Monday, December 31, 2007

merry new year!

if you get that quote, then i love you a little extra.

new year's eve is a time to reflect on the past year. well, that and get drunk. you will have to BYOB, but in the interests of efficiency, i am going to reflect on a very narrow window, a.k.a. November's Adventures, albeit in a slightly truncated fashion. i wrote most of these bits out weeks ago now, and frankly i'm a little bored with them. they do have a lot to live up to, though, what with the excitement of actually getting *to* oregon.

and now, the short, short version (at least parts of it):

sat nov 10 - moved to la quinta inn, wilsonville. saw some reeeeally crappy houses off of hwy 26.

sun nov 11- under clouds whose bark was worse than their bite, unloaded the monstrosity into a storage unit, with the help of 3 wonderful fellows from craigsliszt (CL, i love you!). turned in the monstrosity with gigantic sighs of relief.

sidebar: there just started being some POPping outside. it took me about 5 minute to figure out those were fireworks. am i tired? you be the judge.

mon nov 12 – hopped up, got some stellar (not kidding) free breakfast at the hotel, then set to house hunting! I was very annoyed because we didn’t leave til 2pm, and it starts getting dark around 430. hello northerners!

Our first stop was in Portland, near Tigard off 217. we’re driving along and oops – missed our turn. Make a left into the next street, to turn around, when hello! There’s a house for rent right at the corner. Actually a duplex, a nice looking, cream-colored townhouse, and the half not facing busyish oleson road.

Naturally we go to check it out. The first thing we noticed was an adorably landscaped garden. It was filled with a dozen or so bird houses, creeping ivy, berried shrubs, moss (I love you), and a winding path leading to a (Japanese elm? Maple?) tree, framed around a deck with aridondack chairs and hundreds of minature gold, orange and red leaves blanketing the entire scene. From the deck we could see the kitchen, dining/living room, bedroom plus staircase leading to at least one more bedroom (2, turned out). It was light, airy, vaulted ceilings, a fireplace and as a package, entirely cozy.

So, charmed, m called the # listed outside. 3br, 1.5ba AND affordable. No pets? How about you think up the most you might need to repair pet damage, and we’ll pay that as a deposit? Ok then! We’ll leave our rental resume for you under the locked breezeway.

Oh now it looks like there are a couple of tweaks needed to said resume. Specifically, a cover letter and a few minor changes. Plus, we needed more copies for other folks. So, down to kinko’s (saw one en route, woo!) to finish our paperwork.

Which was all a necessary evil but by the time we were all done and that dropped back off, it was after 5 – too dark to see any more. Did we go to the hotel? Visit my parents? God knows.

tues/weds nov 13/14 - more house- and job-hunting, which included:
- crappy houses
- beautiful houses
- getting lost
- signing away our life on credit releases, etc
- finally seeing the loser cabin we'd been headed to on monday. tip: it is not good when you can smell mildew from the outside.
- got turned down for the job i'd interviewed for the previous thursday, however, would i mind interviewing tomorrow at 9am for a junior version of that job? sigh. ok.
- called back a guy who'd called me 3 weeks prior (an interview i'd had to reschedule due to our bank snafus), and got a new interview - 1pm - for the same position.

and with that, i will wish you all the best for 2008, during which i promise to wrap up this saga.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

another year of a-muse-ment

somehow fitting to have a pun in there. anyway, i finally found a meme i could get behind, from rpp. i don't have to think (which is great, since it's late), i only have to collect data in a bizarrely meaningful fashion. so without further adieu, here are the first lines from the first post of each month this year:

January: thanks to rashenbo:
February: lately i have been completely overwhelmed with a desire to return home. and by home, i mean oregon.
March: i'm sure it's all those answers about reading books that did me in...
April: this just in!
May: in my last post i mentioned someday writing a book based on my particular brand of crazy.
June: i got this from wen the other day.
July: although i am, in fact, working on my boston post.
August: it can happen, folks. at least in your head.
September: that was the title of the skype chat we had going all night during last week's live code push at work, and yes i came up with the title, and yes i purposely mispelled kegger.
October: i am tired.
November: i'll post a more comprehensive update in the future, of course, but suffice to say:
December: as evidenced by this shot:

from this i surmise i need to work on my use of colons, and also stop doing memes or quizzes at the beginning of the month. anyway, if anyone is interested in doing this, consider yourself tagged!

and now you'll have to excuse me, i'm off to finish watching the lovely dana scully and fall asleep. night!

Monday, December 24, 2007

The Great Escape '07 (part 3)

before i dive into this, i hope you all are having a wonderful holiday season! i am having a wonderful one so far, replete with homemade sugar cookies (a bout at mom's, with much silliness), a couple of santa drivebys and (today) cleaning+tree trimming. pretty good set there.

ok, back to the misadventures. heads up, the previous two days were more exciting, but still, it's good to write this out. =)

Wed nov 7 – I slept so hard, I don’t remember sleeping. But as usual, I was the first one up, so I checked on the kitties – cozy in a very large bathroom – and took pearl out.

Her goal: place the Pearl Stamp of Approval on the grass
My goal: See if I was still the jam in someone’s Unwieldy Truck Jelly Roll.

My 18-inch neighbor was vamanos – yay! However the horse buggy was still right next to me, which left me hoping they would checkout today before 11am. Which they did, thank the Jesus. Oh and before we left, I got a call moving my Thursday interview in Portland (yes, the next day, yes I didn’t mention this interview before) from 4pm to 3pm. Ok fine.

When we finally hit the road around 11, I notice my arms are still so damn sore from moving/packing that I feel like I can barely hold onto the wheel. And oh, do I have to hold on! That thing was so damn sensitive, I had to correct constantly. And yes, except for a minor blip (tune in later), I did all the driving. Min was sansa-driving license, remember?

We stopped in Redding (?) for some warmer clothes for m, and interview clothes+shoes for me (all packed, of course), at a fabulously fashionable walmart. Considering my aversion to polyester and rayon, I think I fared pretty well. Oh, and got a better cat litter box. M had got a ‘travel’ one – hey, we’re traveling – but did not take into account dolce’s penchant for Vigorous Self Expression. I’d cleaned the Vigorous Aftermath that morning, so when we pulled into wallyworld I nicely commanded her to get a litter box with a lid.

By the time we finished it was about 630 and I was stressed. We *had* to get to Salem tonight – interview tomorrow! Bleh. We tooled over to mcd’s for some grub and then with min at the wheel (me: just a wee bit tired), we headed north once again.

Somewhere between Medford and Roseburg we began to get low on gas. Being as a) you can’t pull in just anywhere with a beast like this, b) there’s very few gas stations along that route, c) especially when it’s after 10pm, let’s just say there were severall unsuccessful rounds, resulting in numerous prayers.

OH and right around then, pearl started panting like crazy, shaking and periodically tapping on arms. The last bit means she wants something, like to go outside. Ok fine. We stop. No puppy action. After a bit I theorize it’s the truck, the movement. She wants us to stop, period.

Which isn’t happening so all we can do is try to soothe her, and that sort of worked. When we finally rolled into Roseburg on fumes, and it took 15 minutes alone – and about $150 – to fill up the tank, plus bathroom/food breaks for everyone, we ended up with a half hour break and a completely mellowed pearl. Thank god.

I got back at the wheel and was perfectly alert, and pearl perfectly mellow, until about 20 minutes before salem. We made it though, and couldn’t figure out where to park the truck at first, but Crosslands Hotel Lobby Man said the semis usually fit out back. Back? After we finished I looked and though I had to navigate a narrow entrance, out back was plenty big.

And thus, by about 2am, we were all packed away into the hotel room, on our way to snoozville.

Thu nov 8 – Interview’s at 3, but I got up at 9. Why? Because before then I had to:

- Find out if I could return the car tow dolly in salem. If yes, yay! If not, have to figure out where in Portland, and do THAT today, because I could NOT drive and park the whole caboodle downtown.
- Turn in the dolly in salem – yay!
- Repark the de-dollied truck
- Get some SBC goodness (hello!)
- Go to a kinko’s to 1) print copies of my resume, which thank god I’d thought to send to my gmail acct before I left, and 2) map how to get to my interview
- Get lunch
- Drive the 45 min/hour to the interview, making sure to get there about 20 minutes early (just in case)

I actually got there 30 minutes early, which was fine since I like having time to go over the job description and resume just beforehand. It also gave me time to come up with a brilliant idea on how to deal with the credit card I’D JUST LOST. Yes, the same one that was our ONLY one. Those friggin mediocre pants from wallyworld – very shallow pockets. Which is why I put only the card in there, not my whole wallet. Which is why it still fell out, though.

Anyway – brilliant idea? Get my mom’s card. Because a couple of years ago I opened an account for my mom, with my name on it. I forget why she doesn’t have her name on it – odd. But since the account’s mine, my name everywhere, presto! Problem solved until my replacement card can arrive.

The interview went fine. The recruiters met me there ahead of time – nice guys, if mildly tense. Sort of like salesmen, hoping the deal goes through. Makes sense, I guess, I just never had recruiters meet me at an interview site. And the people in the office – also mildly tense. Cordial, rather than friendly. I could tell some of my answers weren’t thrilling my interviewer (it is pointless to lie in an interview, in my opinion) but other answers were quite bewitching. Who knew localization was such a hot topic?

