Sunday, May 20, 2012

365: Lucky Day!

Not only did we get free luggage, but the seat between Ange and I was open! Super nice and comfy for our 5 hour flight! What is the chance that could happen on our 8 flight to Morocco??? Keeping my fingers crossed!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

365: Precision Packing

T minus approximately 30 hours or so. I spent part of the late afternoon organizing and packing our donation bags. This is my 9th trip to Africa and probably somewhere in the hundreds for number of bags I've packed. I pretty much have it down to a science. I know just how to fit things in to maximize every book and cranny and to make sure the luggage come in right at 50 lbs. It took lots of practice and continues to take lots of patience but it's all worth it in the end. Now to pack my personal goods. We'll get to that tomorrow!

Friday, May 18, 2012

365: Our "Husbands"

In most parts of Africa it's illegal to be gay. The Gambia is one of those countries. In fact the President of the Gambia threatened to behead any gay person that was "discovered" in the country a few years ago. Clearly this presents a problem for Ange and me.

In the past we've made a game of telling nosey neds about our private lives. Usually the wilder the story the more fun we have. People started to wise up and realize we didn't look anything alike so our lame story of being "sisters" wasn't working out.

This year we decided to step up our game and recruited a some of our new Chico friends (who are also a couple) to be our fake husbands. All year we've staged spontaneous photo shoots at various events so that we have photographic evidence of our love. Tonight was no different. Behold! The happy couples! The couple on the right are WORKING it. The couple on the left...look like an awkward prom photo. Perhaps they're having marital problems?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

365: Poking the Belly

When my sisters and I were little we used to fight over who got to "poke the belly" of a new tub of butter. Poking the belly meant you'd stab or otherwise maim the middle of a tub of butter usually where there was a swirl. I have no idea where "poking the belly" came from but after googling a while it was apparent this was just one more weird thing my family made up. I'm guessing we made it up because the butter looks sort of like a belly button? One of the best things about being a grown up is that I have pretty much free range to always poke the belly now. Because Ange doesn't even know what the hell that means nor does she get excited about it. And no smelly little sisters trying to elbow their way in!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

365: So Grateful for Days like These

Today was pretty much perfect. I went to the post office this morning and found three packages waiting for me! Score!!!

One package was my birthday gift from my dad and stepmom--a Timbuk2 messenger bag!!! Yes! Now I can walk and bike to school when we move down to Chico with getting annoyed at straps sliding off my shoulders or worrying about my stuff getting all wet or ruined! Thanks papa bear & Gail!

My second package was some Old Navy stuff I ordered with a birthday gift card from my sister & a credit I got from something I had to return that my mom got me for my birthday! Yay new clothes!!! Thanks mom and sister and BIL!

The third package was more amazing love from one of my Juniata girls and her awesome family. More donations for Africa! Thanks Mandy, Brian, Tom & Math Ruthie!!!

Next I got to my office and there was a note slipped under my door from a student I had last semester. It said all sorts of nice things and totally gave me a pep in my step all day. Thanks Esther!

Finally, someone stuck little encouraging post-it notes all around the bottom floor of Butte Hall today. They were so cute and definitely made me smile. They were intended for other students in the midst of stress about finals I'm sure but I didn't mind partaking in the love fest too!

Pretty much my life is charmed and amazing.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

365: Captain Nerd

Ange has massive anxiety with flying. She's been working on stress relieving techniques in preparation for our flights to the Gambia next Monday. She thought some sensory deprivation would do her some good so we decided to invest in a sleep mask for her. It might not help her sleep but at least she'll be stylin and profilin on the way there.

Monday, May 14, 2012

365: Hazards of the Trade

I had about $350 left in my professional development accounts this year and it needed to be spent by the end of the semester or I'd lose it so I decided to invest in some "instructional aids."

Specifically: contraceptives.

Have you ever spent $350 on contraceptives at once? It buys a TON of stuff. I ordered everything through Amazon and since they operate an online space for many smaller sellers I ended up with 16 different dealers sending me things. Dental dams here, condoms and lube there, etc.

Well apparently two things happen when you have stuff shipped to the university. First they open all the packages that come in and check out your stuff. That's kind of bunk but I guess if someone sends me anthrax then it won't be me who gets it. Secondly, apparently you aren't supposed to get "personal stuff" shipped to you at work.

I'm sure you can guess what happened next.

