Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Judgmental (A Rap Song)

Several months ago I posted my version of a Taylor Swift song. I don’t think I even gave it a title besides “Channeling My Inner Taylor Swift”. I should have called it “Broken” or “Life is So Unfair” or something equally pathetic. The idea for my next song came directly from the title: Judgmental. I tried really hard to channel my inner, illiterate rapper. Enjoy!

Judgmental
(A Rap Song by Jelly)

Between you and me
There ain’t no history
But I’m lookin and I’m seein
Forming opinions about your rear-en

Talkin don’t do much
Thinkin is such a rush
I’m going to be honest with you girl
You more nuts than a squirrel

I’m judgmental, judgmental
I ain’t got no credentials
But I’m sure as sh*t still mental
Heeyy ya!!!

Judge me, judge you
Judging what’s we gots to do!

I don’t got no robe
I don’t sit on no throne
I’m just another player
Got my J.D. as a lay-er

Cause I’m judgmental, judgmental
I don’t need no credentials
But I’m sure as sh*t still mental
Heeyy ya!!!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Shackin Fixtures

The Sugar Shack’s in this phase where the changes do not produce the most compelling photos (there are only so many pictures of wood framing that I can take). But in an effort to document the process, I present you with some pictures of the electrical fixture installation.


Here is the entrance where a single fixture will hang. We’re going for a wow-that-fixture-is-so-cool-I-want-to-buy-the-house look. It will also be accompanied by two wall scones off to the left.


The kitchen will have recessed lighting as well as two pendant lights overhanging the island.


The dining room will have a centered chandelier and a couple of recessed lights along the south facing wall. Or maybe they’re can lights? I’ll have to check with my builder.


And to round it out, here’s the laundry room where the mac daddy of all electrical panels is set. Very, very nice.

I hear that drywall might be going up this week, so I promise I’ll have something more exciting to share soon! Although I’m getting pretty good at being a boring blogger. “And most boring blog of the year goes to…… The Jelly Logs!” I would be so honored.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Deal Breaker

That's a powerful phrase I used to use a lot when I was a young, single girl. But when you find the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, that word exits your vocabulary (as does the ego you spent so much time protecting). The word that enters in its place is compromise.

In these last, increasingly stressful, exciting months until the big day I’ve tried to use that word, deal breaker, but it comes out so flat and meaningless it reminds me of my college personal statement; just a bunch of words that don’t really mean anything, even though I try to convince you I mean business.

(I may or may not have compared donating blood to being in the army… and I talked about getting tree sap on my butt).

Ok, I couldn’t pass up this opportunity to reread it. Remember in high school when you didn’t want your friends to read your personal statement because you thought they’d steal your oratory brilliance? (Or was that just me?) Well I’m not going to be insecure or selfish any longer. Here’s an excerpt from my ridiculous personal statement. It starts like so:

“As I gazed up at the night sky, and traced the outline of Orion with my finger, I couldn't help but feel an overwhelming sense of accomplishment. I had just spent the last four days backpacking through the wilderness of Yosemite's National Park, with nothing but the pack on my back and the ten other Girl Scouts surrounding me. It had all started when I saw a flyer for a backpacking trip through Yosemite, and not wanting to pass up this amazing opportunity, I signed up hoping my desire for travel and adventure would soon be fulfilled. We had the next month to plan, prepare, and coordinate every aspect of the trip to make sure it was a success. Although sitting through an eight-hour drive to Yosemite was hard, the real test of my strength and endurance started as I stepped out of the car and strapped my pack to my back. Waking up early to see if any forest neighbors had stolen or eaten our food was followed by a ten-mile hike, setting up our new camp, filtering gallons of stream water, and making our daily meals. During the last night, as I lay in my sleeping bag with aching muscles and a body covered in tree sap, I realized how rewarding and fulfilling the last four days had been.”

Can you say classic high school BRAT? How the hell did I even get into college? Geez.

Back to my point, and I’ll keep it short and sweet: don’t threaten your loved one with a phrase like deal breaker. You’ll just sound stupid.

The End

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Couple Facts about Flying

1) It’s much faster than driving.


Driving up the I-5 on a Friday afternoon is not my favorite way to start the weekend.

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2) One word: autopilot.


Sure it’s important to know how to fly the plane, you know, for those important parts like takeoffs and landings. But for the rest of the flight? Why would you if you can punch in some directions and the plane will fly itself.

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3) Advances in aviation technology have made flying safer than ever.


