Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Long way round

My favourite TV show right now is Ewan McGregor's Long Way Round on Bravo. This is an absolutely fantastic series on Ewan and his friend's trip around the world on 2 BMW motorbikes. They are not doing it for money, not for being the "sole survivor", not to quit smoking or land a handsome bachelor, they are doing it for the journey. A good analogy perhaps would be Amelia Earhart, she did it because it hadn't been done before. Of course, she didn't have a TV show, web site, support and camera crew with her, but nevertheless....... Dena and I were fortunate to Tivo two episodes thus far, one in Russia & the other in Mongolia. Breathtaking scenery, seemingly insurmountable obstacles both mental and physical and just the wise cracks alone were worth watching. Hopefully we'll be able to find the previous two episodes that I think we missed.

On a different note, blogging can be for profit. The author of a blog was just offered a book contract based on her blog, breakup babe. Check it out.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Remodel update

I had hope. It was dashed a little, but alas, hope springs eternal. The GC (Gene) was here today along with Simon. Simon (the electrician) is awesome. He's efficient and works quickly. I love that. He installed our new light fixtures in the new bathroom and the pink bathroom. He tested/labeled all the circuits on our new panel. I'm so happy. He also showed me something new in our house. Don't you love when something new and exciting is presented to you? Something cool that makes your life easy? Something you didn't know. Ah, life. Oops, back to the remodel. Jeesh, have you noticed I've been awfully reflective lately? What is up with that? Do you think its because my birthday is coming? Maybe I'm PMS. That's what Dena will say.

Okay, focus! The cool thing Simon showed me was the 3rd light switch in our service porch, which I haven't know what the hell its for during the 10 years we've lived here, turns on and off the light in front of the guest house. Isn't that cool! Here I thought all this time I had to run all the way out there. Over the last few years I just said, "fuck it" and didn't bother turning it on. I mean, if a thief wants to come in the dark so be it, I'm not going outside. Now I can turn it on and off from the comfort of the service porch. HOW COOL IS THAT!!

Anyways, Gene's small contribution was to install the medicine cabinet in the new bathroom. A Robern, top of the line model. He also gave me the song and dance about our new heating vent cover? Is that what you call it. Dena and I went to Liz's Hardware and she made me root around in the back room thru all this rusty salvage crap until we found this totally cool, awesome, rockin' vent cover. I mean WOW. But he gave me the oh, its gonna be hard, and take a long time, but I suppose if you really want it song and dance. Just fuckin' do it. Its takin' you 5 months to get this far, what's another 2 weeks of listening to you stall? Ooooo a little vindictive you think?

On the downward slide....

This long weekend several things kept reverberating in my head. I'm getting old. I investigated Crestor for my mom while worrying about my own cholesterol levels. While standing outside the trendiest, hippest Los Angeles breakfast place, Toast, a group of 20 somethings were saying they found out their friend was 31 and "my God that's old!" Dena and I wanted to turn around and say, WTF?? We're 40 something..... OMG. That's hurts just to type 40 something. Old people have doctor appointments, cancer screenings, portfolios and mortgages. I'm on the short side of my life now. If I live to be 80, my life is half over. Wow. That's a bummer. Just when I'm really starting to appreciate my life.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Hope springs eternal

The contractor has promised that the "new" bathroom will be finished by this Friday the 3rd. The color match tile for the "pink" bathroom should be delivered on the 3rd. My hope meter is rising. Someone stop it!! Oh please let it all be true! Could we really get to take a jacuzzi bath on Saturday? This reminds me of Pandora's box.

You see, Pandora was just a nosy cleaning lady. She was told to stay out of a room and of course, had to go in. Us humans being curious as kittens. Pandora peered into the room, but it was totally empty with the exception of a box in the middle of it. Pandora's curiosity knew no bounds as she opened the box and out came hundreds of creatures looking like insects. The insect like creatures bit and stung Pandora all over her body. They flew up and spread out into the room. Quickly, Pandora shut the lid and sat on it. While sitting there on the box she heard knocking coming from inside it. Now she was reluctant to open the box again thinking that she had already done enough harm. "Let me out", said a tiny voice, "and maybe I can help you". Pandora thought about it and decided to take one more chance. She opened the box and out came a tiny fairy .

"I am Hope" ,said the fairy, "Pandora due to your curiosity you have let out all possible troubles for mankind. There will be no peace of mind for humans from this day forth. There will be greed and jealousy, insanity and lust, there will be plague and hatred, men will fight each other, wives will be set against husbands, sons against fathers, brother againgst brother, there will be famine, pestilence,vice and destruction. The world will know great sorrow."

Hearing this Pandora started to cry and sob terribly, for the great harm she had brought upon herself and her fellow humans. "Do not cry so much Pandora," said the fairy, "yes it is true that you have unleashed all manner of afflictions upon the world , but you have also let me out. I will always be there to bring hope to humans, whenever they are in trouble. I will always be there as the promise of Hope!"

