Friday, December 28, 2007

christmas recap

I woke up Christmas morning with strep throat and slept for four days straight.

But on the good news side of things, Christmas Eve day was amazing. We went snowboarding with Toby at Willamette Pass and it was perfect! Andy 'n I bought each other 5 day passes for Christmas, so we'll be on the mountain for sure this year. I'm hoping to get confident enough with my skillz to bring my camera on the mountain one trip...maybe I'll just buy a throw away camera.

Johnston Family Christmas was amazing this year. Christmas Eve dinner hosted at the newlyweds house, we all pitched in with the cooking, and the eating and of course there was a single gift given before the evening's close.

the boys relaxing after a long day on the mountain.




Erik and Halo, the perfect Christmas pair.



My one picture from christmas morning! Everyone's eating a delicious breakfast, made by all the lovely ladies.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

screwed on just right.

One of my new favorite little people, doing what little people do...reminding us to find the enjoyment in everyday things in life...
She stood between her mother and I and discovered how to do something new and she loved it, over and over, and over again.

video

video


~ Oakes p.s. i love you.

random things from california

A little looksies at some things from California.

My Gramps and his thumbs are one of the things in this world that I adore. Here's the first photo of my little thumb and his big thumb.
I love it.



A couple of people I Love! My sister (in-law) Mara and my man.



We hadn't seen each other after 4 days apart (the longest we've gone since getting married). See how we love each other?



Here are a series of photos that I took in honor of science...future fans that are definitely "Approved by Science"







JoScience with our nieces and nephew...



He was reading them the only thing a Scientist should read to the next generation...



What's a trip to SLO without a visit to Bubblegum Alley?



Yeah, that's bubblegum...



Down an entire alley...



A preview of a little princess' first birthday party

one thing I forgot

In my post about preparing for the train ride, I mentioned that I didn't forget anything on my list. Well. There was something I forgot, something I forgot to put on the list - Airborne. If you don't believe in Airborne, well that's alright, but my congested sinus', clogged ear, sore throat, coughing and sneezing really wish I hadn't forgotten to get it on the list.

So I'm sick. I wish I'd been able to write a bunch of blogs, do a ton of reading, or watch a lot of good movies, but this is the kind of sick that knocks you out, no Nyquil needed, and makes you sleep all day and all night.

I was back at work for a half day and then spent the afternoon sleeping. I'm just trying to stay awake long enough so that I can stay asleep all night...perhaps some blogging is in my future.

Monday, December 17, 2007

as promised.

When riding on a train, and looking out a window at a new and beautiful land, there are many things a girl will see that she would like to share. So, here are a group of photographs I took while traveling by train down the state of California and as promised in a previous post - oodles of pictures.

A California prairie




i like industrial things...not what
they do to the earth, just the way they look.













Everything looks better in the morning light





Tracks. Going one direction, all around the country.






The only US Navy Fleet docked
in fresh water in US territory...or something like that.




A California train station.



Me, on a train, going through a tunnel.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

the day I rode the train.

I made lists. Lists for what to pack, what to buy before I could pack, what to do for work, what to do when I arrived, what to do for 22 hours before I arrived and after I wasn't home. And I wouldn't believe it if I didn't see all the check marks myself, but I actually did everything. I didn't forget anything, I didn't overlook anything, I didn't miss anyone. I actually succeeded in making, buying, packing, visiting - or have plans to visit - everything. Who knew I was so responsible, so organized?

It all began when a good friend brought me to the train station in Eugene. Andy was working in Salem, so he and I had said goodbye earlier when he came by my work at lunch, and we vowed to call each other often and stay alive until we were scheduled to see each other again on Monday night.

My ticket in hand, bag checked, hug given and received and my friend gone - the adventure began. If you've ever been alone anywhere where you have to scope out who's going to be with you on your trip, an airplane, a bus terminal, a train station, then you know what I was doing. I was reading a book, looking over the pages and looking for a friendly face. I then was trying to look friendly myself. I sat cross legged, leaning on the armrest, smiling up if someone walked by. I thought this was the best, unassuming, friendly thing to do.