So, a mixed bag. Afterwards I headed to Salem, where we planned to meet my parents at mcgrath’s. Turned out it was just my mom – dad was too sick. It was so good to see her, to know we were here for good, that this was the first of many meals. M and my mom commiserated a lot about their state of being – both sick, in completely different ways, but the result is the same. They both struggle a great deal with who they used to be – ‘power women’ – and how they barely have the energy (physical or otherwise) to do much anymore.

I felt really glad for the both of them, that they’d just had an informal group therapy session. It’s hard to talk to other people about these things – even for me, as a spectator, it’s sometimes draining on an awfully personal, pervasive level. And I’m not even the incapacitated one. Anyway, we talked til I was falling asleep, then drove back to the hotel. Zzzzzzzzzz

Fri nov 9 – Honest to god I don’t remember the first half of this day. The first thing I recall is arranging to meet my parents at marie calendar’s for a late lunch, about 230. At 245 my mom calls to say dad has fallen and he can’t get up. Seriously. Ambulance en route. She says not to follow yet – she’ll call after he gets seen in the ER.

So, we ate, then went to the thrift store I’d noticed earlier, because if we thought it was cold in redding, holy shit it was freezing in salem. It was just in the 40’s but hello! Came from where it was in the 70’s. and sunny instead of freezing, windy rain. So, time to get m a bigger coat – a great one actually, for just $15. While there, my mom called to say that dad had broken his hip. They’d operate tonight but didn’t know when yet, so she’d call again after he (likely) got moved to a room and we could visit.

Bout an hour later – round 7 – we were back at the hotel when my mom’s call came in. M was getting sleepy, so I went by myself and got there a little after 8. Why so long? Because en route, I stopped at kinko’s. On Sunday we needed to unload the behemoth into a storage unit, and no way I was doing that by myself. I posted on CL, then called my mom to see if she needed dinner. Yep. So I popped over to wendy’s and got us some grub, then headed over to the hospital.

My poor dad. He hadn’t been given any pain relief for about about 5 hours, which doesn’t sound like a lot unless you’ve, I don’t know, broken a hip and normally have a shitload of pain on a daily basis already. Apparently they kept waiting for the pharmacy to actually fill the order. Great, thanks.

Meantime they put his leg in traction (woo, more pain!) and kept waiting to hear when surgery would happen. Lots of buzzing about, who knows what’s happening, but my dad was suuuper chatty, which is not like him. Adrenaline/distraction, I guess. He went on and on about what a great day he and min had one time, down in santa cruz, probably 2 years ago. You be sure to tell her I said that, ok? Ok! And that was the last thing he said before they wheeled him out, because hello! Aaround 930 a tech suddenly came to whisk him away for surgery. Alright, guess we’re on!

I walked downstairs with my mom, hugged her goodbye and then drove back to kinko’s again. Why? Because in those 2 hours or so, I must’ve gotten 20 calls about loading help on Sunday, and I had to stop my phone from incessantly ringing, so I deleted the CL post. On the way back to the hotel, I felt like I could hardly think, I was so exhausted. So guess what happened? Zzzzzzz

Sunday, December 16, 2007

ah, bibliophilia

i love the library.
books upon books
any and all for me
and ALL for free, provided i return (or renew!) them accordingly.

i was let loose for 20 minutes and gleefully came home with 8 books in a variety of genres. pure bliss, i tell you.

p.s. yes, i know i'm a geek. the trick is being enough of a book whore that i don't mind being called a geek.
p.p.s. yes, i've mastered that trick.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

the difference between $9/hr and...

well let's just say "significantly more than $9/hr", which for now represents my "normal going rate". anyway, i am at that point where, as long as a temporary job is close by (less than 10 miles, let's say) and parking is free, i'm willing to take a drastic, temporary pay cut so that we have money for things like, i don't know, food.

yes, next month's rent is covered. so are a few other things for the next several weeks, so we're ok, and i'm working very hard, as you might guess, to get a "regular" job. have an interview scheduled next week with someone very Technologically Prominent, so think lots of good thoughts for me. but in the meantime, in order to have a merry - instead of somewhat begruding - christmas, i've procured a temporary gig for a whopping $9/hr.

are you loving the run-on sentence fetish i apparently have tonight? i know i am.

anyway, i'm two days into this (supposed) four day gig and as you might guess, it involves some manual labor so suffice to say, i am tired. why'm i writing then? well apparently i feel a need to write, but also take a break from The Great Moving Escapades of 2007. although in another way, this is part of all that, too.

so. first temporary gig was supposed to be gift wrapping. i really liked the idea of that, because a) it was from 330-midnight, allowing me to interview during the day if i chose, b) i ADORE gift wrapping and c) i am good at it. however, that job was cancelled the next day (way to plan ahead). that same next day (confused?), there was a post for letter stuffing.

amazingly, this is something i have experience with, and no i am not talking about cramming a day's junk mail into one envelope en route to the garbage. a billion (ok, 9) years ago, in november, after we moved to california from montana and were struggling to find regular employment, our temp agency called with a great-sounding opportunity -- good scrilla for letter stuffing.

the job was in santa cruz, in a dark, drafty old barn (right around here, for those of you familiar with the area), and btw drafty is a euphemism for "bone-chillingly cold and persistent gusts of wind".

to add to its charm, this job was accompanied by
- surly employees
- overbearing, nitpicking and even surlier managers
- a dearth of chairs

this last item in particular, plus the poor ergonomic planning overall, was the real killer. i worked my ass -- well, arms, fingers and back -- off for 4 hours and finally had to call it quits. the repetitive motion with the arms, sure that sucks. reaching all the time, yeah that's difficult, too, if you're doing the same thing over and over. but also while standing in a 3 foot space? with no seat or break? and managers hovering constantly in the darkness behind you?

so you can see why i might've approached this job with some trepidation. but i am very happy to say that the only thing these two jobs seem to have in common is that there is letter stuffing-related activities going on. the boss man here, very mellow. there's a plethora of chairs, room -- and time -- to work, we got the tunes going, and for the most part, my cohorts (3 others were hired at the same time) are delightful to work with. i think it's the 'most part' bit that probably has me writing tonight, really, and here's why:

yesterday (day 1), when we came back from lunch, the very nice woman (VNW) i'd been working with asked, 'did i eat?' i was a little startled - i'd told her earlier that i brought my lunch - but replied, 'yep!'

VNW then went and asked the lone male cohort (LMC) if he had eaten over the break.

no, LMC said, shaking his head.

VNW proceeds to offer half her sandwich to LMC. he accepts, and as he munches, i swear his face was sheer gratitude. i then immediately thought of the furniture we still need help moving upstairs (feel free to laugh), and of possibly offering him $20 - when this job ends - to come and serve as moving muscle for a (maximum) hour's worth of work. tried to get someone before but they flaked so - hey, i'll give it to someone who's more desperate, yeah? i mean, he doesn't even have enough food to eat.

this (observing) was my sole interaction with LMC until today, day 2. well, other than observing him being verrry chatty with the other female cohort, all day yesterday. okay, today -- more of the same chattiness until it happens that he and i end up being seated near each other, when he lapses into almost complete silence.

naturally LMC can't match for my capacity for being mute, and ultimately begins talking to me, but even then it's still quite mundane. this results in amiable silence for a couple hours.

now it's 10 minutes before 5 -- quitting time. LMC has finished his activity and goes over to in-charge guy to ask for a quick task, since it's almost time to go. in-charge guy goes, 'well there's this bin that got sorted in reverse, you could switch it around like so (demonstrates) so that this is in descending order.'

i catch the last end of this and, realizing he's talking about a bin that *i* had done (twas the first one i'd done by myself -- i'd been responsible for other parts of the process, previously), walk over to say, 'oh, did i do that one in the wrong order?'

in-charge guy says, 'yeah, it's no big deal, it'll just take a few minutes to fix.' he nods and pushes the bin towards LMC.

LMC immediately turns to me and says, 'well actually, since you screwed this one up, why don't you fix it, and i'll go take over your pasting job.'

i may have smirked, sneered, or even smiled, i don't know. what i said was, 'sure, no problem.' because it was my mistake, and plus, i could care less what letter-related task i'm actually doing -- it's all tedium.

but what i thought was, you ass. you just screwed yourself out of $20. because seriously, if you think that by somehow trying to malign my 'worthiness' as a temporary $9/hr employee, by speaking in a condescending manner to me in front of our junior supervisor, is going to somehow ... affect my employment? make me do better? be extra nice (instead of merely courteous) to you?

i don't think so.

i get sunday off. woo! hopefully there will be a mix of chores and some christmas-related activities. maybe even - dare i say it - books. *swoon*

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

for the love of beef

in more recent news, today
on the way
to safeway:

i "steered" through a juicy part of town, aka beef bend road.

incidentally, bull mountain road is also nearby, lest
you think i jest.

and on a deli sign:

until the next meaty installment,

imitation of life

Min got back yesterday. Back, you say? Yes, back from a 15-day jaunt to Tucson, because her niece Wendy was finally released from prison! For those of you just joining, she did a 7 year stint for vehicular manslaughter as a result of DUI, and in Arizona, normally the minimum – even for first timers like Wendy – is 25 years. She had to bargain to get 7. Anyway, because of M’s lack of current photo ID, her options dwindled down to Greyhound. Technically they require it too, but I said, ‘Let’s just go down, buy a ticket and see if it’s really required.’ Turned out no. I even asked, just to be sure. Company line – nyah nyah!

