Life in this, the 21st century – a perspective.

I greatly dislike what I like to term “people noises”. That label alone makes me seem just a tad overly misanthropic, but there is context, I promise.

This morning dawned bright, fresh, and beautiful. Bright sunshine, light breezes, blue sky, fresh smelling air. And so I decided I was going to take my laptop down to the deck and work out there for the day. It’s not a work day, I know, but I have work to do and having not felt the motivation before this morning, I was trying to milk the most out of this feeling as I could. I knew that the bright sunshine and the fresh breezes would keep me invigorated and motivated.

Where we live is literally “bush”. There are so many trees around that it can be a little hard to get a clear view of the sun overhead or even of the neighbour’s house. We are embedded in forestry. That gives us all the usual wood noises: chirping birds, whistling crickets, creaking branches, rustling leaves.

The longer I sit here, though, the more I realize just how much our “people noises” spoil all this. A neighbour has a sprinkler going – has had it going for over 2 hours. Just now, another neighbour walked out of their front door and yelled something about the office. Ok; “yelled” is an overstatement. People sometimes speak extremely loudly and this particular person spoke so loudly that I could hear them from where I am sitting. (I suck at judging distances, but I would say I am at least a few hundred yards away from their front door.) A few moments after that, someone started their truck  (or pickup, if you’re Jamaican) and the engine revved loudly for a good 2 minutes before they started driving away.

And after they had driven away, it became clear to me just how loud that sprinkler, voice, and truck engine had been because it suddenly got quiet enough for me to hear a lawn mower going a few miles away and the train noises we sometimes hear from more than a few miles away.

People are noisy. We can’t help it because most of the tools we use to make life liveable by today’s standards are noisy: motor vehicles, lawn mowers, sprinklers, trains, airplanes. 200 years ago, when the world was a vastly different place, the loudest noises I might have heard were I sitting in this very same spot would only be the sounds of the woods. I certainly would not be sitting on a chair, typing on my laptop; I probably would have been wearing far less revealing clothes; I would not have a Kindle, a smartphone, or a coffee cup sitting on the table in front of me either; but it isn’t inconceivable that I might be sitting right here.

If it weren’t for my abnormal dependency on the interwebs and clean water, I think I would want to time travel back to the 17th century and live there instead. We spend a great deal of time criticising the spoilt brats among us. Yet we all don’t seem to be able to realise that we are all extremely spoilt ourselves. All of the conveniences that we enjoy these days, and without even realising that they are indeed conveniences, are 20th century inventions.

To be completely honest with you – back to nature sounds beautifully peaceful and unblemished to me right now and I think I’d do it in a heartbeat. What would I miss? The internet, hot water showers, and Law and Order: SVU reruns for when I’m depressed. Although, I suspect I’d probably be depressed far less often, then.

Life was simpler then. If there hadn’t been any rain in a few weeks, the lawn would turn brown and we would let it because that’s the way of nature. If we needed to go out for any reason at all, we’d load up the horse or the carriage with enough drinking water and bread to keep us over a few days journey. And we would certainly not hear our neighbours talking to one another because people did not live this close to each other in those days.

I can just imagine the comments to these musings – especially from you die-hard 21st century peeps. There is no living without internet or cable TV; no 5 minute drive to the nearest convenience store (there it is again, that word) or the ability to hail your neighbour with slightly louder-than-normal “Hello”.  Am I right?

haven’t blogged all week

I haven’t blogged all week and I feel like I am missing something.

Since last week, however, I have managed to find an e-book copy of each of the Twilight Saga books and put them on the kindle and I started reading again. Like I was telling a friend, I STILL love the books. I am still thrilled to bits to be despising how much of a twit Bella is and how much of a completely unrealistic character Edward is. I Yesterday, I recapped their first “date” when Edward took Bella to his “special place”, a clearing in the forest. How completely weird the whole incident was. I mean, sparkly? Don’t get me wrong, I admire Meyer’s originality in explaining the centuries long aspect of the vampire myth that has them hiding out during daylight hours, but sparkly just feels …. fantastical to me. Unreal.

