Monday, April 26, 2010

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-04-25

Well, it appears that this is a day of extremes. Pretty darn good day, followed by an evening of cruddy news.

Earlier today I launched my site at Http:// as an outlet for people to purchase prints and products featuring my work, which may allow me to recoup at least some of the cash and time I've put in to photography over the past year or so. Initial reactions seem to be pretty positive, which is encouraging. Honestly, I'm not expecting to make it into the black this year after working the finances for Eden's business and my own failed Black Cat Sales a few years back - most businesses don't turn a profit for the first few years of operation. I'll just be thrilled if I manage to get close, and get some good word of mouth going from satisfied customers.

It's actually been pretty interesting, prepping and rendering photos for this project over the last few weeks - the difference in the level of quality I've been putting out is pretty visible, to my eye, comparing month to month. While it's very encouraging to see that kind of improvement, it does mean that there's not much that meets my current standard in the older pics. That's ok though - it'll give me an excuse to spend more time with the people I'm lacking adequate pictures of.

The downside of the day actually stemmed from this, a bit. Tim wrote me late in the day to inquire about some pictures of Dolphin, our family cat, that had made it to Flickr, but not to the new site, as I'd intended to see about getting some better pictures of him the next time I visit home.

Sadly, this simply isn't going to happen. As it turns out, Dolphin's body is finally failing him, and he'll be visiting the vet for a final time, tomorrow. He's an older cat, and it's time, but it's just crushing.

Announcement: J Byram Photo is open for business on SmugMug

I'm extremely pleased to announce that prints and products featuring my photography are now available through SmugMug. Those of you who have asked for a way to take my work home will now have a way to do so. The main website for my work is:

In celebration of this opening event, and the upcoming Mother's Day holiday, I'd like to offer my friends and family a special deal: 10% off of any orders made by 5/10/2010 (Coupon code: Mom102010, does not include shipping costs). As a special bonus, orders over $40 get 15% off for the same duration! (Coupon code: Mom152010, does not include shipping costs).

One of the features that sold me on moving in with SmugMug is the Smart Gallery function, which allows me to set up mini-galleries of specific subjects that are automatically updated as new content is added. Smart Galleries for each friend, family member, or pet that I have print-worthy pictures of have been created.

Even if you're not interested in prints, I'd love to hear what everyone thinks about the new site, be it positive or negative, and feel free to share the address with your own friends and family.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-04-25


Daily Post (Josh) 2010-04-24

Good karma day today, I think.

Abe had some nasty insomnia last night, which landed with him dropping out around noon for a restorative nap. With that in mind, Nichole and I headed out to be responsible for a few hours and get some errands handled (re-enforcing positive peer pressure is kind of novel, to me, but very effective, as illustrated in study habits). Nichole picked up a few new outfits and some hair dye to re-mold her current image as somewhat more mainstream and "presentable" for her upcoming externship this summer. I think she did a good job of balancing taste with style, in this case, and the look should still land as "her". She may change her appearance, to a degree, but she'll never be able to hide her natural exuberance, nor should she - it will serve her well this summer.

In trade for keeping her company on this mission, Nichole helped me figure out what I wanted in a fresh haircut for my own upcoming MIT interview, this next Saturday. I've been petitioning Eden to be able to just give in to this receding hairline and shave it all, but thus far I've been forbidden to take that step - for some reason she just likes me with hair, even when it's this far displaced. In any case, I ended up with a look I like, that should be much easier to manage for the next few weeks as well. Given that this interview is going to land as a pivotal point for the forseeable future, I think it's worth putting in the effort to make a good impression.

On the way back to the house, we happened across a beautiful Golden Retriever just wandering the streets, limping and slightly dirty. Upon stopping and checking, she was very friendly, but untagged. It's turning out to be a dog day week, it seems. After checking around the area for neighbors that might recognize her, we started calling vets and pet tracking services to see if she'd been reported missing, with no luck whatsoever. Vets in Klamath Falls that are open on the weekends are apparently not a selling concept, and none of the pet tracking services were able to run a search based on description and zipcode, just microchip ID (which we had no way to read or even check for). Ridiculous, really - it should be pretty darn simple to code into any kind of reasonably competently designed database.

In any case, we spent a rather long time debating how to handle her until Monday when we could take her to Abe's vet to get scanned; I took a few (well, more than a few - she's a beautiful dog) pics to use for a "found" poster to post in the area, but never got a chance to use them. Just before we finally decided to head inside, her owners showed up and identified her. Mom and Dad looked a little exasperated (perhaps understandably), but the little girl was obviously thrilled and relieved to be re-united with Sara. It was a darn good feeling, really.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-04-24

20100424-Rescue Mission
"Rescue Mission"

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-04-23

Given that my migraines cycles have been longer and more intense lately, I decided a while ago to try to get some more control over them with the help of Student Health. My trust level for the medical staff there isn't high, and the insurance company they're attached to (Atena) has not been faithful about paying for referrals, so I was a little reluctant.

Regardless, while I haven't had a migraine since I went in to get this checked out (end of last cycle was a few days before, making this somewhat futile, so far), they have glommed on to a nice little blood pressure spike that hasn't been consistent before (I did have intermittent pressure spikes while in the Navy, but never consistently high between two different measurements). Having had my pressure checked three times over the last week has resulted in readings that keep on creeping slightly higher each time, in the 90/140 range. Not good, overall, but perhaps something that can be fixed and have a cascading effect on making me feel better in general.

Blood tests due on Monday should give a better picture of what's going on to cause this; in the meantime, the RN has thrown me on a low dose of BP meds to see if there's any positive reaction. We'll see, I suppose.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-04-23


Friday, April 23, 2010

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-04-22

Horrible start to the day today. Woke up thinking "this ain't a bad morning, let's get some stuff done", and managed to transition to "want to puke my guts out HARD" between the entrance to Boivin hall and the door to my Tai Chi classroom. Maybe last night's burger _was_ a bit underdone. All the same, my stomach seemed to settle after a few hours, but I'm pretty sure I've never had that kind of feeling come on that strong or that abruptly before.

Given that tomorrow is my first exam of the term (in Chemistry), I elected to spend the evening in, studying for the most part. I did take time out for a couple of rounds of Settlers of Catan with Dustin and Nick, but that hardly counts, does it?

On the plus side, I've managed to remember my memory meds for 7 days in a row now, which is something I've really been trying to work on, given my issues with Dr. McVay's testing style. (Love her teaching, hate her testing!) On the down side, I didn't remember today's dose until late evening. Not good for the habitual insomniac.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-04-22

20100422_MG_1574 - Phlox and flies.jpg
"Phlox and flies"

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-04-21

I am NOT fond of trick questions. Unfortunately, professor McVay appears to be... Oh well, by my count I'm continuing a trend of getting one more question right on each new quiz from her. By my estimation, I should end up with at least one perfect score by the end of this thing, at least, if this continues. Sheesh.

On the other hand, my count does not appear to be that reliable, lately. In looking at the posted scores, I've been one off on tallying my score for each of the prior quizes (in my favor; recorded scores are 8/15 and 9/15, respectively), so who knows if I'm correct about landing with 10/15 today.

20100421_MG_1266 - Cold feet.jpgMother nature decided to dump yet another load of snow on us this morning, making today's session in Digital Media both chilly and short. I overheard someone on the radio yesterday saying that, due to global warming, spring has been arriving earlier each year, as much as 10 days earlier today than a mere century ago. I would have to agree with this, having seen some glorious days earlier this year. What the speaker failed to mention is that, in Klamath Falls, spring may come early, but it sure as heck doesn't stay for long.

