Thursday, September 28, 2006

3 In a Day!

I have three interviews today, all at quite different places in the mid-valley. THREE! In one day! So to make you laugh just a little bit today, I'm posting some of my FAKE (totally untrue and completely false, but funny!) answers to fictional interview questions. :D

-What do you see as important factors in order to successfully manage a project? 'Every good project begins with delegating responsibility to everyone else, taking the afternoon off to go fishing, extending the deadline four times, and shifting blame to other people.'

-What is the most important thing you could bring to this job? 'More gossip. I know everything that happens in the whole city, so I’m very good at passing on partially-true outdated information.'

-Please describe what you enjoyed most about your present or past jobs. Be specific. '
My favorite job was great. I went in about 9am, checked and wrote personal e-mails for an hour, did five minutes of work, then left for a half-hour break. I went back to work and surfed the Internet for an hour, did a few easy tasks, and left at 11am for lunch. Approximately two hours later, I returned to check and write more personal e-mails and used the company telephone to make long-distance phone calls to friends and relatives. Sometimes I worked for an hour in the afternoon, but most of the time I left early, say 3pm to go hiking or just goof off with friends.'

-Describe what you have disliked about your present or past jobs. Be specific. '
I didn’t like working. I didn’t like having to be there every day for the full duration of my shift, answering stupid questions from insane people, and getting paid far below my level of competency.'

-Do you have any questions for us? '
How much vacation will I be able to use weekly? Do you provide a company vehicle that I will be able to use as my personal vehicle to go off-roading in? Will I be allowed to show up late with a hangover at least three times per week? How quickly will I be promoted to the rank of supervisor, or will I have to sleep my way to the top?'

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

I'm Online!

I finally did it. I used existing technology to further shamelessly promote my music. Okay, it's not even my music, it's a crappy cover of a few mediocre songs, but I am really playing them. You can listen here on my very own MySpace Music page. I'm not out to make money, not even trying to get anything from this. Some friends wanted to hear what I can do, so I created this profile. Like it, don't like, I don't care. Go ahead, have a listen... I'm ONLINE!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Choking on Fear

So the other shoe finally dropped. In my fear, I called my last employer and, upon speaking with her again this afternoon, I'm planning to ask to come back to work. I loved the people there, and while being a kitchen lackey is nothing glamorous, it is work. And moreover, it is temporary. If there is still an opening, I will be employed. If not, I'll be no farther than I am at this moment.

*EDIT* There are no openings where I used to work. Back to the Dragon...

I found an old poem I wrote waaaay back in the day, maybe during middle school. I found a lot of comfort writing it then, and I find even more trepidation realizing things haven't changed in all that time. I never titled it... what think ye?

~*~*~*~*~*~

Running, screaming,
.....pushing, fleeing,
..........fighting my way
upstream
..........surging ahead
.....forced
back
not knowing where I'm going
.....chomping at the bit
..........only causing
pain
..........fighting the current
.....biting the dust
choking on fear
...............drawn forward to the
..........past
not living
.....still swimming
..........my eyes lie
.....walking the line
water below
...............stranded
..........time ticking away
.....will it
end?

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Too Punny

I love a great pun. Those puns that come out of nowhere and *SMACK* ooooooh, good one. :) The puns that make you giggle uncontrollably... the puns that slide through unnoticed, almost.

WHAT?! has TV become these days? I was watching HGTV and Food Network. Every ten seconds, another lame-ass pun poured from the host, battering my soul with it's blatant syrupy goodness. *insert vomit icon here*

Seriously! I just want to reach in to the TV and give the roofing guy a good 'flashing.' Ought to 'drill' some common sense into the carpenter. GIVE ME A BREAK!

New rule: One good pun per hour. Fines imposed for more than one pun, or a cheap pun. Fine money goes toward torturning the "punny person" who thought the line up. AAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Coke Horror

There is no Diet Coke in the house.

None. I checked. I keep opening the refrigerator door hoping that some will appear.

We've been out for three days.

This is a nightmare, a truly horrible moment in my life. I don't know what to do. Can't think. Can't eat. Can't sleep. The world is coming to an end.

*please note the overwhelming sarcasm, even though I do love my Diet Coke. Somehow, I'll manage... as long as I find some caffeine soon...

Friday, September 22, 2006

It's only a matter of time...

