rensong: (Stark - Bored Now)
* Saturday, Nov. 19 - Monday, Nov. 21 - let myself be convinced to go spend the weekend up in the wilds of the Northwoods without any running water or - at least on our side of the cabin - central heat with my friend Ethan and some of his family. It was kind of nice in it's own way; super pretty up there with the snow that started falling pretty thickly just after we arrived, and hey, who am I to protest the chance to spend the entire weekend reading guilt-free. It was very cold, however, and the sauna they use to clean up and bucket-shower was swarming with flies, which isn't fun when you're wet and naked. On the bright side, at least I didn't have to go four days without washing my hair like I did when we went up camping on Mt. Ranier.

* Tuesday - didn't do much as I was rather exhausted after three days without sleep (don't sleep - or eat much, come to think of it - well when I travel), though I did go into work for a Water Aerobics drop-in class in the evening. With the YMCA not running any programs this past week due to Thanksgiving, I figured I could use every bit of extra on my paycheck I could possibly manage.

* Wednesday - bit of cleaning, and then I took Buddy to the Marshfield dog park, and was pleased to discover he seemed to get on well with the other dogs. Kind of shy and came running back to me to "hide" pretty often, and he was drooling so much he looked a bit rabid, but no barking, growling or snapping from him or the other dogs, hurray! Might try and do it again soonish - the poor boy loves to play, but we're never around to play with him.

* Thursday, Nov. 24 - TURKEY DAY! - Rode down to Ripon with my parents and my brother Ben to have Thanksgiving Dinner with a good chunk of Mom's side of the family. Had dinner at a catering place owned by a high school friend of Mom's instead of Gramma M going crazy trying to have it at their place again. Ate entirely too much (but less than I usually do at these sort of things) and caught up a bit with aunts, uncles, and cousins.

* Friday - cleaning like a mad cleaning thing, getting ready to host about a two-thirds of my dad's family for that side's Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday.

* Saturday, Nov. 26 - Dad and I were crazy busy in the morning trying to get everything cooked (I was charged with the green bean casserole, twice-baked potatoes, fruit salad, and getting the munchies set to go since we would be eating so late while Dad mostly focused on the cleaning and the sweet potatoes) and all the last minute cleaning accomplished before his oldest sister and her family arrived at around 12:30. Mom finished up the few work things she had and brought Gramma home with her around 1:30 pm and we were able to sit down to a late dinner by about 2:30. Caught up with cousins, ate too much again, and spent the rest of the evening watching movies (Tron: Legacy is awesome) and playing on my computer before crashing at 8:45ish because I was Just That Tired. Of course then I tossed and turned from 10pm to 1 or 2am because of my sorta nap beforehand, but such is life.

* Sunday, Nov. 27 (Today) - did two loads of laundry, otherwise? A whole lot of nothing. Watched another movie (The Tourist with Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie, where I totally spoiler ), but it was still fun and I'd watch it again and hey, who am I to turn down two such pretty, pretty people together on one screen?


Back to work tomorrow, alas, but I'm very sure my bank account will thank me. Speaking of bank accounts, note to self - You WILL go on another job-applying spree tomorrow afternoon before work. We really, really DO NOT NEED to go any further into debt than we already are.
rensong: (sleepy kitty)
Facebook is stealing what I would otherwise spam on LJ.

So - in brief - an update

* Friday, Nov 11 - spent a good chunk of the day driving around with Dad. He had a meeting with a guy who hit it rather big in the Ethanol sales in the early-to-mid 2000s... and then he got Too Big, and government types (not just senators and the like, we're talking DNR and Forestry Department, even the DOT) did everything they possibly could to bury him. Depressing to hear, but informative and now hopefully we can learn from his mistakes and wiggle around some of the confinements on Ethanol production. We're also never going to "go big", which is hopeful because everyone pretty much left him along until he started making too much money.

* Saturday, Nov 12 - while playing with the dog, Buddy managed to jab a stick into my right eye. It was red and gunky and irritating the rest of the weekend, which pretty much killed my motivation to do anything else. On the bright side, it was almost totally better by Monday, and generally back to normal yesterday, so hurray for the healing power of the ocular orbs!

* This coming weekend, Nov 18-21 - fair to middling chance I'll be heading up nort' to do some camping with a friend of mine. Bright side - his family owns a rustic cabin in Nicolet National Forest, complete with wood stoves and bunk-beds. Down side - no electric or running water, so my hair is going to be driving me nuts. I predict lots of braided pigtails and hats in my future.
rensong: (Default)
* Last weekend (Oct 20-23) I was down in Tennessee for a very whirlwind tour of the Smoky Mountains. Gramma wanted to visit her sister Jean down there, so I was sent along as the adult supervision. As it was 40 and rainy up here and 65 and sunny down there... golly, they twisted my arm and I had to go or risk disappointing the Matriarch. No one wants to disappoint the Matriarch, right? ;) Awesome time seeing family I hadn't in years (and meeting a few of them for the first time), and bonus - they kept buying me food, too! Took a ton of pictures as it was peak fall color in the mountains and I even saw a bear.

