Saturday, December 1, 2007

God I hate this weather

As promised... *sigh*
Yes, yes, it's pretty and all (that's the view from my living room window, btw), and this being the beginning of December it's hard not to feel a slight twinge of Christmas-y-ness (considering how long decorations have been in stores, it's amazing I held out this long), but the STUPID SNOW RUINED MY PLANS. While I managed to get my errands (and very important coffee shop-sitting) done before the snow started, I had two tickets to a Christmas concert beginning in...negative 14 minutes, and as is probably apparent from the fact that I am sitting in front of a laptop instead of in a dimly-lit church, I will not be attending said concert. I *thought* I'd be okay since the church is only a couple of miles away, and I wanted to take a cab rather than drive myself since a cabdriver would likely be better able to handle any crazies or unplowed roads, but when I called for a cab a full hour before the concert and got nothing but busy signals from multiple companies (at one point I was alternating cellphone and landline, hitting "redial" on each), it became clear that (1) no one else in Seattle wanted to drive, either and (2) even if I managed to get a taxi to the concert, God knows how long I'd have to wait for a taxi *home*. My co-ticket holder, a friend from work, bowed out earlier this evening since she lives several miles and a treacherously icy bridge further away, so I don't feel *too* guilty, but BOOO. This was supposed to be my first official Christmas-y event, and thanks to the weather -- or rather, the city's collective freak-out about the weather -- I am decidedly grinchy. Bah, I say. Humbug, even. So instead of listening to Christmas music, I will probably spend the evening knitting and YouTube-ing They Might Be Giants videos...which isn't the *worst* thing in the world, but it wasn't my first choice either. But my, there are a lot of odd fan-made TMBG videos, the most impressive of which that I've found so far is this:

Friday, November 30, 2007

No. F-ing. Way.

I mean, I knew this was a possibility when I moved here, but really? Snow?? Tomorrow??? And it's not like New England, where snow showers mean the roads *might* be a little treacherous at first, but the plows will soon come and the drivers will be careful and everyone will generally stay calm; no, apparently snow in Seattle trips an OMG MUST PANIC button in all of the natives' heads. Earlier today I witnessed an email conversation about last year's two snowstorms (I don't know how much snow actually fell, but I would put money on considerably less than a foot...combined), one of which happened to arrive *just* as the evening rush hour began. Public transit drivers applied chains incorrectly, then became stranded miles from their destinations; commuters abandoned their cars on bridges and walked the rest of the way home; people slept in their offices...I suppose I should be happy that this storm will arrive on a weekend, when leaving my apartment is (mostly) optional, but I've heard so many horror stories that I'm expecting the absolute worst. Stay tuned -- there will *definitely* be photos...assuming I can find my camera's cable, since I'm using the laptop that doesn't have the memory card reader. Huh. There *might* be pictures...

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

the spirit lives on...

Ah, Oregon.

I remember little of my first visit to the Beaver State (no, really) aside from a particularly cheesy state-history museum and multiple trips to The Best Bookstore Ever, so when my biz-school classmate issued an open invitation to crash with him in Portland, I jumped at the chance to make a return visit. And it was great! The drive was uneventful -- about 3 hours in either direction, with (of course) rain causing the occasional slowdown -- and I was only there for about 24 hours, but the city is beautiful. I thought Seattle had cornered the market on outdoorsiness and randomly-occurring forest, but Portland? Kicks Seattle's North Face-clad behind, hands down.

My friend works for Nike, whose campus in the Portland suburbs pretty much makes it impossible to be the least bit unhealthy. Parking is limited to a couple of inconveniently-placed lots, so walking seems to be the only way to get around. Not that I have any sympathy for Nike employees, who get to look at this all day:

