Saturday, April 23, 2016

I Wish I Knew What the Song Was Called.

The kids I was working with today worked hard. They also listened to loud rap full of misogyny and words we're taught not to say. I had plenty of time to think about the awful lyrics I listened to when I was younger, and while it surprises me now that it didn't bother me then... it didn't bother me then. I didn't internalize those messages, and I don't think anyone else I knew internalized those messages.

I'm also not about to pretend that famous white rock bands, the kind white people point to as the epitome of talent, don't have songs about things like having a big dick. It's merely coded differently, in ways that previous generations enjoyed, and they in turn pretended to younger generations that the coding didn't exist. This is part of why we think of yesteryear as more "wholesome" even though a) it wasn't, and b) it was way more awful in many ways for most people around the world. I ain't gonna be mad at rappers for just coming out and saying the same things in plainer language.

I said nothing about the music. The kids worked hard.

Toward the end of their shift, a different kind of song came on. A song about not hiding one's blackness to placate the kinds of people who will find a man scarier based on the color of his skin. A song about not being afraid to fight against inequality. A song that confronted the societal perception that the lives of POC are less valuable.

That song? I hope the kids do internalize what it had to say. I hope that their generation won't rest on "It's better than it was, I guess." I hope they never have to wonder whether their job application was turned down because their name didn't sound "white" enough. I hope they don't have to tell their kids about how to deal with the police and not get shot. I hope they live lives less fraught. I hope they live.

Those kids worked hard. I'm proud of them.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

National Coming Out Day

I just posted this on my Facebook page, and I thought it was worthy of pasting here.  I've also got a few real blog posts rolling around in my head, and I'll get around to them eventually.

*************************

It's National Coming Out Day.
To everyone who can't be out, regardless of the subject of your closet, for whatever reason, I hope that your silence is not always necessary. I hope that we can create a world where it is safe to be you. To those of you who can be out, please do so. Your outness helps create that safer world for people who cannot be out now.

Lest I be a hypocrite, I'm going to tell my tale now. To my entire friend list. If you don't want to hear it, feel free to unfriend me before continuing further. My stories are for people who care about *me* and not just their own ideas of who I should be, and I'm tired of censoring myself.

*****

I've never been entirely straight. My first crush was on a girl, so I never really had the option of pretending to myself that I was straight. I identified as bi for a bunch of years, and I was somewhat involved in queer community throughout my teen years. If you've met me in the past decade or so, though, you would likely have no idea, because it wasn't a thing I talked openly about much. And if you're family, well, I never really talked about any of this with anyone I'm related to.

In my mid-20s, I started to feel like I was an impostor. My long-term serious relationships had all been with men, and I hadn't felt Feelings for a woman in a while, so I stopped identifying as bi. I never entirely felt straight, either, though, so you'd probably hear me say things like "I'm basically straight." Or effectively straight, or whatever qualifying word felt right at the time... on the rare occasions my sexuality was even a topic. When people think you're straight, it usually isn't. I've also claimed to be a flaming heterosexual on occasion, but different people take that differently, so that was alright by me.

But I've never been entirely straight without qualifiers, and since I've recently found myself with a bit of a crush on a woman, that part of me will probably be louder again. And I'm not going to be ashamed of loving whomever I love. You can be happy for my happiness, or you can leave.

*****

I'm also polyamorous, and feel like I was born with this inclination, though I officially adopted the label around six years ago. I love [Ptah], and we plan the future together (in case anyone wasn't clear on those things), but I will also date other people (again) when the stars align properly, and they might end up planning the future with me someday, too.

If you don't know anything about polyamory, and are curious, my favorite resource is this one - start with the FAQ page: https://www.morethantwo.com/

Again, I'm not going to be ashamed of loving whomever I love, and you can either be happy for my happiness, or get off my Facebook page.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

I love you like a horse loves to run,

 I love you like a horse loves to run,
     as though it were a function of my form.

...And that's all I remember from the poem I wrote in the shower a short time ago.

     It's been a while since I've written.  I've had a busy few months, but without any exciting stories to tell.  I still like my work, I enjoy my home, and I think my Skellycat enjoys having me to herself much of the time.  I have a new coworker, who I like, and I'm starting to feel more comfortable leading at work.  I am slightly frustrated at the social isolation that comes with living in my idyllic location, but I also feel like I'm probably too tired to socialize half the time, anyway. 

