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About Varied / Hobbyist Member VickieFemale/United States Recent Activity
Deviant for 7 Years
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Rat hugs by usedbooks
Rat hugs
Havelock is four months old. When I give the rats treats in their cage, he ignores the food and insists I pick him up, so he gets (and gives) lots of hugs.
For those who don't know me, I am a seasonal employee in a field where it takes a lot of seasons before you can get longer term work. After getting my Master's degree, I struggled with unemployment for a few years until the director of a museum where I volunteered got me a lead on a position in a state park and gave the park manager a reference for me. Since then, I worked in state parks for four summers and then, after a full eight years of rejections, got a job in a national park a couple years ago. I spend winters using up my meager savings while living with my parents and feeling generally useless while I furiously flll out applications for all kinds of jobs.
Spring is once again upon us, and this year, I was offered a position in a national park close to home AND at a higher pay grade. Close as it is, I still need to relocate. I refuse to leave my cat and pet rats behind, so I decided to forgo government housing in favor of finding an RV park nearby. I found the park, reserved a pad, and will start the process of moving soon.
I will have to set up internet after I arrive, so next week, my webcomic updates will be on hold until I have that all worked out. Once I start my job, I will likely be updating once a week instead of twice a week. (40 hour work weeks half the year still beat 20 hour swing shifts year round, imo.) If I go internet-silent for a while, you know why. :) 

(I'll be working at Petersburg National Battlefield. If you enjoy history, maybe I'll see you around. The siege in Petersburg occurred in the final months of the American Civil War, so the sesquicentennial is basically right now.)
Just for fun, here's a list. All of these facts have been mentioned or alluded to in my story. There's a lot more. (I have a ton of characters. Heh.)
~Yuki is a really bad shot. She's aware of this fact, and had trouble qualifying when she was with the police.
~Yuki's first job was as a mechanic for the army. She built her custom pink motorcycle.
~Yuki has five older brothers. The two oldest are martial arts experts but not as good as their dad or Yuki.
~Yuki's dad was the police superintendent.
~Yuki's brothers have the following careers Trey = travel agent, Lee = basketball coach, Brandon = unemployed, Kin = elementary school teacher, Shin = restauranteur.
~Yuki's parents have several pets, some from her childhood and others added to combat empty nest.
~Yuki is afraid of heights, snakes, and tight spaces.
~Yuki is an expert at escaping from ropes and chains.
~Yuki's brothers call her Barbie to tease her.
~Yuki and Brad were born the same day. Their mothers are best friends.
~Yuki met Kaida when she was tracking down syndicate members, but viewed her as a victim and didn't arrest.
~Yuki cannot keep a job long because she's clumsy and absent-minded.
~Yuki left her fiance Luke standing at the alter at her first wedding. Luke was assassinated at their second attempt.
~Yuki regularly sees a psychiatrist for help with her severe fear of commitment.
~Yuki's father encourages his offspring to be aggressive and competitive. He challenges Yuki to karate matches whenever he sees her.
~Yuki's mother dotes on her as the only daughter and wants Yuki to move back into the family home.

