Sunday, November 26, 2006


My BMI is actually only 22.7 according to

Best leftover turkey usage: Jambalaya-style risotto. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat in pan with minced shallot, chopped celery and onion (I used leeks because I had leftover from my stuffing mise en place). When slightly softened, add chopped red and green bell pepper. Add arborio rice and saute until rice gets slightly shiny, with that white dot in the middle of each grain. Add 1 cup of tomato juice and 1 cup halved grape tomatoes. Toss in a sprig of thyme. Add 1/2 tsp. paprika, 1/4 tsp of celery salt, couple cracks of black pepper, fat pinch of chili flake, and a few fat drops of liquid smoke. Stir. Add 1 cup of hot chicken or turkey stock, stirring nearly always. When stock is absorbed, add another cup of hot stock. Keep doing this until rice is almost done. Add cooked, chunked turkey to risotto and stir in. Add fat pinch of kosher salt (to taste; my homemade stocks are never salted). When risotto is just shy of done (I like it a skosh softer than al dente), add final cup of stock, a handful of peeled prawns, and a handful of frozen chopped okra. Shoot a few dashed of Tabasco in there. Plate; top with grated sharp cheddar and chopped parsley.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


God, has it already been a month? I feel kinda sassy today. And by sassy I mean cunty. No reason, really, I just have hit my "dealing with bullshit" threshold. I yelled at a chick from when she kept aggressively trying to talk me out of cancelling my membership. There are only so many no-thank-yous I can mutter before I have to tersely say "are you gonna let me quit or not?"

Scott and I joined 24 Hour Fitness a couple of weeks ago. Evidently, to reach my weight loss goal (of only 10 pounds) I should be shooting for 1580 calories a day, plus cardio and resistance training 3 times a week. Are you fucking kidding me?! I have a BMI of like, 25. I just want to get a little girl-cush off my middle so I can start a maintenance program and not put on more weight in my third year with Scott. I've been fastidiously keeping a food journal and hitting 1800-2000 calories a day which is probably a decrease of 500+ of my daily intake. Did you know that one chicken breast is actually two servings? Neither did I, until the Nutrition Facts Desk Reference became the Bible. I'm hitting about 150% of my RDA for fiber, which is great, and about 30g of fat fewer than the 65g recommended. But this topic is tired. After my hour-long workout, what I really wanna talk about is what I'm cooking for Thanksgiving:

  • Turkey two ways (I feel like such a whore saying "two ways" - what is this, Top Chef?): legs confit (I bought a pound of duck fat to accomodate this Dyonesian dream I've been having) and roasted breast (brined overnight in white wine with oranges, for that perfect juicy tenderness)
  • Mashed Yukon gold/roasted garlic potatoes with mushroom-shallot gravy
  • Bruleed sweet potatoes with sage (I'm preparing a sage custard to pour over the sweet potatoes and will brulee the top with some brown sugar when they're done)
  • Savory bread pudding (made from scraps of jalapeno cornbread and nutty artisanal bread heels that I've been stashing up in the freezer) with celery, mushrooms and lots of thyme
  • Haricots verts au gratin (a fancy way of saying green bean casserole, made with homemade bechamel instead of canned cream of mushroom soup, and topped with toasted shallots and asiago instead of Funyons)
  • Wilted spinach with bacon and orange zest
  • Cranberry-ginger chutney made with triple-sec
  • No room for dessert. We'll just have vodka and cran with a cigarette.

