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The Connecticut Expedition, Part Deux Oct. 30th, 2010 @ 10:41 am
Day 2 Final: The end of the day was met with peril. Involving the near destruction of our occular memory device at the caprious hands of fate. Luckily, I was there, to save the day - and prevent what surely would have been the biggest ass-whooping of my life! With the photo-shooter in hand, we retired, once again, to our humble inn to rest our travel-weary bones for yet another day of journeying...

Day 3: Today we ventured to the old domain of Yale. It was in this place that we sought knowledge of the cosmos, but found something far more disturbing. Their city was a maze of blind corners, sudden turns, and bewildering mergers. But we prevailed! And arrived at our destination. Yale!

The Connecticut Expedition Oct. 28th, 2010 @ 05:13 pm
Day 1: Spirits are high as we ride into the blinding sun. Ohio is quiet. Zombies suspected. Jess annoyed with rest stop service. Suspected that she will flip over a cashier in anger.

Day 1 (Supplemental): Rest stop on fire... Ohio burns...

Day 1 Supp: Perhaps my jokes were ill-timed, or the recipient in ill-humor. Maybe this state is evil. Regardless, Jess has attempted to removed my thumb and forefinger with both her bare hands and her power window. Caution in the future seems to be the best plan.

Day 1 Supp: Pennsylvania is in every way a better state than Ohio. Better scenery, fewer cops on the road, fewer fires, and somewhat less dead rest stops along the trails. Things ahead looking better.

Day 1 Supp: CD player is overheating. Morale is waning. More importantly, road signs state that we should "Stay Alive!" and have noticed increased military patrols. Have concluded that zombies are in the hills. Also there are falling rocks. Outlook dubious.

Day 1 Final: After fending off a rare strain of Pennsylvanian spider, we arrived in the dark heart of Jersey. This damnation filled morass was a drain on both mind and soul. Nearly destroying our expedition from the inside out. Descending into madness at breakneck speeds, we passed the harrowing halls of blood and the windswept bridge of cataclysms. Escaping to the lands of York was not much better. Almost crushing our spirits into its endless grind of bodies. Alas! We persisted in our quest and arrived safely at our goal. The port of Bridges and its humble end of holidays. For now we rest...

Day 2: Having twice fended off the persistent keepers of housing, Jess blazed a trail into the port of Bridges proper. Having made our way through the labyrinthine roadways, we ventured to the town of Litchfield, and sampled their collection of wines and cheeses. It was here that I discovered a bleu cheese that was beyond proper words to explain... I was unsettled however to discover its point of origin... Jersey... Yes, that den of misery and mist was home to this heavenly cheese! Leading to one conclusion... of course they would be good at making moldy cheese. Bastards... Outlook positive.

Day 2 Supp: After careful reflection and three seconds of thinking it through, 380 acres of land was purchased in order to establish a proper forward camp for furthre expeditions to our most recent discovery - The Village. And not that Shamalamalan one...

Mother's Day May. 10th, 2010 @ 03:41 pm
Yesterday started off good enough. I went over to my parentals' house in the morning to take my mother out to breakfast (she got her card and present the day prior). She is super excited about her Kit Cat Clock! She shows it off to everyone. Anyways, on the way to Cracker Barrel, Mom drops the bomb on me: her sister is dead, and we have to decide how we are going to tell Grandma. Son of a bitch! This was fairly unexpected... How do you tell a mother, on Mother's Day, her child is dead?

After breakfast, I go with Mother to the nursing home to help break the news of the death of my aunt, Didi. My grandmother just got a Mother's Day card from her, too. It was eerie - talking about how it was destiny that she came to be part of this family, and how much she loved her. How god made sure this connection would happen.

We hung out with my grandmother for a few hours. Mom is checking on her today. I am going tomorrow after work (since I work at the hospital until 4:30 today, and start work at Blackbird at 5:00). It doesn't leave me much time to do much besides feed my cats and change my clothes.

After all of these things, Mom and I sat down to watched our annual Mother's Day movie - Silent Hill. Hey, this is one tradition I can stand by! It was interrupted a lot, phone calls from family, but we made it through.

Hopefully all of your Mother's Days were better. I don't have a good feeling about this year in regards to life/death. It seems as though the reaper is collecting early.
Aura of the Times: morosemorose

Rabbit, Rabbit May. 1st, 2010 @ 08:21 pm
I am currently watching Alabama destroy the Lady Volunteers in softball. Destroy! It is currently 7 to 0, bottom of the fourth. I love softball season! It really makes me feel alive and involved... I miss the infield. If there were two things that I hated most about slow-pitch softball it would be that it is slow-pitch and that I am currently stuck in the outfield (RF) when playing. I played catch and first base in fast-pitch. I got bumped to third base when I joined soft-pitch, and then got bumped out to the outfield. I do not enjoy.