Another interview today, though this one didn't go nearly as well as the one I had yesterday. I wasn't impressed by the people asking me questions. I honestly couldn't see myself liking that job, but it pays with benefits, so perhaps it might be a great job. I just don't know.

Last night's ER episode was incredible! I need to rewatch it to get everything out of it (plus some serious drooling over Scott Grimes). When George Clooney left ER, I figured the show would die. Then Anthony Edwards left, and the show really lost some spark. When Noah Wyle left, ooh I thought it was the end. But the newer cast is really good. Nonetheless, I'm still fond of the "old days" with Dr. Ross and Nurse Hathaway... nothing like some romance to keep things fun. :)

This weekend could be interesting. I have several options to choose from, and a few plans of my own. Not really sure what to do, but there may be some adventure. I might also bum around the house all weekend and not do a damn thing. With near-perfect weather, I'd love to get some more Geocaching done--rain is coming, for sure.

Things have been going really well the last few weeks at home - I'm kinda waiting for the bomb to explode. I'm trying really hard to do everything right, to make sure everyone is satisfied, to get a job, to become self-sufficient, to grow as an adult... but somehow, I fear I've screwed up in some way and am sure to hear about it sooner or later. It's only a matter of time...

Thursday, September 21, 2006

A Few Nice Moments

A great day! Today was totally awesome. My interview was perfect, top to bottom. Only got hung up on one math problem for their little test thingy; no big deal, I know I got the rest correct. Got a tour of the facility and learned a ton about what they do (which was neat since I didn't really understand that before). I really hope I get called back for the formal, big interview. The dude was really cool though--a neat guy to talk to.

Today is Grandma's 88th birthday, so I visited her for a long time this afternoon. We had a great chat, and she helped me put some things in perspective. I visited with a few of the other old ladies for a bit, and that made me feel great. I was talking about "coming of age" experiences with a friend recently, and Grandma reinforced what I thought. She said it took a lot of guts for an 18-year-old kid to go in and work with old people and then even more to stick it out for five years. I just thought it was neat and tried to learn as much as I could. I definitely think I grew up there, and realize how much I miss it (at times).

My day really started last night, or the best part was very early this morning: I went to Corvallis to drop off an application, reviewed for my math test today (you can take the geek out of school, but the learning never stops), and then met up with a friend to go dancing. Super fun, great conversations, new dance steps... I am astounded at how cool people can be when you take the time to get to know them.

Tonight is the season premiere of ER. *I must prepare...*

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

More of the same

There are "how are you?" people and reflexive "how are ya?" people. The former seem to genuinely care about the answer. The latter piss me off. If you're going to ask a question, care about the answer. That's all I ask of you when it comes to me.

Submitting job applications every day, even getting at least one interview each week... nothing yet though. I have to take a math test before my interview tomorrow. Not very excited about that. My math skills are great, but it still makes me angry to have to take more tests now that I'm out of college. Thought that crap was behind me.

I've been dancing twice each week lately, and my mood has gone up so much. I'm motivated, excited about things, and actually smile sometimes. :) It helps me focus during the day if I've had a decent workout... something about 'shakin' my sillies out' (it's a Raffi reference for you non 20-to-25-year-olds out there).

ORblogs is finally recognizing my meta tags - YAY!

Talk Like a Pirate Day was a ton of fun yesterday. I have "Sid Meier's Pirates!" on my computer, and the game has an 'easter egg' that changes all of the words to pirate-speak on TLAPD. Just a really neat thing to see.

Stuff to do, calls to make, life goes on off my blog. :)

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Talk Like a Pirate

Today is "International Talk Like a Pirate Day."

ARRRRRRRRRRRR! ;)

So... who wants to 'shiver me timbers'?

I mean... um... ARRRRRRRRRR! hehehehehe I love this day.

Monday, September 18, 2006

'Caching and Chatting

*NEW* PICTURE SLIDESHOW AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE *NEW*

My weekend was pretty boring on the whole... didn't do much. Dinked around on Saturday, sent off two more applications (to the City of Albany, if you must know), and heard three more responses, all "no." Visited with some family on Sunday afternoon - that was cool.

Received the "MySpace is evil" and "IMing will rot your brain" lectures. In truth, I don't use MySpace very often, have my profile set to private, and don't put much up there about me anyway. I use MySpace mostly for family (it's kinda sad how many of my friends there are actually family members), and I use Facebook for OSU friends. I don't have any dates or numbers or contact information up on either of them now, although there are links to this blog on both sites. So, in theory, if you need to find anything about me, you could just look here. Haha, if you're reading this blog, you already figured that part out! As for instant messaging (IMing), I use it to contact my friends, keep up on their lives, and discuss important matters (like what to eat for dinner - a conversation with my sister - who is sitting in the next room).