Oh, yeah, we got up at 5am on Sunday to get in line for a Wii. I was #17 in line for the only 18 units the store received. Needless to say, we got one! It has been hell of fun to create Miis for all our friends, and we even made a downie (Downie Sue) and a Chinaman (ChingChong) just for shits and giggles. Now we have a complete baseball team! Hooray!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Taco pizza, ants in my pants and a thorn in my side - adventures in Yakima

I just got back from more adventures in the field. This time, it was a proposed aggregate mine in Yakima, Washington. Yakima is a shitty, shitty town. The first night after Greta arrived, we decided to try a Tuscan restaurant on Yakima Ave (the Main Street of Yakima). This place was to Italy what the Rheinlander is to Germany - garish and a gross (albeit hopefully unintentional) parody on a culture. The interior had been festooned with plaster-of-Paris false fronts that were intended to evoke dining al fresca on the streets of a Tuscan village. This wasn't even the really the problem, though. The first red flag was that all of their servers are apparently 19 years old. None of them could recommend a wine, because they aren't even old enough to drink. And they all just stood in the kitchen gossiping instead of doing their jobs, which angered me.

The second red flag was that there were no Tuscan items on the menu. The Tuscans have been nicknamed by their countrymen as 'mangiafagioli', or the bean-eaters, for their love of the canellini. It's what they're famous for. Not one item on the menu had beans. There were no cippoline onions, no bread salad, nothing Tuscan! They did, however, have taco pizza. WTF?! This also angered me. For $18-25/plate for an entree, I expect to see some fucking Tuscan food!

Okay, so we finally order, and I go for the halibut. Your choices for the sides are spaghetti or fettucini. I figure it'll come just tossed in olive oil with maybe some herbs, so I decide on spaghetti to compliment the delicate texture of the fish. I get my meal and the spaghetti is covered in marinara! With halibut served with lemon pepper and white wine sauce??!! What the fuck were they thinking? If there even was any wine sauce it had been completely buried by the marinara that was so cloyingly sweet that it made my teeth hurt. It was as if these stupid motherfuckers spent a trip in the Tuscan region and decided, "Hey, why not open a restaurant? I know how to boil pasta!" They don't even seem to know that 'spaghetti' is a pasta shape, and not "thin noodles covered in red sauce". Greta's fettucini came swimming in heavy alfredo sauce. If you're going to try to charge big-city prices then you need to HIRE A FUCKING CHEF. The saddest part of the ordeal is that they seriously blew a great opportunity to showcase some of the Yakima Valley's delicious wines. They just totally shit the bed on this one. I never thought I'd hear myself say it, but we should've just gone to the Olive Garden.

* * *

Oh, so the field work wasn't bad. The area where we were working is comprised of a complex of large ponds with adjacent emergent, scrub-shrub and forested wetlands, with little sloughs that flow between them. Beaver activity has created nice open marsh areas, and there were lots of great blue herons and great egrets flying and squawking about. Whenever I see those large wading birds I like to shake my fist and yell "Go back to the Pleistocene!" and that always make me chuckle because I am a nerd.

Greta and I decided that, due to the spatial scope of the site (~200 acres), we should split up and flag the wetland boundaries working in opposite directions. So I'm merrily flagging along, tying fluorescent pink tape to the willows and teasel, and I decide to take a look behind me to see if my line makes sense. Then I notice this huge herbaceous wetland on the opposite side of the willow thicket, and realize that I need to backtrack a bit to pull the adjacent wetlands into my wetland boundary. I see that the quickest way is to cut through a patch of young cottonwoods that were growing on top of a berm, so off I go, pushing my way through the brush.

I get to the other side, and sniff sniff " you smell vinegar? Huh, that's weird uh-oh wait I remember something about formicine ants on a David Attenborough show once..." and I look down to see that I am COVERED in these frighteningly large, red and black ants.

They were practically turning themselves inside out trying to bite me and inject me with formic acid (which is similar to in molecular structure vinegar, or acetic acid). Fortunately, I was wearing so many layers that they couldn't get to my skin, but they were moving fast so I whipped off my field vest and dropped it, then started stripping down and brushing them off as fast as I could. I get them off me and am shaking my hoodie to ensure that there will be no hitchhikers, and whew! I got them all off. Then I look at my hoodie and realize that I have been shaking it into a patch of devil's beggar's-tick (Bidens frondosa), a lovely herb common in wetlands that bears yellow flowers which mature into very spiny seeds. My jacket was now covered in tenacious burrs, and I am, once again, angered.