In any case, lack of realism aside, stupidity aside, I STILL love the damn story. And I think I am the sort of person who will enjoy anything that can evoke a strong emotion from me. ANYTHING that will make me FEEL, is a damn good story for me. And I don’t mean feel like punching out the creator of the story, I mean feel like punching out the main characters in the story. I feel like I’d step into the book, arrive in Forks, seek out Bella, give her a GOOD talking to about how women are supposed to conduct themselves with pride and dignity, spank her little childish bottom, give that disgusting Charlie a lesson in child-rearing and then walk out – head held high.

Well, lets set Twilight and its subsequent sequels aside and talk about the rest of the week.

It has been warm ALL week. In the 50s most days. Its been real nice. I was off last week Sunday, and I did absolutely nothing all day. I think I might have spent most of the morning on the computer getting apps for my iPhone. And then the afternoon playing with hubby .. until he had to go to work. Then I was supposed to play with Jen, but something happened, and I ended up on my death knight until they called me for a raid.

Monday was work again. I got up early (7am) and got ready and even got to work “early” only to realize that the schedule “change” I thought I was looking at was the wrong one and I didn’t need to be at work until 1pm. I headed back home, of course. Even thought I could probably have used an extra few hours of pay, I doubt that those hours would have been approved as overtime pay … not in the slow season like this. At least hubby and I got to spend a little time together before I went back to work. When I DID get to work, oh boy did I get in trouble. Last Friday, I felt SO ill that when my colleague suggested we close up shop early, especially since one of the other offices (and in fact the “spearhead” office) was closed early too I didn’t even think about it, and just came home and slept. On Monday, the boss called me on it. Wanted to know why, and when I explained, told me it was fine but that I should call him next time it happened. Well, the thing is … I was sick enough that I didn’t even THINK straight about what I should be doing. And frankly, I was only there until that time because I didn’t want to leave the other girl there alone late at night. Otherwise I think I would’ve left HOURS before the 8:10 I did leave. Oh well, lets hope next time I think more clearly – right?

The rest of the week was uneventful. I had my interview on Thursday and two things became clear to me from that interview: I DEFINITELY do not want another Digicel job and that job was going to like Digicel, if not worse… secondly, I better not commit to that kind of job at ALL yet – we might be moving house here in a few months and no one is going to like it if I up and leave 6 months after being hired. I am going to have to rethink this job thing a little.

Yesterday was weird. It dawned a little overcast. Then the sun came out for about an hour at 10ish. Then it got overcast a little and started raining about noon or 1ish. By 2:30 it had turned to a snow and rain mix and by 3 it was snowing hard. HUGE snowflakes. I mean, snow accumulating on the cars, kind of snow. Of course, it wasn’t accumulating on the road surface … oh no, that would have still been too warm!!!

IMG_0080.JPG

By the time 5pm rolled around and knocking off time, there was a significant amount of snow on the ground

IMG_0083.JPG

Ridiculous. It was freaking 50 degrees earlier that day!!! From 50 degrees to below 32 within the space of an afternoon??? Good grief!

This morning, was the best one ever. I woke up and got on my computer and started to blog and BLAM! out goes my keyboard. So, another trip to apple in the works, I wake hubby and we head on up there. Over the phone, they had wanted me to make an appointment which I didn’t want to do in case I couldn’t make it in time, or hubby said we would get it at the PX .. or you know – anything. Luckily, he was just as thrilled to make the almost-hour-long-drive into Louisville to visit the apple store again and so off we went. I went prepared to spend the $50 for the new keyboard … I mean, I was out of warranty on my iMac and there just didn’t seem anyway possible for me to get it any other way. Ha!

