Thursday, October 30, 2008


I just made cupcakes for work tomorrow: chocolate with cream cheese frosting. I wouldn't have done cream cheese frosting except that we had half a tub of Philly left over from a breakfast meeting (I can't remember when the meeting was, but the expiration date was November 7- that stuff has so many preservatives that I'm guessing it's ok), so I figured I would make something with it. I even bought a fancy cake decorating kit. It was fun. I want to be a baker.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Carol assured me this morning that my job was safe, and that corporate is not going to shut down the Seattle branch: we've just invested a bunch of money in a new office, which is much bigger than our current one even though we are now smaller. Hopefully we will be acquiring some engineers soon. After I left yesterday she and Dave apparently this a pep talk to everyone. I'm not really too worried- Carol won't want to let me go because then she will have to go back to doing my job.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Another one gone?

I think someone got fired/laid off today. I heard her and the bosses in the in the conference room talking with someone on speaker phone about "severance pay" and "unused vacation time". When I left at three, her computer was off, her desk was clean, and she was in the parking lot talking to Dave through her driver's side window looking flustered. I guess I'll just have to wait until tomorrow to see what really happened. She was on my list of "people who will be let go before I will". I'm next on the list, but they need me until at least the middle of November, because who else in the office is going to pack all of our crap? Certainly not the designers.

Monday, October 27, 2008


It's over, and the doctor fortunately didn't find anything wrong, so my digestive issues probably just stem from what or how I eat. The procedure was relatively painless because of the sedative; the waiting was maybe the worst part, considering my doctor was an hour late because he thought that daylight savings time started today. I didn't like the IV either: the nurse told me that the little pool of blood on the bed was from "just a couple drops that spread out" but I fear anything that makes me bleed my own blood. David waited with my Mom (she coincidentally had a friend driving up over the weekend) for me in the doctor's office and drove me home, then had to rush right to work and didn't get a chance to eat lunch, so when he called to check up on me around 2 he was still running on empty. I, on the other hand, had some pudding and made a big bowl of fake mac and cheese when I got home, then just passed out on the couch with The Cobra.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


I wish that the 2 liters of vileness I just drank tasted like peanut butter instead of flat, salty 7-Up. It would have either made the experience less of a nightmare or permanently cured me of my peanut butter addiction. Instead, I've developed a new hatred for the combination of lemon and lime.


It was sweet: because I'm having a colonoscopy tomorrow, I can't eat any solid foods after 2 PM, so I crammed a day's worth of calories into breakfast and lunch. Plus, since you can't ingest anything with fiber, you practically are forced to eat junk. I made chocolate-chip pancakes (actually carob-chip, because QFC doesn't sell chocolate chips in the bulk bin) for breakfast and a big bowl of pasta for lunch. The pancakes were really good, but I felt a little gross afterwards- I'm a snacker, not a large meal eater. Next comes the crappy part though (ooh, poor word choice), and being a snacker, I don't like going more than a few hours without nibbling. I'm not even hungry, but I really want something to munch on right now. Maybe this experience will show me that I don't need to constantly snack and will change my relationship with food for the better. Or maybe I'll just be really hungry and irritable until tomorrow morning.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


David and I walked to Chinatown today to go to the big Salvation Army store and Uwajimaya, an incredible Asian market. Our bus pulled away just as we got to the stop, so we decided to walk, since it was such a beautiful day. It's about 2 miles. We went to Salvation Army first, which is just right around the corner from Uwajimaya. Neither of us were impressed with the selection, but I did manage to find the majority of my Halloween costume. I wasn't sure what to go as, so I just looked through the racks, hoping an idea would come to me. I found a purple sweater dress that spoke to me, though its meaning had not yet been revealed by the Halloween gods. So, I went to the hat bin, found a hat, and a costume was born, to be revealed at a later date. October 31, to be precise.

