Thursday, September 29, 2005

It Started Out Like Any Other Wednesday....

I made myself get up, though I really didn't want to. Got going, got the boys going. Heard on the news that there was a big wreck on 85 (as usual). Got ready, went out to wait for the bus. Waited. Waited. 10 minutes past it's time, I put little kid in the car, and dropped him off, again (happened twice last week). Was late from waiting for the never-seen bus, and the radio traffic reports are saying how bad the wreck is; they said that Tuesday, too, and I actually got to work 25 minutes early (they were all stuck in it behind me - I went around). So I finally get to work after 95 mind-numbing minutes in the car, witnessing some of the stupidest things I have ever seen (yeah, you in the dumptruck and the car hauler that both decided to block all lanes - I'm talking about you), and find myself in software release hell. Actually, that started Tuesday, but it definitely had not improved overnight, and I had people from both coasts hollering for something they couldn't have. So I do what I can with that, then move on to more clean-up in prep for the move.

I go across the street to our other building, prepared to throw a whole bunch of stuff out; we (our division) do not want/need it, but we will give the other division a chance to screen it, just in case they need it. Well, I'm explaining this to "the Gatekeeper", and she's all, "I don't know, I'll have to talk to somebody". Fine, whatever, but for now, give me a place to stack this stuff, because I want it out of the cabinets that we know we are taking for our use. No dice. So I agree to make a copy of my list, with all of the pretty colors and the key to what those colors mean, and they can let me know later. So off to lunch we go.

The place we go is one of those where they ask every body if they have to go back to work, or if you plan on spending the afternoon. Uh, yeah, I have to go back - who doesn't, and how do I get a job there? We finally get a waiter, and he finally brings our water and takes our orders. The food finally shows up, and my co-worker's plate is just huge. There wasn't a dinner option of that on the menu, so we didn't think anything about it. Well, after I had been done for some time, the waiter finally reappears, and then goes to produce our checks. When he comes back, he hands hers over, and it's $12! It was supposed to .50 less than mine. So when he finally comes back to take our money, we ask him about it. So he disappears again, and comes back 10 minutes later and mumbles something about maybe not having to pay for it at all, because it's in the computer that way and he doesn't know what to do. And did the manager come talk to us? Uh, no? We finally get out of there, paying the correct amount, and leaving a quarter as a tip. What a moron-a-palooza! So we go back to work.

When we get here, I take care of a few things, and then get the boss and go back across the street to discuss this morning's issues. The Gatekeeper has apparently already left for the day. So he rifles through all this old stuff, and keeps mentioning stuff from when I was in elementary school, and keeps on going on and on. No real conclusions are drawn, but I do have a half-assed plan, so we come back over here. He then wants me to go to his office, he has some stuff we could look at to possibly help us decide what to do with the stuff (I thought we'd already decided - I was on the verge of throwing it out, after all). So, for the next mind-numbing hour, I sit there and watch him flip through old document after old document, not really knowing what he's looking for, or why. Then I go back to my office, with my brain hurting. I surf the net a while, making up time for being late in the morning, then finally give up on that, too. So I leave.

And it takes me an hour to get home!!! I could swear I've already sat in traffic... oh, wait, I have, but this time, it sprinkled, so we've lost our minds for an entirely different reason!! I finally get home, and then I have to argue with an 8-year-old to do his homework, and write lots of notes to send back to his teacher. Thinking about that right now, I have no idea if he put any of that in his bookbag this morning; I bet it's all sitting on the living room floor still. Oh well, flunk me for being a bad parent. And I really, really wanted to sit on the couch and stare at the tv, but DH was already spread out all over, and the chair had kid in it. I sat at the computer desk for a few minutes, for lack of something better. Then I went to my room for awhile, but that was boring, so I went back out and made the kid get out of the chair. Then, finally, nothing for a few minutes. They all actually figured out it was fend-for-yourself night without me having to tell them - miracle. I had a bowl of Lucky Charms for dinner. Yummy. Not. So then I figure I need to check e-mails - home and work, for sw and bead issues.

