Thursday, December 25, 2008
My Christmas traveling luck held consistent again this year. I was supposed to leave Santa Barbara at 12:15p on Monday and get into Peoria at 10:30p Monday night. I ended up leaving Santa Barbara around 2:00p on Monday (NO idea what the delay was there, although I can say that the logistics nightmare this delay created was completely and totally avoidable if the airline had made it clear what flight was on which plane when we started boarding - we ended up with two flights trying to fit onto one little commuter plane and it didn't work out well and caused another 45 minute delay!). Got into LAX just in time to miss my connection to Chicago, and got lucky enough to get rebooked on the next flight out. Do make that connection, and spend the next four hours getting subtly hit on by my actually very charming seatmate. Get to Chicago around midnight on Monday, find out there are no flights left to any of the local airports until the next morning, and get to spend the night at Chicago O'Hare. Joy of all joys. Glass buildings with concrete floors are NOT the warmest places to try to sleep. Just saying. Get on a flight to Bloomington the next morning (Tuesday) - supposed to be an 8:30a departure with a 9:30a arrival. However, since it had been snowing in Chicago since about 3:00a that morning (and believe me, I was awake to know), we got delayed and didn't take off until close to 10:00a (we found out later that we were probably one of the last flights to make it out at all before the airport shut down completely). I fall asleep on the plane (finally, warm sleepiness!) and wake up to hear the pilot say "Sorry for the inconvenience folks, but Bloomington is getting an ice storm and we can't land there. I think we're going to be rerouted to Des Moines." We land about 45m later, long enough to refuel the plane and for me to deliver two rather groggy phone calls to my parents saying something along the lines of "Dad/Mom, I think I'm in IOWA. I'm not sure, though, and I don't really know why or how." One lady on the flight was throwing a fit over the whole situation and demanding we land in Bloomington immediately. I'd just as soon any aircraft my butt is sitting in doesn't attempt to land on a dangerously icy runway, but I guess that's just my personal preference. (This is along the same lines as they can take as much time as they want to inspect, de-ice, and otherwise make any plane that I'm supposed to be flying in as safe as humanly possible. Again, that's just me, though.) We finally touch down in Bloomington, and conditions are absolutely terrible. My parents both had to work that day, and so they had driven up the night before and left their truck at the airport for me to get home with. By the time I'd gotten off the plane, I was so bloody TIRED of airports and airplanes and crappy service and overpriced food that I was willing and determined to get the hell out of there as soon as humanly possible, despite the fact that I'd had approximately six hours of sleep total over the past two nights, was not used to driving a big old truck in what were, in reality, really dangerous winter conditions, and the truck is horrendous in icy conditions under the best circumstances. I was going to get my suitcases (winter clothes take up far too much room), get to the truck, and get Out Of There, even if I had to drive five miles an hour or pull over for a nap in the forty miles to my parents' house. Of course, the luggage didn't arrive. It was supposed to come on the next flight, which would land in about an hour and a half. My parents would need about an hour and a half to get off work and get up here to pick me up, so I convinced myself to let them. It probably actually was much safer that way. Anyway, I finally got to my parents' around 5:30p on Tuesday, nineteen hours later and two suitcases less than I was supposed to. I have the WORST luck with traveling. I told them both that next year, we were doing the holidays in Cali and someone else was traveling!
The other bad thing about being so late is that we had known that my great-grandmother was not doing well, and my brother and I had made plans to go see her Tuesday afternoon. Since I didn't get into the area until Tuesday night, we never got the chance to see her that day. She passed away early Wednesday morning. I really wish I could have seen her to say goodbye. It's okay - she was 97, lived a long full life, is out of pain and reunited with her beloved husband, and her timing was perfect. All of her family, including all the grand- and great-grandkids are already in town. It's comforting, somehow, although I'll miss her. Funeral arrangements do put a bit of a damper on the holidays, but family is what the holidays are really about for me. Everything else is just icing on the cake compared to that sturdy and ever-present safety net of comfort and love and support my family gives each other.
Santa still came, of course, and I did get some really cool stuff, though. Three really cute sweaters, a new pair of Cubs pajama pants, a calendar, a new Dilbert book, the first season of Robin Hood (which I have not seen but heard lots of great stuff about and am super-excited to see), a new watch (yay!), a computer game, two posters, a little decorative sign, and a nice new sparring gear bag to haul it all back to CA in (that doesn't have the now-inappropriate ATA logo on it!) My brother's slippers are about half-done, and Dad has already mentioned a few times that his slippers need some love (it's easier to just make a new pair) and, oh-by-the-way-I-need-new-mittens-because-I-lost-one-from-the-pair-you-made-last-year-can-you-replace-it? At least I know that they use the things, I guess!
Happy Holidays to you and yours, and may all your travels always bring you safely back home!
Saturday, December 20, 2008
I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth:
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that, the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Where God closes a door, somewhere He opens a window.
Friday, December 19, 2008
FROG! How many days until Christmas??
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
2. Clean the apartment (sort of check)
3. Set up phone with mp3s for travelling (check)
4. Finish CP3 (almost check - cast on for the final portion of it today, we'll see if we actually make it)
5. Knit a pair of felted clogs (nowhere near check - possible, but not probable to have done for Christmas)
6. Pass the ASVAB with flying colors (check - the recruiter was practically drooling, and I even got a mock marriage proposal out of the deal)
7. Get a job (sadly, not check and it's getting frustrating)
8. Get financial aid sorted out and register for classes (close to being check)
9. Pack for Illinois (like that's going to happen before, oh, three hours before the flight on Monday)
10. Finish Christmas shopping (maybe I should get on that...)
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Oh, and in other news, I'm really leaning towards taking this job with the Air Nat'l Guard - they're offering a really nice enlistment bonus, they'll pay for my degree, and they can guarantee me a job here at VAFB (in fact, my technical training will take place at VAFB, as well). The ONLY problem is that I'd have to go to Texas for two months for Basic Training and then I'd have to live in the dorms at VAFB for another 4-6 months during Tech Training, and I don't know what to do with Teddie. I'm pondering subleasing my apartment to maybe a student or intern, depending in what time of the year I go, and having cat-sitting be part of the arrangment. I guess we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. I have to go in and take the ASVAB next week, and I have to score a 60 or better on the electronics section to qualify for what they need. When I did a practice test, I scored at 45, so I'm going to go see if the library has any study guides for me!
Saturday, December 06, 2008
Let's see...what have I been up to? Last Friday, since we didn't have class, I went to see the Twilight movie with some friends. It, like the books, is a solid Okay. The movie is better than the book, imho, for the sheer reason that they can cram 300 pages of angst into 2 minutes onscreen. The effects are kind of cool, and the cast is pretty good. Robert Pattinson is WAY hotter as a Quidditch player than a vampire, though. He's the kind of guy who is always nice looking, but is only really spectacular when he smiles, and angsty teen vampires don't really get to smile all that much, apparently. Ah, well. I did forget that there is a lot of pretty decent sarcasm and one-liners in the books, though, so that was fun.
Saturday, I called the matinee but had the evening off, so I drove up to Cambria with Cute Guy to see the show he'd directed up there. It was called Indoor/Outdoor and was about a cat who longed to explore the outside world. It is actually a surprisingly good script. It was actually really cute and, to Cute Guy's credit, there were a lot of laughs and even many tears at the end. He had a good cast to work with, too, which helped a lot. Afterwards, we went to this teeny little bar with an Irish bartender and a live band for a while. It was a lot of fun. He's going to New York in a few weeks for a short gig, so I'm not sure when we'll get a chance to hang out again.