Anyhow, Salvation Army was a disappointment yet a success, but Uwajimaya was awesome.
It started off as a Japanese store, so a majority of the products are Japanese, though it has expanded to include a wide selection of Chinese, Korean, and even Indian goods. So much exotic food, and at much better prices that what they sell at Whole Foods or QFC. I feel a little guilty buying foreign products, since I'm trying to buy local. However, I am also on a budget, like Asian food, and am not hardcore enough of an environmentalist to just eat what's local and in season. We got some great stuff. The highlights of my shopping include frozen udon noodles, mushrooms (dried and canned), cactus leaves, Japanese paper, chopsticks, and a few Chinese pastries with bean paste (sounds gross, tastes great). David got starfruit, kimchi, and dried squid, which he says reminds him of beef jerky. I'll take his word for it.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Simple Pleasures

Microwave popcorn cooker: $1.99
2-lb bag of organic popcorn kernels: $1.99
Eating fresh-popped popcorn on the couch at 4 PM in the afternoon: priceless

I love popcorn, and I eat a lot of it. A 3-bag box of organic air-popped popcorn (6 servings) costs $3.79, meaning that this popcorn popper may be my best thrift-store find yet. I'm really looking forward to experimenting with flavorings. Next up: bacon salt.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


If you're tired of my rants about how much I hate my job, you might want to avoid this posting, because it's another rant. Look away now. Ok, don't say I didn't warn you. I've done nothing at work all week. Carol was out of town until today, Dave was out of town until yesterday, and other than the office move (aka, Helen packs everything) I had nothing on my plate. I wasn't really sure what to start putting in boxes. I already finished the library and some of the Interior Design stuff, and other than that we're going to be using everything right up until the wire. I talked with Carol this morning, and she implied that I should start just putting things in boxes since the move is coming up in a couple of weeks. Finally! Something to do other than look at shoes online. So, I packed up most of the supply cabinet, leaving just enough stuff to get us through the next week and a half. After I finished with that, she told me that the move will actually happen at the end of November, not the beginning. When I first started working there, we were going to move in August. Then September. Then October. Then early November. Now "it's more likely to be closer to Thanksgiving." So, odds are that we are going to be digging out of my carefully packed boxes. Whatever, it's something to do: pack and repack. I am just going to pack up the rest of the office the same way I packed to move to Seattle: throw a bunch of crap in a box, hope it doesn't break, and sort it out when it gets there.

On a brighter note, I got a haircut today and David made dinner, which was really good: mushroom ravioli and steamed broccoli.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


I just made pumpkin gnocchi. Actually, I substituted some sort of mystery squash from the Farmer's Market for pumpkin but it was still good. I came across the recipe while I was surfing the net at work and had been meaning to try it. I really like doughy things, and that's pretty much all these are. You combine 1 cup mashed squash, 2/3 cup flour (recipe said to use more flour but my squash was dry), 1/4 tsp nutmeg and a little water, and voila: deliciousness. I added a a dab of fake butter, some salt, garlic and thyme. The Cobra just licked the bowl clean, so you know it must be good.

I finished the socks I was knitting for my mom today. Here's what they look like:My monoprinting class also finished last night. We were supposed to have 5 classes, but thanks to a minor typo on the syllabus ("NO CLASS ON THE 13TH") most of us missed last week's class, so we only had 4. I called SCCC today to complain, and they're either going to schedule a 5th class or refund 1/5 of the tuition, so that's cool. Here's the only thing I made that the instructor didn't dislike:

It's kinda like the tattoo that Angelina Jolie has on her arm in that I covered up something ugly with something else. In her case, "Billy Bob"; in my case, a set of "boring neutral colors". I'm looking forward to my next set of classes: Adobe InDesign and Illustrator. Plus, my work is paying for these because I can theoretically use these skills to benefit the firm: sweet!

David and I took the train down to Portland over the weekend. Portland is like mini-Seattle: liberal, crunchy, and western, only on a much smaller scale. I think there was something made with quinoa on every menu I looked at. In one weekend, I more than doubled my lifetime quinoa intake. We stayed at The Benson, a beautiful hotel in the heart of the city that David managed to find a discount for online. We got in around 9 on Friday night, which was just in time to get out and enjoy the nightlife. Turns out, most of the nightlife in downtown Portland involves strippers, so we just got dinner and a beer at the Rogue brewery.

The following morning, after a great night's sleep on a tempurpedic mattress (after I earn my millions I am going to buy one of those) and a breakfast of the free apples in the hotel lobby, we hit the Saturday Market, an open air crafts fair. Fun! I bought a purse made by the skilled hands of underpaid Chinese children, but they had plenty of real artisans there too. I dragged David to a vegan restaurant in a yoga studio for lunch, which was really good and a lot less hippie-dippy than it could have been. We wandered for a bit, went back to the hotel to take a nap, and then walked down to and across the river. There was a haunted house at the Rose Garden, so we thought we would just grab some dinner and find something to do until that opened. Wrong! There was nothing to do over there. We managed to find a restaurant in the mall, which was decent, and killed enough time before the haunted house.