As I am e-mailing one of the girls in my bead-buying group, I check a couple of the items I have ordered, and realize that they have DOUBLED in price!!! SHIT!! What I have in my order (placed Monday with the group, but it won't get sent to the company we buy from for a few weeks still) I had budgeted to spend no more than $60, and it will now cost me $118!!! That's my entire budget, not counting the other things I have to get! Beads won't do me any good if I don't have clasps or string to put them on! WTF happened? It had to have happened on Tuesday; I was just in there looking Monday, as I was entering my order. this morning, I broke out my 2000/2001 catalog, and these prices have been pretty much the same since then - they have changed the way they are packaged, but the price is within a few cents of where it has been for 5 years. And they are glass; I expect fluctuations in gold and silver items, but not a doubling in GLASS! Has glass suddenly become endangered? Shit! So now, here I am, trying to start a business, and these items are a cornerstone of that business, and I am trying to do this out of my own pocket. Man, this sucks. So I send another post to my group, begging for help to meet the best price breaks on these, so I can keep my order intact - if we get the best break on all of them, it'll be $80; I was prepared to pay the middle break (60) before they doubled. I didn't want to sound whiny when I sent it - I've been trying to drum up support on these ever since the buy opened, but I'm not getting much help. Our buy lead is out of town for a week; hopefully, when she gets back, maybe she can call our rep and ask them what the deal is. Well, at that point, all I could do is wait to see what happens next week. CRAP. Dammit. Oh well. And of course, DH says, well, you need them, right? Get them. Yeah, I'll just get them. And do we not get the tags for the car, or not pay the electric bill, or skip one whole side of the family this Christmas? I just want to know why now these had to DOUBLE; they've been static for 5 years, and I could see a small increase, but double? I've looked, and can't find them cheaper - these are now about the same as most of the others I've found, but the others I've found do not have bulk pricing, so these are now actually more, if I were to buy them 1-2 at a time. So I try to concentrate on Lost and Invasion, and go to bed to finish watching.

As I am turning off the light, as per my usual routine, I grab the chap stick off of the table. Of course, I drop the damn thing behind the bed, in the land of the Killer Dust Bunny. And the only way for me to get it is to move all of the pillows and such, reach through the headboard, and feel around. I found something squishy (yuck), something fuzzy - dust bunny, or ball of cat hair - same thing - then finally got it. Man, I was DONE. I stared at the TV for a few more minutes, then rolled over and went to sleep.

And things were going pretty smooth this morning. Right up until I broke my toothbrush right in two. I was using the handle to push the toothpaste up in the tube - I do it all the time - and it snapped. Oh, there's no way in hell I'm having another yesterday!! Ain't going to happen, folks. So I do my best brushing with it (it has that stupid rubber coating on it to make a better/pretty grip - whatever - so it's holding together), but it's all wonky and waving - I feel like a cartoon person trying to brush with a rubbery brush. But the bus showed up, I got to work on time, and there's not a lot going on; my sw release isn't going on, either, which is a problem. I don't know if there is anybody home in our Maryland office - none of them have signed off or sent any e-mails or anything os far today. I'm going to go home today and take a nap. I was meaning to get my hair cut, but I just don't think I can suffer that kind of trauma right now. I must've been really, really, reallllyyyy bad in my previous life....

Monday, September 26, 2005

Quiet Weekend

We had a U13 soccer game last Thursady night; we lost almost as badly as we thought we were going to. So far, in regular season, we haven't scored a goal. We've made lots of attempts, just none of them are going in. Not real sure what the problem is. At least this game our trainer was there to watch; maybe he can better steer the practices now, and get them able to follow through on those shots. My son had a fantastic game, considering. They finally let him take all of the goal kicks; we've been trying to tell the coach for 2 years now that he has the foot for that, and the ability to put the ball in a specific spot, as opposed to the boot-ball method he seems to prefer. Well, the light bulb came on finally, and hopefully will remain lit.

We had 2 U10 games yesterday; one loss, one tie. We have tied 3 weeks in a row. They just have minutes where they are totally scattered, and then they get it together for a few, then it scatters again. And the teams they played this weekend were HUGE! One of our kids only came up to around the waist of a couple of them. That's just crazy. And our ref, who usually does a really good job (we call him Delicate Flower), was a little grumpy yesterday. He gave the opponents possession of the ball at least 3 times when it should've been ours, and he helped with some things, but not with others. It was weird. He must've had a long day Saturday, and wasn't quite ready for Sunday.