I spent nearly thirty minutes picking these things out of my jacket, still shaking from the ant experience, nervously glancing about to make sure they're not marching back toward me. I decided that it would be best to keep moving, so I just double-checked my hoodie for ants, stuffed it into my vest and kept cruising through the brush. Then a rustling sound in the thatch, out bursts a rabbit and I almost dropped dead of a heart attack. I can't remember the last time I had such a jarring experience in the field.

For the following three days, the work was pretty free from nature drama. I kept seeing those ants, which I realized were protecting their herds of aphids that feed on the sweet cambium of cottonwood saplings. On the second or third day, as I was tying a flag on one, I realized I had squished some aphids and when I turned to look at my flag it was literally writhing with furious ants. I just shuddered and kept moving.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Okay, here's the thing.

I haven't been blogging a lot because since the main computer died all we have is the laptop. Il intolterating everything I've poured my soul hate the laptop because the stupid finger mouse pad thingy is so sensitive that whenver I am blithley typing along, all of a sudden the cursor jumps to the top of the page, adu

You see what happens? This is what I'm talking about.

I want to share pictures, then later I'll get back to the normal business of life stuff.

This one is for Signe.

I feel as though I look alright in a bikini, so long as I'm tan and up a Vese tree, obscured by epiphytic ferns. I rapidly clambered out of that tree once I discovered an army of ants marching tenaciously toward me. I haven't climbed out of a tree that fast since 1995 (that was the time I drank a cup of Psilocybe tea that hit me all of a sudden in the top of an ash tree growing at swamp's edge, and in a moment of clarity I knew that "up a tree" was no place for a person having a psychedelic experience -well not that time, anyways).

The view from the bure was spectacular. I swam in that very stretch of ocean every day, drinking in all that saline bathwater with my bare skin, only coming out when I craved nicotine and rum. I do love Portland in the autumn, but damn.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Oh shit I am married!

Holy shit I am married! Scott and I are killing time in the Westin LAX before our flight to Fiji, so I blog.

Here are photos of the bachelorette party.

Monday, August 07, 2006

A Day in the Office, Part Deux

The video looks a lot cleaner on my little digicam. I do not actually have a huge pixel head in real life. And despite appearances, I'm not on chemo, I just hafta wear a do-rag to keep the twigs off my head and spiders and ticks out of my hair. I clean up real nice, I swear!

This was shot in the Obenchain Mountains near Medford, OR, where I worked 80.75 hours last week. Here are some nice shots of the area:

The manzanita up there is so gorgeous!

I drove home after a full day yesterday, and am happy to have my regular life back for two days before I go back out for 6 more days.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Dang but it is hot.

On the drive home from work the bank by my house said it was 104 degrees out. I got home and drank some tequila, then moved on to vodka. I watered the garden, and sprayed myself a bunch. It felt so good! It felt so good, in fact, that I ordered Scott to put on "Feel So Good" by Chuck Mangione (yes, I own that record) and we rocked it while we played in the sprinkler. It feel so good!

The birthday party last week was hell of fun. yay, I'm 30! My girlhood dreams have come to fruition. Houxy made it up from LA, and the party was lively and such. The karaoke machine rental paid for itself, a $150 value! Not a whole lot of people sang, but the few karaoke whores I know (Patrick, Houx, Danno and myself) made it a worthwhile endeavor. Even painfully shy Joe sang a few! Yes, Joe, I'm talking about you on my blog! You are shy, yet you sang!

Scott gave me a sweet digicam for my brthday. Here is a pic of me at Germanytown (the Rheinlander) on my birthday proper:

Update 7/28/06: it took me over a week to figure out why I couldn't upload my pictures, and during said heatwave I literally couldn't stand being not-in-the-basement. Now it is lovely out, and I am back.

