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Dream job.

Aug. 21st, 2019 | 11:55 pm

Hopefully a seasonal position in Madison.

Dome attendant!
The dome attendant on duty was in fact very nice.

Wisconsin State Capitol interior
The interior of his domain.

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On summer Fridays I daydream about hot, coverless books.

Aug. 9th, 2019 | 07:44 pm

So here's a book meme from brittdreams.

A book that a certain friend is always telling you to read:
What the Eyes Don't See, for sure, given that in my graduate program we worked on several projects in Flint (if you've not been following me since 2012 or so, you can read up on the major one of these at this tag). It's not the first non-fiction book on my list this year about Flint, and I am getting to the book soon!

A book that's been on your TBR forever and yet you still haven't picked it up:
I've done much better in the last couple of years on culling down the oldest things on my list, but probably my undergrad architecture professor's book, Building the Cold War, has been on there the longest.

A book in a series you've started, but haven't finished yet:
I don't do series anymore, but I suppose I never finished The Dark Tower series, and that was when there were only three installments! Now there are seven? Never going to happen.

A classic you've always liked the sound of, but never actually read:
Tropic of Capricorn comes to mind. I ate up Tropic of Cancer but never got to the other one.

A popular book that it seems everyone but you has read:
Where the Crawdads Sing.

A book that inspired a film/TV adaptation that you really love, but you just haven't read it yet:
Olive Kitteridge, maybe? I have read reviews saying the book actually wasn't great, though.

A book you see all over Instagram/Tumblr/BookTube but haven't picked up yet:
Lots of chatter about Hillbilly Elegy, but I'm still not sure I feel like supporting the author or that it's really the compelling and unique story a lot of folks make it out to be.
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Fairies in America's Dairyland

Aug. 6th, 2019 | 11:33 pm

Still workshopping my blog titles, tyvm.

Roof view
On the huge observation deck of the Wisconsin State Capitol. 360 degree views!


First, though, the evening prior we chose a restaurant more or less at random from the G***le Maps app and it turned out to be an excellent Mexican place. We shared a pitcher of margaritas, guacamole, and a couple of taco plates*, and it was surprisingly good, probably the best meal we had all week. The server seemed kind of taken aback at our compliments, so maybe the kitchen was having an unusually good night. Hah.

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Hotel room party supplies.


Given that it was Sunday when we arrived in Madison, we didn't see a whole lot going on, so drove through a mess of construction to the nearest open liquor store and got some beers for the hotel room. In the morning, I rehydrated as best I could and went out for a run, my only exercise of the entire trip!

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And Madison makes 13!


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Cute attention to detail in the elevators.


I'm also watching The Witches of Eastwick in the background for the first time in ... 10 or 12 years? GD, this is an amazing cast for such a campy plot.

*Calories on vacation don't count.

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Well, we're back.

Jul. 15th, 2019 | 11:44 pm

But if not for these "job" things, we might have stayed forever and lived as dairyhands.

Wisconsin was super fun, and exceeded expectations! That makes 33 states for me, and 13 state capitols. I somehow thought I was now at 14, but close enough. I also added Indiana to my list, since we stopped there twice for gas (once each direction, it isn't that big) and once for a very uninspiring lunch.

The wedding was also fabulous, and they really put a ton of effort into making it happen on the relatively remote "farm" property. Spent two days hanging out with Keith, Tristan, Kate, and her husband Dave as well. Kate fried us cheese curds! I have basically 300 photos on my phone, maybe I'll share those in future posts.

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Summer travel intensifies.

Jun. 22nd, 2019 | 07:58 pm

Remind me to pack my love of cornfields.

We've reserved a terribly inefficient SUV with lots of room and on July 3, we will set off for southern Wisconsin for Blockhead's wedding! Rather than fly out to either Madison or Milwaukee and have to rent a car anyway, we decided to make a weeklong road trip out of it. And my 15-year old two-door coupe is certainly not the comfortable way to do that, hence the rental car.