Abe, Nichole, and I went to visit Clyde in the lockup at the vet's this afternoon. Thanks to the animal control incident, he's in quarantine for the next 8 days. Not wonderful, but better than being lost or put down. He sure as heck didn't want to go back to the kennel after playing in the dog run. Just the most pitiful thing you've ever seen, really.

I did finally get a chance to introduce Abe to Dr. Who (the new series) this evening, which seemed to land about as I expected. I rather think he'll be salivating for new episodes like the rest of us, once he chews through the existing four seasons.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-04-21

20100421_MG_1477 - Captive audience.jpg
"Captive audience"

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-04-20

Another good quiz in A&P lab today; 14/15 again - thank god for these scores to help pull up my pitiful lecture grade. Seems as though I've actually managed to stumble into an effective method of cramming those structures into my brain - seems like it's taking less effort to lock em down this term than it has the prior two. If only that were the case on the lecture material I'd have this grade locked up!

This evening's recreation time was spent on a few hands of Poker over at the house, after a wonderful dinner of home cooked steak and potatoes - yes, I realize I'm spending a heck of a lot of time over there, but it's better than being stuck in the dorms, and I'm being careful not to let it interfere with study time. Abe actually took the time to check that inviting me over so often wasn't offensive in some way; obviously not - I'm really enjoying their company, and am in quite good spirits thinking how this bodes for housing next year. I did have to chastize my hosts, a touch, for not extending the invitation to dinner with a little more lead time; had Abe mentioned things sooner than right before class, I might have been able to contibute more than store bought bread to the meal. Ah well; another time.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-04-20

20100420_MG_1198 - Begging Practice.jpg
"Begging Practice"

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-04-19

Even though my class schedule is pretty spread out this term (9 am to 5-6pm Monday through Thursday, 9-noon on Friday), today's classload seemed to go by pretty smoothly, at least the first half.

I got a rather desperate call from Abe about an hour and a half before my last class; turns out that two of his dogs, Clyde and Inky, managed to get loose from the backyard. Clyde was picked up by animal control for biting someone (undoubtably provoked and blown out of proportion; he's a big dog, but wouldn't hurt a fly. No skin broken, either.) Abe and I looked all over the darn place for Inky, with no luck for about an hour, until a passing runner happened to point him out to Abe. It was a good thing in terms of finding the Pug, but not so great for Abe, as he ended up sprinting after Inky for about 5 blocks - something he's just not in the correct shape to do without damage.

Abe had some pretty concerning symptoms after that run, and had already been diagnosed with a horrible cholesterol level, so I made sure that he got down to student health before I headed off to class. The quiz in Digital Media production continued to stay in territory where I'm pretty comfortable, and it sounds like we'll actually get to work with the cameras next session, so that's something.

While I was in class, the nurse in student health bounced Abe over to the local ER to get checked out. After a number of hours of waiting and a few tests, turns out that he'd just strained some intercostal muscles and shouldn't have any lasting damage. Still going to be mighty uncomfortable for a while, though.

I had been under the impression that Nichole had a very late class Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and so had mentioned the idea of stopping by our favorite Vietnamese place, Pho Hong, later in the week. Never let it be said that these folks are shy about glomming onto a good thing, especially after a stressful day! Turns out that Nichole's late class is only on Wednesday, and her tongue was still a bit tender for fully solid food, so we ended up going pretty much immediately. The food there is just about obscenely good, and the host is one of those guys who can pull off being incredibly familiar without offending - he remembers everyone! (And keeps on giving me a hard time about not branching out more on the menu - not my fault if I go there knowing exactly what I want!)

Definately need to introduce Eden the next time she passes through. On the plus side, our Federal return was finally processed, so we'll have the money to get her down here in a couple weeks, after midterms are done.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-04-19

20100419_MG_1175 - Playtime-.jpg

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-04-18

More time spent abusing Abe and Nichole's hospitality today - not like I really had anything else to do with my weekend, other than study (Yay for portable study tools.) They're more patient than I deserve, given how much I'm abusing their household and pets photographically. Just way too many characters available not to take advantage of it, and a lot of the theory I've been picking up on Strobist just isn't worth much without subjects to play with.

Given that it's a school night, it was time to call it an early evening after taking the time to introduce one of my favorite lesser known movies, Push. Good flick, worth seeing what can happen when a movie isn't completely ruined by a big production house's interests.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-04-18

20100418_MG_1077 - Clyde at speed.jpg
"Clyde at speed"

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-04-17

Abe and Nichole may have put together a great household, but it's not full of early risers, when the residents get a choice. While I ended up waking around 8 (silly daystar means no sleep for Josh), no one else really made any significant moves until around noon (Abe did get up briefly to take care of the dogs, and Cooper had somewhere to be around 9:30). That's ok, though - I had a number of projects, school-related and otherwise, to occupy my time.

I've mentioned the tradition of Indian food and piercing trips before, and it seems that this was a good day for a trip to Medford. Since Michael's friend Skyler was in town, we decided to nab him and make a day of it. More wonderful food (Chicken Masala this time), and Nichole is now sporting a brand new tongue piercing courtesy of Epic Ink. The shop has it's own interesting tradition, in point of fact - every time they bring in a new artist, that artist draws a new skull to add to the wall. It's a very neat way to see who's got the skill and the style that you might be interested in, if you're there for a tattoo.

We finished out the evening by abusing Michael's Wii and a copy of "New Super Mario Bros Wii". People only had enough energy to make it through two worlds, but it was a heck of a lot of fun - as it turns out, four players onscreen is even more fun than two, and an order of magnitude crazier.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-04-17

20100417_MG_0922 - Crazy puppy!.jpg
"Crazy puppy!"

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-04-16

Good day today - this has been a LONG week, psychologically, and now that school is done for a short while blowing off a little steam becomes a possibility.

I introduced the gang to Knightmare chess, which landed in a rather interesting manner, given that we ended up playing in teams so as to include everyone; the level of chaos already encouraged by this format was only enhanced by having to keep track of whose turn it was and who had what cards. A touch of tasty gin helped to keep it hilariously fun instead of frustrating, even when Nichole and Cooper managed to take out all 4 of the queens Abe and I had managed to create.

The night got late rather quickly. In fact, it got early rather quickly as well - most of the household started dropping off around 2-3, but Nichole was having trouble getting to sleep, so I didn't fight my own insomnia and we just stayed up talking; actually ended up going to bed around 5:30 or so.

These guys really have the college lifestyle figured out; a large household where pretty much everyone gets along and hangs out for fun, but allows each member to have their own time and space as desired. The fact that they have 4 separate couches which far exceed the meager comfort of the bedslabs offered in the dorms means that staying put for the evening isn't much of a sacrifice, to me.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-04-16

20100416_MG_0853 - Attitude.jpg

Friday, April 16, 2010

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-04-15

Tax day wasn't too intimidating. Still haven't gotten word back from the Feds on why my return hasn't been processed; going to have to call in again as soon as their phone lines calm down a bit. Fortunately Eden and I aren't too terribly pressed for cash right now, but it'd sure be nice to have a bit of a buffer to get the cars fixed.

Chem lab was actually fairly interesting. Got a chance to play with spectral absorbency, which is a subject that was completely skipped in the online version of the class, although I was familiar with the concept from physics.... I can see a lot of utility for this in engineering, I think.

