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

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Winter Break!

Not that I update regularly or anything, but I just wanted to give y'all a heads up that I'm going to be out of the country for about 2 weeks. Take care until then!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

On Waist Sizes

In my most horrendous but much-loved Spanish class, we're reading a book called Cecilia Valdés. It's all about mixed races and societal mores and what goes wrong when people accidentally inbreed (see why I love this class??) But all of the discussion goes on at 8am, so it's very hard to focus on why we care. Our professor goes to extremes to try and wake us up, so today he pantomimed adjusting a corset. (More reasons to love this class!)

Rather than get any of us involved in the discussion, though, it just set off some furious note-writing about the seventeen inch waisted Scarlett O'Hara, and how disgusting that would be in real life. Oh, you don't believe me? Meet Cathie Jung:

Miss Cathie here has worn corsets so frequently, and so tightly, that she has a 15 inch waist. Pretty gross, huh? Let's go up an inch...

Dita Von Teese is very proud that she can starve herself down to a 16 inch waist before her burlesque performances.
I understand that being skinny/ having a small waist is very important by some standards, but look at these women! Their bodies just ARE NOT built to be that small in the middle. So even going up to Scarlett's 17 inches, while generous based on these women's examples, is still pretty horrifying to consider.
Luckily Scarlett is a fictional character, and Vivien Leigh didn't have to starve herself down to the same size for the movie role.

Anyway, after some furious scribbles about how much we LOVE Scarlett O'Hara for being a truly canny survivor and an exceptional feminist role model, Quinn (the girl I was writing to) and I realized that we just have to watch the movie. ASAP, pronto, in all due haste, etc. etc. So tonight, we and another girl from our class are going to sit down with some snacks, tissues, and snuggle up to get:
Gone With the Wind
*squeel* so excited!!!

Sunday, November 15, 2009


College isn't supposed to be all fun and games, I KNOW, but really? This is just getting ridiculous. I spent 6 hours on campus today and feel like I barely made a dent in my To Do list. (Although I will be honest: it wasn't 6 hours straight of work. I got sidetracked watching videos of elephants painting and looking at photos of Suri Cruise (she is the CUTEST child I have ever seen!!))

Last night my roommates had an absolutely ridiculously huge party. (They tried to clean it up today... Tried being the key word.) Instead of trying to wade through the crowd of sweaty underaged bodies, I headed downtown to drink with the exchange students. It went well! It's hard to go wrong with cheap beer and dancing. But I'd had a busy day, and soon I realized that my energy was sapped. Ana and I were trying to have a drunken heart-to-heart when I realized that I had been yawning continuously for the last 10 minutes. The second I crawled into bed, I passed out and slept like a baby until noon.

And woke up to the prospect of hungover homeworking. Ouch.

Now it's late again - Where does the day go?? - and there's still so much left undone.

Oh whoops, sidetracked! I started this all to say that I am just SO excited for next week! One, two very large stress factors will be done and over with by then. And Two, Irene will be in town! It's been a while since we've had time to just hang out and catch up. We're both pretty swamped with school; she's graduating, and I'm trying to. Already we're getting geared up to sit with our laptops and write papers while chatting and drinking alcoholic hot drinks. It's been a lonely quarter at Western with everyone off in the greater world, and I can't wait for the familiarity of someone who's been around through the years.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A belly full of Yum

Halloween weekend was a pretty big deal at my house, and we all had just overwhelming amounts of fun, but it took its toll. By mid-week nearly half of the 17 living here had been taken down by some sort of debilitating disease. Mine was swine flu- the others ranged anywhere from a sniffly cold to a chronic asthma attack. I'm sure you can imagine how fun it's been.
One benefit to living with all girls, though, is that we know how to take care of each other. It started with a pan of brownies with frosting that said, "Get well soon!" The next thing you know there were freshly baked goods every night of the week. First the brownies. Then the rice krispies treats. I stepped up and made a cake. And then tonight, one girl busted out her family's secret snickerdoodle recipe.
It's wonderful to come home from a busy day and just sit at the table to enjoy some warm homemade cookies and a glass of milk.
So this is my idea: we'll take a cue from our chore list and assign every other night to a different girl. Her job won't be to wash dishes or take out the recycling, but rather to bake something delicious that fills the house with a sweet scent and gives everyone an excuse to come downstairs and take a study break.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Good news! I'm 10 years old!

