Oct. 31st, 2013 07:32 pm
pamelonian: (Pam at night)
As an afterthought on the way home from work, I bought some Halloween candy to hand out to trick-or-treaters. I got my first couple of kids at 6:45. They were being followed by their dad (I hope) driving a van. Boris, my black cat, ran out the door as I was handing out my big handfuls of candy. I ran out to retrieve him and locked him in the bedroom. There is no telling what might happen to a black cat out on Halloween. Actually, I have only had one cat who I ever let out. That was Jones, the tuxedo alley cat. He was an adopted stray, so for a long time I could not keep him indoors. Except on Halloween.

There are not too many kids coming to my door tonight. I think it is because most of my neighbors do not have their porch lights on. My street must not seem worth the trouble. The next kid that comes might just get my whole bowl so I can be done with it. I will definitely shut down at 8:00. Any later and all you get are obnoxious teenagers. I have enough of them all day teaching high school.

I am keeping busy doing laundry and reading. I got this big wheeled duffel bag for the Bimini trip, and it is all packed. Actually, I am going to have to unpack and repack it tonight because I want to include some of the things I washed and go over the list again to make sure I have everything. I think I will transfer any breakables to my carry-on. A duffel is not sturdy luggage. I only hope my diving fins will survive the abuse. The main reason I got the duffel was to hold my fins. They are too large for carry-on suitcases.

In 2 days a new adventure begins! I can hardly believe it is almost here. All this week I have been preparing lesson plans and materials for my week-long substitute teacher. I think I am really ready, except for that unpacking and repacking tonight.
pamelonian: (Pam at night)
Last week's goals:
  • Get to bed by 10:00 on school nights. Nope! I was mostly in my 10:30, but Thursday was 11:30.
  • Cook twice. Nope! Not even once! Don't know how I survived.
  • Swim once, ball workout 2 times. Nope! I did the ball workout part, but didn't swim until today, which counts as this week.
  • Hair appointment Thursday.Done!
  • Clean a little before house guest Friday night. Done!
  • Take advantage of my free time while the student teacher has my classes to plan the next unit for Spanish 3. Done! I am planned all the way until April 12th. Only roughly, though, because you never know how it will really go.
50% completion is not good.  That's why there is always next week! This week's goals:
  • Go to bed by 10:00 on school nights.
  • Cook once.  (I had better aim lower.)
  • Swim twice, ball workout twice.
  • Call the exterminator.  (Preventive treatment.  My neighbors who moved out had a big box of "crawling insect killer" in their trash.)
  • Plan another future Spanish 3 unit.
  • Have the following week's plans made so I can goof off during Spring Break!
  • Post to LJ at least twice.  (I didn't post at all last week except for the Goal Post.)
pamelonian: (Default)
After all the Mayan ruins, we made a stop in Belize.  We went caving.  (Caving?!?)  Not what I would have chosen but it was quite an adventure hiking through the jungle, wading across rivers and finally climbing around and wading through caves up to my armpits in water.  The cave was a sacred site where many Mayan sacrifices were made.  There were calcified pots and even skeletons in this huge chamber deep in the cave.  No cameras were allowed inside after some tourist dropped one and chipped a skull. 

We finally arrived in Caye Caulker, Belize. This is a tiny island with only 3 streets "paved" with sand. Everyone instantly relaxed in this wonderful country with laid-back, friendly people.


More photos of the island and SHARKS here. )
pamelonian: (Default)
Yaxha was probably a sort of resort for Mayan traders. The site is rather spread out and the pyramids on hilltops offer spectacular views. A lot of the visit involved walking shady jungle paths to arrive at the various buildings.


More photos here: )


Jul. 25th, 2012 11:17 am
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By now we were in Guatemala to visit the famous ruins of Tikal.


This is a representative image of what the structures here look like. We are still in the middle of the jungle. We arranged a "sunrise tour" so had to get up at 4:00, hike 45 minutes and climb Temple IV for a magnificent view of the city. Then we waited.

Full story here with more photos. )
pamelonian: (Default)
Built on a cliff overlooking the river, the city of Yaxchilán is only accessible by boat. The jungle is actively reclaiming the ruins. I felt that if I stood still for too long, plants would start growing on me!


Click to enter the jungle. )


Jul. 23rd, 2012 10:26 am
pamelonian: (Default)
Palenque was a 9-hour bus ride from Mérida.  We stayed in a "hotel" that consisted of cabins in the jungle, actually quite nice.  I have wanted to visit this site since I first saw it in a movie our Spanish teacher showed us in 9th grade.  We used to bug subsequent Spanish teachers until they would let us see the movie again.  It's an Academy-Award winning 1971 documentary called "Sentinels of Silence."  Orson Welles narrates the English version and Ricardo Montalbán narrates the Spanish.  The short film featured helicopter photography of the sites accompanied by an epic, orchestral soundtrack.  It was a dream come true to see this beautiful city nestled deep in the jungle.


