30 March 2008

Blissful Sunday.

Today at church (which Drew thinks is really a bar) we had a guest speaker give a presentation on humanism. Paraphrasing Kurt Vonnegut Jr. it was explained as "behaving decently with no expectation of reward or punishment after death". It's more complex than that of course, but the entire idea is pretty simple: about being rational, being freethinkers, knowing that we are brothers and sisters who share a home, which is this earth...to again paraphrase. I know some humanists aren't against the idea of any Creator or Divine Spirit, and I think the idea is really interesting. I brought some literature home for a friend, and I'd like to hear his views on it.

After grocery shopping and a quick nap, I went back for a wine tasting. We had five Italian wines (including an incredible Zonin Brut Prosecco and Firriato Chiaramonte Nero D'avola...oh my God it was blissful) with some yummies to go with it. Not only bruschetta, which I kinda expected, but this amazing appetizer, prosciutto-wrapped melon. I loved it so much I'm going to make some this-coming weekend I think, if I have time after class. It was so nice though, not only the wine and such but talking about many various things, being so relaxed...it's good to be just me sometimes.

And now, it's time for Things That Scare the Fuck Out of Me:

~The King. Not Elvis, but that creepy life-size puppet guy for Burger King. I think if I saw him in public I'd scream.
~Zombies. Yeah, I know they don't really exist...OR DO THEY??
~That shopping cart that chased me that one time in Northtown.
~Little towns and villages. It's like...there's no way those places are that wholesome. I've read Stephen King.
~Fundamentalists of any religion, any denomination. Extremism doesn't win anyone over, it's just scary.
That's enough. I'm not going to let all my little secrets out.

29 March 2008


I spent all day in PV class, sucking down Monster Java drinks with my super-caffeinated Snickers bar, but I wanted to give Sanj and Tick a massive congratulations on their newly-married selves. You guys deserve each other, I'm happy for you!

27 March 2008

Alot to think about.

I'm not sure how well this is going to flow. I'm tired (three 15 hour days in a row can do that), I'm big-dealing it too often at work, and school is becoming a bit overwhelming. I'll just write and if it's not grammatically correct or in proper MLA format (haha, I laugh at MLA format!) then whatever.

~Photovoltaics class tonight...Chris hates batteries so we skipped that section for now and went to system sizing. I can now size a grid-tied system! A stand-alone system is way more complicated...I'll learn that in time. But it was good, I learned quite a bit even though someone in the back row annoys the fuck out of me. But that's fine, I'll only have to deal with him for two more weeks. Besides, Cliff and J Lo are in class with me so it's fun. And another besides, it's solar so it automatically wins.

~Drew accidentally drilled a hole into Jay, it unzipped the skin next to his thumbnail and it was pretty gruesome. As Jay contemplated drooling, Drew told me (completely in jest) that Jay wouldn't heal because I don't love Jesus. (This goes back to a comment made by someone else beforehand...long story.) So in going back and forth, we decided that since Jay's inability to heal was my fault, so were the following: starving children, SARS, the Iraq War, abandoned puppies, global warming, the Right Wing Conspiracy, genocide, and drunk driving.

~I admitted something to someone--nothing bad--that I think I regret now. Just sometimes you get a thought in your head, and it sounds good in your head, and then you say it and uh-oh: you realise that perhaps it was best left unsaid, and now things might be weird or awkward because now that thing that should have been left unsaid is now, indeed, said, and it can't be taken back, and oh-my-God-what-the-fuck-did-I-go-and-ruin-things-that-way-for? Damn.

~It seems that as much as I've been despairing and panicking lately, I can't help but to feel guilty about it. I'm sure my unhappiness is, for the most part, valid...however I keep thinking how much worse it could be, and how much worse it's been, actually, like during the Dark Times or Before. I don't think that makes it so I'm not allowed to feel this way. I just think that maybe I'm not taking it seriously enough. Or maybe I'm taking it too seriously? I don't know. A person can only cry so often in a day, but then I remember that I'm a girl, and girls cry often at silly things. I need...something...to feel better. (Haha, yeah, that solves it.) I keep thinking that perhaps I need change; but how? I've changed so much over the past year that there's not much left.

I should meditate, dream, sleep. I need to remember Rule #1.

25 March 2008


So pissed. Overly stressed, completely overwhelmed, I've got too much of my time being eaten up by too much of everything in too many directions. Work is frustrating because I can't do one goddamn thing right, school is frustrating because all the certifications and exams I still need to get on, I've got meetings and training and and and....
PV2 class tonight. If it's as shitty as the rest of my day was, I might just have to make good on my threat with the measuring tape tomorrow. :( I don't even have the energy to punch ovaries or gouge eyeballs or bite anyone in the face.