     Have a few pictures!
                                               



There was an eclipse, and I managed to get a few pictures.
My home is technically in this picture.
She's such a pretty kitty.  And not impressed with my shenanigans.
A sunset, obviously.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Post 87: The State of Things as They Are

     My personal winter has passed, and my life is about to get a lot more busy.

     I go back to work in less than a week, and I move to a new apartment closer to my work.  I'll be living alone for the first time in a decade, and I'm definitely looking forward to it in some ways.  I think the time to myself will be good for me, especially after the things I've dealt with over the last few years.  I've been asked to return to the park where I worked last year, except I'll be going back with a promotion and a raise.  These are good things, indeed.

     I've actively wanted to date for the past few months, rather than my usual passive openness to the possibility, and that hasn't really come to fruition, but it's also not like I've been trying very hard.  In the next handful of days, I will have several social interactions, and it will be interesting to see how some of those pan out. I know that I've limited myself to a small pool of potential partners, what with being not only poly, but a particular kind of poly which is relatively rare.  I'm not into relationships which don't have the potential of being serious, and I live in a somewhat isolated area.  Basically, it isn't easy.

     I've had plenty of time to go over the lessons I've learned, as far as what I want currently from relationships.  I still agree with everything I wrote in Post 63, but I feel that it would be good for me to write an update, or at least an addendum, which covers more of my recent thoughts on relationships.  I hope to do so relatively soon.  I will have internet at my new apartment, and I should have plenty of free time, so it shouldn't be terribly difficult. 

     Meanwhile, onward to the future we go. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

I've finally been brutally honest with myself about this whole relationship thing.

     I hadn't made beef stew, one of the standard dishes in my repertoire, in over two years because every time I talked about making it, he insisted on making it instead.  Then he would proceed to use techniques and ingredients which he knew I didn't like, and tell me I was hurtful when I said that I didn't like those things.

     Now that he is gone, we can use the heat drying feature in the dishwasher.  Which he insisted that we not use, though he rarely did any dishes.

     He used the fact that I wasn't close to my family, because my family is mostly toxic, as a weapon against me more than once.

     I blogged about the "any reasonable person" phenomenon, but I didn't really go into the depths of it.  Any time he was feeling attacked, if I told him that I didn't attack him, he insisted that I did.  He wanted me to apologize for things I didn't do, and when I refused to apologize for things I didn't do, he would use that of further evidence of how hurtful I was.  He would not accept my intentions as I stated them, and insisted that I meant things I didn't.

     When I made new friends, he wanted to know if there was any romance involved, which was reasonable.  What wasn't reasonable was insisting later that I'd said there was romance when there wasn't and I had stated that there wasn't. 

     Part of the reason I took the job at the park in the first place was because I knew I'd need to have a better career and make more money because he never would.  I accepted that future, and felt confident that he'd contribute to a household in other ways.  While I was working to better my future and by extension his, he complained about how I wasn't as available, and wasn't around to do things like make sure he woke up every morning.

     One time, I used the word "snarky" and he pulled up a dictionary definition to prove to me that I was intentionally being mean, as opposed to accepting my explanation that common usage of the word does not match the dictionary definition he used, which I had never heard before.

     He has been to my home multiple times since he left, at times which have been convenient for him.  I couldn't do the same thing to him, even if I wanted to, because I don't know where he lives.  Other than that he lives in a town he didn't care about until I said I wanted to live there someday.  Now if I decide to go through with the plan I'd explicitly stated multiple times to him, I have to do so with the knowledge that I might run into him around town.

     After he left, he had the audacity to claim that I had abused him. 

     He linked me an article as evidence which did not reflect my actions during our relationship at all, and was much more reflective of his actions.  There was even a section in the article about how abusive people often claim abuse because they feel scared and like they've lost control, which fit his actions perfectly.  When I stopped allowing him to control me, he saw that as me trying to control him.

     He learned the term "gaslighting" and claimed that I had done it to him in part because I maintained the position that he should seek therapy to become an empowered individual.  Another part was that I would call him out on it when he would say one thing and then deny saying it, even though there were witnesses to this multiple times.

     He is a deeply ill person, and he needs help.  And I allowed him control for too long, and I'm dealing with repercussions and fears that I wasn't expecting, and I probably need help too.

