Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A Rant

Today I am rather bored.

So now that the internet knows I am pregnant, I want to talk about it.  Like, why is it still there, in my belly?  Will I be able/want to wear all of my sweet shoes and heals after the child is born?  Doubtful.  I don't even want to wear them now.  Or my makeup.  I spent three years practicing and learning how to look and dress like a young professional woman, and now it's all for naught.  Why couldn't I just stay who I was when I started working?  Okay, I don't blame the baby for that, I blame my job for that.  If you work for old white men, they expect you to act like old white men.  And even if they don't...they don't get any of your jokes about velociraptors, putting faces on office supplies, leaving snarky but harmless notes on the food.  And they jokes they do understand, like pirate jokes, they make you tell everyone else, three times a year, every year for the rest of your life.  I no longer like pirate jokes that much.  And nothing is more disturbing to the people in the office than a snarky note left on the addictive peanut butter filled pretzel bites about how addictive they are.

There is a cow stress "ball" (it's cow shaped) on the edge of a framed mirror in my office.  It's up high near the ceiling.  Once a month coworker who has never noticed before, or noticed and forgot that they noticed, points it out to me with "Oh look it's a cow.  Cow. Look at your moo cow.  How did he get there?" Then I cut them.  There is a price tag on the mirror, the glass part.  My mom bought the mirror when I was in 8th grade from a yard sale.  My dad made the frame for it.  And neither of them ever took the price tag why should I?  Every single one of my coworkers has seen it and tried to rip it off, without asking me, right in front of me.  Why do people think that's okay?  It's on there pretty ain't coming off.  I have since covered it with a feather so people don't get bothered by it.

The other day I was on my way back from lunch with coworkers, and I we were talking about being new to the city and driving around and finding what roads go where and such.  I was trying to say "I don't let my fear of being lost stop me from driving on new roads." And it came out "I don't be afraid of gettin' lost".  Which is how my grammar used to be.  My coworker laughed and said "You are too light skinned to be talking like that!"  What!?!?  Thanks for the racist comment.  I like to hang around opinions like that. Not. 

All I did for the last three months was sleep, sleep, and avoid people.  I did not puke once. The best part is how hungry I am.  Like real hunger.  I stopped eating over the summer on my travels, and I knew I was hungry because my stomach hurt or sometimes I thought I was going to pass out.  So I ate some nuts and berries, or a banana.  And I'd go home and have dinner, whatever.  Then, one day, I was all, I'm eating breakfast!  What?!?!  Sandwich for lunch!!!!  "I know we are in the middle of a timed scavenger hunt, but team....I need to stop and eat!"  OMG! DINNER!!!!!!!!!!

Our grocery billed doubled and it was incredibly hard to keep enough food in the house.  If you are getting worried that I am eating too much to be a proper woman, that I am not maintaining my weight to remain desirable for my husband, don't. While exclaiming my new found delight in food and a healthy hunger, I was warned not to get too fat.  We woman can't enjoy life unless we starve ourselves into skinniness.

And you know who's the worst?  Ackbar!!  He's always wanting me to bend over and feed him.  Bend over and get his food out of the bag.  Bend over and pet him.  Bend over and pick him up.  It's only three months and I can't bend over any more! My back hurts sooo much.  Ugggh.  And people keep posting pictures on facebook of kids being naughty, or pictures on the internet of "funny" kids:  Kids who broke all of the eggs in the refridgerator onto the floor.  Kids with poop everywhere.  Kids spilling milk.  I dont' know..everything else kids do.  No privacy, no more sleep, teenagers with boyfriends or girlfriends in the house.  Not getting angry and keeping a level head when fighting with a child (not my strong point...I yell at the cat a lot or try to hit him back).  I need to get them a proper house.  I need to have people over, participate in community events, join groups to properly socialize the kids.  Teach them charity and how to save their money. 

I should make a spreadsheet/timeline that directs me when to do each item and when to teach them each life lesson.  Because that'll work good. ;)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Just Being

"I was at the PostSecret Event in London. I didn't find the courage to go up to the microphone, but if I had been able to, this is what I would have said.
I spent so long feeling guilty, feeling ashamed of my sadness, and you know what? It just made me sadder. You are allowed to be sad, you are allowed to be angry, you're allowed to be depressed. We all deserve to feel our own sadness in our own time.
Something you will have heard before - you deserve to be happy. That, of course, is not always easy to hear, especially in the depths of depression - so let me add something. You deserve to be happy - but you don't have to be happy right now or all the time.
It is okay to be sad, it's okay to not be ready to be happy yet. One day you will be ready to recover - that day doesn't have to be today or even tomorrow, as long as you know and trust me that it will come.
It's okay not to be okay.
Thanks for everything Frank,
Holly, London
P.S My secret is that I decided last night that I'm ready to recover and it's going to be incredible."

This is from this weeks page.

It explains a lot of how I've been feeling.  Several months ago, around October, I finally got fed up with pretending to be happy with everyone.  Fed up with putting on a smile and laughing at everyone's jokes, even the ones that made me cringe inside and hurt more.  Fed up with being polite and worrying that I would make the world a worse place if I was honest.  Fed up with making everyone else's feelings my responsibility.  You know what, if you are annoyed at me, pissed at the world, or happy or not happy, I no longer care.  I really don't.  That is your problem and I have too many of my own to be spending that much energy on everyone else.

Also, I don't want to be happy.  I know it's a good thing to be so, but I've tried to be happy, I've pretended to think positive thoughts, I've pretended that everything is going to be okay.  But pretending just makes life worse and hells a lot harder.

Some days I am happy.  Some days I am not.  The world will not end either way, and I don't like ignorant and unthought out advice quoted from so many "self help" books or Secrets of life.  Those books don't know me, you don't know me, and continually bombarding me with cliche advice just makes me feel guilty for not being able to live to those standards, for not taking advice that is just so simple. 

Do you know why people give this advice?  It's because my unhappiness, my depression, makes them feel uncomfortable, sad, worried.  They don't like to feel those things, so by giving me unasked for advice, without thoroughly exploring why I feel so, makes them feel better.  Regardless of how I feel about it.  It's a selfish thing to do, and also, I think, just part of human nature.  

This is the part where I feel I should describe to you how I actually feel.  Explain to you everything.  Answer your questions.  But I just don't feel anything much any more.  No more anxiety, no more anger, no more happy, no more excitement.  And I just don't care.  Someday I'll feel again, but right now, I just don't.  And I'm satisfied with that...I'm not particularly ready to change.  You could say today is a happy day.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

This Is Not The Car You Are Looking For

Okay people.  Here is the scariest one instance that has happened to me in the last month. 