* Saturday (Oct 29) was Halloween Shanagins in Point, but I didn't go because driving an hour in the dark to go bar hopping just didn't seem worth the effort. Kinda bummed i missed out on hanging with my Point friends (in costume, too), but it was kinda nice to just relax and chill and catch a movie with Kristin in Marshfield instead. For the record, Paranormal Activity 2 was a HUGE LET DOWN after all the hype I heard, but it had a few nice shocker moments.

* Yesterday (Halloween) I dressed as Marty from Back to the Future III and went to work. Nothing else going on, i just wanted to wear a costume. :D

And that is the extent of the excitement in my life the last two weeks.
rensong: (sleepy kitty)
Earlier this week I decided that whether I had anyone to go with or not, I was going to go up to Wisconsin Interstate Park this weekend and enjoy the fall colors. So I did, and I didn't even have to go by myself, hurrah! My friend Ethan joined me so the three hour drive wasn't as boring as it could've been as we are pretty good at maintaining conversations. Definitely made the trip seem to go faster, so yay for that.

Left about 9 am yesterday and Ethan asked to go to a flea market just outside of St. Croix Falls (where Interstate Park is). Spent a good hour or two there, at least a third of which was spent chatting up the gentlemen who had a really cool rock shop there. So cool, in fact, that I got a free 5 dollar petrified wood pendant from one of the guys. Granted, it was probably partially because Ethan left with at least $130 worth of rocks (that he got for $70 - must love Flea Market discounts!), but they also just really seemed to enjoy talking to some kindred spirits in the rock world. So that was pretty awesome.

Got to Interstate Park about quarter after 2 pm, and it was just as pretty as I knew it would be in Autumn. Walked three or four trails over the course of about 2.5/3 hours, took lots of pictures, and generally just really enjoyed myself. Left to head back home about 5:30ish and got back around 8:30ish. Ethan hung around until about 10:15 doing the jabber thing - like I said, it's rare that we ever lack anything to talk about - and then I proceeded to crash like a mad crashing thing by midnight (had to shower, after all, and stock the woodstove for the night) ... only to wake up at 4:30 am because I hadn't eaten anything in almost 12 hours and my tummy was very unhappy with me. But that's okay because I just curled up in my ugly fuzzy blue robe and a blanket, with some crackers and orange juice and an episode of Stargate SG-1 and then went back to bed for three an a half hours after I finished it.

Now I am lying on the couch in my PJs with Ancient Aliens on the TV and my computer in my lap. So far? Awesome weekend. Possibly to get even more awesome as my friend Beth from high school whom I haven't seen in almost two years is planning on paying Marshfield a visit at some point in the next three days, so there's a good chance I'll get to hang out with her for a bit, too.

(only downside of the weekend so far - I spent at least 80 bucks on gas and an additional 70 or so on groceries in the last three days, all of which went on my credit card. Ugh, money sucks)
rensong: (Default)
This weekend my friend Melissa from Minnesota and her hubby came for a camping trip down in Wisconsin Dells, and the invited me to join them. We hit the Lost Canyon tour which involved being driven through a small canyon carved out by the glaciers and/or glacial outwash during the last ice age by a team of horses. Super pretty and it made my glacial geology geek go squee in a big way. We also went to a deer park where we got to feed and pet lots of deer, and we rented a canoe for a few hours and paddled about a mile or two up the Wisconsin River and back down, stopping at a nice sandy beach to swim in our underwear for a bit.

Melissa's hubby had to work Sunday, so she and I spent the last night in our respective tents and had some Girl Time since they had the campground for the whole weekend. Went to an antiques and craft mall and happily got lost amongst the winding rows of Nifty Stuff for an hour or so, and because taking Melissa back with me would cut an additional two hours off the trip for when her husband, Tex, came back to retrieve her, we headed back to Marshfield early to mid afternoon. Spent about two hours searching for some quality deep fried cheese curds - had to give Melissa the full Wisconsin experience, after all - before we got lucky at Hudson's Grill, and because I wanted to kill some more time, took Melissa to Jurrustic Park and Powers Bluff as well before we headed back home. Timed it perfectly apparently, because Tex drove in like ten minutes after we arrived, so yay for getting the most out of her visit!