The highlight of my weekend was a Geocaching trip to Corvallis with a friend. I introduced him to the tech/sport, and we night-cached. Lessons learned: darkness makes it hard to see things; always pack extra batteries for the GPS; and mark where you left your vehicle on the GPS. The good news--we found three more (I found them, but I think I made him stick his hand in the holes, so I can rightly claim them) of the six we went after. The better news--no serious injuries on this trip! The best news--lots of fun and great conversation.

Then I got home and there was no power. Boo to not having power.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

I'm never doing THIS again...

...and on the fourteenth day, God created wax, which he ordered women to apply to their faces and remove 'opposite the direction of hair growth.' And God said, "May no woman have a unibrow." He thought this might be a pretty good idea, laughed heartily for a moment, and returned to the football game.

Wax: 1
Jaggy: 0

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Meme of Tens

Ten Things I Can’t Stand:
1. Mustard
2. Wal-Mart
3. Tighty Whiteys
4. Sloppy Handwriting
5. Shopping
6. TV Commercials
7. Baby Talk
8. Mayonnaise
9. Misunderstandings resulting from miscommunication
10. Being told what to do or who to become

Ten Movies I Adore:
1. “Pirates of the Caribbean” (both)
2. “The Peacemaker”
3. “American Outlaws”
4. “The Negotiator”
5. “The Cutting Edge”
6. “10 Things I Hate About You”
7. “Con Air”
8. “Chocolat”
9. “October Sky”
10. “Band of Brothers” (miniseries)

Ten Programs/Games on my Computer:
1. Mozilla Firefox
2. Hoyle Card/Table/Board/Word Games
3. Macromedia Fireworks MX
4. Cakewalk Music Creator
5. Sid Meier’s Pirates!
6. Insaniquarium
7. Trillian
8. Google Earth
9. a flight simulator
10. MicroCAM (mapping software)

Ten Things I Want to Do in my Lifetime:
1. Grow
2. Fall madly in love with someone
3. Work hard
4. Make my own trail
5. Bear children
6. Dance all night and day
7. Learn from mistakes
8. Write
9. Perform and entertain
10. Laugh until it hurts

Ten CDs I Love:
1. “Band of Brothers” soundtrack
2. “Livin’ on the Run” –Scott Grimes
3. “Josh Groban” –Josh Groban
4. “Beyond the Sea” soundtrack
5. “American Outlaws” soundtrack
6. “Avalon” – John Tesh
7. “What Women Want” soundtrack
8. “Kings of Swing”
9. “Ultimate Disney Classics”
10. “Dirty Dancing” soundtrack

Ten Things in my Desk Drawers:
1. stamps
2. a puzzle game
3. eight rulers
4. stationery
5. origami paper
6. coloring books
7. chewing gum
8. sticky-tack
9. calligraphy pens
10. rubber bouncy balls

Ten Books I Treasure:
1. My copy of Band of Brothers, signed by two real-life members of Easy Company
2. Gaston et Ses Amis, my grandfather’s French textbook from high school
3. Gary Paulsen’s Hatchet
4. My copy of Apples in the Sky, signed by the Salem, OR, author C. M. McDade
5. J. C. George’s My Side of the Mountain
6. Gary Paulsen’s Canyons
7. Honoré Morrow’s On to Oregon
8. Esther Forbes’ Johnny Tremain
9. Wilson Rawls’ Where the Red Fern Grows
10. Chelsea Quinn Yarbro’s Locadio’s Apprentice

Ten Moments I Remember:
1. Being named Drum Major sophomore year of high school
2. My first kiss
3. The mock car crash
4. The first time I tied my shoes all by myself
5. Cousin Stacy’s bike accident at Grandma and Grandpa’s house
6. Going to school on September 11, 2001.
7. The Tunnel at Autzen Stadium at 7:30am in early November
8. My first alcoholic drink
9. Finding out that Grandpa passed away
10. My first Geocache

Ten Things I’m Never Without:
1. Chap stick
2. Nail clippers
3. Camera
4. ID
5. Watch
6. Cell phone
7. Sunglasses
8. A book
9. A pencil
10. The ability to question things

Ten Things I Love (other than people):
1. Walking in the rain
2. The spicy smells of Christmas
3. Applesauce on macaroni and cheese
4. Playing the piano
5. Lighthouses
6. Card/board games
7. Big, warm blankets in the wintertime
8. Massages
9. Fine chocolate (but I’m not terribly picky)
10. Asking thoughtful questions

Friday, September 15, 2006

Blog Updates and Some O 'n' B

I'm still having major issues with ORblog's meta tags. Blogger Beta won't allow me to retain quotation marks and auto-replaces them with apostrophies in my HTML code. UGH! I've been at this far too long...

