San Francisco, part 2.

So the sleep thing is not playing along ideally, but other than that, I’m largely a happy camper.

Yesterday I had a leisurely morning, then went for a fairly zen navigational wander. I located the breakfast place Andrew recommended, though there was a line out the door of rather weary, hungover-looking people, so I kept moving. Then I turned a corner and… voila! Crackwhore district. Sherry had mentioned how the “transition” was very striking here — literally one street makes a complete difference in what kind of neighbourhood you’re in. It wasn’t a big deal, some leers, some panhandling. Waterloo is pretty low on the homeless and panhandling side of things, and in a place like Toronto, you pretty much know where the sketchy areas are. Here there seem to be rougher areas, but the panhandlers are all over the place. And there’s more of a noticeable race divide as well. (Granted, Waterloo’s not exactly the finest example of our glorious national cultural mosaic…)

Continue reading “San Francisco, part 2.”

Bite me, witching hour.

So for some reason I woke up at 2am. Not just awake, but, like… a bizarre combination of boing-awake-now-you-are-so-not-falling-back-to-sleep and exhausted. Cuuuuuuz… It’s 2am (closer to 2:30 now, but whatever). That’s only 5am Melle time, and dagnabbit, I’m not Sherry, I don’t do 5am. Unless a cat has just bounded off my head or something.

However, I am no longer drunk. And dear GOD, am I grateful for that. Seriously, did cottage weekend teach me nothing about the drinking and smoking? Is California the new Grey County? Not bringing the hooker shoes was a stroke of genius on my part, apparently.

In any case, one meeting of invisible internet people down. The boy? He is perfect. I think I will have him cloned, wrapped in raffia, and will give him to my friends for Christmas. Now I am even more psyched for Michelle Day on Friday, cuz the locals (i.e. not me and not the bizarre number of people speaking French), they are delightful.

Though I am disappointed that the accent doesn’t remain noticeably amusing all that long…

Amen.

The only thing I can think of to add to this is that it would save a lot of fuss and heartbreak if people would just listen. Listen to the shelter staff when they explain a given breed or dog’s pros and cons, especially after you’ve answered the staff’s questions about your expectations, family, and lifestyle. Listen when the staff discourage you from adopting a certain animal. Even if it’s the cutest thing you’ve ever seen: there’s a reason for it. Listen when the staff make recommendations about the care and training of the animal, and follow up on the recommendations. It will make you a better, and happier, pet owner, and will make for a better, happier pet. (Which means fewer pets returned to shelters, which we really, really hate to see.)

People will allow pet adoptions to be emotionally-ruled decisions, because it deals with things that tug at our heartstrings. But, callous as it may sound, a lot of people (and animals) would be much better off if they made pet adoption decisions like they made car-buying decisions. When you’re buying a car, you want to research what you need in terms of features, or what doesn’t appeal to you. You want to determine what particular types and models cost to own and maintain, and what you can afford. You want to know if a particular make or model has known issues. If you’re buying a used car, you want to know the vehicle’s history and any past problems. You want to know what’s required in terms of maintenance to keep the vehicle in top running order (because problems rarely remain isolated — you let one thing go, it’ll cause something else to go wrong).

All of these things can be applied to pet adoption, particularly where dogs are concerned.

San Francisco, part 1.

Dear Homeland Security,

Nice to meet you!

So, yeah, really the only thing of note out of the travel portion of yesterday was US Customs. A dude who looked like John Goodman asked me some questions, including, “Have you ever had legal action levied against you?” (not to my knowledge) and “Have you ever lived in the United States?” (nope). Then he shoved my forms and ID into a yellow folder, which got me a special invitation into The Other Room. There was a British couple in front of me who had more luggage than I’ve ever seen attached to two people. They got sent even farther on, through the doorway marked “Agriculture”. I had a nice man fingerprint me, photograph me, ask me some questions, and send me on my merry way. (Apparently I don’t fingerprint very well. Good to know.)

So, yeah, apparently I’m nefarious?

The landing was harder on my ears/head than any flight I remember since I was a kid. My ears are still doing all manner of weird crackling, popping things. I don’t think I’m deaf, but we shall see. 🙂 The dude beside me was geek-o-riffic. iPod headphones in a conference pouch around his neck, spent a good part of the flight watching Firefly on his video iPod, and had a CrackBerry and what might have been a DS. He also occasionally flipped through a copy of Wired. I haven’t seen that in paper format in years. Heh.

The hotel is very blue, and cute, in a frou frou-ish way. Michelle sent me welcome booze (awww), though it occurred to me this morning I have no way of opening it. Heh. (Thanks, Homeland Security, for making it so a girl has to leave all her purse tools at home!)

Still tired, though the old bod informed me quite clearly that I was not getting any sleep past 8am. Hmph. Please point in the direction of the coffee. Better yet, assign me a butler for the week. Currently fighting the urge to just remain in bed with my laptop all day. I can look at pictures of the city from here, right? 🙂

Argh.

You know how when it’s almost time to do something, and you’re a bit freaked out, but kinda psyched, except it’s not quite yet time, and you’re waiting, and all your usual distractions fail or are unavailable, which exacerbates the freaked out part?

Yeah, I hate that.

Oh well, least I’m packed. (Except for the laptop, as you can see.)

*twitch*

Narcissistic Navel-Gazing taken up a notch.

I can’t do this. I tried… couple/few times. Never could get worked up with any kind of enthusiasm, even when I had friends doing it, too. Probably didn’t help that I never had a plan or an idea or… anything. (Though I’ve never been someone who does “show your drafts and rough work” well.)

However, this I can do. Cuuuuuz… I do that most days, anyway. Yay for La-Z-Boy goals! (I’m in the backlog of participants not yet added to the list, but I will be under ‘M’, naturally.)

So yeah, that’ll start on Wednesday. Maybe I’ll just write my usual blather. Maybe I’ll write about my trip. Maybe I’ll write some stories.

And come December 1st, I get a cookie!

Introverts 101

It’s cool to read things that make your brain holler “Oh Dear Lord YES”, except that when they’re articles on the interweb, you feel kinda naked, cuz other people can read them, too, and know you.

This was one of those readings.

Paragraph after paragraph, insight after insight… Makes you feel kinda… nude. And hell, how can you explain to someone, “I love you. I think you are witty and charming and the most fascinating, wonderful person on this earth… but spending extended periods of time with you sucks energy out of me like the Griswalds’ Christmas lights suck hydro…” (As a side note, the more charismatic the person? The bigger the drain. My brother? Oy vey…)