rebecca_in_blue: (dozing off)
Can you believe Rebecca went to two Mardi Gras parades this weekend? I hadn't been to one since 2007! I actually almost went to three, but I got the time wrong on the dog parade on Saturday and most of it was over when I arrived. The atmosphere there was kinda crazy, and I also made the huge mistake of driving instead of biking, and parking was a nightmare. After that, I headed over to CJ & Company's and just crocheted the night away. They had good food and a ton of plastic bags for me to crochet with -- what more could you want?

Today, I woke up early (UGH) to visit Aunt Carla, and this afternoon, Briana and I hit the two parades. It rained (pretty darn hard at times, too!) during most of the first one, and we got drenched, but we both genuinely had fun. It made me feel like a kid again -- remember stepping off the curb and looking down to see what was coming next, and dashing into the street between floats to grab candy before it got smooshed? Briana made a haul: two stuffed animals, two plastic cups, and more candy and beads than she could hold! I never in my life caught that much at a parade. But I did end up with a few beads, some candy, and the cutest little plush dog, so I was happy.

After that, there was a lighted boat parade on the lake. Neither of us had been to a boat parade before, and it was pretty cool. The boats and their reflections on the water was so pretty. It was a fun day that made me glad I joined Big Brothers Big Sisters, but it was also long, very exhausting, and kinda stressful. Briana was excited and wanted to do/see so much, and while it was GREAT to see her enthusiastic instead of bored, by the end of the day, my energy was flagging and she was still on the go. I was thinking about taking her to the last big blow-out parade on Tuesday evening, but after today, I think I might stay at home, rest, write fanfiction, and listen to the parade from here.

Geez, where did that weekend go?
rebecca_in_blue: (dozing off)
And have I fallen so far, and is the hour so late
That nothing remains but the cries of my hate?
The cries in the dark that nobody hears
Here where I stand at the turning of the years

 - "Valjean's Soliloquy," from Les Miserables

Shabbat shalom is the greeting for Sabbath peace, but Rebecca sure wasn't feeling any of that on Friday evening. Our temple is a small congregation with several different lay leaders, but one of them (the one who did services yesterday) totally grates on my nerves. He uses his sermons to wave his arms around and YELL AT US about politics and the election. UGH! There are not enough words for how much I hate this. I need to stop going to his services.

Today was the last Shabbat of 5772, and our temple marked the occassion with havdalah and tashlich services at the 9/11 Memorial on the lakefront. (The three little American flags I left on Grandma's birthday were still there.) We had a bigger turn-out and nicer weather than last year, but it was held later in the evening, so seagulls didn't flock out to eat our bread this time. Yeah, a big group of Jews singing Hebrew prayers in public did get some strange stares, but I didn't care. As we were leaving, lights came on in the memorial's reflecting pool. I didn't even know it had lights and said, "Oh, that's pretty," sounding cynical and sarcastic, like I always do. Maggie said at the same time, "Look, Rebecca! That is SO beautiful!" There is something so enthusiastic and innocent about her outlook on life that is almost bittersweet to me.

Tomorrow evening marks the beginning of a new year, 5773, and I'm hoping that with it, I can turn over a new leaf. Lately I've picked up some bad habits and put down some good ones. I need to stop staying up so late, oversleeping in the mornings, and getting to work late. I need to start recycling again. I need to start cleaning my room more. (I was so excited when I first moved into that big bedroom, and now it's just become a place for me to lose things! My chest has been tight tonight, but where's my inhaler? I have no idea!) I haven't been bike-riding nearly as much I used to, and I need to start doing that again. You know how cranky smokers get when they haven't had a cigarette in a long time? That's Rebecca without her bike-riding.

We're having a dessert oneg after Rosh Hashanah services tomorrow evening. Last year, I brought delicious pumpkin bread that Grandma baked and let me take credit for. Everyone loved it and wanted the recipe. I got it from Grandma and gave it out to a few people, but I didn't think to keep one for myself. I took for granted that Grandma would be around to make it for me for years. So this year, I made bacon & eggs instead. I know no one will love them or want the recipe, but I enjoy making them -- and I made way too many! I better give some to "Briana" tomorrow.

And I better go to bed now, because believe me when I say I have a busy day tomorrow. Until then, there's my Tovah (on her bay window, as always) wishing y'all a happy new year!