I've been very slack in updating my journals this quarter, both the paper one I keep and this one online. So I'm getting both done tonight! As I was writing my more personal thoughts down earlier, I decided to read what else I'd put down since classes started. It didn't take long; there were only two. This was one:

1:30 AM: Drunk, hoping party downstairs will SHUT UP SOON. Eating Goldfish crackers and imagining they're business executives getting swallowed up by giant corporation-hating monster. Looking forward to a weekend without bidness classes! NOM NOM NOM!!

Obviously my business major and I still have some issues we need to work on.

On to the good news!

A few weeks ago I ordered a sleeping bag from REI. Unfortunately it was on backorder, so I've had to wait patiently, hoping one day I'll get a notice that it's waiting for me. And Friday, what a good Friday, it was!

This is REI's Travel Sack. It's only good in 55+, but since I've never been a backpacker in winter weather, trust me, that's fine by me. The product reviews say it's perfect for things like overnights, hostelling, couchsurfing, and camping in warmer weather. Well hello, that's just about ALL I DO. So naturally it's love!
Not to mention, this thing rolls up to the size of a football. I love things that are deceptively small. Just think of all the other things I'll be able to fit into my hiking backpack!
To welcome it into my life, I rolled it out on top of my bed and slept in it last night. It was seriously comfortable. You know what else this thing has? Unzippable arm holes, so if you need to grab something but are too warm and comfy, you can just stick an arm out without unzipping the whole damn thing. You know what else it has? A FOOT ZIP. Literally, on the website, it says: "just unzip it partially at the foot for ventilation or to roam around camp without leaving your bag!"
Can you imagine?? Oh, you better start imagining, because trust me, this is GOING to happen. A giant bare-footed turquoise morning monster, with one arm sticking out the side of the bag, roaming around the campsite, or hostel, or hell even my own house! grumbling things like "whyisitsogoddamncold" and roaring "Stop being hungover guys it's time to HIKE!"
Obviously I am very excited about the direction my life is going.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Beginnings of Taste

My house, and the room I live in, was built in 1904.

There are three large windows that extend outward, providing a clear view of the neighbor's wall, and letting all their visitors see into my room uninterrupted. One wall has a raised recessed bookshelf (love this!). The walk-in closet is in the same corner as the door, so that only one can be fully opened at a time.

All of these features give the room charm and a uniqueness I've never encountered before. Unfortunately, shortly after moving in, I realized that all of these quirks also prevent the standard room setup from really, well, working. Putting my bed in a corner threw off the spacing - I would walk into the room and no matter what, each individual piece of furniture was an eyesore in the middle of a beautiful room.

I've been through three different furniture arrangements, and I think I finally found the winner!

Look, I've never even pretended to have a taste for design or feng shui or really any sort of skill that would set me apart from the hoards of other 20-somethings in this world. But lately I've been listening that urge to put in just a little extra effort, see what comes out. And while my wardrobe is still full of sweatshirts and sensible tennis shoes, I think my room is something to be proud of.

(Except the floor. It's covered in clothes and who knows what else?)

A sideways bed! I can't believe I've never tried this before! The bed placement makes it seem more like a couch without a back at times, and meanwhile there are equal amounts of open space in the rest of the room. It's not too close to the heater, and there's room for me to get ready in front of the mirror every morning. It feels easy, open, and welcoming. Also, while I wasn't a fan of the things I'd hung over the windows at first, now I love the different colors and textures. I bought some cheap Fred Meyer curtains (red and blue) but they weren't thick enough, so now on top we have a sari (green), a blanket my cousin bought for me in Tijuana (black and white), and a sarong I bought in Mexico when I was 16 (blue with turtles).

What do you think? Any tips about maintaining clutter? (You can see in the photos, clutter is my #1 problem now!)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

College Life

Since rekindling my on-off love affair with naps, I've become completely intolerant of anything that distracts me from our time together. #1 Distraction is food. Do you have any idea how long cooking takes? And when you only have 2 hours in between classes, making a sandwich falls far below a 1.5 hour nap in my ranking system.

Mostly I just wanted to tell you what I ate today. 2 Erin Baker cookies (shoutout to the uglies at the Farmer's Market!), 4 mugs of English Breakfast tea, a bowl of Special K, and gum.

... Yeah, I might go in for the flu shot after all. Something tells me my super balanced diet won't be helping my immune system very much.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Hey, welcome to the new blog! Thanks for following me over to my new(ish) home. All the old posts have been uploaded if, for whatever reason, you want to read about La Vida de Chela circa 2005.

For the first time in my 5 years of college, I had a highly productive, entertaining, and successful group meeting. We sat down and literally banged out our paper in less than an hour! And not only that, but we did it WELL.

And all thanks to google documents!

