Sunday, August 31, 2003

It seems like I've been awake for two days. The whole hall committee was downstairs ready to go at 7:15 am. We had fruit & donut holes & coffee & set up our stations. The first years started arriving, well, really early. A break for the picnic lunch, then a brief hall introductory meeting, & Lindsey & I led all our first years (we have like what, 50 people?) to Chapin for an activity. Looked at posters, took an hour break, and then I hung around for two more hours waiting for people to show up. Wilder opened for dinner, so I ate there. Then at 7 we had our first floor meetings, which went off brilliantly. Another break, and it was time to head to Chapin for Orientation 101. We sang the alma mater and then we sang the anti, you know, the "Oh Mount Holyoke we pay thee tuition / In the fervor of youth that's gone wrong/ Each year it gets higher and higher/.... So from bar room to dorm room we stagger/ In the spirit of free love for all/ ...Oh Mount Holyoke what's happening to meeeee/ Oh Mount Holyoke what's happening to me." Breaks for places I didn't know the exact lyrics... Anyway. It was "wicked funny" (as the aunt of a student we met today would have said). Messed up with the dance but had a lot of fun. I hung around till the end. They did a Trading Spaces spoof with Blanchard. Each segment ended with "So you're overbudget... and out of time..." Ha.

Weird event of the day: An FP student comes in after we've already seen her once to give her her room key. She says her porch swing seat was taken from the front lawn. I'm like, what? It was stolen? She says she took all the little parts with her, but left the big bench itself out & returned to find it gone. So we tell her to call Public Safety and put up signs. I come back to the second floor after dinner, and what do I see at the top of our stairwell? A green porch swing bench.

Coolest thing about our floor that I learned just today: Two of our firsties are Oregonians!!

(Also totally excited about our international gals, too bad my Spanish is so shameful!)

Saturday, August 30, 2003

A day off of res. life duties, so I definitely took it easy. Highlights: dried fruit from Mum, a nap, nailing Korisha's initials to her wall, and a trip to the Big Y. It was a nice walk, and I had company for the way back. Ok, this is totally dorky but I like to outline what I bought: soap, a couple of yogurts, popcorn, some protein bars, a vitamin water (to try it out), a couple little bags of candy, candy bars, & imported cookies (ooooh, imported, they must be good! actually they are, I'm eating like 4 in a sitting). All for under $12... I'm cheap, I basically buy whatever I like that is on sale. And then with the MHC course catalogs and weird plastic cups of random food with big female signs on them, I feel like there are new additions aplenty to my living space. And moving my desk totally opened up the room...

Last night we sang "I love Pearson's Quad" to the tune of "I love Rock 'n' Roll." Yeah making a fool of ourselves.

Anyway, tomorrow's a long day, so I'm signing off now.

Thursday, August 28, 2003

So, things are pretty much as busy or more busy than the last time I posted. I haven't slept a full seven hours since the first night I was here (and that night I didn't even sleep enough to make up for the night before, when I only slept for one hour). Good things about yesterday: decadent cheesecake & public safety officers. Good thing about today: bulletin boards & door decs are up for the simulations tomorrow, I had dinner with D. Becky & helped move stuff about, watched some of the VMAs with Korisha & met new residents, AND, I got a letter from Kathleen =)

To bed now, sweet dreams to all.

Monday, August 25, 2003

Here's what my day was like.

I woke up at a quarter to 8 in the morning, got myself dressed & presentable, & met my hall committee downstairs. As a group we walked to our first day of training. This will go on for the rest of the week. We had breakfast & chatted, and then listened to Liz Braun talk about the expectations and responsibilities of Res. Life. Someone from the fin. aid department talked next. Then it was on to talking about how to create an inclusive community. A short break, more about the inclusive community building, and then lunch. I ate quickly and hauled over another backpack & duffel load of stuff (from abbey to pearson's). Picked up my mail box key & returned to training at 1:30. For half an hour we discussed community planning (I think in quad groups). Then the returning staff left, and just us Pearson's quad newbies talked about anxieties & uncertainties we have about the job. Another break, during which I saw something that looked like a large frog in the stream, and the blue heron, perched towards the opposite bank (earlier I saw a cardinal! positive id!). For the next hour we discussed programming events & tried some out ourlseves (mingle mingle mingle to the cha-cha-cha-cha-cha-CHA beat & tossing a ball with questions on it...) Each hall committee then broke up for meetings. We had quite a long one & luckily Cindy gave us the perfect slogan, borrowed from The Olive Garden: "Pearson's: When you're here you're family." Frankly I was all out of ideas and enthusiasm until that came up and we started building on it. So at about 6 we had dinner together, then headed back to the dorm. At 7:30 we all went shopping for floor activity supplies and dorm decorating materials. Got home around 10, did my laundry, showered, hung my laundry, and now here I am again, at my computer. Wow. So now you all know why I'm not going to be online much! Good to stay busy though... and it'll only get busier, really. I hope my floor works out well, I don't want to write too many people up for drinking...