I bought some new CDs today: Muse - Black Holes and Revelations; Deltron - 3030; Girl Talk - Night Ripper; Blackalicious - Nia; and J. Zone - Experienced. The last one is some guy who mixes beats for some folks and has a thing, but he made a Hendrix tribute album that is decent. Muse is the new Thom Yorke-cum-Emerson, Lake and Palmer and is hell of good. Deltron is, of course, Del the Funky Homo Sapien all rapping about some sci-fi and such. The Blackalicious is old (2000), but shit, I'm driving to Medford tomorrow and need some tunes. Same goes for Girl Talk, which miraculously and seamlessly mixes Rush, James Taylor, Paula Abdul and 2 Live Crew (among myriad others) into their own flow. Good stuff.

Tonight I'm making rock fish fillets with pink prawns and mango-habanero salsa, grilled polenta and wilted spinach.

Some more pictures for posterity:

Me and Scott at Germanytown. East SIDE (Scott messed up but it's okay)!

Patrick is warming up the mic.

My dad bought a fucking Harley with the money he made from selling his house.

Greta is painfully shy, but is no match for the Houx. We tried varied mustards that night.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Adventures in Klamath Falls

OMG I had so much fun tonight. I ate at a sketchy Vietnamese place that was located on the highway, the only Vietnamese joint in town. They had like 175 kinds of beer proudly displayed in the fridge case immediately at the entrance, and you just grab one and they open it for you and put it on your tab. The decor was like bad Jamaican-tropical (think fake palm trees draped in plastic flowers) with Bruce Lee posters and these tapestries that could only be construed as Japanese Patrick Nagel - graphically hot chicks with neck-to-ass Yakuza tats all demurely looking over their shoulders and shit. Their menu was dauntingly large, so I just asked for the waitress to bring me whatever it is her favorite thing to eat. I ended up with a seafood combo that was pretty decent. Then I went and pranced around in front of Klamath Falls' web cam for fifteen minutes.

Later I went to the trucker bar Mollie's and instead of karaoke they had an okay blues band. Then all of a sudden the most awesome old timer came into the bar. He was 85 if he was a day. He was wearing the cowboy shirt with the embroidered flowers on the breast, huge-ass belt buckle, suspenders and a dark blue kerchief tied smartly at the neck, the greased-up pompadour and little black loafers with white socks (a fashion don't, but give the guy a fucking break. He's like 85!). Be still my beating heart!

As soon as he walked in and sidled up to the bar, I ran over and told the bartender that his drink was on me. (His beer is delivered in his own fucking personal stein that the bar keeps for him - this crusty old dude is hell of punk rock!) After receiving such information from the bartender, he looks around the place all confused. A burly dude to his right points me out, and Bob comes over and asks, "Do I know you?" I said, "No, but I thought you looked like a guy who should have a drink bought for him." He shrugs his shoulders and goes to his table where a woman probably in her 60s gives him a "you got some splainin' to do" look.

After awhile of wondering if I could ask to have my picture taken with this Johnny Cash's dad, Bob all of a sudden comes up and asks me to dance. Dude's still got it! How could I say no? So I go up and dance with him, gettin' a little freaky when his back is turned, and finally the song is over after what seems like a million years.

He then has the elephantine stones to ask me "Who're you here with?" I point to Greta and say "my coworker". He asks if there's a man, and I just thrust the bling in his face. "Oh, you're engaged." I gave him a hug, thanked him for the dance, and returned to my table.

Then he returns to the table after a few songs and asks Greta if she'd like to dance. She politely refuses, but he won't take no for an answer. She admits that she's not the dancing type and so he offers to teach her. This dude is so hardcore that he should be teaching classes on how to be a badass ladies' man.

And that was my awesomely fun night.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Nerdcore Hiphop Will Reign Supreme

I haven't talked about anything lately except work or getting married. But I still gotta be me! Through it all, I have been hell of rocking some nerdcore hiphop. This is another one of those things that I talk about too late after I've been into it, but oh well.