This first temple was later discovered to have been a tomb (see the opening at the bottom). No one had previously believed any of the Latin American pyramids had been used as tombs like the ones in Egypt.

Please click to continue exploring. )


Jul. 21st, 2012 09:19 am
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Kabáh was a city as large and important as Uxmal.  Unfortunately, very little remains and the entire site can be seen in 20 minutes, more if you have a guide explaining it.


More photos here. )


Jul. 19th, 2012 01:12 pm
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On the third day of the trip, we went to Uxmal.  This site was one of the reasons I chose this trip.  To go here you have to really want to see it, not like the kind of casual tourist who might make it out to see Chichén Itzá.  I think the bus would take 6 hours from Cancún, but it was only an hour from Mérida where we were staying. 

I should mention that I was struck by the dreaded Montezuma's Revenge when I was taking the van to this place.  No horrible accidents occurred, but I was suffering.  Nothing would stop me from seeing Uxmal, but I could have done better with the photos had I not been ill. 

Here's the iconic Pyramid of the Dwarf, or Pyramid of the Magician, depending on who you ask. These are only names given by people who found it already abandoned, anyway. It was my first view of the city.


The architecture here is quite different from Chichén. Also older and without Toltec influence.

Here I am in front of the main plaza for the Pyramid of the Dwarf.


More photos behind the cut. )

Still more photos on my flickr page.
pamelonian: (Default)
I have returned from my trip, maybe more tanned and definitely more exhausted.  Our tour kept us on the move!  I explored Mayan ruins, traversed jungles, explored caves, and finally got to snorkel along the barrier reef. 

Our first stop was an appropriate beginning.  Chichén Itzá is the most visited of all the Mayan ruins.  It is an easy day trip from Cancún, and I imagine resort tourists getting bored with the beach deciding to make the trip.  It was a good place to start my explorations, though.  The city is one of the latest examples of Mayan architecture.  Actually, the Toltecs invaded from the north and brought their rain god religion and their warlike ways.  Most of what you see is actually Toltec.  The city was abandoned in the 1400's. 

Chichén Itzá is very touristy with people everywhere and hundreds of vendors selling crap.  That said, it is the most extensively reconstructed and very beautiful.  Definitely worth seeing. 

Here is the iconic El Castillo. It is actually a temple, as well as a calendar, as it is perfectly aligned to the solstices and equinoxes.

IMG_1458 new

I also saw the Temple of the Warriors with its Thousand Columns. Something I have dreamed of seeing forever.


Here is the famous well where they threw their sacrifices. Sometimes jewelry, pottery, or people. As the droughts became more severe, hunger became more widespread, the people became more desperate and really upped the ante on what they would be willing to sacrifice.


My favorite building was the Observatory.


I was also impressed with the huge ball court.


Click on any photo to access my flickr page. If you click here, it will open in a new window. I have several more photos, but did not want to overwhelm everyone.
pamelonian: (Default)
I was driving home from my parents' house into the setting sun.  The sun was in That Place where it is below the visor and you can't do anything to block it except to hold up a hand or try really hard not to look that way, which is difficult if you are headed west. 

I didn't mind tonight because it gave me a great view of the partial solar eclipse.  I could see the disc of the moon obscuring the lower third of the sun.  I knew the eclipse was tonight, but did not have high expectations of being able to see anything.  As I said, I was trying really hard not to look.  I know that one should never try to observe a solar eclipse directly.  However, I have had the full setting sun in my eyes on that drive home on more than one occasion.  I am sure my eyes are no worse off than they would have been on any other drive home at that hour. 

The view was best when seen through the trees.  (It didn't hurt as much.)  I didn't get any pictures, but I have the image burned into my retinas.
pamelonian: (Default)
Friday morning I woke up at 3:30 with the sensation of something falling into my eye.  It hurt.  I was in tears.  I let the tears come in hopes that they would wash away the foreign object.  It happened again to my other eye at 5:00 when I opened my eyes to the sound of the alarm.  My right eye was puffy and blurry all day.  Figuring that this was the first strike of allergies, I took half a Zyrtek and went about my day.  It is really hard to read with one eye all blurry and every day I have to read a lot...

The eye got better.  Today there is no blurriness at all.  In fact, there are no other allergy symptoms.  Every spring, I think I am going to escape seasonal allergies when all the sudden they hit me.  The last 2-3 years, they have attacked my eyes first.  That's playing dirty, going for the eyes, if you ask me...