     He is friends on Facebook with several of my friends, some of whom he's never met in person, and some of whom he's met once.  He consistently responds to their posts before I can say anything, so I don't.  I don't want to interact with him at all, even in an indirect fashion, but I'm also afraid to block him.  If I did, that would have consequences of its own. 

     He bullied me with his emotions, which I'd been through before, and thought I would never go through again.  But the way he did so (and exerted control over my life) was so insidious, so subtle, that I didn't recognize it.  As a matter of fact, it was the article he linked me while trying to convince me that I was abusive (and the fact that I didn't think I was as evidence of my abusive nature, and the fact that I was raised with abuse as a minimization of my own opinions of abuse) which finally got me to see things for what they had been. 

     A lot of people will probably think that what I'm saying is too private, and shouldn't be talked about in this semi-public manner.  But I'm not going to be ashamed for things someone else did, and I'm not going to pretend he didn't do those things.

     There is a part of me which is afraid that I will keep repeating these mistakes.  But I am also reasonably sure that if he had come into my life two years later than he did, I would not have accepted any of this.

     .    

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Right Now...

I am tired.

I have stayed up too late, and I am as sleepy as I was tired of driving today. Four hours in one stretch (though stretch is a misnomer here), without leaving the car.

I am tired of the idea that mythological evil monarchs and ghosts out for revenge must be female. I am tired of a culture that has prevented me from noticing this before today.

I am tired of that jar of pasta sauce I told you not to buy. I told you I didn't like it, and I wouldn't eat it, and you assured me that you would use it when I wasn't around. But you didn't, and I'm tired of reality being misrepresented to me, and you left but that fucking jar of sauce remains.

I am tired of this body I loathe because I often pretend that it is where my value lies. I am tired of that feeling, and I am tired of my own hypocrisy because I do not place a value on other people that way. And I am tired of that feeling when one of the things I want most is for society to see other things before physical beauty anyway.

I am tired of cleaning up cat vomit, and the worry that comes with having a twelve-year-old cat who keeps vomiting. Even though I know it's her habit of eating dry food and drinking too much water, which she demands I give to her from a running faucet. And I am tired of giving in, even though I know better.

I am tired of thinking about all of the things you did. I'm tired of being annoyed at you, at being disappointed in how you decided to be, and I'm tired of thinking of you at all.

I'm tired of expressing my exhaustion with the world, when I should be asleep.

Right now, I am tired.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Construction and Deconstruction

     I was building a building for a while.  One of the other parks in my park system was getting a new office built, and I got to help frame it.  It was very cool, and I got to learn lots of things which will help me in the future.  I also got to spend time with a couple of my former coworkers and the other Park Manager... and she's basically who I'm going to be in twenty years, so that was fun.  This week, we found out that the project had run out of budget, so there's no more work this year. 

     During the summer, I was under the impression that there wouldn't be any upward mobility at my park.  It turns out that Assistant Manager is most likely not coming back, and so the position will be vacant.  But I've also already kind of committed to applying for that position at another park... so I guess I'm probably going to apply for both, and see what happens.  Regardless, there will be benefits and challenges, as always, and I still have a couple of months to dwell on it.  But one way or another, I'll have a County Parks job next year.

     I've constructed a solid friendship with one of my coworkers, much to my simultaneous delight and frustration.  I don't trust myself to accurately represent the situation with words, but suffice to say that I both enjoy our friendship and think he smells really good.

     Oh, right, and I recently turned 34. 

     The past year has been a pretty amazing one for me.  For my 33rd birthday, I went to a place I'd never been to before.  Then I:

  • Decided to see what kinds of job opportunities were available
  • Realized that I actually had the experience to do a job I'd always wanted to do
  • Applied to a job in a place I'd never been to
  • Interviewed and landed said job
  • Found a place to stay in that location
  • Spent copious amounts of time alone for the first time in years
  • Was forced to finally see many good things about myself
  • Started realizing how strong I really am
  • Was happier than I've ever been
    
     I also learned a lot more about what I do and don't want in my life, made good friends, and exercised valuable skills.  I found simultaneously more adventure and more security than I've ever had, and met my personal poly hero.  The breakup with Horus wasn't exactly a happy thing, but it ended up being the healthiest thing... After learning that he has some pretty inaccurate ideas about how things were between us, we aren't going to be friends as I'd hoped.  Frankly, when someone starts making outlandish statements that make one wonder whether they're seriously that delusional, or if they're merely trying to mess with one's head, it's hard to have any regrets about the end.