Josh and I were parked out front the gas station by our apartment.  He ran in to get some beer (so I guess it was Friday that it happened), and I stayed out to play Jewel Master on my phone.  I was kicking ass at it too when Josh got back in the car.  I thought "Gee you got through that line fast." then I noticed from the corner of my eye that Josh was taking up a lot more room in the car then normal...then he spoke and it was in such a deep voice!  I looked up and it was an older Asian man in my car!!!  I screamed and through myself to the side of the car and a million things raced through my mind.  Then I saw him trying to find the door handle to the driver's door and he said "I can't get out!".  The door handle had broken off a few years ago and the door only opens from the outside.  I started to tell him he has to open the windows to get out, and then I realized he didn't have keys.  My next thought was that we would have to wait until Josh gets back to let him out.  Finally, I said "Hold on." and got out and opened his door for him.

Can you imagine getting into someone else's car with a screaming woman in it and then realizing you can't get out!?  His English wasn't the greatest either.  Poor guy.  He did show me his car and how it looks very similar to Josh's. He was legit and not a robber/rapist/bad guy/evil person.  Thank goodness.

I also can't blame him for mistaking the cars.  I did that twice in college.  Both in winter, at night.  Once I was so sure it was my car and I thought the locks had frozen and that's why the key wouldn't go in.  I went to the nearby dorm and got some luke warm water to try and thaw the lock.  Luckily on my walk back I saw my car a few rows down from this car (there were only 2 cars to choose from too!)  Can you imagine if I poured water on the other car's lock and it froze?!

The second time, I tried really hard to get my key in the lock of the car, and because of my previous experience, I realized after 2 minutes that it wasn't my car.  Looking around to see if anyone noticed, I saw the popular guy from my class who had a giant red afro and was from the band: The Burning Bushes (Mount Pleasant Local band), walking towards the car, and then later get in it.  He totally saw me try to break into his car!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Maybe I'm Not as Good at Not Being Passive Aggressive as I Thought

I was reading a humor blog called Passive-Aggressive Notes when I came across this posted note.
Passive-Aggressive Notes is a website where people submit pictures of passive aggressive notes they run across in their daily life.  It has helped me a lot because as an undergrad, I may have left a few quite angry passive notes.  I no longer do that.

Anyways, the title of the specific note is "What's black and white and red all over?"  The answer of course is a Newspaper.  I heard this joke a lot when I was younger.  I almost feel like it was on some sort of children's cassette.  But I have never ever ever gotten it because there is no red on a newspaper!  It's most clearly black and white.  Then when I saw this note on the website, I realized that they meant RED, as in communist.  Probably back in the day before I was born the media was portrayed as communist brainwashers instead of liberal brainwashers...or something.

I will now file the joke under "Before My Time" and stop worrying about it.

I can definitely tell there is an age gap at work.  So far today I have referenced the TV show Archer: "MSG - The FLAVA ENHANCA!" and I referenced Katamari (my favorite PS2 game) and The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy: What's the meaning of life? "42" and I have yet to have one person connect the reference.    Possibly it's not an age gap but that I enjoy the Geek Life and they enjoy going to bed at 7:30, two and a half hours after they get home from work.

I had to go to lunch with some nice people and one person who continuously made inappropriate sexual jokes that made me uncomfortable and reached the level of maturity of a 15 year old.  And if he wasn't doing that, he was talking to make himself look superior to another lunch person by his unbelievable knowledge of wasabi.

Here's an example of a joke:
"How do you get a nun pregnant?"
"You F*** her!"

The splat occurred when I whipped out my Invisible Inflatable Pocket Tank and blew him away.

On the way to the restaurant and on the way back I sat in front and made three grown men sit in back.  I don't regret it at all.  The old me would have felt bad b/c I'm the smallest, I should sit in the middle in the back so the boys don't have to touch other boys.  The new me says, I am a lady and I don't want to touch any boys.  AND it's only fair because if they INSIST on being chivalrous and holding the door open for me (despite my multiple times of asking that they don't do that), it should only be expected that I sit in front too.  Chivalry and all.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Lists of Grateful and Awesome

A List of Things That I Am Grateful For:

1.  Readily available fresh food, and if not that, readily available cheap food
2.  Taco Bell 1/2 lb. Beef Combo Burritos, volcano tacos, and my newest TB love: The Meximelt
3.  Brussel sprouts
4.  A funny husband (usually)
5.  Parents who try their best (you can't reasonably ask for more)
6.  Ackbar:  A cat who doesn't demand attention most of the time, who only meows some of the time, and is tolerant of all of my cat loving behavior (hugging until his head pops off (not really!))
7.  Such a mild fall, it's nice being able to wear skirts in November
8.  My confidence in myself to participate in No-Shave November and still wear a skirt.  No one should be looking that closely at my legs anyways!
9.  Uni-ball Signo #207 pens with check signing permanent ink.  They are my favorite pens and come in pink.
10.  Firewood for our fireplace
11.  A husband who can vacuum and folds clothes better than I do. (and more often!)
12.  Fresh water available at almost all times
13.  My smart phone...though I hate it most of the time.  I pay for it, I better like it.
14.  The ability to play games on my phone.  It's the only way to calm the nerves on a car ride.
15.  I am thankful to have an income
16.  For friends who enjoy science experiments, even if they show that I have incredibly high blood sugar. (see number 2 on the list)
17.  Actually, I'm grateful that most of taco bell's "meat" is not all meat.  The filler is most likely corn or soy, and so I'd rather be eating that than more mystery meat probably made of cow tongues that, if properly processed, have the tonsils removed.
18.  I am grateful for Pandora
19.  For childhood trips out west.  It's not many people that can say they've driven and seen most of the west and the east, and now the south!  If I may say so, it makes me smarter and more worldly.
20.  For being generally awesome and worldly Pha pha pha, I'm so fancy. (so I have a hard time admitting publicly all the reasons I'm awesome)

New List:  Why I'm Awesome
1.  I do not like ham.  Especially if it is spiralled and honey glazed.  Awesome.
2.  I like cats.  Cats = Awesome = me
3.  Lindy and Lions both start with L, clearly, we should be grouped together in awesomeness catagories.  Also lions are cats.
4.  I can and enjoy wearing heals.  A lot.
5.  I understand the secret of getting dressed and choosing outfits (wear what you are most comfortable in, love it, and then rock it! Simps really)
6.  I have excellent taste in housing decorations.
7.  I am forever trying to improve myself and how I interact with others (i'm not sure if this is awesome or not, I feel that it's what's destroying me, but it is what I do)
8.  I can explain to you exactly how a volcano erupts...heeee which is that we aren't exactly sure how, but here are three possible theories and why some are more feasible than others and that it all depends on which volcano type you are asking about
9.  I read fast
10.  I'm super good at google research.  Like amazing at it.  Sometimes I wonder how other people can accomplish or know anything because they can't do such simple things like Google searching something, skim it, and then choose the best articles present.  Maybe I should do a post on that?

Well, 10 things was hard to do.  I feel this is long enough.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Procrastinating is the Best on Fridays

Happy Friday once again.

I am currently procrastinating a phone call to a man who shares a name with my Dad but is one million times more confusing.  He doesn't only talk backwards, but leaves out important words and says he's calling about form FS4 something, but he can't remember.  Like I know off the top of my head what that form is.