The boys are out of school today and tomorrow; the Governor asked all the public schools in the state to take a 2-day holiday, to help the gas crisis in the wake of Hurricane Rita. Okay, people, what exactly is going on around here? Have we forgotten that 4 (yes, four) hurricanes went through Florida last year? There was no panic about gas, prices didn't go up (yeah, the refineries weren't hit as hard, but still, they did receive some effects - we didn't hear about it, though, did we?), and we certainly didn't call off school in surrounding states. Now, it's a nice thought, but these kids aren't getting an adequate education when they are in school; how is this going to work out? Are we going to make them up at the end of the year? I doubt it. Boy, I should've finished my teaching degree and gotten a job down here; they work maybe 20 days a month, have no responsibility for anything, and when it all goes wrong, it's not their fault, or the kids' fault, it's the parents' fault. I guess it's my fault I can't afford to send my kids to private school. Some days, I think my kids know less when they get home from schoool than they did when they left the house that morning; that's a pretty sorry state of affairs, folks, and I don't think I should have to spend several hours each evening, after I've already worked a longer day than the teachers have, getting my kids up to speed. And I'm not sure they are even up to speed then. These schools in the South are horrendous. Keeping the bible-thumping out is one thing, but then just having to deal with all of the language barriers - how much time is taken away from teaching my kids the stuff they need and spent teaching other kids the basics, such as English? If English is your primary language, you should not be in classes with kids who do NOT have English as the primary language. Hello, People - what would I have to learn to live in your country? Discrimination? Discriminate this, you liberal wankers! This is the United States, and we speak English. Learn it and use it, or get out. Jeez. This ain't rocket science, folks.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

So I was driving home yesterday, and...

... as I was half-way down the on-ramp, I looked in my rear view mirror, and saw some stupid woman in her little Saturn right up my ass. She was so close, I couldn't see her headlights or half of her hood. And, as usual, the interstate was stop and go right there, and as we were coming down, a cop decided to pull someone over in that little triangle of space between the ramp and the roadway. Now, it just so happens that I need to end up in either of the last 2 far left lanes in order to follow where my road splits off, so I try to do this as soon as possible. So, in preparation for this, I turn on my signal, merge out onto the actual road, and start looking for spaces to move left in. I look up, and the woman in the Saturn is still right on my ass. I see a break where I can go over another lane, and, as I'm checking all the mirrors and actually looking left, the Saturn Woman has just gone right ahead and gone over - no signal, no nothing, just as if I haven't been traveling for some distance with my blinker on, with every intention of going over, too. Fortunately, there's room for me, too, so I jam on over. Saturn Woman then goes on over again, no signal again, death grip on the wheel. Finally, we are side-by-side in the the two left-most lanes, and as she flies on ahead of me (we're doing pretty close to 80 in a 65 at this point), I look at her plate, only to discover she's from Ohio!

Whoop-de-do, you might be saying. But in the years I have been here, I have created that ersatz romantic version of [drivers] in my home state being [saner] than the ones here (insert whatever appropriate words into the brackets). But thanks to Saturn Woman, that whole idea has been blown to little bits; it's true, people are assholes everywhere. And I really hate the new Ohio plates that don't have the counties on them; if she was from a county nowhere close to any of my home counties, I would've written her off to being from one of those other parts of Ohio. Ah, well, another bubble burst, and another reality faced.

Watched the finale to Rock Star INXS last night; I figured JD would be the winner, but I still don't like him as well as Marty. Though, considering my tastes in music, Marty was just more my style, and not so much INXS's. Actually, looking at MiG's blog profile on MSN, he has a lot of the same CDs I have, moreso than the other two. HHMMM. Whatever. I also read all three blogs' last posts, and JD said he was going to donate his Honda Civic that they each won to Katrina victims; I didn't see that coming. I think he'll do well with them, and he is very talented; I just don't like to watch him. Hopefully Marty will get a gig, too; I assume MiG can go back to his stage work and be okay.

