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The contents of this website are mine personally and do not reflect any position of the U.S. government or the Peace Corps.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Loves Company

Every day with this cold is a new adventure. Friday was mild discomfort. Saturday was a complete body failure, where every muscle went on strike and I slept 18 hours (non-consecutively) and still didn't feel "rested". Sunday I almost went through an entire toilet paper roll while blowing my nose. Today I've sneezed 23 times and counting, lost all sense of taste, and can't keep my eyes open for more than 10 minutes without them drying out and simultaneously watering like crazy.

On the plus side, Siggy is coming to visit tomorrow! (Supposedly. Every time I announce a Fedtown Friend Visit, it seems to fall through. Here's hoping I don't jinx it.) I've made a considerable dent in my Statistics study plan. Considering the actual difficulty level of the work, it's purely shameful how I manage to pull a C on the test and have failed to do the homework assignments. I could say it just feels like busy work, but obviously there's something in the problems I'm not getting from lecture. Damn that last test. Damn that test this Thursday that I'll probably almost-fail. Damn that I have to take the final for this class 3 or more weeks from now.

Siggy is coming to visit tomorrow. I'll put all my homework concerns aside and take her out on the town, revisiting all the old stomping grounds and getting positively fat on Mallard's.

Perhaps I'll get her to drink my warm keg beer, too!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Confessional

Irene laughed at me today when I told her that my favorite memories from this quarter were the times I rode in the back of her truck. We were, naturally, riding in the back when I told her. Tiana and Seth were up front, and we were on our way back from Mallard's. Cigarette dangling from my fingers, wind blowing the hair in my eyes and the smoke from my face, my legs propped crosswise across the truck, it was a typical afternoon ride. And it was magic.

During Spring Break we went camping out at Larrabee. I rode in the back with all the camping supplies, huddling under sleeping bags and blankets, leaning against the mountain of pillows we'd brought along. I ate a Cadbury Egg and watched the trees along Chuckanut pass overhead.

Then there are all the times we've been heading out on some bike ride or another. Irene and Seth in the cab, like usual, my with my legs intertwined between tires and handlebars, usually wearing a helmet "in case we crash." Occasionally, if there are more than just the three of us along for the ride, Seth and I will sit scrunched together in the back, me snuggled under his arm as we try to keep from sliding too far down.

Whoops

Dropped another too-large amount of money on bike gear today (or rather, yesterday). But! Two brand-spanking new pairs of bike shorts are well worth the money. My vagina can stop crying about the inadequate padding from my crew trou. Plus, I've needed a new helmet since I was 16. And this helmet? It matches my bike! How cool is that??

So, now my shopping list is down to: (oh god it is still so long)

Either some $90 clip-in sandals (which are going to be a PAIN to acquire, considering I don't even know if Shimano makes men sizes as small as my feet, and I'll have to order the shoes over the Internet and just pray that they arrive before June 7th and that their shoe sizes are identical between models. Are shoes referred to as having models? That's a question for Siggy. When she gets here Monday I'll quiz her about shoes.

Oh, right, so if the $90 clip-in sandals don't work out, instead I get to buy new pedals for the bike and some sturdy Jesus sandals. I have my eye on a new pair of Chacos, but I really wanted to hold off on that (again) $90 price tag until Nordstrom's annual shoe sale, right before Peru. Argh, so can you believe it? It will cost me more to go the easier route. So unfair.

A giant monster fanny pack. To scare my friends with, and also to carry the giant tube of

Sunscreen that I will need to apply liberally, every fifteen miles, to places that have never felt the touch of sunscreen before. Like the backs of my ears and the tops of my toes. Somehow I don't think Georgia will be accepting of my "oh I don't burn, I just tan" skin tone.

A very large bottle of Ibuprofen.

A camping sleeping pad.

Very Strong Bug Repellent.

A white t-shirt, which I will decorate with silly Washington pride phrases.

Fake plastic trees?

A hat. One with a hole in the back for a ponytail. I've always wanted one of those, and now I need it.

Okay so I guess it won't really take a whole lot of effort to check off the BRAG shopping list. But I'm really starting to run out of cash and I wanted to avoid tapping into my CD already (although I do realize I'll cash it out long before maturity.)

