Thursday, November 17, 2011

DC Comics and Chocolate Milkshakes: Aquaman

So I loved the first issue of the new Aquaman comic and I'm not at all ashamed to admit it. I used to be one of those people who thought Aquaman was the stupidest and most useless super hero there ever was and would make jokes at his expense but this comic has shown me the errors of my ways. I think what made this first issue so great was that it spent a good portion of it addressing all of Aquaman's haters and how he felt about it, which was really funny, so far this series has been one of my favorites of the reboots. Despite all of Aquaman's awesomeness though he still can't drink a chocolate milkshake under water.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

San Francisco and the Presidio Trust

So San Francisco has been absolutely wonderful. With the exception of a few rainy days the weather has been a much welcomed change of pace for me (usually this time of year I;m usually fearing for the coming snow if it hasn't already fallen yet.) Last weekend I was outside in a t-shirt and I forgot it was the middle of November, perfect space vest weather. Coming to SF I decided to take up the challenge of no shave november to be green (also I forgot to pack my razor and shaving cream.) and let me tell you, not shaving sucks. I always have a little scruff but never the creeper mustache and the shaggy neck beard thing I've got going for me right now, it looks pretty awful and totally uncomfortable, I'm pretty stoked for December 1st. I would also like to mention that before leaving Sacremento we had another Baseline physical fitness assessment and I managed to shave about 4 minutes off my previous run time putting me at 11 minutes and something something seconds. I also found out that the timed run in Vinton was only a mile while in Sacramento it's a mile and a half so I'm actually doing a lot better than I thought I was. I've also been continuing to try to be more adventurous in the kitchen with my team lately. I was successful in making my Mother's beloved cheesecake recipe and I was less successful in trying to make her potato pancake recipe after starting a small fire with the vegetable oil. I was however able to put it out very quickly by smothering it with flour, though not quickly enough to prevent the smoke detector from going off and having a visit from the fire department. I did however learn from the fireman that you do not want to use flour to smother a fire because apparently when the powder is in the air it is quite combustable, luckily this was not the case this time and I now know where the fire extinguisher is located. It hasn't been all fun and kitchen fires though, not to say I haven't been enjoying our work with the Presidio Trust. The Presidio is a formal military post turned national park located right on the bay, (the Golden Gate Bridge is literally in our backyard.) We have many assignments within the Presidio during our time here, during our first full week here we created raised bed garden boxes for a new community Garden for one of the neighborhoods within the Presidio. All this week we're working with the forestry crew installing a new irrigation pipeline within one of the areas in the park.
Before Blue One
After Blue One.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

CTI Wrap Up and Catch Up Part Four: Induction and Away We Go

November 3rd 2011 was a pretty magical day for me. Aside from it being my 21st birthday it was also the day we got officially inducted into NCCC as Corps members (again, for me.) The fact it was also my 21st birthday was actually a bit of a pisser because it's an NCCC policy that CMs and TLs are not allowed to drink within 24 hours of leaving and arriving to Spike and that's exactly what we did right after induction was over. Alcohol was nothing new to me though so I wasn't too bummed out, I mean I did work in a bar for almost 6 months (not that I ever got drinks from there) and my family pretty much shoves beer down my throat so I wasn't missing any life changing experiences here. What was however awesome was that during the ceremony the region director led the corps in singing happy birthday to me, how he found out I do not know but it's still pretty sweet to have 200 something people sing happy birthday to you. I just felt bad for the one girl who also had a birthday that day but did not get a song. After the ceremony I also finally worked up the courage to do something that I never do, and was successful in doing so, incredibly awkward, but successful. (I'm also being really vague on purpose so don't bother asking me to elaborate.) So after all was said and done CTI was over and Blue One was ready to hit the road in our over stuffed 15 passenger van and go on their first assignment, which is where I am now. Working with the Presidio Trust in San Francisco California. I've been loving it so far and you'll be hearing all the details in up coming posts.

CTI Wrap Up and Catch Up Part Three: Halloween

Halloween happened to be towards the end of CTI so naturally Class 18 had to throw a costume party. It's the first Halloween I actually dressed up for since high school, (Not some lame maturity high ground thing, I just hadn't really had the opportunity to until this year.) and I went as Ash from Pokemon. (cause if you don't already know from my numerous Pokemon related posts on this blog I really enjoy Pokemon.) By a bizarre and awesome happenstance there was also a girl in the corps who dressed up as Misty from Pokemon and together we won the costume contest. (Note the first time I've won a costume contest and it's also the first year that I did not make my costume myself.)

CTI Wrap Up and Catch Up Part Two: Camp Mendocino

As part of Corps Training Institute (more commonly referred to as CTI by Amerifolk) All of the units went on a camping trip at Camp Mendocino. Camp Mendocino is a camping facility used and run by the Boys and Girls Club of San Francisco and allows NCCC to do trainings there in exchange for some service work on the grounds. All the cabins and bathrooms were open air which, in addition to being up in the mountains and in the woods, showers were the coldest and miserable experience you could imagine. Some people went the entire 4 days without showering once, I was not one of those people cause I know I stink after day one. Sleeping would have sucked butt too if not for our NCCC issued sleeping bags that can withstand 40 below. The big challenge at camp was the High ropes course. At first I was really excited, it was something I had never done before, it was adventurous and there was a zip line at the end. I had joked with my teammates that this was going to be my Batman training... then I actually got up there and was terrified. I was completely safe the whole time but it was still quite possibly the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. Luckily my team was very supportive and cheered me on the whole way as well as the others. I did however handle the zip line like a pro though, as terribly uncomfortable as it was down there. I was so proud of my team that day, there were people who before getting on the high ropes course were scared of it but every single one of my teammates tried it and succeeded with flying colors.

Friday, November 4, 2011

CTI Wrap Up and Catch Up Part One: Meet Blue One

So I've been with my team for a little while now and they're going to be the focus of many of my future entries so I might as well introduce you to them. Starting from the top right hand corner you've got Kameke from Texas, she's a sweet girl and a lot of fun, she often tries to stop herself from saying "ya'll" but when it slips out and she catches herself it's pretty funny. bellow her to the left is Terrin from Illinois, she also graduated high school as part of the class of 09 and like me hasn't started college yet. To the left of her is Chalynn from California, and she is quite possibly the funniest member of our team. She does all these little voices and characters at the most random of times and it always cracks me up. She's the one behind what has pretty much become our team chant, where she goes "Blue Whaaaat!?!" and we all reply "Blue One!!!" To the left of Chalynn is my roommate Aaron from Washington state. He's fresh out of high school but old at heart (so he tells people) He's super cool, he also reads comics so while we were in Sacramento we would walk to the local comic shop together. (a six mile walk total but it's okay cause we're beasts.) Below Kameke and Terrin is Whitney also from Washington, she's a pretty chill girl and also someone who appreciates Bowie. We always seem to loose her though, we could be going somewhere and turn around and she'll be missing. Below Whitney is Cody from Missouri, Cody's pretty cool he always wears these green sunglasses, I don't think I've ever seen him without them. Underneath him is Katelyn from Delaware. She has the most infectious laugh that reminds me of Marge Simpson and Guinea pigs (but in a good way.) To the left of Cody is Becky, my fellow Ohioan. Becky and I have pretty similar personalities which makes me wonder if it's an Ohio thing. And finally our Fearless Leader, Travis from upstate New York. Travis was a Corps member last year at the Pacific Region campus (where we're serving now.) he's kinda awkward, but that's okay because so's our whole team it's kinda our team word.