Monthly Archives: February 2011

Ack! Too soon, too soon!

I leave tomorrow morning. Eek. I found a perfect new baby duffel yesterday (though it’s round ended, not square. But whatever), and then spent $60 on notebooks and school supplies. Whoops. Worth it though? I got three seemingly really good teaching material books, one 4th grade math that goes in to fractions and basic geometry with angles, and a 3rd and 5th grade reading one which go into all the sentence structure and parts of speech and blahdy blah. I really wanted to get those because they asked for teaching materials as well, and it’s great to have pencils but your teacher can still teach you stuff without them, especially if they can show it to you in a book while explaining it. I also really want to bring paper, even though it’s heavy because you can have all the pens in the world, and they’re mostly useless unless you have something to write on. Right?

So I should be set now. Just have to do a final pack and drag it all to John’s and then play with weighing it and swapping stuff into the coat and weighing some more, and then doing a real final pack.

I went out to lunch with Madeline yesterday and had a great time. We took as long as we could as both of us had about 3 hours before we needed to be anywhere. And then we went into the city and I went to a camera store and bought more rechargeable batteries, and then went to the thank-you drinks with my boss.

Which were awesome. I delayed myself long enough that other people were there before me (always good. I’m usually chronically early, and then super awkward because I’m the first one there) and it was great. I talked to everyone, a lot about the trip, but a lot about everything else as well. It was nice to hang out not at work, but we’re all pretty good friends at work so it was also like having a 5 hour break. Except there was no work. Anyway. I’m really glad I went. It was the perfect day-before-the-day-before I leave.

And now I have to go take a shower and do a  final pack and not forget anything and oh my god I’m actually going. EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

I’ll keep a journal there and try to transfer it here when I’m back, we’ll see how that goes.


Cheetah excitement

I always like to raise my window shade when I wake up, but the cats clearly don’t approve. They’re both sleeping with their paws tightly over their faces against the light. Poor kittens.

While I’m very excited about the main part of this trip, with the land rovers and telemetry and traps and smelly warthog legs that they use to bait the traps and all of that, I think what I’m possibly most excited about is going to the Cheetah Conservation Fund after that. CCF does all kinds of good work tracking and studying cheetahs, and also has a bunch of recovering or unreleasable cheetahs that live there, and you can go visit and watch the feeding and exercising and all of that. There are also some drives where cheetahs can be ‘encountered’. I’m not sure quite what they mean by that, but I really hope that means ‘sit with and pet and maybe have one headbutt you in affection’ because that’s what I want to have happen. In any case, our schedule there is –

Cheetah Run at 8.00
Bellebeno Safari at 9.00
Cheetah Feed 12.00
Education Center after
Lunch at 13.00
Cheetah Safari at 14.00

I’m so excited about this. Leopards are beautiful, and definitely the most catlike, and I’m totally fascinated by them, but cheetahs are pretty and delicate and sympathetic, and they purr and meow. Leopard sounds are nothing like housecats, and while I know that these are all wild animals and not to be treated like pets, it is nice to have familiar aspects.

I’m trying not to think that far ahead though. There’s a whole trip in between to be enjoyed. Also, now I know how to use my watch as a compass.


A friend of mine’s father just started this up – It’s not live yet, but they’re signing people up, and I think it’s going to be pretty awesome. Like facebook and couchsurfing having a baby that you can trust. Most babies are untrustworthy. Through no fault of their own. Anyway. I’m liking this whole travel thing, and want to do more of it. This should help.

Today was odd. I got stuff done, but nothing that was originally on my list. Oh well. Good thing I have plenty of time tomorrow. But not much after that. It’s a little scary how close it is now.

Packing madness!

Wearing- tank top, light 3/4 sleeve shirt, button up flannel, pajama pants, travel underwear, bra, travel trench.


2x travel underwear

1x bra

6x socks

4x tanktops

4x tshirts

1x long sleeve

1x pants

1x shorts

1x skirt

1x rain jacket

1x bandana

First aid kit

Camera with 2 lenses, 3x memory cards

Platypus water bladder, 3L capacity

Toiletries- deodorant, hairbrush, floss, 2x travel toothpastes, toothbrush, hair ties, hair clips, lip balm, 3x small sunscreen tubes, 1 razor

Total weight, not in a bag- 10lbs

My hat and trench are supposed to be here tuesday. I’m not sure if I should buy more batteries for my camera, or bring my recharger thing and hope someone else has a transformer I can use. I need to get a notebook for recording the trip in general, and also field notes about game counts and such. I think I am going to get a different, lighter, bag so I can bring a little more. I’m not too worried about the weight, though. I might have to leave some of the school supplies but it looks like I’ll be able to bring most. And then I need a daypack thing, but I think John’s sister has one I can borrow. I have various backpacks, but hers is super light and packs into itself, so win.