I ended up calling both shows on Sunday, so I didn't get much else done that day. Monday was all about cleaning and rearranging furniture and going to class. There was a test this week (more on that later), so both Monday and Wednesday's classes were focused on testing criteria. I think I'm getting a cold, though - I was absolutely freezing again during classes and had a really hard time breathing during them for some reason this week. Because of the test, the fact that we'd been working in the office until almost 7:00p this week dealing with the weekend's audition tour, and the fact that I knew I'd have to call all five shows this weekend without any hope of backup, I decided to give myself a forced break and didn't go to Haganah this week at all, which near to killed me, I think. I missed my guys, but I'd also done a fairly decent attempt at breaking my finger on a board break Wednesday night and my entire right hand and up my arm to my (already bad and protesting) elbow was bruised and swollen Thursday, so it was probably a good thing to not go to class.
Instead, I spent Tuesday evening putting up my Christmas tree. It's nothing fancy, in fact, I know I need at least one more string of lights for it, and it just has plain glass ball ornaments on it, since all "my" sentimental ornaments are at my parents' house on their tree where they should be. I've always maintained that when I have a family, then I'll have a family tree, but for now this is just fine, and it makes me smile when I look at it. I've draped my Christmas stockings on it, as well, which I like. Teddie has decided it's his own private hideaway, though. He loves to curl up on the tree skirt and snooze. Oh, and I made cookie dough that night. Because it sounded good.
Thursday night was spent working on putting pictures into my jewelry box. My mom got me a really cool jewelry box for my birthday, if you recall, and it's actually been hanging and full for a while, but I hadn't put any pictures in it. I'd gone through and decided which pictures I wanted to put in it, I just hadn't gotten around to actually doing it. Since my parents are coming out next week, I thought maybe it would be nice to have the jewelry box finished. So I spent the evening carefully arranging, trimming, and taping the pictures I wanted into their respective slots. It was great, just the way I wanted it. Then, when I went to actually put the frame into the box, I realized my mistake - I'd had the frame sideways the whole time, and it didn't fit into the box in that orientation! Argh! A whole evening's worth of work wasted, and of course, the vertical pictures and the horizontal pictures aren't cut the same size, so I had to go to Target and reprint some of them today. At least it's finished now!
Today was a little crazy. I went to a meeting for one of the Outreach shows. While I really like the people involved in Outreach, quite frankly, the script choices they've made lately have made me scratch my head, and the shows just really aren't that good because of it. Anyway, that meeting, which was supposed to have lasted twenty minutes, went almost an hour fifteen. I knew I'd have to call the show tonight, so I'd made arrangements with Sir to do my midterm test at 4:00p with the Tiny Tigers. It was now 2:15p, and I still had to get the brakes on my car fixed. I called to see how long it would take, and was told an hour. Perfect. Get an hour of knitting time while waiting for the car, have it done by 3:30p, run home, get my uniform (stupidly thinking I'd have time to run home and get it, I'd left it home), and easily make it to the dojahng by 4:00p. Yeah, that didn't happen. I didn't get my car back until 3:50p, which meant I went flying home, changed as fast as possible, and went flying to the dojahng and ended up ten minutes late.
Of course, I was a bit frazzled and didn't get a chance to warm up or stretch out or prep myself at ALL (and it was my fault, I completely admit to that), but luckily all I had to do this time was my regular form, my weapons form, and sparring. I know I made a few small mistakes on both my forms, which was frustrating, and I know that I let the judges know that I made mistakes, which was even more frustrating (Sir and Mr. R are always on me to not make faces when I mess up), but I thought my sparring was pretty decent. I sparred Miss G, a third degree, and C, who is testing for his third degree, no contact. I still suck at sparring, but I thought that was probably my best showing of the day, which isn't saying much. It was so fun watching the Tiny Tigers, though. Of course, they thought my sparring matches were "awesome!", but each of my forms are about five times longer than their attention spans. Their parents seemed to enjoy watching them, though, since they all told me afterwards that I'd done a nice job. Meh. I had to quickly change clothes again to go back to the theater for the evening show, though. I would have liked to watch Ma'am midterm and C test for rank. Oh well.
Mom and Dad are coming in on Monday, so I've been trying to keep the place cleaner than usual. It's been a little difficult, though, what with the cat seeming to drag fake Christmas tree needles all across creation and the styrofoam from a new $9 lamp I was forced to get when my original living room lamp blew up over the weekend getting strewn all over the carpet. I'm getting my wisdom teeth out bright and early Tuesday morning, and if all goes well, I want to be back in class by Thursday night, but definitely by Friday. It'd be fun to have Mom and Dad see a sparring class and Klondike's (I think Dad would be interested in the kickboxing and haganah on Thursday night, too, but not sure how much I can get away with dragging them to ;-) ). We don't have class on Monday because of the belt ceremony, which I don't have to stay for, but I did say I would bring cookies for, and I'm sure Tuesday is going to be a wash for obvious reasons. I was thinking maybe catching the matinee on Wednesday and going to the Melodrama that night, depending on how things are going, though. I guess we'll be playing everything by ear.
Anyway, I also set up a job interview on Monday morning at VAFB (sort of, the job is through the Air National Guard, so I'd have to join that to get it and I'll have to think about that), so I really need a haircut, and the only time I'll have for it will be tomorrow morning before the matinee, so I should probably get some sleep.
ETA: Oh, and I wore my Boatneck Bluebell sweater yesterday, and got tons of compliments on it, even from total strangers!
Friday, November 28, 2008
The reason for the title, however, is CP3. I learned a lesson today - just because one CAN do something doesn't mean one LIKES doing something. Basically, the original plan had two parts: figure out how to do the project and knit the project. Part one: success, and it wasn't nearly as difficult as I'd expected once I finally put my brain to it. Part two: fail. I got about a quarter of the way into it (doing quite well, I might add) and realized I really just cannot bring myself to knit another stitch on it. I don't like working on it, and it takes too much concentration for the time I have left before Christmas. Eventually, yes, I will finish it, but for now, I started a new project that will go much much quicker and will be just as useful.
Other than that, I've been pretty much bored out of my head. Almost a week off with only one night of classes is Way too much free time for me, apparently. And with all the rain, I haven't dragged my Christmas decorations out from the garage yet, although I might tomorrow night if I don't have to call the show. Other than that, I'm planning on spending tomorrow finishing cleaning the apartment, running a couple of errands (some of which involve some Christmas shopping, so please pray for my safety!), supervising a quick dance brushup for the show, and knitting! 26 days left!
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Was able to make it to at least one class every day this week except Wednesday, which was nice. I even got to knife spar again! (And have the bruises to prove it!) Aikido was interesting again, and my neck and shoulders weren't nearly as sore today as they were last weekend! The Klondike's crowd was a little thin this week; it was just me, Ma'am, Gil and his son, and TKD Grandma and her grandson. It was cool to hang out with Gil a little bit. I learned that he is actually not only native Chumash Indian (the reservation is near Solvang), but also is a medicine man by heritage. Most of his tattoos (and he is literally covered in tattoos) are tribal rites, and are done very traditionally - with shark's teeth! Ouch!! His son, who is six years old right now and as blond-haired and blue-eyed as possible, will someday get similar markings, should he choose to stay with the tribe and go through the rites of acceptance/adulthood, but is absolutely not allowed to get any kind of markings until then. It was really interesting.