23 March 2008

Eventful weekend.

No time to rest whatsoever...I'm going to freak out Monday, I can feel it.

Saturday I did grocery shopping and then immediately went to the library to study for a few hours. It was supposed to be a study group, but I got non-committal answers from both Cliff and Sanj, and Ryan bailed on me. A hangover isn't an excuse to skip study group, Ryan!

Anyway, I got my flashcards done and worked on figuring out my formulas. It took a few hours and even though I've gone to the library before for study group, I've never gone during the late morning or early afternoon, so it was a little busier than I'm used to. No problems, though; I found a place to sit and spread out my materials a bit, so it went fine.

Immediately from there I went home, changed, helped Tannah with a few things around the house, and went to a potluck at the Unitarian-Universalist church. There were about 30 of us there, and it was a festival to celebrate the spring equinox. It was really nice, I enjoyed it immensely. It talked alot about springtime, and the balance in nature, the growth of new things...quite a bit of symbolism and such. Afterwards, we met in the social room to eat and discuss anything really. I hung out for quite awhile and found out more about the congregation as a whole and also about specific groups within. Unitarian-Universalists are extremely liberal in some respects, but I like it nonetheless.

Today was Easter. I slept in till about 11h00. We let the rest of the morning go by and took the Pepper to the park, where I crushed her by stepping on her. :( Hopefully she'll heal, she's limping a bit right now. My family did the church thing this morning and we met for a late lunch/early dinner that was kinda potluck-ish as well. The kids did an Easter egg hunt and even tiny baby Jack got a few, though he really didn't understand what it was all about. It was just good to see family.

I'm so not looking forward to tomorrow.

20 March 2008


I'm so excited and jubilant I can hardly stand it.

Okay...some background info...for months now, Jay has been kind of screwing with my head, talking about how I should remember him when I get into working photovoltaics for my contractor. It's been a joke for months. Anytime he was frustrated, I'd smile and say "No worries Jay, I got your back once I get into solar."

Then yesterday, the rumour spread that I was going to get to be a "real solar whore" (solar whore being my nickname at work) when the PV jobs start rolling in. I laughed it off; Snow's been wanting to get our contractor to start running green work for a long time now, with no results. And it was fun to play up on the rumour a little, but that's all it was, a rumour. Then I heard Gwynne tell Jay over the radio to tell me that the next day (today) I had to report to the substation at 08h00 with a 100' tape measure and tools. Then the rumours got extra crazy: I heard I was getting transferred, or I was getting laid off, or that I was going in the Hole.

Earlier in the week a pretty big Hole got chipped out in the substation. Big enough for me to crawl into. Icky, dark...and I started thinking that it would make sense if I had to do some work in the Hole, since the littlest people on the crew usually had to do such things. I'm pretty little, I was to bring a 100' tape measure, and the Hole was mocking me from afar. I worried excessively at first, I hate dark tiny crawlspaces, and I worked it out that the rumours of PV joy were a scheme to keep me from calling in, and I finally came to terms with the fact that me and the Hole were going to be best friends.

So when I showed up this morning with my tools, hardhat, backpack and peered into the Hole, Gwynne was like, "What are you doing?" I told him I understood my role in the grand scheme of things as far as the Hole went. He looked at me like I was a freak and that's when Snow walked in. Between the two, I was told that I was going with Snow to our contractor's main shop to help with a site analysis for the solar panels that were going to be installed.

I seriously couldn't believe it. After all this time, geeking out about photovoltaics on a daily basis, I was going to be allowed to actually do some work. It was...it was..."o" for awesome and awesomesauce at once. Like at the same time, even.

So we got down there and the objective was simple: go up to the roof and plot out the best places to mount solar panels. That actually took a good amount of time. It involved hand-drawing a set of prints of the entire roof that showed elevations of everything, from the walls to the skylights, vents, pipe, HVAC units...everything that deviated from the flat surface. Then we made measurements as to where all those deviations were situated, and noted them as well. It was important to get everything, even a 6" deviation, because we were checking for anything that could possibly cast a shadow or obstruct the panels themselves from being mounted. After rechecking our work, Snow guided me into how to take and record shots with the Solmetric SunEye...that's right, the little toy I got to play with just the other day. We made six shots and routed out possibilities of where the panels could be mounted, in case a first plan was rejected. Then Snow took digital photos of the entire area; just something to look back on in case we needed to reference it against the notes and measurements we took.

