Saturday, June 05, 2010

Pandora pandamonium

I've just discovered the joys of Pandora Radio. I'm slow on the uptake. I know a number of people who've been using it for quite a while, I just never got around to setting it up for myself. I have to admit, I was a little disturbed that it just automagically added artists based off my Facebook page. Well, I guess I shouldn't be. I mean, that's why I added all the bands that I did, so that people could see what I listened to. Pandora just took it one step farther and made playlists for me. *shrug* I've already come across a couple more bands that I like but didn't know about.

So I'm sitting on the couch listening to VNV Nation et al through my headphones while I stream Code Monkeys to Rykujin's Xbox so he can watch it while he plays WoW. I had one of those moments in time where everything crystalizes for just a brief second. All the technology around me... It's amazing. I can remember not that long ago where I would sit in front of the stereo dubbing a vinyl record onto a cassette tape. Now my laptop is the media center. I dub VHS movies into AVI files, multitask media streams and stay connected over a gossamer threads, some of which are just nebulous clouds in the atmosphere around us.

If my father hadn't been a broken man who died from alcoholism in 1981, I think he would be enthralled by the wheels of progress. My dad was trained to be a surveyor. I think it stemmed from his love of locomotives. I have fond memories of baloney and cheese sandwiches at the old train station in Tyrone, watching the diesel locomotives go by. I must have been around 4. Dad and I both would pump our arms in the air as they went past so that the conductor would blast the horn. I also remember listening to the Beatles in headphones off of 8-track tapes (at home, not in Tyrone =) Anyhow, I think his curiosity would have carried over into the 21st century. I think he would have been just as keen to use a Torx bit to open old hard drives and play with the drive head magnets like I do. He probably would have relished the idea of wiring a house with Cat6 and would have secretly wished it was fiber. He would have had a computer set up so that he had THX quality movies and he would have loved playing Guitar Hero and Rockband.

What few memories I have are split between his being sober and his being drunk. This is all extrapolation of a man I barely knew, but I think, divested of the alcohol, he would have been a pretty cool guy.

It's interesting, as an adult, I can recognize the hurt and anger I have that he chose the bottle over me (boiled down to it's simplest components) but there's also pity. It's pity for the little girl who didn't get the chance to know her father, but more so (now, at least) for the man who was haunted by demons so pervasive that a slow death was the better option.

I'm not sure what precipitated the pang of mild melancholy over my dad and technology, but there it is.
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Over all I'm doing well. I got to go out yesterday evening with Choperena and friends to the new Rey Azteca restaurant. It was packed! I did really well, I surprised myself- no freakout moments =). There were two paintings on either side of a doorway that were 'the same' except they weren't. While standing in line to check out, we started looking for all the differences. It was like an adult version of the Highlights 'Spot the difference' puzzle. I will definitely go back. I figure if Choperena gives it the thumbs up, it can't be that bad. Personally, I thought their salsa rocked.

Not much else going on in my life. Rykujin was sick earlier today. I watered the plants. Knit more on the hat I'm making for a friend (thought it was going to be a cowl at first, but it turns out I have enough yarn to make a full hat. woot). I'm a little worried about my friend who lives above me. She's out of town for the weekend, so I'm waiting till she gets back to find out what all is going on with her and the kids. You know things are not going well when you post NIN lyrics as your status on Facebook... Sending all the good mojo I've got her way. =(

hugs and love. more later

Monday, May 31, 2010

Adventures in Bunny-Sitting

Thursday we had to take JR to the Urgent Care clinic in the Emergency Room for some non-life-threatening issues. I sat in the waiting area knitting. One of the volunteers, a tiny, thin older woman, stopped by and asked what I was doing. She went on to thank me for keeping old traditions alive, that it was a dying art. It kinda made my day.

I don't always think about my arts and crafts as 'keeping traditions alive' but if I step back and take a look at the over all picture, I can see it. Spinning, paper making, knitting, glass and metal working, soap making... They are skills that various people in my life also know. Cephalogal, NanoNukie, Choperena, even my mom and her crocheting... They're in the forefront of my brain, so it seems so normal. Its only when I'm in a doctor's waiting room and I'm drop spinning, or as in this case, knitting, that I remember it's something that not everyone knows how to do. I can remember driving my mom to doctor's appointments down in Hershey and taking knitting with me (2002-3). All the nurses always wanted to see what I was doing that week. Knitting has always been ubiquitous in my life, even if I was not the one doing it. In retrospect, I wish I still had some of the sweaters that Gram-ma made me. =)
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This weekend I bunny-sat for Cephalogal and got to hang out with Choperena and some of her friends to play D&D. I had a GREAT weekend!!

Saturday, Choperena picked me up from Cephalogal's and we went back to her place. The (people known as their D&D names =) DM and Choperena made some *amazing* bruschetta that FrogMouth and Tobias and I ate. Over all the game was pretty good. There's a lot that I don't remember, so they were actually really patient with me even though I had to keep asking which die I need to roll for this. I had SO MUCH FUN. I last played D&D sometime around '87 or '88 and played Spycraft for a while back in early '07. Hopefully I'll be invited back to continue the campaign.

The rest of the weekend I spent spinning and watching TV. I burned myself out on 'Law & Order, Special Victims Unit' so then I started watching movies on SyFy (siffy =). I watched an absolutely HORRIBLE movie called MegaPiranha and another one called 'Supergator'. They both left a lot to be desired. I laughed out loud numerous times during MegaPiranha.

Today I started watching a show called 'Hoarders'. It scared the crap out of me. Some of the people they show... Wow. I look around my house and see small indicators of my own hoarding issues. Apparently there's a Psychological Scale of levels 1 - 5. I'm guessing I'm a 1 maaaaaaybe a 2, but the people on the show had problems that went off the chart, I swear... one woman hoarded cats (they started out alive, but there were numerous dead cats scattered among her offal. She had something like 72 cats total, of which 35-ish were alive. Another woman hoarded food. Her house was filled with bags of rotten vegetables and fruits. It goes on and on. One woman was essentially disowned by her own daughter because she refused to see that spending time with her family was more important than collecting/buying anything and everything she could get her hands on. Griffin and I talked about how, as 'crafty people' we are wont to collect a myriad of tools and materials for our projects. The difference with us is that we actually use the things we collect. I took some solace in that. =)

Well, that's the general gist of life. I had a good, relaxing weekend, not too many aches to gripe about so hugs and love till next time =)