The wedding is on the 6th with a welcome dinner the day prior, so we only have to be there by dinnertime on the 5th, then will leave as soon as the 7th to return. There's a whole lot of Midwest in between here and there, and we've been researching things to do for a while now. There's a good chance we will visit the cities that have been work clients, including Rockford (where we may spend July 4th; very America!) and Peoria in IL. In WI we may also visit Taliesin or House on the Rock, but for now we're keeping the itinerary flexible.

Got any recommendations for traveling through Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, or Wisconsin? Let me know in the comments!

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If it's spring, my gym must be on fire.

Jun. 11th, 2019 | 10:52 pm

Mind your machinery, capitalists.

On May 12th (a Sunday), I downed a yogurt, grabbed my umbrella and headed for the gym. It was a somewhat miserable rain that can't really be deflected, and my raincoat would have been the better choice. Still, I have been trying not to succumb to laziness on weekend days, especially when the weather is crappy and I know running won't happen.

The universe decided otherwise, as a fire truck passed me by on Connecticut Ave. while I was around the corner. Not just passed by, but traveling south in the northbound lanes. Where were they going? To my LA Fitness, unfortunately. There were already two trucks there, so as I arrived and saw firefighters running in with hoses and some of the regulars out on the sidewalk shivering, clearly the workout wasn't going to happen.

Luckily that wasn't a serious fire, and based on what floors they needed to replace due to water damage after getting back in I think the actual fire was in other parts of the building*, specifically from one of the elevator banks. While there was some residual smoke odor and the floor had to be replaced in half of one of the downstairs classrooms, I applaud them for reopening within 3 days. And said floor was replaced within a couple of weeks.

Fast forward to yesterday. I went to work out at 11 am, then showered and went off to work. Later that evening, I saw this on Twitter.



Maybe it's cursed.

Anyhow, as of now their website claims they will be closed through Wednesday (no one is answering the phone, obviously, and I am not interested in attempting to get a non-answer from corporate HQ**). Tomorrow I plan to use the tiny gym at my office. Then we'll see if they have reopened by then, and what water damage they may be mitigating when they do.

*This gym is in the basement and sub-basement levels of a ten-story office building, with other retail/shops on the ground level.

**My contract states that I can start getting prorated bits of my monthly membership fee back if I'm unable to access the facilities for at least 72 hours (I only have a one-location membership, and there aren't any others in the city anyway). My guess is they will try to get back on track before that amount of time has elapsed, and which Taylor pointed out is what they did the first time around.

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Push button, receive bops.

May. 25th, 2019 | 06:58 pm

Love, Carly Rae Jepsen.

Am attempting to consume a lot of media this month: am trying to catch up on Schitt$ Creek, RuPaul's Drag Race, and whatever B may put on the TV, plus listen to new music from Jenny Lewis, Madonna, and yes, Carly Rae Jepsen. Then I have four books currently going. So if I'm not responding to comments all that timely, you know why.

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Five happy hours in two days = a lot of life updates

May. 19th, 2019 | 09:39 pm

San Francisco, Part 4.

Finally wrapping up this travelogue! When we last left the saga, I was running on all cylinders but not sleeping much. That continued for the last several days, and somehow I survived!

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Worth the views.


Food and drinks and drinks and drinksCollapse )

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Vincent Van Go-f**k Yourself.

May. 17th, 2019 | 10:23 pm

What I will call you if you make me attempt wall painting. Oh, and this is a Friday Five.

1. Has your house been renovated?
My childhood home was, several times. And houses I've lived in since (all rentals) were prior to me moving in. The most haphazardly done one was where I lived from summer 2008 to summer 2009, but man, did that house have character. And reading back in that tag, I am pretty impressed by how many DIY fixes I made during that move-in and while I lived there, even knowing I would most likely be there just for a year. And I already linked to a bunch of old entries, but THIS is the entry that best captures the essence that was 2111 West Knox Street.

2. Have you ever painted a room?
Many. I hated it every time and will gladly hire pros to do it for me.

3. Have you ever put in a new floor in a house?
Not myself, but when I was like 11 or 12 my father ripped out our living room carpet and put in the tile that is still there today. It looked like a shit ton of work. He led all the aforementioned home renovations, including what I originally thought this question meant: adding a second level to that house. That was an epic renovation to live through.

