Chipmonkey Porn

Let me tell you, the Chipmonkey gets an awful lot of action, and all across the globe, too! You may remember the monkey-on-monkey love in Kenya, for example:

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Chipmonkey’s adventures continued when I finally got Chip-the-human down to my home away from home, the Florida Keys. We stayed here:

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Or, more specifically, here:

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I won’t do the day by day recap, because it’s been a while and it’s kind of a blur, but we managed to go ocean fishing …

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… although we didn’t catch much. I had a big one on the line, but the reel popped off (!) as I was trying to bring it in. Operator error, I’m sure. Chipmonkey fished a little too:

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He caught nothing … apparently his inter-species proclivities do not extend to marine life. He did make out with a blue and gold macaw at the docks, though!

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We ate too much too often …

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The most important moment of the trip, however, occurred when we finally spotted the elusive key deer that I’ve heard to much about but never seen (I know they’re elusive because the Internet says so). Naturally, Chipmonkey had to get in on the action.

Here, little deer. C’mere …

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That’s it … a little closer …

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Don’t eat the Chipmonkey! Looooove the Chipmonkey …

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Good deer.

As always, Jeff and Misty were gracious and welcoming hosts, and I don’t think I’ll have any trouble convincing Chip to go back. I’m pretty sure the monkey won’t mind, either.

I should learn to keep my mouth shut …

No time at all passed between my last post and a series of events that ensured I was unable to “just chill” and enjoy having finished school.

First of all, our house was burglarized. While it may have been something of an overreaction, I took that as a sign that it was time to move. I found a bigger house with a yard for the dogs in a nicer neighborhood … the only catch was the carpet in the kitchen. And the bathroom. Carpet.

Say it with me: Who does that?

I agreed to rent the place if I was allowed to replace the offending floor covering with something more appropriate. Chip graciously donated a large chunk of his vacation and considerable skill to the project. My kitchen is now lovely, and the bathroom isn’t half bad either.

Additionally, the second floor smelled like a rabbit hutch. Have you ever smelled rabbit pee? It’s gross. It took three and a half gallons of Nature’s Miracle (which is a wonderful product) to rid the carpet of the stink. What a pain.

Home invasions and moving aside, I also went from being a full time student to a full time employee without blinking – actually, I  started working before I’d even finished classes. However, the job for which I was hired was billed as: proofreader/copy editor/technical writer. What they actually wanted was: a proofreader. Highly technical documents in nine languages where all the proofreader does is look for stray commas and the like. Ick. That isn’t what I went to school for, it was boring as all get out, and frankly, I sucked at it.

As it happened, my former boss from Technology First (where I interned as a student for two years) left the organization for a new opportunity. That left his position open, and I jumped at the chance to fill his shoes. I love it, and I think I’m really good at it. My title is Communications Coordinator, but really I am responsible for half of everything the organization does. It’s crazy and busy, but it’s a ton of fun.

Kory has also started driving, which is wonderful from a logistic perspective yet terrifying from a parental perspective. I alternate between being thrilled that I don’t have to play taxi to freaking out if he’s home fifteen minutes later than expected. It’s a roller coaster.

All told, I fervently hope that there will be few major changes in my future. I’m just fine with things the way they are, and I don’t need any more milestones.

Somewhere in there we took a vacation to North Carolina, which was sublime, and I will post pictures soon. Kory and his friend Kevin learned to surf. It was awesome.

Ubuntu Update, and Yoku-En

So, I can’t make Ubuntu work. I Googled my little heart out, and still haven’t been able to resolve the issue, even thought I ordered a disk from Ubuntu and tried repeatedly to install again. In the mean time, Chip gifted me a machine that may or may not be superior to the one I’m using, so once I determine what it has to offer I will likely cannibalize the two into something, hopefully, better than what I have running now.

I took a break from playing Tech Support to visit Yuko-En on the Elkhorn, a Japanese friendship garden in Georgetown, Kentucky. While I find it a strange location for a Japanese friendship garden, it’s really pretty, and I am in love with these doors:

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I need to return in the Spring to see everything in bloom.

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School starts tomorrow, so if I don’t post for a while, it’s not because I’m dead. Hopefully.

Leave sooner, drive slower, live longer

I gave Kory his first driving lesson today. Chip tagged along, even though there really aren’t supposed to be other people in the car, because we needed a pylon.

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Just kidding. But, wow, that is one orange shirt.

Anyway, the day was perfect for the maiden voyage of the as-yet-unnamed Subaru. The sun was actually out for once, and since Wright State University’s women’s basketball games are, apparently, poorly attended, we had access to an almost empty parking lot.

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This is the Nutter Center. That’s right, Nutter. That name has always made me laugh.

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Kory shows great promise, and I’m certain he will be an excellent driver. 🙂 I hope he will have a better sense of direction than his mother. Fingers crossed.

We also visited Tara and her lovely daughter Addison last weekend. Addison is growing SO fast, and she’s utterly adorable. She was fascinated with Kory’s hair, and really, who wouldn’t be? I love her face. And she loves her lamb.

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Tara is expecting another daughter in June, to be named Molly. I am expecting Molly to be just as cute as her big sister.

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Tattoos and Typos

It turns out my birthday celebration has extended well past the anniversary of my actual birth. Last night I collected on my everlasting gift from Chip: a new tattoo. Chip thoughtfully showed up right when it was really starting to smart and took some pictures.

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Fair warning – don’t click around on those photos unless you want to see a little more of me than I normally care to show. Just trust me on this one.