Nick bought a copy of the basic set of "Settlers of Catan" and was desperate to play it, so we spent most of the evening scarfing down pizza (tax day specials - the boys ended up buying 6 pizzas total and throwing most of em in the fridge to feed for the next few days - college kids can be astonishingly practical, sometimes) and testing out the game. I was actually quite impressed - it's complex without being overwhelming for a board game - kind of like a bastardized combination of Risk and Civilization.

We ended up playing 3 games in a row, and I'm almost ashamed to admit that as soon as we got done, I went online and found the Ipod implementation. It's rather addicting, I think, and I'm definitely going to have to invest in a copy (and perhaps a few of the expansions) by the time I move out. Good stuff.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-04-15

20100415_MG_0835Empire Building
"Empire Building"

Thursday, April 15, 2010

(Josh) Jessie's Myspace Extract

20080527-today 1386

Last night I spent a good portion of the evening talking with Abe about the years I had with Jessie. It's almost a tradition at this point, sooner or later she comes up in conversation enough that I need to give some sort of coherent explanation for the subject that my friends often seem semi-compelled to avoid. Honestly, thanks to a lot of work with my wonderful friend and shrink, Julian, thinking of her brings me almost as many smiles as tears, these days. There's enough distance that I can enjoy the good times we had, a bit.

In any case, whenever I come to this point with a new friendship, there are always details that get glossed over or can't be brought to mind at all thanks to my shattered memory. Thus, several years ago, before Myspace turned into a morass of ads and glitter, I started adding memories and pieces of my life with her to my blog there, so that I could share such things. Of course, since then, I've had to abandon the platform. Thus, I'm posting a copy of the relevant posts here, such that I can share them with new friends.

Those of you that have heard my stories, and possibly even been there for some of the events herein, may find new perspectives. Even if you don't, I hope that you find something of value, here. Each time I speak of Jessie, things get a little easier; each time I share what she meant to me and what I treasured in her, it gets easier to see those qualities in the rest of the world.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Extract - Jessie’s Eulogy
Current mood: nostalgic
Category: Blogging
Hello and welcome. We are gathered here today to celebrate the life and passing of Jessie Fay Byram, my wife. My name is Josh Byram, and I'd like to share a little of what I know about her. I don't know as much as I'd like to about her life before we met. I know she was born on May 4th, 1974, a birthday that she shared with her daughter, Paige. I know that she had a hard home life, and spent much of her youth bouncing around from place to place. And I know that she had many friends, some of whom are here, and some that weren't able to make it.

Some of you may not know exactly how Jessie passed, or may be recieving the information third hand. After Tuesday night's Narcotics Anonymous meeting, Jessie decided to go home with a friend and just talk for a bit about common experiences. She called me later that night to say that she'd be staying over, and so that we could exchange "I love you"s before going to sleep. Those were the last words that we said to one another, and I'm glad for that.

When I came by the next morning, neither I, nor Claire, could wake Jessie up. Since they'd stayed up until 6 the night before, we didn't take it as a warning sign, as we probably should have. Claire had classes that day, so we decided to just let Jess sleep it off, with me staying to check on her every once in a while. About 2 and a half hours later, she simply stopped breathing, and nothing I or the EMT team could do would bring her back.

We still don't know why Jessie died, and probably won't for several weeks. It seems likely that her body just stopped, from the damage that chemicals had done to it in the past. She may have died from an overdose, but all of the evidence we have so far seems to indicate that she died the way she would have wanted to: peacefully and clean.

Jessie's drug use was a complex thing. It originally started during difficulties in her prior marriage, and eventually led to their separation. She tried to hold herself together for her daughter, Paige, but soon realized that she couldn't give Paige the life she needed with these problems. Her ex-husband's parents, Harold and Tina, adopted Paige and allowed Jessie to remain a significant part of her life.

Jessie spent the next year or so bouncing around, leaving one bad situation after another, until she finally met a man named Barry, who became one of Jessie's best friends. He allowed Jessie to make the right decisions for herself, giving her a place to stay and never taking advantage of her, no matter what condition she was in. He helped her in many ways, but I think this was the most significant, because she left his apartment clean.

She stayed clean, too, for about a year and a half, until she found out that the lining of her uterus wasn't growing like it should, and was invading the surrounding organs. This was incredibly painful for her, and the doctors ended up putting her on a prescription of Vicodin, a narcotic pain-killer, for almost 5 months while we waited for the Navy to transfer us back to the states so that she could have a hysterectomy. Once we did get back, and the operation was preformed, she was primed to have a problem. She had a spate of medical problems over the next year that resulted in more painkillers. I don't know exactly when she started using again, but on January 16th of this year, she checked into the Hooper Detox Center in Portland to try and get herself clean again.

You wouldn't have believed how earnest she was about beating this thing. After she got out of the detox center, she seemed to bounce from one thing to another; from AA meetings to NA meetings to outpatient treatment centers, trying to get help in staying clean. She seemed so abruptly happy, and it was easy to see why. She wanted to be clean for herself and for our relationship, but most of all, she wanted to be clean so that she could have Paige in our lives again.

Jessie had two very special jobs while we were together. While we were in California last year, Jessie worked at the Home of Guiding Hands, which is a collection of group homes for the developmentally disabled. After being interviewed, they decided to assign her to the Cedar Springs house, because the people who reside there are in the less functional range, and need caretakers who will be able to make allowances for them without taking out their frustrations on the residents.

She really loved working there; woke up each morning raring to go, came home each evening exhausted, but happy. Even after a hair-pulling incident wiht one of the residents that landed her and a co-worker in the emergency room with missing hair and neck injuries, she still couldn't wait to go back. It was a paradox of sorts, because she was eager for me to get out of the Navy, but really didn't want to leave her "kids" when we moved on.

After we arrived in Oregon, Jessie looked for work with the disabled again, but ended up stumbling across a listing for a job with the Heartland Humane Society. She interviewed for the job and landed it immediately. She loved being there, even though it meant hard work and endless cleaning. On one of the harder days, she came close to moving a litteral ton of cat sand, both used and unused. She cared a lot for the strays there, cleaned up the new ones no matter how dirty or grizzly they were. She was compassionate when someone had to go, always held them, quietly crying, until it was over. And of course, despite every protest,
she did end up sneaking one home. She said she didn't have a choice, that Gracie was a special cat, and it was only until she could find a home. Gracie was her favorite at work; an ultra-friendly cat who only wanted to ride Jessie's shoulders as she cleaned.

For being someone who always claimed to be a dog person, she sure ended up with a lot of cats. I remember when we first decided to get a pet, when we were in Japan. We went to the local adoption center, and had decided on a beautiful black and white cat named "Wild Thing", who later became Theodore, because after we got home, this cat wasn't wild at all, just the shyest cat you ever met. In any case, as we were about to leave, this little black bobtailed kitten stuck his paw out of the cage and grabbed Jessie by the sweater, as if to say "Take me too!" Of course, we did.

That cat turned out to be a real terror, at first. Jessie called me at work one day in tears, and told me that she was about ready to murder him. Turns out that he'd spent the morning dashing around the house, knocking over everything and making a mess. When she finally caught him, he slashed up her arms and peed all over her. Thus, he became known as "the Pirannha". He calmed down a lot later, and became her favorite. She used to call him her "nurse-cat", because he always seemed to know when she wasn't well, and would come and lay with her to make her feel better.

