Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wild Turkeys, Wine, and Magnets

This morning, I got to work, drove to the other side, parked my car, and walked up to unlock the gate. And saw a whole family of wild turkeys.

There were three adults and 5 or 6 juveniles. So Damn Cute! It reminded me of Massachusetts. I remember driving around the back roads near my parents house in Barre and suddenly having to stop as a flock of turkeys stumbled across the road. I do love the random animals and wildlife at this job. Mostly I see osprey. So many that it's become mundane. They're gorgeous though. There's at least two nests on each side of the river, and they're swooping down to catch fish or cruising the air currents all day. In the morning, I hear fish jumping out of the river constantly. There are extremely friendly cats that will rub up against your leg if you stand up on the ramp. And tonight there were two neighborhood dogs playing near the boat, and the sweetest old chocolate lab wanted so much to jump into my car with me. Aww.

When my coworker B came down today, he had a list of tasks to accomplish. He spends one day a week as a "shop day," and 3 days operating the ferry. He spends his shop day doing whatever the boss decides needs to get done. Today, he hopped in the work boat, and navigated over to some snags near the boat. He had a small chainsaw on a long pole, and it was waterproof. So he was able to cut down the underwater snags that could get in the way of the boat. Once that was done, he went fishing with magnets. When the guys were dredging, the managed to drop a metal piece of the dredging setup in the water. I think it was on top of one of the barges, and it fell off when they pulled the barge out of the water. From what I can tell, it's a large L shaped piece of welded metal. It's somewhere on the ramp, under about 6 feet of water. We tried to hook it with the spike pole. We tried a grappling hook. Today B came prepared with a magnet meant to hold 250 lbs. That should totally do it, right? So he attached the magnet (which looked like this) to a length of rope, and managed to stick it to the metal. Then he started to pull it slowly. And suddenly, pop! the rope came back up. The magnet was stuck tight to the metal, but the ibolt on top had sheared off! So now the piece of metal and the magnet are stuck together at the bottom of the river. I have no idea what the boss will come up with next to get it out, but if someone has to go swimming to get it, it's not going to be me!

Monday, August 29, 2011

A tour of the boat

This is what you see when you look in the cabin:
That fancy looking control panel with tons of knobs and buttons? At least half of it is just light switches. They could have condensed all of the switches down to a 2 foot square, but instead the spread it out. It's sort of nice. And looks very important. In back, that's my desk, aka, where I read, knit, and eat lunch. If you stand in the same place as I took this pic, and turn right, you see:
More windows, our bulletin board, and the fridge, microwave and coffee maker. And tons of windows. It really warms up in there, but there's an AC unit on the roof. It's so nice. Also, if you leave the door open and open one window down by the desk, you get a lovely breeze. I didn't even turn the AC on today, and it was delightful.

On the other side of the boat, there's another cabin. It's the machinery room. It looks funny from the outside:
 The low part is only about 3 or 4 feet high. That's because you open the door to the machinery room and see this:

There's a very steep flight of stairs, and you go down four steps to the machinery. It's a pretty smart design. It means that from the main cabin, you can actually see what's going on downstream. The WL ferry has a machinery room in the same location, and it really blocks the view.

And yes, that's the bathroom right in the middle of the air compressor and everything. By the end of the day, the machinery room is at least 120 degrees, and that's with a fan running full time. I don't care. It's a toilet that flushes and doesn't smell, and the best part of all--a sink! With running water! And soap! Don't ask about the bathroom on the WL. I'd prefer to expunge that image (and smell) from my memory forever.

And oddly, the window in the machinery room/bathroom has the best view on the whole boat. You're down low, the river water is only about a foot below the window sill. And when you look out the window, you don't see the boat, just the river and the wide world. It's lovely.

I spent today focusing as much as possible on learning how to drive the boat while sitting. It's not all that hard, it's just a change in my sight lines. But oh my goodness. My feet! It makes all the difference in the world. I sat most of the day, instead of standing. Most of you know how bad my feet are. And if you don't, I give you this illustration. When I walk barefoot across a hard surface, my feet are so flat that they suction to the floor with each step. These feet of mine? They're not meant for standing on for a long time. I'm fine if I'm moving all the time, walking or jogging. Standing is the enemy. So learning to land the boat seated is a godsend.

