Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Lizmarelda was at the Sunriver Library today to hand out candy...and help out at the desk. I wish I could say this was me, but no. This is Liza, one of my employees in Sunriver. At story time this morning, I had a pirate, a chicken, Cookie Monster and a pumpkin. The local preschool was trick-or-treating this morning, and stopped in while I was doing story time, so I didn't get to see them! I'm just a black cat today....Lizmarelda's familiar! :) (not a good kitty gone bad, juat a normal black cat). I'm working 'til 8:00, so it should be interesting to see how many kids we get trick-or-treating tonight here at the library.
Monday, October 30, 2006
So there was this great scavenger hunt! We were in groups of three and to get your map you had to chug a beer. Managed that...but after the two previous beers and an appletini...Deciphering the map and clues was hard! :) This scavenger hunt took us all over the neighbourhood. I'm not sure what his neighbours thought of these drunk adults dressed up in costume running all over. I was laughing so hard I almost ran into a street lamp. Of course, that could also have been because of the jello shots we had to consume to get to one of the clues in the bottom of the cups...! Yea, figuring out the clues became progressively more difficult. We wound up crossing the railroad tracks and basically wandering through the forest, in the pitch dark, with just glow sticks. I had a total blast! And the pictures should be pretty funny. Wasn't too late though, I think I was in bed by about 1:00. So not wild and crazy like the Grove or downtown, but one of the best Halloweens I've had in a while. So I'm happy.
Sunday I went down to Snow Clone, to support Chris and the Gear Peddler. There were some great bands playing, and I got a very cute hat! I'll take a pic of me in it...it's really cute. Had a ton of fun, but couldn't stay as long as I wanted...it was a school night! :)
Happy Halloween tomorrow!
Friday, October 27, 2006
Lisa & Yvonne are out of town, so I'm staying at their place taking care of...are you ready?
From left to right it's: Bernie, Belle, Chow Chow (aka Puggles to some), Blue Blue and Sara. That's five of them.
The sixth is here on the bottom step, Baby Girl. She has painted toe-nails. Uh-huh, that's right, you read that correctly...painted toe nails! :)
The seventh is Zuni. I didn't take her picture. She's the largest (still not very large though) and the oldest. She's very sweet, but mostly blind and deaf.
Here they are again on the chair. Right after I took the pic I had to shoo them off that back cushion...Lisa and Yvonne, if you're reading this, really I do try to keep them off there! Really, I do! :)
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
once I pulled out the wonderful alpaca blanket I brought back for myself...well! It's the best blanket EVER! And that's not exaggerating! :) They have them on many of the hotel beds, and I just knew I had to bring one back. Soft, really nice and heavy, but not stiff. I love it! So do Loki and Dread.
So here's Loki peacefully resting in the nest she's made.
Along comes the bad orange kitty. Hmm, wonder what he's thinking?
This is what he was thinking. You can't tell, but he's sitting right on top of Loki. The poor little girl is there, under almost 19 lbs of fat orange cat!
She scrambled out, and Dread got what he wanted. Mission accomplished. Ahh, it's good to be boss.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Then I looked over to the right...can you see the baby deer? They're so cute!
They hung out around the library eating from the bird feeder for quite a while. I know lots of people jsut think of them as pests, but I like them!
Monday, October 23, 2006
Saturday night April and I went to see Frank Portman perform at the Grove. He was being sponsored by the library, so we wanted to show support...and besides, I loved his book King Dork. It's a great book, you should check it out. I listened to it on audio and would highly reccomend listening to it. We had dinner with him before the show, and he was very funny. He was one of the founding members of The Mr. T Experience, a punk rock band from the 80's. You could totally tell from his singing that was his background. I think my favourite song was "Cingular Wireless, Worse Than Hitler" a très amusant song about how much Cingular Wireless sucks. Very funny man.
Then Sunday I did a very fun ride with the Bellas. We carpooled up to the Swampy sno-park and then rode from there back to Phil's trailhead and back to PMS. It's the same one I did last weekend. It was great! The rain we had this week made the trails much better. Nine women showed up, so we did have a conversational and a spirited ride. Here we all are getting our bikes back together:
And here we are all set and ready to go! We all started out together, with the spirited group infront. Well...as it turns out, we took the wrong trail from the parking lot. Not really the "wrong" trail, since it got you where you wanted to go, but not the trail I wanted to take! So we let the spirited ride go ahead of us, I stoped to check my map...and then we turned back and took the "right" trail. So we beat the spirited ride to the Swampy shelter. Ok, only by about 7 minutes or so...but still!