4. Have you ever worked with wallpaper?
Nope! Not my thing. Despite hating the application of wall paint, it works for me.

5. Have you ever choose [sic] new colors for your flat or house?
I don't think so? Not that I remember, anyway. Our blue accent wall was already here in this apartment, and I like it enough that we've kept it. Pretty much everywhere I lived before this had off-white or beige/tan-ish colors that were practical enough to keep.

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Block the exits and you're out of The Planners' Cult!

May. 12th, 2019 | 04:10 pm

San Francisco, Part 3.

Long gap since I resumed the chronicle of this trip, but back we go!

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After three days, I learned the Ferry Building's best angles.


Sunday started with yet another run (I haven't been this prolific at any other point in 2019, before or since) along the waterfront, then stopping at Philz for coffee and a breakfast burrito. Amazingly I showered and made it to Moscone by 8:30 for our morning of sessions. They were productive and interesting, but from there I had a free slot for lunch; I walked a bit aimlessly and ended up at the market where I'd bought rosé, where they had some decent-looking sushi options. Took those back to my room and caught up on emails and texts (including planning for the afternoon/evening!) while eating, then back in the box for the afternoon.

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Another oddity seen on my run. No idea.


I did in fact learn some fascinating stuff as an audience member during all those sessions, which I ought to share a bit of here. One Sunday panel was intended to tout the organization's credential, and while I have heard all about it before, this one at least offered the real life pursuit of it from two people that took two completely different routes to get there. The second panelist would more closely meet my story (not going for this straightaway from grad school), but what she really put forth was the idea that if this is something I do every day, I should invest to get more value out of it anyway. A good kick in the career pants!

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Super cool mural in the Mission. Had trouble getting a better photo with the sun's direction, though.


Also, I'd mentioned previously that we were being constantly chided by moderators* for overfilling session rooms and sitting in aisles, and that came to a head on Sunday morning. One of the most popular sessions (because it's one of the best opportunities for credentialed members to get their required continuing ed credit in "Ethics") is the org reviewing real but anonymized ethics complaint cases they have dealt with over the last year, and they can be somewhat juicy** besides.

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Palate-cleansing swan. Marina District.


Anyhow, despite getting there on time all seats were filled so I sat on the floor at an awkward angle, looking at the dais directly from one side. Anyone that arrived after me got even worse seats and by the middle of the session the aisle on my side of the room had people sitting two across on the floor. With that, the Moscone staff started removing people blocking the exits, and the org sent a push notification on the app not to stand in aisles or sit on the floor. Inevitably people were grumbling about it in the hallways all that day, but it isn't that simple, because there is no way to know how many of 6,400 people are going to attend a single 90-minute event over four days, and we all saw plenty of sessions that were half-empty despite being at peak times.

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Wrath of the fire marshal invoked!


Once done for the day, I went to Target for more snacks and was reminded that it was Sunday because the place was mobbed (including with dogs?), then I returned it all to my teeny hotel room fridge and went off to have drinks in SOMA with Jason Ru.! I wasn't sure if SF really did Sunday Funday*** but this was our best common availability during my trip, so we gave it a go. First was Powerhouse, during most of which we did our conversation catchups.

Sounds like he is very much loving California, including his job and friend group here. Next was Hole in the Wall, where we struck up a random conversation with a guy in a stability boot, mostly about how he injured himself. Didn't stay that long there, LOL. Finally we went to The Eagle, which really was the center of Sunday Funday and had a grand time there; finally we got amazing burgers at a place of his recommendation, then went our separate ways. Only a 14-hour day this time, ha.

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My burger is hidden under all that green stuff. More food pics coming in future posts.


*I did moderate a session last year, and with unexpected IT issues cropping up then, I can appreciate that it's challenging when duties like this end up in your lap!

**Unfortunately, our local chapter was the topic of one of the cases, which I know only by connecting the dots about a sudden vacancy in our board and the details of a sexual harassment shared at the conference. :|

***DC does far too much Sunday day drinking, so that's not necessarily a bad thing.

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