keryx: (Default)
Gosh, I don't know why I feel disconnected from my people (especially my local people, but really all of y'all). It's not like I ever tell anyone what's going on with me or anything. Aside from 255 character summaries of what city I'm in and where I'm eating, that is.

Things happened!

For instance, I was in Chicago on a project for a few months. I used to hate Chicago, but I don't after finding dance classes and various forms of art and entertainment I couldn't find anywhere else. It's unlikely I'd move there, but it's a pretty decent town outside of the winters. It does have spectacular condiments. And fireworks every Wednesday night.

That ended abruptly and with some rejoicing on my part.

In the meantime, a certain someone moved first from Hawai'i to southwest VA and shortly after that in with Willie, My Roommate the Cheese Lady & me. I've been told recently that having your boyfriend move in is a reasonably big deal, and might have merited some sort of announcement. It didn't seem like that huge an event. One weekend he left town when I did, and the next he didn't.

I'm currently working in Creve Coeur (which, while French for "broken heart" or "heartbroken", is pronounced Creev Cor), a suburb outside St Louis. This means I spend probably 16 hours a week in planes and airports (mind, I still bill 40). I noticed this past weekend that I spend the majority of my life in two of the situations in which people feel the most entitled, powerless, tired and pouty: namely, organizational change and air travel. It's a problem; I can feel my faith in the basic goodness of people slowly eroding. People - self included - can go through terrible things with great dignity, but so often endure little hardships like exhausted children.

So, travel is wearing on me some - it's the mix of being gone, dealing with people in airports and on planes, and not successfully changing the entire world in the past 6 months. Mostly I'm lonely. It turns out almost everyone I hung out with is quite busy without me, so rather than the problem I expected to have (not having enough time on weekends to do what I want) I have the exact opposite (not having anyone who wants or is able to go play). And, like, all the dance in Richmond happens during the workweek. Harrumph!

I don't mean that I am miserably sad! The part of travel where I am in new places all the time is pretty great. Thanks to the care of My Roommate the Cheese Lady and the aforementioned fantastically useful [not to mention just fantastic, period] boyfriend, the house is constantly getting cozier and happier. My current work is usually more interesting than my old work (sorry, former colleagues - it's just true), and it changes enough that I'm always learning. I've forgotten how to wear high heels. I still see my parents once a month. I get to find and explore new dance stuff most places I go. That sort of thing.

Still. My predominant feeling is a sortof wistful loneliness and disconnection.
keryx: (Default)
If you, or anyone you love, ever need to quit smoking... may I suggest a month in Chicago?

People smoke and litter their butts all over downtown. At first, it makes an ex-smoker think man, I really want a cigarette, but this gradually turns into a general feeling of disgust. The air in Chicago is fairly urban (that is, clogged a bit with dust and dirt and exhaust and stuff), anyhow, and the addition of secondhand smoke to that mix is straight-up foul. It makes Richmond smell positively tropical in comparison.

When I smoked regularly, I had no idea how unpleasant it was for passersby... and, well, one person smoking isn't that bad. But one person smoking every 5 feet is a bit like walking through a bar. Only the bar is like, 2 miles long.
keryx: (Default)
I'm starting to get into a rhythm of travel for work. It's pretty fun. I mean, I've had flights cancelled 3 weeks in a row now, and that part's not fun. The actual travel is.

Bags are challenging. Since I go back to the same place, I tried a checked bag (a 20 in roller) and a carried one (a duffel/gym bag) with the idea that I could leave the roller between trips. I kept having to move them around anyhow. I think keeping a week of stuff in a duffel-style bag is the most flexible way to go. Easy to get around town with, and a single unchecked bag is a huge plus in the midst of airport shenanigans: just show up and fly.

But. I also want to be able to skip going home and spend a weekend exploring - ideally by choice & with friends, not stuck in weather - without too much angst. I think I finally have this figured out: it's not how much, but what you pack. Simple color palette. Interchangeable pieces. Minimal shoe choices (shoes take up a lot of space). This week's single bag could easily get me through two weeks, provided some things get washed.

I like my work situation a lot more if I get to walk to and from work. Our first week, we stayed at a hotel in walking distance. Last week for a variety of complicated reasons we ended up over a mile from the office & had to cab it. I didn't like this. This coming week I'm walking. Or else!

