Tuesday, February 24, 2009


I didn't get in to the graphic design program at Seattle Central- by a long shot. I am humbled; I thought that since it is a community college I would certainly be accepted, but the program itself is very selective and they were not impressed by my work. Out of a scale of 20 possible points, with 12 being the minimum, I got a 7. I could work on the portfolio again and try to improve my weak areas, but I am just going to let it be. While I would greatly like to learn graphic design, I am at the same time relieved: I can focus on my graduate studies next year.

This does mean though that I will absolutely need to find a job, which I am not thrilled about, but I am viewing it as an interesting challenge. My goal is to target firms I want to work for and write them letters. Ok, I know that this is nothing new or innovative, but in the past I have always just passively scanned Craigslist, so being pro-active is exciting. I'm going to create a website with my resume, writing samples, recommendations, etc. and include its URL in my cover letters. Again, nothing groundbreaking but I finished my Dreamweaver class last week and am excited to give it a go.

The coming of Lent doesn't mean anything to me, but it's always fun to celebrate Mardi Gras. Since today is Fat Tuesday, I madeg gumbo and banana bread, since we had some bananas that were past their prime. I wanted to put something in the banana bread for luck the way they do in New Orleans (I think it's usually a little baby doll) but couldn't find anything suitable so it's just banana bread. Bad story. I had never made gumbo before, and it's not something I would eat (pretty much just sausage and gravy) but it was fun and relitively easy to make. I was a little intimidated by the roux (the recipe made it sound tricky) but it wasn't hard, just a lot of stirring. David seemed to like it, and even though I halved the recipe, it will feed him for a few days.

A shuttle is picking me up at 5 am tomorrow to take me to the airport, where I will meet up with Melinda before flying to Long Beach until Monday. I took a few pictures of The Cobra with my phone to show to her in case I need to make conversation: she loves her cats. I am pretty excited; this show is going to be different from Portland because there is no Clearance Center, the consignment area that took a lot of my time and effort. This also means that we have 5 people instead of 9, so it's going to be a different dynamic. Laura, the other intern (and our neighbor), is coming too so this is a good chance to get to know her, since we will be roommates. I will be working at interactive events the entire time the show is in session, which will mean more interaction with people but also a lot of standing up, few bathroom breaks, and little opportunity for snacking. I'm looking forward to being in California again, even if it is just Southern California.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


My day started off pretty well. I came in to a voicemail from the ticket office at the LA Sparks, saying they could give some tickets for prizes at the LA Golf Show. I thought that was pretty cool, seeing as they are major sports team, even if it is just the WNBA. Then, I started calling Northern California golf courses to see if they would send out emails to promote the shows. I wasn't too excited to do this, because the Portland and SoCal people weren't very receptive, but all of the Bay Area folks were really friendly and agreeable. It just proves what I already knew: Northern California really is better than Southern California.

Anyhow, I was really getting into the swing of calling when I noticed I had a voicemail. It was from one of the guys I called yesterday to see about emailing members chewing me out for not doing better research. Turns out, he's the show's major sponsor and I didn't realize it. All I had was a list of golf course names, for crying out loud, but he was right: I should have checked the website first to see which of the courses on my list were sponsors or pariticpants. Still, he could have left a more gracious response. That threw me off of my game, so to clear my head, I decided to take a break and check my email, where I learned that...


... which made me lose my concentration even more. I was a total waste of space after that. I emailed David, my parents, the people who wrote recommendations. I looked up financial aid infrmation and browsed the net for a UW sweatshirt. I called golf courses in between IMing Jessica.

I'm pretty excited. I really didn't think I would get in, especially with the economy supposedly pushing up the application rates, so I am more surprised than anything. I've wanted to attend UW for ages, and I finally feel like I am going somewhere with my life instead of treading water. Plus, if I do both this and the Graphic Design program at Seattle Central simultaneously I will be able to postpone finding a job until I have skills to get a good one, and I think the combination of the two programs will teach me what I need to find my ideal professional fit when I get out. Don't get me wrong, I love being self-sufficient and earning money, but I hate menial soul-sucking jobs, which is all I am currenly qualified for. The only downside to this plan is that both programs emphasize working in the field to apply what you learn in class, and by not working I would miss out on this vital connection. I'm going to talk to an advisor at UW about this. First I had better wait until I hear back from Seattle Central; it maybe a an open-enrollment school as a whole, but there are no gurantees I will be accepted to this specific program.