     Regrets about the middle, and even some that go back to the beginning? Definitely.  I wonder what caused me to allow so much that I would never allow if it started now.  (I mean, I actually know.  It mostly goes back to patterns learned in childhood.  But why I didn't even see it is another thing entirely.)  I never misrepresented myself, even down to having a line about not being a good match for highly emotionally sensitive people in my OKCupid profile, but the majority of our relationship included the falling away of facades Horus could no longer maintain.  I grew in positive ways, and that was a threat.  I became a more powerful, independent me, and that was treated as a subversion of his personal power.  I stopped letting him control me, and that was seen as trying to control him. 

     I wish him well, always, but he is a deeply unhealthy person who is really good at slapping bandages on crippling wounds.  And I certainly don't need that in my life.  Not when a person doesn't actually want to get better and instead passes blame.

     I probably needed this experience in some ways, though.  Every challenging moment, every difficult past, has been leading me to a much better future.  And I have a much clearer idea of the kinds of people I need in my life.

     I'm also not sure whether I actually want to seek a "forever" with anyone.  I've never really made that promise to anyone, because I think there should *always* be reasons people would be willing to end a relationship.  But there is a difference in intentionally stating that I am not seeking a forever.  I want to have experiences where we learn and grow in exciting ways.  I want to be with people who would be able to be happy for me if an amazing opportunity took me away from them.  I want to be with people who enjoy who I am, rather than an attachment to me.  I want to be with other people who renew their choices all of the time...  I want to be with people who hear me, and not their assumptions or ideas of who I should be.  I want to be with people who embrace my me-ness, even when that means it takes me away from them. 

     Ptah gives me those things, so I know it's possible.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

A New Chapter.

     So Horus broke up with me.  There was a process, of course, and we'd talked about living separately for a while to reset some of our unhealthy behaviors toward each other.  But in the end, it was completely an immediate emotional decision, and unilaterally his.

     It's funny, I managed to live and have relationships up until the past year which ended sometimes by my decision, but almost always by mutual decision.  And now it's been solely someone else's decision twice, approximately a year apart.  I'm sure there was a lesson I needed to learn, and I hope I've learned it.  It doesn't matter how much benefit I can see from the end of a relationship, it doesn't matter how dumb I think the reason is, there is still some hurt.  And in my case, it's sometimes assumed by the reasonable things I'm capable of saying that there isn't any hurt. 

     Honestly, I think the assumption that I wouldn't have feelings about it probably hurts more than the actual breakup.

     Anyway, he has most of his things from the apartment now.  I'm hoping that we can have an actual friendship at some point, but I had to be gone today while he was here.  It's just a little too difficult at the moment.

**********
     In other news, I have been approved for unemployment.  So I won't have to worry about paying my bills and feeding my cats all winter.  And, Ptah landed a full-time position at his work.  So we're both doing better in a lot of ways than we have been in a long time.

     One of the benefits of currently being without romantic partners is that it will be easier for me to aim for the kind of radical relationships I believe in going forward.  But although I've had the urge to date for a while, it doesn't seem terribly wise to pursue that option fresh on the heels of a breakup.  Even though I have the situation reasonably handled, there may be challenging feelings I haven't gotten around to yet.  And I know how most people perceive dating shortly after a breakup.  It's a little different with poly people, but still...

     Anyway, there has been a lot of change in my life lately, but it's mostly been good.  And I'm really coming to like the me that I've been forging.  To the future we go.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Falling Into Stasis.

     I'm done with work for the season, I'm looking for fall and winter work, and I've filed for unemployment.  I truly loved my work, and I plan to return next year, but for now, I need to find something else to do.  I don't like not working!

     In addition to all of the obvious benefits of the job at the park, like learning new skills, doing something I found fulfilling and enjoyable, and earning more than I'd ever earned before, there have been several ancillary benefits:

-I've never worked enough hours to claim unemployment during the slow months before.  That bit of security is a *huge* deal. 
-I've never had three coworkers to use for professional references before, and now I do.
-I feel more confident in my capabilities.
-I made friends at my job.
-I learned that I *can* actually handle interacting with the public, at least when we have a shared love of public spaces.
-I learned to be alone again.

