ThunderheadOne of the best things about living here is the 360 degree views.  You can see what they mean about “isolated” thunderstorms.  This one reared its ugly head just as the sun was setting yesterday evening.  The cool thing is that it’s in Mexico!  To see such an even happening in another country from your own backyard is nothing short of spectacular. 

Since we have been having heavy rains and cooler temperatures due to the monsoons, it’s great to see a storm happening somewhere else.  It was so nice to come home from work yesterday and have it hot and sunny.  We even splashed around in the pool for a while.  If you’re a summer person, it’s annoying to have it cloudy, rainy and 76 degrees in August. 

It’s supposed to stay like this all weekend which is great because my friend Carl is coming to visit from Boston.  Carl is a great guy and a perfect house guest.  He also has a thick Bostonian accent and likes to sing karaoke with me. (You can only imagine what that’s like!)  I’m sure we’re in for a good time.

Baby stepsI was in such a big hurry to redo my site and start blogging that, content-wise, I sort of threw everything up at once (or I just threw up).  Tonight I sat back and read what I had written.  I was disappointed.  I am extremely hyper-critical of myself and hyper-analytical about my own thoughts which makes me very self centered which is exactly why I should be a writer or an artist in the first place.  This looping overactive mindset that I have creates a perpetual writer’s block.  I have, what I feel, are all these creative ideas and thoughts but when I execute them either musically or in written text, they come out like bad teenage poetry. 

This block has grown older with me.  It matures as I do.  It’s as if it’s as big as me.  My first thought after reviewing my blog was to give up but goddamn it, I’m 41 fucking years old.  I’m so tired of my own self imposed limitations.  I don’t care if nobody reads my blog.  This is all an exercise for me.  I want to become a better writer so..I’m writing.  I’m kind of trying to work on the music thing again as well. 

Talk Talk (an 80’s band) had a song called, “Life’s What You Make It”.  Ain’t that the truth.  I’m only 41 years old.  I could still have another 40 great years.  I have decided that I’m going to age like computer programs do.  I’m not 41.  I’m 40.1 which entitles me to be 40 up to version 40.9.

Perhaps I shall be reading this years down the road and appreciate it as if I were looking at a picture of me taking my first steps.

Ted and CobbanThis weekend Ted came to visit from Sedona.  We all had such a great time except for the fact that it was cool and rainy all weekend.  Ted is a great guy.  He’s a dentist and has great teeth. 

It was too bad about the weather.  We went on a little driving tour of Bisbee but it was raining so hard we had to stay in the car.  I am bummed about all the rain but we need it out here in the desert.  I’m the type of person that needs a certain amount of sunshine every week and this weather is cramping my style.  Oh well, it’s supposed to be nice this weekend and my friend Carl is coming from Boston.

Ted left his shoes here.  I wonder if they’d fit me?

Today is the first day for our new IT director at work.  He’ll be in orientation all day so I don’t expect to see him.  Tomorrow, on the other hand, is going to be different.  I hope this all works out.  We really need some direction.  I better hit the shower and scoot off to work.

Running the 5KLast month Ray and I went to my family reunion in Littlestown, PA just outside of Gettysburg, the Cobban family reunion. 

My aunt (In my family, it’s aunt like haunt.) had turned 90, and since, according to CNN, 60 is the new 40, my aunt Janet is now 70. 

My aunt Janet rocks.  That’s the only way I know how to describe her.  She’s a great example of wisdom and spirit.  My new role model.  I am one of the few lucky people who can say that I truly adore my family. 

Well, it just so happens there was a 5K going on in Gettysburg on the same weekend, so I ran it.  Or shall I say I ran/walked it.  I made sure to be running every time I saw someone with a camera.  That’s for sure. 

It was neat!  We ran through the battlefield.  It was a beautiful day.  I felt great for doing it and had the best time at my reunion.

