09 October 2012

Past Month & Reno Recap

Shel & Shel!
Things have been good lately.  Work is awesome.  I have conquered the BPA stuff as well as the Project Administration position as a whole.  I am so far ahead of the game now.  I had all of my BPA timecards entered into Spectrum and Fieldglass on Friday and I am two payments ahead on billings for BPA.  All of my jobs have been set up.  All contracts and change orders are in Spectrum.  I’ve recently been scanning and archiving paperwork that the previous admin never handled and I am starting to get bored.  I think this is a combination of things.  I think that partly it’s because I’ve been here for almost 6 months now and I know my job. I don’t have to take extra time to read instruction books when I work on tasks so I’m much more efficient.  But also, it seems as if my workload has lightened.  I’m not sure if it’s because summer is coming to a close (Ugh, if we could even call it a summer.  At least I have duck hunting and snowboarding to get me through the winter) or if OEG’s workload has actually slowed down.  Either way, I’d rather be crazy busy than bored.  So, work is good.  Completely under control.
Best Man signing the Marriage License after me...Cheese!
Life has been better for me also because of the raise I received when I got hired onto OEG’s payroll from the temp agency.  Everyday life isn’t really a daily struggle monetarily anymore.  I have money to pay all of my bills and then some expendable money which is nice.  I got my front brakes done this last weekend courtesy of TB’s husband.  He rocks.  I had to get my rotors turned because they were pretty warped.  Now, my brakes work REALLY good again.  Awesome.  Now if I can just get used to not pushing the brake pedal quite so hard, it will be even better.  Ha ha.  Sunday Biggie came and picked me up on the Bagger and The Italian Stallion and Miss Kitty hopped on the Fat Boy and we headed East on 14 to Carson to meet up with Pops for a ride.  We stopped at the Bungalow Bar & Grill in Carson and had a few beers.  Then we headed NW towards Helens and came back around just east of Woodland and dropped into Amboy to stop for more beer at Nick’s.  By this time we had ridden almost 150 miles and it was after 5 PM so we all headed back to the house for a beer on the deck.  We had some nice conversation then Biggie and Pops headed home before it got too cold.  AMAZING SUNDAY!  Good friends, good food, good riding.  My back was killing me yesterday, but it was completely worth it.  We won’t have many more warm days like that for riding so I couldn’t pass the opportunity up!  Although, I do have my chaps to wear on chilly fall days if they guys are riding.

The Bridal Party
So…Reno recap…Me and TB’s Mommy flew while the rest of the crew rode down.  We flew out of Portland around 9 AM, had a touch and go in San Jose and arrived at the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno around 130 PM on Thursday.  We checked into our room, grabbed a bite to eat and then decided to hit the casino floor.  I had already started my vacation off right w/ a Bloody Mary from Laurelwood at the airport and then another when we grabbed lunch.  Once we hit the slots, the cocktail waitress kept bringing me 2 drinks at a time.  Before the rest of the crew rolled into town I was already about 10 cocktails deep.  They all checked into their rooms and a few of them made a run to Walmart for liquor.  They COMPLETELY filled up a shopping cart with half gallons of Captain and Vodka.  $500 worth of liquor was sitting in TNT’s Suite.  It was nuts.  I can’t believe I didn’t get a picture of it!  I digress.  While they were at Walmart half of us, (there were about 50 of us who made it down for this trip.  Awesome!) decided that we wanted to hit the casino and drink for free while we were waiting for the party supplies.  Pops started chatting up the Casino Host and we all got players cards and VIP treatment.  Gotta love Pops.  Hee hee.  We all hung out and gambled for a while while drinking.  At this point I’m about 20 cocktails and 10 shots in spanning from about 2 PM to 10 PM.  It’s just after 1030 and I am not only completely hammered, but I am exhausted from the day of traveling.  I ended up going to bed early that night.