When I went into the office this morning out Department Administrative Assistant was cracking up. Apparently someone in shipping had been frantically trying to get a hold of me all day Friday (I worked from home on Friday) because he was worried about the massive orders of contraceptives I was getting. He finally called Marie up and was trying to get the story out delicately to her without busting me or embarrassing himself or her. The best part is that Marie immediately knew what he was trying to get to but instead of bailing him out she let him spit out the whole story before she explained that I'm the sex professor and none of that stuff was "personal" but was for instructional purposes. She thought it was the most hilarious thing ever. I did too. I'm still waiting on more packages so let's see how embarrassed I can make them before it's all said and done!

All I can say is that it's a good thing I didn't have more money because sex toys were next on my list.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

365: Gangrene

I think my body is determined to get gangrene before all is said and done. I sliced my thumb open on wine bottle foil yesterday and cut my index finger on a tin can of dog food this evening. They are like paper cuts on SPEED. They need to heal up before we leave next week or else I'm sure they'll get infected with some crazy disease I've never heard about. Because that's what always happens to me in foreign countries.

I also like how my thumb looks all wacky in this shot and my middle finger on the right hand side looks like it's pregnant. Weird camera angles for sure!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

365: Exhausted but Satisfied

So pretty much Ange and I have been "partying" for 36 hours straight (and I use partying very loosely). One of my bffs came into town for about 24 hours and then we decided to go to the winery this weekend without actually checking to see if the winery was open (it wasn't; oops!) so we ended up hosting a little impromptu afternoon winery party of sorts at our house. After all that hosting and socializing I am BEAT! But I wouldn't have changed a thing. Such an awesome weekend. Now I have to bust some ass on grading and make it through finals and we're off to the Gambia!

Friday, May 11, 2012

365: Road Trip!

Our landlord came down to fix some stuff at the house this morning and when we was here he told me his little dog Zippy got bit by a snake last night and he had to go to the emergency vet. Luckily he had already had a rattlesnake vaccine so he made it. This was my call to action! I'd been meaning to get the girls vaccinated but kept putting it off. The Butte Humane Society has a walk in clinic every day of the week (M-F) and super cheap vaccines. So I hopped in the shower after Bill left and tossed the girls in the car to go get their rattlesnake vaccines! They were SO EXCITED to be GO, GO, GOING! They also decided that despite the fact that I drive a station wagon they both needed to squish into the front seat and breathe on each other and me. Total nerds. But they got their first shot so hopefully it will save their little lives if they ever happen upon a snake while running through the canyon!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

365: Camp Awesome is Teeming with Wildlife!

Scientific method proved that there is more than one salamander living in our yard. I saw four at one time today! Two are pictured here; they're so small I couldn't get all 4 in the picture with any kind of clarity. There's also a slug in the picture. We have lots of them.

Scientific method also led us to reject the null hypothesis. Ho did not equal "Dogs will shred little salamanders into millions of pieces." I think this is because they salamanders belong to the honey badger family; they did not give a crap about the girls sniffing them. If they would have darted it would have been over for sure.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

365: Pizzerias Long Lost Cousin?

Anybody out there besides my sisters and mother remember Pizzerias? Also known as the best chips ever invented? My mother and I were obsessed with them. So delicious. And then, tragically, one day that stopped making them. It was devastation central. My mom has even dreamed of them years later if that tells you anything about our level of fanaticism.

Today I was at Winco picking up some groceries. When I got to the check out line my eyes feasted upon these beauties. Could it be? New pizza chips? I was hesitant to get my hopes up, but I knew I had to do it for my mother's sake. It was a good choice. Although not as good as Pizzeria's, they're pretty close. Hopefully these continue to be made and are more widely available!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

365: Ice Cream Buddies!

After the fundraising dinner at Woodstock's we decided to hit up a new Hispanic ice cream parlor with two of our newest and favoritest people in Chico: Danny & Caitlin! They are also our soon to be surrogate (?) parents to our fur babies!

We had so much fun!!! From Danny's decision to try ALL the green ice creams in the case, to laughing about BEEFHAWKS, and apparently getting on the owner's nerves with our boisterous laughing, it was clear we were the only people in the place having a GAY old time! So glad we met these two :)

Monday, May 7, 2012


That's all I can say! Earlier this year I was reading my HRC magazine and I saw an article about the practice of "Grossing Up" by (so far) private companies to offset the tax penalties for domestic partners imposed by the Federal Government. As I've mentioned before this practice is obviously unfair and bothers the shit out of me (e.g. if Ange were a man I wouldn't pay taxes, but because we are same sex partners we're taxed--at 40% no less!) and of course being the sassy person I am I decided to do something about it.