The conversational ride did really well though. We were just poking along, stoping to take pictures, enjoying the beautiful day. And we arrived back at PMS only about 1/2 an hour after the spirited group! I think that's pretty good. Here are just some random shots we took along the trail. There are more on my Flickr site, or the Bend Bella Flickr site.
Kim and me by the Swede Ridge shelter with Backelor in the background. It was just a lovely day! Clear blue skies, not too warm but not cold, firm trails. Fabulous ride.
Our after-ride "tailgate party" with beer, chips and salsa. Every ride should end like this!
Saturday, October 21, 2006
Busy, busy week coming up. Being busy is better than being bored, but I don't have a single night free next week! Except for Friday, but that doesn't really count. Good way to start it off though is a fantastic ride tomorrow. I'm really looking forward to that! :) Last scheduled Bella mt bike ride. Should be a blast. Hope we have a lot of women show up.
Oops, I'm getting a glare from our Director...better stop typing and pretend to pay attention..
Friday, October 20, 2006
Back to Peru. Where did I leave you? Oh yes, dirty feet and the upcoming flight to Juliaca/Puno. So our "45 minute" flight to Juliaca needed to leave at the crack of dawn so that we'd be safe. Fine. To get to the airport in time we had to be up at about 4:00 am. Got to the airport, loooong check-in line, but eventually got all checked in. Here at the Lima airport is a little bit of America. I couldn't believe it when I saw a Papa John's Pizza!!! :) That's Rudy walking towards me.
Now, I had NOT taken a valium, because I thought it was just a 45 minute flight on a small plane...like the ones that go from Portland to Bend. I'm fine on those! Come to find out it's a big plane...and the flight is at least 2.5 hours with a stopover in Arequipa (Peru's second most important city)! Because I didn't think I'd need my valium, it was in my checked luggage and I could not get to it.
The flight was NOT fun. I mean, the flight was fine...but I worked myself into quite a state during the Lima-Arequipa leg. During the stopover there Kim luckily had some Zoloft and gave me one. Hee hee. The Arequipa-Juliaca leg was fine! :) We did see some amazing landscapes from the plane. Volcanic cones, high mountains and high arid plains:
We finally arrived in Juliaca, which is the closest airport to Puno. Puno sits right on Lake Titicaca, the highest navagatable lake in the world at 3,856 meters or 12, 725 feet. It's huge! It borders Peru and Bolivia, but we only got to see a very small part of the lake. It has a surface area of 8,000 sq km or 3,100 sq miles.
From Juliaca we drove about an hour to Puno. This is our first glimpse of the lake.
By this time, you could feel the elevation. It was a struggle to just walk up stairs! We arrived at our hotel, which was very nice. Checked in, and took a nap. The reason we came to Puno was to acclimate to the altitude. We were higher here than we would be for most of the trek to Machu Piccu. That first day, we all just took it easy and walked around the main square...except for my mom! Of course. She decided that she needed a little more of a workout, so she hiked up to this statue on one of the hills behind the town. It wasn't too difficult, but none of us were up to that yet. We were scheduled to walk up there the following day, which was soon enough for me.
I did have a mild headache, but other than that was not feeling much elevation sickness. Two others from our group were already flat on their backs though. Intense headaches, nauseas and difficulty breathing. I found that the cocoa tea and chewing the leaves really did help. Here is what my mom saw that first day (and what we saw the next day):
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Our keynote was Michelle Jeske, web manager from the Denver Public Library. If you haven't checked them out, they're doing some amazing things. Not only do they have talking books to download, but movies as well. http://www.denverlibrary.org/ She talked about your webpage as a branch library. The theme for our conference was "Not Your Grandmother's Library" and her talk was exactly that. Are we staying on top of what our patrons want, not just what we think they should want. We also had Nancy Tessman from the Salt Lake City Public Library, which won Library Journal's Library of the Year, 2006. she was damn amazing too! Made me want to move to Salt Lake...and anyone who knows me knows that is something! :) There were quite a few other amazing speakers, Michael Porter talking about social software, Salvador Avila with library services to Spanish speakers, Sharon Winters talking about marketing your collection (if you're ever in Vancouver BC, stop by any of the Richmond libraries, they are exemplary...they're one of the continents most well marketed/designed branches! Yea Canada!).
Anyway, it went well. And now it's over. Phew. I just have the DPL Board meeting here tomorrow which is causing me stress, and then I'll be stress-free...for about a week! :) I just hope it doesn't snow enough to make the Bella ride this Sunday miserable.
