I’ve been away for a while due to three weeks of overtime at work. I plan on using some of this money to get another tattoo, nothing fancy, instead of all of it going to responsible things such as bills and loans. I’m shy of my goal of thirteen tattoos by seven, and once I get the name Odyssey etched into my flesh, I might reconsider and just leave it at seven total. The six tattoos I already have need major retouching as I was in my early twenties when I got them. There’s still time for pondering this decision later on how many I will end up with, but I can’t wait too long. Wrinkly skin is not what a tattoo artist wants to see, and as the saying goes, you’re not getting any younger, pal.
Back to the current weekend. I woke up too early today on my day off, which prompted me to take a hard core power nap for three hours after I ate breakfast and couldn’t keep my eyes open while watching Netflix. I’m sure I snored like a wicked person does when overly exhausted. I woke up with the dreams of war and visiting the ocean because I’ve been watching documentaries about war and thinking about visiting the beach again. It seems no matter how I structure my daily schedule, things pile up like dirty laundry. If anyone knows how to squeeze another day into the week so there are eight, let me know.
I was mighty tired after working last Saturday, but decided to see an indie band, Livingmore, play in their rehearsal space. One half of the band is my friend named Spencer. The other half is a woman named Alex. They have a drummer named Mike and bass player named Rodrigo. I have respect for those who can sing and play instruments because I have no musical talent. Piano lessons never stuck with me as a child. I only know how to play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star on a guitar. I don’t hold beat well, and you definitely don’t want to hear me sing. You also need to be comfortable in your own skin as a musician or singer.
I included one of their official music videos from their song, Really Mean It. I encourage you to visit their websites which I listed below. They have gotten some radio play of their songs in Los Angeles. The band is currently working on their first album release. As I watched them perform last weekend, it brought me back to the days when music was more of a daily part of my life. Livingmore is a testament of how good vocals and musical arrangements make for songs you want to listen to over and over again. I’m not just saying this because Spencer is my friend. I would feel the same way if I didn’t know who was behind the music so to speak. The unedited photos are from my iPhone.
I will say one more thing before I retire for the night. If you like the taste of crunchy popcorn and you like the tangy taste of pickles, might I suggest popcorn in a pickle? I think this has to be one of the great creations TJ’s has put out in quite a while. The hulls that get stuck in my teeth or the kernels that make me cough for a good full minute when my sinuses are wrecking havoc on my throat are not enough to deter me away from this bag of deliciousness. I admit there are people who find this repulsive like my roommate, but again some people will never understand the true greatness in this bag. It carried me through these last three weeks and for this I am thankful.
I did a lot of thinking about my biological father growing up. The things I saw him do and heard him say. I accepted his proclivity towards violence as the basis of his existence. He was a certifiably unstable person who left me with the biggest emotional mess to trudge through growing up. My biological father was not the voice of reason or strength. He commanded by threats and hostility. The greatest gift he gave me was dying. I have outlived his age, and for this I am grateful, but the heart of this blog is not with him.
It lies in what came after, and that was being adopted by one of the greatest set of parents from the Midwest. They have been the most patient, loving, and understanding throughout my years, child and adult. They recognized my uniqueness and allowed it to blossom. My dad accepted me for all my noticeable flaws, and never left my side when I thought he would. He took the time to teach me what life was about and allowed me to learn lessons as only one can do by her own. He gave me the birds and bees talk during a car ride so he is a man of many talents.
I usually send a humorous card for Father’s Day. This year was different. I sent him a much more serious card that pulled out, reiterating the fact how much I loved him and what he had done for me. He text me, thanks for the card, and that was it. He won’t ramble on if he doesn’t have too, and doesn’t feel the need to respond right away if he is busy. Our differences are the basis of our relationship. The similarities fill in the rest.
Referring to my biological father as a relation is for formality reasons only. The word father is a distant word to me because of him. The word dad has a better feel. My adoptive dad is who I recognize each year. He is the one who will continue to get my respect. While DNA is important, it doesn’t do any good if you can’t live up to its potential. My father fell way short of the mark. My dad actually crossed the finish line, and this is why I give a big nod to him. I wouldn’t be here without him, and thanks to all the dads out there who have been there for their children and are still there long after they grow up.
I managed to get a day off during the week to take care of my iPhone camera that went bust. Good thing for Apple Care, right? While I was waiting for it to be fixed, I walked around the mall looking at different things. One of my favorite stores to browse is Papyrus, a greeting card store, that has other items to buy. I decided not to buy anymore greeting cards. I already have three boxes. My eyes definitely spotted the Father’s Day display table although these bad boys will not be going to my dad. They will be sitting with my collection of mugs longer than they should before I use them.
I wanted to be an archeologist at one point in my life. I’m glad that desire ended. I tend to have patience most of the time, but there’s a lot needed during excavations. There’s also a lot of bones in a dinosaur skeleton as paleontology is on a similar playing field. I’m not sure if my skills or tenacity would carry me through to the end. A person would really need to be excited, and my excitement these days only goes so far as picking up these mugs to admire their coolness.
