28 December 2007

Soft opening!

I don't quite know what a soft opening is supposed to be...okay, the Palazzo's closed except for invited guests, but there are walls missing paint and some receptacles without covers, and rooms not even close to being finished. It's not even all the way finished. I can't imagine that being impressive at all, but I guess it means something to be "invited" to the newest hotel-resort-casino on the Las Vegas Strip. Whatever. That kind of thing doesn't mean shit to me. All I'm happy about is the fact that more than likely, our shifts might become a little more normal.

Grand opening is supposed to be 17-19 January, and Barney's New York is plastering ads all over the place. I hope we make the date. There's supposed to be a kickass fireworks show from the roof of the Palazzo upon opening, I'd kinda like to see it but I'm sure I'd see a better version on YouTube anyway. Wow I'm negative today.

26 December 2007

Christmas was...okay.

I woke up so exhausted, had to be at the in-laws by no later than 05h00. Christmas Eve we had a party for family: those two days were my only days off and will be the only days off till New Year's Day. But anyway, it was all a blur: family, coffee, gifts, coffee...coffee...

Tannah got me something I totally didn't expect: original artwork from the online comic Sheldon. It was one about Sheldon and his talking duck Arthur glorifying the German word for the number five: fünf. I'm sorry, "fünf" is an awesome word, full of excitement and fun to say. I also got a gift card that will definitely come in handy, and stickers and and and...it was good. :)

So we were at the in-laws' house at about 04h45, then my parents' house at around 10h00, then back to our place for an hour to love the Pepper, then Tannah's grandparents' house at around 17h00, then back home by 20h00. Busy, exhausting, but good to see everyone.

I did manage to ruin things at my parents' house though, basically everyone was in the living room talking about baby stuff and well, being childless I went to the kitchen to eat some banana-nut bread, and got the lovely idea that I could text "Happy Christmas" to my overseas friends. (There's only a small window in which I can send texts overseas, otherwise it's in the middle of the night.) I wound up pissing off my dad, he thought I was being rude and that my friends mean more than family. That's not at all true, and I think it's unfair that the assumption was made, but I can't change his mind. All I could do was put the phone away and make a mental note to try not to use it in front of him anymore. The thing is, Tannah also thinks texting is rude...I don't understand.
But all in all, it was good for the most part. I do love my family, after all.

22 December 2007

Change in belief?

It's getting closer to Christmas….for close to a year now I've been really thinking on my beliefs. Very heavily now for a few months, and then Tannah and I were watching this documentary about Christianity. There was a part discussing the resurrection of Jesus, but it talked about a physical resurrection...and I have never believed that. Tannah and I discussed it, and he says that's a major aspect of Christianity. So I started thinking about my beliefs.

So in my research I cross-referenced info, looked into history of the church, compared bible translations…there's a change coming. I'm not sure if I'm excited or afraid; just the information I'm coming across isn't information ever taught to me before. I'm not positive what that means for me, but I'll keep on it.

20 December 2007

VGL, bitches!

Video Games Live is finally coming to Vegas…well, Henderson…two days before Tannah's birthday. So that’s what he's getting! Bought two tickets a few days ago, he's really excited. I've heard good thing about it, if anything it'll be an interesting experience.

In other news I'm really worn down from all the hours, I was supposed to have an MRI today and the hospital isn’t working with me at all so I cancelled. I'll get it later. One thing though, Gwynne is trying real hard to make sure we have Christmas and Christmas Eve off so it makes working these hours a little more bearable. And no…we aren’t making our soft opening...haha, was supposed to be today. It's been pushed back to 24 December.

17 December 2007

Nellis AFB: going green.

I'm so stoked about this: a very sexy photovoltaic system at Nellis Air Force Base not even a half-hour from my house. The opening ceremony was today, with the governer present and everything. I think it's great that the armed forces are choosing to utilise the power of the sun to help offset power consumption. It's a 14 megawatt system, which is the largest in the US (if I remember correctly)...

It's just so exciting! My study-buddy Cliff (who took PV 1 in September or so and is taking PV 2 with me in March) geeks out about solar power just as much as me, and we hide the latest PV news and magazine articles behind out school books and kind of salivate over it all. He wanted to transfer to the Nellis job so bad, but he hadn't taken PV 2 yet at that point, and wasn't NABCEP certified, but once he's a journeyman he'll be good to go and so long as he stays with Bombard he might get to be in on some kickass jobs in the future.

Yay for photovoltaics! Yay for Nellis Air Force Base! Yay for Bombard Renewable Energy Division! Yay for IBEW!

16 December 2007

Solar joy!

At Tannah's Christmas party, the general manager walked up, very interested in PV, it was awesome to be able to talk about solar! Gave him info for installation, rebate facts, all kinds of goodies, and he would like me to send him links. Off the top of my head, I sent Solar NV, American Solar Energy Society, Fat Spaniel, and Solar Generations. It’s a start.

And I cant believe I haven’t gotten Christmas cards out yet!! But to combat that, a funny: working with a 1st year that just pulled two tours in Iraq and he said that life in the military was easier than this apprenticeship. What's really funny is I know two ex-Marines, an ex-Airman, another ex-Soldier and 1 ex-Seaman (who was an ex marine before joining the Navy) who all served in wartime and they say the same thing...

13 December 2007


Happy #1: The hospital bills are all paid off, finally! I knew there was a reason I kept working so many hours...paid the last one yesterday. Two of them had gone to collections so my credit rating is hurt now but I just didn't have the money to pay it before.

Working on the roof, all cold and windy...the wind made it a little dangerous but we had harnesses on, so even if we fell or got blown away we only would have gone 6 feet so very little immediate danger. But today, Happy #2, our VAV actuators came in so we are working inside again, at least for a few days.
Soft opening is a week from tomorrow. I don't know how its going to be done without making us work 18 hour shifts. Hope it doesn't come to that.

11 December 2007

It's cold like death.

We're on the roof, it's fucking cold. We're doing the external hook ups for the air handling units and honestly, it's bad enough that it's the middle of December but it's windy too. Granted, this year I invested in a pair of Carhartt coveralls, which is so very very nice. Just as I wrote on my apprentice review:

"My Carhartts are like a warm May afternoon while everyone else suffers in the icy tundra. Plus, they're sexy!"

In reality they aren't at all sexy, I look like a gingerbread man in them. It's hard to find a 26" inseam. But on an up-note, a foreman named Larry (who has the reputation for perving out) brought in pains au chocolat!! They made me miss France but it was so yummy. It was my only joy in a day with no time for anything.

10 December 2007

Final doc visit.

I didn't mention it before, but the worker's comp doc I'd been seeing about my sutured-up arm didn't want to release me. He wanted to see me like twice a week and after I got the stitches removed, he wanted to do "scar therapy" and honestly, the scar is only so bad because his suturing skills are awful. (To help illustrate that point, the phlebotomist I see for my weekly PT/INR testing had asked me if I'd stitched myself up. How sad is that?) But anyway, he wanted to start scar therapy today and I made up this elaborate story that I was rubbing vitamin E oil and cocoa butter into it like four times a day and he finally (reluctantly) released me from care.
Creepy creepy creepy.

09 December 2007


Yesterday I got a Christmas card from Houston, no return address, from a woman whose name I don’t recognize. I really want to look her up, to see how she knows me but another part of me says no. Hmm.

05 December 2007

Kelb per fluvo nameni gesse!

(The title of this post means absolutely nothing.)

We've been working on the bathroom a little all week...Tannah did the clear coat tonight (stain looks great: dark in the grain, so it looks like zebrawood), then reassemble the cabinets Thursday maybe, then this weekend we're going to paint bathroom.

We did Adam's annual birthday bash at Hofbräuhaus a few days ago. This year he actually made reservations, so we weren't stuck going to the Pink Taco again. That place was overpriced and pretentious. But as I love German food, I had to go, even though I was so very exhausted. I even drunk-texted Drew about the not-so-hot Jägerwench.

Everyone at work is exhausted and sick. There are lots of minor job accidents like drilling screws into fingers and falling off ladders, because everyone's like a zombie. So when something doesn't go right people get crazy. I know we're here extra hours to get stuff done but its actually lowering production, and raising heart rates. It's okay though, Palazzo will open eventually and it'll be over.

Graduation is 17 May! And it's a formal dinner, so I have to get a dress...a real one. A little scared about turning out, but a huge pay raise with that, & my foreman said he's giving me an apprentice. (I'm not looking forward to that part at all.) But I'm hoping I'll learn more in the coming months, enough to be okay.

I can't wait till I get a day off sleep. Just a whole day of it. There's not enough time for anything anymore.

03 December 2007

Sad and pathetic.

An ironworker died Tuesday, only 30 years old with a wife and 4 yr old kid…very sad. Apparently he was tied off to a beam or something and crane dropped it, he had no choice but to ride all the way down and was crushed. His service was at Palm Mortuary and some asshole walked in, gave a speech about how great the guy was, and walked out with $10k in collection money and some of the gifts that had been donated for the kid since his Christmas is going to be pretty bleak. How could someone do that?

Humanity sickens me. For his sake, the cops had better find him before the ironworkers do.

30 November 2007

I got whored out.

Not exactly...the call was put out to several foremen, asking if they could spare an apprentice to help out at the Palazzo today. Drew answered the call and sent me.

I was dispatched to Leon, a foreman under Snow. Leon put me with Shane for the day...oh, that was a trip. Shane's a very interesting individual. He's very anti-touchy, which is fine, but had no problem showing off his nipples. I couldn't help but laugh. His temper was also much fun to observe: it seemed that for the majority of our time together he was trying so hard not to freak out about, well, everything. (For instance, when he was cursing, then immediately apologising for it, when many horrible pokey things stabbed into him while we were in the very tight attic space.)

Mostly we pulled low-voltage cable for security cameras that had been forgotten, and that was fun. We ran through the rain on the Strip to Chipotle, where he bought me lunch: mmmmm, tacos. He even said something "questionable" over the radio to Leon, and that got Snow down to give us a talking-to...to which Shane replied with giving Snow a giant bear hug, and two other journeymen and I joined in that as well. It was hilarious to watch Snow look so uncomfortable.

