Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Recap- Temporary

(photo deleted)

This post will self destruct in ~24 hours. I got home about four o'clock this morning. A great time was had by all. My plan is to reconstruct the blogging I might have done each day of the trip if wi-fi on the ship hadn't been a dollar a minute. I will adjust the dates of the posts to reflect this. Meantime, here is a rare blogger glimpse of Robin and A.E..


Monday, July 30, 2007


We got a rental car on our day in Miami and went to Fairchild Tropical Garden. It was hot and buggy there, so after a light lunch of Cobb salad for me and a portabello wrap for Robin, we decided to drive around and see things from the comfort of the car. A.E. fell asleep in her seat and Robin napped off and on while I showed her our old apartment building, the tree we got married under, and other old haunts from when we lived in Coral Gables. We stopped on Miracle Mile for a smoothie and then went to the airport. Flights were delayed by an hour or so, but we all made it home from a successful vacation.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Fun Day at Sea

Play-Doh sculpture; ship and train

On our "fun day at sea" we slept in, took a long nap, and went to bed early. We also ate several meals. In between times, we played with "doh-doh", read books, played in the pool, and played ring-around-the-rosy. Afer the kiddie pool closed, A.E. got out the sunscreen and started asking to play in the "wally". Robin let her play in the shower for a while, an acceptable if not superior substitute. Then A.E. got her car seat out. It's almost time to go home.


Saturday, July 28, 2007

Birds of Mexico

We decided to stay on shore for the day in Mexico and instead spent the day by the kiddie pool again. Great-tailed grackles and giant grasshoppers 3-4 inches long swooped onto deck for a snack. As we sipped fruity drinks and watched the long line of people waiting for a taxi from the port of Calica to Playa del Carmen, we did not regret our choice. After a nap we did get off the ship, take a walk around and a few pictures, and get back on. We sat for pictures and wandered the decks after dinner, then put A.E. in her jammies and found a seat in the Dynasty Lounge for the early show. It was a father and son who call themselves the Fire Gauchos from Argentina. They played the drums and danced while swing around whips with live coals andstrings with balls on the ends. It was an interesting show, followed by a terrible comedian. A.E. fell asleep before the show started, and after it was over we all went to bed. We had decided to push the twin beds together to make a larger sofa and play area for daytime.


Friday, July 27, 2007

Key West Day

Truman Annex

After staying up late with serious sister talk, we were awake with first light and A.E. to see land come into view as we arrived in Key West. Room service arrived shortly with coffee and bagels and lox. We got ourselves ready and headed for shore. Only later did we discover that the reason there was no line to get off the ship was that we used the employees' debarkation post. The ship was docked at the naval station, so a free shuttle was provided to Mallory Square. We bought and mailed postcards and did a little shopping. I bought a few outfits and a new bikini just in case my bag didn't make it and we both got a sari-inspired wrap. The heat was already pretty stifling, so we decided to call it a day and caught the shuttle back to the ship. A.E. loved the "train-train" and the wild Key West chickens.

Back shipboard we got something to eat, took a nap, and spent the afternoon in the kiddie pool. A.E. spent a long time climbing the steps into the pool, walking across to climb the steps out the other side, and run around to repeat the process.

We decided to try the dining room tonight. A.E. had been a little fussy and we didn't know how she would handle it, but the wait staff was very friendly and made the best of it. Nonetheless, we decided it was hardly worthwhile to us to go to all the trouble. We're exhausted after dinner, so we're watching some Northern Exposure on the laptop and going to sleep.


Thursday, July 26, 2007

Setting Sail

My flights all arrived nearly on time. As I walked down Terminal B in Hartsfield, I spotted the back of a head that looked suspiciously like Robin. We gave each other a big hug. A.E. protested when I tried to take the car seat, but was soon shyly playing with me. Robin told me she was upset on the first flight when she saw the ground going bye-bye, but she did fine on our ATL-MIA connection. When we got to Miami my bag was missing, so I filed a report. They said they'd try to get it in tonight, but that didn't happen. We hopped in a cab, which took all back roads to the port. A.E. was fascinated when the cabbie took a cell call in his native African dialect.

