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July 26, 2010

Indoors Girl meets Nature, doesn't die

I've never been ashamed of the fact that I'm an indoors kind of a girl. I like reading, knitting, and watching movies. I don't like getting dirty, being wet, or mosquitoes. So even though I live in what feels like the Camping Capital of the Universe, I never feel the urge to join in. You go carry all your provisions on your back and risk getting mauled by a bear and tempt malaria and squat to pee and sit around in your own filth for days. I'm going to make a strawberry meringue cake and watch a pithy French film.

But due to the whole not getting my contract situation last week (see previous post; update below), the gent had all sorts of time off and wanted to use it taking a trip to Crater Lake. A camping trip. Since Friday was our Negative One Anniversary, I decided, sigh, to be a good almost-wife and go with him.

Our friends Lrin and Erane were kind enough to lend us their tent and sleeping bags, and the gent purchased our provisions: marshmallows, chocolate, graham crackers, trail mix, bananas, beef jerky, peanut butter, jelly, and bread. I brought three changes of clothes, four pairs of socks, five books, and my neck support pillow.

We managed to snag the very last campsite-- there was a wuss family who left because they couldn't deal with the skeeters-- and we set to work building a fire so I could have what I came there for: an embarrassment of roasted marshmallows.

Some might say this didn't really count as camping, because our car was about 10 feet from our tent, and there were flush toilets a two-minute walk away. But I slept on the ground, dammit. I got really dirty foraging for wood and waited a whole half-hour before running to the bathroom to wash my hands. And when I woke up, I didn't shower. No sir. I splashed some water on my face and called it clean... eventhoughIknewIhadbugsprayinmyhairanditwasdrivingmecrazyandIfeltlikeIhadcreepycrawliesalloverme.

But it was all worth it, because I got to see stuff like this:


Contract update: Still nothing. I swallowed my fear of speaking French over the telephone and called there during my early morning/ their late afternoon. I'm pretty sure she said that everyone who could help me was on vacay for the rest of time so I was SOL. I do keep having dreams that I'll be placed in Auxerre, so there's that.

July 21, 2010

The Story of How Ice Cream Made Everything Much More Better

I had a terrible day. A rotten, no good, horrible, all-wrong day. Let me whine to you about it for a little while. You'll like it.

A couple of months ago, upon the advice of the smarties running my program in France,  I made an appointment to talk to the folks at the French Consulate in San Francisco for this Friday. The way the process works is that the school where I'll be teaching is supposed to send me an official contract (arrêté in Frenchy) saying that I'm legit to be in Franceland for an extended period of time. The contract will also finally make me privy to such apparently insignificant facts as what city I'm going to be in and how long I'm going to be there. You know, stupid stuff.

I need the contract before I can get my visa, and I need to go in person to SF to get said visa. So back in May I made that all-important appointment for this Friday, thinking I was giving myself legions of buffer time. That Guy I Live With took Thursday thru Sunday off so we could drive down there and make it a real adventure. It was all so perfectly planned.  Except: I have received exactly bubkiss from France.

Thus I couldn't keep my Friday appointment. Thus I had to make a new appointment for the last week I'm in Portlandia. Thus I had to buy a plane ticket that will take me to the Mecca of Awesome (Oakland). Thus I was very upset and may or may not have shed numerous tears in my office-cave.

In an effort to cheer me up, my buddies Do and Janielle insisted that I join them for lunch. I had a lovely time with my lovely friends until it was time to pay. I rooted through my Nina Toten Bag and could not seem to find my wallet in betwixt various other  flotsam. I figured it had to be in the vicinity of my desk, because I had just used my card to buy a ticket to the Mecca of Awesome. We got back to the office and it was exactly nowhere. My already fragile nerves got so bo-jangly that I was pretty sure I was going to simultaneously vomit everywhere and scream in a pitch only alpacas can hear. I retraced my steps with Janielle, all the while thinking about all the irreplaceable things i had in my wallet, like my high school library card, and trying so so hard not to cry.

We made it to the restaurant where we had just dined and the proprietor proffered my wallet the moment we entered the premises.

"Bless you!" I exclaimed. "Seriously. Bless you! Bless you! I mean it. Bless you!" (I don't know. It seemed like the most appropriate response.)

I forced another friend to join me for happy hour so she could tell me happy things that would distract from Woe Day. Afterward, we went to Lovely's Fifty Fifty, which has the most superior ice cream in my neighborhood. It's much nobler than that at another new scoop shop I shall not name, whose caramel salted chocolate ice cream was so saltily inedible I feel the need to defame it at every opportunity. But at Lovely's I had a dish of their coffee toffee ice cream with candied almonds and hazelnuts.

And that made my day much more better. The end.

Postscript: I was relating the day's woes whilst cuddling with That Guy and the right shoulder strap on my prettiest, pinkest summer dress snapped. Tomorrow will be a better day. Tomorrow will be a better day. Tomorrow will be a better day. Amen.

July 19, 2010

Monsieur Fatty Fat Cat


This cat has been stalking our apartment for a good month now. He's enormously fat and whiny and wobbly. His favorite things include: sitting outside our windows/doors and meowing incessantly, scratching at our front door at all hours of the night until we open it and hiss at him, and lounging on the concrete walkway directly in front of our home. He's so fat that his stomach almost brushes the ground when he waddles from window to window to torture us. We thought he might be pregnant, but a Cat-pert took a closer gander and saw that he'd been fixed.

He's obviously never looked at my Facebook profile, because if he had he'd know that one my favorite activities is Insulting Cats Right to Their Faces. And boy, do I.

July 6, 2010

Robo wants to wish TP a happy third birthday

I got lots and lots of cool stuff for my birthday (hello! Travel Scrabble!) but this is definitely one of-- if not the-- coolest. My friend Big D KNIT this. She knit the whole entire thing and stuffed it with love. It was her first time doing fair isle! She's the coolest! She told me its name was Gilgaplex or something, but I shall call him Tyranamas Pyrgmates in honor of this very blog's third birthday.

On our birthdays my mom always likes to tell her spawn their birth stories. (Mine goes a little something like, "They put me in a terribly cold and sterile room and my doctor was MEAN!" Explains a lot, oui?)

TP, here's yours:

Recent graduates Anna and Neenuh had just spent their very first month apart whilst slaving away at their respective West Coast internships. They wanted a way to share their adventures with the world, and they thought with their powers combined they could make it so, so good. While they Gchatted away on that fateful July 5, a blog was born.

Anna: ok I need a new blog name because wonk is apparently close to a famous blogger name
  what's a good one? also, we need a blog name
  I was thinking, like, "the *something truth"
  or something
 me: truth pirates
 Anna: perf
Throughout our various outposts in California, DC, Minnesota and Oregon, we've kept her alive against (sob!) ALL THE ODDS! And when I venture to Francey in two short months, Tyranamas Pyrgmates will remind me to give TP all my amour on the reg.