>Wednesday, January 14…

>or, TOMORROW IS PAYDAY!!!!
Soon my friends, soon I shall get to eat food that I didn’t cook. Was anyone aware that I am not that great of a cook? I wasn’t either. I mean, it’s all edible–it is just such a pain in the butt to cook for one person–especially without a microwave (yep, tomorrow I shall buy a microwave) and then you have to wash all the dishes.
Actually, I shouldn’t complain – I got taken out for sushi last night. And it wasn’t bad–in fact it was quite good.
However, and this is an important tidbit for everyone, if you know you have to wake up at 4:45 in the morning to get to an oil refinery by 5:30 at the latest to perform science-y type calibrating stuff do not stay out until midnight enjoying a fine glass of wine (or 2) with some co-workers– even if it is very tasty wine. I say this because I found it to be unpleasant this morning. AND I found out I am stuck here until 4 because of RAM training. What is RAM training you ask? why it stands for Rapid Air Monitoring. I know, I thought we did it as fast as we could too…who knew I was performing Slacker Air Monitoring. Hmmmm, Slacker Air Monitoring…I wonder if I can get patches made for my nomex?
The highlight of my day so far? There is a dude named Otto. His office is between my IH lab and my asbestos lab. He is a definite fixture around these parts. Anyway, he had this tiny little pocket knife. I commented on it, he said they were super cheap (0.99). Anyway, he went out of his way and bought me one. Gave it to me this morning. It was so nice of him. Yes, its a crappy little knife, but crappy little knives come in SO handy. Should you care mine is yellow. 🙂

>January 11, 2009

>January 11, 2009

It is Sunday, I have no plans today (but only 4 days until pay day!!!!). It is kind of overcast—but still beautiful. I have a confession to make, I just spent 2 hours watching the worst movie ever…I knew it would be bad, I mean, anything named Lake Placid 2 had to be bad. But this took the cake.

>January 13, 2009

>Yesterday I worked. I mean actually ran around and did stuff. That felt pretty good. Although once the workday was done I felt a little down. I miss everyone. There are nice people here–I actually really like it here. But I miss my husband, friends, and family.
This morning is meeting after meeting after meeting. I will let you know at the end of the day if I actually accompolish anything. 🙂
*hugs*

oooh, hey…I forgot to tell you. Big drama out on the hill. My landlord threatened to kick out my neighbor unless she got her rent caught up by the end of the month. So she was crying ALL NIGHT. I will let ya’ll know whats happenin’.

>January 10, 2009

>January 10, 2009

It is Saturday or as I like to think of it 5 days until pay day. :o) Today I went into Fredericksted twice; once to drop off my neighbor at work and once to pick her up. I know, I know…I’m a soft touch. She bought me a cup of coffee in the morning…it was nice although odd to sit at a bar at 9AM for coffee. I got to hear the story of the bartender owner. He was talking about how he spent twenty-something years in San Francisco as an executive chef and went to school for 5 years or so. His coffee was good. :o) However, and here is where I am trying to be diplomatic, he may have been a touch misogynistic. Or a lot misogynistic, since he also told us the story of how his twenty year old girlfriend (he seemed about 50) needed to shape up or he was going to kick her to the curb and bring over a new girlfriend. *sigh* Some men really deserve to be punched in the nose (or lower). It is not always easy for me to hold my tongue in situations like these but being new to the island it is a prudent thing for me to do. I told him he was an asshole but I did it with a smile on my face—he laughed *sigh*.

Yesterday (or was it Thursday) I was discussing dogs (I know, I am totally a crazy dog lady) with a fireman (as I have said, my office is in the fire station). He was very much into dogs and told me all about his. It was a great conversation which suddenly took a horrible turn. I am going to paraphrase here because my brain kind of shut down,

“so there I was at the dog fighting pit, and one of the owners gave their dog some kind of drug that made him uncontrollable so I climbed a tree to avoid what I knew was about to happen. All my friends made fun of me until the dog went bat-shit crazy and attacked a bunch of people.”

