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[29 Nov 2010|02:50pm]
[ mood | cold ]

Tyler and I had an adventure with the water line last week. This is a normal part of the winter process, it's just fast and stressful when it happens. I wrote about it in an email I sent to some relevant people. I've copied it here.

Water water everywhere and everyone freezing cold...Collapse )

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[13 Oct 2009|09:59am]
[ mood | sick ]

Cut for way, way TMI regarding gastrointestinal stuff.

Seriously!Collapse )

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[30 Jun 2009|04:20pm]
[ mood | wtf? ]

I mentioned earlier that I've been having unusually creative and vivid dreams for the past month or so, especially noticeable because I remember them after I wake up (semi-unusual for me). I think this may be a medication side-effect, but I don't know. I'm WAY more sympathetic to people who have taken the semi-hallucinogenic malaria drugs. Here's a sample of my night-insanity. You be the judge.

*Dad and brother die in catastrophic car accident a block from my house
*I am watersliding through Russia. Like, all of Russia.*
*It's an incredibly rainy day in LFP, everything is flooded, Mom and I go to an old funeral home and then end up buying bread at some flea market
*I'm in New Orleans for Mardi Gras, which looks a lot like Aurora Village. I eat lunch in the courtyard where the ceremony starts and then check out a huge warehouse of masks.
*I dream that I go into the future 6 months and my dad is dead. I wake up, upset, go back to sleep, and dream that I'm planning the funeral, and there's a minister there who's a complete asshat to me (this was last night).
*It's winter, and every cabin at Taylor now has its own airstrip, for safety. It looks like the arctic tundra, and Tyler and I are staying in some concrete junk room with buzzing fluorescent lamps, and a large freezer containing some gross melted-popsicle sculpture left by previous tenants.
*My body is really light for some reason. I'm walking with Tyler in Santa Fe, which looks a lot like Olympic National Park, and I fly up into the air, then crash down on the ground so hard that it knocks my soul out of my body. I can't go back into my body while I'm unconscious, so I go walking around, limping (my soul now has a broken leg), try to find Tyler, take a shortcut through a community college, and end up getting stalked/chased by an ex-boyfriend.
*We've set up a HUGE hydroponics system alongside the Taylor airstrip, which generates electricity for some reason. Holly gives me a pair of slippers shaped like bison.
*Riding in some huge flying machine, crash horribly in Ethiopia.
*Hike down to the Middle Fork (8 miles downstream), which now contained a large city made up of interconnecting box stores (so you never have to go outside). I decide to do some resupplying, realize I was hiking topless and have no shirt, shrug it off, and make it most of the way through a mall before anyone notices. Make do with plastic grocery bag tied across my chest. Gawk at crazy prom dresses for a while, get suckered into buying a weird quilt, and spend my entire dream...shopping.
*I'm in London, shopping around (WTF with the shopping dreams?). I go into a dark basement store that's heaped with textiles and furs. I get stuck in the elevator, but the elevator is glass and can fly, so I fly all over town until the repair folks come (Tyler: "you're trapped in a Wonkavator?").

*This was by far the most fun dream ever. Then Tyler said "were you watersliding in vodka?" NO.

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The Green Fairy Book [21 Jun 2009|10:15am]
[ mood | envious ]

When I was little, I used to have a favorite book at my Nana's house. It was a green hardback, and it was crammed with fairy tales...but really original ones, ones from around the world that I'd never heard before.

I've been trying to find some of my older childhood books these days (yay Abebooks) and I thought I'd try to track down this particular one. I didn't remember much about it (the only story I remembered was about a trio of sisters who had one, two, and three eyes, respectively), but I thought I'd give it a shot. What the heck.

BAM. I get success on my very first Google hit for that story. The whole story was readable online, and most of the sources I found said that the story was part of a book called The Green Fairy Book by Andrew Lang. That made some sense, since I remember that the book's cover was green. I also found a site that listed the other stories in the book, and a few of them did sound familiar.

So I started searching on Abebooks. And of course, I got a lot of hits for versions I didn't want, like cheap paperback copies with faux-antequated designs on the covers, or Tales From The Green Fairy Book, which translates to We Couldn't Be Bothered To Put ALL The Stories You Liked In This Version. Pleh.