Food is complicated. Meaning, we keep eating complicated food & drinking red wine. I came home this weekend wanting tofu, fresh fruit, veggies I cook myself. Nothing in a cream sauce! No gnocchi! No seafood! The food while we travel is good, don't get me wrong - and wow, Boston loves a meringue even more than I do. We were talking the other evening about this, how much eating out constantly can make you just want a simple sandwich or ramen noodles in your own kitchen. Then you get home, and people want to go out to eat with you.

Unless, of course, it effing snows every time you come home, and you never see anyone ever. Richmond peeps, I miss you terribly! I'm home, but I never see you! That part just sucks. Knowing it's an effect of freak weather doesn't make it any less sucky.
keryx: (ned squeeing)
I started this post in the Denver airport, which I recommend. The overall experience is just average, but they recycle and have free wifi and lots of places to charge things. Everything I need. Except maybe a shower.

Where I have been, though, is Kaua'i. Kaua'i is pretty amazing when you get into it (the last trip there was very short, so I just saw the surface of things, which is lovely the way a postcard or travel magazine is lovely). This time we got to climb around on things. Alas, I never made time for serious snorkeling, just a little paddle out from the beach on my first day, but that left more time for land-based stuff.

I'd like to get more practice hiking - it's been awhile, and like anything it gets more comfortable & therefore more daring each time I do it.

Oops, this turned out longer than I'd planned )

Good trip! The company was also lovely & I had a lot of fish tacos, though my appetite for them has not diminished. [Yeah, yeah. Go ahead and make your crass jokes. I'll wait over here.]
keryx: (Default)
Costa Rica manages to simultaneously smell like Pennsic and the US Navy and highway onramps and my friends' kitchen in Hilo. It's an interesting mix.

I find it hard to describe what it is about places that make them uniquely themselves. Descriptions tend to rely on analogies -well, mine do - and if an analogy worked, it wouldn't be a strange and exciting new place. It would be somehow something like another place. Yeah. So I have smells.

I can talk about events and stuff we did, though.

We're here for a long weekend. Its my first foreign land (and my first post of any length from my phone, so bear with any crappiness). The sun is very sunny this deep into the tropics; we were sweaty and gross in the time it took to walk from a boat to shade on the beach this afternoon. Snorkeling trip today. Turtle. Rays. Coral. The tiny jellyfish that don't sting were the most amazing bit of that, actually. Millions of them. I could see and feel them all over. That was fun.

I suspect J got dehydrated in all the fun, since she's in bed crazy early.

It's a sign, I think, of a good vacation that I only vaguely remember what we did yesterday, let alone that I have a job. I got a photo of a monkey leaping fro tree to tree. There's almost no point in taking more pictures after that. I mean. Monkey! Jumping! I'm pretty sure those monkeys laughed at us.

This trip has its own rating scale now, ascending from Houston to monkey. We were stuck in Houston for hours with snow and subsequent de-icing. That kinda sucked. The airport food was bad, there was nowhere for J to smoke, and the internets weren't free. Texas. You aren't making me like you any more.

Tomorrow we're going to Las Pumas, a big cat rehab center in the jungle (we're staying with J's mom in Playas del Coco, where we've our own little apartment thanks to a friend whose place is empty). I suspect that'll be way more monkey than Houston.
keryx: (Default)
I haven't complained about the whole eye shenanigans in awhile, and I have more to share. I am really annoyed by my light sensitivity. I need sunglasses most of the time I'm outside in the daytime, no matter which contact I have on.

The Super Special Contact, Mach 2 (adjusted fit) has been hanging with me for the past month. I can wear it for about 6 hours, 10 if I don't expose it to wind, hair, bright light, dirt, blinking, looking at anything that moves a lot, excessive shadow, television or allergens - things I avoid, like... never. I had no idea how much eyes do automatically to accept crap falling in them! The heavy plastic contact can't do those things, so I get at least one episode of OMG PAIN each day.

I'm thinking about this especially because I'm on vacation at the beach this week, and I keep having to switch back to the less-seeing contact cause sand and wind are excruciating. Bleh. Are my six months of "getting used to it" over yet?

On the other hand: beach! Down at the Outer Banks not really doing much of anything. Did some mental work on the book and What I'm Going to Do When I Grow Up while staring at the ocean. My life is so haaaard.
keryx: (yay mountains)
Here they are.

These two really amuse me. This is us playing around at the Lego store. I couldn't stage a clearer illustration of the difference between a relational, people-driven person and an abstract, idea-driven person.

