Sunday, July 27, 2003

What a weekend. Work finished up with a bit of a bang. We had some demos that almost went kablooey, but otherwise fine. I have my two bigger projects due on Tuesay (although in a way end of business Monday).

Yesterday was the auditions for "A Christmas Carol." I will be excited to see which parts Jack and I get. We also went to the mall where MIX 94.5 was having auditions for a radio DJ contest they are having. I figure I have nothing to lose, and maybe I will get to spend some time in a job surrounded by music - a definite plus.

Today we went up to Gma's really quickly to celebrate Mom's birthday. We still had aunt Amy's present too. Michael is up visiting from Florida, so we got to spend a little time with him and uncle Dave.

It keeps looking like it's going to storm but then doesn't. I got all my chores accomplished yesterday. It's so nice to have the laundry taken care of and the lawns under control again. Apparently, glaring doesn't keep them from growing. Who would've figured. ;-)

Time for dinner then bedtime.

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Long time coming ...

Okay, this is odd, so since my web host apparently decided to not allow passive FTPing, I can no longer use Blogger's automatic service to update my site. That truly bites. Because I thought *maybe* it was an error in Blogger's new system, I had been delaying updating. But no. It wasn't. And now I have to try and recall everything that's been going on since the 4th of July.

Let's see. Right after the 4th of July, Jack and I drove out to Pennsylvania to visit with Aimee, Craig, and Ethan at the new home. Driving out was pretty uneventful, but we left with the thunderstorms trailing us, so our night of camping out was rained out. I didn't mind the storms so much though because they cooled down the weather we had been having. We had gotten all the was to Washington, PA, and we finished up the drive the next morning.

We made it to Aimee's around 3pm and settled in just a bit before Ethan got up from his nap. Sunnybear was her usual self, and Duke was super friendly and very rambunctious. Jack loved playing with Duke. We tried to get Sunny to be friendly, but even though she remembered me after a while, she wasn't having any of Jack. That's okay though. Jack was able to keep himself occupied.

We spent most of our days just passing the time. We went to the park, took walks, and played inside. The neighborhood is really nice and cozy. An older area with hilly streets and a park nearby. There was a belated 4th of July type celebration by the park with a carnival and fireworks. Jack and I did the giant slide again, and he did some rides by himself too. :-) Aimee and Ethan did the giant slide twice. Ethan wasn't too comfortable with any of the other rides though, and that was okay. I don't remember how old Jack was before he did the little rides by himself, but I am pretty sure none of them were more than the shopping mall train types.

The day before we left, we went to the swimming pool that is also right by their house. It is a very cool old structure. The pool is immense. I jumped off the diving boards twice so Jack could see me go in the deep end. He was very brave wading around in the shallow end all by himself (floaties on of course), while we watched from a distance on the towels. It was nice to get in a little swimming practice for once.

We headed back on Sunday morning, and I was eager to get home, so we decided to forego camping this time and head straight through. Of course, someone in Ohio decided we really didn't mean that and had an accident about 20 miles from Indiana. It stopped traffic for about 5 miles in each direction. Of course, we didn't know this until traffic started moving again .... 1.5 hours later! We would've been home at 9pm, but now we wouldn't get home until closer to 11pm, so I found a campground across the IN border and we camped. Not too exciting, but we still did it.

The cats were excited to see us of course. I spent quite a while cleaning up, getting things situated, and Jack spent all day (we got home around 10am) building a "volcano" in his room. I think he really missed having his isolated play time. Not once did I hear a moaning voice asking me to come help him. His creation turned out quite well too. We took a picture of it, and it was his show and tell at school later that week too.

Phew! Okay, so that brings us up to July 15th roughly. Now what?

Work for me has been going well. We have this pretty big project with Dining once again this year. They are completely changing the meal plans offered, so all the systems in the Dining halls have to be reworked, all the reporting (which I am in charge of), and all the database things too. I sound so knowledgeable; "things." *lol* We have some deadlines coming up actually this week for demos and training. Phil, Becky, and I have been in charge of developing a testing plan too so that we can go through as many scenarios as possible to find glitches. Luckily, we haven't discovered too many. Of course, I say luckily because I take this to mean things are working, not that the glitches are just hard to find. ;-)

We just had our mid-year evaluations (after having "practice" ones in March). Mine went really well, again. It's funny because 1) my supervisor and I almost always put the exact same things down on the sheet, and 2) the big topic she brought up with me was something Katrina had just talked to me about in LA over the weekend.