And have I mentioned how gorgeous it is here? It's lush and full of trees. And fish are constantly jumping out of the river. There are at least 3 osprey nests right near the ferry, so they're always swooping into the river for fish. It smells good there. Like the river, and warm fields and mint crops and blackberries.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tomorrow is my Friday

I'm so tired that there aren't words to describe it. A 12.5 hour day, plus a half hour driving each way, is really intense. I can very easily see the points in the day where I get overly tired, because my landings turn to shit. Like, slamming into the ramp and making the whole boat lurch. Which then makes me curse up a blue streak. And hope the door to the cabin is shut so the friendly tourist passengers don't hear me.

So many random people have come on the boat. A huuuuge portion of the daily riders are people who say, "I was just following my GPS and all of a sudden it said I was going on a ferry!" Really? Do people just blindly follow their GPS's and not question the routes at all? Today, I had 67 vehicles, and I'd say at least 10 of them were blind GPSers. Tomorrow, I'm going to keep a tally. It truly fascinates me. I'm such a geographer, a mapper, and so very aware of where I am and where I'm going when traveling. I can't fathom not really paying attention to where I'm going like that.

Last night, at 6:59, I was walking up the steep hill to lock the gate on the west bank. A car came barreling down, and sure enough, she was a GPS follower. She barely had enough change in her car for the toll, but she was so grateful that I let her on, that I was here, and that I didn't lock her out and send her around, that she opened the trunk of her car. She was a distributor for Wrigley's gum, and she simply said, "do you like gum?" The trunk of her car was like Willy Wonka's factory or something. I ended up with like 10 packs of Orbit gum and a few things of life savers. Seriously you guys, I'm not asking people for stuff, it's just randomly falling into my lap.

Another odd car: This afternoon, a car came on, and the couple got out to gossip with me. The husband was from the Louisiana Bayou, and I swear I could only understand about 2 words in 3. Awesome accent. He said there were tons of ferries in Louisiana, across the Mississippi and around the Delta. And he said his cousin was a captain on one of those riverboat casinos. Evidently, even though the casinos are stationary, and are built in pools and will NEVER travel on the river, because they're a boat, they're required to have a captain on board at all times. Anyway, he said something about how much money being a captain must make, and guessed an hourly wage almost exactly what I make. And when I sort of blushed, cause I didn't want to say that's what I made, he cracked up and said, "If you make that much money, I want to marry you! I love my wife, but I want your money!"

Oh! and a guy offered me a joint today. He and his girlfriend came aboard and said that my job must be so perfect, and "dooooood, it'd be even better with a bowl." I laughed and said yeah, it'd be nice, but I had to actually be able to pay attention. He actually offered me a joint right there. Nice offer....but no. I in the random drug testing program at work. Plus, I don't want stories to get out, "hey, that ferry chick? She drives it stoned!"

Yesterday morning, I looked up the ramp, and there was my dad, coming to hang out. He brought his guitar and music setup, and sat around making awesome music for about 3 hours. It was really nice!
Driving the boat has become totally routine. I was so worried that it'd take me forever to get good at the landings. I worried that as the water levels changed, I'd have a hard time adjusting. But I'm doing this every day. I've got this. I'm so pleased at how completely I've got this. As the river changes, I'll see it, and adjust without even noticing.

The regulars are starting to notice me and introduce themselves to me. I'm starting to recognize them, as well. I love how people really aren't in a hurry to get across the river. I love that I often stand there and talk to them for 5 minutes before I even take them across the river.

As tired as I am, I'm trying to do simple things once I get home at night, so that I'm not just eating and going straight to bed. Like, make dinner and do the dishes. That sort of simple. But it does help. It makes me feel less like the ferry is consuming my life. Next week will be better. I think it'll take a few weeks to get used to the schedule and the long days, but it's only 4 days. I get 3 day weekends! I figure, it's one day to recuperate and sleep, and 2 days to have a weekend. And it's really nice to have weekdays off. I think having Thursday, Friday, and Saturday off is about as perfect as it gets.

