Monday, July 30, 2007

Trying out a new feature

for Spontaneous Combustion

but doesn't work on Wordpress. Booooo.

Friday, July 27, 2007


Student Services building @ PCC Cascade

I met with my advisor today @ PCC. She set me up with overrides for the classes I needed and gave me some great advice about applying to OHSU. So I am signed up for 13 credits. I had planned on taking 17, but the last class was full. It's probably going to work out ok though because she assured me that all classes are offered all terms and that means I should be able to complete all the prereq's before the OHSU program starts next summer. (And I think 13 credits of microbiology, anatomy, and human development will be a-plenty.) That's assuming I get in to the OHSU program. If I don't...well, I'll have to make another plan after that. But I'm in the mindset that I will.

This is the closest campus for me and I have options to get there: bike, bus, MAX or a combo of all three. I'll be there Monday and Wednesday nights until 9p and Saturdays from 9a-4p. Ugh. Keith's going to be a single parents for a while.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Many activities of the Blankenships fall into these categories, sometimes---ok, most of the time--simultaneously.

Most recent case in point: connecting to the Intertubes. I'm no Dungeons and Dragons nerd, but I can usually operate the necessary computer components to get me what I want: online. But connecting the wireless router to have internet access on the laptop stumped me. Stump the Chump! All last night I fretted and stewed and contemplated and searched tech forums far and wide. No go.

Tonight Keith got home after I'd just gotten off the phone with Comcast, clinging to a bit of hope about the solution. Again, we had 100% signal strength but Firefox wouldn't open. Keith walks over to the router and says, "Maybe these are plugged in wrong."


Keith is even less technologically minded than I am. But he cracked the code!!
I sleep/eat/live/walk dogs with a regular John Nash. (We just watched A Beautiful Mind again last week.)

Okay, so the point is:
We have 2 internets!

And now:

Yesterday Keith woke up and wasn't feelin' it.
"It" being work.
So he called in. And I am lucky enough to have flexible hours at my job so I went to work for a few hours and I'll pick up what I missed later in the week. We both rationalized Not Working On a Monday (Excluding Holidays) by saying that soon I will be really busy and we won't have as much quality time together and...who cares. Mondays are for losers.

The Big Lebowski: You don't go out looking for a job dressed like that? On a weekday?
The Dude: Is this a... what day is this?

We had a lengthy list of items to accomplish and we only got to mark off one. Body Worlds.
If you don't know what Body Worlds is and you aren't clicking on that link right there, here's a synopsis: "people skinned and put into plastic," says Keith. Seriously, though. It was weird and cool and not as gross as I thought it would be. But I am still processing what I saw. My favorite was the camel, which was a surprise toward the end.

That's one camel head/neck cut into 3 sections.
And baby camel.

soccer player
an example of the human specimens
but they are all in different poses
and have different things exposed

The creator of plastination,
Professor* Gunther von Hagens
on the right
*2 honorary professorships

There is some controversy around the show and von Hagens himself. Of course, many religious institutions object but that seems to stem from their belief that the soul is integral to humans and not represented by these mortal bodies. Well, fine. Can't we just appreciate them as bodies? They are fascinating, intricate machines.

The other arguments against Body Worlds (cited from the mildly reliable Wikipedia) are more serious to me:
  • In October 2003, a parliamentary committee in Kyrgyzstan investigated accusations that von Hagens had illegally received and plastinated several hundred corpses from prisons, psychiatric institutions and hospitals in Kyrgyzstan, some without prior notification of the families. Von Hagens himself testified at the meeting; he said he had received nine corpses from Kyrgyzstan hospitals, none had been used for the Body Worlds exhibition, and that he was not involved with nor responsible for the notification of families.
  • In January 2004, the German news magazine Der Spiegel reported that von Hagens had acquired some corpses from executed prisoners in China; he countered that he did not know the origin of the bodies and went on to cremate several of the disputed cadavers. German prosecutors declined to press charges, and Von Hagens was granted an interim injunction against Der Spiegel in March 2005, preventing the magazine from claiming that Body Worlds contain the bodies of executed prisoners.
Also, just look at the guy.

What else.
We took an impromptu bike ride and covered a lot of ground. We realized we didn't have any lights a little to late, but we were lucky to make it to a MAX station and ride the train home.
Keith found a mini bike.
Watch him try to ride it.

Bah ha ha!!
We saw 2 gay cowboys getting out of an oversized mantruck and go into the PPAA (for a dance? the internet was not much help). I was too chicken to ask to take their picture, so we circled around and got one of their truck.

We finished moving into our new apartment. It still needs some work, but we're all in.

We experimented with cold brew coffee. And we are converts! (Our third favorite activity, converting.) It takes some time and a little effort but the acidity in the coffee is zero and you can make it in bulk and enjoy it for weeks. It's delicious. And, because I love you---yes, you---here's the secret recipe.

Keith ranted about something as we were riding across the perpetually-under-construction Burnside Bridge.

