choco_frosh: (Default)
Yoiks. I never posted about LAST weekend (well, the non-theater bits),* and now I'm headed for Maine again.

Well, as soon as I get this job interview done.

* The fact that the ten-foot long fast sketch artwork has been riding around in my car all week pretty much says it all.

ETA: OK, that was one of the most wtf job interviews I've ever had.
choco_frosh: (Default)
I aten't dead...
But with Peter in town for the week, I'm spending most of my time very busy, and the remainder about HALF-dead. But I owe you an update...

I took Friday off and drove up to Maine in the afternoon, to rendezvous with my Dad and brother for Dan's last 4000'ers. Which is how I wound up carrying a bottle of champagne up Mt. Carter.
We had excellent weather and the views were surprisingly good, though my mood was a little shadowed by the fact that Dad pulled something in his calf partway through that left him in a lot of pain, but he determined to carry on nonetheless. (He's fine now, but it was worrying at the time!)
Then he took us out to a three-star restaurant in Bartlett, a.k.a. "Where?!?"

As long as I was in Maine, I then went to visit Squigamunk. Inevitably, this involves mutual commiseration on underemployment and job applications, and me continuing to be shocked that anyone can survive her schedule. Equally inevitable: ticks, Rock Band, reading random fantasy novels, being distracted by the internet.

All of this made sense 'cause I was picking Peter up from G's godparents' place in Scarborough, then spending a couple days in Portland with him and my Dad. And all that went pretty well, and now we are back in Somerville. And I am very tired.
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- My home internet, on third thought, IS on the fritz. At first I thought it was a one-time glitch; then I assumed my antivirus was doing an electronic autoimmune response (and deleted it, and reinstalled Firefox); but last night I found out the Mitbewohner has ALSO been having problems. So it looks like Comcast is to blame. Bagbiting bloody oligopolistic internet companies.

- So I am writing this from a coffee shop. I am spending far too much time (and cash) here. I'm turning into a %#$(&*) regular.
Sadly, CBD is both closer and (ironically) has an atmosphere far more conducive to getting job applications done than either the job center or the library.

- I spent a pleasant Saturday hanging out with Squigamunk & Partner. We hiked Morse Mountain, first introduced to me by Ben Birney on a (mostly) Guys Weekend the fall before Peter was born. Almost exactly seven years ago, yikes. Read more... )

- Yesterday: I sort of felt like I should have been in New York but...well...I went to DC two years ago, climate marches aren't actually that interesting, also I'm broke. Also I wanted to hang out with Squigamunk. (And make sure I didn't leave the choir tenor-less for the Hallelujah Amen, though strictly we're into rationalization now.)
...Actually, that and dealing with internet issues, and playing too much Civ.III, about covers yesterday.

- Today: a couple more job applications. Temp.Agency#1 still doesn't know what happened to a phone banking job I was supposed to have heard about; on the other hand, their NH office is advertizing for a copyediting position, and they actually sounded optimistic about my resume. So we'll keep our fingers crossed on that one, as well.

And now it's suddenly lunchtime. Time to head home with the remains of my coffee, eat something with actual nutrition...and figure out what else I can apply for. groan.

* Look, it's TWO probable Norse hoaxes in the same state. YOU keep track of them.
** Mostly 'cause he sounds like he's been gargling gravel.
Also, that song? Seems to have been written specifically to make it sound like your guitarist is flubbing the beginning when you do it in RB.

(Update)Photo here
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Right, I should post something about the Presidential Traverse.

At some point there will be photos, but there are some that just didn't happen. Neither of us were awake enough to get a photo showing one of us with a frowny face in front of the motel alarm clock reading 4:52. And we didn't get a photo on the top of Mt. Madison. We were too busy trying to breathe, not get blown off the mountain, and not get hypothermia in 70 mph winds. (The last mile to the summit was pretty interesting too. One of two times I've really thought I might die on a mountain.)
(We still did THAT chunk of the climb in like 3/4 of the book time.*)

Read more... )

Now, unfortunately, I have to find a job. Like, urgently. My parents started getting on my case about this as soon as Peter left last Friday,** and they have a point.
Soooo...yeah. I don't think I can really justify going to Boston for the house concert at the Buttery tomorrow: it's too late to contact Boston lawyers or publishers to try to stop by for a chat while I'm there, and so I should be sitting around Temp Agency #2, and doing job applications.***
(I may go anyway. Feel free to talk me into or out of it.)