But for now I want to just be happy that I got in! Yay! David and I opened up the bottle of champagne Chris left at our place after New Years to celebrate, and we're going to fill out our FAFSA applications this weekend. It's a bummer that David won't hear back for certain until June; his essay was great, his GPA is excellent and I know he'll get in (knock on wood) but it sucks to wait.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Un-PC but funny:


Internship, Post Golf Show

My internship went by pretty quickly this morning. I talked with David in Sales at the coffee pot who told me that everyone said I did a good job at in Portland, which was nice to hear. Melinda was out and Katie wasn't in until 9, and someone had logged me out of my email and I couldn't get back in, so I didn't have much to do for the first hour. I picked up where I left off last week with calls, but that didn't take too long. Finally, Katie arrived and she cracked the code to my email account. Turns out, no one knew the password and they had been actively trying to log me back in. Once my email was fixed I just emailed both of them to ask what to work on next so as not to disturb Katie a second time.

I can't figure Katie out. I like her sense of humor and feel that we could get along, but she won't acknowledge me. I asked this morning how the week had been going post-golf show, and she responded like it was the stupidest question in the world: "I don't know... fine?" End of conversation. Ok, it was a stupid question, but I was only trying to be friendly. She's just a year older than me, so I think that might have something to do with it: she sees me as an annoyance who is bugging her with questions instead of as someone who is there to help, which is the same way I felt about Newton back at the BAC. She started out as an intern three years ago, and was hired on after, which makes me wonder if she questions my motivations. I know she doesn't think I'm gunning for her job, but I think she thinks that something must be wrong with me for taking an internship after college, when she worked hers. Plus, I know that she's had some difficulties in her personal life lately: she got married really young and was recently divorced. Of course, it's pretty arrogant of me to assume that the problem lies with her: she could simply not like me as a person, since not everyone is going to like you all of the time. I wish she would give me a chance, but I'm not going to obsess.

Other than that, I went shopping for a new bathing suit for Hawaii. The bus driver gave me a transfer that was good until 4:30, so I stopped off at Northgate on my way home. I already have a decent swimsuit, but I want one that I will be really comfortable wearing. Bathing suit shopping is traumatic for most ladies, and I am no exception. Plus, I have trouble finding one-pieces because I am pear-shaped, so two-pieces are my best bet even though they are the most revealing. I struck out on the bottom but found a great top at Target that will match my current bikini bottom. I love Target: prices are great and so is their stuff. I couldn't believe how inexpensive cereal is there! However, I have resolved to never again be tempted to try on anything in the Juniors department. I am not petite, but I shouldn't be the largest size on the rack either.

Monday, February 16, 2009

You know you're cheap when...

... you go on a shopping spree at the half-off sale at Value Village. Still, for $16.50 I picked up a GAP shirt, a Banana Republic cardigan, a vintage dress, a nice pair of J. Crew slacks (brand names included just for emphasis the bargain), a knife for cutting vegetables with ridges instead of straight lines, a couple of golf-themed shot-glasses (to roll up thank-you notes in for when my internship is done), and some ferry greeting cards. I also donated some old clothes so that my closet won't overflow: maintain the balance.

I met my personal hero this afternoon, the owner of icanhascheeseburger.com and the FAIL blog. I had a job interview as a sales assistant at his company as part of my Unemployment scheme (which I am starting to feel guilty about though I could use the money). The interview went well, but I am definitely not going to get the job. He wants someone who can start immediately, and though it sounds like a fantastic opportunity, I can't end my internship early: they are counting on me to finish the job I signed up for.

Portland Golf Show

Whew. It's over.

It's been an intense week of 12-hour days. John picked me up at 8 am on Wednesday morning, and the ride down was a lot smoother than I thought it would be. Once I figured out that John's passion in life is racing cars, conversation flowed fairly effortlessly. Plus, he had a recording of a book that we listened to for half of the ride. Once we got down there, it was pretty much work, work, work until 8:30, with a break for lunch. In fact, here's how the entire 5 days pretty much went:
1) Meet in the lobby at some ungodly hour.
2) Breakfast stop at Starbucks.
3) Rush around or stand up for 5 or 6 hours.
4) lunch.
5) Rush around or stand up for another 5 or 6 hours.
6) Return to hotel and eat dinner at unreasonably late hour.
7) Sleep.