What can I say about the haunted house. It was actually three different haunted scenarios, each of the scariest sh*t I have seen in my life. I don't really remember specifics, mainly because my eyes were closed most of the time and I've repressed the rest. I have a bruise on my leg that I think came from frantically running away from something, but since the entire thing scared the bejeezus out of me, it's hard to pinpoint just what. We went into the scariest one first, which might have been a mistake, because after that I was pretty much done with the horror. We did another, then got a couple of stiff drinks in the hotel bar, watched MIB II, and went to bed.

The following morning we checked out, went to the Portland art museum, wandered around looking for a bookstore, went into a haunted pizza parlor that didn't serve slices on weekends so we left, walked to the train station, and boarded the train home.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Doctor's Appt.

I've been having some digestive problems, so my mom finally convinced me a couple of weeks ago to make an appointment with a gastroenterologist; I left the office at 1:30 today to see him. Riding the bus from downtown Seattle to the clinic was an interesting experience. The normal people are all at work and it's still (almost) too early to start drinking, so passengers at that time of the day are all sort of degenerates; I overheard one man ask another if he moved, since he hadn't been around for the past few months. The second man replied: "I was on house arrest!" But I made it to the medical center by 2:30 and then waited for the nurse to take my vitals, then waited for the doctor, then waited for a second nurse to draw some blood. I had a feeling I was going to faint when she did it because I was pretty hungry by then. The hospital is just around the corner from Piroshky on Madison (only open until 5 and only on weekdays) so I ate a light lunch figuring I would get a piroshky when I was done. The piroshky are pretty big, and they're so delicious that you want to savor all of them, so I didn't want to crowd my stomach with lesser foods. I hadn't accounted for the appointment taking as long as it did (1 hr, 45 min, most of it waiting) or on having my blood drawn, so of course I fainted. The nurse said she had some "smelling salts", which were actually a piece of gauze in ammonia: I thought it was going to be lavender or something nice! Nope, they want to shock you awake. I still have that smell in my nostrils. They also scheduled a colonoscopy in a couple of weeks. Yuck.

I couldn't come home right away or get a piroshky because I had a phone conversation at 4:30 with this woman from a non-profit that I applied to work for and it was 4:15 when I left. So, I went to Starbucks and talked with her for a while about her organization's work. They place exchange students with host families; my job would be to find the host families. I'd be paid a stipend based on the number of families found, and because of this I don't think I'm interested- it sounds sort of sleezy. I walked home, cold and piroshky-less. Lesson learned: leave work extra early next time and get the piroshky before the appointment.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Cobra

I am frustrated with The Cobra. As I write this, she has suctioned her mouth to the armpit of my fleece and is kneading my chest while purring. As soon as I get home she tries to suckle. If I sit on the couch to eat a snack, she suckles. If I sit on the floor and try to work on some art at the coffeetable, she suckles. She can get really aggressive with this behavior; sometimes she will stick her entire head and the upper part of her body into the sleeve of my jacket (it's cold in here so I wear it constantly) and just go to town, leaving a huge wet spot. Once she is done she usually curls up and rests, which is pretty cute. However, it's annoying me because 1) it's gross 2) it hurts 3) it ruins my clothes 4) I can't do anything to make her stop! I push her away and she comes back. I yell "LEAVE ME ALONE, COBRA!!!" but it is no use. I know she doesn't understand English, but I hope she would at least understand angry. Nope.

Monday, October 13, 2008


I really like Jonagold apples. They've been on sale at Whole Foods, and they're sweet, crisp, and cider-y. Autumn is my favorite season for many reasons, but one of them is the apples. Other reasons include: butternut squash, sweaters, candy corn, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and pumpkin-flavored everything (pie, bread, lattes). Plus, the crappy weather gives you an excuse to stay indoors and relax, but you don't have cabin fever yet, and there's still plenty of vitamin D left over in your system from summer.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Fun Weekend

It was a fun weekend. We went to dinner and saw a concert with Chris and Kristen on Friday night. We went to the Elysian Brewery, which I really like, although this experience wasn't great. 1) we had to wait an hour for a table. 2) Kristin's dinner ended up being tiny little crabcake on a big plate with some jicama for $12. 3) I ate my jalepeno garnish and nearly died. The band (the Black Kids) was ok but not worth the cost of admission. Even though everything was pretty mediocre we at least had fun with Chris and Kristin. Kristin is thinking of going to school for graphic design too. She told me about some local and online programs she's been looking into,so I'm feeling optomistic about my future even if I don't get into UW.

