Wednesday, June 30, 2004

What a way to follow a vacation

So I've been giddy and ecstatic and obnoxiously happy about the trip right? So how might one cure that? I know...go back to work. I just knew today was going to be a let down when I climbed out of the shower.

It seems one of the boys got sick last night, and I noticed it this morning after getting dressed. So I spent my morning cleaning doggie mess (you do NOT want details) from the carpet, kennel, and puppy bedding. *sigh* This pretty well shot my morning, giving me enough time to feed the boys (or reload them, as I called it this morning) and leave for work. When I got to work, I was determined to be in a good mood.

Then my computer died. Hard core. It had been acting wonky (yes, that's the technical term) since I got back, so I backed up all my data this morning to a spare hard drive. I was in the process of rebuilding the computer when it died the middle of formatting the hard drive. This ruled out any problem with software or windows, so something was physically wrong with hardware. Of course, the office that does hardware maintenance is closed for inventory for a few days. But I know the guy, and he's running some diagnostics for me cuz I'm lovable. :) So I drove home and brought in my laptop so I can pretend to get shit done today.

Sound like a great start to a day? Yup...I thought so too. I don't know what the afternoon holds for me yet, but I hope the day improves. I'm finding it difficult to maintain a positive attitude in the face of all this crap (some literal, some figurative). Calgon...take me away. No...take me back to California!

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

And purple mountain's majesty

What shall we blog about today, Brain? I know...driving! So driving to and from California was an experience. I'm glad I had it, but I'm also glad it's over.

The pros: I got to see a lot of America in the process. I'm one of those tree-huggin' dirt worshipper types, so I even see Death Valley as beautiful in its own way. The rugged mesas of Arizona. The mountains surrounding Salt Lake City. The scrub brush and dunes of Death Valley. The beaches of California (okay...that's an easy one). And even the plains of Wyoming.

The cons: It was long. It was traffic-y. And it was fast. We saw everything at 90 miles an hour, and that's not what I'm used to. I wanted to stop along the way. To see Zion, Bryce, and Grand Canyon parks. Lake Mead, the Hoover damn, the Needles...I'd love to see more!

I think a road trip around the country would be AMAZING if I had the money and time to do it. So when I win the lottery...ROAD TRIP!!! We'll rent an RV and party down around the US. Route 66. Seeing the Pacific Northwest, the Southeast, the Deep South (though we'll spend little time with people...just the pretty spots!) Taking time to see monuments, historic sites, parks, and anything else that tickles our....fancies. who's with me?

Monday, June 28, 2004

Sol, Sol, Rah rah rah!

So I figure if I'm going to regale you all in the pleasures of California, I better get cracking! So, without further ado...

Sun appreciation! I can't begin to tell you how much I enjoyed the beach. I'd played on Florida beaches in the past, but I was much younger and didn't appreciate it as I should, I think. This time, I did. The sun was brilliant and warm, slowly baking my skin to golden color (after a day of pink face and red nose, admittedly). The wind brought in the scent of salt, musky and oddly fresh. The sand wriggled between my toes and over my feet, wrapping me in warmth. And the ocean...gently caressing one moment, forceful and rugged the next.

Mandy and I frolicked in the ocean, collected shells, did our best to stand firm against the waves. And of course the first day we hadn't planned to be in the ocean, so we had no change of clothes and had to air dry before getting back into the car.

The Rev. also introduced me to kite flying. Oh, I'd flown kites before; my mom used to make the occasional kite out of wrapping paper on the ranch. It was fun enough, but a single line kite pieced together from household scraps is somewhat....lacking. The Rev. has dual line kites, however. Made from real materials! And I was hooked. I could make shapes in the air, control the kite, and ride the wind from terra firma. Naturally by the time I left California, I bought one of my own, though the wind in Laramie isn't as helpful as that in Cali.

So today's lesson: Go and have your own sun appreciation. Feel the wind on your face. Play in a natural water source. Take your shoes off and feel the earth beneath your feet. Go for a walk in the rain! But go outside and revel in the majesty of nature. Go. NOW!

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Sun, kites, boys, and THE OCEAN

Wow. To describe the trip as great would be an understatement. It was exactly what I needed, even though we planned very little in advance. We played in the ocean. (Wet. Salty.) We basked on the sand. (Bright. Warm.) We watched LOTS of nearly naked boys frolic on the beach. (Hot. Yum.) The Rev addicted me to kites, talking me into buying one...without much effort, admittedly. (Colorful. Fly-y.) We watched "Dodgeball." (Funny. Wrong.)