Dude takes the 2 keyboards from me, takes out the new one, puts my old one in the box and sends me home with a “have a nice day” smile. WOW! I love apple. I did NOT expect that at ALL – I walked up to him and pulled out my card to swipe and he was like “Oh no – I’m replacing it for you. Put your card back up.”

I secretly believe that had I looked like I expected to get it free they might have charged me for it. Maybe. /shrug Who knows. I am just LOVING the support though. And I have a brand spanking new keyboard. =) Want a picture?

photo.jpg

Isn’t shiny looking?

/sigh

So today, the snow was still around, and coming back from the Apple store, we took a different route home, just so hubby could show me this route. And OH it reminded me SO much of Mount Rosser (well except for the snow part) that I had to take some picts (pardon the windscreen wiper marks – this is a highway, stopping on the side of it was just not possible. People are travelling in excess of 50mph on this road):

IMG_0102.JPG IMG_0105.JPG

I miss home! =(

Ok, this post is long enough … I better stop here.

a good day

Remember I was dreading Sunday? Well, here’s what happened on Sunday:

I walked in, rushed in actually, cos I thought I was late. Boss’ wife was vacuuming the office when I got in. She greeted me with “What a way to spend your Sunday, huh?” and then “Here … here is your very own office key.” and hands me a key to the office. I am like “Whoa! Thanks!” she smiled and said something else funny. She’s a real nice lady. Met her on my first day there and liked her immediately.

Well, as it turns out, they BOTH liked me. A LOT! Later on, just before we closed, Boss says (after I said thanks about the key) “Oh – no worries. You should’ve had one before now, but I just never got around to cutting one before today.” And I say something like “Didn’t think I qualified for one” and he goes “Oh No! Not at all…. I was just my usual methodically late self. No, no – you’re doing GREAT! And I don’t think you’ll ever even imagine how grateful I am to you for walking in here looking for a job that day. You saved us here!”

And I nearly melted all over the floor. I’m doing great? He is grateful I came in looking for a job? I am doing THAT good that he had to SAY it to me with vim and vigor.

I gotta tell ya – that’s the kind of thing I have been missing ALL my life. Positive reinforcement about my work. I could be wrong, but I seem to remember that I had to ASK for feedback on my work before. It wasn’t very forthcoming on its own… and even when I DID ask, it was limited to one specific item or situation. Very demotivating. You go around thinking that maybe you aren’t doing such a good job because no one is saying anything. Of course, I know that you can’t ALWAYS get praise for everything you do. In fact, it is not in human nature to praise more often than it is to condemn … so I guess I understand on a very basic level what it means. But still, it was very nice to hear that I was welcome, and useful and actually good at what I do.

My mother, of course, has always said I’d excel at whatever I chose to do – but I never really listened to her – cos it’s her job to be my main and loudest cheerleader. But it turns out that she just might have been right after all. I attribute that to the perfectionist in me. If I am going to attempt something, I am going to make it as near-perfect as I can … just because any less would drive me crazy.

So, a week later, and I know I am going good at this job. I feel good.

Ice

Only problem today is, that it’s been snowing all night. Hubby got up at 2 to go into work to help be there in case there are weather related problems. I dunno how I am going to go in … oh wait, phone call. Boss called, saying to stay in and prolly that we will be closed again tomorrow too. We’ll see I guess. It’s bad out there now. (about 3 hours later) – the rain/sleet came down and covered the snow with ice. Went out just now with hubby to grab some kitteh food and was sliding all over the damn driveway to get into the truck.

I gotta tell ya, it’s annoying as hell, but I like it. Am waiting to see how many of these it’ll take for me to be like “ok this is old now.” It’s nice though, to see hubby taking a renewed interest in snow and ice and so on as he experiences it with me like it was a first time for him again.

hectic days

Even though I am only there for 5-7 hours, I am DOG TIRED when I get home. Yesterday was the worst of them all. My feet ached, my back ached, my head ached … some of that, I am sure, was the Hep-B vaccine I had gotten the day before (they have me on the “fast track” Hep-B plan) and piled on top of that the lack of a good night’s sleep due to WoW-itis.