Other huge updates around the site:
  • I added/updated my Links/Blogroll and Recipe for the Perfect Man.
  • I added a Geocaching weblink/statistic counter for found caches - now you, too, can keep track of my unchanging "Found" count.
  • I also added a small animation. One comment reads, "That blogger guy is probably the most disturbing thing I've ever seen!" No, Jeff, watching you eat ketchup off of a table at Shari's is the most disturbing thing I've ever seen. The little guy is just frustrated... because he's either blogging too much or can't figure out what to write.


No weekend plans, not much going on at all around here... still job hunting, sending out applications every day. Depressing really, but I try to stay positive about it and continue to hope that I'll find work soon.

I find God continuing to work in mysterious ways, giving me a huge Opening this week. I never expected to be either this happy or this driven, and yet I find myself withdrawing. Yet again, the Block in my life is me. Does God answer pleas for sanity? What about wisdom? Time will tell...

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Odd Talks

Why do the best conversations seem to happen in dark, nearly-vacant parking lots late at night? No, not the kind of conversation when something dramatic happens or relationships blossom. Just the old-fashioned friendly chats that leave you thinking and inspired. :)

Had a great time dancing tonight! A friend and I started a song with a Foxtrot but switched back and forth to Lindy a couple times - challenging to transition the two styles, but very fun. We danced a Hustle super fast! I crashed at the end, just dead tired. I'm told that people stared--don't care. Definitely working hard on some posturing and position, trying to work with mirrors, but the dance halls I've been in this summer don't have them; can't wait to get back to the ballroom at OSU. Good luck to all the OSU West Coast Swing dancers headed up to Bridgetown this weekend!!!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Kusudama

Kusudama, shown in two versions here, are modular balls made of paper. The paper is never cut, square, and interlocks to form these shapes. Thirty pieces of equally-sized paper are required to form one ball.

My sister folded the paper for the first one, below, solid-colored paper. I assembed the pieces. This model is slightly smaller than the other one, perhaps five or six inches across.

The model on the left was entirely my own folding and assembly, larger initial squares yielding a model approximately seven to eight inches across.

This construction is considered advanced as far as model assembly goes. I can't even describe how hard the last piece is to fit just right.

My frustration with the first attempt resulted in the use of tape to hold the pieces together, apologies to true origami masters. But you can't see the tape, so it doesn't exist, right? ;)

Very difficult, but still fun. What think ye?

More Interviews...

Yesterday was insane but very fun in the end. I had a real interview that seemed to go well in the early morning, then went to a mock interview in the afternoon at OSU Career Services. They were most helpful in telling me that I'm not alone (still) in my job search. Apparently I'm pretty good at interviewing too, since the woman interviewing me couldn't suggest much to improve on beyond some tiny details. "The devil's in the details," I know.

I stuck around on campus to visit the place I worked there through my senior year. I miss those girls so much! Great people, great organization, very cool place to work. They tried very hard to create a position for me to stick around, but the funding just isn't there. Sad, but true. Changed from my interview clothes to my less formal dancing clothes, had an amazing dinner with a friend, and then went dancing for two extra hours than usual! My Local Boyz craving is gone--oh, man... sooooo tasty. I can't express how good that food is.

Great having friends home from summer jobs and vacation now - especially those that dance. I wish the few kids I graduated with would come back... but we're all moving on and away. Time to do that "growing up" thing now... *sniff*

Well, I can't say that I'll ever really grow up. I sat down to a lunch of applesauce, Good & Plentys, and Goldfish crackers. How "four years old" is that?

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Three Short Rants

Today was better than yesterday. Mom and Dad made more applesauce and canned it this morning. I started working on another kusudama; about twenty more pieces to go before I can begin assembly. The three of us made a quick trip down to Eugene, nothing exciting to note. Went rollerblading tonight. I also cut my hair. That's the whole day right there.