More later, but it's about time to sleep, I was tired this evening!

Sunday, August 24, 2003

News from the home front:
MuskratFan: today mom made turned out to be hellishly unappetizing and uncannable
Pink Poodledog: and I'm donating stuff to salvation army or whoever will take it from me
Pink Poodledog: hahahahahaah
Pink Poodledog: that's unfortunate
Pink Poodledog: poor mum
MuskratFan: it scorched and tasted like charcoal
Pink Poodledog: ick
MuskratFan: she's blaming it on Mary Marker
Pink Poodledog: what happened?
Pink Poodledog: hahahahahaha
MuskratFan: because she loaned mom the pot, but the bottom was thin and not well-insulated
Pink Poodledog: ahh
Better news today. My room would be perfect si no tengo tantas cosas en Abbey todavia. My bed canopy is suspended by fishing line (from the walls, not the ceiling, that would be a FIRE HAZARD! (uh... right)). I have Christmas lights along this molding line about 3/4s of the way up the wall, drooping for the window a bit and then down to the floor, back up a random pipe thingy in the corner and then straight again on the molding till the line ends. Hmmm. Maybe one would have to see it to understand that... I have a bag of things to donate to Salvation Army, a piece of luggage packed and ready to go back to Oregon with things I don't need here but that I don't want to throw away, and more stuff still to sort through at my leisure.

I'm going to buy a damned lamp. I've been agonizing over this for so long, but I think a little cheap lamp would be just fine. I think I'm going to sell my old rug & get a small one just for the middle of the room. I like the hardwood floors. I've heard it said that in the winter I'll want more carpeting, but I'm a huge freak about shoes on floors -- I just don't do that. I take my shoes off as I enter my room, so I don't think that will be a problem for me. I can wear slippers if it's a matter of the floor being cold. It's just like really nice flooring, like Linda's back home... Ahh I love my room! Now that it's not a huge mess, I really quite like it. My hall committee & I rearranged a first year triple on the fourth floor, it was cluttered and really unappealing... The furniture was basically thrown it at whim, with no thought for how three people would function without killing each other. We arranged it really well I think, considering. We managed to get three clusters in each available corner, of bed, desk, and dresser.

Didn't watch The Practice tonight.

I think I'm going to read another bit of The Dubliners & get ready for bed.

Saturday, August 23, 2003

Ok, I'm back on campus, I'm starved, sleep deprived, and I still don't know how my stuff in Abbey is getting to Pearson's. Oh, and nothing is open on campus for food! ACK! On the bright side, I've already cleaned the floor in my room. I love hardwood floors. Ok, I'm getting incoherent, more later when my computer works... Don't remember how to do that ip address stuff.

Thursday, August 21, 2003

Went all over today with Varmint Control, we gals left the house a bit after noon and didn't get home till after 6 pm. There was a porcupine in Goldendale that needed to be hauled off. Ate more dippin' dots. God I'm going to miss those in South Hadley.

Merrie was in top form today. We listened to oldies on the radio, the classic "I'm so dizzy my head is spinning..." came on. Mer said "Mom this is a good song for you, you're always dizzy." Mom scratched her ear, and Mer continued, "Probably because you scratched your inner ear one too many times and fucked up your equilibrium." Good laugh over that one. A few minutes later Mom turned serious & looked me in the eye, "Becky do you think eating protein with breakfast is a good idea?" "Well, I guess would break down slower..." Mom said "Because I had some cheese this morning and I felt much sharper." Mer piped in "Was it sharp cheese?" More laughter.

Hours & many miles later: We had another rushed dinner and then headed downtown for Families in the Park.

