Already busy (and a little behind)

I still have the weekend to catch up on stuff but I had to skip working out today so I could finish this week’s thesis research before I left town.  I should have time to work out every day next week (I hope).

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I’m glad parts of today are over with.  Ian threw another tantrum but he used an avoidance technique this time which I really liked.  What sucks about our hotel this time is that it’s so far away from the city that I really have to rely on wheeled transportation…but I’ll manage.  I think I finally got all the apartment issues resolved!  Now time to really relax.  Tomorrow will be an excellent day 🙂  I’ve been thinking about my position in DWB lately.  I want to expose KC to it more to see how he likes it and I want to continue my own personal practice and maybe go to a medicine Buddha retreat, but not much more than that….

Saturday, July 24, 2010

yesterday we drove to Seneca Mountains in West Virginia and took a nice stroll up to the top!

It would’ve been so amazing to climb those sandstone rocks.  We also geocached as a group which I thought was pretty fun.  Found a TB that I couldn’t take though because its final destination was in WV and I wouldn’t be able to take it there…but found some other neat prizes.  It was quite a pleasant day; no one dampened the mood.  Also after doing trail work the whole summer, the faults in this trail were relatively easy to see.  Today there is a whole lot of nothing planned so I think I will walk down the road for a couple of caches and then get left in town after lunch to explore.  That will be nice.  I wish I could talk to K.C. right now but he’s out having a crazy New Orleans trip.  I think I’ll write him a letter instead 🙂

Ran into Marlene today while walking around.  She told me all about how her group is doing.  It sounds so much more enjoyable than this crew…aand of course this crew doesn’t agree with that at all.  They don’t even like Marlene I think.  I’m feeling more homesick and lonely than ever because of this.  I feel so restricted.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Volunteer to cut firewood at a park!  Just an epiphany I had while working on the rock wall with Laura.  I worked on the wall all day today.  The 2nd half of the day was especially difficult.  None of the rocks seemed to want to place.  We may have to quarry more…Yesterday the majority decided to camp away from the campground.  I admit I was highly displeased with this decision since we now have to do more work when an alternative is obvious.  Oh well.  It just means I’ll have to sit on a cooler, do breakfast dishes on the ground, pee outside all the time and poop in a hole, none of which will be excruciating.  Also I wouldn’t see anybody else other than my crew but luckily I’m forcing myself to take walks in which I do see other people and remain sane.  Today I walked to the other campground to garner the info needed for a TB.  I will have to go back because I forgot my GPS.  This trackable challenge is an excellent excuse to camp more.  Dinner wasn’t all that great tonight.  The potatoes were almost unbearably peppery and the stir-fry had an incredible amount of onions in it.  At least I have tofu for tomorrow!  I’m sort of anxious about reading my sister’s email.  She’s making a big deal about inviting my bf to come visit.  I totally see where she is coming from which is why I have agreed to sleep separately or elsewhere but I don’t see why he shouldn’t come at all.  I don’t make it up to north TX often and I want him to meet and see people and things from my past.  Plus if it takes marriage for us to be able to visit together than I guess that will never happen…which I hope isn’t the case.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Today I worked on tread work all work day, then we cut out of work early to meet the regional forester.  She manages the forests from eastern TX to Florida and north to Virginia.  We also met Pat Sheridan, the district manager who will be visiting us again on Monday.  After the bigwigs left we talked to four guys about job opportunities.  Kurt, who may join us at work, has been working on the fire crew for awhile.  It’s tough and strenuous work but it’s rewarding and you get to travel.  Steve the wildlife biologist told us about how he volunteered with SCA on a high school crew in Big Bend.  Ever since he has been all over: Alaska, Oklahoma (reintroducing eagles)…There was also a timber guy there who told us a little about fast track: two years of job training can get you a job with the Forest Service.  They have this program because most people in the Service are old and near retirement age.  There was also a guy there in the STEPS program.  He is a full-time student who interns every summer.  He’s trying to get into training with the Hot Shots.  He’s guaranteed a job for two years after he graduates.  Working with fire sounds like an interesting career path.  I think I might look into it…

