Sunday, January 27, 2013

Research for Thailand

I will not be going on my next big vacation until sometime early 2014 – but that gives me plenty of time to study up and do some research on the subject.

With that in mind, I went to Title Wave the other day and picked up a couple books to add to what I already had. I now have a stack of what I hope are some really good books waiting for my attention.

The Civilization of Angkor 
     by Charles Higham
Ancient Angkor 
     by Michael Freeman and Claude Jacques
Discovering Our Past: a Brief Introduction to Archaeology 
     by Wendy Ashmore and Robert J. Sharer
Archaeology: Theories, Methods, and Practices 
     by Colin Renfrew and Paul Bahn

Those first three really do look interesting; I think I will enjoy reading those. That fourth one, though – it’s more of a textbook for a class – not sure that I really want to get quite that in-depth on this. But we’ll see how it goes.

Who knows, I may find it completely fascinating and devour all four of them in one month!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Being Open to Possibilities

I believe in keeping an open mind. Things sometimes happen that you do not expect, and if you’re not paying attention you might miss an opportunity for something new and wonderful. Of course, it might also lead you down the wrong road – so you still have to keep your wits about you. But I do try to stay open to new ideas, at the very least.

That being said: twice now in as many weeks I have come across a rather interesting proposal. Well, two proposals, actually – but each one dealing with the same subject. And I’m inclined to believe that “something” is in the air - some “change” is about to take place. I can either choose to go with it, or not.

Specifically, I’ve been “approached” by members of the same sex hinting at the possibility of budding relationships.

Now, I am not lesbian, by any means. Nor am I homophobic or a “gay basher” in the slightest. I truly believe that if a person is able to find love and have the complement returned to them in kind – it really doesn’t matter if it’s a man and a woman, a man and a man, or a woman and a woman. My own personal line would be drawn at relationships with members of another species!

Still, if I were to see where this particular trail leads too, it would be with the caveat that I am simply not interested in a romantic and/or sexual relationship. But it’s entirely possible that I might find out something about myself that can assist me in my life’s quest.

So, what should I do? 

Any advice?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Life 2.0

Actually I’m probably on revision 5 or 6 by now. I've lost count. But the point is: I am reinventing myself yet again. Not exactly by choice, maybe - but I am doing it, slowly but surely.

One of the ways I am doing this is by treating myself to some road trips. The first one I've already told you about: spending the weekend in Seward a while back. My next one will be a train ride! I saw an ad from the Alaska Railroad for a package deal and figured “Why not?” 

So: round trip tickets from Anchorage to Talkeetna, overnight stay at the Roadhouse, and (drum roll, please) a Pie Making Class! How cool is that? I get to learn how to make pie. Unfortunately they didn't have any openings until March, but I guess that gives me something to look forward to.

I am also registered for a couple classes at Summit Spice & Tea: first a tea tasting class in February and then a chocolate tasting class in March. And I bought myself tickets to see some folk music at the PAC in February.

Basically, I am doing all the things I've been wanting to do but haven’t because I knew he would not be interested.

What I am not doing is going out on dates.

Everybody kept telling me that’s what I needed to do, so I tried it - with disastrous results. I probably should apologize to the man who took me out for drinks only to have me burst in to tears right in the middle of it all. I’m sure that was not at all what he expected.

But I did at least lean something from the experience: I need to concentrate on ME now. At some point in the far distant future I might be ready for something else, but for now it’s just me.

Jury Duty

My first day of Jury Duty was about as good as it gets: Monday was a holiday and the court house was closed! Yet another reason to be thankful for Martin Luther King.

For my second day, my number was called so I had to go in. Right off the bat, I learned something new = the metal plate in my neck does in fact set off the alarms at the security gate! Thankfully, Dr. Kralick gave me a card to carry with me that explains what’s going on. Also thankfully I remembered to bring it with me.

Once I got settled in upstairs in the waiting room, I ran in to a friend I hadn't seen in probably 15 years. He’s the one who recognized me at first, but once he stopped to talk to me I remembered him immediately. He and his wife had been good friends back in the day; hopefully we can be again. Then, once they started reading off names, I came across another good friend I hadn't seen in a while! Two in one day – that’s pretty cool.

