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Amparo Bertram

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05:32 am: All about work
Last week started with a bang as a huge storm rolled in on Tuesday. I was glad it was my day off so I could stay curled up on my couch while the wind ripped the bark off the trees outside. As with the storms earlier in the spring, the weather caused the airport to divert planes over my area, so I could hear them roaring by every so often.

When I got back to work on Thursday, the whole place was buzzing with the recent announcement that CBP is going to raise the maximum pay grade for non-supervisory positions next year. That means, if all goes well, after one more year I will be promoted to a GS 12 without having to become a supervisor. With that kind of salary, I may actually be able to afford a house.

The other thing I've been trying at work is experimenting with different styles of putting my hair up. Twisting it into a bun held with scrunchies is certainly quick, but not particularly attractive. I bought a set of wooden hair sticks, and I've been using those to hold my hair up instead. This braid turned out rather nice, though somewhat time-consuming. I wish I could get the hang of French braiding without my hair becoming completely tangled after a couple of weaves.

I've been toying with the idea of writing a guide to getting through agriculture inspections, with links to pages explaining what things are allowed and answers to questions I commonly encounter. I wasn't sure if it would be of interest to anyone, though, since it really only applies if you plan to bring back food from a foreign country.

The permanent shifts still haven't been announced. It will be a load off my mind when that is finally resolved.

Comments

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From:manga_crow
Date:October 20th, 2009 01:55 pm (UTC)
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Ah, I love watching storms when I don't have to go out in them - one of life's little pleasures =)

And that's great news about the pay grade bump! Hopefully your shift announcement isn't far behind^^
[User Picture]
From:kataren
Date:October 20th, 2009 02:02 pm (UTC)
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I don't know what it's called, but over here there's a hair ornament that's kinda nifty. Dunno what it's called, but it's basically two hair combs (like in the site you linked to) attached with some stretchy material, with the teeth side facing in (& each other).

You pull your hair back, put in a comb on one side, stretch & twist the other comb over the ponytail/bun a few times before sliding it in on the other side. It's best seen being done "live" cos I'm sure my explanation didn't help much. :P Hmm, think I'll do some Googling...
[User Picture]
From:kataren
Date:October 20th, 2009 02:30 pm (UTC)
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Er, sorry 'bout the double statement up there...but I found a demo vid!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6fDXUxVT04&feature=related

Don't know your office dress code, whether they allow "dressy" hair ornaments, but I have seen some combs that are of a slightly smaller size & not as laden with glass stones/beads.

Too bad I just cut & layered my hair short. :P This looks fun.
[User Picture]
From:mangaroo
Date:October 20th, 2009 08:13 pm (UTC)
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As with the storms earlier in the spring, the weather caused the airport to divert planes over my area, so I could hear them roaring by every so often.

I just realized I've never heard planes from your place. So they only fly close enough during bad weather? Fabulous! (<- double that for the change in pay policy. Now you just need puppy patrol and life will be perfect.)
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From:spacealien_vamp
Date:October 20th, 2009 11:37 pm (UTC)
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So they only fly close enough during bad weather?

That appears to be the case, at least from my observations since last December. I believe they fly over the town just north of mine. I only hear them during storms.

Now you just need puppy patrol and life will be perfect.

I agree.
[User Picture]
From:megory
Date:October 20th, 2009 08:35 pm (UTC)
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The braid is really cute. As thick as your hair is, it must have taken a while. French braiding would be very difficult because of the thickness.

The guide sounds like a great idea. A lot of people like to bring back food from a foreign country, so i think there would be a lot of interest in such a guide.

Good luck on the permanent shift issue. That would be so nice.

If you get the beagle brigade can you still be a Japanese translator?

[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:October 20th, 2009 11:41 pm (UTC)
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As thick as your hair is, it must have taken a while.

It's not the thickness so much as the length, because my arms start aching by the time I braid down to the ends.

If you get the beagle brigade can you still be a Japanese translator?

It would be in a different capacity. I wouldn't be reading ingredient lists or translating for other people, I would be doing it to ask questions of any passengers the dog selected.
[User Picture]
From:megory
Date:October 21st, 2009 02:43 am (UTC)
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It's true about the aching. Almost any "do" for long hair has my arms aching by the time I get half way down. Sometimes I can hold the tress with one hand and "shake out" the other arm to give the muscle a break. It's really annoying. It's so much more fun to have someone else do it. Then you can sit on a chair where they can reach without having to raise their arms so high.

There is actually a little machine that will twist hair for you. It goes quickly so you don't have to hold it too long. I've seen it advertised, but it looks as though I would just end up with a bunch of tangled hair that I could never undo.

There is another foam "spacer" aid that helps to hold your strands while doing the French braid. It takes a lot of patience and concentration to keep moving the strands from one groove to another as you continue to braid. I couldn't get the tension right, either. But at least I could rest my arms whenever I needed to without losing the integrity of the strands.


[User Picture]
From:melf42
Date:October 21st, 2009 04:22 am (UTC)
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When I was teaching myself to french braid my hair, I found that doing it inside out (dutch?) where you cross from the bottom to the top instead of the top to the bottom, was easier. And looks kinda cool. Yep, it is called Dutch; I just Googled it.

Also, once I get the braid down to my shoulders, I change position and put the braid over one shoulder and continue from the front with both arms resting on my chest. This helps with the achy arms. However, I'm so lazy, I rarely french braid my hair anymore, I just do a regular braid.

That's cool that you managed to find a job where you can still use your Japanese. The most I usually do at my job is look at Chinese occasionally.

Yay house!
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:October 23rd, 2009 03:32 am (UTC)
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Thanks for the tip on Dutch braiding, I'll have to give that a shot.

I haven't managed to get as far as my shoulders yet, I can barely get to the crown of my head.
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