We are going to the Gwinnett County Fair tonight; the boys will ride the rides, DH will rush them to eat so we can leave, and hopefully I'll get to see what little they have for exhibits. Fairs here aren't like the fairs we grew up with; there's a barn with maybe 15 cows, and 10 sheep - that's it. And the one hall has a bunch of exhibits from car dealers and politicians. No rabbits, no horses, no goats, no crafts, except the ones entered for judging (I need to enter some stuff next year, now that I found the forms - we don't have a fair in Hall Cty., so I assume I can enter into Gwinnett's) in one little corner of the political car barn. Oh, and no sugar waffles. Man, I love those things, but they just don't seem to have them down here; funnel cakes, yes, but I can't eat those anymore - they do not like me at all, just like donuts and cucumbers. I guess maybe sugar waffles don't meet the minimum coronary damage points, so they aren't allowed in. 14 kinds of bar-b-que and blooming onions, but no waffles. It's just crazy. They don't have any entertainment, either, unless they do on the weekends, though I don't know where - there's not a place for a band to play and people to listen. If it wasn't for the midway and all the creepy carneys, it'd take about 20 minutes to see everything there is to see, and stand in line in the women's restroom. But the boys like the rides, of course - hopefully no one pukes in that spaceship thing that sucks you to the walls (not that the big kid would care - he's riding it anyway), and we like the grilled corn.

Season premiere of Lost is on tonight, and then Invasion, which I seriously doubt I will be able to stay awake for. So far, I have seen Threshold (okay), Surface (okay, but damn similar to Threshold), and I watched Bones last week, before NAVY NCIS came back last night. Nothing's really grabbing me so far, besides the new season of Survivor. I'll be glad when the new CSI comes on tomorrow. I can't stay awake to watch either of the other two of those, either, and we can't seem to find the cables for the VCR. Eh, too much trouble, when it is apparent I already watch too much tv. But when I'm stitching, what else would I do? I need to change my focus periodically from my work to something, so it's just natural it be the tv, I guess. Staring at a computer screen for 8 hours at work, then going home and doing it for another couple of hours, you'd think that would be enough, but it doesn't seem to be. And then I read, too - that's what the commercials are for (DH hates it when I have my book open but am watching the tv, especially when he wants to change the channel, which is immediately after he walks in the room). I am just trying to jam as much living into each day as I can - I think it's pretty efficient, actually. I work, read, do a hobby, cook dinner, do laundry or whatever house work, watch the night's tv, and then I go to bed and get up and do it again the next day. That might be why I'm such a slug on the weekends; if it wasn't for having games to go to, and needing to go to the store, I'd veg all weekend, if I could, and watch movies.

I hope we get some rain from Rita - it hasn't rained once this month. But then, with DH being sick, he hasn't gotten the grass cut for awhile now, and it's totally out of hand; rain would only make it worse. The Gulf region doesn't need the rain, but we could use some - I can't believe we didn't get any from Ophelia. Bitch when it rains, bitch when it doesn't - some people are just never happy. I just need a break in the sun and heat; it's getting a little monotonous. I'm ready to turn the air off and open the windows; not yet, it's still in the 90s. I wonder what we'll get this winter; we haven't had any bad weather the past 2 years - no ice, no snow, even when everyone else is buried, most days well above 40. We're due for a blast.

Okay, that's enough. Other things to do today....

Monday, September 19, 2005

Apple Pie Season

I made the first apple pie of the season yesterday; yummy. Is the first one of the season always so good because you haven't had one for a while, or because the first one just always turns out the best? I can't wait to get done with dinner so I can have another piece tonight. I actually got both boys to eat a piece, and didn't have to dip it in chocolate first. Last year, the big one finally ate a piece of pumpkin, after us telling him for years that he would really like; he's now a convert, and was a little unhappy that I made apple before pumpkin. Of course, by making any pie, I have started to get everyone in holiday mode - they are ready for my big Turkey Day Dinner. I'm not, but they are.

DH went back to the doctor today; he has walking pneumonia now. They gave him some super-antibiotic I've never heard of - L-something. Now we need to watch the little kid to make sure his strep doesn't turn into this. All you damn sick people need to stay away from me; I was sick with head colds 4 times last year - I ain't doing it this year. I should buy stock in Lysol. BLEH! Rock Star INXS finale tomorrow - Marty or JD? JD gives me the creeps a little; he's a little bit stalker. But I have a feeling Marty screams too much for them, though Trees and his rendition of Radiohead's Creep were both fantastic. I had MiG the frontrunner for a while, but I don't think he'll be it. And does anybody else think he's totally gay? Well, off to eat dinner and watch the series premier of Surface. It better not suck - there's nothing on on Mondays, unless 24 comes back then.