I can't say it was fun, though I learned a lot about planning a large-scale event. There is a ton of effort and organization required, down to the minute detail. We pretty much just worked and slept. Katie and Melinda were both in charge, which got confusing. One of them would tell me to do one thing while the other would tell me to do another. I don't get a good vibe from Katie- I don't feel that she thinks too highly of me, though I'm not sure why. However, I really liked everyone else. Melinda is super sweet, and Courtnie, my roommate, was awesome. She interned there a few years ago as a student at the Art Institute, and had such a good time that she helps them out at the Golf Show every year. Dick, the president of the company, is hilarious, and very friendly. Everyone made me feel really welcome. I made a few mistakes (like having VIPs putt instead of chip in a competition: I don't golf, I didn't know the difference...) and they all were very understanding.

The food situation was not as bad as I thought it would be, though it wasn't ideal. We just ate a lot of junk, and the restaurants we went to were limited in their selection of vegetarian options. I had a salad with beans the first day for lunch, and some tofu with noodles for dinner the second day, but other than that the only protein I consumed was from Clif bars and soy milk in lattes- literally. The hall only served hotdogs, pizza, and salad with meat, so I ate oatmeal at Starbucks and a bag of pretzels every day for lunch, supplemented by candy and granola bars, then a salad for dinner. Ick. However, we also moved around so much that I was just happy to eat anything. Today all I want to eat is fruit and vegetables.

I am so glad to be home. I found flowers waiting for me on the living room table, which my thoughtful boyfriend had put out as a welcome. I was really happy to see him. It was only 5 days apart, but I missed David a lot even though I barely had time to think about anything except for golf. The ride back was actually almost fun, though I was exhausted; John stayed an extra night in Portland, so Brian, the company's editor, gave me a lift. Again, conversation flowed effortlessly and 3 hours went by pretty quickly. He's a pretty interesting guy and we have similar taste in music and movies, so we managed to find things to talk about. Plus, he is married with kids, so when worse comes to worse I just asked him about his family. People love to talk about that.

The show has reaffirmed my opinion of golf as a stupid sport for people that take themselves too seriously. It's elitist because it requires an incredible about of money and leisure time, and is incredibly detrimental to the environment, which is why it's largely a sport for wealthy, conservative db's. I worked at the snack bar of a country club one summer, so I had the option to learn how to golf because employees were able to play when the course was closed on Mondays. However, none of my friends or relatives golf, which is a sign that I am surrounded by quality people, so I had no one to teach me or loan me clubs, and I am grateful for this. I've known some golfers that I like, but for the most part it's not a lifestyle I want to be associated with.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


The graphic design department at Seattle Central is really cool; the rest of the building looks like it's stuck in the 60's, but the 5th floor is all sleek and modern, with student work everywhere. I dropped off my portfolio today and decided that if they accept me I'm going to do it. If UW accepts me, I'm also going to do it: that's the beauty of night school. If neither of them accepts me, I'm going to apply to the Web design program at Seattle Central, which starts every quarter instead of just Fall. They tell me on the 23rd if I was approved. David mailed off his application to UW today; now all we do it wait.

I watched "Big Love" more today. Not a huge fan but I'm going to finish out the season. It has reaffirmed my opinions on Mormonism.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Another Monday

I woke up a little later than I planned, around 8:30; last night's snow seeped through our window and made dripping noises at 5 am, and we had trouble getting back to sleep after that. I applied for a couple of jobs to satisfy my unemployment requirements. My strategy this month is to only apply for jobs that I am qualified for but I know I won't get, like off of Monster or Craigslist where the competition is huge: I need to be "willing and able to start full-time work immediately," but I'd rather not end my internship unless a really juicy opportunity came along. I know it's kind of cheating the system, but writing cover letters is still good practice, so I justify it as that.