A young girl, in her twenties (yes that's young!) sat next to me, shuffled her bags to her left and then to her right. Checked her watch, then leaned over toward me, "is the train supposed to be here at 5:10 or leave at 5:10, do you know?"
"I thought it was supposed to leave at 5:10, but now I'm just hoping it'll be here by 5:10."

And that was that. Contact. A bit of security, a somewhat familiar face on the train. They announced the train's arrival to the station, I picked up my bag and made my way through the dark and rainy night to the bright door of the train.

And so it begins.


a view from my window

a little bit of life in a dark land

my first glimpse of snow this season

the first early morning stop

Friday, December 14, 2007

the first post of many,
or...me rambling about my time in California


First a bit of an explination.

A big shout out to the Mighty Oak! Thank you and thank god for you. - The reason I haven't blogged yet about my amazing train ride and time in California is that the Mighty Oak has had my laptop for a few days. Now don't feel worry, feel relief.

The fear that once you buy a computer it immediately is out dated is something that plagues us all. Well, I'm happy to report that although my computer is coming up on its third anniversary, it is now practically as good as a new computer. The RAM is insane, the memory is beefed up, the programs and operating systems are brand new and unbelievable...I don't know all the technical terms, but I'll let you know that I won't be buying a new computer for some time, sorry Apple.

Oh and one last thing, the new keypad and shell feel like they're bullet proof - thanks for finally coming up with a remedy to a broken shell Apple-face.


I know people like to read short a sweet posts, that are riddled with photographs. So. This is one of the short ones and the ones with photographs will come shortly.
Pi-Zah!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Science saves the day again!

It looks like Science is coming to the aid of these kids just in time...(cause right now, they're invisible!)


on my old stomping ground




I couldn't be more proud.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

look and read and do


I'm officially in California, right smack dab in the middle of it (more to come regarding the trip down later). Come see me, call me or join me for a show. Oh, and then there's this...


8 Dec 2007 21:00
Ryan’s Reedley, California
9 Dec 2007 20:00
Black Water Cafe Stockton, California
10 Dec 2007 18:00
Urban Outfitters San Luis Obispo, California

11 Dec 2007 19:00
The Starline Fresno, California
12 Dec 2007 20:00
Plush Cafe Fullerton, California
14 Dec 2007 20:00
The Vault Laguna Hills, California

Need I say more?

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

a bit out of the ordinary.


I'm arriving in San Luis Obispo, CA on the train this friday afternoon.
I can't wait.

I have grand ideas of what a solo train ride from Oregon to California will be like, and come Saturday, I'm sure I'll be blogging about my true experience. But for now, I'm going to imagine the amazingly productive solidarity, the peaceful and serene landscape, and the uninterrupted novel reading...all while on a delightful 22 hour train ride.

Am I crazy for thinking this is a good idea? Has anyone else been on a long train ride and would like to share your experience? Or wait, maybe I don't want you to share...I can't decide. Did I mention that I haven't done anything on my own like this since I flew to Australia? Okay, so that was a big deal...but that's not a regular thing. I don't even go to movies by myself, or take trips places by myself. Oh geez. I'm insane aren't I?


In other news, I decided to decorate the house...with white lights, greenery and snowmen...I know, I know, I'm leaving for 10 days in December, but I couldn't leave the house cold and undecorated. Plus, when I get home and Christmas is a week away, I'm going to be so happy to smell the evergreen and sit under the flickering lights.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

i'm back.

In more ways then one.
first, since the nanowrimo is over, I'm allowed to write elsewhere, other then on my "novel", so here I am.
Also, I've spent a few minutes and created a new myspace profile. please help me out and friend me so I don't have to search all over the place to find people.
And lastly...I'm, almost, back in California, look for me next weekend around SLO.

things about me that I'd like to share with you:

It's been pouring outside all day and I can't stand how much I love it. I watched "The Science of Sleep" and I think I've found a new favorite to add to my shelf. Me 'n andy did errands today and when I thanked him for coming along with me he said, "I didn't know we were doing errands, I thought we were just hanging out." And I love him for that.

