Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I've been tagged - I feel like a black bear or something

Bloggers are great at creating a virtual community and one way they do that is through tagging. Another blogger tags you and you're supposed to list ten random facts about yourself. Kim, my coworker and a great garden writer, sort of tagged me recently through e-mail, but I thought I'd post and link.

1. Two long trips: Both were transatlantic flights. In 2004, I went to London for a week with a group of people, including my best friend Janet. That was a seven-hour flight and the high point of that trip was seeing the Roman baths in nearby Bath. Last August I went with my boyfriend to Rio de Janiero for a wedding. Our summer is their "winter," so it wasn't as crazy and crowded as the Rio in our imaginations. That flight was roughly nine hours, and that's after driving from Gainesville to Miami - another five hours. Ugh. The highlights on that trip were the Christ statue on Corcovado mountain - awesome in the truest sense of the word - and hang-gliding, which I almost didn't do.

It's me! And the guy actually doing the work.

2. Two things I really enjoy doing: cooking and reading. I'm a results-oriented person; making something, having something to show for my efforts is incredibly fulfilling to me. To be able to create a meal and share with others is a fantastic feeling. I love it when people enjoy my cooking. Reading, on the other hand, is more of an obsession. I just can't stop myself. I'll read anything - other people's textbooks, random magazines laying around, etc. The web is a dangerous place for me. Cook's Illustrated feeds both passions.

3. Two things you want very badly at the moment: a house, and more time with my friends. My fiance and I (he went from b-f to fiance after Brazil) are currently house-shopping. We're looking for something affordable, with some space. That appears to mean, at least in Gainesville's ridiculously-priced market, something older. Which is fine by me - I prefer homes built no later than the 70s. They're built better, period. We're looking at two tomorrow!

I moved to Gainesville in July. In Jacksonville, I left behind four really wonderful friends. Because they all have children, time is a precious thing - we don't get to see each other that much. And my best friend is in Palatka, of all places. I miss her quite a bit. Most of the people I've met in Gainesville are a lot younger than me and already have a strong circle of friends. Thank goodness Kyle and I actually enjoy each other's company so much.

4. Three animals you have or have had: Two memorable pets are my parents' dog Benson, who is 14 years old. He has been my parents' security system for years, so I worry about what they'll do without 'ol Benson. The second is Blackie, a black Corgi mix that came to my parents and had a few memorable years in our household. But MY dog, my baby, that's Angus.

He lives with his "grandparents," that is, my ex's parents. That dog was my world.

5. Two favorite beverages: beer and Coke Zero. Those who know me have already been subjected to my ravings about beer. I like all sorts of beer: Guinness, Miller Lite, anything Sam Adams, Tucher, Old Chub, Red Hook Blonde . . . I could go on and on. And Coke Zero is my true guilty pleasure. A calorie-free liquid full of chemicals. Yum!

Because I write too much, I'm stopping at five. If anyone's made it this far, I'm sure they're exhausted. Enough!

Now I'm supposed to tag other blogs that I read and enjoy. Tagging etiquette says I should leave a comment on their blog, so that they know they've been tagged. Here are few of my favorites blogs:

A Time of Lamentation and Repentance

To commemorate this anniversary, many Sojourners board members are joining with Jim Wallis to issue a statement calling on the U.S. church to repent for the war and to commit ourselves to a new path toward peace.

A Call to Lament and Repent: Guide Our Feet to the Path of Peace

“By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” —Luke 1:78-79 (NRSV)

This season of Lent, we are truly living “ in darkness and in the shadow of death” as we mark, on March 19, 2008, the fifth anniversary of the war with Iraq. It is a war that is being waged by our country, financed by our taxes, and fought by our sisters and brothers. As U.S. Christians, we issue a call to the American church to lament and repent of the sin of this war.

We lament the suffering and violence in Iraq . We mourn the nearly 4,000 Americans and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who have died, the unknown numbers of both who are wounded in body and mind, and the more than 4 million Iraqis who are displaced from their homes. With the families of U.S. soldiers torn apart, our families are also torn apart.

We lament the effects of this war on our country. The war has undermined our religious and national values. International perceptions of the U.S. church’s support for the war have hurt the cause of Christ. The abuse of prisoners and use of torture have damaged the U.S.’s moral standing in the world. The war is squandering billions of dollars that are urgently needed for other domestic and international needs.

This is just an excerpt. If you would like to read the full version, and/or are interested in signing, here's the link.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

I'm Coming Clean

This is supposed to be my professional blog. But then I realized - I don't want to write about my job - at least, not the technical aspects of it. Because I'm not a techie.

There, I said it.

I fell into this web thing by accident, and it turned out to be a lot of fun. I like it. I like the technician aspect; I like making things, having something to show in the end. I'd be a terrible manager. I just don't find "technology" being that exciting to write about. Use, yes, but write about? I'll leave that to "Wired."

Maybe I'll write about the other parts of my job, like how I'm learning so much about plants and stuff, due to that being the point of the organization that I work for.

The web site that takes up most of my time is http://gardeninginaminute.com, for the one-minute radio show produced by my department.

But I also have Florida Master Gardener Program, Florida School Gardens Competition, and the Center for Landscape Conservation and Ecology.

As you can see, they all use the same template, and that's the template created by Solutions For Your Life, the public face of the University of Florida Extension Service.

My department works closely with the UF environmental horticulture department. What's "environmental horticulture," you ask? Good question. Stupid phrase. It means all plant stuff, except the stuff you eat. Flowers, landscape plants, turf (that's what the industry calls grass - they don't like the word grass).

But since we our show covers all sorts of gardening, we do the food stuff, too - fruits and veggies.

Like I said, I'm learning quite a bit. My coworkers are experienced in agriculture, botany, sustainability - and they're all writers. With masters degrees. Yeah, I feel a little stupid every now and then. But I try to take in every they're teaching me.

Maybe I'll write about that.