Anyway, I love the new piece. The last few times I’ve gotten tattoos I’ve said each one would be my last, so I’m not going to say that this time. Many people don’t “get” tattoos, or shudder at the thought of putting something on their body permanently for fear they will regret it later in life. Others worry that when they’re older the art will wrinkle and fade. My take on it is this: I don’t regret any of my tattoos because they are bookmarks for my life … places where I have stopped to mark something forever, and each mark has its own story. As to the wrinkled and faded part, I figure all of me will be wrinkled and faded at some point, and I’ll enjoy telling my grandkids about each of my bodily bookmarks.

A note to all three of my readers: I can’t BELIEVE none of you pointed out I spelled “among” wrong in this post. I’m an ENGLISH MAJOR for crying out loud, and that embarrassing mistake was up for months! Kory pointed it out, rather gleefully, last night. My defense is that I have always had a mental block on that word and I consistently put a “u” in where none is needed. Also, WordPress doesn’t spell check post titles. And among doesn’t look like a real word. Among among among. See?

Glimpses of Paradise

If my friend Misty ever invites you to stay with her, say yes.  Don’t question it, don’t hesitate, just pack your bags and go.  It’s not just that she lives on a gorgeous sailboat in the heart of the Florida Keys, it’s that when it comes to playing hostess, my girl Misty is the bee’s knees.  Or some other, less goofy way of saying she’s the best.

First of all, Misty met me at the airport with a fruity drink to welcome me to Florida, effectively ending my lifelong embargo on grapefruit juice.  I thought Ruby Red was legitimate grapefruit juice; I was mistaken.

For a few days I got to see what’s it’s like to live on a sailboat, and I have to say I was surprised.  One of my first questions to Misty was “so, what do you do all day?”  She gets that a lot.  Trust me, there is plenty to do when you live on a floating vessel, even when you don’t have a vacationing guest to take care of.  Besides keeping the boat stocked with water, which involves hefting full tanks from the dinghy into the boat, meal planning and food storage is tricky business due to limited space.  However, “limited space” doesn’t necessarily translate to “cramped.”  I love all the nooks and crannies that are built in to boats, and even though there was an extra full-sized adult person on board in addition to Jeff, Misty, and Janus (my boyfriend for the weekend), we didn’t really step on each other’s toes very much.

This is Janus.

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He’s a very attentive boyfriend.

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In addition to running the boat like a streamlined little household (which is pretty much what it is) Misty is an indescribably good cook.   In fact, it was eating her cooking in the early years of our friendship that inspired me to start cooking more often, and I will confess to copying more than one of her recipes.  It was no surprise that she has managed to adapt to cooking in a tiny galley with minimal power … everything we ate was delicious, and I came home with a few new tricks to try.  Lobster, however, is not going to be one of them.  I will leave the lobster killing to other, more capable persons.

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We toured the harbor, ate fabulous sushi, listened to great music, practiced yoga by the water, and scouted some local wildlife.  We stayed busy, but it certainly still felt like vacation.  Did I mention that I didn’t fix my hair or wear makeup for five days?

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Misty DID make me walk down the most terrifying ramp I’ve ever seen on our walk to Pigeon Key.  I was increasingly convinced that the rotting wood planks were going to give way under me, four ton weight limit or not.  She calls it wusification; I call it a well developed sense of self-preservation.

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While Jeff had to work for part of my visit, he was kind enough to indulge my desire to get out for a sail and photograph his little floating palace on a beautiful, if not terribly windy, Sunday afternoon.  I showed uncharacteristic restraint and only took 300 photos of the Sailing Vessel “Exposure.”  It was nearly impossible to narrow down which to use here, because they all look like something out of a dream.

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This is Karen.

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Karen is h-i-l-a-r-i-o-u-s, especially when she’s a little sleep deprived.  She was my pilot for the afternoon, since operating a camera and a dinghy at the same time is beyond my expertise.  I was only a little nervous when the dinghy ran out of gas and Karen said “what plastic thingy?” in response to Misty’s instruction to “use the plastic thingy” to pump the gas from the can to the tank.

This is the funny little dragon boat that belongs to one of the other locals.  He had a little too much fun that afternoon, so it’s probably best that we woke him and suggested he head back to the harbor.  I only took 150 photos of his homemade boat … obvious restraint, again.

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I seem to have caught what Misty calls “Keys Disease” during my stay.  No, that’s not a rash.  I simply fell in love with the ease of living and the abundance of sunshine, so it has become my new goal in life to own and live on my very own sailboat.  I’d have turned around and gone right back (after coming home to 17-degree temperatures) but Kory wouldn’t let me.  Fear not; the kid’s gotta leave for college some day, and then you can all come visit me on my very own floating palace.

One at a time, please.

Finals

It’s Finals Week for me and for Kory. I have one, he has several. I’ve also started a new job and am still looking for freelance work, so we have a stress-filled household.

I’m committed to taking some fabulous photos this summer, though, so stay tuned!

Changes

I’ve been lax about posting photos lately because the upload process, frankly, sucks.  Unless I work from Chip’s house, the pics only halfway load and the process takes forfreakingever.  Therefore, these photos are a little old, but still worth posting.

Chip and Kory ran the Sugar Maple 5k … Chip went on to run the mini, so this is kind of anticlimactic, but it was still an accomplishment.

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Right after this shot, Kory turned to me and said “Oh dear God, this hurts.” He hadn’t run in a while.

I took the smart route and walked. That hurt too.

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Later that day, Chip enlisted the help of my friend Anna to give him a new ‘do, and let me tell you, she enjoyed it.

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If you can’t tell, my friend Anna is kind of a badass. She’s a three time cancer survivor and she’s committed to helping cancer patients, so Chip’s tail went to make hair for someone else.

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The beard went too, and here’s the new Chip!

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I’m only guessing that enough people have seen him now that I’m allowed to post these. If not … sorry Chip!