What T built (notes to people at home, carefully photographed and texted):


What I built (bridges across other bridges until I ran out of bridge pieces, trying to get my work to fall down):
keryx: (yay mountains)
We got back from Chicago yesterday afternoon, after which I worked for awhile and then proceeded to sleep from 7pm to 5am. We'd gotten up early after I stayed up late doing my nightly catch up and sorta meditation on the Iran post-election stuff [I feel compelled to do something and I don't imagine it hurts.] which somehow turned into a need to read the entire story of some white people's hoboish travels on the Big Island.

T and I went to Chicago with no plan other than a need to stay semi-in touch with work and to be somewhere we hadn't been before. And we did not eat hot dogs! I'm apparently now pescavegetarian even when it's not convenient.

I think the Oak St beach was my favorite spot. A beach! In the middle of a midwestern city! Looking back at all the architectural stuff downtown from the shore was lovely. We met Eddie, a dude who appeared to still be drunk and wandering from the night before, and left so he could have our palm tree to sleep under.

Other things we did... )
keryx: (taro)
I drove over to Kona (the other side of the island) today. [If you aren't familiar with Hawai'i, it's about 50-60 miles across, but it takes at least 2, probably 3, hours to drive that. There's no speedy and efficient way across this island. There might not be anything speedy or efficient about this island, come to think of it. That's part of what it does best.]

Anyhow. I drove over here to SNORKEL WITH MANTA RAYS. It was amazing. There were probably 20 mantas out. The way it works is every boat takes out their divers and snorkelers. All the divers hang out on the bottom, and the snorkelers hang out up top. Everyone shines lights. It's otherworldly. Seriously. Amazing. Did I say amazing? I'm not sure you grasp how amazing I'm really talking about here. It's like every day I get to do something bizarre and fantastic. Today's wasn't even physically hard.

I'm staying overnight since the snorkel didn't end till 9. Aaaand. Apparently I need to skip my lazy, slow return back to Hilo and get up early in the morning - there's some crazy weather hitting all the islands that might mean flooding in the afternoon. Did I mention the lack of speedy and efficient ways to get back to Hilo? I like Kona okay (they have tacos!), but I don't feel a need to stay here for the next couple of days. Not even if Kona still has sun while Hilo is submerged; Kona reminds me too much of California suburbs.
keryx: (birthday)
I was remarkably unfreakedout for someone who's leaving for 2 weeks tomorrow at the crack of dawn (crack of dawn always sounds like a bad time to leave, but it gets you to Honolulu in the early afternoon, so...).

My mother gasped when I told her I had 2 connections. TWO STOPS. YOUR LUGGAGE WILL BE LOST. And then shuddered when I pointed out than one of the layovers was less than 30 minutes, in Cincinnati. OMG YOU WILL MISS YOUR FLIGHT AAAAAAAAAAA.

Now. I am not so chill. So, lesson learned. Don't ask her advice about whether to pack everything in a large carryon or just check it. She will bring the paranoia. This is oddly fatalistic of me, but I figure if I miss my flight, maybe there's something I'm supposed to do in Cincinnati.

But I guess I'll pack everything in my carryon, just in case what I'm supposed to do in Cincinnati is stay for two days.

In other news: I'm GOING TO HAWAII. After I finish whatever that thing is in Cincinnati.

ETA: dad, who is currently stuck at the Atlanta airport, says he always checks his bag and is annoyed that mom talked him into carrying on this thing that he's now been dragging all over the airport since like noon. He says YOU HAVE TO TAKE IT TO THE BATHROOM WITH YOU, and also THE INTERNETS AREN'T FREE! WHERE IS MY FACEPAGE?
keryx: (Default)
I need to leave the country.

Not as in, to avoid the law. But. I have actually never left the US, and the only thing my coach has ever told me to do is add "leave country" to my list of personal goals for the next year.

So. Where should I go?

[NOTE: You may choose to accept or ignore the constraints that I can't afford an expensive or time-consuming trip next year since I'll also be doing my last urban family Hilo visit before my peeps come back to the continent for awhile.]

stuck.

Apr. 10th, 2008 06:06 pm
keryx: (Default)
We? Are stuck in Hawai'i.

Well, more specifically one of our flights got cancelled, so we had the option of being stuck here over the weekend, or flying back to Dallas, staying in the airport all day, then taking our chances on a flight to Baltimore that may well also be cancelled, renting a car from Baltimore (assuming we actually arrived there) and driving home. So we chose the option that's guaranteed to get us home without stranding us somewhere we don't want to be, even if several days later.