Nerdcore includes, but is not limited to, MC Frontalot (as mixed and remixed by BadddSpellah), MC Hawking, and MC Chris. And while goofing off trying to find links to these guys I discovered other delights! Such as Optimus Rhyme. And did you know (I'm sure you did, but whatevs) that Del the Funky Homo Sapien does this Deltron 3030 thing? I already liked him (and, embarrassingly, I just figured out that he's in Gorillaz. Color my face red) !

It's so nice that the Droppin' Science movement of yore is experiencing a much-deserved comeback. But if metal is more your speed, try a little Minibosses. Their rendition of the theme from Super Mario 2 is sure to please. And you can listen to any number of songs by the NESkimos here.

I guess that's all. Please comment if I've forgotten anyone. Oh, and props to Chris Onstad (Achewood creator) for his awesome art above that begs to be a t-shirt.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

A Day in the Office

More Adventures East of the Cascades

On Highway 19, near Kimberly. This was outside our study area, but was still worth a quick stop.

This is the White River, where I ate lunch on Tuesday. We bought groceries before we left Portland, so we were able to have baguette and brie with sopressata (I know, I know - Italian salami with French cheese? I'm just a little CrAzY!!).

West side niggaz represent. (Okay, this is a really bad picture of me, since it was the third day on the road and I'd been in the car for like 9 hours that day. And the sun was in my eyes. And I had bug bites and a sunburn.)

We stopped and snooped around about a dozen old abandoned houses. They'd all been since colonized by barn swallows and owls, and had rusty empty cans in the basements. I kept wondering what goes wrong in a person's life where they just pick up and leave a house behind to fade in the desert sun and get shot up by bored rednecks. /shrug

Friday, June 02, 2006

Rednecks and My Menses

Two great tastes that do NOT taste great together. Fortunately, I was already home before I really started bleeding, or there'd be a coupla dead rednecks in Roseburg.

Last week was what it was, but at least I came away from the adventure with four cow skulls, and I only got called "bitch" about a dozen times. Here's the thing: unlike me, Coworker grew up in a stable, loving household with people with whom she is very close and enjoys spending time. Ergo, she finds rednecks fascinating and sexy, whereas I'm happy I don't still have to live with them or let them raise me. Fucking ig'nunt boys from Roseburg is her adorable version of "slumming". Anyway, while we were down there we hung out with one of her friends-with-bennies, Jerry (can you believe his name is Jerry? That is SO on the nose!), who is the fag-hatin'est, Bush-votin'est, hard-working-'cuz-his-alcoholic-daddy-may-have-beat-him-
but-taught-him-the-value-of-a-dollarest good ol' boy you could imagine. For hating fags so much, he was actually one of the biggest divas I've ever met - the man would not stop talking about himself and his awesomeness.

Anyway, yeah we (and the other two rednecks he brought with him) got into it a bit about "where we came from" (yes, THAT old debate). Coworker, the mediator, kept trying to change the subject, but dudes like him are so much like my dad that it was like taking candy from a fucking baby. I've had this argument so many times that I could do it in my sleep. However, I did let them get the best of me when, in my shock at their audacity/stupidity, finally shouted "You are so fucking ignorant!" That, in my honest opinion, was when I lost that fight. They don't know that they're stupid, and certainly can't help it. It was a fool's battle indeed, and besides, one must never engage in a battle of wits with an unarmed man. Besides, I already knew I was the victor when I had them hiding in their hats at the bar after I told my litany of filthy pedophilia jokes (Q: What's the best thing about getting a hand job from a five year-old? A: Your dick looks huge in the Polaroids). Anyhoo, I did win a loogie-hocking contest with Jerry, and that really skeeved him good. And I was told (complimented?) that I belch like a man. I am woman, hear me roar.