Monday, October 16, 2006
Went for a really fun ride yesterday. Chris, Julie, David and I rode from Swampy to Bend. We did the Swede Ridge loop until the shelter, then took Sector 16 to Whoops, and then took the canyon down back to Phil's trailhead and back to my house. About 23 miles total and about 3.5 hours. We went fairly slow...so it gave me a good idea of how long it will take the BBC conversational ride. I think it'll be a stretch for some people, but since it is the end of the season I think that's a good thing. No pictures though, we all forgot our cameras! It was tons of fun.
Off to the conference...keep your fingers crossed it all goes well!
Saturday, October 14, 2006
They had another trip that also really appealed to me. Egypt, with a Nile cruise. That one was only $4,000 for a 16-day trip. Not bad at all. Peru was about $6,000 plus airfare and some other stuff. Egypt. I've always wanted to go there. I love traveling! :)
Well, I'm off for a "River Ramble." I'm missing a BBC bike ride, but I felt that this is very important. The library is trying to encourage our staff to live healthy, active lives. We've created a wellness committee that has created opportunities for staff to get outside and do things together. I think it's great, so I feel I have to participate. It'll be fun! Tomorrow I'm hoping to pre-ride the ride I'm going to lead for BBC next weekend, Swampy to Bend/pails THE. The last time I did that ride was...2000 or 2001! And I wasn't in the lead, so I have no idea about the trail intersections. Hopefully I can find someone to go with, since it'll be a shuttle. And I don't want to get lost! :)
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Ok, back to Peru. I'm counting this as Day 1, although technically I guess it's Day 2 of my trip. Otherwise though, I get confused. So this is:
DAY 1 We finally woke up around 10:00 or so. Went downstairs for "breakfast" and met the rest of the Blister Sisters. Now, these are just a great group of ladies. This is the group that was on the trip: Anne (she's the "leader"), her husband Rudolph, her sister Ida (who came from Germany for the trip!), Toni, Classina, Kim, Jean, Maureen and her husband Ken, Carol, Carla and Kim. Great people.
That day we had a "tour" of Lima. Tour is in quotes, 'cause it wasn't much of a tour. Our guide spoke no English. Hmm, good idea! Sigh. So we did the best we could interpreting the guide books we had while driving around. We did see a lot. Drove past all the main squares, saw some stunning architecture, and then we went to this park, evidently called the Lovers Park. There was this huge statue of a couple making out. It was huge! We walked around the park, looking down at the ocean quite a ways below. The weather in Lima is grey and cloudy, like it was this day, for about 4 months. And people say Vancouver is depressing!
After looking down at the water for a while we headed back to the bus to drive down to the ocean. As we were walking along we saw this guy dressed up in a veil with balloons under his shirt. I had NO idea what was happening, but eventually we figured out that they were a group of college students and this was a hazing sort of thing. He had to get as many signatures from people seeing him dressed like this as possible. It was pretty damn funny. So we all signed his card. When we got back to the van, we saw other guys doing the same. Guess some things are the same all over the world...
We then drove a while to get down to the ocean, walked along it for a while, and then headed for lunch/dinner. We went to a place called Francisco's, which has won quite a number of awards. Some food magazine named it as one of the top 40 restaurants below Miami. Pretty impressive. And the food was AMAZING! My mom tried cerviche for the first time. She got one without shellfish (just fish) so that I could try it. Aww, what a great mom! It's vastly different from other cerviche I've had. These ones were all creamy, not at all like what I had in Belize or Mexico. This was a fancy restaurant, so of course the presentation was fabulous.
I forget what that orange thing was, but I remember that it was delicious. Wasn't mine though. I had swordfish with sauco sauce. Mmmm, I think it's made with blueberries...and something. It was fabulous. After lunch/dinner we went back to the hotel, and mom and I wandered around the main plaza. There was a wedding going on at the big cathedral, so mom had to go look. It was very fancy! What was hilarious though, is that there was another bride waiting in her carriage just behind the first group. I guess they do multiple weddings in one evening! Sheesh.
After wandering around for a while we went back to the hotel to try and sleep. We had to be up at 4:00 am to catch our flight to the Puno area. I thought we were going to drive, but that takes too long, so we were flying. I decided to take a bath while mom was packing. It was nice, got out, walked over to the bed, and was getting in when my mom asks me if it'd washed my feet in the tub. My feet were BLACK! Where my heel had rested on the sheet, there were black smears. EWWWWW!!!! The carpet was so dirty that walking across the room with warm damp feet picked up that much crap! Ick. I still try not to think about it too much.
So anyway, we were told it was a 45 minute flight to Juliaca (the closest airport to Puno), but it had to leave early in the morning otherwise it isn't safe to land at the altitude of where we were headed! NICE! I hate flying, and now they're telling me that we HAVE to fly early morning otherwise it's not safe! Oh well, I thought it was only 45 minutes so I wouldn't need to take a valium. Yea, I was mistaken. And for that story, you'll just have to come back tomorrow.