One highlight of the day was when Shane and I ran down to P-1 to grab more cable for our pulls. Shane, being much taller than I (and addicted to energy shots), made the loops incredibly long, so much so that I was tripping over them as we went back up the stairs. He agreed to carry it up the stairs, and I could carry it across the casino. I agreed.

After Shane handed the cable to me, several tradesmen throughout the casino made shitty comments to Shane for "forcing that little girl" to carry all the heavy cable. We both thought it was funny, and he responded in kind. At one point, I succeeded in tripping over the cable loops and fell over. Shane ran over to me, quickly made sure I was okay, then pretended the beat me with his hard hat, screaming "You stupid girl! You stupid stupid girl! Bad apprentice! Bad!" I could scarcely hold back the tears, I'd not laughed so hard in months. The other tradesmen ran over to me, protectively, calling Shane names...it was great.

28 November 2007

A remodel of our own.

We decided we're going to finally get our guest bathroom looking decent. The cabinets look awful, currently: painted almost black, several layers of it, and the previous owner had started (but never finished) to paint them white. We've put it off for over a year now, we're both sick of it. So we're going to strip the cabinets, and try to restain them a natural colour. We're putting a lot into it, we're probably going to repaint the walls as well. Our shower curtain is white with bright blue and green and yellow, so we got "Lettuce alone" green, something bright and happy. Maybe we'll put sunshine yellow towels in there, too. It'll look good.

My hope is that we'll get it done before Christmas but with all the time we're working plus school, I really don't know.

25 November 2007

A break!

Thanksgiving was good, I barely get to see my family anymore and so it was refreshing to be around them. It was hectic though honestly, not enough time. Relaxing of course, but just the fact that we're working so many hours right now I didn’t get to unwind at all.

I got texted some photos last nite from Drew at like 22h00. Of course my crappy iPhone doesn’t allow me to view multimedia messages so I had to go to a website and download them…how lame…and they were concert pics, Rob Zombie and Ozzy Osborne. Very cool. So today I walked in and he was looking half dead and hung over, well now I know why.

Fuck, I'm exhausted.

21 November 2007


I'm working with two different JWs now: Jeff and Chris. Both organised in: Chris a year ago, and Jeff just this month. We're doing the VAVs for the Canyon Ranch Spa on the pool-deck level of the Palazzo. That's technically Gene's area, but he's overloaded so Drew is pimping us out to him. Working 12 hour days can suck but it'll help: hospital bills, Christmas, fees for upcoming exams...it's been awhile since I've relly worked time anyway.

I lost my badge this morning, totally pissed. I was sure I'd be completely screwed, and Drew (the quick thinker that he is) gave me the badge of a girl who had gotten fired months ago...looked nothing like me really but I had layered clothing and my hardhat so it worked till I got rebadged at 07h00. Venetian charged my contractor $25 for the new badge and Drew laughed and said "Uh oh, there goes payroll"...it was funny.

17 November 2007

The Solar Initiative.

So awhile back, I wrote to Senator John Ensign, Senator Harry Reid and Representative Jon Porter on importance of passing the renewable energy bill. I got responses from all three and both Ensign's and Reid's responses were right in line with my views. Porter's wasn’t at all, and his letter was all over the place, he contradicted himself and sounded like he couldn’t form a complete idea. My dad told me a story once about written exams in college: he was handed a folder with paper inside and the essay answers were written in the folders and turned in. Porter's letter was like that…but only if missing a few pages. The ideas didn’t even connect. Doesn’t he have someone to read through that kind of thing? Or does he really vote on that kind of skewed information?

14 November 2007

Tongue healed! Plus I'm irritated.

About the tongue...the stud abandoned the original hole and nestled into the new one so it sits differently in my mouth now, but it no longer hurts. Very happy about that. Not to say it didn't suck, because it did, but I'm glad that aspect of it is over.

Still going to school multiple nights a week for hours at a time...exhausting. We were told that in a week or two we will start working 60 hours a week on top of that, and likely no holidays off. Great for my paycheck but little else. Maybe I can get those hospital bills paid off?

There's an apprentice at work who really gets to me. He's endlessly cocky, and I swear he's on amphetamines, he just bounces and makes random noises all the time, and gives me shit if I'm not sure how to do something, or if my beliefs aren't the same as his... et cetera. For instance, I told him I wasn't really into holidays and he asked what about Christmas and Easter and I kinda shrugged and he gave me this speech about how if I don't respect my Saviour then I'll be hellbound and he went on and on and I
just wanted to tell him that I was a heathen lesbian just so he'd be disgusted and shut up...luckily I don't have to work closely with him on a daily basis. I wish I could tell him that he's the reason that non-Christians think Christianity is a joke. But I don't think he'd believe me.

12 November 2007

An odd debate.

There's a debate at school that spilled out to work, and even my family has different views.

Moët & Chandon Champagne...Supposedly it's pronounced:

or....It's one of the last two except when with the "...et Chandon", then it's pronounced the first way, with the T because of the vowel E of "et" coming after.

But then.....Someone mentioned that in Northern and Central France, the T is dropped but in the South it's pronounced.

And finally, a website's view:

"If it been spelt Moet the pronunciation would have been mo-eh, with two distinct syllables and if followed by a vowel you can pronounce the ending T. The diaresis, or umlaut, however, is there to signify that all letters are to be pronounced just as if it
had been a feminine word, in which case it would have been spelt Moette. The same thing goes with the car Citroën. Had it been Citroen it would have ended with a nasal sound, but not now."

So....which is it?

08 November 2007


I was in the attic today and was marking some holes to cut into a junction box. First we cut into the ceiling and as I was in the attic, John held the box up over the holes, so that I could transfer the marks properly. Well in my zeal for making circles in pencil, my arm got caught on a torn metal stud. It pinched a little, I didn't even notice it was cut. But when I saw blood pooling onto the drywall, I crawled out to get a bandage out of the gangbox.

When i tried to stop bleeding the wound kept opening back up and leaking, so I went to the first aid trailer to see if they would have better luck...especially since I couldn't remember when I'd last gotten my tetanus shot. Once I got there, they called the safety coordinator for my contractor and I had to go to the off-site clinic. It was pretty lame, I didn't think I needed to go, but I can't really say no, either.

I wound up getting 6 stitches. :( The doc was a little weird, and he got a little crazy with the sutures (he made like 10 knots in each one). But the good thing is, the doc saw my scars and said most docs can easily tell if a cut is self-inflicted or not and he knew this one wasn't. So I won't be under suspicion, that's good. But it still hurts, and I have class tonight. Sadness.

04 November 2007


Somehow my tonguestud ripped loose a little. I mean, the hole in my tongue is larger, I must have caught it on something and just pulled it forward. I can tell because, aside form the intense pain, the slave ring on my barbell rests differently on the rood of my mouth. I tried using the gly-oxide, so infection won't result, but that's just as painful. Talking, swallowing, just keeping my mouth closed is painful. Is it more painful than when Gwynne dared me to lick a 9 volt battery? YES. I'm going to blame this on that incident anyway. Just because I can. So there.

31 October 2007

In the midst of this:

Even in going to classes so often, and working odd hours and being exhausted, I'm still having a small amount of time for a weekly sabbatical, if you can call it that: on Thursdays I alternate Code study with just quiet moments to myself, at the library or bookstore or a coffee shop, whatever suits me at the time. (Unless I'm with others from school, then I'm usually at a bar.) I'm trying to get all my NEC knowledge straight for the county journeyman exam coming up and I'll be honest: if I'm at home with my Code book, I won't go through it. I'll watch Dae Jo Yeong or an HD-DVD or Tannah and I will go out somewhere. I know myself too well, I'll put it off. I always do.

But going somewhere quiet for Code, and then being relaxed enough to get a latte or peruse a book (I haven't read for pleasure in ages)...it's a very good thing. It's actually gotten down to the point that i keep a few books in my backpack just so I've got something to break away with when all the Code sections start to run together. It helps me alot, actually: to relax, to feel grounded...even though it's only a few hours a week, it's me being able to be away, something I so rarely get to do. And really, it gives Tannah time for himself as well, time to work on his arcade machines or one of his articles. It keeps the marriage fresh, in a way.

22 October 2007


I'm suddenly very very much wanting more info on my German heritage. It just sucks that I can't find anything online and really have no way of finding out. I guess I'll have to go to the German Deli for weinsauerkraut and Haribo and such.

So, our extra labs are starting. Low voltage tomorrow and Wednesday. Then labs up through and including Veteran's Day and Thanksgiving week, which sucks, those are scheduled days off. (I suppose they aren't anymore, but I was looking forward to two weeks off school.) So basically we're going to be about two months behind in everything. I'm starting to stress a little.

Next Saturday I signed up to volunteer to put up Christmas lights at Child Haven. Snow was doing the recruiting and I couldn't say no when he showed me the list and only a dozen committed. Sad. I mean really: a few hours out of my day, what is that? It's worth it for kids, especially kids who have to live there.

15 October 2007

Tired and...whatever.

I got pneumonia from breathing Monokote at work. (Monokote is a powder that reacts to moisture to make it harden as fire protection on structural beams so if there's a fire, the building won't collapse like the WTC.) Well, when you breathe it, there's moisture in your lungs so you get really sick. It was really bad. I haven't gotten that sick from Monokote since I was at the Wynn. I wonder if all that infection and crap helped get me sick.

I'm feeling like God isn't providing...not to say things are bad, they aren't. Just I'm feeling a void. I am having not really a faith crisis but a shift in belief maybe? Not sure how I feel about it. I can always pray for discernment and understanding, I gues. It's not that I don't believe in God, just...I don't know. Something feels off.

I saw my cousin's Xanga post on her favourite Anglo Saxon names....I like Welsh names, like Blodwyn and Ieuan....my general foreman's name is Welsh too, and I think it's awesome. I'm not sure why, but Welsh names sound magickal to me. Ancient and steeped in tradition.

My birthday was good, hadn't seen my family in so long and it was nice to see them. Got Robot Chicken DVD! I just discovered Robot Chicken like two weeks ago, so it was really great. (Also, back closer to my actual birthday, Marissa and Matt teamed up with Tannah and surprised me with a birthday dinner and my favourite German beerhall. :) I love giant bretzels...)

12 October 2007

Foreman's class is a joke.

Yeah, it's been awhile, I know.