All of you who know me know that I saw purple (far past red) when he talked about this. But, I was diplomatic. I said nothing, changed the topic to something bland and tried to forget. This may be a US protectorate but it is certainly its own culture with its own customs—and it is not my place to judge. But when I am alone in my car it is my place to cuss like a roughneck. I almost made the paint peel.

So, between dog fighting and women treated as objects—I may have my work cut out for me in the fitting in on the island front.

Please keep in mind that although there is a darker side to the island there also beauty, kindness, and courtesy. With the good there will always be the bad—such is nature and such is life (the concept, not the dog.)

Life (the dog, not the concept) is doing a damn fine job on the protectiveness front. She remains at my side even when off leash and although she is friendly to all she does not like it when strange people approach. There is a certain security when having the 119lb dog next to you when walking downtown, on the beach, or going to a bar. Yes, Teak (the other dog) is also there but in all honesty he is more into self-preservation. He remains on high alert in case some food or other item is dropped or passed to him. Teak remains, as always, beloved excess baggage. :o)

>January 8, 2009

>Gack Gargle Flurgity Poop!!!

Ok. Mild frustration.
I can’t get on the internet. I haven’t been on the internet (blackberry excluded) since I have been here. I have to be honest—ITS DRIVING ME INSANE. I haven’t been able to do banking, get my email attachments, post my blog, expense reports (which means no money is coming back to me) or anything.
Then today, I had a brilliant idea (or so I thought)—using my phone as a modem. Sadly, I don’t have the software and cannot get it until I am online. *sigh* Stupid catch 22.

*deep breathing*

>January 9, 2009

>I’m still breathing and I am totally having a mainland moment…BUT WHY THE HELL WON’T THE INTERNET WORK FOR ME. AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

Okay, I’m over it. J it will work eventually. (please??????) meanwhile I am off to a meeting.
Hopefully, later, I will be able to post these. 🙂

Okay, just fyi if you see a random J in a posting it was a smiley face in word. *sigh*
Today (as you can see) I finally have internet. (YAY!!!!)

We can thank a wonderful lady at my office who very nicely made it go. 🙂
Thank you Sarah!!!!

Have a great weekend!!!!!!!!!! I don’t have any plans other than laundry so I should get some rest. 🙂
*hugs*
-H.

>January 6, 2009

>Today was my first day at work…you know, real work. Well, again, there was very little “hard” work but I did set up my laboratory and clean it. Boy, was it dusty. And I got a TV, a co-worker had an extra one they wanted to get rid of, hey a free tv is still a tv even if it is not a flat screen. J
Today there was a fire at the refinery, and I was definitely aware of it—my office (lab) is located in the firehouse (picture a mechanical voice saying over and over again for a half hour, “fire, fire, fire in blah blah blah…fire, fire, fire….”) but unlike the last time I was here I was not sent out to the fire. I think they were trying to be nice to me on my first day, they said I would be sent out soon. For family members concerned, etc. don’t worry, it is part of the job—I would sample the firefighters and make sure there were no toxic leaks etc. Being stuck in the lab while everyone else ran around felt kind of lame. But field work starts tomorrow. J Although hopefully there will be no fires.

Well, in case anyone wants to visit my apartment I am going to give you the same directions I was given, ready? From Queen Mary Hwy you are going to head North on 64 which you take until 70 and then you head West (sounds normal so far, right? Wait for it) then you drive until you see a sign that says “Whim” on the left—it’s light blue and you can’t miss it. You take a right onto the next street. You continue going down that street until you see 2 stone pillars in front of you as the road curves to the left—you take a right at the next street. You continue down that road until you see a crappy chain link fence which connects to a better chain link fence which then leads to rocks on the road (this is all on the left), you take a right at the road which is perpendicular to the rocks. You travel down that road until you come upon a REALLY ugly light blue concrete wall with ugly concrete eagles on it which are painted to look like seagulls and you take a right (the wall is on your right) you continue down this crappy road which turns into gravel until you hit a row of mailboxes and then you take the crappy road to the right. You continue traveling up up up the deeply f’d up road and when it forks again you take the left fork…you then go and go and go until the road dead ends…there is my apartment. Welcome!!!

