amanda_lodden: (Hammer Time)
Saturday marks the start of our annual Oregon Shakespeare Festival By Way of San Jose trip.

The tentative social schedule, as I know it:

Saturday: party at the airport. Ticketed guests only, per FAA regulations.

Sunday morning: Baji's in Mountain View, starting at roughly 10:30am. Practically an open house, but: While Baji's has historically been pretty cool about us expanding as needed, it's nice to know roughly how many people are expected.

Sunday evening: Satsuma in Mountain View for their all-you-can-eat sushi. You could join us, but as most of the group is meeting elsewhere and travelling there together, you should probably make sure I know you're coming so I can save you a seat. Timing: whenever all the participants feel like it, though AYCE doesn't start until 7pm.

Monday: Fiesta Del Mar, also in Mountain View. Again, you could join us, but telling me (or CJ) that you're coming means you'll actually get a seat. This is still being planned, so I don't know if it's lunch or dinner yet. That also means it's very flexible, and if one works better for you, speak up!

Tuesday we head north, and social time on the trip back down is both shorter and already claimed.
amanda_lodden: (Default)
In the course of packing for GenCon, I discovered that the pens I keep in my laptop case/carryon have leaked. Rather a lot, in fact.

Of course, I discovered this the hard way. Is it possible to ever discover this sort of thing the easy way?

So, now my hand is blue. After a half-dozen Clorox wipes, I think I've got all the ink of out the bag itself, and as much as will come off of the headphones I also keep in that pocket. (Fortunately, the stupidly-expensive iPod that lives in that pocket has its own little sleeve within the pocket to live in, and escaped the mess. I would be decidedly put out if I had to replace it.) Neither the wipes nor scrubbing with lots of soap will take off the last remnants of blue from my skin, though.

On a related note, I'm missing an entire folder's worth of CDs, some of which I wanted to rip songs off of to put on the iPod for the trip. This has largely made me want to scream and start going through everything we own and cleaning it out/digitizing it/labeling it/etc. While that particular mood is often helpful in the long run, it really doesn't mix well with the "have to be ready to leave in a day and a half" mode that I ought to be in.
amanda_lodden: (Default)
In the course of packing for GenCon, I discovered that the pens I keep in my laptop case/carryon have leaked. Rather a lot, in fact.

Of course, I discovered this the hard way. Is it possible to ever discover this sort of thing the easy way?

So, now my hand is blue. After a half-dozen Clorox wipes, I think I've got all the ink of out the bag itself, and as much as will come off of the headphones I also keep in that pocket. (Fortunately, the stupidly-expensive iPod that lives in that pocket has its own little sleeve within the pocket to live in, and escaped the mess. I would be decidedly put out if I had to replace it.) Neither the wipes nor scrubbing with lots of soap will take off the last remnants of blue from my skin, though.

On a related note, I'm missing an entire folder's worth of CDs, some of which I wanted to rip songs off of to put on the iPod for the trip. This has largely made me want to scream and start going through everything we own and cleaning it out/digitizing it/labeling it/etc. While that particular mood is often helpful in the long run, it really doesn't mix well with the "have to be ready to leave in a day and a half" mode that I ought to be in.
amanda_lodden: (done now)
Dear Frontier Airlines:

Your policy of overselling your flights and skimping on the things you can't charge extra for (seriously, will it really bankrupt you to let me have the whole can of ginger ale?) has already put your airline on my "avoid if possible" list, but your decision to spend all that pop-can savings on hiring people to accost me in the airport and try to get me to sign up for your credit card was what truly ensured that you won't be getting my business again.

Please stop. Or at least tell your hawkers to carry my bag and find my gate for me, so that they'll serve an actual purpose.
amanda_lodden: (done now)
Dear Frontier Airlines:

Your policy of overselling your flights and skimping on the things you can't charge extra for (seriously, will it really bankrupt you to let me have the whole can of ginger ale?) has already put your airline on my "avoid if possible" list, but your decision to spend all that pop-can savings on hiring people to accost me in the airport and try to get me to sign up for your credit card was what truly ensured that you won't be getting my business again.

Please stop. Or at least tell your hawkers to carry my bag and find my gate for me, so that they'll serve an actual purpose.
amanda_lodden: (Default)
I'm in Denver on an 11-hour layover.

It was SUPPOSED to be a 1-hour layover, just enough time to use the restroom and stretch my legs before boarding the next flight. That flight, however, was oversold, and Frontier was offering a $200 voucher if you were willing to wait for a 2:30 flight on United.