I've only included a couple pictures here, you know where to look for more pictures, right?
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Paige, a fellow librarian, was fabulous and drove me to Portland. Fine, she was going there anyway that evening, but she was nice enough to let me come with! :) I stayed the night at my friend Sue's house and then Sue drove me to the airport the next morning at about 5:00 am. I had called and confirmed my flights the night before. I was going Portland-San Fran, San Fran-Miami and then Miami-Lima. Total flight time, about 14 hours, arriving in Lima at 3:30 am the next day. So I get there, try and do the self-check in, 'cause that's all that's open. After waiting about 30 minutes I finally get up there only to discover that I can't check in there, my flight has been changed to another airline and I need to go check in there!
Ulp! The signs were not good. You have to understand that I was flying on the voucher I'd gotten on my Belize trip, so nothing in the computer was matching up for them. This is on American. I went over to Alaskan Air to find out that my flight had been changed to Portland-LA, LA-Miami and then Miami-Lima. They were very worried that I would miss my connection in San Fran. However, when they finished checking me in, my boarding pass still said Portland- San Fran, but my luggage was correct....so after about 40 minutes of finangling they finally got both things to look the same. Argh.
However, then my Portland-LA flight was delayed for mechanical problems! Instead of a 1.5 hour layover, I had 25 minutes to get alllllll the way across the LA airport, to another terminal and catch my next flight. Which has no food (except for sale), and I hadn't eaten since about 8:00 the night before. Oh well, nothing really new for my body. When I get to the boarding area...they look at my "boarding pass" and tell me..."That's not a boarding pass, where is your boarding pass?" I show them everything I have. I have an actual boarding pass for Miami-Lima, but not LA-Miami. They look me up...and guess frickin' what???
THEY'D LOST MY MIAMI-LIME FLIGHT RESERVATION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Somehow, in all the back and forth, somehow I was dropped from the Miami-Lima flight. They got me a boarding pass for the flight that was currently waiting for me, took a photocopy of my Miami-Lima boarding pass and said they'd work on it while I was in the air. But just to forewarn me, when I got to Miami, it was possible that I would have to go standby!
I get to Miami at about 11:00 in the evening. I haven't eaten now for over 24 hours, I'm a bit pissy, worried about my flights, whacked out on Valium, and sure that my luggage has NOT made it to Miami. I get to the Miami-Lima boarding area...and sure enough, they try to tell me that I'm not on the flight. Uh-uh. I didn't loose my temper (I know! Shocking, eh?) I just firmly told them that no, I would be on that flight. Period. No discussion. They asked me to give them about 40 minutes. I told them they had 15. They were back in 10. :)
I'm not really sure why people are scared of me...but evidently I have a GREAT look-of-death. And believe me, I'll use it when I have to. So, in the end, both myself and my luggage arrived in Lima at about 3:30 am. My mom and one of the tour guide's associates were there to pick me up. It was so great to get off that plane, have my mom there and know that we had this amazing time ahead of us. We went back to the hotel, and tried to get some sleep. I didn't think I'd be able to sleep at all, 'cause I felt so wound up...but I swear, my head hit that pillow...and I was out!
So that was day one of my trip. Well, day one and part of day two by the time we got up... but the rest of day two is a story for another day...
Monday, October 09, 2006
Besides work, I had quite a few things going on. Thursday we had our first Bend Bella meeting of the "off-season" at Pine Mountain Sports. Small-ish turnout, but we got some great feedback about our progress so far. That and Heidi made a kick-ass slideshow! :) It took her and I quite a while to figure out how the projector worked with my laptop, since we'd never used those two together before. Just as we were about to give up, Shannon came over and said oh, you press this button...and ta da! It was great, thanks Heidi.
Friday went out with some library people. Heidi and Derek joined us ... and saw the crazy librarians! But I have to say, we were totally restrained...Compared to some times! :) And really, we just went to Astro, wandered around, but then we did wind up at the D & D. Jaime and Jimmy were with us, and they love it there. Since April'd never been, we decided we had to. I left at about 11:00, since I knew I had to be up early to build trails though. We did a bit of shopping, 'cause really, that's what Art Hop is all about! I tried on this fabulous, very J.Lo dress at Magnolia ...but the fabric just didn't work with how revealing it was. Man, the wrong move and you'd see all my wares!!!! I decided it was a no-go. I think people should have to work a bit harder to see all that I have to offer! ;P
I spent Saturday morning up at Wanoga Snopark helping COTA build biking trails. I went up with Heidi and Derek (I hadn't scared them Friday night!), 'cause I knew that if I didn't have someone picking me up I was just going to stay in bed! It's going to be a fun trail when it's finally done. We got a lot accomplished, but there's still a lot more to do. They had a great turnout, about 30 people I'd say.
