Read These Books

EVERYONE should read Ursula Hegi. Really, anything by her is good. I just read Hotel of Saints, a collection of her short stories, and loved it.
My fav quote from this book:
"There hasn't been anyone else since him. Unless you count the times I cruise the home-improvement stores to pick out a two-day-fellow for myself. One day for the get-acquainted-fuck, one day for the goodbye-fuck. It's that basic."

Wendy Dale, Avoiding Prison and Other Noble Vacation Goals
FABULOUS true travel narrative about a chick who dig's moving to exotic places and falling in love with the wrong men.


A collection of short travel narratives from women who chose to live in a foreign country.

Spider Robinson, God is an Iron
Thinking man's sci fi. I highly reccommend him if you like books that deal with the future and problems that come with it.

Best of American Travel Writing
Short travel narratives. Great stuff for those infected with the travel bug.

Also, AMandy, this is for you...I picked up the book with the hot guy from San Francisco on the back cover. What Should I Do With My Life? Like you said, the guy on back is enough inspiration for me. :)
Just when I had found renewed hope in meeting cool people and making some friends while I'm home for the summer (due to Jordan's coolness and ability to actually talk without complaining), I met Angela. Angela is one of the cave people who never shows up to work. She's closer to my age than the other kids, so I was looking forward to getting to know her. The first three things I noticed about Angela: She's beautiful. She's almost always smiling. And she has the worst smell I have ever encountered emanating from somewhere within that little body. Apparently everyone else stays away from her because of her "bad breath." I'm not sure bad breath covers this one, though. I didn't realize breath could smell THAT bad. And what do you do? You can't offer a breathmint...it wouldn't touch that smell. So I spent six hours trapped in a cave with the worst smell ever. Poor girl. If she wasn't so damned annoying I'd feel really bad for her. So much for making good friends of all the new coworkers.

On that note, starting very soon I will have a new set of coworkers with which to become friends. :) The manager at Barnes & Noble called today and is having me go in tomorrow so we can set up hours. He didn't ask for an interview or tell me I had a job, he just said he wanted to set up the hours for me to work. Must have impressed him in our first conversation when I applied. :) So yay for me. I get to work in a bookstore again...assuming he can deal with my hours anyway. I guess I'll find out tomorrow.


"Do you know God?"
"Have you seen him today?"

Cave Tales

My new job as a photographer down in the cave at Silver Dollar City is going pretty dern well. Outside of the fact that my accent has increased to full hillbilly mode, anyway. The cave is cold, dark, but filled with cool things like bats and fun people. Because I am totally exhausted after I work ten hours a day with an hour commute each way and multiple trips through the cave of 700 stairs, my life now consists of cave and home. Fortunately, the cave is rather entertaining. Here are a few bits and pieces from my day:

Jordan, the intelligent and witty 19 yr-old girl who trained me, told me in defense of herself today, "Really, I'm generally pretty much a jackass." Not a good person, but a jackass. Self-proclaimed. :) It was defense because she thought people should know that by now and not take her seriously.

An example of her jackassiness:
Okay, so the cave is cold. It's about 56 degrees where I work and there's lots of dripping water. There are signs that tell you it's cold. Regardless, people still go on the water rides at Silver Dollar City, then come into the cave soaking wet.
A very skinny girl wearing a very skimpy tank top and shirts walks in on a tour and acts like she doesn't want to be there the entire time. As her family poses for pictures, she makes it very clear that she is too good for this cave. She says to Jordan, "I'm so cold," as if it's Jordan's fault and she should somehow fix it. Jordan looks her straight in the face with a huge smile and says, "Well, the next room isn't quite as cool, so you should warm up when you get there. If you don't, you'll know the cold is buried deep in your soul and it will eat away at you until it brings you to your bitter death. Say cheese!" And goes the camera.

Yep, that's Jordan.

I followed a tour out today that had two little girls, approximately ages 6 and 11, with their parents. upon being told to hush because she yelled, the older girl said she liked the echo. "Where's the echo?" asked the little girl, hesitantly. The father told her it was all around them. The little girl then covers her head and proceeds begrudgingly through the tunnel with a horrified look on her face. Her father asked her what was wrong, and she told him that she was afraid of the echo. When asked why, she said, "because they bite." The best part...the parents didn't explain that echos were not bats.

Best story...an obnoxious boy hangs back at the end of the tour without his parents and won't stop asking me questions long enough to catch up to the group. We go past a tarp that's covering work being done on a water pump in the bottom of the cave and he asks what it is. I tell him, in a very suspicious tone, of course, that he wasn't supposed to see that, and ask him to walk forward. As all boys would, he asks again and begs me to tell him, promising that he won't tell anybody. So I told him that under that tarp is the body of a boy who got stuck in the cave last night because his tour group left him. The bats attacked him and caused him to fall to his death. We weren't allowed to move the body until his parents were identified, so we just covered him with a tarp.
Yeah, that shut him up for the rest of the tour.
Was even more fun when, later on, I pointed up, "Look, there's a nest of bats!"

So, the job is fun. :)


I think I've finally got life working as I would like. I convince myself that I have everything planned out in a way that even allows for the unexpected. I am finally content. Then I actually try to go to sleep at a decent hour. Of course, being the terrible insomniac that I am, I can't sleep when I close my eyes at 3:30am, so I think instead. I think about Germany, what I'll do when I get back, getting a work permit, recent or future dates with great men in my life, and then, of course, I think about all the little details I neglected. Such as the idea of graduate school.

If I want to go to grad school when I get back from Germany, I have to apply this winter. If I apply this winter, I have to be here this coming spring for interviews. How does that work? If I don't apply, I have to take another whole year off to just work before I can further myself in a stable career. Arrrggghhhh. I know I won't figure it out tonight, but I certainly won't fall asleep until I do. Any great ideas?

Maybe one will occur to me in my dreams.


Kittens in Ozark and Jobs in Germany

Apparently a cat and a dog large enough to eat that cat whole are not enough for my mother. She decided she was bringing home kittens. So now we are the proud owners of Brett and Mallory. They are beautiful fuzzy twin black grey and white tabby cats with white raccoon-like marks around their eyes. Brett is named for Brett from The Sun Also Rises. She's kind of sassy and puts on a brave front. Mallory is the runt of the whole litter and is named for George Lee Mallor because she climbs everything in the house immediately and claims them as her Everest. Gatsby hates them. Kingsley wants to eat them. It's a fun house this evening, folks.

I got an email back from a guy who runs an outdoor adventure equipment company. He has a position for me, including my own apartment, if I can manage to get a work permit. Apparently unless you're the only person in the world specializing in a very specific subdivision of your field, it's pretty difficult to get a work permit right now. There are exceptions, especially if you are living there regardless of employment, and he is going to help me exploit the system as best I can. Perhaps I can find a job as a psychologist researching the long term effects of serial long-distance relationships. I'm definitely an expert.


I've joined the rest of the world and started a blog. It'll save me sending update emails to everyone. I'll do a rundown on the status quo tomorrow.