Friday, November 26, 2010

Marathon Games 1 & 2

I'm going to put most of the actual hockey game stuff over on the other blog, but I have been having a BLAST this week!

-I am apparently a very familiar-looking person. Five different people at two hockey rinks almost 400 miles apart have either stopped me in the concourse or approached me at my seat to tell me that I look very familiar. Weird.

-If you sit near the home team's bench, you don't get to see your team on the bench as much, but you get to see them shoot at the goal closest to you twice. If you sit near the visitors' bench, you will get to see your guys on the bench a lot more but it will be harder to see them on the ice. Presuming, of course, that they spend more time on offense than defense, which is generally a good thing to do in a hockey game. I cannot decide which I like more and may continue flip-flopping. (I think my seat for tomorrow is on the visitors' side, but not sure.) However, sitting on the visitors' entrance aisle iz teh ossim. (Honda Center, Sect 209, Row E, around seat 10-ish. That is going to be my seat there now forever!) I got high-5s from my guys!!!

-Staying on board the Queen Mary while in SoCal and it's really nice for the price! Very thin walls, though. I did one of their ghost tours this evening, which was very interesting. There was one room that they were asking questions and the K2 meters were going off and a few people said they saw something (including a self-proclaimed psychic)* - I felt/saw/experienced absolutely nothing other than visually seeing the meters light up. We move on to the old first class pool and supposedly there's a lady in the changing rooms who "guards a vortex" there. They set up the equipment and were asking questions again and asked if she would let us go into the changing rooms. The "answer" came back as a clear "No!" The guide told the group that they could go into the changing rooms if they wanted but he wasn't going to; he'd had his own experiences in there and didn't care to repeat them again. Of course, the rest of the group all wanted to go in, but I kept getting a nagging feeling about it and didn't. It wasn't like I was afraid something bad would happen or something but it was just more of a "Man, if you believe what you just got 'told', and she told you to go away, go away already!" protective kind of feeling that I just couldn't shake. Rather like walking by a door guarded by armed security guards. You're really curious as to what is behind the door but it's clear that it's not an issue that really needs to get pressed. Weird. So I stayed out and talked to the guide for a little bit. It turns out that I am not the only one who has had issues with going down to the isolation wards. (Claustrophobia, however, didn't bother me tonight.) All in all, though, nothing happened that I would say beyond a reasonable doubt was paranormal, and if any ghostie wants to come into my room at night and wants to mess with my stuff, that's fine, as long as I don't get woken up and I don't lose any of it.

-I have a new favorite pair of earrings. Big dangly cheap silver and turquiose circles. Love them! Yet another set of earrings that I can't wear for 90% of my life, between work and martial arts, but they're so fun!

-Thanksgiving was much more fun than I had anticipated. I was invited to a guy I work with's house to spend the afternoon/evening with his family. There turned out to be six adults - two couples, two singles (I got kind of a "wow, what a coincidence that you guys have SO much in common!" vibe, but oh well) - and three kids. It was very fun. The kids were all old enough that they could run around outside or play upstairs, and the grownups played a cross between Pictionary and Telephone (I can't think of the name right now, Scribbleysomething, maybe?) and Apples to Apples which is a very fun game! You get to see how a lot of people's minds work, which is interesting. Anyway, I had kind of figured it would be eating around three, some polite conversation, and home by six or seven. I didn't get home until after eleven. Which sucked for trying to get laundry done and packed for today, but was too much fun to really complain about.

-I think I might hit up the Aquarium of the Pacific tomorrow, since the game isn't until the evening. One more day/night in SoCal, then going back up Sunday and have to go in to work for a couple hours to get caught up on the daily tasks that haven't gotten done because everyone's been on Thanksgiving break. Random day off later this week too, so my orders can change over from MPA (being loaned out to the 614 AOC full time) to AGR (being actually employed by the 216 OSS full time). My schedule's going to be so out of whack!

*ETA (because I'm not falling asleep now) Some of the experiences included flashlights turning on and off, several people feeling ill (I felt ill, too, but that was because I'd had two alcoholic drinks that day and not enough food to soak it up!), a couple of odd noises, and supposedly an apparition in the green room. There's this room that is supposed to be "Henry's" room - a guy who died in a boiler room accident and is supposed to be, well, grumpy about it to say the least - and they had everyone go in and turn off the lights and then they set up a flashlight, a K2 meter, and a DVR on a table. Another lady in the group had a second K2 meter a couple feet away. They started asking questions and got a few hits on both the meters and the flashlight. People around me seemed tense and a couple mentioned feeling dizzy or ill. They asked if whoever was there wanted us to leave and it went dark. Someone joked "Aww, Henry likes us!" and the meter flashed all the way across. Then this girl in the group gasped and said "You guys are going to think I'm crazy, but I swear I just saw a little girl over by the table!" No little girls had been mentioned on the tour at all at that point, but the guide said that there is supposedly a little girl running about the place and that she usually stayed one floor above, but people had seen her all over the ship. After that, the group claimed that "the energy in the room got lighter", they felt better, and the psychic said that the little girl had made the "bad energy" that was in there before leave. Also, in the changing room above (the one I didn't want to go into), one couple on the tour supposedly got touched by a dark mass who wanted them to leave.

