Friday, July 25, 2003

It's Bacchan'Ale time! I'm off to the pub downtown to meet and greet our out-of-town guests as they arrive in Portland. When Mom comes (hooray!) I'll drive with her down to the Ale site in Salem for a wonderful week of dancing. It's going to be tons of fun, but I'll be glad when it's over. I've been stressed and sleep-deprived for the last week (or two, or three) with all of the Ale-planning going on. I'm taking Monday off of work to recuperate and post pictures. :) Hooray!

Saturday, July 12, 2003

Hooray for weekends and sleep. I came home from work last night and basically slept from 6:30-10:00. Hugo woke me up for a yummy dinner and watching "My Big Fat Greek Wedding." What a lovely movie. I'd been feeling drained and very low on energy for the last couple of days, but that nap was just the thing I needed. I woke up much much happier this morning.

Ale-planning is still crazy, and trying to coordinate everything has been quite a learning experience. I actually took last Wednesday off of work as a "personal day" to deal with things. I was on the computer emailing people and on the phone for most of the day. Yikes. But I got things pretty well sorted out. We had a meeting after practice on Thursday to get everybody on the same page. It's hard to believe that the Ale is happening in only two weeks -- yikes!

I'm trying to keep this weekend as mellow as I can, to avoid beginning the week as exhausted as I ended it. Hugo and kids went to get haircuts this morning (I told him to take before and after pictures), then up to Mount St. Helens to visit the lava tubes. I would like to do that some time, but not today. They took Sylvia because Hugo's van is currently being used by a friend, so I'm walking places today. I walked to a little thrift store about 8 blocks away, and came away with a pair of overalls (at last!) and two wonderful rugs (at last! at last!), which I then had to carry home over my shoulder. :P Luckily, the guys at the store were really really nice; they rolled the rugs up together and taped them up for me so I wouldn't have to deal with them unrolling. They said, "Now this is excellent customer service" and the woman who was ringing me up agreed, saying "Yeah, they never do this!" It's nice being a girl sometimes. :) One of the rugs is a rag rug in various shades of blue that goes perfectly with the walls, trim, and sheets in my bedroom, and the other is one of those heavy rugs with fringe on the ends, dark green and burgundy and beige, and goes perfectly with the futon in the living room. Hooray!

I've been doing a bit of looking into colleges and things in the last week. I've basically done searches to find all the colleges in Portland, and have been browsing their websites looking at what they offer and hoping something catches my eye. Lewis & Clark College has a Sociology/Anthropology major that actually looks pretty cool. It has some neat looking classes like Anthropology of the Body, Environmental Sociology, and American Advertising and the Science of Signs. I requested information about the college last week, and this morning received their entire course catalog in the mail -- I thought that was pretty cool. Of course, Lewis & Clark is almost as expensive as Stanford, which I was trying to avoid, but it could still be nice. I'm still looking at other places, and will probably try to do some visiting and tours next month or so, and apply for transfer admission starting spring semester. We shall see.

Monday, July 07, 2003

Weekends are good when you can change plans as often as you want. Instead of cycling and berry picking yesterday, we stayed home and had "Project Day." It was wonderful. I got out my sewing machine and the fabric I've been intending to make curtains out of for the last year. Hugo kept looking over at me and finding me in the same position, standing staring at the fabric laid out on the floor with my thinking look on. I explained that I had to do the whole thing in my head and make all of my mistakes up there so I only had to do it for real once, and do it right. He laughed, but it worked! :P I of course had to do things about the most complicated way possible, and I only got half of it done (one panel of two), but it looks great! And it blocks the light really well. So I was happy with myself. :) It was soooooo nice to have a three-day weekend. We managed to savor the whole thing so that it felt like a vacation rather than just a long weekend -- it certainly felt longer than three days to me!

Work is getting to be a bit more tiring and frustrating and unrewarding, and I'm starting to think it might be time to look for something new. Of course, for that, I probably need to go back to school. And for that, despite the constant admonishing reminders from Hugo and others, I feel like I need to have some idea of what I want to do in college. I certainly realize that I'm most likely not going to make a career out of a specific major I choose in college, but I'd at least like to think I'm choosing something that will have some relevance to my life after I graduate. Hmmm.. So my ongoing assignment for myself of researching colleges and degrees in Portland has stepped up a notch or two in priority. I feel like I'm finally coming to the point where I could return to school and survive, if only I knew what I wanted to study. That's my stumbling block right now; if I knew that I could go just about anywhere to get a degree and get it over with. We'll see. Meanwhile, it's time to extend my Stanford leave of absence... again.

Sunday, July 06, 2003

A very fun day at Oneonta Gorge yesterday. We drove up to the Columbia River Gorge, which is a beautiful area, went to the lookout at Crown Point, had a picnic, and then hiked up Oneonta Gorge, where you can't not get wet. It was a beautiful day with perfect weather, and we all had a blast. I took a bunch of pictures, which you can see here. We took the streetcar downtown and walked to the Riverfront to watch the fireworks last night, shot from a barge on the Willamette. I could have done without the cigarette smoke and the crowds, but it was a good show. The funniest part was when all of the lawn sprinklers started going off -- everybody had their blankets and chairs and things out on the grass, and these monster streams of water started shooting all over them. It was hilarious. A rather large oversight on the part of the Parks department, I think, not to turn off the automatic sprinklers when they knew there would be hundreds of people out on the grass. :P

Today was a pretty mellow day. Hugo and I were invited to a dinner party that was a "first-annual fourth of July weekend June/July birthday party." It was hosted by the very nice couple whose wedding we danced at on May Day, Jonathan and Suzanne. Suzanne just happens to work as the cook for the lovely bed and breakfast down the street from their house, The Lion and The Rose. So of course the food was absolutely scrumptious. And the company was excellent as well, a good mix of folks we knew, folks we had met once or twice before, and folks we had never met before. All in all, it was a lovely evening.