I still haven't experimented with all of google's many features, but documents at least has a special place in my heart.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Hard at Work

Oh hi there.

Remember how I was all, "Man, busy summer, now that's done I'll have more to say!"? Yeah. Big fat lie. Turns out school actually keeps me more occupied than driving buses for tourists ever did.
It's a pretty sweet life, though. Class, nap, class, nap, work, homework, bed. I've started talking to inanimate objects in my room. Turns out it's easier to drag myself out of bed at 7am when I'm trying to hold up my end of a conversation. Other wakeup techniques: 5 minute snooze, aggressive rap, turning on every light in the room, leaving the window open overnight, and promising myself that if I'll just get out of bed, I won't make myself brush my teeth or get dressed. So I break a lot of promises. Whatever.
Took an extra shift at work this evening. Weekends and evenings are prime-time for cashiering, since we're basically left to do whatever possible behind the desk. I designed some invitations to a Girls' Night Out in Publisher, while my coworker wrote out invitations on leaf-shaped cutouts to her Fall Bash. We also worked together on a scheme to creep out every person who uses my bathroom, ever. As for actual work... I've taken $65 in the last 3 hours, and it's unlikely I'll sell anything else. Other fun things I have done: thrown a rubber snake at a patron, stole Famous Amos cookies from the swim team, drew smiley and frowny faces on a bunch of boys' hands, harassed a coworker, tampered with the radio until I got it to play my iPod (despite not having an auxiliary input), drank a Diet Coke, and Facebook creeped every person I've met in the last 2 years. It's been a productive day.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Back at home

Yesterday was utter HELL.

I woke up at 5am, still hungover from the going away party the night before, to pack the last of my things. At 6 my even more hungover friends went with me to get breakfast, and as we sat in the cafe we looked outside, watching the sun rise, and started to feel really, really bad. Not sick bad, but scared bad. Because while there were clear skies over the town, the direction I needed to fly in was covered over in fog. So I get to the airport at 6:30, thinking I would be flying out of Skagway at 7. Except the plane that was supposed to take me to Juneau? It hadn't left Juneau yet. The weather was too bad.

See, in a tiny little town like Skagway, where the biggest plane that can land seats 12 people, bad weather means you don't get to fly. And in September in Alaska, there's bad weather almost every day. So even though the big Boeing planes in Juneau were taking off, the one that was supposed to come to Skagway to bring me back simply couldn't make it through.

I spent 2 hours napping in the airport. Then at 8:30, two of my coworkers with a 9am flight came in. They joined me on the couch to wait. By 10:30, my flight in Juneau had already left me. My coworkers were panicking about making their flight at 1. One plane had taken off from Juneau, made it about 15 minutes in the air, and had to turn around.

Luckily one of my coworkers, Megan, has connections with our often hard to reach managers. She called the boss up on his cell and said, "Steve Funk, get us out of this town!"

At noon we were seated on a ferry, luggage piled all around us in a cozy den, and headed away from our summer home. For the next 4 hours we played card game after card game, drinking beer, and when we ran out of beer we cracked open the bottle of whiskey in my suitcase. By the time we got off the boat in Juneau at 4, we were good and drunk.

We'd made friends on the boat, so we hitched a ride in the back of someone's truck to the airport. But all three of us had missed our scheduled flights, and the next one leaving for Seattle was at 8. So we sat in a covered bus stop and polished off the last of our whiskey.

Ten minutes after we'd loaded onto the plane, all three of us fell asleep on each others' shoulders and slept through the whole flight. The actual plane ride was only 2 hours and 30 minutes, but it had taken us 12 hours just to get 100 miles from Skagway to Juneau.

It took more time to fly from one state to another than to get to Peru in South America. Does anyone else see a problem with this??

Friday, September 11, 2009

Back from the dead

Well, hello there!

It's been rather silent here for a while. As in, I turned 22 and vanished into the ether. I have a good excuse, though! You see, right after my birthday I ran headfirst into Dead Week and Finals. It was a disaster. There was crying, screaming, flying glass and a fair amount of blood. And once it was all over, I peaced out of there so fast that I (intentionally) forgot to lock the door behind me. Less than 24 hours later I climbed onto an airplane and disappeared into the wilds of Alaska.

I've been here ever since.

Internet access is shaky at best. I haven't streamed a video or downloaded new music since June. This town that I live in? No fast food. No movie theaters. No franchised stores. No indoor swimming pools. It was surreal at first, but in the end it's been good for me. I thought for sure I would die without my daily dose of Hulu. Turns out, there are plenty of other things to do in the day.

