bunchofgrapes: (Adm Nelson - sparklers)
I am officially on vacation! The next four days I can completely ignore the Blackberry. On Monday I can mostly ignore it. We're in the middle of a re-org so I'm sure I'll get an email or four that I'll need to answer.

My vacation will be full of fun things like take two cats to the vet, touch up the wall where the stupid cleaning people scuffed it up (just had the place painted too), run errands like drop off and pick up dry cleaning, rake leaves, and gather up stuff to take to charity thrift store. Envious, aren't you? On the plus side there are five Caps games over the next eight days. I do love hockey.

Every year for Thanksgiving I make sweet potato casserole. It's got a topping that's full of brown sugar and pecans and it really is good. However, given that I've cut back on the sugar, I wanted to change it up and make the topping without the brown sugar. A quick search on the internet and I found an awesome recipe that calls for grinding up pecans until they're very fine, adding in a little natural sweetener and a little butter. I roasted the sweet potatoes and put them into the food processor with cinnamon, nutmeg and some egg whites and honestly, if I didn't have to make this casserole, I'd have made sweet potato pie. This looks to be really, really delicious. I'll bake it up tomorrow and see how it goes.

I will now regale you with tales of cat idiosyncrasies )
bunchofgrapes: (O)
At the end of April, I flew out to San Francisco for a few days of vacation. My cousin flew down from Portland and we met up at the airport. She definitely got the better flight deal but I didn't care. I love San Francisco.

Take me to the city by the bay )
bunchofgrapes: (Grey's Anatomy - wuh?)
Pulling an all-nighter tomorrow at work. There will be at least two of us, maybe three. We have four deadlines, all on Friday and this is the only way we'll get them done on time. I went on vacation without using any vacation days. It's all been comp time. Unfortunately, I really, really need to use vacation because I'm close to capping out. So yeah, nothing much has changed at work.

On the plus side, Colorado was awesome! I will post all the details and pictures once I have time--which will probably be in a year or two.
bunchofgrapes: (Moon)
I leave tomorrow. Hopefully, I won't be running for the plane. There's just so much to do at work and I hate leaving it on someone else but dang. I've already worked so many hours this pay period that I can take off half of Tuesday and all of Wed - Fri without recording anything. And I'll still have overtime. Except I don't get paid for overtime so it all means nothing.

So anyway, while I was printing off my boarding pass this afternoon, United offered me an upgrade to first class. So I took it. I'm waitlisted so there's no guarantee I'll get it but what's the point of having all these frequent flyer miles if I can't use them? If I don't get it, I'm in Economy Plus so it's all good. But I like first class better. Reminds me of all the flying I did when I was a kid. My first solo flight was at the tender age of 5. I flew from Tulsa to Chicago where I met my mom and new stepfather and then we flew to Montreal. It was the late 60's and people still dressed up for flights and flight attendants were still called stewardesses. I got wings from the captain and sodas and snacks and got to sit up at the front, with the stewardess. That was the start of my flying career. I was one of those kids who got shuffled between divorced parents and my dad lived in Cleveland and then DC so I logged a lot of air miles. I loved flying and planes so much that for most of my elementary school years, I wanted to be a pilot. I even did some sort of airplane cockpit thing for my 5th grade science fair project. It was lame but I loved to sit and stare at the poster of the cockpit.
bunchofgrapes: (Brass - Tell me again)
Can I just say that I have a hard enough time thinking up fic titles. Subject lines aren't any easier.

Cut for long post about nothing )
bunchofgrapes: (Adm Nelson - Mother Said)
I am officially on vacation. Well, sort of officially. I'm still checking email and approving a few things but I did the last of the actual work on Saturday. I'm off until Monday and then it will be time to do end of the month reporting.