I'm glad she's here for many reasons, the least of which is calming Pearl (so anxious, that one) and apparently instigating movement on my job prospects. 4 pings in the last day, after weeks of nothing. Hello, and thank you!

And now, back to recapping. We start at Tuesday, November 6th, a day of being proven by fire if ever there was one.

11.6 – Set wakeup call for 7am because we have to 1) get up 2) eat (thank you, room service!) 3) get pearl to the groomer and 4) get to the house by 830am and wrap up/grab our last few things because 5) at 9am the cleaners arrive.

So, we ate, zoomed and made it to the house by 845. Thankfully (sort of), the cleaners didn’t arrive til 930 because we really did need that time to pack up the cats (who spent the first of many semi-quiet nights in a bathroom), our remaining crap and head out. M talked to the cleaners while I wrapped up, then we were off on our day of fiscal adventures.

First, though, it was back to the hotel to shower, pack that shit up and park it with the valet until we were ready to depart for the day – theoretically, around 2pm. Planned to go the bank after we checked out but hey! It’s time to meet the landlords now AND we don’t have the truck moved yet.

Yeah hi. 24 foot truck aqui en el stupido drivewayo. However, we (I can’t remember whose idea this was) had brilliantly thought ahead and called Adrian, man who made sure our shit fit in that beast, could come and back that beast up. You have no idea how freaked I was about fucking up the stone entrance to the driveway (or damaging the truck), not to mention how god-awful long it’d take. So we called, asked, do you drive trucks too? Would you drive ours out and down the street for $20 (better than $10/hr day before)? Why sure!

However, Adrian was running late and wouldn’t be there til a little after 12, and our walkthrough with the landlords was at 12. Sigh. Ok. Oh, and the cleaners, who said the house would just take 2 hours tops, they still hadn’t called to give us our 30 minute ‘almost finished!’ call and yes, it was 1145am now.

Sigh. I feel so tired, just remembering all this. We get to the house right before 12. I’m doing something – god knows what – while m checks with the cleaners to see how it’s going. Maybe I called Adrian. Anyway, cleaning guy says all is well, almost done, maybe by 1230? But also btw, did you know the kitchen sink doesn’t drain?


The sink is full of about 4 inches of dirty water. M says, when you were cleaning, did you put everything in there? Where’s your mop bucket?

Bucket? No no no, look at the disposal, it doesn’t work, see, it’s not my fault. Cleaning guy flicks the disposal switch for emphasis.

Well I could’ve told you that was broken, but the sink's always drained fine as long as you don’t, say, fill it with crap. And having a bucket, if you’re a cleaner, is that rocket science? As is calling to say, hi, the sink doesn’t work and by the way we’re running late? What do I know though?

M runs to the hardware store to get a bucket and something to clear the drain. I wait with much joy for Adrian, and the landlords, to arrive at our still slightly dirty house. Landlords arrive about 12, and I ask them to come back about 1230 when the house should be done for reals. I say nothing about the drain.

A few minutes later, cleaning guy comes out – presto! Drain has cleared. Huh? How? Apparently he pushed on it (demonstrates with both hands for emphasis) a few times and boom! Down it goes.

Well ok then. I try to call m, tell her nevermind but reception’s always been shitty around that house so I don’t get thru. I go and check on the kitties in the car, a shady spot down the way. They’re fine. I come back and the landlords are back, too. We talk a minute until min arrives, and now the cleaners really are done. I write a check while min goes and does a quick check of their work.

Now the landlords. Turns out the wife used to be a professional housecleaner. Oops. So she notices every bloody thing that these cleaners missed (which turns out was quite a bit). It’s kind of amazing a) how many places dirt can hide and b) how you don’t notice that when you’re exhausted beyond belief and c) this is still probably the cleanest the house has been in years. But we trudge along through Nitpick City, me figuring we’ll get nothing back in our deposit. Meantime Adrian arrives, so I go out to greet him, show him where to park his car, the truck, and then he heads out to repark his car.

I head back inside to find m almost (and moments later, truly) crying. I can tell there’s been more tsking and m has taken it personally (sort of hard not to) plus hi, we’re a little stressed. Wife pipes up – I’m not upset with you, it’s these cleaners!
I think, yeah but if that fucks our deposit (can you say ‘foreshadowing’?) then that’s still bad for us, so same difference in the end. But what I say, while holding a sobbing m, is, I know, but this is just the straw. There’s the trouble with the bank, she lost her wallet, plus regular moving stress – this is just the straw. M quiets, and the landlords become super sweet, and then I go back out to help guide Adrian with the truck.

Landlord Husband comes a minute later, helping to stop traffic/guide on the other side of the street, but seriously – that $20 I spent to have Adrian back that truck out? Best $20 ever. And I said as much to Husband the TWO MINUTES LATER that Adrian had taken, start to finish, in getting that truck out and driving down the street. Sure, it was a 3 point turn. It was a narrow-ass driveway. But a 3 point turn compared to my, oh, 20 point turn? Oh god. So good.

By about 130 we about wrapped up the walkthrough. Apparently there were only minor gripes, so not much impact to our deposit. fine. At this point I almost could care less, I was so tired. As we’re about to leave, I get a call from wamu. Huh? You know this is fucked up, what you’re doing? You’re going to look into it and get back to me asap? Well thank you! Since my account’s due to be closed tomorrow, thanks!

Meantime m got the check from Husband for the extra $180 in rent that we’d paid, and off we went to cash that, plus hopefully get more scrilla, at the bank. Once at said bank, it turned out that without some photo id, there was no way for m to withdraw funds. However, the manager took a little pity on her and agreed to cash the $180 check.

Then I said fine, time for plan b – writing a check on m’s account, to me, and cash it at the Cash Checking Miracle Station. Drove over, walked in, checked for a $ limit on 2 party checks (none) and then went out and had m write a $1500 check. Went back inside, flashed my id, waited, waited…and about 3pm, was denied my miracle. Why? ‘the bank just said no – no specific reason given’. Super.

Well, maybe the bank will cash it for me. It’s her account there, we just talked to them, so if we go back, maybe they’ll give it to me (like this) even though I can’t use my bank card as a form of id since my account’s all flagged and shit.

Turns out that is true. However you also need a secondary id – only from the approved list – and I had none on me. In the truck, sure. Probably right over the cab.

Fuck. Meanwhile, m had wandered off, it seems, and was talking to a banker at a Real Desk. Not knowing what was going on and figuring it’s best to stay out of it, I sat down for about 30 seconds before m called me over. She explained a bit, but very briefly and cryptically. The banker was just as forthcoming, and apparently on intermittent hold with someone in the scrilla industry.

Which is why I spent the next 30 minutes in relative silence and confusion. Periodically I’d say something little to m, or the banker would, but I could tell we were all in some sort of fiduciary trance. Meantime I kept trying to come up with other ideas to get us out of town safely, then rejected each idea a few minutes later. Panic pretty much coursed through my veins though because at this point we were homeless, with 3 animals, a car, a gigantic truck, and no way to access funds in EITHER of our bank accounts. Sure, when a replacement bank card came for m in 7-10 days we’d be able to get to her $, but meantime??

Thankfully I never had to figure out how to deal with that because about 440pm, beautiful banker lady (BBL) (hee) finally got fucking wells fargo to confirm, thru wamu’s internal process, payment of the final payroll checks n my account. Which meant wahooo!! I had a working bank account and credit card again. Which meant we had scrilla to spare and could go get pearl before the groomery closed at 5, finally pick up the car tow dolly, and get the hell out of dodge.

I found out later that m had just walked up to BBL, told her our story (top to bottom), BBL said sorry, can’t help. so m pleaded with her, please, couldn’t she just try to look into it? At which point BBL agreed and at the end of that marvelous fiasco, as we were extracting fundage from my account, m told me she’d seen it work in a movie on tv. Best testimonial for life imitating art, ever.

And so it was that after getting pearl, the dolly, and a good, semi-quick dinner at panera bread, we finally and literally hit the road about 730pm. Our first night’s goal was redding and as you might guess, that didn’t happen. Turns out the car dolly has a top speed of 45mph, officially. Unofficially, I’ve seen them go up to 60mph for very limited periods with no problem. But we started at night, and mostly on very bumpy roads, and the noise from it was so loud I thought the car was going to fly right off. Being nighttime, though, I couldn’t tell how much the car was really moving, but since we’d had to keep the cats in the car (in a nicely wedged, oversized kennel), I was freaked out on their behalf.

Couple my anxiety with the Bumpiest Show On Earth and a very exhausted me, and you will get an impromptu stop at a best western in dunnigan around 130am. Luckily the BW had a) wonderfully large but cheap, clean rooms and b) had plentious truck parking, because in my attempt to give myself enough room to swing the truck around (reverse+tow = verboten) in the morning, all the while looking to the right, apparently I needed to look left, too. I discovered this after I parked, exited and found the back of our truck was a mere 12-18 inches from a semi.

I thought about trying to do something about it after we’d gotten checked in, the cats inside, but in the meantime, a truck+horse trailer parked right beside me, leaving NO room to turn, even in the morning. I was pretty freaked, but there was also nothing I could do about it, so I went to bed, hoping for the best tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

happy holidays!

i haven't decorated - and who knows how much i will, considering the state of this house - but that doesn't squelch my holiday spirit at all, as proven by this quiz, and this pic i couldn't resist taking last night.