I got my Friday off this week, but it sounds like I'm going to end up calling all of the rest of the shows this weekend. I called both of them today, and it sounds like I'll probably call both of them tomorrow, although Chrissy hasn't decided yet. I know that at least one understudy is definitely going on tomorrow. It doesn't really matter, though - unless it's a Friday night, I'll probably be at the show anyway. After going through the entire holiday run backstage last year, I really just can't justify only working half the shows when my crew is working their butts off every time. This show is BUSY backstage! In fact, I almost prefer being backstage and being active and moving to standing in the booth and calling. Oh well. Oh, and the ONE Friday night I actually MUST call the show? Dec. 5th. The day of the midterm test. The casting office has decided that they really want an SM to come with them for an audition tour in the Bay Area that weekend, and since Chrissy is from the Bay Area and really likes audition tours, she's going. Of course. The ONE Friday...sigh...now I have to find another midterm date. Or just push the whole thing back another two months.
Also, I'm going to try to get my oral surgery pushed back a week so that my parents can come out for it. This should work out well for everyone involved - I can have people who are just plain stuck with me around me for the not-so-fun parts of recovering, Mom can get her clam chowder for her birthday, and Dad can come out and visit Pismo Beach again. They haven't been out here for a while, and never during the winter. Besides, it's a good excuse as any to really clean the place up and get my Christmas decorations out next week. Not that I have many, but I do have a tree and some ornaments. And my stockings.
CP3 is going frustratingly slow, and part of it is my own fault. I've restarted one of the first parts of it about four times now, and I think I've got it figured out, but it's just been so blasted hot this week that the idea of having yarn in my lap is frankly nauseating. So I picked up one of my cross-stitch projects (a rather large -2'x2'- Precious Moments Noah's Ark) instead and have been working on it for the past few days instead. I forget how much I enjoy cross-stitching as well. It's neat to see all those little x's turn into a picture. However, I do have a deadline for CP3, and sadly, it hasn't completed itself yet. I will really have to focus on it this coming week while I have time off for Thanksgiving if I want any chance of possibly having it done on time. We'll see!
Monday, November 17, 2008
CP2 is done, and I think it might be okay. Working on CP3 now, and I now remember why I hate ribbing.
Today and tomorrow off, and classes both nights. Mrs. S promised a new kickboxing workout that had even the most hardcore of them sore last week, so we'll see how that goes. Definitely will have to eat well today!
ETA: And I found out this evening that I'm apparently supposed to midterm Dec. 5th. THAT should be an interesting test....sparring, form, weapons, and vicodin? I might have to rethink this!
Friday, November 14, 2008
Monday: Met with an advisor at Embry-Riddle. REALLY liked her, she was not only very informative and helpful, but also extremely supportive and enthusiastic for me. We decided that the program that actually seems to fit what I am looking for the best is a Masters Degree in Aeronautical Science with a focus on Space Operations Management. Classes usually meet once a week, often on Saturdays, for 4-5 hours, and only one or two classes are offered per term (every nine weeks). Of course, a masters degree also costs more than a bachelors, so now I'm not only job-hunting, but also scholarship hunting as well. Fun! Oh, and no class on Monday cuz of Veterans' Day (I didn't make the schedule).
Tuesday: Didn't do much of anything productive other than more job hunting, but did get to go to FIGHT for the first time in what seemed like years. My guys are awesome, and I missed them! I took an elbow to the eye from Gil (it didn't bruise, although the tenderness still hasn't completely gone away) and drilled a left hook into Frank's stomach when he decided to do his brick wall impression during a drill (hey, he moved!). Mr. R and Morgan taught, since Sir was visiting family in Minnesota, and other than Morgan's continuing love affair with planks, it was great. Ma'am was there too, and we partnered up for most of class. We did a drill where one person is on her back, with her legs wrapped around the waist of her partner, who is on her knees. Then the person on the ground crunches up like a half-situp and throws four punches to her partner's hands. The partner then "retaliates" by throwing four punches to the stomach of the person on the ground (teaching you to tighten your abs and breathe out when you take a hit). Ma'am and I have done this drill lots of times before, and it didn't bother me at the time, but man, my abs (right under my rib cage) were sore for the next two days! I felt a little mollified when Ma'am confessed tonight that she'd been sore from it, too! (Although I do feel bad about her bruise. But she's a big girl and knows to say something if people hit too hard, so it's only a little bit bad. She said to hit her harder!)
Wednesday: Sat in the booth for the matinee and started learning the call of the show at the first understudy rehearsal. (Yes, someone FINALLY listened to our rants about doing understudy rehearsals on the Sunday after Opening and moved them. We are SOOO grateful!!!) With two exceptions, it's not nearly as difficult a call as I thought it was, and it's most definitely not the hardest show I've ever called. We did, however, have the weirdest stuff happen in the audience that day - people falling, cars catching fire in the parking lot, school kids wandering, etc. Ended up working from 12:30p until 11:30p that day. Worked on the final part of CP2 and ran out of yarn with about 40 rows to go. Of course, no one in Santa Maria carries the color I need. Ugh! So I started CP3 (the big scary one) under duress. Not a good way to start a project.
Thursday: Sat in the booth again for a brat mat after tearing two actors into pieces for sleeping through their alarms and being EXTREMELY late (one actually missed his first entrance, and is a student that normally does not exhibit such behaviour. He apologized today with coffee, flowers, cookies, AND a card, though, and I'm sure it will not happen again with him!). I have little sympathy for actors coming in late to brat mats when the crew has already been there and working for at least a full hour before the actors are even called. Sat through the show, went to the office and helped teach the kids how to handle the audition tour appointments that are starting to show up, then went BACK to the theater and did a second understudy rehearsal. So yeah, I was at work from about 8:30a until 11:30p that day. And people wonder why I'm not exactly broken-hearted about leaving.
Friday (today): Got new tires for my car! Yay!! I felt so bad for my poor little car once I realized how badly the tires were worn down. I kept picturing my car as having sore "feet" but having to keep running anyway until I could get them fixed. But she got a full pedicure today and I swear I heard a sigh of relief when they raised her up on the lift. (Okay, I know my car is an inanimate object, but I did feel bad!) She still needs some new brakes and an oil change, but that will have to wait a few weeks. And, btw, the guys at Big Brand Tires here in Santa Maria were great, even though I did get a lecture on tire rotation. Apparently, the tires were in such bad shape that they figured the alignment must be WAY out of whack, but no. The alignment is pretty close to perfect - the tires just hadn't been rotated in far, FAR too long, whoops! Went to the office for a couple hours after that, then skipped the show tonight to go to class. (I told Chrissy way back when we started rehearsal that as soon as we were in performance, I was going back to class on Friday nights. I feel slightly guilty about it, after all, the crew and actors don't get any days off at all, but none of them (well, except maybe Michael) have been working straight through since March, either.) Sparring was great, as always, and pizza and beer were a lot of fun, of course, but what was really interesting was the aikido class. Gil's teaching it, and tonight was the first time I've been able to go. It's a really interesting style - lots of joint manipulation and locks - and very different than the other two styles. It's incredibly non-aggressive, for one thing, and relies a lot on pressure and balance. On an episode of Fight Quest, one of the hosts commented that "Western martial arts are about forcing your will on your opponent with power; Eastern martial arts are about getting your opponent off-balance and then helping them fall over," which became very clear to me tonight. Takedowns were the hardest thing to get used to. In aikido, throws go straight into some other kind of arm/elbow/wrist lock to simply keep control (although the locks can be plenty damaging done quickly, controlling the opponent is more desirable than damaging him). In FIGHT, and even in tkd to an extent, takedowns generally end with dropping a knee onto your opponent's ribs and a triangle punch to the neck - damage your attacker before he can damage you - and I didn't realize how ingrained that had gotten into my body until tonight. The hardest habits to break are the ones you didn't know you had, I guess. Yeesh! We'll see how sore I am tomorrow after all the throws and rolls (which we don't do in tkd). Gil promised us sore wrists tomorrow, so we'll see. He seemed to like having me in class, though - I'm "his girl" in FIGHT and he told the tweenybopper I was partnered with that I was a fighter and not only wouldn't just give him anything, but I'd also try to squirm and wriggle my way out of everything. The tweenybopper wasn't quite as bad as I'd feared, which was nice. There is hope.
