Monday, April 30, 2007

Taking A Stand

One of my pet peeves is a blog that starts out apologizing for not blogging in a while. I get it - be-LIEVE ME I get it - we're all busy. Awfully, terribly, freakily busy. Those bloggers are not special and therefore excused from writing for their Friends In the Computer. And yet here I am about to do the same thing... Well I refuse. Witnessed by all who read this: **I, Jane of the Inner-City Jungle, do solemnly swear and avow to never apologize for not blogging because I was "too busy." I promise to do my best under all circumstances to blog a couple times a week and keep you informed as to the minute details of my existence (provided anyone other than Tarzan and my dear SILs read this thing), but in the unforeseen instances when I don't blog, I further vow to not whine about how busy I am and why I didn't post.** A girl's got to take a stand once in a while.
I've considered taking a vow against complaining about the office too, but what would I have to type about then? Really. MC is back, and if such a thing is possible, he's not as annoying as I remember. Don't know if that's because it's only been one day, because I had four deadlines to deal with, or because there is someone new-ish in the office who is swiftly becoming more annoying than he ever was. (I know. Sit down if you have to. I did when I realized it earlier today.) I almost feel gypped though; last week went by so quickly that I didn't have time to notice that MC wasn't here. The flip-side of that is it's only 9 days before we leave for The Rockies! And I still can't find my swimsuit. Grrr. I am so miffed at this. Did I really do something so stupid as let it fall out of the suitcase while we were packing to come home and not even notice when I unpacked? I really really hope it wasn't that. Let it be aliens, or my cats having some kinky party last Sunday when we were at church, rather than let me be stupid like that...Les sighs.
I haven't had any weird dreams lately...none that I remember anyway. That's a sure sign I need a vacation. I can only imagine how much Tarzan needs one. He has been out of his mind busy. (hey now, I didn't take a vow to not talk about how busy the spouse is) I didn't even see him on Saturday. He left for a baseball clinic at 7:30 and the dear let me sleep in - 10:00, OMG did that feel good, I didn't move the whole night long - then he was at a chess tournament with the chess club (third place!! not too shabby boys - go WPHS!!) and then he was dealing blackjack for the Rotary Club until midnight. The two hours that he was home, I was at a city little south for his cousin's high school senior recital. (She plays violin) It was groovy - but I missed him. Sunday was redonkulous - after church he was home for 1/2 an hour then off to a meeting, then home for another 45 minutes and then off to another meeting. Dinner was at 9:30 last night because that's when he got home. It's sort of a good thing we don't have kids yet...when would we feed them?

This is me - standing.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Monday (again)

It's Monday again. And while MC is on vacation for another week (such a nice thing he did for me, going away for two of the weeks that I am here every day so I can wallow in the silence from the seat behind me and not worry about footprints on my chair) there is a dude - PD let's call him - who has decided to take up the slack and is SINGING two chairs over. Really? Singing aloud in an office that has no cubicles, only wide expanses of desk so we can all look at him and see that he is SINGING ALOUD? Dude. Please.
Completely not related, but why does this blogging host list the posting time as the time I opened the window and not the time I hit "POST" because that would seem more logical. Especially as I usually have to work at these things periodically through the day (see a few ago when I actually forgot where I was going with a post...) and so when I am running out the door and type the last bits and end with "gotta go" it then posts at 9:34am and it looks like I am a total slacker when in fact it's 6:22 and I'm late to pick up my sister. Nice one blogspot. Nice.

This is me - gotta go.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Bicycle Rant

I love the bicycle. I do. It's a great invention - it doesn't spew foul toxins into the air, great for the cardio workout, makes my legs look fabulous among other things. But OMG people. If you are going to ride a bicycle on the street - even if you use the bike lane and especially if there isn't one - then for the love of all things spandex follow the traffic laws!!!
  1. Stop at the STOP sign. Really. It's the law. Not just a suggestion or a fake-out for the motor vehicles so you can sneak a left hand turn in front and seem to be winning at getting to work first.
  2. Signal when you turn - I have this same rant against car drivers too - I'm perfectly willing to get out of your way if you would kindly tell me what way that is!! I am not, nor have I ever been, nor likely to ever be, able to read minds.
  3. Ride with the traffic. Do not pedal towards me swerving like a tightrope walker on crack and figure that it's okay. It's not.
  4. OMG - wear a helmet. One would think by now you would have heard all the news about helmets saving your life. (Like smoking - how can people STILL think smoking is a good idea?) A helmet might just prevent your dying - when you cross in front of me without signalling or stopping at the sign opposite the right of way - and put you in a permanent vegetative state for the rest of your life. It's also the law.

