Sunday, May 31, 2009

Hiking

I got new hiking boots, finally. :) They're comfy, and they look coolish, and they're totally waterproof. Today I went hiking by Exit Glacier and intentionally stepped in a stream to see how waterproof my boots were. When I took my foot out, there wasn't any sign that I had just stepped in water up to my ankles at all. This pleases me.

The hike was nice. As usual, I went farther than I probably should have, but I made it home all right. And I got to see a marmot and three bunnies. The marmot was just kind of chilling on the trail and didn't move until I was about three feet away from him, at which point he casually sauntered away as if it had been his idea all along. All of the animals were mottled brown and white because they're still shedding their winter coats. Coolish.

I kind of wonder why it is that there aren't more religions that stress the importance of going out in nature. Aren't there some Chinese or Japanese religions that involve going out in nature by yourself? Maybe I'll study those next.

That's all for now.

Also, I can't believe I forgot to bring my camera.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Ooo, flowers! :D

I guess it's been a few days, huh? I had a pretty lousy weekend. Long story short, I got in a big fight with Peter. Also, I got turned down for the part-time jobs I applied for. And Rye has to work evening shifts, and on his days off, I'm working the evening shift, which further complicates finding a second job.

But things are looking up again. Peter and I made up, I gave Andrew my D&D books so he can start putting together a campaign for the summer, and I've decided that instead of a second part-time job, I'm going to go nuts applying for scholarships. So far, I'm not having much luck, though. I found one where I could potentially get a $100 scholarship if I write a good enough essay about the book Atlas Shrugged... but it hardly seems worth the time, since I would have to acquire and read the book first, and IF I win, it's only $100, which would almost buy one textbook. There are a few contests for "innovative ideas," but assuming I'm one of the top ten or so, I would have to take off of school to travel somewhere and give an oral presentation about my idea, which I kind of want to say isn't worth it. I can't give an oral presentation to save my life, and basically, unless I'm the only person who bothers to enter, I won't get it.

I repotted Maexxie the other day and had some dirt left over. Rye's plants were in dire need of repotting, so today after work, I brought in my dirt and kept Rye company during his evening shift and helped him repot his plants. They're all happily settled in bigger pots, and I got to bring home two of Maexxie's baby brothers, who I named Loatheb and Gerald Fluffikins the Third. I put Loatheb in Maexxie's old pot (he's actually Siamese twins, like his sister), and tomorrow I'm going to go downtown and acquire another pot for Gerald Fluffikins the Third. He's hanging out in a styrofoam cup for now. I should also pick up another pot or two for Maexxie's babies. She has two or three, although they seem a little young to leave their mommy yet.


I also went on a hike by myself a few days ago, and thoroughly enjoyed myself. It's so relaxing, being by yourself in the middle of nowhere, listening to the sounds of nature: flowing water, birds, the wind in the trees, distant avalanches, whatever.

I had forgotten just what it felt like being in the wilderness; it just feels right, to me. That's the only way I know how to describe it.

Lastly, I leave you with a story--

Today, I was making beds with Julia, who is a high school girl working here this summer. As we finished, I asked her to turn on the lamp that was on the nightstand by the bed. She turned the knob on the lamp: Click! Nothing. Click! Nothing. Click!

"It's not coming on," she frowned.

"Ahem, no worries. I'LL fix it!" I said, flexing my linty monkey muscles. I approached the lamp stealthily, pounced on the cord, followed it down to the plug, and discovered it was unplugged. "Aha! Here's the problem!" I proclaimed as I plugged it in.

"Oh wow," Julia said to her best friend, Breann, as I peered critically at the bulb. "I've been having so many blond moments lately."

Just then, I turned on the lamp. While I was still staring at the bulb. "AIIIIEEEEEE!!!!!! OWOWOWOWOW IT BURRRRRNSSSS!!!!!!!!"

"....Okay, I'm not that bad," Julia said.

Rotten kids, mocking my pain.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Today sucked

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

update

I've been trying to install Linux on my laptop to no avail. Ubuntu refuses to work, even when I manually download the video drivers, Fedora refuses to even start up, OpenSUSE is a 4GB download and I have a 5GB monthly limit that I'm not willing to sacrifice eighty percent of in one go, and since I got the computer five percent formatted while I was trying to get Ubuntu to work, the laptop is pretty well unusable at the moment. This is a shame, because I still have no computer desk, and using a desktop computer on the floor gets pretty uncomfortable pretty quickly. Good thing I have books and juggling gear and chores to keep me entertained.

