27 September 2007

Prepare for Liftoff

The RezHub gig has started. At this moment, I have two articles posted and about 8 others in the works. I can’t seem to focus. Otherwise I’d have four or five articles complete and only ONE in the works. Geez, woman! …Fo-cus! …Fo-cus!

On Tuesday, I had an online meeting and received a virtual-ton of information so that I can actually do some work that will lead to a deposit into my checking account. I’m happy and eager to work on this project. It will be a great learning experience, challenging and involving lots of effort, but I am way stoked about it!

For the record, I tried to find a better way to word my feelings other than “way stoked,” but the best suggestion the thesaurus had was “raring to go.” Sure, I’ve used that phrase. Or better said, I’m sure at some point I’ve used that phrase although I can’t imagine when or why I’d say that. “Way stoked” sounds unprofessional (unless you’re in Hawaii) but that’s just the way I talk, dude.

I digress.

So on Tuesday I went to bed stoked and on Wednesday woke up raring to go. (I’m trying to expand my vocabulary, but dude, that phrase sounds totally weird. And stuff.) Sorry, I’ll digress again.

Yesterday, when I needed my PC the most, it decided to get all moody and not let me open Word. Or open a web page. Or open the task manager. I said please and thank you, but no matter how politely I asked, the computer wouldn’t do anything for me. It was shooting down every suggestion I had.

So, I unplugged the uncooperative beast and while trying to hold back a flood of curse words yelled “HA!!” I have no idea why. I restarted my PC and after more than an hour of warming up, a Norton message popped up to rock my world and show me exactly why I need to renew my anti virus software T-T-T-TODAY JUNIOR! This reminder was some sort of monstrous file that occupied every ounce of brain space my computer has to offer.

My computer hasn’t been acting right for some time now, so I knew it was up to something. I just didn’t know it joined “Team Norton” to plot against me. Apparently, I had a mere 36 hours before Norton really turned on me. It already wasn’t letting me do anything I wanted, so I can’t imagine what would happen next. I took action and did the only logical thing - dropped that zero to get with a hero, by downloading a new anti virus software (we’ll see how it goes before I mention any names).

Norton fought me with fierce resistance, but I extracted him from my PC. No Norton, no more. Ahhh; deep belly breathing… breathe in… now out…. Relax, I fixed my computer. The battle is over. And I have a skill to add to my resume (yeah right).

Better yet, now when my computer is running, it doesn’t sound like there’s a rocket in my office gearing up for blast off.

24 September 2007

Whistle while you (wait for) work

I haven’t written anything about work lately, so I thought I would give my regular readers (AKA, my mom) an update.

My big-time, ongoing and paying gig that I wrote about last month has not started. The good news is I know these people are serious about using me for a lot of work over a long period of time. They are in continual contact with me, keeping me informed of what they’re doing and why things are taking longer than expected. Plus, on Friday they invited me to work on their business plan!

The better news is that I have been hired as a Travel Writer! Based on their job description I thought I would be one of several writers, if hired. As it turns out, I beat 24 other candidates for the position! The best part is that I was hired as a subcontractor, which means I will have a 1099 and can write off my travel expenses! I just started so you won’t find much, but you can look for my articles on the Travel Expert's Forum at RezHub.com.

I feel confident that my patience will pay off and before I know it, the paychecks will come rolling in. At the same time I’m frustrated because I’m not bringing home the bacon. I have a fixed amount of bacon that is slowly being eaten away by my monthly bills.

I need more bacon.

22 September 2007

Neighborhood Watch

We live in the city. Our houses are very close together and when I look out certain windows, I'm looking directly into my neighbor's window.

For the last few nights one of my neighbors has been on a porn-watching streak. Sure, he has some level of privacy since his furniture is positioned where I can't actually see him sprawled out on the bed, but I still know a little too much. I watched the guy skip over the boring parts then back up to re-watch the good stuff. What else could he be doing? I know that dude was beating it.

I started to think about how all of this was working, logistically. I mean, have you ever tried to rub your belly in a circle with one hand, while patting your head with the other? It's virtually impossible. This dude had his remote in one hand and his you-know-what in the other, simultaneously operating two totally different pieces of machinery. Now that's coordination.

As funny as all of this sounds, it should be a lesson to me. The window I was staring out of does not have curtains; it's just as naked as the porn stars on my neighbor's TV.

20 September 2007

Brain Drain Strikes Again

We’ve been so busy for the last week that I haven’t had any free time to write about what we’ve been doing. Now that I have a moment to myself, I have writer’s block.

Despite having brain farts all day, I managed to upload 15 photos of Tuesday’s canoe trip on the Current River.

The river is beautiful and serene.

Most of the brochure pictures show the river jam-packed with people, all having a great time. Personally I love to canoe during the week when the rivers are mostly void of human life, making it quiet and possible to observe lots of fish, snakes, turtles, deer, and a variety of birds and other animals.

During our 8-mile float we ran into people only twice: once we saw a group of guys having lunch on a gravel bar and further down the river we saw a guy fishing. That was it. The rest of the time we had the river to ourselves, a great reward for canoeing on a mid-September Tuesday.

The Current River has become my favorite canoe spot since James introduced me to both the river and canoeing. It started a couple months after we met when he took me to Baptist Camp for a Taco Bell lunch. We sat on the ground next to the river, watching a few kids catch crawdads.