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Today was a very good day.  Work seemed to go by faster than normal.  While stretching, John read us an email that Pete sent out giving us extraordinary praise for creating an impression on the regional forester.  He emphasized how few people get to meet her, even after working years in the Forest Service and we got to meet her after just a few months as interns!  One thing I learned yesterday that I forgot to write down: All of the forest and grassland in our vicinity is burned down at least every decade.  This helps create habitat for plants and animals.  In the morning Pat and I hauled shale.  This physical activity really pushed my limits.  I’m glad Pat was there to assist when I needed help.  I couldn’t have chosen a better shale-hauling partner.  We also excavated some huge rocks before lunch.  Afterwards, I swamped with John and learned so much about chainsaws and how to get certified.  Since it’s normally free I figure I might as well do it!  After swamping I just quarried rock some more.  There was one really close call where the hill got the best of me and a rock went flying.  I’m going to be uber-careful from now on.  I have 10 points in the bag for that trackable challenge.  I’m pretty sure John noticed my look of disgust when he encouraged the duo; I was peeved but it’s funny to know that he interpreted it correctly haha.  I’ve finally started whittling my spindle; it’s going to be harder and more obnoxious than I thought.


First Day of my Last Semester tomorrow!

The first day of the spring semester starts tomorrow.  It is also my last semester at TXState since I graduate in May.  It’s off to a great start haha.  Four overdue library books, 3 of which I turned in last night.  One of those three they charged me $73 for replacement since they assumed I lost it.  That should be taken off since I returned it.  Two of those three were interlibrary loans so I hope those privileges aren’t suspended…The last one was forced into being overdue since the library wouldn’t let me renew it with my other overdue books.  Thanks a lot library!  Now I have to read this giant tome as quickly as I can so I’ll be able to check out books again…and I’m sure I’ll have to pay at least $5 for all of this so that I won’t have a hold on my transcript (and probably so I can apply for graduation).

Friday, July 16, 2010

Today I worked on widening and flattening the tread behind the rock wall with Laura.  It’s looking so nice!  We had good conversation which made the day fly by faster.  John let us get out of work early since it was so hot and bought us some snacks with SCA $.  After enjoying that goodness we washed off at the river; it felt so nice and I feel so clean.  Now Ian and Laura are cooking dinner including dinosaur tofu burgers!!Today is a very good day 🙂  I can’t believe it’s already halfway through July and that there are only 15 work days left.  It’s exciting.  I read the story of Smokey the Bear earlier; Forest Service propaganda!!

My first tent tick; crap, now I’m nervous.  I hope it just got on me while I was outside and that only one is in the vicinity…

Saturday, July 17, 2010

I brushed bigger trees all day today and did a little tread work at the end.  Laura and I had another good talk, this time about abortion.  Her and I actually have a lot of common viewpoints.  If all or most northeasterners are like her then I would get along pretty well up there.  Today John and I talked about our goals.  I mentioned how I don’t always work as hard as I could and that I need some serious rest this next off-hitch.  I started off this hitch tired and never built up any energy since then.  He complimented me on my goals saying that they are applicable throughout my life yet specific enough to apply to this summer.  At the end of the work day Ian made some unhelpful comments as I as putting the Dolemar in the truck and it really got to me.  His whole attitude since he got back has gotten to me and it shouldn’t.  His immaturity should not affect my happiness.  I felt like he didn’t even listen to what I had to say during feedback.  Oh well, it’s just another experience to grow and learn from and one more thing I will not miss from this summer.  Also, this morning, I woke up with a serious hand cramp/numbness.  I hate that part of this job; it’s pretty painful.  I’m stressing out and eating way too much sugar.  After today I need to cut it out.  It’s unhealthy and that’s not the way I want to live!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Today was probably the fastest roller coaster I’ve ever been on.  I wanted to cry while working on tread because my cramps were so bad.  Laura and I had a heart-to-heart in which I vented about the testosterone level.  Then I went back to tread work and was pretty happy without the pain.  Also had some nice alone time.  Then I worked on the outslope for the rock wall foundation which was frustrating since rocks kept rolling down the hill and I really had no idea of what I was doing.  Upon returning to camp I helped Pat with dinner and was in a pretty decent mood.  Then I started craving chocolate and gave into it and now I feel ft and bloated and just want to go to bed.  These hormones are killing me today.  I’ll be prepared for them tomorrow and won’t let anything (or anyone) ruin my day.  Also I’m going to create a new goal to eat healthy from now until the rest of my life which means portion control, less sugar and cutting out HFCS.  Ah HFCS, such fond party memories 🙂