Sometime in the very near future, Snow is going to submit the hand-drawn prints we made so they can be converted to CAD drawings, and print out the reports generated from the Solmetric SunEye. Then he (but hopefully we) will map out how to run the power from the panels to one or more inverters, and from there to a disconnect and into gear and all kinds of other fun things...I'm just so excited...it was really alot of fun. And anyone who read through this and was like "WTF?" well, that's great, I know that was kickass and that's all there is to it.

18 March 2008

Solmetric joy!

It was totally incredible: somehow Snow got ahold of a kickass new solar toy, the Solmetric SunEye, which is like a technologically advanced in-colour version of the Solar Pathfinder...but way cooler on many levels.

When I took my photovoltaic classes originally in 2006, we got to play with a Solar Pathfinder. Well, actually, the instructors did, and we got to watch. Anyway, it's a little tripod with a glass dome, and little circular black pieces of paper that fit under the dome. You set it up where you want to do a solar site analysis and take a white crayon to outline the troublesome shade issues. The paper is divided into hours of the day and months of the year, showing when a particular object's shadow will become an issue. Pretty sweet.

But the Solmetric! It's like a PDA, with a fish-eye lens, a 360-degree level and a compass. Orient the device south and level it, then snap a photo. The divisions for hours of the day and months of the year are still there, but the shading is done automatically. Since it's electronic, you can also go back to edit shading. (An example of this in a bit.) It's so cool though, it shows the percentage of efficiency per season and per month, the azimuth and all kinds of things. I can't imagine the time it saves.

Anyway, I went down to get some 6-32 screws in the substation, and I ran into both Gwynne and Snow down there. Basically, I was given permission to go up to the pool deck at the Palazzo to test it out and see how it works. Snow set it up and we picked one site with the potential for alot of sun and one that we knew would be mostly shaded all the time. After the site shots were taken, we walked back to the office two floors down and he loaded the session to his laptop.

It was amazing. Aside from all the site calculations being done, Snow showed me how to edit a shot. One of them had the construction crane visible, and that's only temporary, so he deleted that as an obstruction. The percentage didn't jump up much, but it was enough to see that such a move might, in some cases, really change the outcome of a particular session. Plus, it can be printed out, so you can average it all together between the sites or print a before and after...I was really impressed. I told Snow I was going to sneak and play with it when he's not looking and he kinda laughed. But seriously, I'd love to work with one, just to get the idea on how an analysis could work.

16 March 2008

Vegas nightlife...haha.

So, Tannah's on-call this weekend. He got two calls, one right after the other at around 01h00 so I tagged along. It's been a long time since I actually rode with him to run calls, and I kinda missed it.

Both calls were for strip clubs. The first one we went to (I'm not sharing names) was okay...mostly...while Tannah corrected the fault I looked at the girls working the pole. I'm not trying to be rude or shallow or sexist, really. But if I were to pay to get into a strip club, I'd expect quality girls there. Living in Vegas, you tend to know the good clubs from the bad: there's the one on Boulder Highway where the girls are like wizened old hookers with track marks and C-section scars, having a few good teeth left. This club usually does not fit that description but these girls just weren't hot. At all. Seriously, I would have looked better working the pole. I was extremely disappointed and I didn't even pay to get in.

The next call was at a strip club downtown that's usually known for being pretty seedy. But the girls in there were of a way higher caliber. It struck me how two clubs, on the same night, only twenty minutes between each other, could have such a vastly different line-up. And it's not that I'm necessarily into girls or anything but...still. The patrons want quality, don't they? I do.

Another thing: I hear from some women that strippers or exotic dancers (or whatever you want to call them) feel empowered in doing that because of men's reactions, having that kind of power over men via libido. And from others I hear that the line of work is degrading, not only to the women at the club but to women in general. I'm not sure how to feel about that, except that I don't think either statement is 100% true. I'm sure some feel empowered and some feel degraded. I just know it's not something I think I could do.

15 March 2008


Instead of writing my normally very-meaningful posts, I took some time to take this blog and up it a few notches. Reconfigure the layout, fix broken links and add some new ones, and even write a few extras in there as an aside. So that's why you're reading this instead of reading about a side-stepped study group, my inability to find flashcards anywhere, and how I got screwed out of a most awesome time at Crown and Anchor even though Tannah got to go. So there you have it: I'll resume posting something excellent in due time.

13 March 2008

Finally: a real reason to go to the bar during class.

The 5th year apprenticeship classes had a sanctioned field trip to PT's Place yesterday, which is a bar that isn't the normal one we go to. Pretty good food. It wasn't just the apprentices either: instructors , the director, and both assistant directors made appearances as well. Ryan and I tried buying a shot of Patrón Silver for Kenny, but he left before our order could be filled, partially due to the fact that most apprentices are straddling the border of alcoholism and the bartender couldn't keep up.