Up here in Skagway, Alaska, I spend most of my day driving a 40 foot tour bus up and down the mountain passes, shuttling tourists up to Fraser, B.C. and back. Wake up at 5am, get off work by 6pm (hopefully), crack a beer or two and cook a community dinner with some coworkers in the hotel's kitchen, then fall exhausted into sleep by 10pm. I'm in love with this routine. On days off, I can do anything from spend the day watching cable television, to hiking out to a glacier, to bear hunting and whale watching. I've cuddled a 2 week old Alaskan Husky pup in my Columbia vest while he burrowed his nose into my neck. I've video'd a grizzly catching salmon from less than 30 feet away. I've hiked above the tree line to an alpine lake. I've taken the train out into the Yukon Territory and walked the tail end of the Chilkoot trail. I've traded dirty jokes with a couple from Alberta, Canada. I've blacked out at a company party and found myself fully clothed but soaking wet in my bed the next morning.

I've had the time of my life.

But I'm starting to miss y'all. So I'm heading home soon. See you in 10 days!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Fun Fact

I prove every learning theory wrong when going to bed. See, I turn off the light, climb under the covers, and then grope blindly in the dark trying to find out where my sheet went. Eventually I turn on my lamp only to find that I crawled in on top of it. I grimace, because God, not again, and vow not to do that again, How stupid can I get?
Once a week, at least. It happens more when I haven't been drinking.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Welcome to the 22nd year!

Skipped town in a haze of anger and stress, and drove single-minded to parents' house.
Within 30 minutes of arriving, drank an entire bottle of wine on the porch. (Brother tried to take some from me and I got angry at him.)
Proceeded to bitch, cry, and slur my way through an hour of monologue at my mother.
Abruptly decided I was tired and passed out in parents' bed.

Well, Happy Birthday to me: I can't get any lower from here!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

hahahaha... Oh angry drunk blogging, I love you. Post deleted, of course, but I'm keeping a copy on file for the memories.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


My brother used to have a St. Bernard puppy. Her name was Janey.
She was the ill-conceived idea of his good-for-nothing roommate. As a $400 purebred, licensed pup, she spent her first weeks in his home being alternately loved and ignored. She wasn't fed the right foods, she wasn't trained, and she wasn't shown the sort of attention and discipline that a puppy needs.
So he did the roommate a favor, paid his overdue cable bill, and in return took the puppy. He changed her name from Mary Jane to Janey, and from there, her life started looking up.
I was in Mexico when he got her, so I only saw her pudgy puppy days through Skype. But as soon as I came home I jumped on the bandwagon and fell in love. Our parents asked Brent to come for weekends, and bring the dog, too. Our crotchety grandmother would ask about her every time we had dinner. His neighbors took her on walks, his friends taught her tricks, his ex-girlfriend would request puppy-visiting times, the ex-girlfriend's roommates bought her rawhide bones and other toys, and everyone wanted to babysit.

Everyone who knew Brent knew his Janey, and for the whole 5 months that he had her, she controlled every aspect of his life.
That's where things take a downturn. She was a puppy, after all, and getting bigger and more destructive every week. Then he lost his job. The bills kept coming and the dog kept growing. Janey's days were numbered.
Luckily, everyone who knew Janey talked about her (if every you ran out of things to say to a person, you could at least talk about the puppy!) My mom's hairstylist's daughter and son-in-law loved St. Bernards. Theirs had been run over by a car a few years ago, and they had another dog, but they still missed the old one. Within a week the couple were begging to meet Janey.
So now Miss Calamity Jane is living in a household of two little girls, an overweight labrador, and two smitten adults. She runs and plays and never has any lack of entertainment or affection. The dog has had a world of luck. Every time life seems to be setting her up for abandonment, she ends up in a better place than ever before.
It's everyone else, the ones who had to say good-bye and watch her go, that ended up heartbroken.

* I realize all these photos make her look sad and somber. 1) She's a St. Bernard. That's what they do. 2) When she was moving around, it's not like she held still enough for my crummy cell phone to get a clear shot.

Well said

"Thinking Robots

No, I'm not worried about the robot apocalypse, à la The Matrix. I'm rather more worried about the WALL-E scenario, in which robots do all the work -- happily -- and people become pudgy balls of flesh lolling about all day without the slightest idea of what to do other than eat pureed food because it's just too much trouble to chew. This is totally realistic. Hell, I spend more than eight hours a day in front of a computer screen as it is, sucking down Coke Zero and being glad there's only one flight of stairs between me and my fridge. If I had C3PO to get me my Cokes, I might have already fused into my desk chair by now.

