juice and tomato sauce, some salt and pepper and maybe some fritos for crunch. Ahh. The perfect meal. I have photos which I will post when I am done throwing a tantrum that it wont work RIGHT NOW!!!  GRRR!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

A Tempest

The world feels a little like a tempest right now...I have this mental image of everything swirling and careening around me, furniture lifting off the floor, water flowing up and down, tornados swirling, volcanos spewing, thick gooey oil pouring out of a hole in the ocean. The more the spewing and swirling, the more I still I am tempted to become. Breathing in and out.

The unrest in my professional world is a strong, black cloud. It makes me miss the "good old days" when I was "just" an interpreter. The political unrest and all the ecological problems and ideological disagreements make it hard to just BE.

Nothing happened in particular today - the air is heavy with anticipation and speculation. It is like walking a mine field. Step carefully, answer carefully, if you put your foot down too hard or in the wrong place, stand there - very still - until you can figure out how to ease away and hope you don't set off some inadvertant explosion while you are trying to get away.

And I have jury duty tomorrow.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Who Votes for 4 Day Work Weeks?

I do! I do!  The first day of the weekend is merely about recouperation. It mostly consists of me avoiding human contact if at all possible.  The second day can be wanderings, socialness or rehearsal, but then the need is for the all-powerful third day where I can actually get some stuff done and not feel like I misused my "off" time for non-paid work-like endeavors. I wish the idea would take off, but it just really hasn't (at least where I work).

On a different note, had a nice Mother's Day. Took my mom to see "Oceans" which was quite good and I would highly recommend seeing it in the theatre for the full sound and visual affect. Then a lovely dinner at China Bay with a friend and my mom. Best food we have had there in a long time - the chefs were cooking it all special for the moms out there.

All in all, a good day.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Fleeting Ideas

I always think about all these good things to write about when I am out of the house, driving down the road or at work or when I'm in the store or someplace where I can't write my idea down and then, when I get home, I forget. I had an idea today, but it went that way, too.

Ran some errands, prepared for Mother's Day a bit, did some work, did some art, took a nap today. Nothing too exciting. I found an online course I am thinking about taking - with SARK. I love her books, but I'm reluctant to sign up for another weekly call commitment, although this one is at a better time than my other telecourse (which was so worth it!!). I am still pondering, so I will keep the blog posted about it.

Anyway, that's all I know today. I'm feeling like I'm in a blog rut, so I'm looking for things to spice it up. We'll see what happens, right?

!!I just remembered one of the things I was thinking about!! I was in the car today listening to the radio and I heard an interview with Elie Wiesel. At first, I didn't know if it was him (although I thought it was from his voice) and I kept listening. He is such a profound person. He moved me to tears by some of the things he was saying. I will look for the podcast of the interview...

One thing that struck me in the interview was when the interviewer (David Bender, I believe) asked Professor Wiesel how we can impact the next generation when they have no Holocaust/Shoah Survivors to speak to in person - how can we tell the story so that they don't forget history? Professor Wiesel said, "When you listen to a witness, you become a witness." I realized how true that is in so many ways and yet, it is another place that people are afraid to take responsibility in their lives many times.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Sage Advisor

Today was the "Signing Professions Career Fair". I really enjoyed being there and seeing the students who are just on the verge of graduating and going out into the world. They are so eager and fresh.

In a revisit of a theme I brought up a couple of posts ago, I realized while I was there that I was kind of one of the "old sages". I heard at least 50 times, "Everybody knows Jean." Then, the dean of my department came to me and let me know that he had an invitation to an event for me - the college is giving service awards and this year is my 15th year of service there. Isn't that wild? It is hard to imagine teaching for 15 years, but it is true.

