Sunday, September 30, 2007

Top Secret

I remember one night when I was really little, and during family prayer, I begged "And please let me type really fast like Mom and Allen."

It's the little things that stick with you the longest, I guess. That memory amuses me because by now, I bet I can type faster than both of them. And I doubt divine help had much to do with it. I think it was mostly the stupid stories I wrote when I was a young teenager. My computer wouldn't run video games besides Sonic the Hedgehog and Minesweeper, so my favorite program was Microsoft Word. I spent years typing up stories, and then one day, my computer decided it hated me and wiped its own hard drive. Destroyed everything. My life's work. Tragic, really. I hate computers.

Beth's gone for six days-ish. Pity and woe! I don't think I can survive! I mean, now I get to work with just Rye. For six days. Except when I'm working by myself or taking days off... and I probably won't have a day until at least the fifth, if then. Horror!

They pick on me. Mostly Rye. Like every time I turn around lately, there's like a wall of Rye right there. Today when I was making beds with Beth, I heard something at the window. I turned around, and there was Rye's face pressed up against the glass like four inches away from me. I jumped backwards, bumped into the bed, and went flying. One of these days, I'll get surprised, instinctively go on the defensive, and punch him before I realize what I'm doing. Then I'll get in trouble. That'll suck. Plus I'll feel kind of bad if I actually hurt him.

We have such intellectual conversations at work sometimes. Today, for example, we had a lengthy conversation about Rye's butt. Rye started it. I think he just wanted to make me blush, which happens on a daily basis. Usually several times a day. Even my arms turn red. Maybe one day, when I finally get a job where I can work outside most of the time, I'll be tan enough that I don't change colors so easily. I mean, I wouldn't mind being part chameleon if I could control what colors I turn and when. But unfortunately, I can't.

Know what else? I kinda wish I could whittle. I also kinda wish I had an artistic bone in my body so that if I knew how to whittle, I might actually be able to whittle something decent. I mean, I know how to draw, but that doesn't mean I can. Make sense?

Yeah. Kay.

I should write a story again one of these days. And I mean a good story, not some make-it-up-as-you-go, inspired-by-a-random-writing-prompt story. Actually... maybe I should edit and expand this story I wrote about five years ago.... Now I look back on it, Matt and Bill show some promise as characters... once they're three-dimensionalized a little bit.

Anyway.

Now it's almost ten, and I have to work bright and early tomorrow. Wish I could write about today's incident at work, but it's probably some type of government secret I'm not allowed to disclose. Pity, that. You can just speculate and wonder and use your imaginations.

The end.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Let's talk about something else

Okay, I promised a blog update, so here goes...

Hm... Well, I went to Anchorage the other day. Nice relaxing drive, but shopping gives me such a bad headache it's not even funny. Shopping and watching TV both. I hate it I hate it I hate it. I intended to buy a keyboard with a pedal while I was up there, cuz wow do I miss my piano. But... well... long story short, I didn't. Maybe with luck, I'll go up again sometime before the road gets too icy for me to drive on.

There's termination dust on the mountains. It's not too far down yet, but I hear it will be next week. Oooo, excitement!

Know what else is exciting? I have pants that actually fit me! Like, they go down past my ankles, which for some reason, my last two remaining unstained, unripped pairs didn't. Furthermore, I actually have blue jeans again, and they're comfortable, and they actually look pretty good on me. At least, I think they do. Not that it really matters, I guess.

I finished the book The Redemption of Althalus today. Very good storyline, and very witty. Unfortunately, all the characters had almost the same personality, and also, the good guys were always winning, so there was never any suspense or real danger. And the author had an annoying habit of pairing off every single character in the book without any real romantic anything. I mean, I'm really not into romance at all, but if it's going to be there, at least you should show them trying to impress each other somehow, ya know? Hero saves damsel in distress? Girl really wants guy but he's not interested so she has to find a way to get his attention? There has to be some kind of effort involved! Everything in this book was so easy for everyone. Even the romantic pairings, they were just "Oh, this guy and this girl are there. Let's pair them off." And they look at each other and it's love at first sight and poof! suddenly they're an item. How undramatic. Maybe I'm just still annoyed at the fact that people tend to forget everyone else once they find their significant other. Not that it matters. Let's talk about something else now.

I was going to go pay bills today, but turns out the place was closed when I swung by (I had some questions and figured I might as well just go in person). So instead of turning around and going home, I sat on the beach and finished reading my book. Well, it's actually Rye's book. Whatever. Interesting thing--I can actually tell whether it's high tide or low tide even from a distance. It's an acquired skill I spent forever honing. ...That's a lie. I just looked at it and said "Oh look. High tide," and then found a rock to sit on and read my book. But that's not very impressive, now, is it?

