Monday, August 30, 2004

California Allergy

Apparently, I'm allergic to Northern California. Or the second bedroom in Kevin's mom's house; it's a toss-up. I sneezed all weekend and am now so congested, I feel loopy. Not that I'm allergic to Seattle, understand, I'm just dealing with the residual congestion. And it sucks.

Other than that, and being exhausting, the trip was pretty good. Santa Cruz was brilliantly foggy and pleasant, which was nice after being in super-death-hot San Jose all day. After looking at about a half dozen places, we decided to go for the safe bet: a rather nice place with a nice yard and a sorta-nice view of the foothills in the boring as hell suburb of Milpitas. The yard is maintained and has four fruit trees--two apple, one orange, and one lemon--and the house is spacious enough without fixtures that are too weird and ugly. Pretty much nothing is nearby, though we're told there's a park of some sort. And a Catholic church, in case I stop being agnostic and give in to the "guilt." Which is not, by the way, going to happen.

We have to drive to get to pretty much any grocery store, much less one that sells stuff I'll buy without cringing (closest Trader Joe's is in Sunnyvale; Whole Foods in Campbell or Cupertino; haven't found any obscure co-ops in the whole valley). Same goes for movie theaters. However, it's located at that southeast corner of the bay that means I could reasonably commute to Oakland or even San Francisco, if up to an hour is "reasonable."

I'll have to learn all the freeways, and Kevin's mom gave me a map so I can start memorizing. It'll be hard--the freeways in Seattle are pretty basic. There's I-5 shooting straight through town, with I-90 and 520 heading to the eastside 'burbs, and 405 connecting the two of those. It's like tic-tac-toe. Down there, it's more like a goddamn maze, and I can't print out directions every time I need to go somewhere.

And yes, my interview went well. At least, I think so. And I still want that job, because, well, it's a sweet job. It's pretty much everything I could want in a job right now--doing stuff I know how to do and improving on it, combined with gaining skills I want to have (namely, editing), to produce something that is valuable (stuff for ESL teachers). I liked the interviewers, and it's a small company where I'd be important without being lost in a large, corporate structure. But I need to stop enthusing because as much as I want it, I have no idea if they're even going to call me back for a second interview, and even then, who knows if I'd make the cut?

Other than that, I skipped coffee for two days, which sucked, but I got Jamba Juice two days in a row, which was pleasant. Just, you know, not coffee, or as cheap as coffee.

I still need to get my Bumbershoot tickets and do dishes. There are a fuckton of dishes, and I don't feel like doing them, and I can't eat until I do them, so I guess I'll starve.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

LiveJournal Account of the Damned

I did not know LJ accounts were free-without-a-code again. Now I know. If you have a LJ and you are my friend, why don't you go ahead and add me?

Yeah, it's whoring, but whatever.

And I promise not to start posting "friends only" shit over there, much to the chagrin of the less-cliquish blogger friends who have my heart.

Wookin Pa Nub

Quick entry to selfishly request all kinds of good thoughts for my job search. I have an interview on Friday in a town near SFO that I really kinda want, that seemingly rather meshes well with my skills and career goals (such as they are). So in addition to the whole "new living situation shopping" and "Santa Cruz" joys of this weekend, I have a damn job interview.

I so need to dominate.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Nice Day for a White Wedding

Though it rained much of the weekend, for at least an hour this Saturday, the Methow Valley was dry enough to let one very cool couple get yoked before everyone they love.

Something about weddings usually makes me cringe, but this was minimally cringe-worthy. The setting was gorgeous, the ceremony sweet, and everyone seemed genuinely happy to be there for this couple.

In addition to seeing Kevin's dad, his partner and her teenage daughter again, I got to meet an old family friend and Kevin's mom for the first time. I was nervous about that at first, but I ended up really liking her. There is a definite resemblance between mother and son, and in talking to her, I feel like I understand Kevin a little more.