On our first night we had some general foremen from Mojave telling us what bad union members we all were for not wanting to be foremen. Honestly, very few of us would be ready for the responsibility only a month and a half into our fifth year. We are apparently the reason that our local is going to shit. I kinda tuned them out.

The rest of the presentations were just a complete waste, except the one by Jason Bosnos. He's a project manager from Bombard, and his presentation was on looking at prints and from that deciding how much time the project will take, what needs to be ordered, note possible obstructions and delays...I wish more classes like that were available. I learned so much.

The rest, however, were...I'm sure one day they might seem relevant to me but it sounded like bullshit, really. Oh and yeah, my job still sucks ass right now. Thank God I like my general foreman and my foreman. And thank God I'm getting help in studying Code.

And yay! My birthday celebration is this weekend!

29 September 2007

It sucks.

Working now with two different journeymen and an apprentice--still under Drew--and there must be a personality conflict or something. I like the JWs alot but the apprentice is an arrogant prick. When I can work with one of the JWs then it's okay. I learn, I work. But if they are together, they both kinda forget about us (the apprentices) and the day just drags. We're running pipe but I don't feel like I'm learning a thing.

That's all I have to say, I guess. School is busy, alot to take in, our labs are coming up and I'm worried we will be way behind. As for my family, I don't know: I don't have time to see them anymore.

24 September 2007

Oh the pain.

For the past three weeks I've been in unbearable pain. It's like a massive bladder infection but it's taken over my entire pelvic area. It's a constant pain, and I finally went to the doctor when Lortab quit working. They say it's viral and can't give me anything, but for the pain they gave me this awesome pill that completely numbs the urethra. Oh I love it. I love it so immensely. It felt like i was pissing crushed glass for the past week.

So around the time when my pain was at its zenith I got a call from my gyno: he said my pap was abnormal. Not freaky-like, not serious, but abnormal. So now I have an appointment to meet with him in a week and he'll do another one. I'm not happy, since cervical cancer (and other cancers) run in my family, but there's not alot I can do with worry so I'm trying to just go on with things. We'll see, I guess.

16 September 2007

Classes this year.

First of all, remodel is done: I'm sad. Troy's crew is doing crazy 6" rigid in an attic and I'm doing odd jobs: slipsheeting, troubleshooting, things of that nature.
I guess I've kinda neglected to talk about class so far. Sorry about that.

Firstly, my instructor Kenny is really cool. I know his brother Rob from work, but they both insist that one is not like the other. (That is evident.) Anyway, I get to sit between Cliff and Ryan which is great, but Sanj isn't in my class at all, which is not at all cool. She and Cliff got me birthday gifts: Sanj got me Happy Bunny goodies and a card that melded crossword puzzles and whores; Cliff got me four Monster Java energy drinks. He knows I'm addicted. But yes, anyway:

Classes are alot more adult, as odd as that seems. No assigned seating. No random homework checks...in fact, no homework checks at all. We leave when we're finished, and we don't have to fill idle time. I'm told that there will be plenty of labs and study groups but it's good for now. As far as the extras go, I know we have foreman's classes (starting at the end of this month for two weeks), COMET II (mine's scheduled for 13 October) and F-Card to get into. So I'm sure it'll get more busy as time goes on. It's a little exciting and frightening to look at our class schedule and see graduation dates.

Another thing that will keep us busy are the full class labs. Each instructor has a specialty and for four weeks we rotate to the four different instructors for two days each week. This coming week is low voltage with Kenny; then fire alarm with Tom, then high voltage splicing with Trevor, then motor control with Buck. That's 10 hours a week in lab. No homework, no test, just labs. That starts sometime this semester. Wondering if we can even get all our lessons done by the end of the year; I know last year, the 5th years had to start going to school several days a week just to meet graduation. Not quite looking forward to any of that. But at least the overtime is done for now.

12 September 2007

My new iPhone: awesomesauce.

About twelve hours before Jack came into the world, I went from the pour watch to Fashion Show Mall's Apple Store and bought the 4 GB iPhone. I'm so happy.


Firstly, Drew and I arrived at about 04h30. We went to the site and walked around and no one else was there At all. Lights were on, yes, but no other workers. We could see that even all the rebar hadn't been secured. We waited and wondered, speculating on all manner of things. Finally at 06h00 workers began trickling in, but no concrete trucks. Men were still laying the rebar and tying in supports. It was kind of bizarre, we had been told the pour was a certainty, and yet nothing was ready. He and I watched the work going on around us, we even checked our pipe, retaped the end, resecured it. As I said before, Drew isn't very talkative so I'm certain he was bored. After break (09h00) we started to wonder if it was going to happen at all. They usually don't schedule major pours too late in the morning simply because it's too hot...I think that does something to how it sets. And finally, after nothing at all had happened all day, I was sent home at 10h30. That equals 6 hours of a shift at doubletime...I took it and left. Drew said he was right behind me.

So anyway, I went home, got Tannah, we had lunch and headed out to the Fashion Show Mall. It's basically across the street from the Venetian (more so from the Wynn) and as we drove past at about 14h00 I saw the concrete trucks and the crane hoisting buckets of mud to and fro. Immediately I texted Drew and let him know, since 14h00 was close to the end of a normal shift. I hoped our pipe was all right. (I found out later that he'd already gone home and he broke loads of traffic laws to get there.)

It was easy: I went in, said I wanted the phone, asked some questions about the durability and new plan charges, and was off. My bill went up $20 a month but that's okay...I now have unlimited texts and internet, and I know I'll use it. The multi-point interface is amazing, but the keyboard is a QWERTY, which is something I'm not at all used to. Texting is slow-going for now. And I have to manually input my contacts, but that's okay too. Each contact gets a photo and there's room for e-mail addresses and extra numbers, notes, all kinds of things. Same with the calender.

However for some crazy reason, I can't get multimedia messages via text. Nor can I text photos. WTF. Seriously that's a major negative point to me. That, and the automatic spell check. Eh. All in all its pretty incredible though.

10 September 2007


We got the call last night around 19h00 from Remo that Dee was at Sunrise in labour. We went down there and said hi...I felt so bad for her, she was in a lot of pain, she'd been given two epiderals already but both of them just numbed her legs. I'm so thankful mine worked first time. Remo was trying to lighten the mood by watching "The Simpsons" and every time Dee laughed it ended with a sigh of pain. We left after about an hour, and neither of us had the heart to tell them that the room she was giving birth in was the same one in which we had Gabriel.

Jack Van was born two minutes to midnight, 09 September. :)

08 September 2007

This post is all over the place.

Well I only have $800 or so left to pay off on my medical bills so far. (I just had a surgical procedure last month...did I get into that? They were just visualising my heart with a scope, basically, to see if they could plug it.) I don't have that bill yet but still, it's way better than the thousands, y'know?

Gabriel's birthday was so much easier this year than last year. I lit a candle, then Tannah and I just basically stayed home with each other...remembering. It was melancholic but not devastating. It was kinda hard though, a guy from work told me last week that when he was like 10 he had a baby sister that died right after birth and he said how hard it was...and I was like "Yeah, I can relate." It'll be hard when my sister's baby Radek starts Kindergarten because it'll be like Gabriel would
have started near then, too. And my brother's baby is due in a week, and it's a boy too. My mom tried pressuring me to go to the baby shower and my brother said no, he and Dee (his girlfriend) understand and it was cool. But I'll have to see the baby in the hospital, that will be hard I think.

Last month Tannah and I decided (for various reasons) to get separate bank accounts. At first Tannah was pissed, thought it was the "beginning of the end"...but now Tannah likes the separate accounts now, since he can kinda do whatever the hell he wants with his money and I dont nag on him anymore. :)

"Beowulf" is coming out in theatres here in November! I can't wait, in English Lit I loved "Beowulf"!!
So I have to be in to work tomorrow at 04h00 for a pour watch, so I'm heading to sleep early. It would suck except 90% of the time its a cake job and since it's Saturday, it's doubletime!! Very cool. The weird thing is, the remodel job is about done, and that's sad. Drew and I are still working together, mostly on last minute fixes on the past few floors that were done. It'll be just me and him on the pour, too, and he's not the most talkative but secretly he's fun.

19 August 2007


I've been a little numb as far as Gabriel's birthday, it'll get more difficult as it gets closer I'm sure. I'm putting off my birthday till October I think, just the first month of school will be hellacious. Besides I've actually been doing my birthday in October for the past few years anyway. I don't know. My birthday doesn't seem like it means much, really. With all the shit that crops up at the end of August I honestly can't add anything more. Hope it lets up soon.

My friend Snow has been helping me with Code. I thought I was pretty good at it but I'm finding out through him that I'm not really good at all...there's so much I dont know, and so many tricky things that are hard to find. I'm lucky Tannah isn't jealous with him helping me. And for that matter, I'm glad Snow isn't a pervert.

As for Logan, I kinda talked to him. He's not real talkative back. I'm not sure if something's bothering him or what, he seems to have pulled away from everyone. He watches still, and he said he's trying to teach me how to be self-reliant. I asked if that meant he was leaving, and he said no. That makes me feel better, but he seems to really have dropped everything.

And ah...wedding anniversary tomorrow. We're going to Yolie's! It's a Brazilian grille, and they bring around these swords with massive chunks of meat on them, like lamb and filet mignon and such...MMMM MEAT! OM NOM NOM NOM...

18 August 2007

Feeling disconnected.

I was vaguely reminded of something on Thursday. No one's fault. It just happened, and I hate it, that I'm so easily thrown off balance. I'm afraid I'll be "found out", that I can't pull off the act as well as I once could. Granted, I wasn't pulling it off at all a few years ago but I've gotten better, life is easier that way, when it can be tucked away and forgotten.

So anyway. Disconnected. I'm lucky that I've got so much going on, and I don't have time to think on it all. My own weakness disgusts me. But at the same time, when it comes to days like these, I'm similarly disgusted by the mask I wear, faking my way through life with the plastic smile I'd learned as a kid, before I knew the purpose of it.

It's been worse, though, in all honesty. I have to remember what Mada calls "the Dark Times" and come away from that. And I wonder how necessary it is, really, to let people in and tell them all the things that no one needs to hear, or wants to hear, just for the sake of me not having to pretend. Although, in reality it's always easier to pretend, friendships run smoother that way, even if they aren't closer. What's more important?