Anyway, had tons of fun and took lots of pictures the whole weekend and we totally need to do it again sometime.
rensong: (Sg-1 - Armed and Dangerous)
Yesterday was pretty great. Two of my friends, Kristin and Steve, got married in Madison, and with my limited finances I asked my friend Ethan if he was interested being my travel buddy so I could get a bit of help on gas. We'd been trying to figure out when and where to get together and catch up since I got home, so it seemed like a good opportunity. Then, the day before the wedding, my friend Tracy found out she could also attend, too, so she grabbed a ride as well! Three kind of hippy crafty geology-interested people in a car for three hours = WIN. Seriously, I don't think there were any stretches of non-conversation that lasted more than three minutes the entire trip there and back, and my voice was going scratchy because we were talking so much.

We got to Madison about 12:00, and since the wedding didn't start until 4:30, we had lots of time to hang out a bit and do the touristy thing, and Madison is a very good place to do a tourist thing. Walking down Dayton? Street right next to the capitol, we were able to cheer on the Walker protesters who are *still* marching on the capitol (don't let the rumors get to you - seriously, this is like the most polite protest I've ever seen or heard of. The protesters were standing out front of the capitol building singing hymns, for crying out loud! With an accordion accompanying them. It was kind of awesome) and camping on capitol hill, and there were four big wooden sheets right under one of the sculptures across the street from the front doors filled with personal messages from some of the people who had joined the protest over the months. I have pictures and I will post them probably before the end of the day.

Then we headed to the Wisconsin Historical Museum and spent a good chunk of the afternoon there, possibly annoying the other patrons a bit because we were jabbering so much about the nifty history stuff. I've probably been to the Wisconsin Historical Museum at least three or four times in my life, but it never, ever gets old. Wisconsin has so much cool stuff in its history, and I never get tired of seeing and reading about it.

Then it was time for the wedding at Olbrich Botanical Gardens. Despite clouds and rain in the morning and probably on the tail end of the reception dinner and dance, it did not rain, and the gardens were beautiful. Really going to have to go back there and check them out more throughly one of these days. Anyway, I got all dressed up and tossed on a little eye makeup for effect (and yes, there will be pictures eventually, but I kinda forgot my camera so I'm going to have to wait until I can mooch them off of my friends) and we went to find our seats. Ceremony was short and very warm-hearted with one of the nieces reciting a poem she wrote for the bride and groom, one of the aunts or grandmothers sang "You Raise Me Up", and Dustin did a very nice, heart-felt job with the whole ceremony (he was playing the part of the priest).

Then there was the reception dinner and I got to sit and talk with a bunch of my Point/Plover/Milwaukee friends for *two hours* and MANDY WAS THERE and it was awesome and we took lots more pictures. Dinner was probably fantastic, but I had no appetite so I mostly just had potatoes and a bun. Then the whole sucky part of the evening - lack of appetite unfortunately turned into some pretty significant nausea about an hour before we were planning on leaving, so I had to bail on my friends (boo) to go outside and try and see if fresh air and moving around helped any. It did, but the queasiness was persistent, and it was bad enough that I was seriously worried that the trip back home was going to be miserable. Ethan and Tracey stuck around long enough for cake - because damned if i was going to ruin the party for them if I didn't have to - and joined me outside at around 8ish, which is when we were planning on leaving to head back to Point and Marshfield.

Five minutes on the road? I was fine. What the hell, body? That was sooooooo not on. I wonder if it was just a combination of the press of bodies and the various scents and smells of food and perfume and cologne that got to me, but whatever, we all had a good time right up until I got queasy, then I hope they both had a good time up until only just before we were initially planning on leaving, so it's not like the night was a bust or anything - just the opposite, actually - I just wish I could've stuck around and enjoyed that last hour rather than walking in circles around the parking lot trying not to puke. Ugh, stupid body.

Anyway, conversation in the car back home was just as back and forth as it was on the way down, and we pulled into Stevens Point around 10 or 10:30ish to drop off Tracy, and I had Ethan back home by 11. Wild partiers we are not, though I imagine we all would've stayed longer at the wedding had the Mystery Illness not made a nuisance of itself. I was bummed, man! I hadn't seen Mandy in *forever*, and I hadn't seen Val and Melissa in almost as long and I was so excited to have the chance to catch up with them. I guess the two hour we *were* able to catch up a bit was better than nothing, though. And I totally got as much talking and jabber as I could've possibly hoped with Ethan and Tracy, so that was good.

