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starting fresh

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starting fresh

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I've been tremendously remiss about posting to LJ, and it's time to remedy that. This is long and broken down by time periods.

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The first week and a half I was here was a little disjointed, sort of a "hey, I am in another state!" period. I was also dealing with a problem unrelated to anyone here, and between those two things I didn't get much done, aside from a general settling in, a few guided forays into the city (with sherpas) and a fair amount of reading.

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The week of the 20th I got onto the application process with temp agencies. I planned to sign on with three, initially, but I haven't gotten around to applying with even a second one yet because the first one had a placement for me within two days.

The assignment, which started on the 28th, is with a company owned by a former third party presidential hopeful who was impersonated on SNL by Dana Carvey - Dad was jazzed when I told him where I was going, since he, like I, voted for the man back in the day (wish he'd won, it would have been a hilarious presidency). However, the position itself is a stopgap, a "come in here and fix the results of this computer glitch" task, one which I am pretty sure could easily have been solved by one day of paying a programmer for less cost than that of weeks of data entry from a handful of temps. It's money to me, so hey, but it's a less than impressive first view of the company. However, it's casual dress until visitors come from another company, and those days are listed on the corporate website, so that's pretty cool - cool to work in shorts, especially since "Temp Alley" is one of the hottest places in the building. Incidentally, the position has me carpooling with the fella and helped me learn some of the geography of the city (always a challenge for me). Also, one of the other temps is a cool chick so that's all kindsa good.

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On Labor Day the lady, the fella and I went to a sporting goods store looking for disc golf supplies and a badminton set - they were out of the latter, though they did have some birdies in cool colors and "badmitton" raquets (they really should be able to spell their own products, I feel, but on the other hand, the population of my head has now increased by one - "Badmittens, Kitten Cop"). After a brief sojourn to a liquor store and a pleasant meal at the Chinese restaurant that once made cake sushi, we went to SuperTarget (dun da da DAAAAA!) and amid other shopping, found a badminton/volleyball set on clearance - huzzah! I also purchased the best thing ever - it is a toy that was on clearance that involves two kushbally things, two jelly slingshot paddles that made an obscene noise when slapped and a kush-frisbee which flies most amusingly when thrown. Love-love-love buying toys on clearance. After that we went to the Sunken Gardens, which was neato and pretty and had koi ponds - but not the kind where you can feed them, unlike the Anderson Japanese Gardens, where I went with ktp1 right before I came to NE.

The fella and I first set up the badminton net after we got home from work the next day. We have to take it down each night since the house is part of an association and there is lawn mowing some morning each week. It has been a little harder to play than it was in gym class back in the day, what with the slope of the ground, the sun and the wind all being hazards. Still, I think we may work our way up from general volleying to actual games with scores kept by the time that winter puts a halt to play.

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On the same trip to SuperTarget I also bought a jigsaw puzzle (Monet's Water Lilies, I say, realizing fully that that does not narrow it down - that dude was seriously fixated on this pond, but it looks rather like this, only if it is, then the puzzle image is from a concentric rectangle about a third smaller than the actual painting). The puzzle is odd in that it has a texty blurb describing the painting: "Water Lilies: Claude Monet This dreamlike image of calm, still waters vividly reflecting open blossoms is one of Monet's finest works. Completed in 1926, this masterpiece took 11 years to accomplish - a product of precise calculation, extraordinary labor, and inspirational complexity. Monet also planned and built an elaborate water garden at his home, a serene place that helped form the intense personal connection between the artist and Water Lilies." - which is a nice enough microreview but it is oddly, part of the puzzle. I like jigsaws with words but... weeeird.

I also bought a rollup mat called a Stow and Go, a jigsaw storage method - at a price of $7.99, it is a rectangle of felt (mine is not bright yellow but black) that wraps around an inflatable sausage. It is unsophisticated and a little fiddly - I especially dislike the "non-skid backing," because it is comprised of areas on the back of the felt which are sticky and have to be covered while wrapping to keep the puzzle pieces from sticking to them and being left with black felty goo bits - but largely functional, in that it holds most of the pieces in place and allows for a cleared table with a minimum of fuss; at some point I would like to have a more elaborate doohickey of the same type, to see how much better they can be.

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This past Sunday we went to a "prairie celebration" called Twilight on the Tall Grass at the Spring Creek Prairie Audubon Center. There was a raptor release (which happened while we were eating sandwiches), a general information display about green building practices, baby snakes and other lizardy bits and a horned owl named Halsey who is unfit to be released back into the wild (due to brain damage caused by a car accident) and who was by far the neatest part for me. Then there was a hike on a mown path through their prairie area, where they had tent stations set up for bird catch-and-release, making kites out of plastic bags, wildflower identification, some dude with some flutes, a bunch of kids chasing grasshoppers and moths with butterfly nets, and other kids fishing tadpoles, mayfly nymphs, immature horseflies (bleah!), snails and water beetles out of some very stinky wetlands. Then, ice cream!

That same evening we were thwarted in our attempt to see the Transformers movie (in a theatre with couches, beer and pizza!) and instead went to a restaurant next door, Yia Yia's (which has a website but doesn't list a Lincoln location, so I am not 100% sure it is part of the chain). We ordered an alfredo and cheese pizza. It had no tomatoes at all and a crackery/bready crust - all in all, greasy but tasty. I'd try a different kind of pizza from there at another time. I had a half a glass of beer because I am a wildcat like that.

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There's been some other stuff, but a lot of it should be addressed separately, and I prolly won't. I'm pretty happy, though.
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