Friday, September 16, 2005

September in GA, or the Damn Air's Out Again

It has been hotter this week than most of August. I am so waiting for the 75 degree weather. That's what it was this morning when I got up. And, for the 5-6th time this summer, the stupid air conditioner has frozen up. It's just a matter of shutting it off long enough to thaw out, but it's just the fact that we didn't know it was frozen all day, so it's stifling in here, even with our new window unit cranking away. It's no wonder all those Southern Belles used to pass out all the time; all those clothes they used to have to wear, in this heat and humidity!?! Which sounds stupid from somebody who hates the cold as much as I do, but too much of anything is bad, right? The older I get, the smaller my comfort zone gets.

Not much else going on; the little kid seems to have the strep throat his dad had last week. Hopefully, his dad won't get it back from him again, like we did last time. He won't be able to go to his games tomorrow, and I'm going to try to rest him back to health, to avoid him having to get antibiotics, if at all possible. (Edit: no such luck; took him to the doctor yesterday, is now on antibiotics for strep. DH is sicker now than he was - it appears to be respiratory now; he'll have to go back tomorrow). Poor kid; at least he might be a little quieter this weekend. That wasn't very nice, was it? But he just talks so much.

I have some website stuff on order; I ordered necklace and earring displays for photos, and some packaging items for my beaded creations. I have a small order of beads that I need to place, then we have the large group buy open as of today; those will not arrive until around Thanksgiving, so anything I'll need between now and then, I'll have to round up on my own. And I would really like to get back to my cross stitch; I've worked on the pumpkins a little bit this week, but I want to get it done and get back to my castle. I'm wanting to get my Scarlet Quince design in the planning stages, but as big as that is, there is no point in even looking at it until the castle is done. If I could just afford to take a 6-month leave of absence, I could make some real progress on all the things I have sitting here to be done. And I need to try to talk my dad into building me a floor stand for my frame; I'm sure he could engineer something better (cheaper) than I could find it in a store. And maybe it would keep him entertained for a while.

Well, off to work on something - not sure what, since there's so much to choose from. Anyone catch the new Survivor last night? Pretty good, so far....

Monday, September 12, 2005

Another soccer post

Well, we had our first regular season games this weekend. The little kid played in 2 of 3 games; his team ended the day 1-1-1, which was pretty good. His coach was not real sure about the line-up, so he kind of mixed up the A and B players to make the two teams. The A team we played came to win, so our mixture didn't work as well with them. Our B team tied their B team. Then all of the youngest players played the 3rd game - we won. We have a bunch of new players (mine included), so it will take a couple of weeks to get it ironed out. It was just nice to see Nick play in a game with officials; the 4 v. 4 format that he's been playing the last two years, though a nice idea, just absolutely makes me nuts. When you have volunteer parent coaches and no officials, it is a breeding ground for a lot of bad habits, so when those kids move up to an age group that has officials, they have no clue what they are getting called for. It would be nice if we could get the volunteer coaches all on the same page (never happen, I know), to teach the game, not the WIN! WIN! WIN! crap that most of these yuppies do. And our area has a huge language barrier, too, that even coaching clinics can't get past, so you just kind of have to suffer through it. At least with mine now in the Academy, we shouldn't have any more of the Booger Eaters to contend with, though there were a couple of baby-talkers on our opponents' team. Bleh!

The big kid's game was an hour and 10 minutes of HUH? We did pretty well the first half; they scored on us about half-way through, but only got the one. They were a very disciplined team, and kept their shape very well. We had one of our "players" (I use the term loosely) constantly out of position, to the point he was on the complete opposite side of the field from where he was supposed to be at least once. We came out second half, and held them, but we could not get a shot to go in - 2-3 went just wide. So it gets down to less than 10 minutes to go, and we are down 1-0, and we look out, and all 4 of our scorers are sitting on the bench! Our primary goalie, who is NOT a field player at all, is in the forward position! WTF!!!??? I thought after the travesty that was last week's 3rd tournament game, that the coach would have smartened up a bit; I was wrong. My boy had a very good game; they put him back as a fullback, a position he always played for us on the rec teams, because we had to have him there to save our butts, but one he hasn't played very often on the Select side. He did very well - not one ball got past him, and a couple of his jukes were pretty cool. He played some mid, too; if they can concentrate him in those positions, I think it would do well for everyone. When he has his head in the game, he's fantastic; when he's goofing around, he's totally scattered. Kinda like school; progress reports came home last week; he's in big trouble. Too worried about playing games and entertaining everyone (girls). Anyway, when the main 4 were out, it all kind of fell apart, and they scored 3 more on us, ending the game 4-0. Our secondary goalie, new to the team this year, I thought did a great job - he had a fantastic block on one of them. A couple of them were just pure luck. Well, maybe we can get them next week. It's going to be a long season; between the coach losing his mind and a few of the parents that I could live my life without, come on December!!