I included some good old biology in case you forgot what you learned in school a long time ago. I wouldn’t mind reading some books about the variation of dinosaurs, and there certainly is plenty to last me for a while. I’m curious to know after some research what I will decide to be my favorite or maybe top five or ten dinosaurs. It will probably be included in a future blog, but in the meantime, I will rejoice as one more day until the weekend although I work on Saturday.
by Monique Hall
When I sat down to write this blog entry, it was going to have a different title. I started listing all the reasons why it’s been nine months since my last post, why I failed to cling on to the enthusiastic optimism I found at last year’s RWA conference and why I have not achieved even a tiny portion of the goals I set for myself.
And then I hit the delete key because I’m sick of listening to my own excuses, so why on earth would I want to bore you with them all. We all have shit going on and I need to get over myself. We both know it.
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I’ve been doing a lot of sleeping weird hours this weekend due to sinus headaches (thanks to allergies) and achy muscles (thanks to jogging harder this week). I’ve done more coloring of one of my new designs and playing around with my watermark logo than my intended writing. I say whatever even though I’m straying a little bit, okay actually quite a bit. I still would like to make my logo a little more creative, but that can come later. Here are a few of my old designs/colorings, and if you want to see more go here to colorings.
I’ll be the first to admit when I buy gas at a station, I like to fill it up to the top. I read several articles online and the consensus seems to be this: topping off is not the way to go. It does several bad things, and the most important one in my book of hurting the environment. If gas spills onto the ground, the harm comes from vapors releasing into the air. Most people agree it isn’t good to inhale gasoline directly or indirectly. When is the last time you huffed gasoline? Hopefully, never. It also may damage your car’s vapor recovery system. One of the perks of living in California is the smog test especially when your car is an older model such as mine. People operate better breathing clean air so I will have to forgo topping off from now on so I don’t contribute to the Earth’s demise.
There is also debate on what constitutes topping off. I would say it means continuing to pump gas when it automatically disconnects and stops dispensing gas into your tank. Sure, I often give another go so it can read an odd number on how many dollars I spend. I’m not fond of even numbers. Don’t ask me why. I really don’t know. It’s just the way I operate. Call it superstition. So how does a person really know the pump is dispensing gas or not? I learned gas pumps have a vapor recovery system, meaning that excess gas can end up being drawn back into the storage tanks. I can’t say for sure if this is true, but do know when I pump another 50 cents or one dollar that gas does drip out of the nozzle when removing it. I do the familiar shaking of it to get the last drop, and put it back into its resting place on its holder. Because I am not confident I’m getting all my money’s worth now, I will have to forgo topping off so I don’t lose out on that 50 cents or one dollar. That’s a lot of gumballs I could buy.
The last consequence of topping off is the possibility of damaging your car. This happens because gas in the carbon filter system causes it to run poorly. Don’t ask me where this is because I have no idea nor do I care too much where it sits under the hood. I’m sure that I will care if something happens to my car because of too much topping off. It overall can damage your car engine, and we all know that’s no good. My time effective self thinks by putting in extra gas will prevent me from having to go the gas station as often. Really? How much does a dollar’s worth of gas get you these days? I equally play with fire on a near empty tank, praying and hoping my car doesn’t run out of gas on my way home on a Friday night after work. That gas light sure is an eyesore as you are winding down a road. I wonder if that damages your car too.
I dislike filling up my gas tank and leaving to find the needle not on the full line. I read a few people saying putting a nickel more of gas into your tank doesn’t hurt anything. How about 50 cents? How about a dollar? I don’t put in any more than a dollar. I’m curious to what others do with their gas tanks. What drives me to the ultimate decision of not topping off the next time I get gas is as much environmental as personal. My carpal tunnel is thanking me already. I’m so excited to not spend that extra one dollar on my next visit to the gas station.
I’ve been on an exercise and eating better kick the last few weeks except one day I pigged out on some Terra chips. It’s a good thing life recycles itself every day. I hope everyone is busy living his or her life. I know I am so cheers to another week and weekend.
I had recommended this book before in a previous blog before I even finished it, but I don’t think I had shared it on my Facebook or LinkedIn page at the time so here it goes again. This is one of those books where you don’t judge a book by its cover or subject matter. I find espionage a highly interesting phenomenon, but computer espionage? Come on? How interesting could it really be? It sounds rather boring. I’m sure it is in most cases, but it is quite interesting when you have the right person writing about it.
Cliff Stoll infuses the right amount of factual information with his own personal quirks and hesitancy. You will see this when he is dealing with the FBI, CIA, and NSA. His lifestyle of sewing quilts and making homemade milkshakes when he was not being a systems administrator was in direct contradiction to the later relationships he formed with the “spooks.” You couldn’t have picked a more unique person to unravel this story piece by piece even if you tried. It is a page turner, and I mean this sincerely. You will doubly enjoy it if you are into non-fiction thriller/mystery.
Stoll doesn’t mince his words, but still you know he has a kind heart within him. He comments on certain things that seem unrelated to the hacker, but it does serve a purpose in the long run. This book is as relevant as ever given our current political times. I won’t spoil the ending, but I wasn’t too surprised that certain things happened the way they did. This was as much a cat and mouse game as it was a catalyst for things to come in the computer world and in his own personal life. I will conclude with the message of fixing the smaller problems is usually adequate, but sometimes it isn’t, and when it isn’t enough, watch out because who knows what will appear.