Isn't he adorable?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Move along, nothing to see here.

before the move, Lazlo is getting used to having furniture again

Yes, that's right. We're finally moving. In the process of. Which is not too stressful, 2 flights down with an elevator, but plenty tiring. We started Sunday afternoon and we're piecing it together every night after work. Last night Keith schlepped the fridge downstairs. (They ordered a new one for the apt, but it's easier just to move ours. Plus: not having to clean it.) Tonight: the kitchen table and various odds/ends.

huge bedroom with huge closets

A 2-week unintentional experiment called Do I Need to Be Medicated is ending today when I go to Walgreens Pharm. It was a disaster that culminated in a lot of crying, staring into space, and sleeping. So, the answer to the experiment is: Yes, for now. Confounding variables excluded. Like I said, it was unintentional and I could blame it on the pharmacy or my NP or moving or whatever, but basically it was me being too lazy to follow up on my refill not being refilled in a timely manner. I think the results of the experiment became Really Official when I opened up the mailbox to find my beloved Sun Magazine, 2 t-shirts I ordered from Threadless, and 2 Netflix and all of this caused me to get weepy. Mail should not make you cry. Even if it's a good cry. And, also, not a good time to be reading Good Grief ("about a young woman who stumbles, then fights to build a new life after the death of her husband"). Great book and all, I can't stop reading it, but it's just a little too easy to imagine myself in that deep hole eating Oreos by the package and not showering for days and watching Cops marathons on an air mattress in the living room.

from Busted Tees

So, you know, other than moving and my mental health hanging like a loose tooth, things are fine.

Keith just called from work. Someone he works with gave him a trumpet. This is very exciting!! He was offered a full ride band scholarship when he was in HS in Wyoming but wasn't able to take advantage of it and I don't even know how long it's been since he's played. I'll have to post some video.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Damn right I got the blues.

That was a sticker I saw at the Blues Festival last night.

I had checked out the concert schedule and written down several bands I wanted to see (Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Mavis Staples) but, as with any plans to go out in public and deal with crowds, the time approached and we were thinking we might as well just stay home. But we've regretted not seeing enough live music, so I played some Mavis Staples for Keith and in 10 minutes we were leaving the house.

The first stage we saw a zydeco band (must have been Donna Angelle and Zydeco Posse) and then Keith wanted to cruise the food vendors. He found a shack selling catfish and fries for $7. The fries were delicious and Keith said the catfish was, too. It was a huge filet, way more than $7 worth.

We did see Mavis Staples, but it was a huge crowd (she was on the main stage) and we were about 200 yards from the stage. So we hung out for a few minutes and then decided to circle around and see who was on the smaller stages. (We watched a few minutes of Live Earth they had on a side screen; The Police performed. Pretty pretty good. Sting's looking good for being in his mid-50s.)

carved watermelons @ a food shack

Then we heard some great music coming from behind a double-decker bus. There was a Workshop Stage and, by looking at the schedule, I can only guess it was Johnny Sansone. Excellent music.

The last band we saw was Jeffrey Broussard & the Creole Cowboys. They put on a great show.

Then it was over. Well, it continued in the Marriott or something, but eh. We were disappointed, but I guess that's what we get for showing up late.

Also this weekend: furniture!

Thanks craigslist. Apparently we're moving this next week(end?) so it's starting to feel more like we live in an apartment instead of a storage unit. How simple---furniture.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

OK, wrap it up.

Last remnants of the weekend @ the coast...

We were nearly eaten by a large caterpillar!

Then some squids invaded, with a pink owl.

This local resident was shocked at what he had seen.

some digging and socializing

Sand Mouth

the other covered bridge we found

let's get these doggies rollin'

Fourth of July is coming up and we might or might not be able to watch fireworks @ PGE Park from the table, depending on which apartment we're in by then. We fully expect the dogs to go berserk, so I don't know what we have planned. The Blues Festival starts Wednesday so we might try to catch some of that next weekend.

I'll miss the views and the people watching when we move, but the traffic and drunk fray boys down on Burnside, not so much. Today I watched a cop sit in his car in the Starbucks parking lot for over 30 minutes. Makes you wonder who's watching you when you don't realize it... And the construction workers at the apartment building this side of the Civic are still plodding along, so soon whoever lives in this apartment won't be able to walk around naked at all. Good thing we're moving.

The next big excitement, after moving, will be going back to my hometown for my 10 year high school reunion over Labor Day weekend. Eeek. And even more exciting--and a little scary--I'll be picking up 17 credits Monday and Wednesday nights and then Saturday from 9-4 at the local community college beginning mid-September. I have to take 9 200-level classes in order to apply for a program @ OHSU. I'm hoping to have them all completed or in progress by summer '08 to start their 3-year accelerated program to become a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. Nursing is one of the best fields to be in right now and will probably stay stable, if not grow, for the rest of my working life. So, in order to live in a small town comfortably, I'm going to take 4 years now and get a graduate degree in nursing. It's a little intimidating, knowing I will have to study and be disciplined, but the payoff will be so great--that will keep me going.