I didn't really finish any drinks, I just tasted, since I know that if I actually drink a substantial amount I'll be drunk in under an hour. So I tried a little Jäger, a little Bailey's Mint, Guinness (of course!), I split a Captain & Coke, and a little Coors Light, which to me tastes like beer-flavoured soda. I didn't get too out of control (proven by the fact that several people wanted to go get tattoos and I didn't jump in) and I ate before I left.

Some people played pool, or sat at the bar slamming shots. There were pockets of us just lounging around talking, most of us nervous about turning out. Don't get me wrong, we're all thrilled to graduate, but it's zero-hour now, and alot of responsibility comes with that pay raise. There's not a lot of time to get our shit together. Anyway, it was laid back, no awkwardness, we discussed who was planning on going to graduation dinner and if we'd meet up over the next few weeks (and summer if need be) to cram for the county exam. Y'know...random things.

I was told I've changed alot since first year. And yeah, that was half a decade ago but it doesn't seem like long enough for any real change to have taken place. I know that a few things are different: beliefs, ideals, mannerisms...is it in a good way? Am I a better person? I'm more outgoing, I know that. Learning to keep my ego in the gangbox and just deal. I'm more driven. I feel more comfortable with myself, I feel I'm more true to myself now. There are moments that kind of echo the past but those are becoming more rare. What the hell: I'll ride it out. It can't be all bad.

09 March 2008

LVA's 10-ish Year Reunion.

Y'know, it was cool to see all those people I haven't seen in forever, but for the price I paid, I was kinda hoping for gold-dust encrusted lobster tail and bone-in filet mignon, served to me on silver platters by lithe, acrobatic waiters, so needless to say was a bit disappointed by herbed chicken and tortellini, in a buffet line. And it was a cash bar! What the fuck.

So yeah...it was okay, since I had to pay for drinks I didn't get all crazy (which is good!), and I ran into alot of people I hadn't seen in years: Stephanie, Joanne, Sonia, James, Mark, Kaja, Julia, Warren, Tiiu, Noel, Lana, Fujii...anyway, alot. I reconnected, exchanged info, got to plug photovoltaics, cursed like a construction worker, compared bra sizes, learned about the joys of touring Turkey, was on the receiving end of someone who was drunk and huggy, shocked everyone by wearing a dress, doubly shocked everyone by being married, tried to play wingman for Tenno, and found out that Mark was one of the medieval madrigal guys at the Venetian that freaked Drew out so much. All in all, good times.

07 March 2008

Damn it.

I was kinda having a rough day: turns out that I had to nearly remove everything I did yesterday due to a misunderstanding or miscommunication or something. I was sure that my idea of how the home runs needed to be run was perfectly fine, but Jay thought otherwise and it just couldn't work. When I told him I'd already cut the runs too short, Jay closed his eyes and counted to ten. Then he went to twenty, then thirty. Then he walked away. No bueno. Gwynne found out and he was a little frustrated, he told me it was a "rookie mistake"...ouch. :(

It wound up being mostly okay, I only had to replace two home runs and at 15 feet each (even though it was iso-ground MC) that's really not all that bad. The rest I just reshuffled and relabeled, and it was okay. Since I was able to avoid immense fuck-up loss, Jay and I went to the food court for lunch.

It's not actually forbidden to go to the food court onsite, but it's frowned upon. A Strip casino like the Venetian is, for the most part, filled to the brim with tourists who don't want to have to look at dirty construction workers eating near them. But Jay and I cleaned up and took off anything identifying us as electricians (hardhats and such) and as we walked in we made jokes about the possibility of meeting one of the higher-ups in there as we were trying so hard to be all sneaky-like.

We got our food (Panda Express is expensive in casinos!) and scanned the seating area, found an empty table not to close to anyone else, and I said with confidence, "No management will find us here, haha!" Then Jay grinned and said through his plastic smile, "Oh wow, speak of the devil..." I turned around and saw Henry and Mike waving from two tables away. I waved back and smiled...there was no use in hiding or acting ridiculous, we'd been caught by both a general foreman and a project manager and that's all there was to it.

I'll just say that we ate quickly and made damn certain we left early so there was no speculation about the possibility of us being late back to our work area.

05 March 2008

Exams and field trip.

A field trip for class is to the bar next week...not Bonanza, but PT's. I'm told it's tradition. I might switch from Guinness that night to something a little more fun, to mark the occasion.