Mr. & Mrs. Machkovich!
Woke up by 9 AM the next day and us girls decided we were going to hit the pool while the guys sweltered out in the parking lot trying to fix the bikes.  There were many casualties on this trip, but most of it was fixable for the Viriginia City Run for Street Vibrations.  Ugh, I digress again…about 10 or so of us girls spent a few hours at the pool drinking and soaking up some rays.  A few of the guys started trickling in to cool off as the afternoon set in.  I decided last minute that I didn’t like my dress for the wedding so I made TB go into one of the dress shops in the hotel with me and bought a new dress.  After that she and I both headed to our rooms to start getting ready for the wedding.  I showered, did my hair and makeup and then me and her Mom headed up to her suite to be there with her while she finished getting ready.  The rest of the crew started returning from the pool to get ready also.  Being from Wisconsin, TMac had all of the guys wear Packers ties w/ their suits.  Add in converse and they were all stylin!  We sent TMac off so we could get TB in her dress and it was just then about 430 and time to head down to the pool area for the ceremony. 

The Girls
I get down there and everyone is waiting for the wedding to start.  The wedding planner gave us a quick run through of what to do, where to stand etc.  This wedding was different than others I’ve been in.  The wedding planner had the Maid of Honor and Best Man walk down the aisle last.  Usually it’s the opposite.  Anyway, we all walk down the aisle and take our places and then TB and her Dad show up at the end of the aisle.  TMac LOST it and started crying.  I started crying seeing him cry.  She walked down the aisle and took her place by TMac.  It was a short ceremony.  When it was time to say their vows, she handed me her bouquet and TMac took both of her hands.  He starts crying more and used her hands to wipe his nose and tears.  It was pretty funny.  After the vows he wanted to say something of his own to TB.  He could barely get it out because he was crying.  He said to her, “TB, on my birthday when I proposed you made my wish come true.  Today, you are making my dream come true.”  I lost it again and started crying.  SO adorable.  Then came the kiss, he dipped her and since Steele had my camera taking pics for me, she got a really good shot of it.  Back down the aisle we all went.  Then it was time for pictures.  The hotel photographer took quite a few, but I ended up with almost 300 so Steele did an amazing job also.  Some of those pics are included in this post.  We all hung out by the pool for a while drinking and celebrating then we headed up to the suite for more cocktails.  TMac knew I had written a poem for them so he had me stand on a chair and read it out loud to the group.  Everyone loved it and there were more tears.  After having a few drinks in the suite most of us headed down to the country bar in the hotel.  We had lots more drinks and danced our butts off till the wee hours of the morning.  Knowing I had to get up and fly back home the next day, I put myself to bed around 230 AM.  When check out time came, I was NOT feeling so good.  Ugh.  I was like a zombie all day flying home.  We had a layover in San Jose because our flight got in early and I literally felt like a complete space case all day long.  When we got back to Portland I was finally starting to feel better.  Miss Kitty and The Italian Stallion picked us up from the airport and I pretty much went straight to bed.  It was only 6 PM!  I got a good night’s rest and woke up on Sunday and felt MUCH better.  I packed all of my riding gear and didn't even leave the hotel.  Sad.

Mrs. Machkovich
The rest of the crew left Reno on Sunday for the drive back.  Apparently there were 3 bike casualties that had to be trailered.  The Excursion was full of people and cramped.  All in all, it sounds like their trip back was fairly uneventful so that was good.
MK and TIS invited me to breakfast at Circa 33 on Sunday so I went with them.  SUPER yummy Bloody Mary’s there.  They put a strip of bacon in them.  There will be many more trips to Circa 33.  They have a weekend brunch special.  SO good.  I think I went back to bed when we got back from breakfast.  I really can’t remember.  I waited too long before I wrote about it.  L