Jessie had a lot of energy, always seemed to be full of life and vibrant. She could make a person feel that she'd been a friend forever in a matter of minutes. She had a lot of talents, too, in addition to her compassion for others. She liked to draw and write and paint and just be creative in any way she could think of. At one point, she decided to try using Piranha's paws as paintbrushes. That didn't work out quite like she planned. Unfortunately, she was very self-critical as well, so I only have a few of her pieces left to remember her by. I guess that's really not important, because she changed my life in a million different ways and I couldn't forget her if I tried.

Jess and I had a very whirlwind romance. We met on the trolley in San Diego while I was assigned stateside for a naval school. She was sharing some snide Marine jokes with a Marine that was sitting across from her, and I just had to laugh. It turned out that we were getting off at the same stop, and she asked me to walk her on base. We ended up at the local country bar, waiting for one of her girlfriends to get off work. We talked all night, and found that we had a lot in common.

The next night, our second date, was spent mostly talking as well. We walked all over town, talking about anything and everything. We finally ended up down at the piers sitting on a bench, looking out at the water, and somehow we both moved towards each other to kiss for the first time. At that exact moment, about a hundred yards out on the water, a tour boat began letting off fireworks. It was just such an appropriate metaphor for how we were feeling. That memory has always been our most special, and this Sunday I am returning to that pier to release her ashes there in honor of the memory.

The rest of our dating days were short and equally wonderful. We knew that what we had was special, and weren't about to give it up. 19 days after I met her, on July 28th, 1998, Jessie and I were married at city hall in San Diego, and I have never once regretted that decision.
1:38 AM

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Man, does it echo in here?
Current mood: nostalgic
Category: Blogging
Well, so far this morning I've done nothing besides reorganize a bit of my hard drive storage. With more than a terrabyte on 4 different drives, it's gotten out of hand. I've cleaned out nearly 60 GB today in dupes and stuff that I no longer need.

Along the way, I came across a digital copy of Jessie's eulogy. Oddly enough, it really hasn't made me sad to re-read it, and it's re-reminded me of a few portions of her life that I'd let myself forget. It's funny, because I'm actually re-reading "Eon", by Greg Bear, which, among other things, describes a form of meditation called Talsit. The description boils down to Talsit blocking your subconcious mind from accessing disturbing memories and smoothing over the gaps. You can still access the memories by concious will, but they're not bouncing around in your head all day.

This seems to bear a lot of resemblance to the way my mind has handled Jessie's passing. Pretty much all of our life together, and even most of my concious imagery of her, is no longer in focus, and in fact is impossible (or nearly so) to remember without a trigger of some sort. It's odd, and kind of distressing.

In any case, a copy of that eulogy follows; it's another slice of my life that I'd like to keep.
12:43 AM

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Memory: Drugs/Death
Current mood: morose
Category: Romance and Relationships
At this point in my life, 31 years in, I still have never tried an illegal drug, and have only had them offered to me once or twice. Not so for my wife, Jessie. At the point when I met her in 1998, she had been clean for a year after prior problems with crystal meth severe enough for her to have had to voluntarily give up her daughter for adoption. Fortunately, in that instance, she was able to have her ex-husband's parents, who are genuinely good people, adopt Paige and take care of her... but that's another story, for another journal.

In any case, at the point where I met her, Jessie was a recovered drug addict. I knew this and accepted it as part of her history - to my knowledge, throughout most of our marriage, it barely impinged on our lives. The problem is, I was both too close to the problem and too inexperienced with drugs and drug paraphenalia to really realize what was going on.

Jessie also had a couple of other problems going on; depression set in while we were in Japan due to isolation, endometriosis set in during the same time, causing her an incredible amount of pain, and she was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder following a suicide attempt in the same period. Long story short, the US Navy did not have facilities to perform a hysterectomy in Japan, forcing us to put in for a transfer stateside. Of course, with military efficiency, this took over a year to come to fruition. Over the same period, Jessie was seen by a thuroughly incompetent psychiatrist (you know, the guys that are actually supposed to know something about drugs) - the sum total of his contribution to this mess consisted of prescriptions for Xanax and Vicodin three times a day with no therapy whatsoever. If you're at all familiar with either drug, you'll recognize that they're both horribly addictive, essentially never given with that freqency, and certainly not for more than a month at a time, much less over a year.

In any case, we were finally transferred to San Diego, and Jessie had her hysterectomy, which helped her pain immensely almost immediately - I really don't even remember her recovery after the surgery beyond the relief it provided her. Unfortunately, my transfer was from a land base (COMPATWING ONE Kami Seya, commander 5th and 7th fleets) to an aircraft carrier (CTF-72, USS Constellation), which meant that Jessie has some abandonment issues triggered when we went offshore to train (I wasn't on the ship long enough for an actual tour).

We stayed in San Diego for a year, during which time Jessie didn't spend a single week away from the ER for one thing or another; in retrospect I think this may have both been a plea for help and an effort on Jessie's part not to return to street drugs. This culminated in another suicide attempt (fortunately one that I caught early, only costing me the security deposit on the apartment [I kinda broke the bathroom door getting to her] and Jessie having to eat quite a lot of charcoal in the ER). The net result was actually somewhat good; Jessie was actually seeing a therapist who at least cared a little about her. After discussing things with him extensively, we decided to put in for a hardship discharge and get out of the

My command was pretty understanding about the whole thing - even though it took a couple of months to process, they made sure I stayed with the shore detail during the next couple training runs and were very supportive. Once I was actually discharged, we traded our Nissan in for a beater Ford and a BMW, loaded everything we could into those and headed north to my parents to look for a place to live and work.

We were actually pretty happy at my parents, for a while. Jessie picked up a job quickly with the local humane society; I didn't have so much luck - technology jobs are hard to come by in and around a podunk town like Philomath. Christmas came, and with it, the opportunity to introduce my family to Jessie and vice versa. We had a great time in Minnesota; every single relative showed up at one time or another, and Jessie was the hit of the party. Dad even got to be a bit of a hero - Jessie was learning to ski with me and took a rough fall, actually enough to knock her shoulder completely out of joint. She was in utter agony as the paramedics on duty got her down the hill - Dad caught up to us down at the lodge, took about 60 seconds to scope out the situation and talk to Jessie about how it happened, then just popped her arm back into the socket by hand. Her face went from agony to unbelievable pain to relief in a matter of moments. It was crazy impressive.

We got back to Oregon and I went back to looking for work, this time in Portland. In mid-January I went up for an interview with Robert Half technology. When I got back, I had a conversation I was completely unprepared for. Jessie had her bags packed; the first words out of her mouth, crying, were that she needed to check into a drug rehab program. Turns out she had spent the entire day calling around and checking into the available facilities. There was a program that operated on a sliding scale fee, no money up front that took new applicants in the morning.

On the way up to Portland, emotions were very high - we didn't get much of a chance to talk about anything that mattered, beyond my trying to be as supportive as I possibly could be. We checked into a Howard Johnson's, dropped off to sleep almost immediately, and pretty much went straight to the facility in the morning. That was the last I saw or heard of Jessie for a straight week - it was a total isolation thing.

At the end of the week, I went to pick up Jessie, we went pretty much straight to a Narcotics Anonymous meeting in Albany - they have a 60 meetings in 60 days goal that she was very eager to meet. The meeting actually didn't go so well; the people there were older, 40s and 50s, Jessie really didn't make any kind of connection with them and was a bit depressed about it.

