26 April 2008

mr. spider

Sooooo I have a pretty irrational fear of spiders. I think I'm getting better, but the still scare me. It used to be that if I saw a spider in my bedroom, I would'nt be able to sleep until it was killed and flushed down the toilet (which is insurance that you really did succeed in killing it and it won't come back to life seeking revenge on you!). I'm trying to get over it. Most bugs don't bother me, but for some reason spiders do. Alot. I used to have a whole system that involved hairspray, paper towels and a vacuum. Don't ask.....

Friday, I was sitting at my desk working away on some shipping stuff for one of our clients and something in my peripheral vision got my attention. I think the only reason I noticed it was the contrast between it and the white kleenex it was crawling up. You guessed it! It was a spider. Not just any spider, but a black fuzzy one. Which was a decent size by the way. He was crawling into the tissue box. So I calmly and gingerly reached over to the box and flipped it over in one quick movement. He fell out of the box and onto the desk. I saw him and swooshed the box down to smash him.

Oh course he is a smart spider and a quick one and scurried away. He was hiding on the edge of the desk. Every time he would peak his little self up a bit I would stop and look at him. It was like he had some heat sensors or something. If I were to move away from the desk he would come out of his hiding place but if I came back to the desk he would hide. I started to feel a bit bad about wanting to kill him. So I made a deal with him.
If he came out of hiding and let me take his picture, I wouldn't kill him.

He eventually came out but scurried up the wall and towards the ceiling making it VERY difficult for my shorty self to get a good pic. :( He tried hiding under one of the braces for the ceiling tiles but eventually came out. I kept calling to him, "Mr. Spiiiiddeerrrr, come out. I won't kill youuuu. I promise!" Unfortunately, for me (and you now ;) ) he wasn't really buyin' it. When he did finally come out, almost 45 mins later, he proceeded to hide behind a picture frame. Every time I would try to take his picture he would hide again. It became a game almost. Every 15 mins or so, I would ask him what he was up and try to take a good pic of him. He must have thought I was a complete nut job (like all of you are currently thinking). But it didn't stop me from talking to him or trying to get a smidge closer to get a better pic.

I mean seriously, have you every heard of such a camera shy spider!?!? I was in shock. I finally gave up and went home.

Let me tell you, I'm starting to get better at this not being afraid of spiders business. I can't say that I love them or would let a whole bunch crawl all over me (eewwww, now I feel like there are a bunch all over me!) but I'm at least trying to end my days as super spider killer. Anything is possible right!

25 April 2008

el fin

So much has been going on lately. I know I sound like a broken record. :P But seriously, there has been alot!!!

I want to apologize in advance if this post is sad or depressing. :( SORRY! Things have just been kind of surreal lately. My landlady has been so ill. It has been touch and go now for about a week. She starts dialysis today so hopefully that will help. Watching someone go through the final stages of life is difficult. I feel bad about even being stressed and exhausted by it all because I'm not the one who is dying. But I must say it is hard. I'm trying to keep her positive and comfortable and we all keep telling her that things will get better. If she can make it through dialysis today and the next few times she has it, she might be able to recover from all that is going on inside her.

Yesterday, KP was taken off life support and his organs were harvested for donation. I'm glad to hear that a little part of him will live on and that the recipients will be able to live full lives as a result. And then tonight, I have a wake to go to for my mom's old boss's sister, MAK. I'm so superstitious about death. Since there are two people within the past week, it makes me worry more about June. It always comes in threes. I'm going to remain positive. No since of worrying about things outside of our control, right?

Since finishing my project, I feel like I've had an ending too. Now things are closed on one chapter and I can begin a new one. :)

To me, all endings mean beginnings. I think that there is always a bit of sadness when something ends, whether it is a relationship, a big project, a life. We mourn the what we personally lose. Sometimes, it is hard to remember to celebrate. Sometimes the circumstances make it difficult to be thankful. Sometimes you just feel more like crying than laughing. But those are the moments when we see life for what it is. A cycle. We are constantly changing and growing. I truly believe that all of our experiences lead us to who we are at this moment. Good and bad. To remove something from your life would change who you are. Embracing that is the hardest part. The hardest part about life and accepting endings.

I try to remember to be thankful. When I lose someone, I try even harder. To me mourning isn't really about the person dying, it is about your personal loss. The fact that world will no longer be blessed by that individual's smile, sense of humor or love. Yes, that is sad and tragic. But the fact that we were all lucky enough to have it in the first place sometimes is lost. It is overshadowed by the sense of loss. At those moments, we must embrace that emptiness and recognize the times when we were filled up by that individual. Those are moments to celebrate.

