16 December 2008

School-related stuff.

Firstly, I've been put in charge of testing, in a roundabout way. I grade the exams, and from those exams, I take the most-missed questions and am currently forming a massive pop quiz. More like a pop exam. Now, these tests (including the pop exam) don't count for grades, they only serve to show the instructors and students what is lacking as far as given information goes. For instance, nearly half the class is confusing a string with an array. That's going on the pop exam. Unfortunately, I'll be grading them as well, so I'm sure that'll eat up an entire Saturday. Ah well.

Some other stuff too...There are other conventions coming, ReTech in February (in Vegas) and a CPV--or, concentrated PV--convention in San Diego sometime soon as well. Not sure I can swing another San Diego trip when ASES is in Buffalo this coming May. (Speaking of which, I need to get a new passport so I can go to Niagara Falls!) Just too many travel expenses. We'll see what happens; this could all hinge on whether I pass the NABCEP exam. Luckily, NABCEP is being proctored locally in March, so not only can I save big as far as travel, but I have more study time.

Completely unrelated, Logan's been around more. I've missed him. I hope he intends on coming back in a more permanent fashion sometime soon. We'll see, I guess...he's disappeared before. Maybe if I let it be known that Molly and Niven will be in charge of holiday care packages, he'll make his presence known... :)

13 December 2008

Wish I'd been that brave.

I don't have too many regrets throughout my life, because I've learned that every experience--even the less than stellar ones--can serve to mold us and make us better, stronger, more resilient. However, the few regrets I do have center mainly of events before I was adopted. (Otherwise called the Before years. Easier for me to identify that way.) I've been told I shouldn't have regrets, that I was adopted at age 14 and anything I might find I regret can't be my fault, since I was, in essence, a child. And I understand that in an intellectual sense. I also understand that I'm looking back at those events with an adult mind that's capable of forming adult solutions.

Mais parce que j'ai été élevée de cette façon, puis j'ai connu seulement ce type de vie. Mon enfance était normal, et quand j'ai suspecté qu'il ait été erroné, je me suis forcée à le feindre étais encore okay. Néanmoins, j'ai été punie pour parler trop, et j'ai gardé des secrets. Parfois cela a signifié que d'autres enfants ont été blessés. C'était nécessaire...un cercle répugnant de la vie. J'ai peur: je souhaite que je pourrais échapper à cette vérité mais après 20 ans, je ne peux pas encore me cacher. Un certain jour que la porte ouvrira, et avec tant tristesse je sais que il n'y a pas assez de punition dans le monde pour ce que j'ai fait.

11 December 2008


Since I've been absent:

~Recently I found (or rather, re-connected with) one of my first penpals I ever had, Marcia. We started writing when we were about 13, maybe 14 years old; she was from Bophuthatswana, an area now incorporated into South Africa. After only a few years we lost contact, but recently I tried looking her up on Facebook and amazingly, I found her, and she actually remembered me! We've been writing now, back and forth, for the past few weeks and it's pretty awesome how much we've changed over the years, and yet we've managed to be very alike in so many ways. She's extremely talented, and in the near future, I'll post some of her poetry. My brutal curiosity of Bantu peoples, cultures and languages is heightened.

~So, the Monday after I almost killed John with the pookie (fire putty) bucket, Clint and I worked on securing the cable out of the electrical room, down the hall, and into the elevator lobby. Drew (now my temp foreman--again) told me to be "gentle" in making holes in the wall, so I used a long-shaft screwdriver and made my hole with that, using my side-cutters to drive it into the drywall. There was a piece of 1/2" allthread sticking through at one point; as I used my side-cutters to hit the handle to drive it in, I noticed how close my wrist kept coming to that jagged end of allthread. I took off my work glove and wrapped it around my hand...the very next tap I made to teh screwdriver, two knuckles hit the allthread. It hurt but not too badly, but before I got a chance to finish the job, I saw blood spew out of my hand and down the wall, floor, ladder, all over my jeans...and let me say this was a finished project: painted, tiled, turned over to the owner. Oops. Not like I could help bleeding, but our employee manual lists gloves as a 100%-of-the-time safety item. Good thing the electrical rooms aren't high-traffic areas.