Where did the term "davenport" come from? Grandma uses this term instead of "couch." I vote that couch is a much better term... it's more... gooder. :P

And has anyone seen George Eads with a mustache and the longer hair? Hate to say it, but he kinda reminds me of a 70's porn star (not that I've seen 70's porn). I really like facial hair on guys, but there are just some guys... George, buddy, it's gotta go.

Okay, one last rant: Why is it that, when you tell someone you will go or have gone on an interview, the first thing they want to know is "where?" Why does that matter? If it concerns you "where" I'm interviewing, I'll let you know. How do I think the interview went? I went in, I answered their questions, I asked a few, and then I left. They go the same as all the others. I'll either get the job or I won't. Are these trivial questions just a ploy to make conversation, or do you actually care? ARRRRRRRRRRGGGGH!

Haven't been sleeping well, and I gotta get up early, so I'm out. Maybe.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Grandparents, Nightmares, and Owwies

I had this crazy dream a few nights ago about my credit card. For some reason, I dreamed that I'd taken pictures of my credit card and blogged my credit card numbers for someone to steal. I even got online as soon as I got up to check my own blog to make sure this was not the case. LOL, talking about freaking out over nothing. I'm so weird...

Somehow, I managed to pull a muscle yesterday while sitting on my fat ass all day long. I don't know what I did, or how it happened, but I'm sore. My back is a ball of fire still, too. The heating pad helped last night, might try that again. My stupid knee is fighting me more lately. A genetic curse compounded by injury, so I'll never fully recover. Aleve is my friend. :)

Today was busy. Mom and I drove to see Grandma and Grandpa, and while we were over there, Mom, Aunt Patti, Grandma, and I toured three retirement communities. Grandma and Grandpa are currently living in their own home, but they depend heavily upon Mom and her four siblings (primarly Mom and Aunt Pam since they live so close) and a couple close friends to do just about everything. The family is trying to make decisions now while everyone is ready and able to make sound decisions instead of waiting until something must be done. Truth is, that time really isn't far off. Since I worked in a retirement facility for almost five years, I offered to compile data on local facilities for the family. Calls, tours, information... I organized a very good spreadsheet for everyone. I'm glad they included me in the tours--I saw more the second time that I didn't see the first time. Wish I could be more help, but I'm not sure I could do more than what Mom and Aunt Pam do for them. Glad I'm not having to make these big decisions.

Grandma and Grandpa have a difficult living situation as it is, and their personalities and level of care needed don't always mix. Seeing that I'm unemployed and able to help, it might prove beneficial to be there more, for me to perhaps even live with them. That said, I'm definitely not qualified to provide that level of care, plus it'd be a 24/7 job. I'd never get a day off. And it would only be a temporary fix to an ongoing problem.

Something has to happen, or, like Mom told me in the car on the way home, we're all going to need some therapy by the time this is all over.

I can't tell if it's a "three Coke day" or a "five chocolate day..." oh, Hell...I need a drink...

Friday, September 08, 2006

Piracy, Girly Stuff, and a Laugh

If I was ever pirate crazy before, I'm pretty sure I topped that today. You know who you are, and you are welcome. By the way, you're just feeding a crazy person... "Pirate" M&M's are better than regular ones. I know. I had them for breakfast.

Have a real interview Monday morning, a mock interview at OSU Monday afternoon, and dancing Monday night. I haven't been this busy in one day all summer! Irony: I'm going to be bored between events, so very bored. At least I'll be in Corvallis during regular dinner hours and can go to Local Boyz! The cravings are almost unbearable at times.

Okay, so I do have one rant, and I can't believe I'm going to post this publicly, but it pisses me off. I'm sure my female readers will agree with me too. *gulp* They changed one of the feminie hygeine products I use. Not like the outer wrapper went from pink to green or something trivial. Oh no, they changed the whole design. Engineering overhaul; outsourcing probably involved. I really liked the old version--that's why I bought it. Took me a long time to find what I liked. Now I have to test, retest, and evaluate an essentially new product for ... well, let's just say I'm less than pleased with this whole thing. I swear, there should be voting involved with these changes. Letter writing. Group creation...

Oh, wait, that was Facebook... ;)

NO MORE CHANGES WITHOUT CONSULTING ME! because, after all, I'm the Captain of this boat...ship... ARRRRRR!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

More Changes, Categories

On the left, you will see new features. UDM commented that I used to have a better archived section, allowing links to previous posts. I agree, so for a while, I'm going to try this new grouping system. Please let me know what you think.

