Monday, July 27, 2009

Sonya & Jason's Campy Adventure to Michigan - Day 1

Both excited about the trip. Finally finished packing and went to bed Friday night about 11:30. Jason said he got about 30 minutes of sleep. He’s been really having trouble sleeping. I’m hoping this vacation will help us both get back in sync.

Schaffer moped the whole time I was packing, looking at me pathetically, like I was leaving and never coming back. I kept telling him we were going to see America! But he wasn’t buying it.
Left Saturday morning about 8. I bought dog harnesses that connect to the seatbelts hoping that this would keep the dogs safe and out of the front seat. We didn’t even get on the interstate before we took them off. The dogs were getting so twisted in the seatbelt straps that we were sure somebody was going to break a leg. So the dogs free-floated in the back seat.

This was Greta’s first trip anywhere in the new CR-V. Schaffer’s only been in it once. Stopped for red bull and sunflower seeds…the breakfast of Champions. Mapquest told us to go through Memphis, but when we got in the car, the Geronimo (my Dad’s vernacular) said go through Birmingham. Who are we to argue with Geronimo?

At about the 2.5 hour mark, we passed by a pack of no less than 30 motorcycles. Greta apparently has a deep, personal issue with motorcycles, because she wigged out 30 times
Later in the day, we passed a motorcycle stalled on the side of the road with no rider. When she saw it, she had sort of a mini-wig out, figured out there was no person on it, and just stared at it dumbfounded.

Schaffer spent the entire 12 hours napping or standing with his paws on the door handle looking out the window. He seemed to love the mountains and rode looking almost constantly as soon as we hit Birmingham.

Greta spent the ride napping SOME, or either laying with her head resting on the edge of her folded up crate or on one of our shoulders looking out the windshield.

We only stopped with them twice. At the 3 hour mark in Alabama somewhere, we got out of the car and took a 15 minute walk. It was HOT as HELL and it really wore them out. It was good for us to move around too. We got them out of the car again at about the 7 hour mark and let them walk around some, and then we didn’t stop again until we got to the hotel.

Jason and I took turns driving and except for a relatively short Glen Beck interlude, we listened to the Classic Vinyl station on XM radio. I studied for a test I need to take for CPE credits on Understanding the Basics of Mortgage Fraud, and I would have gone ahead and taken the test if I had had a #2 pencil for the scantron. Maybe I’ll take it tomorrow evening.

So as we got closer to the hotel, I started getting more and more anxious about the accommodations.

And now that we are here, I’m still a little anxious. It’s cute. It’s clean. It’s HOT (89 or something). There’s no AC. The windows are all screened and open. The ceiling fans are on high. Jason fell asleep early, he was wiped out. I went to the parking lot and tried to get an internet signal.

And now I’m lying here….actually getting sleepy between the heat, the constant sound of the insect calls, and the sound of Greta panting….
(the Zoloft and ambien didn’t hurt…)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

GO BUY THIS BOOK. It's going in my top 10 ever.


Next week is my birthday. It's the big 4.0, and that's the last time I'm mentioning it. UGH. I found myself with a hole in my schedule, amazing, and we had a little family birthday/ SYTYCD party! (See the SYTYCD blog for those details.)

Chantilly Berry cake from Whole Foods


Been painting!

Finally dug out the paints and started painting again. It's been YEARS. I saw a painting by a Louisiana artist, Marion Drennan, that I absolutely loved. She has a series of paintings about math. The one I'm working on now it almost a direct copy, but I'm hoping it will boost my confidence in my technical skills (few, but still...) and eventually lead to more pure creativity. So yeah, its a copy. It's practice, and an experiment.

So far I'm really liking how it's progressing.

Girl's night!

So even thought I'm in NOLA like....constantly....I rarely do anything but go to my hotel and work or sit in front of the computer. But one day a couple of weeks ago my BFF from college, Dale, finally facebooked me. And miracle of miracles, she only had 1 of her 4 kids that week, so she was able to come have dinner and spend the night for a girl's night! We recruited my friend Andree, who also knows Dale from Mississippi State, and our friend Shannon, who Dale and I know from State, and whose little sister went to high school with Andree.

We went to PF Chang's and stayed there talking and laughing until they closed, and then Andree had to go home to Cutesy Lucy, and Shannon, Dale, and I went and got a gallon of daiquiris and went to the hotel and yapped into the wee hours.

I have missed my friend!!!!!!! All 4 of us had a ball.

And even after all these years, I am still amazed by the extreme, unbelievable, beautiful curliness of Dale's hair.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Chopping Wood

Not quite the same as chucking wood, I suppose, but this still cracked me up. When I was little, if one of us asked my Dad what he was doing when he was actually doing something really obvious, he'd say "Chopping wood".

