Category Archives: 2012

December 2012

12/24

I’m spending a third Christmas with my Holland America family. This time I am in Australia and New Zealand. I’ll be singing in the choir this evening and will be one of Santa’s elves tomorrow morning. They have a special dinner for us crew on Christmas too. New Zealand is very beautiful and in a few days I will visit the set of The Lord Of the Rings, which will be neat too. I’m going to the real Shire!

Sometimes I think about home and wonder how much longer I’ll spend my holidays on a cruise ship. Will I ever spend Christmas at the Ecovillage? I think about my life a lot while I’m out here all alone. I wonder what it will be like to go back to DR after so many months of being away and traveling around as my means to make $. I wonder how I’ll feel about my life there when I’m back. I can’t really tell because I have a lot of mixed feelings while I’m away. I love DR, but there are still some other things I want to do in my that would pull me away from home in addition to my job, not a very good rabbit if I’m not home much. I think about my means to make money too, and I wonder what I’d do with my life if money wasn’t something I needed at DR. Would I still be traveling the world working with kids or whould I just live at home the whole year? Life is full of different choices and different directions, and I’m not sure which ones I will take in the next five or ten years.

November 2012

11/3

I’m in Hawaii for a few days. The weather is so nice, I’m glad it isn’t cold. Growing up where it’s 50 degrees most of the time and knowing how cold it is at home, really makes me thankful for times like these.

I learned that the cruise ship uses about 1,000 liters of fuel per day. I figure that is less than a liter per person, per day. To get to Hawaii, it took about 4 liters of fuel for me, that is about 1.5 gallons of fuel, pretty good if you ask me, to get all the way to Hawaii.

I ate cereal for the first time on a cruise ship. Before my attitude was, “I didn’t come on a cruise ship to eat cereal and milk,” but now I rarely eat that at home so I’m eating it on a ship. Funny how that works out.

11/22

Well, I haven’t written in a while, but it’s been a big month. I’ve been to Hawaii and Mexico and back to Seattle for Thanksgiving, my 10 year high school reunion, and to stay with family until I depart again for the cruise ships. I also took a three day trip with my aunt and mom up to a tiny cabin my mom has at a lake an hour away. It’s a cute little cabin, about 10×10 with a loft and a wood stove, no electricity or outhouse, we have a rain barrel though, and she is growing a little shelter in the front out of willow trees, it was just like being at home in Rabbit Land.

Being Thanksgiving and all, I guess I should say that I am thankful that my life feels like I’m always on vacation 🙂

We went to my step family’s house for the traditional vegetarian casserole Thanksgiving. My brother is in town from California too so it was nice that we could both be around for the family festivities.

I still notice a few things being out of place than it was before when I lived in Concrete Land. I marveled at the dishwasher even though it is the same one we always had. I also don’t keep as good of track on my wallet, phone, key stuff, where I put them down and what pocket they’re in, I never have to carry that stuff around on a ship or at DR. I think I’m also coming down with some kind of syndrome which I’m going to call the Away From DR Syndrome. It’s the kind of feelings you get when you’re away from home and you start to feel like, maybe your life would be better off spent if you didn’t live at DR forever or even all the time, though you know that home at DR will capture your heart just as it always has the second you are back. I haven’t spoken much with people at home, at least not much at all compared to having them around every day to talk to, I’m sure they are busy because the hurricane of DR life tends to sweep you right up and you kind of forget about what’s not in the village until it is there again every day, I know I probably do the same thing.  I think I’m starting to get discouraged compared to the excitement I had a year ago about my future at DR.  A year ago I was excited about building my own house at DR, one that would fit my small size, but now I’m feeling like I don’t really even want a house, probably unless it is portable and under 100 sq ft, where am I going to get the money to build a quality house, working on cruise ships for 10 years maybe, and if I build it for my size, it doesn’t have much resale value unless you’re a midget or a dwarf. I also just dropped $1500 this week on medical bills alone, that’s more than I made this past month at my job. Since I don’t have insurance, routine checkup type things and other medical care can be quite a bit, vision, dental, an hpv vaccine, paying off some of the procedure from the summer, anti death and decay armor I’m not sure how I could ever afford if I didn’t have a predictable income like I have now with my cruise ship job. Despite all this, I know I am still going to go back home to DR in the spring, although in the summer my family wants to take a vacation they will pay for me to go on and I might have to take an extra contract or two on a ship to try and make up for the medical bills I’m spending this year.

