Monday, April 27, 2009

Today.

Today was another gorgeous spring day in Vermont. Definitely made up for yesterday. Or it would have if it had been Sunday and I wouldn't have been forced to look wistfully out at the gorgeousness from my office window.

But I digress.

This morning started out on a rather low note. It was nothing in particular, just a down day I guess. I was feeling rather sorry for myself regarding a lack of current romantic prospects in conjunction with a few other things.

I mean, I know that in reality nothing lasts forever and I will find someone and my other issues will resolve themselves. It's just that sometimes, when you're neck deep in the mire it's hard to see that there is an end. You just need to schlepp through the crap to get to the good stuff.

Anyway, at lunch I managed to get out and take a walk in the wonderful weather. There is a very nice little wooded path that runs along the river. It was sunny and shaded; the river was babbling; the birds were chirping... it was just what I needed to get back in my head.

Right now, I'm watching How I Met Your Mother, because Barney Stinson rocks. Because sometimes you really need to just get 
out of your own head.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Scare of the Day

So I was in the kitchen puttering around, making lunch. I look out the window, and there is a guy in a hoodie entering stuff into a blackberry. Now, I don't have anything against guys in hoodies. But this guy was just standing there, out front of my apartment, for an extended period of time.  

Finally, he moves out of my vision. Not happy with that, I go outside to see if he's still here. Still is. With his hoodie still up, entering things into his blackberry, facing my apartment.  

WTF???  

"What the hell are you doing??" I ask him. He wasn't expecting that. He just kinda stared at me.  

"I know you from the internet," he said. Whoah. Wait, what???? I certainly didn't recognize him from anywhere. "What, are you stalking me?????"  

"No! I'm an Innumerator with the Census Bureau! It was all over the news!" He waves a badge vaguely in my direction. Like I'm going to go down there and take a look?  

"Where did you see me on the internet?" At which point you can see him internally say fuck, I shouldn't have mentioned that

"On Match.com and on MySpace like a year ago. Listen I have a girlfriend! I'm not stalking you, I'm just trying to make an extra $14 an hour! You can call the cops if you like! I'm going around to all the apartments here!" 

"If I ever see you around here again, I am calling the cops."  

I watched him for a bit and he is going around to other places. Still in a dark hoodie, with the hood up. Looking all suspicious. Badges can be faked, but I know the Census bureau was hiring to have people do this; they came to our office a month ago asking to tack a poster on our bulletin board. And yes, it was a different guy.  

What I want to know is, why am I the only one who noticed he's around? Why isn't anyone else coming out and saying what the hell are you doing just standing outside my apartment? In this day and age, you can't trust anyone. I mean, you can't just go wandering around neighborhoods looking all suspicious. Oh wait, I guess you can. Still, I think the Census Bureau needs to invest into looking for other options. And maybe institute a dress code or something.  

My MySpace page is long gone. Match is going to be gone in about 5 minutes. I readily admit to being freaked out about this.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Whoopsidaisy

Last night I was able to get to a mid-week yoga class at my studio. This is a special treat for me, as I work out of town and can rarely leave in time to make a 5:45 class. The commute and the workload often gets the better of me.

Still, yesterday the stars aligned and I was able to take the Wednesday class with my favorite teacher Jane. I make many of her Saturday morning classes, but they are usually filled to the brink with people. Last night's was small enough that I was able to get help with something I've been nervous about trying: Salamba Sirsasana. In other words, the headstand.

I'm not big on inversions generally speaking, and headstands always hurt my head. But, if I want to deepen my yoga practice (and if I ever decide I want to take a teaching course) I should know how to do this. Obviously, I am not yet at the point where I can do this free-stand; walls are my friend. But, just going for it is a big step for me. Hopefully I'll get over my distaste of the inversion and reap some of the benefits (which include a calmer mind, a strengthening of the arms, legs and spine, and improved balance).

Heck, maybe moving forward with what I consider a truly challenging position will help me tackle other challenging things in life. It's all connected, right?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

You Really Can't Go Home Again

Today was my Mom's birthday.  So, I went up to my home town of Newport, VT to spend the weekend with my Mom. It's really not that far away... about an hour and a half, but it's just far enough to be a pain to do on a regular basis.