SHANAH TOVAH, FROM TOVAH!
NINE ... DAYS ... LEFT UNTIL SEASON 10 OF NCIS!
(We're in single digits, y'all!!)
rebecca_in_blue: (downcast eyes)
The weather here has been so nice and cool lately (finally!). From work today, I biked downtown to the Sept. 11 memorial. This day last year was, obviously, the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks; it was also my Grandma's 82nd birthday. We didn't have the faintest clue then that it would be her last birthday in this world. Far from it. She wasn't even sick yet. Heck, she cooked her own birthday cake! And today, one year later, she's gone. She's been gone for eight months already. When you think about it, it's kinda scary, isn't it?

I bought a few tiny, cheap American flags and stuck them in the ground at the memorial. Last year, our city hosted a beautiful, elaborate ceremony there; this year, there were just two families -- both of them with loud, bratty kids who wanted to climb on the beams from the World Trade Center and splash in the reflecting pool. Ugh! I politely didn't strangle them to death, even though their parents probably would've thanked me for it. I did manage to take a few pictures. Some of them are kinda repetitive of my photos from the ceremony last year, but I had a much better camera this time.



Beams from the World Trade Center rising up from the reflecting pool.


An American flag and candle that someone left at the memorial. The card on the front reads: 2,819 People Lost. [This is number is incorrect.] Please take a moment to remember all the victims of 911 and NEVER forget.


Flowers in bloom outside the memorial, with the beams and flag in the background.

And you know, something just occurred to me as I was typing this entry. Sept. 11 is a day of mourning of our country -- and it should be, because terrible things happened that day and thousands of innocent people were killed. But for me, it's a day of gratitude and celebration, because it was the birthday of one damn amazing lady. Grandma was one of the kindest, patientest, most understanding, generous people I will ever know, and when I think about how blessed I was to have her in my life, there is no room in my heart for sadness. So for me, this day isn't about death (no offense to those who died on 9/11 and their families) but a celebration of life.

You have turned my mourning into dancing. You have clothed me in joy, that my heart may sing and not be silent. ~ Psalm 30


Shallow P.S. 13 DAYS LEFT UNTIL SEASON 10 OF NCIS!
rebecca_in_blue: (worried eyes)
The last few days have felt pretty crappy. After school on Friday, I took "Briana" to the lakefront and we fed the ducks and splashed around in the fountain. That sounds like fun in theory, doesn't it? So why did she seem bored to death, yet again? Too often I feel like I'm forcing her to do stuff she doesn't want to. I need to call our caseworker at Big Brothers Big Sisters and discuss this.

However, in my defense, as much as I might suck at doing stuff with her, at least when we make plans, I stick to them. Props to me for that. Woo-hoo.

After work on Saturday, I went straight to the temple for Havdalah and Selichot services. We took the regular bima and Torah covers off and put up the special white-and-gold ones for the High Holy Days. There was also a little oneg with cheese, fruit, cookies, and of course, apples and honey. Yum! After that, I drove over to Mom's house because Adam and I had made plans to go to the movies that evening. I was looking forward to it -- which was my first mistake, children. When I got there, this was our conversation:

Adam: Well, maybe next time, when they're showing something better. [I know where he gets this from.]
Me: I thought you said you wanted to see it.
Adam: Well, I don't really like that movie.
Me: Then why did you say yes when I asked you if you wanted to go?
Adam: Uh...

Ordinarily, I don't think this would've upset me that much, but it came at a bad time. My family has a habit of cancelling on me like this, and I'm starting to suspect that they actually don't care about me at all or that I'm incredibly repulsive and no one ever wants to spend time with me (which would also explain why no one ever hires me and why Briana is always so bored with me). I know, I know, I'm whining now, but it really does bother me because I have few no friends and there are things I'd like to get out and do, but going it solo is hard for me. (Guess I better get used to that, since I'll be doing it for the rest of my life.) That's one reason why I joined Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Speaking of which, the #1 rule they give you when you join that agency is this: "Be consistent and dependable. Do not oversleep, be late, reschedule dates, or make promises that you cannot keep." Why didn't anybody ever give this to my family?

And when I got home from work today, our power was out! Again! (It's back on now, obviously.) Sigh... I hope I snap out of this funk. The High Holy Days are coming, and I can't make atonement in a pissy mood like this. But I also can't get over the irony that I'm going to be saying the Kol Nidre, the Yom Kippur prayer whose specific purpose is to remind Jews not to make rash promises, and certain people I know won't.