Other than that, I went to the bank, went to the store (the Safeway on 15th has a Wells Fargo branch in the store: two birds with one stone), read David's essay, talked to my mom for almost an hour, did a bunch of dishes (how do they add up so fast?!), washed two loads of laundry, biked at the gym for an hour, baked half a batch of cookies (I wanted to thank David for printing off my portfolio but we don't need a whole batch floating around), cooked dinner (broccoli and beef/black beans), and watched a couple episodes of "30 Rock" with David and one of "Big Love" by myself.

"Big Love" is kind of an interesting show so far: it's about modern-day Mormon polygamists. I've only watched one episode, so I can't really judge yet. I'm not completely taken in by what I've seen, though it has the potential to get interesting: catfights! I can say with absolute certainty that polygamy is not for me.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


I filed for unemployment today. The lady on the phone was very informative and pleasant to speak with, which I was not expecting from a government bureaucrat. She did ask me why I waited so long to file; I told her that my boss had told me that the company was going to send me info, which is kinda true. Basically, I just have to be looking for full-time work and I am paid the equivalent of working a minimum wage job 40 hours a week. No wonder so many people just freeload off the system.

We didn't do much today; we took the bus downtown to see the Science Fiction short film festival at the Cinerama but it was sold out. We did a little shopping at and around Westlake Center, but neither of us bought anything. Wait, that's not true: I bought two golf-ball shaped memo holders for $1.50 each to give to Melinda and Katie at the end of my internship. Then we came home at watched "Monster Camp" and four episodes of "30 Rock:" I am loving that show. "Monster Camp" is a documentary about the Seattle chapter of NERO, the live-action role-playing game. My friend Tanya's freshman roommate was really into that- she had the boffers and costumes and everything.

David worked on his essay and I worked on my portfolio. It's almost done. It was done, but I didn't do it right so I had to start over. We'll finish our work tomorrow, since we don't have any other plans. Well, I plan on getting a chocolate chip bagel at Noah's since they were out this morning and I had to settle for a blueberry bagel: not the same. I'm also dropping off a job application there, since minimum wage in Washington state is higher than I thought and I love the smell of fresh-baked bagels. And I'd like to go to the gym- I'm going to drag David with me.


I ran for the bus downtown yesterday and almost collided with these two blind people getting off. I backed outside and waited for them to exit. Once they were out, the bus driver shut the doors in my face. I waved at him and he opened them again. "Sorry," he said, "I didn't see you- you were in my blind spot."

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Portland planning

We had a meeting today to discuss the Portland Golf Show, which is next week! I'm excited. It's going to be a lot of work, but I think it will be fun and a good chance to get to know the people I am working with for the next two months. Seems like of like a waste of bonding, but any social interaction is good: I've been really feeling the lack of friends lately. I'm a little worried about food, since all of our meals are covered by this group of greasy, meaty, cheesy restaurants; Katie had me print off all of their menus one day and I was not impressed. I am going to be living off of salad and Clif bars.

I get to ride down there with this guy named John. Originally, it was going to be me, John and two others, but for some reason it's now just him and me. He seems like a really nice guy (and I assured David that he is both unattractive and married) but it's going to be awkward, since it means we have to make conversation for 3 hours. Plus, I can't take a nap in the car like I had planned, which I would really like to do considering we are leaving at 7, getting there at 11 and then working until 8. Ok, I could nap, but that would be more awkward than awkward conversation. I'm going to ask John what kind of music he likes so I can bring some to fill the silences.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


I have a new pen pal, actually a friend of mine from college. I used to cut his hair because he was too cheap to go to a barber. We were pretty close back then but hadn't spoken in a couple years; he asked for my address so he could write me a letter. I thought that was funny: how many guys write actual letters? I told him I would write him a letter too. I like writing letters. I like receiving letters more, but usually to get letters you have to also write them. I'm working on making Valentines right now; so far I have half of a Valentine for Erik and Dan. They are also guys who are fans of the postal service.

While I love the USPS, I am not a big fan of UPS. I am waiting for them to deliver a package that David didn't even know he was receiving. I would like to go to the gym because I won't get the chance tonight because we're going out to dinner with Molloy and his girlfriend, but I'd also like a day off so I'll go tomorrow instead. I'm excited: it's my last chance to befriend one of David's friends' girlfriends. I haven't had much luck with the others for various reasons. She seems nice, and Molloy seems to like her, and David likes Molloy, and I like David, so I don't see why she and I can't be friends. I prepped some dinner for tomorrow night so that when I get home all I have to do is stick it in the oven, go to the gym, and come home.

