26 June 2008

Anger...Chicken Style

I love Savage Chickens. So many times it is dead on describing what's going on in my life...like today's cartoon...and how it applies to me at work...

Please click on the link in the title or on the Savage Chickens link in my blogroll. You won't be sorry.

25 June 2008

Are we there yet?

I have written before about how I hate to hear the news of deaths in the Middle East due to the "war." But when I hear things like the following that I just heard on NPR, it really makes me sad.
A pair of insurgent attacks in Iraq's northern Nineveh province on Tuesday killed three U.S. soldiers and their interpreter, the military said.
Even though that was a spoken language interpreter, the job that he/she did and the job I do are the same...and I feel like a colleague, a peer, even a family member, has died rather than just one more nameless casualty of "war." I hear that word above all others, every time another interpreter is killed, loud and clear, above the numbers of soldiers or the name of the place where he or she was killed...I feel it, if that makes sense. I think about whether or not I would have the courage to do that job, were I a speaker of that language rather than American Sign Language and English.

Is it January yet? Are we to the point of finally talking about getting our brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, friends and colleagues out of this "war" and back home where they are safe?

23 June 2008

Hot Dogs at the Ballpark

Hot Dawg
Originally uploaded by Nancy Allen
So it sounded like a great idea at first...the Greenville Drive, our local minor league baseball team, partnered with the Greenville Humane Society to host "Bark in the Ballpark," a day where baseball lovers could come out to the park and bring their furry family members along as well. Our greyhound group discussed making an appearance and the local greyhound club took the reigns to organize something with the Drive/Fluor Stadium so that not only could we have a tent to sit under, but we could talk about greyhound adoption in between innings. The kids and I headed downtown, me with "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" ringing in my head and them with "She's Taking Us Out of the House!!" written all over their smiling greyhound faces.

Those smiles faded quickly, though, when we arrived. I had budgeted for free parking (What was I thinking? Just because Greenville is littered with parking decks that there would magically be one at the stadium? Silly me...) and $5 general admission, leaving me a bit of cash for a drink and maybe some ice cream...it is June in the southern United States, after all.

No parking deck was to be found but there were lots of helpful people with orange flags ready to direct me into the surrounding parking lots and take $5 of the cash I'd brought so that I could park there and walk to the stadium. We did that, and started up the hill on the hot pavement toward Fluor Stadium. Got to the ticket window and there were all kinds of dogs there...on flexi-leads. I'll save that rant for another post.

Up to the window...1 for general admission, please? She asks if I have dogs. Yes. She asks how many. Three. She explains that all the dogs are in the reserved seating so that will be $6. Okay. My $5 plan has become $11 in a matter of minutes, but I'm still hanging in there. That's what man made debit and credit cards for, right?

I asked her about where the tent for the greyhounds would be, and if that was in the reserved seating. She didn't know what I was talking about. That should have been a sign for me to take the money and run (sorry...had the car radio on 70's rock all weekend) but I didn't. We headed into the stadium.

The Greenville Humane Society had a tent right at the entrance with water bowls...we skipped that because I was just positive that we'd have plenty of water at our tent.

Only there was no tent.

The organizer, the one that had called to set up the tent and the between-innings appearance wasn't there. In fact, I only found three other families from my adoption group still there by the time we got there. We, along with all the other dog people, were put out on the concrete just behind reserved seating (if you're looking at the baseball diamond we were just behind first base). Next to us was the concessions area with blessed shade, and before I'd even found my group I was headed there so the kids could cool off from the walk from the car/standing in line in the sun to get tickets.

A very apologetic young man in a Greenville Humane Society shirt stepped in front of me to tell me that dogs weren't allowed under the shade at the concession area, but that he would be glad to hold them for me while I went to get food.

Let me just process that a moment...I don't fault the humane society because they were just doing what they were told by the stadium...but you'd think, being the HUMANE SOCIETY they would see a flaw in not allowing dogs in the one place in the whole stadium that has shade...in June, in South Carolina, at 4pm in the afternoon when it is 80+ degrees Fahrenheit outside. But I digress.

I found the other members of my group and stayed about half an hour. We shared our car mat to at least give some barrier between the dogs and the concrete. They shared water and Miss Becky even got an ice cream for them to share with her boy Stormy. Finally I decided that I'd had enough and that the dogs had long since had enough, so we left to go home.

Perhaps this is why I prefer soccer?