It sounds corny, but immediately the river felt special.

My appreciation grew even more fond last summer, when we canoed from Baptist Camp to Two Rivers. Our journey was roughly five days and 51 miles of leisurely paddling, mixed in with a little bit of hiking and climbing to view caves and points of historical interest – camping at random spots along the way. What an awesome trip!

In any case, I’m rather tired and seem to be, well, too tired to focus and write great stuff. I think I’ll use the rest of the evening for mindless work. I really need to redo my blog links, so they open in a new tab or window. I knew I wanted that to happen, but for whatever dumb reason I neglected to make that happen. Instead, the link opens in the same window, thus replacing my blog. That’s not good. I have to fix that and lucky for me, my blog is still new so I don’t have that many links to worry about.

Duh, Jeannette.

14 September 2007

I Got Skillz

Last Saturday, James and I took the rough draft of our "We Got Lei'd" Hawaii video to show our friends, while they showed us their new (and way cool) house in St. Peters. It was fun to catch up and eat lots of food, they loved the video, we loved their house, blah, blah, blah. We had a blast.

The best part, Raphael introduced us to Guitar Hero. It's like, the coolest game ever. And I don't even care about games. Sure, I love to play Scrabble, Life or Yahtzee now and then, but I typically roll my eyes to that xBox-Wii-Nintendo stuff.

Guitar Hero is different. It's been days and I can't stop thinking about it.

I'm obsessed.

I can't actually play lead guitar, or bass. But I can play a giant game controller in the shape of a guitar. With my left hand, I can use my pointer, middle or ring finger to press green, red or yellow buttons, respectively. (Now this is where it gets complicated...) At the same time, with my right hand I can "strum" the guitar strings, or push a button. I made sure to flex my whammy bar skillz, too. Oh yeah!

I rocked out to Toadies. Man, I owned it. On medium difficulty. Even Erica, who could care less about the stupid game, was cheering me on. Dude, I got skillz.

Free Bird was a different story, I was booed off the stage when the solo came on. Deceased fans everywhere were turning in their graves.

Fast forward five days...

I took James shopping today, multiple stores, to find the guitar, game, and whatever gaming system it takes so I can become a Guitar Hero. Everyone who knows me, knows I hate shopping. Technically I'm a tightwad caught in a catch-22; I love to shop, but I hate to spend money. We did not buy the game, but that doesn't mean it won't happen. I'm desperate. I'm saying yes to things that, under normal circumstances, I say no to.

...Because I want to pretend to play guitar in my spare time.

10 September 2007

White on White

Painting has taught me an annoying lesson: it still takes two coats of paint to cover one shade of white with another shade of white.

Case in point, our ceiling is painted White Truffle and the crown molding is painted Clear Moon. The only way I can explain the shade difference is, well, White Truffle is kind-of darker than Clear Moon. Let me stress the word "kind-of" because they are barely different.

Yet they are different enough to allow the Clear Moon to bleed through the White Truffle. Result of this interesting phenomenon: I have to go around the ceiling, twice, with a one inch brush because anything wider is too messy for freehand.

At least my freehand skills have greatly improved as a result of the painting project that never ends. It goes on and on, my friends.

07 September 2007

Those People

You know how some people have to drink coffee to function properly?

I think I'm officially one of those people. It's 12:45 in the afternoon and I'm brewing coffee. Because I need it.

Somehow I'm off today and I think it's a result of skipping coffee this morning.

Update:
It's 45 minutes and two cups of coffee later. I was totally right. I feel better already. Just a few more cups and I'll be WIRED!

Hey, I have a lot of painting to do.

05 September 2007

It’s like the moon, but without cheese

I participated in many memorable activities while on Maui, but one of the best was the Super Sunrise Bicycle Safari with Maui Downhill, a company that provides downhill bicycle tours through Haleakala National Park.

The day began at the butt-crack of dawn, or 2:45 am, behind The Badass Coffee Company on Dairy Rd in Kahului. We were given a delicious continental breakfast and then fitted with our raingear, helmets and gloves. Next, we were off in a van for an hour and forty minute, long and dark ride to the summit of Haleakala.

Payoff for riding up in the dark:
---the view on the way down was a total surprise.

Actually, the best surprise was the sign in the bathroom, explaining “Reclaimed Water in Toilet! Do Not Drink!”

My reaction:
Um, o? k? It's toilet water, that's why we don't drink it.

Best Sign Ever

Watching the sun emerge above the clouds was incredible – there is no other place where you will see such a spectacular view. It felt like watching the sun rise from the surface of the moon. Then reality hit and we had to board our bikes and slowly coast back down the mountain through pine and eucalyptus forests, flower farms, and more, all while enjoying views of the Pacific Ocean and western Maui landscape.

You must experience it in person to truly understand how amazing it is.

One piece of advice: be sure to dress in layers. We were laughing at everyone wearing tank tops and shorts. Remember, you might be in Maui, but you’re also at 10,023 feet elevation. It’s cold up there. Be prepared.


After our bike ride down Haleakala, I made friends with the driver of our van, Carl. He was an older, burly man who spoke with a gruff voice. Once he found out James and I were staying in Paia Town he said, “The last time I drove through Paia, I picked up a hitch-hiking hippie. When he got in my van I saw that he was only wearing one flip-flop so I commented, ‘Lose a shoe?’ He replied, ‘No, I found one.’”

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