Anyway, aside from the annoying nausea thing, the whole day was a blast and I am so glad I got to go see Kristin and Steve start their lives together!
rensong: (Default)
some tiny Castle spoilers )

In other news, I am home sweet home for the time being. Trip across country was blessedly uneventful aside from the general "whee, we're going on a road trip!" excitement. Weather got kinda iffy on Monday night, so we ended up driving all day in order to get back to Manda's place at least before a nasty winter storm rolled in. I spent the night on her couch, and then I managed to sneak the rest of the way home in the very brief clear corridor between two storm systems and made it to my parents place about an hour or before it started sleeting and the worst of the two storms hit. And *then* I got to stand on the porch and experience thunder sleet! So hurray for home and rare weather phenomena!
rensong: (Sg-1 - Armed and Dangerous)
As mentioned, I spent a very awesome weekend down in the Portland area with Andrea. Much fun was had.

because it gets a little long and rambly )

So, that was my weekend, and it was awesome. Thanks again [livejournal.com profile] noellesan for putting me up (or putting up with me, whichever. ;) ) for a few days!

Only downside to the entire weekend? The cassette thingy-mabob I use on the rare occasion I actually bother trying to listen to my MP3 player in my car is now stuck fast in Coyote's cassette deck and I have had no success what so ever in removing it. And, the kicker? It would appear that it doesn't actually work anymore, either, so not only is the cassette itself stuck, but it is making my tape deck unuseable as well. Not on, technology. Of course, since I rarely use my tape deck, this really isn't a huge thing, just really inconvenient with the cross-country trip coming up in a few weeks. Ah, well, maybe I'll sic my housemate Walter on the problem when I get back after work tonight.
rensong: (sleepy kitty)
Had a super lovely weekend with [livejournal.com profile] noellesan in which there was zoo-going and OMSI wandering that I will try and write about in detail within the next few days, but for now I am OMGSOTIRED and shall save it (and hee, I initially typoed "shave it" - I amuse easily) for another time. Right now, suffice to say it was awesome indeed, and now I am going to go back to bed to add a fifth hour to the four hour nap I have only recently surfaced from.
rensong: (sleepy kitty)
Spent the morning shopping. Apparently there is a Kohls department store around here and I never knew - I only found out about it when I noticed their sales brochure in yesterday's paper when we got to work yesterday. I noticed a sweatshirt that I wouldn't mind checking out, so I asked out loud "Do we even *have* a Kohls?", to which my boss replied "Oh, yeah, it's down below the mall." Like, really - it is down *below* the mall. Not in the basement or anything, but since the Tri Cities is built on the banks of the giant river, you pretty much loose about 25 or so feet for every block you go down toward the river, and Kohls is down one "terrace" below the mall. And I'm pretty sure the reason I never noticed it before is because the place is a bitch to get to. You can see it from the main blvd the mall is on, but there is no left turn onto the street it is on - there are little lane dividers in the way - so you have to go a mile down the street right above it, go around the block to get to the street the store is on, and then backtrack all the way down to the end of the it. It is a pain, I tell you. Also? After all that fuss, the sweatshirt I wanted to check out turned out to be way too short and designed more for someone who doesn't have my massive shoulders. On the bright side, though, I did find a really snazzy pair of camouflage cargo pants that I really like and a new bra, so the trip wasn't a total loss.

Next stop was B&N because I will most likely cave very soon and purchase a Nook, but I wanted to ask about whether or not I could read the e-books I have saved on it. Alas, despite the claim that Nooks have a basic web browser available, apparently they cannot read html files. There is a free online Html/PDF converter I could use, but it looks like I need an active web address on the internet to make a PDF from, not a saved version I have on my hard drive. Considering a lot of the stories I saved are no longer available online, it doesn't do me much good. Ah, well. At least with the source of my computer issues finally determined, I can use my lap top again without fear of it going to black screen on me as long as I don't have it hooked up to the power cord. And I do still plan on purchasing a Nook. I think my bookshelves will thank me for the investment.

In other news, I am all packed and ready to drive down and visit [livejournal.com profile] noellesan later today! Here's hoping the weather (and my car) holds out!
rensong: (Independence Day)
Since I *will* be driving cross country again in a few months to get back home, and because there is a very good chance it won't be the last long drive I do within the next year, I am thinking about signing for AAA.

My biggest question to you all with experience with the company is whether it will, in fact, cover out-of-state travel. Their motto is "Anytime, Anywhere!", but I just want to be sure they *mean* "anywhere", and not "anywhere within X miles of where you are registered". My car will be registered in Wisconsin, and Wisconsin AAA is where my membership would be purchased from, but I'm currently kinda sorta on the other side of the country, and though I'll be back in Wisconsin for a few weeks after I finish up here, there is a very good chance I'd be relocating again within a month or two of getting back home.

AAA *seems* like a really smart idea, especially as my car is old and beat up and even though it has given no indication of imminent break-down, I've noticed that ever since it *did* have that horrendous break down not long after I got it, I've been rather paranoid about another one occurring and stranding me in the middle of nowhere. It is a completely irrational paranoia as my boy Coyote has been running just fine ever since his engine was rebuilt (minus a few break issues and a weird radiator thing - the former of which was an issue when I got him, and has finally been fixed; the latter of which has never caused any problems), and I've heard from multiple mechanics that despite the rust and the Mystery Smoke, he's actually in pretty good shape all things considered (he has survived 14 Wisconsin Winters) and I really probably don't have anything to worry about. It's called Irrational paranoia for a reason, after all.