Other highlights included the Japanese Garden and the Rose Gardens, which are conveniently located a short walk from each other. The weather didn't cooperate, of course, but I managed to get a few decent shots from under my umbrella: yeah, it was a good weekend! The northwest is finally starting to grow on me -- not that I ever hated it, but between adjusting to this whole no-roommate thing and having to make new friends for the first time in, like, eight years, things were starting to look pretty dire. But as silly as it sounds, having someone to sightsee with made a HUGE difference. If anything, I'm even more jealous of my co-workers who moved here with significant others, but until I line up one of my own (yeah, yeah, I'm working on it, if by "working on it" you mean "wishing really hard") I'll have to make do with the growing circle of friends. Things could be worse :-)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

rock bottom


I knew that at some point the pressure of work, the frustration of not being *totally* unpacked and the loneliness of being low on friends would finally get to me, but I didn't realize how much it would suck when it did. Work has turned into a medley of people telling me why everything I half-learned in Accounting (which I hated) will become an integral part of my daily life, while everything I learned in Marketing (which I liked!) isn't actually applicable in the real world. I'm not totally unpacked because I keep running out of weekend hours to drive the 20ish miles to IKEA and buy the furniture which will finally let me empty what's left of my boxes. And my social life? Aside from choir (in which, as I discovered during last night's rehearsal and tonight's debacle of a solo audition, I am officially too exhausted to find any joy whatsoever) and failed plans to meet up with my classmates (who are equally tired but at least have other friends), not much is going on. I'm torn between longing to sit at home and decompress from work and feeling guilty for not getting out and exploring Seattle -- but who would I explore with? Sure, the food's supposed to be excellent, but unless these excellent restaurants have takeout, I'm out of luck. The myth about computer companies being a ladies' market? Lies, all of them, although in my current state of unhappiness I'd be willing to accept the fault as my own.

Now, obviously part of my motivation for writing this post is the hope that someday I'll be able to contrast this against a yet-to-be-written post singing the praises of Seattle, my job, my over-abundance of friends, and anything else I think of that day. (Another motivator is the prospect of a far-away friend reading this and sending me cheer-up presents. Just a thought.) Maybe I'll laugh and shake my head knowingly at how silly I was to let a couple of bad days turn me into a crochety old lady. As it is, I know things aren't really *that* bad: I have a couple of friends, even if I don't see them very often, and the ones I do have make me do things like leave the house on weeknights and go to concerts by my favorite bands. And yes, I have a job and an apartment and too many possessions and generally a lot of things that a good chunk of the world would kill to have. (With a paycheck has come a lot of guilt. I *could* start paying off my car and college loans, but do I even deserve this money when other people who are doing more honorable jobs need it more than I do?) It would be totally fair for loneliness to be a trade-off for not having to worry (much -- loans, remember) about money.

...but is it fair that the guy living across the courtyard of my apartment complex spends what seems like every waking hour smoking on his balcony and hacking up what must have been at least seven lungs by now? It's not even the coughing that's getting to me; it's that he clears his throat at least twice for every cough, and by "clearing his throat" I mean (sorry) "hocking a loogie into what I assume is a spittoon on his balcony." I'm not kidding. I've watched. It's disgusting. It's worse than Ugly Naked Guy, since I can't escape by closing my blinds. The sound follows me all through my apartment, and I swear one of these days I'm going to lean out of my window and tell him exactly how much the rest of the complex hates him for making these noises day and night.

I'll bet the neighbors applaud.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

fill up and you don't have to pay

My, this town is charming.

I've driven by no fewer than four car washes in the past couple of weeks, and not the cement-building-next-to-a-gas-station kind, but the kind with wholesome, all-American teenagers giddily waving handmade signs advertising the operation and the wholesome, all-American organization which will receive the proceeds. I've yet to stop at one -- I'm usually in a hurry and/or low on cash -- but if I ever run across a car wash/bake sale, this may change.

Seattle is small-towny in other ways, too. Even the drivers are courteous -- traffic can be rough on some of the more popular freeways (yes, "freeways," and just when I'd finally gotten the hang of calling them "highways"), but merging is never a problem and people rarely honk at each other, even when they make flagrantly stupid mistakes (I've tested this a couple of times). Cashiers seem genuinely happy to help, the managers at my apartment complex are downright cheery, my new co-workers will drop everything to chat and offer advice...and I haven't even mentioned the weather! So far, "summer" in Seattle has meant temperatures in the 70s, unnoticeable humidity and maybe three rainy days since I arrived. Plus gas is cheaper, Targets and California Pizza Kitchens abound and I've seen *maybe* two Bush-supporting bumper stickers. How is it possible that the rest of the country (or at least the rest of the liberal, global-warming-believing, over-educated yuppies) hasn't moved here already?