Sometimes I think about what I’d be doing if I didn’t live at DR. My answer used to be nothing, except maybe working on cruise ships full time and living in my parent’s attic, not a life I want to have. But a week ago a spark flared in me when I chose to go to the airport in San Diego instead of visiting Sea World for a few hours after debarking from the cruise ship. It costs about $80 to get into the park so I figured that if I’m going to go I want to have all day, not just a few hours, but I was still a bit bummed when I got to the airport to wait 8 hours for a flight. I’ve always liked animals, before I got into theatre in high school, I wanted to be a vet or work in a zoo, something with animal behavior. During my 8 hour wait in the airport I looked up online to find out how people became animal trainers. The only reason I ever liked plays as a kid is because I wanted to be in them, the only reason I’d enjoy an animal show with marine mammals is because part of me wants to do it myself. Apparently being a marine mammal trainer is hard work, you need a degree in the field, it’s a competitive job to get, and you don’t get paid very much at all. Not much different than my life now, but I’d probably make twice as much, work harder, and save nothing. I found out about an Exotic Animal Training and Management program at a college in California which I could attend if I wanted to and had about $80k,  I sure wish I knew about it back in high school, when you don’t get to work much with animals in school unless you’re cutting them apart. I guess in a different path in my life I might work on cruise ships year round till I had $80k and go into some mid life crisis and go back to school to start a dangerous low paying career training animals. For now I will amuse myself with books like Don’t Shoot the Dog, Kicked Bitten and Scratched, and What Shamu Taught Me About Life Love and Marriage. Most of the books talk about animal training and using animal training principles with your fellow humans, and one even says you could train a chicken after reading the book. Maybe that will be a fun summer project at DR, training a chicken to do something.

October 2012

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10/4

The 15th Anniversary Reunion is coming up this weekend. I volunteered to be the Fun Coordinator. That means I have to organize fun activities and find people to host them and put together some entertainment. The blues band that was going to play for the entertainment tomorrow just canceled so I’m not sure what were going to do about that, but it’s my job to make it up last minute. That’s been the most frustrating thing so far, but other than that it is fun, fun, fun planned for the weekend. There is going to be games and dancing and a relay race and tours and Laird is going to host an auction. I’ll also have my own silent art auction in the hallway for some drawings I’ve been doing this year. It will be really exciting but I’ll also be glad when it is over because it has been so long since we started working up to this big weekend.

10/7

The reunion weekend has been really fun. About 50 DR affiliates showed up to celebrate with us. I got introduced as the Fun Coordinator, but the guests started calling me the “Fun Queen.” Instead of live entertainment on Friday, there was a bonfire and a dance party instead, although most everyone went to the bonfire and the two people in the Casa got tired of dancing and went to the bon fire also.  There was a frost last night and Sandhill is in a crunch to save their crop of sorghum so a bunch of people are going over there to help with the harvest.  I also got to meet some of the founders of Dancing Rabbit, and they seem like really cool people. Last minute we pulled together a band for the contra dance that consisted of Cecil, Jacob, Anya, and Penn. Cecil hosted the talent show and we had a blast. The relay races were awesome and included activities like emptying a hummanure bucket and getting a cookie from your forehead to your mouth without using your hands, only the muscles in your face. I had to do the cookie one and apparently I was really good at using my face muscles to control a cookie. We also had a fun ground breaking for our new common house and Alex, the architect, gave a “tour” of where everything is going to be in the new common house. We also had a fun auction that Laird hosted and Rachel and Katherine helped out to hold things up that were being auctioned. Laird is a very hilarious auctioneer. No one bid on my art, but I didn’t announce it either, I just hung it up in the hallway with a sign and some bidding sign up sheets, I figure if no one buys it I’ll just put it up in the common house somewhere and the rabbits can enjoy my drawings instead. I don’t think I expected to sell any of it anyway. Travis was taking a trip to Quincy to drop off some guests at the train station so I hopped along for the ride because I needed to deposit a check at the bank from painting, but the closest Bank of America is an hour away in Quincy. We also saw a movie at the mall and did some errands at the hardware store after dropping off the guests. It was kind of weird to go out into the world and do something fun and “normal” like seeing a movie, I think it’s been a year since I paid for a movie at the theatre, even though the movie wasn’t anything too fantastical, we were so excited because it’s something we so rarely do when we live at DR. The food for the reunion has been really great, Nani has cooked for some of it and Main Street Cafe catered some of the other meals, the Mercantile also served breakfast. And you know who gets to keep the leftovers, Sunflower 🙂 I ate like a queen this weekend.

