Saturday, September 25, 2004

A Few Good Things

Despite the elephant in the corner that is my unemployment, there are some good things going around.

Yesterday, Lindsay left me a present to cheer me up: a nice note, an excellent chocolate bar and a $5 Jamba Juice card. This was most unexpected, thoughtful and delicious. (Well, I haven't consumed it yet, but I am sure it will be. I am saving it for when I desperately need it, which will be soon.)

Lauren is officially off for France. I hope she's getting some most excellent international flight beverage and lunch service right now, but I don't know how likely that is.

Tomorrow I'm going to Olympia to get the Civic tuned up for an interstate drive and my teeth cleaned up. I haven't been to a dentist for over a year because I haven't had insurance. I still don't have insurance, but this time it's at mom's behest, so that makes it easier for me.

House issues appear to be resolving themselves somewhat. Kevin is more supportive of my need for a couch, though the problem of getting it to our house may be a hurdle. He's been going to Ikea, like, daily to buy new light fixtures due to the woefully underlit house. At least two of the lights were ones I whined that we needed, even--one of the floor lamps with a little reading lamp arm for in the living room and some little cabinet-mounted spotlights for the kitchen. We'll still have to figure out appropriate dining room lighting and how to replace the ugly, bulbous kitchen fixtures. He's also agreed with me about replacing the fugly window coverings.

I've made a list of furniture I think I should be able to make: a platform twin daybed with storage underneath to serve as TV lounging/guest sleeping in my room, a video game consoles storage unit for the living room, and possibly a bench, side table, and/or tall, narrow table for dining room storage and plant display. Anyway, I think these should be doable since they are boxy and simple. The house might not be annoying yet.

There's going to be a specific timeframe to get things nice, though, because we're hosting Thanksgiving. At least, I'm hosting my mom and brother, and my sister will come down from the city. Kevin's been told we can include his mom if he wants, or he can run away, or he can just be here with us. I just need to be with my family.

Last week, I went to Oregon with mom and Koko. It was fun to see Koko again and be reminded of why I want to go to Japan (for real this time). We stayed at the beach and rented Lost in Translation, which was fun to watch with a Japanese person.

Other than that, though, I've been doing a whole lot of nothing. My tolerance for crap TV is rising exponentially. I cleaned the house, even mopping the hardwood floors in the dining and living rooms with vinegar and Murphy's oil soap. I'm hoping to move next week, but most of what I have left to pack is best left unpacked until closer to then because it's stuff I'm using.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Milpitas to Millbrae

While I'm still depressingly unemployed, the weekend wasn't a total loss. I explored some public transit, mainly Caltrain, which rocked. It took three trains to get to the airport--could've taken four plus a bus if I hadn't made Kevin drive me to the Mountain View Caltrain station--and holy crap, am I tired now.

The interview felt like it went well, but apparently it didn't. Or there was just someone they liked better. Or both. I hate this whole process so fucking much. I just want to settle down with something, hopefully something that doesn't suck my soul.

I just ate a little bag of chocolate covered espresso beans my sister gave me, so now I'm jittery and sick. Those things are delicious but deadly. Argh. She also gave me a coconut truffle, some peanut butter and Butterfinger fudge, and a large peanut butter cup [insert Homer-style drooling here]. And a variety of black licorice for Kevin. And she bought me falafel for lunch, as well as the cappuccino and cheesecake we shared later in the afternoon. And put up with me for an afternoon of city-walking. Which was needed since she gave me all that frickin' fudge.

After San Francisco, Kevin met me in Palo Alto--which was such a fucking hassle, it was crazy--and we went to Ikea. Of course, it was there we realized our tastes and ideas for how a house should look and feel are totally different, I got pissy, and he bought some lightbulbs.

I'm not feeling especially lucky at the moment, but I plan to just move down in a couple weeks and figure things out from there. In the interim, I can pack, try not to starve or go too much deeper in debt, and do free things as much as possible. The more bored I am, the higher I find my tolerance for shitty daytime broadcast TV becomes. I want to move so I can take jobs immediately, including temp crap, and so I can just get to work making our house my home, too. I'd like to try my hand at DIY furniture (better than Ikea! Or at least cheaper, possibly, and more fun because I hate going to Ikea), sewing, gardening, etc.

Milpitas isn't as bad as I thought it would be--it's the 'burbs, of course, but it's a damn ethnically diverse 'burb. Which isn't necessarily better, but it's more interesting to me. Our nearest grocery store is an Asian supermarket. Not the ridiculously upscale kind like Uwajimaya, but the kind where the prices are marked with little stickers and signs written in Chinese, Vietnamese, and sometimes English. Lots of interesting stuff, even if it's not what we might need to buy regularly.