Sunday, August 5, 2007

now or never

Well, seeing as how work starts tomorrow(!) and odds are I'll be too exhausted, overwhelmed or generally computered out to do a real update for a while, here's the obligatory "what I did on my [very last] summer vacation" post. My apartment's not yet ready to be shown off (I'm waiting until I get my first paycheck to finish procuring furniture), but I suppose I can show you my already cluttered kitchen:

What's more interesting is the sightseeing I've done, both intentional (e.g. Alki Beach, which has an excellent view of the Seattle skyline) and unintentional (occasionally I'll turn down a street and have a distinct memory of passing through it on my way to a top-secret Committee meeting during YGC tour '03). You'd like to see pictures, wouldn't you? Of course you would:

view from Alki Beach

Mt Rainier

trying to take artsy photographs on the way back (not recommended while driving, btw)

But as pretty and green and leafy as everything is, it's been a little lonely sightseeing alone (cf the above comment about taking pictures while driving), and while the few friends I have here are great, I'm looking forward to assembling a solid crew similar to (but not nearly as awesome as) the people pictured:

(I miss you too, Dani -- I just wanted to make sure these guys saw their c-raaaaazy picture from GPSCY karaoke)

For now, though, I'll be at work, trying out this new Vista thing I keep hearing about and batting my eyelashes at the programmers in hopes that one of them will fix my laptop, which has taken an inexplicable-freezing turn for the worse. Looks like I'm starting just in time...

Monday, July 16, 2007

the final countdown

I'm sleep-deprived, exhausted and my knees hurt from racing up and down the stairs of my apartment all day, but my room *finally* looks like I'm moving out in the relatively near future. If you squint, it might even look like I'm moving out tomorrow! I've shipped an obscene number of boxes (and given an obscener pile of stuff to Salvation Army -- where did this stuff come from?) and discarded any furniture my roommate didn't want, and all that's left to do is consolidate the trash and recycling, clean the floors and try to fit whatever's left in my suitcases. I'll probably have to pay the extra fee for too-heavy checked luggage, but since (a) I'm not technically paying for the move and (2) I won't really have any other options, I won't be too heartbroken if it happens.

One thing I wasn't expecting was how ambivalent I'm feeling about leaving -- while I've gotten a little teary at the past few goodbyes, I think the combination of sheer exhaustion (it's been more than a week since I've gotten more than six hours of sleep) and spending the past week in a messy, partially-packed apartment is letting me concentrate more on where I'm going than what I'm leaving. I know the next couple of days -- traveling across the country (with a stopover, of course) with two suitcases, an overstuffed backpack and a violin case that I'll probably have to fight to classify as a carry-on, then building an apartment from scratch -- have a high probability of sucking, but at the other end is an apartment! Just for me! Dishes will only get dirty because I've used them, I can have as much cable television as I want, and I won't be forced to make small talk when all I want to do is watch "Dateline." It's unfortunate that I had to move 3,000 miles away to get all this, but I'm fairly certain it'll be worth it.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The saga begins...

Heyyyyy kids,

Rather than share my adventures in moving, unpacking and adjusting to life in Seattle via the shared blog or email, I figured I'd join the hordes of bloggers and do the bulk of my pontificating here. Topic 1: Packing sucks. It really, really sucks. I've spent the past four days assembling boxes, filling them with items I may or may not need, and paying an exorbitant amount to fly them across the country, but my room shows little sign of progress (save the now-bare walls, which just makes it look sad). I'm sending off a big shipment tomorrow, at which point I hope to be able to see my floor again, but even though most of my clothes and books will be gone, I'll still have to deal with a closet and desk full of papers. Oh, the papers.

I'm also starting to suspect that my denial skills are faltering -- while I've managed to largely avoid thinking too hard about this whole leaving-New-Haven thing, it's gotten a lot harder since I started packing (and writing my new address over and over...and over...). I spent my childhood in L.A., but after eight years, New Haven has become more of a home to me than any place in California. While I'm sure Seattle will eventually start feeling like home, the next few weeks (months?) will probably be a confusing, lonely time. I suspect it'll really start sinking in tomorrow between sending off the bulk of my boxes, getting rid of furniture and hanging out with several of my favorite people, most of whom I don't expect to see again until at least November.

Why am I moving again?