I applied for a few jobs yesterday, and was also given the option to work an evening housekeeper shift, which seems ludicrous to me. The evening housekeeper would work from 1pm to 10pm, and would basically help the normal housekeepers in the afternoon, and then sit around doing nothing until 10pm on the off-chance that a guest calls and wants their toilet scrubbed or their sheets changed or something. Seems like a nice opportunity to get some books read or something, I guess. So I applied for a few morning shift jobs in addition to evening jobs, since it seems I have first dibs on the evening shift if I want it. The plus side is that I would get a guaranteed 40 hours a week, and possibly even night differential. The down side is that I would only get to work with my friends for a few hours a day, and they're the main reason I'm down here, a few hundred miles away from my Boy. That and because Seward is such a nicer place than Fairbanks. But that aside.... We'll see what happens.

I repotted Maexxna today in a slightly bigger, but much flimsier, pot than before. I tried to separate her from her Siamese twin, but they would have none of it. She's starting to sprout children, so I'm planning on putting the first one in her old pot for Peter. (The original plan was to separate her from her twin and put her in one pot and her twin in the other, but nooooo!)

I've had a roommate for almost a week now, I think, but her boyfriend is working here too, so I see her for only about half an hour a day. She has yet to actually sleep in here, so I essentially have my own room. She seems really nice, though, and so does her boyfriend.

Work is fun and relaxed. Nobody's fighting much yet, and we have little to do, so we can goof off a bit. Mike is nice enough, and he makes sure our work gets done right, but he's a little nuts. I guess you could say he tries too hard, but part of the problem is that he doesn't listen. He's indecisive in that he makes a decision about how to do something, changes his mind three times while he's telling you what his idea is, changes his mind again the next day, and then a day or two after that, sees someone doing it the way we've been doing it all along and says that's a wonderful idea and we should do it like that after all. It amuses me. :D

Hm, what else? I've been practicing juggling a little, but have been working on muscle memory for my old tricks rather than trying to learn new ones. I haven't been practicing as much as I would like because when I drop a ball in my room, it echoes really loudly, so I have to play outside. But it's often muddy outside, and I don't want to get the balls muddy.

So yeah. Not much to do yet. The lady at Christo's said the guy in charge of hiring would be in Thursday evening, so if I haven't heard from him by Friday, I'll go on down and ask. I'll probably have to go get some nicer clothes, though.

That's not really all there is to say, but my arms are aching from trying to type while stretched out on my stomach on a hard floor, so I'm stopping now. Toodles!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Quidnunc

I was up later than I intended last night because I went to a bonfire, set up by the people in the barracks. Even though I knew there would be alcohol (I try to avoid large groups of people getting drunk if I can), I decided to go because it seemed like a good chance to meet some of the people I'll be sharing a common room with. The more names I know, the less awkward I'll feel when I cook or do laundry, I suppose.

The bonfire was actually pretty fun. Marty and Scott were playing guitar while Blake played on an indian drum with them, and they sang along. It sounded pretty good. I learned eight or ten names, and spent some time talking to half a dozen people.

Gwen, the lady who wanted to turn me in to the police for assault and battery last year because I purportedly knocked her unconscious with a pillow and gave her a three-day headache (she did try to get me fired, which didn't work, obviously), has apparently not forgotten me, or forgiven me. According to at least two different people, as soon as she learned I was coming back, she went off about how I had beaten her last year and she couldn't believe they were letting me come back and blah blah blah, talking about it nonstop to whoever would listen. I'm a little annoyed, but it's not like she can do any real harm, since the only people whose opinions of me I care about are too smart to listen to her. At least she's more or less staying out of my way, since she's working in grounds this year, and I'm still in housekeeping.

Rye rented the movies Bolt, Stoned Age, and Journey to the Center of the Earth. We watched the second two today, and they were both fantastic. Saving Bolt for tomorrow, because two movies in one day is more than enough for me.

I also promised Peter I would start drinking soy milk instead of normal milk. So when I was at Safeway, I got soy milk, rice milk, and almond milk. So far, I like the almond milk best. Not a big fan of the rice milk. Soy milk is better than rice, but not as good as almond. And that's my two cents.

This post has been brought to you by the word quidnunc.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Seward ho!