I filled out a personal health report with my insurance, and they will send me $25 for it.  Josh gets $25 once he does it too.  I suppose we should put it towards something healthy....groceries?  How much will health insurance cost under Obamacare?  I hope it's less than $#000 a year.  That's what I'm paying and Josh hasn't gone to the doctor at all!! Why am I paying that much to cover him if he won't take care of himself?  Goodness.  The personal health care plan made me angry because all it did was help me organize and list what I already knew: I'm over weight, I don't work out enough and my stress levels are off the charts.  Duhr.  $25 for reminding me of what's wrong with me.

When I voted there was a mom and her very nice son with her.  He had just turned 18 two weeks ago, and she was soooooo proud of him voting.  He held both sets of doors open for her and me because that's what his momma taught him to do.  It was one of the first times I didn't feel weak because a male had to hold the door for me.  It may be because he was younger than me, not older.  His mom waited in line with him and took a picture of him behind the voting console.  Not in a creepy illigal way, no.  In a proud parent way.

I must complain here.  I have a lot of complaints and I hope this one seems harmless enough.  If you fall into the category that you are offended by this...well, I guess, that's your problem and you should probably rethink your delivery of words.  But a lot of people I know voted early and when they told me or whoever asked them about it that they did, it was generally always in a smug I'm-Better-than-you-because-I-avoided-long-lines way.  Yeah...I could have voted early if I wanted, but maybe I like The Line Ride.  Maybe I am expert line rider.  Maybe by voting on voting day, I get to spend more time with interesting people than with your smug ass.  Then on voting day, everyone I talked to who voted in the morning was just as smug as the early voters because "I only had to wait 45 min in line, unlike you who will vote in the evening."  Riiiiiiiiight.  See, what upsets me the most is because everyone lacked the knowledge and respect I deserve for being smarter than all of them combined.  I knew I get 1 hr off work to vote and I knew most people may too, and will get there between 3:45 and 5:00.  I also knew my supervisor was leaving on travel at noon.  So I left 1.5 hrs early and got in line (third in line mind you, after the mom and her son) at 3:30.  I waited 5 minutes.  I didn't wake up early, I didn't early vote, and I don't care when anyone else voted, so long as they voted.

It all went according to my plan and I'm pissy at everyone who assumed I didn't have a plan just because I didn't talk about it. 

I have taken up painting with water colors as a hobby. I should scan them in for you.  I'll put that on my list of other should do stuff.  I'm sure it'll happen right away.  So far I have painted Ackbar in a dream of tuna and grass, a colorful fish, and a dragon fly as if in an alchemy notebook.  I'm really enjoying it, even though I get nervous.  I never really know what to paint and I don't ever know if I'm doing it in the best way possible.  Am I using the best paints of the paints I own? Am I mixing them correctly?  Are the brushes I'm using actually water color brushes? What makes a brush a good brush for water color?  Am I caring for them right? Does it matter if I take extreme good care of them or not? I mean, I did get both sets I'm using for free.  Am I painting right?  Am I using the best technique? Am I using too many colors? I love to use all of the colors, but then I feel like all of my paintings look the same and overly busy.  I use a little plastic lid as my water brush rinser b/c it fits in this awesome portable painting kit thing Josh's mom made me.  Yesterday Ackbar laid half in the water while watching me paint.  And completely on my paint color mixer lid.  It was very annoying.  I think he was irritated that I wasn't painting him again.  He's very vain and concerned about his looks, as well as very sensitive.  Physically and emotionally.  Poor guy is going to have a hard life.  Trust me, I know.

Better give that person a call. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Muffins and Such

I think this is the third blog post that I've started and not posted or saved.  I just don't have much to say any more.  I have no words left in me at the moment.  Or what I do have is much to negative and angry to talk about.

I went on a photo scavenger hunt this weekend for a friend's birthday.  I was pretty nervous at first because it involves teamwork, problem solving, and driving.  All things I'm not the greatest at.  Well, that's a lie.  I'm an amazing driver.  I just happen to purchase a truck so I don't have to drive people around all the time.  I'd rather help them move.  And that's the truth.

Anyways, I was worried for nothing.  The scavenger hunt was pretty awesome and my team one!! We were trying to get a picture of a sleeping cat with our entire team, but Josh's team made it to our apartment first and woke up Ackbar!  I think Ackbar made out worst in this game because both Josh and I showed up at 5:30, Tuna Time, brought in a bunch of people, ran around acting all weird, and then left without feeding him!  Poor "little" guy.

Home base for the scavenger hunt was womanned by another friend, and she was also in charge of watching the babies.  Afterwards, Josh got to help a 2 yr old organize crayons on the table.  He enjoyed it a lot.  I asked her how old she was and she told me, but I couldn't hear her.  I felt bad because she DID answer, but everyone acted like she didn't, just cause I couldn't hear.

Oh, here is a nice thing that happened.  You know the feeling when you find a 5$ or better yet, a $20, in your winter coat pocket a year later?  Well, I was cleaning out a travel bag that I know longer use, and I found an old check in it from work for $172!!!  Bonus!

Yesterday me and a friend worked together to clean my house.  We take turns helping each other organize our houses on Sundays.  It was great because I got the year old stack of Goodwill stuff finally taken out!  I made banana nut muffins without nuts.  They are just okay because I really love nuts in my banana nut muffins, but I'm now allergic to walnuts and don't stock pecans in my house.  I used a mixture of rice flour, soy flour, ground flax seed, and some tapioca starch to replace wheat flour.  I just "felt" the mixture to figure out what the ratio should be.  Too much rice flour and it would be gritty and fall apart, too much soy and it was be sorta slimy and not "bready" like regular muffins.  Flax seed doesn't do much, so it's more of a bonus, and just a little tapioca starch (table spoon) to help hold it all together so the muffing doesn't crumble.  They turned out pretty good consistency wise.  I might add more rice flour next time and less soy.  The texture is slightly too smooth/slimy.  It's hard to describe a dry muffin as slimy, but that's all I got.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Stating My Opinion

My Truth.

I'm working on gaining confidence in my life by expressing my truths.  So first I'll pick an easy one:  Why I don't like Mitt Romney.  I don't like him because he looks like The Man.  The White All Powerful Condescending Father Figure that all rebels rebel against.  He epitomizes The Man.  I'm only going to focus on looks because my truths often falter in the face of morals and ethics and non-hard science.  I'm pretty sure he dyes his hair dark and then dyes the side burns and edges of his hair grey.  You know, to better make him look like a successful business man.  I have a hard time trusting men who care that much about how they look cosmetically.  If you go into a bar and there are two older gentlemen sitting there, who are you going to sit next to to talk to: the one who has fake hair and an overly expensive suit or the one in flannel with scared hands, weathered skin, and a beard?

If Mitt's lacking the woman vote (which he is) then of course he's going to do what he can to get the vote. Creepers and Mitt dye their hair for the ladies.  I wonder if the curtains match the drapes? 

I just thought of something, go back to the old men at the bar scenario: who would you rather talk to, Mitt Romney or Joe Biden?  I heard Joe was quiet the sex symbol for 60+ yr old women.

