Friday, June 27, 2008

Finally Friday

I organized drawings of floorplans for Whole Foods Markets throughout the Pacific Northwest all day. By 4:54 (when I left), I really wanted some overpriced, organic, non-GMO, preservative-free soy products, but I resisted the temptation to stop in on my way home. Instead, I talked on the phone with Jessica. She is doing well.

We ate dinner at Taco Guaymas with Chris. I had the "Guaymas veggie." Five words: best burrito of my life. No exaggeration. Well, maybe a little, but it was really good. Unfortunately, David didn't really like his meal, so I may have a hard time convincing him to return. We went to a couple of bars after eating; Casey joined. Both places had good and bad aspects. The first had a lot of good beers for a decent price but no food or music. The second had free peanuts and a decent-looking menu (hipster bar= lots of vegetarian options). If you combined their strengths, they would be a superbar: artisan beer and free snacks. I'll take my brother to the first one: he likes to drink but doesn't like to eat. I'll probably take Jessica there too.

Then we played Scrabble. I like scrabble. So do Chris and Casey. They beat me. I beat David though, but only because he makes up words.

Monday, June 23, 2008


The highlight of my day by far was the discovery and consumption of a packet of sugar-free hot chocolate mix while re-organizing the storage area. It was delicious.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Day 3

I spent most of the day organizing Sherwin Williams color cards. My neck hurt by the time I was done from leaning over. They have about a million shades of the same colors, all with creative names; since they have thousands of shades of the same colors, they need to distinguish. Not everything can be "blue" or "green." Some of them are basic and make sense, like "avocado" or "light mauve." Others are dumb: "appealing sand." I also did some filing. Filing sucks, but I got to use the label maker. I like label makers! One of my friends in college had one, and we had a lot of fun labeling things. It was trippy though: when I turned it on, my name was in the window. It's alive and it knows me! I guess the last person to use it used the label maker to make a file for me.

We had a potluck to welcome me aboard. People made really good, fairly healthy food. I hated the BAC potlucks because everyone made gross greasy crap, but it's Seattle and people care more about what they put in their bodies here. Plus, one person is allergic to cow's milk so most things were cheeseless. Excellent. We did introductions, and three of the twelve are around my age (which I thought anyhow) so maybe I can make friends. Two are guys and seem kinda immature, and the girl seems nice but ditsy. I'm going to work on befriending her. I chatted a lot with Colleen, who sits near me; she's a typical high-strung interior designer middle-aged woman, but she talks a lot and is nice enough. Her husband played for the Pats in the 70's. I'll have to tell Somaly.

Shane came over for dinner, and Chris came over a little later. We drank beer and played Catan. Chris won. I have yet to win at Catan, and I think I will be really happy when I do.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Day two

Day two down the drain; I'm starting to suspect that I might be way overqualified for this position, except that it took me about an hour to make labels. I couldn't figure out why the text didn't fit in the right place, despite setting it to the correct template and making sure everything measured out (literally- I borrowed a ruler and took measurements, I pretty desperate not to ask Carol and look like an idiot). A little detective work and BAM: solved it. Turns out, I was doing everything right all along, only the printer was automatically scaling the document to 90%. Ok, that wasn't a very interesting story, but compared to the data entry I did for the rest of the day, that was pretty exciting. Carol says I can bring a radio. Makes me wish I had a radio.

Went to lunch at Whole Foods with Carol, which was nice; Whole Foods is a smorgasborg of over-priced deliciousness. It was really nice to get out of the office, so I'm afraid I will be tempted to eat there a lot. Plus, the multitude of seductive vegetarian offerings is overwhelming. Fortunately, David and I walked to Trader Joe's after work and I was reminded that deliciousness can be inexpensive too.

I used the pedometer they gave me this morning; it was 2,498 steps to my desk, so I stomped a couple of times and made it an even 2500. By walking to work, I'm saving a lot of money; I don't need to buy a bus pass, and I don't feel like I need to join a gym yet.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

First Day of Work

So now I am officially a receptionist for the Seattle branch of a major architecture firm. 8 hours in, I'm not sure what I think. My boss seems nice, but reminds me eerily of my former roommate (the bitchy one), so I'm a little afraid. She strikes me as a micromanager, which I guess I don't really mind since the job shouldn't be too stressful. I'm answering phones and doing basic office work, and am making more than I made before despite having much less responsibility. Does this make me a lazy slacker? Maybe.