Please don't misunderstand, I'm not suggesting that you shouldn't mourn. Just that we remember all the wonderful things too.

I think that we all have little mini life cycles that go on over time. As athletes, we are always trying to make changes in our lives to do better. Things have to give to make room for the new. Old habits or past times are given up for new ones. New relationships grow, while others are harder to maintain. We change. Our bodies change. Our minds change. But most of all, our spirits change. We see the process as we recount all we've done to get to where we are. We see our own losses, our own gains. The transformation plays over in our memory whenever we begin to have doubt.

It seems so fitting that all of this is occurring now. As spring begins and brings new life. The cycle of the seasons reminds me that things do end, but that there are always new beginnings.

Please keep KP, June and MAK their families in your thoughts.

24 April 2008


Today I completed ALL of my requirements for my masters.

My project is D.O.N.E!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

:) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

I'm of mixed emotions right now. But I'm definitely thankful that it is done. :) Everything is turned in and all I need is my M Form turned into the graduate school and my diploma will be in the mail. :)

*SIGH* finally..... :)

19 April 2008

for GZ

My grandma Z passed away in 1997. The last time I saw her before she died was my birthday, which happened to be on Holy Thursday, just like the day I was born. She died about a week later. As we cleaned out her apartment and went through everything, I got to learn a bit more about her as the woman she was not just as my grandma. One of the most meaningful things that I have from her is a book of poetry that she received on her birthday in 1945. I remember picking it up and flipping through the pages. It is a huge volume. It's called A Treasury of Great Poems: English and American compiled by Louis Untermeyer. Later when I had more time, I carefully turned each page and noticed that she had written notes about different poems and what she thought of them. There was one in particular that she listed as her 'very favorite'. We included it in the program at her funeral.

Although I think of her often, it is this time every year though, when I see the daffodils in bloom I always am reminded of her and how much she loved us. I hear her laughing and think of all the silly things she used to do. There are daffodils in the garden just by the side door; so every morning I see them and then every evening when I come home, almost like she is there greeting me.

So I'm going to share with you the poem. I hope that you enjoy it and take time to enjoy some daffodils yourself! :)

The Daffodils by William Wordsworth

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils,
Beside the lake, beneath the trees
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of the bay;
Ten thousand saw I at a glance
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced, but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee;
A poet could not but be gay
In such jocund company!
I gazed-and gazed-but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought;

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

18 April 2008


balance: /ˈbæləns/In the metaphysical or conceptual sense, balance is used to mean a point between two opposite forces that is desirable over purely one state or the other, such as a balance between the metaphysical Law and Chaos — law by itself being overly controlling, chaos being overly unmanageable, balance being the point that minimizes the negatives of both.More recently, the term "balance" has come to refer to a balance of power between multiple opposing forces. Lack of balance (of power) is generally considered to cause aggression by stronger forces towards weaker forces less capable of defending themselves.

I have been absent from blogging and commenting lately. :( I've been so busy and out of touch. It makes me feel overwhelmed sometimes. Like I don't have time for anything because I'm so busy with everything else. Ever feel that way???

Balance is one thing that I can never seem to find. Maybe that is what my life journey is all about learning about balance. I don't mind being busy, in fact I prefer it to the alternative. I just wish I was busier with other aspects of my life than the ones that are keeping me busy currently. It is hard for me to find that balance where I'm accomplishing all that I'm supposed to, honoring my commitments and take care of myself. I usually lose on that one and the two previous responsibilities win. :(

As a result, I feel out of wack and just plain grumpy.

Things have been getting worse health wise with my landlady and I'm desperately seeking new professional experiences and my project is still alive and well. I just want time to be able to sleep more than 5 hours a night and hang out with my friends and take a long hot shower and drink some good beer or wine (or both! ;) ) and get some quality training time in. *sigh*

I'm glad spring is here. Spring is one of my favorite times of year. Not only because it means my birthday ;) but also because of rebirth. Nature balances through the cycle of life. Things grow and decline then die. Every year we get older and we age and parts of our personalities are changing too. This time of year reminds of why things happen the way they do. Because that is how things are supposed to unfold. We are part of it all but not the ones in control. Part of me likes it that way.