But in the process, I discovered something critical. Andrew Lang did not assemble just one Fairy Book. He assembled TWELVE. The Crimson Fairy Book, The Olive Fairy Book, The Blue Fairy Book, and on and on.

Because the booksellers on Abebooks almost always just use the same stock photo for their book, rather than a photograph of the actual copy, I wandered over to eBay to see if I could find a copy that looked like the one I'd read. And I didn't, but OH MAN, YOU GUYS.


It is a 1902 printing of The Green Fairy Book with a beautiful bitchin' dragon stamped on the cover.


I don't consider myself a collector of rare or antique books, but a book that I loved as a kid in a package as gorgeous as that? KRYPTONITE.

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[16 Jun 2009|02:46pm]
[ mood | busy ]

I'm feeling domestic today. Washed the bedsheets, made some fresh bread (delicious and easy recipe after the cut), and rolled out a pie crust for quiche. Because we can only get limited supplies here, our menu hasn't had as much variety as I would like*. We've done okay for a while, but the same meals over and over is getting us down, so we're dying to try some new things (suggestions welcome).

Not too much else to report, except for a bigger work-related post I'll do later. Still no word on any other job opportunities, including the jobs in New Mexico.

I'm bummed that we haven't heard anything, but I'm dealing with it a lot better.

I guess that's all for now.

*lentils and rice, beans and rice, quinoa, polenta, eggs and toast, pasta and marinara, ramen, pizza, cereal (hot and cold), mashed potatoes, seitan, enchiladas.

Delicious French bread...Collapse )

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[04 May 2009|08:17am]
This journal is overdue for a life update, which I promise I will do soon. But not now, because I'm sitting around in Arnold Aviation and I don't feel like it.

All I really want to say after having traveled in a car for a week with our cat is this:

You know you have read too much LOLspeak when at some point in the aircraft hangar, you turn to your unhappy cat and say "Pan, just one more Do Not Want, and then you Can Has."
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[11 Mar 2009|01:49pm]
I've spent the last few days helping my Mom clean out some of the last nooks and crannies of the house. This has been an ongoing project for several years now. It's a bit tedious, but Mom and Dad aren't asking anything of me right now...no rent, no food, no chores...so I feel the least I can do is help out.

After several years of pecking away at it, we finally blitzkrieged Mom's closet, which was mostly full of her old clothes from working at the bank (or teaching Sunday School) 20 years ago. Mom hates to shop, so most of the clothes she's been wearing the last few years have been things she stole from me or inherited from friends. This will change. Anyway, we got rid of everything in the closet that she never wears, putting the nostalgic stuff up in the attic and the truly hideous or damaged in the garbage or Goodwill bin.

Everything was so dusty that we had to stop halfway through and get my vacuum cleaner (which has a HEPA filter) out of the storage unit so I could stop sneezing miserably for hours on end.

We got down to the smaller stuff in the dressers today, like old glasses and little crafts she'd socked away when Jason and I made them as kids. It was really fun going through all the jewelry, some of which I'd never seen. Some was set aside for Goodwill (novelty pins, clip-on earrings), the gaudier stuff was put in the costume box, Mom saved her favorite things until we can get an organizing system in place (i.e. not a basket full of Ziploc bags), and she gave me first crack at anything she didn't want anymore. She got rid of a lot of things from her girlhood and I couldn't save everything, but I saved some. Like her earrings she wore to Tolo with my dad, a huge turquoise pendant that used to be my grandmother's, and some vintage earrings with the Space Needle on them, from the World's Fair when the Space Needle first opened. Mom saved up her allowance money to give them as a gift to her mother. She didn't want them.

Anyway, it was really cool to have some old pieces of jewelry that once meant something to my Mom. None of them are valuable (except maybe the Space Needle stuff), but it means a lot more to me this way.

Also, this conversation:

Me: "Okay, what's in this bag...WHAT THE HELL, MOM?!?"
Mom: "What?"
Me: (holds up silver pendant thingy) "THESE ARE RED ALDER CONES"
Mom: "They are?"
Mom: "Well, how was I supposed to know?!"
Me: "I'm keeping these. F***." (flailing around)
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[05 Mar 2009|02:51pm]
[ mood | okay ]

So, I got a phone call yesterday morning, and I didn't get the Seattle job (Job 2). My interview with them last week went really well and I think they liked me a lot, but I think there was just someone else who was better suited for it. The job would be working on the pontoon team, not the environmental team, and I'd be helping the half of the pontoon team that was doing the engineering work, not the environmental work, so they probably picked someone who has a little more engineering experience.