I have no reason to doubt the sincerity of the people I shared the tour with, but I have serious reservations about the claims that they made. I have no doubts that they experienced what they said they experienced, but think about it from a psychological standpoint. You have about twenty people in a group because they want to learn about ghosts. You're taking them through locations that are famous for being haunted. Now, no effort was made to scare us, it wasn't like going through a haunted house at Halloween or anything, but you tell the group about a supposedly malevolent spirit and then stick them in a small dark room. Not to mention there is a slight pressure difference because you're actually about fifty feet underwater at that point. (I really didn't need to know that, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.) Energy is going to be weird and tense inside that room just from the combination of psychological factors you just had them experience! Then this little girl appears (that I can't explain, unless the tourist was a plant) and suddenly everyone is relieved because it's not a big bad scary spirit, it's a little girl and who is scared of a little girl? and the "energy in the room" lightens. I'm not sure I would call that paranormal, just normal environment messing with your mind, maybe deliberately, maybe not.

I really thought the tour was interesting and a neat experience - you do get to see parts of the ship that are not open to the general public - but I felt pretty detached from it. An observer rather than a participant. Except for the "these rude people are invading my space after I asked them to go away" feeling in the changing area (and a creepy vibe from one of the - living - cleaning crew guys we saw - you know how there are some people you see and you just don't like? yeah, that was him), it was pretty uneventful for me. I am not psychic, I have no desire to be psychic and I also am not willing to be deliberately scared for entertainment. Evidently I am not "in touch" with the spirit world and am "closed off", or ghosts really are like most living people and tend to leave me alone ;-)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Let the Marathon Begin!

First off, Trans-Siberian Orchestra is awesome to see live! I've always liked the drive and pulse to their sound, and, while there were some parts of their show that I wasn't insanely wild about, I did like the lazer and the use of the LEDs and pyrotechnics. I am insanely jealous that I worked in technical theater professionally and educationally for twelve years and never once got to give or take a cue for a flamethrower, though. (Admittedly, the wrecking ball from Dames At Sea was pretty fun, but still, it's no flamethrower.) The two things that I didn't really care for were the LED screens - I found them distractingly pixillated and not particularly graphically flattering for the pictures/images they displayed - and the choreography was just horrible. I will be the first to admit that I am not a dancer, nor have ever been one, but I'm pretty sure our swing choir in junior high had more complex and interesting choreography. Luckily, choreography is not a huge important element to the show, so you could just ignore it fairly well. I did, however, realize how "military" my life has become, though, when I just kept thinking how pretty the guys' hair was. I do love long hair on guys, as long as they keep it clean. Mmm! Don't see too much of that anymore, sigh.

But anyway, that was very fun and I got meet up with a fellow Puck This!er and her hubby up at the Los Gatos Brewing Co., which is very yummy and I would totally recommend. (We never did get around to drinking any of the beer there, since we were talking too much hockey and knitting, but I can recommend the BBQ burger and the coffeecake!) We also hit up Yarn Dogs (sans hubby) which is a totally cute little LYS up in Los Gatos and I may have to make a return trip or five up there. (Pics of the yarn shop raid do exist, but alas, they are not mine and I have not asked permission yet to use them, so you will either have to take my word for it or wait.)

Monday was work and class, which was taught by Mrs. S, who got stuck with me as a partner for tkd and we would get giggling during drills - at least in my case because I am very not used to working with her because she rarely works with the tkd class and is about a foot shorter than me and the drill involved many crescent kicks, I have no idea what she was giggling about - and generally caused trouble. Not as much as Ma'am and I can cause, mostly because there were kids around and she was teaching, but still fun.

Today was the Thanksgiving dinner/celebration at work, which was fun but a little weird, since Tuesday is also PT day. It maybe wouldn't be bad if we did PT in the morning, but I'm really curious as to how many people actually showed up for the "4.5-5 mile run" scheduled for the afternoon cuz I know my flight didn't. Granted, there are four people in my flight. One is a civilian, one is on leave this week while he & family move onto base, and the other guy and I looked at each other, said "no way" and somehow got extremely busy working with things that had to be done Right Now around PT time. (Note: this is absolutely NOT typical behaviour for my flight - we typically drop every hour on the hour for some form of PT or other and all of us do outside workouts as well - but that's just poor planning after a Thanksgiving lunch.) I also got to spend the last half hour of the day talking hockey with our Canadian boys, which is always fun although it does kind of make me feel like a bit of a ditz sometimes. One is a Leafs fan, one is a Canadiens fan. It makes life interesting, for sure! (And it is kind of nice to hear Jonathan Toews come up in conversation that I have not started, even if it was in the "eh, she's a Jonathan Toews baby" context - I refuse to be offended.)