Lest you think it was all wholesome fun in the sun, there were drag kings, margaritas as big as my head, and oh yeah...a wet underwear contest. With a Falcon porn star. So you know...the usual. ;)

There was chaos too. But we ignored it. Heh. There was also the pit of despair, or Salt Lake City as others know it. Here's their secret: We decided that the Mormon church created elaborate traffic jams to keep people in SLC until they convert. Then they show you the secret tunnels out of the city. We didn't make it to Temple Square (despite a wrong turn due to poor signage on the SLC Interstate System), so we spent 2 hrs in traffic trying to head south. *sigh*

Oh...and there was a LOT of time in the car. But it was all worth it. But I think now I shall go to bed...hoping to make up for too many hours of sleep deprivation behind the wheel. More on the trip later.

Oh...GO SEE "FAHRENHEIT 9/11." It will spank your brain, but in a good way.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Cellllllll-a-brate good times, come on!

So as soon as I receive a certificate and ID number in the mail, I'm now a certified HIV tester and counselor in the State of Wyoming. Woohoo! I learned a lot and had a BLAST. We had such a great group of people and so much energy. And we finished early, so I have extra time to repack the suitcase and stress over the myriad of things I've probably forgotten. Which is good, since I have a board meeting for the SAFE Project tonight.

And in the morning, I will take the boys to Uncle Jesse's house, wash the car, pick up the girls, and go for a little drive. To CALIFORNIA!!! A real vacation...the chair will now entertain a woohoo. I'm so excited about this, in case you couldn't tell.

Oh...and I want sushi. Tonight. Anyone interested?

Monday, June 14, 2004

A short one

Tomorrow I start training to be an HIV tester and counselor. I'm very excited!!! I know I do several good things to make the world a better place. But this is something new...something more tangible in some respects. I might never know if my presence at an Orientation table reached out to a student new to campus. But I can know about working against HIV for straight and GLBT people alike. And if nothing else, it's one more tool in my toolbelt and one more way to make a difference. And won't that be a good thing in July, when I travel to my (censored) year class reunion?!

Friday, June 11, 2004

Summer's HERE!

So there's a trip to California soon. I thought this would signal the official start of summer for me. But NO! Not so, gentle readers. You know what did it?

Zeus and I went to the park yesterday. We lounged about in the sun reading, phoning, and watching all the hot guys running or playing basketball. It was great! For some reason, this triggered my brain's response that indicates I'm supposed to be enjoying life, taking things slow and easy, and spending mass amounts of time outside whenever possible.

So I invite you all to take a moment, revel in the sunshine, and realize that it's not winter in Wyoming. As you know, this is rare! So break out the barbeques, flip out the frisbees, and howdy to the (increasingly) half-naked hotties. I'm ready to play and party and power up. (Yup...another day of alliteration, apparently.)

No lesson...lessons are for school, and it's summer! Woohoo!

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

When in doubt....clean

Today was...something I'd rather not repeat if I could choose. I woke up less than healthy, so I stayed home. I spent the morning in bed and bonding with porcelain. Don't ask. Once I was more put together, I took a shower, got dressed, and fed the boys. Just before heading to work I checked my email while the boys were eating. An upset user, who had threatened legal action the day before, was now saying my response to him was inadequate and that he was complaining to a VP. So much for answering someone's question and being nice. This was reason to be angry #1.

An employee we fired was supposed to come in today to sign her time card and fill out final paperwork. She didn't show up. While I can't say that I'm surprised, it's still annoying beyond belief. Reason to be angry #2.

I found out the University is going to be closed Friday in honor of Reagan's death. Thanks to Orientation, I have to work Friday morning anyway. This does not really anger me, but is an annoyance. What does piss me off, however, is that they haven't issued an official statement, so nobody knows if I'll get that time back, or if I'm donating my time to the University because I'm a nice guy and the freshmen at Orientation need accounts. Reason #3.

Finally, a little before quitting time, I'm told that there was overtime reported to our payroll system. Now being the intelligent and diligent person I am, I naturally checked the system when I was supposed to, making sure there was none. There were no overtime codes listed. I downloaded the report, and double checked it today - no overtime codes. But sure as hell, they're in there today. So I have a meeting at 8am to figure out what the hell is going on. Reason #4.

Needless to say, I'm angry tonight. And I didn't know how to deal with it. So I went back to basics, and did what I used to do in the dorms. I cleaned. I've mopped the floors in the kitchen and entry, vacuumed the house, done dishes, started some laundry, and tidied. I'm feeling better now, though I'm still pretty pissed...just in general. So I'm going to keep cleaning, and read my HIV training manual, and do more laundry. Then later, I'll take a bath or jump in the hot tub.

The lesson for today: use your rage and anger. Turn it. Make it productive. Or at least get your housework done trying! ;)

"Go without hate
But not without rage
Heal the world." - Paul Monette

Saturday, June 05, 2004


The last few days I haven't been getting enough sleep. I didn't get to bed before midnight at all this week. The last two nights, I didn't even hit the pillow until 1am. Not good when you wake up at 6am to make it to work by 7:30am. I'm just not young enough to live on 4 or 5 hours of sleep a night, especially several nights in a row. Granted, I had a lovely time each night, spending time with friends. We played video games, watched TV, celebrated the full moon, and had cocktails! All in all, a wonderful week, if a bit sleepy during the day.