The weekend (upcoming): Saturday and Sunday are both going to be spent at the theater all day, shadowing both Chrissy and a crew member I'll have to cover next week. (Mr. C and his son, TKD Grandma and her grandson, and Ma'am are all going to come see the show tomorrow night!) Luckily, I was able to find ONE skein of the color I need to finish CP2 at Beverly's in SLO today, so I'm hoping that that project will finally get completely finished this weekend. CP3 is actually going surprisingly well, sort of. I started it, realized that I didn't quite know how to do one portion of it, and so moved on to the next portion thinking that I could live with the way that I'd fudged the first portion. It started really bugging me today, though, so I frogged back and have been asking around. We'll see if anything useful turns up. If not, at least I know how to fudge it better now! Monday is the consultation with the oral surgeon about my wisdom teeth coming out. It'd be nice if they could do it over Thanksgiving break, when I have several days off and don't have to talk to anyone, but that might be too soon. Yikes, I don't really want to think about that...
Friday, November 07, 2008
Speaking of what's next, I am still sending out lots of job applications and have only had two turn-downs so far, but also no positive responses. The staffing place that was recommended to me seems great, but they say January is too far away right now and to check back later. Ugh. I thought the point was to start now so that when January came, I didn't have to worry. Oh well. I understand that they can't predict needs in advance any more than I can. I have an appointment on Monday morning to go talk to an advisor at the VAFB Embry-Riddle campus and get more information about costs and class work. They offer a degree in Technical Management with a few different specializations, including Engineering Sciences, which I am really interested in. I hope to have more news soon.
CP2 is so close to being done, but I've barely had five minutes at a time to work on it. I have both Monday and Tuesday off next week (no classes on Monday night, either =( ), so that should be enough to finish that right up and get crackin' on the next. Woo! I suppose that means I should actually plan out the next one then, huh? This one *is* turning out a little longer than I had expected, though, which might be a good thing, or it may be ridiculous, and I won't know until I see the recipient with it - there is at least a 6" height difference between us, so gauging what the right length should be is difficult. But too long is an easier fix than too short, so I'm not too worried.
And in a quick look around blogland, congratulations to Amanda on her engagement and Inky on her 5-year anniversary!
"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be." - Douglas Adams
Saturday, November 01, 2008
Prop 8 Supporters - protect marriage from what, exactly? (For non-Californians, or for those Californians who live under a very large rock, Proposition 8, if passed, will ban gay marriage in the state.) I'm not homosexual and I do have religious objections to homosexuality (although quite honestly, I don't feel I'm qualified to judge anyone in that area, casting the first stone and all, not to mention 'love the sinner, hate the sin'), but *legally* it's unconstitutional to ban marriage from anybody. This *is* America, and ALL men (and women) are created equal. And frankly, since the current divorce rate is still hovering around 50% within the first five years, it's not like us heterosexuals are doing such a bang-up job at marriage, either. And, wow, children might actually get taught that not everyone is the same. Catastrophe!
On non-ranting notes, we moved into the theater tonight and tech starts tomorrow. We have more set pieces than backstage actually holds, so I spent the afternoon today playing a real-life game of three-dimensional Tetris, and you can put pieces on three different floors (can they possibly make service elevators any louder?). I think I won - at least, the game isn't over yet. We'll see how things go tomorrow. CP2 was not completed by the end of the month, but I'm hoping it will be done by the end of the week. I should have more knitting time during tech once things settle down a bit. I barely went to the gym at all this week - I just really have not been eating a lot and am trying to take care of myself better. Plus, I know that I only have one more week of exile - the week after Opening I can hit at least three nights of class, and after that should be able to go every night. (And I'd like to point out that at this point, I'm scheduled to call over half the performances because Chrissy wants time off. But they don't need me.) I really wanted to go running with the MMA class tomorrow morning, but I have to go babysit a voiceover recording instead. No word yet on jobs/schooling, although Christina from knitting found what seems to be a perfect educational program for me through Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and I've been sending out lots of applications this week, including a secretary job at Vandenberg that I'd REALLY love to get. (It's been fun thinking of all the things I do and then putting them into business terms for my resume. "I send out schedules" turns into "I distribute and maintain interdepartmental schedules and make sure set production deadlines are met." "I can't tell you because it's magic" turns into "I act as a liaison between organizations to communicate information professionally and courteously while maintaining a high degree of confidentiality in order to protect trade secrets." Of course, I don't use all of those - mostly I'm of the opinion that one shouldn't use ten words when two will suffice - but it's still fun.)
Anyway, gotta crash or I'll need more Mt. Dew tomorrow. Ugh!
Monday, October 27, 2008
'Cause everyone wants to feel like someone cares
Someone to love with my life in their hands
There's gotta be somebody for me like that
'Cause nobody wants to do it on their own
And everyone wants to know they're not alone
There's somebody else that feels the same somewhere
There's gotta be somebody for me out there
-"Gotta Be Someone" by Nickelback
I heard that song on the radio at least five times today. And don't get me wrong, I actually really like it - most of the time it hits me as a very hopeful song - but with everything else that happened today, it kind of drove me up a wall.
First off, I wake up a lot later than I had intended to and discover Teddie has made a rather disgusting mess on the bathroom rug, right in front of the toilet and less than a foot from his litter box. (He's mad at me because he's back on a dry food diet - he much prefers tuna.) Get that cleaned up, and check my phone (I've taken to turning it to silent during the night. Mornings are happier that way). Missed call from one of the PCPA numbers. The TD wants me to explain one of the notes from the report this weekend. Why the hell is he calling ME? And on my day off? Do I LOOK like the person who sent the notes out? I'm the employee whose contract is getting cancelled, remember? Grr! (And I'd like to point out, since in all fairness I do proofread the notes before they get sent out, that I TOLD Chrissy that if she called a certain piece that, no one would know what she meant and she decided to leave it because it was cute.)
Deal with that phone call, decide I have enough time to do laundry before my dentist appointment, and haul dirty clothes down to the laundry room, including the soiled bathroom rug, which of course gets all over the shirt I was wearing. Ugh! Toss THAT shirt into the wash, which I had planned on wearing to class since it was my last clean school shirt, and walk back to my apartment in my sweatpants and sports bra, which got a really odd look from the super as she was sweeping the sidewalk. (And it was still more covered up and modest than most of the swimsuits people wear to the pool, so I don't know what her problem was.) Go back down (in a new clean shirt) to put laundry in dryer, and one of the dryers doesn't work. Of course. Put laundry in dryers that do work, and go to dentist appointment because my back teeth have been hurting (You have no idea how much I HATE going to the dentist. I didn't have any weird experiences to turn me off of it, not even a cavity or bracers or anything, it's just the feeling of metal scraping on and between my teeth. It's worse than nails on a chalkboard!)