What is this LA stuff I am talking about? Oh, I am getting there. So, July 18th is rapidly approaching, and Common Rotation has a double line up for that weekend. Lots of my CR friends are going to be there, and I really wanted to be there too since I missed out on the GA show. After much debating, begging a little for a day off of work (then finding out I could've taken more, grr), I decide to just go. I get my tickets, book my flights, bed Lael for a place to crash (I am doing this begging thing pretty well apparently), and head out. Of course, Jack stayed with Mom and had a great time too.

Thunderstorms decided to try and ruin my flights out on Friday morning, but my connection flight in Chicago had 2 hours to spare, so even with the 30 minute delay, I was very early. In fact, a flight scheduled to leave 40 minutes before mine was boarding at the same time as I was. I had a very chit-chatting seatmate, which was pretty okay. I learned about a book I want to read called "The Way of All Flesh." It should be interesting. I've already requested a copy from the library.

The flight arrived early at LAX, and Katrina was waiting for me when I got to the baggage area. :-) It was so nice of her to pick me up because Lael didn't get off work in time. We headed straight out to get to her place. We were going to meet up with everyone else later on at the venue. After saying hi to Mike, seeing a bit of their house, and then taking a walk around the neighborhood, we got ready and went to the Knitting Factory. Briel was already there, and soon we found Lael and AJ. Aimer, Cece, and Craig showed up soon after from Aimer's play around the corner. Gwen made it too. And Holly was there with friends from New York. So was Irish, Allie, and some others. I said a lot of friends were going to be there, no?

The night began with much standing around. The show was supposed to start at 11pm, but we were only allowed to make our line inside at that time. I think we were finally in the room and waiting more at midnight. The band came on a little after that. Yay! An example of how great the guys in this band are; they came out and played a song for the people waiting outside when they found out how long we'd be there. Adam, Eric, and Mike gave us a little taste with "Gone Dyin'." Set list:

Princess of Venice (All Night Rave) (Eric)
? (Eric & Matt) - Matt is Matt Young from Captain Genius
Hollywood (band)
Offstage Lines (Jordan) - Jordan Katz on trumpet from Rainbow Trout
Rebirth of Slick - Adam, Eric, and Ken rapped
D.A.V.E. - stands for "Did a Verse End"
Answering Machine
Prime Time - Jack's current favorite off of "The Big Fear"
Belfast - a Union Maid song
Let's Go For a Drive (Matt) - A Captain Genius song
Oklahoma (Adam, Eric, Jordan)
Pretty Lights (band)
American Music (Adam, Eric, Matt)

That night totally rocked! Lael got to hear "Lena" which she's been dying to hear, and we got to hear lots of the songs accompanied by Jordan. I love when they have the horn section added to the live show. Best of all, it didn't seem to fly by like it usually does after that long wait, and still we wouldn't have minded a little more. After the show was over, we got to say hi to some of the guys. I had made 3 copies of the CR portion of the Chicago PBfP from last year for Ken, Adam, and Eric. I gave them to Matt Busch ahead of time though just in case the guys dashed off afterwards. Once the crowd was starting to disperse a bit, Lael, AJ, and I headed out to Starbucks; a tradition of sorts for them and now me. :-)

By the time we made it back to Lael's it was 4am-ish, and I think we finally hit the sack at 5am. Unfortunately for me, my body really doesn't like sleeping very late anymore, so I was wide awake at 9am. I struggled to stay asleep that late too. So, I got up and went for my morning jog ... although it was more of a walk this time. I was way too tired to be very "tough it out" mode. I got back and read a little, then decided to lay by the pool a bit, then was back inside to read and try to nap. We were approaching noon-1pm time, and Cece called about going to the beach, but I had just hit that sleepy point, so I begged off. Lael was still sleeping meanwhile, lol.

I think we finally made it out of the apartment around 2pm to run errands and just hang about. We had some food, poked around clothing stores, let Lael swoon over would-be Snape action figures, and then headed back to her place. We got ready for the gig and moved on out. Katrina had called to say she might make it again this night even though she had another early morning gig herself, so we were super surprised when she did show up! It was great. Even more people were there on Saturday (although technically, both shows were sold out, so the number or people would be the same), and we had put names to faces from Friday too.