What The Holidays Mean to You
For you, the holidays are about celebration. You enjoy all the fun and fellowship that the holidays bring.

You celebrate the holidays in an over the top style. If something is cute, you'll buy it. People end up with a lot of gifts from you - and your house is like a holiday wonderland, full of decorations.

During the holidays, you feel magical. You love all of the decorations and how happy people are. You like to sit back and take it all in.

You think the holidays should be nostalgic and sweet. The holidays bring out your inner child.

Your best holiday memories are of childhood foods and traditions. You secretly still wish you believed in Santa Claus.

i also took the What Holiday Are You? quiz. guess which one i was? i'll give you a hint: it's in late december.

Monday, December 03, 2007

green makes me happy

as evidenced by this shot:
which was taken oh, 100 feet from where i'm typing. while there are plenty more pictures coming eventually, suffice to say that to my right is the 2nd half of this duplex, to my left is our amazingly verdant garden, a fence, and then a good mile or so of park, including the moss, leaves and trees seen above.

and while it may not be easy for kermit to be green, it's very easy for oregon because hello rain! it snowed a bit saturday morning and has been raining ever since. good thing i like rain.

what i also love is the internet, finally coming to my house. as well as the phone and cable. all three of those (well, mostly the first two) make it so much easier to look for and get a job. yes, i don't have one yet, yes i'm a little stressed about it but also this last month and a half has been full of so many miracles, i also have plenty of faith. for now, that plus the work of searching means i feel alright.

and so yes, it's been a little over a month since i had substansive updates. which means yes, YOI (ye olde internet) will soon be the recipient of substansive updates! and by soon i mean:

fri oct 19 – Last day of work

thu oct 25 – Realize bank account is fucked

sat oct 27-mon oct 29 – Rescheduling the earth because bank account is still f'd. Also order 401k disbursement on saturday since I realize the bank account may not be unf'd by the 7th, as wamu is currently predicting, and without that there's no way we can make our trip. Stay #1 in Beverly Heritage Hotel (BevHo!) on the 29th, because we prepaid. Oops.

Mon oct 29-thu nov 1 – Surprise, lots of packing. Additional lunch with liz, additional doc visits.

Fri nov 2 – 401k check arrives. Find check cashing place since I don’t trust screwU to not fuck up m’s account with it (either via depositing or cashing it directly). Wait forever at check cashing place, get freaked when at first they can’t authenticate with charles schwab. Notice insta-credit card option while waiting, as well as 1 and 2 party check cashing. Check clears – call landlord, truck, etc and set new exit date of nov 6. Put scrilla in m’s account – the only unfrozen one between us.

Sat nov 3 – More packing, rescheduling.

Sun nov 4 – Pick up the truck at 11. What a monstrosity. Takes so long (2 main tries, with a 2nd round of 10-15 minutes of grueling, slightly-scraping tension) that the cops come by to say – get this off the street or we’ll be back. Do you think I planned to leave the ass of this thing hanging out?

Meantime there’s minor skirmishes among the troops, but in the end thankfully all calmed down and around 1215 or so, we went to work on a house that was not fully packed. We got a lot done, though – min, me, liz, and a guy from craigsliszt (CL) whose name I’ve forgotten already but he sorta looked like AJ from the backstreet boys. Never heard from my 2nd CL guy, lover of pizza, flaker of gigs.

Liz left about 3, AJ got sent home by 5 with an agreement to come back the next day. Yay! Lori and Aaron came over in the evening and helped a little. Really appreciated it, too, when Lori said she’d be over early (10am) to help with the monumental hordes of items still to be packed.

Mon nov 5 – We’re supposed to be gone – ptoo! - by 2pm today, because that’s when the cleaners come. Which as you might guess, means the house has to be empty by then. We’d arranged for AJ and a friend of his to be there by 11am, figuring what with getting up at 8am ourselves, and Lori there at 10, maybe we’ll be ok. Well, we got up at 8...

Min went out for bottled water and god knows what (but whats that we needed) about 1030. at 11, still not back and no sign of lori or AJ, I called M. Where are you? Has lori called? Holy shit there’s no way we’re getting this done. Should we call someone else?

A few minutes later AJ called – car trouble but he’s coming soon. I decide to call Adrian, moving guy (another one of my CL respondents). Says he can be there by 12. Min gets home a little after 11, says she talked to lori. Apparently lori needed a breathing treatment (self-distributed) and would be at our place in a while.

Back to packing. AJ shows up a few minutes later and after we talk, he starts repacking the truck so all can be squoze in. around 1215, with no Adrian or lori (who I’ve given up on), I call Adrian again. Coming? Yes.

Adrian arrives around 1230, and after a thorough assessment of the entire house and truck, helps AJ redistribute the truck even more. Lori arrives in a face mask (this house seriously collected dust; there was widespread sneezing) a few minutes later, much to my surprise.

Right about then I realize I need to eat, so we get everyone’s order. M goes for food, and I put lori to work I the bathroom because – thinking ahead – I made it very straightforward, what should be packed or not. At least so I thought. I’d have figured maybe an hour, 90 minutes to pack the bathroom? But clearly I underestimated that since lori ran about 3 hours, including vacuuming in a room with tile flooring. Later I figured out she was vacuuming dust off the window fan.

Meantime, M returns with food around 1pm, so we eat and I realize there is no way in hell we’re going to be done by 2. M calls the cleaners AND the landlords to push cleaning and walkthrough to later tomorrow. This gives us the rest of the day to pack/load, which we really did need. Aaron came over around 8pm, for an hour or so, to help and then take Lori (and donatables – yay, one less thing to worry about) home. We stayed till 10 or 11, then back again to the BevHo where we promptly collapsed.

Oh and shit! I can’t believe I forgot this! Around 2pm we realized that M had lost her wallet. We deduced she had it whilst going for lunch – wallet was attached to her keys – but then at some point after leaving the car upon arrival home (across the street, really, since the truck left no parking at home), the wallet vanished.

Needless to say, what was left of the house was upturned, the streets were searched, over and over because apart from any $ she had (about $500, mostly in traveler’s checks, so at least we were able to recoup that) and her license, medicare cards and keys, that wallet also held our only functioning credit card since – as you may recall – my bank accounts were still fucking frozen.

As you might imagine, the prospect of making this ginormous trip with no credit card was more than a little daunting. But wait! I remembered seeing the insta-credit card at El Casho Checko place, plus the fact that we could still get $ from her (unfrozen) account. Either the bank would let her get it directly (we hoped, using what limited info we had to prove her identity), or – again, thanks to my eagle eyes – she could write me a check, that I’d cash at El Casho Checko, and then we’d get the insta-card. Problem solved.

So off we went to our – thank god – prepaid hotel room (a deal which the falcon of priceline truth hath approved) and crashed. Well, not before going to walmart, because we accidentally packed my dresser before I had a chance to get half of my trip clothes out. Oops.

Monday, November 26, 2007

yes i'm still here

albeit very sporadically on Ye Olde Internet. i hope to have regular access soon, suffice to say it's been a whirlwind and i'll give you all the salacious details at a future date.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

greetings from the land of the weary

i'll post a more comprehensive update in the future, of course, but suffice to say:

- we finally left san jose on tuesday, nov 6th
- which means yes, we're in oregon now (a nice la quinta inn in wilsonville)
- speaking of which, if you don't have a wireless card, this is a nice place to still score free computer access in the lobby, especially if you like listening to saturday night live at the same time
- i am tired
- thank goodness we have 3 bank accounts and credit cards between the two of us
- it is cold
- my dad was so excited to see us that on the way to the car (to meet us for lunch), he tripped and broke his hip (no, i'm not kidding)
- paying an extra $117 so you don't have to drive a 24ft truck + towed car into downtown portland -- totally worth it
- craigslist help up here appears even better than SJ. proof will be tomorrow, though, when we unload the behemoth
- did i mention it's cold?
- even with all the fiascos and stress of the last several weeks, and stress to come in procuring a new abode, i'm still so happy to be here

that's it for now. time to check on the laundry. =)

Saturday, October 27, 2007

please hold

there has been quite the flurry of activity since my last post. packing, sure. final appointments, disconnecting services, etcetera, yes. but one thing you might not have suspected -- and certainly i did not expect -- is that my bank accounts would be inexplicably frozen and slated for closure.

maybe i'm crazy, but i think this is normal, not expecting your assets to freeze. at least if you aren't a felon, calling card scammer or involved in fraudulent financial transactions. and me? well i'm in the last category right now, at least according to my bank, WaMu, or as i think i'll call them from now on, ScrewYu.

it all started with the deposit of my final paychecks from work. what with the hordes of PTO i'd accrued (and yes, i accrued purposefully), i deposited a tidy sum at the atm. yes, i have since been told that i should go into the branch for large checks, even if it's, let's say, from my regular employer, who issues me large (though not that large) checks on a biweekly basis.

what with the amount of scrilla, i figured it would take several days for the checks to clear. fine. what i did not expect is that 4 business days later, i'd try to use my card at longs and it'd be denied. wtf? so i head to the bank and am informed that my account has been closed due to suspicious of fraud.


it took the very nice lady at the bank about a half hour to figure out the source of trouble (el checkos) and when she told me that they expected they checks to be returned unpaid, i just stared at her. i worked for a *very* big company. these are not checks from some fly-by-night startup. why wouldn't they be paid?

that was thursday morning. suffice to say, from then til 6pm friday i was working with both my former employer and ScrewYu to get things worked out so that we could, i don't know, MOVE THIS WEEKEND.

as you might guess, things did not work out. i have both ScrewYu and wells fargo to thank for that. we tried to make arrangements for some temporary scrilla to tide us over for an additional week, allowing us to make our trip as scheduled, but no luck.

which means, barring divine and fiduciary intervention, we're probably going to be here another week and a half. the *only* good thing i can say about this is that it gives us more time to pack. we'd decided to pay for some packing help, and well, now we can wrap that up ourselves. goody!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

movin' some scrilla

by way of an update:

- had a fairly successful yard sale this weekend, close to $450. i hear that's not bad but the problem is, when we had our moving sale in montana, we cleared over a grand. so as is often the case with life, i'm learning to adjust my expectations.