So…last night I was kind of stressed out.  I’m going through one of those wonderful periods in my life when everything crazy is happening all at once and it had me sort of nutted up.  I was sitting outside nursing a vodka rocks and kind of wigging out when Ray suggested I take a Valium.  We keep a supply around the house mostly for travel.  It makes it really easy to sleep on a plane during a red-eye to the east coast or sleep in a strange hotel room.

I went and broke one in half.  I came back outside, popped it in my mouth and chugged it down with my vodka.

“Ugh, this is so Valley of the Dolls”, I said.  It made Ray laugh really hard.  I then realized that life is kind of crazy and the best thing to do is roll with the punches.  I have a lot to be thankful for.  A lot.  I have a good job, a nice home and a great guy to share it all with. 

It’s all good!

I kind of broke a rule on my blog/site.  I remember studying web design and having it drilled into my head that you should never-ever post a site until it’s complete.  We’re talking flow charts and color swatches.  Meetings and usability groups.  It should not go out to the public until it’s been beta tested and sparkles

Well, technically, a blog is never complete and it can change design-wise from day to day.  The idea of posting a-little-thing-here and a-little-thing-there totally goes against the grain for me.  The fact that I downloaded a free blogging system and used one of their design templates (which I totally modified and Cobbanated of course) is unheard of.  I’m supposed to be the one drawing thumbnail sketches, mocking them up in Photoshop and executing the HTML code in Dreamweaver. 

Fuck that.

Why was I sitting there trying to manipulate code to embed video into my site when I can post it (and host it) for FREE on YouTube and then put it into my blog from there?  I wanted to make some cool music player to play my songs but this free blogging software had a ton of free plug-ins that do it for you.  Plug-ins that you can modify in design!  Plug-ins that work!  Did I mention that they were free? 

It does help that I have a background with HTML and all its brother and sister codes.  I know enough to make my site look the way I want and work the way I want, but nowadays I feel more like a web administrator than a web developer.  The web’s been developed and it’s all about open source.  Well, I shouldn’t say it’s been developed.  There are hard-core coding people out there and god bless ’em!  Keep doing what you’re doing folks! 

For some, coding is fun and challenging.  For others, it’s evil.  Hey, I can manipulate code. I understand how it works and it may take me a while sometimes, but I can always figure out how to get the results I want.  But I hate doing it–I don’t hate it, I just don’t love it.  I learned the coding side of design out of sheer necessity.  I wanted my site to do something and no one was around to do it or show me how so I just started figuring it out.  I used to author CD-Rom’s in a program called Director using “lingo” and the Flash came out.  Some of the coolest sites I’ve ever seen were done in Flash but man was that program a bitch. 

I am accepting this new open source thing.  Why reinvent the wheel?  I spent months trying to figure out how I was going to get my words, music, photography and ideas out there online and just days actually doing it with free software, templates and help from a great guy named Gary.

Ray making dinnerLast night Ray and I were at the grocery store.  We eat a diet consisting of whole grains, fruit, veggies and very little meat. 

Some would say we follow the Mediterranean diet but with a lot more wine and some vodka thrown in for good measure.

The haggard overweight woman at the checkout stand was making a comment about all the “healthy stuff” we were buying.  She was going on and on about how it’s a waste to go to all the trouble to eat that way when you could “drop dead from an aneurysm at any moment”.

She also told us that she has a thing for Taco Bell.

Yes, Ray and I could drop dead from anything at any given moment.  But while we’re here, we like to feel great and look as fabulous as possible.  One of these days, the Checkout Lady’s Taco Bell body will start to fail and then she’ll need medical care and then the whole insurance system gets even more out of whack and in the long run we have to pay for it.  I want an insurance discount!

Anyway, Ray was buying stuff to make Stir Fry.  In the summer, he tends to cook without his shirt on.  And I’m OK with that.
Stir Fry Dish
The stir fry was delicious. Ray made it with carrots, celery, broccoli, peppers, onion and oven roasted tofu cubelettes on a bed of brown rice.  Out here in the middle of nowhere, there’s not much in the way of restaurants. I’m lucky that Ray is such a great cook.

Bon Appétit!