I'm actually mostly okay with it. I had some reservations about the job anyway, and this way I don't have an agony of decision-making to do, since I never really did figure out what I wanted. I'm disappointed that a door closed, but it's okay.

The thing I feel really GOOD about is that I made it to the third (and final) interview, which was a pool of six applicants.

The original pool was THREE HUNDRED.

So, percentage-wise, I did GREAT.

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Barack Obama ain't your bitch, nigga. [28 Feb 2009|08:50pm]
This is probably really immature, but it made me laugh so, so hard.
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[28 Feb 2009|08:42pm]
A depressing yet highly instructive video.
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[27 Feb 2009|11:14pm]
For bluemoonshark

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[26 Feb 2009|02:27am]
I haven't watched Amazing Race in several years (or much else, for that matter). But I watched it with shaylith last weekend and it was hilariously surreal. I am capturing these particular moments for posterity and my personal amusement:

*Lady hikes down wrong mountain, hitchhikes back to challenge
*Guy resolves to not pray for miracle, subsequently praises God for miracle
*"Welcome to Bavaria! SEGWAY OR PIE?"
*Gay dudes storm the castle gates
*Chicks bring own log to challenge, helpfully release a local's horse
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WHAT [21 Feb 2009|09:39pm]
[ mood | SO FREAKED OUT ]


Moray eels have TWO SETS OF JAWS?!?!


I will never, never, never sleep again.

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Angst angst angst [20 Feb 2009|09:27am]
I have two job prospects right now:

Job 1
1. Employs both Tyler and I
2. We basically get to work on a desert island and watch marine mammals, with all the fun that implies.
3. Good pay, compensation for food, short work day.
4. Possible good "in" with the company to get permanent work.
1. Only lasts 8 months.
2. We have to move, again. We'd have to to to Taylor and get our stuff, then drive to S. California and live in workers' housing, which is kinda getting us down.
3. No Pan-cat. He'd have to stay with my family for 8 months.

Job 2
1. Lasts, minimum, 2 years
2. Great salary, more than we'd make together at Job 1.
3. Again, a good "in" with the company to later get longer-term work, or something that is more relevant to my background.
4. We could probably lose the storage unit and start looking for a house, and actually have a permanent home base for the first time since either of us started college in 2000.
1. Very basic office work that is kinda below my skill set, but also likely to be hurried and stressful.
2. Work is not terribly relevant to my expertise (I would be working on an engineering team, not the environmental/ecology team)
3. Have to commute downtown daily.

Job 1 is currently in the bidding process. If the company wins the bid, we are likely to get the job. And we would find out around March...9th? Maybe? Job starts April 1.

Job 2 just called me in for a second interview on Tuesday (which really leaves me no room for error with my research here in Moscow). They are looking to replace someone that left and if I get hired, would want me to start immediately.

Dilemma: Job 1 is more fun and fulfilling in short-term. Job 2 is more stable and helpful in long-term. If I get offered both jobs, I'm not sure how I'll choose. And if I get offered Job 2 without knowing if we'll be offered Job 1, I have no idea what I'll do.
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Moscow is not like other cities in Idaho [19 Feb 2009|04:46pm]
[ mood | creative ]

Painting pottery this afternoon. Listening to a Supermom micromanaging her kids' art and a few other conversations. Eavesdrop, eavesdrop.

Lady: "What's this glaze color called?" (Note: brilliant orange)
Employee: "SunKist."
Lady: "Oh, is that, like, Tuscan?"

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[11 Feb 2009|09:43pm]
[ mood | sick ]

Now is the time ven ve haf ze rhinovirus.


I'm been having some crochet fun lately. I first learned to crochet in 3rd grade or so, from the Great-Aunt of a friend in my Camp Fire Group. I made a little purse and got a patch for it. Anyway, it's been great fun. I got the Stitch and Bitch The Happy Hooker book a while back and I've been working my way through each of the sample stitches, making test swatches one by one.