I've also added more categories and browsed through every old post sorting things out. Feel free to look at blogs by category or date now. Sheesh, all these features! Not every post made it into a category though... if you think something has been miscategorized or don't like one, tell me.

Yes, I do use this blog for me, not for you. At the same time, I realize this is a rather public forum for me to vent my frustration, share my joy, etc. That said, I'm opening up a section to answer questions. Have a burning question, a silly question, a random question? ASK ME! I'll answer anything (perhaps seriously, perhaps sarcastically, this could be fun).

Hmm... which category does this go in?

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

In Which Country Mouse Goes to the City

First, about the interviews: The first one lasted about ten minutes. Sign here, initial there, okay, now we'll help you look for a job. Yay! The second interview lasted half an hour. I interviewed with a manufacturing facility in south Portland for a CSR position. I think if I'd had any AutoCAD experience, they'd have hired me on the spot for another position, or at least that's how I understood it. But as it stands, "they'll call me." I can't commute that far for that little, so I probably won't accept the position if they offer it. Back to the dragon, I mean, job search...looking up the very tall building
OKAY! So the real adventure of the day was everything else. :P

I suppose I should start with some background about me. This town has about fifteen traffic lights total. It is actually possible to get just about anywhere in town and never encounter a light if one needs to do so. That said, I do live a few blocks from a major U.S. Highway. I'm used to tractors and horses and bicyclists and broken-down cars on the side of the road. Things are pretty rural...

So the Country Mouse drove to the Big City today. Not Salem, oh no, that would have been EASY by comparison. A plum Neon followed me all the way up to Portland, both of us fighting the evil Sysco truck with barbecue sauce advertisements emblazoned upon its exterior. I knew to get off I-5 and onto I-405 (there's more than one Interstate in Oregon?), and then onto Naito Parkway to get into downtown. Somewhere in the melee, I got onto Hawthorne and crossed the Willamette River, which I immediately knew was wrong and corrected this mistake by crossing back over. Oh, by the way, I HATE BRIDGES! So I get back onto Naito Parkway, get closer to downtown, and immediately end up in a turn lane with no way out. I circled the block. Next block, same thing, other direction. Becoming dizzy and disoriented, I sought a red light so I could have a moment to check my map. Rule of Red Lights: when you want one, you don't get one. Ugh. I saw street parking, all full... parking garages, all full... signs pointing to mysterious parking lots I couldn't even find. I finally got onto an almost-correct road when I decided navigating on foot would at least put other people in less danger. The big "P" sign pointed under a bank building, and I drove inside. Okay, um, now what? The parking lots I'm used to are either free or pay-per-ticket before parking. So I found some help and got situated in the garage. Oh, yeah, the really bad part? It was a lot that allows latecomers to block other people in! WHAT?! I found a parking spot behind an orange car, a Corvette with one big white racing stripe. Since I was blocking it in, I had to leave my keys with the garage attendant (who, by the way, spoke two words of English, and I thoroughly taxed said linguistics). Most discontented.

I exited the building and stepped into sunlight, noise, and people. Looking at my watch, I realized I had an hour to kill. What to do? I started walking toward my destination, wandering up and down the street before realizing what kind of place I was dealing with. Why can't they just build one office to one building? None of this, "we take up the back half of the third floor" crap. Hungry. No food, no money. I spied an open area a block away, brickwork all around. It was a park, O'Briant Park to be exact, and completely void of grass or greenery. I sat on a brick bench near an empty fountain, people smoking on either side of me. A man fed pigeons until they all flew away over my head. It was scary. No kids anywhere, no laughter, no playing.
Art Deco in Brick
The thing that got me though: noise. I have incredibly sensitive hearing, trained ears from years of music and band. I can pick up an echo from my own voice in a regular classroom. Portland was noisy! Birds chirping, air brakes from delivery trucks, refrigeration units, a leaf blower, car engines, honking horns, police sirens, and a faintly heard church bell chiming the noon hour. In contrast: I just opened my bedroom window and can distinctly hear a man three houses down sweeping his driveway. I heard the girl across the street put the key into her car door and unlock it. The big city noise alone would drive me crazy.