Tom Grant played tonight. Really loud music, some lyrics in Portuguese. Not all straight jazz, they had some 70s songs mixed in, too... Pete was at the house when we got back, so Mer & I drank soda and talked before driving home.

I finished Catch-22 right before we parked at Dad's for the concert. Wow. Optimistic ending, but you know it can't last that way. "How many happy endings are unhappy endings." Reminisced with Dad about Snowden's spilling guts & "'You think people are trying to kill you,' 'of course people are trying to kill me!'" A book I need to find my own copy of and re-read. And I must see the movie, Dad said there's one from the '70s. I love how Dad can break into quotes as soon as I've said "So I just finished Catch-22..."

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

My brain's been freezing up, I just spent a full five minutes trying to remember what I did yesterday. I remember now: Mom, Mer, Grandpa & I went up to Cloud Cap. It wasn't exactly... a long hike, but, it was windy enough to blow one about a bit more than one would like. We went up the ridge for the views, and turned back after being wind whipped. We couldn't find a way out of the wind though. The alternative lower trail still grew too windy for us. We saw a marmot (thanks to Nook the cocker spaniel, who scared off a little chipmunk and riled up a marmot enough to stand on a rock and make warning squeaks to all the other rodents). I'm not much of a hiker unless I'm in the right mood (and the right mood comes along about once a month). Yesterday I wasn't in said mood. I basically ambled about eating corn nuts until we decided to turn back, at which point I broke into a run down the mountainside.

Glad we went though, it was fun with Grandpa. We stopped at the Crag Rats cabin to munch on chocolate bars, but our peace was soon disturbed as about ten vans let loose their cargo of gawking tourists to stagger around the cabin and take pictures.

Today: I cleaned with Mom in the morning, and stopped by to see Dad. We talked for a while, and Dad was the first to ask "So, what do you think of Peter?" Anyway, Dad's going to see if he'd like to go to the jazz music tomorrow night with us.

Also went to see Grammy and Grandpa; we all had root beer floats and talked, looked at pictures of Debi's new baby (a little girl). Grammy's got lots of scrapbooking supplies up in her attic, I'm thinking of compiling a scrapbook this winter and entitling it: The First Twenty Years, Five of Which I Have Little to No Recollection Of. But I have birthday cards & newspaper clippings enough to serve as fire starter for the rest of my life. So yeah, got to find something to do with those things besides burning them.

Mom & I went to the Dalles for a bit of shopping this afternoon. Needed a backpack. Took me an hour of holding up one backpack by another to decide. I changed my mind at least ten times. Settled on a purplish (yeah, who would have guessed that?) Columbia one after seeing a cheaper backpack's busted zipper. I decided to pay the extra five for a "lifetime warranty" that doesn't actually cover anything if you read the fine print. But it was still only $20 (wow, economies gone to hell are great for buyers). Oh! And music lovers will be glad to hear I have finally replaced my dollar store fade-in-fade-out headphones for a new pair that also has a lifetime warranty against nothing (well, maybe not "nothing," but damn close to it: the Koss company gets to decide if it's something they'll repair or give a refund for, and you have to include $6 with your shipment of the damaged headphones (oh, excuse me, stereophones), making the cost of getting them repaired (between shipping costs and the $6) about the same price as a new pair. Clever little Koss company...)

Sorry for that lengthy aside...

To Lindsay & Kathleen: we had salmon for dinner (not farm raised) -- Has L. sent K. the picture of our Prospect dinner? =)

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Since I've been lazy again, I have two days to post about.

Yesterday: Mom, Mer & I went horseback riding in the morning! Very exciting for us. We went with an outfit near Northwestern Lake in WA. Got off to a rocky start as one of the "helpers" yelled "don't you understand English?! Let up on the reins!" Just after someone else had supposedly positioned my hands where he thought they should be. Not that it mattered much, frankly, as the horses were not inclined to break their formation unless guided to do so, and knew the trail better than any of us. But it was absolutely wonderful. We had a few out of control moments as our guide trotted in the lead and our horses followed suit, but soon that was the best part. I'm paying for all that bouncing now though, my butt is definitely sore. I kept trying to remember what Lindsey told me to do (as an aside, Lindsey, you would have found this absolutely hilarious!) and I asked our guide if one is supposed to bounce when the horse trots. His only response was that he didn't, since men just should not do that. My horse, Rocky, seemed to enjoy having his face right up in the next horse's tail. Well... sometimes I did start steering us up BESIDE Mer and Missy instead of, well, right in Missy's ass.