This is one of the TWO display screens that make up the integrated flight instrument system in the cockpit. There’s even a nice flight attendant/computer person who comes on the speakers and yells things like “TRAFFIC! TRAFFIC! 10 O’CLOCK. LOW” and “TERRAIN! TERRAIN! PULL UP! PULL UP!” when we’re getting into sticky situations.

Oh, and the little plane in the picture is us. (Had you guessed?)

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4) You can practically go anywhere you want.


Even to the moon! You’ll have to ask Richard Branson for a ride though. We don’t have a plane with that much power… yet.

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5) Landing is the hardest part of flying.



And don’t let anybody try to tell you different.

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6) You will feel an immense amount of pain at the pump.


Let’s see… $6.00 a gallon for Avgas, burning about 30 gallons an hour, on a 3 hour round trip flight… I JUST DIED.

I won’t be complaining about sitting in traffic anymore. Not at that rate.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Living with Thunder

This past weekend at the Ranch was the first time we stayed in Rolling Thunder, which is great, because that was the whole point of the exercise: to have a place that's our home away from home. We made a ceremonial shopping trip where bought all sorts of groceries to fill the cupboards and fridge. This was obviously overkill, considering that two people can only eat so much on a weekend trip, but it made the place feel a little more like home. We also moved in some furniture. I had the coveted job of killing all the spiders that had taken up residence under the dressers and tables, and let me tell you, there were a lot of them. I used 409 to finish off the stubborn buggers that were hiding in the cracks. I don't like spiders. They're freaky.

So would you like to see how the place is looking these days? Alright, let's take a tour.


As we enter through the front door you will be greeted by an empty living room. We still haven't figured out the couch situation. I suppose we could invite guests to share Cocoa's dog bed?


In the hallway we have a little bookshelf. Wes wanted a gun rack, but all the gun racks on the ranch are in use. Where do you think all these bad boys are stored:


Getting back on track...


Here's our lovely bathroom.


Our tiny bedroom.


Which is actually perfect, because who spends time in a bedroom when there's stuff to shoot and airplanes to fly outside? Not us that's who.


Here's a view of the living room which opens into the kitchen.


Two new furniture additions: a side table on which we can place all "our crap" as we like to call it, and a dining table where we can have meals. Again, only two chairs. Rolling Thunder isn't the most guest-friendly house yet.


And clearly the most awesome part of the pad is the kitchen.


We upgraded to a fridge that doesn't require a gate latch to keep closed. Confused? Well, our fridge in the Valley has a gate latch on it, but that's another story for another time.

Hope you've enjoyed the tour! We'll work on that whole guest-friendly aspect the next time we're there, so maybe ya'll have a place to sit.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Camo Toe

One of the presents Wes received for Christmas was a box of camouflage band aids, because Wes LOVES himself some Camo. They’ve rarely been used since we received them, not because we don’t injure ourselves (see previous posts about building porches with flip flops on etc.), but because Wes doesn’t use band aids and I would prefer a more subtle bandage than a camouflage one. This was not the case several weeks ago, when I had to resort to using the Camo band aids on a toe injury because we were all out of the others. And so I present my most recent Illustrator masterpiece: Camo Toe.


I’ve been waiting weeks to find the time to create this one. I’m sorry it took me so long. Hilarious.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Dear World



It’s Wednesday. And since we’re reaching that time of the week where Friday seems so close but so far, I'm having trouble keeping my thoughts straight. And so, I’ve written a little note to the World:

Dear World,

I really love you. I do. But why do you have to be so complicated sometimes?

Why can’t I drive to work and not have worry about the sleeper cop that likes to gives tickets for going 40mph in a 35mph zone? Seriously, my truck hasn’t even shifted in third gear when I’m going 35mph. Therefore I’m burning more gas and subsequently destroying the ozone layer by doing so.

Why does making a mistake 3 YEARS AGO have to rule my life now? Should I be worried about that time I pooped in the bathtub when I was 2 years old and how that speaks about my self-control and hygiene now? Isn’t there such a thing as a Get-Out-of-Jail free card? (I guess I should also admit that I cheated in Monopoly when I was little, especially when it involved getting the Get-Out-of-Jail free card). I'm a bad, bad, person.

Why, World, are you so beautiful? Why are you so big? Why can’t you give everyone, what they need to live?

Ok, I got carried away with that last one. I needed something that rhymed.

I guess I should get back to work now...