Hm... what else? Well, winter hours have started. It's very very relaxed around here. Even the people who work at the front desk laugh and joke more than I've ever heard them do. They were teasing about making prank calls to the rooms. Or housekeeping knocking on the door and asking "Is your refrigerator running?" Bahaha! That'd be great.

I want my hair to hurry up and get long again. It's at that obnoxious length right now that makes people say "Oh, your hair is so cute like that!" but that makes me say "Ugh, I hate it this length." I would just lop it off again... but I got a letter from Rusty a month ago, so I have to grow it out at least a little longer. If he starts actually writing regularly, I can't very well keep cutting it. Of course, it being Rusty...

Whatever. Let's talk about something else.

I want to build a bookshelf. Except I know that if I did, I probably wouldn't be able to get it back to Utah next year, and it'd be a shame to throw it away. Well... I guess I may be able to find someone who wants it... if I do a good job. O' course, I don't know if I even have room for one. And I'd have to build it in the grounds building or something, because if I built it in my room, I'm sure someone would complain about the noise level.

That's about all I can think of to say at this point. I hope this pacifies the masses that haven't given up checking my blog for updates periodically. Maybe sometime soon I'll start writing again. Maybe I'll even start writing stories. I should write a whole series of lint monkey stories. I kind of liked Fefnik, personally....

Toodles!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Pickles

Okay, so I kind of felt like writing a story.... Just a short story, with no real point. It gave me something to do, anyway. So here you go, if you were interested in reading it. I'm not the most skilled writer because I'm out of practice, and yes, I know it's my fault. Anyway, I had someone give me an idea, and they said it had to start with the words "I wish someone had told me..." and I couldn't go back and erase or change anything.

*****

I wish someone had told me about the pickles.

I never liked pickles to begin with. They smell horrifying and, although I've never touched one to my tongue, probably taste worse. They look awful, with their slimy, warty, sickly-green skin. The green juice in pickle jars always makes me wonder just what sort of animal has urinated in it, and what it had been drinking beforehand. Just the sound of the word “pickle” is enough to make me cringe in disgust.

Fortunately, it's not a problem I commonly face. When I buy a cheeseburger, of course, I always have to make sure to ask if it comes with pickles, and if so, could they kindly be removed. Other than that, pickles don't play a large part in today's society. I worry about them about as much as you might worry about suddenly being struck in the face by a particularly large cow patty filled with Chap-stick tubes. Well, maybe I worry a little more than that, but you see my point, I hope.

So when I started my karate lessons, the thought of pickles was about as far from my mind as a flying cantaloupe on Mars. I mean, okay, maybe I did have occasional nightmares of nunchakus with pickles instead of wood, but who doesn't, ya know?

My karate instructor, Sensei Getz, told me over and over that I had to toughen up. “What are you made of, jelly?” he would roar at me while I did weak kattas. “That didn't sound like a yell to me!” he would tell me as I punched the air. “Repeat after me: AAAAIYY!!!!!!!”

“Aiy!” I tried, punching my fist into the air.

“AAAAIYY!!!!!!”

“Aiy,” I repeated, punching with the other hand.

Sensei Getz positioned himself right in front of me and punched, stopping his fist an inch from my nose. “AAAAAIYYYYY!!!!!!!!”

I jumped backwards and fell on my rear. Sensei roared with laughter. “Get up, boy, and put more spirit into it!” He turned on his heel and left me to my practice.

The next day, my weak yell hadn't improved much. Sensei tried screaming at me. He tried pummeling me. He tried humiliating me. But my yelling didn't improve. I just plain didn't see the point of yelling while punching my fist into empty air.

Friday morning, Sensei came into the dojo and walked straight over to me. Looking me in the eye, he said, “What makes you want to scream, boy?”

Sighing inwardly, I tried not to look as annoyed about his persistence as I felt. “Sir?”

“Are you scared of spiders?”

“Uh... no, sir.”

“Hm. Snakes?”

“No, sir.”

“Worms?”

“No, sir.”

He gave me a disappointed look. “What disgusts you, boy? What is the most revolting thing you can imagine? What makes you want to shudder and retch just by thinking about it?”

“The thought of you ever getting married, sir.”

That comment earned me fifty laps around the dojo, but it was totally worth the stunned expression on the sensei's face. It took me all of practice to finish those laps, and by the time I had finished and collapsed in a red-faced, panting heap at my mother's feet, the other students had been gone for over an hour, leaving my mom and the sensei to “talk.”

To my surprise, Mom didn't say anything about my mouthiness on the way home, or that evening, or even the next morning. I knew better than to breach the subject myself, of course, so I just pretended nothing had happened as well as I could with muscles that screamed in pain from all running too much.

It was several days before I was mobile enough to make it to karate practice. I stumbled in late, having hastily put on my gee and the white belt with two yellow stripes on the end symbolizing my completion of the two beginner's kattas. All the other students were already at work by the balance bar, strengthening their kicks.

