Friday, April 27

this is it

star tulips, i think

Yep, this is it. I'm packing up the computer after I get done here. I shall miss you all, but a break from the computer is always nice.

I have little more to add...stomach is still crazy, but eh, what can I do? We have to get to Santa Fe, upset stomach or no. I am sure that once we get going, my nerves will mellow out.

Have a fabulous weekend and then some! I'll be back here in a week or two.


Thursday, April 26

on driving across the country, part three

When I initially started posting on this topic, I wanted to do a series of posts about some of my travel adventures; but as luck would have it, between preparing for the big move, work, and computer issues, I never got around to it. And I am not going to cover it all now. Suffice it to say that after the Dead summer tour of 1991, I did not travel cross country (by car) again until 1995 when I moved to Pittsburgh.

Which isn't to say I didn't travel. When I was in my 20's, I took a lot of good road trips, some by myself, some with other folks. Two of my favorite road trips were taken with my friend Birdy. On summer I drove her up to Montana where she was going to working for a few months, and then headed back south via Spokane, Portland and California. I drove down the coast from Portland to San Francisco and I remember it as one of the most beautiful drives ever. I really would love to do that again. Then it was San Francisco to San Diego where another friend, Christine, met me and we made our way back to Albuquerque. The second trip with Birdy was my first and only trip to Austin for SXSW. That was an adventure.

There were also smaller trips to Colorado, Arizona, and California, mostly for shows, and well, not love but crushes. I drove to Seattle by myself once and man, I loved that trip. I wanted to move to Seattle so badly and then ended up in Pittsburgh. Go figure. Rains a lot in both places. And I did travel cross country by train once, another awesome experience. Oh yes, those were the days. I may not have been fearless, but I definitely didn't have some of the travel anxiety issues that I have today.

So all this babbling is just leading up to telling you that we are taking the middle route to New Mexico. We could take I-70 West just about the whole way to Colorado and then head south to Santa Fe on I-25. Or we could take a more southern route through Tennessee where we could hit I-40 West and take that all the way to Albuquerque. That's basically the reverse of what I did when I moved out here. We wanted to see Graceland so we drove to Memphis from Albuquerque and then headed north from there. But we're going down the middle. I-70 West to Missouri (I think) and then down into Oklahoma where we'll eventually hit I-40 which was take us through Texas and into New Mexico. This route is the shortest, with a route distance of 1627 miles and driving time of 24:31. If we weren't going to have the cats with us, I would love to meander our way to the southwest, but since we will have the cats with us, I want to get to Santa Fe as quickly as possible.

The cats have both moved before, but neither have been on a car trip that lasts more than a day. I have no idea what to expect, but fingers crossed, all is going to be fine. My guess is that they'll cry for awhile and then settled down for the car ride. I think they'll be way more freaked out by funny smelling motel rooms than the car. Cats don't like change and being in some random room without any of their normal furnishings is not going to be fun. I can't blame them. On the other hand, cats are pretty adaptable and I think they'll make it without being too traumatized. At least they will be with us. Anyone have any cat travel trips?

When I moved out here with my cat Jed, he flew by himself. And that did traumatize him. As well as me. When I got to the airport he wasn't here. No one told me that I had to go to the cargo airport which was an entirely different place. It was awful. And he had taken a mild sedative so he was freaked out and groggy and it broke my heart. He was a bit changed after that. So I have no desire to put Simon and Rocky through that experience.

As for the stress from watching the Today show, they were showing tornado and flood footage from Texas and the Plains area and while it was nowhere that we are driving through, it got me thinking about bad weather. Being that I am prone to high stress, my head whirled right into a near panic attack. I can just see myself in water up to my windows on the interstate with two cats and all my cameras. "Don't save me, take the cats and the cameras!" Oy. I am joking, but man, I have been super anxiety-ridden and unfortunately for me, it all comes out via my stomach. Which makes me more stressed which makes my stomach worse and so on. I stocked up on Tums, Pepto and Maalox so hopefully I don't spend the trip stopping at bathrooms.

That said, I am feeling mostly positive about the trip. I am trying not to focus on my fears but rather on the good stuff. The open road, the wind blowing in my hair, me and the cats rocking out to all the cool music people are burning for us. It'll be good. It'll be fun. It'll be an adventure. For sure.