15 DAYS LEFT UNTIL SEASON 10 OF NCIS!
rebecca_in_blue: (happy smile)
Sara and I were both off yesterday, so we drove downtown to the art gallery. There's an exhibit there called Reflections on Water in American Painting -- tons of different paintings of seascapes by American artists. We enjoyed looking at all of them. This was one of my favorites:


Children Playing on the Beach, an 1890 oil-painting by Edward Percy Moran. Isn't it pretty?

Then we drove over to the lake to feed stale bread the ducks. And of course, I had to take photos.


We attracted ducks, pigeons, geese, seagulls, and more. It kinda turned into a feeding frenzy.


Ugh, those geese were awful! They were very loud and aggressive. This one charged at me, and like an idiot, I decided to take a photo instead of running away. God hates geese!


Then we went for a walk along the lake. I climbed down to the shoreline to walk on these rocks. I took my shoes off, which turned out to be a very bad idea because the rocks were sharp, the pavement was scorching, and the grass was prickly! I also got sand all over my jeans.


The water was cool, though.


Then we meandered back over to the fountain...


...where I found this little butterfly necklace that someone lost.


Ahhh, summer! I hope to get out and do more activities and fun stuff this summer than I did last year. Wish me luck!
rebecca_in_blue: (Default)
I have a lot to blog about today -- even though I shouldn't be blogging at all, but packing! -- so I'll split it into two entries. Today is Yom HaShoah, and my city (for the first time) hosted an observance day for it. It was all planned mostly by folks from the temple, so I've been hearing about it long time. Unfortunately, Rabbi W couldn't be there -- he to attend a funeral in Baton Rouge -- and neither could Sassy Jewish Grandfather #1, who really spearheaded the whole event. So, the only religious leaders there were Christian ones, but fortunately, nothing offensive happened (it has before).

The first event was at a downtown exhibition center. It's a big, beautiful old building that used to be a school -- my aunt and uncles went there -- but during my lifetime it's always been a museum/theater. There were lots of photographs and artwork on display, some of them on loan from the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC. (I've been there, and to ones in Houston and Paris. The one in DC was the most impressive.) My favorite part had to be the Episcopalian school student choir. They did two songs, "Ani Ma'amin" and "Torah Orah." Their Hebrew wasn't great, but their singing was amazing!

The only thing that really bugged me was that refreshments were provided by Chick Fil-A! I thought it was hugely inappropriate. Gays were persecuted and killed in the Holocaust too, and Chick Fil-A is an very homophobic company that fires its employees for "sinful" behavior and donates millions to groups that encourage gay discrimination. For them to serve food at a Yom HaShoah event? Rebecca wanted to puke. Never again means never again, not never again unless it's the gays.

The second event was along the lake front, and it concluded with all of us throwing a flower into the water. It was very solemn and moving.



The "Ani Ma'amin" is an ancient Hebrew declaration of faith. It can be translated as:

I believe in God, in a greater truth,
and in things greater than this world.

I believe that the Messiah will come,
and he will find me waiting.
No matter how long he may delay,
I still believe in him.
No matter what happens,
I believe.


I loved that I was able to ride my bike to both events. I'm going to miss living so close to the lake -- which brings us to Part 2.
rebecca_in_blue: (excited grin)
We had a lay leader at Shabbat services tonight, and only a very small crowd turned out. (And guess what? Our social hall still smells like pickles!) While we were all leaving, Maggie decided to climb up on my bike seat -- which isn't easy when you have such short legs -- and I pushed her around. I was impressed, because I tried to get her to sit on my bike seat once before, but she was too scared. This time, she climbed right up there. Good for her!

After services, I biked down to the lakefront, where my city is currently holding a live-music festival that they hope will grow as big as Jazz Fest in New Orleans (yeah, right). I really couldn't care less about live music, but I heard there would be carnival food for sale, and you all know how much Rebecca loves carnival food. It was almost funny going from the quiet, solemn service at temple straight to the crowds, noise, and Zydeco music on the lake. I wondered around for a long time trying to decide between meats on sticks, nachos, pickles, ice cream, sno-cones, and funnel cakes!



I loved the back of this guy's shirt! Pour vous qui parlez français, il dit: Louisianne Association de Musique Française. This is the same amphitheater where the conga-drum line was hosted back here. Look at how much bigger the crowd is this time!