I feel like I'm in charge of so many things in my life that I don't want to make any more decisions. Days when I feel overwhelmed with the constant problem solving I do professionally and then the regular household responsibilities, those days are usually cereal dinner days. Why? Because it is one less decision I have to make. I'm not against my take charge self, just sometimes she makes me tired! ;)

I guess it is just all part of that regular everyday learning that we call life. Each day I'm presented with opportunities. Opportunities to learn and grow; to become better at living. To be thankful for all that I have and all that is coming. To enjoy this day, even when you can't wait for it to end. So I guess in a way, my desire for balance in my life is an opportunity. To take the time to make things more balanced or continue the way I am. I want to choose balance. I just don't know exactly how to get there yet.

17 April 2008

for AT

my Auntie Terri is so funny among soooo many other traits that I love about her - anyhow, this post is for her. Her friend has a what tree are you? list on her blog. basically someone associated trees with birthdays, like astrological signs. so AT wants to know what tree I am. lol :) here goes:

Rowan Tree (Sensitivity) -- full of charm, cheerful, gifted without egoism, likes to draw attention, loves life, motion, unrest, and even complications, is both dependent and independent, good taste, artistic, passionate, emotional, good company, does not forgive.

I have never heard of a Rowan tree before so here is what wikipedia has to say:

Mythology and folklore

The European rowan (S. aucuparia) has a long tradition in European mythology and folklore. It was thought to be a magical tree and protection against malevolent beings.[4]

The density of the rowan wood makes it very usable for walking sticks and magician's staves. This is why druid staffs, for example, have traditionally been made out of rowan wood, and its branches were often used in dowsing rods and magic wands. Rowan was carried on vessels to avoid storms, kept in houses to guard against lightning, and even planted on graves to keep the deceased from haunting. It was also used to protect one from witches.[5] Often birds' droppings contain rowan seeds, and if such droppings land in a fork or hole where old leaves have accumulated on a larger tree, such as an oak or a maple, they may result in a rowan growing as an epiphyte on the larger tree. Such a rowan is called a "flying rowan" and was thought of as especially potent against witches and their magic, and as a counter-charm against sorcery.[6] Rowan's alleged protection against enchantment made it perfect to be used in making rune staves (Murray, p. 26), for metal divining, and to protect cattle from harm by attaching sprigs to their sheds. Leaves and berries were added to divination incense for better scrying.

In Finland and Sweden, the number of berries on the trees was used as a predictor of the snow cover during winter. This is now considered mere superstition (however one can hear old men talk of it), as fruit production is related to weather conditions the previous summer, with warm, dry summers increasing the amount of stored sugars available for flower and fruit production; it has no predictive relationship to the weather of the next winter.[7][8] Contrary to the above, in Malaks, Swedish Finland the opposite was thought.[9] If there rowan flowers were plentiful then the rye harvest would also be plentiful. Similarly, if the rowan flowered twice in a year there would be many potatoes and many weddings that autumn. And in Sibbo people are noted as having said that winter began first when the waxwings (Bombycilla garrulus) had eaten the last of the rowan berries.[10]

In Sweden it was also thought that if the rowan trees grew pale and lost color, the fall and winter would bring much illness. [11]

So there you have it everyone! ;) Apparently, I come from the Rowan tree. What do you think AT, how does the description fit????

15 April 2008

decisions, decisions

So all of you get to help me make this decision. My brother loves Heart. I like them a ton too and would love to see them live. They are coming along with Journey and Cheap Trick this summer to Blossom. So my bro is freaking out and totally wanting to go. The thing is......the concert is the day before Great Lakes Escape. :(

Do I ditch GLE and head out to Blossom or do I continue with my plans, and head over to Lakeside alone??? I totally don't mind going without a cheering section. ;) It honestly would probably be better anyhow because at least I would get in bed early. Plus I already have about 4-5 other shows that I'm working on for this summer. I mean this is my 'big' race this season. At the same time, I don't have a wet suit yet and this one is a mandatory race. I'm not totally sure what to do. What do you guys think? I'm going to put up a poll and everyone can share his/her opinion. Thanks!

13 April 2008

we're with the band...


Thursday night I drove out to Kent with my friend Jon to meet up with his friend Jeff and his band mates from Entrain. They are from the Boston area and were stopping off for a gig in Kent with Big Leg Emma at the Kent Stage. We got there pretty early and watched the bands' stuff get set up and hung out with Jeff and some of his band mates. Jon, Jeff and I headed over to a deli for some dinner and then we headed back to the Kent Stage for the show. I grabbed some vid of the performance with my camera. Not the best but I just had to grab some so I could share it with all of you. Apparently, zooming while recording has some negative effects on sound. So if it sounds like it is skipping, I was zooming! ;)

It began with the Grateful Dread who rocked out about 5 solid Dead numbers, ending with the ever popular Casey Jones. Grateful Dread is comprised of the members of Entrain, just a little switched up. Jeff stuck to the guitar and Phil stuck with the keys. Here is a clip from one of their numbers.