Monday, July 19, 2010

Today started off really depressing.  It was raining and nobody was talking.  I was pretty confused about what was to happen today and therefore felt like a terrible leader.  I wasn’t told anything yesterday about today, so how was I supposed to know anyways?  I think it would be ridiculous if it came up in feedback; I hope it turns out better next time.  All I did today was work on new tread.  The day went by relatively quickly and the next two days will be short.  Alex is coming tomorrow and there will be the BBQ contest!! I’m really enjoying my current book.  Levin is by far my fave character; he’s living his ideal life and striving for happiness.  Too bad he was scorned by a woman…I have no dia what’s going to happen to knocked up Anna.  We will see!  Day dreaming has helped the day go by faster, never when it’s unsafe or inappropriate of course.  They are generally about one person whom I’m about to write a letter as we speak 🙂

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Today Alex and Shane joined us on the trail.  Patrick and I fire-raked the road all day.  In the morning Alex played games with us.  The first one was pretty ridiculous.  We created a couple of stories between the three of us.  The first one involved huge spiders that we ‘extinguished’ and the second one involved happy rabies and becoming addicted.  Pat and I ended with a bit of trail restoration.  Also received a letter from my mom today full of negative news about the family.  Then at the library I get stressed out about bills not being taken care of at the old apt and questions that I’ve already answered being asked again.  It’s super annoying…Along with these issues I’m asking myself some important life quiestions…I do not want to deal with this right now…BBQ contest tonight! and hitch report.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Worked on the rock wall all day and had my first wheel-barrowing shale experience.  Enjoyed some pizza and pie (hehe) at Jason’s.  Also found out that the Forest Service will treat us to a boat ride and dinner on the lake for all the good work we’ve done! Yes!  Now we are finishing up laundry and going to Stanton tomorrow.  I’m so glad the off-hitch is finally here.  I’m ready to ditch the rest of the group as much as possible.  I’m tired of the same people…mainly just one person and my patience is wearing thin…

Guess Who placed their first geocache today! :D

So my first geocache consisted of an ammo box (carefully labeled as a geocache so it isn’t mistaken as a bomb) placed close to the new Wonder World Extension.  The contents included postcards, stickers, bracelets, a carabiner radio, my KISS 8-track, a log book of course and a super cool trackable item called Bicycle Safety!  The TB was a small tube patch kit.  I’m so excited to see it published!  It was also a good time hiding it with my bf 🙂  Some people couldn’t wake up to join us.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Yesterday in Charlottesville the bus left us because they overbooked so we had to wait 2.5 hours for another bus.  What’s really funny is Laura was on the original bus and she saw us being left behind.  Once we got to Roanoke we all ate at Bojangles, a pretty cool biscuit place.  We didn’t get back to camp until around 10 or so.  I was so exhausted!  Today I was still tired.  Then it rained non-stop and I got totally soaked.  (Horrible day!!) I couldn’t enjoy crushing rocks because I couldn’t grip the handle.  And while I was brushing, a garter snake seemed to slither onto the blade and I killed it before I could stop.  I also had to take an emergency bathroom break without any wet wipes by my side and wiped with leaves for the first time ever.  That was interesting.  (No poison ivy thankfully)  All in all a pretty exciting day.  I look forward to tomorrow, hopefully with some sun.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

I really hope I get some letters soon and that they are not lost in the mail system..Today I raked behind Adam all day.  We didn’t get to the end of the trail like we thought we would.  I’m just happy it didn’t rain all day like yesterday.  All of my clothes from yesterday are still wet though since it did rain a little today.  It was horrible stepping into my shoes this morning; my socks were soaked as soon as they entered.  I’m super tired today, maybe even too tired to look for a fires set bow.  I’d sorta like to take a nap…

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Brushed/fire-raked the rest of th trail today and ran into Al at the end. 