17 August 2007

Procedure went well...

And I pissed off the nurse by reading my chart! (Well really, she shouldn't have left me alone with it for half an hour.) I'll get into all of that.

So I arrived at 06h00, which was nothing since I'm usually at work by that time but it was hard for Tannah. Since I'd pre-admitted, I was sent to a room where I basically got naked and put on one of those little hospital gowns that fit everyone but short people and since everything was basically ready, they just left me there for over a half-hour, me and my chart. Not one to let an opportunity go to waste, I read everything I could.

First, I found out that the dumb bitch that sent my contractor my medical information had written that I was currently taking Klonopin for a suicide attempt. Which was completely untrue and I have no idea where she got that. But more interesting was the fact that I saw the results of my bubble test that Dr. Selco did. What a bubble test is, basically, is an ultrasound of both your temples. Then you're asked to bear down while saline bubbles are forced into your heart, and as you breathe again they follow where the bubbles go. The bubbles mimic little blood clots, and it's one of the ways that patent foramen ovales are diagnosed. When they did this (twice, actually) you could hear all the saline bubbles, proving the PFO. But what I found out from my chart is that I had six microemboli that were caught by the doppler before the saline was even injected. Both creepy and kind of cool at the same time.

So in the room, before they knocked me out, the anesthesiologist and the cardiologist and some surgery techs were talking about my piercings and tattoo and all, and they asked what my tattoo meant. So I started talking about photovoltaics and all and I saw the syringe go into my IV port, and I started getting seriously drowsy, and apparently right before I blacked out I told them how sexy PV is and how they should get it. That's really more embarassing than I'm even able to relate, but I guess I could have said worse.

I was out for about an hour, the doc talked to Tannah a little and will talk to me more in-depth on the 24th, but basically they did see the PFO and saw discolouration from the leakage of blood from my heart, but it's not lethal and exactly what they were expecting to see. Apparently they tried to recreate the results from the bubble test, but since I was out cold they did chest and abdomen compressions but it wasn't working. (It explains why my whole body feels like it's been pummelled.) All's good though, they have positive confirmation. I really hope I get to keep some photos.

14 August 2007

Thanks Drew!

Even though I'm overjoyed that he brought in last year's books for me, I still hate homework with a passion, and I'm going to procrastinate, I just know it. I'm so thrilled this is my last year.

12 August 2007


I haven't had alot of time at all lately. So I'm doing a quick update, real informal-like:

01. I'm have a procedure in a near future, a transesophageal echo. It's basically an ultrasound of my heart but it's done from inside my throat. Pretty nifty. Basically risk free; it's to see if my PFO is big enough to need to be patched, and if there are any other issues about all that. I'll have to get plastic body jewelry though...a possibly unnecessary expense but it's better than being told to take them out.
02. I made a MySpace site for Solar NV. I know; I'm a geek.
03. Wedding anniversary, my birthday, and Gabriel's birthday all coming up real quick. School starting in that week too. It's seriously the most hectic time of year. I'm so happy my parents started the tradition of doing my birthday in October. It's so laidback then. I love it.
04. I got to go check out the massive hole that will one day be the condo tower, very cool. I'll get to run 6-inch rigid, how badass is that? Can't wait to buckle myself into a safety harness, slither up around existing conduit like a monkey and start drilling into pandeck. That'll put excitment in my day!
05. I have to really get on my code study, and NABCEP study too...I'm slipping. Laziness? Who knows. But I'm not where I should be. I get random pop-quizzes about NEC stuff I should know and I fail pretty spectacularly.

Um...that's it. Yeah. Just incredibly busy and tired and stuff. But happy with life altogether.

09 August 2007

Another rant-y post.

I'm sure you're all as tired of reading this as I am of writing it, but it's annoyed my last friendly nerve. It's just that, y'know, the PATRIOT Act was good. PATRIOT Act 2 (the DSEA, or Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003) was joyful. It keeps getting better! We're coming closer and closer to George Orwell's 1984...I love Big Brother!

So basically, the federal government had decided that "for our safety" all those living in the United States have to start carrying special driver's licenses featuring barcodes that held information about us that was logged into a national database. This could include anything, really, that the PATRIOT Act or DSEA deemed necessary. Well, several states decided it was unconstitutional or for whatever reason, passed legislation that specifically forbade these special licenses to be issued. Therefore, the Ministry of Homeland Security decided that anyone not in compliance by 2010 would need a passport to enter a federal building, visit a national park, or travel domestically.

Where is the uproar? Oh yeah: protesting is un-American.

05 August 2007

Sean Penn's visit to Venezuela.

I hear a lot about how so many believe he should be tried as a traitor or that he shouldn't be allowed readmission to the United States for visiting Hugo Chavez, a well-known opposer of American policy. That's a load of bullshit. I'm so sick of fools, blinded by nationalism, doing anything to avoid being labeled an anti-American, afraid of the PATRIOT Act but still endorse it because they think it will somehow keep them safe.

I can't say how I feel about Chavez. I haven't met him, I haven't been to Venezuela, I know little about anything in that sense. But America is used to be a nation known for her freedoms. I love how so-called patriots spin that:

Freedom of speech, so long as it's in my language and I agree with it;
Freedom to bear arms so long as they are mine or belonging to law enforcement;
Freedom of religion so long as it's worshipping my God and encompassing my morals;
Freedom of press so long as it's not offensive to me or against my beliefs...

And on and on and on. I'm about sick of it.

01 August 2007

Arcade machine conundrum.

So, a few years ago I bought an arcade machine called Kick from Shawn at Game Repair. My first, and only arcade machine at this point. It's classic and it's the only one I ever wanted except Egg-stravaganza...but Shawn said he'd buy it back for what I paid for it, and not only could I use the extra cash but I hardly ever play it, so he'd get more out of it than me...

So, should I sell it?

24 July 2007

Yeah, three solar-based posts in a row...

Last night Tannah and I attended a seminar hosted by Bombard Electric's Solar Division that explained the process for applying to Solar Generations' program for rebates on photovoltaic systems. I'd already learned most of it from my classes with Snow but Tannah learned alot, and he's pretty excited now too. They had inverters on display, and panels as well, plus brochures and business cards and such. Very informative.

Oh yeah and slide-shows!

Some people from our church showed us as well and sat in front of us...it was so irritating, they talked between each other the whole time, mostly making jokes about the speakers. I wanted to tell them to shut up or leave, to give some respect for these guys who put in ten-hour days and then show up on their own time to speak to us. They don't get anything out of it, it's voluntary. I hate that fifth-grader attitude. You'd think for something like this, something that's offered freely, those attending would be quiet enough to learn something but hey. Whatever.

Aside from that, it was great to kind of show off all the stuff I'd been learning about to Tannah, to see him getting into it too. I'm glad we went.

20 July 2007

My totally sexy PV tattoo.


Earlier in the week I'd gotten ahold of Eddie at Skin Factory, who asked for the design that Jeremy had worked out for me. I emailed it, and we made an appointment for this morning. What was cool is he opened up before normal business hours to get me in on my day off.

The whole thing was less than an hour. Eddie made a stencil, confirmed how it was to appear, had me double-check in the mirror, then I had to straddle the chair so he could get at my lower back. The outline was pretty decent...I had heard there was a lot of pain involved but it was better than I thought it'd be. The colouring, though...that was much worse. He coloured the tips black, the faded to red, then orange. It wasn't a sharp pain; just the kind that makes you think, "Wow, that's not fun", like scraping a knee in gravel...but like a hundred times, over and over, for a half hour. I was real worried I'd have to take a break before he was finished but exactly then, he told me it was done, and wiped up the excess blood.

It's still extremely sore and I can't touch it or anything, and I have to be careful and use liquid antibacterial soap and I think I'll have to forego the belt at work for awhile but it was so so worth it. I'm so happy.

(Photo forthcoming.)

19 July 2007

Solar NV!

Finally I was able to attend a Solar NV meeting...I was so stoked. As many of you know, I'd been waiting to go for over a year, but my work schedule and conflict with classes made it impossible. Sadly, fifth year classes are now on Wednesdays so I'll not be able to attend for the majority of the next year. But anyway...it was good to show up already knowing some people, at least.

The guest speaker was a representative of Nevada Solar One, a solar power plant outside of Boulder City, Nevada, which is south of Las Vegas. This is an immense undertaking and very exciting for the solar community. Therefore out of sheer curiosity I did some Web-research, and found this:

"Nevada Solar One is the third largest solar power plant in the world, generating 64MW, as of June 2007. Nevada Solar One is in Boulder City, Nevada and has been built by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and Solargenix Energy. Spanish conglomerate Acciona purchased a 55% stake in Solargenix, and as a result, now owns 100% of the Nevada Solar One thermal project. Nevada Solar One is unrelated to Solar One, aside from having a similar name.

"Nevada Solar One uses parabolic troughs as thermal solar concentrators, heating tubes of liquid (solar receivers), instead of the power tower concentrator (as Solar One used). These solar receivers are specially coated tubes made of glass and steel which were designed and produced by Solel Solar Systems as well as by Schott Glass. About 19,300 of these four meter long tubes are used in the newly built power plant. Nevada Solar One also uses a technology that collects extra heat by putting it into phase-changing molten salts. This energy can then be drawn on at night.

"Solar thermal power plants designed for solar-only generation are ideally matched to summer noon peak loads in prosperous areas with significant cooling demands, such as the southwestern United States. Using thermal energy storage systems, solar thermal operating periods can even be extended to meet base load needs. Given Nevada's land and sun resources the state has the ability to produce more than 600GW using solar thermal concentrators like those used by Nevada Solar One.

"Parabolic concentrators have been successfully operating in California commercially since 1984, including the largest solar power plant of any kind, the 350 MW plant Solar Energy Generating Systems. Other parabolic trough power plants being proposed are two 50MW plants in Spain (see Solar power in Spain), and a 100MW plant in Israel."

Read the rest of the article here, and about Nevada Solar One's parent company, Acciona, here. (Acciona's site is Spanish only; sorry.)

18 July 2007

The most awesome octopus video ever!

So my dad reminded me of a cool vid I posted to him last year...it's basically a octopus that is unique in cameoflaging itself. It's so cool. It's kind of self-explanatory, but you can either read the article or watch the video...both are worth a viewing.

