Monthly Archives: February 2006

In the immortal words of E. Guss, “I’m so mad I could spit.”

AmeriCorps As you probably know about me (because I CANNOT keep from dropping the ‘I was a firefighter’ thing) I was in AmeriCorps*NCCC. The NCCC stands for National Civilian Community Corps, and it’s been a modern-day version of FDR’s CCC program (back during the Depression) – you know the guys, they built many of the buildings and trails in the national parks in our country.

I was in Year 8 of the NCCC. It was October of 2001-August of 2002. I spent 10 months in the program, and I can say without a doubt that thus far in my life, it has been the most impacting, interesting, eye-opening, exciting, thought-provoking, bonding, tough, neato adventure I’ve had. Ever ever.

That’s why I’m so disappointed and discouraged that the 2007 national budget doesn’t have room for it. There has been a budget cut within AmeriCorps. Half of the total budget cut is the elimination of the NCCC program. They cite high costs of the program and being “rated poorly in a recent Federal management assessment”.

I’m not surprised at either of these reasons. We were fed and housed, had a 15-passenger van (with a gas card), uniforms, backpacks, tents, sleeping bags, and an administration team back at the campus to keep things running. That’s pretty costly, compared to the other volunteer programs AmeriCorps runs.

And as for management, it’s a government program, for Cripe’s sake. Of course it was manged in a ridiculous fashion.

But it was also the most amazing thing I’ve ever done, and outside of joining the Peace Corps (which I still may do), it’s one of the most amazing things someone young can do as far as up-to-your-elbows volunteering.

I’m really disappointed. My heart is hanging low in my chest today. I want there to be a solution – I want there to be a small organization that wants carry on the tradition – providing national-level volunteering for all sorts of kids all over the country.

And not to get really bitchy about the whole thing, but the announcement mentioned that they were closing the NCCC despite its popularity – especially the disaster services it provided. My first day of training, in Washington, D.C., was less than a month after the Tragic Events of September 2001. I have a photograph of a still-smoking Pentagon, as we drove by it. After training, half of our campus immediately went to New York City and began helping FEMA and the Red Cross with disaster services. I didn’t go because I continued on to firefighting training – and saved taxpayers $300 a day (my estimate, after talking to the paid crew) by being on a volunteer fire fighting team.

And Hi, New Orleans? God knows how many NCCCers are recovering from the emotional drain disaster relief brings. We are all disaster-relief trained, meaning we are a movable set of squads of people ready to help in the event of a disaster. I don’t think right now is the time to get rid of a program that provides that particular service. I was talking to a State Farm trainer for their claims-adjustment department, and he said they’re not only hiring more national catastrophe adjusters, they’re keeping them in the lower states – because weather predictions are that this isn’t the last of Mutha Na-tcha coming to get us.

I had a life-altering experience, which is pretty standard for everyone who goes through the program. I met friends who I love, even if we’re spread quite evenly across the United States. I mourn all the things this means about our country’s ability to manage a budget, stay out of ill-reasoned wars, provide meaningful opportunity to its young adults, and instill the feel of altruism in its citizens.

And I’m very, very glad that I DID apply, and WAS accepted, and DID go volunteer with the NCCC, because I met one of my best friends there. Too fucking bad he’s dead.

OH, and apparently I’ve ranted about the scrutiny of AmeriCorps*NCCC before.

Everyone’s a winner

U of I vs U of I…. and U of I won.

Now, it was hard for me to hear the drunk girl across the aisle screaming “Iowa fucking sucks!”, but I Zenned my way through the game.

Because when I go the a UI/UI game, no matter who wins, I’m happy.

Click on the image for a Flickr set full of orange – including GSLIS’s own Lisa and Tiffany.

What has two thumbs and is going to a college basketball game today?


Note the homemade “U of I” shirt – tonight’s matchup is the University of Illinois versus the University of Iowa. I was told in no uncertain terms that I will never EVER be wearing Illini gear home (a threatening, but loving uncle informed me) so I made this shirt.

Apparently, everyone on the Illini side wears orange, and you feel like a leper if you don’t follow suit. I’ll be rocking my vague but awesome teeshirt.

Knitting Olympics! Finally! Updates!