Anyway, while I was up there I had a chance to wander around town a little bit. It's one of those small towns reacts badly to changing times; it takes a while to catch up with the rest of the world.

I was struck at how depressed the downtown area was. Now granted, it's not a very big "down town." You can barely even call it that. But when I was growing up, I remember it to be a busy, bustling area. There were people milling about, visiting, shopping. I used to love wandering downtown and seeing what I could purchase with my meager savings. This is what Main Street looked like on a Saturday afternoon at 4pm:


Now that's sad. Granted Newport relies heavily on summer tourism, but of the shops in business, 3/4 of them were already closed for the day. One out of four shops along Main Street had gone out of business and were sporting empty storefronts. 

This is a struggling town, whose heyday was a solid 100 years ago. I hate seeing this town so devoid of life. I know that it struggled even when I was a child, but at least people were trying. Now, it just looks like everyone has given up. 

There is an attempt currently going on to revitalize the Main Street, to pump some life back into it. I hope it works, and I hope it turns this sad little town into something people don't have to feel so dejected about. Because let's face it, towns with hope left in them don't look like this. 

Thursday, April 16, 2009

It's Official.

I'm going to the UK! I bought my plane tickets this morning, so there's no turning back now. Squeee!!!!

I'll be flying down after work on Friday (yes, dumb. But also an attempt to exhaust me so I sleep on the plane). My connection goes through Newark, and I'll arrive in London by 10:30 the next morning. 

My return flight leaves from Edinburgh, and I'm quite certain it's an oversold situation. They wouldn't let me pick my seats, and the little image was reading as "all seats being taken." Yikes. So either I'm going to check in early enough to get a seat, get bumped up to first class (fingers crossed) or I end up spending another day in Edinburgh on the airline's ticket. How horrible for me. 

I can't wait for this vacation!!!!!


Monday, April 13, 2009

Wonderment and Wondering

Okay, so I can't get enough of the Duggars. I mean, I'm not obsessed or anything, but their family fascinates me.  I think I've watched just about all of their TLC shows (the latest of which is 18 Kids and Counting).

Yes, that's right. 18 kids. That's one humdinger of a family. And now, the oldest, not even married a year, is expecting his first. They really took the idea of a large family and ran with it.

These are good honest people who are devoted to god and family. They do what they can to help those less fortunate, and they have a kind word for everyone. These are gentle people who are raising good kids. The kind of kids that are increasingly rare in American society - polite, genuine, and willing to work for what they need. They do not tax the American welfare system; they support themselves. They do not live outside their means. 

I understand their reasonings and desires for a large family, and I admire the way they live their lives. They are truly a dying breed in today's American society. It does make me think though. There many in modern society who choose not to have children because of population density and shrinking resources. They've done a lot of thinking about this, and have decided the world would be a better place by them not having children.

It's kind of two ends of the spectrum, isn't it? The proponents of the large family versus those who think there are already too many people in the world. Obviously, if modern society chose either extreme, the world would be in trouble. We'd either have too many people crammed into a tiny planet, or we'd have the extinction of the species.

I guess as a person who often struggles with the notion of having children at all, I look at such large families with bemusement. How many resources are they using up? How many families "can't" have kids because this large family overshot their "quota"? Why does it matter that they have 18 kids? Why not have 18 kids?

Maybe this is why I keep watching. I may not necessarily agree with all of their beliefs, but I can't fault their values. They are Good People. Maybe some day I'll figure out where I land on the spectrum. 

I can pretty much guarantee it won't be close to 18 kids, though. 

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Weekend in a Nutshell

Saturday:
  - yoga
        - second hand stores
               - amazing circle skirts
                        - A Haunting in Connecticut isn't really that good
                                 - Why am I watching tv at 1am?
                                        - Start a baby sweater for upcoming baby shower

Sunday:
 - coffee please (don't care if it's decaf)
        - Herm, weight's back to acceptable levels. Yay!
               - (action not posted due to the fact anyone can read it)
                        - Made burritos and Rajma
                                 - I blame Food Network for wanting cornbread
                                        - Hoping the yarn isn't too girly for a boy
                                 - I should start choreographing again
                        - What, today's Easter? So why's it snowing out???

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Squeee!