This is me annoyed at bicyclists who think they own the road.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Weird Dream #15

Real quick: had a dream last night where Tarzan and I had a baby. Don't remember the pregnancy at all, we just wanted one and then we were in the hospital having it. Tarzan named it Action Angle Woods (no, no and our last name is not Woods) and the weirdest part was that no one was letting me hold the baby. I was wandering all over the hospital following a group around but someone else always had the baby. Freaky.

This is me in a hurry.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

On This 1975

Firstly -
The dear boy is 32 today and he claims to not want a big deal made of his birthday but I know better. It's an inferiority complex he has - if he wants it then he doesn't deserve it, blah, blah, blah. (Thanks very much to the side of the family that gave him that.) One of the missions of my life is to help him realize the great guy that he is but doesn't believe he is. I get some of his angst - there's always more that we can/could/should be doing but that doesn't mean that what has already been done is crap or unworthy of notice and praise. (Do I sound like a motivational speaker?) Enough soapboxing - it's his birthday and I will do my utmost to make it a happy one.
Dancing With The Stars was good last night. Len was right, they do need to practice more. As has been mentioned to death there hasn't been a real leader or even pair of leaders this season. Does that mean only mediocre celebrities agreed to participate? Is the viewing public done with the show? Are we so sick of Bruno and his freaky little metaphors EVERY SINGLE WEEK that we run screaming from the room? I'm pretty sure that's the reason. Anyway...don't know if Apolo deserved a perfect score - but Julianne gets some serious credit for making him look better than he is. (Did anyone else notice his hips didn't move much?) I also think that while Cheryl is WAY lucky in her partner assignments, they shouldn't be voted lower to keep her from winning a third time. Ian is better than the marks they were giving him. HE was moving his hips, and the shimmy was awesome!! As for Heather's perforamnce, all I can say is EW! I don't watch when I'm getting waxed, I don't need to see Jonathan, who I like, get his chest waxed - EW, boy was that guy hairy! Laila needs to put in some hours. She's awesome and she's got the talent. She could win if she wanted to.
->Best quote of the night: "I made Laila sign a waiver, no Maks was hurt in the making of this dance..."

This is me making a party.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Monday - I Think

It must be a weekday because I'm at work but more than that I can't give you. I feel like what I've done took more than the two days it covered. I am so sleeeeeeeepy...zzzzzzzzzzzz. Mmmph - what's this now? Oh right.
So Friday I decided it had been a long enough week and I left at 5. (You think this is not a big deal but seeing as the previous day I went home at 7 and the day before that I was at work until 10...this is HUGE people, huge!) I went home and packed for the trip to The Temperate Zone. Then Tarzan and I jumped in the car (helllooo carpool lane) to pick up my sister and brother from my mom who was meeting us in the middle for the trade. Then it was back to the house for a quick dinner and then down to the bus station for the 10:30 bus out of town. It wasn't a bad ride really. Lots of people though, so we all had to share a seat. I had brought snacks and water and everyone had a book and a blanket (yes, I AM the queen of road trips) We slept as best as possible, slightly reclined with not quite enough leg or foot room, and got in right on time: 5:45am. B was on her way so we waited, and waited, hoping the water falling from the sky would cease, or at least not get more intense. Funny story...the street the bus terminal is on is a one-way street. We had waited for about a 1/2 hour so when we saw a car coming the wrong way up the street we joked that was probably B. Then the car stopped across the street - still pointing the wrong way - and sure enough her head poked out the driver's side!! (thank goodness it was 6am!) That was the running joke all weekend. R3 had to tell EVERYone. We made it home without any more mishaps and hung out for the hour before the festivities started. Then B was off to the horse barn where she helps look after stallions and the donkey breeding king - Action Jackson. (He's really an attention whore. He calls to anyone who comes by and preens under all the petting and feeding. He nearly ate D2's pocket trying to reach some pistachio shells):Anyway, we went for breakfast and then to the parade grounds to meet my friend RHM and her mom who suffer my wacky company every year. (This is my third Picnic Day) While waiting for the opening remarks to end, the water from the sky ended the drizzling stage and entered fully into the pouring stage. I had brought a jacket (water RESISTANT) a sweater and a hat. There were three of us. So I wore the hat, R3 got the jacket and D2 got the sweater. We made it, and we will remember it, but Wow. It. Was. Wet. (Haven't been that wet since the year of El Nino when I was a junior in college and we had to wade across the street in water up to our knees.) Here are some of the better shots from the parade (my poor camera - it's drying out at home, but I figure if I can download photos then it's still okay, right?) This is before the rain got too heavy:
This is the horse barn float. (B drove it last year):More floats and crazy walking peoples (what college kids will do):These little kids are so stalwart (they didn't even drink before coming):The sheet music the bands carried melted down the front of their hands as they marched:No bellies to be seen from the belly dancers:The engineering department makes a statement:How many colleges have their own winery?:The bike club is always fun - there were fewer participants this year. Maybe it isn't possible to hold an umbrella and drive one of those things:

After the parade we collected our annual tomato and pepper plants, got a ton of flower seedlings, no grapevines this year, bypassed the popcorn and balloons in favor of going inside the horse barn with B: As we hung out in the relative dryness, many people stopped by to pet Action and ask questions. B totally knows her stuff and she freakishly comfortable teaching people a lot older than herself. She's got the self depreciating, this-is-what-I-do, open, friendly manner thing down. (I know, I know, she's my younger sister and I always think of her as such even though she's 20 and smarter than Einstein.) But it was interesting to watch her. I feel smarter for having been there. When we felt that we could stand it again we left the barn and headed to the hatchery to see the baby chickens and quail. As we walked in a chick just finished rolling out of his shell and was all damp and exhausted from the ordeal. Before we completed the circuit it was up and starting to look fluffy. All the birds are SO cute. The quail are TINY and run like they're about to fall over their toes. Outside were the hearty older birds:Then we headed to lunch, found the Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream stand (pretty good - but it melts WAY fast, even in the rain), chatted up a cute Chemistry senior headed to Yale in the fall and were off to the Dachshund Derby. OMG. It never fails to entertain me. All these little dogs in tiny colored coats with short legs and big floppy ears running in all directions and sometimes making it across the finish line. So adorable. The slow motion replay is awesome too:

By 3:30 we were done. It was so lovely to go back to B's place and just sit, warm and dry and take off all the sodden layers and have warm things to drink and just hang. We talked to her roommates - who are all really sweet and friendly and totally accepting of all of us - then we changed and went out for dinner better equipped to handle the water that was still falling from the sky, although it was closer to the drizzle of the morning thankfully. Our bus left at 8:30, so we ate, did a quick shopping trip to stock Bridget's fridge and then off to the terminal. We drove all night again. The bus was less crowded and I figured out how to make the seats recline to an almost comfortable position so we slept better. We got back to The Jungle around 5:15am, Tarzan picked us up and it was home to sleep for another two hours before we had to be up and out the door for church. After church A joined us and we drove out to The Desert to deliver D2 and R3 back at home and have dinner with my parents. (Tarzan couldn't come because his school accreditation review was yesterday afternoon.) Fortunately traffic was fantastic. We got there in decent time, had a great visit and were home in record time. In time to watch the results of Dancing with the Stars which we hadn't seen yet. (Thankfully it wasn't as I had predicted. Good-bye Leeza - I will not miss you at all.)