I'm going to schedule my county journeyman exam for 26 April, I think. It'll give me plenty of time to study and really get on what I need to improve. Our JATC exam is 12 May, study group dates and times to be announced. Now all I need is to find out when NABCEP's exam will be and I'll be set. I'm seriously hoping it doesn't fall on a day that I've got something already scheduled.

Yay for sugar highs!

I'm sitting here. In fact I'm remembering FATTEST DUCK! [fatfatfatfatfatfatfat] I loved its bilby fatness! Mmm I ponder delicious ducky stew... :D

Class tonight oh joy, I doubt we'll have time for Guinness-induced fun since we're supposed to be doing something with a high-voltage splicing lab. I don't know. I'm about sick of school with less than three months left but I can't have absences. Need study group for the county exam! Need study group for the NABCEP exam! Who wants to get on that?

04 March 2008


Watching the BBC. I'm zoning a bit, waiting to finish up with dinner. Today was odd, I guess; I had to do all the layout for the sawcutters and such and I was stressed about getting it spot-on. Luckily, Jay told me that there's no way I can possibly screw it up irreparably, and that I'm really big-dealing it. We'll see. :)

I haven't slept well lately, my piercing has been giving me pain. The kind that makes me have to drool. I was able to start the salt-soaks, which helped immensely. Hoping the redness and swelling will diminish by the weekend, I've got much planned and I don't want to have to worry about it.

Missing Europe lately. And missing family there as well. I'm reminded of Uncle Welshie too...I haven't heard from him since 2006 and I have no way of contacting him other than via mail, to which he hasn't responded. He was getting on in years, about 70, and his health wasn't the best. I wish he'd been in London when we visited there, during our trip to France, Germany, and the British Isles. In a way it feels like a part of me is home there, in Europe, even though I'm sure it makes very little sense to many at all. (Must be the CCK in me!) But really: the history, the architecture...I don't know. My heart hurts for what I left there. Kandern, Lille, Edinburgh, Wolfsburg, London, Dublin, Paris, Berlin; some more than others of course, but there's tiny empty space inside me that can't be helped, really. I've gone into detail about it before, heritage and Before and all the rest of it. No reason for that now.

This post is kinda all over the place. Maybe I'll feel better after eating something. It's not that I feel icky just...not quite here.

02 March 2008

Veinte para las doce:

Creo que ése es cuando comencé realmente a pensar en estas cosas. Los veinte minutos antes y después la medianoche es como magia. No puedo explicarla. Los pensamientos más fuertes me invaden, y los pensamientos son generalmente oscuros pero son a veces casi filosóficos. Y esta noche, lo mismo... (igual que todas, igual que todas: como la historia de Caperucita Roja...¿recuerdas?)

Estoy pensando sobre todo de vida en general: parece un camino largo sin vueltas o callejones. Ningunos árboles u hogares o muestras, solamente el camino, todo al color de gris. El sol y la luna son perezosos, ellos no luchan para el control, y aceptan solamente el ciclo. No entiendo lo qué significa, cuando no hay color. No estoy asustada. No soy triste. Pienso que me cogen en un agujero donde todo está lo mismo, siempre.

Me dijeron que estoy en una encrucijada. Es la verdad pero no me cae bien. Me siento inquieta. Tanto está cambiando adentro, yo no saben porqué, solamente es una fuerza que no puedo parar. Deseo permitir el cambio, me siento que es bueno para mí, pero ese cambio es drástico y puede ser que dañe la armonía. Estoy en una batalla con yo mismo: Odio el cambio, pero me beneficia siempre. Ahora esto... y yo no sé qué hacer. Me dijeron que debo vivir para mí, yo debo permitirme que crezca y que prospere ¿pero en qué coste?

01 March 2008

I don't understand.

Tannah is still pissed (or at least "extremely irritated") that I got the piercing without consulting him. And I thought for awhile before writing this, yet I still just don't get it.

He said that, in marriage, the two become one so what I do to myself is also done to him. I don't believe that at all. It's not like this is a venereal disease. It can't hurt him. Also, it's not like I got any genitalia pierced. I remember he wasn't too happy when I got my nipples done and he wasn't there, so I can definitely see how he'd feel if I got a Christina piercing in a group setting like I did with the industrial...but I didn't. (The Christina is something I do want; waiting for the right time.)

Tannah says it's a respect thing, but an industrial piercing is so minimal. I equate getting pierced (in general) to going out and buying a pair of shoes or something. Sure you do some research into what you want and you comparison shop but it's no big deal, at all. And it's certainly not like I tried to hide it from him.

This feels like the Text Messaging Debate all over again...insight would be appreciated.