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Holiday Happenings and Other Rambling Stuff - frazzled and bedazzled — LiveJournal
Holiday Happenings and Other Rambling Stuff
• Can I just say, “Salespeople: aaaarrrrggghhh!” and have you nod your head in agreement? I can? Great, thanks!
• I’m sure it’s the same in a lot of other parts of the United States so we’re not all that special, but in the Pacific Northwest the Memorial Day week-end is the generally accepted and “official” start of camping season. It’s such a popular thing to do that many people take Friday off because they have to arrive at their campground of choice on Thursday to secure a spot for the week-end (we have a mix of reservation only and first come-first served campgrounds in Oregon). Thanks to the popularity of camping over the long week-end, bottled water is already priced higher and more scarce than it would be in the middle of winter. Adding an E. coli scare to the mix, as happened in Portland starting last Friday, pretty much means Zombie Apocalypse-levels of bottled water scarcity. On the plus side, just like camping does, the E. coli ridiculousness helped me appreciate the fact that normal for me includes clean, great-tasting and easy-to-access water. It’s a blessing that a lot of people don’t enjoy. Still, I was not too thrilled that we had yet another pollutant scare for our water supply. (I don’t know if our recent experience means we just didn’t test water before recent years or if there’s an actual increase in incidents. Either option is scary to contemplate.)
• Since everyone around here knows that Memorial Day = rush to go camping and hence scarce employee counts at offices all over the state, I was doubly annoyed to get a call from a local lawyer’s office at 4:15 on Friday afternoon about something they had been working on for 2 weeks, but which they suddenly considered so urgent they wanted to get it done by the end of the day. I was annoyed because 1) 4:15. On a Friday. Before a major holiday. For something that hadn’t been urgent for 2 weeks, but they decided was urgent that day. and 2) they were completely shocked, SHOCKED I tell you, that a colleague who would have wanted to have input into this issue was off for the day and unavailable until after the holiday. They were a bit pushy about it and all I could think was the equivalent of, “?!?!?!” Know your audience, dude. Know your audience.
• After much chore doing and errand-running and family funning and dog walking, I enjoyed the Memorial Day holiday (if “enjoy” is the right word – that’s an arguable word selection) by engaging in a tv binge of the series Apocalypse: The Second World War on the Smithsonian channel. Seven hours – six on the war, one about how they created the series – of never-before-seen footage taken during WWII from all over the world. Beyond the obvious things which I found amazing about it, such as the fact that the creators viewed over 600 hours of film that had never been seen on television (implying there’s many more hours of unseen film out there in archives around the world), was that the program was six hours long and barely scratched the surface. It was more like an illustrated timeline of events (with not much focus on the Pacific arena), and even a basic overview like that took six hours to accomplish. From a distance of 70 years I find it completely understandable for people to say, “Enough, already!” about things having to do with WWII. But, it was just so enormous, I can’t help but remain fascinated by it. Plus saddened that there are so many analogous situations ongoing in the world today. As my husband and I discussed, it really can feel overwhelming to realize that things such as the genocides in Rwanda and Darfur are as possible now as they were then, and for pretty much the same reasons. I fully expect militarized aggression to accelerate all over the world as climate change progresses and natural resources become scarcer in already borderline places. (It’s no wonder things like reality tv are so popular – we have to escape the madness somehow!)
• Semi-related question: has there ever been a 12 month period in the history of mankind when there hasn’t been a war at some place on the planet? (Or even, say, from the Victorian age to now when international communications developed enough for us to know what was happening in other places.)
• I was really, really, REALLY unhappy when I saw a commercial by a shampoo company (which I assume is running on national television) with not one, but TWO rogue apostrophes. Its and it’s aren’t the same thing. ‘60s and 60’s aren’t the same thing. (To name two recent nationally published examples). I know YOU know this, but dang, it really gets me that even national ads – where one would assume accuracy would be desirable – apparently don’t have proof readers any more. (/end grammar grumping.)
• On a more cheerful note, I’m cautiously celebrating approximately 6 weeks of breaking my caffeine addiction. Awhile back I saw a headline about a famous actress who had “accidentally” lost weight thanks to changing her diet. “Riiiiiight”, I thought, “’accidentally’. I’m not buying that bridge!” However, I decided to jump on the “accidental change”, or more accurately, “fortuitous change”, idea when I had that bout of ‘flu back in April. Since I had already been through the caffeine withdrawals, I figured there was no harm in keeping the streak going since the hardest part was already over. I have had the odd bit of caffeine now and again, but the morning-to-early-afternoon ritual of multiple cups of tea (and/or coffee) each and every day are gone. I have noticed that I don’t seem to have the same energy dips and spikes that I had before (they still come, but not to the same degree…I’d estimate their strength is 25% or less of what they used to be), so that’s a plus. On the other hand, I do miss the taste and the ritual of it. I read a National Geographic article about Darjeeling tea (by Andrew McCarthy – how did that happen?) and I wanted tea SO MUCH at that moment. Not for the caffeine, but for the beauty of it, the flavor of it, the joy of watching the hot water and the tea marry together until the perfect and lovely shade of golden tea-brown arrives, the small nervous moment of wondering if the steeping time was just right so that the tea is strong, but not bitter, and that ineffable something that a hot beverage provides that a cold beverage doesn’t which is utterly crucial to me when it’s cold outside... Obviously, I need to get going with finding some good decaffeinated alternatives. This is the longest I’ve gone without regular, daily doses of caffeine since high school, which blows my mind if I really think about it, so I’m mostly just trying to keep this low-key for myself and quietly go about retaining this new status.

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