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

Monday, March 28, 2011

Pretty and Witty and Gay!

The other night I had a nightmare: I was getting married to someone I'd known only six months. In the nightmare everyone kept questioning the decision. "It's okay, we love each other, we'll make it work!" As the dream went on, the 'reality' of what I was getting into started to creep up on me. (There was also some sort of conflict about if I should wear the high-heeled gold sequin shoes or the blue sequined flats. Um.) I woke up in a cold sweat and gasping relief that, Thank God, that wasn't real!

I wouldn't have even written about the nightmare except that just now, while at work, a woman with a gaggle of kids came up asking for buckets and shovels for clamming. There weren't enough to go around so naturally the ones who got left out broke into that high-pitched whining cry that pierces through the ear drums and is meant only to annoy until the child gets its way.

So now I have two things whose absences I get to celebrate: kids and a husband. I haven't got either and damn doesn't it feel good!

10:15pm Edit:

I should also mention that when I told my mom about the getting-married-nightmare, she casually replied with, "Oh yeah I talked to your brother the other day and he and his girlfriend have been talking about getting married." They've only known each other maybe six months OH GOD I DREAM THE FUTURE.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

♥ friends

It's almost 5pm. The grillfood is sitting in its marinade, the ambient music has us bobbing our heads in approval, and the beer is flowing steadily. We've been realistically discussing the merits and practical application for the Republic of Cascadia for going on 45 minutes now.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Birch Bay Locals

She's nursing two vodka soda with limes at the bar. Her eyes are unfocused but she's still sharp, holding conversation and cracking jokes. It's obvious the kitchen hasn't even gotten started on my order, so I settle in for a chat. We're sharing our life histories and she mentions her hometown. Hey, I'm from there, too! Oh yeah? She graduated in 1978, which school? And that's when we realize we graduated from rival high schools (27 years apart). We size each other up in silence for a beat, then laugh and agree that hey, what does it matter? At least we both made it out of the town alive!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Now we're gettin personal!

I poop in the morning,
I poop at night,
And when I'm done poopin'
I feel all right!

The Peace Corps got back to me! Not as exciting as you might think though. It was just a list of further medical information they needed. Including a written personal statement about how I plan on managing living with IBS in a foreign country!

I know I came clean about my poopin' problems a while ago. Well, get this: I don't have them anymore! I made up that little limerick above (while pooping) and plan on opening my personal statement with it. My doctor laughed when I recited it for her, so hey, maybe they'll take it well?

But let's get serious. Going into this requires a little backstory. When I was a young girl of 12 or 13, I got my first period. It wasn't traumatic or memorable or life-changing because I clearly have no idea when it actually happened. But I do remember what came next: a whack-ass schedule that could sometimes disappear for 5 months before settling in for 2 weeks straight, go away for a week and then swing back around in full force. I was miserable for years and years and years. Finally, a few days after my 18th birthday, I went to the doctor and got exactly what I'd been dreaming about since I was 14: birth control! (To this day I'm still not sure why my parents wouldn't sign off on the drugs - were they that worried I would start sleeping with everything that had a penis just because I couldn't get pregnant?) More or less immediately after I started getting the symptoms to what was eventually diagnosed as Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Now let's fast forward a few years. Imagine this scene: it's my birthday again, this time 5 years later. I'm about to graduate from college and spend my summer living in a town so small that the closest doctor lives either a 45-minute plane ride away or in another country, your choice. I'm also about to lose my health insurance. Knowing that I'd be (hopefully) departing for the Peace Corps relatively soon, I made the decision to save some money and hassle and stop taking birth control.

You might see where this is leading. A few months later, I realized I hadn't worried about bathrooms in a while. Go figure, the problem was gone.

I know correlation does not mean causation, but come on. Five years of this shit (lol) and only one major change around the time it set in/departed. I'm not about to write any scientific papers on this, but I'm pretty sure I found the culprit. Thanks, little daily dose of hormones!

Of course there's also the other side of this coin, in which the Redcoats have been laying seige to a certain American body for going on 12 days now. This is fucking ridiculous.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


"So now I have free texting, because you never know when you'll have to send 1200 dirty text messages."