The other great thing that happened today was that I received an incredible compliment. A person who was in a situation where I interpreted told me that my work was "a class above" the other interpreters they had worked with in the past in a specific situation. I was really honored and gratified to hear it. Since I don't interpret all day and only take select jobs, I have worried about the quality of the work I am doing. The person doesn't know sign language but has had lots of experience working with interpreters, so I felt there was some validity to their opinion. I'm not saying I am the best interpreter ever, but I was pleased to know that the work I did was satisfactory and that the person felt they were getting the information and intention in a way that they haven't before. (I don't know if that makes sense...)

Excitement for this weekend - I am going to try to make that Greek Lemon/Egg soup. Avgolemono Lemon Egg Soup. Yay! I love it. If you have never tried it, go to Alexis! They make some good soup. I miss going there - it has been a long time.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Back to Creating

I'm hoping to take some time this weekend to work on a new Art Journal. It is interesting to see that each one has its own distinct personality. I guess that is natural based on the color, mood, style of collage. I haven't completed any of them yet - they are all works in progress, but I think I have an idea for this new one that will take things in a whole different direction. I'm excited to start.

Tomorrow's to do list: Go to Craft Warehouse and buy double sided craft tape (Tombo Mono?). I got halted in doing some of the collage because I ran out of adhesive - once you use the double sided tape, glue stick just doesn't do it...

I think this journal is going to be painted all pink...maybe some of the yellow. Or maybe I will see if there are any neon colored watercolors. That might be fun...

Anyway, that's the plan for now. And something for Mother's Day. I think I may take my mom to see the movie "Earth" that is out. (Or did I imagine that?)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

"Old Reliable"

Appropriately, I watched a Buffy episode called, "Doppelgangland". Usually, when I watch this episode, I'm more focused on the part where Willow's doppelganger is pulled from an alternate universe...this time, not so much.

This time, my favorite exchange was:

Willow! Did you remember to tape
Biography last friday?

Uh huh.

(to Xander)
What did I tell you? Old reliable.

Oh, thanks!


Old reliable? Yeah, great!
There's a sexy nickname.

Oh, Will, I didn't mean --

No, it's fine. I'm old reliable.

She just meant, you know, the geyser.
You're like a geyser of fun that goes
off at regular intervals.

That's old faithful.

Isn't that the dog that the guy has
to shoot --

That's old Yeller.

Xander, I beg you not to help me.
(to Will)
Will, I didn't mean it in a bad way.
I think it's good to be reliable.

Well maybe I don't wanna be reliable
all the time. Maybe I'm not just
doormat... person. Homework Gal.

I'm thinking nervestrike.

She's up and ready to head inside. Starts in, turns back.

Maybe I'll change my look.
Or cut class. You don't know.
(holds up banana)
And I'm eating this banana.
Lunchtime be damned!"

Some days, it is hard to be reliable. 'Nuf said.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Yawp! and Gleek!

A couple of weeks ago, I drove through the Vista Ridge tunnel on the freeway and saw the giant "I Love Vera" written out on the tiles of the tunnel. A couple of days later, it was smudged out - the tunnel hadn't been cleaned, someone had just wiped out the lettering. I don't know why, but I thought it was sad. Then sometime last week, right below the place where the lettering had been wiped out, "Love Vera" was written out again. Yesterday, it was erased.

As I was driving through the tunnel today, I remembered that about three years ago, someone had written "YAWP!!!" in the eastbound tunnel and it stayed there for more than a month. Every day, as I drove through the tunnel on the way to work, I would think, "YAWP!!!" as in "I sound my barbaric yawp" from "The Dead Poet's Society" (well, really, Walt Whitman, but you know what I mean...)

I present you with "Yawp":

Also, I decided that I am a Gleek. Yes, in addition to my Buffy affinity, I am a devoted "Glee" fan. Tonight, as I was listening to "Total Eclipse of the Heart", I felt that same fluttering excitement that I feel when I am going to the theatre. There is something so brave to me about singing, I think. Music elicits such an emotional response anyway, then when you add these universal (if exaggerated) themes of fitting in, longing, finding yourself, finding your niche, the price of popularity, etc., it just couldn't really get any better. (I'm sure it could, but I can't think how right now...) So, from now on if you hear a squealing scream on Tuesdsay evenings that sounds like, "GLEEEEEEEK!!!", you will know it is me.