It's official, I'm going to the UK. Woo-hooo!!!! I am so excited. I've taken the week of June 15th off. My current plan is to fly in at some point on Saturday the 13th, and stay with my good friends the Lofts for a few days. Then on Wednesday, I'll take the train up to Edinburgh and stay there on my own for a few days, before flying home, again on Saturday.

Doesn't that sound like fun???

I'm not quite sure of the specifics yet. I've an inquiry into a B&B in Edinburgh. I'm not going to book a flight that leaves from there if I can't find a decent, affordable room in the city. Once I know I'll have a place to stay, then I'll book my flights. I've currently got emails out to friends I have not seen in ages, and last night I bought a couple Lonely Planet travel guides for London and Edinburgh.

Truth be told, I've spent more time thinking about Scotland than I have about England. With England, I figured I would just see who could meet up when, and then fill in the gaps. But Scotland... I've never been there, and it's a whole city just waiting to be explored. There are castles to visit, volcanoes to climb, and ghost tours to be taken. How will three days ever be enough?

Planning is half the fun with trips like these, and I'm sure I'll be changing my mind as to my plans right up until I step off the train and try to find my hotel. But that's half the fun too.

Of course, the men in kilts are part of the fun, too. ;-)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

What I Might Do on My Summer Vacation

Vacation? What's that? I haven't had anything more than a few days off since February of 2007, when I went to Italy for two weeks. I've got to tell you, I'm really feeling it. Okay, so there are lots of other reasons why I'm feeling it, but a full week off would probably do me some good.

So, anyway. I got paid yesterday (yay!) and discovered that I have 30 hours of vacation time saved up. Three more paychecks and I'll have a full week (I'm taking a day off in May for my birthday. I am NOT coming in on my birthday).

So I'm thinking... my pals in the UK have been hounding me to come over again for a long time. Maybe now is the time! It is all very theoretical at this point, but I'm thinking a few days in England to meet up with my UK mates, then up to Edinburgh for a couple days before flying back.

I'm thinking this may happen mid-late June or early July, although it depends on a lot of different things. If the UK doesn't work out, I have a couple other ideas in mind, but we'll see how this plays out first. I've been dying to get back there for years now. This could be just the opportunity I was looking for!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Another weekend, over too fast.

Weekends always speed by too quickly, and the weeks just meander. Isn't that always the way?

Weekend started Friday night by hanging out with a friend to watch some Sci-Fi channel. Hello, my name is Jade and I am a geek. Anyway. Saturday saw me at yoga class then meeting my friend Marie (hi, Marie!) for lunch, with her sis and step-sis.  

After that I did either a really brave or really stupid thing: I went to Costco's on a rainy Saturday afternoon. I know, right? What was I thinking? Snagged some good food deals there. Then headed on to another two grocery stores. Yes, my usual Saturday tour o' food. I think I'm like the only person on earth who loves to grocery shop.

Today was a low-key day. No longer rainy, but cold. I decided to protest the unseasonably chilly weather by not leaving the house. I made a couple loaves of yummy bread, and some bizarre oatmeal currant cookies that are surprisingly yummy. They have the usual suspects in them: cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger. They also have cumin, black pepper and a dash of cayenne. Quite yummy! It almost tastes like I used garam masala in them.

Since today was a low-key day, I watched a couple episodes of Firefly while I cleaned my room this afternoon. Best show that never got a fighting chance. I tells ya. 

Anyway, done now, parked on the couch with my laptop and pleasantly buzzed from the wine I had with dinner (gnocchi. I love gnocchi). Probably will not do much this evening. 

And this has got to be one of my most pointless posts to date.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Woo-hooo!!!!

As of today, I am officially debt free. No more car loan (paid that off last year), no more rolling over on my credit card month to month (paid that off last month), and ....drum roll please....

No more student loans!!!!

That's right people, I'm paying off my student loan today. A good 12 months early according to my calculations. I've been "overpaying" on it for about a year and a half now. My federal return covered the remaining amount, so.... no more student loan!

Wheeeeee!!!!

I feel so, so free!

So, of course now I'm thinking about going back to school. Which would necessitate... wait for it... a student loan.

The world ain't fair.

Better Kate Than Never

As you've probably noticed (all six of you), over the last few months my contribution to this blog has dwindled significantly. In trying...