So yeah, things are pretty good. My feet hurt, I'm tired, my house is a mess, and I'm running out of clean laundry, but this ferry thing? I've got it.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Well, I did it!

What an exhausting day! Overall, it was so great! I saw so many funny things and people. And I got gifts! I need more exclamation points!

I barely slept last night, worried about the day, worried about a sick cat, worried about being worried. So on about 4 hours of sleep and only one day off, I was up at 5:15 and out of the house by 6:10. And of course I was 20 minutes early. Which was ok, I knew most of the start up procedures, and was almost done with it all by the time the boss showed up. We didn't have any cars or bikes for at least an hour, maybe longer. And even then, traffic was a trickle until 11 or so. The boss only stayed for 2 and a half hours! He left at 9:30. I don't know how long he stayed on the other guy's first days, but I know it was longer than that. I'm very proud of the fact that he had that much faith in me.

One the boss left, the fun began. And I'm just going to list them out, cause they're all so random and silly.

  • A 60something year old couple drove on, and both got out of the car and introduced themselves to me. They said that the wife's 92 year old father recently died, and he wanted his ashes scattered from the ferry. Which I know is possibly not quite legal, but I didn't particularly care. So we went out to the middle of the river and stopped the boat, and the dumped him overboard. They were smiling, I was smiling. When they were saying how odd a request it was, I laughed and said that all families were different. In my family, my gramma's ashes are taken around to everyone's Christmas celebrations, and she gets put under the tree. Gramma loved Christmas. They thought that was the cutest thing ever. And they took my picture.
  • A guy gave me a jar of homemade raspberry syrup! We were joking about alternate methods of payment, and I said they could always go get me a shake from Burgerville, and he reached behind him and said, "here, this is even better!" 
  • Someone gave me a handful of fresh picked blueberries
  • A super sweet couple runs a kayak tour company. They came across this morning, then they kayaked past the boat, then drove back across at the end of the day. They were so sweet! And I want to ask them next week about doing a kayak day trip. Anyone want to join me? Put in at BV, probably get out at Independence or Salem. Here they are kayaking by (sorry the color is funky):

  • A touring group of Mazda fancy convertible sports cars came by. It's a 6 car ferry, but the cars were tiny enough that all 7 of them fit. They were so hilarious. And they took pictures of me. One guy had been a navigator in the navy, and was very impressed that it was my first solo day. Here's a bad shot of them: 

  • A carload of goofy tourists came by, doing a combination wine tour/covered bridge tour. So of course I told them they had to go to the most lovely and bucolic of all wineries, Harris Bridge. And they were so enchanted by my description that they promptly set their GPS for it. They took a picture of me too. Seriously people? I'm not that interesting to look at!!!
  • A guy drove across with a rearview mirror attached to his glasses. Like the ones you see on bike helmets? He had one on his everyday glasses. It cracked me up. I guess nobody's sneaking up on him! 
  • A wonderful friend, Janita, came by. My first friendly visitor! She came bearing yarn, too! It was so much fun to show her around and see everything through her eyes.
  • Around 5, just as the traffic was slowing, my mom and stepdad drove up, bearing a blackberry shake from burgerville! They stayed for over an hour and a half, and it was so wonderful. Traffic was slow enough that I could show them everything, sit down and hang out with them, and also show off by doing perfect landings. My stepdad was so damn proud, it was the sweetest thing ever. 
So basically, I'm beyond exhausted. I stood for the vast majority of the day. Even though I only had 150 cars, they came in ones and twos most of the day, so for about 5 hours, it was almost constant back and forth. So I stood almost all day. I'm amazingly proud of myself, look at what I've managed to do! As Janita said today, nobody would have ever thought this would have been my life, if you'd have asked me a year ago. It's so odd and interesting and really fun. 