We're making more Science stickers, the tour is nearing us, and I've just had the first two day weekend in...well, I can't remember how long ago and it was amazing.

Oh, and thank you mom and dad for our early Christmas present...


Friday, November 30, 2007

to succeed you must first fail.



It's official. I'm a failure.

Oh, did I mention that, at times, I can be a bit dramatic?

But in all seriousness. I didn't meet the fifty thousand word challenge. But really, I'm alright with that. For me, the goal was more about writing and in the consistency of doing it everyday.

And frankly, since I did really good at that, and then took time to enjoy the company of family and friends over the holiday week, I'm good with the fact that I didn't put the 50,000 word goal in front of people that mean the world to me.

Thank you to everyone that supported me. You are all amazing.

What's next, you ask? Well, I'm planning on writing until the characters tell me they're done talking. I'll be (hopefully) on a train for 22 hours next week and I'm going to spend some of the time editing the portion I've already written and posting excerpt for those of you that have asked. And, beyond that? Well, I'll keep writing. And perhaps in a year the challenge of writing 50,000 words in 30 days won't be as big of a challenge for me. And lastly? I'm planning on reading, alot. I'm re-starting "3" by Flannery O'Connor and I'm very happy about it.


i've been erased.


myspacers beware!

I didn't do it myself. I didn't upload porn. I didn't burn a flag. I didn't do anything. But, the powers that be over in myspace land have found me guilty of some crime (still unknown to me) and have sentenced me to be banished.

this isn't a hoax. this isn't my doing. this is a travisty. really though, myspace was becoming dull. i didn't want to check it, I had to check it...but now that it's been taken away? I want it back!

what is sadder than sad though is that they aren't even giving me the courtesy "this profile no longer exists" they just deleted every comment I ever made or friend I ever met and called it a day.

I don't know what I'm going to do yet, I haven't decided. so...alas, what should I do?

blogger please stay good to me, in fact, I'll bake cookies if that will keep you appeased and on my side...

Saturday, November 17, 2007

"how's your writing going?"

Thank you to everyone that has asked the question and kept me encouraged and writing. The month is halfway done and I've just passed 10,000 word mark. Soooo....I'm not exactly up to par with some of the more experienced NANOWRIMO writers, but this is my first time and I'm doing it and I'm very happy that I'm getting more into a habit of writing.

I'm not giving up, I'm just admitting that I'm not going to make it to 50,000 by the end of the month.

I've got snowboarding to prepare for, Thanksgiving Apple Crisp to make, driving to Bend and hanging out with friends and family (and that snowboarding thing to do), picking up in-laws and crusin' around town with them for a few days and all that is happening within the next week...and for six days straight...my husband to murder and Gilder to blame for it!

In addition to the writing, I've also got to work on cleaning, working, and running...this is not a defeat, this is encouraging the challenge. Oh and I've got a trip to California and a band's tour to prepare for...


science stickers anyone?

Please take a moment to meet my second character:

************************************
November 1, 2007 - Cassandra

She wandered the campus for the last time, reminded of her first day when she stood in the same hallway, carried the same messenger bag, and felt a similar sense of despair and anxiety. But that wasn’t what today was about. Today was supposed to be a celebration. A celebration of life and the accomplishments of all of her hard work. She was no longer a student. She was a researcher. Her thesis had been reviewed, defended, and she had received a passing grade. There wasn’t anything left for her here. This life is over. This life is over and life is finally beginning. It was time to forget everything that went wrong and think about the future. She tried to stop it, but her thoughts drifted back to her last day on campus in June.

“Cassandra Renee’ Reynolds”

The guy behind her kicked her heel and said, “That’s supposed to be you. That’s your name isn’t it?”

“Cassandra Renee’ Reynolds?”

