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Cuuuuute!

Loki just walked into my room as I was sitting at my computer with one of his toys in his mouth, dropped it politely at my chair and then looked up at me and meowed. My cat is so cute!

Reflections on the Desert

So, in seven days, we drove around 1,250 miles. We started in Vegas and ended up in Vegas. Here's a partial list of places we visited:

Las Vegas, NV
Valley of Fire State Park, NV
Overton, NV
Fredonia, AZ
Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, UT
Kanab, UT
Jacob Lake, AZ
Zion National Park, UT
Rockville, UT
Springdale, UT
Grafton, UT
Page, AZ
Navajo Indian Reservation
Grand Canyon National Park, AZ
Valle, AZ
Williams, AZ
Seligman, AZ
Hualapai Indian Reservation
Peach Springs, AZ
Truxton, AZ
Kingman, AZ
Oatman, AZ
Golden Shores, AZ
Needles, CA
Laughlin, NV
Bullhead City, NV
Lake Meade National Recreation Area, NV
Hoover Dam

The variety of landscapes that we saw is mindblowing to me. We saw basins of white earth dotted with scrub, and dunes of pink sand, and red rocky escarpments, grey lunar landscapes and vast tan valleys. We saw pine forests and sage brush pastures. We saw snowy mountains and windswept plateaus. And the differences were much more stark than the difference between the deciduous forests of the pacific coast and the coniferous forests of our mountains. Every corner we turned in our trip revealed a new and marvelous vista. The desert changed from moment to moment, and every ridge and mountain hemmed in a microcosm subtly different from those neighboring it. The plants changed, the rocks changed, the sand changed. Shadows changed deliciously with each degree of the sun's movement across the sky.

The natural history contained in the desert is astonishing. The lack of moisture and the reduced amount of plant life prevent erosion and riverbeds and windblown sand encourage erosion in such a perfect way to preserve and also expose parts of our world that existed billions of years ago.

Because life is so much sparser there, every living thing in the desert seemed so much more precious and individual to me, from the lizards and ravens and doves and vultures to the tiny flowers and beaver tail cactus and brushy little plants. Every tiny thing makes you marvel at life's ability to push on no matter the obstacle.

The desert is a place of great disparity of wealth, and that may be because the resources that the desert holds require great energy to harvest. The nutrients in the soil are nigh impossible for us to access, since we cannot digest the tough little plants, and the soil in many places is scoured to the bedrock by periodic windstorms. If you have a patch of soil that is stable and contains sufficient organic material to grow crop plants, a great investment in irrigation must be made. The desert's other resources (as far as I could tell on casual observation) include energy and minerals, both of which require a significant initial investment to procure, whether in the form of solar panels, wind farms, or vast mining operations.

The desert is dry. I know it seems like it would go without saying, but I was astonished by the dryness. The sun wrings the moisture from your body as sweat; the wind tears it straight from your skin; the air itself steals it from your oral and nasal tissues with each breath. I woke up every morning unable to swallow without a mouthful of water, my throat was so dry, and my skin has not yet recovered.

Glad,

Hi, everyone!

I'm back from the desert and it was a fantastic trip. There's too much to tell now, so I will sum up. My feet are blackened and cracked on the bottom, and sunburned on the top. There's pink sand in everything. I saw some incredible things. I'm so glad I went, it was amazing. I'm also very glad to be home again.

Mar. 22nd, 2009

I had an extremely productive day.

Got up and went to the grocery store, bought my groceries, forgot a few things because I'm too stupid to make a shopping list, went home, put the food away, spent about an hour knitting on the couch watching my roomie play playstation, then got up and banged out my housework in about three hours. I cooked dinner (blackened snapper with green salad and baked potato), rode the bike for forty-five minutes, had desert (peanuts and dried blueberries), made my lunch for tomorrow, did dishes from dinner, and then watched TV and screwed up my knitting project and went crosseyed trying to find the mistake.

All in all, it was about as perfect as a Sunday can get.
just wanted to remind everyone that there will be celebrations tonight in downtown Bellingham... refer to Facebook or my previous post on the subject. Hope to raise a glass with each of you.
I just helped make and eat the most delicious beef pot pie I ever did have. I had two helpings it was so good and then really wanted a third but was much too full. Mike's advice was to hurt myself with food; a sound recommendation considering the quality of the pie, but I'm glad I didn't.

Yum, though. Very yum.

Jan. 17th, 2009

So what is everyone doing for inauguration night? If you don't already have plans, why not join us in downtown Bellingham?

We'll be starting at The Grand at around six thirty to send off Bush and his cronies in style! Formal dress is encouraged for comedic purposes, but not required.

Hope to see everyone there!

Shopping

Went shopping last night, and it was less traumatic than usual.

I got sized for bras, which was frustrating. The lady measured my underbust and my bust, and then said, "this doesn't look right," and I asked, "why, whatcha got?" and she said, "38DDD or 38F." I sighed and said, "no, that's probably right.

Of course, they don't stock any bras my size in department stores, so I had to order them and they should be here sometime next week. I got four of them. I can't wait... I always buy bras too small because I can't be bothered to order them and usually by the time I bother shopping for bras at all there's been a disaster like a snapped underwire or some bizarre mammary accident.

I also got five new pair of panties (long overdue) and a skirt and a blouse. All for just under $200.00, which I think is pretty good for new clothes. The skirt is a size 14, but it doesn't really count because it's a Lane Bryant 14 and their sizes are pretty generous compared to other brands. The bummer is, somewhere in the next 10-20 pounds of weight loss I won't be able to shop there anymore, and damnit, I like their clothes and their staff is always excellent.

I'm actually more self-conscious now about my body than I was before I started losing weight, and the reason for this is simple: I'm melting. When you lose weight, you don't just shrink, you deflate. Eventually all your remaining fat kind of sloshes around in an outsized skin bag. So naked, I look kind of like a pile of semi-inflated inner tubes. There is hope; I've noticed that as my fat sloshes around there have been glimpses of the thighs and arms of my dreams... not long and lovely, sadly... no hope of changing my height or structure... but strong, hard and compact... muscled instead of flabby or twiggy. But we'll see.

As a side note, my body is doing all of this on it's own. I am not a part of the decision making process. I just exercise. I take no responsibility.
In case anyone doesn't already have this:
Road Closures!

It says Iowa to Toledo... but from which direction? My work's near there!

Jan. 6th, 2009

If anyone else needs me to make homemade sandbags and help bail out their basement, my phone's off. I can only struggle fruitlessly to rescue one basement a night.