     All in all, the past several months have been a transformative experience for me.  I'm well aware that next year will not be the same, but I still look forward to going back.  And in the meantime, I look forward to utilizing my free time... if only I can get myself moving again.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Neuro Logy.

     I like to say that people are systems with known, and often predictable, responses.  I believe this to be true, and the majority of the internal data I've collected through the years helps me to make assessments on what people are likely to do, how they are likely to feel, and the reasoning behind their feelings and actions.

     This does not mean that I understand human emotions on an intrinsic level. 

     I don't.  I tried to figure out how to figure out human emotions via cause and effect precisely because I am not equipped to inherently grasp the emotional human experience.  Horus sometimes says things like "any reasonable person would know that would be hurtful." or "any reasonable person would feel the way I feel about this."  I am clearly not "any reasonable person," and I generally don't understand how he can even make those statements.  I can't extrapolate everything through data, ya know?  But just so we're clear:

     I AM NOT ANY REASONABLE PERSON.  And it's probably best to stop expecting me to be one.

**********

     I'm also a pretty highly empathic person.  This might seem counterintuitive, but I suspect that it's actually easier to feel the emotions around you when you aren't terribly busy having emotions of your own.  I know that when I *am* in an emotional state, I get very wrapped up in what I'm feeling, and don't notice much of what's going on around me.  But most of the time? I notice things.  I know that my boss and his wife were having a conflict over something recently, even though I saw and heard no actual evidence of such.  I know that my coworker is afraid that she'll lose the happiness she's found, even while she's talking about how fantastic her relationship is.  I know that Horus has some trepidation about a facet of my life he shouldn't have any trepidation about, even though he's taken care to not bring it up.  I know that Ptah is doing his best to not show me how much my considerable absence actually affects him, and also that he's handling it better now than he was a month ago.

     Sometimes I have to remind myself to give people their privacy, and not mention the things that I know, but which they do not tell me.  And other times, I'm completely oblivious to the emotional landscapes of others, when they think it should be obvious to me.

     When people are tense and angry around me, I have a hard time functioning.  Especially if I don't know why they are tense and angry, which often leads to assumptions that they must be angry at me.  This is partly my nature, but also partly the history of growing up in environments where there was a lot of tension and anger, and I was powerless to do anything about it.  I can't listen to aggressive music, as I feel threatened by most of it.  Sexual tension (and even aggression, as long as it doesn't veer into violent territory) in music, however, is something I can enjoy because I've enjoyed it in real life.  I prefer my movies and television shows to be light-hearted or profound, and have well-made characters which are believable against the backdrop of everything I've learned about human hearts and brains.

     When a character on the screen is cold, I shiver.

**********

     I don't know my own feelings much of the time.  I generally have to think, and sometimes talk, things out in order to figure out how I feel about a person or situation.  I get frustrated when my feelings don't follow a logic.

     Sometimes I marvel that I've been able to maintain any relationships at all.  I know that I can be good for people, but I also know that I can be extremely difficult to be with at times.  I've mostly gotten over the urge to break things when I feel strong negative emotions, at least.  When I was a child, I'd semi-regularly destroy things, and it got to the point where the best advice my parents could get was to shut me in my bedroom and just make sure I didn't hurt myself when I flew into a rage.  They gave me pills... I don't know what they were, but I can vividly remember what they tasted like.

     I gave up on trying to be normal some years ago, and started embracing the individuality within myself and others.  But in my teen years and early twenties, I spent a lot of time miserable over my lack of ability to be "normal."  The funny thing is, becoming more comfortable in my lack of normalcy has coincided with my ability to hack social scenes, and understand people better.  So as I have become better able to fit in, my desire to do so has gone away.  And now I don't even know why I ever wanted normalcy.

**********

     I could go on and on about myself: how I work, and why I work that way is something I constantly study. 

     I've long held the belief that I wasn't exactly a good example of a neurotypical person.  I've done a fair amount of study on Autism and related subjects, particularly when Thoth tried to say that he probably had Asperger's to avoid being an active participant in our relationship.  I didn't particularly buy that, as he liked lying and saw no problem with it, and generally fit the traits of someone with some social anxiety and a sense of entitlement better.  Anyway, I was reading about Asperger's Syndrome again recently, in part because I was curious how the DSM-V handled blending it in with generalized Autism Spectrum Disorder.