Okay, well, sorry to ramble on for so long. I'll be online for awhile tomorrow and then that'll be it for awhile. Oh, I did put Twitter back up in the sidebar so I may send a few words from the road. And I may post some pics tomorrow. If not, see you on the flip side. Much love, madorange.

snaps from the weekend

[me-n-bambam. one of my favorite snaps from the weekend.]

stare down
[Will in a stare down with a scotch egg.]

SKNKS @ Gooski's
[Will rockin' it with SKNKS. I love the graininess.]

anita fix & bambam @ gooski's
[BamBam rockin' it with Anita Fix. I love the green!]

[Hanging in the backyard. We had such a lovely couple of days with Matt & Sylvia. Thanks for the visit!]

Wednesday, April 25

the countdown continues


Last year I got a roll of 1600 film for my Pentax K1000 and it took me about a year to shoot the entire roll. Terrible, I know, but it's not a camera I carry around with me. Over the past week or two, I posted most of the shots on Flickr. I am really pleased with the way they came out and inspired to pull out that camera more often.

I had planned on posting about our trip today, but I have been on the computer for so long, backing up all my data, that my eyes feel blurry and my head isn't so focused. Oh, and I have also been studying maps online and searching for pet-friendly motels in various places. I'll tell you about that tomorrow. And about the stress that watching 10 minutes of the Today caused this morning. Travel anxiety, I don't need you!

As for the major back up, I was planning on doing it anyway since I have to pack up my computer soon and well, I generally do back ups before major travel. But today I did it for another reason. I have still been having problems with this brand new machine so after talking with my friend (the computer dealer), he called his company and they want me to send the whole box back. (The motherboard and one memory module has already been replaced.) The CPU overheated the other day, and a new computer should not be having so many issues. They don't really know what's wrong so they want it back. They may fix it and I'll get it back with data intact, or they may just send me a whole new computer in which case I'll need all this backed up data. So there you go. Not so fun on top of the move, but on the other hand, I wasn't going to be using my computer for a few days anyway so I probably won't miss it much.

This evening we are heading to Gooski's for one last burger cooked up by Blazzzer and some drinks with Blood, Chill and Glitter. I guess it will probably be my last trip to Gooski's for awhile. Packing is pretty much down except for the few things I can't do until Friday so tomorrow probably won't be too busy. Okay, so tomorrow will probably be my last post and Friday morning will be my last time with the computer for a week or more so if you need to email me, do it soon! I'm sure I'll post to Flickr via my mobile phone while we are traveling, but I won't have email access until we get to my parents next week. Wow, this is really happening!!

I'll leave you with a picture of Sylvia and me, sitting with Shades the Dog at the cook out on Sunday. Happy days!

shades at the picnic table w/ me and sylvia

Monday, April 23

one more week

One week from now, we'll be somewhere on I-70 West, probably nearing Effingham, IL where we plan to spend the night. Our entire our house is just about packed up, and still it is hard to believe that we are soon moving across the country.

Last week was all about packing.

busy packing

Most everything is in boxes at this point. I have some clothes left to pack and the last of the kitchen stuff. We're getting the moving van on Saturday so everything has to be ready to go by then. I don't think it is going to be a problem. And I think we are going to have plenty of space in the truck. I always worry about that, but now that our stuff is packed and stacked, it doesn't look like we have as much as I thought. Of course getting rid of a garage full of crap certainly helped.

This past weekend was absolutely gorgeous. I think much of the Northeast experienced similar weather.

not a cloud in the sky all weekend long

Not a cloud in the sky for three days straight! It was awesome. We had some friends in from New York for most of the weekend and we spent much of it sitting in the backyard, soaking up the sun. It was great to see our friends and to get in some relaxation after such a busy week. We cooked out on Friday evening to kick off a night of rock shows. Oakley Hall played outside at CMU. I missed that portion of the evening, but I heard they were excellent. Later, Anita Fix and Sknks played at Gooski's and it was a fine evening of rock. I stayed up front for most of the night, getting beer poured down my back and watching some of my favorite people make music. As I have said time and time again, one of the things I shall miss most about this city is the music scene. Not sure how I'll get my fix of Pittsburgh bands from so far away.