~Working between Jay & Drew lately...back and forth. No one really has enough work, so when one foreman runs out, I go to the other, and then back ad infinitum. At least I'm still employed, and I'm overjoyed at that, especially since I like both Jay and Drew as foremen. And aside from liking their personalities, neither treat me like an idiot, and both don't give me tasks that are too difficult, too dangerous, or too tedious for me. Which is always a bonus. Aside from the antennae job (supposedly) coming up, we have 5 or 6 PV jobs that should be getting underway in under a month...or so I'm told. I can hope, anyway.

10 December 2008

Somewhere between lives.

Again, as is familiar to me, I am floating somewhere between my work life and school life and home life and family life and...therefore, I need mindlessness. But stay tuned, in the next day or so, I'm posting an awesome poem. Wish I could say I wrote it, but that would be a grave fallacy.

Yeah so...I stole this meme from Gadfly.
[x] I am shorter than 5'4 (/163cm)
[x] I think I'm ugly sometimes.
[ ] I tan easily.
[x] I wish my hair was a different color. (that's why I dye it!)
[x] I have friends who have never seen my natural hair color.
[x] I have a tattoo.
[x] I am self-conscious about my appearance.
[ ] I have/I've had braces.
[x] I wear glasses/contacts.
[x] I would get plastic surgery if it were 100% safe, free of cost, and scar-free.
[x] I've been told I'm attractive by a complete stranger.
[x] I have more than 2 piercings.
[x] I have piercing in places besides my ears.
[ ] I have freckles.

[x] I've sworn at my parents.
[x] I've run away from home.
[ ] I've been kicked out of the house.
[ ] My biological parents are together.
[ ] I have a sibling less than one year old.
[ ] I want to have kids someday.
[x] I've lost a child.

[x] I'm in school
[x] I have a job
[x] I've fallen asleep at work/school (that’s always charming).
[ ] I almost always do/did my homework.
[x] I've missed a week or more of school.
[ ] I failed more than 1 class last year.
[ ] I've stolen something from my job.
[x] I've been fired.

[x] I've slipped out a "lol" in a spoken conversation.
[ ] Disney movies still make me cry.
[ ] I've peed from laughing.
[x] I've snorted while laughing.
[x] I've laughed so hard I've cried.
[x] I've glued my hand to something.
[x] I've had my pants rip in public.

[x] I was born with a disease/impairment
[x] I've gotten stitches/staples.
[x] I've broken a bone.
[x] I've had my tonsils removed.
[x] I've sat in a doctor’s office/emergency room with a friend.
[ ] I've had my wisdom teeth removed.
[x] I had a serious surgery.
[x] I've had chicken pox.
[ ] I've had measles

[x] I've driven over 200 miles in one day.
[x] I've been on a plane.
[ ] I've been to Canada.
[x] I've been to Mexico.
[ ] I've been to Niagara Falls. (In May!)
[ ] I've been to Japan.
[ ] I've celebrated Mardi Gras in New Orleans.
[x] I've been to Europe.
[ ] I've been to Africa (hopefully in the next year!).

[x] I've gotten lost in my city.
[x] I've seen a shooting star.
[x] I've wished on a shooting star
[ ] I've seen a meteor shower.
[ ] I've gone out in public in my pajamas.
[x] I've pushed all the buttons on an elevator.
[x] I've kicked a guy where it hurts.
[x] I've been to a casino.
[ ] I've been skydiving.
[x] I've gone skinny dipping
[x] I've played spin the bottle.
[ ] I've drunk a whole gallon of milk in one hour.
[x] I've crashed a car.
[ ] I've been skiing.
[x] I've been in a play.
[x] I've met someone in person from Myspace.
[ ] I've caught a snowflake on my tongue.
[ ] I've seen the Northern lights.
[ ] I've sat on a roof top at night.
[x] I've played chicken.
[x] I've played a prank on someone
[x] I've ridden in a taxi.
[x] I've seen the Rocky Horror Picture Show.
[x] I've eaten sushi.
[ ] I've been snowboarding.