It will also be time when those gods with an evil sense of humor put the clock on ramming speed and the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is practically non-existant. Have you noticed it too? I always think I have a bit of a leg up on Christmas and then Thanksgiving is over, I blink, and it's a week before Christmas and I'm wondering what the hell happened. This is why I hate Christmas. I hate the rush. I want to be able to slow down time. Maybe even stop it for a couple of days. I want to enjoy the season and bake breads and shop in the cold (sorry, but I can never live in a place where it's above 60 degrees for Christmas) for the perfect gift and wrap presents while watching "Miracle on 34th Street". Instead I'm baking breads in the evening after work, racing to the nearest drug store for gift cards to send to my parents in OK, cursing the warming trend in December, and doing a craptastic wrapping job in the small back bedroom.

Last year I went to the Christmas service with my VA parents (I should start referring to them as rents #1) at their church. I don't attend their church, or any church, but I go because it's family and usually the service is nice. Last year they invited a tenor, Carl Tanner, to sing and it was extraordinary. I mean, I was moved in a way that sort of redeemed Christmas for me. Unfortunately, it was a one-time event and buying a CD just doesn't replicate hearing a performance from a few feet away. But maybe going to dinner downtown with friends, seeing DC all decked out for Christmas and cleaned up for the impending chaos inauguration will do it.

I hope so. Because I really want to like Christmas.
bunchofgrapes: (O)
I've been very lazy about posting lately. Since July is almost over, I figured I should probably slip something in under the wire. And btw, where the hell did July go? I hope August goes by as quickly as July did because it's my most hated month. Come to DC during the month and you'll know why.

Did manage to escape this place for about a week around the 4th. Spent the holiday with the family at their vacation home in Highlands Ranch, CO. My sister and nephew live out there as well so it was great to see them.

Colorado Trip Details )
bunchofgrapes: (Alex O - Caps)
I'm off all of this week. I'm calling it my Spring Break because it always irks me that people with kids take off for Spring Break while those of us without kids don't. So I am. It's raining today--one of those perfect spring storms with rolling thunder and thankfully, no cloud to ground lightning. I love it! It's supposed to do this tomorrow too. Fine with me. I still need to do some yard work but I got the grass mowed yesterday so the yard looks so nice and green with the rain. I'm meeting a friend for lunch and have a couple of errands to run tomorrow but other than that, I have no plans during this break except maybe do some stuff around the house and yard, watch hockey and CSI (yay for Brass and Drops!) and write. It's the perfect vacation.

Caps Hockey )
bunchofgrapes: (Brass - Welcome to my world)
Usually over the summer, I don't go anywhere. I like to do my traveling in the Spring and then take a beach trip in the Fall. However, I really like it when things change and take me out of my normal pattern. This year I went to Denver the first week of July and then to Portland, OR the last week of July (yes, I know I still need to post about that trip--details will be forthcoming). Along the way I made a few discoveries. Some of them probably won't be new to you and you will laugh and point at me but I'm an INTJ so it takes me a little longer to process stuff. Don't judge me.

My July Discoveries )
bunchofgrapes: (Brass - Gimme some sugar)
Rambleness )
bunchofgrapes: (Patsy - Cheers)
Snagged this from [livejournal.com profile] dragonlp86. No big surprise here.

You Are: 20% Dog, 80% Cat

You are are almost exactly like a cat.
You're intelligent, independent, and set on getting your way.
And there's no way you're going to fetch a paper for anyone!


I've been so behind on things lately--including giving feedback to friends who are nice enough to write you a Brass fic. [livejournal.com profile] tos_lover, I haven't forgotten, I swear.

I just got back from vacation, which was hell to get to in the first place (work was being such a bitch), and then of course it wasn't long enough. No matter what anyone says, the friends you make in fandom really are the best. I met these guys in the VTTBOTS fandom back in '99 and we hit it off right away. Yeah, there are some really strange people (ahem, I can name at least one in CSI) but when you find the good ones, they're the best. We started doing a yearly beach getaway about four or five years ago and no matter how hard it is to organize, we always have a great time. This year we ended up at Bethany Beach in a condo right on the ocean. We could hear the sound of the surf even with the door shut. And the weather gods smiled upon us because the temps the entire time were sunny and 71. It didn't turn cold and rainy until the trip home.

