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It's been a long time since I was this sincerely grateful that the coming day is the last of the week. It's not like I've been doing anything in particular that's difficult (from an objective standpoint); it's just been a grueling scheduling nightmare of hopping from interviewing people to preparing for teaching three classes to random errands to fifty billion other projects... Jen is very tired.


Sigh. Another long day today, and another tomorrow... getting paid for full-time work is great and all, but I'd be more pleased if I had a steady workstation to actually get that time used effectively rather than hopping from machine to machine and ending up at home putting finishing touches on things. Particularly when finishing touches on things takes until 11:30 pm and I have to drag my sorry ass into work tomorrow by 8:30 am. Sniff.


Long day, and I'm cranky.


Jim started at Microsoft today. Lucky bastard.


Today, nothing at all happened. I read, I translated some stuff, I watched Law & Order, I cooked dinner. I went to watch D&D over at Seth/Jason's, I guess, but left early because I thought I had work (I didn't, so I came home and slept another three hours). Whoop dee doo.


(rubbing eyes) Tonight is one of those nights where I was tired enough to go to bed at about 9:30 (well, earlier, honestly, but I had to watch Good Eats, heh). Of course, me being me, it's 11:40 and my shoulders are cramping and my eyes are blurry... I've gotten stuff done (sorting vacation photos), but I'm not really sure that accomplishing that task was worth how REALLY tired I am now. Sniffle. Poor wuzzie wuzzie woo for me.


I went to see Cirque du Soleil tonight. I would rave profusely, but I'm so tired I can barely walk... it's been a very long day. Summed up in one word : AMAZING.


I saw Adam Broback on the bus today. I didn't talk to him, which I find regretable. We were pretty decent friends in high school... albeit in the I was happy to get the same classes as him so we could joke together sort of manner rather than anything more intense. He obviously didn't recognize me, which contributed to my reticence about speaking to him. I saw him flash a UPASS at the bus driver, so I did my sneaky computer-person thing and figured out that he has a website on the students server. I don't think he's been going here for the last five years... I think I would have seen him at least once, and there was mention on his page about wanting to keep in touch with his "friends overseas." I think he must have been in France for at least some period of time. I'm glad to know, however much in a secret way, that he's happy, going to school, and has a girlfriend who he cares about and lives with. I just wish I'd asked him myself.


I have to get up and get into work by 8:30 am tomorrow. I'm making up for taking two weeks off from work by covering other shifts... money is good, but I'm not really happy about the whole giving up my last month of sleeping in for two yeras. Sob. I guess it's good to get in the habit. Yeah. Bored? I uploaded a few new pictures of me and hopefully I'll get a couple vacation photos posted in a day or two. This was the first vacation in years where I'd had access to a camera... I didn't go crazy, but I did get a couple good pictures of Jim and canyons and my grandparents and canyons and sunsets and canyons. And some rocks.


Worried about Kate. Sadness. Too much stress in friends makes me very unhappy.


I do have a backlog to type up, though not nearly so long of entries nor as interesting as have been some from other trips. But I think that I shall wait for another night; I'm tired, and I don't feel like it, tonight. I'm all moody, to boot. Did have a fun trip, nice to be at home, all that jazz... and now, I to bed.