Tomorrow is a couple hours of work and then heading back up north to the Shark Tank again for the hockey game and the start of my personal Blackhawks marathon! Yay!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

More Things I Learned This Week

-McDonalds' Quarter Pounders w/ Cheese are WAYYY salty! I don't usually get fast food burgers unless it's from In-N-Out, and I really dislike cheeseburgers in general anyway, but I was starving and they screwed up my order and I thought "eh, I'm hungry enough to deal with it." I wasn't. Yuck.

-You would think that if the cat can't be bothered to clean the house or do laundry while I'm out, he could, at the very least, have a hockey game already turned on when I get home.

-Wrist wraps are not optional equipment for kickboxing. In fact, they're more important than the actual gloves. I can deal with bruised knuckles, but aching wrists suck. Related: I have a re-found appreciation for repetition training. It was kind of cool to still be able to just react and not think while getting tossed around during FIGHT. And trust me, Sir did NOT go easy! Obviously, he wasn't as tough on me as he was with the guys - he's really good about challenging us at our own levels - but he was definitely not going to let me just go through the moves like the new girls. I appreciate that. (He does go easier on groundwork with us, though.) It was also cool that there was an MMA fight that night on tv that I happened to catch just as the fighter was doing that exact ground move and used it to win. I don't really go out of my way to watch fights, but I do enjoy those "OH!" moments.

-Bedroom furniture is a pain to find. I need a new dresser and I want a headboard. Can't find either that I like. Sigh.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day

Oh, say! Can you see, from the dawn's early light,
What, so proudly, we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars - through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched - were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our Flag was still there.
Oh, say! Does that Star-Spangled Banner yet wave
O'er the land of the Free and the home of the Brave?
-Francis Scott Key, The Star-Spangled Banner

I, (NAME), do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God. - US Armed Forces Oath of Enlistment

Thank you to all those who have raised their right hands and sworn that Oath. We wouldn't be here if it wasn't for you.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Things I've Learned Lately

-Vegetables should never ever be boiled. They should be sauteed or grilled or baked or stir-fried. Then I'll actually eat them. Willingly. Like, to the point that I'll even make them myself.

-If rocket launches ever become boring or not-cool, someone please shoot me and end my life quick.

-If you make a pair of toe-up socks in your team's colorway, and those socks turn out to be lucky, DON'T try to make another pair. Particularly don't try to make another pair in the reverse order (cuff-down). It will a.)mess with the team and b.)mess with the knitting juju, too. I don't know how many times I've had to rip back every project I've started, including the sock, until I finally took the hint and just frogged the thing last night. Since then, I've been able to correct the other projects' mistakes AND Coach Q says the guys will all be back in the lineup by the weekend AND had their "best practice of the season" today. Never mess with the power of knitting!

-Pattern ideas will completely elude you when you really want to work with a new yarn (two skeins of Berroco Vintage Chunky from a Puck This/Ravelry swap) that is soft and squishy and pretty colors (blue and green). The gifter suggested Rebecca from Knitty, which is very cute, but I don't really wear hats all that much. I'm thinking a bag of some sort. Might have to make it up as I go. Hmm.

-Not going to martial arts is nothing more than cheating myself. And not just out of money. It wasn't like I was avoiding it or anything, but I was really trying to focus on running and PT. Last week, I randomly saw or otherwise talked to three different people from the dojahng, and had two different dreams where Sir would get on my case for not being in class. So last night I went back for the first time in a while. I love being there. I love the people. I love the workouts. I love the fact that I can get tackled there. I love the inside jokes. I love the fact that things came back to me pretty quickly. I love the fact that I worked out hard enough for my muscles to feel it today. Didn't go today b/c of squadron PT, and there's a standing deal for hockey game nights, but can't wait until Thursday when I can go back!

-One of my friends is totally serious about wanting me to play hockey with them on weekends. I am sorely tempted but pretty sure I would completely embarrass myself. (Because if I'm not honest here, where else would I be?)

-Thanksgiving week is going to be very busy this year. Sunday: TSO concert in SJ. Wednesday: Hawks/Sharks in SJ. Thursday: T-day w/ friends and coworkers. Friday: Hawks/Ducks in Anaheim and possibly hangout time with LA friends. Saturday: Kings/Ducks in LA. Sunday: sleeping to get ready for work on Monday. I do even have to work a couple days in there, too!