Except for that eye incident, I have had no real allergy symptoms this year.  The only difference I can think of is that I have been swimming.  Maybe putting my face in chlorinated water three times a week has helped to wash away the allergens.  I swam today and my head feels great, as well as the rest of my body...  Last week was the first sign of allergy symptoms and also the first week I have not been able to swim at all (for a variety of reasons). 

Could there be a connection between swimming and disappearance of allergy symptoms?  I guess time will tell.  I have a few more weeks of tree pollen before final results will be in...
pamelonian: (Default)
Tomorrow morning (Saturday) at 9:00AM is the Kundalini Yoga class.  It is at the Kansas Ki Society dojo at 2400 Franklin Road.  (aka 1650 rd) off K-10 east of Harper.  Bring a yoga mat if you have one or a blanket if you don't.  First class is free. 
pamelonian: (Default)
If Hell is personalized to cause each individual the greatest possible suffering, my Hell would be the tire store.  I hate the smell and it is so boring to wait there that time seems not to move at all.

I need new tires on my car, like nine months ago!  I just cannot bring myself to go to the tire store to get them.  I simply must have tires with some tread on them before the winter weather hits.  I am already extremely nervous driving in the rain.  I have time during this mini-vacation to get the new tires, but I can't bring myself to pick up my phone to call.  I can pick up my phone for other reasons, but if I start to think about calling for tires, I put it back down.  I am such a wimp about this...
pamelonian: (Default)
My cats were playing with a small, grey, furry animal.  I soon discovered that it was dead.  I had hoped it was a mouse, but upon inspection, I think it was a baby mole.  They were quite proud of themselves and were disappointed when I took it away from them.  They immediately went back into the garage to try to capture another.  That brings the death toll to three skinks, a baby snake, and now a baby mole.  (Not to mention countless insects.)  I am still waiting for them to kill a mouse, but I am confident in their abilities should the opportunity present itself.  That's their job, what they are paid to do!    I am so proud of my cats!  I can't say who delivered the killing bite, because I think they work together. 
pamelonian: (Default)
I feel like I should check in.  This week has been mostly uneventful.  One more 5-day week, then a 2-day week before Thanksgiving Break.  I attended a birthday get-together at a friend's house Saturday night.  I think I would like to have something to do every Saturday night from now on.  That would get me through the winter just fine. 

I walked a total of 4 miles, which amounts to two round-trip walks to the dojo.  I enjoy watching the hawks in the field hovering and swooping.  I saw a pair of Kestrels kiting in the high winds.  They are the smallest of the raptors and were trying to get some respect.  The songbirds did not seem to fear them, which seemed to annoy the Kestrels a great deal.  "I am a magnificent raptor.  You WILL respect my authority..."  I couldn't help but think of the Chicken Hawk from the Warner Brothers cartoons. 

I don't know why you wouldn't respect the American Kestrel.  The smallest of the falcons (7-8 inches in length), they can hover in one spot in the air quickly flapping their wings (a behavior called kiting) until they see their prey and swoop in on it...
pamelonian: (Default)
Boris, official Halloween Kitty today.
Boris on my lap

Beatrice. Just look at that chin!
Beatrice on my lap
pamelonian: (Default)

I recommend warm wash, gentle cycle. And no, Boris does not have two different colored eyes. It is an effect of the flash.

Flu Shot

Oct. 16th, 2011 01:35 am
pamelonian: (Default)
I got my flu shot yesterday, plus a TDAP shot, which is tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis. That's right, folks, the Whooping Cough has made a comeback. The comeback is due to lots of people who don't like immunizations. WTF? Anyway, though I had the shot as a baby, they thought I should get a booster. The shots kicked my butt, and I spent most of today asleep on my recliner. Both of my shoulders are sore, which wouldn't be a big deal but I need my shoulders to roll on in aikido. I know, wahhh! These are first world problems. I get a few hours of annoyance from some shots that many people can't even get. I will not be getting Whooping Cough or flu this season because at my level of middle classdom, I can get shots. I often think about how my income level affects my ability to deal with health issues. I can afford to get pills to curb my allergy symptoms, I can get a flu shot. I even have insurance to cover my insomnia issues. Not fair that those who don't earn what I do not to have access to health care.

Sunday is my nephew's birthday celebration. These kids keep growing up and having birthdays. Next it will be Christmas.
pamelonian: (Default)
Who knew Boris liked to help out around the house? Here he is making sure I had enough detergent and fabric softener.

More domestic Boris fun behind the cut. )

I had so much fun posting Week in the Life that I have decided to post photos more often. Also, my Canon takes WAY better pictures than my iPhone 3GS.


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