I was frustrated with being an intern today because I can't put the effort into the work that I would like due to only being there 20 hours a week. For instance, I mailed off some tickets today. When I confirmed that the tickets would be mailed, it was already after the postman had come to pick up the mail, so I told the woman that the tickets would go out tomorrow and would get there Friday or Saturday. But she needs them on Monday, so I would want to call her next week to confirm that she has received them, and I am going to be out on Monday and Tuesday and leaving for Portland for Wednesday. So, I dropped them in the blue mailbox across the street from my bus stop to make sure that they went out today so that I can call her on Friday to confirm. That's not a very good story, but the essence is that I am craving a real job.

There is so much work to be done at the internship, and I want to make sure that I am doing my best on everything so I can get the best recommendation out of my short time. There are a ton of little details and I am afraid I am going to miss something. For instance, the VP was annoyed today because he didn't know if the other intern had mailed some tickets; she hadn't recorded anywhere that she had, and she wasn't in to ask. He and Katie were scrambling around trying to figure it out. I don't want that to happen when I'm not there, but there is a possibility that it might: I need to be more conscious in the future about keeping track of every action I take. I think I'm pretty good about it but I need to be better.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Groundhog Day

Happy Groundhog Day! In case you hadn't already heard the news: Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow and has predicted 6 more weeks of winter. He's seen his shadow 97 times in the past 122 years, so it's no big surprise there. If this means more clear and beautiful days like today, I'll take it. If it means more snow, then damn you Phil!

Because I don't have a bus pass anymore, I walked a nice little 4-mile loop this morning: from my apartment to the temp agency downtown to Trader Joe's and back home. I wanted to stop by the bank and visit the library before my 9:30 appointment at the temp agency, so I left at around 8. The first branch of Wells Fargo I came to didn't open until 9, so I kept on walking until I got to the library, which is about a mile and a half away. It was 9 by then, but they didn't open until 10. Curses! For some reason I thought they would be open; should have double checked. Fortunately, the big Wells Fargo tower is right around the corner, so I was at least able to deposit my check.

The temp agency tested my proficiency in typing, Word, and Excel. I scored 94% on Word, 80% on Excel, and type 53 words/minute with 90% accuracy. This confirmed my belief that while I am not the best typist, I am indeed a Microsoft Word master. The only question I missed was a stupid one: formatting margins, which I absolutely can do (it was a different version of Word than I am used to, and the next question showed me where to find it). I'm hoping that the agency can find a few days of work for me here and there.

So now I'm sitting on the couch. When I returned from Trader Joe's, I made a sandwich (grilled soy cheese and tomato on rye: pretty freakin' delicious) and did some dishes. I also dumped a few expired things from the fridge: there is nothing that smells worse than milk 1 month past it's expiration date. Don't judge me: I don't drink milk. I should work on my portfolio, which is due next week, and I've got to make some phone calls to figure out some bills, but I think I'm coming down with something and am tired. The couch is looking mighty inviting for a nap. Must... resist...

Ok, just a little one.

Sunday, February 1, 2009


I thought I could not get enough Chex Mix, but I was wrong: there is such thing as a Chex overload. I am currently experiencing a Chex coma. I can barely type. Most of the Chex Mix is gone, and what's left is nothing David can't handle in a couple of days. There are also three half-full boxes of Chex on the fridge (those boxes look small but hold a lot of cereal) but I'll take care of those pretty quicky. I'm a cereal fiend.

The party was fun; Chris and Kristin, Molloy and his girlfriend (Catherine), Casey and us. Molloy and Catherine brought cookies, chips, and bean dip, and Chris and Kristin brought chips and more bean dip. No one was pleased with the outcome, but it was fun to watch. The only reason I generally watch the Superbowl (other than as an excuse to eat Chex Mix) is the commercials, and I was not impressed. I have some memories of great commercials in years past, but these were all fairly lame. The best was the 2 second Ivar's clip; I can relate to their thrift.

I have a meeting at a temp agency tomorrow morning at 9:30. I'm going to talk with them about what I am looking for and do some computer/typing tests. I'm not sure about my typing skills but feel pretty confident in my Microsoft Office abilities. Hopefully they'll be able to get me little one-day assignments.