[ ] I'm single.
[ ] I'm in a relationship
[ ] I'm engaged.
[x] I'm married.
[ ] I've gone on a blind date.
[ ] I've been the dumped more than the dumper.
[x] I miss someone right now.
[x] I have a fear of abandonment.
[ ] I've gotten divorced.
[x] I've had feelings for someone who didn't have them back.
[ ] I've told someone I loved them when I didn't.
[x] I've kept something from a past relationship.
[x] I've had a crush on someone of the same sex.
[x] I've had a crush on a teacher.
[x] I've been kissed in the rain.
[x] I've hugged a stranger.
[ ] I have kissed a stranger.

[x] I've done something I promised someone else I wouldn't.
[x] I've done something I promised myself I wouldn't.
[x] I've snuck out of my house.
[x] I have lied to my parents about where I am.
[ ] I am keeping a secret from the world.
[x] I've cheated while playing a game.
[x] I've cheated on a test.
[x] I've run a red light.
[x] I've been suspended from school.
[x] I've witnessed a crime.
[x] I've been in a fist fight.
[ ] I've been arrested.

(Not sure how honest this section will be...)
[x] I've consumed alcohol
[x] I regularly drink.
[x] I've passed out from drinking.
[x] I have passed out drunk at least once in the past 6 months.
[x] I've smoked weed
[ ] I've taken painkillers when I didn't need them.
[ ] I've eaten shrooms.
[x] I've popped E.
[ ] I've inhaled Nitrous.
[...] I've done hard drugs.
[ ] I have cough drops when I'm not sick.
[x] I can swallow about 5 pills at a time no problem.
[x] I have been diagnosed with clinical depression.
[ ] I have been diagnosed with one or more anxiety disorder.
[x] I shut others out when I'm depressed.
[ ] I take anti-depressants.
[x] I am/ have been anorexic or bulimic.
[x] I've slept an entire day when I didn't need it.
[x] I've hurt myself on purpose.
[x[ I've woken up crying.

Death and Suicide
[ ] I'm afraid of dying.
[x] I hate funerals.
[x] I've seen someone dying.
[x] Someone close to me has attempted suicide.
[ ] Someone close to me has committed suicide.
[x] I've planned my own suicide.
[x] I've attempted suicide.
[ ] I've written a eulogy for myself.

[ ] I own over 5 rap CDs.
[x] I own an iPod or MP3 player.
[ ] I have an unhealthy obsession with anime/manga.
[ ] I own multiple designer purses, costing over $100 a piece (I thought about checking this for comic effect).
[x] I own something from Hot Topic.
[ ] I own something from Pac Sun.
[ ] I collect comic books (I bought them when I was a kid).
[ ] I own something from The Gap.
[x] I own something I got on e-bay.
[ ] I own something from Abercrombie.

[ ] I can sing well.
[ ] I've stolen a tray from a fast food restaurant.
[ ] I open up to others easily.
[x] I watch the news.
[x] I don't kill bugs.
[x] I hate hearing songs that sacrifice meaning for the sake of being able to rhyme.
[x] I curse regularly.
[ ] I sing in the shower.
[ ] I am a morning person.
[ ] I paid for my cell phone ring tone.
[x] I'm a snob about grammar.
[ ] I am a sports fanatic.
[x] I twirl my hair.
[ ] I have "x"s in my screen name.
[ ] I love being neat.
[ ] I love Spam
[ ] I've copied more than 30 CD's in a day
[ ] I bake well.
[ ] My favorite color is either white, yellow, pink, red or blue
[ ] I've worn pajamas to school.
[ ] I like Martha Stewart.
[x] I know how to shoot a gun (I'll get better in time)
[ ] I am in love with love
[ ] I am guilty of tYpInG lIkE tHiS.
[x] I laugh at my own jokes.
[x] I eat fast food weekly.
[x] I believe in ghosts.
[ ] I am online 24/7, even as an away message.
[x] I've not turned anything in and still got an A in a certain class.
[x] I can't sleep if there is a spider in the room.
[x] I am really ticklish. (Tickling is a form of abuse.)
[x] I love white chocolate.
[x] I bite my nails.
[ ] I play video games.
[ ] I'm good at remembering names.
[ ] I'm good at remembering dates.
[ ] I have no idea what I want to do for the rest of my life.

08 December 2008

Can't sleep.

Thinking, and my mind won't calm down.