- yard sale, alpha and omega version: sure, i was tired and sore after all that. but more to the point, min was completely wiped and ended up sleeping a lot of sunday. thankfully saturday was the big scrilla day. this also meant she missed a going-away dinner with a few friends (bummer) but of course, i still had a wonderful time.

- i've had trouble getting (free) moving boxes lately. six months ago? sure, no problem. but lately, every time i respond to a post, even if it's the same day, all zee boxes -- poof. since we had to get some additional moving supplies anyway tonight (why hello, shiny saran wrap-like tube!), and our departure date is a mere week away, we broke down and bought some boxes.

- in case you were wondering, i was LOATHE to buy moving boxes. they are expensive little bastards! however, we went here. sure, they had new boxes for a decent price. used boxes for even better. but then there was our section, which i guess you could call 'shagged a few times but still worth a go'. these boxes were che-e-ep. and still in very excellent condition. which made me very happy.

- speaking of happy, i don't miss work at all. zippo. like this is a surprise. i almost feel like i've been let out of prison.

- also, did i mention i'm tired? and more than a little overwhelmed at all that's left to do before we pack up the truck NEXT SUNDAY?

- i'm not sure when i'll post again, in the whirlwind of a week i have ahead of me, but if it's a while... think good thoughts for the dykes in the 24' truck, and i'll post again when i can. :)

- ps. thank god for hand trucks.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

bite my shiny, imperial-fighting ass

since it's been over a WHOLE MONTH since my last quiz, a week since i posted anything, and i'm too bleary-eyed to be very coherent now:

Which sci-fi crew would you best fit in with?
You scored as Millennium Falcon (Star Wars)

The world around you is at war. Fortunately you know how to handle that with the greatest of ease. You are one of the best at what you do and no one needs to tell you that. Now if only the droids could be quiet for five seconds.

Serenity (Firefly)

Moya (Farscape)
Millennium Falcon (Star Wars)
Babylon 5 (Babylon 5)
SG-1 (Stargate)
Heart of Gold (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy)
Deep Space Nine (Star Trek)
Galactica (Battlestar: Galactica)
Andromeda Ascendant (Andromeda)
FBI's X-Files Division (The X-Files)
Enterprise D (Star Trek)
Nebuchadnezzar (The Matrix)
Bebop (Cowboy Bebop)
p.s. tomorrow's my last day at work. i can't believe how giddy i am about it. i know, some of the giddy is just for the upcoming adventure in general but... i am seriously ready for a change.
p.p.s. futurama is not on the list of contendas! that's so wrong.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Monday, October 08, 2007

a waking dream

i'm sure it will come as no surprise that i've been having trouble sleeping lately. excitement about moving also means stress about moving. if i wake up in the middle of the night to use the facilities, when i come back to bed i start thinking about all the stuff i need to do for our upcoming yard sale.

if i have trouble getting comfortable after i roll over, i remember i need to pick a hotel for our first week or so there.

and the list goes on. which means i do, too.

which means after a little while i remember a) you've got this all written down, stop worrying about it and b) it's time to invoke the Coast Snowfall.

now sure that's just a name for you folks. in my head i think, it's time to go *there*. Coast Snowfall's a fitting name though, because i immediately start playing the first snowfall (snippet here, courtesy B&N. nighttime version, courtesy of my internal ipod), and then go here.

imagine driving along this road, a series of trees in this light, and you can see how the dappled light could keep time with the beginning of that song (if you listen to it, hint). then we curve inland for a moment of dark and green, albeit not foggy in my nighttime film.

then we rise up the hill and crest to this, at which point i leave the car and become a bird, apparently, flying out and over the rocky shoreline. not a bad trick.

the song repeats itself at a certain point, and so do i, starting at the first image above. sure, sometimes it takes a while to progress from there to sleep, but i never get tired of this journey. or the song, which is saying a lot.

these flybys are a conglomeration of the many, many drives my family took along 101 in southern oregon, often at sunset. i've been using this little montage for probably 15 years.

incidentally, if you look at/listen to that song, you'll see it's an instrumental from a christmas album. what can i say? i've listened to that album a lot, which is KickAss. if you don't mind reverent *christmas* music and/or enjoy classical, i highly recommend it.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

going to the salon is so old school

are you tired of having to explain what you *really* want to your hairdresser or barber? not to mention, shelling out for that haircut several times a year? well, thanks to this morning's internet, i offer you a possible solution:


as a bonus, apparently in your post-haircut bliss, you will get to see a vacuum hose and what looks like a giant flashlight fight to the death:

haircut clean up is only a suction away. please, act now, or else i will flowbee you a second time.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

hello internet

i am tired. is it friday yet?

Friday, September 28, 2007

Thursday, September 27, 2007

sayonara (part 1)

yes this will be a continuing series but suffice to say, now i can say something i've been holding back for quite some time:

i'm quitting my job and moving to oregon.

to be precise, i'm not the only one moving to oregon. all living things (and oh, so many unliving things) in my household are moving as well. i haven't been able to talk about this before because there are a few people (hello!) from work who quietly read this blog. but now that i've given notice to the landlord and my workday overlord, now you're officially the last to know.

and yes this is partly why i've been posting less, mainly in terms of being verra busy on my weeknights and weekends doing prepwork. but honestly, the other reason is that work was just so damn crazy for quite some time.

as mentioned previously, i volunteered for bug czar duty on the previous push, in an entirely successful attempt to avoid javascript-happy specwork. the tradeoff, of course, is people pinging you night AND day. there's a certain thrill in people constantly clamoring for your attention, even if it's only for input on inane issues. however it does get a little tiring, being in the spotlight so long. and let's just say that the work for the current push -- while not involving much specwork, thank you -- has still been driving me crazy, although that's more about people and process rather than the actual work.

if you're wondering, no i do not have a job up there yet. there have been attempts, of course, and even a job offer earlier this year (yes, this has been in progress for quite some time). however the job meant living in corvallis and while that area has a few charms, for the most part it's the opposite of bewitching.

which is why we're moving to the general portland vicinity, preferably somewhere south/west/central. want to be close to my parents, but also, i want to be in a larger city. i want to feel that energy buzzing all around me, but at a leisurely, oregonized pace. our little family needs good access to all things medical, as well, and so again, portland beats out corvallis (or most anywhere in the state) by a landslide.

then there's all the great memories i have in portland. having chocolates and steamed milk with my mom at pioneer square, trolling through vast, verdant washington park, meandering through powell's for hours, walking in the light drizzle just about anywhere, with everything green fragrantly blossoming all around me.

those are just some of the reasons i can't wait to go.

as to when we go -- we'll be up there by the end of october. which means now i need to pack and finish getting ready.

um. holy shit.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

for me loyal scallywags

happy talk like a pirate day!

and to those of you with kids, i offer this unexpected treasure from my inbox this morning. i mean, really...a chance to indoctrinate your younglings from the getgo? pretty hard to resist, i'd think.

plus, if you've ever wanted a badass name for your vehicle, the generator will set you up. for the record, i now drive "The Barbaric Cream Puff".

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

for a good time, call 1-800-BEAMEUP

from an email list's event announcement:
If you show up, you will be abducted.
This is the kind of ROI I can get behind.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

could not resist

even though one answer was wrong (two answers were correct). see if you can guess which one!
You Scored an A
It's pretty obvious that you don't make basic grammatical errors.
If anything, you're annoyed when people make simple mistakes on their blogs.
As far as people with bad grammar go, you know they're only human.
And it's humanity and its current condition that truly disturb you sometimes.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

48.0 LTS Keggar!!

that was the title of the skype chat we had going all night during last week's live code push at work, and yes i came up with the title, and yes i purposely mispelled kegger. consider it a token of my attempt to have a good time, even though i was pulling a 930pm-645am shift. for the record, on a normal day i probably roll in around 10am.

pre-push, i had grand visions of using this time to write several witty posts, which you may notice did not occur. while i did get some very minor reading done, fact was i was too busy talking to people all night, looking into prospective web dev issues. gratefully there were no actual issues for our team, but that didn't stop the powers that be from thinking we might be at fault. thus, the busyness. the morning came rather quickly, and then i got the rest of the day off. pretty nice.

in other news, i saw my sister and her cohorts yesterday. if you're keeping track, now the clan is up to 4. for quite some time there's been drake and mike. now there's also danni, who is actually mike's wife. long story? why yes it is!

suffice to say that the foursome has been in the making for quite some time, and a month or so into things, they seem to be happy campers. especially my sister, grateful to have another girl around. who can blame her? girls rule.

anyway we drove out to stockton -- a midpoint for both of us -- and met them at a marie callendar's 'because their salad bar kicks ass!' (said my sister, when i asked where she wanted to eat). she did put together a tasty salad, i'll give her that. i forgot how good their cornbread is, but to be honest i wasn't impressed with much else. however, we had a delightful visit, weren't pestered to leave even though we were there chatting for hours, and really, that's all i wanted.

that's it for updates. hey, that's more than you've gotten in weeks! have a little gratitude. sheesh. ;)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

get on the bus

apparently this is not new, however a blog i read posted about it today:

and this tickles me in a way that, if loretta tickled me, i'd say..oh yeah. that's niiice.

i also am really enjoying the offer to bundle it with a purchase of the electric company. zoooom!

