Tuesday, February 24

Not a Dick in sight

What a relief!

Monday, February 23

This is getting weird

Maybe it was all the Oscar stuff, but this weekend it occurred to me that I have such a "type" that it's ridiculous. What am I talking about? I'm talking about dream men. Here are a few of my current faves:

Do you see a trend here? Sheesh, I'm a mess! I can't help it though. I think these guys are as dreamy as they come. I blame my mother. Even Mom says "hubba hubba" when she sees George and Clive. I guess it's in the blood.

Pardon me while I gaze at the monitor.

Thursday, February 19

Good News/Bad News

I've been home sick with a stomach bug for two days. I'm also suffering from a lot of guilt because, between national holidays and my own vacation time, I've haven't been at work much lately. I always feel somewhat guilty staying home sick but especially lately. A few weeks ago a lot of good friends lost their jobs due to layoffs. This is hardly unique to my company. In fact I can't think of another company I associate with that hasn't had at least one round of layoffs. Some companies I know of have had up to three rounds of lay offs. All I know is that it all sucks. I've been laid off before and was unemployed for 7 months. I didn't like it. On one hand you keep thinking that you should try to enjoy the down time but it's all so stressful that there doesn't seem to be any down time. In other words, I'm extremely grateful to have a job that provides two days of paid sick time.

So, here I am recovering from the effects of Montezuma's evil twin and feeling guilty. I did manage to get a lot of sleep so that helped. I also got to read a lot. I turned off the tv and listened to a lot of classical music. Lately I've been really into Rachmaninoff's Vespers , Chopin's Nocturnes and a disc called Classics for the Heart (cheesy name, really good classical mix). It's all extremely mellow stuff bordering on the depressing but excellent to read to. At least I find it relaxing to read to. I'm not sure what this selection of music says about my state of mind lately. All I know is that I've read the first two Sookie Stackhouse books in the past couple of days. For those of you who enjoy HBO's True Blood, this means that I still love Bill but Eric is growing on me. A friend warned me this might happen. It all just makes me look forward to True Blood returning this summer even more.

Wednesday, February 11

Birth of a phobia

So, the one thing I neglected to mention in my last post was my fun new fear of tight spaces. As I've grown older I've been vaguely aware that I'm slowly becoming more and more claustrophobic. I can handle elevators and most situations but every once in a while I feel freaked out by a space.

While in Big Bear I had a nightmare. I dreamt that I was somehow floating towards the ceiling corner of a wooden room. I opened my eyes to find I was only a few inches from the top corner of the room. I tried to push myself away from the corner but couldn't. I woke up in a panic. I thought I was PMS'd or something and told myself to calm down. Everything was fine but I was still freaking out. As I slowly woke up I realized I had ear plugs in and socks on. Good Lord! I pulled out the plugs and kicked off the socks but still felt entirely panicked. I then remembered that I was sleeping in a child's bunk bed. The bunk bed was made of wood, the same wood in my nightmare. Aaaaaaaaaah! I sat up on the edge of the bed and took quiet, deep breaths. I didn't want to wake my friend sleeping in the bed opposite me. I tried to distract myself by playing a few minutes of Scrabble on my iPod but ultimately couldn't handle that damn bed. I used the iPod as a flashlight and went downstairs with my copy of Twilight. I laid on the couch and read for about an hour and a half then fell to sleep. When I woke I felt much better but could not stand the thought of laying in that bunk bed ever again. Turns out the couch had a pull out bed in it so that's where I slept the last night of our trip.

My friend was working on a scrap book of her summer vacation with her family. She showed me a concrete space that the kids had to fit through in order to take a tour of some cave in Wyoming. She said none of the adults came close to fitting through the test space. Come to think of it, that may have why I dreamed of a close space that night. Anyway, the adults took an elevator down to the caves and met the kids at the bottom. The pictures of the cave freaked me out. They are cool and all but I can't understand the desire to go down there in such a small space. Whaaaaaaaaagh!

So there you have it. I'm mildly claustrophobic and it sucks. My friend said she has always been that way. She can't stand to have a hand on or near her face. Turns out her older brothers used to cover her face while wrestling with her back when they were kids. She's been freaked out about it ever since. Also, she is 6'2" (a former volleyball player) and figures she's just not used to having to share the space up there with very many people. I'm 5'10" so she figures the same could easily apply to me. It's an interesting thought. No matter, I'll never sleep in a bunk bed again. *shudder*

Tuesday, February 10

In appreciation of diet coke, snow blowers & modern technology

This morning I woke up at 7:30, brushed my teeth, pulled on snow boots and a coat (over my pjs) grabbed a shovel and started shoveling snow. It's not many days when this is my morning routine but over the weekend I learned how the folks back east do it.

Last Friday morning two good friends and I drove up to a cabin in Big Bear. We brought plenty of craft supplies, chick flicks and a special "Girl's Weekend" playlist on the iPod. The worst part is always unloading the ridiculous amount of crap that we bring with us. The best part is never wearing makeup, staying up late, in sweat pants, and relaxing all weekend. What we do to that poor little cabin is amazing. It pretty much looks like a craft store exploded in there. We typically hole up in the cabin and make maybe one trip out to dinner. I SO needed a break like this. It was great!

All in all we had amazing luck. It was snowing in Big Bear last Friday when we departed but, just when the roads should have gotten very hairy for us, the clouds parted and the sun shone just long enough for us to get into town, go to the grocery store for supplies and get to the cabin. It literally clouded up and began snowing as we pulled into the driveway of the cabin. It then proceeded to snow, and snow, and snow. It was wonderful... until yesterday.