Friday, August 19, 2011

No news is crappy too

I was supposed to hear today. And I didn't. So either:
A) They're not hiring me, and I'll get a "no thanks" letter in the mail next week
B) They want me but couldn't contact my references so they'll maybe do that and contact me on monday?

Regardless, I think it's most likely option A, so I'm pretty bummed. This job was huge. This job scared the shit out of me. It was so big, so different from anything I knew, and would be such a learning experience. I was terrified of getting it. And I'm guessing I didn't. Which really freaking sucks.

So, I'm already moving on. There is a job with the city I live in that I just now applied for. When I first moved back to Oregon, it was to take an Assistant Planner position with the city. It was temporary, so that's how I landed with the County. So now the city is hiring an Associate position. And I WANT IT.

In other news, the Saga of My License continues. Oh man, does it ever!

So I passed my test last tuesday. The other two guys got their physical licenses 4 days and 8 days after they passed their tests. I'm now at day 10, and it's not here. So this morning, I sat down and called the lovely coast guard office that I'm oh so familiar with calling. I explained the situation to the woman on the phone, that it's been 10 days, that I'm scheduled to work--using my license--on Sunday. She put me on hold for a veeeeeery long time, and came back to say that the last notation in my file is that my evaluator (oh no, not her again!!!) received my approval last friday. She had tried to reach my evaluator, but she wasn't answering her phone (are we surprised??). Nothing else has occurred in a week. I explained that my paperwork sat on my evaluator's desk for 3 weeks last time, and that I was really afraid that the same thing was going to happen this time. You guys should have heard me, I laid on the sugar so deep! I was all sunshine and rainbows and friendliness, and totally tugged at her heart strings. At the end of the call, the best she said she could do was forward this all to the supervisor, and maybe they could mail my license on Monday.

Two hours later, she called me back! She said that the supervisor spoke to my evaluator. But she said it more like, "the supervisor SPOKE to the evaluator." As in, opened a can of whoopass on my evaluator. And suddenly magic occurred. The evaluator approved everything, and the certification desk put a rush on my license, and they're overnighting it to me today. As in, I should have it tomorrow! Of course, by this time, the boss had already rearranged the schedule, and he refuses to arrange it back (to have me working the BV) until I have my physical license in my physical hand. I'm still totally worried that they didn't get it out in time today, that it won't make it here tomorrow, that I won't get it until Monday. But this is the fastest I've seen the Coast Guard do much of anything so far, so I'm pretty hopeful.

And all of that means....I'm on the boat on Sunday!!! If I have my license in my hand, I'll work my first full shift on the BV on sunday. 6:45am to 7:15pm, Sunday through Wednesday. The boss will work about a half day with me on my first day, to make sure I know the procedures, and to give me some pointers on sticking the landing. And then I'm FREEEEEEE! I'm actually pretty amazed at how excited I am for this. I was so angry at this job when I got it. I didn't want it, I resented it. And now, finally, it's all happening, and it's all mine. And damn I'm stoked!

And a rather funny postscript: Remember how I said I was painting a few offices, and that the yellow I had chosen ended up REALLY yellow? I took a picture as I was laying the floor tile. It's REALLLLLLY yellow.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

And Now We Wait

So I passed my test last week, hooray. Which puts me back into limbo. This time, I'm just waiting. Waiting for my license to come in the mail. Until it's actually in my hand, I can't operate the ferry solo. The other guys got their licenses in about a week, so I'm guessing I'll get mine in the mail on Tuesday or Wednesday. Because my regular shift will be Sunday through Wednesday, I'll probably be stuck in the office for all of this coming week. Which is lame. But oh well.