I took a few pictures of some buildings, marking my adventure into the bowels of the city. Retrieving my car was easy enough: I marked my car's location on my (handheld, not car) GPS and simply back-tracked. :) I may be new to the city, but I'm no stranger to technology! It cost me $7.00 to park for an hour and ten minutes. AAAACCCCCKKKKKKK! I had simple directions to exit town: go to 13th and follow it to I-5 South. No problem. I got onto 13th, then directly onto I-5. And then directly off I-5 when some $#@!er wouldn't let me merge. Thus begins my hour of "how the heck do I get back onto I-5!?" I crossed the Ross Island Bridge back and forth. I found Portland State University. I saw OHSU. I was on Barbur Blvd. I'm pretty sure I saw ocean at one point... HOLY CRAP! I have never been so lost in my life. After finally getting back to I-5, breathing one giant sigh of relief, I stuck to the left-hand lane until just south of Salem, opting then for backroads all the way home. You have no idea the joy I felt being able to look at a cow and say, "Hi cow, I've seen you before."

The Country Mouse is not going back to the City for a looooooong time. "Hi cow" indeed!

(EDIT: pictures added!)

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Tango-violation and Interviews

Much thanks to astoriafixer for the shout-out link! Very cool. :)

Emily came down last night to go dancing with me. We had an 'off' night. The guys were more than willing to dance with us, but they were a bit harsh toward her. I just couldn't dance/talk a coherent thing all night. I waltzed through a foxtrot, lindied through a swing, and performed this weird west-coast-hustle-lindy-swing thing at one point... I'm not really sure what happened. But I'm really glad Emily came down. "I have that car in my song... oh my...it's not a good night."

OOH! The Tango incident: I love to Tango. :) I suck at it... it's hard and I don't know many steps. But this nice/weird guy asked me to Tango with him. We started out fine, opened out into some more advanced footwork, and then he did this move where I spin into him and he grabs my leg just under my knee and drags me across the floor... PANIC! I wouldn't mind this move with a guy I trust, but DUDE! keep your hands a) to yourself, and b) where I can see them! *whimper*...I got Tango-violated...

I have two interviews scheduled tomorrow up north. One is with CampusPoint as a prelim interview (they're not hiring me, they're sending out my résumé and helping with the job search) in downtown Portland. The other is with a manufacturing facility in Tualatin, an actual interview for a CSR position. I don't really know what to expect. And seeing that I've never driven farther north than Keizer (save once to see Emily, and I got WAY lost), I'm pretty much terrified of tomorrow. Stress is generally not my friend. I don't like driving in big cities, mostly don't like big cities, and really don't want to live in a big city. But I must go where the jobs are. Anyway, I'd be very close to Emily and several other friends...

I feel like I'm being pulled in a direction I don't want to go. At the same time, I'm a little bit excited. I remember starting my very first job as a kitchen lackey... I didn't want to be there. I didn't like seeing sick people, old people, uneducated coworkers (who, as I was in my senior year of high school, still had less education than me). I wanted to quit every day the first year of work. Holy burned toast Batman! I survived. I worked there five years, from high school to the end of college. I grew up in the job. I'm definitely looking forward to this next adventure, be it here or Portland, or wherever. The challenge will be interesting; in any case, you're sure to hear about it here!

I'm having a horrible time typing lately. Spelling things phonetically, as above, I typed "danceen" instead of "dancing," "intervues" instead of "interviews," and "cayse" instead of "case." Is this a normal typo thing? Kinda seems weird to me, especially since I definitely know how to spell and have been typing for several years. Maybe I just need to sleep.

The squirrel is back. He's louder today. and I have a headache. Something must be done.

Monday, September 04, 2006

I saw a squirrel!

he was not going like this: tftftftftftf.

HE WAS GOING LIKE THIS!: ARRRNNK ACKKRRG HAKKK ARCGGHHNH

Then the cat across the street spied him. It's been rather quiet around here...

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Favicons and Stuff

You know you spend too much time sitting at the computer when you are anticipating the screen saver on a TV. True story.

You know you're too heavily invested in blogging when you check your own blog to see if it has been miraculously updated in your absence. True story.