Oh, and my cooter is still bleeding, after like ten days or something. The thing is, I don't menstruate. It's one of the delights of being on birth control: I have a wee bit of spotting every three months, when my shot's due. But never an actual period. Every once in awhile, though, my uterus, having evidently stored up years' worth of periods, decides to just open the fucking floodgates. "Wheee!" my uterus says. "How ya like me now?" I'm cruising through tampons every three hours. Today I had to take a dump and squished my tampon out by accident whilst attempting to nudge the poo along. It did not make me feel in alignment with the tides and the moon.

Next week it's back to Dufur and Mt. Vernon to finish up the plant surveys, then I'm home for a day (enough time to get my fucking birth control shot and stop this nonsense), then I'm off to Klamath Falls to start 6 straight days of hacking through brush in search of the elusive desert wetland. Yay (psyche).

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Big Sky Country

Here are a couple of photographs of where I was doing field work last week. Jealous much?

This is near the City of Dufur, Oregon, where I surveyed for Astragalus tyghensis (a cream-colored member of the pea family) and Ranunculus reconditus (a tiny buttercup). A thunderstorm flushed us out, and we had to drive through it on our way to Umatilla, another two hours' drive away. 50 mph winds and intense rain made for a very sketchy drive, particularly since we were driving on a flat tire unawares, going 80 to try to get out of the storm as quickly as possible, and I was fishtailing all over the fucking lane. Very scary indeed.

Here's the site in Umatilla where we conducted wetland delineations. "Wetlands in the desert?" you ask. The site was peppered with ephemeral, seasonal wetlands that were actually pretty easy to delineate. However, in 90+ degree heat I can't say it was a lot of fun. But first time doing fieldwork in a bikini, and I didn't get a single tick on me!

In the distance you can see the Mighty Columbia. I picked a lot of sage that day. Greta walked around GPSing the ditch that bisects the property until she started seeing stars. She got three ticks on her that day, but luckily found each of them as they were crawling around and didn't get the Lyme Disease.

Tomorrow I'm off to Roseburg to chip away at the hard clay soils and try to finish delineating the future quarry that I haven't been to since March, when there was actually hydrology. At least there's a McMenamin's down there.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Nigga You Are My Cornbread

So I have Sitemeter to see from where people have found my blog. That way I can add a stratum of vanity to this whole blogging thing, and it's more reliable than just obsessively checking to see if I have comments. What I particularly enjoy is seeing the random and fucked-up shit that people have Googled to have been accidentally directed to my site. The following is a list of some of the more hilarious search engine entries that brought you to me (and the order in which I was listed):

  • "nigga you are my cornbread" (3rd) This is the funniest, yet most "whaaaa.....?" thing I have ever heard, and I am going to start saying it ALL THE TIME.
  • "shellacked bones" (2nd)
  • "cat shit on carpet" (two hits - 1st and 2nd. I'm #1, bitches! I'm #1 of cat shit on carpet! FACE!)
  • "stare hard retard" (1st and 2nd)
  • "fwumpus" (2nd and 4th. I seriously thought I made this word up, but I guess it's catchy)
  • "ancient bulgarian tattoos" (3rd)
  • "you can have my husband but please don't mess with my man" (1st)
  • "castlevania curse of darkness pumpkin" (1st; probably not helpful to who I assume was some kid who wanted to find a cheat for the game, but I did write a review of it for
There were a surprising number of referrals from France (I have a friend there, but she already knows my url) and a couple from England. I am hell of cosmopolitan.

Anyhoo, other news: mason bees have decided to set up camp in our bamboo windchimes. They are such cute and industrious little fuckers that I just let 'em. The interesting thing is that they've created egg galleries in only three of the six chimes, alternating with one empty chime in between a nested chime. I'm no apiarist, so I haven't a clue why they'd do that (even though I know what an apiarist is, and that it is the mason bee that creates a hive in a narrow tube).

