Catching Up…

So…lots of stuff has happened between now and my last post. There’s too much to write about right now, but I will provide you with links to pictures. That’s the good part, anyway, right? The big news is that I recently moved up to Portland, Oregon, where I will be starting a job with the Columbia River Fisheries Program Office in Vancouver, Washington. I guess my official title is Recovery Assessment Program Leader, but basically I’ll be a fish biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It was definitely sad leaving all of my friends behind in Carlsbad, but I’m very happy to be up here in Portland. I found a great apartment in a really cool part of town…the next step is getting a bike! I’ll post some pictures of my place once I get a bit more unpacked.

In the meantime, here are some photos from previous events.

First, in the beginning of July, my friend Michelle came and visited me from Pennsylvania. I hadn’t seen her (or talked with her) since graduating from West Chester University in 1998, but we found each other on facebook. We met up in Old Town San Diego, went to the Wild Animal Park (of course), and cruised around Point Loma and downtown San Diego over the weekend. You can view the photos from her visit here.

Next, at the end of July, I drove north to Blue Lakes (near Ukiah) for a Koski family reunion. I was there for a couple of days and it was really nice to see everyone, especially the next generation of Koski’s. The weather was perfect and it was great connecting with most of my cousins, although three of my blonde beautiful cousins were MIA (you know who you are, H’s!). Check out the photos from the reunion here.

After the reunion I drove up to Eureka to meet my friend Cara. We went to a Roller Derby (go, North Jetty Betty’s!), then went to Arcata to dine on crepes at one of Cara’s favorite restaurants. The crepes were FANTASTIC! Cara works and lives at Redwoods National Park, so the next day we hiked the Damnation Creek trail to the coast where we explored the tidepools. Then, it was time for me to head back south (sigh)…but the photos still linger here.

The only unfortunate part of the trip was that my check engine light went on, and upon taking it to the shop for a diagnosis, I learned that one of the catalytic converters has crapped out on me and it would cost $2000 to fix in California. Fortunately, I’ve moved to Oregon where it may not be illegal to use an after-market catalytic converter so I might not have to junk my car…but like I said, it looks like I’ll be wanting to invest in a bike soon. It won’t work for getting me over to Vancouver every day, but it’s at least a little less pressure on my aging Outback when I need to go out for groceries or local errands!

Nope, Nothing New Here…

Just wanted to write a quick post to let you know I’m alive. Bored, but alive. You see, nothing of interest has happened over the past month, so I haven’t wanted to subject you to any tedious details (of which there are none). It is raining now – it seems like rain has been frequent during the past few weekends – which I like.

Zoe is not doing well. I think we’re nearing the end of the line for her – a few more weeks maybe. Surprisingly, it is not her cancer that is the problem, but our inability to regulate her diabetes. She has lost so much weight, but for now, still seems happy. I’m trying to be aware of the day when she gives me that look…and will try not to ignore it out of my own sadness and need to keep her around longer. My poor kitty.

Teddy continues to be a pain in the ass. We had been doing really well with not peeing in the house, but starting on Friday, he has gotten it in his head that it is ok to both pee and shit inside. At least a couple of times each day. I’m thinking his days are numbered too…but for different reasons…and he *is* almost 16.

Jesse, of course, is fat and happy. Oblivious, aloof. Ah, the typical cat.

I hope you are all well, staying warm in February, whever you are. I’m enjoying today’s holiday, staying in bed and catching up on my blogging. I just wish I had more interesting things to share…oh, and if you haven’t joined facebook yet, maybe you should. I’m a bit more active there than here lately!

Last Post of 2008!

Are you ready for this stupid year to be over? I am. So get the hell out of here, 2008; don’t let the door hit you on the ass on your way out. I actually can’t believe that 2008 is gone – I remember being a kid and time seemed to goooo bbyyyyyyyy sssssoooooooooooo ssssllllllooooowwwwwwwlllllyyyyyyyyyyyyyy…and now (that I’ve probably gotten Alzheimer’s as a result of extreme boredom; see previous blog) time sms to go bi 2 qwik. I can’t fathom that I’ve been in Southern California for over four years now – what the hell??? So, for those of you who haven’t been reading my blog (or who have just been reading about the good times), here’s a little recap of my 2008 for you (in no particular order):