Also, we saw Napoleon Dynamite, which was eh.

Tonight, I guess dinner is pasta and spinach, if the spinach isn't rotten now. Ergh.

But I'm going to Oregon with mom and Koko tomorrow, so I can't justify groceries yet.

And Josie is coming home. Early. Hope we can meet on Thursday.

I have lots of stuff I could blab about, but this is pretty random as it is.

I'll leave you with this: the commercial for STAR 101.5 with the kids lip-synching pop songs dressed up like the singers is really creepy in a way I can't put my finger on. I hate commercial radio.

Sunday, September 19, 2004


Of course I didn't get the damn job.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Brief Update

I am packing, and I fly down to San Francisco tomorrow night. My interview is on Friday, so I don't have quite enough time to get the car tuned up for a 13-hour drive. I did, however, manage to get a pretty damn good fare on Alaska, considering it was less than seven days in advance--$169 total. Kevin's going to pick me up and I can play house for the weekend after I kick some serious butt at the interview. Ha!

They gave me homework. I like this place even more for that, really. My resume on its own isn't terribly impressive, so that they're giving me a very practical way to demonstrate my skills is fantastic. I am totally psyched up for this.

Rachel is doing better--she just stopped by--and Becky is, as well, so thanks for your good thoughts.

I'll be back Tuesday and ready to watch a ton of TV. It's Gilmore Girls season premiere night AND the two-hour finale of The Amazing Race 5, which I've been watching with rapt attention and mentally nominating friends to compete in future races. And packing, lots of packing. And sorting. And getting rid of things. And I think Koko, an awesome Japanese student who used to board with my mom, will be visiting, so maybe I'll get to see her. And maybe, just maybe, there will be time to squeeze in another beach trip.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Hell, Yeah!

The beach was a lot of fun, the weather was nice, the company was wonderful, and Burgerville's seasonal smoothie of the month is wild Northwest huckleberry. The house is gorgeous.

I ate a lot of not-incredibly-healthy foods that were very yummy regardless, but now it's back to strict vegetarianism and no real ice cream. Or even delicious ice cream substitutes. I had some awesome Tillamook ice creams this weekend, aummmnumnum. There will be no more bloothbaths made of overpriced spinach bunches from lack of time to cook anything. I've got nothing but time now.

Kevin is in Milpitas now and starting back to work in the morning. (Well, I'm assuming he makes it there before noon at least on the first day.) He had a lot of stuff in the truck, but not enough time to take any of my furniture. I've been left with a few tasks, like retrieving boxes and cleaning implements from his house, returning the cable modem, and going through the move-out checklist with his landlord. Hoo-fuckin'-ray.

I was, until about an hour ago, expecting not to see him for another month, but I've just learned I got a second interview for the job I really want, so I've got to go down sooner than that.


So I think I'll spend the week packing, hope to schedule the interview for Monday, drive down with a Civic load this weekend, interview, fly home, and drive down with mom and a van load of stuff that won't fit in the car. This is all tentative until I actually schedule the interview, of course.

Damn, do I want that job. And I already miss Kevin, but I'm going to miss my family and friends, too. This weekend was just further proof.

But everyone's getting busy and scattering. Chris is moving to Tacoma, Lauren to France, and almost everyone else is insanely busy already. It was a small miracle I got six people to come to the beach with me.

However, life is not all happy-crazy. Please leave some room in your thoughts for my two oldest friends, who have apparently suffered under the cruel fate of being my friend as long as they have by encountering physical distress. Becky's back is in bad shape, and Rachel, who was supposed to join us in Seaside, got very ill last week and is probably in the hospital now. Not to minimize Becky's pain, I am really worried about Rachel, so send happy thoughts.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Trying to Settle

I've been pretty depressed the past few days--save for the Pixies high, of course--just thinking about the flux-state of moving and the lack of serious job prospects. Talking to most people doesn't seem to provide much comfort, though seeing my friends tonight, all of whom have been in my place and are finally scrambling out, was probably the most comfort, no matter how general.

It was also a reminder of how much I'll be leaving behind. Even though the friends are slowly scattering and becoming more involved in separate lives, we still make the effort to be there for each other, and that relationship naturally has to change as people move apart physically. And my family... while I'll be moving closer to my sister, I'll be farther from my mom and my brother. Though my sister and I probably have more common interests, I feel closer to my mom than anyone, and my brother and I can amuse each other without getting at each others' throats.