Spent two days in Umatilla doing field work this week. I like to call it "OOM-uh-TEE-uh" so it sounds like an exotic Latin-American locale instead of just a shitty, phoenetically-spelled desert town in NE Oregon. Didn't see any snakes or bones, leading me to ask myself "what the fuck" several times. Our GPS unit crapped out on us, so Greta and I couldn't finish delineating our site and had to leave. The shittiest part is that we would've finished two days early and come home anyway if the GPS hadn't crashed, but now we have an additional 8-hour round trip for three or four hours' work. Pretty drive, though.

The "luxury" hotel we stayed in was jank. And the 'Desert River' sounded so lovely, too. The food was like something you'd send back if you lived in an old folks' home. I suppose if you live in the adjacent trailer park that place qualifies as the fucking Ritz, but I guess I'm just a high-falutin' city slicker that thinks marinara is not supposed to be fizzy. And the waiter kept telling all the customers (all four of them) that the "soup de jour" (sic) was gazpacho. When obligatorally asked "what's that?" he would tell them that gazpacho is a Mexican tomato soup, which made my blood boil. When he got to our table I gently corrected his mistake (that it is from Spain, not Mexico, and that yes, even though Mexicans speak Spanish, Spain and Mexico are in fact two very different places). Get this: he says "how do you know?" Well, there are a lot of Latinos in Umatilla, so touche, I guess. Touche, kid.

Tomorrow is another fun 12-hour day in Willamette Valley agricultural wetland mosaic hell, but I might actually finish two sites and have only, uh.... the rest of the summer to dread.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

I Am So Fucking Exhausted - a preemptive strike at my summer.

It's only mid April, and the field season is already destroying me. It's too early to be this sunburned, this blackberry-scratched, this near-attacked-by-a-skunk, and this tired. But I guess my job sorta rocks. Call me a masochist, but I wear my scars with the pride of someone who knows that Scott's coworkers are jealous when they hear what I do for a living, even though I make only a fraction of what they do. People go into my field for the love, not the money.

I've been conducting wetland delineations on a landfill for the last week. Landfills are always hell of sketchy, especially pre-1987 (Section 404 of the Clean Water Act) landfills. This one has a DEQ Solid Waste Permit dating from the 1970s, which pretty much means thay have license to dump leachate directly into a tributary to the South Yamhill River. It's already kinda icky getting your hands muddy, but when you know there's every sort of biological and chemical contaminant in the water and soil, it renders the works downright frightening. Heavy metal is supposed to be an ironic musical genre, not something I have to worry about accidentally ingesting while having a cigarette.

So today I was hacking through blackberry thickets to flag the ordinary high water level on the aforementioned trib to the South Yamhill River and I hear this quiet hissing noise. My mind scans through the various possibilities: Rattlesnake? Naw, too far west and too early for those. Small rodent? Maybe a little too loud, and usually rodents aren't that brazen. I actually thought for a moment it might be some Madagascan hissing cockroaches - I was at the landfill, after all. I decide to ignore the hisses and keep working. They get louder, and are accompanied by some rustling in the reed canarygrass thatch that is ubiquitous in wetland areas in the Pacific Northwest. I decide to try to flush the little fucker out, so I huck a stick in the direction of the noise. More hissing. I yell at the thing, and up pops this little black and white head. It took a few milliseconds for me to process "oh how cute what is that thing a weasel or a mink or something oh holy shit a fucking skunk!" and I fucking ran like a bat out of hell, grabbing my shovel along the way for good measure. I stopped running when I was about 50 feet away (I figure a skunk wasn't gonna chase an animal 20 times its body weight to spray), and just stopped and laughed for a minute. That's the closest brush with wildlife that could potentially ruin my day that I've ever had, and it was invigorating, even if it was just a cute lil' skunk.