DH was sick last week; apparently, someone he works with had strep throat, and him without a spleen - he got it, too, so was down for 3 days. Now if I can keep the rest of us from getting any of it - last time he had it, he passed it to the little kid, who passed it right back. I think he's decided to start taking a little better care of himself now; drink some water, maybe take some vitamins, stop doing bad things. I was sick with colds 4 times last year - I have never been that sick in my life, and I refuse to do so again this year. Of course, I got most of it from work, so I will be dousing the place in Lysol every night when the hackers start up. I think that will be an advantage in the new buildings, also - shouldn't be too many bugs living in a brand-new air system, so we might stay healthy for a year or two. Needless to say, I did not make any progress on any project this weekend - no beads, no stitching, not even a blog or any website work. We are not supposed to get anything from Hurricane Ophelia, so hopefully he can get caught up on the grass again, and I can crack the homework whip early enough to leave myself some time for my stuff.

We watched Sahara last night; that was pretty good. I wanted to go see it when it was out in theaters, but just never got to it; I have read a few of the Dirk Pitt novels by Clive Cussler, though not this one, so thought it would be pretty decent. That Matthew McConaughey sure is built well. DH, just remember what I said about the next time you're flipping through one of those stupid Playboy magazines, or watching Buffy. If you could put Matthew McConaughey's chest/abs on Dave Navarro's butt (MM's might be good, too - haven't gotten a good look at it), and add Johnny Depp's face, I could die happy. After many hours in front of the screen, of course.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Pet Peeve #32

Okay, what is the deal with women putting on their makeup in the car, while driving? I can honestly say I have never done this, unless you count the few times I have whipped out the Blistex tube, which does not require a mirror. There was a woman in front of me this morning, having at it. Lights were on, mirrors were all arranged, and as she was brushing and applying, she was creeping. Not a lot - she didn't come close to hitting anything - but still. At some point, I was finally behind her, and I was waiting for the mascara to come out; if I'd been in the other car (the paid-off one), I'd have bumped her, just a little. Mascara hurts like hell when you get it right on your eye. I don't know about you, but my house comes with not one, but two, fully-fuctional bathroom mirrors, with lights. How could it ever be better to do that in the car? I can understand being late, but either spend a couple more minutes at home (you are already late, right?), or finish up in the parking lot at work. Unless, of course, your work lot has cameras, and you don't dare let anyone know what you look like without both eyes done. Your appearance is really not worth killing people for. Oh, and you probably shouldn't take or initiate any phone calls while applying your makeup - lipstick is very hard to remove from the headliner (for those of you that talk with your hands).

KittyKitty has become quite the nosy kitty. She likes to come inside the house (she has figured out where the food comes from - huge surprise) and piss off the current residents. Booger is not happy. I could hardly get her out last night, and then, when I opened the door to let somebody else in or out, she shot right in again. I did pick her up 2-3 times yesterday, and once I was holding her pretty securely, she would purr. Gotta get her tamed so she can go live somewhere else. Of course, DH has become very attached to her already - he calls for her before he says anything to anybody else. And she scratched on my couch already; how can you be in a house for 15 minutes in your life, and just automatically know to go scratch on the couch? The big kitties don't do it (Booger can't, Zeke likes the wood chairs in the dining room, and I think Ripley's just too lazy), so I'm not sure if it's another of those signs only cats can see?

Ahhh, September. What a nice day we had yesterday, and supposed to again today. I live for September and October. Soccer games, the Fair, sunny days and cooler nights, open windows. It just depends on what is still in store for us with hurricane season. The next one to watch is Ophelia, I think? It was just named last night, according to the news this morning. Man, enough is enough. Let's find out what Katrina did before we have to deal with another one. Of course, we didn't have that chance last year, either, with those 4 back to back. And you know, I'm really tired of hearing people blaming Bush for not fixing Katrina right away; it wasn't up to him to do it, it was up to that idiot Mayor of NO, and the governors of the states affected. The state governor calls out the National Guard, not the President. It's Bush's fault the Mayor was too damn lazy to follow his own contingency plan? It was Bush's fault the governors of Louisiana and Mississippi didn't jump right on it? Hey, folks, you elected them, not Bush. And you know what else? If I go in to help people get out, and you shoot at me, well, surprise, I'm leaving your ass there, aren't I? WTF???? People kill me. Literally.