This is me back.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Light's Out

It's not that I'm SAYING the Department of Water and Power ARE snobs but I'm wondering if they MIGHT be. Only because yesterday there was a terrible wind storm and tree branches and bricks and metal pieces and garbage was flying through the air most of the afternoon and night. So last night, when the power went out at the house (and the entire block) we figured it was from the storm. After an hour or so we went to bed and trusted in the DWP to fix it and everything would be fine in the morning. This morning the power was still not back on. This was worrisome so we called the office and after a VERY long time on hold the nice lady said that there were power outages all over the city, traffic was in a snarl everywhere and they were working as hard as they can with guys out round the clock to get it all repaired. I almost didn't come to work today because if things were as bad as she said what would be the point. BUT I decided that it would be a good faith effort on my part to the boss, so I got up and got dressed, not as easy as it could have been with lights and a working refrigerator, and came to work. Nary a problem. No lights out, no traffic congestion, and NO ONE in my office had power problems last night. No one had any this morning either. (Amongst the group we reside in all the upper and lower sides of The Jungle. Not a bad survey mix) Now this makes me wonder if perhaps, just maybe, the DWP guys are not working as hard as they could be to restore power to my neighborhood. It's not like we hold a substantial percentage of the city's wealth after all. We live in South Central. (Pardon, Southern Jungle) Remember the riots a few years ago? Yeah. That's were we live. Normally this is not a problem. We have good, albeit poor and unemployed, neighbors, and a 6' wrought iron fence around our house. We are the only white folks for blocks and as such people look out for us a little bit. But that also means we don't show up in the demographics of the neighborhood. So, the question remains; is DWP saving us for last? Are they not trying as hard to restore our power as say they might if it was Upper Jungle or are they just busy in places where people in my office don't live? And if it's any of these reasons, are they going to pay for all the spoiled food in my fridge and freezer?

This is me wondering.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Never Fear

Do not worry peeps, I am pretty sure I have not lost my mind...almost pretty sure.

There is good news however. After all the wondering and what-if-ing there will be a trip to The Temperate Zone for the annual Picnic Day at my sister's school this year! Yay. So one of my brothers, one sister and I will be travelling up the coast via Greyhound bus to see yet another sister (there are six girls and three boys in my family. Same mother same father for those who would ask) who goes to school there - pre-vet. She's a stallion manager and has a couple of demonstrations do be part of. Plus they give away all kinds of stuff, tomato and pepper plants, grapevines, balloons, fresh vegetables, frisbees, hats, totally fun stuff. The parade is a hoot. It's quite the event and this will make my third trip. And speaking of travelling (nice segue, why thank you) there is OH so much of it going on this summer. Next month is insane, with the trip to The Rockies and the next weekend to Middleton and THE NEXT weekend to Nowhere for Mule Days, more fun with animals sponsored by UC Davis and involving my veterinarian-to-be sister. Then it's off to Middleton at the start of June to see the new niece, Baby R, and the next week my youngest sister graduates from high school in The Desert. Then two weeks later my middle sister graduates with her Associates...My two youngest sisters come to The Jungle in July for Wicked (yay!!), Tarzan's parents come the next week and then I think I can breathe again. Whew. I'm exhausted. And of course there will be work and all that in between. It'll be groovy though. Good to see so many people that I don't see enough.
I've been a total blog blob these last couple of weeks because work is kicking my butt. Did I tell you about the client that MADE UP a meeting and then got mad when I wasn't at it? (No one else was there either, but I don't know if they got a spiteful phone call) But it's been a lot of looooong days and I am tired. As the boss-man says, it's like trying to put 5 pounds of dirt in a 4 pound bag. Blllaaargh.
A totally HAPPY BIRTHDAY! to Cogent. Can't wait to see you next month!

This is me tired and excited.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Weird Dream #14

Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh! Ah, that felt good. The office is really brutal today. Some of it's my own fault. I should have cleaned up these drawings long before now instead of blogging :) or whatever...but why does all the rest of it have to happen at THE SAME TIME? I am not amused by clients that think I can read their minds, (Have I ranted this before? - It's still so true.) I *SO* won't miss this profession when I retire.
I am really starting to worry about my subconscious...all this dreaming is a little unnerving. Do you think it has to do with stress at work? Last night Tarzan and I were travelling - by various methods, plane, train, boat whatever - but we never got where we were going. Then we ended up in The Rockies - and we were going to visit Tarzan's family but I was going to stay with them and he was going to his apartment. (He has an apartment?!) and everyone was trying to convince me it was okay, and quite normal, that he go to his place and I go to their house. I woke up feeling all crabby and mean.
Poor real-life Tarzan.

