Sunday, June 29, 2003

06/29/03: Well. It's been a week that Stacey and I have been in the new place. It's coming along nicely. We have the kitchen, with real groceries and implements, set up properly, and had a cable modem installed yesterday. My room is not exactly clean but most of the junk is in boxes in the gargantuan wall closet. We have a couple new lamps and small tables; next will be a sofa of some kind, proper coffee table, more lamps, and of course a television and VCR. I'm finding myself grateful that my expenses of late have been so minimal that I can afford to do all this.

The week has been very busy with work and stuff. I finished up my physical therapy prescription for the ol' knees...woo. At some point I fully intend to begin a slow return to regular workouts. Honestly, these weeks of nothing have really made a difference, and now the effort to get back into shape will be difficult all over again. Sigh. Not to whine, or anything. I know it's my fault. And that's my downfall, because for the most part I don't really care.

So yeah, the fifth installment of Harry Potter was excellent, as anticipated. I was really excited to get a copy on the day it came out in stores, and had to start reading as soon as I possibly could. Frankly, I'm disappointed it took a whole week to read it...but I have had very little free time this week. Another thing I fully intend to do is reread the previous four to remind myself of everything, then maybe read number five again. Stupid waiting a long time between new ones!! .... A couple weeks ago I went on a spree at the Bellevue library...I got seven books or something obscene like that. Rarr. I'm nearly done with the third of those. Yay books. A couple weeks ago I tried to start reading Schindler's List, but the writing/grammar was poor enough to distract me from the story. I guess that means I'll just have to watch the movie.

Friday, June 13, 2003

06/13/03: Ooh, Friday the Thirteenth...wait, it's past midnight, so it's over. Phew. The worst thing that happened to me was a headache and ongoing sleepiness.

I have gone shopping a lot lately, but at inexpensive places, so I have gotten lots of return on my effort. Oh, and it has been an effort.

It's been nearly two weeks that I've been out of commission, so to speak, because of knee pain. A week ago something twisted funny in my left knee and I could hardly walk for two days. Then, of course, the strain on my right knee from limping on it made that one hurt even more. I went to an orthopedist and was diagnosed with patellar tendonitis, for which I received prescriptions for anti-inflammatory and physical therapy (the other PT). During the last week and a half, the former has not relieved any pain or discomfort, and the latter has seemed to increase it. Hmm. Anyway, the rest definitely helps (I have been working out three to four times a week for three months now, and apparently it was tough on my li'l ol' joints), and the extra time is wonderful. Somehow I squander it though, so I still feel like I don't get anything done. Oh well. Unfortunately, the rest has also necessitated some of that aforementioned shopping...I gained about seven pounds in the first few days of not working out. What a week it was.

A week from today, Stacey and I will be able to officially move into our new apartment in Renton! I am totally stuff is once again scattered across several zip codes. Sigh, I must face the challenge of packing everything I own and at long last (attempting to, anyway) having it all in the same place with me. Actually, that's never happened before, so wish me luck. It will require quite a lot of effort and energy, not to mention boxes and packing tape. Dammit, more shopping. Ah, the shopping. There's so much I'll need, now that I'll actually be moving out on my own.

Sunday, June 08, 2003

06/08/03: We had our to-go-out mail stolen from our mailbox on Friday morning...that made for a fun weekend of cancelling accounts and such. It's been really warm and hot, very unseasonal if you ask me. But thank goodness I'm not in the South or the East Coast, I know it would be worse. :)

Tuesday, June 03, 2003

06/03/03: So holy crap, it's June.

In November, our campus Service Learning Coordinator gave out instructions for a reflection exercise--to write letters to ourselves, six months in the future. My team decided to write letters to the whole team, six months in the future.

Lo and behold, it's been six months already and last week I received my packet of letters. I made this really cutesy, colorful envelope, with the return address listed as Julie from six months ago, of Fire 4 Schmire 4. Anyway, I was so excited to get them and read them. It was really fun to remember those days, and to read little notes from my teammates.

Another fun team thing from last week--we got four of us on the phone at the same time! Thanks to modern technology and three-way cell phones, Jess, Jep, Dez and I all got to talk to each other. I loved hearing all their voices again, and at the same time. Like the good old days. Aww.

So! Back to Memorial Day...(check out the pictures from the trip here!)