Gotta get some beads on order. I have a rough outline of what needs to go on the site, if I can just get that far (and get the whole picture thing worked out). The color samples will be my biggest issue to start - everything I've done so far is for myself, and I haven't ordered all colors, because I don't like/wear all of the colors. I plan to have examples of what is offered (my own pieces), and then will have the options and colors listed below. I will also have a gallery for the one-offs I create for myself; some I will be able to reproduce, others I may not, depending on where I got the beads and if I can get more. I'm excited about doing this, but just wish I could get past the start-up - the license cost, getting the beginning inventory started, the picture issues. I don't want to put more money and effort into it than I can get out of it, and don't really have any money to put into it to right now, anyway. Eh, it'll get there, if I can just plow through the details....

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

A Disappointing Start to the Soccer Season

Well, our season-opening tournament this weekend turned out to be a bust. We kicked butt our first game, winning 7-2. We knew the second game was going to be tough, because the team we were scheduled to play was in a higher division than us, and top in their bracket. Well, they beat us 5-0, though we did dominate the first half (as evidenced by our shots on goal compared with theirs - all 3 of their shots went in; our 10-12 did not). Second half, we were tired, and I think the very first goal, a fantastic bicycle kick that couldn't have been saved by anybody, just had that much time to work on the boys. Our second goalie did a fantastic job holding the net; one of the 5 points was a bounce off of one of our players - he tried to clear it, but it bounced right on in. Even with this shut out, if we had a shut-out for our 3rd game Sunday (which should have been entirely possible), we could still make it to the semi-finals, and then have a very good chance of moving on to the finals.

Well, Sunday comes, and the boys are all pretty pumped. Then the coach shows up. I don't know if he was retaliating for the loss on Saturday (there is no way he believes that team was that good - it's all the fault of the people who he left to coach during his suspension - how naive), or if he just really didn't have a grasp of what was going on, but anyway, he had all kinds of players playing all kinds of positions except the ones they've been playing. It was utter confusion out there, and it was downright painful to watch. Again, back to an earlier post about the difference between the parents that are players/coaches vs. the ones who don't have a clue - we could see right off that they were confused because he had them all mixed up, and the other parents were all "You need to work together" and "You need to talk to each other"; that's all fine and dandy, but didn't have a damn thing to do with what was going on on the field. I was hot, boy, let me tell you. I'm sure a few of the parents heard me, too, but they need to know that what the coach was doing was wrong, and there wasn't a damn thing the boys could do about it, except run around in circles, per his direction, and get frustrated. The last 10 minutes of the game, he finally had the normal line-up in, and we came back from 2-0 to lose 4-2.

We had an excellent ref that game; he was very into it, and we knew what he was calling, and he wasn't going to let it get out of control. We should have walked all over that team, but our coach lost it for us. And afterwards, he was like, "So, what was the reaction on the parents' side?" I'm pretty sure everyone saw me fold up my chair and throw in on the ground. He was told that it would be discussed when the kids weren't there to hear it. And our trainer needs to be prepared to hear it, too; we need to undo the damage that was done by all that moving around - he even moved people to completely different positions in between plays! WTF??? When you get to this age, each player needs to be taught specifically 1-2 positions, and the formations using those positions and how they relate to each other at all times. Having no trainer last year, our current trainer has pretty much had to start at the ground floor, and work up to getting them to where they should have been a year ago, so in all reality, we are more than a year behind where we should be to compete at this level. The coach does not realize just how lucky he was last year to have a winning season; he had one player that scored 42 goals over the course of a year, but he was also a huge problem - he had a very bad attitude, towards the refs and towards his teammates. We don't miss the attitude and the trouble he started, but I think we will miss his goals, especially because we have moved up a division.