Until next time!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Adventures in Aviation, Part XIV

I'm going to get a medical exam today. The kind you need if you want to fly airplanes by yourself. Sigh. I'm growing up so fast…


I had another flying lesson this past Saturday and it was beautiful day to fly (as evidenced by the photo of the hangars above). It had been a month since my last lesson (if you don't count the couple of Thursdays I went up with Wes). The last lesson was mildly traumatic, and not because anything bad happened. Just because three sour landings made my confidence evaporate into a small poof of air and all I could think about was how deadly flying solo would be (deadly for me). I couldn't get my head screwed back on straight for days. It was weird. I have never felt so defeated and deflated before.

Things are better now (i.e. I'm not terrified of flying), and I left for my lesson assuring Wes that "I'm going to have fun!" My lessons aren't as new and exciting as they used to be. Generally because I spend the lesson practicing landings and flying the pattern, and there's only so much I can say about taking off, cruising up to 500 feet, turning crosswind, continuing up to 875 feet in the downwind leg, pulling back power, adding flaps, turning base, adding more flaps, reducing power, turning final and then holding your breath as you skid the plane across the runway. See? I said the whole dang thing. Minus the do it over and over again part with the landings getting progressively better or worse (depending on how much the Universe wants to screw with me).

We did several rounds of the pattern on Saturday, with Mr. Instructor requiring me to demonstrate my competence by operating the plane without his input. His input would have been useful when the tower told me "Niner-one-niver-echo. There will be a plane departing before your landing" just as I was turning base. Sooo... there's a plane that hasn't even entered the active runway yet... I am in the base leg of the pattern… descending… less than 500 feet above and 3000 feet away from the airport… the departing plane is slowly creeping onto the runway… and I'm supposed to do…. what?!? Extend my base leg until he has departed???

Apparently, that was not what I was supposed to do. Nor was the sharp turn onto final and corresponding drop in airspeed. That got Mr. Instructor real hot and bothered. He recommended doing shallow S-turns on final approach, with a go-around as the last resort if the departing plane didn't make it off the runway in time. "It would be ok to do a go-around in this situation? Even with the other plane departing? Won't we be flying right over/into each other?" I asked. I don't remember getting a clear answer from Mr. Instructor on that one. At least I know that you never want to extend your base leg!

Shortly after that exciting landing Mr. Instructor asked if I had gotten my medical certificate yet. "No" I answered. "Well you really need to get it. You have to have it before you solo" he replied. "Yes. I know. I've been meaning to do it. I've actually been putting it off. I thought it was a convenient way of avoiding the whole solo thing. Why? Would you have made me solo today?" I asked. "Yes. You're going to go get your medical and next lesson will do the same thing, but after a couple of landings I will get out and you will solo" he said.

Uggggghhh.

I should reiterate.

Uggggghhh.

This totally sums up my feelings.

Uggggghhh.

So there we have it folks. It's been nice knowing you. I'm going to go pee in a cup in a couple hours, get my dang medical and on the next lesson, let Mr. Instructor "build my confidence" as he likes to say. I'll be giving myself some interesting pep talks in the coming days too. They'll probably go like this: "Stop being such a baby Jocelyn", or "Just get it over with. Statically you won't die. People do this every day. Man up already!"

Wish me luck!

XOXO Jelly

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Lost Photos

The great thing about photos is that they help you remember the places you’ve been, the beautiful things you’ve seen and people you’ve met. But the problem with photos is that they don’t let you forget.

For example, it wasn’t until I discovered these photos, which had been sitting idly on one of my other cameras, that I remembered the car accident I got into 2 months ago.


Ya, I’d kinda like to forget that. But if you choose to match your rims to your fuchsia corvette, you are asking to be punished. I was being a responsible citizen.

I wouldn’t have to remember the sad trip I took to Detroit to say goodbye to my bloated, dying kitty.


Although I kinda feel like a drama queen now, because homeboy simply refuses to die. He’s all “Why would I die now when MaMa Paige (my sister) feeds me and cleans my butt every day? This is better than I’ve had it in my whole life. Jokes on you, you crybabies. ” I hope his longevity traits pass onto me, but I’m not sure that correlation exists between pets and their owners.

And I wouldn’t have to remember how lame I am at partying (which generally includes a bottle of champagne, falling asleep mid-conversation, and smashing a cupcake in a certain someone’s face). Thanks Peej for the photo.