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Croppin' on the Coast

Despite the fact that I was ill, I had a great weekend. I escaped off to Oxnard this weekend to a scrapbooking weekend hosted by Scrapbook Safari. What a blast. There were a number of giveaways, a zany group of women and lots of creative ideas floating around. I worked on our Africa scrapbook and got a lot done. Working with creative people allows you to expand your own creativity. I believe we all have to step beyond our comfort zones in order to grow. This being true for all of life's pursuits, not just creative ones. Sometimes we get in a rut and just want to stay within our comfortable realm of knowledge but its good to stretch the brain a little and take it out for a walk. Variety is the spice of life and keeps us young.

There were some "monkey" adventures in Oxnard and I'll blog about those later.........

Scrapbooking rocks!

Monday, November 22, 2004

Puppetry of the Penis

My office was painted Thursday and Friday therefore all the computers were off, so I apologize for my absence. What a busy and eventful time I've had since we've last met.

Let's start off with Thursday night(the 18th), Puppetry of the Penis night. Pete & Tony got us seats to the "show" here in Los Angeles for a graduation present. They seem to feel I have a fascination with the male "member". But (or should I say butt) regardless of their obvious misconceptions of my interests Dena and I went to the show. Well 2 people have to go right?! They got us front row seats. Oh my. Now these two fellows or puppet masters are not the original "inventors" of Penis Puppetry but they appear well trained. They are not unusually well endowed and seem of normal size to me, not that I have a vast experience in this matter. The show was hilarious and even Dena was laughing. Apparently Tony, Dena and Peter had conspired to ensure I was the "volunteer" for the audience participation part of the show. Fortunately I have fast hands and grabbed Dena's arm down so I was not picked. What a nasty view that would have been although you do get a polaroid of your experience and that would have looked good in the scrapbook. I won't spoil the show for you and give you details. Suffice it to say, it is the FULL MONTY! The warm up comedian is absolutely hilarious.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

The end of an era

I spent most of the last 2 days doing 2 things, cleaning my office for the painters and studying for my HP Exam. I've filled our huge blue recycle bin to the max, filled Gail's across the street, and dumped some in Roxannes. Then, tonight, when it was apparent that wasn't enough, I asked Matt if I could just have his. I completely filled that one so I could hardly move it onto the street. With what you ask? Paper, floppies, CDs, you name it. Mostly paper. You just don't need paper manuals anymore. I have 3 1/2 bookcases in my office, overflowing with manuals. Not anymore. Its kind of a cleansing I think. Out with the old, in with the new. As of 8am this morning I wanted to tell the painter to forget it, forget the office. Tonight I'm saying, "Bring it on!"

I also ventured out to the guest house and started in there. It was scary. You just get on a roll and everything goes in the garbage. Who needs all that old crap. Its a new era and a new Dawn. You know what I found in the guest house? The painters have REALLY moved in, there was a coffee maker (percolating with a fresh brew), cookies, cups, creamer, etc, etc. They just crack me up.

The painters are here and they have completely moved in. There is now a microwave in my garage, suitcases and everything else you can imagine. I think the suitcases are full of tools? I hope

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Another busy remodel day

Did I mention that yesterday was awesome, so much being done, however, when things are being done on the remodel, nothing gets done in my life and this includes work and studying for my HP Exam. Today was another busy day, there are no fewer than 5 painters here. The head honcho Brian, is a very detailed, anal kind of guy, my kind of painter. He's on his guys constantly. This is a good quality in a painter. The bad news. They are going to paint my office? Remember a week ago when I cleaned my office for my boss's boss who came over? Well, now I have to clean even more because everything has to be moved. The blue recycle bin (the huge one) is almost full again.

I've basically run out of patience. The trades that are coming in as the last are enjoying the wrath of Dawn. I am so sick of every day being interupted by some construction task. The constant pitter patter of work boots, scrapers on wood, compressors running, spanish gossiping and other noises destroy any concentration I might have been able to muster. Either I have to drink more alcohol and start earlier in the day, or I just need to move out for awhile.

Its 7:40p here in Los Angeles and Gene (my GC) is still here. He's hanging a door in the new bathroom. The door isn't new of course, its moved from another location in the house. These doors are original and you cannot find them. Lots of details and they are no longer made in this way. I WANT SOME PEACE AND QUIET!

A poem

Here is a rose
i give it to you
to watch as it grows
up to the sky so blue

Here is a prayer
offered by me
to show that i care
and to set you free

Here I bare dreams
i do all that I can
believe in me
and all that i am

Here is a poem
written only for you
these secrets i own
but to you i am true

for my love.....

Monday, November 15, 2004

Remodel Update

Today was a busy day in the Armstrong/Schwimmer household. I put my name first because I am the caretaker of the household. Ever notice how things go in cycles in life. This is my cycle to take care of the house, the bills, the this, the that....

Oh yeah, remodel:
  • Gas company - fixed the stove, did I mention they did this for free!
  • Hardwood Floor guy - 3 guys for 10 square feet of flooring
  • Tile guy -- no show, surprise surprise
  • Gene, my GC -- all the moulding is up
Busy day, lots got done on the house, nothing in my life 'cause I cannot deal with so many distractions. I have to check things, make sure the birds aren't freaking out, answer questions, answer the door, and then check things again.....AAARRGGGHHH!