How cool is this concession stand? It was covered in historic old photographs of downtown city landmarks. I still bike past a lot of these buildings.


I finally bought a pulled-pork sandwich (YUM! I could eat my weight in that stuff!) and ate it in front of the lake, watching the sun set. No improvement necessary. Well, I was kinda bummed to be there by myself, but then a little girl whose dad was fishing off the marina wandered over and started talking to me. It was kinda weird -- exactly the sort of thing that young Rebecca never would've done -- but I made conversation with her until it got dark. And I was happy to bring home a cup from Let's Be Totally Clear, a cause I totally support!

I guess eating pork immediately after temple makes me a bad Jew, but going to hear a Zydeco band makes me a good Cajun!
rebecca_in_blue: (excited grin)
We had such a beautiful Sunday here. I visited with JC & Company this afternoon, and this evening, I biked down to the lake to hear a conga-drum line. It's not something I would usually go to, but I got an invitation from a friend on FaceBook and didn't have anything better to do.

It turned out to be pretty fun. Photos under here! )

Tomorrow is the day when we go RED at work! Ugh! As you can tell from this blog, Rebecca prefers being in blue.

Sunday Snapshot
rebecca_in_blue: (happy smile)
All hail Rebecca, who actually did something with her day off! First, I woke up way too early this morning and had coffee with Sassy Jewish #1. He's in another play, The Odd Couple this time, and I read through Acts I and II with him to help him learn his lines. He's playing Oscar (the slobby one) and only has about half his lines memorized with three weeks till opening night!

After that, Sara and I drove downtown to the park. Remember when I spent a day helping rebuild a playground that burnt down? Well, it's finally finished and open to the public! Since I'd seen some of the under-construction phase, I couldn't wait to see the finished product. The new playground is massive and so cool. Heck, I'm glad the old one burnt down because this one is even better! I played on the spinner and see-saw that I'd worked on, and it was sweet to be able to enjoy the fruits of my labor. After the spinner made me dizzy enough to puke, Sara and I walked over the lake and fed some stale bread to the ducks and seagulls.


Me on the spinner. Sara spun me around so hard that I flew off, and now I have bruises on my arm and hip.


Me lying across the tire swing. Like my hair?

And now, about last night's new NCIS episode. I'm still watching one old Season 8 episode for every week that we don't get a new one. Since I began writing these episode notes (my first one was for Restless), I've been under assault from fanfic plot bunnies! I've never really lacked plot bunnies, I've only lacked the time and talent to turn them into good fics. But now, this one particular bunny refuses to leave me alone, and it's for a very uncanon pairing that I would never ordinarily write -- Zibbs! Yeah, as in Ziva/Gibbs! And heaven help me, I think I might actually end up writing the story!


Observations on 9x13 "A Desperate Man" )

Go, fanfiction writers! To your keyboards! A new world of possibilities awaits you!

Random P.S. On Sara's page-a-day art calendar, I'm currently looking at Surf, Isles of Shoals, a 1913 oil painting by Childe Hassam. It's quite lovely.
rebecca_in_blue: (happy smile)

What a weekend! I was off work, but I feel like I hardly slowed down at all. I spent Saturday evening with some friends from temple, Cheryl and her little girl, Maggie. We went out and all ate breakfast foods for dinner, then browsed in a lovely store that was all decked out for the holidays. Seriously, I should've taken a picture of all the decorations and lights and toys. It was like Christmas exploded in there! I didn't buy anything, even though I saw some cute ornaments. (Our tree has been a little bare since I got rid of our religious ornaments. I might buy some Hanukkah ones online - if I can find any.)

After that, we went for a drive along the lake to look at Christmas lights. A lot of the swanky houses on the lakeshore had very impressive displays, including one of Santa Claus in a pirogue pulled by alligators. My favorite were the Live Oak trees draped with Spanish moss and encrusted with little white lights - so pretty. One house even had a real live Santa on the curb giving out free candy canes. There was a Christmas parade downtown that we didn't go to, but after the parade, there were fireworks. We watched them from the opposite, infinitely less crowded side of the lake. Maggie said something like, "Fireworks are like somebody threw a lot of glitter in the air!"