My boss and his counterpart are moving from a shared office into individual offices. It's not a step up though. The offices that they're getting are just dreadful, dark, filthy holes full of water heaters and electrical equipment. I've been working on cleaning out the rats, that'll be for D. It's an 8x13 cinder block room with windows that face the mechanic's bays where semis, excavators and other machines are repaired. It's smelly, loud and filthy. Prior to being cleaned out, it had been where tire chains were stored. The room hadn't been used for anything but that since 1997--there was a calendar turned to February 1997 on the far wall. It was disgusting, greasy and dusty. At one point, I was up on a ladder while someone else was unscrewing plywood from the wall. As the plywood dropped to the floor, a plume of dust flew up and made it impossible for me to breathe. I felt my throat close up, and I almost feel from my ladder as I ran outside for some fresh air. After that, I wore a face mask until it was clean. 20 minutes in the face mask, and the outside of the mask was dark brown from the soot that I kept out of my lungs.

Once the room was clean, it was primed, and next up is painting. I've cut in all of the corners, floor, ceiling, and windows with the paint color and I think I hate it. Which is unfortunate, since I picked the color! I was sent to Home Depot with a request for "cream, off white or a cheery yellow." I love cheery yellow rooms, so that's what I got. It's Behr Lemon Pound Cake, if you want to go look. It's cheery, not super bright, just a creamy happy yellow. Until you put it on the wall. It's the exact color of scrambled eggs. I think it's just dreadful. D, who will be moving into the office, said it's really not that bad, he's ok with it. But it's almost hard to paint onto the walls, it's so bad!

So I get to paint tomorrow. And probably the next day. And when I'm done with that, I get to lay peel and stick tile. And then, once I think I'm all done? I get to do it all again in my boss's office! sheesh. At least it should be my last week in the shops. Assuming my license comes this week (and it damn well better!) I should be working on the ferry from there on out.

And in addition to all that going on, I had a pretty great interview in Portland on Thursday. So good, in fact, that they called me on Friday (the Next Day!) to schedule a 2nd interview! OMG. So I'm going back up on Tuesday afternoon. I'm beyond thrilled that I'm in the running but I'm also pretty terrified. If I get the job, it means I'll have to move to Portland. Not right away, I'll save up, and need to figure out neighborhoods and transit and all, but probably late fall, I'll move. I'll be another hour from my parents, which sounds terrible to me. I've finally managed, after living in Salem for 6 years, to make friends. And I'll miss them so much. Salem has become my home. This little duplex has been my home longer than anywhere I've lived since I was in high school. The idea of leaving makes me sad. And yes, I know. I don't have the job yet. But the prospect of it has brought home the reality of getting what I've always dreamed of. And damn, sometimes reality bites!

Regardless, this is a job that I could grow into. This is the type of job where I only know about 50% of the stuff they want, and it'll take me a long time to hone my skills at the rest. But once I do, oh man! Even if I don't work at this place for the rest of my career, there are opportunities to stay there for a long time. And if I don't, when I move on, I'll be an extremely strong candidate for more advanced planning jobs. It's exciting, and very flattering that they like me and even have enough faith in me for a second interview!

It's on Tuesday afternoon. Fingers crossed!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


I PASSED! It was easier than I expected in some ways, and other questions were so foreign to me, my stomach hurt.

I got to the testing center about a half hour early, out of nerves. So I sat on a bench out front and forced myself to read a book. When I went in, there was another test taker there as well. He was on day 3 of testing, and taking at least 2 or 3 tests per day. I don't know what his license was for, but it was obviously a lot more intense than mine! He had graph paper, charts, a calculator and a compass at his table.

The test was the same one that one of my coworkers had taken, and in fact had taken most recently. Our boss made sure that both of the guys sat down and wrote out as many questions and topics that they could remember from their tests. I'm extremely lucky that I ended up with the exact same test B had taken. His was the only test that had questions about anchors, and particular questions about navigating in bad weather. Of course, neither topics matter, since we don't have an anchor, and we don't navigate! Regardless, I made sure to study up on those topics and did really well.

I got a 87%, I missed 5 out of 40 questions. A 70% was required to pass. Afterward, texting with one of the other new guys who just got his license, he said that I did much better than either of them. I'm a bit proud, I can't help it. I mean, questions like:

The only type of vessel permitted to operate with flashing blue lights is ______________ (police and emergency vessels).