I for one do not talk to any old men at bars, unless I'm the odd one out and it's a bar for old people. Otherwise, experience has shown me that old men at bars are the creepiest of all men.  Another truth.

More Truths:
I do not like bowling.  Please don't ever ever ask me to go bowling.  Don't even ask me to go hang out and watch you bowl.  Don't beg me to bowl. 
I do not like playing volleyball.  It hurts me and makes me look stupid because I will actively avoid the ball and try not to hit it.  That's the truth.  So, do not beg me to play volleyball with you.
I do not like it when people try to make me say swear words to prove that I can say them.  Grow up.
Truth:  I do not like people telling me up wrong without substantial and logical facts to back it up (proof if you will) nor do I like people telling me what to do without a reasonable reason.
I really do not like people telling me how to drive my truck or what sort of vehicle I should get.  If you do either one of those things...really?  It confuses me.  I try to make my love for my truck as apparent as possible to all people so that they know that it is off limits.  Sort of like children.
I do not like dress pants.  I will not wear them.  I don't care how comfy you say they are or how nice they will look on me or how professional they will make me.  Unless they are mostly cotton, I will not wear them.  I will not wear them if they have a geometric pattern that comes to a point along the crotch or butt crack.  I will not wear them if they are black and look like waitress pants.
I WILL wear heals with jeans, skirts, etc.  Heals are not hard to walk in and can be comfy if you pay enough or are picky enough.  Did you ever think you can't wear them because you only buy clearance heals from Target (or Wal-Mart?)? For every pair I buy there are 20 I didn't buy.
Red is my favorite color to wear.
I do not like to be told to calm down, and what you are hearing isn't yelling...yet.
I do not like to share my food and I do not like to share other peoples food, unless you are family.  Food is very very touchy subject for me and is an anxiety trigger.  Please do not touch my food without permission and especially don't scoop up my plate for me.  I'm a big girl, I can get my own food.
I know how to choose my food at a do not need to make suggestions for me, especially after I said I've made my decision. I also do not like being asked if the bagel or sandwich I am eating is gluten free.  It's really none of your business and if you know I'm gluten free and you know I buy GF bread, why do you have to ask?  Do you think I'm stupid or something?
I do not like it when I hold the door open for a man and he grabs it above my head and forces me to go under his arm to enter the building because HEAVEN FORBID he feel uncomfortable because a woman held the door for him.  Yes, that's one of my first lessons at work, to let the men hold the door for me because they feel uncomfortable if I don't.  Screw how I feel.  Even when I explain it to them, it's still not enough.  It's the very worst part of being south.

These are my truths that in general people don't believe when I tell them.  They either ask me again, ignore my answer/reasoning, or get mad it me because I didn't conform to their ideals.  Well, these are my ideals and I'm conforming to them.


I do not like ham.  Truth.  Especially if it's spiraled with honey.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

More Posts.

Well, what a busy busy time it's been.  I went home to Michigan last weekend and missed the Fremont Fall Festival with Haybale Street Art.  So sad.   Instead I visited DianeMom and saw her new fence around her back yard.  It's really nice because now she can't see half her neighbors nor the cars driving by.  I rescued my grandma from an internetless existence by plugging in her new modem and restarting the computer.  Sounds so simple doesn't it?  Well, it was harder than you would think.  I had to call  Charter and talk to a smart robot and she took me through all of the problem solving procedures.  I was a little dissappointed in myself when the problem was that I needed to restart the computer.  That's what I forget to do the most at work and I call the IT guy and he comes and tells me what to press the on/off button.  The good part is he's pretty cool, so I don't mind him coming and "taking up my time" at work...even though it's his time that's being used.  It was great to see my grandma again!  She has a lot of started quilting projects and it makes me feel better about my few half finished knitting projects.

In Grand Rapids I visited my brother and sister.  Mandy moved on Saturday across town.  I glued pictures to fancy paper to make decorations for a party.  I also showed up to Nate's, my brother's house, before he and his wife were done shopping.  I read him the shopping list he forgot, only it was impossible for him to understand my north/south hybrid accent.  While they were gone Josh and I inspected all the sweet stuff in their house including a game of fooze ball, darts (where I put the first hole in the dry wall!), 70's recliner office chair (jealous!), and bar.  Their bar includes a hand-made bar, fancy pancy liquor, regular liquor, a kegorator, and a bottle sink.  Oh and a fridge filled with mini pops.  What they need is a good cleaning towel...I will have to find them a few free Indian or USDA ones.

In the evening we held a surprise 30th Anniversary party for my parents.  I was so excited, I'm pretty sure everyone at work was sick and tired of hearing me talk about it.  Too bad for them, I had a great time thinking about it!  It was great to see my mom, especially since I know she was sad because we aren't going to have a P&C Straathof Family Camp this year.  And we both needed mom and daughter hugs.  Those are top priority in our family.  To make up for the camping trip my mom, sister and I are going to New Orleans in December for a week.  I can not wait. They are going to love that city.

It was so wonderful to so much of my family again.  Extended family came from all over the state. It's so nice to see so much love and support for our family.  I hope I'm able to return it all someday.  Even if I am physically unable to, I'm always thinking of my family and praying for the best.  But then they left and the REAL party got started.

LOL.  Josh and I are the best at casual yet exclusive parties.  Mostly we have amazing parties but don't ever invite other people.  I think it's a family thing.  Nick provided the music on guitar, Lianne sang, and the Straathof's danced and made dark rum drinks.  Josh chaperoned.   Lianne sang "Kitty Meow Meow"  which is the top on my list of best songs ever.  Then she found a witches' hat that produced magical white gloves.  We took turns dressing up.

Then it was time for bed and I whirl winded to bed.  It was a GIANT house full of wood floors and wide open rooms with smooth carpet.  I'm not at all used to so much space and privacy to run and dance and yell like I used too...and I fell straight into a heavy duty wooden chest and a bed frame.  I got the two largest bruises since I moved down here.  Not ever.  Probably in the top 5 worst bruises.

I use these bruises to tease the people at work.  They always think I've been beaten or abused or something outrages with my bruises...but in reality I lead a full impact is too fun and amazing to worry about things like door frames and car doors.  All I do is bruise myself, always.  Sliding down snow piles in the mountains and hitting rocks, getting kicked by a show calf, falling while playing basketball in the all bruises and it's a sign of toughness.  But at work it's a sign of a bad homelife.  I don't understand it and I refuse to conform to it.  I mean, yesterday on my way to the airport I kneed the door to the shuttle van and got a third bruise just as painful as the ones I got from my fall.

I spent this last week at the Mohegan Sun in Connecticut.  I'm not going to talk about that because it was work and I'm not done processing it yet.  But it is my favorite casino of all of them.

Now I am relaxing at home.  I hope you are having a nice weekend as well.

Friday, September 21, 2012

No Secrets in the Office

It's the weekend and I'm trying to get excited.

There's just not that much exciting to share...