/sigh

The newest patch? Oh boy. I was telling my mother, maybe slightly under-stating, that I think my WoW days were running to a close before this patch … now I am set and ready to get into the new content. I think Blizzard knew this was the case with their players. Bored with the new content of the Burning Crusade already? Here comes Wrath of the Lich King to save the day.

Ugh. It’s greed – wanting to keep their current monies and probably get a few more subs in at the same time.

Nevermind, this expansion looks to be a rather spectacular event. Already half my characters play that much better. I can’t wait.

In other news, it is frickin’ 48 degrees here now. I woke up, put on socks, sweat pants, t-shirt AND pullover in the house. OMG …  But I’ll tell you something. This is something hubby and I have in common, something I have almost never encountered before in anyone else I’ve met. Something that makes our relationship that much more solid because of this: we BOTH prefer the cold. And he said it this morning to me “I’d much rather be cold than hot.” Ya. That’s it right there folks. It’s what I’ve always said: I HATE THE HEAT and would much prefer cold. You can warm up with the cold, you can pile on layers and layers of clothes. You can do shit-wad when you’re hot. It’s just impossible. And oh yea, I’ve got the “Wait until you have to deal with the cold of North America. You’ll say different then.” the know-it-alls who just refuse to believe that *I* could be different. “You born in Jamaica – there is no way you can LIKE the cold.” … Guess what? MUCH easier to cuddle down with hubby swathed in blankets and warm clothes with a hot cup of cocoa beside me than it is to COOL down beside hubby (both our body temps tend to be high) when it’s a steaming 80 degrees. So there.

Ok – rant done. Those who know me will recognize in that rant the old Fyr who just hated people telling her what she would think, feel or say under certain circumstances she may not have experienced before.

Today is an off-day. I am home until Monday morning when the rush starts again.  My body better start getting used to the routine of getting up earlier than the worms, working HARD until 1 or 2 and then coming back home to wind down. I predict that’s the kind of day I will be having continually for a while. I really wonder though, whether this work is something I might get bored doing after a while. I really wonder. Good news is that I have at LEAST another 2 months to try it out (and them to try me out) before I have to make a decision. Should be good experience anyway.

My good friend DJ says this kind of work has always been in my nature … and considering how well he’s read me over the years, I think I might have to say “Amen” to that. I mean, didn’t I say it a few blog posts a-back? That I felt like I could finally settle down into being who I REALLY am instead of the front I put on for 10 or so years? Well, let’s just play it by ear before we make a ruling on this. Shall we?

Wonder how confusing it must have been dealing with me? My exit interview hinted as much. I was a confusing personality, an unknown quantity that people weren’t sure of from minute to minute.  I thought it bizarre back then … now … I wonder…

Anyway, enough of that blather; comment if you will on these little suckers.

did i tell you about my energy or what?

Here are some of the spoils from this morning’s energy trek:

Not sure what this little shrub is called, but the little pale purple flowers were so pretty that I had to super-macro a couple:

This is a spider right outside my room actually …. I didn’t have any faith the shot would be any good, but it’s a lot better than I had imagined. I’ve never shot spiders before, simply because I despise them … but they DO make magnificent photo subjects – especially when you can find one smack in the middle of their web like this.

Black and white photography always seems to add a sense of intrigue to a scene … at least for me. And that doesn’t even quite describe the feeling … it adds something to a shot that you might not necessarily have had in colour. Take for example this subject – boring otherwise, but somehow made interesting by being shot in black and white:

Something else I’ve never shot before – up close and personal in the center of a flower – fascinating:

This one is also a favourite for 2 reasons: I didn’t know the peppermint shrub bloomed and secondly, the shot is flawless to me – the green is in-focus just enough to see the leaf shape and out-of-focus enough to give a nice DOF feeling:

Ok. I’m done now. 😀