On both Saturday and Sunday, we went hiking with his dad's family. The first day we did the Blue Lake trail, which took us to a spectacular lake. The water was a deep shade of twilight and immediately surrounded by some craggy peaks, trees, and (squee!) pikas. Lake Ann at Rainy Pass--which was, in fact, rainy during our visit--yielded even more pikas and other wildlife, one of which Kevin's dad identified as marmots. I need to ask Lindsay if marmots live in the Northern Cascades, but at any rate, it was a pretty cool-looking critter. The lake wasn't as amazing, but the walk was quite pleasant, even if we were all freezing cold due to lack of appropriately warm clothing.

When Kevin's mom arrived on Thursday, we went out to Thai-ger Room for dinner. When we got back to Seattle Sunday night with Kevin's dad, we went to the Thai-ger Room again. It was a lot of Thai-ger Room for awhile. Today, Kevin was tied up doing things with his dad, so he asked me to hang out with his mom and the old family friend, which struck me as odd, but it was quite fun. We hit Agua Verde for lunch to enjoy delicious food and a view of Portage Bay/Lake Union, then parked near the Museum of History and Industry and walked the length of the north end of the Arboretum, which crosses over a few little islands and through some lovely vegetation. After both parties took off for the airport--they happened to be on the same flight--Kevin picked me up.

And now I'm just lookin' for a job and watchin' reruns. Wheee. We are heading to San Jose this weekend to find Kevin's new abode, and we'll be staying at his mom's. So I get to go to Santa Cruz again, which is a bonus.

Still need to get Bumbershoot passes for Sunday and Monday. This sounds like a reasonable amount of Bumbershooting for me this year, and there are a few things I'm looking forward to besides hanging out with friends in a crowded, artsy environment. If I were feeling spendy, I might go Friday just to go to Pizzazz!, but I'm not sure I should.

Beach house is basically done. AWESOME. Paul should be home from Aspen tonight. HOORAY FOR THE ALMOST-BIRTHDAY BOY. That's about it for now.

Monday, August 16, 2004

I Climbed A Mountain


Thanks to the capable leadership of Lindsay and a gang of hardcore hikers and huffers-and-puffers like myself alike, we reached the summit of Mt. Pilchuck in about three hours. It was more difficult than Lindsay had anticipated, and while she took this well, a couple of us had a hard time. But we made it, and it was great, and that's what counts.

And there were wild blueberries and huckleberries all along the trail. Delicious.

Yesterday I made it to Reid's birthday party for the first time ever. It was good, until the mosquitoes came out en force and I was wearing a knee-length skirt. There was salmon, s'mores, and fabulous hummus made by her future father-in-law. Hummus and salmon go together surprisingly well, by the way. I also witnessed a backyard volleyball game that involved a machete. To cut down the blackberry vines the ball inevitably landed in, of course.

Kevin is working on moving details now--his manager is expected to send an official offer today, and whatever start date he ends up with will doubtless affect matters, but right now, the basic plan is he'll go down next week after his sister's wedding and find a place to live and such, then move either the first weekend of September or shortly thereafter. I imagine I will visit at least once at the end of September or the beginning of October to scope things out and look for a job, then get to the business of moving at the end of October or beginning of November. But it's hard to say for sure how things will go.

I am displeased with the possibility that he'd miss Bumbershoot, but he says there isn't really anyone he's dying to see... but you know, it's not about that. Oh, well. There are others who want to see stuff I want to see, especially Built to Spill and the Pixies--and I am not making the same mistake as last year; I'll get there when the gates open and get my wristband, bitches.

The beach house is apparently THIS CLOSE to completion, so I hope to get down there with my mom when she comes back from Nebraska, Colorado, and New Mexico. And I've got the second weekend of September blocked out for friends of mine to come down there, too. So far the headcount is pretty significant, but it will be a lot of fun.

And since I've neglected this entry for the last half hour or so, I believe that's all I have to say for now.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Another Week Gone

This week's rentals included the first three discs of "Freaks and Geeks," Rebecca, Hearts and Minds, and Raising Arizona, which I never properly saw and now I have. All good viewing, all good time-killers.

And, really, that's about all I've done this week.