I didn't get home late, but I was up very late that night. Some weeks ago, a lady at the temple asked me to teach a Hebrew school on Sunday morning, and like the fool that I am, I said yes. Do not ask how Rebecca, one of the least qualified people at the temple, got this job; I have no idea. And of course, I left everything to the last minute the night before (my bad habits never change!) so on Saturday night, I gave myself a crash course in Hebrew and tried to develop a lesson plan from scratch. Did I mention that the Hebrew students are 6- to 10-year-olds?! I have even less experience with both that language and that age group than I did with teaching French high school students to speak English, and you all remember how mightily I sucked at that.

Anyway, come Sunday morning, I arrived at the temple looking awful and blearly-eyed, and I'm sure everyone thought I hadn't slept at all (which was practically the case). Fortunately, the lesson wasn't so bad. We - me and another, infinitely better teacher - taught the Hebrew months to the older kids and the Hebrew alphabet to the younger ones. Our class wasn't an easy one to teach; we had some students who could read Hebrew better than me (which isn't saying much) and some who didn't know alef from bet. Debbie Friedman's alef-bet song was a big help with them. It was stuck in my head all day! It occured to me later it all counted as talmud torah: the mitzvah of Jewish learning/teaching, the most important mitzvot.

I had meant to run some errands after Hebrew school, but instead I conked out as soon as I got home. So the errands had to wait until this morning, and they were much more frenzied than I would've liked. They involved several failed attempts to make a Christmas tree ornament (for my grandma) out of a dreidel. Hooked screws from the hardware store didn't work because I would've had to use a hammer, and the dreidel was so small that I was sure a hammer would smash it. Super glue from the dollar store didn't work, because even though the glue was strong enough to take paint off the dreidel (and my skin off my fingers, it felt like) it didn't affix the string to the dreidel. Finally I used silver dress trim from the fabric store. It's not very nice-looking, but it was the only thing that worked!

Then I drove by Grandma's house to give it to her. It went much better than my last visit with her. She sat up, came to the table with help from my aunts, ate a meal, had a conversation with me, and (best of all) understood what I said in French and answered me back in French. She is still my bad-ass Cajun grandma. Hooray!

And just to prove that all my Hebrew cramming didn't go to waste, I'll sign off this entry with my Hebrew name:

שָׁלוֹם  -  רִבְקָה   בר   יַעֲקֹב   (Shalom - Rivka bat Yakov)

rebecca_in_blue: (happy smile)
I'm on a little staycation from work right now. I don't have anything big planned, but I am trying to get out and do stuff. Today I drove downtown to help rebuild a local park that burnt down in an arson fire earlier this year. The original park (also volunteer-built) was huge, and this new one is going to be even bigger. I was on a team with a nice biracial couple who talked about bringing their son to the park after it was all rebuilt.

Most volunteers got simple jobs like digging, painting, cutting boards, etc. -- but not us! Together we assembled a big, four-person seesaw and a spinner. (And you practically had to be an engineer just to read the directions!) A spinner is a sort of big, flat disc that a kid stands on, and the weight of the kid and the angle of the disc makes them spin around in circles. Just the thought of it is enough to make me dizzy! They didn't have these when I was a kid; I first saw one on the playground in Villers-Cotterets. After it was built, a few kids hopped on and spun around (there were lots of kids there with their parents or church groups). Success!


(There are a few different types of spinners. The one we built was a stand-up spinner that looked kinda like this.)

They were both HARD to put together, but we did it and had enough time left over to get snacks from the concession stand. I had Cheeto's and a blue bubblegum sno-cone -- yum! I think it counted as the mitzvot of tikkun olam, so I was glad to be a part of it, and it was touching to see how many people from the community came out to help rebuild. But I was filthy by the time my volunteer shift was over -- covered in sweat, sawdust, and grime! Ugh! Update: I visited the completed park here.

A few other things I hope to do this week: see Athena, have coffee with my sassy Jewish grandfather, visit the Avenue of Flags at the cemetery on Veteran's Day, see a production of The Diary of Anne Frank at the local theater, and attend my first bar mitzvah. Which reminds me, today I overheard a middle-school-aged boy at the park say, "And on Friday I'm going to Jakob's bar mitzvah." Yeah, me too, kid!
rebecca_in_blue: (bemused shrug)
My first High Holy Days as an official Jew are still rolling on. After the Rosh Hashanah morning services, a very small group of us met at the lake for a tashlich, a Jewish ritual of going to a body of water and throwing bread to the ducks or seagulls. (That's right, the Jews have a name for that.) We couldn't stay for long before a fierce thunderstorm blew in, but Mrs. D had an entire loaf of rye bread -- left over from the corned beef sandwich sale back in March! -- and we threw the whole thing to the gulls. My arm was really sore afterwards because I didn't throw to the gulls but at them. I tried to time my throwing to their flying so they could catch the bread in their mouths.