Early last week:

Middle of last week:

Friday, before 502 lecture:

Last night:

I think she left it here for me to finish… I’ll have to sift through the pile of Pocky wrappers, sangria-stickied wine glasses, and A- papers to find it.


I’m so freaking excited, and I know how much the Heavy Metal Librarian will love this.

I dreamed of zombies. I DID! There were zombies, like in allllll the movies. I was safe inside, but navigating between points ( because we had to leave, of course) was tricky due to the undead. So here’s what I’ve learned in my dream (because real-life practice is hard to get in these parts):

There’s a tipping point – where there are enough zombies that you can’t slip inbetween them without them catching ahold of your hair or jean jacket. That’s when you’re in trouble.

Being in a zombie situation is much like playing football. You can kind of shoulder into them as you go by, and it puts them off balance. So it was like trying to find the widest spaces between them, and then barreling through. I didn’t stiff-arm any of them, but giving them a good hard shove with my shoulder really worked well.

Bones are brittle, yo. I could grab a zombie by the head, yank down, and their spines would give out – meaning they would kind of fold over just below the shoulders. This put the head in stomping range. (I don’t know how well this really works – I can’t describe it accurately and it was a dream, after all.)

Shaun of the Dead

I’m totally going to do this when I have some free time.

So I had this amazing idea today as I was walking to the Chemistry Library. I had my digital camera in my pocket, and I was thinking about what pictures I could take, and for what purpose. Then, it hit me.

I should take pictures of all of the places I go during my weekly routine. Then, I should make a Mappr of my schedule. You could go down the list : Monday, I go to the main library to the conservation library (insert hot picture of Jennifer Teper with some glue here), then I go to class at GSLIS (insert image of me telling a story). Tuesday, I go to my undergrad Spanish class (picture here sullen undergrads who are too cool for school), then the Chem Library (insert hottt picture of me all sweaty in the overheated back room).

Who would want to look at this? I mean, besides scary stalkers who want to use my MySpace profile to hunt me down and kill me?

My grandmother. That’s who I was thinking would like this. Maybe I can make one that only she can see. That way all y’all creeps who lurk the outsideCat won’t have your dinner served on a silver platter.

It’s effing on.

Welcome to the 2006 Winter Knitting Olympics!

First up, after the incredibly elaborate and tangled opening ceremonies (watch out for that llama! it’s after the angora rabbits!) is my event: Snowball’s Chance in Hell.

I’ve been waiting for this for weeks.
I’m so ready. I didn’t have a chance to even swatch (aka: stretch and run a practice lap) so I began this morning in LIS502. I would appreciate any and all help – be it emotional, technical, or chocolatal.

Ok, noting the muffin top, perhaps it’s wisest to not be supportive in the chocolative department. SHANE.

27 is the new 26.

Huppy birthday to ME. I had a grand old time this week. Jason came home from Finland, Lena came to visit from Iowa City, and there was a great many friends together last night to play games at Moonstruck.

Here are Shane’s pictures.

I was too tired to digitally capture the moment. I was not too tired to eat chocolate cake and open a big shiny box (filled with Pocky!)


I got a birthday haircut, and I’m parting it on the SIDE now. Make a note of it.

Sonya Green, a review

1. Finish Joan Bauer’s Rules of the Road (for YA Lit).
2. Sleep
3. Wake up
4. Dasayuna
5. Take shower
6. Put on pretty pretty princess birthday outfit.
7. Have fabulous birthday lunch with Ryan.
8. Read Child of the Owl in the sunshine (for YA Lit).
9. Get great birthday haircut that doesn’t make me cry or look like a newscaster.
Oh, and I get till 3:30 pm, because that’s when I met the world.

That’s a lot of stuff to cross off the list. I wonder if I’ll get everything done. I should also come up with a list of things to do during the 27th year.
And this is why Allison Darling Lyman is my best friend.

Sunday Kofax

And now you all know that Sunday Kofax is my hired killer name. Thanks,
I thought you might (ok,
I thought I might) enjoy a brief history of myself (as seen from the photographs Lena has scanned in).

You may notice the work gloves I have on. I secretly want to be a farmer.

Mom made that coat – notice the fine ducky buttons.

I was going to say that this was during my awkward phase, but really, I think 1993 was a bad year for fashion in general. Our glasses could collectively make a telescope strong enough to view space litter. That photograph, right there, marks the last time I studied Spanish (until this semester).