It's been a while since my last update, mainly because it's been a while since I've had internet. Finals were a bit hectic, and then packing was even more hectic. The drive down was pretty relaxing except for the fact that I was enormously sleep deprived--in the three weeks before I left Fairbanks, I averaged about two to three hours of sleep a night except for the nights when I was so exhausted that I don't remember ever hearing my alarm. I was actually afraid that the alarm feature on my phone was broken somehow. So on the drive down, I found myself falling asleep at the wheel several times. I thought about pulling off the road and taking a nap because I refuse to die by car accident, but I was already four hours later getting started than I wanted, and besides, sleeping by a main highway doesn't seem very safe to me, even if you're in your car. So I rolled down my window, turned on cold air conditioning, turned the music to the most upbeat songs I had, and made sure to shift my eyes around a lot when I was starting to space out from staring at the road. I even slapped myself in the face a couple times. Not hard enough to bruise! Sheesh!

I made it to Seward at about 8:30 last night. I didn't recognize any of the evening desk attendants, but they seemed pretty friendly and competent. The girl, Jen, seems like the least ditzy front desk girl I've met so far. She checked me into my room and told me about my roommate, who will apparently be moving here in about two weeks. Supposedly she's 18 years old and seems pretty irresponsible so far. I guess time will tell.

I'm in the Barracks this year: one of only four girls living there, including Jen. This is my first time in the Barracks--the three summers I worked here before this, I was up in room 417, which is nice and private, but could also be referred to as "solitary confinement," since I live on the resort, but am kind of tucked away from all the other employees who live here. The Barracks is kind of dorm-style living with only one desk. My room is actually missing its desk because it was nicked a while ago for the computer in the common room. Jen said she'd get one moved in for me from 501, but it hasn't happened yet. Oh well, I don't mind sitting on the floor too much.

Rye was really nice and helped me carry my stuff in from the car yesterday. It was funny when I first saw him, because he tried to sound all gruff, saying he hadn't even noticed I was gone, but he had this big grin on his face that he was trying unsuccessfully to hide.

I have a new boss this year, Mike. Jen says that means that Rye isn't actually my boss anymore, although he has more authority because he's worked here longer. So he's just my coworker now. How weird! I bet he's pretty happy about it, since he often said he didn't like being in charge anyway.

Mike seems pretty cool so far. He made a few changes, many of which Beth apparently doesn't like. Mike seems a little terrified of Beth, which totally cracks me up!

We got new golf carts, which is awesome, because our last ones were PoS's. We also got new washers and dryers, which seem pretty similar to the old ones, except the washers take up less space, so there's tons more room to fold laundry now.

Other than that, not too much else seems new. I'm really enjoying the Barracks so far. Well, in most ways. My room is right beside the common room, so I'm probably going to be kept awake often by people getting drunk and watching violent movies. But the room is nice and spacious. The beds are small (twin extra long, or something), which I like (big beds take up valuable floor space, in my opinion), and I have four drawers under my bed, a nightstand, an armoire, and a fridge and microwave. Well, actually, the microwave is broken, so I need to talk to Toby about getting it replaced, probably. The fridge is a nice big one, though. Unfortunately, whoever was in this room last didn't clean it before leaving, so everything's a little nasty, and it smells pretty bad. If I were feeling a little less lazy, I would go get some chemicals and rags and clean everything up real well. Maybe tomorrow.

I'm going to go apply for evening jobs in a few days. My extended period of sleep deprivation got to me, and I've been feeling a little under the weather lately, so I want to take it easy for a few days. ...Hmmm, where did the expression "under the weather" come from? Weird!

Anyway, I thought I wasn't going to like having the communal bathroom down the hall, but so far, it's not half bad. There are two sinks, two toilets, and two showers. Normally, I feel really uncomfortable taking showers in public places, but when I went in to take a shower this morning, I noticed a few things that make it way better. First of all, when you enter the shower area of the bathroom, there's a sheet you can pull across the doorway so you don't have to display your naked body to everyone who happens to walk into the restroom while you're undressing. Also, since there are only four girls in the Barracks, and we all have different work schedules, we'll probably rarely be showering at the same time, so there's more privacy than I had expected, which is nice. Then I discovered ten massive lockers where we can store our soap and stuff so we don't have to lug that back and forth every time. In addition to that, the water pressure here is wonderful! The water is soft, but the pressure is so high that it's like having a massage at the same time as a shower. But it's not so high that it hurts, which is nice.

So yeah, I approve. It's also going to be nice only having to walk down the hall to do my laundry instead of having to lug it all the way across the resort. Plus, I can bother Rye whenever I feel like it.

Oh yeah, Rye's roommate is really big into Dungeons and Dragons! He said he was a DM for years, so we only need one or two more people and we can probably get a campaign going this summer! How awesome would that be???

Okay, I'm going to guess that this post is long enough to make up for having neglected you all for a week, yes? I hope so, because I'm going to go finish my book now. Type more later. Toodles!

