About Me

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I like running and science and I have no idea what I'm doing with my life. So I'm writing a blog or something.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Ben Franklin, a Broken Car, and Glee

Fun Fact: Benjamin Franklin is the reason there's a ton of Chinese Tallow (aka one of the worst invasive plants ever) here!

Because I still don't have an official email, I can't log into the database to do my job so I basically read papers all day. They range from really interesting (e.g. applying Aldo Leopold's land ethic to Big Thicket) to a masters thesis that I couldn't tell you what it was about becuase the author did not know how to write for science.

In other news, my truck broke so I've had to bum rides off my housemates all week which means I have yet to find a post office meaning my dad's birthday card will be late and the postcards I wrote will be old news. Oh well. Fingers crossed, I can get the truck after work today. (It's my lunch break as I type this)

Much to the chagrin of my (all male) housemates, I watch Glee. Lucky for me we get one channel, so they can't try to change the channel. And lucky for them they always have copious amounts of beer on hand. And I'm now occaisionally called Princess. The hydrologist (who is hilarious, by the way) half-jokingly told two of my housemates I should be treated like a princess, and that's what happened.

I should get back to work. Back to the fascinating repot on water quality I was reading before lunch.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Work, Humidity, and Bigfoot

After the first week, I think I’m going to really like working here. I haven’t really started my project for the internship since I don’t have security clearance yet, but I got to tag along with the chief of interpretation a couple times (which included a boat ride!), going to Lafayette, LA for a talk on wetlands and climate change (and getting some tasty cajun food to boot), and do lots of reading (from safety information, the oil and gas program management plan and environmental impact statement- a huge book I peruse when there’s nothing else I have to do, to the long and boring computer safety training required by the Department of the Interior).

Everyone I’ve met has been great, even if a little crazy. Crazy in a good way of course. And the guys I’m living with continue to be very nice and helpful. On Saturday, I decided to check out the visitors’ center and go on a little hike before doing some food shopping (I’m making pizza today!). I also tried to do a long run, but kind of failed because the heat and humidity is just brutal for working out (it's no wonder they consider a broken AC an emergency). I also haven’t put in as much mileage as I usually do before my super long runs, so I may also just not have been physically prepared for it. Since one of my housemates visits his girlfriend every weekend and the other two work, I’ll probably be spending a lot of time alone, but that’s ok. Hopefully I can make some progress on finding a grad school to apply to and learning ukulele and catching up on some reading. Since I can’t stream video, and the only channel we get is Fox, I won’t be watching too much TV, though we do have a small selection of DVDs here. Friday night was fun though, two of my housemates, a girl they work with, and I went out to eat and a sports bar and grill with an awesome beer selection.

I'm glad I'm enjoying it here because it makes missing Williams-Mystic Alumni Weekend not quite so bad. Yesterday while I was at the grocery store, my F07 classmates called me and I talked to most of them which was awesome even if I could only here about half of what they were saying. It was a nice surprise, but also reminded me how much I miss them all.

One amusing thing about the park, is that Bigfoot “researchers” believe Bigfoot is in the park and attempt to do “research” here. Apparently they got a research permit in the past, and I found a folder in a flash drive of papers I was sorting filled with proposals for research in the park which were amusing to read.

Also, there are Sonics and Baptist Churches EVERYWHERE. Like seriously every corner kind of everywhere.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


My parents were kind enough to lend me a car for the internship as I was told I would need to drive from my lodging to the park headquarters. Unfortunately that car was stick shift which, until last week, I couldn’t drive. So a week ago, my mom and I loaded up our little blue truck and left Davis, destination: Texas. It took 5 days. Highlights include:

Day 1: “A little bit of Sweden in the desert”- not exactly in the desert, and there was more authentic Mexican restaurants than Swedish ones.

Day 2: Flagstaff! I got to see my aunt, uncle, and cousin! and I ran up a mountain!

Day 3: Added another state to my list: New Mexico. We arrived around 8 to notice everyone in the city was out and about and all heading in the same direction. So we followed, of course. Turns out it was the kick off of a festival where they burned an effigy. Fireworks and everything.

Day 4: A dinosaur museum! And into Texas! Cadillac Ranch = pretty neat.

Day 5: Some art museums in Fort Worth. I’m not a big art museum person, but I got to see a Michelangelo and some crazy modern art, so I’m glad my mom had us go.

Day 6: I met my boss at the headquarters and we followed her of into the middle of nowhere to where I’d be living. I have a half an hour commute, mostly on dirt roads to get to my home, which has no address and is actually in the preserve.

As for the house, I living in the woods with 3 guys, which is not as sketchy as it sounds. I get my own room and bathroom after all. My housemates are all older than me and one is a biologist and two are in law enforcement at the park. Two of them will run too, meaning I won’t have to run alone! Well, for the first mile and a half or so- I go a little further than them on account of that marathon I need to be ready for.

So far so good though. Every one has been so nice and helpful and they all love the outdoors and National Parks (I mean, it is the NPS), so I think I'll fit in fine.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Yes, I moved to Texas. Temporarily. I got an internship through the Geological Society of America working at the Big Thicket National Preserve in southeastern Texas for three months. I guess I accepted the position for three main reasons:

1. I’ve never been to Texas

2. It’s a job!

3. I can’t dogsit forever and am not quite ready to go back to school.

So here I am. And here’s a blog about it.