The sensei had obviously decided I was a special case. An evil grin spread across his face when he saw me. He made me do twenty push-ups for being late, and then dragged me to the back of the room with him.

“Ten punches. Now!” he ordered.

“Yes, sir!” I yelled. I dropped into a wide stance, hands in chamber position, and punched.

Sensei pushed me, and I fell back a step. “Yell!”

“Yes, sir!” I pulled my hand back and punched again. “Aiy!”

Sensei pushed again. “Yell!”

Punch. “Aiy!”

“Yell!”

Punch. “Aiyy!”

Sensei shook his head. “Wait there.” He walked off, and I straightened up as I waited for him. He was back in moments, carrying a large jar of pickles.

That was five years ago. I'm now a third degree black belt. My yells can be heard three buildings away from the dojo. But to this day, they sound less like “AAAAAIYY!!!” than “EEEEWWWWW!!!”

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Meh

Why am I hungry? All the frikkin' time? I just ate three hours ago, and now my stomach won't stop growling at me, "I want spicy food, I want spicy food." Spicy?! I ate hot salsa for breakfast this morning! Isn't that enough spicy for one day??? But nooo! "I want those jalapeno cheese rolls they have at Safeway," my stomach whines.

"Tomorrow for lunch," I promise it. "I'm done eating for today."

"But I want it noooowww!" whines my stomach.

Sheesh.

I successfully threw my hat in a cup full of laundry soap today. As a result, I had to go without wearing my hat until I did my laundry.

...I have clean clothes now. Heh.

That's about all, I guess. Toodles!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

End of season for reals

I spent a few hours today cleaning up my room really well. It still needs to be vacuumed, but I cleaned up a lot of crap, moved Dawnee's bed out of the way a bit, wiped down some stuff, and took over Dawnee's drawers so mine aren't overly crammed. I threw away a boatload of boxes that were sitting in the middle of the floor--I don't know where they came from or why they were there.... All in all, I'd say my room looks pretty good right now. Strut strut strut.

There was another end-of-season work party today, except this time it's really the end of the season. And Dean was there. Dean is my boss's boss's boss's boss. Big important guy. Oh, yeah, and we got to eat free steaks and baked potatoes. There was free beer too, provided by housekeeping. We still have boxes upon boxes of beer people left behind this summer. Of course, I stuck with root beer because it doesn't smell like moose pee. And I didn't take a steak either because I stuffed myself too full with salad, garlic bread, and a monstrously huge baked potato while I was waiting for the steaks to cook. I haven't even seen Idaho potatoes as big as these monsters!

I spent the morning following Rye around and checking the rooms. We've got a conference of big wigs coming in, and Rye wanted to make sure the rooms were done right. Especially the room we put Dean in. We practically white-gloved that one. Wow. But since yesterday was the last day of the season, we were finished by 12:30 today. We were late to the party, but we still got plenty of food. And man, that steak was just WOW. (I didn't take one, but Laura gave me some of hers because she was in a hurry to leave for class.) It was marinated in whiskey and I don't know what else they did to it, but it was sooo goooood. I'm not even a real big steak person--I've had it maybe half a dozen times in my whole life, I think.

The people I was sitting with kept switching in and out. First I sat with Laura, then Priscilla joined us, then Laura left, then Rye came, then Priscilla left, then Tracy came, then Eric came, then Rye left, then Priscilla came back, then Tracy left... crazy-go-nuts. Eric likes to talk a lot, and he sounded a lot like Dad when he was telling me about what it's like up here in the winter. ;P I'll let you decide what that means.

I also finished reading Elantris today--finally. Now I can start reading Mistborn! Wahoo!!!!

That's all. Vanya sulie! Toodles!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Last Day of the Season... and pictures!

I really need to get rid of my facebook account. I'm getting sick of constantly getting invitations to groups I don't care about and people I've never heard of asking if we can be friends. "Hi, I was in your American Heritage class your first semester of college! Yeah, there were 2000 people in the class, but I was one of them! Let's be friends!" Uh... yeah, sure! Best buddy!

Today was the last day of the season, meaning one of the busiest days of the year. It was nice stripping out the rooms, because we moved faster than I've moved all summer. In my opinion, that's what work really should be like--real work, none of this dilly-dallying around.

There was a squirrel by the 100s this afternoon who had both his back legs broken. It was real sad--there was still nothing we could do except hope the thing doesn't die too painfully. Apparently, there's no animal shelter around here where we can take him.

Speaking of squirrels, you know what's weird? The squirrels up here aren't the gray squirrels I'm used to from Virginia. They're red squirrels, about a third the size and much much louder. I've never heard a gray squirrel make a noise, but the little red squirrels here never shut up. Not that I mind. I like squirrels.