Anyway, despite some moments of "oh my God I'm going to fall off" as our horses galloped (well to us it seemed like a gallop) up hills or stumbled around rocks, we all immensely enjoyed ourselves. Perhaps this would be a trouble free and in the long run cheaper alternative to actually owning one's own horse... And I bet if we went as a family event all the time it'd become quite the tradition.

We missed Mrs. Rowan, although we hurried to meet up with her. Hope to see her when I'm home for Christmas, and get her address so I can write letters.

It was Dad's birthday, as well, so you can see it was a busy day. Ok, so here's the excitement in my life. So Mer & I get up to Dad's place, he has a slight cold & is helping to clean the place up as it's being sold. He's getting dressed & taking out garbage (I'm trying to keep this in the present tense to give it some immediacy) & we've shown him the "summer vegetables and fruit" basket Mom basically put together for us to give him, and a comic we picked out for him at the coast. Uncle Scott & his "lady friend" (as Dad likes to put it) are about, too. So there's a knock on the door, and it's just the screen door so I can see out, and no one else is right about so I go and open the door. Of course I know it's got to be Peter (the young fellow Dad has decided I should meet) because he's young and I don't know of any other guy it could be.

Yeah, well, suffice it is to say my father has high hopes for me. You can chalk this up to my lack of experience with a variety of males if you must, but I'm immediately struck by how good looking Peter is. Well, ummm... we all end up taking a walk downtown, window shopping and looking at books in Artifacts. Am I coming off as needy and high maintenance? I hope not. Do I come off as rather immature and not terribly attractive as a potential girlfriend? Probably. Do I seem awkward? I think, definitely yes.

Ok this present tense stuff has served its purpose. We had ice cream and walked up the steepest hill in Hood River, and then Peter went back to his apartment across the street. Yes, very close proximity. Ahh, so, we got home and Mer & I floated up in the sand traps again and I mooned over Peter. Eventually we had dinner (I made onion rings) and Gail stopped by (and we told her about the horseback riding adventure). We're getting ready to build a new house here, so Renneth has been over, plowing stuff &, uh... doing stuff. Like doing something to the septic tank that prevented us from letting any water down the drains for a few hours the other day. So he was here for dinner too.

Ok, today now.

It's been a day of phone calls. Dad called to say his cold had not improved and he couldn't go with us on a lake trip. Mrs. Rowan called to apologize for missing us (which we felt horrible that she felt bad, we love her so much). Dial America has called about 5 times.

I got up, showered and blow dried my hair. Found we weren't going to a lake. Went to my room and napped and read. Woke up and it was about a 105 degrees. Was eating hot soup with saltines. Realized I should have been eating something else. Got the mail. Decided to go with Mer to the sand traps.

We had a different experience at the sand traps today. We brought the camera. There are pictures of us now, doing our floatie rhythmic gymnastics and sliding down the bank (eroding it irretrievably, too). Mer suggested that we throw a floatie up the current over the really bad rapids that we can't float down. She meant it as, maybe sometime in the future if we're bored. I thought, or rather didn't think, and threw it right up. Then I realized I had a problem. The floatie was coming down, but not towards me, towards the opposite bank. And I was in the most "dangerous" part of our floating area. After losing my flip flops, attempting to swim upstream, grappling at boulders, & hitting all sorts of sharp rocks with my bare feet, I managed to fling myself back onto the renegade floatie. At that point I just remained lying belly down the rest of the way, looking out for floating flip flops. Luckily Mer had them, and no harm came of my lapse in judgment.

This evening we took dinner (already on our plates) up to Tollbridge Park for a picnic. The yellow jackets had a field day. I smashed a few with my army boot meets sandal footwear. Brought back warm fuzzy memories of killing those nasty buzzers in the side yard.

We drove up to Nottingham (as Tim says, a replacement for Robin Hood) and cruised through the campsite. Taking a '56 red and white bel air out is kind of screaming for attention, so we do weird things like this when in it. On the way back a deer froze in our headlights. Mer was upset when Mom honked the horn at it. Away it went and all Mer had on her wildlife video tape was the horn honking.
Funny, the deer was looking in the other direction, at its own shadow. Tim said because the lights blinded it.