What length of anchor line is best suitable for moderate winds and currents? (5x the depth of water in soft ground)

A vessel is significantly to your forward starboard and you see a red sidelight. What is your course of action? (continue at same speed).

None of these things matter when operating the ferry. It's all bizarre topics that I'm required to know for this one moment in time, so I can pass this exam. Regardless, I was a dutiful student, read through the huge book several times and memorized whatever I could. And it worked!

When I was sitting there as he graded my exam, I was extremely nervous. I knew I missed at least 4 or 5, but I was worried that I'd missed more than that. Plus, I hadn't done the math to realizes I could miss 12 questions and still pass. If I'd realized that, I would have been more relaxed. When I was told I passed, I felt like I could breathe again, I must have been holding my breath.

My license should come in the mail in about a week. Knowing my track record with the Coast Guard so far, I'm afraid of it taking longer. It's possible that I'll be on the boat for my first solo shift next Wednesday. If not Wednesday, it'll be the following Sunday. My shift, my work week, is Sunday through Wednesday, another operator works Thursday through Saturday. So no matter what, I've got no more than a week and a half left of "shop days." They're starting to get extremely dull. For the rest of the week, I'll be assisting my boss and another guy as they move into different offices. Painting, moving furniture, filing. Basically grunt work and filling time. Which is fine. I mind it a heck of a lot less now that I'll be moving onto the boat very soon!

And hell, maybe I'll be move on in general. I'm interviewing on Thursday in Portland for a great job, and I just saw a really good job open up in Salem that I'm going to apply for. The future is looking pretty damn bright!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Dear Coast Guard

This is a copy of an email I just sent to the National Maritime Center's customer service center. I've been on the phone with them every other day for almost 3 weeks now. Welcome to paperwork hell.

Mariner Number: ####
Application ID: ####
Name: Jennifer Brown
DOB: ####

I am writing to check the status of my application. I was informed over the telephone on Tuesday, August 2nd, that my application had been approved, and that I would receive a letter in the mail by the end of the week. When I did not receive a letter permitting me to test by today, August 8th, I contacted the NMC by telephone again, since the person I spoke with on Tuesday stated that she could send me a digital copy of the letter. I requested that, and have not received it.

I am most concerned because even though I have been informed multiple times over the phone that my application was approved, I have not received any email confirmation that the requested information was reviewed or that my application was approved. My supervisor contacted the director of the local testing center, who stated that my approval letter was not shown in the files he could view online, though he could see that I was approved.

I am concerned that my paperwork may have not followed the right paths, and may be sitting on a desk somewhere, incomplete. I am ready and prepared to test, and have been anxiously awaiting a test date.

Any assistance you can provide would be greatly appreciated. I have been told that my evaluator's name is XXXXX. If possible, please forward my concerns to her as well. I would like to get this issue resolved as soon as possible.

Thank you

email address

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Yay, No Dredging; and Other Random Things

Earlier this week, the boss had said that I might be dredging at the WL. It can take several weeks to dredge there, and you do it overnight. So the shift is basically 9pm-7am. Sort of brutal, but I guess you get used to it. The bridge crew has been moving the barges and everything else from the BV to the WL in the last three days, finally finishing late this afternoon. Today, since the boss was basically working both shifts at the WL for coworkers in meetings or on vacation (that's 16+hours), I went down there and spent the day driving the boat. In talking to the boss, he said I wasn't going to dredge at all, hooray! He told me more about it, and I guess really, they only need two workers, one on the excavator, and one in the boat, to push the barges around. I'm fine with learning it all, but the idea of doing it for thanks! So I was pretty pleased.

The boss is not doing the dredging either, which was the other thing I was apprehensive about. If he was dredging, I wouldn't know what to do at work. I'm still stuck with shop days every day until I get my license. I walk into the office and sit with him and figure out what I'll be doing that day. Some days it's pretty dreadful (the days and days of scraping paint and then painting the gates in the hot sun), some days it's fun, like today. I showed up at the WL around 8:30, and just drove. We had a toll taker, so she did the tolls, and when she was on break, boss did. I was pretty nervous that my first few landings would be awful, since I hadn't driven in weeks. But I did great! A few rough landings, but I got into my groove quickly, and felt much more relaxed at the controls than I had before. I was pleased, and he was pleased with my abilities.