I made Beth speechless today for nearly three solid minutes. It was frikkin' hilarious, but I'm never going to live it down now. We were folding sheets and she said they smelled good. I sniffed them and made a weird face and sniffed them again, and then smelled them in a different place, and then smelled them again until Beth said "Okay, stop sniffing the sheets!" I gave her a weird look at said, "They smell like Rye."

Man, I wish I'd had my camera! Beth gave me a reeeeeally weird look, and opened and closed her mouth a few times, and then made another weird face, and was speechless for a really long time while Priscilla giggled like a schoolgirl. Unfortunately, Beth told Rye I think he smells like a dryer sheet and now I'm never going to live it down. Even Laura found out and later mocked me.

Ah, Laura. I don't think I've ever written much about Laura. She works in grounds and is probably one of the coolest people ever. She's even less feminine than I am, she majored in Russian (I think), and is now going to school to learn to be a mechanic. She gets along famously with Beth and Rye and pops her head in occasionally to talk to us. She vents at Beth and flirts with Rye and helps Beth and Rye in their diligent attempts to corrupt me. She once asked me about my curse word vocabulary. "Crap and suck," I told her. "Bastard and damn, when I'm really mad. That's about it." "Man, we need to work on that," she told me.

After work today, the grounds people--Tracy, Eric, Frieda, and Laura--talked my ear off for about ten or fifteen minutes. Apparently, the snow berms get enormous in the winter, even in southern Alaska. Eric and Tracy say they get bigger than the RVs here, and that digging a snow cave is a piece of cake. I tried digging snow caves in the blizzard of '96 in Virginia, but two feet of snow just wasn't enough. They also say that when it warms up, rains, then freezes again, they have to break apart the snow with a chainsaw. I wonder if I could talk Jewel in to letting me help in grounds for a few hours a week to make up for the not-forty-hour weeks in the wintertime. I also wonder if anyone will object if I make snow sculpture guard dogs outside my door.

I intend to get some books about auto mechanics and other such useful stuff to learn for the winter, though knowing me, it won't actually happen. Well, it might. I'm running out of books to read in the library here, WoW is starting to get (dare I say it?) a little boring, since I spend most of my time farming gold and rep and waiting for people to join our guild so we can someday raid Karazhan, and watching TV is boring and gives me a headache because of the high-pitched squeal TVs give off. Besides, learning useful stuff is... well... useful. Maybe if I learn both auto mechanics and chemistry, I can come up with a realistic alternative to using gasoline. Apparently, there have been at least two or three that came up, but the stupid oil companies bought the patent and shelved it so they keep making money. Idiots. The ideas still required the use of oil, which is a non-renewable resource. Well, it's renewable, but it takes millions of years, so it's not really renewable. Ugh, self-serving, wasteful idiots.

Anywho. That's about all for now, I guess. I'll go ahead and upload a few pictures from Mount Marathon and a bad one of me and Laura. Vanya sulie.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

P-day... no, wait... B-day...

Happy birthday to me, I have my own room again!

First, I finally got the title for my car. Then, my coworkers threw my a birthday party, complete with flames, balloons, hot dogs, chips, fruit punch, ice cream, and a chocolate cake that had candles and said "Happy birthday Lint Monkey" on it. Sue got me some Dove chocolate (dark chocolate in various flavors--the best ever!) and Dawnee got me a box of my favorite kind of Pop-tarts: Brown sugar cinnamon!

I got my car registered and got insurance for it and everything and didn't have time for much else before Dawnee got off work. So we loaded her stuff in the car and drove up to Anchorage, where we met up with Brian, went to Dairy Queen, went to Barnes & Noble (I bought myself the book Mistborn, which is by Brandon Sanderson--the same guy who wrote Elantris), then went back to Dairy Queen for reals this time before I dropped Dawnee off at the airport.

I got a lot of phone calls today, as I expected. Being busy, I didn't even get to answer all the phone calls I got. It was good to hear from my family, though.

Oh, and pretty much EVERYONE at the resort knew it was my birthday. Even Cordi and Toby and Aaron said "Happy birthday" as soon as they saw me. I was stunned and astounded and, I must admit, flattered.

Anywho, having spent over six hours driving today, and it being 1:20 in the morning, and knowing that I have to wake up in six hours, I'm going to abandon everything else I planned on saying in favor of zonking for the night. Tomorrow I intend to clean and reorganize my room after work. La! Thrills! Maybe I'll tell you about my trek up Mt Marathon soon and upload pictures and all. If I find the time and don't drown in my books. (I wanted to buy a book called Electricity Simplified, but Brian wouldn't let me. I also wanted to get Organic Chemistry Simplified and Advanced Calculus Simplified and another Simplified book that had something to do with machines. I am such a geek.)

Toodles! Snooooore....