You know you're a band geek when, while watching college football games, the sound of the percussion line and scooped snares and ringing quints and stair-stepped bass drums sends chills down your spine. This may be true, but I'll never admit to it freely. ;)

I took some time yesterday to develop a favicon. The favicon is a small symbol next to the web address of this page in your browser's address bar ^^^ up there. If this works, and I know it does in Mozilla, you'll see a small intertwined U and N, obviously for "Uniquely Normal." Learning what a favicon was and how to display them took an hour. Finding a site to host my favicon took another half an hour. Then I actually had to create the blasted thing. I have so many graphic editing tools at my disposal including Fireworks, Paint Shop, and Picasa2. What did I use? Paint. Pixel-by-pixel, I edited my letters. The hard way. I'm *such* a geek! Any comments or suggestions? Now that I know what I'm doing...

Received a beautiful fountain pen a few months ago--I had no idea how much fun those are to write with. Of course, I knew... I've wanted one forever and ever. But OH! Makes signing my name feel... ... ... important.

This is the first autumn in eighteen years that I've not gone school clothes or supply shopping. Preschool, K-12, and college. It's finally starting to sink in that I'm out. And I'm not really going to miss watching kids in my class eat glue, having "school nights," or eating squished peanut butter sandwiches. I kinda miss that new crayon smell though...

Emily is coming down tommorow to go dancing with me: YAAAAAAAY!!!! Well, yay that I'll actually get to see Emily! and yay for dancing! but she won't actually dance with *me.* She'll dance with boys. YAY! for dancing with boys! Correction: YAY! for dancing with nice boys that aren't sweaty or smelly or rude or crappy leads or obnoxious or ...I find myself suddenly without a partner... um... hello? guys... hello? I mean, YAY! for dancing with Emily!

Somebody needs to lay off the chocolate for a while... NEED CHOCOLATE! must stay away GIVE ME MORE! *twitch* ARMGH ARMGH MMMMMMMMMM :) *twitch*

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Apple Haiku


apples, red and green
gravensteins are very sour
make my cheeks pucker


creamy and crunchy
hot applesauce squishes out
can i eat it yet?


apple guts turn brown
smelling like autumn harvest
in the hot kitchen


jarred green perfection
mine for many years to come
love and thanks to mom :)

"Observing, observing, observing"

One big brownie point for the first person to correctly identify who said the quoted title to this post. Brownie point not enough for ya? Personal shout-out then? Sheesh, whiners!

Four applications submitted online, five more on my bed waiting for envelopes, three more to finish supplemental questions and mail... I'm going to go broke on stamps alone.

I watched "Take the Lead" last night. I want to go dance. Now. NOW!

Mom is out in the kitchen making and canning applesauce. I can't begin to describe how smooth and perfect her applesauce is. My sister and I rarely ate purchased, pre-made applesauce growing up. So sweet and syrupy... Mom's is sugar-free; she doesn't need to add any sugar because the apples are so sweet. This year, Mom and Dad went down to a friend's house and picked mighty Gravenstein apples. They're GOOD sour, so good... I'll post pictures of this biennial event later.

Dancing every day in the spring, I quickly developed quite the abdominal muscles. Dancing, more than anything I've experienced, is a great core workout. Not dancing as much this summer (still at least once a week), I'm losing all that hard work. Good news: I enjoy sit-ups and do them often. Bad news: I hurt after a dozen or more... and I do not subscribe to the theory of "no pain, no gain." Pain is bad; if it hurts, don't do it.

I've been gender-ized. It's really weird to me, but apparently other people think this is normal. When I go to my family's different houses, say, for Christmas or a big family BBQ, each gender assumes specific time-honored roles. Women do the food prep (like they're feeding the entire state, not just our family... hmm, Germans?), work in the kitchen, and do the cleaning. Men watch TV, work outside, and do the fixing. I've been observing this trend from the first minute I was asked to help wash dishes. Why, simply because I'm female, must I do women's chores. I want to fix things too. I do not agree with gender-specific roles. Whatever job I do is a girl's job. :P

That said, I don't really consider myself a feminist or part of the feminist movement. Oh man, I'm going to hear it for this one, I know. Seriously, what is wrong with being "barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen?" I think I'm a bigger part of the "respect each person, equal rights across gender lines, equal pay for equal work" movement. I don't think standards should be different for women in a traditionally male role: either the individual can or cannot fulfill the requirements of the position. Okay, unleash the comments...

I'm using Blogger Beta and the transition has been less than smooth. They finally updated Beta enough to allow HTML editing, but the whole thing is wonky now. I just want to add ORblogs script for location and keyword use. Why do they have to make things so difficult?

Ugh, sitting in this desk chair for twelve hours a day is killing my back. Any [cute, single] boys out there willing to work on some seriously tight knots?