After passing through security, we were directed to a large waiting room, already nearly full. It turns out someone on the previous cruise had tried to bring an illegal souvenir from Jamaica and delayed the debarking process for a few hours. We waited an hour or so and were finally directed onto the ship. We ate lunch on the verandah, looking out over the blue water and the rich people's private islands. During the muster drill, A.E. finally succumbed to the excitement and cried herself to sleep. Robin carried her down to the room and tucked her in, and we watched from our window as the Coast Guard escorted us out of port, their machine guns at the ready.

When A.E. woke up, we explored the ship. She loves going up and down stairs, and there is no dearth of them here. Now we're relaxing in the cabin, enjoying each other's company.


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

On My Way

My first flight of the evening was delayed, causing mild anxiety, but arrived in plenty of time. We flew into Las Vegas over the Strip with all the lights blinking. The airport is full of slot machines. jc said I should drop a dollar's worth of quarters to see if I got lucky, but I wouldn't waste my money. Otherwise no major unpleasantness so far. I'll be meeting Robin and A.E. in Atlanta in something like six hours!


Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Pacific silverweed (native)
SPM took me canoeing on the lake today. We encountered multitudes of dragonflies in the most delicate blue. They resisted being photographed, but their loveliness lingers in my mind. We tied the canoe up next to a mossy log in a sheltered cove for a picnic lunch of pasta salad loaded with veggies followed by plenty of fresh fruit, a perfectly ripe avocado, and a shared Kona longboard lager. We paddled into the wind both ways and even encountered some swells at the very end. Afterwards we did yoga in the grass.
A perfect day.

Monday, July 23, 2007

the Art of the Packing List

Phase One:
As soon as you've planned your trip, you brainstorm a list of
you think you'll need.

Phase Two:
A few weeks before
departure, make a categorized list of what you'll need
each day.

Phase Three:
With the first two lists in hand, make a categorized
list. This list
should include everything you might possibly need. Now
gather all items in
the list not currently in use and stack them neatly on
the bed in separate
piles. Put a check mark next to each item packed. This
can happen up
to a week before you leave.

Phase Four:
all items not checked off from Phase Three under the title of the
they'll be stowed in. Cross off items that don't fit or you've decided
to take. On the same page, list what you'll be wearing and carrying
when you

Phase Five:
This is the final list. It should read something

carry-on (pack laptop, charger, cellphone, charger,
wallet, passport,
white shirt

This is the kind of obsession that is driving jc crazy. Unfortunately, it is also the kind that keeps me sane and simultaneously increases my anticipation for the upcoming adventures.


Sunday, July 22, 2007

happy christmas, war is over

I made the call today. It was to tell Mother that I no longer hold the religious beliefs that I was raised with. She couldn't understand, but I expect that. I emailed my siblings an invitation to the blog after sharing the same information with them. Welcome, if you come. It feels good to be honest with my family about that. Belief is the most important thing in the world to them. Honesty is near tantamount on mine, and I'm happy to have everything out in the open. I won't apologize for my change in belief. It is mine to own.


Saturday, July 21, 2007

Peace on the Homefront

an unprecedented nap together on the ottoman
(Still waiting for the second party to be available for forementioned confrontation. I feel better simply for having decided to do it.)
I wasn't really needed for my last two nights of work, but they let me come in three hours each and gave me a heart-warming send off. Unless all hell breaks loose in the next six hours, I'm finished there. I hope to keep good friends that have been produced from coworkers though.
I don't have the necessary equipment to record for you photographically the luminous first quarter moon shimmering on the bay tonight. I wish you could be here to see it.

Confrontation is Inevitable

I know what I need to do. A confrontation is inevitable. Communication has failed completely in every actual way. Expectations on both sides have been perhaps a little unrealistic. We must agree to disagree, a phrase the other party detests, in order to salvage what is left. I've been putting it off too long already. I will do it today if circumstances permit. The results could be extreme. I've prepared myself by writing out what I need to say. I will hope for the best.

