rant, city crab

Probably Signing Off

Hey, kids. As you've likely guessed by now, I've pretty much tuned out of LiveJournal. Life with the Librarian and the Boy remains mostly great, though the ranging career remains a self-flagellating struggle. I hope you'll catch up with me on Facebook, or at least with the Boy on Twitter. Please send a private message for details.
work, ranger shadow

Merry Earth Day Meetings of the Minds

I then spent the afternoon at the Librarian's library as a special guest speaker for Earth Day. I presented a slide show explaining how local activism preserved the national treasures in our neighborhood: Mori Point, Milagra Ridge, and Sweeney Ridge. We then led the mostly-very-young audience in a craft where they fashioned their very own national parks out of my bloated brochure collection. These kids blew my mind. I made a nice, square collage with a volcano and palm trees and tidepools, but later added dinosaurs after taking suggestions for animals. A few kids worked together to create a tapestry of all their collages, linking them all with trails, folding them up into a compact package complete with a guide book! Pictures to follow, hopefully!

Speaking of more to follow, I have to get ready for my first trip to Yosemite! so while I have to get going now, I hope to do more to catch you up later. Enjoy your Earth Day!
rant, city crab

Hey, NPR and Democrats: Republicans Can Shut the Fuck Up

I didn't realize until some time after, but when my car got burglarized last year, the thieves stole not only my valuable amplification and CDs; they stole my car's soul. Since the burglary, that car cannot keep a power steering belt in one piece, it cannot keep a driver's side rear tire inflated, and now it cannot even manage 30 miles per gallon. But before any of that, the CD player stopped working, which meant I have listened to NPR even more than usual for the last several months.

Since the 2008 election that would eventually bring Democrats to control both the legislative and executive branches of our federal government, NPR has asked cocksucking Republifucks some glorified variation of "how do you feel?" or "what will you do now?" or "what do you think?" You know what, NPR? I don't remember you or anybody asking non-Republicans what they thought or what they wanted for the six years the Republicocks used the complete control they had over the federal government to rape and pillage this country and this planet and ruin everything for everybody but themselves and the fuckers lining their pockets. You know what, NPR? Republicans can shut the fuck up! They had their time. Those pieces of shit can spend another six decades in the political wilderness. I don't give a shit what they think, and I certainly don't want to hear about it every fucking day. Report on anything else. I'd rather hear all the inane minutiae of credit default swaps - again - than the yammering of the selfish bastards that would ruin this world for everybody but themselves.

On a related note, I'd like to see a lot less of Democrats reaching across the aisle. Republishits had six years to show everybody what they could do, and that pretty much boils down to pure evil and a lot of not reaching across the aisle. This country will never move left if the left keeps moving right. Democrats: knock it off, and I just might vote for you. Republidicks had six years to advance their agendas unobstructed; instead of continuing to advance their agendas, how about you label them obstructionists and actually do some good for your country?

rant, city crab

Frantic February

My apologies to any of you who have missed my active contributions to our conversations and communities; 2009 has gotten off to a mostly great start, but it has kept me too busy and worn-out to write or comment as much as I would like. I have at least skimmed all your posts in this time, and have particularly wanted to comment where some of you have either made brilliant points or expressed great joy or sorrow, but I can only say that I kept you all in my thoughts even if I didn't say much.

As you might imagine, much of my business has had to with the Librarian. I still have a half a Humboldt trip to share with all of you, not to mention day trips to Bodega Head and the Monterey Bay Aquarium. We spend more days together than not, and that has meant way too much driving between Menlo Park and the kooky San Geronimo Valley, and way too much time and energy diverted into that driving. We have decided to find a new home together. We may end up on the ocean side of San Francisco (where the Boy's Mom has recently relocated [by the way, I have finally gotten to "cool" with her - that bodes well for everybody, I think]) or just south, close to the Librarian's library. We hope to find ourselves within walking distance of the ocean, but we'll have to see. Wish us luck!

In other news, the job at Muir Woods that I thought I had through May will only run through the first week of April unless I can enroll half-time in classes. This bureaucratic oversight has irked me much, but might not amount to much if certain online rangers-only classes will count (awaiting word on that before I sign up for the online history of underwater basketweaving and ukulele lessons). While I - grr - had planned on getting an advanced degree at some point, I had hoped to wait for the Boy to start his schooling before starting up again myself; but if going back to school keeps me employed in the place and line of work I love (and gets me a position with a higher wage grade), this just might amount to the shove I need to get that degree done. I have some hope of stringing together positions at different sites within the Golden Gate National Parks for the summer, and I know that if that falls through, I can at least resume my hellacious commuting to Point Reyes for another summer (having lived just 20 minutes' drive from there the whole time I haven't worked there).

While I don't foresee a ton of free time in my future, I do still hope to finally get myself to Yosemite ahead of summer's crushing crowds, I'd like to do something special for the Librarian's birthday (09 May), and I have decided that nothing will keep me from Anonymous Jess's wedding in Duluth (03 July). Hopefully, all of that can happen, and I can make it back to this journal enough to bring you all along for the ride.