 
At least I can pledge to clean up my act next year. There’s always next year…

Or maybe I will go ahead and delete these photos now and forget the whole thing ever happened. Living in denial is very healthy.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Toxic Brain Matter


First off, yes, that is a picture of poo. Cow poo on a path to be exact. I couldn't find another picture that went as well with the theme of this post as this one.

Anyways...

I'm having one of those emotionally charged reflective days, and instead of scare you will all the gory details of my thoughts, I will just include a smattering of what I’ve written today.

The morning started with thoughts like these:

“I don’t understand love. And it’s not because I have a particularly unstable type of love, because that isn’t true. I probably have the perfect balance of desire, lust, thoughtfulness, understanding, commitment and patience; but there’s still something I don’t understand about it. I think it’s because I have the unfortunate tendency to look at everything and say ‘What’s the point?’ ”

Which eventually progressed to this:

“According to the dictionary, LOVE is: affection, attraction, attachment, devotion and unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for another. According to the dictionary, MONEY is: something generally accepted as a medium of exchange, a measure of value and wealth, or a means of payment.”

Then continued with a little bit of this:

“Why doesn’t once-in-a-lifetime feel like once-in-a-lifetime? Why do certain things that are of such little significance become such a big deal? Why is so easy to harbor a grudge and so hard to break one? Why am I so hard on myself?”

And as of 2:30 this afternoon, ended with this:

“Do you ever feel like your mind’s a cage? Like you’re stuck in there with a bunch of crazy inmates and there’s no way out? You’re pretty sure that you’re the sane one and it’s your co-inmates who are crazy, but then why are you locked up in there with them and unable to get away? It seems no degree of sanity will free you from this cage. You just have to stick it out until the bars loosen and your mind is able to free itself.”

Yes, I am crazy. Why do you ask?

Monday, April 4, 2011

An IFR Birthday

This past Saturday was my 26th birthday.

I. AM. OLD.

At least it feels that way to me. We celebrated by taking a late morning flight from Camarillo to Solvang where we had lunch. Considering how much Avgas costs these days, I can confidently say it was the most expensive lunch I have ever eaten. The taxi into town from the airport was alone $20 bucks. I made sure to reassure Wes that I am TOTALLY worth it. He countered by saying thank god I only have a birthday once a year. He’s sweet, no?


I want to share some pictures from our flight out of Camarillo because the clouds were incredible. It’s not often that you get to see such a thick marine layer from the top down.


It also provides a good opportunity to show you want IFR flying is like. I had mentioned a couple of posts back that I had to wear something called Foggles during one my flight lessons, because Foggles simulate flying in IFR conditions. Here’s the excerpt:

A private pilot’s license (which is what I’m aiming for despite the fact that I SUCK), requires that pilots operate an aircraft following a set of rules called VFRs (Visual Flight Rules). That means you can only fly when the weather is relatively clear. If you wish to fly in weather that is worse than the VFR minimums (where you cannot control attitude and altitude by simply looking out the cockpit), you must get an additional “Instrument” endorsement. These rules are called IFRs (Instrument Flight Rules).

On our flight into Solvang we got the real deal. No Foggles were necessary. Into the clouds we go!


Now that I’m not just another na├»ve passenger who looks out the window and says “Ooooo, clouds. How pretty!” (cause yes, I’ve done that ), flying into the clouds is very stressful. You can lose orientation very quickly which can turn a safe, coordinated flight into a dangerous situation. Fortunately, with Wes being the badass that he is, we dove through those clouds like an Olympic high diver, and our landing was like Babe Ruth sliding into home base… He’s SAFE!


It was a wonderful way to celebrate the day.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Visions of a Shack

It donned on me that I haven’t shared any pictures of the remodel process that’s going on inside the house. I know porches and roofs and changes to the facade are thrilling, but what about the inside?

Well here’s a look at the living room and dining room areas in before and after.

The view from the front of living room before (the dining room area is off to the left):

 
And now:
 

It doesn't really look like much is different with these two examples, but notice the fireplace has changed and the shelves to the right of the fireplace are gone. A bar is going in where the shelves once were! Woohoo!

Now the dining room area before:

 
After a couple weeks of remodeling:
 
 
And the dining room area now:
 
 
The ceiling has been raised significantly and exterior wall has been pushed out to make the room more spacious. I think the raised ceiling is my favorite part of the remodel. It might be a little out of place considering the rest of the house, but it makes this room feel so large and inviting. I like that.
 
And until next time, thanks for stopping by the shack!