Monday, November 15, 2010

Sacrifices. I hate sacrifices. Yuck.

A few months ago, I volunteered to help with the annual camp out for Girl Scouts in my area in November. It's a very big deal, the highlight of the entire Girl Scout annual experience for girls in this area -- and it will be the highlight of some of these girls entire Girl Scout experience.

At the time I volunteered, it was several months away. I was unemployed, feeling worthless and so tired of a life devoid of any social activities. Plus, there's a big rift among the Girl Scout troops in this area; a lot of people who should be volunteering aren't. This was my way to show support for all of us coming together and helping, regardless of various differences.

So the weekend is approaching. Of course, now, the timing isn't great; Stefan and I haven't had a weekend together in a while, because he's had to travel. And I'm missing the premiere of the next-to-last Harry Potter movie, but I thought, okay, I got to read the last Harry Potter book the day before it came out in the USA and hours before it came out in Europe, so I'm not going to complain. Besides, we can go Thanksgiving weekend, as we have no other plans, and I do know how it ends...

And this morning, my brother informed me that the University of Kentucky men's basketball team will be playing in Portland on Friday.

Yes, I wept. No kidding. I had a big, long cry. My face is still a little swollen.

Believe it or not, I have seen the UK men's team play only once my entire life. Yes, you read that right. Just once. December 1980. Against Maine. Chuck Verderber missed the game - out for an appendectomy (first game he missed for that). It was a blowout by UK. It was fantastic.

But I never got another opportunity to go. Years passed.

The team never came to New England the two years I lived there after college. The team came to San Jose the year after I moved to Austin, Texas. When they played in San Antonio for the NCAA final, I called every person I could think of to get tickets - to no avail. And then they finally did come to Austin -- but I had moved to Germany.

And after 30 years, I still won't get to see them. Because I have a commitment to keep. If I don't go on Friday, I leave about five adults and more than 60 kids in the lurch. And I send a really lousy message to Girl Scouts.

When I posted about this to Facebook, I was looking for "Wow, you are such a martyr, what a huge sacrifice on your part, what incredible character you have, you're like Gandhi." What I got instaed was "Oh, forget the Girl Scouts, they'll get over it, commitment shommitment."

I know I'm doing the right thing. But, geesh, it hurts so bad...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Albi approaches 14

Albi enjoys the sun 02I haven't done a dog update in a long while, so here it is:

Albi will be 14 years old in December.

On the rare occasion the sun shows up in Oregon, I let her know it's there (don't ask how -- but I have to let her know) and she lays there, getting up and moving as the sunshine moves across the floor.

Note my tiny indoor garden by the window, which I'm going to try to cultivate through the winter (a bell pepper plant, an Italian basil plant and a tomato plant).

But back to Albi: she is amazing. She still jumps at the front door when it's time to go out for the morning walk, she still tries to boss male dogs, especially adolescents, she still wants to catch dog treats in her mouth (and if the room is well lit, she can, every time), she still runs to the door when the doorbell rings on The Simpson's, and she still works Stefan like a conspiracy theorist at the Rachel, Nevada Little A’Le’Inn gift shop. Her appetite has never been better. She's amazingly spry and oh-so-aware of her surroundings. Every cat she sees is still a MUST HAVE NOW target. We walk about a mile every morning about about half a mile in the evening. I stare at her when we're walking or when she's jumping at the door and can't believe she's survived two cancer-related surgeries and is the age equivalent of a human who is more than 100 years old.

In the mornings, she walks to Stefan's side of the bed and stares intensely at him until he wakes up. If he's not here (he's traveling a LOT these days for work), she goes to the same side of the bed and stares at me. She also likes to stare intensely at Stefan in the evenings when he is watching TV or playing on his computer, until he finally relents and pets her. When Stefan is home, I do not exist...

But she does have growing physical limits. She hesitates before jumping into the back of the car for a trip to the park, and can't do it at all after a long walk. Her eyesight is not good, and she cowers when a car goes by on the street if we walk after sunset (the sound startles her). She lost me one day in a nearby park when it was almost dark -- she couldn't see me anymore.

She ignores all female dogs except for two -- Brandy, the boxer across the street, and Coco, the little yappy dog down the street. All other female dogs are utterly ignored - she'll walk right past them and not even glance. She cries if her doggie boyfriend, a tiny eight ounce hairless thing called Yeti, isn't available for a smell fest. She tries to dominate every male dog she encounters, especially the ones that are biggger than her - she presses her head down on the back of their necks, her eyes wide and fearless, and they look at their owner's with an expression of, "What in the heck is this old dog trying to do?!"

We really want to take her camping at least a couple of more times. But it will have to be warm at night to do that.

I sooooo take her for granted -- her health, her patience, her fantastic behavior...

So, there's your doggy update.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

For friends on Twitter & those outside the USA

I cannot send texts to people outside the USA via my cell phone. My particular cell phone company does not allow such, and because of my current economic situation, I cannot afford any other cell phone company -- much less a smart phone. It hasn't been too big of a problem... but sometimes, it is a big pain in the neck.

Those outside the USA can send me texts to my cell phone -- a good thing to do when you are wondering why I haven't responded to your email or you need to reach me urgently. How? You text my Google phone number. Don't have it? Email me and I'll give it to you! However, note that, if you are outside the USA, I will NOT be able to text you back (but I can call you!).

You can also text me via Twitter, if you have an account, by becoming a follower of my private account. If you send me a private message via this private Twitter account, I will receive it via my cell phone. And, since you are sending it via Twitter, I can reply to it as a text, even if you are outside the USA.

Yes, I have TWO different Twitter accounts - one for my professional self, where I post links to my latest professional blogs, and another private account only to allow people to send me messages to my cell phone.

I thought communication was supposed to be getting easier?