This is the dirty untold secret of The Matrix: Not that we'll be enslaved by machines who hook us up to a virtual reality to keep us pacified, but that we'll plug ourselves in voluntarily. If you don't think this will ever happen, you've obviously never played World of Warcraft (or known someone who has). The minute we can turn our body maintenance over to thinking robots while we frolic, sexy and beweaponed, in a fantasy world, we're going to lose about half the people on the planet to it."

Blatantly stolen from a column written by John Scalzi for AMC, and pretty much exactly where I think we're heading. My business prof's love to talk about RFID chips and how they'll eventually do our grocery shopping for us - it scares me to the core.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I've been doing a lot of impulse shopping lately. This is bad! I don't have the money to be impulse shopping, not at all, not in any stretch of the imagination. But that hasn't been stopping me. I look at the cute Target top and think "Well, if I don't have enough money three weeks from now, I can always ask my parents..." BAD CHELSEA. That is not at all the way parental trust and independence and responsibility work.
On the plus side, I have this top that is so incredibly cute and perfect in every way! It matches several sweaters that I'd previously been scratching my head about what to pair them with. And couple with some new pants, voila! An entirely new outfit! I broke it out today and spent the whole day thinking about how awesome I looked. If every day worked like this, I'd be conquering the Western Hemispheres and heading toward Europe any day now.
So here's the problem: this outfit, for all its cuteness, makes my feet cold. There's just no possible way I can fit socks and tennis shoes into the plan. It's cold and raining outside now, and I've had my feet stuck to my space heater for the last 20 minutes. I'm supposed to be leaving for the bars any minute now, and just the thought of going out there... I don't want to do it. I want to put on my wool socks and dream about Mexican beaches.
There's no hope, though. I think I'll just have to tough it out tonight. Maybe one of the bars will be serendipitously converted to a sauna, just for kicks.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


"It would never end, nor would we. For we are all mortal until the first kiss and the second glass, which is something everyone knows, no matter how small his or her knowledge."
-- Eduardo Galeano, The Fiesta, from The Book of Embraces

I think I've told everyone who's spoken to me in the last week about this book. So now I'm telling you, too.
Go read it.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Good Deeds

About a week or two ago, I found a ring in the ladies' restroom in one of the buildings on campus. I was running late for a class, like always, so I stuck it in my jacket pocket and told myself I'd take it to the lost and found later.
You can probably guess what happened next. I forgot about it. The weather got warmer, I started wearing a different jacket, life went on.
Then this morning I'm standing in line buying coffee before class, purposely taking my time, listening to the bells echoing across Red Square and not giving a good god damn. Let's be serious here- I hate that professor and as long as she doesn't say anything about my timing, I'm going to keep being late. And I'm struck but a flier taped to the wall next to the coffee kiosk: "Lost Engagement Ring. Please return to..." And there's a picture. I bet you can guess this one, too. It was the same ring I'd found weeks ago.
Obviously this story has a happy ending! I called the girl immediately, apologized about being a forgetful bum, and we arranged a time to meet up and hand off the ring. She bought me a Starbucks gift card, which I really don't think I deserve. Although in one way, you could say her gift of coffee might make me more alert the next time something like this happens, and I can react a bit sooner.
So, congratulations to Suzanne! She lost her engagement ring four days after he proposed, and instead of being upset, Mr. Right told her, "I thought about buying you two. Guess I should have trusted my instincts!" But rather than a wallet-busting tragedy, she gets to tell the story of her engagement as a funny tale of her own absent-mindedness that all worked out well in the end.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tuesday Night

Never one to ignore an annoyance, I continue chewing on my hangnail until I can rip it off with my teeth. The annoyance turns into a dull pain, enhanced by the slow bleeding. I suck my thumb for a bit, hoping it will stop, but I need to keep typing this paper and that's impossible to do with my thumb in my mouth. I give it up as a lost cause and get back to work, hoping merely that it doesn't bleed onto the keyboard, and that the keyboard isn't harboring any infectious bacterias. The computer lab is still stifling hot, even at nearly ten. The taste of blood is in my mouth, my shoeless feet can't get used to the scratchy industrial carpeting, and the high-powered fan is just making my eyes dry and tired. I need to get this done. I need a band-aid.

Monday, April 20, 2009

A Long Time Coming

In an unexpected twist, I've found myself contemplating religion again.

I was raised in a Christian household. We went to church every Sunday, complete with yelling and crashing and banging, jumping on the bed moments before we needed to leave, outfit changes and hasty breakfasts and everything that comes along with corralling overactive three children into nice clothes and out to the minivan in time for an 8 am service. Church was fun, back then. There were snacks when we got there, and books with so many songs that it was impossible to sing them all. There was summer camp, there were plays, there were stories told with cutout figures that pressed onto a felt desert backdrop.