ANYWAY, yeah, AAA would be a super nice back up plan should my paranoia prove not so irrational after all, and it would also ease my worries a lot about long trips because it would mean there'd be someone around to come rescue me should the need arise, no matter where I happen to be at the time. I just want to get a bit more information on it before I purchase the membership.

So... suggestions? Words of wisdom? Member stories where AAA came in and saved the day? Bueller?
rensong: (Default)
Went to Red Rock Canyon instead of Ring of Fire on Sunday, but I still took way too many pictures and spent a bunch of money that probably could've gone toward better, less frivolous uses, but whatever, I now have a new long sleeved t-shirt and a bunch of really pretty postcards that did a way better job of capturing the Red Rocked-ness of Red Rock Canyon than I ever could.

Also, on the way back from the park, we saw numerous signs warning of "Wild Burro/Big Horn Sheep Crossing", and we looked at them, looked at each other, and kind of shrugged because, okay, like deer crossing, only probably less likely. Three miles later, traffic was stopped by a trio of wild burros blocking the road, and they were quite content to stay right there until a police officer actually had to stop and chase them away. He also looked slightly amused and mildly resigned... I guess it happens often enough, especially when the tourist try and feed the beasts. Anyway, the whole ordeal caused myself and Cristin to bust out laughing, because seriously, WE WERE STOPPED BY A HERD OF WILD BURROS! Who'da thunk? (and yes, I do have pictures).

Yesterday it was brunch at IHOP and some SG marathoning (Urgo, Crystal Skull, The Storm, and Echos) before Cristin dropped me off at the air port and I was on my way back to Washington. Had a very awesome and lovely weekend with Cristin, saw a bit of Vegas, and didn't actually spend as much money as I thought I would, so yay for that!

Of course, now I have no one in the area to share my abject SG love with, and I am resigned to obsess over it all on my own again. ::dramatic sigh:: Also, slightly sleep deprived. Is it nap time yet?
rensong: (Sg-1 - Armed and Dangerous)
Still enjoying an all-out geek fest with Cristin. Yesterday we hit the Atomic Testing museum and Red Lobster for lunch before coming back to the apartment to watch a bunch of random TV episodes from various series, as well as a few SG1 episodes because we are kind of obsessive like that.

Today we hit one of the more local casinos and I put ten bucks into the penny slot machines (and promptly lost it, but I kind of figured I would) just to say I gambled in Vegas before we hit the aquarium (whee, sharks! Though I was very disappointed to discover they did not have any tiger sharks) and then drove down the strip, because while I had little enthusiasm to actually walk it, driving down and taking pictures with my cell phone worked just dandy.

Back at the apartment now, where we will probably feed our geekery and watch a bunch more movies, and tomorrow the plan is go hit Ring of Fire (I think?) National Park where I will likely get my artsy on and take even more pictures.
rensong: (Default)
I am in Las Vegas with [livejournal.com profile] ladysorka! Arrived last night around 5ish, and we went to Applebees for dinner and spent the entire evening watching geeky music videos and episodes of various shows that she has on hand. Also finally got to see "How to Train Your Dragon", which is just as cute and fun as I thought it was going to be.

In other news, I did not bring my computer along (alas, just as I was leaving Washington, it once again gave me the dread Black Screen after I had been using it for a few minutes, so it'll be going to the repair shop - *again* - as soon as I get back), so I might not be around much these next few days. Using one of Cristin's extra computers right now, but it is a tiny little Notebook and the keyboard is super small so it is a pain to type on.
rensong: (Default)
Okay, so the timer is telling me i still have about twenty minutes of computer time before the library kicks me off. So, a quick'n'dirty Year In Review, totally not spell checked so I apologize ahead of time.

Not doing a long ramble this time around, just some highlights that I can remember off the top of my head.

* December 2009 - I graduated with a BS in Geoscience. By the end of February 2010, I had gotten a temporary position as the GIS Specialist at Ice Harbor Lock and Dam in Burbank, Washington. Hurray for internships! (Sadly, my $160 stipend is the most reliable paycheck I've ever had)

* Mid-March - my parents and I drove 1800 miles across country from Wisconsin to Washington in my little 1996 Geo Tracker. 12 hours a day on the road is not the most fun in the world, but we saw some really cool places along the way.

* Mid-to-late March - Started working at Ice Harbor Dam! Discovered that I had forgotten almost *everything* about GIS in the year it had been since I took any classes, but it was all quick to come back with a little research. Issues with the computer programs I needed (or the lack there of) plagued the first month, but after that it was pretty smooth sailing.