The next day, we went down to Eugene to see about getting Jessie on the methodone program there and to look at some possible houses to rent. The methodone program was a bust - there was some sort of regulation about a doctor's prescription or somesuch - I don't remeber the details at this point. Jessie did meet a girl there, though, who took the time to talk with Jessie and encourage her, told her to keep on trying to apply and how much methodone had helped her.

That night she went to a more local meeting in Corvallis, which went a whole lot better - the people there were largely in their twenties, and she really hit it off with a girl named Claire. She called me to let me know that she'd be staying over with Claire that evening, wanted to spend the evening talking with someone who understood where she was coming from.

The following morning I went to Claire's to pick her up. I knocked and knocked on her door, but no one would answer, for a good 10 minutes or so. Finally Claire showed up to the door, said that Jessie wouldn't wake up. I came in, checked on Jessie, who seemed to just be sleeping so hard that she wouldn't wake. I have no idea what possessed us at this point, but rather than call for help, we decided to let her sleep it off, whatever it was. Claire went to class, and I stayed with Jessie at her apartment, checking on her every few minutes. A couple of hours later, one of the times when I went to check on her, she simply wasn't breathing. Frankly, I flat out panicked - didn't know what to do beyond leaping for the phone to call 911. The operator had to remind me to start CPR, even though I'd had CPR training once a year for one reason or another for something like the last decade straight.

It seemed almost an instant later that the paramedics arrived and took over CPR, then an instant after that I heard them say that they were going to stop. She never did start breathing again.

That's nearly all I know about how Jessie passed away - I still don't know the details of how she got hooked again, nor even what she got hooked on. Really the only detail I have is that she died of methodone overdose and I only have that thanks to the police interrogation (of me, with a damn polygraph.... shows real sensitivity towards the bereaved) that followed her passing. I don't even know how she got methodone at that point, having been turned down by the program for it the day prior.

There's no moral to this story, no short quip that sums up her life in a cute little lesson. All there is me missing her, and missing the memories I used to have of her.
8:12 AM

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Memories - Meeting Jessie (July, 1998)
Current mood: mellow
It's odd how the most mundane events and scenes preclude some of the most significant things. I was on the trolley in San Diego, returning from window shopping for a playstation game with a friend from class, a guy from the Coast Guard that was taking the same microminiature electronic repair that I was. In the car ahead of us, I heard someone making a crude joke about Marines; something about a recruit following a horse in a parade. Whatever it was, it made me laugh out loud, which caused the girl telling the joke to turn around. She was a tiny redhead, beautiful and friendly and flirty and WAY out of my league. All the same, she gave me a genuine smile, as if to say thank you. Of course, the Marines she was telling the joke to didn't see as much humor in it, but what can you say for that breed?

A few minutes later, the trolley got to my stop. She, I, and the coastie got off. Being a very forward girl, she introduced herself as Jessie and asked me if I would escort her onto the base, as the Navy base in San Diego is not in the nice part of town. My coastie friend rapidly made himself scarce, and we walked to the country bar, one of two on base. Seems that one of her friends was due to get off shift from working there and the girls were going to go have fun. Lucky for me, it turns out Jessie's friend was going to be trapped on shift for several more hours. This being the case, we decided to head over to the other dance bar on base to talk for a while. At this point, I'm considerably out of my depth, having not even been in a bar more than perhaps half a dozen times, and certainly not in any romantic context. Fortunately, the bartender took pity on me and helped me select something fruity and red for the lady, which seemed to help our discourse move rapidly from small talk to more heady subjects.

The rest of our night is lost in a bit of a blur at this point, but a few select points stick out, like watching Jessie and another young lady being the only two people on the dance floor, laughing madly and having a grand old time dancing with one another. By the time we were ready to go, Jessie was a bit sloshed, and the heels she was wearing were not being too very kind to her feet. This led to a very long and entertaining piggyback ride from the bar to the trolley and numerous snide remarks about her showing off her impressively orange panties in the process.

I wanted to be sure that she got home alright, so I rode the trolley back to her apartment. I remember that when we got to the lobby of her apartment, one of her friends, an impressively serious young man of perhaps ten years, greeted her warmly. She told him, "I really like this guy, but I know I'm never going to see him again after tonight." I laughed, bid her goodnight, and silently resolved that I simply had to see her the next day.

That was on July 5th, 1998. 23 days later, July 28, 1998, we were married before a justice of the peace. That's a good story, but one for another day

8:31 PM

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Memories - The First Kiss (July, 1998)
Current mood: contemplative

This would be our third date, really our third date in a row, since we ended up trying to see each other every day while I was in school, and made it about two weeks without a break.

In any case, we met again after class at her apartment on 13th street. We spent the entire afternoon walking all over San Diego, since neither of us had a car, and today we really didn't feel like taking the trolley anywhere. We talked for hours, about anything and everything, about favorite flowers, life in the city, life in the country, life in a perfect world. I think we both decided that we wanted to live in the mountains, undisturbed with our children, but with a huge city just over the hill so that we would always have something fascinating to do.

We kept on walking along talking about the people we saw, and what their lives must be like. We stopped at the Baja Grill and had seafood tacos. Needless to say, given our respective tastes, she loved them, and well, I just ate them. But it was still a wonderful meal, because here, finally was someone we could talk to about all the important things, and all the inconsequentials, and have it all mean something.

After diner, we continued our wanderings, ending up down by the piers just after sundown. We sat down together on the bench at the end of the pier and just watched the waves stroll by. I don't remember exactly what prompted it, but at some point, we just turned to each other and kissed.

At that precise moment, about a hundred yards off shore, a tour boat started letting off fireworks. It was so perfect, such a wonderful metaphor for what we were feeling. It's the kind of thing you see in movies, and think to yourself "that never happens in real life." But, for us, it did, and it has always been one of our most cherished memories.

(See also, pics, Memories, San Diego Pier 1 & 2)
8:21 PM

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Extract - A last letter to Jessie (January, 2001)
Current mood: morose
Category: Romance and Relationships


Well - I don't know what I'm going to say, but I know I have to do this. I've just arrived home from Claire's, but I guess you know that; if you really are in a position to know anything now. I find myself desparately wanting to believe that all of a sudden - like something theological in me has decided to finally snap, since I can't quite believe that you're gone. No - that's the problem... I know that you're gone, and I don't want to believe it.

My mind is doing some really crappy things to me right now. It seems like I've shoved enough of this down to deal with things, and then it echoes. Somewhere the sound of them saying "We're going to stop now" is still echoing, still playing just for my ears.

If you could talk to me now, I know the first words out of your mouth would be "I'm sorry." Well, it's becoming a chorus, and it really isn't helping anything. We've been sorry to each other a billion times since I met you, and that part really hasn't mattered a bit. We've always loved each other enough to decide that the things we were sorry for haven't been that important.

I guess I can't help saying I'm sorry here though. Unless you somehow find a way to write back, that's my perogotive. Though I must mention that if you are somehow reading this and do somehow answer back, I'd be the most greatful man in the world.

I'm grateful that the last words we said to one another were "I love you", and not any of the inconsequential spiteful things that could have had that honor. I'm glad I got to know you for a while. I hope you know that - just how much you meant to me. God it hurts to use that past tense. There's something leftover that keeps on wanting to say "This is just a bad day. She'll forgive you for it tomorrow." But I know I'll wake up tomorrow, screaming in my head, and this awful thing will still be true.

