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The Prince of Tides
June 27, 2006

I was telling my friend Amy this last weekend about a rather abnormal occurance that happened in my otherwise happy home that very well may be foreshadowing a visit from Aunt Flo: Saturday night after Shabbat was over, Ben and I had planned on having some hamburgers grilled up on the ol' Foreman grill. Since we had some organic-tots in the freezer, I threw those in the oven as a side, because one can never have enough carbs. While waiting for my burger to finish, I grabbed the pan from the oven to do the mid-cook shake and salt when, to my great surprise, I felt a burninating feeling coming from my thumb that was rather excrutiating. In an effort to toss the pan atop the stove and remove the pan from my melting flesh, the whole shebang flipped over, tots flying everywhere. I hopped about in a mock pee-pee dance, trying to avoid the little 450-degree oily meteors rocketing towards my exposed feet. I shouted an expletive that may have started with "F" and, once things settled down, started to sweep up the mess to be digested by the garbage disposal. Whilst sweeping, I was biting my lip, my eyes full of fluid threatening to spill over into alligator tears. Crying? Over dropped tots?

After cleaning up, I dressed my burger and went into the living room to eat while watching anime on my computer (because that's totally not the same as sitting in front of the teevee while eating dinner, because that's just silly). As I passed Ben, he queried, "What happened?", his mouth full of food, his eyes focused firmly on his monitor. I silently sat in my chair and fumed. After taking several breaths, I said, "You know, if you're going to act like you care, perhaps you should swallow your food and maybe pause the movie you're watching so you can actually look at me when you ask me a question like that. And I may be a little PMS-y, but there are NO TOTS. They went all over the floor. And I was burned. No tots. Sorry."

This was obviously a very traumatic experience, as I was sniffing back the tears again and turned my focus to my hamburger, so patiently waiting for me and so very obviously caring more for me than my husband did at the time. Holy holy eff. So, I've been taking some extra vitimans this week...

Ben and I are heading up to Grandjean this weekend to have a 4-day mini-break in the woods which, Aunt Flo aside, should provide us with some fun in the way of hiking and general outdoorsy goodness. I'm going to be incredibly busy for the rest of the summer as I attempt to finish 3 massive projects before the NYC/MASS/France/Italy trip (and perhaps have to go job-hunting, but that's a whole other story). I'll try to keep my site updated, and I've been planning a redesign for like a year, but haven't had the 4-5 hours to do it just yet. I hope to start the (Jewish) New Year with the new site design, a new non-smoking life (I didn't mention I'm quitting? On the first of July?), and an exciting 27th year of my life.

Aside: This proves that there is a need for more video games to be converted into plays on ice. The video also makes me want to beat the crap out of Jason Bateman, but in a good way (did I mention the PMS??). Link from ByrneUnit.

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The annoyances of circular conversations
June 16, 2006

Everything has been happening so quickly lately, including this week in this month. Very suddenly, plans were changed regarding my trip to NYC in early August - instead of a full week on the east coast, I'll have 4.5 days, and I'm meeting up with Ben after Z&C's wedding in MASS to head to France and Italy. This caused a flurry of mini-freakouts in my head regarding time off from work, getting my passport renewed with my new last name (I've been lazy about getting that one done - it's already in Pittsburgh being processed), and time scheduling while on the east coast. Everything has been fitting together like a well-made puzzle, though, and it'll be a nice mini-holiday with a lot of travel:

  • Fly into Paris
  • Fly into Toulouse
  • Rent car, drive to Lourdes, then Carcassone, and rest a few days
  • Back to Toulouse to fly to Pisa (which I always want to spell with a "z")
  • Tool about Italy for a couple of days, then do some wine tasting thing at some hotel
  • Fly from Pisa to Rome, then back to NYC

Yeah, so, not the least stressful of all things, but there's not much I can do about that... and duh, Italy! I've never "really" been to Italy, having only touched foot in the country once while driving through the northern extremities. I'm so very excited about this - and I thought I wouldn't be able to go abroad this year!