Mom showed me some old black and white photos tonight. And I watched melt-your-brain reality tv shows. And a lovely show on how homosexuality is hitting the mainstream. Yay for that. Well... I guess I should get to bed soon. One more piece of good news, Prof. C. is helping me with my summer travel scholarship, and had good ideas for alternative ways to get to jolly old england. I'll certainly be trying. My itinerary is 9 pages long...

Ok this was a long & rambling post and I'm not going to read it over. So, my apologies!

Sunday, August 17, 2003

Yesterday was busy with crafty things that I can't speak of, so my mind was lazy today. We finally did manage to get out of the house to pick huckleberries though, and then we had the lovely taco pizza from pietro's. Huckleberries are kind of small to bother with, but they're more highly prized (at least in Mom's mind) than blueberries. Mer took a bunch of pictures of us picking the damn tiny things at Tea Cup Lake (natural lake, murky and leech-worthy). Another thing I need to do -- get all this summer's pictures burned onto one cd.

I'm not ready to go back to school yet, but then again I won't be any more ready later...

Tomorrow will be busier than yesterday I think, so I am going to bed. Tomorrow is Dad's birthday.

Friday, August 15, 2003

Long day of shopping. Mom & I did a quick job of cleaning the fire house, and then we headed off to The Dalles for some, well, fun. I had secret things to buy for Kathleen, which I shall not post here, of course. And Mer & I bought clothes and accessories, at about three different stores. With a $10 off coupon I "bought" myself a pair of mules for under $7 (at the cost of free, who could resist?) and a skimpy glittery black thong for Mer (ha!). Anyway, it was exciting. I found a bungee day planner to match my bungee notebooks (uh, don't ask why I need a bungee cord around my notebook, like it's some disaster of papers that must be bound together or will all fall away).

We tried that over advertised southwest chicken caesar salad at Wendy's. Mer & I got the giggles and made everyone else in the place feel uncomfortable. Big old bowl of roughage.

Finished my hypothetical journey just now, comes to a grand total of $4,793.62. I budgeted sixteen pounds per day for food... I was thinking twenty at first, but really, breakfast should be like three or four pounds, and each meal between five and seven, if I go to cheaper places... Ahh... so, the finished itinerary reads: London, Bath, Moreton-on-Marsh, Cardiff, Conwy, Caernarfon, Dublin, Liverpool, Blackpool, Keswick, Durham & Hadrian's Wall, Edinburgh, York, Cambridge, & Dover. May try to squeeze in Glastonbury somewhere... maybe a day trip.

Tired now, to beddy bye...

Thursday, August 14, 2003

Showering this evening, I couldn't remember what I did yesterday. Pero me recuerdo ahora! I cleaned with Mom in the morning and in the afternoon at Grammy's. Then Mer & I had simultaneous ortho. appointments. Verdict: Looking good, but keep wearing the damn wire and retainer. BLAH. Last night, I worked on my hypothetical Great Britain trip.

Today? Well, I cleaned with Mom again, and then we picked up Merrie & Lacey (and Lacey's dog, Chiona) for a wild lake tour. We stopped off at Kingsley (where I did indeed swim), but when the wind picked up and we'd eaten all the junk food we could stand, we piled into the jeep again and started driving on gravel washboard roads. Mom got us to Rainy Lake (rather like a mini Trillium Lake) and then to Black Lake (shallow, pretty, huckleberries growing nearby). All evening I've been working on my hypothetical trip. I think tomorrow or the next day I'll finish that, then I need to finish Catch-22, so that I can read The Dubliners before I get back to MHC.

I'm going to miss everyone going abroad-- the more I think about it, the more I wish they weren't going!! I'm too selfish to let everyone go! =(

Going shopping tomorrow in The Dalles --

Monday, August 11, 2003

Early this morning we moved out of the latest house sitting job, and then I came home and slept. Mer & I visited Dad in the afternoon, and wandered around Hood River. Saw Katie S., which made me happy, I love seeing people from high school. We toured the remodeled library, lots of new windows overlooking the river. Much improved. It's basically unrecognizable on the inside...

