Sunday, November 29, 2009

Cats, Furniture, and Food

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving because I sure did!  It was an I Am Your Face Thanksgiving, full of nerdy vegetarians and vegetarian-appreciators, and cats.  Lots of different cats.

Josh and I went to our friend's Heather and Sarah's house for brunch and dinner and after dinner drinks.  They also invited another couple of couples, but only one couple came from brunch, and then they had to get to their own Awkward Asian Thanksgiving. But while they were here we listened to Alice's Restaurant, which I really enjoyed.  I'm not sure if I've heard it before or just part of it, but I really like listening to it.  The stereo we used didn't have the fm antenna hooked up so it was pretty fuzzy reception, which made it  even more awesome, it seemed like we actually were transported to back in the day huddled around the radio.  Except Josh required that the Lion's football game be on, muted, at the same time.  He kept on silently cheering (or groaning).  OH and we watched the parade.  It was like a small family holiday get togethor.  Basically it was completely opposite from what I'm used to, except there was still peach and blueberry pie (not my mom's pie, but the closest I could get to it) and fluff.  I think it's my Aunt Tina who makes the fluff, but it's just whip cream, cottage cheese, manderin oranges and your choice of jello.  It's my favorite.  When I discovered that I could make it myself, it was very similar to the day you discover you can make bacon for yourself AND eat as much as you want. (You HAVE discovered that haven't you?)

For dinner we had a To-Furkey, and it was DELICOUS!  It was far more amazing than turkey and ham combined.  Of course, as you should all well know, I do not like ham. And turkey is not far behind on my list of things I do not like.  The To-Furkey was moist, tasty, filled with something that seemed like stuffing, and filling.  The best part of the whole vegitarian dinner was the fact that I never had to wonder if I was accidently eating turkey gizzards.  I always worry about that.   The To-Furkey was also just the right size, there was not a GIANT bird or ham left over. 

We stayed the night in a nieghbor's apartment that Heather and Sarah were cat sitting for.  No worries, she knew we were staying AND we knew her and she knew us.  So I could also say we stayed at another friend's house.  She has a cat too.  Sarah and Heather have 3 cats, a 17 yr old cat named Bridget and then 2 yr old brother and sister cats, Margot and Micheal.  The cat in the other apartment is called Stinks, and Josh was taken to her immediately.  Stinks was pretty cool, except for when we got into the bed, BAM!  Allergy attack.  I have never had an allergy attack, but that was one.  I sneezed, my throat swelled up, I couldn't tell if I had heartburn or if my lungs were weakening.  Eventually I fell asleep and woke up when Stinks almost sat her bare butt on my face, luckly I moved in time.  Other than that Stinks was the best bed cat I've ever slept with.  She laid next to me, not on me and not inbetween my legs, and she moved if I needed her too.  I got to pet her all night while I slept.  We decided that Stinks is hyperallergenic.

I ended up not having to work Black Friday, and so Josh and I went to the Goodwill to look for furniture.  Not because it was Black Friday but because we were both in town not having to work that day.  We got three peices, a small end table that's sort of shabby chic style to hold the stereo and record player, a tall bookshelf, and a smallish, incredibly heavy yet sort of trashy armoire.  The armoire is workable and in our price range, and they usually aren't, so I got it.  Then it turns out if we bought a smart card, which is like a Band Card for 12 dollars, we would get a second smart card free and 20% off our purchase, and since we were spending so much the 20% not only paid for the Smart Card but it still saved us money off our purchase.  The smart card gives us small discounts on all sorts of places we go to for the next yr.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

North Star

I am wearing my new black pumps.  The best thing about them is the clicking noises they make when I walk.  Calvin new it was me before I even got to his office.  Though he was expecting me and it was after 5, so no one else was it was an easy guess.

Tomorrow is casual Wednesday because it is the last day of the working week.  I think I shall wear jeans and maybe a sweatshirt, maybe a teeshirt over a thermal shirt.  Is not wearing a bra too casual?  Just kidding, if I'm not allowed to do it at North Star then I'm not allowed to do it here.