I'm sorry for not checking on you more often. I know intellectually that it isn't my fault that you died, and I know that my counselors will be repeating that for years, but you know I can't ever fully accept that. There will always be a little demon that says that if I'd treated things a little more seriously, if I'd called someone or started CPR sooner, things would be alright.

The aren't alright now. Everything I've ever wanted for us is gone now, and I don't know where to go next. Something snapped and left your body behind, and now I feel like I'm in some sort of centrifuge. I feel guilty for how scared your body made me, but I know that was just the edge of this leaking through. I know that I've managed to pack most of this away so that it doesn't hurt, but it doesn't work perfectly. And I know that at some point, probably several, things are going to break through, and I'm not going to be able to handle it.

I've thought before that things might be easier without you, but I've always known it wasn't true and hated myself for the thought. I feel awful that the thought sneaked in when I called 911.

Staying with you was a bet, that the difficult times would be more than outweighed by the wonderful times. I think you know that I won that bet. You know that I wanted to keep on winning.

You were trying so hard, doing so well. I thought we were going to make it thought this, like we'd made it through so much before. No one prepared me for this. I guess you really can't. I feel cheated. I paid my dues to have a wonderful life with the woman I love, and now you're gone.
8:14 PM

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Extract - A first letter to Jessie (July, 1998)
Current mood: nostalgic
Category: Romance and Relationships


Well, I'm afraid you've kept me up again. But I don't blame you. I needed to do some thinking... I needed to find myself, a little.

The reason I'm trying to say this in a letter is that I always think clearer on paper, especially when I'm emotional. I get nervous, and say things all wrong in person. I know I'd screw this up.

When you called tonight, and said you were starting to fall for me, you hit something. I don't know exactly what it was, but it showed me that I needed to be a lot more honest with myself, and you.

The truth is that I'm falling for you too. Well, really, have fallen. All I know is that when I'm with you, I'm smiling and happy and carefree and the world is just right. And all I want is to know you - who you've been, who you are, who you want to be. When we're apart all I'm thinking about is being with you again. I'm not sure what that is, but I realize what it could be, if we let it.

All I ever wanted was someone I could talk to, that I could explore the universe with, that wouldn't laugh at my heart. You're all that, and more than I could ask for. You're smart, you're pretty, you're the kind of person that makes it worth living through the rest of the world.

I thought I could do this, that I could hold enough of myself back so it wouldn't hurt to leave. But now I know, whatever we become, part of me will be left behind. I knew, right from the start, that we had to be friends. I hope we still can be, whatever happens, because you're a wonderful person.

I don't want to hurt you, or decieve you about this. But I guess maybe we're past that point, aren't we? No matter what we do now, it's going to hurt when I leave.

I don't know what we should do now. I don't even really know what I want to do, because I know I couldn't stand to leave you behind, if we let ourselves be like this. I just can't help thinking that if we keep on worrying about tomorrow, we might miss something really special today. I don't have all the answers you need, but I wanted you to know you aren't alone in this. We can do this together.



The edge ahead can be
so dark,
and deep,
and scary.

The rocks below could
tear me apart,
confuse me,
take me away from myself.

The wind
tears at me,
draws me nearer,
whispers my name.

I feel my hands
loosing hold.

I feel myself
time rushing by,
the next page turning.

And now I feel

The future flashes by
holding hands,
sharing stars,
hazel eyes in the morning.

I'm lost in a fantasy
a dying man's extasy,
beyond all control,
wondering what could be real.

And as the rocks fly past,
I wonder,
Would you catch me?
If I fell into you?

8:08 PM

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-04-14

Whew. After much debate, the committee has decided to let me still apply to the MIT program for Fall 2010. I think having had class with a few of the committee members worked heavily in my favor - certainly professor McCollam was more gracious to me than I expected or deserved when I tracked her down this afternoon. Can't say I care for the fact that the person I contacted initially never replied to me by email or phone, forcing me to haunt the office until a decision was reached, but given that everything worked out, I'm willing to forgive.

For the record: My wife is made of awesome, wrapped in wonderfulness, with tiny sparkle sprinkles of understanding. She was impressively forgiving about my not telling her of the issues until they were somewhat resolved. The fact that she's sicker than a dog right now may have allowed for some distraction from how mad she really should be. Oh well - gift horses and all, yes?

A&P lecture is not going terribly well this term. Seems like the stuff Dr. McVay's quizzing on is barely touched on in either the book or the notes. First two quizzes are landing at 60% apiece (I actually got 9/15 last week, rather than the 8/15 I thought). I'm doing fabulously in lab, fortunately, but that doesn't bode well for doing more than struggling for a C overall. Poop. I think part of the reason for this is that I've effectively lost my study partners as they're both now in another lecture class and have essentially been unavailable since the beginning of term, but still - this is HARD to keep everything in my brain.

The interview workshop wasn't as informative as I might have hoped, but if nothing else, it gave me a bit of a chance to size up my competition. Going with the assumption that the people who showed up are the more dedicated types who are actually likely to get in, I'm encouraged. We had about 20 bodies show up for Rad science, which is the approximate number that will be accepted to the program. I'd expect somewhere around 45-50ish to apply, but if only 20 are willing to put in the effort, I think my chances are very good.

Spent the evening with Abe and Nicole again, decompressing. I have to say, Abe made a very good example of why I'm enjoying their company lately. His Pug has some sensitive eyes and a seizure problem, so he asked me not to use a flash when shooting Inky - I said something to the effect of "Oh, don't worry, I've got a lens that'll work in this light". His response: "What's the trade off?" Goddamn do I love people that actually think.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-04-14

20100414_MG_0786Can't you see I'm sleeping here?
"Can't you see I'm sleeping here?"

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-04-13

Second quiz in A&P lab went well, 13/15 by my count. If nothing else, the terms seem to be sticking a lot better this time around, despite my horrible habit of tending to forget about my memory medicine (Irony!).

On the other hand, I've had kind of a horrible evening, and have made a decision that I'm not proud of, at all. Given that there's a workshop tomorrow to prep for the MIT application interviews, I decided to get a head start on the paperwork to actually apply. Looking online to get things together, I found out that the deadline to apply to the program was April 9th, last Friday, rather than mid-May, as I had remembered.

Needless to say, I'm panicking, BIG time. That said, I've shot emails to the appropriate people to see about fixing this, with what I hope is the appropriate tone and respect. It's all I can do for now, given that there's no one in the business office at 7 at night.

I've also decided not to share this with Eden until at least tomorrow, when I have a better idea of how much this will screw up my plans. I know that makes me a bad husband, but I'm willing to live with it, after having tossed things back and forth in my head for a couple of hours. There's already one person here shattered and frantic - I don't see any benefit to adding to the pool of worried people, yet.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-04-13

20100413_MG_0780Looking for a way out
"Looking for a way out"

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-04-12

Grades from my first two chem quizzes are back - 24/25 and 21/25 respectively. Given that the lower score is all due to a single problem (got my math wrong early, throwing the rest of the equations off), I'm really quite happy with the results. Here's hoping I can manage to hold on to this grade range for the term.

Digital Media Production continues to be odd - we did our first project today in groups, again cycling through 3-4 at a time at the main editing station. Thus far I've gotten 20/20 for adding a single cut and dissolve to footage that the teacher shot himself. I'm kind of disappointed, really. On the plus side, my textbook for this course arrived and actually seems to have a decent amount to say that's not even application-centric. So perhaps I'll get something out of this course after all, even if it's not from class.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-04-12

20100412_MG_0751A Regal Little Man
"A Regal Little Man"

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-04-11

Pretty smooth drive back today. I must be getting good at this! I'd found a good audiobook to keep me company along the way ("The Name of the Wind" by Patrick Rothfuss) and I must admit that I'm really impressed with the author - this is his first published book and it's great! He's a bit heavy on the metaphors, but it works for him. It seems that I owe Gabe and Tycho a thank you for the recommendation.