These last few weekends have been really good.  Spending time w/ dog, family, old friends and some new friends.  The past 2 Friday’s in a row have been spent having dinner with a friend who also recently went through a break up and we’ve had a lot of fun.  It seems there will be more time spent with him in the future.  We’ve had a blast together the past few weekends.  He texts me every day, apparently he misses me when he’s out in The Dalles during the week working.  J  Sigh.  Not sure how I feel about seeing someone who is gone during the week.  I kinda did the long distance thing the last time around and in hind sight I didn’t dig it so much.  I’d rather spend time with someone that I can see more than once or twice a week. 
Saturday is the company trap shoot so I’m looking forward to that.  Gonna have to show these men how to shoot again, ha ha!  Oh, I need to clean my gun on Friday since I have the day off.  I shot about 500 rounds out of her at the last company shoot and she hasn’t been cleaned yet.  Poor Bette.  L  Bad Shel!  Forecast is calling for rain so I’ll take my hunting gear with me like I did last time.  It rained at the Albany shoot and I still stood out there taking out targets.  Some of my co-workers looked at me like I was crazy, but I stand in the rain all day when I’m duck hunting so it’s not very different.  Us rednecks are crazy when it comes to shooting and hunting.  There isn’t much that can stop me.  If I can stand out in the blind in freezing temps a little rain certainly isn’t gonna stop me!  Besides, this is the Pacific NW.  It’s kind of a given that there’s going to be lots of rain.

Saturday night it’s the 2nd Annual Decoy and Haunted Maize night.  A tradition that we started last year.  That should be drunken and interesting.  I haven’t been to the Dec in forever and I’m sure I’ll see plenty of familiar faces, especially because the Pacific Flyway opens on Saturday.  Should be lots of hunters that I know coming in from opening day on the Island.  I may try to go out hunting on Sunday.  However, w/ the just mentioned Saturday Night Festivities, my guess is I’m not going to want to get up at 430 AM and go murder some ducks.  I’ll probably be hanging pretty hard if it’s anything like last year.  SO.MUCH.FUN!  Let’s hope this time I don’t forget about Jello shots in my pocket and find them 6 months later.  That was an icky surprise in my hunting jacket!  I’m hoping to run into Spada at the Dec and find out how opening day was and see if he has some room in the blinds for me.  I need to kill something.  It’s been WAY too long.  I’m starting to have hunting withdrawals.  Especially seeing all of the dead deer and such on friends Facebook posts.  Shotgun Shel needs to get back in the action!  Plus, I miss spending time on the Island.  I SO miss living out there on acreage.  I like the city, but there’s nothing better than the country.  Being able to walk outside and kill ducks and crows whenever I want is a luxury I don’t get to exercise living in the city.  Lame!

Well…I think I’ve pretty much caught up in my blog writing.  This was a LONG post.  I hadn’t written in a while and there was MUCH to cover.  I hope you all enjoyed reading!


27 September 2012

...Like the Ghosts of My Past...

It hovers over me, a dense fog that clouds my vision and my judgment.  A never ending darkness that confines me and absorbs all of the light that used to guide me.  It consumes all of the happiness and leaves only emptiness, pain and sadness.  I forge ahead through the haze, one small step at a time in the hopes of not falling and ending up crawling on my knees on the cold, hard ground.  The fog conceals the anguish that engrosses me.  It surrounds and smothers me as I try to stumble my way forward.  I grasp for any object that can help ground me and hold me up.  I claw at emptiness, reaching for something…anything but not knowing where to turn.  I’m walking through the murkiness and a somber rain begins to fall, increasing the darkness with a cold, dull, numbing ache.  I feel sick, nausea wells up and I take a deep breath trying to calm the anxiety and panic that overwhelm me.

