27 January 2009

How cold is -20?

Today started out at 5:00am and the temperature being -20, Fahrenheit. How cold is -20F? Let me tell you it is cold. It is so cold that you body ache in it. Your nose hairs freeze in an instant, and you had no idea you had so many of them. It is so cold that four layers doesn't feel like enough, but you can't add much more and still be bendable. It is so cold that ice layers have formed on top of the snow. It is so cold that your car barely starts, though it doesn't really want to. It is cold enough that frost, not fog, grows on the inside of your car windows. It is so cold that your camera only works for one picture before you need to put it in your jacket to warm up again. It is so cold that you wonder why you are even going out. How cold is -20F? Well, you really need to experience to know, but I wouldn't recommend it.

20 January 2009

My Car Elazar: sugery

After surgery my car Elazar is fine. I am sad though that I can't buy a ticket to go home in February, but such is life.

18 January 2009

Waiting in the Woods (final)

“This must be it,” Sarah said.

“Why didn’t we see it before?” Nathan wondered aloud.

“We don’t usually come to this side,” Sarah observed. “Besides, it is hid so well I think we wouldn’t be able to see it from the trail.”

Nathan looked at the ominous gate. It was a lot bigger than he expected. But then, it was a flood gate and it had to withstand a lot of pressure.

“Now, how do we get in?” Nathan said as he looked at Sarah. She was smiling her really happy smile.

"It won't work," Nathan said

Sarah relied still smiling, "of course it will."

Nathan sighed. He knew it would. It was a bizarre and crazy enough that he knew it would work. He looked back from Sarah and into the woods. They were both smiling now. They didn't go far into the woods before stopping and turning.

"Is this far enough?" Nathan questioned.

"Yeah," Sarah answered. “Tell me again what Constance said about the Watergate.” Sarah remembered what he had told her but wanted to make sure he hadn’t left out any details.

Nathan repeated back the same story as before. When he was done they moved into a small cluster of trees that they could hide in better.

And there they waited. They waited for a long time.

Night fell and a cool breeze crept through the woods from Nathan and Sarah laid waiting. The moon was just a sliver in the sky, but it was a wide sliver. It hung over the woods like a grimacing smile, as if it knew what would come that night. Nathan started to get worried. He knew that they couldn't stay out much later, but they needed to get behind the gate. Nathan lay in the grass listening to the gentle sound of the crickets and the wind.

The two talked for a little while longer but eventually fell asleep leaning against the trees in the cluster they were hiding in. Nathan’s imagination ran through the many different possibilities that could present themselves on the other side of the gate. He got so worried he almost didn’t want to go through with it. He almost didn’t want to be there, almost, but not quite.

15 January 2009

Waiting in the Woods

(Editor's note: This chapter preceeds "The Watergate".)

Nathan and Sarah made it to the edge of the woods. This is where Constance had said the Watergate was. The bikes wouldn’t be very good through the forest so they hid them just off the road and started the trek to the pond near the other side of the forest. Time seemed to be still while the two hiked through the woods. They talked back and forth about their school work, their friends, their lives. The topic of the Watergate finally came up and the conversation stayed there for quite some time.

They crested Sar hill and paused for a break. They could see the pond from there. The slough that fed the pond seemed unusually still, like it knew what they were planning. It was the forest on the other side of the pond that made them worried.

“That’s where Constance said they would come from,” Sarah said.

“Did she say when they would arrive?” Nathan asked.


“We should go down the hill then follow the edge of the forest until we find the Watergate.” Nathan said. He was hoping to not sound too scared.

They rested a little longer then headed down the hill. They were mostly silent going down the hill, both were thinking about what Constance had said. They wondered how Constance knew about the Watergate and what was in it that made it so secret.

The journey down the hill was finally over and the two slowly started making their way around
the pond through the edge of the forest. They had gone nearly all the way around the pond before they found what they guessed to be the Watergate. It was a large, round, rusty grate that looked very old. It almost looked like a man hole cover place in a large drain pipe in the side of the pond.

14 January 2009

My Car Elazar: Towing

My car Elazar is feeling sick. He had to get towed to the shop. We will see tomorrow what is wrong.

11 January 2009

A hint of deviancy

My first assignment in my Visual Media class was to use square shapes to describe six words that the teacher assigned. We were to make six mock ups for each word making a total of 36 mock ups. We were told to read the rules very carefully and I noticed that they were carefully written. I put my three best designs into Illustrator as instructed.

While it was implied that we could only use squares I carefully read and reread the instructions and realized that all the rules applied only to squares, including being limited to only four squares. I decided that I should push the limits of the design and make the designs more meaningful.

I realize that this is being slightly deviant, but the directions were clear and designing is about pushing the requirements. Besides I think that the designs are so much better with a little bit of line art.

(Post Script: the teacher has since heavily revised the rules to forbid any additional lines. I feel proud to have helped improve the syllabus.)

07 January 2009

Boots and Coat

I have decided that I shouldn't be allowed to wear my black trench coat with my black snow boots while going out on business. The other day I went to the library and talked to them about a book that they said was overdue for a month. I found it shelved and brought it to there attention. They reversed the fines and as I was walking back to the apartment I was thinking "I own this place". Then I realized that my attitude was really different than I thought it would be. I decided that wearing my coat and boots made me feel like I owned the world. That is a good thing, sometimes.

02 January 2009

A Place to Land

Winter break has been amazing. I have spent a lot of time having fun with dear friends, some time remembering what once was, briefly longing for school to be over and to settle down, I even worked a little. During my time off from school I moved a few times and thought about moving several more times than I actually did. Even though I had a place to sleep I kept looking for other places, people would offer their floor but I ended up decline most of the offers. I realized this bizarre behavior and wondered why. Then it struck me, I was looking for a place to land. I had come home from school and would be somewhere for almost a month. I didn't really care where that somewhere was as long as I could land there.

A place to land is different than a place to stay. When I am staying somewhere I am visiting. I am sleeping under someone's roof, I am eating someone's food, I am invading someone's space. I am okay with this for a short while, but after a week I start longing to settle a little more. By looking for a place to land I am meaning I am looking for a place to call my own, even if it is just for a few weeks. I am looking for a place that I can come and go without feeling bad for coming back late at night or leaving early in the morning. I am looking for a place where I can spread out and not think that I am displacing the rightful heir. I am looking for a place that is quiet when I want to meditate and bursting with song when I want to work. I am looking for a place that I can invite my friends over and not feel that I am taking my host's time and space. I am looking for a place to call my own.

As my time in Oregon winds down I have started to realize that that place, my place to land, is back at school. That is where I belong now. That is where I need to be. That is where I feel most at home, for now at least. I guess it is a good thing, I long to settle but needing to go back to school helps me want to return.