Graduation Nov 13th, 2004 WOOHOO! That's my mom.... I'm on the right

Monday, November 08, 2004

Wine provides clarity

Who says that alcohol is bad? Well, let me clarify this. I believe that a small amount of alcholol, preferrably wine, can allow someone to let their inhibitions down and just be. Just being seems to be fairly difficult for the regular human. We are so concerned for how others think, their feelings, their feelings toward us, our preconceived notions for ourselves and others, our expectations and on and on it goes. But with a little wine, we seem to let these things go, and just be ourselves, and most importantly, things become clear. When I've had a good glass of wine, I am have the utmost clarity on issues, whether they be political, religious, personal or private, they are clear! Its amazing. We should walk around in this state, constantly.

But imbider beware! Too much, and you slip into a state that moves from clear to fuzzy. Each person's state is different at this stage, but it usually ends up bad. Sometimes too much truth, sometimes too much anger comes out, and sometimes too much sadness. So basically there is a fine line. You ever notice how there is a fine line drawn everywhere? Cross it and beware the consequences, never come near it and live a boring, malcontent life, walk it and experience life as it should be experienced.

Ah life, may all the wonders it brings bless you everyday.....

And I'll leave you with this "Alcohol is the anesthesia by which we endure the operation of life." (George Bernard Shaw) "

Take a look at the french paradox to discover medical sciences views of red wine. Don't just take my word for it.

Friday, November 05, 2004

It looks SO good with the grout!

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Funny thing happened today...

Well, here I am sitting (working) in my house, and my boss's boss calls (Rafic). Now, Rafic is out of our corporate office in Ottawa, Canada. I never see him. Last time I saw him was in Dallas in June 2004? Anyways, he's in town and the conversation goes like this: "do I want to have lunch." "Well, I'd love to have lunch but I just took my van in for service." "Oh, well I have to drive to the valley anyway, where are you located." Well, as some of you know we have an office in Orange county, which thankfully I only have to go to occasionally. So, unfortunately, I am on the way to the valley. Dawn says, "well I'm right on the way, so why don't you stop by and pick me up" OMG! Did I just say that??!! The house is a construction zone, my office looks like a bomb went off, several times. Those of you who know me and love me and have been in my office, know what I'm talking about. Rafic says, " That sounds perfect, I'll leave the office about 12:30 then" OMG! Its 11:30 now. How the hell am I going to clean everything in the hour and a half its going to take him to drive here?! Dawn says, "ok, see you then"

What ensued later was the most amazing cleaning frenzy you have ever seen. I filled the entire blue recycle bin with stuff from my office, papers mostly. Below are the before and after pictures. They truly do not do the effort justice. And of course, this doesn't even touch on all the other stuff I did around the house, including making the bed. I mean, making the bed??!! WHY?

Why is this all amusing you ask? Because he never made it past the front door, either coming or going. He was hungry, we left right away and when he dropped me off he never got out of the car. You just have to laugh you know. Well, on the bright side, my office is clean. I mean, I even scrubbed the damn floors.

My office after my frenzied cleanup!

Before - please notice the complete lack of desk space visible

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Tile before grouting - Slowly but surely we will get there.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

I can't VOTE!!!!

I have never voted in my life. I left Canada when I was, oh, 20 or so, there hadn't been an election yet after I turned 18, and then, in the USA I wasn't allowed to vote. So, here I am, 25 months away from getting citizenship and possibly the biggest (aka most important) election in the free world is happening. But, hey, I'm having fun figuring out how in the world Kerry is going to win. There is a very cool interactive map @ MSNBC that you can click on each state and change who wins and it counts the electoral votes. I'm so confused about this electoral vote thing. Makes no bloody sense to me, I mean if candidate X gets 2,000,001 votes and candidate Y gets 1,999,999 votes, then why wouldn't candidate X win? Americans.... always being difficult.

Remodel update:
That little pissant Eric (the tile guy) didn't show up Friday (Oct 29 - tooth ache was the excuse du jour), showed up Monday (yesterday) while I was at work and didn't really get much done. I'm not sure how long he was here, but his modus operandi is to come around 10:30a and leave between 2:30p and 3. Wouldn't you like that job? How the hell does he make a living? Well, today, he didn't show up either. I'll post a pix later of the measly little tile he put on the wall yesterday.

Well, I'm back to the TV to pray over it. It may be for naught. Kerry would be good for the economy and my job, Bush is good for people who like to go to war and for the rich. I'm not rich, but I'd like to be. I'll never be rich if Bush gets elected. Do you want your banking information and accountant to be overseas? Check out this article here. Or, if you'd like to save my job, hope Kerry wins, here's an excerpt on a Kerry promise:

Kerry says, "I will close the tax loopholes that reward companies for shipping jobs overseas. Instead, we're going to use that revenue to reward companies that create and keep good jobs here in the United States of America. Under my plan, we'll cut the corporate tax rate by 5 percent, giving 99 percent of businesses a tax break."