  • Teddy Bear is still alive. Slower, more insane, more needy, more apt to urinate on the carpet, and apparently immortal. I suspect that he is surviving by consuming my soul and happiness.
  • I spent vast quantities of money to keep Zoe going. She seems to be happy and active.
  • Related to the above, I pretty much broke even in my attempts to work down my debt. I haven’t really decreased it, but haven’t really added to it either.
  • I only noticed about half a dozen visits by the cops to my apartment complex. This ‘hood is really cleaning itself up!
  • My ceiling collapsed zero times.
  • I failed (yet again) to procure an acceptable boyfriend, as all men in SoCal are either gay, taken, or total assholes.
  • I developed secret crushes on my cat’s vet and one of the vet techs, at two different offices. Zoe has all the luck! However, there are complications which prevent me from pursuing either of these as potential relationships (see above point).
  • I watched my arch-nemesis perfect her rimming skills and be rewarded for it with a promotion and office upgrade.
  • I devised an airtight excuse to visit Las Vegas.
  • I managed to lose almost 15 lbs, which includes the mole I had removed from my face.
  • Although, in the past week I probably gained about five of those pounds back (but the mole is still gone, so I’m psyched about that).
  • I perfected the fine art of applying liquid liner to my upper eyelid, with the results not completely appearing as if I stayed up for three days smoking crack with Amy Winehouse (see new year’s resolution discussion, below). Additionally, my hair finally realized that I mean business when it comes to straightening, armed with a split-end inducing arsenal of flat irons and straightening gels.
  • My brother spawned, so that alleviates the need for me to breed in order to make a genetic contribution to future generations. Ok, so I realize that it’s my brother’s kid which means that my genes will not be represented as much as if it was my kid, but I don’t have to get pregnant and squeeze a small human out of my vag. So it’s a fair trade-off, I think.
  • With minimal effort and a little bit of practical application, I vastly improved my nick-name generating and limerick-writing skills (just try me sometime…).

That’s all I can think of for now. Actually, that’s not completely true – I can think of a lot more. But I don’t want to rehash ALL the super fun times I had; I’d like to keep many of those moments private, just for me to own. Anyone have any resolutions? I’m generally against those – “I resolve to lose weight, stop drinking, quell my road rage, kick the crack habit, etc.” But this year I think I’ve come up with a good one – I’m going to stop eating factory farmed meat. I haven’t really eaten red meat in over ten years (with the exception of critters that friends have hunted, or that was raised organic and free range – yeah, buffalo, I’m talking about you), but it will be difficult to cut out the chicken and turkey. I’ll eat it occasionally if I can get the free range variety, and I’ll still eat fish. But I just can’t stomach (literally) anymore the thought of supporting those massive henhouses that cramp chickens in shoebox-sized cages for their entire lives. I think my decision was made when I saw the video of Sarah Palin at the turkey slaughterhouse, with turkeys getting killed right behind her, saying she was having a “great time”. Blech.

Anyway, happy new year, y’all. Have a good one.

Stress stress stress

I know I haven’t written in a while, and I’m sorry to say that I don’t have anything particularly interesting to report. No pictures, either. But I’ve been busy, alright??? Work has been particularly chaotic – I’ve had to make some BIG decisions concerning my job, but I finally got my promotion so money will not be an issue. Basically, I was offered a position as the Recovery Branch Chief, and I went back and forth for a couple of weeks trying to decide whether or not to take it. In the end I decided to decline the offer; mostly, I feel like I still need to spend some time in the trenches, and one of the things I like most about my job is seeing the results of my work fairly quickly and concretely. For example, there are projects that I’ve worked on that have ended up having more habitat conserved partly as a result of my efforts. And I like that. So, that’s pretty much what it came down to, among a few other factors.

I’ve also been looking for a new place to live. I want to move to Carlsbad or Oceanside to be closer to work and friends, and to get away from the heat of Infernodido. Rent is a little higher on the coast, but with the way gas prices are going, I’ll probably spend less money just having a shorter commute. But, looking for apartments is one of my VERY LEAST FAVORITE things to do, and I have very limited tolerance for trying to get in touch with potential landlords and viewing crapholes. So, if anyone knows of a really great place that takes dogs and cats and is big and cheap and requires no security deposit and has a great view of the ocean and a complimentary on-call masseur, please let me know.

Sound good? Hope you’re all doing great and are having a fantastic summer!