No cavities (which is what I was afraid of), but not only have my wisdom teeth come in and are smashing up against my molars, my x-rays show that I have at least one extra molar! I tried to argue that too many teeth was better than too few, but the doc says they've all gotta come out, the sooner the better. Fantastic. Now I get to go make an appointment with an oral surgeon (cue creepy shudders of horror) for a consultation on what exactly needs to be done and how much my insurance will cover. (All I can say is they'd better knock me completely out, and it's a good thing that they're literally less than a block away from my apartment.) Oh, and I have a minor gum infection, too, which is also contributing to my teeth hurting, but that should go away on its own soon.
Finally get done at the dentist's (and I didn't even get a plastic dinosaur, I was so disappointed! I did get a new toothbrush, though, and it's purple!) and have enough time to make it up to CalPoly before the admissions office closes. Get up to the school, explain my situation to the initial admissions lady, and find out that CSU schools, including the CalPolys, don't accept students seeking a second bachelor's degree. You have to be a graduate student or have never earned a degree before. The hell?! What's that say? You'd better choose right the first time, because heaven forbid you change your mind in your career? I'm willing to learn, I'm willing to pay, but I can't be a student. Part of my brain says that can't possibly be right, maybe the lady was mistaken or I misunderstood her, so I need to seek further information, but it was incredibly disheartening! No other local universities have an aerospace engineering program (the nearest one is UCLA). Gah!
Two of my friends (Mel and AF Guy) have tried to convince me to join the military (there's my aerospace schooling and career right there, as well as better-than-current paycheck and benefits), and while that is actually really tempting, there are two problems with it. The biggest one being that I would have minimal to no control over where I got stationed, and I really want to stay around here. The second one being that no matter if I enlist or get a commission, I will have to go away for training, and what am I supposed to do with a cat while I'm gone? I am, however, going to go talk to the recruiter's office and see if they have more specific contacts on civilian jobs. Another friend (John) would really love to see me move back to LA. I want to stay here, though. I like it here. My friends are here, my training is here, my kitty is here, and my family loves to visit me here. What more can one ask for from a location? (Okay, a job, yes.)
Finally get to class, which was mostly good. I actually partnered up with Mrs. S tonight in kickboxing and we added a haganah twist to our partner "crunch & punches" that the rest of the class seemed to like. (She'd originally had us doing them with one partner doing the situps/punches and the other just kneeling and holding the pad. In haganah, we do it with both partners doing situps together - one is the target and the other punches. We just used the pad for a target instead of hands, but it worked.) They all started copying us, anyway. Regular class was okay - Sir had the black belts work some grappling stuff tonight, and I got the second technique pretty well. The first one I need to work on a bit more. He only had us go through four forms (white, purple, red, and first degree) in instructor class tonight, and I knew all of them. I made a few technique mistakes, though. Then we did weapons, and I only got a few comments on my form, but I am *really* having trouble with one of the single bahng mahng ee drills. I can do it as an attacker (strike block strike block strike block), but not as a defender (block strike block strike block strike), for some reason, even though it's just the reverse. Definitely will be working on that this week! I also found out that there will be an instructor certification test before the end of the year. I don't know if I will be eligible or not. I don't think I will be - I have the memorization down, but still have some technique problems and am not sure that I have the "eye" yet to really help anyone else. I am pretty sure I'll be mid-terming, though. There's also going to be another women's self-defense seminar on November 15th, so mark your calendars!
Anyway, I've finally gotten tonight's episode of Heroes, so I'm going to curl up with CP2 and watch it. And maybe re-watch an episode of Fringe, too. Tomorrow's gotta be better!
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Your result for Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz...
You Are a Bette!
You are a Bette -- "I must be strong"
Bettes are direct, self-reliant, self-confident, and protective.
How to Get Along with Me
- * Stand up for yourself... and me.
- * Be confident, strong, and direct.
- * Don't gossip about me or betray my trust.
- * Be vulnerable and share your feelings. See and acknowledge my tender, vulnerable side.
- * Give me space to be alone.
- * Acknowledge the contributions I make, but don't flatter me.
- * I often speak in an assertive way. Don't automatically assume it's a personal attack.
- * When I scream, curse, and stomp around, try to remember that's just the way I am.
What I Like About Being a Bette
- * being independent and self-reliant
- * being able to take charge and meet challenges head on
- * being courageous, straightforward, and honest
- * getting all the enjoyment I can out of life
- * supporting, empowering, and protecting those close to me
- * upholding just causes
What's Hard About Being a Bette
- * overwhelming people with my bluntness; scaring them away when I don't intend to
- * being restless and impatient with others' incompetence
- * sticking my neck out for people and receiving no appreciation for it
- * never forgetting injuries or injustices
- * putting too much pressure on myself
- * getting high blood pressure when people don't obey the rules or when things don't go right
Bettes as Children Often
- * are independent; have an inner strength and a fighting spirit
- * are sometimes loners
- * seize control so they won't be controlled
- * figure out others' weaknesses
- * attack verbally or physically when provoked
- * take charge in the family because they perceive themselves as the strongest, or grow up in difficult or abusive surroundings
Bettes as Parents
- * are often loyal, caring, involved, and devoted
- * are sometimes overprotective
- * can be demanding, controlling, and rigid
Friday, October 24, 2008
Unless something really irresistable comes up (and John is calling tomorrow, so we'll see), I'm going to get out of the theater world. I really love working on shows, but frankly, I just can't afford the time, the stress, and the pay. It hasn't gotten any better the five years I've been in the industry, and getting advanced degrees doesn't really help either (Chrissy has a MFA from Yale and is making only slightly more than I make, and I have better health insurance!). I do want to stay on the Central Coast, though. My current plan (and I've already started the balls rolling on this, so we'll see how it pans out) is to try to get an office-type job at Vandenberg AFB (Mr. C from the dojahng works there, and said they are getting ready to start a new project, so they will be hiring lots of officey types soon and he'll send me the webpage of openings) and work that while I go back to school and finish my BS in aerospace engineering at CalPoly. (My friend Matt's reaction to this idea, which I've been throwing around for a while, actually, was "You'd be a total nerd wet dream...Good shape from martial arts. Attractive besides. Engineering degree. You'll have to beat them off with huge sticks," which I thought was hilarious!) It might be a lot of driving, but we'll see. If that doesn't pan out, Ma'am recommended a few of the employment agencies in town (she's a CPA and works with lots of businesses) to at least find some work while I go back to school. My parents also are very supportive, of course (and they love the Central Coast, too, and are okay with me staying here as long as they can continue to come visit).