16 July 2007

Leaving our church, and other things.

Truth be told, I haven't gone to church in...a long time. It's not that I'm adamantly disagreeing with anything in particular just I'm feeling like organised religion isn't quite for me. I've got faith (as I explained before) but there's no "spark of divinity", as it were. Not at this church, not at others I've tried in the past. Oncle Jean gave me some suggestions; I have to look into that. There just doesn't seem to be motivation, but I don't want to get into the whys of it here.

And...swingers. That's a huge theme with alot of people I know right now. More specifically, swinging versus polyamory. To most people the two might seem like the same thing: free, open sex. But there are immense differences and really, that's not the point. The point is that like anything, there are rules, and it's worrisome that some use their apparent lifestyle choices to fuel other fantasies. I understand that really, swinging (and to a different extent, polyamory) might seem like exceedingly public ways of life, they aren't. Hard to explain.

Before anyone knowing me well assumes I've thrown myself full-on into either lifestyle, that's not the case. I'm just thinking out loud about such choices...and stuff...how it affects others, and not just the partner(s) involved but anyone: family, friends, co-workers...it's just been on my mind, I guess.

In other (happier!) news, I've discovered salt water taffy, and honey-nougat ice bars from the Korean market. Oh joyous day! A bit addicting but I'm holding back.

15 July 2007

Un 14-Juillet très calme.

Yes, in years prior le 14-Juillet (Bastille Day) has been overly hectic. I get nervous about get-togethers; last year trying to coordinate the different cheeses with wine and Orangina was almost too much. So this year we had a very simple celebration, just Tannah and I. (This had partly to do with the wedding we attended in Pahrump Friday night...congrats Tim and Rebecca!...but we simply didn't have the energy to go crazy on it.)

Firstly, we watched Ratatouille. And I cried, how lame is that? Some kind of underlying theme, really, not anything to get into, but it's not a sad film at all. It's awesome, actually, I loved it. We got popcorn and smuggled in some goodies, and placed ourselves strategically away from little beasties. The accents were a bit much but give it a try; it's hilarious.

So after, we were feeling sadness for missing France, and so we got a baguette and a semi-sweet white wine, with cherries and raclette...so so yummy. It might be obvious to some that I should have made ratatouille for Bastille Day this year, but I hate bell peppers, and I'm not about to go chopping up the recipe. Oh, and Tannah even put the iPod on KYO...yay!

[On a side note, we jumped ship today...no more French yummies...we're having knockwurst and weinsauerkraut!)

13 July 2007

Sorry everyone...

I've been a little absent lately, but for good reason:

~Had an electrical problem at the house (not serious, yay);
~Work has been uber-busy because the carpenters keep destroying the risers;
~Doctor appointments all over the place;
~Union meetings;
~Preparations for my final year in class;
~An impromptu wedding;
~Conduit-bending practice sessions.......

And on and on and on. I haven't even had time to get my tattoo done. So very sad. But anyway, please don't think I'm ignoring anyone, it's just I've been so tied up with things.

08 July 2007

D'oh...I mean, woo-hoo!

Dan, one of my former journeymen at the Venetian, showed me a cell phone pic of the new Kwik-E-Mart in Henderson, just south-ish of Las Vegas. After some research, I learned that selected 7-11 stores were temporarily converted to hype up the Simpsons film coming out later this month. Tannah and I had to see the temporary renovation; even if it was lame, it's still something you don't see every day. And, just like the Simpsons house (also in Henderson), it's only a matter of time before someone decides to remodel it beyond all Springfield-like recognition.

I was surprised, actually. The entire lot was transformed. The awning over the gasoline pumps bore Kwik-E-Mart colours and logo, and the entire front of the establishment was covered in an overly-bright façade: the yellow wall with random orange bricks any Simpsons fan would recognise. Comic-Book Guy, Marge Simpson and Milhouse were aptly-positioned. It was brilliant.

Inside, if you can even believe it, was better. Of course more characters were placed throughout: Ralph, Chief Wiggum, Homer, even Apu behind the counter. Slurpees were now Squishees--and I had to buy one, a blue vanilla flavour that tasted slightly of piña colada--and there were dozens of boxes of the stereotypically pink-iced donuts, with sprinkles of course. (And a sign reminding all that a twizzler is not a sprinkle.) They had sold out of both Krusty-Os and Buzz Cola, to my great sadness, but there were plenty of other fun things to be excited over.

I'm not a huge Simpsons fan, I haven't even really watched that program in years. The last season I even watched with any regularity was the one with the season finale wondering "Who shot Mr. Burns?" (Yeah, that long ago.) But the Kwik-E-Mart idea was cute, and it did exactly as it was meant to: it hyped the film. We got photos, and Squishees, and Sunday was giggly-fun because of it.

06 July 2007

Loving these Fridays off!

Right now I'm listening to Tannah play this odd techno version of Pacman. That reminds me of German clubs hiding the porn boutiques in Berlin. Which reminds me of the story Sanj told me about Encore, and the dimmers, and Joe. I still think that's hilarious, I wish I could have seen it.

It was awesome, a well-deserved day off after the fiasco last night. I'm exhausted, but in a good way. I'm not sure how I got so fatigued after laying about all day; granted, I did go out earlier, had a blast...Tannah says it's good I'm actually going out and having a life, and I agree. I'm seriously contemplating doing something on Saturday nights as well, during his game parties. I really do leave them alone, I don't get to nagging or anything, but usually I'm holed up, bored. I have friends I talk to now that go out on Saturdays to the bar, and friends I'm just getting back to talking to that I'm sure do things that are just as fun. Options are endless.

This job I'm on is only going to last another two months or so...what am I going to do when faced again with working five days a week? By that time, my Fridays will be taken due to a normal shift, as well as Wednesdays (because of school), and I'll be back to looking forward to getting smashed at Bonanza with other apprentices as a highlight of my week. And somewhat off-topic, we were told that the JATC was being moved a block or so away. If that's true, will the solar arrays need to be re-installed? I want in on that job.

05 July 2007

Someone got crazy with the mounting.

Around 16h00 I got a call to reset breakers for two rooms. Granted, that's right before we think about rolling up, but that was supposed to be the last call so I ran up to 2.5 to take care of it. I went to the appropriate panel and reset one, which tripped again immediately. I tried to reset the other one and it tripped again, hard, with a lovely bright light flashing through the dead-front. That's when I called for back up.

Within ten minutes, my foreman met me in the electrical room along with in-house electricians (one of whom was extremely interested in the apprenticeship); the foreman in charge of the remodel for the rooms affected came as well, bringing with him two from his crew. We found out from in-house that the same room one three different floors were without power to the bedwall, so we went to investigate.

After about an hour of tearing out drywall patches and becoming increasingly frustrated, the problem was found: those who had mounted the vanity to the wall sometime earlier today succeeded in getting a screw through a riser, which connects power from one floor to the next. The bed was removed and disassembled, the wall cut open, and after the melty breakers were replaced they were locked out so the riser could be repaired. That part was relatively simple: cut the wires, attach a box, jumper from that box to another which contains the other end of the wires from the riser, connect, and finish. The ruined part surprised all of us: this carpenter who mounted the vanity managed to get an 1-1/2" screw into the neutral, and all three phases. The odds of that are incredible.

So all in all, we got out of there at about 19h00, thinking toward our awesome paychecks forthcoming, and the kickass day off we'll get tomorrow. Can't wait.

04 July 2007

Uneventful 4th.

Just got home a second ago. It was a very slow day, practically dead. Everyone else at the jobsite--except for those of us on the remodel (me included)--got the holiday off, but per contract we don't get any holidays off that are on scheduled work days. And that's fine; I got paid double-time which will pay for my school books. $420 is ridiculous but hey, at least I'm not a first year trying to pay for tools as well.

So since we had to work, we had kind of a potluck. For break we had chips with some kind of cheese sauce and little croissant sandwiches with chicken salad on it. I've never had chicken salad, and I'm told that this version (with celery and almond slivers) is better than most. I liked it. Lunchtime gave us a casserole (bowtie pasta, cheese sauce, tuna and chilis), death-by-chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream. And that was the highlight of the day since there was seriously nothing to do, not even inspections.

Too bad I've been nauseous for the past three days and only got to nibble and got the "How come you don't eat?"-talk but whatever. Being paid what I got paid today made up for the incessant nausea and extreme boredom. That, and Gwynne let me read through his conduit-bending book, and I even got to play around with some pipe. Sweet.

01 July 2007

Feeling better.

So maybe I'm not gonna die, yay for me.

I got a haircut, now my hair isn't so froufy which is most awesome. And despite trying to stay away from delicious European goodies, I still managed to get into the Dresdner lebkuchen (kirsch!) and Orangina. No, not at the same time, that's seriously icky. But still.

Tenno is helping design my tattoo. Well, I designed it, he's putting both designs together so I can give the whole thing to the tattoo artist. Not sure if I described it before, but it's going to be the schematic for a solar cell inside a happy little sun. And maybe like some ivy or cute flowers here and there. It'll be so very cool, I'll post a pic when I get it done. And REMO! I am not a traitor, Tenno was just available before you! He's not adding any artistic details to it, I gave him what I wanted and that's all. Promise.

Craving soul food. Has anyone else ever had the soft-fried gizzards from Hamburger Heaven off of I Street and Madison on the West Side? Wow. A definite perk from when I worked in the death-care industry.

30 June 2007

Eh. I could die.

Seriously I've caught ill (stealing Logan's phrase), I haven't been so icky-sick since the Palms. Not happy. I think it stems from working in that tiny half-frozen room with Drew on Thursday. The first thing we did to set up that filter was run the MC, which involved me trying to drive the scissorlift all about without crushing anything, and these immense vents were blowing frigid air on me, so by about break time I had a pretty decent sore throat.

One upshot of the day was dealing with the panel. I had to bend some 1/2" conduit and mount a box...Drew has the ability to teach without condescending, and I appreciate that. So he helped me with the pipe, which was nice, and then we had to swap breakers and all that good stuff, including using a unibit to create a 1/2" hole into a hot 480-volt panel. I watched Drew stand in front of it once the dead-front was off, sighing, carefully stuffing some foamy mat into the top so metal shavings wouldn't explode into the bus. I honestly didn't want to do it, it's dangerous and I get nervous. But I went slowly, and Drew stood about five feet away with a massive piece of wood, ready to beat the hell out of me if something went wrong. Happily, he didn't have to use it, and we got most of the project done.