North Star is a restaurant about 2.5 miles from my parents house.  I worked there one summer.  The cook's name was French, Fonda de Something.  I can't remember her last name any more.  Her 15 yr old daughter was a dishwasher. The most memorable day was the day I FINALLY got my "turn" being a busser. Meaning, it's way easier bussing tables than it is doing the dishes by hand, so I always got the shaft and had to dishwash even though we were suppose to take turns.  Anyways, I was bussing, and the tubs were not emptying.  A server told me NOT to help the dishwashing girl get caught up in the dishes, but to do what I was suppose to do and bus.  So I did.  Next thing I know the owner, who is the scariest woman alive, and one of the largest women alive, came in so angry!  She started yelling and told the girl she could either do all those dishes or quit.  The girl said that she thought if she went on a cigarette break long enough someone would do the dishes for her...then she quit.  I had to do all those dishes, but it was one of those very few moments where a person actually got what they deserved.  It was wonderful. 

There was a sign up in North Star telling the servers that they must wear a bra or go home.  I only ate the BLT's there b/c they seemed the safest.  The cooks smoked while they cooked.  They had a large ash tray that had metal tongs all in a row above it that held their lit cigarettes while they flipped eggs.  The servers had their own ash tray on the server counter as well that always held lit cigarettes.

There was the pig man and his son too.  They would bring us five gallon buckets for us to put all the food scraps in so they could feed it to their pigs.  I remember three full buckets of grossness sitting outback.  The Pig man's son always hit on me.

I always padded my time sheet by rounding up or down 15 min. Oh and I was forced to listen to country music and Delilah.  Bleh.  I hate Delilah!

On my first day working there I put a lot of thought into what I was going to wear and decided on a white shirt that was short sleeved and v-neck.  My mom got mad b/c if I bent over to wipe the tables the guys could see my cleavage.  That was NOT what I was going for but I had no other shirt.  I didn't want to wear my new Central one b/c I didn't want them to know I was going to quit at the end of summer to go to college.  We had this fight 5 min. after I was suppose to leave I'm sure.  In the end I could have shown up in poop spattered wouldn't have mattered.

That was a good summer.

Monday, November 23, 2009

What I Love

I am at school...putting off a long walk to my car and an equally long drive home. 

School because I am presenting a poster of my research at AGU in December and I need to make the poster in order to present it.  I complained all day and weekend about having to do this with my precious time.  But when I got here and sat down...I realized and remembered that poster making is one of my most favorite things to do.  I also found out that I understand my abstract.  I know that sounds crazy, but abstracts are so condensed I have a very hard time reading them, let alone understanding them.  It's just a bunch of big words and confusing numbers.  This time when I read it though, I understood what each sentence was saying completely and I understood why it was there.  Then I realized that it is a blueprint for my poster!  I just looked at each sentence, thought about what it meant and then made a list of all the charts and diagrams that would prove or back up that sentence.  When I was done I had my poster.  All I did then was organize the list into topics and then fit them together in a comprehensive flowing poster.  This is all rough draft on paper...I've barely even opened illustrator yet.

Oh man I'm getting excited.

I have to do a presentation on biodiesel to the tribes I am working with at the end of December and provide them with a handout.  I am looking forward to it because it is similar to a poster...I am using words and pictures to convey a message.  It's still a puzzle on how to work it out, but already I am starting to come up with ideas and how to organize it.  Shit.  I'm thinking of my work outside of work...the probably happens when you have an "outside of work" time, and that's probably why I never thought of my thesis work outside of work...because there was none!  It's all coming together now.

I had a great weekend.  Thursday I ate Etheopian food with Cindy and her friends.  Cindy is Rachel's roommate, and I met Rachel through my Christian group.  Cindy is very nice and very friendly.  Then on Friday I had a potluck dinner with Cindy and other of her friends and then went Contra dancing.  (It was Cindy's birthday and she was special enough to do two nights of fun things for it!).  Contra dancing is like square dancing but when you stand in long lines and dance down the middle of it.  There is a lot of spinning.  I got hit on by a girl and I worked very carefully and very subtly to let her know through body language that I was not interested in her but that I very much enjoyed talking to her as a friend.  I think I did a good job.