In other news, while studying for Spanish at the local Starbucks tonight, our neighboring old man companion decided to butt into the argument on verb conjugation that my study buddy and I were having. I didn't really cotton on to what he was talking about at first (he mentioned something about my Georgetown sweatshirt. I considered interrupting to tell him I found it in the nocturnal exhibit at the zoo, but then realized that's a much more interesting tidbit for things like the Internet.) Eventually however, he made it clear that he used to know Jack Ruby, Lee Harvey Oswald's killer. They used to call him Sparky, he said. Because of his temper. And Jack Ruby's buddy's wife was at the Kennedy Assassination, then went on to marry some important official under Nixon, so she was around for Watergate, too. And that the Cubans probably had little to do with Kennedy's death, but that woman was probably involved somehow. Why was this all relevant? Because the verb conjugation we were arguing about was part of a text about the Kennedy Assassination that we were supposed to be translating.

Man, that old man was cool.

We shared a few choice comments are Salvador Allende's death, how South America is going socialist, and that our book authors obviously have a pro-USA anti-Socialism stance. (The text we were translating also spent a good chunk of time talking about the Cuban Communist Conspiracy Theory.) Then he got mumble-y again and I turned back to trying to recall the differences between pluscuamperfecto, past subjunctive, imperfect subjunctive, present perfect, and oh god I know there are more of them but I try to pretend they don't exist. Seriously, why is there a difference between han perdido, hayan perdido, hubieran perdido, habian perdido, perdieran, and perdieron? And why do I have to remember all the subtle contexts in which each version is necessary?

Alright, I'm stressing about Spanish again, which I had managed to forget about since 10:30. I suppose I'll let it go and call it a night.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

AKC @ Lynden Fair Grounds

Saturday was an adventure of great magnitude. Were I going through an identity crisis, it would have firmly reestablished my bearings on just what kind of person I truly am. A geek. Fortunately, my geek friend accompanied me. Cheers to Morgan, who used to raise and show sheep for 4H, and went just as nuts over the dogs as I did!


First dog of the day, a brown husky. I'm still debating the finer points of a gorgeous brown coat versus the overall chill effect of bright blue eyes on black and white. All the brown coated huskies we saw had brown eyes, so the creepy effect is definitely lost.


A cleaner version of Beethoven.


This is just as freaky now as when I took the photo.


A puli. This one had some serious energy issues (maybe it's inherent with the breed?) The following pictures are the ones I took while trying to capture the dog leaping through the air, dreds flying in all directions.










You can see its face in there.


Christ it had a lot of fur.




Someone botched the poor puppy's 'do.


A leonberger. The males get up to 150 lbs, and grow an actual mane. Giant dogs that don't slobber, are great with kids, and don't need excessive space to function (although obviously, something that size needs to be exercised.) Anyway, basically I fell in love and will own one of these someday.




So I'll never be a nature photographer. Whatever.




Cue to the corgis. I watched The Queen today, and that woman was surrounded by packs of corgis at all times. Looove.




Oh no! Now there are two of them!


Left to right, Irish Wolfhound, Bloodhound, English Foxhound, Whippet.


While watching some sort of show as a child, I was introduced to the Basenji (black dog). They don't shed. At all. Also, they bark very, very rarely. Point? They make excellent apartment dogs. So if this next school year becomes unbearable without a dog around (boy roommates, oddly enough, don't count), I'll be sneaking one of these into the home.


Gorgeous Saluki in the background. I wonder if an English Foxhound is like a giant Beagle. Training it would be horrifying.


Another Basenji photo, which that woman's horrible maroon pantsuit ruined.


Check out the giant Borzoi on the right. Huuuge dogs.


Whippets.


The Irish Wolfhound. I love monster dogs.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Losing Control

Both of my plants are dying. No matter what I do, I don't know how to stop it.

This bothers me more than the fact that I had no answer to the "So what have you been doing with yourself these days? School, booze, boys?" from an old acquaintance tonight.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

I had birthday cake for dinner!

2 am unable-to-sleep-updates are really the best. I can tell you right now, there is absolutely nothing of importance that will be said in this post.