We did our very best to let a few of the boys know that their coach lost that game, not them. I think they knew it, but I'm wondering how many of the parents who don't get it will take it the other way, and push their boys too hard. We had quite a bit of that last year, and those did not come back this year - it wasn't worth it to them to bust their asses and still be blamed for things that were totally not in their control. We had 6, maybe 7, players out there to play Sunday, and those were the ones who got put down or ignored by the coach. You know, when he spends an entire practice harping on one kid (out of 3 with longer hair) needing a haircut, instead of, you know, teaching them soccer skills, you can guess he's missing the picture. He's missed the bigger picture, the boat, and the horse he rode in on, as far as I can tell. But you can't tell him anything, and there's nobody to complain to - the board are all his buddies - he had a winning season, so what's the problem? It was just plain stupid; it's as though he was purposely sabotaging the team. I don't get it. Right now, there is nothing he could say to rationalize what went on from the very second that first whistle blew.

On a lighter note, I worked on my pumpkins a little Sunday night. I didn't work on beads at all - I need to get some silk thread for those cranberry potato pearls I bought at the show; I can't wait to have those on. I read quite a bit - well, not as much as I would over a 3-day weekend, but more than I have read lately. I didn't do much of anything yesterday - still recouping from not sleeping well at the hotel Saturday night. We had one of the other players with us, so the little kid slept with Mommy and Daddy; I had knees and feet in my back all night. They all slept fine, of course. I want to get my pumpkins done so I can get back to the castle picture; I need to get the dust off of it (it's covered, but I didn't cover it for a few weeks, thinking I'd be back on it sooner). Eh, it'll wash - they always do. We spent a good bit of the camera money on the tournament (gas, food, Gatorade, new sweeper), so I have no idea when I'll actually get to go camera shopping; the website is going to be incomplete without that, and there isn't much point to getting a license until I am actually ready to be open for business. It'll all come together eventually; it's just going to keep nagging at me until it does, and it makes me feel all unfinished and scattered. And god knows we need more scattered-ness around here!!!

Friday, September 02, 2005

And so it begins....

Soccer season officially begins tomorrow for us, with our season-opening tournament. Normally, this would be something we'd be waiting for, but with the events of the past week, it makes me wonder a bit if it's worth it. DH has to drive 50 miles to check in the team tonight, and then in the morning, we have to drive to the venue, I think right around 80 miles. We do have a room down there for tomorrow night, so we won't have to drive in again for Sunday's game, but as gas stations are shutting down as they run out of gas, how silly is it to be doing all this driving for a game? Well, we committed to it, paid the entry fee, and, really, we don't have it as bad as some of the folks coming in from other places. My tank is full, after my 3rd trip this week; I paid $2.45 Sunday, $2.76 w/my Kroger Plus card Wednesday, amid all the panic, and today at Sam's, I got a 1/4 tank for $3.15 a gallon. From what I understand, it's worse out where we are going, so the full tank should get us there and back again in good shape, in case we really can't find any later this weekend. Who knows?

On a lighter note, hopefully between games this weekend, I can get some work done for my site. I need to work on options and pricing. That's pretty portable, though it's times like this that I wish I had a laptop. And if not, I always have my book. Guenevere is pretty good, so far - I'm not quite half-way yet. I just can't decide if I'm going to read the next one in that series as soon as I finish this one, or if I'm going to read Dark Tower VI, Susannah's Song. The DT VII should come out this fall in trade paperback (that's what I have them all in) - I don't remember when I saw it for, because Stephen King's site has it in June, and it didn't happen then. Amazon had it scheduled for November? I don't remember. Anyway, I'm anxious to get to them. I am even more anxious for Harry Potter stuff - the next movie this November - in IMAX - WOOHOO! And the current book in trade paperback (again, that's what we have all of them in). I just love Alan Rickman as Snape; more specifically, I love to listen to him speak. Even when he's saying something shitty to Harry or Hermione. If velvet had a voice....

Speaking of movies, if you haven't seen Alexander yet, do not waste your time or money. I was so very disappointed; I never turn a movie off, and I struggled through 40 minutes of that and had to stop. Colin Farrell could have been great in that, but they hosed it from the get-go with the whole homosexual thing. Yeah, because that was the most significant thing about Alexander. Oliver Stone is either hit or miss, isn't he? I don't think Mel Gibson could have screwed it up any worse - don't get me wrong, I like Mel's work, but Braveheart was so very historically inaccurate, that I'm not too sure how he could get away with it, and win the awards that it did. Of course, I didn't know about the inaccuracies when I watched it the first time, only quite some time after when an English historian in a group of mine set the record straight, and then I did some reading. I know there's artistic license and all that, but a well-documented date should not be subject to that. Better luck next time, Oliver. Maybe Quentin should have a go at it; now that could be very disturbing....