Several nights ago (I don't remember when... sometime after Colorado), I had a very vivid, strange dream. I was an actor in it, but it was also narrated and I would watch it from an external view at points occasionally. I was a sergeant in the land half of some sort of armed force (that trained on Parrington Field), able to do some sort of water shaping ala China Mieville's Vodoynoi watercraeft (why I wasn't in the sea half, I don't know). At one point, one of the captains, named Blondie, from the sea half wandered onto the field while we were training, and complimenting me on my work, asked how it was done. I refused to answer, without permission from my commanding officer. Blondie got pretty pissed off, but I refused to budge. Finally, my CO came over, and got him off my back. The funny thing was, although she upheld my right to not tell him anything, I got punished after he left. That never was really made clear. I think that the dream must have flip-flopped into me having told him something I shouldn't have. I was left standing, holding some rolled up green material (suspiciously similar to how Jim's and my air mattress looks when rolled up) that weighed a fucking ton, ordered to not set it down or otherwise move for some unspecified amount of time. When several days later, a call came in from the sea half that they needed one of our watershapers to help out on a mission, my CO sent me off with a snarl—"If you like that fucking Blondie so much, you can join him." I wasn't very happy about this, because I hated his stinking guts. The dream leapfrogged directly into the mission; I have no idea why Blondie and I were suddenly climbing up ropes using some strange clicker handgrips, with a woman hanging desperately on Blodnie's back while we dangled on a cliff above a raging sea, but hey, there we were. Blondie didn't have the woman secured; he simply told her to hang on, which she was utterly failing to be able to do. I screamed at him that he needed to tie her down, but he ignored me, right until the moment when she began to slip. The wind was gusting and we were swaying as she lost her hold and suddenly she was falling, Blondie was holding on to the rope with his feet somehow and reaching for her, but it was too late. Blondie lost his grip and was starting a nose-dive into the sea when I started shaping the sea to come up to meet him and the woman, cushion their fall. I'd never shaped that much water before, and while I managed to do it, the effort cost me my own grip on the rope. As the column of water I'd shaped began to shorten, with a frightened woman and unconscious Blondie resting atop it, I fell myself. We reached some black wave-lashed rock, me hauling Blondie along. He came to right as I pulled up him up on the rock. After some time, he looked up at me and said, "Good work, sergeant," using the rank I'd have if I were not currently an attached part of his operation. I glared up at him, raging. "You will call me a PETTY sergeant, sir," I told him, furious. Apparently, in my mind, that was the proper analogue rank. Funny enough, I found out from Jim the next day that the actual Navy analogue to the Army sergeant is the petty officer; I guess I know more subconsciously about military ranks than I'd thought. Anyway, Blondie acceded and we started planning how to cross the water to some beach city we could see several miles across the water. We even made it halfway across, me shaping a tense, walkable path on the surface of the sea, before the crazy sea creature that sucked my mind half away attacked us (this is when the dream started being narrated... when I got brainwashed). I don't know how, but somehow the woman fought off the creature and got us to the city. Blondie and I were amnesiac, barely more than ambulatory vegetables, and the city put us in a mental hospital. Some time later (months?), a doctor thought that we might recover if he brought us together. I was clad in a white hospital gown, being led down a hospital hallway when a doctor wheeled a muscled man into my sight. I guess I was starting to come out of something, because suddenly my mind screamed "BLONDIE" and knew it was this drooling imbecile that had gotten me into this mess. It was his fault, and his idiot leer seemed to me to mean that he was plotting to kill me. Obviously, I wasn't that recovered. I broke and ran. Oh, did I run. I love running dreams the way that most people love flying dreams. To someone like me, whose legs break out in a rash if I run in the heat and whose lungs just can't seem to pump enough air to keep me going past a few blocks, to be able to run the way I can in my dreams is a wonderful thing. I bolted down the sterile hallway, pushed my way through a swinging door, and rounded a corner before anyone really realized what was happening. They sent a crew of people after me (the narrator told me so, and we flashed to them a couple times), but I was too swift for them. I vaulted rubble and ran headlong down park slopes, losing myself in the city below. The dream ended with me finding an old couple to take me in... I reminded them of their dead daughter, and they decided to shield me until my memory fully returned. The strange thing was that it was as if I, the "movie watcher", had known from the beginning that this was the first movie of a set; I knew that in the next movie, I the "character" was in hiding in this city, protected by a family that told people I was their natural daughter. I the watcher had been waiting for me to meet the two old people for quite a while. Anyway, that was a lot longer to write than I'd originally thought. Ah well.


Didn't write anything the last three nights because I was so bone tired, but we're back at the Guerber homestead tonight and I'm strangely awake. Three nights ago was Vegas; we didn't gamble, or even really drink at all. Just wandered around sightseeing. I feel bad—I was really overwhelmed and uncomfortable, and pretty much rained on Jim's parade. In my defense, I seriously thought he was joking about some of the things he expressed interest in doing, and had NO IDEA he really wanted to do them until it was too late to get tickets/find out way/etc. I was quite happy that night to get back to our hotel and watch Conan O'Brian quietly in our room. I'm just not meant for crazy bustling lights and sound and "scene." One of the reasons I don't think of myself as a complete city girl. Two nights ago was Jim's Uncle Fred and Aunt Wanda, in McFarland, CA. Aunt Wanda is a beautiful sweet person who looks and acts like my mama, but Uncle Fred is a slightly lechy alcoholic who drank way too much and made me a little uncomfortable. Nice old cowboy, I guess, but I wasn't really sure how to deal with him and his hugs. Fried okra was such a nice treat that night. I feel terrible for their dogs; Uncle Fred doesn't believe in giving affection to working dogs, and that's what Sadie and Patch used to be. Not anymore, but they still don't get so much as a pat on the head or a kind word or a toe inside the gate at that place. Sadie looked so pitiful I petted her a little while we were hidden behind a truck; Jim's mom and Jim/Eric have all been yelled at by Uncle Fred for trying to "ruin" his dogs. I never realized how strongly I feel that dogs need approval and physical affection before. Last night was crashing at a Super 8 at midnight in Northern Cali. Pretty drive that day, on 1 up the coast, but I'd wanted to stop at about 9:30, and was both exhausted and extremely cranky before we were able to find a town big enough to suppport more than a scary roach motel. Notable was going through Carmel (and the drive before it too, I guess) and seeing more expensive as FUCK cars all in the same area than I've seen outside a showroom. Jim pointed out that it should be expected—we were, after all, in an expensive resort town near Silicon Valley and surrounds. It took a little while to get him to understand that it's like going to Japan and being surrounded by all the Japanese people. Sure, it's what you expect, but you just aren't used to being the only white person (in our case, the only old Ford Taurus) in the neighborhood. Today was 101 up the Oregon Coast and through the redwoods (such big fuckoff trees I have never before seen). We were originally going to camp tonight nd get home tomorrow, but a little calculating had us home by 10 pm if we cut to I5 (along an extremely pretty road, it turned out—I recommend state route 38 East for anyone making the 101 to I5 transition mid-Oregon), so we, being tired, opted for that. Nice to be home and have Larsimus and Liamometer to pet and "my" bed to sleep on. Coming home is the best part of traveling.