Maggie throwing bread to the ducks while her mom reads the tashlich blessing. Look at how rough the water was!


Just as we were finishing off the bread, we felt the first splatters of raindrops. I took this photo in a hurry just before jumping on my bike and heading home. Look at how dark those clouds were!

Yesterday evening was the Shabbat Shuva service (and my third consecutive day at the temple), and it was followed by a delicious, free spaghetti dinner! I honestly didn't expect to like it because I was raised on Grandma's spaghetti, the best in the world. This wasn't as good as Grandma's, but it was very good. I would've gotten seconds, but it didn't last long. I sat with Maggie and all four C. boys. The oldest one had a conversation with me in French (his family was in France around the same time I was) and the youngest one said as soon as I sat down, "Hey, you've got silly bands! I've got silly bands too, see? Wanna swap silly bands with me?" He also told me Maggie was his "girlfriend." She got spaghetti sauce all over her face and kinda reminded me of a young me. :)

I almost made four days in a row at the temple, but this morning I was stuck at work and missed Torah study. Normally I wouldn't mind too much, but today I was a bit bummed because, I have to say, Rabbi Z. (our guest for the High Holy Days) is a lot more engaging and interesting than old Rabbi W.

Happy October!
rebecca_in_blue: (Default)
Sunday (September 11) was a bit of a strange day. It was Grandma's birthday, and a bunch of us headed over to her new house for as much of a birthday party as you can have at 82. She took the day off from cooking since it was her birthday, but there was a pineapple cake and two yellow cakes, one with chocolate and vanilla frosting and one with a coconut topping (which was actually pretty yummy).

After that, I biked downtown for the 9-11 memorial ceremony. Our city's local 9-11 memorial was designed by a woman from my temple, and several members of the congregation were there. The ceremony was actually very lovely. The weather was cool and perfect - just like it was on September 11, 2001, a Tuesday - and it was held on the lakefront. I could hear the wind blowing in the palm trees and the water lapping against the pier the entire time. It made for the most peaceful background music.

Photos from the ceremony behind this frustrating LJ cut. These things USED to be easy! )

I woke up at seven this morning and just could not go back to bed! Too worried over stupid stuff again. Blegh.

P.S. 500th LJ entry! How sad that this milestone comes at a time when LJ has apparently stopped caring about its users. I honestly suspect that they're making things this difficult on purpose, and sitting back and laughing evilly at all the frustration they're causing us.
rebecca_in_blue: (dozing off)

Rebecca had a good 4th of July this year, even though Little Caesar's was closed for the holiday. I was pissed to no end when I saw that. Most businesses in our strip mall were open, but not them. Where do they get off? I had to drive down to the gas station for some pizza during my lunch break.

Josh and I both worked most of the day, which I really didn't mind (we were pretty steady, and it didn't feel like a holiday). After he got off, we drove to the park to go swinging, and even though swinging tends to make me nauseous lately, it didn't this time. We had the park all to ourselves, and we kept flinging our shoes off our feet to see whose shoe went the farthest (Josh won). When it got darker, we drove down to the lake to watch the fireworks. Josh got hold of my camera while we were waiting for the show to start, and he kinda went crazy taking pictures. I had made a playlist of good 4th of July songs on my iPod - Born in the USA, Firework, Party in the USA, Saturday in the Park - and made him listen to it.


Me eating Lay's potato chips in Josh's car. I brought a bag and munched on them all evening. I have an incurable addiction to junk food.


Josh found it necessary to make obscene faces for the camera. He cracks me up. Notice all Maggie's rubber bands on my wrist.

The fireworks show was spectacular, even though it was short and traffic was impossible afterwards. Also, year after year, they always close with "Stars and Stripes Forever," which irks me. I hate that song! There are so many better songs about America out there. Between waking up early and staying out late, I was exhausted when I finally got home. I could barely even summon the energy to walk Sable, and I came as close as I've ever been to pulling a Sara by falling asleep in the bathtub.

Inventory at work this weekend. Blegh!

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