It was ideal for a young child - a caring, giving community that worked together to raise their children with common ideals and support their growth into adulthood. When I was ten, an elderly woman in the church became my mentor and we occasionally had brunch together, mostly talking about the things I learned in school and the petty grievances I had with my brothers. I don't remember her name, but I'm glad she gave her time to me. Most of the adults in my life then gave selflessly, perhaps not knowing I would barely remember them later, but at least knowing it was a one-sided effort.

Then I grew older, into my teens. And I noticed the discrepancies between what we learned in church and what we did outside of it. The strangest part was that I found myself getting along better with the people who didn't believe in religion. These people were kinder, more open, more excited to enjoy their lives. The people I went to church with were catty and cruel.

I realize now, years later than it should have taken, that this behavior had more to do with the specific church, the specific town, and the culture it encouraged.

There are incredible people in my life now, both those who have a religion and those who don't, and I've found that judging a person by their beliefs is unacceptable. This goes two ways - I can no more assume that a person will behave as kind and honest as their religion says they should than I can expect them to behave like a hypocrite.

Now that I've let go of my anger and disappointment, I can turn to the important issue: What I believe. It's a long and personal search, one that will likely never have a true answer. I'm picking up the pieces of a religion I threw away long ago, dusting it off, examining the broken and unusable bits, and trying to discover if there's enough left to make something whole. No one can say if what I make for myself will match anyone else's, but I want to get the message out there: I'm reexamining. I'm not confrontational anymore. I want to hear what others have to say.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Port Townsend!

Spent a nice, relaxing weekend with my parents and one of the brothers out in Port Townsend this weekend. They rented a condo, I took a ferry over, and we all kayaked and ate seafood and browsed the neat artisan shops until we collapsed from exhaustion. At which point the condo turned into a war zone as everyone tried to find a place to sleep safe from everyone else's snoring. I was a sure loser in this battle, since I'm the only one of us who doesn't snore - instead they all wanted to share the room with me. Last night at 1 am my dad snuck in and collapsed on the other bed - driving me out into the living room almost immediately. Brent complained I was taking his couch, but since he was still up anyway, I told him to stuff it, curled up, and passed out.
A few highlights of the trip include:

There's only one surefire way to start the weekend right, and this is it! Super Mario's Taco Truck. It's not Tacos Arabes, but it's damn close.
My first trip to Deception Pass, and the weather was beautiful! I didn't climb down to the beaches, though - I had to hurry to the ferry before it left without me.

Oh, look. A ferry.
Brent and I were innocently sitting in the car, waiting for our parents to come back with some groceries, when this beast poked his head out of the car next to us.

I'm pretty sure he was a cow in disguise.

On the way back I made a quick pit stop at Fort Casey to wander around, take some pictures, and reminisce about my childhood. (My parents were big on taking trips to old military forts.)

Friday, April 17, 2009

If I had time, this is what I'd do

I've been reading up on how-to grow your own vegetables, and potato harvesting sounds like the most fun so far. It started with this blog post. Near the end he's talking about his crop results, and then, bam! Constant vigilance! Oh Harry Potter, you show up in the oddest places!

But yeah, basically, I would love to try some of this stuff out. I'm not big on brussels sprouts or cabbage and such, but fresh cucumbers and tomatoes and potatoes would be so cool!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


By golly, it's late! I have to be at work in six hours...

This is my other work! The little brunette in the front right is Erin, my driving instructor. Tonight we all got together for a mixer (read: paperwork signing party!) and before everyone took off, she corralled us onto the stairs for a group photo.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Oh joy oh love oh my!

Tiny Toon Adventures


Rocko's Modern Life


Are You Afraid of the Dark?

Everyone! http://ytvretro.com/ It's legal, too! I can safely say that all my ambition for school this quarter is GONE. Not when there's so much 90's tv to catch up on!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Original Content!

Hey, wow, so I've been really lax with this thing. I switched email addresses and blogger won't let me change the access email to this account, and guess what? It turns out something as simple as logging out and logging back in is too much work! Other things that are too hard for me: brushing my teeth in the morning before class*, filling out hiring documents that are sitting on my desktop, picking up my paycheck, and pouring wine into a glass before drinking it.

* That said, I start my first mug of tea at 8:30am and continue to refill it until 4. I can't say brushing my teeth would make a dent on my English Breakfast breath and plaque buildup.