Now, as it happens, I had gotten screwed on this flight arrangement-- since John and I are not flying home the same day, I had to make separate reservations through Expedia, and by the time I finished the process for his flight, the price had jumped and it would have cost me an extra $150 to put myself on the same flight. Er, no. I ended up on an earlier flight with the exact same layover path, which would have had me getting into San Jose a full 9 hours ahead of John.

So, I asked Frontier if, instead of the 2:30 United flight, I could switch to the 6:00 Frontier flight that John is on out of Denver. They agreed, and were probably ecstatic to not have to work out the inter-carrier compensation with United. They also gave me an upgrade to first-class on the 6:00 flight, which I will probably give to John since his long legs don't fit well into airplane seats.

However, this does mean that I have a LOT of time to kill in Denver, preferably without having to pass through TSA again (which means I have a LOT of time to kill in the airport). I sprang for the day-pass for the President's Club in the airport (run by Continental/British Air), and let me assure you, it's not worth the price. I had gone for it because I was always told that the executive lounges are quieter than the rest of the airport. This is patently untrue. I can live with the folks on their cell phone, but for about two hours there were a half-dozen children in here, all bored, all wandering around and then calling for their mommy. There's a bar in the back which is nice but loud, and "free snacks" (one hour out of every three, as near as I can tell). Seven laptop cubbyholes, and two other tables that are tall enough to use a laptop at, which does not really suit the 20 people trying to use laptops. Overall, I think I would have been further ahead to camp out at the food court. Live and learn.

In the meantime, it seems like as good a time as any to post random updates.

Work is the obvious one. I'm still unemployed, and happily so, but the strain is beginning to show on John. We've settled on a compromise, and starting in May I'll go in one day a week to handle the little stuff that either requires executive decisions coupled with inherent knowledge of the systems or is too in-flux to properly document how to do it. And, as I had sort of planned from about two days after the hissy fit when I'd calmed down, I'll also quietly work from home on the job I was SUPPOSED to be doing before I got bogged down in distractions, which is fixing and standardizing the underlying systems. I'm not going to try going into the office for that part, since being in the office just invites those distractions again.

The pond is still a huge hole in the ground, but I have pieces to turn it into something pretty finally, so I have high hopes for that. With luck, I'll get it up and running before the live game.

We put in a new patio door and one new window, and I love it. The difference in the heat loss is significant-- I may have to accelerate the plan to replace more windows. As an added benefit, Inky can't push out the new screen on the patio door and run off. This has frustrated him no end. He also managed to get himself trapped between the patio door and the screen once, which was hysterically funny.

I haven't forgotten that I still have 22 of the 25 Things meme to go. I also haven't forgotten that I did not promise a particular timeframe. :-)

The guest bedroom hasn't changed much since the Great Rearranging Spree, which is to say that there's still piles and piles of crap to sort out and find homes for. But it's getting better, and Jacob is happy with having his own space instead of having to take pieces of mine.

I am slowly making progress on the stack of old projects that have been hanging over my head for the past two years. It's discouraging, though-- every time I finish one thing up, I discover that there's another one hiding underneath it.
amanda_lodden: (Default)
I'm in Denver on an 11-hour layover.

It was SUPPOSED to be a 1-hour layover, just enough time to use the restroom and stretch my legs before boarding the next flight. That flight, however, was oversold, and Frontier was offering a $200 voucher if you were willing to wait for a 2:30 flight on United.

Now, as it happens, I had gotten screwed on this flight arrangement-- since John and I are not flying home the same day, I had to make separate reservations through Expedia, and by the time I finished the process for his flight, the price had jumped and it would have cost me an extra $150 to put myself on the same flight. Er, no. I ended up on an earlier flight with the exact same layover path, which would have had me getting into San Jose a full 9 hours ahead of John.

So, I asked Frontier if, instead of the 2:30 United flight, I could switch to the 6:00 Frontier flight that John is on out of Denver. They agreed, and were probably ecstatic to not have to work out the inter-carrier compensation with United. They also gave me an upgrade to first-class on the 6:00 flight, which I will probably give to John since his long legs don't fit well into airplane seats.

However, this does mean that I have a LOT of time to kill in Denver, preferably without having to pass through TSA again (which means I have a LOT of time to kill in the airport). I sprang for the day-pass for the President's Club in the airport (run by Continental/British Air), and let me assure you, it's not worth the price. I had gone for it because I was always told that the executive lounges are quieter than the rest of the airport. This is patently untrue. I can live with the folks on their cell phone, but for about two hours there were a half-dozen children in here, all bored, all wandering around and then calling for their mommy. There's a bar in the back which is nice but loud, and "free snacks" (one hour out of every three, as near as I can tell). Seven laptop cubbyholes, and two other tables that are tall enough to use a laptop at, which does not really suit the 20 people trying to use laptops. Overall, I think I would have been further ahead to camp out at the food court. Live and learn.