I forgot to mention, I found a lovely new drink: Guinness mixed with Sprite. I'm told it's better with Sierra Mist but I think it's incredible, like alcoholic candy, and I don't get toasted that way, so it's doubly good. Of all addictions, this is the yummiest.

Okay yeah, and now I'm feeling the Nyquil kick in, wanting very much to sleep. I really would like this to pass before work on Monday, I have to be in by 05h00 and we have to finish that filter which includes hot work and ladder work, so Dayquil is out of the question.

27 June 2007

La vie est très...


Je suis heureuse, vraiment, et d'abord je n'ai pas notée que c'était vrai. Mais c'est maintenant tellement bonne: J'aime mon travail, mais pas en raison du type de travail. J'aime travailler pour Drew (mon contremaître), et pour Gwynne (mon agent de maîtrise général); ils m'enseignent beaucoup, comme Snow, qu'il est un ami très bon là qui m'aide tellement souvent. En fait, j'ai beaucoup d'amis: Sanj, Stacy, Marissa, Ayla, Ryan, Lee, Cliff, et ma cousine, naturellement...trop d'amis...je suis bénie. Tannah et moi nous amusons, ma famille m'adore. Mes classes sont presque accomplies, et je me sens calme. Puis, choses supplémentaires: j'apprends plus au sujet d'électricité photovoltaïque, et j'apprends plus au sujet de l'autre énergie renouvelable également. Et le Code, parce que je vais prendre mon examen du comté, probablement cet été. Et demain, Drew et moi vont installer des choses! (Je pense que c'est un filtre.) Demain--c'est jeudi, mais aussi mon "vendredi"--j'apporte lebkuchen pour célébrer.

24 June 2007


Quotes from Brent R. Goodin:

"Faith is characterized by an unconditional trust or confidence in something, whether it is inanimate or animate, abstract or concrete, physical or spiritual."

"Religion does not prerequisite trust; in fact it is much more than trust or a belief, but a way of life. Religion is the enactment of one's faith."

I think I like that alot. Faith and religion, to me, never really seemed to join flawlessly. There was always something keeping one from the other: zealotry, intolerance, misinterpretation, government, arrogance.....ad infinitum. It makes much more sense now; Logan used to say that religion was a virus, and I see his point. I'm not saying I'm abandoning my faith but honestly, it's frustrating, trying to find a home-church that feels right. Interesting enough, Tannah and I both liked l'Église Eau Vive but, aside from it being conducted in French, it's in France, so attending would be difficult. So we found another but...things changed. I don't know. And it irritates me that to so many, not attending church means we aren't "good" Christians.

When I wrote the subject of this post I meant it: I'm looking for thoughts, opinions, insight. Not "You're wrong, you're going to Hell, you're blasphemous" because that attitude wastes my time and it'll waste your time to write it when it's not going to be read. :)

21 June 2007

Renewable energies rock!

The Solar NV meeting was yesterday night. Lots of apprentices (yay for field trips), a guest speaker who I really want to talk to 1-on-1, plus there's a member who specialises in green loans. Maybe grid-tied PV is in our near-future! It's going to happen, it's just a matter of when, really. Tannah and I both want it, and Snow is already locked in, so aside from his personal experience in installations and legality of how to go about it, he'll have insight to give us on the process of having it set up. He said he'll stop by and go over it with Tannah even. Very cool.

There were 43 in attendance, an awesome thing. Legislation is really moving too, another great thing. I'm going to look into "Solar Today" and get that coming, so I can geek out even more. Who knew that being green could be so much fun?? All we need now is bale-hay insulation, veggie-fueled cars, and of course the Tagaki, then we'll be good to go.

For those into all types of renewable energies, there's going to be a Green NV summit the last weekend on September, and a Solar Home Tour the first weekend of October. I'll update as I learn more.

18 June 2007


I did an awful thing.

Most of you who know me are aware that I'm terrified of bugs of all kinds. Just too many legs or something. Anyway, the family was together for Father's Day and while I wasn't looking, my husband placed a plastic spider on my shoulder, and then feigned shock while pointing at it.

Now, it's said that in a moment of panic, one's true self emerges: I screamed, picked up the plastic spider and flung it at my brother's preggo girlfriend. I am like some kind of evil bitch, I swear...

As for Father's Day, it was great. My dad got his Wii, plus an extra controller and a nun-chuck addition. He was so stoked. Tannah helped him set it up, and they transfered Mii's, also. Even played it a little. It's cool because my mom and sister can play it, too. We also saw Tannah's family, and did Father's Day with them as well. Sometimes I hate holidays because of the hectic time constraints and sometimes I love them because everyone's in a laid-back mood. This was one I loved.

On a side-note, Tannah's cousin re-dyed my hair burgundy. Now all I need is the tattoo and I'll be reinvented. Yay for body modification!

13 June 2007

Just one year left.

In a sense, showing up to class tonight was kind of lame. The final exam was last week, and the final is always the easiest exam of the entire year. But Javier promised to bring us food, and of course one last night at Bonanza, so it wasn't comletely useless.

Honestly, I'm terrified. I'm not nearly ready. Just a year left for training? There's so much to learn yet. Every journeyman I've spoken to says he felt the same way at turning out, so what makes me different, any less qualified? Yeah, well, believe me. Gwynne is under the impression that I don't give myself enough credit, he's been asking me things to assess my skill, and he said I made a "pretty sharp four-bend saddle" but in reality it was so hideous I had to crush it and throw it out before anyone saw it. Yeah, if I'd tweaked it, it may have worked but I wasn't satisfied. He's told me that after the remodel he wants to get me into more conduit bending, switchgear, all that fun stuff. I'd like that.

But back to the point.

Javier showed up with pizza and soda, and that was cool of him, though I wish he'd brought tamales, and we went over our exam scores, then he met up with us at Bonanza and bought everyone a drink. Sweet. I had Guinness of course, and Ryan offered to buy me a shot of Patrón (my God is that smooth); I've been really trying to stick to one drink a night but hey, last night of fourth year. Mostly I sat with Sanj, Ryan, Theresa, Javier, Mark...anyway, a lot of guys from class, just bullshitting really. And it's odd, I'll have this bizarre little empty place once school's out for good. Nowhere to be for five hours a week. I've wanted to take classes at uni for awhile, I guess I can do that. I don't know, it's all strange.

And before I go, the thing that regally pissed me off: fifth year's been moved to Wednesday night. WEDNESDAY. This will be my fourth year on Wednesdays, I'm sick of it, now that I finally joined Solar NV I'll have to miss nearly every single meeting. Damn the luck.

07 June 2007

Back to Diversity...

Today after work, I got pierced again. Love it. A pretty strict healing regimen but hey, alot of it is common sense and just being clean. Very very happy.

I went right after work so I wouldn't lose my courage. I found out later that Tannah kind of wanted to be there, but by the time he called me, I was already on my way in to see the piercer, Jason. He was rather professional, and I loved that he had an apprentice, because as he was explaining to the apprentice, I was getting a better idea about what to expect. He marked me and laid me down, and I was so so nervous so I held the apprentice's hand--well, kind of crushed it--but it didn't hurt nearly so much as I thought it would. Sure, a few curse words were forced from me but I was suitably calmed.

And Sanj, I got the barbells. :)

04 June 2007


At about 09h30 today, Henry and Matt came to my work area and told my foreman to send me and my tools to Gwynne, a general foreman for the Venetian remodel. (I knew the transfer was coming, but I expected a little advance notice.) When I got down there, Gwynne paired me with Drew, and at that Drew (apparently) made foreman.

So aside from working four-10's, and not having to wear a hard hat, and working inside, and being allowed to wear my Converse All-Stars to work...as it turns out, Drew and I walk around with our radios looking important, flipping and resetting breakers all day. It's so sweet. One can only wonder how long that will last.

Now granted, there's some downtime. But that's been accounted for, and Gwynne already talked to Drew, so during slow times we go onto the floors and troubleshoot issues for the other crews. Further that, I got a small set of prints to look over, to familiarise myself with more than just basics: it's the first time I have ever read anything on the specifications. Luckily, Drew has no issue with teaching me, so I keep asking questions and if he can't answer them, we take "field trips" to find out. He seems exceedingly shy but also like if he came loose he'd be alot of fun.

27 May 2007

Funniest thing ever!

More cool than funny, actually, but:

My dad and my husband are playing the Wii together. It's not funny in the conventional sense, I mean they're playing well...it's just funny because of all the things for those two to do together (paintball, trap-shooting maybe), I'd never imagine the Wii. It's so completely awesome. I love that my husband and my family get along, and even more than get along, that they accept each other. That's so incredibly rare these days.

23 May 2007

The pain isn't new...

It's not so much the puncture wound in my tongue that's killing me, it's the areas in my mouth where the balls are hitting. I have a regular ball on the underside of my tongue smashing into my tongue anchor and another ball with a slave-ring grating against the roof of my mouth. I love the slave-ring, and I don't think that's the problem. I think the issue here is that my barbell is too long. I'm buying a half-inch one, hopefully it'll make it more bearable.

20 May 2007


Finally, after three years without body adornment, I got my tongue re-pierced. And yay for no blood, even with blood-thinners!! Maybe nipples are next...

I went to Diversity with Tannah, Mada and Sanj for support. And so they could laugh at me afterwards. First thing I did was buy a stud with a slave ring, I've wanted one for years. And then after paying, I went in.

The girl was freaked out. She said my tongue was too small, and I'd been told that before when I got it done originally at Body Adornment. In fact, the piercer there took photos and had his apprentices come in and watch, as my tongue was "unusually small". Diversity's piercer initially said she wouldn't do it, but I told her it had been done before, and I could tell she didn't really want to but hell, I'd already paid for it.

The odd feeling about being pierced is feeling the needle actually make it's way through. Something similar is an epidural (feeling that edge into the spinal column or whatever) and getting sutured without anesthetic (feeling the thread slide through the holes the needle makes). It's painful, sure, but definitely interesting. But anyway...yeah, she forced the needle through my tongue and placed the stud. It hurt so much less than my time at Body Adornment. I was sincerely shocked. A little swelling but I could talk. (My supporters didn't think so; they made fun of me.) I was given aftercare instructions and off we went.