--SLIGHT BREAK-- Mostly because, as I sit here typing and watching TV, I heard crinkling coming from my couch. I imagine it was because Trey was sitting on the plastic cookie holder. But no... He has a softer mouth then a hunting dog! Not only did he ninja from the kitchen to the couch, but he also carried with him (without breaking the seal) a fortune cookie. Really? Where did you find that? And how did you get it from the kitchen to this point without my knowledge?

I worked at McAfee's this morning. Earning money so I can spend it! I took the new man, Truman. I had them pull some urine on him because I have been having some problems again. Of course there were abnormalities. So, a pre-screen was necessary to check up on some levels. Find out tomorrow or, more likely, Monday. I also had the doctor check out his eyes, since he started to do a Stevie Wonder impersonation as of late. It turns out that he looks really good for his age! Instead of being 2-3, he is more like 9ish. Fun!

I looked into flight school today. While being expensive, I think it would be amazing. Think of the possibilities! :) Maybe at some point soon... I am going to do a Discovery Flight in order to see how much I want to do this.

Oh, the interim Director of Pathology likes what I am doing in the lab. I received a card through the mail saying thanks for what I am doing. And Friday, I received a free ticket to the lecture that I really wanted to go to! I am super excited. Everyone else in the lab seems to like me. Just my boss... Yay!

Life Apr. 16th, 2010 @ 06:40 pm
Let's say that you have an 85 year old woman present with 1.5 cm spiculated mass in her lung, and reactive lymph nodes surrounding. Woman has a history of chronic lymphocytic leukemia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and history of colon cancer (20-25 years ago). Would you biopsy? Lung cancer is aggressive, and it is ugly. There were abnormalities from x-rays recently taken when compared with the ones from literally earlier this year! That is why a CT was ordered, which showed the mass... 1.5 cm growth in 4 months is quite quick, and quite aggressive... We are going to biopsy it, mostly because depending on the type of tumor depends on the treatment options and maybe by some chance it is a histoplasmosis rather than primary lung cancer (or by some way-off-the-wall chance metastatic colon cancer).

But FUCK! How much does one person have to deal with in one's life?! Grandma's life seems a little heavy-handed when it comes to the nasty shit... This is all going to happen soon. The doctor that discovered the mass is talking to a pulmonologist to talk about dates...
Aura of the Times: blankblank
Other entries
» 1000!
As this is my 1000th journal entry to date, I thought I would mark it will a list and meme! Yay! You are all excited, I can tell...

At the start here, there will be the mighty beginnings of the famed bucket list (as it is today). Please keep in mind that these are in no particular order...

Take part in a triathlon (preferably by age 30)
Kayak in the Antarctic
Attend Love Parade
Surf
Study parapsychology
Learn another language
Participate in a Japanese Tea Ceremony
Bathe in the Ganges
Climb Mt. Everest
Scuba Dive
Smoke a freshly roller cigar in Cuba
Dance with Ellen DeGeneres
Ride a camel in Egypt
Get motorcycle license
Go to a real masquerade
Go to Oktoberfest proper
Visit every continent
Volunteer in another country
Skydive
Learn to fly
Then learn to fly a helicopter
Attend Loy Krathong
Ride a gondola in Venice
Go mushing
Attend Songkran
Go to a Broadway musical
Go to a Broadway Bares event
Meet Lorraine Warren

When were you happiest?
If not right now, then when I was probably 5 or 6. Going to see my grandparents almost every weekend. I got to bike ride or "skateboard" (all I did was sit on the skateboard and guide it down the driveway and onto the sidewalk). I got to throw a ball onto the roof and wait to see if I could catch it before it hit the ground, I got to garden with my grandparents, and visit the ducks. Back when my biggest fear was ducks and spiders...

What is your greatest fear?
Not being apart of something. Whether that is changing someone's life, or being part of a movement... I fear not doing anything that holds meaning in this world or the next.

What is your earliest memory?
Sad but true... My earliest memory is of I Love Lucy. I can remember standing up, and holding onto something in front of me for balance, and watching I Love Lucy. :)

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
If not my desperate lack of direction, then I abhor my inability to connect, sometimes, on a human level. I feel that my personality sometimes leaves something to be desired. I always fear that I am not a good enough friend to the people that I love. I have really worked on this over the years, and I think I am doing a lot better than when I was say 5 or 6...

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
A lack of self-sufficiency.

What is your most treasured possession?
Physical possession would be my photographs, followed closely by my books.
Otherwise, my family.

What would your super power be?
Psychokinesis or the like

What makes you unhappy?
Mocking others either to their face or behind their backs... Being treated like shit.

What is your most unappealing habit?
I am going to go with my innate ability to become a cave-dweller when not kept in-check with the real world.

