Letters to My Sister

30 12 2009

What you are going to read today is something called “The Letter Game”. It operates on the basic principle of two characters, separated for some reason, writing letters to one another. Jennifer (my sister) and I decided to play together as a way to pass time and work out our writing muscles. So bookmark both my blog and hers and prepare for the adventure.

Danika Cain
Pass # 26572
S.S. Sumpter
out of New Haven
bound for Planet 6 Beta

Dani!

Before I get down to the trivial details of my trivial life and the less trivial details of your VERY interesting life I have to tell you something… It’s no big secret though you won’t have heard it over any of the Com channels unless you have high security clearance or know the Trinic method of decryption. A week ago Wednesday one of the women working in our experimental sector at IG was found dead in her lab. Now that isn’t even that unusual these days- we’ve had four suicides this year- but what I found later is MOST unusual.

You see, anytime something like this happens the High Pu-Baw and Senior Muck-a-Mucks  have us do an internal investigation. All of the other biologists with my clearance or higher were gone at a conference in Japan so I did the gene testing. Dani, her DNA had been altered! I’m not talking alien/mutant altered. It was so subtle that I almost missed it. Just one tiny DNA strand shifted ever so slightly… In layman’s terms someone went in and shuffled her DNA. I’m not sure what effect it would have had on her… I know it didn’t kill her. She died of mercurial poisoning. Read the rest of this entry »

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Oh what a way to spend the day!

29 12 2009

I think the best thing a person can do for themselves is to occasionally spend an entire day doing just as they like. I took one of those days today after having been metaphorically smooshed by a combination of non-stop socialization and an overworked brain.

The forenoon was spent praying, reading, sitting in the corner of my bedroom and texting with James as he took the manly responsibility of organizing a trip to the movies. We didn’t end up going to the movies and the praying had little apparent effect on the aforementioned overworked brain so I went for a walk. The walk was MUCH more productive in that the Lord said “Give it a rest!” and I said “oh. Ok!” I am therefore not going to even DISCUSS North Carolina again until January 5th. If you ask me about it I will politely change subjects so don’t bother asking.

In the afternoon I read and snoozed and played with my cat. The evening was spent in what we call “poozling”- a verb form of “puzzle” much used in the Mansour and Smith households. Mother and I also watched Julie and Julia and I drew some more.

The latter part of my day has been spent alternately eating things that aren’t good for me and reading my new (super intense) cook book. Did you know that stock pots are tall and thin so that the liquid boils up through the bones and vegetables and also to limit evaporation? Or that you aren’t supposed to just leave stock alone? You need to check it every hour or so to make sure it’s not too hot. Or that you aren’t supposed to STIR the stock more than three times during the first hour because it will make your stock cloudy?  Also cut your bones small and put in a little salt so the albumin is drawn out of the bones. And skim! Skim skim skim! Side note- what the crap is “albumin”?

Tomorrow: Avatar and Fond Brun or “Brown Stock”. Need to stop by the butcher for some veal bones….





Count the Months…

22 12 2009

Or better yet, count the days. How long has it been since I wrote a meaningful “this-is-what-is-going-on-in-my-life” update? At least a month and probably two.

I’m not sure if it is possible to become a hermit at twenty-two but I can feel myself slipping that direction. People make me tired even when I am enjoying being around them and a cabin in the forest sounds better and better. It must be that I have some kind of call on my life that will involve some kind of counseling or love-you-into-wholeness business. There is no other reason for the fact that I reject calls more often than I take them and my happiest days are spent quietly at home.

The long and short of it is that I don’t know if my wishes for solitude are valid but the ARE and they are a large part of why I never update. My life in NC is… complex… and by the time my day boils down to time for blogging the thoughts I wish to express are not wholly positive. Not blogging is my way of being fair to the people I live with.

My dreams are as they ever were… I want to make movies and to travel and to write and to finish my B.A. and get my Masters. I want money to bless people and the companionship of kindred spirits. I want quiet and forests and mountains and Love. I want to know God and be known by Him.

If I could I would move to the Oregon or Washington Coast, work in a bookstore and take acting lessons.

For now I am home in Seattle. Loving it and waiting for God to give me a good reason to go back to NC. I’m sure He will if I’m meant to return.





Letters to My Sister

9 12 2009

What you are going to read today is something called “The Letter Game”. It operates on the basic principle of two characters, separated for some reason, writing letters to one another. Jennifer (my sister) and I decided to play together as a way to pass time and work out our writing muscles. So bookmark both my blog and hers and prepare for the adventure. I’ll be posting on Tuesday’s, Jennifer on Wednesday’s or Thursday mornings. Enjoy

Danika Cain
Pass # 26572
S.S. Sumpter
out of New Haven
bound for Planet 6 Beta

Dani,

I had coffee with the Colonel yesterday and sorted out some of my complaints re security. It turns out that he is the doing the ONLY screening of our letters. He’s somehow worked it out to bypass both the gov regulations and IG’s internal security. For a colonel with a floppy mustache and a comb-over he has remarkable clout. But I’m glad that he’s the only one reading these (for the time being and until some horrid desk clerk at Com or at IG figures out we’re thumbing our noses at them). But that explains the delay. The poor man has plenty to do during the day and reading our verbose letters is NOT high on his priority list.