Tomorrow is a sleeping in day. (I love holidays -- it's sooooo nice to have an extra day!) Hugo and I are planning on cycling up to Sauvie Island to do some berry-picking in the afternoon. Mmmmm, fresh berries. But now it's time for bed.

Friday, July 04, 2003

Forget Mount St. Helens -- we're off to Oneonta Gorge! There's a really cool Virtual Guide Book to the Columbia Gorge that has swiveling camera shots of some really cool places and attractions. It's kind of creepy getting a 360° view on a computer screen as if you were standing in one place turning around looking at things, but it's pretty cool. There are some neat waterfalls and things around here.

Anyway, must go finish making eggy sandwiches and getting things together. It's a holiday! :)

Thursday, July 03, 2003

Holiday tomorrow -- Wheeeeeeee! And a paid holiday at that! That was a surprising piece of happy news I got this week. The day will probably be spent hiking and picnicking with Hugo, Ellie, Kirsty and Robbie, at a location yet to be determined. My only request was that we go somewhere I haven't been, which isn't a very tall order, since I've hardly been anywhere! We're probably going to drive up to Mount St. Helens and look at the lava tubes or something nifty like that. :)

The Salem World Beat Festival last Sunday was a success, despite the fact that five of the Bridgetown Morris Men cancelled their attendance on Saturday, so the team consisted of Hugo and Phil dancing and Dick playing music. They did a fine job, though, and sang some songs in between the dances. Renegade Rose performed in the afternoon and then marched in the Parade of Nations. Ellie dressed as Brittania and carried the Union Jack and the "England" sign. The parade was a rather cacophonous blend of every nation's native music and costumes, but it was fun nonetheless. You can see pictures of the day's antics here.

Due to a great number of our dancers being gone for the holiday and the rest of us being burnt out on things for now, we've cancelled practice for tonight and instead are getting together for an evening of singing and music. That means my knee gets a rest and I don't even have to make excuses! :P

Enough for now. Dinner time and then singing!

Wednesday, July 02, 2003

Wow, it took me a long time to post this entry that I wrote a week ago! And the new Blogger is weird! Anyway, here's from 6/25:

Apparently my blog is being converted "to a new-and-improved version of Blogger," so I can’t actually post right now. Humph. It seems that, since I post so infrequently and sporadically, the least that Blogger could do for me would be to make itself available for those rare occasions on which I do want to post. Sigh.

I saw DeMara today! Hooray! She picked me up after work to do dinner and catch-up. We tried to go to the Portland City Grill on the 30th floor of "The Big Pink" (the second-tallest building in Portland, with an amazing view of the city) for cheap happy hour appetizers and good scenery, but it was really crowded and noisy and unconducive to chatting. So we went back down the 30 floors (no, we didn’t take the stairs) and went across the street to a wonderfully colorful, funky cute restaurant called Ca?ita, where a bunch of my co-workers had gone for cheap happy hour appetizers. I had wanted to go with them, but had scheduled dinner with DeMara before I knew about the outing, but this way I got to do both at once! It was fun to hang out with these guys somewhere other than work; I really do work with a pretty neat group of people. And all of these particular people were under or very close to 30, so everybody’s pretty close to the same age. I’m still the youngest of the bunch, but fortunately I don’t usually feel it. So that was fun.

Random hilarious computer story of the day (well, yesterday). I was having a terrible morning yesterday with the printer – the server was freezing and nothing was printing, and when I restarted it it kept giving me weird error messages that I didn’t understand. If I left the message too long without clicking one of the buttons it offered, a verbal alert would begin, basically a woman’s voice reading the error message to me. It was scary enough the first time, but the second time she prefaced her recitation by saying: "It’s not my fault." I’m not kidding. I couldn’t believe somebody had actually programmed that into a computer! It almost made up for the hassle I was going through. (But not quite –- my printing rate hit an all-time low of about one job an hour). Fortunately, I managed to sort out the problem with the help of tech support, and actually hit an all-time high printing rate of 21 jobs an hour this morning. So that was satisfying. But enough of work. I’ve decided to make the conscious decision (do I sound decisive or what?) to leave work at work, and not to bring it home with me. Makes for much more relaxed, less stressful evenings. J

Practice tomorrow for theWhirled Beet Festival, as our Squire likes to call it. Renegade Rose is listed in the Sunday entertainment at the European Village, but unfortunately it doesn’t have any description, so nobody will know what we do! Humph. Oh, well.

We "stole" some fresh mint from Beverly’s garden last time we were over, so I think I’m going to make myself some mint tea and take a bath. I’ll post this whenever Blogger decides to let me get to my blog again.