This post has been brought to you by the word Menzoberranzan.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Why is finals week the most relaxing time of this semester?

I've been seriously enjoying the last few days. I got my history done, and am pretty positive I pulled off at least a B in the course. All I have left are two midterms (one on Friday and one on Saturday) that I expect will be easy-peasy, particularly since we're allowed to make cheat sheets for both of them. So instead of stressing and studying my brains out and rushing to get in late assignments, I've spent the last two days devouring the books I've been wanting to read for the last few weeks and haven't had the time. Not literally devouring them, like eating them, obviously, but devouring them figuratively, as in disappearing into them, reading through them quickly and thoroughly enjoying every moment of them. I only have 150 more pages to go before I run out of book and have to ask Quinby what the next books in the series are so I can go acquire them.

Today I made chocolate cake. It was pretty fantastic. If you ever get Hershey's cocoa powder (the unsweetened baking stuff), there are two recipes printed on the back: one is for chocolate cake and the other is for frosting. Make them. It's pretty much the most delectable chocolate cake in the world, meaning delicious even if I'm the one baking it.

I got a new glasses prescription today. Well, I got the prescription yesterday, and I got the lenses today. The optometrist said my eyes are very healthy (although the last optometrist said I have astigmatism) but my prescription got "a bit worse." I haven't gotten a new prescription in four years, so I'm not at all surprised. The lady at Image Optical (the place where they cut my lenses) said that my prescription had almost doubled. So now I'm a little disoriented like I always am when I get new lenses, but once I get used to them, it's going to be sweet being able to see again! When Peter was driving me back from the glasses place, I realized for the first time that the stuff they caked the roads with on Tanana Drive was gravel, not sand. I could see the individual rocks, even! Pretty epic. :)

So I have stuff to do, still. I ought to start packing and cleaning, and of course studying and preparing my cheat sheets for my exams. But you know what? Forget it. I'm going to finish my book first. So there.

This post has been brought to you by the word hypengyophobia.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Luck of the Irish

I decided to give in and accept the sunlight up here, since I won't be seeing much of it in Seward. I can't believe I leave in a week--I'm partly excited and partly sad. I would be wholly excited if it weren't for Peter, I think. That punk.

So anyway, I spent almost two hours out in the sunlight today, which may not seem like much, but considering I've had virtually no sun for two years, it's kind of a lot. Besides, I don't think getting a sunburn sounds like a very pleasant idea.

Yesterday, I went to Peter's place for an Irish-themed potluck dinner. We had rabbit and two dishes I can't remember the names of that were based on (guess what) potatoes. There were also some really good scones and garlic bread, and dessert was a chocolate mousse pie with whipped cream on top and Irish Cream mixed in. I have to say, I enjoyed Irish Cream in hot chocolate when I tried it so many months ago, but I like chocolate mousse better without it. Maybe it was a different brand or something, but the taste was a little too strong for me.

After our stomachs settled, a girl named Deanna (who is apparently "Irish American") taught us Irish step-dancing. Well, some of us. Of the eleven people there, only about five of us were young/spry/daring enough to try it, and by the end of the lesson, Peter and Deanna and I were the only ones that hadn't given up. I'm not much of a dancer; in fact, I usually feel self-conscious and ridiculous when I try to dance, but Irish step-dancing came completely naturally to me, and within an hour, I had learned the full dance while everyone who hadn't given up yet was still working on hop-step-step-step. Deanna started teaching me a different one that she said is normally only taught to people after they've been dancing for a year and a half. I expect that she was partly just being nice, but it made me feel good anyway. (From having taught people juggling tricks so often, I'm well familiar with the tactic of telling someone they're doing well: it gives them confidence, which helps them learn faster.)

After that, one of the people there asked how Peter and I met, and as we told the story, I mentioned the words "juggling club" and immediately, he demanded to be shown some juggling tricks. So I showed off a bit and then offered to teach him. Peter and I never did get to finish our story, but that's all right.

After that, everyone left except Peter, Peter's friend Robert, and Peter's landlord, Jim. (And myself.) Jim taught us how to play Cribbage. Then Robert left, and Jim went to bed, and Peter and I went downstairs for some boxing practice. I already had sweat literally dripping off my face from the Irish step-dancing, but I enjoy martial arts, and Peter's a great teacher. Even though he did punch me square in the face and tell me it was because my nose is too soft. (In reality, I think it was a reminder that I dropped my front hand too low.) So my muscles are killing me today. But it's a good kind of hurt.

This post has been brought to you by the word ramfeezled.