I wish all of you a very merry spring!


21 Years

My father died 21 years ago today. That means I have lived three-fourths of my life remembering him rather than experiencing him directly. Time has healed much of the hurt; as I noticed this day approaching, I realized in conversation with the Librarian how my memories of those short seven years profoundly continue to influence my development to this day. On this anniversary, I feel more gratitude for that time with my father than anything else. May my memories of him continue to shape the man and father I will be for decades to come.
work, ranger shadow

Day of Service

Everybody can be great... because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love. -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Bay Area citizens showed their greatness today at Muir Woods, weeding, sweeping, flossing gunk out of boardwalks and tossing boulders around the Hillside Trail. I felt honored to lead a number of volunteers from the Coast Guard in boulder-tossing. What a beautiful, inspiring day - what an uplifting way to leave the BushCo disaster behind!

MLK 2008
MLK 2007
Trillium Falls

More Introducing the Librarian, Part I

I ended up wearing the same Spongebob underwear for the duration of the trip, and I bit my cheek at dinner.

Other than that, I couldn't have had a better trip Up North with the Librarian.

Before we had even arranged our first date, the Librarian and I had discussed introducing each other to our respective special trees in some far-off fantasy time. Imagine my delight then, sometime in early December, when she agreed to head up to Humboldt with me to meet my trees, my waterfalls (there ya go, fuggler ) and my people (there y'all go, gwynny  y synchronaut ). Between our illnesses and holiday commitments, we felt as though we'd waited forever, but now, I feel fortunate to have made ambitious wishes come true so soon after wishing them.

Despite a realistic itinerary, our very vacation-y attitude toward the trip only got us to half of what we planned, but I wouldn't have had it any other way. On our way up, we stopped for lunch in Willits and for fun at Dora Falls in northernmost Mendocino County.

We arrived just in time to check into the historic Hotel Arcata (the Librarian's Mother [and by extension, the Librarian] has a thing for the historic) ...


 ... acquire beer, cheese and toppings for make-your-own-pizza-night with gwynny  y synchronaut , and then actually partake of said make-your-own-pizza-night, where somebody else actually took our picture for once (thanks,synchronaut )!

Behold a rare toothy smile from yours truly!

After a hearty session of Apples to Apples, a thoroughly crashed gwynny  signaled the end of the evening; I gave the Librarian a brief auto tour of the alma mater before calling it a night in anticipation of our only full day in Humboldt.

The clawfoot tub called to us in the morning, replacing the six-mile Gold Bluffs Beach/Fern Canyon/James Irvine/Clintonia/Miners' Ridge loop and putting us at Mill Creek Falls late in the morning ...

 ... and Trillium Falls at midday. Recent rains left little droplets which shimmered in the sun, producing piercing colors that changed with the viewpoint. Of course, we couldn't photograph that, so deal with these:

The Atlas Grove, College Cove, hot tubs and Humboldt Redwoods to follow when I find myself awake and available. Stay tuned.

rant, city crab

What Have I Gotten Myself Into? and Other Miscellania

  • How could the Librarian have fooled me? We rangers have known that we may not feel joy or gratitude for years. Put on a sensible skirt and I swear, you think you can pull anything ...
  • ... and why the hell haven't I gotten my ranger skirt yet?
  • In all seriousness, the Librarian had to deal with that onslaught of snow that slammed so many of you when she flew up to Washington to celebrate with her family. She made it, about as scheduled. Yay! I hope you all can eventually enjoy that mess. We might get thunderstorms here tomorrow.
  • Cheese fixes sore throats.
  • Coffee will never cease tormenting me. I remember enjoying drinking it exactly once (refrigerated - the Librarian said it "tasted like coffee ice cream" in the last few months. I awoke this morning, couldn't finish my coffee, packed tea for work and declared myself done with coffee. The tea sucked. So did the dark, rainy, delirious commute back around my mountain. I wanted something sweet to drink, but all my fruity stuff stings and burns, and I'd run out of soda. I knew the half-finished, near-frozen coffee - and I came home with hands numb from chills - lurked in waiting. And of course - sweet, sweet coffee ice cream. Dammit.
  • A little coffee also goes nicely with one's sugar-milk.
  • Sick rangers get to eat non-grilled cheese sandwiches and red licorice. And love it.
  • Superstitions developed over my two-years of ceaseless job searching before your eyes lead me to keep the hand closer to the chest these days, but the Santa Monica Mountains have my attention. "Santeria" serenaded me out of Muir Woods this evening, and the Boy will spend his Christmas in Santa Monica. The Southland? ... seriously?
  • I need to return to the frozen tundra soon. Illness aside, I shouldn't feel so cold all the gotdamn time. I also miss people. And I have people to introduce :)> Anonymous Jess's July celebration seems far away, hard to afford while I continue to live in this place, and difficult to guarantee - Point Reyes wouldn't even get me the whole day for the Boy's second birthday (grrrrrrrr ... ). But July sounds better than another bout of February at this point, even if my viking half pines for the otherworldly cold.
  • Merry merry, everybody.