Big events in the last few months include going to Mardi Gras 2009 (WHOO! BOOZIN'!) and getting hired with a tour bus company in Alaska. Tomorrow is my big Commercial Driver's License test, so wish me big heaps of luck that I don't back over any children or flip the coach mid-turn.

Also, I've lived in four different houses since December! First with the parents in Tacoma as I adjusted from tanktop-and-flowy-skirt to mufflers-and-chinchilla-fur-coats weather. Next on Lillian's couch while I house hunted in Bellingham. Third in a house on Franklin, for a whole two months! Beginning of March I moved into a different house on Franklin, which was annoying but also pretty easy to actually do. It took about two hours to transfer it all from one place to another, including a burrito and beer break.

While I was living in the first Franklin house, my roommate Kimmy got me involved in the Surfrider Foundation. Now, I've got the world's worst attention span when it comes to volunteering, but I did make it up to Mt. Baker for Banked Slalom! I manned the booth and hoarded free samples from the other vendors, and watched one of the prettiest sunrises I've seen yet. Here, pictures! **Warning, these pictures are RIDICULOUSLY huge if you click on them. I'm working on it**
Gorgeous, no? And less than five minutes later...

Notice how I'm pretending to do econ homework. No one bought it.

Nice suit, Kims! It's a hand-me-down for her mom. This girl wins on the hip scale. Retro, recycling, and unabashed enthusiasm! Rock on!

Unoriginal Content

Look, I know I don't fit in the typical demographics for a mommy blog. 1) I am not a mom. 2) ... Okay, well I think #1 pretty much covers why they don't apply to me. That said, I can't get enough of them! I attribute this entirely to the quality of the moms' prose, because really, if you can make me nearly spit out my tea onto my precious MacBook, then you certainly deserve my attention.

"I thought Henry was napping, but now I hear him singing to himself. The singing is new. Once, when he was a few months old, he hummed "Ode to Joy" (I am NOT KIDDING) and we all gazed in wonderment at Henry, Child Prodigy, but then he clammed up, singing-wise. Right now he’s singing the ABC song, but he gets stuck after "d," so he just sings, "A, b, c, d, ...d, d, d....d, d, d, d, dddd...d..." I can’t figure out why he sounds so cheerful, as he’s had diarrhea and a fever all day. I would be less inclined to lie in bed crooning my favorite ditties, if I were simultaneously soiling myself with watery, burning poo."
Alice Bradley, finslippy.com

"How to Annoy Me: Do something that annoys me, and then say, "I've been waiting to see that face all week long." I'll give you this face EVERY DAY, MOTHERFUCKER, as long as you continue to make noise when the baby is asleep."
Heather Armstrong, dooce.com

And okay, I'll be honest, that's the extent of my momblog reading. But they make me laugh!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Study Break

Tomorrow is the Monsters Final. I'm cramming facts (and photos) of smallpox into my head, trying to remember how many days it take for limbs to develop in a fetus (42 days after conception, usually when nausea starts, and Thalidomide would be used - hence limbless Thalidomide babies), mentally reenacting penis fencing, and reviewing my freak show terminology.

It's unpleasant, but not because I want to be doing something else (and it's St. Patty's Day! I know!). Mostly I'm trying to control my gag reflex as I reread passages of smallpox victims sloughing their colons and other intestines while hemorrhaging.

So! Now that we're all feeling squicky, here's our Monsters sing-along!

Cut It Off!

By Thor Hansen

(sing to the tune: If You’re Happy and You Know It)

If your nose has been a-twitching,
Cut it off.

If your ears are not bewitching,
Cut em off.

If your face is plain dismaying,
And your penis ain’t worth playing,
Then there’s no sense in delaying,
Cut it off.


If your butt has started sagging,
Cut it off.

If your breasts have been a-wagging,
Cut em off.

If your limbs are a distraction,
Then the answer is subtraction,
You are fuller as a fraction,
Cut it off.


It is no fun to be too tall,
Cut it off.

It is much nicer when you’re small,
Cut it off.

You only need your core so,
You could be a living torso.
Remember less is more so,

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

More Monsters

Today we talked about viruses. I don't have much to say on it, but that's entirely because I just ate and has nothing to do with lack of interesting content.

Here, I'll give you a photo to wet your appetite for this class. But BE WARNED! It's disgusting! I'm going to give you lots of space to decide of it's worth it.

Some info before we start. Nosocomial infections are infections caused by BEING IN THE HOSPITAL. 10% of hospital patients catch NIs; 14% of the patients die. They cause about 20,000 deaths per year, and that statistic is increasing.