My brother Remo's bullshit threshold has been broken; my parents seem to happen upon misfortune one after the next; my sister Amme is struggling with juggling her family and her job in America's present economy. My own worries seem so ridiculous, in light of all that. I remember what it is to feel hopeless and desperate, and am ecstatic that I'm not there now.

This time last year, I was overwhelmed with how I felt my life and worldview were changing. Much of it, if not all of it, seems natural and is second-nature to me now. More changes may be coming, as life has a funny way of making certain that happens, but...

I'm not certain that the changes in store for me are necessarily ones I'm comfortable with. However, I'm more aware of myself, and my capacity for inner strength plus my developing ability to create inner peace through meditation means that I am now better able to handle upcoming change. At least, better able than this time last year. I'm growing and progressing, and that's good. I suppose I just wish I could take a tiny glimpse into the future, to prepare myself. And I further suppose that a good many other people wish the same thing, so at least I know we're in the same boat.

07 December 2008

Almost a tragedy.

First, here's my story on how I freaked out about the possibility of almost killing John on Friday. Not on purpose just...anyway. Read on.

Somehow, a speaker cable from the retail level got lost or removed, and we were only just notified when the techs were in the IDF room, putting all the low voltage shit in order. All the speaker cables from upper floors had to be routed down to the back-of-house level, which is the level below retail. Anyway, the retail level is finished and already turned over so we couldn't really go crazy and rip walls open and such; the best way we could think of to get it all done was to run it down an air shaft. A great idea, except that in order to keep it up to Code (strapping, fire caulking, etc) was for someone to get down into the shaft as well. A good 50 feet or so.

The shaft itself is full of rigid and thinwall conduit, feeders encased in flex, tons of deep and double strut to keep it strapped down. Not much room for anyone to crawl down, especially with an awkward safety harness. I was going to get in the Hole except that the strut crossbars were 6 feet apart and I couldn't comfortably or safely climb down, as short as I am...that left it to my toolie, John.

John slipped on his safety harness and shimmied down. Once he reached the proper level, I lowered the tool bucket to him with kite string. It was full of straps, his screwdriver, the fire putty knife, a pair of Kleins, the like. I lost control of the bucket for a few feet and panicked as it plummeted and I'll be honest, I freaked out. John said he was still okay, but there's no room for him to hide himself away in that shaft; if anything fell, it'd get him on the head. I was extra careful the rest of the way. Then I lowered the speaker cable to him so he could route that, and then I waited. There wasn't much I could do except wait until he was done securing everything, but once done, he asked for the fire putty.

Since the air shaft was fire-rated, it had to be fire caulked on the inside and outside. (I'm a diva with fire caulking, LOL.) Anyway, the bucket the putty was in weighed something like 40 pounds which really isn't bad at all but after losing control of the tool bucket, I was terrified. I lowered extremely slowly and wrapped the kite string around a post for extra security. About halfway down, I worried that perhaps I should be using 1/4" rope instead of kite string, but it was too late for that. After John positioned it, again all I could do was wait.

Finally he was ready for me to take the fire putty back up and so I did...or rather, I tried. Lowering a load is a hell of alot easier than raising it, at least for me. When I tried lifting it, I kept feeling the kite string slip through my gloved fingers. I briefly thought of taking my gloves off to better the grip but I knew that if I were to lose the load, that kite string would cut right through my hand. I hesitated and thought about my options. Leaving the putty in the air shaft was not an option, having John carry it back up while climbing the shaft was completely unfair, and dropping the bucket while attempting to raise it was unthinkable. After a few moments, I began wrapping the string around my hand as I raised it.

It was fine at first. Pull, wrap. Pull, wrap. It went slowly, but it was secure. The problem was this: that was a good 50 feet of kite string. As I wrapped it around my hand--then wrist, then arm--the weight on the end of the very thin string tightened it so much that I lost all feeling from my elbow, down. All feeling, that is, except an increasing raw pain everywhere the string was wrapped. Every time I wrapped it around my arm, it went against basic self-preservation instinct. I repeatedly called down to John, begging him to somehow shield himself from possible falling objects. About 10 feet below the concrete I was standing on, the bucket caught on some strut. I yanked it, and nothing happened. I started to panic. The pain in my arm was screaming at that point, my strength was running out, and I was afraid of both dropping the bucket onto John (effectively killing him) and the string being severed by a sharp edge of the strut, which would also cause the bucket to fall onto John. In my panic I yelled to him that it was stuck and I think he sensed that I was freaking out, cos he called out very calmly that it was all good, that I'm in control, that he knew I'd get it up with no problem. It was seriously frightening.