~Kaida has a twin sister she has always been jealous of.
~Kaida dropped out of school at age 17 to run away with the circus -- or with a circus performer (but ended up in crime instead).
~Kaida's first sexual experience was at age 17 with her boss Raidon.
~Kaida got married on her 18th birthday and divorced five years later.
~Kaida loves antiques, influenced by her father's career as a globe-hopping anthropologist.
~Kaida is six and a half years older than her brother.
~Kaida is a notoriously heavy sleeper but prone to insomnia, nightmares, and talking in her sleep.
~Kaida likes victorian-style decor in her apartment and wears feminine nightgowns, but dresses androgynously in public to avoid unwanted attention.
~Kaida loves children but hides the fact like a dirty secret.
~Kaida is a good cook, but her ex-husband is better.
~Kaida was raised Catholic. She rejects the religion for being sexist and contrived but donates anonymously to the local Catholic church and gets along with the priest.
~Kaida hates hospitals with nearly a phobia and is especially critical and suspicious of psychologists.
~Kaida's deepest mortal fear is going to prison.
~Kaida loves chatting with local college kids. Her store is the favorite spot for textbook buying and selling.
~Kaida's store is located at the edge of a large park and is beside a bank and across from a 24-hour grocery.
~Seiko started college when she was 11.
~Seiko was 12 when her parents died. She was home, heard the shots, and found the bodies.
~Seiko remained in college pursuing different degrees and teaching for most of her life until she moved in with Kaida to start over. College was her sanctuary.
~Seiko's first boyfriend is Tristan. She was 24 when she met him. (He was robbing the bookstore.)
~Local celebrity and philanthropist Eric Mason confessed that he had a crush on Seiko when he was taking her chemistry class.
~Seiko is uncomfortable around children. She's scared to hold babies and talks to kids like they were adults.
~Seiko is a tennis and a chess champion.
~Seiko knows archery and is good with a bow.
~Seiko plays violin. Her mother played a cello taller than she was.
~Seiko knows several languages.
~Seiko used to live on a large estate in a neighboring town.
~Seiko acts overly polite around strangers as a defense mechanism. She tends to be more sarcastic and blunt with friends.
~Most of Seiko's clothes are hand-me-downs from Yuki's family or thrift store purchases.
~Seiko's glasses frames used to belong to her father.
~Seiko learned to ice skate from Tristan.
~Seiko lives in a small room in the back of the bookstore. She has a door that opens onto the park.
~Seiko doesn't like to talk about religion. She struggles with faith since her parents died and questions if not the existence, the nature of God.
~Seiko does not have a driver's license, but technically she has stolen (borrowed?) at least two cars.
~The skills Tristan learned to impress (various) women include guitar, motorcycling, ice skating, lockpicking, origami, and more (yet unmentioned).
~Tristan is a devout Catholic and friends with his priest.
~Tristan sings in the church choir.
~Tristan dropped out of school at 16 years old to search for his sister Kaida in the city. He ended up joining a gang (sort of).
~Tristan was one of a trio of bank robbers but kept clumsily botching their heists.
~Tristan is experienced at being rejected by girls since grade school. His first real girlfriend was a burglar named Kylie.
~Tristan lives in a dilapidated apartment building on Bridge Street. He is neighbors with Mike.
~Mike's mother died from an infection shortly after he was born.
~Mike's father was a visionary politician who ran for mayor but was killed shortly before elections.
~Mike entered the foster system at age two.
~Mike lived alone on the street starting when he was 15.
~At age 17, Mike, in a rage, pushed a man onto the Subway tracks and was tried for voluntary manslaughter.
~Mike regularly sees a psychiatrist for his anger issues. (Originally court-ordered but now voluntary.)
~Mike currently goes to Highlawn University and majors in pre-law. Kaida's sister Violet is his role model.
~Violet typically wears contact lenses. She wore glasses when she was younger or as part of disguises.
~Violet lives near her mother in the neighboring town. She is good friends with Seiko's adoptive parents/godparents.
~Alex is an eagle scout, honor student, and baseball player.
~Fudo and Toyo studied literature in college but dropped out to become performers.
~Toyo had to learn safe-cracking to cover up a lie Fudo told to save his life.
~Toyo is currently an author and pushing his luck by writing about experience in the crime syndicate.
~Toyo and Celes worked for a branch of the syndicate composed of robbers/burglars. Celes was a driver, and Toyo opened safes and locks.
~Raidon is a skilled fencer.
~Eric Mason owns a software company. Dozer works for him as his "day job."
~Eric is a huge fan of Violet and friends with the local TV reporter Elaine Devon.
~Meredith is a widow. Her husband died in a subway "accident" after an altercation with Mike.
~Valentine studied medicine and had hopes of becoming a surgeon.
~Alex's sister-in-law Brigit is a nurse. Ricky is still in college.
~Raidon employs Tim as a butler and dog sitter. Hecate tolerates him.
~Raidon used to have a white Doberman named Anubis. He lived 9 years. Hecate is 5 years old.
~Jiro is 11 years old. He was living in the bookstore when Kaida bought it.


usedbooks's Profile Picture
Artist | Hobbyist | Varied
United States
Stuff to know about me:

~I am a single and in my early 30s.
~I have a master's degree in biology.
~I am a seasonal park guide/interpreter, in search of full-time employment.
~I am a middle child, my brother and sister are my best friends.
~I grew up in WV, and I miss the mountains and the snow.
~My hobbies are writing and photography. I also raise rats and love genetics.
~I love comedies, adventure movies, and whodunnits.
~I like to play RPG and adventure games as a group activity. :)

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Add a Comment:
plymayer Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2014
Okay!  How was the move?  Which critters did the move with you?  How are things at the park?  Are you at the light house or a different location?   
usedbooks Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Things are doing fine.

My RV had three things broken when I set up, a pipe, the toilet, and the LP regulator. It cost nearly $600 and several days of discomfort, phone calls, etc. to fix. I pretty much have no money until I get a paycheck.

I brought my two youngest male rats, Tulio and Miguel, with me. My parents plan to bring my cat Lily to me in a week or so. (She would have hated all the repair guys in and out.)

Right now, I'm working on a few sign/interpretive exhibit projects. I will be stationed at the new visitor center in Beaufort once it opens at the end of April. It's on the busiest street in a fairly bustling tourist town 30 minutes drive away. So, it will be a much different kind of job. -- Usually given to a higher grade employee. I'm still paid the GS 04 wage, but I look forward to having more duties and responsibilities. Plus, it will be a 40 hour work week with some Sunday pay, so I'm happy for that.
plymayer Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2014
Must feel a bit like an adventure.

Sounds like they are evaluating you for more.
slowdog294 Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2013  Professional General Artist
Meet the Superintendent of
Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Ranger Dale A. Ditmanson
usedbooks Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Very insightful! Thanks for sharing.
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