Re the Doses. If there is a precipitate at the bottom of the vial it probably means that the Passes have “curdled” it, for lack of a better term. Sometimes the internal shields in Pass ships malfunction ever so slightly. It’s not enough to hurt a human but it can affect the molecular structure of simple bio-vites like the Doses. It wouldn’t hurt you to take it but it wouldn’t do you any good either. I recommend slipping it to Garvey as recompense for the loss of the shampoo. It will give him a nasty purple rash on his neck and turn his urine black. Or should, if it’s the kind of Dose alteration that I’ve studied. I’ve sent ahead a fortnight’s worth of new Doses (courtesy of the IG stock room). Also a lovely purple sweater that I bought you since your cat won’t sleep on anything but the sweatshirt that I stole. Ha! Read the rest of this entry »





Letters to My Sister (2)

4 12 2009

What you are going to read today is something called “The Letter Game”. It operates on the basic principle of two characters, separated for some reason, writing letters to one another. Jennifer (my sister) and I decided to play together as a way to pass time and work out our writing muscles. So bookmark both my blog and hers and prepare for the adventure. I’ll be posting on Tuesday’s, Jennifer on Wednesday’s or Thursday mornings. Enjoy

Danika Cain
Pass # 26572
S.S. Sumpter
out of New Haven
bound for Planet 6 Beta

Dani,

It took them an entire day to get your letter. It had to pass through four levels of security and they would only deliver it to me in the Di-Level Lab. And that’s including the normal Com lag. Honestly I’m not sure what they think I would be communicating to a mid-level ship’s cook that could harm IG. Or what you would be saying to me that would be worth a government agent’s time! We should have taken more encryption classes as kids. Then they’d REALLY have to work at it.

Honestly, I expected the regs to be different working for a multi national company like IG. It’s not like being in the Force or working at the University. But it really is terrible sometimes. These people are determined to maintain control over every nuance of  security. Right down to personal letters between siblings. Couldn’t we talk to the Colonel about it? He told me that going through IG would be best but if it’s going to take them an entire day to decide that your description of Passes is harmless then something needs to change! But I guess IG is pretty tied into government these days and government is nothing if not paranoid. I am not yet resigned but I’m sure I will be. Read the rest of this entry »





Letters to My Sister

1 12 2009

What you are going to read today is something called “The Letter Game”. It operates on the basic principle of two characters, separated for some reason, writing letters to one another. Jennifer and I decided to play together as a way to pass time and work out our writing muscles. So bookmark both my blog and hers and prepare for the adventure. (Note that, this is the very first letter. Her reply will be posted to her blog some time in the next two days.)

Danika Cain
Pass # 26572
E.S. Sumpter
out of New Haven
bound for Planet 6 Beta

Dear Dani,

Greetings traveler!

I’m sorry that I’m so late getting this letter off to you. I know I promised to write every week but it’s been chaos around with work and the Fleet launch and whatnot. Plus I haven’t corresponded off-world in three years and the regs have changed. If you hadn’t written down your exact contact info and given me the card of that nice Ministry fellow you would have had to wait forever for this letter.

The regs really did give me a devil of a time. When I was corresponding with that nice man on P9 Theta during school things were ever so much more simple. I think the Fleet launch gave the government delusions of grandeur. If I hear one more fat goat telling me about how Earth is now a “true military force in the ‘verse- something to be reckoned with” I shall throw your lovely cactus at the screen.

Don’t worry. I wouldn’t actually throw your cactus at anything. It’s such a nice specimen and much too heavy to throw. The terrarium and potted herbs are flourishing though your fish look rather ill. The cat is doing fine. I do wish you would have left the cat with Angelo, or even taken it with you. Cats are immune to the Plague and I’m sure this cat would do very well in an airless environment! Don’t worry, though, regardless of my own feelings about the hairy devil I shall keep him alive until you come back- even if it kills me.

My new job is going along wonderfully. International Genetics’ business has quadrupled since the Fleet launch. Everyone and their brother wants to go into space and we’re the fastest testing facility Earth-side. (Which is all that counts since an untested person could hardly get to Jupiter Station- even if they wanted to!)  I never thought I’d say this but the Plague is the best thing to happen to the field of genetics since they tried mapping the human genome.

My lab is the primary diagnostic lab for our branch of the company. We have 29 geneticists (including myself!), 42 lab assistants and the entire top floor of IG. It’s worth the long hours and tedium for the view. Floor to ceiling glass and the whole city spread out beneath you!

Oh but my boss! A horrid, sniveling, velvet-skinned creature with damp eyes and frowsy hair. He has this habit of padding around the lab silently, then coming to stand right behind you where he breathes over your shoulder (or in the general direction of your elbow if you are me) until the undulating draft of damp air gets your attention. He never says anything but “oh!”, “really?” and “hmmm”.  I’m told he was a brilliant geneticist and a University teacher but I have my doubts. More likely he is related to or blackmailing someone on the Board.

Luckily, (and I thank two tours of duty in the military and high aptitude tests for this) I’m sure that my Security Clearance is higher than his. At least, I’ve never seen him in the Di-level data entry areas. I only ever get breathed on in the actual lab.
I hope I’m not boring you with work details. I haven’t been in the City long enough to have much of a life outside of work and terra firma isn’t nearly as romantic as space I’m sure.

And before you get all big-sister on me I HAVE been attempting social activities. I went to an Ultimate Tennis game last Saturday, took three walks in the greens and went out to dinner twice. By myself both times, though, so I’m not sure the dinners count as “social”.

All my love to your. Can’t wait to hear your adventures. I hope your belly-button survived intact.

Your Sister

P.S. You better have some good stories. Anyone particularly horrid or particularly dashing on your ship? What did you end up doing? (I know there was some debate about what your duties would be…. )