Last night, Ben and I went to see the movie "Lawrence of Arabia" which was playing at the Egyptian in it's original 70mm form. The film was of impressive quality for being over 40 years old, and (barring one projector-switch muckup) we really really enjoyed ourselves. I must recommend a hearty Intermission for any movie over 3 hours long. Why the hell don't they do this any longer? You would think that the theaters would be all into it, since most people just head back out to the consessions counter to get more jumbo-sized popcorn and/or gelato (erm, depending where one is).

Since Ben got back from MT with his new bike (picked up in Riggins on the way back), we've been having a lot of fun riding together. Ben has another bike, a Cannondale cross bike, but he never has the time to ride it, as he's not comfortable riding on/in the road here, so he prefers to drive out to the middle of nowhere to ride on highways (which realy isn't all too far from where we live). Anyhow, the whole point is that our bikes are sooo damned cute. He's sending his away next month for a couple of weeks to get a WWII jeep-type paint job done on it. Hey, no one can tell me I didn't marry someone interesting.

Ben's new bike!Kitty Cruiser

The Robbie tickets sold but didn't sell (dude that got them at an awesome price decided to not pay up), so I'm hoping and praying I can get my money back from the ticketseller. I'll be writing them a note this weekend to send. If we could have afforded tickets, we'd be leaving for the Netherlands tomorrow. Sigh...

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And all the grownups say,
June 8, 2006

This is one of the hardest things I've had to do in a long time. Just looking at it makes my stomach cramp up and I want to cry. It could, however, be a last bit of PMS. I've been listening to Robbie all day, slowly torturing myself.

The first song on Robbie William's most recent album, Intensive Care is titled Ghosts... Last night as I was laying in bed, I was totally freaking myself out thinking about the movie that just came out called something like "An American Haunting". I saw the trailer a couple of days ago, and know a bit about the backstory of the "true" events that inpired the movie. I am very proficient at freaking myself out re: ghosts and spooks and the paranormal, though I currently live in a place that is not inhabited by any of the above. I do, however, believe in such, mostly as I have experienced ghostly sightings myself. Here is one of those stories for you - it is not at all scary, but mostly weird. If you're likely to have a heart attack, please don't read on...

When I was approximately 11, we were living in Granite Bay, a rural town about 30 miles north-east of Sacramento, CA. This is 2 years before the move to Idaho, and I was cleaning the kitchen (my daily job). I tried to get the task over with as quickly as possible, so I could hide myself away in my air-conditioned room to read while ignoring homework. My mom wasn't at home, which was rather strange, because she was almost always there when I returned from school. I was rinsing off some dishes before loading them in the dishwasher when I looked over the counter and saw my cousin Nicole (Who would have been 7 or so). I didn't hear anyone come into the house, so I was a bit surprised, but when I opened my mouth to say something to her, she giggled and ran into my mom's bedroom, just adjacent to the kitchen.

I dried my hands and walked around the counter to follow her. When I got into my mom's room, I didn't see her anywhere, nor did I hear anything that would have led me to her hiding spot. I scoured under the king-size bed, walked around the bathroom (opening all the cupboards), and finally flung clothes around in the large walk-in closet, my annoyance increasing every step. The open walk-in closet had a door leading to the front porch, so I thought she had gotten out that way. I checked the door, but it was locked from the inside. I unlocked it and stepped outside just as my mom came around the corner. I jumped about a mile in the air, then I said, "Hey, is Aunt Carol here with Nicole and Renee?" Mom looked at my funny and said, "No, why?"

"I just saw Nicole. Or at least I thought I did. Maybe I didn't. She at least looked like Nicole..." Mom looked at me strangely again and asked me to tell her what had happened. At that point, when I looked back at what had just happened minutes before, I realized that the little girl I had seen wasn't at all my cousin, though she did look like her. Nicole has a tan complexion, dark hair, and dark eyes, as did the girl I saw. I thought that maybe Nicole had been wearing dress-up clothes for some reason, as the little girl I had seen was wearing a nice dress, if a little old-fashioned. I shrugged it off at the time, but my mom brought it up a little while later... possibly a few months after the original occurance and told me that she had seen the little girl as well.