Anyway, I did manage to finish a little Brass/Catherine one-shot that takes place somewhere between "Way to Go" and "Built to Kill". It's always nice to go on vacation and be able to do a little writing.
bunchofgrapes: (Brass - um yeah)
Pinched this from [livejournal.com profile] wiccagirl24

Your Dominant Intelligence is Intrapersonal Intelligence

Reflective and thoughtful, you enjoy spending time alone.
You are good at analyzing yourself - and knowing your true feelings.
Totally self aware, you are in tune with your dreams and desires.
A spiritual and philopsophical person, your inner calmness inspires and helps others.

You would make a great philosopher, researcher, or theorist.


Don't know about being a great philosopher but the rest is pretty much me.

Trying to get a beach trip together for six people is something akin to herding cats. No joke. I have a co-worker friend who organized a cruise for 36 of her relatives. How the hell did she do it? We're four weeks away and still don't have hotel rooms.

My older cat, Emma, snores. Loudly. I woke up around 5am to this weird-ass sound and realized it was her. She was asleep under the bed--and under my head.

I wish I could write. I'm getting frustrated because I can't seem to get started again. In my other fandom I have these writing dues every quarter. I have to come up with something by Thursday. No pressure...
bunchofgrapes: (Boat ride)
There comes a time in your life when your parents stop wondering where you are and you start wondering where they are. That's happened to me.

Although my dad does call periodically to make sure I haven't fallen down the stairs and the cats are using me as a buffet, for the most part, we don't see each other much--even though we live about a mile apart. Last year my dad bought a vacation house in Colorado so he and my stepmother jet back and forth frequently. I don't really keep a schedule on their comings and goings. I just see pictures later and go "oh, you were gone?".

So imagine my surpise when I get an email from dad saying "we finally made it". We finally made it where? Colorado? First in line at a Buffett concert? No, Hawaii. I did know that, I swear I did. Anyway, they sent some really beautiful pics of them on the black sand beach, eating breakfast on the lanai, standing under the requisite palm tree. Yeah, it really is pretty but I always hum the theme to the Brady Bunch when I see pics of Hawaii. At least that's what I did the first time I got off the plane in Honolulu.

Anyway, I've been trying to get my parents to Hawaii for 10 years (I used to go out there frequently for work--yeah, it was brutal). I'm glad they did finally make it and I hope they have a fine time.

Now if I could just get them to go to Rome.
bunchofgrapes: (Brass - Not taking no shit)
Tomorrow is the big day. I leave at 10:30am, arrive in Ft. Lauderdale around 1:00 and then take a three+ hour drive down to Tavernier, which is closer than Islamorada. I look like a poster child for Best Buy what with all the electronic stuff I'm dragging down there. Oh, well. I'll have a computer but no internet access for a whole week. What did people do before the interent? I seem to recall having a lot more free time. I also remember writing fics in a spiral notebook.

And that, my friends, is why I bought another laptop to take on vacation.
bunchofgrapes: (Default)
We took a late lunch at work yesterday. Planned to go for sushi but the place closed at 2:30 and we got there about ten minutes too late. So we went to Pauli Moto's over at Tyson's.

my perfect day )

On a totally suckfest note, my sister called and the house we were supposed to have on the beach in Islamorada is full of fleas (allegedly--she thinks the agent might have double booked it). They offered us two other choices one that looks like the Brady Bunch might have lived there once and the other that's only 3 bdrms. We need four bdrms. My other sister and I, being the single girls, would have to share a room and that's not very appealing to either of us. But it's a nice house with a heated pool. Neither house is on the beach though. Near the water, yes, but it's not the same. I'm not sure what we'll do. I sent my sister a few other properties that I found. If she can't get the agent to find something more suitable (hey, we signed up for a 4 bdrm ON THE BEACH!) then we might have to look elsewhere. Maybe next time we should just do an all inclusive trip to Hawaii. Works for me.

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