I have a sunburn. Yesterday, boss and I were down at the BV almost the whole day. Mostly just hanging out, watching the bridge crew pull out the barges, learning the ropes down there. One of the other trainees who hired on 2 weeks before me, was officially let free on the BV. For our first shifts on the BV, the boss meets you there at opening, and walks through everything, then sticks around for at least a few hours until you're comfortable. I'm glad he does that. I wouldn't know what needs to be turned on, what to do with my bank bag, how to check the air compressor, the easiest way to land on the east side, etc. Anyway, I was down hanging out for coworker's first shift, and utterly forgot the sunscreen. I wasn't outside all day, but I was in and out (ok, mostly out) of the cabin on a 85 degree sunny day for 6 hours. Dumb! My nose is bright red, same with my chest, back of the neck, and arms. ouch. I've been really good, I promise, about wearing sunscreen. Really good until yesterday, I guess.

I'm really glad I've got that interview next week. This job is demanding. Demanding enough that it's really easy to get wrapped up in it and forget to even look for work. I feel like, if I didn't have my education and years of experience in planning, as well as a desire to not be a ferry operator for the rest of my career, I could end up working in this blue collar universe forever. It's like a whirlpool, sucking me in. I need to get out. Getting this interview, even if I don't get the job, is great. It's really reminding me what I really want.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Next Week will be Awesome

I got some good news today. Two bits of great news, actually. This morning, right at 8 when I got to the shops, I sat down and called the Coast Guard...again. I've been calling every other work day for two and a half weeks now, hoping they'll suddenly discover my paperwork, and finally send it on it's merry way. Well, lo and behold, it happened! The super helpful lady on the phone said my application was approved, and I can schedule my captain's test! So, next tuesday at 7:30 am, I'll be in Portland to take my test! I'm going to be a captain!

I spent the day on the BV today, mostly goofing off, since the boss doesn't really have anything for me to do. Which is fine, it's better to be bored than to be tossed in with the road crew to spend the day flagging. No thank you! I checked my phone around noon, and OMG, I had a phone message from the Port of Portland!!!!! I'd applied for an associate planner job there probably 6 weeks ago! I'd totally given up on getting an interview, and had put it out of my mind. This job....oh man, this job! It's an associate planner, which is a step up from what I had been (assistant planner). The money is seriously decent. Like, live comfortably in a cute Portland neighborhood decent. It's a super interesting job. I'm qualified! I want it SO DAMN BAD! So next thursday, a week from tomorrow, I'll be heading up to Portland to interview with them. I'm so excited!

And now, a random feline anecdote.

Squeaker, my scared-of-humans cat, got a pretty major abscess on his jaw. He had to spend the night at the vet, have a drain put in, and came home with a shaved face and wearing the Cone of Shame. Doesn't he look thrilled?!

I brought Squeaks home from the vet yesterday after work. Since it's summer, Ashland, my attention whore, neighborhood slut cat, has been mostly living outside, coming in only to eat twice a day. Yesterday evening, Ashland didn't feel like coming in, and I didn't think much of it and went to bed. This morning, she was hungry and came in to eat. She walked in the door, saw Squeaker in the Cone, and instantly freaked out, hissing and hiding in the corner! It's just Squeaker!!! She ran out the door when I left for work, so I put a small dish of food out for her.

When I got home this evening, she looked leery, but peered into the house, worried about the creature with the blue cone. She wouldn't come in! Later, when I got home from knit night, I picked her up and brought her in, carried her over to Squeaks and let them sniff each other. No dice. Ashland is currently scratching at the door to go out. When she sees Squeaker, she hisses. Seriously, squeaker is just fine with the fact that he's in the cone, that he's got a strip of muslin looped through his face, and that he's got a giant shaved spot. It's Ashland who's freaked.

Damn cats.