* Book Time=the AMC Guide's estimate of how long it should take to hike a particular trail.

** which now seems like a different lifetime.

*** Esp. since I was sufficiently tired, lazy, and out of my normal routine yesterday that I blew most of the day on my fourth most shameful pastime, namely reading teen fantasy novels.
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I’m back from New Hampshire, and still a little out of it. (Partly, I think, due to the fact that I gave myself a sunburn this morning without noticing it.) But anyway…

This was the week of the hikes that did not happen. Today’s was the most important of these: I’d been planning to climb Wildcat with Dan, to warm up for our insane “Hike ALL the Presidentials” thing next month, and because it’s two of the five 4000-footers he hasn’t done. But last night the forecast said it was going to drizzle on us all day, instead of just part of it; so we called it off. And then, of course, it didn’t rain that much, and we’re kicking ourselves; though I think we would still have gotten rained on this morning, and had crappy views this afternoon.
A week ago, my Aunt and I did hike a small mountain (I will try to put photos here, if anyone not on FB wants to see them); we’d initially, however, thought to do Mt. Wonalancet, another fairly insignificant height, but one that had dominated much of my hiking career, since it sits right above the trailheads for Dicey’s Mill and Mounts Passaconaway and Whiteface. But then we decided that it was likely to be blackfly central, and headed further north – and still got blackflies.
And on Wednesday I’d thought to climb King Ravine, an epic glacial cirque on the north side of Mt Adams…but I’d driven to Plymouth the day before to see Peter,* and gotten home late: and the thought of that much more driving – and burning that much extra fossil fuel just for me, because I’m that kind of person – was unappealing. So I dithered a bit, and played some video games,** and then decided that it was too nice a day NOT to go hiking: I’d just do a quick hike, do Wonalancet after all. But then when I got to the ridiculous beautifulness that is Wonalancet,*** Whiteface just looked too…majestic and interesting. SO I climbed it instead.

Whiteface has some interesting associations with me, I reflected as I went up. Am I making it up that Mom climbed it while pregnant? If so, I climbed it …about ten or twelve years later, as a kid; then ten or twelve years after that on my honeymoon. So: One chunk of life as a child; one as a pre-teen and teen and college student; one married to Grace and getting divorced. Under that schema, I’ve moved on to a fourth…let’s hope eighth, not quarter…of my life. May it end better than this last one has!

…But overall, it wasn’t a great week in NH. I mean, it was nice to get out of town, avoid the heat, build sand-things, and perhaps most of all not have to worry about roommates or neighbors: pile random stuff on the dining room table, walk around the house naked singing hymns if I felt like it, that kinda thing. But as I’ve alluded to here, it featured a lack of guests and a lot of computer games and job applications; which meant that the time didn’t sit heavy on me, but were also things I could have done as effectively in Portland. Possibly even while working and/or having a social life.

* One of the people whom I’d briefly thought might be coming up to visit this week smokes weed; I thought of him as I drove past the vegetable stand that, thanks to some local ordinance or just to being scofflaws who live in an isolated part of town, advertise marijuana right alongside the lettuce and artisanal bread.
** In the absence of guests, I brought my computer along, and also (as I may have posted) spent some time doing job applications.
*** In this case, I’m referring not to the mountain but to the nearby…village would be a bit of an exaggeration; “cluster of farms” is more on target--which lies, as I say, right at the foot of the mountains, straddling the corners of the boundaries of four towns.
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On Saturday, as I was packing the car to leave Ossipee, I got a call from the organizer of my Geek Club.
"Hey. Burson. Where are you?"
"Umm, New Hampshire... $#!7, was I supposed to be somewhere??
"...You went to New Hampshire all by yourself???"

I'll leave out the next couple minutes of conversation. Eventually, I got it across to him that I'd been in NH for a week at my aunt's cabin; he reminded ME that I'd signed up for a hiking trip, back when it was still a theoretical possibility without a set date or, indeed, a set hike. It had now, of course, been set as Today, at Arathusa Falls.