 Oh I'll tell you about what happened two days ago.
I was walking into the office (12 min late..) and I realized I had forgotten to eat breakfast.  I really really wanted a Snicker's bar and it just so happened that one of my coworkers stocks Halloween candy, including small Snicker's bars, outside her office.  I looked down the hall and she wasn't in her office and no one was around.  "Good good." I thought to myself as I hurried over. "Snickers don't make a good breakfast, lets keep this between you and me" I telepathically sent to the candy bowl.  Just as I grabbed out the Snicker's, Miss Gail walks up behind me and goes "Well look at you." and I realized that I still had my purse, my keys and my sunglasses on and I was raiding the candy bowl.  She laughed and laughed at me because I gave her a Deer-In-The-Headlights look and then noticed I had a Snickers bar and teased me for that.  After escaping her, I headed to my office and the admin assistant, volunteers out of no where "That, Lindy, is why it's awesome to be an adult!"  and we had to talk loudly about how it's awesome that we can eat Snickers for breakfast.  And of course, my supervisor, who thinks I'm hilarious and awesome, came out of his office to see what the commotion was and give his 2 cents on candy for breakfast.  I don't think there was anyone left in the office to discuss my Snickers for breakfast.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

In Which I Discuss My Feelings On The Farm Bill 2012

Congress unlikely to pass 2012 Farm Bill

I don't know how much you have been paying attention to the climate, farms, food, and congress, but there is something important going on in our country that is greatly and purposely being overshadowed by the election.  That is the passage of the Farm Bill.  The Farm Bill is what provides all those subsidies to lazy farmers so they can grow corn for oil instead of food and it allows dairy farmers to spoil their milk instead of sell it and it pays farmers to not farm the land.  Shoot.  If you believe all that stuff, you are uneducated in science.  But, I'm not going to go there.  The Farm Bill, started in 1949, is why our food is so cheap.  It's why you can get meat at McDonalds for $1 but can't buy fresh fruit for $1.  It's why wetlands are being made and why ecosystems are being restored.  It helps manage predators and find a balance between wolves and ranchers.  It's helping save the Prairy  Dog and helping to eliminate the Emerald Ash Borer.  It's one of the largest pieces of legislation and sets a lot of statutes and laws for the entire US Department of Agriculture.

I am just trying to explain the magnitude that it affects your life and your food sources in this country.  Good, bad, regulates our food and keeps it safe and so on.

Since I've become aware of it 3 years ago, people in Congress and advocacy groups and lobby groups have been working to craft the next one.  It was suppose to be voted on two years ago, but then the election came and all of the congressmen were switched in and out, etc. and the person who was championing it then, Senator Dorgan, was voted out.  So all of the work he and his team and the other interested stakeholders was for nothing.  He left, and whoever came in next had to start all over again on the bill.

Okay, cool.  That's how Congress works.  I can accept that.

But now, the Farm Bill 2008 (last time it was renewed) is up for renewal.  It has to be passed before September 30, otherwise all the changes/laws/rules/everything will revert to what they were in 1949!  I heard from some guy on The Hill once this summer that this will cause something weird for the price of milk and that dairy farmers are going to make out big.  But neither side wants to have a Farm Bill debate before the election.  The two factors that are not allowing it to pass is:
1.  Food stamps - food stamps (now called SNAP) are regulated through the Farm Bill.  Some people want to cut down funding even more and remove food stamps.
2.  Farm loans - (I think) this one some people want to change the interest rate or the amount farmers can get with farm loans from the government.

And they don't want to debate this in fear of losing the election.  I think this is chicken shit.  A stinky polluting pile of it.  When it comes down to the wire, are you going to choose keeping the baby and yet another mouth to feed or eating the baby when there is no food left?  I guess my point is, people who run this country, don't understand the actual fears and actual needs of the country.  All these moral debates are debates for first world countries, for people who don't have to worry about where the next meal comes from, and that's cool.  Go America!  Yay Success!  But you still have to keep your foundation strong.  You still have to worry and take care of what makes this country successful, and that is the farmers and the availability of food.  Without food, nothing else really matters, does it?  And by ignoring this fundamental need, congress is alienating Middle America (please read that in Pauly Shore's voice from Son In Law).  Congress is alienating the people who feed the rest of the country, and alienating people who eat.  But for their own selfish reasons and quest for power, they are failing to do their job.  Their job is to regulate this country that keeps it's citizens safe, secure, well-fed, and free.

I don't feel any of those things lately.

And to top it all off, there is a major drought occurring that severally cut down corn production in this country, which is going to cause meat prices to go up and all other prices will follow.  To help the farmers with this emergancy disaster drought, instead of passing the Farm Bill and working together to figure out how to adapt to this strange extra hot, extra dry weather over the Bread Belt of our country, Congress passed a quick band-aid fix.  All farmers in disaster zones get to apply for disaster funding to keep them afloat this year.  Yes...I do support this, and I wish it could have been worked out and thought about.  But the funding has to come from they took it from the funding pool that funds environmental programs.

Climate change caused drought - drought made farmers go out of business - government gave them money to stay in business - government took money from programs that work to adapt to climate change - government does less to help people adapt - disasters get worse and people are even more poorly prepared for them - government gives them more money to "bail them out".

I think I'm beginning to understand the people who were against the bail-outs, and against a "welfare state".  I'm not against welfare, no, but maybe there is a better way than just handing out checks.  Last time our country was like this was during the Great Depression and there was the Dust Bowl.  To fix it, a man created the Soil Conservation Service, which is the early predecessor to the USDA and to the NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Services), only my favorite branch of the USDA.  The Soil Conservation Service is what taught farmers (through local, community and grass roots programs that still exist today) how to better farm the land and conserve it.  But he couldn't have done it without the people and without the government both.  What he did was help people help themselves.  How can the Government help us to help ourselves?  My personal answer is: Education.  But I'm of the belief that the more you learn, the more successful you can be.

Friday, September 7, 2012

U-Turns Are A Sign Of Good Luck In My Book

Okay.  I noticed today that there are at least 6 different grasses growing outside my work and along the roadway and they are all "blooming" (whatever it is called when grass lets go of their pollen) all at the same time!  It's no wonder I have a head cold and mucus and stuffed sinuses.

Here is a related story of my drive home last night:
"La te da...this is a long te da.  Maybe if I go 80 mph I'll get home faster.  Shit!  That guy is speeding up and not letting me pass and I'm at top truck speed!  Phew, going downhill, perfect for coasting and gaining more speed.  Shit!  That part of the expressway used 1/4 tank of gas...better go slower....65 it is.  What way should I take to get over to the other expressway?  Past my work?  No, too long, too many stop signs...but I can basically drive it with my eyes closed. Well, except that one part with all the kids...I gotta stop swerving onto the side walk there.  Should I go up all the way to where they expressways meet?  No because then it'll be like I drove into Nashville to drive out again and I can't picture it in my mind.  Let's take Briley.  Briley north or south?  I can never remember...I want the exit that goes west.  So stupid.  Gotta go west on the north road.  I hate Briley Parkway.