Friday, July 20, 2007

She Who Cannot Be Named (SheWCBN)

Our veg box has gotten very colorful and delcious in the last month. jc's favorite is the blueberry buckle that will magically appear later.
I was delighted to find a message on the machine this morning from a very dear friend who has recently moved. I am searching my brain for a moniker for her. It has to be perfect, so I don't want to be too hasty. We have disagreed about things, heartily at times, and still remained friends. She is traveling a journey that I never would have predicted for her, but it is becoming to her. Whether we agree or not, she always has a thought for me that wakens my slumbering consciousness.

She is a mother, but that is not her complete definition. She loves sweets, especially chocolate. She is the perfect person to visit with over a cup of tea. Inside her is rebel that sometimes peeks out for a moment. She is honest. She has a genuine conviction about what she believes to be right, but is not afraid to question that belief, and change it if necessary. She is bright and adventurous, loyal, and kind.

I value her friendship beyond words. I will let you know when I come up with a name for her. Her call was the highlight of my week.


Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Above, a very contented Ailleanach keeps jc from reading the paper. With "Fishing Derby" as top sports news, I can't imagine that was much of a disappointment.
A big Mazel Tov to Ki'il and the Scholar, who have ceremoniously tied the knot in Korea. Can't wait to see you both back here.
I've been logging extra phone hours with Robin as our departure date nears. Now it's down to the brass tacks of finding 3oz. bottles of toiletries and Nairing the bikini line.
Friday and Saturday will be my last days at the hospital. They've requested an exit interview, so I'm working on my ideas for that.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

gallimaufry- word of the day

gallimaufry \gal-uh-MAW-free\, noun:A medley; a hodgepodge.

Today bilingual programs are conducted in a gallimaufry of around 80 tongues, ranging from Spanish to Lithuanian to Micronesian Yapese.-- Ezra Bowen, "For Learning or Ethnic Pride?", Time, July 8, 1985

Then the speech itself, and you have to feel sorry for TQMEM [The Queen's Most Excellent Majesty] having to read out this frightful drivel, this grim gallimaufry of cliches, jargon and outright lies.-- Simon Hoggart, "Grand tradition: Maltravers, Rouge, Garter, Skinner", The Guardian, November 27, 2003

Maran reports the daily jostlings and thrivings in a public school with 3,200 students, 185 teachers, 45 languages, a principal and five vice principals, five safety monitors, 62 sports teams and a gallimaufry of alternative programs, clubs and cliques.-- Colman McCarthy, "A Writer Goes Back to School", Washington Post, August 20, 2001

Gallimaufry, originally meaning "a hash of various kinds of meats," comes from French galimafrée, from Old French, from galer, "to rejoice, to make merry" (source of English gala) + mafrer, "to eat much," from Medieval Dutch maffelen, "to open one's mouth wide."

Monday, July 16, 2007

Boat Shoes

Getting ready for vacation. Picked up a huge, multi-pocket, carry-on tote, too.

dream man

We haven't gotten an episode of House in weeks, yet last night I had the recurring Hugh Laurie dream with a different variation. My Google search turned up the majorly geeky photo on the left and caused me to muse about why giving a geek from across the pond bad hair, a few days beard, a limp, and bad manners would make him irresistible to innocent American girls. The fluke picture of Hugh Jackman that came up in the search, now there's a nice-looking man, but I've never had a dream about him...

sronnoc esor

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Overheard at the Market

I pulled into the Market this morning to pick up yesterday's mail. A super size pickup hauling a trailer full of ATV's pulled off beside me. The driver, clad in a sleeveless shirt, asked the cashier,

"Do you have any sweaters?"

That's why I love the coast.


Thursday, July 12, 2007

Flights Fraught with Fear

Here is one reason I'm not eagerly anticipating my flight in a few weeks. Flying these days is starting to look like taking the public bus. In this story, a paranoid stewardess made everyone on the flight twelve hours late and publically humiliated an entirely innocent (Arab-looking) American citizen becaus she suspected he had bypassed security. I think a surefire bestseller would be something like, How to Survive Racial Profiling in the Air. I'm sure you can think of a more clever title.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


I arrived at Dahlia Man's this afternoon to find him sitting on the sidewalk. I rushed right over to help him up, happy to find that he wasn't hurt. He had fallen while bending over to pick up some mail that he had dropped. I've never seen Dahlia Man doing so poorly. He is 93 after all, but I'm not prepared to see him decline. It's hard for him to admit his limitations & who wants to be the one to remind him?