What is your favorite scent?
Food, apples, cinnamon, dogwood, fresh cotton/linen, and the smell of clean laundry.

What is your favorite word?
Vergessen and transubstantiation

What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Probably something food related, sadly. Like a pint of ice cream after eating some cake or something.

What do you owe your parents?
Everything. I was an asshole of a kid, but I turned into the person I am today. They did a fine job keeping me alive and sane enough to make it through those terrible years. And I think that both my parents and I are better today for the process.

What would be your fancy dress costume of choice?
Something not too terribly big and poofy. If I had the body for it, the dress from Enchanted at the end. As it is, though, I have hips and more boobage than Amy Adams, so something more fitting for me.

What is the worst thing anyone's said to you?
"You just don't care." When I had stopped crying about my Busia dying.

To whom would you most like to say sorry and why?
To Jenny. For not doing more. I should have been more involved, I shouldn't have just walked away when you needed me perhaps the most. I don't like living in "shoulda" - I would rather have known that I could have made a difference or not.

What or who is the love of your life?
I am going to say my main squeeze Trey, as I have barely begun to live this life!

What was the best kiss of your life?
See above.

Have you ever said "I love you" and not meant it?
Yes, I did when I was younger. Nowadays I never say the words without meaning them 100%

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
All of my friends, my family, some authors, Joan of Arc, actors (e.g., Lucille Ball, Katherine Hepburn, James Dean...)...

What is the worst job you've done?
Barista

What has been your biggest disappointment?
I don't know. Maybe how this job has turned out?

If you could go back in time, where would you go?
One of a few places. I think I could make a great flapper! I would like to see the 40s or 50s. I would really like to live turn of the century on some mountainside or somewhere where I can rough it.

When did you last cry, and why?
I can't remember when or why

What single thing would improve the quality of your life?
Direction

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Being happy

What song would you like played at your funeral?
Beth Orton's "Ooh Child"

How would you like to be remembered?
As a descent person who tried to do some good and hopefully who had an impact on someone/something

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
"Life is a great big canvas: Throw all the paint on it that you want."
None of us is greater than another. We are all equals in the scheme of life. So treat each other respectfully and with a form of responsibility. We owe it to each other and the world...


Hopefully this will inspire you guys to write down (physically) a list of things to do before you kick the bucket! We can learn from each other, and inspire each other for sure! :)
» Conquering Phobias!
It seems that I have changed my family's outlook on being green! Sorry Kermit, it appears easier to be green nowadays... I am looking into taking several workshops through the Porter County Waste Reduction and Recycling Thingymabob. They are hosting these (and cheaply I might add) to help educate and also to jump start your knowledge thereof. For instance, next month they are doing a seminar on rain barrels. For twenty bucks you get an hour's worth of information on setup, maintenance, everything regarding the barrels... And you get a 50-gal rain barrel with spigot and linking and overflow valve! Fancy pants! So, my barrel will go to my parents, and my cousin is going to that class as well as the composting one. They are going to start composting for their swankified garden!

I successfully breathed underwater last night (and with only one moment of true panic. We started to practice skills right away for the underwater portion... First we had to take our regulators out of our mouths (the oxygen source), have a constant stream of bubbles flow from our mouths, and replace the regulator (clearing it once it is returned to your mouth). Fine and dandy. Next we had to take our regulator out, throw it to the side of us, retrieve it in a specific fashion, replace it, and clear it. Still okay. Not as big of a problem as I originally thought. Next came mask clearing... Go figure the most simple one is my issue! We were required on this third skill set to fill our mask partially with water, and clear it. When it came to my turn, I think I filled my mask too quickly and too much with the water (we were only supposed to get it close to eye level). I dumped water in so it covered my eyes, and I started to freak out - much as if I were drowning. Then I realized that the number one rule in scuba diving is to breathe continuously slowly, and deep. I was totally not breathing at all! So, I took a breathe from the regulator, talked to myself the whole time to calm myself, and cleared the mask. Next skill set we had to signal underwater how much air we had left in our tanks, and also practiced what we do in case of an emergency (our diving buddy would "run out of air" and have to use our octopus [aka, second stage] to breathe, and ascend). We ended the night with some snorkeling.

May I just say how hard it is to walk around in flippers. Scratch that - it is almost equally as hard to swim with them. I think by the end of the night, I was better. But, it took some practice!
» Nightmares and Lists
So, I had an honest to the gods nightmare last night. I am not really sure how I am supposed to handle it yet. Mostly I tried to sleep with my light on after that. Which didn't really work - so I was awake from 2:00 on. Anyways, it was very realistic, which is what bothers me most. I was driving down an old country road at night (of course), when I passed by the non-haunted graveyard that was on my left. I was headed towards the haunted graveyard for some reason (I just can't remember now why I was going there). Then I sensed movement to my left, and heard the whisper in my ear... And I was attacked by a demonic force. I woke myself up before I could die in my nightmare. It was honestly scary. I am leaving bits out, but mostly because I don't really want to dream them again tonight.