*take exit*

Whoop, hope there's no cops around, I'm going to go 55.  Stupid town, no one knows how to drive properly around here...always 5 miles below the speed limit.  Oh hey, was that the entrance to 24?  It couldn't have been, I didn't see the big green sign and the circle that tricks me.  Good, it wasn't the entrance.  There it is.  Why are there all those cops and lights flashing there?  Better not hit the cones, gotta get in the left lane.  Left lane here I come!  Oooh...two left lanes I guess.  Barely missed that one cone.  Are they blocking the entrance ramp?  Can I sneak around them?  I'll slow down.  Doo dee doo...cops are you constructioning before or on the entrance ramp?


Is that light red or green? I don't know!  The pain.  Must. Itch. Eyes. Now. 

Oh my God that was horrible.  Damn, I missed the entrance ramp.  How the hell do I get to Antioch now?  I'm NOT taking Nolensville.  Agghhh, tears and mascara everywhere. I still can't see.  Oh hey, there's the entrance ramp from the other directions!  I'll take that.

*Makes Illigal U Turn At Light*

I wonder what Kimmy would say about that U-Turn, she hates them."

And that is a non-edited story of my drive home last night.  (The pain is from the allergies hitting my eyes. )

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Reflections of the Summer

It has been one long and crazy summer.  Here's a list of events:
1.  Niagara Falls - Tribal Utility Summit
2.  Cherokee NC - Tribal Fish and Wildlife Meeting
3.  Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians - Biodiesel Training
4.  Poarch Band of Creek Indians (Alabama) - Rural White House Round Table meeting
5.  Michigan - Wedding
6.  Tunica - Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana - USET Semi-Annual Meeting
7.  Athens, GA - EPA Water Program Training
8.  Nashville, TN - Pesticides Workshop
9. Mystic, CT - National Plant Board Meeting
10.  Seminole Tribe of Florida - Producers Meeting
11.  Washington DC - Council of Native American Farmers and Ranchers meeting
12.  Niagara Falls - RTCAC Regional Tribal Conservation Advisory Committee

Now I have 5 weeks off until I go to Connecticut again for our Annual Meeting.

What I have learned:
1.  I prefer to eat alone in restaurants
2.  How to make small talk
3.  How to ask questions to get to know someone
4.  The importance of ironing all your clothes for the week on the first night of the trip
5.  How to pack light
6.  How to drive somewhere unknown and not be afraid
7.  How to pick out the fastest moving lines in airports (no old people, no families, no groups of women who aren't paying attention to their surroundings)
8.  How to survive off nuts, instant grits, tuna packets, and dried fruit for a week.
9.  Beer is an acceptable dinner if you only have 2 but no more
10.  All meetings are required to have coffee.  If coffee isn't provided:  lame ass fail of a meeting.
11.  Constant coffee intake is to relieve the boredom, not to keep me awake

Favorite Moments, no specific order:
1.  Meeting Chief Commander from one of the Maine Tribes at the Fish and Wildlife meeting
2.  Touring the swamps in an airboat and then swamp buggy at Seminole, FL.  I saw an Osprey dive into the water and catch a fish.  I saw a wild boar! (it had the biggest balls I have ever seen)
3.  Eating the best food I've ever had at Tunica-Biloxi LA
4.  Touring the Hydroponic green houses at the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana
5.  Touring Monsanto Seed Changing Laboratory
6.  Touring the Cherokee Language Immersion School at Cherokee
7.  Touring the trout farm at Cherokee
8.  Talking to Elder Smith at Poarch Band of Creek
9.  "Watch out for snakes!" - a woman said when we were touring the trout farm
10.  Eating traditional American Indian food at the Museum of the American Indian in DC
11.  Dancing with Chuckie at the Semi-Annual Meeting
12.  Meeting Rene (from Mashpee Wampanoag) at the Semi-Annual meeting and eating dinner with her, Chuckie, Christina and one of the speakers outside of the casino in a restaurant and it was sooooo busy (but not actually full) that the server had a break down. But don't worry, she got super large tips from all of us, I'm sure.
13.  Watching the Trail of Tears video about walking the Trail backwards for healing from the Culture and Heritage committee
14.  Driving home from Georgia - I had to go a different way and it was super beautiful and I stopped at a grocery store for beer for Josh (he wanted a local one) and it was just so homey and nice there
15.  Driving through the swampy areas and around the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians reservation with the local conservation officer and seeing all the different USDA projects happening there - it's also when I saw my first wild alligator!
16.  Experiencing the fire alarm drill while in a meeting in the Museum of the American Indian
17.  Coming home to a clean house!  Thank you Josh!!!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Yesterday Florida, Today DC

Well well well. I was a little tipsy in my last post, wasn't I?  We shall all blame Josh for leaving me alone with the internet.  When I woke up and remembered in the morning, I would have sworn my list was only 9 items long.

Where am I today?

Today I am in the capitol of our great nation.  I forgot jewelry to wear this week, so I went out and decided to find a place to buy some earrings.  I crossed the street, and in the middle I looked up and BAM  Capitol Building, just sitting there facing me at the end of the street.  I decided that the closest and best place for earrings was the Smithsonian Art Museum across the street.  (And, if you can believe it Mom, I only had 30 min. until they closed!).  It was pretty sweet, but I lacked the funds to buy the actual pretty pieces of art ($200+) and the cheaper stuff wasn't that great.  Yoeu'd think there'd be better artsy jewelry there.  I picked out some earrings that are dangles that are unpolished silver magnolia leaves.  I had seen a woman wear a similar pair a while back and liked them a lot.  These are cheaper looking than hers, but I'm just going to trust in the idea that I have a more refined palate for exceptional jewelry, and that no one else will notice that I have cheap earrings on.

Cheap.  That's frustrating too because I still had to pay $18 for them!

I'm not complaining though, just exasperated.  I'm staying in an apartment rented by my work so when people visit DC from work they can stay here.  I'm having gluten free pizza delivered with cheesy fries.  Ever since I've gone gluten free, my love of fries went from "eh, if they're in front of my I'll eat them" to "FRIES! YES!".  It's the closest thing to giving me the same feeling of being full like bread.

Washington DC is one of my favorite places because there is so much history here.  It's place that our government puts in money for our culture.  All of the Smithsonian Museums, the memorials, the gardens, the architecture!  I love seeing all of the old buildings blending in with the new and the streets are at strange angles, so you get really interesting textures of buildings.  I know textures is a strange adjective, but that's the best I got.

Tomorrow and Wednesday I spend the day at public meetings at the National Museum of the American Indian.  Can you believe I remember when it opened and wanted to go see it?  Before I even started working here!  On Wednesday I have to give a 3-5 min presentation on my organization. 

There was no tax on my earrings.  How can that be?

Friday, August 3, 2012

Well. Thanks. Best. Lindy

Hello world.  Hello Internet.

You are special to me.  Thanks for tolerating my awesomeness.