Camping tonight in Zion Nat'l Park and motherfuck is it hot. Been dark for a few hours now and it's still pushing 90 with a hot breeze coming off the rocks. Teach us to sleep in a canyon that's been baking at over 100 degrees all day. Pretty drive through desolate Southern Utah today. Only saw the very edge of Bryce Canyon, unfortunately; it was one of my favorite spots last time through. Beautifulpainted landscapes and weathered canyons here, but I'll be glad to get into the AC'd car tomorrow morn, an dbe glad to staying at a place with a pool in Vegas tomorrow. And there's no scary huge tarantulas at the resort in Vegas, I bet, as opposed to the bathroom here... EWW EWW EWW EWW EWW.


Spent twelve hours in the car today—prettiest driving day we've had so far, scenery-wise, but a little exhausting. So, things to remember : the prettiest stretch of interstate in the world (I70 from Idaho Springs to Glenwood Springs, in Colorado), The Black Canyon of the Gunnison, and being the wimpiest, clutchiest passenger I've ever been on its cliffs, pretty pretty Ourey, the strange (goat? man?) paths up in the second San Juan pass by the creek, the susnet oer Southwestern Colorado, swimming at the super awesome Econolodge, views views views and blueberry pancakes this morning thanks to Grandma.


Haven't been writing in Colorado—too tired at nights. Mebee I'll write about the super fun Scottish festival and my family and all that in the next day or two.


We drove all day today. From 9:30 this morning until 7 pm. Through Wyoming. I cannot recommend Wyoming (through the Painted Hills, I must admit, were pretty). For the most part, it's a dry, scrubby, almost-desert with less people settling the whole state than live in the city of Seattle (the Rand McNally God taught me that today). At least there weren't any police out on the desert to arrest me for speeding like a demon during my part of the drive. Jim's no angel either, but most of his stints were in 75 mph zones, while mine were all in 65 ones (I was usually going 85 at the very least). How they expect anyone to waddle through that wasteland at 65 and not go insane, I'll never know.


I got more sunburned today than I've been in a couple years. Not my face again, thank goodness (my face is already far along towards skin cancer, thank you very much). Saw Old Faithful today it was quite anticlimactic. But all the other geysers and hot springs we saw today were most awesome—fairytale colors and really stinky sulphur smell. Even the gaping hellmouth that loudly belched hot suphurous gas was pretty neat, even if I won't admit it to Jim. Nothing realy to saw—we drove and hiked around most of the northwestern part of Yellowstone today, had a couple good simple meals, it's just past 9 pm and we're going to bed... good stuff if I didn't have to get up around 7 am tomorrow.


Camping in Yellowstone tonight. Jim made the first four-marshmallow torch. It looked like a flaming brain. It was icky. Went by Mammoth Hot Springs—I have a very vague memory of being here once before, but they're so fuzzy that I wonder. Almost a dream. Of course, with how freakishly weird those hot springs are, it might as well be. And Yellowstone is full of chocolate. And really big deer pooping and eating.


Don't really want to write tonight—Montana is pretty, 71 miles of nothing in Idaho but a pretty creek was nice, but now it's past midnight and we're going to try to be on towards Wyoming at 8 am, so I go sleepytime now.


Didn't write anything last night, though it would have been easy enough to even do it online, being at Jim's parents' place and all. So anyway, right now we're at a campground a little ways outside Walla Walla. We were originally planning on getting to about Missoula, MT by this time tonight, which is almost 4 hours away. Considering we got about a 4 hour later start today thatn we'd hoped, that's about right. Driving through the mountains was pretty, but Eastern Washington is such a hole. I guess the amber waves of grain are okay, but mostly it's just dirt and dead grass around here. I'll be really glad to get down in Montana tomorrow. A bunch of minor annoyances so far, but nothing majorly wrong (even the broken-out-of-the-box tentpole will last the night). This is the first road trip sans parents for both of us, and our first trip out together since Hawaii a few summers ago. Yumi teased me about it being sort of like a honeymoon. Ah, a test run, perhaps. Heh. I wish.


Will you look at that. A timely rollover. Leaving tomorrow for the grand ol' trip... there shall be very little here for the next two weeks, if anything; I'll write while on the road, but upload when i get back, most likely. Happy August!