He says we are doing a fantastic job and working a lot faster than he expected us to!  Then I helped apply some finishing touches to some tread.  Laura took the day off today because of some terribly unpleasant jaw pain.  It does not sound good.  It looks like she may have to have a surgical procedure in which case she will be laid up for a while.  I plan to say some mantras for her tonight.  Dinner tonight was too exciting.  We ran out of propane so John recommended we use the Whisper stoves.  Bad idea!! The O-ring on one was bad and it started leaking white gas while it was lit.  Then it created a huge fire with the possibility of explosion because the tank was on fire.  The huge flames created a ‘skylight’ in our tarp.  John put it out with a fire extinguisher while everybody was out of harm’s way and Pat was heading towards the water.  I was pretty much panicking from not knowing what to do next haha  After that we got the propane back and everything went smoothly.  During dinner John told us that Alex will be doing a safety audit on Tuesday.  I’m a little nervous about that for some reason…

Thursday, July, 15, 2010

This seems to be the most difficult work hitch thus far.  I’m super tired every day; Laura’s wisdom teeth are preventing here from working; an explosive accident in the kitchen occurred yesterday; and I got stung by a bee 3 times today!  I was rolling a rock down a hill (I quarried for the next rock wall all day today) and disturbed a bee’s nest in the ground.  Then the bees started swarming so I swatted at them and got stung on the hand.  I thought I was out of harms way when I found one hiding in my glove and shook it out.  Then I discovered it was hiding on me somewhere so I panicked and ran and it chased me and attacked.  I was stung on the arm and the head.  It was quite an unpleasant experience and I was ‘buzz-shy’ the rest of the day.  I don’t plan to quarry anymore tomorrow.  Here’s another thing that went wrong this hitch: John created a dent in the truck’s front bumper by running over the post that demarcated the camp site.  It felt like a twig or a rock in that giant truck.  I hope Laura’s verdict at the dentist isn’t too negative…This hitch seems to be going by very slowly; I think because I’m so anxious to go home!  8.5 hour days are wearing me out, especially since we are treating them like 8…

Visiting Odessa

Visiting family in Odessa for the New Year.  It’s been a good time so far.  It even snowed a little!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Rode the Metro to the Museum of Natural History which was amazing!  Saw ocean animals, dinosaurs, human skeletons, bugs, animal skeletons and mammals and the Hope Diamond.  There were a bunch of exhibits I didn’t have time to get to.  Then I went to the Old Post Office Pavilion for a falafel sandwich and Ben and Jerry’s (which made my hands all sticky).  Saw the EPA building today.  Then headed over to the Air and Space Museum.  They wouldn’t let me in without confiscating my eating utensils.  I proceeded to leave the building and mope outside because I felt lonesome and dejected for not being let into the museum I wanted to see the most.  I was able to get into all of the other Smithsonian Museums without a problem; it’s not as if I brought my utensils on purpose…Oh well, the incident is not worth dwelling on.  One thing about the Metro this morning: the machine stole my $ and now I’m getting $5 in the mail! Ha!  After the museum incident, I rode the Metro to the Congressional Cemetery and found the two caches there.  Saw some graves of some famous people like J. Edgar Hoover, the first woman nominated for president and one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.The cache was so clever!  It was like its own headstone.  “Here lies Geo. Cache”.So cool.  Then I rode back to the Forest Service office to get the info for the virtual cache.  I was about to ride the Metro to the Pentagon but I saw a poster advertising a Tibetan Buddhism exhibit at the Smithsonian.  Upon pursuing that lead, I encountered a closed museum…then I went to the Pentagon.  It was a lot smaller than I thought it would be; it’s incredible that a 747 only created a hole in it…After putting some bandages on my blisters I rode up to Chinatown and ate at the Hard Rock Cafe.  After another ice cream stop, I rode the subway to the hotel stop.  Attempted to find another cache at the local university but it was dark and there was a cop nearby;  I didn’t want to attract any attention.  Then I started chilling at the hotel.