I've had a new boss at work lately.  The director for my department finally started and has been working.  For a month now.  Only it doesn't seem like it because I was gone for two weeks straight.  Two weeks.  There are things that happened in May, like the Pyro Update for Team Fortress Two (Josh's video game) and the release of Diablo III, my video game, that I think happened last week, but really it was two months ago.  Sometimes I tell Josh things and he's like, Yeah that was in June and I'm all, well I thought it was recent news.  And that's a summary of my life.  I like the new boss.  We talked about cowboy boots and the differences we face when working with The West while we are in The East.  I'm not intimidated by him. 

I've gotten tons smarter in two weeks.  It's like, everything I've been worrying about for the last 6 months to one year have finally untangled in two weeks...maybe one week, I can't remember when I got back at the moment.

Tonight, I have spilled the wine, the beer, and the water.  I've been informed that I am worse than the cat.  I don' think so because the cat spills it all on his tummy.  My tummy is dry.  Except for the humidity sweat.

I had so many revelations this week.  One, I finally, FINALLY, figured out what my job is, and it turns out, I've been doing a super job for the past 6 months.  Also, I have a banner I can display.  It's pretty awesome knowing you have a banner.  I was sent the Eastern Oklahoma one at first and Eastern OK was sent the Eastern banner.  I finally got mine in the mail and it's pretty awesome.  Only my supervisor doesn't think I can set it up too well because I'm short.  Really it's because I wasn't patient and didn't put the tiny supporting part in place well enough and I let it drop and fall.  I represent the Eastern region, which is the eastern part of the US but not the midwest part. I don't represent Ohio, Indiana or Michigan.  I wish I did, but some granola guy from Wisconsin does.

I lost in Yatzee to Josh.  It's one of our favorite games because we can cheer for each other.  There is no actual skill to the dice rolling.  It's mostly chance.  That's why we like Yatzee. 

I want to make a list of happy things:

Happy Things:

1.  Monarch Butterflies
2.  Ackabar
3.  Stress rocks
4.  Skipping stones
5.  Woop Woop Wine
6.  Josh
7. Costco Furniture
8.  Getting things right the first time
9.  Delivery dinner outside
1o.  Cleaning
11.  books that teach you things
12.  Not the internet
13.  Parts of the internet
14.  Cheesy poofs
15.  Puffy dog tails
16.  artwork
17.  Not being a teenager...If you are one right now...keep on only gets more awesome1
18.  a well tied knot and you know the name of it
19.  Seeing veterans in the airport and people respecting them
20.  YOU!!!!

I'm just so sweet.  Aren't I?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Flirting With The Devil

I'm in Connecticut.  It's my state.  In third grade I did a report on Connecticut and I memorized all the state facts.  Before this report, I had not heard of Connecticut before.  I kind of think it's an ugly name, and there's not an amazing landmark here I've always wanted to see, but it's my state that I had to research and I'm very happy to FINALLY be visiting it.  Yes, this week I've been to Rhode Island and Connecticut, two states I've never been to before.  It reminds me of the book, A Wrinkle In Time, and of all things New England.  I unfortunately can't eat any of the clam chowder because it is thickened with flour.

Today on my phone I read two different articles at Yahoo News about people in Connecticut and very large lobsters.  One woman won a 29 lb lobster in an auction and she donated it to an aquarium.  Then another dude purchased a 19 lb lobster named Lucky Larry and set him free in the ocean.  What's with all of the lobster sympathy all of a sudden?

When I lived in Mt Pleasant, MI, I would pick out the lobsters in Meijer that I wanted to buy and tell Josh that I wanted to set them free in the Chippewa River.  That'd never work!  The river isn't salty.

Do you know what one of the best parts of travelling is?  It's sitting at the hotel bar and talking to whatever stranger is also sitting there.  I don't do it every time, but when I do, I always have a great time.  It's sort of like a mini-adventure.  Who's going to be there? What's their job? What will they teach you?  Today I met a pretty boring guy who is a software consultant and knows about building parts for airplanes.  He was very nice, but none too interesting. 

I toured a Monsanto Seed Transformation Laboratory today.  It was pretty darn amazing.  I think since I was with the government, they tried very very very very very very ( I can't stress how hard they tried) hard to seem legit and responsible and good.  Not that I dont' think they aren't.  Their work wouldn't turn out right and they wouldn't be as powerful as they are without their strong sense of responsibility, but I still don't trust them.  They are responsible in their science...very excellent lab procedures.  But science doesn't work with ethics.  You can not apply the scientific method to ethics.  And ethically, is genetically modified seed good?  I don't know.  In some ways yes.  They mentioned in their pre-tour talk all the things I've been reading about, lack of water, less space, and growing population.  Farmers are going to have to produce twice as much food in less land than they are now by 2030 to sustain Earth's human population.  Without Monsanto and their technology biology, farmers wouldn't be able to do that.  But they don't factor taste or nutrients into their seed modifications. 

Honestly, do you know what it was like at the Monsanto Lab?  The best way to describe it is like Jurassic Park.  Everything from replacing parts of the DNA to sitting down and watching hi-tech videos.  There was even a really tall skinny guy who is just as attractive as Jeff Goldblum, and an old man who was in charge of everything and ever so slightly annoying because you didn't trust him farther than you could throw him with your pinky finger.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Desert Rocks

It's hot out, or so I hear on Facebook.  Being in the south has its advantages like required AC in all buildings.  You could say that if I didn't wear a bra today, I'd have been nipping out all day because it's so cold in here.  You know, if I didn't wear a bra.  Which I did.

Eating breakfast.

 I was recently asked by Justin to post more pictures of myself pointing at rocks.  I'm not pointing in these pictures, but I'm out among the rocks.  These are from my second trip out to the Highland Range to collect rock samples for my research.  It's public land, so you can go any where on it and not be trespassing.  It takes twenty minutes on a dirt path to get from the road to here.  I am in southern Nevada, near a small town of Searchlight, home to Harry Reed, Senate Majority Leader.  The Tea Partiers, about 6,000, came to protest in Searchlight.  Literally, (and I literally mean this in the literal sense of the word), there are 2 gas stations and a diner/casino called the Nugget in Searchlight.  That's it.  I like it like that.  Who needs more stuff when you've got mountains like this?

  When you are out hiking in desert mountains, you need to remain covered.  Sunscreen won't work to keep the sun off because you will sweat it off in the first two hours.  I put it on my face every morning, and then later, I would sweat it into my eyes for about an hour until I sweat it all out, and then my eyes would stop stinging.  Every day! That was the worst.  You will see I am utilizing my favorite desert outfit.  Lightweight cotton longsleeve button up shirt.  Preferably from the Goodwill or your Dad.  Underneath I'm sure I have a red tanktop on (I love wearing red when I hike).  My pants in this picture are expensive hiking pants from a hiking store.  They are completely unnecessary.  If you look in the picture above, I am wearing desert army pants from the army surplus store.  They are far superior for geologizing.  You need pants that aren't going to catch or rip on rocks and cacti.  I mean, who wants to worry about their clothes holding up when they are busy exploring rocks!?!!?!  Boots:  Try to get the pair that is most comfortable for you.  High price not necessary.  Here I am wearing a $60 pair of shoes that have holes in them.  I did buy $40 inserts to put in them, after I broke my ankle.  Which is why I have the hiking sticks in this picture.  It's been just 5 weeks since I had removed my walking boot.  I was still limping slightly.  Before I forget, it's important that your shoes do not have a lot of stitching on the outside, the leather ones are better.  The stitching will get caught in the rocks and shred your shoes apart even faster.