In the parking lot, someone noticed a pizza place right next door, and even though I was supposed to be buying my Gly-Oxide and such, they decided to eat lunch while I sucked on ice chips. Thanks guys.

19 May 2007

My dream car.

Oddly, we were talking about this at work yesterday...yes, I have friends just as geeky as me in the trade when it comes to alternative energy.

It's awesome. 0 to 60 in four seconds, and top speed is about 130 mph. It's not a hydrid, or even a tribrid...in fact, it doesn't need gasoline--at all--as it's 100% percent electric. It's not geeky-looking like the SMARTcar or Corbin Sparrow.
Best of all, the electricity can come from anywhere: the receptacles in your garage, hydro, geothermal, and yes: even solar.
I love Nikola Tesla. I love renewable energies. I love not paying for gas.


14 May 2007

Lebkuchen und apfelsaftschorle!

I went to the International Market and totally stocked up on German goodies. Haribo of course, milchreis, (not to mention the lebkuchen and apfelsaftschorle, of course), spaetzle...I decided that I miss Germany. I didn't think I would. Kandern more than Berlin, I think. Berlin was excellent because of the history, but Kandern was so beautiful, quiet. The Schwarzwald bordering everywhere we looked, it was something I really wish I could see again.

But anyway, no more sadnesses, I'm just going to instead eat myself into a state of joy with these goodies. I love the International Market.

You know, again, the feeling of betrayal. In November my parents and I came to an understanding: being adopted doesn't make me any less German. I can't erase my past (as much as I'd like to sometimes), and so there's no point pretending it didn't exist. So in the past few months I've been indulging in German heritage, I'm not sure why. Language, food, culture. Is that a bad thing? Is it a betrayal? Being adopted doesn't make me less German but embracing that aspect of my heritage doesn't make me any less a part of my family. I was chosen. That means something. It's deeper than blood.

10 May 2007


Interesting day. Hell, interesting month.

I'm not sure where I stand on many things right now. (This is going to ramble on a bit so feel free to skip to the end. There's your warning.)

I hate when I can't read people. I've found I'm the worst judge in character and I tend to gravitate toward unrealistic extremes: either I trust too much, or not enough, and I always seem to place the wrong trust in the wrong ones. I've been looking over my history on that for a week or so at least, now; this, after learning that some keep their dark sides more hidden than others. (Yeah, I'm guilty of it, too. But that doesn't keep me from hesitating now.) The completely psychotic part is the fact that I see this, I know it, and yet I don't stop or change it.

Wanting very much to stop seeing my docs again. I'm one of the awful patients that docs hate: when i start feeling better, I kind of stop taking meds and showing up to appointments. Granted, Coumadin is a long-term (if not permenant) medication, so I won't quit that, but my INR is more or less stable and so I want to put it to the back of my mind. Having it all constantly at the forefront, it's frustrating and overwhelming and I really did like that 4-month stint when I didn't see any of them. For all you exceedingly healthy people out there, I assure you that it was awesome, and not something to be taken lightly.
Mother's Day on Sunday. Not even going to get into that really. I'm half-hoping to come down with a 24-hour pneumonia just to avoid it. But really, that's not healthy, or decent, or cool. Yes, Denial and I are in a long-term relationship. And then work, and school, and exams, and new skills, and life on top of that. I'm not saying life is shit right now. I'm not even saying I'm stretched to my limit because honestly, I'm not. There's just alot going on right now, I guess.

"Aujourd'hui j'ai trop d'amis"...mais c'est ne change rien, et je suis encore seule.

08 May 2007

Worn down.

I have been having chest pain off and on for over a year. ER docs dismiss it. Most tests show up negative. But I had that stroke in April and they found a patent foramen ovale, and the director of the stroke center said I needed to see a cardiologist about these pains, as they could be clots passing through that hole.

So I went.

The cardiologist didn't run any tests or draw any blood. He said I can't take the word of the hospital about my irregular heartbeat since all hearts beat differently, and so all are technically irregular. He also said since the director of the stroke center diagnosed my PFO, he's sure it's tiny since it wasn't a cardiologist who diagnosed it, and neurologists just wouldn't know any better. And that the EMT's who said my symptoms sounded like a blockage were obviously wrong, because EMT's are poorly trained and one can't expect much from them. So once he found out I worked construction, he decided I tore a muscle. He saw some scarring on my wrists for my childhood and tried turning my chest pain into a "cry for help". Plus, he wants me off the Coumadin, so he's calling my hemo to discuss that. My hemo made it clear that he doesn't like me on it either so I'm sure that's a done deal.

He swears the little umbrella or plug or whatever will "cure" everything. Except the director of the stroke center said blood thinners are necessary too, not just the procedure. Part of me wants to say fuck it and just quit seeing docs altogether. But I know I'm too stubborn for that, and I'll keep searching. It can just be so frustrating and overwhelming. Seriously I wanted to cry.

06 May 2007

Home improvement adventure, Part 2

So...after all the electrical excitement, we had to actually finish the rest of the deal. At that point, I was really quite done with it all.

We learned dry-walling through guys at the jobsite and research on the internet. I'm quite surprised how well it came out. We didn't rush the patch job. At that point, we were on the fourth week, and I just really wanted the house back to normal. You see, week one was running speaker wires. Week two was installing the light fixtures and switch. Week three was trying to fix the panel and figure out what the hell. Week four was rocking half of two walls. We did that after work over four days, and finally by that Saturday, Tannah woke up at 06h00 and started to paint. we didn't want white walls, so he painted just the wall behind the TV a light blue. Came out real nice. I'm very proud of our home, and with every little project, we're making more and more unique.

We're still trying to figure out what to do with the extra wire we ran into the kitchen. (Which again was a mistake: I was in the attic, couldn't see, and accidentally drilled a hole with a paddle-bit two inches to the wrong side of the stud. So we decided a speaker can go there, and we ran a wire for it and went ahead and connected one. Still pisses me off.) The speaker connectors were the biggest pain. Go figure. I almost cried, because we needed to buy new speakers, because the old speakers were JBL box speakers and the brackets would cost me almost $130 -$200 so instead Tannah went and bought new Klipsch satellite speakers. Let me say this,we were eating Ramen for the rest of the week because we did not budget the price of the new speakers. But it was so worth it.

All things said and done, the living room looks and sounds amazing and Tannah's finally back to playing Xbox 360 on the HDTV. Which believe me, I actually missed that. I feel like I've transcended the stone age and finally brought back into modern world. And yet, we're not 100% finished, we still need to reconnect the kitchen fan (I re-routed the wire that was for a half-hot to the fan and deleted the original switch for it, while turning the half-hot into a normal receptacle) and Tannah wants to paint the arcade wall, but we're happy and both of our confidence(s) have been greatly increased. Honestly, the feeling of fucking up your house and having no one to blame but yourself is sure a feeling I never want to feel again.

03 May 2007

Home improvement adventure, Part 1

You'll see somewhere in the middle why I wasn't able to blog about all this as it happened:

[Paraphrased from Tannah's post]

Basically a few weeks ago, Tannah and I started on our house projects. We both learned a small but important lesson: sometimes it's better to leave well enough alone. Tannah wanted to run 14-gauge speaker wires in the living room for the surround sound system. That was totally okay, but I never realized how many huge holes would be made throughout our little project. It took most of the day to run the front speaker wires and I had to crawl in the attic to run the wires for the back speakers. Most of you know how much I hate that: I'm both claustrophobic and fear bugs. Tannah felt so bad, since he was supposed to be in the attic, but he just couldn't fit through the beams. He told me that he's done his time in attics doing alarm and camera systems at work, but he'd never seen beams so damn close together. Honestly, I could barely fit through. Sadly, I was up there for most of the afternoon, and I was so so happy to be done with it. He had to feed the speaker wires to me because the roof and ceiling were way too close together for me to reach. All in all, the wires were run and the living room was one step closer to being finished.

So in the middle of the project, we convinced each other that we can easily add some track lighting into the living room. The only problem was, there's no light switch in there, and really, I'd never done anything like this at home. On a jobsite, there was always a journeyman to go to if I got confused; at home, I'm on my own. We would have to do everything from scratch, add a switch, tap into a power source and run all new lines. I'm somewhat confident in my abilities but still...I don't feel I've got the training I need up to this point.

Track lighting soon became recessed fixtures which soon became recessed fixtures with adjustable lenses. So within two weeks of our project(s), there were a freaking huge hole behind where the TV would be and several holes by a receptacle where we stole power for our living room lights. The problem was, we ran into a "little snag". Around 22h00, 14 April, we were finishing up and Tannah turned power back on for the rest of the house. Everything looked amazing. We marvelled at the new brightness and Tannah got ballsy and flipped the switch to turn off the lights and there was an arc, and that scared the living hell out of both of us. Next thing we knew, the house was dark. I mean the whole house, and it was like, "Oh fuck, we blew out the breaker". Something was wrong, when I turned the breaker back on the entire panel shook like it was going to explode and it was seriously arcing. Arcing like I hadn't seen since my joys of working temp power. We elected to turn off that specific breaker, and the house looked fine but when we turned on a light switch from anywhere in the house, the lights flicker then turned off. I thought something was cross-phased and neither one of us knew what to do in a situation like that. The sad and pathetic truth hit me: I may be learning to be an electrician, but I wasn't one just yet. Tannah sure as hell didn't know what to do, as he only worked with low voltage. Phone calls were made: I called Snow...which I felt horrible for doing, but I was positive that he would know a good service truck driver. I also talked to Sanj, who in turn called Sinisha, who was over in less than an hour.

Long story short, we had lived in our crippled home for about a week and a half and after hearing a creepy hissing from the panel, we finally called Nevada Power and because Jack found out that I was with the IBEW, he busted his ass to fix everything. It took him four hours before he finally got it going again. And as a souvenir, Jack gave me the half-melted lug that had originally held the rogue #2 wire, and we found out then that one of the line-side leads to our house was fragged. (In Tannah's words: "Basically, the big-ass wire from the street was never bolted down in our panel.") When the surge occured, the breaker should have just tripped, but because the line-side feed was loose, it damaged the panel.

