Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas! (Really Long!)

Well, I am happy to say that I, personally, made it safely to Central Illinois for the holidays. I'm not sure I can say the same for my sanity, and I definitely can't say the same for my luggage. While I can grudgingly live with literally the clothes on my back and the couple clothing items I recieved for Christmas, it really ticks me off that they lost BOTH bags, including the one with CP1, CP2, and the I-just-need-to-do-a-quick-seaming-job-to-finish CP3! All three projects are missing! The local airport swears that that bag has arrived there, though, so I'm going up tomorrow to try to retrieve that. Sigh.

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

Saying Goodbye

The matinee this afternoon was my last show. It's so weird. The cast and crew got together and "surprised" me with cookies and hugs at 1/2 Hour (I kind of expected that, since we've done that for everybody's final shows), and Chrissy put together a really cool scrapbook for me, with pictures and memorable paperwork from all of the shows I've worked on here (penguin plots, rehearsal and performance reports where things had been a little crazy, like the ONE show in the past twenty years that has been rained out in Solvang, or having to put three understudies on one night, that sort of thing) and messages from some of the other RAs. Of course it all made me cry. My second years were the worst, both acting and tech. I'll miss them, and assured them that of course I would still be coming to see shows. Then I had to pull myself and try to actually call a show. Sigh. I am excited for the future - honestly, I really feel like I'm getting an incredibly rare chance to really see "what might have been" and I don't want to waste this. But I will miss it. (On the plus side, I did finally find out who gave me the mystery penguin last year! One of my acting graduates!)

I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.
-Douglas Adams

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.
-Robert Frost

Where God closes a door, somewhere He opens a window.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Reading Patterns...

...helps. Particularly when you're almost halfway done with a portion of a project, and thinking to yourself, "You know, self, the first time I did this, I was pretty sure the diameter increased by this point. Maybe I don't remember correctly." 52 rows in, I happened to glance a the pattern again, just in case. "Inc 1 st at beginning of row, work to first marker, inc 1, sl marker, work Chart, sl marker, inc 1, work to end of row, inc 1 st." Four increases every six rows, nine times. Yeah, I'd been doing two increases, and the chart itself has some decreases worked into, over those 52 rows I'd been doing, not only had I not been increasing, but I'd actually ultimately wound up with FEWER stitches total. Sigh.

FROG! How many days until Christmas??

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Things to do before the holidays...

1. Get a kitty sitter for the time I'm in Illinois (check - bribing neighbor kids is surprisingly easy)

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


Well, it's over. I now officially have six fewer teeth in my mouth than I used to, and boy, does it feel WEIRD! I knew I would be nervous about the anesthesia, so I purposely went to bed a little later than I should have and also used my sleep aromatherapy soap when I took my shower in the morning. I figured being sleepy going in would help me relax. (The surgery was at 8:30a up in AG, which, as you know, is WAY too early for me to be awake anyway!) I think I almost fell asleep in the chair before they ever got around to starting the IV! Finally, the dentist came in and gave me the anesthesia, and I remember him saying, "Okay, you should start to feel sleepy in about thirty..." The next thing I knew, the nurse was telling me she needed me to open my eyes and I told her I didn't want to. She said I was only under for about half an hour! Luckily, I seem to have inherited my dad's reaction to anesthesia and not my mom's, like my brother did. Mom and Kelly both get really nauseous after they wake up. To Dad and I, it just feels like waking up from a too-short nap. The bleeding stopped after a few hours, and other than some minor discomfort (I wouldn't go so far as to call it pain, but there's definitely something not normal, nothing a regular dose of ibuprofen can't handle, though) and some swelling, I've been fine. I could have gone to class last night if I'd really wanted to, I was feeling that good! (We had pancakes for dinner last night.) Mom wouldn't let me, though, of course. Spoilsport. Today, it feels about the same - a little stiff/weird and a little swollen, but nothing major. Toast is still a little difficult for me to eat, so I had some of the tapioca my dad made last night for breakfast. I think we're going to go up to Pismo today and grab some clam chowder from Splash Cafe, which should be easy to eat as well. Should be fun!

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


Sorry all, it's been a bit busy here. Mostly good, fun, stuff, though, which has been nice. The important thing is that CP3 is actually cruising along again, although it will still be cutting it pretty close to have it done for Christmas. On top of the fact that I still have to make the slippers, too. And I think it'd be fun to make a hedgehog for Ma'am, given her reaction to the one I made for Baby S for his birthday.

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!