New Year Update

Happy New Year, everyone! I know it’s almost the end of January, but not a whole lot has been happening. I’m trying to get over a cold that I’ve had since before Christmas – it keeps flaring up every week or so and I have to take a day or two off work. I’m anticipating that my boss will call me in some point soon to ask me what’s going on, suspiciously inferring that I must be “faking it”. Unfortunately, my accrued sick leave is taking the brunt of my actions – my coworkers think it’s stress-related, and I tend to agree.

Zoe is doing well – she’s pretty stable, and has resigned herself to the fact that she must get pills shoved down her throat twice a day. She’s not gaining any weight, but she’s not losing any either. And, her last round of acupuncture went relatively well – she resembled more a pin cushion (and the vet resembled less a bloodied puncture-wound victim of feline fury) than her previous visit. I’m not sure the acupunture and herbs are doing her any good, but Zoe seems pretty content and happy for the time being.

I’ve mostly been trying to catch up on my scrapbooking – I’m finishing up 2005, which was a challenge because 1) 2005 pretty much sucked ass and who wants to revisit that; and 2) half my pictures were film, and half were digital. As I’ve previously mentioned, I’m doing all my scrapbooking digitally, so I’ve had to spend a fair amount of time scanning photos and other mementos during my lunch break. I’ve got a pretty good handle on Photoshop Elements now, so making pages is easier, but still time consuming. Anyway, it’s coming along.

That’s all for now – I finished watching Season 2 of The Office and am looking forward to seeing how the Pam and Jim cliffhanger turns out in Season 3. Okay, I’ll admit that I have a bit of a crush on Jim too – he’s a perfect match for Dwight’s evil Machiavelian (is that how you spell it?) tendencies, and he’s kinda cute, too.

Yeah, I’ve been busy (and tired)

I know, it has been a long time since I’ve updated my blog. But really, it was pretty much just pictures from Jes’ wedding and my trip to San Francisco that I wanted to post. Work has been very busy the last couple of months now that David is back as my supervisor, and when I get home I pretty much just want to chill. But there’s still a couple things going on – the first thing would be my cat, Zoe. She’s 13, and people tell me that’s old for a cat, but I disagree that it’s old for Zoe. But, over the past year I’ve been noticing that she’s been losing some weight – getting very bony and skinny. So last weekend I brought her to the vet – she lost 2 lbs over the past year (which is a lot, considering how tiny she is), so they took some blood to run a full panel, and also took some urine for a urinalysis. Zoe was not happy about it, and enjoyed even less the vet force-feeding her a deworming pill (it took 2 vets about 10 minutes of fighting to get a 6.9 lb cat to eat one pill). The urinalysis showed some blood in her urine, so I have to give her antibiotics twice a day for about two weeks (ask me how much Zoe likes that). The blood could just be an infection, but it could also indicate other problems with the kidneys or bladder. But, her blood panel turned out good, except for her thyroid, which looked borderline high. So, they sent for another test – negative for hyperthyroid. So, last weekend cost me about $350. I went back yesterday with Zoe – they took x-rays and didn’t see anything wrong, except that she has no body fat, which makes her organs difficult to see. But no kidney or bladder stones, or major tumors were evident. The vet suggested another specialized blood test to check for pancreatic function and malabsorption – I’ll get the results back on that this week. It was still too soon to see if she still has blood in her urine because she’s only been on the antibiotics for a week. The bottom line is that I’ve spent almost $600 and I still don’t know what’s wrong with my kitty. She’s acting normal and everything – she may just be getting old. I don’t know, but she’s my buddy and I’m not quite ready to accept that she’s at the age where stuff starts to go wrong.

Speaking of going wrong, oh, Teddy Bear. He really is getting old. A couple of times in the past month, as we’ve been out walking, he’s pulled himself so hard on his leash that he starts choking, falls over, and then has a hard time using his back legs. I don’t know if it’s a seizure or what, but he’s still his normal annoying self, so it’s hard to say. Today I noticed that one of his yucky back teeth is loose – I hope it falls out so that I don’t have to take *him* to the vet again! Last time we went it was also very expensive.

And speaking of expensive, let’s talk about my car. Last Friday I was on my way to work and I decided to stop and grab a sandwich for later. I was gone two minutes, came back to my car, and it wouldn’t start! I called AAA, who came out to tow me to my mechanic, and the car started right up. What’s up with that??? So, I drove it to my mechanic – turns out some dumb sensor in the starter was broken. That set me back about $150, but I guess it could’ve been worse.

Man, at the rate things are going, I’ll never have enough cash for a vacation!