Monday, August 20, 2007

since it's been a while since i did a quiz..

Click to view my Personality Profile page

and no the results don't surprise me. =)

also thanks to everyone who commented about the frisky situation. while i still don't like how that had to go down, the side effects (a much happier animal kingdom) have made it very clear it was the right decision.

we're nearing the end of an extremely draining spell of work. hopefully by the end of the month, i'll be able to stop feeling so completely overworked. i really would like to stop dreaming about work! it's sort of my fault, i volunteered for the bug czar thing again in an effort to avoid coding. well, mission accomplished but that doesn't mean i'm not working like crazy...

Tuesday, August 14, 2007



the dark fellow at right came into our life unexpectedly. frisky was his name and i really can't think of a better one for him, except maybe 'contradiction', which i'll admit is not catchy.

the contradiction here is that when frisky was loving, he was virtually irresistible. he'd charge right up to you, purr loudly, bump his head against you, knead his paws and nibble at your shirt.

the bad part is that these actions were rare. more to the point, the other name he came with (seriously) was 'trouble'. when i first heard that i went pthbbbt and said, 'we're calling him frisky.'

yeah, trouble is more like it. let me count the ways in which this was so:

- scratching all manner of mortals so as to leave scars
- badgering the cats while they ate
- or tried to use the facilities
- or walk across the room
- several times a day
- repeatedly got into closed rooms (by using his head as a battering ram) and made a mess

those are the ones coming to mind now, when i should be asleep because i have to get up really early tomorrow. but suffice to say, the clincher for frisky was the badgering, especially as relates to facility usage for our other two cats, muffie and dolce.

this, i'm sorry to say, led to various sections of the household being terraformed into impromptu litter boxes. the best part is that because we have a few stacks of old clothes, etc (that we plan to sell) around the house, and the house is a decent size, this terraforming went unnoticed for a couple of weeks. unnoticed until about a week and a half ago.

now ever since we acquired frisky we've been working on his behavior. the scar-inducing scratches waned. frisky got 'in trouble' -- sprayed with a water bottle, peeled off of another cat, taken off the kitchen counter -- several times a day, but the special thorn in our sides was the cat-on-cat action. in addition to the aforementioned terraforming, last week min caught muffie in the laundry room (where the litter box is), cornered by frisky. when muffie saw min, she wailed a heartbreaking little 'save me!' wail.

so i've painted a half-assed (mostly since i'm tired beyond belief) picture. saturday night (my birthday, incidentally) we came home to more terraforming. we said ok, that's it we have to take him to a shelter. he's not scaring the cats into terraforming the entire house into a litter box!

sunday morning i began the shelter research. sure frisky can't be with cats, or small dogs (yes she and frisky played, but pearl got food-intimidated too). what about with kids? a house with no pets? oh right, then he scratches his aggression all over the humans too. ok but surely a shelter will take a cat that's only good with medium or large dogs!

how about no. seriously, i got laughed at.

and how can you blame them? no-kill shelters have to be picky. and the other ones...well... so we talked to a vet at adobe. explained his behavior, how we've been working with him for 9 months and it's actually getting worse, was there anything we could do short of doping him up to death, what kind of life is that anyway and is it possible frisky was mentally ill?

first the vet thanked, praised us (via min, saint that she was to take frisky in) for working so hard with frisky. then she said that in all likelihood, frisky *was* mentally ill. frisky's mother was feral, making a bad start, and the first several months he was fending for himself. but his wild, obsessive tyrannical reigns, followed by a day or so of virtually hiding, was very similar to what you might see in a bipolar human (not on meds of course). and so with all this in mind, with no real treatment a possibility, with no reasonable expectation of frisky being able to find a new home, it was decided that the best thing was to put him to sleep.

i didn't want to believe we would end up here. on sunday, post research, when i suspected this might happen, i cried. i cried monday morning, before the vet. all day i hoped the vet would think up a miracle. all day i felt like i could hardly breathe. but monday afternoon frisky was gently laid to rest, and monday afternoon and evening i cried yet again.

i know some of you may think badly of us for doing this. hey, guess what? i hate having done it. so even though i still think this was the kindest thing to do, given the options frisky truly had, it doesn't mean i'm not riddled with guilt about it.

this little interloper wormed his way into my heart and the intensity of the loss i've felt has surprised me. i think it's because he was like an alcoholic. when he was loving, you forgot all about the earlier rages. the rages always returned, but that doesn't mean that i don't miss his joyful trill.

rest in peace, frisky. i hope now you're up trilling and snuggling with min's mother, the one person you really loved.

Friday, August 03, 2007

blogging in the shower

it can happen, folks. at least in your head. which is why:

58%How Addicted to Blogging Are You?
and now i really *must* get to work...which for the record, has kept me so busy lately that i barely have time to breathe.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

a very late Fiver

sorry i forgot about this, wen, but thanks to dharma for only just responding, thus reminding me to do the same. ;-)

1. Five favorite days of the year:

* Christmas
* Any day where I get to read -- or write -- all day
* Any day by the ocean
* Christmas
* Any day where I make someone laugh

2. Five things you watched this week:

* The Colbert Report
* The Daily Show
* Pearl dance, bury her head under mine and snort
* Valerie whistle through a straw, with bonus spittle towards a cashier
* The curve of the hills as I head towards home

3. Five things you don't want to do, but should:

* Go to the dentist (hey, I went last month!)
* Save more money
* Pack
* Clean (goes well with item 3)
* Get up (goes well with items 3+4)

4. Five things you want to learn:

* Why Muffie yowls so much (sooo stealing that from wen. criminy!)
* How to construct a plot from the random ideas in my head
* How to be more patient with people
* Why polyester blends are so popular
* What makes you tick

5. Five animals you've had as pets or who have impacted you:

* Chrissy - My sister's, which then became my parents', dog. Dalmation/spaniel mix. Also known as "wigglebutt" because she had no tail. She had unbridled joy. My favorite memory of her is being caught eating a tootsie pop roll at Christmas -- lying on the floor, wrapper off to the side, pop neatly between her front paws, and a busted look on her face.

* Pearl - Our little shih tzu/poodle mix. Sure, sometimes she gets an irrational fear of the floor. But I swear to god she's the best dog ever. Yes I admit to being biased.

* Sweetie - A tortoiseshell cat who was almost named Rocket. Yes, a more interesting name than Sweetie, but would've been painfully ironic considering the lump she became in later years. She is the one who taught me (due to my love for her, and patient footing on her side) how to do a full body turn in bed without ejecting her from my body.

* Sniffers - A tricolor kitten we only had for two months. Around the 8th grade, our family had to move into an apartment that didn't allow pets. He was so adorable, so beautiful, and the only consolation was that he was still so young, I'm sure he immediately got snapped up by another family.

* Stinky - A grey tabby who lived up to his name, unfortunately. Probably from all the birds he kept eating and leaving pieces of our back porch.

6. Five favorite pieces of clothing:

* Anything cotton
* The extremely worn out Thumper (disney) lounge shorts I have on right now
* Vader Gardening. I wore this yesterday and continued the trend of only guys commenting on it. I swear I've only had one (random) girl get it. Friends of mine don't count (of course THEY will get it, my friends are brilliant).
* ET Phoning Home. Sadly I can't wear the one I have anymore, but Min can. :-D
* Since it's summer (more below), a badass pair of khaki cargo shorts.

7. Five things you enjoy in the summer:

* Late sunsets
* Pretending I don't need sunscreen
* The promise of adventure in the morning air.
* Wearing cargo shorts. I loves me some plethora of pockets.

8. Five foods you don't like:

* Fish
* Anything burnt
* Sauerkraut
* Brussel sprouts (gag)
* Snap peas. I like regular peas, and green beans. But snap peas…ptoo.

9. You are given $50,000 to pass out to 5 people in $10,000 cash gifts. Who do you give it to, and why?

* My mom. Other than helping to resolve some medical issues, this could also help her go on a nice vacation, which is what I suspect she'd do, and really deserves.
* My dad. I would really like him to have some teeth. Sad but true. Also he could buy a badass amount of books to make him happy.
* Min. Hey, I'm reinvesting in my community! Seriously though then I could get her all the little gadgets she'd like.
* My sister. Who knows what the hell she'd use it for but I know she and her clan would have a sweet time doing it.
* My sister-in-law Wilma. That woman is amazing and works way harder than she should have to.

10. Five things that are not where they belong:

* MUST STEAL GEORGE BUSH. I mean, hi. He is SO not where he belongs.
* A million dollars (shouldn't you be in my bank account?)
* 50% of the clutter on my desk.
* 70% of the clutter around the house
* Me. Chores, I shall avenge you!