How to be supportive

Scene from yesterday-

Me: Geno! Can I bring a friend to Wednesday's class?
Geno: Of course you can! I'm just glad you have a friend!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Still Life with Woodpecker

Last Wednesday Jeannine and I got together to recreate a typical Alaskan afternoon. She brought the Diet Coke, I brought the Jameson, and by the time her boyfriend came home from work we were three sheets to the wind! While she made Important Business Phone Calls I perused her bookshelf, and naturally came away with some reading materials. One of which was Still Life with Woodpecker by Tom Robbins. Turns out that no matter how academically interested in a book I may be, I'll still drop it in an instant in favor of a page-turner.

So much for finishing those other books I've been working on.

Now, back during my sophomore year I lived with a rowdy cast of characters. Upon moving into the house, one of the guys handed me Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, announcing that as a Bellingham college student I was legally required to read Tom Robbins. And I kid you not, I've run across copies of that same book in nearly every Bellingham house I've visited. But THIS ONE. Oh man. I know a while ago I expressed a fear of writing in books. It's safe to say I've gotten over that. It's actually gotten bad enough that I've had to make myself throw the pen across the room so it's out of reach because Hey! This is not your book!

Don't believe me? Alright, it's time for some excerpts!

On the mainland, a rain was falling. The famous Seattle rain. The thin, gray rain that toadstools love. The persistent rain that knows every hidden entrance into collar and shopping bag. The quiet rain that can rust a tin roof without the tin roof making a sound in protest. The shamanic rain that feeds the imagination. The rain that seems actually a secret language, whispering, like the ecstasy of primitives, of the essence of things.
Who knows how to make love stay?
1. Tell love you are going to Junior's Deli on Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn to pick up a cheesecake, and if love stays, it can have half. It will stay.
They glared at her the way any intelligent persons ought to glare when what they need is a smoke, a bite, a cup of coffee, a piece of ass, or a good fast-paced story, and all they're getting is philosophy.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

New Schwag!

This, babies, is the REI Flash 18 Pack.

What can I say that he didn't? It's very visually pleasing. Sold!

Now really, it's incredibly lightweight, which was one of the main problems with my old dayhiking bag. The reservoir pocket is big enough for even my hulking 100 fl. oz. sack (though if there is a downside, there's no loop to connect the top of the water bag to keep it upright). The chest straps can adjust up or down for varying chest shapes and sizes (or, as my roommate put it: "For people with breasts, like you! And people with no breasts, like me!") There's even little straps to go around your waist. They may not be padded and sturdy like their older brothers on bigger backpacks, but they'll for sure hold the bag in place as you bike around or scramble down rock scree trying to get to a glacier. And the easy-open pulltabs really are wonderful. It takes a second to figure out which string to pull to open/close the top, but once you do - BAM! just seconds and you're digging around trying to find your trail snacks! No zippers to twist you up when your fingers are frozen and you need your gloves.

Maybe I should have stated this first, but this bag will only run you $30 at REI. Similar bags by different brands, hanging right next to these on the wall, are priced at $90 and up.

When I was buying mine, the cashier immediately started gushing: He'd just bought it, brand new, and took it out for a spin. Unfortunately he laid his bike on top of it, and now there's a giant black tire mark across the front that he can't wash off. But hey, that's okay, because now he can tell his apart from all his coworkers' bags! (I love the idea of a pile of yellow bags in the employee lounge, and everyone scratching their heads over whose is whose.) So while he's sad that it got dirty so soon, at least it's unique.

Here's the full truth: I didn't discover this all on my own. It was actually the previously-mentioned roommate who bought his first, and after fiddling lovingly with his new backpack for about 20 minutes I realized I had to have one of my own. The idea was cemented when I spotted one on the back of another hiker along the Oyster Dome trail. I'm telling you, this little yellow bag is hot shit! I was afraid that I would run into the same problem the cashier had. But I thought ahead and came up with the perfect solution:

I got the green one.