It’s a long, dark tunnel with no end in sight.  Where is the light that usually shines the way to the end?  Why can’t I see it when I am usually able to do so?  Why does the darkness surround me no matter what I do?  The tunnel seems to narrow.  Cold, wet concrete envelops and suffocates me and I cry out for help.  Yet no sound comes out, it’s a silent cry that seems to echo in my head and haunt me.  It taunts me with desire of relief.  I pound the walls with my fists to no avail.  The sound echoes throughout like the ghosts of my past.  I’m alone, cold and scared.  I keep walking in the dark, hoping to find the end of the tunnel.  I pick up the pace, the pounding of my feet like thunder in my ears.  It drowns out the silent screams in my head as I run toward what I can only hope is the end of the tunnel and doesn’t take me deeper into the desolate darkness. 

I’m treading water in a cold, dark ocean.  Drowning in my own despair.  It’s all I can do to keep my head above the waves that batter me with their stinging, harsh reality.  Just like the waves, my emotions swell up and down with the changing tides.  There is no shore in sight, just a never ending sea of pain.  My feet crave to be on solid ground again, to feel the sand between my toes.  Instead the full fury of Poseidon’s playground crashes into me…wave after wave.  My salty tears fall down my face, blending into the ocean that tries to overtake me.  I’m running out of strength to hold my head up.  I slip under the darkness and begin to sink.  My lungs scream at me for air.  I kick upward with every ounce of energy left in me and burst back into the bitter, briny air.  I take a deep breath, roll onto my back and float on waves of sorrow.  Waves that just tried to drown me with their fierce anguish.  I try to catch my breath.

It never ends.  There is a constant cry stuck in the back of my throat.  Love, not time heals all wounds.  I have time…too much, it seems.  I try to surround myself with the love in my life.  Friends.  Family.  Dog.  Things that build me up instead of breaking me down.  The thoughts in my mind do enough of that for me right now.  I need ataraxia.  I need to be free of all of the pain, sadness, loneliness, emptiness and fear but I haven’t figured out how to let go of it all yet.  There are moments of clarity, moments of happiness, moments of strength, but they are fleeting and few and far between.  I need to find a place of hope and happiness.  A place where the sun shines and the colors of fall blind me with their breathtaking beauty.  A place that radiates with happiness, perseverance and strength…

25 September 2012

The Path

She has been walking this path,
For some time now alone,
And with every step she takes,
She realizes she has grown.

Into what she doesn’t know,
She can only hope to see,
That this lonely path,
May someday turn into ecstasy.

Life is what you make it,
And every day is a gift,
She only hopes to walk straight,
And not start to drift.

She knows what she wants,
And sees everyday,
That life isn’t always so easy,
To her own dismay.

She continues down the path,
With her head held high,
Trying to stay positive,
Without a tear to cry.

Life is a roller coaster,
An ever winding path,
Yet she can’t seem to get away,
From the sadness and the wrath.

She pretends to be alright,
She hides her fears,
But things aren’t always,
As they seem to appear.

She knows that she is loved,
Her friends and family all care,
Yet this burden she carries,
She can hardly bear.

  She just wants to go back,
To the days of smiles,
Yet she knows that ahead,
Are only more trials.

That’s what life is about,
It’s only a short ride,
And she wants to make sure,
She does nothing but try.

Try to be a better friend,
A better person in this life,
Yet she feels all she gets in return,
Is nothing but strife.

Trying to make life easier,
For everyone around,
Yet she feels as though,
She still might drown.

She pushes away the pain,
She hides what’s inside,
Even though she feels,
As if she’s already died.

Why can’t it be easy,
Why is everything so hard?
It leaves her weak and vulnerable,
And her heart has been scarred.

Yet she embraces the pain,
She learns from it all,
She refuses to give up,
She picks herself up when she falls.

It’s all she can do,
To keep taking it day by day,
To look up to the heavens,
And silently pray.

Pray for happiness,
Pray for love,
And hope that someone is listening,
From the heavens above.

The path sometimes dips down,
Before climbing back to the top,
She prays for the strength,
To climb without having to stop.

It’s worth the effort,
This long and arduous trail,
She just hopes she can make it,
At the top she will prevail.