Five, Ten or Fifteen People you want to complete this:
Cop out, I know, but I'm not tagging anyone. But if you're interested, please... meme on!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

while not the wittiest thing ever

you have to love a thread that makes you say this:
I'm sorry, I don't understand. I only know how to sacrifice the ultimate goal of letting things grow in.
people, they are very special sometimes.

and on a related (internet) note, today liz and i stumbled into a very geeky, very FlagSelfAmusementEnabled situation. we were on our way back from caffienieing and discussing Ye Olde Internet. the unix-based kind, where TALKing and fingering (hottt!) people was commonplace. we decided that after we got back to our desk, trying to TALK could be very entertaining.

i know, geeks.

well, there is no TALK. daemonpunkass sez no. but i found out there is a happy medium between that and mail: write. write works like an instant message. pops up on your screen (twice actually, once with an EOF, then later the actual message), then you can reply.

anyway, let's just say, there was a lot of write-ing going on. and the giggling, holy crap.

laugh at me. us. i don't care. it was stupid fun and if i am pro anything, it is stupid fun. i really don't think there can be enough of that in a workday. well, at least until the time i say it's time to stop because i really really have to work now. and yes, if i continue anyway, you are to pretend the previous statement was never uttered.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

heaven is a used bookstore

yesterday morning i went to get some freecycled moving boxes from a woman in alviso. i've never been to alviso and didn't know what to expect.

what an odd little area. it started off with prefab condos and quickly moved into a collection of withered, stained homes. my boxes ended up coming from a place somewhere inbetween, an apartment complex with a very friendly grey husky tied outside.

it was pretty quiet, and being out on a marsh i can see why people would enjoy the relative solitude. but as i headed back, driving past a run-down cafe and grocery store, it seemed like the kind of place that could get unseemly at night.

on the way back i stopped at borders, planning to get scrumptious coffee and a new book. the coffee, superb. but after 90 minutes of delicious lingering over more books than i could count, seconds before a cashier offered to ring me up, i left empty-handed.

why? because i couldn't make myself pay $14 for a 176-page book. not when i was burning to also buy a $7 368-page book and $14 160-page book at the same time. not when i knew i could go to a used bookstore, spend the same amount (or less) scrilla to get twice as many books.

which is why i went home, got min and we went to recycled books, in san jose. i hadn't been there before, but it won my heart immediately by having an orange cat and a gigantic '$.99 and up' bookshelf just inside the doorway. in the end i got several books i'd been wanting, including one from a very funny fellow, and another promising one about old new york.

in the end, 7 books for less than the price of 3. hard to beat. plus, i love the smell of used books. they have a history. sometimes you even get a peek at it, like the complimentary local-oregon-bookstore bookmark that popped out of my new york book.

i know that authors don't get any royalties off used books. yes that bothers me. but to be honest, not having something to read bothers me more. if i were *really* a skinflint i'd only use the library. i'm still doing my part for capitalism, and in the meantime, i'm learning which authors are so good that i'll even buy them new. if i want you enough, i WILL have you. first run.

Monday, July 16, 2007

and now, the rest of the story (6.16-6.17)

the final installment...
6.16 935am
yesterday was a blast and to prove the point i am sore from head to toe. i finished the FT around 7, then i took the ferry back to boston (was in charlestown) but not before having a nice convo w/m since i missed the first ferry by 30 seconds. she lost another tooth, no surprise. cracked before i left. soon she will have no lower teeth. :/

today i'm going to cambridge for a festival and just to check the town out. possibly go to a museum but can't say. i blew some of my 'museum' money on photo stuff ($25 or so) so not really sure we can afford that.

but i'm not going to worry about $ now, just enjoy being here. which i am, SO MUCH. i think i would adore living in new england or the east coast (especially mid/north) because of the history. i could tell i started to tune out a little yesterday, basking in so much, but even so i felt in love with the whole wide world. everywhere i looked i saw something beautiful. which is why i used 3 rolls of film yesterday. :-p

ok time to get going.
checked my email downstairs, then went to cambridge. only partly on the subway though, due to some unexpected construction i believe. the good news is that a bus ride to the MIT stop, though slower, let me see more of the city, and i bet you can guess how i felt about that. ;-) anyway, once i got to cambridge and oriented myself, i spent oodles of time in the cambridge coop (a delicious bookstore). got some sunglasses (i lost them during the farmers market debacle the day before), and some lunch. walked down JFK street to the festival, and after i'd walked all the way thru, sat down to write.
6.16 322pm
well i just sat down to comment on how awesome the diversity of community vendors was, when i got asked do to a survey on the festival! so i got to give feedback on that (albeit briefly) but still. how cool! and i got two starburst as reward, which i am now enjoying. my favorites actually, lemon+strawberry. =)

the view here is amazing. i'm under two large trees overlooking the charles river, a very large, old building on the other side, and a groovy old bridge just down to my right. earlier i had lunch at a great little bakery called au bon pain. scrumptious little roast beef and herb cream chese sandwich on tomato parmesan bread, right in the middle of harvard square. i'm going to go over that way again later today, almost done with the festival here but i'm glad i came.

back to the point that led me here - the community groups were amazing. sure, women's groups, homeless, cultural - the usual. but we also had ones about archeology, linguistics and a few other ologies i forgot about already. criminy! i'm so jealous of this environment. and it's so lovely. no wonder i'm enjoying it so goddamn much.

i know it would be difficult to live here. i'm sure very expensive, and i can tell it gets muggy as shit. it's only supposedly in the mid 70's today but the humidity makes it seem like mid 80s. i forgot what that was like. this would be hard on my skin long term although i've done ok so far, amazingly.

incidentally i've also noticed a preponderance of white people and i mean WHITE. just as white as me. it kinda cracks me up. but as i said, makes me feel a little more 'normal', not that i let that get to me much in general.

being here also makes me really glad we plan to move. because being somewhere new is really doing wonders in the whole AG department. as in not thinking about her, because i'm not surrounded by the places where i have a history of musing in her direction. at any rate, this makes me hopeful. i know it's avoidance but that's all i've got. i am a total sucker for her and i know it.

ok enough. i got some more walking to do, sights to drink in.
even though i was in the shade when i wrote that, i got pretty hot a few minutes later so i stopped for what turned out to be badass ice cream. standing in line for the ice cream led to yet another incident of me being pleasantly surprised by how nice everyone was. not like i think everyone in california is a brat, whole trip, everywhere i went, people were randomly talking to me, so i'd end up talking to them. just about mundane, nice little things, but still. it made me feel very welcome.

made my way back to JFK. found a badass comics shop, walked around harvard and its wobbly sidewalks, then ambled my way back towards the main subway stop. en route i hit another bookstore because at this point i was on the prowl for a new book. i knew i would finish my snoozer in short order. didn't find a cheap+interesting enough book for me there, but a block from the subway was a man selling tons of books, propped up in 20 or so boxes, on the sidewalk. all books, $2.

this is a man after my own wallet. so i browsed and browsed and finally found this. i read a brief interview with the author a long time ago and it struck me as being interesting, but obviously not enough for me to get it until today. i did my usual -- back flap, inside flap, a page in the middle, a page at the start -- and decided it met my standards for wicked observations. i started it on the way back to the hostel and immediately felt crabby that i still had the other book to finish first (i can be methodical).

back at my room, i couldn't decide what i wanted for dinner, so i consulted an area map and then started wandering. i came upon a whole foods and was very disappointed, but did procure an extremely yummy peach. circling back on massachusettes ave, i landed at a burrito place i'd seen before. had a very tasty but too-spicy mango burrito. lucky for me a wendy's was down the block, where i discovered the tastiest frosty known to mankind. back at the hostel, i said hi to y'all then crashed upstairs, hoping to finish my mediocre book.

sunday my master plan was to explore newbury street for several hours, get lunch around there, then zip over to the airport, but holy shit. mugginess off the charts. had a crappy lunch (johnny rockets) at the airport and then my plane got delayed. so:
interesting how i keep writing around the same time each day even though i'm doing something different every time.

well it's my last afternoon in boston. i'm at the airport and have been here much longer than i planned because it was too damn humid to lug around my luggage all day. i'd planned to lunch and shop on newbury street. instead i barreled through half of it at a breakneck pace in order to get to the closest subway stop and hightail it over here.

and i'm grateful i did, just to stop sweating. and keep my bag from tipping over.

i got checked in, gave my subway pass to a family of 5, and finished reading that dreadful iles book. ok, it was fair. but there were no real surprises and several of the characters were annoyingly stupid. the only thing i really liked about it were the illicit possibilities with the protagonist and his hot babysitter. sure, it had SOME suspense but not nearly enough for my taste. and the writing style - so bland. but it really takes an atrocious book to make me stop reading. the atrociousness, in this case, stopped about page 20 so i kept on.

i am reading a more interesting book now. girls guide to hunting and fishing, which i heard about a long time ago. i got it for $2 in cambridge yesterday, from a street vendor with way too many books. this book is interesting because it skips around but more so because it is funny in an offbeat, unplanned kind of way. which is the way a lot of my humor works so i like that. also, it's rather real in its vignettes -- like seeing a series of commercials, or getting the cliff notes version of a relationship (or series of them). it's mostly coherent, plus witty and insightful enough that i am devouring it. well that and just being a fast reader helps.