* Late May into June - Manda visited! We hit Paluse Falls (which is awesome), watched a bunch of movies, toured the Ice Harbor visitor center, and played on the toys at Columbia Park.

* July - I met the lovely Andrea and got to see Vaidah, Jodie, and Krissy for the first time in SEVEN YEARS when we hit the Lilith Fair in George, Washington. It was awesome beyond words.

* September - Housemates Beth and Walter and I went camping on Mount Rainier, taking a day to visit Mount Saint Helen's while we were in the area (COOLEST PLACE *EVER*) and quite accidentally ran across one of the biggest swap meets/flea markets in the United States.

* October - I attended the Geological Society of America's annual meeting in Denver, CO with two fellow UWSP Alumni, Angela and Liza. It was way fun, and I visited the Cheesecake Factory for the first time ever.

* November - I went home to visit the family and friends for TWO WHOLE WEEKS over Thanksgiving, which was fantastic! I also had an Emmies for two days worth of those two whole weeks, which was also awesome. I MISS YOU GUYS!


And that pretty much covers it! 2010 was a pretty good year for me - I had a lot of fun, was able to see a lot of amazing people and places, and for the first time in my life I wasn't super worried about Financial Issues. Also, for the first time in six and a half years, I didn't have to take a single test or complete a single paper. ;)

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope 2011 is a great one!


(wow, a whole 8 minutes left! Go me!)
rensong: (Default)
Back in the Tri Cities, and enjoying a surprise day off. Apparently my computer at work came down with a virus while I was gone (no idea how as no one was using it. Anyone else have a clue? I may know how to use a computer, but I have no idea how they function as far as all the codes and the binary and the like), so I wouldn't have much to do if I was at work anyway. Boss is gone the next two days, so I do have permission to use his computer until mine is up and running again, but I figure I'd rather take a day off to recover from my vacation (allergies for the lose; still trying to get the left-over histamines out of my system) and sleep in. Also, the Tri Cities got twelve inches of snow while I was gone, and they only plow the main roads, so my car is kind of buried right now. I figure it would be easier (and safer) to chip it out in daylight. Still have a bunch to unpack, too, so hurray for a day off!
rensong: (Default)
Went into town with Mom this morning so she could drop me at the YMCA and I could get some swimming in before I leave. Alas, as I am no longer a student, I don't have a free membership through my mom anymore, so I did have to pay the $8 for the day pass, even though I only swam for an hour. It was still very nice, though. I miss swimming, and I got to say hi to a few of the people I used to work with.

After I had dressed and the like, I had two voice mails from my dad informing me that he was on his way to pick me up and that we were going to be going to Stevens Point to visit one of our old professors (Dad and I both had him for our GIS classes, albeit about 10 years apart) to show him my new toy. Because I won't be home for Christmas, parents decided to give me a present this morning instead. Mom made breakfast and after Dad woke me from a rather disturbing dream (something about running and/or hiding from a creepy dude, and then having to walk/climb up this almost vertical sidewalk to get away. Thankfully I don't actually remember much about it) at around 9 am to give it to me - it was an old-fashioned brass compass that they had found at an estate sale or the like. No merchant stamp or anything, and the inner dial you're supposed to be able to rotate to mark the directions you've wandered (used when making maps the old fashioned way - by drawing them by hand) appears to be fixed, which suggest that it is a reproduction made by someone who had very little idea how compasses worked. However, it still points north, and it is just darned cool looking in and of itself, so I am pretty content.

Anyway, Dad wanted our old GIS/cartography professor to check it out, so we took a mini road trip over to Point for the afternoon. Dad took me out to lunch at The Wooden Chair, a little cafe down town with a very nice atmosphere and some tasty food, and then we went over to UWSP to talk to Dr. Rice, who gave me some suggestions as to where to look for another temporary position and generally just caught up a bit. I also was able to chat with some of my other professors and tell them about what I've been doing the last nine months. I did not get visit with my favorite teacher, Sam, because she wasn't in today, but I was still able to catch up a bit with three of the six or so professors I was hoping to see, so that was nice.

Then we came home and had pie and left overs and watched two of the three (four if you include both parts of Call of the Wild) episodes of Due South that Leslie Nielsen guest-starred in as Buck Frobisher. RIP, Leslie! We will miss you!