The case I got assigned to (actually all three of us got assigned to it) was another sexual assault case. I say “another one” because last time I got called for jury duty I ended up on a case involving a 57 year old man and a 5 year old child. This time, thankfully, it was not quite so bad since both parties involved were adults within a year or two of age.

The jury pool for the case consisted of at least 75 people, so right away they started winnowing out people for various reasons. I made it through the first purge, but on the second one I did get excused. So, I went to work.

I’m still calling in each night, but the odds of my number being called again are fairly low so I just may be done with it.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Photo Books!

I read a really interesting book a while ago:

77 Days in September
by Ray Gorham

On a Friday afternoon before Labor Day, Americans are getting ready for the holiday weekend, completely unaware of a long-planned terrorist plot about to be launched against the country. Kyle Tait is settling in for his return flight home when a single nuclear bomb is detonated 300 miles above the heart of America. The blast, an Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP), destroys every electrical device in the country, and results in the crippling of the power grid, the shutting down of modern communications, and bringing to a halt most forms of transportation.

Kyle narrowly escapes when his airplane crashes on take-off, only to find himself stranded 2,000 miles from home in a country that has been forced, from a technological standpoint, back to the 19th Century. Confused, hurt, scared, and alone, Kyle must make his way across a hostile continent to a family he’s not even sure has survived the effects of the attack. As Kyle forges his way home, his frightened family faces their own struggles for survival in a community trying to halt its own slow spiral into chaos and anarchy.

Based on scientist’s predictions of what would happen if a single nuclear bomb is detonated over Kansas, 77 Days in September follows Kyle and his wife, Jennifer, as they are stretched past their breaking point, but find in their devotion to each other the strength to persevere.


Anyway it got me thinking. If something were to happen, all of my photographs are on the computer! I’d loose all of those memories…

Then I got an email from Groupon offering a deal on the ShutterFly photo books, so I thought I’d give it a try. When all is said and done, I’m hoping to have one 8.5x11 book for each expedition.

Since I've never done it before I thought I would start out making one of some of my favorite local hikes. This will give me a chance to get familiar with the process first, so that the “important” ones turn out as good as I can make them.

Last night I went through most of my photos and picked out 15-20 of my favorite hikes. Then I went through and picked out 4-5 pictures from each one to highlight the occasion. This weekend (maybe even tonight) I’ll start in on the actual process.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Road Trip

I really needed to get away this past weekend – just way too much drama to deal with constantly – so I took myself down to Seward for some ME time!

The drive down was very pretty. I took half a day off work on Friday so that I could drive in the daylight. I was able to take my time and not worry about the icy roads, stopping several times along the way to get out, stretch a bit, take some pictures, and breathe in the crisp fresh air.

Once I got in to Seward it was very easy to find my hotel. I stayed at the Holiday Express which is located just off the docks, so I got a great view of the harbor out of my second-story room. I checked in, got my things settled, and then set off for town to find something to eat.

didn't do as much as I had planned on doing while I was there. I cried a lot. I slept a lot. I didn't eat much at all. I walked the docks. I visited the SeaLife Center. I took a drive down to Lowell Point. I took pictures. I made cards (I had brought my crafting supplies with me). I wrote letters. I read my Kindle. I watched TV. I turned my phone off and didn't talk to anybody the entire time I was there.

Basically, I relaxed. Finally!

Admittedly, I could have done almost all of that at home, and for a lot cheaper – but I’m glad I went. A big Thank You goes out to my niece Katy for taking care of my girls for me, too!

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

The Beginning of a New Year

As always, we use this time to reflect on how we can attempt to make the coming year better than the preceding year. I don’t want to jinx anything here, but seriously – it couldn’t be any worse!

But it was brought to my attention that I have let certain friendships go by the wayside these past few years, all with the best of intention. My friends had gotten married, had babies, or otherwise started new families for themselves – and I assumed there would not be room in them for me.

Hopefully, I was wrong – because I need my friends more than ever right now.

So, my New Year’s Resolution is to make an effort to reconnect with them. This means finding things to do with them that doesn’t exclude children and/or husbands.

Not to embarrass anybody here, but specifically I am talking about Rikki, Anne, and Corissa. I really enjoy your company and want to be a part of your life. So be warned!

Some ideas I have: let’s go for walks in the park! Let’s go on picnics. Let’s go to the zoo. Let’s bake cookies.