10/11

Today is 10/11/12! We realized this when I went to the kid committee meeting, but usually I don’t keep track of the exact date.

This week brought the fifth session of visitors. Some of them want to move here but they have to wait to apply until next year because we have reached our maximum percentage of new people vs the people who have been living here longer than six months. I think it is 40%. For the first time in DR history, I think, we are telling people we are full for accepting new people for now. We do want to grow to be a village of 500 to 1000 people, but it would be too much for us to grow that much in a very short time, considering we are only 70 people now, and new people need time to get integrated into the culture and life here at DR.

It was my last pizza night at the Mercantile. I don’t always get pizza every week, but I did today. I’m leaving next Thursday to get onto a train and be away from home until next March. I’ll be working on cruise ships and spending time in Seattle until then. It’s strange to think that this time next week, I’ll be on a train.

This weekend I’m going to a mushroom workshop near the Possibility Alliance, where I am going to make logs to grow shiitake mushrooms on. I ordered 45 logs and we’ll bring them back in the truck along with other rabbits’ logs.

10/16

One of my last days in rabbit land for the year, and I’m eating beans and rice for lunch, what a surprise.

The mushroom workshop was rainy but fun. We brought back 116 logs for people at Dancing Rabbit, good thing they all fit in the truck. I got some good knowledge about mushrooms, and I’m now a little mushroom farmer at DR with my 45 logs in the forest.

I’m leaving in two days to go back out on cruise ships for the winter.

10/20

I’m finally in Seattle after about a 50 hour train trip. I’m staying with my family for a couple days before joining a cruise ship in Vancouver that will travel to Hawaii and Mexico, I’m coming back home to Seattle for Thanksgiving and my 10 year high school reunion, then it’s back on a ship going to Australia and New Zealand until I come back home to Dancing Rabbit in March.

My friends made a special dinner for me on my last day in Rabbit Land, and they all told me nice things that they appreciate about me. There was also a double rainbow outside before dinner and everyone went out to look. It was so joyful and happy, but just like a metaphor for my life, amongst so much joyful happiness and celebration, there’s some perceived tragedy itching underneath, the kids were screaming about who’s pizza was whose and someone got upset cause the kids were screaming so loud and half way through dinner half the people had left the table to take care of their stuff, whether it was their kids or their emotions, but I appreciated it all, the fiasco of the whole thing was so beautiful to watch and experience. Then we had people over from outside our kitchen to eat dessert with us and everyone was happy with ice cream and pumpkin pie and cookies. I don’t get to celebrate my birthday at home, but that was just as good, although I don’t know that I’m going to want to get that much attention every year I leave in the winter to go back to the cruise ships.