Heading back to Washington tomorrow night, and I am sad. On the one hand, it will be very nice not having allergies again (seriously, they have been *awful* the last two or three days. Severe Tylenol Allergy is the only reason I've gotten any sleep). On the other hand, all my friends and family are here in Wisconsin, and I won't be seeing them again until the end of my internship in March 2011. However, that's only another three and a half months or there abouts, and they are probably going to be pretty busy months at that, so I'm not too worried. I do, however, reserve the right to be as morose as hell when Christmastime rolls around cause you all are 1700 away from me! ;)

Unfortunately, though, the relatively nice warm weather we've been having the last few days is currently being shoved aside by a cold front. Right now it is raining; later tonight it is supposed to turn to freezing rain, and then tomorrow to snow, and the storm system pretty much covers the entire distance between here and Minneapolis/St. Paul, which is where my flight is leaving from. Driving through it will not be fun, and wow will it suck if the flight gets delayed or, worse yet, canceled entirely and I have to spend the night at the air port. Here's hoping that will not happen. ::crosses fingers::
rensong: (Default)
Driving back to the house after feeding and checking on the dogs at my coworkers house (they are on vacation for almost a month), Maren goes "darn, my throat is dry. I'll make tea when I get back to the house."

Arrive at the house, Maren goes "I really wish my books would arrive" and checks behind every pot and Harvest decoration just in case the package magically appears. Alas, it does not.

Enter house, Maren goes "dump stuff, make tea!" and promptly starts to do just that.

While water is heating in microwave, Maren goes "Hey, Walt, any chance I got a package in the mail today?" You know, just in case. Once again I get a negative.

Microwave beeps, but Maren is in the laundry room with an arm full of clothes. Dumps them in her room, folds a few to add to her luggage. Microwave beeps again, Maren goes to retrieve hot water and add tea-bag. Wanders back to room to let tea seep for awhile.

Check online to track package. UPS informs her that it was "Out for delivery" at 7:37 this morning. Maren loses most of the remaining hope that she will get her books today. Woe. Maren goes Facebook to distract herself from the woe.

Ten minutes later, Maren thinks "darn, my throat is dry... Oh! I have tea!" and goes to retrieve it, add some milk (making myself a tea latte), and pop it in the microwave again. Wanders back to her room, reads fic for a bit, gets distracted until microwave beeps again.

While wandering into the kitchen, Maren checks outside *again* just in case the UPS man showed up in the last 15 minutes and left her a package and she missed it some how, and she even wanders out into the driveway in her stocking feet to see if it was left there, but alas, the driveway and all of the pots and decorations remain stubbornly package-free.

Microwave beeps again, Maren goes "Oh, yeah, tea" and goes to retrieve it. Add a splash of vanilla flavoring, and hurrah, my tea latte is complete.

Wanders back to her room with house mate trailing behind complaining about how he's never had to look for a job before, and now it has been seven months and still no go and he's been getting interviews but no one calls him back even when they say they will and blah blah blah - heard it all before, been there, done that, excuse me if I have little sympathy for you because you've always had every job handed to you on a plate while my father has been out of work for more than a year. But, Maren is extremely polite and doesn't actually say any of that out loud.

Maren reaches room, starts fussing with her luggage again while making absent-minded vocalizations of sympathy and lots of "yeah, job searching sucks" and house mate gives up on latest rant and leave her in peace.

Maren gets back on computer and checks UPS *again*, but alas, it still informs her nothing more than "out for delivery" and the clock ticks closer to 5 pm when most deliveries end, and any remaining hope that her books will arrive before she leaves tomorrow morning at 5 am die a sad, bitter death. Dammit.

Maren reads fic to distract herself from bitter woe. Ten minutes later, she thinks "Man, my throat is dry... OH YEAH, I HAVE TEA NOW!"

And so, we come back to tea. Not that it was really where we started, though perhaps in passing, but whatever, a full tea circle!


And I'd really love to say "AND THEN THE DOORBELL RINGS AND SHE HAS BOOKS, HURRAH!" but unfortunately I cannot, and I'm pretty sure they're done delivering for today. Darn it.

And I have no idea why I just typed that all out, but it did pass the time. Also, at least I have tea.

ETA ten minutes later - And then Maren goes to Amazon.com and downloads a digital copy of one of the books she just bought that have yet to be delivered and probably won't be until tomorrow when she is on a plane and thus unable to retrieve them, because she just cannot face the idea of a three and a half hour flight without something to read. Maren fails at saving money.