So, I'm pretty sure life will be okay. Now I actually have a chance to work normal-people hours (with evenings, at least until I can start classes) which include weekends! Maybe even make some money, or save up a little! It will be hard to tell the kids tomorrow - PCPA is going to let me handle this however I want, and I think I'm going to play the "pursuing education" angle - but it's also like I just got a fresh start and I can do whatever I want again, which is kind of an awesome feeling. It was kind of a blow this afternoon, but if there's one thing I've trained to do, it's roll with punches. I did end up bowing out of rehearsal tonight (which was apparently not as disastrous as taking Wednesday night off turned out to be - one of my favorite students/one of our best dancers came out of a lift wrong and I ended up going to the ER after classes to sit with her and her new severely sprained ankle, yikes! - although Chrissy said they had a lot of minor things go crazy tonight), mostly because once I had the idea, I really wanted to talk to Mr. C about it (which was a huge gamble, because he doesn't always come on Fridays, but he ended up joining us for pizza), and I wasn't quite ready to tell people at PCPA at that point. I didn't know if I was emotionally controlled enough for sparring class, but it turned out to be perfect. Kids always are amusing, and just being there always makes me calm down. Plus, since it was Friday, Ma'am, Mr. C, TKD Grandma & grandson, Sir, Mrs. S, Baby S and I all headed down to Klondike's afterward. Having good friends helps fix anything (and boy, did we hear stories tonight!), and pizza and beer don't hurt either!
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Sunday was just a loooong day. My legs didn't hurt anymore, but all of my muscles still just felt tired. I decided to forego the gym Sunday in order to give my body a rest for Monday's classes, but I still couldn't fall asleep until almost 4:00a Monday morning. I woke up, wide awake, around 9:30a for no particular reason, had a bowl of cereal, was up for about an hour and a half, and then crashed again. I didn't wake back up until almost 3:45p! Realizing I had class in less than two hours, I had a pb&j (protein, carbs, sugars), a thing of oranges (more sugars), and a glass of milk (calcium) and felt okay, just kind of like I hadn't completely woken up yet, if that makes any sense. I was also very cold - to the point where I didn't want take my sweatshirt off until right before class started (the dojahng is often warm to the point of boiling, which is probably another reason I love it there - the windows steam up quite frequently in the cooler months). I started the class okay, but even though it was one of the relatively easier workouts, like the running on Saturday night, it was just so hard. I just didn't have whatever it was that I needed to get me through the class - Mrs. S came up about 3/4 of the way through and asked me if I'd eaten that day, because I looked "ashy." (She knows about my sometimes struggle to fuel my body correctly.) I assured her I had, but I just felt like I couldn't warm up - temperature-wise or muscle-wise. Even though I was dripping sweat, it felt like I was trying to do everything in a pool of icy water. Normally if I haven't eaten properly, I get shaky and a little dizzy. This wasn't that at all. After class, Mrs. S told me that next time I wasn't allowed to have regular water in class - she wants me to drink Gatorade or something with electrolytes and a little sugar. I normally drink Propel water during the day, but that has a tendency of coating my mouth, so we'll see. Normally between classes, I'll get an organic shake from Healthy Palate just a few shops down, come back, and either chat with Mel or work on forms on the carpet. Yesterday, I got my shake (it was much colder and sweeter than usual), put on my sweatshirt, and laid down on the carpet with my head on my gear bag (honestly, I really felt like I was back at a swimming Invitational - curled up on the comfiest bit of floor you can find, with whatever you have handy as a pillow, wrapped in sweats that get wetter the more you wear them and the liquid on your body is so cold. It was a little comforting, oddly, and made me smile). It wasn't that I was feeling sick or shaky, again, I was just tired and cold. I felt more alert by the time my tkd class started, but it felt more like being on autopilot than anything else. Not dazed or unclear, I knew what I was doing and why and was even helping a few people with self-defenses and forms, but it just felt like my brain had taken a backseat and was letting the body (and mouth, apparently I was very good on kihaps and counting last night) take over. (Oddly, my techniques felt really solid last night. Maybe I normally need to turn my brain off?) I was still cold, though, and actually did keep my sweatshirt on for almost the entire class, which is not something any of us ever do. I was sweaty, but anytime I went to take it off, the air would just feel like ice on my skin. I kept it on for most of instructor class, too, although it did start to get in the way for forms and I ended up asking Sir to close the door to keep some of the air out. Surprisingly, I did pretty well on forms this week overall. I have never felt that way in class before, though, and this will be the start of my third winter at the dojahng. It was just so weird.
Today, I'm still tired (I slept just under eight hours last night), my hamstrings are a little sore (most likely from the millions of crescent kicks we did last night - I think I might be getting better at them, though!), and I have a good chance of getting tomorrow (Wednesday) night off of rehearsal, so I didn't go to the gym tonight. I don't know if I'm simply over-training (I didn't think I was doing that much, though), or if my already-pretty-high metabolism has just kicked itself into a higher gear due to going to the gym regularly and is burning through things faster, or if it was simply not drinking enough water (I've been so good about that, though!), or what it was (maybe I'm allergic to the MMA class I watched on Saturday morning - I hope not, cuz I'd like to get more involved in it!), but I really don't care to repeat it. I'd like my energy back, too, please!
(And no, I am NOT getting sick. I just got done being sick two weeks ago. Possibly anemic - I haven't taken vitamins in a while - but NOT sick!)
Back to catching up on tonight's Fringe and working on CP2!
Sunday, October 19, 2008
I had a huge craving for frozen yogurt on Monday, ending with Ma'am and I going to the very yummy Yogurt Creations after class. (There was a bit of a discussion in which Ma'am offered to let me use a gift card she had recieved from another student, then decided she wanted to go too, so it worked out.) We started talking about the student who had given her the gift card. Apparently, he gave it to her as a thank-you for helping him with his form, which I thought was rather sweet. I don't know him very well, although he often comes in on Fridays for a private lesson as I am finishing up. He's always been very kind, just very quiet and shy. Ma'am agreed with that assessment and added, "Yup. He works hard. He gets nervous because he wants to do every thing perfectly. Remind you of anyone?" She gave me a very direct look. I just grinned at her. "Nope!"
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Still going to the gym at night after rehearsal. I think I need to start pushing myself a bit more, though. I got kind of frustrated the other night in class. I've been working on my forms at the gym every night. I was so proud of myself because I was able to actually get through all of them without having to look at any notes, and I'd go through every form every night. Then comes class time on Monday, and I mess up. Little things, but still. Grrrr! So frustrating! Baby step forward, big step back. Sigh. I am getting dojahng time in again on Friday afternoon. The same thing happens there - I'll get through everything fine, and then come class time, I'll screw up again. I just need to work on consistency, I guess. And technique. I still have problems with balance on a few moves, even in the lower belts, so I've been trying to drill those skills as much as possible, too. I've finished learning my weapons form - Sir pretty much left it up to me to figure out the second half, which is the exact same as the first half, only with the bahng mahng ee in the left hand instead of the right. Now, I knife-fight with my left hand quite a bit, mostly because I prefer the stance, but a big stick in your non-dominant hand feels very awkward! I think I'm getting it, though.
CP2 is still coming along, despite the fact that I apparently bought the last skein of the color I need in northern Santa Barbara County. It should be fine, though, the shop swears they're getting another shipment in a few days, and different dyelots shouldn't be too much of a problem. I'm at a pretty mindless point in the knitting, and have been using what free time I have to both knit and catch up on my shows. I'm probably watching way too much tv lately, but I'm hooked on Fringe (I think that the other regular FBI agent is the real traitor, but that remains to be seen), NCIS, Bones, Law & Order: SVU (okay, that's not new), and Pushing Daisies (honestly, can a show really be more fun - it spoofs both crime dramas AND musicals! Mom, I think you'd like this one.). I'm also a few weeks behind on House and Ghost Hunters, and have finally caught up to at least the current season of Heroes (so I'm a little late to the bandwagon on this one, and nothing is particularly original about it - I think I've seen most of the plotlines so far in old X-Men comics of my brother's - but yet, it's somehow addictive. Maybe the hot guys sans shirts have something to do with it? Or maybe it's the idea that a story cannot be told in one episode and you actually do have to watch the whole thing to get the story arc. I like that. At any rate, I'm only about two weeks into the current season, so don't tell me! (Plus, Maya hasn't cried and Caitlyn hasn't shown up for a whole two episodes! Elle is extremely annoying, though, ugh!))