Yesterday we were supposed to come home. Around 10:30 am my friend's sis-in-law called to ask when we planned to leave. I told her a couple of hours. Now, this is not a worry wart sort of woman but she was concerned. She proceeded to tell me it was raining and hailing like mad at her house and it was headed our way. She thought we should wait it out. After several phone calls to family members with Internet service we discovered a snow plow had gone off the road and most roads to Big Bear were closed some due to avalanches. WTF? We figured if snow plows were sliding off the road and avalanches were occurring we didn't stand a chance. After much texting and dozens of calls back home we decided to stay an extra day. I'm so glad we did.

This is what the car looked like after being dug out of the snow yesterday morning. The snow kept coming and it got much worse. The snow on that top railing got up to about 18 inches.

Here is the view from the back door of the cabin as it snowed.

My friend's brother (the owner of the cabin) said he sat in front of a client's office in his car as the rain and wind rocked it back and forth and all he could think was "I hope those idiots don't try to leave today." My friend's other brother has always made a living as part either Search & Rescue or within the Sheriff's Dept. He is an incredibly nice guy who lives to help people. We spoke to him a lot and he didn't like the idea of us leaving either.

Here is a look at the fire I kept burning all weekend. All weekend until the wood pile got too covered with snow and the wood became too smoky from the moisture.

Today, however, was a beautiful day in Big Bear. The snow was so dry and powdery even I thought skiing might be fun. However, another storm is expected tomorrow so it was get out today or not for a long time. We managed to dig out the car and pack it by 9:30 am.

This was the view from the back door this morning. It was so gorgeous!

While shoveling snow we met our neighbor, Jim. Jim has a fabulous golden lab named Buck. Buck apparently has a touch of arthritis but it seems to disappear when snow arrives. I knew Buck must be a Big Bear native as I watched him bound up our deck stairs then very cautiously step down the stairs. I can relate to Buck. Buck and I have obviously biffed it down many a step in our lives. Jim was nice too:

Jim: I'm glad to see you. I was really worried.
Lucy: Oh, we're fine.
Jim: Ya know folks close up their houses in this weather and die of asphyxiation all the time around here. I worried all day yesterday. I was going to come over today to check on you so I'm so glad to see you're ok.
Lucy: You're very thoughtful but we just ran out of Diet Coke. That slows a girl down.

Later, after introducing us to Buck he said "Yeah, if anything ever happened to Buck I might have to go back to one of my ex-wives.

I liked Jim.

After cleaning and winterizing the cabin we left at 11:00 am. We had a four wheel drive vehicle with snow tires and carried chains (as required). What normally takes about 30 minutes to drive took 1 1/2 hours. We decided to go "the back way" since it's curves are more gentle. In other words, I don't get as car sick via that route. We drove about an hour and a half when suddenly all traffic stopped. People got out of their cars and started talking. Turns out a tanker truck had jack knifed about a 1/4 mile ahead of us on a bend and was blocking traffic both ways. We called my friend's brother to see if he knew if it had been reported and when it might be cleared. He said it hadn't even been reported yet. Damn! Our options were to either wait it out or try to turn around. We decided to wait ti out. We had good books and snacks and papers to grade so... whatever. My only vague concern was where would I go to the bathroom when that became necessary? While we waited we watched several idiots make it worse for everyone else. Some moron in an Audi thought he'd turn around. He just promptly slid into a snow drift blocking traffic that eventually made it up the road. He then decided to throw his door open just as a snow plow drove around him. What an imbecile! Meanwhile, his wife was slipping and sliding all over the road with a snow shovel some good samaritan gave them. It's a wonder she didn't slip under oncoming traffic. We just sat and shook ours heads. Thirty minutes later the road opened up to a one-way road then finally a two-way. We continued about a half mile then stopped again. This time there was a "minor" accident up ahead and nobody was directing traffic. Great. Apparently, some a-hole was so excited to be moving again that he overshot a bend and hit another car. Thanks a lot genius. We saw a lot of stupid behaviour. Like the guy with the bed of his truck filled with snow and spikes of icicles. I understand the novelty of dragging fresh snow down to your home but don't these people understand that weighing down the bed of a truck on unstable wheels while going DOWN hill may be a tad dangerous? I'm also not a fan of the people who leave the snow on top of their cars on the way downhill. Trouble is, the sun melts the snow and a minor tap to the brakes makes it all slide down on to the windshield eliminating all visibility. It sucks.

Aside from the sometimes inconvenient traffic, I had an absolutely wonderful weekend. I got lots of r&r and feel so much better. We had no cable so no news penetrated our little crafting bubble except for the weather reports received yesterday. For five beautiful days we didn't hear a thing about job losses, recession, missing children or the economy. One friend was deep in the Twilight series. She read book three and started book four while we were up there. The most stressful question was "Will Edward and Bella end up together?" My friend tried to get me to spill the beans on the series, she even texted her daughter with questions but her kid is a good one and wouldn't talk. Let me tell you, life is good when the Edward/Bella question is the most serious in the house.

It's back to work for me tomorrow but next weekend is another long one. I'm so grateful. I plan watch more chick flicks, read and make stuff. I hear it's supposed to rain. I really hope so. I know I'm strange but I love a good long, rainy weekend.

Sunday, February 1

Is that bad?

Is it bad that the first thing I thought when I saw that picture was 'Holy shmokes! Can you imagine how high he can get with that kinda lung power?!' Then I thought 'I hope he brought his own stash because nobody would want to share with him. One toke and the whole thing would be gone.'

Disclaimer: I'm no loadie but some things are just plain obvious. Don't smoke pot with Michael Phelps.