I weighed a possibly-sprained knee and a carful of perishable leftovers and laundry, again missing yet ANOTHER meetup (and presumably doing some cool stuff).
"...Ah, what the heck. When are we meeting?"

And so, when I got on the road, it was in a very different direction than expected. One that would ultimately take me over Bear Notch Road, because (a) I'd been by it a million times but never been over it before, and (b) when the traffic on Conway is backed up all the way to the Kanc., you avoid the HECK out of that town.

Once we finally all got there, I had the unusual experience of being the slow one that everyone has to wait for while hiking. But my knee failed to turn sideways and kill me, and eventually we got to the falls.
One of these years, I will go to Arethusa Falls when there's actually a decent amount of water going over it. I mean, it's impressive even after a couple of weeks of drought, but...
I made better time on the way down - the hike seemed to have loosened up my knee, rather than making it worse - and so I got to participate in the conversations about [resident Brony]'s epic trip to Ireland, and his unexpectedly drug-addled past.

[North] Conway traffic also accounted for why we wound up stopping at a barbecue place on the way back, rather than getting Thai food as planned. (Self-destructive impulses presumably account for why I joined 'em all in this, rather than the much cheaper and more sensible option of just heading back to Portland and eating some of my leftovers. Ditto for why I opted in when we all ordered the 'epic piles of meat that provide a week's RDA of protein all at once".) But hey, delicious food. Also awesome conversations: the bits I remember mostly involved ragging on ex- or absent members of the groups, and a pleasant arguement about the ontological basis of morality, because that's just how we roll.

Aand thanks again to insane traffic (and somebody's suggestion), I wound up taking another road over a mountain to get home, except this one was one-lane and insane. I got lost in Fryeburg; but on the other hand, there's some insanely pretty countryside over that way.

The week since then...has mostly involved a less-painful-than-it-could-have been staff meeting (ok), the Development Office unloading all their alcohol onto us afterward (epic), and finding out that Book Company has laid me off (sucky). Back to the ole-job application process, I guess.
choco_frosh: (Default)
This evening:
I'm drinking instant coffee. And trying to decide whether it's better or worse than the real stuff I brew.
I'm drinking coffee at all because I'm not sure how much sleep I'm gonna get. Midterm grades* are due tomorrow, and submitting those, in turn, means actually grading all the in-class essays I failed to get done this weekend. In addition, I promised myself that I would have their first *serious* writing assignment ready to go...and since I wanted to do my usual Document Analysis thang, but am now teaching world history instead of Western Civ., I have spent much of the past 36 hours bashing my head against Confucius to try to create for them a selection from the Analects encapsulating Master Kongzi's political philosophy.
All of this in addition to actually prepping for tomorrow's lecture.

...Aaand so I'm blogging. Of course.

My mind, meanwhile, has already skipped ahead to NEXT weekend, when I'll be hiking Owl's Head, aka the most hated mountain in New Hampshire, with my brother. (Although this expedition is going to be much less hardcore than I'd anticipated: with overnight temperatures of 29F forecast, Dan vetoed staying at a campsite, and is booking us a motel; and on the other hand, daytime temperatures are supposed to be non-ridiculous, and there will be NO mosquitoes.)

* We're less than halfway through the semester: it's just that Administration wants the students to have some warning about how well--or otherwise--they're doing.
choco_frosh: Made with the old "Mad Men yourself" image generator (mad men)
There are few ways to wake up than with the feeling of something crawling over your skin.

OK, that's a lie. There are LOTS of less pleasant ways, starting with hearing someone yelling "Spit it out, man, don't think, just spit it out!" But especially after you've experienced bedbugs...that's a pretty bad one.
I squished the whatever-it-was, then brought it up to determine whether it was, in fact, a bedbug. (Damn leggy bastard was still wiggling, too. It took repeated /precision/ squashing to kill.)
Anyway, that's why I was searching the internet for "bedbug" at 6:40 AM. It was not, in fact, a bedbug. It was a tick.
I guess I'm going to have to keep an eye out for symptoms of Lyme Disease...
[Hey, did you know that Ötzi the Iceman seems to have had Lyme Disease?]