Anyhow, just writing this is getting me freaked out, and I'm in a totally lit and populated area. Though I don't think I saw that little girl again, it was very strange. The whole situation didn't frighten me at the time... our house wasn't old at all - it was built about 15 years old at that time - and didn't seem the "haunted type". It was about 6 months later, after seeing a second strange thing, that I became obsessed with "ghost catching". The interest didn't last very long (as I was mostly just scaring myself out of my wits), but to this day, I remember the best ways of trying to catch a ghost, which have come in handy during various parts of my life.

Listening to "Let Love Be Your Energy", Sing When You're Winning, Robbie Williams

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MT, represent
June 1, 2006

Ben and I went to Montana for the Memorial Day weekend to spend time with his dad and enjoy the great outdoors. Eat this, suckahs We left on Thursday night, and Ben drove the entire way straight for 12 hours. On the way, we encountered much rain - hard, driving rain which made it impossible to see the road. Ben drove on at 70MPH anyway, with me clutching my hands together, white-knuckled. Eventually, we got over Lolo pass, and that's when the construction started. Montana must have a massive surplus in its highway bank account, because they're building at least 5 bridges between Kalispell and Glacier Park.

We arrived in Hungry Horse, MT around 7am, and ate a horrible horrible breakfast. We enjoyed most of the rest of the day sleeping - in either the car or the motel room. On Friday night, we met up with Ben's dad at the local crazy hangout, then switched to a bar that had less crazies and funner games. I introduced Ben to shuffleboard, then beat his ass at least once.

Tigris <3s Ben's lapBack at the crazy bar the next morning, we had the best. breakfast. evar (Tabetha at the Packer's Roost makes awesome omelettes). Then we got to know the bar cat, Tigris. She lovingly left a blanket's worth of hair on my sweater, so I had to change before we went on our way.

We went up to Whitefish, a cute little resort town, for some new windshield wipers (badly needed, with the rain happening every day, and Ben so proud of having the original wipers on his 1998 Saturn), then, on the drive back to Hungry Horse, we stopped by the Montana Vortex. I had had a conversation with Hee!!Ben a few months ago about "Mystery Spots" and how they work and the like. Being a big fan of the Mystery Spot, and Ben never having been to one, it was a must that we stop in to see the zaniness. Ben enjoyed himself, as did I, and we clebrated our enjoyment by going to see some bears.

On Sunday, we enjoyed a bit of Glacier Park. Unfortunately, the road was only open for 16mi from the West gate, so we couldn't go that far up Logan's pass. I got a photo of myself on a bridge over McDonald creek to match the one taken at the same spot 14 years ago, the last time I was at the park. We milled about, taking photos, then drove south to McDonald lodge, where we enjoyed a fabulous dinner (trout!! yum!!). We went to bed earlyish on sunday so we could get a early start on Monday morning.

The drive back home took about 11 hours, stopping for some fab lunchtime burgers at Ryan's Wilderness Inn, and gathering stamps for the Idaho passport deal.Big skies, clouds low I didn't fall sleep once on the drive back, so the trip seemed like it lasted forever. Between Kooskia and New Meadows, there is a fabulous part of the state that was so lovely, I sat open-mouthed through the entire thing. To the west, one could see Oregon's blue mountains in the distance, and to the East, the foothills of the Rockies lay jagged against the sky. The land was incredibly green from all of the rain that has travelled through the state, and fluffy clouds were hanging low to the ground, moving swiftly against the blue of the heavens. This was a part of the state I had never been in, and I'm glad I stayed awake to enjoy it. Though the ride in the car was tiring, the landscape's beauty amazed me and certainly made me appreciate the state in which I live. I don't think I'll ever consider Idaho my home state, but with this land so close to our apartment in Boise, I think I may learn to like this part of the country just a little more.

PS. LeeAnn won the donation drawing!! I'll be sending out a package full of goodies to her in the next week. ^_^

And, happy June.

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