Saturday I went to Cosco with Sarah and Heather.  It was a long but fruitful trip that ended with Mr. Pibb.  I know I know, I swore it off...but at the end of a long shopping day there is nothing as satisfying as a fountain pop...Mr. Pibb or no.  Plus, in the end I would pick Mr. Pibb over any other pop...Dr. Pepper wanna be is better than no Dr. Pepper.

Did Y'all see the Lions win!?!?!  With zero seconds left?  Amazing!  I was sooo excited when I heard that.  Before Josh left for work, they were down 24 to 3 in the first quarter.  We had given up on that game.  BUT NO the Lions pulled through!  So I'm even MORE excited for Thanksgiving if that's even possible.

Okay, I have to go home and make mini-appley muffins for a potluck lunchean that's happening in our building tomorrow. 

Tobacco and Women

How the Great Spirit Made the World

The Great Spirit made the world, and all that is in it, from His own body. First, there was nothing, except for water, hiding the earth everywhere. The Great Spirit made fish and shellfish to live in the water. Then, He told the crawfish to dive under the water and bring up mud to make the earth. As soon as the crawfish had done this, the Great Spirit made man. He called the land and the men "Chitimacha." He did not like man, because He had no eyes and no ears. However, He could see everything, could hear everything, and He knew everything.

The Great Spirit gave the Chitimacha laws to live by. For a while, all was well in the world. Then, the Chitimacha became careless and forgot the laws. The world was no longer good ,and men did not care to live. The Great Spirit knew that something must be done. He thought, and thought, and finally made tobacco and women. These, He gave to the Chitimacha.

The world needed light and heat, so the Great Spirit made the moon and the sun. The moon was a man, and the sun was his wife. The Great Spirit told them that they must bathe often in order to be strong enough to give off light and heat. The sun did what the Great Spirit said. She bathed often, and kept herself bright and shining. The Chitimacha have always honored the sun, and she has always been kind to them. The moon did not obey the order of the Great Spirit. He took no baths. To this day, he is pale and gives off no heat. He can still be seen chasing across the sky to catch the sun, who runs from her disobeying husband.

From the Chitimacha

Sunday, November 22, 2009

My New Job

People.  I have a job!  And I L.O.V.E. it.  How could I not?  I have an office full of all the best office supplies, I have a better computer than the one I had at Vandy, I have MY OWN printer.  I have...wait for it....A WINDOW! A giant window that starts at waist height and goes to the ceiling.  And I see a small parking lot and trees and woods out of it. I have an office chair and a plastic mat for it to roll on.  I have a desk that is large enough for me to spread all of my papers out on.  I will be getting a company laptop and company credit card.  This is proof that I am an adult, not a student.  I am trusted with actual responsibility.  Amazing.

My boss is very nice.  My coworkers are also very nice.  There are only 5 of us in the environmental department.  ELO.  Environmental liaisons office.  I am project coordinator II.  I don't have to pay for the coffee that is made in the coffee maker.  I have a key card that I scan to let the gate open so I can drive in and to unlock the front door.  I have a casual Friday.

One day an ELO worker came in and she was hobbling around on a hurt ankle.  She said her husbands crutches were too big for her.  I was like, Well...would you like some that do fit? I happen to have a set in my trunk.  She couldn't believe it.  But I did, and now she is using them!  I'm so happy about that.  It's like now I finally got my money's worth out of them.  She's even going to drop them off to donate them for me when she is done with them.  Which is why they were in the trunk, Josh never dropped them off at the goodwill (3 months ago) and they just stayed there.

To drive to work I don't even have to get on the expressway!  I just take Bell Road (which is basically, but not technically, the road I live on) all the way to the end and then the building is on the right. It takes about 30 min.

So I haven't driven my truck b/c one of the tires was bad (the metal bits were showing) and I didn't want to drive it b/c I wouldn't be able to change the tire if it did go flat.   But we finally got it buying 4 new all-terrain tires!!!  We were always planning on doing it, but have not had the money...and we don't really now, but it doesn't matter b/c I know we will!