This? Is after my flight from Hilo to Honolulu earlier this week was cancelled because the airline ceased to exist. At least this time we actually got rebooked on a new flight.

I think this is an appropriate moment for this message from AA.
keryx: (yay mountains)
If you haven't noticed, most of my photos from Hawai'i are of scenery, and a lot are of the mood shifts as the scenery shifts while you're driving or sitting in a spot. I think, in general, I take photographs that reflect the feeling of whatever I'm doing, which means if they have people in them, the people are doing something.

How about you?
[Poll #1056814]

wow.

Sep. 4th, 2007 05:35 am
keryx: (Default)
Today, I saw a volcano.


We went up to the park just as it closed. Stood out and looked, walked through some steam vents & then walked on some lava to see Pele's seat in the near-dark. It was like the moon and god and something pretty creepy all at the same time.

Also, we ate a lot and I fell asleep on a couch on the porch.
keryx: (yay mountains)
The sun rose!


(clicking the link takes you to the gallery of sunrise photos I took this morning)
keryx: (yay mountains)
So, in another hour and 15 minutes, I'll have been awake for 24 hours solid. Keep in mind that I am still trying to shake this cold, so I am dragging.

On the other hand, I am currently looking at the Pacific [Technically, I can mostly see Turtle Bay, but the point is waves! Lapping! I see and hear them! And torches!] and I intend to use those 75 minutes to eat poke and drink pineapple juice. Right before I pass out. (clicking on the photo takes you to my unimpressive driving photos)


Love you all, miss you, wish you were here. Don't think I'm complaining. I am here in this place that I love.
keryx: (mudflap girl)
I've been home from my six-day camping for three hours now without taking a shower! Or a bath!

I should probably lie down.

pennsic!

Aug. 4th, 2007 08:54 pm
keryx: (Default)
In 12 hours, [livejournal.com profile] cutegaychick and I will leave for Pennsic! Yay, Pennsic!

Watch the internets for us while we're gone, okay?
keryx: (dorks)
I've been trying to pick between expensive (because most of Hawai'i? Does not do hotels under $100) largely identical hotels in Hawai'i on and off for the past week. [PS - [livejournal.com profile] volondoinyaface, please tell me I can sleep on your floor the first week of September. Or even a high-backed Victorian chair.]

Mostly what I've accomplished is an unhealthy obsession with my favorite North Shore resort's webcam. Tiny people swimming! And driving cars! Ooh, and if you catch it at a time when other people are watching, you can see what they want to look at.
keryx: (Default)
My weekend actually started Wednesday with dance practice. What we do to prep for a big performance, if you're interested ) After practice, we drove to the wilds of Chesterfield because [livejournal.com profile] garrity and family are swell. And I went to bed way early because, I think, I was still healing (I am a little in awe of people who get tattoos that take several hours, given that my own recovery time was so long).

Thursday, as mentioned, [livejournal.com profile] cutegaychick and I went to Natural Bridge to act like dorks.

Friday was basically - get up, run mad errands, get in car at lunch time, drive to DC. We listened to the Buffy musical on the ride up, which made at least an hour of our three hour tour go faster and more fun-like. After that and tech and trying to get food and getting dressed and watching all of the other performances, I really don't remember how the show went. Brettocks and Dave took pictures, if that helps. Some thoughts on the other performances, at least, since I hardly remember ours... )

Friday night [livejournal.com profile] missmeridian and I stayed up too late. Saturday morning was a driving comedy of errors the likes of which only DC can produce. I did not get lost, though! I did, however, get to the workshop late. But in a way that was good - it helped me approach the workshop as just another way to dance and get better and have fun. I tend to keep skulking off to the back to take notes, like writing it down will help (it will at least give me a reference) even though I'm more of a kinaesthetic/spacial learner. I feel like I have to find a way to ingest everything because it may be a year before I have a teacher in front of me again.

This time was different, though - more time to focus on refinement, more willingness to dare and fuck up, no notes taken whatsoever and hardly even a second's break from dancing. It was so cool to see so many beginners there! It was even better to dance with new people! And I left Sunday with a Sahra turn and a calibrated spin which did not suck.

Also, I feel like I've now been invited into a sisterhood of tattooed bellydancers. I think everyone who knew the tattoo is new came up to exchange tattoo stories. Though people did mistake the pomegranate on stage for chili peppers, goldfish, and a variety of other unexpected things, apparently.

So, yeah. That was a really long weekend to not feel at all like a weekend. Just like a different kind of work. I LIKE work, mind you, but it does tire a girl out.

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