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Update on the weirdness

Last night Jason and I were in bed watching TV before we went to sleep, and we were watching this new show called WAREHOUSE 13, and what was mentioned smack in the middle of the episode???

You guessed it.....NIKOLA TESLA.

I just turned and looked at Jason. He never looked at me....just held up 4 fingers and smirked.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Anathem and other readings since my last post

I listened to Anathem, all 28 discs. It was awesome, but probably my least favorite Neal Stephenson book. Only because of the topics. The writing, research, and character development were still excellent. It held my interest throughout. There were some segues that seemed a little forced, or maybe purposely cut out by the editors? They were literally like...."and then some stuff happened".....and then back into the detailed story. Kind of weird, but obviously those parts didn't contain anything all that pertinent because I still understood the flow and info.

So yeah, it was worth reading. But it makes me want to read Cryptonomicon again...

Also read SHORT HISTORY OF A SMALL PLACE, a book my friend Sandy recommended. First book by T.R. Pearson that I've read. Loved it!

THE KNOWN WORLD - wow this was great too. Well written (obviously - it won the Pulitzer), but I liked it because it told stories of slavery from a different perspective. Slaves owned by other former slaves who bought themselves out of slavery, and then bought slaves. Interesting, and sure made me think about some of the long-term ramifications of slavery in general. Primarily, the breaking up of families.

SEVEN YEARS IN TIBET (audio) - This was abridged, which just annoys me. I'm sure it would be interesting to hear the whole thing. Maybe one day I'll read it.

INTERPRETER OF MALADIES - This one was out of stock, so I still haven't read it.

FERMATA - A long, long time ago, I read a book called MEZANNINE by Nicholson Baker. I didn't remember what it was really about, but I've always remembered that I liked it a lot. I did remember that the whole book took place while this guy was riding down the escalator , and that it talked tons about minutia. Like...staplers. And drinking straws. So anyway, FERMATA did have some of those characteristics. It's quite risque, though, which is fine with me to an extent but I didn't expect it. It's about this guy who can stop and start time, and he's the only one that can move around during that time. And the things he does during that time.

MY YEAR IN IRAQ - by the guy that was the head of the Coalition Provisional Authority - the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq. I thought it was very interesting. Made me want to read more about Sadam. Dude was NUTS.

COLD SASSY TREE - Another good summer, Southern book. Heard about it for a million years...glad I finally read it.

More Weirdness

Coincidences kind of freak me out.

Yesterday I was reading "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" (which I am LOVING), and there was a reference to Nikola Tesla. I hadn't heard that name in a million years, and couldn't remember what he did. I asked Jason, and he remembered.

This afternoon, I looked on to Google, and the artwork for the day was in honor of Tesla's birthday.

And tonight, we are watching KNOWING (which sux by the way) and the cause of ALL the problems is......

"A 100 micro TESLA wave of radiation...."

I wonder if Tesla is trying to contact me FROM THE BEYOND for something...

I wiki'd him and found out that he "did things in threes, and was adamant about staying in a hotel room with a number divisible by three. Tesla was also noted to be physically revolted by jewelry, notably pearl earrings. Tesla was obsessed with pigeons, ordering special seeds for the pigeons he fed in Central Park and even bringing some into his hotel room with him."

I love quirky.

New malapropisms from work.

"keep dividends at a competabile rate"

Goats are weird.

Lucy (Andree's sweet baby) agrees.

How funny is this?

My cousin Ginger's crazy dogs. Ginger reports "this sums up their personalities to a tee....LuLa is the Tasmanian Devil and Maggie is just "whatever" ....she reminds me of Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh."


Planning the 2009 vacay for the beginning of August! Starting to really get a little excited. We have decided to go up to Michigan to visit Jason's family, and so I can see some of the state that I haven't experienced.

What I want for SURE out of this vacation is:
Lots and lots of SWIMMING in CLEAR, un-chlorinated water.
To build a sandcastle on the beach.
To see Schaffer's tail wag (he has a hard time - it's not very movable - but beaches usually do it)
To walk in the woods.
To sit by a campfire.
To eat HEALTHY and purge my body of all the chemicals I feed it.
To exercise every day, but in fun ways like swimming and hiking.
To try camping. In a tent.

Jason spent his childhood summers @ a cabin on Black Lake. His tales of those trips, along with the fact that it's been 457 degrees here all summer and I feel like I've been a total hermit, have made me want to get OUTSIDE. Hopefully there will be cooler weather and fewer bugs!