Saturday evening I messed up my knee (the details of where and how are unknown, just like the sprained wrist.) Monday I got it checked out, the doctors say that rest and relaxation, as well as getting my bike fitted, ibuprofen, and ice packs, will have it back into abuse-ready condition again in no time. Supposedly. They didn't call me about my x-rays, so maybe there's something more dangerous happening? (I hope not! Miss BRAG? Are you nuts?!) I brought this up, however, because I used it as an excuse to extend my skillz check at the pool. I still went to be the victim for the others, though. However, climbing off the backboard, treading water, and jumping into the pool proved pretty darn quick that I really wasn't in skillz check condition. My knee was popping regularly by the end, and I wasn't even there for a full hour. Jayna, in her utter astuteness, mentioned that maybe I shouldn't be working at all.. And she has a point. In case of an emergency, yeah, I could perform up to standards. But the routine of standing around for 5 straight hours does much more to mess up my knee than any rescue could.

In other news, while attempting to give the new Modest Mouse album a good, hard listen, I'm once again repeating The Moon and Antarctica over and over again. Don't get me wrong, their new music is glorious. But it doesn't get into my head the same way.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

I make lists in my free time

With BRAG fast approaching, panic is settling in.

Shimano makes clip-in bicycling sandals, which are exactly what I need for Georgia. Unfortunately, they only come in Men's sizes. Also, the Bellingham REI doesn't carry them in stock.

#1: Visit REI. Try on Men's Shimano bike shoes. Remember size. Order online. Keep in mind shipment will take about 2 weeks.

#2: While at REI, buy some padded bike shorts. Vagina will appreciate it.

Now there's the question of how the most important piece of luggage, my bike, will get to Georgia. Shipping it on the plane is the favored option, but luggage also goes missing and that would be a nightmare.

#3: Call Alaska Airlines and interrogate about shipping policies. Also, make sure bike is counted as my 2nd piece of luggage so I don't have to pay $80 for cargo space.

#4: (although this should probably be done before #3) Find a box to put bike in. Visit Fairhaven Cycles and Kulshan, beg incessantly until they give me a box.

#5: Stock up on sunscreen.

#6: Convince brother that driving to FW on Thursday of Dead Week is a really great idea.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Watching the clock before Spanish

Man I feel so cool when I get motivated and do things. I cleared off my shit-collector (aka the desk I used to have a computer on) and it looks rather lovely, all dark wood and healthy plants and empty space. And then I spread out my statistics book and notes and pop open my laptop, showcasing some marvelous Excel work, and I scoot back in my rolly chair to appreciate it and think, "Wow, now that there is the picture of hard work." Then I take my laptop back onto my bed and plug it back into the internet to fool around and ignore the handy little setup I made. But you know, at least I got closer than usual.

By the way, have you heard the news that The Office might be extended to hour long episodes next season? Bad ass!

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Googlear: to google. Estoy googleando.

I got a little excited this afternoon with the news of Seattle's sinkhole. It sent me on a frenzy of sinkhole fascination, causing me once again to bemoan the too-short time we spent on sinkholes in Geology. With a quick (or semi-quick, considering how the internet's been treating me today) image search on Google, I found some pretty great photos.

From Wikipedia (Wikipediar: to wiki. Wikipediamos cuando necesitamos informaciĆ³n)

A sinkhole, also known as a sink, shake hole, swallow hole, swallet, doline (in the Slovene language dolina means valley) or cenote, is a natural depression or hole in the surface topography caused by the removal of soil or bedrock, often both, by water. Sinkholes may vary in size from less than a meter to several hundred meters in diameter and depth, and vary in form from soil-lined bowls to bedrock-edged chasms. They may be formed gradually or suddenly, and are found worldwide.

Mechanisms of formation may include the gradual removal of slightly soluble bedrock (such as limestone) by percolating water, the collapse of a cave roof, or a lowering of the water table. Occasionally a sinkhole may exhibit a visible opening into a cave below. In the case of exceptionally large sinkholes, such as Cedar Sink at Mammoth Cave National Park, USA, a stream or river may be visible across its bottom flowing from one side to the other.


That's one pothole you want to avoid on the tractor.


Wikipedia again. "Sinkholes near the Dead Sea, formed by dissolution of underground salt by incoming freshwater, as a result of a continuing sea level drop."




Surprise puddles! Watch out for the crocodiles.


Not very exciting, I know. This was our example of a sinkhole in Geology. Thor really failed on the entertainment factor during that unit.


Some poor Yankee's truck.


This is actually a cenote. Someday, during my endless travels around Latin America, I'm going to visit this place.

View from the bottom.


Florida knows how to play to its strong points.