After the Grateful Dread wrapped up, Entrain took the stage and quickly jumped into a percussion filled number that captivated the audience. I had had a preview in the car briefly on the way to Kent so I was expecting some strong beats and was not disappointed.

The guys are SUPER talented and pull out all the stops...and instruments! I loved hearing the way everything blended together and how great the harmonies were. Whether it is straight percussion or beats and a melody, every one is perfectly orchestrated. Here is another sneak peak at one of their songs.


At the intermission, I ran out and grabbed one of their new discs. I believe you can order them off the Entrain site. (If not, email me and I will put you in touch with someone from the band so you can get one.) As Big Leg Emma took the stage, Jon and I tried to help the guys load up all of their equipment. We hung out in the winny for a bit and then snuck back in to check out BLE. I had been listening to their sound check earlier in the day and the voices sounded super familiar. As I watched them, I knew I had seen them around before. They are from WNY, my home away from home for 8 years so I didn't feel crazy after I found that out!

After a few songs, they invited Entrain up and Jeff and Tommy joined in on percussion. Here is the full 7 plus minutes of the song. It is a great one so check out the full thing.

BLE with J and T

Although, I was dragging the next day, it was totally worth it! I had a blast and both bands delivered awesome shows. By the way, they both will be performing at the Blue Heron Festival in Sherman, NY over July 4th weekend. Check it out!!!

10 April 2008

it's been soooo long...

Hello everyone!!! :) I feel like it has been ages since my last post. It kind of has but you know how things go; life has a way of getting in the way. So here are a few updates:

- My Auntie Terri's opening was fun and a success for her! No one wanted to go out after so we just went home and I spent my bday up until the wee hours of the morning, working on my project! :P Oh well, there is always next year right?

- Friday I was in the b-lo till 9:30pm. :( Then I had to drive back again on Sunday and print out my project and turn it in via one of my classmates. After missing work on Friday, I couldn't justify missing on Monday too. Thankfully, it is turned in. They do a three person review so hopefully we should have them back next week and I'll know if they want revisions, which is pretty much a given, and then I have two weeks to get those done and submitted. All in all, I'm happy about how it turned out. Eric and Malvika gave me great responses so I was able to have my only little crit before the real one! :) If a miracle happens, I'll get a high pass and be F.I.N.I.S.H.E.D. - I'm not holding my breath though. ;)

-I'm still on the job hunt. I'm ready to move on and have more stability. I enjoy what I'm doing but I don't always feel like my skill set is totally being used. Doing my project just reminded me of how much I enjoy being a 'real' planner and that the skills and strengths I have could be used more in a nonprofit or municipal setting. Keep your fingers crossed - I'm sure something amazing will come along!

-My brother has almost completely moved in with me. Weird huh? I mean we had kind of standing Thursday night plans and he would sleep over, but now he is here all the time. It has been almost a month and I think we are both adjusting but it is for the most part going well. Since June is in the hospital it is nice to have another person around, that's for sure! He is loving his new job, totally ready to be done with high school and can't wait to start CSU. All in all I think this will work out well for him. He gets to be independent from my parents but still has a safety net of sorts. There is an RTA stop almost right in front of my house so he won't have to worry about driving to class and his job is in walking distance of my house. He likes the people he works with too which is always a plus! My parents aren't coping so well but that is to be expected.

-I have so much work to do! :( I need to get a website up and running in the next few hours for another venture we have going on. I love being creative but I hate this rush-rush. I thrive on being busy and being stressed when it comes to work, but I ENJOY being creative so to rush me takes away a bit of the fun.

I hope everyone is well!!!! Enjoy the sunny days Clevelanders, I have heard some rumors that the white stuff is expected back next week! :(

01 April 2008


I'm getting lost in my GIS files and rushing to get everything done so this is just a friendly reminder to all of you who might not have plans for Thursday between 6-8pm. ;)

Lake Erie Artists Gallery Event

Terri Zamiska Harper:

Wine and Cheese Opening

Lake Erie Artists Gallery

DATE: Thursday April 3, 2008

TIME: 6pm - 8pm

LOCATION: Lake Erie Artists Gallery
230 W. Huron Road

Tower City

Level M1

Cleveland, Ohio 44113


After the reception, a bunch of us will prob head over to AJ Roccos for a few celebratory drinks as the opening is on my birthday - all are welcome! Hopefully, you can make it!!!