This weekend should prove to be wonderful as well. I slept until 10am today...8 hours of sleep was blissful! Today I have a SafeZone presentation for the SAFE Program's new Advocate trainees. Then a BBQ for my friend Dan, who's in town from Hawaii! It's been soo long since I've seen him, and I can't wait to catch up. Tomorrow we're off for lunch at Noodles and Co. in Fort Collins...before we go see Harry Potter in a decent theatre!

And have I mentioned that I'm going to California!? I'm becoming increasingly excited about the trip, though I didn't think that was possible. Some changes in plans, as we're going to San Diego instead of Laguna Niguel now. It's not much of a change at all. Sun, beaches, and relaxation. With great friends to boot!

A lesson for today? Nope! Not from me. I know what my lesson is, but today it's your turn! There is a lesson in your life today. Figure out what it is. You can do it! And if you feel like sharing, I'd love for you to email me with it, or better yet, post it as a comment here!

Wednesday, June 02, 2004


I should learn that saying "Woohoo" too quickly is reason enough for a cosmic bitch slap. I was up way too late for the second night in a row, though playing video games with Travis, Monirah, and Drew was faboo. I woke up too early, though during the summer that's always the case. 5 hours of sleep doesn't cut the mustard for me, though. I still decided not to let that get me down. I ate my cereal, played with the pups, and pulled out Mom's old camera this morning, determined that a good mood was going to be the order of the day. I snapped some pictures of simple objects just to burn the film in the camera. Shells, flowers, puppies, trees...nature at her finest.

I left for work, only to find the warning light on my car (Georgina) was till telling me there's a problem with the exhaust system. *sigh* Not what you want 2.5 weeks before a 2000 mile road trip. At work I tried to pull up PeopleSoft to check on how payroll ran last night. Must make sure nobody got pegged with overtime, after all. Guess what wouldn't pull up for me? So I've now spent 1.5 hours this morning working with the guys upstairs to work their magic. Apparently, the system thinks I'm someone else. Neat trick, since the person it thinks I am works in HR and I've never even heard of her! But it's PS...which should prolly be abbreviated PoS instead. So I continue to fight that battle. And I have a car appointment tomorrow afternoon, meaning more vacation time spent this month. Ah well...I had a lot to burn, I suppose.

So I'm having a fairly crappy morning. But I shall not give up! I'm gonna be happy and cheery, dammit! Even if it kills me. So...the good news. Last night I got the lawn mowed before it rained. Today I have coffee with Southern Butter Pecan creamer (yum). I had a bagel with cream cheese this morning; even if it was day old, it was good too. I don't get lunch, but that's because I have a hair appointment today. Seeing my Hair Bitch (she actually LOVES that title) always makes me happy...and pretty! And tonight there shall be gay boys, cocktails, and the season premiere of Queer Eye...with twins (mmm....twins).

So while it's not all roses, it's not ALL bad either. Today's pseudo-lesson: While we can't force ourselves to be happy, especially in the face of adversity, we can consciously try to remember the positives. Repeat after me, class: "It's not all bad. It will get better." It will get better...If I keep saying it enough times, it's bound to be true, right?

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

When did this happen?

So today was odd. I have accomplished A LOT. My email inbox is at zero, which hasn't happened for MONTHS. For those of you unfamiliar with my habits, once a message is dealt with or has been responded to, I move it into another folder. So a zero inbox means I've dealt with everything and am caught up! I even snuck away to lunch today. Payroll is done. I paid bills today. When I go home, I'll mow the lawn with the new lawnmower I built last night. See? Productive today, aren't I? The only thing left for today is to solve world hunger, create world peace, and make the world safe from Republicans (though I did a bit of that today, too!).

I had lunch with my friend and teacher Amada. And she's giving me assignments. To do on my own. Which means she's trusting me with some pretty powerful work. Amazingly enough, I feel quite ready for it. She's also told me (and another) that we're to begin teaching some of the newer folk...under supervision, of course. So apparently I know something. I'm not doubting this fact, as I have in the not-too-distant past. But it leaves me wondering...when did this happen? When did I learn something?! I don't remember it happening, but I know that some point, it did. So I'm just a bit in awe today. Cool stuff, I say.

Not to mention the trip I took yesterday. I did a bit of driving, but it was worth it. I got to see some amazing scenery, especially on the pass above Centennial. I was just below Medicine Bow Peak, and it was truly breathtaking. So were the 50-60 mile per hour winds.

Today's lesson is a simple one: Take a moment to stop and smell the flowers. Or at least look at them, for they are pretty, and it's amazing that anything can grow in this climate!