In the meantime, it seems like as good a time as any to post random updates.

Work is the obvious one. I'm still unemployed, and happily so, but the strain is beginning to show on John. We've settled on a compromise, and starting in May I'll go in one day a week to handle the little stuff that either requires executive decisions coupled with inherent knowledge of the systems or is too in-flux to properly document how to do it. And, as I had sort of planned from about two days after the hissy fit when I'd calmed down, I'll also quietly work from home on the job I was SUPPOSED to be doing before I got bogged down in distractions, which is fixing and standardizing the underlying systems. I'm not going to try going into the office for that part, since being in the office just invites those distractions again.

The pond is still a huge hole in the ground, but I have pieces to turn it into something pretty finally, so I have high hopes for that. With luck, I'll get it up and running before the live game.

We put in a new patio door and one new window, and I love it. The difference in the heat loss is significant-- I may have to accelerate the plan to replace more windows. As an added benefit, Inky can't push out the new screen on the patio door and run off. This has frustrated him no end. He also managed to get himself trapped between the patio door and the screen once, which was hysterically funny.

I haven't forgotten that I still have 22 of the 25 Things meme to go. I also haven't forgotten that I did not promise a particular timeframe. :-)

The guest bedroom hasn't changed much since the Great Rearranging Spree, which is to say that there's still piles and piles of crap to sort out and find homes for. But it's getting better, and Jacob is happy with having his own space instead of having to take pieces of mine.

I am slowly making progress on the stack of old projects that have been hanging over my head for the past two years. It's discouraging, though-- every time I finish one thing up, I discover that there's another one hiding underneath it.
amanda_lodden: (Default)
John and I went on a cruise with a bunch of friends last week. It was nice and warm and sunny, and I can't say that I'm happy to be back in the cold snow (though I'm happy to have missed the Big Thaw and the sinus aches that would have resulted had I been here)

I needed the vacation time more than I realized. Until three days into the trip when I finally relaxed enough, I had not noticed just how out of sorts I've been. It was somewhat like waking up and realizing that there's feathers all over the room and your pillow is missing, but you weren't dreaming about eating a large marshmallow. You can pretty much figure out what happened, but *why* it happened is a complete mystery.

Just prior to leaving, I popped into my doctor's office to ask about stopping a particular medication, and while I was there he ran a blood sugar test. I haven't actually stopped back in to let him tell me the results of that test, but I did start doing routine finger-pokes again, and based on those numbers I already know that the results of the official test are going to be "Hey, guess what, you're diabetic!" Which is not overly surprising, since during the "out of sorts" period it wasn't unusual for me to eat a 6oz bag of chocolates in a day. (When I say "out of sorts" I mean "Ohmygod, whatthehellareyoudoing?")

There's nothing quite like realizing that you need to cut out sugar and white breads/pasta and potatoes and then getting on a cruise ship where you are surrounded by desserts and breads and a pizza bar and a pasta bar. I didn't cut them all out, because I don't have that kind of willpower, but I did cut them back drastically, and my finger-poke tests are substantially better now. I still have to schedule a time to let the doctor lecture me, but I'm off to California on Friday, so he's probably going to have to wait until March.

The cruise was fun, but the first couple of days we had some very rough seas. I'm happy to say that I have figured out my motion-sickness triggers well enough that I didn't get sick at all, and only had a few very minor moments of queasiness. Others fared less well, but between getting our sea legs and calmer seas later in the week, everyone got better by the end of the cruise.

Though I missed it personally, there are reports that one of my old friends loosened up considerably during the trip, which makes me insanely happy. Even if it was a temporary "what happens in the Caribbean stays in the Caribbean" thing, I'm still glad that he had fun. I hope it's a sign of things to come, however. He's been too straight-laced for too long.

The short version of the stops:

Samana, Dominican Republic: Whale-watching. 12-foot waves in a 25-foot boat. Lots and lots of seasickness. One majestic whale who obliged and came halfway out of the water for us. Glad I went. Glad it's over.

St Thomas: Aquarium built into the ocean reef and skyride to a scenic lookout point. Aquarium was neat but smaller that I thought it would be. Skyride would have been better if it hadn't been raining on and off all day. Drinks at the top with friends was awesome.

Tortola: Pub crawl. Passed most of my drinks to Gail. Danced in the middle of the road. Not what I had envisioned when I signed up, but still tons of fun. Laughed most of the day.

Bahamas: Beach. Hammock. Book. Nice.

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