In other words, I am so almost ready. And super excited.

About the rest of my life, the film thing last night was fine. It turned out to not be a commercial at all, but just filming people at the concert to show the credit card people what people thought about it. A lot of standing around, and some carrying of tripods. I popped in to watch the show a couple times, and it looked good. I was disappointed that it wasn’t interviewing him or anything, though. I ended up not having to drive, which was good. I would have been fine, but less stress that way.

Somehow during it, I hurt my back. Or my back decided last night that it was hurt. Something. I had been vaguely considering getting a post-fashion, pre-16-hour-flight massage, but now I think I need one. It’s a new spot in my back, and I can’t think of anything I might have done to strain it there. Oh well.

But- Three and a Half Days!

Five days!

Yesterday John and I went and got his international driving permit so we can rent a car in Namibia, and then went to ems to get other stuff. I got travel underwear and tried unsuccessfully to find a hat. Ems had one, but it was 76 dollars. Lifetime guarantee and all, but still. The sporting goods store we went to didn’t have any either, which surprised me. They have a huge fishing section, you’d think they would have hats suitable for fishing, wide and sun-and water-proof. I ended up ordering one and was actually able to get a decent shipping price, so that’s good.

I’m mostly packed. We found out that the carryon weight limit is 18lbs, which sucks. We don’t want to check anything for fear of it being stolen or delayed, and fortunately it looks like I am so awesome at packing that I won’t have to. The clothes that I have so far, in my bag, with my camera and most of the school supplies, was 15lbs. I bought this awesome trench coat that’s made for travel with a million pockets, so I’m going to put some of the school supplies and toiletries in those pockets, which frees up a little more weight. I mostly need to add more shirts and tank tops, and maybe a bathing suit. During the expedition I won’t use it, but the rest of the trip, most of the places we’re staying have a pool. Might be nice to take advantage of that.

While I was out running around, I got a text from someone I work with saying “Are you free tomorrow? Do you like Sting? Can you drive?” to which the answers were all yes, so today I am PAing on a credit card commercial. This is going to be awesome. I have no idea what to expect. I suspect that I’m the one driving everyone from tribeca to Newark, which is going to be awful, but aside from that I have no idea. I was told corporate clothing, black pants and nice shirt, and no tools. We’ll see how it goes.

The weather has been nice the past few days, with yesterday approaching hot (60), but then it got super windy last night, and not it’s 40 with a forecast of flurries. I don’t mind going back to winter, but I don’t like the yoyoing. I like more gradual weather changes.

This is an angry work entry.

You have been warned.

Today was one of the worst days ever for work. It started out well. By first break, two and a half hours in, we had all of the lights and cable down. But then we had to take down the grid. Which means fighting with pipe. Also, they wanted to inventory it, and make note of where each pipe was, which meant naming and labeling them all. They guy doing that is a good guy, but he wasn’t fast enough. Chris and I had to go slower so we wouldn’t get ahead of him, and still somehow it got a little screwed up.

By lunch we had all the pipes going down the room (let’s say on the x axis) down and labeled. Lucky me, I got pulled off the job around then and sent to fill cases and start loading the truck. Apparently while we were gone, Chris went way faster and Lance got left in the dust. I don’t understand how this happened at all, but the end result was that Lance and I were sentenced to wandering around, trying to find pipe, correcting labels, and then, at the end, the assistant head (who had been irritating me all day) decided he wanted an inventory of just how many of what lengths we had, and since our map wasn’t totally right (thanks Lance and Chris) we had to go remeasure all of the pipe.

Halfway through this, the carpentry crew came is and started breaking down walls. By which I mean, kicking in drywall.  It was louder than any concert I’ve been to. Fortunately we got to leave after that, but because various people (assistant boss, Lance) had bee stupid at various points, the whole thing took a couple hours longer than needed. And made me hate everything.

I was so irritated that I skipped going to the bar with everyone because at that point I didn’t want to hang out with them. Argh.