Yesterday I had two run-ins with past teachers. These encounters always leave me all warm and fuzzy, I just adored my teachers. First we visited Mrs. Jackson because Mer's housesitting for her family-- we had a long wonderful talk with her, and at intervals her son (who I remember from the preschool group!) Mrs. J was my English lit. teacher junior year, I loved that class... where I first learned that the Angles, Jutes, & Saxons invaded England... We talked about college, where Mer should go, being on a res. life staff... how exciting the "college years" can be... how I'm an English major (thanks to Mrs. J & Mrs. R)...

Then we went blueberry picking in the evening (we had a coral reef sunset, and the hills were pink) at Mr. Nelson's farm-- my science teacher 8th grade. Wow. And I told him I had just been talking with Lindsey about those projects we did on "anything related to science that we wanted to research." Lindsey did hers on a horse disease I think, and I did mine on dreams... so I recited what I remember from it, about sleep deprivation research going on at the Mt. Sinai Hospital in NY in 1952... REM stages and all that. He graduated high school in NJ, and knew some gals who headed to MHC. Not many people recognize the Mount Holyoke name, so it's always very cheering to find someone who says "oh, that's a good school!" Always warm and fuzzy to hug your teachers and assure them you, well, "turned out ok."

This evening Mer & I walked to the meadow, here are highlights: a bunny waiting to get a drink from the ditch, two huge hornet nests, a new house going up on the other side.

Friday, August 08, 2003

Busy busy. Mer & I watched About a Boy (highly recommended, a funny & quirky drama that is not overly sentimental) and most of Blue Crush (a mindless film with great shots of surfing). I love the movie channels. Our charge, Kona the cat, is lovey dovey and has a tendency to hug you if on your lap. Mer & I have been enjoying our time away... there's a nice pond in the back with fish.

Yesterday, after cleaning with Mum, I started getting ready for the evening. The plan was to attend Audrey & Jo's 21st birthday dinner, and then go to Families in the Park to meet up with Mer & Dad. The dinner ran over so I missed the latter event, but I had too much fun seeing everyone again to worry about that. We met up at Brian's Pourhouse; I was the first one there. Then Audrey, Joanna, & Brenna came in, so we were all seated. Miss Pruitt & Jessica came too, so it was a perfect sized group. I'd never been to this restaurant, but after a yummy salad and decadent chocolate cheese cake, I'm completely sold on it. It's a little more expensive than the Crazy Pepper, but much more elegant. We spent a bit over 2 hours there, a full evening experience. Definitely enjoyed seeing Audrey & Jo order real drinks!

Jessica brought me over to Dad's, and Mer & I went back up to the house we're "sitting." We watched the last half hour of About a Boy again, and then I fell right asleep.

Today I've cleaned with Mum, again, and the plan for this evening is to eat dinner up at the house and watch The Princess Diaries. I haven't seen it, and those Disney movies are so cute and mindless... and I want to vegetate a bit before I go back to school.

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

Not quite as busy today as I thought it would be. I helped Mum clean, we ate in a park, tried to pick up Lacey (but she wasn't there...), checked in at my eye check up... Yeah... they gave me a sample of hydrogen peroxide stuff to store contacts in, and then somehow it neutralizes into water? I'll have to read the instructions better before I try it out... But it's supposed to be good if contacts are drying out one's eyes. "Murdock" helped us.

Mer & I went up to the sand traps again to float. New games: rhythmic gymnastics with a floatie, spinning in circles on our floaties as we go down the rapids.

Afterwards, we stopped to see the kitty & the place we're taking care of. Ahhhh..... gorgeous. Movie channels (so we're bringing popcorn), a pond, beautiful decorating... Going back tonight after dinner and a meeting with someone that wants a housesitter over Christmas break. Maybe by next summer, once everyone has trusted us with their homes and we've been very good and careful with everything, and those people have talked to other people, we'll get quite busy and make a decent amount of money. Take that you businesses that wouldn't hire me!

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

Alpaca duty this morning, then Mer & I ate lunch and started watching old home videos... Wow. Remembered in Intro to Philosphy, the whole "what links our past self to our present self?" discussion. Uh... can I just propose that there isn't much of a link sometimes??

2 pm we met up with a couple going on vacation, looking for a house/cat sitter. At first they didn't seem like they wanted us, but due to our low rates and obviously mellow characters (possibility of wild parties or out of control beer drinking: extremely low), they decided to hire us. So tomorrow, we start the new job. Beautiful place. Another vacation within a vacation...