Abe and Nicole kindly invited me over for the evening, which was nice. Still haven't gotten much out of their dogs that I like, photographically; at some point I'll need to sit down with a couple of flashes and actually do more than candids. Ah well, if everything works out the way it seems, I'll have plenty of time to work with the crew.

UPDATE: I REALLY need to check on these things before I start them. Just finished the first book in the series, and now I come to find out that the second book has yet to be published... Damn!

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-04-11

20100411_MG_0730A Photographer's Dream
"A Photographer's Dream"

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-04-10

We spent a comparatively sedate day together today, just hanging out for the most part. We did stop down in Sellwood to check out the "Hip Happenings" show to see if Eden wanted to sell there the next time it came to town, but it was kind of pitiful. Near zero customers and pretty cramped space - I'd bet that many of the vendors there will struggle to make back the fees for selling.

Our evening was mighty nice - Vash, April, and Damon came over for Munchkin and pizza. Dominos still doesn't make a "great" pizza, but they've come a long way towards approaching decent. It was really just nice to spend some time with friends, for a while.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-04-10

20100410_MG_0701Acting Out
"Acting Out"

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-04-09

I actually managed to get home pretty quickly, thanks to an easy quiz in chem. Ended up waiting at Vash's house for the better part of an hour since I was early, which gave me a chance to stalk some pretty cute squirrels. They're so expressive, and fun to shoot. I need to find a better place to hunt them around campus - the only place I know of where I can reliably find them now is 50 miles north.

Suzanne and the girls made some homemade chicken and dumpling soup, which I was surprised to find out I enjoyed quite thoroughly. The concept of biscuits floating in broth didn't appeal to me, but it works out quite well in the hands of a good chef.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-04-09


Daily Post (Josh) 2010-04-08

Wow. Tai chi without being able to breathe very well was just a brutal as I thought it might be. Despite vast reductions in phlegm production, I spent most of the class being horribly dizzy due to lack of oxygen. Fun stuff.

Chem lab was actually a bit lonely, since Roxanne and Jen weren't able to make it. Seems that they were out and about together and managed to find a nail with one of Roxanne's tires. Fortunately the instructor was fairly understanding about it; they should be able to make things up without too much drama.

Given that, other than mucus stuff, I'm feeling a lot better, I think I'll be able to make it home tomorrow without problems. Since the term started I really haven't had anyone to hang out with since people have been extremely busy, and it's feeling rather dramatically lonely. I need a dose of family.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-04-08

20100408_MG_0596Braced against the world.
"Braced against the world."

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-04-07

Well, that sucked. Having been flat on my back for the better part of a week did good things for my lab score yesterday, since finding parts on the body amounts to rote memorization, but I sure proved that being sick and wonky doesn't help comprehesion! Today's A&P lecture quiz landed at an 8/15. NOT good. Fortunately, the policy here is to drop the lowest quiz score at the end of the term, but still!

Digital Media Production is turning out rather odd. The fellow teaching it has never taught before, and I'm afraid it shows - his primary method of disseminating technique is taking 2 or 3 students at a time over to the editing suite and having them peek over his shoulder as he does things. In a class of 22, that makes for a hell of a lot of down time for the rest of us, and I can't say that there's a whole lot of learning going on. Technically we've gotten our first assignment (put together a 30 second clip with a few cuts), but since there's only two editing suites, no lab time, and we don't have access to the class cameras yet..... It's going to be interesting to see exactly what gets graded over the course of the term.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-04-07

20100407_MG_0581Draining, Dying
"Draining, Dying"

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-04-06

Wow... and things just seem to get worse. Continuing to feel awful. Skipped Tai Chi (yeah, cause I can breathe so very well right now), but I did stop by A&P lab long enough to take the week's quiz.

I really like the way that Professor Parratt handles quizes - a quick review before the quiz, and then a run through of the correct answers after it's taken. Since I've had a lot of time flat on my back, I've been studying like crazy, and it paid off. Landed with 14/15 out of the gate, and that only because I talked myself out the right answer on the 15th. At least there's something good going on there.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-04-06

20100406_MG_0550Fluid therapies
"Fluid therapies"

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-04-05

Brilliant start to the week. Mucus, sore throat, and migraines (plural! Two in one day) bad enough to bring me to the edge of tears. Made it to digital media production so that I could get the assignment for the week, but I'm really not that coherent, so that was the only class I was able to hold together for.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-04-05

20100405_MG_0542Long away and far ago....
"Long away and far ago...."

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-04-04

Oofda.... migraines, dizziness, and lethargy seem to be the order of the day. Did get out briefly this morning for a quick Easter brunch/company meeting with Abe and the gang, but I'm afraid I spent the remainder of the day in bed. Just not doing so hot.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-04-04

20100404_MG_0535A noise in my brain
"A noise in my brain"

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-04-03

Interesting conversation with Abe today - turns out that I might have a destination for living come falls, with him and his roommates. I had originally planned on rooming with Jen at that point, but it's sounding like she may pull out.

In any case, definitely not going to stay on campus - too much money for too darn little. The setup at Abe's isn't too bad, either - large multi-bedroom house at reasonable rates including utilities. The caveat is that it sounds like I'd have to pay for the place over the summer to hold it. Might still make sense, since I'll have to pay for storage anyway. We'll see where things end up.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-04-03

20100403_MG_0496Haunting Eyes
"Haunting Eyes"

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-04-02

Wow - Roxanne wasn't kidding - there's a fair bit of snow blowing about, and it's mighty chilly out.

Today's chemistry quiz seemed pretty straightforward, which I'm grateful for. Still no real chemistry - just a quick review of the metric system and dimension calculations. We'll see how it lands once we get to the real goods.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-04-02

20100402_MG_0467Bitter Cold
"Bitter Cold"

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-04-01

Tai chi did not go as smoothly as I would have liked today... kept on getting mixed up as to what the instructor wanted us to do (small space without a real clear view). Somehow a lot of the positions aren't as stable as I would have liked when you end up twisting in the opposite direction you should just to see what's going on. Makes you feel especially silly when you nearly fall down "walking".

That said, it wasn't a bad day at all - clear skies and minimal snow on the ground, which is kind of novel, lately. According to Roxanne, we're due for snow throughout the weekend, which makes me glad that I'm not planning to head up north again for another week. Hope things are clear then!

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-04-01


March 2010 Picture Roundup

Here's March!

2010-03 Picdump [Show images on map] [Fullscreen slideshow]

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Journalism wrap up

For those that are interested, here's a digital copy of the five articles I submitted to The Edge for Journalism last term. All associated photos are mine, of course.

Article 1 copyArticle 2 copyArticle 3-1 copyArticle 3-2 copyArticle 4-1 copyArticle 4-2 copyArticle 5-1 copyArticle 5-2 copy

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-03-31

Can't seem to get my head in the game on this term. I did get some of the flashcards for this weeks A&P lab done, but my brain just isn't in it. On the plus side, as Dr. McVay says, we have a large body of knowledge to work with this term, both from prior terms, and from our experiences. Since we're working on primarily on digestion and respiration, we can actually see and feel some of these things working. Hopefully this will really help once my brain gets in gear.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-03-31

20100331_MG_0406Springtime Flurries
"Springtime Flurries"

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-03-30

Ok, so Tai Chi was a great idea. My joints popped SO many times this morning. Felt darn good, and the instructor (who also teaches A&P lab) seems to know what he's doing.