My next project is this, a lovely jacket-thing that, I must confess, is largely inspired by my admiration for an ankle-length crocheted jacket over a dress that Kira wore several times on DS9. Also, never do a Google search for "Kira Dress," unless you're looking for slash ("Kira's dress slipped from her legs, exposing her fully...").

Anyway, I'm having fun. I've enjoyed doing little finicky projects with my hands. I crocheted a small scarf today with my new hook (small, steel) and a hank of scratchy-but-gorgeous rainbow yarn on clearance from Weaving Works. Now I'm moving on to the real deal of the jacket, with a few rolls of deep red-brown merino wool yarn. Yum.

Things I am also doing right now:
1. Drinking a mojito on strict orders.
2. Petting the cat.
3. Watching Bridget Jones' Diary
4. Waiting for Jason to get home from Bread Class so I can sample his assignments.
5. Blowing my nose in grandiose fashion and trying to stay alive.

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[09 Feb 2009|03:50pm]
Dear Monster Quest/The History Channel,

Look, I know that TV is supposed to be stupid. But I had higher expectations of you. Your goal is to educate viewers about historical events and people, and that's totally laudable and a great application of TV broadcasting as a whole. However, your recent "Monster Quest" program on the search for the giant octopus filled me with HORRIBLE HORRIBLE RAGE. Enough rage that I actually have to spend time talking about your stupid thing on my LJ, which is a waste of time, but I need to get it out of my system.

Here is why:

1. I could be learning about the Civil War or something, and you're showing something on mythical octopus? What channel is this?

2. You state that a few huge blobs of...stuff have washed up on the Atlantic coast over the last hundred years, so your team goes to look for this mythical octopus in...Puget Sound. What? Oh, it's because that's where the largest octopus already known to man lives. Even though it doesn't live in the deep ocean, it's a fraction of the size of what you found, that niche appears to be filled, and it's across the planet from where your excuse for evidence was discovered.

3. You have a team of scientists who declare the material to be consistent in fiber structure with whale blubber, and then...you just keep going. You sort of ignore that fact. Because, then you would have no reason to do this show.

4. The lead guy says "I'm a researcher, so of course, I really want to find this thing!" NO. That is not science. That is ADVOCACY. Science seeks to DISPROVE, not prove, and the failure to disprove a theory is what makes it strong. But clearly, the scientific method has no place on TV.

5. You state that the Pacific Giant Octopus (<3) is this big and eats this size food, so therefore your mythical octopus must be THIS big, and eat THIS size food. Right, because ecology works that way...you just scale up. If that were true, blue whales would eat polar bears and great white sharks.

6. You spend about a quarter of the program gushing and reiterating about how great your camera technology is. I don't care, especially after you put them in the Sound and then waited all of TWO OR THREE DAYS to find something. Seriously? It's taken us THIS long to find the giant squid, and you're complaining about a few days, using remote cameras? It's not like you're down there in a blind, you wusses.

Look, I have no problem with cryptozoology. What I DO have a problem with is a program that takes a case of century-old mistaken identity that was disproven by experts almost instantly, both in present-day and at the time, and blow it into an hour-long program of nothing. From the start, it was obvious that you weren't going to find anything, because if you had, I would have heard about it on KOMO. So, I assumed that you'd spend the episode flailing around, find no trace of anything, and then try and justify some hazy photograph or bit of grit as evidence of what you wanted to prove, so you could sail off into the sunset under the guise of "THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE" instead of "we didn't find any support for this hypothesis at all." And that is exactly what happened.

I hate you. Never be on TV again.

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[07 Feb 2009|10:33pm]
I am doing okay. Not much to talk about at the moment. I wake up at 7:45 every day with Pan purring in my face and pawing at my eyes, and if I don't get up, the yowling begins. Feed the cat. Maybe go back to bed if cat will let me. Spend day doing various things, with include but are not limited to: helping Dad cut, sand, paint, and erect replacement fence posts and panels at the rental house (now finished), swimming, working out on the ellipticals at the YMCA (up to 5 miles now) in an effort to shed a few pounds, teaching myself new crochet stitches, messing around on Facebook, hanging with friends, and helping Mom clean out various parts of the house. Then I stay up late on the computer or reading, and do it over again.