Went to Wal Mart... er... that wasn't worth noting, was it?

Ate more dippin' dots, same dotty flavor, same dotty place.

Mer & I did alpaca duty in the evening too, and were able to talk with C & M as they returned while we were there, admiring all the pretty 'pacas.

House plans are in the works... I think Tim's putting off having a den till I vacate one of the three planned bedrooms.

I've been planning more of my hypothetical trip to Great Britain. Tonight I got from Conwy to Caernarfon, to Holyhead, to Dublin, back to Liverpool, to Blackpool, on to Keswick, next stop to plan is Durham, somewhere NE easy to get to Hadrian's Wall from...

Tomorrow's a busy day... but I'll leave tomorrow for tomorrow.
I haven't updated in nearly a week! Here are some long summaries of what I was up to:

Weds: We rushed down to Grammy & Grandpa's to meet my aunt & uncle. I forgot my toothbrush so we had to buy a new one. We started on the long drive up to Port Townsend, stopping every hour & a half or so for a restroom break. I dozed off a couple of times. Very long drive, but it was the fastest trip they've made so far (just under 4.5 hours). Nearly to their house, I saw a deer grazing by the side of the highway. They live in an oasis of a gated community, tall trees and rhododendrons. Lots of gangly trees with peeling bark, showing a red wood underneath. My aunt took me with her to pick up a pizza in town, lots of older impressive buildings, sailboats & tourists. We brought the pizza home & ate on the patio, as a deer grazed on some plants in their backyard. That evening we went to the private beach for the community, walked around and looked at the boats, speculated on what looked like a chair stuck to a raft out in the water... Odd to see land around all that sea water, it took a little while for me to accept that the Hood Canal we drove by is all salt water. Driving back up to the house we saw a deer and her twin fawns.

I showered early, and joined my aunt and uncle reading in the living room till about 11. I slept wonderfully sound, and woke up by 9 am. Thursday: Gumby the fluffy cat, I remember him from 9 years ago when we visited their old house in Portland, let me take a few pictures. Aunt Donna took me out early to see Fort Worden, & we went into a cement structure that once stored artillery. Foggy in the morning, but it cleared off (or as everyone seems to say up in those parts, "burned off"). We went to some little touristy shops & drove by some fantastic Victorian houses. Then we had to head back, and drive to the ferry on Bainbridge Island. Aunt Donna decided to go with me as it was a beautiful day, so we had a really lovely trip over to Seattle. Although a bird did a fly by pooping on one of my bags... I've held a grudge against those nasty seagulls for the past week.

Lindsey found us right away, and we said goodbye to my aunt, who caught the ferry back to the island. We went to Lindsey's apartment, to my mind a perfect home for a college student. MHC is so restrictive about living off campus that I hadn't realized how nice it would be to live in something other than a dorm, and get out of the crazy study-till-you-drop atmosphere... Anyway, if I ever have an apartment, I hope I have similarly good taste in decorating without breaking the bank!

Lindsey made dinner (better than anything I've ever made, of course!), and then we got ready to go out. I got to meet a lot of her friends as I tagged along for a birthday party. Maybe one of the first times it really hit me that going to a women's college has restricted my friend group a bit... To have guy friends, wow!

Friday: A busy day! Lindsey introduced me to the bus system, our first stop the University of WA. A great campus, lots of plush grass that actually grows (unlike the sod at MHC... why can't we get healthy grass??) and some very nice buildings. Three libraries! Visiting Lindsey has, like nothing else, given me new images of what my college experience could have been. Maybe if I get into grad school I'll have a big university experience AND a co-ed experience...

Next stop was downtown, and we went to the Asian Market first. Hello Kitty cookies, Thai iced tea, muscat gummies... All those hard to find delicacies. Those gummies have oddly translated descriptions on them... I remember Madelyn once had the muscat gummy description on her away message. What fun!

Lindsey introduced me to a whole new concept: sandwiches on croissants! Very good sandwich place, and it was in a sort of mall place with a Tiffany's, so there was plenty to look around at. We went to an Old Navy, where Lindsey patiently helped me pick out a couple of tank tops. Dark red and light blue. Then, Pike Place, which smelled of flowers & fish. Bouquets of every sort & fish being thrown to the loud selling routine, all seen through crowds of other people just as intent on seeing everything but not necessarily on buying! Passed by the first Starbucks and a sidewalk "musical ensemble" including a banjo... Sat for a while looking out on the water, it was a perfect sunny day, not terribly hot, but balmy...