Being new I didn't really know where to go so I reached out to my friend Jill who is the student rep to the CSU Board of Trustees and I figured would know where to go. She had some ideas and we both spent time meeting individually with people and together with some people. We were told there wasn't going to be much luck at changing things but we still thought it was important to put on the table. I worked mainly with people on campus and Jill worked mainly with the unions (student and faculty) and various trustees.

I hadn't heard much about it lately and as it's the end of the semester and I'm going to Africa in 2 weeks I haven't thought much about it. Today the Chancellor's Office released a statement related to the break down in negotiations between the CFA and the CSU and had a whole bunch of links to various things. One was a link to a "a handwritten list of items" to discuss. ONE OF THE ITEMS (of 9!) WAS GROSSING UP! OMG!!! My heart literally skipped a beat! [link here to the full list:]

Now I'm not claiming this was solely because of the work that Jill and I did, but that's a pretty big coincidence! So whoever has been carrying this torch all the way to the negotiating table on behalf of the 23,000 faculty members in CA I say AWESOME JOB & THANK YOU!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

365: Gala Night

Tonight was my department's spring gala to celebrate our spring interns and graduates. I was asked to be a "commencement" speaker at the event which was nice and fun. They gave me a thank you note and a cool stone coaster as a thank you gift. We had 51 students interning this semester--so many it was hard to get them all in a picture and impossible to get them all looking at the cameras at the same time! I did a quick panorama snap and called it a day. Yay for new young professionals!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

365: Cinco de Mayo

Tonight Ange had an end of the year Geography Department social to attend, and although she invited me I didn't really want to be a 3rd wheel (or 61st as it turns out) to a party where everyone has a common bond and feel like the odd one out. Plus, so far in Chico we mostly have joint friends. One of us may be more friendly or familiar with someone(s) but we're generally friends with the same people. It's nice and healthy to have separate friends too so I thought this would be a nice way for Ange to further develop her friendships without having to worry about me being or feeling awkward. But of course I wasn't going to sit at home twiddling my thumbs so I made plans with another friend.

So coincidentally it was Cinco de Mayo. But as we don't really plan our days around mostly drinking holidays I didn't realize this until my friend mentioned it. All I knew is that I was NOT up for a big party so that limited our choices of what to do. We finally decided to grab some drinks and appetizers at a place close to her house (and far from the wild downtown area where there were sure to be lots of drunken students) and have a long relaxing evening on the patio. After a few hours we packed it in and went back to her house for some hot tubbing! Yes! Finally a friend that owns a hot tub! I told her ANY time she needed a hot tub buddy to call me up! Ahhhh, relaxing enjoyable evening!

Friday, May 4, 2012

365: Empowerment Rally

I was invited to speak at an Empowerment Rally organized by a class on campus. It was a communications class that focused on gender & communication, taught by someone I've never met, and organized by students that I've never met. I have no idea how they picked me. They contacted me a couple weeks ago and asked if I'd be one of their three speakers and if I could give a 15 minute presentation on body image. Sounded like it could be fun so why not?

It turned out to be a cool class project and was a lot of fun. They raised $500 during the week for our Safe Place program which does education and outreach around sexual and domestic violence on campus.

My talk focused on loving your body TODAY and not feeding into social & media messages telling you that you're not good enough the way you are. I think it went over pretty well with the students, and I know it went over very well with their instructor because she asked me to speak at a conference she organizes in the fall! All in all, an awesome empowering day!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

365: House of Weirdos

A small glimpse into the weirdo house that is ours. I got my faculty regalia today. Since I'll only wear it once a year and it cost an arm and a leg I thought I'd practice using it and get some more mileage. I bet our dogs never thought they'd get doctor water!

Ange has a presentation she is nervous about tomorrow. She decided to practice for me tonight. Naturally to practice you need to full get into the moment and sanding next to the kitchen table is almost like a classroom right?

Doesn't everybody do these things at home?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

365: Test Drive

Ange is in the market for some new pillows. She's very serious about pillow selections. She's been eyeballing some ones at Costco but hasn't really felt like committing to testing them out. But finally she dove in. Good thing because they failed miserably. The search continues.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

365: Looking Out Over the Pride Land

Duke likes to pretend he's the Lion King. He'll sit at the top step of the deck for hours on end just watching the world go by. And by world go by I mean nothing happening. Because duh, we live at the bottom of the canyon. Maybe he sees a bird fly by every once in a while. Maybe he's reflecting back over his life. Who knows? All I know is he loves it and he sure looks cute doing it!