We were out until the wee hours of the morning so Saturday was all about taking it easy. Brunch at Barb's, natch. More time in the backyard. A nap. And then off to another cook out where we ate so much amazing food. Happy pig. Scotch eggs. Chorizo. Buttery steamed vegetables. Homemade poppers. Shrimp. German potato salad. Blackberry pie. I couldn't stop eating. Seriously. The company was excellent as well.

Our visitors left early on Sunday morning and I spent most of the day packing random things around the house and the crap leftover from the garage sale. I have to admit I was feeling tired and a bit grouchy around the edges.

Today we ran some errands and I got rather distracted at Target. I know, I know, I shouldn't shop there, but I do, though not nearly as often as I used to. Let me tell you, they have some cute dresses right now. Super cute. And none of them fit me, conveniently enough! Alas, but really, it's for the best. I don't really need more clothing right now. (Ahem, or EVER.) I did find a sweet pair of light summer pants that fit though. And new underwear. I resisted the urge to buy the lovely turquoise plastic cups because, um, we're moving. Yeah. I am able to maintain control while shopping, believe it or not. On the way home, we stopped in the Strip and got some beautiful tuna steaks for dinner as well as some steak steaks for later in the week. Yum.

Boy, I could go on and on here, but I won't. Suffice it to say that I am busy and probably won't have the time or focus for updates. I will be posting to Flickr all week, but I may or may not be back here. Maybe one more post before we hit the road. I think I'll probably pack up the computer this weekend so that will be it for awhile.

Thanks for checking in and I hope you'll be back down the rode to hear about life in Santa Fe!! xox

Wednesday, April 18

sadie's birthday party

A day or two late, but here are some birthday photos, as promised.


make a wish
[Make a wish.]

wing man
[Dante likes his wings!]

kitty lulu
[Lulu, cute as a kitty.]

I didn't get any photos of the littlest one, Liliana. She's just as adorable as the three older kids. I am happy to be going back to my own family (I have seven nieces and nephews), but boy, I am going to miss seeing these kids grow up!

Monday, April 16

garage sale success!

garage sale

The garage sale turned out to be quite a success despite the dreary weather. It was cold and gray all day, but it was dry to we managed to get quite a few customers who were out and about and saw the signs that Will put up. Many friends also stopped by to say hi and look things over. I had quite a chill all day, but it was fun nonetheless. As you can see in the above photo, we had A LOT OF STUFF. So much stuff that I was rather disgusted with myself for having so much excess. I knew that I had many bags piled in the basement, but once I set it all out, it looked like the amount had doubled!

garage sale

I have gotten better at paring down my material possessions, but I am hoping to get even better. It is just not necessary to have so much STUFF, especially since we are going to be living in a much smaller place.

It rained all day yesterday so we were happy that we had the garage sale on Saturday. No one would have come yesterday. After the garage sale, we went to Sadie's two-year old birthday party. I'll share some of the photos later. Yesterday we ran some errands and then spent most of the afternoon hanging out with Blood. It was a nice, relaxing day. But now I have to get back to work around the house. There is still loads to do. Our move is TWO WEEKS away. Two weeks from right now, we'll be heading out of Pittsburgh. Wow.

Friday, April 13

moving sale!

In Pittsburgh

Yep, we're actually going to do it tomorrow even though the weather is not going to be very cooperative. It's not supposed to rain until later in the day, but with the way things have been lately, who knows what kind of weather we'll find in the morning. We do have a garage though so we don't have to set up anything outside. I have no idea what kind of success we'll have; we have tons of stuff to put out though. Clothes, jackets, bags, shoes, books, games, kitchen wares and small appliances, PlayStation 1 + games, music, bric-a-brac and who knows what else I have stashed in the basement. I suspect that any Pittsburgh folks that read this blog know me and know where I live, but if there is anyone out there who doesn't know the location, drop me a line at madorangefools [at] gmail [dot] com and I'll give you the details. Here's hoping that Will and I don't freeze to death!

Tuesday, April 10

flickr faves to save the day!

Hello again. I am currently having a much longer day at work than I anticipated and it is making me tired. I have a large shipment going out today and need to be here until the carrier takes it away. They were supposed to come this morning, but of course they did not and I could very well be sitting here until five o'clock! My patience is wearing thin, but alas, there is little that I can do but wait. I had hoped to get home early this afternoon and work on one last tote that needs to be made. I have been putting this project off for too long and it must get done this week. After it is done, the craft room will be packed up and I don't know when I'll get back to sewing! Perhaps in June...not so far off the way time flies.