The main reason for my post is to say that I want to physically start writing down my bucket list (including the things that I have already crossed off the list). I used to have a mental list, but I have been adding and crossing off things like crazy as of late. So, within the next few days I will try to formulate a makeshift list. Every once in a while I will update it here. I think this will be a good motivator for me, especially when everyone flees from Valpo. It will help to keep me busy.
» Katze
It seems that my katze really likes to irritate me... He has recently learned that it irks me when he jumps on the computer desk (even if there is no food there). He will only do this when I am snuggled up in bed just about to go to sleep. I usually notice because he has stepped on my keyboard and started some song on my iTunes. His favorite song to play you ask? Lily Allen's "Fuck You" - go figure! But, I think he hit a button on my iTunes; I cannot reach the iTunes store anymore. Not that I really want to, you see! But, it would be nice to import songs from CDs without having to type it all out. Lazy, I know. But, when you import a shit-ton of songs, it is helpful. Any ideas?
» Random thought (brought about by yesterday's RockBand)
We were all rocking out to the RockBand when we came to the song Ironic. I remember this being one of my favorite music videos (you know those things they used to play on VH1 and MTV). So, we decided to list some of our favorite music videos. In no particular order, here is a glimpse at mine:

A-Ha "Take On Me"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_EXxMlIExpo

Alanis Morissette "Ironic"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jne9t8sHpUc

Beyonce "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" - Also, I wish I had legs like Beyonce!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4m1EFMoRFvY

Blink-182 "What's My Age Again?"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7l5ZeVVoCA

Beastie Boys "Intergalactic"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDS83yrM30Y

Lauryn Hill "Doo-Wop (That Thing)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dE6Qcc6VDo8

Weezer "Buddy Holly"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kemivUKb4f4

Jamiroquai "Virtual Insanity"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJmX1z1NY2c

Korn "Freak on a Leash"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRGrNDV2mKc

Fatboy Slim "Praise You"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ULVQOneeZE


I know that I am missing some good ones on here, but this is a pretty good start.
» Bicycle YAY
This is going to be an outcry to all of you out there that still do the livejournal thing. I am interested in salvaging old/not wanted/even beat-up bicycles/frames whatever you got or know of someone having that they are willing to part with for free or really cheap. Keep an eye out! :) I would appreciate it greatly.
» Not Dead
I seem to be surviving. Although, I will go to bed super early tonight. I am running on 40-odd hours of antibiotics now, and I don't have a froggy voice anymore, but it still is quite raspy. :( More sleep will help!

Also not dead are my worms! :) I have been keeping them in the bathroom under constant light these past few nights (to discourage escapee-ism). The bathroom stays relatively warmer than the rest of my apartment as long as I keep the door shut. So the worms are rocking out at about 55-60 degrees while I sit in the 50 degree climate. They seem to be pretty chill at the moment. Some of young ones were nibbling at their scraps, while the other ones seemed content on hang out in the bedding (which they do when they aren't feeding). I kinda wish that I could have checked them out longer, but I know they don't like the light, and they certainly don't like to be poked or prodded. I can respect that.

I went to the big library sale the other day and bought Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and something like 30 older Gourmet magazines. 2000 being the oldest year that I bought. But, in all seriousness, I walked out of there with all of that crap for like three bucks. :) I love sales of goodness. I really do need to stop buying books and start reading the ones that I have, but I can't help my biliophile ways...
» Currents (minus badness)
I received my Worm Factory 360 today! I am uber-excited about it, if you couldn't tell. I think it is going to be like a grown-up science experiment, and I will probably treat it as such. I am just waiting on my dad to drop off his newspaper from the day. I don't get the newspaper, and sadly, that is what they are recommending for the first/bottom layer of the first bin. As I am brand spanking new at this, I at least want to set things up properly before I dispatch my worms...

I sat and hand-shredded cardboard and those free auto magazines for like a solid hour - making sure I would have enough fiber/bedding for the worms when they do come. A pound of worms (which will arrive Thursday or Friday) could eat up to 1/2 pound of food a day. :) This could actually reduce my garbage output by as much as 2/3!

...Some time later: I just finished setting up the composting system! :) Now, all I have to do is wait for the worms to come. Hopefully they will readily adjust to their new home (which may take up to a week's time).

In other news, I am reading a lot. I seem to be a book fiend this year. I have completed the first six Sookie Stackhouse novels, The Demonologist, and I am partially through my two worm books. Next, I need a change of pace true and fictitious supernatural things. So, I am moving on to children's books! Diary of a Wimpy Kid will be the next book I consume.
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