Waiting for Wilma

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Currently we are looking at Monday for our date with Wilma. Although that keeps changing, as does where it will pass over. At this point Roland and I are not planning to evacuate, but are keeping an eye on what the official peeps say and how strong it is supposed to be. Roland’s classes are cancelled for Monday so that’s all set. He looked at the numbers today and noticed that they only have like 9 classes left. That seems very fast, but I suppose they have been in session since August. I told him he should make sure to learn them all up quick.


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Jason is now OW certified and has scuba gear and thinking about planning a trip down here to visit and dive with us. I was looking around online and found one dive shop that you can do both the AOW and nitrox certification at the same time. That seems pretty cool, but only if they actually take the time to teach you stuff. I’m not interested in just getting the certification, I’m interested in learning what I need, should, and might possibly, need to know.

I’m still obsessing about getting scuba gear. However, we haven’t had much luck finding a dive shop we really like. I posted to the scuba board though and am compiling a list of some to check out. Maybe after Wilma passes. In the mean time I’ve been surfing and reading about different items. I think I like:

Dive compy: Suunto Vyper or Vytek (I would like the Vytek more, but of course it’s more $$$, plus this one fella made a solid looking boot for them.)

Regulator: I like the Aqualung Titan LX or Legend, but there are a lot of other that are just fine. I also think I prefer the octopus to the air integrated options.

Compass: Suunto SK-7

BCD: Zeagle Zena, Seaquest Diva LX, Scubapro Ladyhawk, or Mares Ariel – I really need to try them on to see what fits me. I’ve dived the Diva and it was ok, but seemed kind of constricting.
Wetsuit: One that will fit my short self. The Seaquest ones I’ve had on before the knee pads are more like on my ankles. I’m really not sure what thickness to get. Maybe 3mm, maybe 5mm as I do tend to chill.

Console: Basic SPG and depth gauge/bottom timer? Don’t really know about this one.

Tank: Don’t really know what to look for here.

Then there is the problem that once you have all that stuff you still should have a bunch of stuff that they don’t really tell you about. Like:

Dive bag
Mesh bag
Dive Knife (I want something small, titanium and probably without a point)
Safety Sausage
EMT Shears
Dive Flag/Float
Fix-it Kit

Plus a bunch of stuff that I probably don’t even know about. Plus we really need to get some dive insurance (probably from DAN). So all of this, and feeling like there is a ton I just don’t know and don’t know how to get info on is sort of dampening my spirits. Maybe someday, after becoming Dive Master/Instructor I will look back and laugh.

Leapin’ Lizards

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Stupid Wilma. No dance class this week. They have already cancelled classes this weekend and now Wilma isn’t supposed to get here until Monday or Tuesday. Sheesh. I was looking forward to going and learning some waltz. Ballroom Bootcamp is on tonight though, so that’s cool. This week is supposed to be three gentlemen learning the jive. Sounds like a train wreck waiting to happen! I think I will have to add Ballroom Bootcamp to the reality shows I would participate in. I think it would be fun, a tad stressful, but fun. Especially since real ballroom dance classes are so expensive (unless you do what Roland and I did and go community education, but then you can only go so far). I wonder if Simon has some sort of studio or something.

Part 2 (of ?)

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Well, I took Bleys out for his afternoon walk and after a short trek about the complex we came back towards home. Upon approaching our building our downstairs neighbor’s daughter was out on their screened in porch with their golden retriever (Maxie). The golden retriever was barking, growling, snarling, and lunging at the screen toward my dog. Then Jack (who will probably be known as Jerk from now on) came to the sliding door, opened it, and told his daughter to bring the dog inside. His daughter attempted to comply but struggled with getting the dog to leave off the snarling and lunging. She finally managed to get the dog near enough to the door for Jerk to pull her the rest of the way inside. He then started to close the door as I heard his daughter ask why they had to bring the dog inside. Jerk then reopened the door and called out in a loud and obnoxious tone “No reason.” Then he slammed the door shut. Then about an hour later there was a whole bunch of pounding that sounded like it was coming from someone from the floor below us hitting the ceiling of their porch with something. When I stepped outside I immediately heard “she’s just mean” in his loud nanny nanny boo boo voice. What an idiot.

Jeepers Creep

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I guess it only takes roughly two months to learn to dislike your neighbor. Today on the way down to take P.W. out for his afternoon constitutional our downstairs neighbor’s dog charged and attacked Bleys. It is an older golden retriever and it was totally out of control. It had Bleys’ head in its mouth and Bleys was yelping and submissive urinating. I broke it up before it got out of hand, but it was crazy. The man didn’t even seem to care didn’t seem to understand that having his dog on a retractable lead meant that he wasn’t in control of his apparently dangerous animal. His response was that he had to control two dogs and his daughter scraped her knee and “he’s not bleeding, is he?” Oooh, that made me angry. These people have two dogs (something that isn’t allowed in out apartment complex) and I haven’t said anything because it didn’t really matter to me. But now the office is going to hear all about it in my written complaint about those people and their dog. Unfortunately, the whole incident has me hopped up on adrenaline and now I can’t really relax.

In other news, Jason bought scuba gear today! He is so busted. I’m jealous, jealous, jealous. I want scuba gear too, pleasey-weasy. I want to go diving all the time and forever. I want to get advanced open water certified, nitrox certified, become and dive master, and then take some more classes, and finally teach scuba. Wouldn’t that be awesome? When I was little I wanted to be a cetacean trainer. I’ve always loved the water I want to be in it right now.

Mood: Wistfully hopped up on adrenaline.