I am all messed up

So I ended up being up for 43 hours on my long hellish day. I got a nap in there, but it consisted of turning over a lot and half dreams of running cable. So I think it doesn’t count. I was all right, actually, until the very end. The freight elevator broke on the next to last load, which meant taking 7 trips in the passenger elevator, and carrying stuff down the block and around the corner. Once my energy started going to keeping me warm instead of just working and staying awake, I felt horrible and sick and exhausted. We got done a little early, which was good, but then I had to take a shower when I got home so that delayed sleep a little more. And then I only got about 6 hours of sleep, though it was really good solid sleep, and then I had to be in new jersey this morning. I got home a little after 6 30, and went to sleep before 8. Then I woke up at midnight feeling hot and irritable and drank some water but that just made it worse somehow, so I went out and got popsicles (and as ever am totally thankful that I live a block away from a 24 hour grocery store) and called my mom and felt much better. Now it’s almost 2 am and I’m starting to get tired again, so that’s good. I have no work tomorrow, so I’m turning off the alarm and luxuriating. Work thursday, which is great. I was really hoping to pick up something then, and another 10 hours is fantastic.

One short rant and then sleep- I work for a college occasionally, and this fall they switched to paying me through a temp agency, which is fine except that I have to do online timesheets and they seem to think that I work there every week, and make me fill out a timesheet every week regardless of whether I worked. Which means since I’ve ignored them since october, I have like 20 timesheets to fill out. I worked for them this past week, and got an email on sunday saying hey, it has to be in by 2pm today, let us know if you have any issues. Sunday was my 20 hour call and the second half of my 43 hour day, so that wasn’t going to happen. They said oh, okay, well if you get it in late tonight we’ll try to process it with this weeks payroll. So when I got home, before I took my shower, I tried, and it WOULDN’T LET ME LOG IN. This is horribly frustrating, and I couldn’t deal with it, so I sent them an email saying “I can’t log in. I have been up for 42 hours. I will deal with this later.” and I haven’t heard from them yet. Nor have I tried to log in. I would really like to be paid for my 12 hours, but this is such bullshit. I really hate that they’ve done this and that there’s no good way around it. I asked to be paid for the time I’ll have to spend filling them out and catching up, and they said to just make a draft of a blank one and keep submitting that, it’s much faster. Which doesn’t solve the problem. And is also moot because I can’t freaking log in.

Also, Namibia in 8 days. What?

Now time to try to rectify my sleep situation.


I’ve been good about writing a lot the last couple weeks, but that’s about to stop for a bit. The past couple days wiped me out, and reinstated my hatred of NJ transit (for so so many reasons. I won’t go in to it now as I have to go to sleep and it will just make me angry again), and then today I mostly had off which was nice. I had a bit of work this evening, and now here’s what I’m facing for the next five days-

Friday 7am-midnight.

Saturday- lots of sleep preparing for what’s to come, then 7pm to 2am

Sunday- 10am-7pm. 8pm to midnight.

Monday- 4am to midnight.

Tuesday- 8am-9pm.

I’m trying to pick up a few days after that, but even if that’s it, it’s actually turned out to be a decent fashion. I thought I’d lost a third of my work, and it turns out I’ve only lost less than a fifth of what I did in september. So now, to bed, so I can wake up at 5 45.


My 8 hour day turned into a 10 hour day, which is great, but it wiped me out. And I picked up work tomorrow, which is also great, except that I have to be in New Jersey at 8am tomorrow. Which means a 7 20 bus, which means leaving the house before 6 15, which means getting up at 5 45. Good thing today wiped me out or I wouldn’t be able to sleep till 2 and then tomorrow would be extra-painful. Thursday I will sleep and recover and prepare for friday which is 7am to midnight. It’s still a slow fashion season, but it’s picking up a little.

This is why I can’t get anything done

So I decide to get some cleaning done today, nothing major, just dropping off all my bedding at the laundromat, throwing away the envelopes that have accumulated (somehow, the mail is where it should be. The envelopes are everywhere), and clearing off my desk so I can study there instead of in bed. That accomplished, I turn on my desk light and sit down. And am totally unmotivated. While I’m staring at the page trying to decide how much effort I want to put into figuring out a problem, the cats hop up and start investigating. And then they find out about the 75w bulb I have in my desk lamp, and settle in under it. On my book.

And really, how can I deprive them of their warm spot?

(What? Yes, that is the cleared-off version of my desk. I know.)