So I stopped, forcefully calmed myself, and wrapped the string a few more times around my arm as I ventured closer to the edge of the hole. Then, partially leaning into the darkness, I used my body to swing the string away from the strut as I quickly lifted it, which freed the bucket. I then lifted and wrapped as quickly as I could, and once I got it safely to my level, I kicked it as far away from the shaft as I was able so that I could focus on unwrapping. It took several minutes but in that time, John was able to collect everything else into the tool bucket...meanwhile, I found that the tightly coiled string had bruised and cut into my arm. Rope burns, while wicked-cool, aren't adorable.

The rest of the adventure was uneventful: John strapped the cable as he climbed back up, and I raised the tool bucket (which was remarkably light in comparison) for him as he ascended. All was good, we finished in the middle of lunch, and that was about it. We spent the rest of the day positioning everything to be ready for the next phase tomorrow. I kept quiet about my raw and swollen forearm; after all, I know that the alternative--losing the putty bucket--would be way fucking worse. I swear, I hope I never have that kind of desperate fear of maiming a coworker again. (Though this incident did teach me quite a few lessons...)

05 December 2008

Yet another scattered post.

This week has been such a whirlwind of...everything...I don't even know how to begin.

I'm getting involved with teaching PV classes at our union JATC, so that we can get more of our electricians state certified. Maybe even nationally (NABCEP) certified, which would be awesome. It takes up alot of time, actually; it's two weeknights and a full Saturday for a month. They divide it up into 2 classes but still. I want to do it because, aside from the pay, I think it'll help me retain more. Y'know, I'll be going over the same shit over and over and it'll become second nature. And also, it'll get my contractor's name out to potential consumers. I mean, our photovoltaics department just started up an we simply aren't yet known for being involved in renewables. That'll change. :)

And now, a funny story. How many of you have seen "Pulp Fiction"? If you haven't, might as well skip this entire paragraph. Anyway, there was an issue with a side job another crew was doing. Something about it not being done it time, plus a failed inspection, plus a serious problem that needed troubleshooting. The foreman involved called one of the project managers for help, who promptly replied, "Hold tight, I'm sending Snow". Now, I heard this story from a tech who was there at the time; when he heard Snow was on is way, he referenced the afore-said movie by saying, "Oh fuck, you didn't say they were sending the Wolf!" And of course, that's not verbatim, but the point was made and everyone thought it was hilarious. I hadn't seen that movie in probably a decade, so I wasn't clear on what he meant, so I found the DVD and watched that scene and oh my God...it fits. If you know the scene, then you know Snow when he's in balls-to-the-wall mode: calm, firm, direct. He'll speak quickly and succinctly, expect no less than perfection, and may God help you if you're caught fucking off. I caught it immediately and I actually laughed out loud.

And now I realise what time it is, and I have preparation to get on before class tomorrow morning. Maybe someone will bring donuts. Maybe after class I'll have time to post about going in the Hole, and how I almost killed my toolie this afternoon. Yeah, work has been interesting this week.

03 December 2008

OMG!! Ryan has a new baby girl!

My non-straight edge drinking/ study buddy from my apprenticeship years (LOL, only a few months behind me at this point) became a father for the first time a few days ago. I saw pics on his MySpace. They were beautiful.

There are a few people I really miss from school: Ryan of course, Cliff, Sanj, Mario, Lee, Alva, Pam, Wizzard...I mean there are alot, honestly. I still keep in contact with a handful via MySpace, texting, the occasional email or phone call. I don't work with anyone I turned out with, and most guys I spent those 5 years with are married and their wives, at times, are less-than-understanding. It's too bad.

So Ryan's baby made it safe and sound into the world, and I'm overjoyed for him. I can't wait to see him, his wife, and the new little one. I'll bring the beer.