31 Flavors

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Roland and I started dance class today. Broward County has a huge program for all sort of education of a community sort and we chose to take Tango and Waltz with Simon. I really enjoyed it! Of course we were just doing the easy stuff and it was pretty weird to dance with a bunch of men I don’t even know, but overall very enjoyable. We tried to take a class back in Grand Rapids and it was pretty terrible. The woman was hard to understand (foreign accent in an echo chamber of a cafeteria) and tried to teach us a new dance every week. It was generally frustrating. This time we are only learning the basics to two dances with are related to one another at least a little. Today we focused on the tango and it was fun. Although I watched Ballroom Bootcamp, which was the tango this week, and I really didn’t see the correlation between what they were doing on TV and what we learned today. I must not be ‘seeing’ what I should be.

It was very educational to dance with the other gents though. Of course it was pretty darn easy to dance with the instructor 🙂 and very nice to dance with Roland 😉 Most of the men weren’t comfortable dancing as close to me as they should have and that made things interesting/harder. Also a lot of them were very droopy, no posture or anything that remotely resembling a frame. Roland has good posture, but is a little tall for me to lock elbows with, so I think I will need to wear heels to dance with him. The instructor was relatively short and most of the other guys were only somewhat taller than I am which was easier to dance with than Roland (as I was not in heels). Height aside, the best guys to dance with were they ones who had good posture and actually held me to them in dance position. It was so much easier to feel what they wanted me to do dancewise. I guess it’s the same as a lot of things in life, even if you don’t have confidence in what you are doing…fake it.

After that we stopped by a couple dive shops. I wasn’t terribly impressed, one was okay, but the second was downright terrible. This evening I posted to ScubaBoard to see if they could help me. I guess we were spoiled at the West Michigan Dive Center. Hopefully someone will be able to point me to a place that will be willing to demo equipment and be more interested in getting me in the best equipment for me (and hence keep me diving and coming back to buy more stuff from them) than in pushing this or that item.

*I’m going to sign off now, my writing this evening feels very disjointed and generally not so great, I apologize if it doesn’t read well either.*

If you read Roland’s Blog, you can clearly see that he is a better writer and much funnier than I am, but you should know that the instructor used me as a partner due to sheer proximity (we happened to be the couple standing right next to him).

For whom does the bell toll?

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Alicia and Casey got engaged! Alicia was a coworker of mine back at the HSKC. Actually she is the one who took my place when I left. She was a lot like me (except blonde, thin, and beautiful), she was a biology major and sort of fell into animal care. She has an insane little peke named Mojo and a goofy dane mix named Hemi (plus assorted other critters). I miss her a lot. Anyway, she just emailed me and is engaged. Very exciting. I wonder what kind of wedding she will have. In some ways she is very elegant and traditional, but she also has a tremendous sense of fun (you should she some of the Halloween costumes she has worn!). I hope she enjoys planning her wedding as much as I did.

Puppy Toupee

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My sistrah has the best timing ever. Bleys had to go out just now and when we stepped out of the door…there was a package sitting there. After taking care of business we came back in and I had a chance to look at the package. It was wrapped in brown paper, fairly heavy, and it was from Anne! I had no idea what might be contained within but it automatically made my day better just by being there. And by being wrapped in brown paper, there is just something about being able to unwrap a package. I set about to open the package and immediately had to admit defeat and go for backup. If you have ever gotten anything from my sister that was wrapped you might be aware of her predilection for tape. She is very…thorough when she wraps things. So I went for a pair of scissors and managed to hack my way through. Inside I found a note of top which was very nice and a great pick-me-up, some Halloweeny fabric (skulltastic), a sweet knitted wrap for the crazy temperature changes between outdoor and indoor here in Florida, and the best present of all, dance shoes! She got a pair of nice black dance shoes for her wedding and she sent them to me. I’m not sure what size they are but they fit! The left one is a teeny bit tight but as I affectionately refer to my left foot as my fat foot (slightly larger than the right) that’s not suprising. The tightness is minimal and I don’t think it will matter. It’s a great present and I’m very lucky to have such a great sister. I miss her everyday.

Property Values

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It is Not A Good Day in the Subdivision of Susan. I slept very poorly and now I’m seriously down in the dumps (hmmm…perhaps the two are related). I went to bed around 11:00 and then woke up an hour later in that I was falling and going to hit the ground in an unpleasant fashion way. After that I felt terrible and tossed for another hour or so. Then sometime later I woke up to Roland shaking me because I was apparently screaming in my sleep. Which I’m thinking is a pretty sure indicator that one’s dreams aren’t pleasant. I don’t remember what I was dreaming about, I only remember Roland waking me up and trying to make me smile by telling me to dream about puppies, but not cyborg puppies ’cause they aren’t happy. I didn’t have any more major issues (that I know of) except that I woke up tired, sore, and not feeling terribly well. So today thus far has just been me sitting on the cushy chair with Bleys, watching TV, and surfing the web. So much for my walking program. I suppose I could work up enough energy to go to the gym still, but that’s looking like a long shot. I really should take Bleys out for a walk, but its way to hot now. Unless I go at or before 9:00, its just too much for me. I miss Michigan.

Can you say…Obsessing

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I think a huge problem with picking scuba equipment is thus: When you are a beginner you should purchase equipment that is easy to use and will help you learn to dive better. However, you don’t want to get something you will outgrow (ability-wise) too soon. A lot of people on the boards regret getting this or that because after a short time they found that they liked something else. A lot of them then went on to purchase something else/better to replace whatever they didn’t like. I don’t have that luxury. Whatever I pick, I have to go with for as long as possible as all of the this stuff is ($$$$) very expensive. Its already iffy as to whether we can/should afford to purchase scuba gear anyway. I am also miserable at making decisions that involve large amount of money for this very reason. The more money it costs, the more important it is to make the “right” decision. And I am constitutionally unable to understand that there might be more than one “right” choice.