Anyway, long day of meetings tomorrow, so gonna crash.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
The 2008-2009 Stage Management department:
They let us out pretty much unsupervised tonight - we had our annual fundraising gala. Chrissy and I actor-wrangled, with the interns' help, but honestly, it would have been just fine with the two of us. I think they had fun, though. I hope so.
I'd also like to point out that the dress is the same dress I wore to the Seussical opening two years ago. It looks a hell of a lot better on me now (you think maybe two years of martial arts and exercise had anything to do with that? nah...), although I've really got to get a pair of nylons that don't roll at the waist! Ugh!
Anyway, kind of a slow week. The weather suddenly decided yesterday that it was fall, and dropped from a comfortable 70 degrees to a rather unfortunate 50 degrees during the day and into the low 40s at night. Whine! I've discovered a hanging bag and a set of mats at the gym, so I've been working on forms and bagwork there this week, which has been nice. We had a double rehearsal yesterday instead of today, due to the Gala, so I went to the dojahng over dinner break and talked to Sir and Mr. R a little bit and watched the first 15 minutes or so of the aikido class. It looks like it's all about joint manipulation, which is actually a little scary. Some of the teenyboppers in the tkd class are taking the aikido as well, but you can tell that they aren't really "into" it and that worries me a little. Sir's already messed up his shoulder in that class, trying not to land on one of them. We'll see. Mr. R is also taking it, as is one of the parents that I know, and Gil is teaching it. I'd trust them.
Knitting is still plugging along, although CP 2 is going a bit slower than I'd like. It's still in a good place, though, so I'm not too worried, yet.
I'm thinking about taking the train home for Christmas. It will be slower, but a lot cheaper, and I think I could handle the trip without a sleeper car. My laptop won't, but maybe I can be near an outlet. Anyone have experience with train travel? I don't...any advice would be appreciated!
Parent as he was coming in the dojahng on Friday: "Dodgers lost."
Me: "Aww! Really?! Poor Dodgers! What a shame?"
Parent (grinning at my sarcasm): "I take it you're a Cub fan?"
Sir: "You can't tell from the hat she wears all the time?!"
Monday, October 06, 2008
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
-spoken by Richard Rennick, a playwright character in Michelle Sagara's "Cast in Fury"
Monday, September 29, 2008
True to form, though, as soon as I got my greedy little hands on Cast in Fury, it was all over. (I've been waiting a year for this book!) I paid for the books and got all the way out to the bench outside the front door of Barnes & Noble before pulling it out of the bag and starting to read (about 2:00p-ish). It was quite pleasant there in the sunshine. I probably wouldn't have resurfaced in time for class at all if Mom hadn't called. There was no way I was going to make it to kickboxing, but I already had all my stuff with me anyway (I do know myself well enough to plan ahead for such events), and got back into Santa Maria with not enough time to go home and read, so I went to the park instead. I did make to the dojahng in time for tkd and instructor class, though, and I finished the book about an hour ago.
I really liked it, but it followed a totally different storyline than I thought it was going to. It explains a lot about certain comments that were made in the first book, Cast in Shadow, though, which is really kinda cool. And it involves a playwright, and there is really great passage about what theater does that I might have to type out and quote. I also really like the fact that, despite the long wait (okay, so it's actually relatively short, in publishing terms) between books, only about six weeks have passed since the beginning of the first book. (This book is the second one that has mentioned the full moons, so we know it has to have been at least a month. Where month literally means moon-cycle.) It's nice to know there isn't any backstory to have to get caught up on. I want to know exactly what Erenne means, though, and how it pertains to Kaylin in relation to both Nightshade and Severn! I was under the impression from the first few books that she was Nightshade's Erenne, but in this book, he refers to her (and he, sadly, is not very present at all in this book) as the Erenne. Like, maybe, there's only one. Maybe he just meant there is only one Erenne in Nightshade. But we do know that he claims her, and she is growing slightly more comfortable with him. So satisfy a girl's curiosity, lady! If I was a fiefling, I'd bet that she ends up with Nightshade, or at least living with him in the Castle, with Severn as her protector. (It is implied very early on that Erenne has a vaguely similar meaning to "consort," if far more specific - what that specification IS is what we don't know - and that it is a relationship that must be consumated in some fashion to be fully claimed. As Nightshade is the only character that has expressed any kind of physical attraction to Kaylin, I'm going on that basis. It can also somehow give the two of them more power, not that either of them really need it, or, in Kaylin's case, want it.) And why IS Nightshade Outcaste? He is still very much on top of things that happen in the Barrani Court, and is obviously not entirely hated there even now, based on Cast in Courtlight (the second book). The next book, Cast in Silence, is slated to come out sometime in late 2009, and it can't come fast enough!
In other news, I've now officially learned the first half of my weapons form and now have the lovely challenge of figuring out the reverse and repeat of it - the second half of the form is the same as the first half, just with the bahng mahng ee in the opposite hand. It's a LOT harder with the left hand than the right! White Christmas starts rehearsals tomorrow, and while I'm fond of the cast and the show actually seems pretty fun and fluff and we're already in FAR better shape than we were this time last year, I'm still very much resenting how much time I will be out of class due to it. Which is ridiculous, because it's not like I'm still a color belt with a new test to worry about every few weeks (and come close to failing, like I did this time last year). I just got my belt two months ago; I won't even be eligible to test for rank again for another ten months. So I don't know what my problem is. I do know that I may break down and pay for a Gold's Gym membership, though - they are open 24/7, and I've found the time I am best able to work out is after I get off work, no matter what time of day that is. While I did pretty decently on my PT last time, I want it to be easy next time. Or at least, I want to still have a lot more energy for the sparring part of the tests next time. So I might as well start training now.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Other than that, not much is going on. After the previous post, I got a chance to talk with AF Guy (who is currently stationed in Hawai'i, the lucky dog), and he kind of brought me back down to earth a little. (He did offer the AF as an alternative career to consider several times, though, which isn't as out-there as it might seem.) I also talked to Chrissy and I may not work on Les Mis in the spring now, and just pick it up for the summer, which would give me a decent break from shows for a while. White Christmas honestly shouldn't be that bad, I just have to live through a month of rehearsals, and then I can go back to having class five nights a week for almost two months straight. Then another month of rehearsals for Midsummer, then three months of class, I hope. So it might work out. Doesn't help the money, but it does help the emotional and mental stress. I miss haganah so badly right now!
Anyway, my allergies are driving me nuts, and I have a show tonight, so I'm going to go take a nap for a while. Go Boilers!
