Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A Busy Bear

Currently Reading: The Theban Plays by Sophocles

First of all, yes, that's right, Sophocles. I know a lot of you log in to this blog and shake your heads wondering just what on earth I'm reading now. Never let it be said I'm easily pinned down to any one particular type of literature. In this case, I can't even remember why I got the idea to read these plays again. I must have seen the book at Borders and decided right then. I haven't actually read them since high school, EARLY high school so we're talking 1984? 1985 maybe?

For those who aren't familiar with the work, there are three plays and you'll know the title of at least one: Oedipus The King (sometimes listed as Oedipus Rex), Oedipus at Colonus, and Antigone. After this I'll probably read something a little more modern but I do plan to read The Aeneid by Virgil (which is about the founding of Rome). It's always good to touch base with the classics from time to time.

Speaking of time, I haven't had very much of it lately, which I'm sure many of you have noticed. CC left for Manila on the 19th taking the first flight out (6:30 am!). We had to be at the airport by 4:45 which meant I had to be up at around 4:00 just to make sure we got there. Why do we always follow the rules like this? Because CC is what you might call a difficult case at the airlines. She doesn't have a US passport because she's not a US citizen. At the same time, because she's a legal resident, she doesn't have a visa either. When checking in at the international counter, what are the two pieces of identification that the little scanner will read? You got it, a US passport or a travel visa.

The procedure usually runs something like this. We walk up to the counter. The clerk tells us to use the little touch screen thing to get the boarding pass. So we go through the motions of trying it knowing full well that it won't work. We do this once for each bit of ID she has then tell the machine we don't have what it wants. This summons the clerk who then goes through the whole thing again once or twice (I guess to make sure we're not stupid or something) even though we've explained the problem. FINALLY after 15 minutes or so, the clerk takes CC's ID and keys in the information in the little terminal behind the counter. Another 10 minutes later she's got her boarding passes and her luggage is checked. Every time this happens. You'd think just once they'd actually listen to us and skip to the part where they type the stuff in themselves.

*You may have noticed that I didn't really have pictures that match this blog entry. I put in some generic shots of The Philippines instead*

She went to Manila a little earlier than she needed to. By arriving in the middle of Holy Week, she was able to spend a few days with her family and get in a little vacation time at their house up in the mountains (it's actually a big volcano that's not really active). Up until today, she's had it fairly easy, just the usual office work. But the boss arrived a few hours ago and everyone switched into hyper mode. I probably won't get to hear from her nearly as much now.

At work, nothing too dramatic has happened. Our one little adventure had nothing to do with the actual job. My boss is having some family problems. More accurately, her family is having health problems (I won't go into the details). Some of the problems have been building over time and wearing her down, little by little. Friday she had one more added to the pile and she pretty much snapped. It wasn't a serious breakdown mind you but it was fairly obvious the stress was just a little too much for her. I went and got the general manager and told her all about it because really, apart from CC, I'm not very good at dealing with all the emotional stuff face to face. You have a crisis, get the emotional people out of the way, turn me loose and I'll solve the problem. I can do that. Dealing with someone having a nervous breakdown? Not my strong suit.

Anyway, the GM calmed her down and pretty much sent her home for a few days so she could get all the family stuff under control. That left the rest of us to cover the holes in the schedule. Ok, that left ME to cover the BIG hole in the schedule. Saturday I pulled a 12 hour shift. Just wasn't any way around it. She couldn't handle it. The other groomer wasn't available. We had customers. So there ya go. In exchange for that though, I got Sunday off, which was nice. That allowed me to visit with MY family a bit and celebrate my niece's birthday.

So now you're all caught up on things around here. Any gaps in the story you can just fill in with boring, mundane housework, which is what I've been doing. With CC gone again naturally I have to do the chores that she'd normally do and since I'm not really a pig like most men, it means I have to clean.