Most sites of these infections are either in the bloodstream or from surgery.

The following is straight from the notes, and what you will be seeing a photo of.

Also I hope I'm building the hype over this so much that you won't be affected at all.

FLESH EATING BACTERIA (necrotizing fasciitis, NF) is usually caused by the Streptococcus bacteria that causes strep throat. The bacteria does not actually eat flesh but it produces toxins that dissolve flesh, especially the fat layer beneath the skin. Strep bacteria are common and it is not clear why some people develop NF. It usually occurs after surgery, or a minor injury or even a bump that leaves no mark. The bacteria travels under the skin and is not observable and is therefore hard to diagnose. It also travels extremely rapidly, several cms per hour, so a misdiagnosis can be a death sentence. Fortunately this is a rare affliction, but it seems to be becoming more common. Death occurs in about 25% of cases. The only treatments are massive does of antibiotics and immediate surgical removal of infected tissue.

Last year a little boy in Bellingham developed NF after he got a cut on his lip while playing basketball. He lost most of the tissue on his face, but he's young, so maybe it will regrow.

Okay, no more teasing. Here's the photo of a FLESH EATING BACTERIA.

Monday, January 12, 2009


I like to drunk-blog. I'll get home from the bars late, but instead of just calling it a night, I'll stay up until 3 or 4 am downloading music, browsing celebrity gossip sites, and writing angsty blog entries on this thing. When I wake up the next morning, my first priority is to drink as much water as possible and find some Tylenol. The second is to delete whatever I wrote the night before.

This isn't one of those, though. I just can't sleep.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Hey Jessica

Time to be jealous again.

Today, for the last twenty minutes of class, we turned out all the lights and told each other our nightmares. The student speaking would stand in the front of the room with a flashlight held to their face ghost-story style. Here are some of the creepier ones:

Her parents send her off into a maze, telling her that her aunt's house is at the other end. After wandering around lost for what seems like hours, she finally gets out on the other side. She sees her aunt's house. Unfortunately, there's a dog between her and the house. The dog is partially skeletal, rotting bits of flesh falling off his body. She calls out to her parents as it starts attacking her, but no one comes.

He's on Wheel of Fortune, as the fourth contestant in a game of only three. The others are all guessing letters he's never heard of, and as he shouts out the letters of the alphabet, the other contestants laugh. Vanna comes at him and starts eating him alive, until only his head is left. Just as she's about to eat him up, he's transferred onto Jeopardy. Alex Trebec is totally normal, thank God. But the other two contestants turn on him, finishing the job Vanna started. Wielding wire cheese cutters, they slice pieces of his skull off and eat them while he tries desperately to answer the trivia questions.

She wakes up in her bedroom, and she knows its hers, but she can't recognize anything. She gets up and wanders the empty house, and again, she knows its her house, but there's nothing familiar to justify this. She's searching but she can't find anyone, until she goes into the garage. Her father is hanging by his neck.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

First Day of Monsters

Copy-Paste of class notes:

What is a monster? On the first day of the first Monsters Class in 2004, I asked the students to describe a monster. Here are the words they used:

There is a terrific scene in Finding Nemo in which Dory and Marlin swim into the dark deep sea in search of a diver’s mask. They see a mysterious light that attracts them and almost get eaten by a deep sea anglerfish. How many of the characteristics cited above do you see in the anglerfish pictured below?

I also asked them to name something that really gave them the creeps. Here are their responses to that question:

Okay, Copy-Paste done.

After the class discussion about things that generally creep us out, I went home and watched a few episodes of Planet Earth. And you know what? Nature is very, very creepy. Especially when you're watching out for it.

While in Vallarta in October, my mom found out that stepping on sea urchins is not a good idea. Their spines are poisonous, so it hurts like hell. They're also brittle, so trying to pull them out usually just makes them snap off inside your foot. Then, even better! The tip starts to curl like a fish hook, so it will gradually push itself deeper into your skin while resisting, very painfully, any attempts to pull it out with tweezers. Usually people have to go in for a minor surgery to get them removed safely. And they tend to get infected.
But not only that! They have TEETH! The damn things come in swarms that can level an entire kelp forest in a day. Their five teeth grow constantly, so they're always sharp and ready to gnaw.
And starfish! They climb on top of their victims (sand dollar, smaller starfish, whatever) then suck the juicy bits out and move on, leaving only the creatures' bones behind.
Damn, nature. The whole barracuda thing already had me afraid of snorkeling, but now I think I'm done with all open-water activities. (Except surfing. And only on beaches that are known for not having jelly fish.)