We caught an evening ferry to Bainbridge Island and then drove to Port Angeles. It was a lovely drive, all foresty and then views of the big Olympic mountains. Very impressive. We arrived at our cozy bed and breakfast and slept well.

Saturday, Dan and I went out and explored some nature. Took Highway 101 around the peninsula to Olympic National Park, and the Hoh Rainforest. It was incredible there. Walked the "Hall of Mosses" trail, looking at the giant trees and the hanging mosses covering them. There were a lot of nurselog colonnades. That's what happens when a tree falls, seedlings and other plant life take root in the fallen trunk, trees begin to grow from the seedlings, and eventually the fallen log (the nurselog) rots away, leaving a line of trees with roots that now grow around empty space before hitting the ground. Fascinating, the way the circle of life works in the forest. I loved how everything was green, it was so refreshing. Our other excursion was a drive up to Hurricane Ridge. It's a long, twisty road up a mountain, but it took our breath away when we finally reached the top. We could see the huge panorama of the Olympic mountains and foothills, blanketed in evergreens. It was amazing. There was snow up there, at the lodge (it's 5,000 feet up!), so we walked around in it a bit, all bundled up in coats. It was just beautiful.

Sunday we only did one thing, because we were tired of driving. We drove to Crescent Lake, the ranger station, and took the short trail to look at Marymere Falls. It was very pretty. Then we took the Mt. Storm-King trail. Oh boy. The Port Angeles brochure said it was a challenging trek, steep and quite narrow. Well. I have a bone to pick with them, let me tell you. That trail was 1.7 miles straight up the mountain. 2200 feet straight uphill. All uphill switchbacks for 1.7 miles of raw mountain. It seemed to take forever. We had to stop every ten minutes just to catch our breath. I was all out of breath and sweaty and ugh. The unfair thing was seeing all these people coming down the mountain. There were kids running down the hills. We were like, why do they have energy for that?? And two separate people said something about the second rope at the top. We were baffled at that.

So we reach what really seems to be near the top, it's more rocky than forested, and the cliffs go straight down from the skimpy path. There's a sign that declares the end of the maintained trail, and that to travel on is dangerous. Well, we were there for the view from the top, darnit, so sod the damn sign. On we go, climbing tentatively and not looking down...some pretty scary places where the path skirts a curve, on a straight slant with scree heading straight down, and a stupid bush sticking out where we need to walk. I think I just tried to walk in the bush to not fall down the mountain. Then we hit the rope--there was a 50-foot section of fairly steep incline with no holds, so some brave soul had secured a rope with which to haul oneself up the incline. Crawling around more steep and scary paths, keep going...and we hit the second rope, up another steep incline with no holds. Then we come to a precarious rock formation that appears to be the end yet has no trace of the promised view. So we climbed up those rocks and suddenly we were on top of the whole thing. It was breathtaking. The entire Lake Crescent lay below us. The Strait of Juan de Fuca lay beyond that. There was fog rolling in when we first got there, giving it an eerie, mystical feeling. I was glad to see it dissipate though, I had visions of getting stuck up there, unable to see to get back down the mountain. We had a view of the miniscule ranger station where we'd begun our long journey. The mountains and hills were just gorgeous, untouched by civilization. I loved it. The damn brochure and the other hikers we met were totally right--the challenge was worth it.

Then we had to get down the mountain. The bit back to the maintained trail was the hardest. I crawled most of it on my bum, because it felt all slanty and I felt pretty certain that if I were standing up, I was far too likely to lose my balance and just roll down the rocky hillside. So I picked my way down nice and slow, and then we hit the downhill switchbacks. Difficult on different muscles and joints. By the time we finally reached the bottom, we were exalted at making it, and nearly limping with foot pain (I wore those favorites--steel toes, whose grip I was pretty grateful for, but damn they got uncomfortable, and Dan was wearing ordinary sneakers. So sitting down felt awesome. We wolfed down a quick dinner at a Mexican place, then went back to the B&B to rest. Ahh.

I was pretty sore on Monday, some in my legs, but a lot in my upper body. It was from pulling myself up the ropes and then the death grips on the way pulling myself down the hills. Phew. We drove home, playing with some trivia games, and had a restful afternoon.

All in all it was a great weekend. I loved being able to take a complete break from work for three straight days. (As everyone knows that talks to me at all, this was only the second weekend in over two months that I hadn't worked six days a week. Woo!)So now I've got pictures up--go check them out.