On to some flickr faves from the past couple of weeks (since I missed last week).

sunnykat's owen. simply beautiful light.
not the fishes' untitled. an amazing Polaroid multiple exposure.
rebeccamissing's Every part stands still. more beautiful light.
druedrue's untitled. birds. a tree. two of my favorite subjects. lovely black and white photo.
vixgirl's seaside. love the light in this one too, so bright, I can almost feel the sun on my face. love the old-fashioned carousel as well.

That's it for today! Crossing my fingers that I get to head home soon.

Monday, April 9

three more weeks!

my favorite neighborhood tag

Hello. I have many things to share so this may turn into something of a ramble. First, yes, I have my computer back! Yea! I actually got it back on Saturday which was something of a surprise as I thought it wouldn't be back until later this week. It was only gone for three days, but boy, it was rough! So happy to have the little hum in my office back. We're running at half capacity right now because one of my memory modules was bad, but hey, that we're running at all is awesome.

Second, the photo above is from a week or so ago. I see this tag in the mornings when I run and I love it. Probably because I love birds. I finally went for a walk with my camera so I could get a picture of it. My Lomo LC-A went out with me on the walk as well, but sadly, the roll of film that I took didn't turn out. Actually, it never even was exposed as it wasn't threaded properly. This is the second time it's happened with the Lomo and it sucks. It used to be fine so I don't know if the teeth are messed up or if it is just me. At any rate, I shall never see the other photos that I took on this walk.

And now here we are with three weeks left until we head west to New Mexico! Part of me can't even wrap my head around the fact that we are leaving so soon and part of me is super excited. I've been packing since 11 o'clock this morning and I am tuckered out. We have four floors, basement to attic and so I have been doing a lot of running up and down the stairs. I've already packed a good deal of stuff and so today's packing was frustrating. I have odds and ends that should have gone with other stuff but got overlooked. There is only so much more I can pack at this point as we still need our kitchen stuff and what not. So I guess it is okay to take a breather. But we might go to New York next week so I am trying to stay on top of packing so I am not super stressed in the end. I think it'll be okay.

My bigger worry is the garage sale. We had planned to have it this past weekend, but with the weather taking a turn for the cold, we decided to postpone it. Now we are set on doing it this Sunday, but the weather forecast still isn't great. We don't really have anymore weekends to do it so it has to be done. I think it is going to be more work than all the other packing I have done! I have a mound of stuff in the basement that I need to lug out to the garage and organize in some way. It's going to be a busy week.

I didn't work today, but I do work half days the rest of the week. Initially I was stressed about this turn of events, but at this point, I don't mind. I really like my job and the folks at my company. I'm going to miss the place a lot. It's been a good job for me. But this definitely will be my last week of work!!

We went bowling last Thursday with Blood and Chill and it was so much fun! Chill took some pics with my camera and caught me dropping my bowling ball:

me, dropping my bowling ball

I am not the best bowler, but man, it is so much fun. We were there on 80's night and listening to all the new wave made me so happy. The beer didn't hurt either. It was a great night. I am going to miss those ladies a lot.

Okay, enough with my rambling...I know I am not making a whole lot of sense, but you know what, it's probably going to be this way from here on out. I have a lot on my mind and I'm not writing everyday so when I do it all comes out at once.

A happy week to you all! I'll try to check in tomorrow with some flickr favs.

Thursday, April 5

computer blues

Hello. I am sorry that updates have been so few and far between, but I am pretty busy right now. After all, we are moving across the country in less than a month! I do spend quite a bit of time on my computer, but I guess I've had a hard time focusing on updates here. The words haven't exactly been flowing lately.

And now I have the computer blues. I do not have a computer at home right now. (I am currently at work.) And it's hard. It's only been a little more than a day and it feels so strange not to have my machine humming away in the office. I am definitely attached to my computer. I don't know what is wrong or how long I will be without it, but I am not working for the next four days either so there won't be updates here or on Flickr. Just wanted to let you know!

So if you email me, you might not hear back from me until next week. And if you know me in person and need to contact me, please call or text me.

Stay warm and have a wonderful weekend!

Sunday, April 1

green building


Another one of my favorites from the last Diana-F roll. I love the way this tree looks against this green building. I've taken a few pictures of it.

Happy April Fool's Day!