17 June 2008

The Traveling Wilburys...err...Lassiters...err...

Here's a quick summary of the past three weeks of our lives.

4th-6th June

Took time off work to pack and get ready to move, hoping the movers would be available on Friday, 6 June. Wrong. Book them for Saturday, 7 June instead. Took my time doing anything, really, that resembled packing/cleaning until late on Thursday, 5 June when I realized that my parents would be arriving the next morning.

7th June

Movers arrive on time. All goes well until they try to get my sofa, chair, and refrigerator in the house. After much prodding, struggling, and some disassembly, all three items are in place and movers leave. Mom and Dad hang around for a bit and then head home.

(And from the files of this ONLY happens in my family, they were hit by a bear on their way home...at least that's how Mom tells it. Poor BMW. Poor Bear.)

8th June

Sorted out what's left of what is now referred to as "The Other House." Cleaned the front of the house. Stacked all that's left to be moved (from the front rooms) in the sitting room by the door and vacuum. Looked despairingly at the rec room and headed to "my house" to plug in the cable box and modem and watch TV/surf the net/play Everquest in an attempt to forget about said rec room.

(Did I mention that when I called Charter to transfer my service I found out that the folks that lived here before me never cancelled their service when they moved and I therefore had to wait till I could provide proof that I lived here - a lease - before they would transfer it? Did I also mention that I was advised BY CHARTER to go on and use the connections that were still live in the house until it could get transferred because it was already paid up in full? No? Ah. My bad.)

Plugged in cable box...waited for 12:00 to magically switch to the time. Waited a little longer. Wonderedwhy the box says 105 (BBC America, natch) but nothing is happening on the screen. Found cable wires all over the house and started attaching them one by one to the modem. Wondered why nothing is happening. Called Charter.

Discovered that a. the family that was here before didn't use Charter for television, hence the black screen on the telly-box and b. that there was at least ONE live connection for the internet somewhere in the house. I just had to find it. Further discovered that when the first Charter employee told me that all I had to do was be at the house when the tech showed up, lease in hand to prove occupancy...well, the nice way to put what he said was that she was wrong. Canceled that appointment...which was a mistake. (Found out later that because it was canceled I now have to start all over with a very long visit to the local Charter office...but thanks to a lovely employee called Maria I'm set for this coming Friday to have my TV and internet back.)

Found hot line for modem. Logged into email and Everquest and happy happy happy. Slept downstairs on the sofa with the dogs around me wondering if this was all going to turn out to be a mistake.

9th- 13th June

Have you ever had to go to work AND try to live out of two houses AND try to move out of one into the other all at the same time with NO television to keep you sane? If not, all you need to know is this...I got a lot of use out of "Oh what FRESH HELL is this?" that week (thank you Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory, Episode "The Dumpling Paradox")...including a trip to Orangeburg, SC, for work that turned out to be a no-show appointment. Boo-YAH.

14th June

Saturday came and went and was largely uneventful. Had a visit from a friend in town on greyhound business. It was not until later on Saturday that I found that my best friend Leah had fallen and broken her ankle. She was in the hospital and would have to have surgery. Kick my anxiety level on up another notch, will ya? Not quite high enough. That news colored everything that came after.

15th June-Father's Day

Plan: Go to Georgia, arriving 1:30. Have lunch with parents, visit, return home.
Actual events: Receive phone call that house will be shown at 4pm that day even though I didn't have 24hrs notice and I had no way to get the animals out of the house prior. Spend day trying to be happy and celebrate with my dad but internally churn up enough anxiety to drive me inpatient, convinced that my house was being sold out from under me and that I'd have to move AGAIN. Return home, receive lease and reassuring email from landlord that I'm safe here till December. Much Everquest ensued.

Yesterday and today have been pretty normal workdays. Leah came through her surgery about forty pounds heavier in the foot (steel plate, etc) but otherwise fine. No more fresh hell, at least not for the time being. I got to see the mid season finale of Battlestar Galactica on You Tube. I will say, though, that I may have put myself off The Big Bang Theory by the time I get television up and running on Friday...I've watched the same few episodes several times and can quote "The Dumpling Paradox" episode.

"Hey Sheldon, you forgot something!"
"This plasma grenade. Looook! It's raining you!!"

Upcoming Appearances, 2023

At 742 North, Rock Hill, Fall 2022 So I sat down the other day and looked at my travel calendar for this year. Whew! There is a lot coming u...