My summer will not likely be filled with such friendly wildlife. I'll be working on a pipeline project that spans 4 counties - big ones, too. From Coos County at the coast to Klamath-git-off-mah-propertah-County (cue sound of shotgun cocking) at the California border in central Oregon, I'll be trudging my way through the back country, surveying for wetlands, wildlife habitat and potential rare plant populations. We're talking no roads. We're talking 100 degrees. Lyme disease. Poison oak. Blackberry thorns. Rattlesnakes. Slopes of greater than 50%. We're only expected to cover 1.5 miles a day, if we're really kicking ass. No Nintendo, Tivo, or Scott, no front porch cocktails and garden, no 5 minute walks to sushi. A corridor 150 miles long and 400 feet wide will be walked and surveyed, hacking through brush along the way, and I'll be in dispose from May until the week before my wedding.

On the plus side, I won't have to diet or tan before the wedding, but on the down side, my dress will not look cute on a girl with bloody gashes all over her arms and bruises all over her legs.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Wedding Part Deux

Okay, so check out how awesome it is that I still live in the city I grew up in. I know where everything is, and can make phone calls and such. We ARE getting a croquembouche, and it IS from Pix Patisserie! Hooray! And I got in touch with Sarracenia Northwest, who is growing my bouquet and centerpieces. I will be holding a bouquet of Sarracenia leucophylla, as pictured below (these are carnivorous plants, for you novices):

I am going to be the most awesome bride EVER.

We got our registry done, our invitations are being printed as we speak, and now all I hafta do is wait for Holly to finish the dress (later this month) so we can add accoutrement in the form of shards of lace and strips of feathers. I will NOT, mind you, be a parody of a Vegas showgirl or anything crazy like that, but think more like this (except with a red head and no nekked hot guy in the hay):

...except instead of sleeves, I'll be wearing an feathered armband to hide my tattoo. The skirt will be all lacy and shreddy. And instead of a veil (not pictured), my headpiece will be a clip with exotic pheasant and rooster feathers trailing behind the back of my head. I'm still on the lookout for a vintage fox stole to drape over my shoulders for the reception. A tricky find, particularly since I'm insistant on wearing one with the head attached.

Again, I will be a rad bride.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Wedding Wedding Wedding

Plans are still under way - we've hired a photographer and are looking at places to have our invitations printed, taking baby steps in picking registries, etc. "I WANT lime-green Le Creuset mini-casseroles, but don't want to seem greedy. Wusthoff or Henckel? That tacky china pattern is HOW MUCH??!!?" These are typical thoughts running through my head.

I looked at JaCiva's website and was pretty unimpressed (particularly because I spotted a glaring punctuation error on the "icings" section and that kind of thing just makes my skin crawl). Maybe I'll see if we can afford Pix. HA! Unlikely.

I really like the idea of a croquembouche, but that might just be crazy talk in this town. The thought of flowery fondant with a bride n' groom cake topper makes me want to blow my brains out, so any good baker that isn't trying to squeeze more blood from the stone that is the wedding racket would be appreciated. Scott's mom is making a black forest groom's cake (bless her fucking heart!), but I want something atypical, slightly show-stopping, yet somewhat minimalist for the main dessert. What's a Francophilic food snob to do?

The dress is gonna be amazing. Holly from Seaplane is a fucking genius. I'll be creeping out of the forest like some ethereal silver bird on My Special Day. Haven't decided if I want to walk to Polegnala e Todora (an ancient Bulgarian love song that makes me cry my eyes out every time I hear it, even after the nearly ten years it's been in my musical repertoire) tenderly rendered by the Bulgarian Women's Choir or the cinematic score from Wong Kar Wei's In the Mood for Love. Scott and I like the idea of having the theme from Ico play during the pre-Heather-on-the-catwalk part (precessional?). I can think of only about one guest who would get the reference, and it'd be kinda funny to hear Pete giggling "No way!!" while Scott waits at the altar.

The word 'altar' kinda freaks me out. Isn't that where animal and/or human sacrifices are made?

Anyway, as details get ironed out I'll be more mellow about it, but the date is actually approaching. I'm so excited!

Thursday, January 26, 2006