Saturday night was the highlight though. April and I volunteered at the HDC Annual Drag Show Fundraiser. It was fabulous! The group that they had come out from Portland was called Poison Waters and they were wonderful. I know, I was supposed to dress up like a boy...but to be honest that's just not me. I wanted to feel comfortable. Someone did ask me why I didn't get "dressed up" and I said I was...I was just dressed up like a girl! Drag shows are great to watch ... but I don't really get it, and dressing like a guy...isn't a turn on for me. Just not there yet.
Anyway...! (Sorry, off my soapbox now, just was a bit pissed that someone thought I should have dressed like a guy). April and I spent a lot of time behind the HDC booth, until the show started, then Jenni said we were free! So we danced up a storm. :) Here are a couple pics:
Sheila all ready to go! I know, I said I wouldn't tell...but it's just too funny! Hee hee hee. When Sheila came in, April noticed that her eyelashes were attached the wrong way! :) She had long fake ones with diamonds at the base...but the eyelashes were curving in the wrong direction. So she had to take them off and redo them. Made me laugh!
April and I at the show. You know, you think you look good...then you see pictures! I gotta work on that double chin thing I have going! Other than that, I think I looked pretty good. :)
The plan was to sleep in Sunday and just laze around. Well, I didn't sleep at all Sat night! I think I may have gotten 1/2 an hour or so in towards 4:00, but other than that...Sigh. So Sunday was more productive than I thought. Spent some time at a coffee shop doing some work, bought groceries, made chili..oh yea, and let my poor sore body rest after Sat night! I danced a lot...and my muscles could tell. I miss dancing!!!! Miss it, miss it, miss it!!!!
I'm off then, singin' a dancing beat...and I promise, I'll get to reminiscing about Peru really soon.
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
My last several days have been filled with laundry and organizing things at work. Sheesh, this is why I don't go away! You have to work twice as hard both before you go and after you return! :) No worries, I'm still so happy I went. And obviously I need to learn to take more time off. I took an entire month and I still have 320 hours of time management! Oops. I'll get better at it though. Today is my first story time since....August 11. Yikes. Hope the kids remember me. As for my laundry, I decided that I have to wash everything. And I mean everything! my backpacks, the covers for my sleeping bag and sleeping pad, my hiking boots, the bags for my camp towels ... everything! I have no idea where some nasty Peruvian bugs may be hiding. So everything gets washed.
It's a good thing I took my crappy big suitcase to Peru! I got a good replacement suitcase for one that was wrecked last year, but I didn't take that one. I took the one that I bought in Belize last january. See, 'cause I spent so much more time there than anticipated...I accumulated more crap than my small carry-on could handle. So I went to the local department store and bought a cheap suitcase and just put my whole carry-on inside. That's the one I took. Good thing! It was fine on the way there and the whole time there, but on the way back ... what on earth did they do to the poor thing?!!?! I'm lucky that the glass liquor bottles inside didn't break. So let's see, what's wrong with it? Well, 1/2 of the lock was sheared off, the top of two zippers were also sheared off, the belt that wraps wround the middle is gone, one metal logos was ripped off ... and it's just really dirty! I think it's probably best to just not know what happens behind the scenes at airports.
I cannot wait until Loki can go outside again! She's driving me nuts. She really wants to go out ... but she doesn't really. She's wandering around screaming to go out, but when the door is open she doesn't come anywhere near it. I let her out on the back porch and she really likes that. But then she tries to jump over the fence to the neighbour's porch. Silly kitty. Every time I leave the house though, both cats glare at me like I'm not coming back! :)
Over the next week or so I'm going to try and lay out our trip in more detail with some pics. But if you just want to see pics, not text look at my Peru Flickr gallery.
Sunday, October 01, 2006
The last few days have been...long! I was awake for about 37 hours. Sigh. All my flights were good, the layovers were long, but doable. The kitties are for sure really happy to see me, as I am them. My fridge is completely empty though, so I need to stock up. And I'm thinking about all the things I want to make to eat...that's a good sign, isn't it? :)
So, on my Flickr site, I've created a Peru gallery, that will be updated as I load more pics. Some of the pics do have explanations, but you can only read them looking at them individually, not as a slideshow. Which is annoying. http://www.flickr.com/photos/chandravan/sets/72157594307504979/