     In case one is curious, most of the rest of the world is leaving Asperger's separate from the general Autism Spectrum Disorders.  Also in case you're curious, I've never particularly seen Asperger's as a problem, so much as a different but valid way of operating.  One that society in general can use to help hold a more functional society, because it can't all be about social constructs... we'd never get anything done if it was! So the DSM is only vaguely interesting to me in the first place.

     However, in my reading, I stumbled upon a page that mentioned the differences between the way Asperger's presented in women and men.  The majority of the studies done have been with predominately male subjects, and there has historically very little perception that Asperger's is a thing women can actually have.

     So imagine my surprise when I opened a website all about Aspie women, and started reading a list of traits I possess.  Everything from my distaste for gender expectations, to my fondness for soft fabrics, to the fact that I find haircare tedious, to my empathic nature was in there.  It took me a week to process the idea that I might not be a bizarre snowflake, but a textbook case of something.  Or at least, would be if the textbook had been printed.

     I still haven't exactly decided how I feel about it.  But I know it would explain a lot, including how I'm not "any reasonable person," no matter how hard I try.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Right now...

Right now, I am trying to take a nap. But first, I intend to send an email.  Which requires hunting down a link. Which means loading a website with very little signal.

My entire day has been like that, only with physically demanding tasks.

Which is probably why I need a nap.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Older Enough

I cannot wait for the day,
When I am older enough and grey.
When I no longer put up with stupid crap,
Stop plucking hairs,
And grow a fine mustache.

I'm sure I'll still be round and busty,
Empathic, generous and lusty.
I'll release myself from bodily cares,
And I may even
Let you see my ridiculous chest hairs.

Maybe then I'll take to dresses,
With fine mustache and keep them in guesses.
I will not permit any shame,
For this body I hold,
When I am older enough and grey.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

I'm Sorry You Guys, but I Love My Job.

     My job at the park is going really well.  We have a good team of people, with complementary skills and personalities.  All of us are able to feel valuable and appreciated.  The park itself looks better than it has in years, from what I understand, and our more remote parks are also doing well. 

     There are some challenges involved in working in an environment which is removed from the administrative people who make a lot of the decisions, but there are also many benefits.  And all of us in the park are more suited to more immediate responsibility and less oversight.  All in all, I truly feel that I have found my calling.  I want to continue in public parks, and someday manage one myself.  I know I have the skills needed, so now I just need the experience. 

     The Manager and Assistant Manager at my park aren't going anywhere for *years* and so there won't really be any positions available for me to move up into in the future.  So, I'll work there this year, and probably another year or two, before moving along to somewhere else I can gain new experience and hopefully move up the ladder another rung.

     It's funny, I never thought I would aim for a career, or have career goals, but I finally do.  At 33.

     I still want to homestead.  Growing food is still something I find valuable and fulfilling, and I still want chickens and goats and to build my own life.  But in the meantime, there is something I find valuable and fulfilling, and can help me form a better future. 

     I'm sorry you guys, but I love my job.

Friday, May 16, 2014

A Memory.

     In my late teens, I helped put on concerts by local, mostly punk, bands.  Our awesomest show was actually a benefit for the local Planned Parenthood, and we were able to donate $1500 after costs and small payments to the bands.  We had a bunch of bands, mostly local, though a band named Charmless, from California, came up to play.  I occasionally get one one of their songs stuck in my head, 14 or 15 years later.

    We held the show in a pretty rural area, and called it StickStock, by the way.

     I'm sure it's mostly due to the pattern-seeking behavior that comes so naturally to the human brain, but between wildfires, meeting a recent transplant from the state, and talking about the times I went to California, it's been in my mind.  And because one of the other bands that played StickStock was former Seattle indie band Peter Parker, their song Goldenstate has also been swirling around in my brain, and led to those punk show memories, in a vortex of Californianess.

     Peter Parker's album Migliore! is here, along with the song I'm referencing.  I used to absolutely LOVE this album:
http://www.last.fm/music/Peter+Parker/Migliore!

Monday, May 5, 2014

If I May...


I am spending a lot of time on ferries lately, though not as much as I thought I would be.  My third day of work at the new job, I serendipitously met someone who had a part-time living solution for me. 


My keyring.  I even have a few more keys now than I did when this picture was taken.


I really like the ferry windows for framing photos.


