May 28th, 2007

busy caesar, busy

Memorial Day -- Big Work Day, for Us!

God, I need some new 'busy' icons -- I'm really sick of the two I have now...

As always, Memorial Day is not a day off work for us. In fact, it's busy as hell!

Poor Mom never seemed to get that, though. Every damn year she'd ask, "So, what are you doing on Memorial Day? Are you going to have a barbeque? Or go to the beach?"

Uh, Mom? We'll be doing the same thing we've been doing for the past 20 years -- working! (duh) So, how many times do we have to tell you?

But right up to when she died, it was always the same. We'd be only days away from the start of the festival, but she thought we'd get a three-day weekend. Right. Like we wouldn't be working the weekend, as well!

Anyway, considering this is our Centennial year, we're more busy than any year before this! (Probably that's needless to say.) But last night as we were eating our hamburger patties with cheese and splitting a beer, Marilyn said, "Life is good." And I immediately agreed. It doesn't matter how hard we have to work. In fact, the work is very, very satisfying! Would I rather be off for a three-day weekend -- or working for the festival? The answer is very simple, believe me!

The STORY BLOG I've been working on is getting a lot of praise. I'm very proud of my involvement. I don't believe anyone else could have done the job as well as I have. Not bragging here, mind you. I just feel that my years of blogging have been a real advantage. Thank you, LiveJournal! (smile) I'm so glad I got my account back in 2002...

I can't believe I actually updated here three days ago. Seriously. I've been so busy that it feels like it's been more than a WEEK since I was last here! (yikes) Time gets very messed up for us this time of year.

Sometimes we'll start to talk about something and then mention when it happened -- and we'll realize it was the day before! You know what I mean? I'll have figured it was days and days ago, because we fit so much into a day... Anyway!

So other than festival work, what's up with me?

The new grass we had seeded is starting to come up. Hector and his crew spent between 90 minutes and two hours adjusting the sprinkler heads, which are now working much better. (I'm not sure they don't still need some tweaking, though...)

Marilyn and Jessica (her assistant) got pedicures on Friday. Marilyn and I went and got manicures on Sunday -- and I got my pedicure. So those are out of the way for the festival! (I was really sweating the damn pedicure, as my toenails were so long...)

You should see my French manicure! It's amazing! The place we went does it totally different than Kris (our normal manicurist) does. I should take a picture and share it.

We also went to tan. I'm not any deep color, by the way. I'm very fair-skinned, so I never get too dark. But I look like I've been out in the sun. A sort of healthy look that makes my freckles all pop. (grin)

Now I just need to get outfits for the Movie Premiere and the Ball and I'm good. Damn, I wish I already had those!!!

I did my 'Goodie Bags' for the front desk last night. I do these every single year. I use lunch bags and fill them up with all sorts of treats. Two sets of everything -- a bag for each receptionist. Then I take them each a bag every day. The concept is to show them that Marilyn and I care, and that we understand how crazy it gets covering the phones and front counter during these next two weeks...

This year I've got some cool things! Little black velvet bags, small figurines (around ten inches high) of band performers, fancy nail clippers, green tea, fancy pen and pencils and highlighters and erasers and so on, plastic animals, many other toys, puzzle books, energy bars, bath beads, loads of candy and other miscellany.

Fun, fun!

I also picked up several boxes of Little Debbie cakes and things to take to my PA Meeting tomorrow -- with loads left for next week's PA Meeting.

Tomorrow is the Starlight Parade PA meeting, which I'm going to lead as usual -- even though I didn't do that script this year. (Next week is the GFP PA meeting. These are always held a week apart, on Tuesday afternoon.)

We have plenty of cat food, kitty litter, pop, small bags of peanuts and my big bags of sunflower seeds -- enough to get us through the festival! We might not have another chance to go shopping for groceries (and sundries) until after the festival is over, at this point.

I'm getting low on Cheetos, but I'm still not out, thankfully! (heh)

Marilyn and I need to sit together and just slam stuff into the GFP script. I've gone as far as I can without additional info.

So today my focus is back on the STORY BLOG -- and getting more entries up there.

One of these days I'll have more time to read (and comment) to my friends. But it might not be until after the festival ends! It's hard to believe the Centennial year is here! The festival officially starts this coming Thursday. Starlight Parade is this Saturday. (I wonder if we'll ride in it again this year?) It's all happening now!!!

Speaking of which, I'd better get to work!

flag (burst)

Memorial Day -- Remembering...

I do want to mention that Memorial Day is special for us, aside from work...

Especially this year!

I spoke to Jim Willis at the Oregon Department of Veteran's Affairs this past Friday. He's working on a project for Marilyn mistressmarilyn and me...