I presumably picked up this unwelcome hitchhiker while hiking the other day in Bradbury Mountain State Park. Despite horrible humidity and the comparative lack of elevation it was a good hike, and the young lady I was with was an excellent hiking companion, but I don't think that's going to work as a LTR. Back to the drawing board...
choco_frosh: (Default)
Geseah ic wuldres trēow,
wædum geweorðod wynnum scīnan,
gegyred mid golde; gimmas hæfdon
bewrigen weorðlīce wealdendes trēow.

One of the things Church of the Prevenient in Amoskeag lacks is a good cross. No really good crucifix; (one wood, modern, rather solemn Christ-in-Majesty over the pulpit); some plain gold (colored) ones, but nothing adorned with gems. Oh well, the service was ok: did a crux fidelis by Joao IV of Portugal (who knew seventeenth-century monarchs-in-exile wrote music?), though I kept wondering whether the bad version of the text was his fault, or the editor's. And managed to deal with the whole being-in-choir-while-looking-after-Peter thing, despite confusion due to first week at choir and the fact that it was raining. (And it's SOOO nice to be back in a competent and well-directed choir again!)
Afterwards, went off to local greek festival* for enormous lunch. I don't know how I'm going to have any appetite for dinner.

Interesting fact: medieval Christian tradition frequently held that the cross was made from the wood of a tree that had sprouted from Aaron's rod, which in turn was a sprig from the Tree of Life. So was it then an apple tree? And am I going to use this detail to segue back to what else we did this weekend?

Yep. Read more... )
choco_frosh: Image of the Konradigasse (former {Hof-]Schreibergasse) in Konstanz, where I lived in 2005-6 (s'gasse)
After truly dreadful weather on Saturday—pouring rain AND absurdly high temperatures AND muggy: it was like a monsoon—Sunday was the first real autumnal day, at least in some weeks. It was everything a day should be, in my book: it was clear and cool, with a strong wind that you fought against and drank in with delight. I decided to skank on church in favor of hanging out with friends, and so had a second breakfast at the Pantry with Stephen, [ profile] maweisse, and a friend of theirs. Although Grace was something of a regular there in her high school days, I’d never been there. It has a modest frontage and, on this occasion, a line stretching down the street. I was glad the others had gotten there first. We talked about our coffee addictions (or lack therof), conference papers, and great breakfast places we have known The food was very tasty (I shall have to remember to order ham-spinach-mushroom-cheddar omelets again), although the menu was not nearly on the scale of O’Rourke’s. But then, what is?

In the afternoon, Stephen and I took advantage of the weather to go hiking. For this, of course, we needed a car, so we recruited a friend of his called Elise, and, after protracted negotiations, got her to pick up [ profile] straussmonster, before we all drove out to Sleeping Giant (This is a large series of hills near New Haven, that looks like… you guessed it.) We hiked up the easy trail, pausing along the way for Stephen to examine the cliffs, and for everyone to admire periodic views over changing foliage. Oh, and gather juniper berries. (Long story.)

All in all, a lovely day. It made me reflect on the fact that I don’t have nearly enough like that; I don’t hang out with my friends—my geselle, my comitatus—nearly enough. Back in college, it was something of an event if I didn’t run into any particular person I knew several times a week: I would inquire anxiously of friends in Driscoll: were they sick? had they been eaten by a CS project? Here, by contrast, it's a bit of an event if I do run into someone (like [ profile] yaleartificer today> in the course of my daily round; still more if I actually get to hang out, have a beer, go hiking, or talk about medieval music theory. (Or all of the above). Part of this is due to my self-imposed exile from most Yale functions: I saw, and met, a vast number of people at Freedman’s Company of Scholars talk on medieval food last week. And part is a busy schedule of work, other work, two choirs, and childbirth class, and the consequent being wiped much of the rest of the time. But still, it’s sad. I need to get off my ass more.
choco_frosh: (Default)
On Saturday I got up at a ridiculous hour to go hiking )

On my return, Grace and I went to the Uni-Ball, though we didn´t stay that long, being understandably a bit tired...

Meantime, Friday I met my Tandem (English/German conversation help) partner Britta, and witnessed something I thought I would never see: the Uni handing out free food.


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