But it's time to move on. Time to fly the coop. The door's open; I want to go play outside. I just need to pick a date.

I'm thinking the week of October 4. This gives me a little less than a month to pack and see everyone and maybe line up interviews. And if I'm lucky--which I don't think I am in this matter--I might even hear back from the Ideal Job in that time.

Part of my depression, I think, is that I'm in this uncertain place, and if I can only land in a sense of certainty, I might find stability. And a fricking job.

And the other part is the stress of moving and, moreover, the stress of what I'm leaving behind.

Well, and part of it's PMS.

This Monkey's Gone...

I saw the Pixies, bitches.

We got there insanely early, got in a line to get in the gate to get in a line to get a wristband so later we could wait in another line to sit around for an hour and a half before the band opening (Built to Spill!) for the Pixies went on.

The BtS show was wrought with troubles--we were surrounded by chatty assholes who didn't think it was appropriate to cease idle conversation while the band played music, because apparently BtS is a jazz combo at the neighborhood bar or something, some whore called her friend to ask "HEY, WHERE ARE YOU?" in the middle of the song and yelled this IN MY EAR, and there was some weird lady making anti-Bush ramblings audible between songs that Doug Martsch told to "shut the fuck up" at one point; no idea what the hell was really going on there. I mean, the band played well, they played good songs, etc. I've just seen them from the front row at the Showbox, which is ultimately a million times preferable to this.

The Pixies were, of COURSE, superfabulousamazing. I mean, god. They played practically everything I could think of (though I'm not a die-hard). There were two versions of "Wave of Mutilation" and they played "Monkey Gone to Heaven" because they love me, I guess. Sometimes I could even actually see members of the band. (Bumbershoot desperately needs a giant projection TV of the mainstage shows for those of us not fortunate enough to be tall and pushy.) I rocked out all the way and now I stink and hurt and for a brief while, I was totally parched, until a sealed, unopened bottle of water made its way to my feet as we exited the stadium. Anyway, it was a fulfilling concert experience.

Earlier in the day, Lauren, Chris and I spent a lot of time in lines because we're giant cokeheads. Oh, HA-HA, funny. Um, we saw Harvey Pekar speak and take questions from the audience, which was pretty cool. I would've wanted to just shake the man's hand, and I think everything has already been said about him, but he's just great. If you haven't seen the movie or read any of the American Splendor comics, you should. We also saw a bunch of comedians, including the duo responsible for that lovely bluegrass medley of Radiohead songs called "Rodeohead," who were fricking hilarious a number of times. My brother would have loved that shit--Paul, Hard 'n' Firm is the new comedy duo sensation for you. Fred Armisen was also among them, playing Sadaam a guy with a British accent and a rock/jazz guitar fetish.

Waiting in lines forever and ever was basically my life today, so I made the best of it. Everything I waited for was, at least, well worth the wait for me.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Am I Wrong?

I just might be.

So Kevin was at the U Village last week running other errands, so I asked if he'd pick up my Bumbershoot pass from Starbucks. It's past the cheap phase, so all you don't pay is the crappy service fee, but you do pay a whole $40 for two days. Yeesh. And the guy at the Starbucks accidentally gives him an extra pass.

Kevin does not want to go to Bumbershoot. He'd rather be packing. So he just wants to give the ticket away.

But not to me, see, so I can sell it for $20 and end up paying only 1/2 price out of pocket and he gets his $40 in a more timely fashion, because, you know, I'm basically broke and unemployed (and completely irresponsible!). If I sell it, see, the money's his. Not mine to combine with another $20 so I can pay him back and everyone wins.

What the fuck?


Otherwise, I had a good time yesterday and I damn well better have a good time tomorrow. Today, I'm being whiny, but I am going to go see people at Agua Verde and wish Anna a happy birthday. And not buy food, because I shouldn't. Not everyone can land sweet aerospace jobs straight out of college, right?

I saw Marc Maron's standup yesterday, which was wicked. He made fun of audience members, Jesus, and Bush. A good mix. Also saw a bit of the laptop battle and all of Plan B's set at the Sky Church, which continues to be my favorite venue at the festival. Hung out with Rachel and her friend Adam awhile before the comedy stuff, then Jana and her Little Sister, Angel, while we wandered around, looking for something else to see for awhile. We discovered the free Kettle Chips, which are my only potato chip weakness (salt and pepper krinkle cut!) and watched a little emcee battling, which was amusing for a bit. The acoustics in there suck, though, so it's difficult to understand the words. It's only a little better for just DJs or breakdancing.