She wanted nothing more than to move her feet and go up the three steps, walk across the stage, shake Professor Washington’s hand, take the diploma cover, and smile for the photograph. But she didn’t want to miss it. She didn’t want to do it and not realize she was doing it. So instead, she stood there. Waiting until she could be – completely, in the moment.

“Peter Jonathon Ryder”

Again the guy behind her kicked at her heel, except this time his shoulder prodded her in the back and he said, “At least move out of my way.”

It’s over. There’s nothing she can do to change it and she knows it. She’s completely in the moment and she can’t believe she’s ruined what’s supposed to be, to date, the best day of her life.

Stop. It’s done. It’s time to leave; it’s time to let it go and move on. She still graduated, even if she had skipped the whole, taking her diploma cover and smiling for the photograph thing. And now, this would be her last time on campus. She’d collected the bound copy of her thesis from Professor Winston’s assistant and completed her obligatory walk around the quad. It’s time to walk away. It’s time to leave. It’s time to forget. It’s time.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

science updates

Science friends, for up to date information please visit the Science Myspace page as the tour dates have changed and probably will change again...

thanks,
science girl

Monday, November 12, 2007

Science.
Coming to a town near you!


*The following post was not written by the blog's author. But do not let that stop you from reading on. As you will see, it is worth it, quite informative and it completely affects this blog's author.
The following post first appeared here on the official Science Heroes myspace blog, but I thought instead of writing a blog on the subject in my own words, it was better told firsthand by the Hero himself.

*****************************************

Welcome to the first Science Heroes blog! (In my best Ira Glass voice) Our story today in three acts--Act one: Shows, in which you will find that just because you know where you're going on tour, doesn't mean you know WHERE. Act Two: Recording--a story about the greatest producer the U.S. ever lost to Norway. Act Three: Merchandise--"You like CD? See dese Science Heroes Buttons?"

Act One: Shows. You may have noticed a lot of question marks in our up coming shows listing. Well there's a good reason for that. Seth Roberts (of Watashi Wa fame) has been nice enough to help us plan a short California tour with his new band Lakes. The Schedule will be as follows:

Dec. 8th - Chico
Dec. 9th - Sacrimento
Dec. 10th - Fresno
Dec. 11th - San Luis Obispo
Dec. 12th - Ventura/LA
Dec. 13th - Ventura/LA

We don't know the names of the venues yet... and the reason for that is (I think) Seth's booking agent hasn't told him yet... but as soon as we know them we will post them. A few of our Oregon friends have already told us they will be in California during the tour and want to hit a couple of the shows. But if you are not going to be in California in December there is good news for you too--provided that you live in Eugene: On Decemeber 28th we will be playing at Luckey's and on January 17th we will be playing at Diablo's downtown lounge. I am waiting for more details from Luckey's but at Diablo's we will be playing with a local electronica band called Palm and (I believe) a solo electronica Artist called Mantis. The show starts at 10 p.m.; we go on at 12:30 a.m. Should be a good time.

Act Two: recording! We just finished a recording of our song "Starry Vaults Walts". It was produced and engineered by Mr. Ashley Stubbert. We just heard an unmastered version of the song on Saturday and it blew us away. We already new the song was good but Ashley made it great. He did a hell of a job--worth every penny and more. In fact we have already scheduled another date to go into the studio with him again before the tour. The plan is to have a nice two song EP-ish thing to sell on the tour... but that sounds like a the next category to me.

Final Category: Merchandise!!! Well, there is a lot of fun stuff in the works here. First we are ordering more of the ever popular Science Heroes buttons. Same four designs as before so, if we were out of your favorite one last time, you can pick it up for $0.50 at our next show... can't beat those prices. Also in the works are Science Heroes stickers and a few nifty projects being designed by our very own Josiah Martens (Science Journals anyone?). Should be fun! But most importantly, as I mentioned above, we are working on a CD. By that I don't just mean that we are recording a CD. I can't give away too many details just yet, but I can tell you that the packaging for each CD will be hand made by us. It's going to be really cool--so get psyched.