Tyler and I went to REI yesterday. I got a new hat to replace the one I left on the Boise bus, and a pair of sweet trekking poles. I look like an idiot walking around the neighborhood with them, but they really make my knees feel better.

The job search continues, as Tyler and I have officially lost our jobs at Taylor, which was a huge disappointment but not a major surprise. I have a little funding to do a few months of temp work there, but that's all...but at least that will pay for me to fly back in and get my stuff and finish some of the things I started. I registered for unemployment this week and feel like a sponge.

I've had three job leads so far.
1. Tyler and I met with someone who works at a local branch of a major environmental consulting firm. He was a friend of a friend and he gave us some great advice about how the industry works and what they expect. It was mostly info-gathering, but still really helpful. We gave him our resumes, just in case.

2. This person just called last week and told us about an interesting possibility. The company is bidding on a contract for two people to do marine mammal monitoring on Santa Rosa, one of the Channel Islands off the California coast (50 miles north of the Island of the Blue Dolphins, if you've read that book). We'd be watching for sea lions and seals while a construction company replaces a dock. Only for 6 months, but it would be cool work and it would give us a foot in the door with that company. So, we offically expressed interest in the position in the event the company wins the bid. Nothing definite yet.

3. I applied for a tech aide/project manager position with another environmental consulting company a few days ago, and just YESTERDAY, out of the blue, I get a call from a person wanting to set up a phone interview with me. It was a good time right then, so I did an on-the-spot interview. I've noticed a lot over the past year or so that the best part of being depressed is I've developed a lot of candor with people, so in situations where I would normally feel very nervous and jittery, I feel very relaxed and in control. The inverviewer seemed to appreciate my readiness and complimented me on my eloquence (major squee), and told me I'd made the first cut. So, now they'll review the resumes and I'll get a call this week letting me know if I get an in-person interview or not.

So, that's all for now. More of the same later.
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[11 Jan 2009|07:13pm]
Aaaand, as long as I'm posting video, want to see what a flight out of Taylor is like?


Watch it in high-quality. It's about a 4 minute video, but we don't take off until about 1:20. It covers about 6 ground miles, from Taylor Ranch to the airspace above Cabin Creek.

Sorry it's a little bumpy. That is very authentic.
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[11 Jan 2009|06:53pm]
[ mood | cold ]

I meant to post about this earlier!

So, two days before Tyler and I left Taylor, we needed to finish a big job. NOAA has a big solar array down by Big Creek that they use to power their stream antennas. However, the battery bank that the solar array charges had worn out, and we needed to replace the batteries. The trick is that they're the size of car batteries and weigh 80 lbs each, and there were a dozen of them. So, getting them down there was a task in itself.

In order to replace the batteries, we had to lug the batteries down to the stream edge, open the battery casings, unscrew the network of wiring setting up the batteries in two parallel circuits, and then swap them out and do them all up again.

However, before we started, one of the NOAA engineers had asked us to test the antennas first. They lie flat in the streambed, and their job is to detect and record the passage of any fish with a PIT tag. NOAA had given us a fake fish with a PIT tag, hung on a fishing rod, that we could use to pass over the antenna to log the test.

This was very easy to do because the temperature had been down in the single digits for well over a week, causing a lot of the stream to freeze up. We're near the end of the Big Creek drainage, so quite a bit of water was locked up in ice upstream, and we weren't getting much. The margins of the riverbed were quite high and dry, as far as 20 feet in places, and I could have easily walked across the river and only gotten wet to my shins.

Holly and I were fiddling with the battery cables while Tyler stood out in the middle of the stream with the fake fish, to test the antenna. And I kept hearing this faint thumping sound. Sort of soft and crunchy, but definitely a thumping. I told Holly and laughed a little, and we looked out to the stream. What we saw was rising water, and it was rising VERY fast.


Tyler couldn't hear us, but he saw our frantic gesturing and got back to shore quick. We spent the next half hour staring at the river, as the breakage of an ice dam somewhere upstream turned our brook-like river into an icy torrent in under a minute. All the ice that had washed up on the gravel shore was swept away, and I had to jump back a few times to keep my feet dry. Huge ice floes, entire trees, tons of sediment...and then finally just a long, continuous surge of slush that lasted until dark.

Wanna see some video? :D

Videos behind cutCollapse )

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