I took the sunset sailing back from Lopez Island a couple of times.  It was pretty darned lovely.


Rainbow from the apartment porch.  It's interesting living partly in an apartment in the middle of a small city, and partly in a rustic structure on a sparsely inhabited island.  I really enjoy both things, so it's actually very nice for me.


Lovely clouds.


One of the downsides of the sparsely populated island, reachable only by air or sea.  I try to buy gas before I get on the island.  Well, I mean, my apartment home is also on an island, but Whidbey is reachable by road.  And even if one chooses to take a ferry, it's a much shorter and cheaper sailing.


The view from my bed at my second home.  It's been dubbed The Mud Hut, by the owners.  They're happy to have someone staying there, and I'm happy to stay there in exchange for an average of a few hours of labor per week.


The outhouse.  I told you it was rustic.


The main door in.  Though the giant sliding glass door/window wall also opens.


Seriously, when was the last time you even saw a gas pump like this?


Tulips, of course.


Apparently, this is called a Pheasant's Eye.  They weren't at the house last year, and I don't remember planting them specifically, but we did plant some mysterious bulbs in the fall.  So these were probably some of those mysterious bulbs.  Leaving the house is still sad.  And stressful, in fact, as we are still not quite done.  It's almost 10pm, and the guys are moving stuff from there as I type.  I had to sit the evening out, as working two jobs and never getting two days off in a row is really getting to me.


I wish I could intentionally slow down a bit, instead of operating at maximum output until I crash. 


One of the parks on Lopez Island has a few of these old, mossy paths and picnic tables.


And last, but not least, lilacs given to me by the owners of The Mud Hut.  They're such nice people.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

I GOT THE JOB!!!

     So we get the keys to the apartment on April 9th, and my first day on the new job is April 10th.  The new job is a Park Aide position with San Juan County, and will be based on Lopez Island.  I've long thought it would be really great to work in public parks, but didn't know or believe that it would actually be a possibility until recently.  I'm really excited to start on an actual career path doing something I would enjoy and believe in.

     When I went for the interview, Horus and I camped at the park where I would be working, and did some exploring of the island. 




Exiting the ferry.  Commuting to this new job will be a time and money investment, but the experience will definitely be worth it, and lead to even better job opportunities in the future.


Red currant bush.  There is also a lot of black currant growing on Lopez Island.  I look forward to the foraging opportunities.


It is a place of rocks and moss, and blue-green water. 


The park actually has a very nice beach, especially by Washington standards.


 Part of the campsite where we stayed.


Azalea in bloom.


Random wild daffodils.  Daffodils are definitely one of my favorite flowers.


So many different plants in such a small space. 


This dock is just falling apart.  I'm guessing there isn't much that can be legally done with it, now that the area is a nature preserve.  And the sunken dock will make a good habitat for many creatures.


 This came out looking like a postcard, didn't it?


Back at the campground.


Rainbow Trail, at Lopez Hill Preserve.


I don't like to eat fungus, but I sure do like to photograph it.


The cutest outhouse I've ever seen, at Agate Beach Park.  Most of the public bathrooms we saw were vault toilets.  The San Juan Islands are very conscious of resource use, because of very clearly having limited resources.  All of the drinking water on the island comes from rain, and many people have rain catchment systems at their houses.


Lunch break at Agate Beach Park.


The food establishment at the ferry dock.  It wasn't open when we were there, but I liked the logo.


I waited for a ferry to come in to be able to take this picture.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Small Update, and some photos.

     First, the "where to live?" question has been answered.  We were approved for an apartment.  In fact, it is an apartment where I lived before, and one of the few places I've lived that I would even consider going back to.  It has an extensive south-facing porch, where we should be able to grow some food in pots, and it is within walking distance from Ptah's workplace.  We should be able to save a lot of money, which will be helpful for creating a better future.

     I have a job interview in a few days for a potentially life-changing opportunity.  It will look really good on my resume, anyway.

     We might be able to get a plot in a community garden for the main gardening season.  It only runs from April through October... which drives me nuts, as an all-season gardener, but is better than not being able to grow at all.  Horus found a storage solution for our building materials and such, which will also give him a place to have a shop and work on his welding and smithing.

     I'm sure I'll have more to say after the interview, but for now, I have a few pictures from an adventure on Ptah's birthday, and a couple other random outings.