The day got off to a rough start. Despite Brian's promise that we would have drapes, heat and hot water when we moved in, we didn't. We slept poorly due to the noise from the faucet leaking Niagara Falls in the bathroom and the light coming in from the 16-foot window, combined with the chill of sleeping on an air-mattress with no heat. Fortunately, the cold shower at 7 am woke me up. Nothing says "good morning" like ice on your skull! I made a cup of tea and a big steaming bowl of oatmeal to warm up, and hit the road. It was drizzling.

I got to the office around 9, which is an hour later than I will need to arrive every other day of my employment with the firm. Fortunately, Carol, my boss, moved this weekend too and was just as exhausted as I, so I don't feel too bad for being a zombie. Braaaains. I struggled to stay conscious as she taught me the riveting essentials of my job, which would probably be difficult even with a good night's sleep and a bunch of ritalin. It's not a hard position, but it was a lot of information to absorb. I had an orientation conference call at 1 with the HR lady in Montana and other new hires, which pretty much zapped my energy for the rest of the afternoon. I'm a little bummed that I didn't make a better impression, but oh well. Braaains.

The office is at the bottom of a big hill. I live at the top. Walking to work was easy, and walking home was a bit of a challenge. I decided to reward myself half-way up for surviving my first day with with a latte from Starbucks. And because I really deserved it, I made it soy: 40 cents extra. However, as soon as I ordered I realized I didn't have my wallet. I almost cried. The nice/apathetic barista gave it to me for free, and I rejoiced. I will give her a big tip next time I go in. Or never show my face in there again out of shame.

So, I go back tomorrow at 8, and the day after that, and the day after that. The hot water heater is still broken. When you turn on the faucet in the bathroom sink, water comes out in the tub too, but at least it isn't running constantly. We still don't have blinds, and the heat still hasn't been fixed. We're drinking beer and are about to play scrabble. I'm going to pick out my second-day outfit.


Monday, June 16, 2008


David has been in his interview for over an hour, and I've been waiting in the car with The Cobra. Good for him, bad for me: the coffee I drank on the ferry is doing some serious work on my bladder. I've already had to leave my post once to find some facilities. Was that too much information? I took a nap and finished my book (Rant, by Chuck Palahniuk- good, not great) and have managed to pick up a wireless signal.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

California, etc.

A brief synopsis of our trip to California:

Day one: caught the 7 am ferry and arrived at the airport early (but beat the traffic). Dad picked us up at the airport and drove us home. Mom was a little excited and prepared lots of food. Talked, showed David the house. Went to Mexican food for dinner and watched "Semi-Pro."

Day two: biked with Dad to the bank to figure out some stuff. David and I biked over the the Stanford art museum and I showed him the campus. We got Jamba Juice too. Biked home. Went to dinner at Fresh Choice. Pros: all you can eat salad and soup. Cons: lots of screaming children. After, met the Feinsteins at Dairy Queen. Watched "Lost in Beijing." Pros: good movie. Cons: graphic sex scenes + parents + boyfriend= bad.

Day three: San Francisco. David and I took the train up and arrived around noon. Proceeded to walk to the bay and around the piers. Overpriced gourmet Mexican food for lunch. (to clarify: the price wasn't too bad, but the portions were small). Went to the Musee Mechanique and played with the games using the quarters Dad gave us for the bus. Walked some more. Italian for dinner- lessons learned: 1) always ask three basic questions: is it cheesy? creamy? oily? 2) if they offer you a replacement meal, take it.

Day 4: Great America. Rollercoasters + soft pretzels = sweet.

Day 5: Brunch at Hobee's (a favorite local chain), followed by flea market. Mom went crazy with the sandwich making: wouldn't want her baby to starve while waiting for the plane. Said goodbye to parents and California.

Good times.