After Plan B's set, Rachel, Adam, and Scott found me and we did silly stuff, like win Rachel a really ugly, cheap stuff pug in a roll-a-ball/race-a-horse game, which she proceeded to carry around like an infant in her sarong, skee-ball, air hockey, and bumper cars, which is surprisingly a lot of fun after you've learned how to drive.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Go to Neelam's on Greenwood!

I feel sad that we've only gone there today and all this time, it could have been one of our favorite Indian places in Seattle.

All I had was the dahl and a roti, which the owner at first questioned: "Do you know what dahl is? It's more like a side dish." But it was all I wanted and a whole order is plenty of food. And as we chatted with him after the meal, he said I'd eaten like an Indian: scooping the spicy lentils up with pieces of bread. Mm, mm.

Kevin opted for the $9.95 meal platter with more dahl, raita (which I stole and he didn't try), yellow rice, channa masala, and a naan. A damn good naan, too. The owner, larger man (who admitted to being diabetic), noted Kevin's skinniness and begged him to eat more, bringing additional rice and dahl until Kevin was completely full. The owner smiled and told us that is how you feed someone in India--keep bringing them food until they beg you to stop. I remarked they must be full at that point, and he laughed and shook his head. "Not full. Content," he told me.

We also learned about fruits. Kevin ordered a mango juice, which on first taste he thought was too tangy to be just the juice, that it didn't taste like mango juice normally does, so he asked the owner. The owner began telling us about the many varieties of mango--how some, like the ones normally used to create the pulp that's used for bottled mango juice, are gigantic, their name translating to "jackass" or "donkey," and that they often have flies inside them and the flesh is the texture of banana, and that they are oversweetened. The mango juice he served Kevin, on the other hand, was from a good variety of mango, not too sweet, a bit sour, and a much better texture.

And then he brought out a glass of the regular stuff to prove his point.

The stuff he served originally was definitely better.

Head Congestion

As if my mind weren't full enough, my sinuses are full of crud and air that seem content to sit there forever. The mind I can take; the sinus shit I don't want to deal with.

I'm not sick... there's nothing else wrong. It doesn't hurt. The lymph nodes in my throat aren't noticeably swollen. No coughing and no sore throat, not even after sleeping with my mouth open. Not even spicy tom yum soup helps for very long. Well, it might if I shelled out for more of it, all five stars' worth, skip the milky beverage to spare me the pain of spice consumption. But anyway, it's just that feeling that my ears won't quite pop coupled with being constantly stuffy-nosed, and it sucks.

I'm starting to pre-pack. I'm cleaning up my room and separating out the trash, the donations, and the little piles of stuff that belong in boxes because I don't need them on a daily basis. I've got six grocery bags of stuff to bring to Goodwill--clothes, mostly, but some other stuff that is functional but has ceased to be of value to me.

And this weekend is Bumbershoot! Starting today! Rachel offered me wristbands for the Presidents/Death Cab for Cutie mainstage show tonight, but I think I'll pass. The United States of Electronica is opening, and no matter how much good press they get, I will still find them annoying. I'd rather use my tickets tomorrow and Monday. And Monday I need to get there as early as possible to ensure I get a wristband for the mainstage show--I'll be damned if I miss the Pixies. And I may well be damned.

I gave away my lovely vintage (but broken) stereo on Craigslist to a guy who likes tinkering with old Pioneer stereos. A number of other people have expressed interest in buying the Numark turntable from me, and I am hoping someone wants to buy the mixer. I feel very guilty about selling these things, but honestly, I so rarely use them, and I don't think I'm willing to spend the money necessary to make it a worthwhile hobby: I need more and better records, as well as different needles, and oh. Who am I kidding. The whole set-up is silly. I'm keeping the Technics, though, because it is a thing of beauty and I do love me some records.

Still no word on the job. I need to not freak out, but dammit. Want job! Good job! Pet job...

I feel guilty about a number of things lately, stupid things. Like not voting for Ron Sims for governor on my Democratic primary absentee ballot. That was stupid. Oh well, Christine Gregoire is going to win, anyway; may as well resign myself now. And I'm moving to a state where the fucking Terminator is governor and says things like "economic girly-men," so really, anyone is better than that, right? Jesus. And if Patty Murray loses her Senate seat, I will cry.

What the hell am I doing? California? The suburbs?!

God. I'm so terrified I'm going to dead-end and do nothing productive the rest of my life. And dammit, I deserve better. But it's really fucking hard.