Horribly chilly and snowy today as well - the springtime weather seems to have fled for the moment.

Also called the IRS today to see why our tax return status changed (on the 24th) from "you'll get your money on the 23rd" to "we're working on your return, give us a ring if you don't hear anything for more than 3 weeks from your date of filing". The guy I spoke to couldn't tell me what was going on, couldn't transfer me, etc - very polite, happy, and respectful, but not too useful, person. Bottom line, there's nothing like finding out that your tax return has been rejected for unknown reasons (and that the associated refund is about 6 weeks away now [2 weeks to mail form to me, 4 weeks for them to process whatever corrections they need]). Guess we'll just have to wait and see what's going on.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-03-30

20100330_MG_0401Waking to snow
"Waking to snow"

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-03-29

Back in class today. Dizziness and nausea very nearly kept me home, I admit, but can't really do anything about that. The chem teacher seems competent, but it's just nails on chalkboard to be in her class - her accent is just too dead on for Tina Fey's Sarah Palin impression. Drives me nuts.

Digital media production is going to be a bit different than I expected; the course description was terribly sparse. Turns out its going to be video production, which will be interesting, I think.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-03-29


Daily Post (Josh) 2010-03-28

Time to head back today. I'd been wanting to grab a picture of the Koi pond at Nick's parent's house for a while, and finally got a chance to do so. Pre-emptive caffinating and Excedrin held off the worst of the migraine symptoms until we were within a hundred miles or so of Klamath, so I don't feel too very bad about having to turn over the wheel to Tank for the last leg. I can't wait to be done with this cycle... it's just a bloody pain.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-03-28

20100328_MG_0375An Indoor Sanctuary
"Indoor Sanctuary"

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-03-27

Time to bid adeiu to the Fantz-Sands house today. It's been a nice visit, but it never lasts, does it?

We finally got a chance to get together with Eden's uncle Tom today, for the first time since christmas, which means there were a few gifts piled up for him. We have a bit of an interesting relationship there - Tom and Eden's aunt Pat split up a while back, but it's probably the healthiest divorce I've ever seen. The trend in these things seems to end up with everyone hating everyone else as a kind of defense measure - something like being able to find denial of missing the good feelings that were once there.

In this case, they are actually quite civil towards one another and the kids seem to be doing fine with it. The family still cares for him, and keeps a sense of humor about it all. He's known as the "Wasband", she's the "Once-wife", and we're all the "Outlaws". It's pretty cute, honestly.

With that barbeque down, we headed off to our next, at Vash and Jess' house. More migraine stuff going on there, but it eventually faded out late in the evening. We had a chance to enjoy a nice game of Cranium - I say enjoy here because the company was great... my performance was decidedly not. The game focuses primarily on creativity and general wisdom; two areas I'm not notably skilled at. Ah well, it was still a good night.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-03-27


Daily Post (Josh) 2010-03-26

Spent a good portion of the day up in Vancouver, hanging with the cats and relaxing. We took advantage of aunt Pat's anniversary gift, a gift certificate to the Firehouse, on the way home. Good food, but I have to admit the second half of the meal was nearly spoiled by the guest at the next table. The girl must have nearly drowned herself in the contents of a perfume factory... terribly unpleasant and it didn't help an already rumbly stomach.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-03-26

20100326_MG_9980Couch Potato
"Couch Potato"

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-03-25

A bit of disappointment today - we had planned to have a number of friends over for Munchkin this evening, but no one was able to make it. Seems like sickness is going around everywhere. Also turns out that I'm not eligible for any of the scholarships that Suzanne's union sponsors.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-03-25

20100325_MG_9869Giving "The Look"
"Giving 'The Look'"

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-03-24

Grades from last term were finally released today. Medical Terminology and Anatomy both landed at the expected "B". On the plus side, both Journalism and Photography ended up with "A"s, which is nice, considering I never got a grade or evaluation of any sort before this point. Time to put in for a few scholarships through Suzanne's union.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-03-24

20100324_MG_9809Posing pretty
"Posing pretty"

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-03-23

Off to Manzanita and one of Eden's favorite yarn shops today, the T Spot. Unfortunately, I was still fairly out of it, but the weather was wonderful.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-03-23

20100323Manzanita overlook panorama
"Manzanita overlook panorama"

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-03-22

Bah. Back to feeling awful, it seems. Also bad news on my car as well - apparently I now have a slow leak from my oil pan. Not good.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-03-22

20100322_MG_9707Bad News
"Bad News"

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-03-21

Time to get out of the house today. We headed up to Sunset falls, just beyond Moulton - a location that Eden had found earlier with Cassie and Nick. Even with the overcast day, it was a beautiful location - impressively deep turquoise green coming off the falls.

Great dinner tonight as well - Eden's parents gave us a gift certificate to a great local restaurant, Lapellah for our anniversary. A bit on the expensive side, but pretty great. The server was incredibly attentive and polite too - pretty impressive overall.

Tonight we started watching Jake, Teddy, and Rikki again for Vicki and Kari. Always nice to have a place to relax alone, although it paradoxically takes us away from our own pets. Ah well...

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-03-21

20100321_MG_9536Flowing green
"Flowing green"

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-03-20

Pretty decent day today - minimal sickness, so we decided to head down to market to see our friends and enjoy the beautiful weather.

My parents made it back to town today, so we met up at the Red Robin near the airport to catch up. It was awfully nice to see them, and they both seem very relaxed from their trip through California.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-03-20


Daily Post (Josh) 2010-03-19

Well, I've got to say I'm a bit disappointed. Depp did passably well in the new Alice, but I just feel like there wasn't any point in having him in the film - his character just felt off.

The story itself was a bit of a mish-mash as well. I guess I was just expecting more.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-03-19

20100319_MG_9386Fuji Nose!
"Fuji Nose!"

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-03-18

Wow... no energy at all today. Tremendously dizzy as well, which pretty much means both Eden and I spent the day flat on our backs. We'd been planning to make it to the new Johnny Depp Alice in Wonderland film, but it just wasn't going to happen.

SyFy did their own version of Alice not too long ago, which coincidentally happened to be available at the local Redbox. From what I could tell, it was a really impressive film and a novel take on the tale, but I ended up passing out after perhaps a half hour from sheer exhaustion and just couldn't pick up the thread of the story again. I'll have to give it another try when I'm more coherent.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-03-18

20100318_MG_9363Charging up
"Charging up"

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-03-17

Still not feeling great, but somewhat stable today, at least until we managed to get out of the house. We don't want to waste the time while I'm here, so we elected to just buck up and head out to Lucia for some photography. Might not end up being the smartest move, in that we'll probably be a bit drained tomorrow, but at least we're doing something. Managed to catch spawning season for the local salmon, it seems - lots of opportunities to try out the high speed on my camera, but it makes me wish for some bigger glass to get a bit closer to the suckers.

One notable moment happened just before we packed up - one of the poor fish just couldn't seem to figure things out; kept on leaping into a protruding rock ledge and falling back down. Fish fail!

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-03-17

20100317_MG_9158Rush and flow
"Rush and flow"