Today we moved our stuff in to our apartment. The blinds aren't hung, the toilet is broken, and there are a few other things wrong that will get fixed tomorrow, so we are spending our last night on Whidbey Island. David has an interview at 9 tomorrow morning, so let's wish him luck.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Lazy Sunday

We went for a walk on the beach this afternoon at low tide. I collected shells. I'm going to make art out of them. David lifted a couple of rocks to show me the baby crabs underneath. We saw a tugboat hauling a house. Not a houseboat, a house. The clams squirted water out of the sand. There are all sorts of colors at the beach: the seaweed is green, the clams are white, the crabs are orangey, the mussels are blue.

Also: slept in, made toast, went for a run, microwaved some soup, took a shower, did some laundry, read my book, watched David play his video game, got a sandwich, drank a beer, watched a movie, checked my email.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Once Upon a Time in the (North)West

We went to Chris' dad's birthday party this evening; it was a small gathering of maybe 12 people and a dog. Chris' mom lives in a cozy red house near a cow pasture and cooked some tasty fish tacos (even minus the fish they were good). I felt very welcome despite being a stranger to most of them.

There was live music at the coffee shop, so we dropped by there for a bit. It was another lazy day, although more productive than yesterday: we finished our movie, I went for a small run, and David and his dad picked up the couch from the thrift store.

I also discovered that UW offers a few certificate programs that I am considering applying for. The most lucrative is in figure painting and drawing, which I've done that before and would like something official to show for it. Another is in scientific illustration, which would be really neat to be able to do well, but the program costs twice as much and meets twice as often per week. There are more practical certificates, but serious studies are what grad school is for (and Mom, if you read this, I've been researching that too, so don't worry). I probably should wait to get settled before I commit to anything, but I need to figure out where I'm going with my life. It's not that I feel like I'm getting old or hear any weird internal clocks ticking, but I don't want to be an admin my entire life: booo.

Friday, June 6, 2008


We bought a couch at the thrift store yesterday: our first piece of furniture. It's kind of a monstrosity but I like it.

Today was pretty unproductive; we didn't even finish the movie we started. In our defense, it was a very long movie. I don't mind though. We'll have enough to do soon enough.

We're going to California next week to visit my folks. I'm looking forward to showing David my town. He's about to teach me how to play magic cards. Those will not be coming to California with us.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The search is over

So good news: I got the job. I was at Target with David waiting for his brakes to be repaired when my phone rang. I didn't recognize the area code, so I thought it was someone from one of the million insurance agencies that have been calling since my mom signed me up at, but it was Carol borrowing someone from Montana's cell to make me an offer. I start the 17th.

The boxes arrive

Most of my boxes came today and are now piled up in David's parents' living room. One of my ceramic masterpieces broke in transit (the box was pretty banged up even though I labeled it fragile), but I guess it's a small price to pay to appease the moving gods. It had a crack in the bottom anyhow.

When we are done, these boxes will have moved from my apartment to David's apartment to David's parents' house to our new apartment. I am really looking forward to unpacking and being done with the whole ordeal.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


David and I stayed over in Seattle at Chris and Kristin's new apartment last night; we went out to dinner with them (pho) too. Both of us forgot our toothbrushes.

This morning, we woke up early to get a tour of our loft from Brian, the property manager; we also cut him a check for the remainder of the security deposit. I'm really pleased with the apartment; the location is great, and the two-floor layout works well. The only part I didn't like were the kitchen appliances, and they are going to be replaced anyhow over the next couple of weeks.

After that (plus some waiting in the car), I had my job interview with the architectural firm I mentioned earlier. I called yesterday, and the woman was able to schedule me for this morning. I think it went pretty well; she asked for my references, and has already given Len a call. I liked the office and think I would fit in, so if they offer me the job I will probably accept, unless the pay is lousy.

We came back to Clinton exhausted, so we took a nap then went shopping for furnishings. I bought a sweet eagle lamp at a thrift store.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Helloooo Washington!

I've now survived over 24 hours in Washington State. It's been rough; I'm not used to all this natural beauty and my senses are on overload. I'm finding it difficult to adjust to smiling faces and the presence of the letter 'r' in conversations. Yesterday, we drove several miles without anyone blasting their car horn; you could cut the silence on the road with a knife. It was eerie. David's parents' house has a nice view of the ferry and the mainland from a panoramic living room window. There are some tall things in the distance which I think are 'mountains,' but after 6 years on the East Coast I've forgotten what a real mountain looks like. This new location is going to take some adjusting to, but I think I'll pull through.