I go back and fourth about how much I want to work to keep myself at DR for the whole year round without leaving to make money. Currently I’m not ready to give up my awesome job, and maybe getting away for a while brings me a greater appreciation for DR living that I wouldn’t have if I stayed there all year. I won’t miss eating hippy food all the time, but I will miss eating healthy every day without having to dodge the synthetics, processed, high fructose corn syrup and other garbage that permeates the food of Concrete Land. I won’t miss the flies and ticks and mice and chiggers, but sure will miss living in nature when I step out my front door, or any door for that matter. I won’t miss things like temper tantrums, the kid version and the adult version, but I will miss the family-like atmosphere of closeness that I have with my friends at DR. I won’t miss the crazy amusement park ride of personal social, romantic, building construction, gardening, you name it, etc, growth that happens with close knit 70 person village living every day all day, but where else besides DR can I experience such an orchestra of relations among humans and nature and human nature, probably nowhere like DR.

I have turned into such a hippie that I even forgot to put my socks on before my shoes the next morning when I had to get up at 4am and I left them behind at a friend’s house. A couple of the Browns rode in the car with me to see me off on my 6am train, it’s nice that people at home love and care about me enough to wake up at 4am for an hour car ride to the train station and don’t mind listening to my rant about turning into a hippy and forgetting my socks or not getting a chance to get all the goodbye hugs I was hoping for.

Compared to beans and rice and salad, train food is garbage. A hot dog on the train was $5, they pulled it out of some cabinet fridge thingy and put it in the microwave. I ate oats with raisins for two days on the train that I had brought from Rabbit Land.

Although Concrete Jungle Land seemed so familiar to me once upon a time, I think I had reverse culture shock coming back.  During the ride home I said things to my mom like, look a skyscraper, or look a real bum on the street begging for money, or look a whole flock of pigeons. You have to remember it’s been about 6 months to a year since I’ve seen some of this stuff. Gas was over $4/gallon. All I wanted to do was eat sushi and ice cream so we went out to sushi for lunch. My mom took me to the back yard and showed me the broccoli and carrots and tomatoes and other greens she’s growing and made home made cereal bar hippie food type things, which felt like home at DR to me.

I needed a couple things for work, like white tennis shoes and laundry detergent and a pair of jeans so we went to the mall for that. Apparently the latest fashion is for young women to wear boots with really tight pants and a cute shirt thingy that goes down past your butt, with the university close by, that’s all any of the girls were wearing nowadays, I mean every girl had this same sort of outfit on. And here I was in the only pair of jeans I own and grubby hippy jeans that don’t fit me properly at that, about to spend $50 on a new pair that fit me right, not from good will, and will probably last me another 5 years, although I lost at least 10 lbs in Rabbit Land and even the smallest size 2 pants were a little loose around the waist for me but I know I’ll grow into them eating cruise ship food for several months. The mall seemed like such a strange alien world as well with all the advertisements trying to convince you that you need everything and the hip young sales people and the escalators and the Starbucks, a place with tons of people where everyone is a stranger in their own little world and no one knows or cares who you are and what your own little world is like. But on the other hand Seattle is a very progressive city where I can recycle any kind of plastic I want, not just #1 and #2 like at DR. I also don’t have to sort my recycling. And in the city of Seattle it is illegal to give out plastic bags at stores anymore, if you want a bag to take away your goods, it has to be paper and you have to pay 5 cents for it!

10/21

I saw a large apartment complex today that had a huge array of solar panels along the whole roof of both the buildings in this complex. Wow!

10/27

I’ve been on a cruise ship cruising down the west coast from Vancouver to San Diego.

They’re going to dress us, the entertainment department, up as the Angry Birds for Halloween.

I’ve lost so much weight at home eating beans and rice and salad and lentils for six months. Now I don’t weigh enough to go on the Ziplining tour, so I hope I gain about 5lbs by November 3 so I can go on the tour I signed up for.

I won’t get internet very much crossing over to Hawaii, this is the first time I’ve had internet in almost a week so it is exciting to be at a Starbucks for once.

The world outside the ecovillage feels a bit more lonely than at home, even on the cruise ship. One of my co-workers didn’t really believe me when I told her that sleeping could be a social event at home for me. It’s hard to believe I probably  won’t get to cuddle with anyone for five months.  I think one thing I miss most about home is how nice people are and how honest and genuine they are.