The following weekend, Snow and Sanj came over to help me investigate, and oh my God, I was so seriously embarassed: the "cross-phase" wasn't that at all, but a really idiotic mistake I won't even admit to. Snow checked all the connections for me and walked me though the process of fixing my shameful mistake with unbelievable patience. Sanj, being the good friend that she is, hung out with us during this crisis. Tannah had just bought his Wii and both Sanj and Lys had a blast playing Wii Sports. That kind of normalcy kept us from freaking out.

So for those how are pissed because I didn't return your calls and emails and didn't update the blog, this was my excuse.

16 April 2007


My INR is 5.5! Yay! (That was sarcasm. It's actually a little screwed up, it's supposed to be between 2-3. Ah well. I heard that it takes time to get blood stabilised with Coumadin.)

Somewhat regarding the medical situation, I talked to Snow about it. He's so awesome. There aren't too many out there like him anymore. I mean it's always good to have an "in", but he doesn't even expect anything back for it. He's just being genuinely sweet. I'm not sure he realises how much I appreciate it.

And really, what sucks most about all of this is that with all the medical drama going on, I barely got to see my sister for spring break. Now I guess I'll have to make the move to see her now...which will be awesome of course but still. Timing was really, incredibly sucky for all this. (I remember Ecclesiastes 3:1-10, of course but somehow it doesn't seem to apply here.) Maybe I'll fly out to see Amme this summer...? If I buy tickets now, it won't be too bad.

One upshot: I got a card from my aunt and uncle overseas today. :D It totally brightened my whole afternoon.

12 April 2007

Pissed off.

My foreman, Mike, took me aside and showed me a letter from my attending physician during my hospital stay, addressed to the office safety coordinator for my contractor. It gave information about my stay at the hospital and reiterated that there were absolutely no restrictions placed upon me in returning to work. Mike mentioned that I might want to cover myself, in case. He was given it by the field safety coordinator. So I called him, and talked with him.

I meant to lay it out how I'm willing and able to work, that it's just a process getting my blood stabilised. And he hit me with "I know all about your disorder..." and proceeded to give me the talk: "Legally no one can tell you this, but maybe you might want to consider a career change" et cetera and that really shocked me. I always took him for a company man, of course but this was a little extreme. It made me wonder if he had requested that info from the attending physician. And I don't know what pisses me off more: the fact that someone working for my contractor requested it behind my back, or the fact that this doctor actually sent it. I'm asking my foreman for a copy, this is bullshit.

11 April 2007


This is just...not fun. I should be at school right now. But Javier sent me home, I was having trouble just being there. Overly fatigued, light-headed, nauseous. He gave me a freebie so I wouldn't lose my grade point average for taking an absence. This week has been grueling.

First, I think it's less the Coumadin and more the Innohep that's making me feel this way. Thankfully I got my last injection of that today, even though my INR is only at 1.4 but they doubled my dose of Coumadin so it should equal out. Work is a blur: I told my foreman I felt unsafe on a ladder and he's letting me do ground work but my journeyman is hassling me a little about it. But I don't care, I won't work unsafely. There's plenty to do that doesn't require a ladder. The only thing is, the attending physician released me to work with no restrictions so I'm a little worried...does she know I'm a construction worker? Does she know I'm on the Innohep? I doubt it. I hate when docs make judgements on limited information.

However, I did talk to one of the assistant directors at the JATC and one of the owners for my contractor and they both said things were good so long as I'm up-front and bring in all my notes and keep them aware of when I'll be missing time. That, at least, makes me feel better. I also showed my foreman and the field safety coordinator my documentation, so I don't think there's a problem. I just want to get back to feeling functional.

07 April 2007

So: I'm home.

Some of you already know, I'm here to give the full story so there are no worries.

I left work by ambulance Thursday morning right after break. I couldn't speak, couldn't walk, my pulse was wildly different between both arms, and I had an irregular heartbeat. They took me to Sunrise Hospital under "Code 100" which ensured I got proper care. It turns out I had a stroke. A mild one, yes, but still: it scared the crap out of me. The ambulance driver gave me the "This isn't a joke, you can die from this" talk. That, after he struggled to figure out my cell phone; I'd programmed it in French (for practice and so it would be less likely stolen) and he couldn't find my phone's internal phone book.

Very luckily, the neuroscience team worked quickily and that helped to reverse the effects. I was speaking some and had regained alot of the strength on my left side after 10 hours. After 24 hours I was mostly back to normal. Some stuttering when I'm excited and some words don't come like they should but for the most part, aside from extreme fatigue, I'm good.

Interesting thing: the medical director of the stroke unit did a "bubble" test on me, which takes a while to explain but anyway, it confirmed his suspicions of "patent foramen ovale" which basically means I have some kind of opening or hole between the atria in my heart. Mix that with a clotting problem and there you have it: instant fun.

Good news is, all that finally convinced the Hematology Board to put me on Coumadin. I know there are plenty of issues with adjusting and I'll have to get an INR log and things like that but I finally feel like I'm being taken seriously now. I'm just happy it wasn't more devastating. It could have been so much worse.

So now, I'm being weaned off the heparin as my body learns to accomodate the Coumadin; so for the next 6 days I have to get stomach injections. The nurse on my unit tried to harpoon me and the bruise is immense but at the shot clinic today it was better. I just hope I won't have problems at work. Injections and venous lab draws every day? They won't like that. A little worried there.

And on top of that, this happened on Tannah's and my 11th anniversary. Spending it on the telemetry unit just sucked. But again: it could have been worse. I have to remember the small blessings, too.

03 April 2007

"Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose."

[Je remercie Rush, pour des paroles.]
J'ai besoin de saigner. Je ne sais pas d'autres mots..."l'haine" est quelque chose que la plupart des personnes peuvent comprendre. Je ne veux pas admettre les raisons, jamais. Il y a seulement une raison, vraiment, mais je ne peux pas accepter rien excepté mes propres mensonges. Tannah sait, je pense. Il sait la plupart mais je maintiens toujours mes secrets dans mon coeur; et ça fait mal. Je souhaite juste que j'aie su une manière de blesser différemment. Parfois, il semble comme je mourais déjà, et je ne me rappelle pas quand. Je sais que je devrais vivre, dans Dieu, mais quelque chose m'élude. Celui qu'il soit, j'en veux.

02 April 2007

Way too many this year so far.

Another construction accident today...thankfully, no deaths this time. It was at Sky, a condominium tower just north of the Circus Circus. Sometime after 11h00, a crew was bleeding a gas line and something sparked an explosion on the 4th floor. I know two guys were taken to UMC's Burn Unit and one guy to Sunrise...I just can't help but to think what a tragedy this is, even without deaths. It just seems that in the past six months, there were more construction accidents than in the past couple years combined. I mean sure, I remember when I was at the Wynn, there were a few electrical deaths, all from arc flash, I think. And then those guys who died in the middle of July (all in the same week!) from dehydration a few years ago, and we had a safety meeting focusing on proper hydration. Nonetheless, it just seems needless, all of these accidents. I wonder if complacency played a part.

01 April 2007

Poisson d'Avril and the best prank ever!

Tenno called up Mada earlier and said excitedly into the phone, "Hey did you hear? The Luxor's on fire!" Now honestly, Vegas has had a few really brutal brush fires in the recent past, including one that nearly destroyed Shenandoah (Wayne Newton's estate). And there were some high-profile casino fires too; one at the Stratosphere during construction, and one at the MGM Grand that killed over 80 people and injured nearly 700 in November of 1980. So it wasn't entirely unbelievable.

Anyway, Mada seemed both amazed and confused, so Tenno went on to explain that the huge million watt lamp at the top of the pyramid had burst and the fire was contained to the tip of the structure, but the entire Strip was engulfed in thick smoke. However, he went on to elaborate that the glow from the flames could be seen from space, as was reported by Russian cosmonauts, and that made Mada check the news stations. When he told Tenno nothing was being broadcast about it locally, Tenno told him it was being broadcast nationally only, as the local authorities feared tourist panic. Tannah and I could scarcely hold our hysterics as Tenno insisted that Mada watch CNN for the latest developments.

Completely aside, but somewhat along the same lines, I logged onto my laptop and my home page is Yahoo! France...partially because I have a .fr email account so that's where I log in. Anyway, the news section was full of crazy news stories, like the French presidential election being postponed indefinitely. I clicked on the link and it took me to a page full of articles about "Poisson d'Avril" and I was like, what the hell is this? What does fish have to do with it? I went back and clicked a different link for the same story and it brought me right back. Then, spontaneously I remembered eating foil-wrapped chocolate fish for April Fool's Day in high school French class and it made sense. Nothing's more enlightening than being duped in another language.

(For the record, Google has a pretty decent one, too.)

30 March 2007

Good day at work.

The Nevada Gaming Comission didn't like that our gangbox was in the same room as their equipment that monitors the slot machines, so our crew moved up to floor 2.5 from the basement. It's okay, I guess; it's about ten feet from my contractor's field office, so the owner and superintendent, and a gaggle of general foremen and foremen are always about. Plus, the room is locked so we have to get with our foreman every time we need material. But that's fine...I don't let petty issues or drama rule my life. It wastes so much energy to get worked up over bullshit. And really, that's all it ever is: bullshit.

I learned alot. Mike's dad used to be in the Navy, so Mike knows a ton of knots and hitches. I learned a few; my faves being the zipper hitch and the half-hitch. There's a really pretty one that looks like a flower that aids in horse-riding but I can't remember what it's called. (Yeah, I know: pretty hitch. I'm a girl, deal with it.) I also learned the MC colour codes, and not just that red is for fire alarm. I learned the striped ones too. A little more about that damn elusive switch-loop but it's still confusing, which irritates me to no end. I figure a few months from now I'll look back and it'll be so simple, and I won't understand how it was difficult for me to grasp.

Guy, who taught my photovoltaic classes last summer is a general foreman for the Palazzo Tower at Venetian, and he says there's a new PV book out and I definitely want a copy. He says he'll hook me up. I can't wait. Aside from being extremely knowledgable, he's just an all-around nice guy. And speaking of Palazzo, watch for that tower (under construction, of course) in Ocean's 13, likely under a different name. I love insider goodies like that, in films. It makes it fun.