Friday, May 4, 2012

Toniiiiiight.... I'm Not Younnnnnng!

I work with college students.  Well, I guess technically college students work FOR me, but we do a lot together during the week, I couldn't do it without them, they couldn't do it the same way without me.

Anyway- one of the things I hear over and over is that working with students "will keep you young!"

I call BS.

What it does is make me FEEL young, until it is obvious that I'm not.  Once again- I beg your indulgence to stay with me.

I have some fairly hard partying employees, who aren't afraid to discuss their adventures with and around me.  God help me- it sounds fun.  "Let's do a Pedal Hopper!"  "Let's go to martini night!"  "Let's go out on a Wednesday night!"  I want to go out on a Wednesday, without worrying about getting up at 5:45am on Thursday.  I want to go to martini night without worrying about where Kate is while I'm at the Eldridge.

Heck yeah! Raise your glass! 
But I can't.  At least, I can't go out with my students.  That would be frowned upon by the University, and it would probably skeeve people out.

So I sit at home and feel old.  9:00 on a Friday?  BEDTIME.  Crazy times on a Wednesday?  Doing laundry. Never be never be anything but loud?  Where are my earplugs??

Toniiiight... We're Not Younnnnng!

No.  I refuse.  I don't want to be old, I don't want to be stodgy.  I want to be Magnus

Magnus is one of my favorite people, always at home in my heart, even though I haven't seen him in a decade.  10 years ago, Magnus was 53 (10 years older than I am now), and he sailed around the world with ASSA ABLOY.  Four years ago, he sailed around the world with a crew so green they were practically fluorescent, and finished 4th overall, even after a disastrous run to Singapore. 

After I got laid off (for the 5th time) in 2010, I was afraid.  I've reached "an age" where one more layoff will effectively kill any career I've pursued.  So I sold myself short, tried to get the "stable" job, the job that wouldn't challenge me, but wouldn't can me either.  I got lucky with my gig, I am CONTINUALLY challenged.  (Did I mention I work with college students??) and to be honest, I don't think I'm very good at it, but it is stable.  I'm able to keep my feet under me, and look ahead.

Looking ahead now gives me hope.  I may not be young, but contrary to popular opinion among my young coworkers, I'm far from old.  I'm going places in my life.

But for now- anybody wanna go on a Pedal Hopper?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Zombie. Ants. WHAT THE HELL.

"A parasite that fights the zombie-ant fungus has yielded some of its secrets to an international research team led by Penn State's David Hughes. The research reveals, for the first time, how an entire ant colony is able to survive infestations by the zombie-ant fungus, which invades an ant's brain and causes it to march to its death at a mass grave near the ant colony, where the fungus spores erupt out of the ant's head. "In a case where biology is stranger than fiction, the parasite of the zombie-ant fungus is itself a fungus -- a hyperparasitic fungus that specializes in attacking the parasite that turns the ants into zombies," Hughes said. The research will be published in the journal PLoS ONE."

I have a thing about ants.  One ant is fine.  MANY ANTS are not fine.  Like one bee.  One bee is fine, a swarming hive of LACK OF PERSONAL SPACE gives me the heebie jeebies.  Same with snakes.

Oh Indiana Jones.  You always know what skeeves me out the most.

But ZOMBIE ANTS?  OH HELL NO.  Not with the dying, the marching and the erupting.

I will now commence never sleeping again.  Thanks.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Pacific Vortex, more than Clive Cussler ever imagined.


This is why I want to get a degree in Environmental Studies, and this is why I want to apply it to the Volvo Ocean Race.

The "Great Pacific Gyre"  or "Plastic Island" or "Trash Island."

I've facilitated the gathering, sorting, baling and reselling of over a million pounds of recyclable material in my time here at KU Recycling.  That's about 702 tons of bottles, cans, paper, cardboard, plastic...  stuff.  The Great Pacific Gyre contains about 58 tons of stuff, but consider this:  Most of the garbage patch is not visible to the naked eye because it contains particles almost too small to see.

Ponder that.  58 tons of stuff so small it can barely be seen.

Now- you might think "Big whoop.  If the stuff is so tiny, what's the problem?"  Well, think about what a whale eats.  Think about what seabirds eat.  Think about what would happen to you if you ingested tiny bits of plastic every time you ate.  Plastic you can't digest, plastic that may still be outgassing.  You'd eventually be killed by it, right?  Well, so are the whales, so are the birds, so are the fish, so are the plants...  This island is a killer.

So I guess what I'm really trying to do is stop a killer. 

Saturday, April 28, 2012

When I grow up

My future looks like a ball of yarn, post-kitten.  Tangled and confusing, with the way through not always obvious from the outside.

But I think (I think) I might just maybe have found the actual string to follow.

Stay with me here.

My background is in administrative assisting.  Basically, according to one boss, I'm "the duct tape and the super glue."  I move, I groove, I shake, and hopefully when I'm done, the task at hand is complete to everyone's satisfaction.  So there's one aspect.

My passion is the Volvo Ocean Race.  (  If you know me at all, you know about that, so I'm not going to go into it right now.  If you have questions- please ask.

My current situation is recycling.  I run the recycling chunk of the Environmental Stewardship Program at the University of Kansas.  (  I plan on using the tuition assistance program at KU to get a degree, and they offer Environmental Studies as a major.  (


So I have three things:
  1. A background in making things work, administratively.
  2. A passion for the VOR.
  3. An opportunity to use my current position to advance my education, AND in a growing and exciting field.
What do y'all think of a "Sustainability Ambassador" or "Green" position within a VOR syndicate?  The race is all about wind and water, there already is an emphasis on cleaning the oceans and saving the wildlife therein, I think it's a fit.

Now.  How do I make it happen?

Friday, April 27, 2012

I got lost

Been a while since I posted anything.  I couldn't even remember the name of the blog, I searched for "half the man" and "two times the man" instead of just logging into Blogger and tadah! 

Sometimes I'm slower than other times.

A brief overview of my last year and a half.  Overall it sucked.  I lost my job, it took a while to find another one, the one I got made me sad, the state of Kansas says I owe them a s**tload of $ so they're garnishing my paycheck so I'm always broke.

Could be worse.  I'm not even going to tempt fate and say how, but it could.

The good news is I finally got down below 200lbs.  I have my job to thank for that, it involves a lot of loading and toting, shoving, sweating and getting dirty.  Not as much recently as it used to, but still a significant amount.  Today, for example, a student and I had to go wrangle a dumpster that had blown across a parking lot.

I've also joined the gym at KU.  I have ridden the bike to nowhere a few times, and haven't hated it.  I see the bike as my ally, not my nemesis.  I'm not in competition with anyone but myself, and that includes the hardbody 20-somethings that are charging up the stairmasters while I toodle along on my recumbent bike.

So yeah.  That's it.  I'll try and keep things more consistent on the blog front from now on.