This is me in brief.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Weird Dream #13

I dreamt that the whole office was at lunch (there were a lot more people than work in this office - the boss was way down the other end of the table) and MC sat next to me, of course. Someone ordered for all of us apparently because the food started coming, people were getting pizzas and pastas that smelled really good. All except me. I waited, looking at the menu, while others were served. MC got what looked like plain rotini with garlic bulbs stuck in it. As everyone else was nearing the end of their food, I got a plate of little rubber chickens that I had to chop the head off of and suck out the insides. I had eaten two when everyone got up to go and when I looked back at my plate it had changed to great slabs of chicken that I couldn't eat...and then I woke up. (If that means I am feeling overwhelmed at the office-I am.)
It's about time Shandi got kicked off DWTS. Sheesh people. Even my cat could see that she was robotic , not putting any effort or life into the dance at all. Leeza was in the bottom two, as expected. What is with docking Ian an entire point for missing one step??! Puh-leeze. Billy Ray misses ALL THE TIME and even golden boy Joey missed in his tango. Not that I think the judges are unbiased in this thing - no Bruno, they won't sleep with you - no matter what metaphor you use! Laila, Laila, Laila!!
Hee hee, got tickets to see Wicked in July with three of my sisters. I think we will have seen the show from all angles after that performance: orchestra center, orchestra right, second row right, mezzanine center, mezz. cool. It looks fabulous from any position.
Tarzan's on Spring Break right now (How hard is it to get up to go to work with a sexy naked man in your bed? I know!!) and he came over to my side of the city to take me to lunch today. We ate at Ugo which is fancy schmancy Italian food. Tastes good though. It didn't really matter to me what we ate, as long as we ate together. (Ain't I schmaltzy today?) And it's Friday...

This is me sharing snippets.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


I am totally too tired to try and remember the wacky dream I had last night or to rant on the office behavior today, so I will post my own version of Cute Overload. I have mentioned my cats in a few posts but now I will introduce them formally to the blogging world. (As an aside, Tarzan has named them all, so maybe he's not as opposed to the animals as previously noted.)
The first two are brother and sister. They were born in October of 2000. We purchased them through the Save-A-Life organization in January 2001. Ocelot is the male. He loves head scratches and considers himself the boss of the neighborhood. (The camera was doing funny things - his eyes are both the same color, green. In fact all the cats have green eyes except Ice - his are blue.): Lantern is the female. She's probably the most timid of the five but she has a fierce loyalty to her brother that has her going places she probably wouldn't otherwise (like into the dog yard next door) She can be sweet if she trusts you and she likes to sleep in a corner where no one can sneak up on her. (The extra tail is not Lantern's, it belongs to Train Wreck who will be mentioned later):
The next three cats all came to us of their own accord. Ice is the next oldest, born June 2003. He's pure white with blue eyes. (They glow red in the night - very spooky.) The vet thought he would be deaf (apparently that's quite common) but he's not. He has some peculiar eating habits though. He loves dirty water (shower, sink, mud puddle in the alley) and fruit in addition to cat food. (Never seen a cat eat watermelon before? Come on over to our house.) Sorry about the fuzzy quality:

Mikey came next, born June-ish 2004. She's a lap kitty. Sit at the computer, the dinner table, the TV or the floor and she comes to sit in your lap (also the toilet if you are in there too long). She has much longer fur than any of the others and her tail is enormous relative to her body. We named her Mikey because she has a tiny dark goatee under her white snout (like my friend Mike) Sadly you can't see her tail in the picture - however you CAN see the dust on the TV cabinet - oops:
Train Wreck is the baby, in size and age. She was born March, 2005, and I suspect she was he runt of the litter because she's two years old now and still only about 10 inches long. Her ears are huge and she's always climbing stuff. She also likes to sneak outside every once in a while to check out the happenings. (The name came from Tarzan: he was sleeping and I heard her mewing outside. He says it was like a bad dream where you can see the train coming in slow motion but can't stop it in time (no-o-o-o-o-o!) He couldn't get out of the bed in time to stop me from bringing the cat in.):

This is me and my kitties.

From Whence You Cometh