Kevin and I attempted to go paddling on Wednesday at a King County park on the Snoqualmie and Tolt rivers near Carnation, but it was sort of a mess. Well, he enjoyed himself, I was pissy. We couldn't make ourselves paddle upstream very well, so we were stuck in one part of the river. His kayak had a small air leak that wasn't a problem at the time, but after awhile would have been. I found it insanely difficult to coordinate our paddling, which frustrated me to no end. He insists on navigating even when he sits in the front and takes very long strokes at his own pace, so I can't match it and we hit oars all the time.

But it was pretty and we were in the shade. The only environmental factor of unhappiness involved jet skiiers blazing up and down the river, which seems like a shitty idea to me, but I'm rudely anti-jet ski.

When Chris and I were rafting with Julie and her friends last Sunday, we had no trouble coordinating after awhile and had a fabulous trip down the river. There were no jet skis or motorized watercraft of any kind that I recall, and it was the same damn river, just farther up.

Tomorrow I'm going to hike up a mountain with Lindsay and Lauren and some others I don't know. It will be my first real hike, so I am nervous about holding up these seasoned hikers, but looking forward to enjoying it anyway. At least, I don't think I could pick a better person to guide me up a mountain: Lindsay practically hikes for a living and seems thrilled that I would even want to try it, so she picked what sounds like a pretty good route for a first-timer like myself.

I am, however, going to go find myself a sports bra or something, because my ancient, cheap-o cotton underwires never fail to remind me that D-cups are not fun to take serious walks in. Really, I just need a bunch of new bras anyway, and the shit I got from Victoria's Secret via mail-order needs to get mailed back, 'cause it sucks.

In other news... it sounds pretty certain Kevin is going back to work for his old employer in Silicon Valley, which he's jazzed about because his coworkers are his friends and he enjoyed working there. So he's probably moving in the next month or so. And so I have to decide what I'm gonna do.

The lease on our house here in Little Canada is up at the end of November, so I suspect I'll be moving around that time. Unless I find some fabulous gig before then, I imagine I'll be bumming around the Bay Area for awhile before I find at least some temporary employment. As far as living situations go, I have a few options, none of which are necessarily entirely enviable or horrible, but which I must mull over and decide.

The whole concept of moving, which in June sounded so exciting, is now a little more terrifying. My confidence as far as finding a cool job goes is draining day by day; I hardly feel qualified to scrape shit off public restrooms at this point. But I know I'm good and I know I can do a kickass job at something if someone gives me a chance. I just don't have the paper to show it.

Ugh. No more depressing thoughts. I'm off to Target to spend money I'm not making, but hopefully not too much.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

The Excitement Never Ends

No, not the excitement of full-time, regular employment, silly. That would be too much to ask.

No. I'm having a very full weekend for once. It's startling.

On Friday, I watched Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down because it needed to be returned with all the other DVDs I rented. It was very good. And weird. And kind of hot in places.

It was a rainy day, but I chose to walk to Rachel's new place. It's not that far, really. It took me about 20 minutes to return DVDs and walk there. I helped her unpack some boxes and paint her bedroom. We made a trip to Home Depot and got drenched between getting out of the car and huddling under the umbrella. We painted until 6:20 or so, when Rachel took me home and went to pick up her boyfriend. She said people were going out drinkin' later that night, and she would love me to come, but I just said I'd think about it.

Jana and I had plans to hit garage sales on Saturday morning, which we did with gusto. Her friend Robin from high school, who just returned from a year in Thailand and seems like a fun person, joined us. We hit several sales in Ballard, including a church rummage sale, and another rummage sale at the University District Historical Theater (the Paradox's old home), and finally a Value Village in Lake City when it seemed most other sales were closing up shop. Jana got a lot of crazy stuff, including a little babbling fountain for $2 and clothes for work. I picked up a few books (two of which were free because the lady didn't want to break my $10 for $1 worth of books), shirts, and sneakers.

The chocolate cravings hit soon after I got home, so I went to Whole Foods. Because they have the good chocolate, you know, and if I'm going to eat fatty, delicious chocolate it may as well be good chocolate (i.e., not Hershey's Special Dark). And I figured since I usually go there on Mondays for groceries anyway, I would try to get the things I needed anyway, so there was also produce, baking staples, and gum in the basket.