Still, we got takeout and had a nice dinner. I wish I could do something.


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

R. I. P.

  • could've repaired this
  • ordered new "big girl" steamer from cuisinart instead
  • meant to work agency last night
  • wasn't needed
  • plan relaxing day in hammock
  • try new pms solution


Sunday, July 08, 2007

Rent- movie review

I laughed. I cried. I can't possibly do it justice without watching it ten more times. The music and the acting are fantastic. The sets and costumes are great. The characters are ever so real. I will put this on my list of movies to watch many more times.


Saturday, July 07, 2007

Dressed Without Makeup

Boss Lady told a coworker that, from her experience working night shift herself, she has come to understand a few things. She believes that night shift workers are socially inept, maladjusted slobs who have personal issues to work through, don't get along well, with others, don't wear makeup, and just might have drug problems.

My reply: I don't really give a fig about most of her characterizations. If I have unresolved issues in my personal life, doesn't everyone? And no, I'm not that great in social situations, as a matter of fact I tend to shun them. I do arrive at work looking clean and professional though, albeit without makeup. (Prepare for politically incorrect personal opinions.)

This remark implies that a clean face on a woman is some kind of social or hygenic problem. Not so. Makeup is used to portray a certain image. Although society at large has come to place a larger value on it, it's base purpose is to improve a woman's sexual attractiveness. That has not a thing to do with day shift, night shift, or the nursing profession. Let me elaborate.

Lipstick mimics the rush of blood to the lips brought on by a state of sexual excitement.

Blush mimics the rush of blood to the cheeks brought on by a state of sexual excitement.

Mascara mimics the widened eyes brought on by...

And most insidious of all, eyeshadow, blue in particular, mimics the thin-lidded, veiny eyes of an adolescent or child.

Combine the above elements. Makeup produces the appearance of a young girl enjoying sex. People think I'm either crazy or making a joke, when I say this. I'm not. Shave your legs and extend the metaphor. (Check out Myra's thoughtful post over at My Journey for more on that.) If you like dressing up like a dirty old man's sick fantasy, support the cosmetics companies with your purchases. I will not allow a bare face to brand me as some sort of antisocial slob.


Thursday, July 05, 2007


How'd my fortune cookie know?


Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Everyday Lovelies

I didn't bother trying to look up this flower, since I'm fairly confident this is just a roadside patch of naturalized perennials. The little reddish discs really caught my eye, though.
I rode my bike about a mile to a little park in the middle of the harbor to watch the fireworks. It was a decent enough show. I had to dodge ground fireworks that people were putting off all along the sides of the streets as I happily whizzed by the cars waiting their turn to get out. It made me think of a mine field:

Cannon to right of them,

Cannon to left of them,

Cannon behind them

Volley'd and thunder'd;

Think about Independence.


Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Everyday Adventures

We were getting overrun by cat hair, so I decided to buy a carpet shampooer. We headed out to a major retailer, only to find that the only one they had in stock was the floor model. It seems they must sell a lot of them. I decided to take it.
The next day, I got out my new toy and started to play. I loaded the handy tank in tank with water and the separate detergent chamber with shampoo. I plugged it in, turned it on, and pulled the trigger. The suction was operating, but it didn't dispense any water. I rechecked all the settings and tanks again, spilling water on the front of my jeans, and checked the lint filter. Still nothing. I began to think about returning it. I even called customer service, but they were closed for the day.
I finally downloaded the user guide. I had already done all but one thing that it recommended, so I opened the case and checked the belt. Sure enough, the belt wasn't attached. I slid it over the metal rod and tried again. I was rewarded by the whoosh of shampooing with the accompanying slurping of the apparatus as it sucked it up.
The results were clean carpets. What'll be next?