We need the number of the fallen for the state of Oregon for every war, to add to the GFP script. These will be read off when the Riderless Horse entry passes by.

He's also going to get me actual lists of names for each war, too.

Marilyn wants to take these lists and tape them all together to form one really long list -- then roll it into a scroll and put it into the saddlebag of the Riderless Horse. Isn't that cool?

It's all these little details that are making the Centennial year so special. (And it's Marilyn who tends to think of the little details, by the way!)

It was Marilyn's idea to have a Riderless Horse in the parade -- which I think is very cool. The whole 'Greatest Generation' section of the parade should have people going crazy! The military parade and the wartime queens and princesses getting to ride (all parades were cancelled during WWII, so they didn't get to do this before now) and the Riderless Horse and so on. Veterans from tons of different wars will be there. (I'm excited for the Vietnam vets, who didn't get treated well when they came back from war...)

I wasn't born until long after Dad had come back from his stint in WWII. But I used to ask him about it quite a bit. He was in the (Army) Air Force and was a navigator in bombers. He served in the Pacific and Italy. (His stories about Italy during the war were both fascinating and disturbing.)

After 9-11 we had a Tribute Wall at the festival, down near where the ships dock each year. (The military is always a big part of our festival.) I remember Marilyn and I putting up a red, white and blue placards with Dad's name. We were very proud!

In fact, at Dad's funeral, they did the presentation of the flag to mom -- which is very, very moving! I'll never forget that.

By the way, the certificate from 'a grateful nation' that's signed by the President and sent to the family of all veterans when they die is framed and on constant display in our living room.

It may be corny.

It may be old-fashioned.

By I've always been a flag-waver.

I love the people of the entire world -- and I'm not opposed to 'aliens' (!!!) who live in the U.S. Most people here came from somewhere else to start off, after all! I tend to point that out to people who go on and on about the Hispanics who live here. I'm part American Indian, so I can say my people were here from the beginning -- can they? (grin) Don't get me wrong, my pride in being American doesn't mean I'm anti any other nation or those people -- far from it.

But I don't think there's anything wrong with being proud of who I am and where I come from, either...

Memorial Day isn't Veteran's Day, admittedly. But it is a day to 'remember' those who have passed on -- so it's only natural that we think of our servicemen and women today.

God bless them.

I used to get to do the 'go to the cemetery' thing years ago (before working for the festival). We'd spend much of the day doing it.

I'm related to Virgil Earp. We used to always go to his grave.

Have I ever mentioned that we're related to Etienne Lucier?

This might not seem like a big deal, but Lucier built the first cabin on the east bank of what eventually became the city of Portland (back in 1829).

Of course, I'm also related to Sacagawea, believe it or not... Oh! And I'll gladly tell you how to pronounce her name correctly, if you're interested. (smile)

When you're younger you don't always appreciate these things -- who you're related to, I mean. But it's a big deal to me now, I have to admit.

Back to work!

busy caesar, busy

8:00 p.m. -- Yes, We're Still at the Office!

Actually, we did take a break -- but not from work.

We went over to the float warehouse for Float Maneuverability, the event where they gather the float drivers and float monitors with the float designers and builders (plus other important parade-related folks) and then discuss instructions and 'test' the floats.

One of the important things is having the monitor and driver practice the turn into the coliseum, because it's sharp and it's tight -- and we have issues there every single year.

We didn't stay for that part -- but we did board and ride the 100 Person float for testing. We've never put a float with this many riders on the street before, so I guess they wanted to get an idea how it would work. Two of the heaviest elements of floats are to have water on them -- and to have people! So you can see this was a big deal.

Anyway, that's the float I was invited to ride in the parade and turned down. So now I can say that I did ride it, if only in testing! (grin)

So as it creeps past 8 p.m. and we're still here, I start thinking about the work I need to do when I get home. I left my bags in the car at home. I thought Marilyn mistressmarilyn had driven our car today -- but she'd taken the festival car. So my bags were in the backseat of the car -- and that's where they still are! (sigh)

Certain work is just easier to do at home, too. I've got everything I need on my home computer.

And the computer I use in here pretty well sucks, to be honest! I'll get the work done somehow, but... (smile) Well, it is what it is!

Leslie works for the county and said they're getting ready to update computers there. And they just did that not too long ago, so the ones they're getting rid of are much better than anything we have in here! Anyway, apparently you can fill out a form to request them, considering the festival is a non-profit. I hope we get a few (or many!), because it's so hard to work with all these lousy computers. (sigh)

Well, I guess I should get back to work! I wonder how late we'll be?

(And tomorrow is a busy, busy day...)