Good things though – I finished the wrap top that I started sewing a few months ago, and made good progress on a skirt. So far, it’s awesome. I’ll probably finish it next year some time. Also, I’m getting back into my digital scrapbooking – I’m a little overwhelmed with Photoshop Elements, but I purchased an instructional CD that focuses on scrapbooking with Elements. It should be very helpful.

That’s it for now – I hope that’s enough. I’ll be in touch!

Ah Portland – the Sister City I Never Had…

I know it has been a very long time since I’ve posted anything on my blog. Well, I’ve been busy, ok??? I mean, I’ve got a real job now, an apartment, two cats and a dog to feed, you know – actual responsibilities. So, blogging, sadly, has gotten moved down on my priority list. But don’t worry – I haven’t completely forgotten that all you folks out there need a little Marci fix every once in a while. So, here’s the latest.

Mom and I flew up to Portland, Oregon, during the weekend of my brother Paul’s birthday – he turned 31 (shoot – I thought he was turning 15) on August 19. Anne is a power-house crafting dynamo, sewing and baking and being fit and all that crazy stuff that I can only dream of. Their cats are insane, but cute. And their house…ok, I must say I am a bit jealous. Well, sniff, I used to own a house, sniff, and maybe, sniff, if I work real hard, sniff sniff, some day I’ll, sniff, own one again. We went into Portland a couple of times for shopping dinner, and good times, good times. My Uncle Tom and Aunt Tje also stopped in – Paul and Anne’s one bathroom was working overtime, but managed the job well considering the circumstances. I had a great time – Portland is a cool little town, and it had been too long since seeing the bro. I’d like to get up there again soon (hee hee – look out, Bosco, watch your back!).

Nothing to report, really.

Yeah, yeah – I know I haven’t written anything in a while. Well, that’s just because I don’t have anything particularly exciting to write about. I’m still here though – still working, trying to catch up on sleep, trying to survive the mayhem of all the animals in one tiny, tiny space…

Actually, work is going a little better – I’m starting to get a better feel for how things work, and can at least “act” competent around everyone except for my supervisor. Isn’t that the luck? And, more good news – I move into my own place in the beginning of June (the 10th). It’s no place special, still in Escondido, and rather small. But it’s cute, and it will save me several hundred dollars a month as opposed to renting in Carlsbad near work. So hopefully, I’ll be able to pay off some debt in the next year or two, then maybe I’ll move to a better place. Don’t get me wrong – it’s not bad, not in the ghetto or anything, it’s just your typical apartment in your typical apartment complex. But there’s a pool, hot tub, vaulted ceilings, and a huge walk-in closet. And best of all, it will be my own space, with only three (officially two, so don’t tell anyone) pets.

But that’s all for now. I just didn’t want you all to worry. I’m still alive and twitching.

Not getting my hopes up…well, maybe a little!

I know it has been a while since I’ve posted, Faithful Readers, but I have truly been very busy. I thought I’d share with you my New Years’ Resolution; I’m usually opposed to making Resolutions because I, of course, am Perfect Just As I Am and there’s usually no need to make such petty improvements. However, I’ve realized something during my Year of Miserableness, otherwise known as 2005 to the rest of you, that my friends are terribly important to me. So how about this:

– My Year of Awesomeness (a.k.a. 2006) New Years’ Resolution –
I will strive to keep in better contact with my friends and loved ones!
This Means You!
Aren’t You LUCKY????
I SURE AM!!!
Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, I can share with all of you some potential brightness: I’ve applied for another job! I’m pretty excited about this one actually – it’s for an interpretive services manager at a wildlife museum in the Bay Area. I think it would be pretty cool to be there because I already know tons of people, and it would be between Mom and Anne and Paul. I actually made it past the first round of the selection process – that is, they didn’t take just one look at my resume and toss it in the good old circular file. Nope! They actually expressed some interest, and asked me to fill out a questionnaire along with some other hopefuls! So, 16 single-spaced typed pages of text and pictures later (that included a Kiss concert photo, by the way) I was told that I would be contacted “soon” about whether I advance to the phone interview or not. So wish me luck, eh? If I don’t make it – oh well – I’m kind of used to it by now. I’ve got some other fun jobs to apply for anyway.
We’ll chat again soon, no? And by the way, I’m pulling out the tough love on myself with the New Years’ Resolution: this blog does not count as “keeping in contact”. Ouch!