Back home, we watched The Importance of Being Earnest (which I loved, Reese was great, naturally) & complained whenever a good line was cut out. They broke up a lot of the scenes, which was pretty effective, esp. for short attention spans. After, we went to Krispy Kreams, which was, wow. How fun to SEE the donuts from dough ring to warm gooey goodness. We had our free ones, and I think we ate about 5 combined... But they're so light feeling, however different the reality of the calories may be!

Saturday: We started out for the Space Needle, and spent it must have been at least an hour up on the observation deck. The Blue Angels were in town, and we saw one plane really close up. Took tons of pictures this day as I was dumb and didn't bring the camera along the day before. We took lots of "self portraits" & probably confused some people as we opted for our own funny pictures instead of letting others take them of us. We took some funny ones around the orange tube structure, too. The music project place was crazy, and all the "mini carnival" surrounding the Space Needle was, well, such a blatant money squeezing attempt... Anyway, lots of funny pictures from this day!

I had my first Starbucks experience! Lindsey introduced me to the Mocha Coconut Frappacino. Yums.

Back at Lindsey's place, we checked out the Lake City festivities. Lots of sketchy people selling sketchy stuff. A palm reading woman yelled at us, we just kept walking away. The parade was great though, there's a drill team for every ethnicity. The Chinese American Drill Team was the best, with the best costumes and the best routine. Next to us were four gorgeous children, and they watched with their grandparents as their equally gorgeous mother drove by all dressed up in the parade. That upset us a little, I mean, where do these people come from??

We skipped out after an hour, and had Thai Chicken pizza. Surprisingly good, actual peanut sauce, not the peanut butter glaze that passes for, well, something edible, at MHC... The parade finally ended after we returned home and went down the block to survey its progress. Long talks and donuts, a late night!

Sunday: I woke up with my nervous stomach condition, but I was better after a couple of hours of being awake. Lindsey taught me the bubble magnet and tack tricks, so that I can have a fun floor activity! We had to go to the train station, very sad to leave!! Saw the Blue Angels & all their smoke trails again on the way.

Met someone with the same Levi's bag at the station, had a bathroom fiasco as I realized the water wasn't turned on and had to wait to wash my hands, and watched Finding Nemo. Cute movie, I was getting emotional over, well, fish.

It was strange to be home, I definitely missed Lindsey & seeing so many new things.

Back home, we're taking care of alpacas. C & M have a bunch of new ones, some to keep and some to board for other owners. Well, today I heard this weird noise, between a squirrel barking and a bird chirping. I saw Wampo, a new white male, huffing as if he were the one making the noise. So I yell at Mer, "Look, that alpaca made that noise!" Mer says, "No, there's no way, that was a bird or something." So a couple of minutes later, "Look Mer, fast! He's doing it again!" Created a strange situation, all the alpacas came running to see what was going on, & Tess the guard dog was barking. We can't figure out where this animal learned how to do this. Never heard it before from the others... Usually just short "beeps."

Today I went to town with Mom & Mer, as I had my annual gyno. appointment (the actual examination was close to pleasant, as I had my usual wonderful RN lady who talks with me and I don't even feel like I'm in any sort of potentially embarrassing situation).

Went to see Dad, and scheduled us to go to Families in the Park on Thursday night. We exchanged recent stories and all talked for a bit... Dad has decided to try to get me to meet this Peter fellow who is six years my senior (last time Dad tried to pick out someone he'd approve of me marrying, it was a 19 year old (I was like 9 at the time, btw) from Alaska). So, yeah. Maybe I'll finally have a guy friend though.

McDonald's has adopted Dippin' Dots, so on the way out of town, guess where we went? I had Oreo, which was, well, heavenly. Below zero these little dots of ice cream are kept, and for the Oreo mixture the dots are vanilla/the fatty sugar cream in Oreos flavored, with Oreo cookie mixed in. We all shared some chai earlier, so it was a very yummy day.

Benji The Hunted was on the Hallmark channel tonight. What a horror show of a movie. Anyway, it's late, and this was a very extended update, so goodnight!