ETA ten minutes after the last ETA - AND THEN THE DOORBELL RANG AND SHE HAS BOOKS, HURRAH!!!!! It's like reverse psychology! Or perhaps more like how it always rains just after you wash your car, but I don't know the flowery technical term for that. Too bad I already bought the digital copy. Ah, well, nothing wrong with having a digital copy.
rensong: (Default)
Thanksgiving comes first - Day 11
I am thankful for having pretty much all of my work done so there won't be anything waiting to be completed for the two weeks I'm gone. Makes for another boring day at work, but that is what fan fiction is for. :D

Day 12 - I am leaving for Wisconsin tomorrow where I will see my family and hopefully a bunch of my friends for the first time in eight months! \O/ Down side is I have to be at the airport by 5ish in the morning, so no sleeping in for me, but as I always get up at 5:15 anyway, this really isn't a huge challenge.
rensong: (Sg-1 - Armed and Dangerous)
Currently I have a Pumpkin Spice latte from Starbucks (which hasn't gone all holiday yet! Instead, their paper cups sport non-holiday snowflakes and there are two boxes of what I assume to be holiday decorations sitting unopened next to the pick-up counter with a sign on them saying "Do not open until the holiday season!" Starbucks and I have never been close, but that has totally moved them up a few degrees in my book), I have both Iron Man soundtracks playing over my speakers (even though we're not supposed to stream music at work... shhh, don't tell!), and I have tomorrow off and possibly Friday as well.

Next week, I have a plane ticket that will take me home for Two Whole Weeks to see my awesome family and my amazing friends for the first time in eight months!

So far, things are looking quite good. Now I hope I didn't just jinx myself.

That said, Thanksgiving Comes First - Day 5

Day 1 - Thanksgiving 2007
Day 2 and 3 - Mmm, mashed potatoes
Day 4 - In which I give thanks for fan fiction, because I am a Geek.

Day 5 - In which Thanksgiving is awesome )

Wow, that last paragraph was one big long run-on sentence. No matter, though, because Thanksgiving really was that awesome once upon a time, and it totally deserves to be again.
rensong: (sleepy kitty)
Uploaded my Denver photos to Facebook. Here is the link if anyone missed it on there. Otherwise, I think you all who actually read my LJ also have FB and can thus see it. If I missed someone, though, let me know and I'll add a few of the highlights to Photobucket so I can embed them on my LJ as well.
http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/album.php?aid=2290608&id=56015228
rensong: (Default)
Arrived back from Denver around 2 pm yesterday. Much fun was had at the GSA conference.

Sunday night we did go out for Halloween and I actually had *two whole drinks* and stuff. I went as Abby from NCIS (duh), Angela went as someone from Clockwork Orange (the one all in white with the weird dark eye thing), and Liza just wore black and some Halloweeny decorations. As we were all extremely brain fried from all the lectures we attended Sunday morning and afternoon, though, we didn't stay out too late - we left by like 8:30 and we were back at my hotel by 10:45. However, it was still hella fun, and hurray for not freezing my ass off for once when I go out for Halloween! Weather in Denver was pretty damn gorgeous all weekend, and Sunday night it was still in the 50s.

Good times. Took many pictures, which I will post and/or link to later.
rensong: (sleepy kitty)
Got to Denver without any trouble yesterday morning and spent the rest of the day hitting some of the geological touristy stops in the area. First stop was the Royal Gorge, which is like the nations tallest suspension bridge (something like a quarter mile tall), and later on we went to the Garden of the Gods down near Colorado Springs. Alas, we did not go to Cheyenne Mountain, so I couldn't tell you if there really is a Super Secret Stargate facility under the mountain. There is, however, an Air Force base, so you can draw your own conclusions. ;)

Today the GSA conference started, and I hit a lot of the climate analysis lectures pretty hard. So far it has been extremely interesting and my brain is all stuffed full of information like it hasn't been since End of Semester Crunch back at school. However, the fact that there will be no homework and no tests means having a stuffed brain is the worst of the symptoms I'll be getting, so it's all good.

Later tonight we'll go out to see what we can find among the Denver Night Life, though I doubt we'll spend more than an a few hours amongst the costumed masses as we are all kind of tired and mostly just looking for an excuse to wear our costumes. :D

Also, Curtis hotel has a TV or movie theme for every floor. When I checked in, they asked me if I had a floor preference, and I told them to surprise me. I ended up on the Science Fiction level.
rensong: (sleepy kitty)
I am off to Denver tomorrow for the GSA conference! Should be fun!

I think I'm all packed and ready to go and stuff, too. No way are the combat boots I picked up for my Abby costume going to fit in my little carry-on duffel without displacing all the clothes and stuff I actually *need*, so I will be wearing them at least on the plane tomorrow. Hopefully my poor abused footsies can handle it, especially since my tendonitis *always* acts up when I switch shoes for any given length of time. I'm taking my regular kick around Keens along, too - they thankfully *do* fit into my luggage - so if worse comes to worse, I have comfy (albeit rather beat up) back ups.

I will be taking my lap top along, and I picked my hotel based on whether or not they had free wireless, so I shouldn't be cut off from my web addiction. Knowing first hand how sketchy hotel wireless can be, though, I don't promise I'll be around much these next few days, so if for some bizarre reason you need to get a hold of me, the cell phone might be the best bet. AT&T *should* have service in Denver, right? ;)

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