back up north


Big news! 

The Nature Center rehired me! I applied a few weeks ago in a fit of panic (don’t ask) and they didn’t even have me interview! Just called me up last week offering the position with a $0.50 raise! 

But, being me, I didn’t want to quit the Zoo either…. so I’m now gonna be working only Sundays at the Zoo and Tuesday through Saturday at the Nature Center. Yes that only gives me one day off a week, but it’s consistent. Also, we’re getting out of the Army this year and moving back up North so I want to have a huge savings before then. If I work myself to dust then I work myself to dust. So be it. 

And, my Zoo supervisor talked to me after my shift today asking about my “life plans”. If that’s not a conversation that gets the heart rate up, idk what is. He was asking because he wants to offer me a permanent position. I’ve only been here a month, guys. Currently, I’m a seasonal. It broke my damn heart telling him I’m moving at the end of the year. But, he took note of when I hope to be back… I think I have a job if I ever move back down here! I’m trying to convince my husband to move back down here after we finish our degrees. I don’t really like where we’re from and I love where we are now. There’s so much to do down here and while it’s a very conservative area, the individuals are very progressive. If nothing else, everyone here loves dogs and hiking. 

So… yeah lots to think about. 

It makes me feel really good though that the Zoo likes me enough that they want to offer me a permanent position already. 

Today, Wednesday the 21st of December, is the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere. When viewed from northern latitudes, the Sun will make its lowest arc through the sky along the southern horizon. The day of the winter Solstice has the shortest length of time between sunrise and sunset and hence the fewest hours of daylight.

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I’ve probably brought this up before but I am again because why not

This scene is really important, and I think it’s going to come back up again sometime in North and South. They wouldn’t just write this scene in for no reason (especially because it’s in Smoke and Shadow, in which Katara and Sokka were not in at all after this scene, so there would be no reason to give Katara a dramatic scene like this if it wasn’t going to come back again)

This is the moment I think when it fully hits them that this is going to be happening so often in their future. Of course, for a while, Katara will probably be able to accompany Aang on most of his Avatar-related trips. But once they get married and have children, who will have school (and assuming Katara got some sort of job teaching waterbending or something in Republic City. That’s my headcanon anyway), she won’t be able to go with him. That he’ll be leaving her and the kids a lot…

Whether it’s only a small scene between them, or it turns out to be some sort of conflict for them to overcome through the course of N&S, I think it’s safe to say they aren’t quite done with this conversation yet.


Our first kiss was a kiss goodbye; I know how our story ends.

My Isabela left me last week, and I’m still torn up about it.  Maybe she’ll be back for Act III  ♥

Valentine’s Day - UGA Botanical Gardens
Marian Hawke - @infinitecombinations
Isabela - @theflyinghoneybadger
Photographer - @entzleboffin


Just got back from up north, Mazar-i-Sharif, aka ‘mez’. Mez is the fourth biggest city in Afghanistan and is known for some Hellenistic remains that have been found there. It was a two day, one night trip. Camp Marmal is adjacent to the Mazar-i-Sharif ‘international’ airport and is a German run NATO camp. We visited the German SF camp, but stayed on the American SF compound, Camp Stevenson. That place is dead. There is nothing to do. There are four buildings: operations center, chow hall, gym, and barracks.

The Afghan SF unit that our team there trains, advises, and assists is located on Camp Shaheen, which is about 20km away. We ended up driving that distance in about 50 minutes one way in an up-armored Toyota Land Cruiser. I rode with two Germans and an Australian as we drove through the city streets of Mez. Lots to see. This was the third time I’ve been 'outside the wire’ and by far the longest. It was a very interesting experience. Women in burkas, little kids running in the street, lack of traffic laws, and the general poverty. By the way, not all women wear burkas here. It varies family to family, depending on how religious they are. The more wealthy afghans are more open to western culture, and the poor afghans are more traditional. Taliban rule would force all women to wear them.

We are already feeling the effect of Trump and General Mattis down at my level. Can’t say much more, but its aggressive, and the folks on the ground here are pumped up.

Tomorrow, I head west…



Scenes around the Vancouver Area

After a day of hiking around the mountains in Washington, I drove back up North to Vancouver to meet up with my Mom. It was nice getting to spend time bonding with her, even more so as she cooked my favorite meals that I haven’t had in a while! I took her out to a couple of gorgeous spots in Vancouver which neither of us have been to. Went to Brandywine Falls first, then set off to the Cheakamus Lake trailhead which was a 6 kilometer roundtrip hike through a beautiful mossy forest with a river which was the outlet of the actual lake running alongside parts of the trail. After that we headed up to Whistler just to see the sights, and then drove back down and stopped by the Rubble Creek Trailhead just because it was already there. The day after was spent driving off to Golden Ears Provincial Park which was yet another gorgeous spot! So much places to go to and so little time. Can’t wait to go back here again to explore some more.


This past weekend, bayareacloneclub and socalcloneclub came together for an epic Orphan Black season 3 premiere party, hosted in a hotel room in Santa Ana. We fit over twenty people in a tiny room and had a Helena buffet, booze, games, and hilarious conversations. So many new friends were made from all over the state. 

After a small SNAFU regarding the airtime of the show, we quickly improvised and set up a makeshift projector screen using bedsheets and button pins from people’s shirts and streamed the episode over the internet. Do not underestimate the power of 20+ cloneclubbers determined to watch the premiere!

The fun didn’t end there, though, as several of us spent the night and then went out to breakfast for one last hurrah, and said our goodbyes until the next time (finale party, anyone?). 

Not satisfied with two epic events, on our way back up north, we stopped by to say hi to everyone’s favorite shark-pterodactyl hybrid and Helena Aficionado sharkodactyl, and had a lovely sitdown in the grass discussing our reactions to the premiere episode. 

I’m so grateful to orphanblack for giving us this community and completely changing my life. Who would have thought, two years ago, that I would be driving all over the state to watch television with people from the internet, and coming away with the closest friends I’ve had in years?

Here’s to season 3!

A quick Masuyo.

Sorry to those who have messaged me about commissions, I have received your emails and will be working on them as soon as my parents have gone back up north. They decided to surprise us this weekend with a visit and I don’t see them often :)


“Was it possible that at every gathering, concert, peace rally, love-in, be-in, freak-in, here up north, back east, where ever, some dark crews had been busy all along reclaiming the music, the resistance to power, the sexual desire from epic to everyday? All they could sweep up for the ancient forces of greed and fear? Gee he thought… I don’t know.”

Inherent Vice (2014)