As for my gear, you will see I have a homemade mapboard.  This is a culmination of map board knowledge gained from both CMU and Vanderbilt.  CMU taught me to put a strap on the board, I chose braided polar fleece, and Vanderbilt taught me how to make them myself out of plexi glass and duct tape.  MAP.  Do not ever forget your map.  It's the second most important thing I have on me.  It is a topomap that I fought tooth and nail to get.  It came off of a topomapping cd that was made in 1995.  I was forced to run it on my WindowsXP, and it barely worked.  Barely.  Tucked into my chest strap is my most important tool, the Field Notebook.  It's a Write-in-the-Rain, only the best all weather notebook made.  If you use pencil, and then drop it in a river while crossing a fallen log and it floats away until it gets stuck on a rock, with the open pages facing upstream, it will still work perfectly fine once you fish it out.  The pencil won't smudge at all and all of the water squeezes out pretty quick.  Attached to the chest strap is my clicky pencil for notes, my camera in a bag, two different sweet knives, and my Loupe (rock magnefying glass).  You don't see it, but tucked into the back strap of my backpack is my rock hammer, and in my backpack is a poncho, two nalgenes of water, lunch, perminant markers, ziplock bags for samples, and rock samples themself.

 Now you are ready to go.  Grab your favorite professor and start walking.  The higher you climb, the better your lunch will be and a greater chance there will be a breeze.  The light colored rocks near the bottom of the hill are tuffs and the darker rock above is a rhyolite.  I prefer long pants because it keeps the spiders and other small bugs off.  Calvin, does not worry about the wild life in the desert.  Army pants are also superior due to the large leg pockets.  Oh, when you are out there, walk perpendicular (at right angles) to the rock contacts.  For example, where the white rock turns dark is a contact.  I would want to walk vertically up that hill and take notes and samples, not horizontally.  You can assume the rock is the same if you were to go horizontally.

Lunch is the best part of the day.  So good in fact, you will find yourself motivated to climb higher and higher, just to get the best lunch seat possible.  My suspicion is that this lunch was taken at Intrusion labeled HRL 12a.  Lunches are best made of peanut butter, celery, cheese, crackers, and tangelos.  Tangelos being the most perfect fruit ever created.  Lunch is when you get to sit quiet and watch the birds fly and wonder what your favorite super power would be.  Juice boxes are also nice to have at lunch.  It looks like we have some jerky or dried fruit there too.  I'm iffy about jerky being good lunch's sort of dehydrating, and we don't want that.

Finally, at the end of the day, climb down the mountain, look around you, and be happy where you are.  Plus, you know that Calvin is going to cook you grilled lamb chops, broccoli and sweat potatoes over a fire when you get back.  It will be the best food you have ever eaten.  No matter what it is, after a day of hiking, it's the best food you've ever eaten.  Even if the thought of eating lamb used to make you sick to your stomach.  After dinner, you will be so tired you won't put up your tent, but will sleep on a cot under the stars, despite the fact that you saw a spider crawl on your pillow that morning,  you can hear coyotes howling, and you are terrified of being abducted by aliens and you are unreasonably close to Area 51. 

And that my friends is my virtual field work tour for you.

Friday, June 29, 2012


 1.  In fifty years when no one remembers what it was like without mandated healthcare, what will it be like?  How will my kids feel about it?
2.  Vagina
3.  The other day I discovered looking at peoples faces.  Each face is different.  The part I find most weird is seeing how people of other ethnicity faces are different from each other. For the first time I was able to not see the difference in color, but to see color as I do in rocks.  In rocks/minerals one of the most important things I taught the intro kids is to never ever ID a mineral based on color.  Color doesn't matter, it's how the rock is made up and what it is made out of that defines what it is.  You appreciate the colors in rocks, but color is not generally used in your analysis and conclusion.  How did it take this long for me to apply it to people?
4.  Why is the Penis game a thing?  Why does the PEN 15 club exist?  Why isn't there a Vagina game?  Or the Vagina Club?  So I'm no longer ten and couldn't immediately think up of a funny Vagina Club joke.  Equal rights is equal rights and I want vagina jokes.
5.  The heat is making Ackbar moody and angry.
6.  I have found an interest in a new hobby.  I find hobbies scary because they usually only last a short period of time and then I move on to the next best thing and I feel like a failure for not sticking to one thing and becoming an expert at it before moving on.  It has always been that I never finish a project before starting the next one.  So to stop that from happening, I try not to start projects.
7.  Oh yeah, the new hobby is not really new.  It's playing Magic: The Gathering card game.  I've actually been playing it off and on since 6th grade, but now I have friends that have gotten into it. I really like building my deck...that's where the strategy is I think, not during the play, but setting yourself up before hand for a good game.  The point is, I am enjoying having a hobby that involves complex thinking and planning but does not stress me out.  It's not about winning (I'd say that I win 50% of the time now that I've started drinking Tiger Blood), but I find the point to be creating the deck that I want to create.  I have two more deck ideas:  One is going to be an All Rat Deck and another is going to be with the Soulbond creatures.  
8.  "Mermaids don't have pussies.  Cats hate getting wet."  That was my closing argument with Josh one morning on whether or not you can have sex with a mermaid.  I say no.  Do you think The Little Mermaid wanted to become human just so she could have two legs??  I think not....she made it very clear she wanted to get it on with the prince.
9.  I feel that in some ways adults have betrayed me.  I was always taught that if I was in trouble to go to a policeman.  That all policemen are nice people and are your friend.  And I did once, and the policeman was rude, didn't understand why I was talking to him, and could have cared less about my problems.  That is always my experience when interacting with cops.  That's why I don't like authority...they rarely prove to me that they are worthy of the responsibility.  Okay, so maybe the problem is more that adults taught me that policemen were superheros and always perfect, but in real life they are just regular people working to get a paycheck and probably hate kids. 
10.  Once on Christmas Eve, Santa came to visit at my Oma's house and passed out chocolate letters.  Then he left, and some of my older cousins saw him leaving on his sleigh in the sky out the window.  They crowded the window and I was too small to get up close or to see over their heads.  It was a very disappointing time for me.  I wanted to see flying magic reindeer.  
11.  The AC is making me moody.  I moved down here to be HOT and you can't go anywhere with out AC and nothing is set up right to turn it off and regulate the heat with out it.  I have to dress for winter in the morning because my office is so darn cold I needed layered sweaters to be warm...DURING A HEAT WAVE.