We saw the Lucy exhibit at the Pacific Science Center. Much like the Black Kids, it was alright but not worth the price of admission. We pretty much knew everything covered in the exhibit already thanks to David's anthropology class last year, and the actual fossil remains were overlooked thanks too a much more prominant replica nearby. Everyone crowded around the replica instead of the real thing- pretty funny. After, we went to Queen Anne for dinner (there's a nice Thai restaurant that my parents took us to) and board games: the board game store lets you play games for free. We played Balloon Cup, which was simple but fun. The best part: I won! On the way back, I made David stop in Bartell's because they had my favorite tea on sale and I wanted to pick some up, and discovered that they not only sell Almond Milk (my favorite non-dairy milk-like beverage) but that it was also on sale! So, I bought 4 cartons. We came home and started to watch Mirrors but the opening scene was both scary and really gross so we instead watched the Hulk, which was stupid.

We're relaxing today. I went to the farmer's market and made some homemade veggie burgers. I modified the recipe I followed last time, and these turned out better but still have much room for improvement. If I am going to be a veggie burger expert I need to master the basics first.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Good Day

Today was the best day I've had at my job yet. It was so good that I almost didn't want to leave at 3 (the 6.5 hour days have begun). We are going to be mailing postcards advertising the firm to high-end salons in the Seattle and Portland metro areas, and it's more cost-effecting to design the layout in-house. The architects are all busy enough that Carol didn't want to give them something fun when they may have other work, so I volunteered to give it a shot, thinking that she would veto my suggestion. She didn't, so I spent all day pretending to be a graphic designer. It was awesome.

Something else that's awesome: 32-hour weeks. Yeah, I'm a little worried about my finances, but there are plenty of extra expenses that I can easily cut. Plus, I was earning less in Boston and paying more for rent and I survived, so I should be fine. The extra time and mental stability makes up for it.

Saturday, October 4, 2008


After months of preparation, I finally took the GRE. It's done on the computer now, which threw me for a loop; even though they send test prep software to help you adjust to this format, it's all formatted for PCs, so I couldn't use it on my Mac. The computer has its pros and cons. There's really just one con, but it's a big one: you can't go back to check your answers on the multiple-choice sections once you're done or skip over any tough questions and return to them at the end, so the answer you submit is the final answer, which is really irritating. What's nice is that you get to type the two essays instead of writing them out by hand, which I think helped; I feel really good about those sections. They show you your results immediately after you're done (another benefit of the computer) and I did ok: not as well as I would have liked, but not too bad either. My results are good enough for most schools, so I'm satisfied. It's not like I want to go to Harvard or anything. I'm just hoping that I did really well on the writing section; you get that score later because it is graded by actual human beings. Mostly I'm just glad it's over, and if I think I need to raise my score, I can always take it again.

Friday, October 3, 2008

The Economy Takes its Toll

They laid off the Interior Designer today. She was the only person left in the ID department and she just finished the only project that she was working on. I can't say that I'm sad to see her go, although she was the only person keeping me company in the front part of the office. Since she gave me a lot of projects to work on I will be even less busy. Plus, this means that more lay-offs might be in the future. It gives me the go-ahead to look for a new job, because I can always use the fear of being laid off as a reason for leaving for something better, but I run the risk of being out in the cold without any sort of employment if I get the boot before I find a better job. Also, everyone else at the firm seems to really like what they do, and I would hate to see one of them lose their job. I'm the lowest on the totem pole, but I'm also the cheapest, and there are some personality conflicts among other staff members that make me think I wouldn't be the next to go. From what I've heard, lay-offs are often a convenient excuse to weed the garden.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


As of Monday, my work hours will be 8-3, maybe 9-4. I'm really excited to have an 2 extra hours a day to work on arts and crafts, cooking, etc., and think that I will be a lot happier in the 6 hours a day I am at work, since I will be busier. I just need to make sure that I actually use my hard-earned time away from the office productively.

I'm listening to the Vice Presidential debates online right now. At first, I was a little bummed that I can't watch it live since we don't have a TV, but NPR is really just as good. So far, Biden looks (ok, sounds) like the better choice, but I may be biased.