Oh yes, I do get to play War Craft as well. That's how I relax between chores and work. And there's the reading of course. But until CC gets back next week or so, I doubt I'll have any adventures to post. Sorry about that.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

The Holiday is Ending

Just Finished Reading: Twilight Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko

Back to work tomorrow. It's hard to believe I'm already at the end of my vacation. Seems like just yesterday I was rushing to get out of the salon so I could start the break as early as possible. And now it's almost over. It went by too fast. I never even had a chance to get bored.

I do have some pictures though, which I suppose is what you're supposed to have at the end of every vacation. This first set, I think everyone is going to enjoy. It's from Sunday. No, you're not imagining things. That is a poodle with a mohawk! And yes, I'm the one who did it. There I was on Sunday afternoon, pretty tired from the usual work when this woman walks in with that little poodle. New customer, just moved here from South Carolina I think it was. Anyway, after doing all the paperwork I asked her what kind of cut she wanted and without any hesitation she said she wanted a mohawk. Apparently this is the normal haircut her poodle usually gets and I have to admit, he looks pretty damn cool.

This particular mohawk came out MUCH better than the one I did a few months back for the maltese. Poodles have really good hair for this kind of work. See how nice and full it is? And you can make it nice and wide so there's no doubt of what you're looking at. That is a poodle with a mowhawk, no doubt about it.

The owner, incidentally, really liked the cut so there's a good chance I'll do this again. This marks the THIRD time I've been asked to do this sort of thing and so far this is the best it's turned out.

So, what did we actually DO on vacation? Nothing much really. I'll skip all the details and give you the highlights because, let's face it, it was a pretty slow week, which was WONDERFUL. We did clean the carpet in the aprtment though, which REALLY needed to be done, especially the heavy traffic section in the hallway and the spot where Jack likes to pee when he can't hold it in until the morning walk. It looks a LOT better now.

I also managed to trim the boards on CC's desk mat thing that we made. Everything pretty much lines up now. I'm sure she'll be posting pictures of that for you to see when she gets a chance.

Probably the BEST thing we did this week was go and have a massage. CC got a gift certificate for us for a day spa for my birthday and we went over and did that Friday at around lunch time. We got a full massage and lunch. Oh MAN that is something everybody has to do at least once. It's a requirement, like going to Disneyland. You MUST have a professional massage at least once. Seriously, go and do it because I just can't describe how relaxing it is. There just aren't the right words :-)

Now, as we were heading out for the massage, it started to snow. It was still pretty warm out though so the snow would just hit and melt. No big deal. By the time we were finished, the snow was coming down pretty heavy and the winds had picked up. It was a LITTLE bit colder but the snow was only sticking on metal things or maybe patches of dirt. Nothing was building up in the grass. By the time we got HOME, the snow was sticking pretty much to everything. The wind was blowing it in all over and we had our own little winter wonderland.

This morning, I woke up and it was like January. Full blanket of snow, about 6 inches I think. The parking lots and all the roads in the apartment complex were covered in a sheet of ice. Everywhere you walked you made a crunching noise. The doggies were NOT amused by that. Katya actually likes the snow. She tends to bound through it and take little bites of it as she goes along. Jack, well let's just say the snow makes him even grumpier than usual.

Our morning walk was actually pretty funny. Katya was enjoying herself until she got to the street and had to deal with walking on ice. She managed to stay on all fours most of the time but as we were coming in, she came around a corner a little too fast and did a belly flop. Jack was having a hard time finding a place to go to the bathroom. Every time he assumed the position the snow reached his belly and he did NOT like that at all. I finally got him to the top of a small hill where the snow had mostly blown off. 2 inches he can handle. 6 inches is not fun.

I didn't realize how much it was blowing around out there until this morning. I was out on the back patio taking pictures when I saw that the snow ahd reached the forrest. In fact, there was snow pretty much all over the patio in varying depths. Over by the guard rail it was thicker of course and it sort of blended in from there. A nice winter storm, something we haven't had here since February 2007. And so late too, that seemed a bit odd.

The snow's already melting though. Tomorrow it'll be in the 50's. Later in the week, probably the 60's. Spring will arrive quick.