the protagonist in this one is a girl who grows up (at least at this point) to be an associate editor at a publishing house in NY. so of course i connect with this fairly well as a writer and someone who, at one point, could've gone that route herself.

i have thought that a couple times this weekend -- about what would've happened if we'd moved to NY like we talked about at one point, for grad school. so many paths my life could've taken. the astronomer, the engineer, the psychologist, sociologist, the recording engineer, producer, writer and journalist, and the one i fell into, the webhead. which works but the former and most persistent one, the writer, keeps rearing her pretty little head.

i know i will come to that eventually and by that i mean, give more of myself to it as time goes by but i must say i long for those days to come. when it envelops me more fully, like now. it makes me realise - remember? - how complete i feel inside myself. how i'd probably be fine with part time lovers rather than a wife, just due to my need for solitude. how much i actually enjoy it! enjoy and delight in these isolated forays, which then often lead me to writing.

but that is not the life i have. and there are many things i like, love about that life. things are going pretty well between the two of us. way better than they were. not perfect of course - what is - but sooo much better than before.

ok time to read. things are filling up around here, and jeez if i'm not surrounded by pp/eb employees! but that's amusing, too, in its own way.
i ended up reading the rest of my book while waiting for that 2nd airplane. then i jet blue'd home (getting to watch the mediocre 4400 season opener) and then here i was.

so that's it. not too shabby really, especially considering i spent about $250 for the whole deal (not including the airfare, which was free to me). and in case you were wondering, i heart boston. for me, it was full of delightfully friendly people, wonderful food, rich history, gorgeous architecture, and i would go there again in a heartbeat. and thanks for slogging thru my recaps. ;-)

Sunday, July 15, 2007

a random series of events

since i haven't posted much by way of a real update in the last several weeks. not that i'm making promises about this post, either. ;-)
  • went and saw the new harry potter yesterday. i won't give anything away, but i will say that i enjoyed it much more than the previous movie, which i thought incredibly tedious. there was some tedium this time as well, but also more mystery, and a little darker. it also was the first time that i actually *wished* i had read the book (haven't read any of them) because there were a few references that didn't make sense. a couple times we went 'huh?' but just let it go.

    incidentally we saw the movie on a digital projection screen (for those of you nearby, oakridge mall) and WOW the picture quality was amazing. the screen is normal size but none of that occasional blurring, popping, or any kind of film distortion at all.

  • started seeing a chiropractor. yes for the first time ever. i've always thought of being double-jointed a nice perk, but apparently the official term is hypermobility and if you extend that mobility a little too far, it can kinda mess you up. well, i extended my shoulder and wrist too far a few weeks ago (lugging around stuff in boston, then holding a baby in the same position for about 90 minutes straight). oops.

    as someone who's always done their own cracking, the visit was a little odd. but good of course, since she was able to get to a few places i never have. and naturally, learned about a few ways i've been accidentally making things worse. oops part deux.

  • june was a bit of a writing dry spell, which i deplored, but i appear to be on the upswing. i mention this because the response i had to one piece kind of surprised me. i'm on this fab fab list called writerspark (if you like writing, i highly encourage you to join) whose main purpose is to send out a series of writing prompts each week. people send in their responses,'s a fairly low-volume list these days due to people like me, who mostly lurk and hoard the prompts for later.

    well the other day one came in that just grabbed me:
    “It was the kind of promise…”
    Compose a piece of reasonable length that begins with or that includes the phrase above.
    immediately, in popped a little scene: mildly seductive banter (from me! can you believe it?) with two people in a coffee shop. but more to my upcoming point, it was a first person narrative where the actors were only identified as "i" and "she".

    now i would think, if a woman (that's me) wrote this, that people would assume this was a girl-on-girl encounter. apparently not. almost everyone i got feedback from assumed that "i" was a man. this in turn makes me wonder (assume?) that my readers were all straight. because i have a hard time believing that someone queer, reading my post, would make the same assumptions. i also would add, i think anyone who knows *me* would assume it was girl-on-girl action. because you know that's how i roll. ;-) anyway, it was an enlightening, if accidental, exercise in interpretation.
that's all for now. hope y'all are having a good weekend!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

let freedom ring (6.15)

the bostonian adventure continues...
6.15 10am-ish
i slept so hard. which i needed.

i hope i remember to take a pic of the view from (one!) of my windows. but the view du jour is across the street, a brownstone with endless bay windows and flower boxes, and little trees.

it's quaint in words i don't know how to describe. but it's the kind of thing that makes me think i could've been at home here or in NY since at one point that was an option. anyway it seems soothing and makes me look forward to today, when i will be seeing so much more of the same on the Freedom Trail, with some deviations of my own intent. we'll see what i have time and energy for after that. =)

there is a free 'breakfast' here but for me it sucks. raisin bagels, weird prepackaged muffins and sad looking coffee. so i had an energy bar - thank god m thought of me bringing some! and now i'm trying the cookie/bars i brought from ebay live last night. cookies - breakfast of champions!
so, got up, showered, made my way down boylston street, heading towards boston common, which is where the FT starts. i was not yet upon trinity square when i realized i was perilously close to closing out my current roll of film. still penny pinching, i got one roll of film at a CVS pharmacy. i had another backup for the day, and another one back at the hostel, so i thought that'd be enough. hit starbucks and a few blocks later, south church/trinity square. which is where i seriously started falling in love. snap snap snap.

back onto boylston, then hit the boston public garden (enjoying history en route), then onto the common and the beginning of the road i would follow carefully for the next several hours. first up was the massachusetts state house, which i enjoyed much more than expected with all the stained glass windows, and wishing i could've seen an actual house or senate debate. apparently they were in session, but NOT for me.

next i went past park street church (renovating), and down to king's church, which was less thrilling than i expected, although i did enjoy seeing the oldskool velour boxed seats. if someone knows the proper name for those please tell me, i'm really curious. the church was pretty full with tourists, but it wasn't loud. there was a quiet, reverent energy, which perfectly matched how i was feeling about my day.

afterwards i was going to stop at the athenaeum (history! books!) but i was getting worried about time, light, and wanting to make my way over toward faneuil hall before having lunch (had picked a restaurant out ahead of time) but a few blocks down, near old south meeting house, i realized i was going to collapse if i didn't eat NOW. so i plopped down to eat and write:
6.15 345pm
i just finished lunch. not where i wanted, although my heart wasn't set on it (black rose?), but i was hoping for something more interesting than a bagel sandwich. some local outfit called brueggers, near the old south house. tasty but a little boring.

i'm only 5 stops into a 14 stop tour (FT) and it's taken me about 3 hours, give or take. at this rate i'll get back to the room by midnight. and shit the official tour takes 90 minutes. 90!!! i'm glad i didn't shell out, i'd be annoyed at not getting to dilly dally. i waited too long to stop is how i ended up here, and because of the sugar crash, i'm trying to give myself a few minutes to recoup. before i get my coffee across the street, that is. SBC! mmm.

i am having the best time, wandering, taking pics of whatever takes my fancy. i only get annoyed at my capacity and the limitation of my cameras. i just had to buy more film (3pack) but i figure this is better scrilla spent.

i'm still too tired. every time i stop i realize i'm jelly. but that's what coffee is for.

seriously, Best Time Ever.
got my coffee, then back on the trail. it's late afternoon now so by the time i make it to some of these places the museums have closed. oh well, i probably wouldn't have shelled out anyway. for some reason i feel especially charmed around the exterior of the old state house.

i continue on to faneuil hall, which has charmingly turned itself into a touristy shopping center. however it did have some modestly priced, modestly tolerable trinkets, so thank you, city planners. while attempting to continue, our little trail ran right into a farmer's market. on the other side of it was a wide expressway. hrm.

after trudging through the market, i cannot find the trail, and consult several of my maps (most have the FT on them). i come upon a probable course of action, at which point a friendly local asks if i need help.

'i just figured out where i am!' i say.
'great!' he replies, 'you've got GPS built into your brain!'

which for the record, is true. anyway, it took a few blocks to get back on track but then voila! magic red bricks appeared and i was shortly in the north end.

the north end is just beautiful. seriously. well, almost all i saw of boston was beautiful but the north end and charlestown (coming soon) were just cobblestone dreams. i only took one shot of the paul revere mall on my phone, but honestly, it was a perfect intersection of history and nature. peaceful, and again, reverent, which is good since it was right next to the old north church.

which was also closed, so i trotted downhill and over the charlestown bridge, into the blinding sun and down towards the shipyards. surprisingly even this area kept me entertained, both with humor and interesting textures. then i backtracked a bit to go up to bunker hill, winding thru more adorable neighborhoods with their flower boxes, gold doorknobs, and weathered lampposts. even just walking past random houses, i was filled with a sense of walking through history. probably because of all the 'historical registry' signs.

made it back downhill to the docks and narrowly missed the ferry back to boston. good time to try calling home again! had a good talk with m, then hopped on the new ferry. spent the ride back enjoying the sunset and picking a dinner locale using guidebooks.

found a couple of possibilities, which all seemed too expensive once i got there. so i wandered down the street to the place i'd wanted to go earlier in the day -- the black rose! an irish place, where i gambled with fate by having my first whole lobster, and a beer. the beer sucked. tasted like garbage. but the lobster...drool. then popped on the ubiquitous subway back to my hostel room, where there was again, much reading and then zzzz.