That's it from me; this is Andy Weber, signing off.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

an excerpt,
you are not allowed to laugh....


unless it's the good kind of laughing. Like the kind that the author intends for you to experience. But if it isn't that kind, than oh man! you better keep it to yourself!

So it's week one of the challenge and I'm a bit behind. Behind in the sense that I haven't written 1650 words everyday. But, I'm not discouraged. Not in the least. In fact, it's a bit like running. It's similar in that I find I have a love/hate relationship with both. I love writing and exploring the worlds of new characters...but...well, it's tough that I can't go back and re-read and tweak what I've written. This people, has proven to be very difficult. I don't like it one bit. But, I have decided that because I love to write and this is an exercise in that (see again how it's similar to running?) I am going to push forward, toss discouragement aside and forge ahead.

I wanted to say a special thanks to my man for the thoughtful encouragement you're giving me. And also a shout out to my runpal and the guy to the right. They have both also joined the challenge and I am finding it a good motivation to write, my (friendly) competitive nature is keeping me writing to try to stay ahead of them in the growing word count.

so...don't laugh and god, please don't comment about all the terrible mistakes and inconsistencies you find, I know I need to edit...in fact I can't wait to go back and edit. But following is the first few paragraphs of my "november novel", and I think that I promise to keep posting excerpts...alright I will, that'll keep me challenged and motivated too.

Meet my first character:

************************************
November 1st, 2007 - Ingrid

I like people. Generally, I mean, I like young people a little less than I like most other people. But, just to keep it simple. I, generally, like people. Except for the nurse that wakes me up every morning. And I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “well you probably don’t like her because she wakes you up every morning.” Well, you’d be wrong. I’m a morning person, I love waking up, so you see, it’s not the concept of waking up; it’s the way she goes about it. Oh and one other thing, she never technically wakes me up. I’m usually already awake, I just don’t have the lights on, and I’m not gabbing at anyone, and I’m not engrossed in some early morning talk show. So, to her, I’m not “awake.”

“Good morning Mrs. Stanley. How are we today?”
“I’m awake.”
“Oh no you’re not. The curtains are drawn and we certainly can’t hear the birds singing, not with the windows shut. Don’t you worry yourself about gettin’ up. You let Marcy take care of everythin’.”

So you see, not only do I have to allow her to open the curtains and the window, I have to endure her referring to me as the collective “we” and to herself as “Marcy”.
The “we” wouldn’t be so bad if she’d keep the damn window shut. I mean, I can’t be expected to physically get myself out of the bed, walk to the window, and then heave it shut on my own. I’m eighty-seven years old for god’s sake.


************************************

Friday, November 2, 2007

what have i gotten myself into?


I've begun a challenge that I think I'm up for. I have joined the great NANOWRIMO aka The National Novel Writing Month Challenge. I'd love for you all to keep me going and bug me about whether or not I'm writing...every day...at least 1650 words. Yah. The challenge is to write 50,000 words beginning on November first and finishing on November 30th. Oh geez. Just writing this I'm getting anxiety.

Well. Wish me luck. What's life without a challenge? Boring. So here's to life, er, not living a boring life, or something like that.

Check up on me and see my progress at my site

p.s. guess who's being super supportive?

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

there's at least one good thing
about Vancouver, WA


What?!? His little eyes need protection
from those harmful UVA/UVB rays too.


As you can see. We went to Vancouver for the weekend to visit the little mister...& andy 'n jen too. We had a belated birthday breakfast for Jen and enjoyed some chill time hanging out and playing games.



Thanks for the sweet relaxing weekend friends.
with love, your white friend meg

And now for a plethora of little mister photos. You know you love it.

the, I-can't-get-enough-of-his-drooling-little-face-and-his-"hey-these-are-my-hands"-moments...



Oh and when he laughs, it melts me into forgetting
there's a 2 hour drive ahead of us and staying longer than we should.




and lastly...in honor of the Oaks' (thanks for the phone call, can you tell you had been on our minds?)


Happy Halloween.