As soon as I got home, I saw Jana and Robin in the living room, as well as Lindsay, Chris, and Lauren. They asked if I wanted to join them for dinner at Sushi Land and a game night at Jana's. Well, hell yeah, I want to join you.

This was in lieu of sitting around, either alone or with Kevin, because I did not want to go out non-drinking with Rachel and 20 of her closest friends. I feel I must excuse this: I would like to hang out with Rachel. I would like to meet her friends. I would even enjoy going out at night. But I do not enjoy watching people drink if that's all that's happening. If they were going to a show--I'd be there. If they were going to dance or listen to a cool DJ--I'd go. But just bar hopping... definitely not my thing. So I took a pass and got sushi instead. Yay!

So today I'm going river rafting for the first time with Chris. This was instigated by Julie, and I'm not sure how many people or rafts will be involved total, but it should be fun, anyway.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Did Stuff Today--How Novel!

Despite a completely random but slowly healing shoulder injury--I just woke up one morning with sharp shooting pain eminating from my shoulderblade, cramping my neck and making my arm feel tingly--I actually did stuff today. It was a remarkably full day for once.

As my usual reruns of Roseanne were ending, Christine called and wanted to hang out. And me, being otherwise unoccupied, was more than happy to do so. So she came over and we started a gave of Trivial Pursuit Pop Culture--with DVD pie questions!!! At some point, Chris needed a ride somewhere, so we stopped the game and gave him a lift, then went to Trader Joe's and Whole Foods so I could do my usual shopping. Christine has this funny way of imitating the beep of the scanner at grocery checkouts; I think she's done it for awhile, but I was just noticing it today. Very funny.

We came back to the house, made delicious mac and cheese with peas and sauteed a whole bunch of fresh spinach as a side. Completely fabulous, lazy lunch, because I didn't have the energy to prepare Indian-style food. I did later write out the basic process and necessary components as per her request, but that takes a lot less energy.

Then I barely kicked her butt at the Trivial Pursuit game. My winning question was about Martin Short playing Charles Grodin's annoying son in the movie "Clifford," which I actually saw. This was after probably a half dozen questions where I could only stare blankly at the screen as an admission of defeat. Christine could have gotten just as lucky.

Almost as soon as she left, Kevin and I decided to attempt to find a beach at Discovery Park again, so I headed to Ballard to pick him up and go to Magnolia for some walkin'. It was a pretty long walk, and I was pretty wussy at first, but it got better. I wanted to remove my boobs for most of it, not to mention insta-heal my shoulder/neck/whatever crap.

I have been meaning to try an Indian-style coconut curry recipe since trying a similar dish at Spice Rack last week, but I was missing the curry leaves. This was the impetus for our impromptu visit to Uwajimaya for assorted sundries and a split tofu bahn mi. Kevin discovered his idea of the Best Drink Ever: aloe vera juice with real lychee. He claims that the presence of aloe vera is nigh undetectable, but the lychee is pulpy and delicious to him. I still think I'll pass.

Of course, at this point, I felt totally dead and had no interest in attempting to make the no doubt prep-intensive curry, so we just had pizza. My pizza toppings included olive oil, garlic, spinach, the Mediterranean blend of cheeses from Trader Joe's, sundried tomatoes, zucchini, and artichoke hearts. His? Sundried tomatoes, zucchini, artichoke hearts, a thick saucy mash of fire-roasted tomatoes and cannelini beans, and--this is where it gets weird--bamboo shoots and a blend of dried herbs including mint. He claims this was good. I sort of wish he'd go back to his "weird" berry pizza toppings.

Yeah, so. Not a whole hell of a lot else going on. Still perusing job listings, still feeling depressed and disappointed and blah. It's sort of hard to have that as a starting point when you have to write convincing cover letters touting your skills. "Selling yourself" isn't something I'm particularly adept at in the first place, so throw depression in there and it's no good.

If you pray, or just think good thoughts about others who may be strangers, please keep the proverbial light on for some friends of a dear friend, whose newborn daughter was hospitalized for thus far unexplained nastiness. And for the dear friend, who probably needs a few good thoughts of her own lately.