Monday, September 22, 2008
Ever been in a place where you really really really love what you do, but it doesn't feel like enough? Even though you enjoy it, it's not challenging enough (at least, not in ways you'd like to be challenged - seeing how many times you can beat your head against the same wall isn't my idea of a challenge), it's not important enough in the grand scheme of things, and there is absolutely no way to advance in it? That's where I am right now. The hobby that I have turned into a career is right now feeling like a quicksand bog - doing nothing will prevent me from going down, but it won't get me out, either, whereas trying to get out will cause me to sink before I'll be able to swim. But what else would I do? There are two or three other professions that absolutely fascinate me, and I think I would be really good at, but two would require going back to school and starting completely over, and one would require six months training and then assignment to somewhere out of my control.
This is not to say that I don't like my current job. I do - I love working on shows, and with the students. I'm just getting burned out a little, I think. I've been in rehearsal or performance for various shows since March and there is no relief in sight - my current show closes Sunday, I start rehearsals for the holiday show next Tuesday, get two weeks off for Christmas, and come back to start rehearsals for yet another show, which will then go straight into the spring musical as well. Yes, I know, welcome to the adult world and full time jobs. Suck it up, right? I've already gotten a whole week's vacation this year, and get two weeks off at Christmas! Lucky! The way things work here, if I ONLY went in for rehearsals/performances (as in, came in the door at call time and left at end of call), I would work 40 hours a week. That's a full time job right there, and that's not even HALF of what I do. And I get ONE day off a week. And no, I don't get paid overtime, and my salary (with a college degree, no less) is barely better than if I worked at McDonalds. (We had to get raises last year so we could meet minimum wage requirements. The health insurance is better, though.) I'm just getting tired of having to work so much and carry so much responsibility, but still only living hand to mouth. I'm tired of having to be perfect all the time. I'm tired of being the middleman in EVERYTHING. I'm tired of not being able to bring myself to care anymore. I can't pay off debts like this. I can't save any money. I can't travel. I can't date. I can't enjoy anything else in my life on a regularly scheduled basis, because my schedule changes every few weeks. Right now, pretty much any job that works steady hours and that I can put away when those hours are done sounds absolutely fantastic.
I just feel like I have something more to do with my life, but I'm not quite sure what that is yet.
In happier news, CP #1 is very close to done, I'd say about 80% right now. I'm hoping to finish it by the end of the week. My problem, which I didn't think of when I created this evil plot, is that none of the rest of my projects are of the true mindless knitting variety, which I will need in the booth. Curses! I may have to modify one thing now. It shouldn't be too bad, I don't think.
Also, because of my crazy, weird schedule, the first part of this week is back to 9:00a - 5:00p days, so I can go to class tonight, tomorrow, and Wednesday! Yay! Seven classes in three days! I will be so sore! And I'm going to be at the self-defense seminar on Saturday morning! A few of the girls from PCPA have said they're interested, but they would only go if I went, too. Sir said it would be stuff that I can already do in my sleep, but he's okay with me being there to help out my friends and pointed out that it would be really nice to be in a situation where I only have to dish stuff out, I'm probably not going to have to take much punishment!
Thursday, September 18, 2008
It's great that people are concerned and all; really, I do appreciate their work so far in this, but I have had three seperate people say something along the lines of "You're a black belt. What are YOU worried about?!" I usually respond with a gritted-teeth smile and say "Yes, I am. And the first rule of self-defense is to NOT PUT YOURSELF IN A SITUATION WHERE YOU MIGHT HAVE TO USE IT!" Then I try to say something more benign, like, "Fighting is a waste of energy. I don't go looking for fights." They usually blink and agree after that. I know it's not their fault for automatically falling into Hollywood stereotypes, but honestly. I'd like to think that I could hold my own in a fair fight, but an attack, by definition, is NOT a fair fight. The attacker has surprise on his side, and more importantly, wants to fight and cause pain. I don't. The idea of actually doing full-out some of the things we do in haganah is a little stomach-churning, actually, although if it came down to me or him, I know which one I'd pick. I'm a black belt, yes, but not Superman, and the style I rank in isn't the one I would instinctively turn to in a dangerous situation. If someone really wants to hurt me, they could, and all the martial arts knowledge in the world isn't going to help you if someone has a gun aimed at you and is pulling the trigger. My goal is just to be able to survive something like that, God forbid it should ever happen. And if it turns out that I can say, "Yeah, but you should see the OTHER guy!" at the end of it, that's just icing. Of course, should that person survive, he'd then get hunted down by my daddy, my baby brother, and all my FIGHT guys and I would not pity him in the slightest.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Regular class tonight was all about self-defense. We had a whole family of white belts start tonight, which was cool, and I ended up working with two of them on the color belt defenses. Then, when they split off to work forms, Sir had the black belts start working and reviewing the haganah defenses with one person in the middle and the rest of us doing the different random attacks. Then he wandered off to work with some of the higher color belts on their forms (we had a really big class tonight), and after we'd finished that drill the rest of the black belts start looking at me like I have any idea what to do next. I answered a few questions for them (none of the other tkd students do haganah as well, so I guess most of this is relatively new stuff for them, and very old stuff for me), and then started teaching one of them, a kid who has recently aged up to the teen/adult class and had therefore never done ANY of the haganah defenses, the basic punch defense while the others paired off. It was just weird that I was the lowest dan there, but they were asking me what to do next.
Other than that, and the giant headache that has been hanging around my right temple since I woke up today, classes were really good. Mel was back in class tonight (it's a year today since she had her knee surgery, and about fifteen months since she tore it up in my first sparring class), and it was fun to have her as a partner. She's been training for the past few months, but now is getting ready to test for her third degree, and her knee has been officially deemed good enough to be back in regular classes with us. She was my first sparring partner tonight, too, and we kept making cracks about the last time we'd faced each other (that first class). It felt good to spar tonight in general, though. I feel like I'm maybe starting to lose the fear of injury again, since we've been doing it more regularly, which is a good thing. Instructor class also went pretty well, I think. Tonight we did the higher belt forms, and I was really surprised to discover that I knew them (with a few small mistakes) without even really thinking too hard about them. The switching back and forth between form styles, though (dan form techniques are slightly but significantly different than gup ones), takes some brain power still, though. Sir watched me go through my regular form, corrected a few things (a foot angle and a balance issue), told me I was doing really well with it, and then started teaching my weapons form! I'm still doing single bahng mahng ee (one fighting stick), and I only learned the first dozen or so moves of it, but I like it so far. Definitely more than I thought I would, although I have to admit to liking the weapons drills better than the forms. There's just something very satisfying feeling the sticks crack against your partner's. The other thing is that I will NOT be midterming in October now because we started the weapons so late. This is actually a really fabulous thing because it means that my first midterm will probably be in December, after I'll have been able to be back in class five nights a week for a month or so. It should be absolutely no problem at all now. And, I get to go back in on Friday and work by myself again. Yay!
Anyway, CP #1 is still cruising along, my sleep schedule is back to its no classes routine and is not being helped the fact that I don't really need to go to the office at all during the day right now (pretty much, I'm not sleeping any kind of normal hours right now, which sucks), my right forearm is definitely going to be sore tomorrow, as I am not used to the weight of a weapon, and I have to go in early to babysit Outreach tech, so I'm crashing.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
For another thing, the insurance company is being unusually cooperative and karma may be on my side for once. Not only are they reimbursing me for the window, but they also gave me a generous overestimate for the repairs to the lock on the door. On top of that, I got an email from our equivalent of a CFO today - AHC once again screwed up my paycheck this month and will reimburse me next month. I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop - the company screwed up, or the deductable wasn't paid correctly or something. We'll see, I guess, but for now, it's really nice to think I might actually still be able to eat and drive this month.
Can't wait for class on Monday!