>January 5, 2009

>Hello everyone, I am sick of trying to type on a blackberry so I am writing a word document which I will post next time I am online.
Today was my first day at work; please note I am using the term work loosely. It was basically a lot of waiting around, talking to different people, and waiting some more. I finally received my badge after 3:30PM and then went to my boss’s office now that I had clearance to enter the property. He was glad to see me, probably certain that I had disappeared to go live on the beach somewhere. We chatted a little about the work I would be doing and I am not going to lie, I am excited. I will be working with what appears to be 2 very laid back nice guys. I heard that my name was mentioned in the morning meeting—here’s hoping I shall go on to impress folk. Tomorrow I will be setting up my laboratory (insert evil scientist here!)

I attempted to connect to the internet tonight and failed—so instead I went to the beach with the dogs. It was their first time ever seeing the ocean. They ran up to the water, took a lick, and looked at me with a serious “What the Hell!” expression. Then as a wave came up—they ran like fools. All in all, they were underwhelmed with the Caribbean Sea as it was salty and tried to get them wet!!! But, the sand was nice to dig in and poop on. And I am pretty sure I parked my jeep next to 2 people who were totally doing it! Yep, my dogs pooped on lover’s lane…I wonder what that says about me? J

Following the beach I met my downstairs neighbor at a bar—she needed a ride home and I figured I could celebrate my first day at work with a little rum. I also had some decently cheap pizza—yeah, I am pretty sure that the place was kinda dirty, but the pizza was not too bad AND I got to bring the dogs in. So far, the seriously high point of my trip was going to the beach and getting to hang out with my dogs at the bar.

My downstairs neighbor it turns out is not sleeping with the landlord, but not for lack of him trying. J At least that is the story I am hearing. My neighbor is totally batty and has more drama in her life this week than I have had in my entire life—but she is a hoot! And she danced on the bar and then fell off her bar stool. What more can you want in a companion at a bar?!?!

So, once I was home I settled the dogs down and came out onto the patio, lit a candle and wrote this story…it ain’t much—but it was my day.
Take care everyone! *Hugs*

>grrrr!!!! internet

>So. I still don’t have internet. Hovensa is working on it, I’m working on it.
Someday, I will be able to post the stuff I wrote on my computer. 🙂
Just a quick note-all is going fairly well. I am tired, but that is normal after traveling and working.
I got my car yesterday, and it is beautiful! It is easily the biggest vehicle I have ever driven.
I LOVE it. I will write more soon, I promise.
*hugs*
Heather.

>my First Day

>I forgot. I did. I thought I remembered but I didn’t. Things take FOREVER here.
I began my day at the startlingly early time of 4:30AM. Made breakfast, fed dogs, washed dishes.
Took the dogs out even though they were wondering what the hell we were doing up. At 5:40 AM I was off,

Bumping down the steep road knowing that I had to get to the training before 7 AM or I was screwed.
So I went around the refinery twice (I am not known for my unerring sense of direction. 🙂
And finally found the training place. Yes, I have been there before, but it was a long time ago. 🙂
Anyway, arrived at 6:40, and at the crack of 7:30 the people who worked here started to arrive. *sigh*
Island Time. 🙂
So I sat through what felt like 2 years of refresher training and then skipped off to get my card.
Received card number 1 no problem. The badge though, well, it turns out no-one put in a badge request. So,
I ran to Kmart and bought cereal. Then I went to a feed store and bought dog food ($67!!). Then I got ahold of
the boss-man and he called to check on the badge. Then, I came back to the badge place but it hadn’t cleared security
yet! So I am a’waitin.
Once I get the badge I’m going to go in and see the guy I am working for!