I saw an actor who also has a band that I've seen in Roswell and Dawson's Creek. That was pretty neat, but no one else knew him from the shows. We spent a good 2 hours standing in line again, only this time they kept us outside for which we should be grateful given how warm it had gotten inside before, but honestly, the show starting ON TIME would've be the best. Oh, and some guy named Stephan (Stef-on) asked me if I needed a date for the night (I think he worked at the KF or was with a band), lol, and I said 'no' since I lived in Illinois. To which he informed he that he is writing a song about Illinois called "IL boy with CA boots." Yeaahhhh, o-kay. ;-)

The set list for the night:

The One I Left Behind (Eric)
? Eric & Pink (aka Sarah Beck)
Union Dues (A & E)
More Complex Than It Sounds (Band)
Don't Let's Start
Rock Star
Gone Dyin'
Indie Rockin'
Under The Sun
Savior > Everybody Wants to Rule the World (Horns)
What We Have Now (Horns)
Sit Down (Horns)
God Will (P)
Borderline (Horns)
More Than Once
First Time
Crowd & I

God Will was great. So was Pawn. I had never heard that before. Aaron Kaplan (Jordan's cousin, also of Rainbow Trout) was in on the game tonight on sax. That was great. Love it. Afterwards, Adam had split apparently, but Gwen wanted to stick around (not knowing this) to give him a present, so even thought the gig was over around 1:30am, we were still there a little past 2am. Lael and I finally decided we'd had enough and took off. We'd told AJ we would pick him up sometime around 1:30am because we thought the gig would get over at 1am. Eventually, we all reconvened at Starbucks again. I think their caffeine is defective though because it did nothing to make me more awake.

We went straight to LAX from there since my flight home was at 7am. Oddly enough, wearing almost the exact same outfit as on my way to LA, I set the metal detector off in LAX whereas I did NOT in SPI. Makes me think they have someone behind a window just buzzing at random. ;-) Got some food and drink and settled in to wait. Boarded, napped a bit, noticed that we took off a few minutes behind schedule and started worrying. My flight in Chicago did not have nearly as much time as on the way out. We landed about 20 minutes later than we should have - giving me about 10 minutes to get to the gate before boarding time. I had to go from C17 to F6. Now, they have diagrams in the backs of those magazines, but I say they should start adding distances because I am no slow walker (ask Phil, Jack, or anyone else who knows me, lol), and it still took me at least 5 minutes to get there.

But, I made it. Even had time to stop and breath. Finally, the last leg of my trip. Home to Springfield and hot, muggy weather. Home to Mom's and a brief nap before Jack is up from his (non)nap. Then dinner, packing, and driving home to the cats.

There. That gets us to Sunday. Today is Wednesday. And I am still tired. I don't think I have forgotten anything too big. Oh! Yesterday was Mom's birthday. Happy Birthday! She got flowers (purple of course) and a voicemail song from Jack and I. We also have her present all wrapped for the birthday celebration this Sunday. Jack is making a project as well. He took a his pictures from the disposable camera he used at Grandma's this weekend for show and tell today. There were about 10 pictures of her backyard of the 15 in the camera, lol. Two of Mom that I recall, and 1 that he took of himself. :-)

Okay - now that's really it! Right?




Saturday, July 05, 2003

Happy 4th of July!

Yay for the 4th of July! Jack and I had a great time, even though it was easily the hottest day so far this year. We spent a lot of the morning inside cleaning up around the house. I am trying to reduce clutter. We left in time to get to the parade route for the parade that was supposed to start at 1pm, but it still hadn't gotten to us at 1:25pm. But, once it did arrive, it was a great show. We stuck it out until 2:30pm, and then finally called it quits. It was over 100F with the heat index. Phew!

The rest of the afternoon, we tried to cool off before heading back out to campus for the fireworks show. We got to the field by the stadium around 6pm, and a live band was set up to play for everyone until dark. They had lots of vendors, air-filled games, and such going on, but mostly Jack and I danced. A local photographer was there snapping shots, and he emailed me the ones he took of Jack and I.

Okay, it's still way too hot here. Ugh.