For the record, favorite "Glee" song is still the first one they did - "Don't Stop Believing".

Monday, May 3, 2010

What a Relief!

I was reading another blog yesterday and they brilliantly explained why blogging can be difficult sometimes. I was relieved to know that I was not the only one who thought some of these thoughts:

(forgive me if I misquote the stats...)
40% of your life is too personal to be put out on the internet in blogform
40% is too complicated or would take too long to get into and there just aren't enough hours in the day
10% of your life is just too dang boring to be believed which leaves
10% that is really available to talk about.

Then there is the whole "coming up with an idea for a post" issue. I bought a book on lists, but many of the lists fit into the first 80% listed above. I have looked at journal prompts, but I am never inspired to write anything good there...I wonder if that is a defense? When I was in high school, we had a daily journal prompt in my journalism class and I just did these stream-of-conciousness writings. I wonder if I have too many blocks and defenses built up against writing that way now.

Anyway, that's what I was thinking about as I was trying to come up with a post for today.

Mostly, today was too boring to be believed or too complicated and/or personal to be included. Either way, not too exciting for anyone reading.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Little Goals

I realized late today that I really accomplished very little this weekend. It wasn't because I didn't want to - I just never got myself in gear. I had a bunch of things I wanted to do, more things that I needed to do and several things that I had to do. I won't say that I got NOTHING done, but it was, all in all, a very unproductive weekend.

I think for next weekend, I will be making a list. This weekend, little ideas, memories of things I wanted to accomplish flittered across my mind and then I would sit down to write them or to look something up and it would not be there. I am reinstating my rule that I should always have paper and pen with me, no matter where I go or what I do.

May is going to be a productive month. I have decided to make it so.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Expert, Me?

I got an email today from an interpreting student. They were referred to me so that they could do an interview about theatrical interpreting - specifically musical theatre. I was struck by some of the questions that they asked and I was left in a pensive mood.

I can clearly remember the first artistic signing I ever saw. A woman (unfortunately, I don't know her name) came to our ITP class and interpreted "Grandma's Featherbed" and "The Eagle and the Hawk". I had never seen signing like that before and had never seen signing combined with music. I was fascinated and at the same time, I never thought I would ever do anything like that. When I was in the interpreter training program, I was voted "Least Likely to Appear Onstage for Any Reason, Including Sweeping". I hated being in front of the class, I hated doing the improv acting class (although I loved watching the others do it). Strange how I ever managed to become an interpreter. When I took ASL and Process tests where I was videotaped, my arms would get these purple splotches on them and my hands would shake. I was always so nervous and afraid of making mistakes.

Tonight as I answered questions about working as a performance interpreter - my passion and motivation - I was struck by the idea that someone actually wanted to know what I had to say about the topic. Don't misunderstand me...I have been asked about performance work and theatre for many years - I have presented about it and I have taught a few workshops. I KNOW that I have a ton of experience. It was just one of those funny moments when you realize - "this person might quote me in their research paper. How weird is that?"

I think this is one of the issues surrounding leadership in the world right now - a group of us coming up in the world who NEVER IMAGINED ourselves taking on the mantle of responsibility, leadership, ownership, expertise, etc. I always steered away from Boards and running for things because I have never felt "ready" - I still don't. But then I realized that you are never "ready" until you are doing whatever it is you need to learn how to do. My generation is now approaching (if not arriving) the place where we need to step up and mentor, teach, take responsibility and pass along some knowledge.

Fascinating. If I had only known, I would have paid more attention to how the leaders led me. I was so fortunate in the mentors and leaders who had a hand in my career and life and I wish I had paid more attention to that part of their involvement.


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